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Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Carrier of the Mark Blog Tour: Celtic Mazes, Character Interview, & Scavenger Hunt

Welcome to the fourth and final stop on the Carrier of the Mark blog tour! Carrier of the Mark is an exciting debut novel by author Leigh Fallon. What makes this book unique, beyond its magical setting in Ireland and its heart pounding mystical romance, is that Carrier of the Mark was the first book discovered on and selected for publication by HarperCollins Publishers.  On your opinion counts! HarperCollins Publishers is looking to to discover new authors as well as hear from real readers about what books they would like to see HarperCollins publish. Join today and help us change the way we publish.

Read along as author Leigh Fallon shares exclusive Carrier content through weekly guest posts and character interviews! Each post on the tour will reveal a unique scavenger hunt clue, so follow Leigh Fallon as she shares exclusive content from the book and discover all four clues on each stop of the tour. After the final stop, visit and enter to win a prize pack selected by Leigh herself including one of a kind Carrier swag!

Inkpop will be celebrating the publication of Carrier of the Mark (on-sale 10/4) on October 5th with a live chat on featuring author Leigh Fallon! You can visit the inkpop blog on Wednesday October 5th at 5 p.m. EST or return to Books with Bite on October 5th at 5 p.m. EST to participate in the chat with debut author Leigh Fallon!

Throughout September visit Carrier of the Mark on Facebook to read excerpts from Carrier of the Mark, enter to win an Advance Reader Copy, and get to know a little bit more about Carrier of the Mark by taking the Carrier of the Mark quiz.

Guest Post: Celtic Mazes

Celtic Mazes are beautiful. You are probably very familiar with some elements of them; they form the basis for most celtic symbols and jewelry. A local artist in Kinsale, Co Cork, where Carrier of the Mark is set,read the book and decided to do a Celtic Maze based on the Carrier story.  Aren’t I a lucky sod?

Examples of Celtic Mazes can be seen in the Book of Kells,and the Book of Durrow, the books that inspired the Druid Scribes and the Fifth Prophesy in Carrier of the Mark.   They are a combination of circles derived from a six square grid. Key patterns are repeated, both vertically and horizontally to frame selected items  or pages.  Yeah, I know it’s complicated,but isn’t everything in Celtic history? LOL.

The next element of the Maze is by use of broken diagonals.The basic Celtic maze is based on a thirteen box across and seven down format.  The Celtic twenty five square maze, which is used in the Carrier’s Celtic Maze, differs from others in that the starting point is within the maze and all twenty four center diamonds are visited to complete.

Each picture depicts the name of or the main event within a chapter and includes translation into the Ogham alphabet.   I hear you… What on earth is the Oghamalphabet?  It’s an Early Medieval alphabet used to write the Old Irish language.  Oghamis sometimes called the Celtic Tree Alphabet, based on a medieval tradition a scribing names of trees to the individual letters. There are roughly 400surviving Ogham inscriptions on stone monuments throughout Ireland, most being in the south of Ireland, near Cork.

Every tree had different meanings to the ancient Celts and all trees were venerated as a source of wisdom and hope, the enduring link between the upper and lower worlds, a reminder of the eternal cycle of life and its inextricable link to the seasons.   The Ogham scribes all make for beautiful art and stories.  I’ve picked three for the twenty five for you to have a look at. Enjoy these original drawings, they’re pretty special.

Character Interview: Megan

Megan.  AGH! We are so excited to talk to you.

Well thanks for inviting me in to talk.

My first question has to be about Ireland.  Tell me, how are you settling in, is it what you expected?

I love Ireland.  To be honest, it’s not what I expected.  When you hear about Ireland you think shamrocks, Leprechauns, and people who say things like ‘oo ara begarra’ like Tom Cruise in Far and Away, I know it’s a bad example, but the real Ireland is not like that. I can safely say I haven’t see a Leprechaun, and in general people talk normal English, okay their accents can be tough at times, but I’m getting used to it. 

I’ve been lucky. Kinsale is fantastic.  It’s such an eclectic mix of people from all over the world, so me being from the US means nothing major really.  I’m a dime a dozen or as the Irish would say ‘I’m ten a penny’, which suits me fine.  I like to blend. I’m even trying to say‘jumper’ instead of ‘sweater’ these days. It still sounds weird no matter how many times I try it. There’s another one I can’t use… maths! Here they use the plural version.  What is that about? ‘Let’s go to maths’*shudder* it sounds so wrong.

You lost your mom when you were very young, what was it like for you growing up without a mom?

To be honest, I don’t remember much of my life when I was younger.  I remember loving my mom, and I remember the crash that took her, but most of what I remember has just been Dad and me.  I guess it’s made us very close.  My dad is the best EVER. I love him to pieces.  He’s kind of haunted by the loss of my mom though, he finds it hard to settle anywhere, hence why we’ve moved practically every year.  But Kinsale is different.  He seems at peace here, like he’s found his place.  He’s even gone and got himself a girlfriend. That’s a first. I’m super excited for him.  I’d be happy to stay here based on his happiness, but lucky for me, I’ve found a happiness of my own.  What are the odds of that?

So tell us about your new friends?

That’s the best thing about Kinsale.  My friends. I’ve been so lucky.  On my first day at school I met Caitlin and we’ve been inseparable since.  She is all sorts of awesome.  She also introduced me to Jennifer, she’s wicked cool too.  A bit stand offish at first,but once you get through the layers of fake tan and makeup, there’s a fun girl lurking. I like her a lot.  Her boyfriend Darren is nice too, he’s a typical lad, you know, playing the field.  And his best friend, Killian, has been known to have Caitlin drooling and talking complete gibberish.  But Killian is as bad as Caitlin when it comes of making moves, it’s been a slow and brain numbing process, but I guess I’m not one to talk.

Ahhh, so I guess you’re referring to Adam DeRís.

Oh god, I’m blushing. Seriously… that’s like so embarrassing.

Don’t be embarrassed, it’s kind of cute. He was much the same when we interviewed him.

Really? LOL. Oh well, yes, Adam and I, we’ve had a bit of a rocky start. I don’t know if I want talk about Adam and me, you don’t mind do you? It’s just, well it’s very personal and we; well we’re still ironing out some issues.

Sure, actually, Adam gave us a similar answer. So tell us how you feel about your new destiny, being a Marked Carrier?

What can I say about that? It’s mind blowing.  It’s thrown my whole world up in the air (excuse the pun). It’s exciting.  I’m part of this huge thing, going back centuries.  This is so much bigger than just me, it’s changed my whole outlook on life. I’m not sure how it’s all going to work out.  I’m a Marked of Royal blood which complicates things, so I’m not quite sure what that will mean for me in terms of this intended thing that’s being forced upon Áine.   I certainly won’t be entertaining that kind of nonsense.  I guess I’ll just have to wait and see.  I’m hoping for a positive outcome for everyone.  I guess I’ll just have to keep my fingers crossed.

Okay time for your quick fire questions.

Harry or Ron?
Steak or Big Mac?
Enid Blyton or Virginia Andrews?
Virginia Andrews
US or Ireland?
Oh no fair! I can’t answer that.  I love both equally.
What’s on your iPod?
At the moment…Dido, Electric President, Massive Attack, LisaMitchell, Jose Gonzalez, Elbow, Empire Of The Sun. 
Dream guy?
Do I even need to answer that?

Scavenger Hunt:

In Carrier of the Mark by Leigh Fallon there are four elements that make The Mark. In the DeRise family there arealready three elements. Read the passage below to determine which element MeganRosenberg, the one outsider and the only girl who might hold the key tocompleting The Mark, might represent.

“A freezing-cold gust flew past us. It whooshed my legs and swirled up around me, taking my hair with it. A chill ran through my body, from my toes right up to my head.”

To read more from Carrier of the Markcheck out our sneak preview on our inkpopFacebook page. Read part of the original manuscript discovered andselected for publication HarperCollins Publishers  on

Happy Reading!


  1. Love those Celtic mazes, they're gorgeous! And how cool that the made one specifically for Carrier of the Mark. Thanks so much for the character interview too, it's cute that Megan got all flustered at the mention of Adam, can't wait to read about them!

  2. Fun interview with Megan. I've always wanted to visit Ireland, so I think she is a pretty lucky girl. Plus, I loved the movie Far and Away, so I think it's a good example.

  3. What a great interview. Love Celtic mazes. This all really makes me want to read this book!

  4. Woah! Celtic Mazes sound so cool. I had never heard of them until this post. =o

  5. What an awesome tour stop! I've just started this one, and it's awesome! :)


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