Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean (Blog Tour Interview & #Giveaway)


This book has been much anticipated, so I'm thrilled to have the author stopping in today
for an interview! You can see my review here and check out the interview and giveaway below...

Toward a Secret Sky
by Heather Maclean
YA Urban Fantasy, Christian
Hardcover & ebook, 368 Pages
April 4th 2017 by Blink

Summary

Shortly after 17-year-old Maren Hamilton is orphaned and sent to live with grandparents she’s never met in Scotland, she receives an encrypted journal from her dead mother that makes her and everyone around her a target. It confirms that her parents were employed by a secret, international organization that’s now intent on recruiting her. As Maren works to unravel the clues left behind by her mother, a murderous madness sweeps through the local population, terrorizing her small town. Maren must decide if she’ll continue her parents’ fight or stay behind to save her friends.

With the help of Gavin, an otherworldly mercenary she’s not supposed to fall in love with, and Graham, a charming aristocrat who is entranced with her, Maren races against the clock and around the country from palatial estates with twisted labyrinths to famous cathedrals with booby-trapped subterranean crypts to stay ahead of the enemy and find a cure. Along the way, she discovers the great truth of love: that laying down your life for another isn’t as hard as watching them sacrifice everything for you.

(Affiliate links included, meaning that I will be compensated if you make a purchase using my links.)

Praise for the Book

"Five Stars! Mysterious, romantic, and totally fun! Toward a Secret Sky is the type of adventure I could lose myself in over and over again." -- Stephanie Garber, author of Caraval

"A deliciously atmospheric, twisty read that will hook readers from the start with its mystery and romance. It left me aching to hop on a plane to Scotland and have my own magical adventure!" - Rebecca Christiansen, author of Maybe in Paris

"Full of intrigue, savvy world-building, and sizzling romantic tension, Maclean's enthralling storytelling will keep readers flipping pages--and wanting more." - Emily R. King, author of The Hundredth Queen

"I enjoyed this so much. It has just the right combination of magic, intrigue, and romance, and the beautiful Scottish backdrop and descriptions of various ancient sites just made it all the more appealing." - Heather Fawcett, author of Even the Darkest Stars

"Five stars! This was the type of thrilling story I always dreamed of reading when I was younger (way before paranormal romance became popular!)" - Shaila Patel, author of Soulmated, winner of the 2015 Chanticleer Book Reviews' Paranormal Awards

"I would definitely recommend to anyone who liked Angus, Thongs and Full-Frontal Snogging, or even fans of the Princess Diaries. The book is fantastic overall!" - Claire M. Andrews, author of Olympus Rising

Interview

I'd like to welcome Heather Maclean to my blog today! What inspired you to write Toward a Secret Sky?

My best friend and I took our 8th grade daughters to see the movie Twilight after reading the book. We were breathless afterwards at how great it was. It was wonderful to have this bonding event, and to feel like I was 14 again. My daughter and her friend begged me to write them a YA adventure that took place in Scotland. I literally started that night.

I was so inspired by the idea of letting girls know, especially girls who hadn’t yet gotten any attention from boys as I didn’t until late high school, that there was someone out there for them, waiting patiently, loving them from afar.

Would you tell us a little about the main characters of the story?

Maren is a normal teenager from the Midwest. She’s not the most beautiful or smartest or thinnest or most anything. She has a great life, until her mother is killed under mysterious circumstances, and then everything changes. She’s uprooted—sent to live in Scotland with grandparents she’s never met. She’s always been passionate, but until she’s forced to confront this new life, she never knew how adventurous and strong she could be.

In the tiny Highland town where she is sent, Maren meets a local girl named Jo who refuses to let her mope. Jo has an infectious energy and innocence that draws Maren out of her shell.

Maren also meets honest-to-goodness aristocrats, who fascinate her because they don’t exist in the same way in America: landed gentry with titles and castles. Cousins Anders and Graham Campbell are rich, handsome, and sometimes well-mannered.

Gavin is another young man in Maren’s new life she meets in the woods. She soon discovers that he’s a mercenary who’s been sent to protect her, but she isn’t quite sure from what or whom.

What did you like most about setting the story in Scotland, and did you learn any interesting things about the country?

I adore Scotland and everything about it! Always have, even as a kid in Missouri who’d never gone farther than Disney World. As it turns out, I met my Scottish husband at Disney World (on Spring Break!). The first time he took me back to Scotland, I was blown away by the wildness and wonder of the country: the mist that rolls in without warning; the fifty different kinds of rain; the rugged beauty and harshness of everything.

That first trip though, I was very much like Maren. I was struck by how slightly different everything was; I felt like Alice in Wonderland. The food looked normal, but wasn’t. The ground looked stable, but wasn’t. (Like Maren, I lost my shoe in the bog!) Still, I loved the wildness of it.

I had learned first-hand about the dangers of the bog, but I didn’t know until I was researching the book about the other ways ancient Scots had used the bog, for instance as early refrigeration… and as a way to hide bodies!

What would Maren, Gavin, and Graham say their favorite thing about Scotland is?

Maren would say her favorite thing about Scotland is the people and their accents!
Gavin would say his favorite thing about Scotland is Maren.
Graham would say his favorite thing about Scotland is that his family, the Campbells, has been one of the most important and influential clans in the Highlands for a thousand years.

Do you have any favorite love triangles in fiction or film?

I loved the love triangle in The Hunger Games series. I went back and forth pretty much every chapter between wanting Katniss to be with Gale and then Peeta.

What are you working on next?

The sequel to Toward a Secret Sky! It’s called In The Sea of Fear (from another Rumi quote), and it picks up with Maren heading to The Abbey in Mont-St.-Michel, France.

I'm so looking forward to it, Heather!

About the Author


Heather Maclean is a New York Times bestselling author and editor of 15 books. She has appeared on Good Morning America, the CBS Early Show, Fox Business Network, ParentsTV and Sirius' "Dr. Radio."

After graduating from Princeton University, she began her career at Entertainment Weekly. Her work has appeared in Conde Nast Traveler, Pregnancy magazine, NY Metro Parents magazine, as well as newspapers around the country.

Named one of the "16 Best Entrepreneurs in America" by Sir Richard Branson, she accompanied the adventurous business legend on a 50,000-mile trip around the world, alternately helping improve the lives of others (designing sustainable development initiatives in South African villages) and fearing for her own (rappelling out of a Black helicopter in a Moroccan sandstorm). She was also the first civilian mom to experience zero gravity aboard a "space plane," an experience she will never, ever repeat. Their journey, titled The Rebel Billionaire, was televised on Fox TV in 2005 for an audience of 8 million viewers.

Heather is also a former Disney executive. She launched several of the company's first, award-winning websites, and holds the distinction of being the first person to ever answer Mickey Mouse's email.

When not castle hunting in her husband's native Scotland, Heather fills her days with her two beautiful daughters, Hunter and Hadley, and dashing son, Gavin.


Tour-Wide Giveaway


- 5 Winners will receive a Copy of Toward a Secret Sky by Heather Maclean
- Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Have you read this one or will you be?

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