Monday, January 28, 2013

BLOG TOUR GUEST POST: A Cast of Stones by Patrick Carr

On Tour with Prism Book Tours
SEE MY REVIEW OF THIS AWESOME BOOK HERE.

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)A Cast of Stones
by Patrick Carr
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication: February 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers

Premise:

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom. 

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.



Available 2/1/13:


About the Author:


Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Awards: ACFW Genesis Competition 2010 Finalist for “A Cast of Stones” in Speculative Fiction.

Find & Follow:


GUEST POST



The clergy.

Creation:

When I first started the research for “A Cast of Stones” I’d planned on making the story an alternate-history of 14thcentury Europe. I purposely chose a time period that was prior to the Reformation because I couldn’t include that scope of chaos and conflict within the parameters of a reasonable word count. My writer’s group had coached me, rightly, that as a new author few publishers would be willing to let me run wild for anything over 150k words.

I later rejected the idea of an alternate history, but I kept quite a bit of the parameters of the time period. One of those was to use a powerful, somewhat monolithic church. I put a fair amount of research into the organization of the Roman Catholic church at that point. There was a built in mythos there that I knew quite a few of my readers would connect with; the intrigue, the power struggles, and the efforts of individuals to change some of the doctrine.

For simplicity sake, I kept my church hierarchy to three levels (the Roman Catholic church is far more complicated). The archbenefice is the head, but operates more on the basis of a first-among-equals rather than as an absolute ruler. Beneath him are the rest of the benefices, men who are attached to a specific geographic region and oversee a number of parish priests. I decided to name the collection of benefices the judica. In Latin, judica means judge. So the catch phrase of the benefices became “Judica me Deas” which would be the equivalent of “Judge me, O Lord.”


Tour-Wide Giveaway:

Grand Prize (USA & Canada):  Print copy of entire series of three books (#2 & #3 as they are published) + A Cast of Stones Mug + Lend your name to a character in book #3!!

2nd Prize (USA & Canada): Print copy of A Cast of Stones

International Entries: eCopy of A Cast of Stones




Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and sponsored by Bethany House & the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.


a Rafflecopter giveaway



Only on this Tour... the author shares the Creation, his Goals, some Visuals and Excerpts on each of these mini-themes:

The Herbwomen of secret lore
The World of The Staff & the Sword
The Readers of the cast lots
The Watchmen, elite warriors
The Clergy of power



Catch the entire Tour!!

LAUNCH-DAY BLAST! 
1/23 - Backing Books - Herbwomen
1/24 – Christian NovelsReviewWorld
1/25 – I Am a Reader, Not a WriterReaders

1/27 – Reads to ReelsWatchmen
1/28 – LDS & Lovin’ It - Clergy
1/29 – Proud Book Nerd - World
1/30 – Open the Page - Herbwomen
1/31 – Wonderings of One PersonReview - Readers
2/1 – RELEASE-DAY BLAST! 

2/3 – Simple Wyrdings - Watchmen
2/4 – Bookworm Lisa – Review – Clergy
2/5 – Passion & LifeReaders
2/6 – Kari’s Crowded Bookshelf – Review Herbwomen
2/7 – Coffee, Books & Me - Readers
2/8 – Backing Books – Review – World

2/10 – Letters to the Cosmos - Watchmen
2/11 – Jill WilliamsonReview – Clergy
2/12 – ADD Librarian Herbwomen
2/13 – Worthy 2 ReadReviewWatchmen
2/14 – Hey, Tara!World
2/15 – Pieces of WhimsyReview - Readers

2/17 – CTF DevourerReviewClergy
2/18 – Pause Time - Readers
2/19 – A Backwards StoryReviewWorld
2/19 - Christy’s Cozy CornerHerbwomen
2/20 – Min Reads & ReviewsReview Watchmen
2/21 – FINALE BLAST, Winner announced

Thursday, January 24, 2013

BLOG TOUR: Starflower by Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Tour Schedule



When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?
 

Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.


REVIEW

I loved this book!  I found it very thought-provoking.  The author has done an excellent job in terms of characters, setting, and theme.  Interestingly, while I felt an immediate sympathy for Starflower, one of the main characters, in her trouble, I had a hard time liking Eanrin at first.  As the bard for Queen Bebo and King Iubdan at Rudiobus, the immortal realm, he is tall, slender, and very talented as well as immortal.  But he is also egotistical and selfish.  He really loves no one because he doesn't want to feel the pain that accompanies that emotion.  But when Lady Gleamdren is kidnapped by a dragonwitch, he determines that he is the one to rescue her.  When he stumbles across Starflower though it throws off all his plans.  Isn't that just like life. And as he and Starflower journey together, he starts to wonder which is the true freedom.  Freedom from pain and sorrow or freedom of love and commitment? Where will their choices lead them?

The atmosphere that the author creates adds greatly to the intensity of the book.  I found myself reading this slower than I expected, just because I stopped to think about the characters and the choices that put them into the circumstances in which they found themselves.   What was the right choice? Was there a right choice?  Also, Stengl writing is so beautiful, it is meant to be savored, not rushed. If you enjoy thought-provoking, intense reads with a distinct Christian feel to it I highly recommend this one. I look forward to reading the rest of the series.





BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: A Cast of Stones by Patrick W. Carr

 

An Epic Medieval Saga Fantasy Readers Will Love

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom.

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.

  
Purchase


Author Patrick W. Carr

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Website * Facebook

REVIEW
Oh, I loved this book! It has everything one could want, great characters, plenty of excitement, a great setting, and lots of twists and turns.  Interestingly, the main character, Errol won me over immediately, despite his drunkenness and the fact that he clearly expected nothing from life except  pain and another chance to get drunk.  I knew right off that Errol had suffered a devastating loss that he couldn't deal with and it had driven him to become addicted to ale.  I appreciated how realistic this was, he was unable to stop right off the bat.  But despite his seeming hopelessness he continued to fight to survive.  I also liked the other characters, Cruk, the tough former Captain of the watch, Martin, the rotund priest, Luis, the mysterious reader of lots, and Liam, the seemingly perfect young man that the others would do anything to protect. 

As far as plot goes, someone tries to kill Errol in the first chapter, so the action starts with a bang and it doesn't let up.  I enjoyed how the author slowly filled in the pieces of the puzzle as Errol learned things.  The reader doesn't know any more than he does, but it is clear from the beginning that Errol has a much more important role to play than any of them think, including himself.  I enjoyed watching Errol grow stronger and learn to stand on his own feet throughout the book while his faith in his friends and his God increase as well.  There is a great deal of religion in the book (it is Christian fantasy after all), but it doesn't overwhelm the story at all, at least I didn't feel like it did.  Both 'good' religion (sincere beliefs and practices that help others rather than harm) and 'bad' religion (evil beliefs and practices that harm oneself and others) are portrayed, but also prejudices fair and otherwise make a strong appearance.

I can't recommend this book high enough if you love a strong story with characters you can't help but love or hate. I can't wait to read the coming sequel (not until July, boo hoo.)





Blog Tour Giveaway

$10 Amazon Gift Card or Paypal Cash
Ends 1/31/13

Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use an Amazon.com Gift Code or Paypal Cash. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader, Not A Writer http://iamareadernotawriter.blogspot.com and sponsored by the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

A Cast of Stones Blitz


On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Only on this Tour... the author shares the Creation, his Goals, some Visuals and Excerpts on each of these mini-themes:
The Herbwomen of secret lore
The World of The Staff & the Sword
The Readers of the cast lots
The Watchmen, elite warriors
The Clergy of power

See the Tour below to catch all the great Guest Posts and Reviews!!

A Cast of Stones (The Staff and the Sword, #1)A Cast of Stones
by Patrick Carr
Paperback, 400 pages
Expected Publication: February 1st 2013 by Bethany House Publishers

Premise:

In the backwater village of Callowford, Errol Stone's search for a drink is interrupted by a church messenger who arrives with urgent missives for the hermit priest in the hills. Desperate for coin, Errol volunteers to deliver them but soon finds himself hunted by deadly assassins. Forced to flee with the priest and a small band of travelers, Errol soon learns he's joined a quest that could change the fate of his kingdom. 

Protected for millennia by the heirs of the first king, the kingdom's dynasty is near an end and a new king must be selected. As tension and danger mount, Errol must leave behind his drunkenness and grief, learn to fight, and come to know his God in order to survive a journey to discover his destiny.


Available 2/1/13:
About the Author:

Patrick Carr was born on an Air Force base in West Germany at the height of the cold war. He has been told this was not his fault. As an Air Force brat, he experienced a change in locale every three years until his father retired to Tennessee. Patrick saw more of the world on his own through a varied and somewhat eclectic education and work history. He graduated from Georgia Tech in 1984 and has worked as a draftsman at a nuclear plant, did design work for the Air Force, worked for a printing company, and consulted as an engineer. Patrick’s day gig for the last five years has been teaching high school math in Nashville, TN. He currently makes his home in Nashville with his wonderfully patient wife, Mary, and four sons he thinks are amazing: Patrick, Connor, Daniel, and Ethan. Sometime in the future he would like to be a jazz pianist. Patrick thinks writing about himself in the third person is kind of weird.

Awards: ACFW Genesis Competition 2010 Finalist for “A Cast of Stones” in Speculative Fiction.

Find & Follow:
Tour-Wide Giveaway

Grand Prize (USA & Canada):  Print copy of entire series of three books (#2 & #3 as they are published) + A Cast of Stones Mug + Lend your name to a character in book #3!!

2nd Prize (USA & Canada): Print copy of A Cast of Stones

International: eCopy of A Cast of Stones



Open only to those who can legally enter. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by Rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and the winner will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Burgandy Ice @ Colorimetry and sponsored by Bethany House & the author. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Catch the entire Tour!!

LAUNCH-DAY BLAST! 
1/23 - Backing Books - Herbwomen
1/24 – Christian NovelsReviewWorld
1/25 – I Am a Reader, Not a WriterReaders
1/27 – Reads to ReelsWatchmen
1/28 – LDS & Lovin’ It - Clergy
1/29 – Proud Book Nerd - World
1/30 – Open the Page - Herbwomen
1/31 – Wonderings of One PersonReview - Readers
2/1 – RELEASE-DAY BLAST! 
2/3 – Simple Wyrdings - Watchmen
2/4 – Bookworm Lisa – Review – Clergy
2/5 – Passion & LifeReaders
2/6 – Kari’s Crowded Bookshelf – Review Herbwomen
2/7 – Coffee, Books & Me - Readers
2/8 – Backing Books – Review – World
2/10 – Letters to the Cosmos - Watchmen
2/11 – Jill WilliamsonReview – Clergy
2/12 – ADD Librarian Herbwomen
2/13 – Worthy 2 ReadReviewWatchmen 2/14 – Hey, Tara!World
2/15 – Pieces of WhimsyReview - Readers
2/17 – CTF DevourerReviewClergy
2/18 – Pause Time -Readers
2/19 – A Backwards StoryReviewWorld
2/19 - Christy’s Cozy CornerHerbwomen
2/20 – Min Reads & ReviewsReview Watchmen
2/21 – FINALE BLAST, Winner announced

Monday, January 21, 2013

BLOG TOUR and GIVEAWAY: Make it Happen: A Guide to Happiness for LDS Singles by Kylee Shields


ABOUT THE BOOK

Do you know what it means to be a kigatsuku person? Are you currently in a “hurricane” relationship or a “bridge” relationship? Do you know what it takes to be “righteous in the dark”? Have you struggled to find your place in the world as an LDS single? Do you feel like a misfit or a menace—like a circle trying to fit into a square?

 
If so, you’re not alone. It used to be an anomaly to be twenty-one and single in the LDS culture, but now there are entire stakes filled with single adults. In this book, author Kylee Shields explains how you can make the most of your single life, even if your current situation isn’t what you expected.


Make It Happen is a collection of principles, blog entries, stories, and conversations had on couches, floors, kitchen tables, and at many single-adult gatherings. It is filled with practical ways to make changes in your life, find hope, increase faith, strengthen relationships, and build the kingdom.

REVIEW

As an LDS single I was very interested in reading this book. Not that I'm not happy in my life, but that there is always room for improvement and it's always nice to relate to others like myself.  I found much of value in this book.  I enjoyed the personal experiences Kylee used to make her points and I appreciated the great advice she has for those who like her are members of the LDS faith and still unmarried.  For those who are unaware, marriage and family are an important part of the LDS (Mormon) faith.  However, as Kylee points out, God loves all of his children equally and everyone, single or married has a place in the church.

 I cheered when she pointed out that just because things haven't worked out the way one might want, doesn't mean that one can't be happy. I liked the title and it's implication that happiness is something that can be actively sought and found regardless of one's marital status.  She talks about many things including dating, setting and achieving goals, healthy relationships, and ways to handle adversity. While specially directed to LDS singles, the things Shields talks about relate to anyone, religious or not. I highly recommend this book to those who enjoy inspirational nonfiction, or stories about an individual's life journey.



ABOUT THE AUTHOR




“My name is Kylee and I am passionate about life. I am the oldest of 8 children and have the most amazing parents ever. I have one adorable niece and one adorable & squishy nephew. I grew up in Oregon, moved my senior year of high school to Utah, then moved to San Diego, Boston, and currently live in Arizona.




"I went to BYU and got my BA in English (creative writing/Editing) and a minor in Linguistics. I love words and writing! There is something very powerful in putting words together and expressing human emotions. I love poetry, reading great novels, blogging, etc. I have an old typewriter I adore and like to type out letters now and again and seal them with wax. I am an author and avid reader. I love learning new words and can trace that back to my mom who has the most amazing vocabulary.




"I also attended ASU and got my Masters in Social Work (emphasis in child & family therapy). I have always been drawn to the "punk kids" and absolutely love my job. I work as a Shadow (family therapist) at The Anasazi Foundation. I get to do therapy with amazing adolescents out in the deserts of Arizona. My office is on the trail and I get to throw rocks, hear hearts, and get to know some incredible kids from all over. Not bad for a day job!




"When I am not with my family, hanging out with my friends, or working I absolutely love to travel. I have been to Egypt, Ghana, Italy, Mexico, Canada, Ireland, Scotland, and almost all 50 of the states. I love music--singing, writing songs, playing the piano, and listening to other musicians. I co founded a Musical Fireside group that is in the process of becoming a non-profit. I have loved watching INSPIRE: music. service.hope grow and touch the hearts of those who hear us sing.


"I am a huge Avengers fan (Captain America), I like straws, bridges, swinging on swings, and trains.
I love God and try to recognize His presence in my life. For Him I am indebted for my many blessings and tender mercies. All that I have and am is because of Him.”


Social Networking Links:
Purchase Links:

INTERVIEW


What is the "story behind the story?"   

haha this book is my story. What you read is me. the other day a friend of mine I haven’t seen or talked to in a LONG time said, “When I was reading your book Kylee I felt like you were sitting there on the couch in my living room next to me.” That made me smile b/c I wanted my book to be approachable, honest, raw, and something that would inspire action of some kind. The story behind the story is a girl who is still trying my best to navigate the LDS singles scene, live the questions, and make it happen in my life.

What did you learn while writing the book?  

I learned a lot about patience, timing, about how some of the moments in my life were just for me and led me to where I am today. I learned that God is aware of me and what others might need to hear. I learned a lot about empathy, listening, editing, vulnerability, how to say a lot with a few words, how to get out of my way.  And I learned that God is deeply in the details!

What piece of advice that you give in the book do you think is the most important and why?  

It might just be a reflection of where I am currently in my life but the chapter that seems to resonate with me the most and that I seem to go to regularly when I get asked to share excerpts from my book is the chapter called, “Wolf’s Law” (Chapter 10 p.111) In that chapter is I talk about trials, being righteous in the dark, feeling after God—even, am most importantly—when we feel forsaken, and how to live the law of undulation.

What are you currently working on, writing-wise?  

I am currently working on a YA fiction novel about grief, love, friendships, family, bucket lists, redemption, hope, heartache, and how healing hurts.

If you could go anywhere in the world, where would you go and what would you do there? 

For some reason I have this tugging in my heart to go to Thailand. I want to ride on an elephant, wrap myself up in colorful silks, eat tons of Thai food, and left a love note in a random place where someone can find it years later.

GIVEAWAY

As part of the tour, Kylee is offering 4 amazing giveaways!! These include a $25 gift card to Amazon, a $25 gift card to Target, and a hard copy and ebook copy of the book.

To enter to win these prizes, simply fill out the Rafflecopter form provided. (Each tour stop will have the same Rafflecopter form).
  • Open from January 8 to January 31.
  • Must be 13+ years of age to enter


Earn entries by doing any/all of the following:


a Rafflecopter giveaway
 
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