September 15, 2016

Cover Reveal for Motley Education by S.A. Larsen


I'm SO excited to share the cover reveal for S.A. Larsen's upcoming middle grade book Motley Education. I read an early version of this book and you're gonna want to put this bad boy...er girl...on your reading list! 

First let's hear about the book:

Forget having a lively after school social life, Ebony Charmed is fighting to keep the entire Afterlife alive.

Ebony’s less-than-average spirit tracking abilities are ruining more than sixth grade at Motley Junior High: School for the Psychically & Celestially gifted. Her parents argue so much her dad moved out. And, even though he’s scared of his own shadow and insists on bringing his slimy, legless lizard everywhere they go, Ebony wouldn’t survive without her best friend, Fleishman.

When Ebony’s Deadly Creatures & Relics’ project goes missing, she learns her missing project is one of the keys to saving the spirit world. Now Ebony and Fleishman must battle beasts from Norse Mythology to retrieve her project before spirits are lost, the Well of Urd dries up, and Ebony loses all hope of reuniting her family. But someone lies in wait, and he has other plans...including creating a new world of spirits without them in it.

See? Awesome, right? Go ahead - add it to Goodreads. I'll wait...

ADD TO GOODREADS

Okay, now for the reveal. Ack, so, so cool!!!!!


Title: Motley Education (Book One: The URD Saga)
Author: S.A. Larsen
Release Date: October 10, 2016

Motley Education has been aligned with Core Standards for grades 4-7. A guide will be available on the author’s website to download for FREE after the book’s release date.

About S.A. Larsen

S.A. LARSEN is the author of Motley Education, the first book in a middle grade fantasy-adventure series. Her work has appeared in numerous local publications and young adult anthologies Gears of Brass and Under A Brass Moon by Curiosity Quills Press. Look for her debut young adult novel, Marked Beauty, set for release in 2017. Find her in the land of lobsters, snowy winters, and the occasional Eh’ya with her husband of over twenty years, four children, a playful pooch, and two kittens.

You can visit her online at www.salarsenbooks.com.

Follow her on Facebook | Twitter | Instagram and connect with her on her Website & Blog.


Rafflecopter Giveaway 
Five lucky winners will each receive a signed bookmark and assorted swag! Contest runs from 09/15/16 to 09/23/16. Winners will be chosen by random.com.

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September 14, 2016

Three Times A Charm with Kathy Coatney

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome children’s non-fiction author and photographer, Kathy Coatney. Kathy, we’d love for you to tell us a little about you.

California native Kathy Coatney has spent long hours behind the lens of a camera, wading through rice paddies, dairies and orchards over her twenty-year career as a photojournalist specializing in agriculture. With her roots in agriculture running four generations deep, she felt a deep concern that children didn’t know how their food was produced. Envisioning a new direction for her writing, she launched From the Farm to the Table series of nonfiction children’s books about agriculture. 

Happily married for over thirty-five years, she and her husband have two grown sons, a grandbaby on the way and a menagerie of animals—a black lab who thinks she’s human, a house cat that looks part bobcat, and half a dozen cottontails that roam freely on her property.
Kathy not only pens two series of children’s books, From the Farm to the Table and Dad’s Girls, a tribute book told by six-year-old Lily about her dad who died while her mom was pregnant with her sister, Violet.

Also writing under Kate Curran, Kathy loves—and writes—deeply emotional, feel-good contemporary romances.

Let’s hear more about your books.  

From the Farm to the Table Bees
From the Farm to the Table Beef

My other children’s book is Dad’s Girls,

Lily and her dad were very close. They spent lots of time together. Friday was her dad’s day off, and they did special things together while her mom taught school. But then a few months before her sister, Violet, was born, her dad died, and everything changed.

This is Lily’s story about all the special memories of her dad. She told it to preserve the memories for her and for Violet, who never had a chance to know him.

Now let’s move on to the threes. Give us your top 3 responses to the following to help us get to know you better.

  • Top 3 books you recommend reading and why you recommend them. 

The first two books From the Farm to the Table are some of my favorites that teach children about the import job insects and animals do to make our food.  The third book, Dad’s Girls is about Lily the little girl on the cover of the From the Farm to the Table Olive book. Her father died suddenly last year of a heart attack at the age of the 34 leaving behind Lily and her unborn sister, Violet. This book is a collaboration between Lily, her mom, Jenny and myself to remember a man we all loved dearly.

  • Top 3 leisure activities.

I have several activities I enjoy, mountain biking, running, hiking that I don’t get to do as often as I’d like, snowshoeing, cross country skiing, kayaking and yoga that I’m not getting to as often as I’d like but going to start again.

  • Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.

If you want to be big think big, go big or go home, just do it.

Finally, please share with us where our tech savvy readers can find out more about you and your books.     


Thanks for joining us today, Kathy. It was great to get to know more about you and your work.

THANKS!

September 12, 2016

Cover Reveal - Timeless by Crystal Collier

TIMELESS (#3 Maiden of Time) by Crystal Collier #CoverReveal


You know how it is to walk around with a secret? Well, yeah...I've been holding this info aside for -what seems like - FOREVER! But today I finally get to share it with you too. Crystal Collier is revealing the beautiful cover for the final book in her Maiden of Time series. It's as eye-catching as the first two covers and knowing what an awesome author Crystal is...well, I'm sure the book is just as spectacular. Giveaway below, free 1st chapter available...but first...drum roll...


Book Title: TIMELESS (Maiden of Time #3)
Author: Crystal Collier
Genre: YA Paranormal Historical
Release Date: November 1, 2016



TIME IS THE ENEMY

In 1771, Alexia had everything: the man of her dreams, reconciliation with her father, even a child on the way. But she was never meant to stay. It broke her heart, but Alexia heeded destiny and traveled five hundred years back to stop the Soulless from becoming.

In the thirteenth century, the Holy Roman Church has ordered the Knights Templar to exterminate the Passionate, her bloodline. As Alexia fights this new threat—along with an unfathomable evil and her own heart—the Soulless genesis nears. But none of her hard-won battles may matter if she dies in childbirth before completing her mission.

Can Alexia escape her own clock?



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Crystal Collier is an eclectic author who pens clean fantasy/sci-fi, historical, and romance stories with the occasional touch of humor, horror, or inspiration. She practices her brother-induced ninja skills while teaching children or madly typing about fantastic and impossible creatures. She has lived from coast to coast and now calls Florida home with her creative husband, four littles, and “friend” (a.k.a. the zombie locked in her closet). Secretly, she dreams of world domination and a bottomless supply of cheese. You can find her on her Blog, FacebookGoodreads, or follow her on Twitter.

Want the first chapter free? Sign up HERE.


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September 7, 2016

Three Times A Charm with Marilee Crow

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome picture book author, Marilee Crow. Marilee is a fellow Angel—we’re both published by Guardian Angel Publishing. As a matter of fact, her new book, Saving Ellie, was illustrated by the lovely K.C. Snider, who illustrated the covers of my Weaver Tales books.

Tell us a little about yourself, Marilee.

I live in Meridian, Idaho. I am a retired PE teacher. I am also a former competitive gymnast. I competed for Long Beach State. After college, my husband and I opened our own gymnastic center, which we had for 18 years. After selling our business, I worked in Special Education as an aide and then an assistant PE teacher at a private school for students with social emotional problems. I have always been interested in writing. When I was 12 I wrote my own Nancy Drew mystery. My sister typed it up for me and we stapled it together like a book. I just never found the time to pursue the writing until we gave up gymnastics. Gymnastics took up pretty much every waking hour.

Wow, that’s the first thing I thought of when you said you competed! SO much dedication. I’m impressed. Tell us about Saving Ellie.

Saving Ellie is about an eight year old Polish child whose life gets turned upside down when the Germans invade Poland in 1939. Ellie is Jewish and her family makes the ultimate sacrifice and puts their trust in friends and strangers to keep Ellie safe until they can get her on a ship to America.

I recommend my book to readers who like Diary of Anne Frank.

It sounds very emotional. Now for the threes. Give us your top 3 responses to the following to help us get to know you better.

 Top 3 leisure activities.

My leisure activities include playing the guitar, crocheting, and writing. I crochet little bears because books and bears go together. I love doing craft events.

 Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.

Gymnastic coach.
Singer
Writer

            Top 3 favorite places:

            River
             Ocean
             Lake
             As you can see, I like being around water.
           
            Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.

             I have a few quotes that I keep by my computer when I’m writing. The first is “Books are a uniquely portable magic.” It is a quote by Stephen King.  “There is nothing to writing. All you do is sit down at the typewriter and bleed.” That’s my favorite. It’s a quote by Ernest Hemingway. There is also a page I copied from a writing book. “For some of us, books are as important as almost anything else on earth. What a miracle it is that out of these small, flat, rigid squares of paper unfolds world after world and world, worlds that sing to you, comfort and quiet or excite you. Books help us understand who we are and how we are to behave. They show us what community and friendship mean; they show us how to live and die.
            It is from a writing book called Bird by Bird.

            Top 3 favorite personality traits that appeal to you.

            Strength
            Perseverance
            Honesty

            Top 3 places you find writing inspiration.

            I collect pictures out of magazines. I
             have a daughter and have written down some of the funny things that have happened as she grew up.
            I also love to hear other parents talk about their children.

Here at Strands of Thought, we have some tech savvy readers. Where can they find you and your book online?

My email address is pepperwd@aol.com  I have a website: booksbymarilee.blogspot.com and I am on Facebook.

Marilee, it’s been a pleasure getting to know you. Best of luck to your books and with your writing.

THANKS!

September 5, 2016

September #InkRipples – Banned Books



Reader #1: “I’m offended by teens having sex. They shouldn’t allow those books into school libraries. Our teens might learn to have sex from them.”
Reader #2: “I don’t care if teens have sex as long as they aren’t the same gender. That might encourage an otherwise straight kid to be gay.”
Reader #3: “At least sex is a natural thing. What I can’t handle is if the teens are magic. What if it teaches people to try magic and they end up in Hell because of it? ”

Okay, I seriously have to stop. I’m just pissing myself off trying to come up with all the ignorant ways people condone book banning.

September 25 – October 1, 2016 is Banned Books Week. It is an annual event that celebrates the freedom to read. Read that sentence and more on this article about Banned Books Week: http://www.ala.org/bbooks/bannedbooksweek

Some of the banned books I’ve read include scandalous titles such as:

The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time by Mark Haddon banned or challenged for reasons of offensive language, religious viewpoint, unsuited for age group, and other (“profanity and atheism”).

An Abundance of Katherines by John Green, banned or challenged because it contained sexual references.

The Absolute True Story of a Part-Time Indian by Sherman Alexie, banned or challenged because of the use of the word scrotum. (Oh, wait? Can I use that offensive word?)

Eleanor & Park by Rainbow Rowell, a book that made me laugh out loud and giddy as a schoolgirl was banned or challenged because of its use of profanity and its treatment of sexuality.

Hop on Pop by Dr. Seuss. Yes, you read that right. Parents wanted it removed from libraries because it promotes violence.

There are so many books that are challenged that we never know about because some small-minded person felt they should make a decision for all of us. Chances are you’ve read a banned or challenged book without realizing that title has experienced strife somewhere in the world.

As I’ve navigated this crazy job of parenthood, I’ve run into different subject matters that I didn’t want my children exposed to until their maturity developed. I suggested titles they should read and shouldn’t read along the way. THAT, ladies and gentlemen is the key. If you don’t want your child exposed to the word scrotum YOU can exercise your parental right to keep the book out of your child’s hands. However, YOU can’t make that decision for my child. For all you know we have words like scrotum, penis, and vagina stenciled on our bathroom walls to assure our children grow up knowing the different body parts. It’s not your place to decide if that’s right or wrong for MY children.

And—just a suggestion—when you’re reading Hop on Pop with your child—I don’t know—maybe you can have a quick conversation about how that would really feel to jump on a person’s stomach.

Supervision. Communication. PARENTING.

So, come on, live a little. Read a banned book to celebrate the right to read. Read it with/to your children and have an open conversation about the character’s excessive use of profanity or the consequences of having sex/doing drugs/being a bully. Be a parent and open your mind and the minds of those fine young people you are raising.

What banned books have you read? What title do you plan to read this year to celebrate the right to read?


Ripples in the Inkwell is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the second Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.

August 31, 2016

Three Times A Charm with Bob Richley

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome children’s author, Bob Richley. Bob, can tell us a little about yourself?

I grew up in the Chicago area and now live in beautiful Colorado. Growing up, I would often go camping in the Rocky Mountains. It was these childhood camping trips and especially my visit to Crater Lake in Oregon that were the inspiration for events in the Oregon Kids series. I am a parent who has volunteered for years in children’s ministry. Teaching children good values and the grace of God are my passions. My stories, originally written for a single mom to help her raise her children, are a way to fulfill this passion. I have always loved children. I want all children to be raised with love and grace. It is my hope that my stories will be one of many tools that parents will use to teach and to raise their children with Godly values

I live about an hour and a half north of Crater Lake. Like Colorado, this is a beautiful place to raise children. Tell us more about your book.

The Big Catch is the first book in The Oregon Kids series. All the books have a character value lesson. The Big Catch was published May 10 2016. In The Big Catch, the value of being selfless and giving to others is exemplified. Billy and Autumn are brother and sister. At the beginning of the story, Billy is selfish, impatient and prideful. He sees his sister as a bother and burden. All that concerns him is fishing and catching the biggest fish. At the end, however, Billy shows compassion for his sister, Autumn. The Big Catch is meant to be read with your child. It gives parents an opportunity to discuss Billy’s character and presents a good example for teaching values of giving, being selfless, and sacrificing. The next book in the series, Runaway Whiskers is being published. Runaway Whiskers introduces a new character, Johanna. Johanna receives a pet rabbit from her dad. When she leaves the cage open one day, the rabbit, Whiskers, runs away. Autumn finds the rabbit and is reluctant to return it. Autumn learns the valuable lesson of being honest.

I recommend my book to readers who like Heidi by Johanna Spyri, The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss and The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein

Now let’s move on to the threes. Give us your top 3 responses to the following to help us get to know you better.

  • Top 3 books you recommend reading and why you recommend them.
    • Heidi by Johanna Spyri because it teaches value of faith and touches my passion for the beauty of nature.
    • To Kill a Mocking Bird by Harper Lee because Atticus Finch is a wonderful father figure.
    • The Lord of the Rings by J. R. R. Tolkien because it is a wonderful adventure and teaches good values especially the value of friendship.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.
    • Spell checker because I’m a terrible speller.
    • My computer because I have awful hand writing and need to type my stories.
    • Experiences because I draw upon them to write my stories.

  • Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer.
    • Writing is easy compared to marketing.
    • Authors actually pay for reviews and finding people who will review the book in exchange for a copy of the book is not easy.
    • There are plenty whose target market is an author.

  • Top 3 most admired people and why you admire them.
    • Jesus because he lived a perfect life and was murdered because he loved.
    • Leo Buscaglia because he spent his life promoting unconditional love.
    • Gandhi because he freed a country through non-violent methods. 

  • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.
    • Ice Cream
    • Grapes
    • Granola bars

  • Top 3 leisure activities.
    • Trail running
    • Reading (of course)
    • Water skiing

  • Top 3 favorite ways to interact with readers.
    • Chat
    • Facebook comments
    • Interviews

  • Top 3 professions you wanted to be when you grew up.
    • Priest
    • Teacher
    • Day care professional

  • Top 3 favorite places.
    • Grand Teton National Park
    • Rocky Mountain National Park
    • The Philippians because my wife is from there.

  • Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.
    • Love is always bestowed as a gift - freely, willingly and without expectation. We don't love to be loved; we love to love. – Leo Buscaglia
    • It is more blessed to give than receive – Jesus
    • You must be the change you wish to see in the world. - Mahatma Gandhi

  • Top 3 favorite personality traits that appeal to you.
    • Creative
    • Compassionate
    • Caring

  • Top 3 places you find writing inspiration.
    • The mountains
    • Home/Family
    • Ministry/Church

Where can our tech savvy readers find you and your book online?


The book is available on Amazon and BarnesandNoble.com

Bob, it’s been a pleasure hosting you today. Best of luck to your book and with your writing.


THANKS!

August 26, 2016

Building Character with Mercy from Scavenger of Souls by Joshua David Bellin

Yay – it’s Friday! Friday’s begin the weekend and weekends offer all sorts of READING time! So to help you make your reading decisions, I’d like to introduce you to Mercy from her newly released book Scavenger of Souls by Joshua David Bellin. She's brought a giveaway along with her, so be sure to read to the end.

Welcome to Strands of Thoughts, Mercy. Can you tell us a little about you, please?

You want to know about me? Really? Do I look like I have time for this?

Okay, fine. My name’s Mercy, I’m eighteen years old, and I’ve been stuck all my life inside this piss-poor excuse for a base commanded by my grandfather. Occasionally I manage to sneak out to hunt for Skaldi and other objectionable life forms, starting with my whack-job of a father. But that’s a long story, and I’m really not in the mood right now, okay?

Sure, Mercy. I understand. Let’s focus on the part you play in Scavenger of Souls. What conflict are you up against?

Not that it’s any of your business, but my entire life is one nonstop conflict. Yeah, I know, poor poor pitiful me. But I’m serious. I already told you about my dad and grandpa, plus now I’ve got to deal with this scrawny kid named Querry, who comes strolling into base claiming to be some kind of Skaldi-killing machine. Personally, I think he’s a spy. Or a fool. Take your pick. Either way, he’s a royal pain in the ass.

Well, from what I know of your world, Querry would be pretty darn handy if he truly is a Skaldi-killing machine. You might not want to dismiss him so quickly. Let’s see, maybe there’s a bright spot in all of this. Tell us about your best friend.

My best friend at the moment is my gun. Actually, that’s been my best friend for the past ten years. When I was little, I had my older sister, Beryl, and my older brother, Ardan, as playmates. But (see above) my whackadoodle father took both of them away from me. Like I said, long story. Not really in the mood.

Yeah, okay, so no bright spot. Is there anything about you that people are always giving you a hard time about? How do you feel about it?

You ask a lot of personal questions, you know? I’m not sure I like you so much.

But okay, one of the biggest problems I have is that I’m the only girl on a base filled with teenage boys. I know what you’re thinking, but that’s not the problem. The problem is that they seem to think they’re so freaking much better than me just because they’ve got a pair. So I find myself having to put them in their place from time to time. Which gives me a reputation as being kind of hostile. Which is just fine with me.

You, hostile? Imagine that. Though, admittedly, I don’t live in survival of the fittest environment. What do you want to be when you grow up?

Alive would be nice. Next question.

If you could change one thing in this world, what would you change?

Have you visited my world lately? It’s a freaking desert knee-deep in monsters. We’re holed up in this dump, and my dad’s out there causing no end of trouble, and my grandpa’s afraid of letting me outside the gate for fear that I might stub my toe or whatever, and now this Querry character is trying to trick me or put the moves on me or something equally annoying, I don’t even know.

So what would I change about this world? How about people leaving me alone? Starting with you.

Very well, Mercy. I’ll leave you alone. I appreciate you taking the time to visit with us. I imagine anything as frivolous as an interview can cost you dearly. Readers, here is some more information about Mercy’s book, Scavenger of Souls.

Querry Genn is running out of time.  He may have saved his survival colony and defeated a nest of the monstrous Skaldi, but that doesn’t mean he has any more answers to who he is. And Querry’s mother, Aleka, isn’t talking. Instead, she’s taken over the colony and is leading them through a wasteland of unfamiliar territory. But when they reach Aleka’s destination, everything Querry believed about his past is challenged.

In the middle of a burned-out desert, an entire compound of humans has survived with plenty of food and equipment. But the colonists find no welcome there, especially from Mercy, the granddaughter of the compound’s leader. Mercy is as tough a fighter as Querry has ever seen—and a girl as impetuous as he is careful. But the more Querry learns about Mercy and her colony, the more he uncovers the gruesome secrets that haunt Mercy’s past—and his own.

With threats mounting from the Skaldi and the other humans, Querry must grapple with the past and fight to save the future. In the thrilling conclusion to the story that began with Survival Colony 9, Joshua David Bellin narrates a tale of sacrifice, courage against overwhelming odds, and the fateful choices that define us for a lifetime.

Barnes & Noble, Simon & Schuster, IndieBound, etc.: http://joshuadavidbellin.com/my-books/

And here is a little info about Mercy’s author. Don’t worry; I’ll wait while you order the book. I understand…

Joshua David Bellin has been writing novels since he was eight years old (though the first few were admittedly very short). He taught college for twenty years, wrote a bunch of books for college students, then decided to return to fiction. Survival Colony 9 is his first novel, with the sequel, Scavenger of Souls, set to release on August 23, 2016. A third YA science fiction novel, the deep-space adventure/romance Freefall, will appear in 2017.

Josh loves to read, watch movies, and spend time in Nature with his kids. Oh, yeah, and he likes monsters. Really scary monsters.


a Rafflecopter giveaway Happy reading!

August 24, 2016

Three Times A Charm with Nicky Peacock

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in children’s publishing. Today we welcome young adult author, Nicky Peacock. I’m visiting Nicky’s blog today too! I’ll share the link at the end of this interview, but first let’s get to know Ms. Peacock. Nicky, share with us a little about you.

I still live in the town I was born in (sad but true) A place called Corby. If the map of the UK were a person, I’d be living on his belt buckle. I was first published back in 2012 in a vampire anthology and have been submitting work ever since. I now have 35 short stories published and 4 YA novels through Evernight Teen Publishing. Growing up in a small town, I had no writing mentors or help with getting my start as a writer, so I run a free local writers group and volunteer at local schools and libraries to help the next generation of writers.

That’s very generous of you to do that. Mentoring is often the step a person needs to learn how to achieve their dreams and goals. Let’s hear more about your work.  

My two YA series are with Evernight Teen: Battle of the Undead is a Vampires VS Zombies series – there are currently two books (Bad Blood & Bad Timing) and a free prequel read (Traitors’ Gate) available. My second series, The Twisted and The Brave are supernatural thrillers based on classic children’s literature. The first book in the series, Lost in Wonderland is out now.

Traitors’ Gate – historical urban fantasy is a free read.
Bad Blood – is a vampires VS zombies urban fantasy
Lost in Wonderland – is a contemporary thriller twist on Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland

Okay, let’s move on to the threes. Give us your top 3 responses to the following to help us get to know you better.

    • Top 3 things you learned about the business after becoming a writer.

    1)        It’s hard work – even when you get your publishing deal. Modern writers are required to promote their books so expect to spend at least half of your writing time doing this. Personally, my day job is in marketing, so it’s not an issue for me. But I know some writers that shy away from promotion for just writing. The problem is, due to self-publishing we’re now in a flooded marketplace so authors need to get out there and search out spotlights for themselves and their work.
    2)        People think you earn a fortune. A sobering fact about being an author is that probably 70% are not paying their bills with their royalties. It’s a surprisingly small amount that can write full time and an even smaller amount that are in the same league as JK Rowling or Stephen King. I still have to maintain a full-time job to afford those luxuries in life such as food and shelter – but you never know…one day I might be able just to do what I love, write.
    3)        Being a single lady and an author is hard! (I’m yet to understand fully why) but as soon as a man finds out I’m an author, they go running off into the middle distance. I had one guy abandon me mid-date when I told him. Maybe I’m missing something? Perhaps they think I’m going to write about them? I do tend to base victim characters on people I don’t like so, maybe they’re right? LOL.

    • Top 3 snacks to munch on while working.

    1)      Peanut M&Ms – sweet, crunchy energy
    2)      Chocolate Brownies – there’s a cake shop in town that makes the most chocolatey moist, squidgy squares of fatty goodness you can buy. I always treat myself with one when I know I have a long writing session coming up.
    3)      Not so much a snack but a beverage: Russian Caravan tea. It’s smoky and strong and has enough of a kick to keep me working whilst making me feel slightly gypsy-like.

    • Top 3 personal mantras or inspirational phrases.

1)        You can’t please everyone – the best advice I was never given! I figured this out all on my own when my first book came out. Some readers like action, others romance and some want pages of description and then others don’t. The best thing to do is write in your voice in your style. I do listen to my reviews, though. My latest book Lost in Wonderland is getting some great ones, and those lovely readers are saying that they would have liked a longer book – they want more, so in the second one, I’m giving them more.
2)        If you do nothing, you’ll get nothing – I meet a lot of people, writers especially, who complain that they don’t get anywhere, but when you dig a little deeper, they’re not doing anything. They’re not submitting work or pitching book blogs or entering competitions, worse; they’re not even really writing! It doesn’t matter how or where you start on the road to what you want, just do something!
3)        Pay it forward – Through my life, I’ve always tried to help people. I believe in karma: If you do good things, good things will happen to you. I’m still not 100% on this working, however, but I live in hope!

Finally, please share with us where our tech savvy readers can find out more about you and your book.


Thanks for joining us today, Nicky. It was great to get to know more about you and your work.


THANKS!

Now, after you leave a comment to say "Hi" to Nicky, hop on over to her blog to read my interview. 

August 17, 2016

Three Times A Charm with Megan Crewe and A Mortal Song

Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love to introduce readers to the people involved in publishing book for childrens and teens. Today we welcome young adult author, Megan Crewe, and her upcoming release, A Mortal Song. I’m even sharing a rare review at the end of the interview. But first, let’s get to know Ms. Crewe. Megan, tell us a little about you.

I’m a Canadian author of YA speculative fiction: fantasy, science fiction, paranormal, horror, it’s all good. My books include the upcoming A MORTAL SONG, the Earth & Sky trilogy, the Fallen World series, and GIVE UP THE GHOST. I live in Toronto with my family, and when I’m not writing or reading, I’m probably planning some new trip around the world.

Let’s hear more about A Mortal Song.

A MORTAL SONG will sweep you away into the world of Japanese mythology, with a unique twist on popular fantasy conventions. Sora believed she was heir to Mt. Fuji's spirit kingdom, but when the mountain is attacked, she discovers she is a human changeling raised as a decoy while her parents' true daughter remained safe in modern-day Tokyo. As she struggles with her sudden loss of power, she must find a way to train the unprepared kami princess and save the only home she's ever known.

Pre-order A MORTAL SONG before Septmber 13th, and you can receive an exclusive digital gift pack! Plus the ebook is only $0.99 right now.




I recommend my book to readers who like:
The Iron Fey series by Julie Kagawa
The Daughter of Smoke and Bone trilogy by Laini Taylor
The Fire and Thorns trilogy by Rae Carson

Great comps, I’ve read and enjoyed Taylor’s and Carson’s series as well as A Mortal Song. Now I’ll have to check out Kagawa’s. Okay, let’s move on to the threes. To help us know you better, give us your top 3 responses to the following.

  • Top 3 tools of the trade you couldn’t live without.

-My laptop. It helps me get away from obsessive internet browsing (which I’m prone to on my desktop computer) and lets me work on my books everywhere from my living room couch to the middle of a forest during a cottage retreat.
-My super comfy Victorian wingchair in which I do most of my drafting, and quite a bit of reading too.
-The palm-sized notebook I carry in my purse everywhere, so I can jot down the fantastic brainstorms that inevitably occur to me when I’m on the go.

  • Top 3 favorite ways to interact with readers.

-Getting emails. It’s always heartwarming to see someone take the time to contact me directly and let me know they’ve enjoyed my books!
-Twitter. Such a great place to chat back and forth!
-At signings and events. There’s nothing quite like getting to meet a fan face-to-face in a bookstore or at a convention!

  • Top 3 favorite places.

-Toronto. I’ve lived in this city all my life, and every time I consider moving somewhere else, I realize there’s no other place that has everything this one does that I love.
-Japan. I’ve been there twice and always leave already looking forward to the next time I can come back. It’s a beautiful country and I always feel at ease there.
-Ontario cottage country. My critique group goes on an annual retreat off into the forested lake country. I adore the peaceful vibe and being surrounded by nature.


Finally, please share with us where our tech savvy readers can find out more about you and your books.


Thanks for joining us today, Megan, and for trusting me with an advanced copy of your book. It was great to get to know more about you and your work.

THANKS!
 RARE REVIEW

I was immediately intrigued by the blurb of A Mortal Song and the book cover is gorgeous. So when Megan offered an advance copy in exchange for an honest review, I took her up on the offer. Because of my busy schedule, I rarely commit to reviews, but I’m glad I did in this case. My thoughts:

Rich storytelling

This book has a rich combination of culture, adventure, and magic. The Japanese culture is what drew me to the story in the first place and I was not disappointed. It was so well represented, that it even felt like one of the characters, Chiyo, was straight out of an anime. Then I was further intrigued by the idea that a girl learns she is mortal and has to overcome the weaknesses of being mortal to save the magical world she is from. Again, the execution of that storyline was great. I frequently wondered how she’d escape from the most recent dire situation only to be surprised by the cleverness.

Well written, interesting characters, beautiful cover. I definitely recommend this book.

Congratulations, Megan, on a job well done.

August 3, 2016

Release Day Review: Sign of the Green Dragon by C. Lee McKenzie

Happy release day to C. Lee McKenzie and Sign of the Green Dragon

About the book:

Three plucky sleuths. A crumbling skeleton. A buried treasure.

After six months in a new school, Sam's finally fitting in. He's the one kid with enough talent to hit the winning home run and bring the baseball trophy back to Haggarty Elementary. But Sam's guardian is shipping him off to boarding school before that can happen.

When teammates, Joey and Roger, hear his bad news, they plot to hide him until the big game. Their secret cave is a perfect place until an earthquake shatters a wall and reveals a wooden chest with a red-eyed dragon carved into its top. Inside, a bony hand clutches a map with a note, promising treasure.

With Joey and Roger, Sam sets off to track down the clues and hopefully discover treasure.

Just as some puzzle pieces start to make sense, the boys become lost in a labyrinth of underground tunnels, trapped by dangerous thieves and sealed inside an airless tomb. 

Sign of the Green Dragon gets a high five for fantasy, fun and some fearsome adventure. If you like intrepid would-be knights on impossible and dangerous quests, you'll love this story. As one reader says, this book, "has more twists than a dragon's tail."

Buy now to jump into the adventure.

My review:

From the well-developed characters to the intriguing mystery, Lee McKenzie has written a winner of a middle grade novel. I enjoyed everything about this book, but especially the characters. Even the supporting characters were intriguing and a bit of a mystery. Main characters, Sam, Joey, and Roger are believable – equal parts engaging and frustrating, like many boys their age. They get into and out of and into trouble again and again while trying to solve a mystery.

Though the characters were a high point, I also enjoyed the cave where Jen and his uncle lived and the taste of Asian culture that we got throughout the book. Really great read for middle graders.

(A copy of this book was provided in exchange for an honest review.)

You can pick up a copy of Sign of the Green Dragon from Amazon or other etailers.

You can find out more about Lee and her other great books on her website.