Sunday 3 September 2017

Cinderella, Necromancer ❤ Blog Tour ❤ Giveaway & Interview

Cinderella, Necromancer 

Darkness can only be controlled by those with the darkest of hearts.

Ellison lost her mother at an early age. Now, sixteen, her father has found love again. He’s happy and doesn’t quite notice that Ellison does not get along with his new wife or her vicious daughters.

When Ellison discovers a necromantic tome while traveling the secret passages of her father’s mansion, she wonders if it could be the key to her eventual freedom.

Until then, she must master her dark new power, even as her stepmother makes her a servant in her own home. And when her younger brother falls incurably ill, Ellison will do anything to ease his pain, including falling prey to her stepmother’s and stepsisters’ every whim and fancy.

Stumbling into a chance meeting with Prince William during a secret visit to her mother’s grave feels like a trick of fate when her stepmother refuses to allow Ellison to attend a palace festival where she might see him once more.

But what if Ellison could see the kind and handsome prince again? What if she could attend the festival? What if she could have everything she’s ever wanted and deserved by conjuring spirits to take revenge on her cruel stepmother? And what if she actually liked watching her stepmother suffer?

As Ellison’s power grows, she loses control over the evil spirits meant to do her bidding. And as they begin to exert their own power over Ellison, it becomes harder to tell whether it is she or her stepmother who is the true monster.

CINDERELLA NECROMANCER is CINDER meets ANNA DRESSED IN BLOOD and was inspired by a real medieval grimoire of necromancy from 15th-century Germany

Cinderella, Necromancer by F.M. Boughan
Publication Date:  September 5, 2017
Publisher:  Month9Books

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(Excerpt from Chapter Four: The Leaving)
He left that same morning, quietly, while the rest of the world still slept. I watched from my window as he galloped down the road that would lead him through town, past the King’s palace, and out the other side on the road headed north. For years I’d begged him to take me on one of his distant journeys, and after Mother’s death, he’d promised his trips would never again separate the family. We had to stick together now.
Celia’s arrival had changed everything.
Father and his horse had barely disappeared from sight when someone rapped on my door—three sharp knocks, and a fourth with ominous finality.
I suppose I shouldn’t have answered, but at the time, some small part of me must have hoped that Father’s leaving had only been an illusion or some semblance of a nightmare, and that he actually stood on the other side of my door once again, waiting.
But Celia Not-Mother stood there instead, hands clasped at her middle.
“Your father has taken leave for several days to do business in Neustadt. Be a good girl and bring me up a pot of tea. Sweet child.”
The last she added as an afterthought.
Be a good girl? For Father, certainly. For her?
“That is not my place,” I said, for I had no knowledge of kitchens and pots, nor the necessary interest to deduce what might be needed. “Miss Mary—”
“Is no longer in our employ.”
A breath caught in my throat. Father’s trail barely minutes cold, and already she’d loosed the woman who’d nursed us and raised us during Mother’s frequent convalesces. Miss Mary had no children or family of her own save us.
“You didn’t,” I said, fists firm at my sides. “You can’t.”
Celia lifted her chin as though height meant power and folded her arms across the looseness of the blue silk robe she wore which—I swear it, even now—once belonged to my mother.
“I can, and I did. A needless expenditure, she. We must be careful with our coins, child.”
Tell that to the curtains and pillows.
She tapped a slippered foot. “Tea, child. In my room. I will be waiting.”
Indeed she would.


(Excerpt from Chapter Twenty-Six: The Second Ball)

They left. I did not hesitate.
I set up the parlour as if by rote, though the ease with which I fell into the routine stirred a concern. I buried it.
The spirits did their work, and I would do mine.
I had no doubt of my power, though if anyone had asked, I couldn’t have explained why I continued to tempt my eternal fate. I was as though driven by some force—something unseen—to use the ability, now that I had it.
I don’t excuse what I did. I only wish to explain why I continued to seek retribution despite my misgivings.
What is more, I longed for something deeper. Harsher. More severe, for a part of me believed that no matter what, I still held control over the spirits and what they did. And that same part of me wanted to see Charlotte suffer.
And so it was with this in mind that I turned further pages in The Book, knowing full well what I sought.
“To inflict harm,” I read, “make an image of wax on the day and in the hour of intent, in the name of the one to be harmed. Thus, you should use wax of candles burned at a funeral, and on the likeness, fashion hands in the place of feet, and feet in the place of hands.”
And so I did. With candles from my room that I had saved from Mother’s funeral, I molded a crude figure of my stepsister. With my fingernail, I inscribed Charlotte’s name on the wax doll’s forehead, and on its chest and shoulder, carved the book’s images of circles, planets, and five-sided stars.
Then I called my spirits. With the bridle still, I had no need of the first spirit. To the second, I had only to repeat my request. And to the third, I gave the wax doll, which he consecrated with spit smeared over the doll’s eyes.
“What would you have me do?” Oliroomim spoke with an unsettling eagerness.
From my hair, I drew a pin. With a hollowness in the pit of my belly, I pierced the spine of the doll.

F.M. Boughan is a bibliophile, a writer, and an unabashed parrot enthusiast. She can often be found writing in local coffee shops, namely because it’s hard to concentrate with a cat lying on the keyboard and a small, colorful parrot screaming into her ear. Her work is somewhat dark, somewhat violent, somewhat hopeful, and always contains a hint of magic.

My Review:

The re-telling of the classic fairytale Cinderella but with a darker twist.

Ellison lost her mother at a young age. Her father has remarried gained Ella a stepmother and two stepsisters. Unfortunately, her father has been called away on business leaving Ellison and her brother with the new family. All isn't what it seems. Her house, her family and the prince all are not as they seem. Secrets are the key to finding her happily ever after but they also hold a dark unforeseen fate. Wishes have consequences and the price may be too much to pay.

4 stars out of 5. An interesting take on Cinderella with a witchcraft element. Worth the read.

*ARC received in exchange for a fair review*

Paperback £12.75
320 pages

Expected publication: September 5th 2017 by Month9Books 

Question One: Cinderella is a classic fairy tale. What made you decide to re-tell this story?

I wanted to be able to explore what would happen if the heroine of a fairy tale decided to fight back with her own strength. I started by removing the fairy godmother, because if no one is coming to rescue her, she has to find a way to do it herself.

Question Two: Your version of Cinderella has a darker element. What made you choose to go down this path?

Since the original fairy tales are quite dark, I wanted to pay tribute to that… and then take it a step further! I wanted it to feel a little bit like the Grimm version of the story, but go darker rather than the other direction, which Disney did. (But don’t get me wrong, I do love the Disney version!)

Question Three: Ellison is a dynamic character and more realistic than Cinderella. She had good and bad traits. What was your inspiration behind her personality?

I wanted Ellison to be kind but a little naïve, the way I imagine the daughter of a successful, self-aware merchant would be. I didn’t want her to turn into a caricature of herself, which I think sometimes happens based on the source material. But each and every person is more than one thing, so I tried to show that in the way she grows and changes as events unfold.

Question Four: Magic plays a key part in this storyline. What made you choose necromancy as a skill for Ellison?

It wasn’t necessarily an active choice, but sort of just happened! I was reading books by a professor from Northwestern University about forbidden magic in Medieval Europe, and my brain somehow made the connection between “girls fighting back” and “using forbidden magic,” and the story began to unfold.

Question Five: Did the story turn out the way you expected? 

It actually did—I’m a reformed pantser, so I plot out my books before I begin to write them. I use a vague outline and stick to it, but there are definitely times while plotting that things go in unexpected directions—but I can’t tell you exactly what, because SPOILERS!

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