Shaz Reads

Blog Tour: Double Double Toil and Guest Post by Amber Elby

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I am so excited to be a part of the Double Double Toil blog tour! A huge thank you to the author, Amber Elby, for inviting me to participate! I am a fan of her debut novel, Cauldron’s Bubble, and have been looking forward to the sequel! Double Double Toil is the second book in the Netherfeld Trilogy. Look out for my full review of this soon.

Six months after the events of Cauldron’s Bubble, Alda is stranded in her remote cottage, unable to recreate the magical object that allows her to travel between time and place. Meanwhile, Dreng’s home with Miranda on a distant island begins to crumble. They both escape to Fairy Land, where they become embroiled in a battle of immortals as the clans of Queen Titania and King Oberon fight for supremacy. In order to evade capture and return to their worlds, Dreng must rely on his adversary, Caliban, while Alda discovers an ally in the mysterious Ophelia. In a realm where only humans can die, will Alda and Dreng save themselves and, more importantly, each other? Or will they succumb to the fantastical powers in play? 

Double Double Toil continues to build on the world introduced in Cauldron’s Bubble by intertwining Shakespeare’s plays in a unique and exciting way, introducing their stories to new readers and established Bard fans alike. Elements and characters from Hamlet, Macbeth, The Tempest, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, Othello, and Romeo and Juliet combine in this fast-paced tale of magic and adventure. Read on…

Excerpt

Each day, the bloggers on the tour will be sharing a page from Amber’s novel. Today is 6 October and here is page 6 for you to read!


Author’s Most Influential Songs by Amber Elby

My life seems to have a soundtrack, so it makes sense that my novels do as well. I live in Austin, Texas, dubbed “Live Music Capital of the World,” and my daughters and husband always listen to Spotify, so it’s quite impossible to escape music in our house. 

Some of my most influential songs come from my daughters. They are fans of children’s music, obviously, but they have more mature taste as well. The song “Along for the Ride” from the Okee Dokee Brothers’ folk album Can You Canoe? is a magical, literary-based ballad that stuck in my imagination. On a similar vein, Ruth B.’s “Lost Boy” from her debut album struck a chord. My daughters’ favorite band is Austin-based White Ghost Shivers, and I even wrote part of Cauldron’s Bubble at some of their concerts.

After hearing “Lost Boy,” I also became a fan of Ruth B. Her acoustic “Superficial Love” helped inspire some of the “lovers’ quarrel” type scenes in Double Double Toil, and her empowering lyrics set the stage for my female characters. But most of my influential songs come from an earlier phase in my life. 

The Mumford & Sons album Sigh No More was released in 2009, shortly after I envisioned the premise for Cauldron’s Bubble, so it has been an influential force, especially because it contains so many Shakespearean references. The song “The Cave” is particularly apt and has been labeled “Caliban’s Theme Song” by my oldest daughter. 

The idea of characters’ theme songs has been fun to explore. In Cauldron’s Bubble, I imagine Alda’s theme to be “Boulevard of Broken Dreams” by Green Day, and Dreng’s is “Chasing Cars” by Snow Patrol. There’s not one thing about either of these songs that points directly to the character, but the mood and overall sensation relates in an intangible way. 

In Double Double Toil, after some character arcs, I think that Dreng’s theme song is “Everything You Want” by Vertical Horizon. Alda is tricky, but I most associated her with “Sigh No More” by Mumford & Sons because it has a change in tone that I think reflects her. If they had a joint theme song, it would be “Mixed Signals” by Ruth B.

Of course, none of these are “official” songs that relate to my novels. They speak to me, as a writer, but they may be meaningless to readers. The fun thing about pairing music with books is that it is a personal and unique act. So be personal and unique, or “weird” as we say in Austin, and choose your own soundtrack. 

Blog Tour Schedule

Please be sure to check out all the other wonderful bloggers who are taking part in this tour!

Amber will be having a book launch in Austin, Texas at Malvern Books on 14 October at 2:00 p.m. and the Mid-Cities Teen Book Fest at North Richland Hills Library in Texas on 20 October from 11:00 to 5:00. If you are nearby, come along and say hi!

Have you read Cauldron’s Bubble? Are you excited for Double Double Toil? Let me know in the comments!

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