It’s blog tour time again!
I’m part of the team introducing the world to Kristen Stieffel’s debut fantasy Alara’s Call.
Pardon me if I hyperventilate a little because have you seen the cover?!?
Rhetorical question, of course, because I revealed it on this very blog a few weeks ago.
Have you seen the updated cover?
No? Well…here you go. And you’re welcome.
Only a little tweak, but instantly it’s waaaay more fantasy-ish. Dontcha love it?!?
I got to chat with Kristen (who made it through Hurricane Irma just fine, thank you very much), and she asked if she could share six pictures of the palaces that inspired the settings in Alara’s Call.
And I said, please do! I love behind the scenes sneak-peeks, so without further ado, take it away, Kristen:
The story world of The Prophet’s Chronicle is loosely based on nineteenth-century Europe: lots of small countries with interrelated noble families and cultural conflicts.
The heroine, Alara, is a young clergywoman who is called to prophesy to world leaders about how the people of her faith are to be governed. At first she doesn’t understand why she should be given such an immense task. But her father is the prime minister of their country, Glynrell. Through her mother she’s related to the royal family of the neighboring country of Redíque. So she is already at the upper echelons of society.
The story ranges across three countries and visits several noble homes. I looked to the real world for a lot of inspiration about these places.
The story begins in the Glynrellan capital, Ayenni, where Alara’s family has their ancient estate, Ravendyn. It is very loosely modeled on Arlington House at the national cemetery. What struck me about the house is its position atop a hill. According to the National Park Service, the house “was purposefully set in a prominent position overlooking the growing capital city.” Ravendyn is much larger, but occupies a similar overlook.
The villains’ home base is the royal palace in Tarvag, the capital city of Makut, a country to the east of Glynrell and their historic enemy. It’s described as being over five stories, surrounded by a high wall. It has two wings enclosing a courtyard, kind of like the Palais de l’Élysée photo below, only bigger. Cross the Élysée with Burg Hohenzollern, a castle in central Germany, and drop it in the middle of a city instead of the forest, and it comes pretty close.
Much of the story takes place in Redíque, where Alara’s family has two royal residences. Dorváir is in the capital city, and it’s sort of a cross between Buckingham Palace in London and Palais de l’Élysée (the French president’s residence) in Paris.
The courtyard in the background of the cover of Alara’s Call is basically the courtyard at Dorváir. Just so you know.
The final chapters of the book take place at Shandór, a palace in the Redíquan countryside, and there was only ever one model for this location.
The Château de Chambord is a sixteenth-century palace in the Loire Valley. Legend has it that Leonardo da Vinci contributed to its design.
I confess I may be exaggerating when I say Chambord is the only inspiration for Shandór—although that’s certainly where it gets its name. Those who’ve read the book will catch the detail that Shandór’s roofs are conical and blue. So yes, there is of course one more inspiration.
I am an Orlandoan, you know.
Ooooh wow! Thanks so much, Kristen. What a gorgeous selection of castles. Now I’m going to be dreaming all day about which one I’d like to live in.
If these photos have inspired you to dive into the world of Alara’s Call, I’ve got you covered. There’s a great preorder sale going on right now, so grab your copy of this fantastical read to enjoy when it releases September 19.
–> preorder here <–
Also, as I’ve mentioned before, L2L2 Publishing knows how to throw a party. There are great prizes to be won, and anyone can join in. The best part is we get to party in our pajamas!
You can RSVP here
Connect with Kristen. I know she’d love to hear from you.
Don’t forget to check out the rest of the blog tour!
- Monday, September 11th, Gretchen E.K. Engel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com, “Review of Alara’s Call”
- Monday the 11th, Catherine Bonham, www.dolphin18cb.wordpress.com, “FANtastic Interview with Kristen Stieffel”
- Tuesday the 12th, Visual Post, Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com
- Wednesday the 13th, Review of Alara’s Call, Kate Jameson, www.kategjameson.wordpress.com
- Wednesday the 13th, Double Feature: Review of Alara’s Call, Anna Tan, www.blog.annatsp.com
- Thursday the 14th, Guest Post by Kristen Stieffel, Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com
- Thursday the 14th, Double Feature: Interview, J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com
- Friday the 15th, Story World Feature, Travis Perry, www.travisbigidea.blogspot.com
- Friday the 15th, Double Feature: Visual Post, Liv Fisher, www.livkfisher.blogspot.com
- Saturday the 16th, Top 3 Post, Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com
- Sunday the 17th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Steve Rzasa, www.steverzasa.com
- Monday the 18th, Review of Alara’s Call, Laurin Boyle, www.laurinboyle.wordpress.com
- Tuesday the 19th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com, Release Day!
- Wednesday the 20th, Guest Post by Kristen Stieffel, Gillian Bronte Adams, www.gillianbronteadams.com
- Thursday the 21st, Review of Alara’s Call, Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com, Facebook Party Day!
- Friday the 22nd, Guest Post by Kristen Stieffel, Rebecca LuElla Miller, www.rebeccaluellamiller.wordpress.com
Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.
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