I happened upon the Rules for Thieves series when Alexandra Ott was having a Twitter giveaway. I was lucky enough to win a book, and as soon as I did, I couldn’t wait to feature it:
Rules for Thieves
After twelve-year-old orphan Alli Rosco is cursed with a deadly spell, she must join the legendary Thieves Guild in order to try and save herself in this high-stakes debut.
Twelve-year-old Alli Rosco is smart, resourceful, and totally incapable of keeping her mouth shut. Some of these traits have served her well during her nine years in Azeland’s orphanage, and others have proved more troublesome…but now that she’s escaped to try her luck on the streets, she has bigger problems than extra chores to contend with. Surviving would be hard enough, but after a run-in with one of the city’s Protectors, she’s marked by a curse that’s slowly working its way to her heart. There is a cure, but the cost is astronomical—and seems well out of her reach.
Enter Beck, a boy with a gift for theft and a touch of magic, who seems almost too good to be true. He tells Alli that the legendary Thieves Guild, long thought to be a myth, is real. Even better, Beck is a member and thinks she could be, too. All she has to do is pass the trial that the King of Thieves will assign to her. Join the Guild, collect her yearly reward and buy a cure. Plus, Alli hopes the Guild will be the home—the family—that Alli has always wanted. But when their trial goes wrong, innocent lives are put in danger, and Alli has to decide how much she can sacrifice in order to survive.
Alli must risk everything to save her new family from a rogue organization that is threatening the Thieves Guild’s existence—and the lives of all its members—in this high-stakes sequel to Rules for Thieves.
The Shadow Thieves
Alli Rosco, former orphan and thief, is free after her disastrous Thieves Guild trial, which left an innocent woman dead while Alli’s partner-in-crime, Beck, fled.
Now Alli is getting more than just a fresh start: her long-lost brother, Ronan, has come forward to claim responsibility for her and let her live with him on a trial basis. They try to mend the rift that started when Alli was dropped off at the orphanage while Ronan became a lawyer in Ruhia. But as determined as she is to make things work, Alli can’t seem to stay out of trouble.
To make matters worse, Alli finds a surprise guest on her doorstep one night: Beck.
He’s on the run and brings news of the Shadow Guild, a rogue organization that is trying to overthrow the current king of the Thieves Guild. Their friends are in real danger. And Beck needs Alli’s help one more time to bring the Shadows down.
Once again, Alli is forced to make a hard choice: save her friends, or lose her last chance to have a true family.
According to your website bio, you live in Oklahoma with your “canine overlord.” Can you elaborate on this overlord and their expectations?
My canine overlord is a Lhasa Apso who is very vocal about how she expects her humans to serve her. Among her demands: 1) The delicious food called “popcorn” must be shared with her; 2) Humans must lift her up onto her couch and her bed themselves, since jumping is beneath her dignity; 3) The office blinds must be left open so that she can look out the front window and bark at potential intruders. She also doesn’t understand why people keep calling her by the name “Penny” when the proper form of address is obviously “Your Majesty.”
“Her Majesty” sounds adorable! THE SHADOW THIEVES is a sequel to RULES FOR THIEVES. In what ways did Alli’s story expand in ways you didn’t expect?
It’s tough to talk about The Shadow Thieves without spoilers, but I’ll try! I’d say that I went into this sequel knowing what the focus would be and where I wanted it to end, but I didn’t know exactly how I was going to get there. Several new characters are introduced in The Shadow Thieves who weren’t in the first book, so that was one of the biggest areas of exploration—figuring out exactly who these characters are and what makes them tick. There are some new villains, for example, who were quite fun to write about once I figured out their story!
I’ll bet they were! What do you love most about Twitter giveaways, and in what ways (if any) can they be a helpful marketing tool?
I love how engaged the book community is on Twitter. It’s such a great way to find new readers who I might otherwise not have been able to connect with. Some of the bloggers I’ve met via Twitter are such passionate and dedicated readers! I don’t know how effective it is as a marketing tool, but I’m glad that it gives me the ability to connect with readers so easily.
I’m not sure about Twitter as a marketing tool, either. Every book has its reader–and the hope is that enough people (including bloggers) can spread word so that more potential readers can be reached. Your next middle grade novel, SEEKERS OF THE WILD REALM, is forthcoming from Aladdin/Simon and Schuster in summer 2020. Is there anything you can tell us about it yet?
I’m so excited about Seekers of the Wild Realm! Like the Rules for Thieves series, it’s a middle grade fantasy adventure story. But it’s about a new protagonist—a young girl named Bryn who’s determined to win a competition to become a magical creature caretaker/trainer. But there’s a problem: she’s the first girl ever to compete, and she isn’t allowed to train with the boys. So Bryn will have to find her own way to train—even if it means caring for a baby dragon in secret…