Monthly Archives: April 2019

Love And Other Things to Live For by Louise Leverett – Blog Tour Book Review

Synopsis

‘I don’t smoke, barely drink, have never experienced casual sex

so, this will be the tasting menu for new discoveries’

Meet Jess, an aspiring photographer living in London. With a newly broken heart, she’s facing a battle between the past and the future, choosing between having a life, or making a living – finding her feet or spreading her wings. Ultimately, she must ask herself: who is she really living for?

Bored of bottomless brunches and swiping right, Jess is looking for something a little more from London life. After quitting law school to pursue her dreams of becoming a photographer, Jess is determined to lap up every fresh experience the city has to offer, especially when it comes to love.

Yet Jess refuses to tackle this brave new world alone.
This is a book for everyone with a girl squad or in desperate need of one. This is about women coming together to tackle today’s world, taking the hand of those either side, saying the words loudly, together…rock my tribe.


About the Author

Louise Leverett graduated from Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts in London on a full scholarship, before moving on to study at the Lee Strasberg Institute of Film in New York. Since establishing her own business ‘Rock the Tribes’ she is now working on a collection of writings that will eventually be turned into adaptations for screen.

You can find her on the web at http://www.rockthetribes.com or @louiseleverett

Louise on writing Love And Other Things to Live For

What I Thought

This book wasn’t quite what I was expecting from the synopsis. There was slightly more romantic love in it. Now considering that is the largest word on the cover it shouldn’t really have shocked me. I guess as a single woman I was expecting an ode to being on your own and surrounded by good friends.

Instead this book is a much more nuanced look at the many varieties of love – friendship love, romantic love and most importantly self love. It’s about navigating and negotiating life and dreams. And this was what spoke most to me.

Friendship Love

“The collection of people whom you choose to ride the wave with: the truth-tellers, The heart-menders, my people to live for.”

Jess lives with Amber “life is a little less scary knowing she is on my side”.

Sean is “a jester in a cashmere cardigan” and a listening ear.

Marlowe “She is perfect and I am a mess.”

Jess picks up other friends on the way through her story. Sometimes we don’t see her best friends for a while but they are always there when needed and that’s what true friendship is about. We also get to find out about their lives and challenges too and even get some of the story from their points of view.

Romantic Love

“In a sexually charged game of cat and mouse, it can sometimes be hard to know when to stop running.”

Charlie is the man from her recent break up and he remains a presence in Jess’ life even though she meets and dates other men.

Self Love

“For the first time I wanted something that was within me.”

Jess has decided law is not her desired career path and that she wants to be a photographer but that’s not a job you can just walk straight into either.

This story is about working out and following dreams, the trials and tribulations of working in the creative industry, balancing your needs with the needs of a partner and having good friends around to help you put your jigsaws together. It is beautifully written and clever and definitely deserves a re-read with less expectations. Much like life deserves to be experienced rather than planned.

Love And Other Things to Live For was published on 18th April. I was gifted my copy for the purposes of an honest review.

Check out the rest of the blog tour to see what everyone else thought.

The Immortal City by Amy Kuivalainen – Cover Reveal

In the heart of Venice, a woman is sacrificed to a forgotten god, sparking a mystery lost for thousands of years.

The Da Vinci Code meets Discovery of Witches in this story of murder and magic. Welcome to The Immortal City, book 1 in the Magicians of Venice series

The Magicians of Venice is a fresh and exciting new treasure hunt series featuring magic, mystery, and romance in an exhilarating blend of history and dark magic. Set against the backdrop of the beautiful city of Venice, fans of Indiana Jones and Robert Langdon will find a new favorite in Dr. Penelope Bryne, an anxiety-riddled academic. She’s fascinated with the city of Atlantis, much to the chagrin of her father and the academic community, and has devoted her life’s study to unlocking its secrets.

In The Immortal City, book one in the series, an ancient and mysterious script is found at a murder site with possible clues to the lost city of Atlantis. Determined to learn more, she agrees to help the police before the killer strikes again, and she heads to Venice in search of answers.

There she meets the enigmatic Alexis Donato, who challenges everything she thought she ever knew about Atlantis. As Alexis draws her into a dark and seductive world of magic and murder, Penelope will have to use her heart as well as her head to find the answers she seeks. With Carnivale in full swing, and time running out, Alexis and Penelope must work together to stop the killer and prevent a dark magic from pulling Venice into the sea.

DIGITAL ARCS OF THE IMMORTAL CITY:

Book reviewers and bloggers interested in reviewing the book may request a digital ARC of The Immortal City. ARCs are available through NetGalley and at the publisher’s website.

Title: The Immortal City

Series: The Magicians of Venice, Book 1

Author: Amy Kuivalainen

Genre: Contemporary Fantasy/Adventure

Publication date: September 19, 2019

Publisher: BHC Press

Available Formats:

Hardcover, 978-1-947727-77-9, $26.95, 324 pages

Trade Softcover, 978-1-947727-79-3, $15.95, 324 pages

Ebook, 978-1-947727-78-6, $7.99

LCCN: 2018948478

The Immortal City releases on September 19, 2019 in hardcover, trade softcover, and ebook. Preorder is currently available from select retailers.

The Inspiration Behind the Magicians of Venice Series With Author Amy Kuivalainen

The Magicians of Venice is a three-book series and is the culmination of many weird pieces of ancient history and personal passions finally coming together.

I’ve always loved characters like Indiana Jones and Robert Langdon, but I wanted to write a story that turned the adventurer archaeologist trope on its head. It was important to me to create a female character that is not an oversexualised, badass Lara Croft figure. My character, Penelope Bryne, is an anxiety-riddenacademic refusing to give up on the impossible dream of discovering Atlantis and who continues to be brave despite her failings.

I’ve always loved the legends and theories behind Atlantis and continue to this day to follow any new discoveries that might pertain to it. I wanted to play with some of the legends and mash them up with my own ideas and love of magicians, creating a story about survivors who become close to immortal because of the powerful blast that destroyed the island kingdom.

If there was ever a place that is so impossible and beautiful and could make you believe it was founded by magicians, it’s Venice. Even though my Venice obviously has many fantasy aspects, I wanted to ensure current issues were correctly portrayed especially concerning global warming, the MOSE project, the problem with cruise ships, and the impact that tourism has on the city.

While The Immortal City (book one) is mainly a magical, murder mystery, Sea of the Dead (book two) and The King’s Seal (book three) have a treasure hunt feel. As a student of ancient history, I’ve studied the Dead Sea Scrolls, and I knew about the discovery of a new cave in 2017 and was determined to write it into my book. There is still a lot of mystery surrounding the scrolls, and I wanted to play into that while incorporating my own magical twist and theories of why the Essenes vanished.

I grew up on fairy tales and mythology, and wanted to not only write about a famous relic that I’ve always been fascinated with, but also one that mainstream entertainment hasn’t plundered. Like Atlantis, the ring of King Solomon has been the centre of many legends, especially from those found within the pages of One Thousand and One Nights, and it was a natural fit to a story about defeating a demon prince.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Amy Kuivalainen is a Finnish-Australian writer who is obsessed with magical wardrobes, doors, auroras and burial mounds that might offer her a way into another realm. Until that happens, she plans to write about monsters, magic, mythology and fairy tales because that’s the next best thing. Amy is the author of The Firebird Fairytales Trilogy and The Blood Lake Chronicles series that mash up traditional tales and mythology in new and interesting ways.

EXCLUSIVE DIGITAL CONTENT!

Be sure to visit The Immortal City’s publicity page to download free exclusive digital content, including posters, phone wallpapers and more!

Galloglass (The Worldquake Sequence) by Scarlett Thomas – Blog Tour Author Q&A

Happy Friday and welcome to my spot on the blog tour for the latest book in The Worldquake Sequence by Scarlett Thomas.

Author

Scarlett Thomas has always loved stories, magic and mysterious places. She tried (and failed) to write her first novel when she was six. Since then she has successfully written lots of novels, but this is her first series for children. She lives near the sea in an old house full of books, and is a professor in the English department of the University of Kent.

She is the international bestselling author of The End of Mr Y.

Galloglass (released 4/4/2019) is the third volume in The Worldquake Sequence and published alongside the paperback of The Chosen Ones (Book 2). The first book is Dragon’s Green.

Worldquake.co.uk

(Website features find your Kharakter quiz – I’m an Interpreter Bard!)

Book 1 and 2 Covers

Q&A

How did you find moving from writing adult to middle grade? What were some of the challenges, and joys?

I found I was able to experiment more with voice. My adult narrators are more deadpan on the whole, so it was nice to work with a more expansive, more expressive voice. The (unknown) narrator of the Worldquake books is quite old, probably a man, quite wise but also likely to tell you things he shouldn’t after a glass of sherry… He uses big words, fun words, exclamation marks… He’s the kind of grown-up you always want to tell you a story.

For those who aren’t familiar with the Worldquake Sequence can you give us a quick précis?

Effie Truelove was only 6 when the worldquake happened. It changed the world forever – some say it made it 10% more magical, and it certainly wiped out the internet and most technology – but it was also the night when Effie’s mum disappeared. We meet Effie now she’s 11 and living with her grumpy father and diet-obsessed stepmother. When her grandfather is killed by a shady book dealer who seems to want to get hold of his library of magical volumes, Effie has to save the books. In so doing she works out how to go to the Otherworld, how to use magic, and how to work with her friends to save the whole universe.

Describe main character Effie in a couple of sentences.

Effie is brave and always attempts to do the right thing. She doesn’t always get this spot-on, however, but it doesn’t stop her from trying.

Glow in the Dark Galloglass Cover

The cover of the latest book has Glow in the Dark features. What do you think makes a great cover?

I love it when a cover shows you elements from the book that you do’t even know are important until after you’ve read it.

What are some of your favourite children’s fantasy stories – growing up, and now?

I love Diana Wynne Jones’s books. I’m a massive fan of Eva Ibbotson and Philip Pullman too.

Galloglass Cover

Galloglass Synopsis

Following the events in Dragon’s Green and The Chosen Ones, Galloglass reunites readers with Effie Truelove and her school friends, Lexy, Wolf, Maximilian and Raven as they navigate their worlds, which are under threat from Diberi, a corrupt organisation. Together, Effie and her friends must use their magical skills to defeat the evil tactics of Diberi before total destruction is wreaked upon the worlds at Midwinter.

Drooling over these end pages

Thank you to Jo Hardacre at Canongate for the copies gifted for the purposes of this post and for later honest review.

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