blog tour, books

Blog Tour: Rejuvenation – Byddi Lee

Rejuvination

To celebrate the release of the final instalment in Byddi Lee’s gripping Dystopian trilogy, we’re going back to where it all started in Rejuvenation!

byddi-lee-rejuvenation-one-kindle-cover-400x600-1Rejuventation

Publication Date: March 23, 2020

Genre: Dystopian Sci-Fi

Publisher: Castrum Press

The Melter War has left the Earth’s surface devastated, leaving humanity to survive on what little land is left between the Scorch Zones and the rising oceans, where towering subscrapers dot the dystopian shore lines.

Bobbie Chan is a doctor caring for the ultra-elderly in one such subscraper when she notices a mysterious, new disease afflicting her patients; some show signs of age reversal before a catastrophic, and often fatal, cardiac arrest strikes.

Bobbie begins to wonder if she is witnessing a bio weapon in full force. A Melter attack? Are they destined to finish the war they started?

Bobbie begins a race against time to rescue the Rejuvenees and uncover their true enemy

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Byddi Makes the Leap to Sci-Fi

How Irish Legends Inspired A Science Fiction Trilogy About Getting Younger.

As I was growing up, the  Irish legends that captured my imagination most were not the daring-does of Cuchulainn – The Hound of Ulster nor the stories of Macha – the queen who gave her name to my home town Armagh. In fact, the ancient warriors and royalty didn’t interest me at all, but those stories that involved distorted ageing and extended longevity did. It was an indulgence of sorts to weave the essence of these stories into The Rejuvenation Trilogy.

Rejuvenation is set in a dystopian future. There are matter streamers to provide food, hovercrafts for transportation, and carebots to tend to the frail. Against this backdrop of technology, we see a society that is top-heavy with an aged population. People still yearn to be and stay young.

The Irish fairy tales have stood the test of time and inspire the children of that era, such as our main characters, Bobbie and Gracie, fraternal twins. Gracie suffers from a rapid ageing disease called Progeria and is particularly drawn to the stories of  Tír na nÓg, the Land of the Forever Young that’s far across the waves and can only be reached by a magic horse as she explains to Bobbie…

‘“I’m no angel,” Gracie said, grinning. “I’m one of the little people, a leprechaun! And I’m going to escape to Tír na nÓg.”

“To where?” Bobbie asked.

“The land of everlasting youth. Everyone is beautiful and young there, and when I go there, I’ll look just like you,” Gracie said. “But with black hair, like Daddy.”

“How do you know all this?”

“I read about it on the Internet.”

“Can I come?” Bobbie couldn’t imagine being anywhere without Gracie.

“Yes, but you’ll have to wait until when you’re old. Like me.” Gracie’s fuchsia pink dress reflected off her skin, giving her bare, veined scalp an ethereal glow.

“But you’re only nine. We’re the same age.”

“Yes, but I’m the one who’s a fairy, remember? I’ll watch over you from Tír na nÓg. Time passes slower there than it does in Armagh, so it will only feel like ten minutes to me before you’re there, too.”’

Excerpt from Rejuvenation Book 1

The Children of Lir is another example of a legend that tells of excessive ageing and longevity. Lir’s children are turned into swans by their stepmother and sent into exile for three hundred years. They returned to their home in Ireland and resumed human form – as three-hundred-year-old humans – then they died. I’m grossly paraphrasing, but nonetheless, it’s a tragic tale.

We find out early in Rejuvenation Book 1 that Gracie died at the age of 13 from her condition. Her death left a lasting effect on her twin sister Bobbie who, feeling she had acquired a special understanding of ageing because of Gracie, went on to become a geriatrician. In Rejuvenation Book 2, Bobbie uses the fairy tale of the Children of Lir to try to make sense of ageing and death in the real world, a challenge for her since she sees both daily in her job.

Other Irish fairy tales hold more promise, like the one about Fionn Mc Cool being tricked by the old witch, the Calliagh Berra on top of Slieve Gullion, the highest mountain in County Armagh. As the story goes, one day Fionn found a young woman crying by the lake at the top of the mountain. When he asked her why she said she’d dropped her gold ring into the lake. Being the hero he was, he jumped in after it. But the girl was the old witch who was jealous of her sister for being in love with Fionn. The witch had put a spell on the lake so that when Fionn came out, he had aged to become a withered old man with white hair. But Fionn’s followers made the witch reverse the spell, and he became young again.

The Rejuvenation Trilogy is all about regaining lost youth and its consequences. Bobbie’s most elderly patients contract a strange disease which proves fatal to some but others, including her Granny, survive and become younger, fitter and psychopathic!

I was drawn to the idea that eternal youth wasn’t exactly the be-all and end-all and wanted to explore the gifts that come with age. In a society that values the beauty of youth, that’s quite a challenge, but even the Irish legends will have us realise that the beauty of youth is only skin deep as in the story of Oisin, Fionn Mc Cool’s son.

As the story goes, Oisín falls in love with Niamh, a woman of the Otherworld. She takes him across the waves on a magic horse to Tír na nÓg. After what feels like three years to Oisín, he becomes homesick and wants to return to Ireland. Niamh warns him to stay on the magic horse and never to touch the ground. But when Oisín returns, he discovers that 300 years have passed in Ireland. He falls from the horse and instantly ages. As the years catch up with him, he quickly dies.

In Rejuvenation Book 1 this same legend is reflected in several instances of age catching up quickly on a youthful body and although this legend is not actually recounted, it forms the basis of some of Bobbie’s nightmares.

‘By the time Death carried Gracie to Tír na nÓg four years later, Bobbie had read scores of legends about the Land of the Forever Young. Alone in the bedroom, Bobbie had once shared with Gracie, she’d jolt awake after dreaming of her twin sister returning for her on a white horse, young and beautiful, her black hair billowing out behind her. Bobbie would reach for Gracie, but as their hands touched, Gracie’s hair would turn white, her skin would wrinkle, her body crumple as she died all over again from old age.’

Excerpt from Rejuvenation Book 1

I think ultimately the idea of folding the old fairly tales into a high-tech dystopian future is a metaphor for life – we can’t forge ahead and embrace the new and the vivacious unless we can carry with us and learn from the stories and wisdom from years gone by.

Purchase Rejuvenation or the Complete Trilogy Below!

Amazon UK | Audibke UKAmazonAudible | Castrum Press

About the Author

ByddiLee2020

Byddi Lee grew up in Armagh and moved to Belfast to study at Queen’s University. She has since lived in South Africa, Canada, California and Paris before returning to live in her hometown, Armagh.

Her Rejuvenation Trilogy, is published by Castrum Press and Rejuvenation Book One,  Book Two and Book Three all available now. Book One is also out in audiobook.

Sign up to Byddi’s newletter for more details of release dates.

She has published flash fiction, short stories and, in 2014, her novel, March to November.  Byddi has also co-written the play IMPACT – Armagh’s Train Disaster with Malachi Kelly and Tim Hanna. IMPACT was directed by Margey Quinn and staged by the Armagh Theatre Group in the Abbey Lane Theatre June 2019.

During the COVID 19 pandemic when all theatres were closed, Byddi teamed up with Malachi and Tim to write Zoomeo & Juliet and Social Bubble Toil & Trouble suitable for live performance delivered through Zoom, produced by Margery Quinn and performed by the Armagh Theatre Group.

Byddi is a co-founder of the spoken word event Flash Fiction Armagh and is co-editor of The Bramley – An Anthology of Flash Fiction Armagh.

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blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The Trials of Koli – M.R. Carey*

Read my review of the first Book of Koli here.


The Book of Koli is the unforgettable story of a young boy struggling to find his place in a world where nature itself has turned against humanity: Everything that lives hates us…

Beyond the walls of the small village of Mythen Rood lies an unrecognizable landscape. A place where overgrown forests are filled with choker trees and deadly seeds that will kill you where you stand. And if they don’t get you, one of the dangerous shunned men will. Koli has lived in Mythen Rood his entire life. He believes the first rule of survival is that you don’t venture too far beyond the walls. He’s wrong.

My thoughts:

Koli and his companions, Ursula and Cup are on the road, trying to reach London and find whoever is sending out a signal, but the journey is dangerous.

I enjoyed this a lot more than the first book, it felt more fully realised and I liked that the perspective went back and forth from Koli and Spinner, back in Mythen Rood.

A lot happens in the pages of this second novel – Koli and his friends fight off attacks from old enemies and of course nature, which really has it out for humans, and who can blame it.

They do meet some good people though, ones who offer them help rather than threats.

Meanwhile Spinner is trying to find her place in Mythen Rood, having married Haijon in the previous book. She’s beginning to see some things about the all powerful Ramparts that leave her with questions no one wants to answer.

This was a really good book and I’m already looking forward to the third and final installment.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: Altered Helix – Stephanie Hansen*

I didn’t want to take the traditional path. First, I wasn’t ready for college. Second, I was going to live with my best friend, Tiff, and work at the Haunted House. Third, did I mention the hot guy Josh that works there too?

The most exciting thing about Austria’s new job, at a local haunted house, was the fact that the toughest looking people screamed the loudest. But when she meets the boy without a home, Josh, Austria’s life takes intriguing and eventful turns. Up until now, Josh has managed to hang with his Street crowd, but they’re in danger, and so is Austria, the girl Josh recently fell for. The group finds themselves joining forces with previously considered enemies who also now find themselves in danger.

Deeply compassionate and full of twists, Altered Helix captures the struggle of polarized people that must work together for the greater

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Stephanie Hansen’s short story, Break Time, and poetry has been featured in Mind’s Eye literary magazine. The Kansas Writers Association published her short story, Existing Forces, appointing her as a noted author. She has held a deep passion for writing since early childhood, but a brush with death caused her to allow it to grow. She’s part of an SCBWI critique group in Lawrence, KS and two local book clubs. She attends many writers’ conferences including the Writing Day Workshops, New York Pitch, Penned Con, New Letters, All Write Now, Show Me Writers Master Class, BEA, and Nebraska Writers Guild conference as well as Book Fairs and Comic-Cons. She is a member of the deaf and hard of hearing community.

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My thoughts:

This novella is set in a slightly dystopian future where the national government has collapsed and things seem uncertain.

Austria and her friends meet as they all become employees of a local haunted house, prepping for Halloween.

But they also become enbroiled in a far more sinister plot – human trafficking to order. Austria’s DNA holds unusual properties and someone is willing to pay a high price for it.

Lots of twists, some romance and the beginning of what I imagine will be an intense series of thrillers as Austria and her friends seek to put a stop to the people kidnapping innocents and find out what happened to her long missing father.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books, reviews

Blog Tour: The End of the Road – Anna Legat*

The fight for survival has begun.

All-out war spins out of control, and it doesn’t discriminate. Governments fall, continents are obliterated, deadly viruses consume everything in their path, and what’s left of humanity is on the run. Caught in this global refugee crisis are a few unlikely survivors.

Tony, a philandering London lawyer, escapes the doomed city and his own murky past as he evacuates to the continent.

A hapless flock of Belgian nuns prays for a miracle as they watch their city turn to rubble.

Bella, a naïve teenager, thinks she is going on holiday when her father drags her across the globe to New Zealand.

Reggie, a loyal employee of a mining corporation, guards a hoard of diamonds in the African plains, fending off desperate looters.

Alyosha, a nuclear scientist, has been looking for the God-particle in Siberia, but now the world is at an end, he wishes to return home to Chernobyl.

A pair of orphaned children are cowering in the Tatra Mountains, fearing the sky will fall in on them.

Will they find an escape route before it is too late? Or are they doomed to fail?

AmazonAnna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

My thoughts:

This was a really good end of the world book. A disparate group of people, spread out across the globe somehow survive the nuclear bombs and falling meteorites, finding shelter where they can and trying to stay alive; they connect via long haul radio waves. Each section tells the story of one group, bringing the all out war and chaos from every corner of the globe.

There’s tragedy, but also humour to be found amidst the ongoing fallout and this is the first in what promises to be an enjoyable series (I hope!).

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in this blog tour but all opinions remain my own.

blog tour, books

Book Blitz: The End of the Road – Anna Legat

The fight for survival has begun

All-out war spins out of control, and it doesn’t discriminate. Governments fall, continents are obliterated, deadly viruses consume everything in their path, and what’s left of humanity is on the run. Caught in this global refugee crisis are a few unlikely survivors.

Tony, a philandering London lawyer, escapes the doomed city and his own murky past as he evacuates to the continent.

A hapless flock of Belgian nuns prays for a miracle as they watch their city turn to rubble.

Bella, a naïve teenager, thinks she is going on holiday when her father drags her across the globe to New Zealand.

Reggie, a loyal employee of a mining corporation, guards a hoard of diamonds in the African plains, fending off desperate looters.

Alyosha, a nuclear scientist, has been looking for the God-particle in Siberia, but now the world is at an end, he wishes to return home to Chernobyl.

A pair of orphaned children are cowering in the Tatra Mountains, fearing the sky will fall in on them.

Will they find an escape route before it is too late? Or are they doomed to fail?


Anna Legat is a Wiltshire-based author, best known for her DI Gillian Marsh murder mystery series. A globe-trotter and Jack-of-all-trades, Anna has been an attorney, legal adviser, a silver-service waitress, a school teacher and a librarian. She read law at the University of South Africa and Warsaw University, then gained teaching qualifications in New Zealand. She has lived in far-flung places all over the world where she delighted in people-watching and collecting precious life experiences for her stories. Anna writes, reads, lives and breathes books and can no longer tell the difference between fact and fiction.

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Book Review: Q – Christina Dalcher

Elena Fairchild is a teacher at one of the state’s new elite schools. Her daughters are exactly like her: beautiful, ambitious, and perfect. A good thing, since the recent mandate that’s swept the country is all about perfection.

Now everyone must undergo routine tests for their quotient, Q, and any children who don’t measure up are placed into new government schools. Instead, teachers can focus on the gifted.

Elena tells herself it’s not about eugenics, not really, but when one of her daughters scores lower than expected and is taken away, she intentionally fails her own test to go with her.

But what Elena discovers is far more terrifying than she ever imagined…

My thoughts:

I found this dystopian fantasy very disturbing, parts of it seem to be slowly creeping into our reality.

I have a sister with learning disabilities and the education system is already set against people like her.

The idea of a master race based on characteristics like intelligence are popular with repressive regimes and right wing politicians.

In Q (called Master Race in the US), Dalcher has created a new and frightening possibility that genuinely made my skin crawl.

I was kindly sent a copy of this book with no obligation to review.

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Blog Tour: The End of the World Survivors Club – Adrian J. Walker*

IN THE END OF THE WORLD RUNNING CLUB EDGAR HILL RAN 550 MILES AFTER AN APOCALYPSE TO TRY AND FIND HIS FAMILY. HE HAD IT EASY. THIS IS HIS WIFE’S STORY.

Beth Hill has survived the apocalypse with a baby and toddler in tow. And what’s more she’s done it alone – without her husband’s help. He’s never been any help. But when disaster strikes and someone steals her kids, she knows what she has to do. The new world might be very different: no government, no law, no infrastructure and a whole lot more ocean than there used to be. But one thing hasn’t changed – the lengths a mother will go to save her family…

Adrian J Walker was born in the bush suburbs of Sydney, Australia in the mid ‘70s. After his father found a camper van in a ditch, he renovated it and moved his family back to the UK, where Adrian was raised. Ever since he can remember, Adrian has been interested in three things: words, music and technology, and when he graduated from the University of Leeds, he found a career in software. His novel The End of the World Running Club, a post-apocalyptic running fable about hope, love and endurance, was a Simon Mayo Radio 2 book club choice. He lives in Aberdeen with his wife and two children.

My thoughts:

I haven’t read the previous book in this series but I didn’t feel hugely like I needed to have done in order to read this book.

Beth is a slightly irritating character, or at least I found her to be so at the beginning, it’s only when it all goes horribly wrong and she has to find some allies and actually do something that I grew to like her a little.

I really loved certain bits of this book, like the floating garbage dump that had become a home for some of the survivors that Beth encounters.

Bits of the book are quite dark and violent, like pretty much any post-apocalyptic narrative. But there are little moments of humour and levity throughout.

From the way the book ends I imagine there’s going to be another in this series, it’ll be interesting to see which character steers the plot from this point.

*I was kindly gifted a copy of this book in exchange for taking part in the blog tour but all opinions remain my own.