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Thursday, March 19, 2015

(MMGM) Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta by Angie Kelly {review, interview, giveaway}

Welcome to Day 19 of the 4th Annual March MG Madness! Today we are celebrating Angie Kelly's Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta...

The Versailles Vendetta
(Labyrinth Society #1)
by Angie Kelly
Astraea Press
When 12 year-old Mia Cornell is sent to live at the Tarpley Estate, her ninth foster home, she has no idea what she's in for. Having a kind but mysterious foster mother and three quirky foster sisters is all well and good. Discovering that her new family is a secret society—they use a portal in their garden labyrinth to travel the globe seeking lost art, artifacts, and OSOs (objects of supernatural origin)—is something else entirely.

Mia barely has time to wrap her head around the truth when the Society's latest job, tracking down Marie Antoinette's necklace, goes sideways. Mia and her new siblings—Tomi, the historian; Devon, the hacker; and Lily, the muscle—must use their wits, plus a few cool OSOs filched from the Society's vault, to stay a step ahead of a sinister enemy from their foster mother's past. But just how far back does Mrs. Tarpley's past go? And will Mia stand by her new family or cut and run when they need her the most?

Watch the book trailer

Twelve year old Mia Cornell is tired of being bounced around foster homes, misses her grandmother terribly, and just wants to be left alone. When Mia is placed with kind, mysterious, and very rich Mrs. Tarpley, Mia finds herself in one heck of an adventure. Mrs. Tarpley, her assistant Alex, and her three other foster daughters (Tomi, Lily, and Devon) are part of a secret society that uses labyrinth portals to travel around the world and find lost artifacts (some are even supernatural). Mia accidentally tags along on the Society’s latest job (finding Marie Antoinette’s necklace) and must help the Society go against a dangerous enemy.

Angie Kelly’s Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta is a fast paced, addicting, and fun read, full of thrills; humor; and clever storytelling. Combining mystery, history, science, fantasy, and action, Angie Kelly has crafted such an awesome and imaginative premise and spun an exciting story. The physical world of Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta (including the Tarpley Estate, the mesmerizing and complex labyrinths, and the dazzling cities of Versailles and Paris) is laid out in rich, lush details. Young readers will love exploring the fascinating and mysterious Tarpley Estate with Mia, be completely wowed and intrigued by the labyrinths, and be enchanted by the gorgeous Versailles and Paris. And the magical, otherworldly aspects of the Labyrinth Society are just so much fun to explore and learn about.

I found  Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta’s characters to be a charming, engaging eclectic bunch. Each young character (Mia, Lily, Tomi, and Devon) gets a chance to narrate the story, and young readers will enjoy getting to know each of them and seeing the story from their perspectives. Alex is an amusing fella, while Mrs. Tarpley is wonderfully mysterious, yet completely endearing. Plus, Angie Kelly throws in some surprising and compelling baddies!

The case of Marie Antoinette’s necklace is full of clever puzzles, thrilling escapes, cool magical objects, and plenty of twists and turns!

my final thoughts: Angie Kelly’s  Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta is cleverly and imaginatively crafted, with a unique premise; great storytelling; and delightful characters. I had so much fun reading this book and can’t wait for future books in the series!


What three words best describe Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta?


Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, to give your book a try?
A fast-paced, girl powered adventure full of sass, snark, and magical objects.

Grab a copy of Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta and answer the following:
favorite chapter? Chapter Twelve
favorite page? 151
favorite place/setting? The Louvre
flip to a random page and give us a 1-2 sentences teaser: 
The  next  thing  I  knew  the  crows  were  all  over  me  in   a   swarm   of   cawing and feathers   like   I   was   made   of   bread.   Claws tangled   in   my   hair.   Black   wings beat   against   my   head   and   face.

What inspired Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta? How did the story come to be?
I was inspired to write Labyrinth Society after a trip to Paris in 2007. I fell in love with the city and knew I wanted to set a book there. Two of my favorite places that I visited while I was there were the Louvre Museum and the palace of Versailles, both of which are featured in pivotal scenes in the book.

Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, Mia? What makes her special and sets her apart from other middle-grades heroines?
Mia is a twelve year-old budding artist who has been bounced around foster care after the sudden death of her grandmother.  What makes Mia special is that she’s very intuitive and curious, which serves her well when she realizes her new foster family is lying to her about who they really are. She’s also a natural problem solver. What sets her apart is that she’s an African-American heroine, which is rare in MG fantasy adventure.

Your characters travel the globe with use of a magical portal...where would you go and what would you do, if you had a magical portal?
I would definitely go back to France and England and Italy as well.

As a middle-grade author, why do think MG is so important and popular? What do you love about MG?
I think MG is so important because is bridges the gap between childhood and adolescence when kids are just beginning to develop a sense of who they are. I love MG because it represents a time in my life when I felt fearless and had the most fun.

What are some of your favorite middle-grade reads?
Some of my favorites are:
The Kiki Strike series by Kristen Miller
The Apothecary By Maile Meloy
The Peculiar by Stefan Bachmann
Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
A Wrinkle in Time by Madeline L’Engle

Fill in the blanks:
I’m really awesome at researching. I can usually always find the information I’m looking for.

I’m really embarrassed to admit I flunked my swimming lessons as a kid. I still can’t swim.

The last great book I read was not a MG book. It was an adult suspense/horror novel that would probably be too scary for kids.

If you were to bake a cupcake inspired by Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta, what would it look and taste like and what would you call it?
It would definitely be a chocolate cupcake, since my character Tomi is a chocoholic. It would have banana cream frosting for Devon, whipped cream in the middle for Mia, and lemon cookie crumbles on top for Lily.  It would be sweet, tart and multilayered with a surprise in the middle just like my four main characters. I’d call it Adventurous ; ).

Angie Kelly is the pseudonym of a former member of the Labyrinth Society. When she's not writing about her adventures, or reading about other people's adventures, she's busy traveling the world and indulging her inner twelve year-old. Although she was last sighted lurking around the British Museum after hours, her current whereabouts are unknown 

Win a $10 Amazon Gift Card and/or 1 of 5 digital copies of  Labyrinth Society: The Versailles Vendetta!
Angie Kelly has generously offered up one gift card for one winner and 5 ebook copies of her book for five winners.
-US only
-ends 3/31
(please read full rules below rafflecopter form)

a Rafflecopter giveaway
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collenga said...

Sounds like a very exciting and imaginative read. I enjoyed the trailer, interview, and review and can't wait to check it out! Thanks for sharing

anne s. said...

sounds like a perfect read for my middle schooler!

Manju Howard said...

Angie, your pitch, cover and trailer really do a great job hooking readers! Can't wait to read your book.

Unknown said...

It sounds like a great read! The video is super, especially like the music.

Orchid said...

Sounds like quite the exciting read!

It always makes me happy seeing authors mention one of my favorite books, like A Wrinkle in Time, as a book they enjoyed.

Angela Henry said...

Hi Guys!

Thanks so much for all your kind comments about my book and trailer! The book was really fun to write and Tim Eddy, a talented young film maker from Australia created the trailer. @timeddy4

Angie Kelly ; )