Sunday, 4 May 2014

Blog Tour + Interview + Scavenger Hunt + Giveaway - Fledgling by Nicole Conway

Find the tour schedule here.

Title: Fledgling

Publication date: April 29, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.

Author: Nicole Conway

Can one boy stand between two kingdoms at war?

Jaevid Broadfeather has grown up as a wartime refugee, hiding from the world because of his mixed racial heritage. He feels his future is hopeless, until a chance encounter with a wild dragon lands him in Blybrig Academy—a place usually forbidden to anyone but the rich and royal. But Jaevid’s case is special; no dragon has voluntarily chosen a rider in decades, so the proud riders of Blybrig must begrudgingly let him join their brotherhood despite his bloodline. Lieutenant Sile Derrick, a sternly tempered man with a mysterious past, becomes his instructor and immediately takes a peculiar interest in Jaevid’s future.

While struggling through the rigorous physical demands of training, things begin to go awry. Jaevid witnesses the king’s private guards kidnapping Sile in the dead of night. When none of the elder riders are willing to help him, Jaevid begins a dangerous adventure to save his instructor.

Everything Jaevid learned at the academy will now be put to the ultimate test.


About the Author

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book.

Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school.

 She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation.

Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

Author Links: 

Scavenger Hunt!

Stop 10

“You didn’t tell me you had a halfbreed son,” the knight chuckled, like it was a bad joke. “Looks just like a half-starved, miniature version of you, except for the ears.”
Ulric just shook his head and kept growling rumbling words, glaring at the ground. “Serah wants him gone.” I heard him say.
“Can’t blame her for that.” The knight seemed to sympathize. “You thinking of taking him on as an apprentice?”
Ulric just snorted like it was a ridiculous idea.
“Ah, my mistake then. I figured since your older boy had chosen to join the infantry you’d pass your skill set onto someone else in your family. I doubt your girls would be interested.” The knight rambled on, beginning to stroll back to where his horse was waiting. The new saddle was bundled up and ready for transport. “A shame he’s such a small, sickly-looking thing.”
That stung me. Yes, I was small for my age. But I hadn’t thought I looked sickly. It made me angry at myself, and at my inability to grow even a few inches taller. What a difference even two inches and a few pounds of muscle would have made.
“Where’s his dragon?” A whispering voice suddenly asked from right beside me.
It scared me out of my wits, making me scramble away. I was half afraid it was one of my sisters. But it wasn’t.

When did you start writing? 

I started writing when I was very young. I finished my first novel in the 6th grade—and yes, it was horrible! 

What makes you want to write? 

I can’t say that anything makes me “want” to write. I need to write. Not writing drives me crazy! I guess the buildup of ideas and characters just becomes overwhelming, and the only way to ease the anxiety is to write the stories down. 

Do you ever get writer's block and what do you do to get over it? 

I do get writer’s block sometimes. Usually, it only happens if I’m just not happy with a particular part. If I get badly stuck, I will typically just start that chapter completely over because my philosophy has always been that “if I’m not enjoying writing this, no one is going to enjoy reading it.” 

Do you have a special way of going about writing? 

I generally have almost everything planned out before I start a book, but I can’t write if I’m alone and in total silence. I have to listen to music or have the TV on in the background, or I can’t concentrate at all! 

What are your hobbies? 

I like to draw and cook quite a lot. I’ve also recently gotten really into distance running, and am hoping to run my first half marathon next year. 

How did you choose the character names for Fledgling? 

I’m usually very deliberate about meanings when naming my characters, but Fledgling was different. Most of the names I selected were chosen more because they felt right than because of any actual literal meaning. I intended for the gray elf names to always be a little more complex and harsh on the tongue, while the human names were similar to traditional English names with a bit of fantasy “flair.” I’ll admit, there are a few names sprinkled in there to be subtle salutes to various people or places. For instance, Felix’s dragon was named Nova after one of the eagles from my alma mater. 

Who is your favorite character in Fledgling? 

While I’ll always have a soft spot for Jaevid, Felix is definitely my favorite character to write for. It’s not often I get to express a personality like his, and it’s a treat. He always makes me laugh! 

Where did you get the idea for Fledgling? 

To make a long story short, the idea came to me because I was watching my husband go through training as a fighter pilot for the United States Air Force. I thought it would be interesting to take the concept of medieval dragonriders that is so well-loved (especially by myself) and give it a more militaristic perspective. I took a lot of the training situations and social situations directly from my husband’s experiences. Of course, I had to fill in a lot of gaps with my own interpretations, but I tried not to lose the spirit of the struggle. The dragonriders, like fighter pilots, are not just coworkers—they are brothers in arms who have been bonded together through mutually shared hardships. It’s a world that most outsiders don’t understand or get to witness, and Fledgling was meant to give readers an opportunity to experience it through Jaevid’s eyes. 

What was your favourite part of writing Fledgling? 

My favorite part of writing Fledgling was weaving in little details that will have great significance later in the series. On the surface, the story is intended to seem simple and straightforward. We only understand what Jaevid understands, and he is still a child so everything is very black and white to him. Some things that are very important seem irrelevant at the time. But as we grow with him through the series, we will learn what’s been hiding in plain sight. It’s wicked fun! 

Do you have any works in progress? 

I currently have three works in progress. I just finished Fledgling’s sequel, titled Avian. I’ve just started the third and final book in the series, titled Traitor. I’m also working on a YA modern fantasy novel about fairies that has become an obsession of mine over the past few years. I’m smitten with the main character, and hopefully readers will be, too! 

What are you currently reading? 

Unfortunately, I’m not currently reading anything. When I’m working on a book, I can’t read something else at the same time. One tends to bleed over into the other. The last thing I did read was the Red Pyramid by Rick Riordan. 

What is your favorite book? 

I have several favorites, but the one I read over and over is The Changeling Sea by Patricia McKillip. It’s an absolutely beautiful story. 

Who is your favorite author? 

Tolkien was, is, and always will be the author I respect and admire the most. Reading his stories as a child is what made me dream of dragons and elves while other little girls dreamed of dolls and princesses. 

What is your favourite film? 

The Fifth Element has my favorite movie for a long time. Yes it’s wacky, and maybe a little cheesy, but I still love it! 

What is your favourite TV show? 

I don’t usually follow TV shows, but my husband insisted I needed to watch Breaking Bad. He was right. The show was brilliant and kept me on the edge of my seat. It’s my favorite! 

Quick-fire questions: 

Chocolate or ice cream? Ice Cream 
Paperback or ebook? Paperback 
Dogs or cats? Both
Go out or stay in? Stay In 
Summer or winter? Winter

 Tour giveaway 


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