Review of The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

thearchitectofsongThe Architect of Song
By: A.G. Howard
Release Date: August 15th 2016
Publisher: Golden Orb Press
Format: E-arc
Source: Blog Tour

My Rating:
star

Summary:
A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 16+.

My Thoughts:
This book was so, so beautifully done. I’m a long time fan of Howard’s work and this did not disappoint in any way. I loved the characters, story and pacing. This novel was in essence a ghost story. I’ve not had the best of luck lately with ghost stories but this one was exactly what I’ve been looking for.

The main character, Juliet, was so easy to relate to and I found her voice wonderful. I had no problems getting into the story and her headspace. The loss of her mother was so poignant and touching- I think anyone that has lost someone they love will be able to easily relate to how Juliet felt. I felt that her inability to hear was handled very well. I can’t imagine how it would have felt to for her to lose her hearing at a young age and then hide it from the rest of society. It was easy to understand her detachment from other people and how it created loneliness for her. Because of this, the idea that she would connect so deeply with the ghost she encounters- the ghost she can hear- made perfect sense to me.

As I mentioned above, this ghost story worked for me. In a good amount of books the ghost really isn’t all that different from the living. At times, the reader might even forget that they are not of this world any longer. I didn’t have that in this book. Hawking was always apart from the living world. I felt that the way he related to Juliet- physically and emotionally- was very accurate to a ghostly encounter.

Each of the characters were enthralling and I loved the hint of mystery surrounding Hawk’s past and demise. As the reader, I was as riveted as the characters to find out more and more details about who he was and what occurred. The questions surrounding Lord Thornton were just as enticing and really helped pull me deeper in the story.

I had some suspicions on where the story was going and some of the time I was correct. I loved trying to figure things out and then seeing how all the story lines tied together. All of this kept me enthralled and eager to keep reading.

Final Thoughts:
The Architect of Song was achingly beautiful, lush with vivid descriptions and an ability to capture and communicate the emotions surrounding the characters to the reader. I thought this was wonderfully done and I look forward to future companion novels.

TAoS

Extras

 

Blog Tour- The Architect of Song Guest Post About Fashion + Giveaway

THE ARCHITECT OF SONG

I am a long time fan of A.G. Howard. Her books are always so romantic, vivid and her voice so unique. I adore each of her books and this was no exception. This book swept me away and captivated me. One aspect of Howard’s writing that has always stood out to me was her amazing fashion sense. She weaves beautiful descriptions into her books and you can see the character’s clothes and style.

About the Book

29631300

Title: THE ARCHITECT OF SONG
Author: A.G. Howard
Pub. Date: August 15, 2016
Publisher: A.G. Howard
Pages: 425
Formats: Paperback, eBook

Find it: Amazon, Goodreads

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower – intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

International and NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as – haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts – they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 17+
Available for preorder in June!

About the Author

AG HowardA.G. Howard was inspired to write SPLINTERED while working at a school library. She always wondered what would’ve happened had the subtle creepiness of Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland taken center stage, and she hopes her darker and funkier tribute to Carroll will inspire readers to seek out the stories that won her heart as a child.

When she’s not writing, A.G.’s pastimes are reading, rollerblading, gardening, and family vacations which often include impromptu side trips to 18th century graveyards or condemned schoolhouses to appease her overactive muse.

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Tumblr | Pinterest | Goodreads

Guest Post- On Fashion

Hi! On this leg of the tour, I’m going to share the book trailer for those who haven’t seen it, and talk about fashion.

Anyone who’s read the Splintered Series knows to expect a representation of fashion in my books. I’m a visual writer, so when I’m building my characters, that includes what their style would be. This decision not only has to fit the character as an individual, but also compliment the atmosphere of the book.

For example, Splintered, as a young adult Alice in Wonderland spinoff, is funky, goth, and Victorian-esque, so this influenced Alyssa’s (my MC’s) wardrobe—but her clothes were also influenced by who she was internally. The Gothic Lolita fashion subculture (pictured below) personifies Alyssa’s style. The tone fits her perfectly: underneath her quiet sweetness is a melancholy soul and a dark side she has yet to tap into.

Pic 1

My new adult novel, The Architect of Song, is set in Victorian England, so Juliet (my heroine) is pigeonholed by the fashion strictures of that era. Again, gothic tones darken this novel, but it’s a heavier, old-world-atmospheric aura. Since she’s mourning her mother’s death, she’s most often seen in the sort of ensemble below:

Pic 2

Pic 3

However, Juliet’s independent nature—magnified by the fact that she’s deaf and already feels constrained so she’s not willing to let society constrain her further with crinoline cages or suffocating corsets—also plays a role, as you’ll see in the story.

Another fashion fact about The Architect of Song . . . the living hero/anti-hero (the man who isn’t a ghost), is a viscount / architect who’s drawn to bright flashy colors that rarely match—symbolic for what he brings into Juliet’s life: vibrant chaos.

Pic 4

Now, here’s the trailer for The Architect of Song where you can see some visual references to the fashion of the era:

The lush red dress worn by my heroine at the end of the trailer (on the book cover) makes a cameo in the book, but due to Juliet being in mourning, she only gets to hold it up to her. Still, I decided to keep it on the cover because it’s vivid like the viscount’s eccentric color palates, and it sets the perfect gothic tone for the underlying mystery and danger Juliet must confront to first find herself, and in the end, find truth and lasting love.

Every author has a particular style they weave into their books . . . something that is individual to them. It’s part of their voice. In time, their readers come to look forward to those subtle ingredients. When they see one of that author’s titles on the shelf, they start to crave that flavor again—hungry to sample the new story—expecting that despite the different plot and setting, they’ll be satisfied like they were in the past. And it’s the author’s responsibility to assure they are, down to the last savory word.

I promise my readers—be they new or returning—to stay true to the visual aspects of rich setting and fashion, as well as the emotional and sensual, romantic nuances, even when branching out into new genres.

I hope you’ll read The Architect of Song, and find some of the same flavors you’re either looking for in a new series, or that you may have already savored in the Splintered books. 😉

The prize spotlight today is Juliet’s fashionable heart locket—which plays a magical and profound role in this gothic love story.

Pic 5Be sure to enter for a chance to win it!

Giveaway

All tour prizes (INTL) 13 separate winners :

Giveaway

Lit Cube

2 – signed The Architect of Song paperbacks
3 – The Architect of Song e-books
1 – heart locket necklace
1 – Architect of Song poster
1 – faux leather journal
1 – 5X7 musical print
3 – The Architect of Song swag packs
1- LitCube Surprise Box

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour Schedule

Week One:

7/25/2016- Dark Faerie Tales– Guest Post-Hybrid Author
7/25/2016- a GREAT read– Review

7/26/2016- Lisa Loves Literature– Review
7/26/2016- Bookfever– Review

7/27/2016- Fiktshun– Character Interview
7/27/2016- The Cover Contessa– Review

7/28/2016- The Reading Café– Review
7/28/2016- Adventures of a Book Junkie– Review

7/29/2016- Please Feed the bookworm– Review
7/29/2016- 21st Century Once Upon A Times– Review

Week Two:

8/1/2016- Once Upon a Twilight – Exclusive Excerpt
8/1/2016- Ramblings of a Daydreamer– Review

8/2/2016- My Friends Are Fiction– Guest Post- Fashion
8/2/2016- Sarcasm & Lemons– Review

8/3/2016- Cornerfolds– Review
8/3/2016- BookHounds YA– Review

8/4/2016- Bookiemoji– Exclusive Excerpt
8/4/2016- Owl Always Be Reading– Review

8/5/2016- Mundie Moms– Review
8/5/2016- Two Chicks on Books– Guest Post- Playlist

Recent Books on My Radar

Sometimes I like to peruse Goodreads and get excited about books that aren’t releasing for AGES. I guess it’s a form or self torture but I still love doing it. I thought I’d share some of my latest finds with you!

11-overly-excited

Also, my blog might be pretty quiet this week because I’m going to a conference at the end of the week if the weather permits. Near where I live we had some major flooding last night and there might be more. We really hope not but there’s rain in the forecast.

Books I’m Excited For

Add these to ye olde TBR Wish-list. I’m including the title, author, GR summary and link

Stalking Jack the Ripper by Kerri Maniscalco

Presented by James Patterson’s new children’s imprint, this deliciously creepy horror novel has a storyline inspired by the Ripper murders and an unexpected, blood-chilling conclusion…

Seventeen-year-old Audrey Rose Wadsworth was born a lord’s daughter, with a life of wealth and privilege stretched out before her. But between the social teas and silk dress fittings, she leads a forbidden secret life.

Against her stern father’s wishes and society’s expectations, Audrey often slips away to her uncle’s laboratory to study the gruesome practice of forensic medicine. When her work on a string of savagely killed corpses drags Audrey into the investigation of a serial murderer, her search for answers brings her close to her own sheltered world.

The story’s shocking twists and turns, augmented with real, sinister period photos, will make this dazzling debut from author Kerri Maniscalco impossible to forget.

Borders-0327883214Caraval by Stephanie Garber

Before you enter the world of Caraval, you must remember that it’s all a game . . .

Scarlett has never left the tiny island where she and her beloved sister, Tella, live with their ruthless father. Now Scarlett’s father has arranged a marriage for her, and Scarlett thinks her dreams of seeing Caraval, the legendary, once-a-year performance where the audience participates in the show, are over.

Then, Scarlett’s long-dreamt of invitation to Caraval finally arrives. So, Tella enlists a mysterious sailor’s help to whisk Scarlett away to this year’s show. But as soon as the trio arrives, Tella is kidnapped by Caraval’s mastermind organizer, Legend.

Scarlett has been told that everything that happens during Caraval is only an elaborate performance. But she nonetheless soon becomes enmeshed in a game of love, heartbreak, and magic with her sister, with Legend, and with the other players in the game. And whether Caraval is real or not, she must find Tella before the five nights of the game are over, a dangerous domino effect of consequences is set off, and her sister disappears forever.

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24763621Wintersong by S. Jae-Jones

Beware the goblin men and the wares they sell.

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.

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29631300The Architect of Song by A.G. Howard

A lady imprisoned by deafness, an architect imprisoned by his past, and a ghost imprisoned within the petals of a flower — intertwine in this love story that transcends life and death.

For most of her life, nineteen-year-old Juliet Emerline has subsisted – isolated by deafness – making hats in the solitude of her home. Now, she’s at risk to lose her sanctuary to Lord Nicolas Thornton, a twenty-seven-year-old mysterious and eccentric architect with designs on her humble estate. When she secretly witnesses him raging beside a grave, Juliet investigates, finding the name “Hawk” on the headstone and an unusual flower at the base. The moment Juliet touches the petals, a young English nobleman appears in ghostly form, singing a song only her deaf ears can hear. The ghost remembers nothing of his identity or death, other than the one name that haunts his afterlife: Thornton.

To avenge her ghostly companion and save her estate, Juliet pushes aside her fear of society and travels to Lord Thornton’s secluded holiday resort, posing as a hat maker in one of his boutiques. There, she finds herself questioning who to trust: the architect of flesh and bones who can relate to her through romantic gestures, heartfelt notes, and sensual touches … or the specter who serenades her with beautiful songs and ardent words, touching her mind and soul like no other man ever can. As sinister truths behind Lord Thornton’s interest in her estate and his tie to Hawk come to light, Juliet is lured into a web of secrets. But it’s too late for escape, and the tragic love taking seed in her heart will alter her silent world forever.

NYT bestselling author, A.G. Howard, brings her darkly magical and visual/visceral storytelling to Victorian England. The Architect of Song is the first installment in her lush and romantic Haunted Hearts Legacy series, a four book gothic saga following the generations of one family as — haunted by both literal and figurative ghosts — they search for self-acceptance, love, and happiness.

New Adult: Recommended for ages 17+.

Borders-03

27414389A Darkly Beating Heart by Lindsay Smith

A time-travel story that alternates between modern day and 19th century Japan as one girl confronts the darkness lurking in her soul.

No one knows what to do with Reiko. She is full of hatred. All she can think about is how to best hurt herself and the people closest to her. After a failed suicide attempt, Reiko’s parents send her from their Seattle home to spend the summer with family in Japan to learn to control her emotions. But while visiting Kuramagi, a historic village preserved to reflect the nineteenth-century Edo period, Reiko finds herself slipping back in time into the life of Miyu, a young woman even more bent on revenge than Reiko herself. Reiko loves being Miyu, until she discovers the secret of Kuramagi village, and must face down Miyu’s demons as well as her own.

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25760792Timekeeper by Tara Sim

In an alternate Victorian world controlled by clock towers, a damaged clock can fracture time—and a destroyed one can stop it completely.

It’s a truth that seventeen-year-old clock mechanic Danny Hart knows all too well; his father has been trapped in a Stopped town east of London for three years. Though Danny is a prodigy who can repair not only clockwork, but the very fabric of time, his fixation with staging a rescue is quickly becoming a concern to his superiors.

And so they assign him to Enfield, a town where the tower seems to be forever plagued with problems. Danny’s new apprentice both annoys and intrigues him, and though the boy is eager to work, he maintains a secretive distance. Danny soon discovers why: he is the tower’s clock spirit, a mythical being that oversees Enfield’s time. Though the boys are drawn together by their loneliness, Danny knows falling in love with a clock spirit is forbidden, and means risking everything he’s fought to achieve.

But when a series of bombings at nearby towers threaten to Stop more cities, Danny must race to prevent Enfield from becoming the next target or he’ll not only lose his father, but the boy he loves, forever.

The stunning first novel in a new trilogy by debut author Tara Sim, Timekeeper is perfect for fans of Cassandra Clare and Victoria Schwab.

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Do you have any of these on your list already?