Sunday, October 4, 2015

PUYB Virtual Book Club Chats with Martina McAtee, author of 'Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things'

Martina McAtee lives in Jupiter, Florida with her teenage daughter, her best friend, two attack Chihuahua’s and two shady looking cats. By day she is a registered nurse but by night she writes young adult books about reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. When she isn’t working, teaching or writing she's reading or watching shows that involve reapers, zombies, werewolves and other supernatural creatures. Her debut novel Children Shouldn't Play with Dead Things is set to release on August 31st, 2015. She is currently working on the second book in the series, Your Soul to Take, due to release in 2016.
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About the Book:

Title: Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things
Author: Martina McAtee
Publisher: Martina McAtee
Pages: 450
Genre: YA Paranormal Romance

17 year old Ember Denning has made an art of isolating herself. She prefers the dead. She spends her days skipping school in old cemeteries and her nights hiding from her alcoholic father at the funeral home where she works. When her own father dies, Ember learns her whole life is a lie. Standing in the cemetery that’s been her sanctuary, she’s threatened by the most beautiful boy she’s ever seen and rescued by two people who claim to be her family. They say she’s special, that she has a supernatural gift like them…they just don’t know exactly what it is. 

They take her to a small
Florida town, where Ember’s life takes a turn for the weird. She’s living with her reaper cousins, an orphaned werewolf pack, a faery and a human genius. Ember’s powers are growing stronger, morphing into something bigger than anything anybody anticipated. Ember has questions but nobody has answers. Nobody knows what she is. They only know her mysterious magical gift is trying to kill them and that beautiful dangerous boy from the cemetery may be the only thing standing between her and death. 

As Ember’s talents are revealed so are the secrets her father hid and those in power who would seek to destroy her. What’s worse, saving Ember has put her cousins in danger and turned her friend’s lives upside down. Ember must learn to embrace her magic or risk losing the family she’s pieced together.

For More Information

  • Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Thanks for joining us at the book club, Martina!  Can we begin with having you tell us how you got started writing for the young adult paranormal romance market?  Is Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things your first book in that genre?

Martina: Yes, this is my first book in this genre but I’ve always loved young adult paranormal. Some of my earliest memories involve books by R.L. Stine and Christopher Pike. As I got older I moved into the young adult paranormal romances like L.J. Smith’s The Vampire Diaries and The Secret Circle. I really never outgrew young adult books. I still get excited when I see Michelle Hodgkin or Lauren Kate have a book coming out.

Your main character, 17 year old Ember Denning, prefers the dead.  Can you explain why that is?

Martina: She’s never felt like she fit in. She’s pale and has orange hair and violet eyes and people are leery of her. New Orleans is a town steeped in superstition and magic and they recognize something about her is…different. It’s been that way since she was a kid. She’s bullied in school. Her father is a barely functioning alcoholic. As far as Ember knows, all people with a pulse suck. She thinks she prefers the dead because they don’t judge her but, truthfully, she’s drawn to the dead because it’s in her blood. Her family, her real family, are all drawn to the dead and Ember is about to learn why.

The cemetery is Ember’s sanctuary.  Why is that?

Martina: It’s quiet. She feels at peace there. She doesn’t have to feel like an outcast or like she has to constantly be on guard for the next mean comment or snotty remark. She feels strangely connected to the cemetery and the people who are laid to rest there. She’s sort of appointed herself their guardian and she takes care of them.

What kind of special gift does Ember have?

Martina: That is the question, isn’t it? Even they don’t know. Everybody has their suspicions and the people who truly know what she is want to use her for their own personal gain. I can’t tell you exactly what she is, because it’s a bit of a spoiler but I can tell you that her power is like nothing anybody in her family has ever seen and solving the mystery of what she is, may be the key to helping her cousin’s powers evolve as well.

Can you compare your book to anything else out there?

Martina: If I had to compare it to another book series out there, I’d say Jennifer Armentrout’s Lux series due to Jennifer’s humor and her bad boy love interest. But usually when people ask me about the book, I’d say it is similar to shows like The Vampire Diaries and Buffy the Vampire Slayer only with reapers, werewolves, faeries and witches and minus the vampires. In my universe, any monster or mythology is fair game and she who has the most sarcasm wins. Besides, both Buffy and Elena fell for the bad boy and Ember definitely seems to have that in common.

Did you draw on any real life experiences to write this book?

Martina: I would love to say I drew on my real life experiences with my own supernatural powers but, alas, I’m a simple human. The humor in the book is definitely something that translates from my real life. I come from a very sarcastic family and there is some definite bleed through into my characters. Truthfully, I was bullied as a kid and I suppose that feeling of isolation as well as some of Ember’s trust issues come from that.

They say all books of fiction have at least one pivotal point where the reader can’t put the book down.  What’s one of the pivotal points in Children Shouldn’t Play With Dead Things?

Martina: I would have to say the most pivotal part of the book would be Ember and the Belladonna pack’s confrontation with the Grove. The consequences of that confrontation will drive the remainder of the book and it’s the point where most people have told me they just can’t put it down.

What’s next for you, Martina?

Martina: Book two is under way. Hopefully more opportunities to get out and meet my readers and other authors. I’m hoping to get to the Romantic Times Convention next year and a few other conferences. I’m not really sure what else but I’m excited to find out.  


Martina will be giving away a sugar skull coffee mug with Day of the Dead tea and sugar skull shaped sugar cubes!  Enter below!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

1 comment:

  1. I love this writer, have been following her. Can't wait to read future books. Loved Children Shouldn't Play With Dead Things.