Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Winner's Curse Blog Tour: Guest Post + Giveaway

http://www.macteenbooks.com/ya/blog-tour-the-winners-curse-by-marie-rutkoski/

I'm beyond thrilled today to be a part of the promotional tour for The Winner's Curse, the first in a stunning new trilogy by Marie Rutkoski. I was incredibly lucky to have the chance to read this one already and I simply adored it, particularly the gorgeously subtle romance between Kestrel and Arin (I'll be posting my full review in a couple weeks). Marie was nice enough to indulge my curiosity with regard to some of the military strategy we see in the book, so I hope you enjoy this behind the scenes peek at some of her research. Don't forget to check the bottom of the post as well for the full list of participating blogs as well as all the details on an epic giveaway!

STRATEGY SESSION
Please give us an inside look at exactly what goes on when Kestrel meets with the General, or the research that went into the various battle scenes in The Winner’s Curse.

Kestrel’s father was a particularly tricky character to write because he has done terrible things—if he lived in this world, he could be tried for war crimes—and yet he loves Kestrel, and she loves him. He tries to be a good father. He’s intelligent, more sensitive than you’d think to the feelings of others, possesses a sense of humor, and will fight for whatever and whomever he believes in. Arin, however, would justifiably see him as a monster.

Is he a monster or a man—or both? Whenever Kestrel meets with the general so that he can teach her military strategy, they are never just talking about strategy. They are also exploring their opinions about themselves and each other.

But in terms of research on actual military strategy, I didn’t do much more than read Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War, which was helpful in terms of reading about things like how to defeat siege engines (I borrowed one particular method directly from that book). For the sea battle, I leaned on research I’d done on tall ships for The Celestial Globe (my second novel). I also called up my dad for help sorting out a particular element of that battle (it’s so hard to talk about this without getting spoilery!). He was in the army and has had a longstanding fascination with war and the politics surrounding it. Some of that has rubbed off on me, and I did grow up watching things like Patton or the Ken Burns PBS documentary on The Civil War with him. My husband, who served in the French military, is very good at helping me plan an ambush.

Writing the duel was perhaps the scene of action I liked best—in part because I was surprised to find myself writing a duel at all! I hadn’t planned on it when I began the novel (not that I plan on a ton of things; I don’t really outline), and some of my very favorite moments in the book happened as a result of me trying to work the plot to the moment of a duel. I’d like to pretend that I had a very careful PLAN all laid out, all along, but the truth is that my thoughts when at the beginning of writing the book were more like, “Oooh, a duel! I must have one of those! Now, how to make that happen….?”

• • • • • • • • • • • 

THE WINNER'S CURSE


Winning what you want may cost you everything you love

As a general’s daughter in a vast empire that revels in war and enslaves those it conquers, seventeen-year-old Kestrel has two choices: she can join the military or get married. But Kestrel has other intentions.

One day, she is startled to find a kindred spirit in a young slave up for auction. Arin’s eyes seem to defy everything and everyone. Following her instinct, Kestrel buys him—with unexpected consequences. It’s not long before she has to hide her growing love for Arin.

But he, too, has a secret, and Kestrel quickly learns that the price she paid for a fellow human is much higher than she ever could have imagined.

Set in a richly imagined new world, The Winner’s Curse by Marie Rutkoski is a story of deadly games where everything is at stake, and the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.


• • • • • • • • • •

MARIE RUTKOSKI


Marie Rutkoski is the author of the YA novel The Shadow Society, about a girl who discovers that she’s not human and that her kind are terrorists in an alternate world where the Great Chicago Fire never happened. The Shadow Society will be published October 30, 2012. Marie has also written the children’s fantasy series The Kronos Chronicles, including The Cabinet of Wonders, The Celestial Globe and The Jewel of the Kalderash. The Cabinet of Wonders, her debut novel, was named an Indie Next Kids’ List Great Read and a Bank Street Best Children’s Book of the Year, among other honors.

Rutkoski grew up in Bolingbrook, Illinois (a suburb of Chicago), as the oldest of four children. She attended the University of Iowa. After graduating, she lived in Moscow and Prague. Upon receiving her Ph.D. from Harvard University, she held dual appointments as a lecturer there in both English and American Literature and Language, and History and Literature. Rutkoski is currently a professor at Brooklyn College, where she teaches Renaissance Drama, children’s literature and creative writing. She usually lives in New York City with her husband and two sons, but she and her family are now living in Paris for the 2012-2013 academic year. 


• • • • • • • • • •

GIVEAWAY


Thanks to the amazing team at Macmillan, I have an exciting giveaway to share with all of you! Up for grabs to one lucky winner is not only a copy of The Winner's Curse, but also some really fantastic swag including bookmarks, stickers and eyeshadow. To enter, please just fill out the Rafflecopter form below. Giveaway is US only. 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Be sure and check out the remaining stops on the tour for more interviews, guest posts and chances to win!

Sunday, February 9th
My Friends Are Fiction

Monday, February 10
The Midnight Garden

Tuesday, February 11
Mundie Moms

Wednesday, February 12
Supernatural Snark


Thursday, February 13
YA Bibliophile

Friday, February 14
The Book Rat

Saturday, February 15
Good Choice Reading

Sunday, February 16
Jenna Does Books

Monday, February 17
Love is Not a Triangle

Tuesday, February 18
Reading Teen

Wednesday, February 19
Miss Print

Thursday, February 20
Cuddlebuggery

63 comments:

  1. Books about slavery and love always fascinate me.

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  2. It's finding the world so different where freedom of choice doesn't exist any more. Kind of me appreciate what I currently have.

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  3. I absolutely LOVE the moral dilemma of figuring out whether or not a character is a monster. It's so interesting to see, especially from different perspectives, so I'm looking forward to meeting the General and the charged relationships he has with his daughter vs his slaves. Thanks for such an insightful post and I can't wait to read the duel! ;)

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  4. Nice! Been hearing good things about this one! I love the cover the most! But the story sounds interesting as well!

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  5. LOVE how there's a romance that also reflect all the social and political inequalities in the world, the two affect each other.

    Thank you:)

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  6. Wow--love to hear about the research that goes into writing books. I have been hearing such great things about this one. I am DYING to read it and can't wait to read your review. Thanks for the great giveaway!

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  7. The themes sound interesting, slaver, forbidden love etc & love the cover as well

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  8. The forbidden love story. Swoon!!!

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  9. I'm super excited about this, Jenny. I've been hearing so much about this and the slow burn and forbidden romance are my kind of thing!
    Thanks for sharing, Jenny!

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  10. I think Kestrel's father was one of the most interesting characters because we got to see both sides of the story with that -- his brilliant and ruthless military side and the side who loves his daughter. The war and fights were all very realistic, too!

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  11. Oooh power, intrigue, and subtle romance?! Sign me up! I'm really forward to this book and reading your review, Jenny. :)

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  12. I usually get bored with ladies in dresses but BUT, stunning, and I think the knife makes it different

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  13. I think I would actually have a love hate relationship with Kestrel's father. He sounds like the type of person you love to hate and hate that you love him.

    I so want to read this book, I love the cover and the synopsis, it just sounds wonderful!

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  14. This was a wonderful book! I can understand why it's receiving so much praise. :)

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  15. I loved this book so much! And Winner's Curse eye shadow?! OMG!!!!

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  16. The cover pulled me in, the synopsis hooked me! I love the idea behind this book. I've heard it has a forbidden romance (which I can't ignore) and will be a great "replacement" once The Grisha series ends

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  17. I'm super excited about the Winner's Curse, Jenny! The romance, it's richly imagined new world, and the political underlinings of it all sound like an amazing read. Great insiders look on the battle scenes.

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  18. I love this book SO MUCH! The romance is slow-burn, intense and emotional, just the way I like them. :-) I thought Kestrel's father was a very interesting character, and I did get the sense that despite being a brilliant war strategist who naturally is responsible for a lot of death and destruction, he's deep down a loving guy. Wonderful guest post!

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  19. Thanks for the giveaway Jenny! I have heard a great deal about this story! Can not wait to read it.

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  20. You have read this one Jenny? And LOVED IT! Yes!!! Lemme give you a bear hug. I'm expecting this one like little kid expects Christmas. You have no idea how good this sounds. Not to mention Kestrel’s father - I just love how layered and conflicted his character sounds. Amazing post, Jenny :)

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  21. " I didn’t do much more than " -- GIRL YOU DID PLENTY, TRUST ME! I like all these um, royal history facts or different idk.. revolution stuff to some lengths and mythology, but I'm not really into strategy and wars/battles unless they're a part of a fictional book (and even that has to be done well). So, I wouldn't be able to do any kind of research. I'd survive about 20 seconds doing this lol. It was an insightful post though so thanks so much for sharing, Jenny:)

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  22. Reading that history book is quite a feat in itself. I am absolutely itching to get my hands on this one. I am hearing such great things about it! THanks for the great giveaway, I want the book and the eyeshadow!

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  23. Great guest post! I was so intrigued by all the strategy in The Winner's Curse. Such an amazing book and I love seeing how Marie went about writing it. She is beyond talented. Thank you for sharing!

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  24. Oh brilliant guest post, ladies. I particular love the last line when she didn't really plan it just popped into her head. Love it! I've heard some brilliant reviews of this book and I really can't wait to get my hands on this one... I mean just look at the cover... gorgeous. Great post and giveaway, Jenny! :)

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  25. Oh I have this one coming up on my tbr and I can't wait to dive into it. What a great post. I love getting into an authors head like that. :)

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  26. I am so excited for this one to drop! (Sorry channeling my inner music mogul) that last line of the blurb is amazing, "the gamble is whether you will keep your head or lose your heart.."

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  27. I'm excited for this mysterious, epic duel. I'm really hoping Kestrel is a part of it... Is she? Because it would be a total let down if she wasn't. Also, I practically drooled at the sight of that cover; it's fabulous!

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  28. I love the sound of the world and characters. Thanks for sharing!

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  29. Looking forward to reading this one, especially after seeing the gorgeous cover.

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  30. Everything!!! This is one of my most anticipated of the year :)

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  31. This cover has had my eye since I first saw it on someone's WOW. I want to know how winning is a curse. I mean, I understand it, but how does Kestrel win and why is it a curse? Win Arin? And a curse because she has to keep him alive and treat him like a slave when she's in love with him? I just need to know. I'm not very patient :)

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  32. Hmmm...I can't tell if my comment went through or not. I'm super excited about the emotional relationships--between Arin and Kestral and Kestral and her father. And I'm curious to know how Kestral finds a choice other than the military or marriage. Does she try to run away from who she is? Change how things work? I love the cover too!

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  33. This book did have some great strategy going on, I'll be curious to see if there's more of that in the future books.

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  34. I think a lot of the hype has gotten me very excited for this book. I'm interested in reading about the dynamics of the relationships between the protagonists.

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  35. this sounds fantastic! Thanks for sharing :)

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  36. Oh, there is SO many reason why I want to read The Winners Curse!! But I guess the main reason I'm dying to read it is the aspect of buying a slave and then falling in love with them! That part sounds so amazing!

    Thanks for the AWESOME Giveaway! :)

    Rafflecoper name is: Vannah Batista

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  37. I want to read the book because of the forbidden romance & also the military aspect in the book. Thank u for the chance to win. :)

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  38. Love the twist and irony and the world without choice. crystalbluern at onlineok dot com

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  39. I think it's exciting that this book has such a wonderful review from Kristin Cashore. That must be a very nice thing to happen to an author. Thanks.

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  40. (This is Darith L)

    I find the story very intriguing! A high-class girl falls for the boy she decided to buy..it's very ancient time and this relates well to my history of warfare class I'm taking this semester of Uni! :D

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  41. the whole story line sounds very interesting and exciting

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  42. The world building in this novel has me most excited. It sounds different and unique, and I can't wait to dive in! Thanks for the giveaway:)

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  43. I liked the general SO much, so I am so pleased to see him featured on this tour stop! I was fascinated by the duality of how he was perceived by his daughter and by Arin, as well as by the military strategies discussed in the book as well.

    This offhand comment also made me laugh:

    I didn’t do much more than read Thucydides’s History of the Peloponnesian War.

    Oh, is THAT all. ;)

    Thank you both for this lovely post! I am so enjoying following along with this tour.

    Wendy @ The Midnight Garden

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  44. Slavery versus freedom. One I'm interested in reading.

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  45. The glowing reviews I've read from almost everyone!

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  46. Everything about the book has me excited!!

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  47. The political intrigue is the top reason I'd love to read this book!

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  48. This is such a fabulous post because I LOVE that the author looked to an old text on the Peloponnesian War to research battle scene info--I mean that is what you call going directly to the source! And exactly what I suspect countless generals and commanders around the world have done throughout history when they need to plan effective battle strategy. I think that is WAY cool.

    The duel scene is this book is one of my favorites because it was just SO UNEXPECTED. And that's all I'm going to say so as not to spoil. Great guest post:)

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  49. It sounds like a fascinating forbidden love story.

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  50. The synopsis has made me seriously curious!! I feel like I know nothing and yet know enough that I wish I were already reading the book!! The pretty cover also helps :) Thank you for the chance to win!

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  51. I'm excited about everything! :) And yay for fighting scenes!

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  52. I'm all about Girl-Power, & this book sounds like it is!!!
    thank you for the giveaway!!!

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  53. I want to read this book because of the love it prmises. I don't even know about the plot or if it has action (which I love); all I care right now is the fact that, apparently, the characters deny each other because reasons & I love when that happens.

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  54. The blurb is beautifully written. She falls in love with a slave, heartbreaking already.

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  55. The sheer scope of this book is amazing - there is complexity in character, history and politics. I guess as a fan of HEA, I most anticipate how the two races will reach an understanding and hopefully live peacefully in the end.

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  56. The mix of romance and action, the forbidden love, all of it. I can't wait to read it.

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  57. I'm excited to see how the relationship between Kestrel & Arin plays out.

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  58. They are star crossed couple :D

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  59. Everything about the book has me excited! But probably the romance I've heard about!

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  60. What a great question and such a thoughtful answer. I love so much the great conundrum in this book centered around Kestrel and Arin. How PERFECT they are for each other in many many ways, but how perfectly WRONG they are in others, because they come from opposing people groups. It makes this story delicious but also painful. I can't wait for more.

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  61. Power, intrigue, and subtle romance?! Sign me up! I can't wait to ready your book Jenny :O

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