Thursday, April 14, 2022

Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway: Beauty in the Beast by Emily-Jane Hills Orford

Welcome to my stop on the virtual book tour for Beauty in the Beast by Emily-Jane Hills Orford. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt from the book as well as the author's definition of beauty in a fabulous guest post. There's also the tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
Title: Beauty in the Beast
Author: Emily-Jane Hills Orford
Publication Date: February 25th 2022
Print Length: 194 pages
Genre: Science Fiction Fantasy
Priya, a name that suggests beautiful. Amell, a name that suggests all powerful. One is a beautiful young lady; the other a beast. Their paths have crossed before, only Priya doesn’t remember Amell from her past. Or does she? And what does it all mean? The Amell she meets is part beast. So are the others at Castle Mutasim. Is she one of them, too? How can this be? What manner of creature would experiment on other living creatures, to mutate them into something bizarre and, sometimes, downright dangerous? Priya has to know. She wants to know. And she wants to make things right.

“Wait!” she called out in vain, but it was too late. Her escorts had vanished. She was alone. In the forest. With a strange creature trekking ever closer. She could hear the crunching of underbrush. Was it Roderick? Wayne? Or the unknown? D’Sonoqua? “Wait!” She stood frozen in place. Unable to move. Her weeks of training useless, for here, in the moment of urgency, she couldn’t think of what to do. Mind freeze! Lifting her head slowly, she let out a wail of frustration, the volume of her voice matching the creature in pursuit. The crashing was mere feet away and yet, still, she saw nothing but the forest. The trees. The shrubs. The annoying vines and fallen branches which threatened, and did, trip her. Again.

And, finally, she knew what to do. She ran. There wasn’t room enough to spread her wings and fly. At least, she didn’t think so. Jumping to the lowest tree branch, she used her chimpanzee prowess to grab hold and swing. She gained momentum in the swaying motion and swung herself to the next branch. A little higher this time. A little lower the next. Until she found herself facing a long stretch of sand and gravel and the wide, open waters beyond.

The beach. They had been headed toward the beach. The ancient village had stood along this stretch. Nothing remained. Only sand. Gravel. And the flapping waves lapping against the shoreline.

She swung once more and landed in a thick, soft patch of sand. The crunching was still close. Behind her. All around her. It echoed in the open spaces. Was this a test? Had Roderick and Wayne been set up to abandon her here? To test her abilities? She didn’t have time to ponder the possibility. An ear-piercing shriek, mere feet behind, made her jump and set off in a burst of momentum. She ran toward the water and splashed in the incoming tide, leaving a sloshing sound in her wake as she plundered ever forward.

But the creature, whatever it was, continued its pursuit. She was the prize. The victim. And, before the beach ended, she felt something grab her firmly, swinging her body in a circular motion as a parent might spin a child for pleasure. Only this wasn’t pleasure. And she was being swung much higher, much faster, until with a single toss she landed wrapped around a furry set of shoulders, hands and feet firmly gripped. She tried to resist. No use. The grip was too tight. She tried to scream, but only earned a mouthful of rancid, fowl-smelling fur which made her gag.

The creature roared. Shrieked. Roared some more. And ran. The motion was jolting. Jarring. Priya bounced relentlessly, her body repeatedly bruised with each new contact it made with the creature as the two plunged back into the forest. As branches chortled against the two, Priya sought refuge by burying her head in the furry shoulder, breathing gently so as not to gag further at the stench. It was either that or have her head scraped to shreds by resisting tree appendages.

They tore deeper into the forest, up and down inclines until finally the creature stopped. Abruptly. Dropping Priya roughly to the ground.
Emily-Jane Hills Orford is a country writer, living just outside the tiny community of North Gower, Ontario, near the nation’s capital. With degrees in art history, music and Canadian studies, the retired music teacher enjoys the quiet nature of her country home and the inspiration of working at her antique Jane Austen-style spinet desk, feeling quite complete as she writes and stares out the large picture window at the birds and the forest. She writes in several genres, including creative nonfiction, memoir, fantasy, and historical fiction.

- How would you define beauty?

I don’t see beauty as a visual attribute. We’ve all heard sayings like, “beauty is in the eye of the beholder.” I think my favorite quote on beauty comes from the philosopher, Confucius who said, “Everything has beauty but not everyone sees it.”

For me, beauty in the visual form is what I see in my garden every spring, summer and autumn: the mass array of colors as flowers bloom for their brief spell in the limelight. I don’t think a visually beautiful person really exists. For me, beauty in living, breathing creatures (including humans) comes from deep within. People often comment on someone’s ‘beautiful soul’ or ‘beautiful mind.” There was even a movie produced in 2001 by the title “A Beautiful Mind.” It really defined the true depths of beauty as found within an individual in spite of their outward appearance and disabilities.

The main character in my recent book, “Beauty in the Beast,” is Priya. The name, Priya, means beautiful and everything about this character shines through with beauty. She has her moments of anger like anyone else, but she’s always there for others, always willing to help out, always working hard. She’s a good person. Being good, in so many ways, defines the true meaning of beauty.

I wanted my title to suggest this inner beauty that we all possess or have the potential to possess. It’s this inner beauty that fights the dark moments, the evil in this world that haunts us all. Visual beauty might be ‘skin deep,’ as the saying goes, but true beauty comes from the soul, the spirit, the mind, and the heart.
Emily-Jane Hills Orford will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter. Good luck!

(All the Ups and Downs is not responsible for this giveaway, its entries, or the prize. Goddess Fish Promotions and the author assume all responsibility for this giveaway.)

a Rafflecopter giveaway


  1. This looks like such a good read and the cover is wonderful.

    1. Hello Sherry - I hope you get the opportunity to read the book. I had so much fun writing it. And I love the cover, too.

  2. Lovely cover. I love the character names, Priya and Amell

  3. love the cover, congrats on the release

  4. I like the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

  5. Nice book cover and the book sounds interesting.

  6. The book sounds very interesting. The cover is absolutely gorgeous.

  7. I like everything about this book - genre cover & title!
    Thank you for sharing this.

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

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