Wednesday, April 30, 2014

Author Interview + Giveaway: The Cinderella Theorem

Today I bring you and interview with Kristee Ravan author of The Cinderella Theorem. Enjoy and don't forget to enter the giveaway at the end!

 How did you get into writing?        
One of my grandmothers was an English teacher and after my fifth birthday, she made a book with me about my party.  I told her what to write, she scribed it, and I “illustrated” it with my crayons.  It was pretty awesome to my five-year-old self.  After that, I wrote all the time.  I had notebooks, I played out stories in my dollhouse, and in high school, I started a novel that is pretty bad until you get to the parts of it that I finished in college. Also, I read a lot as a kid.  I think reading leads to writing a lot of the time.

What other jobs have you had as you made your way to becoming a writer?

I also really liked school and I enjoyed playing school, so I got a teaching degree in college.  In my mind, I was a writer, so I didn’t bother to pursue an English major or take creative writing classes.  I just assumed I would write in my spare time like I’d always done.  After college, I spent two years teaching overseas (1 year in the jungle) in Bolivia.  When I came home, I had already started The Cinderella Theorem and was ready to be more proactive with writing.  I took part-time work such as substitute teaching, giving piano lessons, and being a part-time social worker, so that I would have time to write.  Currently, I homeschool my nine-year-old daughter, run our home, and write, write, write.

Where did the idea to combine math and magic come from?

On my recommendation, my sister stayed up all night reading Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine.  (I recommended that she read it, not that she stay up all night.)  The next morning, at breakfast she said, “You should write a book like that.  Something with Cinderella.”  My sister loves Cinderella. So the idea of a Cinderella book was turning around in my head. A few weeks after that, my college roommate confused two really well known fairy tales in a casual conversation.  My roommate also happened to be a math major. Then the story stared clicking. What if someone who was clueless about fairy tales and loved order and logic found herself the future ruler of a magical (illogical) fairy tale kingdom?

Who or what inspired Lily's character?

That college roommate was a big influence on Lily’s character.  In fact, when Lily tells her guidance counselor in the first chapter that she wants “to do pure mathematics research at a major university or be a code-breaker for the National Security Agency,” that is exactly what my roommate would say she wanted to do with her math degree. 

What are some of your own favorite books/writers?

I like a lot of books, but I love all of the Anne of Green Gables series by L. M. Montgomery.  Every time I read an Anne book, I feel sad that Anne is fictional and I can never be her friend in real life. I also love Elizabeth Peters’ Amelia Peabody books.  I laugh out loud every time and almost never correctly guess who the villain is.  Also anything by Carolyn Meyer is a big hit with me.  I usually clear an entire day in my calendar for one of her books, so I can read it all up at once.  (If I don’t clear the day, I still read it all at once and then I’m just behind on everything.) Patience, Princess Catherine is my favorite.  Other favorites are the Harry Potter books, the Artemis Fowl books, Dead End in NorveltThe Hobbit, and Watersmeet.

Something readers should particularly know about your novel?

There are footnotes in it.  The story stands alone without the footnotes.  They just add extra color, information or explanations to the story.  Sort of like pop-ups on a music video.
Also, you do not have to be good at math to enjoy the book.  Anything that isn’t commonly known, Lily explains in the footnotes.  Nor do you have to know a lot about fairy tales.  Lily knows practically nothing about them and chances are, you know more than her.

What are you working on now?

The sequel to The Cinderella Theorem, called Calculating Christmas.  Lily and company have another adventure and must save Christmas.  Also there is origami, a Halloween dance, and of course, math and fairy tales.

Favorite math course?

Interestingly, while I do like math, I don’t LOVE it as much as Lily does.  I research  a lot while writing her math bits.  I remember feeling lost in Algebra 1 and Geometry.  My Algebra 2 teacher helped me to understand things better (Thanks, Mr. Herring!), and the next year I loved Pre-Calculus and almost took Calculus for fun in college (okay, that does sound a little bit like Lily), but I couldn’t justify the VERY expensive textbook for an elective course.

Thank you Ms. Hernandez, for your time and interest!

Thank you very much for such a lovely interview! Ella Enchanted is still one of my most reread favorite books ever! Calculus was kind of fun though I wouldn't have taken it if not required for my major, but Statistics is where it's at!

**The Kindle version of The Cinderella Theorem will be available for FREE on May 1st-3rd.  Check it out for yourself!

Check out The Cinderella Theorem on Goodreads
Facebook Page Here

GIVEAWAY TIME: One lucky reader will get their own copy  Enter the deets in the form below and I will announce the winner on the 24th of May. US and Canada!

Good luck and Happy Reading!

"Waiting on" Wednesday: Guy in Real Life

"Waiting on" Wednesday is a weekly meme used to highlight the books we are most looking forward to getting our hands on. It is hosted by Jill over at BreakingTheSpine, so make sure you check out the Linky to read more fun posts and expand your tbr pile!

Title: Guy in Real Life

Author: Steve Brezenoff

Release Date: May 27th, 2014

Summary: (GoodreadsAn achingly real and profoundly moving love story about two Minnesota teens whose lives become intertwined through school, role-playing games, and a chance two-a.m. bike accident.

It is Labor Day weekend in St. Paul, Minnesota, and boy and girl collide on a dark street at two thirty in the morning: Lesh, who wears black, listens to metal, and plays MMOs; and Svetlana, who embroiders her skirts, listens to Björk and Berlioz, and dungeon masters her own RPG. They should pick themselves up, continue on their way, and never talk to each other again. 

But they don’t.

This is a story of two people who do not belong in each other’s lives, who find each other at a time when they desperately need someone who doesn’t belong in their lives. A story of those moments when we act like people we aren’t in order to figure out who we are. A story of the roles we all play—at school, at home, with our friends, and without our friends—and the one person who might show us what lies underneath it all.

My Thoughts: I can't think of any book that I have read that sounded similar to this. I particularly have a couple kids in minds who might find this particularly interesting due to the gaming angle. I'm also a sucker for chance encounter love stories. Can't wait to read this one!

What are you waiting on this week?

Saturday, April 26, 2014

Friday Book Blogger Hop

Hello all! The Friday Book Blogger hop is a weekly meme started at Jennifer's Crazy for Books blog and now hosted by Billy at Ramblings of a Coffee Addicted Writer. Each week, we answer questions that have been submitted by different bloggers.
Book Blogger Hop
The question this week was asked by Elizabeth from Silver's Reviews:

4/25 Prompt: Do you answer the Book Blogger Hop questions in advance and have them scheduled or do you write your post the night before or the day of the Book Blogger Hop?

I tend to write my answers the day of the Book Blogger Hop. I like having a list of questions that will be asked beforehand, but I tend to participate when I remember to. I might try scheduling for next week and maybe that will make me a more frequent participant. My reviews are a little different. 

As soon as I start a book I intend to review, I draft up a post with all the pertinent information like author, summary, goodreads link and cover photo. I find that sometimes formatting takes me more time than writing my actual thoughts on the book down. I then leave room to add in my review once I am done. I usually post the same day I review a book.

Thanks for stopping by and click on the links above to view other answers!

Wednesday, April 23, 2014


Author: Swati Avasthi

Summary: (goodreadsSixteen-Year-Old Jace Witherspoon arrives at the doorstep of his estranged brother Christian with a re-landscaped face (courtesy of his father’s fist), $3.84, and a secret.

He tries to move on, going for new friends, a new school, and a new job, but all his changes can’t make him forget what he left behind—his mother, who is still trapped with his dad, and his ex-girlfriend, who is keeping his secret.

At least so far.

Worst of all, Jace realizes that if he really wants to move forward, he may first have to do what scares him most: He may have to go back. Award-winning novelist Swati Avasthi has created a riveting and remarkably nuanced portrait of what happens after. After you’ve said enough, after you’ve run, after you’ve made the split—how do you begin to live again? Readers won’t be able to put this intense page-turner down.

Review:  Appropriately titled, Split contains a powerful and heart-breaking narrative about what it is like to pick up the pieces after everything has been broken. Jace struggles with his identity and his mind. His brother seems to have completely pushed away memories of life with their father, but Jace dredges up old demons. Together, they manage to find the ways in which each of them can heal.

Jace is written with a lot of dimension. There are things very deep inside that he refuses to admit to himself, and as readers we slowly learn about his insecurities despite his cocky outside demeanor. The other characters were not as developed, but I think this is book rightly focused on Jace's past because that was what he thinks about and worries about. 

A steady pace of action, morose internal character dialogue as well as sometimes witty banter, make Split a solid story with a solid message. 
Rating: 1  2 3 4 5