Rothana, blog tour.

Hello everyone, today I have another FANtastic Interview. This time it’s with author Sarah Delena White. She’s here to talk about her new book Rothana. You may remember it from Cover reveal I helped with.

 

About the Book

A new queen falls. A death lord rises. An ancient foe looms in the shadows. Sylvie Imanthiya is desperate to lead Faerie well and deepen the bond with her husband, former king Taylan Ashkalabek. But all hope of that vanishes when the winter solstice ceremony ends in disaster, stranding her and Taylan in the Deathrealm, and stripping the kingdom from her. With Faerie in chaos, Zad and Diza are separated once again: Zad to reconcile with an old mentor to stabilize the kingdom, and Diza to confront the nefarious Casimir in the mortal realm. But Casimir claims that a greater evil seeks to destroy both realms, an evil that Diza’s unique death magic can hold at bay—if she could only remember how. In the Deathrealm, Taylan is succumbing to the lure of specters from his past, and pushing away Sylvie’s love. Overwhelmed by decay and darkness, Sylvie must summon unexpected magic from the soul of Kyure to fight for her convictions and her husband’s heart. Shadows divide them. Their friends are in peril. If Sylvie fails, her marriage and her world will fall.
 

About the Author

Sarah Delena White was raised by wolves in an alternate dimension. She writes eclectic speculative fiction that reworks mythology with a fine balance of poetry and snark. She’s an experienced world traveler who loves to weave world folklore and ancient concepts into vibrant, original story worlds. She is the administrative manager for Uncommon Universes Press. When she’s not writing, she can be found making elegant designer bead jewelry, traveling to festivals as a professional ballad singer, drinking tea, and seeking to create the perfect latte. She can be bribed with dark chocolate.

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FANtastic Interview with Sarah Delena White

Halayda had some awesome steampunk elements, the best of which was Sylvie’s alchemy potions. Will we see more of her alchemy, or will Sylvie discard it in favor of her fairy magic?

Sylvie’s alchemy will continue to play a role throughout the rest of the Star-Fae Trilogy! It’s a key part of her abilities. While magic is still new and difficult for her, alchemy is second nature. It’s also part of how she expresses her creativity. It’s her favorite art form.

There is a miniseries in the works and it’s up to you to choose who play, Sylvie, Taylan, Zad and Diza. Which actors get the part?

I’ve always pictured Neha Sharma as Sylvie. Sophie Turner would play Diza, and Takeshi Kaneshiro would play Zad. The only one I’m not sure about is Taylan. So far I haven’t found an actor with the right combination of fae good looks and curmudgeonly personality, haha!

Halayda introduced us to the mortal realm and the fae realm. Rothana teases a visit to the underworld. If you could visit one for real, would you choose the mortal, fae, or death realm?

Definitely the fae realm! Faerie is a place of wild beauty and magic, and I’d love to explore it for real… with the right companions, of course! It’s not wise for a hapless mortal to venture into Faerie alone. Anything could happen!

Everyone is inspired by something. What was your inspiration for the Star-Fae Trilogy, and more specifically the dragonfly element?

The inspiration for Halayda, and the Star-Fae Trilogy as a whole, came from a dream (this is weird for me. I haven’t been inspired by a dream before or since!). I dreamed about someone who got dragonfly wings as the result of a mad science experiment gone wrong. By the time I woke up, I had a basic sense of the concept and the two main characters. I first intended to write it as a superhero story, but when I rolled out of bed and scribbled down a summary, I realized it sounded like every superhero story ever, haha! But once I fused the superhero-esque concept with Celtic-inspired fae mythology, everything clicked into place. For Rothana, I also drew a bit from the Greek myth of Hades and Persephone (albeit very loosely!).

The title of the first book, Halayda, was revealed in the story to be the fae word for eternity. What does Rothana mean? And do these words have a basis in real language?

Rothana means “deathmarked.” It’s a term that is used for the shadow-fae (Taylan’s people), often in a derogatory way. A major theme in Rothana is facing and overcoming one’s past. Taylan and several others in the book believe they are marked for death (or other sorts of doom) because of their past deeds or experiences, and they must work through this in order to defeat their foes. The word rothana doesn’t have a basis in any real language, but halayda was loosely based on the Arabic word habibi, a term of endearment (I lived in the Middle East for a while and speak some Arabic, hence the inspiration).

The Star-Fae Trilogy is obviously going to be three books, but will there be any standalone, short stories, or spin-offs from the series?

I’m currently working a prequel novella featuring a younger Sylvie when she first meets Taylan and gets involved in the affairs of Faerie and the intrigues of the College of Alchemy. I chose to have Sylvie and Taylan already know each other well at the start of Halayda so the romance could progress at a fast pace and still be believable. I was a bit sad about skipping over the start of their relationship, though, so I’m excited to write a novella that explores that. I also have ideas for a few spin-off novels featuring some of the secondary characters from the Star-Fae Trilogy, but those projects are still a few years away.

Thank you, Sarah Delena White, for answering my questions and for sharing about your inspiration.

Party Time!

Join Uncommon Universes Press and Laura A. Grace of Unicorn Quester to celebrate the launch of Rothana by Sarah Delena White! Includes games, giveaways, exclusive behind-the-scenes, and more. Also features guest authors Bethany A. Jennings and Morgan L. Busse. Save the date to hang out with these fabulous authors!

RSVP HERE

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, November 26th Tuesday, November 27th Wednesday, November 28th Thursday, November 29th Friday, November 30th Saturday, December 1st Monday, December 3rd Tuesday, December 4th Wednesday, December 5th Thursday, December 6th Friday, December 7th Saturday, December 8th

FANtastic Interview with Pam Halter

Today I have another Fantastic Interview. Today’s guest is Pam Halter and she is sharing about her debut novel Fairyeater.

Here’s a bit about the book first:

9781943788040-Perfect.inddAll fifteen-year-old Akeela has ever wanted is an ordinary family who will love her. But the only mother she has ever known is the old hag, Krezma, who berates her night and day. Why did the old woman even take her in?

But Krezma knows her charge is no ordinary child. She can see the auras surrounding living things and can communicate with fairies. And the birthmark on her palm reveals a secret Krezma must hold close for the child’s safety.

A secret that the witch, Tzmet, hunts for night and day, drying and eating fairies for the power they contain. When Akeela discovers her fate lies in being the next Fairy Guardian, all hope for an ordinary life dissipates like the dreams they were. She must protect the fairies from the witch—and an even darker power that threatens them all.

Akeela is unwillingly thrust into an adventure that will not end until she decides to accept her fate and give up on her dream.

Maybe even her life.

Purchase Link (L2L2 website):
https://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/fairyeater/

And now . . .

A FANtastic interview with Pam Halter:

1. You are asked by the casting director who you envision as the main characters of your novel Fairyeater. What do you tell her.

 This is always a hard question for me because I’m just not up on who’s popular, especially younger actors. So, I don’t know who would play Akeela, but I can see the fabulous Bette Davis playing Tzmet because she does whatever’s needed for a part. For Krezma, maybe Maggie Smith. For Tar, Karl Urban.

I love Maggie Smith for this role, and Karl Urban is one of my favorite actors. Love these choices.

 2. Anyone who has met you knows that you are the Fairy Queen. What made you first love fairies? Or what is your earliest memory of fairies?

 I’ve always loved fantasy, and when I realized I wanted to write it, I chose to feature fairies, because 12 years ago, fairies were not popular. And I wanted to brand myself with something, so I worked to become The Fairy Lady (or whatever anyone wants to call it.) Now fairies are very popular, so I’m not as unique as I’d like to think. That being said, I also like making up my own fae groups, and that’s helped me in the unique area.

 3. Fairyeater may be your debut novel but it’s not your first published book. How does your experience with novel writing differ from Children’s book writing? Which do you enjoy more?

 Wow, picture book writing is about as different as you can imagine. I enjoy them both, but I had to learn to add to my longer stories. I was so used to telling a story in 800 words or less, it was difficult to add description and more narrative. I’m not one who likes too much description anyway – get me to the story! Haha. But I have a fabulous mentor who tells me things like, “Linger a bit longer here” or “What is she feeling here?” “What does it look like?” Stuff like that.

 I’ve also learned you don’t always need to add a paragraph to expand the moment. Sometimes just a sentence is perfect.

 Here’s something to consider, though. People think writing for children is easier because there are less words. But picture books can be harder to write because you need to take a 10,000 word story and tell is in 800 words or less. Every word counts.

Sounds like Children’s book writing is a lot like Flash Fiction.

 4. Obviously fairies come in many flavors, (Pun intended, because Fairyeater) Hahaha! which do you prefer. The small and magical, elemental kind or the Majestic and mystical, Fae?

 I prefer more realistic, beautiful fairies. And here’s a secret: I can’t stand Tinker Bell. Seriously. I want to smack her. I don’t really consider her a fairy. She’s more of a pixie, I think. But she’s really annoying.

Fairies don’t have to be life sized or teeny weeny. For me, it depends on the what the story requires.

 I love the fairy art of Amy Brown and Cicely Mary Barker.

 5. I think my favorite character is Anon the Faun. He’s fun and sweet. He is also on the autistic spectrum. I love that there is an autistic character, but I love more that he is a mythical being. What was the inspiration for this unique character?

 Actually, Anon has Down’s Syndrome. The inspiration for him is my daughter, Anna. Since I have a special needs adult daughter, it’s a normal part of my life, so pretty much all the stories I write have characters with some kind of special need.

 Anna does not have Down’s, though. She has Pervasive Developmental Disorder, which is on the Spectrum. She’s mostly non-verbal, and I needed a verbal character, so I chose Down’s. I’ve known several kids with Down’s from Anna’s class when she was in school, as well as kids with all various special needs and abilities. It simply felt normal to me to included Anon.

 I’ve also included Tar and Ode Janmar who both have physical disabilities.

 6. Akeela is the Fairy Guardian, but fairies are magical, Why do they need guarding?

 A Guardian doesn’t always mean “to guard someone”, it’s also a person who supports and helps. When Riss’aird was creating the BIG spell, more than just fairy magic was needed to combat it, so the Guardian was created. I do give details in the book and am planning to go into a lot more detail in the Prequel, which I’m working on now.

 7. Without giving spoilers, where do you see the Fairy Gaurdian series going from here? How many books are planned? What are you working on next? 

 Oops – I gave that away in the previous question. That’s okay. I’m working on the Prequel now. A friend suggested it might be interesting to see how a person becomes a Dark Lord. I thought that was a great idea and I’m running with it.

 And because we typically like sets of three, I do have a basic plot idea for the third story. And writers will get this – that story wants to be written NOW. I keep making notes and tell it to quiet down and wait its turn. Haha!

 8. In the Fairyeater there is a Minister character who leads worship to a single creator. would you classify Fairyeater as Christian fiction? How does Celtar differ from our God.

 Every world has some kind of religious system or beliefs. In Fairyeater, I chose to have the main set of people serve the One True God, who is the God of the Bible. I gave Him the name Celtar on the advice of a senior editor from Scholastic who I met at a conference. Back then, publishing houses were leery of using the Christian God in fantasy, so she said to simply give Him a name. But not everyone believes in Him or worships Him. The Kazmura are atheists, and the Salt Dwarves worship a goddess.

 I also chose to stay more Old Testament, but not real in-depth. That means, no Jesus dying to save sinners. I don’t know why. It just felt appropriate for the story to not include that part of my faith.

 I don’t classify Fairyeater as Christian fiction. It’s high fantasy, more specifically, quest fantasy, which happens to be written by a Christian, so my worldview comes through.

 My business cards describe me as an “Inspirational Fantasy Author” and at the bottom, I have “Everyone is created with a purpose.” Christianity is part of who I am, so even if I were to choose to write a story without a higher being, my worldview would still come through.

Thank you so much for having me on your blog, Cathrine!

The honor was all mine.              

Pam-HalterPam Halter has been a children’s book author since 1995. The first book in her Willoughby and Friends series, Willoughby and the Terribly Itchy Itch, won the 2018 Realm Award in the children’s category, and she also received a Reader’s Choice Award in 2015 for her short story, “Tick Tock,” in Realmscapes. Fairyeater is her first fantasy novel. She lives in South Jersey, deep in farmland, and enjoys long walks on country roads where she discovers fairy homes, emerging dragons, and trees eating wood gnomes. Visit Pam at http://www.PamHalter.com.

Social Media Links:

Website: http://www.pamhalter.com

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pam.halter.5

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/PamHalter

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/pamhalter5

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/1916337.Pam_Halter Amazon Author:

http://www.amazon.com/Pam-Halter/e/B001HPDNEC

FANtastic Interview with H. L. Burke

SpiceBringerBlogTourV2

Hi again, you may remember when I hosted a cover reveal for an amazing book called Spice Bringer.

From the Back cover:

SpicebringerCoverLargeA deadly disease. A vanishing remedy. A breathless journey.

 All her life, Niya’s known she will die young from the fatal rasp. She survives only with the aid of vitrisar spice and a magical, curmudgeonly fire salamander named Alk. Then an ambitious princess burns down the vitrisar grove in an effort to steal Alk so she can claim her rightful throne. Joined by Jayesh, a disgraced monk, Niya and Alk must flee to the faraway Hidden Temple with the last vitrisar plant, or all who suffer from the rasp will perish.

 But even as Niya’s frustration and banter with Jayesh deepen to affection, the rasp is stealing away her breath and life.

 For a girl with limited time and a crippling quest, love may be more painful than death.

***

Author PictureAuthor Bio:

 Born in a small town in north central Oregon, H. L. Burke spent most of her childhood around trees and farm animals and was always accompanied by a book. Growing up with epic heroes from Middle Earth and Narnia keeping her company, she also became an incurable romantic.

An addictive personality, she jumped from one fandom to another, being at times completely obsessed with various books, movies, or television series (Lord of the Rings, Star Wars, and Star Trek all took their turns), but she has grown to be what she considers a well-rounded connoisseur of geek culture.

Married to her high school crush who is now a US Marine, she has moved multiple times in her adult life but believes that home is wherever her husband, two daughters, and pets are.

 Social Media Links:

Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/hlburkewriter/

Facebook Reader Group: https://www.facebook.com/groups/hlburkereaders/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/hlburkewriter

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/burkesdragons/

Website: http://www.hlburkeauthor.com/

***

While Spice Bringer is back today for the official blog tour. I snagged author H. L. Burke for a Fantastic interview.

****

FANtastic Interview with H. L. Burke:

 C.O: Your publisher sells the movie rights to Spice Bringer. The casting director asks you, who you see in the lead roles. What do you tell her? Most importantly who would you cast to voice Alk?

H.L: Unknown teens of the proper ethnicity to pull it off. The problem with being a YA writer is I very rarely know of any actors currently young enough to fulfill the roles (I don’t watch a lot of teen TV or teen focused movies), and with the setting of Spice Bringer, I’d need characters who look like they could have come from south east Asia. Off the top of my head, I cannot name any 16-year-old Indian actresses. There just aren’t any on any of the shows I watch, but I think this would be an awesome opportunity for a casting call to find new talent. As for Alk …he actually has kind of a harsh, high voice in my head, not typical voice actor stuff, but also not comical Gilbert Godfrey level. I’ll say Alan Tudyk because that man can do anything with his voice. 

 C.O: Good point about the actors. Spice Bringer would be a good story for an unknown Actor/Actress to really show what they can do. And yes to Alan Tudyk he is awesome.

Anyone who follows you on Social media knows that you have many obsessions: Foxes, cats, dragons, pineapples/psych, and sneks/snakes. Now Imagine that you have to give all of them up but one. Which one do you keep? Or conversely, Which could you give up? 

 H.L: I have to keep my cat. Bruce is family. I don’t actually have a Fox or a Snek as much as I want to. Dragons are in my books, so they’d be hard to ignore …I’d find a way to cheat with Psych, probably. 

 C.O: Spice Bringer has an Indian feel to it’s fantasy setting. What if any research did you do while writing?

 H.L: Less than you might think. I very intentionally wanted to separate my world from the actual India because a lot of factors would have to be different for story purposes. There are some major differences between The Empire of the Golden Bird and ancient India in terms of culture, history, government, religion, and geography. That said, I looked into things like architecture and how spices grow. 

 C.O: What would you do if you were diagnosed with the Rasp? And would your insurance cover it?

 H.L: Military Tricare (My husband is a US Marine) covers most medical conditions I’m aware of, but it’s mostly with military doctors and … some of them are great, but a lot of them are kind of in a hurry. Very eager to give you some motrin and get you moved on. They would have absolutely no idea what to do if faced with a fantasy-world-based-made-up-illness. Heck, they failed to diagnose that I had a cat allergy through multiple visits. Hopefully I could find a salamander and some vitrisar plants. Then I’d be all right. 

 C.O: Would you really want a Salamander though?

Alk can be snarky and irritating, if he were suddenly real and he had to live with your family, because you created him, would you wish you had written him to be more of a “help out around the house” salamander?

H.L: He wouldn’t fit in very well around here if I edited him. My husband is a constant tease who does things to be contrary all the time. My daughters learned sarcasm early. The cat is judging everyone. Dog roll his eyes when I tell him to do things. Alk would be right at home here. 

 C.O: What is the meaning of life the universe and Everything?

 H.L: 42 

  C.O: Hmm I suspect as much.

 For those who don’t know already Heidi does a random interview every week on her own blog, where she asks authors random questions. I am going to steal one of her own random question and ask it to her.

 If this question was any question in the world, what would it be and how would you answer?

 H.L: What super power do I want … NO! Tell me about your cat? … nah, too obvious … Favorite Psych episode? … no, worked that into another interview… ugh, choices!
How about, “Do you need coffee?”

The answer is yes. Yes, I very much need coffee right now. 

****

Thank you H. L. Burke for taking the time to answer my FANtastic questions. I love that last one.

3DTrioGraphic - Preorder Announcement

Spice Bringer releases in just six days. That’s less than a week! So don’t delay, there’s still time to take advantage of the UUP preorder special.

Regularly 17.99, autographed paperback preorders are 14.99 with free shipping discount (free shipping to US locations only). What a deal! 

 https://uncommonuniverses.com/product/spicebringer-autographed-paperback-preorder/

Or if you wish, find it at the other fine retailers below:

Amazon Kindle: https://www.amazon.com/Spicebringer-H-L-Burke-ebook/dp/B07FBRF6HD

Barnes & Noble Nook: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/spicebringer-h-l-burke/1129054660?ean=2940155709763

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/spicebringer

Apple iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/id1409446712

After Blog Tour and a FANtastic Interview

Today I bring you a book from the darkside of fantasy, one that deals with death and the problems that arise when the dead do.

About the Book

“Some people might say that there are worse fates than death. In some worlds, perhaps that may well be the case. But in mine, it would be a lie. There is no greater horror than that which comes after death.”

On the streets of an ancient city, with creepers wandering at will and a mysterious assassin leaving corpses all over Pandorum, a young Spook with a dark secret will do anything to keep his brothers safe, even from forces that threaten to tear them apart from within. While others are searching for impossible cures from outlawed Spinners, Conrad Ellis III does not believe in fairy tales and miracles. But when he discovers a strange girl with shrouded ties to the Assassin, Eli is forced to leave the streets he loves and travel into the very heart of Pandorum in order to save a member of his family. With his health failing and the danger escalating, there is no escaping the inevitable truth. Today, he may hunt creepers.

Tomorrow, he just might be one.

Purchase on Amazon

Because this book is a little bit outside of my usual tastes I decided to pick the authors brain a bit to see what led her down this dark rabbit hole of walking dead.

FANtastic Interview with Savannah Jezowski:

Just reading the description is enough to give me chills. This is such an intriguing premise. Is there any one thing that you can recall sparking the idea for After, or the story world in general?

 YES. My husband and I were in a book store and all the books were about zombies. I wanted to write a book from a Christian point-of-view that explored the concept of the undead.

Yes there certainly is a lot of Zombie fiction out there, and almost none of it is Christian friendly. I think what troubles many Christian readers about speculative fiction, and horror in general, is when the stories are obviously not how things work. Example: the dead do not really walk. How does After support a Christian worldview?

 After is a fantasy world with mild elements that relate back to my Christian worldview. After takes place in a world before the Redeemer has come to change things. It’s a dark world. People are floundering in their faith. The emperor is oppressive. People are dying in darkness and wandering the Neverway. There is a Divine spiritual being called the Ever Father who orchestrates things behind the scenes. There is a man with strong magical gifts (called a Spinner) that is hinted to be something more than what he claims. Magical gifts could be compared to talents rather than blatant supernatural abilities. There is also a distinction made between the rights kind of magic, i.e. natural magic vs. dark magic. There are lots of little things that could relate back to my Christian worldview, actually.

 How do you imagine creepers fitting into a spiritual afterlife? Are they just reanimated bodies with no souls? Or are their souls trapped inside with/without a hope for redemption?

 Creepers are my idea what “living hell” might be like. When people die outside the Ever Father’s plan, their souls remain trapped in their decaying bodies and they wander the world with only fractured memories of their past. Always alone. Always in pain. I know it sounds kind of gruesome, but really it’s more sad. I don’t dwell much on the yucky zombie aspects lol. My main character doesn’t either. He hunts creepers, but he often catches himself feeling sorry for them.

Now that the meaty questions are out of the way, how about some fun?

If you ever got that coveted movie deal who would you cast?

Oh, that’s hard. I have so many favorite actors that would make the short list. I always thought Chris Hemsworth or Jason Momoa would be nice for Conrad. It needs to be someone kind of burly who can pull off a gruff role. For Ivan? I could go a bunch of different ways. For Fen? The girl from Pacific rim would be perfect. She pulled that role off with just the right amount of strength and fragility. And for Victor? Honestly, he’s the hardest of all because he’s so sweet and so innocent. I don’t think I would ever find an actor that I approved of 100%.

After Dream Cast (2)

That sounds like a great cast and I love the graphic you made.

Are you prepared for the Zombie apocalypse? Where would you make a stand and what is your weapon of choice?

Goodness, no, I’m not prepared. I’d probably hide in my basement with a baseball bat and die within the first few days.

Baseball bats can be an effective weapon, don’t underestimate yourself.

You have to live in your story world for one month: How do you pass the time? Do you survive?

Wow. I would love to live in my world, but honestly…it’s a dangerous place most of the time. I would love to spend some time with the Elllis and Jenks boys, but their house is rather cramped and they’re always squabbling. It might be more fun to spend my time at the Manor with Fen and the angels (the ladies of mercy). At least there I know I would be safe and would live long enough to get home again.

And now for the most important question of all: This is book one, what are your future plans for the series?

Wither, in the Five Enchanted Roses collection, is already set in the world of the Neverway. It’s a Beauty and the Beast retelling about some minor characters who show up in After. I’m also working on revisions for the sequel to After, a novella loosely inspired by Red Riding Hood and immediately following the events of Wither. So chronologically, it takes place five years after After. I’m planning to write at least two novellas and two more novels in the story world before moving on to other things.

 Sounds like there is a lot more to look forward too in the world of the Neverway. Thank you for talking to me today and sharing about your book.

About the Author

Savannah Jezowski lives in a drafty farmhouse in Amish country with her Knight in Shining Armor, a wee warrior princess, and two English Springer Spaniels. She is the author of When Ravens Fall and The Neverway Chronicles. Her work has been published in Ray Gun Revival, Mindflights and in the student publication of Fountains at Pensacola Christian College. She is also a featured author in Five Enchanted Roses from Rooglewood Press and Mythical Doorways from Fellowship of Fantasy. She likes books, faeries, writing hats and having tea with her imaginary friends.

WebsiteFacebook InstagramGoodreads

Giveaway Time!

Explore the world of After by entering to win a signed paperback from the author! (US only.)

>>>Entry-Form<<<

 

Blog Tour Schedule

 

Meg Mitchell Blog Tour

Meg Mitchell Blog Tour Banner

I am so excited to kick off this new blog tour for a very enchanting book.

Most of you are familiar with my FANtastic interview segments. Do you remember the author who helped me out by being my first interview?

It was Amy Williams! (You can read my first interview here.) Amy is back today using her super secret alter ego of Kimberly McNeil. She has an epic YA novel that is sure to excite fans of sci-fi and fantasy alike.

Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal

 Stories never end. They just get bigger.MegMitchell_Journal

 You only have to turn the page.

 Meg Mitchell lives in a castle, but she’s no wilting princess. Raised in an alien world by adoptive parents, she spends her time fighting Centaurs, training as an Andai warrior, and chilling in her favorite willow tree.

 But when Meg uncovers her birth father’s journal, she discovers a cousin she didn’t know existed. Meg and her little brother and sister travel through an interdimensional rip to San Francisco to search for their cousin, setting off a chain of events no one could have foreseen.

 When her sister is kidnapped, Meg enlists the help of teenage detective Barb Taylor and her genius little brother Jim. Following clues dropped by a mysterious benefactor, they embark on a cross-country adventure to rescue her sister and find Meg’s cousin.

 Family is everything to Meg, but not all is as it seems. In her quest to reunite her family, she may lose more than she ever imagined.

Find it at these fine retailers: AmazonBarnes & NobleCrosshair Press

 Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list. 

 Excited to know more? I hope so because there is lots more. (Seriously, this will be a long post.)

FANtastic Interview with Amy Williams Kimberly McNeil:

CB) Meg Mitchell is chock full of fun references and characters that feel familiar. Too Familiar. Tell us about your inspiration for the Legend of the Lightkeepers series.

 KM) One word: Fanfiction. I was writing fanfiction before it was a thing. I had my No. 2 pencil and my wide-ruled notebook paper, and I’d sit at the never-used fireplace at my house in Houston and scribble better stories than the ones I saw on television.

 Best example? Probably my two favorite television shows as a young child were My Little Pony (the original) and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved My Little Pony so much that I saved up my allowance money to buy the toys at Toys ‘R Us, but even at seven or eight years old, I thought their writers needed help. I always wondered what would happen if the Ponies were in charge of spaceships rather than holding scavenger hunts and putting on festivals. So, in kindergarten and first grade, that’s what I wrote about.

 Fast forward to the early 90s, when I was nine or so, a new range of cartoon shows hit the television. I discovered Star Wars and amazing adventures like Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? and the totally awesome (horribly dubbed) anime Ronin Warriors. I loved those new stories, but I didn’t want to let go of the stories I’d been telling myself since I was six. So I just expanded my mental universe.

 Then, one day, I told my childhood best friend about my stories. I was eleven years old by this time, and my universe had really become a cohesive world I could describe. My friend was desperate to read the stories, so that’s when I wrote the first version of Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal.

 By the time I hit high school, I had amassed quite a following of friends and family who loved the world I’d built. I kept writing because they kept asking for more. At the end of high school, I had completed somewhere around 30 novels in the series. Somewhere along the way in all those 30 books, I had left all traces of the original source material behind. The stories themselves bore little resemblance to the old cartoon shows.

 So I guess you can blame the Lightkeepers series on the boring writers for My Little Pony back in the 1980s, specifically whoever wrote the pilot episode. Seriously, that pilot was epic. If you haven’t watched it, you should, and then you should read Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal, and you’ll laugh.

 CB) That was an epic answer. A thirty book series based on all my favorite 90’s cartoons. I am so there.

 When I meet an author, most of them tend towards humility. You are the only author that openly fangirled with me about your own books. Do you ever find yourself reading your own books for fun?

 KM) You know, I spent most of my life refusing to talk about my stories. There I was, 16 years old with more than 20 completed novels, and I was too scared to say anything about them. I wasn’t afraid of rejection; I was more scared to be thought of as boastful.

 But the more people read my stories and loved them, the more I wanted to talk about them. Because I loved them too! I mean, I’d spent every free moment I had since I was six years old living in this crazy universe in my mind. My characters are real to me, friends who’ve been with me for 25+ years, and their stories have taught me about myself, about God’s grace, and about life.

 One thing I’ve learned about storytelling is that it’s a gift, and for me, it’s a gift God gave me. And I can ignore it or refuse to talk about it, but how does that bring glory to Him? If He’s given me the gift to tell stories, then He’s also given me a story to tell. And I want as many people as possible to know about it, because maybe something I’ve written will encourage them or help them know God better. That’s the definition of success for me.

 And, heck, yeah. I read my stories for fun. Part of the joy of my writing process is that I’m not 100% in control of what my characters say or do. Sometimes—No, most times, they surprise me. They make me laugh, and I enjoy spending time with them and sharing their adventures.

 And if you’re not a writer, that sounds completely psycho. I know.

  CB) Right, but then we write (usually) because we love to read.

 The antagonist, Phoenix, starts off as one of those not too threatening villains that would never hurt a child and is just bad because it’s more fun. But by the end her true colors show and I believe that she is really evil. Was it important to you that readers see her as the bad guy, and not as someone they should root for?

 KM) Oh, Phoenix. I love Phoenix, but then I’ve always had a soft spot for the baddies. Phoenix Munroe is so very important. I wanted to present Phoenix as honestly as possible, because I truly believe that “bad guys” always have a motivation that matters to them. Sometimes they’re willing to do horrible things to accomplish their goals, but in their own minds, they’re justified. It’s important for readers to be able to judge Phoenix and her heart for themselves.

  CB) When I interviewed you about New Name you had quite the dream cast lined up. Who would you cast in a movie version of Meg Mitchell?

 KM) I have about 200 folders of images on my computer with reference images for the Lightkeepers cast. (It doesn’t help that the size of my cast makes Game of Thrones look like a short story.) Some characters are really easy to pick an actor or actress for. Others make it really difficult.

 I actually just did another interview on this blog tour that asked for a dream cast, so I’ll pick a few different characters than what I told her. Except for Meg. Meg’s the main character in the book, after all.

AylaKell-MegMitchell 

The best actress I’ve seen yet for Meg is a gal named Ayla Kell. As with most of the people I’ve picked, I chose her years and years ago, so as she is in 2017, she’s probably too old for Meg. But her photos from several years ago match Meg very closely.

 

ChristianMartyn-JimTaylor

 

 Most recently I stumbled onto a young actor named Christian Martyn who looks similar to Jim Taylor. He’s got the clean-cut, wholesome look, but give him some glasses, and I think he could pull the massive nerdiness off really well. 

 

 NecarZadegan-VelannaIttai

The actress I would pick for Velanna Ittai, Meg’s adoptive mother, is Necar Zadegan. I saw this woman act in two seasons of 24 and nearly came unglued when she walked on the screen, because she is Velanna. Absolutely crazy.

 

 FamkeJanssen-PhoenixMunroe

Finally, because you asked a question about her, Phoenix Munroe was a pretty easy pick. The actress Famke Janssen is perfect for her.

Someday soon I’m going to be doing blog posts on characters from Lightkeepers, so I’ll feature all my reference photos. Those will be fun!

 CB) Epic Cast. It’s too bad kids have to age. Maybe you should get cracking on that movie.

 If given the choice would you rather work as a Peregrine detective or train as an Andai Warrior? Bonus choice: Or would you rather commit crimes with Phoenix?

 KM) Oh, gosh…. That’s a tough question. I would have to say, I would love to train as an Andai Warrior, as long as I didn’t have to train with Meg’s teacher!! He’s brutal! But getting to learn an ancient martial art that uses energy sabers? That would be epic.

 Granted, being a Peregrine agent would be awesome too, but there’s a lot of politics in play there. And I am way too clumsy to keep up with Phoenix. I’d fall off a bridge during a getaway, and she’d leave me behind. That being said, I’d love to have coffee with her.

  CB) Now for the last but most important question: When can I get my hands on book two?

 KM) Fingers crossed, Book Two—Barb Taylor & the Mountain of Fire—should be available next year. I’m hoping for spring 2018! The super exciting news is that I’m releasing a web serial that ties into the Lightkeepers series. It will be available shortly after the first of the year. At least, that’s the plan. But you can watch my website or my publisher’s website for announcements!

acwilliams2015

Amy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Follow her on social media:  Website  — Facebook TwitterInstagram — Google Plus

I’ve been featuring a lot of books lately and I figure most of you would like to know what I thought after reading them.

So since Amy was the first of my FANtastic Interviews, I thought I’d use one of her books as the start of a new segment I’m calling: Dive In Reviews. Because I dive in and gush about all the parts I liked while trying very hard not to giveaway spoilers.

Dive in Review of Meg Mitchell and the secret of the Journal:

Meg Mitchell and the Secret of the Journal by: Kimberly McNeal, is the first book in what is sure to be an epic YA fantasy series.

I loved everything about it. It’s a science fiction, fantasy, adventure, mystery, superhero mash up. The writing is tight, the characters are intelligent and witty.

First we have the young heroes: Meg, Danny, and the youngest Jenny. Their sibling relationship is very believable. (As a sibling this is important to me.) These three live in a wonder-filled and dangerous fantasy land (One that we do not see nearly enough of). But they may still have family in our world. Once here they quickly find trouble in the form of a super criminal named Phoenix Munroe.

Pheniox is a failed detective, her last case was trying to track down the run away Mitchell kids. In her new life of crime, she likes to leave clues for two teenage detectives named Barb and Jim. (Where in the world could that have come from.)

Oh and there may also be vigilante samurai, secret assassin training, and mysterious Jedi storytellers. (But you didn’t hear that from me)

This book is non stop action and is chock full of Easter Egg hints to eighties and nineties nostalgia. Kids and adults alike will be entertained as the Mitchell kids cross worlds to prove that Family is everything.

The Legend of the Lightkeepers promises to be an enjoyable series with witty and complex characters. Not just a novel for children but for anyone who remembers getting up at six am on Saturdays just to see stories that your parents promised would rot your mind. They did anything but, right?

If Meg Mitchell was a cartoon, I would be up at six am on a Saturday just to see what happens next.

 

Meg Mitchell FB Banner

Calling all book readers! Join Laura A. Grace and A.C. Williams (pen name Kimberly McNeil) as we chat about her urban fantasy novel MEG MITCHELL & THE SECRET OF THE JOURNAL on November 2nd from 8 PM to 10 PM EST (7 PM CDT and 6 PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with A.C., games, and giveaways.

Special guests Kat Heckenbach and Kara Swanson will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun. 

And here’s the schedule so you don’t miss any posts in this epic tour:

Wednesday, November 1st   

–       Review & Interview – dolphin18cb (You are here)

Thursday, November 2nd  

–       Review & Guest Post – Thorn & Vine

–       Character Interview – Unicorn Quester

Friday, November 3rd  

–       Author Interview – Lands Uncharted

–       Fan-Made Book Trailer – Unicorn Quester

–       Author Interview – Welcome to Arhyalon

Saturday, November 4th  

–       Review – Live Life Reading

–       Review & Author Trivia – Of Pens & Paper

Monday, November 6th  

–       Review – It’s Storytime With Van Daniker!

–       Spotlight – The Hermit Librarian

–       Author Interview – Taneisha’s Book Blog & More

Tuesday, November 7th    

–       Author Interview – Jebraun Clifford ~ dream.write.repeat.

Wednesday, November 8th

–       Review – The Overactive Imagination

Thursday, November 9th

–       Blog Tour Wrap-Up – Unicorn Quester

Friday, November 10th

–       Review – Taneisha’s Book Blog & More

Once upon a Princess blog tour and a FANtastic interview.

Once Upon A Princess Blog Tour

Hello dear readers,

Today I am adding even more books to your reading pile, by introducing you to an entire series at once.

The good news: all of the books are available now, so you can binge read it all without waiting for the next one to release.

The better news: The first book, Beauty’s Curse, is a free ebook on all reading platforms. Get it here: Amazon // Barnes & Noble // Kobo // Google Play // iBooks

Don’t forget to add it on Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/28781837-beauty-s-curse

If free is not enough to tempt you, read this blurb:

About Once Upon A Princess Saga

“I have better things to do.” 
“Like what?” Rose asked. “Waste your life on a fool’s journey, under a silly girl’s orders?” 
“I have never considered saving your life to be the same as wasting mine, Rosary.” He came and stood in front of her, the ease of his presence replaced by an unusual heat rather than familiar warmth. Rose had never before been bothered by the six inches he stood taller than her, but all of a sudden the shadow of his strength imposed itself on her. 
The cursed beauty of the moonlight revealed the clarity and sharpness of his eyes as she gazed up at him. “What if you did waste your life though? What if?” 
“If I have wasted my life, I have wasted it on you. Willingly.” 

 For four years, Princess Aurora of Rhone—Rose to her friends—has searched the world for a way to break the curse placed on her by Magdalina, the wicked ruler of the fairies at war with her kingdom. Under the curse, Rose is doomed to die on her eighteenth birthday after pricking her finger on the spindle of a spinning wheel. And time is running out.

 On the eve of her seventeenth birthday, Rose makes the journey home with her friends—Theo, a priest with a penchant for revenge; Mary, a young and talented fairy; and Ethan and Sophia, siblings with a troubled past–as pressure from her father, King Stefanos, leaves her with two equally unsatisfying options: Abdicate the throne, or get married.

 Enjoy this novella series retelling of the Sleeping Beauty, with new characters, new plot twists, and plenty of action and adventure. Perfect for teen and young adult historical fantasy readers.

 Once Upon A Princess Saga

The series is four books: Beauty’s Curse, Beauty’s quest, Beauty’s Gift, and Beauty’s Kiss.

Want to participate in a treasure hunt?

 At the end of each book in this series is a special collectible clue. Collect all four books, and get all four special prizes, FREE!

***

To help celebrate the completion of her series, I asked C.S. Johnson some FANtastic questions:

Me: The Once Upon a Princess series is called a Historical Fantasy retelling of Sleeping Beauty. Can you define Historical Fantasy for us? What makes this version Historical?

 C.S: I tell people that this fairytale is set in between the historical European historical world with a few imaginary kingdoms thrown in. I have Greece and the Romani nations, and I have plenty of other references to history (Aragon, Gaul, etc.) but Rhone, Rose’s kingdom, is made up, and so are a few of the others. So you still have the socio-economic barriers of the Middle Ages, but you also have a mishmash of magical creatures, different species, and supernatural creatures. There are also issues with religion, politics, and social concerns just like there would be in real life. 

 If I had to put it on a map, I like to think it’s the part of land between Ireland and England the rest of Europe that’s now underwater. I think it’s a great way for all the fairy kingdoms and the pixies to hide their homes.

 Me: Good definition. Beauty’s Curse did have a very historical feel to it. And I like that idea of the faerie realm being underwater.

 How many versions of Sleeping Beauty did you research before deciding on how you wanted to tell your own story? Was there one you feel inspired you more than the others?

 C.S: I feel bad about this one, because I really only researched the Grimm fairy tale and the Disney version, and of course, the slap-dash post-modern nightmare that Disney made with Maleficent a few years ago. I hate things from all of them, to be honest. I especially hated how the princess is more or less at the mercy of other people’s choices from the very beginning. I don’t think any teenager princess would be willing to take that, no matter how charming and graceful and beautiful she is. 

 Me: Never feel bad for watching Disney movies. While we are on the subject of movies . . .

  If your series were made into a movie tomorrow, do you have a dream cast ready to give the director?

 C.S: I don’t really have a dream cast. I’m in love with my imagination, and I tend to live there for my entertainment needs more than I do here. 

 Me: Okay, I will let the director know, you prefer to use unknown actors. ;-D

 Your series features Fairies and magic, but it also has priests and Christians and scripture. How did you reconcile using these two seemingly different forces (God and magic) in the same story?

 C.S: This is a fairly consistent stance I have when it comes to faith. It says in the Bible that man is different from the Stars and Angels, and Jesus was unique in that he made himself like humans rather than the others. Angels have supernatural abilities and jobs, so I don’t see anything wrong with including angels, like Amalia, in my stories. I actually used the premise about the Stars for my fallen star superheroes in The Starlight Chronicles. It says in the Bible that humans are not meant to play with sorcery or consult with witches, and I really take this to mean that we, as humans, are not meant to play with or try to use magic. But for other creatures, especially magic and (so far as I know) imaginary ones?  I would see their magic as an innate trait, as Mary says, and like any ability, it would have limitations and rules placed on them by God and reinforced by their consciences. Of course, they would be fallen creatures, as we are, and they live in a fallen world, as we do, so they would have mostly-good and mostly-bad characters, same as humans do, because we are capable of both. I don’t see the two forces as competing forces, in the end; for me, God would have had to have designed them and granted them that free will and ability.  

 Me: I love that answer. And I have always been fascinated with the idea of stars as beings, more than just superheated balls of burning gas.

 Beauty’s Curse makes reference to at least one other classic fairy tale. If you could live the life of a Fairy Tale Princess, which one would you pick?

 C.S: If I could pick one, it would probably be “Beauty & the Beast.” I love love-hate stories. They’re really so good because they have a better understanding that people are at odds with other people, and when people come together, they become better people. I’m a very strong believer that love makes you a better person, even if it’s painful. Especially if it’s painful.

  Me: The perfect answer. I also adore all things Beauty and the Beast. Which begs a question. . .

 Now that Rose’s story is finished, are you planning on tackling any other fairy tales?

 C.S: I like fairy tales, I really do. I like the simple truth of their stories. I like that good and evil are brought out into more obvious terms, and I like that there is a lot of hope and redemption through courage and honor. But I don’t think I’d like to rewrite any other specific ones. Writing this one started out on a half-dare, from my students in my English class, when I explained how much I didn’t like Sleeping Beauty that much as a story. 

 I will say I’m still going to write them, but I like to borrow different elements from them and try to come up with my own scenarios. For example, Eydis: The Island of the Dragon Bride, is my latest novella, and it borrows things from the Atlantis myth, dragon myths, the traditional ‘damsel-princess-in-distress’ trope, and parts of Icelandic and Bermuda folklore. Ultimately, I like to ask my audience difficult questions—about faith, about life, about reality and how we can really know things—and I find fantasy and fairy tales are very lulling ways to do this without getting people angry (or angrier, in some cases.)

 Me: I love that you want to write original stories. Rose’s story was definitely the most original retelling of sleeping beauty I have ever read. Thank you for taking the time to share with my readers about your series.

 ***

CS Johnson             About the Author

C. S. Johnson is the author of several young adult novels, including sci-fi and fantasy adventures such as the Starlight Chronicles series, the Once Upon a Princess saga, and the Divine Space Pirates trilogy. With a gift for sarcasm and an apologetic heart, she currently lives in Atlanta with her family. Find out more at http://www.csjohnson.me.

 Website // Newsletter // Facebook // Twitter // Instagram // Pinterest // Google Plus 

 

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, September 25th

Book Spotlight – The Twirling Book Princess

 Tuesday, September 26th

– Book Spotlight – Michaela Mills

 Wednesday, September 27th

– FANtastic Interview –You are here

 Thursday, September 28th

– Book Review – Amanda’s Books and More

 Friday, September 29th

– Author Interview – Aconite Cafe

 Saturday, September 30th

– Book Review – Rachel Poli – I read. I write. I create.

Author Interview – Official Blog of Shannon A. Hiner

 Monday, October 2nd

– Author Interview – Liv K. Fisher

– Review – Mom with a Reading Problem

 Tuesday, October 3rd

– Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

 Wednesday, October 4th

Book Review – A Book A Day

– Review – Zernia Blossom’s Books

– Author Interview – So Few Books

 Thursday, October 5th

Book Review – True YA Book Blogger

 Friday, October 6th

– Author Interview – Lands Uncharted

Book Spotlight – Rachel Lopez

Once Upon A Princess FB Party Banner – FACEBOOK PARTY – 8:30PM EST

 Saturday, October 7th

– Book Review – Rachel Poli – I read. I write. I create.

– Book Review – Official Blog of Shannon A. Hiner

 Monday, October 9th

– Wrap-Up Post – Unicorn Quester

FANtastic Interview with Kristen Stieffel

Many of you reading this, may have heard me mention a writers conference called Realm Makers. At this conference I have met many author and have had the opportunity to learn from them. One of these authors is Kristen Stieffel and she is getting ready to release her first novel, Alara’s Call:

Alaras-Call-Kindle

****

Tales are often told of heroes who fulfill ancient prophecies. Alara’s Call is the tale of a woman who gives new ones.

Alara sees visions of other’s futures, but never her own.

A young clergywoman with a fiery passion for her Telshan faith, she has been assigned to a mission abroad but longs to lead a congregation in her homeland. Her father, the prime minister, jeopardizes her dream and her safety when he coerces her into what he calls a diplomatic mission.

But it’s a ruse.

The trip is meant to end with her marriage to the crown prince of a foreign nation, where members of Alara’s faith are persecuted and women oppressed. All for a trade agreement her father is desperate to enact.

But her mentor intervenes and takes Alara to Dorrel, the suitor she left behind. They believe they are safe, but foreign soldiers are under orders to bring Alara to the king’s palace…by any means necessary.

****

To help Kristen celebrate I am participating in a blog tour for Alara’s Call. And to help you understand why you need to read this book, I have invited Kristen over for one of my FANtastic interviews:

C: Naturally, Alara’s Call takes place in a fictional world, but the fictional religion, Telshanism, is very similar to Christianity. They have many theological elements in common and the dramatized worship services are familiar. So my question is, What was the story benefit of creating Telshanism rather than just using Christianity? Was it to avoid Historical comparisons?

 K: Actually, I’m all for historical comparisons!

I definitely modeled Telshanism closely on Christianity, quite deliberately. At one point I even considered writing the story as an alternate history rather than as a secondary world fantasy, but too many things had to change in order to set up all the culture clashes I wanted, to it was easier to just go the fantasy route. Since my story isn’t set in the real world, I thought it would be inappropriate to use a real religion.

C: It is easy to see the similarities between Telshan and Christianity, but with one big exception. What prompted you to make the Trinity female? Was it to help highlight the misogyny of the Makutian culture?

 K: It’s more like the misogyny of the Makutian culture was put there to contrast the equality of the Glynrellan culture.

One of my main goals was to explore what a truly equal society would look like. But here’s the problem: In our own actual Christianity we have a verse that says “There is no longer Jew or Greek, there is no longer slave or free, there is no longer male and female; for all of you are one in Christ Jesus” (Galatians 3:28 NRSV). Yet we don’t actually behave as if that were true.

From the second century onward, women were marginalized and excluded from church leadership. One of the main arguments used against female church leadership has been that Jesus and all his disciples were men. Never mind that the first person to share the good news “He is risen” was a woman.

What would need to be in place for women to not be marginalized? Well, what if the deity were female? But an all-female trinity could possibly lead to the marginalization of men, which isn’t what I wanted.

Many people even now like to refer to the Holy Spirit as “she,” because doing so helps us to acknowledge the feminine nature of God — who must have a feminine nature because both male and female are created in God’s image.

So I took that interpretation of the Trinity and flipped it, so that instead of Father, Son, and a Spirit some people address as feminine, I have a feminine creator, a feminine Redeemer, and a masculine Counselor. This allows me to explore ideas in the fantasy realm that I couldn’t do if I had exported literal Christianity to the fantasy storyworld.

C: Alara is a Curate in her religion, basically a priest or a pastor, but she is also a prophet. Do you believe that God still uses Prophets today? Do we just not notice them?

 K: I don’t see anything in Scripture that says any of the spiritual gifts have stopped operating in the church, so yes, I believe there are still those who have the gift of prophecy. In many mainline traditions, we tend to look the other way or write people with this gift off as cranks. I think we do so at our own peril. Scripture says we will know a prophet by whether what they say comes to pass. So we need to pay attention, if only to determine whether the speaker is speaking for the Lord or is being presumptuous.

 You may say to yourself, “How can we recognize a word that the Lord has not spoken?” If a prophet speaks in the name of the Lord but the thing does not take place or prove true, it is a word that the Lord has not spoken. The prophet has spoken it presumptuously; do not be frightened by it. (Deuteronomy 18:21-22 NRSV)

 Frederick Buechner, in his book Wishful Thinking, says, “Prophet means spokesman, not fortune-teller.” I think this is important to remember, because even in Scripture we often see that the prophets are not only predicting the future, they are also teaching the people of God what they need to hear. Whether they want to hear it or not.

At a meeting of the Central Florida Presbytery, we once had a guest speaker who gave a stirring talk on the church’s role in combating violence in our culture. I was only mildly surprised afterward to hear my pastor refer to the talk as “prophetic.” The speaker hadn’t made any predictions, but he had called the church to action. That’s the kind of thing I think of in our current day when I think of prophets.

C: I love this definition of Prophet, and after reading Alara’s Call I can see how you used it to shape her character.

Speaking of characters, the character descriptions are so clear I can easily picture them in my mind. Did you compile a dream cast for Alara’s Call to base the descriptions on? If yes can you share pictures?

 K: Oh, my. I have such vivid pictures in my head, I could never entirely choose actors to play the roles. No one ever had precisely the right look. Except for General Rariden. He has always been Harrison Ford

.Harrison Ford

I’ve lately decided that Jenna Coleman could probably pull off the role of Alara,

Jenna Coleman

and Diego Luna would pass for Dorrel.

Diego Lune

But — and I realize I show my age — my favorite actor to play Dorrel would have been the late, great Roger Rees.

roger-rees-nypl-promo

I have a Pinterest board for Alara’s Call if you want to see more.

https://www.pinterest.com/kristenstieffel/alaras-call/

C: Yes, I love these choices. When you get that big movie deal, push really hard for this casting.

In Alara’s world, they use medieval technology. But I also got a Renaissance almost Regency feel, no doubt inspired by the beautiful cover art. Was there any one historical period that inspired the world of Alara’s Call?

 K: The main inspiration is nineteenth-century Europe, with all the small countries close together and interrelated royal families and court intrigues. The main departure from nineteenth-century technology is that my storyworld doesn’t have black powder, so there are no firearms or explosives. So the armaments are at more of a medieval level. But in all other ways, the world is meant to have more of a Regency/early Victorian feel.

C: If you could take one element from your world building to bring into the real world what would it be?

K: That’s an interesting question, because everything in the storyworld—other than the Telshan trinity—does exist in the real world, or (in the case of some of the manifestations of characters’ specific gifts) is described in Scripture. I guess if I were going to pick one thing from the storyworld that I wish we did as well in the real world, it would be the Glynrellan culture of equality. America has a fairly egalitarian culture, but we still have lots of room for improvement.

 Thank you for coming Kristen and sharing about your novel.

 Kristen-Stieffel-Headshot Kristen Stieffel is a freelance editor and writer who specializes in speculative fiction. Although she edits projects in varied genres for both the general market and the Christian submarket, she is a novelist at heart. Member of the Editorial Freelancers Association and Christian Editor Connection, mentor with Word Weavers International, and on the planning committee for Realm Makers, Kristen stays busy doing what she loves most. She is also the associate editor of Havok, a flash-fiction magazine focused on science fiction and fantasy. Visit http://www.kristenstieffel.com to learn more about this many-faceted author.

Follow Kristen on Social media:

Kristen’s WebsiteHer BlogAmazon Author pageFacebookTwitter, and Goodreads.

Don’t forget to add Alara’s call to your to read list:

Alara’s Call releases September 19th. Pre-order it here.

Don’t forget to check out the rest of the tour:

M, 11th: Review, Gretchen Engel,  www.scriblerians.com/www.newauthors.wordpress.com

            Interview, Catherine Bonham, You are Here

T, 12th: Visual Post, Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com

W, 13th: Review, Kate Jameson, www.kategjameson.wordpress.com

            Review, Anna Tan, www.blog.annatsp.com

R, 14th: Guest Post, Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com

            Interview, J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com

F, 15th: Story World Feature, Travis Perry, www.travisbigidea.blogspot.com

            Visual Post, Liv Fisher, www.livkfisher.blogspot.com

Sa, 16th: Top 3 Post, Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com

Su, 17th: Behind the Scenes, Steve Rzasa, www.steverzasa.com

M, 18th: Review, Laurin Boyle, www.laurinboyle.wordpress.com

T, 19th: Behind the Scenes, Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com

W, 20th: Guest Post, Gillian Bronte Adams, www.gillianbronteadams.com

R, 21st: Review, Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com

F, 22nd: Guest Post, Rebecca LuElla Miller, www.rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com

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