Monday, September 14, 2020

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Strong Amongst Us (The Olason Chronicles #1) by J.A. Boulet

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for The Strong Amongst Us by J.A. Boulet. This tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you as well as a guest post. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Strong Amongst Us
Series: The Olason Chronicles #1
Author: J.A. Boulet
Publication Date: May 9th 2020
Print Length: 217 pages
Genre: Historical Fiction
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On a stormy day in October 1875, a boatload of Icelandic explorers crash land on a beach paradise called Willow Point on Lake Winnipeg. Except it proves to be anything but paradise.

On that fateful day, young Nathan Olason steps afoot onto the soil of a foreign country, a place that he is determined to claim as his new home. Against a stunning backdrop of Lake Winnipeg, Nath and his relatives struggle to stay alive against all odds in this strange unforgiving new country called Canada. With natural sand beaches and breathtaking sunsets, the lake quickly changes to a menacing force, with massive storm surges and frigid temperatures, claiming lives like flies. Nath soon realizes that to claim this wilderness as New Iceland, he must persevere.

Events soon blow wildly out of control as heavy snowfalls, emerging governments, racism and mass starvation tests Nathan’s limits. With the help of a beautiful local Cree woman named Anwa, they learn vital hunting and ice fishing skills, teaching themselves how to live off the land. Then just when they think they have prevailed, tragedy strikes an ominous blow, a smallpox epidemic that decimates villages, quarantines the town of Gimli, but most of all threatens to claim what he holds dear the most.

With stirring realism, surprising bits of humour and steamy romance scenes, The Strong Amongst Us weaves a rich historical tale of immigration, manhood, immense love and resilience, leaving readers empowered by the sheer will of the human spirit.

**The eBook is on sale for $0.99 on Kobo during the tour!**

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EXCERPT:
He stared at the beautiful sun, peering over the horizon of gentle waves. The coldness stung, but he embraced it. The lake was much calmer today. He loved it actually; luck was on his side. They would most likely be able to send the funds request of the remaining five-thousand-dollar loan to the Dominion today by boat.

A movement caught his eye. Someone was pulling in a larger boat. He stood and used his hand to shelter from the sun. He squinted into the bright rays. It was just one person, pulling in the boat. He strapped his boots on and scurried over to the dock.

“Hey, do you need a hand?” Nathanael shouted as he approached.

A woman’s voice lilted into the air, gentle but full of strength. “No, I am okay.”

“No, I must! Let me help you,” Nathan insisted.

She looked at him stubbornly, shook her head and relented. “If you must.”

Nath grabbed the rope and helped pull in the boat, anchoring it along the sand. “Is this the boat that will be taking the letter to the Dominion for us today?”

“It is, yes,” she replied. “Sorry for my English. I am still learning.”

“You are native to this land?” Nath asked. “How long have you lived here?”

“Forever,” she laughed. “Ma and Pa were born here, so was I.”

“Interesting,” Nath said. “It is a beautiful land. And a beautiful lake.”

“Yes, Nath, it is,” she replied.

“You remembered my name?”
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BOOK LAUNCH:
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

J. A. Boulet is the passionate author of The Olason Chronicles, a historical saga of immigration, love and perseverance. The Strong Amongst Us Book 1 was released on Amazon in May 2020. 

J.A. Boulet was born and raised in Western Canada as a first generation Canadian from European descent. Her parents landed in St. John’s, NFLD as refugees in 1956, a direct result of the Hungarian Revolution. J. A. Boulet was born many years later, raised in a strong Hungarian culture and proudly calls Canada home to this day. She started writing poetry at the age of five and progressed to short stories and novels. She has a keen interest in history, healing, family bonds and embracing the unknown. J. A Boulet writes with a spine-tingling realism like none other, grabbing your emotions and refusing to let go. The Strong Within Us Book 2 is scheduled to be released on November 11, 2020.

She currently lives in Canada with her two teenaged sons and a crested gecko named Mossio.

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GUEST POST:
- What was the hardest thing about writing your novel?

Spending nine months writing and another two months editing was hard but it didn’t compare with the stress I felt going to the NYC Writer’s Conference. Everyday was long and informative, filled with editors, publishers and agents. What was really tough was understanding that the finished product was not what I was holding in my hands.

It is a humbling experience accepting that you need to work harder, even when you thought you had worked the hardest you possibly could.

I also had to summarize my entire 100,000-word novel into one 250-word pitch letter. It was extremely difficult. It was like asking someone to summarize their entire life in only 250 words! I revised it a hundred times.

On the last day of the conference, something important happened to me. I read and reread all my pitch letters and realized that there were two strong plots. I analyzed it over and over again, then I had an epiphany. I realized that my book was not ONE book. It was two books! I quickly went back to work, adjusted my pitch letter and everything fell into place like a puzzle waiting to be finished.

I worked on editing the book into two on the plane back to Canada. I am extremely grateful for the guidance from NYC Pitch Conference but most of all, I am proud that I had the guts to be humble, break down my own defenses, dust my ego off and get back up.

And surprisingly, perseverance is what my main characters had to learn too.

The return trip was delayed by still another day. After the blizzard had passed, the drifts and heavy snowfall had made the small horse roads inaccessible. The Swampy Cree village was wholly surrounded by drifts, and the recent snowfall was in excess of 30 inches. Anwa and Nath grew anxious. The food was loaded and ready to go, but the roads were impassable.

Thanks for reading and I hope my book lifts your heart, crushes it, then lifts you up again. Thank you to All The Ups and Downs for hosting me.

Enjoy a free excerpt on my website by clicking here.
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GIVEAWAY:
J. A. Boulet will be awarding a $15 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

70 comments:

  1. Good morning! My question for you today is if you are able to read or write when it is noisy or do you need peace and quiet as I do? White noise like my fan running works well for me too.

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    1. I can literally write in any environment. Sometimes when my kids get a bit too much then I'll need to stop but most times, I can write during rush hour, on a plane, in the gazebo, it doesn't matter what kind of noise is attempting to filter through because I simply don't hear it. When I write, I often get sucked into the pages, time gets whisked away from me and I notice very little of my surroundings. LOL

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    2. Thank you for responding. I am a bit envious I admit, absolutely everything distracts me, lol. Apparently most people have these filters that I don't have, I actually researched it at one point because I was curious. I practically have to be on a vacuum to focus on anything

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    3. Everyone's writing time happens differently. Even though I have the noise filter, my mind is finicky on the specific times of day. I can only write imaginatively in the late evening/night. I can only do copy editing during the daytime hours. Everyone is different, embrace it

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  2. Another great book to discover. Thanks so much for sharing this with us.

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  3. Much thanks for hosting!! You are all awesome!

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  4. The excerpt sounds very good. I really enjoy historical fiction books. This one sounds very interesting.

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    1. Thank you! I put my heart and soul into it. Book Two will be available November 11, 2020

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  5. This sounds like a very good book.

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  6. Such a beautiful cover, sounds like a great book!

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    1. It took us a few weeks but we nailed it. Emily, my cover designer was patient and pretty awesome!

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  7. I like the cover. It has beautiful artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  8. Sounds interesting. Very neat setting. Cheers on the tour.

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    1. I came upon the Icelandic settlement story while vacationing at my cottage near Gimli. The fictional characters developed in my mind rather quickly, the saga grabbed me and refused to let me go. I hope it does the same for my readers.

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  9. Thank you for sharing! Sounds great!

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  10. What do you most enjoy about writing in this genre?

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    1. That's an interesting question because the only genre I can successfully write is historical fiction and poetry. I have tried writing other genres, but always found it extremely difficult. History seems to offer excellent plots and characters that are so well developed that they seem to jump out of the book. All I do is write it and travel along with them on their journey.

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  11. Sounds interesting, I like the cover!

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  12. A question for the author: When you were a child, what authors or book series were your favorites?

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. As a child, I read Dr. Seuss, HA!

      But curiously enough, as a teenager, I immensely enjoyed Shakespeare. I was a nerd lol

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  13. This is an amazing time to write a book like this.. I honestly believe we are going to soon be in the same boat. This sounds awesome!!

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    1. Funny that you'd say that. It was entirely coincidental. I started the saga in January 2019 and finished the first draft in December 2019, before covid was a thing.

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  14. Nice cover. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. Always love finding new (to me) authors!! The book sounds awesome

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  16. Replies
    1. It took nine months to write the book, five months to edit it.

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  17. This has an excellent cover perfect for the story line. I love historical reads/period pieces andthis sounds like a great read.

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  18. My good friend and I will both love this book. Thanks for sharing.

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    1. Wonderful! I hope it captures you and leaves a permanent impression on you.

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  19. Good morning! My question for you today is, would you ever consider co-authoring a book and if so, who would you like most to work with?

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    1. I'm not sure if I could co-author a book. I have only ever written by myself, except for poetry. I have co-authored poetry before and it turned out amazing! I'd do that again!

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  20. Replies
    1. I listen to a lot of music which inspires me greatly. My favourite inspirational songs are NF. You should listen to Dreams, Got you on my Mind and If you want Love.

      Ken Follett also inspires me. I really look up to him. Hopefully, one day, I'll be where he's at.

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  21. It's been awhile since I read historical fiction.

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  22. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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  23. I like the cover, it's eye catching.

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  24. The cover is great and I wish you all the best on this book's success.

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  25. That is one ominous sky on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. I know right! I love those clouds and the colours. The cover design was difficult because I had to visualize what was in my head and communicate it all to my cover artist. It took awhile but we got it!

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  26. Good evening, my question for you today is, would you like to see your book made into a movie and if so, who is in your dream cast?

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    1. HA! I'd love for my book to be made into a movie! It has sweeping landscapes, storms, steamy love scenes and beautiful sunsets. It would fill that screen up beautifully!

      Liam Hemsworth as Nath
      Tanaya Beatty as Anwa
      And of course the other Hemsworth brothers as the cousins!

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  27. I like historical fiction. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  28. Good evening! My question for you today is, are you a spontaneous or a scheduled writer?

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  29. I'm a scheduled writer.

    I know, boring, right?

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  30. Pretty picture on the cover love to read the book

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  31. "On a stormy day in October 1875, a boatload of Icelandic explorers crash land on a beach paradise called Willow Point on Lake Winnipeg."

    Sounds like a great premise. Thanks for the giveaway!@

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  32. I love the cover. The colors are amazing.

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  33. Sounds great, thanks for the review.

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  34. She writes some amazing books, she really deserves so much more credit. and this is just another one of her masterpieces.
    @tisonlyme143

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  35. looks like a fun one

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  36. I would find this read interesting for a change of pace.
    Thank you for sharing this review.

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  37. I am fascinated by the excerpt I read. I cannot wait to read more!

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