Author Archives: kirstyes

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!

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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.

Sky in the Deep – Blog Tour Character Q&A and Excerpt

Sky in the Deep had its US release last year and was all over bookstagram so when I was offered the chance to read and review ready for its U.K. release tomorrow, 26th March 2019, I jumped at it. I’m so happy to be kicking off the tour along with Sammy Shelf.

Please find below a Q&A with Eelyn and Fiske the two main protagonists, a hint of what’s to come with book two and an excerpt plus a mini review from me.

Please let me know below if you know of any Eelyn and Fiske fanart. I NEED it!!!

Synopsis

Part Wonder Woman, part Vikings – and all heart!

Eelyn is a seventeen-year-old warrior, trained to fight fiercely alongside her Aska clansmen in an ancient, god -decreed rivalry against the Riki clan, her life is brutal but uncomplicated. Until the day she witnesses the impossible on the battlefield – her brother, fighting alongside the enemy – the brother she watched die five years ago… Shocked by the sudden realisation that her brother may be alive, Eelyn loses her focus and is captured by the opposing clan. Now, she must survive the winter in the mountains with the Riki, in a village where every neighbour is an enemy, and every battle scar they wear is possibly one she herself delivered. But when a ruthless clan who are settling in the valley raids the Riki village, Eelyn’s desperation to escape is heightened when it’s rumoured that her beloved Aska clan have been decimated by the same horde.

She is given no choice. She must put her faith in Fiske, her brother’s friend who sought to kill her the day she was captured. 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 find a way to forgive her brother while daring to put her trust in the people she has been taught to hate and who she has spent her entire life killing.

About the Author

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.

Sky in the Deep is her debut novel

Character Interviews

Eelyn

What does Sigr mean to you?

Sigr is the north star of our people.

What is your favourite memory of your brother Iri?

Training together for our first fighting season as fighting mates paired for battle. I’d spent my entire life looking up to Iri and it was the first time I really felt like his equal and also the first time I thought maybe he saw me as one.

Complete the phrase – The Riki are:

… all the parts of me I didn’t know.

Fiske in three words

Strong. Silent. Sure.

Fiske

What does Thora mean to you?

Thora is fury and fire but also the mother and caretaker of our people.

Favourite childhood memory?

The first time my little brother Halvard pulled a fish from the ice on his own.

Complete the phrase – The Aska are:

… the greatest threat to everything I love.

Eelyn in three words

Wild.

Question for Adrienne

What should we expect from the companion novel The Girl the Sea Gave Back?

The Girl the Sea Gave Back is a new standalone that takes place ten years after Sky in the Deep. It follows the story of Halvard when he is eighteen years old. We will see a lot more of who he is and his memories of growing up on the mountain with Fiske as his father figure and we will also meet a new clan who will threaten the peace they’ve found.

Extract from Sky in the Deep – The Ghost

I thought of my father. His soil-stained hands. His deep, booming voice. And my home. The fire flickering in the dark. The frost on the glade in the mornings.

I stood, pressing my fingers into the hot wound at my arm and saying Sigr’s name under my breath, asking him to accept me. To welcome me. To watch over my father. “Vegr yfir fjor,” I whispered.

He slowed, watching my lips move.

The furs beneath his armor vest blew in the damp breeze, pushing up around his angled jaw. He blinked, pressing his mouth into a straight line as he took the last steps toward me and I didn’t run. I wasn’t going to be brought down by a blade in my back.

The steel gleamed as he pulled the sword up over his head, ready to bring it back down, and I closed my eyes. I breathed. I could see the reflection of the gray sky on the fjord. The willow bloomed on the hillside. The wind wove through my hair. I listened to the sound of my clansmen raging. Fighting in the distance.

“Fiske!” A deep, strangled voice pierced through the fog, finding me, and my eyes popped open.

The Riki before me froze, his eyes darting to the side where the voice was coming toward us.

Fast.

“No!” A tangle of wild, fair hair barreled into him, knocking his sword to the ground. “Fiske, don’t.” He took hold of the man’s armor vest, holding him in place. “Don’t.”

Something twisted in my mind, the blood in my veins slowing, my heart stopping.

“What are you doing?” The Riki wrenched free, picking his sword back up off the ground and driving past him, coming for me.

The man turned, throwing his arms around the Rikiand swinging him back.

And that’s when I saw it—his face.

And I was frozen. I was the ice on the river. The snow clinging onto the mountainside.

“Iri.” It was the ghost of a word on my breath.

They stopped struggling, both looking up at me with wide eyes, and it dove deeper within me. What I was seeing. Who I was seeing.

What I Thought

For me this book lived up to the hype. It was a slightly slow burn but I suddenly found myself totally invested in the lives of these characters.

The violence is brutal – Vikings people – not namby pamby killers but chop off their heads and stick them with an axe types. I loved this setting and its grit made a great change to the fantasy worlds I usually read.

This is Eelyn and Fiske’s story and how they grow to see past their differences and respect each other’s culture. A timely narrative, and an imperfectly perfect pair.

A huge thank you to Sarah at Titan for gifting me the copy of the book in preparation for this post, and of course to Adrienne and her characters for their replies.

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