Wednesday, September 28, 2016

"Eden's Escape" by M. Tara Crowl Blog Tour: Review, Interview, + Giveaway!

Eden's new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who's also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting--only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world's leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp's power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly's plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris--home to Electra's headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

{View on Amazon | B&N | Indie Bound}

** Be sure to scroll down for a giveaway! ** 


It's been so exciting to follow my author friend, Tara Crowl, and her writing journey! I immensely enjoyed EDEN'S WISH {you can find my review here} and was eager to get my hands on its sequel, EDEN'S ESCAPE. 

This series, Eden of the Lamp, follows the journey of a tween genie, Eden, who is desperate to experience life outside of the restrictions of her lamp. In Eden's Wish, she breaks free from the lamp and is taken on a journey to achieve her own greatest wish: to taste for herself the pleasures that Earth offers. Eden's Escape picks up where Eden's Wish left off and includes a new adventure for Eden that involves protecting the power and secrets of the lamp. 

Similar to Eden's Wish, as soon as I began reading this book, I found it difficult to put down. Crowl has a gift for sparking the imagination of readers through painting vivid scenes and characters, yet she accomplishes this without slowing down the pace of the story. There was never a dull moment, and the plot remained unpredictable until the last very page. (Btw, I seriously hope there will be a third book in the series!) Through careful attention to detail, Crowl brought to life the setting of NYC and Paris in a way that made Eden's adventures even more of a thrill to follow. While Eden is a likable protagonist, her curiosity and independent streak often lead her into some sticky situations. But I love how, even though she's flawed, she has also grown through the consequences of her actions in both Eden's Wish and Eden's Escape

One of my favorite aspects of this series is how Crowl combines fantastical and magical elements with modern-day life. This, I believe, will make it easier for MG readers to relate with the protagonist as she wrestles with feelings, questions, and curiosity that almost every tween deals with in today's society.

Although this is a MG novel, I have a feeling Eden's Escape will be just as enjoyable for adults as it is for tweens/teens and will remind them of the imaginative, thrill-seeking, and adventurous spirit that came with their own tween years. This series would make a perfect gift for tweens, teens, and adults alike! I look forward to the next (hopefully!) installment in Eden's journey...

** I received a free copy of this book from the author in exchange for an honest, non-biased review. **


Which book was your favorite to write--Eden's Wish or Eden's Escape?
 Writing Eden’s Wish was very special, because it was a story that was in my heart for a long time. I started it when I moved to Sydney, Australia for grad school. At the time that didn’t really seem like a sensible decision, but I took a chance because I couldn’t shake the feeling that it was what I was meant to do. When I got there, my life opened up in such a beautiful way, and I discovered hope and joy that I’d never known before. Eden’s Wish was born out of that.
 Eden’s Escape was the second book in the series, so the characters and the world had been established. In that sense, it was easier to write. But also, it was a new experience writing a book that I knew was going to be published. To some extent, that gave me confidence; but also, it raised the stakes. I wanted to make sure my characters were consistent, but also growing. And I wanted the story to be more thrilling, more engaging, and more meaningful all at the same time. That was a challenge.

Why did you choose Paris for the setting of Eden's Escape?

Right before Eden’s Wish sold to Disney-Hyperion, I went to Europe by myself for some adventure and soul-searching. I fell in love with Paris—I was so enchanted! I decided that if the book sold, I wanted to write a sequel and set it there. At the time, that seemed so unrealistic. But when I got back from my trip, I found out that it was going to be a reality! So the following year, I went back for a few weeks to research and write. I’m still pinching myself—and so incredibly grateful—that I got to live out that dream!

Will there be another book in the series, or does Eden's Escape conclude Eden's adventures?

Time will tell! I hope there will be more!

In what ways can middle grade readers relate with your protagonist, Eden?

Eden is a genie, but she’s also a 12-year-old girl. She’s adventurous, exuberant, and brave. She wants to be free to explore the world, but she comes to realize that people are what make the world beautiful. She really learns to value others. I think middle-grade readers will relate to Eden as she navigates friendships and relationships—and all the love, disappointment, and forgiveness that come with that.

What's the perfect snack (or drink!) that readers should enjoy while reading Eden's Escape? 

Macarons! Eden eats them for the first time in Paris, and every flavor she tries becomes her new favorite. They’re the perfect sweet treat while you read.

Do you hope to continue writing for the middle grade genre?

I love writing middle-grade books because the readers are so open to imagining with you. They’re not cynical or closed-minded; they’re ready to go on the adventure. As the author, you can erase the boundaries between reality and fantasy and run with the story.
But I wouldn’t say I’ll only write middle-grade. In the future, I may give YA a shot, or even books for adults. Who knows! 


This time Eden landed on her feet.
When she opened her eyes, she saw that they were planted on black pavement. Black pavement meant a street. She was standing on a street.
Okay, she thought. But where? She lifted her eyes.
Directly before her were four yellow taxis, side by side, like the front line of a battalion. To her left and right were buildings so tall, she was as small as a bug in comparison. And in the distance, a narrow slip of bright blue sky framed by more sky-high buildings, as far as she could see.
She’d never been here before; of that, she was certain. And yet, she’d received a genie’s education. She’d seen enough photos to know without a doubt where she was.
“New York City,” she said softly.
RERRR!!! Car horns rang in her ears.
“Get outta the road!” yelled a man leaning out of a taxi’s window. “You tryna get killed?”
The light had changed, and the battalion was ready to charge.
As Eden sprinted to the sidewalk, taxis ripped through the space she left behind. Something heavy bounced on her back, and she felt straps around her shoulders. She was wearing a backpack. Suddenly, it started to vibrate against her back---but there was no time to figure out why right now.
There was no less traffic on the sidewalk, but at least it was made up of mortals on foot rather than cars. The prospect of a collision wasn’t nearly as dire.
Mortals. She took a deep breath. She had to stop calling them that.
After all, she was living among them now.


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M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.


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  1. I have been following your blog for the longest time I am such a proud fan

  2. That's so cool you were able to base a book at a place you love! Many times when I travel, or even go to places near me, I think, "I should make this a setting in a story." A great interview-- thank you!


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