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THE FALL Blog Tour: Interview with Bethany Griffin + Giveaway

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I am a huge fan of Author Bethany Griffin and I love, love, love her newly released novel THE FALL, based on Edgar Allan Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher. So I am more than thrilled to be participating in the blog tour for this eerie and chilling and unputdownable book.

From the very start, the novel pulls you in and makes you anxious to find out just what will happen to Madeline. It will make you race through the pages to find out what’s really going on in that house and how she ended up in the situation she was in when you were first introduced.

And while I know what happens, I shall not reveal it here. The suspense adds to the experience and I would not want to ruin it. But if you’d like to know a little bit more about THE FALL, be sure to check out the Q&A I have with the author in which she reveals a bit about the inspiration behind THE FALL, a bit more about the story and its characters, and which scene was her most difficult to write.

This tour also includes a swag-tastic GRAND PRIZE giveaway with a signed copy of the book as well as three signed book and bookmark giveaway prizes. So if you’d like to enter for a chance to win, scroll down to the Rafflecopter a bit further down.

And if you’d like to read a few reviews, check out a couple of interviews and guest posts, be sure to visit the other stops on the tour. The schedule is at the bottom of this post.

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About The Fall

THE FALL-2

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Title: THE FALL
Author: Bethany Griffin
Release date: October 7, 2014
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Description…

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | THE BOOK DEPOSITORY | GOODREADS


The Interview

Q&A with Bethany Griffin

Q. What was it about Poe’s The Fall of the House of Usher that appealed most to you and inspired your novel, THE FALL?

The Fall of the House of Usher has always been my favorite Poe story. I loved the haunted house, the failing Ushers, the general atmosphere and mood of the story. For me it is the quintessential Poe story. It was published after his death, and embodies everything that (in my opinion) makes Poe great.

Q. THE FALL is not your first novel to stem from one of Poe’s stories. What is it about expanding and changing Poe’s classic stories and reimagining the worlds he created that draws you in and entices you to create longer ones?

The Fall actually WAS my first Poe inspired novel. I wrote it before Masque of the Red Death, and in fact, my agent hesitated to look at Masque because, to paraphrase, ‘he was still in love with The Fall and unwilling to move on to a new story’. But once he read the first pages of Masque, it became our focus, and was the story that was published first. For several years I didn’t know if and when The Fall would be published. But back to the original question, I think it’s the atmosphere of Poe’s stories that makes me want to expand and add to them. What stories fascinate more? I think fairy tales have the same eternal (and creepy) quality, and there are many retellings of Shakespeare’s stories, but otherwise, what classic stories fascinate teen readers more thoroughly than Poe?

Q. For those who may not have read The Fall of the House of Usher, in what ways is your story and its characters, particularly Madeline Usher, similar to or different from the original? To what extent does your story parallel Poe’s short tale? And at what point does the story take on a life of its own?

Well, Madeline in Poe’s story is pretty much mute. She has no voice, and no story besides being Roderick’s sister. In my story she’s the narrator, so she has a voice, she has a story, she has agency, and is in fact much stronger that Roderick. Poe’s story comes in at the end of mine, and at that point it parallels The Fall of the House of Usher pretty closely. Originally I didn’t name Poe’s unnamed narrator, but I did finally come up with a name for him. The doctors in the story come from a reference in the Poe story to a doctor watching from the stairs (my doctors are always watching).

As I wrote the story it grew larger with backstory and additional characters, though Madeline and Roderick are still the heart of the story.

I did comb through Poe’s story for every possible clue or detail about the characters and their lives, and then I set the source material aside while I drafted, and revised, and revised, and rewrote, and rearranged the scenes, and revised some more!

Q. What was your favorite scene or your most challenging scene – or both – to write in THE FALL? And why?

I’m going to go with the first scene. I first envisioned this scene (and started drafting it) five years ago. I questioned whether I was a good enough writer to convey the horror of being buried alive. I wrote and rewrote that scene over many years, and in the process made myself more than a little claustrophobic. There were points where I had the scene memorized, and then I’d go back and change something, then something else. It’s really sort of an homage to my writing process, which involves a lot of layering in details and then slowly taking out extra words and details, and then layering in more. It was a difficult scene in that it has to convey the horror of being buried alive along with Madeline’s almost casual realization that she’s coming out of a trance where she can’t move, forcing herself to remain calm until she realizes where she is.


About Bethany Griffin

Bethany_GriffinBethany Griffin is a high school English teacher who prides herself on attracting creative misfits to elective classes like Young Adult Literature, Creative Writing, and Speculative Literature.

She is the author of HANDCUFFS, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH, GLITTER AND DOOM, and THE FALL.

She lives with her family in Kentucky.

WEBSITE | BLOG | TWITTER | FACEBOOK | GOODREADS


The Giveaway

The tour has some seriously awesome prizes up for giveaway…

  • GRAND PRIZE: A Poe Prize Pack with a Raven Scarf, Necklace, Candle, and a SIGNED Hardcover of THE FALL + a SIGNED Bookmark – US ONLY
  • 3 Signed Hardcovers of THE FALL + Signed Bookmarks – International

Enter in the Rafflecopter below…

a Rafflecopter giveaway


The Tour Schedule

Week One

Sept. 29th – Bookish – Interview

Sept. 30th – A Glass of Wine – Guest Post

Oct. 1st – Stories & Sweeties – Review

Oct. 2nd – Novel Novice – Review

Oct. 3rd – Burning Impossibly Bright – Interview

Week Two

Oct. 6th – Fiction Freak – Review

Oct. 7th – Once Upon a Twilight – Guest Post

Oct. 8th – WinterHaven Books – Spotlight

Oct. 9th – Fiktshun – Interview

Oct. 10th – Two Chicks on Books – Guest Post

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Posted in Blog Tour, Contests and Giveaways, Interviews | Tags: , , , , , ,

A New Pile Add: THE FALL by Bethany Griffin

The FallTitle: THE FALL
Author: Bethany Griffin
Publisher: Greenwillow Books
Pub. date: October 7, 2014
Pages: 432
Formats: Hardcover, eBook

Find it: AMAZON | BARNES & NOBLE | GOODREADS

Description…

Madeline Usher is doomed.

She has spent her life fighting fate, and she thought she was succeeding. Until she woke up in a coffin.

Ushers die young. Ushers are cursed. Ushers can never leave their house, a house that haunts and is haunted, a house that almost seems to have a mind of its own. Madeline’s life—revealed through short bursts of memory—has hinged around her desperate plan to escape, to save herself and her brother. Her only chance lies in destroying the house.

In the end, can Madeline keep her own sanity and bring the house down? The Fall is a literary psychological thriller, reimagining Edgar Allan Poe’s classic The Fall of the House of Usher.

Where I heard about it?

I first saw THE FALL when I was stalking Goodreads author profiles to see what new books I could look forward to this year. Bethany Griffin is an author whose releases I keep an eye on so that I can pre-order them. But I also saw it on Epic Reads’ Cover Reveal Roundup post, which made me that much more excited to get it on the pile.

Why I’m adding it?

Firstly, it’s written by Bethany Griffin. I seriously love her writing. Secondly, it’s a reimagining of one of my favorite Poe stories, The Fall of the House of Usher. Thirdly, I read the description. Sooooo awesome and creepy.

When I’ll read it?

Tonight? Kidding… kind of. I just saw this today on Edelweiss and instantly added it to the pile, and while I am already reading a couple of books and I have a book or two planned for this coming week, I plan on taking a peek once I finish writing this post. And if it’s as amazing as I think it will be, I will not be able to put it down.

What do you think?

Have you heard of THE FALL? Do you already have a copy or will you be anxiously awaiting its release this October? And are you as excited to read it as I am?

Are you a huge fan of Bethany Griffin’s gorgeous writing? Or are you more curious about how it differs from Poe’s story?

Do you love the fact that this is a psychological thriller? Do you love that the description already sets the stage by revealing that Madeline Usher wakes up in a coffin? Do you love that this story sounds a bit different from many of the novels out there?

Will you be adding THE FALL to your TBR pile? Or will you be adding it to your TBR now pile?

What makes you want to dive into THE FALL?

Posted in A New Pile Add | Tags: , ,

Review: Dance of the Red Death

Dance of the Red Death

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DANCE OF THE RED DEATH by Bethany Griffin was released in the U.S. on June 11, 2013, in hardcover and eBook formats. It is currently available to order online in both formats at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Greenwillow Books, the print edition is 336.

DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is the second and final full-length book in author Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death series.

NOTE: This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

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Description…

Bethany Griffin continues the journey of Araby Worth in Dance of the Red Death—the sequel to her teen novel Masque of the Red Death.

In Dance of the Red Death, Araby’s world is in shambles—betrayal, death, disease, and evil forces surround her. She has no one to trust. But she finds herself and discovers that she will fight for the people she loves, and for her city.

Her revenge will take place at the menacing masked ball, though it could destroy her and everyone she loves…or it could turn her into a hero.

With a nod to Edgar Allan Poe, Bethany Griffin concludes her tragic and mysterious Red Death series with a heroine that young adult readers will never forget.

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Dark, richly detailed and beautifully written, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is a riveting conclusion to author Bethany Griffin’s Masque of the Red Death series. This story captivates as it takes readers from a city on the verge of collapse to the plague-ridden swamps on its outskirts to the opulent but deadly palace of Prince Prospero for a sinister and macabre masked ball.

This second and final book in the series will keep readers on edge as they follow along with Araby in her pursuit to find her father, save her friend, save her city and defeat the two rivals who wish to see its destruction. It is a haunting story filled with heartbreak and loss, a heroine who is faced with difficult decisions and an ending that is bittersweet.

With the Red Death taking lives faster than the Weeping Sickness ever did, with two madmen on a collision course that will leave the city and its citizens in ruins and with two boys who hold a piece of her heart awaiting her decision, Araby Worth’s time is running out.

But unless she can find her father, discover a cure for this deadliest of diseases, emerge victorious from Prospero’s latest game and stop Malcontent from achieving his goal of total annihilation, there will be no reason for her to choose between a future with Elliott or one with Will. Because there will be no future. Not for her. Not for her friends. Not for anyone.

Beautiful even at its most horrifying, DANCE OF THE RED DEATH weaves its magic and draws readers into its darkly alluring world full of twists and turns, shocks and surprises, with its flawed, damaged, despairing but not defeated, maniacal, malevolent, determined and hopeful characters. All of whom are incredibly fascinating. All of whom serve to make this story one that is memorable.

Author Bethany Griffin gives readers another unique look at a story that has Poe’s as its inspiration. She builds the suspense in this sequel, making this a nail-biter, and gives her once directionless protagonist a purpose, turning her into a heroine that is strong, determined and one worth rooting for.

DANCE OF THE RED DEATH is an immensely entertaining finish to this two-book series. With its battle of good versus evil times two, its triangle-shaped love story, its chilling setting, its intriguing characters and the surprises it delivers along the way, it is a story not to be missed.

Reviewer gives this book…

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On a personal note…

I knew this series-ending book wasn’t going to be an easy read. I was filled with dread about what was going to happen to the characters from the second I began reading. I knew that something was going to happen that would break my heart. I just wasn’t sure how badly broken it would be.

But I can’t reveal the level of heartbreak I felt. I can’t reveal whether or not I’ve recovered from said heartbreak weeks after having read DANCE OF THE RED DEATH. Because then I would have to say why my heart was broken. And that answer is all sorts of spoiler-y.

What I can say is that I thought this book was amazing. The writing was every bit as gorgeous as it was in the first book in the series. It pulled me so deeply into the story that Araby’s reality became my own. And the world she saw through her eyes was the one I saw with mine.

And it was a chilling world. One filled with danger and death and disappointment and disease. But it wasn’t one that gave in to despair. It wasn’t one without hope. It wasn’t one without the possibility of something more.

I absolutely loved the direction this story took. I hadn’t thought beyond Prospero’s party when anticipating this book’s release. I hadn’t wondered what else this story might contain. And I hadn’t thought about what fate might await any or all of its characters.

And I want so badly to talk about their fates. I want to talk about everything in this book, from what went down at the party, to whether Prospero or Malcontent were victorious, to whether the victor was someone else entirely, to whether all of the main characters made it to the story’s end or whether none of them did.

I didn’t think it would be possible to successfully wrap up this series in just two books. It felt like there was too much story left to tell to be able to condense everything into just the one. But the author did an amazing job of bringing the story arc to its conclusion, tying up any and all loose ends and answering the question once and for all about Will and Elliott.

While I would have loved to see a third book, to see the party scene expanded upon, to have a happily ever after for each and every character I adore, this final book in the series was awesome exactly as it was. Even though not everyone got the ending I imagined for them.

I was utterly fascinated by every moment spent at Prospero’s. I was anxious while I awaited Malcontent’s next move. I was torn between wishing for Elliott and wishing for Will. And I was afraid to hope that things might turn out okay in the end.

An ending that came all too quickly. An ending I never wanted to have to reach. Because I did not want to say goodbye to the characters. I did want to leave this dark and disease-ridden world. I did not want to find out who Araby chose or if she survived to have that choice to make. And I did not want to find out what characters may have fallen along the way.

I fell madly in love with the characters in the first book in the series and I loved them no less in this final one. I only wish I had more time to spend with each of them, in this story, in this world. Saying my goodbyes to Araby, Will, Elliott, April, and even Malcontent and Prospero wasn’t easy. I’m still not certain I’m ready to bid them farewell. I’m still holding out a thread of hope for another story. Even if it is a short one.

And even though DANCE OF THE RED DEATH broke my heart, even though it made it impossible to say goodbye, even though it’s a story that didn’t always bring a smile to my face, it is one that I will love forever.

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Favorite passage…

I have so many favorite passages. So, so many. And I’d love to share them all, but that would require pretty much reprinting the entire book. Which is a “no no.”

So, I thought I’d share this one, which may be just a little bit spoiler-y. But it is one of my very most favorites.

Will’s voice is soft. “Lie on your stomach, sweetheart. I want to get a good look at the stitches.”

The throwaway endearment takes me back to the Debauchery Club. A simpler time when I didn’t know dark secrets and wasn’t trying to help save the world. But it doesn’t wipe away his betrayal. He touches my good shoulder to try to help me, and I brush him off.

Elliott sits up, scooting down to the foot of the bed. He doesn’t even try to hide his smirk from Will.

This review is based on an eARC received from the publisher via Edelweiss in exchange for an honest review.

Posted in Book Reviews, Fiction | Tags: , , , , ,

Quickie Review: Glitter & Doom

Glitter and Doom

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GLITTER & DOOM by Bethany Griffin was released in the U.S. on March 26, 2013 in eBook format only. It is currently available to order online at AMAZON and BARNES & NOBLE.

Published by Greenwillow Books, the story is 44 pages.

GLITTER & DOOM is a novella in the author’s Masque of the Red Death series set between MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH and DANCE OF THE RED DEATH.

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Description…

A 50-page, digital-only novella set in the world of Bethany Griffin’s dark and haunting retelling of the classic Edgar Allan Poe story Masque of the Red Death. When a rich teenage girl who spends her nights in the most desirable club and a smart, young inventor meet, they might have more in common than they know.

April, niece to the dying city’s cruel dictator, is Araby Worth’s glittery and frivolous best friend. But she’s more than she appears. And when she disappeared in Masque of the Red Death, where did she go? This short novella answers that question, taking us deep underneath the crumbling city, where April crosses paths with Kent, the serious young inventor who is key to rebellion. Glitter & Doom is a story of chilling action, of spies, and of surprising love. Can love be anything but doomed is a city that’s burning down around its survivors?

A dark, unnerving story about two of the most fascinating characters from Masque of the Red Death.

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GLITTER & DOOM is a captivating short novella told in two parts – Glitter, from April’s point of view and Doom, from Kent’s. It offers readers a peek at the world from two characters who play an important role in the series’ outcome and gives insight into events that take place outside of the main story but are integral to it.

This story allows readers to get to know both characters a little bit more, to see how they first met and to see just what parts they played in the events leading up to the climactic conclusion at the end of the first book, MASQUE OF THE RED DEATH. And it gives them a few more reasons to detest both Prospero and Malcontent.

Glitter let’s readers see how April and Elliott became the people they were when they are first introduced in book one. It reveals a moment from their earlier lives that is both horrifying and heartbreaking. It shows a different side of April than the one most often seen through Araby’s point of view. And it doing so, it makes her a much more relatable character.

Doom gives readers Kent’s backstory and let’s them make a stronger connection to a character who only plays a supporting role in the novels. It let’s readers see what his motivations are and why he feels the way he does. And by getting this short peek at his history and his early encounters with April, he becomes a much more three-dimensional character than he is in the novels.

GLITTER & DOOM is a quick but riveting read that will offer up a different reading experience depending upon whether it is read prior to the final book in the series or after, though it can be read either before or after DANCE OF THE RED DEATH. It is both a heartwarming and bittersweet story that delivers danger, excitement, suspense and romance in each of its two parts.

And while not essential to an overall enjoyment of the series, the stories and characters in GLITTER & DOOM add quite a bit to it, making it a must read for fans.

This novella also includes a short excerpt of Chapter One from DANCE OF THE RED DEATH.

Reviewer gives this novella…

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On a personal note…

I had no idea when I picked up GLITTER & DOOM that it was two short stories from April and Kent’s points of view. I thought it was only April’s story. When I found out that it was both of their stories I was even more eager… and anxious… to read it.

Though I can’t say why that is. But those who read DANCE OF THE RED DEATH will know exactly what I’m talking about… or why I can’t say anything about how I felt when reading this novella.

I have always thought April was awesome. And reading her short story and reading about her in Kent’s made her even more so. She was brave. Fearless. Clever. And seeing her with Kent in the scenes in this novella makes me wish for an entire novel from her point of view.

And I loved seeing a younger Elliott, even though what happened was absolutely devastating. I loved getting to see those tiny glimpses of Will. I loved getting to see what April thought of Araby. And I loved the fact that this novella made me absolutely adore a character I hadn’t paid much attention to in the novels – Kent.

What I most loved, however, is the thing I can’t talk about. Though I suppose it wouldn’t be too revealing to say that because I read this after the series ended, I made a much stronger emotional connection to the story than I would have had I read it prior to reading DANCE OF THE RED DEATH.

While I normally am a proponent of reading things in order, I’m glad I read it out of sequence. It felt like a much more important story than it might have if I hadn’t known how things ended for all this series’ main characters.

Even though this was such a short novella, the author managed to break my heart a couple of times. Once in Glitter and once in Doom. And she made me fall in love with her series all over again.

I cannot recommend GLITTER & DOOM enough. This is a must, must, must read and a short story I must, must, must read again.

Posted in Book Reviews, Fiction | Tags: , , , ,

Novella Reading Week Wraps Up!

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Novella Reading Week has ended. Wow that went fast! I’d been debating making it a two-week event, but it seems that one week was the perfect length in order to get a few of those novellas read and not cause too much of a backup for those review books.

And I cannot thank Mindy of Magical Urban Fantasy Reads enough for co-hosting this event with me. It was nice to know that even if no one else took part in the challenge this past week, she was joining me in my quest to clear a few novellas off my TBR pile.

But she wasn’t the only one participating in Novella Reading Week! I am totally stoked that there were so many awesome readers joining us this past week. And I cannot wait to check out each and every one of the reviews.

Mindy and I will be gathering all the participants entries – from the Linky List and from the comments on our posts – and we’ll throw them into Random to choose the winners, which will be announced in our Novella Reading Week Begins posts on Tuesday.

I hope that you got a few novellas cleared off your piles and that at the one, or ones, you did read made it worth your while. And I can’t thank you all enough for joining this event and for sharing your thoughts about those novellas you did read.

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My Novella Reading Week…

While I didn’t get every novella read that I wanted to read, I did reach my goal of reading seven novellas for this challenge. I’d originally chosen five books to read for the challenge, but decided to aim for seven and I managed to read them all.

Though I would have liked to read the other five novellas I’d earmarked, I wouldn’t have been able to read all those stories and have any time left over to write reviews. So I stuck with just my seven initial picks.

And while I only posted reviews for four of the novellas I read, I did end up writing six reviews before the challenge officially ended and hope to finish writing the last one momentarily. The three remaining reviews will be posted on Tuesday and Wednesday as I have a blog tour scheduled for today.

The novellas I read for the challenge were…

UNDONE (Unbreakable #1.5) by Elizabeth Norris. (Review)

GLITTER & DOOM (Masque of the Red Death #1.5) by Bethany Griffin. (Review to post Tuesday)

DIE FOR HER (Die for Me #2.5) by Amy Plum. (Review)

RADIANT (Unearthly #2.5) by Cynthia Hand. (Review)

DESTROY ME (Shatter Me #1.5) by Tahereh Mafi. (Review in progress)

FLIRTING WITH MAYBE by Wendy Higgins (Review to post Wednesday)

ORIGINS: THE FIRE (Mila 2.0 #0.5) by Debra Driza. (Review)

So while it wasn’t a complete success, I do consider this past week a success. I read seven novellas I’ve been wanting to read – some for quite some time. I managed to fall in love with some of my favorite series all over again. And reading a couple of the novellas gave me the push I needed to finally be willing to say goodbye to those series. Which, for me, is a win.

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Your Novella Reading Week…

But enough about me. What about your novella reading week?

Did you read all the novellas you wanted to read this week? Did you read more than you’d planned? Or did you read fewer than anticipated?

Were the novellas you did read ones that you absolutely adored or were some more of a miss than a hit?

And, whether you read one or twenty-one, do you consider this a successful novella reading week for you?

If you’d like to share your thoughts, I’d love to know!

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