BEA'S BOOK NOOK "I can't imagine a man really enjoying a book and reading it only once." C. S. Lewis “If one cannot enjoy reading a book over and over again, there is no use in reading it at all.” ― Oscar Wilde

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

GIVEAWAY & INTERVIEW with Jackie Morse Kessler

"To Bear An Iron Key" by Jackie Kessler is officially out today and I'm delighted to be today's tour stop. I first read Kessler years ago when I picked up a used copy of one of her Hell's Belles books. These days, she's writing YA and I was lucky enough to be able to interview her.

Jackie is the author of the acclaimed YA series Riders of the Apocalypse, published by Harcourt/Graphia. The first two books in the quartet, HUNGER and RAGE, are YALSA Quick Picks for Reluctant Readers; in addition, HUNGER has been nominated for several awards and RAGE is an International Reading Association YA Choice. RAGE, LOSS and BREATH are Junior Library Guild selections.

Find Jackie Online: 



Bea: Please tell us a little about your new release.

JMK: TO BEAR AN IRON KEY is a YA traditional fantasy about a teenage witch and her best friend, the baker’s son, who decides to become a thief. The problem is, he’s a very bad thief—he picks the wrong pocket on Midsummer’s Eve and finds himself the guardian of the fey, who come through the World Door every Midsummer. Chaos ensues. The two friends have to outsmart the fey and save their village—and if they fail, she’ll lose her magic and he’ll lose his life. I had a great time writing this book—I love the dynamic between Bromwyn and Rusty.

Bea: What’s coming up next for you with your writing? Are you working on your next book? Can you tell us a little about it?

JMK: At the moment, I’m working on the book that follows TO BEAR AN IRON KEY, which will be called TO MEND A HEART OF STONE; I’m also working on an MFA project, a contemporary fantasy, sort of. And there’s the book that I wrote for my sons; I hope to have an update about that in the near future.

Bea: You used to write adult as Jackie Kessler but switched to YA a few years ago. Do you think you’ll return to adult stories? I noticed your adult site is looking rather neglected. 

JMK: Heh, yes, it is. I’m terrible about keeping up my websites. I think I need an intern! I do intend to write The Book Of Jezebel, which would be the one-shot, standalone story of how Jezebel challenges the King of Hell for the throne and what happens along the way. (happy dance! ~ Bea) But there are other books I have to write first. The good thing about demons is they know how to wait. J That being, said, there will be a Jezebel short story in the upcoming charity anthology Fantasy For Good.

Bea: Why the switch from adult to YA? Was it planned or did it just sort of happen?

JMK: It sort of happened. J When I started writing HUNGER, I hadn’t intended it to be YA; the protagonist was going to be a woman in her early twenties. But that version never gelled; it wasn’t until I decided to make her a teenager and start the story at a different point that things truly took shape. And once I started writing YA, I fell in love with it.

Bea: Why write fantasy? What do you like about it?

JMK: I’ve long been a fantasy reader—it started with The Lord of the Rings and Dragonlance and grew from there. And well before that, I loved fairy tales. I think that’s where my love of stories about magic stemmed from: tales from once upon a time that, more often than not, ended happily ever after.

Bea: Does your family read your books? What do they think?

JMK: My husband reads everything. J My older son has read all four of the Riders of the Apocalypse books, and he’s about to start TO BEAR AN IRON KEY. Very excited about it – I hope he likes it!

Bea: Tell us what you’re reading at the moment and what you think of it.

JMK: At the moment, I’m reading The Way I Found Her by Rose Tremain, for my MFA work. It’s very good, although it’s a big departure from what I usually read. Once this semester’s work is done, I’ll finally get to read for pleasure rather than for schoolwork—first books on the list are DE Atwood’s If We Shadows, Jim Butcher’s Skin Game, Chris Moore’s The Serpent of Venice, and Andrew Smith’s Grasshopper Jungle.

Thank you Jackie for answering my questions and best of luck with "To Bear An Iron Key".


Blurb from PR kit ~

To Bear an Iron Key is the first in a new and exciting series from acclaimed author Jackie Morse Kessler.

Five years ago, the young witch Bromwyn refused a gift from the powerful fairy king. Tonight, on Midsummer, that decision comes back to haunt her. When her best friend Rusty picks the wrong pocket, he and Bromwyn are all that stand between their village and the rampaging fairies who have pushed through the World Door. If they cannot outwit the fairy king and queen before the World Door closes at sunrise, the friends will lose everything—their village, Bromwyn's magic, and Rusty's life.

From To Bear an Iron Key by Jackie Morse Kessler: "Bromwyn turned to face the burning fields. Reaching deep inside of herself, she closed her eyes and touched the core of her power, the place where her magic lived, where it connected her to all of Nature. She held onto that magic, let it fill her almost to the bursting point, and then she cast it out onto the fields. It blanketed the rows of spelt, and she felt as it rode the wind—Air—and then touched the grain—Earth—and then sizzled around the fire."

Publisher: Month9 Books
Format: paperback, ebook
Release Date: May 6, 2014
Buying Links: Amazon paperback* | Amazon Kindle* | Book Depository* | Barnes & Noble | OmniLit | Kobo | Chapters Indigo!



Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of To Bear an Iron Key by Jackie Morse Kessler (INT)
One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of To Bear an Iron Key by Jackie Morse Kessler AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)

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  1. The Riders of the Apocalypse Series was very impressive, let's see if this new series could be as good.

  2. Thanks for sharing the excerpt, I think it sounds like a good one.

    1. I think you need coffee Jenea, that was an interview and not an excerpt. :D

  3. I haven't heard of this author before so I took a peek on Goodreads, and she has some great sounding books out-I'll have to look into them :)

  4. That sounds like such a fun (yet dramatic) read. Not a genre I read often but yall have me curious :)

  5. This does sound like an exciting series.

  6. aww this sounds like a very different but fun series!

  7. I love witches! This sounds like a great series!

  8. I love the sneak peek... this sounds like I'm definitely gonna be hooked!

  9. great cover, sounds like a fun one! - regnod(at)yahoo(d0t)com

  10. This book sounds great!


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