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March 18, 2016

Dorothy Must...Party! The Yellow Brick War Launch Party

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On Tuesday, March 15th, I followed the yellow-edged subway platforms downtown from our NYC offices for a very special launch party for YELLOW BRICK WAR, the third book in Danielle Paige's Dorothy Must Die series. Held at Books of Wonder, the launch party also featured author Heather Demetrios, who was there promoting BLOOD PASSAGE, the second book in her Dark Caravan Cycle series. Moderating the event was BookTuber Sasha Alsberg, who had an exciting book announcement of her own to make --- but more on that later!

As you probably know, one of the best parts of any party is the food, and the YELLOW BRICK WAR launch party did not disappoint. Guests were treated to tons of salty junk food as well as adorable --- and delicious --- rice krispie treats topped with candies designed like the cover of the book. Believe me, it was not easy to snap the picture you see on the left before diving right in.

Since both Danielle Paige and Heather Demetrios have written books about strong female characters, their panel focused on developing believable characters and building fascinating worlds. Although each author had a similar process, it was really interesting to see where they deviated. For Paige, for example, the dialogue always comes first, partially because of her television background --- she used to write for "Days of Our Lives" --- while for Demetrios, setting is a major consideration when she begins. She even journeyed to Morocco to prepare to write BLOOD PASSAGE so her descriptions of the land and culture would be spot-on. In a humorous twist, Paige admitted that she needs all electronics ON in her house when she writes, while Demetrios prefers a slightly quieter drafting experience.

Although many of us are familiar with the story of Dorothy's trip to Oz, Paige certainly turns the fairy tale on its head by making Dorothy evil and introducing a new character, Amy, who must defeat her. On returning to Oz, Paige expressed that she has always loved L. Frank Baum's story and was delighted for the chance to stretch her literary talents. When Sasha asked Paige about her favorite creation thus far, she admittd that out of all of her characters, she'd most like to spend some time with Dorothy --- but not enough time to get her killed, she quipped.

Similarly, Demetrios's plot focuses on a gorgeous and fierce jinni who is stuck between two evil adversaries who need her wish-granting powers to make their dreams come true. While many readers know that the jinn race is capable of granting wishes, Heather revealed that she chose to focus on jinn because they are some of the most powerful --- and powerless --- creatures imaginable, as they are slaves to their masters. She found that dynamic fascinating and knew there was a story there.

I think the best part of the launch party was the way Paige and Demetrios played off one another as Sasha Alsberg moderated. It was so wonderful to see two women who write about women come together and share the stage. Sasha was a terrific moderator who really rounded out the "Girl Power" theme of the night. She even announced that she is working on her own book, a statement that earned tons of cheers from the audience. All in all it was a terrific night and I cannot wait to see more from each of these lovely ladies.