Welcome to the Frozen blog tour! We at Penguin are thrilled to introduce the first book in the Heart of Dread series by Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston. Follow along on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays for the next three weeks as Mel and Mike share their thoughts on everything from the end of the world to romantic partnerships they love (other than their own, of course!).
By Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
By Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
Hardcover, 336 pages
Published September 17th 2013 by Putnam Juvenile
From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic. Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.
At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.
But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.
Mel and Mike’s Guest Post:
It's the End of the World as We Know It
Melissa de la Cruz
One of the inspirations for FROZEN that Mike and I had was to imagine what the "end of the world" would look like, specifically, the end of civilization. We're both Roman history buffs, and we wanted to depict a new "Dark Ages"—what would the world look like after the American empire? One of the things that resonated with me was an article I read about how in China, the majority of readers don't read literature, instead the most popular books are called "corporate work novels," thinly veiled instructions on how to move up in the workforce. I couldn't imagine a sadder future. Imagine a world without books, without stories, without music, art and culture. To us, that would be the 'end of the world' for sure.
In FROZEN, culture has come to standstill, all the musicians are tribute bands, the only books that have survived are the ones that are still bound in paper. A technological disaster wiped out all the data, so all those ebooks vanished in a poof. J Those that are still around are called "reading based entertainment" (a term real publishers have bandied around lately). Studies have shown that when people receive most of their information from a visual medium like television and not from reading, their ability to think for themselves is lessened. When you read, it turns out, your brain is able to hold two opposing ideas in your head at the same time, you are better able to understand if someone is trying to manipulate you, you are able to remain skeptical.
Mike and I wanted to explore some of these ideas in our post-apocalyptic novel, because for us as writers, a cultural disaster is even more devastating than an environmental one.
About Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston:
Melissa de la Cruz is the New York Times and USA Today bestselling author of many critically acclaimed and award-winning novels for teens including The Au Pairs series, the Blue Bloods series, the Ashleys series, and the Angels on Sunset Boulevard series. She has worked as a fashion and beauty editor and has written for many publications including The New York Times, Marie Claire, Harper's Bazaar, Glamour, Cosmopolitan, Allure, The San Francisco Chronicle, McSweeney's, Teen Vogue, CosmoGirl! and Seventeen. She has also appeared as an expert on fashion, trends and fame for CNN, E! and FoxNews. Michael Johnston is Melissa de la Cruz's husband and co-creator of the Blue Bloods and Witches of East End series, and the co-author of the Wolf Pact series.
Melissa and Michael collaborate in every capacity in crafting their books, from plot outlines to character sketches and dialogue, from first draft to final polish. They have a daughter and live in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.
Follow along the Frozen blog tour to see all of Mel and Mike’s guest posts!