Thursday, December 8

Behind the Scenes of Eden's Escape by M. Tara Crowl (with Giveaway!)

Another guest post today! So excited: we get to hear from M. Tara Crowl, author of the Eden of the Lamp series. Let's kick things off with some book blurbs, and then we'll hear from Ms. Crowl herself about the inspiration for the newest in the series, Eden's Escape. Also? A giveaway!! See below to enter for a signed copy of the book!


Eden’s Wish
(Eden of the Lamp #1)
By M. Tara Crowl
From Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 1, 2015
Ages 9-12

All twelve years of Eden's life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.

When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won't be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth's pleasures—but quickly learns that this world isn't as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power—even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp's magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.

Find at your library / Goodreads / Amazon

Eden’s Escape
(Eden of the Lamp #2)
By M. Tara Crowl
From Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: September 6, 2016
Ages 9-12

Eden's new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who's also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting—only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world's leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp's power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly's plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris—home to Electra's headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

Find at your library / Goodreads / Amazon


"Crowl's imaginative storyline rings with both perception and humor."
―Kirkus Reviews

"Middle grade readers will enjoy the children's autonomy and Eden's humorous difficulties in grasping how school works...Hand this to readers who like their magical fantasy combined with middle school drama."
―School Library Journal

"An imaginative romp with a smart, snarky protagonist and a humorous interpretation of the world as we know it...[Eden] is also just plain entertaining, with a sassy attitude and a clever wit that saves her on more than one occasion."

M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City. Find her on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, or on her Website


I’ve written two books for middle-grade readers: Eden’s Wish and Eden’s Escape. Eden’s Wish was released by Disney-Hyperion in September 2015, and its sequel, Eden’s Escape, was released in September of this year. Both books are about Eden, a twelve-year-old genie who wants to live on Earth like a regular girl. In Eden’s Wish, she escapes her lamp and surfaces on the beach in California. There, she makes friends with mortals and tries to pretend that she’s one of them. But while she’s in the midst of trying to make friends and fit in at school, things become more complicated when she finds herself in the middle of a battle between dissenting groups of immortal genie alumni.

I started writing Eden’s Wish when I moved to Sydney, Australia for grad school. At the time, I had been working in the motion picture literary department of a talent agency in Los Angeles. Moving across the world to study creative writing did not seem like a logical or sensible decision. But I’d wanted to write books when I was a kid, and I had come to realize that it was still the big dream in my heart. I knew I had to try, or I’d always regret it. After getting my Master’s in Sydney, I moved to New York to finish the book while working a wide assortment of temporary and part-time jobs along the way.

from Wikipedia
A couple years later, when my agent was about to take the book out to publishers, I took a solo trip to Europe. While I was there, I found myself completely enchanted by Paris. I decided that if by some crazy chance the book sold, I was going to write a sequel and set it there. At the time, it was nearly impossible to imagine. But when I got back from my trip, I found out that the book had sold to Disney-Hyperion. So the next year, I went back to Paris for a few weeks to research and write. I stayed in an apartment in Saint-Germain-des-Prés, right across from my favorite café, Café de Flore. The entrance of the building was just like Melodie’s apartment building in Eden’s Escape, but the apartment was small, with a sloping ceiling and a bathroom you had to leave the apartment to get to. It was absolutely perfect. What a dream, to be able to do that.

Clearly, my love of Paris played a huge role in Eden’s Escape. In this book, Eden becomes the very first genie to live on Earth while continuing her genie career. That means she can still be summoned anywhere in the world to grant three wishes whenever someone rubs the lamp. The book begins in New York City, where Eden meets her new guardian, a genie alum named Pepper. But before long, Eden is whisked away for a granting that goes very badly. She ends up having to escape the wisher, an evil tech mogul. When she goes on the run, she realizes that she’s in Paris, and most of the rest of the book is set there.

There were so many places from my travels in Paris that I wanted to include in Eden’s adventures: the Louvre, Musee d’Orsay, the Eiffel Tower, Notre-Dame, Sacré-Cœur, the Champs-Élysées, and the list goes on and on. After all, it’s Paris! There’s a landmark everywhere you turn. But ultimately, I had to remember that the book is about Eden and her story; it’s not a guidebook to the city. I had to let the setting serve the story, not the other way around. There are always things that you have to do away with in order to improve a story, and in this case, a lot of them were places that I wanted to feature.

My other big challenge with Eden’s Escape was making decisions about the plot. I kept throwing out pages that I’d written, because I wondered if something different might work better. The best cure for that turned out to be my deadline. Once I realized I was going to have to hustle to get the book done in time, I stopped wasting time and started committing to decisions that ultimately shaped the story in a way that I was really happy with.

At the end of the day, I feel so fortunate that I got to spend another book with these characters who I’ve grown to love so much. Taking Eden to Paris was such a thrill for me, and I hope readers enjoy the trip too.

Thanks, Ms. Crowl! I love hearing about the story behind the story. And, without further ado, if these descriptions of Paris won you over as much as it did me, enter to win a signed copy of Eden's Escape!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Open to the US only, ends 12/17/2016. No purchase is necessary. Void where prohibited. I and the publisher/publicity department are not responsible for lost, stolen, or damaged items. If you are under 13, please get a parent or guardian's permission to enter. Winner will be chosen randomly via Rafflecopter after the contest ends. Winner will have 48 hours to respond to the email, otherwise, we will pick a new winner.

If you have any questions, feel free to email me emily{at}literaryhoots{dot}com

No comments:

Post a Comment