[Blog Tour] Fear the Drowning Deep by Sarah Glenn Marsh





ABOUT

Title: Fear the Drowning Deep
Author: Sarah Glenn Marsh
Publisher: Sky Pony Press
Release Date: October 4th 2016 

Synopsis:
Witch’s apprentice Bridey Corkill has hated the ocean ever since she watched her granddad dive in and drown with a smile on his face. So when a dead girl rolls in with the tide in the summer of 1913, sixteen-year-old Bridey suspects that whatever compelled her granddad to leap into the sea has made its return to the Isle of Man.

Soon, villagers are vanishing in the night, but no one shares Bridey’s suspicions about the sea. No one but the island’s witch, who isn’t as frightening as she first appears, and the handsome dark-haired lad Bridey rescues from a grim and watery fate. The cause of the deep gashes in Fynn’s stomach and his lost memories are, like the recent disappearances, a mystery well-guarded by the sea. In exchange for saving his life, Fynn teaches Bridey to master her fear of the water — stealing her heart in the process.

Now, Bridey must work with the Isle’s eccentric witch and the boy she isn’t sure she can trust — because if she can’t uncover the truth about the ancient evil in the water, everyone she loves will walk into the sea, never to return.


I received an e-ARC from the publisher for this blog tour. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever nor was I compensated in any way.

Fear the Drowning Deep is about Bridey Corkill — a girl who lives on the Isle of Man and has a deathly fear of the sea after watching her grandfather walk straight off a cliff and into the sea with a smile on his face. Strange and terrifying things start to happen in their little town when an unknown girl’s body washes up on their shore and a few days later, a boy who’s still alive but with life threatening gashes to his abdomen.

I like Bridey. She’s strong and smart with so much courage to go up against things that she’s terrified of. She can most definitely see past the surface of a person and get to know them as they truly are. She is also flawed in ways that made her really relatable and likeable to me.

Fynn, the main love interest, was definitely cute and strange. Also, he’s apparently very good looking. He’s very mysterious throughout the novel and it definitely made me curious as to who he really was, since he had lost his memory when he washed up on the shore. Despite his flaws, I can see what Bridey likes and sees in him.

I was definitely hooked (Haaa. unintentional pun) on this novel and it was so easy to read and get caught up in this world of sea creatures and slight magic. It reminds me a little of Salt and Storm by Kendall Kulper that I also enjoyed. I really liked all the lore and the mention of different sea creatures that came up in this novel. Magic doesn’t permeate the world in this novel and it really only touches upon it in a way that makes it seem like, maybe this could be real. While the ending wasn’t as I would have hoped, it was satisfying and left me with some hope for Bridey and Fynn and their town.

Overall, Fear the Drowning Deep is a mysterious novel filled with magic and sea creatures. It’s a fun read that I breezed through and had me hooked, wanting to know more.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Sarah Glenn Marsh writes young adult novels and children’s picture books. An avid fantasy reader from the day her dad handed her a copy of The Hobbit and promised it would change her life, she’s been making up words and worlds ever since.

When she’s not writing, Sarah enjoys watercolor painting, ghost hunting, and pursuits of the nerd variety, from video games to tabletop adventures. She’s never met an animal or a doughnut she didn’t like.

Sarah lives in Richmond, Virginia with her husband and their tiny zoo of four rescued greyhounds, a bird, and many fish. She is the author of Fear the Drowning Deep, the Reign of the Fallenduology, and several picture books.



Happy Reading!
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[Blog Tour] Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco





ABOUT

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco 
Series: Stalking Jack the Ripper #1 
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release Date: September 20th 2016 

Synopsis:
He’s the infamous killer no man has ever been able to find.

Now it’s a girl’s turn.

Groomed to be the perfect highborn Victorian young lady, Audrey Rose Wadsworth has a decidedly different plan for herself. After the loss of her beloved mother, she is determined to understand the nature of death and its workings. Trading in her embroidery needle for an autopsy scalpel, Audrey secretly apprentices in forensics. She soon gets drawn into the investigation of serial killer Jack the Ripper, but to her horror, the search for clues brings her far closer to her sheltered world than she ever thought possible.

An e-ARC was provided by the publisher for this blog tour. This does not affect my opinion whatsoever.


Stalking Jack the Ripper is a thriller focusing on Audrey Rose Wadsworth, who is apprenticing under her uncle to study forensics. It's an unseemly interest for "proper" ladies of the Victorian era, but that won't stop Audrey Rose and her desire to learn. Through her uncle, she meets Thomas, a charming, brash and intelligent young man who she finds herself intrigued by and also finds a partner in helping her solve the Whitechapel murders.

The novel is told in Audrey Rose's point of view and at first, the novel moves kind of slowly, building up the relationship between Audrey Rose and Thomas. It also sets up the series of murders and the mystery. Kerri manages to weave in the historical facts of the murders and her own world seamlessly and I really enjoyed how she managed to write a world around the historical facts. But oh holy crap, does the novel ramp up in speed near the very end, as Audrey finally finds out the truth of the murders and the identity of Jack the Ripper.

I really enjoyed Audrey Rose's character. She doesn't care too much that she's flouting societal norms by apprenticing under her uncle and I love the way that she's escaping the gender roles imposed by society in Victorian England. She is bold and courageous, taking on the case of these murders herself and looking for the murderer. One of my favourite moments of hers, was when she was picking out fabric for new dresses, and stated that just because she was interested in autopsies and cadavers, didn't mean she couldn't also appreciate beautiful clothes and other feminine things.

Thomas irked me at times. He has that sort of Sherlock-ian way of ignoring societal cues and being able to shut down his emotions to suit the role of investigating murders. He also has that Sherlock-ian observational skills in that he notices many tiny things and makes inferences in order to piece together the larger picture. He is much more charming than Sherlock though and charms Audrey.

While I managed to guess at who the perpetrator would be, I didn't exactly expect the way it would be revealed. Oh boy. Overall, this novel was a great historical thriller that I highly enjoyed and definitely had me internally screaming at the climax. The novel wraps itself up tidily though leaves room for another novel and I'm looking forward to reading the sequel that Kerri is writing.






ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Kerri Maniscalco grew up in a semi-haunted house outside NYC where her fascination with gothic settings began. In her spare time she reads everything she can get her hands on, cooks all kinds of food with her family and friends, and drinks entirely too much tea while discussing life’s finer points with her cats. Stalking Jack the Ripper is her debut novel. It incorporates her love of forensic science and unsolved history, and is the first in a new series of gothic thrillers.


Check out the rest of the Blog Tour here


Happy Reading!
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[Blog Tour] Vassa in the Night by Sarah Porter

Hello my lovelies!

I'm so excited to be a part of the VASSA IN THE NIGHT blog tour and I was one of the lucky ones to be able to ask Sarah Porter a question.

But first, just in case you don't know about the novel, here's some info:


ABOUT

Title: Vassa in the Night
Author: Sarah Porter 
Publisher: Tor Teen
Release Date: September 20th 2016 

Synopsis:
In the enchanted kingdom of Brooklyn, the fashionable people put on cute shoes, go to parties in warehouses, drink on rooftops at sunset, and tell themselves they’ve arrived. A whole lot of Brooklyn is like that now—but not Vassa’s working-class neighborhood.

In Vassa’s neighborhood, where she lives with her stepmother and bickering stepsisters, one might stumble onto magic, but stumbling out again could become an issue. Babs Yagg, the owner of the local convenience store, has a policy of beheading shoplifters—and sometimes innocent shoppers as well. So when Vassa’s stepsister sends her out for light bulbs in the middle of night, she knows it could easily become a suicide mission.

But Vassa has a bit of luck hidden in her pocket, a gift from her dead mother. Erg is a tough-talking wooden doll with sticky fingers, a bottomless stomach, and a ferocious cunning. With Erg’s help, Vassa just might be able to break the witch’s curse and free her Brooklyn neighborhood. But Babs won’t be playing fair. . . .

Inspired by the Russian folktale Vassilissa the Beautiful and Sarah Porter’s years of experience teaching creative writing to New York City students.


So I asked Sarah:

Do you think you would survive a trip to BY's? 


Sarah: Hi Sabrina! It’s highly unlikely; Dexter would probably chop off my head inside of ten minutes. I’m spacy and uncoordinated and maybe a little naive. I’d make a lousy hero,
so it’s better if I stick to writing about them!

Ri: I don't know if I'd survive a trip to BY's. I'd like to think that my Slytherin sneakiness and preparedness would help me survive, but who knows. Magic is unpredictable.




REVIEW

Vassa is a purple haired teenager whose constant companion is a talking, kleptomaniac wooden doll named Erg. She lives with her two other sisters of whom she is related to in varying degrees in Brooklyn, where the nights seem to get progressively longer. There is only one store that is open throughout these long nights — BY’s. However, shopping there is dangerous since the owner, Babs Yagga beheads shoplifters and displays the severed heads on stakes surrounding the moving and dancing store.

Vassa is bitter about her circumstances and she really only entered the store out of spite for one of her sisters, who asked her to enter the store on purpose. She wants to be anywhere but Brooklyn and she resents her parents. However, as she is stuck in the store, she learns more about both her past and about the magical circumstances surrounding the store and the elongating nights.

The plot did feel like a fairy tale in that there was a prescribed quest for the hero to accomplish in order to survive and win against the villain. As the novel progressed, it definitely got weirder and I understand why there would be mixed reviews of this novel. Vassa in the Night is a bit ridiculous and weird in the way that Alice in Wonderland is weird and ridiculous. There are bits that are somewhat questionable and don’t really make too much sense at first glance. It has a fairy tale vibe to it that persists throughout the novel and is absurdly fantastical in a way that would seem even out of place in a fantasy novel, but not a fairy tale.

The novel is beautifully written and has that aforementioned fairy tale vibe. The way Sarah personified Night in this novel was so beautiful and I definitely devoured those bits of writing. It’s intriguing and had me constantly flipping pages, wanting to find out what happens next. It’s definitely a unique story and I’ve never read anything like it. Vassa in the Night is wonderfully and beautifully  absurd and it will most definitely stick in my mind for a while.





You can check out the rest of the tour at these blogs:






Happy Reading! 
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[Review] Every Hidden Thing by Kenneth Oppel


ABOUT

Title: Every Hidden Thing
Author: Kenneth Oppel
Publisher: Harper Collins
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
Somewhere in the Badlands, embedded deep in centuries-buried rock and sand, lies the skeleton of a massive dinosaur, larger than anything the late nineteenth-century world has ever seen. Some legends call it the Black Beauty, with its bones as black as ebony, but to seventeen-year-old Samuel Bolt, it’s the “rex,” the king dinosaur that could put him and his struggling, temperamental archaeologist father in the history books (and conveniently make his father forget he’s been kicked out of school), if they can just quarry it out.

But Samuel and his father aren’t the only ones after the rex. For Rachel Cartland this find could be her ticket to a different life, one where her loves of science and adventure aren’t just relegated to books and sitting rooms. And if she can’t prove herself on this expedition with her professor father, the only adventures she may have to look forward to are marriage or spinsterhood.

As their paths cross and the rivalry between their fathers becomes more intense, Samuel and Rachel are pushed closer together. Their flourishing romance is one that will never be allowed. And with both eyeing the same prize, it’s a romance that seems destined for failure. As their attraction deepens, danger looms on the other side of the hills, causing everyone’s secrets to come to light and forcing Samuel and Rachel to make a decision. Can they join forces to find their quarry, and with it a new life together, or will old enmities and prejudices keep them from both the rex and each other?

[Waiting on Wednesday] The Ship Beyond Time by Heidi Heilig


ABOUT

Title: The Ship Beyond Time
Author: Heidi Heilig
Series: The Girl From Everywhere #2 
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Release Date: March 28th 2017 

Synopsis:
The breathtaking sequel to the acclaimed The Girl from Everywhere. Nix has escaped her past, but when the person she loves most is at risk, even the daughter of a time traveler may not be able to outrun her fate—no matter where she goes. Fans of Rae Carson, Alexandra Bracken, and Outlander will fall hard for Heidi Heilig’s sweeping fantasy.

Nix has spent her whole life journeying to places both real and imagined aboard her time-traveling father’s ship. And now it’s finally time for her to take the helm. Her father has given up his obsession to save her mother—and possibly erase Nix’s existence—and Nix’s future lies bright before her. Until she learns that she is destined to lose the one she loves. But her relationship with Kash—best friend, thief, charmer extraordinaire—is only just beginning. How can she bear to lose him? How can she bear to become as adrift and alone as her father?

Desperate to change her fate, Nix takes her crew to a mythical utopia to meet another Navigator who promises to teach her how to manipulate time. But everything in this utopia is constantly changing, and nothing is what it seems—not even her relationship with Kash. Nix must grapple with whether anyone can escape her destiny, her history, her choices. Heidi Heilig weaves fantasy, history, and romance together to tackle questions of free will, fate, and what it means to love another person. But at the center of this adventure are the extraordinary, multifaceted, and multicultural characters that leap off the page, and an intricate, recognizable world that has no bounds. The sequel—and conclusion—to the indie darling The Girl from Everywhere will be devoured by fans of Rachel Hartman and Maggie Stiefvater. Includes black-and-white maps

I absolutely loved her debut novel and the first novel in the series, THE GIRL FROM EVERYWHERE. You can check out my review of the first novel here.

I adored the world building and the way they traveled through time and worlds in the novel and I can't wait to experience more of it! I loved the characters and also Kash and I also can't wait to read more of them. Can you tell that I loved the book?

I also really love that cover! It's gorgeous and it matches so well with the first novel!


Happy Reading! 
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An Excerpt from LABYRINTH LOST by Zoraida Córdova

I'm so excited to host an excerpt of this novel, Labyrinth Lost, today! I'm so excited to read this novel and it's definitely in my immediate line up of my tbr. If you don't know about this novel, here's some info to get you started.


ABOUT

Title: Labyrinth Lost
Author: Zoraida Córdova 
Series: Brooklyn Brujas #1 
Publisher: Sourcebooks Fire
Release Date: September 6th 2016 

Synopsis: 
Nothing says Happy Birthday like summoning the spirits of your dead relatives.

Alex is a bruja, the most powerful witch in a generation…and she hates magic. At her Deathday celebration, Alex performs a spell to rid herself of her power. But it backfires. Her whole family vanishes into thin air, leaving her alone with Nova, a brujo boy she can’t trust. A boy whose intentions are as dark as the strange marks on his skin.

The only way to get her family back is to travel with Nova to Los Lagos, a land in-between, as dark as Limbo and as strange as Wonderland…

Purchase it | Book Trailer | Labyrinth Lost Colouring Page



Praise for Labyrinth Lost 

“This work is a magical journey from start to finish... A compelling must-have for teens
School Library Journal, STARRED review

“Córdova’s (the Vicious Deep series) magic-infused, delightfully dark story introduces readers to an engrossing, Latin American–inspired fantasy setting and an irresistible heroine”
Publishers Weekly

A brilliant brown-girl-in-Brooklyn update on Alice in Wonderland and Dante’s Inferno. Very creepy, very magical, very necessary.”
Daniel José Older, New York Times bestselling author of Shadowshaper

Labyrinth Lost is more like reading Paradise Found. Zoraida Córdova brings us a new generation of witches, enchanting and complex. And every page is filled with magic.
Danielle Page, New York Times bestselling author of Dorothy Must Die

Córdova’s world will leave you breathless, and her magic will ignite an envy so green you’ll wish you were born a bruja.Delightfully dark and enchanting. An un-putdownable book.”
-- Dhonielle Clayton, author of The Belles and Shiny Broken Pieces

“Córdova’s rich exploration of Latin American culture, her healthy portrayal of bisexuality and her unique voice allow this novel to stand out among its many peers.”
RT Book Reviews

“Cordova draws inspiration from Ecuadorian, Spanish, African, Mexican, and Caribbean folklore and mythology to craft a page-turning tale about a young bruja unsure of her place in the world.”

“Córdova pulls elements from Greek mythology and Spanish and Latin American legends to craft a memorable world in Los Lagos, a supernatural realm that is as fascinating as it is threatening. The history and customs of Alex’s family’s type of witchery are also carefully constructed, giving readers a complete world to sink into with satisfaction and wonder.”
-Bulletin of the Center for Children’s Books

“This succeeds with its lush use of Latin American mythologies, an unexpected love story, and, above all, in Alex’s complicated relationship with her family. Alex is a necessary heroine, and this dark fantasy nicely”
-Booklist

EXCERPT 



1

Follow our voices, sister.
Tell us the secret of your death.
—-Resurrection Canto,
Book of Cantos


The second time I saw my dead aunt Rosaria, she was dancing.
         Earlier that day, my mom had warned me, pressing a long, red fingernail on the tip of my nose, “Alejandra, don’t go downstairs when the Circle arrives.”
         But I was seven and asked too many questions. Every Sunday, cars piled up in our driveway, down the street, and around the corner of our old, narrow house in Sunset Park, Brooklyn. Mom’s Circle usually brought cellophane--wrapped dishes and jars of dirt and tubs of brackish water that made the Hudson River look clean. This time, they carried something more.
         When my sisters started snoring, I threw off my covers and crept down the stairs. The floorboards were uneven and creaky, but I was good at not being seen. Fuzzy, yellow streetlight shone through our attic window and followed me down every flight until I reached the basement.
         A soft hum made its way through the thin walls. I remember thinking I should listen to my mom’s warning and go back upstairs. But our house had been restless all week, and Lula, Rose, and I were shoved into the attic, out of the way while the grown--ups prepared the funeral. I wanted out. I wanted to see.
        The night was moonless and cold one week after the Witch’s New Year, when Aunt Rosaria died of a sickness that made her skin yellow like hundred--year--old paper and her nails turn black as coal. We tried to make her beautiful again. My sisters and I spent all day weaving good luck charms from peonies, corn husks, and string—-one loop over, under, two loops over, under. Not even the morticians, the Magos de Muerte, could fix her once--lovely face.
          Aunt Rosaria was dead. I was there when we mourned her. I was there when we buried her. Then, I watched my father and two others shoulder a dirty cloth bundle into the house, and I knew I couldn’t stay in bed, no matter what my mother said.
          So I opened the basement door.
         Red light bathed the steep stairs. I leaned my head toward the light, toward the beating sound of drums and sharp plucks of fat, nylon guitar strings.
         A soft mew followed by whiskers against my arm made my heart jump to the back of my rib cage. I bit my tongue to stop the scream. It was just my cat, Miluna. She stared at me with her white, glowing eyes and hissed a warning, as if telling me to turn back. But Aunt Rosaria was my godmother, my family, my friend. And I wanted to see her again.
         “Sh!” I brushed the cat’s head back.
         Miluna nudged my leg, then ran away as the singing started.
         I took my first step down, into the warm, red light. Raspy voices called out to our gods, the Deos, asking for blessings beyond the veil of our worlds. Their melody pulled me step by step until I was crouched at the bottom of the landing.
         They were dancing.
         Brujas and brujos were dressed in mourning white, their faces painted in the aspects of the dead, white clay and black coal to trace the bones. They danced in two circles—-the outer ring going clockwise, the inner counterclockwise—hands clasped tight, voices vibrating to the pulsing drums.
          And in the middle was Aunt Rosaria.
         Her body jerked upward. Her black hair pooled in the air like she was suspended in water. There was still dirt on her skin. The white skirt we buried her in billowed around her slender legs. Black smoke slithered out of her open mouth. It weaved in and out of the circle—-one loop over, under, two loops over, under. It tugged Aunt Rosaria higher and higher, matching the rhythm of the canto.
          Then, the black smoke perked up and changed its target. It could smell me. I tried to backpedal, but the tiles were slick, and I slid toward the circle. My head smacked the tiles. Pain splintered my skull, and a broken scream lodged in my throat.
          The music stopped. Heavy, tired breaths filled the silence of the pulsing red dark. The enchantment was broken. Aunt Rosaria’s reanimated corpse turned to me. Her body purged black smoke, lowering her back to the ground. Her ankles cracked where the bone was brittle, but still she took a step. Her dead eyes gaped at me. Her wrinkled mouth growled my name: Alejandra.
         She took another step. Her ankle turned and broke at the joint, sending her flying forward. She landed on top of me. The rot of her skin filled my nose, and grave dirt fell into my eyes.
          Tongues clucked against crooked teeth. The voices of the circle hissed, “What’s the girl doing out of bed?”
          There was the scent of extinguished candles and melting wax. Decay and perfume oil smothered me until they pulled the body away.
          My mother jerked me up by the ear, pulling me up two flights of stairs until I was back in my bed, the scream stuck in my throat like a stone.
         “Never,” she said. “You hear me, Alejandra? Never break a Circle.”
         I lay still. So still that after a while, she brushed my hair, thinking I had fallen asleep.
         I wasn’t. How could I ever sleep again? Blood and rot and smoke and whispers filled my head.
         “One day you’ll learn,” she whispered.
         Then she went back down the street--lit stairs, down into the warm red light and to Aunt Rosaria’s body. My mother clapped her hands, drums beat, strings plucked, and she said, “Again.”



Wasn't that such a great excerpt? I'm so excited to read this novel and I hope this excerpt got you interested too! And to make this all even better, there's a giveaway!

Sourcebooks is hosting a giveaway for 2 copies of Labyrinth Lost and signed bookmarks as well! This giveaway is US & CAN only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Zoraida Córdova was born in Ecuador and raised in Queens, New York. She is the author of the Vicious Deep trilogy, the On the Verge series, and the Brooklyn Brujas series. She loves black coffee, snark, and still believes in magic. Send her a tweet @Zlikeinzorro or visit her at zoraidacordova.com.



Happy Reading! 
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The August break 2016 Recap

If you didn't know, I have been doing The August Break on Instagram and this is my fourth year participating!

It's like one of those monthly Instagram challenges where there's a prompt provided every day and you post a photo related to that prompt. However, you can also post whatever you want and not follow the prompts if you so choose. The idea of the August Break is to take a break, pause, notice the world around you and photograph it.

Here are the pics that I took this year for the August Break.




The correct order runs from left to right and then down by row. I had some pictures that were slightly longer and so it really shifted all the squares.

So this was my month in a nutshell. You can find me on instagram, @Astaraya, to check out the full pictures and the descriptions. :)


Happy Reading! 
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Waiting on Wednesday: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones


ABOUT

Title: Wintersong
Author: S. Jae-Jones 
Publisher: Thomas Dunne
Release Date: February 7 2017 
Goodreads Page

Synopsis:
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 am so into this description. This novel sounds awesome and totally up my alley. I know a lot of people are into this because of Labyrinth, but I've never seen Labyrinth and I can't really relate. However, I'm really interested in how this fantasy novel will play out. I'm always interested in a good star-crossed lovers trope.

Also, that cover is so gorgeous. The rose, and the snow globe and the actual snow. Very into it.  I can't wait for this novel to release!


Happy Reading!
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[Review] Once in a Town Called Moth by Trilby Kent


ABOUT

Title: Once in a Town Called Moth
Author: Trilby Kent
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: September 6th 2016 

Synopsis:
A gun in a lake. A Missing mother. Ana is on the run. But from who? For fans of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly.

Ana is not your typical teenager. She grew up in a tiny Mennonite colony in Bolivia, and her mother fled the colony when Ana was a young girl. Now Ana and her father have also fled, and Ana doesn’t know why. She only knows that something was amiss in their tight-knit community. Arriving in Toronto, Ana has to fend for herself in this alien environment, completely isolated in a big city with no help and no idea where to even begin. But begin she does: she makes a friend, then two. She goes to school and tries to understand the myriad unspoken codes and rules. She is befriended by a teacher. She goes to the library, the mall, parties. And all the while, she searches for the mother who left so long ago, and tries to understand her father—also a stranger in a strange land, with secrets of his own.

This is a beautifully told story that will resonate with readers who have struggled with being new and unsure in a strange place, even if that place is in a classroom full of people they know. Ana’s story is unique but universal; strange but familiar; extraordinary but ordinary: a fish out of water tale that speaks to us all.

[Street Team Blog Tour] Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco





Hello my lovelies!

I am so lucky to be a part of the Knights of White Chapel -- the street team for Kerri Maniscalco's Stalking Jack the Ripper!

Here's some information if somehow you haven't heard of this novel yet:


ABOUT

Title: Stalking Jack the Ripper
Author: Kerri Maniscalco 
Series: Untitled
Publisher: Jimmy Patterson
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Synopsis:
Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord's daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father's wishes and society's expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle's laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

So for my post, I decided I'd like to do some background on Jack the Ripper, so both you and I would be informed of the historical events this novel is based on.

(tw: murder, gore) 


Jack the Ripper


The Whitechapel murders are famously attributed to an unknown serial killer given the name of Jack the Ripper. Though the file on these murders contains 11 victims, only some were committed by Jack, some by copy cats and some were most definitely not committed by him.

His victimology revolved around heavily drinking prostitutes and his modus operandi was slitting their throats and disemboweling them.

Due to the nature of these ghastly murders, it was decided that an inspector with the knowledge of the area and the criminal world there was necessary. This decision brought Inspector Frederick George Abberline into the mix, around the general time that the second canonically accepted victim was murdered.

The prostitutes working the area were questioned and they had come up with a man they had nicknamed "Leather Apron" who would apparently threaten to rip them open if they didn't hand over their money. The papers emphasised his "Hebrew appearance" leading to an increase in anti-Semitism in Whitechapel. Later John Pizer was arrested as the suspect known as "Leather Apron" only to provide solid alibis and cleared of allegations of his involvement.

In an effort to combat the terror caused by Jack the Ripper, vigilance committees were created to supplement the police forces and to raise funds to offer a reward for any information that would lead to the arrest of Jack the Ripper.

Following the double murder at the end of September of 1888, a letter written in red ink purported to be written by the serial killer was sent to a London news agency. The author of the letter signed as Jack the Ripper and the name caught on after the letter was made public, sparking international attention.

This letter spawned many hoax letters sent to various news agencies and the like. This influx of hoax letters threatened to derail the investigation on Jack the Ripper. The most famous of these letters was one sent to George Lusk, the president of one of the Vigilance committees. It was addressed as "From Hell" and contained half a kidney that purportedly belonged to one of the victims. However, it was agreed upon by doctors and the police that it was a prank committed by a medical student.

The last generally believed victim of Jack the Ripper was also the most gruesome, as Mary Kelly was skinned "down to the bone" and was only identifiable to her lover through her ears and eyes. Several more names appear in the file on the Whitechapel murders, but they are considered not to be committed by Jack the Ripper.

Eventually, the file on the Whitechapel murders was closed, and nobody was any closer to finding the identity of Jack the Ripper. The fact that he was never caught is one that has brought his violence and terror into infamy and to this day, we are still morbidly fascinated by the murders and the identity of this killer.

Sources:

FBI victimology of Jack the Ripper
Jack the Ripper



Obviously, two sources wouldn't be enough for an academic paper, but I feel like this is sufficient for a general idea of the historical background of Jack the Ripper. I definitely learned a lot more after doing some research.

I myself still find the "Jack the Ripper" thing interesting. I'm looking forward to reading this novel and I'm so excited!


Happy Reading!
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An Interview with Trilby Kent!

Hello my lovelies! Today I got the opportunity to interview Trilby Kent! Her latest book, ONCE IN A TOWN CALLED MOTH releases on September 6th!

Here's some info on her latest novel.


ABOUT

Title: Once in a Town Called Moth
Author: Trilby Kent
Publisher: Tundra Books
Release Date: September 6th 2016 

Synopsis: 
A gun in a lake. A Missing mother. Ana is on the run. But from who? For fans of The Sacred Lies of Minnow Bly.

Ana is not your typical teenager. She grew up in a tiny Mennonite colony in Bolivia, and her mother fled the colony when Ana was a young girl. Now Ana and her father have also fled, and Ana doesn’t know why. She only knows that something was amiss in their tight-knit community. Arriving in Toronto, Ana has to fend for herself in this alien environment, completely isolated in a big city with no help and no idea where to even begin. But begin she does: she makes a friend, then two. She goes to school and tries to understand the myriad unspoken codes and rules. She is befriended by a teacher. She goes to the library, the mall, parties. And all the while, she searches for the mother who left so long ago, and tries to understand her father—also a stranger in a strange land, with secrets of his own.

This is a beautifully told story that will resonate with readers who have struggled with being new and unsure in a strange place, even if that place is in a classroom full of people they know. Ana’s story is unique but universal; strange but familiar; extraordinary but ordinary: a fish out of water tale that speaks to us all.



Ri: What inspired you to write Once in a Town Called Moth?

Trilby: The trigger was a photo essay about Mennonite communities in Bolivia. The pictures of children and teenagers going about their daily lives at home, at school, and in the fields sparked my curiosity about what it must be like to come of age in such a controlled community.

I started plotting out the story around the time that my daughter was born, when my husband and I were talking about leaving our home in London, England, to move to Toronto, where I’d grown up. So in part it’s also a little homage to the city that I found myself returning to after many years abroad.

Ri: What sort of research did you do for the novel and is there something weird or interesting that you learned during the process?

Trilby: The great thing about writing a contemporary novel, as opposed to a historical one (this is my first book set in the present day), is that you can conduct research with living people. I was able to interview women who had experience growing up in Mennonite communities in central and South America, as well as a few who have studied these communities or worked with young people that have made the switch into mainstream Canadian schools.

There’s a huge range of Mennonite experiences out there: so many variations within a single church, depending on where in the world you go and which historical line of development you decide to focus on. Moderate, Reformed, Old Order, and Conservative Mennonites all work differently, which means you really have to be specific about which group you’re talking about.

One of several interesting things I discovered involves naming traditions. Many Mennonite families follow a pattern in which the first daughter will be named after her maternal grandmother, the second daughter after her paternal grandmother, the third after her mother, and any subsequent daughters after their aunts. It works the same way for boys, using their male relatives.

Ri: It’s clear that your anthropology background influences your writing through this novel. Are there any other groups or cultures that you would like to write about?

Trilby: At the moment I’m starting work on a new novel that’s partly about a group of children who befriend a Vietnam draft dodger, so I guess you could say I’m currently interested in people who have opted out of war for a variety of reasons, moral and philosophical and personal. By coincidence, there’s a South American connection in this project, too – which is a bit strange, as it’s not a region I know well (in the past, when I’ve written about another place or culture – South Africa or India or Belgium – it’s always been somewhere I’ve had first-hand experience).

My first love is still history, though. I’d love to write a history of the world for young people at some point…watch this space!

Ri: Do you like listening to music while you write? If so, what do you listen to?

Trilby: I tend to write in silence (an empty house is ideal!) but there are usually a couple of songs that act as the soundtrack to any work in progress. With MOTH, it was the old classic Tonight You Belong To Me as well as Devil’s Got A Gun by Whitehorse. Right now I’m listening to Steppenwolf.

Ri: What are you currently reading?

Trilby: Smoke, by Dan Vyleta, which I’d highly recommend, and a couple of books on American war resisters in Canada. Also the current issue of Monocle and a raft of picture books about starting school, because my daughter begins kindergarten this fall.

Ri: Finally, what is some advice you’d like to give to aspiring writers?

Trilby: Read! Start as close to the end as possible. Remember that character is conflict, and conflict is story. Get out of your own way – by which I mean aim for writing that doesn’t often remind the reader about you, the author (and your impressive vocabulary, or deep grasp of existential philosophy, or hours spent on research, etc.). Don’t rush to send out your first draft, hard as it may be: put it away for a while, get someone you trust (not a family member!) to offer feedback, and edit ruthlessly. And don’t be afraid to cut – no writing is ever wasted, even if it ends up in the Trash folder.

Thank you so much to Trilby for taking the time to answer my questions! Her novel, ONCE IN A TOWN CALLED MOTH is an interesting read with a lot of information about Mennonites and a girl trying to find herself and her mother. Her novel comes out on September 6th and you can look forward to my review next week!


Happy Reading!
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