Blog Tour: Hood

Blog Tour

Hood

By Jenny Elder Moke
Publisher: Disney-Hyperion
Release Date: June 9th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Historical Fiction, Retellings, Fantasy
Synopsis:
You have the blood of kings and rebels within you, love. Let it rise to meet the call.
Isabelle of Kirklees has only ever known a quiet life inside the sheltered walls of the convent, where she lives with her mother, Marien. But after she is arrested by royal soldiers for defending innocent villagers, Isabelle becomes the target of the Wolf, King John’s ruthless right hand. Desperate to keep her daughter safe, Marien helps Isabelle escape and sends her on a mission to find the one person who can help: Isabelle’s father, Robin Hood.
As Isabelle races to stay out of the Wolf’s clutches and find the father she’s never known, she is thrust into a world of thieves and mercenaries, handsome young outlaws, new enemies with old grudges, and a king who wants her entire family dead. As she joins forces with Robin and his Merry Men in a final battle against the Wolf, will Isabelle find the strength to defy the crown and save the lives of everyone she holds dear?
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Ten surprising facts you might not know about Robin Hood

We all know the legends of the gallant archer stealing from the rich to help the poor, right? Robin Hood has become so ubiquitous in our culture that we can’t make it out of a decade without a movie, TV show, or book (ahem, HOOD from Disney/Hyperion releasing June 9th) telling the tale of the noble outlaw and his Merry Men.

But what you might not know is how much of his story is fact, and how much is the magic of Hollywood fiction. Below are ten facts about the legendary man and his notorious exploits to help you sort the truth from myth.

1) Robin’s origins are a lot more murdery than you would expect
a. The original tales of Robin Hood date all the way back to the 12th century, where moral plays were all the rage during May Day festivals. A Robin Hood-type character was often the star of these moral plays, where he served as a champion of the people by murdering wealthy landowners and agents of the king. These plays came along at a time of great unrest among feudal workers, who were getting fed up with their lives and their labors being exploited by their landowning lords. Later versions of the Robin Hood legend toned down his bloodthirsty inclinations.
2) Robin Hood was friendless (and loveless) for a few hundred years
a. You can’t tell a Robin Hood tale without the fetching Maid Marian and the jolly Friar Tuck, right? Except they did, for hundreds of years. Marian wasn’t part of the Robin Hood mythology until well past the 16thCentury, and she originally came along as the star of her own May Day festivities. The Merry Men also didn’t come along until much later, when English writers began telling Robin Hood tales outside of the May Day festival.
3) Robin Hood was probably *not* a real person
a. Cue the weeping, I know. But the Robin we know of today – the noble outlaw who robbed from the rich to give to the poor – is really more of an invention of later balladeers. The earliest tales of Robin Hood have him as much more of a vindicator seeking justice in extreme ways (see #1 above). What we do know is that there are several records of a “Robehod” or “Rabunhod” or “Robe Hode” in old English legal records who were often recorded as criminals. Some historians believe this was actually a nickname that criminals would use, possibly as a show of solidarity (or maybe just to be cheeky). But what we don’t know is the source of their inspiration – were they paying homage to a real person, or were they just hoping their mom didn’t hear their name called out in the local courts?
4) but the sheriff of Nottingham was
a. His name was Phillip Marc, his official title was High Sheriff of Nottinghamshire and Derbyshire and the Royal Forests, and he was a super bad dude. He was so bad, in fact, that he got his own clause in the Magna Carta that was presented to King John at Runnymede in June 1215 (Item 50 of the document if you’re inclined to read about his “brood”). The barons who drew up the Magna Carta wanted Marc and his family to be kicked out of the entire country and never be allowed to return. He was known to be corrupt, vicious, and extravagant in his spending. He ended up getting to stick around after the First Baron’s War, and was at one point named joint Sheriff of Lincolnshire alongside Nicolaa de la Haye (who makes a brief appearance in my debut novel, HOOD).
5) You know who else was real? Robert of Huntingdon
a. Was Robin Hood a displaced royal fed up with the crown who turned to a life of crime? Eh, probably not. But Robert of Huntingdon was a real person – he was the eldest son of David of Huntingdon, heir to the throne of Scotland at the time. Officially, he died young and left the succession of the earldom to his younger brother, another historical John (although this one had a better reputation).
6) Robin Hood and Little John didn’t start out as friends – they met as rivals
a. In the Merry Tales of Robin Hood by Howard Pyle, Robin and Little John first meet on a bridge when Robin is seeking to cross a river and Little John won’t let him pass. They fall into a vicious fight with staffs and Little John cracks Robin on the head so hard he sends him sprawling into the water. Robin, recognizing a worthy foe when he meets one, agrees to a truce and blows his horn to call the rest of the Merry Men. He offers Little John a spot in his band right there and then, and the rest is legend.
7) Robin Hood does have a burial stone at Kirklees Priory, even if he might not be buried there
a. As the Howard Pyle version goes, Robin is wounded in a fight and seeks healing from his cousin at the priory of Kirklees where she serves as prioress. However, his cousin is in league with one of Robin’s enemies, and instead of healing him she bleeds him with leeches until he’s too weak to recover. Robin, in a final act of defiance, shoots an arrow into the woods of Kirklees and commands his men to bury him there. A stone bearing his name has been outside the priory for centuries, and was often the target of grave taggers and superstitious people who believed taking a piece of the rock could cure a toothache (why you ask? Your guess is as good as mine). The owners of the land finally built a stone wall and put a metal grate over it so people would stop chipping away at the stone.
8) They still celebrate Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest
a. How could they not? There’s the famous bronze statue of him outside of Nottingham Castle (aiming an arrow at the gatehouse in open defiance, of course), as well as the Major Oak in Sherwood Forest that is rumored to be over a thousand years old and was allegedly used as shelter by Robin and his Merry Men when they were escaping the sheriff. Every year they hold the Robin Hood Festival, which includes archery contests, jousting tournaments, and stage plays reminiscent of the May Day festivities of Robin’s origins.
9) “Prince” John wasn’t a prince at all
a. Because the concept of a “prince” wouldn’t be a thing until the 1700s in England. There was the heir, and then there was everybody else. John, being the youngest of the four adult sons of King Henry II, was firmly in the “everybody else” category. He was so disinherited at birth that his father jokingly called him “Lackland,” a nickname that stuck around the rest of his life. Before you feel too bad for him, though, John still had plenty of titles in his journey to the throne, including Lord of Ireland. Plus, he outlived his older brothers and held the throne longer than any of them, so there’s that, too.
10) Robin Hood might not have been real, but his legacy certainly is
a. For a *probably* fictional character, Robin has one of the most enduring legacies. There have been hundreds of ballads, books, movies, and TV shows about himsince his first appearance nearly a thousand years ago. Not to mention the Renaissance festivals all across the US that hold Robin Hood feasts, archery contests, and plays in his honor. Robin Hood is up there with King Arthur and Odysseus, men whose legends have transcended centuries and borders and languages to become part of our cultural lexicon. It might not even matter if he was real or not; his legacy and lessons are certainly real enough.

About the Author

Jenny Elder Moke writes young adult fiction in an attempt to recapture the shining infinity of youth. She was a finalist in the 2017 Austin Film Festival Podcast Competition, and studied children’s writing with Liz Garton Scanlon.
When she is not writing, she’s gathering story ideas from her daily adventures with her two irredeemable rapscallions and honing her ninja skills as a black belt in Tae Kwon Do. Jenny lives in Austin, TX with her husband and two children.
Her debut novel, HOOD, about the daughter of Robin Hood and Maid Marien, will release from Disney/Hyperion in Spring 2020. She is represented by Elizabeth Bewley of Sterling Lord Literistic.
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Giveaway info below!

Win (1) of (2) copies of HOOD by Jenny Elder Moke
(US Only)
Starts: 3rd June 2020
Ends: 17th June 2020
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Blog Tour: The Raven and the Dove

Blog Tour

The Raven and the Dove (The Raven and the Dove #1)

By Kaitlyn Davis
Publisher: Amazon Digital Services LLC
Release Date: March 9th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Synopsis:
Four fates collide in this avian-inspired, epic fantasy retelling of Tristan and Isolde perfect for fans of Sarah J. Maas, Sabaa Tahir, and Leigh Bardugo!
A princess longing to be free…
On the dawn of her courtship trials, Princess Lyana Aethionus knows she should be focused on winning her perfect mate, yet her thoughts wander to the open sky waiting at the edge of her floating kingdom. One final adventure calls. Upon fleeing the palace, the last thing she expects to find is a raven prince locked in a death match with a dragon.
A bastard aching to belong…
Reviled son of a dead king, Rafe would do anything for his beloved half-brother, Prince Lysander Taetanus, including posing as him in the upcoming courtship trials. When a dragon interrupts their secret exchange, he orders his studious sibling to run. After suffering a fatal blow, Rafe is saved by a beautiful dove who possesses forbidden magic, just like him.
Fate brought them together, now destiny will tear them apart…
Unknown to the world above, on the foggy sea ten thousand feet below, a young king fights a forgotten war. He believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and with the help of his favored spy, hidden deep in the highest ranks of the dove royal house, he will stop at nothing to have her.
Three shocking betrayals. Two star-crossed lovers. One unforgettable journey. If you like fierce heroines, brooding heroes, forbidden romance, and action-packed magical adventures with twists you’ll never see coming, don’t miss The Raven and the Dove!
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Guest Post: Writing A Forbidden Romance

The quintessential component to any forbidden romance is, in my option, the stakes! They have to be high, so high you see no possible way these two people can be together without totally destroying their lives or the lives of the people around them. You need to feel the agony of their separation. You need to feel the yearning between them. You need to pine when they pine.

Sounds fun, right? Well, if your answer is yes, my book The Raven and the Dove might just be for you!

One of the reasons I adore the story of Tristan and Isolde is because of the impossibility of their love. It’s not just a princess yearning for someone other than her betrothed (a common trope). There are so many more layers keeping these two lovers apart. Two kingdoms are at war, and if the marriage falls through innocent people will die. King Mark is Tristan’s uncle, so giving into his feelings means betraying his family and someone who is like a father to him. On the other side, King Mark is kind—not an evil tyrant—so Isolde would never want to hurt him. Not to mention, getting caught would likely mean death. The stakes ARE SO HIGH!

Okay, you might be saying right now—Isn’t Tristan and Isolde a tragedy? Yes… Yes, it is. In this particular tale, the stakes are so high, maybe a bit too high, that everything goes to hell. BUT one of the nice aspects of a retelling is I get to make the story my own.

In my story, the bond between Lyana and Rafe is about more than a love potion. When they first meet, they’re forced to share their deepest secrets—each possesses forbidden magic—and in doing so, they’re able to be more vulnerable and honest with each other than they’ve ever been before. Being together means being free to be who they are, something neither of them ever imagined possible. But, of course, there are a few things in the way.

Lyana is betrothed to Prince Xander, a sweet and noble prince who happens to be Rafe’s half-brother. Betraying Xander would destroy Rafe. And for Lyana, following her heart would mean ruining a man who’s been nothing but good to her and a kingdom that’s done nothing but accept her.

That’s not all.

Did I mention that these characters all have wings and live on islands floating high above the clouds? No? Go with it. Because thousands of feet below, in a land enshrouded by fog, a king believes Lyana is the queen prophesied to save the world, and he wants her for himself—no matter the cost.

Don’t worry—I won’t give away how it all comes together (you have to read the book!), but I think you’ll agree, the stakes are high, which sets the stage for a nail-biting forbidden romance. Now I just need to figure out how to let them live happily ever after…but that’s a problem for the sequel!

What do you think is the most important aspect of writing a forbidden romance? What are some of your favorite forbidden romances?

About the Author

Kaitlyn Davis, a bestselling author with over a quarter of a million books sold, writes young adult fantasy novels under the name Kaitlyn Davis and contemporary romance novels under the name Kay Marie. Publisher’s Weekly has said, “Davis writes with confidence and poise,” while USA Today has recommended her work as “must-read romance.”
To learn more about her contemporary romance novels, visit her Goodreads author page for Kay Marie here: https://www.goodreads.com/Kay_Marie
Always blessed with an overactive imagination, Kaitlyn has been writing ever since she picked up her first crayon and is overjoyed to share her work with the world. When she’s not daydreaming, typing stories, or getting lost in fictional worlds, Kaitlyn can be found playing fetch with her puppy, watching a little too much television, or spending time with her family. If you have any questions for her–about her books, about scheduling an event, or just in general–you may contact her at: KaitlynDavisBooks@gmail.com
Sign up for Kaitlyn’s newsletter to stay up-to-date with all of her new releases and more! http://bit.ly/AuthorNewsletter
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Giveaway info below!

Prize: Win an Amazon.com $15 Gift Card (INT)

Starts: March 10th 2020

Ends: March 24th 2020

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Blog Tour: Night Spinner

Blog Tour

Night Spinner (Night Spinner #1)

By Addie Thorley
Publisher: Page Street Kids
Release Date: February 11th 2020

Genre: Young Adult, Fantasy, Retellings
Synopsis:
A must-read for fans of Leigh Bardugo’s Grishaverse, transforming The Hunchback of Notre Dame into a powerful tundra-inspired epic.
Before the massacre at Nariin, Enebish was one of the greatest warriors in the Sky King’s Imperial Army: a rare and dangerous Night Spinner, blessed with the ability to control the threads of darkness. Now, she is known as Enebish the Destroyer―a monster and murderer, banished to a monastery for losing control of her power and annihilating a merchant caravan.
Guilt stricken and scarred, Enebish tries to be grateful for her sanctuary, until her adoptive sister, Imperial Army commander Ghoa, returns from the war front with a tantalizing offer. If Enebish can capture the notorious criminal, Temujin, whose band of rebels has been seizing army supply wagons, not only will her crimes be pardoned, she will be reinstated as a warrior.
Enebish eagerly accepts. But as she hunts Temujin across the tundra, she discovers the tides of war have shifted, and the supplies he’s stealing are the only thing keeping thousands of shepherds from starving. Torn between duty and conscience, Enebish must decide whether to put her trust in the charismatic rebel or her beloved sister. No matter who she chooses, an even greater enemy is advancing, ready to bring the empire to its knees.

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About the Author

Addie Thorley is the author of An Affair of Poisons, a YA historical fantasy, which was chosen as a Barnes and Noble Discover Great New Writers selection and is a YALSA Best Fiction for Young Adults nominee. Her forthcoming novel, Night Spinner, will be released on February 11, 2020.

She spent her childhood playing soccer, riding horses, and scribbling stories. After graduating from the University of Utah with a degree in journalism, Addie decided “hard news” didn’t contain enough magic and kissing, so she flung herself into the land of fiction and never looked back. She now lives in Princeton, New Jersey with her husband, daughter, and wolf dog. When she’s not writing she can be found gallivanting in the woods or galloping around the barn where she works as a horse trainer and exercise rider.

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Prize: Win a copy of NIGHT SPINNER by Addie Thorley

US/CAN Only

Starts: February 11th, 2020

Ends: February 25th, 2020

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Cover Reveal: Kingdom of Sand & Wishes

Cover Reveal

Kingdom of Sand & Wishes: A Limited Edition Collection of Aladdin Retellings
Publication date: May 24th 2019
Genres: Fairy Tales, Fantasy, Young Adult

Aladdin, but not as you remember it….

On the dusty streets, around the bustling bazaars, being overlooked by a Sultan’s Palace was a land. A land of magic, secrets and treasures buried deep beneath the desert.

Through Arabian nights, dark forces are at work. Dark forces that can threaten the peace of everyone in the Kingdom. Watch our authors as they answer the question, can three wishes save the day?

Join our award winning and USA Today best selling authors for nine action packed fantasy and contemporary retellings with Sultans, sorcerers, romance and more magic than a genie’s lamp can hold.

One click now for your happily ever after….

 

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Guest Post: Author Elizabeth Tammi Discusses “Use Your Re-Imagination: YA Retellings”

Guest Post

Meet Elizabeth Tammi.

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Elizabeth Tammi was born in California and grew up in Florida, but is currently double-majoring in Creative Writing and Journalism as an undergraduate at Mercer University in Georgia. When she’s not writing, you can probably find Elizabeth at rehearsal for one of her vocal ensembles, or at work for her university’s newspaper and literary magazine. Her other interests include traveling, caffeinated beverages, and mythology. Outrun the Wind is her debut novel. You can find Elizabeth online on Tumblr at (annabethisterrified), Twitter at (@ElizabethTammi), Instagram at (elizabeth_tammi), and at elizabethtammi.com.
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The Guest Post

“Use Your Re-Imagination: YA Retellings”


In this year alone, YA fiction’s already published some fantastic retellings. Kristina Perez’s Sweet Black Waves gives a new perspective on the tale of Tristan and Isolde, Megan Bannen’s The Bird and the Blade pulls inspiration from the opera Turandot, and Kiersten White’s final installment in The Conqueror’s Saga, Bright We Burn, offers a gender-flipped exploration of the life of Vlad the Impaler.


My forthcoming debut novel, Outrun the Wind, also draws from ancient source material from poets like Ovid and Apollodorus. The life of the legendary Greek warrior Atalanta first grabbed my attention a little over two years ago, before I left for college. Though I’ve always been a mythological fan, until that summer I’d never learned the full extent of the story of Atalanta, a young girl who managed to help kill the ferocious Calydonian Boar, and a girl who demanded that her suitors try to beat her in a footrace…in which she slew them all.


Needless to say, I was intrigued by this figure, but riddled with questions and confusion. I think that it’s a combination of intrigue and frustration from our modern perspective that has birthed this movement of retellings. Mythology is a great source material, because there’s already so much disparity and differences between the most ancient of poets– it has an evolutionary and fluid freedom that leaves room for wild interpretations and additions. (Madeline Miller and Rick Riordan are both wonderful examples of authors who use the Greek myths in their own completely vivid and original tales.)


Stories are always inspired by something, so I get defensive when people say retellings aren’t as valid as ‘original’ works. Atalanta is an icon of mythology, but it’s up to me (and other authors who have used her) to give her a personality, motivations, and relationships. It’s up to me to create a new cast of characters and develop a setting, plot, and conflicts that help to piece together the loose dots of source material I incorporated.


I’ve adored reading all the fantastic retellings of recent years, and look forward to more to come! I believe readers truly enjoy seeing instances of today’s imagination interacting with yesterday’s tales to create exciting, innovative stories that make us consider different views on the stories we’ve passed down and used to define ourselves.


Thanks so much for letting me ramble about this awesome publishing trend, and I hope you’ll consider reading my take on Atalanta’s story on November 27th, when Outrun the Wind releases from Flux Books.

Are you ready for Outrun the Wind in November?

Want more info to survive the wait?

Check out Elizabeth Tammi’s links above!