Goodreads Summary: An exotic treat set in an entirely original, fantastical world brimming with deadly mystery, forbidden romance, and heart-stopping adventure.
Nisha was abandoned at the gates of the City of a Thousand Dolls when she was just a child. Now sixteen, she lives on the grounds of the isolated estate, where orphan girls apprentice as musicians, healers, courtesans, and, if the rumors are true, assassins. Nisha makes her way as Matron’s assistant, her closest companions the mysterious cats that trail her shadow. Only when she begins a forbidden flirtation with the city’s handsome young courier does she let herself imagine a life outside the walls. Until one by one, girls around her start to die.
Before she becomes the next victim, Nisha decides to uncover the secrets that surround the girls’ deaths. But by getting involved, Nisha jeopardizes not only her own future in the City of a Thousand Dolls—but her own life.
Q: What’s your favorite movie of all time and why?
A: I have to pick one?!?! Okay, it would be a tie between Jurassic Park (I have a dinosaur obsession) and the 1999 version of The Mummy with Brendan Frasier. Actually, scratch that. The Mummy wins. There is nothing about that movie that I don’t love: a librarian main character, snark galore, and the phrase “It’s just a book. No harm ever came from reading a book.” Plus the commentary is awesome.
Q: If you were a character on a TV show, which one would you be and why?
A: Oh, that’s a hard one. I don’t run fast enough to be on Doctor Who, and I’m not nearly science-y enough to be on Bones. I’d say Criminal Minds, but they always end up getting stalked by serial killers. I think I’d want to be Shepard Book from Firefly. Kind and devout, but secretly super badass.
Q: If you could learn any language fluently, what would it be and why?
A: Sign language. I think it’s fascinating and it would be great to be able to talk to people who use it.
Q: Who’s your favorite singer or band?
A: This changes all the time. Currently it’s Missy Higgins. Her music is beautiful and I adore her lyrics.
Q: Are you a good cook?
A: My husband’s actually the cook in the family. I’m more the canned-soup-or-cereal type, and that’s not as much cooking as it is pouring. I’m GREAT at pouring though.
Q: What favorite food puts you in a great mood??
A: Soup never fails to make me happy, especially cheddar potato. And macaroni and cheese. I have kind of a lifelong obsession with mac and cheese, which might be further proof that I never really grew up.
Q: What do you think about before you go to bed??
A: I tell myself stories at night to fall asleep, something I’ve done it all my life. Usually those stories are based around some movie or TV show or book. One time I became obsessed with Zoo Tycoon and fell asleep every night planning zoos in my head. If I can’t lose myself in a story at night, I can’t sleep. I just stay awake running over real life stuff in my brain. If my mind can’t escape, my body can’t relax. Stories are my lullaby.
Q: Grab the book nearest to you, turn to page 25, and find line 7. What does it say?
A: “Surrounded by scented warmth, cradled in the gently swaying hammock, she closed her eyes and listened to the play of the water in her fountain, the soft chatter of the mongooses and the parrot.” (The Serpent’s Shadow by Mercedes Lackey)
Q: If you could meet any one person (alive or dead), who would it be and why?
A: Madeleine L’engle. Her Wrinkle In Time series was a huge influence on me as a kid and I adored Meg Murray, with her glasses and unruly hair and cranky awkwardness. Still one of the most relatable fantasy heroines I’ve ever read. I would have loved to thank Ms. L’engle for that.
Q: What’s your most essential appliance and/or gadget?
A: Coffee maker, hands down. I used to work in a coffee shop and when I shifted to bookstore work, and then becoming a full time writer, I missed it. I missed the smell and the gurgle of machines and having caffeine at my fingertips. Now I have a coffee maker of my very own and it’s awesome.
Q: Is there anything you wish would come back into fashion?
A: Ponchos. I love the idea of wearing a blanket in public.
Q: Have you ever done something really unbelievable, only to have no one around to see it?
A: Once I was driving to work very early one morning. It was about 4am and very dark and I was on this pretty deserted stretch of highway going about 50 miles an hour and I saw eyes shining on the side of the road. The following thoughts ran through my head.
“Hey, a deer.”
“I’ve never seen deer in this part of the area before.”
“Where there’s one deer, there might be…HOLY CRAP THERE’S A DEER IN THE MIDDLE OF THE ROAD.”
And there was. Another deer, right in front of me. And I swear to you, the thing was huge. Like it might have been an elk. Or Godzilla deer.
My brain was panicking, but somehow my hands and feet knew what to do and without even thinking I totally swerved around that deer like a stunt driver in one of those car commercials. Little old me in my battered Ford van, just zooming around the deer like I was a professional. I felt pretty badass afterwards. (At least until I got really shaky and freaked out because HOLY CRAP I ALMOST HIT A DEER.)
Q: If you could ask your future self one question what would it be?
A: How does season three of Sherlock end.
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