Wednesday, May 22, 2013

A mind-bending new take on djinnis (genies)

From the moment I read the premise of The Binding Stone, by Lisa Gail Green, I knew I wanted to read this book,  because y'all know how I love:

Mythical creatures! Check - not just one, but three djinnis (genies)

Trickery and entrapment! Plenty of it here.

Betrayed love! ouch, but oh so intriguing.

And true love... happily, that too, plus a wild ride as Leela and Taj, my favorite djinnis, figure out how to evade commands from their masters, twisting interpretations of the commands and using clever tricks. There's some serious genius that went into this story!

So I tracked down this serious genius (turns out she has a lighter side, too) and interviewed her. Welcome, Lisa Gail Green:

Describe your book in seven words. Hah!

Betrayed Djinni rediscovers love and trust. HA! Did it in six. Sort of. That doesn't really do all the action justice, but what can I say?

What would be the first thing you'd wish for if you had a djinn like Leela?

I used to think of all sorts of things, including having a best-seller! But after writing this book? The first thought in my head was, 'I would never be able to ask a genie for anything.'

Is there a message in The Binding Stone that you want readers to grasp?

Yes. But is it cheating to say it? It's really about control. That no matter how bad the situation you are dealt, no matter how unfair, you can still be YOU.

Are the experiences in the Binding Stone based on someone you know, or events in your own life?

Yes. I am a Djinni. Ha! No. BUT I do have a fear of losing control, which manifests in many ways. So I guess I was putting some part of myself in the worst situation.

One thing I've always remembered from your blog posts on writing is how you've said we need to go places where we are afraid to go. Where were you afraid to go with the Binding Stone?

I was afraid to go to the dark place. To let Leela be tortured and mistreated the way she was. This is for kids after all! But I also think teens can handle it. Many have to handle it for real unfortunately. And for those that haven't, a book is the safest place to learn about other situations and explore differences whatever they may be. I think in the end I struck a good balance between what was spelled out and what wasn't. 

If you could be any character in fiction, who would you pick and why?

Oooh. I know I've seen it used a LOT, but I have to say Hermione. She's smart, talented, magical, and just all around awesome!

Oh my yes, a girl who can be dangerous holding a book, she's my choice too!
Leela's already been interviewed here, but I did manage to corner Taj, another Djinni, and ask him a  couple questions:

I see Leela worked for Mozart for a while. If you could pick any master in the world (famous person), who would you pick and why?

Honey, that's like me asking how you'd prefer to die. But if I MUST pick… I do like Brad Pitt. He's a hotty. Or maybe Lady Gaga - she looks like she'd be tons of fun. Unpredictable is less boring. Don't look at me like that. I wasn't going to pick Mother Teresa. I'd hate to have been responsible for her falling from grace. *winks*

Funny you should mention Brad Pitt,  Taj, because as I was reading this story, your character kinda reminded me of him a few times. Indulge me for a moment:

You've known Leela for centuries. In this latest escapade with her, did you learn anything new about her? Did you learn anything new about yourself?

Lee? She's so emo. I hope she finally realizes how strong she is and that some things are out of her control. Women. Me? I already know everything worth knowing, the rest as they say is excess baggage. Apple? *pulls fruit from air* *chews and thinks* I suppose I did learn that even I can still be surprised by a human now and then.

Thank you, Lisa and Taj!  Here's the official blurb on The Binding Stone:
Tricked into slavery by the man she loved, the Djinni Leela has an eternity to regret her choices.

Awakened in the prison of her adolescent body, she finds a new master in possession of the opal that binds her. But seventeen-year-old Jered is unlike any she’s seen. His kindness makes Leela yearn to trust again, to allow herself a glimmer of hope.

Could Jered be strong enough to free her from the curse of the Binding Stone?
"I dream of Lisa Gail Green! The Binding Stone is magical in so many ways. My Djinn asks for my third wish? The sequel, of course!" - NYT bestselling author Nancy Holder

"Genies like you’ve never seen them, THE BINDING STONE is a wild ride of treachery and deception. For my first wish, I’d like a sequel, please." - PERSONAL DEMONS author Lisa Desrochers

And, I have a little excerpt from my Goodreads review here to tempt you even further: 
I love how with all her centuries of experience with human masters, Leela's completely perplexed by Jered, her new master. His nature is so different from anything she’s encountered before, though there are things about him that also worry her:  "His eyes remind me of Achan’s, dark as oil. Enough years have passed, yet still my throat clenches at the thought."

This first mention of Achan immediately intrigued me. I wanted to know more about this bit of Leela’s history, and I was thrilled to discover that the chapters in present time are paralleled with chapters from a thousand years earlier, when Leela fell [spoiler removed].

I love present-time and past-time threaded stories. Love, love, love! The Binding Stone weaves the past and present together delicately and relentlessly. 

If you'd like a chance to win The Binding Stone, plus some other goodies, head over to Lisa Gail Green's giveaway here.


  1. Oh, what a fun interview! I absolutely adore reading about the djinn, so I'm really eager to check this book out for myself sometime. It sounds fantastic!

  2. It's Lisa again. YAY! Just read another interview with her. Love that her book is doing so well. And to have Nancy Holder give her props...that is just cool.

  3. Thank you, Margo!! And Taj says thanks too.
    Taj: No I don't. She should thank me. And she did.
    Me: That's not polite.
    Taj: *shrugs* I didn't turn her into a mouse, did I?
    Me: Anyway - thank you!!!

  4. Hi, Lisa! I'm so excited for you and your book's release into the world! I need to get myself a copy; it sounds terrific.

  5. great interview, and that book looks awesome. I'll have to check it out!

  6. I'm glad to see Taj getting some air time. He's my fave!

  7. This sounds so amazing! I need to read it!

  8. Congrats again Lisa! It was fun reading the interview (s).

    PS: Margo when I first heard about Lisa's book I just knew you would love it. ;)



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