Monday, 31 March 2014

Fool For Books Giveaway Hop

Welcome to the Fool for Books Giveaway Hop hosted by I Am A Reader, Not A Writer. This is a simple and foolproof giveaway hop to take part in as it's April Fool's Day! Fill out the Rafflecopter below to enter for a chance to a book of your choice ($15 or less) from The Book Depository providing you live in a country that they ship to - check the list here! The giveaway runs from now through until midnight on April 7th.

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Check out all these other blogs taking part for more chances to win, thanks for entering and good luck!

Blog Tour & Giveaway - Daughter of Chaos by Jenn McConnel

Follow the Tour

'There comes a time in every witch's life when she must choose her path. Darlena's friends have already chosen, so why is it so hard for her to make up her mind? Now, Darlena is out of time. Under pressure from Hecate, the Queen of all witches, Darlena makes a rash decision to choose Red magic, a path no witch in her right mind would dare take. As a Red witch, she will be responsible for chaos and mayhem, drawing her deep into darkness. Will the power of Red magic prove too much for Darlena, or will she learn to control it before it's too late?'



  
Daughter of Chaos (Red Magic #1) - Jenn McConnel
ISBN -
Publisher - Month9Books
Release date -

Review

It's been a long time since I read anything involving witches, they haven't been in vogue for a long time - overshadowed by sparkly vampires, werewolves and other assorted creatures  - but I'm hoping that Daughter of Chaos, along with several other 'witchy' books being published, will help put them back in the limelight again.  

Darlena lives in a world where witchcraft is the norm, her parents are witches and the high school she attends is for witches too. All witches follow a path, White, Green or Black but Darlena is having trouble declaring. Her parents are Green, the boy she may be in love with has declared White and her best friend Rochelle is hurtling towards the Black Path. Things come to a head when Hecate, Queen of witches, shows up in Darlena's house forcing her to choose there and then. Without knowing what she's in for Lena declares Red and her life is never the same again. All of a sudden, goddesses are showing up all over the place - Persephone, Aphrodite and Pele all make appearances, and when they do Lena realizes that Red Magic is Chaos Magic, something she doesn't think she's capable of. 

Daughters of Chaos is Lena's journey to accepting the path she has chosen, growing up and her relationship with Justin, the ex-boyfriend, and her parents, neither of whom even want to entertain the idea that Lena is Red. I loved that the setting was present day, not a regular occurrence with witchy tales and I love that McConnel tied in perfectly the Hades & Persephone myth with Lena spending time in the Underworld. All the characters were well written, there wasn't a single weak one amongst them - Rochelle was suitably dark and I really liked her part of the story, I'm still not sure whether I was expecting that particular plot or not. Justin was lovely, only considered an ex at the beginning because he refused to sleep with Darlena, part of his strong feelings as a White witch. I loved how their relationship started to really turn into something real throughout the book and by how accepting he was willing to be of her involvement with Chaos.

Daughters of Chaos involved some of my favorite things - mythology, witches, goddesses, a hint of Shakespeare - and that's what kept me turning the pages. The writing was strong and the world-building  was fantastic, the premise of Black, White & Green paths in magic was a new take on the witchy novel (at least for me) and I can't wait to learn more about it all in the sequel which is hopefully not too many months away!

About the author

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga.

Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
- See more at: http://www.jenmcconnel.com/p/about-author.html#sthash.I6FQ1o13.dpuf
Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. A graduate of Western Michigan University, she also holds a MS in Library Science from Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn't crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches college writing composition and yoga.

Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time.
- See more at: http://www.jenmcconnel.com/p/about-author.html#sthash.I6FQ1o13.dpuf

Jen McConnel first began writing poetry as a child. Since then, her words have appeared in a variety of magazines and journals, including Sagewoman, PanGaia, and The Storyteller (where she won the people’s choice 3rd place award for her poem, “Luna”).
She is also a former reviewer for Voices of Youth Advocates (VOYA), and a proud member of SCBWI, NCWN, and SCWW.
A Michigander by birth, she now lives and writes in the beautiful state of North Carolina. She’s a graduate of Western Michigan University, and she also earned her MS in Library Science at Clarion University of Pennsylvania. When she isn’t crafting worlds of fiction, she teaches writing composition at a community college. Once upon a time, she was a middle school teacher, a librarian, and a bookseller, but those are stories for another time. 


Giveaway Information: (OPEN INT.) – Winner will be drawn April 25, 2014

Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel (INT)      

One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Daughter of Chaos by Jen McConnel AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)



 
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Sunday, 30 March 2014

Review - Stolen Songbird by Danielle L Jensen

Stolen Songbird - Danielle L Jensen
ISBN - 9781908844958
Publisher - Strange Chemistry
Release date - April 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

'For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when CĂ©cile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

CĂ©cile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As CĂ©cile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.'
- Goodreads


 It's not often you come across a book that is a little bit different to all the other fantasy books out there but Stolen Songbird is definitely one of them. I can't remember reading a book featuring trolls not only as main characters but as the love interest and as soon as I started reading I was hooked.

CĂ©cile is kidnapped by someone she considered a friend and taken deep under the mountain to Trollus where she learns she is to marry the troll prince, Tristan. Bonded together and married, proven by strange filigree markings on both their hands/wrists, CĂ©cile doesn't stop trying to escape even when it becomes obvious that she is falling for Tristan and being seen as a beacon of hope by the half-blood trolls that make up most of the population of Trollus who treated with nearly as much contempt as the few humans that are in the troll city. When we first meet CĂ©cile you think she's going to be another pretty but empty-headed main character, this turned out to be the exact opposite. Throughout the book CĂ©cile meets every challenge thrown at her with strength, courage and bravado and by putting on a mask - especially when it comes to Tristan who it turns out is doing the very same thing. I love how the relationship between them develops over time, no case of insta-love here, their feelings seem real and deep. Tristan doesn't want to fall in love with CĂ©cile as he is terrified that his father, the troll king, will use this against him whilst his aunt - the Duchesse, seems to be encouraging both of them. They are both fantastic characters, as are most of the supporting characters in Songbird. I particularly liked Vincent & Victoria, twin trolls and firm supporters of CĂ©cile, they bring a some light relief to the story and are amongst CĂ©cile's first friends while she is in Trollus. Another favorite is Marc, from his description he appears to be more like the trolls that we are used to, a very dark character due to the pain of losing his bonded wife (trolls are not meant to survive this),

The two sides of his face, so flawless on their own, were like halves of a fractured sculpture put back together askew.The lack of symmetry was more than unsettling – it was shocking, gruesome even. One eye higher than the other. One ear lower than the other. A mouth marred by a permanently sardonic twist.
 
The world-building in Stolen Songbird is wonderful, not what you would expect from a debut novel but when the city of Trollus was being described I could see it, every dark corner and every rose in the Glass Gardens, the ferocious underground river & waterfall and the small opening miles above the city where the moonlight comes in during their bonding ceremony. All the usual myths we've heard about trolls are turned on their head too. They aren't ugly, far from it in some cases such as Tristan with his beautiful silver eyes. They aren't stupid, some are sly & calculating, some are out to outsmart anyone who gets in their way but there is a troll who is completely insane, violent and delusional (staying spoiler-free I can't tell you who it is!) And the one myth we probably know best? trolls turn to stone when exposed to sunlight? Definitely not true as CĂ©cile finds out to her humiliation when she thinks she is saving Tristan! She also makes some important discoveries about herself, thanks to a troll librarian called Martin and this brings into play a whole new set of possibilities.

Stolen Songbird has it all really. Love, intrigue, action, secret plots and magic... I couldn't put it down once I started reading it and at over four hundred pages I was left looking a little bleary-eyed after finishing it at 4am in the morning but I would do it all over again. The only thing I didn't like? The ending... I was speechless and actually flicking back pages to make sure I hadn't missed something. I hadn't, it really ends the way it does. I can't believe that we now have what may be quite a wait to find out what happens next to our songbird & troll prince but you can be sure I will be snatching up a copy of the second book as soon as humanly possible. If you like your fantasy with a fresh new twist and wonderful writing then you need to read Stolen Songbird now.

Many thanks to Strange Chemistry for providing me with an ARC of Stolen Songbird! As Stolen Songbird could well turn out to be one of my favorite books of the year I'm offering you the chance to win a copy for yourself. You're eligible to enter if you live in a country that the Book Depository ship to - find the list of countries here. All you have to do is leave a comment and I'll pick a winner on April 7th!

Winner chosen - Christina F!!!

Saturday, 29 March 2014

Book Haul #70

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews where we can share what new books we've picked up this past week be they bought, borrowed or downloaded. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

This week has been a great week! Lots of new books but I only bought three! I'm so proud of myself :) It was library week and blog tour week and review copy week all rolled into one so still a few books in but I only bought three... I'll keep repeating that as I can't believe it! Before I get to the books I'd just like to say thanks to the lovely folks at Hodder who, after seeing my WoW post on Wednesday for Smiler's Fair, offered to send me a copy and I have it in my covetous little hands now.

Bought

The Armageddon Rag | Fevre Dream | Tuf Voyaging
Library Books

Once | Rise | Hero's Guide to Storming the Castle | Traitor's Blade

The Never List | Mila 2.0 | The Silvered | Frost Hollow Hall
Netgalley

Adaptation | Essence
Blog Tour

Chantress Alchemy | My Last Kiss

From Hodder

Smiler's Fair | Nunslinger
From Titan

Noah: Ila's Story



Friday, 28 March 2014

Cover Reveal & Giveaway: Fingers in the Mist - O'Dell Hutchison

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Fingers in the Mist by O’Dell Hutchison

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!
Fingers in the Mist 1600x2400
Sixteen-year-old Caitlyn Foster never believed in the legend of the Redeemers. That was before the trees started to whisper her name. Before a murder of crows attacked the town. Before she and her family came home to find a bloody handprint on their front door, marking one of them as a sacrifice. As Caitlyn’s friends are ripped from their homes, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Redeemers come for her. Caitlyn has the power to stop the terror, but she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice herself to save those she loves.
add to goodreadsFingers in the Mist by O’Dell Hutchison
Publisher: Month9Books
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
O'Dell Hutchison
O’Dell was born in a small rural town in Idaho. There were no Redeemers living there (that he knows of). After attending college in the Pacific Northwest, he found his way to the Houston area. By day, he is a Business Systems Analyst and at night you can either find him sitting at home, dreaming of random super powers he wishes he had, or directing plays and musicals at various theaters around Houston.
Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
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Thursday, 27 March 2014

An Interview With Marianne de Pierres

 

 I'm so excited about today's post as I have read just about everything by Marianne de Pierres and I jumped at the chance to interview her! Angry Robot are hosting this blog tour to celebrate the launch of Marianne's latest book, Peacemaker, which is released on May 1st! Peacemaker has an amazing cover, courtesy of Joey Hifi and a fantastic plot. Read on to find out a little bit more about Marianne :)

1.       What comes first - the story or the characters?

It varies from project to project, but I would say, more often than not, it’s the setting. I become enamoured with these exciting, strange places I’ve created, and then I have to start thinking about the kind of people who live in them. That was certainly the case with my Glitter Rose themed short story collection, the Night Creatures series and the Parrish Plessis novels. With my Sentients of Orion space opera, the character came first but it then took a few rewrites to really understand the protagonist, Mira Fedor, properly.
2.      How do you pick your character's names?
Sometimes, they roll up and introduce themselves, but at other times, I literally scan lists and lists baby names and surnames on the Internet. Over at Shadowhawk’s blog, I recently wrote about how I select names of places and objects, and a little bit about characters at well. Names are SO important.
3.      Describe Peacemaker in five words
[a] pacy, magic-realism, crime, pulp Western 

Peacemaker
 4.      I'm really glad to hear there will be a sequel to Peacemaker next year, can you tell us anything about it?
The supernatural element is developed more deeply in book 2, as Virgin and Nate learn the true nature and power of the Korax.
Virgin grows through her experiences, and she begins to see Nate through a different lens. I’d describe book 2 as Gods and mayhem.
5.      You write both adult and YA fiction, which do you prefer?
I feel like I need them both in my life. Ideally, I’d like to alternate writing YA with Adult fic, but things never quite work to your plan in the publishing industry! Young adult readers are such a passionate, enthusiastic audience and I love writing for them. Sometimes though, the story I want to tell turns out to be darker than I’m prepared to go in a YA novel.
6.      What do you like about writing science fiction?
So. Much. Freedom. For the imagination. I can let my mind go wild as long as it’s anchored by logic. I get to play the creator of worlds. That’s a heady drink, in my opinion. Also, I’m a futurist, I think. Everything about what will come, fascinates me.
7.      Do you listen to music whilst writing? Does Peacemaker (or any of your other books) have a soundtrack?
Not any more. I find it hard to concentrate with music on. However, I’m always listening to music in-between writing sessions.
My dad was a huge Marty Robbins fan and I listened to him growing up. The Peacemaker soundtrack became a weird collision of classic western songs like Big Iron and pop beats like Timbr by Pitbull, ft. Kesha, and of course The Wild, Wild West by The Escape Club. 



Peacemaker does indeed have a soundtrack which you can find more information about here.
8. Are any of your friends/family recognizable as characters in any of your books?
Well, aspects of them at least. But you know that all fiction … is fiction, or so the disclaimer says!
9.     What books are currently on your reading pile?
The Little Brown Handbook (I’m teaching writing at the moment), New York Cult Recipes, The Song of Solomon by Toni Morrison and White Shotgun by Attilio Bolzoni.
10. What's the last book you read?
The Gods of Guilt by Michael Connolly
11.  What do you do when you're not writing?
Blog, read, watch TV series (I could talk about my favourite TV all day and all night), play sport, coach sport. I find that exercise and sport are an essential antidote to my writing life. Balance is the key to avoiding writers block. It’s a tough industry, you have to be resilient to survive it. If all you do is write, then when the knockbacks come, they are almost intolerable.
12.   What authors inspired you to write?
A. C Clarke, Octavia Butler, D.H. Lawrence and Carlos Castaneda. But they are just a few of many. I’ve been influenced by everything from Mills and Boon romances through to Existentialist writers like de Beauvoir and Albert Camus. I sometimes think I’m too much of a sponge. Maybe that’s why genre blending attracts me.
13. You've written science fiction, crime and a picture book. Are there any other genres you'd like to write?

I’ll always be attracted to speculative fiction, so crime and mystery are about as mainstream as I’ll ever go. But mixing genres offers limitless variations. I would describe my next SF novel as Cormac McCarthy meets Michael Crichton, plus I’m working on another SF crime novel. Futuristic mystery is probably my current love, but who knows where my evolving taste will lead me in the future! That’s the fun of it.

 Marianne de Pierres is the author of the acclaimed Parrish Plessis, the award-winning Sentients of Orion science fiction series and the upcoming Peacemaker SF Western series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into eight languages and adapted into a roleplaying game. She’s also the author of a teen dark fantasy series.
Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs. Marianne writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at www.mariannedepierres.com and www.tarasharp.com.au and www.burnbright.com.au

 A huge thank you to Marianne for answering my questions and look out for a review of Peacemaker next week!

Wednesday, 26 March 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #69 - Smiler's Fair

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

Smiler's Fair - Rebecca Levene
ISBN - 9781444753684
Publisher - Hodder & Stoughton
Expected release date - July 31st 2014
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

'Yron the moon god died, but now he's reborn in the false king's son. His human father wanted to kill him, but his mother sacrificed her life to save him. He'll return one day to claim his birthright. He'll change your life.

He'll change everything.

Smiler's Fair: the great moving carnival where any pleasure can be had, if you're willing to pay the price. They say all paths cross at Smiler's Fair. They say it'll change your life. For five people, Smiler's Fair will change everything.


In a land where unimaginable horror lurks in the shadows, where the very sun and moon are at war, five people - Nethmi, the orphaned daughter of a murdered nobleman, who in desperation commits an act that will haunt her forever. Dae Hyo, the skilled warrior, who discovers that a lifetime of bravery cannot make up for a single mistake. Eric, who follows his heart only to find that love exacts a terrible price. Marvan, the master swordsman, who takes more pleasure from killing than he should. And Krish, the humble goatherd, with a destiny he hardly understands and can never accept - will discover just how much Smiler's Fair changes everything.'
- Goodreads


I'd like this now please! It has a moving carnival, I'm sold - I love books with menacing carnivals or circuses so can't wait to get my hands on a copy of Smiler's Fair, in fact who do I need to menace to do so? Just kidding...

 

Tuesday, 25 March 2014

Top Ten Tuesday #46 - My Bookish Bucket List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

Top Ten Things On My Bookish Bucket List

This was fun! Some of them will probably never happen but everyone has to have dreams!

I've been lucky enough to meet (amongst others) Neil Gaiman, Joe Hill, Patrick Ness, Terry Pratchett, Raymond E Feist and Patrick Rothfuss but I would still do just about anything to meet Susan Cooper, Juliet Marillier, Kate Forsyth, Stephen King, George R R Martin, Charles de Lint, Phil Rickman and Freda Warrington.

I've been lucky enough to work for several bookshop chains but I would love to have my own store, total dream but you never know...

I have a lot of books and they're spread out everywhere! In different rooms, on shelves, in piles on the floor and even in boxes. I would love to have them all in one place, all on shelves and in alphabetical order - with an extremely comfortable sofa of course!

There are a distinct lack of book groups where I live. I think there a couple run by the library but they cater towards the more mature reader and seem to focus on contemporary/romance novels which I don't really read very often. I have tried to set up a new group but there's never really any interest :( This would tie in nicely with the next thing on my list.

I can be pretty anti-social sometimes but I'm still lucky enough to have a handful of friends who are all readers and book lovers. It would be nice to have more though!

This might be another impossible one! Including all the books I own, whether physical or electronic copies, would give me over 1000 books to work my way through... This is also why I need to quit buying/borrowing books!

This one went quite well last year but I'd like to go to more this year! It's started off quietly, two signings attended but I have more penciled in my diary and I'm going to YALC, Nine Worlds and BristolCon later on in the year. Who knows what else might be announced but can't wait to see!

There are dozens of series that I've started but never finished, or if the series isn't finished, got beyond the first book! This is why I signed up for the 2014 Series Challenge but so far that's not going terribly well, I've finished one series although I now own several more books that belong to various series already started...

Thanks to Pamela of Reading Is Fun Again for this one as it had completely slipped my mind! I've read a lot of the fairy tales by the Grimm Brothers and have always meant to read all of them at some point. I might turn this into a project for next year on the Bookish Outsider, an incentive to actually do it then :)

Hopefully, this one will happen after my ARCs In April event and I've caught up with the overload of titles I have to read. I feel awful having books I personally requested go unread for months, I really need to be in a position where I request something and can read it within a month of doing so.

Saturday, 22 March 2014

Book Haul #69

Stacking the Shelves is a weekly event hosted on Tynga's Reviews where we can share what new books we've picked up this past week be they bought, borrowed or downloaded. There are also lots of other 'book haul' memes out there for you to choose from!

I'm definitely getting better at this not buying too many books lark, and the ones I did buy this week? One was an absolute bargain thanks to Gollancz and a special promotion on new kindle releases, the others were books from my wishlist that had mostly been on there a couple of years! And *drum roll please* I got approved for Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge!!!!! But I sadly haven't been able to start it yet as I've been working my way through a huge stack of library books which are all due back at the same time and can't be renewed :(

Bought

Hellbent | Wings To The Kingdom | The Sound
Kindle

The Boy With The Porcelain Blade
Netgalley

Cuckoo Song
What did you get this week?

Wednesday, 19 March 2014

Waiting On Wednesday #68 - The Blasted Lands

Waiting On Wednesday, where we put the spotlight on upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating, is hosted by Jill at Breaking The Spine.

This week's choice is -

The Blasted Lands (Seven Forges #2) - James A Moore
ISBN - 9780857663924 (US) 9780857663917 (UK)
Publisher - Angry Robot
Expected release date - June 24th (US) July 3rd 2014 (UK)
Find - Goodreads/Book Depository

'The Empire of Fellein is in mourning. The Emperor is dead, and the armies of the empire have grown soft. Merros Dulver, their newly-appointed – and somewhat reluctant – commander, has been tasked with preparing them to fight the most savage enemy the world has yet seen.

Meanwhile, a perpetual storm ravages the Blasted Lands, and a new threat is about to arise – the Broken are coming, and with them only Death.'
- Goodreads


I read the first book in this series, Seven Forges, last year and loved it! I even said in my review that there absolutely had to be a sequel, and here it is. I can't wait to get my hands on The Blasted Lands as Seven Forges ended with a huge cliffhanger and I have to know what happens next. If you like a good fantasy novel then try Seven Forges soon! 

Tuesday, 18 March 2014

Stolen Songbird Blog Tour - An Interview With Danielle L Jensen



Welcome to my stop on the blog tour for the lovely Danielle Jensen, the author of Strange Chemistry's new fantasy title, Stolen Songbird!

 For those who have loved Seraphina and Graceling comes another truly fabulous fantasy...

For five centuries, a witch’s curse has bound the trolls to their city beneath the ruins of Forsaken Mountain. Time enough for their dark and nefarious magic to fade from human memory and into myth. But a prophesy has been spoken of a union with the power to set the trolls free, and when CĂ©cile de Troyes is kidnapped and taken beneath the mountain, she learns there is far more to the myth of the trolls than she could have imagined.

CĂ©cile has only one thing on her mind after she is brought to Trollus: escape. Only the trolls are clever, fast, and inhumanly strong. She will have to bide her time, wait for the perfect opportunity.

But something unexpected happens while she’s waiting – she begins to fall for the enigmatic troll prince to whom she has been bonded and married. She begins to make friends. And she begins to see that she may be the only hope for the half-bloods – part troll, part human creatures who are slaves to the full-blooded trolls. There is a rebellion brewing. And her prince, Tristan, the future king, is its secret leader.

As CĂ©cile becomes involved in the intricate political games of Trollus, she becomes more than a farmer’s daughter. She becomes a princess, the hope of a people, and a witch with magic powerful enough to change Trollus forever.


Hi Danielle, welcome to the Bookish Outsider and thanks for talking about your debut novel, Stolen Songbird!

1. Describe Stolen Songbird in ten words or less.
Trolls, witches, curses, magic, intrigue, revolution, adventure, friendship, mystery, and romance.

2. What inspired you to write Stolen Songbird? And why trolls?
I was inspired to write Stolen Songbird by a dream I had about a city buried by rubble. The trolls came into being when I started thinking about who would populate my city and why, and they sort of created themselves as I wrote the story.

3. What comes first when you're writing, the story idea or the character?
Usually, story idea. In the case of this novel, I was inspired by the setting.

4. How do you pick your character's names?
I’ve always liked the name CĂ©cile, and I was taking a Arthurian Romance class at university when I started writing it, so that’s how Tristan got his name.  Otherwise, I have some websites with lists of French names that I use.  

5. How did you celebrate when you heard Songbird was going to be published by Strange Chemistry?
I was in shock for a few days, but eventually I pulled myself together and went for dinner with my family. A lot of champagne was consumed.

6. What's the best thing about being a writer?
Wearing pajamas to work.

7. Stolen Songbird is the first book in the Malediction trilogy, do you already know how it's all going to end?
Yes, yes I do *evil laugh*

8. Which character was the easiest to write, and which character was the hardest?
Marc and Tristan were the easiest to write. CĂ©cile was the hardest.

9. Any other books in the pipeline? No pun intended regarding the gas & oil industry!
I love puns! Especially troll puns!
I’m pretty busy working on The Malediction Trilogy, but I do have another fantasy project that is about half finished. I’m not sure when I’m going to get back to working on it.

10. Do you listen to music whilst writing? Does Stolen Songbird have a soundtrack?
I listen to classical music when I write, and I particularly like soundtracks to movies. Stolen Songbird’s theme song is Lux Aeterna from the Requiem for a Dream soundtrack.   

  

11. What's your favorite place for writing?
My office in my house, but I can write anywhere as long as I am alone.

12. What books are currently on your reading pile?
I’m just about finished A Mad, Wicked Folly, and after that I’m going to read Defy.

13. What's the last book you read?
The 57 Lives of Alex Wayfare, by MG Buehrlen. Everyone should read it.

14. What authors inspired you to write?
I’d say my love of fantasy novels stems from reading David Eddings when I was a kid. That was where it all started. 

Pawn of Prophecy


15. What's the worst thing you could do in front of a troll?
Get caught lying.

Well, should I ever meet a troll I shall remember not to lie to him... Thank you so much for answering my questions Danielle, and for reminding me of a beautiful piece of music from one of my favorite films! Ah, Jared Leto... If you should want to watch Requiem for a Dream please remember it is an R rated movie (18 certificate in the UK) because of the intense depiction of drug addiction, graphic sexuality, strong language and some violence. Only watch if you're old enough :) Look out for my review at the end of the week and I'll be giving away one copy of Stolen Songbird, open internationally as it will come via the Book Depository!

Top Ten Tuesday #45 - Books On My Spring TBR List

Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by the lovely people at The Broke and the Bookish. This week's topic is -

 Top Ten Books On My Spring 2014 TBR List

I saw this topic and thought it would be an easy one. But then I started thinking and I realized I haven't even thought about what I'll be reading in the near future! For me this is unusual as I do like to have a vague idea of what's coming up and what I have to look forward to. I'm sure once I see other people's lists I'll be kicking myself for not thinking of most of the books listed.

Cuckoo Song | Dreams of Gods & Monsters

First Fifteen Lives of Harry North | Dark Days | Feather Bound

The King | A Love Like Blood

Banished | Half Bad | Red Rising



 
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