Wednesday, January 29, 2014

All That Glows ~ Ryan Graudin Review + Guest Post [@ryangraudin @harperteen #ffbc #QOD]

All That Glows
by Ryan Graudin
Publisher: HarperTeen
Release Date: February 11th 2014
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Emrys—a fiery, red-headed Fae—always embraced her life in the Highlands, far from the city’s draining technology, until she’s sent to London to rejoin the Faery Guard. But this isn’t any normal assignment—she’s sent to guard Prince Richard: Britain’s notorious, partying bad boy and soon-to-be King. The prince’s careless ways and royal blood make him the irresistible for the dark spirits that feed on mortals. Sweet, disheveled, and alive with adventure—Richard is one charge who will put Emrys’s magic and heart to the test.

When an ancient force begins preying on the monarchy, Emrys must hunt through the London’s magical underworld, facing down Banshees, Black Dogs and Green Women to find the one who threatens Richard’s life. In this chaos of dark magic, palace murders and paparazzi, Emrys finds herself facing an impossible choice. For despite all her powers, Emrys has discovered a force that burns brighter than magic: love.

Author Bio & Links, Guest Post, All That Glows Review and Giveaway below!!

About the Author: Bio: Ryan Graudin grew up by the sea, surrounded by oaks and Spanish moss. She was perfectly content there until her first trip to London. Wanderlust has plagued her ever since; an ailment she sates with heavy doses of traveling and writing. Her debut novel ALL THAT GLOWS (HarperTeen, 2/11/14) and her second novel THE WALLED CITY (Little, Brown 11/14) are direct products of both. Ryan lives in Charleston, South Carolina with her husband, and is always searching for the next adventure.

Ryan Graudin's Twitter / Blog / Website / Pinterest / Tumblr

My name is Ryan and I've been writing ever since I grabbed one of my dad's old tax ledgers and created this masterpiece: [see image].

My writing has since improved, though my obsession with wolves has remained relatively the same (I even own a wolf-hybrid pup.) My childhood was a happy, sunny thing. I grew up on a steady diet of fairytales, salt-marshes, music and brothers who would re-enact Redwall battles with me in the back yard. I went to an artsy sort of high-school that allowed cello recitals in the hallways and impromptu poetry slams in the cafeteria. It was there I decided that writing was what I wanted to do more than anything.

I'm officially a grownup now (I suppose one must admit that once they turn 26). My diet still includes fairytales, salt-marshes and art, but there are a few new loves thrown in. A big one is travel. Pieces of my heart are scattered like breadcrumbs all over the globe--I've bartered them off for writing inspiration, so I suppose it's a fair trade.

When I'm not cramming my earthly belongings into a backpack and waiting in airport security lines, I'm doing one of the following: Writing YA novels, Photographing weddings with my husband, Making our little white cottage more homey, Playing with my wolf pup, Trying out Korean récipes, Haunting local coffee shops with my friends.

Guest Post

Book Sp(l)ot: After reading Ryan's author bio, I was intrigued by her high school and wanted to know about something she'd taken part in there . . . .

Ryan Graudin: Oh man. My high school was amazing.

I was fortunate enough to live in a county that had a stellar arts-focused high school. You had to audition to
 get into one of the seven majors: piano, strings, band, dancing, visual arts, drama or creative writing (guess which one I picked). Like all things in teenagerhood, I took the school for granted at the time. As if it was totally normal to walk past a cello recital on the way to your locker or find the drama kids performing improv in the cafeteria. Graffiti and poetry were everywhere. It was a really rich environment that nurtured my voice as a writer.

One of the biggest things that came out of my arts school experience was my Senior Thesis project. Most of the majors had one. Visual artists had to put together a portfolio of their high school work. Drama kids had to write, direct and act in a one- man show. As a creative writing major I was required to write a novel and self- publish it through Createspace (which was actually known as Booksurge back then).

I decided to write a high fantasy novel a la Tolkien style. It ended up being 243 pages, which was the most I’d ever written at that time in my life. The experience of working on this book was crucial in my development as a future author. And it really prepared me for the process of creating and publishing ALL THAT GLOWS. Here’s why:

  1. I finished it. Finishing a book is the first BIG hurtle every aspiring writer faces. It’s hard to force yourself through a story once the shininess of the idea wears off! It helps immensely to have deadlines and grades riding on it!
  2. I had feedback. Not only did I have a mentor who helped guide me through the process of story-crafting, but I had fellow classmates who read my chapters and told me their thoughts. This really prepared me for the reality of editorial feedback, critique partners, revisions and rewriting!
  3. Other people were a part of my project. The book’s cover was painted for me by one of the visual arts students at the school and the interior of the book was designed by my project mentor.

This helped me realize that book design is generally out of the author’s hands.

The book—SHADOWS FALL—is out of print now (Twenty-seven-year-old me is quite thankful. My writing has improved exponentially in the past ten years.), but the experience of writing it is one I’ll treasure for a long, long time!

Thank you, Ryan!


The fae in All That Glows are different than the fae in other novels I've read while still being true to that classic idea of what the magical beings should be like. Here they're not whimsical, sprightly fairies out to make mischief or lead mortals astray. Rather, a pact centuries and centuries ago led to the Faery Guard - which Emrys is now joining. The Guard does just that, guards the British royal family from threats they do not even know they face. Threats visible to the fae.

It is a great new twist for a fae-involved story. The fae characters have a role that is different (bodyguard, of sorts) without losing the 'typical' fae things: iron still bothers them (and London is full of it), the fae court's are still a part of the plot, along with the hierarchy involved there and in the characters relationships. Ryan Graudin did an excellent job making sort of the James Bond (only, you know, without guns, and with invisibility) or super Secret Service of faeries while keeping intact all of the parts of fae society that make their job even trickier.

Richard is a fictional king but he fills the role very well. The life of luxury and privilege comes very easily to him; the one of responsibility and duty, not as much. The glimpses we're given into his life - from the partying, to what is in his room, to his interactions with his sister - provide a very full picture of his character in a relatively short period.

That is just one example of Graudin's excellent writing. Not only is it very beautiful writing, it's also very well done in terms of progressing and developing the story. We come to know and understand the characters through what we're shown, not told. The telling, the explanations are left for the parts that need it: the 'creatures,' the plans, how things work, etc.

Emrys is an immortal creature who begins the story very differently than she ends it. The choice, it becomes clear early on, she'll likely have to make is one that could have easily turned me off to the book. Her struggle with any possible decision - including having to make one - and how the story amps everything up more and more as it goes, had me pushing my worry aside.

Maybe I just don't read enough, a varied enough selection of novels with mythical creatures but I loved seeing such a varied group of characters from the different lore. They might have been secondary or even tertiary characters but they took part in the action and weren't just thrown in; they were used true to their lore, their myth. It was a lot of fun.

I really, really enjoyed All That Glows and now can't wait to read The Walled City Ryan Graudin's next novel due in November.

Rating: 9/10

(Tour Schedule Post)
The UnofficialAddiction Book Fan Club & A Reading Nurse -> Welcome to the Fantastic Flying Book Club!

Between the Pages -> Promo Post
After Dark Rendezvous -> Review + Dream Cast
Jessabella Reads -> Review + Interview

Sarah Elizabeth's Bookshelf -> Review + Favorite Quote
Musings of a Blogder -> Review + Excerpt

Swoony Boys Podcast -> Review + Dream Cast
Book Sp(l)ot Reviews -> Review + Guest Post
Bookish Outsider -> Review

Fictionators -> Review + Excerpt
Addicted 2 Novels -> Review + Favorite Quote
Rampant Readers -> Review

Tressa's Wishful Endings -> Review + Interview
BoundbyWords -> Review + Dream Cast

Some Like It Paranormal -> Review + Excerpt
Book Reviews -> Review + Favorite Quote

Library Of A Book Witch -> Review + Excerpt + Playlist
Young Adult Book Haven -> Review + Guest Post
Book Swoon -> Review

A Reading Nurse & The UnofficialAddiction Book Fan Club
Review & Winners of the February FFBC!!

Question of the Day (#QOD): This one isn't all that original, but is one I'm curious about: If there were fae out there guarding royalty - or anyone, really - would you really want to know about them?

Prize: Win one of two signed copies of All That Glows + one large tin of All That Glows custom blend Tea (US/Can Only)

  • There will be ONE winner
  • You must be 13 or older to enter this giveaway
  • Each day there will be available a #QOD (question of the day) in each participant blog. You can earn more points by answering the answers.
  • For those who don't know how this works, the winners will be those who have participated the most. Meaning, the winners will be those who have more points. No Rafflecopter luck this time, Book Addicts. This is all on you now! If there's a draw, then the odds will decide and this time the Rafflecopter luck would be a major factor deciding if you win or not.


Thank you to the FFBC team for the tour!

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