Thursday, January 21, 2021

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: The Calling (Finding Humanity #1) by Branwen OShea

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM Virtual Book Tour for The Calling by Branwen OShea. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as a guest post from the author. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Calling
Series: Finding Humanity #1
Author: Branwen OShea
Publisher: Sigma Orionis Publishing
Publication Date: December 29th 2020
Print Length: 590 pages
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction
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Humanity’s wake-up call. Answer it or face extinction.

When Bleu’s little sister shows symptoms of the deadly Sickness, a strange vision directs him to leave humanity’s subterranean haven and seek the cure on Earth’s glacial surface. Joining the expedition team, Bleu expects extreme temperatures, not a surface ruled by ingenious predators.

Rana and her fellow star beings have co-existed with Earth’s top carnivores since the humans disappeared. But when her peers transform into Crowned Ones, the final stage of star being development, she fears remaining Uncrowned like her parents. To prove her worth, she undertakes a dangerous mission—contacting the hostile and nearly extinct humans.

But Rana’s plan backfires, and Bleu’s team retaliates. As war with the more advanced star being civilization looms, both Rana and Bleu separately seek a way to save their people. 

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EXCERPT:
A bloodcurdling howl pierced the darkness nearby. He startled, and the rover lurched to the side, the treads grinding against the ice. In all his years of secret studies, he’d never considered studying animal vocalizations. Anything, including the Undescended, could be making the howls beyond the range of his snow rover’s headlights. As much as he had longed for this world, he was lost here.

As he scanned the inky horizon, a large dark blob drew his gaze to an elevated area of ice. Did it move? He narrowed his eyes, straining to confirm reality. Just get to the camp. Just get to the camp.

It moved.

“Base, something’s out here…pacing on a hill above me. I’m maintaining course, but I’m going to have to pass below it. Should I change course?”

“You heard Commander Savas. Shoot it as soon as it’s in range. Continue course.”

“Continue course. Got it, sir.” Bleu hastily checked his gun, wishing for Stamf’s longer-range rifle. It’s not close enough yet…

His hand tightened on his gun. I don’t even know what it is, and I have to kill it? The rover sped along as his indecision churned within him. Trust your instincts, Bleu, his mother had said. It lured us, Savas had said.

In his mind, Bleu replayed Neviah’s terrifying video footage. That creature could be stalking him right now. Orders were orders. He raised his gun.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.

Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her previously published works include contributing to a nonfiction yoga book, wellness magazines, and her published science fiction novella, Silence of the Song Trees.

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GUEST POST:
All novels have tricky scenes or characters to write. The Calling has five characters with their own points of view chapters, and each of those characters gave me unique challenges.

Rana is a young alien whose species strives for Crowning, a form of enlightenment where they undergo a metamorphosis and gain mental powers. Rana’s difficulty is that her parents never Crowned, and as a result she’ll do nearly anything to accomplish it. However, falling in love becomes quite the distraction. The hardest scene to write with Rana involved her decision on whether or not to enjoy the distraction of particular guys or to stay focused on her goal of enlightenment.

Bleu’s character experiences a longing for nature that was harder to portray that I had thought. It isn’t that he just enjoys nature, its such a deep need that he needs it to breathe fully. As someone who feels this deeply myself, I had always thought everyone had something they feel his deeply about, but early readers informed me that’s not the case. Showing Bleu’s longing without making him sound unstable was difficult to convey.

Atsushi is a shy teen who has a serious crush on Bleu’s kid sister, Ayanna, who is slowly losing her mind. As anyone who has dealt with mental illness can tell you, it is incredibly painful to watch someone you love suffer. Atsushi’s quiet humor as he supports the fiery Ayanna was a challenge to write to make it realistic for a fifteen-year-old guy. Their budding relationship within the backdrop of an alien invasion was tricky because Atsushi had so many life-threatening priorities competing for his attention.

Kahali is another alien, and Rana’s best friend. He experiences something that transforms him from a compassionate prankster to a disillusioned, angsty soul. That scene was really hard because everything he believes falls apart, and I love Kahali so much. Poor Kahali deserves a nice long vacation to somewhere without any humans.

The final point of view is the antagonist, Commander Savas, who mistakenly believes he’s the only real hero. He’s super complicated, and often does the absolute worse possible things for what he believes are the best reasons. The tricky part of writing him is that he’s incredibly strategic and highly intelligent, but lacks emotional intelligence. While his inner conflict makes him a blast to write, my constant fear was that readers might dislike him too much in this first book.

If Rana, Bleu, Atsushi, Kahali, and Commander Savas sound interesting to you, I hope you’ll give them a chance to share their adventures with you. The Calling is the first book in the series, so these characters have plenty more pages to make things difficult for each other and their author. It’s a good thing I love them.
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GIVEAWAY:
Branwen OShea will be awarding a $20 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

248 comments:

  1. It's great hearing about new books when you have a family who loves to read. Thanks so much for sharing your book.

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  2. Replies
    1. Too long. lol. I started writing it over ten years ago. Due to it being my first book, having young kids, and also working, it took six years to finish the first draft. I then wrote three other novels before returning to The Calling and rewriting it completely. Fortunately, books two and three in the series are already drafted and in edits.

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  3. Thank you for hosting The Calling's book tour. I'll be checking in throughout the day, so if anyone has any questions about The Calling, I'm happy to answer them. :)

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  4. Sounds like a great story. Congratulations on the book.

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  5. abfantom@Yahoo.comJanuary 21, 2021 at 9:48 AM

    I like the cover. It has very nice artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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    1. Thanks. :) Rai Fiondella did a great job on it. I can't wait to see what they create for the second book's cover.

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  6. I enjoyed the excerpt, thank you.

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  7. Sounds like a great book. I like the cover.

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  8. This sounds like a very good book.

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  9. I think that the cover of your book is very attractive. It would draw someone to read your book.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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    1. Thank you! I love this cover so much. I'm letting the cover artist know of these compliments. They're saying to pass on their thanks to you all. :)

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    1. I think its different for everyone. If I get stuck, its because I'm trying to get my characters to do something they don't want to. lol. I've also found meditation helps me because its taught me to turn off the critic and let the creative flow loose.

      My author friends say that walks, especially in nature help. There seems to be something about being in a physical flow movement like walking or swimming to get creativity flowing. Also, make sure you're refilling yourself in other ways.

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  11. Book description and cover art look great! I'm looking forward to reading how Rana and Bleu handle the challenges they face!

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    1. Thank you so much! I hope you enjoy reading it. I have lots of fun character art on my website, if you are interested. www.branwenoshea.com

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  12. The book sounds interesting, thanks.

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  13. David HollingsworthJanuary 21, 2021 at 9:36 PM

    What inspired you to write this book?

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    1. In my day job, I work with teens, and they often express feeling hopeless about the world’s future and feeling powerless to change it. While seeking a way to help them with this, I began having powerful dreams where Rana, one of the alien teen characters, began telling me stories. As strange as it sounds, this series is based on the adventures she shared.

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  14. The excerpt is interesting. Thank you for sharing it.

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  15. Cool cover. Sounds like a good Ya read.

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

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  17. I have a niece who would love this book!
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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  18. Great cover - Looks very suspenseful.

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  19. Nice cover. It sounds like a really interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome. Glad you found it interesting. :)

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  20. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thank you for the giveaway!

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  21. What writer's block podcasts do you like?

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  22. Looks like an interesting book.
    Thanks for the contest. 

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  23. I like the book cover and the book sounds like a great read.

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  24. love the plot!

    mia2009(at)comcast(dot)net

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  25. What was your favourite book as a kid?

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  26. Do you ever get writer's block?

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  27. I like the book cover and the book sounds like a great read.

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  28. Do you worry about what other authors think of yr work?

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  29. Replies
    1. No, I have another job and also homeschool my kids. I write whenever I can. :)

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  30. I do like the cover and would really enjoy reading it too.

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  31. What's your advice for new writers?

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  32. Have you ever won a blog giveaway?

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  33. The book sounds very interesting and I do like the cover too.

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  34. Have you ever had sleep paralysis?

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  35. What was your proud accomplishment as a writer?

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  36. What is your hometown's creepiest story?

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  37. I like the cover art. Makes me want to open the book and see what's inside ! Best of luck with the book, and thank you for the giveaway.

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    1. Thank you, Christy! I love the cover too. It's so much fun to have the cover artist show what's just existed in my head for so long. lol

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  38. When was the last time you donated to charity?

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  39. What author do you most like to read?

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  40. This book sounds so interesting. I love the cover too.

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  41. yes, i love the blurb of this book i totally want to read it

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  42. Great cover for a very interesting book I would love to read too.

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  43. Author, when it comes to writing time, how do you clear your mind?

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  44. what is your writing inspo?

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  45. Hope you're keeping warm this Winter.

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  46. What, to you, are the most important elements of good writing?

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  47. Happy meteorological spring!

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  48. Describe one of the main characters.

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  49. Tell me about the best day of your life.

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  50. If you’re planning a sequel, can you share a tiny bit about your plans for it?

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  51. What are your writing plans for the week?

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  52. I like the cover would love to red the book too.

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  53. I think that the cover of your book is intricate and engaging.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  54. Nice cover and it sounds like a really interesting book to read.

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  55. I think that the cover of your book is interesting and a bit eerie in design.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  56. This sounds like a book that i would enjoy reading

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  57. What's your favourite writing snack?

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  58. What's your most wild meeting on the internet story?

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  59. This sounds like an interesting book and I also like the cover.

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  60. Any good April's Fools pranks? #GiveThanksNotPranks

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  61. Do you have any swag for your book?

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  62. HOPE YOU'RE ENJOYING YOUR WEEKEND!

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  63. Shared on Twitter

    https://twitter.com/ThomasG25488903/status/1378861114478505986

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  64. Shared on Pinterest

    https://www.pinterest.com/pin/1040050107665467315

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  65. Shared on Facebook

    https://www.facebook.com/alpacalover627/posts/467070584497141

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  66. What was your favourite meal ever?

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