Posted by kirstyes
Happy Publication Day to Josie Williams on The Wanderer out now from Firefly. Here’s my spot on the blog tour kicking things off with a character Q&A and a mini review.
About the Book
Nothing can stand in the way of love, not even death.
Alone in the world, Maggie only has her visits to her nan to look forward to. When the most popular boy in school saves her life she has no idea why he is suddenly acting like a different person.
Stuck between life and death, Ryder spends his days wandering around unseen by the living. When the girl he loves walks into danger, Ryder breaks the number one Wanderer’s rule: he saves her life.
But how can a Wanderer and a living girl ever reach their happily ever after?
About the Author
Josie Williams is the pseudonym of bestselling author Kirsty Moseley, whose New Adult romances have sold over 860,000 copies in English, and whose first novel, the YA romance The Boy Who Sneaks in My Bedroom Window, was an international bestseller translated into many languages. Josie has a large and loyal YA fanbase. She lives in Great Yarmouth, Norfolk. @xJosieWilliamsx
I wanted to find out more about Ryder and Maggie before the story starts so here are their answers at the age of 15
1. Do you believe in ghosts?
MAGGIE: I’m not sure. To be honest, I’ve never really thought about it much. I guess, I would say there probably is some sort of afterlife, but what that is or if it’s ghosts or Heaven or reincarnation or what I don’t know.
RYDER: Nah, ghosts are made up to sell movies and books. Have you seen that programme Ghost Hunters? Man, people believe any old crap if they put it on TV.
2. What do you find attractive in someone?
MAGGIE: Um… there is this one boy that I find attractive. I guess it was his looks that first attracted me to him, but he’s also really funny, I like a good sense of humour. And, like, I want to be able to talk to them easily and it not be awkward. I guess it also helps if they have eyes you want to drown in.
RYDER: A type you mean? I don’t really have a type. I guess my last girlfriend had brown hair and eyes, tanned skin, you know the usual stuff, but I’m not really fussy. I just like someone who doesn’t take themselves too seriously, someone who can fit in with my friends and who likes me for me.
3. Tell us about your family.
MAGGIE: Well, it’s just me and my nan. I lost my mum a few years ago so Nan is all I have left now. She’s amazing, funny, kind, she supports and encourages me in everything I do. Though I don’t have the conventional family that others do, I count myself as lucky to have her.
RYDER: I actually have a big family. I’m one of three boys so it’s pretty hectic in my house—never a dull moment. My parents are great, my dad has never missed a rugby match of mine and is like a big kid half the time. My mum is a ride or die mum, she’s always in your corner. If I was in a fight, she’d be the one I’d call. Out of all of them, I’m probably closest to my eldest brother though. He just started Uni this year so I miss him now that he’s not home. He’s wicked smart and wants to be a doctor. He’s got his life all planned out, he’s an inspiration and my hero, though I’d never tell him or he’d get a big head about it. We’re all just pretty normal, to be honest,
4. What would you do to be noticed?
MAGGIE: Why would I want to be noticed? I’m happy just trudging along with my book in hand. The people that notice me are the ones I want in my life, I don’t want to have to do something out of the ordinary or force people to pay attention to me, those people aren’t really worth having notice you anyway.
RYDER: Noticed? Why wouldn’t I be noticed? I don’t understand the question.
5. Where would you like to be in 5 years?
MAGGIE: I guess I would still be at university by then? I want to do a degree in English and/or business. My ultimate goal is to own my own independent bookshop where people can come in and browse and there’s recommendations on each shelf, maybe a corner where kids can come and sit and find their love of reading. So I guess in five years I hope to be working towards that.
RYDER: Down the seafront drawing people for five quid a pop. Perfect.
What I Thought
I loved this. The characters of Maggie and Ryder are so compelling and it makes you really root for them. Maggie has certainly been through a lot in life and Ryder hasn’t had the easiest ride in the afterlife.
Giving me echoes of films Casper, Ghost and Everyday (by David Levithan) this book is perfect for this time of year and I challenge you not to fall for Maggie as hard as Ryder does.
I liked that the ethics of lots of aspects were explored too – stalking, body snatching, consent and so on – That’s not to say our two lovebirds act perfectly- they are teens falling in first love after all but there is a real humanity to both of them.
The side characters also feel super real and part of me hopes we might get more in this ‘world’ from author Josie Williams.
Dealing with love, loss, grief and ghosts this is a perfect read for the season and now I want to go and watch a whole load of spooky films. I can’t believe I don’t own Casper in proper DVD so will be rectifying that asap! If you want to know why I picked Die Hard for the background and see if Maggie and Ryder’s 5 year plan comes true then you’ll just have to read the book to find out!
A huge thanks to Karen, Firefly and the author for the gifted book for the purposes of an honest review. Do check out the other spots on the tour – some fab fellow bloggers and superb humans taking part in this one.
Posted by kirstyes
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!!!
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
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.
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
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.
“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.