The Book Of Life: A Perfect Tenth Knot

YOU'VE GOT MAIL!

YOU’VE GOT MAIL!

“And it all started with A Discovery of Witches” as well as a little manuscript entitled ‘Ashmole 782′ that a reluctant witch called forth from the depths of the Bodleian Library at Oxford. I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to receive this book in the mail. I know I won’t be laughed at when I tell you that the first thing I did was smell the book. I love the smell of a book, especially a freshly printed book. I was reminded of Rory smelling a book in the middle of the library at Yale.

But I digress! This review won’t be full of spoilers as I want you, the fans of Ms.Harkness and this wonderful trilogy to be just as surprised and delighted as I by what they read. I really could go on forever about it, enjoy, my friends!

Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Deborah Harkness, Reviews | Tagged , , , | 6 Comments

Q&A With Deborah Harkness Plus TBOL Package Giveaway

I cannot begin to tell you, readers just how excited I am for the final book in the All Souls Trilogy. The Book Of Life will be released July 15th and fans of the series are looking forward to see how it all ends.

TBOL2

I have a treat for you today in the form of a Q&A with the author of this great trilogy, Deborah Harkness. Let me tell you, it is great and provides more insight into TBOL and the trilogy as a whole.

A CONVERSATION WITH DEBORAH HARKNESS

Q: In your day job, you are a professor of history and science at the University of Southern California and have focused on alchemy in your research. What aspects of this intersection between science and magic do you hope readers will pick up on while reading THE BOOK OF LIFE? There’s quite a bit more lab work in this book!

A. There is. Welcome back to the present! What I hope readers come to appreciate is that science—past or present—is nothing more than a method for asking and answering questions about the world and our place in it. Once, some of those questions were answered alchemically. Today, they might be answered biochemically and genetically. In the future? Who knows. But Matthew is right in suggesting that there are really remarkably few scientific questions and we have been posing them for a very long time. Two of them are: who am I? why am I here?

Q: Much of the conflict in the book seems to mirror issues of race and sexuality in our society, and there seems to be a definite moral conclusion to THE BOOK OF LIFE. Could you discuss this? Do you find that a strength of fantasy novels is their ability to not only to allow readers to escape, but to also challenge them to fact important moral issues?

A. Human beings like to sort and categorize. We have done this since the beginnings of recorded history, and probably well back beyond that point. One of the most common ways to do that is to group things that are “alike” and things that are “different.” Often, we fear what is not like us. Many of the world’s ills have stemmed from someone (or a group of someones) deciding what is different is also dangerous. Witches, women, people of color, people of different faiths, people of different sexual orientations—all have been targets of this process of singling others out and labeling them different and therefore undesirable. Like my interest in exploring what a family is, the issue of difference and respect for difference (rather than fear) informed every page of the All Souls Trilogy. And yes, I do think that dealing with fantastic creatures like daemons, vampires, and witches rather than confronting issues of race or sexuality directly can enable readers to think through these issues in a useful way and perhaps come to different conclusions about members of their own families and communities. As I often say when people ask me why supernatural creatures are so popular these days: witches and vampires are monsters to think with.

Q: From the moment Matthew and a pregnant Diana arrive back at Sept-Tours and reinstate themselves back into a sprawling family of witches and vampires, it becomes clear that the meaning of family will be an important idea for THE BOOK OF LIFE. How does this unify the whole series? Did you draw on your own life?

A. Since time immemorial the family has been an important way for people to organize themselves in the world. In the past, the “traditional” family was a sprawling and blended unit that embraced immediate relatives, in-laws and their immediate families, servants, orphaned children, the children your partner might bring into a family from a previous relationship, and other dependents. Marriage was an equally flexible and elastic concept in many places and times. Given how old my vampires are, and the fact that witches are the keepers of tradition, I wanted to explore from the very first page of the series the truly traditional basis of family: unqualified love and mutual responsibility. That is certainly the meaning of family that my parents taught me.

Q: While there are entire genres devoted to stories of witches, vampires, and ghosts, the idea of a weaver – a witch who weaves original spells – feels very unique to THE BOOK OF LIFE. What resources helped you gain inspiration for Diana’s uniqueness?

A. Believe it or not, my inspiration for weaving came from a branch of mathematics called topology. I became intrigued by mathematical theories of mutability to go along with my alchemical theories of mutability and change. Topology is a mathematical study of shapes and spaces that theorizes how far something can be stretched or twisted without breaking. You could say it’s a mathematical theory of connectivity and continuity (two familiar themes to any reader of the All Souls Trilogy). I wondered if I could come up with a theory of magic that could be comfortably contained within mathematics, one in which magic could be seen to shape and twist reality without breaking it. I used fabric as a metaphor for this worldview with threads and colors shaping human perceptions. Weavers became the witches who were talented at seeing and manipulating the underlying fabric. In topology, mathematicians study knots—unbreakable knots with their ends fused together that can be twisted and shaped. Soon the mathematics and mechanics of Diana’s magic came into focus.

Q: A Discovery of Witches debuted at # 2 on the New York Times bestseller list and Shadow of Night debuted at #1. What has been your reaction to the outpouring of love for the All Souls Trilogy? Was it surprising how taken fans were with Diana and Matthew’s story?

A. It has been amazing—and a bit overwhelming. I was surprised by how quickly readers embraced two central characters who have a considerable number of quirks and challenge our typical notion of what a heroine or hero should be. And I continue to be amazed whenever a new reader pops up, whether one in the US or somewhere like Finland or Japan—to tell me how much they enjoyed being caught up in the world of the Bishops and de Clemonts. Sometimes when I meet readers they ask me how their friends are doing—meaning Diana, or Matthew, or Miriam. That’s an extraordinary experience for a writer.

Q: Diana and Matthew, once again, move around to quite a number of locations in THE BOOK OF LIFE, including New Haven, New Orleans, and a few of our favorite old haunts like Oxford, Madison, and Sept-Tours. What inspired you to place your characters in these locations? Have you visited them yourself?

A. As a writer, I really need to experience the places I write about in my books. I want to know what it smells like, how the air feels when it changes direction, the way the sunlight strikes the windowsill in the morning, the sound of birds and insects. Not every writer may require this, but I do. So I spent time not only in New Haven but undertaking research at the Beinecke Library so that I could understand the rhythms of Diana’s day there. I visited New Orleans several times to imagine my vampires into them. All of the locations I pick are steeped in history and stories about past inhabitants—perfect fuel for any writer’s creative fire.

Q: Did you know back when you wrote A Discovery of Witches how the story would conclude in THE BOOK OF LIFE? Did the direction change once you began the writing process?

A. I knew how the trilogy would end, but I didn’t know exactly how we would get there. The story was well thought out through the beginning of what became The Book of Life, but the chunk between that beginning and the ending (which is as I envisioned it) did change. In part that was because what I had sketched out was too ambitious and complicated—the perils of being not only a first-time trilogy writer but also a first time author. It was very important to me that I resolve and tie up all the threads already in the story so readers had a satisfying conclusion. Early in the writing of The Book of Life it became clear that this wasn’t going to give me much time to introduce new characters or plot twists. I now understand why so many trilogies have four, five, six—or more—books in them. Finishing the trilogy as a trilogy required a lot of determination and a very thick pair of blinders as I left behind characters and story lines that would take me too far from the central story of Diana, Matthew, and the Book of Life.

Q: A Discovery of Witches begins with Diana Bishop stumbling across a lost, enchanted manuscript called Ashmole 782 in Oxford’s Bodleian Library, and the secrets contained in the manuscript are at long last revealed in THE BOOK OF LIFE. You had a similar experience while you were completing your dissertation. What was the story behind your discovery? And how did it inspire the creation of these novels?

A. I did discover a manuscript—not an enchanted one, alas—in the Bodleian Library. It was a manuscript owned by Queen Elizabeth’s astrologer, the mathematician and alchemist John Dee. In the 1570s and 1580s he became interested in using a crystal ball to talk to angels. The angels gave him all kinds of instructions on how to manage his life at home, his work—they even told him to pack up his family and belongings and go to far-away Poland and Prague. In the conversations, Dee asked the angels about a mysterious book in his library called “the Book of Soyga” or “Aldaraia.” No one had ever been able to find it, even though many of Dee’s other books survive in libraries throughout the world. In the summer of 1994 I was spending time in Oxford between finishing my doctorate and starting my first job. It was a wonderfully creative time, since I had no deadlines to worry about and my dissertation on Dee’s angel conversations was complete. As with most discoveries, this discovery of a “lost” manuscript was entirely accidental. I was looking for something else in the Bodleian’s catalogue and in the upper corner of the page was a reference to a book called “Aldaraia.” I knew it couldn’t be Dee’s book, but I called it up anyway. And it turned out it WAS the book (or at least a copy of it). With the help of the Bodleian’s Keeper of Rare Books, I located another copy in the British Library.

Q: Are there other lost books like this in the world?

A. Absolutely! Entire books have been written about famous lost volumes—including works by Plato, Aristotle, and Shakespeare to name just a few. Libraries are full of such treasures, some of them unrecognized and others simply misfiled or mislabeled. And we find lost books outside of libraries, too. In January 2006, a completely unknown manuscript belonging to one of the 17th century’s most prominent scientists, Robert Hooke, was discovered when someone was having the contents of their house valued for auction. The manuscript included minutes of early Royal Society meetings that we presumed were lost forever.

Q: Shadow of Night and A Discovery of Witches have often been compared to young adult fantasy like Twilight, with the caveat that this series is for adults interested in history, science, and academics. Unlike Bella and Edward, Matthew and Diana are card-carrying members of academia who meet in the library of one of the most prestigious universities in the world. Are these characters based on something you found missing in the fantasy genre?

A. There are a lot of adults reading young adult books, and for good reason. Authors who specialize in the young adult market are writing original, compelling stories that can make even the most cynical grownups believe in magic. In writing A Discovery of Witches, I wanted to give adult readers a world no less magical, no less surprising and delightful, but one that included grown-up concerns and activities. These are not your children’s vampires and witches.

PRAISE FOR TEH BOOK OF LIFE

“Harkness proves to be quite the alchemist as she combines elements of magic, history, romance, and science, transforming them into a compelling journey through time, space, and geography. By bridging the gaps between Harry Potter, Twilight, and Outlander fans, Harkness artfully appeals to a broad range of fantasy lovers…The conclusion of this paranormal adventure is guaranteed to fly off the shelves.”

—Booklist

“There is no shortage of action in this sprawling sequel, and nearly every chapter brings a wrinkle to the tale. The storytelling is lively and energetic, and Diana remains an appealing heroine even as her life becomes ever more extraordinary. A delightful wrap-up to the trilogy.”

—Publishers Weekly

“In the resolution of the All Souls trilogy…as in the previous two installments, there are healthy doses of action, colorful magic, angst-y romance and emotional epiphany, plus mansion-hopping across the globe, historical tidbits and name-dropping of famous artworks and manuscripts.”

—Kirkus Reviews

Title: The Book of Life
Series: All Souls Trilogy #3
Author: Deborah Harkness
Age Group: Adult
Genre: Fantasy | Paranormal | Historical Fiction
Publication Date: July 15th 2014
Publisher: Viking Adult | Penguin
ISBN: 978-0670025596
Available Formats: Hardcover, E-book, Audio
Find it:GoodReads
Pre-order it: Amazon | BN| The Book Depository

GIVEAWAY
For those who missed out on the last giveaway I held, never fear, here is your second chance. This time the pot has been sweetened a bit because not only will you win Diana’s Commonplace book and a holographic button, you will also be winning a copy of The Book Of Life!

TBOLmockup

Are you excited?! I know you are! All you have to do is click on the link below and you will be taken to the giveaway. Follow the directions on the widget and GOOD LUCK!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Posted in Authors, Deborah Harkness, Giveaway | Tagged , , , , , | 158 Comments

Exclusive: The Book of Life Excerpt and Commonplace Giveaway

The Book of Life by Deborah Harkness is one of the highly anticipated books of the summer and the final novel in the ALL SOULS TRILOGY. The release date for this book will be July 15th and those who have fallen in love with Matthew and Diana, cannot wait to see how their story will unfold, and just what is in Ashmole 782?! What secrets does it hold? Why does every magical being want to get their hot little hands on it? Inquiring minds want to know.

TBOL2 Continue reading

Posted in Deborah Harkness, Giveaway | Tagged , , , , , | 11 Comments

Today is World Outlander Day

image

Today marks the day that the Outlander series was brought to us by Diana Gabaldon with the publication of the first book simply titled ‘Outlander’.

image

I honestly cannot put into words just how much I love this series. I have talked endlessly with my friends (who introduced me to these books THANK YOU)and it all comes down to one thing. It is a love story that truly stands the test of time and quite literally, I might add.

Only in a book, can you walk through a set of standing stones and find the one person you were meant to be with.

I instantly fell in love with the main characters in this story and have endured everything they have through. I know I am in for more as I am only on ‘The Fiery Cross’.

I am new to this series and have been having a mad reading marathon. I am trying anyhow, so many books and only one little ole me.

image

I would like to thank Ms. Diana Gabaldon for bringing readers this amazing, unforgettable series as they not only brought so much joy, they brought people together through their love of the series.

Thanks to a fans love of the series, we get to see your story, Jamie and Claire’s story, come to life in early August. Thank you!

image

Posted in Authors, Diana Gabaldon, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , | 34 Comments

The Bookie In Me

I am a major bookie, which would make me a book purist by nature. I am fine with changes within the movie adaptation of one of my favorite books or book series if ‘the spirit of the material’ is adhered to for the most part. I understand some changes as long as they don’t take away from the character’s arc.

Needless to say, when I read that one of my favorite new books/series, ‘A Discovery of Witches’, written brilliantly by Deborah Harkness, was to be adapted into a movie courtesy of Warner Brothers, I was a little nervous and apprehensive about the idea. The reason for this is that I have been burned before and deeply disappointed with some of these adaptations. And I am not even the author!

I posed this question to the author on her Facebook Page “How much input are you going to have with the Warner Brothers adaptation of A Discovery of Witches?” and she kindly responded.

Here is her response: “I’m sort of like the Queen of England: I am allowed to advise, counsel, and warn. But I have no veto power, or creative control–nor should I. I’m a novelist, not a film maker and I would like to finish book #3 for you!”

I loved her answer, especially the “I’m sort of like the Queen of England’ bit and it is comforting to know that she will be a part of the movie adaptation in some capacity so I am looking forward to seeing this on the big screen. Deborah has such a strong sense of her character’s and their motivations that I know she will ‘advise and counsel’ well. Who else is looking forward to seeing ADOW on the big screen? Now, the next big question is who will play Matthew? I’ve got some ideas! What are yours? Who will play Diana? Sound off below!

Special thanks to Deborah Harkness for answering a bookie’s question! :)

*top image from roberson.edublog

Posted in Books | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

TGIF: A Blogger’s Roundup

Well, another Friday is upon us and I am happy to see the start of the weekend. I hope to relax as much as possible this weekend but I never make plans set in concrete because life happens. Continue reading

Posted in General | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

One Week Until TBOL Is Released

One week from today, The Book Of Life will be released and you will be found with your noses firmly planted into the book in the format of your choice. The books have been printed, packed and ready to go to various destinations all over the world. Are you ready for the final journey? I know I am.

10448743_10152521889771812_1949306867251020552_n

Continue reading

Posted in Books, Deborah Harkness, New Releases | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

TGIF: Free For All!

TGIF-53692

TGIF, what a glorious phrase to hear after what always feels like a very hectic week. You just want to be at home, catching up on your favorite shows or curling up with a good book. Life just gets in the way, doesn’t it? Between running to the grocery, laundry, cooking and cleaning, we are all ready to just chill and relax as much as possible.

I have been quite the busy little blogger the past two weeks I think. To recap, I hosted a giveaway for Diana’s Commonplace book and Holographic button, learned the ins and out of Rafflecopter and had a WINNER….Congrats Natalie Wright!

common

My laptop is in need of repairs, as in a WHOLE NEW KEYBOARD and all because ONE letter does not want to work half the time. It also needs cleaned of any deep, hidden viruses. It has been a struggle trying to make posts from my phone when one is not used to it. I miss my laptop so much and a friend is having problems with hers as well. Here was a solution she was given by a relative.

Extreme huh? Good thing they were joking! I about had a heart attack when I watched it!

I think the highlight of the past weeks was the Q&A with Deborah Harkness and yet another giveaway! The Q&A was informative without giving anything away. I read a really great book and will read it again before writing a review on said book.

I write for another blog and the television show it is based on, just started it final season and this week is mine to recap/review. I tell myself that this is the life a blogger and you really do love it. I have more books on the horizon to read for pure pleasure and for review.

Big Brother just started for the summer and this season looks that it might be better than the last. I sure hope so because last summer I had to quit watching because the houseguests were horrible. The twist this season of two HOH’s should be interesting. We shall see. I also watch BB UK every night which exceeds ours by leaps and bounds.

My plans for the weekend are another read of that book mentioned, watch a movie or two and watch True Blood for review next week. Guess that means I should actually watch the first episode huh? So what are your plans? Sound off below.

quote-keep-your-feet-on-the-ground-and-keep-reaching-for-the-stars-casey-kasem-345645

Posted in General | 6 Comments

Forgive me, Darynda Jones……

….for I have sinned! Okay, it is not a sin of a biblical nature but it could be considered a crime in the eyes of a bookie! I just now read your Charley Davidson series. I really don’t know what I was waiting for.

Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Books, Darynda Jones, Reviews | Tagged , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

CLV: Blood Games First Chapter

wpid-unnamed.jpg

In my best Chandler Bing voice: ‘ Could I BE any more excited? Blood Games will be released August 5th and today we were treated to the first chapter!  And what a chapter it was!

In typical Ethan and Merit  fashion,  we were once again witness to their brand of flirting and love that they feel for one another. I love their banter and ease with each other. Our Cadogan House vampires are at a charity run that Merit organized to benefit local food banks, a very worthy cause, which hopefully will go a long way in getting humans to see that Vampires are not the enemy.

Ethan snorted, a glint of amusement in his eyes. “I don’t plan to let you best me, Sentinel. But I’m prepared to make it interesting.”

There was heat in his eyes that nearly made me blush. But since we had an audience, I held it in. “How interesting?”

“Dinner. Of the winner’s choosing.”

As a lover of food, I didn’t hesitate. “Done.”

“I wasn’t finished,” he said with a sly smile. “Dinner of the winner’s choosing—in the apparel of the winner’s choosing.”

“I do enjoy seeing you in jeans,” I countered. He generally preferred fancy to casual, but even he couldn’t run in a refined French suit and Italian loafers. But if the look in his eyes was any indication, he hadn’t intended denim, leather, or wool.

He only snorted in response.

I love this couple so hard!

Ethan has put in his notification in running for the head of the GP and now the ‘waiting to see what Darius will do’ game begins and I think we are in for another wild ride!  Especially given the way the chapter appeared to end!  *Suspenseful music plays*

Would you like a little taste of blood games? You can find the first chapter HERE! Enjoy!

*Edited because this post was made on my tablet and did not like how it turned out! Note to self: Don’t post anymore from your tablet!*

Posted in Authors, Books, Chloe Neill | Tagged | Leave a comment

Throwing Pucks at Taking Shots

Anyone who knows me can tell you that I am an avid reader and will read just about anything I get my hands on as long as it seems interesting and the cover catches my eye. My closest friends can tell you that I am also a MAJOR hockey fan. So when a close friend of mine told me about this Assassin series written by Toni Aleo, I thought I would check it out. Normally, I am quite selective in the types of books I read and sports romance never made the list but what more could a woman want,a book about hockey, check…..and a romance…check! Sold…put me in the penalty box with my Kindle, I will watch the game from there.

My hometown penalty box at PCC.

My hometown penalty box at PCC.

Continue reading

Posted in Authors, Books | Tagged , , | 2 Comments