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We're launching the Book Tour for THE BATTLE IS O'ER by LAURA VOSIKA!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours

Book Tour Launch for
The Battle is O'er
By Laura Vosika

Author Interview

What is your motivation behind writing THE BATTLE IS O’ER?

Readers wanted to know how the story ended! The inspiration for the whole series was three fold: a childhood novel about four siblings going into a Scottish keep and coming down to medieval times; a flash of an image of a man arrogant and obnoxious enough to gamble away his livelihood—in this case, a trombone—and the lyrics of the old folk song, Blue Bells of Scotland, which speaks of streaming banners and noble deeds—just the kind of book I would want to read! I was familiar with this song all the way back in high school because I played trombone and the folk song was long ago turned into a theme and variations for trombone, which is a challenging ‘showcase’ piece for the instrument.

What do you hope readers take with them after they’ve read it?

I hope they’ll feel as if they walked beside Shawn and Niall for a time, and all the rest in the story, that the inhabitants of the Blue Bells world have become people they knew and cared about. And many readers seem to very much feel that way. I hope they’ll carry with them the beautiful story of a man who recognizes his flaws and makes a decision to turn himself around. I hope they’ll remember the humorous moments and the poignant moments and smile long after the book is closed.

Do you have a favorite scene that you can share with us?

It’s hard to choose just one, and there are so many different reasons why I like an individual scene—for the humor, for the action, for the glimpse of a different side of someone, or the moment they suddenly take the action that changes everything. In this scene, Shawn is confronted, very publicly with his odd behavior, and finally quits lying and trying to cover up, deciding at last he doesn’t care if people think he’s crazy.

It was almost with a sigh of relief that the girl announced there was no more time for callers. “But I do have one more question for you,” she said.

Shawn’s insides tightened, and nerves shot up his arms, as they had waiting in a medieval forest, knowing Arundel was near, though he could neither see nor hear him.

The hostess smiled. “You probably expect this by now.”

“Where was I for two years?” Shawn forced a smile.

Jen frowned. “You were gone a year.”

“That’s what I meant,” he said. “I was having the time of my life.”

“With an old couple in the west of Scotland?”

“Yeah. They’re great people. Very relaxing year.” Shawn smiled like a Cheshire cat. “We had fun learning medieval French.”

“Not your usual pursuit.” The hostess smiled back, and the tension in Shawn’s stomach grew. “That’s not what I was going to ask,” she continued. “I don’t think anyone expects the truth from you on that, by now.” She turned to the screen hanging on the wall behind her, and it lit up with a YouTube video.

At the first glimpse of himself on screen, Shawn resisted the urge to close his eyes in humiliation. Never let them see it, he reminded himself. He plastered a smile on his face, unable to stop it playing, as he watched a night scene of himself prowling the dark streets of Berwick.

Niall! Came his own voice from the sound system in the small studio. It’s a trap! Part of him wanted to die. They must all think he was crazy. Insane. Stark, raving mad, and then some. Part of him churned with slow-rising anger. Niall was about to die and to them it was a big joke.

He stared at the video of himself looking ridiculous. Five million views, he noted. Five million, three hundred thousand two hundred and thirty eight, to be exact. Great.

He tried to console himself that any publicity sold albums. But what the hell was he selling albums for, he wondered, as the humiliating video played on, of himself creeping like a prowler around a corner, cupping his hands and hissing. He was earning piles of money to eat all he wanted in a house with central heat while Niall starved in the chilly winters and rainy springs and raced to a hideous death, trying to save Allene.

He scrambled desperately for a story to explain his behavior in the video. Nobody had asked to his face, and he’d convinced himself he could skate past this, too. The video came to an end with one last shout of It’s a trap!

Silence descended on the studio. The audience didn’t laugh. They didn’t applaud. They stared at him with questions in their eyes, as if trying to decide where the joke was.

He was tired of the lies. Trying to laugh off two years of his life as if it meant nothing—it was exhausting. His smile slipped, as the girl’s brightened. “You called yourself Niall Campbell at your last concert before you disappeared. Now you’re shouting to someone named Niall. I can’t wait to hear your explanation,” she said.

Shawn looked at her sadly. “Have you ever had a friend die?” he asked.

She looked confused. “Well, no, but that’s not....”

“I’ve watched men die in the last two years,” Shawn said. “Good men. Friends. And I’ve learned that God has a terrible sense of humor, because I used to lie a lot. And now when I finally tell the truth, it’s so insane nobody believes it. And I’m tired of lying. I don’t find it entertaining or challenging anymore. I find it exhausting.”

“Okay.” She looked doubtful. “Who is Niall?”

The audience leaned forward.

“He’s the best friend I ever had, and I don’t want him to die. Not like that.”

“Like what?”

“Hanged, drawn, and quartered.”

She leaned across her desk, blinking, the smile unwavering, as if waiting for a punchline.

“Do you understand what that means?” he demanded. “They draw you—that means they slice you open. Sternum to pelvis.” He drew a hand down his body. “They tear out your bowels—while you’re still alive.”

Jen blanched, though she forced a smile. “Where’s the punchline?” she asked.

“There is none.” Shawn unclipped the microphone from his linen shirt, held it awkwardly for a moment, and set it down on the desk.

“You’re leaving?” she asked.

“Yeah, we’re done, aren’t we?”

If you could sum up the book in one sentence, what would you say?

In the gripping conclusion to this tale of time travel, mysteries and miracles, romance and redemption, Shawn, whose self-centered hedonism once cost him everything, faces the ultimate test as he realizes his new-found selflessness may do the same.

Share something about you that is unique - maybe about how/where you write... or favorite snack foods?

I think the thing people find the most unique about me is my family. I have nine children, currently 29 down to 13, including 7 sons, and identical twin boys. At this writing, four boys and a daughter still live at home with me. We also have three cats and an Irish Wolfhound—much like the Laird’s hunting hounds in the books.

The Battle is O'er
(The Blue Bells Chronicles #5)
By Laura Vosika
Historical Time Travel, Fantasy
Paperback & ebook, 470 pages
March 23rd 2018 by Gabriel's Horn Press

In the gripping conclusion to The Blue Bells Chronicles, just as Shawn is steadily regaining all he feared he had lost forever—his career, his son, and even Amy’s heart—he learns of MacDougall’s vengeance against Niall, for the act Shawn himself committed. He wrestles with a prophecy and an ancient letter that never changes, a letter that details the fate of his own son, if he cannot stop it—and possibly the fate of the world itself, as he learns of Simon Beaumont’s plan to use his knowledge of the future to destroy it.

Shawn’s selfishness once cost him everything. His newfound selflessness may do the same.

Tour Schedule

Laura Vosika is the author of the beloved series, The Blue Bells Chronicles, a tale of time travel, action and adventure, romance and redemption, ranging across modern and medieval Scotland. She runs Gabriel’s Horn Press, and is active in poetry as a member of the League of Minnesota Poets, routinely performing at local open mics. She has appeared in The Star Tribune, and on WCCO and Channel 12, and hosted Books and Brews with Laura Vosika on AM 950.

Tour Giveaway

- l winner will receive a print copy of Blue Bells of Scotland (book one in the series) and a Team Shawn or Team Angus t-shirt (US only)
- 1 winner will receive an ebook of Blue Bells of Scotland (open internationally)
- Ends June 27th

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