Series: The Aquarathi #1
Author: Amalie Howard
Genre: YA Fantasy
Source: Kismet Book
What I Thought
I would be lying if I didn’t tell you I wasn’t totally psyched to be on this tour. I mean Waterfell just looked so amazing from the outside, but who knew what I would find when I jumped into the book? I have always loved mermaids, and have really enjoyed the profusion of stories that have come out in the past few years about mermaids (and for the record, the Aquarathi are more like a cross between aliens and mermaids.) I love the different legends and stories associated with them, and how they have been portrayed, and Waterfell was no exception. I enjoyed this story so much! It was really different from all the other stories out there. Nerissa was an amazing main character. She has such strength and just a confidence of who she is. She also had extreme moments just being a spoiled brat, but I would imagine most princesses who are raised to believe that they are the center of the world would have a similar belief. Lo was great as well. As Nerissa’s main love character, he seemed to be a great compliment to her in all the most important ways. The romance that starts between them is great, and I loved watching their relationship build as the book went on. This story pulled me in from the beginning. It was so engaging and just flat out interesting! There was so much happening in this book and I just couldn’t wait to get to the end, and once at the end, I really wanted to read the next book! I can’t wait to see what happens with Nerissa and Lo. Such a great story and such a fun read! I am eagerly awaiting book #2!
Just a Few Questions… with Amalie Howard
I had the opportunity to ask Amalie Howard a few questions. Hands down, amazing answers!
Where is the coolest place you’ve ever traveled to?
This is a tough question. I’ve visited nearly a hundred and seventy cities in the world, so it’s almost impossible to pinpoint one favorite. As far as the coolest place that I’ve traveled to, well, that would have to be a tie between Macau in China and Mt. Hutt in New Zealand. In Macau, I bungee-jumped seven hundred and sixty-five feet off of the Macau Tower. That’s nearly the length of eight football fields. Talk about taking a leap of faith with only a giant extra-stretchy rope attached to your ankles! In New Zealand, I took a helicopter to the summit of Mt. Hutt and skied down the mountain on double black diamond trails that had steep gorges and sheer cliffs on either side with NO barriers. Clearly, I’m a thrill-seeker! Both were incredible experiences.
What celebrity would you love to have dinner with?
As much as I would love to say Ian Somerhalder just so I can stare at him for a few hours, I’d have to say Miley Cyrus. Ok, before you get up in arms, it’s not that I want to preach to her or give her any unsolicited advice. As an author, I do think that I have some sort of responsibility to the teens who read my books. In my opinion, people who influence others via books, music or any medium are role models, whether they want to be or not. There’s a lot going on in the media right now about Miley’s so-called choices, and a part of me (the mother and the fan) wants to understand what’s going on in her head. What is she thinking? What is she feeling? Does she feel victimized by the music industry? Or does she feel like she is truly expressing who she is? Does she even want to be a role model? The thing is I think Miley is a talented singer—I love Wrecking Ball. It’s a heartbreaking and powerful song. Do I think it would have been way more artistic if she’d worn a beautiful but slightly distressed wedding dress with the combat boots while sitting on the wrecking ball in the video? Absolutely. For me, it would have been far more complementary to the lyrics than being nude. But then again, was that her choice? Is the tongue thing her choice? I want to see where her head is at without the media weighing in, just Miley and me. Sledgehammer optional.
What is your favorite not good for you food?
I love macaroni and cheese. I really love it … like will-steal-it-from-my-children’s-dinner-when-they’re-not-looking kind of love it. And yes, I’m aware of how wrong that is.
What are three fun facts about you?
- When I was a kid, my best friend and I used to pretend to be mermaids living in a hidden underwater kingdom in her swimming pool. We even invented a cool synchronized swimming mermaid dance.
- I own a Harley Davidson motorcycle, and am an official H.O.G. member with a patch and everything. Daughter Of Anarchy is my alter ego.
- I detest spiders. If they venture into my domain, they will face the giant boot of death.
What is the best book you have read recently? T
he last book I read that I absolutely loved was The Iron Queen by Julie Kagawa. There’s something about this whole series that’s so gripping and so unique. I won’t give away any spoilers, but seriously, new fairies created out of the rise of technology? Genius! I literally could not put this (or any book in this series) down. It was an epic Iron Fey love-fest marathon.
What kind of writer are you? (Do you lock yourself in a room to write? Do you like to write in a coffee shop?)
I used to have an office, but it has been taken over by miniature humans and Legos. I now write at a desk in my bedroom. Ok fine, I pretend to write at a desk in my bedroom. Truth is I’m far more comfortable writing on the couch or on my bed. Shameful, I know. For a change of scene, I do like to write at the occasional coffee shop or in the teen room at my local library. I can pretty much write anywhere as long as I have a great playlist of music handy to get those creative juices flowing.
Where did you get the idea for Waterfell?
I was at a writing retreat with my critique partners, and one of the opening scenes between Nerissa and Lo just popped into my head. I remember writing the dialogue and grinning to myself—I love when that happens, when an idea becomes kinetic and takes on a life of its own. I loved the dynamic between the two characters and even though I’d been playing around with an ocean-themed novel for a while, I wanted it to be something different and not what you’d expect. That led to the birth of the Aquarathi, which I hope will take people by surprise. Most of my novels are character-driven so it’s no surprise that this one was, too.
If you enjoy reading Waterfell you would also like reading….
I’m sure you’re expecting me to recommend another ocean series, but honestly, I’m going to go a whole different route. My lovely and talented editor at Harlequin TEEN, Natashya Wilson, once said that I write with a designing principle, which basically means that there’s an overall wider theme that is supported by scenes in the story—which in her words “makes the book resonate across audiences more powerfully that it would if it were a good, basic story.” I love this, and have been looking for more of this in the novels I read. Julie Kagawa is an author who also writes with a designing principle, which is why her novels, to me, are so compelling. I would highly recommend the Iron Fey series. Other books I’d recommend are Page Morgan’s The Beautiful and the Cursed and Cristin Terrill’s All Our Yesterdays. The writing is so rich and the stories are so deliciously complex. They’re the kinds of books that you get to really sink your teeth into because of the phenomenal world building. Overall, I think that fans of my writing will enjoy similar books that lean toward being more complex, multi-layered, and less formulaic.
Thanks Amalia for visiting!
There are two AMAZING giveaways on this tour! Check them out below! Good Luck and thanks for visiting The Bookmark Blog!
Top 10 Tuesday–Top Ten Books I Was Forced to Read
(either by teachers, friends, other bloggers, reviews)
Top Ten Tuesday is an original feature/weekly meme created at The Broke and the Bookish.
Today’s topic, books I’ve been forced to read, I decided to divide up, based on who made me read them, Friends, School, Book Club, and of course, my children. Hope you enjoy today’s list!
1. Hunger Games–Suzanne Collins. Yep, it wasn’t my choice to read this one, I had a good friend that told me I needed to read this one. I still waver on if I liked it or not. What I did decide is that it is a book that everyone needs to read, because it is scary to think that this could happen.
2. Twilight–Stephanie Meyer. I will admit to loving this series. But I was not into it at first, my best friend who is not a reader told me she had read this one and insisted that I needed to read it. About 3 weeks or so later I came up for air. I have gone to see all the movies and really enjoyed the series. Do the characters have their faults? Absolutely. Do I love them anyway? Absolutely.
3. The Lightning Thief (Percy Jackson and the Olympians #1)–Rick Riordan. So the same person that talked me into Hunger Games got me started on this series. LOVE, LOVE, LOVE Percy (and all the people that he has added to his crew since then.) I just devoured the latest book in the Heroes of Olympus series (my review will be on The Bookmark this week!) and I can’t wait until October of 2014 for the final in the series, even if that does make me a little sad.
School — Elementary through College
4. The Sound and the Fury–William Faulkner. Oh, Faulkner. I adore Faulkner NOW, but in high school? Not so much. But I will say that one of my favorites is The Sound and the Fury. Such an amazing book that I probably wouldn’t have read if I hadn’t been an English major in college with an inclination to Southern Literature. So glad I read this one!
5. Little Women–Louisa May Alcott. I can still remember the day in 5th grade that I went to my librarian and said I need something to read. She and my 5th grade teacher talked about it and decided I was ready for Little Women. So it wasn’t a true force, but not something I would have picked at that time on my own. I can still remember reading the book and crying my eyes out. But such an epic part of my childhood and part of why I still, to this day, love to read.
6. Wuthering Heights–Emily Bronte. Heathcliff and the moors? I do believe that if I’d had the means, I would have moved to England in high school just based on this book. Such a great story!
7. To Kill a Mockingbird — Harper Lee. I don’t think I need to say why this is such an amazing book, do I?
8. Goodnight Moon — Margaret Wise Brown. This was a fixture in my house for many years.
In the great green room there was a telephone, and a red balloon, and a picture of, the cow jumping over the moon.
9. Sandra Boynton. Yeah, I read many of Ms. Boyton’s books, over and over and over again. I can still recite the Going to Bed Book by heart as well as Snuggle Puppy, Blue Hat, Green Hat, and my favorite, Hippos Go Berserk. I am sad that my youngest is now five and is pretty much out of these books (and I think my husband wants me to stop buying them, but somehow I can’t seem to help myself!) These make me smile as both of my girls loved to listen to these books and would snuggle up for bed to listen to them.
Book Club Reads
9. The Time Traveler’s Wife–Audrey Niffenegger. I don’t know that I would have read it without the pressure from the book club, mostly because at the time I was an all over the place kind of reader. I really had no rhyme or reason to what I read, just what I picked up at the store mostly. But this one was SO good! One of the better picks from our book club!
10. The Other Boleyn Girl — Phillippa Gregory. I am not a huge history buff, that is my husband’s domain. But I must say I really enjoyed reading this one! There is something great about all the scandal and intrigue that was going on in Henry VIII’s court. I loved this perspective and even though it really happened, much of the dialogue is obviously made up.