TFFOS: Jenna Burtenshaw -- Guest Post & Giveaway

QUICK NOTE: What's that? My followers bar says 1001?... I LOVE YOU GUYS. I don't want to disrupt TFFOS so I'll keep this short, but it feels nice to be appreciated. So thank you. <3 I'll see about having a follower giveaway (may just wait until my blogoversary in August), but in the meantime *passes out celebratory cake*.

To find out more about The Four Flavors of Summer and to view a master-list of all features and giveaways, click HERE.

Third in the fantasy line-up is JENNA BURTENSHAW! Her debut novel, SHADOWCRY, released in the US on June 21st, though it's known in the UK as WINTERCRAFT. Read on to learn about the inspiration behind the dark and fantastical world of SHADOWCRY.

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Graveyards, shadows, whispers in the dark... those were the things I wanted to explore when I started writing about Kate Winters and her world.  

I have always loved ghost stories, so the idea of writing about a girl who could see into the realm of the dead was very exciting.  When her abilities draw the attention of the soulless Silas Dane, Kate’s life is thrown into turmoil as she is forced into dark and dangerous situations in vast, gothic-touched locations that were often inspired by my own past.

When I was younger, I walked through a Victorian graveyard every day.  Inside those cemetery walls, the rest of the world seemed a long way away, with the spirits of the dead wandering between the gravestones, watching the living pass through.  That cemetery and its forgotten chapel helped to inspire the graveyard city where Kate spends much of her time in Shadowcry.  The chapel spire grew into Fume’s grand skyline, shaped by clusters of towers that were built as memorials to the dead, and a single grave became the point where Kate’s story first begins, with a book being unearthed from its secret hiding place.

I do not have to travel far from home to explore fantastic castles, abbeys and cathedrals.  My local area is filled with ancient buildings.  I grew up visiting those places and was left wondering about the people who had once walked, worked and breathed the air around the places where I now lived.  The gargoyle-watched streets of the graveyard city crept in from statues and carvings I have seen on castles and cathedrals, and the building on the cover of Shadowcry is in fact the 12th century Rievaulx Abbey, which stands just 25 miles from my home.  It is a magical, ancient place, and it’s strange to discover that somewhere I have visited and drawn inspiration from has found its way onto the cover of one of my books.

I love looking into the past.  There is always something interesting waiting to be found if you scratch beneath the surface of the present day.  

Looking back, it is interesting to see how much of my world has seeped into Kate’s, but inspiration really does come from unexpected places.  Little memories that lurk in my mind, half-forgotten, often rattle loose when I’m getting to know a new character or exploring a new place within a story.  For me, that is all part of the magic and excitement of writing.      

Shadowcry is a story of friendship, loyalty and honour, set a world where the dead are always watching.  I loved writing this book and I think I have been very lucky.  With so much ancient history around me and so many local treasures to draw upon, it really was impossible not be inspired.  

From left-to-right: Raby Castle, Alnwick Castle, Rievaulx Abbey



Ten years ago Kate Winters' parents were taken by the High Council's wardens to help with the country's war effort. Now the wardens are back...and prisoners, including Kate's uncle Artemis, are taken south on the terrifying Night Train. Kate and her friend Edgar are hunted by a far more dangerous enemy. Silas Dane -- the High Council's most feared man -- recognises Kate as one of the Skilled; a rare group of people able to see through the veil between the living and the dead. His spirit was damaged by the High Council's experiments into the veil, and he's convinced that Kate can undo the damage and allow him to find peace. The knowledge Kate needs lies within Wintercraft -- a book thought to be hidden deep beneath the graveyard city of Fume. But the Night of Souls, when the veil between life and death is at its thinnest, is just days away and the High Council have their own sinister plans for Kate and Wintercraft. To help Artemis, Edgar and herself, Kate must honour her pact with a murderer and come face to face with the true nature of death.



Jenna has offered up one signed copy of SHADOWCRY to giveaway! For an extra point, answer this question: If you were to write about one place you've visited, what would it be? *sigh* Those gorgeous pictures make me want to visit the UK (and JK Rowling while I'm at it, of course ;))...

To enter, fill out the form below. Open to U.S. and Canada only.