Sixteen-year-old genius Matty Ducayn has never fit in on The Hill, an ordered place seriously lacking a sense of humor. After his school’s headmaster expels him for a small act of mischief, Matty’s future looks grim until King Hadrian comes to his rescue with a challenge: answer a question for a master’s diploma.
More than a second chance, this means freedom. Masters can choose where they work, a rarity among Regents, and the question is simple.
What was January Black?
It’s a ship. Everyone knows that. Hadrian rejects that answer, though, and Matty becomes compelled by curiosity and pride to solve the puzzle. When his search for an answer turns up long-buried state secrets, Matty’s journey becomes a collision course with a deadly royal decree. He's been set up to fail, which forces him to choose. Run for his life with the challenge lost...or call the king’s bluff.
Refreshingly intelligent and loads of fun!
I lost a few hours as I read this book. It's a Young Adult novel that is refreshingly and astonishingly intelligent, and the love story is perfectly played out.
~Christine Ashworth, Amazon Review
The mystery was intriguing - I loved how Wendy Russo weaved in all her secrets throughout the book, how she incorporated just enough to keep you reading, while never actually divulging much of anything. I was guessing for most of it and that's pretty hard to make me do.
~Julie, Clean Teen Reads
Wendy Russo has created a masterpiece.
~Ivan Amberlake, Author
Interview with Wendy
Hello Wendy and welcome to my blog!
What would you like for readers to take away from your novel/novels?
I hope that they would look at the world around them a little different. So often, what we "know" isn't exactly right. Things change with time. We forget what was but keep the language. For instance, we still say "roll down the window" and "dial" when referring to a telephone number, even though most cars have electric window controls and a working rotary phone is rare these days. I would hope that people question even the obvious. Not take things for granted.
Who do you feel is your most unique character?
King Hadrian, I think. He's a character that's easy to love while still being ever so slightly untrustworthy.
What’s your favorite way to procrastinate?
Facebook. Oh em geez, my word count is shameful.
Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
I like to garden. Bake. Toss baseballs to my son. I'm not particularly good at gardening, baking, or playing baseball but I do find all three enjoyable.
Is there one book that has had an impact on not only your writing, but on you personally?
Foucault's Pendulum, by Umberto Eco. It's a tough read. The first read took me 2 1/2 years because I was trying to absorb every single detail. Then, one day, I hit a passage and it occurred to me that I had been approaching the book wrong the entire time. The author didn't expect me to grasp the thousands of details. He wanted me to listen to Belbo's story. This man ended up in the dire situation he was in because of all of the crazy things that had happened over years, and in sharing his story with me, he wouldn't vanish into oblivion at death. The second read of Foucault's Pendulum took me 10 days. So did the third, and in both readings, I found things I missed when I was focused so intently on absorbing it all.
Foucault's Pendulum shaped me as a writer, yes. I enjoyed the details and the puzzles, lessons I put to use in January Black. More important, though, of all the books I've read in my life, Foucault's Pendulum taught me how to read.
Author Wendy S. Russo
Wendy S. Russo got her start writing in the sixth grade. That story involved a talisman with crystals that had to be found and assembled before bad things happened, and dialog that read like classroom roll call. Since then, she’s majored in journalism (for one semester), published poetry, taken a course on short novels, and watched most everything ever filmed by Quentin Tarantino. A Wyoming native transplanted in Baton Rouge, Wendy works for Louisiana State University as an IT analyst. She’s a wife, a mom, a Tiger, a Who Dat, and she falls asleep on her couch at 8:30 on weeknights.
Blog Tour Giveaway
$25 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareader.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.
a Rafflecopter giveaway