#Blogmas | A Fantasy Christmas celebration feat. authors of fantastical realms | the Crown of Temontane series by Melissa McShane

Posted Monday, 10 December, 2018 by jorielov , , 2 Comments

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Hallo, Hallo dear hearts!

I might have confessed this already, however, I’ve been battling through a virus the past several days which caught itself in my family (’tis the season, ho, ho, ho) – however, I can’t remember if I mentioned it during #FantasyForChristmas yet or not. I know I referenced being a Tolkien girl moreso than a Lewis (CS) girl – however, the truth of it is I still need to *read!* Middle Earth properly rather than geeking out over the films, which at the time, arrived when I was seeking a highly dramatic *saga!* of Fantasy to become lost inside – as it was the perfect anchour to watching the Potter films which I will contend forever gave me a second childhood in my twenties! It is rare though to find the kind of world-building you are seeking writ in a fashion you feel you can become attached to inside a narrative built out of the sagas which make reading so dearly wondrously enchanting!

When I read the premise of this fourth release – the conclusion of the series – (ironically enough!) is what gave me the hope I’ve found a brilliant saga of Fantasy to soak inside throughout the New Year! I’ve been wanting to jump start my fantastical readings since we co-hosted our first #WyrdAndWonder (@WyrdAndWonder) event last May, however, as my health issues continued to plague me this past year, I had to abandon a lot of what I wanted to read and just enjoy what I could read instead. It was through the #ThanksgivingReadathon where I settled into reading stories via #Mythothon this past November which started to re-inspire me into seeking out cunningly original feats of Fantasy which take-on different portals of interest and encourage deeper thoughts of how stories can be crafted and inspired by not just the topics/themes known for Fantasy but from outside sources as well.

Originally, when the #FantasyForChristmas blog series was announced, I thought I had to come up with topics for guest features and/or questions for interviews – before I realised how they were assembled for the bloggers. Today it is pleasure of joy to feature a guest post where Ms McShane has broken down the key reasons why this series feels larger somehow than the space it is given in the four installments she’s provided for us to find. I *love!* stories which paint themselves alive in such a manner of expansion, that it feels to us as we’re reading them, we’ve somehow enlarged our ‘real world’ with the fictionally fantastic!

Do spend time on my blog after you’ve read this post in case you’ve spied another #blogmas Fantasy spotlighted novel or series; I’ve found several I know I am wicked eager to be reading in New Year! Perhaps, you’ll find a few yourself? I’ll be finalising a wrap-up post for this blog series after the #FantasyForChristmas stops conclude – re-visiting what drew me into the stories and how I’ll be fetching copies of the books themselves! Til then, enjoy the posts and have a wonderfully lovely pre-Christmas #blogmas! Remember – I’ll be continuing to feature more #blogmas posts leading up til Christmas as well as my #cloakanddaggerchristmas series focusing on stories of Mystery & Suspense!

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Voyager of the Crown by Melissa McShane

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Published by: Night Harbor Publishing

Converse via: #FantasyForChristmas, #FantasyNerd and #CrownOfTemontane

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The Crown of Temontane series:

Voyager of the Crown (book four) | add to LibraryThing

Published: 7th September, 2018 | ISBN: 978-1949663020

Zara North, Queen of Tremontane, has the ability to unconsciously heal herself—a magic that also keeps her from aging. Faced with the reality that public knowledge of her magic could destroy her family’s dynasty and cost them the Crown, she faked her own death and set out to make a new life for herself, far from the capital and the family she loved. Never settling anywhere for long, Zara became an exile in her own country.

Now, sixty years after her “death,” Zara’s ageless face forces her to leave her home yet again. Wanting something different from the quiet life she led for decades, she sets sail for the distant continent of Dineh-Karit, reclusive and alien. When unexpected catastrophe strikes, it strands Zara and a handful of her fellow voyagers in the jungles of Dineh-Karit. Far from civilization, their only guide a reluctant Tremontanan expatriate who has his own reasons for being there, the castaways struggle for survival and to return home.

But Zara, entrusted with a secret by a dying man, finds herself caught between the woman she has become and the Queen she used to be. As an implacable enemy bent on retrieving the secret—a mysterious magical object—draws ever closer, Zara realizes her companions’ survival depends on Zara’s ability to lead them as she once did a nation. With an identity and a magical secret she still cannot reveal, Zara discovers depths in herself she thought were long gone—and gains a future she never expected.

Book Four in The Crown of Tremontane series about extraordinary women facing extraordinary challenges, Voyager of the Crown can be read as a standalone novel or as part of the series.

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Servant of the Crown by Melissa McShaneRider of the Crown by Melissa McShaneAgent of the Crown by Melissa McShane

Servant of the Crown (book one) | Add to LibraryThing

Rider of the Crown (book two) | Add to LibraryThing

Agent of the Crown (book three) | Add to LibraryThing

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Enjoy this Guest Post about how this

series developed & became what it is today:

The Crown of Tremontane series began as a bedtime story I told myself that grew over time: the story of princess/spy Telaine, of the beautiful but bookishly shy Alison, of tough warrior Imogen. But I have no memory of how Zara North, heroine of Voyager of the Crown, came to be. Because I wrote the series back to front, starting with book three (Agent of the Crown), Zara’s character developed in a sideways manner. I always knew she had the magical ability to unconsciously heal herself, and I knew that would be a devastating ability for a queen to have—because it meant healing the damage of aging so she would never grow old or die, and that kind of eternal reign struck me as potentially terrible for a kingdom. She fascinated me from the beginning, even though she was a side character, great-aunt to Princess Telaine North Hunter whose story Agent was.

But in Agent, Zara was already long past the time when she had been queen, and she had been in hiding for forty-plus years. It took writing the first book, Servant of the Crown, to discover who she’d been before she learned about her magic: a tough, take-no-prisoners lady who stole every scene she was in (she is not the main character in Servant, but she provides an essential backbone for the novel). And in the bonus short story attached to Servant, “Long Live the Queen,” I finally got to tell a story from Zara’s perspective and set her free to discover who she was meant to be.

That short story intrigued me enough that I wanted to write a whole book with her as the main character. Unfortunately, the story eluded me for years. At one point, I wrote a sequence of short stories about Zara’s life after faking her death and going into hiding, and those were fun, but I despaired of ever discovering what her happily ever after was. And yet I couldn’t bear to think of her going on for another century or more, unable to settle down permanently, always alone.

It was the “alone” part that finally gave shape to Voyager of the Crown. Zara, in setting off to make yet another new life for herself, is shipwrecked with a handful of other passengers in a distant land—and suddenly she’s not alone as she and her chance-met friends struggle to survive. Add a handsome stranger named Ransom—tetchy, sarcastic, and every bit as smart as Zara—a mysterious magical artifact, and pirates, and I had the novel I’d given up on ever writing.

Voyager of the Crown can be read by itself or as the culmination of the Crown of Tremontane series, but it’s richer if it’s read as part of Zara North’s character arc. I love how it turned out, and that Zara finds both true love and the sense of self she thought she’d left behind a lifetime ago.

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I found it wicked intriguing how this series developed – not just from the stand-point McShane took an unorthodox route towards writing down the bones of the series itself *but!* how each of the characters in turn, had a way of re-inspiring her to follow the different threads of their lives. In part, because as a writer myself – I can imagine how this can happen but also, as a reader, I love how it was written in reverse order – almost as if the reel had unwound backwards in order to give the best continuity of how the story originally began! I *love!* these ‘behind-the-book’ disclosures because they give us keen insight into the writing world & the dimensions of where creativity re-explores how stories are crafted per each new writer who takes up the will to create their own story. In a word, I find this wicked fascinating!

To read about how Zara’s own life’s story was elusive to McShane and how in the process of writing the series itself, led her closer to uncovering Zara was a breath of fresh air – as I think a lot of us who write, sometimes wonder how to find the elusive character(s) who are intriguing to us to write but sometimes, we might wonder if we can ever get their stories straight – to where the character is honoured by what we’ve written on their behalf whilst upholding the continuity we were seeking. I can relate to her process of bringing Zara to life but also, the earnest heartache of feeling as if your chasing after a rainbow and will *never!* catch the end of it.

I will definitely be reading this series in sequence of order! It is not just my preferred method for serial fiction *but!* when you have a saga this beautiful in scope and breadth, I’d feel I’d have short-changed myself otherwise if I were to cut to the quick and read the ENDING before the BEGINNING! I want to take this journey with McShane and I want to see how this world erupts before my eyes,… wow. I can’t wait to #EnterTheFantastic with this series!

I’d also like to draw attention to the *cover art!* designs of this series – what is clever is how they are a collage of the world built into the series itself – yet, they also draw your eye to a particular character per each installment. I love the realistic edge they give off but how they also play homage to the world in which this series lives – they keep the Fantasy vibe but they make it approachable. I generally prefer original illustrations for artwork on #SpecLit but this is one of those instances where sometimes, I am wooed by the contemporary art vibes of designers who can bring this kind of edge to their covers. The continuity of the designs is wicked #awesomesauce, too! There are so many little nuanced elements in the covers which make you easily notice which series these stories belong, too!

PS: Jorie does *love!* a wicked good segue involving pirates,… ho hey & away!

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About Melissa McShane

Melissa McShane

Melissa McShane is the author of twenty fantasy novels, including Servant of the Crown, Burning Bright, and The Book of Secrets. She lives in the shelter of the mountains out West with her husband, four children and a niece, and two very needy cats. She wrote reviews and critical essays for many years before turning to fiction, which is much more fun than anyone ought to be allowed to have. You can visit her at her website for information on other books and upcoming releases.

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This blog tour is courtesy of: Prism Book Tours

Prism Book Tours

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Fantasy for Christmas blog tour via Prism Book ToursClick through via the badge to find out what else awaits you! Especially as this is a special tour featuring Christmas SURPRISES for readers who LOVE a stuffed stocking!

Each day, a new author is showcased – I selected the authors I wanted to feature ahead of time, however, Ms Adams either snuck past my purview and/or she wasn’t yet confirmed – I’m so thankful to have had a second chance of becoming introduced to her series – as I’m already seeking it via interlibrary loan at my local library!

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Similar to blog tours where I feature book reviews, as I choose to highlight an author via a Guest Post, Q&A, Interview, etc., I do not receive compensation for featuring supplemental content on my blog. I provide the questions for interviews and topics for the guest posts; wherein I receive the responses back from publicists and authors directly. I am naturally curious about the ‘behind-the-scenes’ of stories and the writers who pen them; I have a heap of joy bringing this content to my readers.

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{SOURCES: Cover art of “Servant of the Crown”, “Agent of the Crown”, “Rider of the Crown”, “Voyager of the Crown”, the author’s photo and biography, blog tour banner and The Prism Book Tours badge were all provided by Prism Book Tours and used with permission. Post dividers and My Thoughts badge by Fun Stuff for Your Blog via Pure Imagination. Tweets embedded by codes provided by Twitter. Blog graphics created by Jorie via Canva: Stories in the Spotlight banner and the Comment Box Banner.}

Copyright © Jorie Loves A Story, 2018.

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About jorielov

I am self-educated through local libraries and alternative education opportunities. I am a writer by trade and I cured a ten-year writer’s block by the discovery of Nanowrimo in November 2008. The event changed my life by re-establishing my muse and solidifying my path. Five years later whilst exploring the bookish blogosphere I decided to become a book blogger. I am a champion of wordsmiths who evoke a visceral experience in narrative. I write comprehensive book showcases electing to get into the heart of my reading observations. I dance through genres seeking literary enlightenment and enchantment. Starting in Autumn 2013 I became a blog book tour hostess featuring books and authors. I joined The Classics Club in January 2014 to seek out appreciators of the timeless works of literature whose breadth of scope and voice resonate with us all.

"I write my heart out and own my writing after it has spilt out of the pen." - self quote (Jorie of Jorie Loves A Story)

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Posted Monday, 10 December, 2018 by jorielov in #blogmas, Blog Tour Host, Book Spotlight, Fantasy Fiction, Indie Author, Prism Book Tours, Steampunk

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2 responses to “#Blogmas | A Fantasy Christmas celebration feat. authors of fantastical realms | the Crown of Temontane series by Melissa McShane

    • Hallo, Hallo Lou,

      For me as well – I am trying to compile a list of these I can borrow through my library for #WyrdAndWonder this coming May; I’d like to focus more on reading Fantasy & Science Fiction throughout the year, as that is why I created those two tags! However, I also felt I had this #epicfail moment for the first year of #WyrdAndWonder so I want a redemption year! lol Secondly, I requested one of these #FantasyForChristmas stories a bit too early as I think I’m about to run out of time to read it — boomeranging unfortunately back unread. *le sigh* I hope we’ll both find some of these lovely Fantasy authors will connect with us as we get into their worlds!

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