Blog Tour- First We Were IV Guest Post and Giveaway

First We Were IV Tour Banner

I am so excited to be taking part in the Blog Tour for First We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy run by Brittany’s Book Rambles. Today I’ve got Alexandra on the blog talking about First We Were IV and some truths and a lie! You figure out which is the lie.

But first about the book…

Book Info:

FIRST WE WERE IV - coverFirst We Were IV by Alexandra Sirowy

Publication Date: July 25th, 2017

Publisher: Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers

Goodreads Link: http://bit.ly/2lx6UyI

Buy Links: 

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository

Synopsis:

A group of friends start a secret society in this out-of-control thriller from the author of The Telling and The Creeping that examines the all-consuming love of lifelong friendship—and what someone is capable of when they’re afraid of losing it.

Izzie loves nothing more than her three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry, and the bond the four of them share. And she’s terrified of their friendship falling apart next year when they go off to college. To bind them together, she decides to create that will belong only to them, a special thing that they’ll always share between the four of them. And so they dream up the Order of IV, a secret society devoted to mischief that rights wrongs and pays back debts. At first, it works like a charm—but when the Order of IV’s escapades get recognition beyond their wildest expectations, other people start wanting in. And soon, what started as a game of friendship is spiraling into something dangerous and beyond their control—and before it’s over, they’ll pay the ultimate sacrifice.

Author Bio:

Author Photo small sizeAlexandra Sirowy is the author of the young adult thrillers THE CREEPING, the Bram Stoker Award® Nominated THE TELLING, and the upcoming FIRST WE WERE IV. Alexandra attended a women’s college as an undergrad and received her graduate degree in International Studies. When she isn’t writing, she loves to travel, read, eat, and get into mischief. She lives with her husband in Northern California.

Guest Post

Hi, I’m Alexandra Sirowy author of the YA thriller FIRST WE WERE IV. There are best friends, confessions, lies, heroes, villains, and secret societies in my twisty new book.

The four protagonists of FIRST WE WERE IV are going to play a round of Two Truths and a Lie for you. They’ll each introduce themselves and then share three secrets – two truths and one lie. And they dare you to try and figure out which is which. Added bonus: email me (Alexandra.sirowy@gmail.com) with all four lies (one from each character) and I’ll send you FIRST WE WERE IV temporary tattoos, plus a signed bookplate.

Happy lie-hunting!

Hi! My name’s Izzie – Isadora Anne Pendleton. You could probably say that there’s nothing more important to me than my three best friends, Viv, Graham, and Harry. We’ve had adventures before but this fall, we’re topping everything. We’re going to leave our mark on Seven Hills. No one’s going to forget us or think of us as those four outcasts or losers ever again. And better yet, we’re going to bring justice to Seven Hills.

  1. I’m the mastermind of the Order of IV, a secret society my three best friends and I started so we’d have something in common to keep us close when we all move away for different colleges next year. If it was all by idea, I guess everything that went wrong, is sort of my fault.
  1. I found the girl’s body five years ago on the big rock behind Viv’s apple orchard. I’m the one who climbed up to see why the vultures were circling while Viv waited down below. I saw what had happened to the girl…how she’d been I plan to use the Order of IV to help her get justice.
  2. I know Graham, Harry, and Viv as well as I know myself. What I mean is, we don’t have secrets from each other.

Hey, guys! I’m Harry Rocha, writer for the Seven Hills High School news blog, big brother to Simon, and on the hunt for my perfect song. You should see my room – records stacked against the baseboards, covering my desk, filling my book shelves.

  1. When Izzie said we should start a secret society, I thought hell yeah, anything to keep us all talking after graduation. I’m the only one who might end up with the broke-as-a-joke version of college next year, stuck living at home and going to community. I don’t want my friends to forget about me.
  2. I wouldn’t say I’ve been bullied. I mean, sure, Conner Welsh has been on my case since my family moved to Seven Hills in middle school. We live in one of Conner’s dad’s rentals. It’s just normal high school crap, though. He’ll get his someday, but I won’t be the one giving it to him because I’m trying to be the hero of my own story.
  3. There’s this one girl I’m into. She always makes me laugh. But going for it might change everything.

Hello, my little darlings! I’m Vivian Marlo, but you can call me Viv. You probably saw me in last year’s Seven Hills High School production of The Scarlett Letter. I love sinking my teeth into a really juicy starring role – I was born for drama. And to be Izzie’s best friend. She’s my ride-or-die girl.

  1. The instant Izzie said secret society, I was in. Secret societies have rituals and initiations. I’m in charge of our ceremonial holiday and it’s going to be epic. I’ve heard there are rumors going around school about what we’re up to – others want in.
  2. Secret societies have got to have rules. Ours: Never lie. Never tell. Always love each other. And I never broke one, not even for an instant.
  3. Amanda Schultz has been my nemesis since forever. I don’t know what her issue is – probably jealous that I always get better roles than her. I want to say that I’d never use our invention, the Order of IV, to get even with Amanda, but that would be a lie.

Pleased to meet you. I’m Graham Averbach III, best friend of Izzie since she helped me get away with the infamous cookie heist of Seven Hills Community Pre-School. My mom’s an anthropologist – an expert in dead civilizations. Our attic is crammed full of creepy artifacts. Good inspiration for the Order of IV.

  1. Izzie’s probably told you that the Order of IV was all her idea. Maybe it was mostly, but I like to think that without all our adventures, all our competitions to see who’s braver, she never would have had the guts to go through with it. Then again, neither would I.
  2. I think most people like their heroes to be a little unlikable. More relatable.
  3. One of us does not survive this story.

XO

The Order of IV

Tour Schedule: 

Week 1

July 10:  Bookish Lifestyles- Review and Tote Design
July 11 Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
July 12 Emily Reads Everything – Review
July 13   Biscotto’s Books – Moodboard
July 14 Forever Lost in Literature – Review

Week 2
July 17 My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
July 18 Literary Legionnaire – Review
July 19 The Reader and the Chef – Review
July 20:  Novel Novice – Guest Post
July 21:  Dark Faerie Tales – Interview

Week 3
July 24:  YA and Wine – Review + Guest Post
July 25 YA Book Central – Spotlight
July 26 Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Review
July 27:  A Perfection Called Books – Guest Post

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

1 signed hard cover copy of FIRST WE WERE IV

Fujuifilm instax mini 9 Polaroid camera in smoky white (& film) like the one in the book!
Strand of gold stars

FIRST WE WERE IV swag (temporary tattoos & bookmarks)

Evie Seo Designed Tote Bag

Embeded code: a Rafflecopter giveaway

FIRST WE WERE IV Review Tour Assets – myfriendsarefiction@gmail.com – Gmail

FTC disclaimer: US entires only. No purchase necessary to enter, giveaway items provided by Alexandra Sirowy.

Blog Tour- The Crown’s Fate by Eveyln Skye Guest Post + Giveaway

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I am so excited to be part of the blog tour for The Crown’s Game! I loved this book so much and I had planned to write a review along with Evelyn’s guest post ( 5 things we don’t know about Evelyn). Unfortunately, I had a bad fall last Friday and broke my wrist in a couple places so I’m not able to type comfortably so I’ll type up my review once I heal. And by the way, I looove all the facts about Evelyn I relate to 4 out of the 5 (and I wish I related to that one, lol).

About the Book

CrownsFate Final CoverThe gorgeous and darkly compelling sequel to The Crown’s Game—perfect for fans of Red Queen and Shadow and Bone.

Magic is growing, shadows are rising, and the throne is at stake…

Russia is on the brink of great change. Pasha’s coronation approaches, and Vika is now the Imperial Enchanter, but the role she once coveted may be more difficult—and dangerous—than she ever expected.

Pasha is grappling with his own problems—his legitimacy is in doubt, the girl he loves loathes him, and he believes his best friend is dead. When a challenger to the throne emerges—and with the magic in Russia growing rapidly—Pasha must do whatever it takes to keep his position and protect his kingdom.

For Nikolai, the ending of the Crown’s Game stung deeply. Although he just managed to escape death, Nikolai remains alone, a shadow hidden in a not-quite-real world of his own creation. But when he’s given a second chance at life—tied to a dark price—Nikolai must decide just how far he’s willing to go to return to the world.

With revolution on the rise, dangerous new magic rearing up, and a tsardom up for the taking, Vika, Nikolai, and Pasha must fight—or face the destruction of not only their world but also themselves.

Book Details:
Formats: Hardcover (416 pages) and eBook
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
Publication Date: May 16th, 2017
Author Info + Social Media Links:
Evelyn Skye was once offered a job by the C.I.A., she not-so-secretly wishes she was on “So You Think You Can Dance,” and if you challenge her to a pizza-eating contest, she guarantees she will win. When she isn’t writing, Evelyn can be found chasing her daughter on the playground or sitting on the couch, immersed in a good book and eating way too many cookies. THE CROWN’S GAME is her first novel. Evelyn can be found online at www.evelynskye.com and on Twitter @EvelynSkyeYA.
Author Links: WebsiteTwitter | Goodreads | Tumblr | Instagram | Facebook
 

Guest Post- Five Things You Didn’t Know About Evelyn Skye

  1. I really like exercise.

I don’t always feel like working out, but when I do, I’m happy I did. There’s something about pushing myself and sweating and getting stronger that makes me feel badass. Plus, all that exercise balances out the cookies and sweets I eat! 

  1. I’m afraid of ghosts.

When I was in first grade, someone told me to go into the dark girls’ bathroom and summon Bloody Mary from the grimy mirror. I don’t think anything actually happened, but to this day, I’m still terrified of mirrors when it’s dark, which means nightfall finds me rushing any time there’s a mirror to walk by.

And yet, I have a story idea bouncing around in my head that involves ghosts… that’s going to be a terrifying writing process!

  1. I don’t like clutter.

Ahhh! Clutter! It drives me bananas when there is stuff all over the coffee table and on the kitchen counter and crammed into the hall. I’m forever trying to donate things to Goodwill, even though my family still needs or wants it. I know I’ll never live in a house that looks like a Pottery Barn because, well, real people live here, and people have STUFF, but hey, a girl can try, right?

  1. I am an introvert.

I really like people. Some of my favorite things are meeting readers at book events and hanging out with my author friends. But no matter how much I love these events, and no matter how social and outgoing I seem, I do have a limited “fuel tank.” I’m an introvert, and after a lot of people and excitement, I need quiet time to recharge, which often means curling up on the couch at home for a few days with a stack of books or reruns of “The Gilmore Girls.”

  1. I love surprises. 

I love surprises so much!! Even if I’m told there will be a surprise, I won’t do anything to spoil it. In fact, I’ll be extra careful not to spoil it. Recently, my boyfriend told me I couldn’t look in the closet in his home office, because there may or may not have been birthday gifts in it. I didn’t even step foot in the office, just in case. That’s how much I love being surprised. (P.S. It was totally worth it–the birthday was epic! Come see me at a book event, and I’ll tell you all about it if you ask.)

TCFIG

Rafflecopter Giveaway:

Open to US & International Applicant

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Tour Schedule:

Week 1
May 8th: Bookish Lifestyles – Review + Tote Design
May 9th: Brittany’s Book Rambles – Interview
May 10th: Alexa Loves Books – Author Guest Post
May 11th: It Start at Midnight – Mini Review + Fancast
May 12th: The Book Buzz – Review
Week 2
 
May 15th: The YA Book Traveler – Trailer + Interview
May 16th: Lost in Literature – Review
May 17th: Stories and Sweeties – Recipe
May 18th: My Friends Are Fiction – Review + Author Guest Post
May 19th: Paper Fury – Review

Blog Tour- Guest Post -The Valiant by Lesley Livingston + Giveaway

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I am so excited to be on The Valiant Blog Tour. Last year one of my bloggy dreams came true and I was asked to read the manuscript for this novel and provide a blurb. I still can’t believe my words made it on the advanced reading copies of this book. Since I read it so long ago I recently reread this book and loved it even more the second time around. I am honored to have the author, Lesley Livingston, here to talk about gladiatrix.

About the Book

thevaliantcoverThe Valiant
By: Lesley Livingston
Release Date: February 14th 2017
Publisher: Razorbill
Format: Print ARC
Source: Publisher

Summary:

Lost to history, the story of the female gladiator has never been told. Until now.

Fallon is the daughter of a proud Celtic king and the younger sister of the legendary warrior Sorcha. When Fallon was just a child, Sorcha was killed while defending their home from the armies of Julius Caesar.

On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Fallon is excited to follow in her sister’s footsteps and earn her place in her father’s war band. She never gets the chance.

Fallon is captured by ruthless brigands who sell her to an elite training school for female gladiators owned by none other than Julius Caesar himself. In a cruel twist of fate, the man who destroyed Fallon s family might be her only hope of survival.
Now, Fallon must overcome vicious rivalries, deadly fights in and out of the arena, and perhaps the most dangerous threat of all: her irresistible feelings for Cai, a young Roman soldier and her sworn enemy.

 Guest Post

I’ve always been fascinated by ancient history and it’s been in my mind to write a female gladiator story for quite awhile. Over the past few decades, the existence of gladiatrices in ancient Rome has been the subject of much debate among historians. While there is, of course, ample evidence of male gladiators, ancient texts and artifacts portraying female fighters in the arenas were sparse. Lost to history, the lives of these exceptional girls and women were shrouded in mystery. Were female gladiators a gimmick? A fad? Had they really even existed at all?

And then, in 2001, archaeologists unearthed an ancient Roman-era gravesite in Britain of a 1,900-year-old woman that proved, virtually beyond a doubt in the minds of many (myself included), that female gladiators were real. And they’d most likely led lives just as dangerous and dynamic as their male counterparts—and perhaps even more controversial.

The lavish contents of the burial hinted at the wealth of the occupant, but the grave itself was placed beyond the boundaries of the main cemetery, marking the woman as a likely outcast from society. Individual items left tantalizing clues: a lamp with a design depicting a fallen gladiator, and another depicting Anubis, the god of the dead traditionally associated with the profession. While it’s entirely plausible that the young woman in the grave was the wife or lover of a gladiator (a counter-theory which has been upheld by some scholars), why then the peculiar grave placement? The grave goods include stone pine incense—a fragrant offering long thought to be specifically associated with gladiators. Why would a gladiator’s paramour need incense used specifically to mask the stench of blood in the arenas?

There are other archaeological discoveries that point to the occurrence of female gladiators as more than just a rare novelty or gimmick as well. Like the relief sculpture found at Halicarnassus depicting two female fighters named “Achillea” and “Amazona” (a detail which I was delighted to spin to good use in The Valiant when it came to naming the academies where the girls train for the arena). But some of those artifacts, for the longest time, may have been misinterpreted.

I remember when I was much younger seeing a picture of a small bronze statue of a female clothed only in what looked like a breechclout, holding a curved blade high above her head. She was referred to for years as “the bather”. But even back when I first saw her, such an interpretation struck me (like the gladiator-lover grave theory) as rather sexist. I always wondered why a woman who was simply taking a bath would gesture triumphantly with a toiletry implement! To me, she looked like a warrior—and recent scholarly re-examination of the artifact all but confirms (again) that she was, in all likelihood, a gladiatrix.

Of course, once I started to write about what the lives of these girls and women might have been like, I had to do a lot of research into the lives of their male counterparts—weapons, daily routines, the environments in which they lived and trained—and adapt it for what might have been a Ludus for female fighters. Fortunately, there is an abundance of knowledge in that realm which can be adapted. I also delved into the lives of other female warrior societies, like the Celts and the Amazons, and extrapolated from there. Rituals, relationships, how society would have viewed such a person—for good or ill—and what she might have done had she ever actually won her freedom to reenter society, these were all questions I had to imagine the answers to. Tangible facts are thin on the ground where the gladiatrix is concerned, but there are enough tantalizing clues to weave a compelling tale of what might have been.

 

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Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win one (1) of five (5) copies of The Valiant by Lesley Livingston (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 13, 2017 and 12:00 AM on March 13, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about March 15, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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Blog Tour Schedule

Week One
2/13 – Tales of the Ravenous Reader – Gladiator Makeup
2/14 – Two Chicks on Books – Author Interview
2/15 – Alexa Loves Books – Weapon Spotlight: Bow & Arrow
2/16 – Novel Novice – Review
2/17 – Arctic Books – Review + Book Look
Week Two
2/20 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Author Guest Post
2/21 – What Sarah Read – Review + Mood Board
2/22 – Mundie Moms – Weapon Spotlight: Shield
2/23 – ButterMyBooks – Author Interview
2/24 – Fiction Fare – Weapon Spotlight: Dimachaerus
Week Three
2/27 – Oh the Book Feels – Author Interview
2/28 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Weapon Spotlight: Gladius
3/1 – No More Grumpy Bookseller – Review
3/2 – The YA Book Traveler – Weapon Spotlight: Trident & Net
3/3 – My Friends Are Fiction – Author Guest Post
Week Four
3/6 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Weapon Spotlight: Spear
3/7 – A Page with a View – Like/Try/Why
3/8 – The Young Folks – Author Guest Post
3/9 – Icey Books – Quote Candy + Review
3/10 – Book Addict’s Guide – Bookish Scents

Blog Tour- Empress of a Thousand Skies Guest Post + Giveaway

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I recently read Empress of a Thousand Skies and really loved it- it had a really vivid world and the characters were so likeable. I can’t wait to read more from Rhoda Belleza. Today I am honored to have her here to talk about her writing method and writing multiple point of views.

About the Book
EmpressofaThousandSkiesEmpress of a Thousand Skies
By: Rhoda Belleza
Release Date: February 7th
Publisher: Razorbill

Summary
Empress
Rhee, also known as Crown Princess Rhiannon Ta’an, is the sole surviving heir to a powerful dynasty. She’ll stop at nothing to avenge her family and claim her throne.

Fugitive
Aly has risen above his war refugee origins to find fame as the dashing star of a DroneVision show. But when he’s falsely accused of killing Rhee, he’s forced to prove his innocence to save his reputation – and his life.

Madman
With planets on the brink of war, Rhee and Aly are thrown together to confront a ruthless evil that threatens the fate of the entire galaxy.

A saga of vengeance, warfare, and the true meaning of legacy.

Guest Post

I’m somewhere in between a plotter and a pantser. I wrote the beginning of EMPRESS in a flurry just to get a sense of the character and voice, then I paused to outline the rest of the book. Once I got that in decent shape I dove back into writing, but I’d diverge from the outline and change the story as I went. Having that structure was important, but plenty of times I’d run astray as the characters pulled me in different directions. It was about trusting whether to stay on outline or experiment without that safety net; I wanted the movement and choices to feel organic, but I wanted to keep the plot as tight as possible.

The two POVs are Rhee and Aly, the empress presumed dead and the boy who supposedly killed her. Both are hiding, constantly moving, pursuing different goals that eventually converge. I usually nail down the choreography and plotting before I revise for the emotional components. I’m not just talking about the fight scenes, but the placement of characters in the galaxy and in relation to each other. It’s like I don’t even know how they feel until they have a setting and a context to physically exist in. My friend called it an analog to method acting, which may or may not be true. I’m not sure because I’m not an actor.

Rhee is royalty; she may be hardened by the loss of her family but she’s pampered too, and she has a sense of righteousness that felt so natural to write. I could get in a pretty heady space with her; she’s obsessed with revenge and pleasing her ancestors, and that tension just felt really right. That said, Rhee’s wound pretty tightly, so I was tapping into some stuff that could feel intense at times.

Aly comes from a different planet and an entirely different class. He’s a little bit of a smart ass and he tries to keep everything funny and casual, but underneath he’s struggling to keep it together—as a refugee he’s skating the line and trying to play a bit of identity politics. It doesn’t work out for him, and when he’s on the run he comes to some ugly realizations about the world that he needs to work through. Still, I didn’t want him to lose the optimism and humor that makes him him. His voice felt really natural in a different way from Rhee’s, and the writing of his chapters flowed easier—but going back in revision and digging into the emotion ended up being more challenging for his character.

Tour Schedule

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Week One:
2/6 – Brittany’s Book Rambles – Guest Post
2/6 – Bibliophile Gathering – Review
2/6 – Seeing Double in Neverland – Mood Board
2/7 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Excerpt
2/7 – In Wonderland – Review
2/8 – Across the Words – Character Fan Casting
2/8 – Novel Ink – Review
2/8 – Bookling Critics – Review
2/9 – The Young Folks – Interview
2/9 – Here’s to Happy Endings – Review
2/10 – Butter My Books – Book Look
2/10 – Ex Libris – Review
2/10 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
Week Two:
2/13 – Stories & Sweeties – Empress Cupcakes
2/13 – What Sarah Read – Guest Post
2/13 – MundieMoms – Review
2/14 – YA Wednesdays – Character Fashion
2/14 – Fiction Fare – Review
2/15 – Once Upon a Twilight – Favorite Quotes
2/15 – The Books Buzz – Review
2/15 – Take Me Away to a Great Read – Review
2/16 – The YA Book Traveler – Empress Trailer
2/16 – Bookworm Everlasting – Review
2/17 – The Forest of Words and Pages – Like/Try/Why
2/17 – The Paige Turner – Interview
2/17 – Fangirlish – Review

Giveaway

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Enter for a chance to win one (1) of three (3) signed copies of Empress of a Thousand Skies by Rhoda Belleza (ARV: $17.99 each).
NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on February 6, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 20, 2017.  Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13 and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 22, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.

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The Dark Days Pact Blog Tour- Guest Post + Giveaway

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I fell head over heels last year for Alison Goodman’s The Dark Days Club. This book swept me away and I fell so in love with the characters I couldn’t wait for the sequel, The Dark Days Pact. The moment this landed on my doorstep (after flailing) I picked it up and became 100% immersed again in this vivid world and characters (read my review here). I am beyond honored to have the author here on my blog today talking about the historical research involved with writing these books.

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Guest Post

Feel like a swim at Brighton beach in 1812? For a lady, it wasn’t a straightforward business. First you had to purchase a swimming chemise made of flannel with lead weights sewn into the hem. Heaven forbid that your gown should rise in the water and expose your nethers! It was true that the lead would most likely weigh you down in the water, but it didn’t really matter because you would not actually be swimming. Instead, you would book a session with a dipper; a burly local woman who would hold on to you tight and plunge you in and out of the water, rather like a teabag.

Of course, getting into the water was not just a matter of walking through the waves. It involved a wooden bathing box on wheels and a small, salt encrusted pony. The bathing box had a door at either end. You would enter at the beach-end and the little pony would haul the box into the sea, then it would be unhitched and taken around to the other side to be hitched in readiness to drag the box and you out again. Meanwhile, you would open the seaward door and descend the bathing box steps into the strong arms of your dipper.

One two three, plunge, One two three plunge. There, you have taken your ‘swim’. .

The Lady Helen series is historically accurate (give or take a few thousand nasty demons), and so when I read about this method of sea bathing in Regency Brighton, I knew I had to include a scene in The Dark Days Pact where my protagonist, Lady Helen, is ‘dipped’ by one of these fabulous local women.  In fact, I wanted Helen to be dipped by the most famous dipper of all time:  Martha Gunn. Martha was so famous that songs were written about her and her image appeared on souvenir crockery. She was also a favorite of the Prince Regent who liked her so much that he allowed her free access to the royal kitchens at Brighton Pavilion for her entire life. In the summer of 1812, when The Dark Days Pact is set, Martha would have been in her eighties and she was still dipping people in the sea!

To research something like the bathing box scene, I always start by reading widely on the subject. I found articles about Martha and her life, and books about Brighton that described the boxes and how they were used. I also hunted out descriptions of sea bathing in letters and diaries from the time, and my most valued find was a travel guide to All the Water and Sea-Bathing Places in England  from 1813 that included a chapter on Brighton. I was also fortunate enough to visit Brighton and its museum, which had a fabulous little section on sea bathing throughout history.

I then turned to visual prompts, which help me imagine the historical scene. I found a drawing of sea bathing at Regency Brighton on the internet (see picture). It is a caricature – a mode of illustration that became very popular in the Regency – and although it is drawn for laughs, I was able to pick up a lot of incidental information about bathing boxes and the process of dipping. I double-checked everthing, of course – that is part of the research process too.

Finally, once I had all the facts I needed in hand, I wrote the scene and layered in the sensory detail from my own experience. I live near the sea in Australia so, of course, I have a lot of sensory information about sea bathing. I used that to create the sensations that Helen feels as she steps out of the bathing box. The shock of cold water against her skin, the weight of waves slapping against her body, the low roar of the surf cut by the shrill screech of gulls, and the taste of salt on her lips. And above all, the safe arms of Martha Gunn:

Martha viewed an incoming wave with narrowed eyes. ‘Hold tight,’ she advised, then jumped, pulling Helen above its crest with practised ease.

Hold Tight. Sage advice for anyone about to step into the dangerous, demon hunting world of The Dark Days Pact.

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Mermaids at Brighton by William Heath 1829

About the Book

thedarkdayspactThe Dark Days Pact (Lady Helen #2)
By Alison Goodman
Release Date: January 31, 2017
Publisher: Viking Books for Young Readers

Summary:
June 1812. Just weeks after her catastrophic coming-out ball, Lady Helen Wrexhall—now disowned by her uncle—is a full member of the demon-hunting Dark Days Club. Her mentor, Lord Carlston, has arranged for Helen to spend the summer season in Brighton so that he can train her new Reclaimer powers. However, the long-term effects of Carlston’s Reclaimer work have taken hold, and his sanity is beginning to slip. At the same time, Carlston’s Dark Days Club colleague and nemesis will stop at nothing to bring Helen over to his side—and the Duke of Selburn is determined to marry her. The stakes are even higher for Helen as she struggles to become the warrior that everyone expects her to be.

Giveaway

Enter for a chance to win either one (1) grand prize set of Lady Helen books, including a paperback of The Dark Days Club and a hardcover of The Dark Days Pact by Alison Goodman (ARV: $28.98), or to be one of five (5) second prize winners to receive paperback copies of The Dark Days Club by Alison Goodman (ARV: $10.99).

NO PURCHASE NECESSARY. Enter between 12:00 AM Eastern Time on January 23, 2017 and 12:00 AM on February 13, 2017. Open to residents of the fifty United States and the District of Columbia who are 13and older. Winners will be selected at random on or about February 14, 2017. Odds of winning depend on number of eligible entries received. Void where prohibited or restricted by law.
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Blog Tour Stops

Week One:
1/23 – A Page With a View – Like/Try/Why
1/24 – Tales of a Ravenous Reader – Interview
1/25 – Twinning for Books – Review + Mood Board
1/26 – My Friends Are Fiction – Guest Post
1/27 – In Wonderland – Review
Week Two:
1/30 – Alexa Loves Books – Bookish Style File
1/31 – The Reading Nook Reviews – Interview
2/1 – Xpresso Reads – Playlist
2/2 – The YA Book Traveler – They Did What?!
2/3 – Icey Books – Guest Post
Week Three:
2/6 – YA Book Central – Excerpt
2/7 – Fiction Fare – Guest Post
2/8 – Forever Young Adult – Coming-Out Ball Mishaps
2/9 – Dark Faerie Tales – Interview
2/10 – Adventures of a Book Junkie – Reasons to Read