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Thursday, July 15, 2021

The Jade Talisman by Alanna Mackenzie - Book Tour + Giveaway



This is my post during the blog tour for The Jade Talisman by Alanna Mackenzie. In The Jade Talisman a band of rebels explores a wild, desolate island beyond the borders of an Empire controlled by artificial intelligence, in the hopes of finding animal spirits to join the battle against their oppressive rulers.

This blog tour is organized by Lola's Blog Tours and the tour runs from 12 till 18 July. You can see the tour schedule here.

The Jade Talisman book cover

The Jade Talisman (The Jade Chronicles #2)
By Alanna Mackenzie
Genre: Science Fiction/ Fantasy
Age category Young Adult
Release Date: 30 March, 2021

Blurb:
A talisman. A song. A gift that bends time, and alters the course of destiny itself.

It is the year 2762 in the Empire of Khalendar, and AI Masters rule the civilized world, striving to crush all dissent. But they have not yet managed to quell the Jade Rebellion or its leader, Walter Saltanetska. The rebels have sailed beyond the Empire’s borders to the infamous isle of Vei’arash. Their mission is to find animal spirits exiled long ago by the AI Masters, and return them to the mainland. With any luck, the spirits will strengthen the fading magical powers of their allies, the Western Mages, and join the battle against their oppressive rulers.

As the rebels plunge deeper into the jungle, physical laws are upended. The plants and animals of the rainforest are inextricably linked to divine beings. An ancient shaman-god entrusts Walter with the Jade Talisman, an enchanted gemstone that warps the basic rules of time and space.

The Talisman allows Walter to gaze into a mesmerizing labyrinth of future possibilities. But the visions it offers up are troublingly dark, giving Walter insight into the potential fates of himself and his loved ones. This gift proves to be a crushing burden, and Walter desperately longs for an ordinary life. But there is no going back…

The gripping sequel to The Jade Rebellion, The Jade Talisman explores whether nature and spirituality are capable of persevering in a world dominated by the cold logic of artificial intelligence.

Links:

First book in the series discounted!
The Jade Rebellion
“A reckoning. A rebellion. The worlds of artificial intelligence and ancient magic collide.”

The Jade Rebellion by Alanna Mackenzie is the first book in The Jade Chronicles series. It’s currently discounted. You can get the paperback for only $7.99 and the ebook for only $2.99!

Links:
- Amazon ebook
- Amazon paperback


Author Interview
1. What would you consider to be your Kryptonite as an author?
Probably sticking to the same point of view. I tend to want to get inside multiple characters’ heads, but that isn’t really possible for a novel that is written primarily from a single protagonist’s perspective. My editor always harangues me about this, and I’m grateful for his guidance, but at the same time I secretly long for the freedom of omniscience. I still haven’t decided if my third novel in The Jade Chronicles series will be omniscient or not.

 

2. If you could tell your younger writing self anything, what would it be?
I would tell her to trust that her writing will be valued. I’m a generally pessimistic person and I tend to believe that negative things will happen more frequently than positive things. So, when I self-published my first novel I was surprised when I saw positive, thoughtful reviews that suggested people had really connected with my writing and the messages I was trying to convey.

Another piece of advice I would give my younger writing self would be to take advantage of connections and support in the writing community. In the past few years I’ve attended one writing conference, joined a local community writers’ circle, and connected with writers at literary cafĂ© and library events, and I’ve benefitted so much from these experiences. One thing I regret is not starting those networking efforts earlier, and now with the pandemic it’s difficult to connect as much (except perhaps on Twitter), but I’m really looking forward to a time when that will be easy again!

 

3. What book do you feel is under-appreciated? How about overrated?
I think Version Control by Dexter Palmer is an under-appreciated book. It is quite genre-bending, in that it integrates science fiction with literary fiction, while weaving together humor, social commentary, and philosophy. Some may not like the blend, but I thought it was done beautifully in this novel. I would highly recommend it if you like funny books that touch on big ideas about millennials and technology and if you are a time-travel nerd like myself.

 The book I would pick as overrated is Altered Carbon. I read it last year after getting hooked on the Netflix series. I really wanted to love this one, as it had all the trappings of an excellent cyberpunk/sci-fi novel. Also, the premise is marvelously creative – a thrilling murder mystery set in a universe where digitized consciousness can be downloaded into new bodies after death.  Unfortunately, I had to put the book down half-way through, which is a rare event for me as I typically torture myself enough to plough through books that irk me. I disliked the main character too much, I think. I’m also not an action and gore type of person. I can see how it might appeal to a certain subset of people, but sadly I wasn’t one of them.

 

4. Favorite childhood memory involving books?
My favorite series growing up was Redwall by Brian Jacques, and I recall that it was amazing in many ways, but one that stood out to me was its culinary descriptions. I would read these books for hours and always looked forward to the parts about the feasts. I’m surprised that it didn’t inspire me to move to England and become a chef at some lodge in the countryside. I think Martin the Warrior was also the first book that made me cry as a child. I’m not sure that counts as a favorite memory but it was definitely memorable.

 

5. If you could dine with any literary character, who would it be and why?
That is a tough one. I would probably choose the protagonist of Madeleine Miller’s Circe – Circe herself – who would have endless stories to tell me about her encounters with monsters, gods, and heroes during her exile on the island Aeaea. I also have a soft spot for magic, witchcraft, and herbalism, so would love to have dinner with someone who’s basically an expert on all of those things. Circe is one of my favorite characters in mythology and literature: an outcast amongst the Greek gods who struggled with her own identity to come out stronger, fiercer, and far more real than any of the polished deities on Mount Olympus. Also, if Odysseus could be at the dinner as well that would be doubly cool (though perhaps too many stories for one night).

 

6. What fantastical fictional world would you want to live in (if any) given the chance?
The Shire, from Lord of the Rings, sounds like a pretty wonderful place to live. I’ve always secretly longed to live in a tiny hamlet in the middle of a sprawling countryside where I could write novels. I’m just not sure I would be short enough to fit in the buildings there, so I’d perhaps need to move to the Elven forest, which I certainly wouldn’t mind. Also, the Shire does seem a bit sleepy for my taste. Every now and then I would probably be compelled to venture outside its borders…maybe even to Mount Doom.

 

7. Did you want to be an author when you grew up?
Yes, that was high on my list of desired professions, along with Egyptologist. I think I wrote my first novel when I was just three years old, called “The Cat, the Cupboard, and the Spiders.” From the moment I could put a pen to paper I wrote stories and poems, and so the possibility of being an author was definitely on my radar from an early age.


8. If you had to describe yourself in three words, what would they be?
Persistent, Idealistic, and Observant.


9. What is your most unusual writing quirk?
Whenever I write, I feel better when I’m drinking a Chai latte. I don’t like writing with other types of teas or drinks, except water.

10. What’s one movie you like recommending to others?
I like recommending Avatar, mostly because it has such excellent world-building.

11. If you could own any animal as a pet, what would it be?
Probably a leopard, if it could be domesticated, and I could reliably trust that it wouldn’t suddenly try to eat me one day.


Alanna Mackenzie

About the Author:
Alanna Mackenzie lives in Vancouver, Canada. She holds degrees in History, French studies, and Law from the University of British Columbia. An environmentalist at heart, she believes in using the law as a tool for social and environmental change. When she is not pursuing that passion, she can be found brainstorming the next chapter in her novels, playing Irish fiddle tunes on the violin, and hiking West Coast trails.

You can find and contact Alanna Mackenzie here:

Giveaway
There is a tour wide giveaway for the blog tour of The Jade Talisman. Prizes are US and Canada only. These are the prizes you can win:
- 3 winners win paperback copies of both The Jade Rebellion (book 1) and The Jade Talisman (book 2)
- 2 winners win a paperback copies of the Jade Rebellion (book 1)

For a chance to win, enter the rafflecopter below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway


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