bookish talk · Books

Book Blitz: The Memory Thief, Q&A + giveaway!

Hello all!

Today I’ll bring you something exciting: The Memory Thief, a book that’s been published on October 1st, and definitely seems worth checking out!

Title: The Memory Thief
Author:  Lauren Mansy
Published by: Blink
Publication date: October 1st 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult

Goodreads / Book Depository / Wordery

TMT

Summary: In the city of Craewick, memories reign. The power-obsessed ruler of the city, Madame, has cultivated a society in which memories are currency, citizens are divided by ability, and Gifted individuals can take memories from others through touch as they please.

Seventeen-year-old Etta Lark is desperate to live outside of the corrupt culture, but grapples with the guilt of an accident that has left her mother bedridden in the city’s asylum. When Madame threatens to put her mother up for auction, a Craewick practice in which a “criminal’s” memories are sold to the highest bidder before being killed, Etta will do whatever it takes to save her. Even if it means rejoining the Shadows, the rebel group she swore off in the wake of the accident years earlier.

To prove her allegiance to the Shadows and rescue her mother, Etta must steal a memorized map of the Maze, a formidable prison created by the bloodthirsty ruler of a neighboring Realm. So she sets out on a journey in which she faces startling attacks, unexpected romance, and, above all, her own past in order to set things right in her world.

Sounds awesome, right?!

Author Q&A with Lauren Mansy

  • What was it like to write your first book and have it published?

Incredible! It’s been such a wonderful journey filled with many sweet moments. I began writing over seven years ago, and it’s definitely surreal that The Memory Thief is now on shelves! As of late, there have been quite a few teary moments—and I’m totally not a crier! I’m truly overwhelmed by every kind word, the support, and the willingness to walk alongside me as The Memory Thief has gone from something imagined to a real book. I couldn’t be more excited to share this story with readers! 

 

  • What was your inspiration behind TMT?

When I was a teenager, my mom was diagnosed with a heart condition, which led to an unexpected heart surgery. On the way to the operating room, her heart stopped six times, and the doctors warned my family that it was unlikely she’d survive. And if she did, she may not remember us due to the trauma she’d experienced throughout the entire ordeal. 

I was sitting at her bedside when she first began to stir after her surgery, and I slipped my hand into hers and told her that it was me. Then she began to squeeze my hand three times, our signal for I love you! That’s my most favorite memory because I’d never felt such fear suddenly overcome by the most incredible joy. That collision of emotions was the moment which first sparked the idea for The Memory Thief

Ever since then, I always struck by how memories make up so much of our identity and influence our relationships with others. It terrified me that my mom wouldn’t remember me, but I’m so thankful to say that she made a full-recovery. Though it was long and difficult process, she never gave up hope that things would one day get better. Her unwavering courage inspired me to want to share this story. 

 

  • What kind of impact did writing TMT have on you personally?

Writing TMT has had a huge impact on me. I first began writing after completing treatments for Hodgkin’s Disease, a form of lymphatic cancer. It was a very difficult time in my life, and writing fiction helped me express myself in ways that I’d never done before. It helped me process through some of my most difficult memories. 

When I first began drafting The Memory Thief, I realized there were still some emotions about being faced with the possibility of losing my mom that I’d yet to express out loud. Writing this book proved to be a source of healing, and a wonderful platform for exploring truth in my own life through a backdrop of fiction. 

This story is very dear to my heart, and reflecting back on the process of writing this book is what made the moment of holding it in my hands so amazing. 

 

  • What is your favorite part about TMT?

I think my favorite part is the relationship that Etta has with her mother. 

Gwendolyn was one of my favorite characters to write because she’s full of opposites. Because of her coma, she hasn’t spoken a word in four years yet that entire time, she’s been teaching Etta how important it is never to give up, even when all the odds are stacked against you. 

On her journey to save her mother, Etta discovers that Gwendolyn’s story is intertwined with Etta’s in ways that she never imagined. Writing this aspect of the plot was so much fun, and definitely one of my favorite parts of the drafting process, as well! 

 

  • What do you hope readers take away from TMT?

The main thing I hope readers take away is that it isn’t the hardships of the past which define us but the strength we find in overcoming them. Etta has been through a lot of difficult things, and she struggles with trusting others because she has a hard time trusting herself. At the beginning of the story, Etta has spent four years hiding from both the people and events which haunt her, but to save her mother, she’ll have to come face-to-face with the past. I hope her journey will inspire readers to never lose hope, even in the midst of impossible odds. 

 

  • How are you reflected in TMT (or, how much of you is reflected in the book)?

Because this story is based on my own journey with my mother, many of Etta’s worries, doubts, and fears are things I also experienced when faced with the possibility of losing my mom. The questions that Etta asks about how to deal with a situation like this are questions that I often pondered myself. 

So when I first began writing TMT, I thought, “What if I wasn’t the only one who faced this fear? What if there was an entire society that feared their loved ones no longer remembering them?” It was these kinds of thoughts which ultimately let me to want to explore a world where memories reign over everything. Then writing Etta’s emotional journey also helped me process through a lot of my own memories, as well. 

That’s one reason that I love not only writing but reading fantasy novels. Even though these characters live in worlds that are vastly different than our own, what they love, hate, and fear can often be so relatable. That often sticks with me long after I read the last page, and I’m incredibly grateful for the opportunity to share this journey with readers. 

 

  • What is your favorite thing to do to promote your book?

My favorite thing has been getting to know readers. I had the privilege of attending BEA and ALA this past summer, and I loved meeting librarians, educators, fellow writers, bloggers, and industry professionals. Writing can often be a solitary venture, but the publishing process has been filled with creating some wonderful relationships. I couldn’t be more grateful for this community!

 

  • Why should readers be sure to place TMT on their TBR list?

The Memory Thief is a book full of secrets, lies, and betrayal. It’s set in a world where memories are currency, people are struggling to hold onto their true identity, and nothing is quite what it seems. And Etta is a very flawed character. She has a lot of regret and has made many mistakes, yet she never stops fighting to save her loved ones. If any these things appeal to you, I hope you’ll consider adding TMT to your TBR! 

 

  • What is the biggest lesson you’ve learned while being a writer?

I think the biggest lesson being a writer has taught me is the importance of the “story behind the story”. Though the publication journey is filled with exciting moments (like seeing the cover for the first time and holding the final copy!), the journey of getting here has changed me for forever. There have been highs and lows, moments of uncertainty coupled with unexpected encouragement, and wonderful support from family, friends, and even strangers! Writing fiction gave me a voice when I was still struggling to find mine, and I’ll be forever grateful that even as the last page of The Memory Thief ends, my own life story is still being written 🙂 

 

  • Additional thoughts?

If you’re interested in learning more about The Memory Thief, I have more information of my website, and I also LOVE connecting with readers! 

Bonus: Giveaway for The Memory Thief!

As a bonus, you can win a $25 Amazon Gift Card and a digital copy of The Memory Thief, enter using this link or just paste this into your browser: http://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233304/

Are you interested in The Memory Thief? Did you read it already? Let me know!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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bookish talk · Books

The ABC-Book-Challenge: R

Hi all! I’ve decided to do the ABC-Book_-Challenge too! I have been thinking for a while to find something to write next to my weekly reviews and I thought this might be fun 🙂

I got the idea from Sofii @ A Book A Thought, so thank you! Like her, I don’t know the original creators so if you do, please let me know!

This week has been another busy week, and while the project is working kinda okay, the people I’m working with are actually not too terrible (which is great since last year was no fun at all honestly), but my other homework needs to be done as well, so I’m figuring out how to do both and still have me-time left.

However, my ABC-challenge is actually almost done, and although I’ve had fun, I won’t do it again, I think. During this challenge, I felt like I constantly needed to change the titles I posted, because I read new (sometimes better) books, and my TBR had to be adjusted, and honestly, nothing is more annoying than pulling up Goodreads every time, putting the books in alphabetical order, and scrolling till I found the letter I was working on ^^;

Anyhow, on with the actual post!

Memorable titles that start with the letter R

  • Radio Silence: a book that I wanted to read because I’d heard good things about it, and the story did get me curious. My boyfriend actually got me Solitaire and Radio Silence, and soon after I Was Born For This, and I devoured them in three nights. I love everything about those books.
  • Renegades: I’ll admit I’m a sucker for anything that Marissa Meyer writes ^^; I really loved Renegades (and Archenemies) and am now anxiously waiting for Supernova to be published! I wrote an excitement post about it here 🙂

Books on my TBR that start with the letter R

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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Book reviews · Books

Book review: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Xpresso Book Tours)

Hi all!
Today I bring you a review I should have posted yesterday, but I had it all scheduled up and ready to post when I wanted to change some sentences, and then I (too late) realized I didn’t schedule it for posting again, so here it still is!
Thanks to Netgalley and Xpresso Book Tours for providing me with a digital copy for reviewing. This did not affect my personal opinion of the book in any matter.
Title: Beasts of the Frozen Sun (Frozen Sun Saga #1)
Author: Jill Criswell
Publication date: August 6th 2019
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Tw: mentions of rape, suicide.
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Summary: Burn brightly. Love fiercely. For all else is dust.

Every child of Glasnith learns the last words of Aillira, the god-gifted mortal whose doomed love affair sparked a war of gods and men, and Lira of clan Stone knows the story better than most. As a descendant of Aillira and god-gifted in her own right, she has the power to read people’s souls, to see someone’s true essence with only a touch of her hand.

When a golden-haired warrior washes up on the shores of her homeland–one of the fearful marauders from the land of the Frozen Sun–Lira helps the wounded man instead of turning him in. After reading his soul, she realizes Reyker is different than his brethren who attack the coasts of Glasnith. He confides in her that he’s been cursed with what his people call battle-madness, forced to fight for the warlord known as the Dragon, a powerful tyrant determined to reignite the ancient war that Aillira started.

As Lira and Reyker form a bond forbidden by both their clans, the wrath of the Dragon falls upon them and all of Glasnith, and Lira finds herself facing the same tragic fate as her ancestor. The battle for Lira’s life, for Reyker’s soul, and for their peoples’ freedom has only just begun.

 

First of all; the cover! As always, I am a cover-lover at it’s finest and this one instantly caught my attention!

I really liked how the book sounded when I first heard of it, and was definitely intrigued. The story about a girl who is god-gifted, but doesn’t like how she has to use it, about a boy from strange lands who she should hate but can’t.. it definitely sounded right up my alley.

I mostly liked the book, I thought the way the world worked is amazing and well-thought, and the combination of that world in the world of Lira herself, with her clan, her family and friends, it came together so well.

Lira is a character I found difficult to like sometimes, as she is definitely powerful, not only because of her gift, but also because of the swordfighting she’s able to do. I am always up for strong female characters and she surely is one. The only thing I sometimes didn’t like was the choices she made. Of course, that’s part of the story but I just felt like she chose too much for Reyker where she “told” me she cared so much for her family.

Reyker is a boy who Lira should hate, for various reasons, but for some reason, she is unable to. Instead, she saves him from death and patches him up in secret. She talks to him, cares for him, and slowly learns to communicate with him. There is a certain kind of darkness in him that she sometimes refuses to accept, however, later in the book it is explained. He keeps telling her she should not help him, even tries to refuse her help, to attack her for helping him, but nothing stops her.

Lira’s family and clan is something I don’t usually read a lot about in the books I read, but from the beginning on, it’s clear how things work there. The clan has a chieftain, and the clan listens to the chieftain. And no one is there to stop that in any other way than challenging the chieftain to a duel for the position. I personally find that difficult yo read about sometimes because I’m all for own opinions and voices, but it fit with the book very well.

The story was intriguing, and I found myself wondering what would happen next many times. Although at some point I expected something would go wrong, and then got better again, and I got it right, I still really liked reading the book. There are some mentions of things in the book that might be triggers, so I put trigger warnings in my review. I personally was not affected by them.

I wonder what the gods have in mind for Lira and Reyker and I’m looking forward to the next book in the series!

About the author

Jill

Jill Criswell is a writer of Young Adult Historical Fantasy. She was born and raised in the swamps of northeastern Florida. She earned degrees in English and Psychology and an MFA in Creative Writing from the University of Central Florida. Her greatest passion, besides reading and writing, is traveling the world; she’s visited fifty countries across six continents, falling in love with places like Iceland, Namibia, and Cambodia. She works as a university English teacher and lives in South Carolina, near the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains, with her husband and daughter (who is named after a volcano in Iceland).
Do you want to own this beauty in a non-digital way? Enter the giveaway for the hardback of Beasts of the Frozen Sun!
Click here to enter! (if the link doesn’t work; copy and paste this in your browser: https://www.rafflecopter.com/rafl/display/d04251233282/ )
Did you read this book? What did you think? 

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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bookish talk · Books

The ABC-Book-Challenge: P/Q

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


Find me on:

 

 

Hi all! I’ve decided to do the ABC-Book_-Challenge too! I have been thinking for a while to find something to write next to my weekly reviews and I thought this might be fun 🙂

I got the idea from Sofii @ A Book A Thought, so thank you! Like her, I don’t know the original creators so if you do, please let me know!

I put P and Q together for this post since I don’t have a lot of titles starting with either of those letters ^^; 

Memorable titles that start with the letter P or Q

  • The Princess Diaries: it’s not really a YA series, more of a teen’s series, but I devoured those books years ago. I’ve seen the movie too, and it was brilliant. 
  • Queens of Fennbirn: This is a novella of the Three Dark Crowns series, best read after book 2 (One Dark Throne). It explains so much about some of the small details in the books before and after, and it’s honestly the only novella I’ve bought (I’ll admit I’m someone who’s always a bit iffy to pay the amount of money for a whole book for a book with 30 pages._.) 

 

Books on my TBR that start with the letter P or Q

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts!

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


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bookish talk · Books

The ABC-Book-Challenge: O

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts! I don’t have a lot of titles for the letter O, I realized, so if I missed any, please let me know as well! 

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


Find me on:

 

 

Hi all! I’ve decided to do the ABC-Book_-Challenge too! I have been thinking for a while to find something to write next to my weekly reviews and I thought this might be fun 🙂

I got the idea from Sofii @ A Book A Thought, so thank you! Like her, I don’t know the original creators so if you do, please let me know!

Memorable titles that start with the letter O

  • The Ocean At The End Of The Lane: I read this one as an audiobook by Gaiman himself and it was really great. He knows very well how to make something seem like just a childish story but it’s so much more than that. Review here 

Books on my TBR that start with the letter O

If you’ve read any of those titles, please tell me your thoughts! I don’t have a lot of titles for the letter O, I realized, so if I missed any, please let me know as well! 

Check out all my reviews here!

-Luci


Find me on: