October 09, 2013

Fall Into Fantasy Blog Tour - FROZEN by Melissa De La Cruz & Michael Johnston!

Welcome to Penguin’s Fall Into Fantasy blog tour. Join Alison Goodman, Morgan Rhodes, Kristin Cashore, Melissa de la Cruz, and Michael Johnston as they share what fantasy means to them in a series of guest posts throughout the week of October 7th. And be sure to tune into to Penguin’s Fall Into Fantasy Twitter chat on October 9th at 7pm EDT to ask your burning questions with the hashtag #FallIntoFantasy!

Today’s post comes courtesy of Michael Johnston, co-author of Frozen, the first book in the Heart of Dread series, along with his wife Melissa de la Cruz.

Michael’s Guest Post:

Falling into Fantasy
Michael Johnston

For a long time I considered myself a Sci-Fi guy, a purist who only read science fiction, especially during my middle school years. I read a lot and seldom strayed from my favorite genre. As a famous science fiction writer once said, "fantasy writers are just re-writing Lord of the Rings" right? There was nothing in the genre that appealed to me. I had never even read Lord of the Rings, although I quite enjoyed the Dragonlance series. Whereas science fiction held the promise of something more interesting: new worlds, new ways of living, new ways of thinking. The genre was a vehicle for new ideas about society, criticizing and satirizing the way we live now. I found it exhilarating and intellectually inspiring. Science-fiction short stories were my favorite. They contained big ideas in small packages. I read everything I could find until I left for college.

Away from the safety of my basement bedroom, I left my well-worn Asimov, Bradbury and Heinlen paperbacks at home and didn't look back. In school, I studied architecture, focused on history and theory. I still read often, but by then it was always in the non-fiction category: books on theory, philosophy and design.

After graduation, living in New York City, my tastes continued to evolve. I read contemporary literature and architectural tomes, but I began to sense a gap in my library. I missed the sense of wonder I’d found while reading science-fiction when I was younger. With that in mind, I returned to genre fiction, but this time I found myself drawn to fantasy.

In the years while I was growing up, the genre seemed to have come into its own. Writers like George R.R. Martin were producing serious fantasy, works based on history rather than myth and that focused on character more than plot. These books appealed to me and soon I found other authors to read and admire, including writers like Patrick Rothfuss and Joe Abercrombie. These stories were grounded in reality and the depth of world building in their stories was astonishing. They were imaginative, philosophical, and I discovered that the years I’d spent reading history and theory as an architect to build structures and environments was perfectly in sync with the tools needed for writing an epic fantasy. World-building had been raised to an art form in the genre, and in writing fantasy, I had at last found a place that merged my interests in history, detail, research and the fantastic. It took a long time to get there, but in the end, fantasy was my calling all along. Frozen merges both of my favorite genres, science fiction and fantasy. It took five years to write, but in a way, I've been preparing for it all my life.

About Frozen:

From New York Times bestselling author Melissa de la Cruz and Michael Johnston comes this remarkable first book in a spellbinding new series about the dawn of a new kind of magic.

Welcome to New Vegas, a city once covered in bling, now blanketed in ice. Like much of the destroyed planet, the place knows only one temperature—freezing. But some things never change. The diamond in the ice desert is still a 24-hour hedonistic playground and nothing keeps the crowds away from the casino floors, never mind the rumors about sinister sorcery in its shadows.

At the heart of this city is Natasha Kestal, a young blackjack dealer looking for a way out. Like many, she's heard of a mythical land simply called “the Blue.” They say it’s a paradise, where the sun still shines and the waters are turquoise. More importantly, it’s a place where Nat won’t be persecuted, even if her darkest secret comes to light.

But passage to the Blue is treacherous, if not impossible, and her only shot is to bet on a ragtag crew of mercenaries led by a cocky runner named Ryan Wesson there. Danger and deceit await on every corner, even as Nat and Wes find themselves inexorably drawn to each other. But can true love survive the lies? Fiery hearts collide in this fantastic tale of the evil men do and the awesome power within us all.

About Michael Johnston:
Michael Johnston is Melissa de la Cruz's husband and co-creator of the Blue Bloods and Witches of East End series, and the co-author of the Wolf Pact series.

Melissa and Michael collaborate in every capacity in crafting their books, from plot outlines to character sketches and dialogue, from first draft to final polish. They have a daughter and live in Los Angeles and Palm Springs.


  1. This looks great! I added it to my tbr! Thanks!

  2. Definitely have to get this one! Thanks!

  3. This book looks so good! It is very different than other books but I can't wait to read it!!!

  4. Frozen looks so amazing!!!
    Happy reading


  5. Have enjoy several previous works by Melissa De La Cruz and cant wait to check this one out.

  6. I LOVE LOVE LOVE Melissa De la Cruz! And I cannot wait to read Frozen!! It sounds amazing!

  7. I still haven't read any of her books! Must get onto this.

  8. Looks interesting. I will definitely check it out.


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