Elisa is a fugitive in her own country. Her enemies have stolen the man she loves in order to lure her to the gate of darkness. As she and her daring companions take one last quest into unknown enemy territory to save Hector, Elisa will face hardships she's never imagined. And she will discover secrets about herself and her world that could change the course of history. She must rise up as champion-a champion to those who have hated her most.
Rae lives in Ohio with her husband, novelist C.C. Finlay, two stepsons, and two very naughty kitties. She is hard at work on her next trilogy.
Mindy: Hi Rae! Thank you for stopping by Magical Urban Fantasy Reads!
Rae: Hey, Mindy! Thanks so much for hosting!
Mindy: I’m very enthralled by the fantasy world you created in the Fire and Thorns trilogy. How were you able to create such a unique worldly setting? And what current real-world setting do you think your fantasy world mimics the closest?
Rae: Aw, thanks, dude. I think the world most closely mirrors Spanish Morocco. The northwestern tip of Africa—what is now modern day Morocco—used to be occupied by Spain. It's an incredibly arid but beautiful place, and during the occupation there was this fascinating blend of Arabic and Spanish architecture, language and culture. I drew a lot of inspiration from that.
Mindy: How did the Fire and Thorns story come to you?
Rae: I was dating this guy who was a douche. He was totally obsessed with my weight. It didn't matter that I could run six miles a day; he always wanted me to lose 5 – 10 extra pounds. So I finally came to my senses and dumped that jerkwad, and I decided then and there that I wanted to write a book about a heroic young woman who would always be on the plump side.
Mindy: You killed off some pretty significant characters in your books. Was it harder for you to kill off one character more than any other and, if so, which one?
Rae: Oh, yes, it was very hard for me to kill a certain character. I bet you can guess which one! I really liked him. So did Elisa. But she needed to experience true loss and the consequences of war. Also, I had a better love interest in mind for her. :)
Mindy: Now that this series has come to a close, what’s next?
Rae: I'm working on a new trilogy set during the California Gold Rush. 16-year-old Lee Westfall has the magical ability to sense gold. When her parents are killed and her greedy uncle discovers her power, she disguises herself as a boy and flees west in a wagon train to make her fortune. So it's a crazy fantasy-adventure like the Fire & Thorns trilogy, except set in one of the most tragic and epic times in U.S. history.
Mindy: Top Books Recs
Rae: I love talking about my favorite books! These are upcoming releases that I loved so much I gave blurbs to, and they should absolutely be on your TBR list. Most of them are coming this Fall, with one Spring release. (Click on links to add to Goodreads.)
1. The Burning Sky by Sherry Thomas is the YA debut of one of my favorite romance novelists. It's a fabulous fantasy adventure, and I can't wait for everyone else to read it!
2. Horde by Ann Aguirre is the totally epic conclusion to the Razorland trilogy that began with Enclave. All I'll say is that it's a very fitting conclusion, and don't blame me if you shed a tear or two.
3. Red by Alison Cherry is one of those books that you think is going to be a light, fun beach read, and then it surprises you by making you think. It's satire, but don't let that intimidate you. I bet you'll be as charmed as I was.
4. Salvage by Alexandra Duncan. Sorry, you have to wait until April for this one. It's feminist science fiction for teens. I'm going to say that again. FEMINIST SCIENCE FICTION FOR TEENS. I just died and went to heaven.
Mindy: Thank you so much Rae for stopping by! I’m a huge fan!!!
Rae: Thanks for having me! Happy reading!!
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