Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Dangerous depths blog tour.

Dangerous Depths is the second book in the Sea Monster Memoirs series by Karen Amanda Hooper. For those of you who don't know, I am a massive fan of Tangled Tides, the first book in the series, and have been waiting with baited breath to read Dangerous Depths. I have now had the privilege of being one of the lucky few who got to read it prior to its release and it did not disappoint.

Even better is the fact that you can now read it, too. Oh, yes you can! As it was released for everyone to enjoy on the 20th of November. YAY!!!!!!!

Now, given the fact that Tangled Tides is my favourite book, alongside Dangerous Depths, now, (obviously) I really wanted to do a blog tour post that would really do them justice. I though and though about how I could go about it, but they are so amazingly awesome. I am just not sure that anything I could say could fully do them justice; however, I am going to try anyway.

First of all, I want to talk about the theme. I love fantasy and myths, I do, and I am pretty much up for anything in that genre, but lets face it, a lot of what you see now is vampires, werewolves, witches and wizards and it has pretty much all been done to the point where you just think enough is enough,(is enough. I can't go on. I can't go on no more, now. Did you sing it? hehe)

Now, don't get me wrong. I love the Twilight books and Shiver, linger, and forever by Maggie Stiefvater, but I wanted something different. Some new mythical creature to tantalize and tease me through the pages and that is exactly what Karen Amanda Hooper gave me with Tangled Tides. Her merfolk, selkies, sirens and gorgons sucked me whole-heartedly into their world and left me gagging for more.

To come back to them again in Dangerous Depths was like coming home. I had missed them, so much.

On top of this, Karen's stories flow brilliantly. There is no need to go back and re-read, because something tripped you up a bit. In fact, you'll be hard pressed to even put these books down. Her dialogue is amazing and thought provoking, her characters believable and incredibly loveable, and her plot, simply brilliant; always keeping you on your toes and longing to travel through this magical underwater world and discover all of its secrets.

I was in love with these books from the very first page to the very last and the story lives on in your heart, long after you have read the last page. In fact, it hasn't left me, since I first discovered these amazing characters and their amazing world.

Now, I have never been great at telling people about a book without the spoilers, so I am going to refrain from telling you about it and leave the little snippets above to tempt you into picking these amazing books up.

If you like adventure, love, passion, and discovering  new and tantalizing worlds then you must get these books because they really do deliver all of that and so much more besides.

You still want to know what it's all about though, don't you? Well, let me give you the back cover blurbs from both.

Tangled Tides-

Yara Jones doesn't believe in sea monsters--until she becomes one.

When a hurricane hits her island home and she wakes up with fins, Yara finds herself tangled up in an underwater world of mysterious merfolk and secretive selkies. Both sides believe Yara can save them by fulfilling a broken promise and opening the sealed gateway to their realm, but they are battling over how it should be done. The selkies want to take her life. The merfolk want something far more precious.

Treygan, the stormy-eyed merman who turned Yara mer, will stop at nothing and sacrifice everything to protect his people--until he falls for Yara. The tides turn as Yara fights to save herself, hundreds of sea creatures, and the merman who has her heart. She could lose her soul in the process--or she might open the gateway to a love that's deeper than the oceans.

Dangerous Depths-

Hell hath no fury like a selkie separated from his true love.

The gate to the sea creature realm is finally open. Rownan assumes the worst is behind him when he returns home after years of waiting to be reunited with his wife, Vienna. Only to find out that Vienna didn’t wait for him. She traveled to the evil realm of Harte years ago, hoping the legend of another gateway to Earth’s realm was real, but she was never heard from again. Rownan claimed he’d go through hell to be with Vienna, and now he must prove it.

Yara wanted to bask in the glow of her happily ever after in the magical realm of Rathe. She planned to explore Medusa and Poseidon’s world and dive deeper into her relationship with Treygan, but as the new leader of Rathe, her powers are needed to save more than one member of her own kind. Treygan vowed to always be Yara’s guardian, but long ago he also swore to go any lengths to protect his brother Rownan. Now, he must fulfill his promise to both of them.

Rownan, Yara, and Treygan are about to put their lives and souls at risk by traveling to the most dangerous realm of the worlds. Love should conquer all, but no one has ever conquered Harte. 

One of the amazing things Karen has put together for us lovely bloggers to play with is a sort of soundtrack to the book that actually fits specifically with different scenes. I was so enthralled by this that I had to share, but please do heed the warning at the beginning.

Song list in chronological order of when they take place in the story.
WARNING: Some vague spoilers!
1.) Waves of You- Eric Turner (Rownan to Vienna beginning of book)

2.) Sail- AWOLNation  (drunk Rownan in his dark place on the beach)
3.) Drifting- Plumb feat. Dan Haseltine (Yara & Nixie to Rownan--another way)

4.) If I Lose Myself- One Republic (Treygan to Yara the morning of their trip)

5.) The Sea- Morcheeba (Traveling and arriving)
6.) Storm- Lifehouse (Rownan to Vienna when he’s alone in Harte)

7.) I Want You Here- Plumb (Vienna on her beach with the driftwood)

8.) Waves- Blondefire  (Yara and/or Vienna)

9.) Little Talks- Of Monsters and Men (Yara & Treygan in the last half of the book)

10.) Together Again- Evanescence (Yara when she becomes separated from Treygan)

11.) Hazy- Rosi Golan feat. William Fitzsimmons (Vienna & Rownan duet)

12.) Down- Jason Walker feat. Molly Reed  (This one tugs ta my heartstrings. I picture each character: Rownan, Yara, Treygan, and Nixie, on their own singing this song. It flashes between each of them during seemingly hopeless times during their fight to get out.)

13.) My Last Breath- Evanescence (Nixie & Yara)

*BONUS SONG: Hero- David Crosby & Phil Collins (This was a song from my TANGLED TIDES playlist. It’s an oldie, but it was so perfect as a song that Rownan would sing about Treygan. Right down to the “when the hero kills the maiden with his kiss” line. This song still gives me goose bumps when I listen to it.)

We also have some deleted scenes for your reading pleasure. 

Dangerous Depths Deleted Scene #1

*Treygan and Yara had a lot of unnecessary conversations in my first draft. Mainly because I love them together. This was one of the many scenes cut from the first third of the book because I needed to pick up that pace. Told from Yara’s POV.*

“Speaking of questions.” Treygan reached across the table and held my hand. “How are you handling all these changes? I’ve been worried about all your different instincts constantly tugging at you.”
“What do you mean?” I knew what he meant, but I wasn’t ready to admit I was having a hard time handling my conflicting sea monster sides.
“It can be difficult for me to keep my gorgon side in check sometimes. When I was young it was nearly impossible. You haven’t even had a week to adjust to major changes within yourself. It concerns me.”
“What concerns you, exactly?”
“Traveling to Harte. A place where the strongest and most secure soul would have a hard time keeping it together, and you’re going through a big adjustment period.”
“I’m secure and strong.”
His eyebrows lifted. “I didn’t say you weren’t. I only meant you’re gone through major adjustments. Physically, mentally, and emotionally.”
I rolled the fruit back and forth on the table, focusing on it instead of Treygan. Sometimes, when we looked into each other’s eyes, it seemed like he could read my mind. I didn’t want him to see how doubtful I was of my own abilities, or how I worried I’d never adequately fill the role I agreed to inherit from Medusa. “It’s tiring at times. My mer side craves the suns, my selkie side craves the moons, when I’m too warm I crave cold, when I’m cold I crave warmth.”
“If it’s anything like what I went through, it will eventually balance itself out. It just takes time.”
“So what’s it like if it’s balanced? Doesn’t one side always win out?”
“No, for me I usually teeter in the middle between mer and gorgon. How can I describe it?” He rocked his chair back while thinking about it. “I’m comfortably numb.”
“Numb?” I let my head fall against my forearm on the table. “That sounds so…blah.”
“Let me try to describe it better.” His eyes searched the air above him. “Back on Eden’s Hammock, you had really hot days and some cold days, correct?”
“Kind of cold. I’ve heard about places where it snows, but I never experienced that.”
“Okay, well did you ever have days that you didn’t think about the weather at all because it wasn’t too warm or too cold?”
“Yes, because most of the year it was comfortable weather.”
“There you go,” Treygan said. “Eventually you’ll get to that point. When you don’t give any thought to your warm or cold side because the place in-between will feel so natural.” His fingers traced a vine hallmark running up the inside of my arm. “Like being with me. At first, you were internally battling your feelings about me, but now it feels natural for us to be together.”
I smirked, enjoying the feel of his touch as always. “There was no battle. I was attracted to you even when you were brooding and acting like an ass.”
He laughed. “You hid your feelings well.”
“So did you. If I hadn’t asked you to kiss me, who knows where we’d be right now.”
“That’s the thing about fate, you can’t fight it. What’s meant to be will be. Just like your new abilities, and like us.”
Silently thanking fate, I leaned in and kissed him.

Dangerous Depths Deleted Scene #2

*Originally I had a sub-plot where the siren sisters, Otabia and Mariza, wanted to take two of the water sprites hostage in exchange for telling Nixie secret information. But it created a lot of drag in the beginning of the story so the whole sub-plot had to go. The sirens are always wickedly fun so I thought I’d share this scene from the cutting room floor. Told from Nixie’s POV.*

“Bring us your two little friends,” Otabia said. “Kelsey and Gemma.”
“Keeley and Jenna,” I corrected through gritted teeth.
“Yes.” Otabia waved her talons dismissively. “Those two. Bring them here. Mariza and I each get one for the night.”
“What?” I shrieked with horror. “Absolutely not!”
“Oh, hush, you harpy. Let me finish.” Otabia tapped her talons on the arms of her chair and crossed her legs, kicking her thigh-high boots as she continued. “They stay here with us, in our nest for the night. It will assure that you stay here to protect them. It would be a shame if our hunger pangs forced us to drain them of all their blood and memories.”
Mariza licked her lips. “I bet they taste salty like tears.” 
I cringed. No way would I ever let them harm Keeley and Jenna. “Forget it. Whatever it is you’re keeping from me, it’s not that important.”
“Oh, it is that important,” Otabia purred. I could feel her ecstasy filling her at the thought of whatever secret she possessed.
Mariza sat beside me, rubbing my thigh. “Indeed, Yara and her tagalong pals are in for the shock of their lives.”
I sprang from my seat in the window and stomped over to Otabia. “If you know something that relates to Yara’s safety, I demand you tell me.”
“I offered to tell you.” Otabia pressed her boot against my stomach, keeping me from getting too close to her. “But you must hold up your end of the deal.”
“There was no deal.”
“The two tiny creatures, here for the night, released tomorrow with no harm done to them as long as you keep your blabbering beak shut until tomorrow at low tide.”
“But low tide would be after they’ve crossed through the gate,” I argued. “If I know something that would help them in Harte, you can’t deny me the chance to tell them.”
“I swear to you.” Otabia pushed me backward with her foot. “It’s information they can’t take with them.”
Otabia and Mariza both cackled with laughter. Otabia never swore unless it was absolutely true. That was one noble trait about her. I glanced nervously between my two menacing sisters. “I’ll bring them here, but they stay with me. Not one hair on Jenna or Keeley’s head is touched. No tastes, no memories taken, you aren’t even allowed to lick your lips at them or I immediately fly them out of here.”
Mariza let out a sinister mmmm.
“As long as you stay here,” Otabia batted her long lashes at me. “And keep your mouth shut, then we have an agreement.”
“You swear?” I rose into the air, spreading my wings and hovering over Otabia.
“I swear.”
I couldn’t believe I was doing it, but I went to the window, stepped onto the sill and dove into hazy the night sky. On my way to ask Keeley and Jenna to help me unearth Otabia and Mariza’s secret.

 I know, I know. With deleted scenes as amazing as that, you just have to rush out and buy the book. If you haven't by now, what are you waiting for? Do I need to cry? Because, I will, if it will save you from missing out on this epic new world and it's wonderful characters. 

I still have one card up left up my sleeve with which to temp you. (insert imaginary drum roll here, or you could drum on your desk for added effect) 

COMPETITION, YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!

ONE Grand Prize Winner will get a Sea Monster Memoirs prize pack, including a signed paperback set of Tangled Tides & Dangerous Depths

OMG!!! I think I just wet myself a little. What, TMI? Well, I did tell you I love these books, right, and did you see, did you see, not just a signed copy of Dangerous Depths. OH NO!!! You get Tangled Tides, too. 
I want to be really selfish here and say no one enter or I may be forced to hunt you down and kill you; but, sadly, I am no killer and I just can't be that mean. 
Maybe If I beg. Would begging work? 
OK then, I guess we will just have to battle it out together. 

Now, there is an embedded code thingy but I have absolutely no idea how to do that, so I am going to give you a lovely linky link to the competition instead. 

If I had a face like this, would you have refrained from clicking? 
No, you're right. It was just too great a prize. 

Now, before you rush off, let me tell you about the amazing author who gave us these epic Sea Monster Memoirs, the lovely Karen Amanda Hooper (APPLAUSE and CHEERING. Ooooh, and was that a WOLF WHISTLE? I think we have a cheeky chappy in the audience.) 

About the Author:
Karen was born and bred in Baltimore, frolicked and froze in Colorado for a couple of years, and is currently sunning and splashing around Florida with her two beloved dogs. She's addicted to coffee, chocolate, and complicated happily-ever-afters.

Karen has been making up stories for as long as she can remember. Due to her strong Disney upbringing, she still believes in fairy tales and will forever sprinkle magic throughout all of her novels.

Author Links:
Amazon / Goodreads Facebook / Twitter / Blog / Website

Credit where credit is due. This Amazing blog tour has been hosted by: Enticing Journey Book Promotions 

Well, that is all from me. I am off to bed to dream of merfolk and selkies, but I do hope you enjoy this amazing book as much as I did, as both Tangled tides and Dangerous Depths really are two of my favourite books and I hope they will be yours, too.

Love and hugs, Joss xx

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