A themed tour with Prism Book Tours.

We’re launching the BOOK TOUR for
By Alethea Kontis

Did you miss any of the magical posts and reviews for this tour?
Go check them out now! You can also grab the 20th Chapter of Dearest, 
not previously released, on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.
Lilac Reviews – Tips for Writing a Series
The Arilland Easter Egg Page: I’ve always been a big fan of DVD extras, so I created a page on my website where I list handy links to essays, videos, stories, articles and the like that are some how connected to the series. You can find it here: http://aletheakontis.com/about/arilland
Wishful Endings – The Wild Swans Rant
“The Wild Swans”, along with “The Little Mermaid” and “The Little Match Girl” has always been one of my favorite stories by Hans Christian Andersen. (It’s also, notably, one of the only HCA stories in which the main characters DON’T DIE.)

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

The Book Lovers’ Lounge – Review
I would still recommend this book to anyone who loves their fairy tales and romance books.

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

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

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

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

Gidget Girls Reading – Spotlight
Wonderful addition to the Woodcutter Sisters series! Dearest is sure to capture the reader and keep them wanting more.

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

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

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

Welcome to Book City – Interview

What is your favorite fairy tale?

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

Angela’s Library – Q&A

Dearest is based in part on “The Wild Swans” by Hans Christian Andersen and “The Goose Girl” by the Brothers Grimm. How are both of these tales referenced in Dearest?
I reread “The Wild Swans” again before I started writing Dearest — it’s amazing how much detail that story goes into. Elisa has 11 brothers who are cursed into swans by a wicked sorceress stepmother who quickly turns the king’s heart against his children. She also tries to curse Elisa, but her heart is so pure that the sorceress is forced to make Elisa physically ugly to serve her purpose…

Kelly P’s Blog – A Weave of Words Fairy Tale Rant Intro
The book, out of print now (but still fairly easy to acquire), is about a lazy prince and a weaver’s daughter. In order to win her heart, the prince learns to read and write and weave. In return, the weaver’s daughter learns to ride a horse and fight with a sword.

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

Jan Edwards – Q&A
What are you up to next?
This year I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome(another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!

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

A Backwards Story – I Dedicate This Post To You (Review HERE)
One of my favorite parts of a book is the dedication. Before the interwebs, a dedication—because there wasn’t always an acknowledgements section or author’s note, especially in fiction—was the closest a reader came to knowing the author as a person.

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

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

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

Biggest Literary Crushes post on @ Teen Reads

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

My Life Loves and Passion – Review
To start with I LOVED this cover. It was just so beautiful. . . . I just loved how this story started. It was so magical. I really loved just everything about this book!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Miss Little Book Addict YA House of Books – Review
“World building and humor in DEAREST was nicely done. Alethea also gets major points for taking such well know fairy tales and making them her own…”

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

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

Deal Sharing Aunt – Interview
Where do you get your information or ideas?
I get information from everywhere–people, when I can find them, books, when I have them close at hand, and the internet, when I need something simple to move the story forward, like the anatomy and habits of a swan.

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

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

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

The Scribbling Sprite – Interview
6. Any plans for future books you can share with us?
In the next six months, I will be publishing Diary of a Mad Scientist Garden Gnome (another illustrated collaboration with Janet K. Lee), Trixter (a Woodcutter novella), and a trilogy of short contemporary romance novels set in a small beach town in central Florida. I’m very excited about all of them!

A Backwards Story – The Missing Last Chapter of Dearest
Alethea talks about Dearest being short one chapter and that you can now read the final chapter.

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

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

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

AmazonBarnes & NobleBook Depository – Indie Bound – Powell’s

The Other Woodcutter Sisters Books
 Hero (Woodcutter Sisters #2)
Links for Enchanted
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble
Book DepositoryIndie BoundPowell’s
Links for Hero
GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & Noble
Book DepositoryIndie BoundPowell’s
Alethea Kontis courtesy of Lumos Studio 2012

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

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

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

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

WebsiteGoodreadsFacebookTwitter – YouTube – TumblrInstagramPinterest

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Ends March 8th
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Discerning Truth in a World Filled with LiesBy Ron Leonard
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About the Book:

Are you tired of being lied to? Not sure you can trust anyone outside your immediate family (and you’re even keeping a close eye on them)? Do you hate it when you discover that you’ve fallen for a lie? Then you’re in the right place. This book is dedicated to the belief that the truth can be found and is worth any price. The author shares insights and anecdotes from his various adventures in spotting lies everywhere from our culture to our co-workers. Whether the lies come to you from advertisers, journalists, politicians, economists, friends, or even the church pulpit, this book will teach you how to question and counter the avalanche of lies you experience every day. Additional case studies are presented that tie together the various concepts in easily understood vignettes. A bonus section shares insights on truths learned from counseling with real-live individuals and couples. Key points are highlighted by personal stories from the author’s life. Available on Amazon, Kindle, and Smashwords or signed copies are available at www.truthorcounseling.com.


Ron LeonardThe author is a Christian therapist, MBA, and Mensa member. He has been married 25 years and has two, yes two, teenagers. After spending four years writing this book he swore not to think about writing another one for many years. Three months later, he has the rough outlines of a fiction book with two heroes, one of whom has schizophrenia.  

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Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Jaye L. Knight
Title of book and/or series: Ilyon Chronicles
Brief summary of the story:
Resistance (Book 1)When a cunning emperor threatens the lives of any who refuse to worship his false gods, a half-blood haunted by his bloodstained past and a young woman with a perfect memory must overcome their own fears and conflicts with society as they become part of the resistance.
The King’s Scrolls (Book 2) – When a group of mysterious, dragon-riding cretes arrive seeking aid in a dire mission, those in Landale must face impossible odds and a series of tragedies to try to rescue a teacher of Elôm and the last known copies of the King’s Scrolls.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Ilyon is comprised of five different countries, Arcacia being the largest. The mainland is a heavily forested continent with three major mountain ranges. To the southwest is the smaller island country of Arda. Ilyon has a strong medieval Europe feel to it, but I pulled a lot of inspiration from other cultures and times such as Ancient Rome, Greece, Vikings, and Native American. While there are a few of notable differences such as having dragons and two moons, Ilyon is very similar to our world.

If we were to visit Ilyon as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Valcré, the capital city of Arcacia, would be perfect for anyone who isn’t much of an outdoorsy type and isn’t interested in roughing it. The city is very large and has much to see in the way of libraries, art galleries, and the amazing Auréa Palace. Now, if you do enjoy the outdoors, I would definitely encourage a trip to the forests of Dorland where the cretes live. The trees there grow an astonishing 300 to 400 feet tall, and it is in these trees that the cretes build their cities. If you happen to love tree houses, their lifestyle is definitely for you, though they tend to be a rather aloof people, so don’t count on a particularly warm welcome.
What dangers should we avoid in Ilyon?
You’ll probably want to avoid the Krell Mountains on Ilyon’s southern shore as they are inhabited by cave drakes. Though these dragon-like beasts stick to their caves during the day, you have to be wary at night. They don’t breathe fire like the dragons from the mountains in Dorland, but they are very large and fierce. They aren’t very graceful, especially when flying, but they have been known to destroy villages built too close to the mountains.
You certainly wouldn’t want to travel far to the southeast into Wildmor either. Those deep forests are home to the ryrik people. They’ll attack anyone who isn’t a ryrik. Unless you’re part of a very skilled group of warriors, chances are very slim that you’d survive.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Ilyon?
Pickerins, a type of large wild hog, are very good eating. They are plentiful throughout most of Arcacia, Dorland, and Wildmor. The boars, however, are quite dangerous, so many people don’t attempt to hunt them without a large group. To the north, black deer is a staple food in the country of Samara. If prepared right, it is very tender and savory.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Ilyon?
Swords are a very common weapon. Most young men are trained to use them, at least moderately well. Bows are also common. Though it is frowned upon in Arcacia for women to use swords, many women in higher society are taught self-defense, which can include using a quarterstaff.
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Ilyon?
Horses are the main mode of transportation in Ilyon. You can also take ships along the coast. The cretes who live in Dorland ride dragons, which are the lifeblood of their people. Dragons used to be more common in Arcacia, but the cretes are the only people with the skills to train a dragon and they haven’t had dealings with Arcacians in many years.
What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in Ilyon that we don’t see on Earth?
Aside from the dragons and cave drakes, most animals and plants are the same or similar to what we have on Earth. Including humans, Ilyon has five races. While they are all human-like, they each have their unique differences. Talcrins are a tall, dark-skinned race with metallic eyes. They are much more scholars than fighters. Ryriks are also tall and very strong. They are known for their black hair and sea-blue eyes that almost seem to glow when they are angry or under stress. They are also the only race in Ilyon who have pointed ears. Ryriks are a very violent and cruel race, and most people believe them to be soulless and little better than animals. The cretes are a shorter race. They rarely reach six feet tall. They have a very Native American feel to them in that they dress predominately in leather, are brown-skinned, and all have long dark hair. And then there are the giants. At around seven to nine feet tall, they can appear quite intimidating, but they are actually very gentle. They don’t like confrontation and will avoid fighting whenever possible.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Ilyon?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used
I prefer to write fantasy without magic. Realistic fantasy, I like to call it. 🙂 So Ilyon does not have magic, however, some of the people can be very superstitious. It’s a widely held belief that black wolves are possessed by demonic spirits.
Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Ilyon?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.
Ilyon’s technology is similar to that of the Middle Ages, though a bit more advanced, particularly in medicine.
Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Ilyon.
Gladiator games are quite popular throughout Arcacia for those who enjoy such things. Horse racing is also a popular sport. In Valcré, you can see plays and concerts. Men of high society enjoying going out on hunts, especially for large pickerin boars.
Are the days of the week and months of the year the same in Ilyon as on Earth? What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly there?
I do follow the same days of the week and months as we have on Earth. Birthdays are celebrated regularly and each race has their various holidays, though I didn’t get into that too deeply. For those who have faith in Elôm, there is an Old Testament-like sacrifice they take part in every spring.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Ilyon?  Please describe what it involves.
Ilyon is divided into two major religions—those who follow Elôm (the equivalent of Christians) and those who follow Aertus and Vilai, Arcacia’s moon gods. Faith in Elôm at this particular point in the series is much like Old Testament faith. As I mentioned, every spring, believers gather together and sacrifice lambs as atonement for their sins and to look ahead to a coming ultimate Lamb sacrifice. There are far fewer believers in Elôm than in Aertus and Vilai and they have faced growing persecution for many years, particularly in Arcacia, though it is still the main religion among the cretes, talcrins, and in the country of Samara.
The worship of Aertus and Vilai is commanded by the emperor in Arcacia. To refuse to bow before their idols is seen as treason, and any offenders are executed. Temples and idols are set up throughout Arcacia to enforce such worship.
What is the political or government structure in Ilyon?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Each race and country have their own equivalent to a king. Arcacia has the most influence in Ilyon and is ruled over by Emperor Daican. His father is the one who changed the royal title from king to emperor as part of his plan to expand Arcacia’s reach across the continent and create an empire. Most Arcacian citizens would call Daican a fine, even admirable, leader, but he is violently opposed to the followers of Elôm. He sees his rule as a divine gift and believes that anyone questioning his gods will question his rule. He’s very ambitious and has dedicated his life to creating the legacy his father was working toward before his death.
Are there any other unique cultural practices that we should be aware of if we visit Ilyon?
You probably won’t want to just show up at a crete city. Best to have someone with you who knows them well and they trust. Either that or you should have one of their carved pendants they only give out to those they know are friends. But they don’t give those out lightly. And don’t be surprised if you make a crete friend and he refuses to sleep on the ground! They hate that. They much prefer stringing up a hammock in a tree.
Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
I’ve always had a particular interest in Native American culture. I think it’s beautiful and I drew a lot of inspiration from it for the crete people. Their treehouse cities also came from my childhood dream of living in a treehouse like on Swiss Family Robinson or Robinson Crusoe. I’d still love to live in a treehouse.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Abortion is a topic I do touch on. There is only a brief mention of it in book one, but it’s a bit more prominent in book three (not yet published). Racism, bigotry, and bullying are also topics many of my characters have to face.
Author Autobiography:
Jaye L. Knight is a homeschool-graduated indie author with a passion for writing Christian fantasy and clean new adult fiction. Armed with an active imagination and love for adventure, Jaye weaves stories of truth, faith, and courage with the message that even in the deepest darkness, God’s love shines as a light to offer hope. She has been penning stories since the age of eight and resides in the Northwoods of Wisconsin.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?  
Resistance can be found on Amazon for Kindleand in paperback. The King’s Scrolls is also available for Kindleand will be available in paperback very shortly if it isn’t already.
Where can readers connect with you online? 

You can find me on my website, blog, Facebook, Google+, Twitter, and Etsy.

ResistanceKindle Sale
Haven’t begun the adventure into Ilyon? From February 17th – 23rd, get Resistance, the award-winning first book of Ilyon Chronicles, for your Kindle on sale for only 99 cents! Check it out on Amazon!
* * *

Share in the excitement of the release and enter to win a themed Epic Winter giveaway! Prize pack includes an autographed copy of The King’s Scrolls, a CD by Future World Music (some of Jaye’s favorite writing music), a dragon bookmark, a stone hawk pendant (much like the ones mentioned in the book), and a few packages of Twining’s Winter Spice tea to sip while you read! (Giveaway is open to US residents only. Cannot be shipped internationally.)
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I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Ilyon.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another fantasy world, in Realm Explorers Part XXXIX!
-Annie Douglass Lima
My 5th grade students have just completed a project where they each had to create their own imaginary world.  In addition to writing its history, designing a map and a flag, coming up with a national animal and plant, and completing a few other items of their choice, they all had to write a list of the laws that must be followed in their world.  This is always my favorite section to grade!  Most students had the usual basics, like “don’t murder,” “don’t steal,” etc.  But some of their laws were unusual and surprising.  Here are some of my favorites (edited in a few cases for grammar and clarity).  Which one is your favorite?

No broccoli is allowed.

Bounce on your bed before you go to sleep.

All who steal will be squished flat.

You must eat dessert for lunch.

Do not lie to others or else you will have to be the person’s servant for a month.

Every kid must have one sport that he or she is very good at.

No one should kill or whip anyone.

Only eat synthetic meat.

Everyone must have at least one dog or other pet.

You may not have more than three wives.

Do not eat more than three packs of chips in a day.

No hunting dragons without permission.

No driving out of your lane.

Everyone must know how to read English and Chinese.

Everyone must know how to play a musical instrument.

Do not make friends with the mean people.

Breakfast, lunch, snacks, and dinner all must be only junk food.  If you want to eat something other than junk food, like chicken, steak, sushi, etc. you must fry it so it will still be counted as junk food.  (Fried vegetables still don’t count.  Any form of vegetable is banned from this island.)

No hanging inappropriate billboards.

You must build three power plants in your yard.

Boys have to do the dishes and take out the trash, or else they’ll be required to clean up the whole state as long as they live.

You must eat at least ten pieces of candy (any size) per day.

Monsters are allowed to attack each other if they decide they need to.

Celebrate the birth of the nation on July 7th.  If you don’t, you’ll become a dish in the feast!

You must not eat the snow.

Citizens who are caught acting too happy will be put to death.

Drink coffee five times a day, or you’ll be drowned in Dark Coffee Lake.

Make money yourself, no begging for it.  Otherwise you’ll have to stay at the police station for 1-3 days.

Play soccer after school on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, or you’ll be kicked by cleats in the legs five times.

No wars if the government didn’t say so.

Everyone should have mercy on someone.

I’ve had my classes do this project for several years in a row now.  Click on the links below to read some of the interesting laws created by my students in other years:

student laws from 2016

student laws from 2014

student laws from 2013

student laws from 2011

student laws from 2009

student laws from 2008

student laws from 2007

The Science in Science Fiction

by Deborah Heal
One of the things I like most about being a writer is all the new things I learn along the way. Because my books are primarily historical fiction, the topic of my research is usually history. But I am not a historian. (I don’t think it counts that my main character Merrideth Randall is a college history professor.) And I certainly am not a scientist, even though the books contain computer techno jargon and discussions about such things as time warp, virtual reality, and other sci-fi topics. And beginning with Once Again: an inspirational novel of history, mystery & romance (book 1 in my Rewinding Time Series) the books also include bits of real science, too.
They have to because Merrideth’s romantic interest is her colleague Brett Garrison, a dashing young college physics professor. I knew I had to learn a lot more about physics if I were to have any hope of making him sound like he knows what he’s talking about. I think it’s working, because Brett is always going on about such things as cell memory, time perception, the Arrow of Time, quantum indeterminancy, Schrodinger’s cat, and the like.
Who would have thought quantum physics would ever show up in a romantic historical novel? But it does, and Brett makes it sound almost sexy. Oh, he has all the requisite good looks and character traits of a romantic hero, but Merrideth thinks his brain is the most attractive thing about him.
A lot of his physics talk goes over her head, because like me, Merrideth’s degree is in the humanities not science. But when Brett starts talking about time travel, she is all ears. He does not know about Merrideth’s curious software that rewinds time on her computer, allowing her to make virtual trips to the past. Merrideth would love to tell him what she has been up to and get his professional opinion about how the program works. But she knows she must keep it secret from the world, and so she just smiles and says nothing when Brett explains that time travel is impossible because of the laws of physics.
Before I did my physics research, I assumed like Brett does that time travel was solely the purview of sci-fi writers. But I was surprised (and happy) to learn that some scientists actually believe it is possible, and the subject is being investigated quite seriously. Stephen Hawking said in a lecture he gave:
I think this is an important subject for research, but one has to be careful not to be labeled a crank … [But] It might seem possible, that as we advance in science and technology, we might be able to construct a wormhole, or warp space and time in some other way, so as to be able to travel into our past.
To be honest, Hawking does not think time travel is likely, because if so, why hasn’t someone come back from the future (a la Marty McFly) and taught us how to do it? And for conspiracy theorists who believe that aliens from the future have arrived and the government is keeping that information from us, Hawking says, “All I can say is, that if governments were hiding something, they are doing a pretty poor job of extracting useful information from the aliens.”
Hawking’s dry humor is evident throughout the speech. I  was surprised that he was so funny. But I was more surprised to find that he believes in God. In discussing the conditions necessary for time travel he says, “God might have created such a warped universe, but we have no reason to think that He did.”
And I was surprised to learn that everyone’s favorite scientist, Albert Einstein, also believed in God. According to Stephen Barr on his website “Big Questions Online:”
Einstein is probably the best known and most highly revered scientist of the twentieth century, and … although never coming to belief in a personal God, he recognized the impossibility of a non-created universe.
Barr quotes Einstein:
“I want to know how God created this world, I am not interested in this or that phenomenon, in the spectrum of this or that element. I want to know His thoughts, the rest are details.”
“Science without religion is lame, religion without science is blind.”
But it’s no wonder that so many physicists believe in God. According to Barr, quantum physics gives a strong argument for his existence and argues against the prevailing atheist philosophy of “materialism”:
It has gained ground because many people think that it’s supported by science … Quantum mechanics, however, throws a monkey wrench into this simple mechanical view of things.  [It] is not ‘logically consistent with present quantum mechanics.’
Visit my blog post for more cool quotes from other physicists who believe in God and why
and for links to all the scientific topics mentioned in
Once Again: an inspirational novel of history, mystery & romance (AND science, too!)
Naturally, my fictional physics professor Brett Garrison believes in God, too. Merrideth is surprised to discover he is a man of faith, because she assumes all scientists are agnostics or even atheists. Here is the passage in Once Again where they discuss it:
“Sounds like you really enjoy your classes.” [Merrideth said]
“I do. I love it when students get revved about my favorite topic, especially when they start thinking outside the box. Today I threw in the concept of Intelligent Design. You should have seen Alyssa Holderman’s face,” he said, chuckling at the memory. “You know how she gets that superior smirk right before she says something sarcastic?”
“You get that, too? I figured it was just me.”
“Oh, no. Alyssa is an equal-opportunity know-it-all smart aleck.”
When they reached the sidewalk she expected their paths to diverge. He’d go to the faculty parking lot, and she’d walk home in peace, free of his unsettling presence. But he continued walking with her, talking about quantum objects, wave function, and other things she had no real understanding of. He was certainly passionate about his subject. His first piece of advice for her had been to be enthusiastic in the classroom. She wondered if his intent now was to model that for her.
Suddenly he stopped walking and said, “Sorry. I must be boring you.”
“Not at all. But I’m still thinking about something you said. Could you rewind to the part about Intelligent Design? You don’t believe that, right? You were just getting the kids to think.”
“Don’t you believe in a Creator?”
“Yes, but you’re a physicist. I figured you didn’t.”
He laughed. “That’s what Alyssa said, only with a disparaging sneer. As I told her, there are plenty of scientists and mathematicians who believe in Intelligent Design. Albert Einstein and Erwin Schrodinger, two of the most famous physicists ever, believed in God. Actually, quantum physics provides a strong logical argument against the atheist philosophy of Materialism, the idea that the universe is a closed system of cause and effect and we are mere ‘machines made of meat.’ In my opinion, the evidence is overwhelmingly in favor of creation. As Psalm 19:1 says, ‘The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands.’”

I don’t mean to give the impression that Once Again is all about science. That’s only a minor part of the whole. But I always try to do my homework, no matter where it leads me, so I can get the details right.


Then check out Only One Way Home, book 2 in the Rewinding Time Series. All my books are available on Amazon dot com. And you can find more about the real people and historical events depicted in them on my website.
WEBSITE: www.deborahheal.com

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Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name:

Keely Brooke Keith

Title of book and/or series:
The Uncharted series includes: The Land Uncharted, Uncharted Redemption, and Uncharted Inheritance (coming May 2015)

Brief summary of the story:
A group of antebellum families sailed away from America in December of 1860. Their ship was blown off course and ran aground on an uncharted land in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. They called the uninhabited place simply “the Land”, and founded a society that seven generations later is flourishing, but antiquated compared to the outside world. They have no contact with the warring 2025 world and no idea their land is undetectable until Unified States Naval Aviator Connor Bradshaw is ejected from his aircraft and his parachute carries him to the shore of the Land. That is where our story begins.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
The Land is the size of the South Island of New Zealand and located in the middle of the South Atlantic Ocean. The outside world is torn apart by war, a water shortage, disease and poverty, but life is the Land is peaceful.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in the Land?
They have simple transportation: horses, wagons, river rafts and boats, but no modern technology. In fact, when Connor arrives in the Land, he believes the lack of electronics is part of what helps keep them hidden. They have the usual farm animals, but there are no predatory animals in the Land.

What types of plants, animals, or sentient races might we encounter in the Land that we don’t see on Earth?
The world in the Uncharted series is governed by our science, so the humans are all, well, humans. There is a tree they call the Gray Leaf. It provides lumber stronger than iron and tea made from the gray leaf quickly heals any injury or infection. It’s medicinal, not mythical.

Is there a particular religion practiced in the Land?  Please describe what it involves.
The society’s founders were Christian and the inhabitants of the Land passed their faith on from one generation to the next, but they have come up with more and more strict traditions over the years as reactions to conflicts. During the series, many of those traditions get challenged.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
Researching my family history inspired the pioneer spirit of the founders. My travels to Australia and New Zealand inspired some of the topography and the isolated feeling of the Land. My study of the Bible inspired some of the society’s structure and the relationships portrayed throughout the series.

Author Autobiography:
Keely Brooke Keith, author of the Uncharted series, is a bass guitarist and frequently performs and tours with her husband, singer/songwriter John Martin Keith. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antique stores. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband and their daughter, Rachel.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.

Barnes and Noble
Google Play

Where can readers connect with you online?  

Add The Land Uncharted to your shelf on Goodreads, Shelfari, LibraryThing, or FictFact.

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Land.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the fantasy world of Ilyon, in Realm Explorers Part XXXVIII!
-Annie Douglass Lima
A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.
After the Silence
(From Kenya, With Love #2)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 368 pages
March 1st 2015 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Does following her passion mean losing her way?
Marine Ben Corallis is an expert at facing death, but nothing comes close to the terror that grounds him when his wife is killed in a car accident the day he returns from duty. He’s left to raise an infant, a toddler and a ten-year-old girl who hasn’t uttered a word since her mother’s death.
It’s hard not to care for the widowed marine with three young children. Yet he’s still grieving, too burdened with guilt to fall in love again. And Hope Alwanga’s future as a doctor awaits her on the other side of the world, in Nairobi. If two such opposites can’t agree on a common country, how can they ever create a safe place to call home?
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Suffering in Silence: Selective Mutism in Children
By Rula Sinara
We all know how critical communication is for progress and survival—whether of a species, culture or even a relationship (I still think things get ‘lost in translation’ between the male and female sexes;). And there are so many ways of communicating…different languages, including sign language, technology and, sometimes, a lot can be communicated with a look or a smile. But it’s a whole different world when the inability to communicate doesn’t stem from language differences, but from deeply rooted fear or anxiety. In particular, trying to help or raise a child who suffers from selective mutism is heartbreaking and often frustrating because you don’t want to watch them suffer.
Although, due to counseling, they’re better now, two out of my three kids struggled with some developmental issues, anxiety and associated communication difficulties when they were younger. Both had a tendency to shut down, sometimes for hours. One often acted out in frustration while the other would retreat into himself. He was emotionally hypersensitive and, if something happened at school, he’d sit and stare at his desk (sometimes for almost an hour). The problem was we’d be at a loss as to what tipped him off because he wouldn’t tell us. He’d clam up.
Ten year old Maddie, in After the Silence, has suffered from selective mutism since her mother’s death (some might say that she suffers from traumatic mutism but her symptoms run a gray line and often ‘labeling’ and definition changes occur in psychology, as they recently did with Asperger’s). I drew a lot from my experiences at home and at school with my boys when I wrote this story. That led to some emotional times when I had to take a break from writing because the memories would flood back. For those of you who know a child suffering from mutism and wish to find out more, I’ve listed a few resources. This is by no means a complete list and it’s not intended to replace a professional diagnosis and help.
A website called The Selectively Silent Childpoints out that “The Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, fourth Edition (DSM-IV) defines selective mutism as:
·       Consistent failure to speak in specific social situations (in which there is an expectation for speaking, e.g., at school) despite speaking in other situations.
·       The disturbance interferes with educational or occupational achievement or with social communication.
·       The duration of the disturbance is at least 1 month (not limited to the first month of school).
·       The failure to speak is not due to a lack of knowledge of, or comfort with, the spoken language required in the social situation.
·       The disturbance is not better accounted for by a Communication Disorder (e.g., Stuttering) and does not occur exclusively during the course of a Pervasive Developmental Disorder, Schizophrenia, or other Psychotic Disorder.

A few great places to research information on child mutism are:

Selective Mutism: A Review of Etiology, Comorbidities, and Treatment by Priscilla Wong, MD: http://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC2861522/ 


In my experience, research is a powerful ally in helping a parent become a formidable advocate for their child. Plus, quite often, a child’s situation or presentation isn’t necessarily ‘textbook’. Individual cases abound in psychology and medicine. Different doctors can have different opinions on the same patient. But it all boils down to helping a child feel safe, loved and strong enough to embrace the world around them.

And to those of you who have struggled to help a child suffering from any form of mutism and its associated conditions/co-morbid disorders, hugs to you. Know that you’re strength and patience is admired, appreciated and a gift to that child…just as children are a gift to us all. There are no boundaries for love.

About Book One in the Series
(Each can be read as a standalone.)
The Promise of Rain (Book 1)The Promise of Rain
(From Kenya, With Love #1)
Rula Sinara
Adult Contemporary Romance
Paperback, 384 pages

January 1st 2014 by Harlequin Heartwarming

He wants to take her child out of Africa…

The Busara elephant research and rescue camp on Kenya’s Serengeti is Anna Bekker’s life’s work. And it’s the last place she thought she’d run into Dr. Jackson Harper. As soon as he sets eyes on her four-year-old, Pippa, Anna knows he’ll never leave…without his daughter.
Furious doesn’t begin to describe how Jack feels. How could Anna keep this from him? He has to get his child back to the States. Yet as angry as he is with Anna, they still have a bond. But can it endure, despite the ocean–and the little girl–between them?
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Rula Sinara

Rula Sinara lives in Virginia’s countryside with her husband, three boys and zany but endearing pets. When she’s not writing or doing mom stuff, she loves organic gardening, attracting wildlife to her yard (cool bugs included) or watching romantic movies. She also enjoys interviewing fellow authors and is a Special Contributor for USA Today’s Happy Ever After blog. Her door is always open at her website and blog.
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More Than This
More Than ThisBy Staci Stallings

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About the Book:

Liz Savoy has no plans to date anyone—least of all the dark handsome mystery man who sometimes inhabits the corner table at the coffee shop where she’s working to get through school. But plans change, sometimes in ways no one expected. Jake McCoy is the next mega-millionaire author, or at least he would be if he could get the stories in his head down on the ether. With no good place to write, he resorts to dark corners in Wi-Fi hotspots, knowing no one in the world cares about him or his comings and goings one way or the other. However, there is one waitress at The Grind coffee shop with a cute smile and kind eyes who doesn’t seem to think he is as invisible as he likes to think he is. Can reality with her ever hope to match the fantasy world where his imagination has him living?


Staci new haedshot

 Now a #1 Best Selling Christian and Inspirational Romance author, Staci Stallings, a stay-at-home mom with a husband, three kids and a writing addiction on the side, has numerous titles for readers to choose from. Not content to stay in one genre and write it to death, Staci’s stories run the gamut from young adult to adult, from motivational and inspirational to full-out Christian and back again. Every title is a new adventure! That’s what keeps Staci writing and you reading. Although she lives in Amarillo, Texas and her main career right now is her family, Staci touches the lives of people across the globe with her various Internet and writing endeavors.

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Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don’t forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 

Author’s name: Anne Elisabeth Stengl
Title of book and/or series: Golden Daughter, book 7 in the ongoing Tales of Goldstone Wood
Brief summary of the story:
Masayi Sairu was raised to be dainty, delicate, demure . . . and deadly. She is one of the emperor’s Golden Daughters, as much a legend as she is a commodity. One day, Sairu will be contracted in marriage to a patron, whom she will secretly guard for the rest of her life.
But when she learns that a sacred Dream Walker of the temple seeks the protection of a Golden Daughter, Sairu forgoes marriage in favor of this role. Her skills are stretched to the limit, for assassins hunt in the shadows, and phantoms haunt in dreams. With only a mysterious Faerie cat and a handsome slave—possessed of his own strange abilities—to help her, can Sairu shield her new mistress from evils she can neither see nor touch?
For the Dragon is building an army of fire. And soon the heavens will burn.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story: 
Most of the action in Golden Daughter takes place in the Noorhitam Empire, which is loosely inspired by a variety of East Asian cultures. My research focused primarily on ancient China and ancient Japan/Okinawa, but I also delved into Korean, Mongolian, and Thai histories, cultural practices, architecture, etc.
The empire itself is made up of a variety of subcultures, but the two most prominent are the ruling Kitars and the nomadic Chhayans. Two hundred years before the story of Golden Daughter takes place, the Chhayans were overpowered by the Kitar. The cultural clashes of the two people groups provide much of the drama for this tale.
If we were to visit Noorhitam as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
You should definitely take time to visit Manusbau Palace, the home of the emperor. This palace is actually a series of beautiful complexes, gardens, and grounds—almost a mini-city in and of itself—fortified by magnificent walls. It is a sumptuous testament to the power and grandeur of the Kitar nation. Just be certain you don’t drink any tea laced with gold-leaf poison!
Built beside the palace and rivaling it in grandeur is the Crown of the Moon, an enormous temple dedicated to Hulan, the moon goddess worshipped by the Kitar and Chhayans alike. But while the temple is glorious indeed and well worth seeing, more interesting still are the humble ruins of an ancient House which stood on this site long centuries ago. The foundation stones of this House are still warm with the heat of the great conflagration that burned it to the ground . . . .
What dangers should we avoid in Noorhitam?
Noorhitam is crawling with enemies of the emperor, particularly the lethal Crouching Shadows, assassins from the neighboring kingdom of Nua-Pratut. You should also keep your eyes open for Chhayan bandits roaming the hinterlands of the empire. If they take you for a Kitar, they will show no mercy!
The Golden Daughters themselves—highly trained bodyguards of incomparable skill—are possibly the most dangerous threat you might face. Only if you threaten one of their patrons, however, so you should be safe.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Noorhitam?
Travelers may enjoy an eggplant mash seasoned with oil and a variety of spices and served with flat bread. In the palace of the emperor, you will be treated to teas, both black and herbal, candied fruits, and sweet pastries.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Noorhitam?
The Emperor of Noorhitam boasts a lethal artillery brigade of  longbowmen. Their bows are tall, and their arrows include weighted hare-fork arrows which can tear a man apart.
The Golden Daughters carry two knives which they hide up their sleeves. They are also trained in hand-to-hand combat and are comfortable with a variety of other weapons and poisons.
The Pen-Chan people of Nua-Pratut have discovered the secret of “black powder,” with which they have created dangerous explosives. So far they have managed to keep this secret from falling into the hands of neighboring nations, but it’s only a matter of time . . .
What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Noorhitam?
The Chhayans out on the wide plains of Noorhitam travel in gurtas, buffalo-hide dwellings on wheels, pulled by teams of buffalo. Not very fast, not terribly comfortable, but durable and providing decent shelter when the cold winds blow.
Pilgrims traveling to the various holy sites and shrines across the nation often ride mules or donkeys. Horses are considered the steed of noblemen.
What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Noorhitam?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
Magic in my world is not really . . . magic, per se. Faeries abound in this series, and they have “magical” powers available to them (depending on the type of Faerie), but these are really more extensions of their Faerie selves than actual potions-and-spells magic. There are some characters who work enchantments and sorcery—and humans who dabble in Faerie magic are considered misguided and dangerous. But much of the magic of this world is not really magic in the traditional sense.
One of the major characters in Golden Daughter has the ability to walk in the Realm of Dreams. This is a strange, between-worlds dimension from which dreams are supposed to originate, and most mortals cannot access it. But the Dream Walkers are trained to send their spirits beyond mortal realms and explore deep into the Realm of Dreams and the surrounding dimensions. This could be considered a form of magic, achieved through concentrated meditation and chants.
Is there a particular religion practiced in Noorhitam?  Please describe what it involves.
Noorhitam is deeply devoted to a heavenly-spheres-centric religion personifying the sun and the moon as Anwar and Hulan respectively, and the stars—or Dara—as their angelic children. This was originally an old Chhayan religion, but when the Kitar people took over, they usurped the religion as well as the land (exchanging it for their vague ancestor-worship, which is now considered grossly out of fashion).
The Dream Walkers are considered sacred priests, using prayerful meditation to access realms beyond the mortal world with the hope of someday crossing the Dream and walking in Hulan’s Garden (a sort of Heaven where the moon and the stars are said to dance and sing).
There are quite a number of priestly orders, with the most prominent priests devoted to Anwar and Hulan, and lesser priests dedicated to the service of various Dara, such as the North Star, Chiev, and the star of the Emperor’s City, Maly. The duties of these priests vary according to their specific deities, but involve seasonal prayers according to which lights are most prominent in the sky.
Even priests devoted primarily to Hulan offer morning prayers to Anwar when he rises. Anwar is considered the most powerful of the celestial deities, although the High Priest is devoted primarily to Hulan.
What is the political or government structure in Noorhitam?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Noorhitam is ruled by an emperor called the Anuk Anwar—which means the “Son of Anwar.” He is considered semi-deific and absolutely god-touched. He wields quite a lot of control, but intricate political dances require him to keep his various warlords and the clan leaders appeased.
The current Anuk Anwar of Noorhitam is a middle-aged man with a young face, fairly immature for his age. He isn’t particularly pleased with his lot as emperor, preferring the carefree life he used to know as a prince. He’s not above throwing his imperial weight around as he sees fit, however, and his warlords tread softly around him.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
This book openly deals with the question “Where is God in times of suffering?” It was a difficult question to tackle, and not one I would have jumped into willingly. But when I write these stories, I spend a lot of time in prayer, asking God to lead me to what (if any) message He wants to communicate. My role is simply to be a willing vessel, and I earnestly seek to be open to His leading. In the case of Golden Daughter I was thrilled and amazed by the storylines I saw unfurling, by the message that bloomed naturally from the text and characters.
Author Autobiography
ANNE ELISABETH STENGL makes her home in 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. Her novel Starflower was awarded the 2013 Clive Staples Award, and her novels Heartless, Veiled Rose, and Dragonwitchhave each been honored with a Christy Award.

To learn more about Anne Elisabeth Stengl and her books visit: www.AnneElisabethStengl.blogspot.com
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your book(s)?  Please include links.
You can purchase Golden Daughter in ebook and print formats on all the major online bookshops! Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo.
Where can readers connect with you online?
I love to connect with my readers! Be sure to follow my blog, Tales of Goldstone Wood. You can also sign up for my quarterly newsletter and keep up-to-date on all the upcoming Goldstone Wood projects (of which there are many). Be sure to like me on Facebookas well!

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to the Noorhitam Empire.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to the Land Uncharted, in Realm Explorers Part XXXVII!
-Annie Douglass Lima

We’re Blitzing the Release of
King of Ash and Bone
By Melissa Wright
The first book in The Shattered Realms Series.

Writing a book or series of books is a substantial commitment. Authors spend a lot of time and effort avoiding the temptation of shiny new ideas, because chasing other stories will never get you a finished manuscript. But the best inspirations hang around, waiting in the corners of your mind, tugging at your attention until they’ve grown too monstrous and delightful to be ignored. These are the stories that are most fun to tell, the ideas that will not be turned away.

I’m happy to report my newest title is just one of these monsters. King of Ash and Bone began niggling at me about midway through the Descendants Series as a simple idea: a magical apocalypse. A heroine with steadfast determination came in next, followed quickly by the handsome anti-hero who just might have what it takes to break her resolve. And of course he would have something to hide that might test them both. I found myself researching end-of-days scenarios in my spare time, gathering images of winged beasts and deserted cities as this new world grew and grew, forming its own brand of chimera and bursting into a second realm, complete with problems of its own.

The Shattered Realms series is certainly lined up to be the most complex I’ve ever written, and I can only hope it catches readers’ hearts and imaginations the way it has mine.

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Do so HERE!

King of Ash and BoneKing of Ash and Bone
(Shattered Realms, #1)
by Melissa Wright
YA Urban Fantasy, SciFi
February 2nd 2015

When flying monsters break through the veil into her world, Mackenzie Scott has nothing left to lose. Her brother has been taken, her future has vanished, and all that remains is a desperate need for revenge. After discovering the breach the creatures used as a gateway, Mackenzie devises a plan to stop them, whatever the cost.

When she finds an injured stranger in the street, he just might be the key she needs to succeed. What Mackenzie doesn’t know is that this stranger isn’t the helpless boy he appears to be. He’s one of the monsters. And he’s got plans of his own.
Thrown into a dying city in another realm, Mackenzie is powerless to get back. With the gateway closing, time is not on her side. But the stranger is, and if they can escape execution, this girl and her monster might be able to save both their worlds.

You can read a teaser here.

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Melissa Wright is the author of the Frey Saga and Descendants Series. She is currently working on the next book, but when not writing can be found collecting the things she loves at Goodreads and Pinterest.

WebsiteBlog – Goodreads – Twitter – Pinterest

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