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Wednesday, March 9, 2022

Awaken by Lauren Wagner - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!

Hi, lovelies!!  It gives me great pleasure today to host Lauren Wagner and her new book, “Awaken,” here on FAB!!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card!!  Also, come back daily to interact with Lauren and to increase your chances of winning!!

Thanks for stopping by!!  Wishing you all lots of good luck in this fabulous giveaway!!


by Lauren Wagner


GENRE:  Speculative Fiction



Natalia has embraced the choice of her people. She is honored to have been chosen as their human sacrifice and will surrender her life to the Gods. She awaits the call of her people for that final moment, living a life of solitude until it’s time. But then her death is stolen from her—she is kidnapped by her own guards and forced into an eternal slumber.

Hundreds of years later—now—Natalia is woken in a world that’s completely unfamiliar. The archaeological team was not looking for her. They were looking for Estancia, the lost city of gold, and Natalia agrees to guide them.

While they journey through the treacherous jungles of Argentina, Natalia stumbles upon the alarming truth of her past. Her life’s prophecy must be fulfilled to restore balance to her people, but only she can decide whether that balance is worth her death.



They groomed me as a child. They taught me how to look, how to listen, and even how to die. They prepared me to live entirely for others. Die for others. I am destined to be the queen of Estancia, to live in a noble house filled with my own personal court and guards sworn to protect me at all costs, right until the moment of my death. Even as they tear me from my bed in the dark of night, I must remember this is their purpose, just as much as it is mine.

“May I say goodbye to my father?” The confidence in my voice covers the fear trembling in my gut.

“No, milady. There is no time.”

The guard throws a musty cloak over my soft linen nightclothes. The stale smell overpowers the eucalyptus of the lotions on my skin, making my eyes water in disgust. I feel no better than a horse being led by the reigns.

I grip my golden slippers and run out of the house. My bare feet touch the wood of the floor and memorize the soft pitter-patter that vibrates in response. The same guard places me on top of the nearest horse. Black as midnight, silky as the hidden clothes under my cloak. My hands fumble for the reins as I lean forward and fight for my balance. I am not accustomed to riding horses.



The History & Inspiration Behind Awaken

Natalia is based on a real-life girl from Mesoamerica who was chosen as her people to die as a human sacrifice, just like in the story Awaken. My inspiration came several years ago when I watched a program on television. The story of “The Maiden” became a permanent piece of my heart.

In the Andes mountains, between Argentina and Chili, The Maiden was one of three Incan children found sacrificed over five hundred years ago. These children had gone up to the mountains willingly and stayed willingly. My mind immediately began to try and understand a different period, a different way of life, and a completely different set of beliefs. Everything I read, studied, and researched presented the idea of sacrifice as an honor to those children. But then I started to think about their families and how the situation would have played out from their community members’ perspectives. A father, perhaps? Or even the lone farmer down the street, who needed the sacrifice to save his crops? Maybe even a king who required the sacrifice to ensure a prosperous community?

The scientist who studied The Maiden’s remains found her diet had changed drastically at one point in her life. She went from eating like the poor to that of the wealthy; every indication pointing towards her sacrifice being planned and decided well in advance. The more I researched, the more apparent it became how common these sacrifices were and how often they occurred.

Another Incan sacrifice, known as the Ice Maiden, was so well preserved it looked as if she were sleeping. The scientists analyzing her body were said to have whispered in the labs as if afraid to wake her, almost like a real-life sleeping beauty.

I decided these Maidens needed a story. A story to help me understand not only what they went through but also their family and their communities. Natalia of Estancia was born as my way of honoring the maidens and all the other children of her time sacrificed to the gods.



Lauren Wagner’s love for reading started as a young adult after discovering her town’s public library.  After carrying out piles of books at a time, and re-reading them over and over again, she discovered her love for writing. She writes fantasy and science fiction as well as post-it notes about her future stories. Awaken is her debut novel.

She grew up in the western suburbs of Chicago where she presently resides with her husband and two children. She currently teaches upper elementary students to love and obsess over written works of art.





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Lauren will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card (Winner’s Choice!!!) to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase is made, I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those fabulous community outreach projects and awesome giveaways on here**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.