Friday, September 29, 2017

Author Interview: Hazel West - Scars of War Blog Tour

Follow the tour here!
It's that time of the year again - a new book release from awesome author Hazel West! We've been anticipating the exciting release of Book Three in the Modern Tales of Na Fianna series: "Scars of War." We at The Reading Hedgehog have been asked to once again do a little interview with the author, and this time we have an exciting new format: a video interview!! Check it out here!

Scars of War
(Modern Tales of Na Fianna #3)
by Hazel B. West
Genre: YA, urban fantasy, mythology/folklore
Add Scars of War on Goodreads!


After the events on Samhain Eve, things have calmed down for High King Eamon and his Fianna. The Unseelie Court is under new rule, and Eamon is happily married - and with an heir on the way! But just when it seems like things couldn't be better, reports of changelings keep coming into the BPAFF (Bureau of Protection Against Fair Folk). With the risk of children being changed out in their cribs, especially when a royal heir is weeks from being born, Eamon enlists the help of Aeden Mac Cool, Commander of Na Fianna, and Cassandra Whalen, Director of BPAFF, to deal with the threat before it escalates. Riots, Faerie rebels, and road trips with the King of the Unseelie - it's just a typical day, right?

About the Author

Hazel West lives in Purgatory, er, Florida, with her books and her hedgehog Horatio. When she's not writing, she's reading other people's books, studying folklore, or binge-watching something on Netflix - drinking coffee is also a given.

Stock the Author:
Twitter (@artfulscribber)

Discover the Rest of the Series!
Buy Blood Ties on Smashwords and enter in this coupon code (EJ57R) to get a FREE copy! Follow the link! And get An Earthly King on Kindle for $0.99 during the tour!

Read an Excerpt!

As we continued on, past several exits, the truck stayed at a moderate distance behind us and didn’t turn off. Then it started gaining once we got out to a long stretch of road that had no habitation and very little traffic.

“Um, I think they’re getting ready to attack,” Oberon said as he watched the rapidly approaching vehicle. “What should we do?”

As soon as he said that, something hit the back of the Land Rover and pinged off.

“By the bloody Fae,” Oberon cried, ducking flat on the floor. “They’re shooting at us!”

“Okay, then I guess we’ll just have to shoot back,” I said, turning around in my seat. “There’s a chest underneath the cot, pull it out and you’ll find crossbows and ammunition.”

I heard Oberon shuffling as several more pings struck the Land Rover.

Aeden swerved slightly to make us a harder target to hit. “Any grand ideas?” he asked. “Apart from hauling this vehicle out of here as fast as we can?”

“The Land Rover is perfectly capable,” I informed him, somewhat indignantly. “Just do what you Fianna do best,” I added unbuckling as I turned around in the seat to face Oberon and grab my crossbow. “Drive fast.”

“Yes, Director,” Aeden said with a grin and a second later he had pressed his foot into the pedal, swerving evasively from side to side so our pursuers couldn’t shoot out our tires. Oberon cursed as he rolled around on the floor, but he finally found his footing and grabbed one of the quivers full of bolts.

“Hand me that, you take the other crossbow and kick out the back window,” I told him.

“I love when you take control, darling,” he quipped and I didn’t have time to counter as I grabbed the quiver and quickly loaded my crossbow, setting it into the foot well so I could cock it before rolling down my window.

“Just keep her steady for a second,” I told Aeden who immediately matched pace with the truck behind us and I quickly ducked out the window hanging on to the frame with one hand and shooting with the other. My shot pinged the windscreen of the truck and sent a network of cracks across the driver’s line of sight.

“Good shot!” Oberon commented and sent one of his own bolts on the way, causing one of the Faeries standing in the back of the truck to duck with a yelp.

“Try to shoot out the tires,” I told him, ducking back inside so I could load another bolt. Aeden and I both ducked as an arrow came through the back window Oberon had broken and through the dividing window in behind the seats and into Aeden’s headrest. I yanked it out and shared a wide-eyed look with the Finar.
Click on the picture to visit the Askbox,
where readers can ask Eamon and Killian things during the tour!

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Monday, September 4, 2017

Book Review: Always Emily - Michaela MacColl

Emily and Charlotte Bronte couldn't be any more different. Emily is tall, adventurous, brash, and always getting into trouble. Suddenly thrust into the role of eldest after their other two sisters die, small Charlotte is proper, bossy, and orderly. But they both are obsessed with their own fictional worlds.

The two sisters are pulled into an unexpected mystery, when Emily has a chance encounter with a stranger on the moors with a wild tale about stolen inheritance - and when Charlotte happens upon a woman running away from her captors.

For the most part, I found Always Emily to be enjoyable, the early world of the two most famous Brontes brought to beautiful life by MacColl's pretty and precise writing. I went through equal-parts frustration and sympathy with Emily and Charlotte as our protagonists. Emily's wild and adventurous spirit was contagious, but her impetuousness at times childish. Charlotte bore a heavy burden as the eldest, but was sour and jealous.

The plot itself was intriguing and held classic Gothic tropes, making it easy to see where the Brontes "might've" gained their inspiration (this is a fictional story, after all). But it held a sometimes-heavyhanded feminist vibe, with every male character having at least one moment of disparaging our heroines' gender, or a bitter comment about female restrictions. While a real enough issue in the 1840s, its continuous mention started to feel laden with personal agenda. Added to this was the very one-sided portrayal of mill owners.

However, when Always Emily focused on the plot alone, it was a relatively entertaining Gothic mystery. The romance was very depressingly short-lived and the conclusion tidily wrapped up, but both were easy to see coming.