Hello Everyone and thank you for joining me today. I adore Julie Reece and am so happy to participate in this blog tour for her newest novel, THE PALADINS. Please join me as we get to know her a bit better and have her talk about THE PALADINS.

Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Guest Post

Hallo to Ravenous Reader and thanks everyone for stopping by. I’m stoked to be here (I love Nancy, don’t you?)

Since Raven, Gideon, and Cole are the main characters of the Paladins, I would like to know what character you identify with the most?

Wow! Tough question. I think Raven is a lot of things I wish that I was. I wish I was as brave and determined as she is. She makes me want to rise to a higher standard because she doesn’t give up. I identify with her desire (dream really) to use her artistic ability to create awesome things. I relate to a lot of the same pain and insecurity she faces, and I wanted stability and to know where I fit in the world. I’m very protective of the people I care about, the same way she is. Also, I love cats. : )

What research did you have to do for this book?

The south is my home, and I grew up on local folklore, so that part came fairly easily. A lot of this story just came from my twisted imagination, so that wasn’t a subject for research either. I did some research on the process of silvering mirrors. I also researched how bodies decompose under different circumstances, the laws for burial of human remains and why. Ew.

According to my Google searches, I’m pretty sure I’m going to get a visit from the FBI soon,

Why do think people are drawn to southern Gothic reads?

I don’t know how other people might view this question, so I’ll just give you my thoughts. To me, European Gothic’s are filled with ghosts and romance and danger set in places like Scottish castles, Welsh woodlands or English Abbeys—among other places. And I love them! Southern Gothic has similar tones of dark mystery and foreboding, but typically center around old plantations, abandoned asylums or swamps filled with live oak trees and Spanish moss. What’s appealing to me about a southern Gothic is even modernized stories are told against the backdrop of a history both beautiful and tragic. Its lure is like a worn headstone in an old church graveyard—there’s so much more under the surface. A whole life represented and a story waiting to be told. The south’s history is steeped in tradition, honor and courage, while simultaneously pitted against injustice, cruelty and cowardice.

Southern Gothic isn’t always historical, but the stories always identify with the past. No matter if it’s a modern day story about a girl’s experience at an abandoned asylum, or carnival, or a group of teens on an overnight dare in an ancient cemetery, whispered warnings will echo from a hundred years back in time. How ever they choose to speak, through a diary, ghost, hidden room, lost locket or secret portrait, history adds depth and another layer to new tales. 

What inspiration do you use when writing The Paladins? i.e. Pinterest, Music, movies?

I love Pinterest. It’s crazy, but lately, I’ll go to Pinterest and post over a hundred pictures before I write a single word. Anything and everything that might help me see the book? It goes on the board. Even if the idea never makes it into the story. You can view my inspiration board for Paladins (and Artisans or any other of my books, for that matter), here:

No single source inspired me, but I can tell you lots of things influenced my imagination. As a kid, I loved the story of Alice in Wonderland, (who doesn’t, right?) and Jim Henson’s Labyrinth, and Pan’s Labyrinth, and the movies Willow, Harry potter, Lord of the Rings, and The Crow. I was raised on Grim, Mother Goose and Anderson fairy tales.  Egyptian mythology, Greek gods including Pan and Minotaur and Shakespeare’s weird sisters were awesome inspirations, as well as the fates in Norse, Roman and Welsh mythology.

Here is a partical playlist for The Paladins. It’s as eclectic as the story. Ha ha! I hope you enjoy …

Twenty-one pilots - Stressed Out
Inspiration: After Raven’s nightmare in Chapter Eight
Lukas Graham - 7 Years
Inspiration: Gideon makes a choice in Chapter Twenty-Six
Pearl Jam – Jeremy
Inspiration: Cole remembering Gideon from school in Chapter Four
Kaleo - Way Down We Go
Inspiration: Entering The Void for the first time Chapter Seventeen
John Legend - All of Me
Inspiration: Gideon’s confession to Raven in Chapter Thirty
Disturbed - The Sound of Silence
Inspiration: Gideon facing his demons in Chapter Twenty
Eminem - The Monster ft. Rihanna
Inspiration: Gideon in his father’s office in New York Chapter Five
Sia – Cheap Thrills
Inspiration: Raven rides in the trees in Chapter Twenty-five
Cranberries – Time is Ticking Out
Inspiration: each member of the team must decide to go or stay Chapter Fifteen
Halsey – Castle
Inspiration: Gideon, Raven and Cole travel to the tower Chapter Thirty-one
Skip&Die – Burning Bridges
Inspiration: Raven and Gideon argue in Chapter Eighteen
Wiz Khalifa – See You Again ft. Charlie Puth
Inspiration: Cole and Gideon on opposite sides of the glass cage in Chapter Thirty-one
The 1975 – The Sound
Inspiration: when Raven wakes up and Gideon is there in Chapter Thirty-four
Lost Boy – Ruth B
Inspiration: Cole and Rosemond in the tower Chapter Twenty-seven
Fall Out Boy – Centuries
Inspiration: war in Chapter Thirty-two
Andy Black – We Don’t Have to Dance
Inspiration: Raven at a masquerade Chapter Twenty-one
The Chainsmokers – Don’t Let Me Down Ft. Daya
Inspiration: Raven scratching a message to Gideon

Thank you so much again for having me today, RR. I had a great time with these (hard!) questions! : )

Thanks readers (or those who are thinking of reading) for stopping by to check out my new story. I appreciate you all more than you know!! XOXO

Link to Goodreads:

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Link to Tour Schedule:

Giveaway Information:  Contest ends May 20, 2016

·         Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece (INT)

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The Paladins (The Artisans #2) by Julie Reece
  Publication Date:  May 3, 2016
  Publisher:  Month9Books

The Artisan curse is broken. Souls trapped in a mysterious otherworld called The Void are finally released. Now, Raven Weathersby, Gideon Maddox, and Cole Wynter can finally move on with their lives...or so they thought. If the ancient magic is truly dead, then why are mystical fires plaguing Gideon at every turn? What accounts for Raven’s frightening visions of her dead mother? And who is the beautiful, tortured girl haunting Cole’s dreams?

Last year, a group of lonely teens sacrificed secrets, battled the supernatural, and faced their own demons to set one another free. Yet six months later, the heart of evil still beats within The Void. And the trio is forced to face the horrific truth: that their only way out is to go back in.

The Paladins completes this eerie YA Southern Gothic where loyalties are tested, love is challenged, and evil seeks them on the ultimate battlegrounds—in their minds, their souls, and their hearts.

Born in Ohio, I lived next to my grandfather’s horse farm until the fourth grade. Summers were about riding, fishing and make-believe, while winter brought sledding and ice-skating on frozen ponds. Most of life was magical, but not all.

I struggled with multiple learning disabilities, did not excel in school. I spent much of my time looking out windows and daydreaming. In the fourth grade (with the help of one very nice teacher) I fought dyslexia for my right to read, like a prince fights a dragon in order to free the princess locked in a tower, and I won.

Afterwards, I read like a fiend. I invented stories where I could be the princess… or a gifted heroine from another world who kicked bad guy butt to win the heart of a charismatic hero. Who wouldn’t want to be a part of that? Later, I moved to Florida where I continued to fantasize about superpowers and monsters, fabricating stories (my mother called it lying) and sharing them with my friends.

Then I thought I’d write one down…

Hooked, I’ve been writing ever since. I write historical, contemporary, urban fantasy, adventure, and young adult romances. I love strong heroines, sweeping tales of mystery and epic adventure… which must include a really hot guy. My writing is proof you can work hard to overcome any obstacle. Don’t give up. I say, if you write, write on!


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