Tuesday, August 11, 2015

Blog Tour: THE OBSIDIAN MASK by Caroline Ludovici - Author Interview + Giveaway

About The Book:
An exciting desert adventure, where Natasha and her brother, are kidnapped with two Italian teens, for a priceless Mesopotamian artifact unearthed by their archaeologist parents from an ancient Warrior-Queen’s tomb.

Natasha and Alex imagined their long awaited trip from London to visit their archaeologist mother's excavation would be amazing. After all, the team was uncovering the tomb of an ancient Mesopotamian Warrior Queen and her fascinating, precious possessions. But almost immediately upon their arrival in Medinabad, they are ambushed at gunpoint en-route to the camp, and the shaken children doubt things could get any worse.
But they are wrong.
Reluctantly thrown together with two Italian teens visiting their father at the dig, the four embark on a thrilling desert adventure that will tie them together... in more ways than one.
 Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Infinity Publishing |IndieBound|Goodreads
Follow The Tour:
August 10thLady Reader's Bookstuff – Launch post w/teasers
August 11th Pixie Vixen Book Reviews   Q&A 
August 12th Reads All The Books – Review
August 13th Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Author Interview
August 14th An Unconventional Librarian – Review
August 14th Heather Ann's Book Reviews – Review
August 17th Cabin Goddess – Review & Recipe
August 17th Chosen One – Review
August 18th Anything But Vanilla Book Blog – Promo / Guest Post
August 18th Books and Bling – Author Interview
August 19th BAPS Book Blog – Review
August 20th My Reading Reality – Author Interview
August 21st The Power of Three Readers – Review / Promo
August 21st Triple A – Review / Guest Post 
The Book Trailer:

Author Interview:
Top things on my bucket list
I have managed to do quite a few of my bucket list, but what I really need to do at some point, is 1- swim amongst the ancient ruins in the clear waters off the Turkish coast. 2-See a performance of Aida in an ancient Roman amphitheater, 3- See Victoria Falls.

What makes my novel stand out from the crowd?
The Obsidian Mask is down to earth, back to basics family adventure that is realistic, exciting and believable. The first of a series, The Obsidian Mask is set on a desert dig in Mesopotamia, where an international team of archaeologists are uncovering the ancient tomb of an ancient queen. Four young teens, two siblings from London and two from Italy meet while staying with their archaeologist parents at the dig, and the adventure begins... Not only exciting, the books are informative, interesting, intuitive, and very heart warming, with an underlying story of the joining of two the families.
What makes my book stand out? There’s nothing out there like it on the market. The sequel of The Obsidian Mask, Secrets of The River, are the teen adventures based in Italy, and the next step in the family story.

My most embarrassing moment
My most embarrassing moment was when I was about 20, I was working my way around New Zealand, picking ‘interesting’ jobs to pay my way. I was working for a shearing gang, as a roustabout, and later cook, for the shearing season, travelling around the North Island, as the gangs do, farm by farm, about a week (and thousands of sheep) at a time. The gangs would sleep for the duration of the stay in the very basic shearer’s quarters that the farmers provided. So when our gang worked one week for a farm which happened to be close by the gang’s home town, we all went home at night after work, and car-pooled in the early hours to get to the farm in the morning. I had arranged to be picked up at 4 am at the bottom of my friend’s long drive, which was my home-base in NZ. That first morning, I waited, shivering in the dark, for the crammed car full of grumpy, half-awake shearers to pick me up, a little nervous, since they teased and mimicked me no end for being English and to ‘refined’ for a such job working with shearers. As I waited, I was also nervous that perhaps they wouldn’t pick me up at all, or that I had missed my ride altogether. But at last the hazy beams of a car’s headlights could be seen outlining the black hills in the distance, coming nearer and nearer, and finally the car appeared ahead of me, and slowed down when I stepped into the road to flag them so they didn’t miss me in the dark. Squinting from the headlights, I quickly opened the door, and squeezed in the back seat with four big guys. We set off in silence, squished like sardines in a can. After about 10 minutes, the one squished next to me looked at me said, “Who are you?” It was the wrong gang.

Do your characters really talk to you?
Yes, they do! I even know what they’re thinking!

Are you for or against books being made into movies?
I am for it. There are so many struggling readers who never finish a good book because reading does not come easily to them, so even if the movie that has been made from a book might stray from the book a little, everyone, good readers and strugglers alike, can get to know a good story.

 What is your view on self-publishing?
I am so glad I have had the opportunity to share my adventures with young readers now, rather than having to wait for that positive reply from a traditional publishing house, which might take years! They are so inundated with submissions; it must be an almost impossible task sifting through the query letters. I just wish the self-marketing was as easy as the self-publishing! Getting people to know about the books has been difficult for me, and I’m not really an extrovert who enjoys bragging, or talking about myself, so it has been an interesting task, getting the word about my books out there! I don’t like the idea of mass clicks that one can purchase on Twitter and Facebook. I’d rather those who have liked my book’s pages to be genuine, who perhaps like ancient history, adventure and archaeology, or just a genuine story with real, believable characters. I have some amazingly interesting followers, from teachers, archaeologists, travelers, to historians there, plus the children and parents themselves, which is really a lovely thing!

What made you write in this genre?
I love history, archaeology and a good, insightful story. There is a vast gap in the market for readers of 11 years and up wanting something other than fantasy or sci-fi, who want an adventure with characters that were realistic and genuine. Also, there is absolutely nothing out there based around archaeological digs, which is lucky forme, as that is what I love to write about! I love the fact that I can plant a seed, or spark the interest in something the reader might not have been interested in before they picked up the book. The feedback from these tweens and young teens has been amazing, and I’m quite humbled sometimes at what they have said to me.

What drives you insane about the writing process?
In honesty, the spelling. My spelling. I find it so annoying that I still have to run around to restructure a sentence in order to avoid a word when spellcheck has no idea what the word is I’m trying to write. Doesn’t happen often, but it does happen!
About The Author:
Caroline was born and raised in central London, and from a very early age, she developed a hunger for adventure and hot, desolate places. She loves to learn about different customs, peoples, and to go off the beaten track wherever she can. She has been lucky enough to have traveled extensively throughout the world, spending considerable time in many countries of diverse and interesting cultures, soaking in the history. Caroline has also lived in Sweden and spent a year in New Zealand and Australia, taking six months to get there and back. However, her dream is to spend a few months following the ancient trade routes, from China across to the Mediterranean Sea. Caroline especially loves the Middle East, and as well as exploring Tunisia, Egypt, and Iran, where her parents lived for a couple of years when she was in her late teens and early twenties, she spent ten days in the Jordanian desert, following the footsteps of T.E. Lawrence. Her passion is archaeology, and wherever she goes in the world, as well as visiting ancient sites, Caroline absorbs herself in the local customs and history, avoiding the hordes of tourists where ever she can. The Obsidian Mask is Caroline's first book. The sequels, Secrets of The River, and The Irish Queen of Algiers, also reflect her love for travel and history, as well as giving her readers a fun and exciting adventure to enjoy. It has given her much pleasure writing these books, and she hopes you enjoy reading them as much as she has enjoyed writing them! Caroline has also written some short stories for pre-teen readers, and a collection of short stories for women in a series called, Coming of Age. When she is not writing she is either playing tennis or volunteering her time running a store/art gallery that dedicates itself to local artists? She is married and has two children, and she spends a lot of time on airplanes hopping back and forth from England to America, which is where she currently calls home.
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The Giveaway:
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