Book Tour Stop: The Secret of Dartwood Manor By N.A. Triptow
Title: The Secret of Dartwood Manor
Author: N.A. Triptow Series: The Witchling Trilogy #1 Publisher: Wishing Well Publishing
Publication Date: January 18th, 2021 Genres: YA Contemporary Fantasy
Add on Goodreads! Today I’m excited to participate in the Creative Blog Tour for The Secret of Dartwood Manor by N.A. Triptow hosted by MTMC Tours! Enter a world of myth and magic through this contemporary fantasy reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Sense and Sensibility. On sale this week for $0.99!! Check out the synopsis, my review, playlist, Q&A and GIVEAWAY below!
About the Book...
Witches. Ghosts. An ancient secret. Enter a world of myth and magic through this contemporary fantasy reimagining of Jane Austen’s beloved classic, Sense and Sensibility.
The small New England town of Tarryville, Maine is steeped in history, having been settled by the Dartwood and Farris families who fled Salem during the witch trials. The Dartwood sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa, unexpectedly return home after their parents are found murdered. Upon their arrival, the girls are plagued by dreams in which dark spectral beings haunt them. When the hellish creatures seem to be more than just nightmares, another mystery begins to unravel as they discover that the circumstances around the murder of their parents may be far more menacing than they appear. Frantic for answers, they must untangle the mystery of their parents’ murders and reconstruct the pieces of an ancient secret. With the help of the young assistant curator of their family museum, Baden Correia, and an estranged friend from their past, Evan Farris, the orphaned Dartwood sisters must uncover the truth before the darkness haunting their family descends upon them as well.
If you like Jane Austen, magic, and murder mysteries then this is the book for you. This YA Contemporary Fantasy combines all three of these aspects to make one delightfully intriguing story full of secrets, the supernatural, and hidden pasts.
I love that this was inspired by Jane Austen's Sense and Sensibility, and you can really see the influence of this throughout the story. I don't read that much contemporary fantasy but the author managed to hook me in with this gripping murder mystery; the story follows the three Dartwood sisters and their quest to discover the truth about their parents' murder. Along the way, they find all is not what it seems and the murderers may be closer than they think. I really loved that the story blended the magic fantasy elements with the modern world - one of my favourite quotes sums it up quite nicely:
“Are you telling me that all this time I’ve been spending binging Netflix, doing homework, and keeping the lights on in this place, you’ve all been busy seeing ghosts and avoiding near-death experiences?”
The blending of these two genres worked so well and brought a lightness to an otherwise intense storyline. I also loved that whilst the setting was contemporary, the main base was a mythology museum and the very old museum-like manors. This linked the modern setting to a more historical aspect of magic and I really enjoyed the detailed depictions of the manors as it really added to the eerie feel of the murder mystery.
There was a great cast of characters, we have the three sisters, Eden, Mariah, and Melissa each of whom had their own distinct personalities and I loved the dynamic between the three. Triptow really made each unique and I loved her she linked this into the story, as well as clearly showing off how she was influenced by Jane Austen. I found the sister's banter and arguments really added a fun lighter air to the story which balanced out the grief and strain that was maintained throughout.
Alongside the three sisters, we had some other excellent characters, I especially loved getting to know and understand the dynamics the girls had with Evan and Baden. There were several other characters that had me intrigued as soon as I met them and I enjoyed guessing at what role each of these characters was playing.
The story itself was full of old secrets being discovered and lots of hard truths for the sisters to learn. Their discoveries and hardships were paced wonderfully and intertwined with serval excellent subplots to keep us constantly invested in the story.
Overall, it was a captivating murder mystery-type story with magic woven into the plot bringing along with it added dangers and intrigue. The setting was the perfect mix of modern and old, and each character played an important role in the storyline as well as bringing some other more lighthearted moments to the story. A fun story with no dull moments as the sisters slowly begin to realise they are embroiled in a mystery that runs much deeper than a simple murder.
Thank you to MTMC tours and to the author Nicole Triptow for having me on the tour.
Reading Playlist and Q&A
Check out this sneak peek into the atmospheric world of The Secret of Dartwood Manor. with this theme song for The Secret of Dartwood Manor by the brilliant Beckee Davis!
The author actually has a full playlist on her site of the songs she listened to whilst writing the book, here's the link if you're interested to see what music inspired this story! https://natriptow.com/playlists/
I have a few Q&As here from the author to give you an insight into her thoughts about the book!
Tell us your favorite quote and/or scene from your book!
I think one of my favorite scenes is probably between Baden and Mariah when they sneak into the crime scene after the murder. It’s actually one of the audio excerpts read by me that was released on my publisher’s YouTube channel on release day.
Here’s a link to the scene if you’d like to listen to it: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=l5nq3MSnp68
If you could interview one of your characters (or have some tea with), who would you pick?
This is difficult for me to answer! I just love all the characters for very different reasons. If I have to choose one though, I would have to say Baden Correia, the Brazilian assistant curator of the Dartwood’s family museum and Mariah’s best friend. He is just so loyal, caring, and brave. My mom was also born in Brazil so it would be so much fun to chat about all things Brazilian, especially the yummy food with him.
If you were to write a spin-off about a side character, which would you pick?
I think it would be fun to see a prequel about the villains’ pasts. It’s always fun to try to understand what motivates a person and what makes them who they are. Knowing that can certainly humanize a villain even if it doesn’t actually make them technically good. It shows that they’re a person whose choices led them down a particular path. Plus, the villains in this story really have some crazy back stories. Whether I’ll eventually write that or not remains to be seen, but it certainly is a compelling idea.
The ebook of The Secret of Dartwood Manor is currently ON SALE for $0.99! Don’t miss out on this epic deal, only for the duration of the blog tour! Grab a copy HERE.
And here’s a link to Wishing Well Publishing’s shop where you can find witchling and bookish swag The official shop of Wishing Well Publishing – Wishing Well Merch (wishing-well-merch.myshopify.com)
Enter the rafflecopter below to win a kindle copy of The Secret of Dartwood Manor + a $10USD Amazon Gift Card!
This is open internationally & it ends on July 21st, 2021 at 11:59pm EST.
MTMC Tour Schedule
Paper Fury July 13
The Beachy Reader July 14
Elle Cheshire July 15
Author of young adult contemporary fantasy and retellings, from fairy tales to classics, N. A. Triptow graduated from The University of Utah with a Bachelor of Arts in English Teaching with minors in History Teaching, Theatre, and British Studies. She teaches high school English and Film Studies. She is currently pursuing a Master of Science in Strategic Communication and Advertising from Purdue University. In her free time, you can find her reading, watching and analyzing movies and television shows, attending the theatre, going on walks or hikes, and playing board or video games with family and friends. She lives in Utah.