"To find out what a story's really about,' the Librarian said,

'you don't ask the writer. You ask the reader."

- SNOW & ROSE by Emily Winfield Martin

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Blog Tour (Interview and Giveaway): THE WICKED AWAKENING OF ANNE MERCHANT by Joanna Wiebe (YA)

The V Trilogy #2
by Joanna Wiebe
Release date: January 20th, 2015
Published by: BenBella Books
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Paperback, eBook
Format read: Paperback from the publisher.


Life and death, light and dark, spirit and flesh-on Wormwood Island, the lines are always blurred. For Anne Merchant, who has been thrust back into this eerily secretive world, crossing the line seems inevitable, inescapable, destined.

Now, as Ben finds himself battling for the Big V and Teddy reveals the celestial plan in which Anne is entwined, Anne must choose: embrace her darkly powerful connection to a woman known as Lilith and, in doing so, save the boy she loves... 
or follow a safer path that is sure to lead to Ben's destruction at the hands of dark leaders. 

Hoping the ends will justify the means, Anne starts down the slippery slope into the underworld, intent on exploring the dark to find the light. 

But as the lure of Lilith proves powerfully strong, 
will Anne save others - only to lose herself? 


1. Where do you get your inspiration for the remote island, its natives and the school?

Oooh, well, my inspiration for the island itself comes in part from the year in which I lived in the very remote, very rugged town of Kamikawa-cho, in the middle of Hokkaido, Japan. It’s also informed by my home of Vancouver Island, a glimpse of which is shown here:

As for the people of Wormwood Island, I actually studied post-colonialist literature and cultural theory during undergrad, which perhaps makes me partial to wishing to tell the story of those who’ve been displaced by wealth and power. The Abenaki people of Wormwood Island are forced to do rather unthinkable things in order to provide for themselves after government policy removes what little of their culture they had left; in the case of the First Nations people on Wormwood Island, that is the end of whaling practices. 

And the school Cania Christy is inspired by my sheer love of boarding schools. We have a very well-known and reputable boarding school here on Vancouver Island called Shawnigan. It loosely informed Cania Christy:

2. What can we expect to see in The Wicked Awakening? Any new characters?

Yes! While writing, I was super-stoked by how much room I had in The Wicked Awakening to develop the existing characters – Anne, Ben, Harper, Pilot – and introduce some pretty cool new ones. The joy of writing novels in a series is that, outside of a few situations, you don’t need to spend quite as much time building your world in books two, three and on, so you can spend more time exploring the dimensions of each character.

But back to the new characters! In this book, the shamed Headmaster Villicus is replaced with a decidedly shameless headmaster named Dia Voletto. He’s tattooed, he says the wrong things, he makes Anne feel totally different about herself – and I lovvved writing him.

We also meet the Seven Sinning Sisters. These ladies are fab. They just so happen to be the seven deadly sins personified, which means we get to meet people like Superbia, the underworld goddess of pride, and Invidia, who is envy. Anne’s interactions with these sisters – and what they teach her about herself – was impossibly enjoyable to bring to life on the page. I can’t wait to see more of them in the third book…

3. The V Trilogy, is dark, twisted and suspenseful. How were you able to get into such a mindset to write? Do you have "writing rituals" or things that you need to have in order to help your creativity?

I tend to write in the evenings, alone, with the lights dimmed a little (as bad as that is for my eyes). I put on music that makes me feel a little eerie, like any Modest Mouse album or Air. I also think I simply lean toward darkness for God knows why, so I’m often kinda surprised to read in reviews that people find the books quite dark and creepy because I don’t feel I’m laying it on particularly thick. I’m like, “What’s creepy about a girl raised in a funeral home? Is it that dark to visit an island run by a devil who exchanges life for things like tattooing something awful to one’s forehead?” ;)

4. What is one thing you would have done differently for one of your characters?

Ah, the dreaded question. The regret question. The one thing I would have done differently for one of my characters is show the other sides of Villicus in the first book. Anyone who’s read The Unseemly Education already knows who Villicus really is, so, knowing that, it would have been possible for Villicus to look quite different than he does. He could have looked like a celebrity or someone invisible-ish. But that’s not how I saw him. I saw him as he is on the page, and I think that, unfortunately, maybe that makes him read as a villain produced from the Villain Mold. (Sure, that’s a thing.)

So that’s the one thing I might change: I’d make Villicus perhaps less obviously a bad dude.

5. Can you give us a sneak peek to what we may expect to happen in book 3?

Oh, how I’d love to... What I can say is that the Seven Sinning Sisters will be back, and Harper is going to be, um, rather aligned with them. We’ll get up close and personal with Jeannie Zin, and we’ll see a side of Ben that, I think, some fans have long expected to see. Pilot will do as he does: flip-flop between disappointing us and making us proud. Of course, the tension between Anne and Villicus will come to a head. And Anne will definitely be her most take-charge self yet, though it’s going to come with consequences to be sure.

Someone will die for good. Someone will be heartbroken. And those who had it coming will, at last, get it. At least, that’s where I have the book right now.

THANK YOU so very much for answering my questions, Joanna!
Book 3 sounds amazing! And I am really looking forward to reading it!!!


Oh, God. My name said by his voice. 
This is why people have names. This is why people have voices. 
~ Paperback, page 28


BenBella Books is generously offering up 15 copies of The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant, please enter the Rafflecopter form below for your chance to win! 

Giveaway is open to US addresses only.

(Bumbles and Fairy-Tales will not be held responsible for any lost, damaged, unclaimed, etc. prizes.)


The Wicked Awakening of Anne Merchant BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, Januray 12th - Reading YA Rocks - Guest Post
Tuesday, Janaury 13th - 
Literary Meanderings - Interview
Wednesday, January 14th - 
Such a Novel Idea - Interview
Thursday, Janaury 15th - 
Of Spectacles and Books - Guest Post
Friday, January 16th - 
Feminist Reflections - Guest Post
- -
Monday, January 19th - 
To Each Their Own Reviews - Guest Post
Tuesday, Janaury 20th - 
Bumbles and Fairy-Tales - Author Interview
Wedneday, January 21st - 
Aphonic Book Reviews - Guest Post
Thursday, Janaury 22nd - 
Her Book Thoughts - Guest Post
Friday, Janaury 23rd - 
Book Lovers Life - Guest Post
- -
Monday, Januray 26th - 
Jump Into Books - Interview
Tuesday, Janaury 27h - 
Bad Bird Reads - Guest Post
Wedneday, January 28th - 
Addicted Readers - Interview
Thursday, Janaury 29th - 
Behind the Pages - Guest Post
Friday, Janaury 30th - 
Curling Up With A Good Book - Interview


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