Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Interview with Lena Goldfinch, author of AIRE and INT Giveaway!

Aire I'm excited to introduce my newest indie find-- Lena Goldfinch, the author of the beautiful AIRE!

Goodreads Book Description: "Danger, magic, romance, and royal intrigue, AIRE is a must read!"
—NYT Bestselling Author JESSICA ANDERSEN

A tale of Legends reborn, royal intrigue, and an unforgettable, heart-melting romance that will sweep you away.

Annalisia is a seer, a princess with a courageous spirit—and a soft spot for Legends.

Jovanni is a Legend, a commoner with no patience for pampered royals.

Principessa Annalisia is stunned and conscience-stricken when an unknown enemy mistakenly abducts her maidservant. Determined to find the girl, Annalisia disguises herself as plain Anna and slips away from the palace. She tracks down Jovanni, her maidservant's daring older brother, and they soon begin to search together. As they uncover clues, Anna also discovers a kindred spirit in Jovanni. But would he be so free with her if he knew who she really was? Doubtful. Even so, she reveals her secret gift of visions to him, and in so doing disobeys the orders of her beloved grandmother, the queen.

With Jovanni, Anna can almost imagine she’s like any other seventeen year old girl, free to pursue the longings of her heart. When she learns that he also has a secret—he's a sentinel, an ancient shapeshifter who can take the form of a falcon—it seems as if they were destined to be together, as in the legends of il Sentiro. Though Anna is tempted to wish otherwise, she can’t forget that she’s a princess and it's her duty to marry another. Meanwhile, their hunt leads Anna ever closer to danger, for she herself is being hunted.

A princess and a commoner.

They never should have fallen in love...but they did.

AIRE is a lush, romantic fantasy, inspired by ancient Italy and Turkey.

My Rating: 4 out of 5 stars

Author Blurb: LENA GOLDFINCH writes young adult fantasy with a dose of "sigh-worthy" romance. Her current titles include THE LANGUAGE OF SOULS and AIRE. She lives in a scenic small town in Massachusetts with her husband, two kids, and a very spoiled Black Lab. In her creative heart, she gets to travel far and wide to all sorts of exciting places, past and present, which is a perk of making things up for a living. You can visit her online at

Author Interview
1. Where did you get your inspiration for this novel?
It started with a little sliver of a scene, a hazy image of a girl who has a gift of visions and is trying to find a missing person, someone she feels connected to and perhaps responsible for. But she lives in a culture and time where she can't openly use her gift, so she's conflicted. And I saw a young man in the scene too. He's involved in a search for the same person, but he doesn't trust the heroine. And I had this feeling they'd join in the search together, and because I'm an impossible romantic that they would eventually fall in love.

2. Why did you choose the setting of Italy?
I love Italy. We visited there years ago and I fell in love with the country and the people. And, of course, the language! The food was wonderful too, come to think of it. ;) AIRE didn't start out there though. The story took several twists in turns in the early development, but I followed my instincts and my fascinations while I was researching and was powerfully drawn to ancient Italy & Turkey.

3. Which character was the most similar to you and why? Did any of the characters surprise you?
That's a really hard question.... I'm what I like to call a "social introvert," which means I love to be around people, but I need time alone to process things and recharge. (Which is great for being a writer. ;)) I don't know any character in AIRE quite like that, except perhaps Liliana & Tallen, who tend to be more reserved. But even then they're so different from me.... I guess there's a little bit of me in every character I write, and yet a lot of "not me" too. Helpful? Not?? LOL

4. If you could meet any literary character from any book, who would it be and why?
I'd say Nancy Drew because I grew up reading those books and loved them. She was always so smart and could figure just about anything out. I bet she could find all sorts of things I've misplaced. ;) 

5. What were some of your favorite YA reads of the past year?
My reading tastes are pretty eclectic. I'm reading THE RYN by Serena Chase right now and it's a lovely fantasy with a lyrical fairy-tale feel & a touch of romance. I also really enjoyed BREAKING GLASS, a "noir ghost story" by Lisa Amowitz, which I read as a beta reader (it comes out in July). It's a gripping, emotionally-raw story and not a book I'd normally pick up, to be honest, because the themes are darker than what I normally read, but I'd met the author through a group blog we belong to (The Enchanted Inkpot) and we connected. I also loved Erin Cashman's THE EXCEPTIONALS, about a school for teens with exceptional abilities, like telekinesis, communication with animals or ghosts, etc... a very creative and entertaining read, with an underlying mystery that keeps you turning the pages. 

It's more middle grade, but I adored Anne Nesbet's THE CABINET OF EARTHS. Paris? Secret magic societies? Intrepid heroine. Oh, yes, count me in. Also, although her books aren't YA, per se, my favorite author is Lynn Kurland. I'll devour almost anything of hers I can get my hands on. 

6. Can you tell us a little bit about what we can expect next from you?
I have another YA fantasy coming out this summer called SONGSTONE. It's billed as: 
A dark, twisty tale of sorcery, tummy-tingling romance, and adventure, inspired by the folklore of New Zealand's Māori people.

Kita can meld song into stone. In a world with no written word, storytelling—the ability to meld (or magically impress) song into stone—is greatly honored. The village honors her master as their medicine man, but Kita knows he's secretly a sorcerer who practices black magic using drops of her blood. She fears he’ll use her beautiful gift for a killing spell, so she conceals it from him. Each day, his magic tightens around her neck like a rope. His spells blind the villagers, so they can’t see him for what he really is.

Not that anyone would want to help her. She was found in the forest as a baby and would have died if a village girl hadn't brought her home. But the villagers saw Kita's unusual coloring and decided she belonged to the mysterious tribe who lives in the forests of the volcano, a people feared for their mystical powers. So they fear her too. Now seventeen, she can barely admit her deepest longing: to know who she really is and where she belongs.

Then Pono, a young journeyman, arrives from the other side of the island. He's come to fulfill a pact between their villages: to escort a storyteller back to his village--a storyteller who'll be chosen at the great assembly. Finally, in Pono, Kita sees her one slim chance at freedom and she'll risk her life to take it.

Thanks for having me here, Christina

And thank you for giving us this great interview!
Now sign up to win a signed copy of her book!
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  1. Didn't you have another giveaway of Aire before? I have a vague memory of entering to win Aire in a giveaway...Oh well. I'm very thankful for this giveaway! I've always wanted my own copy of Aire and this is a good chance. Thank you and good luck to all!

  2. The books sounds fantastic! I can't wait to read it. Thanks!

  3. I adored Nancy Drew growing up - I didn't actually discover them until I was about 14 (I grew up in Portugal) but I devoured every copy I could find!
    Suzy Turner, YA Author

    1. Nancy Drew & Trixie Beldon too were like friends when I was growing up. :)

  4. Sounds like a good book. Hope I win.

  5. The cover of the book is really neat. What I read so far about Principessa Annalisia or Anna she sounds like a free spirit, adventures girl. I would love to read the book.
    Donna Harris

  6. This looks so great! Thanks for sharing with us! I adore that cover as well.
    Did the author have any say on the design of the book cover? Also, who in the author's life encouraged them to sit down and write their first book?
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    mestith at gmail dot com

    1. Hi, Meghan & Donna, thanks for the compliment on the book cover! I co-designed this cover with the lovely Lisa Amowitz, a professional cover designer who also happens to be my design mentor. Lisa came up with this cover concept using some of my photo suggestions & we went back and forth in a collaborative effort to generate the final design. (And, boy, was that a great learning experience! It was like taking a master class in design. :-))

      I'm very pleased with the result and am so happy whenever I hear others like it.

  7. This book has been on my want to read list for a while. I would love to win a copy because that's the only way I'm going to get it. My husband has told me I can't buy any more books because my bookcases are full and he's not going to build me anymore (for now ;) ).

    1. Good luck, Mindy (and everyone)! I have a Kindle now which helps with my own bookshelf space problem! LOL

  8. This sounds wonderful! I'm so glad to have discovered this author - I love how she incorporates less-known mythology into her books. Fascinating.

  9. After reading the description I wanted to read it because I'm a huge fan of fantasy/mythology. The cover looks really neat too!