Tuesday, May 13, 2014

**FAB Giveaway** Interview/Review The Given-Vicki Pettersson

I'm so happy to bring you today an author who has become quite a favorite, who is here quite by the fickle hand of fate and who is offering Fabulous prize package to one lucky entrant, details below.
The Given is Vicki Pettersson's finale in her Celestial Blues trilogy, I had the privilege to review book one, The Taken, for LibraryJournal and I'm excited to bring you an exclusive interview with Vicki and my review of book three, The Given which releases May 27th.
So sit back enjoy our chat then enter to win this fabulous prize package generously offered by Vicki. 

  • ISBN-13: 9780062066206
  • Publisher: HarperCollins Publishers
  • Publication date: 5/27/2014
  • Pages: 368


The dramatic conclusion to New York Times bestselling author Vicki Pettersson's critically acclaimed Celestial Blues trilogy—an inventive blend of paranormal romance, noir mystery, and urban fantasy—involving a fallen angel and a flesh-and-blood rockabilly reporter.

After learning that his wife, Evelyn, survived the attack that killed him fifty years earlier, angel/PI Griffin Shaw will risk everything to find her.

Vicki has generously offered


An Author Signed Set of her entire Trilogy
Thanks Vicki!
To enter please use the Rafflecopter form below
Good Luck!!

Vicki, I’m honored to have a favorite author visiting The Reading Frenzy.

Tell my readers about The Given.
Thank you so much for inviting me! I’m excited to talk to you about The Given, as it finally answers the longstanding question as to who killed my PI-turned-angel, Griffin Shaw, back in 1960. Additionally, although he and his intrepid partner/lover, Kit, were torn apart by events at the end of The Lost, they are compelled to work together once more in order to find a woman who ends up leading them through fifty years of entanglements and back into the life-threatening dangers they so narrowly avoided before.

This is part of your Urban Fantasy Celestial Blues series/trilogy starring Griffin & Kit. I read and reviewed The Taken for LibraryJournal and loved the unique world building and the strong plot lines.

What led you to write this series?

Is this the finale?
Thank you so much for saying so. I love melding the fantastical with gritty reality and trying to blur those lines for the reader – in this case, the angelic world with detective fiction. The Las Vegas setting is additionally helpful in this regard as it really is a city that epitomizes the “truth is stranger than fiction” adage. Everything there is a bit of a blur!
The genesis of the story was, as is usual for me, a ‘what-if’ question: What if a man was given the chance to solve his own murder? I love noir and pulp and gritty detective fiction, so while I knew Grif would fill that role, the story still didn’t gel until Kit Craig showed up. She’s a modern-day reporter with a rockabilly aesthetic, which is to say a nostalgic obsession for all things mid-century. This makes her Grif’s particular form of kryptonite, as well as the reverse.
So while each installment has contained a modern-day mystery that Grif and Kit must solve together, it’s the greater, overarching mystery – Who killed Griffin Shaw? – that has really driven the series. So, yes, now that that’s revealed in The Given, the series is over.

Tell us a bit about your other Zodiac series.
The Signs of the Zodiac series is pure dark fantasy. It follows reluctant superhero, Joanna Archer, a woman who finds herself thrust into a previously unrealized paranormal world, and caught in the crossfire between battling factions of good and evil. To add some cheer to a tale that can only end in apocalypse, I also set Joanna’s story in my quiet little hometown of Las Vegas.

Vicki you tell us in your bio how strongly you feel about strong female characters, and about being a woman in “this man’s world.

Did you feel this way when you started writing?

Was there a catalyst for this advocacy?
I recall being extremely put out at a very young age regarding the difference in the way I was treated compared to the boys, and then men, around me. When I was younger the slights and safety issues were more overt, more traditionally sexist, and frankly more easily dismissed. Now that I’m older it seems to be more covert. Unaddressed and unvoiced. For example, when you’re young you simply think that unequal pay and unpaid maternity leave or all the way a woman’s insecurities are monetized and capitalized on don’t apply to you. You think you’re going to be the one to overcome those things by hard work and sheer drive, yet even if nothing overtly traumatic happens to you, the small things tend to wear on you over time. It’s an erosion of hope.
So I suppose the catalyst for this advocacy is simply wanting better for myself and all the women in my life whom I love and respect. Even if you associate solely with men who love women, as I do, I still have to deal with sexism, condescension, and safety issues, and that’s what I mean about moving about in a man’s world. Women are the ones who have to step aside, to shift, to change form to accommodate the ‘other.’ Writing women who don’t budge is my way of fighting that.

You also reveal that being a showgirl at night allowed you to write during the day. Was that a good experience for you Vicki?
In so many ways. It allowed me time – years – to develop my writing style and voice. It also gave me the truest friends of my life. I still meet with my ‘tribe’ once a month to catch up on each other’s lives and keep that sisterhood alive. (I am a great girlfriend!) Finally, it was just a fun way to spend my twenties. I know it seems incongruent for a proclaimed feminist to have also been a showgirl, but it really was an unabashed celebration of womanhood, of femaleness. We were everywoman up there, and women could leave our theater feeling better about being a woman, instead of lesser, which I think is the result and aim of most of todays’ popular media. 

You are working as we speak on a stand-alone psychological thriller.

Why the jump in genres?

Will you go back to fantasy?
The aim is only to continue writing stories featuring strong women in impossible situations. Removing or imposing real world constraints require these characters to react differently and it’s fascinating for me to follow them on these journeys. Beyond the creative, my interest in writing different stories is usually a technical challenge in addition to the story. Can I write a large, layered, epic world believably peopled with superheroes? (Zodiac.) Can I write a noir mystery that my paranormal readers can sink into as well? (Celestial Blues.) Can I write a pure chase book without introducing fantastical elements to get my protag, and myself, out of trouble? (The thriller.) Can I write a whole story in just one volume, for that matter?
So the thriller is done – another one is percolating, warming in the back of my mind – and meanwhile I am, indeed, working on another fantasy series. It’s early yet, I’m still world building, but again, my mind is coming alive in a different way. It’s insanely pleasurable. I suppose that’s the short answer of why I do it: it just feels good to continue challenging myself to write different stories.

What’s your favorite thing about being an author?
Connecting with readers, hands down. Having a young woman write me from Saudi Arabia and saying my books gave her the strength to flee that country for another. Having a man write to thank me for writing women more reflective of those he knows, or wants to know, in his life. Just having other people say, “Yeah, I’ve felt that way, too!” We’re all in this together. Every reader email, every Facebook message, helps me feel a little less alone as well.

Your daughter wants to follow in your footsteps.

What’s your advice to her?
Daughter or son, it would be the same: focus on the craft. It’s the only thing you can control, and the joy and the meaning is in the work alone. You think that you’re shaping your world with these words, but if you’re doing it with diligence, it ends up shaping you. That is priceless.

Vicki, thank you so much for spending time with my readers and I today

Good Luck with the new novel and all the ones still in your head!

Do you have any author events you could share with us?
I’ll be in Las Vegas, Phoenix, Dallas and Houston to promote The Given – the dates are on my website – and my events are usually very informal and filled with laughter. These are the only chances I get to connect with my readers in person and I make the most of them. I then use that as fuel to head back to the page.

Connect with Vicki - Website - Facebook - Twitter

Vicki Pettersson is the New York Times bestselling author of the Sign of the Zodiac novels, a six-book urban fantasy series set in her hometown of Las Vegas. Though she'll always consider that glittering dust bowl home, she now divides her time between Vegas and Dallas, where she's learning to like good Tex-Mex (easy) and the Dallas Cowboys (easier than you'd think).

My Review of The Given

Griffin Shaw, Centurion angel, literally just got word from above that his time on the mortal plane is numbered. Hes left unsolved too long the 50yr old crime of his and his wifes murder and will now pay the ultimate price. Worse than losing his mortality is finally realizing his one true love is not his wife Evie, but his beautiful crime-solving partner, retro-diva, Kit. With a lot of luck and some divine intervention, maybe just maybe he can solve the case and still get the girl.
Katherine (Kit) Craigs survived many tragedies but losing Grif was like severing a limb, when he shows up after months away she must decide whether to break his bones or jump them. And as much as she wants to continue the pity-party she knows deep in her Rockabilly heart that what she really needs is to pick herself up by her vintage peep-toed pumps and be the glass-half-full-girl she really is, help Grif solve this one last case. And have faith that love really can and will conquer all.
Of course that is if they even survive.

Petterssons finale in her Celestial Blues trilogy is amazingly awesome, heartbreaking, uplifting and funny all at once. Her Bogey-ish, Maltese Falcon-ed, emotionally charged, intense narrative left me breathless, in tears and tearing through the pages, both wanting to get to the finish and lamenting the end. Her un-heavenly hero and retro heroine are awesome, unique, humorous, heartwarming, heartbreaking, and believable in fantastical circumstances and both inherently good.  Her love story is timeless and unforgettable; her love scenes are befitting an angel and his earthly doll. And as her story comes to a close her genius in storytelling is more evident than ever, her remarkable characters will stay with me long after the story is finished, her morality tale is perfect and I cant wait to see where she takes me on our next journey together.
For maximum understanding and enjoyment novels should be read in order.

My Review courtesy LibraryJournal The Taken

Griffin Shaw, PI—turned—deliverer of souls, has just caused a tremor in the heavens; he's put into his earthly flesh until the problem is solved, but oh what a problem she is. Kit Craig, a Vegas rockabilly journalist, wants to find her best friend's killer, but she'll need to team up with an unlikely partner who claims he's an angel. But this angel is no angel. Grif's help comes on the condition that Kit help him find out who murdered him and his wife 50 years ago right here in Vegas. The duo will need to fight not only deadly enemies but the sinful heat between them.

VERDICT Pettersson ("Sign of the Zodiac" series) hits the jackpot with this series debut that combines paranormal romance and urban fantasy in a noir mystery. Her characters are exceptionally well drawn, from the stars to the supporting players. Showing her Vegas expertise, Pettersson makes her characters and places seem real, yet she retains the ethereal feel of urban fantasy. Hard-core paranormal mystery and urban fantasy fans will enjoy this outstanding read.—Debbie Haupt, St. Charles City/Cty. P.L., MOLibrary Journal Booksmack! LJXpress Prepub School Library Journal Horn Book Guide Horn Book Magazine Junior Library Guild

Vicki's The Zodiak series

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. I love all of Vicky's writings and cannot wait for the new release.

    1. Hi Reesa, me too!!
      Thanks for stopping by and Good Luck!!

  2. I haven't read anything of her yet. This series seems really good. Another one for my TBR. Thanks for the wonderful giveaway.

  3. I started with the Zodiac and just recently finished Lost. And I can relate to both series.

    1. Hi I'm going to read the Zodiac series because I just loved this one.
      Thanks for the comment!

  4. I've enjoyed Vicki's writing since I fell in love with the Zodiac series. The Celestial Blues trilogy is a vastly different, but just as compelling, world. There's no one better at world building than her! Can't wait to read The Given!

    1. Hi AllishsMom, I can't wait to read The Zodiac series. Thanks for the comment.
      Good Luck!

  5. Loved, loved, loved the Zodiac series. Still miss Joanna and the others.
    Look forward to reading Celestial Blues trilogy. Got The Lost for my Kindle, but as I never got The Taken I haven't read any of them.
    Can't wait to see what she comes up with next. Thanks for the wonderful stories Vicki!

    1. Hi Alison, wow another Zodiac fan I know I've got to get on the ball and get them.
      Good Luck!

  6. Lovely interview and great review.! You've got me all excited ;)

    1. Wow Fiza thanks for the nice compliment
      Good Luck!

  7. That's pretty awesome that she keeps challenging herself instead of just staying with the same thing. I'm liking that attitude :) I've got a couple of her books on my tbr pile sitting all pretty on my shelf (I just love those covers). Will have to try and hit them soon :)

    1. I LOVE her and her attitude. Thanks Anna for taking time out of your very extra busy life right now :)

    2. LOL I'm trying to keep up with all of yalls blogs I love. I'm kinda binge reading though so if you have spurts of Anna filling your inbox sorry about that! lol It's amazing how much happens in just a few days away!

    3. Anna, I know you've got a lot going on so wow. I feel honored that you're here at all :)

  8. I have read Vicki's series and can't wait for the final in the Celestal Blues. Lucky for me, I like all genres and am looking forward to the new thriller.

    1. Hi thanks for the comment. I love many genres too!