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October Releases

Friday, February 15, 2013

Bewitching Book Tours Presents - Guest Post/Excerpt & Giveaway with Andrea Baker, author of Leah


Hello again Vagabonds! Please give a big warm welcome to author Andrea Baker. Baker is here today to talk about her debut paranormal book, Leah. She is going to let us know what her story is about and what she liked as a kid. Also Baker has a postcard giveaway for you guys where there will be 5 winners! Enjoy!





Hello Diana and Thank You so much for inviting me to be a guest on your blog during my Bewitching Book Tours Virtual Book Tour!

My novel, Worlds Apart – Leah, is based less than three miles from my home in Warwickshire, England. A very beautiful part of the country, and somewhere that I have lived for most of my life. To be honest although I love to travel, I can’t imagine living anywhere else now.

Leah, the heroine of the story, is just about to start University, but has been forced to change her plans to go away with her best friend, as her father wants them to stay together.

My favourite novels as a child were Fantasy, and the biggest influence of my childhood was CS Lewis and The Chronicles of Narnia – I’ve lost count of how many times I have read them! Another favourite though was the Anne of Green Gables books by Lucy Maude Montgomery, hardly fantasy, but the imagery and storyline really had me hooked.

It’s hard really to pinpoint when the idea for Leah first started. I know it is the first of a series, and I also have books two and three planned, and partially completed, but every now and then I get flashes of other stories and I can’t work out yet whether they will form part of what is already known, or will take Leah further on in her journey.

Part of it is, I think, that I have what always seems to me to be a unique style when I am writing. I have the ideas, but then as I am writing I see images in my mind, almost as though I am watching a film! The biggest challenge then is keeping up with the story in my mind. I have a few author friends, all part of the Alliance of Worldbuilders, that are both published and yet to be published, and I listen with some envy to them discussing plotting, or mapping their novels. If I try to do that formally the ideas just seem to dry up. I would recommend the Alliance to other fantasy authors though – they’re a great bunch of very talented people, and the advice and support I personally have had from them has been invaluable. Many of them read the early drafts of Leah, and the finished book is so much better because of their input. To find them, and other fantastic fantasy authors, follow the dedicated link on my web page.

I guess I ought to shut up for now; otherwise I will be talking to you guys all night. Thanks again Diana for inviting me, and I’d love to hear your reader’s comments on the book!

Take care all,

Andrea

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Excerpt One – World’s Apart – Leah by Andrea Baker


Leah, you have to listen to me, you’re in real danger.”

I jumped, glancing towards the shadowy figure beside me. I shook my head in confusion. How could anything here be dangerous? It felt so safe. I sensed his arm wrap around my shoulders, holding me tight against him, protecting me. There was a nagging voice in my head telling me not to be stupid. Who was this person and what gave him the right to tell me what to do, let alone touch me like this? As though in defiance of these thoughts, I felt myself respond to his touch in a way I’d never felt before. Instinctively I responded to his touch, feeling compelled to snuggle in even closer. I didn’t move, unable to pull myself away but at the same time angry with myself for not moving away from this stranger.

The noise grew closer. I still couldn’t quite work out what it was. It was loud ... persistent ... a kind of roar. It was so loud that I couldn’t make out where it was coming from. We don’t have wild animals like wolves or bears around here anymore and it didn’t really sound like an animal anyway. There wasn’t that much life to it ...

His arm suddenly tightened around me. The sensation spread throughout my body, warming me as it went. Despite the noise and everything else, I felt as though I could stay here forever. Suddenly a car pulled alongside us. “Get in!” screamed the driver.
I flinched, not expecting to hear that voice, not now. He grabbed my arm, and before I knew it we were in the back of the car and he was struggling to get my seatbelt on. I snatched it off him as he dived into the seat beside me. “Go!” he yelled. The car accelerated away, filling with the scorching smell of burnt rubber.

Where was I and who were these faceless people? He turned towards me but his face was hidden by the shadows. With both of his hands on my shoulders, he pulled me in close to him. “Thank God you’re safe,” he said, burying his head in my hair. Without any conscious thoughts, my body relaxed and all of a sudden the last
thing I wanted was to be alone. Abruptly, there was a huge crash from somewhere right alongside the car. “Step on it!” he bellowed, reaching across me to grab something …

Leah, Leah! It’s ok! Sweetheart, wake up.”

Reluctantly I dragged myself away from those safe arms as Dad gently shook me awake. I opened my eyes and looked up as his face hovered into view next to me. In the haze of sleep, just for a split second, there was something not quite right about his eyes; they looked bizarre, almost devoid of anything. Then, as I focussed on him, he smiled gently, “Another one of those bad dreams?” he asked, gently rubbing my back. “Tell me about it,” he asked.

The stranger’s voice echoed again in my head: “Tell no-one!” I shook the sleep from my thoughts and smiled weakly up at his face. “Just the usual, nothing new this time,” I replied, already feeling guilty as I glanced at the clock by my bed. Why did I feel the need to keep the details of the dreams from my Dad? After all, it was only a dream …

Still, I didn’t want Dad to worry. He had enough on his plate and he needed to believe that moving away had been the right thing to do for us both. Even though I had already realised that the dreams had become significantly worse since we had come here.
Just give me a minute, Dad, and I’ll go and make us both a coffee.” I tried to hide the resentment in my tone. This was just one of the jobs I’d had to pick up over the last five years, and even though the nightmares wouldn’t allow a lie-in, sometimes it would have been nice for Dad to make me the coffee first thing in the morning.

He smiled at me softly for a few brief seconds before ambling away. A few moments later I heard his bathroom door close. I lay there for a moment trying to piece together the face from my dream and recalling the feeling from when the stranger had held me. Shaking myself, hard, I laughed. I’d promised my Dad to steer clear of boys after the break up with Greg and it felt like a betrayal even thinking about some man in my dreams. Besides, that sensation had been nothing like I’d felt when I was with Greg.

Swiftly I went downstairs to start breakfast and put the coffee on. As it started to gurgle, the smell began to permeate the kitchen and I heard Dad coming downstairs. Anxiously I rammed my book and sandwiches into my bag and went to pour the coffee, shaking the vitamin bottle loudly so that Dad would believe I had taken them.

What are your plans for today, then?” he said as he came into the kitchen, eyeing the thermal cup I was also filling. He nodded with satisfaction as he saw me replace the vitamins on the shelf. It was so bizarre how obsessed he was with making sure I took one of them every single day. It wasn’t as if I needed them. As I did all of the cooking these days, I made sure we both had a properly balanced diet. After all, we only had each other now.

Instinctively I tensed. “I thought I would go for a walk up to the castle and explore for a bit,” I responded, nervously waiting for him to react. He looked at me sideways. I didn’t need him to remind me that he didn’t like me wandering around up there on my own; neither did I want another one of his lectures or for him to lose his temper
again.

It’ll be fine, Dad. Honest, there are so many tourists around with the good weather, it’s not like I’ll really be on my own.” I tried to reassure him before his temper had time to build. What on earth could happen to me anyway in this sleepy little town? There was far more danger from my own home and in my dreams.

Dad drank his coffee and quickly ate the toast that I had prepared for us both. He kissed my forehead, already preoccupied with thoughts of work, and left the house. I sighed with relief; the normal lecture had been avoided. Dad had a real issue with my being on my own, especially here in this new town and around the ruins.


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About Andrea Baker
 
Andrea Baker has written stories and poems all her life, although most of them no longer exist.  After graduating from the University of Wales, Aberystwyth in Economics and Marketing, she convinced herself to stop making these stories up, believing it to be something a "grown-up" should not do.
Since then she has spent most of her career working on major programmes across both private and public sector.  Of all the ideas that continued to occur to her, Worlds Apart has been the most insistent, refusing to go away.


Andrea Baker lives and works in the beautiful English county of Warwickshire, with her husband and daughter.  Kenilworth, the base for her Worlds Apart Series, is just a few miles away from their home.
 
Follow Andrea Baker here:

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GIVEAWAY TIME!!!

5 winners will win postcards from Andrea Baker! All you have to do is comment and leave your email address. That is it!


*One winner will be chosen by Random.org
*Open Internationally
*Contest ends March 1st
*Prize provided by Andrea Baker

 

4 comments:

  1. Hello! I am joining this giveaway, my email address is fdinanq@gmail.com

    p.s you have an interesting blog :)

    ReplyDelete
  2. This comment has been removed by the author.

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you for inviting me to take part!

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  4. @F Dinan Qonitan Thank you hon. I am glad you like it. Good luck :)

    @Andrea Baker You are so welcome and thank you for having me on board :D

    ReplyDelete

Due to the daily spam comments I have been getting lately and to avoid the annoying word verification, Anonymous comments are no more. I do not want bargains on bags, watches, jerseys, boots and other crap. Geez, they could at least spam me with book and movie stuff, I would be somewhat interested LOL! Thank you :D