Thursday, April 26, 2018

Sky in the Deep Blog Tour: Q&A

I'm beyond thrilled to be able to take part in the official blog tour for Sky in the Deep by Adrienne Young today :D I read this book a few months ago, and I loved it beyond words. <3 It was so incredible. And I cannot wait to read it again. Eee. And oh, how I want more books by Adrienne. She is so amazing. Huge thank you to the publisher, Wednesday Books, for letting me take part in this blog tour. Today I'm sharing a Q&A with Adrienne :D One personal question for my blog, eee, and nine other questions that should be on other blogs as well :D Thank you so much Adrienne. <3 You are amazing. And I love these answers so much. See my five star review of the book here. If you have not read this book yet, you really must go buy it right away. It is so good. The book came out this week, so you should be able to find it all over :D

Q&A with Adrienne Young.

My question: If you could live anywhere in the world, where would you live and why?

There are tons of places I would love to live! But somewhere near a beautiful beach and warm ocean would be top of my list.

General Q&A.  

1. What inspired SKY IN THE DEEP? How did the idea and Eelyn come to you? Do you have any favorite Viking stories? 

The sibling betrayal was definitely the first inspiration for this story. I was driving in the pouring rain on this country road and that first scene just hit me - Eelyn, seeing her brother on the battlefield after thinking that he was dead for five years. I pulled over on the side of the road and scribbled a million notes on an old envelope. I was immediately hooked to the idea and I wanted to know what had happened. I started writing that first chapter and I just never stopped.

2. What type of research did you do for your characters and world-building? What languages did you study to implement the languages that the Aska and the Riki speak? What was the strangest thing you had to research for this book?

I did a ton of research for this story. I actually really love to research things so it was a lot of fun. A lot of it was stuff like clothing, landscape, weapons, food, etc. But I did a lot of research into Norse mythology as well to build a foundation for this world. The language used is Old Norse, but it’s a dead language so studying it was really difficult. There is a lot of controversy about it among scholars and there’s no real way to fully understand it, so I just did my best based on my own investigation. I’m definitely not an expert! The weirdest thing I had to research was how to tear out someone’s eyeball. Yuck.

3. What was your writing process like for SKY IN THE DEEP?

Complete and utter obsession. When I draft, I get really buried in the world and I don’t really come up for air until I get to the end. I write as much as I can and limit my intake of other influencers that could mess with my mindset. I don’t watch TV or movies or listen to music that’s not on my playlist, and I kind of don’t have a social life until it’s done.

4. What was your hardest scene to write? What was the easiest?

I really didn’t struggle to get this story on the page the way I have with other books so I really don’t know what the hardest scene to write was. But the easiest was the first chapter. I wrote it so fast and it just clicked in so perfectly.

5. Which of your characters are you the most like? Who was your favorite to write?

Eelyn! We have so much in common and she really inspires me. But I think Halvard was the most fun to write. I really, really love him.

6. Do you have a soundtrack for SKY IN THE DEEP? Can you share a couple songs? What would Eelyn’s favorite song be?

Yes! Music plays a HUGE role in my writing process and I have a playlist for every project. The ones I probably listened to the most while drafting SKY are To the Hills by Laurel, Bare by Wildes, and Rise Up – Reprise by Foxes. But a link to the whole playlist is on my site!

7. What books have inspired you to write? What books are you looking forward to reading this year?

The ones that inspired me to write are nothing like my books. One of the most influential ones for me was A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, because the human element is so beautiful and the author explores so many things in that book that really took my breath away. I wanted to write stories that went deep like that, but I love fantasy so I try to it within that realm. 

8. Any advice on querying? Or writing advice for aspiring writers?

Querying – do not just sign with any agent who will take you. Make a dream agent list of qualified agents who have good reputations and make consistent sales. Query them. If they don’t bite, then write another book that they might want. Believe me when I say it is worth waiting for the right agent! 

9. Any details about the companion novel?

I can’t say anything about the companion novel yet! But I’m hoping that we can start talking about it soon because I am really excited about it!


Raised to be a warrior, seventeen-year-old Eelyn fights alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient rivalry against the Riki clan. Her life is brutal but simple: fight and survive. Until the day she sees the impossible on the battlefield—her brother, fighting with the enemy—the brother she watched die five years ago.

Faced with her brother's betrayal, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbor is an enemy, every battle scar possibly one she delivered. But when the Riki village is raided by a ruthless clan thought to be a legend, Eelyn is even more desperate to get back to her beloved family.

She is given no choice but to trust Fiske, her brother’s friend, who sees her as a threat. They must do the impossible: unite the clans to fight together, or risk being slaughtered one by one. Driven by a love for her clan and her growing love for Fiske, Eelyn must confront her own definition of loyalty and family while daring to put her faith in the people she’s spent her life hating.

Adrienne Young is a born and bred Texan turned California girl. She is a foodie with a deep love of history and travel and a shameless addiction to coffee. When she’s not writing, you can find her on her yoga mat, scouring antique fairs for old books, sipping wine over long dinners, or disappearing into her favorite art museums. She lives with her documentary filmmaker husband and their four little wildlings beneath the West Coast sun.

Where to find Adrienne Young:

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Review: Sawkill Girls by Claire Legrand

This book was all kinds of amazing. Which I knew it would be, as I have yet to not love a book by Claire with all of my heart. I have read them all, and her books means the most to me. I am thrilled to say the same about Sawkill Girls. It was such a stunning read. Beautiful and fierce girls. The most horrible monster. And magic.

There was so much that I loved about this book. I do not know where to start. The writing was beautiful, of course. I love how Claire writes her books. She is the most awesome person and such an incredible author. I cannot wait to read more and more books by her. Eee. This newest one was so good. And so evil.

This book tells the story of Zoey and Marion and Val. It is set in the present time, and the world is a normal one. Or so they think. The island of Sawkill Rock is not like any other place. Girls have gone missing for so many years now, never to be found. And no one is doing anything about it. And oh, this story was all kinds of amazing. I'm not going to share all the details of it, but will share a little. It begins with Marion arriving on the island with her sister and mother, after their father just died. On her first day there, she manages to fall of a horse. Ever since that happens she starts having issues with her head. She does not know what is wrong, only that it hurts. And that is just the beginning of her story. So much happens to this poor girl. Ack. My heart hurts for her.

I pretty much adored getting to know Marion. She was such an amazing person. Not perfect, but so good. She has been taking care of her mother and sister for some time now, and she is pretty much exhausted. Her older sister, Charlotte, was pretty interesting to get to know. I loved their relationship. They were such awesome sisters. Well, most of the time. Some stuff happens with that, and it just broke my heart. I wish it had not happened. My poor heart. But gosh, how it was written well and how exciting it was to read it.

Then there was Zoey. I have to admit that this girl was my favorite of the three. Getting to know her was the very best thing. She was fierce and awesome and loving and I adored her tons. Her friendship with Grayson was my very favorite. Eee. Zoey is grieving the loss of her friend, a girl that went missing less than a year ago. She wants to know what happened to her. And I very much loved that about Zoey. She was a fierce friend. And just such an amazing girl. I could not help but love her point of views the most.

And then there was Val. I am still not sure what I feel about this girl. She did some completely awful and unforgivable things. Yet she was pretty much a victim for most of the book too. Hmm. Yet I am not sure I can forgive all the things that she did. But at the same time, I could not help but love her and feel sorry for her and want to know more about her. How rude. She was such a well written character, and I loved that. Getting to know her was pretty amazing, though. There is much to know. Some good, but most of it bad.

These three girls are not friends. Val and Zoey are pretty much enemies. And Marion just moved there, to clean for Val's family. But they end up spending more time together, all of them, because of the monster on this island. They must learn to become friends. And reading about these three girls together was pretty epic. They fight a bit. They care for each other a bit. And they were just the best to read about. And this story was so good and I shall not mention much of it, because it was surprising and awesome. I loved it.

Time to mention the romances a little. Zoey and Grayson were together for some time. Until they had sex and she broke up with him. Yet they are the best of friends, even so. And they love each other so fiercely. Their break up had a lot of reasons for happening, most of them silly, to be honest, haha. And I loved how Zoey still very much loved him. And how he adored her. It was so sweet to read about. I wanted them as more than friends so badly. They were the cutest couple. Ack. And I loved their friendship so very much.

Then there was Marion and Val. I shall not mention their romance that much, because it had so so many complications, but gosh, I very much liked them together. They just met, and it takes a little time, but they get closer and the romance happens so sudden. It was awesome. They were pretty cute together, and I did ship them. Despite my complicated feelings about Val. Ahh. So much happens with them in this book. Yet I think I still want them together. Probably. Maybe. The romance was sweet, though. Short, but good.

This book is filled with magic. Okay, maybe not that much magic, but a little bit. And it was all so lovely to read about. I'm not going to share what this magic is, or who has it, but it was so good to read about and pretty special too. And a bit dangerous. Then there was the monster. There is a creature in these woods that feeds on girls. And reading about it was all kinds of horrible. I loved every moment, haha. This book is about the girls learning about the monster, and trying their best to get rid of it, before they end up dead.

I am not going to say much more about this book. Just that I loved it beyond words. Adored the girls so much. And I loved reading about their life. The ending was good, yet so evil, and I wish there would be more books. More of Zoey and Grayson. As those two were so precious to me. Eee. But they all were. Reading about these girls and this island was pretty incredible. I'm so happy with how much I loved this story. I wish there had been a little bit more romance, haha, but there also did not need to be more of it.

This is a book that I think everyone is going to love. The girls are amazing and flawed and just completely perfect. There are two stunning romances. Boy and girl. Girl and girl. Both were written so well. There is a monster. And it was the most horrible one. There is some stunning magic, and I loved every moment of that. There is girl power. Girls slowly becoming friends. There are some arguments, though those were needed, and they were written so well. I just loved all of it so much. And these girls. They were the best.

Huge thank you to the publisher, Katherine Tegen Books, for the auto-approval on Edelweiss, so that I could download and read this book right away. Eee. I'm so happy that I had the chance to read this most precious book so early. Now just looking for the print ARC to complete my very huge collection of books by Claire. Sawkill Girls was everything I wanted it to be and more. Full of amazing girls fighting for their right to live and love. Beautiful friendships. And just such an incredible story too. You are going to love it.

Waiting on Wednesday #341

"Waiting On" Wednesday is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine, that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

VENGEFUL (The Villains #2) BY V. E. SCHWAB

Goodreads Description:

Eli Ever and Victor Vale were only medical students when their mutual discovery that near-death experiences can, under the right conditions, manifest extraordinary abilities.

They were best friends, and rivals, and then enemies. They were dead, then alive, and then---Eli killed Victor, once and for all.

Or so he thought---but Sydney Clarke felt otherwise, and used her own superpower to tip the scales. Now, a trio hides in the shadows, while another takes advantages of post-death life to take over the city of Merit.

If there can be life after death—will there be calm after vengeance, or will chaos rule?

Hardcover, 400 pages
Expected publication: September 25th 2018 by Tor Books
Pre-Order here and here

This book is going to be so awesome and I cannot wait to read it. I liked Vicious a lot, and I am so excited about this second book :D Eee. It takes place 5 years after, though, aaack. But I am SO excited for it :D Especially after having seen all the work that Victoria has put into writing this book. She is amazing. And I think Vengeful is going to end up being so good. Crossing my fingers that I will love it lots and lots. <3
What are you waiting for on this super Wednesday?

Tuesday, April 24, 2018

Ash Princess Blog Tour: Spotlight

Today I am taking part in the official blog tour for Ash Princess by Laura Sebastian :D Thank you to the publisher, Delacorte Books, for letting me take part in this tour. For my post, I will be sharing a spotlight about the book, and a few pictures that I have taken of my gorgeous ARC copy of it. See my review of the book here. This book has one of the most gorgeous covers. I'm so in love with how pretty it is. Eee. The book was not for me, but I am sure that so many of you are going to love it. Let me know your thoughts :D

Theodosia was six when her country was invaded and her mother, the Fire Queen, was murdered before her eyes. On that day, the Kaiser took Theodosia's family, her land, and her name. Theo was crowned Ash Princess--a title of shame to bear in her new life as a prisoner.

For ten years Theo has been a captive in her own palace. She's endured the relentless abuse and ridicule of the Kaiser and his court. She is powerless, surviving in her new world only by burying the girl she was deep inside.

Then, one night, the Kaiser forces her to do the unthinkable. With blood on her hands and all hope of reclaiming her throne lost, she realizes that surviving is no longer enough. But she does have a weapon: her mind is sharper than any sword. And power isn't always won on the battlefield.

For ten years, the Ash Princess has seen her land pillaged and her people enslaved. That all ends here.

Laura Sebastian was born and raised in South Florida (the Redlands and Key Largo) and has always loved telling stories–many apologies to her little brother who often got in trouble because of them. No copies of her first book, a Cinderella retelling about angels circa 2nd grade, remain. Thankfully.

After getting her BFA from Savannah College of Art and Design, she moved to New York City thinking that she would stay for a couple of years before going somewhere better suited for a small-town, sun-loving girl. Five years later, she’s still here and madly in love with it.

When Laura isn’t writing, she’s probably reading, baking cookies or cupcakes, buying more clothes than her overstuffed closet can fit, or forcing her lazy dog Neville to take a walk.

Her debut ASH PRINCESS, the start of a YA fantasy trilogy, will be out April  24th, 2018 from Delacorte (Random House).

Where to find Laura Sebastian:

Saturday, April 21, 2018

In My Mailbox #337

Tine is moving so fast lately. I barely have time for anything. How rude. But gosh, it's almost May. I turn 25 on the 3rd. Eee. And I shall be getting up my outdoor spa bath shortly, I hope, and oh my gosh, I'm so excited. This winter has lasted forever and my body need the hot water so badly. Anyway. This week I read two books, YAY :D Feeling happy about that. But haha. First was a one star. First one star in a long time. But second book was a five, so I'm happy about that. I also got so much stunning mail this week, and I love it all so so so much. <3 It's so stunning. My current reading list is the very best, eee :D But I'm also not feeling very well lately. My energy level is about zero. Medicine still not working. Stomach feels like it is killing me. I'm trying to stay positive, but it is hard, because of the pain all the time. It sucks. And also. I'm feeling a little sad. Am getting so so few comments on my blog lately. There was zero comments on my IMM post from last week. Breaks my heart a little. Please please comment if you are visiting. <3 Comments means the world to me. Thank you. Blogged a bunch this week, so yay for that :D I shared my review of Seafire. <3 I shared the cover for Sherwood :D Then posted my review of Ash Princess. Hmph. This week I'm waiting on Bright We Burn :) Then posted my review of Sadie. <3 So yeah. My health is all kinds of shitty. But I'm doing good, despite that. A bit behind on catching up and such, but shall get to it soonish, I hope :) Just need to feel a bit better to be able to get it all done. Love all my mail this week :D

The Fates Divide. I simply had to have the gorgeous UK paperback of this book too :D Looks stunning.
Beyond a Darkened Shore. Finally got my stunning hardcover of this book :D Adored this one so much.
Bright We Burn + Spinning Silver. LOVE! Thank you so much PRH International for these two stunning ARCs :D I am so, so excited to read both of them. Ahh. Crossing my fingers they will be amazing. <3
Queens of Fennbirn. Eee, the stunning UK paperback version :D I must read this short story book soon.
Furyborn Swag. Ahh! Thank you Foggy Pine Books :D So in love with this pre-order swag. Perfection.
LIFEL1K3 Sampler. Eee, thank you so much Whitney for getting me this gorgeous sampler :D Love it so.
Pop Figures. Eee, more Jurassic Park pops :D They are just so stunning and awesome. Love all of these.

Sadie. I was so so very lucky to get approved for this by St. Martin's Press on Netgalley, eee :D I read it right away. <3 And I loved it so much. Sigh. My poor heart, though. It was so rude. But so good. Now in even more of a desperate need to own the print ARC, though :) You must all read this book. Right away.

More Instagram photos here. <3