Wednesday, January 23, 2013

.Blog Tour Guest Post: Starflower by AnneElisabeth Stengl @AEStengl

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Author Anne Elisabeth Stengl

Anne Elisabeth Stengl makes her home in Raleigh, North Carolina, where she lives with her husband, Rohan, a passel of cats, and one long-suffering dog. When she's not writing, she enjoys Shakespeare, opera, and tea, and studies piano, painting, and pastry baking. She studied illustration at Grace College and English literature at Campbell University. She is the author of HEARTLESS, VEILED ROSE, MOONBLOOD, and STARFLOWER, with DRAGONWITCH due to release in 2013. HEARTLESS and VEILED ROSE have each been honored with a Christy Award.


When a cursed dragon-witch kidnaps the lovely Lady Gleamdren, Eanrin sets boldly forth on a rescue mission...and a race against his rival for Gleamdren's favor. Intent upon his quest, the last thing the immortal Faerie needs is to become mixed up with the troubles of an insignificant mortal.

But when he stumbles upon a maiden trapped in an enchanted sleep, he cannot leave her alone in the dangerous Wood Between. One waking kiss later, Eanrin suddenly finds his story entangled with that of young Starflower. A strange link exists between this mortal girl and the dragon-witch. Will Starflower prove the key to Lady Gleamdren's rescue? Or will the dark power from which she flees destroy both her and her rescuer?

Books Read, Books Adored 
By Anne Elisabeth Stengl 
I was that child--probably like many of you--who walked around with my nose in a book. From the time I knew how to read, I was constantly reading. I distinctly remember on more than one occasion getting in trouble at the dinner table because I was trying to read the book in my lap while eating. And the direst of all punishments my father could inflict upon me was taking my current read away or, worse still, banning me from reading fiction entirely. I truly lived for stories! 
I remember the first books I got truly addicted to were horse books. I loved Marguerite Henry's horse stories, such as King of the Wind or Misty of Chincoteague. These were my favorites, but I picked up any and all horse-related stories I could get my hands on, thus convincing myself that I was a horse girl and building a whole horsey-related romance in my head . . . a romance which subsequent horseback riding lessons promptly crushed. The stubborn British ponies I was taught to ride, with their hard mouths and irritable tempers, were not the romantic and majestic beasts I had imagined! And I was certainly no horsewoman. Combine this realization with a very strong allergy to horses and a couple of unfortunate dismounts (it's no fun to get bucked off a pony when you're eight!) I moved on from horse-love to the much safer cat-love that has continued to be my primary animal-passion. But I still enjoy the horse books! 
I quickly learned the joys of fantasy when my mother introduced me to the wonder that is C.S. Lewis's Chronicles of Narnia, and when my father took it upon himself to read aloud The Lord of the Rings to my brothers and me. These two classic fantasy worlds influenced my life in so many ways! I credit my love of Lewis and Tolkien for my love of classic literature in general. Because I adored both those authors' works, I spent time reading about the authors themselves. And I learned about the books they loved and were influenced by. This made me want to go on and study literature for myself. I don't know if I would have gone on to study English Lit. at university if I hadn't, as a child, become enamored with Narnia and Middle Earth. 
At first, I was pretty fixated on these two classic writers of fantasy, but over time I was introduced to others as well. My mother read Robin McKinley's Beauty to me when I was fairly little, and I rediscovered it as a young teenager. Thus, my love of more contemporary YA fantasy was born. I read more books by McKinley and explored other authors similar to her, such as Gail Carson Levine, Shannon Hale, and the lesser-known Regina Doman. Though my initial writing aspiration was to be another epic-writing Tolkien, I soon learned that my true love was for YA fantasy and fairy-tale-style plots rather than epics. So, while Tolkien and Lewis may have inspired my first love of fantastical worlds, it was writers such as McKinley and Levine who gave me my real direction. 
Later on in high school I found Diana Wynne Jones . . . and didn't understand her at all. I found her work bizarre and difficult to follow, and I just could not enjoy it. Which is funny to me now! I rediscovered her work during college, and now I will claim her as one of my top three favorites. I thoroughly enjoy any work of hers that I pick up, including all the books I read and dismissed as a younger reader. She truly is a mistress of her craft! But sometimes, you have to grow into a writer. Even a few years' perspective can make all the difference. 
This doesn't even touch on some of the other writers I adored and was influenced by over time: George MacDonald, Felix Salten, Louisa May Alcott, Lloyd Alexander, Dottie White Smith, George Selden, and so many more! I have all of them to thank for feeding my passion for books, a passion that will last me the rest of my life. 
And just think of all the authors out there still waiting to be discovered! 


  1. That is certainly a lovely cover! I love reading about the books that influenced authors as a child. Thanks for sharing!

  2. I always had my nose in a book from C.S. Lewis and the classics to Judy Blume, and Nancy many fond childhood memories involve a book!

  3. Great post of books. :) And I have to say the cover is beautiful! Thank you.

  4. Thanks you for sharing the guest post. I have this one hold at my library.. Maybe soon, I'll actually get to read it. :)

    Jenea @ Books Live Forever

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