Rachel Harris’Tale of Two Centuries Blog tour [guest post+giveaway]

Posted July 29, 2013 by Jenna in blog tour, GIVEAWAYS, Guest post / 28 Comments

Hi guys! Happy Monday to you! Today, I’m so happy to be the first tour stop for Rachel Harris’ Tale of Two Centuries blog tour! (hosted by Rock Star Book tours) Tale of Two Centuries is such a good feel book! If you’ve read Super Sweet Sixteenth Century and liked it, I’m very sure you’ll like Tale of Two Centuries too! Personally, I liked it more because it’s kind of more mature and we finally see the what happens to Alessandra and Cat! (I’ll post my review sometime next week 🙂 )

Okay back to today’s tour stop. We have a special guest post from Rachel herself. Read along as she talks about five things that in her opinion are essential for a perfect story. We also have a really cool giveaway below! So lots of fun things for you guys! 🙂

Rachel, take it away!

     Books and stories shaped my childhood. From random, mind-boggling stories my dad told me late at night to the romance novels I snuck from my mama’s stash, I was a girl obsessed with story. I made up my own (a time-travel tale based on the movie Teen Witch was a personal favorite) and read like crazy. 
     Once I became a mother of my own, my husband and I decided to homeschool our daughters. We researched all the styles out there and when I stumbled upon the Literature-Based approach, I knew we’d found our winner. Great books written by authors passionate about their subjects fill our homeschool day, and then my children are set loose to create their own. We have enthusiastic conversations about black moments and climaxes and character arcs, what we loved and what we didn’t. 
     So what makes a great story? That topic is so personal that the answer will change, reader to reader. What I can tell you are the things I believe make a great story. The ingredients I include in every story I write, and the things I look for in every story I read. 

Five Essential Ingredients for a Perfect Story (In My Ever So Humble Opinion)

  1. Strong Relationships – This includes romantic relationships, but that gets its own point below. Here I mean secondary relationships. Friendships, siblings, parents, maybe even time-traveling cousins (*grin*). My family and friends are everything to me, and I want to read and write about characters that are similar, yet still manage to wind up in some real doozies. When I read, I read for escape, to lose myself in a story world and leave it with warm fuzzy, and I relate best to characters who care deeply for others. Strong relationships pull me in, they round out the story world, and they make me wish I could live there, too. Plus, it’s normally in conversations between close characters that you learn the dirt (he he). 
  2. Humor – I love to laugh. If an author can make me swoon, laugh, and even cry in a book, I’m sold. When I laugh, I smile. When I smile, I inevitably sink further into my sofa cushions or my pillow, and thus further into the story. In the beginning of my career, I settled on Fun & Flirty Escapes as my author brand. I want to write the type of books I love to read—books that make me smile, laugh, and swoon while they whisk me away. (insert happy reader sigh here)
  3. Character Growth – I’m a total character girl. Strong characters who grow and change make my reader heart happy, and it’s my number one goal for every story I create. This is especially true in a romance. A happy ever after—or a happy for now, depending on the story—is so much sweeter when both characters have been tested, put in situations that force them to either grow or fail, and reach the other side stronger and better for themselves and each other. Talk about swoon
  4. Setting – Sensory details! I love the little things that bring a story to life, and a vibrant setting does that for me. In My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, I immersed myself in Florence, Italy and the art, costume, and architecture of the sixteenth century. In my recent adult romance, Taste the Heat, I introduced the world to my hometown of New Orleans, sprinkling the language, food, and culture of my heritage. And in A Tale of Two Centuries, I introduce the world to modern day Beverly Hills through the lens of 16th century born Alessandra D’Angeli. If a reader tells me that they felt as though they traveled wherever my story was set, that is probably the highest compliment they can give me…well, other than THIS BOOK ROCKS! Or Austin IS SOOO HOT!! (I love those comments, too!)       
  5. Romance – Seriously, did you think I’d leave this out? For a girl who writes Fun & Flirty Escapes, the romance is high on my list. And the more books I write, the more I find the romance becoming more and more integral to the plot. Maybe it’s because I’m a sucker for close relationships. Maybe it’s because I love to swoon. But I live for those moments that make my tummy dip, my heart flutter, and my skin to tingle. Or in Austin Michaels’s case, the moments that make me blush. (*grin*)

So what about you, dear, fabulous reader? What do YOU think are the top five essential ingredients for a perfect story? Do any of mine make your list? 

About the Book

A Tale of Two Centuries by Rachel Harris
Entangled Teen
August 6, 2013

     Alessandra D’Angeli is in need of an adventure. Tired of her sixteenth-century life in Italy and homesick for her time-traveling cousin, Cat, who visited her for a magical week and dazzled her with tales of the future, Alessandra is lost. Until the stars hear her plea.
    One mystical spell later, Alessandra appears on Cat’s Beverly Hills doorstep five hundred years in the future. Surrounded by confusing gadgets, scary transportation, and scandalous clothing, Less is hesitant to live the life of a twenty-first century teen…until she meets the infuriating—and infuriatingly handsome—surfer Austin Michaels. Austin challenges everything she believes in…and introduces her to a world filled with possibility.
    With the clock ticking, Less knows she must live every moment of her modern life while she still can. But how will she return to the drab life of her past when the future is what holds everything she’s come to love?

US only
Tarot cards

“Keep Calm and Call On Reyna” T-shirt

a signed poster of the cover

swag pack including magnets, bookmarks, and “Austin makes me blush” pin
Pastel “Crazy” color hair chalk so they can be like Less
Drama Queen sign

THERE’S MORE!!!!! Rachel is offering anyone who buys a copy of ATOTC  during release week (release date is August 6) AND sends their  receipt to rachelharris1@gmail.com , will get exclusive swag including an Austin trading card AND a ticket to Alessandra’s play, along with an Austin Makes Me Blush pin and a signed book plate.
What a giveaway right??? 🙂
About Rachel:
As a teen, Rachel Harris threw raging parties that shook her parents’ walls and created embarrassing fodder for future YA novels. As an adult, she reads and writes obsessively, rehashes said embarrassing fodder, and dreams up characters who become her own grown up version of imaginary friends.
She grew up in New Orleans, watching soap operas with her grandmother and staying up late sneak reading her mam’s favorite romance novels. Now a Cajun cowgirl living in Houston, she still stays up too late reading her favorite romances, only now, she can do so openly. She firmly believes life’s problems can be solved with a hot, powdered-sugar-coated beignet or a thick slice of king cake, and that screaming at strangers for cheap, plastic beads is acceptable behavior in certain situations.
She homeschools her two beautiful girls and loves watching reality television with her amazing husband. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult Fun, Flirty Escapes, and LOVES talking with readers!  
hosted by:

Please like & share:

Tags: , ,

28 responses to “Rachel Harris’Tale of Two Centuries Blog tour [guest post+giveaway]

  1. Jenna!!

    Thank you SO much for being a part of the A Tale of Two Centuries blog tour 😉 I freaking adore you, and I’m so glad you loved this book. It’s bloggers and readers like you who make this whole journey such a blast!


  2. You mentioned romance as one of your essentials, and this touches a point I’ve been asking about for a few days now: does the romance have to be between the leads? And is the lack of a romantic relationship a deal breaker?

    • even if I’m not Rachel, I’ll answer this question. In my own opinion, I love reading books where the romance are in between the leads as they are the main characters, and they carry the story. Romance between a lead and a supporting character is also nice, but I’m more engaged in the story if its between the leads. hehe.

      As for the romantic relationships, there are tons of books without romance and are still successful, but then again, it depends on who you want to read your book (your audience). 🙂

    • Hi there! Sorry for the delay. Definitely not a deal breaker–this list was MY personal favorites, things I look for in the books I read and write, but that being said, I’ve written a book where the romance wasn’t nearly as integral to the plot as the main character’s journey, and I’ve read those types of books as well. I just prefer for my own reading books with romance because I’m a sappy type of girl LOL 😉 But no, lack of a romantic relationship is definitely not a deal breaker!

  3. All of them make my list, although I don’t require humor. It sure helps though, especially if the rest of the book is taking us to a dark place. 🙂

    Great post! (And I love tarot cards ever since Maggie Stiefvater’s new series and Sarah Ockler got me hooked on them!)

  4. I have yet to read My Super Sweet Sixteenth Century, but I’ve been wanting to! It sounds amazing.
    And, I agree with all five points on this list! 🙂

  5. This looks great! I STILL need to read the first book, which I’ve been intending to do ever since it came out 😉 I’m SURE that I’ll love both of them. I completely agree with Rachel on these essential elements, too — from a reader’s perspective!

Leave a Reply

CommentLuv badge

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.