{Interview/Giveaway} Mary E. Pearson, Author of THE KISS OF DECEPTION

One of my favorite fantasy novels of 2014 is THE KISS OF DECEPTION by Mary E. Pearson, which came out earlier this summer. Today, Mary has stopped by to answer some questions. 

Since today's the 13th, it's also your lucky day! 
No lies! (Or..shall I say...no deception? ^.~)

Today marks the start of Teen Read Week, so to celebrate, Mary is very generously giving away a signed book and a poster!

Check out my review of 


An interview with
Mary E. Pearson

 Mary E. Pearson is the award-winning author of The Remnant Chronicles (Of which THE KISS OF DECEPTION is the first title), The Jenna Fox Chronicles, A ROOM ON LORELEI STREET, SCRIBBLER OF DREAMS, and DAVID V. GOD. She writes full-time from her home office in California where she lives with her husband and two golden retrievers.
Follow Mary on her website, Twitter,  
Pinterest, and Facebook!

I love that the novel begins with Princess Lia receiving her gorgeous wedding kavah. Instead of going the traditional route of having a delicately, elaborately embroidered dress, the special element is visually displayed upon Lia's back in a way that reminds me of the precision of a tattoo with the permanency of henna. Can you talk a little about how you brought this element to life?

I wanted the world of Morrighan to have its own unique laws, religion, and practices, and I drew from many places and cultures. Henna art in particular fascinated me and it’s been used for thousands of years across many cultures and continents, and it’s become popular here in the United States too. Sometimes applying it becomes an event in itself and I was intrigued with the concept of a Mehndi Celebration, where applying the art is a large group celebration with family and friends. But of course I tweaked it a bit for the world of Morrighan. The act of applying her kavah is a solemn ceremony, and the art itself is not entirely decorative but bears witness to the bride’s new allegiance.

One thing I hadn’t planned when Lia got her “kavah” on her back was for part of it to stay.  Henna usually only lasts a few weeks, but in Lia’s case, something went wrong (or right?) and one section refused to be washed away.  That wasn’t just a magical moment for Lia, but for me too, sort of a realization, that this was the beginning of something bigger.

I’ve created a kavah, a design of one way I think Lia’s the claw and vine on her shoulder might look and I will be putting it up on my website in coming weeks. But I say might look because I’ve envisioned it many ways, and eventually I would love to see how readers have imagined it too.

I have some examples of henna art on my Pinterest page and of course a simple google search will produce hundreds of images.

The cover for THE KISS OF DECEPTION is stunning. Did you have any input in the process? What sort of concepts were bounced around before the final work of art was achieved?

I agree.  It is stunning. It is the kind of cover I just want to keep looking at. As for input, at the beginning of the process, my editor and I always kick around ideas of possible key elements, but then we wait to see what initial concepts will look like. Rich Deas is amazing and meticulous.  He reads the books and spends a lot of time trying to come up with just the right image. The first thing I saw was the title graphics that were on the cover of the arc. I am kind of a font geek.  Fonts are really important to me, and I always hold my breath waiting to see them. I sure didn’t need to--his design was so beautifully strong and elegant, I almost wanted to stop right there. As the weeks went by and the arc was out, that feeling grew. I loved its bold simplicity and couldn’t imagine liking anything more. My editor told me of some images they were kicking around but they hadn’t come up with anything that felt completely right yet.

Then on a trip to New York, my editor surprised me with the complete cover image he came up with. I fell in love with it right there. It was so compelling and fit the story so perfectly.  Rich does his homework.  All the elements were there in a beautiful arrangement—a piece of art that also made you wonder, what is going on?

Incidentally, those two tiny figures in the background are not two guys.  The one on the left is male and the one on the right female—Lia’s attendant, Pauline.

Can you talk at all about the direction you're taking the series and what readers can expect as we settle down for the long wait until THE HEART OF BETRAYAL comes out in 2015?

I can give you a few little hints.  Lia crosses into Venda, and discovers that the kingdom of Venda is not quite what she expected.  It’s dangerous, complicated, and requires all of her energy and wit to stay alive—and possibly to keep Kaden and Rafe alive too. Many want to see her dead, but there are a few who are fascinated with the enemy princess who is said to have the gift, and they might be the key to her survival. And then there’s the Komizar . . . . He’s not exactly what she expected either.

Thanks so much, Bonnie, for letting me stop by and chat!

O F F I C I A   I N F O:

Author: Mary E. Pearson
Release Date: July 8, 2014
Publisher: Henry Holt // Macmillan

In a society steeped in tradition, Princess Lia’s life follows a preordained course. As First Daughter, she is expected to have the revered gift of sight—but she doesn’t—and she knows her parents are perpetrating a sham when they arrange her marriage to secure an alliance with a neighboring kingdom—to a prince she has never met.

On the morning of her wedding, Lia flees to a distant village. She settles into a new life, hopeful when two mysterious and handsome strangers arrive—and unaware that one is the jilted prince and the other an assassin sent to kill her. Deception abounds, and Lia finds herself on the brink of unlocking perilous secrets—even as she finds herself falling in love.


Ready to fall in love with
one of my 2014 favorites,

One lucky reader will win a signed copy of THE KISS OF DECEPTION and a poster from Mary E. Pearson!

This giveaway is open to US/CAN, and ends on October 31st at midnight.
...Trick or TREAT!!!

Fill out the Rafflecopter to enter, and make sure to leave Mary some comment-love!

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  1. Hi Mary, thank you for making this a wonderful giveaway! Thanks to the blogger as well.

  2. Awesome interview!! I can't wait to see what you envision this kavah to be like :D The cover if KoD is so beautiful, I LOVE IT :) Thanks for the giveaway!!

  3. Loved this interview with Pearson! I have been so excited to read this book even before it came out. I can't wait to read it! And thank you for the giveaway! :)

  4. Great interview! And am so excited about this giveaway because the book has so many favorable reviews.

  5. Kiss of Deception has the kind of cover that I want to keep looking at too! ;D<3
    Thank you so much for the giveaway Mary! :D

  6. Interesting... so the permanent kavah wasn't always a thing. Hopefully that means that she'll be permanently tied to her princely should-be husband ;D

    Thank you so much, both of you!

    Alyssa @ The Eater of Books!

  7. Absolutely loved this! I loved hearing from Mary! I devoured this book overnight.

  8. I have read so many awesome reviews and interviews, including this one :), and I am salivating over the story! I cannot wait to read this book! Thank you for offering the opportunity to win it!

  9. Such a lovely interview! I cannot wait to read the book, thank you so much for the giveaway!

  10. Brilliant interview!!! I've just begun this book and WOW, just wow. So good. Thank you bunches for the giveaway.


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