Blog Tour: Wings by Elizabeth Richards [Review + Giveaway + Quiz!]

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Hello everyone! Today’s the first day of the #WingsPHBlogTour! Hooray! I’m so happy to be a tour stop along with Michelle of The Escapist. I hope you enjoy the whole tour as it’s loaded with lots of fun and interesting stuff including an awesome INTERNATIONAL giveaway! 🙂

About the book:

Wings

Title: Wings (Black City, #3)

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Publication date: June 12, 2014

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Pages: 400

Source: ARC from author (Thank you, Liz!)

Purchase the book: Amazon / Barnes & Noble Book Depository / Fully Booked 

Synopsis: 

Following the cliffhanger ending of Phoenix, Natalie finds herself separated from Ash and unexpectedly reunited with her parents, including the father she thought was dead. But she can only think of Ash. She hasn’t heard a word of him since she and Elijah were brought to the underground headquarters of the Sentry Rebellion. But she vows to find him.

Ash, meanwhile is back in Black City; it’s the perfect place to hide from the Sentry government. But not for long. He won’t give up on Natalie or bringing an end to the terrible reign of Purian Rose.

A pulse-racing end to an exciting series.

*Photo and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review:

With Wings as the final book in the Black City series, writing this review is a bittersweet moment for me. As a parting gift to a beloved series, I wrote a lengthy review containing everything that my heart wants to say. 

Wings takes readers on a thrilling ride of stressful conflicts and startling discoveries leading to the final destination—the fate and future of the United Sentry States and of Ash Fisher and Natalie Buchanan. The book has an array of diverse secondary characters that added zing to its brilliantly crafted plot. Each secondary character plays a significant role in the story’s intense sequence of events. I’m in awe with how characters like Beetle, Day, and Elijah contributed to the rebellion’s efforts in fighting for peace and unity in their country. Day is a fantastic surprise! Fans of the series know that Day’s a girl with beauty and brains. But in Wings, she is more than that. Day has a lot of fire in her that uncloaked her fearless side.

Aside from the three previously mentioned characters, other familiar faces that readers met in Black City and Phoenix also make an appearance. What’s more, Wings introduces new and intriguing characters that make up the series’ well-constructed history. In addition, itenables readers to connect significant episodes in the past to the present and tie all loose ends until the biggest shock in the whole series is unveiled. My whole world stopped breathing when the pieces of puzzles finally came together revealing the picture of the big and horrible truth. It’s undeniably insane, you guys. Believe me.

As always, Elizabeth Richards’ writing is gorgeous, effortless, and authentic. She describes people, scenes, and emotions with a natural aesthetic touch. The originality of Elizabeth’s style never fails to enchant me with its impeccable beauty. Moreover, I love how she tells the past through one of the new characters named Edmund. Incidentally, Edmund is a giant time bomb whose explosion would send you flying out to space. When you realize his true identity, you’ll have a deeper understanding of the series’ history as well as why Edmund conducts himself in a particular way.

Ash and Natalie’s romance is so genuine, believable, and very natural in this book. I’ve been on Team Nash since Black City and I feel privileged to witness how far their relationship has come. In Wings, the bond that Ash and Natalie share is so much more than what they had in the first two books. Their love strengthened into something with greater depth and meaning—going beyond limits, taking risks, and devotedly trusting each other in spite of the odds. Two hearts beating as one, Ash and Natalie are unbreakable. Nothing—not even the people around them—can come between both characters.

My admiration for Ash grew stronger in Wings because of what he did for Natalie in the end. Throughout the years I’ve read young adult fiction, it is in Wings that I encountered the most immeasurable and selfless act that a YA fictional boyfriend can do for the love of his life. It’s an incredibly beautiful and moving expression of true love. A heavy stream of emotions coursed through me while reading that part. The intensity of the scene consumed me and when my heart couldn’t hold any longer, my eyes unleashed a waterfall of tears.

Thank you, Elizabeth Richards, for creating a brave and extraordinary world that inspires readers to fight for what they believe in and not let their fears reign over them. Never give up. And most of all, never back down! The Black City series is a huge part of my book blogging journey being the first paranormal/dystopian that I loved. I’ll definitely miss the thrill of being in the Black City world.

Charged with electrifying action, mind-blowing revelations, and passionate romance, Wings is a breathtaking grand finale to a series that’s too remarkable to be forgotten. Captivating until the end!

 

Rating:

5/5 stars

 

GIVEAWAY TIME!

Please click on the link below and it will direct you to the Rafflecopter form!

a Rafflecopter giveaway 

Before you leave my blog, have fun by answering this QUIZ:

 Which character from WINGS are you?

Let me know your result in the comment section below! 🙂

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For the complete schedule of the #WingsPHBlogTour, head over to The Bookaholic Blurbs!

Cover Reveal: Wings by Elizabeth Richards

Hello everyone! Are you ready to see something AWESOME? Well, here it is! 🙂

Today we are super excited to share the cover to WINGS, the third and final book in author’s Elizabeth Richard’s BLACK CITY series!


Check out this beauty! 
Wings (Black City #3) by Elizabeth Richards
 
Get the first two books in the series! 
OPEN INTERNATIONAL!!!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Author of the Month: Elizabeth Richards [Interview + Giveaway!]

First Author of the Month post! I’m very excited about this one because the author is someone I really look up to. She’s the author of the brilliant dystopian/paranormal YA novels BLACK CITY and PHOENIX which I enjoyed very much. So without further ado, I present you…

Elizabeth Richards

ELIZABETH RICHARDS!  

Now onto the interview!

How did you get started with writing?

It’s always something I’ve loved to do, even as a little girl, but I started writing my first ‘serious’ novel when I was fifteen. My best friend and I would write during registration and lunch, (and sometimes during class too! Ssh, don’t tell anyone), and pass chapters to each other to critique. It gave me such a rush. But being an author wasn’t something I ever considered doing as a career, as it just wasn’t presented to us as an option. When I got into sixth-form college, I continued writing novels, but I also wrote a few trashy movie scripts, as my friends and I used to make horror movies at the weekend. And one of those scripts actually helped me get into university (I did a BA Hons in Scriptwriting for TV and Film). When I left uni, I went into journalism and wrote for a couple of videogames and travel magazines for a few years, before finally plucking up the courage to write my first YA novel!

What is your writing process like?

Generally it begins with the hook – for Black City it was ‘a drug-dealing supernatural boy who gets a heartbeat when he meets his true love—and the story grows from that. I then spend a few weeks obsessively discussing it with my friends, working out the basic plot, and then I start writing a few scenes to get into the mind of the characters and explore the world. I NEVER write in order, I just can’t do it—I hop about the story, laying down the path, and then go back and fill in the blanks. It takes about 3-5 months for me to write ‘The Shitty First Draft’, as it is a very organic process. If I can, I try and leave it a few weeks before I start revising it. My second drafts are nearly always rewrites rather than revisions—I move whole scenes around, cut characters, fix plot issues (and sometimes even changing elements of the plot). Then the third draft is finally something that resembles a book. After that it’s then on to copy edits, line edits, First Pass pages and finally it goes to press.

What made you decide to write young adult fiction?

I’d tried writing adult fiction several times throughout my teens and early twenties, and it never felt right. It wasn’t my ‘voice’ and I just wasn’t interested in the situations and issues adults dealt with. I felt all the real drama and interesting stuff in life happens when you’re younger, when everything is a first: your first kiss, your first love, the first time you leave home, the first time you’re betrayed. Then I started reading the Harry Potter books, and they were sort of my gateway book into MG and YA literature. From that I devoured as much MG and YA literature as I could, and I knew then that this is what I wanted to do. I went with YA, simply because I like to write darker stories featuring a LOT of kissing and hot boys!!!

How long did it take you to write Black City?

I started writing Black City back in the summer of 2009. It was published in November 2012. So about 3 years! But I was working full time for the majority of that, so it’s not like it is now, where I can dedicate my entire day to writing. Plus, I have a publishing schedule to work to now, so that pretty much determines the pace I write! I can get a book written and edited in about 6 months now.

What did you discover about yourself when you worked on the Black City series?  

That I like to kill my darlings!

Now let’s talk about your newly released book, Phoenix! Which character surprised you the most while writing it?

I’d probably say Elijah, mainly because he only had a minor role in Black City, so it was the first time I got to properly know him. And so I was learning all about him as I was writing the book and I came to really care about him. He has a lot of layers and he’s hard to predict – you can’t necessarily trust his motivations or what he’s really thinking, which makes him exciting to write.

What song best describes Phoenix?

Freedom Fighters by Two Steps from Hell. It’s such an epic score and really suits the action and drama of the book.

Jesselle says: Love this song! It’s perfect! 🙂 

What is your favorite quote from Phoenix?

Ooooh, that’s a good one. Um… I actually really like this quote from the Prologue, as it sends shivers through me:

“Your Transporter is ready, Your Excellency,” Forsyth said.

Rose simply nodded, dismissing the man, and turned his attention back to the ants. He watched the insects for a moment longer before crushing them under the thumb of his white-gloved hand.

            He had waited long enough. The moment had come to put his plan into action. It was time he reminded Ash Fisher and Natalie Buchanan why they should fear him.

The answer to this next question is something I’m really dying to know.  How does the Thracian language sound like?

I always imagine it sounding Spanish, although a more ancient and provincial version of it.

If you wake up one day in the Black City world, what place would you visit first? Why?

I’d go to Beetle’s barge, as chances are that’s where the whole gang will be hanging out. I’d love to meet them all face-to-face (I might fangirl over Ash a little bit though, so I’m sure Natalie will have a few words to say to me!). Plus, Beetle can take me on a canal tour of the city. What better way to see it?

I’m sure hearts stopped beating for a moment with the cliffhanger ending of Phoenix. A lot are very eager to read the final book! What can readers expect in Book 3?

I’m not allowed to reveal too much at this stage, but I can promise you there will be lots of action, shocking revelations and kissing!

What is your message to Ash and Natalie, now that the series is coming to an end?

Thank you for the incredible journey, my friends; for the tears, the heartache, the laughter, and the joy. I’ve enjoyed every second of it. And I’m sorta gonna cry now. But know you will always be in my (dual) heart. And whenever I shut my eyes I will hear your cry. “No fear. No power.”

What advice would you give to aspiring writers?  

Write what you love to read. Don’t try and write in a genre you’re not completely passionate about just because you think it’ll have a better chance of selling, as it’ll show in your writing and ultimately it’s not good for your career.

Thank you Elizabeth for the opportunity to interview you and for making this day super special! 🙂

Connect with Elizabeth: 

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/OfficialElizabethRichards

Twitter: http://twitter.com/theredpenofdoom

Website: http://officialelizabethrichards.com

So why is JUNE 15TH a special day? IT’S MY BIRTHDAY! And what’s a birthday without a GIVEAWAY? 🙂

PRIZE:

A paperback edition of BLACK CITY

Open INTERNATIONALLY and ends on June 22nd. 🙂

Please click on the Rafflecopter link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Blog Tour: Phoenix by Elizabeth Richards [Review + Guest Post + Giveaway!]

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Hello everyone! Today’s my stop in the Phoenix Philippine Blog Tour. It’s the very first blog tour I joined which makes this post special to me! 🙂

Phoenix

Title: Phoenix

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Published: June 4, 2013

Publisher: Putnam Juvenile

Pages: 368

Source: ARC provided by the author

Synopsis: 

Ash and Natalie are just starting to build a life together when things in the United Sentry States go from bad to worse. Ash and Natalie find themselves at the center of turmoil when dictator Purian Rose threatens Natalie’s life unless Ash votes in favor of Rose’s Law—a law that will send Darklings and other dissenters to a deadly concentration camp known as the Tenth.

When Ash can’t bring himself to trade Natalie’s life for those of millions of Darklings, her fate is sealed. Enter Elijah Theroux, the handsome Bastet boy Natalie once saved from her mother’s labs, where he’d been experimented on and tortured. It was his venom the Sentry used to create the lethal Golden Haze, the heart of the government conspiracy that led to Black City’s uprising and Ash’s rebirth as the Phoenix, the face of the rebellion. Elijah is back and Ash doesn’t like him; it’s clear he’s taken with Natalie, and Ash fears she may have feelings for him as well.

But Elijah also may have the answer to taking down Purian Rose for good—a powerful weapon called the Ora. Ash, Natalie and Elijah just have to escape Black City undetected to find it. But fleeing the city and finding this weapon (if it even exists) are easier said than done, and the quest could tear Ash and Natalie apart, even pushing them into the arms of others.

This enthralling sequel to Black City is just as absorbing, delicious and steamy as the first book, leaving readers hungry for the series conclusion.

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review: 

Phoenix takes off a few months after the horrible events in Black City such as the riot and Ash’s execution which he miraculously survived. Purian Rose, the wicked leader of the United Sentry States wants to pass a law that will segregate the Darklings from humans. He wants Ash to vote in favor of it; or else, Natalie will die. Torn between saving his people and the girl he loves, Ash is thrust into a very serious and complex situation that tests his loyalty to the Darklings and to Natalie. The whole premise of Rose’s Law has a hidden agenda that will shock readers at the moment of discovery. Soon, the war begins and citizens of the nation are forced to take sides to save their lives.

In Black City, readers witnessed the beginning of Ash and Natalie’s beautiful and alluring relationship. In Phoenix, on the other hand, that relationship deepens and evolves into a mature one. Despite the complicated circumstances in the story, Ash and Natalie showed how strong they are as a couple. Their relationship became rocky at some point yet both did not give up no matter how betrayed and hurt they felt. Now that is what you call true devotion. Readers will get to know more about Ash and Natalie in their internal monologues. Feelings of love, desire, heartbreak, grief, and bewilderment unfold their strengths and weaknesses in those monologues. Amid the difficult situations, there are of course sweet moments that will set readers’ hearts ablaze.

Reading the book was a grand adventure. Phoenix takes readers to dangerous and magnificent places in the United Sentry States that will leave them completely breathless. Each place Ash and Natalie went to with the sexy and gorgeous Bastet boy Elijah leads to startling revelations. Those scenes splintered my heart into pieces as I read them. I couldn’t breathe, I couldn’t move. It felt like fiction became my reality. The emotions were so genuine and that’s one of the factors I look for in a book. I believe being real comes from within and I definitely can say that Elizabeth Richards wrote Phoenix with all her heart, making the book timeless and most of all, priceless.

Also, Phoenix wouldn’t be as spectacular as it is without the heart-stopping tension surrounding the story. There were lots of running, hiding, and bloody battle scenes! I kept pounding my bedside table as I felt tension wrapping its arms around me. My mouth unleashed an outburst of “WHAT”, “OMG” and “OH NO,” with each expression ending in infinite exclamation points. Add to that my facial expressions which made my mom curious as to what was happening to me. New characters are also introduced in Phoenix that added spice and spark to the story. Each fresh face has an essential role and contribution that made the plot twists and turns very appealing and intense.

Phoenix is a remarkable novel. I’m completely drawn to Elizabeth Richards’ powerful writing. The vivid descriptions painted clear and striking images in my mind. And the emotions embedded within the brilliantly crafted prose make the novel a magnificent work of art. Like The Sight, this amazing sequel to Black City will certainly enclose readers in an enthralling experience they’ll never forget. I seriously can’t wait for Book 3!

Rating:

5/5 stars

Guest post:

In today’s ‘Scenes That Inspired’ Elizabeth shares the building that was the inspiration behind Thrace’s infamous tiered-roof taverns, which appear in PHOENIX.

“Ash lifts the truck door, letting in a welcome blast of cool air, which smells of spices and herbs. We’re in Thrace’s bustling central market, which puts the one in Chantilly Lane to shame. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of round buildings made from red sandstone bricks. Many of the buildings have murals painted on the walls, so the city is a vision of color. But this isn’t what’s most striking. All the buildings have elaborately tiered roofs, covered in tiles made from a strange, shimmering metal I’ve never seen before. It’s highly polished and reflects the light, so the whole city seems to be glittering, like sunlight on the sea.”

–          From PHOENIX, page 238

THRACE

[Photo: © Amelia Vincent 2013]

 “Weirdly, the shape of Thrace’s famous taverns was inspired by this Buddhist Peace Pagoda in Milton Keynes. I loved the tiered roof, circular shape of the building, and the stone carvings on the wall, and wanted to incorporate it into my novel. However, I wanted the taverns to have a rustic-meets-futuristic feel, which is why they’re made from red sandstone bricks with hand-painted murals on them, but have these advanced-technology, solar paneled roofs.”

About the author:

Elizabeth Richards

Elizabeth Richards is an award-winning journalist, who spent her early career reviewing video games before making the bold (or crazy) move into travel writing, despite suffering from terrible travel sickness. In her spare time, she ran a successful lifestyle website aimed at teenage girls, where she got to interview many of her favorite bands, go to gigs and                                                       basically blag loads of free swag all in the name of ‘research’.

Elizabeth lives in Buckinghamshire, England, with her husband. BLACK CITY is her debut novel. The sequel, PHOENIX, is out on June 4, 2013.

Fun facts about…Elizabeth Richards 

  • She’s an identical twin…and yes, she is the evil one.
  • She’s part sloth.
  • She hopes to see 10 volcanoes before she dies. She’s already climbed Vesuvius, had lunch on top of Mount Etna and watched Stromboli erupt at night.
  • She’s a little bit obsessed with Daniel Radcliffe.
  • Some of her favorite TV shows are Buffy, Being Erica, and Extreme Couponing.
  • Her favorite authors are JK Rowling, Suzanne Collins, Beth Revis, Stephen Fry, and Veronica Roth.

GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

Prizes:

One paperback copy of Black City, One hardbound copy of Phoenix, and swag! Open INTERNATIONALLY. 🙂

Please click on the Rafflecopter link!


a Rafflecopter giveaway

Book Review: Black City by Elizabeth Richards

ImageTitle: Black City

Author: Elizabeth Richards

Published: November 13, 2012

Publisher: G.P. Putnam’s Sons BYR

Pages: 374

Source: Won from a Twitter giveaway (Thank you Elizabeth! 🙂 )

Synopsis: 

A dark and tender post-apocalyptic love story set in the aftermath of a bloody war.

In a city where humans and Darklings are now separated by a high wall and tensions between the two races still simmer after a terrible war, sixteen-year-olds Ash Fisher, a half-blood Darkling, and Natalie Buchanan, a human and the daughter of the Emissary, meet and do the unthinkable—they fall in love. Bonded by a mysterious connection that causes Ash’s long-dormant heart to beat, Ash and Natalie first deny and then struggle to fight their forbidden feelings for each other, knowing if they’re caught, they’ll be executed—but their feelings are too strong.

When Ash and Natalie then find themselves at the center of a deadly conspiracy that threatens to pull the humans and Darklings back into war, they must make hard choices that could result in both their deaths

*Image and synopsis from Goodreads 

My review: 

This breathtaking dystopian/paranormal romance story got me hooked from the very first page. The intriguing world of Black City as well as the unique and intense love story of Ash and Natalie totally lured me. Scenes were perfectly woven together and the pacing is really good. It’s not too fast and not too slow, which I really like in books because readers could easily follow and connect the dots.

The writing is flawless–words are all effortlessly beautiful. I love that it is written in alternate points of view because readers get to understand how Ash and Natalie truly feel and think. Elizabeth Richards, thank you for giving your readers the chance to experience the world of Black City through the eyes of Ash and Natalie. Both of them are amazing and well-developed characters with strong voices and personalities. They’re so different, yet so perfect for each other.

Be ready for suspenseful, unexpected plot twists and turns! I was on the edge of my seat the whole time!

Black City is a story brimming with sparkling magnificence, blazing fierceness, and forbidden yet genuine and passionate love. This book will always have a special place in my heart. 🙂

Rating:

5/5 stars