Hello everyone! I’m absolutely thrilled that I am second stop on The Night River December Blog Tour for E.C. Hibbs final book in The Foxfires Trilogy, The Night River. My book review will be coming out today and here are 8 things from the Foxfires Trilogy that happened in real life.
8 THINGS FROM THE FOXFIRES TRILOGY WHICH HAPPENED TO ME IN REAL LIFE
This one goes without saying, since it sets up all the following points, but we might as well start here! When I was twenty-four, I crossed the Arctic Circle for the first time: namely, into Finnish Lapland. My home there was a tiny village in the middle of a frozen forest, surrounded by fells and lakes, 90 miles from the nearest city. I lived in a log cabin with triple-glazed windows to keep in the heat, built fires every day, and saw reindeer wandering down the road. It became my second home, and I spent the next five winters there.
2. I got frostbite.
Two characters from the Foxfires Trilogy, Tuomas and Mihka, are unfortunate enough to endure frostbite. While this was something I’d planned from the beginning, I went back and rewrote those passages after I ended up suffering a case of it myself! Luckily, it was very mild and no damage was done, but it really let me understand and sympathise with the pain of having body parts literally freeze. I do not recommend!
3. I ate reindeer meat.
This has brought me several exclamations of horror in the past (“How could you eat Rudolph?!” comes up a lot) but I have no qualms about it. The reindeer live free in nature and their industry directly benefits the Sami: the indigenous people of Lapland (Sapmi, as it’s called in the Sami languages). The commercial meat (which I enjoyed as steak, burger, and even on pizza) has a similar taste to venison, but with a ‘wildness’ which can only come from surviving naturally in the forest. I also tried reindeer heart and tongue with my Sami friends, cooked over an open fire, as well as reindeer milk. Not a fan of that last one!
4. I met a very angry ptarmigan.
The trilogy occasionally mentions ptarmigans, with their ‘strange warbling yelps.’ Their proper name is a rock ptarmigan, but my friends and I often called them snow chickens. In their winter plumage, they’re white all over (save for marks on their heads which look like red eyebrows), with fluffy feet, and they have one of the weirdest calls you’ll ever hear. The males can also be very territorial, and one morning a couple of friends and I were harassed by one. It followed us all around a field, shouting and jumping at us, and attacking our hats!
5. I had my hair and eyelashes freeze.
This happened to me a few times when it was particularly cold! Parts of my hair (usually the ends and flyaways around my face) turned completely white. It’s important to not manipulate the hair, as it becomes very brittle and can snap! With that being said, the worst was when I blinked away some tears at -32°C and they froze my eyelashes together! I looked like I had two white feathers stuck on my face! I ended up cupping my hands over my eyes and using the body heat from my palms to thaw them out!
6. I learned how to chant.
I’ve already mentioned the Sami people, and my time living in the Arctic allowed me to make some amazing Sami friends and experience their beautiful culture first-hand. I learned about their history, the reindeer herding, the migrations, and joik. This is a kind of chant, performed to channel the essence of a person, place, memory, reindeer, or anything the performer wants to honour. It’s a very personal and historic form of expression, and one of my friends kindly showed me the techniques to do it. Joiks speak to me on a deep level, and I used them as one of the inspirations for the chanting performed by the mages in the Foxfires Trilogy.
7. I saw the most amazing skies.
Everyone talks about seeing the northern lights – and we’ll get to those shortly – but even regular Arctic skies are something to behold. When it’s very clear and cold (-15°C or below), you can get what I like to call ‘candyfloss sky’: everything turns crisp shades of baby blue and pink, and just seems massive, like you’re inside a giant glass dome. On days like this, any moisture freezes, so the very air around you sparkles and glitters. The sunsets are also incredible: golds, purples and reds, which then bounce off the snow and set the entire forest on fire. And after dark, because there’s so little light pollution, you can see every star in the sky, the milky way, shooting stars and satellites. But my favourite time of day is the period of twilight which happens during the polar night. There is only a little light, but it reflects everywhere and turns the world shades of blue and black. Because of this, it’s often called ‘the blue hour.’
8. I watched the northern lights.
And not just once, either! Since I lived in the Arctic for extended periods every winter (rather than just a few days, as most tourists do), I saw the aurora borealis many times. The lights are just as stunning and magical as you imagine them to be. Something which fascinated me about them, however, was the way they move. In many videos, the footage is sped up in order to show the extent of their display, but I feel this robs the power in a way. It’s like the thinnest fabric floating in water, combined with a really slow-burning fire. I can understand, having stood underneath them, why in Finnish they are called revontulet: literally, fox fires.
I can’t believe this all happened! Here is the book information and other information for you all to check out!
The Night River: The Foxfires Trilogy, Book Three
GENRE: YA fantasy adventure
RELEASE DAY: SATURDAY DECEMBER 19TH 2020
Enter a frozen world of brutal beauty, where Spirits roam, nights last for months, and magic is wrought by the beat of a drum…
As the light returns, darkness will fall…
Spring is coming to the Northlands, but even as winter fades, an icy terror spreads. The three Worlds are on the brink of collapse, and ancient monsters rise from the earth, their wicked eyes set firmly on the mages.
Tuomas, still reeling from his defiance of the Great Bear Spirit, must finally face the reality of who he is. Mihka is furious with him, Elin refuses to speak to him, and the people do not trust him. As the villagers drive the reindeer back into the south to safety, he must set out with Lumi one final time to right his wrongs and keep the Worlds from falling apart.
But this quest shall bring the greatest test of all, for it will take him into the Deathlands: a place where no living person has ever stood…
Beginning December 19th (and including pre-orders of The Night River) 10% of royalties from the sale of each book in the Foxfires Trilogy will be donated to Adopt a Reindeer Foundation, to support the indigenous Arctic Sami people and help their traditional way of life to thrive.
RELEASE DAY GOODIES: Live Instagram reading, live YouTube Q&A and free Facebook party: http://echibbs.weebly.com/events.html
A Kingdom of Flesh and Fire is the second book in the Blood and Ash series by Jennifer L Armentrout.
Is Love Stronger Than Vengeance?
Everything Poppy has ever believed in is a lie, including the man she was falling in love with. Thrust among those who see her as a symbol of a monstrous kingdom, she barely knows who she is without the veil of the Maiden. But what she does know is that nothing is as dangerous to her as him. The Dark One. The Prince of Atlantia. He wants her to fight him, and that’s one order she’s more than happy to obey. He may have taken her, but he will never have her.
Casteel Da’Neer is known by many names and many faces. His lies are as seductive as his touch. His truths as sensual as his bite. Poppy knows better than to trust him. He needs her alive, healthy, and whole to achieve his goals. But he’s the only way for her to get what she wants-to find her brother Ian and see for herself if he has become a soulless Ascended. Working with Casteel instead of against him presents its own risks. He still tempts her with every breath, offering up all she’s ever wanted. Casteel has plans for her. Ones that could expose her to unimaginable pleasure and unfathomable pain. Plans that will force her to look beyond everything she thought she knew about herself-about him. Plans that could bind their lives together in unexpected ways that neither kingdom is prepared for. And she’s far too reckless, too hungry, to resist the temptation.
But unrest has grown in Atlantia as they await the return of their Prince. Whispers of war have become stronger, and Poppy is at the very heart of it all. The King wants to use her to send a message. The Descenters want her dead. The wolven are growing more unpredictable. And as her abilities to feel pain and emotion begin to grow and strengthen, the Atlantians start to fear her. Dark secrets are at play, ones steeped in the blood-drenched sins of two kingdoms that would do anything to keep the truth hidden. But when the earth begins to shake, and the skies start to bleed, it may already be too late.
Jennifer L Armentrout has continued the Blood and Ash series amazingly and it was fantastic to jump back into the story with Poppy and Casteel. From the beginning of the book I was hooked and couldn’t put it down with the action, world building and steaming romance.
I truely love the relationship between Poppy and Casteel. I love how Poppy accepts her feelings for Cas and doesn’t want to pretend in their marriage. It was also great to see Poppy come to terms that all she believed was a lie.
“I don’t want to pretend,” I whispered. “I’m Poppy and you’re Casteel, and this is real”
Casteel doesn’t change how he treats Poppy and truely cares for her, even loves her and just wants her safe and all to himself. Throughout the book we truely see another side of Casteel and even though he might have blood on his hands, he is gentle, intense and soft-hearted especially to Poppy.
“Your heart, Poppy? It is a gift I do not deserve.” He placed his hands on his knees as he lifted his gaze to mine. “But it is one I will protect until my dying breath.”
The interaction between Keiran and Poppy was fantastic and I truely loved seeing their friendship grow as well as the teasing that Keiran does with Poppy I truely enjoyed.
The introduction of new characters continued to build the world and I enjoyed travelling towards Atlantia as it added more depth to the new characters.
The ending has me wanting more and I can’t wait to read the next book in the series next year. I definitely recommend this book.
Best friends don’t kiss…
But maybe it doesn’t count if it’s pretend?
Best Friends Don’t Kiss, an all new LOL flirty and swoon-worthy friends-to-lovers rom com from New York Times bestselling author Max Monroe available now!
Goal: Find a boyfriend, get married, buy a house in the suburbs with a white picket fence, and pop out 2.5 kids.
Deadline: Sixty days.
That’s possible, right?
I’m kidding. Well, kind of. I mean, I’m not going to attempt a shotgun wedding or try to get knocked up by some guy I met on the internet, but there is no doubt that, this year, home for the holidaystakes on a whole new, terrifying meaning.
I have to travel from New York City—my home and safe haven for the last fifteen years—to my tiny hometown in Vermont for Christmas, my baby sister’s wedding, and my high school reunion.
Talk about a trifecta of single-doom.
Throw in Callie Camden—aka my high school class’s version of Regina George—and it’s a recipe for certified disaster.
Especially since my mouth ran away from me when she asked me if I’d be bringing someone to our reunion, and I told her to put me down for two.
Gah. Now I can’t go alone.
But the online dating world is a cesspool of bad manners, speedy hookups, and outright weirdos.
Handsome, single, successful—that’s what I’m looking for.
And it just so happens that my best friend Luke London fits all of the criteria.
The only problem is best friends don’t kiss…
But maybe it doesn’t count if it’s pretend?
Download your copy today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!
Amazon Worldwide: mybook.to/BestFriendsDontKiss
Add Best Friends Don’t Kiss to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/35UrwYX
About Max Monroe
A duo of romance authors team up under the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling pseudonym Max Monroe to bring you sexy, laugh-out-loud reads.
Max Monroe is the New York Times and USA Today Bestselling author of more than ten contemporary romance titles. Favorite writing partners and long time friends, Max and Monroe strive to live and write all the fun, sexy swoon so often missing from their Facebook newsfeed. Sarcastic by nature, their two writing souls feel like they’ve found their other half. This is their most favorite adventure thus far.
Connect with Max Monroe
Mistletoe Wishes, an all-new small-town holiday romance from JJ Carlson, is coming December 8th, and we have the stunning cover!
The last thing Keaton wants is to be stuck in the small town his father owns for the holidays. The only thing he detests more than Christmas is small towns that make a big deal over the holiday. Especially a holiday Keaton associates with his mother’s death. Keaton plans to get rid of his father’s investment as quickly as possible, but what he doesn’t expect is to get tangled in tinsel with the beautiful Harper—a feisty little baker who is determined to push his limits.
Harper wants nothing more than to make her bakery, Mistletoe Wishes, a successful franchise. She’s worked hard to get to where she is today and isn’t about to let anything—or anyone—stand in her way. With relationships and romance being at the bottom of her list, Harper finds herself in unfamiliar territory when she meets the sexy Keaton Snow. His aversion and distaste for Christmas and her home town are the only things she doesn’t find attractive about him.
Will Keaton open his heart up to Harper and let the joy of the season, and a promise of a future, deter his plans to sell the town he grew up resenting?
Pre-order your copy today!
Amazon Worldwide: http://mybook.to/mistletoewishes
Add to Goodreads: https://bit.ly/3fe2TJC
Be notified FIRST when Mistletoe Wishes is live: https://bit.ly/365Bwid
About JJ Carlson
JJ is a storyteller who believes that love has its own unique language, and that if you listen close enough, you’ll hear it’s song. She writes about love in a way to shatter barriers.
Connect with JJ Carlson
Stay up to date with JJ by joining her mailing list: https://bit.ly/365Bwid
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue is a stand alone novel by V.E Schwab.
When Addie LaRue makes a pact with the devil, she trades her soul for immortality. But there’s always a price the devil takes away her place in the world, cursing her to be forgotten by everyone.
Addie flees her tiny hometown in 18th Century France, beginning a journey that takes her across the world, learning to live a life where no one remembers her and everything she owns is lost and broken. Existing only as a muse for artists throughout history, she learns to fall in love anew every single day.
Her only companion on this journey is her dark devil with hypnotic green eyes, who visits her each year on the anniversary of their deal. Alone in the world, Addie has no choice but to confront him, to understand him, maybe to beat him.
Until one day, in a second hand bookshop in Manhattan, Addie meets someone who remembers her. Suddenly thrust back into a real, normal life, Addie realises she can’t escape her fate forever.
The Invisible Life of Addie LaRue was truly an amazing novel that I didn’t expect that I would love. V.E Schwab is an extremely talented writer.
There are three main characters in the novel, however, we meet them at different times. The first to be introduced is Adeline or Addie as she is shown to be a dreamer and not be conformed to societies’ view of women. She has seven freckles and she is told there is one for every love she will have. Being the dreamer she is, she wants to see as much of the world she can and although people think her time is slowly running out, she realises that time is something she doesn’t have to worry about.
If she must grow roots, she would rather be left to flourish wild instead of pruned, would rather stand alone, allowed to grow beneath the open sky. Better that than firewood, cut down just to burn in someone else’s hearth.
The next character we meet that stands out is Luc. Luc is a god you don’t want to pray to after dark unless you are desperate, hopeless and willing to pay an unknown price. We meet Luc when Addie does just this and spends the next few years learning the scope of her curse.
The old gods may be great, but they are neither kind nor merciful. They are fickle, unsteady as moonlight on water, or shadows in a storm. If you insist on calling them, take heed: be careful what you ask for, be willing to pay the price. And no matter how desperate or dire, never pray to the gods that answer after dark.
Over the course of the book you can see how the interactions between Addie and Luc evolve and we see hints that his motive stemmed from him being lonely and wanting company. He never hides his true self from Addie.
I am stronger than your god and older than your devil. I am the darkness between stars, and the roots beneath the earth. I am promise, and potential, and when it comes to playing games, I divine the rules, I set the pieces, and I choose when to play. And tonight, I say no.
The final main character is Henry. He works in a bookstore in New York while he tries to find something new each day to live his life to the fullest. The relationship that is built between Addie and Henry after three simple words is the sweetest. Addie truely is with someone who sees her and she can tell her story. The ending between them was heartbreaking. Through her many years, Addie appreciates stories and finally has someone she can share with.
Stories are a way to preserve one’s self. To be remembered. And to forget. Stories come in so many forms: in charcoal, and in song, in paintings, poems, films. And books. Books, she has found are a way to live a thousand lives-or to find strength in a very long one.
V.E Schwab has done an amazing job and I will definitely be reading Addie LaRue again. She has woven the different stories together in such a cohesive manner which allowed the story to flow. I definitely recommend this book.
This my current collection of pops from the Throne of Glass by Erin Errands shop. They are stunning and have so many amazing details that I can’t choose which one I like the most. This current collection includes:
I’m planning on purchasing a few more to complete the full collection. If you love Throne of Glass and are looking for custom pops, definitely check out Erin Errands.
I’m thrilled that I’m an influencer for MC Merch Creations as I love their scrunchies. They have a fantastic selection of designs for scrunchies as well as patterned hair elastics. The scrunchies that I have are awesome and I love the designs that are available.
If you are looking for an Australian company to purchase scrunchies from, definitely check out MC Merch Creations.
The Wizard in My Shed: Misadventures of Merdyn the Wild is written by Simon Farnaby and illustrated by Claire Powell. I would like to thank Hachette Australia for the review copy.
Merdyn the Wild is from the Dark Ages. He’s the world’s greatest Warlock (don’t call him a wizard), banished to the 21st century for bad behaviour, and he’s about to create a whole load of trouble for Rose, aged 12.
Rose is a totally ordinary girl, on a mission to mend her broken family.
Bubbles is Rose’s guinea pig. He just poos a lot.
When Rose bumps into Merdyn and discovers what he is, she quickly realises that he could be just what she needs. Rose agrees to help Merdyn navigate the confusing ways of the modern world (things like: the lidded bowl in the bathroom is NOT a sink, it’s a TOILET, so definitely DON’T wash your face in it) if Merdyn gives her a spell to fix her family in return.
Now they just need to hide him in the shed without Rose’s mum noticing, track down Merdyn’s magic staff and find a way to send Merdyn back through time to the Dark Ages. What could possibly go wrong…?
This was a fantastic read and from the beginning Farnaby drew me in thinking about the Dark Ages and the possibility of magic. The main characters of Merdyn and Rose balanced each other out and I loved reading from each of their perspectives.
I really enjoyed the development of Merdyn as we see him change over the course of the book and Rose trying to get him home. The use of rhyme was fantastically used to add detail and whit to the end of some chapters. The change in Merdyn from the supposed bad guy to the hero
The world, the Pope, The President and Queen; all prayed for a hero to undo what they just seen
and the good guy Jerabo turned out to be evil.
He flipped the pages with his thumbs, watch out future, here the wicked wizard comes
I really loved the reveal of Rose being Merdyn’s descendant and having the ability to do magic if she just believed in herself. This book deals with many themes but family, friendship and kindness are the key ones. Both Rose and Merdyn find true friends and the meaning of those who you can actual trust and who are real. Rose’s family become closer and Merdyn understands that he needs to use his magic for good.
Merdyn must have gone home, become good and wise, used his powers for the benefit of others as he’d promised. In fact, he had become, perhaps through some misspelling over time, the man we now know as …Merlin.
The illustrations are amazing and add much more to the book. We are able to see the characters as well as important aspects of scenes through the illustrations. The little explanations at the bottom of the page as footnotes are an awesome touch. The choice of font and words in bold, italics and movement of words on the page truly make this book.
I would definitely recommend this book and it is definitely one that can be a class novel in primary classes, grades 3 to 6.
With Shield and Ink and Bone is a YA Historical Fantasy Romance by Casey L Bond.
A hard-earned shield.
Days before she is to take her place as a shield maiden, like her mother before her, two deaths alter the course of Liv’s future. One belonged to a witch who called her by name, the other a chieftain from the north. Vengeance for the chieftain’s death comes in a wild fury that burns her village and slaughters her family. Left for dead, Liv pleads to Skuld – norn and weaver of the future – to spare her. A deal is struck that will endow her with the dark magic needed to claim her vengeance. But this power comes at an unfathomable price…
Ink made from the ashes of loved ones.
After his home is attacked, Calder races to warn neighboring villages of the threat. Little does he know he’s traveling into the path of fate that will lead him straight to Liv. Despite being broken, angry, and overwhelmed by power she cannot contain, it’s her willingness to defend others that draws Calder to her.
Armor forged from the bones of those she held dear.
Together, Liv and Calder discover they are two sides of the same sharpened blade. Rising from the heartache and fury in their pasts, they see a future together worth fighting for. With their strengths and hearts combined, can they become a force powerful enough to defeat the fleet of darkness coming for them? Or will the thread of fate that binds them unravel?
With Shield and Ink and Bone takes you back to a time where Vikings roamed and fought and the Norse gods claimed warriors as their own while the Fates played a heavy role in their lives. From the beginning of the book we meet the main protagonist Liv, who has a strong relationship with her brother Hodor and the rest of her family.
Liv is preparing for a fight to earn her shield from her mother and where her world tilts after meeting a witch with a warning. Her fate changes after her family and village die and she refuses too. I love that Norse mythology is woven throughout and Liv’s deal with Skuld highlights this
“Weave a new destiny for me. Weave a future where I can taste his tears and watch the light bleed from his eyes”
Bond builds a web of characters that build Liv up to the person she is with the strength to continue to fight Fenris Wolf. After the loss of her family, the little family she builds with Calder, Fell, Sig, Armund, Tyr and Hilla show that even though she has a destiny, she makes connections with others, her humanity shines through. Liv is a strong shield maiden, whose strength stems from the need to protect the ones she loves which is her new built family.
“These people were family. They took care of one another. They fought for one another. Back to back. Swords toward their enemies. Ready to fight, bleed, and die to protect others.”
Bond slowly builds up Liv’s relationship with Calder was amazingly done and I loved all their small interactions and them swimming. Throughout the whole book, Liv’s vengeance is her main drive, however, through Calder, she gains a new reason to live and want something more for her life than death.
“With shield and ink and bone, I will have my vengeance”
“Fight as one, live as one”
Bond ticks all the boxes for a truely amazing Viking romance novel, one that I will be reading again and again. I recommend this book to readers who loved Sky in the Deep and Girl the Sea Gave Back.
These art prints are from A Touch of Magic Designs. It was my first order and I absolutely love all the artists’ work. These commissions truly depict the main characters of some of the books I am reading and I’m looking forward to using them in my photos on Instragram.
If you are looking for amazing art prints, definitely check out A Touch of Magic Designs.