Friday, August 9, 2013

Authors are ROCKSTARS tour: Cinda Williams Chima

Hi guys! Shelley here. *waves* I'm your host on the blog today. Welcome to ONE of Tsk, Tsk, What to Read's stops on the Second Annual Authors Are Rockstars Tour! That's right. Kat and I each get to host our own Rockstar authors this year. We couldn't be more excited. You'll find out a wee bit more about Kat's guest at the end. But right now... it's my turn. And I am super stoked to present one of my all time favorite authors Cinda Williams Chima. Cinda chose to do an interview. Let me tell you, this was one of my dreams as a blogger, and honestly, it was all I could do to compose myself long enough to come up with questions with any coherency that would be fun for you too. After my heart began beating again, I was a little busy fangirl flailing and screaming. It is what it is. But-  before we get to the awesome interview, my task is tell you why I believe Cinda is an author rockstar... so here I go...
Ahem *clears throat*
How could Cinda NOT be considered a rockstar? She is simply A-MAZ-ING! Her world building is phenomenal, her  writing is beautiful and oft times poetic. Her characters reach into your soul and capture your heart or fuel your malice. Her stories are fantastical and yet believable. And I completely forget the world around me when I am in one of hers.
Her Heir Chronicles were among the first YA books I'd read in YEARS. She rekindled my love of magic and fantasy. Her writing transcends genres, age, and time. When you read a Cinda Chima book, you forget you're reading a YA fantasy. It's simply fantasy. She writes so eloquently and intelligently, yet never over-your-head complicated, making it effortless to become completely immersed in her world. Her dialog and the vibrant personalities of her characters keep you engaged. They are each unique and charming in their own way.
Her Heir Chronicles brings in a new generation of the Weir community with each book. In this modern day saga, ever changing characters, new settings, and new plotlines, the story is always fresh. Always intriguing. Always an adventure. And always magical. This is a world of never-ending secrets and mysteries. There's something exciting about the possibility of a secret society such as theirs in our modern world. And somewhat frightening.
Cinda amped up the romance with the creation of The Demon King. An unlikely hero and a rebellious Princess. Caught in the middle of an endless war between warriors and wizards. A timeless battle of good versus evil. Mystery. Magic. Action. Forbidden LOVE. What more could you ask for? This book had it all. It was brilliant. And made me the super fan I am today. It gave me a strong, intelligent heroine to cheer for, and admire; a reluctant hero who made me laugh and stole my heart; and a handsome and charismatic villain who may have stolen my soul. These are characters that I will never forget. I cherish them. I measure all other star-crossed love affairs by them.
Cinda is also one of the most kind, generous and compassionate authors (people) I have ever met. She loves her fans dearly and does much to promote the community. Her 2011 book tour for The Gray Wolfe Throne was not only my very first book signing, but also one of the best I've ever  attended. It was an intimate and diversified crowd. Largely comprised of teens, from as far as two states away. She was fun, informative, interactive and entertaining. The fans adored her. And she reciprocated the affection. Despite the crowd when it was time to sign, she personalized all five of the books I brought along. She did this for many fans. And took time for pictures with anyone desiring.

She makes everyone feel special and important. I don't think the woman ever forgets a name or face. I wasn't a blogger at the time, just a reader. Another face in the crowd. We spoke for a few short minutes. Had our picture taken. Pretty routine, right? That photo made it on the events page on her website. And she contacted me, calling me by my nickname, to let me know. I was floored. And thrilled. We're talking New York Times Bestseller here. She pays attention, people. She is gracious and humble. Straightforward. Forthright. Charming. Clever with a dry sense of humor. A little bit mischievous. Beautiful inside and out. A loving mother, wife and friend. And this is only what she let's us see. As a writer,  Cinda is nothing short of brilliant. A bright and shining star. She commands your attention. Pulls the strings to your heart. And always keeps you guessing. She is a priceless commodity in her field. And I just LOVE her!!!

And now for my chat with the enigmatic author- or, Cinda's world in her own words...
Shelley: Welcome, Cinda! It's thrilling to finally have you visit our blog. As you know, I'm a long time fan of both your Heir Chronicles and the Seven Realms saga. My mission today is to show our followers what makes you and your books so completely captivating and enchanting. Personally, I can't say enough about the amazing worlds you've created in both series. Perfectly detailed and vibrant. Your characters are so alive. Likeable and relatable. And your villains- well, my friends and I have fallen for a couple of those as well. One hottie mage in particular from the Seven Realms... MICAH!!! *sighs*
<ok, back on track>
My journey with you began with the first book in the Heir Chronicles, The Warrior Heir. A modern day, magical tale that connected a young man, his mystical and mysterious school, a secret society known as the Weir community, and the war of the Roses. Short version... it was phenomenal. I couldn't wait to get my hands on the second book. I devoured it. And the next. And then came The Demon King. You took us back to the old world where it all began. You held us captive through four of the most exhilarating and romantic books ever written. And now, five years after The Dragon Heir, we've come full circle, and are returning to modern times to continue the Heir Chronicles with The Enchanter Heir. I must say I'm eager to get my hands on this beautiful book. So this finally brings me to my first question....
How much do you love this cover? I think they have all been quite striking.
Cinda: You are right—I have been so lucky in my covers, thanks to the design team at Hyperion and Larry Rostant, the illustrator for nearly all of them. These covers do their job, which is to make a reader pick up a book. My job is to keep the promise that the cover makes.
It's been quite some time since we've been in this world of  wizards.
Shelley: What made you return to the Chronicles?
Cinda: Certainly, I’ve had a lot of reader and publisher pressure to do so. More than that, I love these characters, I love the magical world, and I love the fact that these books are so accessible to readers who don’t think they like fantastic fiction. I also wanted to return, at least temporarily, to contemporary fantasy, where they have flush toilets.
Shelley: Oh, yes. The modern conveniences. How does this fourth book tie into the others in the series?
Cinda: As in the other books in the series, I bring new characters to center stage, while familiar characters serve as a through-line to the other books. I love presenting established characters through new eyes—in this case through magically damaged Weir who have reason to distrust the so-called mainline guilds.
I had to find a way to pick apart the happy ending (well, semi-happy) of The Dragon Heir. I didn’t just pick it apart, I pretty much blew it up. Possible taglines: Peace just doesn’t work for some people. Or What happens when magic goes mutant?
Shelley: WOW! Well, we do know nothing is ever truly set in stone with you. Can you name a favorite character from one or both sagas?
Cinda: I guess I’ll stick to the Heir Chronicles here (so many characters, so little space.)
Dark, cynical, world-weary Seph McCauley has always been a favorite of mine. Despite all the bad things that have happened to him, he finds a way to survive.
Although he doesn’t realize it, Jonah Kinlock from The Enchanter Heir has a lot in common with Seph. He, too, is a survivor—in this case, of the Thorn Hill Massacre, a brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Like the other survivors Jonah is magically damaged. He possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds—gifts that often feel more like curses. Denied any chance at a normal life, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a network that hunts the undead.
Leesha Middleton is another favorite. Although she starts out as an uncomplicated villain, somehow she forced her way into my heart, and I kept bringing her back, until she played a major role in The Dragon Heir. Leesha returns in the new novels, trying to find a way forward after losing the boy she loved and betrayed.
I love stories in which apparent civilians stumble into a magical world. We see that in Cassandra Clare’s City of Bones, in Harry Potter, and in all the old stories where the farm boy turns out to be the heir to the most powerful mage ever.
Emma Claire Greenwood plays that role in The Enchanter Heir. Emma grew up to the cadence of the blues, street smart and unschooled, until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah's life-and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.
Shelley: Great choices. I loved Seph. The good/bad boy. Very swoon-worthy. Leesha is a fun and fascinating character. Seeing her again will be a thrill a minute. I'm anxious to meet Jonah and Emma. We could spend the whole interview talking about your upcoming release, but let's hear more about you. The writer and the person...
Which is more difficult; writing in the past or present? [Should we say, writing high fantasy as in the Seven Realms or contemporary stories such as the Heir Chronicles?]
Cinda: Both magical worlds present their own advantages and challenges. For high fantasy, I find myself researching topics such as, How far can a horse and rider travel in a day? And What does a crossbow sound like? And Could a small woman cock a crossbow? And How do you go to the bathroom in a castle? What’s great is that I won’t get emails from readers telling me that they tore down the library at Oden’s Ford ten years ago and like that. I only get in trouble if I contradict myself (which is known to happen.)
It also seems like I can get away with more in high fantasy—my character goes to the tavern and drinks blue ruin, and nobody blinks an eye. One of my characters in the Heir Chronicles, Jason Haley, smoked, and I got all kinds of grief about it.
Although I contend that all fiction requires world-building, contemporary fantasy requires less “’splaining” which reduces the risk of miring readers down in details. It can be cleaner, leaner, more focused on character and story. A downside is that popular culture changes rapidly, so references to it can date your stories quickly. So I avoid highly specific contemporary references to music, technology, and so on. Also because I’m hopelessly behind at real life.
Shelley: Who influenced your desire to write in this genre?
Cinda: My love of reading it. Also my two then-teenage sons, who loved reading it (and still do.)
Shelley: Are you a romantic?
Cinda: Oh, yes. And I do love happy endings, despite what some of my readers think.
Shelley: [You heard it here, guys! ;)]
You've said your mother encouraged and influenced your love of reading. What are some of the books you enjoyed together during your childhood?
Cinda: In childhood, of course, we read the classics—very scary fairy tales with monsters on the covers. We also read lots of stories about animals—Black Beauty, My Friend Flicka, and Old Yeller, which (spoiler) broke my young heart. When I became a fluent reader myself, my mother and I often passed books back and forth. We didn’t own many books—we haunted the library. She never limited what I read—so it seems like I moved right from My Friend Flicka and Nancy Drew to Valley of the Dolls.
Shelley: That's very interesting.
Writing is not your only vocation. Can you tell us about your second career, and why you continue to be involved despite your obvious success as an author?
Cinda: Actually, it is now—I’m a full time writer these days. I was a dietitian/nutritionist, and practiced clinically for years, eventually becoming a college professor in that field. You may still notice loving descriptions of food in my books.
Shelley: Congratulations! (I believe that actually happened between the last two blockbuster releases.) FOOD! Yes, we love food.
What are your hobbies?
Cinda: Hobbies? What are these things, hobbies? I do love to garden, and right now have an excess of cucumbers, which have few culinary outlets. I am trying to get back to doing a little genealogy—I have the most interesting scurrilous ancestors. I get some of the names for characters in the Heir Chronicles from dead relatives, who can’t complain.
Shelley: No way?!! And what fun research. I love it!
What was the last book you read?
Cinda: Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, which was amazing.
Shelley: *looks over her TBR pile and moves Fangirl up*
And finally...
Can you tell us about what you're working on next?
Cinda: I’m writing The Sorcerer Heir, the sequel to The Enchanter Heir. And then I’ll have decisions to make.
To stay up to date, “like” my Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/CindaWilliamsChima or follow me on Twitter @cindachima. There is lots of information about places, characters, magical language, etc at my website at www.cindachima.com
Shelley: Yay! Well, there you have it. I absolutely adore Cinda and her Heir Chronicles. October still seems so far away. I'm eager to get my hands on The Enchanter Heir. And guess what? YOU can WIN a SIGNED ARC of the book yourself!
That's right! Cinda has generously donated a SIGNED ARC of The Enchanter Heir AND SWAG. We know how much you all love swag. So here's the deal: FILL OUT THE RAFFLECOPTER. ;)
I want to say a HUGE THANK YOU to Cinda for taking time out of her busy schedule to do this interview, for offering our giveaway- and for everything she gives her readers. Isn't she just marvelous? If you aren't already a fan, I hope this entices you to open one of her enchanting and enthralling books. Thank you to the amazing bloggers behind Authors Are Rockstars; Jaime, Rachel, and Mindy. You gals are the best! Thanks for making a dream come true today.  
Be sure to watch for Kat's stop on the AAR tour on August 17th. She'll be hosting Kiki Hamilton! *yipee* You can't miss that! 

Thanks for stopping by! Please add The Enchanter Heir to your Goodreads list <here>. Good luck in the drawing! Happy Reading! ~Shelley

The Seven Realms Series



They called it the Thorn Hill Massacre—the brutal attack on a once-thriving Weir community. Though Jonah Kinlock lived through it, he did not emerge unscathed: like the other survivors, Jonah possesses unique magical gifts that set him apart from members of the mainline guilds. At seventeen, Jonah has become the deadliest assassin in Nightshade, a global network that hunts the undead. He is being groomed to succeed Gabriel Mandrake, the sorcerer, philanthropist, and ruthless music promoter who established the Thorn Hill Foundation, the public face of Nightshade. More and more, Jonah’s at odds with Gabriel’s tactics and choice of targets. Desperate to help his dying brother Kenzie, Jonah opens doors that Gabriel prefers to keep closed.Emma Claire Greenwood grew up worlds away, raised by a grandfather who taught her music rather than magic. An unschooled wild child, she runs the streets until the night she finds her grandfather dying, gripping a note warning Emma that she might be in danger. The clue he leaves behind leads Emma into Jonah’s life—and a shared legacy of secrets and lingering questions.
Was Thorn Hill really a peaceful commune? Or was it, as the Wizard Guild claims, a hotbed of underguild terrorists? The Wizards’ suspicions grow when members of the mainline guilds start turning up dead. They blame Madison Moss and the Interguild Council, threatening the fragile peace brokered at Trinity.
Racing against time, Jonah and Emma work to uncover the truth about Thorn Hill, amid growing suspicion that whoever planned the Thorn Hill Massacre might strike again.



 New York Times bestselling author Cinda Williams Chima comes from a long line of fortune-tellers, musicians and spinners of tales. She began writing romance novels in middle school, which were often confiscated by her teachers.
The Warrior Heir was named to Voya’s Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2005-2006, is a 2006 Booksense Summer Reading Pick, was named to the 2007-2008 Lone Star Reading List, and was a finalist for the 2006 Great Lakes Book Award. Warrior Heir received a starred review in the Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books and a “Perfect Ten” (5Q, 5P) in Voya. The Wizard Heir also received a “Perfect Ten” from Voya and appears on Voya's Best Science Fiction and Fantasy 2007. The Dragon Heir received a starred review in Kirkus, was named to Kirkus's Best YA 2008 list, was a VOYA Perfect Ten, and is a USA Today, Indie Next, and NYT bestseller.Chima's Seven Realms series launched with The Demon King in October, 2009.It received a starred review in the Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books, was a Voya Perfect Ten and was named to the 2009 Voya Best Science Fiction, Fantasy, and Horror List. The Exiled Queen followed in September, 2010. It received a starred review from Kirkus, was a Voya Perfect Ten, and a New York Times bestseller. The Gray Wolf Throne follows in September, 2011. 
Chima is a graduate of Case Western Reserve University and the University of Akron. Chima is an active member of the Society for Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators and the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America. She has been a workshop leader, panelist, and speaker at writing conferences, including the Northern Ohio SCBWI Conference, the Western Reserve Writers’ Conference, and the World Fantasy Convention. She frequently speaks to young writers and readers at schools and libraries nationwide. 
Chima lives in Ohio with her family, and is always working on her next novel.


a Rafflecopter giveaway

58 comments:

  1. Great interview. I loved Cindas Seven Realms books!!!

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    1. Thanks, Nat! Aren't they AMAZING? I love hearing someone else loved them too. Despite her success I'm always surprised how many of our friends haven't read her books yet. I know they would devour them if they would just crack one open. ;)

      Good luck in the drawing! xxx

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  2. It was a great interview! I love reading interviews from authors, I feel like it'a really a great way to get to know them!

    Grace Radford/Anna Pett

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  3. Great interview! Thanks So much for being a tour host <333

    Hugs,
    Jaime

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    1. Thank you, Jaime. This was so much fun. I love this event. xx ~Shelley

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  4. I really enjoyed reading this interview. I adore Cinda!

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  5. I really love interviews like this with authors, there's always more information than just about their works but their lives too.

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  6. Absolutely loved the the Seven Realms series and I'm so excited for the return of the Heir series! :)

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  7. I usually don't buy books but when I do I buy Cinda Chima's Seven Realms book.

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  8. I will never forget the Seven Realms Series!!! This new instalment of the Heir Chronicles will be fantastic!!! GO CINDA!

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  9. First time reading an interview. Big fan of both series and cant wait for the next book.

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  10. Cinda will remember you and make you feel special. That's one of the things I love about her. She is my mentor and the reason I really got into writing, a long time ago after I stumbled into the Wizard Heir.
    Love you Cinda and keep writing. xoxo

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    1. You are so right! I failed to mention what a wonderful and inspiring mentor she is. She does give great advice. Thank you for saying so. I love hearing how she inspired you. Keep up the writing. I wish you much success! <3

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    2. Thank you for the encouragement! <3

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    3. Absolutely. Always follow your dreams. ;) <3

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  11. I always love knowing more about the authors and I think you asked great questions, great job!

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  12. These books are so good. Even after reading every one 3 times I still find new things that I didn't expect. Can't wait for this book to come out!

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    1. It's amazing what you can miss, isn't it? Excellent choice for re-reading! Thanks for the comment. ;) <3

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  13. Love Cinda's books and can't wait for what's to come!

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  14. Wow, Shelley, here are some people who've actually read my books (waves.) Usually blog comments say, "I've never heard of these books" or "I've been meaning to read these..."

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    1. LOL. What can I say, we have some well read fans. ;) I am so happy with the response- and this just the beginning of day two!

      Thank you again for being AWESOME!!! xxx

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    2. Let's be honest, who HASN'T read your books?

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  15. I love all Cinda's Books. My favorite series so far is the Seven Realms

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  16. I love Cindas endings to all her books. I can obviously tell she is a romantic. I mean, have you read the last book in the Seven Realms series? Perfect ending! Nice interview btw :)

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    1. I agree, PERFECT ending! Thanks so much! <3

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  17. Yay! I'm so excited to return to the heir series. Keep on trucking, Miss Chima!

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  18. great interview and very happy to see the Heir series continuing!

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  19. WOW! I am BLOWN away by the response. YOU guys are AMAZING! I am loving the comments. Please keep them coming. As you can see, Cinda is reading them. I am beyond thrilled to see so many of Cinda's fans here.

    Just a quick note: If you didn't notice, we didn't mention whether or not the giveaway was international. Well, initially it was NOT. I neglected to add that into my own post. No worries though. Cinda has allowed me to extend our offer to our followers and her loyal fans. Isn't that GREAT?! So YAY! All entries are VALID!

    Thank you all for the warm comments- and sharing your own Chima experiences! YOU are all ROCKSTARS too!!! GOOD LUCK, EVERYONE!!! <3 ~Shelley

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  20. Cinda's FB page directed me to this great interview and giveaway. I'll be visiting this rockstar tour more often. Love all of Cinda's books and can't wait to read "The Enchanter" - I'm sure it won't disappoint.

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    1. FANtastic! This is an amazing tour. Please do check it all out. So many great authors and bloggers participating. GOOD LUCK! Thanks for stopping by! <3

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  21. Marvellous interview. My dad and I are the ones that pass books back and forth in our family. My mum's taste has always been too realistic, and while I have read general and scientific fiction, I just don't click with it. I can rely on my dad for older fantasy and science fiction novels, and he can rely on me for the newer stuff. It was because of him I read fantasy in the first place. He gave me the Lord of the Rings when I was 12, and I read it quite fast, and immediately decided I wanted to be a writer. 10 years later and no change. But it's great and interesting to hear that Cinda hasn't limited herself and has read all kinds of genres! It definitely lends itself to greater depth in her own writing.

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    1. Thank you so much for sharing. We read The Hobbit in the sixth grade. The book- the whole series really, began my love of fantasy. Especially high fantasy.

      I love hearing someone's love of reading began at home. What a special tradition.

      I agree. I believe her diversified reading has given her a well rounded foundation for her writing. A greater depth is the perfect description.

      Thanks for stopping by also. xx ~Shelley

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  22. Love her books! Great interview!

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  23. Great interview! Also love the seven realms series!

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  24. I love Cinda Williams Chima and her Seven Realm Series! I've recently started reading her Heir Chronicles. I'm excited to read what she conjures up in the future! :D

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    1. Excellent usage of "conjure". I can't wait either, Steven. ;)

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  25. The interview was interesting! I really loved The Heir Trilogy, and can't wait to read more of it!

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  26. The interview was an interesting read. But, I have never read any of her books.

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    1. Oh, Holly--- That must be rectified! And thanks! ;)

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  27. Fantastic interview! Love the sound of the books too. thanks or the int giveaway.

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  28. Great Interview. I love her books too, the Seven Realm Series is one of my favorite read this year. So I'll definitely check out her other books =)

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  29. Thanks for the interview! I rarely encounter interviews from Cinda. :)

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  30. That interview was great - and I would be glad to take some cucumbers off of Cinda's hands :)

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  31. Loved The Seven Realms series, and loooove the Heir series! Can't wait for Enchanter Heir!!!!!!!

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  32. Great interview, I cannot wait to read this book! One of my all time fav series, it's been YEARS waiting for this next installment.

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  33. Wonderful interview, the book looks really good!

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  34. Thank you all so much for the wonderful comments. This was a fantastic event and was made even more fun by YOU! Cinda truly is a rockstar and every one of you fans had a hand in her success. We'll have our winner for you asap. We appreciate your stopping by. And as always, happy reading! ~Shelley

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  35. We apologize for the delay in posting the results. Our winner has been notified and we're happy to announce that Aran Gill has won the ARC. Congratulations, Aran!

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