By Blood by Tracy E. Banghart
For 17-year-old Emma Wong, spending a summer in England should be a dream come true. Gorgeous scenery? Check. Lots of hot guys with accents? Yes, please.
Throw in an estranged mom, annoying new stepdad, and drooling baby half-brother, and it’s a disaster even her favorite cherry red leather jacket can’t fix. Even worse, there’s (hot) live-in research assistant Josh to contend with. The only thing more embarrassing than drunk-kissing him hours after they meet? Knowing he’ll be witness to her family’s dysfunction all. summer. long.
But when Emma meets a mysterious girl who happens to be a Druid, her vacation suddenly promises to be far more intriguing than she anticipated. Powerful rituals, new friends, an intoxicating sense of freedom...and Simon, the sexy foreign stranger she was hoping for. It’s all a perfect distraction from dirty diapers and awkward family dinners.
Trouble is, intriguing doesn’t often mean simple. And Emma is about to discover just how not simple her life really is.
By Blood is a novel about the ways that blood can bind us to others – or tear us apart.
--The Twitter version: tell us about your book in 140 characters or less.
Part romance, part family drama, BY BLOOD has sexy boys, a strong-willed heroine, a fun foreign setting, and Druids!
--How did you get the idea for the story?
The main character, Emma, appeared as a supporting character in an earlier novel I wrote, and I absolutely fell in love with her. She was so fun to write about, I just knew she needed her own story. At the time, I was feeling homesick for Oxford (I went to grad school there), so I decided to send her on an international adventure! Thematically, I love playing with the line between reality and fantasy. With Emma’s modern-day Druids, for example, there’s the constant question of whether they’re really tapping into some mystical energy…I love leaving my readers to answer those kinds of questions for themselves.
--Which character would you most/least like to have dinner with?
Would definitely love to have dinner with Emma. She’s snarky, spunky, and could give me fashion tips!
--Do you have any other works in progress? Any teasers or release dates?
The companion novel to By Blood, called Moon Child, will be released this summer, along with (hopefully), the paperback edition of By Blood. As for teasers, said companion novel features Emma’s friend Diana, who meets a sexy boy with a dark secret…in a graveyard. ;)
--What are some of your favorite books? Do you still have much time to read?
I love to reread favorites; I’ve read Sunshine, by Robin McKinley, On Fortune’s Wheel by Cynthia Voigt, and Anna and the French Kiss by Stephanie Perkins more times than I can count. But I’m always finding new favorite books. Lately I haven’t had a whole lot of time to read, as I have a four-month-old at home, but I try to sneak some reading in when I can.
--Do you need anything to write (music, coffee, etc)? Are there any songs on your playlist- songs that inspired you or that were playing while you wrote?
I listened to a lot of British pop while I was writing By Blood, to remind myself of my time in Oxford. Robbie Williams, Sugababes, James Blunt, Starsailor, Adele, etc. A couple specific songs:
Follow Me Home, Sugababes: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=BoDTmldbGB0
Sin Sin Sin, Robbie Williams: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f-e-M0hbaCk
You Never Get What You Deserve, Starsailor: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=scf4AykZBJI
--Besides writing, what do you like to do in your free time?
Play with my son (he’s both adorable and hilarious!), photography, travel, and cooking. I’m on a quest to bake the perfect cupcake.
--What is one thing you would tell your 15 year old self?
You are not fat. You are beautiful.
--Is there anything else you want to add or say to your readers?
Emma is a kickass chick…and you can be too. There is nothing scarier than being in a situation where you feel out of control and in danger. There are lots of places to take self-defense classes, and resources online and elsewhere that can give you tips on how to protect yourself. You don’t have to be in great shape or a black belt to save yourself in a scary moment. All you need is knowledge – and maybe a little practice!
Here’s an example of some good self-defense tips! http://lifehacker.com/5825528/basic-self+defense-moves-anyone-can-do-and-everyone-should-know
Lightning round: this or that?
Vanilla or chocolate? Chocolate
Edward or Jacob? Jacob
Hockey or soccer? Football J Go Ravens!
Ebook or paper? Both
Salty or sweet? Sweet AND salty together!
Beach or mountains? Beach
Phone call or email? Email
Early bird or night owl? Night owl
Dog or cat? Dog
Messy or neat? Messy
Ninjas or pirates? Ninjas
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