|Blog Tour: A Hole In The Ice by McCallum J Morgan|

Hello and welcome to the first ever blog tour here at Page Burner! I’ve been so excited for this post!

Warm welcome to author McCallum J Morgan and thank you for providing a guest post for the blog. I asked him to write a little about some mythology and inspirations behind his book, focusing on the elusive mermaid… 


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Parsifal is a young man with an incredible secret – only, he isn’t quite sure what that secret is. All he does know is that it is something to do with a mysterious object that looks like a compass, but behaves like something from a different Realm.

As he sets off on a rich and decadent adventure across Europe with his eccentric, explorer uncle, Parsifal comes to learn one more thing about the mysterious object – there are people prepared to kill him to get their hands on it.

Accompanying on their epic quest for a mythical city inhabited by mermaids, is the bewitching Lady Vasille, unlike any woman, Parsifal has ever come across. Eloquent, beautiful and pistol toting, the Lady Vasille casts a spell over Parsifal that is both enchanting and destructive.

The question is, who can you really trust when the real world starts to slide into a fairytale?

A high epic Edwardian fantasy adventure, including Mermaids and other supernatural and fantasy creatures.

Buy from Amazon


First of all, thank you so much for featuring me on your blog, Jayd! And thanks for the topic. I love mythology and fairytales and I read far, far too many of them.

It’s a little confusing sifting the mermaid out of the sea of myth since she’s nearly synonymous with the Sirens and other sea nymphs. The French and Russian words for mermaid mirror the word Siren, for example. But I think that is part of her very nature, to be confusing, multifaceted, and many-formed. She is, after all, a personification of the sea and its fickleness.

Personally, I separate the mermaid from the Siren. The first description I was acquainted with of Sirens was that of human-headed birds. That’s how I distinguish them in “A Hole in the Ice.” (Note that there are no actual Sirens in my book. As far as we now know) The Sirens sing to lure sailors to their deaths whereas the mermaids’ compulsive power is silent, possibly psychic.

Another difference between Sirens and mermaids in myth is that the Siren is always deadly. The mermaid isn’t necessarily, because she’s the sea and the sea can smile as well as destroy. The mermaids in old stories would grant wishes to mortals who helped them. Some stories give them the power over the weather, thus they have the ability to give fair and foul winds. Now, in “A Hole in the Ice” I’ve given the power of weather to the Weather Casters (you’ll have to wait for book two to find out more about them).

In The Little Mermaid, mermaids don’t have souls. They turn into sea-foam when they die. Most of the mermaids didn’t care, but the Little Mermaid did. She wanted to become human so she could gain a soul. My mermaids are more sinister, rather than seeking to earn a soul of their own, they seize mortals and drag them away to the depths.

Old stories have them doing the same thing, but I was thinking of The Little Mermaid when I cooked mine up.

The sea is a vast place and there is always room for more versions and visions of mermaids, of sea nymphs, and of Sirens. They represent the seductive charm of the seas and the element of water and their many forms are a delight to explore.

Here are some book recommendations on the subject:

  1. The Complete Encyclopedia of Elves, Goblins, and Other Little Creatures by Pierre DuBois and illustrated by Claudine and Roland Sabatier. This is my ‘fairy bible,’ the book I go by for definitions of the little people. It’s a beautiful, entertaining collection of tales from all over the world retold in a charming style. Quite a bit of the content is definitely for an older audience, however. It doesn’t actually have the literal mermaid in it, but it has the Undine and many other water spirits.
  2. A Field Guide to the Little People by Nancy Arrowsmith and George Moorse. This one also has questionable content. The Little People are not very well behaved. This one has mermaids and mermen.
  3. The Enchanted World: Water Spirits by Time-Life Books. This book is full of fascinating legends. Chapter One begins with a wonderful tale of a fisherman named Lutey and the mermaid he finds stranded in a tide pool.
  4. Peter and the Starcatchers by Ridley Pearson and Dave Barry. This is a fun prequel to Peter Pan. It’s been a long time since I’ve read it, but some images just stick in my head: the mermaids for one and the pirate ship with the sail shaped like a brassiere…

 

If you’d like to find out more about McCallum J Morgan and his book, you can visit his website or twitter page.

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|Happy New Year!| |2015 Goals|

HAPPY NEW YEAR! My first post of 2015. Wow! Apologies for missing last week’s post.

It’s been so great to get back into blogging. It’s been such a big part of my life that it was awful to have to shut everything down when I needed the distraction most. 2014 was a difficult year, but 2015 is going to be so much better! Here are my goals for 2015:

#1 – Write & Read Every Day

Books ARE my life. It’s undeniable now. So, I should just embrace it, and make sure that every day, no matter how busy or stressful, includes my passion. I’m pretty sure it’ll be key to maintaining my happiness, because I love it so much, and because everyone needs a bit of downtime during the day. I’ll be making time for it – whether its just a page, a paragraph, or even a sentence – and then maybe, some of my other goals will come along more smoothly!

#2 – Read 50 Books

This might seem like a really low goal to some, but I barely read at all during 2014, so this is still a step up. Roughly speaking, it’s just under a book a week. I know I can do more, but as 2014 proved, I can do a lot less as well! Haha. I’m a terrible mood reader and I want to break this habit so bad.

#3 – Post 52 Times

That’s one post a week, every Wednesday. Not all of these are going to be review posts. I’ve got plans for a sort of monthly schedule – 2 reviews, and 2 ‘other’ posts which are still bookish, but a bit more creative and fun. This gives me plenty of time for reading, and will let me choose which books I review, so I don’t have to agonize over reviewing a book I don’t have much to say about.

#4 – Read a Broader Range of Genres

I’m terrible for snubbing books that are most likely absolutely amazing, simply because it’s contemporary, or a classic, or another genre that I wouldn’t normally pick up. I’m terrible at heavily judging books that I read, and I really want to get out of this habit. I’m missing out on so many wonderful books! This year, I am to change my habit.

#5 – Visit More Book Blogs

It’s only fair that I should repay courtesies shown to me and visit more book blogs, and make an effort to leave lots of lovely meaningful comments. It certainly helps to get involved in the community, and though I don’t expect reciprocation, it does help get my blog a bit more attention. Book blogging is entirely about the community, and I know I need to get involved more!

That’s all from me this week! See you next Wednesday, with a guest post by McCallum Morgan for the blog tour of his book, ‘A Hole In The Ice’! 

|2014 – A Round Up Post|

Hello there, and happy new year!

While 2014 was kind of a terrible year for me (both life and reading wise!) I’ve got high hopes for 2015. I also have a few of my favourite books that I read this year to share with you all.  

My main hope and task for this year is to breath love and life back into my passion for blogging and books. I look forward to sharing the unforeseeable future with you all!

Without further ado, and in no particular order…


HEIR OF FIRE – SARAH J MAASheiroffire

Goodreads | Waterstones | Book Depository

The Throne Of Glass series is highly favoured by many book bloggers and YA Fantasy lovers alike – and with damned good reason. There is nothing to say about this book except:

If you haven’t read it, read it.

If you have read it, read it again.


SHADOW AND BONE – LEIGH BARDUGO

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Goodreads | Waterstones | Book Depository

This recently concluded trilogy is another favourite among the bookish. I didn’t love it as much as some others did, but that won’t stop me from reading the rest of the series when I have the chance.

If you can’t tell by that fantastical cover, a beautiful world and story is held in this book.


THE FIFTH WAVE – RICK YANCEY

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Goodreads | Waterstones | Book Depository

Rick Yancey created a wonderful novel that was quite different from a lot of the apocalyptic YA circulating at the time.

Aliens

While I’m terrified of aliens and the unknown, that just made the book a more interesting read for me.


THE KNIFE OF NEVER LETTING GO – PATRICK NESS

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Goodreads | Waterstones | Book Depository

Patrick Ness is a wonderfully gifted writer. Unfortunately, he is also one of those writers that loves to rip out the hearts of his fans (need I say anymore?).

I was intimidated by the size of this book, but I found that once I was in, the pages flew by!


HALF BAD – SALLY GREEN

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Goodreads | Waterstones | Book Depository

I recieved Half Bad as an early birthday present and let me tell you, it did not last long. I gobbled it up as soon as I could. The book is narrated by a male witch, which in itself is amazing, but more than that, it is a beautiful read, with stunningly human characters.

AND. Sally Green allowed me to name one of the minor characters in Half Wild. So when you read about Claudia, you can know that I named her! I’m so honoured.

|Review| |HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J Maas|

heiroffire HEIR OF FIRE by Sarah J Maas

Throne of Glass #3

Buy from Waterstones | Buy from Book Depository

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Lost and broken, Celaena Sardothien’s only thought is to avenge the savage death of her dearest friend: as the King of Adarlan’s Assassin, she is bound to serve this tyrant, but he will pay for what he did. Any hope Celaena has of destroying the king lies in answers to be found in Wendlyn. Sacrificing his future, Chaol, the Captain of the King’s Guard, has sent Celaena there to protect her, but her darkest demons lay in that same place. If she can overcome them, she will be Adarlan’s biggest threat – and his own toughest enemy.

While Celaena learns of her true destiny, and the eyes of Erilea are on Wendlyn, a brutal and beastly force is preparing to take to the skies. Will Celaena find the strength not only to win her own battles, but to fight a war that could pit her loyalties to her own people against those she has grown to love? – Goodreads 


This will be a short review because I find the Throne of Glass series so amazing that I can’t formulate proper sentences when I finish a book.  

Sarah J Maas has a wonderful gift. She can create an ethereal fantasy world, and plunge you in it in a way that makes you never want to leave. Then, once you’re comfortable, she’ll rip your heart out. And forcefully feed it to one of her characters. The worst part is, you’ll still come back for more.

This is the main reason I approached Heir of Fire rather tentatively. Crown of Midnight was a wonderful read, but I, like many others, still find myself nursing the wounds left behind.

What I find incredibly impressive is that all three books in the series read exactly the same. There is no difference in voice or in quality, it’s literally like I’m just reading one continuous book rather than three separate ones.

Another deeply alarming example of Sarah J Maas’ power is that I actually had shivers when reading the last hundred pages or so. I read a two word sentence and just… blanked for a moment. Then I shivered, and though it was most likely because I was cold, I couldn’t shake the feeling that the two words had resonated within me and held a very personal meaning.

Because of all of this, I can’t recommend the series enough. I am so glad that I picked Throne of Glass up at my library an entire year ago now. I’m just so sad that I have to wait a year for the next installment. But, I hear Sarah has been working on another series, and the first book of that will come out much sooner than the fourth Throne of Glass novel. Maybe that will tide her fans over!

What I’m Wishing For #1

What I’m Wishing For is a monthly feature at Page Burner where I highlight books and bookish products that I wish I had! Posts will appear on the first Wednesday of every month.

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I absolutely loved The Fifth Wave, like so many other people. It was a book I ate up within a matter of days. I loved how original the idea behind it was, because it’s not often you get to see aliens in YA lit, and I really loved reading about Cassie and her brother. And, ever since I heard this was going to be made into a film, I’ve sort of wanted to hoard all copies of the books so it can’t be ruined by another bad YA book-to-movie adaptation. I can’t wait to find out more about the characters and their world, but I think a reread would be in order once I finally got my hands on this book.

That’s all for this post! What books are you pining after?

What I’m Reading

Hello everyone! Welcome to my new blog. Previously, I ran a blog called ‘Books, Food and Other Things’ which was actually going really well. But, I encountered some very heavy family issues and fell majorly behind in the blogging world. So, after a hiatus of about 4 months, I am back! And I have a fresh website too. I’m really excited to get back into blogging and reunite with the community. As a little introduction until I can get some reviews scheduled, I’m going to post about the two books I am currently reading.


A NATURAL HISTORY OF DRAGONS – MARIE BRENNAN

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 I happened across this beauty of a book on an impromptu visit to my local Waterstones. Nothing beats a good book shop trip!

I was instantly captured by the title and the cover – I mean, who could resist it? But I fell even more in love when I opened the book and found illustrations inside, depicting the many types of dragons I can look forward to reading about.

I’m not very far into the book at all, literally only a few pages, but I’m still really enjoying it and can’t wait to be absorbed into the story.

This is definitely the type of book for fans of fantasy, dragons and books that do something a little bit different with style.


WUTHERING HEIGHTS – CHARLOTTE BRONTÉ

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I’m currently reading this book for my A Level Literature class, but its one of the only books I have studied and actually enjoyed reading. I read it outside of class for enjoyment which is pretty good for me!

It is definitely a classic with its language, and really intense writing style. There’s so much depth to the characters, it’s amazing.