Thursday, September 20, 2018

Blog Tour and GIVEAWAY: A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney

TITLE: A Blade So Black
AUTHOR: L.L. McKinney
PUBLISH DATE:  September 25th 2018
PUBLISHER: Imprint (Macmillan)
The first time the Nightmares came, it nearly cost Alice her life. Now she's trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland with magic weapons and hardcore fighting skills. Yet even warriors have a curfew.
Life in real-world Atlanta isn't always so simple, as Alice juggles an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA. Keeping the nightmares at bay is turning into a full-time job. But when Alice's handsome and mysterious mentor is poisoned, she has to find the antidote by venturing deeper into Wonderland than she’s ever gone before. And she'll need to use everything she's learned in both worlds to keep from losing her head . . . literally.


Click on the "Read More" arrow for an EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW with author L.L. Kinney and a chance to win a copy of the book!

Leatrice "Elle" McKinney, writing as L.L. McKinney, is a poet and active member of the kidlit community. She’s an advocate for equality and inclusion in publishing, and the creator of the hashtag #WhatWoCWritersHear. She’s spent time in the slush by serving as a reader for agents and participating as a judge in various online writing contests.
Elle's also a gamer, Blerd, and adamant Hei Hei stan, living in Kansas, surrounded by more nieces and nephews than she knows what to do with. Aside from rockin' the Favorite Aunt thing, she spends her free time plagued by her cat--Sir Chester Fluffmire Boopsnoot Purrington Wigglebottom Flooferson III, esquire, Baron o'Butterscotch or #SirChester for short--or defending the realm from the enemies of Azeroth. FOR THE HORDE!

Author website:

How did you come up with the idea for A Blade So Black? Okay, so lots of people say “it came to me in a dream,” or “it’s the book of my heart I’ve been working on for years.” No me. I’m kinda boring in comparison. So, I’m sitting on my mom’s couch, watching a rerun of Supernatural. There are vampires involved and I think Dean--if I’m remembering correctly--makes a Buffy reference. Well, earlier that day I’d read that they were about to start production for a live action Alice in Wonderland, the Tim Burton one. Right at that moment my brain remembers that bit about live action Alice and marries it to what I’m seeing on screen, the Winchesters kicking vampire butt. So then my brain goes “huh...wouldn’t it be cool if live action Alice was kinda like this.” So I wrote out a fight scene of her against some monster. I like it, and kept going. Boom, start of the story.

Current events and fantasy are mixed so well in this novel. Can you talk about your process for writing these two things side by side? Was it had to do? Fear and trauma and loss are themes in this story, and in interrogating this idea of Nightmares as physical manifestations of humanities fears, I wondered what fears my community, the Black community, faced that no other community had to, and what that would look like in a world where fear took shape. Like you could see it, touch it, and it could try and rip your head off. There are serious issues my people face, one of them being killed by the police for practically nothing. People become hashtags, and that stuff has an effect on the community as a whole. We mourn as a whole. We are fearful as a whole. That much fear is bound to do some things to a place composed of dreams, right? As far as how the Nightmares affect the real world in turn, well...that almost wrote itself. Fear is a powerful force.

Which character in either Alice in Wonderland or in A Black So Black is most like you? Why? Alice, definitely. She’s a nerd! I was, and still am, a huge nerd. She likes the things I like, anime, rock music, gaming, cosplay, she wants to be a superhero and actually gets to be one! She has to deal with some heavy stuff that not only affects her but those around her, she makes mistakes, she learns, she cries, she’s human. She’s not ALL me, but I see myself in her the most out of any of them.

Is the Looking Glass pub based on a real place? It’s based off of several places that I’ve pieced together into a structure in my head. The street it’s on, the way it looks from the outside, the parking lot, the bar, the labyrinth of halls, the various rooms, they’re all cut from different places and frankensteined into this one.

What do you plan to do on the publication date? PARTY! Seriously, I’m throwing a bash called the Turn Up Tea Party! Featuring the Mad Hatter’s masquerade. There will be a costume contests, games, prizes, cake, ice cream, “tea” for those 21 and up. There will also be a chance to purchase the book and have it signed, and a dance party to end the night! I’m too excited. But during all of this, there’s also online shenanigans for anyone who can’t attend the party in person. It’ll all take place on the #TurnUpTeaParty hashtag. Information for that and everything else can be found on my website!

Thank you to Aimee, Always for organizing this blog tour. Check out the rest of the stops below:



Justine - Bookish Wisps





Lara - Bellibone


Karlita - Tale Out Loud


Jacquie - Rattle the Stars



Angel - Avid Reader

And, finally, the part you've been waiting for.....

One finished copy of A BLADE SO BLACK (US only)
 a Rafflecopter giveaway
(If that doesn't work, here is the direct link:

Thank you for stopping by!

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