Thursday, June 16, 2016

BLOG TOUR | GUEST POST: And I Darken by Kiersten White

Welcome to my stop on the And I Darken Blog Tour! I've got a fun author mystery post for you, but first, a little about the book:

Author: Kiersten White
Series: And I Darken (The Conquerors Saga #1)
Publication: June 28th 2016 
By: Delacorte Press
Amazon | B&N | Goodreads  

CLAIM THE THRONE. Visit to order now!


And Lada Dragwlya likes it that way. Ever since she and her gentle younger brother, Radu, were wrenched from their homeland of Wallachia and abandoned by their father to be raised in the Ottoman courts, Lada has known that being ruthless is the key to survival. She and Radu are doomed to act as pawns in a vicious game, an unseen sword hovering over their every move. For the lineage that makes them special also makes them targets.

Lada despises the Ottomans and bides her time, planning her vengeance for the day when she can return to Wallachia and claim her birthright. Radu longs only for a place where he feels safe. And when they meet Mehmed, the defiant and lonely son of the sultan, who’s expected to rule a nation, Radu feels that he’s made a true friend—and Lada wonders if she’s finally found someone worthy of her passion.

But Mehmed is heir to the very empire that Lada has sworn to fight against—and that Radu now considers home. Together, Lada, Radu, and Mehmed form a toxic triangle that strains the bonds of love and loyalty to the breaking point.

From New York Times bestselling author Kiersten White comes the first book in a dark, sweeping new series in which heads will roll, bodies will be impaled . . . and hearts will be broken.

 ~ Author Mystery Guest Post ~

By: Kiersten White 

You’ve probably never heard of Theodora of Byzantium.

That’s a shame, because she kicks historical ass.

See, in the sixth century, there was an actress. Back then it was not a good thing to be an actress. An account of her stage performances reads so NSFW I can’t even hint at it here. But as the daughter of a bear trainer and an actress, she didn’t have many career options.

By the age of twenty-two, she retired to a home near the palace, where she became a weaver. She wove cloth. She also wove clever tales and charming company, attracting the attention of a certain passing Emperor. She quickly became his favorite person in the world. Unfortunately, he was forbidden by law to marry an actress. Their love continued (he later adopted the daughter she had during this time; most historians assume this means that either the child was his, or he loved Theodora so much he didn’t care whose child she was) until his mother died.

With Mommy dearest dead, Emperor Justinian realized that laws were made for him to break. So break them he did, and Theodora became not only the wife of the emperor, but co-regent. From a low-level actress and prostitute to co-emperor of the Byzantines.

But she wasn’t happy with just her own meteoric rise. During her reign, she worked to improve the rights of women in her empire. She also started construction on the Hagia Sophia, one of the architectural wonders of the world. Her greatest contribution to her legacy with her husband, though, was saving their throne.

Politics were as sharply divided then as they are now. Factions sorted themselves into colors—blue or green—and aligned with a sports team. (I was all set to make a “ha ha, can you believe it, sports determining politics?” comment, but let’s be honest, we have a freaking reality TV star with a legitimate shot at the presidency. Colors and sports teams don’t seem so absurd in comparison.) In the early part of Justinian and Theodora’s reign, the opposing faction threw themselves behind a rival contender for the throne, rioting and starting fires. Justinian and his counselors were set to flee the city.

Hell no, Theodora said. Better to die on the throne than flee and live as exiles. She knew what power was worth, because unlike the rest of them, she had been born with none. She had fought her entire life, dependent on the whims of men, until she finally carved out a space for herself and a relationship in which she was an equal, in which she had power. She would rather die than go back. Inspired, Justinian and his men went to the arena where their rivals were rallying and slaughtered them.

(Go, team?)

Theodora is just one of the stories I drew on when fleshing out the world of And I Darken. History has a way of ignoring women until they become too big to be overlooked. By digging out the lives of these incredible leaders, fighters, and revolutionaries, we can piece together the truth of what history likes to hide: women have always kicked butt. And they have always been vilified for it, and have had to fight tooth and nail (and knife and sword) for every scrap of power they could claim.

That fight is one I am passionate about. I wanted to explore the reality of what it would take to be a girl who demanded more in a time where she was viewed as nothing but a potential marriage alliance. So why did I choose to create a fictional girl—Lada Dracul—out of a real-life historical man—Vlad the Impaler?

That’s a great question! But unfortunately, this post is already too long, so you’ll have to read the book and then ask me in person sometime.

~ About the Author ~

KIERSTEN WHITE is the New York Times bestselling author of the Paranormalcy trilogy; the dark thrillers Mind Games and Perfect Lies; The Chaos of Stars; and Illusions of Fate. She also coauthored In the Shadows with Jim Di Bartolo. She lives with her family near the ocean in San Diego, which, in spite of its perfection, spurs her to dream of faraway places and even further away times. 

Visit Kiersten online at and follow @kierstenwhite on Twitter. 

AND I DARKEN Blog Tour Schedule 
Monday, May 30th through Friday, July 8th 

Monday, May 30th: Icey Books, Review
Tuesday, May 31st: Bookiemoji, Guest Post
Wednesday, June 1st: Seeing Double in Neverland, Review
Thursday, June 2nd: Alexa Loves Books, Playlist Post
Friday, June 3rd: Awesome Book Nut, Review

Monday, June 6th: Jessabella Reads, Review
Tuesday, June 7th: The Eater of Books!, Top Five Roundup
Wednesday, June 8th: Across the Words, Review
Thursday, June 9th: Pandora’s Books, Sneak Peek for Book Two
Friday, June 10th: Tales of the Ravenous Reader, Review

Monday, June 13th: A Midsummer Night's Read, Review
Tuesday, June 14th: The Irish Banana Review, Top 10 Guest Post
Wednesday, June 15th: Stories & Sweeties, Review
Thursday, June 16th: Jenuine Cupcakes, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, June 17th: The Soul Sisters, Review

Monday, June 20th: Winterhaven Books, Review
Tuesday, June 21st: Two Chicks on Books, Q&A
Wednesday: June 22nd: The Book Swarm, Review
Thursday, June 23rd: Read. Sleep. Repeat., Top Five Fantasy Books Kiersten Loves to Re-Read
Friday, June 24th: Please Feed The Bookworm, Review

Monday, June 27th: Comfort Books, Review
Tuesday, June 28th: Fitshun, Q&A
Wednesday, June 29th: Addicted Readers,Review
Thursday, June 30th: Lindsay Cummings, Movie Casting 
Friday, July 1st: Rabid Reads, Review

Monday, July 4th: Reading Teen, Review
Tuesday, July 5th: YA Bibliophile, Guest Post
Wednesday, July 6th: Carina’s Books, Review
Thursday, July 7th: Mundie Moms, Author Mystery Guest Post
Friday, July 8th: Bookishness and Tea, Review

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