If you like historical fantasy novels with a heavy helping of romance, then you need to check out Arcana by Jessica Leake! You can check out excerpts, reviews, and interview questions below (click ’em to read the full posts), and you can also enter to win great prizes like personalized hardcovers of Arcana and/or a $25 Amazon Gift Card!
A themed tour through Prism Book Tours.
This was a fabulous tour! The book was set in a beautiful historical world with a little bit of magic and a good dose of romance. If you didn’t get a chance to read the reviews, learn more about the author, or find out more about the setting and this book, feel free to go back and check out each stop. We’ve summarized them for you here as well…
Share something about you that is unique – maybe about how/where you write… or favorite snack foods… or a favorite hobby?
Before I made writing my career, I was a psychotherapist in a psychiatric hospital. Writing was already a big part of my life, and I found a background in psychology is wonderful for characterization! I’m also a stay-at-home mom to three little ones, all preschool age and younger.
MI Bookshelf – Excerpt
The horse’s hooves thunder across the hillside, and my heart pounds with each bunching of his muscles. My hair breaks free of its pins, pale strands sweeping across my cheek. Though the wind breaks through the thin barrier of my breeches and tall boots, the smile never leaves my face. Mild discomfort is a small price to pay for a journey unhindered by the heavy skirts of my riding habit.
Coffee Books & Art – Excerpt
“It only reveals a page at a time, so it may not say anything,” I warn as I open it. For an instant, the light shines as brightly as the sun reflecting off water and then it fades away.
Pieces of Whimsy – Review & Interview
“I love historical romance and I love fantasy, in fact these are probably my two favourite book genres, and I will read almost anything these genres have to offer. Arcana is a brilliant mix of both these genres. The setting is wonderful, as are the characters, and the magic just adds that fun, exciting element to the story.”
What was the best part about writing Arcana?
The research! Endless Downton Abbey marathons, anyone? ;). I also loved all the world-building required by the Sylvan realm and Katherine’s arcana. It was so much fun to imagine what the Sylvan realm might look like—especially the spirit fox J.
Kelly P’s Blog – Things Lord Thornewood Noticed about Katherine…
3. Our sharp banter was the highlight of my miserable week. It was no secret that I vastly preferred my country estate to my cold, dreary London townhouse, and the constant harassment by scheming mothers had made me consider abandoning my promise to Lord Sinclair on more than one occasion. If Katherine heard my complaints on the subject, I have no doubt she’d say, “Oh yes, how trying it must be for you to be introduced to so many beautiful young women.” And that is one of the many reasons I love her.
Lilac Reviews – Review
“I liked how smoothly this author worked in things about the characters, the culture of the time and the mystery behind Arcana. . . . Between the love story, the Arcana conflict and the colorful characters there was much to keep your interest. I hope there will be a sequel.”
Typical Distractions – Review
“Arcana is able to couple the fantasy with romance and history in such a way that it creates greater depth. As the reader you cannot help but be drawn into the world of the London high society and irresistible magic. This story left me smiling. Jessica Leake has raised the bar for historical fantasy fiction and I am excited to see what she has in store for us next. Arcana is an incredibly written and fascinating debut that has put Jessica on the list of authors you need to know!”
A Thousand Words A Million Books – Review
“And the book itself? If the five star rating didn’t give it away- absolutely 100% BRILLIANT! . . . Needless to say, for fans of the YA genre, the Adult one, The Historical Romance one or the Paranormal one- Arcana is THE book for you!”
Colorimetry – Excerpt
Katherine, it whispers in my mind.
With a jerk, I take my finger from the rune, and the lovely vision fades.
My Life, Loves and Passion – Review
“Historical books are some of my favorites right along with fantasy. This story was a great mix. You felt like you were being transported back in time. It was so well explained. The magical part was there but did not overtake the book.”
Wishful Endings – 10 (Mostly Random) Facts about the Edwardian Era
1. The fashion at the time? S-bend corsets
The Wonderings of One Person – Interview
How has this story touched your life?
At its core, Arcana is a story about family—something that is extremely important to me. I admire Katherine’s willingness to be self-sacrificing and do what she needs to do to protect her brother and sister.
SBM Book Obsession – The Cover Process
I’ve had so many compliments and interest on the cover of Arcana. It was a surprisingly hands-on process for me, which is pretty unusual in the publishing world.
My Love for Reading Keeps Growing – Review
“There are so many great characters in this book. Both main and secondary. I loved them all. Well, some were more slimy than others, but they were all great characters. I truly love it when an author makes me interested in more than just the “main” characters. It really makes the story come more alive for me.”
The Book Lovers’ Lounge – Review
“I really had a great time reading this book. . . . Another thing I love about Arcana is the strong personality that is Katherine, which shows even right at the very beginning of the story.”
100 Pages A Day – Review
“I loved the premise of this book, a girl born with magic fueled by the sun who must be careful with how she practices her magic, or be called a witch. Katherine, or Wren, is a great character.”
The Written Adventure – Debuting in the Edwardian Era
One of the central events in Arcana is Katherine’s debut into high society. During the Edwardian Era, this meant being summoned to the Court of King Edward and Queen Alexandra.
Beck Valley Books – Excerpt
Mama, lend me your grace, I think like a prayer. I close my eyes for a moment, and I can almost hear her voice, telling me, as she always did, that there was always strength within me if I would but reach for it.
The queue of debutantes moves forward until I stand at the threshold of the Throne Room. Royal guards in scarlet line one side of the room, prominent members of the Court on the other. At the end of the long room are the king and queen, seated upon their thrones, but I try not to focus on anything but the veil of the girl in front of me.
Katy’s Krazy Books – Review
“While this is a historical fantasy novel, not all the details are thrown at you at once. It makes it much more interesting.”
My Devotional Thoughts – Excerpt
“My lord,” I say through clenched teeth as I tug my hand free, “I didn’t say yes.”
“You didn’t say no, either,” he says and takes his position beside me.
Leaving him on the dance floor, though satisfying, would only cause a bigger scene. I sigh as I go through the steps of the waltz.
Avid Reviews – Review
“I was pleasantly surprised by how easily this novel captured my attention and ignited my imagination. Arcana is a story that both emotionally involves the reader and contains a thrilling plot. In addition, Katherine is an incredibly sympathetic protagonist, and a refreshingly strong female character.”
Into the Written Word & Welcome to Book City – Review
“The speech is quite fantastic. It seems right for the time period. It’s proper and a bit verbose. Exactly how I imagine London all those years ago.
I also like the magic. It was nice. A bit confusing on what arcana was exactly. But still pretty fascinating.”
Book Enthralled – Review
“I enjoyed this, the magic was interesting, it was beautifully written and the characters were well drawn out. I really enjoyed the romance and I remember myself saying “now that was a make out scene!” I also really like the historical side of things, the coming out, the balls, the parties etc. I would really like to read more from Jessica Leake in the future.”
Amid the sumptuous backdrop of the London Season in 1905, headstrong Katherine Sinclair must join the ranks of debutantes vying for suitors. Unfortunately for Katherine, she cannot imagine anything more loathsome – or dangerous. Through her late mother’s enchanted journal, Katherine receives warning to keep hidden her otherworldly ability to perform Arcana, a magic fueled by the power of the sun. The machinations of the fashionably elite are a constant threat, but worse still are those who covet Katherine’s Arcana, seeking the power of her birthright. They could be hiding behind the façade of every suitor, even the darkly handsome Earl of Thornewood. With so much danger and suspicion, can she give her heart to the one who captivates her, or is he just another after her power?
About Jessica Leake
I’m a stay-at-home mom of three beautiful children (two toddlers and a newborn, in fact, so I think you can begin to see why my blog may be a bit neglected) and author of Arcana: A Novel (Skyhorse/Talos, November 4, 2014), my debut historical fantasy with a heavy dose of romance. I have a particular obsession with blending different genres, but almost everything I write has an element of fantasy and romance. I’ve been in love with historical England ever since my first literary crush: Mr. Darcy (I can’t even count the number of times I watched Pride & Prejudice–the A&E version, of course!!) I’m represented by the fabulous Brianne Johnson of Writers House, and I live in Greenville, SC.
Before I was a writer, I worked as a psychotherapist. I spent several years working at a psychiatric hospital in Birmingham, AL, but after my husband graduated as a pharmacist, we moved back to Greenville. I claim Greenville as my hometown now since I spent most of my childhood here, and I’m a proud alumna of St. Joseph’s Catholic School and Winthrop University.
– $25 Amazon gift card & personalized hardcover of Arcana (INT)
– Two personalized hardcovers of Arcana + swag (US only)
– One ebook of Arcana (INT – Mobi or Epub)
Ends November 23rd