Blog Tour- Call of the Sea

Today I am honored to take part in the Call of the Sea by Rebecca Hart blog tour! This was such a unique book that I truly loved and I know I will be reading again and again. It really reminded me of Pirates of the Caribbean! You guys can all check out my review here
I am really lucky and grateful to Rebecca Hart because she is providing a guest post for my tour stop! Check out why she chose to write about selkies.

Why I Chose to Feature Selkies in Call of the Sea

If you take a look at my bio information, do a little research into my internet history, or even talk to my kids, it won’t take you long to learn I really am a reformed gaming junkie. For me, the addiction started with Ultima Online (UO) and private role playing servers and progressed to the level of ridiculous when I started playing World of Warcraft (WoW). Video crack is not a euphemism; it is an honest reality.

Anyway, during my time playing UO, one of the private servers created a playing realm where the characters were all of a magical, or mythical nature. I’ve always been a sort of “against the grain” type of person, so I wanted to find something unique. I stumbled across the selkie myth and my mouth fell open. I’d always considered myself versed in Irish folk tales and myths, so why had I never heard of a selkie?

The search was on. In the end, I found very little about selkies beyond what is easy to find. For the sake of reference, this is the basic Myth of the Selkie:

From Wiki: Selkies (also known as silkies or selchies) are mythological creatures found in Faroese, Icelandic, Irish, Scottish folklore. The word derives from earlier Scots selich, (from Old English seolh meaning seal.) Selkies are said to live as seals n the sea but shed their skin to become human on land. The legend apparently originated on the Orkney and Shetland Islands

The Legend:

Stories concerning selkies are generally romantic tragedies. Sometimes the human will not know that their lover is a selkie, and wakes to find them gone. In other stories the human will hide the selkie’s skin, thus preventing it from returning to its seal form. A selkie can only make contact with one human for a short amount of time before they must return to the sea.

Male selkies are very handsome in their human form, and have great seductive powers over human women. They typically seek those who are dissatisfied with their life, such as married women waiting for their fishermen husbands. If a woman wishes to make contact with a selkie male, she has to go to a beach and shed seven tears into the sea.

If a man steals a female selkie’s skin she is in his power and is forced to become his wife. Female selkies are said to make excellent wives, but because their true home is the sea, they will often be seen gazing longingly at the ocean. If she finds her skin she will immediately return to her true home, and sometimes to her selkie husband, in the sea.

Sometimes, a selkie maiden is taken as a wife by a human man and she has several children by him. In these stories, it is one of her children who discovers her sealskin (often unwitting of its significance) and she soon returns to the sea. The selkie woman usually avoids seeing her human husband again but is sometimes shown visiting her children and playing with them in the waves.

Selkies are not always faithless lovers. One tale tells of the fisherman Cagan who married a seal-woman. Against his wife’s wishes he set sail dangerously late in the year, and was trapped battling a terrible storm, unable to return home. His wife shifted to her seal form and saved him, even though this meant she could never return to her human body and hence her happy home.

How tragically romantic, right? A story waiting to be written. A character waiting to be played. I did indeed create my selkie for that role playing server, and the seeds of interest in the selkie myth rooted themselves in my subconscious.

Close to ten years later, I was tossing around the idea for Call of the Sea. I’d conjured Ellie, and knew from the moment I met her, she was meant to twist up gender roles. Her personality is definitely not meek and she made it known her match would have to be something special. Enter romantic tragedy — and the selkie myth into my somewhat sadistic mind. I’d twisted the typical pirate role to a female, so it only made sense to do the same with her male counterpart, and a male selkie fit the bill just perfectly.

And my irresistible Irish selkie, Daniel O’Rourke was born.

I’ve grown quite fond of him. :)

Thank you so much Rebecca! Inkspell and Rebecca have provided a signed copy of Call of the Sea!

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A little bit about Rebecca!

Rebecca Hart is a single parent, full time IT geek, and reformed gaming addict living in Upstate NY. When not at the office with her nose buried in a laptop trying to fix it, she can be found at home with her nose buried in a laptop, writing instead. Her debut novel, a Paranormal Romance titled CALL OF THE SEA, will be published by Inkspell Publishing with a release date of June 21, 2012, giving Rebecca one more reason to look forward to summer. Rebecca’s short stories have been featured in anthologies published by Pill Hill Press, Wicked East Press and DFE Quarterly (erotica). She enjoys hearing and interacting with her readers.

Rebecca’s Website
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Inkspell Publishing Website

CALL OF THE SEA will be on sale 30% off from June 21st to June 30th at Inkspell Publishing Store

Review- Call of the Sea by Rebecca Hart

Title: Call of the Sea
Author: Rebecca Hart
Publisher: Inkspell Publishing
Publication Date: June 21, 2012
Source: Publisher- Inkspell Publishing

From Goodreads:

Elysandra Winters has always yearned for a life of adventure on the rolling seas and is willing to do whatever it takes to fulfill her dream. When her Privateer father continually refuses to allow his only daughter to sail, Ellie defies him, disguises herself as a boy, and goes in search of a captain who will give her a chance to prove her worth.

Thanks to the cursed selkie blood coursing through his veins, Daniel O’Rourke needs the sea to survive. After giving up on his humanity and spending three years in seal form, he decides to give his human side another chance. Daniel goes in search of a job and a sense of normalcy, earning himself a position aboard Captain Winter’s ship, The Siren’s Call. However, his new captain’s first assignment has nothing at all to do with sailing, and everything to do with his headstrong young daughter.

Years later, when the leader of a band of bloodthirsty pirates murders Captain Winters, Daniel and Elysandra’s lives come crashing back together with the force of a hurricane. Both experts in deception, they must find a way to trust each other if they are to have any hope of hunting down the captain’s killer.

Ellie Winters longs for the sea and would do almost anything to live her life on it, including running away from boarding school and starting a new life as Ellis. Call of the Sea by Rebecca Hart starts out with a sweet and gentle pace, but once Ellie and Daniel collide as adults the story gets rolling. Daniel happens to be a young selkie man with a tragic past who is in love with Ellie. Ellie is a stubborn young woman with a steadfast head on her shoulders that refuses to admit she loves Daniel. Pushed together by tragedy the reader is able to watch these two grow as individuals and as a couple while they try to avenge a loved ones death.

My thoughts:
I really enjoyed reading this book. Selkie stories have always drawn me in and this was such an amazing telling of the Irish folklore. Hart instantly had me connecting with Ellie, a girl who longs for something that she doesn’t think she can have. Who doesn’t relate to Ellie on that point? She is such a fierce and strong willed character and I really enjoyed reading a strong female lead.

I seriously hope that Rebecca Hart will continue on with this story because I cannot wait to read more about Ellie and Daniel!

“Point of Origin” Blog Tour

I am so excited to take part in the Point of Origin Blog Tour today! I am so excited to get to take part in the tour which Kelly was amazing an arranged! Thanks for the invite Kelly! Thanks to this tour I have fallen in love with The Survivors world and I cannot wait to read more from Amanda Havard in the future.

Here is my interview with Amanda.

1) What about the Salem Witch Trials drew you in and inspired you to write The Survivors Series?

They’re just so messed up! We know a ton about what happened there, but we still don’t know why it all happened. The unknowns are the best place to start weaving fiction into reality, and that’s my favorite line to blur.

2) Did you always know the Survivors weren’t witches? Or did their differences develop over time?

I always knew that they didn’t know what they were, and that was my baseline. That way you could read a story about creatures you were unfamiliar with since they didn’t even know what they were themselves. I was hoping that this would make everyone step back and see the features or commonalities between supernaturals and the themes in their powers or struggles, rather than labeling something a “witch” book or a “vampire” book or what have you. I wanted to look at the overarching level of supernatural.

I also wanted to incorporate the idea of individual powers for every Survivor for a number of reasons but probably most because I have a real attachment to comic book heroes. Everyone deserves a little oneness. In my head, the Survivors world is like a mini-Marvel universe. Tons of characters and creatures coexisting in the same universe, sometimes running into each other and sometimes running separate storylines entirely, they all exist in the same world. That’s where I hope this is going — to an infinite number of stories inside the same world.

3) Sadie does a lot of research, did you have to research with her or did you already know a lot of the information?

It was about half and half. I knew enough to set up the background of the story, and I researched right along with her to fill out the rest.

4) What made you decide to bring in so many different paranormal creatures?

Like I said before, I really liked taking a step back and looking at the overarching supernatural themes, not just one subsection. Really, all I did was operate under the assumption that the world the Survivors are in is the same one you and I are in, with the same time, culture, and history, only all the legends, lore, and mythology are all actually true. To fit with this, it was only natural that there would be a plethora of supernatural creatures, just like there are countless legends.

5) The books all fit together like an epic puzzle, was it hard for you

to keep everything straight while writing?

It isn’t hard for me to keep it all straight, but it is sometimes difficult for me to remember what I’ve told you at one point. Sometimes people will ask me specific questions about an event, character, theme, or scene, and I have to stop and think “Wait, do you know ____ at this point?” before answering and giving away a spoiler or something.

6) You have said there will be five books, is there anything you can tell us about the other three books? Will we see a lot more mythology?

All the mythology you’ve already been introduced will definitely have a place in the future books, and I think more will certainly emerge in the later texts. The third book explores a bit of a specific Native American tribe and their legends to add to the mix, and greater connections are drawn between the ones that I’ve already introduced.

But whatever else happens, I can promise that the rest of the series is huge. It’s dark. It’s action-packed. And it will break your heart.

7) What was your favorite lore that you found? Any particular creature or region?

There are a lot of them, so it’s hard to choose! Of course, true to form, Russia and Romania had some of the most interesting ones I was particularly drawn to, but there are really interesting gradations of creatures with Islamic roots, like the ghoul. According to different ghoul legends, they have ghost-like elements, return-from-the-dead like classic versions of vampires, shape-shift, and eat people. So. There are plenty of fun ones that make you wonder about the possibilities!

8. Which character do you relate the most to? The least?

I relate to almost all of my characters in a particularly real way. Authors, playwrights, and the like have been known to claim that their characters are all just parts of themselves, and that’s probably very true of me. That said, I have a lot of Sadie in me, a lot of Mark, and a great deal of Ginny. But they all have a place. I mean, I’d love to say I share nothing in common with John or Raven, but of course I do. Raven wants power, he wants to accomplish what he wants without limits being placed on it. Those who know me know that’s incredibly true of me. Or John? His motives are terrible and he’s malicious and only gets more terrifying as the series goes on, but

he’s acting entirely out of fear. (Fear of what, I’ll leave up to you to determine.) But haven’t we all done that? Made mistakes, judgments, or acted too harshly out of fear or defensiveness alone?

All that said, the person I probably relate least to is Anthony. He seems to be the only one who is gratuitously more violent than he needs to be, he pushes his children to be colder, so to speak, and he’s suspicious of everyone around him. And so I’m suspicious of him — and not at all like him.

9) Do you have any underdog characters that you really want readers to root for?

I want you to root for all of them!! I’d love to know who people thought were the underdogs worth rooting for. I’m much more interested in what people have to say or what they think about the story than I am telling more about what I think about it!

Thanks so much for answering my questions Amanda! I have fallen in love with this story and its characters! Looking forward to reading so much more!

Thanks so much, Hannah! I’m so glad I could be here, and I’m so thrilled to have another dedicated reader!

You can also check out my review for Point of Origin right here

There is also a giveaway! Thanks so much for Chafie Press for providing a SIGNED copy of The Survivors and a SIGNED copy of Point of Origin! I’m so excited for you guys to get to read it too!

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Review- Point of Origin by Amanda Havard

Title: Point of Origin (Survivors #2)
Author: Amanda Havard
Publication Date: June 12, 2012
Publisher: Chafie Press
Source: Chafie Press

From Goodreads

The winter is upon us. The Survivors are in chaos. The war is coming.

One year ago, Sadie Matthau was living among humans, existing as one of them. But now she wakes each morning in a house in the Survivors’ City, listening to the invocations and insults of her family members as they cope with their new future. A war. Rogue abandoners turned monsters. Sadie and the icy Winters living in their midst, bringing the outside world in.

The Survivors: Point of Origin is Sadie’s quest to save her family. But can she find what she is looking for when she can barely stomach the Winters’ wintry demeanor and finds herself distracted by Cole Hardwick’s warm heart? Will she be able to uncover her family’s history even as the elders’ grip tightens around her throat? In an action packed ride full of magic and misery, terror and triumph, Sadie Matthau seeks the Survivors’ beginning just in time to face her end.

Amanda Havard is an amazing storyteller who spins a tangled web of secrets and half truths in Point of Origin. Everyone has a secret and Sadie Matthau spends much of Point of Origin trying to figure out what they are. Truly one of the best elements of The Survivors series is Havard’s ability to build an epic puzzle for her fans and then watch as they try and sort through the pieces with Sadie.
With an expertise in fashion and cars, Sadie ventures out into the world to discover the secrets behind the Survivors. Not only does she have to try and hunt down the answers to the mysteries of her origins, she also has to deal with the ever deepening secrets of the original fourteen Survivors and the Winters family. The reader stumbles upon shocking truths and even more secrets, just as Sadie does. Nothing is revealed until the opportune moment. Readers will remain on the edge of their seats throughout the entire book and almost fall of the edge with an amazing ending!

My opinion:
What to say? Amanda Havard’s Point of Origin was an amazing read and I am so happy to have gotten the opportunity to read it and fall in love. I will say that Point of Origin and The Survivors series was a true underdog on my reading list. I was unfamiliar with the series and with Amanda Havard. After reading both of the books I am now a true follower and fan of Amanda and I honestly cannot wait to read the rest of the series! The Survivors now sits on my shelf next to Harry Potter and Divergent. I give this book four stars! Everyone needs to go check it out!