Monday, April 18, 2022

Virtual Book Tour + #Giveaway: Shadow and Sword by N. K. Carlson @N8Carlson @GoddessFish

Shadow and Sword

by N. K. Carlson

GENRE: YA Fantasy


The word was just below a whisper, yet in sixteen-year-old Reith's ears, it rang louder than he could have ever imagined. Reith had his life in order: apprentice under his mentor, Master Chronicler Vereinen, and follow in his footsteps. Until a shadowy figure appeared in his village, burning everything to the ground, including Reith's future. Now Reith's mentor is missing and Reith is on the run from the mysterious Shadow.

Reith adventures through magical forests, ancient ruins, and the lands of prejudiced elves to find his mentor, learn the secret of his sword, and unravel the mystery of the Shadow. Will Reith discover the truth of will the Shadow continue to fall over all of Terrashonen?

Purchase Shadow and Sword on Amazon


Reith walked to the edge of the stairs and knelt to look at what was in this slot, reaching in and pulling out a long, shiny box. This box looked to be wood overlaid with gold, silver, and copper triangles, each alternating, coming together to form a pattern. The box was about five feet long, a foot wide, and three or four inches tall. On the side was a golden clasp, which he opened.

Reith was dazzled by the sunlight striking the metal inside. In the box sat a sword in a scabbard. Its hilt looked like it had been woven together from three different metals, just like the box. These three twisted together into a metallic braid. The cross guard was similarly woven together. A soft, leather grip covered part of the handle for ease of use. Diamonds adorned the hilt and the pommel. The scabbard was black leather with lines of the three metals inlaid upon the edges.

He lifted the sword out and held it in his hand. The grip was warm, as if someone had just set it down. It felt light, like it was part of his arm and not a foreign object. The strangest thing though was that it felt like it was vibrating in his hand, as if he had just clashed it against another warrior’s blade.

Reith lifted it to his face and saw that the edge was sharp, as if it had just been sharpened and shined the day before. He slashed the air in front of him experimentally, and the sword hummed through the air. Strange as it seemed, he felt like he was meant to have this sword.

Interview with N. K. Carlson

How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?

I began writing Shadow and Sword in June of 2017. I had the idea for the book in early 2017, when the topics of refugees and immigration were the political tension point of the day. An idea came into my mind. What if a human teenage boy living in a fantasy world was forced to flee from his home due to violence, and live for a time among a foreign people as a refugee? What might he experience? How might he be received? At the time, I had a friend who worked with refugees here in Abilene, where I live and several students in my seminary program were refugees. I learned from them and my little seed of an idea took hold and sprouted into a full trilogy.

What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?

I had a few goals. First, I wanted to write a book, a whole book. I had never completed a novel before Shadow and Sword, though I had started three others before. I accomplished this goal! Second, I wanted to write a good story with well-developed characters. It took a few drafts and some good friends who read through my early drafts, but I think we have arrived at a book that is worth reading. Third, I wanted to say true things about our world through a fictional world. To that end, there are lots of interesting topics nestled into the book, such as refugees, religion, philosophy, and the nature of good and evil.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

The hardest part was finishing. The first draft was so hard. I had started three other novels before this one, and never got very far in any of them. I believed in this story, and I wanted to persevere until the end. But once I got through that first draft, it gave me the confidence to continue through the editing and re-writing process.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

The thing I most enjoyed was the satisfaction of finishing. When I finished the first draft, I printed it out, hole punched it, and stuck it in a binder. Holding my draft in a tangible form felt amazing.

Where there alternate endings you considered?

To pull back the curtain a bit, the content that is in Shadow and Sword is actually the content of the first half of my first draft. After I wrote it, I decided to expand the story and split it into two. Shadow and Sword ends just as the first half of that first draft did. But Book 2, the other half of that initial draft, has more changes and ends much differently.

Can you share some stories about people you met while researching this book?

Shadow and Sword was not a research heavy book, but I do want to take this opportunity to give a few shout outs to people who helped bring this book from idea to published book. There are a few people that I sent early drafts to who gave me good feedback and encouragement. It’s been nearly five years, so if I missed anyone, I apologize. My friend Brian Johnson was the most enthusiastic of my early readers, and his feedback helped move the book along from first draft to second draft to third draft and on and on toward publication. Get yourself an English teacher friend to be in your corner if you are an aspiring author. Others who I sent early drafts to include C. J. Spear, Hunter Brown, and Joshua Giddens. My biggest thanks to all of these gentlemen for helping to make Shadow and Sword and The Chronicles of Terrasohnen a reality!

What genre of books do you enjoy reading?

I am a pretty eclectic reader. My first love was mystery, starting with the Hardy Boys. I would love to write a full-blown mystery novel in the future. I also read fantasy, both YA and adult. On the non-fiction side, I read lots of theology and biblical studies, owing to my vocation as a minister.

AUTHOR Bio and Links:

N. K. Carlson is an author living in Texas. Originally from the Chicago area, he graduated from the University of Illinois before studying at Logsdon Seminary, where he graduated with a master of divinity degree. He has published two books.

The Things that Charm Us and the Smelly Gospel (which was co-written with Drew Doss) both came out in 2020.

His love of writing began in elementary school when each student was given a blank white book to fill with a story. In college, he took an interest in blogging and writing novels.

Website ~ Medium ~ Facebook ~ Twitter



$25 Amazon/BN GC 

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Goddess Fish Promotions said...

Thanks for hosting!

Jean Lowd said...

Thank you for hosting our wonderful author!

N. K. Carlson said...

Thanks for hosting!

I'll be popping in periodically to check on comments, so let me me know if you have any questions!

pippirose said...

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

Stormy Vixen said...

I enjoyed the Interview and the excerpt, Shadow and Sword sounds like my kind of book and I am looking forward to reading it! Thanks for sharing it with me and have a terrific day!

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