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Blog Tour and Giveaway – Firebug by Lish McBride

We are so pleased to be a stop on Lish McBride’s Blog Tour for her upcoming novel Firebug! In case you missed it, you can read my review of it here. (OMG, you guys, dream. come. true.)

Firebug will be available next Tuesday, September 23! Lish joins us today to answer some very silly and somewhat personal questions that have been weighing heavily on my mind…

Congratulations on the new baby! Are there any books you got so sick of reading to your first baby that you’re planning on hiding them before this one is old enough to ask for them?
Thanks! He’s certainly been a dramatic little guy so far!
As for reading material, no—we get rid of those books as soon as the baby turns around. And for the new ones we get, well, we’ll ask our ten year old to read those. You know, until he catches on. I did read Goodnight, Moon so many times I memorized it, though. It always makes me think of the Simpsons where they had Christopher Walken reading it. 

I love it when you post about the bookstore on Twitter! Describe the most interesting customer interaction you’ve had at the bookstore. Or, if you’re not allowed to do that, what item is most frequently stolen from the bookstore?

We get a lot of great people in the bookstore. For those that haven’t been there, the idea behind Third Place Books is centered on one of Ray Oldenburg’s essays where he states that the first place is home, the second place is work, and the third place is community. So a large part of the bookstore is surrounded by this giant commons area where people can eat, knit, play board games, and meet up for language groups. A lot goes on there. The downside is…sometimes you see an odd side of people. I’ve seen some really weird stuff there. Really weird. Tales I probably shouldn’t tell. Let’s just say I’ve seen the cops a great deal for being in such a nice neighborhood and working in a bookstore. Personally, though, I’ve had ladies start randomly running their hands through my hair as I walk them to a section, and I had to stop wearing my name tag for a while because I got tired of people asking me if my name is short for “delicious.” (It’s not.)

I’ve seen topless guys shaving (and singing) in the men’s bathroom, there’s a lady who really likes our bear statue (she brings it presents) and I watched a guy OD once. That was sad. As for stuff getting stolen, I’m not sure we have a top item. Art books get stolen a lot, as does Graphica, which is one of my sections. Inventory is always off there.

Other than that, just normal bookstore stuff—like that time a customer wouldn’t believe me that the book she needed to get her daughter for school was in the Science Fiction/Fantasy section. She kept telling me, “No, no—it’s a classic. She needs it for school.” And I had to keep saying, “Yes, I know. It’s a popular book for High School English classes. Trust me, it’s a classic. You should read it when your daughter is finished with it. There are a lot of classics in that section.” After the third round of that, and her thinking that maybe she had the wrong book, she finally said, “Are you sure? And it’s in Science Fiction?” Then I just walked her back and handed her the book and cried a little inside.
The book was Fahrenheit 451 by Bradbury.

Do you like to travel? You get to do an author event anywhere in the world – where do you choose to go?

I do! Not a huge fan of planes, but I like going to all different kinds of places. If I could chose, I’d like to go back to either Ireland or Scotland. Love those countries.

You discover you are a were creature – what do you become? (Bonus – as this were creature, what is your most powerful ability?)

I’d become Keanu Reeves, because I think he’s my spirit animal. No, not really. I mean, I love Keanu, but he’s not an animal. He’s a man. So…I don’t know. A raccoon? An otter? Something small that gets into stuff. Man Friend says I’m a lot like Stitch from Lilo and Stitch, because I communicate mostly through hissing and pointing, and I like to destroy things, but Stitch is a made up creature, so I probably can’t use that. 

My most powerful ability would be super rabies if I were a raccoon, or the ability to hold things in my tiny paws, which works for either. Also maybe to look so cute people would get distracted, and then I’d take their wallets.

You are haunted by the spirit of a historical figure. Who is it and why are they haunting you?

Probably Charles Dickens, because I always say I want to go back in time and punch him. And that’s not nice, so he’s demanding an apology. Touché, Dickens. I’m sorry I said I wanted to punch you. I need to learn to use my words instead of my fists.

What is your favorite breakfast food?

So breakfast is sort of my nemesis, because I have several favorite foods, so every time we got out to eat, it becomes this showdown between waffles, French toast, and eggs Benedict. That being said, if the restaurant happens to have vegetarian biscuits and gravy (that does NOT involve mushroom gravy, as I am not a lover of fungus) then I usually order that. It’s hard to do a good vegetarian biscuits and gravy. My mom can do it, even though she must think it’s somewhat of an abomination. Because really, it should involve actual sausage, but she kindly indulges her weirdo vegetarian daughter. (My mom has always been quite supportive of my vegetarian ways.) One thing I miss about living in the south is the abundance of biscuits. They don’t eat them as much up in Seattle, and it’s just not right.

Enter here for a chance to win a free hardcover copy of Firebug: 

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Get started before it comes out – download the first 5 chapters here

For the record, I would also like to punch Dickens.

Book Review (and swag giveaway): Firebug by Lish McBride


Author Lish McBride returns to the world established in Hold Me Closer, Necromancer and continued in Necromancing the Stone, with the story of Ava, a teenage girl who can set fires with her mind. As a ‘firebug,’ Ava is a valuable asset to her local supernatural group of thugs, the ‘Coterie,’ to whom she is under binding contract. Her capitulation to this contact was secured through death threats to those she holds dear, of course, as the Coterie is run by the sadistically evil vampire, Venus.

Ava, along with her two best friends, Lock (half-dryad) and Ezra (werefox), are an assassination team sent in to do the Coterie’s dirty work. Understandably, they’re not exactly willing participants. They go along with the assignments, though, in order to secure the safety of their loved ones – until the day when they are assigned Duncan, a supernatural who is a good friend to Ava and her guardian, Cade. Venus sees Duncan (and some of his recent activities) as a threat to her position and wants him eliminated. She is not unaware of Ava’s relationship with him, and wants her for the job because she can get past his defenses. Ava, however, has other ideas.

Read our previous reviews of Necromancing the Stone

Unlike the Necromancer books, which are set in Seattle, Firebug takes place in Maine and Boston (mostly). Although they are located on opposite sides of the country, I have it on the best of authority that McBride intends for the characters from the two locations to meet eventually. (Isn’t Twitter a marvelous thing?)

While set in the same world, with many of the same conflicts and struggles, I found that the tone of Firebug differed significantly from that of the Necromancer books. While the Necromancer books are full of quipy, quirky snarkiness and bizarre humor (which I greatly enjoy), Firebug relies much more on the intensity of emotion and gravity of the situations in which the main characters find themselves. Which is not to say that McBride’s trademark humor is not evident, it just doesn’t set the major tone for the book. Overall, I found myself much more drawn into the lives of the characters, and more gripped with suspense during the action of the book. I also felt that the characterization and detailed unfolding of the relationships between the main characters was much more robust with this novel.

All of this is to say, I suppose, isn’t it amazing to watch truly talented authors whose work you admire and enjoy grow and change with their subsequent books? Being a reader is such a great privilege.

Another great privilege (also facilitated through Twitter) is my fortunate ability to give away a set of  author swag from the generous Lish McBride herself. Winner will receive all items pictured to the left (4 bookmarks and 2 stickers.) Please forgive my appallingly poor photography skills. We all have our gifts…

Leave a comment on this post to enter the giveaway. Winner will be drawn 1 week from today. Good luck! Also, you should follow Lish McBride on Twitter. She’s @TeamDamnation (of course she is.)

This review was based on an eGalley provided by NetGalley. Firebug will go on sale September 23, 2014. You can preorder it in all the usual locations, including your local bookstore or online through IndieBound if you don’t have a local bookstore.