Wrath and Bones
The Marnie Baranuik Files
Publisher: Booktrope Editions
Date of Publication: December 28, 2015
Number of pages: 486
Cover Artist: Greg Simanson
Marnie Baranuik is confident that her new psychic detective agency will be a great success, and she has eight million business cards to prove it. But before the paint even dries on her open for business sign, she’s summoned to face the Demon King Asmodeus in His own playground, the revenant court, home of the undead nobility, to participate in a conclave of the most powerful immortals on Earth.
Orc prophets have forewarned her that danger is looming in the far north. In her most ambitious adventure yet, Marnie must harness her powers, gather trusted friends to wade into battle, and complete an international treasure hunt that would make Indiana Jones break into a cold sweat, before raising a new revenant house to rule from the Unhallowed Throne... and do it all without getting her heart or legs broken. Storms are brewing, threats are piling up, and the stakes are higher than ever, but Marnie is determined to dance with danger to the very end. There’s only one thing left to do: deal with it, Baranuik-Style.
Does anyone know if yetis like take-out? And when you're on a date with a mummy, who picks up the check?
About the Author:
AJ Aalto is an unrepentant liar and a writer of blathering nonsense offset by factual gore. When not working on her horror novels, you can find her singing old Monty Python songs in the shower, eavesdropping on perfect strangers, stalking her eye doctor, or failing at one of her many fruitless hobbies. Generally a fan of anyone with a passion for the ridiculous, she has a particular weak spot for smug, pseudointellectual a**holes and narcissistic jerks; readers will find her work littered with dark, imperfect creatures and flawed monsters.
AJ cannot say no to a Snickers bar, and has been known to swallow her gum.
Where are you from?
I’m from St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada, and I now live in a smaller town nearby called Thorold.
Tell us your latest news.
My fourth book in the Marnie Baranuik Files, Wrath & Bones, was released December 28, 2015, and the third short story in the series, Deadhead, came out December 3, 2015. I’m super excited about it, which is like regular excited, only I’m wearing a cape and a mask.
When and why did you begin writing?
I was thirteen and I was inspired to put myself into the David Eddings series, the Belgariad. I wanted to live in that world so badly. My dad read what I was scribbling and suggested I write my own world instead of borrowing someone else’s ideas.
When did you first consider yourself a writer?
I was on a trip to Cuba and the document we had to sign asked what my occupation was. I wrote “writer” even though my paying job was a bookseller in a big chain. It felt good to write it, though. It affirmed what I felt about myself.
What inspired you to write your first book?
I was writing an epic fantasy that didn’t seem to be going anywhere (in fact, it never did.) and I wanted to take a break to write something light and funny, a book in which the main character could be a lot less heroic and a lot sillier. That book, Touched, was such a relief to write and so much fun that I’ve been mucking around in that same world ever since.
Do you have a specific writing style?
I like to blend goofy slapstick comedy, snark, sex, and horror into a goulash I like to call Kickin’ Ass & Catchin’ Dick.
How did you come up with the title?
I was boning a turkey carcass for soup and I aimed the wishbone at my son (who is relentless with bad jokes and puns) and I warned him he was about to feel my wrath. He joked, “oh no, wrath and bones in the kitchen.” When my eyes lit up, he said, “you just got a kooky writer idea, huh?”
Is there a message in your novel that you want readers to grasp?
My heroine, Marnie Baranuik, is a doofus. She tries hard, fails a lot, wants to run screaming from the monsters, but keeps getting back up and trying again. She surprises herself a lot. I guess my message would be: even reluctant goofs can be heroes.
How much of the book is realistic?
Oh, the science is as real as I can get it, before I start playing around. I’m a biologist, so I can craft things that sound pretty plausible before I unleash a zombie or a goblin or what have you.
Are experiences based on someone you know, or events in your real life?
Well, I am both a scientist and a fuck-up, and I have a foul mouth most days, so you might say my main character is a lot like me. Unfortunately for me, the magic and monsters part isn’t based too closely on my experiences. The embarrassingly clumsy sex might be, though. I’ll never tell.
What books have most influenced your life? David Eddings’ the Belgariad series, Jonathan Kellerman’s Alex Delaware books, and Stephen King’s short stories have all stuck with me pretty strongly. Any story that is heavier on character development than any other creative device has a spot on my night table.
If you had to choose, which writer would you consider a mentor?
Tom Waits, though he’s a songwriter. I just love the way his mind works.
What book are you reading now?
I just picked up Symbiont by Mira Grant and Anywhere But Here by Jason D. Morrow. I haven’t cracked either open yet, because I am currently failing at Sudoku puzzles in the evening. This occupies much of my time.
Are there any new authors that have grasped your interest?
Mira Grant is amazing, and new to me, though she’s been writing for some time. I very much enjoyed Parasite and am looking forward to the next two books in the series. Also, I’m chuckling my way through Larry Weiner’s Island trilogy.
What are your current projects?
I’m currently working on the next book in the Marnie Baranuik series, and a short story that I’m hoping will be available before Christmas 2016.
What would you like my readers to know?
I’m sure it’s been mentioned many times before to your readers, but nothing is more rewarding for a writer than for you to leave an honest review on Amazon or Goodreads, or on your blog. We like to hear from you, what you liked, and what you didn’t like. We like seeing the story through your eyes. Our part, the writing of the story, is only half of the adventure. You, the readers, complete the journey. We can’t do that part. That’s all you. The parts that spoke to you, the parts that ended up too subtle, or too strong, we love to hear that. It’s pretty rare that we can sit down with someone who has read our book and have a chat about how the book turned out in the reader’s head. That’s where reviews help.
Thanks so much for having me! ~AJ
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