Tuesday, 17 September 2013

Shiloh Blog Tour - Guest Post and Giveaway

Title: Shiloh
Author: Helena Sorenson
Pages: 248
Format: Paperback
Release Date: April 22, 2013
Publisher: Alpha Wolf Publishing
In a world of perpetual darkness, a boy is born who wields remarkable power over fire. Amos is no more than seven when he kills a Shadow Wolf and becomes a legend in Shiloh. He would be destined for great things were it not for the stories his father tells about a world beyond the Shadow and a time before the Shadow. Only madmen hold to such tales, and in Shiloh, they have always come to bad ends.

Amos is fearless. He walks with easy confidence, certain that the Shadow cannot touch him. Even his family is in awe of him. His father marvels at his skill with the bow, his mother thanks the gods that he has all the courage she lacks, and his sister, Phebe, worships him for saving her from an attack of the Shadow Cats.

On a trip to the village of Emmerich, Amos rescues the Magistrate’s son, Simeon, from the village bullies. Simeon, fair-skinned and pale-eyed like other Dreamers in Shiloh’s history, becomes Amos’s constant companion and dearest friend. Simeon becomes a part of Amos’s family, listening to fireside stories told in a way he’s never heard them before and learning to wield a bow and arrow.

The year the boys turn twelve, they are itching to prove themselves. An impetuous plan to steal a beautiful lantern goes miserably awry, and the lantern’s owner prophecies that Amos will be devoured by the Shadow. For the first time, a seed of fear is planted in Amos’s mind, and when his father is killed by a Shadow Wolf on the last day of the Great Hunt, the fear takes hold. If so great and brave a man as his father could fall to the Shadow, what hope has he?

I Like, Totally Love You Guys!

I have a friend who hassles anyone who overuses or incorrectly uses the word “like.”  Some poor, unwitting soul will say, “I was like, running around the house, frantically trying to find my keys.”  And he’ll reply, “Were you LIKE running around the house, or were you running around the house?”  It’s funny, unless you’re the one he catches, and I admit, for all my attempts to stave off the decay of the English language, this habit is hard to break.  That one little word has crept into my speech patterns in an insidious way.  When did it happen?  How?  I’m, like, completely at a loss.

It’s especially funny because I recently read M.T. Anderson’s Feed.  The book is a futuristic, somewhat dystopian story in which the characters all have chips embedded in their brains that give them an endless information feed.  What they see in front of their eyes is like what we see on our computer screens.  They’re constantly receiving new music, advertisements for new products, and bits of news on their feeds.  In order to communicate, they just “chat” each other, the way you and I might do on facebook, or through a text.  In fact, since people began getting feeds, their tendency to speak out loud has greatly declined, and their language skills are severely lacking.  Take this passage for instance, in which the two main characters are “chatting” about a party.

                        She was like, What?
What nothing?
What nothing what?
She was like, What are you angry about?
I breathed, loud and kind of angry.  Why are we going away?
Because they are making fun of me.
I didn’t say anything.  I was like, to myself, This is dumb.  The whole
                        thing was dumb.  It was stupid, and it pissed me off. 

                        Violet was pushing me, like, Well?    (167)

The Oxford English Dictionary contains over 250,000 distinct words.  The Global Language Monitor puts the total number of English words at over a million! (including technical, scientific, slang terms, etc.)  And how many of those words do you suppose you could define?  How many do you actually use with any regularity?  I found Anderson’s book chilling, because even with the vast and unlimited access to information that technology has provided us, we could lose, through lack of use, one of the richest languages in the world. 

            That’s where you come in, beautiful readers and bloggers.  Every time you read a new book, there’s a chance that you’ll be exposed to new and unfamiliar words.  You don’t have to read Shakespeare to bump into words like “fortuitous” and “susurration.”  Each one holds a whole new world of meaning.  Each one is a shiny new tool you can use to describe things that, perhaps, you could never before put into words. 

Every time you read a book, every time you discover those words and their unique meanings, every time you recommend those books to your friends and readers, you keep the language alive and flourishing.  You don’t have to turn on Jersey Shore.  Whole worlds of wonder and beauty and sorrow and adventure are waiting for you.  You can fly there on more than a million tiny word wings.  It’s miraculous.  It’s remarkable.  It’s, like, I don’t know…like, awesome. 

Check out the rest of the tour

Sept. 16 - As the page turns *Interview
The Book Town *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Faerie Tale Books *Blurb & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Sept. 17 - A Dream Within A Dream *Blurb & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Everything Marie *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Lost in Ever After *Guest Post (HERE)
Sept. 18 - We All Make Mistakes In Books *Interview
The Library *Review & Favorite Quotes
Sept. 19 - Reading the Alphabet *Guest Post
The Unknown Random *Blurb & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Vicariously! *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Sept. 20 - Rose & Beps Blog *Blurb & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Bound 4 Escape *Review & Excerpt (blogger's choice)
Novels they Wrote or Movies they Made *Review & Favorite Quotes
Reading In Twilight *Interview
About the Author
It is only in recent years that Helena Sorensen discovered how deep her love is for epic fantasy. In preparation for writing Shiloh, and as part of her independent education in literature, Helena has read scores of books: books for children and young adults and adults, National Book Award Winners, and Newberry Honor Books. But she always comes back to the fantasy novels. Helena loves the idea that anything is possible in the world of fantasy. There is no limit to the imagination, and she can choose to embark on any kind of adventure.  Website - Twitter - Facebook

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