Tag Archive | Trick

Review: Lie

Title: Lie

Author: Natalia Jaster

Date of Publication: November 8th, 2018

Goodreads Summary:

Once upon a time, there lived a liar…

In the Kingdom of Autumn, Aspen is a girl of the trees.
She’s a girl who knows her way around a falsehood.
She’s the artful liar who steals from the Crown.

Once upon a time, there lived a knight…

In the shadows of a castle, Aire is a man of the wind.
He’s a man who sees through Aspen’s treachery.
He’s the relentless knight who pursues her.

Once upon a time, there lived two enemies…

In a fairytale woodland, a pair of mismatched souls are thrown together—only to find an unexpected bond. Both deceitful and passionate.

My Review:

I absolutely love the Foolish Kingdoms series! The first two books were absolutely stunning and emotional and this one was just as good!

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First, yes, there are cameos from characters from previous books! Also, one is a big side character! Then there is the perfect swoon from the two new characters! Aire is such a sweetheart yet badass, while Aspen is the right amount of cool attitude! Can I also just say I adored the setting of this one which was in the kingdom of Autumn!

I seriously am in love with Jaster’s writing. She just has this beautiful way of wording things that sucks me right in! And I’m so excited to read the next book!

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Do you like enemy to lover stories?

 

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Natalia Jaster: Author Interview + Giveaway

 

I’m extremely happy to have this interview with Natalia Jaster for you guys to read today. I absolutely adore her books!

Author Interview with Natalia Jaster:

What made you want to become a writer?

Well, my brother used to tell me stories when I was little, and some of the tales had to do with magical worlds, so I think that played a big part in planting the roots—which is why I dedicated Touch to him.

But it wasn’t until university that I realized fiction was my thing. Classes allowed me to explore genres and writing techniques, and that became the place where I searched for the right character voice, the one that I’d click with.

The first time I wrote a short story from an older teen’s point-of-view, I knew. I knew.

What was your inspiration for Touch?

It started out as fanfiction, actually. Before my novels, I was active in the Hunger Games community, writing AU stories (alternative universe). In one of them, I turned Katniss Everdeen into a well-known mythological matchmaker.

As a writer, I naturally gravitate toward swapping gender roles and subverting expectations, so I was drawn to the premise of a love deity being clueless about love. A deity who’s forced to pair up the mortal she loves with someone else. There couldn’t be a worse challenge for Eros!

The premise stuck with me long after I’d finished the fic, so I decided to rewrite it into an original novel, pushing the tale even further.

What was your inspiration for Trick?

That book didn’t take off until I decided the hero was going to be a court jester. I’d wanted to write a castle story, and for me, it always begins with figuring out who the main characters are. I struggled at first, but once the idea for a jester landed in my heart, the story bloomed.

Questions piled up: Why is the hero a “trained fool”? Does he like/dislike being one? What does it mean to be a fool, and how it is defined in this story?

That last question inspired the world building and main conflict of Trick.

What was your inspiration for Dare?

A few things. Some readers had mentioned that they wanted to know more about the other season kingdoms, so I began to wonder. I’d written about Spring & Autumn. What about Summer & Winter?

Also, I realized that in order for the world to be grounded, for the mindset of this landscape to be fully explored, we needed to read the POVs of the oppressor and sufferer. The intolerant Royal and the “born fool.”

Plus, I’d been interested in doing a dark reimagining of The Blue Lagoon. When I combined all those things, I knew it would be my next novel, despite how scared I was to write it.

I love all three of your books, which one is your favorite and why?

Thank you! All my books are dear to me, but if I had to pick, it would be Trick. For Poet reasons.

Poet is definitely my favorite character of all time. How did you come up with him?

Ah, I had such a blast creating him. Making a jester alluring, in spite of it being the un-sexiest trade I could have assigned a hero, was such an exciting prospect.

I wanted to subvert the vision people have about jesters—most of what I found on Pinterest was either creepy or ridiculous—while also magnifying their best skills. There’s not much research on jesters, but from what learned, they were popular figures in their time. Clever, sharp-tongued, intelligent, beloved by their sovereigns, and possessing their own degree of power and admirers.

I envisioned someone magnetic. Someone with a tendency toward verse, who wore eye makeup like nobody’s business, who had a flamboyant wardrobe (but not an absurd one), and who’d be widely desired. A vain but selfless character, amusing but passionate, who can work a dance floor and handle a dagger. Also, someone who kept a dangerous secret, and it’s that very secret I’m most proud of.

For anyone interested in reading more about him, I wrote a post on creating Poet’s character. You can find it here on my website, or here on Tumblr.

I loved the setting for Dare, and I especially loved Jeryn (who is my second favorite character you have written). Was he a hard character to write?

YES! I mean, every character is hard to write for different reasons, but the deal with him was, how could I create a villain who starts out vicious but remains intriguing enough that readers to stick with him? And how do I redeem him organically and convincingly—staying true to who he is?

Flawed and complex characters interest me the most because they have the greatest capacity for change. Jeryn is cold and calculating, not only a prince but a scientist; he’s a curator of facts, yet those facts are filtered through a narrow-minded lens. His intolerance stems a lot from his fears, not just his upbringing. I spent months scrutinizing every part of his journey; every single thought and piece of dialogue was carefully considered, interpreted from different angles. Basically, I edited and revised the entire book with a magnifying glass.

That said, Jeryn’s voice came pretty easily. I latched onto it quick, whereas it took some time with Flare. I’d say she was the more difficult of the pair to write.

What are you working on next?

Alas, that’s a secret. I promised my newsletter subscribers they’d be the first to know the details, but I will say that it’s a whole new setting for me.

Do you have any advice for future writers?

There’s endless inspiration in the world. In fiction and nonfiction. Wandering museums and flea markets. Watching a dance performance or a documentary. Hiking a forest trail, strolling through an old village, or visiting a lighthouse. Listening to the hum of a cello, or a favorite song, or a podcast, or a poetry reading.

Inspiration is everywhere. Just keep looking and listening, and then write what you care about. Tell the story that matters to you.

What’s your favorite color and why?

In the spring & summer, it’s green. In the fall & winter, it’s blue. It’s always about nature and the seasons with me, I guess!

 

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Title: Dare

Subtitle: A Dangerous Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #2

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, dark fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

Stranded on a mysterious island, a coldhearted prince and his maddened prisoner fight to survive the rainforest—and each other.

 

Summary:

A Hotheaded Prisoner

They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.

The island is calling to her. And she won’t let anyone keep her from it.

Especially not him.

A Coldhearted Prince

They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.

By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.

One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.

A Mythical Shipwreck

But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.

Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together…if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.

Something just as dangerous.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #2. Can also be read as a standalone, though it’s recommended to read “Trick” first.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

 

Book quotes:

The evil world expected me to curl up in the corner like a seashell—silent and small and breakable—forgetting that a seashell held the roar of an entire ocean inside it.

I’d rather be wild in a forest than mad in a castle.

In the daylight, you’re bold. By the firelight, you’re brilliant. Under the night light, you’re enduring. Always, you’re lasting.

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

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Title: Trick

Subtitle: A Foolish Love Story

Series: Foolish Kingdoms #1

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, fantasy historical, fantasy medieval, historical romance, historical fantasy, historical medieval, royalty romance

One-line description:

The forbidden love between a righteous princess and a rakish court jester.

 

Summary:

There is a rule amongst his kind: A jester doesn’t lie.

In the kingdom of Whimtany, Poet is renowned. He’s young and pretty, a lover of men and women. He performs for the court, kisses like a scoundrel, and mocks with a silver tongue.

Yet allow him this: It’s only the most cunning, most manipulative soul who can play the fool. For Poet guards a secret. One the Crown would shackle him for. One that he’ll risk everything to protect.

Alas, it will take more than clever words to deceive Princess Briar. Convinced that he’s juggling lies as well as verse, this righteous nuisance of a girl is determined to expose him.

But not all falsehoods are fiendish. Poet’s secret is delicate, binding the jester to the princess in an unlikely alliance—and kindling a breathless attraction, as alluring as it is forbidden.

*Foolish Kingdoms, Book #1. Can also be read as a standalone.*

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Broken hearts made faults and fools of us all.”

“A fool is a man who believes glory can be found at the tip of a sword instead of on the tip of his tongue. That is life’s cruel trick.”

“The greatest courage a person can have is to love another, for there are only two outcomes. Either the love lasts, and our lives are compromised, or it doesn’t, and our lives are emptied. Either way, we suffer more than we celebrate. I’ve enjoyed suffering with you. We are a tale for campfires. That is all. That is everything.”

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

Touch Cover_preview

 

Title: Touch

Categories/genres:

Mature young adult, new adult, romance, fantasy romance, mythology romance, mythology retellings

One-line description:

A female Eros named Love, who’s destined to match the mortal boy she loves with another mortal girl.

On the cover: She’s a myth. He’s a mortal. Fate is tempted.

Summary:

The myth of Eros isn’t the truth. Her story is the truth…

Love is an immortal bad girl. With a strike of her arrow and a smirk on her face, she pins human hearts together against their will. It’s for their own good, of course—silly, clueless creatures that they are.

But Love has never loved. Not until the Fates parcel her off to a small, frostbitten town littered with needy souls. Not until she crosses paths with Andrew, a boy whose gaze locks onto hers. Yet how can this be? Mortals don’t have the power to see deities.

The longer they’re friends, the more Love wishes she could touch Andrew. In gentle ways. In other tempting and reckless ways as well.

It’s impossible. She isn’t a true part of his world. She’s an outsider whose fingers will only ever sweep through him. A mischievous, invisible goddess who’s destined to be alone. And he’s destined for someone else. By order of the Fates, it’s Love’s duty to betray his trust. To seal his heart while ignoring the gash in her own.

Or she could become human. For there is one very tricky, very dangerous way to do so.

If only Andrew felt the same about her, it might be worth the risk.

*Mature young adult/new adult: sexual content and language. For readers 17 and older.*

Book quotes:

“Who are you?” he whispers.

The glossy darkness surrounds them, snow collects on their shoulders, and the far-from-innocent question hangs by a thread in the air.

Don’t tell him, she warns herself. Then she does the opposite.

Pulling her hand away from his, she gives a mocking bow and flashes a devious grin. “My name is Love.”

 

She watches him for hours. She wants to be the sheets that cover his toes. She wants to be the ceiling separating him from the sky: above him, the first thing he sees before and after dreams. She wants to be the open window letting in the light for him.

If she could explore and heal his injuries with her fingers, it would be another type of magic, her skin making contact with his. Putting her mind to it, Love would become familiar with his body. She would know him from top to bottom, from beginning to end. 

Touching this boy would be the death, and life, of her.

She falls into his lips, thinking that maybe kisses have a bottom. Maybe she can find it, and if she does, that’s where she will hide.

 

Links:

Amazon Links:

 

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Natalia Jaster

andshewaits@gmail.com

Bio:

My kindergarten teacher told my mom that I stared out the window too much, daydreaming instead of paying attention in class. It’s true. Eventually I learned to focus more in school (and to love it), but the daydreaming never stopped. So after earning my master’s in creative writing and spending a bunch of fun years as a magazine editor, I became a storyteller.

I’m really into opposites attracting and romances between characters from different worlds. I like to dream up settings that are real yet mystical. I love when raw angst collides with lyrical beauty, sweetness escalates to hotness. And I definitely love treading the line between YA and NA.

I’m also a total fool for first-kiss scenes, fanfiction, libraries, and starry nights.

Social:

Website: www.nataliajaster.com

Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/nataliajaster

Instagram: www.instagram.com/nataliajaster

Facebook: www.facebook.com/NataliaJasterAuthor

Tumblr: www.andshewaits.tumblr.com

Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/andshewaits

Amazon: www.amazon.com/Natalia-Jaster/e/B00OEZHIQ6

 

Giveaway!

Natalia will be doing a giveaway on her Instagram, (10/27 – 10/30), to celebrate Touch’s book birthday. https://www.instagram.com/nataliajaster/

 

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What did you think about the interview?

Review: Dare

Title: Dare

Author: Natalia Jaster

Date of Publication: July 25th, 2017

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Goodreads Summary:

A Hotheaded Prisoner

They say she’s mad—made of madness, made of fire. In a cage by the sea, Flare dreams of escape. She yearns for the day when she’ll flee to a place only she knows, a hidden world of mystical waters and gilded sands.

The island is calling to her. And she she won’t let anyone keep her from it.

Especially not him.

A Coldhearted Prince

They say he’s cruel—crowned of cruelty, as cold as ice. A prince whose gaze cuts like the incisions he administers within his lab. Jeryn has sailed beyond his kingdom for the Trade, to bargain for those wild, imprisoned fools that make his skin crawl.

By law, they’re subjects meant for experimentation. And easy to despise.

One in particular. A girl seething at him from behind bars, with burning eyes and ready fists.

A Mythical Shipwreck

But on the cusp of transport, the tide rages. That uncharted island awaits, a dark tangle of foliage where creatures slither in the mist and poisons lurk in the flora.

Stranded, the prince and prisoner must fight to survive. In this mysterious rainforest, they must band together . . . if they don’t slay one another first. Or become something more to each other.

Something just as dangerous.

My Review:

So, Trick is one of my favorite books ever and I was so pumped when I saw there was this book new book titled, Dare, in the same realm!

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Dare is told in dual point of views between Flare and Jeryn. Jeryn starts out as a pretty intense character, but I never found myself disliking him, and I was rooting for him every step of the way. Jeryn and Flare get shipwrecked on an island, and it started giving me all types of Blue Lagoon vibes. Might I add I hate that movie! Buttttt this is what the movie should have been! The chemistry between the characters was on point!

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There was a whole lot of being inside of their heads, and I could really feel what they were feeling. It was pretty emotional at time, and I feel like this is Natalia’s deepest book she has written. The one thing I wanted more of was dialogue. I know… I know… Flare is mute, but they can still converse because Jeryn can read her lips. When there was conversation, it was perfect! And the romance, ahhhhh it was so swoony!

As for other characters, Little Knight almost stole the show for me!! Loved that little guy. Then we get to the big cameo, and I literally screamed! My boy Poet, Briar, and Nicu! Poet from Trick has to be one of the greatest characters written! The ending was perfect, and I can’t wait to see what Jaster has up her sleeve next!

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How does this book sound to you?

Top Ten Tuesday: Freebie Week

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Top Ten Tuesday is hosted by The Broke and the Bookish.
This week’s topic is Freebie Week, so I am doing a flashback. My top ten books of 2015.

2015 was a great year for books!  There were so many I wanted to put in my top then!

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What was your favorite book from 2015?