Friday, 11 March 2016

Zaria Fierce book 1 & 2 by Keira Gillett Spotlight and Guest Post!

Hi guys, welcome to an absolutely awesome series I get to feature for you!! These books sound amazing, and I'm excited to have both books 1 & 2 on my audible to listen to next, so keep an eye out on the blog for the reviews! Anyway, below both books are featured with some excerpts and amazing drawings from both. Aren't they fantastic!! I also have a brilliant guest post from the lovely author. Hope you enjoy the post and feel free to ask the author any questions you have!

ZARIA FIERCE AND THE SECRET OF GLOOMWOOD FOREST

Title: Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest 
Release Date: March 6, 2015 (03/06/2015) 
Author: Keira Gillett 
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan 
Narrator: Michele Carpenter 
Series: Zaria Fierce Trilogy, 
Book 1 Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy Setting: Modern-day Norway 
Formats Available: E-book, audio book, trade paperback 
Buy Links: E-book, audio book, trade paperback 



Summary: 
On her birthday, Zaria Fierce finds her usual path to school blocked by an ugly river-troll. At first she’s surprised and curious, but then Olaf threatens to eat her, which is an act Zaria could not in good conscience consent to, so Zaria counteroffers. A deal is struck and she goes to school, but Zaria is about to learn the hard way that one does not trick a river-troll and expect to win. 
Audio sample can be found HERE.

Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest: 

“Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade readers.” Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal 

“A captivating blending of fantasy storytelling with today's technology. At the base of this tale is deep, abiding friendship that stands the tests of time, adventure and even danger.” Kathy Haw, Goodreads Review 

“A great book with a lovely story and amazing characters. It’s a fantasy and adventure book that will be the delight of Narnia fans and those looking for a bit of Norwegian folklore thrown into it.” Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book 

“If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times.” Meredith, All ‘Bout Them Books and Stuff 

“I love when a story jumps right in a hooks me like this one did. I highly recommend you look into it if you are in the mood for a fun adventure. I also recommend that you get it for any book loving middle schooler you know.” Emily, Midwestern Book Nerd 


Excerpt: 

Geirr stooped to pick up some decent-sized sticks, and Zaria bent to grab a few too.
They talked amicably and walked, stretching their legs, until they were too burdened by their loads to keep going.

“My arms are going to collapse,” Zaria huffed. Her breath fogged around her face, covering and then revealing a well-pinked nose and cheeks. 

“Let’s head back to camp.”

“Sounds good to me,” Geirr said and turned around to do just that. Zaria followed and collided into him, dropping her load of kindling all over the ground.

“Hey!” she exclaimed, as she went to gather them. “Why did you stop?”

“I don’t think we’re going to find camp,” Geirr said, worrying his lip. He juggled his armful of wood and pointed haphazardly forward. “It’s like pea soup.”

Zaria looked up from playing fifty-two pickup and saw what worried Geirr. In front of them was a wall of fog, thick, viscous, and impossible to see through. She gulped and carefully set down the pile she’d been working to gather again. Was it her imagination or did the fog seem to be breathing? It crept closer in stages. Not fast enough that she saw it while looking directly at it, but if she looked away and back, it most definitely moved.

“Uh, Geirr,” Zaria said, slowly gaining her feet. “I think we should move and fast.”

Geirr looked at her puzzled. “I don’t think fast is an option here. Now if you pick up your stack and stick near me maybe we can Marco Polo our way back to the others.”

“Geirr,” Zaria hissed, her voice ratcheting higher. “The fog is moving.” He didn’t look
impressed. The breathing sounds from within the fog grew louder, distressing Zaria. “No seriously, it’s moving like it’s alive.”

Geirr looked back again and stared hard, trying to penetrate the fog with his gaze alone. Zaria started to ease away, firewood forgotten.

“Come on, Geirr, we have to move. Can’t you hear the breathing?”

“That isn’t you?” he asked, alarmed.

“No!” Zaria shouted. “Run!”

ZARIA FIERCE AND THE ENCHANTED DRAKELAND SWORD

Title: Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword
Release Date: November 6, 2015 (11/06/2015)
Author: Keira Gillett
Illustrator: Eoghan Kerrigan
Narrator: Michele Carpenter
Series: Zaria Fierce Trilogy, Book 2
Genre: Middle Grade, Young Adult, Fantasy
Setting: Modern-day Norway
Formats Available: E-book, audio book, trade paperback
Buy Links: E-book, audio book, trade paperback


Summary: If Zaria Fierce had her say, being a princess would mean you’d never have to wait for news. In the eight months since Olaf tricked her, Zaria has felt a near constant mixture of restlessness, listlessness, and hopelessness. When the time comes to fix past mistakes, she is more than ready to climb aboard the ship sailing towards the giants. Summertime in Norway promises many more adventures, but also many more perils… something sinister lurks beneath the surface following her every move – haunting her, disturbing her dreams, and stealing her peace. Can Zaria figure out what it is and stop it before it’s too late?
Audio Sample can be found HERE.

Praise for Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest:

“Are you in the mood for an old fashioned magical jaunt? Zaria Fierce and the Secret of
Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett is a classic “perilous adventure” book for middle grade
readers.” Jennifer Bardsley, The YA Gal

“A captivating blending of fantasy storytelling with today's technology. At the base of this tale is deep, abiding friendship that stands the tests of time, adventure and even danger.” Kathy Haw, Goodreads Review

“A great book with a lovely story and amazing characters. It’s a fantasy and adventure book that will be the delight of Narnia fans and those looking for a bit of Norwegian folklore thrown into it.” Ner, A Cup of Coffee and a Book

“If you’re looking for an action-packed adventure dipped in fantasy, look no further. This book kept me on my toes with its many cliffhangers and plot twists; it was quite hard to put down at times.” Meredith, All ‘Bout Them Books and Stuff

“I love when a story jumps right in a hooks me like this one did. I highly recommend you look into it if you are in the mood for a fun adventure. I also recommend that you get it for any book loving middle schooler you know.” Emily, Midwestern Book Nerd


Excerpt:

Filip slung his window open and tossed out his backpack. It landed in a thump in the hedgerow. Aleks pulled it out and slung it over his shoulder with his own bag.

“How’re you getting down?”

“Hopefully with your stargazer.”

“Then why toss down your bag?” Aleks asked, exasperated.

“Just in case,” Filip said with a wink at Zaria.

She suppressed a smile. She looked to the others, “Does anybody have rope?”

Aleks and Geirr both nodded. Then Geirr unzipped his bag and pulled out a neat coil from on top. He tossed it to Filip, who snatched it up as it sailed by the window. He disappeared into his bedroom and reappeared moments later slinging the coil out the window. It unraveled to the ground.

“Good,” Filip said briskly. “It’s long enough. Now let’s see if it holds.”

Filip quickly scaled the side of the house and they gathered their belongings preparing to dash. Without warning, Mrs. Storstrand stuck her head out of a bottom window and shrieked at the sight of them.

“Just what do you think you’re doing?” she demanded.

“Run!” Filip shouted, grabbing his friends’ sleeves and rushing for the street.

Aleks cursed and threw Filip his backpack while slinging his own around to the front and unzipping a pocket. He looked frazzled as he dug inside the opening. Mrs. Storstrand was quick. She was already out of the house and chasing after them. She threatened life and limb and the most terrible of all – letting Filip’s father know what he was about.

At last Aleks found the stargazer – a shiny purplish egg-shaped object perforated with stars – and almost dropped it in his haste. After a brief fumble, Aleks located the largest star, and hastily jabbed his finger into the hole. Just like that, Mrs. Storstrand froze mid-run. But so too did Christoffer, Filip, and Geirr.


Aleks looked at Zaria and to the others. “Damn,” he hissed. “Wait! How are you not frozen too?”
Guest Post:

Let’s Talk Giants! The Five Giant Tribes of Zaria Fierce 

Good morning everyone. Let’s welcome to the floor, Keira Gillett. She is the self-published author behind the middle grade, fantasy Zaria Fierce Trilogy. The books are about an adopted girl, who finds herself in Norway, and on her thirteenth birthday encounters a troll on her way to school. The second book in the trilogy came out late last year and features among other fantastical creatures, giants! Tell us more. Over to you, Keira.

Watch the Book Trailer:


Thanks, Nat! I’m very excited to be here today to talk about the giants in my Zaria Fierce Trilogy. In the second book, Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, Zaria and her friends travel by ship to the far north of Norway in search of the sword and encounter giants along the way. They have a guide on their journey, Hector – the Stag Lord of the ellefolken, – and he tells them about giants from his travels. Since, Hector couldn’t make it, I thought I would be your guide today.

Where They Can Be Found:

Jötunheim is the general range where giants can be found. The giants make their home far north of Gloomwood Forest (the setting of the first book). They live out in the open and don’t have formal cities or buildings, although they do tend to gather together in tribes. Where they linger, you might just be able to find evidence of their bonfires, workshops, farms, and feasts.

What They Look Like:

All giants look like rocks because they are formed out of the mountains and bedrock. They are not born. Tribes are distinguished based on their markings and marbling. Their hair looks like moss and their clothes like stone, dirt, and grass.

How They Get Their Names:

Every giant gets their title from their tribe’s book of names. It always involves a strange calculation that factors in the month, day, and year of formation, but excludes any duplication. This title is held for the giant’s entire life and is only given back to the book at transformation.


zaria2chapter3b

Traditions and Culture:

Transformation is what the giants call their return to the bedrock. Humans might be inclined to call it death, but the giants do not see it that way. To them, it means they live at one with the mountains, the earth, and the rock. The giants are known for their master craftsmanship, farming, and love of music. Giant artisans make gorgeous furniture in miniature, which is full-size for humans. They are poor musicians and do not like the sound of their own voices singing, but they love music like they love the sky overhead. Anyone who would be inclined to perform or trade music is a fast friend indeed.

Meet the Tribes:

Seiland Court

  • Location: Seiland Island, Norway
  • Rank: The High Court of Jötunheim
  • Ruler: Oskar the Elevated
  • Most Valued Resource: Humpback whales
  • Giants We Know Of – Seila the Altitudinous, Astral the Celestial, Ingdor the Thunderous, Lohcca the Whale, Ello the Empyrean, and Rikkar the Achiever

Stabbursdalen Court

  • Location: Stabbursdalen National Park, Norway
  • Rank: The Middle Court of Jötunheim
  • Ruler: Rjupa the Bountiful
  • Most Valued Resource: Auroch Herds
  • Giants We Know Of – Pekka the Overwhelming

Varanger Court

  • Location: Varanger Peninsula, Norway
  • Rank: The Northern Court of Jötunheim
  • Ruler: Petronella the Measureless
  • Most Valued Resource: Reindeer Herds

Tuolpajärvi Court

  • Location: Tuolpajärvi Lake, Finland
  • Rank: The Eastern Court of Jötunheim
  • Ruler: Rubus the Golden
  • Most Valued Resource: Cloudberries

Stora Sjöfallet Court

  • Location: Stora Sjöfallet National Park, Sweden
  • Rank: The Southern Court of Jötunheim
  • Ruler: Lars the Victorious
  • Most Valued Resource: Boreal Forest

Costume Ideas:

keira the dazzlingDo you want to be a giant? I do! Here I am dressed as one: I used grey, blue, black, white, and purple eye shadow to create the look. I took a cotton pad to apply the color to my face. Then I took a black liquid liner and outlined my eyes and used the rest of it on the brush to marble my face. Lastly, I took a dry navy blue eye liner and added more lines for texture. At first I put on a camouflaged blue and black dress, but in photos the color kept washing out the makeup so I switched it out for a chunky gray sweater. I used a little bit of a filter on the final picture to try to show you how the makeup looked in person. What do you think? I am Keira the Dazzling. Who are you?

Now it’s your turn:

  • Dress in gray or blue – add some foliage if you can, like moss (gray yarn or the bottom half of a clean mop would work, too) and if you can't (because it's raining outside like it was for me, tease your hair like it's the 1980's.)
  • Cover your skin with blue/gray skin paint or eye shadow (try to create a rock or marble texture)
  • Use gray and blue makeup for some finer touches
  • Talk very slowly and deliberately to people you encounter.
  • Give yourself a large name – like (Insert Your Name) the Extravagant
What do you think? Are you ready to visit the giants?


Author Bio: 
Keira Gillett is a technical publications librarian, book blogger, world traveler, artist, and now author. She graduated from the University of Florida with a Bachelor of Arts in Drawing and Painting. From an early age her mother instilled a love of the written word, as such she has always been a big reader. Her first book, Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest, is about a young girl who must complete a quest to save her friend from a nasty river-troll. 

Website: http://keiragillett.com 
Social Media: Twitter (keiragillett), Facebook (zariafiercetrilogy), Pinterest (zariafierce) 

Illustrator Bio: 
Eoghan Kerrigan is an illustrator from Kildare, Ireland who draws primarily fantasy characters and creatures. He studied illustration in Ballyfermot College of Further Education and has produced work for various independent projects. He has two cats and a soft spot for trolls. 

Website: http://eoghankerrigan.blogspot.ie/ 
Social Media: Twitter (eoghankerrigan), Facebook (eoghankart) 

Narrator Bio: 

Michele Carpenter is an artist at heart, with a passion for acting. She and her husband (also a voice actor) often work on projects together and help one another through the journey. Together, they have three kids. Michele’s children love to hear her read stories and beg her to edit her narrations in the same room with them so they can listen too. It’s partially for this reason that Michele has come to feel a personal responsibility to only record books that aren't inappropriate for children or young adults–at their respective age levels and according to the maturity levels of the books they're able to read. “We never know how long we have on this earth and I'd rather leave behind a legacy of books that I'm not ashamed to have my friends, family and even future grandchildren, listen to forever.” 

Website: http://www.michele-carpenter.com/ 
Social Media: Twitter (michelecvoice), Facebook (michelecarpentervoice), YouTube (micheleyoutube)

5 comments:

  1. Hi Natalie! Thanks so much for having me on your blog. I loved getting the opportunity to discuss with you the giants in my trilogy. What did you think of my Keira the Dazzling costume? LOL :)

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    Replies
    1. No THANK YOU!!! The guest post is fantastic and I loved learning about the Giants. Also the costume rocks!! ;)

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    2. I had fun! I was racing to try and get my costume done before it rained but alas I was a little too late so the moss and everything has to be put on hold. Haha.

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    3. It doesn't look like you rushed, though you are the cleanest looking zombie ;) Lol!!

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    4. Thanks! It's helpful to have all the right makeup around. The one problem with eyeshadow as your palette is that it tends to be shimmery and kind of wash out in photos.

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Imagination Designs
Images from the Meadow of Dreams kit by Irene Alexeeva