Wednesday, August 7, 2013

Blog Tour: Review + Guest Post + Giveaway for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach @StrangeChem



Title: When the World was Flat (and we were in love)

Author: Ingrid Jonach

Publication date: September 3rd, 2013

Publisher: Strange Chemistry

ISBN: 9781908844576

Synopsis (according to Goodreads):
Looking back, I wonder if I had an inkling that my life was about to go from ordinary to extraordinary.

When sixteen-year-old Lillie Hart meets the gorgeous and mysterious Tom Windsor-Smith for the first time, it's like fireworks--for her, anyway. Tom looks as if he would be more interested in watching paint dry; as if he is bored by her and by her small Nebraskan town in general.

But as Lillie begins to break down the walls of his seemingly impenetrable exterior, she starts to suspect that he holds the answers to her reoccurring nightmares and to the impossible memories which keep bubbling to the surface of her mind--memories of the two of them, together and in love.

When she at last learns the truth about their connection, Lillie discovers that Tom has been hiding an earth-shattering secret; a secret that is bigger--and much more terrifying and beautiful--than the both of them. She also discovers that once you finally understand that the world is round, there is no way to make it flat again.

An epic and deeply original sci-fi romance, taking inspiration from Albert Einstein's theories and the world-bending wonder of true love itself.

Review:
There are those books that you go on a book binge with because you are constantly slogging through rising action to get to the climax before you can put it down, but upon reaching the climax you continue along to see that all your favorite characters make it through the story safely. This is nothing like that. This is a book that is so beautifully written it reads almost like a movie narrator guiding you through the vivid imagery that the author has created. This book was fascinating for the first page, to the very last. It was, by far, THE best book I have ever read. I don't say things like that often. I may give raving reviews, but I write just as many middle-of-the-road and fundamentally disappointing ones as well. I have read my share of books, especially since becoming a book blogger, so when I say this is the best, I expect your ears perked and your interest peaked.

This story is a love story for the ages. About a teenage girl, Lillie, who recognizes a new boy in town as someone she knows in the very core of her heart, but doesn't have any memory of. Who Tom was to Lillie was a thought that plagued our female protagonist throughout the book. Tom tries to keep Lillie at arm's length in hopes of their secret past being kept unshared. Lillie, however, is not the type of girl to let a mystery go unsolved. Especially one which could tell her why she feels drawn to this strange boy.

The love story is just one aspect of this story. It is also a well versed analysis into String Theory founded by Albert Einstein. When described in the book it is basically said that every decision a person makes causes dimensional splits. Say, you're invited to a party. You can either go to the party or not go to the party. In one dimension you WOULD go to the party and in another you may not. It's fascinating and had me pondering all the decisions I make on a daily basis and how that could cause various dimensions and different outcomes entirely.

This book, as I said, was the best book I have ever read. When I flipped to the last page, I burst into heart-wrenching tears. I cried while clutching the book to my chest and rocking back and forth in a misery of blurry vision and a broken heart. I didn't want to say goodbye to Tom and Lillie. I didn't want the book to end. I wanted to continue for another 310 pages. I wanted Tom and Lillie to have their seventh dimension fairytale ending (read the book!). I need more, Ingrid, I just... need... more...

When the World was Flat (and we were in love) is a mastery of literature in which scientific theories are coupled with an unforgettable romance that spans time and space. It is a book that will have you gasping with your heart in your throat, sobbing until your eyes are red and puffy, and swooning as if the world were bright and shiny all day, every day.

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Upon joining the book tour of "When the World was Flat (And We Were in Love)" I asked Ingrid for a guest post. After a minute of brainstorming she came up with the topic of cover appeal within books. GENIUS! To be fair, the cover drew me to this book well before I even knew what it was about. So I figured that was absolutely perfect. So here is Ingrid's guest post on judging a book by its cover.


Guest Post - Judging a Book by its Cover

I admit that I do judge a book by it's cover--literally. I have many books on my shelves with shiny covers or covers that screamed 'touch me' because they were covered in cloth or embossed. But what about their contents? I hear you ask.

I recently inherited a book from a friend who had bought it based on its beautiful cover. I think she got through about two chapters before she decided to give it away (and I am still being literal). I rehomed it, even though I agreed it was not as beautiful on the inside as it was on the outside.

A lot of books with beautiful covers have lived up to my expectations though--after all, a publisher would only invest in a cover encrusted in diamantes if they thought a book would sell (I have never seen a cover encrusted in diamantes, but please let me know if you ever do!). But then you have to wonder whether the book is selling because of its brilliant cover or because of its brilliant content. It is a case of the chicken and the egg all over again.

I personally think it is a bit of both. A cover might result in a spur of the moment purchase, but word of mouth and great reviews also sell books.

Just like a good cover does not guarantee a good book (although it is a good start), a bad cover does not guarantee a bad book either. Just take a look at the cover of one of my all-time favorite books "Brother Night" by Victor Kelleher...


I was recently lurking on, I mean, looking at a discussion on Goodreads about book covers and the comments included:

        "If I see an ugly cover or something that doesn't catch my eye, I don't even look twice."

        "Beautiful covers are like love at first sight."

        "It has to reflect the genre of the book."

        "If the cover is bland so is the book."

        "A good cover is the first promise of a good book inside."

I was particularly intrigued by the comment, "It's the first impression of an author's work. If the cover is sloppily or poorly done, it makes me wonder what kind of effort went into the writing."

That may be the case with self-publishing (although I would argue that a talented writer might not have the skills or the finances to produce a professional cover themselves), but nine times out of ten (warning: questionable statistics!) traditionally published authors will tell you that they had minimal say in their covers.

Beth Revis, author of the popular Across the Universe trilogy, says she had no say in her covers (check out her FAQs). In fact, the cover she liked got vetoed early in the process. And then her covers were changed prior to the release of the third book in the trilogy, Shades of Earth. Revis says this was a marketing decision by her publisher, because when her books were originally released dystopian was all the rage and now it seems science fiction is back in, which is great news for When the World was Flat (and we were in love). I have to say I preferred the first covers, but then I am a romantic.


Like Revis, I had minimal say in my cover for When the World was Flat (and we were in love). I offered up a couple of suggestions and agreed when the publisher (Strange Chemistry) said they were thinking of featuring the key. I had already realized that coming up with a cover was really, really, really difficult (I think I just heard a bunch of graphic designers say, I told you so!) and decided to leave it to the experts at Argh! Oxford, who also designed the fabulous cover of Zenn Scarlett by fellow Strange Chemist Christian Schoon.


It was still a nerve-wracking moment when I saw the email from my editor telling me that my book cover was attached. I think I closed my eyes as I double-clicked and saw...


...a minimalistic cover (big tick!) with striking colors (another big tick!) and gorgeous font (I think that is all the boxes!). This cover focuses on a key that features late in the book, but the background is a flagstone path that is mentioned in the first chapter.

Excerpt from When the World was Flat (and we were in love):

In another dream, I was being chased. My sneakers thudded on an uneven flagstone path with dips and crevices that turned my ankles. My breath was short. My heart beat fast. A row of shrubs lined the path on either side and red birds flitted in and out of their branches, their wings waving like warning flags.

I looked over my shoulder at a figure dressed in black and realized the scratch of his beard had been the wool of a balaclava.

Like my other dreams, this dream ended with a chill that spread through my body, from my head to my toes. It brought my lungs to a standstill and stopped my heart dead.

To celebrate the recent cover reveal for When the World was Flat (and we were in love), I am releasing free wallpapers for desktop, Ipad, and Iphone!


You can download them from my website: www.ingridjonach.com/wtwwfwallpapers


About the Author:
Ingrid Jonach writes books for children and young adults, including the chapter books The Frank Frankie and Frankie goes to France published by Pan Macmillan, and When the World was Flat (and we were in love) published by Strange Chemistry.
Since graduating from university with a Bachelor of Arts in Professional Writing (Hons) in 2005, Ingrid has worked as a journalist and in public relations, as well as for the Australian Government.
Ingrid loves to promote reading and writing, and has been a guest speaker at a number of schools and literary festivals across Australia, where she lives with her husband Craig and their pug dog Mooshi.
Despite her best efforts, neither Craig nor Mooshi read fiction.
Find out more at www.ingridjonach.com


Giveaway!
Enter below for your chance to win one of two awesome prize packages as part of the Around the World in 80 Days Blog Tour for When the World was Flat (and we were in love) by Ingrid Jonach.
There are two winners worldwide. Each prize package includes:
  • a signed copy of When the World was Flat (and we were in love)
  • a pair of silver plated key-shaped earrings in a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) gift box
  • a When the World was Flat (and we were in love) bookmark
The competition will run until October 21st, 2013 and the winners will be announced on this page and via www.ingridjonach.com