Blog Tour: Seven Deadly Shadows

Seven Deadly Shadows

By: Courtney Alameda & Valynne E. Maetani
Publisher: HarperCollins
Release Date: January 28th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Paranormal
Kira Fujikawa has always been a girl on the fringe. Bullied by her peers and ignored by her parents, the only place Kira’s ever felt at home is at her grandfather’s Shinto shrine, where she trains to be a priestess.
But Kira’s life is shattered on the night her family’s shrine is attacked by a vicious band of yokai demons. With the help of Shiro—the shrine’s gorgeous half-fox, half-boy kitsune—Kira discovers that her shrine harbors an ancient artifact of great power . . . one the yokai and their demon lord, Shuten-doji, will use to bring down an everlasting darkness upon the world.
Unable to face the Shuten-doji and his minions on her own, Kira enlists the aid of seven ruthless shinigami—or death gods—to help stop the brutal destruction of humankind. But some of the death gods aren’t everything they initially seemed, nor as loyal to Kira’s cause as they first appeared.
With war drawing nearer by the day, Kira realizes that if this unlikely band of heroes is going to survive, they’re going to have to learn to work together, confront their demons, and rise as one to face an army of unimaginable evil.
Book Links:  photo addtogoodreadssmall_zpsa2a6cf28.png photo B6096376-6C81-4465-8935-CE890C777EB9-1855-000001A1E900B890_zps5affbed6.jpg

SDS BLOG TOUR GUEST POST– The Journey to the Book’s Map

Hi everyone, Courtney Alameda here, co-author of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS! We were so lucky to get a map in SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS. And not just any map, but a map designed and illustrated by the amazingly talented Feifei Ruan! While the final result is absolutely stunning, our map certainly didn’t start out that way . . .


To begin, our editor asked Valynne and I to create a map of the Fujikawa Family Shrine. Because I have some facility with Photoshop, I dove in and came up with this beauty:

Map 1


It’s . . . a map, I think? With blob gardens and blob ponds, box buildings and nebulous mountainsides. (I did my best, okay?!) Thank heaven that Feifei translated my blobs and boxes into a spectacular first draft:



It looks like a proper Shinto shrine, doesn’t it?! With a rough draft in hand, Valynne and I had to make some decisions that impacted the text—for example, Feifei asked us if it was proper to have a pond in front of the main hall. We decided that she was right, that feature didn’t make sense, and moved the water feature into the main courtyard.


We also sent Feifei lots of images of shrines from our trips to Japan.


The next draft looked like this:


Map_sketch2[1]_CA Edit

Beautiful, right? At this point, we fine-tuned the text to match the map. There were lots of references in the novel to the “pond in the courtyard,” which meant we had to painstakingly comb through the text and adjust them all. We also spent time triple-checking fight scenes and making sure everything was copacetic.


And after a few more adjustments, Feifei sent us this:



We were thrilled with this version! So imagine our elation when we saw the final, glorious, full-color version of the Fujikawa Shrine:


final map

Valynne and I are so grateful to Feifei Ruan and the creative team at HarperCollins for this map! As you read SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, I hope it helps you acquaint yourself with one of the most important places in the novel—the Fujikawa Family Shrine.


Thanks for reading! And should you take the time to listen to Kira’s tale, Valynne and I hope you enjoy it! Just remember, don’t fear the shadows . . .


About the Authors
Courtney Alameda
A veteran bookseller and librarian, Courtney Alameda now spends her days writing thriller and horror novels for young people. Her debut novel, SHUTTER, was nominated for a Bram Stoker award and hailed as a “standout in the genre” by School Library Journal. Her forthcoming novel, PITCH DARK (Spring 2017), is a genre-blending science fiction/horror novel in the vein of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film ALIEN.
Courtney holds a B.A. in English literature with an emphasis in creative writing. She is represented by the talented John M. Cusick of Folio Literary. A Northern California native, she now resides in Utah with her husband, a legion of books, and a tiny five pound cat with a giant personality.
Author Links:

Valynne E. Maetani

Valynne E. Maetani (pronounced Vuh-lin Mah-eh-tah-nee) grew up in Utah and obtained a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Pennsylvania. In a former life, she was a project manager and developed educational software for children with learning disabilities. Currently, she is a full-time writer. She is a member of the We Need Diverse Books team and is dedicated to promoting diversity in children’s literature because every child should grow up believing his or her story deserves to be told. Her debut novel, Ink and Ashes, is the winner of the New Visions Award 2013, a Junior Library Guild 2015 selection, and Best Fiction Book in Salt Lake City Weekly’s Best of Utah Arts Award for 2015. She lives in Salt Lake City.

Author Links:


Grand Prize: Win a signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS, a signed copy of Courtney Alameda’s SHUTTER, and a signed copy of Valynne Maetani’s INK AND ASHES; anime portraits of Kira and Shiro; a stuffed fox omamori charm from the Fushimi Inari Taisha shrine in Japan; an origami fox hand-folded by Valynne Maetani; a yokai mini sticker sheet; and an assortment of Japanese Kit Kats (not pictured) [INT]

Second Prize: Win (1) of (2) A signed copy of SEVEN DEADLY SHADOWS with anime portraits of Kira and Shiro (INT)

Grand Prize Picture


Starts: 28th January 2020

Ends: 11th February 2020

Enter here!

Tour Schedule Here.
Tour Organized By:
FFBC tours logo

One response to “Blog Tour: Seven Deadly Shadows”

Leave a Reply

Please log in using one of these methods to post your comment: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: