Sunday, December 15, 2013

Breaking Shadows: BOLD {Release Party Tour}

Hey ya'll today I'm doing something a little different. Yesterday a "Go Teen Writers" friend, Hannah Stewart just released her first book BOLD, which is the first book within the Breaking Shadows Project. The book is a fantastic speculative Christian, dystopian novel and you can find it here. I totally recommend it, the book is completely revolutionary!

Breaking Shadows: Bold

"Rains will flood the earth,
Fires burn the hearth,
Blood be spilled like wine.
I'll loose what once was mine,
But flowers still will grow,
Light burst through shadow,
So child, sleep tonight,
My child, sleep tonight.

Raven Falls is a dark place, a harsh place filled with destruction. But from the shadows, a revolution is rising. In a torn country lead by a corrupted, militaristic government, fear pervades every nook, every crack. It fills every broken heart, and chases the hopes and dreams from the people. But in the midst of it all, Jesse and her brother have taken a stand. Just two kids, they’ll have to rebuild their parents’ army if they ever hope to justify their deaths. A battle is coming, whether they’re ready or not. Their only hope is to be BOLD." ~~~
Alrightly, well Hannah asked me if I would talk a little bit about the symbolism in BOLD. I'm a soon to be English major and I love symbolism and the way it allows you to read deeper into a story. BOLD was just the kind of  book for this kind of reading. I could go on and on about the symbolism and the different topics they cover, but since the main theme of the book is hope I'll focus on some symbolism that portray hope and a future.  Even if you're not into symbolism and finding the underlying meaning of a story you can't miss the fact that BOLD is a story of hope. It's such a beautiful concept, but when you dig deeper you see hope portrayed in so many different lights. 

Raven Falls is a very dark and depressing place. It seems to always be raining, leaving the town covered in muck and mud. Nothing seems too hopeful about gray mist, or at least when you're looking at things in the wrong light, but what if it never rained? After all rain will make the flowers grow. There might only be mud at the moment, but one day with the help of rain beautiful things will take root and grow. It's the same thing with someone's life. Your past might look dreary, your present circumstances might be surrounded by muck, but your future can always be bright, it can always be better, because one day the sun will come out and shine.  

Jesse, the main character of BOLD seems to always let the words of some song slip past her lips. At times it is when she's happy, but more often than not it is when all hope seems lost. The songs seem to wrap around the rebels and knit them together. That's the magic of music, it slips deep inside and stirs the emotions. A song can be comforting, it can move a nation to rebellion, it can heal a broken heart. Words. The written word -poetry, fiction, the Bible- will never end, even under the oppression of government and tyrants. Words voiced or scrawled on paper can carry a message more powerful than anything. They carry the truth when you're being fed lies, they give strength when you're weak, and they speak then you have no voice.   

Jude, the physically scarred, but very important rebel is the very living emblem of hope. It might be a twisted hope, but hope isn't always beautiful and neither is the future. One might be marred with scars, a country can be riddled with flaws, but those are the very things that drive you forward, You hope one day that things will be better, that a nation will rise up against its foes, and you believe that it will because you've already seen so much. Having been broken allows your hope to be stronger, since it becomes the one thing that holds you together. It becomes your way of life and a belief system, but when that happens sometimes hope becomes dangerous.

Well, I could go on and on, but I'm really trying to stay away from spoilers and keep things pretty open. It was so hard choosing just three things that struck me as "hope" in disguise and there was so much more than these. I loved them all so much, but you'll have to buy and read the book to find out what they are!


Character Interview

Hannah was also wonderful enough to let us have an interview with Luke, one of her rebel characters!

So, Luke tell me a bit about yourself. What is your life like, who do you live with, are you happy with where you're at? 

There’s not all that much to say, really. I live in the Tunnel with a couple other rebels. It’s the safest place for a man like me – safer than the streets anyways. I’ve been with Ben and Jesse for five years now, acting as one of their advisors, leading a team of rebels. No one’s really happy here, not in Raven Falls. We’re working to change that, but our kind of work takes its toll, and I’ve been at it longer than most.

What's your personality like? 

Well, most of the rebels would tell you I’m dry and stoic, and I guess they’d be right. I was once considered the life of the party… but that was a very long time ago. Truthfully, I’m not even sure I have much of a personality anymore. They wiped me of it, took myself away from me. They tried to break me, and for a long time they were successful. I’m not a free man and I never will be, even if that’s what I’m fighting for. 
I guess the closest thing to a personality I have left is my determination. I’ve nothing left except the hope that somehow my efforts here might make a difference, and that’s what keeps me going. 
Some call me a patriot, but I’m just a patriotic shell. 

Can you describe your personal appearance for us? 

Again, I’m nothing special, especially not to look at. I’m of average height, but built like a square, so I tend to look shorter. I’ve got dark hair and a short beard, both of which have been graying since I was a young man and shown the dark side of this world. My eyes are light blue, but in Raven Falls they seem to have turned a murky gray as well – I guess the town has that effect on everyone. 

What is your favorite color? 

Color? Colors aren’t of much importance to me. Besides, all I really see anymore are shades of red and gray. I suppose it would be nice to see a fresh sprig of green sometime, though. 

Describe your family.

I don’t have one. Not anymore. Not for a long time. The rebels are my family now – the closest I’ll ever come to one, anyways. 

Who is your best friend? Why? 

Friends are weaknesses. Sometimes they’re worth it, but I know I’m not, and I won’t let anyone else take that risk for the likes of me. Ben and Jon understand me more than the rest, so I guess you could call them my “best friends,” but I refuse to be their kryptonite. 

Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?

Coffee, black and hot. 

What is the last thing you think about at night? 

Preferably, nothing. 

If you could have three wishes what would you wish for? 

What’s the use of wishing? Nothing can change what I’ve done, and I’ve given up trying. My only “wish” is that this rebellion makes some kind of difference, and keeps anyone else from ending up like me. 

What is your very first childhood memory? 

Remembering my childhood is not a habit of mine, and for good reason. It was all yelling, cursing, pain and loneliness. Why should I pass that burden on to you?

What is your favorite song? 

I would say music is as useless to me as color, but that would be a lie. Music has always been important to us rebels… it unites us. I guess my favorite song would be “O Come, O Come Emmanuel” – a strange one, maybe, but I’ve loved it for as long as I can remember. 

What was the most beautiful thing you've ever seen? 

Once upon a time, I would have said my family laughing together, but now… I don’t really know. There isn’t much of beauty in this world for me. It’s just war.


And there you have it folks, Luke from Breaking Shadows: BOLD. Thanks for joining us and if you want to learn more about the Breaking Shadows Project and its first book "BOLD" then check out the other release tour dates!

Hannah has also put together some awesome contests to give everyone a chance to get excited about the book release! Check them out and make sure you spread the word. 

Holy Apple Crisps! Giveaway 
Two winners will receive a copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold for 70% off.
In order to enter all you have to do is post about the Bold release on Twitter or Facebook using the hashtag #HolyAppleCrisps (which is Jesse's humorous catch phrase that follows her throughout the entire book) There's no limit to the number of entries per person, so get out there a spread the news! All entries must be in by midnight, December 29th and the winner will be dawn at random on the 30th on The Breaking Shadows Project.

You and Your BOLD self Contest 
One special winner will receive a signed copy of Breaking Shadows: Bold for free. First read the following scene (which by the way is hilarious) from Chapter 2 of Bold, and come up with your own artistic interpretation. Drawings, videos, audio recordings, written responses...any for of art will qualify you! Entries need to be sent to by midnight, December 29th. Just like the giveaway there is no limit to number of entries per person, so working on those creative pieces!
The top ten entries will be posted at the Breaking Shadows site on December 10th for voting. The entry with the most votes will be announced on January 6th.

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