Cornelia Grey Sharing Pinspiration and More About ‘The Empty Hourglass’ by Cornelia Grey (giveaway and guest blog)

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The Empty Hourglass

The Empty Hourglass (Deal with a Devil) by Cornelia Grey
R
iptide Publishing
Cover Art by Jay Aheer

 

 

Hello! I’m Cornelia Grey—welcome to the Empty Hourglass blog tour! At various tour stops, I’ll be sharing some secrets about my writing process, sources of inspiration and future projects!

Comment on each stop to be entered in a drawing for a $15 Riptide Publishing gift card and the two previous titles in the Deal with a Devil series— Devil at the Crossroads and The Circus of the Damned—in an e-book format of your choice. Thank you for joining me on the tour!

Pin-spiration!

Authors are often asked where they find inspiration. Among various sources, I find what works best for me is visual inspiration… I studied fine arts and history of arts for several years, so I’m very fond of paintings, incisions, photography, digital art and comics—and I find they do wonders to fire up ideas and storylines in my brain!

On some occasions, seeing a single image has been enough to spark a chain reaction that ended up in an entire plot somehow pouring out of my brain. Other times, a picture of a potential character intrigues me enough that I start wondering who they might be, what their story could be like, and end up with a protagonist on my hands in need of an adventure.

One of my current favorite sources of visual inspiration is Pinterest—I used to scour the internet and save tons of pictures on my hard drive, neatly divided in settings, characters, props, various historical eras… but, unfortunately, they ended up getting lost in the mix when the folders became too big and it was time-consuming to keep them all properly organized.

With Pinterest, I find the feature allowing to mimic a corkboard ‘pinning’ the pictures and having them all available at a glance much more convenient. So when I started working on The Empty Hourglass, I spent some time browsing through the website looking for inspiration for the characters, the setting and the general atmosphere of the story (Just a word of caution… gotta be careful that a bit of browsing for inspiration doesn’t accidentally turn in hours of procrastination 😉 )

So, allow me to introduce you to a few of The Empty Hourglass’s characters!

If you have read the previous installments in the Deal with a Devil series, you might have noticed that our resident devil, Farfarello, looks different in each one. Discovering what he’s going to look like in the current story is always one of my favorite aspects when working on this series. And usually, I come across a particular image that just strikes me—you know, the ‘there! That’s him!’ feeling! And this is what he looks like in The Empty Hourglass:

Pinspiration1

As for our protagonist, toymaker Thomas Escott, who grew up on the streets of the capital, I was rather charmed by this fellow:

Pinspiration2

Our reclusive inventor, Jethro Hastings, was instead inspired by Algerian actor Tahar Rahim—please notice the curly inventor hair!

Pinspiration3

This lovely lady and her spiders were the inspiration for Dragana, the blind inventress, although my character ended up looking fairly different, with dark hair and skin:

Pinspiration4

And as for Mina, the little ghost girl inhabiting Jethro’s garden, I found this picture absolutely lovely for her:

Pinspiration5

I hope you enjoyed this little introduction to The Empty Hourglass’s characters! If you’d like to see more pictures—of Jethro’s mansion and laboratory, for example, or of his prosthetics and, of course, the devil’s hourglass, please feel free to have a look at the Pinterest board for this novel!
https://it.pinterest.com/corneliagrey1/the-empty-hourglass/

About  The Empty Hourglass

Thomas Escott has always wanted to be a toymaker, yet just as he achieves his dream, an accident claims his right hand. He’s certain his life is over—until he hears about groundbreaking prosthetics being made by a reclusive inventor.

Jethro Hastings is perfectly content to live alone up in the mountains working on a secret masterpiece: a humanoid automaton that will change the scientific community forever. He’s behind schedule, and the date of the unveiling is fast approaching, so when Thomas shows up on his doorstep offering help in exchange for a mechanical hand, Jethro agrees. Time, after all, is running out on another deal he’s made: one with the devil.

The devil gives Jethro’s inventions life, but he can just as quickly take life away—Jethro’s, to be exact. As the sand in the devil’s hourglass falls, marking the time until the end of the deal, inventions go haywire, people get hurt, and Thomas realizes he needs Jethro just as much as his prosthetic. Now he must find a way to save Jethro’s soul, but negotiating with a devil is just as difficult as it sounds.

About Cornelia Grey

Cornelia Grey is a creative writing student fresh out of university, with a penchant for fine arts and the blues. Born and raised in the hills of Northern Italy, where she collected her share of poetry and narrative prizes, Cornelia moved to London to pursue her studies.

After graduating with top grades, she is now busy with internships: literary agencies, publishing houses, and creative departments handling book series, among others. She also works as a freelance translator.

She likes cats, knitting, performing in theatre, going to museums, collecting mugs, and hanging out with her grandma. When writing, she favors curious, surreal stories, steampunk, and mixed-genre fiction. Her heroes are always underdogs, and she loves them for it.

Connect with Cornelia:

Giveaway

To celebrate the release of The Empty Hourglass, Cornelia is giving away the two previous titles in the Deal with a Devil series—  Devil at the Crossroads and  The Circus of the Damned—in an e-book format of your choice, plus $15 in Riptide credit. Leave a comment to enter the contest. Entries close at midnight, Eastern time, on April 16, 2016. Contest is NOT restricted to U.S. entries. Thanks for following  the tour, and don’t forget to leave your contact info!

A Free Dreamer Review: The Empty Hourglass (Deal with a Devil) by Cornelia Grey

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Rating: 3.5 stars out of 5

The Empty HourglassThomas Escott has always wanted to be a toymaker, yet just as he achieves his dream, an accident claims his right hand. He’s certain his life is over—until he hears about groundbreaking prosthetics being made by a reclusive inventor.

Jethro Hastings is perfectly content to live alone up in the mountains working on a secret masterpiece: a humanoid automaton that will change the scientific community forever. He’s behind schedule, and the date of the unveiling is fast approaching, so when Thomas shows up on his doorstep offering help in exchange for a mechanical hand, Jethro agrees. Time, after all, is running out on another deal he’s made: one with the devil.

The devil gives Jethro’s inventions life, but he can just as quickly take life away—Jethro’s, to be exact. As the sand in the devil’s hourglass falls, marking the time until the end of the deal, inventions go haywire, people get hurt, and Thomas realizes he needs Jethro just as much as his prosthetic. Now he must find a way to save Jethro’s soul, but negotiating with a devil is just as difficult as it sounds.

Review: First of all, while this is part of a series, “The Empty Hourglass” is a stand alone. Every book set in the “Deal with a Devil” universe can be read independently. They only have one minor character in common.

I was really looking forward to this book. I absolutely loved the first short story of this universe, “Devil at the Crossroads”, and “The Circus of the Damned” was pretty good too. And when there was a promise of a freaky, steampunky prosthetic, I was ecstatic. Apparently I have a real thing for that. Anyway, my expectations were very high and unfortunately the book couldn’t quite live up to them.

I liked that Thomas was a bit of an underdog. I would’ve liked to read more about his background, though. It’s not every day you meet somebody who grew up on the streets and then turned into a toy maker of all things in your M/M books. That could have made for a really interesting story, but unfortunately the author didn’t really use that potential.

Jethro is your typical eccentric inventor: Kind of grumpy and a bit of a weird loner, but with a good heart and a tragic past to boot. His characterization was a little shallow, leaving him with little depth and a lot of stereotypes.

One of the reasons why I loved the other two books in this universe is the sex. Cornelia Grey can write incredibly sensual, delightfully different sex scenes. Unfortunately, this time she chose to leave the sex non-explicit, which is a real shame. I usually don’t mind fade-to-black scenes, but I was really looking forward to how and if the author would incorporate the prosthetic. That unfortunately didn’t happen here and I was a little disappointed, to be honest.

I loved that Cornelia Grey actually decided to have a real ghost show up. I’ve never seen a similar take on ghosts and mysticism. That was really well done. But again, a little more detail would have been really nice.

The world building was unfortunately rather lacking. There’s talk about a big war that happened a few years back. Thomas was even recruited as an engineer and the experience seems to have left some deep impressions. There are also a lot of veterans who were injured during said war. However, we never do find out any details about the war. Who fought against whom? And why? For how long? And so on. I really expected more details since it played such an important role in the story.

The ending felt a little forced, as if the author realized she had to write a happy end of some sort and hastily came up with a magical solution for it all.

Overall, this was the weakest book of the series so far. It lacked in details and didn’t even have any of Grey’s usually sizzling hot sex scenes. It seems like the series gets weaker with every new book the author writes. A shame, because “Devil at the Crossroads” was simply amazing. But now I finally want a book solely about Farfarello, the devil everybody’s making deals with.

Cover: I don’t particularly like the cover by Jay Asher. It doesn’t really fit with the other two books, which have absolutely gorgeous covers. There’s just too much brown for my liking and the picture looks kind of blurry.

Sales Links:   Riptide Publishing | ARe | Amazon  other links to  come

Book details:

ebook, 264 pages
Expected publication: April 9th 2016 by Riptide Publishing
Original TitleThe Empty Hourglass
ISBN139781626493933
Edition LanguageEnglish
SeriesDeal with a Devil