Author Blog Tour Guest Post & Review: In Midnight's Silence by T. Frohock

Wecome to the Working for the Mandroid stop on T. Frohock's blog tour for In Midnight's Silence, the first in her Los Nefilim series! If this novella about angels and daimons on the verge of Civil War in early 20th century Spain sounds like your time of book, it's currently available for Kindle and Nook for just 99 cents!! It would make for a great summer beach read!

I asked T. why she choose to set her Los Nefilim series in early 20th century Spain, and she provided this lovely guest post to explain some of the historical background that inspired her story. Take it away T.!

Researching Spain and the Spanish Civil War

I’ve been getting this question a lot, and I really appreciate the opportunity to get all my various thoughts in one spot.

Why Spain?

The answer is really easy. Generally, when I write a novel, the characters come to me before the story. I had an idea for a character named Guillermo, who was Spanish. The novel was set in 1348 in Aragon. I didn’t realize at the time how much research I would have to do in order to familiarize myself with Spain, but it really turned into a wonderful experience.

The reason I chose to set that first novel on the Iberian Peninsula had to do with another storyline that I’d developed for the book. The characters were Nephilim (Nefilim in Spanish, hence the series name), and they reincarnate with the memories of their past lives intact. This particular group was in Jerusalem during their firstborn lives. When the Romans conquered what is today Israel, and instigated the diaspora, some Jews fled to the Iberian Peninsula. Since people migrated in that direction, I wondered if maybe souls would, too.

I had intended for that novel to be the beginning of a series, and I wanted to bring those characters up through the Spanish Civil War. However, other projects took precedence, so for a while I forgot about Guillermo, Diago, and Miquel along with their entwined stories. Meanwhile, the seeds for Los Nefilim were there, germinating while I worked on other projects.

Unfortunately, or maybe fortunately, that novel didn’t sell. I went on to write other things, but I never forgot the characters or their stories. Last year, I was asked to write a novella, and since the original story was in limbo, I talked with my agent about resurrecting the characters in a new story for the sake of the novella.

I never considered changing their nationality. By this time, these characters were Spanish in my mind. I also wanted a more modern setting, and changed the protagonist from Guillermo to Diago.

I have a strong background in World War II history, and initially started to place the story in that time period; however, it seemed kind of ridiculous to thrust them into World War II when, being Spanish, they were much more likely to be involved in the Spanish Civil War. Guillermo del Toro's exquisite Pan's Labyrinth really intrigued me, because he managed to capture the brutality of the period without losing the beauty and magic of the Spanish people and the country. After Pan’s Labyrinth, I watched The Devil’s Backbone, which was another film by del Toro, also set during the Spanish Civil War.

I got my hands on several histories of the Spanish Civil War and began to research the period just prior to and during the war. I set the story in Barcelona, because the city is old and has such a spooky history. Ghosts and vampires and poltergeists haunt the city, so I figured what were a few more Nefilim, angels, and daimons? The powerful religious history of Barcelona, Catalonia, and Spain just fit the world that I’d built for my Nefilim and their magic.

I used several histories in order to reconstruct the time period. If you’re interested in reading more about Spain and the Spanish Civil War, here a few:

The Battle for Spain: The Spanish Civil War 1936-1939 by Antony Beevor

The Franco Years by Jose Yglesias

The Life and Death of the Spanish Republic: A Witness to the Spanish Civil War by Henry Buckley

Medieval Iberia: Readings from Christian, Muslim, and Jewish Sources (second edition) edited by Olivia Remie Constable

Queer Iberia: Sexualities, Cultures, and Crossings from the Middle Ages to the Renaissance edited by Josiah Blackmore and Gregory S. Hutcheson

The Spanish Civil War: Reaction, Revolution, Revenge by Paul Preston

The Spanish Holocaust: Inquisition and Extermination in Twentieth Century Spain by Paul Preston

About T. Frohock

Web site: http://www.tfrohock.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/T_Frohock

BIO: T. Frohock has turned a love of dark fantasy and horror into tales of deliciously creepy fiction. Her other publications include everything from novelettes to short stories. She is also the author of the novel, Miserere: An Autumn Tale. Her newest series, Los Nefilim, is coming from Harper Voyager Impulse and debuts in June 2015 with the novella, In Midnight's Silence.

T. lives in North Carolina where she has long been accused of telling stories, which is a southern colloquialism for lying.

In Midnight’s Silence
T. Frohock

Harper Voyager Impulse
I received a copy of this novella from the publisher in return for being on the blog tour
Released June 23, 2015
128 pages
Fantasy / Novella / Angels

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Apple | Kobo

The fate of mankind has nothing to do with mankind…
Born of an angel and a daimon, Diago Alvarez is a singular being in a country torn by a looming civil war and the spiritual struggle between the forces of angels and daimons. With allegiance to no one but his partner Miquel, he is content to simply live in Barcelona, caring only for the man he loves and the music he makes. Yet, neither side is satisfied to let him lead this domesticated life and, knowing they can't get to him directly, they do the one thing he's always feared.
They go after Miquel.
Now, in order to save his lover's life, he is forced by an angel to perform a gruesome task: feed a child to the daimon Moloch in exchange for a coin that will limit the extent of the world's next war. The mission is fraught with danger, the time he has to accomplish it is limited…and the child he is to sacrifice is the son Diago never knew existed.
A lyrical tale in a world of music and magic, T. Frohock's In Midnight's Silence shows the lengths a man will go to save the people he loves, and the sides he'll choose when the sidelines are no longer an option.

T. Frohock’s world of In Midnight’s Silence is one hiding a dark underbelly where daimons and angels fight for control and power. At the start it feels familiar and like the real world, so it becomes jarring when suddenly a deep mythology becomes hinted at and characters’ histories are alluded to in passing references. For awhile I honestly believed I’d picked up the series in the middle and had to continue to reassure myself that In Midnight’s Silence was the beginning. There just seemed like so much had happened before that I wasn’t privy to that I should already know.

Diago was born from a daimon and an angel, and refuses to pledge to anyone side of the battle looming over early 20th century Spain. He lives and loves a Nephilim named Miquel, who fights on the side of angels, but mostly they live in a small apartment in Barcelona and work their jobs as a music teacher and a guitar player. That is until an angel kidnaps Miquel in order to blackmail Diago to do a deadly errand for him.

Diago’s world is one where supernatural beings have magical powers, primarily through music. This was a unique take on magic with characters humming, whistling and singing to fight their enemies. It produces an interesting imagery and allows for those on the same side to create harmonious music as their fight battles. I really enjoyed the idea of music and tones as magic, though there isn’t really much explanation on how things work. It just creates a mysterious, often dark undertone to what could have otherwise been unexplained and basic magic.

Diago is a conflicted figure, happy in his life though caught in the middle of a bigger picture. When he discovers a son he never knew he had, he becomes more conflicted, but also becomes a more heroic figure. Miquel is less formed, seen only as the lover to fight for and not so much as a character of his own, but in a 128 page novella, it’s difficult to truly fill out the secondary characters.

In Midnight’s Silence gives a glimpse to a much larger world that deserves a much larger book. This felt like a promotional prequel to something bigger coming out. The world is dark and intriguing with shadows of darkness everywhere ready to pounce on our heroes. The magic system provides an atmospheric nature to a short story that made me want more. This is an interesting introduction to a new take on angels and demons fighting for the fate of the world.

I received a copy of this novella from the publisher for being on the tour. All opinions are my own.

Review: Lailah by Nikki Kelly

Lailah
Nikki Kelly

Feiwel & Friends
I received an ARC from the publisher.
Released October 7, 2014
416 pages
YA / Fantasy / Angels & Vampires

Find it on Goodreads

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Book Depository | Indie Bound

The girl knows she’s different. She doesn’t age. She has no family. She has visions of a past life, but no clear clues as to what she is, or where she comes from. But there is a face in her dreams – a light that breaks through the darkness. She knows his name is Gabriel.

On her way home from work, the girl encounters an injured stranger whose name is Jonah. Soon, she will understand that Jonah belongs to a generation of Vampires that serve even darker forces. Jonah and the few like him, are fighting with help from an unlikely ally – a rogue Angel, named Gabriel.

In the crossfire between good and evil, love and hate, and life and death, the girl learns her name: Lailah. But when the lines between black and white begin to blur, where in the spectrum will she find her place? And with whom?

Gabriel and Jonah both want to protect her. But Lailah will have to fight her own battle to find out who she truly is.

So they can’t all be winners, can they? When I was younger, I used to hate things that were popular just to be contrarian. I would eventually give in and read the popular book series or watch the popular movie or listen to the popular band and would make an opinion based on merit, but I would hold out longer than any reasonable person would. I’d like to think I’ve outgrown that kneejerk desire to hate popular things, so the fact that this has a bajillion million readers prior to publishing didn’t sway my feelings one way or the other. I went into Lailah just knowing that apparently a lot of people enjoyed it and it had angels in it.

Well, a lot of people liked Twilight and you all know how I felt about that book (if you don’t, well, click here).

I could not wait until this book was over. There was a part of me hoping it would get better, that I would stop wanting everyone to just kill each other already, and the story would start being interesting. It didn’t happen. The main, terrible flaw in this book is that the big key moment in the protagonist’s life, the turning point that is supposed to be a slap in the face to Lailah’s person self-discovery and change her entire life, is the prologue. As the reader, I knew this big dramatic reveal and there was no fun in waiting for everyone else to figure it out. There were no other twists or turns for me as the reader to revel in alongside the characters. No, it was just that one thing I learned on page 3 and waiting.

It also doesn’t help that this all reads like glorified Twilight fan fiction, except instead of a werewolf and a vampire, you have an angel and a vampire. You also have a “written in the starts” forever kind of made-for-each-other nonsense that sucks out any of the interest in the love triangle.

Read More

Cover Reveal: Spirit by Shauna Granger, an Elemental Novel

After five days stuck in Dallas on a work trip, I am ready to get back to blogging about all things books, pop cultures and assorted other things that we tend to babble about here at Working for the Mandroid. Right now we have the cover reveal of Shauna Granger's new book in her Elemental series, Spirit, courtesey of AToMR Book Blog Tours.

Spirit (Elemental, #5) 
Shauna Granger
 
 Releases on April 30, 2013
YA / Urban Fantasy
Cover Designed by Mooney Designs

Find it on GoodReads

Not even a guardian angel is more powerful than Death.

Always careful to watch out for others, Shayna put too much trust her abilities to keep herself safe and has been cut down by crazed man. Now she is trapped in the land of the dead, watching as her two best friends suffer the consequences of her death; their powers are fading and soon they will too. Shayna is desperate to return to the land of the living to save them from a similar, cold fate. To save her friends Shayna must turn away from the Light and, in doing so, sacrifice her wings.

But the longer Shayna stays among the dead, the further she slips from sanity. If Shayna cannot find her way back she will be condemned and lost forever among the restless souls of the dead. With nothing left to lose, she will do whatever it takes to fight her way back, with or without her wings.

 

About the Author

Like so many other writers, Shauna grew up as an avid reader, it was in high school that she realized she wanted to be a writer. Five years ago Shauna started work on her Elemental Series and released the first installment, Earth, on May 1, 2011. When not reading and writing, Shauna enjoys cooking and playing hostess whenever she can.

Shauna Granger| Facebook| Twitter

 

 

 

 

 

Trailer & Excerpt Reveal: The Watcher by Lisa Voisin

Author Lisa Voisin’s THE WATCHER will be releasing exactly one month from today, on March 4th, 2013 and we’re super excited to be able to share a short excerpt from the book and to be a part of the book’s awesome trailer reveal!

There is also a giveaway for a pre-order copy of THE WATCHER for US/Canada residents. So be sure to enter below.

THE WATCHER is author Lisa Voisin’s debut novel and is a book Eileen Cook says, “…is sure to keep readers turning the pages late into the night.”

Get a taste of this upcoming release with the excerpt and trailer below. With some gothic techno beats, super cool images and a description that is meant to tease, this trailer totally sets the mood for this story. What do you think? 

 

The Watcher
Lisa Voisin

Inkspell Publishing
Releases on March 4, 2012
508 pages

Millennia ago, he fell from heaven for her.

Can he face her without falling again?

Fascinated with ancient civilizations, seventeen-year-old Mia Crawford dreams of becoming an archaeologist. She also dreams of wings—soft and silent like snow—and somebody trying to steal them.

When a horrible creature appears out of thin air and attacks her, she knows Michael Fontaine is involved, though he claims to know nothing about it. Secretive and aloof, Michael evokes feelings in Mia that she doesn’t understand. Images of another time and place haunt her. She recognizes them—but not from any textbook.

In search of the truth, Mia discovers a past life of forbidden love, jealousy and revenge that tore an angel from Heaven and sent her to an early grave. Now that her soul has returned, does she have a chance at loving that angel again? Or will an age-old nemesis destroy them both?

Ancient history is only the beginning.

Find it: Goodreads | Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Inkspell | Kobo

 

About the Author:

A Canadian-born author, Lisa Voisin spent her childhood daydreaming and making up stories, but it was her love of reading and writing in her teens that drew her to Young Adult fiction.

When she's not writing, you'll find her meditating or hiking in the mountains to counter the side effects of drinking too much coffee.

She lives in Vancouver, B.C. with her fiance and their two cats.

 

Find her: Twitter | Facebook | Website | Blog

 

The Excerpt:

Instead of saying more, he brushed his fingertips along my cheek, and his halo glimmered. I could hear the waves slapping the rocks behind us, the wind driving them in. That same wind whipped against my skin, but the touch of his hand on my face was all I could think about. It sent a current through both of us and filled me with longing for something I wasn’t sure I understood.

“I’m sorry.” He stepped back and shoved his hands into his pockets as the light around him faded. “You don’t know what it’s like. Being near you now, remembering those moments we had…” His hair blew into his eyes, but this time he didn’t move. I wanted to brush it back, but I didn’t know how he’d react. Would touching him be bad?

“You want to know who you were?” he asked. “You may look different, but you’re the same. I look into your eyes and see you.” He took in a deep breath, fixing his attention on the horizon. I’d seen and heard so much now that the logical part of my brain had long since given up arguing with me. I could feel what he was saying was true. All of it. 

 

Giveaway details:

ONE pre-order copy of THE WATCHER by Lisa Voisin open to US/Canada.

Must be 13 or older to enter.

ONE entry per household.

Winner will be announced in the Rafflecopter and contacted by email.

Winner will have 48 hours after notification to respond or another winner will be chosen.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

 

Trailer Park Friday: A Week Full of Awesome Book to Movie Trailers

Every day this week, it's seemed like a new trailer for some film based on a book that I've read and enjoyed was released. I didn't realize how many not-superhero movies were coming out next year. First up came the trailer for Warm Bodies, a non-tradition zombie film based on a book by Isaac Marion that sort of blew my mind when I read it awhile back. You can read my review of the book here or you can just watch and rewatch this trailer for the film that comes out on February 1, 2013. This is my kind of Valentine's Day movie.

Then yesterday came the teaser trailer for City of Bones, a book I was indifferent about, but the movie adaptation has Robert Sheehan playing Simon. Sheehan makes me silly giddy on the British superhero-meets-juvenile-deliquent show Misfits and Simon is my favorite character not named Magnus Bane. Hopefully that will keep me distracted enough to not be annoyed with the character of Jace being an asshat or whatever. This one comes out on August 23, 2013.

And now trailers for two books I have not yet read. The first is by Stephanie Meyers, an author who I am less than enthralled with, so I'm not sure how I feel about this movie. The Host comes out March 29, 2013. Hopefully it won't leave me wanting to hit my head against a wall the way Twilight did.

Finally the second trailer for Beautiful Creatures came out earlier today. This is another title that I haven't read, though it's been on my TBR list for a very long time. This one looks like it could be interesting, though not nearly as awesome as Warm Bodies. I have to admit though that this trailer is 10x more impressive than the first one. It comes out February 13, 2013.

 

All right, a ton of trailers came out this week. Were there any good ones that I've obviously missed? Let me know. I'm always looking for more movies to get excited about!

Waiting on Wednesday: The Dirty Streets of Heaven by Tad Williams

Waiting on Wednesday was started by Breaking the Spine and serves to showcase those books we’re not so patiently waiting to arrive!

The Dirty Streets of Heaven
Tad Williams

DAW Hardcover
Releases September 4, 2012
400 pages

See it on GoodReads

Preorder it from Amazon

Bobby Dollar is an angel—a real one. He knows a lot about sin, and not just in his professional capacity as an advocate for souls caught between Heaven and Hell. Bobby’s wrestling with a few deadly sins of his own—pride, anger, even lust.

But his problems aren’t all his fault. Bobby can’t entirely trust his heavenly superiors, and he’s not too sure about any of his fellow earthbound angels either, especially the new kid that Heaven has dropped into their midst, a trainee angel who asks too many questions. And he sure as hell doesn’t trust the achingly gorgeous Countess of Cold Hands, a mysterious she-demon who seems to be the only one willing to tell him the truth.

When the souls of the recently departed start disappearing, catching both Heaven and Hell by surprise, things get bad very quickly for Bobby D. End-of-the-world bad. Beast of Revelations bad. Caught between the angry forces of Hell, the dangerous strategies of his own side, and a monstrous undead avenger that wants to rip his head off and suck out his soul, Bobby’s going to need all the friends he can get—in Heaven, on Earth, or anywhere else he can find them.

You’ve never met an angel like Bobby Dollar. And you’ve never read anything like The Dirty Streets of Heaven.

Brace yourself—the afterlife is weirder than you ever believed.

I have a hard time finding angel books I enjoy, mostly because YA titles with angels tend to have silly love triangles and plot points that just don't match up with my own expectations of angels. Plus none of them seem to have a character like Castiel and that's just wrong. It seems like this new series by Tad Williams, he of the epic Shadowmarch fantasy series, might be the solution to my angel book conundrum. Missing souls? Potential end-of-the-world apocalyptic consequences? Angels that hate other angels? Angels that act a little more human than angelic?

Yeah, I'm all for this book.

Review: Illuminate by Aimee Agresti

Illuminate
Aimee Agresti

Harcourt
Releases March 6, 2012
531 pages
YA / Supernatural / Paranormal Romance

Preorder it from Amazon

Do you ever start reading a book and somewhere around page 15 realize that the main character is you? That happened to me with Aimee Agresti’s Illuminate. Her protagonist, Haven Terra, sounded like me in high school – geeky, day-dreamy, and under the radar. It was nice to slip into a story where I could inherently understand the main character’s decisions because I felt such a personal connection. It’s weird, but nice. It probably also helps that I always wanted to live in a hotel…

In Illuminate Haven is torn from her comfortable little world in the suburbs after being chosen to participate in a prestigious internship program at a fancy-pants hotel, recently renovated and reopened by a small army of young glamazons. She, along with her gay best friend and another geeky mathlete, gets pulled out of their junior year in high school and shipped to downtown Chicago to live and work inside the Lexington Hotel for the next several months. Immediately things feel off. As she falls for the ridiculously good looking and charming Lucian (which is never the name of a good guy), Haven learns that she’s working in a hotel acting as a recruiting ground for deals with demons. And that’s only the first of many crazy things that go down.

To be completely honest, I have too many connections to this book, so it hit me in ways that it probably wouldn’t for many others. Sensible, highly cautious Haven felt like someone I knew from the moment she was staring into space thinking about how the hot guy in her class kept stealing all her pens. Then she leaves behind the drudgery of high school for something far more interesting and glamorous, a daydream I had just about every day while suffering through AP Calculus. Then of course there’s the setting of Chicago, where I spent an awesome summer interning. Granted I was five years older than the protagonist, but I could picture the places she was at. There’s a scene set in a crazy multi-story thrift store where I just kept thinking, “I’ve been there. My apartment was down the street!” So Illuminate hit me in ways that I didn’t see coming beyond its storytelling.

But then again, Aimee Agresti created a set of characters that were real. The bad guys had more layers than “default moustache twirling” and the good guys were conflicted about joining in the glamor of their new life while still remaining who they were. Aurelia, the gorgeous leader of the Lexington Hotel, was equal parts domineering and terrifying while still occasionally showing signs of vulnerability. Meanwhile incredibly hot Lucian went from coming on a little too strong and over-the-top Casanova to someone that I could spend time with without laughing at him. Though I have to admit that I had a hard time picturing Lucian as remotely the same age as Haven, which left me feeling a little squicked out when he turned on the heavy hitting flirting.

Read More