Welcome to my stop on the Gaia by Karen Ann Hopkins (The Wings of War #2) blog tour. I'm excited to be part of the tour for this wonderful series and am delighted to have a guest post from Karen to share with you today. You can find the full schedule HERE, but before you go, don't forget to read the awesome post and enter the giveaway below!
As the Demons grow bolder and the walls between the planes of existence weaken, Ember is forced to develop her powers as quickly as possible, and she seeks out a powerful earth Watcher to continue her supernatural lessons. Her glimpse of the future demands she fight the dark forces spreading across the earth.
But her new mentor has his own agenda, making her question everyone and everything she ever trusted.
When Ember is thrust into the world of the Watchers, she learns of their plans—ones that defy the scripture and make them enemies of the Celestial Host. Ridding the world of evil gets complicated when it becomes impossible to take sides.
As Ember struggles with morality, she soon discovers that there’s something more frightening than anything she’s faced before.
• Why Choosing Your Setting is Important
Setting is extremely important in all my books. It’s my first consideration when creating a story. I pick locations that I’m familiar with and have an intriguing, atmospheric quality to them.
In my Amish novels, the settings are Amish settlements in the Midwest. Temptation is in the fictional town of Meadowview, Ohio, whereas my mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, is set in Indiana. The locations are similar in that they are both farming communities and small towns, but the tone of each place is very different. The Temptation novels are young adult and although there are a lot of struggles and tragedies within the community, the overall feel of the setting is bright, sunny and hopeful. The fictional town of Blood Rock, Indiana, is a darker, grittier place. I wanted the setting to give a creepy feeling to the reader that good mysteries invoke.
How did I achieve two completely different vibes for settings that are so similar? It’s all about what the author chooses to highlight in a story. In Temptation, when I wrote about Rose driving by a cornfield, it was simply a food crop. She even noticed the prettiness of the plants swaying in the sunbeams. In Lamb to the Slaughter, a young Amish woman was discovered dead in a cornfield, immediately setting the tone. In that book, I highlighted the oppressive quality to the plants, as well as the razor-like edges of their leaves and a person’s ability to become lost easily among them. Since there are beautiful and frightening qualities to most things, I dictated the mood of each story through my writing by using the setting in different ways.
In the Wings of War series, Ember and her friends travel to many locations, but their home base is the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. I picked the rugged and wild Tennessee hills for several reasons, but mainly because of my personal connection to the area after living there for fifteen years. It’s imperative to write about place that you have actually experienced yourself. Your story will be more believable if you can describe the sights, sounds and smells from experiential knowledge, rather than online or book research. There are so many subtle aspects to a place, like the strong scent of pine needs and the warm puffs of air around mountain laurel plants that you aren’t going to pick up from reading an article, but you will notice these things if you’re hiking through the woods in east Tennessee.
I strive to add these little elements throughout my books to give the reader an experience of feeling that they’re right there in the fictional world. What about you? Does a detailed setting keep you turning the pages?
Thank you for being a part of Gaia’s blog tour! I love to connect with readers on my Facebook page, Twitter, Instagram or at www.karenannhopkins.com. Please be on the lookout for the release of SECRETS IN THE GRAVE, the third installment in my mystery series, Serenity’s Plain Secrets, in early September! Thanks for reading!
Karen Ann Hopkins
Embers: The Wings of War #1
There are descendants of angels walking among us. Ember is one of them. And she may be the only hope mankind has as the rapture approaches and evil rises.Embers is an epic paranormal adventure about an eighteen year old girl who discovers that she's immune to fire and any other injury when she’s in a horrific car crash that kills her parents. Following a violent episode with her aunt's boyfriend, Ember flees Ohio to live with an old relative in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Ember's exuberance at escaping a bad home life soon turns to trepidation when she finds out that she's a Watcher, a descendant of angels. While Ember learns about her heritage and the powers that go along with it, she strikes up friendships with two young men who live in a frightening walled compound in the forest. Inexplicitly drawn to one of the men in particular, an impossible romance develops. But it is cut short when Ember discovers that her new friends are fighting on the opposite side of a war—one that’s been raging between two factions of Watchers for thousands of years. When the compound’s inhabitants threaten the townspeople, Ember takes action, sealing her fate in the ancient battle of good versus evil—and the grayness in between. Ember is up to the challenge, until she realizes that she isn’t only fighting for the lives of the locals and the souls of her new friends. She also might be one of the few champions who will make a stand for all of mankind as the rapture approaches and the end of days begin.Embers is a dark and gritty YA novel that’s the first book in the series, The Wings of War.
Karen Ann Hopkins resides in northern Kentucky with her family on a farm that boasts a menagerie of horses, goats, peacocks, chickens, ducks, rabbits, dogs and cats. Karen's main job is home schooling the kids, but she finds time to give riding lessons, coach a youth equestrian drill team, and of course, write. She was inspired to create her first book, Temptation, by the Amish community she lived in. The experiential knowledge she gained through her interactions with her neighbors drove her to create the story of the star-crossed lovers, Rose and Noah.Karen grew up about a mile from Lake Ontario in Upstate New York. She was bitten by the horse bug at the age of five, and after diligently taking riding lessons for several years, was rewarded with her first horse when she turned eleven. The feisty horse's name was Lady, a Quarter Horse-Thoroughbred cross, who became Karen's steadfast companion. Through the years, the constant force in her life was horses. Eventually, she found her place as a riding instructor herself. Before accepting her fate in the barnyard, she worked a short stint as a paralegal, traveled abroad, and guided tourists on horseback riding tours in the Smoky Mountains of Tennessee. Karen is currently working on her Amish mystery series, Serenity's Plain Secrets, along with the YA paranormal/fantasy series, The Wings of War. Karen is also excited to announce the Temptation series has been optioned for TV by Pilgrim Studios and is available on Audible. More books in the Temptation series are in the works.
About Karen Ann Hopkins:
One lucky winner will receive a $50 gift card (Amazon, B&N, iTunes), as well as a complete set of Karen’s YA books, including Embers, Gaia, Temptation, Belonging, Forever, and Rachel’s Deception! Please enter via the Rafflecopter form. Giveaway is open internationally.
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Tour Schedule from my stop on:
Tour Schedule from my stop on:
Book Lovers Life (Guest Post)
So Bookalicious (Review/Interview)
Rainy Days and Pajamas (Review)
Her Book Thoughts (Review)
the bookdragon (Interview)
God's Girl, Books and Coffee (Review/Interview)
Don't Fold the Page (Review)
Jessie Marie Reads (Review/Guest Post)
Sassy & Dangerous (Guest Post)
Mortal Moments (Review/Guest Post)
Roxy's Reviews (Review/Guest Post)
The Forest of Words and Pages (Review)
Hearrs Reading (Review/Interview)
Literary Meanderings (Guest Post)