The time it was about The Shadow Queen

Posted February 8, 2016 by Stacee in Blog Tours, Giveaways, Interviews | 19 Comments

I’ve loved CJ’s books from the beginning.  I adore her Defiance trilogy, so I was beyond excited to read The Shadow Queen, which is the start of her new series.  I couldn’t wait to see what CJ was going to do with fairy tales. Of course I signed up for the blog tour as soon as I possibly could.

The Shadow Queen

Before we get to CJ’s interview, let’s check out the book, shall we?

5Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. To do that, Lorelai needs to use the one weapon she and Queen Irina have in common—magic. She’ll have to be stronger, faster, and more powerful than Irina, the most dangerous sorceress Ravenspire has ever seen.

In the neighboring kingdom of Eldr, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed by an invading army of magic-wielding ogres, the second-born prince is suddenly given the responsibility of saving his kingdom. To do that, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

But Lorelai is nothing like Kol expected—beautiful, fierce, and unstoppable—and despite dark magic, Lorelai is drawn in by the passionate and troubled king. Fighting to stay one step ahead of the dragon huntsman—who she likes far more than she should—Lorelai does everything in her power to ruin the wicked queen. But Irina isn’t going down without a fight, and her final move may cost the princess the one thing she still has left to lose.

Sounds good, right?


1. Give the elevator pitch for The Shadow Queen.

A dark epic fantasy inspired by the Snow White fairy tale in which a fugitive princess tries to take down the most powerful sorceress the kingdom of Ravenspire has ever known while staying one step ahead of the dragon-shapeshifter prince who is contracted to rip out her heart.

2. Where did the idea come from?

It happened in the car ride home from watching Snow White and the Huntsman. I was ranting about how disappointed I was that the queen wasn’t fleshed out with backstory and how upset I was to have Snow White be an insipid, nearly voiceless girl until she dies and somehow channels Joan of Arc upon her resurrection. I saw the potential for the story to be an epic showdown between two equally powerful female characters, and the more I talked about it, the more it came to life in my head, until I knew I had to write it. (Also my hubby finally looked at me and said, “If you think you can do better, then write it.” So I did.)

3. Why do you love Lorelai and Kol and why should we root for them?

Lorelai is the most heroic character I’ve ever written. She’s so desperately determined to save her kingdom, even if it means sacrificing herself. The cost is incredibly high, and I think readers will root for her because they know that she’ll find a way to pay that cost, and because they’re going to want her to take down Queen Irina.

Kol stole my heart from his very first scene (where he’s throwing a party in the palace cellar to mark his third expulsion from Eiler’s Military Academy). He’s a playboy prankster on the outside but inwardly he longs for his father’s approval—something he thinks is beyond his reach because he can’t live up to the example of his oh-so-perfect older brother. When he is thrust into the kingship, he discovers that, much like Lorelai, he is willing to sacrifice himself if it means his people will be saved. He makes a desperate deal with Queen Irina, and readers are going to want him to find a way to outwit her and team up with Lorelai instead because Kol needs and deserves a win. (Also it would be great if he didn’t have to tear out Lorelai’s heart as the Queen has ordered …)

4. You wrote the book in two POVs {yay!!}. Who was easier to work with?

Kol! There’s actually a few scenes in there from Irina as well, but still Kol was the easiest. He just instantly appeared in my head—his voice, his mannerisms, his strengths and flaws. Lorelai took three full drafts before I figured her out.

5. Without spoilers, what scene was your favorite to write?

Wow, this is a hard question. I have several faves, but for different reasons. I think the one that came the easiest and remained pretty much unchanged in every draft of the story is the scene when Lorelai breaks her guardian’s rules in order to save him and ends up doing the one thing she’d been trying to avoid—giving the queen her exact location.

Speed [ish] round:

1. You get the call/email/letter that says you’re being published for the first time. Describe the next 5 minutes.

Tears. I’d spent over two years with my agent and submitted three different books. I’d been told no by everyone and their dog. When I submitted Defiance, I figured I’d get another round of NO, and was already braced for it. So when my agent called to tell me that we had multiple offers, I put my head down on my desk and just cried.

2. What three things would you take to a desert island?

A buffet table that always restocked itself each night while I slept, a bag of personal hygiene items because really, and a shelf full of books with Benedict Cumberbatch there to read them aloud.

3. You can only read one book for the rest of your life. What is it?

The Bible

4. Who is your favorite book boyfriend and book BFF?

Aah, you want me to CHOOSE? Fine. Book Boyfriend=Aragorn and book BFF=Anne Shirley.

5. What is the one thing about publishing you wish someone would have told you?

That it doesn’t get any easier once you finally get a book contract. In many ways, it gets harder.

6. You wake up and discover you are Bella in Twilight. You know how it plays out. What do you do differently. {Huge thanks to Bookish Broads for letting me use this question!}

Date Jacob!


cjredwine3.mdC.J. Redwine loves fairy tales, Harry Potter, and Sherlock. She is the author of the Defiance trilogy, a post-apocalyptic fantasy from Balzer + Bray. C.J. lives in Nashville with her husband and children.

If the novel writing gig ever falls through, she’ll join the Avengers and wear a cape to work every day.


The Shadow Queen comes out February 16th. You can pre-order it: HarperCollins | Indiebound | Barnes & Noble | Amazon

Huge thanks to the ladies at Rockstar Book Tours for the invite and to CJ for taking the time.  Make sure you’re checking out CJ’s website, following her on Twitter, liking her Facebook page, and adding all of her books to your Goodreads TBR shelf.

Definitely check out the rest of the tour stops for extra goodies and check out the awesome giveaway below.

**Good Luck!!**

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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19 responses to “The time it was about The Shadow Queen

  1. C.J. is so fabulous! Reading this interview makes me even more excited for “The Shadow Queen”‘ to come out, and I wish it was the 16th already! This was such a wonderful author interview, and I can’t wait to meet C.J.’s new characters, especially Kol…

  2. danielle hammelef

    I love how the idea came to you for this book! The cover is so attractive and draws me in. I’m so excited about these characters and can’t wait to read your book. On a personal note–I also think that I can read and reread the Bible and always find something new.

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