Jessica Leake
Jessica Leake / Writer of romantic historical fantasy
Author of ARCANA, a romantic historical fantasy novel to be released November 4, 2014 by Skyhorse/Talos Publishing

Blog.

Grand Finale Blitz for Arcana

A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.

It’s the GRAND FINALE for
Arcana by Jessica Leake
To be released November 18th.

This was a fabulous tour! The book was set in a beautiful historical world with a little bit of magic and a good dose of romance. If you didn’t get a chance to read the reviews, learn more about the author, or find out more about the setting and this book, feel free to go back and check out each stop. We’ve summarized them for you here as well…

Launch
Share something about you that is unique – maybe about how/where you write… or favorite snack foods… or a favorite hobby?
Before I made writing my career, I was a psychotherapist in a psychiatric hospital. Writing was already a big part of my life, and I found a background in psychology is wonderful for characterization! I’m also a stay-at-home mom to three little ones, all preschool age and younger.

MI Bookshelf – Excerpt
The horse?s hooves thunder across the hillside, and my heart pounds with each bunching of his muscles. My hair breaks free of its pins, pale strands sweeping across my cheek. Though the wind breaks through the thin barrier of my breeches and tall boots, the smile never leaves my face. Mild discomfort is a small price to pay for a journey unhindered by the heavy skirts of my riding habit.

Coffee Books & Art – Excerpt
?It only reveals a page at a time, so it may not say anything,? I warn as I open it. For an instant, the light shines as brightly as the sun reflecting off water and then it fades away.

Pieces of Whimsy – Review & Interview
“I love historical romance and I love fantasy, in fact these are probably my two favourite book genres, and I will read almost anything these genres have to offer. Arcana is a brilliant mix of both these genres. The setting is wonderful, as are the characters, and the magic just adds that fun, exciting element to the story.”

What was the best part about writing Arcana?
The research! Endless Downton Abbey marathons, anyone? ;). I also loved all the world-building required by the Sylvan realm and Katherine?s arcana. It was so much fun to imagine what the Sylvan realm might look like?especially the spirit fox J.

Kelly P’s Blog – Things Lord Thornewood Noticed about Katherine…
3. Our sharp banter was the highlight of my miserable week. It was no secret that I vastly preferred my country estate to my cold, dreary London townhouse, and the constant harassment by scheming mothers had made me consider abandoning my promise to Lord Sinclair on more than one occasion. If Katherine heard my complaints on the subject, I have no doubt she’d say, “Oh yes, how trying it must be for you to be introduced to so many beautiful young women.” And that is one of the many reasons I love her.

Lilac Reviews – Review
“I liked how smoothly this author worked in things about the characters, the culture of the time and the mystery behind Arcana. . . . Between the love story, the Arcana conflict and the colorful characters there was much to keep your interest. I hope there will be a sequel.”

Typical Distractions – Review
“Arcana is able to couple the fantasy with romance and history in such a way that it creates greater depth. As the reader you cannot help but be drawn into the world of the London high society and irresistible magic. This story left me smiling. Jessica Leake has raised the bar for historical fantasy fiction and I am excited to see what she has in store for us next. Arcana is an incredibly written and fascinating debut that has put Jessica on the list of authors you need to know!”

A Thousand Words A Million Books – Review
“And the book itself? If the five star rating didn’t give it away- absolutely 100% BRILLIANT! . . . Needless to say, for fans of the YA genre, the Adult one, The Historical Romance one or the Paranormal one- Arcana is THE book for you!”

Colorimetry – Excerpt
Katherine, it whispers in my mind.

With a jerk, I take my finger from the rune, and the lovely vision fades.

My Life, Loves and Passion – Review
“Historical books are some of my favorites right along with fantasy. This story was a great mix. You felt like you were being transported back in time. It was so well explained. The magical part was there but did not overtake the book.”

Wishful Endings – 10 (Mostly Random) Facts about the Edwardian Era
1. The fashion at the time? S-bend corsets

The Wonderings of One Person – Interview
How has this story touched your life?
At its core, Arcana is a story about family?something that is extremely important to me. I admire Katherine?s willingness to be self-sacrificing and do what she needs to do to protect her brother and sister.

SBM Book Obsession – The Cover Process
I’ve had so many compliments and interest on the cover of Arcana. It was a surprisingly hands-on process for me, which is pretty unusual in the publishing world.

My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Review
“There are so many great characters in this book. Both main and secondary. I loved them all. Well, some were more slimy than others, but they were all great characters. I truly love it when an author makes me interested in more than just the “main” characters. It really makes the story come more alive for me.”

The Book Lovers’ Lounge – Review
“I really had a great time reading this book. . . . Another thing I love about Arcana is the strong personality that is Katherine, which shows even right at the very beginning of the story.”

100 Pages A Day – Review
“I loved the premise of this book, a girl born with magic fueled by the sun who must be careful with how she practices her magic, or be called a witch. Katherine, or Wren, is a great character.”

The Written Adventure – Debuting in the Edwardian Era
One of the central events in Arcana is Katherine’s debut into high society. During the Edwardian Era, this meant being summoned to the Court of King Edward and Queen Alexandra.

Beck Valley Books – Excerpt
Mama, lend me your grace, I think like a prayer. I close my eyes for a moment, and I can almost hear her voice, telling me, as she always did, that there was always strength within me if I would but reach for it.

The queue of debutantes moves forward until I stand at the threshold of the Throne Room. Royal guards in scarlet line one side of the room, prominent members of the Court on the other. At the end of the long room are the king and queen, seated upon their thrones, but I try not to focus on anything but the veil of the girl in front of me.

Katy’s Krazy Books – Review
“While this is a historical fantasy novel, not all the details are thrown at you at once. It makes it much more interesting.”

My Devotional Thoughts – Excerpt
?My lord,? I say through clenched teeth as I tug my hand free, ?I didn?t say yes.?
?You didn?t say no, either,? he says and takes his position beside me.
Leaving him on the dance floor, though satisfying, would only cause a bigger scene. I sigh as I go through the steps of the waltz.

Avid Reviews – Review
“I was pleasantly surprised by how easily this novel captured my attention and ignited my imagination. Arcana is a story that both emotionally involves the reader and contains a thrilling plot. In addition, Katherine is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist, and a refreshingly strong female character.”

Into the Written Word & Welcome to Book City – Review
“The speech is quite fantastic. It seems right for the time period. It?s proper and a bit verbose. Exactly how I imagine London all those years ago.

I also like the magic. It was nice. A bit confusing on what arcana was exactly. But still pretty fascinating.”

Book Enthralled – Review
“I enjoyed this, the magic was interesting, it was beautifully written and the characters were well drawn out. I really enjoyed the romance and I remember myself saying ?now that was a make out scene!? I also really like the historical side of things, the coming out, the balls, the parties etc. I would really like to read more from Jessica Leake in the future.”

Arcana
by Jessica Leake
Adult Historical Fantasy
Hardcover, 288 pages
November 18th 2014 by Talos

Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome ? or dangerous. Through her late mother?s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine?s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the fa?ade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?

Purchase a special personalized/autographed copy of Arcana from Fiction Addiction HERE, or at one of the following sellers:
AmazonBarnes & NobleBook DepositoryIndie Bound

About Jessica Leake

I?m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author of Arcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I?ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can?t even count the number of times I watched Pride & Prejudice?the A&E version, of course!!) I?m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.

Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I?m a proud alumna of St. Joseph?s Catholic School and Winthrop University.

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Tour-Wide Giveaway

– $25 Amazon gift card & personalized hardcover of Arcana (INT)
– Two personalized hardcovers of Arcana + swag (US only)
– One ebook of Arcana (INT – Mobi or Epub)
Ends November 23rd

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Arcana Now On Sale!!

So it got a little confusing with the different release dates for Arcana–originally it was Nov 4th, and then it was the 18th (my website still says the 18th), but it’s been changed to Nov 11th. Today! Look for it in a bookstore near you–and be sure to post pictures! I love to see it out in the wild :).

One Week Until Launch Party!

HuguenotMillMy book launch party for Arcana is only a week away now! It’ll be at Huguenot Mill at The Peace Center on Saturday, November 1st, from 5-7pm. This event is free and open to the public. Table 301 will provide Edwardian Era hors d’oeuvres, and there will be a cash bar. Fiction Addiction will be the bookseller for this event. You can reserve copies of the book online or by calling them at 864-675-0540. Fiction Addiction will also have books for sale at the event on a first-come, first-served basis.

I also have an event invite set up on my FB page so that I can get an idea of headcount. I’d love it if everyone could RSVP!

It’ll be downtown, too, so feel free to drop in before going out for the evening :).

Here’s the delicious hors d’oeuvres menu:
Deviled eggs
Assorted finger sandwiches
Black pepper beef tenderloin crostini with tomato jam
Mushroom duxelle profiterole
Walnut, fig, and stilton cheese tartlets
Scones
Assorted cookies

 

 

 

New On-Sale Date for Arcana

arcana-webFirst of all, THANK YOU to everyone who has already pre-ordered Arcana!! It’s the single most helpful thing you can do for any author, especially for a debut author, so THANK YOU!

My editor emailed me the other day and let me know that the official on-sale date for Arcana has been   moved to November 18th due to a major back-up with the printers. This sounds like a bad thing, but many of the bookstores will stock or ship their copies of it as soon as they get them, which will be before the 18th. The book launch party on November 1st will not be affected, but it’s more important than ever to pre-order to be sure there are copies waiting for you at the event. My two other book signings that occur before the 18th will also not be affected.

Tackle Your TBR Wrap-Up Post and Giveaway Winner!

Tackle Your TBR Readathon 2014

I had so much fun with this read-a-thon! Thanks to Tressa at Wishful Endings for hosting! I didn’t meet my goal to read 8 books, but I did pretty well. Here are the books I finished:

throne-of-glass-coverCruelBeautyCoverThe_Giver_CoverLTW.v1WEB200px-Fire_cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I actually won’t be finished with Fire until tonight, but I just can’t put it down–even though it has some parts that drag, and even though I’m not 100% sure it sounds like YA–it’s still completely addictive.

I deviated a little from my original goal of books to read for this–mostly due to my fickleness ;). Either way though, I got a lot read!

Thanks to everyone who entered my giveaway! The winner was chosen today through Random.org and Rafflecopter:

STORMI D.

Yay!! Congrats!! I emailed Stormi this morning, and once I get her address, I’ll be sending out the ARC & bookmarks.

But if you would still like a signed copy of Arcana, my local indie bookstore will have them on November 4th! Here’s the link.

Pony Fest 2014

This probably won’t come as much as a surprise for anyone else born in the 80s, but I was completely obsessed with My Little Pony. I had (and still have, somewhere in my parents’ attic) a ridiculous number of them, along with the Dream Castle, Perfume Palace, and baby Spike (how do I even remember all the names??). I can even tell you the name of the first pony I ever got: Lickety Split.

So all this to tell you about an awesome contest hosted by fellow writer Rebecca Enzor: Pony Fest 2014! All I had to do was design ponies based off my book, and of course I chose Arcana since it’ll be coming out in November.

As per the rules, here’s a short tagline about Arcana: A bold, half-Sylvan debutante in Edwardian London must hide her abilities not only from potential suitors–and the man she loves–but an ancient brotherhood who feeds on this rare type of magic.

And here are my ponies!!

 

KatherineasaponyAdorable, right?? This is Katherine, the MC. I tried to choose an Edwardian-era-esque mane style for her as a nod to the historical era the book is set in. It’s a unicorn because of her magical abilities, and her cutie mark is a sun since that is the source of power for her arcana.

 

LordTaspony_nobackgroundThis is Lord Thornewood in pony form, and I think the expression is pretty accurate. Katherine observes that he’s usually dressed entirely in black, and though handsome, has an almost dangerous quality about him. The rampant lion on his flank represents his title of earl–also, it looks cool ;).

So these are my ponies! If I win, one of them can be made into an actual My Little Pony, so obviously, I WANT TO WIN.

Signed ARC of Arcana Giveaway

photo1 (5)

Tressa at Wishful Endings was kind enough to ask me if I wanted to do a giveaway for her Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon, and I just happen to have an extra ARC of Arcana plus bookmarks lying around to send out to someone :).

If you haven’t yet, you can read the first chapter of Arcana here. Here are some of the reviews:

“Leake weaves together a beautifully rendered historical setting, magic, and romance in this stunning debut.” —Elizabeth May, author of The Falconer

“Delightful! Leake’s debut is a charming, romantic tale that sparkles with otherworldly magic.” –Karina Sumner-Smith, author of Radiant

“The social mores of Edwardian England are deftly layered with magic, fantasy and a hearty dose of romance in this lively and enchanting debut.” Sarah Painter, author of The Language of Spells

“Arcana is a delightful romantic fantasy set in in Edwardian England. Katherine Sinclair is being pressured by her family to find a husband, even though telling the wrong person about her otherworldly ability to perform magic — inherited from her Sylvan mother — could have disastrous consequences. When Katherine finds herself wooed by two very different men, will her dead mother’s magical journal help her decide which one she should trust?” –Recommended by Jill Hendrix, store owner of Fiction Addiction in Greenville, SC

I sort of hate when Rafflecopter contests are really complicated, so I made mine simple: just enter your name and email address–that’s it! I’ll contact the winner when the contest is over and ship it out to you ASAP. I would love it, though, if you added the book to your Goodreads list and liked my FB page! Here are links to do just that:

Arcana

 

a Rafflecopter giveaway    

Tackle Your TBR Read-a-Thon Midpoint Check-In

Tackle Your TBR Readathon 2014

It’s time for the midpoint check-in for the Read-a-thon! I haven’t finished nearly as many books as I wanted to by now, but I’ve still managed to finish three even while sick and working on revisions (though I ended up reading more than revising just because it’s hard to concentrate with a cold!). Here are the books I’ve read so far:

throne-of-glass-coverCruelBeautyCover

The_Giver_Cover

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I enjoyed all three, though at times I found Throne of Glass dragged a bit (I didn’t understand the purpose of all those tests during the competition), Cruel Beauty was somewhat strange (but I still loved it because I love just about any Beauty and the Beast retelling), and The Giver really does change the way you look at the world.

My goal is to read at least four more books by the end of the read-a-thon–still a small goal, so hopefully one I can accomplish!

How has your progress been so far?

Tomorrow, I’ll be hosting a giveaway of a signed ARC of Arcana + bookmarks–I’d love for you to enter!