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Review of Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire

Cover Down Among the Sticks and Bones

Review

Down Among the Sticks and Bones

by Seanan McGuire

Release date: June 13, 2017

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I received a complimentary ARC copy of Down Among the Sticks and Bones by Seanan McGuire from NetGalley in order to read and give an honest review.

Seanan McGuire is definitely one of my favourite fantasy authors. Her books have it all, perfect prose, masterful plots, exciting worlds and engaging characters and the same is true with her Wayward Children series.
Among the Stick and Bones is the second story and a prequel to Every Heart A Doorway. Among the Sticks and Bones shares the events that led sisters Jack and Jill to Miss West’s Home for Wayward Children.

We first meet parents Chester and Selena Wolcott, more concerned with social status and proper appearances than raising twins Jacqueline (Jack) and Jillian (Jill). To them, the twins are nothing more than accessories which they form and mold into their “perfect children”.  Seanan McGuire is never shy in addressing tough themes such as emotional abuse and gender equality, I for one applaud her for that and in this book she tackles them head on. As Jack and Jill get older they begin to get resentful and frustrated with the other. Jack molded to assume the “girly girl” role and Jill the “tom boy” begin to become overwhelmingly jealous of the other.

When a rainy day forces the twins to spend time together, out of boredom they decide to play in an attic where a mysterious staircase appears. When the girls descend the staircase, they enter into another world filled with conflict, creatures and danger. Upon arriving in the new world, they soon learn that things are not as they seem. The story follows both girls in the “new world” for a period of five years. Jill living as a princess in the castle with “the Master” while Jack takes on the difficult and often gruesome work as the Doctor’s apprentice. We begin to see the girls evolve away from their “formed” personalities and through a bizarre occurrence of events, they transform into their new roles.

I read both books out of order but enjoyed them both. I’m not sure whether reading them out of order would matter but I personally found that by reading the prequel first, I viewed Jack and Jill with a bit more empathy in Every Heart. I also think there was more of a surprise and sense of urgency, I needed to read Every Heart a Doorway to find out what happened to the girls.

I thoroughly enjoyed the book and would recommend it to anyone wanting to go on an adventure.

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Books to Curl Up With ~ Author Andrea Buginsky ( @andreabuginsky )

BooksToCurlUpWith

The Chosen: The Chosen Series, Book One

 The Chosen

Halli is a shy, young dwarf who has no idea of her true calling. When the evil Prince Gastle sets out to detroy the world of Phantasma, Queen Laurali of the Elves comes to tell Halli she’s a Holy Paladin with the power to heal, and will join The Chosen, a group of brave warriors being sent to defeat the evil beast and save Phantasma. Will Halli be accepted by her group, and be able to keep them alive through their adventures? Will the evil Prince Gastle be defeated, freeing Phantasma from his destruction? Only time will tell.

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Nature’s Unbalance: The Chosen Series, Book Two

Nature's

During a time of celebration for The Chosen, a mysterious force appears on Phantasma, threatening to destroy Nature and all of her creatures. Will The Chosen find and defeat this force, and save Nature before it’s too late?

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My Open Heart

Open Heart

Growing up with heart disease can be difficult, but it does not always have to alter your life course. MY OPEN HEART is written for young adults growing up with heart disease. It’s meant to inspire them to chase their dreams, to show that they are not alone, and, perhaps, to help guide them through the maze of life with heart disease. Parents of children with heart disease and other chronic illnesses will find support and inspiration within this true story. We are not alone.

Available on:
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Destiny

 Destiny
Constantly teased and taunted by the popular girls, Elena Baxter desperately wants to fit in. On her sweet sixteenth, she receives two shocking gifts: telekinesis and the surprising truth about her heritage. With high hopes that things will be different now, Elena returns to school to find that nothing has changed. Only this time her hurt feelings and frustration boil into something even she cannot understand. When her powers explode, chaos ensues and she learns that her new ability is greater than she ever desired. As she learns to control her powers, Elena discovers there’s so much more to her heritage than she ever imagined.

Available on:

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Fate

Fate

Elena Baxter’s second year at New Avalon may be more challenging than her first. The demons she was warned about show up, a visitor who greatly affects her arrives, and her best friend, Izzy, has to deal with her painful past. Can Elena survive everything that’s coming at her at once? Or will the future Lady of the Lake take on more than she can possibly handle?

Available on:
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About Andrea

Andrea

Andrea Buginsky is a freelance writer living with a congenital heart defect. She has enjoyed writing since she was a kid. When she went to college, she decided to turn it into a career, and earned her BA in Journalism. She has been freelance writing for several years now.

Andrea has always wanted to write a book, and decided she wanted to write for children. She loves fantasy movies like The Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter, so she decided to try her hand at writing one of her own.

Andrea’s first publication is The Chosen, a middle-grade fantasy she worked on for about three years. The second book in The Chosen series, Nature’s Unbalance, was released May 12, 2014. Andrea is currently editing Book 3, Striker’s Apprentice, and writing Book 4, Londonham.

Andrea’s second series, New Avalon, is YA fantasy. Book 1, Destiny, was released September 2013. Book 2, Fate, was released a year later. Both are available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. She has a concept for the third book.

Andrea has also published My Open Heart, an autobiography about growing up with heart disease. Her hope is that it will give encouragement to young adults growing up with heart disease, or other chronic illnesses, as well as parents of children growing up with heart disease.

Andrea lives in the Kansas City, KS area. She grew up in Florida, but is originally from NJ.

To read more about Andrea, please visit her website.

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Books to Curl Up With ~ Author Annamaria Bazzi ( @AMBazzi )

BooksToCurlUpWith

Incantation Paradox

IncantationParadox

A car accident cuts Dolores Reynard’s life short, leaving her with a long list of unfulfilled dreams. When she awakens in a strange bed, inside a much younger body, and living with a new family—she can’t worry she might be going insane. How can she be a teenager again?

Jason Richmond understands the danger awaiting his new houseguest. Wanting to ease her concerns, he works to earn Dolores’ trust. But attraction flares in the most unexpected way, and he finds himself caught between setting the situation right and following his heart.

An enduring evil threatens not only the blossoming love but their lives as well. As Dolores and Jason struggle to unravel the truth behind her resurrection, they find themselves tangled in a web of murder, intrigue and magic. Only together can they hope to overcome the incantation paradox holding them captive.

Book Links:

Amazon

 About Annamaria Bazzi

AMBazzi

Although born in the United States, Annamaria Bazzi spent a great deal of her childhood in Sicily, Italy, in a town called Sciacca. Italian was the language spoken at home. Therefore, she had no problems when she found herself growing up in a strange country. Upon returning to the states, she promised herself she would speak without an accent. She attended Wayne State University in Detroit Michigan, where she obtained her Bachelor of Science in Computers with a minor in Spanish.

Annamaria spent twenty years programming systems for large corporations, creating innovative solution, and addressing customer problems. During those years, she raised four daughters and one husband. Annamaria lives in Richmond Virginia with her small family where she now dedicates a good part of her day writing.

You can visit Annamaria at:

blog / website / Facebook / annamariascorner@yahoo.com / twitter / goodreads

Interview with Author Sass Cadeaux

Today I’m very lucky to be interviewing brilliant author and amazing woman, Sass Cadeaux. Welcome Sass, thank you for agreeing to this interview ~we can’t wait to learn more about you and your wonderful work.

Sass Bio Pic

Tell us a little about yourself. When did your interest in writing begin?

Like most writers, my love for the craft began at a very young age. I am the youngest of a large family, which meant that most privileges, like watching TV or going somewhere fun, was reserved for the older children.

I was twelve when I saw my first bookmobile and fell in love with all the incredible adventures. For the longest time, I used to say I was going to be a librarian and drive around the world sharing books with children whose families could not afford to buy them.

What are your thoughts on writing a book series? You have written five books in your COTS series; tell us a little about the series and the inspiration behind it. 

The COTS Series is a fantasy romance series where supernaturals of all kinds walk among humans. A group of enforcers entitled, “The Coalition of the Supernatural” ensure that all beings, including humans, follow the laws. The adventure begins in Canada and tours throughout America, and around the globe.

COTS revised

What is the most important thing for you when writing your novels, the characters or the plot?

To me, they are both equally important. Without a good plot, the story would feel more like a textbook rather than an escape from reality, and without realistic and relatable characters, the readers would not have the intimate connection that helps make the adventure truly memorable.

 Do you outline/plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea leads you? Has your process changed from when you first started?

The first thing I do is outline the premise. However, I am puppet and in little time, the characters take hold of the strings and tell me where the story will go. 

Do you ever get writer’s block?  If you do, how do you get through it?

Yes, I have experienced writer’s block. It usually happens when I have deadlines to meet. If anyone knows a way to avoid it, please let me know!

One of the ways I deal with writer’s block is by opening my slush file and diving into a story I have not touched in years.  The slush file holds stories for my eyes only. Those stories helped me through the hard times, and they still do.   

What genre are your books and what draws you to this particular genre?

I gravitate towards fantasy, although I have written thriller and romance. What I love about fantasy is how the most unrealistic situation becomes believable, and, if only for a few hundred pages, the stress and pressures of real life seem to melt away.  

 What books and/or authors have most influenced your life?

As a child, Nancy Drew was my inspiration. I also had a crush on the Hardy Boys.  As a teen to my early twenties, on the day a Steven King novel was released, I was the first in line to buy it. Then a friend lent me her Dean Koontz novel and I was hooked! To this day, I love his work. He is one incredible author. 

Secrets

Can you tell us what is coming up for you and where can we find you online?

The COTS Series is in the process of being transferred and will be available on Amazon.

The Secrets of Albion Falls — The Secrets Series — Volume One, is currently available on Amazon.  

What’s Hidden Within — Volume Two, is nearly complete.

You can reach me online through the following links.

BLOG ~ http://sasscadeaux.blogspot.ca/

AMAZON PAGE ~ http://tinyurl.com/mh9bvpd

EMAIL~ Sass@sasscadeaux.com

FACEBOOK ~ https://www.facebook.com/pages/Author-Sass-Cadeaux/207969792549241

TUMBLR ~ http://sasscadeaux.tumblr.com/

TWITTER ~ http://twitter.com/_sasscadeaux

WEBSITE~http://www.sasscadeaux.com/

Thank you for this opportunity Belinda.

 To learn more about Sass, please check out her links, not to mention her fantastic work!

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