Nicole Conway Guest Post | Savage Blog Tour

September 25, 2017 Blog Tour, Giveaway 0

Nicole Conway Guest Post | Savage Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for Nicole Conway’s Savage, hosted by Chapter By Chapter Book Tours! I helped reveal the cover for Savage earlier this month, and now I’m welcoming Nicole to the blog to tell us about Savage and how it ties in to her previous series.


This series is marketed as a companion follow-up to the Dragonrider Chronicles. Tell us about that series and how this one continues that story.

You absolutely do NOT have to have read The Dragonrider Chronicles in order to read this series! Here’s why:

The Dragonrider Chronicles deals with the origins of Jaevid Broadfeather. Each book from that series covers an important time in his life. It’s about how his journey began, how he became a dragonrider, how he was trained to becoming a knight in the king’s service, and how he impacted their world. At the end of that series, Maldobar has finally achieved peace after 20 years of war because of Jaevid’s sacrifice.

The Dragonrider Legacy takes place 40 years after the end of the first series and will tell the second portion of Jaevid’s journey. However, unlike the first series, a majority of it will be told from the perspective of an entirely new cast of heroes. Many of these characters are the children and grandchildren of the original cast from the Chronicles. Because the events of the first series are now legends and tales of heroism told to the current characters, readers new to the world shouldn’t feel alienated. They will be given any information from the first series they absolutely need. My hope was to generate feelings of nostalgia for those who are already fans of the first series, and to also pique the curiosity of new readers about just who this Jaevid guy is whenever parts of his epic story are told.

Overall, The Dragonrider Legacy has been so much fun to write! Having that curtain of history behind it from the original series makes the world feel all the more realistic and immersive. It’s really been an emotional experience for me, especially since this will be my last visit to Maldobar. Training, battling, and soaring with the Dragonriders has been an incredible journey for me as a writer. I hope it’s one that readers will enjoy as much as I have!


Savage by Nicole Conway
Series: (Dragonrider Legacy #1)
Published by Month9Books on September 26, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
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Savage begins the Dragonrider Legacy series, a thrilling companion to the international bestselling Dragonrider Chronicles.

Never send a hero to do a monster’s job.

Forty years have passed since Jaevid Broadfeather brought peace to Maldobar and Luntharda. But that fragile truce will be tested as darkness gathers on the horizon. The vicious armies of the Tibran Empire have crossed the far seas and are threatening to destroy Maldobar completely. Not even the dragonriders can match the Tibran war machines. And after an attempt to awaken Jaevid from his divine sleep fails, the fate of Maldobar is looking grim.

Reigh has never known what it means to be a normal human. Raised amongst the gray elves in the wild jungle of Luntharda, he’s tried everything to fit in. But the dark power within him is bursting at the seams—refusing to be silenced. And while his adoptive father, Kiran, insists this power must be kept secret, Reigh knows he’s running out of time.

As Maldobar burns, the world is desperate for a new hero. Destiny has called, and one boy will rise to answer.


About Nicole Conway

Nicole is the author of the children’s fantasy series, THE DRAGONRIDER CHRONICLES, about a young boy’s journey into manhood as he trains to become a dragonrider. She has completed the first two books in the series, and is now working on the third and final book. Originally from a small town in North Alabama, Nicole moves frequently due to her husband’s career as a pilot for the United States Air Force. She received a B.A. in English with a concentration in Classics from Auburn University, and will soon attend graduate school. She has previously worked as a freelance and graphic artist for promotional companies, but has now embraced writing as a full-time occupation. Nicole enjoys hiking, camping, shopping, cooking, and spending time with her family and friends. She also loves watching children’s movies and collecting books. She lives at home with her husband, two cats, and dog.

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The Debut Dish: Lana Popović, Chelsea Bobulski, Rebecca Barrow, & S.F. Henson (+ Giveaways)

September 24, 2017 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish, Giveaway 3

The Debut Dish, a bi-monthly Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?

This issue of The Debut Dish features Lana Popovic (Wicked Like a Wildfire), Chelsea Bobulski (The Wood), Rebecca Barrow (You Don’t Know Me But I Know You), and S.F. Henson (Devils Within).


Wicked Like a Wildfire by Lana Popović
August 15, 2017 from Katherine Tegen Books
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All the women in Iris and Malina’s family have the unique magical ability or “gleam” to manipulate beauty. Iris sees flowers as fractals and turns her kaleidoscope visions into glasswork, while Malina interprets moods as music. But their mother has strict rules to keep their gifts a secret, even in their secluded sea-side town. Iris and Malina are not allowed to share their magic with anyone, and above all, they are forbidden from falling in love.

But when their mother is mysteriously attacked, the sisters will have to unearth the truth behind the quiet lives their mother has built for them. They will discover a wicked curse that haunts their family line—but will they find that the very magic that bonds them together is destined to tear them apart forever?

Describe your book in five words or less.
Witchy twins and family curses.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
Most of my favorite scenes are spoilers with High Drama and Magic, but without giving away too much, the scene that actually sparked this story is the one captured in the twins’ shared dream after their mother is attacked. The atmosphere of dark, ancient magic worked by fierce women against a wintry Montenegro backdrop lived with me for a long time before the book was written.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was working from home, and it was the end of a work day in which I’d also been finishing up a deal for an author client. So when the offer from Katherine Tegen Books landed, it was a total “cup overfloweth” moment. I was by myself, and I didn’t have any rakija–which is the Serbian go-to drink for pretty much anything that can be considered a celebratory occasion–so I poured two shots of vodka, cheersed with myself, and then poured one of them out in thanks.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Nachos made with Doritos, then smothered in melted sharp cheddar, black bean salsa, and Greek yogurt. Seriously, try it. Then join my support group.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Part of my desk is a makeshift curio cabinet, so it’s kind of an embarrassment of riches when it comes to calling out the weird stuff. I think it’s currently a tie between the crystal fractal tree my partner brought back from Sweden in honor of Wicked, and the herbal spell candles that hang from my cabinet knobs and are made by a very crafty friend.


The Wood by Chelsea Bobulski
August 1, 2017 from Feiwel & Friends
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After her father goes missing in the woods that they protect, Winter tries to seek the truth in what happened, why the wood is changing, and what it all has to do with the arrival of a mysterious stranger in this thrilling YA debut.

When Winter’s dad goes missing during his nightly patrol of the wood, it falls to her to patrol the time portals and protect the travelers who slip through them. Winter can’t help but think there’s more to her dad’s disappearance than she’s being told.

She soon finds a young man traveling in the wood named Henry who knows more than he should. He believes if they can work together to find his missing parents, they could discover the truth about Winter’s dad.

The wood is poisoned, changing into something sinister—torturing travelers lost in it. Winter must put her trust in Henry in order to find the truth and those they’ve lost.

Bobulski’s eerie debut is filled with friendship, family, and the responsibilities we choose and those we do not.

Describe your book in five words or less.
Haunting, atmospheric, dangerous, magical forest.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene is when my main character realizes why the fabric of time is so important, and why we shouldn’t mess with it, even when we have the noblest intentions.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
At my house. I got the phone call after having a real heart-to-heart with God that morning about whether or not I was doing what I was supposed to be doing with my life. It had been five years since I’d started on my journey to becoming a published author, and the doubt monsters were really creeping in, making me wonder if it would ever happen. I felt God tell me to trust in Him, and that night I got the call! It was one of the most magical, amazing, heart-stopping moments of my life.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Oreos. Kit-Kats. m&ms. Chocolate in general.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
A hair dryer.

Don’t ask.

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You Don’t Know Me But I Know You by Rebecca Barrow
August 29, 2017 from HarperTeen
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Rebecca Barrow’s bright, honest debut novel about chance, choice, and unconditional love is a heartfelt testament to creating the future you truly want, one puzzle piece at a time.

There’s a box in the back of Audrey’s closet that she rarely thinks about.

Inside is a letter, seventeen years old, from a mother she’s never met, handed to her by the woman she’s called Mom her whole life. Being adopted, though, is just one piece in the puzzle of Audrey’s life—the picture painstakingly put together by Audrey herself, full of all the people and pursuits that make her who she is.

But when Audrey realizes that she’s pregnant, she feels something—a tightly sealed box in the closet corners of her heart—crack open, spilling her dormant fears and unanswered questions all over the life she loves.

Almost two decades ago, a girl in Audrey’s situation made a choice, one that started Audrey’s entire story. Now Audrey is paralyzed by her own what-ifs and terrified by the distance she feels growing between her and her best friend Rose. Down every possible path is a different unfamiliar version of her life, and as she weighs the options in her mind, she starts to wonder—what does it even mean to be Audrey Spencer?

Describe your book in five words or less.
Art, love, choices, hope, reality.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favourite scene is kind of a spoiler so let’s go with my second favourite, where Audrey and her best friend Rose hang out in an empty dance studio.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
I was leaving work and remembered I’d gotten an email while I was closing up so decided to check it before I got in the car. Then I drove home blasting Beyonce at an obnoxious volume.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Chips (or French fries as you probably call them!)

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Um…batteries and a tape measure.


Devils Within by S.F. Henson
October 31, 2017 from Sky Pony Press
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Killing isn’t supposed to be easy. But it is. It’s the after that’s hard to deal with.

Nate was eight the first time he stabbed someone; he was eleven when he earned his red laces—a prize for spilling blood for “the cause.” And he was fourteen when he murdered his father (and the leader of The Fort, a notorious white supremacist compound) in self-defense, landing in a treatment center while the state searched for his next of kin. Now, in the custody of an uncle he never knew existed, who wants nothing to do with him, Nate just wants to disappear.

Enrolled in a new school under a false name, so no one from The Fort can find him, he struggles to forge a new life, trying to learn how to navigate a world where people of different races interact without enmity. But he can’t stop awful thoughts from popping into his head, or help the way he shivers with a desire to commit violence. He wants to be different—he just doesn’t know where to start.

Then he meets Brandon, a person The Fort conditioned Nate to despise on sight. But Brandon’s also the first person to treat him like a human instead of a monster. Brandon could never understand Nate’s dark past, so Nate keeps quiet. And it works for a while. But all too soon, Nate’s worlds crash together, and he must decide between his own survival and standing for what’s right, even if it isn’t easy. Even if society will never be able to forgive him for his sins.

Like a teen American History X, S.F. Henson’s Devils Within is gut-wrenching, thought-provoking, no-holds-barred look at the plague of white supremacy in contemporary American culture that may have you examining your own soul.

Describe your book in five words or less.
A YA American History X.

Tell us about your favorite scene in your book.
My favorite scene is in one of the early chapters. The main character, Nate, is describing how it feels to kill someone. He killed his father, a white supremacist leader, in self-defense, and as hard as it was to take a life, he’s happy his dad is gone. Because with his father dead the beatings stopped, both to him, and to anyone who looked or thought or acted different. With his father gone, Nate finally has some hope of moving past the hate that has always controlled his life.

Where were you when you found out you were being published?
Standing in my kitchen with my husband. I might’ve literally screamed and almost dropped then phone, and there might’ve been some happy tears, and most certainly was a lot of jumping up and down.

What’s your favorite junk food?
Anything sweet. Gobstoppers are my favorite writing candy, but otherwise I always gravitate toward chocolate. Especially if it’s covering peanut butter.

What’s the oddest thing on your desk right now?
Hmm, probably two lighters. I love lighting my favorite candle (Snuggly Sweater from Target) while I’m writing, so I keep a lighter handy. Or in this case, two of them, just in case.

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Favorite Quotes from Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Blog Tour (+Giveaway)

September 23, 2017 Blog Tour, Giveaway 2

Favorite Quotes from Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco | Blog Tour (+Giveaway)

I’m so excited to be a part of the blog tour for Kerri Maniscalco’s sophomore novel, Hunting Prince Dracula, hosted by The Fantastic Flying Book Club! I read and loved Stalking Jack the Ripper (see my review) last year, so I was obviously eager to get my hands on this sequel. Today I get to share with you some of my favorite quotes from Hunting Prince Dracula! Don’t worry, they will not include any spoilers! It was really hard to narrow it down to just a few, but these were my absolute favorites.

Please note: The quotes below were pulled from the advance reader copy of Hunting Prince Dracula, and not from the final published edition. As such, page numbers were not included and the actual wordings might vary.


My Favorite Quotes from Hunting Prince Dracula

“Science could not explain the power of love or hope.”

“The world is vicious.”
Thomas brushed a lock of hair back from my face, his gaze thoughtful. “The world is neither kind nor is it cruel. It simply exists. We have the ability to view it however we choose.”

“Winding our way through the narrow path, we finally pulled to a blessed stop outside the castle. Fingers of moonlight reached over the spires and slid down the roof, casting our shadows in sinister shapes. This castle was eerie and I haven’t even stepped inside.”

“Curiosity was a disease that plagued me and I’d yet to find a cure.”

“I have a feeling you haven’t invited me here for kissing. Though it never hurts to ask. You’re dressed for sneaking about Dracula’s castle. Be still my thawing, dark heart. You certainly know how to make a young man feel alive, Wadsworth.”

“For there are no limits to the stars, their numbers infinite. Which is precisely why I measure my love for you by the stars. An amount too boundless to count.”


Hunting Prince Dracula by Kerri Maniscalco
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #2
Published by Jimmy Patterson on September 19, 2017
Genres: Historical Fiction, Mystery,
Pages: 448
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Following the grief and horror of her discovery of Jack the Ripper’s true identity, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has no choice but to flee London and its memories. Together with the arrogant yet charming Thomas Cresswell, she journeys to the dark heart of Romania, home to one of Europe’s best schools of forensic medicine…and to another notorious killer, Vlad the Impaler, whose thirst for blood became legend.

But her life’s dream is soon tainted by blood-soaked discoveries in the halls of the school’s forbidding castle, and Audrey Rose is compelled to investigate the strangely familiar murders. What she finds brings all her terrifying fears to life once again.


About Kerri Maniscalco

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats.

Her first novel in this series, Stalking Jack the Ripper, debuted at #1 on the New York Times bestseller list. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history.

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Follow the Tour

September 20th

Pink Polka Dot Books & My Thoughts Literally – Welcome Post

September 21st

Book Crushin – Review
Feed Your Fiction Addiction – Review
Novel Ink– Favorite Quotes

September 22nd

YA and Wine – Review
Never Too Many To Read – Promo
Goldilox and Three Weres – Creative Post

September 23rd

Reading is My Superpower  – Review
Ticket to Anywhere – Promo
That Artsy Reader Girl – Favorite Quotes

September 24th

The Clever Reader – Review
Chapter by Chapter – Review
Books Boys, and Blogs – Creative Post

September 25th

Wishful Endings – Review
The Hermit Librarian – Promo
YA Under My Skin – Review 

September 26th

Book Princess Reviews – This or That Interview
Life Within Pages – Review
Latte Nights Reviews – Review

 

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Morgan’s Favorite Fairytale Retellings | Book Blogger Guest Post

September 22, 2017 Guest Post 2

Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.


I’m so excited to have my friend Morgan (The Bookish Beagle) on the blog today to talk about her favorite fairytale retellings! I’ve added a bunch of her recs to my TBR. Thanks so much, Morgan!

Morgan’s Favorite Fairytale Retellings

When Jana approached me about being part of the Magic, Myth, and Mischief event I jumped at the chance! I love all of those things, especially in books. And I particularly love retellings, the way they are able to take a favorite, familiar story and twist it into something original and new. I also love being able to find allusions to the original tale! Any sort of retelling is great, including Jane Austen and historical, but for this post I’m focusing on fairy tale retellings. Without further adieu:

Cinderella Retellings

Ella Enchanted by Gail Carson Levine: a classic! Ella Enchanted was my very favorite book until Harry Potter came along. I loved her bravery, the fairy tale twist, the made up languages, CHAR! The ball was fabulous and the ending was so perfect I cried. Gail Carson Levine’s writing is wonderful and whimsical and never feels too young.

Cinder by Marissa Meyer: one of the first YA retellings I read, and book one in The Lunar Chronicles, this futuristic sci-fi take on Cinderella is action-packed and filled with characters to root for! It also has some wonderful Cinderella references.

Geekerella by Ashley Poston: the perfect mix of geeky fandom culture and A Cinderella Story with a diverse cast of characters. It made my heart squeeze.

Disenchanted: The Trials of Cinderella by Megan Morrison: Disenchanted does a wonderful job of capturing a diverse group of characters within its pages, everything from race to culture to class. It’s timeless but modern and I love all the allusions and details from the first book and from fairy tales. It’s also very romantic and focuses as much on Ella’s character growth and her family as it does the more traditional Cinderella plot points.

Gilded Ashes by Rosamund Hodge: As much as I would love this to be a full-length novel, it works so very well as a novella. Gilded Ashes dovetails nicely with Cruel Beauty; it is dark and horrifying and sorrowful, yet romantic and full of love. I loved how the story unfurled and I loved the echos of Cinderella mixed with unconventional details.

Ash and Bramble by Sarah Prineas: This Cinderella/mash up retelling isn’t for everyone- it’s dark and a little confusing at first, but it also has one of the most original villains/story mechanics I’ve ever come across.

 

Other Retellings

Princess of Thorns by Stacey Jay: the rare book that has everything I love in a fantasy and also manages to be an original retelling/sequel of sorts to Sleeping Beauty.

Stitching Snow by R.C. Lewis: A sci-fi retelling of Snow White! Essie is self-sufficient, badass, and brave, and I loved the droids. The world building was extensive but not confusing, the villains were disturbing, and I loved all the Snow White allusions.

Hook’s Revenge by Heidi Schultz: A really fun Peter Pan-inspired adventure! The writing was sharp and descriptive and had that humorous winking bite, and Jocelyn is a heroine worth following.

Cruel Beauty by Rosamund Hodge: Beauty and the Beast meets Greco-Roman mythology in this lush, strange, and darkly romantic retelling. It’s a little confusing but worth the read!

Heartless by Marissa Meyer: a marvelous, enchanting, and oh so heartbreaking retelling of Alice in Wonderland. It also made me want to bake all the things!

A Long, Long Sleep by Anna Sheehan: an extremely unique, heartbreaking, and thought-provoking Sleeping Beauty retelling set in a futuristic world.

 

Bonus: Retellings On My TBR

Traitor’s Masque by Kenley Davidson: a fantasy romance inspired by Cinderella.

The Secrets of Eden by Brandon Goode: a m/m Cinderella retelling with magic!

The Truth About Happily Ever After by Karole Cozzo: Cinderella retelling at a theme park! Be still my Disney heart.

The Seafarer’s Kiss by Julia Ember: a Norse-inspired f/f Little Mermaid retelling.

The Star-Touched Queen by Roshani Chokshi: a lush, magical retelling of Indian mythology.

Hunted by Meagen Spooner: a Russian-inspired Beauty and the Beast tale.
(Note from Jana: This one is AMAZING. I loved it!)

What are some of your favorite retellings? Have you read any of the ones I mentioned? Thanks again to Jana and Bonnie for letting me take part in Magic, Myth, and Mischief!


Morgan @ The Bookish Beagle

Well-rounded nerd. Bookworm. Blogger. Fangirl. Disney enthusiast who watches too much WWE.

The Bookish Beagle | Twitter | Goodreads | Instagram

 

 

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The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais | Graphic Novel Review

September 22, 2017 Book Review, Graphic Novel 1 ★★★★

The Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais | Graphic Novel ReviewThe Little Red Wolf by Amélie Fléchais
Published by Lion Forge on October 3, 2017
Genres: Fairy Tale, Retelling
Pages: 80
Format: eARC
Source: From the publisher through Netgalley
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4 Stars
Lose yourself in in the dark forests of Amelie Flechais' spectacular artwork. A young wolf, on a journey to bring his grandmother a rabbit, is charmed by the nice little girl who offers to help him... but nice is not the same as good. A haunting fairy tale for children and adults alike.

This is a French retelling of Little Red Riding Hood, which was published in 2014 and has now been translated into English. In this version of the story we have the Little Red Wolf, who lives in the beautiful forest with his family. He has been taught to fear humans, and to not go into the forest of dead wood in order to avoid the vile hunter and his daughter. One day his mother sends the Little Red Wolf to his grandmother’s house to bring her a freshly killed rabbit. But the little wolf gets hungry on his way and ends up eating the entire thing! Plus he gets lost. A very pretty and sweet little girl offers to help him, but lures him into a rather dangerous and scary situation. The storytelling is like an old fashioned fairytale, with dark, humorous, and sweet elements. The writing style is magical, and very flowing. I really enjoyed reading it.

I absolutely love the illustrations in this graphic novel. They are beautiful! And the Little Red Wolf is absolutely adorable.

As I said before, the Little Red Wolf ends up in a pretty scary situation. Things get dark and the illustrations get a little scarier. I probably would not recommend it to younger children. But I honestly loved the magical storytelling, beautiful illustrations, and different spin on the traditional fairy tale.

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Debut Dish Special Edition: Heather Fawcett and Even the Darkest Stars

September 21, 2017 Author Interview, Debut Author Challenge, Debut Dish 0

Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.

The Debut Dish, a bi-monthly Debut Author Challenge feature, is where you go for the scoop on some pretty awesome debut authors and their new books! Hopefully these interviews will inspire you to add many, many more books to your to-read list. Because, really, who doesn’t need more books in their lives?


Today I’m welcoming Heather Fawcett back to the blog to tell us more about herself and her debut book, Even the Darkest Stars. Heather guest posted earlier this month as part of her blog tour, and I had to invite her back to tell us more about the amazing world she created in her book.

Even the Darkest Stars by Heather Fawcett
September 5, 2017 from Balzer + Bray
Add to Goodreads | Author Website

Kamzin has always dreamed of becoming one of the Emperor’s royal explorers, the elite climbers tasked with mapping the wintry, mountainous Empire and spying on its enemies. She knows she could be the best in the world, if only someone would give her a chance.

But everything changes when the mysterious and eccentric River Shara, the greatest explorer ever known, arrives in her village and demands to hire Kamzin—not her older sister Lusha, as everyone had expected—for his next expedition. This is Kamzin’s chance to prove herself—even though River’s mission to retrieve a rare talisman for the emperor means climbing Raksha, the tallest and deadliest mountain in the Aryas. Then Lusha sets off on her own mission to Raksha with a rival explorer who is determined to best River, and Kamzin must decide what’s most important to her: protecting her sister from the countless perils of the climb or beating her to the summit.

The challenges of climbing Raksha are unlike anything Kamzin expected—or prepared for—with avalanches, ice chasms, ghosts, and even worse at every turn. And as dark secrets are revealed, Kamzin must unravel the truth of their mission and of her companions—while surviving the deadliest climb she has ever faced.

1. Describe your book in 5 words or less.
Magic, monsters, and girl mountaineers.

2. Tell us about your experience as a debut author.
I’ve enjoyed it. Becoming an author means becoming part of a community of like-minded people who are all as passionate about books as you are. It’s fantastic to connect with fellow authors, readers, and bloggers.

3. What makes your book magical, mythical, and/or mischievous?
Love this! I’m going to answer for all three.
Magical: the primary magic system in this world revolves around talismans and incantations. It’s a very specific, controlled sort of magic. Anyone can do it, but some people are better than others.
Mythical: the story features heroes and monsters, and some characters who tread the line between the two.
Mischievous: Some of the animal characters fit this description!

4. When you think of the dragons in your story, what do they look like?
They’re small–perhaps a bit bigger than your average house cat, with a sinuous, almost snake-like shape. They are bioluminescent, like fireflies, with a light in their abdomen that is usually either green or blue.

5. Would you rather be a hero or a villain?
As a Gryffindor with Ravenclaw tendencies, I’d say hero, of course!

6. Who do you feel are the most romantic couples from fairytales or mythology?
Ah, good question. One of my all-time favourite myths (because, yes, I have favourite myths. Ravenclaw.) is Orpheus and Eurydice. And, of course, you can’t go wrong with Beauty and the Beast.

7. If you could be any mythical creature, which one would you choose to be and why?
Probably a hobbit, honestly. They’re not very glamorous, it’s true, but they generally seem to be very happy creatures who like good food and have a sense of fun. What more could you want?

8. If you could live in any fairy tale or mythical world, which one would you choose?
There are so many worlds I’d love to visit, but in terms of *living* in one, I’d have to say the Oxford of Philip Pullman’s His Dark Materials trilogy. I’ve always wondered what my daemon would be.

9. Do you have any images you used as inspiration for your world or characters that you would like to share with us?
I looked at a lot of images of the Himalayas, particularly at night under starry skies. In fact, that’s my current desktop background.

10. What magical power do you wish you had?
I love this question, though my answer tends to change depending on my mood! Immortality usually ranks near the top. Not invulnerability, because I think you’d stop appreciating life if yours was never in any danger. Actually having time to get through my TBR would be great.

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Caraval by Stephanie Garber | 2017 Debut Book Review

September 20, 2017 Book Review, Young Adult 3 ★★★★★

Caraval by Stephanie Garber | 2017 Debut Book ReviewCaraval by Stephanie Garber
Published by Flatiron Books on January 31, 2017
Genres: Fantasy
Pages: 407
Format: ARC
Source: From the Publisher
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5 Stars
Remember, it’s only a game…

Scarlett Dragna has never left the tiny island where she and her sister, Tella, live with their powerful, and cruel, father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval—the faraway, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show—are over.

But this year, Scarlett’s long-dreamt-of invitation finally arrives. With the help of a mysterious sailor, Tella whisks Scarlett away to the show. Only, as soon as they arrive, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend. It turns out that this season’s Caraval revolves around Tella, and whoever finds her first is the winner.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. Nevertheless she becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic. And whether Caraval is real or not, Scarlett must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over or a dangerous domino effect of consequences will be set off, and her beloved sister will disappear forever.

Welcome, welcome to Caraval…beware of getting swept too far away.

Oh my goodness… you guys, this was SO GOOD and so magical and amazing. I read it 9 months ago and I still can’t stop thinking about it. I also have not been able to figure out how to review it because I LOVED IT SO MUCH that I have no idea what to say. I can’t tell you everything I loved because then I’d just be typing out the book for you. There was nothing I didn’t love to pieces, so writing a review is a truly overwhelming task that I’ve been scared to even begin. lol. I was truly and utterly captivated by and immersed in this story from the first page, and even though it’s over it has not yet let go of me. Part of me is still in that story, unable to let go of it and eagerly anticipating the next book.

Caraval is a magical, whimsical, quirky, convoluted, mysterious, romantic, captivating ball of beautiful words and imagination. The story is dripping with danger and unknowing, with mischievous and  ominous characters. Stephanie’s writing is on point, and her imagination and storytelling ability are on FIRE. I wonder if she rents out rooms in her mind…? The world of Caraval is bigger than our world, and the game has so many layers and mysteries that it’s basically ingenious.

I was fully expecting and intending to write a detailed, organized, and coherent review. But… I don’t want to say anything more than this because it’s honestly better if you have no idea what to expect. I went in very skeptical (hello hype, and the book had not even been published yet!) and not quite sure what to expect. Best decision ever. The less you know about Caraval, the more mysterious and exciting it will feel to you. So don’t read any reviews. Just don’t do it. My review is vague enough that you’re pretty much just going to leave my blog knowing Caraval is a book you’ve got to read. If I’ve convinced you of this, I’ve done my job! If not, write to me and I’ll talk your ear off until you can see there’s no other option.

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Tobie Easton Guest Post | Submerge Blog Tour

September 19, 2017 Blog Tour, Giveaway, Guest Post 3

Tobie Easton Guest Post | Submerge Blog Tour

Welcome to my stop along the blog tour for Tobie Easton’s Submerge, hosted by Chapter by Chapter Blog Tours! As part of my month-long event that I’m co-hosting with Bonnie, Magic, Myth, and Mischief, I’ve asked Tobie a very important question.


If you were a mermaid, what kind would you be? Tail and hair color? Sparkles or no sparkles? Any special talents or abilities?

Sparkles! Definitely sparkles. Actually, a fun fact about the book covers for the series is that the addition of sparkles was one of the only parts of the cover design that was my idea; the original cover of Emerge that my publisher sent me (which I LOVED) was nearly identical to the finished version except that there were no sparkles. I asked if we could do something to the title to make it more magical and suggested sparkles or starbursts of some kind. The cover designer, who is extremely talented, played around with different versions of the idea and the whole team fell for the one you see now. Then, of course, we continued that theme on the Submerge cover. I’m so happy because I think it really matches the fantasy feel of the book and hints at the mermaid magic within.

In addition to sparkles, I’d wear a traditional Mer siluess, which translates to chest-covering in Mermese and refers to the garment Mermaids wear on their torsos when the bottom half of the body is in tail form. Siluesses are cut kind of like fancy crop tops. They’re made of luxurious fabrics and often embellished with seashells and precious stones. I’d definitely have some seashell and pearl hair accessories (since my tears would turn into pearls, they’d be easy to come by!).

As for the color of my tail, that’s a hard one. When I first started writing Book 1 of the series, I asked a bunch of my friends and early readers what color tail they’d have, and everyone had a different answer! I incorporated so many different tail colors into the series so that everyone can picture themselves as Mer. I love when readers message me and tell me what their tail color would be! I originally thought mine might be gold like Lia’s or a deep green like her eldest sister Em’s, but then I did a photo shoot with Project Mermaids to help raise awareness for ocean conservation, and I fell in love with the light turquoise tail we chose on the set. Since then, I can’t really picture my Mermaid alter-ego any other way ;) And as you might have guessed from my author photo, I do wear a lot of turquoise, so it really fits. The makeup artist at the shoot even added sparkles to my hair and face (to match the cover, of course!).

Here are some behind-the-scenes pics and the behind-the-scenes video of the shoot:

And the final image in all its magical, Photoshopped glory from the photographer:

 

I still can’t believe I got to be transformed into a mermaid for a day! WAS THIS EVEN REAL LIFE? Six-year-old Tobie is still squealing. At home afterwards, I sat around for the rest of the day in my pajamas with all the makeup still on because I couldn’t bear to take it off!

Anyway, as for hair color and special abilities, I will give you a hint at a detail in Submerge and say that those might actually be related. I don’t want to give spoilers, so I’ll leave it at that. Submerge will definitely dive deeper into the secret workings of Mer magic. I’m so excited for you to read it when it comes out this week and to learn more about the Mer world!

I’d LOVE to hear about what kind of mermaid you’d be, so let me know in the comments or on social (@TobieEaston)!

xo Tobie


Submerge by Tobie Easton
Series: Mer Chronicles #2
Published by Month9Books on September 12, 2017
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Now that Lia and Clay’s love has broken the Little Mermaid’s curse, everything has changed. Will Lia’s family remain on land, leading the only life she and her sisters have ever known, or will they move below the waves, to the sparkling new capital city? Lia is adamant about staying on land with Clay for her senior year. But at Melusine and her father’s trial, new revelations threaten what Lia holds most dear.

The verdict will shake Lia’s whole world, calling into question her future with Clay, her feelings for Caspian, and the fate of all Merkind. As she wonders who to trust, Lia sets out on a treacherous path that will lead her away from her sheltered Malibu home to a remote and mysterious school for Mermaids—Mermaids who may hold the secret to ancient magic Lia can use to either get back all she’s lost or to embark on a thrilling and dangerous journey.


About Tobie Easton

Tobie Easton was born and raised in Los Angeles, California, where she’s grown from a little girl who dreamed about magic to a twenty-something who writes about it. A summa cum laude graduate of the University of Southern California, Tobie hosts book clubs for tweens and teens. She and her very kissable husband enjoy traveling the globe and fostering packs of rescue puppies. Learn more about Tobie and her upcoming books on www.TobieEaston.com.

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Interview with Author Kaitlin Bevis

September 18, 2017 Author Interview 0

Magic, Myth, & Mischief, hosted by me and Bonnie, is a month-long event that celebrates fairy tales and mythological retellings, as well as retellings of favorite classic novels and books featuring mythical beasts such as mermaids, dragons, and fae! Find the schedule of events and other information here.

Today I’m welcoming Kaitlin Bevis, author of the Daughters of Zeus series, to the blog to participate in our fun interview series! I reviewed the first book in this series last week!


Interview with Kaitlin Bevis

What makes your book magical, mythical, or mischievous?
My books feature the Greek Gods living in the modern day.

What elements of the Greek myth of Persephone did you use when incorporating the tale into your own novel?
Every single element I could find. Mythically speaking, Persephone is only involved in a handful of myths, so I was really able to include a lot of fantastic detail. Aphrodite on the other hand, was involved in so many myths, that I really had to pick and choose.

That’s not to say I didn’t make changes. For example, in my version, Hades is a good guy who offers Persephone shelter in the Underworld. His typical role is played by Boreas, yet another serial rapist in Greek Mythology.

Which mythical character do you see yourself in the most, or do you relate to most and why?

Melissa. Melissa is a nymph and one of Persephone’s priestesses and her best friend. But despite being a nymph, she’s exceedingly average. I’ve always figured if I was in a book, I’d probably end up being a thoroughly un-magical background character.

If you could cross any two fairy tales or myths together, which would you choose?
I like to think of my books as Once Upon a Time reimagined for Greek mythology. Events from the stories we all know happened in the past, but not in the way people think, and some events from the stories we all know are still unfolding. The stories cross over in unusual ways. Half the fun is putting together the timeline and seeing the way all the mythical figures fit together.

Who are your favorite villains of lore?
Hades. My version of him anyway :) Otherwise, I’m a big fan of Maleficent.

Who do you feel are the most romantic couples from fairy tales and/or mythology?
Ares and Aphrodite and Persephone and Hades.

What are some of your favorite novels influenced by fairy tales/mythology? (Besides, of course, your own!)
I love the Cinder series. Oh, and Ella Enchanted is one of my all time favorite childhood books. It’s also one of the few I appreciated more as an adult.

If you could be any mythical creature, which one would you be and why?
A goddess. An immortal, super beautiful, powerful goddess. But preferably one without any of the incest issues.

If you could live in any fairytale or mythical world, which one would you choose to live in and why?
I’m actually very happy in our world. But when I was little, I wanted nothing more than to be a Sailor Scout.

What lesson do you want your readers to learn from your retelling?
Romance is nice. Really nice. But friendships are incredibly important.

What magical power do you wish you had?
I’d take any of them :) Particularly immortal life and youth. But short of epic powers, I’d like to always have exact change (in the appropriate currency) for any purchase I want to make.


Persephone by Kaitlin Bevis
Series: Daughters of Zeus #1
Published by Musa Publishing on July 6, 2012
Genres: Fantasy, Mythology, Retelling
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One day Persephone is an ordinary high school junior working at her mom’s flower shop in Athens, Georgia. The next she’s fighting off Boreas, the brutal god of Winter, and learning that she’s a bonafide goddess—a rare daughter of the now-dead Zeus. Her goddess mom whisks her off to the Underworld to hide until Spring.

There she finds herself under the protection of handsome Hades, the god of the dead, and she’s automatically married to him. It’s the only way he can keep her safe. Older, wiser, and far more powerful than she, Hades isn’t interested in becoming her lover, at least not anytime soon. But every time he rescues her from another of Zeus’s schemes, they fall in love a little more. Will Hades ever admit his feelings for her?

Can she escape the grasp of her powerful dad’s minions? The Underworld is a very cool place, but is it worth giving up her life in the realm of the living? Her goddess powers are developing some serious, kick-butt potential. She’s going to fight back.


About Kaitlin Bevis

I spent my childhood curled up with a book, and a pen. If the ending didn’t agree with me, I rewrote it. Now, I write my own endings, middles, and beginnings for the Daughters of Zeus series, including the best selling novel, Persephone.

I’ve always wanted to be a writer, and I spent high school and college learning everything I could so that one day I could achieve that goal. I graduated college with my BFA and Masters in English with a EDs in School Library Media.

For up to the minute information on my future releases subscribe to my facebook or twitterpage!

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The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story by Judy Sierra | Children’s Book Review

September 18, 2017 Children's Book Review 0 ★★★★★

The Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story by Judy Sierra | Children’s Book ReviewThe Gift of the Crocodile: A Cinderella Story by Judy Sierra
Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on November 1, 2000
Pages: 40
Format: Hardcover
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5 Stars
In the Spice Islands, where clove and nutmeg trees grow,
a girl named Damura lived long ago.


Damura is a beautiful girl, as kind and lovely as the little green parrot that perches on the nutmeg tree. But Damura's stepmother and stepsister mistreat her. They force her to rise before dawn, carry out all the chores, and sleep on the floor. One day, while down by the river, Damura calls out to the creatures of the wild for help. Rising from the waters, an ancient crocodile answers the call. This unusual fairy godmother, aptly named Grandmother Crocodile, outfits Damura in a sarong of gold, with slippers to match, and sends her to the palace to dance for the prince. Once he sees her, the prince knows that she will be his bride.

But the fairy tale isn't quite over. Damura's wicked stepmother and stepsister are so jealous that they push Damura into the river, where she is swallowed by a crocodile. Too bad they didn't know about Grandmother Crocodile....

The Gift of the Crocodile, a tale from the Spice Islands in Indonesia, offers a colorful and dramatic twist on the universally adored Cinderella story.

*spoilers, because I’m basically telling you the entire story because I love it so much!*

This version of Cinderella takes place in the Spice Islands in Indonesia. Cinderella’s name is Damura in this tale, the fairy godmother is actually an ancient crocodile named Grandmother Crocodile, and Damura talks to her animal friends like the little green parrot who sits on the branches of the nutmeg trees. In this tale, a widow gives Damura a doll with the stipulation that she talk her father into marrying the widow. She is successful. Her life becomes miserable, though, as she begins to realize she traded her happiness for a doll. She becomes a servant and is very badly mistreated. One day when she is washing her family’s clothes in the river she loses her sarong and calls upon the wild animals to help her. Grandmother Crocodile surfaces and agrees to get her the lost sarong if she agrees to watch her baby crocodile.

Grandmother Crocodile comes back with an even more beautiful sarong because Damura deserves that one and not the old, ragged one. She returns home with her new sarong, but her stepmother takes it away and demands to know how she got it. The stepsister decides to try and get her own and goes down to the river to summon Grandmother. She is rude and mistreats the baby crocodile while Grandmother goes to find her sarong. The crocodile returns with a sarong filled with leeches, which sends the stepsister running home in tears.

When the prince invites all the young women to dance for him, Damura is forbidden to go. But… with the help of Grandmother Crocodile, she goes clothed in a beautiful gold sarong and riding in a horse and carriage. She was to return these things to Grandmother before she went home. She danced beautifully, but then had to rush out when the rooster crowed. The prince tries to follow her, but is left only with one of her slippers. A messenger comes to try the slipper on the young ladies, and it flew right onto Damura’s foot. Even though she is shabby and poor, the prince selects her to be his bride. The next day her stepmother and stepsister, both very jealous, offer to reconcile with Damura over a boat ride on the river. They are not sincere, though, and push her overboard in to the mouth of a crocodile. They run back to the palace and shout that Damura has been eaten, in the hopes that the prince would marry the stepsister. The prince runs to the river to summon Grandmother Crocodile. He tells her what happened, and she scolds her crocodiles, insisting that the guilty party spit Damura out. Grandmother licks Damura’s face and brings her back to life. She tells all the other crocodiles to never touch Damura, the prince, or their children, but instructs them to eat the stepmother or stepsister if they ever see them. The two flee into the forest, never to be seen again. Damura and her husband lived happily ever after.

 

The Indonesian style illustrations are very pretty, and there is an author’s note about the origins of this tale at the back of the book, as well as the history of the island it takes place on. This adds credibility to the story, and makes it of high quality. I love this blend of Cinderella and a traditional Indonesian folk tale. It’s a very unique, entertaining, and culturally educational story that would make a wonderful addition to anyone’s fairytale library.

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