Monday, August 26, 2019

The Jumbie God's Revenge Blog Tour: Spotlight

Today I am taking part in the blog tour for The Jumbie God's Revenge by Tracey Baptiste, hosted by the awesome Algonquin Young Readers :D Thank you for letting me take part in this tour. I have only had the chance to read book one, but it was pretty great. And now book three is almost out :D Today I'm sharing a spotlight post of the series, with a general Q&A with the author. These middle grade books have the most gorgeous covers. I love them so. And the story seems so very good too. If you have not read these books yet, you really should do so. I'm hoping to read all three one day :) As they all seem thrilling and exciting.

General Q&A with Tracey Baptiste.

How did you write THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE? All at once, or did you outline the story?
I didn't think I had a 3rd jumbies book in me when Elise Howard asked me for one. And I was working on two other books at the time. So I started writing down little ideas on post-it notes and sticking them on the wall in my office. Eventually I had enough little ideas that I could see how the whole thing would come together. I outlined the story, something I usually don't do, and then I started writing.
What were some surprises (good or bad) in creating a trilogy?
This wasn't intended to be a trilogy. It has expanded by single books every time. Who knows where it will end at this point? The great part was that people wanted more and more jumbies, and if I had thought of a series at the beginning, I definitely would not have come up with the ideas that I did under pressure. The difficult part was that because I didn't intended for it to be a series there were things I didn't set up in the first novel which made things hard in book 2 and then book 3.
What gave you the idea for the series, and for how the story develops in THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE in particular?
I originally thought I wanted a series, but then it wasn't bought as a series, so every book has had to develop on its own. The good news with that is that a reader could pick up any book in the series and start there. The idea for the jumbie god came while I was watching the awful hurricane season in 2017 and how it was devastating Caribbean nations. The Weather Channel mentioned a Carib god called Huracan. The Caribs are the indigenous people in Trinidad where I grew up. That was the very first thing I wrote on a post-it that went on my wall.
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE?
The moment that Corinne comes into her full jumbie powers when she is up in the mountains and goes to the fire to have a chat with Papa Bois is easily my favorite. It's powerful and surprising and also a little bit gross.
If you could tell your younger self anything about writing, what would it be?
That it has to be treated like any other skill. It takes time and patience and courage, but it also needs to be nurtured. I'd remind myself to be gentle. I went to Catholic all girl schools my whole life, so being gentle was never on the menu.
What are you currently reading? What’s in your TBR pile?
Reality is Not What it Seems: The Journey to Quantum Gravity by Carlo Rovelli (I read at least one physics book a year), Lalani of the Distant Sea by Erin Entrada Kelly, Hurricane Season by Nicole Melleby, Ancient West African Kingdoms: Ghana, Mali, & Songhai by Mary Quigley (for research for a nonfiction book I'm writing), An Indigenous Peoples' History of the United States for Young People by Roxanne Dunbar-Ortiz, and quite a few others for both research and pleasure.
Do you write to music? If so, what were you listening to while you wrote THE JUMBIE GOD’S REVENGE?
I find it too distracting to write to music, but I often take dance breaks where my assistant Barkley and I, let off steam in between long writing sessions. My music choices for dance sessions are pretty eclectic. It could be anything from classical to pop to rock. Barkley is quite fond of Motown, but he is a terrible dancer. Two left feet. Two right ones, too.
Book Three.

In book three of the popular Jumbies series, Corinne must use her emerging supernatural powers to battle the angry god who would destroy her Caribbean island home.

When an out-of-season hurricane sweeps through Corinne’s seaside village, Corinne knows it’s not a typical storm. At first Corinne believes Mama D’Leau—the powerful and cruel jumbie who rules the ocean—has caused the hurricane. Then a second, even more ferocious storm wrecks the island, sending villagers fleeing their houses for shelter in the mountains, and Corinne discovers the storms weren’t caused by a jumbie, but by the angry god Huracan.

Now Corinne, with the help of her friends and even some of her enemies, must race against time to find out what has angered Huracan and try to fix it before her island home is destroyed forever.

Book Two.

Corinne LaMer defeated the wicked jumbie Severine months ago, but things haven’t exactly gone back to normal in her Caribbean island home. Everyone knows Corinne is half-jumbie, and many of her neighbors treat her with mistrust. When local children begin to go missing, snatched from the beach and vanishing into wells, suspicious eyes turn to Corinne.

To rescue the missing children and clear her own name, Corinne goes deep into the ocean to find Mama D’Leau, the dangerous jumbie who rules the sea. But Mama D’Leau’s help comes with a price. Corinne and her friends Dru, Bouki, and Malik must travel with mermaids across the ocean to the shores of Ghana to fetch a powerful object for Mama D’Leau. The only thing more perilous than Corinne’s adventures across the sea is the foe that waits for her back home.

With its action-packed storytelling, diverse characters, and inventive twists on Caribbean and West African mythology and fairy tales, Rise of the Jumbies will appeal to readers of A Snicker of Magic, Breadcrumbs, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

Book One.

A spine-tingling tale rooted in Caribbean folklore that will have readers holding their breath as they fly through its pages.

Corinne La Mer isn't afraid of anything. Not scorpions, not the boys who tease her, and certainly not jumbies. They're just tricksters parents make up to frighten their children. Then one night Corinne chases an agouti all the way into the forbidden forest. Those shining yellow eyes that followed her to the edge of the trees, they couldn't belong to a jumbie. Or could they?

When Corinne spots a beautiful stranger speaking to the town witch at the market the next day, she knows something unexpected is about to happen. And when this same beauty, called Severine, turns up at Corinne's house, cooking dinner for Corinne's father, Corinne is sure that danger is in the air. She soon finds out that bewitching her father, Pierre, is only the first step in Severine's plan to claim the entire island for the jumbies. Corinne must call on her courage and her friends and learn to use ancient magic she didn't know she possessed to stop Severine and save her island home.

With its able and gutsy heroine, lyrical narration, and inventive twist on the classic Haitian folktale "The Magic Orange Tree," The Jumbies will be a favorite of fans of Breadcrumbs, A Tale Dark and Grimm, and Where the Mountain Meets the Moon.

Tracey Baptiste is a New York Times bestselling author who grew up in Trinidad and Tobago on jumbie stories and fairy tales. Moving to the United States at fifteen was one of the hardest and most exciting times of her life. Tracey is a former elementary teacher and editor. She writes everything from picture books to middle grade and young adult novels, both fiction and nonfiction. She currently teaches at Lesley University's MFA program in Creative Writing. You can find her online at and on Twitter: @TraceyBaptiste

Where to find Tracey Baptiste:

The Jumbie God’s Revenge
By Tracey Baptiste
Algonquin Young Readers
Publication Date: September 3, 2019
ISBN: 978-1-61620-891-2
272 pages 5.5 x 8.2 inches

Saturday, August 24, 2019

In My Mailbox #407

This past week have been good and bad. I got so much mail this week, eee. I love my trade very much. Sigh. And I read a good book this week too, so yay for that. But my health completely sucks. Ugh. Have had a few days with a killing headache. It's been bad. But hoping it's over with now. Fingers crossed. And ahhh! New Taylor Swift album, finally, eeee :D I AM SO IN LOVE WITH IT. All the songs are perfect. Sigh. So good. Waiting on all my super expensive special editions, oops. But they may take some time before they arrive. Rude. Anyway. Two new blog posts. This week I'm waiting on The Beautiful :) And shared my review of The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street. <3 I have my next read planned, The Grace Year, and hoping to start it today :) I'm in a bunch of pain lately, but moving through it. Hope you are all well :)

Midnight Beauties. Oops. Hardcover and international paperback :D I must read this book soon. Nervous.
House of Salt and Sorrows. Needed to buy the gorgeous international paperback too :D Loved this book.
As She Ascends. Could not resist adding the paperback edition to my collection, lol. I own them all, haha.
The Thickety: The Last Spell. Finally out in paperback, eee. This series is SO GOOD. Must re-read soon.
Pip Bartlett. Bookdepo tricked me to think this was a paperback I did not own. They sent me a hardcover.
Pop Figures. Eee. These were expensive, but worth it. Ripley with the cat :D Ahh. And King Triton. Love.
ALL THE ARCs. Oh. My. Gosh. Ahh! Biggest thank you to GodofWax for this amazing trade, eee :D And thank you to Becky for always being so kind and helping me get these to Norway. <3 I just. What. Look at all these ARCs, ahhh :D I'm SO excited and thrilled to own all. Eee. Song of the Crimson Flower was SO GOOD and I needed the ARC so badly. Cannot wait to read The Beautiful and so many of the others :D

More Instagram photos here. <3

Thursday, August 22, 2019

Review: The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street by Lauren Oliver

The moment I saw this book on Edelweiss I had to download it. Still months until it is out in the world, but I had to read it as soon as possible. I am so glad I did so. Because this was just my kind of book. Full of magic and monsters. With great characters and such a good writing. I pretty much adored every part of this story.

I'm giving it four stars, as it was almost perfect to me. I had some small issues but nothing big. Found this book to be fast and easy to read. The story was exciting and fun and a little sad too. It was a book filled with interesting monsters that I loved reading about. This book was also an epic adventure with amazing friendships.

There was a monster guide included. Which I did like a whole lot. But will admit that having it before the book started was not good for me, haha. I was not able to focus as much as I needed while reading through it. Would have fit better at the end of the book, I think. Still. It was so interesting to read a little about the monsters included in this book. I will not write too much about this story, as it was not all that long, and because right now all I wish to say is how adorable this book and how much I enjoyed it. It tells the story of twelve year old Cordelia. She lives alone with her father and their monsters. She does not go to school. She do not have any friends. Except for all the monsters in her house. Yet she love living with the monsters and keeping them secret and safe.

Because this is not a world that would accept knowing about the monsters and letting them live alone. It takes place in the past and the book focus a little on that. About how horrible some people were towards others. It was sad to read about yet so important too. I love that it was included. Cordelia does not have any friends. Not since her best friend suddenly stopped talking to hear a few years ago. But then a boy shows up at her door, looking for her father to help his dog. Except it isn't truly a dog at all, but a zuppy.

One of the monsters that Cordelia knows all about. She helps the dog for the boy and they get to know each other a little. But the very same day her father goes missing while she sleeps. And all the monsters are gone too, except for two. Which were the most adorable. A tiny dragon and another creature that was so sweet. Cordelia and her father have lived with monsters in their huge house for years now. He helps them when they are sick and they decide to stay there. All kinds of different monsters. None of them evil.

This book tells the story of Cordelia having to search for her missing father and all the missing monsters. She goes looking with her new friend, Gregory, and their three monsters. It's not an easy journey. Though it takes place in only a few days. But these two children go through so much in those days. They meet a whole bunch of horrible people. There is a circus. With the most horrible man. They are close to death so many times. And every moment was all kinds of exciting and interesting to read about. I enjoyed it a lot.

There is so much to learn in this book. Getting to know Cordelia was the best thing. She was such an adorable girl and I loved her to pieces. I loved learning about her dead mom and how that happened. I loved reading about her and her dad and how they took care of the hurt monsters. I loved reading about their life. Wish there had been even more about it all, though. I also very much adored Gregory. He is an orphan living in the streets. And his story was all kinds of rude and heartbreaking. And I adored him tons.

I very much enjoyed reading about all the different monsters in this book and all that they did. I so loved reading about Cordelia and her adventure to find her missing father. But I also wish this book had been longer. Felt like it ended too soon, haha. But it had everything it needed, despite that. I feel like my review is kind of a mess. But finding the right words for this book have been fully impossible. Simply because I enjoyed it so very much and I do not know how else to say that. I would not have minded a second book.

The Magnificent Monsters of Cedar Street was every bit as magical as I had hoped it would be. It was filled with monsters and amazing characters. The writing was stunning and the story was exciting. I loved reading about Cordelia and her monsters. You all need to read this gorgeous book when it comes out in February next year. I cannot wait to own a print copy of this book too. Huge thank you to the publisher for the auto-approval on Edelweiss, so that I could read and review this one early. I'm so thrilled that I did so.