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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Blog Tour- STEADFAST by Michelle Hauck An Interview & Giveaway!

Hey everyone! I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the blog tour for STEADFAST by Michelle Hauck! 

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

Haven't heard of STEADFAST? Check it out!

Title: STEADFAST (Birth of Saints #3)
Author: Michelle Hauck
Pub. Date: December 3, 2017
Publisher: Harper Voyager Impulse
Pages: 560
Formats: Paperback, eBook
Find it: GoodreadsAmazonB&NiBooks
The final novel in Michelle Hauck's Birth of Saints trilogy, Steadfast follows Grudging and Faithful in telling the fateful story of Claire and Ramiro and their battle against a god that hungers for blood.

When the Northerners invaded, the ciudades-estado knew they faced a powerful army. But what they didn’t expect was the deadly magic that was also brought to the desert: the white-robed priests with their lethal Diviners, and the evil god, Dal. Cities have burned, armies have been decimated, and entire populaces have been sacrificed in the Sun God’s name, and it looks as if nothing can prevent the devastation.

But there are still those with hope.

Claire, a Woman of the Song, has already brought considerable magic of her own to fight the Children of Dal, and Ramiro, a soldier who has forsaken his vows to Colina Hermosa’s cavalry in order to stand by her side, has killed and bled for their cause. Separated after the last battle, they move forward with the hope that the saints will hear their prayers, their families will be saved, and that they’ll see each other once more.

A stirring conclusion to the Birth of Saints series, Ramiro and Claire’s journey finds completion in a battle between evil and love.
Now on to the interview!

Hi Michelle! First I want to say welcome back to Two Chicks on Books! I am so happy that you could stop by for a visit!

For the readers: can you give us a little recap of the GRUDGING series and the characters?

Recap. Hmm. I’ll try and condense it down to just the facts. A giant army invades from the North, setting siege outside the desert city-states. A young, untried knight named Ramiro is sent with a group to find their traditional enemy the witches to enlist them as allies. The witches have a voice magic that lets them manipulate minds, like a siren lures sailors to their deaths.

A disaster befalls the mission and Ramiro is left with one witch girl named Claire. The opening of the series is Ramiro and Claire working through their hate for each other to stop the Northerners. Then Claire’s use of the magic backfires in a huge way and a leviathan of darkness awakens.  

Is this the end of the Birth of Saints series? And if so how was it writing the finale? And what are you working on now?

Steadfast is the end of the Birth of Saints trilogy. I’m not certain if there will be further books as we haven’t really discussed that aspect yet. Anything is possible. So I’ll just say we’ll see.

Writing the finale was probably the toughest challenge yet in my writing career. I mean it’s the finale. You want the ending to be huge. Surprising. Full of twists. It has to tie off all the threads created in the first two books for six point of view characters. It was tricky. Especially as I don’t outline or plot any of my writing ahead of time. But I think it all came together perfectly!

Right now, I’m finishing the ending of an older epic fantasy that’s been on the backburner on and off for a few years. Technically anyway. It’s going very slowly because I’m basically letting myself be lazy for a few months. Three years of dedicated effort deserves a break. J

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

Good question. I don’t think writers can resist borrowing from real life. Julian, the former mayor of Colina Hermosa, and his wife Beatriz, the current mayor, are somewhat based on my husband and myself. They’re the oldest characters to offer points of view in the series, and the most established in their lives. Their kids are grown, making them empty nestersif their house hadn’t been burned to the ground with their whole city. Empty nester is also my situation.

Most of the other characters I write about are younger. It was nice being able to give a perspective from different age groups, and also nice that one of those age groups represents the state of my own life.

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

I think the villains are the most fun to write. Though I also had fun with some new characters: the elders of the Women of the Song. Imagine your bossiest teacher or most opinionated friend and then put three people just like that in the same room together and let them go at each other. It’s like writing that scene.

My least favorite character to write might be when I had to insert incidental characters. The sort that appear here and there, scattered through the series, but don’t really play a part in the plot. Mayors of other cities or bishops for example. It can be hard to remember how they looked or acted before and I’d have to stop writing to go back to check.

What is your favorite passage/scene in STEADFAST?

There’s a scene early on in Steadfast where one of the major characters is dying. His wife and family are at his bedside. Having recently lost my own father, this was a very emotional scene for me. Despite the grief, this is the scene that sticks in my mind the most. Probably because it’s something we’ll all have to deal with in our lives at some point. I hope it leaves a lasting impression with the reader as well. 

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

I was lucky in that most of the research had already been done with the earlier books of the series. A trip to Tucson, Arizona before I even wrote the Birth of Saints series provided the setting. We went hiking in the desert and also visited old Spanish churches. All of that got used in the books. I learned a lot about armor and horses in the earlier books. Found info on 14th century Spanish names. Talked with ER nurses about collapsed lungs. And of course I found out a whole lot about saints and the process of sainthood.  

There wasn’t much left to research for Steadfast. I could pretty much just write, maybe stopping a few times to check small details. Diagrams of medieval cathedrals being one thing I remember investigating. I borrowed a few more saints from real history to add into this book. That’s the kind of research I enjoy.   

Who is your ultimate book boyfriend?

Just one? Yikes. One of my first book boyfriends was F’nor from the Dragonriders of Pern series. I’d say my current one is Kaladin from the Stormlight Archives series by Brandon Sanderson.

What inspired you to write fantasy?

I’ve loved fantasy since I picked up my first fantasy book when I was about eleven. It was the Sword of Shannara by Terry Brooks, and I took it on a family vacation to Iowa. I’d say eighty percent of my reading has been fantasy ever since. There really wasn’t any other genre of books I wanted to write. I’m drawn partly to the escapism and imagination of fantasy, but also to themes of honor, duty, and courage.

Lightening Round Questions

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

I’m reading Words of Radiance by Brandon Sanderson to refresh my memory of the series and before I jump to the new book of the series Oathbringer. Sometimes it’s so long between books that I need a refresher. Sanderson has had a been influence on my own writing.

What Hogwarts House would the Sorting Hat place you in?

Most likely Ravenclaw.

Twitter or Facebook?

No contest. Twitter.

Favorite Superhero?

Hawkeye. He’s calm, confident, knows who he is. Plus archery.

Favorite TV show?

Madam Secretary I’m a politics nerd. But I’m really enjoying The Good Doctor this year, partially because I work with special needs kids, but also because it’s just a great show.

Sweet or Salty?

Tie? I love them both, especially together. Popcorn and milk duds. Yum.

Any Phobias?

Heights. Standing on the edge of the Grand Canyon. Brrr. I conquered the fear on that one.

Song you can’t get enough of right now?

Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer? Nothing is coming to me right now. I don’t tend to get hooked on songs. Binging TV series on Netflix is a different story, however. J

2017 Movie you’re most looking forward to?

The Last Jedi. The big year-ender! Also I haven’t had a chance to see Justice League yet.

Thanks so much for hosting me!

Thanks so much Michelle for answering my questions! I can’t wait for everyone to read STEADFAST!

About Michelle:

Michelle Hauck lives in the bustling metropolis of 

northern Indiana with her hubbyand two teenagers. Two 

papillons help balance out the teenage drama. Besides 

working with special needs children by day, she writes 

all sorts of fantasy, giving her imagination free range. A 

book worm, she passes up the darker vices in favor of 

chocolate and looks for any excuse to reward herself. 

Bio finished? Time for a sweet snack.

She is a co-host of the yearly contests Query Kombat and Nightmare on Query 

Street, and Sun versus Snow.

Her epic fantasy, Kindar's Cure, is published by Divertir Publishing. Her short story, 

Frost and Fog, is published by The Elephant's Bookshelf Press in their anthology, 

Summer's Double Edge. She's repped by Sarah Negovetich of Corvisiero Literary.

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will receive paperbacks of the first two books in the series, GRUDGING & FAITHFUL, US Only.
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:
Week One:
12/4/2017- Hooked To BooksInterview
12/4/2017- Lisa's ReadsExcerpt

12/5/2017- Bibliobibuli YASpotlight
12/5/2017- Adventures Thru WonderlandReview Book 1

12/6/2017- Cuz I'm A NerdReview Book 1
12/6/2017- Always MeExcerpt

12/7/2017- BookHounds- Interview
12/7/2017- Books and LaddersReview Book 1

12/8/2017- Spilling WordsExcerpt
12/8/2017- Myth! Magic! Mayhem!Review

Week Two:
12/11/2017- Book for ThoughtReview
12/11/2017- Author Dan KoboldtInterview

12/12/2017- Don't Judge, ReadReview Book 1
12/12/2017- Literary MusingsSpotlight

12/13/2017- Two Chicks on BooksInterview
12/13/2017- K.T. Hanna AuthorReview Book 1

12/14/2017- Books at DawnExcerpt
12/14/2017- books are loveReview Book 1

12/15/2017- Twinning for BooksGuest Post
12/15/2017- Book BriefsReview

Grab the first 2 books in the series now!


  1. This post makes me want to read the whole series. Thanks.

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