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Blog Tour, Mini-Interview & Giveaway: Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney

Howdy, folks! Today it is our pleasure to host the latest stop on M.J. Putney’s blog tour for the release of her debut YA novel, Dark Mirror. In addition to our review later today, we have a mini-interview and giveaway for your reading pleasure. M.J. Putney is the YA pen name for Mary Jo Putney, historical romance author extraordinaire (and one of Ana’s favorites).

Ladies and gents, please give a warm welcome to M.J.!

The Interview:

The Book Smugglers: Coming from an adult romance writing background, why did you decide to write a YA fantasy novel? Did you find any difficulties or challenges in writing for a different audience?

MJP: Whenever I move into a new genre, it’s like stepping off a cliff. A writer has to thoroughly understand reader expectations for the new kind of book, and she had better love books of that genre.

The heart of a romance is the developing relationship, while the heart of a YA novel is the growth and life journey of the protagonist. (Though lots of other things can be added to those core stories.) Good storytelling is good storytelling, and that’s the foundation of all popular fiction, so eventually I figured out YA well enough to find an editor who liked my story!

The Book Smugglers: Are you a reader of Young Adult fiction? Who are your favorite authors (of any age-audience) and/or most beloved books?

MJP: I don’t think a writer can write what she doesn’t read and love! I read all kind of myths and legend when I was young, so I adore Rick Riordan’s Olympian. Sarah Dessen’s stories of troubled girls finding their way are wonderful. Sherri L. Smith’s amazing Flygirl, Diana Peterfreund’s wonderful unicorn hunters…and too many others to list!

The Book Smugglers: Time travel, magic, and two important wars (Napoleonic and WWII) set the backdrop for Dark Mirror. Why did you choose these time periods for your book, and what type of research did you do before writing this novel?

MJP: Having earned my authorly chops on Regency romances and historicals, I’ve often thought about the similarities to England in WWII. In both cases. England stood alone against a powerful Continental conqueror, protected by the English Channel, the British Navy, and the stubborn courage of her people. From there, it was a short hop to thinking that Regency mages would be drawn to a similar time period where their abilities were be needed.

Dark Mirror was a high research book. In this case, I already had a good foundation in Regency history, but I needed to learn more about the chalk tunnels under Dover Castle and the white cliffs of Dover in general, since that’s the Regency setting for the book. For the WWII section, I had to do a lot of research, particularly for the Dunkirk evacuation, but also for the details of daily life in 1940. Luckily, there’s a huge amount of information available about WWII. The single most useful research source was the Weather Channel’s Dunkirk episode of When Weather Changed History. I watched it over and over, taking notes so the weather portrayed in Dark Mirror would be accurate.

The Book Smugglers: We Book Smugglers are faced with constant threats and criticisms from our significant others concerning the sheer volume of books we purchase and read – hence, we have resorted to ’smuggling books’ home to escape scrutinizing eyes. Have you ever had to smuggle books?

MJP: LOL! My sympathies. So that’s where the name came from. Luckily, I’ve never had to smuggle books into the house, but I did have to sell my townhouse and buy a much larger house when I ran out of bookcase space.

The Book & The Author:

Lady Victoria Mansfield, youngest daughter of the earl and countess of Fairmount, is destined for a charmed life. Soon she will be presented during the London season, where she can choose a mate worthy of her status.

Yet Tory has a shameful secret—a secret so powerful that, if exposed, it could strip her of her position and disgrace her family forever. Tory’s blood is tainted . . . by magic.

When a shocking accident forces Tory to demonstrate her despised skill, the secret she’s fought so hard to hide is revealed for all to see. She is immediately exiled to Lackland Abbey, a reform school for young men and women in her position. There she will learn to suppress her deplorable talents and maybe, if she’s one of the lucky ones, be able to return to society.

But Tory’s life is about to change forever. All that she’s ever known or considered important will be challenged. What lies ahead is only the beginning of a strange and wonderful journey into a world where destiny and magic come together, where true love and friendship find her, and where courage and strength of character are the only things that determine a young girl’s worth.

About M.J. Putney:

I’ve written lots of romances as Mary Jo Putney. M. J. Putney is my YA alter ego, since I didn’t want the romances confused with my young adult paranormals. Hence, a name different enough to show these are a different kind of book, but similar enough that it’s clear who I am.

For more about M.J., make sure to check out her website HERE. For more about Dark Mirror, check out the official Facebook Fan Page HERE.

The Blog Tour: The official Dark Mirror blog tour continues! Make sure to check out each of the following stops for more from M.J. Putney (and other chances to win the book).

March 1: Culture Mob
March 2: Midnight Blooms
March 4: Eating YA Books
March 5: Green Bean Teen Queen
March 6: Love Romance Passion / Literature Young Adult Fiction
March 7: Words for Teens
March 8: Pure Imagination
March 9: The Story Siren
March 10: My Pal Amy
March 11: YA Bliss
March 12: The Book Smugglers
March 13: Wondrous Reads
March 14: Novel Voice
March 16:

The Giveaway:

Courtesy of the publisher, we have THREE copies of The Dark Mirror up for grabs! The contest is open to participants in the US and Canada only, and will run until Saturday, March 19, 2011 at 11:59 PM (PST). In order to enter, all you have to do is leave a comment here answering the following question: If you could have one magical power, what would it be? Only one entry per person please – multiple entries and/or duplicate comments will be automatically disqualified. Good luck!


Buy the Book:

Ebook available for kindle, nook, sony, and kobo

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  • Quill2006
    March 12, 2011 at 12:18 am

    I would like to be able to fly or teleport. Fly, because honestly, it looks like an enormous amount of fun, and teleport because I might actually be on time regularly if I didn’t have to spend time getting from place to place! Basically, any ability that would allow me to get from where I am to wherever I need to be immediately, with little to no travel required.

  • Tatiana C.
    March 12, 2011 at 12:33 am

    I would love to be able to rewind and speed up time. There are so many embarrassing moments when the ability to rewind time would come in handy.

  • scribe kira
    March 12, 2011 at 12:36 am

    if i had one super power i would have the power to change lives for the better. =o)

  • Meg
    March 12, 2011 at 3:41 am

    I would want the gift of healing physical wounds. Wouldn’t that be so wonderful to be able to heal people when they are hurting? Not to mention, you would never feel (physical) pain yourself!

  • Jaime Callahan
    March 12, 2011 at 4:16 am

    I would want the ability to be in multiple locations at once. I could get so much more done!

  • Charlotte
    March 12, 2011 at 5:04 am

    I think right now I’d like the power to know where lost things are. I’d save so much time!

  • Amanda Isabel
    March 12, 2011 at 7:30 am

    Thanks for the mini interview and the Giveaway! This book looks good, and I can’t wait to read it! If I got to choose a power, I would probably like the power to stop time so that I could have infinite time to finish all these things for school 😐

    Thanks! 🙂

  • heather
    March 12, 2011 at 7:33 am

    i think i’d like be able to teleport. seriously. how cool would that be?

  • Katie
    March 12, 2011 at 7:41 am

    I have always wanted the ability to teleport as a power. I dislike driving and gas is costly! Plus I could go wherever I wanted whenever I wanted.

  • Savs
    March 12, 2011 at 8:49 am

    I second Jaime (comment #5)– I want to be able to have multiple Savs running around sometimes, so I can finish everything that needs to be done.

  • Michelle
    March 12, 2011 at 10:17 am

    I would love a magical green thumb, like Briar Moss in Tamora Pierce’s Circle series.

  • Susan Laura
    March 12, 2011 at 10:48 am

    I have always thought telekinesis would be very handy and helpful. Lately it seems as if the minute I sit down I realize I need something clear across the room!

    Thanks for the giveaway!

  • Hann1bal
    March 12, 2011 at 11:19 am

    One magical ability? I guess I’d go with a magically perfect ability to remember. That would be pretty useful.

  • Courtney
    March 12, 2011 at 11:49 am

    Thats a tough one. I think I would like to either A. be able to read peoples minds or B. be able to fly or C. be invisible.

  • MarieC
    March 12, 2011 at 11:58 am

    Great mini interview! I think I would to control illusions. That way, I could wear my fuzzy slippers instead of heels to work…

    On a side note, is this book set in the same world as her other magic books (‘The Marriage Spell’, ‘Stolen Magic’, etc)?

  • Jen
    March 12, 2011 at 12:11 pm

    One magic ability… Hmm, this is a tough one.

    I guess I would most like to be able to hear what other people are thinking. It would come in so handy sometimes!

  • Book Review: Dark Mirror by M.J. Putney | Jagged Page
    March 12, 2011 at 12:39 pm

    […] Thoughts: Make sure to check out our Blog Tour & Interview with M.J. Putney for a chance to win a copy of Dark […]

  • jenmitch
    March 12, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    hmm. super powers could be a mixed blessing. i think i’d go with a combined super-intelligence + lack of a need to sleep. i’d get infinite things done and be able to help the world, and still have enough time for fun!

  • Maya S
    March 12, 2011 at 2:57 pm

    Teleporting, definitely. Especially if I could take other people with me. It would make my perpetual role as the DD so, so much easier. Also because I absolutely loathe parking, especially in the city.

  • Kerry S.
    March 12, 2011 at 3:39 pm

    This is a tough one — invisibility, flying, mind reading, weather control — they’re all tempting. As another individual who hates dealing with traffic and the search for a parking space, I’m also going to go with teleportation. 🙂

  • Mary Catherine
    March 12, 2011 at 3:49 pm

    Ahh this is a great question! If I could have one magical power I would pick the ability to control the elements. Though I have to admit I like a lot of the other magical powers mentioned, especially teleportation finding a parking spot can be frustrating! 🙂

  • Sandy Jay
    March 12, 2011 at 3:50 pm

    Teleporting would be fun and useful if you could be assured of not ending up trapped in the middle of a tree or a brick wall.

  • Melissa (Books and Things)
    March 12, 2011 at 4:53 pm

    I would defy gravity! 🙂

  • LiLi
    March 12, 2011 at 5:03 pm

    I know this isn’t the most desired of superpowers, but I’ve always had a fascination of being invisible. I don’t necessarily care what that says about me as a person but it’s just a morbid interest that keeps dogging me.

  • Su
    March 12, 2011 at 5:14 pm

    Hmm, I’d have to go with either being able to fly or to be able to speak and understand any language (including to animals).

  • JenM
    March 12, 2011 at 6:40 pm

    I’ve always wanted to have the ability to heal people so that’s the power I would wish for.

  • Victoria Zumbrum
    March 12, 2011 at 6:55 pm

    I would want to have the power to read minds so I would be able to help people. Please enter me in contest. I really want to read this book.

  • Marleen Gagnon
    March 12, 2011 at 7:09 pm

    A magical power-I would like to travel through time. That way I could go back and experience everything I try to write about.

  • Kate & Zena
    March 12, 2011 at 7:21 pm

    If I could only have one super power, it would be the ability to turn invisible! Sometimes I just don’t want to be seen!

  • winnie
    March 12, 2011 at 7:25 pm

    If I could have one magical power, it would be teleportation! Would be convenient to travel in just a blink of an eye!


  • Amy C
    March 12, 2011 at 7:45 pm

    I would love the magical power of time travel. Complicated, naturally, but very, very helpful.

  • Arhcadia
    March 12, 2011 at 7:47 pm

    Hmm, tough question. What about the ability to speak/ read / understand all languages? That would be pretty darn cool and handy!

  • Kate N. (Yzhabella)
    March 12, 2011 at 7:59 pm

    I would like to have precognition! Not very original, but what I wouldn’t give to know next weeks’ lottery numbers!

  • Jen B.
    March 12, 2011 at 8:08 pm

    One magical ability? That’s tough because all abilities come with pitfalls. I guess, if I could control the negatives, I would love to be able to remove pain. It would help so many people.

  • Bethie
    March 12, 2011 at 9:37 pm

    I would love to be able to fly. If not that, then invisibility.
    Thanks for the giveaway.

  • Debbie
    March 12, 2011 at 10:10 pm

    I have given way to much thought to this question over the years and my answer hasn’t changed since junior high. I want to be able to control time.

  • jessica
    March 12, 2011 at 10:40 pm

    I’m not sure–I think I would like to shapeshift.

  • Alex
    March 12, 2011 at 11:52 pm

    My preferred superpower would be to be totally, instinctively skilled in the martial arts (can you tell that Tamora Pierce was highly influential on my fragile teenage psyche?). I’ve always liked the idea of having that much control over my body, and kicking ass (responsibly) would be a definite benefit. Also, I’ve always wanted to learn how to wield a sword.

  • Maureen
    March 13, 2011 at 4:26 am

    I would pick the power to see the future.

  • Audra Holtwick
    March 13, 2011 at 5:14 am

    I would like to control the earth- or weather -I think that would be cool.

  • Priya
    March 13, 2011 at 9:41 am

    I would love to be able to fly- seems like way more fun than driving =]

  • Michelle
    March 13, 2011 at 10:19 am

    For my magical ability, I would love to be able to talk to and to understand animals.

  • CrystalGB
    March 13, 2011 at 11:37 am

    I would love to be able to teleport.

  • CC
    March 13, 2011 at 11:39 am

    If only one I would choose eternal youth.

  • Van P.
    March 13, 2011 at 12:08 pm

    I would want the ability to control time or the weather.

  • Tania
    March 13, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    I would like to be a telepath which is a person who can connect one mind with another and can hear another person thoughts and feelings

  • Anita Yancey
    March 13, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    If I could have one magical power, I would like to fly. Please enter me. Thanks!

  • Isabel Fine
    March 13, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    I would love to fly. I fully intend to be able to do this. If I have to build myself a pair of wings, I will, but having magic would make it so much easier.

  • Jacqueline C.
    March 13, 2011 at 5:42 pm

    I’d want a helpful ability, like healing.

  • Jennifer Jensen
    March 13, 2011 at 6:26 pm

    I’d like to be able to teleport to anywhere in the world. I could go anywhere in the world, and I wouldn’t need a car! Think how good that would be for the environment if we could do that.


  • Josephine
    March 13, 2011 at 6:32 pm

    I would like the ability to know the right thing to say, reading thoughts would also be helpful.

  • Melanie L
    March 13, 2011 at 9:10 pm

    I would want to have the ability to teleport. It would be great to just think of a place anywhere in the world and instantly be there.

  • Rebecca
    March 14, 2011 at 5:33 am

    Time travel…most definately time travel. Controlled time travel, not where I just disappear and reappear like the guy in The Time Traveler’s Wife. But I get to choose exactly when I go and end up.

  • raych
    March 14, 2011 at 7:48 am

    Teleport, for sure. Mostly for those times when you’re in bed and have to shower, but you don’t want to get out to go to the shower.

  • Lexi
    March 14, 2011 at 10:02 am

    I would like to teleport. It would save on 6 hr car trips.

  • curiousnomad
    March 16, 2011 at 3:39 am

    Reading Minds. It’s always good to know what the enemy thinks. evilLaugh

  • soc_puppet
    March 16, 2011 at 10:22 pm

    If I had to choose a magical power, it would be the power to not get burned by hot plates or hot drinks. It seems simple, but very useful for someone who spends a lot of her time in the kitchen and loves tea!

  • Teri C
    March 17, 2011 at 10:44 am

    I would love to magical power to either fly, or to shift form into either a wolf or a hawk.
    The book sounds great I would love to read it.

  • Kaya H
    March 17, 2011 at 10:45 am

    I would love the magical power to make things from nothing. I would love a root beer float right now and then +poof+ it would totally be in my hand 😉

  • Dominique
    March 18, 2011 at 9:35 am

    If I had a magical power it would have to be the power of a Soulfinder like Yelena in Maria Snyder’s awesome series!

  • Pam S (pams00)
    March 18, 2011 at 8:43 pm

    Thanks for sharing the great review. I am curious to see how this one is. Really like her other books. I’d like the ability to time travel at will for my ability please ;).

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