Prism Tour: Goddess Tithe Cover Reveal

Title: Goddess Tithe

Author: Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Series: Tales of Goldstone Wood

Expected Release Date: November 12, 2013

Publisher: Rooglewood Press

Page Count: 130 pages

The Vengeful Goddess Demands Her Tithe

When a stowaway is discovered aboard the merchant ship Kulap Kanya, Munny, a cabin boy on his first voyage, knows what must be done. All stowaways are sacrificed to Risafeth, the evil goddess of the sea. Such is her right, and the Kulap Kanya‘s only hope to return safely home.

Yet, to the horror of his crew, Captain Sunan vows to protect the stowaway, a foreigner in clown’s garb. A curse falls upon the ship and all who sail with her, for Risafeth will stop at nothing to claim her tithe.

Will Munny find the courage to trust his captain and to protect the strange clown who has become his friend?
You can learn more about Goddess Tithe, which novel it’s connected to and read Chapter 1, here:

About the Cover Design:

I had the fun of designing this cover—finding reference photos, inventing the composition, applying the text, etc.—but the actual artistic work was done by talented cover artist Phatpuppy (, whose work I have admired for many years. It was such a thrill for me to contact and commission this artist to create a look for Goddess Tithe that is reminiscent of the original novels but has a style and drama all its own.

The boy on the front was quite a find. I hunted high and low for an image of a boy the right age, the right look, with the right expression on his face. Phatpuppy and I worked with a different model through most of the cover development stage. But then I happened upon this image, and both she and I were delighted with his blend of youth, stubbornness, and strength of character! It wasn’t difficult to switch the original boy for this young man. He simply is Munny, and this cover is a perfect window into the world of my story.

You can’t see it here, but the wrap-around back cover for the print copy contains some of the prettiest work . . . including quite a scary sea monster! Possibly my favorite detail is the inclusion of the ghostly white flowers framing the outer edge. These are an important symbol in the story itself, and when Phatpuppy sent me the first mock-up cover with these included, I nearly jumped out of my skin with excitement!

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a kindle of kitties, and one long-suffering dog. When she’s not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and practices piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of the Tales of Goldstone Wood, including Heartless, Veiled Rose, Moonblood, Starflower, and Dragonwitch. Heartless and Veiled Rose have each been honored with a Christy Award, and Starflower was voted winner of the 2013 Clive Staples Award.


Anne Elisabeth is offering two proof copies of Goddess Tithe as prizes! (U.S. and Canada only)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Prism Tour Review: King

Akabe’s highest aspiration is to rebuild a holy house for the Infinite. His highest priority is staying alive. As the followers of Atea seek to make him king no longer – in the most final and irreversible way possible – he struggles to stay ahead of the knife’s-edge of their schemes.

Choosing an Atean queen would probably not help. But Akabe might see it as necessary, for his highest aspiration.

King follows Prophet and Judge in R. J. Larson’s fantasy series; Prophet was one of the finalists for the Clive Staples Award. Spiritually, the book is in an Old Testament era, with a prophet, pagan deities, and hints of the coming salvation; socially, it is in a medieval era, with kings, swords, and lords.
A fantasy element is present, especially in such things as the monster-horse. But it was more limited than I would have expected. I cannot recall one instance of “magic”. R. J. Larson had a number of inventive creatures – animals, and not other sentient races; the conception of the “god-king” was intriguing and effectively executed.

King is a strongly spiritual novel, plainly Christian and occasionally echoing biblical stories. The religious themes and conversations felt genuine to the characters and the world. R. J. Larson also blended humor into the novel.

I think I would have enjoyed King more had I read the earlier books of the trilogy. I followed the plot well enough, but I’m sure I missed something. The beginning was slow to me as the author picked up the threads of her story, and it took me a little while to work out the characters’ relationships to each other. The denouement was well-done and moving, and would have felt even more so had I known the characters’ whole journeys.
With likable characters, a fresh world, and a powerful measure of spirituality, King is a fine addition to Christian fantasy.


   Amazon * Barnes & Noble 

R.J. Larson is the author of numerous devotionals featured in publications such as Women’s Devotional Bible and Seasons of a Woman’s Heart. She lives in Colorado Springs, Colorado, with her husband and their two sons. Prophet marks her debut in the fantasy genre.



Map Puzzle Tour…

22 – Launch!

Kien (Judge cover) is the original owner of the map… the scrolling mimics his sword…

Follow the tour to reveal the entire map!

23 – ADDLibrarian – Review
          Rose & Beps Blog  “Compass”
24 – TheWonderings of One Person – Review

25 – TheOther World  “Beginnings”
26 – Piecesof Whimsy – “Romance & Action”
29 – JoJo’sCorner  – Review
          Christy’s Cozy Corner  – Tracelands Recipe

30 – Proud Book Nerd – Munra – Siphra “upstart” king!
          JL Mbewe – Review
1 – Worthy 2Read – Review
2 – Mommasez… – Review
4 –  Backing Books – Review
5 – Shannon’sBlog – Review
          Mel’s Shelves – Review
6  – A Year of Jubilee Reviews – Review
          A Tiffyfit’s Reading Corner 
8 – TellTale Book Reviews  – Review

 – CTF Devourer – Review

9 – Grand Finale


And finally, my piece of the puzzle:

Prism Tour: Dragonwitch

Dragonwitch (Tales of Goldstone Wood #5)The North Star, if you follow it, will lead you north, which gets very cold during the winter. In the North Country, Leta lives a dull life expecting dull things, and Alistair leads a promising life expecting death. Neither yet has any notion of the Far World beyond their world – a world that even now is creeping into their own, and soon enough will burst into it. Then everything they expected and knew will be rearranged.

Dragonwitch is the fifth book in Anne Elisabeth Stengl’s Tales of Goldstone Wood. It may be read as a stand-alone, but it would be better to read Starflower – the immediately preceding book – first. Dragonwitch builds on Starflower to a great extent. And frankly, Dragonwitch is complicated enough in its own right. (Part of this is due to the time-bending of the Far World – an interesting and useful idea, but one that left me thinking a couple times, “What? When did that happen?”)

The book begins gradually, acquainting the readers with the characters, establishing a broad range of elements. Anne Stengl builds a world of legends – some sad, some beautiful, a few horrible, and all compelling. She gives a realness to the places and the people she creates, and as many as they are, they have definition.

I enjoyed seeing Eanrin and Imraldera again, though Eanrin seemed somewhat off to me. He had a mean streak in this book that I did not see in Starflower. Still, he had his charm and his vim, and remained an entertaining and likeable character.

As with Starflower, I was impressed by Anne Stengl’s ability to make her characters – villains and heroes alike – nuanced and sympathetic. There is hardly a character in all of Dragonwitch who is not either likeable or pitiable.

In a way, it made the book sadder. The greatest theme of Dragonwitch is redemption – redemption offered, redemption accepted, redemption rejected. The things that drew characters onto the broad way that leads to destruction, and the things that kept them there, are profound. One character reached to another, offering love and hope, only to be rejected – and there is a deep truth in this. There are always people who spurn grace.

The cost of this profundity is a pall of sadness over the novel. Some characters had a happy ending, and there was a triumph and a hope at the end more important than simple happiness. Yet Dagonwitch felt a little sad to me.

The universe of Dragonwitch is woven not only with fairy tales, but with a sense of spiritual things and spiritual truths. The prose  is tremendous – beautiful and evocative; the story twisted unexpectedly, and the characters made good – or, in some cases, at least interesting – company. Dragonwitch is a lovely book, a book worth reading.

Dragonwitch is available on Amazon and Barnes & Noble. To find reviews of the book, information about Anne Elisabeth Stengl, and a giveaway of the entire Tales of Goldstone Wood, go to the Book Launch.

As part of the Prism Tour, Anne Stengl has been answering questions about herself and her work. Here is my question, and her answer:

Like the Chronicles of Narnia, your series is written out of Chronological order. In what order would you recommend people to read your books?

Well, I tend to think the Tales of Goldstone Wood are best read in the order they are written. While Heartless is not the first chronologically, I wrote it first because it was the simplest story and, therefore, the best entryway into my rather complex and intricate world. It follows the most classic of fairy tale storylines—Princess, Prince, Dragon—and introduces the most important characters and themes, particularly the dragon mythology. So I think it’s the best place to start since everything builds from there, even the stories that come earlier in the timeline.

That being said, I try to write all of the stories as standalone as possible so that they can be picked up and enjoyed in any order. The only two that have to be read sequentially are Veiled Rose and Moonblood.

And, finally, an announcement from Anne Elisabeth Stengl:

I’m excited to begin hinting at the newest Goldstone Wood project . . . one that will be releasing between Dragonwitch and Shadow Hand. That’s right, dear readers! I am going to be releasing a novella this fall, a little tide-you-over piece until the next novel is ready.

I can’t  share the cover just yet, though that will be coming quite soon now.  But I can let you know what the title will be . . . .

Can you guess what this story might be about?

You heard it here first … possibly. Anyway, thanks for joining on the tour!