Friday, October 5, 2018

Guest Post by Amber Mitchell

Photo Content from Amber Mitchell

Amber Mitchell graduated from the University of South Florida with a BA in Creative Writing. She likes crazy hair styles, reading, D&D, k-dramas, good puns and great food.

When she isn’t putting words on paper, she is using cardstock to craft 3D artwork or exploring new places with her husband Brian. They live a small town in Florida with their four cats where she is still waiting for a madman in a blue box to show up on her doorstep.

Garden of Thorns is her debut novel from Entangled Teen.


File Size: 1335 KB
Publisher: Entangled: Teen (October 1, 2018)
Publication Date: October 1, 2018
Sold by: Macmillan
Language: English


"I highly recommend this great YA fantasy series!" Olivia F., Goodreads review

"The plotting and action are addictive. I love all the characters in this series and I'm loving the exciting storyline. War of the Wilted is satisfying read, however, there is still more to come. I want more, more, more!" D.M., Goodreads review

"I was so glad that there is a sequel to Garden of Thorns. I loved that book so much, it was easily one of my favorite books last year...this series is a must read for fantasy fans." Taylor F., Netgalley review

"This was fast paced and engaging, racing to a very satisfying conclusion. Highly recommend these books." Jules I., Netgalley review

I grew up as the Harry Potter books were coming out. I was around the same age as Harry when he first got his letter to Hogwarts. I remember in elementary school going over to my friend’s house and she was so absorbed in reading Harry Potter and the Sorcerer’s Stone that she didn’t want to play on her trampoline! This was absurd to me at the time, especially since I had struggled to learn how to read which took the magic out of it for me.

I didn’t pick up the Harry Potter series until I was 15. It was right about the time that the fifth one was coming out, I was bored at home during the summer because I couldn’t drive anywhere yet and wanted something to occupy my time. My mom bought me the first two books, which I expected to read a little at a time. Until I started. Then I found myself so enchanted in this magical world that I couldn’t stop. I read the first two in two days, which for me was really fast since I’m a slow reader, and begged her to go out to the bookstore again so I could get the last two and pre-order the fifth one. 

A few years later, I would work at that same bookstore and funnily enough, it was right around the time the sixth book was coming out. I was very new to the store but when they said they were going to be having a midnight event, I jumped at the chance to take charge of it. I spent a whole month staying up late to do huge house banners, I learned magic tricks to teach my “class” since I was running the Gryffindors which were the younger kids. I dressed as Professor Trelawney and made props. It was the greatest time. It was magic.

That’s what I found between the pages of the Harry Potter novels. It was pure magic. A world so developed and thought out it felt like all I had to do was know the right stones to tap on a wall and I could be there. I fell in love with the characters, hurt when they hurt, cheered when they cheered, and always forgot about my own issues. Time seemed to fly while I read them. 


I still love Harry Potter because it taught me the magic of reading, of falling in love with something so hard that it became a part of your life. It taught me that books could truly help people escape, learn something about themselves or the world, fight monsters and win, even against the worst odds. It gave me strong women to admire, terrible people I loved to hate and hours of discussion over why Narcissa was actually one of the strongest characters in the series and the best Malfoy of the bunch.

Thanks to so much young adult fiction, I have been able to rediscover that magic over and over again, but Harry Potter was the first book to do that for me and I will never be able to forget it!

1) It was the hardest book for me to write- I am always weary about middles because they are so important to keeping the reader engaged. Since this is the middle book in the series, I had a lot of anxiety while writing it because I didn’t want it to feel like a middle. I hoped it would feel like it’s own book!

2) A major character will die- This one speaks for itself, but it is safe to say that by the time you close the book, Rayce and Rose’s world will be altered forever!

3) Three warring sides becomes two- Again, I can’t spoil too much but what I have always loved about Garden of Thorns is that it is a story of three different entities at war. By this end of this novel, one of them will be gone.

4) There is new “magic”- Anyone that has read the first book knows that what most people mistake as magic is actually just a mineral that enhances the rebellion’s chances of winning. They find something new this time!

5) The Gardener plays a huge part in this book- In a sick way, the Gardener has always been largely responsible for Rose’s growth. That doesn’t change in this book. His actions push her through some major growing pains.

6) I grossed myself out while writing a particularly bloody scene- I have always been squeamish around blood and injuries. I can picture the injury on myself which makes writing about them even worse for me. There is a scene where one character has to remove an arrow from another character and I almost threw up!

7) I wrote a few chapters at a My Little Pony Convention- My husband and I have a side business selling papercraft shadowboxes but deadlines wait for no one. I popped away to our hotel room to write a few scenes and kept getting called back to sign copies of the first book!

8) The first draft was over 125,000 words- I write really long first drafts and this book was no exception. I couldn’t believe the word count when I was finally finished!

9) Rayce’s favorite cookie, honey crisps, are based off a real recipe I found- Of course, I would never make it since it involves a healthy amount of animal lard as well as other ingredients. It was a very old recipe. I have been considering making my own recipe for honey crisps!

10) Halsey’s “Castle” is this book’s theme song- I discovered Halsey while writing this book and found a lot of inspiration for Rose’s character arc through that song. It is definitely the theme song for War of the Wilted!

Like flowers denied water, people are wilting under the emperor's tyranny.

Rose will not rest until the Gardener is dead. But there are bigger battles to fight, and Rayce—leader of the rebellion and the only man Rose has ever loved—believes their best chance at winning the war is to join forces with her sworn enemy.

Saving innocent people is more important than her quest for revenge. But their new ally can’t be trusted—and he knows her darkest secret. One betrayal could leave the war and Rayce’s life hanging in the balance, and Rose will need to make the ultimate sacrifice to save them all.

You can purchase War of the Wilted at the following Retailers:


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