Author Chat with Mara Fitzgerald (Beyond The Ruby Veil) Plus Giveaway! ~ (US Only)
Today we're excited to chat with Mara Fitzgerald author of
Beyond The Ruby Veil.
Read on for more about Mara and her book, plus a giveaway!
Meet Mara Fitzgerald!
Mara Fitzgerald writes YA fantasy about unlikable female characters who ruin everything. She is a biologist by day and spends entirely too much time looking at insects under a microscope. She was born near Disney World and now lives near Graceland, which is almost as good. Beyond the Ruby Veil is her debut novel.
Meet Beyond The Ruby Veil!
A dark, queer YA fantasy that's perfect for fans of the Three Dark Crowns series and Wicked Saints. After Emanuela Ragno kills the one person in Occhia who can create water, she must find a way to save her city from dying of thirst.
Cunning and unapologetic, Emanuela Ragno is a socialite who plays by her own rules. In her most ambitious move yet, she’s about to marry Alessandro Morandi, her childhood best friend and the heir to the wealthiest house in Occhia. Emanuela doesn’t care that she and her groom are both gay, because she doesn’t want a love match. She wants power, and through Ale, she’ll have it all.
But Emanuela has a secret that could shatter her plans. In her city of Occhia, the only source of water is the watercrea, a mysterious being who uses magic to make water from blood. When their first bruise-like omen appears on their skin, all Occhians must surrender themselves to the watercrea to be drained of life. Everyone throughout history has obeyed this law for the greater good. Everyone except Emanuela. She’s kept the tiny omen on her hip out of sight for years.
When the watercrea exposes Emanuela during her wedding ceremony and takes her to be sacrificed, Emanuela fights back…and kills her. Before everyone in Occhia dies of thirst, Emanuela and Ale must travel through the mysterious, blood-red veil that surrounds their city to uncover the source of the watercrea’s power and save their people—no matter what it takes.
~ Author Chat ~
FIVE BOOKS STARRING AMBITIOUS FEMALE CHARACTERS
I love ambitious female characters. I especially love it when they get to be the protagonist of a story and hog the spotlight. One of the things that makes a great protagonist, to me, is that they yearn for something. They yearn for it so much that they simply must go after it. It’s all the better when the protagonist’s goals are big—too big, so big they seem impossible—and she’s totally unapologetic about it. Because why should she apologize?
Sometimes, it feels like writing a female character who’s unabashed about going after what she wants is just asking for a bunch of people to get mad and tell her to get back in her box…maybe because that happens in real life. I, of course, think this is nonsense! I think there’s room in YA for all kinds of ambitious female characters, so today I’m going to highlight five who are quite different. Together, these iconic YA girls show a huge breadth of the complex ways female ambition can be portrayed.
Xifeng from Forest of a Thousand Lanterns, by Julie C. Dao
We’re starting off with a character I think we can all agree is villainous—there’s no amount of hearts Xifeng won’t eat to become Empress. But you know what? Good for her. There’s an element of catharsis to reading about a girl who’s so ruthless and single-minded. Embarking on a bloody, merciless quest for power is not something any of us are ever going to do in real life (I hope). Why not write a fantasy book about it and let this evil queen thrive on the page?
Karina from A Song of Wraiths and Ruin, by Roseanne A. Brown
Karina is a princess with big plans, and big emotions, and power—lots of it. And we love her for it. She’s definitely written as a heroine, and she is—despite her circumstances putting her into some morally gray situations, she’s trying to do the best for her family and her kingdom. She’s complicated and fierce and vulnerable all at once, with that desperate drive for more, more, more. Maybe, sometimes, she goes right up to the line of “too far” to try and get the things she wants…and I celebrate it.
Nishat from The Henna Wars, by Adiba Jaigirdar
Ambitious girls exist in the contemporary genre, too! Nishat really, really wants her new henna business to be successful—henna is important to her, taught to her by her grandmother, and also, Nishat is really good at it, so like…she deserves success. The stakes feel so real in this novel as we root for her, because we understand just how much it means to her.
Kallia from Where Dreams Descend, by Janella Angeles
We’re back to fantasy! Kallia is a showgirl who wants to win a magic competition because—see if you can spot a common theme here—she’s really good at magic. And she can prove it! And we love watching her prove it! One of the most fun parts of the book is watching Kallia don amazing outfits and put on amazing shows and infuriate the incompetent men running the contest.
Liz from You Should See Me In a Crown, by Leah Johnson
I mean, the title of this book alone lets you know that we are about to celebrate the heck out of a girl who’s going after a goal with everything she’s got. Liz wants to win prom queen—and also needs to win it, to get a scholarship. She has the yearning and drive that’s so important in connecting with a protagonist. It’s an uphill battle that we’re glued to every step of the way. Here’s one of my favorite quotes from the book that highlights an important moment in Liz’s journey:
“I’m so tired of the way this place treats people who are different, tired of feeling like I exist in the margins of my own life. I deserve better than that.”
Yes, Liz, you do! Go out and get it!
Beyond The Ruby Veil
By: Mara Fitzgerald
Publisher: Little, Brown BYR
Release Date: October 13th, 2020
Five winners will receive a copy of Beyond The Ruby Veil (Mara Fitzgerald) ~ (US Only)
*Click the Rafflecopter link below to enter the giveaway*
Literally everything about this cover makes me want to read this. The blood red rose, the vines, the color scheme. Immaculate. Also, a lesbian socialite as a main character, yes please.