Edit 10/4/16: the giveaway is over and I have emailed the winner.
All right, guys, it's time for my blog tour post for Eden's Escape! I've got several goodies for you today: an excerpt from the book, a Top Ten list by M. Tara Crowl herself, a giveaway for signed copies of both Eden of the Lamp books, and (slightly less exciting, I know) my own review of Eden's Escape. Read on for the first three items I just mentioned; to read my review, click here (and here for my review of Eden's Wish). Before we get going, though, let's learn about the books themselves:
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All twelve years of Eden's life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.
When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won't be sent back after three wishes.
Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth's pleasures-- but quickly learns that this world isn't as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power-- even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp's magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.
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Eden's new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who's also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting-- only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world's leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp's power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly's plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris-- home to Electra's headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.
M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.
Okay, now here's an excerpt from Eden's Escape itself. It's from Chapter 12; Eden's friend Melodie is helping her try to avoid Brightly by going incognito.
“Wow,” Eden said. “You do love clothes."
“I told you.” Melodie started to sift through the racks. “Now, what we’ve got to do is find something that looks like the opposite of anything you’d ever wear."
“Isn’t the point for me to go unnoticed?” In Eden’s line of sight were an orange jumpsuit that looked like a prison uniform, a shiny green skirt like a mermaid’s tail, and a feathered Native American headdress. “I don’t think I’d blend in wearing most of this stuff."
“We’ll put you in something subtle.”
Taking it all in, Eden wondered where exactly Melodie planned to find that.
Though Melodie’s wardrobe seemed chaotically disorganized from an outsider’s perspective, she seemed to know precisely where everything was. After careful consideration, she pulled out a white collared shirt, a navy blazer, a pleated green-and- navy skirt, shiny black shoes, and a navy beret to top it all off. Eden put all of it on as instructed.
“See?” Melodie said delightedly. “You’re just a regular student in Paris!”
And now it's time for my personal favorite part of this tour: the Top Ten list by M. Tara Crowl herself!
M. Tara Crowl
My top ten places to write and/or be inspired in NYC
So much has been written, sung, and said about New York. One person can never experience everything it has to offer, and no two people will experience it in the same way. And that’s one of the things I love most about it. It’s a city so vast that you’ll never tackle it all, but you can still make it feel like your own.
August 30 marked my five-year anniversary of living in NYC. I’ve been elated, frustrated, heartbroken, and rejuvenated in this city. When I set out to write my new novel, Eden’s Escape, I knew there was nowhere else in the world that I’d want to be the first home on Earth for my protagonist, a twelve-year-old genie named Eden.
Eden has the rare privilege of being shown around the city by someone who’s lived there for hundreds of years: her new guardian, a genie alum named Pepper. In Eden’s Escape, they explore some of these locations together. Others, she’ll have to discover later. But here they are: my top ten places in NYC to write and/or be inspired.
1. Central Park. It’s world-famous, and for good reason. I live downtown, but I try to take a trip up here at least once a season. It’s beautiful any time of year, but it’s downright magical in the snow.
2. New York Public Library. This big, gorgeous library is right in the center of town, at Fifth Avenue and 42nd Street. In a city where everything aims to wow, it stands out as majestic and timeless.
3. MoMA (The Museum of Modern Art). NYC is known for its many museums, but this is probably my favorite. Thought-provoking art, and a beautiful courtyard to sit and ponder it.
4. Top of the Empire State Building. When Eden arrives in New York City, she’s instructed to go here to meet her new guardian. When she overlooks the city from the top, she feels like its queen. When I’m here, that’s how I feel too.
5. The Village Vanguard. This iconic West Village jazz club opened in 1935. Miles Davis, Thelonius Monk, and John Coltrane have played here, along with so many other jazz greats. You go downstairs, sit at a table, and soak in the music—no talking or phones allowed. When you’re here, it could be 2016 or 1967. The one thing you’re sure of is that you’re in New York—and when you’re here, that’s all that matters.
6. Raoul’s. Another classic NYC establishment that transports me to another era. This Soho bistro opened in 1975. It has a colorful history and delicious food.
7. Books of Wonder. A mecca of children’s books! Not only is this store chock full of children’s, MG, and YA treasures; its owners, huge supporters and champions of authors, host tons of amazing events. (I met Ann M. Martin here!)
8. Nitehawk Cinema. I love going to the movies, and this is my favorite theater. Located in Williamsburg, Brooklyn, it’s small and hospitable, with comfy seats, indie movies, and table service. During the movie, you write your order on a slip of paper with a little pencil, and—voila!—a server appears with your order. For me, it doesn’t get much better.
9. Two Hands Restaurant & Bar. I’m biased on this one. My husband owns this restaurant, and my “day job” is as the office manager. But the food and coffee(!) are sublime, and the bright, airy interior and friendly staff make it a dreamy place to think and write.
10. My living room. Ideas flow when I wander the city, but when it’s time to get real writing done, I have to hole up in silence and get to work. There’s nowhere I’m more productive than in my apartment, by myself. Books don’t write themselves!
I've only visited New York once, but now I'm itching to go back and explore the places on M. Tara Crowl's list–they all sound amazing. Especially Books of Wonder, which honestly sounds like my dream bookstore.
Anyway, it's time to move on to the final part of today's post. I'm sure many of you avid fans of the Eden of the Lamp series are simply dying to get your hands on signed copies of both books. If so, you're in luck, because that's what I get to give away today! Enter in the Rafflecopter form below (US and Canada only), and once the giveaway's over at the end of the month I'll announce the winner on here and send their contact info to M. Tara Crowl. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway
And that's all I have for today. Have you read either Eden of the Lamp book? If you have, share your thoughts in the comments section below!
Disclaimer: I received complimentary copies of both books so I could participate in this blog tour; I'm also being entered into a $50 giftcard giveaway as a thank you for posting this tour post in the month of September.