Thursday, October 22, 2020

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Dance With Me by Judith Crow

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Dance With Me by Judith Crow. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a fantastic guest post from the author. There's also the tour wide giveaway to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: Dance With Me
Author: Judith Crow
Publisher: Crowvus
Publication Date: October 22nd 2020
Genre: Young Adult Fantasy
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Don’t tell anyone, but Kelli spends all her free time listening to folk music. Ok, it’s not what you’d expect from a popular fifteen-year-old, but that’s why she doesn’t want the whole world to know.

When Kelli follows the mysterious Tam Lane, she finds herself in a place where folk songs come to life. As she comes to terms with the world, she makes friends, uses her privilege to help others, and even falls in love.

But Kelli has forgotten the fates which await so many characters in the songs, and she soon finds herself surrounded by heartbreak. Determined to protect the people she has left, can Kelli change a fate which has been sung for centuries?

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EXCERPT:
They left the inn as the church clock began to chime midday and completed their journey in relative silence. As they neared Arlen Manor, Kelli began to feel a strange sensation of being watched, as though a hundred pairs of eyes were following her wherever she went. Looking carefully, she saw there were sculpted birds in many of the trees: great, black, hideous creatures with round eyes which stared unseeingly and followed her as she passed them by.

“They are crows,” William explained. “Centuries ago, before it was Arlen, the castle which stood here was called Corbie. That’s just another word for crow. According to family legend, when a disaster is about to befall the men of the family, the crows of Corbie Castle can be heard talking to one another.” Kelli felt a shiver stalk down her spine, and she was grateful when they left the woods and moved up the long driveway to the house, which was a picture of gothic splendour in the late afternoon light. She immediately had the feeling that this was the place she had been meant to find, although she could not explain where the idea came from. Climbing down from the trap, Kelli followed William to the door, and stood behind him as he hammered his fist against it.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Judith was born in Orkney, grew up in Lincolnshire and now lives in the far north of Scotland. Her writing is inspired by the experiences of her life so far and she loves picking up on quirks and immortalising them in fiction.

Judith’s new book, Dance With Me, combines her love of folk music and creative writing, and finds her main character in a world where folk songs come to life. Her debut book, The Backwater, was a finalist in the Wishing Shelf Book Awards 2019.

When she isn’t writing, Judith is a primary school teacher who enjoys crafting and music, as well as being a generally doting spaniel owner.

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GUEST POST:
Oh, this is such a difficult question! I have spent so much time going through all my favourite albums and playlists, which has been a lot of fun but with very little luck! I love music, and have so many different favourite songs, each of which means something to me from a different time in my life. For many years, I thought the song which summed me up best was She Belongs To Me (Bob Dylan) but, as time went by, it stopped being quite so perfect.

After a lot of browsing, I narrowed it down to a few, and most of them were by the same artist, so I decided to go with one of his:

Sunshine On My Shoulders (John Denver)

One of my earliest memories is sitting in the Daisy/Buttercup Field at the beautiful clifftop house where I grew up, and listening to this song. 

It’s an impossible memory, actually. Back in those days, we only had John Denver on LP, so there was no way that I could actually have listened to the song whilst out in the field. It is my imagination playing tricks on me, presumably putting two separate memories into a mixer and making a kind of Memory Smoothie!

This is a song all about life – about the relationships that we have and what we would give for more time to soak in the happy memories and make the most of them. Sunshine doesn’t only mean “sunshine”, it means all the wonderful things which happen in our life and how, at different points, it can generate different emotions in us: when we are looking forward to them, we are excited; when we are living them, we have fun; when we look back on them, we feel pensive or even sad.

I pour such a lot of my experiences of – and understanding about – life into the characters I write. There are little parts of me that go into the different characters, or little moments which are taken from individuals I’ve known. All through life, we go through these Moments of Noticing, where someone does something which is clearly a habit for them but completely alien to anything you do yourself. I have one friend who is always in such a rush to share his thoughts that, when he’s eating, he will keep talking but use a napkin to cover his mouth as he’s speaking. When I first witnessed this, I made a memory of it and, eventually, transferred the memory into this book.

There are times in my life when I obsess over the making of memories, both for myself and for others. When my sister was expecting her daughter, I wrote a weekly letter to my unborn niece (nicknamed “Blueberry” because of the size she was when we found out about her existence). When she was born the following January, I handed the letters over: thirty-four in total, each one all about the creation and preservation of memory for the next generation.

That takes us nicely back to the ethos of the song, where the singer is wishing a wonderful day for the person they’re addressing. A day full of sunshine, a day “just like today”. We’d all wish for sunshine all our lives if we could – not in a dry, desert kind of way, but in the sense of experiencing brightness and energy. Although this may never be as obvious as when you’re wishing a new baby well, we still do it all the time for ourselves and others.

Sunshine and memories are completely intertwined. When you look back on the summer holidays you enjoyed as a child, it was always sunny – just like it was always bright, crisp and snowy at Christmas. It isn’t a true representation of what life is like, but our minds trick us into remembering it like that. This is a feature of Dance With Me, where Kelli is constantly imagining or remembering the Other Place more fondly than it really was. She longs to experience the romance and adventure of another world but, as soon as she’s there, she misses the creature comforts of home. I can’t tell you what she decides in the end (too much of a spoiler!), but I will say that I don’t think – having lived in two such different places – she will ever properly adjust to either one.

So, with all that said, it doesn’t really matter that my very early memory of listening to John Denver in the fields could never have actually happened. The fact is that it summed up a moment in my life which has continued to define me, and created a deep link with the song which continues to endure through my personal and creative life.
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GIVEAWAY:
Judith Crow will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

65 comments:

  1. Thank you for hosting this stop of the tour! I found this one quite a challenge to think of, but I really enjoyed writing it!

    Judith
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    1. Thanks for stopping by! I loved your guest post. You can tell it was well thought out <3

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    2. Ah, thank you! I loved doing it 🙂

      Judith
      -x-

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

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I love it too - it was the second attempt and just seemed absolutely perfect!

      Judith
      -x-

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  3. Replies
    1. It took me ages to get the story finished - The Challenge (as detailed in the Acknowledgements!) was to finish it in the first months of 2015, but I didn't get it finished until late 2017.

      It went on ice for a while after that and editing and proofreading took about five months in total.

      Thanks for asking a great question!

      Judith
      -x-

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  4. The cover art seems appropriate for the book. Good job.

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  6. I am very excited about reading the this book

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    1. Ah, super! I hope you enjoy it 🙂

      Judith
      -x-

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  7. Wonderful guest post and excerpt, sounds like a great book to read, thanks for sharing it with me!

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I hope you enjoy the book!

      Judith
      -x-

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  8. Thanks for taking time to share your book with us and it's always a pleasure in our family to learn about a new one.

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  9. nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

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    1. Thank you!i hope you enjoy Dance With Me 🙂

      Judith
      -x-

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  10. Thanks for the great excerpt! The book sound very intriguing.

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    1. Thank you 🙂 This excerpt is from the point in Dance With Me when Kelli realises where she's "meant to be".

      I hope you enjoy the book!

      Judith
      -x-

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  11. I love the cover. The design and colors are great.

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    1. I love it too! As soon as I saw it, I just knew it captured Kelli's character and spirit.

      Judith
      -x-

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  12. Great blog post- love finding new (to me) authors

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    1. Thank you! I hope you enjoy Dance With Me 🙂

      Judith
      -x-

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  13. I enjoyed the excerpt-thanks for the giveaway!

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    1. My pleasure! I hope you enjoy the book!

      Judith
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  14. Sounds like a unique storyline involving folk songs. Intrigued

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    1. I loved creating the world of folk songs! I hope you enjoy the book 🙂

      Judith
      -x-

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

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    1. Thanks - I love the cover too!

      I hope you enjoy Dance With Me 🙂

      Judith
      -x-

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  16. The book sounds good and I really like the cover

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    1. Thank you 🙂 I was so pleased with the cover as well!

      I hope you enjoy the book!

      Judith
      -x-

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  17. I like the choice of your source. Tam Lin is one of my favorite legends

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  18. I like the cover looks amazing and i would love to read it too.

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  19. What's one book you read and a child which sticks with you to this day?

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  20. Judith, you are a new author to me & I am excited to start reading your books!!

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  21. sounds like a fun one

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  22. Wow..this book sounds super great!!

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  23. This books sounds very good and I like the cover.

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  24. I think that the cover of your book is attractive and interesting.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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