Nov 12, 2014

November 12: Haven Lost by Josh de Lioncourt Blog Tour



Haven Lost -
The Dragon’s Brood Cycle, Vol. 1
by Josh de Lioncourt
~~~~~~~~~~~~~

BLURB:

Legends never die; they just go into hiding …

Sixteen-year-old Emily Haven, heroine of the girls’ hockey team at Lindsey High, has spent her young life keeping two secrets: her rapidly deteriorating home life and the seemingly supernatural power that makes her a star on the ice. When she begins seeing visions of a lost and ragged boy reflected in mirrors and shop windows, a series of events unfolds that tears her from twenty-first century Minneapolis and leaves her stranded in another world with horrors to rival those she has left behind. Lost amidst creatures of fantasy and legend, she is forced to confront the demons of both her past and future to unravel the riddle of the mysterious boy and embark upon a journey to uncover long forgotten histories and the dark, cloaked figure in the shadows behind them all. Caught between opposing forces of a war she does not understand, Emily must find new strength within herself and, above all, the will to remember her friends.


Excerpt :

“Hello?” she whispered, but she couldn’t hear her own voice over the low whine that was building in her head. The knowing hadn’t abandoned her. It hadn’t abandoned her at all. If anything, it was stronger than it had ever been.

Her muscles spasmed with the force of it. The whine in her head rose to a crescendo that made her feel as though she’d become some kind of weird human tuning fork. She began to shake uncontrollably, and the floor seemed to sway and heave beneath her feet, like the deck of a ship on rough seas.

She fell to her knees in front of the mirror, unable to tear her eyes away from the strange boy with the pony-tail and the torn and ragged clothes. She could see every minute detail of his attire, from the thick red and black thread that had been used to mend his jeans and jacket, to the filth and tarnish on the old-fashioned fastenings.

He reached out toward her, and as he did, her own reflection in the mirror winked out. Only his face stared out of the dusty glass. His eyes were full of hope and sadness, and seemed the eyes of a much younger child. Those eyes spoke of suffering and loss, and Emily’s heart called out in recognition. She thought she saw the flicker of flames behind the boy, and then she was reaching out to him as well.

Their fingers met. She clasped his in her own, feeling their warm, rough reality, and wanting to give comfort as much as receive it. Such a simple action. Such a mundane, human gesture. And with that ordinary decision made, two worlds changed forever.

“Yes,” she whispered, and watched as the breath of that word fogged the glass between them, spreading until it filled the world with a cloudy, white mist.



AUTHOR Bio and Links:


Josh de Lioncourt was born and raised in California and enjoys writing projects in a wide variety of fields, including fiction, music, software, blogging, and tech articles. He has written on Apple accessibility for Macworld and Maccessibility, hosts or participates regularly on several podcasts, and writes and records music with Molly, his other half. Josh enjoys the works of Stephen King, the music of George Michael, Masters of the Universe, and Los Angeles Kings hockey. He currently lives in Pennsylvania.

General Links
Buy Links for Haven Lost
Author Interview

1. Did you do any kind of research to determine the details of your characters’ lives / lifestyles?

 
There was a tremendous amount of research involved in crafting the story and characters in “Haven Lost”. I can’t say much about the specifics here without spoiling the surprise, but what I can say is that many of the characters in this book—in fact in the series as a whole—have a special set of relationships with one another that required a great deal of research. Since the story had been knocking around inside my head for over two decades, a lot of the work had been done long before I sat down to tell the tale.

In addition to the aforementioned relationships, the story’s heroine, Emily Haven, is a hockey player. While I have always had a love of hockey, I hadn’t really had the opportunity to experience much of the women’s game until right around the time I began work on “Haven Lost”. Researching the differences between the men’s and women’s variations of the game, as well as experiencing a number of the games played by the Penn State Women’s hockey team, both provided valuable cues for Emily’s character and, personally, a deeper appreciation for women’s hockey in general.

2. The best book/s you ever read?


I’m a voracious reader, and my taste in books covers a pretty wide spectrum, though I tend to favor books with a fantastical, or at least supernatural, focus. Stephen King’s “The Dark Tower” saga, Anne Rice’s “Vampire Chronicles”, J.K. Rowling’s “Harry Potter” series, Veronica Roth’s “Divergent” trilogy, and L.A. Meyer’s “Bloody Jack” series are among my favorites, but that list hardly covers all the books that come to mind when asked this question. The truth is, that if there’s a good and engaging story to be had, I’m probably going to enjoy it—it just helps if wizards, aliens, or the undead are involved in some form or fashion. I think this, at least to some degree, accounts for the world that I created in “Haven Lost”, which draws from all these genres and others. A good story has to stimulate the mind as well as get the adrenaline pumping.

3. How did you get into writing?

I’ve been dreaming up stories for as long as I can remember. As a young child,I remember drawing comic book-style panels for an Inspector Clouzot story, long before I could read, let alone write. In school, after I lost my vision, I took every opportunity I could to tell a tale with varying degrees of success. Most of my earliest stories, as far as I can remember now, were science-fiction. As I got older, my tastes began to broaden and I tended more toward horror and the supernatural. In the end, the stories I told were a blend of all these with a heavy dose of fantasy.

Aside from all that though, I write because I seem to have a need to be creating things. For the vast majority of my life I’ve either been writing stories, music, software, poetry, or just about anything else that ended itself to the birth of something new and wondrous out of nothing.

Steve Jobs is often quoted as having said that he wanted to make a dent in the universe; I guess creativity is one way I try to do the same, though hopefully it isn’t the only one.

4. How did you come up with the title? Names?

The title of this novel went through a number of variations before I finally decided upon “Haven Lost”. Early drafts were called “Haven 21” in reference to Emily’s hockey jersey. (Haven being her surname, and 21 her number on the team.) In the end, I went with “Haven Lost” because it encapsulates several layers of meaning in relationship to the story as a whole.

Character names, on the other hand, are a very strange sort of beast. I used to agonize over them, sometimes being unable to continue with a story until I had decided on just the right name.

That largely changed with “Haven Lost”, though I can’t say exactly why. As the book began gathering momentum, the story, and to an even greater degree the characters, seemed to take on a life of their own. They often seemed to have names before they’d even made the leap onto the virtual page, and in every case, the name that they were born with stuck quite naturally.

5. Who inspire you?

Inspiration is a funny thing. You can be inspired by something to accomplish some grand task; you can take inspiration from a fellow human being who embodies virtuous attributes that you wish to instill within yourself; a work of art or literature might be the seed that blossoms into the inspiration for your own masterpiece. To answer this, I’ll stick with the inspiration for my stories.

Stephen King inspires me to continue to hone my skills as a storyteller. Anne Rice inspires me to bring a scene to life with vivid descriptions that pull the reader in and don’t let go. J.K. Rowling inspires me to built rich and complex worlds that, for all their fantastic qualities, feel as real and alive as the one we all inhabit together. From a literary standpoint, these are the writers who most inspire me, and who have had the greatest influence over my work.

6. What is your favorite quote?
“The rich declare themselves poor,
But most of us are not sure
If we have too much
But we’ll take our chances
Because God stopped keeping score.” — George Michael, Praying for Time


7. Do you think that the cover plays an important part in the buying process?
 
For me, a book cover plays no part in the decision to buy a book, since I’m blind and can’t see them anyway. For most, it absolutely does have a major impact. It is the first impression that a story will generally have to a potential reader, and the cover should, in its most basic form, communicate both the style and spirit of the story.

I had vision until age six, and as a result, I tend to be a surprisingly visual thinker. The cover of “Haven Lost” mattered to me very much, because it is my way of walking up to someone, likely a stranger, extending my hand and saying, “Hi there! Nice to meet you! Can I tell you a story?”

And then, of course, I wait, hold my breath, and hope that the person says, “Yes!”

THE AUTHOR WILL BE GIVING AWAY:

Josh will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $20 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn host.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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