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Thursday, July 6, 2017

Blog Tour- THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS by Jaleigh Johnson An Interview & Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS by Jaleigh Johnson! I am normally not a Middle Grade person but this series has totally piqued my interest!

I have an interview with Jaliegh to share with you today! And make sure to enter the giveaway below!

Haven't heard of THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDSE? Check it out!

Author: Jaleigh Johnson
Pub. Date: June 13, 2017
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, eBook
Pages: 352
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDGoodreads
From the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Mark of the Dragonfly comes another magical and thrilling story that takes readers on an exciting new adventure.

Stella Glass dreams of exploring worlds beyond her home of Solace, but when her famous parents are sent on a historic mission to the Uncharted Lands, it's simply too dangerous for her to join them. By order of the king, she is left behind.

Missing out on the excitement is one thing, but Stella is devastated at the thought of her parents flying into the unknown. So she takes matters into her own hands. Instead of staying with family as planned, she steals away and--right before takeoff--sneaks aboard the airship.

But Stella isn't the only stowaway. In the cargo bay is a boy who is also desperate to get to the Uncharted Lands. And someone else who's determined to keep the ship from making it there at all. . . .

Now on to the interview!

Hey Jaleigh! First I want to say welcome to Two Chicks on Books! I’m so happy you could stop by for a chat! THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS sounds absolutely fantastic and I’m sure everyone can’t wait to read it!
Thanks so much for having me!

So this is a companion novel series correct? Is there anything that a new reader to the series should know before starting THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS? Or can they go into this book having not read the other two?

Yes, it’s a companion series and you can dive in at any point you want without having to know anything that has come before in the previous books.  The only thing that really carries through is the world of Solace and the ways in which it continues to expand and change.  So you could absolutely start with QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS and then if you wanted to go back and see how the world got to this point and some of the circumstances that led to the exploration of the uncharted lands across the mountains, you could do that with either MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY or SECRETS OF SOLACE.

Is this the end of the World of Solace series or will there be more books? And what are you working on now?

QUEST is officially the last novel in the Solace series, although I hope to continue to add content to the world through my website.  For example, there’s a new short story up right now that features characters from MARK OF THE DRAGONFLY, and also some background material on Solace that you can’t get anywhere else.

Right now, I’m finishing a new middle grade fantasy that has a bit more of a fairy tale feel to it and sort of turns the idea of a portal fantasy on its head.  Instead of a ‘chosen one’ stepping through a magical portal to save a faraway land, I have a group of children taken from their homes and thrust into a world that doesn’t want anything to do with themor the magic they possess.    

Were any of the characters in the book inspired by people from your real life?

I’ve never based any of my characters directly on real people, although I will say the relationship Stella has with her parents in QUEST is similar to the relationship I had with my parents growing up.  There’s humor, respect, and a sense that they are a team.  Together, the three of them can handle anything the world throws at them, and that’s why when Stella faces the prospect of being separated from her parents it’s so devastating.  One of her strongest motivations in the book is her desire to protect her family and not lose that close bond she has with them.  But at the same time, she has to acknowledge that she is growing up and having to find her own way and find out who she wants to be without them.

Who was your favorite character to write? What about your least favorite?

Writing Stella and Cyrus’s banter was pure joy.  Pure. Joy.  I also love exploring how two characters can mistrust each other and annoy each other, and then watching that transform, scene by scene, beat by beat, into this mutual respect and caring over the course of a book.  It’s a delight for me as a reader and a writer.   

I can’t say I had a least favorite character, but I will say keeping track of a certain ‘suit’ (can’t say more because spoilers), who was wearing it and whether it was active or not got to be a pain.

What is your favorite passage/scene in THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS?

Can I cheat and pick two?  I’m going to cheat and pick two.  There’s a small, quiet scene between Stella and Cyrus late in the book, when Cyrus has finally opened himself up and let all his pain and despair show, and Stella is the one who is there to comfort him.  We all have moments when we are sitting in a dark room, and we feel trapped and lost, and we need a reminder that there’s still hope.

The second scene I can’t say too much about because again, spoilers, but there’s a moment between two characters (not Stella and Cyrus) near the end of the book that makes me tear up almost every time I read it, and I hardly ever cry reading my own work.   

What kind of research did you have to do for the story?

Lots of research on flight, unsurprisingly, but some of the most interesting (and frightening) research I did was on steam engines and all the things that can go wrong with them.  YouTube has some jaw-dropping videos of what happens during a boiler explosion.  Spoiler alert: it’s not good.

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

Wow, tough one.  Maybe Marco from THE NIGHT CIRCUS?  Although I’m not sure whether that has anything to do with the boyfriend.  It could just be that I want to live in a magical circus.  Doesn’t everyone?

What inspired you to write Middle Grade?

Middle grade readers’ imaginations are pure joy.  They are carried away by these fictional worlds the same way I am.  There’s a connection that I haven’t quite found anywhere else.

Lightening Round Questions

What are you reading right now? Or what do you have on your TBR that you’re dying to read?

I just cracked open Leigh Bardugo’s SIX OF CROWS because everyone’s been telling me I have to read it.  Everyone was right.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

Ravenclaw.  Always.  Forever.

Twitter or Facebook?


Favorite Superhero?


Favorite TV show?

Doctor Who.

Sweet or Salty?


Any Phobias?

Heights.  Seriously, if you take me up in a tall building, I turn to jelly.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

I’m still pretty heavily into Hamilton right now, with a side of Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 2.

2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?

The live action Beauty and the Beast (okay, yes, it’s already out, doesn’t count but I wanted to slip it in there) and Star Wars: The Last Jedi.

Thanks so much Jaleigh for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS Big hugs!!!!

Big hugs back at you!  Thanks so much for the great questions!

About Jaleigh:
Jaleigh Johnson is a fantasy novelist living and writing in the wilds of the Midwest.  Her middle grade debut novel The Mark of the Dragonfly is a New York Times bestseller, was chosen for the ABA 2014 Spring Indie Next list, and was named one of Amazon’s Top 20 Children’s Books of 2014.  Her other books in the Solace series from Delacorte Press include The Secrets of Solace and The Quest to the Uncharted Lands.  She has also written several novels and short stories for the Dungeons and Dragons Forgotten Realms fiction line published by Wizards of the Coast.  Johnson is an avid gamer and lifelong geek, and in her spare time she also enjoys traveling, reading, baking, and going to movies with her husband.  Visit her online at www.jaleighjohnson.com.  Photo credit: Mark Jones.  

Giveaway Details:

3 winners will receive a finished copy of THE QUEST TO THE UNCHARTED LANDS, US Only.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:
6/22/2017- La La in the LibraryExcerpt
6/23/2017- The Blonde BookwormReview

Week Two:
6/26/2017- YA Book MadnessExcerpt
6/27/2017- Book-KeepingReview
6/28/2017- Bibliobakes- Review

Week Three:
7/3/2017- The Desert BibliophileReview
7/4/2017- Savings in SecondsReview
7/5/2017- JrsbookreviewsReview
7/6/2017- Two Chicks on Books- Interview
7/7/2017- Seraphina ReadsExcerpt

Make sure to check out the first two books in the series!

Author: Jaleigh Johnson
Pub. Date: March 25, 2014
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audiobook
Pages: 400
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBD, Audible,  Goodreads

Piper has never seen the Mark of the Dragonfly until she finds the girl amid the wreckage of a caravan in the Meteor Fields. The girl doesn't remember a thing about her life, but the intricate tattoo on her arm is proof that she's from the Dragonfly Territories and that she's protected by the king. Which means a reward for Piper if she can get the girl home. The one sure way to the Territories is the 401, a great old beauty of a train. But a ticket costs more coin than Piper could make in a year. And stowing away is a difficult prospect--everyone knows that getting past the peculiar green-eyed boy who stands guard is nearly impossible. Life for Piper just turned dangerous. A little bit magical. And very exciting, if she can manage to survive the journey.

Author: Jaleigh Johnson
Pub. Date: March 8, 2016
Publisher: Delacorte Books for Young Readers
Formats: Hardcover, paperback, eBook, audibook
Pages: 384
Find it: AmazonB&NiBooksTBDAudible, Goodreads

From Jaleigh Johnson, the acclaimed author of the New York Times bestseller The Mark of the Dragonfly, comes another thrilling adventure in the magical world of Solace.
Lina Winterbock lives in the mountain strongholds of Solace. She’s an apprentice to the archivists, the wise men and women whose lives are dedicated to cataloging, studying, and preserving the objects that mysteriously fall from the sky in the scrap towns.
Lina should be spending her days with books, but the Iron War has changed everything. The strongholds are now a refuge, and the people Lina once counted on no longer have time for her, so she spends her days exploring the hidden tunnels and passages of her home. The strongholds are vast and old, with twisting paths, forgotten rooms, and collapsed chambers, some of them containing objects that have been lost and forgotten even by the archivists.
And in one of the forgotten chambers, Lina discovers a secret.
Hidden deep in a cavern is a half-buried airship like nothing she has ever seen before. She’s determined to dig it out and restore it. But Lina needs help, and she doesn’t know anyone she can trust with her secret.

Then she meets Ozben, a mysterious boy who has a secret of his owna secret thats so dangerous it could change the course of the Iron War and the world of Solace forever. 

Praise for The Secrets of Solace: 

"An engaging world rich in detail, mayhem, and adventure...All aboard for fantasy lovers with a dual penchant for girl power and keeping up with the Indiana Joneses."
Kirkus Reviews

Praise for The Mark of the Dragonfly: 

[STAR] “This magnetic middle-grade debut . . . [is] a page-turner that defies easy categorization and ought to have broad appeal.”
Publishers Weekly, Starred

[STAR] “Heart, brains, and courage find a home in a steampunk fantasy worthy of a nod from Baum.”
Kirkus Reviews, Starred

[STAR] “A fantastic and original tale of adventure and magic. . . . Piper is a heroine to fall in love with: smart, brave, kind, and mechanically inclined to boot.”
School Library Journal, Starred

A complex and impeccably developed plot
there is plenty to recommend in this novel.The Bulletin

Appealing characters and lots of action make it a good choice for young adventure readers.”


  1. I love the idea of this POV character not wanting to be left behind. I'm also intrigued about the other stowaways. The cover is so attractive and would make me pull it from the shelf.

  2. Looks like a fun book! Thanks for the post!


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