Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Exquisite Captive Blog Tour: Review + What's on Heather's Desk


Exquisite Captive
Dark Caravan Cycle #1
Author: Heather Demetrios
Release Date: October 7th, 2014
Publisher: Balzer+Bray

Forced to obey her master.
Compelled to help her enemy.
Determined to free herself.

Nalia is a jinni of tremendous ancient power, the only survivor of a coup that killed nearly everyone she loved. Stuffed into a bottle and sold by a slave trader, she’s now in hiding on the dark caravan, the lucrative jinni slave trade between Arjinna and Earth, where jinn are forced to grant wishes and obey their human masters’ every command. She’d give almost anything to be free of the golden shackles that bind her to Malek, her handsome, cruel master, and his lavish Hollywood lifestyle.

Enter Raif, the enigmatic leader of Arjinna’s revolution and Nalia’s sworn enemy. He promises to free Nalia from her master so that she can return to her ravaged homeland and free her imprisoned brother—all for an unbearably high price. Nalia’s not sure she can trust him, but Raif’s her only hope of escape. With her enemies on the hunt, Earth has become more perilous than ever for Nalia. There’s just one catch: for Raif’s unbinding magic to work, Nalia must gain possession of her bottle…and convince the dangerously persuasive Malek that she truly loves him. Battling a dark past and harboring a terrible secret, Nalia soon realizes her freedom may come at a price too terrible to pay: but how far is she willing to go for it?

Inspired by Arabian Nights, EXQUISITE CAPTIVE brings to life a deliciously seductive world where a wish can be a curse and shadows are sometimes safer than the light.

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What’s on Heather’s Desk

My desk goes through varying degrees of organization, depending on what I’m working on. Right now, I’m working on Book Three of the Dark Caravan Cycle and going back and forth between a million different projects to see which one is the right next book for me, so it’s a little messy. To the left of my computer, there’s a cigar box that I got at a voodoo shop in New Orleans and it’s full of index cards with new story ideas on them. When I get an idea, I put it on a card and throw it in there. When I’m stuck, I’ll flip through the cards. On top of that is a bunch of notebooks – one for each book I’m working on.There’s a bottle of room spray—the scent is Amber Smoke and I spray it around the office to get in the mood for Book Three, since amber is one of the major scents in the series. You’ll notice some chapstick—that’s a must. I’m obsessive about it.

The pile of papers is a bunch of random stuff, both personal and work related. On the little shelf on the left, you’ll see a framed piece of art that I picked up in Virginia with an Emily Dickinson quote that says “tell the truth but tell it slant”—it’s something I learned at VCFA from Tim Wynne-Jones, about how you have to tell the truth as a writer, but you put a crafty spin on it. Basically, a more complex way of looking at the whole “show, don’t tell” rule. There are a few poetry books there—a collection for women edited by Caroline Kennedy that my best friend bought me, and Mary Oliver. There’s also A Year of Writing Dangerously. I always mean to read a passage each day, but I often forget. The purple bottle is one of my favorite souvenirs from the trip to Morocco that I took last year to do research for Book Two. It’s much bigger than the one Nalia’s master stuffs her into in Exquisite Captive, but it screams jinni to me. I got it in the souq in Marrakech. The little Lego jinni was given to me by my VCFA classmate and friend, Joe McGee.

To the right of my computer is a journal given to me by my writer’s group that I was a part of in Boston. It was part of my going away present that they gave to me when I moved to Brooklyn last summer. In front of that is a pile of ARCs of my book coming out in February, I’ll Meet You There. Above that is a shelf with a picture of me and my BFF, a bottle full of sand from the Sahara Desert that I got while I was camping there on my trip to Morocco, and a statue of Ganesha, the hindu god of scribes. That was something that was given to my husband and I when we traveled to India several years ago. Above my desk is what I think of as my inspiration board. It has nothing to do with particular projects, like the other boards in my office. I’ve got a Walt Whitman poem, some notes to self, images I like…stuff like that.

As you can see, I like to surround myself with stuff that inspires me so that I’m able to keep my focus on what really matters—the work—when I sit down at my desk every day.

About The Author

When she's not traipsing around the world or spending time in imaginary places, Heather Demetrios lives with her husband in New York City. Originally from Los Angeles, she now calls the East Coast home. Heather is a recipient of the PEN New England Susan P. Bloom Discovery Award for her debut novel, Something Real, which Publisher's Weekly calls “[An] addictive yet thoughtful debut” about reality TV stardom. She is the author of the upcoming EXQUISITE CAPTIVE, a smoldering fantasy about jinn in Los Angeles and what Kirkus called in its starred review "an intoxicating, richly realized realm of magic, politics, spirituality and history" (#1 in the DARK CARAVAN CYCLE). She is also the author of the upcoming I’ll Meet You There (Winter 2015). I’ll Meet You There is a love story about a young combat veteran and a girl trapped in their small town, both struggling to escape the war at home. Heather is the founder of Live Your What, an organization dedicated to fostering passion in people of all ages and creating writing opportunities for youth of limited economic means. She is proud to have an MFA in Writing for Children and Young Adults from Vermont College of Fine Arts. You can always find her on Twitter (@HDemetrios), ogling the military dogs she wants to adopt (but can’t because her NYC apartment is way too small). Find out more about Heather and her other books at www.heatherdemetrios.comand 

I'm going to start this review off with an admission. I'm not really a fan of fantasy. So why in the world would I sign up to be on a blog tour for a fantasy book? The answer is simple, I want to be a fan of fantasy books. I love the idea of them. They sound so interesting and intriguing. Still, I typically pass on them because the ones I have tried I just couldn't get in to. However, it seems that when a fantasy book about jinn comes through my inbox, I have a hard time resisting.

The thing I typically don't care for regarding fantasy books is that they are (in my opinion) more slow paced with a lot of background detail and have a lot of strange made up words. I did find both of these to be true with Exquisite Captive but I also found that I didn't mind. I'll admit that the book did get off to a slow start but by the end of the book I was engrossed. The strange made up terms did take a bit more time to get use to but eventually I was able to overlook them.

The thing I really enjoyed about Exquisite Captive was the relationships between the characters. Malek and Nalia had a particularly interesting relationship. My feelings toward Malek were up and down. I had a hard time stomaching some of the things he had done to Nalia and the simple fact that he continued to hold her as a slave even after he developed feelings for her. We do later find out why he did some of the things he did (kind of) but I still don't believe that what he did was justified. That being said, Malek has these moments where I can't help but feel for him (and fall for him just a bit?). I really enjoyed seeing how their relationship changed throughout the course of the book and the way Nalia struggled with her feelings. I immediately knew that I would like Raif despite Nalia's unsureness toward him. I liked his attitude and his resolve. Raif knew what he was fighting for and knew what was at stake. He was willling to put it all on the line for what he believed in and it's hard not to love a guy like that. His and Nalia's relationship was definitely an interesting thing to behold. 

Exquisite Captive is a very detailed story, full of well developed characters. While the book is a little detail heavy at times, the story and the characters make for a great read! I am still a little weary of fantasy but I will be giving some more fantasy books a try after this book!

Must be 13+ To Enter | Ships to US only.
23 Winners will get a signed finished copy of Exquisite Captive by Heather Demetrios
October 2nd:
Ex Libris REVIEW

October 3rd:Fiktshun REVIEW + THIS OR THAT
Imagine a World REVIEW

October 4th:Two Chicks On Books GUEST POST
Books a la Mode REVIEW

October 5th:
Me, My Shelf and I SPOTLIGHT

October 6th:Novel Novice REVIEW
Addicted Readers REVIEW

October 7th:Such A Novel Idea REVIEW + 10 RANDOM THINGS

October 8th:I Heart YA Fiction REVIEW

October 9th:
Once Upon A Twilight REVIEW
Crossroad Reviews REVIEW

October 10th:Mundie Moms REVIEW + EXCERPT
Curling Up With A Good Book REVIEW

October 11th:Swoony Boys Podcast REVIEW + A DAY IN THE LIFE OF HEATHER
Book Lovers Life REVIEW

October 12th:
A Dream Within A Dream REVIEW + TENS LIST

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