I’m thrilled to announce that for the 2017 Debut Authors Bash, Pooled Ink is hosting none other than Rosalyn Eves, author of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION, a truly special take on YA Historical Fantasy that focuses on a true rebellion in 19th century Hungary and brings it an exhilarating magical twist. In this post you will be introduced to Rosalyn, given more information on both Blood Rose Rebellion as well as its coming sequel, Lost Crow Conspiracy, get to read an exclusive interview, and enter a fantastic giveaway!
Rosalyn Eves grew up in the Rocky Mountains, dividing her time between reading books and bossing her siblings into performing her dramatic scripts. As an adult, the telling and reading of stories is still one of her favorite things to do. When she’s not reading or writing, she enjoys spending time with her chemistry professor husband and three children, watching British period pieces, or hiking through the splendid landscape of southern Utah, where she lives. She dislikes housework on principle.
She has a PhD in English from Penn State, which means she also endeavors to inspire college students with a love for the English language. Sometimes it even works.
Rosalyn is represented by Josh Adams of Adams literary.
Blood Rose Rebellion
Sixteen-year-old Anna Arden is barred from society by a defect of blood. Though her family is part of the Luminate, powerful users of magic, she is Barren, unable to perform the simplest spells. Anna would do anything to belong. But her fate takes another course when, after inadvertently breaking her sister’s debutante spell—an important chance for a highborn young woman to show her prowess with magic—Anna finds herself exiled to her family’s once powerful but now crumbling native Hungary.
Her life might well be over.
In Hungary, Anna discovers that nothing is quite as it seems. Not the people around her, from her aloof cousin Noémi to the fierce and handsome Romani Gábor. Not the society she’s known all her life, for discontent with the Luminate is sweeping the land. And not her lack of magic. Isolated from the only world she cares about, Anna still can’t seem to stop herself from breaking spells.
As rebellion spreads across the region, Anna’s unique ability becomes the catalyst everyone is seeking. In the company of nobles, revolutionaries, and Romanies, Anna must choose: deny her unique power and cling to the life she’s always wanted, or embrace her ability and change that world forever.
pooled ink‘s Review
Thrilling, poised, and enchanting, Blood Rose Rebellion spins a tale of magic and revolution that mixes Hungarian folklore with fact and fantasy. It’s a story red as the dawn that comes and black as the night that passes.
Hi Rosalyn! I’m a huge fan of Blood Rose Rebellion! I was so excited when news about its release started circling the blogs because it combined some of my favorite things: history, folklore, and magic. I was particularly thrilled that it was a book inspired by Eastern Europe (one of my favorite places to study for fun #nerd). So Pooled Ink is still a rather small blog, but I have some really fantastic readers and we’re all very excited to hear from you. I, for one, am honored to have been chosen for this cool blogger event and to have the chance to interview you!
What drew you to the Hungarian revolution of 1848 and led to your writing a book inspired by it? Why did you choose to make it Young Adult?
I lived in Hungary for a while in my twenties and fell in love with the country and the people. I knew I wanted to set the story in 19th century Hungary, and the revolution seemed a natural choice because of the drama surrounding those years. So many places in Hungary still harbor memories of the revolution in their street names: Petőfi Sándor, the Aradi vértanúk–the martyrs of Arad, who were killed after the revolution ultimately failed. In America, we have all these heroes that we venerate for winning wars: but Hungary has lost so many wars and many of their heroes are tragic heroes who became heroes as they died. That contrast fascinates me. It was something I wanted to explore, by sending an optimistic British-born heroine to a country that she doesn’t fully understand, but comes to love deeply.
As far as making it young adult–I’ve always loved YA books. I love the sense of possibilities for the characters: their future is still before them, and anything can happen. There’s also a deep yearning that teens have, I think, to belong somewhere, to figure out who they are, that makes their stories compelling to me. It’s partly because of that longing that Anna got her name–Arden was an oblique reference to ardent, which is how Anna often feels.
Was this story always destined to be a YA fantasy with magic? How did you come up with the theory of magic used in this book?
I always knew there would be magic in the book. I have a hard time writing stories without some form of magic, and one of the seeds of this story came from the chosen one trope–specifically, what would it be like to be an anti-chosen one? To be without magic in a society that venerates it?
The magic in the book evolved over several drafts. My husband helped me brainstorm the different magical orders, organized around the things manipulated with magic. But my editor deserves a lot of credit for forcing me to really hammer out the details of the magic, how it worked, and why, and how the Binding worked. I think part of me hoped I could get away with just claiming it was magic and no one would as too many questions, but my editor wouldn’t let me do that!
If you could trade places with one of your characters, who would it be? Why?
This is a tough one! None of them has exactly enviable lives. Anna has the most comfortable financial position, but I would not want to wrestle with her gift on a daily basis. If I had to choose, I’d probably pick Noémi, whose gift is useful and practical, and who has made peace with her social position.
Did you always have a dream for being an author or is this a career that’s surprised you? What is something you love about being a professional author, dislike about being a professional author, and something that has surprised you along the way?
I’ve always liked telling stories, even before I could write. I decided when I was 11 that I was going to write books, though I had a round-about journey to get here (I took a detour to get a graduate degree in English). My favorite thing about being published is definitely the readers who love my book–it never gets old to hear that someone connected with this world that started in my head. The hardest part has been managing my expectations, I think, and keeping my eyes on my own page. Everyone’s experience with publishing is different, and it’s sometimes hard not to compare what you’re doing (or what’s being done for your book) with what’s happening for someone else. But those comparisons are seldom helpful.
What has surprised me? How hard writing can still be! When I was a baby author I had this idea that somehow I’d figure things out by the time I got published, but each book is a new struggle to figure out. I doubt myself a lot.
In Blood Rose Rebellion, what was the most difficult scene to write and what was your favorite scene to write? What about the most difficult character and your favorite character?
My favorite scene to write was the climax–it sort of poured out of me, and I didn’t change much to it during revisions. The hardest was one of the middle chapters (sixteen?), when Anna first arrives in Buda-Pest. I rewrote that chapter so many times!
Favorite character: I know authors aren’t supposed to have favorite characters, but I love Mátyás. He’s just fun to write. Gábor was the hardest character to write, mostly because he is Romani, and I was very aware of the pervasive literary stereotypes facing the Romani/Roma people and the need for accurate representation. I did way more research for his character than I did for any other character, and I’m still not sure I got everything right, even with the help of readers.
What was the major inspiration behind Lost Crow Conspiracy? What aspect of history fuels its plot?
One of the things that fascinates me about the Hungarian revolution was that there was this massive, bloodless revolution–and yet, within six months, Hungary would be embroiled in a civil war, and Austria would revoke all the promises that had been made and send troops into Hungary. By 1849, Hungary was once again subordinate. So Lost Crow starts with this sense of possibility and optimism, before everything Anna thought she had achieved in Blood Rose Rebellion starts to unravel.
How will Lost Crow Conspiracy be different from Blood Rose Rebellion? What should we be getting excited for?
Lost Crow Conspiracy is two points of view, rather than just Anna’s POV. I think readers will enjoy the second point of view quite a bit. There’s more dancing, more magic, more dragons–and a bandit troop.
Will we get to see more of Anna and Gábor in Lost Crow Conspiracy?
What is one fun fact about yourself that not many people know? What is a fun fact about your book(s) that not many readers know?
A fun fact about me: I once jumped off a moving train while I was living in Hungary. (I would not recommend it). A fun fact about my books: I snuck in references to Star Wars and to Hamilton in Lost Crow Conspiracy. My copy editor picked up at least one of those references, but I’m curious to see if readers do.
Do you have any current plans for a series other than the Blood Rose Rebellion series? Would it be historical fantasy or a different genre?
I’m currently working on that right now. Chances are good that it would be another historical fantasy, though I’m not sure if it would be a series.
Thank you so much for teaming up with me and taking the time to answer my questions! I’m sure I could talk to you for hours over coffee/tea/hot chocolate/anything because I think your book is fantastic and worth talking about, and although I’ve not met you in person you really seem like such a nice, fun, and interesting person who would be easy to talk to. Thanks again and I wish you the best!
Lost Crow Conspiracy
March 27, 2018
Sixteen-year old Anna Arden was once just the magically barren girl from an elite Luminate family. Now she has broken the Binding—and Praetheria, the creatures held captive by the spell, wreak havoc across Europe. Lower-class citizens have access to magic for the first time, while other Luminates lose theirs forever. Austria and Hungary are at odds once more.
Anna Arden did not know breaking the Binding would break the world.
Anna thought the Praetheria were on her side, content and grateful to be free from the Binding. She thought her cousin Matyas’s blood sacrifice to the disarm the spell would bring peace, equality, justice. She thought her future looked like a society that would let her love a Romani boy, Gabor.
But with the Monarchy breathing down her neck and the Praetheria intimidating her at every turn, it seems the conspiracies have only just begun.
As threat of war sweeps the region, Anna quickly discovers she can’t solve everything on her own. Now there’s only one other person who might be able to save the country before war breaks out. The one person Anna was sure she’d never see again. A bandit. A fellow outlaw. A man known as the King of Crows. Matyas.
pooled ink‘s Review:
Brace yourself for the intensely exhilarating sequel that is Lost Crow Conspiracy. Rife with political machinations, nightmares come flesh, forbidden romance, and a patriotic fire that faces the storm with resolution, this YA Historical Fantasy is sure to halt your breath and leave you clamoring for more. Do not miss out on this tale of revolution taken from our very own history books and spun with faeries of the dark.
Enter to win a signed copy of BLOOD ROSE REBELLION plus an ARC of LOST CROW CONSPIRACY. Open to residents of the U.S. and Canada.
Giveaway closes December 30.
Congrats to Danielle H.!