SHADOW STUDY Blog Tour: Interview and Giveaway

Today I am so very excited to be a host on the SHADOW STUDY blog tour by Rock Star Book Tours.  I was introduced to this fantasy series by a fellow blogger and have enjoyed the adventure and romance that it has offered. It has been several years since the last book in this series has been published so that is why there is so much excitement with this returning novel. I hope you enjoy the interview that I have with Maria about this series and at the end of this post you will have an opportunity to win your very own copy of SHADOW STUDY. Good luck!!

Author: Maria V. Snyder
Pub. Date: February 24, 2015
Publisher: Harlequin MIRA
Pages: 416

New York Times bestselling author Maria V. Snyder wowed readers with Poison Study, the unforgettable story of poison taster Yelena. Now she's back with a new tale of intrigue.

Once, only her own life hung in the balance.

Oddly enough, when Yelena was a poison taster, her life was simpler. But she'd survived to become a vital part of the balance of power between rival countries Ixia and Sitia. Now she uses her magic to keep the peace in both lands and protect her relationship with Valek.

Suddenly, though, they are beset on all sides by those vying for power through politics and intrigue. Valek's job - and his life - are in danger. As Yelena tries to uncover the scope of these plots, she faces a new challenge: her magic is blocked. She must keep that a secret - or her enemies will discover just how vulnerable she really is - while searching for who or what is responsible for neutralizing her powers.

Yes, the days of tasting poisons were much simpler. And certainly not as dangerous,

"Doing full justice to the plot of this original and entertaining epic fantasy is impossible. Suffice it to say that the action is nonstop. The many characters leap to life, particularly Yelena, whose first-person narrative is riveting."
~ RT Book Reviews on Fire Study 

Maria's Bio
Maria V. Snyder changed from being a meteorologist to a novelist in 1995, when she began writing to keep her sanity while raising two children. Since then, she has published numerous freelance articles in magazines and newspapers, and teaches fiction-writing classes at the local college and area libraries. The classes give her the wonderful opportunity to encourage fellow writers, and to keep improving her craft.

Born and raised in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Maria always had a fascination with big storms. Dreaming of chasing tornados, Maria earned a bachelors of science degree in meteorology at Penn State University. But she discovered, much to her chagrin, that forecasting the weather wasn't one of her skills. In order to chase tornados you had to predict where they might form. Creating fantasy worlds where she has complete control of the weather was more agreeable to her.

Maria's research on food-tasting methods with an expert chocolate taster, her husband, turned out to be a delicious bonus while writing Poison Study.

Maria has a brown belt in Isshinryu Karate, and enjoys playing volleyball and the cello. Traveling in general and via cruise ship in particular are her biggest distractions from writing. Maria has traveled to Belize, Canada, China, Costa Rica, Europe, Mexico, the Caribbean and through the Panama Canal.

Maria lives with her husband, son, daughter and yellow lab, Hazelnut, in Pennsylvania where she is at work on more LUNA novels. She is also pursuing a master's degree in writing popular fiction from Seton Hill University.

Readers are welcome to contact Maria at the following email address:
Where you can find Maria:

And without further delay her is my interview with the lovely Maria V. Snyder

1. It has been 6 LONG years since we have been with Yelena and Valek. What made you decided to return to their world with SHADOW STUDY?
A: My readers!  They’ve been clamoring for more stories all during those 6 years, and I’d finally had enough of a creative break and an idea to write another Study book.

2. Was it easy to return to this series or did you find it more difficult than imagined?
A: It was harder than I thought.  Just keeping track of what had happened before and coming up with new challenges was difficult.  Plus Yelena’s Soulfinding powers are very strong and in order to give her a challenge, I had to take them all away! She’s still not speaking to me ;>).

3. Can you tell my readers a little about SHADOW STUDY and how it is the beginning of a new Soul Finders series?
A: The story starts six years after FIRE STUDY.  Since Yelena and Valek are in the Glass books with Opal, I thought it’s be easier to start right after the events in SPY GLASS.  Both Yelena and Valek are facing new challenges in SHADOW STUDY. Yelena’s magic is blocked and Valek is dealing with a young hot shot assassin who is after his job as Security Chief of Ixia.  Also in this book, I alternate chapters of Yelena and Valek’s POV with small sections from Janco’s POV in between.  That’s new, and I think writing multiple POVs gave me more of a creative challenge.

4. What is your favorite quote in SHADOW STUDY?
A:  This exchange is one of my favorites: 
“What’s your biggest worry?” Onora asked [she’s the young hot shot assassin].
“My mother. I’m supposed to visit her. It’s been forever and she’s not gonna be happy.” [Janco said.]
She huffed in disbelief. “I can kill you in your sleep and you’re worried about your mother?”
“You won’t kill me.”
“Why not?”
“Cause Valek scares you. While my mother…Nobody scares her.” [Janco said.]

5. What has drawn you to the fantasy genre and why do you think your readers enjoy it so much?
A: I always enjoyed reading fantasy and science fiction.  I especially liked the stories with strong female protagonists, but at that time, there weren’t that many in the fantasy genre.  When I started writing Poison Study, I wrote what I’d love to read.  I also focused more on the characters instead of the world building, and that was another aspect that wasn’t a big part of a traditional fantasy novel.  I think my readers make a connection with my characters and that’s why they enjoy my books.  They’re aren’t clamoring for more stories set in Ixia and Sitia, but for more adventures with Yelena and Valek!

6. What have you recently read that you believe is amazing?
A: The Book Thief and I am the Messenger, both by Markus Zusak.  He’s an amazing writer and deserves all the attention, movie deals, and acclaim he’s gotten.  I read them this summer when my daughter was picking out the books for me to read.  It was a fun experiment and I was very impressed with her choices.

7. Have you written a book you love that you have not been able to get published?
A:  No.  I’ve a number of book ideas and synopses that I’ve written that my editor hasn’t been too keen about, but all the books I’ve written to completion have been published.

8. What project are you working on now?
A: I’m working on the next book after Shadow Study.  The story events in Night Study starts immediately after Shadow Study, and I’m almost done with the first draft.  Next up is Dawn Study, which will be the third of the new set of Study books.

9. Is there anything that you would like to say to your readers and fans?
A: Thank you for all your support! You rock!  And I’d like to invite you to my book release party on Saturday, February 28 at Cupboard Maker Books in Enola, PA, starting at 1:00 p.m. We’ll have food, cake, prizes, and a dramatic reading at 2:00 pm (I bribed some friends to help me do a stage reading of parts of Shadow Study – should be a blast!).  Please RSVP by calling 717-732-7288 so we know how much food to order. J

10. Who is your favorite author and what is it that really strikes you about their work?
A: This is always a hard question for me because I have many favorites for different reasons and I’ll go to certain authors at different times. For example, at the beach or on vacation, I love to read Laura Griffin’s romantic suspense novels – they’re fun and perfect for relaxing.  When I’m driving, I enjoy listening to Ilona Andrews’ Edge series of books.  They’re fantasy and similar to mine as they have strong female protagonists.  I also enjoy the world the authors created and the whole cast of characters. For mystery/suspense, I’ll pick up one of Harlan Coben’s books.  And for something a bit more complex, I’ll read Barbara Kingsolver or I’ll read an interesting non-fiction by Sebastian Junger.  See why I can’t say who is my favorite? ;>

11. What books have most influenced your life most?
A: Dick Francis’ mystery novels have influenced my writing the most.  I unconsciously emulated his style by writing in first person point of view and ending chapters with mini-cliffhangers.  As for influencing my life, Frederick by Leo Lionni.  It’s a children’s picture book, but that book explained how even daydreamers/storytellers had a place in the world.  It gives a person permission to just let your mind wander and see where it goes!
Thanks so much for hosting me on your blog. If your readers would like more info about me and my books, I have the first chapter of all my books on my website as well as a number of free short stories (including ones with Yelena and Valek) they can read.  Here’s the link:  My Facebook page is where I’m the most active with updates and news.  Here’s the link:

OMG!!! How amazing is Maria? I am so very excited to read the next installments and you will too. Don't forget to enter the Giveaway.

Giveaway Details:
10 finished copies of SHADOW STUDY! International

Rafflecopter Code:

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
2/16/2015-a GREAT readGuest Post
2/17/2015- Alice MarvelsReview
2/18/2015- Reading YA Rocks-Guest Post
2/19/2015- Tales of the Ravenous Reader- Interview
2/20/2015- Read Now Sleep LaterReview                          

Week Two:
2/23/2015- Two Chicks on BooksGuest Post
2/24/2015- Seeing Double In NeverlandReview
2/25/2015- Magical Urban Fantasy ReadsGuest Post
2/26/2015- Mundie MomsReview
2/27/2015- Parajunkee- Interview


  1. I absolutely loved the Study series and I am elated that the series is continuing. To see that two more books are in the works for the series...YAY!! I'm looking forward to catching up with Yelena & Valek. :)

  2. i received the first book as a gift and learning you made a new ones just make me so happy especially knowing that it show how you loves your readers
    thank you

  3. Thanks for the chance to win. I loved poison study , I need to catch up with the rest of Maria's stories.

  4. Thanks so much for being a part of my blog tour! I enjoyed answering your questions :)

  5. This comment has been removed by the author.

  6. I can't wait for this book! I've been wanting new stories of Valek and Yelena forever! :D

  7. I am counting down the hours until Shadow Study is released!! :) I also received Poison Study as a Birthday present a few years back - and Maria has been my favourite author ever since :)
    Illona Andrews is an amazing author and I would seriously recommend her to anyone that hasn't read her books. Admittedly I have yet to read her Edge series but I have read her Kate Daniels series and it is really good. :)

  8. I love all your books, and I cannot wait to read this one!

    jessicarwarfield at gmail dot com

  9. Can't wait to read Shadow Study. Your writing is an inspiration.

  10. I can't wait to read Shadow Study. Enjoyed the interview!


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