Saturday, June 1, 2019

BLOG TOUR: North to Nara by Amanda Marin

Welcome to the Official Blog Tour for Amanda Marin's North to Nara, the first title in the Crimson Sash series! Today, on our tour stop, we have an exclusive excerpt AND a character interview to share! We also have a cool tour-wide giveaway to share! Check out this great new dystopian romance and grab your copy today! Follow the tour... The tour schedule can be found at the end of this post!

Young Adult
Crimson Sash, #1
Publish Date:
March 20, 2019
Inkspell Publishing

Neve Hall has always admired the good works of the civil servants who brought prosperity back to the Nation. She especially respects the Sufferers—empaths who, with the help of technology, anonymously bear others’ troubles for them. But when her assigned empath is abruptly retired, she uncovers certain secrets. Like the identity of her new Sufferer, Micah Ward... and the fact that behind his kind smile is a life filled with loneliness and pain.

The closer Neve grows to Micah, the more desperate she becomes to protect him from a cruel and gruesome fate. But in a world where only a few are allowed the luxury of love, saving Micah comes with a price: Neve must choose between her loyalty to the Nation or her heart—a decision that will take them both on a race for their freedom, and their lives.


Frantically, I glance around the darkened street, trying to think of something to say to postpone our inevitable goodbye. Each second that passes is like wind blowing through my fingers—impossible to hold on to no matter how hard I try.
“For what it’s worth, I admire how you always do the right thing, even when others say it’s not. I hope you never lose that,” I tell him. “I’ve never met anyone who seems as alive as you do, either. And I guess… I’ve never felt as alive as I do when I’m with you.”
“And you’re curious about everything—I like that about you,” he replies. Delaying, just like me. Desperate, just like me. “You also have this quiet strength within you. You’re braver than you think you are—you should trust yourself more.”
As I look at Micah, I try to remember everything about him. The angle of his jaw. The persistent stubble on his chin. The wildness of his hair. After tonight, I may never see him again—and if I do, he’ll look older, more tired and weak from carrying others’ troubles. In time, I may not even recognize him. Realizing this, I reach up to touch his cheek, to help me map the way he looks right now, tonight, in my mind.
“There are laws against this,” he says quietly. “We’re not even supposed to know each other… And I signed a contract when I was seventeen—a thousand years of service to the Nation.”
He’s right: this is wrong. Being here together, talking like this—it’s all illegal. Every moment we’ve spent together over the last few weeks has been. A blatant disregard for his civil service contract. We’ll be punished if we’re caught. It’ll be even worse for us if we continue.
“Of course,” I agree. I pull my hand back and glance away. “Nation first.” I say our refrain, but for the first time in my life, it brings me no comfort.
“Nation first,” Micah echoes.
His voice is little more than a strained whisper, though, and as I look back up at him, I’m sure he feels the same reluctance tugging at him that I do, so I take a chance.
“I’m not ready to give you up, Micah,” I murmur.
Relief flickers through his features. “I don’t want to give you up, either.”
He leans closer then. A sliver of moonlight crosses his face. His eyes are warm like the pelt of an animal, and his lips look soft and hungry. He puts his arm around me, and his fingertips graze the back of my neck, then work their way up into my hair. I can’t hear anything but the sound of my heart thundering in my chest—I can’t even hear my breath, if I’m breathing at all. And then Micah’s mouth is pressed to mine. His kiss is cautious at first, shy in a way I didn’t expect from him. Then, when I kiss him back, he grows braver, more powerful and confident. Like the lion I’ve always seen in him.

*Love Is Always Enough: A Character Interview with Neve Hall*
Meet Neve Hall, the narrator of North to Nara. She’s 17, enjoys nature and animals, has a promising future working at the local museum… and is in love with the one person forbidden to her: Micah Ward, her Nation-assigned Sufferer. When following her heart is an act of treason, she’s forced to make one tough choice after another.

Q: What was it about Micah Ward that made you fall for him?
A: Micah is pretty much the exact opposite of my last boyfriend. Kael—my ex—wasn’t a good listener and could be selfish. I wasn’t a priority to him at all, and he really hurt me. I think that’s part of what drew me to Micah. He sees through to the real me, and he makes me feel safe. He loves me with his whole heart. If only all girls could date an empath!

Q: What was the scariest part of your adventure in this story?
A: Without giving anything away (of course!), there were so many moments where my heart was beating so fast I still can’t believe it didn’t burst. The obvious answer is toward the end, when Micah and I tried to escape the Nation. Yes, being chased through the mountains was definitely terrifying on the surface—but Micah and I were together, so it wasn’t the worst thing we went through. Instead, the most frightening time for me was when he was attacked during his sentencing. I thought he’d been killed. The idea of a world without him in it was horrifying.

Q: On a happier note, what was your favorite date with Micah?
A: We had to be pretty unconventional with our dates, since… you know… we were forbidden by law to see each other. There was a lot of sneaking around. A lot of close calls. That made everything more exciting, too. My favorite date with him, though, was just slow dancing together in his apartment on a rainy night. He played this old song from before the Nation was formed—“The Very Thought of You” by Billie Holiday. I didn’t expect him—this strong, distinguished guy—to do something sweet and vulnerable like that.

Q: What’s next for you and Micah?
A: We have a long road ahead of us before we can really have our happily-ever-after. For one thing, we’re on our own now, and we have to figure out how to survive in a completely different place, with no one to fall back on for help and a completely different language to learn. It’s intimidating, and everywhere we turn, the challenges keep racking up. We have each other, though, and I hope that’ll be enough. Love is always enough, I think.

The romance and adventure of North to Nara continues with its sequel, Sky to Sea, coming January 2020.


**About the Author**
When Amanda Marin was a child, her father traveled frequently for business, always bringing her back a book as a present. Whether she was getting lost in the pages of a tale about far-away knights, girls with supernatural powers, or kindly giants, she was quickly hooked on stories.

Over the years, Amanda has followed her own yellow brick road of reading and writing, and although her adventures haven't involved sword fights or saving the planet from certain annihilation, they have involved jobs in scholarly publishing and marketing, a modest amount of travel, and a lifelong love of novels.

Amanda holds degrees in English from Salve Regina University and Boston College. Her favorite things include Starbucks lattes, lazy summer afternoons at the beach, and books with characters that make you go "awww." She lives in New Hampshire with her family and furbaby, Snickers the Poodle.

Stay connected with Amanda Marin


***The Giveaway***

Note: Not Responsible for Lost & Damaged Prizes in Your Mail Box

Tour Schedule

May 28th
Another Book Hangover - Excerpt
Rock Hard Romance - Excerpt
Lisa Book Shelf - Excerpt

May 29th
Cat's Guilty Pleasure - Excerpt
cupcakesandbookshelves - Excerpt
Smokin' Hot Reads Book Blog - Excerpt

May 30th
iris blobel - Excerpt
Sab The Book Eater - Excerpt

May 31st
Adventures in Writing - Excerpt
A Soccer Mom's Book Blog - Excerpt

June 1st
Movies, Shows, & Books - Excerpt
PBC - Excerpt

June 2nd
I Smell Sheep - Excerpt
Once Upon a Book Blog - Excerpt

June 3rd
Reese's Reviews - Review
Ilovebooksandstuffblog - Excerpt

June 4th
Jennifer Mitchell, Bibliolater - Review
Moonlighting Scrivener - Review

June 5th
AC Squared Book Blog - Excerpt
Nerdy Dirty & Flirty - Excerpt

June 6th
The Romance Reviews - Review
TaSTy WordGasms - Excerpt

June 7th
3 degrees of fiction - Excerpt
Teatime and Books - Excerpt
Book Butterfly in Dreamland - Excerpt

Blog Tour Organized by

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