An Interview with Audrey Coulthurst PLUS A Signed Giveaway!

Hey guys,

So I have been mentioning this for a while but in March I met the talented and lovely Audrey Coulthurst, the author of the amazing ‘Of Fire & Stars’. I had the great opportunity of asking her some questions about the book and her writing process and here are her answers below.

FireandStars

She was also super generous and I have a signed hardcopy of ‘Of Fire & Stars’ for one lucky reader to win!! Just click here to enter for the chance to win a signed copy of the book!

The giveaway will run from today until Sunday 2nd of July at 12:00am! So get your entries in! You can enter through commenting down below your favourite book so far this year and then by tweeting me your favourite part of ‘Of Fire & Stars’ @wedgesoflemon to gain extra entries!

Now to the interview, I hope you enjoy her answers, I certainly did – and if you ever get the chance to meet her – DO IT! She is such a lovely person!

1) Out of the main two girls, which do you identify more with, and which one came first to you?

      Mare and Denna each represent different parts of me. As a teenager, I was much more like Denna–bookish, academic, and on the quiet side (go team Ravenclaw!). Unlike Denna, I was riding horses by then. I spent most of my time outside school at the barn. It took a lot longer for my brash, more Mare-ish side to emerge. Both characters came to me at the same time, which I haven’t had happen in a project since. I always knew I wanted to write a story about two very different princesses who fell in love when it was the last thing they were supposed to do.

2) How did you come up with the magic system?

Developing the magic system went hand-in-hand with the religion in Of Fire and Stars. The political plot of the story has to do with the dangers of what happens when people persecute those different from them. What the people in the book fail to realize is that that people’s gifts are very much tied to the gods–or at least were a long time ago. I don’t want to say too much more at the risk of spoiling my second book!

3)Is there anything you wish you had included now that it’s published?

Not really. There are a few scenes I was a little sad to lose during revisions, but the book is stronger without them.

4) Was there a point when you were at a crossroads and you had no idea which road to take? And could that have changed the story dramatically?

There were a lot of crossroads during revisions, and it’s always hard to know which path is right. Sometimes it’s more like a five-way intersection than a crossroads, too! One thing that always stayed at the heart of the story was the romance between Denna and Mare. The slow burn and the unfolding of their feelings for each other has always been essentially the same. Most of the changes had to do with the political plot and how that unfolded, and it certainly could have been different if I’d chosen another path.

5) Do you have a favourite part of the novel in particular?

One of the scenes I enjoyed writing most (that isn’t spoilery) is the one in which Denna plays the harp for Mare. It’s the first time Mare sees Denna in a different light. I love that Denna brings out some of Mare’s more subtle talents, like singing, and gets to see a more tender part of her.

6) When you were writing, did anything evolve that surprised you that you didn’t expect or intend to happen?

Until I got published, I’m not sure I fully appreciated how many people it takes to make a book – not just the wonderful people at HarperCollins, but also the support network I have outside of that. One of the most challenging parts of writing the book was figuring out all of the history behind the politics, religion, and magic in the Northern Kingdoms. Fortunately, I have some very smart friends and critique partners who were a huge help. It would have been impossible to finish the book without them.

Thank you so much Audrey for your time!

You can buy the book on Amazon here.

Good Luck in the Giveaway!! I hoped you enjoyed the interview.

Happy Reading!

Love, Em x

Our Dark Duet|| Book Review

Our Dark Duet (Monsters of Verity, #2)Our Dark Duet by Victoria Schwab

My rating: 4 of 5 stars

A solid four stars.
I was really really looking forward to this sequel, one because This Savage Song was thoroughly enjoyed last year, but also because I had missed my August, my precious precious baby. This book was so much better than the first *a rarity* it was explosive, seamless and heart pounding. So. Much. Happened.

I can’t go too much into the plot because as well with it being a sequel it is also the end to this duology *crying 😦

All I can say is Schwab is queen and her writing just enthralls me – everything happened so quickly I had to keep coming up for air while reading it. It holds the same sort of power that This Savage Song does – the pulling addictiveness that makes you want to keep reading. It was mostly read in two sittings. The reason why it’s not a complete five stars is because I do find Kate slightly annoying- I also feel compared to August she doesn’t have as much depth. I also was slightly annoyed romance creeped into this book – you just don’t need it for the book to be a powerful one.
Completely enjoyable and a must read to complete the series. Worth the pre-order and definitely worth the hype. Praise Be to V.E. Schwab.

View all my reviews

Sense & Sensibility|| Book Review

Sense and SensibilitySense and Sensibility by Jane Austen

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

I really enjoyed this re-read. So so much. Austen for me is always a staple but one I realise I hardly go to – not nearly as much as I should. Her writing is witty, satirical and romantic – and it’s one of the only times I will read a romance.

Sense & Sensibility is between two sisters- Elinor & Marianne Dashwood- we join them as their brother doesn’t give them a proper cut of their father’s late fortune, and they are settled in a house in the English countryside. Here we meet the notorious Willoughby and the stable Colonel Brandon. Through all the gossip from high ladies over high teas, the swashing of big dresses, the tears of broken hearts on hand written love notes we uncover secret loves, the swallowing of ones dreams and the realization that things are going to be alright in the end. Still as relevant today as she will ever be, Austen always makes me feel safe and cosy and S&S is my all time favourite from her.

When I first read this, I was 15 – but now I’m 24 I feel more for Willoughby than I did, I can see more silliness but also innocence in Marianne and I can also see how Elinor takes so much more in than she should and holds it firm. I admire her so much more after this read.

I always recommend this read as the first one to start with for Austen – *unless you like to go in publication in order which is also a great way to do it* but this one reads fast and the two sisters will come with you afterwards as they are very clearly two halves of one whole.

View all my reviews

We Should All Be Feminists|| A Back-Dated Review

We Should All Be FeministsWe Should All Be Feminists by Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

A must read for everyone.

I picked up this little essay because I wanted an entry point into Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s writing. I am so pleased I did- I feel not much can be said because you should go into it blind. It’s so short and snappy and makes you think long after the last page.

I felt annoyed, sad, ashamed and empowered throughout this book. We should all be Feminists is a read that is true to its title. Your mother, sister, brother, father, husband or wife – we should all embrace the true meaning of feminism – and Adichie couldn’t of hit the nail on the head any harder.

View all my reviews

May Wrap Up || & June TBR!

Hey guys,

So this is my belated upload of my May Wrap Up & June TBR! I hope you enjoy it and don’t forget to like and subscribe if you would like to see more!

Let me know what you plan to read this month too!

 

Happy Reading!

Love, Em x

A Conjuring of Light || Book Review

A Conjuring of Light (Shades of Magic, #3)A Conjuring of Light by V.E. Schwab

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

Review to come, two days later and my feelings still aren’t collected.
__

I am now composed – here is my review.

The first 100 pages – me >> Crying, gasping, gripping my book so tightly that my knuckles turned white, smiling and my heart plummeting to the depths of a great black hole. I couldn’t put this book down in that time, I needed tissues – after tissues and oh my god, her writing just gets better and better.

Once I had had that burst into the book I took it slower, aware that I didn’t want to finish it too quickly – being the last in the series. I love the characters way too much to rush them and finish the story too quickly. This last instalment had everything I wanted – it had epic adventure, tragedy and urgency – which I love so much in books. I felt V.E Schwab felt into my dreams of an epic ending and gave me this – I felt so satisfied, and completely broken when I turned the last page.
Holland is my sweetie boo, (well so is Kell, Alucard and Rhy- I mean hfjhgjh) Lila was also much better in this book – her character had slightly weakened in hindsight in Gathering of Shadows- but in this book she came back into her own.

There is so much death in this book I feel like this>>>

I am still thinking about this whole series and still have a burning ache in my heart – these characters that have burst into my life mean a lot to me and I don’t ever want to let them go. I thank V.E Schwab for bringing me such a good series. – I now feel I need to wrap this up for fear of warbling on so I leave you with this:

Anoshe.

View all my reviews

Ronit & Jamil|| A Back-Dated Review

Ronit & JamilRonit & Jamil by Pamela L. Laskin

My rating: 3 of 5 stars

This is a backdated review from when I read it a few weeks ago – so here we are!

This is a really quick read, it barely took me 45 minutes, so if you’re looking for a book to push up that reading total this is one for that pile!

This book is a loose retelling of Romeo and Juliet by Shakespeare and when I say loose it is extremely loose – the premise of the divided people are there and portrayed through Israel’s war. Description is done really well here, especially as it is told through verse of both characters – Ronit & Jamil. i enjoyed these as I felt all of my senses were immersed- it was nice to have my eyes opened to a part of the world I had never seen or really looked into to.

I enjoyed this read, but it didn’t blow me away hence the three stars. A good quick, diverse read and one for the ‘get me out of that reading slump’ pile.

View all my reviews

Life Update!

Hey guys,

So you may have noticed my absence for a week or so – life has been a little hectic and we were also away in London for a few days but my wrap up and June TBR has been filmed and will be edited for this weekend so I am not that far behind! 🙂

I also have planned my interview with Audrey Coulthurst plus a giveaway of her book Of Fire and Stars!

I will also be sharing an interview with Sylvain Neuval again for Waking Gods- so any questions now is your time to ask them!

I will also be announcing the winner of my last giveaway for This Disunited Kingdom and I have my first Illumicrate un-boxing.

Just so you know the things to come, I hope you have had a lovely half term and bank holiday weekend!

See you soon, and happy reading!

Love, Em x

My Most Anticipated Reads for the latter of 2017!

 

Hey guys!

Well we are in June already! WHOOOAAAAA. With my wrap up to come for May I’ve been thinking recently about the releases to come for the latter half of the year and wow there are so many quality books to grace our shelves – for me, particularly October – my my- my bank will hate me.

So I made a video all about the newest releases that excite me for the second half of 2017! Grab a tea because this is around twenty minutes! Also you get a cute puppy at the end and who doesn’t love a puppy huh? 😉

 

Happy Reading,

Love, Em x