Welcome to Christy Dorrity’s “Awakening”

Christy Dorrity and I were classmates in a writing workshop taught by David Farland a couple of years ago, so I’m delighted to be able to present her new book and her heroine, McKayla McCleery, here on Hero Journeys! Being of Celtic ancestry myself, I am really excited about “Awakening”!
 
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. . . because some Celtic stories won’t be contained in myth.

A little magic has always run in sixteen-year-old McKayla McCleery’s family—at least that’s what she’s been told. McKayla’s eccentric Aunt Avril travels the world as a psychic for the FBI, and her mother can make amazing delicacies out of the most basic of ingredients. But McKayla doesn’t think for a second that the magic is real—it’s just good storytelling. Besides, McKayla doesn’t need magic. She recently moved to beautiful Star Valley, Wyoming, and already she has a best friend, a solo in her upcoming ballet recital—and the gorgeous guy in her physics class keeps looking her way.

When an unexpected fascination with Irish dance leads McKayla to seek instruction from the mute, crippled janitor at her high school, she learns that her family is not the only one with unexplained abilities. 

After Aunt Avril comes to Star Valley in pursuit of a supernatural killer, people begin disappearing, and the lives of those McKayla holds most dear are threatened. When the janitor reveals that an ancient curse, known as a geis, has awakened deadly powers that defy explanation, McKayla is forced to come to terms with what is real and what is fantasy.

A thrilling debut novel based in Celtic mythology, Awakening is a gripping young adult fantasy rife with magic, romance, and mystery.
 

 
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Christy lives in the mountains with her husband, five children, and a cocker spaniel. She grew up on a trout ranch in Star Valley, Wyoming, and is the author of The Geis series for young adults, and The Book Blogger’s Cookbooks. Christy is a champion Irish dancer and when she’s not reading or writing, she’s probably trying out a new recipe in the kitchen. You can contact Christy and purchase “Awakening” at the links below:
 
@christydorrity
 
Links for purchase:
 
 
 
 
 
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It’s a Gorgeous New Cover (and Book) for Wendy Knight!

Astraea Press is celebrating its first cover reveal! Wendy Knight’s Fate on Fire novella, Feudlings in Sight, is Available on Thursday at Astraea Press, Amazon, and all other major ebook retailers! I’m delighted to present the cover of Feudlings in Sight

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Boys of war suck at romance.

Charity Delyle has lived in the shadow of her Prodigy cousin and his powerful Guard since the day she was born. And she doesn’t mind—really. Except that being in Hunter’s shadow means that he can’t see her. And she’d like that to change.

Hunter has one purpose in life: Protect the Prodigy or die trying. That means a social life, school, and even Charity come last until the war is over. For the most part, he’s okay with that—he can lose everything if he has to…except his seer.

Starting at a new school should be much safer than living in a war-ravaged Carules headquarters. But this new school is different than the others. Friendships are forged and destinies are questioned, and Hunter’s decision could cost them all everything they’ve been hoping for.

Here’s an excerpt from Feudlings in Sight:

“Okay, do you want to practice the ones we learned last week or just start new ones?” She had carefully color-coded the spell book with sticky tabs — spells they had mastered, spells they had practiced, spells that would come in handy one day — she was very organized. And if the Council ever found out she put sticky tabs in a book that was over three hundred years old, they would kill her completely dead.

“Learn as much as you can, Shane. Gonna be hard to find a place to practice in the mountains of Utah, surrounded by Normals.” Hunter idly traced spells in the air, letting them fizzle and die without igniting them.

“Well, alright.” Charity flipped to the red section — spells that would come in handy one day. She started at the top. “This one is called an Al-able.” The odd word rolled awkwardly off her tongue. “It’s like… it looks like it’s sort of a flat triangle of flames.”

Hunter and Shane both walked over, studying the spell in the book before tracing it slowly into the air. The spell wouldn’t actually ignite until they lit it with the flames roiling through their blood, but they both wanted to make sure they could do it correctly so as not to explode them all to pieces or something.

“No, no, Hunter. Less harsh lines. Softer.” Charity glanced down at the page and then up at Hunter’s disaster of an attempt. Sighing she laid the book on the metal next to her and pushed herself to her feet. She took Hunter’s hand, trying hard to ignore the way her own blood seemed to explode into flames. There’s no magic there, she told herself harshly. “Like this.” She led his hand through the spell until the air smoked and the image burned in front of them. She looked up, got caught in his gold eyes. He watched her, an unreadable look on his face.

It made her heart stutter in her chest.

Before he could say anything she dropped his hand. “Now try it on your own. I can’t do everything for you, you know.” Charity grinned playfully, dodging out of the way as he tried to push her over. She rescued the book from the twisted metal and perched, watching them expectantly. “Go. Do something.”

Shane rolled his eyes. “Give the girl a book and she’s suddenly the boss.” He moved away several feet so he wouldn’t accidentally ignite her. He’d done it before, and Charity didn’t relish the idea of it happening again.

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Wendy Knight was born and raised in Utah by a wonderful family who spoiled her rotten because she was the baby. Now she spends her time driving her husband crazy with her many eccentricities (no water after five, terror when faced with a live phone call, etcetera, etcetera). She also enjoys chasing her three adorable kids, playing tennis, watching football, reading, and hiking. Camping is also big: her family is slowly working toward a goal of seeing all the National Parks in the U.S.

You can usually find her with at least one Pepsi nearby, wearing ridiculously high heels for whatever the occasion may be. And if everything works out just right, she will also be writing.

You can connect with Wendy at:

Twitter: @wjk8099

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyKnight

Blog: http://www.writethroughthenoise.blogspot.com

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7009940.Wendy_Knight

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Announcing Emblazon!

This week I’m honored to take part in the launch of a new children’s literature website!ImageEmblazon is a blog written by a collection of indie and traditionally published authors who care about producing high quality stories for kids. It has a particular focus on ages 11 to 14, called Tweens. The purpose of Emblazon is to celebrate ‘tween literature, to draw attention to this fabulous genre, interact with other enthusiasts whether child or adult, and encourage new writers.

Creator Michelle Isenhoff writes of Emblazon, “At Emblazon we love ‘tween literature. That’s the unique subgenre that falls between middle grade and young adult and can lean either way. You know, the one every reader of children’s books can sense but nobody really names or defines. Well, we’ve named it and defined it. We’ve even put an 11-14 age bracket around it. But what goes into a tween novel? What makes this genre so special? To answer that, let’s first look at the kids who read in it.

Middle schoolers, that’s basically who we’re talking about. Sixth, seventh, and eighth grades, maybe even fifth and ninth. These are the kids transitioning from grade school to high school, all at different rates. Their bodies are changing, their minds are developing, they’re becoming more independent, yet they’re still in need of adult guidance. Here are a few developmental landmarks characteristic to this age group:

  • Striving more for peer acceptance than parental approval
  • Moving from concrete to abstract thinking
  • Losing childish egocentrism; strong desire for fairness, justice
  • Understanding morality in shades of gray rather than black and white
  • Taking an interest in real world problems and issues
  • Changing body, changing emotions, becoming aware of sexuality

So how does this translate into literature? In all sorts of ways. Now is the time to start introducing tweens to tough topics they will face as adults, as Lois Lowry does in The Giver. Yet these topics must still be handled appropriately. Tweens are ready to empathize, to problem solve, to experience real life in a sheltered way.

A little boy reads a big book with grass at background

Tween literature generally contains a positive world view. Kids this age are beginning to think of others. They’re idealistic. They appreciate satisfactory resolutions because that’s how they want the world to work. They have a strong sense of justice and resonate with plots that see justice done. Tween literature almost always celebrates honesty, loyalty, sacrifice, friendship, etc.

Tweens are also looking forward to high school and greater independence, so protagonists tend to be at least age twelve and as old as fifteen or sixteen. Stories are often adventurous, with protagonists acting in peer groups with limited adult interaction, as in Harry Potter. The strongest adult characters tend to be mentors who provide a measure of wisdom. Books may contain some romance, but sexuality is generally toned way down. Portrayals of violence and substance abuse, if addressed at all, are portrayed in a negative light. Language is mild.

Middle schoolers are beginning to comprehend abstract ideas, so their books can be rich with metaphor, hidden meanings, and deep thoughts. An example of this would be the gentle lessons about life and death in Tuck Everlasting, by Natalie Babbitt. But these guys still appreciate the absurd and can understand a higher degree of humor, which makes Percy Jackson so popular.

All these characteristics make the tween genre so dynamic and rich. Kids this age are discerning and they demand quality writing. As tween authors, we need to deliver it. By understanding what makes tween literature so unique, we’re better able to recognize it, appreciate it, and create it.”

Photo of girls courtesy of Jaimie Duplass via Photoxpress. Photo of boy courtesy of Stepanov via Photoxpress.

Emblazon is launching today, July 10! I encourage all of my readers to help us spread the word by mentioning us on your own blog today. You may cut and paste from my blog or the Emblazon website and use the attached logo if you wish.
All bloggers who participate are eligible to enter our $100 Amazon gift card drawing that will be held tomorrow, and you can also treat your readers to the upcoming Sizzling Freebies bash that will be hosted on Emblazon on August 1. A great selection of ebooks will be free for that day only.
To learn all about Emblazon and get involved with this exciting new website, please visit www.emblazoners.wordpress.com

 

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Flying with Anna

Well, my hiatus from blogging didn’t last very long, did it? But when I have an opportunity to celebrate a fellow author’s new book, I take it! And today I have the honor of interviewing Anna del C. Dye about her new novel, Shahira & the Flying Elfs.

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Anna, thank you for taking the time to visit my blog today.

What genre do you prefer to write?

I love medieval fantasy. That makes my series High Fantasy.

What do you do to relax when you’re not writing?

I go camping and take the canoe. My husband and I love the quietness and beauty of nature.

So do I! Do you have a favorite movies?

Yes, my most favorite movie is “The Lord of the Rings,” and now “The Hobbit.” Second will be “Harry Potter,” with “Independence Day” and “Narnia” as close third places.

If you could travel anywhere, to any time period, where would you go?

Any place medieval and with lots of castles.

You’d love Germany. It has loads of castles!  I understand this new book is number six in your Elf Series, but it’s a stand-alone book and can be read separately.

All my books are all stand alone, including the Silent Warrior Trilogy. The difference is, in the trilogy we follow the main characters throughout three crucial times in their lives. The rest of the books are separate stories with their own characters and situations. The only thing that ties all books is the cities they live in.

That’s interesting! Please tell us about this new book.

It’s called Shahira & the Flying Elfs. Here is a teaser:

Flying takes you to new heights, but still you don’t see if you try not to.

Shahira is a she-eagle who lives with her father, mother, and baby brother. Her dream is to find a stripling young eagle for her mate. But mating is a ritual that happens in the sky and she cannot fly. She keeps telling herself that soon she will be able to, but every time she tries she falls.

The source of Shahira’s problems is a character named Artoris. He is almost a wizard and he suffers from schizophrenia. He hears and sees people talking to him all the time. This makes him very dangerous, especially as he thinks his brother, the head of the Wizarding School, is against him. A crazy wizard, on his own, pursued by his personal demons, makes for interesting suspense.

And let’s not forget Llorradinn. He is the Elf who finds love in Shahira’s nest and who is willing to do anything for her. As a true Elf, he would sacrifice his life for Shahira if it would save her.

Where did you get your inspiration for this series?

From Tolkien’s “Lord of the Rings.” My son got me hooked on the books, and when the movies came out my imagination went wild. I have so many characters wanting to be first in my head I couldn’t write fast enough.

You love to write elf stories. What intrigued you most about writing these books?

What intrigues me most is how my Elfs came to me with their personalities clear and unwavering. They aren’t perfect, but they are certainly far ahead of any human I have met in real life.

The world of my elfs is so pure and humble that it inspires many of my readers and me, because you can’t find that in real life, and as humans we yearn for it. The way elfs love and care for the she-elfs is humbling and the way the she-elfs reciprocate to their companions’ care and love is heavenly. I believe that is what every human being wants in life, someone who will see past our imperfections and treat us with utmost respect and love, in spite of it all.

What kind of research did you do for this book?

Eagles are the main characters in this tale, so I needed to ask questions about their lives and what they are like. The person in charge of the eagles in Tracy Aviary, a park in Utah, was very nice and let me pick his brain. For my artists, we Googled eagles and had hundreds of pictures to choose from.

Please tell us a little about yourself, Anna. What is your background?Image

 

I was born in Valparaiso, Chile. I came to the USA at age 21 to be married two weeks later. I have lived in Utah all my married life, and have traveled to many places in the USA. We are the parents of three princes and a princess. I love ruins, medieval and fantasy things.

Anna, where can we find you and your books? I understand you have something special taking place right now.

I am are having a Book Giveaway from Jun 29 to July 16. You have a chance to win a PDF format of my Young Adult novel, Shahira & the Flying Elfs. I will be giving one E-book to every blog that participate in the blog tour. So leave a comment if you want to be entered.

You can find me at:

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AnnaDelC

You can find all my books at:

My website: http://www.annadelc.com

Amazon: http://ning.it/19iThs3

Barns & Noble. http://ning.it/1744E2U

Anna, thank you very much for spending some time with me today!

 

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Going AWOL

Well, not AWOL, exactly. It’s a legit leave of absence. I’ve got a lot of work to do elsewhere, writing the first draft of SHAMAN RISING, book 3 in the SEVENTH SHAMAN series. I’m also working WRESTLING WITH THE GODS (book 2) through the revision process, and developing the marketing plan for the February 2014 release of book 1, RUNNING FROM THE GODS. As part of that process, both my website and this blog will undergo major upgrades. I’ll keep you posted as progress is made. Meanwhile, you can follow me on Twitter at @DiannTRead

Happy writing, all!

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Go WEST, Young Lady, and Check Out These Awesome New Covers!

Not long ago I featured my friend Monqiue Bucheger on Hero Journeys, when the third book in her delightful Ginnie West series was released. Shortly afterward, Monique hired children’s author/illustrator Mikey Brooks (another frequent guest on my blog!) to do new covers for all three books! This is a literary “match made in heaven,” and I’m excited to be part of Monique’s Ginnie West cover reveal blog tour!

Along with celebrating her own books, Monique is having a Book Bomb tomorrow that features books from many of our fellow authors, including my own Young Adult science fiction book, GANWOLD’S CHILD. Look at this banner! Tomorrow, June 20th, all of these books will either be free or 99 cents on Amazon.com. Here is your family’s whole summer reading list. Don’t miss out!

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So without further ado, here are the new Ginnie West covers! 

To quote Ginnie: They are totally awesome sauce!”

 

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If you’re not yet familiar with the Ginnie West Adventures, let me fill you in!

 

THE SECRET SISTERS CLUB: A GINNIE WEST ADVENTURE (Book 1)

Twelve-year-old BFFs—Ginnie and Tillie—want to be sisters. Tillie’s divorced mom plus Ginnie’s widowed dad could equal a lifetime of round-the-clock girl talk and slumber parties. Too bad Dad vowed to never marry again. Ginnie and Tillie form a secret club and come up with the perfect mission to change his mind: ‘Operation: Secret Sisters’.

Before long, Tillie seems happier about gaining a dad than a sister. Ginnie suspects that Tillie has turned ‘Operation: Secret Sisters’ into a scam called ‘Operation: Steal My Dad.’ Things get more complicated when Ginnie stumbles across her real mom’s hidden journals. Ginnie can finally get to know the mother she doesn’t remember and Dad doesn’t talk about. When Dad discovers she has the journals, he takes them away. Ginnie needs to figure out why before her relationship with her father and her best friend are ruined forever.

 

As a writer of fantasy, few stories set in reality succeed in capturing my interest so thoroughly that they leave me wanting more. With her spirited personality and flare for fun, Ginnie West does just this as she draws the reader into her unique world from the start and never disappoints. An engaging read that entertains the young as well as the young at heart, this novel manages to become what most rarely do–memorable. ~~ S.E. Gerard, A Fracture In Time

 

I LOVED this book! I didn’t know a book without zombies could be good! ~~15 yr-old Amanda

 

TROUBLE BLOWS WEST: A GINNIE WEST ADVENTURE (Book 2)

Putting her body in motion before her brain is in gear creates a mountain of problems for 12 year-old Ginnie West. She is certain that defending her twin brother, Toran, from the biggest bully in sixth grade was the right thing to do. But Ginnie couldn’t be more wrong. She quickly figures out that Toran doesn’t appreciate being rescued by a girl any better than Pierce likes being knocked down by one. 

When Pierce seeks revenge on Ginnie, Toran sets aside his anger and helps her plot a playback prank at Pierce’s house. Sadly, Ginnie learns that Pierce has a reason for being a bully when she sees his dad drop him to the floor like a rag doll. Realizing he’s a boy in big trouble, Ginnie decides to be his ally even if he won’t let her be his friend.

 

If you like farms, friends, horses, and secrets, you’ll love: Trouble Blows West: A Ginnie West Adventure. So saddle up and be ready to ride with Ginnie as she explores the true meaning of friendship. ~~Debbie Shakespeare Smith, middle-grade author of The House of Chicken

 

An excellent book that deals with the sensitive topics of bullying, abuse, and forgiveness. It is action packed and full of raw emotions. Bucheger does an amazing job of writing this story, without giving a cookie cutter answer to the problems Ginnie faces. The characters are full and rich—which makes me wish I could be part of the West family as well. ~~ Karen D. 

 

SIMPLY WEST OF HEAVEN: A GINNIE WEST ADVENTURE (Book 3) 

Twelve-year-old BFFs schemed to get Ginnie’s widowed dad to fall in love with Tillie’s divorced mom. When their parents go along with the matchmaking, the girls are stoked. Sweet! Not long after though, Ginnie stumbles upon her late mom’s journals, making life even more awesome sauce … until her dad confiscates the journals, determined to protect Ginnie from a danger he won’t name. Ginnie is counting on her future sister’s help to make Dad change his mind, but Tillie’s not so sure the ghost of Ginnie’s mom will make a good addition to their new family tree. 

Besides, Tillie is too busy trying to keep the memory of her abusive, no-good, rotten-excuse-for-a-birth-father from bubbling to the surface to worry about what’s bugging Ginnie. He left six years ago and Tillie’s knows a better dad when she sees one … Ginnie’s dad. The girls’ world gets flipped upside-down when a blast from the past shows up and makes Tillie go nutburgers. Ginnie is torn between helping her best friend and what could be the answer to her prayers. Life gets complicated lickety-split in what is sure to be the most pivotal summer of Ginnie’s life.

 

With the charm of The Little House books, and the courage of today’s American Girl, Bucheger has created a series that has staying power. ~~Mikey Brooks, The Dream Keeper

 

As a mother I couldn’t put these books down. While they may be written for middle grade children, I was not only entertained, but inspired. ~~ Courtney W.

 

To learn more about Monique Bucheger and her books, you can contact her at:

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A Change of Plans

Today I’m delighted to announce the release of Donna Weaver’s new novel, A Change of Plans! I like adventure mixed with my romance, and A Change of Plans definitely provides plenty of that!

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When Lyn sets off on her supposedly uncomplicated and unromantic cruise, she never dreams it will include pirates. All the 25-year-old, Colorado high school teacher wants to do is forget that her dead fiancé was a cheating scumbag. Lyn plans a vacation diversion; fate provides Braedon, an intriguing surgeon. She finds herself drawn to him: his gentle humor, his love of music, and even his willingness to let her take him down during morning karate practices. Against the backdrop of the ship’s make-believe world and temporary friendships, her emotions come alive.

However, fear is an emotion, too. Unaware of the sensitive waters he’s navigating, Braedon moves to take their relationship beyond friendship–on the very anniversary Lyn is on the cruise to forget. Lyn’s painful memories are too powerful, and she runs from Braedon and what he has to offer.

Their confusing relationship is bad enough, but when the pair finds themselves on one of the cruise’s snorkeling excursions in American Samoa things get worse. Paradise turns to piracy when their party is kidnapped and Lyn’s fear of a fairytale turns grim. Now she must fight alongside the man she rejected, first for their freedom and then against storms, sharks, and shipwreck.

I highly recommend A Change of Plans!

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Donna K. Weaver and I share the commonality of being veterans, though we served in different branches. Donna has always loved reading and creating stories, thus she’s been ever entertained. A Navy brat and U.S. Army veteran, she’s lived in many U.S. states as well as South Korea, the Philippines, and Germany. An avid cruiser, she’s sailed the Pacific four times. When she retired from Shorei Kempo Karate with a black belt, she decided it was time to put her imaginary friends and places on paper. She lives in Utah with her husband. They have six children and eight grandchildren.

You can contact Donna at the following locations:

Website

Facebook

Twitter

Goodreads

And you can watch the Book Trailer here: www.youtube.com/embed/MPI1uZQG66k

A Change of Plans is published by Rhemalda Publishing.

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