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Day 10 of The Hierophant Read-Along! Chapters 39-42, plus a video!

Day 10read along

Welcome to day 10 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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We’re over half way done! Are you caught up?

RECAP: Chapters 39-42!

Chapter 39: Ana is visited by the Devil! (Nikolai) He implies that he knew Ana’s mother; informs her that the Malakiim are responsible for the slaughtering of her clan, the Ouros; and then he shows Ana her future, and it scares the crap out of her. Nikolai offers to help her avoid part of it, if she comes with him, now, to Sheol. Ana refuses. She doesn’t want to Fall. And then she wakes up! Was it a dream?

Chapter 40: Ana is quietly freaking out because the Devil came to her and Trebor is missing and she still hasn’t told Kyla anything and, oh yeah, the spring formal is tonight. Ana’s father gives her the dress her mother wore to a masquerade once, the night she met her father, and Abe might have been a little misty eyed when he handed it over. Ana doesn’t understand how he can still cry over Karanina’s memory when he’s dating someone new?

Chapter 41: Ana recalls in vivid detail the night of her last school dance: homecoming, her freshman year…the night her mother died. She gets on the dance floor with Kyla and realizes how much she’s missed her friend during this whole Sura and magic ordeal, but also during her years of grieving.

Chapter 42: Ana feels eyes on her and decides to step out for some air. She encounters Andy, and he’s acting weird. She goes out to the front of the school and reminisces. Trebor shows up, doesn’t say where he’s been–both of them are too distracted by each other to worry about it. They dance, and it gets intense. Ana admits she’s afraid of what’s happening between them, but she wants to be brave. They’re about to kiss when John Cassidy knocks into them, mocks them, and leaves. Suddenly Trebor gets tense, says he needs to tell her something important ASAP, but he needs to leave right away. They agree to meet in the cemetery at midnight.

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Some fun facts!

-The beginning of Chapter 39 is based on all the creepy things that happen to me when I’m sleeping. No devil visits, but I did read that Ray Bradbury book (Something Wicked This Way Comes) and do have that thought at 3:00 AM; and I totally have had that thought that something is watching me from the doorway, and have to must up all my courage to look (and the door is always closed). I didn’t used to sleep very well, okay?!

-So, remember how my best friend and I used to pretend to worship Satan/S’tan? Well, in 7th grade I read in a book one day that one of the MANY nicknames for the devil was “Old Nick,” and from then on out every boy in our class named Nick we would call Old Nick, and never once explain ourselves. This is literally why I gave the sort-of-Devil in this series the name of Nikolai (Nick just isn’t majestic enough, you know?)

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And now, a video!

(Dear gods, ignore my crazy hair. Focus on the adorable dog on the right side of the screen, instead.)

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That’s all for today! Questions or comments? Predictions about The Tower? Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Be on the lookout for a new video posted tomorrow!




Tomorrow: Chapters 43-47!

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The Hierophant Read-Along: Recap! Chapters 7-10 + the TRUTH about Trebor’s name!

Day 2read along

Welcome to day 2 of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Did you do your assigned reading? :D

Recap! Chapters 7-10

Chapter 7: Kyla gives Ana a tarot reading that indicates Ana needs to stop internalizing everything, and also…some kind of a teacher might be coming to her, as indicated by the Hierophant card.

Chapter 8: Kyla and Ana perform a protection spell around Kyla’s property, to keep the Sura away. It’s a spell Ana’s mother taught her, with words given by her people, the Ouros.

Chapter 9: Ana walks home late and sees a man who might or might not be the same man from the cemetery…but his eyes flash like a cat’s, and he seems like he’s intentionally trying to knock into her. What a jerk! At least he says “sorry.”

Chapter 10: Andy introduces Kyla and Ana to Trebor, the new kid on the block. There is immediate attraction on Ana’s part, even though she tries to talk herself out of it. But Kyla is hoping some kind of romance will spark between Ana and the new kid because they’re both tall (and she wants Ana to get a date for the dance so she doesn’t back out), so she cons Ana into giving Trebor a tarot reading. When Trebor draws a card to represent the querent (himself), he draws the Hierophant.

Some fun facts!

It’s time I told the truth about Trebor’s name. There was an adjunct professor at my university whose first name was Trebor, and I thought it was the most unusual, interesting name, without being too over-the-top cool. He was Swedish, too, so I totally thought it was a Swedish name. But no. Trebor was an artist, prone to whims. His real name was Robert. He just had people call him treboR as an artistic statement. :P

-Williamsville, at least when I was growing up there, really was something like the second safest community in the state, or the country, I can’t remember. But I do remember walking home from a friend’s house well past midnight, many, many times in my youth. If only my parents had known about Sura, I doubt they would have felt so comfortable letting their youngest child walk alone at night! (Not me, though. I’dda been like “come ‘n get me suckas!” But mostly because life was so boring in the second safest community in the state or country or whatever.)

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Sorry, no video today, but you can still chat with me on Twitter! Use hashtag #ArcanaRA to join the conversation and automatically be entered to win some free books, and maybe a pocket tarot deck!

Until tomorrow! (And there’ll be a new video tomorrow, definitely!!)




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The Hierophant Read-Along: Recap! Chapters 1-6…plus a reading!


Day 1read along

Welcome to the first official day of The Hierophant read-along! Check out this post if you don’t know what I’m talking about, and join the conversation on twitter with the hashtag #ArcanaRA :D

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Did you do your assigned reading? Yes or no, it’s okay, because I’m gonna give you a recap!

RECAP: Chapters 1-6

Chapter 1: Ana goes to visit her mother’s grave before school, to tell her mother that she’s been seeing Sura: the demons from the stories her mother used to tell her as a child. While she’s there, she sees a shadowy figure across the cemetery and something happens that literally makes her heart stop–and it seems like all of this happens to the shadowy figure at the same time.

Chapter 2: MEET KYLA! She’s a badass and we love her, and she is Ana’s best friend in the entire universe. Kyla is trying to convince Ana to go to the spring formal dance because Kyla (who skipped 8th grade and is now a year ahead of Ana) is going away to college next year and wants to make the most of her time with Ana between now and then. It takes some effort, since Ana was at homecoming freshman year when she found out her mother had passed away in hospice. But Ana loves Kyla like a sister, and she agrees to go–even though school dances are the last thing on her mind these days.

Chapter 3: This may seem like a throwaway chapter, with nothing in it but a class debate about whether or not fate is real, but Ana’s statements in this chapter bear significant weight when it comes to how Ana gets from the end of The Hierophant to the beginning of The Tower. Just sayin’! Also, we meet Andy, who is a bit of a snake.

Chapter 4: Ana spaces out in class and thinks about her mother’s clan, the Ouros, who were a group of travelers that disowned her mother when she married an outsider. They’ve rejected Ana, too, it would seem, and now there is no one in the world who can answer all her questions about the things she keeps seeing. While she’s spacing out, she looks outside and sees a group of super-creepy Sura standing in the shadows. One of them smiles at her!

Stressed out with no one to turn to, Ana skips lunch and goes to play her violin. That’s the only way she’s been able to diffuse this weird, rushing feeling in her bones that’s been bothering her for a while now…

Chapter 5: Ana…doesn’t really fit in. She’s over six feet tall with bold red hair and everyone knows her as “the girl whose mother died,” among other less savory nicknames. But Kyla is the most popular girl in school, and Kyla loves Ana to death (they’ve been besties since they were babies), so the others try to include her, too.

Chapter 6: Meet Abe, Ana’s adorable, protective, loving, widowed father. <3

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So, there is a lot of important information in the opening chapters and I obviously didn’t list it all in the recap. I’m going to tell you right now from an insider’s perspective what info to keep in mind when you start The Tower:

-The protective stones and coins left on Ana’s mother’s grave after the funeral

-Ana’s rejection of the man AND what happens in the cemetery (she is so not here for this drama)

-Ana and her father’s shared anger management issues

Just some important things to keep in the back of your head!

Some fun facts:

The Hierophant is the first officially young adult book I’ve ever written! I’ve always written about young adults, but I didn’t know there was a whole “genre” for it until I was in college. There were many space operas written in middle school and high school with teenage heroes and heroines, but I don’t know if any of those will ever see the light of day…

The Hierophant is set in the very real Village of Williamsville, in a suburb of the city of Buffalo, New York (yes the one with all the snow and chicken wings). This is where I actually grew up! Ana goes to my actual high school, and [SPOILER ALERT] nearly drowns in the same creek that I used to swim in/jump into fully clothed, on a dare. In fact, everything I mention about the school, the cemetery, the creek–the whole natural setting–is or was at some point actually there. Why did I choose this? Well, because this is a novel that was brewing in my head when I was young enough to frequent those places mentioned. The story just didn’t find its flavor until I was long gone.

-If you have ever wondered: I absolutely am aware that the main character from Fifty Shades of Grey has the same first name as Ana :P THE SIMILARITIES STOP THERE, I PROMISE YOU. (And no, I haven’t read that book, and no, it in no way influenced my naming. The very first draft of this novel was written in 2008, and no names have changed from that version even if everything else has).

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And now, if you’ve read this far, here’s a “treat”: a video of me reading a bit of chapter 1, talking about dead moms, and sharing some personal information about one of the most influential moments of my adolescence. Step into the confessional! (Forgive my gravely voice, I filmed this at 6:30 in the morning.)




That’s all for today! Remember you can chat with me and others on twitter using the hashtag #ArcanaRA. Send me your questions and comments! I wants them all!

Tomorrow: Chapters 7-10!

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Announcing: THE HIEROPHANT Read-Along!


In preparation for The Tower’s release (August 11!), I’ve decided it might be good to have a little refresher for the first book in the series: The Hierophant. Whether you’ve read it before or are reading it for the first time, I invite you to join me in a read-along for the 15 days counting down to the release of The Tower!

How does a read-along work?

I’m glad you asked!

Below, I’ll post the schedule for the “assigned reading” each night. Starting Monday, July 27th, I’ll be posting recaps here on the blog (and possibly recordings/videos of readings by yours truly!) from the previous day’s chapters. I’ll also be dropping some truth bombs about the characters and the writing process for The Hierophant (and some of it might surprise you!).

In addition to that fun stuff, I’ll be doing an ongoing twitter Q&A! Any time you want, use the hashtag #ArcanaRA to discuss or ask questions about The Hierophant and I will be more than happy to answer!

Also, by participating in the #ArcanaRA tag, you’ll automatically be entered to win one of THREE prizes!

1) Signed copies of both The Hierophant AND The Tower

2) Signed copies of The Tower and another novel (your choice!)

3) And the GRAND prize: signed copies of The Tower + any of my other novels, AND a Pocket Rider Waite tarot deck! :D

I’m SUPER excited about this, and only wish I’d thought to do it sooner. I can’t wait to share some of the story behind the story, to chat about favorite characters and scenes (I’ve been so surprised by some of the things people have told me, about how deeply a scene or a line affected them after reading this book, and it made my little heart grow ten times its size! <3), and of course, to give away some free stuff!

The Reading Schedule

It’s a bit of a time crunch (15 days), so we’ll be averaging about 20 pages a day. And remember, feel free to @ me on twitter (@madelineclaire_) or use the read-along hashtag (#ArcanaRA) at any time with questions or comments! I’ll get back to you ASAP :)

Here is the schedule by chapters, beginning on July 26 (I’ll be posting the first recap on MONDAY, July 27!):

7/26 Chapters 1-6

7/27 Chapters 7-10

7/28 Chapters 11-14

7/29 Chapters 15-20

7/30 Chapters 21-24

7/31 Chapters 25-28

8/1 Chapters 29-31

8/2 Chapters 32-34

8/3 Chapters 35-38

8/4 Chapters 39-42

8/5 Chapters 43-47

8/6 Chapters 48-53

8/7 Chapters 54-57

8/8 Chapters 58-59

8/9 Chapters 60-63

8/10 Chapters 64-END

8/11 Happy Book Birthday, The Tower!

Thanks for joining in! See you next week!

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