Hi everyone! I am so excited to share my latest book, Through the White Wood, with you. I have always loved Russian folktales—there’s just something about such fantastical (and often creepy) characters set against a winter backdrop of snow and towering trees that I’ve always found so compelling. . .
"TTWW is the kind of book that keeps you wanting more in the best ways possible. "
G: Speaking of the psychology of characters, we discover early on that Katya isn’t the only one in the book with powers, so how do you choose which powers belong to whom? And does that have anything to do with their personalities at all?
J: It does have a lot to do with their personalities. The reason I chose earth for Grigory is a bit of a spoiler, so I won’t mention it here, but Ivan has the power to negate others’ abilities because he’s sort of the “protector” of the group. For Boris, I thought it would be funny for this guy who loves cooking so much to be a fearsome fighter with superhuman strength. And Kharan was just made for the assassin/spy role.
"A story of friendship, magic, romance, and danger, Through the White Wood is fast-paced, engaging, and fun. I love how Leake pulled me into the story and made me care about these characters and what would happen. It’s definitely an enjoyable read, and I highly recommend it to fantasy lovers."
"I thoroughly enjoyed this story from beginning to end! With the rich setting, magical aspects, character development, a motley crew, and romance, there's not much more readers can ask for. I'm looking forward to more from this author!"
"Katya and Sasha are each so fun to read about, and I loved seeing them face the challenges and dangers in this story. Giving some strong ‘Ice Queen/Frozen’ vibes, but I loved the classic inspirations used in this story, and really enjoyed the direction Jessica takes [in] this one!"
"Jessica Leake did it again! Through the White Wood is absolutely amazing. This woman knows how to write. If you have not picked up her books, you totally should. She brings such a rich tale to her readers. I just can't get enough."
There are countless monsters in this world. Some with fangs, some who skitter in the darkness just out of sight, some who wear human skin but whose hearts have turned dark as forest shadows.
And as my fellow villagers dragged me, bound by rough rope, from the cellar of the elder, I knew that these men and women I’d grown up with—they thought of me as a monster, too.
I wasn’t sure they were wrong.
"Through the White Wood was a beautifully written story with rich descriptions, a strong heroine and a storyline that is bound to sweep you away. . . . This story was thought-provoking and enchanting, keeping me entertained until the very last page. Ms. Leake is a very talented writer and I can’t wait to see what she comes up with next."
"In this impactful return to Jessica Leake's imagination, prepare yourself for a journey. . . . Through the White Wood upheld the integrity of Russian and Slavic folklore through Leake's narrative interpretation that transports readers to a time where legends flourished among men and magic was a means of unlocking the greatest triumphs of the human spirit. . . . this outstanding read must have a reserved spot on your reading corner."
"I enjoyed Through the White Wood! I liked seeing Katya’s constant struggle of whether or not she’s a monster and her journey to discover who she is. . . . Jessica Leake’s latest novel is a solid story for those who enjoy a slower-paced book with historical and folklore elements woven together."
". . . I enjoyed Through the White Wood. . . . now that I know that Jessica Leake excels at world-building and folklore-researching. . ."
"It is a read full of magic, romance, and friendships. I adored the folklore and just wanted more. I look forward to seeing what else Leake has in store."
Then, without another word, he climbed into the driver’s seat, gathered the reins, and pulled us away from the only home I’d ever known, of a prince they said was a monster.
But then, they said I was one, too.
I promised myself I wouldn’t look back, but I did it anyway, squinting through the snow at the thirty-seven villagers who silently watched me leave. It was easy to note the ones who were missing. While the ones who remained stared at me accusingly, I reached down to rub at my wrists where the ropes had once bound them.
". . . this was an engaging and fascinating read that consumed my YA fantasy-loving heart. This book is great for lovers of magic, YA fantasy and adventure, and fairytale retellings. I would definitely love to meet these characters again in future books."
". . . the blend of folklore with fiction, all while giving the feel of a magical history that our records forgot. On that front, I think this book excelled. This was a world I wanted to explore further, beyond Katya’s story. . ."
"I was absolutely captivated. Jessica Leake is such a wonderful storyteller and once again, she brings to life a magical world inspired by Russian mythology. . . . Through the White Wood was a breathtaking, mesmerizing and sometimes gut wrenching adventure. There were so many great characters, some twists and we even got to see our favorites, Ciara and Leif, from Beyond a Darkened Shore. I really hope that we get more stories in this world. I definitely recommend reading anything Jessica Leake writes at this point."
After the horror of what had happened in the village, it was almost difficult to be afraid of what awaited me with the prince. Almost, but not quite. Rumors hammered at my thoughts as the sleigh traveled farther and farther into the deep woods that surrounded my home.
People disappearing into his castle, never to return. People with abilities beyond human limits. People like me.
Worse still was the knowledge that I went to him having committed crimes whose punishment was death.
"Through the White Wood is a thrilling young adult historical fantasy that will have readers begging for more. Although it's technically the second in the series, you can read this without reading the first book without any problems or confusion. I wasn't really sure what to expect going in, but at the end it exceeded anything I could've hoped for."
We traveled ever farther into the woods, the trees towering above us, snow clinging to their piney branches. I watched animals flee from the oncoming sleigh—birds flitting from tree to tree, squirrels chattering reproachfully, even a fox and hare interrupted from a deadly chase.
I imagined myself jumping down into the snow and escaping into those woods, and I went so far as to shift closer to the edge of my seat. I glanced down at the ground, moving so quickly beneath us. I could jump now, but would I manage to stay on my feet? If I stumbled, I risked serious injury. Still, wouldn’t it be worth it to try rather than be brought before the prince like a lamb to slaughter?
I moved still closer to the edge, gathering my skirt in one hand. I glanced at Ivan, but he continued to face forward.
"Through the White Wood by Jessica Leake is the brilliantly told story of Katya and Sasha, an orphaned village girl and a prince. . . . after reading this book I can say I am absolutely adding her to my auto-buy author's list. The author writes very vivid and beautiful stories with such amazing characters and worlds that it's impossible to not fall in love."
Through the White Wood
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
April 9th 2019 by HarperTeen
The Bear and the Nightingale meets Frostblood in this romantic historical fantasy from the author of Beyond a Darkened Shore.
When Katya loses control of her power to freeze, her villagers banish her to the palace of the terrifying Prince Sasha in Kiev.
Expecting punishment, she is surprised to find instead that Sasha is just like her—with the ability to summon fire. Sasha offers Katya friendship and the chance to embrace her power rather than fear it.
But outside the walls of Kiev, Sasha’s enemies are organizing an army of people bent on taking over the entire world.
Together, Katya’s and Sasha’s powers are a fearsome weapon. But as their enemies draw nearer, will fire and frost be enough to save the world? Or will Katya and Sasha lose everything they hold dear?
Inspired by Russian mythology, this lushly romantic, intensely imaginative, and fiercely dramatic story is about learning to fight for yourself, even when the world is falling down around you.
Other Books in the Series
Young Adult Historical Fantasy
April 10th 2018 by HarperTeen
The people of Mide have always been safe because of Ciara’s unearthly ability to control her enemies’ minds and actions. But lately a mysterious crow has been appearing to Ciara, whispering warnings of an even darker threat. Although her clansmen dismiss her visions as pagan nonsense, Ciara fears this coming evil will destroy not just Éirinn but the entire world.
Then the crow leads Ciara to Leif, a young Northman leader. Leif should be Ciara’s enemy, but when Ciara discovers that he, too, shares her prophetic visions, she knows he’s something more. Leif is mounting an impressive army, and with Ciara’s strength in battle, the two might have a chance to save their world.
With evil rising around them, they’ll do what it takes to defend the land they love...even if it means making the greatest sacrifice of all.
Praise for the Book
"Beyond a Darkened Shore is thrilling and romantic. This is a must-read for lovers of fantasy, mythology, and folklore." - Kody Keplinger, New York Times bestselling author of The DUFF and Run
“With undead armies, flesh-eating spirit horses, and a powerful heroine, fantasy, romance, and historical-fiction readers will have a great time.” - Booklist
“While Morrigan and Odin are terrifying, raven-haired Ciara is the star. Beautiful, strong, and independent, she is the perfect warrior princess. Epic historical fantasy filled with deadly creatures, simmering romance, and nonstop action.” - Kirkus Reviews
2 winners will receive a copy of Through the White Wood (US only)
1 winner will receive a $25 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
Ends April 17th
a Rafflecopter giveaway
More than 200 years later, an earthquake unseals the cave and frees Bohan. While catching up on history, he learns Jerado is still alive and rules the country as dictator. Bohan learns this from a sympathetic constable named Leticia. After talking to Bohan and his guards, she recognizes him from school lessons as the King Who Disappeared. Bohan determines to go to the capital, Dun Hythe, and gain revenge. Leticia promises to go with him to find out what happened to her father who was arrested and disappeared.
Jerado learns that Bohan is still alive and headed to confront him. He tells Lithgow, his son, and Flavia, his daughter about Bohan. Lithgow is the War Minister and Flavia the Minister of the Interior. They hate each other and each plans to succeed their father when he retires.
Jerado orders Lithgow to use his soldiers to block and kill Bohan. Flavia, who also has troops, decides to kill Bohan before Lithgow can. Bohan and his guards, all heroes, brush past Flavia’s soldiers and route Lithgow’s. Jerado now orders Lithgow’s troops to seal all the city’s gates and search everyone entering the city.
Meanwhile the citizens in Dun Hythe are suffering from Jerado’s rule and from Flavia’s imposition of lower wages to raise profits for the many businesses she controls. The wage restrictions impact on the Godmother’s bottom line. She is the head of a crime family who controls all vice in the city. She is also the head of the two largest and most powerful labor guilds, the teamsters and the dock workers. With Flavia’s wage restrictions in place the citizenry does have any money to have fun in the Godmother’s saloons or gambling halls. Also the workers don’t make enough money to feed their families.
Jerado’s Treasurer, Maurice, learns a few of Jerado’s family secrets. He knows how Flavia embezzles vast amounts of money from the contracts she gives out. Maurice learns about Bohan and the attempts to kill him. These and a few other secrets ensure his early death if Jerado ever finds out what he knows. Maurice meets with the Godmother and they agree to help each other for their mutual protection.
Now close to Dun Hythe, Leticia agrees to enter the city and scout it out. Hopefully she can find a way for Bohan to enter the city. She also wants to meet with the Godmother because her father was once a high-ranking official in the dock workers guild. Leticia hopes the Godmother can find out where her father is.
Within the city, rumors swirl about the reappearance of the King Who Disappeared. The Godmother ignores the rumors and is stunned to learn from Leticia that Bohan is really alive and outside the city. After a lively discussion, The Godmother agrees to smuggle Bohan into the city in return for a guarantee from Bohan for protection for her business.
Bohan and his mates enter the city by boat in the middle of the night and meet with the Godmother and Maurice who tells Bohan the layout of the palace and how to sneak into it. To make a distraction, the Godmother will call a city-wide general strike to coincide with Bohan’s attack on Jerado.
Bohan and Ansgar sneak into the palace at night with Maurice in the lead. Leaving Maurice behind, they advance into the living quarters and confront Jerado. A confusing battle ensues as the two wizards throw spells at each other. Using Ansgar’s spell as a distraction, Bohan gets close enough to Jerado to use his sword on the wizard thus gaining revenge.
With Jerado out of the way, Bohan arrests Lithgow and Flavia, proclaims himself king and agrees to work with the Godmother, orders a wage increase for all the workers.
Everyone is happy except Jerado’s children who must perform menial work for the rest of their lives.
He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe. They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.
Meet the Author:
Diane has always been a dreamer with a vivid imagination, but it wasn’t until 2011 that she put her pen where her brain was, and became a published author. Since receiving her first contract offer, she has yet to stop writing. Though she lives in the mountains, she really wishes she was surrounded by a hot, sunny beach with crystal clear water. She lives in Northeast Pennsylvania with her four kids, a husband, a schnauzer mutt, and three cats. Her goal is to write so many fantastic stories that even a non-romance reader will know her name.
About the Book:
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“Ms. Matthews?” the woman said.
Sam took a second to be impressed that the lady had discovered her name in the ten seconds it took her to walk over to the makeshift cashier station, then forced herself to pay attention. “Uh…” she searched the room for Andrew. Where was he? “Thanks.”
“We appreciate the donation you made, and want to make sure you know that all the money from tonight will be going to help those children with cancer that we showed on the screen before the bidding, and their families. Not a dime will be taken by us, the country club, or the staff of Helping Children.”
Sam nodded, looking over her shoulder.
Was he behind her?
“That’ll be fifteen hundred. Will you be paying with cash or credit?”
“Um, yeah, no.” Sam choked on a laugh. “Neither.”
The woman frowned. “I don’t understand.”
“Don’t worry, you’ll get your money. It’s just…I’m here as a favor, you know? I bid on him so he didn’t have to go on a date because he’s my best friend’s brother. I did it for him. Well, actually, I did it for her, because I don’t know him, you know?”
She stared at Sam, her mouth parted. “I…”
“Can I speak to Andrew? That’ll fix this.”
She blinked. “Andrew?”
“Yes, the man I just bid on. Andrew Michaelson.”
The lady stared at her for so long that Sam thought maybe she’d drank a little too much of that champagne, and time had frozen somehow inside her head.
After what felt like a million years, the woman shook herself slightly and cleared her throat, staring at something behind Sam. “Miss Matthews…I fear there’s been a mistake made…”
“No, there hasn’t. Like I said, you’re getting your money,” Sam interrupted, her cheeks hot because everyone in the room was staring at her. Everyone except the man she needed. “Andrew knows what’s going on. If you get him, and let him know—”
“I’m sorry, but that’s not possible.” The woman wrung her hands in front of her. “You see, Andrew already left. With his date.”
His date? Sam’s heart thudded against her chest, and her legs weakened for an entirely different reason now. “He…left? I…don’t…understand.”
“He left with his date. There was a last minute schedule change, and Andrew needed to go first, so he changed places with the original beginning man.” The woman hesitated, then added. “Andrew went first, Miss Matthews.”
The nervous guy. That had been Andrew.
Sam’s heart fell to her stomach, rolled out of her, and hit the floor with a sickening thud. If Andrew had already left, then she hadn’t bid on him at all, and the man she had just offered to pay fifteen hundred dollars for was her own responsibility…and she needed to fork up cash.
Cash she didn’t have.
“But if I didn’t bid on Andrew, who did I bid on?” she asked slowly.
“Me,” a deep voice said from behind her.
The masculine voice sent shivers down her spine, and her whole body tingled with something she didn’t fully understand or welcome.
- $15 Amazon Gift Card
Carrying The Greek Tycoon’s Baby
(Greek Island Brides #1)
By Jennifer Faye
Paperback & ebook, 256 Pages
March 1st 2019 by Harlequin Romance
From one night…
To nine months!
In this Greek Island Brides story, for jaded tycoon Xander Marinakos, renowned wedding destination Infinity Island is just another opportunity to expand his empire. Until he’s captivated by its beautiful owner, Lea Romes… When their one night together has unexpected consequences, Xander must negotiate the deal of a lifetime, and put his guarded heart on the table to convince independent Lea they can be a family…for infinity!
It was late afternoon by the time Lea had given Xander the full tour. He was the first potential investor who had stuck around this long. Lea’s hopes soared. He had many questions about the island and she did her best to answer them. She was proud of her little island. As she’d spoken of the various aspects of the island, Mr. Marinakos made notes on his digital tablet.
This is going to work. This is going to work.
She struggled not to grin. After all, nothing was final yet—
“Miss Romes, I’d like to make you an offer.”
Yes! Yes! Yes!
She stifled the giddy happiness bubbling up inside her. She had to maintain her cool just a little longer. Later she could celebrate her success with Popi.
“Please call me Lea.” When he sent her a puzzled look, she added, “If we’re going to do business together, there’s no need to stand on formality.”
He hesitated. “Agreed. Call me Xander.”
“Okay, Xander.” She sent him her brightest smile. “What do you have in mind?”
And then he stated the most amazing number. She never ever imagined that anyone would want to invest such an incredible amount of money in the island. She wasn’t even sure what to do with that much money. Sure the place needed work, but none that would amount to that sum.
“Thank you. That is a very generous investment—”
“Wait. I think you misunderstood me. I’m not investing in your island. I’m buying it.”
He wanted to buy her island? Her heritage? Her heart sank clear down to her white sandals. This partnership was over before it even had a chance to begin.
Lea shook her head. This couldn’t be happening. She’d only just found this link to her past, and she wasn’t about to give it up. No way.
In the second edition of The Creative Introverted Entrepreneur, we wanted to dig deeper and explore new ways to grow your business. By taking a look at what tools are currently available and services that you can use as an entrepreneur, we wanted to revise this book with the latest trends.
The goal of this book is to help entrepreneurs who are Introverts to grow their business online using techniques geared to them. When I decided to revamp this book and create a second edition, I decided to invite a couple of friends to share their knowledge too. So you will find a couple of chapters written by Michelle Lowery and Jerrilynn B. Thomas.
About the Book
The Creative Introverted Entrepreneur
by Kim Beasley
Agape3 Business Services; 2nd Edition
March 31, 2019
Purchase Your Copy Today!
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To celebrate the release of THE CREATIVE INTROVERTED ENTREPRENEUR by Kim Beasley, we're giving away a $25 Amazon gift card to one lucky winner!
GIVEAWAY TERMS & CONDITIONS: Open internationally. One winner will receive a $25 Amazon gift card. This giveaway is administered by Pure Textuality PR on behalf of Kim Beasley. Giveaway ends 4/6/2019 @ 11:59pm EST. Limit one entry per reader. Duplicates will be deleted. CLICK HERE TO ENTER!
About Kim Beasley
KIM BEASLEY is an international speaker and industry leader when it comes to increasing business brand visibility. Being a creative introverted entrepreneur, she has a heart for coaching others like herself who want to grow their business brand visibility online.
Many know Kim from her days of doing news segments via Google+ Hangouts on Air from 2012 to 2015. She reported about social media and technology during a love newscast fr KRNV in Reno, Nevada.