Friday, June 26, 2015

Blog Tour & Giveaway ~ After We Fall by Emma Kavanagh

Rating: 4/5 Stars
Author: Emma Kavanagh
Available Formats: eBook, Paperback, Audio
Publisher: Sourcebooks Landmark
Publication Date: 06-02-15             Pages: 336
Purchase ~ Amazon                           Add to Goodreads
A plane falls out of the sky.
A woman is murdered.
Four people all have something to hide…
Shortly after takeoff, flight 2940 plummets to the snow-covered ground, breaking into two parts, the only survivors a handful of passengers and a flight attendant. 

Cecilia has packed up and left her family. Now she has survived a tragedy and sees no way out.

Tom has woken up to discover that his wife was on the plane and must break the news to their only son.

Jim is a retired police offer and worried father. His beloved daughter has disappeared, and he knows something is wrong.

Freya is struggling to cope with the loss of her father. But as she delves into his past, she may not like what she finds.

Four people, who have never met but are indelibly linked by these disasters, will be forced to reveal the closely guarded secrets that unlock the answers to their questions. But once the truth is exposed, it may cause even more destruction.

Told from various points of view, chapter by chapter, readers follow the investigation into the doomed plane alongside the investigation of a murder. Kavanagh deftly weaves together the stories of those who lost someone or something of themselves in one tragic incident, exploring how swiftly everything we know can come crashing down.

My So-Called Review:

I’ve never had a fear of flying, I’m actually one of those types that hopes for turbulence on a flight because I think it’s fun! Since me and my hubby were ready to go on a short vacation and would be flying I decided it would be fun to start After We Fall on our flight, that was probably a bad idea LOL I still maintain that I have NO fear of flying but that flight was the first time I have ever been nervous on a plane! The first chapter starts off with the plane crash from the POV of Cecelia who’s a stewardess one of our main characters. The plane going doing is told in a way that is very realistic and really quite scary. I would suggest that if you do fear flying in any way, don’t read this book on your flight or you might never get on another plane again!

I love books that are written with large ensemble casts, differing perspectives, and the use of flashbacks; I know some people feel it can be a confusing way to start a novel but I love this style and it worked seamlessly here. I was immediately pulled into the lives of the four main characters and at once hooked into both mysteries. After We Fall is the type of book that keeps you on your toes and makes you really pay attention to what you’re reading because if you don’t, you will surely miss the small clues being laid along the way.

After We Fall is very much a dark psychological thriller but it’s also so much more than that. Taking place in the immediate aftermath of a horrific plane crash and murder, this is a story where the strength must also lie in its characters. Had this not been done so successfully I don’t know if the mysteries would have held the same impact, it’s really the people and their lives that drive this fascinating story. Author Emma Kavanagh created some truly heart wrenching characters to tell this story, while not always likeable, they are extremely realistic and their actions are satisfyingly believable. My emotions were toyed with many times over the course of this book; especially surrounding Cecilia’s issues with motherhood, that woman just broke my heart! I won’t say anything more than that because I don’t want to risk any spoilers!

I really struggled with the rating on this one and kept going back and forth between 4 and 5 stars, I really loved this book but in the end I decided to go with a 4 star rating only because I did figure out, early on, the truth behind the murder and plane crash. Although I believe it was just luck on my part, not due to it being obvious in any way. I was actually really surprised that I figured it out because the clues are so slight. This did NOT in any way detract from my enjoyment of this story because I never knew till the end if I was right or not. I actually prefer not to figure things out in my mysteries and thrillers because I love that big “OMG NO way!!” moment, so when I don’t get it I’m always a little bummed at myself J This is an amazing book that I would highly recommend to book lovers in all genres, it’s the type of story that has a little something for everyone with characters we can all relate too in some way. This would also make a fantastic Book Club read and includes a wonderful, well thought out “Reading Group Guide” at the end followed by “A Conversation with the Author” which I enjoyed reading very much. I will definitely be recommending After We Fall as an upcoming read for my book club, although I’ll probably suggest we wait until vacation season is over ;)

Thank you to the publishers, Sourcebooks Landmark and to NetGalley for providing me with a complimentary, advance copy of this book in exchange for my honest review. And a special thank you to Liz Kelsch, the Publicity Manager at Sourcebooks for inviting me to participate in an amazing Blog Tour. Keep on reading for an excerpt from After We Fall, my interview with Emma Kavanagh and to enter to win a free print copy of this book!!

My So-Called Author Interview:

I am so excited to welcome Emma Kavanagh, the amazing author of After We Fall to My So-Called Book Reviews today. She was kind enough to stop by and answer some questions that I've been dying to get the answers too! But don't worry, none of my questions contain any information that could possibly spoil the book for you if you haven't read it so read on and enjoy :)

How do you feel your background as a police psychologist prepared you in writing your new book "After We Fall"?
   My career as a psychologist focused mainly on understanding the behaviors of people in extreme, often traumatic situations. That contributed hugely to my ability to tell the story of a plane crash and the ways in which this would affect those touched by it.

Which one character from your book would you say you connected to the most or was the easiest for you to write?
   I'd say Tom. He is a parent of a small child, as am I, and I found myself having huge sympathy with his determination to do the right thing even if that sometimes went against his own happiness.

Which one character from your book would you say you connected to the least or was the most difficult for you to write?
   Cecilia was the hardest for me and took by far the longest to get right. I did ultimately come to feel enormous sympathy for her, but she is someone who makes a lot of seemingly bad decisions.

Do you now, or have you ever, had a fear of flying? If so, how do/did you handle that fear?
   I was always a very comfortable flier, right up until I married and had children. Now I worry about flying like I worry about everything else. My approach to dealing with that is to not allow fear to change my actions. I'm a big believer in travel, especially for children, and don't want to infect my kids with my fears. 

Fear seems to be one of the main underlying issues for a lot of the characters in your book. What is your biggest fear?
   Losing the people I love the most.

Was it always your intention to write "After We Fall" with such broken characters or did that just sort of happen on it's own as you wrote them?
   I think many people are "broken". They just hide it really well. The interesting thing about a major trauma like a plane crash is that it strips away our ability to hide our brokenness.
If you could pick one song or album to represent "After We Fall" what would it be?
   I'm a big country fan, so for me the answer would be If Tomorrow Never Comes by Garth Brooks.
If "After We Fall" was turned into a movie or TV series, who would be your dream-cast?
   I always had James McAvoy in my head when I saw Tom, so he'd be top of my list. I've never really cast the other roles, although I would love to see them come to life on the screen.

If you could spend the day with 2 authors; 1 living and 1 deceased, who would they be and what is the first thing you would ask them?

    Is it too much of a cliche to say JK Rowling? I'd ask her what happened to her characters after the final Harry Potter book finished. The other would be Agatha Christie - I'd ask her to talk me through her plotting process and then bow down before her genius.

Book Excerpt:

Cecilia: Thursday, March 15, 6:08 p.m.
   A shrieking of wind, screeching of metal as the plane ripped apart, the wicked cold tearing at her throat. Cecilia Williams gripped the seat, fingers burning with pain. She tried to close her mouth, but the sound pried it open, stealing her breath. A giant’s hand pinned her to the bulkhead. Tumbling, tumbling…she couldn’t determine the floor from the ceiling.
    She couldn’t see the people. Just black night air where there should have been a plane, space where there should have been seats. She squeezed her eyes shut. If she leaned this way, she could pretend she was sleeping.
    The plane almost hadn’t taken off at all. It had been touch and go. The air had thickened days ago, gray clouds massing as temperatures plummeted far below the March average. Then the snow, thick and bulbous. A blizzard, wrapping around Cardiff Airport, climbing into mountainous drifts. Flights canceled one after the other. Cecilia had no reason to believe that this flight would be any different. Except that it would be, because it had to be. Cecilia had sat in the crew room, sipping harsh black coffee, beads of sweat breaking out beneath her blunt-cut bangs as a potted ficus continued to wilt and die in the fierce heat charging from the radiators. She had pulled at her turquoise polyester jacket, letting it drop to the floor beside her. She hated that uniform. Saw the other flight attendants looking at the crumpled pile. Drank her coffee. She wouldn’t wear that uniform again.
    “Gonna cancel it, you think?” The copilot looked at her, running knuckled fingers through his curtained hair. Rope thin, all teeth and nostrils. He was new, coming in as she was going out. Cecilia didn’t know his name, didn’t really see the point in learning it, not now. She had handed in her notice. This would be her final flight. She stared out the window, watched the falling snow. She didn’t answer.
    “They’ll cancel,” the copilot mumbled, almost like he was whispering a prayer. “They’ll cancel.”
    The pilot, Oliver Blake, glanced up at him, then back down. Staring at the ground. Jaw tight.
    Made everyone tetchy, a night like this.
    The plane kept tumbling, over, over. Seemed to be no end to it. There were things she should be doing as the wind whipped past her, the ground rushing closer. Her arms wanted to fold themselves over her head, mouth to scream, “Brace!” But she couldn’t move her arms and she couldn’t move her mouth, and the rest of her just didn’t care. It would be over soon, anyway.
    They had waited in the crew room, roll-on cases lining the wall in a chain gang. Cecilia’s at the end, bigger than the rest. She blew on her coffee and thought about her diploma. She’d left it in a frame, displayed in the study that they used to hang laundry. She should have brought it. But then the interview wasn’t for another month. Ground crew. She would be based out of London again, if she got the job. There would be a lot of applicants, would always be a lot of applicants for a job like that. But she had worked there before, and she knew people, and hopefully that would be enough. It didn’t really matter about the diploma; she would have to speak to Tom again. Eventually.
    “We’ll never fly tonight. No chance.” The copilot was working his jaw, teeth grinding against the hum of the radiators.
    Cecilia had never thought she would want to go back to the chaos and the London smog and the phone-booth-red uniforms. Never thought that at thirty years old she would pack up her life, walk out on her husband and her almost three-year-old son. Something stuck in her throat, almost choking her. She had looked out the window at the snow and tried not to think about that.
    She wondered if Tom knew that she had left, if he had found the closet door hanging open, all of her most prized belongings gone. She should have left a note. Should have done that at least.
    The crew room phone rang, and they all looked up. Oliver pushed himself to his feet, trudging to the phone as though walking through a snowdrift.
    Watching. Waiting.
    He hung up the phone, turning back.
    “We’re on.”
    She hadn’t kissed her son good-bye. She should have kissed him good-bye.
    Then it was all hurry, hurry, hurry. She had grabbed her bags, a quick slick of lipstick even though her fingers were shaking, pulled her skirt straight, then click, clack, click, out into the terminal. Passengers’ heads bobbed up like meerkats, the whisper running through the terminal in a bow wave behind them. Cecilia raised her chin and looked straight ahead.
    Suddenly there was no time. It was a narrow window. There was more snow coming in. We go now or we don’t go. And Cecilia very much wanted to go.
    “Hello, hi, welcome, straight to the back, please.” With a pasted smile, Cecilia gestured with French-tipped nails along the line of the plane. She bit her lip as they shuffled their way in, buffeting one against the other with their thick anoraks, all clumsy in heavy gloves. “If you could move out of the aisle, please.” Smiling, smiling. “Let me help you with that.” She moved alongside the Jude Law look-alike with his Armani shirt, open at the collar, and reached up to angle the carry-on into the overhead bin, not looking at the thin-lipped, flat-eyed woman who stood beside him.
    Then the doors were shut and they were moving, and all eyes were on her as she pirouetted through the safety briefing. Smiling. Always smiling.
    Trying not to smell the smoke rising from the bridges that she had burned behind her.
    They were taxiing, building pressure pinning her to her seat. Cecilia turned her head, watching pinprick lights skittering against the dark night sky. She sighed. She had straightened her hair three times today, teasing the bangs that curled from the damp of the snow, pulling at it with fingers that trembled, ever so slightly, knowing that it would do no good. But doing it anyway, because it was better than thinking. Anything was better than that. Then the lift. Flickering lights giving way to black sea. A turn, climbing, climbing.
    Cecilia leaned back in her seat. Was staring off into space when she realized someone was staring at her. The little girl was three, four maybe. Chocolate streaked across the tip of her nose, solemn jaw moving up and down. She was twisted around in her chair watching the flight attendant. She was beautiful. Dark eyes. Like Ben’s.
    Cecilia looked away.
    They were climbing through the clouds. The plane shimmied, but she was looking at her reflection again, where the mascara had smudged. She was thinking about Ben’s smell, his velvet skin, the way he slept with his mouth ever so slightly open, snoring a little boy’s snore. She felt sick.
    A murmur rippled through the cabin, and Cecilia glanced up, waiting for something, anything, so that she didn’t have to think about the little boy she had left behind. The little girl had turned around, curling into her mother as they leafed through the pages of a book. But there were others glancing back at her. Cecilia tugged her shirt straight. An attractive girl, maybe twenty, maybe a little more, her oversized hoop earrings swinging, looked at Cecilia. It was like she wanted to say something, but she didn’t, and, biting her lip, she lowered her eyes to look down into her lap where her hands twisted one inside the other.
    Then the plane bucked. The murmur replaced with a “whoa” of riders on a roller coaster. Cecilia flung out her hand, bracing herself against the window.
    “It’s only crosswinds. Nothing to worry about.” Her words were lost in the groaning of engines. But she said them again, whispering to herself.
    The engines whirred, singing in an unfamiliar key. The girl with the hoop earrings was looking at her again, eyes wide, willing her to say something. Another buck. A high-pitched whining she hadn’t heard before. There was nothing beyond the windows. A sea of gray cotton breaking into darkness.
    The engine was straining, a dog pulling at its leash; they seemed to be tilting, not climbing, but pointing upward, steep, steeper than she had ever seen it. A solitary bottle of Dr Pepper had shaken itself loose from somewhere. It rolled down the aisle, rattling, bouncing, all eyes watching as it drifted to a stop at her feet. Then the chaos of noise vanished into a deafening silence.
    And she knew.
    She hadn’t said good-bye to her son. She had stood on the threshold, where the murky blue glow of Ben’s Toy Story night-light met the darkness of the hallway, and watched him sleep with his arms thrown up over his head, the way he had slept ever since he was a baby. And she had turned and walked away.
    Someone screamed. Then they were falling.



  1. Emma, You are so pretty, you need to put your picture on Goodreads. I noticed it wasn't up there.

    1. I totally agree with you Misty!! Thanks for stopping by & commenting :)

  2. Replies
    1. It's a very good book, I really enjoyed it! Thanks for stopping by and commenting and good luck in the contest :)

  3. Sounds like an intriguing read—thanks for the opportunity to win a copy!

    skkorman AT bellsouth DOT net

    1. Intriguing is a perfect way to describe this book!! Good luck with the contest & thanks for stopping by to enter :)