Seventeen-year-old Ruby is a Fireblood who has concealed her powers of heat and flame from the cruel Frostblood ruling class her entire life. But when her mother is killed trying to protect her, and rebel Frostbloods demand her help to overthrow their bloodthirsty king, she agrees to come out of hiding, desperate to have her revenge.
Despite her unpredictable abilities, Ruby trains with the rebels and the infuriating—yet irresistible—Arcus, who seems to think of her as nothing more than a weapon. But before they can take action, Ruby is captured and forced to compete in the king’s tournaments that pit Fireblood prisoners against Frostblood champions. Now she has only one chance to destroy the maniacal ruler who has taken everything from her—and from the icy young man she has come to love.
Against all odds, Ruby has defeated the villainous Frost King and melted his throne of ice. But the bloodthirsty Minax that was trapped inside is now haunting her kingdom and everyone she loves. The answers to its demise may lie to the south in Sudesia, the land of the Firebloods, and a country that holds the secrets to Ruby's powers and past....
Despite warnings from her beloved Arcus, Ruby accompanies a roguish Fireblood named Kai to Sudesia, where she must master her control of fire in a series of trials to gain the trust of the suspicious Fireblood queen. Only then can she hope to access the knowledge that could defeat the rampaging Minax--which grows closer every moment. But as sparks fly in her moments alone with Kai, how can Ruby decide whom to trust? The fate of both kingdoms is now in her hands.
According to your website bio, you are represented by Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. How did you know that Suzie was the right agent for you?
It would be hard to describe the sheer joy of my offer phone call with Suzie. (Jackie and Jaida, who were assistants at the time, were also in on the phone call.) I think I was fairly quiet because I was stunned at her enthusiasm for the book, and most of what I did say was probably semi-incoherent. After the call, when my head had stopped spinning, I sent her a list of questions that a published author friend told me I MUST ASK. It was a very long list. Suzie answered them all thoroughly. I was (and still am) so impressed by New Leaf’s team structure, experience with books adapted into movies, and their commitment to caring for authors long past the book deal. And as an author of Young Adult lit, it would have been pretty wacky to turn down New Leaf.
I keep hearing more wonderful things about New Leaf and its agents! The back-cover blurb for FROSTBLOOD is extremely well written. What, in your opinion, is most challenging part of composing a blurb (or a synopsis)?
I have to confess that I didn’t write the back-cover blurb for FROSTBLOOD. There are talented people at Little, Brown Books for Young Readers (or Hodder & Stoughton in the UK) who took care of that. I’m very grateful I didn’t have to do that! Writing a blurb is a special skill and I’m in awe when I see how they take the story and distill it down to its essence. I think the most challenging part is revealing enough about the characters, story, and conflict to get the reader interested, but not enough to spoil the surprises.
Definitely. And I love that you include fan art on your website. What do you love most about seeing art from readers?
Oh, I am SO EXCITED to have a couple of pieces of fan art! That’s definitely a dream come true. I enjoy seeing interpretations of the same character, and how each drawing style gives the character different nuances. Each artist sees the character through a different lens. I love looking at fan art, and I love when authors share it! Kudos to the visual artists of the world.
And hooray for a variety of lenses! FIREBLOOD, the second in the FROSTBLOOD saga, comes out in September. Is there anything you can tell us about it yet?
In FIREBLOOD, you’ll find out more about Firebloods and their homeland, as well as some revelations about Ruby’s past. She continues to gain mastery over her powers, while facing new and bigger challenges. Arcus is an important character, of course, and several new characters are introduced. And once again, there’s action and danger and fighting and kissing and tough choices. I hope you like it!
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