Monday, August 17, 2015

In Heaven's Shadow Blog Tour! (+$15 Amazon GC Giveaway!)

Title: In Heaven's Shadow
Author: S.A. Bolich
Series: N/A
Pages: 227
Date Published: 2015
Publisher: Hartwood Publishing 
Format: Kindle
Genre: Historical Fiction 
Source: Goddess Fish Blog Tours
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Synopsis:
Lilith Stark knows from experience that dead doesn't necessarily mean gone. Gettysburg took Joab's life, but her husband struck a bargain with Heaven to come home instead. She’s not about to turn away whatever the Yankees have left to her of their all-too-brief marriage. But when she inadvertently lets slip to the neighbors that not only Joab has come home, but one of the neighbor boys as well, she ignites a town already rubbed raw by the endless sorrows of civil war. Lilith, hoping to salvage the situation, only puts her foot in it deeper when she offers the good people of Browns Corners, Virginia, the benefits of her strange and perhaps saintly father's magical elixir. With the neighbors fighting over the elixir, the Reverend Fisk convinced she's the lying daughter of a shiftless devil, and the bereaved mother of the ghost living in Lilith's barn turning the whole town against her, Lilith's happy penchant for creating unexpected rainbows curdles to a despairing gathering of black creepers instead. A private little war between Lilith and the Reverend leads to a very public confrontation in which Lilith will either get the town to accept her--magic, ghosts, and all--or find herself locked away as a madwoman, deprived of everything that makes her life worthwhile.
~Where did IHS Come From?~
“In Heaven’s Shadow” actually came out of NaNoWriMo—the National Novel Writing Month challenge wherein participants try to write at least the first 50,000 words of a novel in a month. I had been pretty stalled out on my writing for a year or so after my father died, so in desperation I seized upon the challenge to force myself to put words on the page. And lo and behold, who should walk onto page one but Joab, a “long, tall ghost with broad shoulders and a face that still looked readier to laugh than frown,” forgoing Heaven to be with his wife? Uh, yeah, at that point I pretty much knew what my subconscious was trying to work out!

While there is a little serious rumination about death and dying in here, there’s also some funnier extrapolation driven by Lilith’s backwoods lack of education but very practical common sense. How would you manage several generations’ worth of ghosts all wanting to share the same bed you inherited from your parents, in the same farmhouse? Lilith decides maybe there’s a reason people should move on, but then she wonders how crowded Heaven is getting to be...

I can’t say the book was fun to write, because the process raked up a lot of unhealed stuff, just as Lilith’s revelations about Joab and Luke rub raw a town already grieving for men lost to the Civil War. Her cluelessness with regard to “respectable” behavior sets me laughing even as it makes me cringe, because oh, honey, haven’t we all been there a time or two? Partly because she was so close to me, she was uncomfortable to write, but I’m glad I persevered to finish it. It sits pretty near the top of my favorites when it comes to my own novels. I hope you enjoy it, too.

~Try an Excerpt!~
She turned to where Joab stood looking so hangdog. “A week! It took you long enough to get home, Joab Stark.” She tried to make a joke out of it, but she heard a quiver in her voice and knew he would too.

He came up the steps, a long, tall ghost with broad shoulders and a face that still looked readier to laugh than frown, with the same short beard and the same unruly lock of brown hair falling over his right eye that he always had. He stopped in front of her, looking down with such regret in his face that Lilith caught her breath in dismay and reached to hold him.

He backed away. “No,” he said, very low. His voice was still the rich, warm tenor that had sung so sweet on Sundays and caressed her ear on so many nights up in that feather bed in the loft. That voice had captured her from the first time he’d smiled at an old maid too shy to poke her nose out of Pa’s cabin and said so low and quiet, “Hey there, Miss Lilith, I’m a’goin’ to come courtin’ you iffen you don’t mind.”

Oh, yes, she’d been a goner from that second on.

She stood very still, looking up at him. Folks expected ha’nts to be pale, wispy things, but Joab looked almost solid, full of colors, and only a little washy-looking. He shone faintly in the gloom, his face clear to her eyes.

“Why can’t I touch you?” she asked, aching with the wanting.

“Reckon you could if you tried, but I ain’t ready.”

“Why’d you come home, then?”


He smiled that crooked smile. “Guess I just ain’t got sense enough to go on to Heaven.” The smile faltered. “This is Heaven, Lil. Right here. I don’t want no other.”
~Meet S.A. Bolich!~ 
S. A. Bolich's books often open quietly—but don’t be fooled. By page 10 you may be hooked so thoroughly you’ll forget to get off at your bus stop. Her worlds are lived-in, magical, sometimes mind-bendingly exotic, always historically accurate, and inhabited by people who reach out and grab us by the throat and make us care about their problems. An historian, former military intelligence officer, and lifelong horsewoman, she brings a deep love of wild places and a degree in history to her work, creating enchanting and believable worlds with a sideways slant on reality. She writes everything from “straight” and alternate history to fantasy and science fiction, filled with characters who remain in your heart long after the book is closed. She is also an accomplished rider who helps aspiring writers get their fictional equines right through her “Horses in Fiction” series on her blog. Learn more and find the complete list of her works at www.sabolichbooks.com.
 S.A. Bolich will be awarding an Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

29 comments:

  1. Replies
    1. Thanks for being here! I'm glad to know that NaNoWriMo worked for you! I admit I've made the attempt a time or two and it hasn't gone well for me! lol

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    2. That was my first and only time, and it did work for getting the first 50k on paper, though it took me another year to actually finish the book.

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  2. An interesting period in history.

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    1. Yes, it's always fascinated me--but then, so has most of history! I majored in it in college.

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  3. Thank you for the giveaway and the chance to win :)

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  4. What a touching excerpt. Thank you.

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    1. These two characters just utterly captured my heart from that moment. Needing to know what happened to them helped me through a very bad time.

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  5. I think it's wonderful that stories are "always historically accurate"! Gives me more to look forward to reading!

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    1. I think it's awful when stories are poorly researched or history gets radically altered to suit someone's plot. A little poetic license is one thing, and sometimes the "settled" history gets upended with new information, but I really do appreciate work that genuinely tries to show readers "how it really wuz."

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  6. You are a very accomplished woman. What an impressive career you have.

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    1. Thank you. It seemed at the time as sheer necessity and muddling through, but looking back, I certainly learned a lot about a great many things!

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  7. I like the synopsis, sounds great.

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    1. Thank you! I wanted this ghost story to be really different but at the same time have it be something people can relate to. I hope I managed it!

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  8. Sounds intriguing and entertaining, will have to read soon. Thanks for the giveaway.

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    1. I hope you enjoy it. Good luck with the drawing!

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  9. Thanks for the giveaway. I like the excerpt. :)

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    1. Thank you! The book was very fun to write, and very poignant while being funny at times. Good luck with the drawing!

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  10. Wonderful excerpt~thank you for sharing!

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    1. Thanks! You can read/hear the whole first chapter at my website, www.sabolichbooks.com if you want to know more about Lilith and Joab.

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  11. Great post! I really enjoyed reading the excerpt and learning about this book..thanks for sharing

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    1. Thank you so much for stopping by. I did put up the first chapter on my website and also recorded it, which was fun. Maybe I just like the sound of my own voice, but I liked doing the accents!

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    2. LOL...don't we alllll love the sounds of our own voice ;).. I'll definitely check out your website :)

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  12. Replies
    1. Thank you! There's more on my website: www.sabolichbooks.com.

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  13. To save everyone the trouble of hunting all over my website, here's the direct link. "In Heaven's Shadow" is toward the bottom of the page, with the first chapter posted as both a pdf and an audio file. http://sabolichbooks.com/extras.htm

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