Blog Tour & Top 10: The Hawkweed Legacy by Irena Brignull

Hawkweed Banner

Welcome! I’m so excited to be part of The Hawkweed Legacy Blog Tour. Today, Irena Brignull, the author of the amazing Hawkweed Prophecy series, is going to share her top 10 characters she would invite over to have dinner with her main characters. 

HawkweedLegacyCover-2
Title:
 
THE HAWKWEED LEGACY (Hawkweed Prophecy #2)
Author: 
Irena Brignull
Publication Date: 
August 15, 2017

Publisher: Weinstein Books
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads

ABOUT THE HAWKWEED LEGACY
Hardcover, $18.00, August 15, 2017
Poppy is discovering a purpose for her powers in Africa, but she is haunted by a vision of her own death. Taken in by a boy and his great-grandmother, a healer, they vow to keep her safe-even if that ultimately means holding her captive. But Poppy never stops longing for Leo and, when she feels his magic begin to spark, she will do anything to be reunited with him.

Desperate to regain Poppy’s trust and bring her home, Charlock embarks on a plan to reunite Leo with his mother. What Charlock doesn’t foresee are the string of consequences that she sets into motion that leave Ember all alone and prey to manipulation, the clan open to attack from other witches, Sorrel vulnerable to Raven’s ghost, Betony determined to protect her son from his father’s fate, and which leave both Leo and Poppy in terrible danger.

HawkweedProphecyCover-1TP
ABOUT THE HAWKWEED PROPHECY B
y Irena Brignull, Trade Paperback (All new cover!) $10.99, August 15, 2017
Poppy Hooper and Ember Hawkweed couldn’t lead more different lives. Poppy is a troubled teen: moving from school to school, causing chaos wherever she goes, never making friends or lasting connections. Ember is a young witch, struggling to find a place within her coven and prove her worth. Both are outsiders: feeling like they don’t belong and seeking escape.

Poppy and Ember soon become friends, and secretly share knowledge of their two worlds. Little do they know that destiny has brought them together: an ancient prophecy, and a life-changing betrayal. Growing closer, they begin to understand why they’ve never belonged and the reason they are now forever connected to each other.

Switched at birth by the scheming witch Raven Hawkweed, Poppy and Ember must come to terms with their true identities and fight for their own place in the world. Enter Leo, a homeless boy with a painful past who – befriending them both – tests their love and loyalty. Can Poppy and Ember’s friendship survive? And can it withstand the dark forces that are gathering?


top ten banner

 Miss Haversham, Great Expectations

After being jilted at the altar, I think Miss Haversham really could have done with the support of a coven of witches. I can imagine her escaping the company of men and enjoying life out in the forest. Perhaps it would have prevented her ossifying and souring as the years went by. The bitterness she describes sounds savage – ‘sharper teeth than teeth of mice have gnawed at me’. Perhaps the witches can help heal these age-old wounds?

Atticus Finch, To Kill a Mockingbird

This calm, intelligent, thoughtful character might be just the right man to change the coven’s centuries’ old prejudice against the opposite sex. I think he’d understand them too. As he tells Scout – ‘You never really understand a person until you consider things from his point of view… until you climb into his skin and walk around in it’. Poppy, Ember and Leo could all benefit from his fatherly wisdom too.

Holden Caulfield, The Catcher in the Rye

I like to think that Ember’s innocence and optimism, her burgeoning independence, might be the salve that jaded, exhausted Holden needs. Ember is the opposite of a ‘phony’ and Holden might help her ever becoming one. She, as well as Poppy and Leo, truly understand what it’s like to be an outsider.

Cassandra Mortmain, I Capture The Castle

Cassandra Mortmain was probably my first experience of a literary YA character. Well used to eccentricity, I think her sweetness and charm would make her a positive addition to the Poppy, Ember and Leo trio. Also, I’d love to read her diary entry about the dinner.

Sam Gamgee, The Lord of The Rings

Poor Leo has had a rough time of it in recent years. Abused by his step-father and brothers, he’s perhaps the most isolated of all the Hawkweed characters. Homeless and vulnerable, he could do with the friendship of someone as down-to-earth, loyal and brave as Sam.

Cal, Middlesex

I loved this character and her journey. As a hermaphrodite, she would really challenge the coven’s antiquated notions about gender. I like to think that, on knowing her, they would welcome her with open arms. I know that Poppy in particular would be drawn to her.

Heathcliff

I’ve added Heathcliff because he’s the first literary character I fell for. I actually think he’d be a great dinner partner for Betony (from The Hawkweed Legacy). She too has a wild, passionate nature, and has lost so much in her life. I think she’d understand Heathcliff and Catherine’s love, the feeling that ‘he’s more myself than I am. Whatever our souls are made of, his and mine are the same.’

Celie, The Color Purple

Having endured so much abuse and bigotry in her life, I think Celie will relate to the coven and they to her. They care not for a person’s looks but only for their character. Also, Celie truly understands the bonds of sisterhood. With the help of her female friends, she has found her way through all the suffering to experience joy. The elders in the coven would definitely appreciate this notion – ‘I don’t think us feel old at all. And us so happy. Matter of fact, I think this the youngest us ever felt.’ Celie might even open the witches’ eyes to a world beyond life in the forest.

Weird Sisters, Macbeth

I like to think of the three witches that Macbeth meets up on the moor as the ancestors of the Hawkweed witches. They certainly inspired the prophecy that trigger the events in the first Hawkweed novel. The Weird Sisters’ presence at dinner could make for an interesting family reunion.

Hester Prynne, The Scarlet Letter

The Hawkweed stories are full of strong female characters, but Hester Prynne is a true survivor. She refuses to be broken, despite society’s attempts to shame and isolate her. Like Raven, Charlock and Betony, she loves her daughter fiercely. Honest and compassionate throughout all that she’s endured, I think she’d be a great addition to the dinner.


Irena-Brignull Hi Res
About Irena:

I’m Irena Brignull, a screenwriter, novelist and mum. I live with my family in London but I was brought up outside the city in the beautiful Chiltern Hills. The other place that has my heart is Greece where many of my relatives are from. 

My first novel, The Hawkweed Prophecy, was published in June 2016.  The sequel, The Hawkweed Legacy, was published in June 2017.

I write screenplays too. My screenwriting credits include the Oscar nominated movie, The Boxtrolls, starring Ben Kingsley, Elle Fanning and Simon Pegg. (I was nominated for Best Screenplay for that one at the Annie Awards in 2014.) My adaptation of The Little Prince, directed by Mark Osborne and starring Jeff Bridges, Rachel McAdams, James Franco and Marion Cotillard, closed the 2015 Cannes Film Festival. I also adapted Skellig for Sky which starred Tim Roth, John Simm and Kelly MacDonald. 

Before all this, I was a Script Executive at the BBC and then Head of Development at Dogstar Films where I was the script editor on Shakespeare in Love, Captain Corelli’s Mandolin, I Capture the Castle and Bravo Two Zero to name a few.

And before that, I studied English Literature at Oxford University.

I don’t have much spare time but, in it, I like to read books and watch movies. It’s kind of my job, I know. But one day I plan to take up lots more hobbies – horse-riding, tap-dancing, baking, juggling…?

Website |  Twitter 

PRAISE FOR THE HAWKWEED PROPHECY:

“Brignull develops story and characters slowly, long, luxurious sentences balancing the magic and the mundane expertly and building the world of the witches by showing how out of place Ember is in it. Tension builds inexorably to the inevitable witch showdown, which brings small victories but not a happily-ever-after for all. The third person narration switches focus from character to character as they make frustrating, heart-rending, totally believable choices. Fantasy and nonfantasy readers alike will appreciate this gritty and intriguing coming-of-age story.”
Kirkus Reviews
 
“Brignull…debuts with an instantly engrossing novel…It’s a fantasy with the air of a classic, yet one that’s also entirely contemporary in its tight focus on identity, friendship, and romance. Ages 12-up.”—Publishers Weekly *Starred Review*

“Wildly delightful.”— Laini Taylor, author of The Daughter of Smoke & Bone trilogy
 
“Wise, weird, a touch evil and totally charming, Irena Brignull’s tale of magic in our time is as rich and complicated as sisterhood. From the first page, I felt drawn into a modern classic.”
— Anna Godbersen, author of The Luxe and Bright Young Things series
 
“Irena Brignull’s The Hawkweed Prophecy is a book of wicked, beautiful magic. Compulsively readable and delightfully gritty, one does not mess with these Hawkweed witches.
— Kendare Blake, author of Anna Dressed in Blood and Three Dark Crowns

“I loved this book! Irena has created such beautifully complete world–our world, and nestled within it, a simmering world of magic. The Hawkweed Prophecy has everything: friendship, desire, delicious earthy magic, secrets and spells and at its centre, the wonderful young Poppy, on a journey of self-discovery. I so hope there is more to come!”
 Karen Foxlee, author of Ophelia and the Marvelous Boy and A Most Magical Girl

The Hawkweed Prophecy was bewitching from the get-go. Irena Brignull does an amazing job weaving a tale of pure magic in this debut novel. She’ll have you on a roller coaster of emotions from the very first page. Get ready to be spellbound.”
— Paige McKenzie, author of the New York Times bestselling Haunting of Sunshine Girl series

“Brignull’s The Hawkweed Prophecy is a deft exploration of friendship, sacrifice and betrayal. I can’t decide who I love more, the sweet and trusting Ember or the spunky, dark Poppy. You can’t help but cheer for both girls, and ache when they are pitted against one another. I was completely absorbed in the sinister, complicated world of magic and witches. The coven is described so confidently and beautifully, it’s hard to emerge from the novel without wondering if these women are operating somewhere just below the surface of our world. Full of romance, heart and suspense, readers will find themselves staying up all night just to spend a little more time with Ember and Poppy.”
— Madeleine Roux, author of the New York Times bestseller Asylum

 

Tour Schedule

8/21: Two Chicks on Books – Q&A
8/22: Wandering Bark Books – Guest Post
8/23: In Wonderland – Review
8/24: A Binding Attraction – Top 10
8/25: Miranda’s Book Blog – Guest Post
8/26: Reading Is Better With Cupcakes – Review
8/27: The Irish Banana Review – Fast 5

8/28:
books are love – Q&A
8/29: A Backwards Story – Review
8/30: Rants and Raves of a Bibliophile – Top 10
8/31: Live To Read – Review
9/1: Just Commonly – Review
9/2: Quartzfeather – Review
9/3: Lori’s Little House of Reviews – Review
9/4: Never Too Many To Read – Bookish Collage

Advertisements

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: An Enchantment of Ravens by Margaret Rogerson

30969741
Title: 
An Enchantment of Ravens
Author: Margaret Rogerson

Publication date: September 26, 2017
Publisher: Margaret K. McElderry Books
Genres: Young Adult, Fantasy

About the Book:

Isobel is a prodigy portrait artist with a dangerous set of clients: the sinister fair folk, immortal creatures who cannot bake bread, weave cloth, or put a pen to paper without crumbling to dust. They crave human Craft with a terrible thirst, and Isobel’s paintings are highly prized among them. But when she receives her first royal patron—Rook, the autumn prince—she makes a terrible mistake. She paints mortal sorrow in his eyes – a weakness that could cost him his life.

Furious and devastated, Rook spirits her away to the autumnlands to stand trial for her crime. Waylaid by the Wild Hunt’s ghostly hounds, the tainted influence of the Alder King, and hideous monsters risen from barrow mounds, Isobel and Rook depend on one another for survival. Their alliance blossoms into trust, then love, violating the fair folks’ ruthless Good Law. There’s only one way to save both their lives, Isobel must drink from the Green Well, whose water will transform her into a fair one—at the cost of her Craft, for immortality is as stagnant as it is timeless.

Isobel has a choice: she can sacrifice her art for a future, or arm herself with paint and canvas against the ancient power of the fairy courts. Because secretly, her Craft represents a threat the fair folk have never faced in all the millennia of their unchanging lives: for the first time, her portraits have the power to make them feel. 

LINKS:   Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


An Enchantment of Ravens Banner

An Enchantment of Ravens is one of the most beautiful and whimsical debuts I have read in 2017. Written in first-person narrative, the story wraps you in a decor of words submerged in vivid and embellishing descriptions. Margaret Rogerson’s prose of faerie lore is as wistful and rich as the season of autumn. As some of you might know, Autumn is a magical season for me. When fall approaches, I find the aura of the season to be lively and energetic; for me, fall is filled with change, restoration, and reawakening. And subsequently, Rogerson’s debut novel encompasses this enlivenment.

7

In An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson provides a longing and detailed scope of the dangerous fairy folk and their world. Their rules and enforced traditions are tested by the skillful human, Isobel (the main character), who is a notable painter. Isobel is highly-praised for her portraits, which are adored and prized by the fairy court. Often Rogerson’s tome focuses on the seriousness of the fair ones, but she also provides Isobel, and other characters, the opportunity to sneakily assert derailed humor throughout the chapters. I loved that these hilarious quirks regularly begged for a crooked grin and a mischievous side-eye directed at the faeries and their strict rules. 

6

Additionally, in An Enchantment of Ravens, Rogerson has created two of the most vigorously spirited characters that I loved swooning over. When they first meet, Isobel and Rook have immediate chemistry, and not to give too much away, but this is not an instant-love story. Instead their relationship begins with a bewitching encounter that slowly burns and then ignites. Isobel is cautious but daring. She’s stubborn, fierce, and now one of my most beloved, confident heroines. Rook is adorable, serious, and cordial. But what I love most of all about Rook is that he is the epitome of autumn: warm, brooding, and comforting. I found the repartee and banter between these two characters to be intense and passionate. Even if a potential relationship between these two characters would break the Good Law among the fair folk, I was rooting for them the entire time.

8

In the end, An Enchantment of Ravens is a well-paced story that focuses on the importance of family and daring societal traditions. As previously stated, I loved Rogerson’s florid detailing that flows throughout the pages. She litters the pages with full and vibrant warm colors, earthy smells, and a hint of magic that consumes my autumn-loving soul. Fall is approaching, and if you are looking for the perfect book to read while you curl up in a cozy blanket and sip warm apple cider, I highly recommend that you also have An Enchantment of Ravens opened in your hands. 


My Rating:
star rating

NOTE: Thank you to Margaret K. McElderry Books and Simon & Schuster/Simon Teen for providing me an ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.

Please note that all graphics and photographs were created by me. All quotes are from the an advanced reader’s edition of the novel and are subject to change upon publication.

 

Cover Reveal: Spell Book & Scandal by Jen McConnel

Title: Spell Book & Scandal
Author: Jen McConnel
Publication date: October 31st 2017
Genres: Paranormal, Young Adult

Shelby King is tired of living in her sister’s shadow. Just because Christina is the most powerful caster in school doesn’t mean Shelby’s any good at magic; she’s a scribe, like her mom, and everyone expects her to write spells for her sister, the way her mom always has for her dad. But Shelby’s spells fail spectacularly, and by the time she’s a sophomore, Christina won’t touch them with a ten-foot-pole; their parents aren’t much better. Shelby is fed up, and she decides to show the world she doesn’t care if she isn’t as good as her stuck-up sister, or as talented as their powerful parents. In fact, she decides it’s time to break all the rules, magical and otherwise, and she starts sneaking out to meet Jeremiah Smallwood, the second-best caster in school at illegal pop-up spell battles around town. She may not be able to scribe for him, but she doesn’t mind letting him think that she could; Shelby’s been half in love with Miah as long as she can remember, but he’s never paid attention to her until now, and she’s not going to risk her chances worrying about a pesky thing like the truth. But when Christina rats her out to their parents, Shelby can’t control her anger, and words come pouring out of her that she can’t take back even if she wanted to, threatening Christina’s future…and Shelby’s own chances with Jeremiah. It’ll take more magic than Shelby’s ever dreamed of to set things right, but no scribe has that much magic…right?

Goodreads / Amazon / Barnes & Noble / iBooks / Kobo

 

Author Bio:

Award-winning author Jen McConnel writes NA, YA, and nonfiction. When she isn’t writing, she can be found on her yoga mat or wandering off on another adventure. Visit http://www.JenMcConnel.com to learn more!

Website / Goodreads / Facebook / Twitter

 

XBTBanner1

Waiting On Wednesday: Haunting the Deep by Adriana Mather

waiting on wednesday

Waiting on Wednesday is a weekly meme that highlights pre-publication/upcoming releases that readers cannot wait to get their hands on. It is hosted by Jill at Breaking the Spine.

33981234

About the Book -haunt

Title: Haunting the Deep
Author:  Adriana Mather
Publication date: October 3, 2017
Publisher: Knopf Books for Young Readers/ Penguin Random House
Genres: Young Adult, Paranormal, Witches

Synopsis

The Titanic meets the delicious horror of Ransom Riggs and the sass of Mean Girls in this follow-up to the #1 New York Times bestseller How to Hang a Witch, in which a contemporary teen finds herself a passenger on the famous “ship of dreams”—a story made all the more fascinating because the author’s own relatives survived the doomed voyage.

Samantha Mather knew her family’s connection to the infamous Salem Witch Trials might pose obstacles to an active social life. But having survived one curse, she never thought she’d find herself at the center of a new one. 

This time, Sam is having recurring dreams about the Titanic . . . where she’s been walking the deck with first-class passengers, like her aunt and uncle. Meanwhile, in Sam’s waking life, strange missives from the Titanic have been finding their way to her, along with haunting visions of people who went down with the ship. 

Ultimately, Sam and the Descendants, along with some help from heartthrob Elijah, must unravel who is behind the spell that is drawing her ever further into the dream ship . . . and closer to sharing the same grim fate as its ghostly passengers.

Goodreads | Amazon |  Barnes & Noble

Adriana Mather

About the Author:

Adriana Mather is the 12th generation of Mathers in America, and as such her family has their fingers in many of its historical pies – the Mayflower, the Salem Witch Trials, the Titanic, the Revolutionary War, and the wearing of curly white wigs. Also, Adriana co-owns a production company, Zombot Pictures, in LA that has made three feature films in three years. Her first acting scene in a film ever was with Danny Glover, and she was terrified she would mess it up. In addition, her favorite food is pizza and she has too many cats.

 

 

If It’s Not A Rant, It’s A Rave: Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu

33163378
Title:
Moxie
Author: Jennifer Mathieu

Publication date: September 19, 2017
Publisher: Roaring Brook Press/ Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group
Genres: Young Adult, Contemporary, Feminism

About the Book:

An unlikely teenager starts a feminist revolution at a small-town Texan high school in the new novel from Jennifer Matheiu, author of The Truth About Alice.

MOXIE GIRLS FIGHT BACK!

Vivian Carter is fed up. Fed up with a school administration at her small-town Texas high school that thinks the football team can do no wrong. Fed up with sexist dress codes, hallway harassment, and gross comments from guys during class. But most of all, Viv Carter is fed up with always following the rules.

Viv’s mom was a tough-as-nails, punk rock Riot Grrrl in the ’90s, and now Viv takes a page from her mother’s past and creates a feminist zine that she distributes anonymously to her classmates. She’s just blowing off steam, but other girls respond. As Viv forges friendships with other young women across the divides of cliques and popularity rankings, she realizes that what she has started is nothing short of a girl revolution.

Moxie is a book about high school life that will make you wanna riot!

LINKS: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble |  The Book Depository


MOXIE Banner

WHOA! You guys, Moxie by Jennifer Mathieu is so powerful, straight-forward, and the type of book we need in this fist-gripping-teeth-clenching year that we call 2017. I’m not going to lie, I came into this book for a feminist read AND I left the book invigorated, energized, and ready to take on the world. 

Moxie‘s main character, Viv is relate-able on so many levels. She is a good student that never falls out of line and always does what she is told. But she also has a knack for being an alert listener and keen observer. I love that she turns to music for escapism and courage. I love that her mom is her role model. And what I really liked about Viv’s character is how determined and courageous she is, even if she is cautious and over-analyzes all her choices and decisions (because who does not do this?). Viv is stealthy, determined, fiesty, funny, and overall, a kickass character.

And I cannot forget about one of my favorite Moxie characters, Seth. As Viv’s crush and a guy that treats her with respect, I was silently shouting in my head, “this is what a male feminist looks like.” His actions and words never fail to positively impact the book and Viv, herself. Seth is still trying to understand the world around him and he knows he has a lot to learn when it comes to feminism. I love that he opens up his mind and world to question authority, male privilege, and social viewpoints. Seth is not perfect but he never fails to take the steps to understand social injustices–he observes, questions, and reacts. 

In Moxie, Mathieu’s words not only heighten the awareness of sexism, sexual harassment, and rape in a high school setting, but she also provides a outlet for her female characters to  speak out about injustice, take charge, and push against those who downplay equality and social rights. Moxie is more than a “feminist” book. It is a story about maturity, making hard choices, and discovering who you and how you would act in certain situations. This book is equal parts funny and inspiring and awesome and empowering. It is definitely a book that you do not want to pass over this year (or ever).

star rating

My Rating: 5 out of 5 Stars

NOTE: Thank you to Netgalley and Macmillan for providing me an e-galley/e-ARC of this book in exchange for an honest review. All statements and opinions are my own.