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Legends Awake by Alex Stiles – Book Launch Guest Post


Today is the launch day for debut YA novel Legends Awake by Alex Stiles and I have a guest post by one of the book’s characters for you, letting you know more about one of the creatures that inhabits this new world.

First up let me tell you a little more about the book and it’s author.


About the Book


Alone in an unfamiliar world, fourteen-year-old Peran is suffering from amnesia. With society still consumed by decades-old war and the ancient sorcery of the Stoneborn warriors, he finds refuge in an academy of combat and survival. But Peran struggles to fit in, and when he defeats opponents beyond his skill, fellow students suspect his extraordinary abilities, leaving even his friends to wonder who — or what — he really is.


When out testing their skills, his dorm-mate falls victim to a coffin-mouth viper and only the Elin Shard can save him. Peran sets out to find the magical artifact, but to succeed against the legendary predators he encounters, he must first confront his true identity.


About the Author


“I was born in Bromley, England, in 1979. As a child I was a daydreamer, always away in my own world. It used to drive my teachers crazy and my parents too, especially on parents’ evenings.I always read books I could get lost in – fantasy, sci-fi, adventure – anything that would transport me to another world, time or place. I loved the escape, not that I needed to escape anymore than the next child, but being transported to another place, another world, that was magical.

As an adult, I still love books that deliver that escapism and decided to write my own. Squeezing writing in amongst a full-time job and a busy home life has been a challenge, but I am delighted to have completed my first novel “Legends Awake”. I have escaped into another world writing it and I hope that you escape reading it as well.

Holidays for me are all about escape too, and there’s nothing like climbing a mountain to achieve that. The Lake District, England, is my destination of choice. It’s an amazing place and I’ve no doubt inspires and influences my writing. Having recently moved, I now live in Somerset with my partner and am enjoying writing the second book, often accompanied by our three feline companions.”

Guest Post


The Sniffit


Sniffits are one of many natural wonders of our world. A remarkable little creature, they are the clear favourite of the Striplings at Amicas Academy.


The length of a forearm and golden, sniffits have a light stripe down their backs and legs, with a black line running along each side. Males have a thicker black stripe than the females – they are otherwise indistinguishable.Sniffits have six stumpy legs and a small fluffy tail that provides little balance, which is a shame really as they are primarily tree dwellers. They move through the branches inelegantly but securely, gripping to the bark with sharp claws and feeding upon bugs and insects as well as the odd priggin. Up close, they have a squat black nose and thick white whiskers around a slight, inset mouth. Despite their appearance, sniffits can deliver a vicious bite and have a tendency to hang on until they’ve been talked out of it.


When you first meet a sniffit, what strikes you is just how fluffy they are, with pointy furry ears and two large, black eyes. You would be forgiven for thinking they might make for an enjoyable meal and their furs could keep your head warm in the winter, but sniffits are so much more. In fact, that’s exactly what our predecessors thought, and for hundreds of cycles they hunted sniffits for food and their coats. Until one day an anxious girl, who liked to keep to herself, befriended one. After a less than a moon-turn, people noticed she’d started keeping the company of others and by her side was the sniffit. One sharp-eyed father observed the calming effect the sniffit had on the girl whenever she looked anxious. She seemed to gain so much from the relationship that he encouraged his own children to find themselves sniffits. They soon found their furry companions and were all the happier and more confident for it. Word spread and gradually the sniffits found themselves saved from the stew pot to accompany the young people of New Haven.


Today, the sniffits are so embedded in our culture we have writings on them. So what’s so special about them?


A sniffit needs to be needed. They take pleasure from relieving stress, anguish, anxiety and other emotions prevalent in young people. The bond between a child and sniffit is strong, and a sniffit is very particular about who they bond with. On first meeting, they examine the very depths of the child, it has even be said that they can see souls. Once formed, the bond will last until the child no longer regularly exhibits those emotions – they no longer need the sniffit and the bond will break.The presence of sniffits is not always welcome, they can be mischievous and disruptive. This, though, is far outweighed by their benefits and here in the white-knuckle environment of Amicas Academy, all Striplings get the chance to bond with a sniffit.


Artu Quinton

Instructor in Flora and Fauna

Amicas Academy

What do you think? Would you like to bond with a Sniffit?

Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn – Blog Tour Review 


Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for Fire Lines by Cara Thurlbourn. First up just look at that cover. I love the line art and think it really suits the story. 

The Synopsis 

When your blood line awakens, how do you choose between family and freedom?

Émi’s father used to weave beautiful tales of life beyond the wall, but she never knew if they were true. Now, her father is gone and Émi has been banished to the Red Quarter, where she toils to support herself and her mother – obeying the rules, hiding secrets and suffering the cruelties of the council’s ruthless Cadets.

But when Émi turns seventeen, sparks fly – literally. Her blood line surges into life and she realises she has a talent for magick… a talent that could get her killed.

Émi makes her escape, beyond the wall and away from everything she’s ever known. In a world of watchers, elephant riders and sorcery, she must discover the truth about who she really is. But can the new Émi live up to her destiny?

Sounds good? – Add to Goodreads 

The Author 

Cara Thurlbourn writes children’s and young adult fiction. ‘Fire Lines’ is her first novel and it’s a story she’s been planning since she was fifteen years old.
Cara has a degree in English from the University of Nottingham and an MA in Publishing from Oxford Brookes University. 
She lives in a tiny village in Suffolk and has worked in academic and educational publishing for nearly ten years. Cara blogs about her author journey and in November 2016 she crowdfunded her first children’s book. 10% of its profits are donated to animal rehoming charities.
Cara plans to write at least two more books in the Fire Lines series, as well as a young adult mystery series, and has lots more children’s stories waiting in the wings.

You can sign up for Cara’s newsletter, for giveaways, updates and latest releases, here: www.firelines.co.uk. Some lucky subscribers may win books and swag. There’s also a map of the world on the website for Bookish map people to enjoy. 

 

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/carathurlbourn

What I Thought 
I really enjoyed this story. I found the main group of characters easy to connect to and the world created immensely interesting. I’m very glad to hear this is the first in a trilogy so that we get more chance to explore. 

That being said I was really interested in the location where the book started and would have liked to have spent a little more time with Émi there. I think because it reminded me a little of the world in Divergent, trapped in a walled city with outside civilisation destroyed. Looks like we get to go back in book two but things will have changed. I just wanted more detail about daily life. For example I’d have liked some more detail on the magick systems in the world. In the initial city magick has been banned but I’d love to know more about what it looked like before the ban. 

I felt the middle portion of the book did lack a little dramatic action and then the end of the book ramped that up and perhaps felt a little rushed, and hello Cliffhanger. Luckily I was already invested enough to want more, and I had realised there wasn’t enough book for all my questions to be answered.

There is a love triangle in play here (personally I don’t mind them especially when they aren’t the main focus of the story – like in this case) and I was firmly on one team but will be watching carefully to see how this follows through. 

I have a concept that some things that have been introduced aren’t quite what they seem and I’m intrigued to know if I’m right. 

There were a couple of scenes that I adored and so want to see filmed because my visual imagining is never good enough. 

The first are the scenes with the elephants and the bonding rituals between elephants and riders. I got full on Dumbo feels at one point as well. 

The second was the Watcher Fledging Ceremony. The winged display was so enchantingly described. This would make a great animation piece for a fan artist to work on – anyone??? 

Finally I’d like to share a quote that I think speaks very much to what is going on in our current political climate and should be read as a bit of a warning to us all. 


Thanks to the author, Cara, and to Faye for arranging an early e-copy of the book for me to read. The opinions presented above are entirely my own. 

Do check out the rest of the blog tour stops highlighted on the banner below. 

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