Guest Author: Rachel O’Laughlin (Contest)

Rachel OLaughlinI am excited to welcome author Rachel O’Laughlin, who is celebrating the release of her debut novel, Coldness of Marek.

Serengard has been under Orion rule for centuries—centuries of insufferable adherence to laws and traditions that its people no longer believe in. Raised by her scholarly grandfather in the fiery southern city of Neroi, Trzl is dedicated to turning the monarchy into a free society where knowledge is king and no one has to be subject to the whims of an Orion.

As the rebellion escalates, her choices have an eerie impact on the revolution at large, elevating her to a position of influence she has only dreamed of attaining. But there are downsides to her new power that entangle her in a dangerous web of emotions, appearances and alliances. Even as she plays to the attractions of Hodran, a rich nobleman who wants to aid her cause, she is drawn to Mikel, a loyalist farmer who hates the rebellion but just might be winning her heart.

By the time Trzl realizes she is in too deep, she has an infant son and a dark mess of betrayal and lies. She runs to the furthest corner of the kingdom in hopes that she will be left alone with her child, but she has created too many demons. A figure she once trusted will take her captive in the chilling Cliffs of Marek, throw her back into the political upheaval she helped create, and leave her at the mercy of a man she never wanted for an enemy.

Make sure you stick around to the end. We’ll be giving away a signed copy (US/Canada only) and two ebooks (International) of Coldness of Marek.



Letting someone else read my words is pretty much the scariest thing ever — mostly because I’ve always been afraid the stories I have to tell are just too different or weird.

I love to walk in my bare feet. I love fall more than any season ever, even though those months are freezing cold in New England. I like to shop and not buy anything. I pretend I’m not addicted to coffee. I still read aloud just because I like to hear the words. Really, I’m a pretty normal girl, with only a few wild stints as a penniless musician in my history, but the people in my head? They have minds of their own. They do crazy things. They have deep, dark histories, and often tragic ends. They have powers and abilities that, frankly, would have scared my parents…IF they ever knew my brain was imagining this stuff right under their noses. (Which they didn’t, thankfully.)

As a teenager, I always wanted people to read me, of course, but I tended to chicken out if they asked for a full manuscript. Especially because those whom I allowed to read a few paragraphs looked at me funny for a few months. My raw drafts were like a blurted emotion — no smooth corners or gentle arcs. Was my story just…just too harsh? I’ll never know, but I needed to do all that blurting. It was just like journaling — those stories needed out, and my fingers needed to dance to the tune.

When at last I decided Coldness of Marek was going to be my first to venture out into the world of eBooks and paperbacks that could never be recalled or destroyed, I felt that same frozen stiff feeling. People are looking at it! OH NO. I have friends and editors picking it over and what if they don’t like it?! What if Trzl is too naive, what if Mikel is too snobby, what if all of my main characters fail at life?! And what if everyone is not okay with that?! What if they hate them for being that way and throw the whole thing in the trash, never to read the sequel?! Poor, sad, little book.

But I slowly realized that this is what being an author is all about. I may be writing for myself, because I love these stories, but I’m not really enjoying them unless I can share them. With someone. Somewhere. Deep, dark, sad, shallow, light, or fluffy — I have tales to tell. And whatever happens, the most important thing for me is that they don’t remain inside my little 350g Netbook hard drive. That they are what they were meant to be… told.


Meet Rachel O’Laughlin!

Obsessed with all things history, Rachel O’Laughlin grew up writing adventure stories and only recently fell in love with fantasy as a genre. She lives in New England with her husband and children, grows roses and tweets often. She adores lattes, The Fray, long drives in the country, and any dark story with a good twist. Coldness of Marek is her first novel.

ROLaughlin-Coldness of MarekContact Info
Website: website
Social Media: Facebook | Twitter | GoodReads

Want to purchase Rachel’s novels?
Coldness of Marek

Contest Time!

Thank you Rachel for taking the time to stop by Literary Escapism!

Rachel is giving away a signed copy (US/Canada only) and two ebooks (International) of Coldness of Marek. To enter, all you have to do is answer this one question: What’s the scariest thing you’ve ever let go of? Remember, you must answer the question in order to be entered.

Even though I’m not giving the additional entries any more, you can still help support the author by sharing their article, and this contest, on your blog, Twitter, Facebook, or anywhere you can. After all, the more people who are aware of this fabulous author ensures we get more fabulous stories.

The winner must post a review of the novel someplace. Whether it is on their own blog, Amazon, GoodReads, LibraryThing or wherever, it doesn’t matter. Just help get the word out.

The contest will stay open until August 31st at which time I’ll determine the winner with help from this snazzy plug-in that I have.

About Jackie 3282 Articles
I am a 30-something SAHM with two adorable boys and a supportive husband who is very tolerant of my reading addiction. I love to read and easily go through about a dozen books a month – well I did before I had kids. Now, not so much. After my first son was born, I began to take my hobby of reviewing a little more serious and started Literary Escapism to help with my sanity. I love to discuss the fabulous novels I’ve read and meeting all the wonderful people in the book blogging community has been amazing.


  1. I’d have to say moving away from home. You don’t have your parents there for support all the time anymore.

  2. Scariest thing I ever let go of was “The Wall” I had erected following a heart wrenching break up when I was younger. The breakup left me a shell of what I was. It took me a long time to let someone else in… but I’m really glad I did. Scary. But oh so worth it!

  3. Thank you for taking the time and effort to share this awesome post with us and for the treat of a giveaway. I think the scariest thing I ever did – oh my there are many LOL – perhaps it was traveling to the other side of the world alone, was a bit intimidating, but definitely exciting. :)

  4. The scariest thing I’ve ever let go of was my fear of failure. I was so scared that I would fail, that I used to not let myself try anything I was interested in. While it seems like it would be a good thing to let go, and it was, it was easier to live my life not ever having to take a risk. It took me a long time, and a lot of trial and error, but I am much happier having done so.

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