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Interview with Diana Peterfreund + Rampant Giveaway!

Ever since I fell in love with Diana Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series last year, I've been hoping I'd get the chance to interview her here. Tomorrow marks the release of her new novel, Rampant, and let me tell you that you have not read a book like this before. You can read my review here, but all you really need to know is that it's a story about killer unicorns and the young women who hunt them. You want to read it now, don't you? Oh, yeah, and it's YA and the first in a series! To celebrate the release, Diana graciously answered a few of my most burning questions. As she is always a delight, I know you'll enjoy them as much as I did.

First things first: When did the idea for Rampant first hit you and what (if anything) did you know right off the bat?

In early 2005, just after selling Secret Society Girl, I had this dream of being chased by a very dangerous unicorn. I woke up and went to go look it up to see if I could figure out the meaning and discovered that there was this whole side to the unicorn legend that I didn’t know anything about – that a lot of people didn’t know anything about! A side where they weren’t these gentle creatures, but instead very, very dangerous.

As I’d been casting around for an idea for a true YA novel, this seemed like an excellent thing to latch onto, especially since it dovetailed so nicely into another thing I’d been wanting to write about, which was the topic of virginity and its place in our society. The only thing I knew from the start though, was that it was going to be a fantasy adventure about killer unicorns and the heroine’s name would be Astrid. Her picture came very clearly to my mind: her name, her face with its dark brows and long blonde hair.












Rampant went through a couple of different covers before it even came out. What is the story behind the two different covers and what are your feelings on the switch?

It’s not a very controversial one! I’m surprised how many people have shown interest in this. Covers change all the time; my first book had three covers and no one made a peep about that.

The first cover (which appeared on the ARC) was a result of a photo shoot my publisher did out on a horse farm. The horse they’d “hired” to be the unicorn was apparently not feeling very well, so refused to run or rear up or do anything but stand around and try to rub its horn off on nearby branches (poor guy!). So they couldn’t get him in the shot with the model. That Astrid’s single most noticeable physical trait is her long blonde hair and the undeniably gorgeous model had short, curly hair and a faceful of heavy makeup was not what I’d been expecting, but I shrugged it off. After all, the Amy in my Secret Society Girl books never looked anything like the models with waist-length hair they put on the covers, and she wouldn’t be caught dead in a preppy polo shirt with an even preppier sweater around her shoulders.

The resulting cover was very striking and pretty. Maybe too pretty for such an action-oriented novel. And when the ARC went out, we realized that there was something to be said for putting an actual unicorn on the cover of a book that was beginning to gain buzz for being “the book about killer unicorns.” Oops! So it was redesigned to focus more on the action element, as well as on the UNICORN.

I’m in love with my new cover. First of all, the new Astrid looks just like the Astrid in my head (including the eyebrows, and you never get that kind of verisimilitude in covers). Young, thrown into the deep end, but determined to rise to the occasion. I love that she’s not wearing makeup and that her hair looks messy, as if she’s been running around and shooting unicorns. I love the conceit of the unicorn charging in the reflection. And I love the detail of the marks on the sword. If you look closely, you can see that there is an engraving of a unicorn horn on the sword.

Also, it has the most gorgeous spine ever designed.

You actually traveled to Italy to do research for this series. What was that trip like and how did it impact the story?

Sadly, the trip was kind of a disaster. Both my husband and I were terribly sick the whole time, and the hotel was horrific (we were given dank army cots in a basement, moldy food, and verbal abuse by the management when we refused to eat said moldy food or asked them to pronounce the name of a village we wanted to visit that they insisted we couldn’t because I was pronouncing it wrong) but we didn’t have the energy to find a new place and move and do the research we’d come for. I remember, when we finally left, running into another couple checking in and I was like, “Do not stay here. Run!” Oddly enough, I have since discovered there is a “Hotel Astrid” in Rome that we could have stayed at instead! How funny would that have been?

Anyway, other than the sick and the hotel and the rainy weather (January is not the best month for Rome), we did what we’d come to do. Italy is great at serving comfort food to sick tourists, let me tell you! We visited all the locations I planned to write about in the story, got to stand in the room with Raphael’s “Lady with a Unicorn”, got to climb in and out of the ancient tombs in the Etruscan City of the Dead where my climactic scene takes place, and even discovered a cloisters that looked like it should belong to the hunters, featuring mosaics of unicorns and columns shaped like spiral horns! The main impact on the story was really being able to go into detail about the locations in my book, and adding a level of verisimilitude to the places I was writing about.

How do you go about naming your characters?

As I said before, Astrid came to me fully formed as a name. I know I decided early on that since these characters were from unicorn hunting families, their family names would have something to do with that heritage. Many of the characters have names that mean “lion” (like Llewelyn) or “hunter” or have some other connection to their birthright. Philippa, of course, means “horse lover” and Cornelia means “horn.” Bonegrinder may be my favorite name of all time. It’s so perfect for her, and I love its fairy-tale quality.

Giovanni was the most difficult name—and not coincidentally, the most difficult character—to pin down. When I sold the book, he had a different name and a different character, one that was, unfortunately, not very interested in Astrid. One of my tricks, when I’m not “feeling” a character, is to change his name. I’m surprised how often that changes who he is in my head. I changed his name, but that guy wasn’t interesting to Astrid. Then I hit upon the idea of making him part Italian—after all, since my girl’s in Rome, shouldn’t she have a romance with an Italian boy?—but I didn’t know what his backstory was until the scene where he walks out of the nightclub and spills his guts to Astrid. Then Giovanni came into focus for me: what he sees in Astrid, what Astrid sees in him, and why the relationship is so dangerous for both of them.

As I was reading I got a really good Buffy vibe from Astrid--the girl who longs to be normal but is forced into the role of supernatural creature hunter. What was your vision for Astrid and are you a Buffy fan?

Ooh, I’m so glad. It’s an honor to have a character I wrote be compared to such a great show. I’m actually a huge Buffy fan and have been for a decade. One of my college roommates got me started watching it, and I got my husband into it and countless other friends. Of course, there are lots of stories about female heroes who battle the supernatural: an entire genre full of them. I think we all owe a debt of gratitude to Buffy for that. I think Buffy and Astrid are similar in that they are both reluctant warriors with a very deep understanding that their superpowers come with a high mortality quotient. Buffy has it rough since she’s (usually) alone in her superpowers, a fact demonstrated over and over again and the driving force behind several season climaxes. On the flip side, once she does have a replacement, she can walk away or take short breaks (as she planned to do with college in Season 3) and she has a mandate (which she often seems to ignore when it comes to her various vampire boyfriends).

With Astrid, I wanted to explore a very different side of the supernatural warrior, one whose greatest talent is not actually her superpower, and for whom the question of duty is an incredibly sticky one. Astrid is an intellectual, and a scientist, and her unicorn hunting isn’t just cutting into after-school activities, it’s actively ruining her life – even if she does survive it. She can’t walk away without permanently destroying her ability, because her powers make her presence a danger to others. And then, of course, there’s the question of what her magic truly is, and if she has any right to use it. Finally, there are all the other hunters and the idea that, far from being alone, you’re part of an enormous community that must work together, even if you don’t want to.

And, I feel I must add that I was very annoyed with the denouement of the Riley storyline on Buffy and the implicit argument that men are threatened by female power and (repeated from the Xander storyline) that women cannot love men with less power than they have. The trend in a lot of paranormal and specifically, paranormal YA fiction, seems to be about normal girls falling in love with these vastly powerful, supernatural men. I wanted to write something where the vastly powerful, supernatural woman fell for the brave, sweet, totally normal guy, who didn’t actually have any problem with the way she could kick his ass. (See also: Sokka in Avatar.)

Is there a Rampant soundtrack?

There is, and it’s quite a long one, so I’ll just share a few of the really pivotal songs. Most of the book was composed while listening to the album LUX VIVENS, by David Lynch (yes, that David Lynch) and Jocelyn Montgomery. It’s an album of music written by a brilliant, talented medieval nun named Hildegard of Bingen. She was a writer, a mystic, a polymath, a composer, and a naturalist, and a huge inspiration to me while writing a story about powerful nuns. Lynch reimagines the arrangements for a modern audience. Really incredible stuff. My favorite is “Battle and Aftermath” which includes screaming, stampedes, and drawn swords.

Aside from Hildegard, I also found myself listening to a lot of what are known as “weaving songs” and other “work” songs— these very hypnotic, rhythmic songs that weavers, sailors, or other workers used to sing or play to keep their mind on their work. Since unicorn hunting has that harmonic element, as well as being a sort of altered state of consciousness, it was great to tap into that.

There’s also a song I’ve taken to calling my “Astrid and Giovanni Love Theme,” and that I listen to whenever I’m writing the scenes of them together. It’s an achingly beautiful, all-cello arrangement of Coldplay’s “Fix You” performed by the Yale musical group Low Strung. It makes me cry every time I hear it – there’s just so much longing in the melody, and, by the end, a sort of resolution and relinquishment that is truly heartbreaking.

What was it like writing two separate series simultaneously? Did you ever find it hard switching gears and going from one world to another?

Not really, since the two series are so markedly different. SSG is a comedy. Rampant is a big epic fantasy with life or death consequences on every page. The only thing I really noticed, returning to Amy’s world to write her final book after finishing Rampant, was how truly different Amy’s perspective was than that of a teenager.

It helps that Astrid and Amy are such phenomenally different characters. Amy is outspoken, gregarious, overeducated, successful, experienced, and, yes, spoiled. Astrid is shy and quiet. She’ll think things but not say them (whereas Amy suffers from permanent foot-in-mouth disease). She’s smart, but she’s young, and she’s used to disappointment in her life. Perhaps due to her struggles, Astrid also has a very clear vision of what she wants out of life and how it’s being taken away from her. I don’t think Amy would last two minutes against a killer unicorn. Astrid’s life just keeps getting harder and harder, and she’s hadd to become tough and a little ruthless to survive it. She’s sorely tested over the course of the book, and the decisions she’s forced into exist on a level that Amy has never had to face.

I do not adhere to the belief that a writer should be limited to writing only one kind of story. C.S. Lewis wrote children’s fantasy and adult religious satire. George Orwell wrote about social issues in modern England as well as dystopian science fiction and allegorical fables. I enjoy reading, and writing, all kinds of books.

When and how do you write?

Whenever, wherever, and however I can. If writing at my desk at the computer isn’t working, I’ll take my alphasmart and go sit outside. I’ll write on notecards while at the dog park. I’ll write at any time of the day or night. I plot my books out in advance, and I’m not much of a drafter. I tend to write more slowly, but more cleanly, than writer friends who don’t plan out in advance.

What’s the one book/series you’ve been gushing about nonstop lately?

Lately it’s been tough. I’ve been so busy with two book releases this summer and finishing up the second killer unicorn book that I haven’t had much time to read. But I read DULL BOY by Sarah Cross this spring and I loved it. I want to sneak into Sarah’s house and steal her grocery lists if they are half as witty and engaging as her debut novel. And I’ve been gushing about Carrie Ryan’s books since I first read her first draft of THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH.

And just for fun, what’s the first word that comes to mind when I say:

Poe: (You would list this first. LOL!) Dark

Books: Joy

Astrid: Hard

Avatar: Aspirational

Giovanni: Sweet

Writing: Job

Jamie: (Again?) Angie’s Obsession!

Secret Societies: Done

Sexy: My husband!

Unicorns: wild

YA: anticipation

Home: My husband (yes, again)

Thanks so much, Diana! And, honestly, I couldn't help myself with the Poe references. I love the guy. End of story.

***

And now for the giveaway! Harper Teen has graciously offered up three copies of Rampant to give away to three lucky commenters. All you have to do is leave a comment telling me if you've ever read a book about unicorns before and what it was. If you've never read one, tell me why you're looking forward to reading Rampant! The contest will run for one week and will close at midnight on Sunday, August 30th. I'll announce the winners on Monday. Please make sure to leave me a way to contact you.

Comments

  1. What an awesome interview. I love it. I have to check out this book.
    Bravo Ang!

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  2. Well please count me in =)
    tynga85 at hotmail dot com

    I never read a book about unicorns, even thought there is one at some point in Yasmine Galenorn's series.

    Whwn i was young I used to watch the last Unicorn movie over and over tho!

    I'd like to rea rampant 'cause it really seems great and stands out as something veyr original.

    Thanks for the giveaway =)

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  3. Count me in!
    I've never read a book about unicorns before--but I really want to read Rampant because it nicely plays a twist on the usual cnecpt of innocence associated with unicorns.
    prodhi@live.com

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  4. I've never read a book particularly ABOUT unicorns but I've read books with unicorns in it like SpellFall - it was such a fantastic book and Rampant sounds awesome too

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  5. Forgot my email sorry .
    thebookcellar@wi.rr.com

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  6. I love book giveaways!

    I have never read a book about unicorns, however I have read books where unicorns were featured (HP for example) but I am always interested in books abou mythical creatures.

    teentangentsblog at hotmail dot com

    ~Chelle

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  7. Definitely count me in! I haven't read any unicorn themes books before, but I'm looking forward to Rampant. Why, you ask? Well, first of all...kill unicorns. If that isn't enough to draw people in, then I have no idea what would. I also loved Peterfreund's Secret Society Girl series.

    -Lizzy
    Cornucopiaofreviews@gmail.com

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  8. I'm with Tynga on this one. The only books I've ever read that include unicorns are Yasmine Galenorn's Sisters of the Moon series. I'd love to read about KILLER unicorns, it sounds fantastic! YA books are becoming a favorite of mine these past couple of months...I wonder why I stopped reading them so long ago!

    Please enter me, I'd love to win a copy of this book.

    jennilovevirgo@aol.com

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  9. Does Harry Potter count? lol.

    Sign me up!

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  10. I loved The Last Unicorn by Peter S Beagle.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  11. ang! I am SUPER excited about this book, but then, I'm always excited about any book you tell me about. :o)

    I think my first unicorn book was Acorna: The Unicorn Girl by Anne McCaffrey and Margret Ball. I love unicorn books.

    Please count me in and hopefully I'll win. That would be a happy, happy day. :o)

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  12. I love this interview! Very fun and engaging. I never really read interviews, but I read this one all the way through.

    The only unicorn book I can remember reading is The Last Unicorn. And you thought there was only the cheesy cartoon version! (which I also secretly love)

    I would absolutely love to win a copy of Rampant.

    gypsyrover21 AT yahoo.ca

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  13. Oh I think Holly Black's TITHE had a unicorn in it! And perhaps Lesley Livingston's WONDEROUS STRANGE as well!

    yan.pocky(at)gmail(dot)com

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  14. Oh I'm almost forgot to enter the giveaway.

    I have never read a book about unicorns. Any time I think of unicorns I think of 1985 movie Legend with Tom Cruise.

    I love the idea of unicorns being something besides lovely, magical, and good.

    -Juju
    suitejuju@gmail.com

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  16. I think the only book about unicorns I've ever read was "The Last Unicorn," which we actually read in one of my honors English classes in high school. I had seen the animated version of it YEARS before (on *LASERDISC!*), but I never knew it was actually a book first.

    Come to think of it, I can't really think of any other unicorn-centric books already out there (I'm sure they're there, just probably not in my realm of reading).

    I've been looking forward to Rampant for what feels like forever at this point, and I'm especially excited to see a different side of Diana's imagination in writing after having finished the Secret Society Girl series!

    Just Christine
    twitter.com/justchristine
    christine at justchristine dot com

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  17. Thanks for the great interview! I've read stories with unicorns in them, The Harry Potter series, The Fairy Godmother by Mercedes Lackey etc., but I haven't read any stories where unicorns played a central role. I did see the animated movie based on the classic book The Last Unicorn. That story still resonates with me :)

    bonnieferguson AT rogers DOT com

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  18. fantastic.. got to get this by the 9th of sept.. I know someone crazy about unicorns who will adore the story
    found the site through twitter
    kohsamui14

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  19. I can't wait to read this book, as I'm a huge fan of both Diana and the Secret Society Girl books. I've never read a book about unicorns, but I *was* a big fan of The Unicorn Club from Sweet Valley Twins. :)

    JenP
    jpetroroy@gmail.com

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  20. I've read all the Harry Potter books. Although none of them were specifically about unicorns, there was a unicorn in them. I loved those books.
    Please enter my name in your draw.
    Thanks.
    wandanamgreb (at) gmail (dot) com

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  21. I loved unicorns as a girl - had a room full of them, but I have never read a book about unicorns. Why then do I want to read this - because it's by Diana Peterfreund and it just sounds like a great and different book.

    crystalfulcher(at)ec.rr.com

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  22. I can't remember reading any books about unicorns, but I love these magic creatures since I have had dreamed with one when I was a little kid, you know that dream that no matter how time passes you just can't forget?
    A book with unicorns already is awesome, but with bad unicorns it's even more attractive!

    olive.mariaclara@gmail.com

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  23. I never read a book about unicorns before. I've heard so much about Rampant over the past year or so that I can't wait to read it! ...though I keep wondering where the zombies come in. ;)

    Cari

    neohippy10 hotmail

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  24. Very nice interview!!

    I know I have read books with unicorns but I honestly can't remember! Now it is going to drive me nuts. The concept of this book sounds so unique!

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  25. i read a series about unicorns when i was about 7 called the Unicorns of Ballinor. but besides that i haven't read any unicorn related books in a long time.

    smartieangel12@yahoo.com

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  26. Haven't read any unicorn books that I can think of. Sounds cool can't wait, the suspense sounds awesome. Poe...I am with you there!

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  27. Can I just say that I love when people take something traditionally safe (like unicorns) and make them dangerous? I'm looking forward to this coming out!

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  28. I stalked the Borders and B&N at Tysons Corner, VA this weekend hoping someone would have shelved Rampant early. No such luck. Please enter me!

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  29. I loved reading Tanith Lee's Unicorn series and, of course, Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn.

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  30. I dont think i have ever read a book about unicorns. I love the new cover of the book.

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  31. First off, I want to mention how awesome Diana is just because she mentioned Avatar. She has won my loyalty forever. ;)

    When I was in third grade, I was really into this series called the Unicorns of Balinor. I only read the first three-I think I stopped b/c I hit a reading slump that I didn't get over until a few years ago! (very fortunately ;)
    I would LOVE to win RAMPANT!!!
    Thanks, Angie!
    ~Rachel
    sentas_cry516@hotmail.com

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  32. Thanks, Angela! What a great picture you found of buffy, there! I think she kind of looks like Phil from that one scene... you know the one I'm thinking of, I'm sure.

    Kati, did you never get your ARC? I requested one for you. Sad face. You know, I'm signing in Tyson's Corner on 9/12.

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  33. I think the only book I can remember that had unicorns in it was Madeline L'Engle's Many Waters. At least I think it was that one - it's the one where the twins get sucked back to Noah's time, anyway.

    I do remember thinking that I must be taking the book all wrong because I thought the unicorns were irritating, the seraphim boring and the nephilim utterly fantastic!

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  34. Rachel, I adore Avatar. It's one of my favorite television shows of all time, and I just discovered it this past winter. And I kind of have a monstrous crush on Sokka, who I hear they are making into a VERY different person in the movie. Which is a shame, because Sokka was AWESOME. He was like Xander times a gazillion -- really funny and REALLY brave and REALLY strong and for the most part completely cool with the fact that he was the only one who managed all the amazing things he did WITHOUT the benefit of magic. The casting of Jackson Rathbone (who plays Jasper in Twilight) makes me worry that they've made him all angsty, which is too bad, since he's generally angst-free -- the most angst-free of all the central characters... um, outside of Momo. ;-)

    Not to derail the thread, but I'm super suspicious of the movie adaptation, and not just because of the casting. However, I do also love Dev Patel (anyone else watch SKINS? Or Slumdog Millionaire, which he's way more famous for) and think he's going to make a great Zuko, even though he's SE Asian instead of Chinese.

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  35. Great interview, Diana & Angie! :)

    I've never read a book about an unicorn and that's why I want to read Rampant!

    Plus I've been wanting to read more YA, too. I've been doing okay, just read Lipstick Apology (which was really, really good) and have a few on my TBR pile but most of the books are actually adult and I have this weird.. thing where I can't buy books when I have some to read. I don't know why, but don't you worry!

    I'm making a list of YA I want to read and Rampant is totally in it! :)

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  36. I've never read a book about unicorns but I'd love to win this because I've read her other books and I couldn't put them down.

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  37. I'd love to be entered! Suprisingly, I don't think I've ever read a book about a unicorn. I had an almost unhealthy obsession with them as a girl so you'd think I would have read at least one book about them..but no. I've seen a lot of chatter about this book on twitter, and can't wait to get my hands on a copy!

    Jenn
    http://jennsbookshelf.blogspot.com
    jennsbookshelfATgmailDOTcom

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  38. Good god, I just ready my comment and I sound like rambling lunatic!

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  39. Let's see... does Harry Potter count? It's unicorn-affiliated!

    In any case, I'm really excited to read RAMPANT because it seems to manage the seemingly impossible task of discussing the modern perceptions of female "purity," while also fitting in a snarky, kick-butt heroine, a Roman holiday, and unicorns. What's not to love?

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  40. I have never read a book about unicorns but I want to read this one because I have heard so many people say how much they liked it.

    bbricke AT yahoo DOT com

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  41. I've never read a book with about unicorns (but I did love the film version of the Last Unicorn as a kid!).

    I'm excited to read Rampant because i've read the preview on the HarperTeen website and absolutely loved it. I devoured her SSG novels, so I knew it was going to be a good read regardless, but I didn't know it was going to be that good. I was so very sad when I had to stop reading. Budgetary concerns prevent me from going out and buying it. Thank you for the opportunity to win a copy!

    cassandrabrownwrites AT gmail DOT com !

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  42. I'm super excited to read RAMPANT because I'm madly in love with the model on the first cover, who is just about the most beautiful girl in the world. (And I'm shallow.)

    Ahem! Really, I'm excited to FINISH reading RAMPANT, because I read a huge chunk free online (think DP linked it from her blog).

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  43. I can't recall any unicorn books I've read offhand. I'm looking forward to reading Rampant. I've seen it all over the web.

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  44. What a fun interview!

    I don't *think* I've ever read a unicorn book--in fact, I used to actively avoid the high fantasy books, so anything with a dwarf, elf, or unicorn was OUT.

    I can't wait to read RAMPANT, though.

    And my great-grandmother's name was Astrid! It's not a name you see often.

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  45. I don't think I've ever read a book with a unicorn. I'm excited to read this one because several people have recommended it. They also say it has a very chick-lit style which I love!

    amee821 AT hotmail DOT com

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  46. I collected Andrew Lang's colored fairy books when I was little, and I'm almost certain there's a story in one of the earlier ones (maybe The Blue Fairy Book) where a man has to catch a mischievous unicorn to win a princess's hand in marriage! Haha.

    Anyway, I've always loved fairy tales and, with that, fantasy. You write characters and romance so well that I know Rampant would be a real treat to read.

    Plus! You can send it to my new Yale P.O. box! I'm so excited about starting my freshman year.

    Cheers~
    alexandra.lin@yale.edu

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  47. I know there have been others, but The Last Unicorn is the only primary-unicorn book that I've read. To say I'm looking forward to Rampant is an understatement!
    enter me :D leahcat *at* gmail

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  48. So excited to read this one! And I LOVE the cover it ended up having. The unicorn's reflection in the sword is genius. Best wishes with the series, Diana!

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  49. No entry for me Angie, just stopped by to read this lovely interview and to say how much I enjoy Ms. Peterfreund's writing. (SSG was the guilty pleasure amoung all of my UF and PNR reading, and it was probably how Angie and I noticed each other's blogs) :)

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  50. Shawna Lewis
    weloveourdogs@juno.com

    Well yes Harry Potter had unicorns in it. You know from the first time I saw this book with the old cover I just wanted to read it so bad!!!!
    I love this cover also it is just amazing!!!!
    Thanks so much for this chance to win!!!!

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  51. I don't think I've read a book about unicorns, which is why I want to read Rampant!

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  52. I have never read a book about unicorns and I think it will be exciting to read because then it will be like nothing I have ever read before. I do not know much about unicorns so it will be brand new.

    usignolc@yahoo.com

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  53. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  54. Great interview! I'm loving the sound of this book more and more.

    The only book about a unicorn that I can recall reading is Peter S. Beagle's The Last Unicorn, which was great.

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  55. I don't believe I've ever read a book about killer unicorns, it sounds like a fabulous read and too interesting to pass up. Plus, I'm intrigued with all of the research that went into this book, I'd liked to see how it all played in it.

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  56. "I don’t think Amy would last two minutes against a killer unicorn."

    Are they by any chance afraid of water? Cos Amy can swim now, you know. :)

    One of my favorite books growing up featured a unicorn named Lightfoot -- it was called "Into the Land of Unicorns" by Bruce Coville, who remains one of my favorite authors to this day. I believe the main character's father was actually a unicorn hunter -- and a bad guy, which is a switch from this series. Another one of my favorite childhood books -- "A Swiftly Tilting Planet" by Madeleine L'Engle -- also featured a unicorn. And of course there are unicorns in the Mercedes Lackey Tradition novels. They share qualities with Bonegrinder, actually.

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  57. Hi Diana,
    super interview! Killer unicorns, what a kwel idea! Hope to win a copy, the book sounds great!

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  58. Rampant sounds awesome. Great interview!
    I used to read unicorn books all the time when I was in elementary school, but I can't seem to remember the names of them. I've read some books that mention unicorns in recent years (ie. Harry Potter, The Faerie Path), however, I'm embarrassed to admit that the most recent book concerning unicorns I have read is my sister's My Secret Unicorn: A Special Friend.
    I've always had this image of unicorns being beautiful, magical creatures, and I think it would be a page-turning experience to see the other side of that. And, haha, I think a girl needs to be able to kick a guy's butt sometimes. :)
    So cheers to an original idea and a gorgeous cover! I would love to win a copy of this book and read it.

    Jennifer
    jenniferwang.usa@gmail.com

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  59. I have never read a story about unicorns - and that is one of the main reasons why I am so interested in reading this one! Killer unicorns - that is made of awesome.
    maggiemelson@gmail.com

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  60. I've read Peter S. beagle's The Last Unicorn, which is fabulous, and a book of short stories he edited called Immortal Unicorn, which has some great stuff in it, including a sweet and beautiful story by Harlan Ellison, which is kind of a change of pace for him.

    My e-mail is redheadali AT sbcglobal DOT net.

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  61. I think my favorite unicorn stories are Tanith Lee's Black Unicorn, Gold Unicorn and Red Unicorn books, mainly because I love the spunky heroine Tanaquil so much. This novel sounds like a unique twist on the old unicorn myths!

    this_is_shar(at)live(dot)com

    --Sharry

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  62. Anonymous6:23 PM

    ummm a book with a Unicorn? I read Harry Potter and it has unicorns!
    Why I want to read Rampant!? well because in it unicorns aren't the sweet little creatures that movies make them to be, and they are dangerous! So in my view that makes them awesome!!

    my email is: bere_9008@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  63. My favorite book featuring unicorns is The Last Unicorn. It was such a sweet book. I also enjoyed the unicorns in Harry Potter.

    I would like to read Rampant because it shows a very different side to unicorn.

    neverendingshelf@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  64. Thank you for the wonderful interview Angie and Diana! I am such a fan of the SSG books and am SOOPER excited to read 'Rampant.'

    As for unicorn books: NADA. My aunt, however, is obsessed with them and has the frilly, '80s unicorn theme all over her house (would it explain things if I told you she has a fem-mullet too?). I'm awful glad however that you are making them evil instead of kind - they always seemed a little too stuck up for their own good...

    Thanks!
    mmillet at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  65. Great interview. I have never read a book about unicorns before but I would love to and this looks like a great one to start with. I was always fascinated by them and would like to see them included in more fiction.

    bacchus76 at myself dot com

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  66. iokijo10:03 PM

    Great interview.
    Haven't read any unicorn books. Really want to read this book.. Would be a wonderful first.

    Thanks for sharing and the chance to win this book.

    ioki_jo at hotmail dot com

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  67. Well...the book I've read isn't technically about unicorns, but it does feature a world where they make an appearance (of the meaner variety, too, if I remember correctly).
    It was The Feline Wizard by Christopher Stasheff.

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  68. I know I'm late to the party, but I just have to say:

    Brilliant interview, Angie and Diana!

    I had no idea that David Lynch (*melts* *drools*) had any sort of musical arrangement going on, nor did I know that Rome was such a strange and kinda crappy trip because of the hotel, etc (I can relate though...when I went to London last year I spent about $200 US per night on the tiniest, most hideous b&b EVER). And the story behind the covers was really interesting too - I had thought the blonde coiffed model on that original cover was one of the mock-ups Diana did (I still think I love THE LAST UNICORN cartoon-y one of those *almost* as much as the final cover).

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  69. This sounds fabulous! I have read a few books where unicorns are part of the story. The most recent one I can think of is Neil Gaiman's Stardust which had a small scene featuring a unicorn.

    My email is ozdiamondlil at gmail dot com.

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  70. Looks like a good book, please enter me into this drawing.

    I've never read a book about unicorns before, but I like the idea of turning the idea on its head and making them killer.

    Thanks for hosting this giveaway.
    jake.lsewhere[at]gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  71. Great interview Angie, I loved your questions!

    Diana - we stayed somewhere similar in Rome you had to pay extra for hot water in the room! But it's such a beautiful city.

    I can't think of a book I've read that features Unicorns, which is one reason why I'm excited about Rampant. And of course I love Diana's writing and the first chapters on Haperteen were great.

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  72. Thanks for the interview! I can't wait to read the rest of Rampant!

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  73. This comment has been removed by the author.

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  74. I have never read a book with a unicorn in it although I did have my share of folders and trapper-keepers decorated with the rainbow beasts. I have also spent hours watching The Last Unicorn movie.
    zenfoxflowerATyahooDOTcom

    sorry was trying to edit

    ReplyDelete
  75. Great interview. Everyone should read The Little White Horse, by Elizabeth Goudge. It's one of my favorite books!

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  76. If open to all then I am in.

    I did hear the buzz about those killer unicorns when the ARC went out. lovely covers on both still.

    I can't say i have read anything about unicorns, but I would sure love to, and I have read reviews on this one and would love to read it

    blodeuedd1 at gmail dot com

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  77. Books with unicorns I have read include The Chronicles of Narnia, The Unicorn Chronicles by Bruce Coville (Into the Land of the Unicorns, Song of the Wanderer, Dark Whispers, and a Sweet Valley Twins book that I love called The Magic Christmas. Also, there is The Lore of the Unicorns (free online) by Odell Shepard.

    I have also written a novel that I hope to have published someday that involves saving the last two unicorns in a world I created. I came up with the idea when I was twelve and bored. I had unicorn paintings on my walls by my favorite artist (and now close friend) Sue Dawe who is known for her unicorn art. I always wanted to read a story about unicorns so I thought it best to write one. Over the past four years, I have been re-writing and editing it.

    This book sounds really fantastic and takes such a different perspective from my own story and Sue's art. I can't wait to read it!

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  78. I've never read a book a book about unicorns before. Not even a childrens book. So I'm very excited about Rampant!! :D

    Izaya(at)hotmail(dot)de

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  79. When I was in elementary school I loved the Unicorns of Balinor books! In fact, I just recently donated them to the library...

    Also, I used to "wish upon a star" every night with my dad and I ALWAYS wished for a unicorn. Every time! :)

    Thanks for the great contest - I'm so excited about this book!

    grochowskis@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  80. Great interview!

    I don't think I've read a book with unicorns before. I think the closest one is Harry Potter.

    ~ Popin
    proudbookworm[@]gmail[dot]com

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  81. As a kid, I had(okay, I still have it) a book called Whisper The Winged Unicorn: Journey to Julie's Heart. :)

    un_pissenlit (at) hotmail (dot) com

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  82. Fabulous interview, Angie! I've been looking forward to reading "Rampant" for awhile now, so I'd love to own the book.

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  83. Great interview. I haver never read a book about unicorns. Rampant sounds good.

    Crystal816{at}hotmail{dot}com

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  84. Anonymous12:42 PM

    I can't recall a book with unicorns, but I love YA fantasy with strong women (I stock up on Tamora Pierce books as girl gifts) and am a fan of her Secret Society series. 'Nuff said.

    cpon [at] email.com

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  85. As at least a couple of others have mentioned, I have read THE LAST UNICORN. I have also read an anthology edited by Jack Dann and Gardner Dozois titled UNICORNS!

    And there are a couple of shorter unicorn stories that come to mind. First is James Thurber's "The Unicorn In The Garden." Second is "Unicorn Variations" by Roger Zelazny, which won the 1982 Hugo Award for Best Novelette.

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  86. My whole world was unicorns as a child! Bedding and Rainbow bright, The Last Unicorn, My Little Pony & Legend! I even had a coloring book with all unicorns... but for the life of me I can not remember the title of even one of my books!

    Miranda
    mdwartistry at yahoo dot com

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  87. Fabulous interview!!

    I've read so many Rainbow Bright stories to my daughter when she was little that it's scary now I know how dangerous they are.

    I can't wait to read Diana's book.

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  88. i have read The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle and The Black Unicorn by Terry Brooks

    throuthehaze at gmail dot com

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  89. Whoops! Forgot my e-mail!

    nheck at natashamheck dot com

    Thanks! What an awesome contest!

    ReplyDelete
  90. I never read any book with unicorn. The book sounds good though.

    kalynnick AT yahoo DOT com

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  91. The Last Unicorn by Peter S. Beagle is good. Please enter me.

    nicolama at cogeco dot ca

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  92. Thanks for the insightful interview.

    I've read a small handful of books in which unicorns are present, but none in which they were a major element of the story.

    I'd love to be entered in the giveaway. Rampant has been on my wish list for what feels like forever!

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  93. I have never read a book with the unicorns before. I used to collect them as a child and have always thought of them as magical and innocent so the thought of killer unicorns definately has me intrigued. Please enter me in the contest.

    Thanks,
    shylalou@bellsouth.net

    ReplyDelete
  94. I'd love to be entered, please.

    I've never read anything with unicorns that I can recall (okay, so C.S. Lewis had a unicorn in one of his books, didn't he?), but Legend (that old 1980s Tom Cruise flick with Tim Curry) is one of my favorite movies, and it has unicorns in it.

    Honestly, the reason I want this book is because it's fantasy and I gobble up as much fantasy and science fiction as I possibly can...

    Thanks for the giveaway! (email in profile)

    ReplyDelete
  95. First off, why is the "leave a comment" button at the end of the comments? Seriously, there's over 90 comments and it takes a while to scroll through all of those. :P

    Seriously though, KILLER UNICORNS, who wouldn't want to read about that. I haven't read anything like that before and I can't wait to read this one because of that.

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  96. I dont think I've ever read a book with a unicorn as the main subject of the book. And as a killer unicorn, nope, never read anything like that! I'd love to read Rampant because I love YA, I love mystical creatures and it just sounds so unique and fresh!

    Thanks Jackie at Literary Escapism for telling me about this contest! :)

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  97. Just love the books and can't wait to read Rampant! Enter me into the contest please!

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  98. Actually this is kinda funny, or not, but I've had a unicorn phobia since I was little. Never read about them, or kept pictures or anything. I mean I had the whole collection of Lisa Frank merchandise, but if anything with the unicorns came up, I'd run screaming. Really weird. I want to read Rampant because a) it's time to get over it, or b) I need my phobia justified. I mean, hello! Killer unicorns! I hate to say I told you so.

    mya DOT rooney AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  99. Nice interview, Angie and Diana! I'm so excited to read Rampant, because I hardly know anything about unicorns, let alone the legends about killer ones! Evil or not, I've always thought they're cool. LOVE the cover, too. I think it does have the coolest spine ever. I would read it on that alone. Thanks for entering me.

    hollygrierson@yahoo.com

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  100. Anonymous11:09 AM

    I've never read a book about unicorns before.

    I'd love to read this because I love unicorns!!!

    k i m i k a i o @yahoo.com (no spaces)

    ReplyDelete
  101. I've not yet read a book about unicorns, so I'd like to read Rampant so I can say I can! I've heard so much about Rampant, and it sounds amazing. I've been wanting to read this book for ao long, I can't wait to get my hands on a copy! :) Evil unicorns? What's not to love?!

    Email: joannestapley[at]googlemail[dot]com

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  102. Great interview Diana! I love your current cover for Rampant! Your book will be put on my to be bought list.

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  103. I remembered one other book featuring a unicorn that sticks out in my memory. That would be A SWIFTLY TILTING PLANET by Madeleine L'Engle. It's part of the same series as A WRINKLE IN TIME.

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  104. Please count me in!
    I have read some books with uniconrs but my favourite was Memorias de Idhun by Laura Gallego. One of the main character is the last unicorn alive. (It's a great book, not in English though)

    sheere.dry@gmail.com

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  105. Please add me in! I don't think I've ever read a book about Unicorns!!

    Kim
    bookbutterfly9@gmail.com

    thank you

    ReplyDelete
  106. Awesomee!! The only time I've ever read a book about unicorns was in like 2nd grade! Count me in!

    dasammywonggirl@yahoo.com

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  107. Anonymous5:56 PM

    Rampant sounds like such a great book! I love the new cover. The first was pretty, but the second really focuses on the fantasy. Killer unicorns is such a unique idea, and I'm really excited about seeing how the story plays out.

    I've never read a story about unicorns. I've read plenty of other fantasy books, but that's why this idea excites me so much. Unicorns are just fascinating creatures, and I like the idea of a story that focuses on a darker side to them.

    Please enter me in the contest.

    Lillian

    lkirby4978 at yahoo DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  108. The only book/series I've read with unicorns in the Harry Potter books. I just remember that they were good creatures that were killed for their blood. I'm curious to see how they play out as killers!

    foltzsfantasticbooks AT gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  109. Oh my goodness, count me in, please! I've not read a book ABOUT unicorns.. but had them involved. And that would be the Chronicles of Narnia series. Loved those books. Still do, actually!

    Thanks!
    Morning Glow
    ohmorningglow AT aol DOT com

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  110. I read Terry Brook's The Black Unicorn when I was younger.

    tehashley(at)yahoo(dot)com

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  111. No I have never read a book about unicorns but when i heard about this one, I squealed!
    Me and my friends love unicorns, watched charlie the unicorn too many times, have unicorn T-shirts, and yelled at people who said unicorns were just "horny horses"! Yeah we are weird!
    True we usually opt for the good unicorns but nonetheless I want this book with a mad burning passion! Unicorns! :)
    Dani.
    lightningstreak123@comcast.net

    ReplyDelete
  112. I've never read a book about unicorns before, which is a big part of the reason that I'm excited to read RAMPANT! Killer unicorns is such an interesting, unique premise that I'm really looking forward to reading about!

    Chloe
    lookaftermyheart1901(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  113. Please throw my name in the hat.

    bookdragonslair at gmail dot com


    I read The Last Unicorn. Split Infinity, and Into the Land of the Unicorns. I'm sure there are other.

    Why read Rampant? 'cuz it sounds awesome! It's going on my wish list but I hope I win so I can get it sooner.

    ReplyDelete
  114. Thanks for the giveaway. Please enter me. The only book I recall with a unicorn in it was Harry Potter.
    lizzi0915 at aol dot com

    ReplyDelete
  115. I've never read any book where the unicorn was one of the central characters but I've read books where the unicorn has appeared. It was in the Harry Potter books.

    jen4777[at]hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  116. I've never read a book about unicorns before, but I really want to read this book because it's very original and different from anything I've ever read.

    lovinfitch(at)aol(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  117. I haven't read a unicorn book yet. They've always been minor cameo chars in children's stories. I want to read Rampant cause it sounds dangerous and fun!

    jamr88 (at) gmail (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  118. I don't think I hav ever read a book about unicorns, unless you count those books made for 3 year olds, when everything is pink and full of rainbows lol
    Rampant seems to exterminate this idea, and it sounds wicked cool!

    Please enter me!
    juiceb0xx at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  119. I was never a huge unicorn fan, but I've definitely read books with unicorns in them. I can't think of any specific titles right now... except for the Harry Potter books.

    paradoxrevealed (at) aim (dot) com

    ReplyDelete
  120. Sounds very interesting!! Please count me in....cfisher1504[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete

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