Necromancing the Stone Blog Tour & Giveaway

One of my absolute favorite YA books in 2010 was Hold Me Closer Necromancer by Lish McBride.  I wasn't surprised that it was a William C. Morris Debut Award nominee.  McBride's sense of humor and great ensemble cast of characters developed a special spot in my heart.  Since reading the first book, I have had to wait patiently for the second one.  I begged Macmillan for an ARC while I was out at ALA Annual in June 2012 and I was so excited when I actually held it in my hands.  Of course, a little nervous too.  All I will say is that book 2 does not disappoint.

On Tuesday,  Necromancing the Stone hit bookstores and Macmillan is celebrating with a fabulous blog tour.

Today, I am excited to have Sam LaCroix stop by to answer a few questions.

(Note: The interview takes place between Book 1 and Book 2. There are no spoilers for Necromancing the Stone.)

So Sam, now that you have discovered that you are a Necromancer and you defeated Douglas – what are you looking forward to in your new life? Any particular changes for the better? 

I’m looking forward to a time when strangers don’t try to kill me for unknown reasons and of course, naps. There are some bruises on my body that won’t heal for weeks. I feel like some really solid naptime has been earned. As for changes for the better—well, I get to leave my crappy apartment. Of course, I have to live in the Scary Death House, but hey, I think they have cable. So, there’s that. And I have a date with Brid this week. We’re going to the Drive-in. That makes up for all the bruises as far as I’m concerned.

As a Necromancer, how do you see your role on the council changing from how Douglas ran things? 

Mostly, I’m going to try to not screw up. I think if I can manage that, I’m cool. Nobody likes necromancers. So I can’t see the council welcoming me with punch and pie and those little party blowers. Maybe if I keep a low enough profile, they’ll realize that I’m not as bad as the last guy… After a few weeks pass and I haven’t killed anyone or tried to take anything over, I think they might notice that I’m different. At least, that’s the hope.

How are your mother and sister accepting your new role as Necromancer? 

My mom is still freaked out. I mean, it’s not exactly news to her, but I kinda think she was hoping I’d grow out of it somehow. Yeah, like that’s a possibility. She’s like most moms, I guess. She just wants what’s best for me and for me to be happy, and she’s afraid my powers will get in the way of that. Let’s face it, she’s probably right, but it’s not like I can do anything about it. I don’t think Haley cares. That’s not really Haley’s style. Things don’t faze her. I think she’s more interested in my inheritance from Douglas. She’s going to need her own car soon, and I now have several that I won’t be using. Of course, I’m going to give her one, but I’m not going to tell her that yet.

Do you think Brooke and Ashley will be hanging around you in the future or have they moved onto other things? 

I think that it doesn’t really matter what I want. Brooke and Ashley are going to do what they want to do, period. I have very little say in things. That being said, Brooke likes bossing me around, so I can’t see her going anywhere, and I owe Ashley a lot of waffles, so I believe they’ll both be around for a little while.

Have you had much of a chance to talk with Ramon since he was changed into a were-bear? 

I wonder how he is coping.  I’ve tried—and by “tried”, I mean I stare at my phone and will myself to hit the “call” button. I always end up putting the phone away. I mean, what do you say to someone who risked his life for you? Someone who almost died for you? I can’t imagine texting, “How are you ☺? Things been hairy? Lol!” can you? So it’s been radio silence on my end. But the pack assures me that he’s healing okay. A long way from healthy, but they’ve taken him off critical.

Ok, I have to ask – are you and Brid still together and how is her father and brothers accepting things between you two? 

Have you ever dated a girl with four brothers? Four. And all of them can snap me like a twig. And then eat the twig. It’s nerve-wracking as hell. And her dad? You’d think the alpha of a werewolf pack would be all macho and bluster, but he just…stares at you. It’s like he can read your mind. They all terrify the hell out of me. Of course, that’s not stopping me either. Brid is…well, she’s worth it. That’s all I can say. Totally and absolutely worth every fear-drenched moment.

Thanks Sam (and Lish) for stopping by the blog today and answering some questions.

Lish McBride can be found on: Twitter | Facebook

Don't miss out on these great links:

—Lish McBride is part of our Fall 2012 Fierce Reads campaign and she will be going on a multi-city and multi-author tour this month, 9/18 thru 9/23.
Details can be found here:

—We’ve also got a new Fall Fierce Reads trailer which Necromancing the Stone is included in:

—A chapter excerpt of Necromancing the Stone can be read on our Fierce Reads Fan Page:

—A free Fall 2012 Fierce Reads chapter sampler for e-readers is available for download, which includes Necromancing the Stone:

—Last year, Lish McBride wrote a free e-short story, entitled Necromancer:

Necromancing the Stone Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday 9/17  
Tuesday 9/18  
Wednesday 9/19
Thursday 9/20
Friday 9/21     

Monday 9/24   
Tuesday 9/25  
Wednesday 9/26 
Thursday 9/27

Thanks to Macmillan we also have a special giveaway - a paperback copy of Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and a hardcover of Necromancing the Stone.  The giveaway will run from September 20, 2012 to September 27, 2012.  To enter, you must be 13 years or older and live in the U.S. or Canada.

Book Review - Hold Me Closer, Necromancer

Author: Lish McBride
Publisher: Henry Holt & Co. (October 12, 2010)
Reading Level: Young Adult
Source: Personal Copy
Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

Description from GoodReads:

Sam leads a pretty normal life. He may not have the most exciting job in the world, but he’s doing all right—until a fast food prank brings him to the attention of Douglas, a creepy guy with an intense violent streak.
Turns out Douglas is a necromancer who raises the dead for cash and sees potential in Sam. Then Sam discovers he’s a necromancer too, but with strangely latent powers. And his worst nightmare wants to join forces . . . or else.  
With only a week to figure things out, Sam needs all the help he can get. Luckily he lives in Seattle, which has nearly as many paranormal types as it does coffee places. But even with newfound friends, will Sam be able to save his skin?


My review:

Imagine living your life just thinking you are a regular guy?! Nothing special, maybe a little bit of an underachiever.  This is Sam.  He has dropped out of college, works at a hamburger joint (kind of funny considering he is a vegetarian), hangs out with his best friend from childhood, and concerned that he isn't going anywhere fast.  But then comes Douglas.  Literally overnight, Sam's life changes and so does the lives around him.  Douglas is apparently a necromancer for hire and doesn't like the idea of another necromancer sharing in any potential job opportunities.  It seems that being a necromancer can be quite profitable.  After a serious beating, and a very personal message, Douglas gives Sam a week to become his apprentice or lose his life.  

McBride manages to pull it all together in her debut offering.  Hold Me Closer, Necromancer has all the ingredients of a great book - a well-balance ensemble of characters, humor, a little romance (but not over doing it), and pacing that doesn't drag (I pretty much read this in one sitting and refused to go to bed until I finished it).  Sam is a likable; your every day sort of guy.  His friends are kind of eclectic.  There is Ramon (a childhood friend/like family), Frank (a bit of a dork, but dependable), and Brooke (fiesty & entertaining).  Even secondary characters such as Sam's mother (with her own secrets) and sister, or his neighbor - an on the go, 70-something granny (who has a more active social life than Sam) add rather than detract from the overall story. And well then there is an assortment of paranormal creatures (were-creatures, harbingers, witches, etc.) that Sam discovers on his quest to understand what a necromancer is and how he managed to not know about these unique abilities.  

For fans of Urban Fantasy/Paranormal stories, this will be an easy sell.  In my opinion, it is one of the best books within this category that I have read recently.  True there are some places that require suspending reality (like the immediate attraction between Sam & Brid - a cute shape-shifter- while they are stuck in a cage but then it was hot, & steamy in a fade to black kind of way) which I don't see as an issue.  This is after all a fantasy story.  However, when I finished it, I wanted more.  Sure, this was a complete book - no huge cliff-hanger ending, but readers can easily imagine this story continuing.  I can imagine and hope that this book will continue for at least several more installments.  So please somebody tell me that there will be a book 2 and a book 3?!

For fans that may not be prone to reading a good Urban Fantasy, I suggest giving this book a read through.  Hopefully, it will be a pleasant surprise.  If not, maybe you can have fun identifying all the songs that McBride uses as chapter titles.   

You can find out more about author Lish McBride on her website, click here.  Or you can follow her on twitter: @teamdamanation

Also take a moment to check out the Book Trailer for Hold Me Closer, Necromancer