Thursday, February 9, 2017

Blog Tour: Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones
Book Excerpt

Tour organized by St. Martin's Press 

I'm thrilled to be part of the Wintersong Blog Tour today! Below, I'm sharing my highlights of the book, as well as an excpert of Liesl meeting a mysterious stranger. Whom could that be? :)


Wintersong 
by S. Jae-Jones
Published: February 7, 2017 by Thomas Dunne
Category: Mature YA/NA for themes/content, Historical Fantasy, Romance, Goblins, 

Book Description: All her life, nineteen-year-old Liesl has heard tales of the beautiful, mysterious Goblin King. He is the Lord of Mischief, the Ruler Underground, and the muse around which her music is composed. Yet, as Liesl helps shoulder the burden of running her family’s inn, her dreams of composition and childish fancies about the Goblin King must be set aside in favor of more practical concerns.

But when her sister Käthe is taken by the goblins, Liesl journeys to their realm to rescue her sister and return her to the world above. The Goblin King agrees to let Käthe go—for a price. The life of a maiden must be given to the land, in accordance with the old laws. A life for a life, he says. Without sacrifice, nothing good can grow. Without death, there can be no rebirth. In exchange for her sister’s freedom, Liesl offers her hand in marriage to the Goblin King. He accepts.

Down in the Underground, Liesl discovers that the Goblin King still inspires her—musically, physically, emotionally. Yet even as her talent blossoms, Liesl’s life is slowly fading away, the price she paid for becoming the Goblin King’s bride. As the two of them grow closer, they must learn just what it is they are each willing to sacrifice: her life, her music, or the end of the world.

 Find: Goodreads | Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound
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My Book Highlights


Wintersong is gorgeous in its rendering, lush in its detail and aching in its emotions. Basically, this story is pretty all around: beautifully written and wondrously atmospheric. Elisabeth's home in historical, provencial Bavaria is enchanting. The theme of music is woven through the entire tale in a breathtaking way. Our narrator Elisabeth (sometimes Leisl), is written with care and complexity, as is The Goblin King, though it takes visible effort to get below the surface of him. I especially loved Leisl's brother Josef, and her relationship with him, and though she could be selfish and self-centered, even their sister Käthe grew on me. I can understand the hype for this book, for so many reasons. That said, I also have a lot of questions about this story, and it feels unsettlingly incomplete to me at this point. Thankfully, there is a sequel to come!

See my full thoughts, HERE (I'll also post my entire review on the blog tomorrow).

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Excerpt


Startled from my reverie, I looked up to see the tall, elegant stranger once more.

“No, thank you, sir.” I shook my head. “I have no money to spare.”


The stranger stepped closer. In his gloved hands he held a flute, beautifully carved and polished to a high shine. Up close, I could see the gleam of his eyes from beneath the hood.


“No? Well, then, if you won’t buy my wares, would you accept a gift?”


“A—a gift?” I was hot and uncomfortable beneath his scrutiny. He looked at me as no one had before, as though I were more than the sum of my eyes, my nose, my lips, my hair, and my wretched plainness. He looked as though he saw me entire, as though he knew me. But did I know him? His presence scratched at my mind, like a half-remembered song. “What for?”


“Do I need a reason?” His voice was neither deep nor high, but there was a quality to it that spoke of dark woods and dry winter nights. “Perhaps I just wanted to make a young woman’s day a little bit brighter. The nights grow long and cold, after all.”

“Oh no, sir,” I said again. “My grandmother warned me against the wolves that prowl in the woods.”


The stranger laughed, and I caught a glimpse of sharp, white teeth. I shivered.


“Your grandmother is wise,” he said. “I’m sure she also told you to avoid the goblin men. Or perhaps she told you we were one and the same.”


I did not answer.


“You are clever. I do not offer this gift to you out of the goodness of my heart, but out of a selfish need to see what you might do with it.”


“What do you mean?”


“There is music in your soul. A wild and untamed sort of music that speaks to me. It defies all the rules and laws you humans set upon it. It grows from inside you, and I have a wish to set that music free.”


He had heard me sing with the fruit-sellers. A wild, un- tamed sort of music. I’d heard those words before, from Papa. Then, it had seemed like an insult. My musical education had been rudimentary at best; of us all, Papa had taken the most time and care with Josef, making sure my brother un- derstood the theory and history of music, its building blocks and foundations. I had always listened in on the edges of those lessons, taking whatever notes I could, applying them slipshod to my own compositions.


But this elegant stranger cast no judgment on my lack of formal structure, my lack of learning. I took his words and planted them deep inside.

“For you, Elisabeth.” He offered me the flute again. This time I took it. Despite the cold air, the instrument was warm, and felt almost like skin beneath my hands.


It was only after the stranger disappeared that I realized he had called me by my given name.


Elisabeth.


How could he have possibly known?



Want more? 
Read the first 40 pages of Wintersong, HERE
Or buy the book: Amazon | B&N | Book Depository | Indiebound

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About the Author


S. Jae-Jones (called JJ) is an artist, an adrenaline junkie, and erstwhile editrix. When not obsessing over books, she can be found jumping out of perfectly good airplanes, co-hosting the Pub(lishing) Crawl podcast, or playing dress-up. Born and raised in Los Angeles, she now lives in North Carolina, as well as many other places on the internet, including Twitter, Tumblr, Facebook, Instagram, and her blog.

Find JJ: Website | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter

1 comment:

  1. I've just found this site, it's a lovely space and really like the format of your reviews!

    ReplyDelete

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