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Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Beneath Blood and Bone by Madeline Sheehan and Claire C. Riley Blog Tour Review + Interview


It is the end of the world.
They call him Eagle, like the grand and beautiful bird that symbolizes freedom. During these dark times, when humanity is experiencing nothing but suffering, a man with such a powerful name should be a beacon of hope, yet he is anything but.
Her name is Autumn, but she hasn’t said this name or much of anything else in the four years since the fall of civilization. A shell of her former self, living wild in a cave at the bottom of a ravine, Autumn is accustomed to being alone. She prefers it, actually, especially when her only options for company either try to kill her, or worse, to lock her up inside their walls.
Captured by Eagle’s people, Autumn is suddenly thrust back into the land of the living, but she would hardly call it living. The community of Purgatory is full of sinners, the most evil of whom seem to have set their sights on her.
In an act born of anger and defiance, Eagle becomes Autumn’s unexpected savior, forcing these two solitary people into each other’s broken worlds. Neither knows quite what to make of the other, but one thing is certain. To survive Purgatory, they must learn how to rely on each other, a feat that could possibly teach them both how to live again.


"My wet reflection glared back at me—dark brown, nearly black eyes rimmed in red and encased in shadowed, hollowed circles sitting high on an angry, angular face that was framed in a heavy beard almost as black as my hair.
I was a fearful fucking sight. The people here were right to be afraid of me. The things I was capable of, the things I’d done . . . There were times I even feared myself."
- Beneath Blood and Bone




Fantastical realm dweller Madeline Sheehan is the USA Today bestselling author of the Holy Trinity Trilogy and Undeniable Series.  

A Social Distortion enthusiast, lover of mud and anything deemed socially inappropriate, Madeline was homegrown in Buffalo, New York, where she can be found engaging in food fights and video game marathons with her husband and son.

A reader and writer of dark paranormal romances and zombie horror, plus a ton of other things to give you chills! 

She lives in the United Kingdom with her three young daughters, husband and one scruffy dog!

Claire C Riley’s work is best described as the modernization of classic, old-school horror. She fuses multi-genre elements to develop storylines that pay homage to cult-classics while still feeling fresh and cutting-edge. She writes characters that are realistic and kills them without mercy.

How was writing Beneath Blood and Bone different from Thicker Than Blood? You've now published 3 books together right? Can we expect many more?
Madeline - well, it was a little more difficult in the sense that sequels are always a bit more work than their predecessors and secondly the entire story has a vastly different meaning than Thicker Than Blood. Beneath Blood and Bone is ultimately a romance where as Thicker Than Blood was a love story of a different kind, one of friendship.
Yes, Claire and I have three books together now: Thicker Than Blood, Beneath Blood and Bone, and Shut Up and Kiss Me. And you can expect at least one or two more books from us.
Claire - this time was a lot more difficult. We both had our own projects to be working on and knew that they needed to be done, yet THIS book was the one that kept on calling us back to it.
Plus, as Madeline said, sequels are a lot more difficult to write for several reasons. The world building is way more intense for one, and this was a completely different storyline from book one.
As for more books, it's been an intense year for us, I'd like to think we had one or two more in us at some point.

Did you know how you wanted E's book to end before you started writing it?
Madeline - Yes and no. Claire and I had a good idea of where we wanted the story to ultimately go but there were some kinks that needed working out along the way in order to obtain our goal.
Claire - what she said ^^^ we had an idea but you never truly know until you start writing and the story progresses. There were times when we'd each send back our chapters to the other and then be like 'what now?' Because we also tried to go with the flow of things.

Which character from the series is most similar to how you would be in a zombie apocalypse? Explain.
Madeline - Ah, that's a hard one. I have no real way of knowing what kind of person I would be if I lost everything. I don't think anyone really knows the answer to that until -God forbid- it happens to them. Honestly, I can see a bit of myself in all of our characters and that's about all the answer I can give you until the zombie apocalypse actually occurs.
Claire - the person I'm likely to be is vastly different to who I'd like to think I'd be. I mean, I would want to be someone like Evelyn or Leisel (Thicker than Blood) but in reality, I'm more likely to be one-legged and covered in my own shit.


Beneath Blood and Bone (Thicker Than Blood #2)

My rating: 5 of 5 stars

There are so many things I like about this series. The reader never knows what to expect. The storylines follow no patterns, and the books thus far are very different. Even though it's fiction, it's real. The decay and stench of life at it lowest are in vivid technicolor and jumping off the page at the reader's senses. At the same time, sparks of humanity that can't be snuffed out always shine through.

In the first book, E was not the hero, and he still isn't. He's the antihero. He's been through hell (the reader learns of this in flashbacks) and came out the other side. Life has no meaning for him anymore. Full of hate, he's only a shell surviving out of habit.

We don't really know anything about Autumn going into Beneath Blood and Bone. She pretty much appears to be cuckoo for cocoa puffs. Full of fear, she's regressed to a snarling animal surviving on instinct.

Most of the plot in this book takes place in the camp called Purgatory (so many things can be read into that name). It's a place without joy. Day to day survival is how it breaks down. The bold lord over the meek. Liv is the queen bitch. She wants to control everything with E being at the top of the list. It doesn't go over well when he takes an interest in Autumn.

I didn't hate E in the first book. He wasn't a good guy at all, but I still couldn't raise up feelings to hate level for him. Although E compares his likeness to Liv's more than once in this book, I was prepared to slit her throat myself.

Overall, it's a story about the human condition. When is enough, enough? What is the point of living? How far gone can someone come back from? I loved it, muy mucho, and I'm looking forward to more from these authors.

P.S. E did win me over. I don't excuse him for the bad things, but I still can't help loving him either. And that's the way love goes.

***copy given in exchange for an honest review***


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