Author Interviews, Blog Tour, Fantasy, Release Blitz/Blast

BLOG TOUR Q&A: The Lost City by Amanda Hocking

The Lost City Blog Tour banner--FB

Hello Lovelies! Today I can finally share something that I’ve been dying to for months now! I was contacted by the publisher to be a part of the blog tour for Amanda Hocking’s new book, The Lost City. I have personally heard so much about this author and her books and I was so excited! There was no way I could say no! I don’t think I have ever responded to an email so fast lol.

Anyways, I was given the opportunity to interview Amanda about her upcoming book (which you can find below ⇓). I learned some VERY interesting things and I encourage you to check it out!


SYNOPSIS:

Amanda Hocking, the New York Times bestselling author of The Kanin Chronicles,
returns to the magical world of the Trylle Trilogy with The Lost City, the first novel in The Omte Origins—and the final story arc in her beloved series.

The storm and the orphan

Twenty years ago, a woman sought safety from the spinning ice and darkness that descended upon a small village. She was given shelter for the night by the local innkeepers but in the morning, she disappeared—leaving behind an infant. Now nineteen, Ulla Tulin is ready to find who abandoned her as a baby or why.

The institution and the quest

Ulla knows the answers to her identity and heritage may be found at the Mimirin where scholars dedicate themselves to chronicling troll history. Granted an internship translating old documents, Ulla starts researching her own family lineage with help from her handsome and charming colleague Pan Soriano.

The runaway and the mystery

But then Ulla meets Eliana, a young girl who no memory of who she is but who possesses
otherworldly abilities. When Eliana is pursued and captured by bounty hunters, Ulla and Pan find themselves wrapped up in a dangerous game where folklore and myth become very real and very deadly—but one that could lead Ulla to the answers she’s been looking for.


AUTHOR BIO:

AMANDA HOCKING is the author of over twenty young adult novels, including the New York Times bestselling Trylle Trilogy and Kanin Chronicles. Her love of pop culture and all things paranormal influence her writing. She spends her time in Minnesota, taking care of her menagerie of pets and working on her next book.

Early Praise for The Lost City:
“Hocking’s fast, engaging fantasy will draw in new and seasoned fans of the genre… [She]
keeps the surprises coming, [leaving] readers eager to know more”
—School Library Journal (starred review)

Social Links:
Author Website
Twitter @Amanda_Hocking
Facebook
Author Blog
Pinterest
Goodreads


MY Q&A WITH AMANDA:

  1. There’s been so much excitement and anticipation for more books in the world of the Trylle and Kanin.  What made you decide to revisit those worlds now in The Omte Origins trilogy? 

I knew as soon as I wrote Ulla as a small character in Crystal Kingdom (the final book of the Kanin Chronicles) that I was going to write a trilogy about her, but it was just a matter of when. After the Kanin Chronicles, I wanted to take a little break from that world and visit others – which I did with Freeks and the Valkyrie duology. By then, I was so ready to dive back into the world and answer some lingering questions I had left for the Trylle and Kanin.

  1. Why make this the final trilogy?

With the Omte Origins, I feel like I’ve been able to say everything I want to about the worlds. Through the three trilogies, I spent time with all five tribes. Wendy’s mother is Trylle and her father is Vittra, and her story has her visiting both kingdoms. Bryn’s mother is Skojare and her father is Kanin, and her trilogy shows life in the Kanin and Skojare cities, as well as travelling to others beyond that. I won’t say who exactly Ulla’s parents are (that would be spoiling the story) but her journey takes her through the troll kingdoms, with interesting detours through the Omte, Trylle, and Kanin tribes.

  1. What are the most challenging aspects of writing a new trilogy that can be read independently, but is set in a world–the Trylle and Kanin–that you’ve written about before?

The hardest challenge is getting new readers caught up with the world and the lingo without feeling repetitive and boring to longtime fans of the series. I try use this an opportunity to show characters and situations from different angles. The Wendy the audience meets at the beginning of Switched is vastly different Wendy than the that Ulla knows in the Omte Origins. So for new readers, they get introduced Wendy as she currently is, and for repeat readers, they can see who Wendy has become and who she appears to be through the eyes of an average citizen with Ulla.

  1. What’s the most fascinating thing you researched while writing The Lost City?

With the Omte Origins, I really looked back at the course of troll history, and their past has dovetailed with the Vikings and other artic peoples. So I did a lot research on early Vikings and indigenous arctic people, primarily the Inuit and the Sami. My favorite parts were reading their folklore. I even got an Inuit cookbook, and I attempted to make Bannock (a traditional Inuit bread). It did not turn out well, but I blame that entirely on my cooking skills (or lack thereof) and not the recipe.

  1. The “Glossary” and “Tribal Facts” sections at the end of the book are fascinating and really help create a layered, fleshed out world.  Was putting those together as much fun as writing the novel?  

It was so much fun. It’s been over ten years and nine books (and several short stories), so I have spent a lot time of thinking and doing world-building. I honestly have enough information for a history book about the worlds of the Trylle, but I don’t know there’s a demand for fictional textbooks. The Tribal Facts were actually one of the first things I wrote for the Omte series, because I went through and get myself reacquainted and made sure I had all my important facts straight.

  1. Was your writing routine affected by the stay-at-home orders due to the pandemic?  

My routine itself hasn’t been too affected, since I write from home, but I would say that the stress has a negative impact on me, the way it has for many of us that work in creative fields – or any field at all, honestly. My husband has been working from home, and my stepson had been doing long distance learning before summer break, but that hasn’t really changed too much for me. I usually work after they go to bed and stay up late into the early morning hours.

  1. Were there any favorite songs or music you listened to while writing this book?  

Yes, definitely! I listen to so much music when I write, and I even have curated playlists to go along with my books on Spotify. open.spotify.com/user/127756215 Some of my favorite songs to write to were “Ella” by Myrkur, “Wild World” by Cat Stevens, and “Delicate” by Taylor Swift. I also listened to a lot of Wardruna, who are this Norwegian band who make traditional Nordic music with historically accurate instruments. For the soundtrack to the Omte Origins, I wanted it be a blend of traditional Nordic music, mellow seventies folk to go with the trolls delayed pop culture tastes, and pop music that gets through with the trendier younger generations of trolls.

  1. Do you think the music you listen to has an influence on the stories?  Or do the stories influence the music you choose?

I think it’s both, honestly. When I’m picking songs for the playlist, I definitely choose them based on the kind of emotions I want to feel and the tone I want to set for whatever I’m writing. Sometimes I’ll put particularly romantic songs on repeat when writing a love scene or an angry fast-paced instrumental for a fight scene.

  1. What books or authors are you reading or excited to read lately?

I’m super excited about Faith: Taking Flight by Julie Murphy. It comes out the same day as The Lost City, and it’s about a plus-size teenage girl who discovers that she can fly. I recently read A Song of Wraiths and Ruin by Rosanne Brown, and I’m counting down the days until The Gilded Ones by Namina Forna and The Project by Courtney Summers.

  1. Any hints you can share about what’s coming next after The Omte Origins Trilogy?

I’m currently working on a stand-alone fantasy inspired by Greek mythology, but I don’t know when it will be out yet. I’ve got ideas for dozens of projects after that, and I’m working hard (and having fun) getting through them all.


HOW TO BUY THIS BOOK:

Buy Links:
Macmillan
Books-A-Million
Barnes & Noble
Amazon

Favorites, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction, Urban Fantasy/Paranormal Romance

REVIEW: The Burning Shadow (Origin #2) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

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Synopsis:

When Evelyn Dasher crossed paths with Luc, she was thrown headfirst into the world of the Lux—only to discover that she was already far more involved in their world than she ever suspected.

Because the Luxen aren’t the only ones with a hidden past. There’s a gap in Evie’s memory, lost months of her life and a lingering sense that something happened, something she can’t remember and nobody is willing to tell her. She needs to find out the truth about who she is—and who she was. But every answer she finds only brings up more questions.

Her search for the truth brings her ever closer to Luc, the Origin at the center of it all. He’s powerful, arrogant, inhumanly beautiful, extremely dangerous…and possibly in love with her. But even as Evie falls for him, she can’t help but wonder if his attraction is to her, or to the memory of a girl who no longer exists.

And all the while, a new threat looms: reports of a flu-like, fatal virus that the government insists is being spread by Luxen. A horrifying illness that changes whoever it touches, spreading panic across a country already at its breaking point.

#1 New York Times, USA Today, and internationally bestselling author Jennifer L. Armentrout returns to the world of the Lux with this steamy, shocking second installment of the Origin series that will leave readers reeling.


🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
I loved this book! It was everything I hoped it would be and so much more! It picked up right where the last book left off and the events that followed were just twist after twist after twist. This might just be one of Jennifer’s best books yet! It had me on the edge of my seat the entire time and I know I’m going to get a major book hangover now that it is over! I NEED THE NEXT BOOK!!!

“You don’t need to worry about me, Peaches. I’m always going to come back to you. That’s a promise.”

Evie- Evie surprised me in this book. I thought I had her character figured out, but NOPE. I should have known that Jennifer was going to throw a giant twist into the mix and change everything that I thought I knew. I always wanted to know what would happen if the Luxen and the Arum were cross bred and… now I know and it is nothing like I expected it to be! I feel like we only scratched the surface with what Evie is capable of in this book and I am so excited to dive in more in future installments.

“You,” he spoke. “It’s only ever been you. Before. Now. Later. There’s been no one else. There…just can’t be.”

Luc- Could I love Luc more? No…. I really don’t think so! He is sweet and protective and caring and fierce and strong and brave and just…. everything. He is so precious and I am probably attached to him in an unhealthy way but that is not the point and I fell even deeper in love with him during this book. The way he cares about Evie and the lengths he will go to to keep her safe is awe-inspiring. I think if I had to pick one emoji I could use to describe this book, it would have to be the heart eyes an 90% of that would be directed at Luc! I need more of him! I would really love a chapter in his POV Jennifer if you’re listening…

“I am not walking away again. If I kiss you, if I touch you again, I will not be able to go back to the way things are now.” The next breath he took trembled as much as I was. “I won’t be able to pretend that you aren’t my everything”.

Katy/Daemon/The Old Crew- It was so great to see everyone again! I cried more than once at seeing them all so happy and grown up! And we got to see Katy pregnant?! My babies are having babies and I can’t even wrap my head around that! And Dee is a spokes person for the Luxen now?! I feel like everything has just come full circle and I couldn’t be more proud of her! Plus, we got to see Dawson and Bethany’s daughter Ash! Our first natural Origin baby and she was just so precious! I am DYING to know more about her and any special abilities she may have! (And I would so totally be down for another spin-off about her!!)

“There is only you and me. Boyfriend. Girlfriend. Mates. Lovers,” he said, and muscles low in my stomach curled tight. “I don’t care what you call me as long as you call me yours.”

The Cliffhanger- I wasn’t exactly surprised that Jason Dasher is still alive. Like I always say: If you don’t see a body, see it burned to ashes, and scattered to the farthest corners of the Earth, they aren’t dead! I pretty much guessed it as soon as Evie started hearing a male voice in her head. I have been reading Jennifer’s books for a while now and I’d like to think I’m starting to get an idea of where her mind goes. (I say that, but look how shocked I was with Storm and Fury) I was also starting to catch on with the whole Evie being a trap for Luc thing too. Given, I was thinking she was made to kill him instead of being his ultimate weakness, but I was on the right track. Plus, that is something I’m happy I was wrong about.

“You lost me,” I whispered. “I lost you.”
“Did we lose each other?” he asked, and then I felt his fingers on my cheeks, chasing a tear that had sneaked free. “You and I are here right now, aren’t we? Somehow, you found me, and I’m not someone who believes in happenstance. I don’t think it was a fluke … I think it was something that was bound to happen and I…”
I opened my eyes, finding his. “What?”
“I was just waiting.”

SIDE NOTE: After reading the quote, “You’re the Burning Shadow and he’s the Darkest Star, and together, you will bring about the brightest night.” , I have a really high suspicion that the final book is going to be called The Brightest Night. I could be really wrong, but if I’m right, I called it here!!!

“By the way, just going to remind you that you told me last night you missed me.”
I had. “I must’ve been high.”
“On my presence.” 

Overall, I highly enjoyed this book (as if you couldn’t tell that already) and I will definitely be continuing the series!!! How could I not?? Jennifer is one of my favorite authors and she sucks me into her books like no one else! I can’t imagine not reading the next installment!

***P.S. I know all of the quotes I used are Luc quotes, but after reading this review, do you honestly think I could use any others?!***


EXTRA:

I had the pleasure to meet Jennifer L. Armentrout for the second time when she went on tour for The Burning Shadow and I got the book signed. Here are some pictures from the event:


Other Books in the Series:

5 🍁s ~ The Darkest Star (Origin #1) by Jennifer L. Armentrout

BOOK 3: TBA/Not Released Yet

 

Favorites, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction

Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

Kady, Ezra, Hanna, and Nik narrowly escaped with their lives from the attacks on Heimdall station and now find themselves crammed with 2,000 refugees on the container ship, Mao. With the jump station destroyed and their resources scarce, the only option is to return to Kerenza—but who knows what they’ll find seven months after the invasion?

Meanwhile, Kady’s cousin, Asha, survived the initial BeiTech assault and has joined Kerenza’s ragtag underground resistance. When Rhys—an old flame from Asha’s past—reappears on Kerenza, the two find themselves on opposite sides of the conflict.

With time running out, a final battle will be waged on land and in space, heroes will fall, and hearts will be broken.


🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

“Every story needs its hero.

And its villain.

And its monster.”

This book… I don’t even have words. It is definitely one of the best finales I have EVER read and my favorite book in the series by far. It just combined all of my favorite elements from the previous books and made one hell of an explosive conclusion! I was constantly on the edge of my seat, my heart always felt like it was going to beat out of my chest, and I was all in emotionally. For the last hundred pages or so, I was crying ever five seconds because I was just that invested in the story and the characters in it.

I’m really sad that this was the final book because I have grown to really love these characters (even AIDAN) and I hate having to say good-bye. It seems like the Illuminae Group just found each other and I could read a thousand more pages about their upcoming journeys together. I’m going to miss them dearly and I really hope that Amy and Jay continue this story in some way, no matter how small!


Other Books in the Series:

3.5 🍁s ~ Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

4.25 🍁s ~ Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Favorites, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction

Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

Moving to a space station at the edge of the galaxy was always going to be the death of Hanna’s social life. Nobody said it might actually get her killed.

The sci-fi saga that began with the breakout bestseller Illuminae continues on board the Jump Station Heimdall, where two new characters will confront the next wave of the BeiTech assault.

Hanna is the station captain’s pampered daughter; Nik the reluctant member of a notorious crime family. But while the pair are struggling with the realities of life aboard the galaxy’s most boring space station, little do they know that Kady Grant and the Hypatia are headed right toward Heimdall, carrying news of the Kerenza invasion.

When an elite BeiTech strike team invades the station, Hanna and Nik are thrown together to defend their home. But alien predators are picking off the station residents one by one, and a malfunction in the station’s wormhole means the space-time continuum might be ripped in two before dinner. Soon Hanna and Nik aren’t just fighting for their own survival; the fate of everyone on the Hypatia—and possibly the known universe—is in their hands.

But relax. They’ve totally got this. They hope.


4.25 🍁s

“Now, children, watch closely. Hold your breath. Listen. And I will show you the components of calamity.”

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
I really liked this book and I enjoyed it more than the first one. I found myself flying through it and, at one point, I sat down to read it and, what felt like an hour later, I looked down and had read 250 pages! There was plot twist after plot twist and so many times when my mind was completely blown. There is NO other book/series out there even remotely like this one and it is so incredibly unique!

Nik and Hanna- I loved these two so much and I just need more!

Ella- This girl had my whole heart in her hands from the beginning of the book until the end. I love her SOOO much and, when I thought she had died, I literally could not breath because I was sobbing so hard. Luckily for me and my heart, she is back now!

Jackson- Ewww. Did not redeem himself at the end. Still hate him. Period.

What I Didn’t Like- The alternate dimension thing. I felt like it was used solely so that the authors could rip my heart out by killing my favorite characters and then say “JK! Here is a perfectly “reasonable” explanation for us to play with your emotions and then take it all back.”

Overall, I really enjoyed this book and will probably be reading the next one. I just might want a break for a while because this series is so emotionally draining.


Other Books in the Series:

3.5 🍁s ~ Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

5 🍁s ~ Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

Favorites, Reviews, Romance, Science Fiction

Illuminae (The Illuminae Files #1) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

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Goodreads | Amazon US | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

This morning, Kady thought breaking up with Ezra was the hardest thing she’d have to do. This afternoon, her planet was invaded.

The year is 2575, and two rival megacorporations are at war over a planet that’s little more than an ice-covered speck at the edge of the universe. Too bad nobody thought to warn the people living on it. With enemy fire raining down on them, Kady and Ezra—who are barely even talking to each other—are forced to fight their way onto an evacuating fleet, with an enemy warship in hot pursuit.

But their problems are just getting started. A deadly plague has broken out and is mutating, with terrifying results; the fleet’s AI, which should be protecting them, may actually be their enemy; and nobody in charge will say what’s really going on. As Kady hacks into a tangled web of data to find the truth, it’s clear only one person can help her bring it all to light: the ex-boyfriend she swore she’d never speak to again.

BRIEFING NOTE: Told through a fascinating dossier of hacked documents—including emails, schematics, military files, IMs, medical reports, interviews, and more—Illuminae is the first book in a heart-stopping, high-octane trilogy about lives interrupted, the price of truth, and the courage of everyday heroes.


3.5 🍁s

“You have me. Until the last star in the galaxy dies, you have me.”

MAJOR SPOILERS THROUGHOUT:
For those that don’t know, I have never been a big sci-fi fan. The genre has never really appealed to me and there are just certain aspects of it that I really don’t like. So, when I started seeing people talk about this book a few years back, I was curious about it, but when I found out that it was an epic sci-fi, I immediately went “Nope, no thank you”. Well after reading this book and practically flying through it, I can admit to myself that that was probably a mistake… because this book is great. As someone who isn’t even a fan of the genre, I can say without a doubt that this book is out of this world unique and imaginative.

Kady- I loved Kady and her whole attitude! How could I not?! She goes through so much in this book and I could not sympathize/connect with her more.

Ezra- I loved Ezra as well. His whole smart ass attitude constantly had me laughing and some of my favorites part of the book involved him more often than not.

AIDAN- I don’t know how I feel about AIDAN. All I do know is that I cried when the Alexander was attacked and Kady and AIDAN said goodbye.

What I Liked- This book was HIGHLY unpredictable. People were dying left and right and there were SO many plot twists that I wasn’t expecting!

What I Didn’t Like- Surprisingly, I didn’t really enjoy the romance of this book. Maybe its because Ezra and Kady don’t see each other face to face at all or maybe it’s because they were already in love with each other before the book started, but I just didn’t connect with them for some reason.

Overall, I liked this book. I will be continuing the series, but I might just take a break for a while because it is so huge and takes so much of my time to read.


Other Books in the Series:

4.25 🍁s ~ Gemina (The Illuminae Files #2) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

5 🍁s ~ Obsidio (The Illuminae Files #3) by Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff

ARCs, Dark, Fantasy, Reviews

Wicked Saints (Something Dark and Holy #1) by Emily A. Duncan

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 Goodreads Amazon USBarnes & Noble Book Depository Books-A-Million


Synopsis:

A girl who can speak to gods must save her people without destroying herself.

A prince in danger must decide who to trust.

A boy with a monstrous secret waits in the wings.

Together, they must assassinate the king and stop the war.

In a centuries-long war where beauty and brutality meet, their three paths entwine in a shadowy world of spilled blood and mysterious saints, where a forbidden romance threatens to tip the scales between dark and light. Wicked Saints is the thrilling start to Emily A. Duncan’s devastatingly Gothic Something Dark and Holy trilogy..


🍁🍁🍁🍁🍁

“We’re all monsters, Nadya, some of us just hide it better than others.”

*I received an eARC of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.*

I loved this book! It grabbed my attention almost immediately and would not let go! The characters were phenomenal and written so well. They were developed perfectly and all stood out in their own way. The pacing was spot on and I was never bored. It was dark and gritty and everything I didn’t know I needed! The plot twists left me reeling and I need the next book like yesterday!