Author Spotlight: Breeana Shields Talks about POISON’S KISS

author-spotlight

Today I’m shining the Author Spotlight on fellow Class of 2k17 member
Breeana Shields and her debut novel POISON’S KISS.

Title: POISON’S KISS

Genre: YA fantasy

Age Range: 12 and up

Launch Date: January 10th, 2017

 

 

poisons-kiss-cover-small -

Please tell us a little bit about your book?

Poison’s Kiss is about a girl who can kill with a single kiss. Since childhood, she’s served the Raja as one of his most lethal assassins. But when she receives orders to kiss a boy she knows—a boy she’s sure doesn’t deserve to die—she starts to question who she’s really working for. And that thread, once pulled, will unravel more than she can afford to lose.

 

What inspired you to write this story and/or these characters?

I often get ideas for books when I’m learning about something totally unrelated. It’s one of the reasons I love museums, classes, and documentaries. In this case, I was listening to a lecture on espionage and the professor mentioned something in passing—a legendary figure in Indian folklore called the poison damsel—that sent my imagination on a lengthy tangent. I didn’t hear the rest of the lecture, but I did walk away with a new book idea.

 

Everyone says writing is a process. Could you share a little about your writing and/or research process?

I usually start a new project with a basic premise, a few major turning points, and rough idea of the ending. From there, I just dive in, start writing, and let the story unfold organically. Often it turns out very differently than the version I had in my head when I first started. Once I have a draft, I can edit to make sure that the final product is a satisfying story.

 

We know no writer is created in a vacuum. Could you tell the readers about a teacher or a librarian who had an effect on your writing life?

My writing teacher in high school, Mr. Beck, had a huge influence on me as both a writer and a person. He started out as my sophomore honors English teacher, but he also taught journalism and encouraged me to join the newspaper staff. Once I did, I was completely hooked. I had always loved writing, but getting to write every day, to decide on topics and layouts, and most of all, to have readers was more satisfying than anything else I’d experienced up to that point.

Some of my happiest memories of high school are being in the newspaper lab late at night with my friends, all of us rushing to get the next issue out on time. I loved printing out an article, feeding it into the wax machine and pasting it up at the light table only to immediately savage it with a blue editing pencil and decide I needed to start all over.

Mr. Beck demanded the best of his students and he didn’t tolerate anything less. Other teachers gave me a lot of praise for my writing—and they were instrumental in building my confidence—but Mr. Beck wasn’t so easily impressed. He challenged every weakly-written sentence, called out every bit of lazy writing, and always pushed me to do better. I still remember how thrilling it was to get an assignment back with the words, “solid writing” at the top of the page. From him that was high praise. I probably would have found my way into a writing career even without Mr. Beck—I think it’s in my blood—but it would have taken a lot longer to hone the skills I needed to succeed.

 

What makes your book  a good pick for use in a classroom? Is there any particular way you’d like to see teachers use it with young readers/teens?

I think Poison’s Kiss could be used in the classroom in a number of ways—as a jumping off point for discussing mythology, as an exploration of medicine and the different ways toxins affect the body, or as a character study in what people do when placed in morally complex situations. I’m also a huge fan of literature circles, where small groups of students who all read the same novel and then gather in class to discuss together. I’ve had the opportunity to volunteer to lead a few lit circles, and it was a complete joy. I love listening to students read something they chose themselves and hear their smart observations and spirited debates.

 

I’m a little dog obsessed here at www.patriciabaileyauthor.com. Would you tell the readers about your favorite dog (real or imaginary)?

I have an adorable miniature poodle named Molly. I call her my Velcro dog because she sticks to my side, following me from room to room throughout the day. She’s also really smart—she can dance on command and walk across the entire length of a room on her hind legs (as long as there’s peanut butter waiting at the other end.). And she has an uncanny sense of my schedule. As soon as my kids leave for school, she curls up under my desk ready to start our writing day.

molly

 

breeana-shields-small - Author Poison's KissBreeana Shields has a BA in English from Brigham Young University and is an active member of SCBWI. When she’s not writing, Breeana loves reading, traveling, and spending time with her husband, her three children, and an extremely spoiled miniature poodle. Visit her online at breeanashields.com or follow her on Twitter at @BreeanaShields.

 

You can read my review of POISON’S KISS here, and you can buy Breeana’s book anywhere good books are sold, or online at:

Powells

Amazon

Barnes and Noble

Thanks so much, Breena!

patriciabaileyauthor.comTrishSignatureblue

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Class of 2k17 Book Love: Poison’s Kiss

Class of 2k17 Books | PatriciaBaileyAuthor.comI was lucky enough to get another ARC in my mail this week. I never knew getting a sneak peek at soon-to-be-published books would be this fun. It’s like a whole year of Coming Attractions! I have to admit, after reading fellow Class of 2k17 member Whitney Gardner’s awesome YOU’RE WELCOME UNIVERSE last week and Breeana Shields’ amazing POISON’S KISS this week, I am truly humbled that my little book is getting to hang out with these guys. I feel like the weird kid who ended up sitting at the cool kids’ table my mistake. Part of me is scared to death while another part kinda wants to jump up and down and scream like the fangirl I am. Neither reaction is very professional, I know, but right now, that’s all I got – and I’m okay with it.

And I totally fangirled Breeana as I read this book. I tweeted her regular updates, letting her know just how amazing this story is. Amazing and unique and freaking spell-binding.

She may have made me a fantasy junkie with this debut and I’m not even sorry. It’s that good!

Poison's Kiss (Untitled, #1)Poison’s Kiss by Breeana Shields
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Beautiful writing, riveting plot, engaging characters – Breeana Shields manages to combine all three in her engaging debut. Shields captures your attention from page one – with gorgeous description and an empathetic character. She carries it through the twists and turns of this page-turner, as Marinda struggles with her duty, her self, and her fate. A story of deceit, betrayal, friendship, and ultimately love, Poison’s Kiss will stay with you long after you finish the book and leave you longing for the sequel.

View all my reviews

For readers:

  • Fast paced adventure.
  • A touching sibling relationship.
  • Complicated friendships and loyalties, and a sweet romance.

For teachers

  • Beautiful, descriptive language.
  • A great example of world building – using mythology and lore to enhance a story.
  • A compelling character who is easy to empathize with.

If this is Breeana’s debut, I can’t even imagine what she’s got up her sleeve for the next book. Lucky for you, it’s available for pre-order right now. And you can always add it to your Goodreads list to remind you of the amazing book that’s coming for you in 2017.

100foriconCROPPEDGirlwithdog33637688_lTrishSignatureblue

 

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save

Save