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An Interview with Mindee Arnett

The Nightmare Charade (The Arkwell Academy, #3) by Mindee Arnett
Published by Tor Teen on August 4th 2015
Pages: 384

It’s her junior year at Arkwell Academy, and Dusty Everhart just wants to be alone with her boyfriend, Eli Booker. But fate is literally keeping them apart. See, Dusty is a Nightmare, who can enter Eli’s dreams to find clues to the future, but an ancient curse predicts that any romance between them is doomed to end in tragedy. Dusty and Eli are willing to take that risk, but the authorities disagree—and have assigned a chaperone to make sure their relationship is strictly platonic.
As if that’s not bad enough, they’ve been recruited by the Department of Intelligence for Magickind Secrecy (D.I.M.S.) to use their dream-seer bond to help recover the most powerful object of black magic known to magickind. The Animus Mortem can raise the dead by stealing the souls of the living…which makes tracking it down a genuine matter of life and death.
To make matters worse, one of Dusty’s friends is accused of murder and is counting on her to clear his name.
Dusty has too many dreams, too many commitments, and too many people looking over her shoulder, but a Nightmare seldom plays by the rules. Curse or no curse, chaperone or not, she has to go deep into Eli’s dreams if she’s going to find the truth—and discover a way for them to truly be together at last!



The final installment in a thrilling fantastical mystery series.

Sixteen-year-old Dusty Everhart breaks into houses late at night, but not because she’s a criminal. No, she’s a Nightmare. Literally. Dusty is a magical being who feeds on human dreams.

Being the only Nightmare at Arkwell Academy, a boarding school for magickind, and living in the shadow of her mother’s infamy is hard enough, not to mention the crazy events of the past year. Dusty may have saved the day, but there are many days left in the year, and with an old foe back to seek revenge, she’ll need all her strength to defeat him and save her friends.

Mindee Arnett thrills again in this stunning final installment in the Arkwell Academy series


I had the amazing opportunity to ask Mindee some questions about the final installment of her Arkwell Academy series, and also read the final book in this amazing series. Once again, I was blown away by Mindees’ work, but also sad about the series ending. I have loved and enjoyed both of her series, and I highly recommend them to everyone I know. Mindee is fantastic at bringing her worlds to life, and they always suck me in, leaving me wanting more.

I got the chance to ask Mindee 5 questions and I absolutely LOVE her answers. After checking out her interview, pop down below to check out the blog tour giveaway, and read an excerpt from ‘The Nightmare Charade’.


If you could sit down with any character from your Nightmare series, and learn more about them as a character, directly from them, who would it be and why?
What an awesome question. I love this question! Let’s see…if I could only pick just one I think it would have to be Lady Elaine. She is one of my favorite characters. She’s so salty and sharp, and I see her very clearly in my mind’s eye. But she’s also a bit of a mystery to me even now. She’s an Oracle who works for the magickind government. We learn a lot more of how her “oracle” powers work in The Nightmare Charade, but I would like to know more. Elaine is also the oldest character in the series. I have a feeling she has a lot of interesting stories to tell about her life. I would love to just have a chat with her about it, a sort of biographical interview. Where was she when Kennedy was shot? Was that event magickind related? Stuff like that.


Who would be your actress of choice to play Dusty, and who would you see playing Eli?
I’ve always said I would love Molly Quinn to be Dusty, and that’s still true, but recently I think Mae Whitman would make an excellent Dusty. I absolutely loved her in The DUFF, and I think she would bring the snarky, klutzy Dusty to life. For Eli I would go with Matt Lanter.


Were there any soundtracks or certain music you listened to while writing?
I am obsessed with listening to soundtracks while I’m writing. If I can’t have silence, then give me a soundtrack or score. So long as there’s no singing I’m good. I do tend to choose my soundtracks based on the genre or feel of the story. For example, the book I completed most recently was a high-fantasy with lots of magic and a lot of horses. My soundtrack choices there were—Pride and Prejudice, The Man From Snowy River, and Outlander. For the Arkwell Academy books my soundtrack choice has always been the Harry Potter films.


What are you currently reading at the moment? What book would you recommend to your fans?
I’m currently reading Uprooted by Naomi Novick. I love this book. It’s completely captivating and I don’t want it to end. My favorite books are always the ones that take me away from myself, like this one. Other books that do that, and ones I highly recommend are The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (check out the audio version), The Raven Cycle series, also by Steifvater, The Lumatere Chronicles by Marchetta Melina, The Daughter of Smoke and Bone series by Laini Taylor, anything by Leigh Bardugo. And so many more!


If you could collaborate with any author, to write a book along side of them, who would you choose and why?
So this is going to make me sound horrible, but the truth is—no one. Writing is my alone time. Whatever story I’m working on becomes my secret world that I get to escape to for hours on end. I just don’t feel like I would be very good at opening that world up to another person. It might be that I’m too much of a control freak. What I would love to do is collaborate with an artist. I have zero artistic talent, but I adore the ability in others. It would be fun to work on a picture book or a middle grade, such as the Last Apprentice Series by Joseph Delany for example, with an artist.


I would love to thank Mindee for taking the time to answer my questions. I love all of your work and I can’t wait to see what you have in store down the road. Check out the links down below to purchase your copy of ‘The Nightmare Charade’ and don’t forget to enter the giveaway!


Purchase: Amazon | B&N  |Chapters/Indigo |The Book Depository

YA Author of THE NIGHTMARE AFFAIR, a contemporary fantasy coming March 5, 2013 from Tor Teen (Macmillan) and AVALON, a YA sci-fi thriller coming Winter 2014 from Balzer+Bray (HarperCollins). Represented by the fabulous Suzie Townsend of New Leaf Literary. Addicted to jumping horses and telling tales of magic, the macabre, and outer space.

Last Kiss
I had no idea that the first kiss would be the last.
The last free one that was, the only one Eli and I didn’t have to steal or keep hidden like some terrible secret.
No, I had no idea what was coming as I stood in front of the bathroom mirror and reapplied my cherry lip gloss for the fourth time.
“You know, Dusty,” Selene said from outside the door where she was hanging posters on the wall of our new dorm room, two floors up from our old one. “Despite what the packaging might claim, I don’t think it’s actually possible to increase the size of your lips by putting on layers.”
Suppressing a nervous laugh, I turned and stepped out into the living room portion of the suite. We were juniors this year, and that meant a larger dorm, complete with a private bathroom. Selene and I had plans to burn our old shower shoes in a celebratory ritual this weekend.
I fixed her with the most serious stare I could manage. “Are you sure? This is magic lip gloss, you know.”
Selene snorted. “I don’t believe you.” She held out her hand, and I set the lipstick canister on her palm. She turned it over in her fingers, and then raised it to eye level to read the label.
“This is in French.”
“That’s because I bought it in Paris.” The memory brought a fleeting grin to my face. Despite the emotional challenges I’d faced during my summer vacation spent touring Europe—being cut off from my friends; stuck with only my mother for company; and most especially, going weeks on end without a single word from the literal boy of my dreams, Eli Booker—the physical experience had been fun. The lip balm was an impromptu purchase at a little shop called the Incantorium Emporium. It was the kind of place that only served magickind. Probably a good thing, given its location inside a secret alcove in the Paris catacombs. Nothing said magical and charming like a bunch of skeletons.
“So I gathered,” Selene said with a hint of envy in her voice. Her summer hadn’t been quite as exotic, although I would’ve traded places with her in a hot second. She’d spent the last eleven weeks hanging out with her boyfriend—late-night strolls by the lake, trips to the movies, not to mention hours of kissing, or so I guessed. Even if Selene were the kind of girl to make out and tell, she wouldn’t have chosen me as her confidant. Partially because I wasn’t thrilled about her reconciliation with my sometimes tormenter and regular jackass Lance Rathbone, but mostly because she knew all too well how little kissing I’d been doing lately.
A situation that was about to change.
A flock of butterflies took flight inside my stomach. I fought to keep the tremor out of my voice, my words coming rapidly. “Yeah, the shop owner told me it has an amore charm on it. At least, that’s what I thought he said. His accent was pretty thick, and I don’t think he liked me at all. He was a Mors demon and you know how they feel about Nightmares. I mean, then again, pretty much everybody hates Night—”
“Dusty.” Selene grabbed my shoulders and gave me a shake. “You’re babbling.”
I gulped, trying to settle the butterflies, but they only increased their frenzy, becoming hummingbirds instead, wings on turbo speed. “Sorry. I can’t help it. I’m nervous.”
Selene smiled. The gesture was so radiant it made my head spin, and for a second the hummingbirds froze, stunned by an unexpected onslaught of bliss. That was the trouble with having a siren for a best friend—random moments of dazedness. Not that it was her fault. She couldn’t help being beautiful and mesmerizing. No more than I could help the way my eyes glow in the dark, an aspect of my Nightmare heritage. At the moment, however, I had a feeling Selene wasn’t aware of just how much more dazzling she was being than normal. I suspected it might have something to do with Lance.
“You’ve no reason to be nervous,” Selene said, her smile easing enough to make the radiance tolerable. “You look beautiful.”
I shook my head and stepped back. “It’s not that. It’s…” I broke off, searching for the right words. Looks weren’t the problem. I didn’t feel beautiful, exactly, but I knew I was looking nice, slightly above my average state. My makeup was even and natural, and I’d managed to convince my frizzy red hair to lie flat for once with some help from Magick Madam’s Hair Pomade, another purchase from the Incantorium Emporium. Outfit wise, I’d opted for a pair of low-rise designer jeans and a pale pink knit top, the kind that hangs loose around the shoulders, that my mom bought me from a boutique in Italy.
No, looks weren’t the problem.
Time was.

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Sarah LeBlanc

★ Borderline battler ★ Bookish lover ★ Hunger Games fanatic ★ Jodi Meadows Fangirl ★ Raising Awareness of Mental Health and BPD ★

  • Shane @itchingforbooks

    Wonderful interview, Sarah. Thanks for participating 🙂

    August 5, 2015 at 4:22 pm Reply
  • Sarah K

    I’ve never heard of this book but it sounds really interesting! I love your questions and it’s always fun to see how authors work. I can understand about wanting to write alone but I do think it could be super fun to collaborate with another author too. Great interview!

    November 7, 2015 at 5:31 pm Reply

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