Happy Wednesday and welcome to my stop on the Sensational blog tour!! I am so excited to be a part of this tour, and I’m even more excited for you to discover Jodie Lynn’s favorite quote from her book, what characters she would want to write a crossover with, and some fun research that didn’t make it into the book! Plus, follow the rest of the tour!
Sensational by Jodie Lynn Zdrok
Series: Spectacle #2
Published by Tor Teen on February 11, 2020
Genres: YA, Historical Fiction, Mystery, Fantasy
Jodie Lynn Zdrok's Sensational is the thrilling follow-up to Spectacle in which a killer haunts the Paris World's Fair of 1889.
The 1889 Exposition Universelle in Paris is full of innovations, cultural displays, and inventions. Millions of visitors attend over the course of several months...so no one would notice if a few were missing, right? Maybe—but someone is celebrating the 100th anniversary of the guillotine with a display of their own: beheaded victims in some of the Exposition's most popular exhibits.
Nathalie Baudin’s ability to see murder scenes should help, but she's suffering the effects of her magic more than ever before. Fortunately she has other Insightfuls to team up with—if they can be trusted.
Do you have a favorite scene, quote, or moment from Sensational?
Favorite quote: “Since then, the grief had meandered, a trail with branches in lost woods where everything blended together indistinguishably.”
My favorite scenes are the Aunt Brigitte scenes and a scene between Nathalie and Jules in Tuileries Garden. I can’t go into more detail without giving anything away! 😊
What is your favorite piece of research you didn’t end up using?
You know, when I find something interesting, I do my best to include it, even if it’s a colorful aside. Case in point: There’s a reference to a gem-encrusted pet turtle in the novel; I added it during copy edits because I hadn’t found a place for it but just couldn’t leave it out! The Exposition Universelle was very visually appealing, and I wish I could have included photos of it and a map of the grounds.
If you could trade lives with any YA character for a day, who would it be and why? What about a week? A month, year, or forever?
Given the peril we usually put our YA characters through, a day would probably be enough! I’d like to spend a day as Simone, Nathalie’s best friend, because she’s a free spirit at an exciting time in Paris. I’d also want to step into Katniss Everdeen’s shoes figuratively, because she’s so fierce. And I’d literally step into the shoes of Annaleigh Thaumas from House of Salt and Sorrows, at least for one night of dancing at a ball.
What would you do if you spent the day with Nathalie? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
FOR SURE we would go to a café to people-watch and get some pain au chocolate, and I’d want to spend some time on the Rooftop Salon (her hangout on the apartment building roof overlooking the city). And I’ll answer a question I often pose at live events: Would I go the morgue? Yes! And the Catacombs and Père Lachaise, just because.
If Nathalie could hang out with other YA characters, who would they be and why??
Not a YA, but I can absolutely see Nathalie hanging out with Jo March from Little Women. They both push against the convention of their times and are a bit-hard headed at times but have good hearts. And I have not read any of the Stalking Jack the Ripper books, but a lot of people compare my series to it in “if you like this, you’ll like that” fashion. So I guess it would be fitting for Nathalie to meet those characters!
What inspired you to write this story?
We pitched Spectacle as a standalone, but I ended up with a two-book deal and the decision was made to have the second book be a sequel. That actually didn’t change Spectacle, with the exception of the last page or two. In fact, Sensational is also a standalone—these books can be read in order, out of order, or independently, though there will be a few spoilers if you read the second book first.
My brother suggested setting it at the Exposition Universelle, and from there I ran with it. I enjoyed writing the mystery and world’s fair parts, but I especially enjoyed the subplots and exploring some things I didn’t have a chance to address in the first novel. Given that this is a duology, Sensational is for me really about the conclusion of Nathalie’s story—who she became in summer 1887 (when Spectacle is set) and who she is at the end of our time with her.
Can you share some things that we might not know about your characters?
Nathalie’s beau in Sensational is a new character, Jules. In the initial draft, his name was Victor. It was very period-appropriate, but my editor asked me to change it to something more appealing. Nathalie had a nickname for him tied to a play on Victor (Victoire), from the Winged Victory of Samothrace sculpture at the Louvre. I liked the backstory to the nickname, though, so when I went with Jules, I repurposed that Louvre moment into Jules’ nickname (which you’ll have to read to find out).
Jodie Lynn Zdrok holds two MAs in European History and an MBA. She enjoys rooting for Boston sports teams, traveling, doing races (to offset being a foodie), and posting cat photos to Instagram. She works in technology and lives in North Carolina by way of Massachusetts.