Author Interview & Book Giveaway: Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail

Welcome to Author Courtney Vail

COURTNEY VAIL writes totally twisted YA and adult suspense. She enjoys braiding mystery, suspense & romance with some kind of weirdness. Her addictions to crazy coffee concoctions, Funny Bones, Ben & Jerry’s, and bacon keep her running and writing. She currently lives in New England with a comedian stud and a wild gang of kidlets.

Twitter @cvwriter


If you could travel in a Time Machine would you go back to the past or into the future?
Back to the past. I’d love to visit with people I’ve lost along the way.

What is your favorite flavor of ice cream?
I love Phish Food or anything chocolate based. Black raspberry is also super yummy.

What is your favorite thing to eat for breakfast?
A blueberry bagel with cream cheese, or butter and sugar, depending on mood, and coffee.

Night owl, or early bird?
Both. I could stay up really late or get up early. Though sometimes I get late night highs and giggles, I’m not exactly chipper in the morning, but I can get up fine.

One food you would never eat?
Squirming squid. Or any squid really, yeah, that even means calamari. But the thought of lunch wiggling its way down my throat makes me so ill.

Pet Peeves?

Drivers gunning out in front of me to cut me off—even though there’s no one behind me!—and acting like they’re gonna rip pavement all the way to their destination, only to drop it down to 30 or LESS.

Skittles or M&Ms?
M&Ms definitely. Not a fan of Skittles. I like the taste, but I really hate sticky, chewy things getting stuck in my teeth. I generally avoid anything in the vein, like the caramel Russel Stovers.

What is your dream cast for your book?
Majesty: It’s hard to pick Majesty, but on my website I picked Lucy Hale. I could see her in a more kick-butt, tomboy role, just to break out of the type she normally plays. She’s so pretty and she’s usually glammed up on Pretty Little Liars, but I’ll bet she can also rock a more low-maintenance style too and look really girl-next-door.

Derek: So easy. No contest. Matt Lanter. Back when I was still editing the book, I saw him on this episode of CSI, and that was way before his more notable roles in 90210 and Vampires Suck, and I was like, uh, Oh! My! Gosh! That’s him! That is totally Derek!  I didn’t know his name and had never seen him before, so I had to hunt down the episode and I finally found his name. There were some pics of him already in IMBD and I was nodding and nodding. I’m like, yes, that is Derek all the way.

Alec: Tim Urban. Yes, the American Idol contestant who got trashed at nearly every turn, but is actually very talented, in case you don’t know. You must check out his youtube channel: timothyjurban  to see what I mean. He is too flippin’ adorable and his cover tunes on iTunes are meltalicious. Not only does this dude look like Alec, his personality is an exact match. It’s very creepy. Alec has golden brown hair, and that’s really the only difference. But, the charm, the smile, the muscles, the sweetness … that’s Alec in the flesh.

Preston: I have Erik von Detten on my site. He’s too tall in reality, but if we’re going on face looks and body, yeah, him. I think Erik is a good match for the needed swing between jerk and sweetie, so no one is really sure on which side he’ll ultimately land.

Blake: I’m going to go with Kellan Lutz. He has the steely eyes. I don’t really describe Blake more than that, but he’s a close match to what I see in my mind’s eye.

Warren: It’s hard to find a goth who is cool, intense and nerd all at the same time, but I think Michael Pitt is a pretty good combination of that.

Is there a song you could list as the theme song for your book or any of your characters?
Breath by Breaking Benjamin. It sums up Majesty’s plight and  represents the plot pretty well.

Please tell us in one sentence only, why we should read your book.
There’s nothing else like Kings & Queens, so if you’re hoping for a read that’s different, twisted and quirky, this is it. And the eBook is currently on sale for $0.99, so you can check it out now and save $3 off the regular price.

What’s one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

Get some feedback from critters/beta readers. The honest opinions of others can help you look at your work more objectively and make the adjustments to make it shine. Not every piece of advice you get is right for your story though, so keep studying the craft and know what you want readers to come away with, and you can confidently shape your work.

If you could be one of the Greek Gods, which would it be and why?

I’d like to be Cupid, or take over for the dude anyway. Sometimes I think he’s totally clueless.

Favorite music?
Anything guitar-based and real. I loathe fake music where the percussion, bass, guitars are all tracked down on a keyboard to hug the lyrics sung by some mediocre singer who needs to be auto-tuned.

Favorite sport?
Hard to pick because I’m a sports nut, but I’m gonna go with football.

Coke or Pepsi?
Whatever is cheapest that week.

Horror or Romance?
A combination is best.

Best way to spend a rainy day?
Running, watching whatever sport is on, taking a nap. If I can check off all three on said rainy day, it’s a pretty awesome one.

What is your favorite Quote?
“Cowboy Up!” ~ Kevin Millar.

Those are the most awesome words I’ve ever heard. And they’re from a self-ascribed Idiot. 2004 World Series Champs, yeah, baby! It about sums up what everyone’s aim in life should be. When everything seems hopeless, when the odds are stacked against you, there’s always something to fight for, there’s still a reason to hope and believe and to give the battle your all.

Any other books in the works? Goals for future projects?
I’m wrapping up the edits for Sapphire Reign, the sequel to Kings & Queens, and I’m working on three more YA novels. All my books are weird. Two of my novels are urban fantasy and one is horror.

Thanks so much for having me! I had a blast.

Kings & Queens by Courtney Vail

Seventeen-year-old Majesty Alistair wants police to look further into her father’s fatal car wreck, hopes the baseball team she manages can reclaim the state crown, aches for Derek…or, no…maybe Alec…maybe. And she mostly wishes to retract the hateful words she said to her dad right before slamming the door in his face, only to never see him again.

All her desires get sidelined, though, when she overhears two fellow students planning a church massacre. She doubts cops will follow up on her tip since they’re sick of her coming around with notions of possible crimes-in-the-works. And it’s not like she cries wolf. Not really. They’d be freaked too, but they’re not the ones suffering from bloody dreams that hint at disaster like some crazy, street guy forecasting the Apocalypse. So, she does what any habitual winner with zero cred would do…try to I.D. the nutjobs before they act.

But, when their agenda turns out to be far bigger than she ever assumed, and even friends start looking suspect, the truth and her actions threaten to haunt her forever, especially since she’s left with blood on her hands, the blood of someone she loves.


Courtney Vail will be giving away two signed paperbacks Kings & Queens to US and Canada residents only, and 2 eBooks for international residents only.

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