Tuesday, 17 December 2013

First Look Tour of A Breath of Frost by Alyxandra Harvey : Meet Emma, and win enchanting prizes

Alyxandra Harvey, popular young adult author of the Drake Chronicles, Haunting Violet, and Stolen Away, is back with a bewitching new young adult fantasy series that will take readers through the streets of magical 19th century London. A BREATH OF FROST, the first installment in The Lovegrove Legacy (published by Bloomsbury Childrens) goes on sale January 7, 2014. It’s full of witches, magic, family secrets, goblin markets, deer-people, and boys in cravats!

A note from Alyxandra Harvey...

Like most writers, I keep notebooks full of details and ideas and character profiles for my novel in progress. I got to know Emma first and A Breath of Frost became her story.

Meet Emma:
Age: 17
Hair: Reddish brown
Eyes: Green
Hobbies: Stargazing
Familiar: Deer
Magic: Weather, especially lightning/ rainstorms
Personality traits: Practical, witty, honest, quiet
Wants: to find out what happened to her mother
Wants not to want: Cormac
Wants anyway: Cormac

I also often use collages to get to know my characters betters. It is so much more personal and opens me up to really hearing what makes her unique. In the movie in my head I cast Rachel Hurd-Wood.

Emma is a seventeen year old girl in 1814 who discovers she is a witch. She has to learn all of the social graces and the long complicated rules of etiquette in regular London society…as well as how not to make it accidentally rain inside the ballroom.
Emma is practical and quiet but she is no pushover! She refuses to let herself be cowed, even when she is being hounded and carted away by the Order of the Iron Nail. Even when the one doing the carting is Cormac Fairfax, who is just as unfairly handsome and maddening as he was a few months ago when they kissed in a snowy garden.
Emma hasn’t forgotten.
How do you forget a dark-eyed young man with a wicked grin and dangerous charm? Especially when he seems to know more about Emma’s family and her mother’s madness then she herself has ever been able to find out.
Sometimes she thinks he remembers the kiss too. And sometimes she just wants to punch him in the nose. He clearly has secrets of his own to keep and Emma doesn’t know whether or not she can trust him.
She only knows that she can’t stop thinking about him.
And with the warlock Greymalkin Sisters killing debutantes, Emma isn’t sure she has time left to figure him out.
She has to save herself and her cousins first.
I hope you’ll enjoy getting to know Emma as much as I did!

The official book trailer :

Want to learn more about A BREATH OF FROST? Be sure to check out this "First Look" interview with Alyxandra Harvey!
Follow the "first look" tour and win enchanting prizes!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About A BREATH OF FROST: In 1814, three cousins—Gretchen, Emma, and Penelope—discover their unknown family lineage of witchcraft when their individual magical powers unexpectedly begin to manifest. Now, beyond the familiar manicured gardens and ballrooms of Regency London, a dangerous, alluring underworld available only to those with power is now open to the

But by claiming their power, the three cousins have accidentally opened the gates to the Underworld. Now ghouls, hellhounds—and most terrifying of all, the spirits of dark witches known as the Greymalkin Sisters—are hunting and killing young witches for their powers. And, somehow, Emma is connected to the murders … because she keeps finding the bodies. Can the cousins seal the gates before another witch is killed …or even worse, before their gifts are stripped away?

“Harvey balances a large cast with an intricate plot with flair….A successful blend of Regency and paranormal romance.” ~ Kirkus Reviews

“Filling her latest with a large cast of characters— from the society elite to the magical world’s dark underbelly—Harvey keeps up the action and clever dialogue as the protagonist, Emma, deals with high-class mean girls, familial secrets, and a confusing crush. A smashing blend of adventure, fantasy, humor, romance, and historical fiction.” ~ Booklist

Pre-order A BREATH OF FROST at Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Amazon UK | Indigo Indiebound

About the Author: Alyxandra Harvey lives in a stone Victorian house in Ontario, Canada with a few resident ghosts who are allowed to stay as long as they keep company manners. She loves medieval dresses, used to be able to recite all of The Lady of Shalott by Tennyson, and has been accused, more than once, of being born in the wrong century. She believes this to be mostly true except for the fact that she really likes running water, women’s rights, and ice cream.

Among her favourite books are ‘The Wood Wife’ by Terri Windling, ‘Jane Eyre’ by Charlotte Bronte, and of course, ‘Pride and Prejudice’ by Jane Austen. Elizabeth Bennet is her hero because she’s smart and sassy, and Mr. Darcy is, well, yum.

Aside from the ghosts, she also lives with husband and their dogs. She likes cinnamon lattes, tattoos and books.
Connect with Alyx at her Website | Twitter | Tumblr |Facebook | Pinterest

Friday, 6 December 2013

Crown of Midnight by Sarah J. Maas

Goodreads Summary : An assassin’s loyalties are always in doubt.
But her heart never wavers.

After a year of hard labor in the Salt Mines of Endovier, eighteen-year-old assassin Celaena Sardothien has won the king's contest to become the new royal assassin. Yet Celaena is far from loyal to the crown – a secret she hides from even her most intimate confidantes.

Keeping up the deadly charade—while pretending to do the king's bidding—will test her in frightening new ways, especially when she's given a task that could jeopardize everything she's come to care for. And there are far more dangerous forces gathering on the horizon -- forces that threaten to destroy her entire world, and will surely force Celaena to make a choice.

Where do the assassin’s loyalties lie, and who is she most willing to fight for?

My Rating : 5 of 5 stars

My Thoughts : Crown of Midnight was an example of how a brilliant sequel should be, considering the recent fallout of follow-ups. Not only well-written, but executed with better eloquence. Where ToG had some of its demerits, I daresay, CoM has hardly any. It’s what I call a great successor to its pioneer.

The story of Celaena Sardothien continues with new turns and twists; it suck you in, dribble you out, and leave you stumbling on your feet with weight of a broken heart in you chest. And finally did she grew up, like she should have been in ToG, after spending more than a year in salt mines. CoM added loads of depth to her character, a bridge that connects her lost past and future to come.

Celaena wasn’t anymore the girl with fascination for pretty gowns and dazzling jewels. She changed into something entirely different, something beyond the mortal understanding of those who knew her. And back was the assassin I wanted to see.

“She was a beautiful wraith - and when she looked at him, it was like she didn't even know who he was.”

She gave the king a semblance of loyalty, causing her heart to torn between her duty and love. Choosing to live a double life, lying to those she cares for most wasn’t exactly easy for her. She had her flaws, she did things she shouldn't have, made decision she regretted later, and these were all what made her look realistic, believable and easy to contend with.

Character wise, I had nothing to say about Chaol. He was, and always had been, my favourite boy. The man with dignity, with care, with skill that made him worthy than any male character I had recently crossed path with.

But for Dorian, I have plenty to say. In ToG he was a one dimensional flat character, a lovesick puppy wagging tails behind Celaena, pallid in comparison to Chaol. Now, I’m really, really surprised to see the amount of development in his characterization, his growth from the shadows of his ruthless father into man of his decisions. ToG left me wondering how Dorian is going to stand out as such weak character, but here, proving me wrong, he turned out to be the spine to the story’s structural skeleton.

Once again, I would like point, how better this book was. Not only plot wise, but also the writing improved by standard. I must say, Sarah J. Mass became the magician who wove words with such a grace that it built a magical world itself.

View all my reviews