Grand Finale Blitz: Through the White Wood


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Through the White Wood
By Jessica Leake

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you’ll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author

Hi everyone! I am so excited to share my latest book, Through the White Wood, with you. I have always loved Russian folktales—there’s just something about such fantastical (and often creepy) characters set against a winter backdrop of snow and towering trees that I’ve always found so compelling. . .

Caffeine Addled Ramblings – Review & Interview

TTWW is the kind of book that keeps you wanting more in the best ways possible.”

G: Speaking of the psychology of characters, we discover early on that Katya isn’t the only one in the book with powers, so how do you choose which powers belong to whom? And does that have anything to do with their personalities at all?

J: It does have a lot to do with their personalities. The reason I chose earth for Grigory is a bit of a spoiler, so I won’t mention it here, but Ivan has the power to negate others’ abilities because he’s sort of the “protector” of the group. For Boris, I thought it would be funny for this guy who loves cooking so much to be a fearsome fighter with superhuman strength. And Kharan was just made for the assassin/spy role.

Hallie Reads – Review

“A story of friendship, magic, romance, and danger, Through the White Wood is fast-paced, engaging, and fun. I love how Leake pulled me into the story and made me care about these characters and what would happen. It’s definitely an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it to fantasy lovers.”

Wishful Endings – Review

“I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end! With the rich setting, magical aspects, character development, a motley crew, and romance, there’s not much more readers can ask for. I’m looking forward to more from this author!”

Adventures Thru Wonderland – Review

“Katya and Sasha are each so fun to read about, and I loved seeing them face the challenges and dangers in this story. Giving some strong ‘Ice Queen/Frozen’ vibes, but I loved the classic inspirations used in this story, and really enjoyed the direction Jessica takes [in] this one!”

Dazzled by Books – Review

“Jessica Leake did it again! Through the White Wood is absolutely amazing. This woman knows how to write. If you have not picked up her books, you totally should. She brings such a rich tale to her readers. I just can’t get enough.”

Bibliobibuli YA – Excerpt

There are countless monsters in this world. Some with fangs, some who skitter in the darkness just out of sight, some who wear human skin but whose hearts have turned dark as forest shadows.

And as my fellow villagers dragged me, bound by rough rope, from the cellar of the elder, I knew that these men and women I’d grown up with—they thought of me as a monster, too.

I wasn’t sure they were wrong.

Moonlight Rendezvous – Review

Through the White Wood was a beautifully written story with rich descriptions, a strong heroine and a storyline that is bound to sweep you away. . . . This story was thought-provoking and enchanting, keeping me entertained until the very last page. Ms. Leake is a very talented writer and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next.”

The Reading Corner for All – Review

“In this impactful return to Jessica Leake’s imagination, prepare yourself for a journey. . . . Through the White Wood upheld the integrity of Russian and Slavic folklore through Leake’s narrative interpretation that transports readers to a time where legends flourished among men and magic was a means of unlocking the greatest triumphs of the human spirit. . . . this outstanding read must have a reserved spot on your reading corner.”

Bookwyrming Thoughts – Review

“I enjoyed Through the White Wood! I liked seeing Katya’s constant struggle of whether or not she’s a monster and her journey to discover who she is. . . . Jessica Leake’s latest novel is a solid story for those who enjoy a slower-paced book with historical and folklore elements woven together.”

Book Slaying – Review

“. . . I enjoyed Through the White Wood. . . . now that I know that Jessica Leake excels at world-building and folklore-researching. . .”

Bookish Looks – Review

“It is a read full of magic, romance, and friendships. I adored the folklore and just wanted more. I look forward to seeing what else Leake has in store.”

A Book Addict’s Bookshelves – Excerpt

Then, without another word, he climbed into the driver’s seat, gathered the reins, and pulled us away from the only home I’d ever known, of a prince they said was a monster.

But then, they said I was one, too.

I promised myself I wouldn’t look back, but I did it anyway, squinting through the snow at the thirty-seven villagers who silently watched me leave. It was easy to note the ones who were missing. While the ones who remained stared at me accusingly, I reached down to rub at my wrists where the ropes had once bound them.

onemused – Review

“. . . this was an engaging and fascinating read that consumed my YA fantasy-loving heart. This book is great for lovers of magic, YA fantasy and adventure, and fairytale retellings. I would definitely love to meet these characters again in future books.”

NovelKnight – Review

“. . . the blend of folklore with fiction, all while giving the feel of a magical history that our records forgot. On that front, I think this book excelled. This was a world I wanted to explore further, beyond Katya’s story. . .”

Read and Wander – Review

“I was absolutely captivated. Jessica Leake is such a wonderful storyteller and once again, she brings to life a magical world inspired by Russian mythology. . . . Through the White Wood was a breathtaking, mesmerizing and sometimes gut wrenching adventure. There were so many great characters, some twists and we even got to see our favorites, Ciara and Leif, from Beyond a Darkened Shore. I really hope that we get more stories in this world. I definitely recommend reading anything Jessica Leake writes at this point.”

everywhere and nowhere – Excerpt

After the horror of what had happened in the village, it was almost difficult to be afraid of what awaited me with the prince. Almost, but not quite. Rumors hammered at my thoughts as the sleigh traveled farther and farther into the deep woods that surrounded my home.

People disappearing into his castle, never to return. People with abilities beyond human limits. People like me.

Worse still was the knowledge that I went to him having committed crimes whose punishment was death.

A Dream Within A Dream – Review

Through the White Wood is a thrilling young adult historical fantasy that will have readers begging for more. Although it’s technically the second in the series, you can read this without reading the first book without any problems or confusion. I wasn’t really sure what to expect going in, but at the end it exceeded anything I could’ve hoped for.”

BookCrushin – Excerpt

We traveled ever farther into the woods, the trees towering above us, snow clinging to their piney branches. I watched animals flee from the oncoming sleigh—birds flitting from tree to tree, squirrels chattering reproachfully, even a fox and hare interrupted from a deadly chase.

I imagined myself jumping down into the snow and escaping into those woods, and I went so far as to shift closer to the edge of my seat. I glanced down at the ground, moving so quickly beneath us. I could jump now, but would I manage to stay on my feet? If I stumbled, I risked serious injury. Still, wouldn’t it be worth it to try rather than be brought before the prince like a lamb to slaughter?

I moved still closer to the edge, gathering my skirt in one hand. I glanced at Ivan, but he continued to face forward.

HelloJennyReviews – Review

Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake is the brilliantly told story of Katya and Sasha, an orphaned village girl and a prince. . . . after reading this book I can say I am absolutely adding her to my auto-buy author’s list. The author writes very vivid and beautiful stories with such amazing characters and worlds that it’s impossible to not fall in love.”

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post, if you haven’t already…

Through the White Wood
By Jessica Leake
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 416 Pages
April 9th 2019 by HarperTeen

The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this romantic historical fantasy from the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore.

When Katya loses control of her power to freeze, her villagers banish her to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev.

Expecting punishment, she is surprised to find instead that Sasha is just like her—with the ability to summon fire. Sasha offers Katya friendship and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it.

But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies are organizing an army of people bent on taking over the entire world.

Together, Katya’s and Sasha’s powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will Katya and Sasha lose everything they hold dear?

Inspired by Russian mythology, this lushly romantic, intensely imaginative, and fiercely dramatic story is about learning to fight for yourself, even when the world is falling down around you.

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Other Books in the Series

Beyond a Darkened Shore

By Jessica Leake

Young Adult Historical Fantasy

Hardcover & ebook, 384 Pages

April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen

The ancient land of Éirinn is mired in war. Ciara, princess of Mide, has never known a time when Éirinn’s kingdoms were not battling for power, or Northmen were not plundering their shores.

The people of Mide have always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn but the entire world.

Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle, the two might have a chance to save their world.

With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love…even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.

Praise for the Book

Beyond a Darkened Shore is thrilling and romantic. This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy, mythology, and folklore.” – Kody Keplinger, New York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and Run

“With undead armies, flesh-eating spirit horses, and a powerful heroine, fantasy, romance, and historical-fiction readers will have a great time.” – Booklist

“While Morrigan and Odin are terrifying, raven-haired Ciara is the star. Beautiful, strong, and independent, she is the perfect warrior princess. Epic historical fantasy filled with deadly creatures, simmering romance, and nonstop action.” – Kirkus Reviews

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About the Author

Jessica Leake is the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore as well as the adult novels Arcana and The Order of the Eternal Sun. She lives in South Carolina with her husband, four young children, lots of chickens, and two dogs who keep everyone in line. Visit her at www.jessicaleake.com.

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Tour Giveaway

2 winners will receive a copy of Through the White Wood (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
Ends April 17th

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Grand Finale Blitz: Daughters of Northern Shores

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Grand Finale for Daughters of Northern Shores By Joanne Bischof

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops you’ll find snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below:

Launch – Note from the Author

…As I reflect on the beautiful land of Appalachia, and these beloved characters that first met readers within Sons of Blackbird Mountain, it’s my honor once again to tell an all new tale from this region: a place that’s rich in history and full of heart. It’s my prayer that this next novel will hold the same! It’s also my prayer that it will be a blessing to all of those who open the pages, meet the Norgaard family once again, and walk the rugged and redemptive path alongside them.

— Joanne

Bringing Up Books – Review

“Just know that this book is really good. . . . I may have cried a few times, but that’s a good sign that the author gets you emotionally invested in their story. Anxiously awaiting whatever Joanne Bischof brings us next!”

Cover Lover Book Review – Review

“This story is full, spiritual, and unique. . . Thor and Aven are memorable characters and their story will stay with you.

With themes of forgiveness and refinement, this story is sure to touch your heart and inspire you.”

Hallie Reads – Review & Excerpt

“The “lyrical writing, complex characterizations, and an exquisite, I-want-to-sink-into-this-story atmosphere” I found in the first book are equally present in Daughters of Northern Shores, and I heartily enjoyed it from beginning to end; it was a pleasure to journey with the Norgaards. I highly recommend it to readers of historical fiction…”

… the Virginia sun like melted gold through the treetops, brightening everything in its warm haze and piercing through the branches of the great maple overhead. A dance of light and childhood charm where nestled within the leaves sat the treehouse that had sheltered many an adventure for the Norgaard brothers.

While Aven’s climbing days were at a standstill, if she were to scale the makeshift ladder and settle against the rough trunk, she would see the three carved names. Jorgan. Thor. Haakon. Whittled into the living wood as boys when time and distance hadn’t changed them so. ’Twas just as well that she was land bound with child. She had no desire to see Haakon’s name, nor anything that reminded her of the man who had once been her friend but had proved himself anything but.

Heidi Reads… – Review

“The writing is beautiful and evocative, not flowery, but gently and subtly painting a picture of the setting, relationships, and growing tension as the Norgaard’s prepare again to fight for everything they hold dear. I loved seeing their family grow with the birth of Aven’s first child and Haaken’s unforgettable love. Highly recommend to fans of historical fiction and sweet romance!”

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a truly entrancing, at times poignant, saga. The brothers and the extended families is sure to “win one’s heart”. The story is told from shore to shore, yet smoothly flows and is easily followed by the reader.”

Getting Your Read On – Review

“Joanne Bischof has such an incredible ability to draw me right into her stories and feel as if I am actually there. All of my senses become alert and aware. It’s nuts. In the best of ways. Her characters feel solid, real. They pull on my emotions. . . . Haakon’s journey . . . . is a journey of healing, forgiving, proving and loving. . . . it was still so very good.”

The Power of Words – Review

“Daughters of Northern Shores is another outstanding epic by Joanne Bischof, one for my “best of the best” list, and impossible for me to adequately review with any words of mine. This novel is filled with exquisite romance, emotion, poignancy, suspense and adventure. Anything that Bischof writes is excellent, but for me, she shines best in Appalachian settings. . . . Very highly recommended.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Spotlight

Faithfully Bookish – Review & Guest Post

“Story after story, Bischof masterfully captures the work of the Maker’s hand in the essence of life’s fullness, depth, and frailty. . . . The Blackbird Mountain series is saturated with culture, knowledge, and awe-inspiring landscapes but it’s the heart of the stories that make these books unforgettable and precious. I cannot recommend these books highly enough.”

Titling a Novel

Whenever anyone mentions this book, I immediately reflect on how it was my most challenging novels to date. From the difficulties in penning the story, to trying to get a few of the characters to behave (I won’t mention any names [HAAKON!]) to coming up with just the right title – every phase was quite an adventure!…

Remembrancy – Review

“With a slow build focusing on the relationship dynamic amongst this group—from the brother’s to Thor and Aven to the friends surrounding them—the story is engaging . And that building leads to some intensity near the end of the book that keep it going. Bischof’s beautiful prose, immersing readers in the setting, conflicts, and suspense that draw me to her books time and again.”

All-of-a-kind Mom – Review

“Just as touching and heartwarming as the first book, the reacquaintance of this sweet family is such an enjoyable read. . . . The setting and the characters are exceptional and you leave this book feeling as though you are leaving your friends.”

The Green Mockingbird – Review

I have come to expect a story from the pen of Joanne Bischof to be one that slices straight to the heart with its truth and tenderness. Daughters of Northern Shores is no exception. With its return of beloved characters and a message of trust at its center, it is one I will cherish upon recalling (and REREADING!). . . . Daughters of Northern [S]hores is a novel to treasure and one to make you think of the impact just one person can have. It is an encouraging story that reminds the reader to hope when there is no clear path ahead. And, to hold family and friends dear, always extending grace.”

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Review

“I didn’t want Daughters of Northern Shores to ever end! . . . The characters in this book are some of my favorites ever, so I will absolutely go back to book one. They are so well-written that you miss them when you reach the end. I love the way that Joanne Bischof weaves themes of remorse, reconciliation and forgiveness throughout the story. Daughters of Northern Shores made me laugh, and it made me cry. Only the best books do that.”

Wishful Endings – Guest Post

From the Blackbird Mountain Kitchen: Apple Cider Soup

Within the Blackbird Mountain novels, the heart and soul of the Norgaard family home is Ida’s kitchen. A kitchen this former-slave now shares with her “daughters-in-law”, Fay and Aven. Fresh from the kitchen of these three women springs loaves of hot bread, jars of orchard-fresh apple butter, and hearty stews that the men help provide for from wild game in the surrounding woodlands….

Beauty in the Binding – Review

“Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof engaged my attention immediately and my interest continued throughout reading the novel. The author’s flowing prose is beautiful and it carries this tale through much brokenness, struggle, and healing. As with it’s predecessor, the character development is heart-deep and avoids simplifying difficult issues. The relationships between the Norgaard brothers are complex and rich. The epilogue was stunning, a truly perfect ending.

I highly recommend Daughters of Northern Shores by Joanne Bischof to anyone who loves deeply-layered fiction with complex issues and authentic characters.”

By The Book – Review

“Fans of Joanne Bischof’s Sons of Blackbird Mountain will not be disappointed in the return visit to the Norgaard family farm in Daughters of Northern Shores. . . . there is much, much more of the story left to told, and as always, Bischof does it with beautiful prose that sets the scene and reveals the fears, sorrows, hopes, and dreams of her characters. This book is another winner!”

Fiction Aficionado – Review & Excerpt

“…this story held me in its thrall from beginning to end. If you’re looking for a compelling family saga with well-developed characters, lyrical storytelling, and a whole lot of heart, I have no hesitation in recommending this series.”

…Haakon didn’t keep a journal. If he did, he would write that they’d hoisted sail and caught a breeze from west-southwest. A gust that was shouldering them away from southern Norway. He’d try to find the words to described how hard it was to see that shoreline grow fainter. If they lingered, they’d watch the birches begin to open their leaves. He was yet to see Norway in the summer and had only heard of its splendor.

The practical side of him would note that there were eight hundred tons of crystal ice in the hold bound for London. That’s if they survived the North Sea. If so, they would land in England four days from now.

It would take great effort to cap the inkwell then, but if he lost the battle with himself, he would add that it was getting harder and harder not to think of home.

Genesis 5020 – Review

“The setting for this book is beautiful and the I loved the character development of Thor and Aven. . . . I really had no idea what was going to happen or how things would play out and I think that is what I loved about it most of all.

If you enjoy historical romance that is more than that you will enjoy this book.”

Colorimetry – Guest Post

Setting Sail with the Prodigal Son

…At the very end of Sons of Blackbird Mountain, Haakon Norgaard sets sail on an all new adventure. One all his own. As the youngest of three brothers, it’s the first time he is ever outside of their shadow—a freedom he’s certain he’s ready for, yet many lessons and matters of the heart await him during Daughters of Northern Shores

Being Brooke Capper – Excerpt

Aven watched him through the window as he stood there, speaking to Sigurd, who was helping. In this moment, she could see a trace of the kindness she’d once known was in him.

“It be trust he need to earn, and that’s what sin does. Forgiveness . . . it pure and good, but it just the start of it. Offering one don’t mean the other be remedied as well. When a person be hurt, there need be a minding to both hope and sense.”

Uplifting Reads – Excerpt

While words were potent, a man’s caring ran through deeper waters. It dwelled right there in what he was willing to do. Haakon knew all too well that Peter had once taken a beating for Tess. A way to protect her from his own kin. If anyone was ready to face an uncertain future against Jed and Harlan, it was Peter.

Haakon belted his knife sheath around his hip. “Come an hour before dark.”

“I’ll be here.”

Peter ran a rough hand up and down his forearm, chafing at an old scar. “I also came to tell you that my sister . . . Sibby . . . She’s married.”

A Baker’s Perspective – Review

“I was so happy to be back at Blackbird Mountain. The setting, the characters, the plot lines – I could go on and on. Joanne Bischof has created a beautiful series here, with a lovely picture of forgiveness – something we could all learn from. Highly recommend reading this book, but make sure you read Sons of Blackbird Mountain first!”

Tell Tale Book Reviews – Excerpt

The air inside was dim and stagnant. Ripe with the scent of musty wood. A fresh leak had blossomed in the far corner, and sunlight hadn’t been kind to the curtains hanging on the windows. Aven stepped to them and fingered a hem just as she’d done when Haakon had stood beside her. He’d raised the curtain rod into place, giving her that boyish smile as he did. Just before the back of his hand had touched her arm. A coaxing—a pleading—for her to choose him.

A would-be lover who had lost her to Thor, losing his own way in the aftermath.

With a shuddering breath, Aven set the map on a wobbly table and turned away. Not wanting to linger, she stepped out and bolted the door before pressing the key back from sight.

The Becca Files – Review

“…I was more intrigued with Haakon’s character. In the first book he was easily my least favorite character, but I appreciated seeing him mature more in this story and express genuine remorse for the actions in his past. . . . I still consider it worth the read.”

Labor Not in Vain – Review

“Ms. Bischof manages to always find the right words to elicit the heartaches and pain of the characters, painting a picture with words one of the best examples of showing rather than telling. . . . Daughters of Northern Shores is an appalachian epic of family, the bonds of blood, the ties of friendship, anchors of love, and the human condition. . . . Highly recommend, and an absolute must read if you enjoyed Sons of Blackbird Mountain.”

Kelly Goshorn @ Romancing History – Review

“Daughters of Northern Shores is so well-written that the Norgaard’s Appalachian farm comes to life with beautiful descriptions the reader can see and smell vividly. Filled with the type of rich historical details, my history-loving, nerd girl heart was filled to the brim. The author’s beautiful prose sing like the melody of a well-written symphony and will leave you desperately wanting more from this writer and the story world she has created for us.”

Locks, Hooks and Books – Review & Guest Post

“Daughters of the Northern Shores is a powerful story of forgiveness and grace. It is full of faith and inspiration. I know so many readers will relate to the characters and will find that it is okay to forgive yourself and move on.”

Pinterest Story Boards for a Historical Romance

One of my favorite aspects of the writing process is storyboarding. There’s something about an image that can bring a scene or character to life in my mind. For both Sons of Blackbird Mountain and Daughters of Northern Shores, I created two boards for each novel—one private and one public…

Britt Reads Fiction – Review

“Daughters of Northern Shores was a beautiful, captivating tale that, once again, reminded me of how much I love the characters from this series. . . . The author does such an amazing job of writing in a beautiful style that captures the pace of life on the mountain. I loved seeing what was happening in all of the brothers’ lives and witnessing again the deep love between Thor and Aven. This book left me feeling a deep happiness as I turned the last page.”

Jorie Loves A Story – Review

“This series is #unputdownable and is going to stay inside your heart long after you put down the pages you’ve just read. Her characters are as real as any of us and their story is such a realistic account of life being lived through grace and leant on faith it is a refreshing glimpse into the past with a bridge of hope for our futures.”

Among the Reads – Review & Guest Post

“Daughters of Northern Shores is a riveting continuation of the story of the Norgaard family of Blackbird Mountain that was difficult to put down. . . . I was again swept away as author Joanne Bischof poured out her heart on these pages with tender and hopeful melancholy. . . . Daughters of Northern Shores is a story of changed lives, of love of family, of good versus evil, and of forgiveness. Though I classify it as a romance, it is so much more…”

A Heroine and Her Home

Having grown up within a workhouse in Ireland in the late 1800’s, Aven Norgaard, one of the heroines of the Blackbird Mountain novels, has never known open spanses and freedom. Now, having voyaged to rural Virginia, she’s discovered a whole new world of wonders. While her days in this new and rugged land are far from easy, they’re rich with blessings that she savors with her whole heart. And now as the bride of one of the men of this mountain, a Deaf cider-maker by name of Thor Norgaard, she’s discovering all new facets of life only once dreamed of….

Redeemed Hope Dweller – Review

“With Daughters or Northern Shores, be prepared for heavy emotions, heavy thoughts, heavy situations, but know there’s a steadfast hope and quiet beauty in each one. I still feel as though I haven’t accurately captured this book with my words, but I’ve done the best I can, and I hope you’ll take the time to read it for yourself and find the beauty in it.”

The Barefoot Reader – Review

“Daughters of the Northern Shores was everything I was hoping it would be and more. The characters were raw and real, the bond of brotherhood was inspiring, the themes of grace and forgiveness were beautiful, and the deep trust they all had in God through their trials is something I hope to have. . . . this book was absolutely amazing.”

Note: All excerpts referenced above were taken from “Daughters of Northern Shores” by Joanne Bischof. Copyright © 2019 by Joanne Bischof. Used by permission of http://www.thomasnelson.com/.

Don’t forget to enter the giveaway at the end of this post, if you haven’t already…

Daughters of Northern Shores (Blackbird Mountain #2) By Joanne Bischof Christian Historical Romance Paperback & ebook, 368 Pages March 12th 2019 by Thomas Nelson

“The Norgaard brothers and their families will steal your heart.” —Catherine West, author of Where Hope Begins

Heartache and regret, boldness and sacrifice. What will restoration cost the beloved Norgaard family?

Aven Norgaard understands courage. Orphaned within an Irish workhouse, then widowed at just nineteen, she voyaged to America where she was wooed and wed by Thor Norgaard, a Deaf man in rural Appalachia. That the Lord saw her along the winding journey and that Aven now carries Thor’s child are blessings beyond measure. Yet while Thor holds her heart, it is his younger brother and rival who haunts her memories. Haakon—whose selfish choices shattered her trust in him.

Having fled the farm after trying to take Aven as his own, Haakon sails on the North Atlantic ice trade where his soul is plagued with regrets that distance cannot heal. Not even the beautiful Norwegian woman he’s pursued can ease the torment. When the winds bear him home after four years away, Haakon finds the family on the brink of tragedy. A decades-old feud with the neighboring farm has wrenched them into the fiercest confrontation on Blackbird Mountain since the Civil War. Haakon’s cunning and strength hold the power to seal many fates, including Thor’s which is already at stake through a grave illness brought to him as the first prick of warfare.

Now Haakon faces the hardest choice of his life. One that shapes a battlefield where pride must be broken enough to be restored, and where a prodigal son may finally know the healing peace of surrender and the boundless gift of forgiveness. And when it comes to the woman he left behind in Norway, he just might discover that while his heart belongs to a daughter of the north, she’s been awaiting him on shores more distant than the land he’s fighting for.

From Christy Award–winning author Joanne Bischof comes Daughters of Northern Shores: the highly anticipated sequel to her moving novel Sons of Blackbird Mountain.

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Other Books in the Series

Sons of Blackbird Mountain (Blackbird Mountain #1) By Joanne Bischof Christian Historical Romance Paperback & ebook, 339 Pages July 3rd 2018 by Thomas Nelson

From the bestselling award-winning author of The Lady and the Lionheart

“Beloved author Joanne Bischof doesn’t disappoint with her latest beautifully written, heartrending tale . . . a quick favorite for historical romance readers.” —Elizabeth Byler Younts, author of The Solace of Water

A Tale of Family, Brotherhood, and the Healing Power of Love

After the tragic death of her husband, Aven Norgaard is beckoned to give up her life in Norway to become a housekeeper in the rugged hills of Nineteenth-Century Appalachia. Upon arrival, she finds herself in the home of her late husband’s cousins—three brothers who make a living by brewing hard cider on their three-hundred acre farm. Yet even as a stranger in a foreign land, Aven has hope to build a new life in this tight-knit family.

But her unassuming beauty disrupts the bond between the brothers. The youngest two both desire her hand, and Aven is caught in the middle, unsure where—and whether—to offer her affection. While Haakon is bold and passionate, it is Thor who casts the greatest spell upon her. Though Deaf, mute, and dependent on hard drink to cope with his silent pain, Thor possesses a sobering strength.

As autumn ushers in the apple harvest, the rift between Thor and Haakon deepens and Aven faces a choice that risks hearts. Will two brothers’ longing for her quiet spirit tear apart a family? Can she find a tender belonging in this remote, rugged, and unfamiliar world?

A haunting tale of struggle and redemption, Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a portrait of grace in a world where the broken may find new life through the healing mercy of love.

Praise for Sons of Blackbird Mountain:

“Sons of Blackbird Mountain is a quiet gem of a historical romance. Refreshingly real and honest in its depiction of flawed but lovable individuals, it introduces characters readers will want to meet again.” – CBA Market

“. . . the novel provides an interesting glimpse of the time period and some complex social issues among neighbors in an area still recovering from the Civil War.” – Historical Novels Review

“VERDICT Christy- and Carol Award-winning author Bischof (The Lady and the Lionheart) creates endearing characters and a heartwarming story line in this unforgettable novel about the power of family, love, and the true meaning of home. Fans of Kristy Cambron, Julie Klassen, and Susan Meissner will love this one.” – Library Journal

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About the Author

Picture courtesy of https://joannebischof.com.

Joanne Bischof is an ACFW Carol Award and ECPA Christy Award-winning author. She writes deeply layered fiction that tugs at the heartstrings. She was honored to receive the San Diego Christian Writers Guild Novel of the Year Award in 2014 and in 2015 was named Author of the Year by the Mount Hermon conference. Joanne’s 2016 novel, The Lady and the Lionheart, received an extraordinary 5 Star TOP PICK! from RT Book Reviews, among other critical acclaim. She lives in the mountains of Southern California with her three children.

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Tour Giveaway

One winner will receive a print copy of DAUGHTERS OF NORTHERN SHORES and a Thomas Nelson/Zondervan custom tote bag (book and bag shown are examples, not actual prize) US only Ends March 20, 2019

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Grand Finale: Crossing Time


On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for

Crossing in Time

By D.L. Orton

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops, go back and check them out and grab ebook copies of the series on SALE while you can…

Launch – Note from the Author

Love is the most powerful force known to mankind. It wrecks kings, destroys barriers, makes us risk everything for a few stolen moments. . . . And all of this makes for a great story.

Reading for the Stars and MoonWhat are your favorite sci-fi books and movies?

I can never seem to remember book titles, and I struggle to recall all the plot twists, but the good characters stick with you. They teach you, change you, become a part of you. I aspire to that with my own writing.

Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’ – Crossing In Time (Excerpt #1)

The chubby gun trader shifts his weight and looks up at me, one eye squeezed shut. “What sort of rearm you lookin’ to purchase, ma’am?” He’s enthroned on a maroon chintz armchair in front of a burned-out Walmart.

“Handgun,” I say. “Something easy to aim and shoot.”

Hearts & Scribbles – Ask the Characters: How Difficult Is It to Be a Character in D.L. Orton’s Book?

Isabel: There were times when I wasn’t sure I wanted to trust a writer with my life. Still, Ms. Orton cares about the same things I do, and I’m dying to see how things turn out. In the end, I wasn’t keen on some of the scarier scenes (and I’m still sad about all those animals), but the author assures me that everything will work out in the end. Right, Diego?

I Love Books – The Journey Is the Reward

What’s the moral of the story? Don’t take the ones you love for granted. They could disappear at any moment—and time machines are pretty hard to come by. Put your arms around someone you care about and just enjoy the moment. The journey is the reward.

Rockin’ Book Reviews – Review

“This is a steadily progressing story of love gone awry, reconciliation, commitment, sacrifice for love and mankind, and time travel. The novel begins with a “interest-catching Prologue, then quickly begins to formulate the story on a solid foundation, constantly building in momentum until it ends in a solid climax, leaving the reader anxious for the next sequel in the story! It is complete with romance, suspense, adventure and life’s lessons.”

Kindle and Me – Review

“If you like other universes with the same people, nuclear bombs, physics, emergency preparedness, giving up your life for someone you love, dogs, cats, jokes, finding that one special person, biodomes, peeing on a handkerchief with smoke everywhere, and maybe a way to save us all from our mistakes then this might be for you!”

Wishful Endings – Crossing In Time (Excerpt #2)


“Still…” The gun trader waits for me to meet his eyes. “I s’pose I could use some fancy flavorings on my venison.”

I regard the only overweight man in a sea of famine, disgusted with the whole human race and embarrassed by my own full stomach.

Zerina Blossom’s Books – Author Interview

Is anything in your book based on real life experiences or is it purely all imagination?

Who hasn’t looked back at a turning point in his or her life and wondered how things might have played out differently?

I met and fell in love with the man I’m married to when we were twenty-eight, and one of the first trips we took together was to attend the wedding of his best buddy from college. At the reception, I ended up seated next to my husband’s ex-girlfriend! Despite an awkward introduction, she and I hit if off, and we ended up comparing notes. (You should have seen his face when he realized we were talking about him.) At the end of the evening, she said something that stuck with me: I wish I would have met him at a different time in my life.

Celticlady’s Reviews – How Does Time Travel Work in the Between Two Evils Multiverse?

Take a shower curtain, some ants, and a bowling ball.

Start with the shower curtain. It’s a two-dimensional object in a 3-dimensional world. Imagine, now, that you are an ant, walking, talking, and shagging other ants on this thin, flexible membrane (or a “brane” in physics-speak). Layered above and below you are a million other shower curtains, all of them with their own allotment of ants (some of which get paid 78 cents on the dollar due to slight differences in their copulatory organs).

deal sharing aunt – Review

“I enjoy a good time travel and that is what this book is. It has a great romance and a second chance at love. I enjoyed the world the author created and thought that the author did a great job traveling in time.”

Colorimetry – Lost Time (Excerpt #1)

I lie in the greenish half-light, my lungs on fire, panic forcing out any rational thought.

And then I remember where I am—or rather where I should be.

I pound my fists against the translucent coffin lid until I manage to hit the release lever. The top pops open and frigid air rushes in, smelling of damp earth and evergreens.

I gasp for breath, my heart pounding.

The last thing I remember is a panicked voice shouting to abort the mission. Stop the countdown because…

fuonlyknew – Review

“The beginning swiftly pulls you in. The plot deepens and the characters emerge. And as you draw near to the conclusion, you’re gripped in a vise of suspense that brings tears to your eyes, fearing and hoping for what comes last.”

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Dead Time (Excerpt #1)

I’m trying to be brave, Mom, but it’s harder than I thought.

All the jeeps and other equipment are gone now, and I count four dingy biosuits slogging toward me through the downpour. I gaze up at the sloped wall of the massive biodome, wishing it didn’t look so… alien.

What would Madders do?

He’d be collecting data, not blubbering like a D-2 who fell off a swing and scraped her knee. Identify the problem, engineer a solution, and Bob’s your uncle.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“The book involves time travel, an orb with a message, seashells, love, and secret government projects. It is a fascinating book.”

Booklove – Review

“The book, Crossing In Time was a one sit read for me with intriguing and captivating characters, unique, thrilling and original plot and a hooking prose . A perfect read for every Sci-Fi and romance lover.”

And don’t forget to enter the giveaway, if you haven’t already…

Crossing in Time
(Between Two Evils #1)
D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Hardcover, Paperback, Audiobook & ebook, 374 pages
April 7th 2015 by Rocky Mountain Press

A Publishers Weekly Starred Review
“Best Sci-Fi Love Story of the Year”

Remember How It Feels to Fall in Love?

Race against the clock through a dystopian nightmare. Climb naked into an untested time machine (carrying only a seashell and a promise). Wake up twenty years younger on a tropical beach, buck naked and mortally wounded, with your heart in your throat.

This is a journey of love, loss, and redemption that will make your pulse gallop and your palms sweat, have you laughing out loud through your tears, and leave you flush with the sublime pleasure of falling in love.

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Tour Schedule

April 17th: Reading for the Stars and Moon, Stormy Nights Reviewing & Bloggin’ & Hearts & Scribbles
April 18th: I Love Books
April 19th: Rockin’ Book Reviews
April 20th: Kindle and Me & Wishful Endings
April 21st: Zerina Blossom’s Books
April 23rd: Celticlady’s Reviews
April 24th: deal sharing aunt & Colorimetry
April 25th: fuonlyknew & Angels With Attitude Book Reviews
April 26th: Bookworm Lisa
April 27th: Booklove
April 28th: Grand Finale

Other Books in the Series

Lost Time
(Between Two Evils #2)
D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 222 pages
July 1st 2016 by Rocky Mountain Press

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

When a faulty time machine deposits Diego at the top of a pine tree, he knows he’s in the wrong place–but has no idea he’s in the wrong time. Naked and shivering in the chilly mountain air, he attempts to climb down, but slips, whacks his head, and falls into oblivion.

He wakes up inside a darkened room, crippled and disheartened, and must come to grips with the realization that he is marooned in a bleak alternate future. In this universe, what remains of the human race is trapped inside a handful of aging biodomes. With his mission failed, his world destroyed, and the one woman he loves, dead, he can find no reason to go on living.

But Lani, the emotionally scarred doctor who finds him, refuses to let him die, and as Diego heals, their relationship becomes… complicated. He struggles to let go of the past but is unable to get Isabel out of his head–or his heart. Just when it seems he may be able to find some measure of happiness in a world teetering on the edge of extinction…

Another note arrives from the future: Isabel is alive–but not for long…

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Dead Time
(Between Two Evils #3)
D.L. Orton
Adult Sci-Fi Romance, Dystopian
Paperback & ebook, 414 pages
April 15th 2017 by Rocky Mountain Press

If someone took everything you live for, how far would you go to get it back?

From award-winning author D. L. ORTON comes book three in the Between Two Evils series…

Shannon fights to stay alive inside a rogue biodome and discovers something totally unexpected… Peter. Lani is forced into the role of the reluctant heroine but rediscovers her street-kid mojo and sets out to find everything she’s lost. Diego receives another dirty sock (and a note) from the poorly aimed fireball express: “The window between universes is closing.” If Diego has any hope of getting back to Iz, he must get to the Magic Kingdom and power up the time machine before it’s too late.

What could possibly go wrong?

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About the Author

D.L. ORTON is the BEST-SELLING author of the BETWEEN TWO EVILS book series. She lives in the Rocky Mountains where she and her husband are raising three boys, a golden retriever, two Siberian cats, and an extremely long-lived Triops. In her spare time, she’s building a time machine so that someone can go back and do the laundry.

Ms. Orton is a graduate of Stanford University’s Writers Workshop and a past editor of “Top of the Western Staircase,” a literary publication of the University of Colorado at Boulder. The author has a number of short stories published in traditional and online literary magazines, including Literotica, Melusine, Cosmoetica, The Ranfurly Review, and Catalyst Press.

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Tour Giveaway

– 1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
– 1 winner will receive the Between Two Evils series, which includes Crossing in Time, Lost Time, and Dead Time (print if US, Kindle copies if international)
– Ends March 28th

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Grand Finale: Guardians of the Heart

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re sharing the Grand Finale for
Guardians of the Heart
By Loree Lough

Nell and Asa have guarded their hearts, but to let love in, they’ll have to let go.
We hope you enjoyed finding out more about their story.
If you didn’t get a chance to get to each stop, you can go back and check them out now…

Launch – Author Interview

And how do you develop your deep POV?

I love living in the heads of my characters, and accomplish it (and avoid ‘head hopping’) by writing each scene from a specific character’s point of view. It’s almost as though I take up residence in their brains (like a parasite! LOL). When I’m thinking their thoughts, reacting to what other characters do and say, deep POV is a lot easier.

Bookworm Lisa – Review

“Loree Lough has written this story in an easy to read voice. The pacing is excellent. She kept my attention and I really came to like the characters.”

Worthy2Read – Nonna’s Authentic Spaghetti Sauce

As any ‘on a deadline’ author can tell you, we’re really, really good at procrastinating. We tidy drawers, organize closets, poke around in our flower beds. And we cook. One of my favorite recipes was handed down by my Italian grandmother’s family. I hope you’ll enjoy it, too!

Zerina Blossom’s Books – They Called Her Shoog

The summer I turned ten, a pretty little redheaded girl moved into the house on the corner. Her parents and older siblings called her Shoog…and it was Shoog who introduced the kids on our block to a whole new way to spend our summer days…

“A sweet heartfelt romance that reminds us of the importance of forgiveness – of other people and especially of ourselves. With true, likable characters and a plot brimming with all the great elements of a story, Guardians of the Heart will gently refresh your soul.”

Christy’s Cozy Corners – A Promise to Jake, Part 1

When a mysterious package arrives shortly before Christmas, a wealthy author is forced to remember what’s truly important about the holy day…and about life.

Writing Pearls – Review

“This was a surprising out of bounds romance. It was clean, well-written, with strong characters that become a part of your reality.”

underneath the covers – Excerpt

Regrettably, no one was hiring. Few things scared her more than the prospect of being homeless and destitute. Nell sat on the steps of the bank, held her head in her hands and tried to pray. She’d said countless prayers for others—in church, others on her knees before bed—but couldn’t remember the last time she’d prayed for herself. Did she remember how?

Mel’s Shelves – Review

“I loved Asa and Nell! Asa puts on a rough front but does care about others while trying not to. He feels guilt for some things he did in the past and needs to learn to forgive himself. Nell was sweet from the beginning! What I loved about this book is that the author didn’t just tell me; she showed me.”

Oh, what he wouldn’t give to go back in time to the little house on the outskirts of Denver that always smelled of fresh-baked bread, where he’d never gone hungry and never felt cold, thanks to his ma’s talent for turning scraps of cloth into warm quilts.

Babs Book Bistro – Review

“I could not put this book down it was wonderful. . . . A nice relaxing read that brings out the love and coziness.”

Mommabears Book Blog – A Promise to Jake, Part 2

He stared at the blinking cursor. “I’ve let you down big time, Jake,” he said, eyes on the blank white screen. Maybe telling his friend’s story would ease his conscience. Squaring his shoulders, Homer pulled out the keyboard drawer and gave his knuckles one last crack, and began to type:

Wishful Endings A Promise to Jake, Part 3

FIVE YEARS LATER:

“Homer, schweetheart,” Bobby said, “so what’s up with your answering machine? I’ve been trying to get hold of you for days.”

“Don’t have one up here.” Don’t want one, don’t need one.

Reading Is My SuperPower – Special Author Interview

Me: You are such a prolific writer! (5,000,000 copies in circulation – 108 books, 72 short stories, and over 2500 articles in print) Where do you get your inspiration for so many new plots and characters?

Loree: Inspiration is everywhere. Literally. I’ve come up with story ideas while reading a dog-eared old magazine in the doctor’s waiting room. At the grocery store. In the movie theater. Here at home, watching the TV news or reading the Sunday paper. Sitting on a bench at the soft ice cream parlor, listening to the conversation of patrons on the next bench. Talking to a neighbor over the back fence. While on hold to make corrections to a DirecTV statement. I could go on (and on!), but I think you get the idea!

Singing Librarian Books – Review (Author Interview here)

“Throughout the novel Loree has brought her characters to life in a true and heartwarming way. I would recommend this novel to Christian, historical fiction, romance readers.”

Colorimetry – Excerpt

They carried their bowls to a nearby bench and sat down to enjoy the treat, and Asa realized immediately that they were facing the wrong direction. Fifty yards due north, he had a direct line of sight to where Gus and Nell sat, munching fried chicken, corn bread, and apple slices. Oughta be you sitting there, he thought.

Guardians of the Heart
(Secrets on Sterling Street, #2)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 272 pages
August 3rd 2015 by Whitaker House

Nell Holstrom wanted no part of her grandfather’s barren gold mine that had taken the lives of her mother, father, and younger brother; even if there may still be hidden wealth inside. Instead, she went to Denver and took a job as housekeeper at the old Stone Hill Inn.

Asa Stone was barely more than a boy when his father dragged him and his brothers to fight with Colonel John Chivington. But Asa refused to participate in the raid on the peaceful Cheyenne and Arapahoe; and when the smoke cleared, his father and brother lay among the slaughtered. Besieged by guilt, Asa wandered the West for years before returning to Denver to rebuild the old inn he’d inherited.

Together, Nell and Asa work hard to restore Stone Hill. But when disaster hits the inn, Asa retreats into despair and Nell is forced to return to her family’s mine. Asa faces the hard fact: He’ll never be the man Nell deserves. Can he overcome the dark secrets of his past? And will Nell still love him when she learns the truth?

The First Book in the Series

Currency of the Heart
(Secrets on Sterling Street, #1)
by Loree Lough
Historical Romance
Paperback & ebook, 256 pages
January 1st 2015 by Whitaker House

Young widow Shaina Sterling hates living a lie. Desperate to keep bill collectors from the door, she secretly sells valuable possessions piece by piece, and hopes Denver’s elite never discover that his lavish lifestyle left her a near pauper.

She’s unaware that as her husband lay dying, successful rancher Sloan Remington made him a promise. And Sloan guards her secrets as carefully as he looks after her safety.

When fire devours Sterling Hall, leaving her homeless and penniless, he brings her to Remington Ranch to manage his household. His kindness makes Shaina beholden to him … and threatens to expose the secret that could destroy him.

Will trials and tragedies bring Sloan and Shaina together?

Or will secrets—and the cost of exposing them—drive them apart forever?

Yes, it’s true: Once upon a time, best-selling author Loree Lough (literally) sang for her supper, performing before packed audiences throughout the U.S. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two for the “grandorables,” but mostly, she just writes. (And writes.) Over the years, her stories have earned nearly 100 industry and “Readers’ Choice” awards, 7 movie options, and over 80 4- and 5-star reviews.

There are more than 5,000,000 (yes, that’s FIVE MILLION) copies of Loree’s books in circulation, and in September of 2015, she’ll have 108 books (fiction and non-fiction for kids and adults) 72 short stories, 2,500+ articles in print. To date, she has received 50,000+ letters from fans (a carton of books goes to Meredith P. in Joliet, IL — which she has elected to donate to her local library –for writing the 50,000th letter)!

Loree loves sharing learned-the-hard-way lessons about the craft and the industry, and her comedic approach makes her a favorite (and frequent) guest of writers’ organizations, book clubs, private and government institutions, college and high school writing programs both here and abroad.

A writer who believes in “giving back,” Loree dedicates a portion of her income to Soldiers’ Angels, Special Operations Warrior Foundation, and other worthwhile organizations.

She splits her time between her home in the Baltimore suburbs and a cabin in the Allegheny Mountains, and shares both with her real-life hero Larry, who rarely complains, even when she adds yet another item to her vast collection of lighthouses, wind chimes, and “wolf stuff.”

Tour Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card
Print copy of Guardians of the Heart
Kindle copy of Guardians of the Heart (to be gifted through Amazon)
Open internationally
Ends August 29th

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Prism Tours Grand Finale: The Cloak

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

We’re blitzing the Grand Finale for THE CELTIC TOUR for
The Cloak
By Sarah Jennings

Did you miss any of the tour? If so, go back and check it out now:

Launch

What do you hope readers take with them when they read your book?

Of course, I hope they want to hear more stories, but as for a takeaway it’s my desire that readers are able to connect with Kellan and close the book feeling encouraged.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Excerpt

Later that evening, with everyone’s attention on the dying king, Kellan managed to sneak out of her room. Her objective was to find Osma and Master Hewitt and get out before anyone reported her missing. The place was just huge, and she didn’t know where to start.

I Am A Reader The Deer’s Cry

The McKensie family in The Cloak is depicted as being Spirit-filled. It’s a regular part of their lives, as it was for many in the early church and as it still is for many today. While that specific teaching can quickly become a hot button topic, it truly serves no good purpose to condemn anyone on either side of the fence. Instead, we can most likely all agree to this excerpt from “The Deer’s Cry”, also known as “St. Patrick’s Breastplate”:

Mythical Books – Céad Míle Fáilte: A Hundred Thousand Welcomes

Welcome to Errigal! What would a Celtic themed setting be without green hills and a castle? Featured on the cover of The Cloak is Lismore Castle, a beautiful structure in the town of Lismore in County Waterford, Ireland.

Classy Cat Books – Excerpt

Five months flew by in Paris. Kellan didn’t go home for Christmas or to celebrate the new year, choosing instead to immerse herself in the surrounding local festivities. Although she corresponded frequently with Osma and the teacher, writing only of her job and ignoring their attempts at engaging her in conversation about Errigal, she refused to return to the castle and made up all kinds of excuses to back it up.

Mary Terrani – Excerpt

Arriving at the castle, she stepped through the great wooden doors and immediately yanked the cloak off, exposing the blue jeans and black T-shirt she had changed into on the plane, a definite rebellious act to defy Errigal’s traditional dress and thereby match her frame of mind.

My Life Loves and Passion – Review

This was a great book. Kellan is a very amazing main character. . . . Kellan steps up and takes on a responsibility that she doesn’t want. It is a book that young women need to read. Kellan is such a good role model.

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Excerpt

The fencing instructor was very amused and surprised the king was acting this way toward a lady. What is he thinking trying to enlist a woman into a sword fight? Look at her. She was wearing a blue, fitted bodice gown that reached all the way to the floor. Her dark hair was up in pearled pins, and ringlet curls fell down the nape of her neck. Attending a tea party would be more appropriate.

Zerina Blossom’s Books – Interview & Review

What was your favorite chapter (or part) to write and why?

The most fulfilling part for me is when Kellan comes home for the last time. I feel good knowing she is finally going to have the happiness she deserves.

“Overall, The Cloak is a sweet clean romance with some interesting twists and good character growth.”

Welcome to Book City – Irish Chocolate Mint Brownies

The next morning Osma tried again, bringing a tray filled with an incredible array of pastries and fruits, beings sure to include some of Kellan’s favorite food that she rarely received growing up, chocolate covered anything.

Christy’s Cozy Corners – Excerpt

Turning around, Ian went to reach out for Kellan’s hand, but she wasn’t there. A feeling of panic overcame him.Where is she? And where are those new bodyguards of hers? He turned back to the crowd to see their uplifted faces staring back at him. They had been hanging on every word, and the silence was immense.

Letters from Annie (Douglass) Lima – Visit Errigal with Sarah Jennings

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

In The Cloak, characters are essentially living in the past while also living in the present. Walk past Errigal’s borders and the modern world exists in every manner. Stay within, and a society steeped in Medieval traditions and methods still exists. The landscape is characteristic of Ireland with green, rolling hills, villages and marketplaces dotting the countryside, and hot, soothing mineral springs.

Once Upon a YA Book – Meet the Characters

Kellan – Princess and Daughter of the late Princess Seanna McKensie and late Duke Barend. Kellan is the true heiress to the throne of Errigal, if she can be convinced to take her place. Beautiful, wise, and very skilled with a broadsword, she exudes leadership when on listening terms with God. Kellan’s propensity to be headstrong, combined with hidden self-doubt, often lands her in troublesome situations.

Mel’s Shelves – Review

This is a quick read with a good message about prayer and the importance of relying on God. It also shows the difference one person can make when they’re willing to step into the role they were born to fill.

Books and Ashes – Review

If you’re looking for a different kind of fantasy, or want something fantasy-esque but not too heavy then this would be a good read for you!

Addicted Readers – Excerpt

Kellan stood facing the great stone fireplace. Its dancing flames matched the ones in her eyes. After what seemed like forever, her breathing finally began to slow down. The king had been about to say something to her once he heard the duke ride off, but Master Hewitt had stepped forward and held out his hand to stop him. She needed a moment more to settle down.

Paranormal Books – Interview

How did you come up with The Cloak?

Like many Americans, I have a great appreciation for my Irish ancestry and I love Celtic music. I think those things combined with my predisposition for a strong female lead who overcomes difficulties and weaknesses to do great things led to a story that just played out itself.

Mommabears Book Blog – Excerpt

The fallen warrior staggered up, bowed to the princess, and made his leave. She always felt rotten when they walked away, or in some cases, were carried away. At least now she was done for the day. Directing her eyes away from the departing man, Kellan looked ahead to see another suited contender. What is this? She turned and walked over to the teacher.

Pieces of Whimsey – Excerpt

“What are you mumbling about down there, dear sister,” said Slone, “No one here’s going to answer your call for help…not even your honorable king. Where is old lover boy anyway, huh?” Slone just rambled on.

Fictionally – Excerpt

That night’s sleep was hard to come by. Kellan tossed about with fitful dreams and kept waking up, a few times wet with sweat. It wasn’t nightmares from the war, though she had had plenty of those when she first moved in. It was tranquil scenes from Errigal’s landscape, the faces of Osma and Master Hewitt, and the library walls. Feeling like she was going insane, she finally gave up and got up from bed.

The CloakThe Cloak
Sarah Jennings
Inspirational YA Romantic Suspense
Paperback and ebook, 194 pages
November 2014

Kellan McKensie, Princess of Errigal, is set on leaving for another world before being thrust into a plan of God’s choosing that includes learning of her past, embracing her future, and finding her forever love.

Among a lost line of beautiful, wise queens and a conquered country still clinging to medieval traditions in today’s world, can Kellan be convinced that now is her time to act? Why should she? To the entire country, she doesn’t even exist. Ever the reluctant leader, Kellan is pressured to use her incredible God-given abilities to bring back the glory of her homeland. To do so, she must fight her own will, overcome fears, and control her temper. It’s a lot to ask of a girl hidden under a cloak her whole life.

Amazon

Sarah Jennings is an American storyteller living in the hills of North Carolina with her husband, four children, and escape artist hound dog. Her stories often revolve around strong willed heroines who find their way with God’s help during their adventures and in the process find their soulmate too. The Cloak is one such story now available in print and ebook format.

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Tour-Wide Giveaway

$25 Amazon Gift Card – Open Internationally
Celtic Prize Pack: Paperback of The Cloak and Celtic Music CDs – US Only
2 Paperbacks of The Cloak – US Only
2 ebooks of The Cloak – Open Internationally
Ends March 22nd

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Prism Book Tours

Prism Tours Grand Finale Blitz: Dearest

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re launching the BOOK TOUR for
Dearest
By Alethea Kontis

Did you miss any of the magical posts and reviews for this tour? Go check them out now! You can also grab the 20th Chapter of Dearest, not previously released, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

Lilac Reviews – Tips for Writing a Series

The Arilland Easter Egg Page: I’ve always been a big fan of DVD extras, so I created a page on my website where I list handy links to essays, videos, stories, articles and the like that are some how connected to the series. You can find it here: http://aletheakontis.com/about/arilland

Wishful Endings – The Wild Swans Rant

“The Wild Swans”, along with “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl” has always been one of my favorite stories by Hans Christian Andersen. (It’s also, notably, one of the only HCA stories in which the main characters DON’T DIE.)

Special post @ Waterworld Mermaids – Learn some fun facts about Alethea!

The Book Lovers’ LoungeReview

I would still recommend this book to anyone who loves their fairy tales and romance books.


Wings trip [Alethea’s] fiction trigger @ USA Today’s Happy Ever After


Buried Under Books – Review

I love Friday—I think she’s my favorite of the sisters so far mainly because she’s so sweet and kind—and Tristan is also very likeable but it’s the seven brothers as a group who make this tale so much fun.

Mommabears Book Blog – Holy “L” Trinity

But when it came to fantasy films, we had what we lovingly referred to as “The Holy L Trinity”: Legend, Labyrinth, and Ladyhawke. It was rare that we watched one without immediately watching the other two. It didn’t matter which order, just as long as they all got seen.

Rabid Reads – Review

Highly recommended. If you love fairy tales, you will love this series. Even if you are among the majority who only know Disney’s version of events, you will love this series. Don’t be scared off by the mutual affection Kontis and I have for Grimm, b/c while, YES, the details stay true to their European roots, the Woodcutter sisters always live happily ever after.

Gidget Girls ReadingSpotlight

Wonderful addition to the Woodcutter Sisters series! Dearest is sure to capture the reader and keep them wanting more.


7 Minutes with… Alethea Kontis @ J.T. Ellison

Zerina Blossom – Review

Dearest was a sweet romance and a fantastic mix of some of my favorite fairytales. “The Seven Swans” and “The Goose Girl” were but two of them. I loved the way the stories were once again intermingled in new and intriguing ways. Friday’s love story was one worth reading again.

Geo Librarian – Review

When it comes to fairy tale retellings it can be challenging to present the story in a new enough way to win over readers since the basic story is known beforehand. But Kontis does a nice job here of adding enough new elements to make the story feel fresh and new. And while the plot is thoroughly entertaining, it is the characters that really make the story worth reading.

Welcome to Book City – Interview

What is your favorite fairy tale?

My favorite fairy tale has always been “The Goose Girl.” It’s the reason Conrad is one of the main characters in Dearest! Conrad was the clever boy who reported to the king that there was something fishy about the girl he tended the geese with…like the fact that she knew how to call the wind. . . . My second-favorite fairy tales are “Snow White and Rose Red” and “The Twelve Dancing Princesses.”

Angela’s Library – Q&A

Dearest is based in part on “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen and “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. How are both of these tales referenced in Dearest?

I reread “The Wild Swans” again before I started writing Dearest — it’s amazing how much detail that story goes into. Elisa has 11 brothers who are cursed into swans by a wicked sorceress stepmother who quickly turns the king’s heart against his children. She also tries to curse Elisa, but her heart is so pure that the sorceress is forced to make Elisa physically ugly to serve her purpose…

Kelly P’s Blog – A Weave of Words Fairy Tale Rant Intro

The book, out of print now (but still fairly easy to acquire), is about a lazy prince and a weaver’s daughter. In order to win her heart, the prince learns to read and write and weave. In return, the weaver’s daughter learns to ride a horse and fight with a sword.

Mel’s Shelves – Review

This book has plenty for everyone–humor, romance, secrets, danger, adventure and magic. I think I would enjoy it even more the second time through since there are references I most likely missed. There’s more to come in this series so I’m sure I’ll read through all of them again in the future. If you enjoy adventurous fairytale mash-ups, you’ll want to start reading this series now!

Jan Edwards – Q&A

What are you up to next?

This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome(another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!

Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review

I loved the way different fairy tales were twisted and mashed up. . . . It really was a lot of fun to see where the story would go. I need to go back and read the first two!

A Backwards StoryI Dedicate This Post To You (Review HERE)

One of my favorite parts of a book is the dedication. Before the interwebs, a dedication—because there wasn’t always an acknowledgements section or author’s note, especially in fiction—was the closest a reader came to knowing the author as a person.

Wishful Endings – Review

I loved all the nods to various folklore and fairy tales. The author is definitely a master at blending different tales while making them completely original and her own. . . . I would highly recommend Dearest as well as this entire series.

Library of a Book Witch – Review

I loved that this focused on the Fairy Tale of the seven swans and not only that but also another story that I am familiar with. . . . The story is so fast moving I flew through the book (like a swan, get it, ha!) but it was just so engaging. So many wonderful things come together to keep the plot moving. So many wonderful characters.

The Quotable – Fairy Tales Incorporated

I’m often asked which fairy tales I’m putting into the next installment of the Woodcutter Sisters series, or how many I’ve already included, or which ones are my favorites, or which ones inspire me the most. Rarely do I get the question of HOW I incorporate all these fairy tales into the bouillabaisse that is the Once Upon a Time of Arilland — which is probably a good thing, because it’s not a short answer…

Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads

The Written Adventure – Interview

2) What gave you the idea for this book?

I always start each one of the Woodcutter Sisters books with a “base note” fairy tale (like a base note in perfume). The base note for Dearest was “The Wild Swans” (aka “The Six Swans”). But I can’t think of fine-feathered fairy tales without thinking of my personal favorite, “The Goose Girl”…so I had to add that too. From there, the rest just sort of fell into place.

My Life Loves and Passion – Review

To start with I LOVED this cover. It was just so beautiful. . . . I just loved how this story started. It was so magical. I really loved just everything about this book!

Colorimetry – Swan Lake Fairy Tale Rant & Review

When I began writing Dearest, I knew I wanted to incorporate “The Goose Girl” and “The Wild Swans” and “The Six Swans” and every other fairy tale that involves a gaggle of men who are cursed into birds. . . . This was my favorite book in the series so far and not just because I rec’d an early review copy that Alethea signed and doodled, although… I 5-star love that, too. Mostly 5 stars because this story makes me want to know and remember ALL the stories, which is crazy and not even possible because they haven’t all been written, yet!

I Am A Reader – The Casting of the Swans

As many writers—and children in Deep-Doodoo Trouble—know, the best stories are often an amalgamation of more than one thing. One idea comes to mind that sparks a myriad of other ideas…some you might have had a very long time ago, and some you might have imagined only yesterday. . . . The seven Swan Brothers of Dearest were a story born of three such singular ideas.

The Library of the Seen – Interview

What are some of your favorite fairy tale retellings?

Beauty and Deerskin, both by Robin McKinley (she’s the fairy tale retelling queen!) Also, A Curse Dark As Gold, a Rumplestiltskin retelling by Elizabeth C. Bunce. And the movie Ever After…which in many ways inspired Enchanted (because I loved the film so much and still wanted to do my own Cinderella.)


18 – Special post on @ Dear Teen Me – Letter to her teen BFF

Printcess & Living a Goddess Life Review

You recall my earlier review of the first two in the series, Enchanted and Hero. Well, I actually liked this one the best. Kontis appears to be improving in style and scope with each book, which makes for a nice change!

Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – Interview

2 Do you read/comment on reviews of your books?

I do! I don’t have a lot of time to do so anymore–and I often hear that reviewers are sometime freaked out when the author pops by unannounced–but I do have Google Alerts and Twitter searches saved with my name. (It’s nice to be the only Alethea Kontis on the planet!) I appreciate every reader who takes the time to write a review. I used to be a book reviewer, both in print and online–I know how much extra energy it takes to put those thoughts into useful words.

100 Pages A Day – Review

Tristan is the serious brother that Friday falls for- and is mostly instant love since they only see each other at night, but the romance was painted as genuine and this is a fairy tale. For any lover of fairy tales and re-tellings this would be a good series to pick up.

mrsjennyreads – Review

An enchanting delight of a story, this is true fantasy fun. Kontis, I believe, may be wielding magic of her own.

Books and Ashes – Review

I really enjoyed this story though because it was everything I wanted to know and more about what was happening in Arilland while Saturday was adventuring as a pirate (which was my favorite part about Hero) and this book gave me that and more by the time I finished it. I can’t wait to see which sister is next in the series!

Addicted Readers – Seamstress Extraordinaire

In the Woodcutter series, I had to coin the phrase “Seamstress Extraordinaire,” because the publisher did not like that I called Yarlitza Mitella a Master Seamstress. They asked if I could change it to Mistress…but a Master at a craft is not a Mistress, no matter what their sex. There are female Jedi Masters, for heaven’s sake. All the D&D Guild Masters–men or women–were Masters.

Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books – Review

“World building and humor in DEAREST was nicely done. Alethea also gets major points for taking such well know fairy tales and making them her own…”

Katy’s Krazy Books – Review

So I thought that the plot was really good. Friday is an awesome chick that I just wish I could be. I mean who doesn’t want to be able to save a couple of hot twins from turning into swans each day. Not to mention, the girl gets to do the saving in this story, NOT the guy.

The Daily Prophecy – Fairy Tale Rant on Tristan & Isolde

I have found that, during the process of writing a novel, I am drawn to certain entertainments in my off time. While writing Enchanted, I watched a lot of Jane Austen movies. While writing Hero, I was very drawn to the Summer Olympics…especially the women’s swimming competitions. While writing Dearest, I re-watched most of Stargate: Atlantis…and all of Merlin.

Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview

Where do you get your information or ideas?

I get information from everywhere–people, when I can find them, books, when I have them close at hand, and the internet, when I need something simple to move the story forward, like the anatomy and habits of a swan.

Min Reads and Reviews – Review

I absolutely loved this book. The story is told beautifully and quite magically, as well. I have not read the previous books in the series, but I am putting them high on my TBR list. I loved absolutely Friday, and I enjoyed getting to know some of her sisters.

Pieces of Whimsy – The Goose Girl

I first read “The Goose Girl” when I was eight years old, from the giant book of fairy tales my Memere bought me (no doubt in the hopes that it might keep me busy for a while). No matter how old I’ve become and what adventures I’ve undertaken, “The Goose Girl” has been my favorite fairy tale since that day.

Wonderous Reviews – Review

The journey that Dearest takes readers on is more than I can put into words without spoiling at least one discovery. I will say that this book is perfect for those that enjoy a story that will inspire and enchant! There is beautiful love, heart pounding action, fantasy and flying, magic and sorcery, destiny and fate, kindness and curses, and a little something for everyone!

The Scribbling Sprite – Interview

6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?

In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!

A Backwards Story – The Missing Last Chapter of Dearest

Alethea talks about Dearest being short one chapter and that you can now read the final chapter.

Dearest (Woodcutter Sisters, #3)Dearest
(Woodcutter Sisters, #3)
by Alethea Kontis
YA Fantasy
Hardcover & ebook, 320 Pages
February 3rd 2015 by HMH Books for Young Readers

“A fabulous fairy-tale mashup that deserves hordes of avid readers. Absolutely delectable.” —Kirkus Reviews, starred review of award-winning series debut Enchanted

Readers met the Woodcutter sisters (named after the days of the week) in Enchanted and Hero. In this delightful third book, Alethea Kontis weaves together some fine-feathered fairy tales to focus on Friday Woodcutter, the kind and loving seamstress. When Friday stumbles upon seven sleeping brothers in her sister Sunday’s palace, she takes one look at Tristan and knows he’s her future. But the brothers are cursed to be swans by day. Can Friday’s unique magic somehow break the spell?

The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books

Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)

Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012

New York Times bestselling author Alethea Kontis is a princess, a fairy godmother, and a geek. She’s known for screwing up the alphabet, scolding vampire hunters, and ranting about fairy tales on YouTube.

Her published works include: The Wonderland Alphabet (with Janet K. Lee), Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (with Janet K. Lee), the AlphaOops series (with Bob Kolar), the Woodcutter Sisters fairy tale series, and The Dark-Hunter Companion (with Sherrilyn Kenyon). Her short fiction, essays, and poetry have appeared in a myriad of anthologies and magazines.

Her YA fairy tale novel, Enchanted, won the Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Award in 2012 and the Garden State Teen Book Award i 2015. Enchanted was nominated for the Audie Award in 2013, and was selected for World Book Night in 2014. Both Enchanted and its sequel, Hero, were nominated for the Andre Norton Award.

Born in Burlington, Vermont, Alethea currently lives and writes in Florida, on the Space Coast. She makes the best baklava you’ve ever tasted and sleeps with a teddy bear named Charlie.

Tour-Wide Giveaway

3 Woodcutter Sisters Prize Packs (signed copies of Enchanted, Hero, & Dearest – US Only)

Ends March 8th

Prism Book Tours

Prism Tour Grand Finale: The Weather Girl

A themed tour with Prism Book Tours

It’s the GRAND FINALE for the April Showers Book Tour for
The Weather Girl by Amy Vastine

Did you enjoy getting to know more about Summer and Travis and their story?
If you missed any of the tour stops, you can go back and check them out now…

4/21 – Tour Launch – Interview
What do you hope readers will take with them when they read your book?
I hope people walk away with the idea that love doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice who you are for someone else. When you follow your heart and your dreams, everything else will fall into place.

4/22
Copywrite1985 – Weather Research
Summer tends to rattle off some pretty obscure weather facts when she’s nervous, so finding interesting tidbits took some time but made me a fan of Mother Nature. The photographs I saw while researching this story blew me away! From Texas hail the size of baseballs to lightning storms in Venezuela, there are some amazing stories out there.

Rhiannon Paille – YA Fantasy Author – Excerpt
“Summer Raines.” She left off her usual “pleasure to meet you.” She was madder than a wet hen but was determined to maintain her composure.

“Summer Raines, the weather girl,” he said with a chuckle. “That’s a good one. Who came up with that name?”

“My parents,” she replied flatly, turning her attention back to the suffering butterfly population. “And my title is meteorologist. Not weather girl.”

Angels With Attitude Book Reviews – Interview
What would you have done differently if you were the main character of your book?
Well, I have to say I love football, so I probably would have been one of those people who were fawning all over Travis in the beginning. In the book, Summer is also into lots of extreme sports. She bungee jumps out of a hot-air balloon. I can tell you I would never in a million years jump out of a perfectly good hot-air balloon if I didn’t have to. I hate the feeling that comes with free falling!

4/23
Mel’s Shelves – Review
“This is a fun, clean read!…I haven’t read a Harlequin in years, but this is now the second book I’ve read in the Harlequin Heartwarming line in the last couple of months and it won’t be the last. I love this clean line of romances and look forward to reading more!”

The Bookish Fairy – Character Description: Summer
What I love about Summer is the amazing way her brain works. She has so much information in her head related to the weather, she can spout of facts at any given time. Of course, she sometimes sees it more as a curse than a blessing. Until Travis Lockwood comes to town. Travis is the first person to show some interest in what she has to say. No wonder she falls for him – who doesn’t love a guy who actually listens to you?

4/24
Kelly P’s Blog – Interview
What are you working on right now?
I just submitted my second manuscript and am working on my third. These are two of three books I have been contracted to write for Harlequin Heartwarming . They’re part of series set in Chicago about three sisters, who each find love in the most unexpected places. THE BETTER MAN is set for release in September. THE BETTER PLAN is scheduled for February 2015 and THE BETTER FIGHT is due sometime in fall of 2015.

Getting Your Read On – Review
“There sure are plenty of bumps along the way. Like I said before, I love Travis. He is the one that made this book great for me. This was a fun, romantic read. A kick back and relax sort of book.”

Cherry Mischievous – Excerpt
“I don’t control the weather, I just predict it.” She turned her attention back to her monitor. Her soft-looking curls fell down like a curtain, shielding her face from him. He wanted to reach out and push them behind her ear so he could see those cheeks, those eyes. Her eyes really were amazing. They were big and blue like the Texas sky…

4/25
Brooke Blogs – Character Description: Travis
What I love about Travis is his pure heart. There isn’t a mean bone in this guy’s body. He’s been fortunate and lived a charmed life up until now but still has a wonderful humbleness about him. In fact, sometimes he can be darn right self-deprecating. But he’s strong physically and emotionally. Strong enough to make the tough choices when he needs to.

4/27
Tressa’s Wishful Endings – Review
“Overall, this was pretty much a perfect romance. It’s light and heavy in all the right places. There’s tension and some sweet kisses and some difficult choices that these characters had to make. It all comes together in the end and left me with that happy-ever-after feeling that I love. I would definitely recommend it to romance lovers everywhere!”

Seasons of Humility – Review
“With clever characterization, relevant conflicts, and an ending that is adorable and absolutely perfect for the story, The Weather Girl is a sunny read for a rainy day. Harlequin Heartwarming at its finest!”

4/28
Kindle and Me – Excerpt
Summer sat up on her elbows. Just then, water shot out of the in-ground sprinkler, hitting her with a force she couldn’t have expected.

They both jumped up as the entire field came to life, showering the dried-up grass and the two friends with shockingly cold water. Travis protected his camera and ran for the track. The old groundskeeper shouted at the younger man, who must have accidentally turned the system on. He was now oblivious because of the music being pumped into his ears.

Instead of running, Summer stood in the middle of the field and laughed. Once she got used to it, the cool water felt nice. She lifted her arms and tilted her face up to the sky. She closed her eyes and spun around as if dancing in the rain like when she was little…

Melissa’s Eclectic Bookshelf – The Book Cover
Since this is an April showers book blog tour and rain makes me think of umbrellas, I thought it would be fun to talk about the cover of the book. First, you should know that Harlequin authors don’t have too much say in what their cover will look like. We provide information to the art department regarding characters, setting, and some key scenes. However, it is the talented group over there then takes that info and creates the cover art.

JRRichardson Fics – Review
“She’s perky and driven. He’s broken and sexy. And there are not many writers that can pull off giving me heart fail and swelly hearts and steamy scenes without one ounce of sex in their story. Amy is one of those who can. She doesn’t need it either. The banter between these two is just one of the things I love about it. Their tender moments as they get to know each other are another.”

4/29
Katie’s Clean Book Collection – Review
“Naturally, this was the perfect story for me. I love a clean romance that tells the tale of how two people meet and their course to falling in love. It isn’t easy; it isn’t always pleasant; there can be a lot of misunderstandings and assumptions that stand in the way. Take this sweet romance and add weather and it’s the perfect combination.”

Letters from Annie Douglass Lima – Excerpt
When they were alone and she had no menu to hide behind, Travis continued, with his dimples in full effect. “I think you’ve finally stopped hating me.”

“I never hated you. I tried to hate you, but you’re too likable.” He liked that answer. He liked that answer a lot. “I am, am I?” “Less and less by the minute.”

He wasn’t buying it. “Admit it. You like me.”

“I don’t know. You never return the things you borrow, you drive a pretentious car. The list of reasons not to like you goes on and on.”

“Your umbrella is sitting right by my front door. I never remember it because it hasn’t rained in weeks.”

“Don’t make me come get it,” she warned.

He laughed. “You aren’t as scary as you used to be, Weather Girl.”

The Written Adventure – Interview
1) What is your favorite thing about writing?
What I love most about writing is seeing an idea come to life. Sometimes the original idea is just this one scene or this one character that I love. To be able to take that one piece of the puzzle and put it all together into something rich and full is very satisfying.

4/30
Paulette’s Papers – Spring
The only thing I don’t like, that my heroine in The Weather Girl had the ability to predict thanks to a sort of sixth sense, is rain. I don’t really enjoy grey skies or wet, soggy grass. We have a dog who always finds the mud, no matter how hard we try to keep her away from it. And my weather girl may find tornados thrilling, but I only fear the damage they can do. I will admit that there are some very impressive pictures of tornados out there that I will happily look at from the safety of my computer.

Library of a Book Witch – Excerpt
“I should go inside,” Summer said for the twentieth time. She kept saying it, but never actually got out of the car. Not that he minded. He was waiting for the perfect moment to kiss her goodbye. He’d have to initiate this time, but he couldn’t help being smug that she had kissed him first, as he had predicted.

“Thanks for driving,” she said.

“You’re welcome.” He reached out and squeezed her hand, afraid they were getting close to really saying goodbye. His thumbs brushed the soft skin on the back of her hand as he tried to remind himself it would be wrong to kidnap her from her grandparents’ driveway.

“I should go,” she said again. He didn’t want her to go. He wanted to keep her forever…

5/1
The Wonderings of One Person – Top Ten Weather/Football Movies
I thought since the book is about a weather girl and a former football quarterback, it would be fun to share my list of the top ten weather-related/football movies with everyone. Maybe you’ll find something you can rent for next Friday night!

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Review
“This is such a sweet story of finding friendship that can turn to true love. Those are my favorite kinds of love stories. I enjoy when there is more to the relationship than the “insta” love. Travis and Summer connected as friends before they truly allowed themselves to be connected in a real relationship.”

I Am A Reader – How Amy Became an Author
I have been dabbling in writing as a hobby for about nine years. It started as a way for me to organize my thoughts and daydreams. I am a dreamer. I can entertain myself for hours by telling myself stories in my head. Music inspires me and drives a lot of the plots in there.

5/2
Lola’s Reviews – Review
“The Weather Girl is a sweet story and I really enjoyed it. Once I picked it up I didn’t want to stop reading, it was addictive and I just wanted to read more about the two awesome characters. Ir’s a sweet and heartwarming story about finding love and finding your dream.”

Deal Sharing Aunt – Excerpt
“Summer, we love you,” Mimi said, taking hold of her hands. “We want you to be happy. Tell me this job with Ryan won’t make you happy.”

“It will and it won’t.” She couldn’t ignore the way her heart ached when she imagined telling Travis about the other job. It would have been hard enough to leave her grandparents, but Summer had to go and fall in love with a man who had broken down all of her walls so effortlessly.

“Any of this indecision have to do with that mighty fine looking man who’s walking your dog with Big D right now?”

Summer shrugged, unable to speak around the lump in her throat. Maybe it had more to do with Travis than she wanted to admit.


The Weather Girl
by Amy Vastine
Clean Adult Contemporary Romance
January 1st 2014 by Harlequin


Turbulence is in their forecast.

Summer Raines knows when it’s going to rain. She can feel it. That’s why the local weather girl’s so good at her job. Too bad she couldn’t have foreseen the tumultuous arrival of Travis Lockwood, everybody’s favorite star NFL quarterback. Make that former star NFL quarterback. Sidelined back to Texas after an injury, the golden boy is trying to steal her precious on-air time. Summer is reduced to reporting from…football games. It’s enough to make her quit and become a storm-chaser like her parents. She’s stuck with a career that’s going nowhere and a man who delights in her refusal to be charmed. Falling in love isn’t nearly as easy as predicting the weather.

Amazon * Barnes & Noble * Harlequin


Amy Vastine has been plotting stories in her head for as long as she can remember. An eternal optimist, she studied social work, hoping to teach others how to find their silver lining. Now, she enjoys creating happily ever afters for all to read.

In September of 2012, she saw a tweet about Harlequin’s So You Think You Can Write contest. She entered, hoping for nothing more than a little feedback from some people in the business. Amazingly, The Weather Girl made it into the semi-finals, thanks to the many wonderful voters out there! The manuscript didn’t make it to the finals, but the editors over Harlequin were still interested. A few revisions later and The Weather Girl was contacted for publication with Harlequin Heartwarming – a dream come true!

Amy lives outside Chicago with her high school sweetheart-turned-husband, three fun-loving children, and their sweet but mischievous puppy dog.

Website * Goodreads * Facebook * Twitter

Tour-Wide Giveaway

– Grand Prize: $25 Amazon gift card, red umbrella, signed copy of THE WEATHER GIRL, umbrella bookmark, and decorative box (US Only)
– 5 ebooks of The Weather Girl (INT)
– April 21 – May 11

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Are you an author or publisher and would like to have us organize a tour event? Go HERE.

Prism Tours: Wildwood Creek Grand Finale

The Grand Finale for Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate…


There is a mystery in Wildwood Creek’s history, a mystery that affects Allie’s present…


Wildwood Creek
Wildwood Creek

by Lisa Wingate

Christian Romance

Paperback, 384 pages

February 4th 2014 by Bethany House Publishers

Allie Kirkland has never been one to take wild risks. But when she’s offered a costuming assistant’s job on a docudrama in the hills near Moses Lake, she jumps at the chance. She’s always dreamed of following in her director-father’s footsteps, and the reenactment of the legendary frontier settlement of Wildwood is a first step. The family expectations will have to wait.

But in 1861, the real Wildwood held dangerous realities. Town founder Harland Delevan held helpless residents, including young Irish schoolteacher Bonnie Rose, in an iron grip. Mysterious disappearances led to myths and legends still retold in the folk songs of Chinquapin Peaks. Eventually, the entire site was found abandoned.

When strange connections surface between Allie and the teacher who disappeared over a century ago, everyone in Wildwood, including Allie’s handsome neighbor on the film set, Blake Fulton, seems to be hiding secrets, and Allie doesn’t know who she can trust. If she can’t find the answers in time, history may repeat itself . . . with the most unthinkable results.

Bethany House

Lisa, the Writer

Part IV of IV:

What sacrifices have you had to make to be a writer?

Writing two novels per year for two different publishers these last several years has been very time-consuming, especially while raising a family, driving carpools, and shuttling forgotten sports equipment to stadiums all over a three-county area. I’m still a mom, and I don’t want to miss anything, which often means that I’m up late or up early to finish my writing. I think for me, the sacrifice has probably come in terms of giving up time for hobbies and other things I like to do outside of the writing business.

What keeps me going is the pure love of story and at times the letters from readers.  There is nothing more powerful than knowing that your words on a page affected a life, helped to inspire growth, or just walked through the dark night of the soul with someone. A few years ago, a reader wrote to tell me she’d couldn’t sleep on as the first anniversary of her young granddaughter’s death approached, so she picked up one of my stories.  The book took her away from that pain for a while. It made her laugh, and that was what she needed.  There’s an incredible sense of human connection in that.  A story can literally transport the mind, and body, and soul to another place. It never fails that when I’m having a “down” day, a note will come in from a reader and remind me that the human side of story is what matters most.

What advice would you give other writers?

It’s gauche to talk about money, but don’t do it for the money. Everybody seems to think that becoming a full-time writer is the measure of success, but I would urge writers coming along to really take their time about making the decision to give up another career and write full time. Being financially dependent on writing as your livelihood adds a new level of stress. I’ve seen the way too many young writers make that jump too quickly, and that always seems to be the question at conferences, “Are you a full-time writer?” I don’t think you’re any more legitimate because you write full time or don’t. In truth, it’s more important to find out how to preserve the magic and enthusiasm that kept you sitting down at the computer when no one was paying you to write, and you weren’t sure anyone ever would.

Did you miss the other three parts about Lisa, the other guest posts, or reviews?

Catch them now!

2/11: LDS and Lovin’ it – Review
“I quite enjoyed this book, the characters, the plot, the mystery, everything really.”

2/12: Mythical Books – Guest Post
“Well, to begin with, that our journeys, struggles, and challenges are never without purpose.”

I imagine the words as he’s lookin’ at me, hear the echo as he spies Maggie outside the door. It troubles me not so much for myself, but for my sister. . . .

“It’s impossible not to wonder, from the safer vantage point of a modern life, if I could have endured what those pioneer women endured. If I were in the shoes of my ancestors, would I have the metal to survive?”

2/13: Kelly P’s Blog – Excerpt
The man trails the steeple along his bottom lip. “Yes,” he says quite slowly, thinking the words in the speakin’. “Yes, you will do nicely, I believe.”

2/14: Mel’s Shelves – Review
“I love a good mystery and this book delivered!”

2/16: Brooke Blogs – Guest Post
“There is also, undoubtedly, a bit of my own hidden dream in Allie’s opportunity to join the historical reenactment — to go back in time.”

I felt something . . . happening, but I didn’t know what.

+ Paulette’s Papers – Guest Post
“The story is a combination of folk legend, historical fact, and wild flight of fancy. I like to think of it as part historical, part contemporary, part romance, part adventure, and part drama.”

“It was mysterious, and interesting, and exciting to read.”

+ The Written Adventure – Excerpt
“One final thing,” she added. “Are you familiar with the name Bonnie Rose?”
The interview had taken another hairpin turn. “No, not that I know of . . .”

2/19: Getting Your Read On – Review
“Like I said, the ending was my favorite part. The mystery climaxed, the action picked up, the romance finally entered and I got a Happily Ever After.”

+ Bookworm Lisa – Guest Post
“There were two special challenges in writing Wildwood Creek. The first was definitely the research…
The second challenge in writing Wildwood Creek involved the actual threading together of Allie and Bonnie’s stories.”

2/20: The Wonderings of One Person – Interview
“I think we all have mysteries that linger in our family histories or in our hometowns. Those tales are told at family gatherings, in the corners of local cafés, and around cook fires at Scout campouts. It’s impossible not to wonder, when hearing the retellings of things that have been passed down by word-of-mouth for generations, how much is true?”


+ Platypire Reviews – Review
“Wildwood Creek is the sort of book that drew me in from the first page, and I had to keep on reading to find out what was going to happen.”

“If you are a fan of romance, historical fiction, and/or cozy mysteries, this story is for you. The author has created a completely scintillating story written in exquisite style.”

“The way the characters and storyline were woven together was brilliant!”

+ Reviews By Molly – Review
“I try to remind myself of the things that really matter and to stay focused on what will be significant in a year, five years, ten years, and so on.”

Lisa Wingate Author PictureLisa Wingate is a journalist, inspirational speaker, reviewer for the New York Journal of Books, and the author of over twenty novels.  Her novels combine elements of history, romance, mystery, and women’s fiction with nuggets of Southern culture, from the sublime to the humorous. She is a seven-time American Christian Fiction Writers Carol award nominee, a Christy Award nominee, an Oklahoma Book Award finalist, a Christianity Today Book Award nominee, an Inspy Award nominee, and a two-time Carol Award winner. Her works have been selected for Booklist’s Top Ten List in 2012 and in 2013. Recently, the group Americans for More Civility, a kindness watchdog organization, selected Lisa along with Bill Ford, Camille Cosby, and six others, as recipients of the National Civies Award, which celebrates public figures who work to promote greater kindness and civility in American life.


Tour-Wide Giveaway
February 10 – March 2nd  US Only

Found out more about this amazing giveaway on the Launch and here.

See Rafflecopter for restrictions.

1 Winner, 1 Amazing Prize Pack from Bethany House and Lisa Wingate:

$50 Amazon Gift Card

Print copy of Wildwood Creek by Lisa Wingate

Handmade-by-author Prayer Box with notepads

a Rafflecopter giveaway


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Prism Tours: Triskele Grand Finale

Grand Finale!
A Week of Interviews and Giveaways!


November 16 – 22 Preview

16 – Literally Jen Wolfsangel by Liza Perrat


‘We watched in enchanted silence, as the music grew louder, faster, as if it were rolling across the cobblestones and echoing deep through the secret valleys and the fringe of trees that looked like hooded nuns shuffling into the woods’

Jill: “This quote is quite typical of Liza’s writing; evocative and magical, creating beautifully rich descriptions and conjuring an atmosphere out of a few well chosen words.”


17 – Beck Valley Books Ghost Town by Catriona Troth

‘Too Paki to be white, too gora to be desi.’

Liza: “Mentioned several times in the story, this phrase struck me as it perfectly sums up one of the basic conflictual themes.”


18 – Deal Sharing AuntOverlord, The Rise of Zenobia by JD Smith


“I am a man, a warrior, and yet her stare, even in its innocence, makes me check myself.”

Kat: “I always love it when an author captures the first moment when the possibility of love begins to germinate. In JD Smith’s retelling of one of the famous love stories of all, this is that moment.”

19 – The (Mis)Adventures of a Twenty-Something Year Old Girl – The Boxset from Gillian Hamer

Complicit

“Centurion Marcus Sextus grimaced as a masked soldier strode into the makeshift arena, leading two shackled slaves …”

Jane: “It has Romans, so it is winner right away for me. I love how Gill has managed to echo the Roman past alongside the modern day story, it’s a brilliant mix that really works.”

20 – Brooke Blogs – Boxset by JJ Marsh

Tread Softly

“A journey from first taste to last, it tells you of the soil, the climate, the land. That is not simply a wine. That is an adventure.”

Gill: “Says so much in so few words, it sums up not only the tone of the book, but Beatrice, Adrian & Matthew without even mentioning their names.”


21 – Colorimetry Triskele Trail



WHICH chapter or segment of advice did you learn the most from while researching the book?


I think we’d all have different answers to that. So many of the chapters and tips written by the others are gold dust. Not just as eye-openers, but reminders of things I knew but had forgotten about. Putting the book together has been an inspiring experience, and totally reinforced my decision to go the independent route.


22 – Grand Finale


Prism Tour: “An Incurable Insanity” Grand Finale

The Exotic Tour Grand Finale

Happy Festival of Lights!


diwali lamps
Diwali

An Incurable InsanityAn Incurable Insanity

by Simi K Rao

Paperback, eBook, 376 pages

Published October 8, 2013 by Tate Publishing

Her heart fluttered when she heard the sound of the key turn in the lock. She quickly adjusted her maroon silk sari with the yellow border, the one that had caught his eye, and waited eagerly for his footsteps.



One, two, three, four, five, six, seven… Yes, exactly seven steps before he stopped, hesitated for a few moments, then removed his shoes one by one and arranged them neatly side by side on the shoe rack.



She smiled. He had been mindful of taking his shoes off every day now…


* Read an Excerpt *
We offer flowers in traditional welcome.
You are our honored guest on our tour…


10/20: Launch – Tressa’s Wishful Endings


In Rao’s debut novel an arranged marriage sets the stage for an intimate look at the exasperating madness of love….An often intoxicating…will-they-won’t-they tale.”- KIRKUS REVIEWS


10/21:
#Dawat-
Recipe Intriguing Reads

No discussion on India would
be complete without mentioning its food which is as rich and colorful as its
residents. And I am not kidding when I say that travelling from one region to
another will not only introduce you to different
languages and dialects but
also to markedly varied cuisines.

I still have very fond
memories of my Grandma’s kitchen where food used to be prepared the way it
should be—from scratch. It was labor intensive but also a lot of fun. I know
because I used to help.

10/22:
#Vivaah-
Marriage Ritual
The Wonderings of One
Person


Exotic wedding_handsHindu marriages are
all about customs and rituals. There are several both before and after the
wedding ceremony making it a very elaborate affair. But the most important of
them all is the Seven Vows or Saath Pheras which occur during the ceremony
because they are said to contain the essence of the practice of marriage.
Without them a marriage is considered meaningless.

‘Ruhi quietly and
blissfully followed Shaan around the sacred flames carefully listening to and
reciting the Saath Pheras in her mind.’ – An Incurable
Insanity
10/22: #Desi-Indian Culture vvb32 reads





Indians in general are deeply rooted in tradition. Our culture
gives us our identity. Most of us (especially those living away from the
homeland,) cling to it, even though several aspects especially in these modern
times, make no sense at all.
10/24: #Vivaah-Marriage Ritual Giveaway Breaking News for
Indonesia

Cherish your
wife as a blessing sent to you from heaven; let the kindness of your behavior
endear you to her heart.

10/25: #Desi-Indian Culture Christy’s Cozy Corners



“Unclasping the sacred marriage necklace from around her neck, she
laid it down carefully on the counter. Then, wiping off the vermilion dot
from
her forehead, she examined her face again.


She smiled. Finally, she knew who
she was. She was Ruhi Sharma, and there was no looking
back.”
An Incurable Insanity


10/25 – #Desi – Shakti “the Divine Woman” – A Casual Fling with the Keyboard

She is bold and liberated. She speaks her mind. She is tough and vibrant. She knows what she wants and doesn’t compromise on her values.

10/26: #Dawat-Recipe Book Babe

“Chai?”

“Huh? Yes please with just a pinch of sugar. Thanks!” He took the cup from her hands, careful not to touch her fingers. – An Incurable Insanity



A cup of this refreshing brew served piping hot, awakens the senses and drives the blues away.



10/27: #Dawat-Recipe Brooke Blogs
Kheer“It was the best pudding he’d ever tasted…for obvious
reasons.” ~ An Incurable Insanity

After all the spicy heat of chai and parathas, let’s cool the
tempers with something sweet and delish!

10/28: #Dawat-Recipe Living a Goddess Life

“Standing in front of
the large bathroom mirror, she combed her long thick hair. Should I leave it
loose or braid it? Should I put on makeup or go bare? Should I wear all my
bangles or just a couple of them? So many questions! Why don’t all men come with
a user guide?”


10/29: #Desi-Indian Culture Sun Mountain Reviews
She had gone through all the
miscellaneous ceremonies associated with the typical grand Indian wedding—the
engagement, the Mehendi, the Sangeet, the Haldi, and the grand finale; her
father had spared no expense…
– An Incurable
Insanity
Wedding Henna
Mehendi
(Henna) is derived from the ancient Sanskrit word Mendika. The tradition of
applying it is several thousands of years old and is perhaps the most
traditional form of body art. It is meant to ‘awaken the inner
light’.
10/30: #Vivaah-Marriage Ritual Mel’s Shelves


The bombshell had dropped on their wedding night. He had walked into the room late as she sat there, a shy bride in all her wedding finery waiting, nervous yet excited at the same time, to meet the man she had hardly spoken to or looked at. What would he say, talk about, or do?
She had heard a lot of stories about what to expect, some factual and some fabricated (her friends had prepared her well), but she wanted her own to be special, unique, and it was…

An Incurable Insanity
10/31:
#Desi-
Indian Culture Shannon McDermott


“Go ahead, Shaan,” Bee said softly, giving him
permission.


He pinched a small amount of the red powder and placed it firmly in
the parting on her forehead. Not entirely certain why, but this makeshift
ceremony appeared more meaningful to him than the one on his wedding
day.
“Perfect! Now my mishti
bon
looks like a bride, a very
beautiful bride.”


11/1: #Dawat – Beck Valley Books

Paratha [par-AA- THA] Hindi पराठा is one of the most popular types of unleavened flat breads in Punjabi North Indian Cuisine and Pakistan.

Prepared from pan frying whole wheat dough which usually has ghee (clarified butter) or cooking oil in it, parathas are often stuffed with vegetables such as mashed boiled potatoes or aloo, cauliflower (gobhi), radish (mooli), other vegetables and or paneer (fresh Indian cheese).

Parathas, particularly the stuffed ones, are simply eaten with pickles, chutneys and or yogurt on the side and make for a wholesome meal at any time of the day.

In my book ‘An Incurable Insanity’ my protagonist Ruhi, when she first arrives in America, longs for home, the feel of her mother’s pallu (sari’s edge) and for the taste of fresh homemade parathas and piping hot chai.



11/1 – #Dawat – “Bashful Bride” – A Casual Fling with the Keyboard

She sits on the rose strewn bed
A bashful bride
In all her jeweled splendor
Hennaed hands resting on drawn up knees
Innocent and uninitiated
Awaiting the approach of her beloved
the shy bride



11/3 – 11/5: Grand Finale – Giveaway runs through 11/11

Happy Diwali!

Go read the #Talk on Simi’s Facebook
as she has walked us through the beautiful backdrop to her amazing book…

Simi K. RaoSimi K. Rao was born in India and has been living in the United States for several years. The inspiration for An Incurable Insanity came from what she has seen transpire among and within the immigrant community. Some of the experiences included are her own; some have been garnered from friends and casual conversations with acquaintances…

Grand Finale design by Laura of Colorimetry
Content by Simi K Rao
Quotes from blog posts