Interview with Tochi Onyebuchi!

Beast Made of NIght

In the walled city of Kos, corrupt mages can magically call forth sin from a sinner in the form of sin-beasts – lethal creatures spawned from feelings of guilt.

Taj is the most talented of the aki, young sin-eaters indentured by the mages to slay the sin-beasts. But Taj’s livelihood comes at a terrible cost. When he kills a sin-beast, a tattoo of the beast appears on his skin while the guilt of committing the sin appears on his mind. Most aki are driven mad by the process, but 17-year-old Taj is cocky and desperate to provide for his family.

When Taj is called to eat a sin of a royal, he’s suddenly thrust into the center of a dark conspiracy to destroy Kos. Now Taj must fight to save the princess that he loves – and his own life.

A gritty Nigerian-influenced fantasy.


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Book Review: Beast Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi + Giveaway!

Beast Made of NIghtEnticing. Exudes Uniqueness. Thrilling. Beast Made of the Night is a YA Fantasy Book that you’ll never think you’ll come across too. How one does simply conceptualize a magic-system? That’s the first question that appeared on my head when I read the story in its early chapters. It is beyond amazing because I never thought that such book would exist with the concept, sin as a magic. Who would ever think that, right? Things that I love about the book is that you could see the diversity implied in the book, the hierarchy that was once in our history focuses and the connection in the story. Again, the magic-system, beyond imagination, that I love how Tochi Onyebuchi writes and execute how awesome, compelling and vigorous the fantasizing powers in the book.

It was an easy, fast-paced read that you’ll lose once you started reading the book. How the author portrays his characters on the book is lovable, confusing and the one that stands out the most for me are innocence and selflessness. It touches my heart because the mere thought of eating other’s sin to balance the nature in their world is surreal! And the fact that those sins that have been eaten will take more impact to the person who has eaten it. They’ll see in their dreams horrid flashbacks, they would feel the guilt, they would be consumed by the sin of others. I just love how the main thought was written beautifully. I would definitely say that Tochi Onyebuchi made an amazing debut to me as a reader and I would definitely watch out for the next installment.

Beast Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi is surely one of the books that every reader should be anticipated. One of the best books that I had this year and obviously, Tochi Onyebuchi, just became one of my auto-buy authors. I love everything about the book except one. THERE’S NO SEQUEL YET THAT I NEED TO READ. This would be a humongous waiting game but I would definitely love to wait for the love of the book. I am expecting a lot of character development (Although, there’s a handful of development already in the book.), unexpected plot twist, the manipulation, and of course, a tragedy.

I would like to thank Penguin Random House for sending a review copy of this book because if it weren’t for you, guys, I wouldn’t read this brilliant, and remarkable book beforehand.

MY RATINGS: 5 STARS!


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

Week One:
October 23 – The Bookavid – Author Guest Post | On What it Means Writing African Rep in YA
October 24 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
October 25 – Boricuan Bookworms – Review & Bookish Aesthetics
October 26 – Afire Pages – Review
October 27 – YA Wednesdays – Book Aesthetic
Week Two:
October 30 – One Way or an Author – Review & Art
October 31 – YA Bibliophile – Author Guest Post | Top 5 Favorite Fantastical Worlds
November 1 – Chasing Faerytales – Author Guest Post | NEED TOPIC
November 2 – Icey Books – Beasts Made of Night Quote Candy
November 3 – Across the Words – Author Q&A
Week Three:
November 6 – A Page With a View – Author Guest Post | Images that Inspired Beasts Made of Night
November 7 – The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Review
November 8 – Xpresso Reads – Review
November 9 – YA and Wine – Review
November 10 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Q&A

GIVEAWAY!

Enter for a chance to be one (1) of three (3) winners to receive a hardcover copy of Beasts Made of Night by Tochi Onyebuchi. (ARV: $17.99 each).
 
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on October 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on November 13, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about November 15, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR


OnyebuchiTochi Onyebuchi is a Nigerian American writer and a practicing attorney based in New York City. He holds a MFA in screenwriting from Tisch, a Masters degree in global economic law from L’institut d’études politiques, and a JD from Columbia Law School. His writing has appeared in Asimov’s and Ideomancer, among other places. Beasts Made of Night is his debut series. You can follow him @tochitruestory.

Book Review: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao + Giveaway

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33958230Forest of a Thousand Lanterns intrigued me with Julie C. Dao’s poetic writing style as I feast upon with the story of a retelling, moreover an anti-heroine book that made me wish for a happy ending. The execution of the story is brilliant, I didn’t expect to show empathy to some characters that I loathe in the book. The book is irresistible, the words are addictive, and I’m grateful that it grips me hard on my seat. It was one of those books that I’ve never thought that I would enjoy and devour the stunning premise of the novel.

While I was reading the book, it felt like I was reading (or watching) on the back of my mind a Korean drama. The proses are lyrical, the words are impressively crafted, and the world-building is outstanding that I want to drown myself of how rich the royalty in the book and how raw the scenes that I could imagine it vividly.

The book started with few pages that seem too hard to indulge however it doesn’t stop me from reading as the pace follows through and I can’t put the book down anymore. Xifeng is a victim of abuse with her own Guma. A character that expected to do what should have been done for a Queen to be. I hated Guma in this book since she showed the readers the ugly reality in fiction as it portrayed in life. But that’s the very essence of this book and that’s why I loved this novel because there are so many philosophies that the reader can learn from. It dwells with poverty and how a character stand on her own way to be at the top, it discusses few political views that teaches readers to be nationalistic in some way, it tackles raw emotions; envy, pity, hatred, despair, resolve, greed, pride, fear, and love that made the whole book unique, oddly hopeful (at least for me) and satisfying at the end.

You’ll witness how Xifeng delivers herself throughout the book – with so much, compassion, drive, confidence, beauty, and intelligence. I came to love her and the book even if its an anti-heroine. This is The Royal Polar Bear for the first time wishing for a happy ending for someone we see how someone so pure became so dark and that deep inside we can, we could understand her as life balance everything in the world – even in a person with a good personality and yet bears a sin.

What’s surprising about this book is that when everything fell into place, the one thing that you are hoping for Xifeng parted with her. There’s this one scene in the book that made me sad because it hurts like it really hurts because you wish what could have been for her. And like the reality, we don’t get what we want for everything. This is one of the things that I like that Julie C. Dao put in her books. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is a mask of reality that her readers could relate at some point.

In the end, this book is the epitome of actuality. It shows us the two different sides of the coin how someone so kind can become someone who is so manipulative with the influence of her hardship through people who treat her with so much disgust and pain. It taught me that being kind can make the world better – but for our protagonist, “Will being kind can save yourself?” You have to be ruthless, brave, and wiser to play the games of the world. I would also like to point out how Dao depicted feminism and incorporating the misogynistic culture of a sovereign in a traditional Eastern setting.

Forest of a Thousand Lanterns exudes so many profound characters that will give you so much hesitation whether to love or to hate the character, to wish or not to wish for a happy ending. It gave us a lot of perspectives, determination, and admiration. And the only word that came out after I read the book: Satisfying. I like how Julie C. Dao ended the book with so much hopefulness, uncertain of the future, and what will become of Xifeng? Without expectations when I started this book, I can proudly say that this book is one of those amazing books that I read in 2017.

My Ratings: 5 STARS!!!


Thank you to Erika from The Nocturnal Fey for hosting the PH Blog Tour for Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao!


Amazon | Barnes and Noble | Kobo | iBooks | BookDepository


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GIVEAWAY!

Please click here to visit the rafflecopter giveaway.


BLOG TOUR SCHEDULE

October 27th

 

The Nocturnal Fey – Erika

The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Rafael

The Ultimate Fangirl – Bianca

 

October 28th

 

The Nerdy Side of a Queen – Nicay

dmcireadsblog – Danielle

Camillea Reads – Patricia Camille

 

October 29th

 

Bookablereads Book Review – Carmel

Reading Flamingo – Abigail

Amidst the Pages – Imo

 

October 30th

 

The Hogsmeade Reader – Danica

The Purple Nightingale – Janella

Descendant of Poseidon Reads – Joel

 

October 31st

 

Afire Pages – Karina

The Queen Reads – Elena

the broke biblioPHL – Hana


ABOUT THE AUTHOR


15215228Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Julie is represented by Tamar Rydzinski of the Laura Dail Literary Agency.

Interview with Scott Reintgen!

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Emmett Atwater isn’t just leaving Detroit; he’s leaving Earth. Why the Babel Corporation recruited him is a mystery, but the number of zeroes on their contract has him boarding their lightship and hoping to return to Earth with enough money to take care of his family.

Forever.

Before long, Emmett discovers that he is one of ten recruits, all of whom have troubled pasts and are a long way from home. Now each recruit must earn the right to travel down to the planet of Eden—a planet that Babel has kept hidden—where they will mine a substance called Nyxia that has quietly become the most valuable material in the universe.

But Babel’s ship is full of secrets. And Emmett will face the ultimate choice: win the fortune at any cost, or find a way to fight that won’t forever compromise what it means to be human.


1. Basic Question: Where did you get the idea of Nyxia, the substance in the novel, which has a significant role in the story?

It all started with the nyxian translation masks. I imagined these students from all over the world having their language barriers removed as they competed against each other. From there, it was just about figuring out how they’d created that technology and what kind of substance they might have used to make it. Nyxia was born out of that stream of thought.

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Wicked Reads: Forest of a Thousand Lanterns by Julie C. Dao

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An East Asian fantasy reimagining of The Evil Queen legend about one peasant girl’s quest to become Empress–and the darkness she must unleash to achieve her destiny.

Eighteen-year-old Xifeng is beautiful. The stars say she is destined for greatness, that she is meant to be Empress of Feng Lu. But only if she embraces the darkness within her. Growing up as a peasant in a forgotten village on the edge of the map, Xifeng longs to fulfill the destiny promised to her by her cruel aunt, the witch Guma, who has read the cards and seen glimmers of Xifeng’s majestic future. But is the price of the throne too high?

Because in order to achieve greatness, she must spurn the young man who loves her and exploit the callous magic that runs through her veins–sorcery fueled by eating the hearts of the recently killed. For the god who has sent her on this journey will not be satisfied until his power is absolute.


CREATIVE POST



ABOUT THE AUTHOR


15215228Julie C. Dao (www.juliedao.com) is a proud Vietnamese-American who was born in upstate New York. She studied medicine in college, but came to realize blood and needles were her Kryptonite. By day, she worked in science news and research; by night, she wrote books about heroines unafraid to fight for their dreams, which inspired her to follow her passion of becoming a published author. Forest of a Thousand Lanterns is her debut novel. Julie lives in New England. Follow her on Twitter @jules_writes.

Book Review: Us Kids Know by JJ Strong

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unnamedIntoxicating. Unpredictable. Realistic. Us Kids Know by JJ Strong gave me so much pain in the process of reading the novel with life realizations, complicated family issues that need to discuss mixed with mental health awareness and the longing of in a relationship or at least friendship for the broken characters of the book.

This novel is mind breaking, heart-wrenching, profoundly compelling that execute so much lies and anticipation, truth and answers, forgiveness and hope. It depicts the negative action of kids when they are not guided when they are not understood – and it shows the ugly side of human behavior which I really appreciate the stunning correlation of human sympathy, pity, desires and the never-ending guilt.

I would like to commend JJ Strong for writing a difficult book that exudes a lot of issues. Finding the answer in the universe, questioning your purpose, accepting defeat towards an individual mental illness are few issues to be named of and this book is crazy. It tackles suicide with so much reality that even I was shocked how a character covers up his intention and how another character was so direct and transparent with depression and serious of killing himself, finding light in between the process of grieving.

It taught me that even if your family is totally messed up – they are still the ones who will care for you. I liked how the book ended that the author leaves what will happen next to the readers but I want more. I love how raw and true this book to reality. How friendship can spur in the moment and collapses in second. I liked Cullen’s uniqueness that drives to people to do things that they never thought they would and experience such rush, happiness, and fear all the same time. It was a book that will let your mind wander on its pages and addicted by the narrative.

Us Kids Know by JJ Strong is a fast-paced book with a poetic writing style that is easy to read. It feels like you were in the character’s shoes, striving for the best but to be greeted by disappointment. There are things that left hanging in the book and it mirrors the life negatively and yet it was all the truth. Things like this could happen. Stories in this book did happen. It got me to thinking that life is short and there is so much lesson that can fill someone’s life. And Us Kids Know made me realized that people need to unleash their inner demons at some point to prevent themselves to be eaten by their own thoughts. It is palpable and mundane both at the same time. With an open mind, parents should read this wonderful book.

MY RATINGS: 4 STARS


BLOG TOUR


Week One:

October 23 – The Royal Polar Bear Reads – Review

October 24 – ButterMyBooks – Author Guest Post | Playlist

October 25 – The Lovely Books – Review

October 26 – The Bookish Crypt – Review

October 27 – YA and Wine – “I Solemnly Swear That I am Up to No Good” | The Most Mischievous in YA

 

Week Two:

October 30 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Mood Board

October 31 – YA Book Central – Excerpt

November 1 – The Wednesday Blog for Books – Review

November 2 – The Crazy Bookworm – Review

November 3 – Gladiator Glory – Review & Book Photography


AUTHOR BIO


JJ Strong unnamed (2)received a creative writing degree from the University of Southern California, and a B.A. in English from Georgetown University. His writing has appeared in Fifth Wednesday, the Santa Monica Review, and LA Weekly. He taught for many years in the undergraduate writing program at USC, before moving to the Washington, D.C. area with his wife and son.

Interview with K. Ancrum!

33158541The Wicker King is a psychological young adult thriller that follows two friends struggling as one spirals into madness.

When August learns that his best friend, Jack, shows signs of degenerative hallucinatory disorder, he is determined to help Jack cope. Jack’s vivid and long-term visions take the form of an elaborate fantasy world layered over our own—a world ruled by the Wicker King. As Jack leads them on a quest to fulfill a dark prophecy in this alternate world, even August begins to question what is real or not.

August and Jack struggle to keep afloat as they teeter between fantasy and their own emotions. In the end, each must choose his own truth.

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