Category: Special Feature

Irish Banana Tour: Q&A with Wintersong Authour S. Jae-Jones

Posted February 20, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, interview / 3 Comments

Irish Banana Tour: Q&A with Wintersong Authour S. Jae-Jones

Irish Banana Tour: Q&A with Wintersong Authour S. Jae-JonesWintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Series: Wintersong #1
Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance, Retelling
Pages: 448
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

Irish Banana Tour: Q&A with Wintersong Authour S. Jae-JonesWintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Series: Wintersong #1
Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance, Retelling
Pages: 448
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

LINKS: Amazon | B&N

Q&A

I enjoyed Wintersong but the thing that intrigued me the most was the setting. Especially because I’m such a huge fan of the movie. I’m thrilled that I got the chance to interview S. Jae Jones about it and ask my most pressing questions.

When I first read the description of Wintersong, I immediately thought of the Jim Henson movie, Labyrinth. Where you a fan of it before you wrote this book? If yes, who is your favorite character? If no, have you watched it now?

Yes, I was absolutely a fan of the Jim Henson film. My favorite character is obviously the Goblin King, but I love, love, love the Worm. I don’t know why, but every time he says “’Allo” and “Nah, I’m just a worm” I crack up.

I love how you wove music throughout Wintersong. Liesel has an aptitude for composing. Which, if any instruments do you play? Have you ever composed music to go along with your writing or did you have a specific playlist you listened to while writing Wintersong?

I am a true musical dilettante in that I play quite a few instruments but am a master of none. I’ve studied voice and piano the longest, but I also play the flute, guitar, harp, clarinet, and percussion. Unfortunately, I’m not a composer. I, like Josef, am an interpreter, not a creator. However, I did create quite a few playlists for Wintersong, with both instrumental and lyrical music. I listened to the instrumental playlist while writing, and compiled a playlist of songs during the revision process.

Are you a fan of more classical music or more current music? What are some favorites of yours?

I genuinely don’t have a preference, and in fact, you will find that classical music and current pop music hits aren’t all that different structurally. I love anything with a catchy and memorable melody, from Taylor Swift to Mozart.

Is Wintersong a retelling of the poem Der Erlkönig? What drew you to the poem and the story?

Wintersong isn’t a strict retelling of Goethe’s poem, but the figure of Der Erlkönig or a “fairy king” exists in many forms across Europe. I love the intersection between fairy folklore and the concept of death (I’m very goth, but a cheerful one), and I wanted to explore that. The Germanic setting actually came first because I wanted to write about music, and I specifically wanted to write about Mozart (and his older sister). In the end, I never did write about Mozart, but I was influenced by the musical zeitgeist of his time—the transition from Classical to Romantic. Franz Schubert actually wrote a Lieder set to Goethe’s poem, and he was a rising star of this exact time period.

I read on twitter that there might be a Wintersong two in the works. Can you confirm or deny this rumor?

Confirmed. The sequel will be out in 2018. J

About the Author

S. Jae-Jones, called JJ, is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and the author of Wintersong, forthcoming from Thomas Dunne in February 2017.

Born and raised in sunny Los Angeles, she lived in New York City for ten years before relocating down to Dixie, where she is comfortably growing fat on grits and barbecue. When not writing, she can be found rock-climbing, skydiving, taking photographs, drawing pictures, and dragging her dog on ridiculously long hikes.

 

LINKS: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Instagram

Tour Schedule:

Week 1:

2/13: The Irish Banana Review – Review

2/14: That Artsy Reader Girl – Mood Board

2/15: Pandora’s Books – Review

2/16: Swoony Boys Podcast – This Or That

2/17: Krista’s Dust Jacket – Review

Week 2:

2/20: Emily Reads Everything – Q&A

2/21: Quite the Novel Idea – Review

2/22: A Binding Attraction – Makeup Inspirations

2/23: Fiction Fare – Review

2/24: Icey Designs – Quote Candy 

Giveaway:

3 Finished Copies of WINTERSONG (US Only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

four-stars

Tags:

Divider

Rockstar Tours Review: Wintersong

Posted February 10, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 1 Comment

Rockstar Tours Review: Wintersong

Rockstar Tours Review: WintersongWintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Published by Thomas Dunne on February 7th 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult, romance, Retelling
Pages: 448
Format: ebook
Buy on Amazon
Goodreads
four-stars

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.
All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.
But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.
Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

I received this book for free from Netgalley in exchange for an honest review. This does not affect my opinion of the book or the content of my review.

I have so many complex emotions and thoughts when it comes to this book. I really don’t know what I’m going to say so I’m just going to type and see what thoughts fall out of my brain. There’s so much to talk about and I don’t want to spoil anything but I also want to tell you about I really enjoyed this book. It was a lot longer, covered more story and was more complex than I expected.

Retelling? Maybe not

I heard a lot about this being a Labyrinth retelling. I am a HUGE Labyrinth fan so that drew me to this book right away. Still, after reading it, I’m not sure that is actually true. That doesn’t make the book bad or the movie bad, it just means that I’m not sure it really is a retelling of Labyrinth. As far as I can tell, the only things that they have in common is that they both have a girl and a Goblin King. I can understand the comparison, because this book is so fresh and original, you have to liken it to something. However, I think it set a false expectation about the book. Labyrinth is very lighthearted and humorous. Wintersong has a completely different tone. It’s much more somber. The story takes itself seriously.

Characters

The characters really drive this book. I loved Liesl. She’s completed devoted to her family to the detriment of herself. She would do anything so that her brother and sister are happy. She puts aside her own desire to be a composer to support her brother’s music. She put aside her infatuation with her sister’s fiance to support her sister’s love. Everything she does is for someone else. I also loved Der Erlkonig. He’s complex and interesting. GAH there are so many things I want to say about him but I can’t for fear of spoiling you.

The (slight) Downsides

If you love music, this book is for you. Liesl, Joseph and Der Erlkonig are all composers. Everything they do is driven by their love of music and the drive to create it. I’m not musical at all so I couldn’t connect with all the music details as much as I wish I could. I had the same issue when I read Roseblood. Also, this book is written beautifully and ethereally. Sometimes it felt like Liesl was almost in a dream. I have a very hard time connecting with books like this because I want something more concrete. It’s not a downside for everyone, but it made it more difficult for me. I generally don’t like magical realism at all but there are exceptions. This is definitely a fantasy but it reads like magical realism.

Worry not

The best thing I can tell you about this book, is that a sequel is coming. I am already eagerly awaiting it!

four-stars

Tags:

Divider

#TeamTheo Readalong Update

#TeamTheo Readalong Update

The Readalong is well underway and it’s going great! All the information is available for you to join in as part of #TEAMTHEO or #TeamPrinceling.  The details are below as well. We are having a lot of fun in our private #TeamThea DM group with plenty of good natured #TeamPrinceling ribbing. We want to do Theo proud. We would love to have you join us! Check out this post for more information about the Street Team Competition. Readalong Details  The schedule goes like this: Jan 15 – Jan 21 : Chapters 1-5 Jan 22 – Jan 28 : Chapters 6 – 10 Jan 29-Feb 4 : Chapters 11 – 15 Feb 5 – Feb 11 : Chapters 16 – 20 Feb 14 – The Union Release! Every week there is a special contest just for the #TeamTheo and #TeamPrinceling participants. This is above and beyond the Readalong. The special contests are well underway, but there’s still plenty of time to join up and help lead #TeamTheo to victory! Mini Challenge Schedule 9-15 Week 1 – Join a team (Win bookmarks) WINNER: #TeamPrinceling 16-22 Week 2 – Pledge to read (Win an ebook) WINNER: #TeamTheo 23-29 Week 3 – Instagram Competition (Win buttons) WINNER: TBD 30-5 Week 4 – Street Team FB group (Win Stickers) WINNER: TBD 6-12 Week 5 – Twitter Competition (Win a signed bookplate) WINNER: TBD 13-17 Week 6 […]

Posted February 2, 2017 by Emily in Events and Features, Special Feature / 0 Comments
Divider

#DAReadathon Wrap Up

#DAReadathon Wrap Up

Kendice and I totally kicked ass on this challenge! I read all seven books and my mini-reviews are all below. Thank you so much to  Aentee from Read at Midnight for hosting the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon (#DAReadathon) to promote and celebrate diverse books. I really enjoyed the seven different prompts that encouraged me to read a variety of diverse books. I’d like to think I would have read all of these books eventually. They were all on my TBR when this challenge started. However, thanks to the #DAReadathon they moved up to the top.     This book was really hard to read. It was about two people who are hurting and the connection they find in each other. The writing was top notch. I really felt for the characters. The writing was touching and I found myself aching for for both Dylan and Jamie. Still I read to get away and this book was a little too real. Oh, this book! I loved Holding Up the Universe by Jennifer Niven and this was the perfect opportunity to push her YA debut up on my TBR. I’m SO glad I did. I adore Niven’s writing and I’m easily sucked right into her stories. I’ve heard before I was glad I had a heads up. It didn’t take away from the story for me, but potentially saved me from an emotional breakdown. I […]

Posted January 20, 2017 by Emily in Special Feature / 0 Comments
Divider

Winter 2017 Mini Bloggiesta To Do

Winter 2017 Mini Bloggiesta To Do

Once again I’m thrilled to report that I just participating in Bloggiesta,  I’m co-hosting with MC at Blame it on the Books! She’s still my inspiration. This year we get to wrap up Bloggiesta with a celebratory trip! Next week we will be together in Atlanta for ALAMW! I can’t wait to see her. Bloggiesta is a challenge and a call to action. It is an opportunity and an excuse to improve your blog. You formulate a plan of blog chores and then you work to get the done over the course of a weekend. The other component is mini-challenges. Bloggers all over talk about different ways that they do things and then they issue a challenge. Past mini-challenges on time management, social media use and a variety of other topics are on the bloggiesta site. Mini Bloggiesta Goals Schedule WOW and TTT through the end of February Cross post review backlog (EW, GR, LT, Amazon) I know this is a short list, but it will be time intensive. I have a ridiculous review backlog to work through. Wish me luck!

Posted January 12, 2017 by Emily in Events and Features, Special Feature / 5 Comments
Divider

Island Read-along and Union Release Contest

Island Read-along and Union Release Contest

I’ve never run or even really participated in a read a public read a long before. I’m really excited about this! We are going to have a #QWSush halfway through to discuss it. I really loved this book and this series. It sucks you in and gets better and better throughout the series. What is this Readalong? This is a month long readalong for The Island by S. Usher Evans, which is FREE. We’ll be reading 5 chapters a week (they aren’t that long really) in anticipation for the release of The Union, which is the trilogy finale, on February 14th. What’s this about teams? You absolutely do not have to participate in the teams but it’s highly encouraged! There are two teams, #TeamTheo and #TeamPrinceling based off of the two main characters in the books. I’m the team lead of #TeamTheo so I strongly encourage you to join that team. These two teams earn points by joining the readalong, tweeting, posting reviews and participating in other events we might have planned. The winning team will get some cool goodies and the top 2 point earners for each team will win an extra special prize! You can join either team, but I’m #TeamTheo, so, I’m definitely biased. The Thing I like best about this Street Team Contest is that every week has a different focus. This week we are focusing on joining […]

Posted January 11, 2017 by Emily in Events and Features, Special Feature / 3 Comments
Divider

The Alchemists of Loom is Coming!

The Alchemists of Loom is Coming!

Today is the LAST DAY to pre-order The Alchemists of Loom If you haven’t pre-ordered yet, this is your LAST CHANCE. Our benevolent Dragon Queen has put together an amazing swag package for pre-orders and you don’t want to miss out. Once you pre-order, make sure you follow all the instructions on the Pre-order bonus page and you will reap the rewards. All this could be yours. But don’t delay! ACT NOW!

Posted January 9, 2017 by Emily in Special Feature / 0 Comments
Divider

ARC Review: The Alchemists of Loom

ARC Review: The Alchemists of Loom

Proud member of the This book blew my mind! I’m a huge fan of Steampunk and I’m always on the lookout for books in that genre. They are few and far between. Even when a book is billed as steampunk, its hard to find one with the right combination of gritty technology and magic. Alchemists of Loom hits the sweet spot. There are guns and bombs and gears and airships and plenty more elements that make for true steampunk. Elise Kova also weaves in tons of magic and mystery. This book nails the genre. What made this book a new favorite though was the unique setting. Loom and Nova are like nowhere I’ve ever read about before. Elise weaves the information about the setting throughout the story without ever committing the sin of the infodump. It was surprising to me because its so subtle. Throughout the book, I kept thinking, I wish I knew more about the world. Tell me MORE. Then when the book was over, I was describing it to a friend and I realized that I knew so much more than I thought I did. All the little details that I love about fantasy were in the narrative. I learned everything I could have wanted to about the world without even realizing it. The world is deliciously complex. I can’t explain it with the depth and […]

Posted January 3, 2017 by Emily in Blog Tour, Review / 1 Comment
Divider

#DAReadathon Sign up

#DAReadathon Sign up

I’m really excited about this. Kendice and I will be participating in our first joint reading challenge! Aentee from Read at Midnight is hosting the Dumbledore’s Army Readathon (#DAReadathon) to promote and celebrate diverse books. There are seven different prompts that encourage reading a variety of diverse books. All of them are listed below with Kendice and my picks for those prompts. I will be reading for Hufflepuff. This is new for me. I’ve always thought of myself as a Ravenclaw, but I’ve been sorted into Hufflepuff by Pottermore twice now. I’m going to try on this new identity and see how it fits. I actually have always thought of myself as a Slytherclaw. Still, if Pottermore is so sure, maybe it’s worth exploring. The Sorting Hat is always right, right?     One of my best friends is Trans and I chose Beast in honor of her. We live in different states and I don’t get to see her as much as I’d like. I want her to know how much I love her and miss her all the time. When I consider an issue close to my heart I think of mental health. My mother has struggled with depression since the early 90s and it’s had a huge impact on my family dynamic. On top of that, I’ve heard the greatness that is this book and I absolutely adored […]

Posted December 22, 2016 by Emily in Special Feature / 1 Comment
Divider
Divider