Yay, I am excited to host TK Richardson during her blog tour for her book, Shield the Heart! Check out this unique setting in Russia, and enjoy all the stops along the way! There's even a chance to win a Kindle Fire!
Hi Emily, thanks for hosting this stop on the blog tour for Shield the Heart!
The theme for this blog tour is a little different and I hope all of you will enjoy it. It’s titled ‘A Russian Tour’ because each day during the blog tour we’ll explore the Russian cities and historical sites that are the backdrop for my new YA novel Shield the Heart.
Sometimes the setting of a novel is so interesting and unique that it deserves a closer look, and that’s why I thought this blog tour would be so much fun. ‘A Russian Tour’ will give my readers a chance to get a better view of where everything in Shield the Heart takes place.
After all, these are the places that have inspired me, and I hope they inspire all of you, too.
Today on our itinerary we’re visiting Optina Monastery!
To follow along each day and visit some of the places found in Shield the Heart, be sure to follow the blog tour.
Okay, onto our destination!
Optina Monastery is situated near Kozelsk Russia and this hermitage has been a huge inspiration to me while writing Shield the Heart. In fact, what I discovered was amazing! Not only did it fit perfectly in Shield the Heart, but I feel like it was meant to be in the story. Originally introduced in the first book, Return the Heart, this monastery is revealed more in depth in Shield the Heart.
“Optina Monastery is an Eastern Orthodox Monastery for men. In the 19th century, the Optina was the most important spiritual centre of the Russian Orthodox Church and served as the model for several other monasteries. It was particularly renowned as the centre of Russian staretsdom.”
The images alone are enough to inspire someone to look deeper at it and draw from it. In fact, Optina Monastery was visited by people of renown for spiritual guidance. Writers, philosophers, and even heads of state traveled here in search of spiritual answers and in search of the ‘Russian Soul’.
“Most of the monastery buildings were erected at the turn of the 18th and 19th centuries, when the monastery was being renovated as a centre of Russian staretsdom. In 1821, a hermitage for startsy was established 1,300 ft away from the monastery. The startsy attracted crowds of devout Christians to Kozelsk. Among others, Optina Pustyn was visited by Fyodor Dostoevsky, Vasily Zhukovsky, Nikolai Gogol, Ivan Turgenev, and Leo Tolstoy.”
You may wonder how an old, Russian monastery fits into a young adult novel that centers around a girl with a special gift, an ancient Russian prophecy, and one life changing choice. Although I can’t tell you how it fits into the story, I can tell you the main character, Lilly, is drawn to Optina Monastery in ways that surprise even her.
To find out more I hope you’ll read the story!
The almost too beautiful and seemingly intangible monastery hidden in the trees was surrounded by police officers. The one place that pulled me in was crawling with people who would pull me away. ~Lilly Paige, Shield the Heart
I hope you’ve enjoyed this mini tour of Optina Monastery. Be sure to follow us to our next destination. Tomorrow on the blog tour we’ll visit Moskovsky Train Station!
Emily, thanks again for hosting me on the blog tour. I hope you and your blog followers enjoy my new release!
One Gift, One Prophecy, One Choice
Shield the Heart
(Note: This book is part of a series. Book #1 Return the Heart. Book #2 Shield the Heart.)
What if the battle was in your heart?
Lilly’s gift of reading the heart seemed like a curse, but when she discovered her gift was linked to an old, Russian prophecy it changed everything. What she never questioned, though, was her own heart.
When the prophecy pulls Lilly back to Russia and demands to be fulfilled she is torn between love and loyalty. She must make the most difficult decision of her life and choose between the two. But Lilly’s decision is farther reaching than even she is willing to acknowledge. It stretches from East to West - from the past to the future.
Lilly discovers there’s more to the old prophecy than she realized and enemy forces are bent on stopping it from unfolding.
One thing is certain - there will be casualties. And sparing those closest to her may be impossible. While Seth attempts to shield Lilly from the truth, Nikolai reveals secrets that could change everything.
As Lilly falls into the arms of Russia she must decide: will love or loyalty reign? And can she live with the consequences? Two sides compete for Lilly’s heart and she must find the answers she needs before her enemies find her.
Shield the Heart, by T.K. Richardson, is the riveting second book in the series and takes Lilly deeper into Russia’s mysterious past… and her future.
Available in paperback and ebook (click the cover to go to Amazon).
About the author~
T.K. Richardson is the author of YA books Return the Heart, Shield the Heart, Simmer: Recipes for the Teen Palate, and Love, Me: Anthology of Short Stories. She is the founder of Partners In Print.org, a program that donates books to children in the foster care system. She also hosts Compass eBooks and runs The Writers Resource Directory, a great site for writers filled with publishing and writing links, tips and advice. Her next books are due out later this year. Find out more at http://tkrichardson.com
[note: all images are from google ]