Friday, December 13, 2013

A Visit with Tori L. Ridgewood, author of WIND AND SHADOW, book one of the Talbot Trilogy + Review, Excerpt, & GIVEAWAY!

I’m doing something a little special today. First, I’m giving a brief review of the first book in an extraordinary new trilogy from Tori L. Ridgewood called the Talbot Trilogy and then I was fortunate enough to get Tori to answer a few questions for me. Tori has also been kind enough to give us a peek into book two of the Talbot Trilogy and also has a wonderful giveaway in store for you featuring this exciting new paranormal romance. So hang on to your panties and join the fun.

***eCopy provided by author in exchange for an honest and unscripted review.


Rayvin Woods, photographer and natural witch. She just wanted to start her life over again after a series of misadventures. She didn't count on rekindling a lost love when she came home to Talbot...or battling a malevolent vampire and his coven for her life.

Grant Michaels, police officer. He thought Rayvin was a murderer. He will do whatever it takes to protect the community he loves from danger...but will he learn to trust his heart, and the word of a witch, before it's too late?

Malcolm de Sade, cunning vampire, imprisoned underground for a year by Charlotte Fanning and Pike Mahonen ("Mist and Midnight", Midnight Thirsts). His accidental release unleashes his hunger and ambition on a small, sleepy town…


Facing the past can be a nightmare. It's worse when a vampire is stalking you.

*               *               *                *               *

WIND AND SHADOW by Tori L. Ridgewood is more than just your typical paranormal romance – it’s suspenseful with a mystery that will keep you on the edge as some surprises come to light.

Rayvin Woods, a natural witch, has returned to town after ten years away and her welcome is not altogether a good one especially when she learns there’s a vampire on the loose. And wow, what a villainous, evil vampire Malcom de Sade is. But Rayvin has even more problems awaiting her than the contemptuous bad guy ever. She has to deal with Grant Michaels whose hate for her is sealed in a false truth that makes him the most misguided of heroes.

WIND AND SHADOW, book one of the Talbot Trilogy by Tori L. Ridgewood is most definitely action-packed, exciting, as well as complicated with its many twists. There were a couple of times, when the story slowed a bit but it actually allows you to catch your breath and get ready for more. I would like to have known more about Rayvin and Grant’s history but I understand there’s only so much time for everything and with everything else that happens in this first book, perhaps we can catch up with their backstory later. Of course, I’m looking forward to Charlotte and Pike from MIST AND MIDNIGHT returning to town. I suggest you all catch up with this novella that started it all.

Tori definitely knows how to write great characters and I’m eager to read more of this exciting trilogy so I’m going to certainly recommend WIND AND SHADOW by Tori L. Ridgewood to everyone who enjoys a truly exciting, and adult paranormal romance with a lot of excellent urban fantasy attributes.

Now that I’ve had my say about this exciting new book, please join me in welcoming Tori Ridgewood, author of WIND AND SHADOW, book one of the Talbot Trilogy to Unwrapping Romance … 

Amy:  Welcome Tori, it's an absolute delight to have you with us today, and I'd like to thank you for taking time out of your busy day to join us.  

Perhaps you'd like to tell us a little bit about yourself for those who don't know you yet.

*Tori:  I’m 6’ 1.5”, I have dark brown hair (most of the time) that I prefer to wear short, and I’ve worn glasses since I was ten. I’ve been married since 1997, I have two school-age children, and I’m a full-time secondary school teacher. I enjoy traveling, collecting and making miniature furniture, rolling candles from beeswax sheets, scrapbooking, cross-stitch and quilting (mainly small projects), as well as writing plays for my students and the occasional poem. I’m a huge movie buff, too.

Amy:  Sounds like you keep very busy. Making miniature furniture sounds very interesting. I love dollhouses so I’d love to see your creations sometime.
I'm always intrigued about why some authors write paranormal. I understand why we read them (I'm addicted) but I have to wonder if the reason is perhaps the same. So why do you write paranormal? 

*Tori:  I write it because I’m fascinated by the supernatural in all ways. I love watching documentaries and reading studies about ghost hunters and cryptozoology as much as I love reading paranormal fiction and watching movies in the same genre. There is something so appealing about exploring this as-yet unknown element of our world, and I do it in fiction. My writing reflects the books, films, and research that I enjoy. The spells, for example, are real, though their efficacy has yet to be scientifically documented. When I write about the paranormal, I’m expressing wishful thinking that something more than the mundane can exist. It’s a heartfelt desire for adventure and magic, an appreciation of the mystical and mysterious, and a love letter to my favourite supernatural writers and filmmakers.

Amy: Wow, you’ve really delved deeply into all that makes your story so amazing. I would imagine the research alone makes your time enjoyable.
WIND AND SHADOW is your first full-length novel and the first book in the Talbot Trilogy. What inspired you to create this world of witches and vampires? 

*Tori: Part of it had to do with an unusual event that happened in the small town of Cobalt, Ontario in the late 1980s. The town was a hub of silver mining in the early part of the twentieth century, and tunnels run beneath houses and roads as well as in the bush outside of town limits. Lacking regular maintenance, one of those tunnels caved in around 1987, causing a hole big enough in a main street to swallow a car. It was advertised as the World’s Biggest Pothole until engineers were able to repair and reinforce it. But as I was living near Cobalt at the time, the event always fascinated me. After I moved back to the region as an adult, I kept thinking about it. What if it hadn’t been as simple as distressed and rotten pilings, or water seepage through pavement and rock? What if a creature had been trapped down there and seen an opportunity for escape? It wasn’t until I was on maternity leave with my second child that I finally started putting the ideas together. And the first answer came out of my love for horror fiction -- the creature who was trapped in the mine was a vampire.

That my protagonist is a witch came out of my love for and interest in witchcraft and Wicca, both in fiction and in my life. Magic(k) is compelling, but I don’t believe there are enough positive images of witches in fiction. I wanted my heroine to be intelligent, strong, and talented in ways that she’d have to keep secret -- Rayvin’s magick could make her a target for scientific researchers, given that it includes telekinesis and psychic abilities. It’s fun to imagine a world in which magick can happen as it does in Hollywood movies, in combination with the rituals and spells worked by real-life Pagans.

Amy: Fascinating inspiration and Rayvin is wonderful heroine. I love the movies featuring witches and it’s what immediately drew me to read WIND AND SHADOW.
Is paranormal romance where you see yourself staying as a writer or do feel you might dip into another genre, say suspense or contemporary, some day? Afterall, those elements already exist within WIND AND SHADOW so the leap would be small.

*Tori: I’m not confident that I would be able to do suspense anytime soon, though I appreciate the compliment. I don’t often read pure mysteries, though many of my favourite books include that element in the plot. Wind and Shadow takes place in the present day, and I am beginning to research current trends in language for a YA novel, but I also love historical periods and would enjoy writing a period story as well. My options are wide open!

Amy:  Ah ha, with all of the research you’ve done, a historical featuring the world of witchcraft would certainly be one I’d read.
Last question because I know you're busy, what do you read for fun and if you could be ANY character in ANY book (not necessarily your own), who would it be and why?

*Tori:  I read historical romances, paranormal romances, comedies, science fiction and fantasy, YA novels, anthologies, and non-fiction (biographies, research into the paranormal or life issues, and historical accounts). I also love fairy tales, ghost stories, travel stories, and the occasional crime novel.

If I could be any character in any book, I’d love to be Anne of Green Gables. I’ve been through my share of embarrassing situations and dreamy moments, but there is something about her forthright nature and imagination that I wish I could experience in her shoes. That, and her red hair. Anne experiences and endures much in her youth before going to live with Marilla and Matthew near Avonlea, but she never stops dreaming and believing that she will be happy. Her imagination causes her no end of trouble, but it also saves her from despairing (even when she’s in the depths of despair). She gives all of herself to everything she undertakes, appreciates the beauty of nature around her, and shines in crisis situations. I wish I could be Anne in her puffed sleeves, reciting “The Highwayman”, feeling Gilbert’s eyes on me and trying hard not to notice because I can never forgive him for calling me “Carrots” . . .

Amy:  I’m always amazed at how many authors of romance turn to ANNE OF GREEN GABLES for their choice. I think we’ve all been inspired by that story in some fashion.
Tori, thank you so very much for joining us today and for sharing WIND AND SHADOW with us. Congratulations on your new trilogy and I'm sure my readers are as excited as I am to read more. 

*Tori:  Thank you so much for having me! I’d love to share an excerpt from the coming sequel, BLOOD AND FIRE: Book Two of the Talbot Trilogy, due out at the end of February, 2014.

Amy:  Indeed, I know I’m adding it to my TBR list. If you all would like to read Chapter One from BLOOD AND FIRE, book two of the Talbot Trilogy by Tori L. Ridgewood, please feel free to click HERE and then come right back because Tori has a giveaway for you.

Tori, thank you so much for joining us today and I wish you the greatest success with this new and amazing trilogy. If you’d like to learn more about Tori and her stories, feel free to visit her at her blog, and follow her on Twitter, Facebook, and Goodreads.

In the meantime, Tori has a giveaway to present.

*Tori:  My pleasure. Cheers.
I’d love to offer all North American readers a chance to win an autographed paperback copy of WIND AND SHADOW. To be entered in the giveaway, you must answer this question correctly:

What is the name of the prequel novella that leads into the Talbot Trilogy, and who are the main characters?

Amy:  Well, you heard the lady. If you’d like a chance at winning a signed print copy of WIND AND SHADOW, book one in the Talbot Trilogy by Tori L. Ridgewood, simply answer her question in a comment and be sure to leave a valid email address so I can contact you when you win.
(there's a very big hint and link in my review.)

Formula for entry:    

This GIVEAWAY is open to US and Canada entries only except where prohibited.

This GIVEAWAY will run until 11:30PM EST on Sunday, December 15, 2013 at which time I will use a randomizer to pick one lucky entry to win Tori’s amazing book. The winner will notified by email hence the need for a valid email address and announced in a special post on Monday. If for any reason, I cannot contact the winner or don’t hear back by end of day on Wednesday, December 18, 2013, another winner will be randomly selected from the remaining entries.

Good Luck and Happy Reading Everyone!

About the Author:

After her first heartbreak, Tori found solace in two things: reading romance novels and listening to an after-dark radio program called Lovers and Other Strangers. Throughout the summer and fall of 1990, the new kid in town found reading fiction and writing her own short stories gave her a much needed creative outlet. Determined to become a published author, Tori amassed stacks of notebooks and boxes of filed-away stories, most only half-finished before another idea would overtake her and demand to be written down. Then, while on parental leave with her second baby, one story formed and refused to be packed away. Between teaching full-time, parenting, and life in general, it would take almost seven years before the first novel in her first trilogy would be completed. In the process, Tori finally found her stride as a writer.

At present, on her off-time, Tori not only enjoys reading, but also listening to an eclectic mix of music as she walks the family dog (Skittles), attempts to turn her thumb green, or makes needlework gifts for her friends and family members. She loves to travel, collect and make miniature furniture, and a good cup of tea during a thunderstorm or a blizzard. Under it all, she is always intrigued by history, the supernatural, vampire and shapeshifter mythology, romance, and other dangers.

WIND AND SHADOW, a Talbot Trilogy novel by Tori L. Ridgewood, Melange Books, available now in print and ebook formats at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Kobobooks.
***click on the links or cover below for purchasing information



Amy Valentini said...

Is there a problem with Blogger comments I'm not aware of??

Okay, if answering the question is too difficult - even though the answer is up in my review - a simple comment or question for Tori will suffice. But please make sure you leave a valid email address. Thanks and good luck! xoxo

bn100 said...

Charlotte and Pike from MIST AND MIDNIGHT

bn100candg at hotmail dot com

Elizabeth Marie Haney said...

Hi Amy! Hi Tori! Loved the interview! Tori is as tall as I am, well she is .5" taller than me but, you know what I mean :)

The answer to the questions is: Charlotte and Pike from MIST AND MIDNIGHT

Thank you for the wonderful giveaway! The book sounds great!

ehaney578 at aol dot com

Amy Valentini said...

Thank you for stopping by, Elizabeth. This is a really exciting new trilogy and I'd hoped there would be more interest in winning a FREE copy. Doesn't anyone want to try anymore?