Thursday, May 15, 2014

Guest Post + Giveaway: In Starlight - February Grace

A while back, Amrutha reviewed Of Stardust for a blog tour (review here). Today, we bring to you the sequel, In Starlight, with a guest post from its author, February Grace, and a giveaway! Look forward to a review of In Starlight from Amrutha early next month.

Music and Magic: The Soundtrack for In Starlight
By February Grace

Music and Magic: The Soundtrack for In Starlight by February Grace Writing and music have always gone hand in hand for me. Short stories, even whole characters have had their beginnings in music, and Gus (the main character in In Starlight) and even the novel itself are no exception.

I found that it really helped me to shift focus from Till, the female lead in the first book Of Stardust, to create a new playlist to listen to while working on this book. Of Stardust was written from Till’s perspective, so it was only right that to tell the story from Gus’s for the second novel that I would need entirely new musical inspiration, with just a few songs crossing over lists to help me tie the books together in my mind.

While Gus also has two separate playlists all his own (containing many, many maaaanyyyy songs) the playlist I ended up with for In Starlight throughout the writing and editing process evolved and grew to a total of 39 songs. I won’t list them all here, but I will give you some of my favorites, those that I felt really helped shape the story (or fit it well all on their own.) I will always associate these songs with Gus, Till, and In Starlight.

Auld Lang Syne (Royal Philharmonic version)
Now We Are Free (Celtic Thunder)
Auld Lang Syne (yes, again LOL) (Courrier version)
Between (Courrier)
That’s How I Knew This Story Would Break My Heart (Aimee Mann)
Run (Smash Cast Version, Katherine McPhee)
Where I Stood (Missy Higgins)
Just Give Me a Reason (Pink)
Time and Again (a-ha)
Up In Flames (Coldplay)
Pie Jesu (Sarah Brightman)
Awake (Josh Groban)
Wonderland (Paul Young)
What If (Coldplay)
Try Again (Keane)
Be Still (The Fray)
Us Against the World (Coldplay)
Look After You (The Fray)
Don’t Look Down (One Republic)
Day One (Audiomachine)
Somewhere Only We Know (Lily Allen version)

…yes, believe it or not, those are not all the songs that I listened to while fine tuning the story, but the ones I feel are perhaps best representative of it.

I hope that you enjoyed this little look behind the scenes (or under my headphones, as it were) and that you will enjoy reading In Starlight.

Thank you so much to all the readers who asked for more about Gus and Till, and thank you to We Live and Breathe Books for hosting me today!

In Starlight
February Grace
Genre: Fantasy, Romance
Publication Date: April 30, 2014
On Goodreads

About the book:

"IN STARLIGHT -- the eagerly anticipated sequel to OF STARDUST!"

Their wish was sealed…was their fate?
Young Fairy Godfather Gus Duncan is living his clan’s unfortunate family motto— Learn to Suffer — to a greater degree than he ever dreamed.
The woman he loves is withering away beneath the burden of memory, of one perfect night with him she was supposed to forget.
Facing a reality he never imagined, he must make the decision of his life: shatter the most sacred rule in the fairy code, or lose his beloved Till forever.
Can true love save her when even magic fails?


Chapter Two Hide and Seek 
April 2, 2013    

     “Catch me if ye can, little girl…” Gus taunted under his breath. He watched as Till wandered aimlessly about twenty feet from his current position.
     Their strength as a team continued to grow steadily day by day, but Gus saw no reason why they shouldn’t have a bit of fun tonight, and hone her skills while they were at it. They had no other pressing business to attend to, so he’d suggested a round of the Fairy Godparent equivalent of an old children’s game: he’d hide and she’d seek.
     Only to complicate things, he wasn’t just hiding in the house, or even in the same state. The options for where to go this time were open world-wide, and he planned to make it a very interesting exercise.
     Till was beginning to get frustrated, and he found it absolutely adorable though he’d never admit it to her. Even if he were allowed to share such feelings with her, he knew her well enough by now to understand that the idea of being cute when annoyed would only make her more upset.
      “Where are you…?” she mumbled. He read her lips through the glass and fought the urge to laugh. She was so close now, but he’d shielded himself from her thoughts just enough that she couldn’t easily see him mixed in among the mannequins in the display. Or so he thought.
     A second later she was standing next to him, tapping a pink-shoed foot. “Window at Harrods? Really? This is the beginner level of the game?”
     Gus did laugh now; a low, soft rumble.
      “Mum, look!” a child cried, knocking on the glass and pointing wildly at Till and Gus as his mother focused on her phone. “The mannequins are alive! They’re moving!”
      “That’s lovely, darling,” the mother said, totally oblivious.
     Gus gave the boy a small wave and winked at Till. “Level two…” he said, and then he was gone; leaving the child with his mouth hanging open and a mind full of questions.
     Gus next popped up inside the Louvre; followed by a quick stop at the Arc de Triomphe after deciding the Eiffel Tower would be entirely too obvious a choice.
      “Ah, Paris in springtime,” Till grinned as she touched him on the shoulder. “How about it’s my turn now?”
     Gus raised an eyebrow. “Go on, then, Tilda Mae. Show me what ye’ve got.”
     Till giggled as she vanished, and Gus took a moment to catch his breath and refocus his energy on shielding parts of his mind from her that would be dangerous for her to go near. “I shouldn’t have brought her here,” he whispered to himself, leaning back against the nearest wall. “She outshines the City of Light.”
     As beautiful as his surroundings were, their impact was lost on him.Winter had felt eternal, now spring was hollow — a grayed-out shadow of expected splendor. How else could it seem without her love?
     He closed his eyes a moment and tuned in as best he could on the signature trail that Till had left. She was good, but not so good yet that he couldn’t find her with relative speed.
     He strode up to her, grinning, as she stood on an Old Town Edinburgh street, trying to catch her breath.
      “Drat it, you found me.”
      “Maybe ye should’ve taken the low road.”
     Till scoffed. “Brat. Okay, here we go. I hope you’re in the mood for a walk.” She made sure the coast was clear and then, she vanished.
     He next found her behind a stand of poplar trees on a rolling Irish hill. For a moment the sight caught Gus off guard. He had not been back to Ireland since New Year’s Day.
      “All right, ye have proved y’er learnin’,” he said, also starting to tire. “Enough for tonight.”
      “Awww, c’mon,” Till nudged him gently with her elbow. “Just a couple more?”      He sighed. He couldn’t say no to her, at least not when it wasn’t absolutely necessary. “Very well. One more, then the last one is mine.”
     Till squealed and then disappeared.
     Gus followed the breadcrumb trail through her thoughts, and the next time he looked up, he was amazed by what he saw.
     He was standing in a theme park before a life-sized castle, with fireworks soaring overhead. Families with small children were everywhere. He turned around and gazed upon Till, her face alight in the glow of the nighttime spectacular with the same wonder he saw in the faces of the children.
     He approached her and shook his head. Only she would bring them here.
      “A magical place, indeed,” Gus said, the edge of his lip curling slightly as he considered how little the Hollywood version of Fairy Godparents matched the reality. Till surprised him by reaching over and looping her arm around his.
      “It is so beautiful.”
     She was standing closer to him than he was comfortable with now, and memories he had to hide from her flooded his mind. He was overwhelmed by the thought of her hands moving over his shoulders…her arms wrapped around him. Her passionate kiss, her gentle caress. Everything that made his One Wish so perfect, and would keep it as fresh in his memory in a hundred years as it was the night it had all taken place.
      “We… better go,” Gus said, gently withdrawing his arm. “Last one’s mine.” Then he was gone.
     Till obediently followed, though when she located him again she didn’t look happy, she looked unsettled.
     He’d decided to hide last of all in a secluded place behind the Music building at Dreams Come True University; a lovely little spot skirted by trees and flowers.
      “What’s the matter then?” he asked, concerned as all the color drained from her face.
      “Game over…” Till’s voice faded along with the blush in her cheek, and her thoughts grew faint as well.
     He was alarmed; he could not recall her mind ever becoming so unreadable, so quickly, in the past. Sure, a deeper thought might be replaced by one a bit more trivial and he’d know that she wished to change the subject, but never all of her thoughts completely dying away as they just had. He stopped short of placing a hand on her shoulder. “Are ye all right, Till?”
      “Yeah.” She ran her hands up and down her arms as if to warm them, though it was as comfortable a temperature as ever on campus. “Can we just call it a night?”
      “Sure thing.” Gus wondered at the change in her mood. He had no idea why being in this particular place should cause her to shut down so completely. “Let’s go on home.”
     An instant later they were standing in the driveway of the house on Finch Street.
      “Good night,” she said, hurrying up the steps and through the doorway before he had a chance to say — or ask — anything more.

Purchase links:

About the author:

February Grace is a writer, artist, and poet who lives in Southeastern Michigan. She sings on key, plays by ear, and is more than mildly obsessed with colors, clocks, and meteor showers.

Author links:
Blog | Goodreads | Twitter | Facebook


7 winners will receive a copy of both Of Stardust and In Starlight

Rules and disclaimers:
Please be honest when you fill out the Rafflecopter below - we do check for authenticity and you will be disqualified for lying. The giveaway runs until June 13th at 11:59 PM. Winners must reply within 48 hours of receiving the email or new winners will be chosen. The prizes will be distributed by the publisher and we are not responsible for any packages that get lost in the mail. May the odds be ever in your favor!

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you so much for hosting this post today, I really appreciate it! Good luck to everyone entering the drawing.

    I hope Amrutha enjoys IN STARLIGHT as much as she liked OF STARDUST! :~) Thanks again!