I’m so happy to have Katherine Marsh on the blog today and to give you guys a chance to win Jepp Who Defied the Stars! Here’s a little about the book:
Is it written in the stars from the moment we are born?
Or is it a bendable thing that we can shape with our own hands?
Jepp of Astraveld needs to know.
He left his countryside home on the empty promise of a stranger, only to become a captive in a luxurious prison: Coudenberg Palace, the royal court of the Spanish Infanta. Nobody warned Jepp that as a court dwarf, daily injustices would become his seemingly unshakable fate. If the humiliations were his alone, perhaps he could endure them; but it breaks Jepp’s heart to see his friend Lia suffer.
After Jepp and Lia attempt a daring escape from the palace, Jepp is imprisoned again, alone in a cage. Now, spirited across Europe in a kidnapper’s carriage, Jepp fears where his unfortunate stars may lead him. But he can’t even begin to imagine the brilliant and eccentric new master–a man devoted to uncovering the secrets of the stars–who awaits him. Or the girl who will help him mend his heart and unearth the long-buried secrets of his past.
Masterfully written, grippingly paced, and inspired by real historical characters, “Jepp, Who Defied the Stars “is the tale of an extraordinary hero and his inspiring quest to become the master of his own destiny.
Here’s Katherine talking about the romance in Jepp:
Hi Lori, thanks for having me!
One of my most interesting realizations about my own high school crushes was how little I actually knew the guys I fell head over heels in love with. Yes, often I knew they were cute and that other people liked them but half of what I was in love with was the idea of myself with them. Imagining myself at their side was a way of imagining myself as beautiful, popular and interesting–in short, the person I wanted to be.
That changed in college when I learned, often the hard way, that love isn’t about projecting your dreams or identity on other people but about allowing them to be themselves. In my twenties, when I met my husband, I realized another shade of love: That the person who can make you happiest isn’t necessarily the person you imagined.
My book, Jepp, Who Defied the Stars, is the story of a 16th century teenager who leaves his small town home to become a court dwarf. But embedded in this narrative is a story about finding true love. As a teen, I devoured books about romance (Jane Eyre, Fifteen by Beverly Cleary, and yes, even The Thornbirds were favorites.) As a novelist, I wanted to write an unconventional romance that captures going from first love—in which you’re more in love with some idea of yourself than the other person—to a second love that’s deeper, richer and more surprising.
Jepp first falls in love with another dwarf who serves the court of the Infanta Isabella in the Spanish Netherlands. Lia seems perfect for Jepp—she is small like him, she is conventionally beautiful, she makes Jepp feel clever and able in her presence. But Lia turns out to be far more complicated than Jepp ever imagined and when Jepp and Lia experience a terrible tragedy, Jepp realizes how little he truly knows her.
After this tragedy, Jepp’s heart is broken and like anyone recovering from a first love, he feels like he will never love again. When he meets an astronomer’s daughter named Magdalene, he instantly dislikes her. The two seem to have little in common—from their sizes (Magdalene is tall) to their philosophies (Magdalene believes in astrology, Jepp has lost his faith in the stars). How their relationship develops–and how Magdalene ends up keeping Jepp true to himself as he solves a troubling mystery about his own identity–is at the very heart of this story. I hope that your readers—especially anyone who likes romance and thinking about what true love truly is—will check it out.
Bio: I’m the author of the upcoming historical YA novel Jepp, Who Defied the Stars (out October 9th!), the Edgar-award winning The Night Tourist, and a sequel, The Twilight Prisoner (read if you like ghosts, urban exploration and Greek myths). A few interesting tidbits about me: I used to write for Rolling Stone magazine, I’m a Scorpio, and I’m really claustrophobic so if you meet me in an elevator, for god sakes, give me space!
For more info on Katherine and Jepp:
Now for the giveaway!
Open to US and Canada only
Must be 13 or older to enter
Ends October 22nd
a Rafflecopter giveaway