Christina Henry and BLACK HOWL giveaway

Hey Christina, so good to have you visiting Manic Readers again!

Thanks for having me back!

For those who haven’t met Maddy yet, could you please give them a quick run down about her and the BLACK series?

Madeline Black is an Agent of death, which means that she ferries the souls of the dead to a place called the Door. The souls pass through the Door to…someplace, but Maddy’s not allowed to know what that someplace is. The Agency is a giant bureaucracy, and everyone is on a need-to-know basis. Agents, despite their important job, are pretty much cubicle workers in the hierarchy and they don’t need to know what’s behind the Door.













In the first book, BLACK WINGS, Maddy discovers that she’s the daughter of a fallen angel, and that changes her life forever.

What about Maddy’s latest adventure, BLACK HOWL?

Ghosts are popping up all over Chicago, and these ghosts have not had their deaths foreseen by the Agency. That means that they are outside of the natural order, and something big and bad is lurking around.

As an added complication,  Maddy’s friend Wade (the alpha of the werewolf pack from BLACK NIGHT) has been kidnapped and Jude’s asked Maddy to help find him. Oh, and Lucifer has been hanging around trying to trap Maddy into becoming the heir to his kingdom, which Maddy is definitely not interested in.

Maddy has become quite popular, Congrats!  Has this changed your life for the better any?

The best thing about it is that I’ve been able to continue writing professionally. I love being a writer and if the books are successful then it means I can keep doing what I love!

For the worst?

No. Seriously, this is the best job ever!

Do you have a finite number of books in your head for Maddie and crew?

Right now there will be at least six books. I think there is space to write more, but I’m not sure how many more after that.

Have you experienced the dreaded “writer’s block” yet?  If so, how did you whip it into submission?

I’ve never gotten writer’s block. I’ve had some days where I’ve been writing and it’s not as easy as other days, but I always have something to say. I work out a lot of writing issues when I’m running in the morning, so I usually have some idea of where I’m going to start when I sit down to write for the day.

Many authors are branching out into YA, do you have any aspirations in that direction?  Any other genre you might like to try?

I think it takes serious talent to write good YA, and I don’t have that ability. The best authors write books that are age-appropriate without talking down to their core audience. I have loved many recent YA books, though, like the Percy Jackson series, the Series of Unfortunate Events, and of course, Harry Potter.

I’d love to try my hand at writing a mystery someday – maybe a mystery with paranormal elements.

What’s your favorite way to unwind?

I like to read, run, bake and go to Costco. Sometimes I like to just go to Costco and walk around and look at all the new stuff.

Any hints on what Maddy might be up to after BLACK HOWL?

There are some major changes coming for Maddy and her world. I like it when there are consequences in a series, the feeling that something irrevocable can happen at any time.

Been up to anything interesting since our last visit?

My life is fairly unglamorous. My five-year-old keeps me on my toes!

Christina, thanks heaps for stopping by to chat.  I’ve had a large time visiting with you again!

Always happy to visit with you, Ivy!

Christina’s publisher, ACE, is giving away a copy of BLACK HOWL to one lucky person.  Only meaningful comments or questions to Christina need apply.  Contest will run until midnight est March 14th.  Winner to be announced shortly thereafter.



Visit Christina


My name is Beezle, and I will be your incredibly handsome host for today’s tour. For those of you that don’t know me, I live in a slightly rundown two-flat in Chicago with an Agent of death named Madeline Black. She inherited the job, the house, and my wonderful gargoyle self when her mother died.

I spend a lot of time trying to keep Maddy from doing stupid things that will get her killed. The rest of the time it’s my job to guard our home.

Gargoyles can see the true nature of things. That means if a creature comes to our front door in a magical disguise I can look through all the layers of reality down to that creature’s essence and discover its real identity. It’s an amazingly important job and one that Maddy does not seem to appreciate properly. If she did, there would be more popcorn in the house and less complaining when all the chocolate disappears.

Anyway, on with the tour! Maddy and I live on the north side of Chicago, about six blocks from Wrigley Field and only ½ block away from the nearest Dunkin’ Donuts at Lincoln and Addison. I am partial to Boston Kreme doughnuts if you ever want to stop by the house with a half-dozen.

A short walk south on Lincoln will bring you to Dinkel’s Bakery, another excellent source of chocolate-covered doughnuts filled with cream. They also make every kind of cookie imaginable and excellent birthday cakes. My birthday is November 13th, in case you were wondering.

If we jump on the Brown Line at Paulina we can take the el over to the Southport stop, where a host of glorious goodies awaits.

The Ann Sather café is right next to the Southport stop, which is convenient because it means you won’t have to walk very far in order to stuff yourself with the most wonderful cinnamon rolls you’ve ever eaten in your life.

Maddy usually only buys one roll for us to share, which is pretty stingy if you ask me. If it were up to me we’d have enough on hand to eat four or five every day of the week. Of course, when I say things like this it usually leads to a non-productive discussion about trans fat and the size of my belly. Maddy doesn’t understand that gargoyles are supposed to be round.

Further north on Southport is Sensational Bites, home of the Boston Cream cupcake, the frosted brownie and gigantic slices of carrot cake. It is only a few steps away from Dairy Queen, so if you need an ice cream chaser after you’ve loaded up on pastry you won’t have to walk very far.

I’d like to tell about you a few more important places but Maddy is yelling at me about something. Apparently someone left a lot of dirty dishes in the living room and she seems to think I had something to do with it.

Come back next week and I’ll take you to all the movie theaters that have the best popcorn. Until then, Beezle signing off.

Beezle and Maddy have graciously offered to give away a copy of BLACK NIGHT to a lucky commenter.  Winner will be chosen at random and announced August 2nd. Sorry, open to residents of the US and Canada only.

BLACK WINGS ~ Christina Henry

Christina thanks so much for visiting Manic Readers.

Thanks for having me here today!

Could you tell us a bit about BLACK WINGS, your debut?

Maddy Black is an Agent of death. It’s an inherited job with no pay. She’s broke, she’s stressed and she’s got to rent the apartment in her building if she wants to have some income. She takes on a new tenant who winds up bringing a whole host of new supernatural problems with him. She’s also got a very mouthy gargoyle with a bad popcorn habit who loves to express his opinion on everything.

Did you always want to write?

Yes, it was something that I’ve always wanted to do. When I was 12 years old I read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “The Lord of the Rings” for the first time and decided then and there to be a writer. I’ve never really wanted to do anything else.

What 3 things do you require to be able to write?

Unfortunately, because I have a 4-year-old I just have to write when I can. I prefer to have a pot of green tea, my iPod, and a couple of hours of quiet, but I will take what I can get.

I guess, to be so small they require a lot of time and energy!  *S*

Who’s in control, you or the characters?

I think the process of a writing a story happens pretty organically. Bits of plot or dialogue will occur to me at random throughout the day, and then when I sit down to write I build something around those bits. So the answer is I am mostly in control, but my characters give me a lot of help!

Can you give us some info on BLACK NIGHT?

I can tell you that the world will open up some, and that you will be introduced to some new creatures and characters that will become important in Maddy’s world. I can also tell you that her romantic relationships become more instead of less complicated, Beezle eats a lot more doughnuts, and that the ending of the book surprised me when I was writing it, so I hope it surprises you when you read it!

I’m looking forward to it, I adored Beezle.

What do you most enjoy about writing?

I love getting into the intricacies of the story and being so engaged that I’m not sure exactly what’s going to happen next. It’s so much fun to be surprised by the story!

Dislike the most about writing?

Deadlines 🙂

What are your 3 biggest pet peeves?

I don’t have a ton of pet peeves, but a big one is people who just stop in the middle of the aisle at Costco! Those carts are too big and the store is always crowded, even on a weekday, because it’s the only warehouse store on the north side of Chicago.

Did you have a favorite book as a child?  Teenager?  Do you currently have a favorite?

My favorite books as a child were the Black Stallion books. As a teenager I was very serious and interested in being perceived as deep so I read a lot of French and Russian writers, like Sartre and Camus and Dostoevsky.

My favorite book of all time is Richard Russo’s “Nobody’s Fool”. It’s just a masterpiece of characterization.

I’ll have to check out “Nobody’s Fool”.  I’ve never read Richard Russo.

Where do you envision yourself in 5 years?

I really hope to be still writing professionally. I don’t need to be a bestselling author (although that would be nice!) but I’d like the books to do well enough that I can keep writing.

Thanks so much Christina for taking time out to talk with us.  I’ve really enjoyed it!

Thanks again for having me!

Christina has kindly offered 1 commenter a copy of BLACK WINGS!!   Winner will be chosen @ random and notified via email and here.  Comments have to be meaningful y’all!

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