Winged Reviews A UK young adult book blog for those a little bit older.

Blog Tour: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Blog Tour: Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Devil Tour header

Welcome to the last and final stop of the UK tour for Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea! Today, author April shares her top ten hints for the much anticipated sequel!

Guest Post by April Genevieve Tucholke

Top Ten Between the Spark and the Burn hints

1. Snow.

2. Madness.

3. Bright Young Things.

4. Islands, forests, creepy small towns, cemeteries.

5. A boy named Finch and a girl named Pine.

6. A frozen lake.

7. Red hair.

8. A diary filled with scandal and sex and secrets.

9. Wild horses.

10. A twist.

About The Devil and the Deep Blue Sea

Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea by April Genevieve Tucholke

Release: 3 April 2014
Publisher: Faber and Faber

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You stop fearing the devil when you’re holding his hand…

Nothing much exciting rolls through Violet White’s sleepy, seaside town…until River West comes along. River rents the guesthouse behind Violet’s crumbling estate, and as eerie, grim things start to happen, Violet begins to wonder about the boy living in her backyard.

Is River just a crooked-smiling liar with pretty eyes and a mysterious past?

Violet’s grandmother always warned her about the Devil, but she never said he could be a dark-haired boy who likes coffee and who kisses you in a cemetery…

Violet’s already so knee-deep in love, she can’t see straight. And that’s just how River likes it.

About April Genevieve Tucholke

April Genevieve Tucholke author pic
April Genevieve Tucholke is a full-time writer who digs classic movies, redheaded villains, big kitchens, and discussing murder at the dinner table. She and her husband—a librarian, former rare-book dealer, and journalist—live in Oregon. Between the Devil and the Deep Blue Sea is her first novel.

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Blog Tour: Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew

Blog Tour: Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew

Welcome to the blog tour for Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew – an Evie Brooks novel. Read on for some tips from Sheila on her Manhattan recommendations! 

Guest Post from Sheila Agnew

A Shout-Out from a New York Based Writer to her Favourite City Spots

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There is lots of fantastic stuff to do, see and eat in New York. But for those of us that live there, life typically revolves around work. Everyone in New York seems to be obsessed with their career, or, with getting a career. It’s not all bad. There is seamlessweb.com, the online food-service site that eliminated the pain of discovering that the lunch delivered to your work pod consisted of two number elevens instead of a number seven. Work stations became pods in the recession. There is no cool, egg-shaped furniture or any resemblance to outer space except, of course, for the absence of oxygen. Pods just mean jamming more people on less pay, into a cramped, windowless space. But sometimes, we all just need a break to appreciate what we have. Returning to New York six months ago after a hiatus, I found a renewed enthusiasm for all that is GREAT about the city. Here are some of my favourite haunts:

Comedy
Ticket hawkers pounce on tourists and send them to expensive, mainstream comedy clubs with a two-vile-drinks-minimum and a series of acts pitched to appeal equally to the lowest common denominator from Sweden and South Dakota. Even the comedians look uncomfortable to be there. Bypass the hawks and head to the United Citizens Brigade in the East Village where the comedians are hilarious and creative. Even if you are super picky about your comedy, the tickets run for about five dollars so you can afford to take that kind of risk. Plus, you can drink reasonably priced beer during the performance.

Food
I’ve never tasted better fish tacos than the ones at Mexican Radio. If you are trawling through Soho or Nolita and in need of a pick-me-up in the form of a tasty lunch accompanied by a fabulous margarita, check this place out. For dinner, Odeon in Tribeca is a reliable stand-by. It is decades since it was a hang-out for celebrities and those that pursue them. Thank God. There’s a reason that Odeon didn’t fold when it stopped being a place to be seen. The food, service and atmosphere are consistently excellent. For Sunday brunch, try the fried catfish and cornbread at Red Rooster in Harlem while enjoying the live Gospel music.

Hang Out With the Hipsters
I don’t share the general prejudice against hipsters. I’ve never met a hipster with bad manners. But the pretentious ones are super dull so visit Floyd’s on Atlantic Avenue in Brooklyn. It draws a super friendly crowd of hipsters without the attitude. Floyd’s is a dive bar with a bocce court running down the middle. There’s also decent music, comfortable couches; and the drinks are all priced at around six dollars. To clear my head the next morning, I avoid the crowds in Central Park and head for Prospect Park.

Books
They don’t actually have the advertised eighteen miles of books in The Strand. It just feels that way. It’s a great place for finding all kinds of interesting bargains. The staff has a reputation for being surly but I can sympathize. If I had to stand on my feet all day and heave stacks of books around for minimum wage, I probably wouldn’t jump up and down with excitement when yet another customer asked me for directions to the toilets. I’d probably just point and move on. Since I am fanatical about travel literature, I love the specialist travel book store, Idlewild. Finally, if I have a few hours to kill, I like to hang out in the Rose Reading Room in the main branch of the New York Public Library on Fifth Avenue. During the Great Depression, the reading room was packed with the long-term unemployed. These days, it is yet again filled with desperate job-seekers taking advantage of the free Wi-Fi to send out multiple resumes. Strangely, there is no atmosphere of despair. Such elegant surroundings seem to inspire hope in the job-seekers, and in the many writers who seek refuge there.

More information about the venues listed in this article can be found here:

http://east.ucbtheatre.com

http://nyc.mexrad.com/location-hours/

http://www.theodeonrestaurant.com

http://redroosterharlem.com/

http://floydny.com/

http://www.prospectpark.org

http://www.strandbooks.com/

http://idlewildbooks.com

http://www.nypl.org

About Marooned in Manhattan

Marooned in Manhattan by Sheila Agnew

Evie Brooks is Marooned in Manhattan. All she wants to do is to decide her own future… is that too much to ask?

When her mother dies, 12 year-old Evie is shocked to discover that she has to go and live with her Uncle Scott in New York City. She wants to stay in her home city of Dublin with Janet, her godmother. Scott and Evie enter a reluctant compromise: Evie will spend the summer in New York and can return to live in Ireland in September if she chooses.

Scott runs a vet’s practice in the city and having never owned more than a goldfish before, Evie is delighted to step in to become his assistant. Over the course of summer, she meets some strange pets and some even stranger owners. She makes friends Kylie and Greg, while she develops a more complex relationship with Finn, Greg’s older brother. But he just sees her as a kid.

Despite these friendships, Evie seems determined to return to Ireland. And Scott’s girlfriend, Leela, a ruthless divorce attorney, is planning to make sure that Evie returns home too. Then a totally unexpected development throws Evie’s plan into turmoil and she has to make the biggest decision of her life.

For age 9 upwards, Marooned in Manahattan captures both the uncertainty and excitement of a summer spent in New York City.

About Sheila Agnew

Sheila Agnew author pic

Sheila Agnew was born in New York and grew up in Dublin with her sister and two brothers. After graduating, she practiced as a lawyer in London, Sydney and New York and worked in such far-flung places as Accra, Cairo and Bratislava.

Sheila had wanted to be a writer since she was seven and fell in love with Danny, the Champion of the World. In 2002, she took a break from her legal career to write and to travel around Asia. In 2011, she moved to Argentina to learn Spanish and work on a horse farm. The following year, she relocated to Dingle in County Kerry where she wrote Marooned in Manhattan. Sheila based the character of Ben in the book on her own black-and-white spaniel of dubious lineage.

Sheila now lives and writes in New York City.

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Blog Tour: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Blog Tour: Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen

Stolen Songbird Tour Banner

Welcome to the blog tour for Danielle L. Jensen’s fantasy debut, Stolen Songbird. This book was truly unique and beautifully written and I enjoyed it very much. Read on for my interview with the author!
 

Interview with Danielle L. Jensen

On buried cities and memorable characters

You’ve said that the inspiration for the book was imagining a city buried under a mountain. Where did the idea come from and can you give us a little idea of what the city looks like in your book?

The idea came from my strange brain while it was sleeping. As far as the mountain goes, it is based on a real mountain in the Canadian Rockies that really did break in half and cover a town. I’m in the process of writing a blog post about it, which should be out in early April.

You can see a bit of Trollus behind Cécile on the cover of the book. It’s made of white stone with lots of fountains and statues and glass gardens. It’s really nice, other than the fact it’s in a cave. Somewhere you might want to visit, but probably wouldn’t want to live.
 

If you had to compare your book to books out on the market, which books would you say it’s a blend of?

Well, my publisher is marketing it as something fans of Seraphina and Graceling would enjoy. I always feel a bit funny making that claim, because I admire Rachel Hartman and Kristin Cashore a great deal. People get pretty worked up about novel comparisons, but it’s really just a marketing tool intended to target certain audiences.
 

You cite David Eddings as one of your favourite fantasy authors. I’m a huge fan of him myself, so I had to ask what is it about his books do you enjoy and how did you draw inspiration from them?

I’d say the thing I like best about Eddings is how unique and memorable all his characters are. I haven’t reread The Belgariad in fifteen years, but I can still name all the major characters and describe their personalities. I wish to one day be so talented in character development.
 

How would you convince someone that doesn’t particularly enjoy the fantasy genre to read Stolen Songbird?

I’d tell them there was a code hidden within the pages that provided the directions to a secret city full of magic, romance, and adventure. The question would be whether I could keep a straight face while saying it.
 

Finally, some quickfire questions to end:

Tea or coffee?
I love them both too much to ever choose.

Drama or comedy?
Comedy

e-Books or physical books?
Physical, but I do have a Kindle.

Indoors or outdoors?
Wherever is warmer. I’m Canadian, so you can do the math.

Favourite author?
Maggie Stiefvater

Favourite artist/musician?
Britney Spears, and don’t you dare judge me for it!

Favourite movie?
The Goonies or The Princess Bride.

Favourite ice cream?
Vanilla bean

Thank you for being on the blog Danielle!

About Stolen Songbird

Stolen Songbird by Danielle L. Jensen
Release: 3 April 2014
Publisher: Strange Chemistry

Goodreads | Buy the Book

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 Cécile 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.

Cécile 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 Cécile 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.
 

About Danielle L. Jensen:

Danielle was born and raised in Calgary, Canada. At the insistence of the left side of her brain, she graduated in 2003 from the University of Calgary with a bachelor’s degree in finance. But the right side of her brain has ever been mutinous; and in 2010, it sent her back to school to complete an entirely impractical English literature degree at Mount Royal University and to pursue publication. Much to her satisfaction, the right side shows no sign of relinquishing its domination.

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Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Far From You by Tess Sharpe

Far From You by Tess SharpeFar From You
Author: Tess Sharpe
Publisher: Indigo
Date: March 2014
352 pages
Source: ARC from publisher
Genres: Contemporary
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Nine months. Two weeks. Six days.

That's how long recovering addict Sophie's been drug-free. Four months ago her best friend, Mina, died in what everyone believes was a drug deal gone wrong - a deal they think Sophie set up. Only Sophie knows the truth. She and Mina shared a secret, but there was no drug deal. Mina was deliberately murdered.

Forced into rehab for an addiction she'd already beaten, Sophie's finally out and on the trail of the killer - but can she track them down before they come for her?

Far From You is a strong debut from author Tess Sharpe that packs in an incredible emotional punch set within a compelling, of-the-moment thriller.

This is the story of Sophie, broken in oh-so-many ways. She suffered from a near fatal car accident when she was 15. She recovered from extensive surgery, got addicted to pain pills and went through a difficult recovery period with the help of her aunt. After being clean for nine months, she was held at gunpoint when she was 17, the night her best friend Mina was shot. She was framed, blamed and sent to rehab for three months and now that she’s out, her only focus is discovering the truth behind Mina’s murder.

The book alternates back and forth through different times in Sophie’s life, shifting between now and then with every chapter. This style of narration lets us know Mina—enigmatic, flighty, beloved Mina—and the true impact she had on Sophie and everyone else in her little town. I found the shifts a little jarring, maybe because the chapters are short, however it was wonderful to see the story and characters develop by giving us their past.

It’s not an easy read, by any means. You could feel Sophie’s pain, distrust, confusion and heartbreak with every word of narration. The book captured the emotions of teenagers perfectly and all of the themes Sharpe explores in the book: friendship, forbidden love, heartbreak, parental trust, addiction and so much more are beautifully nuanced and completely believable. Wonderfully, it also explores an unconventional love triangle, which is still breaking my heart. A truly unique love story.

Sharpe’s writing is beautiful, and each sentence was crafted so well. The simplest word or well-placed punctuation mark enhanced the mood and caused my heart to flutter. Each touch, look, even the moments of silence between the characters were positively alive with meaning. It was truly beautiful to read and I found myself savouring each word.

That said, because I loved the mood of the book and the characters so much, part of me wishes it was a more of a conventional contemporary, just about Sophie, Mina, Trev, Rachel, Rich and how they are dealing with Mina’s death. I’m normally a big fan of thrillers, and even though it delivered an exciting ending, my heart wasn’t into the mystery until the final third of the book.

Despite that, I absolutely loved Far From You and as soon as my heart gets over the first reading, I think it would be wonderful to revisit it. It’s one of those books that I’m sure has a hundred hidden nuances just waiting to be discovered. Highly recommended and a great new voice in YA fiction that I’ll watching very closely in the future.

4 Stars

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Countdown to Far From You

Countdown to Far From You

Countdown to Far From You

Only 3 days to go before Tess Sharpe’s debut novel Far From You is officially out in the wild! This book was incredible and I loved the evocative beauty of Sharpe’s writing and the truly unique love story. For more gushing, read my review of Far From You.

Giveaway

The lovely people at Indigo have provided an advance reader copy to giveaway! Enter using the Rafflecopter below. Contest is for UK/Ireland only, and the winner will be drawn on Friday, 28 March 2014.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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