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!).
(Heart of Dread #1)
by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston
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.
WATCH THE BOOK TRAILER
A Monster of A Mash-up
In music, a mash-up is a mixture of at least two existing songs wherein the tracks are mixed in a way that transforms both into something new. When it works and the new song is pure genius, the sum becomes greater than the parts. Disparate musical styles are twisted together--hip hop and grunge, pop and gangsta rap. It's fun. Mash-ups fascinate me—they take the familiar and twist it into something else. I wanted try to my hand at a mash-up, but I wasn’t a musician.
FROZEN is my attempt at a literary mashup. It takes two genres—fantasy and science fiction—and mixes them into something new. In the book, we have the recognizable elements of fantasy: magic, dragons, halflings, and elves, as well as the recognizable elements of science fiction: a post-apocalyptic setting, advanced technology, new ways of living, and speculations on society and our culture. These genres formed the songs we “mixed” when writing FROZEN. We traded the familiar forests and caverns of fantasy literature for a vast frozen land, a speculative landscape filled with trashberg oceans and toxic water, and populated this science-fiction landscape with characters from epic fantasy. Just as the mixing of two songs transforms the source material, our science-fiction landscape transforms our fantasy-based cast. In Frozen, magic is faltering, it's corrupted, damaged.
When fantasy meets science fiction the two are remade and a new story is born—one genre twists the other so that the resulting book is a new literary entity. I know what some will say: You can’t do that! You can’t mix genres! We disagree. We love art that ventures into new territory, stakes new ground, tells us something new about ourselves. In our book, science and technology are dying, humanity is on its last legs, but hope is ever present—in the form of wonder, of magic.
I like music that surprises and inspires me. I hope FROZEN does this to our readers, I hope it feels new and reads like a song you want to hear again and again.
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!
9/30 Bloggin’ ‘Bout Books
10/2 Word Spelunking
10/9 Poisoned Rationality
10/11 There’s a Book