Today’s Featured Author – HL Carpenter

Today, I welcome a returning author (actually authors) to my blog. HL Carpenter first visited my blog back in 2014. Now the mother/daughter team of Helen and Lorri Carpenter return to promote their latest book, The Ghost in the Garden, a middle grade mysterywhich came out on June 17th.

Book Excerpt

I had the future planned out.

The ghost was not in the plan.

After the first visit, I still didn’t really believe in ghosts. But when she came back the second time, I had to change my mind. I hadn’t been dreaming and I wasn’t crazy. The only other alternative was: I had seen a ghost.

I started researching ghost visitations. What made them stick around in this world? How did they choose who to haunt? Why had no one ever caught a legitimate sighting on video or made a recording?

Mostly what I learned was that people argued a lot about whether ghosts existed. People who believed in ghosts liked other people who believed in ghosts. People who didn’t believe in ghosts thought people who did were crazy.

I was not crazy.

Finding out the answers to my questions about ghosts should have been easy. I had my own personal ghost to ask. But every time she visited me, I couldn’t say a word. My thoughts got all tangled and my breath stuck in my throat and I got dizzy. Having my own personal ghost was not helpful. The visits were…creepy. Like are-you-here-because-I’m-going-to-die creepy. Maybe the creep factor was why no one had ever documented a ghost.

I shivered, though I hadn’t seen the ghost in hours and cheerful sunlight warmed the early June morning. The Water Garden, a magical green fairyland of trickling streams and arched bridges, closed in around me. Shadows shifted. Bushes rustled.

I’d never seen a ghost before, not even when my dad died. Why had one decided to haunt me now?

“Just lucky, I guess,” I said. “What do you think, Barkley?”

My long-legged Schnauzer scratched his ear with his hind foot.

“That’s what I think too.”

I tugged Barkley’s ear and picked up one of the quarter-size flat stones scattered beside the path. I tossed the stone into the deep end of the Water Garden pond.

Barkley scrambled to the bank, then yipped and jumped back, almost jerking the leash from my hand. The ruff on his neck rose straight up. He stared at the pond, his lips curled, his teeth bared.

I gripped the red plastic leash more tightly.

The ghost liked water.

Barkley growled.

In the pond, twin black shafts of water shifted into the wavy outline of feminine eyes. Pale lips, reed-thin and white as unearthed slugs, parted. The lips tried to form a word. A gurgle rose from the depths like a deep sigh.

“Daaaaay…daaaay…”

Bubbles roiled the surface of the water.

Barkley growled again. Then he barked, as if to prove the ghost hadn’t silenced him.

I tried to speak, to ask the ghost what she wanted. My tongue clung to the roof of my mouth. My lips moved in a quivery jiggle as if I were silently whistling. But I could not force out a sound, much less a whole question.

Maybe if I could think a question, the ghost and I could communicate. Maybe she didn’t need actual words to hear me and to answer.

I tipped forward. My glasses slipped down my nose. I wanted to ask her…something…something…important…

What would touching her feel like?

I stretched out my hand.

Book Blurb

Until the first spooky visit, ten year old Chrysantha Howe doesn’t think about ghosts. She thinks about plants.

All.

The.

Time.

She has her future planned out, and that future includes plants. Chrys is going to be a plant scientist like her uncle and her favorite teacher, and she’s determined to find the very rare Coralroot orchid.

The ghost is not in the plan.

But when her teacher disappears and the police suspect her uncle was involved, Chrys has to figure out what the ghost is trying to tell her—before it’s too late.

***

You can purchase The Ghost in the Garden on Amazon.

Today’s Featured Author – MRoyale

Today I welcome author MRoyale to my blog. Please enjoy a sample of both her books – her young adult book Ignominy-Chapters of Chargin and her children’s book Color Land.

Ignominy – Chapters of Chagrin is available for $1.99 & Color Land – From Play School to Color Land is available for 99 cents as Kindle Countdown Deal on Amazon thru October 10th.

Excerpt – Ignominy – Chapters of Chagrin

Chapter 2

“CHAGRIN”

Chagrin – The intense feeling of mental unease, as of annoyance or embarrassment, caused by failure, disappointment, or disconcerting events.

When Mr. Aggressive met Ms. Passive (Ace and Ms. Phoenix), it was an all-out get-down-with-ya-bad-self smoking and drinking, do-not-tell kind of party. Soon thereafter, Roxie was born. She was a tiny, sick looking baby at the time of birth. See, Ms. Phoenix hardly ever took care of herself during her pregnancy. How could she?  Especially with all of the mental, emotional, and physical abuse she tolerated from Ace. She barely ate and never took her prescribed prenatal vitamins. She refused to receive the proper medical care she needed when she was pregnant. Ms. P seemed to be hiding bruises and ugly black eyes, under huge designer sunglasses, from all the doctors—knowing that they would alert authorities. Soon thereafter, an unplanned Alex was born. Ms. Phoenix was not only cute and bodied, she was also shy and naïve.  Ace took those qualities for granted and used Ms. P as his own personal punching bag, whenever he felt the need to overload on a few alcoholic beverages. She had everything from busted lips, bloody noses, and even a broken collarbone. They constantly argued and whenever Ace had one too many, the boxing match would begin. Afterward, he would just beg for forgiveness and promise to never do it again. Yet, it definitely and violently happened over and over again.   Ms. Phoenix made a vow to herself to never, ever let Ace physically and verbally abuse her in front of her baby girl because one day she would be old enough to see and understand what was really going on. You know what they say, “When a woman’s fed up!” All Roxie could remember, on one horrific day of fighting and arguing, was her father picking up a huge metal crab pot off the stove and throwing it at Ms. P. Ace smacked and punched her face until it turned purplish blue.  Roxie and Alex started screaming, forcing Ms. Phoenix to grab them with only the clothes on their backs, throwing them into her car. Ms. P started running for dear life as her bell bottoms swung with the wind. She jumped in the driver’s seat of the vehicle and drove away as Roxie and her brother looked out the back window in shock and sadness. Usually, when they looked out of the back window, they would cheer for their mother to race past the other cars while yelling, “Go Momma Go!” This ride was very different in every way. It was the last time, in a long time, that they would ever see their father, Ace, again.

The experience was quite easy for them since Ace neither signed his kids’ birth certificates nor married their mother. In the streets, Ace was known as this popular community spokesman who affected many people’s lives in a positive manner. Yet at home, he was mean, abusive, sarcastic, and an alcoholic. He was “The Man” on the outside, though. A good singer, dancer, and a well-dressed ladies’ man too. He always kept his wardrobe sharp— making sure his shoes matched his belt and his socks matched his suit and tie. Along with his wit, sense of humor, and his intelligence, people everywhere loved his style. You could walk down the street with him and someone from every corner would say, “Hello!” shake his hand, or give the nod to say, “Hey, what’s up?”  No one but his immediate family knew the demons within him. Once he began to realize there was a mental mania in his own head, he became more and more difficult to deal with. Most of the time he was a recluse. It would just be Ace and his happy drinks.

Book Blurb

Ignominy-Chapters Of ChagrinRoxie Nicole Phoenix aka “Roxie Brown Eyes” is the epitome of “individual vs. self” in this fascinating Story. Roxie’s character captivates us all as she communicates through her beautiful, yet intimidating brown eyes. Throughout her abusive life, she makes choices and decisions that would live with her for the rest of her existence. Her mother’s life choices allowed her stepfather, Leon Miny, to use ‘chastising’ as his excuse for child abuse against her and her younger brother, Alex. This lead Roxie to dwell in her own realm of imagination—sometimes not fully aware of the difference between reality and fantasy. When engulfed by her environment, a path of destruction seemed to be the only walkway towards every devastating encounter. She also experiences a few sensually enticing moments in her life {which fed the naughty side of her appetite} that she would not trade for anything.
In this Urban Short Story, Roxie is an example of a girl destroyed by her childhood—the ignominy or shame, and peer pressure—also her attempts to fight through the chagrin of humiliation surrounding her. Though resilient, she could never duck the darts thrown at her and it cost her everything—or did it?

 

Excerpt – Color Land – From Play School to Color Land

“Where am I?” “Can anyone hear me?” Renee’s voice echoed loudly. As she rubbed her eyes in disbelief, she looked around nervously and wondered what place could be so beautiful. She was sitting on a heart-shaped leaf floating on bright blue water. There were bright crayon colored houses and trees that had beautiful flower paths with butterflies nearby. Meanwhile, brightly colored balloons floated in the sky. Renee’ was excited as she was getting closer to land.  She jumped off of the heart shaped leaf in amazement. “Wow!” she said, “What a different place!” “I wonder where I could be.”

Renee’ started to walk down a colorful flowered path while admiring all of nature’s beauty. This unknown place gave her a feeling of acceptance that she never felt before, and she loved it.

“Hi,” says a little boy who is kneeled down below a lively tree. “Who said that?” says Renee’. “I did. My name is Marty and who are you? You don’t look like you are from here in Color Land”, said the little boy. Renee’ jumped for joy. She said, “So that’s where I am! Color Land. Yay!” “Well you definitely look like you are from here with your orange-red hair and your blue high water pants!” said Renee’ proudly. She noticed that Marty began looking sad and realized that what she just said to him wasn’t very nice. She also knew that she was treating him the same way the other children at Play School treated her.

She did not want to be mean anymore so she asked the little boy, “Why are you knelt down underneath a colorful, lively tree?” He said, “Whenever Big Head Harry Monster is selfish or doesn’t play fair, the more my land‘s colors begin to fade and the people lose their joy. So I found one of the last colorful trees in the land.” “Well that bums me out knowing your land is being bullied here and I am not being treated so nicely at my school back home. We need to learn how to stick up for ourselves without being hurtful. So, are you in?” says Renee’. “Yeah, let’s go get that big headed monster and teach him a thing or two!” said Marty.

Renee’ knew she had to do something about it. So, off they went in search of Harry the monster who was stealing away all the color from Color Land. That was pretty mean and selfish of him, also quite unfair. As soon as they reached the darkest and gloomiest part of Color Land, they knew they were near the big headed monster. But, he found them first.  “Rrrr!” said Harry as he jumped from a gray tree. “Who are you and what are you doing on my land?” said the big headed monster. “Uh, my name is Renee’ and this is Marty. Why are you so mean, selfish, and not playing fairly? You are erasing all the color from Color Land and making everyone sad. The people from Color Land are losing their happiness because the world is not bright anymore—it’s becoming dark and gloomy. You are nothing but a big headed hairy wannabe!” Said Renee’. “I am what I am and I’ll erase what I wanna! Don’t you mess with me little boy and girl because I’ll turn this whole land into its darkest gloom! Especially, since that’s how I feel inside” says Harry the monster as he began to cry. Marty asks the monster why is he such a sad bully and Harry replied, “Because I don’t have a mommy and daddy to love me and make my life bright and colorful like everyone else does.”

Book Blurb

colorlandColor Land is an amazing story of how a special little girl, named Renee’, was determined to overcome her experiences of bullying at Play School. She was being made fun of which really hurt her feelings. One afternoon, Renee’ drifted off into the world of pretend—unaware that she would dream all of her wishes true. During naptime, she traveled to a delightful place called Color Land. There she met a friend who was even more unique than herself, named Marty, whom she helped defeat a major challenge—all while experiencing exciting adventures. Once Renee’ realized she can do anything she sets her mind to, she wanted to solve all of her problems at Play School, make new friends, and finally be accepted for her uniqueness. Renee’ wanted more than anything to help her playmates understand that the make-believe world is much more fun than laughing at others. She also needed them to know that being different can be cool.

About the Author

mroyaleMRoyale♔ is an ambitious Author, Entrepreneur, Student, and former Recording Artist—as well as a Wife, Mother, & GrandRoyale. She has been writing books for over four years while attending two different colleges. Her interesting life and educational background have allowed her to explore many topics of fascination. Her wishes are to touch people’s lives and entertain them with her heart filled, overflow of imagination.

You can find out more about her on her Amazon Author page.

Both books can be found on Amazon. And be sure to pickup them at their low discount prices good thru Monday!

Ignominy – Chapters of Chagrin is available for $1.99 & Color Land – From Play School to Color Land is available for 99 cents as Kindle Countdown Deal thru October 10th.

Today’s Featured Author – Michael K. Eastman

Today, I welcome author Michael K. Eastman to my blog. Here is an excerpt from his short story, The Story of Little Beth.

Excerpt

“I’ll tell you how it all began… “

Uncle stood and walked towards the window, taking a long puff of smoke with him. He held out his pipe and gently tapped it against the glass bubble.

“It’s been almost twenty years since that day… I shall always remember we gathered at the harbour inn to bless and celebrate our newly built boat. We named it the Pelican. It was a fine specimen with many sails. There were ten of us including myself. All the necessary provisions had been taken on board and we set forth on the following day.”

“The clouds finally cleared and gave rise to a gentle breeze that filled the sails. Our new ship had bought us good luck. It seemed our labours had rewarded us all with an abundance of good stock… Several days later, our fishing boxes were full. Our skipper was an old sea dog, a sailor of old  traditions… to celebrate our success he cracked open barrel of rum and gave each of us a noggin.”

“Good luck and fortune had been with our ship for most of the voyage. We made good progress on the last day of our fishing, but our stores were now full to the brim, so being left with no further room to keep any extra fish, the skipper gave the order to pull up the nets, and prepare for our voyage home.”

“It was then we saw them…I couldn’t believe my eyes. Everyone gathered round. There was seven or more. They cut through the swell like a spear …They were keeping a fast pace as fast as our ship.…”

“What did they look like?”  asked Beth

Uncle opened a locked draw and removed a wrinkled rolled up canvas. “I’m showing you and Billy a true painting of a mermaid… No one else has ever seen this apart from your auntie.

As you can see for yourself, they look beautiful…Long slender faces large wide eyes and long silver hair… Legends say they will live for one hundred years and have magic powers to heal the sick.”

Uncle’s face suddenly turned to sadness. “That dam cutthroat of a man, he nearly killed one of them…He wanted to catch one and take it back…We tried to stop him but he overpowered everyone. And before we got on our feet, he callously fired into her side…I shall never forget that awful sound she made…I jumped over the side of the ship and swam towards her. Holding her in my arms, I could see her blood on my hands. I shouted to my shipmates for help, but their hands were full keeping this cut throat at bay.”

“Suddenly out from nowhere a huge wave fell upon the ship. It creaked and snapped and rolled from side to side splitting the thick wooden masts as if they were made of straw. As much as I wanted to help I couldn’t have done anything for either of my shipmates, but I was determined to save my ocean friend. ..She laid her head back and closed her eyes.”

“I prayed to the Lord to save her…give me the strength to hold on I ask of him. My last thoughts during that terrible time were of holding her tightly and praying that if fate has destined to take a life…Take mine alone.”

Book Blurb

Little Beth_Take your imagination back a hundred years to the rugged shores of wildest Cornwall, where the adventure and mystery of the dark currents enthrall two young children with ancient mermaid legends you would swear are true… Thus begins ‘The Story of Little Beth,’ the first in two captivating tales in this magic fantasy collection of short stories, where mermaid legends and black magic sit side by side with a hoblin’s adventure. The dark currents of fate twist in strange ways about our heroes, inexorable and inescapable. Let the lives of these strangers mingle as their extraordinary stories unfold in this fantasy collection of short stories by Michael K. Eastman, woven with secrets of magic, myth and legend to tempt any reader.

You can buy The Story of Little Beth as part of a collection that also includes The Story of Plum and Pepper on Amazon and Amazon UK.

Today’s Featured Author – Jean Ingellis

Please welcome children’s author Jean Ingellis to my blog. Her first children’s book, Waneta Walrus and her blue tu-tu, was released earlier this year.

Interview

What or who inspired you to start writing? 

I’ve always written bits of stories and poems ever since the 7th or 8th grade when a nun took an interest in my writing and asked me to write some poems for her.  Words just pop into my head for some reason. Usually I think they’d make good hoakie country music songs.  Unfortunately for my husband usually late at night.  I jot them down to get them out of my head so I can get back to sleep and especially as I won’t remember a thing about them in the morning.  But the inspiration for this book is my grandson who I wanted to have something special from “Grandma”.

When did you consider yourself a writer?

Once the book was officially up for sale and someone that I didn’t know actually bought my book to read.

How much of yourself, your personality or experiences, is in your books?

I think a little of my personality is in my book.  I think simple thoughts, love simple poems and stories and I think that comes out in my writing.

What is the best or worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

The best advice I received was through writer’s blogs such as yours. The most important being expect rejections, don’t let them get to you and never give up.  I knew I couldn’t get a query to a publishing company so I started with agents.  Indirectly, the fact that I actually got e-mails back (which isn’t always the case and showed some effort on their part, even if they were pre-formed letters) was quite encouraging and gave me the boost I needed to go further on even though they were polite rejection letters.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

In writing children’s stories there isn’t major plot ideas.  However, I do like to have a character who overcomes some sort of obstacle and becomes a hero who also has something fun or interesting happen in the story. Always with a happy ending of course.

What inspired you to write this book?

After wanting to write a story for my grandson being the main inspiration, I think the inspiration for the character came from my love of the ocean and it’s aquatic animals.  Seals are a favorite, kind of like the pet dogs of the ocean. An aunt even gave me a life sized seal statue for my family room that we call “Sam”. But there are already quite a few adorable seal books out there. So I decided on a walrus.  After that I decided I wanted the walrus to be different. So I made the walrus a girl, gave her a tu-tu and going even farther, gave her only one tusk. I had thought that there is a world of children out there that are different themselves, or atleast feel different and could relate to Waneta in their own way.

How did you come up with this title?

I knew I wanted a walrus with a name that started with a “W”.  I looked up names in several name books.  Waneta appealed to me and I had never heard of that name before. After researching the name the interesting thing that I found was that there actually was an American Indian in our country’s history with that name, who incidentally fought with the British against the United States but later in life changed his sympathies somewhat.  The name Waneta translates to “shape shifter” or “charger”.  There were also two naval ships with that name.   I added the sub title of “and her blue tu-tu” to differentiate between that story and other Waneta Walrus stories in the future.  It seemed appropriate since this story tells how she came to want a tu-tu and how she received it in the end.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

The most difficult scene to draw was the shark in two different pages.  I was worried on the one page of the shark teeth being too scary for some children as sharks do have sharp teeth and that can be scary.  But it was integral to the story as the shark was chasing and trying to eat Waneta.  The other page I had to show how Waneta swirled and danced so effectively that she wore out the shark and was able to get away.  How do you show in a drawing that a shark is exhausted from the chase?  Well, you take liberties and give the shark a pink tongue hanging out.  Everyone knows sharks do not have tongues, especially ones that hang out. But that along with the eyes closed, you just seem to know the shark is exhausted.

Have you started your next project? If so can you share a little bit about your next book?

My next Waneta story won’t be out for probably a year from now.  I have it written already, but it’s the illustrations that take the longest time to do.  It’s the story of how she meets her best friend by saving him. The two will also go on to have other adventures together in other future stories.

Were there any unexpected problems that popped up during the writing or publishing process?  If so how did you fix them? 

Yes. The biggest problem (and most time-consuming to fix) was the fact that I did not understand about DPI (dots per inch).  Something that in digital books isn’t too much of a problem, but in the printing of the books seems to be a major thing.  The program I used to draw the book was in 96 DPI.  The basic requirement for printing is 300 DPI.  I had to basically use a different program and cut and paste the old pages in.  Then  re-trace every picture and re-color them along with removing the words and re-writing them in the new program.  A very time consuming mistake that anyone who is thinking of making a children’s picture book as an indie author and  illustrator should know and understand before starting a digital drawing process.

If you could jump into any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

The Secret Garden by Frances Hodgson Burnett.   I love gardens and flowers and would have loved to have been part of that project and friendship.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

The first would be Theodor Geisel (Dr. Seuss).  What an interesting way he put controversial subjects of the day (of importance) into amusing stories.  The second would probably surprise you….Stephen King. Anyone who really knows me well knows there are just some scary movies or books I can’t even watch or read.  When I was in high school I had to read his book, Salem’s Lot.  The only way I could read the book was to go to the local beach, in broad daylight, with people around. The most interesting part of the book that I don’t recall being in the movie was the part where he described the baby who the vampires had gotten.  (please forgive this quote as not exact)…”tossed into the corner of the crib like a used doll”.  So many years now as I’m in my mid 50’s  and that part of the book still gets to me even if I can’t remember the exact wording. what I envisioned in my mind through those words is still there.  Until then I had never thought of baby vampires.   Mr. King has an incredible mind.  Scary, yet incredible and so much different than mine.  The fact that he has the discipline to write so many novels and such varied ones, boggles my mind.

Book Blurb

walrusWaneta only has one tusk so she is different….and different can be a good thing.  Why does she want a blue tu-tu?  Follow her adventure to see how she becomes a hero and in the end finally does get her tu-tu after facing obstacles along the way. This story is written in a charming rhyming pattern. With 26 pgs. and a lower word count it makes it readable in one sitting. The story line makes it a fun read. Pictures that aren’t too overwhelming amuse children and allow you to create simple count & color games. How many yellow fish or clouds are there? What colors are in the ball or beach umbrella? Can you find the star fish on pg.18? A simple tongue twister like “long, sharp shark teeth” could make your child giggle. Subtle messages like teasing is wrong and having goals is great, but even if you only reach one you can still be happy are life’s little lessons that should be learned.

About the Author

jean_As a child Jean Ingellis enjoyed simple rhyming so much that she would walk to the library by herself throughout elementary school to read the Mother Goose nursery rhymes book. She was born in Ohio but spent her younger years growing up in the Mid Atlantic region.  In her mid 50’s now Jean has spent most of her adult life in the New England area raising her five children. After her children were grown Jean taught herself how to read music and play the acoustic guitar. Something she had always wanted to do since she couldn’t sing very well and just never seemed to find time to do when raising her children. She is still learning and plays a little better than she can sing. She has always enjoyed reading stories to children over the years. Her grandchild being her favorite to read to. Waneta was written especially for her grandson.

You can buy Waneta Walrus and her blue tu-tu on Amazon.

#NewRelease – CYPATHIA by Teresa Clyne

This month, author Teresa Clyne released her chidren’s fantasy novel, Cypathia: The Secret Princess.

Interview

Tell us a bit about yourself.

I am a law lecturer and forensic psychologist by profession, I have 4 Children, all grown up bar the baby, and she’s 17. I also have 5 grandchildren.

Where were you born and where do you call home?

I was born in Ireland, in Co. Longford, having moved Countries over the years I am now back in Longford again.

What or who inspired you to start writing?

I have always loved writing, since a child I wrote stories and poems.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

When I started writing poems at approx. 14 years old.

How much of yourself, your personality or your experiences, is in your books?

Kaia would have some of my stubbornness and logical approaches to problems.

Have you started your next project? If so, can you share a little bit about your next book?

My next book will be part three of Cypathia, I am also working on several short stories which will deal with Kaia’s adjustments to Royal life.

Do you write full-time? If so, what is your work day like? If not, what do you do other than write and how do you find time to write?

I do not write full time, as I work full time and also study. I write when the words scream at me.

What is the best and worst advice you ever received? (regarding writing or publishing)

Best advice was to self-publish, take control of my work, worst advice as also to self-publish (LOL)

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

The best thing about being a writer is the freedom to put your thoughts and feelings into words, to see them and put feeling into them, the worst is that when the words scream you must write, even if that’s at 3am.

How do you conceive your plot ideas?

The plots come from my imagination, the places in my writings and poems are there from childhood so I cannot quite remember where they came from.

What inspired you to write this book?

My childhood. I wrote my memoirs in 2009 and after reading them I remember thinking truth is stranger than fiction, and remembered the kingdom I reverted to as a child when I felt alone or scared. I started the process of turning my memoirs in a fiction novel for children based on the magic Kingdom.

How did you come up with the title?

This was the world I went to as a child, when the real work was too difficult emotionally for me, I do not remember naming Cypathia, I have always known its name.

Did you base any of your characters on real people?

In some ways, yes, all of my characters were based on some people I would have known in my childhood although no particular people were chosen.

Which of your characters is your favorite? Do you dislike any of them?

Isadora is my favourite, such a sweet and caring person, putting the needs of others before herself. King Mordor is my least favourite as it was him who was the cause of the family splitting up in the beginning.

If this book is part of a series, what is the next book? Any details you can share?

This is part one with part two (Reunited) absolutely free, it is included in part one and is a free bonus for readers, part three is in the process at the moment.

What was the most difficult thing/scene to write in this story?

Banishing family back through the portal.

If you could be one of the characters from any of your books, who would it be and why?

Kaia, she went through so much and came out victorious.

If you could jump in to any book, and live in that world, which would it be?

David Copperfield. This would be an amazing place and time to live.

Is there a specific place in the house (or out of the house) that you like to write?

I love to sit on my boat and write, the gentle swaying of the water is extremely relaxing and clears the mind.

What book are you reading right now?

King James Bible and the Quran.

If you could meet two authors, who would you pick and why?

James Joyce as he had an amazing mind. The brilliance of his novels still astounds me. And Roddy Doyle, this man’s sense of humour is epic.

Tell us a random fact about you that we never would have guessed.

I love motorbikes, the sounds and smells of race bikes are amazing.

Book Blurb

CypathiaAfter an unfortunate twist of fate lands her in Herecia as a tiny baby, Princess Kaia finds herself growing up as a poor peasant girl. Unwanted by her family, poor Kaia spends most of her early childhood feeling unloved and worthless. Without a loving family and no friends, Kaia would have been entirely alone if it wasn’t for her family’s servant, Isadora and her faithful pet dragon Billow, who was never far from her side.

BUT…

Isadora is guarding an enormous secret; one that will break apart the world as Kaia knows it. As the day of her 13thbirthday dawns, Kaia is unaware that she is about to embark on an amazing magical adventure with dragons, sorcerers and goblins that will see her defeat the evil King Mordor and claim back the Kingdom of Cypathia. With her twin brother Kolby at her side she discovers the love of her real family who she got separated from by accident 13 years ago.

About the Author 

teresaAn Irish writer of children’s fiction and adults academic books, born in 1969 in the Coombe Hospital Dublin, the 5th of 6 children to Joe and Angela Clyne… A Law lecturer and Forensic Psychologist by profession Teresa is as comfortable writing about magic, dragons and sorcerers as the Irish legal system.  Teresa is also a photojournalist having written for many local and national papers and magazines including the Mullingar Advertiser, Irish News Review and Emerald Road Racing.

Teresa Clyne is a fervent fan of writing, children’s fiction, dragons and magic. She loves to create worlds where children and dragons stand side by side in their desire to help make the world a better place. Her heroines often yield magic wands, but Teresa equally values their intelligence, wisdom and compassion.  She loves all of the characters in her book but Isadora stands out to her as a selfless and beautiful person, so giving and generous.

You can find out more about Teresa and her book on her blog.

You can purchase Cypathia: The Secret Princess on Amazon.

 

 

New Release: Tick Tock by Toni Owen Blue

Author Toni Owen Blue just released her children’s book, Tick Tock, last month. This fantasy coming of age story is suitable for those age 10 on up.

Interview

When did you first consider yourself a writer?

I think the first time I really considered myself a professional instead of an enthusiastic amateur was when I got my first fan review by email about my first work Double/Cross. Even though I’d been earning money from it and it did very well with shopfront reviews and scores.

I think I just felt rather detached from it, like all those people might have, I don’t know, left reviews on completely the wrong product or something equally ridiculous. Don’t get me wrong, I really appreciate every single person who took the time to express their feelings on shopfront reviews. But there was something incredibly personal about receiving an email about how they felt.

How much of yourself, your personality and experiences are in your books?

I’m lucky enough (or unlucky depending on your perspective) to have had enough happen to me that’s really worth writing about, so quite a few of my own experiences are in my books, so much so that ‘Iris’ which is currently in editing is actually pretty autobiographical.

It really does depend on what I’m writing which parts of me you can see though. For example in Double/Cross I break the fourth wall once in a while and get sarcastic about what’s going on, which I could (and very much enjoyed) doing, as it was a very fun project. The protagonist of Tick-Tock, Vega, shares a few experiences with me, being bullied in school and having trouble with her mother. There’s a bit of me in all my projects really, just different bits.

Have you started your next project? If so can you share a little?

This is a very well timed question as I’ve finished my most recent project just this week, Iris, which I’ve already mentioned is now in editing. It’s a middle grade realistic fiction book that follows young Iris as she struggles with growing up with one abusive and one absent parent.

While that’s going through editing I’m geared up and planning the next project, another interactive fiction like Double/Cross, which I won’t spoil yet, although I will say to keep an eye out for it as I’ll probably be looking for Alpha testers towards the end of this year.

What is the best thing about being a writer? The worst?

I’m going to start with the worst thing about being the writer, because I’ve always liked to finish on high notes, and that is the way people look at writing, it’s one of those things that most people think they could do if they took the time, it’s not really viewed as a job. I think most authors will be familiar with the answer, when you tell people what you do ‘Ah – me too!” only to be told about an avalanche of ideas that have yet to be put on paper. In my mind this is like me claiming to be a doctor because I read ‘A guide to Anatomy’ one time.

As for the best, I imagine it’s the same for many writers, I’m doing what I love, I’ve always wanted to write, and despite the very painful experience of having my rose tinted glasses ripped off my nose when I realized that writers can’t just bury themselves underneath a big pile of books and coffee, I still can’t think of anything in the world I would rather be doing.

Please tell us about your current release

Tick-Tock is a middle-grade fantasy adventure for anyone 10+. It follows Vega, a twelve year old girl who’s living in the scarce village of Coalridge after her families’ exile from the much richer Sunlands. Her Mum devotes her life to the idea of going back to their old home, and Vega can’t find a single friend, aside from her brother.

Vega starts our story as well meaning, but a little spoiled. Hating the situation she’s in, but at the same time not doing anything about it, her brother is the one to bring good fortune her way. But when this blows up in her face and Vega finds herself alone for the first time and has to grow up much faster than she’d like.

What inspired you to write this book?

I think everyone struggles with confidence time to time, especially at a younger age when dealing with self-identification is very new.

I think this is something everyone goes through in their adolescence and then usually again later, namely finding how you can make yourself proud of what you do. That’s something that’s different for everyone and usually it’s something that you do. I’ll use myself as an example, when I was younger I did a lot of Kickboxing, and being good at that was how I got a lot of my self-worth. Looking back on it I don’t think that’s the best way to get your self-worth, because you end up defining yourself through it and that’s not who you are that’s just what you do. I wanted to take Vega and explore taking pride in yourself for who you are, if that’s clear.

I think that’s something that should always be on people’s minds when they think about themselves, even though a lot of the time it isn’t (I’ll be the first one to hold my hand up and say I’m very bad at doing that).

How did you come up with the title?

Titles are difficult for me, and I really wish I could employ someone to be a Title Creator or something because I’ve not improved in the slightest since my first work.

All the Tick-Tock files are saved in my computer as Clockwork. I knew from the start I couldn’t keep that title because I read Philip Pullman’s book by the same name a lot when I was younger and I can’t get it out of my head. Eventually I had to sit and actually come up with a title I could use and thinking about it I realized Tick-Tock was perfect. Mechanical clockwork is something that hangs over Vega like a storm cloud throughout the book, the industry of metal work being the reason for her family’s exile and poor situation, and ultimately it becomes the reason she loses a family member.

Time is also a big factor for Vega, she starts the book with time ticking down till the moment she’ll have to accept her fate and go work in the mines. Later on in the book she finds herself losing time completely and things get very muddled and confusing.

Combining the two ideas turned out to be perfect.

Did you base any of the characters on real people?

My brother was absolutely thrilled to hear that Vega, with her traumatic character arc from slightly spoiled to kind-hearted and considerate was in fact loosely based on him when he was around twelve.

Which character is your favourite? Do you dislike any of them?

I love most of the characters for one reason or another. I love how tenacious Vega is, Rigel’s dependability and good humour. Stia is one of my absolute favourites with her fierce loyalty and Lyra’s confident gut busting made some of my favourite moments.

You’ll note I say most characters, there is one I absolutely despise and that’s Na’ir, he is just everything that makes me angry. I half wish he was real because then I’d be able to go full zombie apocalypse on him with a bat.

Book Blurb

Tick Tock“She saw his body was not a body at all. A bronze plate ran from his collar bone over his chest, stopping where his stomach would have been and giving way to ticking silver cogs, groaning mercilessly as they pumped what looked like clotted black oil.”

Coalridge. The name says it all. It’s a barren wasteland running down the ridge to the little town where the people spend most of their lives deep underground, mining rocks as hard as their heads. Coalridge is where Vega is stuck, even though she’s so different. Exiled with her family from a home she was too young to remember Vega belongs neither here nor there. The one place she knows she doesn’t belong is crawling around in the mines.

The only person who understands is Rigel, her brother. But when the pact that was meant to help their escape goes horribly wrong Vega ends up truly alone for the first time. It’s strange how easy running away is when you have nothing to lose.

About the Author

ToniToni Owen-Blue is a passionate writer of Interactive and Children’s Fiction, with a background in script writing and thrilling chair catalogue articles. She lives with Caspian, her dog, in Sunny England.

Toni’s inspired to write books for children in difficult situations in the hope that one day her books might inspire children the same way she was when she was young and living through a lot of the difficulties that people know exist in the backs of their heads, but don’t like to discuss very much.

On the other hand her Interactive Fiction has always been about having fun. Interactive Fiction is all about being able to influence a story as it unfolds before you, being able to snub the characters who rub you up the wrong way and trying to help those who you think need you.

With a million project possibilities before her Toni can’t get enough of creating both.

You can find more about Toni on her webpage. And you can purchase Tick Tock on Amazon and Amazon UK.