Happy Sunday and welcome to my stop on the Defy the Sun blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover Jessika’s favorite moments from her book, how she chose the names for her characters, and some fun facts about Nico, Dorian, and Veda that didn’t make it into the book! Plus, follow the rest of the tour and enter to win a print copy of Defy the Sun!
Defy the Sun by Jessika Fleck
Series: The Offering Series #2
Published on March 10, 2020 by Swoon Reads
Genres: YA, Fantasy
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Civil war has come to the island of Bellona. Veda Adeline believes in the Night. She’s joined the underground revolutionaries, led by Dorian Winters, and they're determined to overthrow the ruling Imperi and find justice for her people.
Nico Denali, Veda’s childhood friend and maybe-something-more, is one of those ruling Imperi, and he’s just been named heir to the most powerful man above ground.
As the war intensifies, Veda and Nico are leveraged against each other: Veda is above as a hostage of the Imperi and Nico is below, taken by the Night. There's no way Dorian is letting such a valuable hostage go.
The island will burn unless Veda and Nico can come together to rip everything apart. But Nico and Dorian will never trust each other, and Veda's heart might be the biggest casualty.
The stakes are all or nothing in this second and final book in the BEWARE THE NIGHT duology.
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from Defy the Sun?
One of my favorite parts of Defy the Sun is that we get to read Veda and Nico’s personal letters and how they evolve over the course of the book. Also, without spoiling it, I love how they had to get creative with delivering their correspondence.
If Nico, Veda, and Dorian were to hang out with characters from other YA books, who would they be and why?
One of my all-time favorite YA series is the Chaos Walking trilogy by Patrick Ness. I can totally see Veda, Nico, and Dorian hanging out with Todd, Viola, and Manchee. While their stories are extremely different, they’re all teens who have endured hardship and trauma and who live in confusing worlds where it’s difficult to decipher who the true enemy is. Also, they’d have a blast.
What was your favorite piece of research you ended up not using?
Originally, Veda had a ferret side-kick named Fin that I spent quite a while perfecting. Alas, he got the axe early on.
How did you choose the names for your characters?
Honestly, and it probably sounds strange, but many of them just come to me already named. Like, I’ll think of a person’s story and know their name. Aaaaand, writing it out and reading it back, that sounds really weird, lol. When I don’t ‘just know’, I’ll look up popular names from their time and place in history or background. For instance, in Beware the Night and Defy the Sun, the setting is loosely based on Rome and Venice, so for some characters I researched timeless Italian names. From there, I’ll usually try to put my own spin on whatever I find if possible.
What would you do if you spent the day with Veda, Nico, and Dorian? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
Oh my goodness. Assuming the island was at peace, we would definitely hang out at the market, Dorian would show off his glassblowing skills and make something uncharacteristically cute to give to some kids strolling by. Then we’d grab a box of candied lemon and walk along the canal. Veda would effortlessly catch a pantera fish and stash it in her basket for later. Nico would take us around his garden and his mother would insist we stay for dinner and that she have the pantera fish cooked to perfection—which I’d reluctantly eat so as not to be rude (I detest seafood).
What are some things we might not know about your characters?
–Nico is closer to his mother than was ever previously shown or mentioned in Beware the Night. It’s really sweet to see this side of him.
–Dorian puts off a tough front but has the biggest heart around and if you get close to him and earn his trust, sometimes, because he can’t help it, he’ll wear his emotion on his sleeve. He’s also an expert at giving the perfectly thoughtful gift.
–Veda can knit and enjoys it. She makes all of hers and Poppy’s sweaters, hats, and gloves.
Jessika Fleck is an author, unapologetic coffee drinker, and knitter — she sincerely hopes to one day discover a way to do all three at once. Until then, she continues collecting vintage typewriters and hourglasses, dreaming of an Ireland getaway, and convincing her husband they NEED more kittens. Her YA debut, THE CASTAWAYS (Entangled TEEN), is now available. Her next YA novel, BEWARE THE NIGHT (Swoon Reads/Macmillan) releases March 12, 2019. More at www.jessikafleck.com