Book Review- Anna Dressed In Blood

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Anna Dressed In Blood by Kendare Blake
Published by Tor Teen on October 17, 2011
Genres: Young Adult, Horror, Paranormal, Romance
Pages: 320
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Cas Lowood has inherited an unusual vocation: He kills the dead.

So did his father before him, until he was gruesomely murdered by a ghost he sought to kill. Now, armed with his father’s mysterious and deadly athame, Cas travels the country with his kitchen-witch mother and their spirit-sniffing cat. They follow legends and local lore, destroy the murderous dead, and keep pesky things like the future and friends at bay.

Searching for a ghost the locals call Anna Dressed in Blood, Cas expects the usual: track, hunt, kill. What he finds instead is a girl entangled in curses and rage, a ghost like he’s never faced before. She still wears the dress she wore on the day of her brutal murder in 1958: once white, now stained red and dripping with blood. Since her death, Anna has killed any and every person who has dared to step into the deserted Victorian she used to call home.

Yet she spares Cas’s life.

Anna Dressed in Blood is probably my favorite book ever. There is just something about it that keeps drawing me back… and I have read it more times than I can count. It is exactly what Cassandra Clare’s blurb says: Spellbinding and romantic.

It’s hard to choose one thing to love in the book. That’s mostly because I love everything about it so much. I love how real the story feels and how honest and raw the characters are. It’s almost as if Kendare plucked them out of real life and trapped them in the pages.
The story line keeps me on the edge of my seat no matter how many times I reread it. It’s like I notice a new detail every time, and it just keeps adding to the story.

I love how vividly everything is described. It’s like reading a movie… I can see the scenes unfolding in front of me. I can make out Cas and Thomas and Caramel and Anna and everyone else and all the houses and shops and the school and everything.

One thing I love, perhaps most of all, is how Cas isn’t made out to be some sort of superhero. He is vulnerable and has struggles of his own. He has his weak moments, and has to ask for help sometimes.

I could probably go on all day about Anna Dressed In Blood. And I can’t express enough how much I think everyone in the world should read it because it is just that good. It should be no surprise that I am giving Anna Dressed In Blood five out of five hearts!

♥ ♥ ♥ ♥ ♥

Also, a while back I had the chance to interview Kendare Blake! If you are interested in that, feel free to check it out here!

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The Pixar Book Tag

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I was tagged by Lauren @ Comma Hangover  to do the Pixar Book Tag! I grew up watching Pixar movies, and now that they have such a great bunch of movies lined up to come out, it is only right to participate in the Pixar tag! What better way to celebrate the amazingness?

So, without further ado, lets get down to business:


Toy Story

A book where you wanted the characters to come to life.

Am I allowed to say every great book ever? Cause I want more characters to come to life than people I actually know….

8112318So I decided on the characters from The Candymakers by Wendy Mass. I chose them because (1) that would mean there would be some pretty amazing candy made that just sounds so amazing and (2) there would be no force trying to end the world like in so many of the other books I read. So you go ahead and choose your reason.

Also, I have a feeling that the kids in this book would be pretty fun to hang out with… there would definitely be a lot of laughs and a lot of sugary fun!


A Bugs Life

A character that goes through a transformation.

Considering that in most books a character goes through some kind of transformation, I decided to go with an actual physical transformation… not just a change in personality, outlooks, or attitude.

13589580I am going to go with Brooklyn from What the Spell. In the beginning of the book, Brooklyn turns 16 and is finally allowed to use her powers (ya know, cause she is from a family of witches). So like any 16 year old girl, the first thing she decides to do is completely change her appearance. She goes from a shy mousy girl to a total bombshell overnight, and that is just where the journey begins.

Brooklyn also goes through a bit of a personal transformation, but it is all started by the change in appearance (and the powers obviously, but that’s not the point here).


Monsters Inc.

A strong/scary character that develops a soft side for someone else.

9378297This one was actually pretty easy. I’m going with Cas from Anna Dressed in Blood.

So Cas isn’t a bad character in any way (he’s actually the protagonist), but in the beginning of the book he pushes people away and refuses to get close to them. He just wants to do his ghost killing (sending off?) job and move onto the next one.

Then comes Thomas. And Caramel. And Anna. The rest is history. Cas learns to let people in, and when he does it’s beautiful. So I wouldn’t say that Cas develops a soft side “for someone else” per say, but he does develop a soft side, so that’s good enough for me!


 Finding Nemo

“P. Sherman, 42 Wallaby Way Sydney” A book that has an address or quote that’s burned into your memory forever.

imagesIs it bad that I’m having trouble with this one?

The first thing that came to mind was Harry Potter, because not only is 4 Privet Drive, Surrey an address I will never forget, the books have a lot of great quotes.

One of my absolute favorite quotes comes from Hermione: “Books! And Cleverness! There are far more important things-friendship and bravery…”


The Incredibles

Coolest book family.

Percy-Jackson-The-Lightning-Thief-Original-CoverPercy Jackson. He has quite possibly the coolest family ever.

First of all, his father is POSEIDEN. That is awesome. But that also makes a bunch of the Olympians (and other gods) related to him in some way, and all their kids… which kind of makes the biggest, most powerful extended family of all time.

Oh, and not to mention the monsters. I mean, not all of them are good, but there are a few like his Hell Hound and Tyson the Cyclops. Oh! and don’t forget the horses! And Pegasus (pegasi?). And all the other cool horse things.


Cars 1, 2, and 3

A book that keeps getting sequels you feel are not needed.

10507293For all the great books that don’t get sequels, there are all those books that don’t need sequels and get them anyway.

My choice for this one is The Selection Series by Kiera Cass.

Don’t get me wrong here, because I absolutely loved The Heir (I still haven’t gotten to read The Crown), but the original three books didn’t need a sequel. They ended really well.

That being said, in this instance I am really happy we got more of these books! And the covers… oh the covers!


Ratatouille

A book featuring a non-human/humanoid.

1183379Hmmmmmmmmmm. Now that I’m thinking about it, I haven’t read a lot of non-human/humanoid books lately. That’s pretty sad on my part.

I think I am going to have to go back to my middle school years and say The Warrior Series by Erin Hunter. Or rather, the Warrior Series’ (plural).

These books were my life for years. I had every single one all the way up to the third or fourth series when I started to grow out of them. But man those cats were a lot of fun to read about. They had some amazing adventures in there!


Wall-E

A book that made you lonely.

41zlOSzTsuL__SX331_BO1,204,203,200_For this one I’m going to say Thirteen Reasons Why by Jay  Asher.

This book made me so sad and heartbroken and empty inside. I mean, I did really love the book-it was amazing-but it was so deep and it just made me want to be around all my friends and never let them out of my sight.

I have to admit, the first name that came to mind for this question was Gayle Forman, because her books kind of have that same effect, but I think Jay Asher wins on this one.


Inside Out

Name a book that could be one of your core memories.

*low whistle*

18879761A core memory. That’s a tricky one. There are a lot of really deep books out there (like the above mentioned Thirteen Reasons Why) that could all be core memories just because of how emotionally jarring they  are.

I am going to go with a Gayle Forman book for this one: I Was Here. This book starts out with a suicide, and ends in the most beautiful way possible. It’s definitely a book that is going to stay with me forever, so I guess it could be one of my core memories.


And there you have it! The Pixar book tag!

I’m not going to tag anyone specifically (mostly because I have no idea how many people have already done it), but if you haven’t done it and you want to, then consider yourself tagged and don’t forget to leave me a link so I can see your answers!

The Harry Potter Spells Book Tag

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I saw this tag over on driftinglexi and I knew I wouldn’t be able to resist. It is such a cute tag! Now, I’m not quite sure who originally created the tag, but if you know please let me know in the comments! So now, on to the tag!


Flagrate

A book you found interesting that you would like to rewrite.

This is a pretty hard choice. I’ve read a lot of *ahem* interesting books that I would love to rewrite. I mean, the ideas behind the stories are really good… it’s just not executed well (to the point where I just shake my head and ask the universe “why”).

Quarantine Bk_1 coverI think the winner for me is Quarantine by Lex Thomas. It had such potential. I had such hope. And it just broke my little bookworm heart.

I mean, the synopsis for the book is amazing. A high school becomes a fight-to-the-death arena after a disease wipes out everyone over the age of 18. And nobody can leave because they are Quarantined. How awesome does that sound!? Oh how I would love to rewrite this. Or have Suzanne Collins rewrite it. That would be a masterpiece.



Alohomora

The first book in a series that got you hooked.

Yet another hard one to answer. For this one I am going to have to go with The Lightning Thief by Rick Riordan. 28187

I tore through this series in a week after I read The Lightning Thief. I love Percy Jackson and the world he lives in. The books are fun and easy  to read and just amazing all around.

And don’t get me started on the characters. I love them all so much. Percy and Annabeth and Grover make the most amazing team in the world. And they definitely know how to get out of a sticky situation or two!


Accio

A book you wish you could have right now.

This one was easy. Two books came to mind immediately. Since I already read Beyond the Rising Tide (check out the blog tour review post here) and just really want a hard copy, I’m going to go with Three Dark Crowns by Kendare Blake. 23207027.jpg

Not only do I LOVE the idea behind this book–three sisters who have to fight to the death on their 16th birthday for the title of queen… not to mention the powers they have, or should have–I LOVE KENDARE BLAKE!

I probably have said this a million times to anyone who will listen. I can’t help it. Her writing is just amazing. Oh, and I got to interview her, which you can see here. Totally fangirling right now. I just really want this book. I need this book.


Avada Kadavra

A killer book.

Not sure if this was supposed to mean killer in a good way or in a bad way, but I’m going with the good way. A killer book that was amazing. Now to choose one…9378297

I’m going to have to go with another Kendare Blake book: Anna Dressed in blood!

This is one of my favorite books ever. Anna is a ghost who can’t help but kill anyone who steps inside her house… until Cas. Cas is a ghost hunter who wants nothing more than to avenge the death of his father, who died on the job. The result is a KILLER book that I have read way too many times and will never stop rereading because it is that amazing. And I can’t forget about Thomas and Caramel. Gotta love them.


Confundo

A book you find confusing.

There are a lot of pretty confusing books out there, but Asylum by Madeline Roux takes the cake. I’m not saying it was a bad book, because it wasn’t, but it was pretty confusing.13597728

The story line itself isn’t the problem here. It was pretty clear until about half way through. Then all this weird confusing stuff started getting added… reincarnation or rebirth or something. I still don’t quite understand it.

By the time I finished the book I was completely lost. It was one of those moments where you squint your eyes at the universe and just go “whaa?”. Or at least that’s what I do when I’m totally confused. You know what I’m talking about, right? Please tell me I’m not the only one who does this.


Expecto Patronum

Your spirit animal book.

Umm. Umm. Let me think about that. See, if the question was “what is your spirit animal” I would be able to answer no problem (a leopard). But my spirit animal book is a totally different question. 8835379

I think for this one I’m going to say Ruby Red by Kirsten Gier. Now, I’m not choosing this book because I am a spontaneous time traveler (I wish), but rather because Gwen, the main character, is thrust into this new life over night.

I kind of relate to that, seeing as I’ve moved more times that I can remember. I guess at this point I’m used to new situations, but I could totally relate with Gwen. Oh, and if I were Gwen I probably would have done exactly what she did, so as far as I’m concerned she is my fictitious twin sister. Oh, and if you feel like reading my review of Ruby Red you can do so here.


Sectumsempra

A dark, twisted book.

I’m gonna go ahead an be honest here in saying that I haven’t really read a lot of dark and twisty books. I’m more of a dark and twisty movie type. That being said, I still have to choose one, so don’t laugh when my dark and twisty book looks like rainbows and butterflies next to the first one that comes to your mind. 18805623

I’m going to pick The Tenderness of Thieves by Donna Freitas. Its not that this book was super dark or mysterious or anything, but it did have that sort of undertone.

Jane, the main character, had been held hostage during a burglary before the book began. Throughout the book she deals with the after effects of the traumatic experience as the police try to figure out who was behind it. You can read my review of the book here.

So what do you think. Dark and twisty enough for you?


Apparecium

A book that surprised you in a great way.

Definitely without a doubt The Duff by Kody Keplinger.6931356

I watched the movie before I read the book. There. I said it. I actually did like the movie; it was cute and funny and left me warm and fuzzy inside. But believe me when I say THE BOOK IS SO MUCH BETTER!!! Like a million gazillion times better.

The movie was just a super watered down version of the book. The book was emotional and heartbreaking and hot and beautiful. The characters are so real, and the emotions are spot on. I wish every high school book was as good as this one.


So those are my answers for the Harry Potter Spell tag. Do you agree with my choices? What books would you pick?

I am going to tag:

If you do this tag, let me know! I’d love to see your answers!

Your Bookish Identity Tag

 

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This tag was created by Katytastic, Little Book Owl, and Benjaminoftomes; three pretty awesome booktubers. The idea behind this tag is to answer a few questions relating to popular book series, and seeing where you fit into their worlds. I decided to do it because it sounds like a lot of fun!

Here are the questions:

  1. What dystopian/fantastical world would you live in?
  2. Who would your partner be?
  3. Who would your godly mother/father be? [Percy Jackson]
  4. Would you be a downworlder or nephilim? [The Mortal Instruments]
  5. What house would you be in? [Harry Potter]
  6. What faction would you be in? [Divergent]
  7. What would be your daemon? [Golden Compass]

Let’s do this!

What dystopian/fantastical world would you live in?

They all have their ups and downs, but I think I’m going to go with the Harry Potter world. Magic, castles, quittage, and butter beer. What could be more fun?hogwarts-school

Who would your partner be?

I’m not sure if they mean partner in crime or romantic partner… so I’ll do one of each. My partner in crime would be Anna from Anna Dressed in Blood (assuming she doesn’t kill me, of course) . Nobody is messing with that girl.

Choosing a romantic partner is a bit (okay, a whole lot) harder. Percy Jackson or Cas (Anna Dressed in Blood) are my top two choices. They are both pretty awesome.

 Who would your godly mother/father be?

Either Aries or Zeus. Aries because his children are competitive and quick tempered, and Zeus because I’m not afraid of heights and can be pretty bossy at times (according to my brothers, that is).

Would you be a downworlder or nephilim?

Hmmm. Probably a nephilim. I could see myself as a shadow hunter. But if I were a downworlder I would most definitely be a vampire.

What house would you be in?

According to the Buzzfeed quiz I am a Gryffindor, which I’m totally okay with. Here is Buzzfeed’s description of a Gryffindor:

You have the heart of a lion. You never give up, never back down and give everything 100%. Good things happen to you because you fight for them. You stand up for yourself and for your friends because you believe in what is right. Your energy is magnetic and makes you a natural leader.

 

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What faction would you be in?

I did the Buzzfeed quiz for this one as well. I got Erudite, which surprised me a little. I always thought I was more Dauntless… oh well. Here is what Buzzfeed had to say about the Erudite:

Erudite is the faction dedicated to astuteness, curiosity, and intelligence. They are in constant pursuit of knowledge and they can be found with a book in hand at any given moment. They’re power-hungry and thirsty for authority, often sacrificing themselves into moral corruption. Their attire consists of blue, glasses (no matter how perfect their vision), and their substance in the Choosing Ceremony is water.

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What would be your daemon?

This one was an easy pick. My daemon would definitely be a snow leopard. They are beautiful, strong, and fierce. The perfect companion (for me at least!)leopard_snow_01

 

What is your bookish identity? If you do the tag (or have done it) leave the link below so I can read it!!

 

Book to Movie Wishlist Tag

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I saw the Book to Movie Wishlist tag over on twistinthetaile and immediately knew I had to do it! There are so many great books that I would love to see turned into movies.

The rules of this tag are simple: list 5 books that you would like to see turned into a movie. So without further ado, lets begin!

1. Those Girls by Lauren Saft

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I think Those Girls would be an amazing movie. There is so much drama, revenge plotting, and emotions that it would keep audiences transfixed until the end. Also, all the characters are so realistic that bringing them to life would be amazing.

2. Anna Dressed in Blood by Kendare Blake

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Anna Dressed in Blood would be one of the most amazing horror movies ever. Seeing Cas, Anna, and the rest of the crew on screen would be magical. I feel like the movie could be a disaster if it were made poorly (just like any great book turned movie), but with the right crew and cast, it would be amazing.

3. Unraveling by Elizabeth Norris

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Unraveling might just be my all time favorite book, so turning it into a movie is definitely a dream of mine. Janelle and Ben would kick some serious behind in this fast paced action/sci fi movie. I’m certainly keeping my fingers crossed for this one.

4. The Selection by Kiera Cass

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Actually, I think the whole Selection series would make an amazing movie series. The reality TV style setting of the books would translate over very well to a movie (in my opinion, of course). The characters are all so well created that bringing the to life is not hard to imagine. I really would love to see this one happen!

5. I Am The Weapon by Allen Zadoff

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There is so much action, mystery, and excitement in I Am The Weapon that it is hard not to want to see it as a movie. I kind of imagine Boy Nobody as a cross between Ethan Hunt and Jason Bourne. This is another one I will definitely keep my fingers crossed for.

So what do you think of my list? What books would you like to see as movies? Let me know in the comments below! Also, if you decided to do this tag on your blog, leave me a link so I can check it out!

Creatures of the Night Book Tag

 

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Being a lover of all things supernatural, doing this tag was a no brainer. I originally saw it over on Dreamland Book Blog , but it started on Katytastic’s booktube channel. You can see the video here.

The challenge of the tag is to pick books containing different types of creatures of the night. The creatures are: vampires, werewolves, ghosts, witches, fairies, demons, angels,  and super humans. Here we go!

Vampires

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Vampires and pirates. Vampirates.The whole series was amazing, and a whole lot of fun to read. Twins Conner and Grace are picked up by different pirate ships, and have incredible adventures. The vampires in this book were terrifying and mystifying at the same time. They are definitely my favorite vampire books.

Werewolves

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Picking a book about werewolves was a tough one for me, mostly because of all the creatures of the night, werewolves are one of my least favorite. My older brother actually recommended I read this book, and it surprised me. I actually enjoyed it. Dreama (Dree for short) is a very interesting character, and was a lot of fun to read about.

Ghosts

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Anna Dressed in Blood was an easy choice. I don’t think I’ve ever read a ghost book quite like it, and probably never will. It is definitely my favorite. There is something about it that keeps me coming back to read it again and again and again (it also doesn’t hurt that it’s printed in red ink!).

Witches

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Yes, Brooklyn is (very) self-obsessed, but if you finally inherited powers that let you do almost anything (including giving yourself a total makeover), wouldn’t you be? The book was very entertaining, and though it wasn’t (anywhere close to) as good as the Harry Potter books, I picked it because it was fresh and a fun read.

Fairies

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Is there really any other choice? I grew up reading Grimm’s Fairy tales, and it will forever be my favorite fairy tale book. They are all so well writer, and even though many are similar, they all have elements that make them unique and enjoyable.

Demons

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Of all the books with demons, I picked City of Bones. I thought the book was original and fun to read. I also did really like the movie (despite the bad reviews it received). The world that Cassandra Clare created is realistic and believable, and her characters are pretty awesome, too.

Angels

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I’m not really sure that Max and her gang qualify as angels, but I’m going to go with it (especially because the first book is called The Angel Experiment). These books are action packed and kept me on the edge of my seat. Every book was as exciting as the last, and I definitely read them all more than once.

Super Humans

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Demi-gods count as super humans, right? The Percy Jackson series (and Heroes of Olympus series) are some of my all time favorite books, and this list wouldn’t be complete without them. Percy, Annabeth, and Grover are as entertaining as they are kickass. My childhood would have been so much different without them.

 

So that’s my list! Anyone who decides to do the tag (or has already done it), feel free to leave a link in the comments! I would love to read it! What are your favorite books featuring creatures of the night?

Author Q&A- Kendare Blake

Today I had the honor of interviewing one of my favorite authors; Kendare Blake! When she agreed to let me interview her, I screamed with excitement. My brothers thought I was crazy (just kidding, they love Kendare too). She is the author of several amazing books, including Anna Dressed in blood, which I must have read at least ten times. But in all honestly, everything she writes is amazing.

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Q: How long have you been writing? Why did you start?

A: I’ve been writing with the hope of publication since I was about…twelve. I loved books so much, and really wanted to tell stories. The first book I wrote was about wild horses. Of course it was crap. I wrote several more crappy books after that before I found a good one.

 

Q: What inspires you to write? Do you have a muse?

A: Different things inspire me with every story. I never know where inspiration is going to come from. There are things I’m intensely interested in that never spark-off anything original. And there are things that I only notice in passing that end up spinning into the next thing I work on.

 

Q: What was the first novel you wrote? What inspired it?

A: I already talked a little about those wild horses, so I’ll talk instead about the first novel that was published: Sleepwalk Society. It’s a coming-of-age college story about three best friends and how they and their relationship changes after high school. Since I wrote it when I was going through a similar time, I imagine that’s what inspired it. Lots of confusion about the future and the desire to work it out on paper.

 

Q: If you could give advice to yourself before you became a published author, what would it be?

A: Don’t be hasty. When you’re trying to “break in” everything feels like a race. Like someone will beat you and take your place but that’s not true. Do good, thoughtful work, and do not waste time on anything you do not want to be writing.

 

Q: What is your favorite book? Why?

A: Can’t possibly answer this. Too many favorites. My favorite coming out soon is April Genevieve Tucholke’s WINK POPPY MIDNIGHT. Favorite recent horror is Joe Hill’s NOS4A2. Favorite classic…. today I’ll say Jane Eyre. I just read The Sad and Beautiful Sorrows of Ava Lavender by Leslye Walton and that was great. Read I’m most looking forward to: The Festival of Insignificance by Milan Kundera.

 

Q: If you could spend one day inside one of your books, which one would it be?

A: None of them! They’re fairly brutal places, and I’d probably get insta-killed. Plus, I spend so much time in them already, on the page and in my head, I feel like I practically live there.

 

Q: You have written books in several genres, including horror, contemporary, and mythology. Which is your favorite to write? Which is the hardest?

A: Still can’t pick a favorite. I love them all. The only genres I don’t think I’ll ever write are hard sci-fi (too lazy for the research) and mystery (not tricksy enough). So far, my fantasy book has been the hardest, but I probably only think that because I’m working on it right now. Everything seems easy in hindsight.

 

Q: What are some of your favorite things outside of writing?

A: Animals. Food. I like going to museums and learning new things, learning about wine and beer at tastings, learning about cheese in cheese flight tasting, hiking, playing bad tennis, seeing films and of course reading, reading, reading.

 

Q: What bad habits do you have that you want to get rid of?

A: None, actually. I like my bad habits. I embrace my bad habits.

 

Q: What is one thing you want the world to know about you?

A: Not anything in particular. Just what they can learn by reading my fiction. The work is what matters.

You can find Kendare Blake online:

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