Happy Monday and welcome to my stop on the SWEET AND BITTER MAGIC blog tour! I’m so excited because today I have an interview with Adrienne Tooley to share with you! This book is truly amazing and I’m so so excited to for you to find out more about it, PLUS enter for a chance to win a print copy!
Sweet & Bitter Magic by Adrienne Tooley
Published by Margaret K. McElderry Books on March 9, 2021
Genres: YA, Fantasy, LGBTQIA+
In this charming debut fantasy perfect for fans of Sorcery of Thorns and Girls of Paper and Fire, a witch cursed to never love meets a girl hiding her own dangerous magic, and the two strike a dangerous bargain to save their queendom.
Tamsin is the most powerful witch of her generation. But after committing the worst magical sin, she’s exiled by the ruling Coven and cursed with the inability to love. The only way she can get those feelings back—even for just a little while—is to steal love from others.
Wren is a source—a rare kind of person who is made of magic, despite being unable to use it herself. Sources are required to train with the Coven as soon as they discover their abilities, but Wren—the only caretaker to her ailing father—has spent her life hiding her secret.
When a magical plague ravages the queendom, Wren’s father falls victim. To save him, Wren proposes a bargain: if Tamsin will help her catch the dark witch responsible for creating the plague, then Wren will give Tamsin her love for her father.
Of course, love bargains are a tricky thing, and these two have a long, perilous journey ahead of them—that is, if they don't kill each other first..
What would you do if you spent the day with Tamsin and Wren? Where would you go to eat, hang out, relax, etc.?
I’d love to take them to a warm and cozy coffee shop. Tamsin would drink a single origin pour over (she takes her coffee black, of course) and Wren would drink a lavender oat milk latte. Hopefully there’d be a poetry reading at a bookstore later on in the afternoon–Wren would listen intently while Tamsin lost herself in the shelves. Then I’d take them to a fun dinner at one of the many Brooklyn farm to table restaurants that have little heated backyards and personal s’mores fires.
If Tamsin and Wren were to hang out with characters from other books, who would they be and why?
I’d love to introduce Tamsin to Bree from LEGENDBORN. Both girls are facing a wave of grief at the beginning of their books, and would bond quickly over carrying the weight of past decisions made for them. Tamsin would be in awe of the way Bree puts herself out there and learns to explore and ultimately embrace her power, something that Tamsin is so reluctant to do throughout most of S&BM.
I think Wren would become great friends with Ayla from CRIER’S WAR. They are both motivated by family above all, and both end up falling for girls wildly different from themselves. I think they would bond quickly and easily.
Would you rather be a superhero or a supervillain? And what would your powers and name be?
I feel like I would end up being a supervillain, only because superheros are required to leave the house to save the world on a moment’s notice, but I’m not really a spur of the moment gal. If I was a villain I could probably work from home. I would probably do something with words… maybe my name would be Wordsmith, and I could have the power of making the words I wrote come true.
What does ownvoices queer representation mean to you?
Queer voices representation is more than just seeing yourself in media, but seeing the shades of yourself. The lived queer experience is so unique. There’s nuance to it, but there are also so many way to be queer, so every voice we get to add that is important.
What was your favorite bit of research you ended up not using?
I did a lot of research on herbs and plants, their healing qualities and how they’d affect humans to help inspire spells that I never ended up discussing on-page. But I’m so interested in the language of flowers and the properties of herbs and plants so it wasn’t a waste of time by any means.
What is your favorite quote, scene, or moment from Sweet & Bitter Magic?
I’m a huge fan of parallels and finding the perfect final line. So, no spoilers, but there’s a first chapter / last chapter parallel that I adore. You can have the first line:
“The salt was dull on Tamsin’s tongue.”
Adrienne Tooley was born and raised in the desert suburbs of Southern California. She grew up in the theater, earning her B.A. in Musical Theatre from Point Park University. She and her wife currently live in New York City where she works in hospitality tech. In addition to writing novels she is also a singer/songwriter and has released several EPs which are available on Spotify & other streaming sites. Her debut novel, SWEET & BITTER MAGIC, will publish from S&S/McElderry in Spring 2021. Her second novel, SOFI AND THE BONE SONG, will release from S&S/McElderry in 2022.
What do you think about Sweet and Bitter Magic? Have you added it to your tbr yet? Let me know in the comments and have a splendiferous day!