Enchanted Oregon by Louisa Kelley

Today starts the blog tour celebrating the release of Fianna the Gold by Louisa Kelley. Check out the schedule! You can follow along every stop.

 

To celebrate, we’re giving away a bunch of stuff! Including:

  • $20 Amazon.com gift card
  • audiobook copy of Bitterroot Queen by Jove Belle
  • audiobook version of Little Dip by Gill McKnight
  • ebook copy of A Bittersweet Garden by Caren J Werlinger
  • ebook copy of the 4 book series Cops and Docs series by KD Williamson
  • ebook copy of Pleasure Workers by Annette Mori
  • ebook copy of A Shot at Love by T.B. Markinson
  • ebook copy of From the Boots Up and From the Hat Down by Andi Marquette
  • ebook copy of The Potion by R.G. Emanuelle

ENTER THE DRAWING!

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Enchanted Oregon by Louisa Kelley

I’m always saying Oregon itself is a major inspiration to my writing. Book research has certainly been entertaining. I’ve interviewed dragon-boat teams on the banks of the Willamette river, taken a spooky tour in the Shanghai tunnels beneath Portland’s Old Town streets, and spent time with a master Tattoo artist in their studio.

My trip last week, however, topped the list of fun with an inspired drive to the Enchanted Forest Theme Park, located near Salem. Chasing an idea for a scene in the second book of my trilogy, The Shift Series, I went alone and joined the throngs in line to get into the children’s fairytale themed, wooded park. The whole park is on a hill, with winding, shady paths leading to Storybook lane, where you can crawl through Alice’s rabbit hole, and enter the witches castle through her mouth and slide out her hair. There’s a Cinderella castle, a crooked house, a Haunted Mansion and many other themed activities. There’s an old Western Town, an Old European Village and at the top, adorable kiddie rides.

I didn’t have any kids with me, so I pretended to be everyone’s auntie, smiling at the children and enjoying the simple pleasures of their fun. My younger, fairytale-mad self would have adored this place. My earliest childhood was spent in Oakland, California, where we used to visit the venerable fantasy theme park, called Fairyland. It was the next best thing outside of Disneyland anywhere in my known world. There was a giant sculpted dragon that greeted you upon arrival with a long tail you could climb and sit on. Of course, I was mad for the dragon. I’m sure it was a contributor to a lifetime of dragon love.

IMAG0700.jpegI strolled around Oregon’s version of my very own Fairyland, and felt the familiar spell being cast. I breathed in the remembered atmosphere; where reality is briefly suspended and magic is real. No wonder I write fantasy novels–I love this stuff so much.

As I wandered, I began to notice the behavior of the adults. At every exhibit, adults stood with cameras jammed in front of their faces, hollering out posing commands and jostling for better angles. Stunned, I looked down the path and up the path. Everywhere, faces behind phones and waving selfie sticks. While their children scampered in innocent, screen-free fun, the adults remained detached from the action and missing the actual point. I wanted to yell, “Put down your cell phones and enjoy your children!”

I meandered to the Old European Village and took a seat on a bench along its cobblestone path, while I waited for a musical event to start. I noticed a costumed young woman causing a stir as she walked my way. She wore a long yellow skirt and black embroidered vest, with a billowing white blouse underneath and a big red rose in her black hair, which was pulled into a tidy bun. She had red lips and a beautiful smile and in seconds I knew she was Snow White. Every child who came up to her was the recipient of her dazzling smile and a few soft words of greeting, which elicited shy, delighted grins and nods. Then she would fling open her arms and the young girl or boy would just walk right into them. Even the initially skeptical of young observers melted in the light of her smile and hug invitation.

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As she wrapped her arms around each child, a bubble of connection happened, pure and real. In those few seconds, there was a visceral sense of love; from her to the children and the children back to her. After the third round of smiles and hugs, I started to get teary-eyed. It was all I could do not to jump up and request my own turn.

I did think, whatever the park is paying her is probably not enough. Over the course of the summer, she will have hugged hundreds of sweaty, sticky, germy kids. That she did it so brilliantly left me filled with admiration. I checked out the reactions of the other watching adults, wanting to catch someone’s eye, wanting to say, “Isn’t this so cool?” But I couldn’t connect with the grown-ups–only the shining light in the faces of their children.

As I drove back to Portland, I thought, this is what children need. They don’t care about photos documenting every second of their childhoods. They just want love, and for a little while longer, enchantment.

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Abbie is a compulsive jewel thief whose life hasn’t been making much sense. On a solo camping trip in the forests of western Oregon, she’s attacked by mysterious men and the event triggers a shift within her that she doesn’t understand and refuses to believe.

Fianna, Orla, and Guin are dragon shape-shifters living in secret in a magically hidden cabin in the mountains of Oregon. Fianna’s on a redemption quest to locate the rare human-dragon hybrid whose Draca DNA has been triggered and deliver the fledgling to the dragon community. Abbie is that magical being. With her two sisters’ help, Fianna must protect Abbie from nefarious forces that seek to exploit her, as well as from humans, who must remain oblivious to the existence of shape-shifters.

But Abbie’s a handful, as Fianna soon learns. Wrangling a strong-headed mischievous hybrid who has no idea of her own powers proves to be a frustrating mission. They have to move fast, before it’s too late and their secret existence, both on earth and in an alternate reality, is revealed by an unwitting baby dragon.

Abbie is hunted by a human who knows her secret, and something else that Abbie doesn’t even know about herself. Abbie has to come to terms with who and what she is, but who can she trust? When she encounters the three dragons, the events that follow rock the dragon world and threatens the safety of its inhabitants. The circumstances bring Abbie and Fianna into sizzling contact, and they both end up with more than they expected that day.

Throw in a conniving, thousand-year-old dragon with dementia determined to capture Abbie in Portland for his own purposes, and you’ve got…delicious, magical, dragonly fun. Everyone wants Abbie, especially Fianna, and it’s a race to see who gets to her first.


Louisa Kelley.jpegLouisa Kelley is the author of a series of well-regarded erotic paranormal books and urban fantasy stories, including the trilogy, Daughters of Draca. Her writing features fantastical stories of sensual romance, intrigue and magic, often with modern day characters based in Portland. ‘Fianna The Gold,’ book one in her newest fantasy series, has just been released by Dirt Road Books.

She resides in Portland, Oregon where, in a strangely perfect combination of rainy winters and urban skyline, her writing inspiration abounds. She’s also slightly obsessed with dragons.

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