Archives for posts with tag: Salem

Hi all:

Today I couldn’t resist taking part in this blog tour. As you know I’m working on a YA/NA series myself and I’m trying to submerge myself in the ins and outs of this world, and the setting of this novel made it irresistible for me. Salem…Yes, that Salem. I include my own review, don’t miss the giveaway, and also the playlist. I was intrigued by having a playlist added so…

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Enjoy Happy Geek Media’s debut tour of Come, the Dark, Book 2, in the Forever Girl series.

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Come, the Dark, Book 2 of the Forever Girl Series

Come, the Dark by:

Rebecca Hamilton

Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Historical, New Adult, Paranormal, Romance

361 pages

Release Date: January 6, 2015

Rose desperately wants to escape the abuse of the father who impregnated her and the dark spirits that haunt her life. Being thrust from Georgia 1961 into the era of Salem’s infamous witch trials isn’t what she had in mind, and now her daughter is left hopelessly out of reach.

The only way to return to her daughter is by facing certain death to banish the dark spirits that plague Salem. If she doesn’t eliminate these dark spirits in time, they will destroy civilization and trap her in this strange new place, ages away from her daughter.

Even if she can complete the task in time to return home to save her daughter, there’s still one problem: she’s falling in love with a man who can’t return with her. Achieving her goals will force her to choose between the only man who has never betrayed her and a daughter she can’t quite remember but will never forget.

A heart-wrenching tale of a mother’s love for her daughter, this romantic paranormal fantasy underlines the depravity of both historical and modern society while capturing the essence of sacrifice and devotion.

TRIGGER WARNING: This book deals with the sensitive subject of sexual abuse. There is a thread in the Come, the Dark forum at the bottom of this page discussing the issue and how it is handled within the book.

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Rebecca Hamilton

Author Rebecca Hamilton

Rebecca Hamilton is a USA Today Bestselling Paranormal Fantasy author who also dabbles in Horror and Literary Fiction. She lives in Florida with her husband and four kids. She enjoys dancing with her kids to television show theme songs and would love the beach if it weren’t for the sand. Having a child diagnosed with autism has inspired her to illuminate the world through the eyes of characters who see things differently. She is represented by Rossano Trentin of TZLA and has been published internationally, in three languages.

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Ready for the Come, the Dark Giveaway? Enter via the Giveaway Tools Form just below…

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Now my review:

Come, the Dark. (Forever Girl, Book 2)  Rebecca Hamilton. A reluctant heroine that eventually kicks ass

I must confess I haven’t read the first book in the Forever Girl series but decided to take part in the blog tour and review the book because at the moment I’m particularly interested in Young Adult/New Adult Books, I was intrigued by the background to the story (with the setting in Salem at the time of the witch hunts), and the premise of the book sounded intriguing.

The book begins with a bang. Rose’s family situation is terrible and the events that take place in the first chapter show her as a girl who’s suffered greatly and who seems to have some paranormal abilities (she sees things, or rather creatures, that others don’t). When she’s suddenly transported to a different historical period and wakes up as a different person, one of the advantages of the book being narrated in first person is that you experience her confusion and puzzlement with her.

Abigail (the person she is now) lives in Salem in difficult times. I felt the setting of the story could have been used to more advantage as the main character seems to come and go (and at some point is locked up) there, but has very limited interactions with the town and the trials. When she comes into contact with some true horrors, the paranormal background and underlying plot of the story seems to reinterpret the actual events and only a comment at the end puts this to rights. There are situations where reality puts fiction to shame.

Rose/Abigail/Cordovae is one of the most reluctant heroes (heroines) I’ve met. She struggles with her new role and powers/obligations bestowed upon her, insisting she wants to go back to the person she was because her daughter, Anna, needs her. William and Tess, who act as guides and try and bring her up to speed with the universe she lives in (not only the human one, but mostly the paranormal and the variety of creatures and the cosmogony that explains them) try to convince her, but she resists. Although the explanations are a useful way of introducing readers who are new to the series, I felt they slowed the action somewhat and I was not sure I could really grasp the differences between all the supernatural races. (But then, neither does the protagonist, who learns as she goes along.)

It took me a while to connect with the main character and I grew somewhat impatient of her reluctance to engage. Also at times the first person narration meant we spent a long time reading about her doubts, her memories, and her determination to leave. However, although it is somewhat long in the coming, eventually Cord becomes a true heroine, selfless, brave, intuitive, and a great fighter, and you can’t help but root for her. As I mention in the title, she does kick ass indeed. The battle scenes, although not described in gore detail are imaginative and vivid, with some very visual and beautiful touches. They would be very spectacular if adapted to the screen.

The twist at the end is satisfying and to me it is a fairly happy ending, given the circumstances. Although I haven’t mentioned it until now, there’s a love story too (both protagonists try and resist for very good reasons) and all loose ends are tied up for the current story, whilst leaving open the possibility of further explorations into the world of the forever girls.

Overall I felt the book has some ups and downs, but it gains pace in the second half when it becomes a very good read. The premise of the series is intriguing and I suspect there are a few more to come.  If you like YA paranormal series with strong heroines and some very dark elements, you’d do well checking out this novel.

The mini book trailer:

Come the Dark Music Playlist:
Playlist: http://grooveshark.com/widget.swf

Thanks to Rebecca and Happy Geek Media for organising the tour and inviting me, thanks to all of you for reading, watching and listening, and remember to visit other stops of the tour, like, share, comment and CLICK!

Today, Friday, I bring you one of my guest authors, this time a classic. I was recently talking to an author friend (OK, if you want to know, Mary Meddlemore/Martie Preller, my guest on Tuesday) about writers’ biography and personality and how much people might or might not take it into account when choosing books to read.

(I’ll write a note clarifying why we were talking about this for those of you who’re really curious. I don’t want to distract everybody else from the post).*

Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1841, a "prudent a...

Nathaniel Hawthorne in 1841, a “prudent and efficient” consul. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

In the case of Nathaniel Hawthorne, whose books (particularly for me The Scarlet Letter, although I’m quite partial to The Marble Faun and love to quote its ending) and stories I really like, I must admit to also being fascinated by his life and his ancestry. As you know I studied American Literature and you won’t find many authors from more American stock than this one. He has ancestors going back to the first Puritans landing in New England (William Hathorne arrived in New England in 1630), and although to his personal shame, his great grandfather, John Hathorne, was a presiding magistrate in the witch trials in Salem, Massachusetts. That’s he added a “w” to his name to avoid that connection. And, appropriately enough, Nathaniel Hawthorne was born on the 4th July 1804, in Salem, Massachusetts. The family home is now a museum. (27   Hardy Street).

His father (also Nathaniel Hathorne), a ship Captain in the U.S. Navy, died when he was only 4 years old, of yellow fever. I’ve read that his mother, Elizabeth Clarke Manning, was quite protective and encouraged him to do things alone, and he grew fairly shy and bookish.

He was interested in writing from very early on and he was writing stories and publishing some in magazines whilst studying at BowdoinCollege in Brunswick (Maine). At College he had met Henry Wadsworth Longfellow and future American President Franklin Pierce (with whom he remained friends all of his life and wrote his biography in 1852). His novel Fanshawe was anonymously published in 1828 (although he later said it was ‘amateurish’). He wrote stories and sketches some included in Twice-Told Tales which was favourably reviewed by Longfellow. Unfortunately (some things don’t change) he couldn’t make a living by writing and took up working, first at the Salem Custom-House (1839). He also lived at the experimental transcendentalist community ‘Brook Farm’ for a year.

[Note: A couple of links of transcendentalism. First our friend Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Transcendentalism

The Stanford Encyclopaedia of Philosophy summarises it as: ‘Transcendentalism is an American literary, political, and philosophical movement of the early nineteenth century, centered around Ralph Waldo Emerson. Other important transcendentalists were Henry David Thoreau, Margaret Fuller, Amos Bronson Alcott, Frederic Henry Hedge, and Theodore Parker. Stimulated by English and German Romanticism, the Biblical criticism of Herder and Schleiermacher, and the skepticism of Hume, the transcendentalists operated with the sense that a new era was at hand. They were critics of their contemporary society for its unthinking conformity, and urged that each person find, in Emerson’s words, “an original relation to the universe” (O, 3). Emerson and Thoreau sought this relation in solitude amidst nature, and in their writing. By the 1840s they, along with other transcendentalists, were engaged in the social experiments of Brook Farm, Fruitlands, and Walden; and, by the 1850s in an increasingly urgent critique of American slavery.’ To read the whole article, click here: http://plato.stanford.edu/entries/transcendentalism/ ]

By 1842 his income from writing had picked up enough to allow him to marry Sophia Peabody (a painter and fellow transcendentalist) and moved to The Manse in Concord, where everybody who was anybody in the Transcendental movement lived (including the Alcotts, yes, Louisa May’s family, Emerson and Thoreau). They had three children, two daughters (Una and Rose) and a son (Julian). The son would later become a writer too.

English: The Wayside, Concord, Massachusetts. ...

English: The Wayside, Concord, Massachusetts. Home to Louisa May Alcott and her sisters, Nathaniel Hawthorne, and Margaret Sidney, creator of the “Five Little Peppers”. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Hawthorne went back to Salem in 1845 and he was appointed surveyor of the Boston Custom House by President James Polk but dismissed when Zachary Taylor became president (definitely it was who you knew). He published a collection of short stories: Mosses from an old Manse (1846) and started working on his most famous novel The Scarlet Letter. This was completed in 1850 and became an instant success (it was published with ‘The Custom House’ as a preface). The success allowed him to dedicate himself to writing and moved to Lenox (in the Berkshires) where the completed The House of the Seven Gables (1851). He met Melville whilst there and they became good friends for a period. That same year Melville dedicated Moby Dick to Hawthorne. In 1852 they moved back to Concord and bought the house where the Alcotts used to live. That year he also published The Blithedale Romance (that was more than a bit critical of the Transcendentalist movement). In 1853 he took his family to Liverpool where he was posted as U.S. Consul. They also took the chance to travel through Europe and lived in France and Italy for a while, meeting Elizabeth Barrett Browning and Robert Browning. In Italy he wrote The Marble Faun (1860). I remember when we studied it we were told Americans visiting Italy would take it with them to visit the locations of the book.

On his return living in Concord he continued to write about his travels and also an article detailing his visits to battlefields and the White House during the Civil War (“Chiefly About War Matters”).

He died in Plymouth, New Hampshire, on 19th May 1864. He was quite ill and suffering of dementia. He was buried on Author’s Ridge in the SleepyHollowCemetery in Concord. His wife continued to edit his notebooks until her death in 1871 and some of his work was published posthumously.

Nathaniel Hawthorne, with blue pen

Nathaniel Hawthorne, with blue pen (Photo credit: qwrrty)

Links:

1) Biography:

Wikipedia:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nathaniel_Hawthorne

The literature network:

http://www.online-literature.com/hawthorne/

Gradesaver

http://www.gradesaver.com/author/hawthorne/

Eldritch press page

http://www.eldritchpress.org/nh/hawthorne.html

PSB the American Novel page

http://www.pbs.org/wnet/americannovel/timeline/hawthorne.html

Author page in Goodreads

http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7799.Nathaniel_Hawthorne

American Literature.com (here you can also read his books free online):

http://www.americanliterature.com/author/nathaniel-hawthorne/bio-books-stories

 

 

2) Free links to his works:

The Scarlet Letter

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0084BL4NY

Tanglewood Tales

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0083ZY6AO

The Blithdale Romance

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B0082XOCEM

Twice Told Tales

http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00849KVJY

House of the Seven Gables

http://www.amazon.com/House-Seven-Gables-ebook/dp/B0083ZR2KU/

The Old Manse

http://www.amazon.com/The-Manse-From-Mosses-ebook/dp/B0082UZ0PA/

The Marble Faun (Part 1)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Marble-Faun-Romance-ebook/dp/B0084ALNO0/

The Marble Faun (Part 2)

http://www.amazon.com/The-Marble-Faun-Romance-ebook/dp/B000JQU79Y/

 

 

3) Quotes:

http://www.brainyquote.com/quotes/authors/n/nathaniel_hawthorne.html

 

*Martie and I were talking about biographies and author’s behaviours because it seems that Amazon has started removing reviews in Goodreads that make reference personally to the author and their beliefs, characteristics, etc, and some people are less than happy. Now you know.

Thank you for reading and if you’ve enjoyed it, remember to like, comment, share and CLICK! IT’S FREE!

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