February 20, 2018

Blog Tour & Giveaway: The Tombs by Deborah Schaumberg -- Guest Post

Welcome to Day #2 of The Tombs Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of The Tombs on February 20th (TODAY!), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Deborah Schaumberg and 10 chances to win a finished copy and a custom bookmark handmade by the author!

The Falcon and The Tombs

Seraphine is one of my favorite characters in The Tombs, and she's a Peregrine falcon! Avery is given responsibility for her when her falconer-owner dies. Taking care of Seraphine helps Avery cope with loss her mother to the Tombs asylum and moving to the tenements of Vinegar Hill. Anyone who's ever had a pet can understand the special bond between a human and an animal, but people have asked me, "Why a falcon?"

I grew up with birds. We had a Mynah bird, parakeets, cockatiels, and a talking Quaker Parrot. (Not all at the same time of course! :) So I love birds, and I wanted it to be a somewhat wild pet, one that is free to fly away but chooses to stay with her. While doing research, I discovered that Peregrine falcons actually nest atop the bridges of New York and that decided it!

Then I learned what fascinating birds Peregrine falcons are, and what it means to be a falconer. The Peregrine is one of the world's fastest birds. They can reach 200 mph in a dive! And look how beautiful they are!

I spoke with a genuine Master Falconer, Mike Dupuy, who started the Pennsylvania Falconry Association. He helped me understand what "the art and sport of falconry" is all about. There are only about 4,500 falconers in the United States because it takes a serious level of dedication. If you want to become a falconer you must have a sponsor, like Mike. Once you are accepted as an apprentice, and trap your own wild bird, it will still take at least seven years before you are considered a Master Falconer. 

Birds of prey are housed in a "mews" or hawk-house where they have plenty of room to fly and places to perch. And every time the falconer releases the bird to hunt, the birds have the choice of returning back to the wild or not. In the picture below you can read about some of the equipment needed to work with a bird of prey. The leather hood that covers their eyes calms them down and simulates nighttime. Avery uses one of these to calm Seraphine on more than one occasion in the book. I don't want to give anything away but the relationship between Avery and Seraphine is very special. Seraphine follows Avery on her way to work every day and quite possibly saves her life. 

There is a Peregrine falcon webcam on top of the Tappan Zee Bridge in New York. Check it out - www.newnybridge.com/falcon-camera/. You can also go to Mike Dupuy's website to learn more about birds of prey - www.mikedupuyfalconry.com or Instagram @mikedupuyfalconry


Blog Tour Schedule:

February 19th — BookhoundsYA
February 20th — Good Choice Reading
February 21st — Book Briefs
February 22nd — Crossroad Reviews
February 23rd — Novel Novice

February 26th — A Dream Within A Dream
February 27th — Positively Book Crazy
February 28th —Reading Teen
March 1st — Page Turners
March 2nd — Mundie Moms

Follow Deborah: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram

New York, 1882. A dark, forbidding city, and no place for a girl with unexplainable powers.

Sixteen-year-old Avery Kohl pines for the life she had before her mother was taken. She fears the mysterious men in crow masks who locked her mother in the Tombs asylum for being able to see what others couldn't. Avery denies the signs in herself, focusing instead on her shifts at the ironworks factory and keeping her inventor father out of trouble. Other than secondhand tales of adventure from her best friend, Khan, an ex-slave, and caring for her falcon, Seraphine, Avery spends her days struggling to survive.

Like her mother's, Avery's powers refuse to be contained. When she causes a bizarre explosion at the factory, she has no choice but to run from her lies, straight into the darkest corners of the city. Avery must embrace her abilities and learn to wield their power--or join her mother in the cavernous horrors of the Tombs. And the Tombs has secrets of its own:  strange experiments are being performed on 'patients'...and no one knows why.

Deborah Schaumberg's gripping debut melds history and fantasy, taking readers on a breathless trip across a teeming turn-of-the-century New York, and asks the question: Where can you hide in a city that wants you buried?

About the Author:

Deborah Schaumberg was born in Brooklyn, not far from where her novel The Tombs takes place. She grew up renovating dilapidated old houses with her family. She and her father would walk the rooms, floor by floor, making up stories about the inhabitants that were filled with dark secrets, monsters, and, of course, ghosts. Deborah is a writer and an artist whose work always has an element of fantasy to it, and since she also studied architecture, settings are equally important. It was on a trek to the Annapurna Sanctuary in Nepal that she imagined a girl with the ability to see energy, and the seed of The Tombs was planted. She collects old bottles, and her favorite holiday is, you guessed it, Halloween. Deborah lives with her family and two dogs in Maryland, just outside DC. Visit her at www.deborahschaumberg.com.

  • One (1) winner will receive a finished copy of The Tombs and a custom bookmark handmade by Deborah Schaumberg
  • US only!
  • Giveaway ends Sunday, February 25th.
  • Giveaway is sponsored by Media Masters Publicity.

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