Friday, July 19, 2013

Interview Feature: Laurisa Reyes

Give a big welcome to fantasy novelist Laurisa Reyes, who has come to the Tales of Goldstone Wood blog for an exclusive interview AND a giveaway! I'm excited to feature her and her developing series. First, a little about the authoress herself:

LAURISA REYES is the author of The Celestine Chronicles, a fantasy adventure series for middle grade readers, and is an editor with Hamilton Springs Publishing. She has a B.A. in English/creative writing and is currently pursuing her graduate degree. She has two as yet unfulfilled dreams: to own her own bookstore and star in a Broadway musical. She lives in sunny Southern California with her hubby of 20 years, their 5 children, 6 fish, 4 birds, 2 desert tortoises, 2 bearded dragons, 1 dog, and a partridge in a pear tree.

Here is the description of her upcoming release, Book 2 in the Celestine Chronicles:

Months have passed since Marcus and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.
I know you want to learn more now!


Would you mind telling us a little about yourself? Hobbies, personality . . . tea or coffee?
 Laurisa: I actually keep quite busy. People are always shocked when I tell them I am a full-time mom of five kids aged 5 to 19 years. I’m often asked how I have time to write. I still don’t know that answer to that, but I do make time every day. In addition to writing, I am also a creative writing instructor at a local community education center, I’m attending grad school, and I’m an editor with Hamilton Springs Press. This is on top of all the blogging, school visits, book signings, and marketing I do.
What led you into the writing life? Were you always a storyteller?  
Laurisa: I was born a storyteller. I wrote my first poem when I was about six and have spent my whole life writing. I was really inspired by my dad who is the best storyteller I know. I got my B.A. in creative writing after which I wrote for magazines and newspapers for more than a decade, but I had always dreamed of writing fiction. My dream came true with The Rock of Ivanore.
Tell us a little about your first novel, The Rock of Ivanore. What led you to write this book?

Laurisa: The Rock of Ivanore is a middle grade high fantasy adventure. Deseret News called it “Lord of the Rings for kids.” In the story, Marcus is an enchanter’s apprentice just can’t get his magic right. Every time he tries to cast a spell, it backfires. His master, Zyll, gives him a gift that helps him hone his skills and gain the self-assurance he needs to succeed in his quest, which is to find the Rock of Ivanore.
After spending more than a decade writing for magazines and newspapers, I decided it was finally time to live my dream and write novels. My oldest son was eight years old at the time and I would tell him bedtime stories. One story was about an enchanter’s apprentice who bungled his magic spells. Each night my son would tell me what he wanted to hear, be it dragons or battles or magic, and I would weave those elements into the story. Eventually I started writing it down. That was six years ago.

I see that the second book in the Celestine Chronicles, The Last Enchanter, is scheduled  to release this October. Does it pick up where The Rock of Ivanore leaves off, or is it a completely new adventure?
Laurisa: The Last Enchanter is book 2 in The Celestine Chronicles. Months have passed since Marcus and Kelvin succeeded in their quest to find the Rock of Ivanore. Kelvin is living as royalty in Dokur, and Marcus is studying magic with Zyll. When Fredric is murdered and Kelvin becomes king, Zyll and Marcus head for Dokur in hopes of protecting Kelvin from meeting the same fate, though it quickly becomes apparent that none of them are safe, and Marcus has had disturbing visions of Zyll's death. With the help of his old friends Clovis and Bryn, joined by new friend Lael, a feisty girl in search of her mother, Marcus uncovers a powerful secret that will change the course of his life forever.
Can you pick a favorite character from your series?
Laurisa: I asked my kids that question and they all had different answers. My daughter likes Xerxes, the enchanted walking stick. He has attitude. My son likes Bryn, the shape-shifting Groc who wishes he was human. I am particularly fond of Marcus because I see so much of myself in him. He starts out doubting himself and his abilities, but when faced with difficult situations, he reaches deep within himself to find the courage and skills he needs to succeed. I avoided writing novels for many years because I didn’t think I was good enough. It wasn’t until I finally committed myself to it that I was able become the writer I always wanted to be.
What inspires your work? Where do you turn when you need a renewal of inspiration?

Laurisa: My kids are my biggest inspiration. I write for them. They are also my biggest fans, so when I need a boost I just collect all my hugs and kisses from them. 
What are your favorite and least favorite parts of the writing process?

Laurisa: That’s a tough question. I love every step of the process from conceiving the very first ideas for a story, to creating an outline and summary, to writing the first draft. The most challenging part is revising, which requires reading a manuscript many times over and over again, and picking apart every paragraph and sentence. It is tedious, but I love the end results – a polished book.
If you were forced to pick a single favorite author, who would it be?
Laurisa: Ack! That’s not fair! I can’t pick just one. And it would really depend on the genre. My favorite middle grade author is probably a toss up between Lois Lowry and Jerry Spinelli. My favorite young adult author, though, is a tie between Neal Shusterman, Megan Miranda and Marissa Meyer, but my choices change every time I pick up a new book.
So what is next on your publishing horizons? Can we look forward to more in the Celestine Chronicles soon?

Laurisa: I am writing book 3 in the series, The Seer of the Guilde, which is tentatively slated for 2015. But in the meantime, I am  looking for an agent to help me publish my first young adult thriller called Contact. I’m also writing a young adult science fiction/horror novel. But the most exciting prospect is my prequel to The Rock of Ivanore called The Crystal Keeper, which chronicles the story of Jayson and Ivanore during Jayson’s fourteen years of exile. I’m exploring different possibilities for that book and hope to release it in 2014.
Can you share a short snippet from The Last Enchanter?
Laurisa: Sure! I’ll give you the prologue:
Fredric, ruler of Dokur, stared out his window toward the sea. The sounds of the cutting and hammering of wood and of men shouting came to him on a crisp salty breeze. Below in the bay, Dokur’s navy was busy rebuilding their ships. Eight months earlier Fredric’s own son had led their enemies to these very shores, and Dokur had nearly fallen by their swords. But soon these ships would set sail for the mainland and take revenge on the Hestorians.
Fredric heard the door open behind him. The gentle clinking of crystal against silver was the only introduction the visitor needed.
            “Is it time already?” Fredric asked without turning. “I would like a little wine to soothe my nerves before bed.”
            Arnot filled a goblet and handed it to his lord with a slight bow. Fredric downed the contents, and then returned the empty goblet.
“I fear I have grown too old for battle,” said Fredric, crossing the room to his bed. “These eyes have witnessed too much bloodshed, too much suffering.”
            Fredric held out his arms while the attendant removed his royal robe and replaced it with a linen nightshirt. Once Fredric was dressed, Arnot went to the bed and pulled back the covers. “Your bed is prepared, your Majesty.”
            Fredric rested his hands on the edge of the mattress. “My stomach,” he said. “It bothers me so.”
            “Perhaps you should rest, sire,” replied Arnot.
            Fredric rubbed his stomach and then raised his hand to his forehead where beads of sweat had formed. “I am not well tonight,” he continued, sighing. “But such is to be expected at my age.”
            Suddenly, Fredric clenched his teeth together and his hands balled into fists against the mattress. He groaned as his entire body began to shake. Fredric grabbed the quilt in both fists and pulled with such force the fabric tore. A moment later he dropped to his knees, gasping for air.
            “I am in pain,” he cried. “Fetch my doctor!”
            Arnot remained where he stood and stared at Fredric with cold eyes.
            “Arnot,” called Fredric, reaching for the attendant with both hands. “Please help me!”
            A faint smile appeared on Arnot’s lips—so faint Fredric wondered if his eyes were playing tricks on him. When the attendant finally crossed the room to the door, Fredric felt relieved that help would be found. He lay down on the floor, too weak now to lift himself into the bed.
            “Tell my doctor to hurry,” he whispered. “Tell him I am very ill.”
            Arnot looked back at Fredric. The smile on his lips was now unmistakable, and there was a look of pleasure in his face.
            “You are not ill,” he said coolly. “You have been poisoned.”
            Then Arnot slipped through the door, shutting it quietly and securely behind him.
What a wonderful glimpse into this new world! I hope you are all eager to pick up The Celestine Chronicles now.
And you can, because Laurisa is kindly offering a print copy of THE ROCK OF IVANORE to a lucky winner! Be certain to enter your name below . . . and to thank Laurisa for visiting with us today. I love learning about new worlds, don't you?" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway





Wednesday, July 17, 2013

DRAGONWITCH Release Day Blog Tour -- THE WINNER!

And what a glorious event these last three days have been! A huge thanks to all of the wonderful bloggers who participated, taking the time to create interviews, guest posts, and more, to format, to present, and to host on their various lovely blogs. It was such fun to work with all of them, and I hope all of you readers enjoyed the experience as well. What a great way to welcome Dragonwitch into the literary world!

Now, of course, what you've all been waiting for. The winner of the contest, and the first five Tales of Goldstone Wood novels is . . .

Annie Douglass Lima!

Congratulations, Annie! And thank you so much to all of you who participated. Remember, there are more chances to win the Tales of Goldstone Wood on the Prism Books Tour still running and the I Am a Reader, Not a Writer blog tour coming up at the end of the month.
I hope you will all find a chance to pick up and read Dragonwitch this summer. In the meanwhile, what are some of the summer reads you have enjoyed so far this year? I always love suggestions . . .

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Dragonwitch Release Day Blog Tour!

The time is here, dear Imps, for the Dragonwitch release day blog tour. This is a short tour (just three days long), but it offers numerous prizes! On July 17th, I'll announce the winner of the Grand Prize, which will be all five of the Goldstone Wood novels along with bookmarks and other fun swag.

But aside from Grand Prize, many of these bloggers are hosting extra giveaways with opportunities to win copies of Dragonwitch. So be certain you go through and enter your name, because you will have many, many, many chances of winning.

And please take time to thank all of these wonderful bloggers participating in the tour (and follow their blogs if you aren't already. They're all seriously awesome). All of these lovely people bless my life and make the release of each new book so special and rewarding.

So do come and join us! Here is the complete list of all the fantastic blogs you can visit today, tomorrow, and the next day.

Did I mention that ONE of these fine hosts is posting a sneak peek from book 6, Shadow Hand?

Tour Schedule

July 14 - Day 1

Rebecca's Book Blog - Interview

Jennette Mbewe - Sneak Peek

Bluerose's Heart - Top Tens List

The Wordsmith's Shelf - Sneak Peek

The Wonderings of One Person - Guest Post

Seasons of Humility - Interview

Worthy 2 Read - Guest Post

The Endless Road - Interview

Tea and Bree - Interview/Sneak Peek

JoJo's Corner - Interview

July 15 - Day 2

Letters to the Cosmos - Guest Post

The Writer of Dream Things - Character Interview
The Sassy Sister - Sneak Peek
Makai Queen - Interview

JoJo's Corner - Sneak Peek

Crafty Booksheeps - Interview

Young Adult Books - Sneak Peek

Darling Diaries - Interview

Blooming with Books - Interview/Sneak Peek

July 16 - Day 3

The Writer's Window - Character Interview

Penning Praises - Guest Post

Crimilia - Interview

Rachel Herriman - Guest Post

Rina's Reading - Top Tens List

JoJo's Corner - Guest Post

Living On Literary Lane - Interview

Onto Her Bookshelf - Interview

An Ink-Made Maiden - Interview

July 17 -

Blog Tour Finale and Prize Awarded back at the Tales of Goldstone Wood!

Don't forget to enter your name for the Grand Prize!" rel="nofollow">a Rafflecopter giveaway


Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Fan Fiction Contest 2013

My dear Goldstone Wood Imps, the time has come to announce this year's Fan Fiction Contest.

You may remember how wonderful all the submissions were last year, particularly the winning submission by Meredith Burton (which can be read here). This year, we're going to shake it up a little bit, however! So if you want to participate, please read the rules below:

1. Your short story submission must be set in the world of Goldstone Wood and relate to the characters and themes of that world in some way. You may introduce your own new characters and storylines, but we must be able to see the connection to Goldstone Wood somehow.

2. There is no word-limit this year. You may make your stories as long or as short as you like!

3. You must get your submission to me no later than July 31, 2013.

4. This year, the winner will be selected via Fan Voting (as with the Fan Art Contest). All submissions will be given individual features on the Tales of Goldstone Wood blog so readers may read and enjoy them.

5. To Vote: Readers may email me their TOP THREE FAVORITES ( Those who submit stories may also vote.

6. Voting will last through the whole month of August, giving readers plenty of time to read every story. The winners will be announced on September 1st.


1st Place: Will receive two Goldstone Wood novels of her/his choice, and a free influencer copy of Shadow Hand when it releases next February!

2nd Place: Will receive two Goldstone Wood novels of her/his choice.

3rd Place: Will receive one Goldstone Wood novel of her/his choice.

Note: Illustrated stories are welcome, but I request that those who illustrate their stories send me the images as Jpegs and at least a week before the deadline so that I have plenty of time to format the story for presentation.

I am so looking forward to seeing your creativity at work! Last year displayed so much writing talent, it nearly blew me away. Can you Imps top that this year???

Monday, July 1, 2013

Prism Book Tours: DRAGONWITCH!


On Tour with Prism Book Tours...

The highly anticipated book, Dragonwitch by Anne Elisabeth Stengl, is NOW AVAILABLE!!!

(Tales of Goldstone Wood #5)

Paperback, 432 pages

Published July 1, 2013 by Bethany House Publishers

Submissive to her father’s will, Lady Leta of Aiven travels far to meet a prospective husband she neither knows nor loves–Lord Alistair, future king of the North Country.

But within the walls of Gaheris Castle, all is not right. Vicious night terrors plague Lord Alistair to the brink of insanity. Whispers rise from the family crypt. The reclusive castle Chronicler, Leta’s tutor and friend, possesses a secret so dangerous it could cost his life and topple the North Country into civil war.

And far away in a hidden kingdom, a fire burns atop the Temple of the Sacred Flame. Acolytes and priestesses serve their goddess to the limits of their lives and deaths. No one is safe while the Dragonwitch searches for the sword that slew her twice…and for the one person who can wield it.

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.

Pull up a chair and a cup of tea... we've invited Anne Elisabeth to every blog on the tour!



1 – Book Release!

5 – JL Mbewe


Christy’s Cozy Corner

14 – Mommasez…

15 – Dee’sReads


Kelly P’s Blog

19 – Grand

Finale Blast!

The Tales of Goldstone Woods Series:

and now...

Coming Spring 2014

Bethany House

Read where it all began... for FREE!



The Series - on sale!

From $1.99 to $2.99 on Amazon & Barnes & Noble




Tour-wide Giveaway - 

USA, Canada & UK - Print Copy of the entire series to date!

See Rafflecopter for giveaway details.

Facebook Party Tonight!!!

Don't forget to RSVP! Click here for more details.
I hope to see you there for a fun time of book chat and giveaways. You'll have the opportunity to win ALL THREE of these exciting new novels!