Friday, 6 May 2016

Book Blitz: OF BRINE & BLOOD by B. Longino Smith @XpressoTours

Of Brine & Blood by B. Longino Smith 
(Brine Series, #1)
Publication date: May 1st 2016
Genres: Adventure, Romance, Young Adult

In 1700 century England, a women’s purpose is only served in a home. But Kitrina Harvey has no home and the only place she feels will keep the memory of her father alive, is at sea. However, when she inexplicably finds herself on the ship of the infamous female pirate captain, Charlotte de Berry, she may have counted her good fortune too soon.
While Kit may have found a family among the motley crew of outlaws, and perhaps even a special interest in a particular pirate named Gage, is she ready to be a pirate herself?
Kit must ask herself what she is willing to do to please the pirate captain, made even more complicated when she finds out that her life is much more entangled in Charlotte’s than she originally believed.
Can she kill even when she discovers that she and Charlotte share a common enemy?
Set atop the planks of the great Athena, Of Brine & Blood is a fictionalized retailing of one of history’s infamous female pirates, through the eyes of a girl coming of age among the contrasting themes of love, revenge and power. Liberally sensationalized, Of Blood and Brine, follows the twisting trail of Kitrina Harvey’s life, as she recounts Captain Charlotte de Berry’s own story of love, loss and murder.



What inspired you to write your current book?
I don’t know if I can pinpoint a singular source of inspiration. But I can tell you what puts me in the mood to write.
I live a couple of miles from the beach, and the water has always makes me feel creative. Not the ‘happy family vaca day at the beach’ water so much, but the ‘moody’ water right before a storm, or even just the way the water looks on cloudy day.
It’s probably no surprise that my current series is nautical J
I akin the feeling of a moody sea, to the feeling of reading a good book on a raining day. The ambiance casts everything in a light of more mysterious intrigue, don’t you think? And, thus gets my imagination going.

What authors inspire you?
Ok, I am just going to say it.
I am not particularly inspired by the classic literary greats (Bronte, Hemingway, Fitzgerald, and what have you).
*Peeks anxiously around to see if I have offended the hoard of fellow book-lovers*
But, before you cry foul, I HAVE read most of these classics and very much appreciate them. In fact, I was on my high school’s literary criticism team (and went to state).
However, as I reader and writer I just connect more deeply ‘modern’ voices.
Stephanie Meyers wrote Bella Swan in a voice that could very well be the voice in my own head, should I ever find myself irrevocably in love with a gorgeous vampire. Bella’s feelings felt real to me, and I aspire to give readers the same connection with the characters in my story.
And while there is not enough time in the day for me to adequately discuss all of the authors I deeply respect, I do want to note some that inspired my current series. I love the strong female characters Suzanne Collins gave us in Hunger Games, and am in awe of the impeccable way J.K. Rowling weaves the Harry Potter series together. They are brilliant!

What genre do you write?
This is always a hard question for me to answer with just a simple one-liner. When someone asks me, I will *subtlety* try to plant myself between them and the exit, so they must endure the length of my explanation.
The short answer, I think, is: Historical Fiction
But! Wait! There’s more.
My current series, the Brine Series, is historical fiction written to appeal to the modern reader. There is plenty of action, mystery and an overlaying romance (my favorite part of the story), as well.
So, Of Brine & Blood is a modernly written adventure story wrapped in mystery with a gooey romance center, set in the 17th century, for young adult readers. Can anyone tell me where that bookshelf is in Barnes and Noble?

So, your debut novel has been released. Do you have any more stories in the works?
Yes! In fact, the second installment of the Brine Series: Of Bitter and Brine, is complete and is running the gauntlet through my team of editors as we speak.
I am actively writing the third installment (Brine: The Beginning) and have a detailed outline of the forth waiting in the wings.
And while I love Of Brine and Blood, I just want to say, that the series grows in excitement with each subsequent book.

What advice would you give to your younger self?
‘Publish the dang book, already!’
Man. My younger self is so hard to reason with sometimes.
To be fair to her though, when I began writing Of Brine and Blood (6 years ago!) I didn’t have many aspirations – other than satisfying daydreams – of publishing the story. I simply wanted to write down the scenes in my head, into a story that I wanted to read. I wanted each aspect to precisely quench what I crave in a story.
But I stalled in publishing because, what if others didn’t like the characters that I love?
So I guess the true moral of the story is, if you have passion for something, don’t let your reservations stand in your way. If you are passionate about what you do, others will feel that passion in your work. 

How did you decide on names for your main characters?
I began writing Of Brine & Blood shortly before I became pregnant with my daughter. In the beginning I didn’t have names for my characters that I loved. The names, at that time, were placeholders.
After I got pregnant, I meticulously researched, listed, cross-referenced and polled names for my child. I finally decided on the perfect names: Kit (girl) and Gage (boy).
My husband liked exactly neither of these names.
So! I brought the names to life in my story, with a few amendments.
Because neither of the names were exactly ‘old-timey’ enough for my historical fiction, Kit became short for Kitrina and Gage is actually the last name of our leading man – William Gage. But because there were approximately 155,846,325,845,236 Williams back then, everyone simply calls him Gage.
Ironically, these names are spoken almost as often in our household, as our daughter’s name. So I still feel like I won on the whole name thing.
*Disclosure* I equally love the name we eventually decided on for our daughter J

Who does your main character look like in your head? Who would ideally play him/her in a movie adaptation?
I am resistant to sharing what Kit looks like to me. But I have good reason for being so stingy with my imagery when it comes to Kit. The other characters in the book have detailed descriptions of their appearance.
But, I could never get Kit’s appearance to come out just right or to translate well onto paper. That’s because I didn’t want to unintentionally pigeonhole her into a stereotype based on how she looks. So I made the conscious decision to write her fairly description-less. I want the readers to picture what she looks like to them. I want Kit to look like you, if that’s how you prefer to read your stories.
So, if the story ever gets adapted into film (which would be AWESOME), it would be interesting to see who gets cast to play her. J
Except, now that I think about it, I hope that my artistic decision doesn’t accidently anger fans of the story, because the actor playing Kit doesn’t ‘look right’ in the movie. Hummm…..

What were your goals or intentions of writing this book? How well to do you think you achieved them?
My goals of writing Of Brine & Blood were fairly simple.
I want to entertain. I wanted to write a story that sweeps the reader away to another place and time, and make them feel what the characters are feeling. And then, I want the story to linger in their minds after they finish, wondering what Kit and Gage are up to right now. At this moment.
That is what all the best stories do for me. The characters are no longer fiction, but people I care about.
Every reader knows the value of a story that just grips them. I want my story to be like that to others. 
Of Brine and Blood does this for me. But I want to hear what you think! Let me know if I achieved my goal! ;)

What did you find most useful in learning to write? What was least useful or most destructive?
I have always been a writer. I know; the cliché of all novelists. But it’s true!
My love of writing, on the other hand, has peaked and waned and then peaked again, over the course of my life.  
My undergraduate degree is in Journalism. Which I promptly discovered was not the type of writing I enjoy only after graduating and working as a tech writer for less than a year. I then went on to receive a graduate degree in Sociology (which I love). But as with tech writing, writing academic articles is not how I enjoy the craft either.
In the end, I wouldn’t change any of my experiences, though. My experiences have been invaluable in teaching me the mechanics of writing.
And, I am learning how to break any destructive aspects of being too ‘technical’ when I sit down to write fiction. I love being able to let my imagination flow! *Note to any of my current or former colleagues: I promise that I did not let my imagination color any of my academic research findings*

Just for fun, what’s something unique about you?
I don’t know if this is something unique about me as a person (or maybe it speaks volumes about my organization skills. I don’t know), but the sequence of events probably hasn’t happened to too many people.
I have had two weddings, both to the same person, and in less than a year.
Lemme esplain:
My first wedding, which we refer to as ‘the expensive one,’ was a wedding proper with long guest lists, flashy venues, a white dress and cake.
After the ceremony we signed the marriage certificate and were told to mail it in to the state. Of course! No problem. Except the next day, my husband and I left for our honeymoon. Several weeks after we returned, Steven (the husband) looked at me and asked if I ever mailed in the marriage certificate. Um, no? Doesn’t that fall under ‘the husband responsibilities’? We tore the house APART, but still couldn’t find it.
No problem, we can just request a new one. Right? Nope. Apparently marriage certificates are time sensitive when being filed.
So, off to Vegas we went. With a group of friends as witnesses (they did NOT buy us a second wedding gift), a musician whom we found at a restaurant and wanted to accompany us after hearing our story (he played ‘Suspicious Minds’ as I walked down the aisle), and a new marriage certificate (chained to my body), we got married for the second time.
I should probably end the story here, but I feel it pertinent to include that while we did successfully file the second marriage certificate, that does not mean that we didn’t lose that one too, at one point.
Thankfully, I was blissfully unaware of the second MIA marriage license snafu, until after it was found by husband and friend retracing every single step we took that day.  
*Fun Fact!*
Several years later, we did find the original marriage certificate tucked safely away in one of our suitcases. It was in an obscure pocket inside of another pocket. You know, for safe keeping. 

Brittany lives with her husband and daughter just two miles away from the beach on Mississippi's Gulf Coast. The backdrop serves as a constant reminder, and motivator, in her nautical historical fiction projects.

Her current series in progress, the Brine Series, has been a story that she has 'picked at' for over five years. In the beginning, Brittany only had the undeniable compulsion to bring the vivid characters in her mind, to life, by recording their story on paper. However, only more recently have her characters become increasingly disgruntled by not having their story shared with others. Brittany's husband sided with her characters.

In the winter of 2015, after the first installment of the Brine Series, Of Brine and Blood, was complete; the second book, Of Bitter and Brine, was written and being revised; and the third installment, Brine: The Beginning, was outlined, Brittany's husband had had enough of talking about characters that were only real in the Smith household. As a Christmas present, Steven sent Of Brine and Blood off to a (fabulous) editor, unbeknownst to Brittany until Christmas morning.

With the overwhelming encouragement from Victoria (fabulous editor extraordinare), and the unwavering support from her husband, Brittany began her publishing journey. She is indescribably excited to be sharing her characters and their adventure with others.

Brittany also feels as though this brief bio does not adequately include the recognition of her daughter, mother, father, sister and all others who have been invaluable sources of motivation, inspiration, and support.

To get updates on new releases in the Brine Series please visit:


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1 comment:

B. Longino Smith said...

Thanks for hosting and celebrating the release of Of Brine & Blood with me! :)