Friday, June 29, 2018

Welcome to the FFBC: KISS OF THE ROYAL by Lindsey Duga-- Interview + Giveaway!!

Kiss of the Royal

by Lindsey Duga
Publisher: Entangled Teen
Release Date: July 3, 2018
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Romance
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In the war against the Forces of Darkness, the Royals are losing. Princess Ivy is determined to end this centuries-long conflict once and for all, so her new battle partner must succeed where the others failed. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword, enhanced by Ivy’s magic Kiss, should make them an unstoppable pair—but try convincing Zach of that.

Prince Zach has spent his life preparing for battle, but he would rather be branded a heretic than use his lips as nothing more than a way to transfer magic. A kiss is a symbol of love, and love is the most powerful weapon they have—but try convincing Ivy of that.

With the fate of their world on the line, the battlefield has become a testing ground, and only one of them can be right. Falling for each other wasn’t part of the plan—but try convincing their hearts of that.

My apologies to the author for the lateness of this post-- I went to ALA and thought my co-blogger was covering this tour (spoiler: she didn't).  I'm back now and I feel terrible because this interview is SO FUN!!  I'm sharing it now, and I hope all of you check out THE KISS OF THE ROYAL!!

Hi Lindsey!!  We’re so excited to have you in our FFBC Tours and can’t wait to ask you a couple of questions about your debut book, KISS OF THE ROYAL!!


Favorite Book?

This question is the WORST for book nerds! It’s so hard to choose! But as a person who loves greek mythology and finds sassy twelve-year-olds hilarious, “Percy Jackson and the Lightning Thief” was pretty much made for me. I love that book so much, and the fact that I stood in line to have it signed, makes it one of my most prized possessions. 

Favorite TV Show?

Again, tough one, but I’d have to go with “Avatar: The Last Airbender”. The characters, world, fight scenes, and just the general writing of the show is so unbelievably phenomenal...I’ve watched it five times from start to finish. 

Favorite Movie?

Here’s where the Greek mythology nerd comes back. “Clash of the Titans”movie from 1981. Yes, the claymation is ridiculous, but this movie was my childhood y’all. (Also, honorable mention goes to the movie, “Clue” made in 1985.)

Your Favorite Song?

Oh man, I have so many. Even though the amount of music I listen to is crazy, I guess I’d have to go with Paris by Magic Man. I had gone to a concert where they ended up being the opening band, and this song entranced me. 

Favorite Food?

My current food obsession is authentic tonkotsu ramen. The pork belly, broth, mushrooms, scallions, and nitamago (soy-soaked soft boiled egg) makes this dish the food of the gods. 

Name 3 fictional places you would move to in a heartbeat.

a.  If I could, I’d be a camp counselor at Camp Half-Blood (from the Percy Jackson series) for forever. 

b.  I would buy The Burrow from the Weasleys in a heartbeat and set them up in a big ol’ mansion. (Harry Potter)

c.  In the movie, “Howl’s Moving Castle”, there is this beautiful field of flowers with a small cottage surrounded by’s too beautiful for words. 

Name a recent book you’ve read that you would recommend to our YA fans.

The most recent book I’ve read is by an author who is actually a fellow pubmate from Entangled Teen, Amber Mitchell.  Her book, Garden of Thorns, drew me in immediately with its beautifully descriptive writing and the haunting cruelty of the protagonist’s captors. The stakes were high from the get-go and the love interest had me swooning--not because he was hot (even though he was), but because he was so wonderfully kind and good. You can’t help but feel things for a guy like that. Be on the lookout for its sequel, War of the Wilted coming 2018!

What were your favorite books while growing up?

I had different series that I was obsessed with in the various reading stages of my life. First, there was Junie B. Jones books, then Jewel Kingdom Book series, then ghost books (ie The Dollhouse Murders by Betty Ren Wright) and then the Royal Diaries series. If you can’t tell, I’ve always really loved princesses. 

 Favorite Quote?

I think I was one of the ten people that loved the live action “Speed Racer” movie, but there is a scene where Racer X is talking to Speed and he says something that really stayed with me as a young high school senior: “You don't climb into a T-180 to be a driver. You do it because you're driven.” It gave me chills. I wasn’t sure what I wanted to do with my life yet, but I knew that I wanted to be driven to do it. 

What are your fandoms?

Sailor Moon, Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, Lucifer, Avatar the Last Airbender, Miraculous Ladybug, DC TV (ie anything from Arrow to Teen Titans), Teen Wolf...I’m sure there’s more but those are the big’uns! 


Could you tell our Book Addicts a little bit about KISS OF THE ROYAL?

Princess Ivy has one goal--end the war against the Forces of Darkness.

Ivy’s magic is more powerful than any other Royal’s but she needs a battle partner who can help her harness it. Prince Zach’s unparalleled skill with a sword should make them an unstoppable pair--if only they could agree on...well, just about anything. 

But Ivy’s magic can only fully unlock with Zach’s help, and he’s not exactly cooperating. 

Zach believes Ivy’s magic is dangerous. Ivy believes they’ll never win the war without it. Two warriors, one goal, and the fate of their world on the line. But the more they argue, the more they fall for each other. And only one of them can be right...

How did you come up with the story? Did you find inspiration in any other story/movie/show and how has this affected your writing?

I honestly can’t remember the single moment when the story idea came to me, but it definitely came from a culmination of a lot of different things--the biggest being the infamous True Love’s Kiss. In all sorts of fairytales we see this magical kiss break curses and transform the recipient from a frog to a prince! So, my weird brain said, hey, what if love wasn’t a part of the kiss anymore? What if it was just about using it to break curses and cast spells? It would become more like a weapon! Then I took that thought and ran with it off a cliff.

Other sources of inspiration for the book would be the older, less-popular fairytale of Snow White and Rose Red. In fact, part of the world’s history in KISS OF THE ROYAL comes directly from this fairytale. Then there’s the 2008 rom com, 27 Dresses, in which a girl who believes in marriage meets a jaded cynic when it comes to love. That dynamic is reversed on my two characters where Ivy is the logic-minded realist and Zach is the hopeless romantic.  

If you could have a magical ability, what would it be?

I feel like everybody says this but I would really want to fly. There’s a reason why most superheroes can fly--it’s just super cool. And of course, incredibly convenient. 

Do you have any favorite book/movie/TV show kisses?

Stiles and Lydia’s kiss in the last season of Teen Wolf. FREAKING FINALLY.
Scarlet and Wolf’s train kiss and Cress and Thorne’s palace kiss in Marissa Meyer’s Lunar Chronicles series. Swoon
Matthew Perry and Salma Hayek’s kiss in the 1997 movie, “Fools Rush In”.

Tell us your favorite quote from KISS OF THE ROYAL.

Zach moved in close, pulling my face to his. “Seems like you’re awfully eager to kiss me, Ivy. Why don’t we just cut to the chase?”

This quote comes from when Ivy is asking Zach to become her partner. As her partner they will fight together and Ivy will bestow upon him a magical kiss that will give him enhanced strength to defeat evil creatures. Zach, in typical YA hero fashion, delivers a snarky comeback that is sexy as hell. 

If you had to pick one song to be the Theme Song for KISS OF THE ROYAL– Which one would you pick? 

Though the story/theme of this song doesn’t exactly match Ivy and Zach’s relationship, I feel like certain lyrics and the general tone and beauty of the song, Fools by Lauren Aquilina, really captures the essence of the book,  

What 3 hashtags would you most associate with your book? (Could be a word or phrase or anything that would instantly make you think of KISS OF THE ROYAL.)
  1. #WeaponizedKisses
  2. #MakingOutontheBattlefield
  3. #TrueLoveisaFairytale

Are there any recommendations you could give your readers to be in the “perfect mood” to read KISS OF THE ROYAL (specific music, snacks…)? 

I typically don’t read with music in the background, but I think a nice soothing candle or incense would really help create a fantastical atmosphere. Look for a pine/forest scent or a gardenia scent (as mentioned in the book once or twice). I would also recommend a bowl of strawberries as a snack. *hint hint*

What’s next for you? 

I’m currently working on the draft of a middle grade sci-fi about female space pilots, and I have a YA paranormal romance about nature spirits set in the Smoky Mountains out on submission. 

Thank you so much for everything, Lindsey!  The Dollhouse Murders scared me so bad as an elementary kid (it's not actually that scary, but I just think I wanted to be scared???)... and your Middle Grade books sounds bad-ass-- I will look out for that one in the future!

Lindsey Duga is a middle grade and young adult writer with a passion for fantasy, science fiction, and basically any genre that takes you away from the real world. She wrote her first novel in college while she was getting her bachelor’s in Mass Communication from Louisiana State University.

Other than writing and cuddling with her morkie puppy, Delphi, Lindsey loves catching up on the latest superhero TV show and practicing yoga.

  • 1 copy of KISS OF THE ROYAL by Lindsey Duga
  • US Only
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  1. It's already on my TBR -- I'm psyched for this new release -- Kara S

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