Monday, April 14, 2014

GUEST POST: Cassandra Clarke's TOP TEN Wizards - The Wizard's Promise BLOG TOUR

Hello! Today, we're super excited to be hosting Cassandra Rose Clarke as part of the blog tour for The Wizard's Promise - the first book in a new duology from Strange Chemistry set in the world of The Assassin's Curse, out next month. Both of us thoroughly enjoyed The Assassin's Curse and The Pirate's Wish, and we're really excited to read The Wizard's Promise! You can find out more about The Wizard's Promise and Cassandra below, and read all about her Top Ten Wizards after that. Don't forget to stop by later this month for both of our reviews! You can also find links to our reviews of The Assassin's Curse, The Pirate's Wish, The Witch's Betrayal, and The Automaton's Treasure below.

About the Book

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | IndieBound | Goodreads
Title: The Wizard's Promise (Hanna Duology #1)
Author: Cassandra Rose Clarke
Cover Art: Sarah J. Coleman

Publication Date: May 6, 2014 (US/CAN) 1 May 2014 (UK)

Synopsis: All Hanna Euli wants is to become a proper witch – but unfortunately, she’s stuck as an apprentice to a grumpy fisherman. When their boat gets caught up in a mysterious storm and blown wildly off course, Hanna finds herself further away from home than she’s ever been before.

As she tries to get back, she learns there may be more to her apprentice master than she realized, especially when a mysterious, beautiful, and very non-human boy begins following her through the ocean, claiming that he needs Hanna’s help.

About the Author
Cassandra Rose Clarke grew up in south Texas and currently lives in a suburb of Houston, where she writes and teaches composition at a local college. She graduated in 2006 from The University of St. Thomas with a B.A. in English, and two years later she completed her master’s degree in creative writing at The University of Texas at Austin. In 2010 she attended the Clarion West Writer’s Workshop in Seattle, where she was a recipient of the Susan C. Petrey Clarion Scholarship Fund.

Cassandra’s first adult novel, The Mad Scientist’s Daughter, was a finalist for the 2013 Philip K. Dick Award, and her YA novel, The Assassin’s Curse, was nominated for YALSA’s 2014 Best Fiction for Young Adults. Her short fiction has appeared in Strange Horizons and Daily Science Fiction.

Cassandra is represented by Stacia Decker of the Donald Maass Literary Agency.

Author photo by Brittany at Flashbox Shop.

Twitter | Tumblr | Facebook | Goodreads

Cassandra Clarke's Top Ten Wizards

Howl, from Howl’s Moving Castle: I’ve put this guy on at Top Ten list before. That’s how awesome he is. (It was Top Ten Literary Crushes, if you’re curious.) He’s pretty much the ultimate wizard for me: flashy, brilliant, a snappy dresser, and kind of a jerk. If I were to ever meet a wizard in real life, I would expect him to act exactly like Howl.

Glinda the Good Witch, from The Wizard of Oz: Glinda’s the real (wo)man behind the curtain. The Wizard thinks he has everyone fooled, but he’s an idiot. Glinda knows what’s up, and moreover, she knows how to manipulate a situation to suit her purposes. When a bumpkin from grayscale land kills the Wicked Witch of the East, the first thing Glinda does is swoop in to make said bumpkin the patsy for her elaborate scheme to rule Oz. Only AFTER Dorothy has vanquished both of Glinda’s nemeses does she tell Dorothy that the ruby slippers—which Dorothy has been wearing all along—are the ticket back home! All while convincing everyone that she’s a “good witch” because she’s pretty. Not only does Glinda have actual magic powers, she can also social engineer her away around any situation—the Wizard only wishes he were that good.

Helga Hufflepuff, from Harry Potter: I had to pick a Harry Potter character for this. It’s required by law. The question, then, came down to which character, and that was a tough decision indeed. I went with Helga Hufflepuff (even if technically she’s a witch) because she’s five kinds of awesome. All the other Founders were elitist snobs who wanted to limit entrance to Hogwarts; Helga accepted everyone and treated them the same. She brought in house elves to the kitchens so they would have a safe working environment, and she made people of all different backgrounds join forces to help build the school. And you all make fun of Hufflepuff.

Gandalf, from Lord of the Rings: The single greatest wizard who avoids using his powers whenever possible, instead opting to lounge around in Hobbiton, smoking pipes and blowing up fireworks. However, when he’s forced into action, he does as he must, and I’m in favor of any wizard who will face down a demon mine-monster so his friends can run to safety. I’m still not convinced of Sauron’s Ultimate Evilness (see below), but Gandalf will always be cool with me. Plus, in the men’s restroom of the Houston dining establishment the Hobbit Cafe, there’s a painting of Gandalf on Mars. Just FYI.

Ursula, from A Little Mermaid: I was obsessed with Ursula when I first saw this movie as a child. And who can blame little six-year-old me? Ursula is a kick-butt octopus chick with a couple of moray eels for minions. Moray eels! Plus she’s fat, she has purple skin, and she swishes around like a Broadway diva. Disney villain perfection.

Sauron, from Lord of the Rings: Sorry, I don’t go in for the whole “ultimate evil” thing. I want to know Sauron’s deal. What exactly did Gondor, et al, do to him? They did something. And don’t tell me to pick up the Silmarillion; in addition to being, literally, the most boring thing I have ever read, it has “written by the victors” all over it. I’d love to hear Sauron’s side of the story. I’ve got questions, Sauron. You’ve got answers. Call me.

Regina, from Once Upon a Time: Another villain-wizard, only Regina actually does get to tell her side of the story. She’s a wonderfully complex character in a show that is, let’s face it, based on Disney movies. Her evil actions are given reasons—some better than others—and it’s clear that she genuinely loves Henry. As the show progresses, she’s even managed to eke out a bit of forgiveness for those who wronged her—without losing her edge. Plus, those elaborately architectural Evil Queen gowns are fantastic.

Yoda, from Star Wars: He’s a space wizard and don’t ever let anyone tell you otherwise. As with Ursula, I was obsessed with him when I was younger—round about eighth grade this time, right when the original trilogy was rereleased in theaters. Yoda does the “mysterious old wizard” thing better even than Gandalf. He lives in a swamp, bosses Luke around from the safety of a backpack, and talks backward because he’s too awesome for proper grammar. And even though I know we’re all supposed to hate the prequels, the Yoda fight scene in Episode II is flipping amazing. Literally. He flips around with a Yoda-sized light saber.

Dr. Orpheus, from The Venture Brothers: Your dad, as a wizard. He may be an expert necromancer, but he’s also a single father raising his teenage daughter Triana after his wife left him. Instead of Phil Dunphy-like dad puns, he’s given more to overblown theatrics (“Fetch me my WINDBREAKER!”), and instead of a clueless boss at work he has to deal with his shape-shifting master in the Underworld—but other than, he pretty much is just a typical dad. Who is also a wizard.

Samwell Tarly, from A Song of Ice and Fire: I saved the best for last. Sam wanted to be a wizard when he grew up, but instead got shipped off to the Wall—where he embarked on, dare I say, a magical adventure rather in spite of himself. He manages to slay a White Walker and learns that the Wall is infused with ancient magic. But better than all that, his knowledge and intelligence get him called a wizard by the lovely Gilly.  So it turns out he really did achieve his dream after all.

Thanks again to Cassandra for taking the time to stop by! Don't forget to pre-order your copy of The Wizard's Promise before its release - you definitely won't want to miss it!

--Ashley & Paul

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