Stones and Finger Bones by Jessica Minyard {Interview & Giveaway}

I'm happy to have Jessica Minyard over at the blog to talk about her YA debut, Stones and Finger Bones!

Hi Jessica! Tell us a little about Stones and Finger Bones.

Hello there! Without getting too spoilery, here’s what I can tell you: Magic! Mayhem! Kissing! Handsome rogues! Narcissistic sociopaths! 

I suppose I can also tell you that this is the first book in a series, but I’m sure you probably guessed that much. J

Where did the idea for the book came from? Your inspiration?

This is an interesting question, because I actually don’t remember. I’ve been working on this story for so long that I can’t recall what actually started it. I’m pretty sure I started with Aurelia, and she was a princess, naturally, because I’ve always loved stories about royalty. And then I basically sent her on her merry way with her telepathic cat/familiar. 

Unfortunately, or fortunately, depending on how you look at it, there is no longer a telepathic cat. The poor guy got cut a couple years ago because I couldn’t figure out his purpose and the idea of familiars did not fit into the magic system I was creating. 

What surprised you the most when writing about Aurelia?

Hmm. I guess what surprised me most was the amount of effort it took to get her character to translate from my head to the page. One of my beta readers described her as the love child of Lucrezia Borgia and Marie Antoinette; an accurate description, but a lot of personality to portray in 300 or so pages. Many of my major edits involved her, and making sure she was acting and reacting within the bounds of her character.

If you could hang out with one of the characters, who would it be?

Can I pick three? Pretty please?? Because I would totally hang out with the pirate triplets, Peach, Pearl, and Pomegranate. They’d be a blast. 

What would you like readers to take from your story?

I hope readers take lots of different things from my story; I hope they take whatever they want. But, since you asked, I will answer!

One theme, or idea, that I’ve tried to weave throughout the book is the idea of strength and its different manifestations, especially feminine strength. I see a lot of books where a female character is only defined as “strong” if she’s a badass warrior who is flouting typical feminine traits. If a woman is not kicking literal butt and dripping with sass and ‘tude, she’s seen as a victim of circumstance and not a human. In Stones you’ll see lots of female characters (yay women!) being shaped and molded by the confines of their situations, and yet fighting against and within these molds to achieve their goals…absent physical strength or any skill with a weapon. 

I think Carramyne is a good example of this, and you’ll only get to see more from her as the series progresses!

Stones and Finger Bones 
The Black Towers #1 
Jessica Minyard 
Publication date: February 10, 2015
Genres: YA Fantasy
Aurelia Barone, Jewel of Starry Stone, harbors no illusions about the purpose of her life as heir to the throne. But after two failed betrothals, she starts to feel like nothing more than a pawn being moved aimlessly about a game board.

Until the night she loses everything.

Kidnapped by a wise-cracking mercenary with more than one identity, Aurelia embarks on a mission across land and sea to avenge her father’s death.

But an evil is rising from the ashes of memory. Insidious magic is stirring. The dregs of a once-powerful nation are thirsty for blood and revenge.

They seek to harness Aurelia. To tempt her. To manipulate her.

And if necessary, to destroy her.
About the Author

Jessica wrote and illustrated her first story in the fourth grade. “The Dragon of Grindley Grun” was about an evil wizard, a princess, and a dragon who was actually a prince. She likes to think her writing has evolved since that very first story, even though she still writes about magic and evil wizards...sometimes.

She likes to sing loudly and dance on occasion without being particularly talented at either. Her interests include reading, writing, procrastinating, animal advocacy, musicals, accessories, memes, Harry Potter, and sweet tea.

Jessica lives in Kentucky with a spoiled pitbull.

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