Friday, September 11, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Baptism of Fire by Virginia Crow

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Baptism of Fire by Virginia Crow. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt as well as a guest post about curses from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to check out the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Baptism of Fire
Author: Virginia Crow
Publisher: Crowvus
Publication Date: September 8th 2020
Print Length: 200 pages
Genre: Thriller
Kevin gripped Jilly’s coat and his voice became little more than a whisper. “I’m cursed, Jilly. Everyone who looks after me dies in a fire, or someone they love does. I don’t know how to stop it.”

When Rev. Alastair Roberts adopts Kevin Alderman, he dismisses any reference to the boy’s curse. But, as the pair spend more time in each other’s company, it becomes apparent that Kevin is not the only one with a bitter past.

As the past continues to haunt them, can they hope to change their future?

**The eBook is only $0.99 for a limited time!**

Every twist in the road, every open patch where the bitter wind had caused a flash of ice across the tarmac, seemed like a battle he had to win. When the village lights came into view, after twenty minutes of driving a stretch which normally only took eight, he muttered an appreciative prayer and drove across the village to Mrs Henderson’s house. His smile was firmly on his face, and his relief even caused him to laugh.

His laughter faded as he turned the corner onto the quiet road where Mrs Henderson’s cottage was. It wasn’t quiet now. Blue lights filled the street, and Alastair stopped the car as a police officer appeared, lifting her hand to stop him. He turned off the ignition and climbed out of the car.

“What happened?” he whispered, looking at the fire engine which towered almost as high as the small cottage’s eaves. The cottage windows closest to him were smashed, but the house was not where the fire had been. The burnt-out remnants of the car, still in the drive, told the story. “Is Mrs Henderson alright?”

“Are you family, sir?” the policewoman asked.

“No,” Alastair replied. “I’m her priest. Her son sent me to find her. Is she okay?”
Virginia grew up in Orkney, using the breath-taking scenery to fuel her imagination and the writing fire within her. When she's not writing, Virginia is usually to be found teaching music. She believes wholeheartedly in the power of music, especially as a tool of inspiration. She also helps out with the John o' Groats Book Festival which is celebrating its 4th year next April.

Virginia lives in the far-flung corner of Scotland, soaking in inspiration from the rugged cliffs and miles of sandy beaches.

She loves cheese, music and films, but hates mushrooms.

- Do you believe in curses? Why or why not?

Thanks for hosting me and my book on All the Ups and Downs – and what a fantastic blog topic to be asked!

From the very first line of Baptism of Fire, the reader knows exactly what Alastair thinks about curses:
I don’t believe in curses. It comes with the job.
As the book goes on, Alastair’s viewpoint is challenged repeatedly, but he doggedly maintains that curses don’t exist. He continually tries to find a tangible, human reason for all the events which encircle Kevin.

One of the great things about writing his engagement with Kevin’s curse was that I feel exactly the same way about curses. I remember reading H.G.Wells’ short story The Red Room when I was at school, and it’s stuck with me for -cough(!)- number of years. The premise of this story is that fear drives us to believe all sorts of things. I really wanted to put that into Baptism of Fire.

To me, as to Alastair, curses are a human creation. I think people can drive individuals to believe they are cursed. It’s almost like a form of gaslighting. If you are repeatedly told you’re cursed, you begin to believe it. If you begin to believe it, the curse becomes real.

But, while I don’t believe in curses, I am, nonetheless, quite superstitious! I put this aspect of my ideas into another character, Jilly. At one point in the book, she explains her behaviour by telling Alistair:
No thanks, Vicar. I’m sinfully superstitious.
Jilly also believes in luck, though, which I don’t so much!

Because Baptism of Fire tackles issues of faith and belief, both in God and people, I got to pour rather a lot of my interest in these things. My undergraduate degree was in Theology, and there is a lot of that in this book. I hope, because each character has different views and beliefs, there will be a person each reader can connect with but, in terms of my own views, there could only be one explanation for Kevin’s curse!
Virginia Crow will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. Hello! Thank you for hosting me and my book on your fabulous blog! I hope your readers enjoy my post as much as I enjoyed writing it!


  2. How long did it take you to write your book?

  3. Hello Bernie!

    Thanks for your question. It took me thirty days to write the first draft - I know it's a bit random remembering that, but I did it as part of NaNoWriMo! But I'd had the plan in my head for a while. And then, of course, came the editing and re-editing (that's my least favourite bit!).


  4. Sounds interesting, thanks for sharing!

  5. Love finding new authors. Means more books to read.

  6. I enjoyed the excerpt and think the book sounds good.

  7. I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

  8. A question for the author: When you were a child, what were your favorite authors and book series?

    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

  9. I enjoyed the excerpt, thanks for sharing

  10. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

  11. Thanks everyone! And thank you for your question, Nancy!

    I didn't really have a favourite author as a child, but I had favourite books which were part of bigger series. Some of these were:
    ~ "The Weirdstone of Brisingamen" by Alan Garner
    ~ "The Children of Green Knowe" by Lucy Boston
    ~ "The Oaken Throne" by Robin Jarvis
    They all have something of other-worldliness about them, which just set my imagination going!