Book Reviews

Fires of the Dead by Jed Herne

Fires of the Dead

Title: Fires of the Dead
Author: Jed Herne
Rating: ★★★★★

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Fire can’t be tamed.

Wisp is a pyromancer: a magician who draws energy from fires to make his own flames. He’s also a criminal, one job away from retirement. And it can’t come bloody soon enough.

Leading his misfit crew, Wisp ventures into a charred and barren forest to find a relic that could change the realm forever. But they aren’t the only ones on the hunt, and the forest isn’t as barren as it seems …

A jaded gang leader longing for retirement

A bloodthirsty magician with a lust for power

A brutish fighter who’s smarter than he looks

A young thief desperate to prove herself

A cowardly navigator with secrets that won’t stay buried

Together, they must survive fights, fires, and folk tales that prove disturbingly real – if they don’t kill each other first.

A dark fantasy novella with a unique magic system, perfect for Joe Abercrombie or Brandon Sanderson fans wanting a fast-paced read.

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REVIEW

I didn’t know exactly what to expect going into this novella. Especially since, I’m generally not to keen on reading them (I get too emotionally invested and want the stories to last longer, sorry!).

For the first 90% of the novel, I was actually getting a little flustered. Here I am really enjoying this novella and actually dreading the end. I was thinking to myself, “Now, why would he just stop and make it only a novella instead of a novel?!” The last 10% of the novel changed my mind. While I loved the plot, grew emotionally invested in the characters, and couldn’t put my Amazon Fire down, I understood why the author decided to only write a novella…this story line leads to a much thicker plot. As a reader, we have the potential now to experience more world-building, dive into the depth of how the band of characters came together, along with their own unique histories, and we can divulge in the exciting world of pyromancy.

My only suggestions would be more world-building, added history, and to build the love relationship (I didn’t find it really believable).

Fires of the Dead is a fast-paced story of pyromancy, survival, and friendship. This is the perfect read for someone looking to be quickly immersed in a magic system unlike anything else.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Jed Herne

Jed Herne is a fantasy and sci-fi author from Perth, Western Australia. His short stories have been published in The Arcanist, Scarlet Leaf Review, and more. Fires of the Dead is his debut fantasy novella.

In addition to writing, he hosts the Novel Analyst podcast. Each episode, he deconstructs a book to help you become a better writer. On his YouTube channel (Jed Herne – Write), he posts new writing advice videos every weekday.

If you prefer listening to watching, you can hear the same daily writing advice and more writing-related goodness on his other podcast, The Jed Herne Audio Experience.

Outside of writing and reading, he loves board games, indoor soccer, and talking about himself in third person.

To stay updated with his writing, learn more about him, and to read a bunch of his free fantasy & sci-fi stories, join his email newsletter at:

https://jedherne.com/club/

 

Connect with him – he loves hearing from you!

Website: JedHerne.com
Twitter: @JedHerne
Facebook: facebook.com/jedhernewriter/
YouTube: Jed Herne – Writer
The Novel Analyst Podcast: 
novelanalyst.com (or just search on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.)
The Jed Herne Audio Experience: anchor.fm/jedherne (or just search on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, etc.)

Email: jed.herne1@gmail.com

Email is the single best way to contact him. He reads and responds to every email from his wonderful readers, because he loves us!

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Q&A

Q: What was your inspiration for the book?
A: With some stories, I can’t recall where I got the initial idea. After all, ideas are cheap. 1% inspiration, 99% perspiration, and all that.

But with Fires of the Dead, I remember it perfectly.

I was in Japan with a friend, visiting another mutual friend who’d lived there for eighteen months (which was great, because we got free accommodation at his tiny Tokyo apartment – and he knew the best food places!).

One day, we walked through a graveyard. Not a famous shrine or a big tourist attraction, but a small collection of markers and buildings, opposite a school and with one of Tokyo’s many vending machines out the front. Coming from Australia, I found it fascinating to learn about their belief system. How people respond to death tells us a lot about cultures, and ourselves.

As we walked through this graveyard, I looked at the family shrines. Some were big, some were small, some were clean, and some were decrepit. I wondered: what if paying respect to your ancestors wasn’t a one-way action? What if they talked back?

By no means is this an original idea. And so after writing concepts in my notebook, it stewed in my head. Several months passed.

Then, I started thinking about magic. I love unique magic systems, and I was brainstorming some of my own. There was this one idea I created, called Pyromancy (Pyro = fire, mancy = magic*). How this magic worked was simple: people would bond themselves to a fire, and could then draw energy from the flames to project their own fires. Simple rules, but a lot of different applications.

(*Okay, technically ‘-mancy’ means ‘divination’, but it’s often associated with magic, so that’s close enough for me. Plus, it sounds cool.)

I chatted with my friend (over table tennis) about this idea. We spitballed a dozen permutations of this concept, and I went away with a better idea of how this thing worked.

But there was still a missing piece. Who would maintain these great fires? Sure, a Pyromancer could build a huge bonfire and get really powerful, but they’d have to always take care of it.
Then I remembered those shrines in Tokyo. What if the shrines weren’t just a memorial, but a furnace? What if each Pyromancer family built a communal fire, and then each dead ancestor lived in the flames? Powerful families would have raging bonfires, filled with hundreds of minds. Weak families might only have a furnace in the basement. Building your fire would increase your family’s power.

And, like in any good fantasy world, people would only want more power …

Mashing these ideas together resulted in Fires of the Dead.

There’s a ton of other inspirations, of course, but wanting to explore Pyromancy kindled my initial curiosity. Interestingly enough, I feel like the story became way more character-focused than I expected, which has been to its benefit. I often seem to do this. Unique magic systems and cool world building draws me in, but it’s the characters that make me stay. Hopefully, they’ll do the same for you!

Q: What did this book teach you about writing?
A: 
Before this book, I tended to write stories from one or two point of views. That let me develop deep, complex main characters, but also reduced my scope to explore other perspectives on my story. With this book, I flipped the script. It’s got multiple narrators, all (I hope) equally well-developed. 

Partly, this was to increase suspense. If you have several fleshed-out characters, killing one makes more impact – compared to killing a poorly-developed secondary character. My main motivation, though, was to challenge myself. I love trying something different in every new project, and playing with these multiple point of views was something I’d wanted to try since reading The Heroes by Joe Abercrombie – in my opinion, this is the finest use of multiple narrators I’ve seen (I did a podcast analyzing this if you want to learn more).

Another big lesson was the importance of voice. I think I found a nice dry, witty, and somewhat gritty tone that suited this story. In particularly, I was happy with how different each narrator’s voice is – so critical for keeping the cast straight!

Q: Did Fires of the Dead have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
A: 
Yes! I love listening to instrumental music with fantasy vibes (think of pulse-pounding trailer music – mainly Two Steps from Hell, Audiomachine, and Antti Martikainen). It helps capture the kind of epic fantasy vibes I want to express in my stories, and it’s my hope that listening to gr music infuses some of that spirit in my writing. 

If you want a taste, I’ve made a companion soundtrack for the book on Spotify. Most of them are songs I listened to while writing. Some of them are included because they’re just awesome. And all of them will make great background tunes for when you read the book …
Q: What do you hope people remember about it?
A: Probably the same things every author hopes their readers’ think: that it was good, and that it won’t be my last book they read!

From the outset, I wanted Fires of the Dead to be a page-turning read. Something you could burn through (pun intended) in one or two sittings. Since this is my debut book, I wanted it to be a kind of business card – a short, punchy, and gripping sample to show readers what I can craft as an author.

With that in mind, there were several things I’d love for readers to mull over after they close the final pages. Of those, the structure is the most noticeable element. I won’t get into details for fear of spoilers, but I did something structurally that feeds into the suspense and increases the stakes and grit. One early reviewer mentioned that it was “so unlike anything I’ve seen in a book and gave me spine tingling slasher flick vibes”, which is an amazing, humbling compliment.

On a subtler note, I’d love for readers to remember the diversity of characters. Usually, my novels are from the point of view of one or two characters. With Fires of the Dead, I’ve got significantly more. That was a fun challenge, especially given that the book is three-quarters shorter than a standard novel. At risk of over-quoting from the same source, the same reviewer who made that earlier comment mentioned that:

“I found it fascinating how the diverse range of characters gave such different interpretations of the same world, and how cleverly their personalities were fleshed out in such a short time”.

I can’t really ask for much more than that!

 


Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] Six Goodbyes We Never Said by Candace Ganger

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Welcome to my stop on the Six Goodbyes We Never Said book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

Six Goodbyes We Never Said

Title: Six Goodbyes We Never Said
Author: Candace Ganger
Pub. Date: September 24, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 384
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD, Kobo

This is no love story; in fact, it’s not even really a “like” story. In Candace Ganger’s sophomore novel, SIX GOODBYES WE
NEVER SAID (Wednesday Books; September 24, 2019), two teens meet after tragically losing their parents and learn about love, loss, and letting go. Deftly tackling issues of mental health and grief, Ganger’s #OwnVoices novel brings vibrant characters to life as they figure out how to say goodbye to the people they love the most.

Naima Rodriguez doesn’t want your patronizing sympathy as she grieves her father, her hero—a fallen Marine. She’ll hate you forever if you ask her to open up and remember him “as he was,” though that’s all her loving family wants her to do in order to manage her complex OCD and GAD. She’d rather everyone back the-eff off while she separates her Lucky Charms marshmallows into six, always six, Ziploc bags, while she avoids friends and people and living the life her father so desperately wanted for her.

Dew respectfully requests a little more time to process the sudden loss of his parents. It’s causing an avalanche of secret anxieties, so he counts on his trusty voice recorder to convey the things he can’t otherwise say aloud. He could really use a friend to navigate a life swimming with pain and loss and all the lovely moments in between. And then he meets Naima and everything’s changed—just not in the way he, or she, expects.

Full of tender, funny, and downright heartbreaking moments, Ganger’s second novel will have you cheering and crying all on the same page. Don’t miss out on this YA powerhouse standalone!

“Two teens maneuver painful routes through profound grief as well as the complex quagmire of severe mental illness…Ultimately hopeful, and readers will connect with the messy, visceral lives simmering on the page. Profoundly emotional and truthful.
– Kirkus Reviews

“Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a knowing tour de force filled with crackling wit, pain, and mini, freeze-dried marshmallows. Original and funny, the best parts may be found in the small moments, especially Ganger’s hilarious, spot-on dialogue, as well as tucked within the brilliantly-placed parentheticals. All that and a bowl of Lucky Charms. Or maybe six boxes.”
Gae Polisner, award-winning author of The Memory of Things and In Sight of Stars

“Naima is diagnosed by the author with obsessive-compulsive disorder, depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder, while Dew is diagnosed with social anxiety. These issues are explored with humanizing examples that invite empathy. Sure to be reassuring to those working their way through grief.”
Publishers Weekly on Six Goodbyes We Never Said

“Candace Ganger weaves a beautiful story of loss, grief and the struggle to move on in Six Goodbyes We Never Said. One of the realest voices of our generation, Ganger infuses this story with relatable, flawed teens who must learn how to cope in this world or be lost forever. I laughed and cried while reading and this book will stick with me for ages.”
Jessica Burkhart, editor of Life Inside My Mind: 31 Authors Share Their Personal Struggles on Six Goodbyes We Never Said

“Smart, raw, often biting in its reflections of the haves and have-nots, this debut will appeal to fans of John Green’s An Abundance of Katherines…You’ll find yourself not only wanting to (re)study chemistry but learning what you get in life isn’t always what you deserve—sometimes it’s more. [A] must-have for every shelf.”
Patty Blount, award-winning author of Some Boys

“A stunning and brilliantly crafted debut that peels back layers to the raw and the real. Birdie + Bash = 2 characters impossible not to fall in love with.”
K.M. Walton, author of Empty and Cracked

“THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH is part love story, part page-turner, and part intricate character study. Ganger writes her characters with great care, and the beautifully structured story is filled with giant truths and tiny, perfect details. Falling for this book was quick, thrilling and, yes, inevitable.”
Corey Ann Haydu, author of OCD Love Story and The Careful Undressing of Love

“Smart, emotionally rich, and beautifully written, THE INEVITABLE COLLISION OF BIRDIE & BASH is an unforgettable, heartfelt novel―realistic YA at its best.”
Jamie Kain, author of Instructions for the End of the World and The Good Sister

 

Buy the novel here.


REVIEW

What I loved about this novel was the introduction into the life of young adults struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. A lot of times we experience “perfect” characters…perfect looks, perfect personality, you get the picture. Having experienced some of the same struggles that our protagonists go through, I felt this was a real and accurate depiction of someone encountering depression, anxiety, and OCD.

The author brings in a very diverse character set. The relationships and struggles are genuine to how “real life” is experienced…the fights, the emotions, the heartbreak. Although, sometimes I felt like the protagonists were a little juvenile and disrespectful to the other characters. Yes, we all have problems and some people might not understand, but we should still treat others respectfully.

Another unique aspect of the novel is the voicemails and recordings. I loved that! It helped break up the more trying scene and was a creative way to depict the personalities of some of the characters.

The only downside I had was that the plot wasn’t clear. This isn’t your typical novel. This book is more about being able to let yourself rely on others to help you through your struggles. It is a story of growth and healing.

Ganger does a great job of providing insight into the life of people struggling with depression, anxiety, and OCD. With a little humor and a lot of personality, Six Goodbyes We Never Said is a story of healing, dealing with love and grief, and growing with the help of family and friends.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Candace Ganger AP_Credit Candace GangerCANDACE GANGER is a young adult author, contributing writer for Hello Giggles, and obsessive marathoner. Aside from having past lives as a singer, nanotechnology website editor, and world’s worst vacuum sales
rep, she’s also ghostwritten hundreds of projects for companies, bestselling fiction and award-winning nonfiction authors alike. She lives in Ohio with her family.

Follow Candace:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Goodreads  | Wednesday Books Twitter


AUTHOR’S NOTE

Hello, dear reader.

I think it should be known that, while Six Goodbyes is a work of fiction, I share the many characteristics, fears, and pains, in both the delicacy of Dew, and the confused ferocity in Naima. Please let this brief note serve as a trigger warning in regards to mental illness; self-care is of the utmost importance. And while I hope Six Goodbyes provides insight for those who don’t empa- thize, or comfort for those that do, I also understand everyone reacts differently.

Dew’s social anxiety is something I, and many others, struggle with. We carry on with our days and pretend it’s not as hard as it feels inside. Others can’t quite see how much it hurts but we so wish they could. Naima is the most visceral interpretation of all of my diagnosed disorders combined. Her obsessive-compulsive dis- order (OCD) and related tics, her intrusive thoughts, her utterly devastating and isolating depression, her generalized anxiety dis- order (GAD), which makes her so closed off from the world, and her post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) from losing the biggest portion of her identity—those are all pieces of me. Very big pieces. They don’t define me, but it would be misleading if I didn’t ad- mit they sometimes, mostly do. I’m imperfectly complicated like Naima. And though I’ve written extensively on both my mental illnesses and living biracial, between two worlds—never enough of one or the other; always only half of something and never whole or satiated—I often still feel misunderstood. Hopefully Dew and Naima’s stories will provide a little insight as to what it’s like inside their heads, and inside mine.

Both Dew and Naima want to hold on to the roots that have grounded them in their familiar, safe spaces. But once their meta- phorical trees are cut, and all the leaves shielding them from their pains have fallen and faded away, not even photosynthesis could bring them back to life. Those roots, Naima and Dew feel, will die off, and everything they had in their lives before will, too. There are many of you out there who feel the exact same way, but I assure you, Dew and Naima will find their way— they will grow new roots that flourish—and you, my darlings, will, too.

Thank you for reading, and may Six Goodbyes serve as per- mission to speak your truths—the good and the painful.

Here’s to another six airplanes for you to wish upon.


Q & A

Q: Did Six Goodbyes We Never Said have a certain soundtrack you listened to while writing?
A: You’ll see! Naima frequently mentions songs to note. Her family is old school. Dew’s parents were part of August Moon and the Paper Hearts, which is a play on Ben Harper and the Innocent Criminals, so there was a lot of “Forever” and “Please Bleed” happening also.

Q: What is your dream cast for Six Goodbyes We Never Said?
A: I’d love a couple of unknowns to take the stage to really make it their own. We need more POC rep so a Six Goodbyes cast could be pretty stellar.

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?
A: Keeping my own mental health in check. I had a lot of personal struggles which interfered with the writing process, but we made it through.


 

Book Reviews

Twisted Fates (Twisted Trilogy #3) by Geza Tatrallyay

HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ME!

Twisted Fates

Title: Twisted Fates (Twisted Trilogy #3)
Author: Geza Tatrallyay
Rating: ★★★★

I received this novel from the author in exchange for an honest review.

Crime novelist, Greg Martens, and his wife, former Interpol agent Anne Rossiter, are once again called back to Vienna by Anne’s former boss at Interpol because Julia Saparova has disappeared a second time. Afraid that the same evil men, Sergei and Boris Polyakov, Julia’s own cousins, are behind her disappearance, Greg and Anne reenter the seedy underworld of the Russian mafia, sex-trafficking, black market arms dealing, and international terrorism, in hopes of rescuing Julia. But this time, their enemies are expecting them, and Anne stumbles into a trap, joining Julia in depraved captivity. Now the two women’s only hope is that Greg and their friends in Interpol can locate and rescue them before it’s too late—not only for them, but for the world at large…

After being married for five years, Greg Martens and Anne Rossiter make a trip down Memory Lane to Vienna. Right before their intended departure, Anne’s former Interpol boss calls to tell her that Julia Saparova, a dear friend, has once again disappeared. Caught at a crossroads between going to the place where Julia currently is and where she is supposedly going, Anne and her husband separate. But when Anne arrives at her destination, she is caught in the planned trap by the men who have caused her so much harm in the past. Now, it is up to Greg to rescue his wife and friend. Can he do it before it is too late?!

I liked the story-within-a-story aspect that we see. It brings the story to a nice close. I’ll be honest, I hated the ending! The relationship was just so rushed and I don’t know how either of them could do that to someone they loved. Please, you both need time to grieve! If it was me, I’d haunt them! haha

Caution to those who are sensitive to rape and human trafficking. There are some brutal scenes and language. It is not unnecessary and is significant to the story-line of the novel.

This was a great ending to a fast-paced and action-packed trilogy. The growth of the characters is apparent and the research put into the story is impressive. While it is part of a series, I believe that this novel would be able to be read as a standalone.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Geza

Born in Budapest, Hungary, Geza escaped with his family in 1956 during the Hungarian Revolution, immigrating to Canada the same year. He grew up in Toronto, attending the University of Toronto Schools, where he was School Captain. He graduated from Harvard University with a BA in Human Ecology in 1972 (after taking a break in his studies to work as a host in the Ontario Pavilion at Expo70 in Osaka, Japan). Geza was selected as a Rhodes Scholar from Ontario, attending Oxford University and graduating with a BA/MA in Human Sciences in 1974; he completed his studies with a MSc in Economics from London School of Economics in 1975. Geza represented Canada as an epée fencer in the 1976 Olympic Games in Montreal.

Geza’s professional experience has included government, international organizations, finance and environmental entrepreneurship. Since 2004, he has been semi-retired, managing investments mainly in the clean energy sector and devoting himself to his family and his writing. Geza is a citizen of Canada and Hungary, a green card holder with an American wife, a daughter living in San Francisco and a son in Nairobi, and currently divides his time between Barnard, Vermont, and San Francisco.

Besides the three “Twisted’ thrillers, Geza has published an e-thriller, ARCTIC MELTDOWN, and has another international political thriller, THE RAINBOW VIINTNER, under contract and due to be published later this year.

Besides his novels, Geza had had two memoirs published: FOR THR CHILDREN, the true story of his family’s harrowing escape from Stalinist Hungary during the Revolution in 1956, and THE EXPO AFFAIR, the story of three Czechoslovak girls he tried to help defect to Canada at EXPO 70 the world’s fair in Osaka, Japan in 1970.

Geza’s poems have been published in journals and two of his poetry collections – CELLO’S TEARS and SIGHS AND MURMURS – were published by P.R.A. Publishing. You can find more out about all these books at www.gezatatrallyay.com.

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Q&A

Q: What was your greatest challenge in writing this book?

A: My greatest challenge in writing the book was whether I should have Anne die in the novel or not. Indeed, this was an extremely heavy decision because she was so integral to the story of all three books in the trilogy. It is she, who early on in the first book, TWISTED REASONS, is the one who pursues a serious investigation of the disappearance of Adam Kallay, Greg’s friend, and together they get drawn into the much bigger international affair of the heist of nuclear material from Mayak. But the other beautiful woman in the trilogy, Julia, is always there behind the scenes. She is more often than not the victim, and it is unquestionable that there is an attraction between Greg and Julia. Greg happens into a wonderful love affair with Anne–this was also a difficult choice to make, not just for Greg, but even more so for me as a writer–and at the end of the first book, the two get married. In TWISTED  TRAFFICK, the second volume, it is very much Anne who takes the lead on investigating the disappearance of Julia and tracks the evil gang that trafficks women from the former Soviet Empire (as well as trades in stolen nuclear material, other arms, drugs and even human body parts). In TWISTED FATES, the third book, too, it is she who leads on the chase after the gang–in a sense, she has taken over from Greg as the main protagonist–until she is captured by the gang. It is then up to Greg to rescue both ladies and I decided as I was writing this volume that one of the women had to die in that rescue attempt. It would be too easy for that to be the slightly less important figure in the trilogy i.e. Julia and I think having it be Anne makes the story more interesting. Certainly, Julia back story is fascinating and this allows me to weave into the story some interesting developments and questions. I would be keen on hearing what my readers’ think.


TWISTED FATES is the third novel in the ‘Twisted’ trilogy of international crime thrillers. All three books can be ordered by local bookstores and are available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Walmart etc. in paperback and / or e-book format.
Enjoy the series!
Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR] A Treason of Thorns by Laura E. Weymouth

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Welcome to my stop on A Treason of Thorns book tour! Thank you to Fantastic Flying Book Club for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

A Treason of Thorns

Title: A TREASON OF THORNS
Author: Laura E. Weymouth
Pub. Date: September 10, 2019
Publisher: HarperTeen
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 352
Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&N, iTunes, TBD, Kobo, Google Books

Violet Sterling has spent the last seven years in exile, longing to return to Burleigh House. One of the six great houses of England, Burleigh’s magic always kept the countryside well. And as a child, this magic kept Violet happy, draping her in flowers while she slept, fashioning secret hiding places for her, and lighting fires on the coldest nights to keep her warm.Everything shattered, though, when her father committed high treason trying to free Burleigh from the king’s oppressive control. He was killed, and Vi was forced into hiding. When she’s given a chance to go back, she discovers Burleigh has run wild with grief. Vines and briars are crumbling the walls. Magic that once enriched the surrounding countryside has turned dark and deadly, twisting lush blooms into thorns, poisoning livestock and destroying crops. Burleigh’s very soul is crying out in pain. Vi would do anything to help, and soon she finds herself walking the same deadly path as her father all those years before. Vi must decide how far she’s willing to go to save her house—before her house destroys everything she’s ever known.Content warnings are available via the author’s website.


REVIEW

A good Caretaker puts her House first. Before her family. Before her friends.

First off, the cover is beautiful.

The premise of the novel is unique in and of itself: a conscious house, able to perceive and feel things. My initial thought was of the movie Monster House. Burleigh House is in despair after the death of it’s current Caretaker, Violet’s (Vi’s) father. After being put on house arrest after treasonous acts towards the king. The house controls the welfare of the land surrounding it. Animals are becoming diseased, crops are dying, and people are being forced to leave the land unable to survive any longer. But, Vi doesn’t have long herself before she is also killed trying to save the one thing she loves more than anything else: Burleigh.

I was born to look after this land, and to care for Burleigh House.

No matter the cost. No matter the risks involved.

I loved that a “thing” was morphed into a character. I have read novels where the protagonist loves their house in an odd way, but never where the house was a character itself. One of my favorite things about the novel, was the way that history was replayed using memories and the reader slowly piecing together the truth of Burleigh’s journey and history.

Someday, I will die for Burleigh House. It’s only become a matter of when.

I wanted to love this novel and believe there was a little more potential than was executed. As a reader, I wanted to know more about Wyn. Knowing more history of Wyn and Vi’s mother would’ve made the story more well-rounded.

I really did like the story, but I wanted more. With that being said, I think there is potential for a series to arise out of this novel. We know there are more houses that could potentially come to the same result. It could be interesting to learn about the one house that already failed. Could Vi possibly help prevent the other houses from failing?!

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Laura WeymouthLaura Weymouth is a Canadian living in exile in America, and the sixth consecutivegeneration of her family to immigrate from one country to another. Born andraised in the Niagara region of Ontario, she now lives at the edge of the woods inwestern New York, along with her husband, two wild-hearted daughters, a spoiledcat, an old soul of a dog, and an indeterminate number of chickens. She isrepresented by the inimitable Lauren Spieller of TriadaUS.

Follow Laura:
Goodreads Website Twitter Facebook  | Pinterest Instagram |


GIVEAWAY

Win signed copies of Laura E. Weymouth’s books: THE LIGHT BETWEEN WORLDS and ATREASON OF THORNS (US/CAN only)
Starts: 10th September 2019
Ends: 24th September 2019


ENTER HERE


September 10th

September 11th

Utopia State of Mind – Review  + Favourite Quotes
The Book Bratz – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Book Dutchesses – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Hermit Librarian – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sometimes Leelynn Reads – Review + Dream Cast

September 12th

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Guest Post
Librorum in Sempiternum – Review + Favourite Quotes
The Baroness of Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Synopses by Sarge – Review

September 13th

Kait Plus Books – Interview
Moonlight Rendezvous – Review + Favourite Quotes
Books of Teacups – Review
Chrikaru Reads – Review
A Few Chapters ’til Love – Review + Favourite Quotes

September 14th

Morgan Vega – Review + Playlist + Favourite Quotes
Luchia Houghton Blog – Review + Favourite Quotes
Jrsbookreviews – Review

September 15th

NovelKnight – Guest Post
The Reading Corner for All – Review + Favourite Quotes
Novel Nerd Faction – Review + Playlist
In Between Book Pages – Review + Favourite Quotes
Sincerely Karen Jo – Review

September 16th

Wishful Endings – Interview
A Court of Coffee and Books – Review + Favourite Quotes
Book Reviews, Bookish Features

[BLOG TOUR + Q&A] The Last Hope (The Raging Ones, #2) by Krista & Becca Ritchie

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Welcome to my stop on The Last Hope book tour! Thank you to Wednesday Books for organizing the tour and allowing me to participate as a tour stop!


ABOUT THE BOOK

The Last Hope

Title: THE LAST HOPE (The Raging Ones, #2)
Author: Krista & Becca Ritchie
Pub. Date: August 13, 2019
Publisher: Wednesday Books
Formats: Hardcover
Pages: 400
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NTBD

A stunning conclusion to the sci-fi romance duology by writing duo Krista & Becca Ritchie, The Last Hope is filled with twists and turns you’ll never see coming.

Sacrifice all you have to survive. 

Imprisoned for weeks on an enemy starcraft, Franny, Court, and Mykal have sat with an unfathomable revelation. But as they fight to stay alive, escaping prison means trusting a young mysterious stranger. He knows everything about their lost histories, and when answers aren’t given freely, the bonded trio are forced to join a mission. One that will determine the fate of humanity.

Legend says, a baby—the first of her species—has the power to cloak and teleport planets. Tasked with retrieving the infant, Court fears the baby is just a myth, and if they fail, they’ll never find the truth about their origins.

As Court and Mykal grow closer, their linked bond becomes harder to hide, and dynamics change when Franny begins to fall for someone new. Vulnerable and with no choice, the hunt for the baby sends the trio on a dangerous path to Saltare-1: a water world where their enemies can’t die and survival comes at a high cost.

Buy the novel:
Here


REVIEW

After all that we’ve been through, we deserve a better ending.

The story leads off right where we last saw our beloved trio, Franny, Court, and Mykal…captured and in prison. When a stranger offers a way out, they are quick to accept the offer. Slowly, they start to discover secrets from their past and the reason for their existence. Will they choose freedom or saving the planet?!

In a world where everyone knows the day they will die, we follow three teenagers on a journey to defy all odds. But these three have a bigger secret…they are linked and can feel the thoughts and feelings of the other. After three admirals sacrifice their lives for the trio to be released, they start to realize that their lives are apart of something more. And Stork, their rescuer, won’t tell them anything.

Set to rescue a baby from Saltare-1 and save Earth, Franny, Court, and Mykal discover more about each other, but most importantly, about themselves. Through the majority of the book, we witness the self-exploration of the three. We see the undying love they have for each other through their self-sacrifice and risks they each take in order to ensure the safety of the others.

Does anyone else have a crush on Stork?! Ever since meeting him, I knew that he was probably going to be my favorite character. Everything he goes through to do things the correct way and cause the least amount of pain to our protagonists shows how crazily connected everything is in the story. I ship him and who he couples with (sorry, no spoilers!)

Krista and Becca are so creative! The ending is everything I could ask for and more! I feel like a proud parent.

The Last Hope is the epic conclusion to The Raging Ones duology. While this novel is part of a series, it can be read as a standalone. The Last Hope is a story of survival, self-exploration, and friendship.

★★★


ABOUT THE AUTHORS

Krista & Becca Ritchie_Author PhotoKrista & Becca Ritchie are New York Times Bestselling Authors and identical twins, one a science nerd, the other a comic book geek. With their shared passion for writing, they combined their mental powers as kids and have never stopped telling stories. Graduates from the University of Georgia in Biology and English & Journalism, the twin writing duo now lives in Atlanta. The Raging Ones is their first young adult novel.

Follow Krista & Becca:
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram | Krista’s Goodreads | Becca’s Goodreads


Q & A

Q: What was the hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

A: The action at the end was quite challenging. We wanted every moment to be adrenaline-filled while also making sure that each character had the correct closure since it’d be some of the final scenes in the book. The beginning was the easiest by far. THE LAST HOPE picks up right where THE RAGING ONES leaves off – with Franny, Court, and Mykal in peril – and grabbing hold of those emotions felt seamless as we began writing.

 

Q: Did you hide any secrets in your book? (names of friends, little jokes, references to things only some people will get)

A: We hid some little Easter eggs in THE RAGING ONES! We reference “surface plasmons” – and our granddad, a theoretical physicist, first predicted the existence of surface plasmons in the 50s. And we largely joke about the fish-out-of-water humor between Mykal and Stork in THE LAST HOPE as being Guardians of the Galaxy style of humor. Especially when Mykal has no idea what the word “guy” or “boyfriend” means and Stork tries to define these for him.

 

Q: What do you hope people remember about it?

A:The characters. The soul-mate bonds and even the platonic love between friends. Whenever we write, our biggest goal is to write characters that stay with readers.


 

Book Reviews

House of Salt and Sorrows by Erin A. Craig

House of Salt and Sorrows

Title: House of Salt and Sorrows
Author: Erin A. Craig
Rating: ★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

Buddy read with Breanna.

In a manor by the sea, twelve sisters are cursed.

Annaleigh lives a sheltered life at Highmoor, a manor by the sea, with her sisters, their father, and stepmother. Once they were twelve, but loneliness fills the grand halls now that four of the girls’ lives have been cut short. Each death was more tragic than the last—the plague, a plummeting fall, a drowning, a slippery plunge—and there are whispers throughout the surrounding villages that the family is cursed by the gods.

Disturbed by a series of ghostly visions, Annaleigh becomes increasingly suspicious that the deaths were no accidents. Her sisters have been sneaking out every night to attend glittering balls, dancing until dawn in silk gowns and shimmering slippers, and Annaleigh isn’t sure whether to try to stop them or to join their forbidden trysts. Because who—or what—are they really dancing with?

When Annaleigh’s involvement with a mysterious stranger who has secrets of his own intensifies, it’s a race to unravel the darkness that has fallen over her family—before it claims her next.

For those of you who know me, you know that I love myself a good mystery!

Annaleigh was once one of many, but death has come to her sisters in line of succession. Known as being “cursed” by neighboring families, the girls find themselves struggling to find suitors.

Suddenly seeing the ghosts of her dead sisters, Annaleigh starts to believe the deaths of her sisters was no accident, but pre-determined.

twins

When a friendly person starts to help Annaleigh uncover the mysteries behind her sister’s deaths, danger lurks closer than ever before. Will she figure out the mystery behind her sister’s deaths before she is next?

“It shouldn’t matter what your parents did, just what you do as a person.”

Craig introduces readers to a place where ghosts roam freely, death could be the next step you take, and nothing is truly as it appears. The author does a great job of creating the creepy murder mystery atmosphere, but adds a touch of paranormal into the picture.

The expected publication date is August 6, 2019.

Book Reviews

The Express Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #9) by Kimberley Woodhouse

The Express BrideTitle: The Express Bride (Daughters of the Mayflower #9)
Author: Kimberley Woodhouse
Rating: ★★★★★

I received this ARC from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.

The Wilderness Is a Great Place to Hide 
Jacqueline Rivers manages a Pony Express station in 1860 Utah territory after her father’s death. There are daily stresses placed on her in this unconventional role—and now a government official is asking her to sniff out counterfeiters. When Elijah Johnson passes through on the stage while on an exhausting quest to find his boss’s heir, he doesn’t want to leave the beguiling station manager. In fact, he may never leave when caught in the crossfire of the territory’s criminal activities. Can she remain strong when secrets of the past and present are finally unearthed?

Join the adventure as the Daughters of the Mayflower series continues with The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse.

More in the Daughters of the Mayflower series:
The Mayflower Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1620 Atlantic Ocean (February 2018)
The Pirate Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1725 New Orleans (April 2018)
The Captured Bride by Michelle Griep – set 1760 during the French and Indian War (June 2018)
The Patriot Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1774 Philadelphia (August 2018)​
The Cumberland Bride by Shannon McNear – set 1794 on the Wilderness Road (October 2018)
The Liberty Bride by MaryLu Tyndall – set 1814 Baltimore (December 2018)
The Alamo Bride by Kathleen Y’Barbo – set 1836 Texas (February 2019)
The Golden Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1849 San Francisco (April 2019)
The Express Bride by Kimberley Woodhouse – set 1860 Utah territory (July 2019)

After an arranged marriage prepared by her parents, Anna quickly falls in love with her husband…until things go awry. After being beaten one too many times and scared for the life of her baby, Anna escapes much quicker than planned. In an effort to hide from her husband, she changes her name and identity. She shortly dies after discovering happiness and security in the life she never had prior.

After recently losing her father, Jacqueline “Jack” Rivers finds herself as manager of a Pony Express station and handling the lives of two handfuls of young men. Already being scared of detection by the owners because of her gender, she is then asked to spy for counterfeiters.

Along the way, Elijah Johnson shows up. Tasked with the “impossible” task of finding his employer’s daughter, he quickly finds himself falling in love with Jack. To make things more stressful, his employer is on his deathbed and hoping to apologize to his daughter before it’s too late.

Will Mr. Johnson find his employer’s daughter? Who is she and where has she been? Will Jack be able to continue to manage the station? What dangers lurk ahead? What secrets do others have?

What I enjoyed most about this novel more than others in the series was we see multiple kinds of love from parental to romantic. Instead of the main characters being at fault for their actions, we find one of the supporting characters with this dilemma. And I really enjoyed that because it wasn’t the same story line of the woman helping the man to become a better person after he makes mistakes.

A story of redemption, forgiveness, and love, readers are likely to fall in love with this brave woman and protective gang of young men!