February 28, 2016

Bluescreen Blog Tour: Author Guest Post + Giveaway

Welcome to my stop on the final day of the BLUESCREEN blog tour! I have a fun guest post by the author to share with you - and don't forget to enter the giveaway! I didn't review the book for this tour - but I did get a chance to review it for another one, so check out my review of the book HERE!

Bluescreen (Mirador #1)
Author: Dan Wells
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Release Date: February 16, 2016
Genre: YA Science Fiction/Dystopia


Los Angeles in 2050 is a city of open doors, as long as you have the right connections. That connection is a djinni—a smart device implanted right in a person’s head. In a world where virtually everyone is online twenty-four hours a day, this connection is like oxygen—and a world like that presents plenty of opportunities for someone who knows how to manipulate it.

Marisa Carneseca is one of those people. She might spend her days in Mirador, the small, vibrant LA neighborhood where her family owns a restaurant, but she lives on the net—going to school, playing games, hanging out, or doing things of more questionable legality with her friends Sahara and Anja. And it’s Anja who first gets her hands on Bluescreen—a virtual drug that plugs right into a person’s djinni and delivers a massive, non-chemical, completely safe high. But in this city, when something sounds too good to be true, it usually is, and Mari and her friends soon find themselves in the middle of a conspiracy that is much bigger than they ever suspected.

Dan Wells, author of the New York Times bestselling Partials Sequence, returns with a stunning new vision of the near future—a breathless cyber-thriller where privacy is the world’s most rare resource and nothing, not even the thoughts in our heads, is safe.
Top 10 Travel Spots

BLUESCREEN is a very international novel, with characters from all over the world, and in some cases still living all over the world. The main character and her best friend live in Los Angeles, where they hang out with a girl from Germany and a boy from Russia; their other two friends live in Beijing and Mumbai. Part of the reason I did this is because I think it's true: our world is getting smaller every day, and the Internet is connecting people in a way that really does make distance seem meaningless. The other reason I did this is because I love to travel, and I was doing a lot of it while writing the book, and it was a fun opportunity to bring up characters and cultures that are close to my heart. With that in mind, here are the Dan Wells Top Ten Travel Spots!

1) Asia and Africa
I have to get these out of the way first, because as much as I love to travel I have never been to either continent! I know! As soon as I get the chance to visit either, for whatever reason, I'm jumping on it.

2) Mexico
Don't worry, I'm going to get more specific with my travel spots soon, but Mexico as a whole deserves it's own entry in the list. I lived in Mexico when I was younger, and I fell in love with it--the people, the food, the culture, and then the people again because I love them so much I have to mention them twice. Last year I did a Caribbean cruise with my sister, and we visited all kinds of neat places, and I thought they were great, but when we got to Mexico I lost it; I started talking to everyone, buying everything, and pointing out super awesome things to her like walls and license plates--things that aren't, in fact, super awesome, but which I loved because they looked so familiar and made me feel like I was home again. If you have a chance to go to Mexico, pretty much anywhere in Mexico, take it.

3) Las Barrancas del Cobre, also in Mexico
I lived in the state of Chihuahua, which is right on the border of Texas and New Mexico. The two biggest cities are Chihuahua and Juarez, and I loved them both, but my favorite spot was up in the mountains, in what they call La Sierra Tarahumara, after the indigenous people who live there. Las Barrancas del Cobre means "The Copper Canyons," and these mountains and canyons are some of the largest and tallest and deepest and most beautiful in the world. Marisa's family restaurant, San Juanito, is named after the little town I lived in here.

4) Stuttgart, Germany
I also lived in Germany, in the city of Stuttgart, for two years with my wife and kids; we just moved back a year and a half ago, and I miss it immensely. Stuttgart is in the southwest corner of the country, more or less, in the area we call The Black Forest. It's not the fanciest or most glamorous city in Germany--whenever I tell Germans that I moved to Stuttgart they would usually frown and say, "Why Stuttgart?"--but we loved it, and I can't wait to go back again.

5) The Rhine River, also in Germany
One of my favorite things in all of Germany was to take the train from Stuttgart to Koln, because it follows the Rhine River and its phenomenally pretty, historic and picturesque
and absolutely overflowing with castles. It feels like there's a new one at every little bend in the river. Our mental picture of the Middle Ages, and the basis for much of Tolkien's Middle Earth, and by extension the entirety of modern fantasy, has its origins in this part of the world. It is worth taking this train ride even if you don't need to go anywhere.

6) Berlin
This is my favorite city in the world. I would move here in a heartbeat if it made sense for my family at the moment; once my kids have grown up and moved on, my wife and I will probably move back here. It's hard to describe what makes Berlin so great, so how about this comparison: Berlin today is like Paris two hundred years ago, the nexus of government and art and industry in all of Europe.

7) Elizabeth Bathory's Castle, Slovakia
Most of the castles in Slovakia are restored and maintained, but not this one--Elizabeth Bathory is still so feared that no one will go near it. The only way to get there is through a spooky forest road to a faded valley where you look up at the crumbling ruin on the top of a desolate hill, and you know what? It's perfect. I wouldn't have it any other way.

8) Westminster Abbey, London, England
Living in Europe you see a lot of churches, and I saw a LOT of churches. Some of them are great, like the cathedral in Koln, and some are downright amazing, like the cathedral in Prague, but none of them affected me like Poet's Corner in Westminster Abbey. It's full of quotes and monuments for the greatest writers of the English language, and you can feel a sort of sacred genius and weight of history as you stand among them. Visiting the Corner is without exaggeration my favorite part of any visit to London.

9) Buenos Aires, Argentina
Mash Paris and Berlin and Mexico City together, and you have Buenos Aires--it has art and energy and power and sophistication and a rough edge underneath it all, all at the same time. The architecture is beautiful, the food is great, and the people are some of the nicest I've ever met.

10) Grand Staircase, Utah
And now back home to Utah. Utah has more national parks and monuments than any other state, and they're all amazing, and I was going to write this entry about Bryce Canyon because it's so cool and recognizable, but you know what my actual one is? Grand Staircase-Escalante. It's not a giant canyon, or a wacky rock formation, or a verdant forest, it's just a sweeping desert, rocky and barren and stunningly majestic. Living in a desert you grow to appreciate the beauty of desolation, and Grand Staircase is stunning.

There you go: my top ten places to visit. It feels like a big list, but the world is enormous and wonderful and this covers such a tiny part of it. I look forward to adding more places to my list for next time, and I hope you do too. 

Thanks for stopping by and sharing your top ten travel spots with us Dan!

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Dan Wells is a thriller and science fiction writer. Born in Utah, he spent his early years reading and writing. He is he author of the Partials series (Partials, Isolation, Fragments, and Ruins), the John Cleaver series (I Am Not a Serial Killer, Mr. Monster, and I Don't Want To Kill You), and a few others (The Hollow City, A Night of Blacker Darkness, etc). He was a Campbell nominee for best new writer, and has won a Hugo award for his work on the podcast Writing Excuses; the podcast is also a multiple winner of the Parsec Award.


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