Monday, February 13, 2012

Author Interview & Giveaway: Featuring Janet Lee Carey and Dragonswood

By Janet Lee Carey
b&n // amazon

Wilde Island is in an uproar after the recent death of its king. The uneasy pact between dragons, fairies, and humans is fraying, and a bloodthirsty witch hunter with a hidden agenda whips villages into frenzies with wild accusations. Tess, a blacksmith’s daughter from a tiny hamlet near the mysterious Dragonswood, finds herself caught in the crosshairs of fate when she is accused of witchery and has to flee for her life along with her two best friends.

Not even Tess’s power to see the future can help the girls as they set off on their desperate journey, but she keeps having visions of a man wielding a sword. And when she finally meets him, Tess has no idea how to handle the magnetic attraction she feels for him, or the elusive call she hears from the heart of the Dragonswood.

In this epic romance, an ancient prophecy comes true in a way neither dragon, fairy, nor human would have predicted.

*Summary taken from Goodreads.

©Photo by Heidi Petit

Janet Lee Carey is the award-winning author of eight Children's and YA novels. School Library Journal's starred review says, “Verdict: This is quite simply fantasy at its best–original, beautiful, amazing, and deeply moving.” Janet links each new book with a charitable organization empowering readers to make a difference in the world. She tours in US and abroad presenting at schools, children’s book festivals, and conferences.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook

©Photo by Heidi Petit

I am extremely excited to be featuring Janet Lee Carey on the blog today. She's been super incredibly nice enough to answer a couple of questions about her latest novel Dragonswood, share a few snippets from the book, and is offering a finished copy of the book up for one lucky follower to win along with a super snazzy bookmark made by the ever awesome Holly Cupala. She's super sweet and I've really enjoyed getting to know her a little bit through the few email exchanges we've had recently. Dragonswood was such an amazing book to read, I loved getting wrapped up in the mystical realms created by Carey. You can check out my review for Dragonswood if you haven't already.

❝The Watchword Featuring❞

Janet Lee Carey

Hi Janet, it's a pleasure to have you on the blog today. I'm quite excited to get the chance to visit with you a little bit about your amazing newly released novel, Dragonswood. I really enjoyed that you took from so many different genres and implemented different elements to elevate your book, with such a wonderful writing style and interesting characters that stay with you. Was there any sort of inspiration that you drew from, in bridging the gap between the fey, humans, and dragons?

I drew ideas for Dragonswood from the plight of endangered animals and the shrinking wilderness in our world today. The dragons and the fairies are endangered in this tale and will fade from the world unless they can find wild places like Dragonswood where they are left alone to flourish. For me, dragons embody wildness and intelligence. They are something like the powerful natural world, only with a voice and a will. The fey are also wild, whimsical, and can be dangerous. I based their free love society on some communes I visited in my youth. This is the first place where I’ve told anyone that!
This scene snippet between Tess and Garth as they share a meal in the woods by the fire shows the how differently they feel about dragons compared to the rest of the population of Wilde Island.

❝Excerpt from Dragonswood❞

The cold hand was no longer at my throat. I could eat from my bowl; still, I was finding it difficult to speak. “I’d gone to Dragonswood to be alone, to cry. Seeing the dragon . . . helped. He breathed a stream of fire over the Harrow River. It was beautiful,” I added.

Garth nodded, “Dragons can be wiser than men, though they’re wilder.” He tasted his stew, and ate some more.

“Did you meet dragons on Dragon’s Keep?” He’d only just told me of his boyhood travels. I was trying not to be jealous. “Have you ever spoken with one?” I added eagerly before he could even answer my first question.

He nodded. “I have, and I can tell you this. The dragons wonder that we, the weaker race, should have taken over the world, driving them from their wilderness in the last few thousand years.”

One of my favorite things that you did with the dragons in Dragonswood, was to have the talking dragons status as lords be vastly important to the mythos and magical realms where they reside. Can you share with my followers what important part with regards to the prophecy and the actual mythos itself, they really play?

I love exploring the dragons Wild/Wise personalities. They have to tolerate humans since we’ve taken over the world. That doesn’t mean they like the way things are going or think humans the least bit charming.

❝Excerpt from Dragonswood❞

Lord Kahlil picked his teeth with a talon. “King Elixis already visited me here. He boasted of his daughter’s stirring beauty and sexual allure. He was certain she’d charm the future king. I took his word on this. Our eyes do not judge human or fey beauty. You are all worm-like to us, if you pardon my saying so.”

The dragonlord is a thousand years old. He remembers the dragon wars and how human flesh used to taste (a delicacy he had to give up when he came to Wilde Island). Lord Kahlil is wise with all the sharpened instincts of a wild animal. He can focus one cupped eye backwards, the other forward, seeing past and present. Because of his broad historical view, he sees a unique solution to Tess’s problem. He challenges her to do the impossible and go to her enemy for help. The dragonlord thinks Tess is capable of bringing the prophecy to pass in a way no one, not even the fey folk, expect.

Tess is an extremely likeable character. At times I think she was my favorite of them all. She was fiercely loyal, incredibly strong, and yet she still possessed some faults of her own. To me, this makes her even more amazing. The journey that she takes is a hard one and she has some tough decisions that could mean life or death, in dealing with the prophecy and along the way she finds out things about herself that would be hard for any normal young woman to shoulder, yet she does it all as gracefully as she can it makes her appear more human than half-fey. Her visions play a great part in this, was she always meant to have such a great epic journey and did you ever consider any other special abilities for her to manifest besides having the visions?

I always knew Tess’s journey would be a hard one, that her own personal solution to the conflicts the story presents would take everything she had. Thank you for saying her resolution came about in a very human way. She has the power of fire-sight, but it is the very common human strength, a strength we all have deep down, that pulls her through. In early versions I gave Tess another partial power, but my editor suggested I drop that, and it made her character all the stronger.

I wanted to leave you with a little magical moment: one of my favorites where Tess is taken into the fairy kingdom.

❝Excerpt from Dragonswood❞

As I squatted, damp and shivering, holding my hands out to the fire, darkness weighed down over the world like a hushed, black wave about to fall. I was far from humankind, yet I felt I was being observed like an insect under a mage-glass. I glanced about. No eyes glared from the woods. I heard familiar scuttling noises of small forest creatures and the dry, dusty sound of flitting wings.

Still I sensed something else. Who watches? I looked left and right.

Then in that hour light came, thrown like a ball to the base of a tree. One circling flame falling, then another, and another. I screamed as the light orbs piled up on all sides. Heat washed over me, drying my damp clothes to the stiffness of brown leaves. The rushing sound of flames hushed all else in the night wood. In brightness, I was lifted, swung, paraded through the forest on waves of living fire that did not scorch or burn, but sang beneath me:

Eshkataa breelyn kataa. Bring her in, her in, her in.
Fairy bound in human skin. Bring her in, her in, her in.

Thank you, so much for being so awesome to join me on my blog and for such an amazing giveaway that one lucky follower will have the chance to win. You're always welcome to come back and visit any time, as I'm incredibly excited for anything else you may have in store for us.


And now, for the part that EVERYONE'S been waiting for - the awesome giveaway. One lucky winner (US ONLY) will be eligible to win a finished copy of Dragonswood and an awesome bookmark made by Holly Cupala. All you have to do is fill out the Rafflecopter form below, leave all the information required, and cross your fingers that you win.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



  1. I'm really looking forward to This Is Not a Test by Courtney Summers because it sounds like a promising zombie book :D

  2. I've heard some awesome things about this book and I love cover! It's powerful and vulnerable :)

  3. I would love to win a copy of this book. I keep hearing good thinks about it. 

  4. I've been wanting to pick up this one! I don't know why I keep forgetting to get it.. It looks really good! :)

  5. My most anticipated read is The Fault in Our Stars because so many people are raving about it!

  6. What a great giveaway!!!  Carey's dragons haunt and linger, very unique. I'm totally interested in reading this book!! 

    Hard to say most anticipated read... Pandemonium, Echoes of Betrayal, Palace of Stone... there's lots of books. Love finding more, too!!

  7. Cinder - I already have it here, but I have other books in front of it in my TBR pile =s
    It is anticipated because it is both a retelling of Cinderella's  story, and dystopian and also with robots! Could it evan be bettah? xD

  8. My most anticipated 2012 release was The Fine Art of Truth or Dare, which came out this week! SO exciting! It sounds adorable, and the reviews are outstanding.

  9. wow i got some great reads coming up i like to read the help

  10. I don't have just *one* anticipated read, but Tricked by Kevin Hearne is definitely at the front of my mind. Thank you for the giveaway and stopping by my blog! New follower, too!

  11. My most anticipated read would have to be Untouched by Sara Humphreys followed closely by Rebecca Zanetti's Hunted.

  12. My most anticipated read for 2012 is Fever (The Chemical Garden #2) by Lauren DeStefano!! I can't wait to read book two!

  13. Thanks for the giveaway! Love the interview with the excerpts - especially the "worm-like" appearance of humans to dragons!  i really enjoyed Dragon's Keep, so am really looking forward to read Dragonswood.

    My most anticipated read for 2012 would have to Article 5, but there are so many great books out there!



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