Sunday, 22 January 2012

Maria V Snyder 'Touch of Power' Blog Tour Visit!

Release date: 20th December 2011
Published by: Harlequin (UK) Ltd
ISBN No: 978 1848450653

'Touch of Power' is the first title in the gripping new Avry of Kazan series by Maria V Snyder. In this story Avry must make the ultimate decision – use her healing touch to show the ultimate mercy or die a martyr to a lost cause…

What‘s the cost of a deal with the devil when you have the powers of a god? Avry’s power to heal the sick should earn her respect in the plague-torn land of Kazan. Instead she is feared. Her kind are blamed for the horrifying disease that has taken hold of the nation.

When Avry uses her forbidden magic to save a dying child, she faces the guillotine. Until a dark, mysterious man rescues her from her prison cell. His people need Ava’s magic to save their dying Prince. The very Prince who first unleashed the plague on Kazan.

Saving the Prince is certain to kill Ava – yet she already faces a violent death. Now she must choose - use her healing touch to show the ultimate mercy or die a martyr to a lost cause?

To survive in the Iron Realm, Ash must have a soul and a mortal body. But the tests he must face to earn these things are impossible. And along the way Ash learns something that changes everything. A truth that challenges his darkest beliefs and shows him that, sometimes, it takes more than courage to make the ultimate sacrifice. 

I am honoured to be able to say that Maria V Snyder is no stranger to 'The Secret Writer'. In December 2010, Maria very kindly agreed to undertake an author interview with me for this blog. This was very brave of Maria, as I had not been doing author interviews for very long before that particular time! Towards the end of the interview Maria actually shared her outline for 'Touch of Power' with us, although the book did not have a title at that time. My, how does time fly! Here we are now in 2012 and 'Touch of Power' has just been published. For those that may be interested, here is the link to Maria's previous interview with me:

'Touch of Power' is a beautiful book. The cover art is fantastic and provides the reader with an amazing visual picture of what is to come within this story. I particularly like Maria's dedication at the front of the book which says, 'For Jenna, I hope you enjoy your story!'

After reading 'Touch of Power' I can truly say that the particular 'magic' held within the story lines of this book comes out very strongly in Maria's writing. Maria's writing style is easy to follow and the story is fairly fast paced. This book is actually a page turner and it can be difficult to set down at times once started!

With a female lead character, adventure, magic and a little love, this particular combination works very well in providing another winning story for Maria's writing portfolio. I am predicting here that this book and eventually the series, will win many literary awards for this author.

Although written mainly for a young adult group of readers, I think this series of books will really be enjoyed as well by older generations that will include both female and male readers! 

I am absolutely delighted to be able to say that Maria has very kindly agreed to call back to 'The Secret Writer' today as part of her 'Touch of Power' Book Blog Tour, to answer a few more of my questions about her new book!

 Maria, welcome back to The Secret Writer! Can I start by asking what 'sparked' your initial idea for the story 'Touch of Power'?

 In my first fantasy series, the main protagonist, Yelena was able to heal, but it was only one of her many abilities.  I wanted to explore this magical power more in depth.  So I had this vague idea about a healer or an apprentice healer during an epidemic.  She was either going to be sought after for her powers – like everyone wanting her, or be hunted.  I wasn’t sure.  Then one night my daughter couldn’t sleep and she wanted me to tell her a story.  She knew all my other books, so I started telling her about this healer.  And every night, she’d ask, “What’s next?”  That’s why Touch of Power is dedicated to my daughter.

What type of character is Avry?

She's nurturing and self-sacrificing.  She also can be stubborn and tends to cling to her beliefs despite evidence to the contrary.  And she's smart.

What sort of research did you have to undertake for this story?

I researched the Black Death.  I was most interested in what the survivors did with the bodies and how they recovered from such losses.

How long did it take from developing your initial concept for this book, until it was actually published?

After I handed in Outside In in July 2010, my editor wanted me to write a new fantasy that wasn't connected to any of my other books.  I wrote three proposals, an urban fantasy, a fantasy set on a desert world, and the healer story.  She liked the healer proposal so I started  writing the book in October 2010. I handed it in in March 2011, and then we a series of revisions, line edits, galley proofs, etc... which we finished in September 2011.  It took about 14 months from start to finish.

From what I am hearing on the ground, 'Touch of Power' seems to be a very popular and successful story already!  Can you give the fans of 'Touch of Power' any hints as to what more has to come in relation to further stories about Avry?

I'm thrilled Touch of Power is getting such fantastic reviews!  I'm working on the second book now.  Scent of Magic is focusing on the war between Estrid and Tohon, while Avry seeks to reconnect with her sister.  The book will also have scenes from Kerrick's point of view as he deals with a new threat from the wildlands. 

Thank-you very much Maria for visiting The Secret Writer again and for answering my questions. It is very much appreciated! Good luck with writing the next book in this series and we will look forward to reading this too when it is published.

For those who would like more information about Maria and her writing, direct links to the UK Touch of Power website and to Maria's own website can be found below:

If you are a GFC Follower of this blog do not forget to enter my monthly book giveaway draw. This month's book is actually 'Touch of Power' by Maria V Snyder! Click on the 'monthly giveaway tab' at the top of the page for details!

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