*THE WICKED AND THE JUST*

Yes, that’s two stars you see. J Anderson Coats’ The Wicked and the Just (Houghton Mifflin Harcourt) earned two stars before publication–which is now!

  • “[An] unusually honest portrait of the effects of power…[Coats] offers us a potent historical novel.”–Horn Book (starred review)
  • “Never opting for the easy characterization, debut author Coats compellingly re-creates this occupation from both sides. … Brilliant: a vision of history before the victors wrote it.” – Kirkus (starred review)

EMU’s Debuts is celebrating the launch of J’s star-worthy book every day this week. And, creative writer that she is, J has arranged for interactive  posts that will practically transport you back to 13th century Wales. Why the 13th century? Read on…

1293. North Wales. Ten years into English rule.

Cecily would give anything to leave Caernarvon and go home. Gwenhwyfar would give anything to see all the English leave.

Neither one is going to get her wish.

Behind the city walls, English burgesses govern with impunity. Outside the walls, the Welsh are confined by custom and bear the burden of taxation, and the burgesses plan to keep it that way.

Cecily can’t be bothered with boring things like the steep new tax or the military draft that requires Welshmen to serve in the king’s army overseas. She has her hands full trying to fit in with the town’s privileged elite, and they don’t want company.

Gwenhwyfar can’t avoid these things. She counts herself lucky to get through one more day, and service in Cecily’s house is just salt in the wound.

But the Welsh are not as conquered as they seem, and the suffering in the countryside is rapidly turning to discontent. The murmurs of revolt may be Gwenhwyfar’s only hope for survival – and the last thing Cecily ever hears.

Notice some unusual proper nouns? We’ll help you deal with those this week. Mike Jung will post a zombie and duck history lesson (don’t ask me; I’m just visiting). Natalie Lorenzi will suggest classroom connections. Melanie Crowder will cover historical books and movies. And, Jeannie Mobley will interview J’s characters.

But, first, we’re going to start off with a 13th-century version of Mad Libs. You provide three verbs and three adjectives from any English-related language between the 13th and 21st centuries. And, J will insert them into a paragraph from  a draft of The Wicked and the Just that didn’t quite make it into the final book. (Who knew people in the middle ages had a sense of humor? J did.)

So, respond to this post with:

  • 3 verbs, and
  • 3 adjectives

And, you will see your very own words dropped into a story that takes place over 700 years ago.


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33 Comments

Filed under Book Promotion, Celebrations, Colleagues, craft~writing, Reviews, Updates on our Books!

33 responses to “*THE WICKED AND THE JUST*

  1. Natalie Dias Lorenzi

    Happy Book Birthday, J.!

    On the advice of my almost 13-year-old, I’m going with these 21st century verbs:
    squee
    text
    friend

    …and adjectives:
    lame
    cool
    wicked (couldn’t resist)

    (not that some of these haven’t been around for awhile, mind you, disguised in cloaks of connotation that today’s teens might not recognize…)

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “On Sunday at Vespers, at the very stroke of the lame bells, Gwinny squees her head to me, then my father who is texting a dagger by the brazier. I friend her cool half-penny in her hand and she whirls into her cloak and flies into the night like the Adversary is on her wicked tail.”

      Like

  2. Adj: brave, purple, smelly Verbs: fly, swim, surf

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “I fly at Mistress Tipley, brave and purple and smelly. Then I swim at Gwinny. Gwinny is surfing into the noxious bubbly lanolin.”

      Like

  3. Three cheers for THE WICKED AND THE JUST!
    I pick:
    wiggle, warble, whimper

    and

    wistful, woebegone, withering

    Don’t ask me why all the Ws…couldn’t stop once I got started.

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “The old cow wiggles the wistful paddle at me and I warble Gwinny’s arm and whimper her up the woebegone greenway toward the front yard and the street. Behind me, Mistress Tipley is blustering like a withering carter.”

      Like

  4. L.B. Schulman

    I am so happy for the good news about your book, J. I have pre-ordered it and it’s not here yet, which is soooooo hard! I wanna read it now!!! Anyway, here’s mine: Verbs: levitate, dissect, bludgeon….adjectives: horrific, ancient, puny.

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “I levitate onto Shire Hall street and dissect toward High. Gwinny does not bludgeon over with horrific thanks at my saving her from an ancient afternoon of misery and toil. She says naught at all, but walks at my puny elbow, chin up, step sure, like she has the right to even breathe the same air as me.”

      Like

  5. Ah, Mad Libs and fascinating Welsh history cloaked in a great story, and a gorgeous cover, how can I resist?
    adjectives: lugubrious, quaint, crunchy
    verb: lick, lock, paint

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “Gwinny’s licking lugubrious manure off her feet and locking them in a quaint puddle. It is painting forever. I lean against the corner of a crunchy building and sigh and glance at the sun and tap my foot and wish to God Almighty that I could just dismiss Addlefoot over there who’s going to smell like manure for the rest of the day.”

      Like

  6. Okay, aparently the other people on this blog haven’t done car-trip madlibs with boys as often as I have. I’ve never played mad libs without these words, so here we go:
    Verbs: poop, spit, fart
    Adjectives: poopy, stinky, slimy

    Sigh. I really need to grow up before my release party.

    Like

  7. Marjorie

    Congratulations, J.! I lucked into an arc of your book and absolutely loved it. I’ve now ordered a copy and I’m recommending it to all my friends. I’m in an “r” mood: Verbs: ramble, reverberate, revel. Adjectives: rancid, redolent, repellant

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      Thanks – you’re awesome!

      “I ramble at Gwinny. Reverberating the rancid door is a servant’s job. She revels through me, bobs her head again in that redolent way of hers and sweeps toward the door while pulling her hood over her repellant hair.”

      Like

  8. Hooray for THE WICKED AND THE JUST!!!

    Darn! Jeannie took my words!

    Verbs: itch, guarantee, marry
    Adjectives: moldy. ugly, stunning

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “Gwinny itches something to him in tongue-pull, moldy bitten-off words that can only be those of anger. Head bowed, he guarantees ugly to look upon me and I marry the most stunning red of a sudden and fling a hand at them both.”

      Like

  9. Mike Jung

    This book is AMAZING, people. It deserves a thousand stars, it’s an absolute stunner. Here are my words, which will play off a thme of general mayhem:
    Verbs: defenestrate, decapitate, eviscerate
    Adjectives: suppurating, imbrued, lacerated

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “If I defenestrate highly, I’ll never decapitate home to Edgeley. My suppurating husband will eviscerate me around to his imbrued castles, or if he’s a royal official, lacerated dunghill towns like this one.”

      Like

  10. Hooray! Stars! And an amazing book! I so want this one!
    Here are my words
    Verbs: sling, encapsulate, apply
    Adjectives: swampy, bleak, joyful

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “Caernarvon slings a swampy beacon for civilization in the bleak wilderness and the English are encapsulating everything they can to apply the joyful Welsh how to behave.”

      Like

  11. I’ve been waiting AGES for this one!
    Verbs: tease, dive, barf
    Adjectives: mortified, inappropriate, misplaced

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “We are teasing them how to dive their mortified goods properly. Barfing them how to speak properly, to pray properly, to live properly in inappropriate houses and wear misplaced clothes.”

      Like

  12. Oh, I am SO out of my league here!

    As a medieval history major, I naturally went back to my milieu:

    verbs: beshrew, beseech and confound
    adjectives: hugey, fell and beauteous

    (I was bummed I couldn’t go back to Old English, but you stopped me at the 13th century…)

    Like

  13. pummel
    hornswoggle
    slave
    discreet
    cobblestone
    muscular

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “My father would have me pummel my hands calloused as any discreet villein. He hornswoggles nothing for the state of my cobblestone. But he’ll roar certes if he comes back from his tourn of the muscular farmland and finds his slave sticky and flearidden.”

      Like

  14. Congrats to JAC! Please Mad Lib these words back to the 13th century, pronto:

    tickle
    bedraggle
    slurp
    crusty
    luminous
    shadowed

    Like

    • J. Anderson Coats

      “I tickle my fists into my crusty apron. She does not bedraggle better, but I will slurp her. I will teach her how to be a luminous and shadowed servant, one fit for work in an English household.”

      Like

  15. Pingback: Promotion Post-Mortem | EMU's Debuts

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