Best I've Read 2011 Guest Post & Giveaway: Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton

Day #4 is here and it brings a focus on Blood Magic by Tessa Gratton. Tessa was kind enough to write up a guest post for us and her publisher is providing a copy of the book for one of our readers to win. Reading Lark would like to thank both Tessa and Random House for their participation in BIR2011. Be sure to check out my review of Blood Magic.


I imagined a mask settled against my skin: brilliant yellow and blue, with gold glitter sprinkled everywhere and cheerful pink flowers at the corners of the wide smile.

Silla, the heroine of BLOOD MAGIC, is an actress. She identifies herself that way, and it’s her goal in life to act on Broadway. Her favorite thing is to lose herself in a role, to use words and costumes to become another person. When she loses everything, and grief becomes her reality, she finds comfort in the great symbol of theater: the mask.

When she needs to put on a smile, she imagines a happy mask on her face to hide behind. She has masks for calm, masks for confrontation, masks for sorrow. Before going into a situation where she feels uncomfortable, Silla pulls one of them out of her imagination and settles it over her face.

It needed to be fierce and dramatic: a black shimmer with red lips and a thick red slash across the eyes. It fit over my face like a second skin.

The first draft of BLOOD MAGIC, way back when, was called Masquerade. It was only a temporary title, but it fit the themes to me: hiding who you really are, and not knowing you who want to be, body-snatching, and theater. It was important to me to give Silla a dramatic way of relating to the theme of masks, and I know that especially when I was younger I used to think of having different faces that I showed the world for different occasions. With my friends I was one person, with my teacher another, and with my parents yet another Tessa. It wasn’t difficult to jump from that to Silla’s imaginary, decorative masks.

She took it to a new extreme, because she needed extreme in her situation. And part of her character arc throughout the novel is learning to make those masks more a part of her – to become who she’s trying to be. Which is one of the hardest things any of us ever has to do. I won’t give it away, but the moment when Silla brings her masks and her magic together in order to defeat the villain is one of my favorite moments in the whole book.

I found a mask for courage: a red dragon-face, long and snarling.

Thanks for having me!


Giveaway Time! One lucky Reading Lark winner will snag a copy of Blood Magic.

* You must be 13+ years old
* You must fill out the Blood Magic Giveaway Form
* You don't have to be a Reading Lark follower to win, but we'd really appreciate it if you were :)
* The giveaway is open to US residents only
* No PO Boxes allowed
* Leaving a comment on this post will earn you +3 entries into the giveaway

The winner will be chosen using The contest runs from December 14-20.


  1. I love the idea that Silla has different masks for the different emotions that she is feeling. Blood Magic sounds intriguing. Thanks for the chance to win!

  2. I've heard some wonderful things about BLOOD MAGIC but haven't had the opportunity to read it. Thanks for the giveaway!

  3. Excellent guest post. I can see how Masquerade could be the same title, probably more befitting than Blood Magic. But it still works.

  4. Great post, love the masks. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. The cover is gorgeous! I love the premise of this book because we all know what it's like to have to "put on a face" when we can't make ourselves feel what we're supposed to be feeling. Thank you for the giveaway! :)

  6. I've read several reviews on this one. It sounds like a really good read. Thanks for the opportunity to win this one.

  7. Thanks so much for this giveaway! I love the cover!

  8. Thanks for this amazing giveaway! This book looks great and I would love to win!

    susanw28 (at) mindspring (dot) com

  9. I like the new title better than Masquerade - so many have already used that one ;-) The cover is dazzling! And the story sounds engrossing, I cannot wait...I hope I win (selfishly, lol).
    Thank you for the giveaway chance!

    Gena Robertson

  10. I love the book cover! Its sounds like a great story to read as well.Thanks for the giveaway!

  11. This books sounds awesome, I've added it to my TBR list. I also love the explanation of the masks. :) Thanks so much for the giveaway.

  12. I adore Tessa Gratton and would love to win this book. Thanks for the contest.:)

  13. I have been wanting to read this book for quite a long while now. I read the sample on my Nook and it was great. I love the masks for different emotions that is a great and unique way of expressing how you feel that's really cool.

  14. Thank you for the guest post! I've had this book on my "to read" list for a while, it's sounds so unique and interesting. Thank you for the chance to win!

  15. I'd only come across this book recently and it sounds very interesting. And, of course, I love the cover art. :)

    Thank you for the giveaway!


  16. I've heard a lot of great things about BLOOD MAGIC! I hope it lives up to my expectations! :) Thanks for the giveaway!

  17. Thanks for the giveaway! beofgoodcheer85(at)yahoo(dot)com

  18. Thanks! the cover looks cool!:)

  19. Thanks for the awesome giveaway! I love the cover of the book and the book itself sounds awesome!

    Chen Chang

  20. This book sounds really interesting! Thanks for the giveaway!

    -Sophia L.

  21. The cover looks beautiful and intriguing

  22. Oh my goodness, I've been stalking this book since before it came out and have been dying to get my hands on a copy and just absolutely devour it in one sitting because I know it will be THAT GOOD. Oh, so good. I've read a lot of the short stories that Tessa has posted over at the blog on livejournal and it's just wonderful, so I know without a doubt that this book is going to be just as captivating and intriguing.

    Thank you, so much for the generous giveaway and I hope you all have a Happy Christmas!!!

    Suz @ A Soul Unsung


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