Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Swoon Reads Review 01 - Iron Curse by C.R. Termini

Swoon Reads Review 01

Welcome to a brand new installment on Anna’s Rambles, where I review books on Swoon Reads.  This site is a free site to join.  Swoon Reads publishes both new adult and young adult novels.  A writer can submit their completed (yet unpublished) manuscript to the site and it will become available to readers online.  Those readers can read those stories and rate and comment on them.  These comments and rating are super important to Swoon Reads because they help decide which stories to publish.  If they choose an author’s story, the author will receive a $10,000 advance and their book will be published in physical (print) form and as an e-book!  If you would like to sign up and read stories or submit a manuscript, go to and create an account.  Remember, it’s completely free!

This month, I will be reviewing one of the very first books I read on Swoon Reads.  I initially chose it as a research assignment I gave myself for a project I’m working on.  But the book stuck with me and I hope you will find some enjoyment from this one as well.

Iron Curse
C.R. Termini

339 Pages ; 84,764 Words

Genre: Fantasy, Fairy Tales, Romance
Brief Summary:

When Jifanya’s aunt - the fae Queen - is murdered, life as Jifanya knows it is changed forever. She is sent off to a life of abuse under her cousin’s care and soon reaches her breaking point.  She uses her magical abilities to transport to a safer place, but soon realizes that she is also transported to a later time.  100 years into the future, to be exact.

Raoul has lived a cursed life, as did his parent and his grandparents before him.  Even though he is a King in the human world, he knows that no human can undo his curse.  Although his kingdom has been under the threat of war since the fae princess disappeared, he has been obsessed with reversing his curse.  The chances seem bleak until a girl named Anya shows up at his castle to undertake a scholar position.  Will she help him break the curse or will she only distract him from finding the solution?

Favorite Quotes:

The pull toward the forest was only a faint whisper - Jifanya could hear its voice whistling through the trees, calling her back home.”

“He continued to stare, befuddled, his mouth suddenly hanging open like the fool he was turning out to be.”

“He had just enough time to worry about himself, try to break the curse, and maybe-maybe-be given a chance to end this conflict with the fae.”

“Kissing him made her feel the way she once felt when she would spend her evenings in the forest - alive.”

“She didn’t belong here, but she didn’t belong in Vrenhafna either.  Anya was a wandering soul with no real home-a hundred summers hadn’t changed that.”

The Review:

This book was a hard one to put down.  The way C.R. Termini crafts words makes it difficult to walk away from this story.  There are so many twists and turns that keep the reader on the edge of his/her seat and she introduces fae culture and powers in a unique way that is easy to understand.  The characters themselves are unique and I really felt like I got to know them by then end of the story.  Termini switches point of views between Jifanya and Raoul (and later Annabelle) and it is a treat to see how each character changes by the end of the book.  

The only negatives with this manuscript is that it is not yet completed.  The story is all there, but there are a few typos in the manuscript that might not bother some casual readers, but these are things I notice when reading.  I think a few rounds of editing will definitely fix this and shouldn't dissuade the publisher from accepting the manuscript.

Overall, I think this book is definitely one that Swoon Reads should publish.  It’s addicting and kept me on the edge of my toes throughout the whole book.  I read it in about 2 days originally.  I will definitely be pre-ordering this book when/if it is released.

Author interview:

What inspired you to write Iron Curse?
That's easy! It was inspired by Jane Eyre. I'd wanted to write a fantasy retelling of Jane Eyre for a long time, but I was always stuck on the execution.

Did you know the ending of the book before you starting writing or did it come to you as you wrote the book?
I knew the basic ending when I sat down to write. I didn't know exactly how it would happen, but since I wanted to be at least partially true to the original story, I knew it would be similar. I, however, cannot plan for my life. So it was mostly discovery as I drafted.

Are any of your characters based on people you know in real life?
Not in this novel. They are their own beings.

How long have you been writing novels? Do you have any more finished works or are you working on something new?
I began writing really bad poetry in highschool, and when I got to college I got more serious about poetry and short stories. I began my first novel in 2011. It was a really bad dystopian that makes me embarrassed when I read it. I have two fully finished novels currently, one that's deep in revision, a sequel that needs to be drafted, and my current NaNoWriMo project. I've also started ideas here and there and shoved them aside for something shinier. Gosh, I sound super busy.

I absolutely loved Annabelle and want to see how the council is doing in the aftermath of the novel. Can we expect some prequels or short stories in the future?
I hadn't planned on any, but it's certainly possible!

How did you find out about Swoon Reads?
I run a blog where I review books. I have reviewed many of their books over the past year. At first, I thought it was just another imprint of Macmillan. It was later when I visited the site that I realized just how unique it is.

Why did you choose Swoon Reads over traditional publishing?
Honestly, I was having a lot of trouble with my query. I had a decent one written, but due to the complexity of the story, it was just too long. I was struggling and struggling to cut it down. I did send out one query from a #PitMad request, but that was it. I have a lot more confidence in my query for a different project.

Do you have any favorite manuscripts on Swoon Reads that you recommend?
I haven't read a ton of manuscripts, but I did really enjoy The Glass Ribbon by Jazzy Reale. It's got some serious Cinderella vibes. Other than that, of the books they've published I am love with These Vicious Masks, Been Here All Along, and No Holding Back.

If you could meet any published author, who would you want to meet and why?
Definitely Jodi Meadows. She's one of my favorite authors, and she's always super sweet. I will be meeting her soon when she comes to town for the first time, so I'm excited!

If you would like to connect with C.R. Termini, you can follow her on TwitterGoodreads, and check out her blog.

Authors on this site depend on your ratings and comments to get their manuscripts noticed by the publisher.  I highly recommend taking the time to register and give Iron Curse a read.

Thanks again to C.R. Termini for allowing me to review your manuscript and being gracious enough to allow me to interview you!  And thank you to Swoon Reads for allowing me to pull quotes from the book itself.

Have you submitted a manuscript to the site?  Or have you read an amazing book there that you feel deserves a chance in the spotlight?  Please comment below and let me know!