Thirteen Days of Ash & Fire Blog Tour: An Heir of Fire Playlist

September 2, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Blog Tour, 7 comments

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Hi! Exciting things are happening today! The lovely Alexa, Jaz, Katie, Rachel and I have been fangirling over Sarah J. Maas’s third installment in the Throne of Glass series, Heir of Fire (WHICH RELEASES TODAY!) for ages, in during one of these fangirling sessions, we created #MaasThirteen. Basically, a character in Heir of Fire is the leader of the Thirteen (it will all be clear once you read the book) and to honor Sarah and her amazing story, we decided to do something similar. But instead of flying on wyverns, we write blog posts. Small difference, right? We found eight other bloggers who are crazy Heir of Fire fangirls and together, we created this blog tour. Because honestly, we can’t celebrate this book enough. Or this series. Or this world. Or these characters. This is what the book is about:

Thirteen Days of Ash & Fire Blog Tour: An Heir of Fire PlaylistTitle: Heir of Fire (Throne of Glass #3)
Author: Sarah J. Maas
Publisher: Bloomsbury Children's
Release Date: September 2, 2014
Genre/Age Group: High Fantasy, Young Adult
Add it: Goodreads

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?

I was thinking of doing something with my favorite quotes, but since I already shared those in my review, I decided it would be better to do something else entirely. I’ve been getting into making playlists lately, so when I was thinking of a way to celebrate Heir of Fire and Meg suggested that I do a playlist, I immediately thought of four songs I just had to feature. A quick look through my Spotify playlists led to this complete list, which consists of 12 sad and dark and melancholy songs, because that’s exactly what Heir of Fire was to me. It was also beautiful. Creating this playlist made me cry about a billion times, so I think that means I did a good job at least for myself. I added short descriptions with each pick, but most of them focus on Celaena’s brokenness and despair because that’s what spoke to me the most.

Welcome to Adarlan
The Edge of Night (Pippin’s Song) – Billy Boyd

Home is behind
The world ahead
And there are many paths to tread

Through shadow
To the edge of night
Until the stars are all alight

Mist and shadow
Cloud and shade
All shall fade
All shall fade

A terrible king
Unwoken Dream (King With Everything) – Justin Nozuka

There is a king who lives on the top of the hill
There is a king who had everything
Led by a star, the lights in the sky
He can’t see it

There is a man who lives by the river
He is a man surrounded by light
She is alone, bathing in the river
He watches her

The darkness will swallow me (Celaena)
Smother – Daughter

I’m wasted, losing time
I’m a foolish, fragile spine
I want all that is not mine
I want him but we’re not right

In the darkness I will meet my creators
And they will all agree, that I’m a suffocator

I am broken (Celaena)
Broken – Di-Rect

All that is left are rags and wood
An instant spell
Once I stood tall and faced the wind
A smile with grace

You are a flower in bloom
A simple thing
I am the softly falling rain
Who lost it all

Please let me help you (Dorian and Chaol)
No Light, No Light (Unplugged) – Florence + The Machine

No light, no light in your bright blue eyes
I never knew daylight could be so violent
A revelation in the light of day
You can’t choose what stays and what fades away

And I’d do anything to make you stay
No light, no light
No light
Tell me what you want me to say

Bittersweet (Chaol and Celaena)
Poison and Wine – The Civil Wars

You only know what I want you to
I know everything you don’t want me to
Your mouth is poison, your mouth is wine
You think your dreams are the same as mine

Oh, I don’t love you but I always will
Oh, I don’t love you but I always will
Oh, I don’t love you but I always will
I always will

You’ll be in my heart (Celaena)
In Your Arms – Chef’Special

From the day that I met you I stopped feeling afraid
In your arms I feel safe
In your arms I feel safe
From the day that I met you I stopped feeling afraid
In your arms I feel safe
In your arms

And I know that you are with me
And I know that you have peace
‘Cause you let us sing your soul, your mind and heart to sleep

To whatever end (Celaena and Rowan)
I Will Follow You Into the Dark – Death Cab for Cutie

If heaven and hell decide
That they both are satisfied
Illuminate the “no”s on their vacancy signs
If there’s no one beside you
When your soul embarks
Then I’ll follow you into the dark

I will bow to no one (Celaena)
I See Fire – Ed Sheeran

Oh, should my people fall
Then surely I’ll do the same
Confined in mountain halls
We got too close to the flame

Calling out father oh
Hold fast and we will
Watch the flames burn auburn on
The mountain side
Desolation comes upon the sky

Terrasen will rise (Celaena and Aedion)
After the Storm – Mumford & Sons

Night has always pushed up day
You must know life to see decay
But I won’t rot, I won’t rot
Not this mind and not this heart
I won’t rot

And I took you by the hand
And we stood tall
And remembered our own land
What we lived for

A warning for the King
Seven Devils – Florence + The Machine

Holy water cannot help you now
Thousand armies couldn’t keep me out
I don’t want your money
I don’t want your crown
See, I’ve come to burn your kingdom down

I am on fire (Celaena)
My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark – Fall Out Boy

A constellation of tears on your lashes
Burn eveyrthing you love, then burn the ashes
In the end everything collides
My childhood spat back out the monster that you see

My songs know what you did in the dark
So light ‘em up up up
Light ‘em up up up
Light ‘em up up up
I’m on fire

This is the part where I talk about my song choices because I want to. I chose “Unwoken Dream” because I find it haunting and a little terrifying and unpredictable, just like the King of Adarlan. “The Edge of Night” is just as haunting and the King of Adarlan could totally be the Steward of Gondor. “Smother” is a little depressing, which is just what Celaena is for the most part. I don’t necessarily like the lyrics of “Broken” except for the first part, but I think the melody suits the story perfectly. “No Light, No Light” is also about being lost in the dark, and I can imagine Chaol or Dorian thinking this about Celaena, or maybe Chaol about Dorian. “Poison and Wine” is such a bittersweet love song, and it’s like it was written for Celaena and Chaol (whose relationship is iffy in this book). “In Your Arms” is about the loss of the lead singer’s parents, but for Celaena, it would be about all the people she’s lost.

“I Will Follow You Into the Dark” is “To whatever end” and you can’t convince me otherwise. “I See Fire” is a bit of an unoriginal choice, but the lyrics and the melody work so well for this book that I had to include it. I didn’t love this song until I linked it to Celaena, to be honest. “After the Storm” is about rebuilding your home after it has been destroyed, and so perfect for Celaena and Aedion. I chose another Florence + The Machine song, because Florence is a queen. I chose “Seven Devils” because I think it’s the perfect song to end with. It’s Celaena’s (unspoken) message to the King of Adarlan, but it also fits Manon perfectly, because she’s so deliciously evil. After all these dark songs, I wanted to end with something upbeat and powerful. “My Songs Know What You Did in the Dark” is so different from the rest of these songs, but it’s a power anthem for Celaena and I think these lyrics are excellent.

Aaand that’s a wrap. I’m not entirely sure about some of these songs, but I do like the playlist when it’s put together, so you should just listen to everything in order, okay? Okay. Now thanks to the incredible people at Bloomsbury, we have some amazing things to give away. The first is an international giveaway that runs through the entire tour. If (when) you enter, you have the chance to win copies of all the books in the series so far, a signed print of Crown of Midnight and a Throne of Glass tote! The second giveaway is one that, unfortunately, is US/UK only, and through which you are able to win a signed ARC of Heir of Fire and one of the fabulous Throne of Glass tote bags. Are you excited? Because you should be. For more information about the giveaways, you can check out my policies.

GIVEAWAY 1 (INTERNATIONAL)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

GIVEAWAY 2 (US/UK ONLY)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Don’t forget to follow the rest of the Ash and Fire tour:

August 25 – Jaz (Fiction In Fiction In Fiction)
August 26 – Katie (Polished Page-Turners)
August 27 – Kelly (Belle of the Literati)
August 28 – Elena (Novel Sounds)
August 29 – Nicole (The Quiet Concert)
September 1 – Gillian (Writer of Wrongs)
September 2 – Judith (Paper Riot)
September 3 – Melanie (The Daily Prophecy)
September 4 – Magan (Rather Be Reading)
September 5 – Andi (Andi’s ABCs)
September 8 – Gina (Behind the Pages)
September 9 – Rachel (hello, chelly.)
September 10 – Alexa (Alexa Loves Books)

Review: I Shall Be Near to You

September 1, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Review, 4 comments

Review: I Shall Be Near to YouTitle: I Shall Be Near to You
Author: Erin Lindsay McCabe
Publisher: Crown Publishing
Release Date: January 28, 2014
Genre/Age Group: Adult, Historical Fiction
Source: Gifted, Purchased
Add it: Goodreads
Rating: 5 Stars

An extraordinary novel about a strong-willed woman who disguises herself as a man in order to fight beside her husband in the Civil War, inspired by a real female soldier's letters home.

Rosetta doesn't want her new husband Jeremiah to enlist, but he joins up, hoping to make enough money that they'll be able to afford their own farm someday. Though she's always worked by her father’s side as the son he never had, now that Rosetta is a wife she's told her place is inside with the other women. But Rosetta decides her true place is with Jeremiah, no matter what that means, and to be with him she cuts off her hair, hems an old pair of his pants, and signs up as a Union soldier.

Rosetta drills with the men, prepares herself for battle, and faces the tension as her husband comes to grips with having a fighting wife. Fearing discovery of her secret, Rosetta’s strong will clashes with Jeremiah’s as their marriage is tested by war. Inspired by over two hundred and fifty documented accounts of the women who fought in the Civil War while disguised as men, I Shall Be Near To You is the intimate story, in Rosetta’s powerful and gorgeous voice, of the drama of marriage, one woman’s amazing exploits, and the tender love story that can unfold when two partners face life’s challenges side by side.

In honor of the paperback release of I Shall Be Near to You, I will be cohosting a Twitter chat on 9/2/2014 (tomorrow!) at 9:00 PM ET (8:00 CST) along with Erin Lindsay McCabe, Cassie (Books with Cass), Hannah (So Obsessed With), and Kelly (Belle of the Literati). Additionally, Erin has asked some of her friends, fellow historical fiction authors, to join us. I am SO excited. Not only will there be great conversation and excellent company, there will be GIVEAWAYS. You don’t want to miss this, people. Everyone is invited! Just follow us at #IShall at 9:00 ET tomorrow night. Can’t wait to see you there! :) Also, be sure to stop back by Paper Riot on Thursday, 9/4, for an exclusive interview with Erin Lindsey McCabe!

my thoughts

I just finished reading I Shall Be Near to You for the second time, and I think I love it even more now than I did after the first time, if that’s even possible. I still have tears rolling down my cheeks as I’m typing this. It’s so beautiful and heartbreaking, and I wish I could put a copy of this book in everyone’s hands. Erin Lindsay McCabe gives us a very different perspective of the Civil War, one that is definitely NOT in the history books—that of a female soldier. I Shall Be Near to You is told in the first person point of view of Rosetta, a female soldier based on an actual person who fought in the war (for more information about the real Rosetta, look for my interview with Erin on Thursday!).

When Rosetta learned that Jeremiah Wakefield, her best friend and childhood sweetheart, was enlisting in the Union army, she insisted that they get married before he left. After Jeremiah proposed, and after the wedding, they only had a couple of weeks to get used to being husband and wife. Rosetta wasn’t your typical wife. She had always been quite a tomboy, helping her father on the farm. Therefore, the thought of being left behind to tend to the house and help Jeremiah’s Ma with the mending and cooking was more than Rosetta could bear, and she realized that the only place she felt like she belonged was by Jeremiah’s side. In a split decision, Rosetta chopped off her hair, grabbed some of Jeremiah’s clothes, and set off after him.

The relationship between Jeremiah and Rosetta warmed my heart. It was truly a partnership; they respected each other and tried to do right by the other one. Rosetta’s stubborn insistence on staying with him did cause quite a bit of strife for Jeremiah, since it put him at odds with their other friends from home. The guys tried to convince Jeremiah that they wouldn’t be able to protect her, but ultimately, he let Rosetta make the final decision without too much argument. Rosetta is definitely the epitome of a strong woman, and I adored her character!

However, my absolute favorite thing about I Shall Be Near to You is in Erin Lindsay McCabe’s writing. In my opinion, the writing can make or break a historical fiction novel because it has to be true to the time period, and Erin’s is perfect. The characters’ speech is so realistic and flows naturally, and her descriptions and phrasing paint such a vivid picture that I could “see” those poor injured men in the field or “smell” the soldiers’ latrines (yuck, right?). She also created a diverse cast of soldiers that are with Jeremiah and Rosetta in the field, and they definitely provided some comic relief during some pretty heavy moments. I have a favorite soldier among that group, but I won’t say who and let you make up your own mind. ;)

Seriously, I can’t recommend this book enough. If someone asks me for a historical fiction recommendation at the library, this will always be the first book that I will hand them! It’s so lovely, and I hope everyone else enjoys it as much as I did. Again, if this book sounds interesting to you or if you like historical fiction, please consider joining us for the Twitter chat tomorrow evening (remember: GIVEAWAYS!), and then come back here for an exclusive interview with author Erin Lindsay McCabe on Thursday! Hope to see you all then.

PERSONAL SIDE NOTE: I live in Mississippi, near where two of the major Civil War battles took place in the South: the Battle of Shiloh and the Battle of Corinth. I guess this is why I’ve always been fascinated by this period in history. Corinth is my hometown, and it was a pivotal location for the Confederate army because of the railroad’s presence (which is how the army got their supplies). Now we have a lot of historic memorabilia, including a very nice Civil War Interpretive Center, and a tour that includes many of our older homes and churches that were actually used as hospitals for the wounded soldiers. I guess that’s one reason why I felt such a connection to Jeremiah and Rosetta. Many of the scenes that Rosetta describes sounded just like the stories and scenes that I’ve heard described so many times in my own hometown.

memorable quotes

“Days ago, I snuck up behind Jeremiah and wrapped my arms around him the moment the ax came down on the stump. But now, when I heft logs from the stack Jeremiah left me, I’ll think of how the wood split in two.”

“All I can do is sit like McClellan, listening to the boys talk about war like it is one big adventure, saying they can’t wait to send those Rebels home like they ain’t thinking how some of the soldiers on that battlefield ain’t ever going to leave it again. They talk big but there ain’t one of them that does any real thinking or says even one thing that might be how they really feel. Not even Jeremiah. I don’t dare say a thing about the way they’re pretending to be brave, like their uniforms make them something different than just farm boys in blue coats. If I wasn’t wearing this uniform, I could talk to Mrs. Chalmers any time I please. It’s like Miss Riggs standing me before the whole class, making me read, ‘Lesson XXXI, On Speaking the Truth: There are many ways of being guilty of a falsehood without uttering the lie direct, in words.’ There ain’t an honest thing about being in this Army, but then that ain’t what I came all this way for.”

Alexa & Judith’s Epic Summer Wrap-Up

August 29, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Read-Along, 0 comments

a&j

That’s a wrap, folks! We hope you enjoyed this event as much as we did, because we honestly had a blast creating all these fun posts and rereading these books. (I only actually reread Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour but ssssh.) We loved the amazing response we got and how enthusiastic you all were about our posts. We also just loved making these posts, because it was so much fun (the best part was that while we made our posts separately, they were so similar. It made me so happy to see how alike Alexa and I apparently are!). If you missed anything, here is what happened:

And all in all, we had an incredible time! We hope you enjoyed the posts and that we convinced you to (re)read some Morgan Matson books, because they are just so good. Thanks to everyone who made our day with sweet comments and happy responses and to Morgan for helping us out! Also, thank you Alexa, for making this one of the best events I’ve ever done! Make sure to check out her post today as well. Regular posting will continue on Monday. And you know, there might just be a follow-up post to the to-do list one day. After all, we did challenge each other to do all of these things…

Alexa & Judith’s Epic Summer: Q&A with Morgan Matson

August 28, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Author Interview, Read-Along, 0 comments

a&j

When we started this celebration of Morgan Matson’s books, Morgan tweeted us and asked us if we wanted to do a Q&A with her for the event, which of course we did, because we love her. We decided to ask her some questions about all three of her books and then some questions about herself. You can find the first part of the Q&A over at Alexa Loves Books (with questions about Amy & Roger’s Epic Detour and Second Chance Summer), and the second part over here at Paper Riot (where we talked about Since You’ve Been Gone and Morgan Matson herself). We are obviously super excited about this, so let’s welcome Morgan to the blog to talk about books and summer!

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Alexa & Judith’s Epic Summer: BFF Goodies

August 27, 2014 ● BY ● TAGS: Read-Along, 0 comments

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Today’s post was so much fun but also so much work to put together. The idea was to put together a list of BFF goodies and I got a little carried away, because I found 23 things I would love to send my BFFs. I think I should have known better than to search for things on Etsy because while everything on there is super gorgeous, there’s also too much and I want everything. Anyway, make sure to also check Alexa’s list to see which goodies she thinks would make great gifts for best friends. Disclaimer: most of the goodies on this list are VERY silly. Just the way I like it.

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