Tuesday, February 1, 2022

Blog Tour + #Giveaway: The Magi Menagerie by Kale Lawrence @KaleWrites @XpressoTours

The Magi Menagerie
Kale Lawrence
(The Magi Menagerie, #1)
Publication date: September 7th 2021
Genres: Fantasy, Historical, New Adult, Young Adult

Some stars aren’t meant to be followed.

For seventeen years, Ezra Newport and his parents were habitual immigrants, traveling from their Ottoman Empire home across 20th century Europe. As the Newports migrate to Belfast, Ireland, Ezra wants nothing more to settle into a consistent life and lay the foundation of his architectural dreams. But after a strange, mechanical bounty hunter murders his mother and prompts the disappearance of his father, Ezra discovers that his parents had actually been on the run. Now, their enemies are targeting him, and they won’t stop until he is dead.

In a moment of desperation, Ezra’s fate collides with the Third Order of the Magi, a secret society dedicated to using their supernatural powers to protect their communities. With increasing violence around the world, the Magi are fairly certain they know who’s behind the attacks on Ezra and his family since the same group could also be threatening their own existence.

Both Ezra and the Magi’s survival hinges on knowledge only Ezra’s father has and the key to saving them could be buried within history itself. In a race across continents and time, both Ezra and the Magi must secure an ancient Babylonian artifact before hell is unleashed on the world. And, against all odds, Ezra must decide where his allegiances truly lie, despite what is written in the stars.

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Interview with KaleLawrence

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

The Magi have always held a special place in my heart. It honestly was only a matter of time before I wrote a whole series about them. Anything historical, archeological, or mythological catches my attention so it was only natural I worked all those elements into The Magi Menagerie.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I went headfirst into this adventure thinking it was just this really cool storyline in my head. I didn’t realize at the time that writing The Magi Menagerie would be 100% therapeutic, that it was actively helping me move on from past trauma. In the end, the story became about redemption, hope, and perseverance.

If I help at least one person by giving them hope, by showing them that even in the face of the worst evil they will rise, then I will have succeeded with this story.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Probably all the rewrites. I went through six drafts, and while some things changed drastically, there were other parts of the story that stayed exactly the same. That’s how I knew how certain parts were meant to be in the final draft. Going through your story that many times, plus all the revisions and edits you do (even with an editor), really gets on one’s nerves by the end of the project.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The research aspect of writing is always one of my favorites because I get to explore how things will intertwine within the plot. I especially loved everything that went into the parts with the Shahmaran. I’d never heard of her before my research and weaving Persian/Turkish mythology into this story felt so right, especially with Ezra’s character.

Where there alternate endings you considered?

Of course! The actual cliffhanger remained the same in every draft. However, the events leading up to it changed a lot. In fact, in the original version, the climactic scene happened in Lalibela, Ethiopia. And (without saying too much) there was one character that lived through every draft but the last one. It’s so cool to see the growth between the first and final drafts. The final is definitely more emotionally impactful.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

I wish I had more personal interaction with people during that time! Since this book was written when the COVID-19 pandemic first began, I didn’t get to do a lot of research outside my office. I highly relied on virtual tours of the British Museum and the streets of Belfast. However, both my editors were excellent sources of inspiration, so I credit them for their roles in my writing journey.

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I’m very into reading historical fantasy as well as writing it, but I’ve also been loving a lot of LGBTQ+ fiction as well. Lately, I’ve been reading an eclectic mix of things: everything from books written by indie authors to non-fiction guides on crystals, dreams, and space. 

Author Bio:

Since the early age of 6, Kale Lawrence knew she either wanted to be an astronaut or an author. Obviously, the astronaut gig didn’t work out, so instead, Kale turned to fantastic fictional worlds. When Kale is not writing creatively, she works as a Marketing Manager at a pet product company, and pretends she’s an Olympic swimmer at the gym. She has also served as a board member for the South Dakota Writes organization.

In addition to books, Kale has lent her writing prowess to television, and her writing has been featured on nationwide PBS television programming, NBC newscasts, ABC newscasts, and the Travel Channel.

Kale currently lives in Sioux Falls, South Dakota with her feisty tortoiseshell calico cat, Emma Bug and sassy Siamese, Seattle Bean.

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Sara said...


traciem72 said...

What is your favorite childhood book?

Marcy Meyer said...

I enjoyed the interview. The book sounds great.

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