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Saturday, September 29, 2012

Transcend by Christine Fonseca Interview and Review Tour Stop!

About the Author:
Critically acclaimed nonfiction and YA author Christine Fonseca is dedicated to helping children of all ages find their voice in the world. Drawing on her expertise as an educational psychologist, her nonfiction titles address issues of emotional intensity, resiliency and giftedness. Her titles include Emotional Intensity in Gifted Students, 101 Success Secrets for Gifted Kids and The Girl Guide, releasing April 2013.

In fiction, she explores the darker aspects of humanity and delivers gothic thrillers that take you on a roller coaster ride of emotions not to be missed. Recent titles include Dies Irae and Lacrimosa, from the Requiem Series, and the recently released thriller, Transcend. For more information about Christine Fonseca or her books, visit her website – or her blog
1. Why did you choose the phantom of the opera to be inspired by?

I think the story chose me more than anything else. As I worked through some intense emotions after my mom’s death in 2010, I was drawn to the music of Phantom as well as some others. I had previously thought about writing a story of Phantom that was a prequel of sorts. The emotions, plus the music, and the previous idea all sort of melded together and this story was born

2. Was it hard incorporating music into your character's lives?

For me? Not at all. I was a musician for most of my life, playing the viola from the time I was 6 until my mid twenties, participating in choirs, being a children’s choir director, and composing music as a teen. Writing something inspired by the music that shaped my childhood (classical string music) seemed an appropriate homage to the story.

3. Was it hard coming up with a cover idea?

I actually don’t do the covers – that is all my publisher. I do get input, and with Transcend, I think her cover is nothing short of AMAZING! I couldn’t be happier.

4. What made you want to work with children?

I sort of fell into being an educational psychologist. I was looking for a profession that would give me time with my own kids. Teaching or education seemed the answer. In my teacher-preparation program, I took a class about educational psychology. Being a developmental psych undergrad, I LOVED the idea of psychology in schools. So I switched my major and never looked back. I can tell you now that I can’t imagine doing anything BUT working with kids, writing for kids, and mentoring kids.

5. What is the hardest or most frustrating aspect of working with children?

Would it seem a cop-out if I said nothing?? In truth, working with kids inspires me regularly. The parts of the job I don’t like are the things that keep me from that work—paperwork, bureaucracy, politics. That is the stuff I hate!

6. Which of your creations do you relate to most?

Oooh, good question. I think I would have to say that I most relate to my angels; in particular the Mediators, angels with can read minds and heal the mind. I am sort of a neuro-psych junkie, so it makes sense that mind-reading/mind-bending angels would be interesting and relatable to me.

7. What has been the most difficult part about writing?

For me there are two difficult aspects (probably more, really) – first: writing the first draft. Man, I am a horrible drafter, and it just takes me FOREVER! Once I can get the story out of my head, I’m good. But man, getting it out is a problem.
The next difficult thing: finding time to write as often I want time. I live a very busy life which is both good and bad. Time is a precious commodity and I try to be balanced. It is a never ending challenge, really!

8. Do you have a soundtrack that you think fits perfectly with your book?

That’s a hard one for me. I am heavily inspired by music. I listen to movie soundtrack music when I write. It helps me find the emotional mood of the story. With this book, my writing soundtrack included Schindler’s List (for the violin solos) and anything by Hans Zimmer. For reading, I prefer songs with lyrics. I’ve been told listening to Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Phantom of the Opera while reading Transcend is pretty epic – but I haven’t tried it out for myself. I am crafting a play list for the book and hope to have it ready for one of the last legs of the tour, or in the near future.

9. What do you do for writers block?

There are a couple of forms of writer’s block I get—one in which I am stuck within the storyline and can’t move forward, and the type in which I am stuck in general and can’t write anything at all…not one thing. For the first kind, I usually just skip to a different part of the story and start writing. If that doesn’t work, I can take a short break, do something mundane like laundry or cleaning, and whatever the problem is, a solution will typically present itself. With the other type of writer’s block, there is usually a deeper, emotionally-based “something” at work. Maybe I’m overwhelmed, or tired, and just drained. Once I figure out the reason I can usually find a solution. And when in doubt, playing Wii with the kids or watching a movie always helps.

1o. Thank you so much for taking the time out of your busy schedule to sit down and talk with the readers and followers here at Wonderland reviews. Do you have any last words you would like to leave us with?
Just my sincere thanks for being part of the tour. I chose to put my stories out in the world with the hopes that readers would connect and together we would have a shared experience. Thank you all for being part of that.
 Brought to you by:
SupaGurl Books
All seventeen-year-old composer Ien Montgomery desires is an escape from his family's rigid expectations for his life; someone to inspire his music. When he meets a beautiful violin-prodigy, Kiera McDougal, his life music takes on new life. With her, he imagines a future outside of his parents’ control. That is, until a horrible accident tears them apart. 

Sent to die in a sanatorium, Ien’s obsession for Kiera grows unbearable. Tortured by thoughts he can’t escape and the truth of his monstrous disfigurement, he flees, desperate to exact revenge on the people that ruined his life – his parents. But, vengeance is empty. Betrayed by those closest to him, Ien discovers that the price for his happiness may be his sanity.

Set amidst the landscape of New York's Gilded Age, and inspired by Phantom of the Opera, TRANSCEND exposes the fine line between love and madness.

Praise for Transcend:
"So powerful, so deep, and dark. It took me on an amazing journey into places most people fear to go...leaving me breathless.                ~Heather McCorkle, Author of To Ride A Puca 

"…hauntingly dark and achingly beautiful. A story of love, loss and obsession set against the decadent backdrop of historic New York that sucked me in and wouldn't let go, from the first page until long after I'd finished."~ Michelle McLean, Author of Treasured Lies (Entangled, 2012)
" The story is disturbing and intense and utterly unique…"    ~ Ali Cross, Author of Become

"…thought-provoking and emotionally heart wrenching. I haven’t felt this way after reading in quite a while!"    ~ Jen from
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"It is such a powerful and deep story; it will leave you completely breathless."
~Brooke from 
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I really looked foreword to reading this book, a musician and artist by nature I have seen or played the music of the Phantom of the Opera so there was no doubt in my mind that this book would be a good one.
I loved the way we got to go into Ien's thoughts as he struggles to differentiate between what is real and what his mind makes up for him. This book is a very dark tale with just about everything you can imagine. This book will pull at your heart string's and is written so well it is somewhat easy to get lost in his thoughts and question what is real as well.
The one warning I will say is that it can put you in a blue sort of mood. Which is excellent since the writer was able to draw such emotion, but watching Ien go through so much, and struggle through it, I couldn't help but get down in the dumps with him as one thing after another presented itself in his hard life.
This is an excellent read and one I intend to re-read along side the music of the Phantom of the Opera so I can get a good feel and mood with the book.
4 Raven's!
(Good Book!)

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*Disclosure of Material Connection: I am a member of numerous Blog Tours and a copy of this book was provided to me by the author. Although payment may have been received by the Blog Tours, no payment was received by me in exchange for this review. There was no obligation to write a positive review. All opinions expressed are entirely my own and may not necessarily agree with those of the author, publisher, publicist, or readers of this review. This disclosure is in accordance with the Federal Trade Commision’s 16 CFR, Part 255, Guides Concerning Use of Endorcements and Testimonials in Advertising*