Thursday, September 4, 2014

Trial By Fire Blog Tour
Guest Post + Giveaway

Blog tour organized by MacTeenBooks 
See the full schedule HERE

I'm thrilled to be part of the Trial By Fire blog tour and to be sharing a post about the real life events that inspired a story that is very much author Josephine Angelini's own creation. I love that this guest post isn't a straight history of the Salem Witch Trials, but a personal look at how those events affected the author's own childhood and imagination. As someone who currently lives in the town where the witch hysteria began (what was once Salem Village), I can definitely understand the wonder at being surrounded by such weighty history. 

I read Trial By Fire back in May, and I continue to think about the story months later. It will definitely make my favorites list for the year. See my review HERE

Welcome to Love is not a triangle, Josephine Angelini!

My History with Witches:
by Josephine Angelini

I grew up in a tiny town in Massachusetts called Ashland.  Right across the street from my parent’s house is the entrance to the town forest.  It’s an old forest, crisscrossed by crumbling stone walls that were probably built way back before the Revolutionary War when the area was all colonial farmland.  The land itself was inhabited long before colonial times, and you can still find Native America arrowheads in the ground if you look hard and have more than a little luck on your side. 
It’s a creepy forest, full of creaking pines and ghostly stands of birch trees.  One of my sisters told me once that all birch trees used to be solid white, but when angels chased all the demons out of the world the demons tried to escape by climbing the trees and hiding in the branches.  The black marks left on the white trunks of the birch trees were made by the demon’s footprints, she said, and that’s how the angels found them and eventually destroyed them all.

I believed her, of course, and I still can’t look at a birch tree without thinking of demons climbing the trunks, their tarry feet staining the white wood.  I also believed her when she told me about the Witch Caves at the center of our forest.  The demons’ footprints were probably all made up, but the Witch Caves were real.
The story is that during the Salem Witch Trials there were many people accused of being witches, and even more were suspected.  Knowing that very little was needed in the way of proof, several families fled Salem to avoid the noose before they were put on trial.  Winter came, and they took shelter in these caves.  Many died of cold and hunger.

Those that lived went on to name the road that demarcates one side of the forest Salem End Road.  I grew up on the other side of the forest from Salem End Road.  My bedroom faced the forest.  I used to look out the window at night and watch the dark trees sway, thinking about the witches freezing to death right across the street from me.
            It left an impression, like the demons’ footprints, on my mind.  It’s something that I guess I had to write about, if only to shake that image out of my head and leave it on the page instead of in my thoughts. 
I didn’t do much formal research.  I knew about the Salem Witch Trials from growing up where I did and from Arthur Miller’s brilliant play, The Crucible.  What I did was take a strange but true legend from my life and let it live somewhere inside one of my stories. My sisters used to take me to those caves to scare the bejeezus out of me and keep me up at night, staring at the dark trees.  Now I’m taking my readers there to keep them up at night, hopefully staring at the pages of my book.

About the author

Josephine Angelini is a graduate of New York University’s Tisch School of the Arts in theater, with a focus on the classics. Originally from Massachusetts, she now lives in Los Angeles with her screenwriter husband and three shelter cats. Her debut series, Starcrossed, Dreamless, and Goddess, (Harper Teen) are all international bestsellers and have garnered the praise of various major publications, including the LA Times, and have twice won the Reader’s Choice Awards in Germany. Her next series, Trial by Fire, Book One of the WorldWalker Trilogy (Feiwel and Friends, Macmillan) will be out in the US on September 2nd.

-Check out the series website, where you can read exclusive content
-Visit the author website
-Follow Josephine Angelini on Twitter
-Become a fan on Facebook

Watch the book trailer for Trial by Fire


Trial by Fire Blog Tour Schedule (US)

Monday September 1

Tuesday September 2

Wednesday September 3

Thursday September 4

Friday September 5
Winterhaven Books



Win a finished copy of Trial By Fire

Giveaway is for US residents only (Sorry, international readers!)
You must be at least 13 years old to enter
See my policies HERE


  1. Whoa! That is über creepy. I like those stories though I can easily see how they impacted you as a child. It just have been a great place to let your imagination flourish.
    I gotta say I really loved your Starcrossed series and am seriously anticipating this one! It's one of my most anticipated books of the year, actually. And I loved the trailer! ^_^
    Thanks so much!

    -Dee @ Dee's Reads

  2. Christina R. in the rafflecopter

    LOVE that she has all this real life inspiration for her setting!

    It's so cool to hear about the real life legends that then get into the book :)

    Lovely post :)

    thank you :)

  3. I love this post :D Thank you for sharing Lauren. <3 And ack. Love the guest post by Josephine :D So awesome. <3 Sigh. I loved Trial by Fire so so so much. I'm just dying for book two. <3 hoping we will both love it :)

  4. Cool trailer and history. Thanks for the giveaway. <3

  5. Love the story about the birch creepy is that? Can't wait to read this book!

  6. I really really really want to give this book a shot! I've following the guest posts the author has been doing and I'm loving everything I'm seeing so far! I also love that the MC's names Lily LOL plus WITCHES!

  7. I haven't read any books by this author before, but I am super psyched to have on my TBR so that I can. This book seems to have everything I want in a book.

  8. The author's background is so wonderful. Thank you, Ms. Angelini, for sharing with us. I am so excited about reading this book; it's even more exciting after knowing a bit about the author's inner motivation for writing it.

  9. Soooo, I saw this book at B&N the other day and started skimming through it. I didn't realize how IN LOVE Rowan was with Lillian. That makes me just a bit uncomfortable. :/ But the writing looked so good too! Ugh, I'm torn.

  10. Love that her sister is as creative in the storytelling department as she is! Though I wasn't the biggest fan of her first series, I really enjoyed this story. Great guest post!

  11. Great post! Can't wait to read this book!

  12. I love that childhood stories and actual history factor into this story. I'd love to have grown up somewhere rich in history like Massachusetts! California seems so new an uninteresting compared to the eastern states. The birch story is quite creepy! Thanks for sharing! Wonderful post! :)

  13. I know this is a very good read and that I will enjoy reading it!

  14. I LOVE posts about the real-world context for books. Love love love. Also, the birch tree picture is lovely.

  15. This comment has been removed by the author.

  16. (This is Darith L.)

    I love books about witches, and this sounds so good! Salem witch trials are a fascinating event in our history, and I'd love to be immersed in a world that takes elements from it. :D

  17. Love the sound of this book. I've always been a fan of books on witches and I love the concept of this one.

  18. I've been DYING to read this book for what seems like forever!! It's at the top of my TBR - and it would be so awesome to win a finished copy! Thanks for hosting the giveaway! :)

  19. Thank you for this amazing giveaway! I've heard great reviews about this book. I'm looking forward to it! :)

  20. Wow! I had never heard that about the birch trees! How very wicked.
    You have a very engaging voice-- even in your blog post! :-)

  21. I love those stories, and the authors personal stories put into the pages of a book. Birch trees are creepy at night anyway, and now they have been made creepier. As have caves! I am so looking forward to reading this story. If there are witches, that is all it takes to make me have to read a story. And this one? It sounds amazing! Thank you so much for the giveaway!

  22. Brilliant post! You have succeeded in making me afraid of birch trees.
    Thanks for the giveaway!

  23. (entered rafflecopter as Alisha Sienkiel)

    Awesome trailer! This books sounds so good and I can't wait to read it! thanks for the giveaway!!! :)


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