BLOG TOUR | ARC REVIEW | Tweet Cute by Emma Lord

Title: TWEET CUTE

Author: EMMA LORD

Releases: 21ST JANUARY 2020 by WEDNESDAY BOOKS

Genre: YA CONTEMPORARY ROMANCE


A fresh, irresistible rom-com from debut author Emma Lord about the chances we take, the paths life can lead us on, and how love can be found in the opposite place you expected.

Meet Pepper, swim team captain, chronic overachiever, and all-around perfectionist. Her family may be falling apart, but their massive fast-food chain is booming ― mainly thanks to Pepper, who is barely managing to juggle real life while secretly running Big League Burger’s massive Twitter account.

Enter Jack, class clown and constant thorn in Pepper’s side. When he isn’t trying to duck out of his obscenely popular twin’s shadow, he’s busy working in his family’s deli. His relationship with the business that holds his future might be love/hate, but when Big League Burger steals his grandma’s iconic grilled cheese recipe, he’ll do whatever it takes to take them down, one tweet at a time.

All’s fair in love and cheese ― that is, until Pepper and Jack’s spat turns into a viral Twitter war. Little do they know, while they’re publicly duking it out with snarky memes and retweet battles, they’re also falling for each other in real life ― on an anonymous chat app Jack built.

As their relationship deepens and their online shenanigans escalate ― people on the internet are shipping them?? ― their battle gets more and more personal, until even these two rivals can’t ignore they were destined for the most unexpected, awkward, all-the-feels romance that neither of them expected.


Welcome, Wayfarers, to my stop on the Tweet Cute Blog Tour Train! Friends, are you in for a treat!! Tweet Cute (which I must say is a brilliant play on the term meet cute) was completely adorable and such a feel-good read. I just wanted to stay in their world – well done, Emma!! I was really sad when it ended, but only because there was no more to read. The characters were so engaging, the plot was fresh, and the writing overall was very well done.

If I had to pick one thing I loved most about this story, it would have to be the banter between Pepper and Jack! They’re hilariously funny, snarky, and so real. It feels like they’re my newest friends – and I suppose they are in the way that my favourite characters stay with me. I really identified with Pepper’s struggles with her parents, fitting in, and what comes after. I loved that they discussed what happens after high school and whether they want to go to college, or if there are better things out there for them. It was so refreshing to read a different take on that recurring discussion. College isn’t the be-all and end-all of life; there are other very valid options! I did go to college, but I know loads of people who didn’t and are still quite successful and happy with their lives! So don’t give up!

I really hated Pepper’s mom, though. She’s such a mom-ster! It’s like she has no regard for how much Pepper does for her/the corporate Twitter on top of all of her swim team commitments and school assignments. I had a mom-ster as well, but this is just baffling to me that people can be like this. Even when her motivations come to light (SHOCK ALERT!), I still found it hard to accept. Needless to say, wasn’t a fan of their relationship… And felt for Paige a bit more than expected..

We don’t get a whole lot of Jack’s family aside from his twin, Ethan, but I still loved the relationships there – totally cute! Love Grandma Belly the mostest ❤ The app Jack built, Weazel, is a really interesting idea. I love that he and Pepper connect on it and share so much of themselves while at odds in their real life. Was an adorable concept. Must admit, I’m a sucker for enemies-to-lovers trope when it’s done well, and this was so good!! I also laughed aloud several times – which made for funny looks from my James!!

Would highly recommend this to anyone looking for a cute read with a bit of depth. I’ve also added Emma Lord to my follow list and can’t wait to see what she comes up with next! Read on for an excerpt of one of my favourite parts of the book!


EXCERPT

JACK

“Look.” I glance into the classroom, where Ethan is thoroughly distracted by Stephen and no longer keeping an eye on us. “I may have . . . overreacted.”

Pepper shakes her head. “I told you. I get it. It’s your family.”

“Yeah. But it’s also—well, to be honest, this has been kind of good for business.”

Pepper’s brow furrows, that one little crease returning. “What, the tweets?”

“Yeah.” I scratch the back of my neck, sheepish. “Actually, we had a line out the door yesterday. It was kind of intense.”

“That’s . . . that’s good, right?”

The tone of my voice is clearly not matching up with the words I’m saying, but if I’m being honest, I’m still wary of this whole overnight business boom. And if I’m being honest, I’m even more wary of Pepper. If this really is as much of a family business as she claims it is—to the point where she’s helping run the Twitter handle, when even I know enough about corporate Twitter accounts to know entire teams of experienced people get paid to do that—then she might have had more of a hand in this whole recipe theft thing than she’s letting on.

The fact of the matter is, I can’t trust her. To the point of not knowing whether I can even trust her knowing how our business is doing, or just how badly we need it.

“Yeah, um, I guess.” I try to make it sound noncommittal. My acting skills, much like my breakfast-packing skills, leave much to be desired.

“So . . .”

“So.”

Pepper presses her lips into a thin line, a question in her eyes.

“So, I guess—if your mom really wants you to keep tweeting . . .”

“Wait. Yesterday you were pissed. Two minutes ago you were pissed.”

“I am pissed. You stole from us,” I reiterate. “You stole from an eighty-five-year-old woman.”

“I didn’t—”

“Yeah, yeah, but still. You’re them, and I’m . . . her. It’s like a choose your fighter situation, and we just happen to be the ones up to bat.”

“So you’re saying—you don’t not want me to keep this up?”

“The way I see it, you don’t have to make your mom mad, and we get a few more customers in the door too.”

Pepper takes a breath like she’s going to say something, like she’s going to correct me, but after a moment, she lets it go. Her face can’t quite settle on an expression, toeing the line between dread and relief.

“You’re sure?”

I answer by opening the container she handed me. The smell that immediately wafts out of it should honestly be illegal; it stops kids I’ve never even spoken to in their tracks.

“Are you a witch?” I ask, reaching in and taking a bite of one. It’s like Monster Cake, the Sequel—freaking Christmas in my mouth. I already want more before I’ve even managed to chew. My eyes close as if I’m experiencing an actual drug high—and maybe I am, because I forget myself entirely and say, “This might even be better than our Kitchen Sink Macaroons.”

“Kitchen Sink Macaroons?”

Eyes open again. Yikes. Note to self: dessert is the greatest weapon in Pepper’s arsenal. I swallow my bite so I can answer her.

“It’s kind of well-known, at least in the East Village. It even got in some Hub Seed roundup once. I’d tell you to try some, but you might steal the recipe, so.”

Pepper smiles, then—actually smiles, instead of the little smirk she usually does. It’s not startling, but what it does to me in that moment kind of is.

Before I can examine the unfamiliar lurch in my stomach, the bell rings and knocks the smile right off her face. I follow just behind her, wondering why it suddenly seems too hot in here, like they cranked the air up for December instead of October. I dismiss it by the time I get to my desk—probably just all the Twitter drama and the glory of So Sorry Blondies getting to my head.

“One rule,” she says, as we sit in the last two desks in the back of the room.

I raise my eyebrows at her.

“We don’t take any of it personally.” She leans forward on her desk, leveling with me, her bangs falling into her face. “No more getting mad at each other. Cheese and state.”

“What happens on Twitter stays on Twitter,” I say with a nod of agreement. “Okay, then, second rule: no kid gloves.”

Mrs. Fairchild is giving that stern look over the room that never quite successfully quiets anyone down. Pepper frowns, waiting for me to elaborate.

“I mean—no going easy on each other. If we’re going to play at this, we’re both going to give it our A game, okay? No holding back because we’re . . .”

Friends, I almost say. No, I’m going to say. But then—

“I’d appreciate it if even one of you acknowledged the bell with your silence,” Mrs. Fairchild grumbles.

I turn to Pepper, expecting to find her snapping to attention the way she always does when an adult comes within a hundred feet of disciplining her. But her eyes are still intent on me, like she is sizing something up—like she’s looking forward to something I haven’t anticipated yet.

“All right. No taking it personally. And no holding back.”

She holds her hand out for me to shake again, under the desk so Mrs. Fairchild won’t see it. I smile and shake my head, wondering how someone can be so aggressively seventeen and seventy-five at the same time, and then I take it. Her hand is warm and small in mine, but her grip is surprisingly firm, with a pressure that almost feels like she’s still got her fingers wrapped around mine even after we let go.

I turn back to the whiteboard, a ghost of a smirk on my face. “Let the games begin.”


Early Praise:
Tweet Cute delivers in every possible way: a perfect enemies-to-lovers romance, a whip-smart plotline, and endearingly real characters. I devoured it.” – Francesca Zappia, author of Eliza and Her Monsters

“Sweet and fun! An adorable debut that updates a classic romantic trope with a buzzy twist.” – Jenn Bennett, author of Alex, Approximately and Serious Moonlight

“A witty rom-com reinvention for the Twitter age, Tweet Cute pairs delicious online rivalry with deeply relatable insights on family pressure and growing up. This fresh, funny read had us hitting ‘favorite’ from page one.” – Emily Wibberley and Austin Siegemund-Broka, authors of Always Never Yours and If I’m Being Honest 

Buy Link: https://read.macmillan.com/lp/tweet-cute/

Social Links:  @dilemmalord (Twitter/Instagram)

Thank you to Wednesday Books for this review copy.

Add to Goodreads | Buy a copy

BLOG TOUR – REVIEW | My Mother’s Daughter by Ann O’Loughlin

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Title: MY MOTHER’S DAUGHTER

Author: ANN O’LOUGHLIN

TWs: DEATH, TERMINAL ILLNESS, GRIEF

Two mothers,
Two daughters,
Two families changed forever

The characters:

The mothers: Margo and Cassie – from completely different worlds, but finding themselves in a very similar situation. The daughters: Elsa and Tilly – two girls who share a birthday and who’s lives are about to change. Ida and Jack – The neighbours in Co. Wicklow who become part of the family for several reason, not least of which is their support of Margo and Elsa after their bereavement. There are several other characters who are important, as well, and contribute heavily to the plot, such as Cassie’s husband (hated!!) and father (loved him).

The plot:

What a phenomenal story O’Loughlin has given us in this novel! I really loved this whole book. This is very much a story about how far a mother is willing to go to protect her daughter, and what sacrifices she makes along the way. Both mothers have been put into an impossible situation and are making the best of it as much as they can. The two women, Margo and Cassie, are very similar in that they are very strong, doing their best for their girls, and willing to do anything to protect that. When a detail comes to light that might change their entire lives, the both have very similar reactions. At first, I couldn’t pin how the two storylines intersected, but when they finally did it was explosive! I can’t really talk much about it without giving away spoilery details, but just believe me when I tell say you need to read this! I was shocked at how completely I was drawn in and made to feel like a bystander of their story. O’Loughlin has 100% become a favourite author!

Final thoughts:

This was a poignantly written story that explores so many themes in great detail. I loved Ann O’Loughlin’s storytelling and writing style, so will absolutely be picking up another of her books some time soon. She had me in tears several times throughout the book, but it was so worth the read. Thank you, Ann!


County Wicklow, Ireland. Margo has just lost her husband Conor and is grieving his passing, unsure how she and her daughter Elsa will survive without him. Then she receives a letter that turns everything she thought she knew on its head. Not only has she lost her husband, but now Margo fears she could lose her daughter as well.

Ohio, United States. Cassie has just split from her husband acrimoniously. Upset and alone she does not know how to move forward. Then her ex-husband demands a paternity test for their daughter Tilly and sorrow turns to anger as Cassie faces the frightening possibility of losing her daughter.

A powerful, moving stories of family, resilience and compassion, and how women support each other through the most difficult times, My Mother’s Daughter takes the issues closest to our hearts and makes us ask ourselves the most difficult questions – what would we do in Margo and Cassie’s place?

Thank you so much to Ann O’Loughlin, Alex, and Orion’s Books for the ARC.

five stars

BLOG TOUR + EXCERPT: I Do Not Trust You by Laura J. Burns + Melinda Metz (eARC)

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TITLE: I Do Not Trust You

AUTHOR: Laura J. Burns + Melinda Metz

RELEASES: 11 September 2018 by Wednesday Books

GENRE: YA Fiction

SYNOPSIS

Memphis “M” Engle is stubborn to a fault, graced with an almost absurd knowledge of long lost languages and cultures, and a heck of an opponent in a fight. In short: she’s awesome.

Ashwin Sood is a little too posh for her tastes, a member of an ancient cult (which she’s pretty sure counts for more than one strike against him), and has just informed Memphis that her father who she thought was dead isn’t and needs her help.

From the catacombs of Paris to lost temples in the sacred forests, together they crisscross the globe, searching for the pieces of the one thing that might save her father. But the closer they come to saving him—and the more they fall for one another—the closer they get to destroying the world.

REVIEW

Memphis (M) is a really interesting character from the off. She’s had an amazing upbringing and then suffers an overwhelming loss – that of her father who is her closest person. When she meets Ash and discovers he’s still alive, everything changes. And her quest begins!

M is hands down my favourite of all the characters (although, Mike runs a close second) because she reminds me a lot of myself at 18. She’s strong and smart and fiercely loyal to those she cares about – she goes above and beyond to try to save her father. She also seems very adult for her age at first, but then she begins to become a bit more immature. I think a lot of it is down to stressing about her father and the most recent part of her life. She’s also hilariously funny and I loved that she used words like bananapants!

Ash I didn’t like so much. I loved how well-formed his character was, but I hated that he was always hiding things from M, which is slightly hypocritical of me seeing as M is doing the same. I think the difference for me was the reasoning behind it for each of them. He’s doing it for his religious beliefs, and M is doing it to save her father. I suppose they are both in the right, but a human being’s life is a lot more important than a cult. In my eyes, anyway! He is flawed, yet still interesting. I found myself trying to figure out what his motives were more than once – clearly they don’t entirely align with his cults designs.

I loved the use of mythology and mysticism entwined throughout the story. It made it that much more intriguing, and mythologically-themed fiction is my favourite!! One of my favourite scenes is when M makes the point that all mythology was once a societal belief system. It made me ponder the likes of Christianity, Islam, Buddhism, Judaism, etc., and wonder how long will it take for those to become nothing more than mythology and for some other belief system to take over.It’s interesting to see how once the majority of people no longer believe something, it becomes mythology.

I really enjoyed this book for many reasons. It was a really good read and I would absolutely recommend it to friends! I found it different to what I would usually read, which was really refreshing and totally raced through it.

Thank you so much to Wednesday Books for providing me with a proof copy. All quotes are taken from an ARC and may not match the final release.

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EXCERPT

“You should’ve seen Miss Memphis here get into it with Nick last period,” Brianna said, squeezing in between M and Inez at their usual spot in the cafeteria. “She shut him down with her crazy ancient cultures voodoo.”

“He’s an ass. He’s lucky he’s hot,” their friend Ayana commented, waving her spork in Nick’s direction.

M shrugged. “I wouldn’t try to debate him in Physics. I just know more about Rome than he does.”

“What about AP Chem? Would you debate him in that?” Inez asked in a fake-serious voice. “Would you debate him in German class?”

“She’d debate him in German, in German,” Brianna joked. “And if he tried to fight back, she’d switch to Greek.”

M threw a French fry at her. “I can’t help it. I grew up speaking different languages.”

“And learning about pharaohs. And becoming well versed in the history of the Etruscan people,” Ayana said, putting on a fake accent that was probably supposed to be British. “Oh, and setting broken bones in the bush.”

“That only happened once,” M muttered. Her friends laughed.

“Anyway, it was epic. Thanks,” Brianna said. “I can’t stand fighting with people, and Nick always goes after me.”

“He knows you hate it,” M pointed out. “That’s why he does it.”

“An ass, like I said.” Ayana shrugged.

“You think he’s coming to the party tonight?” Brianna asked.

“Probably. Everyone else is,” Inez replied. “Even Memphis.” M made a face. “Anything to get out of the house. Bob and Liza would expect me to play board games with them otherwise.” Her friends exchanged a glance. M winced. “No offense.”

“Oh, were you offending someone?” Nick piped up from behind her. “Good girl.”

Immediately Bri looked down, while Ayana rolled her eyes. Inez just smirked, glancing back and forth between M and Nick.

“I was not offending anyone. I only meant I don’t like parties,” M said. She didn’t bother to turn toward him. It didn’t matter; he inserted himself onto the bench next to her anyway. A little tingle ran up her spine as the scent of his co- logne hit her nostrils, spicy and warm.

“Mmm, they’re boring. Everyone talking about the prom or the senior trip or whatever. I’m over it,” Nick said.

Me too, thought M, wishing she didn’t agree with him. She loved her friends, but even they were all about high school. M just didn’t care. High school was nothing more than what she had to get through before she could leave. After the crash, after the shock of Bob and Liza becoming her guardians, she’d asked if she could go off to college early, either Boston University or the University of Sheffield in England. Both had the kind of archeology program she wanted and would’ve let her in with no questions. They knew her father. They knew high school was a waste of time for someone like her.

But her guardians said no. They said she needed stabil- ity and normalcy after losing her dad. Never mind that traveling the world and taking care of herself was normal for her. While she and Dad technically lived in Boston, she’d never spent more than a few months there during the school year. They traveled. Half the year spent on digs. She missed it.

“What’s with this thing, anyway? Is it to fight off bad guys?” Nick teased, finding an excuse to touch her. He reached for M’s collapsible bo staff, tucked in the inside pocket of her jacket like always. But before he touched it, be- fore his flirty smile registered in her mind, M had already grabbed his hand, twisted it back to the breaking point, and used the pain to push him off the cafeteria bench and onto the floor. With her other hand, she whipped out the stick and shoved it up against his throat.

M froze. He’s just hitting on you. Her friends were aghast, and everyone nearby watched, openmouthed. Nick’s eyes were wide with panic.

“Sorry.” M stood up, leaving Nick on the floor. “I’m really sorry.”

“Freak,” he muttered, climbing to his feet. He glanced around, noticing the barely concealed laughter from onlookers. “Jeez, I just wanted a fry,” he joked, as if he hadn’t been humiliated, then hurried out of the cafeteria.

“What. The. Hell?” Inez asked. “He was flirting with you and you beat him up!”

“I know.” M groaned, shoving her staff back into her pocket. “I didn’t mean to. It was just reflex.”

Her friends were silent. She’d freaked them out. Should she explain the years of self-defense and martial arts training? That she and Dad ended up in some rough places? Her friends lived in a city, they understood danger. Sort of. In a nice, upscale Boston kind of way.

M sighed. There was no point in trying to explain. No- body understood her life.

“You kinda push all the guys away,” Brianna pointed out quietly. “Maybe not like that, but still . . .”

“I don’t do romance,” M replied. She was done with love, period. She’d loved her parents, and they were both gone. Love hurt too much. It was better to steer clear of it.

They all ate in silence for a minute.

“I mean, he is an ass,” Ayana said finally. And everybody laughed.

 

M: You up?

MIKE: It’s a 12 hr time difference. Of course I’m up.

M: Like you never sleep in on weekends.

MIKE: Fine, your text woke me.

M: I don’t think that glyph is a lotus. It’s bending the wrong way.

MIKE: It has to be a lotus. If it’s not, the whole phrase is wrong.

M: The rest of the phrase never sat well with Nefertum anyway.

MIKE: Your dad said it was a lotus.

BLOG TOUR: Disgrace by Brittainy C. Cherry

Welcome to my stop on the Disgrace blog tour! I’m so excited for you to read this book because I loved it!

Disgrace broke me, shattered to my core, and then slowly put me back together. This had been one of the best contemporary romance novels I’ve read in such a long time. Grace was an amazing heroine in search of herself and her strengths. Jackson is the town’s monster, but maybe they’ve painted him with the wrong brush? They overcome so many issues and go through so much heartbreak throughout this novel. The character development was amazing and the relationships so touching. Yeah, this is the part where I cry, too. A few times 💔💔💔

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Disgrace, an all-new romantic and emotional standalone from Brittainy C. Cherry is available NOW!

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Synopsis:

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again.

After fifteen years together, he walked away from me, and into the arms of another.

I didn’t know how to cope. I didn’t know my worth. I didn’t know how to exist without him by my side.

All I wanted was for him to come back to me.

Then, Jackson Emery appeared.

He was supposed to be a distraction for my mind. A summer fling. A confidence boost to my bruised heart.

We were perfect for one another, because we both knew we wouldn’t last. Jackson didn’t believe in commitment, and I no longer believed in love. He was too closed-off for me, and I was too damaged for him.

Everything was fine, until one night my heart skipped a beat.

I didn’t expect him to make me laugh. To make me think. To make my sadness somewhat disappear.

When our time was up, my heart didn’t know how to walk away.

Each day I prayed for my husband to love me again, yet slowly my prayers began to shift toward the man who wasn’t right for me.

I prayed for one more smile, one more kiss, one more laugh, one more touch…

I prayed for him to be mine.

Even though I knew his heart wasn’t destined to love.

DISGRACE_AVAIL NOW KU

Download today or read FREE in Kindle Unlimited!

Amazon US: https://amzn.to/2lNrWID

Amazon Universal: http://mybook.to/DisgraceBC

Add to GoodReads: http://bit.ly/2o8Xslh

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Excerpt:

Jackson

“I’ve read about boys like you in books, ya know,” she whispered, her fingers slowly spinning spirals on my chest.

“Oh, yeah? What did those books teach you about boys like me?”

“Well…” She bit her bottom lip, and with a small inhalation, she whispered, “They taught me to stay away.”

“Then why are you so close?”

She tilted her head up, looking me straight in the eyes. “Because in those stories, the heroine never ever listens.”

“And then there’s trouble?” I asked.

“Yes, and then there’s trouble.”

From the way she said those words, I knew trouble was exactly what she was in search of. We were the classic cliché. She was the good girl next door, I the monster from around the block. We were perfect opposites for the perfect storm, and she was asking me to be her next flaw, her greatest mistake.

And, well, who was I not to live up to her request?

“I could destroy you,” I warned.

“Or save me.”

“Is it worth the risk?”

“Isn’t it always worth the risk?”

The more she touched me, the more I wanted to touch her back. I wrapped my hands around her wrists flipping us around so she was now against the wall with her hands above her head. “I have rules.” I leaned in closer, lightly brushing my lips against her neck. God, she smelled good, like peaches and my next sin. “You can’t break these rules, either.” My tongue rolled from my mouth and circled against her neck before I gently sucked her skin.

She shivered at my touch. “What are they?”

“Rule one,” I whispered, my mouth moving across her collarbone. “You never stay the night.”

“Check.”

“Rule number two,” I said, dropping her left arm to the side. Taking my hand to the bottom of her blouse, I slowly raised it up and massaged her skin. “You never develop feelings.”

“That’s easy enough,” she replied, her breaths uneven as I teased at the top button on her jeans. “I don’t believe in feelings anymore.”

I didn’t know why, but that made me sad for her. I, too, didn’t believe in falling for people, but that was my norm. Grace seemed the type to believe in something bigger than love, so the fact that her belief was completely gone was a bit surprising.

Maybe we had more in common than I thought.

“Rule number three…we don’t talk about my life.”

“Like ever?”

“Never.”

“Okay.”

“And lastly, rule number four…” My mouth brushed against hers, and I slid my tongue slowly across her bottom lip. “If your favorite pair of panties get ripped, don’t expect me to replace them.”

About the Author:

Hi! I’m Brittainy! Join me as we travel through my mind as a Romance Author. This includes such things as my random thoughts, tricks, tips, things I’m learning, things I’m re-learning, things I’m forgetting, and my weird ways of crafting stories.

Connect with Brittainy:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/BrittainyCherryAuthor/

Twitter: @BrittainyCherry

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BLOG TOUR – The Measurements of Decay by K.K. Edin

Bespoke book cover art example from coverness.com

 Book Synopsis:

In the far future, Earth’s nearby star systems have been colonized. Outfitted with a device that allows them to escape into hallucinations at will, people spend most of their time withdrawn into their own minds. Tikan Solstafir, a renegade who refuses the illusory life enjoyed by others, lives in self-imposed exile on a starship. When a mysterious enemy attacks the ship, Tikan embarks on a mission to destroy the galactic tyranny and liberate humanity from its own dreams. Meanwhile, in the 21st Century, a disillusioned philosopher believes that humanity s collective misery originates in people s failure to communicate with others and make sense of the world. Growing increasingly misanthropic and monomaniacal, he proceeds on a hermetic quest to save humanity from itself, while also succumbing to his own moral decline. As these stories intertwine, a young girl reappears through various epochs, fleeting through Ancient Greece, Medieval Norway, Bolshevik Russia, among others. Unbound by time, Sielle has formed few attachments. Eventually thrust into Tikan’s world, she becomes unwillingly entangled in a political scheme spanning centuries. At once a tortured love letter to philosophy and a space opera spanning centuries, it is a novel of ideas wrapped in a cautionary tale.

Author Bio:

K. K. Edin was born in New York and grew up in the UK, France and parts of the Middle East. He holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Philosophy and Political Science and a Masters in Philosophy from Boston University. He currently lives in Boston and The Measurements of Decay is his debut novel. Find K.K. Edin on FacebookTwitterGoodreads, and at www.kkedin.com.
The Measurements of Decay [Metempsy Publications] is now available in hardback, paperback and e-book formats on Amazon.
**Currently a Goodreads Giveaway happening until May 7th! Get your entry in today!

AUTHOR Q&A

1. What inspired you to write The Measurements of Decay?

The novel draws from many inspirations. Too many, perhaps. I began writing it when I was 20 years old and steeped in the classics of philosophy. I recall that the main themes arose out of a series of thoughts I had at the time in response to Descartes’ Meditations on First Philosophy. Part of Descartes’ work seemed to imply to me, at the time, that absolute certainty about something can only be achieved in virtue of being that thing. Obviously the only thing one can be is oneself. With this as the criteria for knowledge-at-its-best, the implication, therefore, is that anything other than oneself is subject to doubt. But what would it take for that certainty and those conditions to extend to other things and people, and even form the foundation of science? What political and moral implications would this have? The logical thread quickly ended up somewhere between absurdity and nightmare. In other words, perfectly suitable for the crucible of science fiction. My study of philosophy continued to inform the novel, especially as many problems related to the tension between objectivity and subjectivity became apparent. It is one of the key conflicts of philosophy: How can the individual make sense of being in the world, which is shared by others? How does our limited and unique perspective impact our moral considerations, our ability to be scientific, or our understanding of consciousness and being? Moreover, how can we make sense of duty, freedom and knowledge in the shadow of this subjective-objective tension? These are the themes I wanted to address, but I wanted to address them in grand, Melvillian style. I wanted to combine the speculative power of science fiction, the psychological investigation that authors like Dostoevsky or Hamsun perform, and those problems of philosophy that occurred to me while I was a student. And I wanted to create a beautiful, if dark and risky, work of it.

2. What advice would you give readers interested in reading The Measurements of Decay? How should they approach the novel?

The reader should approach The Measurements of Decay with a degree of patience. I have written the novel in an ornate style that bucks the minimalist trend. That alone means paying more attention to the language and not racing through the plot, which is itself somewhat complicated and tangled in other aspects of the writing. The reason for this is that the language is itself a key part of the story, for philosophical, thematic and character reasons. The overarching plot, meanwhile, unravels quite slowly. Many readers have expressed that they found themselves having to accept a degree of ambiguity through the first half or so, but being enthralled by the plot thereafter and appreciating the upward climb retroactively. In addition, the philosophical content of the book can be quite intense, especially for someone without a background in the subject, though not, I think, impossible. Lastly, I would say that the reader should treat the Narrator as a character with his own idiosyncratic worldview, use of language and will. Much of the novel is an exploration of his psyche and his philosophical troubles. To understand the novel is to attempt to understand the Narrator.

3. Who are your favorite authors you like to read and/or follow?

Herman Melville, Fyodor Dostoevsky, Cormac McCarthy, Thomas de Quincy, Dan Simmons, Alfred Bester, Ursula K. LeGuin, Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, Gene Wolfe, Edgar Allan Poe, H. P. Lovecraft, J. R. R. Tolkien (particularly The Silmarillion).

4. When do you find the time to write?

Usually late at night, but not necessarily. I tend to write whenever I have at least a solid hour in the day, and all other tasks have been completed.

5. Who and/or what has influenced your writing style?

I am attracted to beautiful and daring language, intellectual ideas and poignant characterization. The novels that I enjoy the most tend to be ornately written, poetic and philosophical in some degree. In terms of fiction, I draw from the psychological investigations of Dostoevsky, Knut Hamsun and Thomas de Quincy, the immortal masterpiece that is Moby Dick, the speculative powers of science fiction from Alfred Bester and Ursula K. LeGuin, and the magnificent prose of Cormac McCarthy. Most of the ideas I like to base my themes on are drawn from the history of philosophy, though not always.

6. What are you working on now?

I have ideas for three more novels, each very different from the other, and different to
The Measurements of Decay. I am also focusing very much on my professional career
and my personal life, with much less time for writing, at the moment.

7. Do you have any advice for aspiring writers?

Decide from the beginning if you want to write mainly for artistic or entertainment or
commercial reasons. If you decide to write for mainly artistic reasons, your standard
should be nothing short of an absolute masterpiece. You will in all likelihood fail, but it
will probably force you to increase the quality of your work. Aim for the stars, as they
say. In terms of writing itself, I like to think of the first draft as a process of excavating marble from a quarry. After the marble is prepared, you can begin sculpting. I also do not believe in inspiration as a necessary requirement to writing. I have found that inspiration only makes starting easier, or helps in generating ideas. It provides no noticeable increase in quality. If you are writing for purely artistic reasons I would also avoid any business related information about the world of publishing until you are finished with at least the second draft. The knowledge may poison your vision. On the other hand, if you are writing mainly to entertain or for commercial reasons, make sure to read up as much as possible about the publishing world, and, in particular, about the constrictions of your respective genre.