Friday, March 24, 2017

Sneak Peek and in Paperback: The Piper's Price by Audrey Greathouse

NOW AVAILABLE IN PRINT:

We're pleased to announce that The Piper's Price by Audrey Greathouse is finally available in print! Grab your copy today at the online Barnes and Noble store, and on Amazon. In addition, The Piper's Price will be hitting your local Barnes and Noble retail store shelves in the next 1-2 weeks. Don't miss this exciting sequel to The Neverland Wars!


The Piper’s Price
by Audrey Greathouse
(The Neverland Wars #2)
YA Fairy Tales, Retelling


MY TIDBITS: I reviewed this one
here and recommend it to Peter Pan Fans. 

Peter is plotting his retaliation against the latest bombing. Neverland needs an army, and Peter Pan is certain children will join him once they know what is at stake. The lost boys and girls are planning an invasion in suburbia to recruit, but in order to deliver their message, they will need the help of an old and dangerous associate—the infamous Pied Piper.
Hunting him down will require a spy in in the real world, and Gwen soon finds herself in charge of locating the Piper and cutting an uncertain deal with him. She isn’t sure if Peter trusts her that much, or if he’s just trying to keep her away from him in Neverland. Are they friends, or just allies? But Peter might not even matter now that she’s nearly home and meeting with Jay again.
The Piper isn’t the only one hiding from the adults’ war on magic though, and when Gwen goes back to reality, she’ll have to confront one of Peter’s oldest friends… and one of his earliest enemies.


EXCERPT

They found the forest’s hiking trail moments before breaking the tree line. “Where are we going, Peter?” He was heading toward a mobile home community next to the state park. He continued to walk with confidence. His usual cocky stride looked surprisingly like the swagger of an ordinary teenage boy. “My friend lives here. Don’t worry. Don’t look like such a stranger here.” She didn’t want to appear conspicuous, but Gwen was too baffled to help it. The unkempt lawns were boxed in by chain-link fences covered in varying degrees of rust. They passed a lawn littered with bicycles; on the other side of the gravel street, two different cars were parked on the lawn, clearly non-functional. Satellite dishes were on every trailer home. Despite all being painted differently, the track housing still managed to present a uniformity of depressing color. Multiple houses had motorcycles out front or a dog milling around their yard. When she and Peter passed a pack of Rottweilers, the dogs ran up to the fence and began snarling until all the other dogs in the neighborhood were barking too. “Ignore it,” Peter advised her. She was scared. This was not the sort of place she ever expected to visit with Peter. She didn’t trust his ability to protect her here. This wasn’t his world, but it wasn’t hers either. They were both out of their element. Peter just didn’t have the sense to realize it. Winding down the gravel road, Gwen matched Peter’s pace almost step for step. They approached a blue-and-grey house. Like the others, it had wooden latticework around the bottom to help obscure the fact it didn’t have a foundation in the ground. The square house reminded Gwen of how she would take shoeboxes and try to turn them into homes for her dolls by decorating them. It was hard to fathom that she was walking up the plastic steps of the porch to knock on the door. She waited, feeling her heartbeat in her throat, her toes, and everywhere besides her chest. Even the predictable noise of the door opening startled her. A woman with a long, black braid and beige cardigan stood in the doorway. Gwen looked up at her, and then watched as the sharp features of her dark face dissolved into unadulterated shock. “Peter?” The startled woman ushered them in. She was just as uncomfortable with their presence in the trailer park as Gwen. Once inside, they stood in a living room full of old furniture, facing a kitchen with old electric appliances. There was no unity or romance to the orange recliner, chipped mixing bowl, off-white blender, dull toaster, and sunken couch. It was a bunch of old stuff that looked like it represented several decades of objects abandoned at Goodwill. The chingadera and bric-a-brac wasn’t any more cohesive: porcelain angles, an antique pot, a vase full of bird feathers, and a stopped clock made the place confusing and strange in the same way her grandmother’s house had been. “What are you doing here?” she hissed, pulling her cardigan close and tossing her thick braid over her shoulder and out of her way. She had a shapeless housedress underneath the beige sweater, and a pair of black leggings insulating her legs as she stomped around, heavy-footed in her leather slippers. She looked comfortable, except for the unexpected guests who were putting her so ill at ease. “You shouldn’t be here.” “I need your help,” Peter said. “They’re still keeping tabs on me.” “That’s why I came in disguise.” “You’re being irresponsible. You’re jeopardizing us both, and Neverland to boot.” “I took all the right precautions. This is important.” Hollyhock and Foxglove wrestled their way out of the pixie purse and came twinkling out now that they knew they were safely inside. “You brought fairies here?” she exclaimed. She leaned down and grabbed a hold of his arm, forcing him to look her dead in her dark eyes. Gwen wanted to leave. This wasn’t a friend, not anymore. This was a grown-up, and unlike Antoine the aviator, she was not amused with Peter’s wartime antics. “What happens if they figure it out and come to question me?” Peter scoffed. “You won’t tell them.” “What if they threaten to arrest me? They could put me away forever until I told them what they needed to know, and nobody here would stop them.” Peter broke free of her hold with ease; she wasn’t actually trying to restrain him. “Preposterous,” he declared. “If they did that, you would sit, stone-faced and silent in your cell until they all died.” “What if they beat me?” “You’d take the blows as though you were made of rock, and you would not speak.” Peter seemed to disregard the question. “What if they tortured me and stuck blades under my nails?” she demanded. “Then you would not even scream, but stay silent as a stone!” Peter insisted, hopping up onto a wooden kitchen chair at her dining table, looking down at the woman. “What if they bring knives and cut off my fingers, one at a time, until I told them how to find you?” Peter yelled right back, “Then you would steal their knives and scalp them all like the redskin princess you are!” Her anger slunk off her face and out of her shoulders. She shook her head, frowning as a sad laugh escaped her. She clung to her sweater, blinking back tears, until, at last, she flung her arms around Peter. Still on the chair, he had to bend down to return the embrace. “Oh, Peter,” she muttered, unaware of the tears slipping off her smiling face. “Oh, Peter.” “It’s good to see you, Tiger Lily.”




Audrey Greathouse is a lost child in a perpetual and footloose quest for her own post-adolescent Neverland. Originally from Seattle, she earned her English B.A. from Southern New Hampshire University's online program while backpacking around the west coast and pretending to be a student at Stanford. A pianist, circus artist, fire-eater, street mime, swing dancer, and novelist, Audrey wears many hats wherever she is. She has grand hopes for the future which include publishing more books and owning a crockpot. You can find her at audreygreathouse.com.

Happy Book Bday, Retribution by Cameo Renae!



Retribution
 (The After Light Saga, #5)
by Cameo Renae
YA Dystopian, Post-Apocalyptic
Publisher: CHBB
Cover Designer: Stephanie Hobbs of Steph's Cover Design
Hosted by: Lady Amber's PR



 War is coming between humans and Arvies, leaving me trapped between two enemies. This time, I don’t think I’ll survive. The government will stop at nothing to get me back in their clutches. They want what’s inside me—a power I call Venge—and will use my greatest weakness to bring me to my knees. The Arvies know of my gift, and use my telepathy and their numbers, in an effort to take me out. My name is Abigail Park, and I promise retribution against those who’ve wronged me, even if it’s the last thing I do.


Facebook Release Party:

2016 Young Adult Author of the Year - Penned Con
2013 Break Out Author by Young Adult & Teen Readers
2013 Book of the Year (Hidden Wings) Cameo Renae was born in San Francisco, raised in Maui, Hawaii, and recently moved with her husband and children to Alaska. She's a daydreamer and a caffeine and peppermint addict who loves to laugh, loves to read, and loves to escape reality. One of her greatest joys is creating fantasy worlds filled with adventure and romance and sharing it with others. One day she hopes to find her own magic wardrobe and ride away on her magical unicorn. Until then...she'll keep writing! HAPPY READING!

For updates on Cameo you can visit:
Newsletter: http://bit.ly/23HGKIy
Buy Links: #Free with #KindleUnlimited ARV-3 (Book #1): http://amzn.to/1MC7kND Sanctum (Book #2): http://amzn.to/1M19cj3 Intransigent (Book #3): http://amzn.to/1V6zTnN Hostile (Book #4): http://amzn.to/1U4YuJZ
Retribution (Book #5):  http://amzn.to/2mYAHO8


Thursday, March 23, 2017

Review: Hoot & Honk Just Can't Sleep by Leslie Helakoski



HOOT & HONK JUST CAN'T SLEEP
by Leslie Helakoski
Sterling Children's Books
Picture Book
40 pages
ages 2 to 5


Dark sky. Wake or doze? 
Some eyes open. Some eyes close. 

Some chicks like day, others like night. Some sleep in the dark, and some in the light. Hoot, an adorable owlet, and Honk, a fuzzy gosling, have just hatched—but their eggs got switched and now they’re in the wrong nests. Will they find their way home? Leslie Helakoski’s gentle, lilting verse and irresistible illustrations make the perfect bedtime story as they capture two adorable babies exploring the world for the first time.  


 MY TIDBITS

Words and illustrations weave together seamlessly to create a heart-warming tale and perfect, bedtime read.

A storm causes a mix-up right before two eggs hatch. No matter how warm the nest and accepting the new families are, something isn't quite right. Sleep doesn't come for either new born bird.

The text in this book is kept at a minimum, making every word sit like a piece of poetry. The rest is carried in the cute illustrations, creating a perfect balance between picture and story. The characters are sweet but kept simple, while the colors are bright but never too sunny. It's a warm, gentle scenery, great for helping young eyes to glide into a calmer mode.

Two little baby birds tug at the heart strings as they try to figure out why their new families aren't quite the right fit. A little explanation might be necessary to help listeners understand exactly what's going on. My son did understand the main jest of the story but couldn't identify the one as an owl (although my daughter had no trouble with this). After the bird's identity was explained, both loved the story and flipped through the pictures again and again.

The ending is like wrapping up in a warm blanket of comfort, ideal for drifting off to sleep.

Summed up, this is a lovely picture book with a wonderful bedtime flow. The birds are sweet as can be and kids will immediately feel for them. However, some explanation might be required.

And here she is. . .

Leslie Helakoski is the author of Big Chickens (Puffin Books; the Michigan Reads picture book for 2007, Great Lakes Great Books Award and a GLBA finalist) and Woolbur (HarperCollins; a Book Sense pick for 2008, Florida Reading association Honor Book and nominee for state book awards in nine states.) Her other books include Big Chickens Fly the Coop (Puffin Books), Doggone Feet! (Boyds Mills Press), and Fair Cow (Two Lions).



Tattooed Angels by Valerie Willis with Giveaway





REBIRTH
Tattooed Angels Trilogy Book 1
By Valerie Willis

Urban Fantasy

High school life is almost over, but Hotan's life as an immortal has only just started...
Already struggling with a mountain of hardships, Hotan is just trying to get his diploma as his mother had always insisted. Friends know if he's not at home or at the club playing in his band, you can always find him thinking at the old broken down church. Basking in the moonlight, Hotan finds himself under attack by an immortal named Geliah, the element of Fear. Talib, the element of Judgment, interrupts the fight, furious that Geliah would force Hotan to awaken his own abilities and immortality. Normally when pulled out of the reincarnation spell, an immortal would remember whom and what they were, but he is not the Hotan from the Past. Walk beside him as he struggles to keep his chaotic life in order as he tries to break the secrets of his own element, Rebirth.

JUDGMENT

Tattooed Angels Trilogy Book 2
Talib and Hotan find themselves facing off with the element of Death, Iapetos. Failing to take him out, Talib's life starts flashing before him. As he experiences thousands of years, things that were once forgotten begin to emerge. Will he find the answer in his past in time to aid Hotan?




Valerie Willis, a sixth generation Floridian, launched her first book, Cedric the Demonic Knight, at the start of 2014 on Amazon.com. Since then, she has continued to add to The Cedric Series, a high-rated Paranormal Fantasy Romance Series. This series features an anti-hero who finds himself dragged away from his revenge on his maker by both love and the onset of a larger threat. She pulls in a melting pot of mythology, folklore, history and more into her work with a remarkable amount of foreshadowing that makes reading her books a second time exciting. Rebirth is the first book in her Teen Urban Fantasy, the Tattooed Angels Trilogy, where the main character struggles with social issues with the complications of turning immortal. And if fantasy isn't your cup of tea, head over to her Blog for some "Val, Tell me a Story" posts featuring true, hilarious, and sometimes bizarre, life events from recent to old.




Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Review: Jorie and the Gold Key by A. H. Richardson

Jorie and the Magic Stones is the first book in a new chapter book series, by A. H. Richardson, that follows one heroic nine-year-old girl on an unforgettable adventure. Children everywhere are loving this adventurous tale of Jorie and Rufus, two orphans from very different walks of life, who meet by chance and discover a mystic book about dragons, that soon leads them on a quest through a magical world unlike anything either of them have ever experienced…



JORIE AND THE GOLD KEY
by A.H. Richardson
Middle Grade Fantasy
254 pages





When Marjorie went to live with her frosty maiden aunt, she couldn’t imagine the adventures she would have with dragons — good and bad — and all the strange creatures that live in a mysterious land beneath the Tarn. The spunky 9-year-old redhead forges an unlikely friendship with an insecure young boy named Rufus who lives with his crusty grandfather next door. When Jorie — for that is what she prefers to be called — finds a dusty ancient book about dragons, she learns four strange words that will send the two of them into a mysterious land beneath the Tarn, riddled with enchantment and danger. Hungry for adventure, the children take the plunge, quite literally, and find themselves in the magic land of Cabrynthius. 

Upon meeting the good dragon, the Great Grootmonya, Jorie and Rufus are given a quest to find the three Stones of Maalog — stones of enormous power — and return them to their rightful place in Cabrynthius. Their mission is neither easy nor safe, and is peppered with perils in the form of the evil black half-dragon who rules the shadowy side of the land. They have to deal with a wicked and greedy professor, the tragic daughter of the bad dragon, caves of fire, rocky mountainous climbs, and a deadly poisonous butterfly.

Jorie must rely on her wits and courage to win the day? Can she do this? Can she find all three Stones? Can she save Rufus when disaster befalls him? Can she emerge victorious? She and Rufus have some hair-raising challenges, in which they learn valuable lessons about loyalty, bravery, and friendship.


MY TIDBITS

Packed with adventure and imagination, this chapter book takes off into a rich world where friendship, loyalty and trust are key.

Jorie and Rufus are off to Cabrynthius again, and this time, they have a stuck-up Nigel in tow. In attempt to save the fantastical world, the threesome land in one adventure after another. . .and Nigel soon finds himself in a whole lot more trouble than he ever bargained for.

This is a wonderful adventure, which stretches the imagination and then some. The chapters are easy to read and flow seamlessly as Jorie and her friends head from one tense situation into the next. But this isn't only about dangerous scenes; there's a lovely amount of humor dabbled in, which makes this simply a joy to read.

Friendship is key in this book, especially when one of the three isn't exactly wanted at first. The message of getting along and learning to trust others shines through, as Nigel learns to work alongside Jorie and Rufus. Friendships can form even when no one believes they ever could.

The characters in this book are simply fun. Each has their very own personality, and each has a bit of bite which rounds off great with their hearts of gold. It's fun to root for them as they enter the colorful world, one where kids' imaginations can really take flight.

Summed up, this is a fun adventure with magic, fantasy and kids which are easy to relate to and a ton of fun.

Book Buzz!!!

“An easy to read chapter book that can be enjoyed of children of all ages, Jorie and the Magic Stones succeeds at creating an extraordinary world full of memorable characters and dangerous villains. In Jorie and Rufus, the narrative follows the blossoming of a friendship, while exploring the strengths of each of these two main protagonists. Weaving in morales about important ideals like loyalty, bravery, and what it means to be a good friend, the story shows younger readers how important it is to do the right thing, no matter the costs. With rich descriptions, realistic dialogue, and settings you feel as if you are truly immersed within, this is the start to a promising new fantasy series...” - Red City Review

“Jorie is inquisitive, brave, and wise beyond her years, and yet still a child at heart… she is everything a heroine should be... All this, coupled with a one of a kind plot and an exceptional setting, brought to life an amazing fantasy tale.” - 5 Stars, Readers’ Favorite

“If ever there was a children's book that was meant for children of all ages, this would be that book. From page 1, you instantly fall in love with the Jorie, the heroine. The storyline flows wonderfully. It makes you feel as if you're there with the characters feeling the excitement, fears, and joy that they feel as they go on an incredible adventure.” - 5 Stars, Matthew and Alicia Lucy

“I absolutely love this story! It just carried me away and I couldn't put the book down!! I loved all the different characters... The author did a wonderful job describing all of them and my imagination kept on going!” – 5 Stars, Amazon Review



All about the author. . .

A. H. Richardson was born in London England and is the daughter of famous pianist and composer Clive Richardson. She studied drama and acting at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art. She was an actress, a musician, a painter and sculptor, and now an Author.

She published her debut novel Jorie and the Magic Stones in December 2014. At the request of those who loved the first ‘Jorie’ story, Richardson has written a sequel titled Jorie and the Gold Key, and she is currently working on the third book in the series.

She is also the author of Murder in Little Shendon, a thriller murder mystery which takes place in a quaint little village in England after World War Two, and introduces two sleuths, Sir Victor Hazlitt and his sidekick,  Beresford Brandon, a noted Shakespearian actor. She has more ‘who-dun-its’ planned for this clever and interesting duo… watch for them!

A. H. Richardson lives happily in East Tennessee, her adopted state, and has three sons, three grandchildren, and two pugs. She speaks four languages and loves to do voiceovers. She plans on writing many more books and hopes to delight her readers further with her British twist, which all her books have.


To learn more, go to https://ahrichardson.com/

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Review: We Are The Dinosaurs by Laurie Berkner


WE ARE THE DINOSAURS
by Laurie Berkner
Illustrated by Ben Clanton
Simon&Schuster for Young Readers
Picture Book
ages 2+
40 pages

COMING. . .
MARCH 21, 2017!!!

Laurie Berkner, “the queen of children’s music,” (People) pairs the lyrics of her beloved hit with Ben Clanton’s whimsical illustrations in this winning, adorable picture book—a must-have for fans of Laurie, dinosaurs, and all things cute.

We are the dinosaurs
Marching, marching
We are the dinosaurs 


Laurie Berkner’s chart-topping, beloved hit “We Are the Dinosaurs” is now a picture book! Featuring an adorable cast of characters and vibrant, playful art by Ben Clanton, We Are the Dinosaurs transports readers back in time to when the dinosaurs roamed the earth.

WHADDAYA THINK OF THAT?



 MY TIDBITS


Taking off on a friend-packed adventure, these dinosaurs march over, on and beyond with thrills and fun.

This book is based on a song from Laurie Berkner, and although I haven't had the chance to hear it, this book is a fun filled adventure all of its own. The dinosaurs are friendly, ready to explore and have a good time. The friendship between them resonates off every pages as they go out into the world, explore and simply have a great time.

Younger listeners up to 3 or 4 years old will especially enjoy this prehistoric gang. There isn't much of a message behind it, outside of friendship and having a good time together, but its a  sunny attitude which comes across loud and clear. It's sure to leave a grin and happy giggles time and again.

The illustrations are bright, fairly simple and colorful. The dinosaurs are a cute group and worthy of several smiles. The adventures are simple and invite for page turning and exploring again and again. Especially dinosaur fans will enjoy this one and wish they could romp around and enjoy life with this bunch too.


Laurie Berkner

Recognized as "the queen of children's music" (People magazine), Laurie Berkner is a singer, songwriter, lyricist, author, and founder of Two Tomatoes Records.  She has released eleven bestselling, award-winning albums, was the first recording artist ever to perform in music videos on Nick Jr., and appeared regularly on the network’s Jack’s Big Music Show.  Laurie's music has graced the short-form animated series Sing It, Laurie! on 24-hour preschool television channel Sprout, and she has been a frequent  guest on Sprout's Sunny Side Up morning show.  Venturing into the theater world, Laurie has written music and lyrics for two Off-Broadway children’s musicals produced by New York City Children’s Theatre:  The Amazing Adventures of Harvey and the Princess and Wanda’s Monster.  A third NYCCT show featuring Laurie’s music and lyrics, Interstellar Cinderella, will open Off-Broadway in November 2017. What sets Laurie apart?  Her music speaks to kids without talking down to them, charming youngsters without boring grownups.  Laurie finds inspiration in her audience.  “I want to create songs that matter for children,” she says.  “I was singing once and saw a four-year-old girl shut her eyes and start swaying to the music.  I thought, ‘That’s the reason I got into music.’  It keeps me wanting to do more.”











Monday, March 20, 2017

Review: Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper by Gusto Jackson and Janet Fogg


MISFORTUNE ANNIE AND THE LOCOMOTIVE REAPER
by Gusto Dave Jackson and Janet "The Kid" Fogg
FA LLC
Middle Grade Steampunk Western
ages 8 and up
54 pages


When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train -- and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! -- the government believes she's the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced -- and deadly -- than even top scientists could have imagined.
 



MY TIDBITS

With edge-of-the-seat adventure, this gunslinger heroine takes on all sorts of dangerous villains and shows the world just what one girl can do.

Annie was hired to lead the minister and his helpers across an Indian graveyard and help them bring desperately needed supplies to women and their children. Or so she thought. Just when she gets the group through the dangerous boobie-traps, the men show their true colors and try to get rid of Annie. But she's not an easy girl to kill. Before she knows it, she's followed them to a train and must stop them before they kill everyone aboard. Add a man who flies by with some odd gadgetry, and the adventure really gets underway.

At first, I was a little hesitant about reading this. I'm not a big fan of westerns and couldn't really see kids jumping into this genre too much either. However, this book swung my opinion around 180 degrees.

Annie is not your average gun-slinging, western girl, and this is not the normal, western world. The book starts out with an Indiana Jones feel, keeping the tension and action high right from the first page. Although familiar, the scenes come across with excitement pure and don't let go for the entire 150 pages. Annie is a fun character. She's bright, a capable fighter and knows right from wrong--a perfect heroine for girls to look up to. But she has her tender side too, and it's exactly this which makes her so easy to like.

The characters in this book come across believable, each with their very own personality. The western speech slides in smoothly, adding a nice touch to the horse and dust world. The gadgets and advanced weapons let a little steampunk drip in without every going over the top. It adds a great amount of fantastical fun, while keeping the story nicely based in the 1800's.

Summed up, this is a fun, adventurous read which will draw in both girls and boys. The action stays strong the entire way through, and at 150 pages, it's great for even more reluctant readers.




And here they are. . . 



Janet Fogg


Janet Fogg’s focus on writing began when she was CFO and Managing Principal of OZ Architecture, one of Colorado’s largest architectural firms. Fifteen writing awards later, she resigned from the firm to follow the yellow brick road. Ten months after that, she signed a contract with The Wild Rose Press for her historical romance Soliloquy a HOLT Medallion Award of Merit winner.

With husband Richard, Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate), one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History.

Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a proud member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers. She previously served as Published Author Liaison in 2010.




Dave Jackson

Not your typical author, Dave Jackson started writing in his constant pursuit to become a renaissance man, but later fell in love with the art form. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

A country boy, Dave was raised in Oklahoma and taught 6th grade English for two years. He enjoys sharing the tale about when he climbed high into a towering black jack tree and grabbed a dead branch. Snap! He hurtled toward his death, but he held tight to the branch and it slowed his fall, saving his life.


In 2013, Dave enjoyed the release of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty. 


Author Links below:


Q&A with Janet Fogg & Dave Jackson



Your protagonist was inspired by spitfire Annie Oakley, but what’s the full story behind your exciting middle grade adventure Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper?

Dave: To properly tell Misfortune Annie’s origin, we must first go back to the spark from a great machine. I make no bones about my awe of George Lucas and the Indiana Jones series. It’s widely known by most Lucas fans that the rugged archaeologist first showed up in spirit in old matinee serials until George tweaked him a little for a new generation of movie lovers. Indy’s trusty whip came from Zorro cliffhangers. So, hoping to scare up just anything that could give Indy a run for his money, I poked around in the same cinema of yesteryear and dug the cowboy genre. Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry—they were huge! So like Indy, my new star had to have a catchy name and signature duds. He was going to have a 10-gallon hat and Levi jacket.

I never got to name him though because fate threw in a wildcard that made me so grateful and stoked, I could never go back to the dude. On Christmas vacation one year, nearly sleeping behind the wheel through flat old Kansas, I passed a sign that boasted, “Annie Oakley Museum.” Jolted awake, I had my new hero. It would be a young lady known by a slick nickname.

Janet: We were chatting about his concept for Annie and what he wanted to accomplish with the book/series, and asked if I'd join him on that journey.  Annie appealed to me for many reasons.  First, because she was a young cowgirl struggling to excel in the man's world of the wild, Wild West.  I really liked that.  Second, because I thought we could weave subtle "lessons-learned" into the books, so that young readers, especially teen girls, would have a role model with strength, courage, determination, and strong morals.

What made you decide to co-write as a team on this series - and how is it collaborating on a book?

Dave: We didn’t collaborate. Like spoiled rich kids we fought, I tell ya. Nah, actually, the writer’s journey is very lonely and I highly recommend brewing with another author, especially someone as tenacious, gracious, and creative as Janet.

Janet: Or as funny, talented, and kind as Dave. (Can you say mutual admiration society?  It’s been a blast!)



Can you tell us more about the “Fun Facts” readers will find at the very back of the book?

Janet: We decided to incorporate some historic facts in each book, and the “Fun Facts” helps define certain facts versus fiction.  One example is the waist overalls made by Levi Strauss that Annie wears.  These were the original blue jeans, and in our Fun Facts a reader will learn that when they were first created by German-born businessman Levi Strauss and Latvian-born tailor Jacob Davis, blue jeans were actually called “waist overalls.” The duo received a patent for them on May 20, 1873, with a product that had one back pocket, a watch pocket, a cinch, and brace buttons.  When a young reader reads this Fun Fact, we hope it inspires them to pause and consider the origins of other everyday items. Perhaps there are many young inventors out there, in need of inspiration and a nudge!


What is your favorite part of being an author / or the process of writing?

Dave: Hands down, it’s when I daydream of people reading our stories. After which, my imagination blossoms more to fans tossing me the keys to their Ferrari—and not to park it for them—then they offer to buy me and Janet fried chicken dinners.

Janet: What Dave said. Plus, bending my imagination 90 degrees to somewhere. Inspiring a reader. Preserving history.

What does a typical work day of writing look like for you?

Dave: There is no typical. My days are maxed with tutoring my son in algebra, playing music gigs, performing stand up, an auditing occupation, planning a convention, exercise, my lovely girlfriend, and having a good time. I truly write due to my love for it because there’s no time otherwise. Because of odd predicaments, I’ve borrowed other folks’ computers and even typewriters to get something on the page. I’ve scrawled on napkins.

Janet: I've never been a good sleeper, so I sneak out of bed when the Great Horned Owls are still conversing.  First, I check email.  (Who doesn't?)  While I used to work on manuscript drafts during those wee hours, now I work on my 359th FG posts or answer questions about the Fighter Group.  After breakfast I write new words.  Then I'll edit (I can edit all day, but my brain begins to protest after writing three or four or pages of new words).  That's another reason I love collaborating on stories!

Have you ever had a mentor, or someone who sparked your passion for writing?

Dave: Yoda, but Janet wound up being better.

Janet: After I stop blushing, I'm going to work on growing long pointy ears.
Really though - reading, reading and more reading.

Annie is such a trailblazer and great role model for young readers. What do you hope fans of the book will take away from the story?

Janet: That girls rock!

Dave: Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper is the really good book you’ve been looking for. Also - I do want everyone to know that I learned to crack a whip just because of the Indiana Jones movies (which influenced Misfortune Annie’s creation).

What do you feel makes your book unique from other middle grade fiction out there?

Dave: The characters are peculiar, funny, and cool.

Janet: Especially Annie.

Dave: Yes, you won’t be able to wait for Book Two.

Ah! So speaking of book two, what’s next for Misfortune Annie?

Throughout the series, we will see more problems that Annie doesn’t get credit for because she’s a girl in a ‘tough guy’ world.

A long cast of colorful crooks (think James Bond’s bullies) is waiting to take on the fastest draw in the west. Book Two leads Annie to New Orleans and face-to-face with a wicked Voodoo priest. In another episode, the Dragon Warrior shall render her six shooters useless. A sinister magician will perform the ultimate trick on her and the Secret Service. Beware pirates! Look out for creatures in the woods, Annie! Not to mention cameos by historical figures like Wyatt Earp, Baby Doe Tabor, and Teddy Roosevelt—perfect walk-ons to spark curiosity about US History.

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Sneak Peek: Songs and Fins by B. Kristin McMichael with Giveaway




SONGS AND FINS 
by B. Kristin McMichael
The Merworld Trilogy, #2
Lexia Press
March 14th 2017
YA Paranormal





Whitney was amazed she finally had a boyfriend, and was prepared for a new life with him in the siren night human world. And the fact he was a lead singer in a rock band in his free time wasn’t bad, either. Too bad having a boyfriend didn’t mean she was going to see him, as his father’s punishment included separating them. Whitney is certain she can handle it, but sure enough, that isn’t the only wrench thrown into her new life. There’s a new threat in town, a scarier one than the backstabbing siren clan she’s part of now. They are night human hunters, and Whitney is an outlawed night human breed. Could her luck get any better? Quiet and peaceful would be ideal, but that’s not what she’s about to get.


EXCERPT

Whitney meeting a new friend

Take my friends, and I’ll take yours. Sam’s worth at least four greens. Thanks for the new servants.
Whitney wadded the note up in her hand and began to push up to go over and tell Amber what she thought, but Tina caught her eye and shook her head, which was enough to make Whitney pause. While she wanted to go over and give Amber a piece of her mind, she trusted her friend. Something in her eyes said to listen to her. Instead of going over to the table, Whitney let Amber think she had won and sat back down alone. It wasn’t like Whitney wasn’t used to being alone in a lunchroom. She had transferred schools once before coming to their school. She would be fine. Once she got to the bottom of things, she would get her friends back.
Sitting back down, Whitney checked over her math homework. It was the only distraction she had with her, and she needed a distraction to keep from blowing up at Amber. It was ridiculous. Whitney wasn’t keeping Sam from Amber. Sam wanted nothing to do with her, or the sirens in general. That wasn’t Whitney’s fault. And actually, Whitney didn’t blame him on the Amber front. Whitney’s mother had told her more than once when she was a child that if you didn’t have something nice to say, you don’t say anything at all. That definitely pertained to Amber. Whitney had nothing she could say about the girl.
“Um …” A shadow fell over Whitney’s paper as someone stood beside the table, blocking the light.
Whitney glanced up to find a girl standing there, staring down at her paper, but not her. She had never seen the girl before, and she was sure she would have remembered her. She had long black hair that was tipped pink around the edges, some tattoos, and too many piercings to count. Even with her school uniform on, the girl stood out. How could you not with a Celtic cross taking up most of your forearm? That wasn’t something you saw often in a school with teenagers. Whitney’s mother would have killed her if she got a small tattoo that could be concealed. This girl’s wasn’t hidden at all.
“Can I sit here?” the girl asked quietly, pointing to the empty table.


And here she is. . .  

B. Kristin McMichael graduated with her PhD in biology at Ohio State where she worked as a scientist before taking her passion of writing full-time. Besides writing, she enjoys chasing her kids, playing outside, and baking cookies. She lives in Ohio with her husband and three children.
B. Kristin is the author of YA and clean NA paranormal fiction. Her "Night Human World" includes the YA series "The Blue Eyes Trilogy" about a midwestern girl who comes of age in a world of battling vampire clans, the "The Day Human Trilogy" that takes place among the Appalachian Sidhe fairies, and "The Skinwalkers Witchling" trilogy that follows an apprentice witch in the Pacific Northwest. She's also the author of the NA paranormal time travel romance series "The Chalcedony Chronicles". 

The Chalcedony Chronicles: http://bkmc.me/Book1Carnelian
Night Human World Series:
-The Blue Eyes Trilogy: http://bkmc.me/LegendoftheBlueEyes
-The Day Human Trilogy: http://bkmc.me/DayHumanPrince
-The Skinwalkers Witchling: http://bkmc.me/TheWitchlingApprentice 
For more information on all of her books, visit http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com
Subscribe to her mailing list for new release notifications and deals: http://www.bkristinmcmichael.com/list 

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