Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant




Welcome to the Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show Blog Tour and my first book review for Month9Books! 
Enter the give away and then read on down the page for my review!
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Winner will be drawn March 27, 2015

· Five (5) winners will receive a digital copy of Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show by Steve Bryant (INT)

~About the Book~




Title: Lucas Mackenzie and the London Midnight Ghost Show
Publication date: November 18, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Steve Bryant



Lucas Mackenzie has got the best job of any 10 year old boy. He travels from city-to-city as part of the London Midnight Ghost Show, scaring unsuspecting show-goers year round. Performing comes naturally to Lucas and the rest of the troupe, who’ve been doing it for as long as Lucas can remember.

But there’s something Lucas doesn’t know.

Like the rest of Luca’s friends, he’s dead. And for some reason, Lucas can’t remember his former life, his parents or friends. Did he go to school? Have a dog? Brothers and sisters? 

If only he could recall his former life, maybe even reach out to his parents, haunt them.

When a ghost hunter determines to shut the show down, Lucas realizes the life he has might soon be over. And without a connection to his family, he will have nothing. There’s little time and Lucas has much to do. Can he win the love of Columbine, the show’s enchanting fifteen-year-old mystic? Can he outwit the forces of life and death that thwart his efforts to find his family?

Keep the lights on! Lucas Mackenzie’s coming to town.


~About the Author~

 


Steve Bryant is a new novelist, but a veteran author of books of card tricks. He founded a 40+ page monthly internet magazine for magicians containing news, reviews, magic tricks, humor, and fiction; and he frequently contributes biographical cover articles to the country’s two leading magic journals (his most recent article was about the séance at Hollywood’s Magic Castle).


Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Goodreads


~My Review~
 

First off, awesome cover! Hats off to the Month 9 Books crew that designed this one. Alluring, intriguing, colorful: everything I'd want in a book cover. It's the reason I wanted to read the book. That, and the great title. Who wouldn't want to read about a Midnight Ghost Show??

Lucas Mackenzie turns out to be a ten year old ghost who's touring 1950's America with a troupe of performing spirits. Lucas is a stage manager of sorts, managing the acts of a magician, a floating skull named Yorick, a beautiful psychic named Columbine, and a host of other hilarious ghosties performing shows for the living. Unaware there's a notorious ghost hunter hot on their trail, Lucas frets about never growing up enough to date Columbine and how to find his family, which he thinks is still living in the Midwest, but he can never seem to contact on  the phone.

I enjoyed the concept of this book and the world the author created. There's a lot of 1920-1950's references I think it might be hard for younger readers to identify with, such as old Hollywood actors and actresses (Shirley Temple, Ingrid Bergman), old T.V. shows like the Addams Family, and historical figures like Charles Lindberg. None of that bothered me as a reader because I remember much of it, but younger readers may tire of it.

I should point out the tone of the book is not as dark as the cover might suggest. I was expecting something more gloomy/creepy by the looks of it, but it's a rather humorous story with few horror aspects, which is firmly in the middle grade genre. It's a fun story with wonderful, unique characters. I give it four stars!




Friday, February 20, 2015

M9B Friday Reveal: Prologue for Nobody's Goddess by Amy McNulty and Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to this week's M9B Friday Reveal!
This week, we will be unveiling the prologue for
Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1) by Amy McNulty
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Nobody's Goddess

In a village of masked men, each loves only one woman and must follow the commands of his “goddess” without question. A woman may reject the only man who will love her if she pleases, but she will be alone forever. And a man must stay masked until his goddess returns his love—and if she can’t or won’t, he remains masked forever.
Where the rest of her village celebrates this mystery that binds men and women together, seventeen year old Noll is just done with it. She’s lost all her childhood friends as they’ve paired off, but the worst blow was when her closest companion, Jurij, finds his goddess in Noll’s own sister. Desperate to find a way to break this ancient spell, Noll instead discovers why no man has ever loved her: she is in fact the goddess of the mysterious lord of the village, a Byronic man who refuses to let Noll have her right as a woman to spurn him and who has the power to fight the curse. Thus begins a dangerous game between the two: the choice of woman versus the magic of man. And the stakes are no less than freedom and happiness, life and death—and neither Noll nor the veiled man is willing to lose.

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Title: Nobody's Goddess (The Never Veil #1)
Publication date: April 21, 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Amy McNulty

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Excerpt

Prologue
When I had real friends, I was the long-lost queen of the elves.
A warrior queen who hitched up her skirt and wielded a blade. Who held her retainers in thrall. Until they left me for their goddesses.
Love. A curse that snatches friends away.
One day, when only two of my retainers remained, the old crone who lived on the northern outskirts of the village was our prey. It was twenty points if you spotted her. Fifty points if you got her to look at you. A hundred points if she started screaming at you.
You won for life if you got close enough to touch her.
“Noll, please don’t do this,” whispered Jurij from behind the wooden kitten mask covering his face. Really, his mother still put him in kitten masks, even though eleven was too old for a boy to be wearing kittens and bunnies. Especially ones that looked likely to get eaten for breakfast by as much as a weasel.
“Shut up, I want to see this!” cried Darwyn. Never a kitten, Darwyn always wore a wolf mask. Yet behind the nasty tooth-bearing wolf grin—one of my father’s better masks—he was very much a fraidycat.
Darwyn shoved Jurij aside so he could crouch behind the bush that was our threadbare cover. Jurij nearly toppled over, but I caught him and set him gently upright. Sometimes I didn’t know if Jurij realized who was supposed to be serving whom. Queens shouldn’t have to keep retainers from falling.
“Quiet, both of you.” I scanned the horizon. Nothing. All was still against the northern mountains save for the old crone’s musty shack with its weakly smoking chimney. The edges of my skirt had grazed the dusty road behind us, and I hitched it up some more so my mother wouldn’t notice later. If she didn’t want me to get the blasted thing dirty, she should have let me wear Jurij’s trousers, like I had been that morning. That got me a rap on the back of the head with a wooden spoon, a common occurrence when I was queen. It made me look too much like a boy, she scolded, and that would cause a panic.
“Are you going or not?” Darwyn was not one for patience.
“If you’re so eager, why don’t you go?” I snapped back.
Darwyn shook his wolf-head. “Oh, no, not me.”
I grinned. “That’s because you’re scared.”
Darwyn’s muffled voice grew louder. He stood beside me and puffed out his chest. “I am not! I’ve been in the commune.”
I poked toward his chest with Elgar, my trusty elf-blade. “Liar! You have not.”
Darwyn jumped back, evading my blow. “I have too! My uncle lives there!” He swatted his hand at Elgar. “Get that stick away from me.”
“It’s not a stick!” Darwyn never believed me when I said that Elgar was the blade of a warrior. It just happened to resemble a tree branch.
Jurij’s quiet voice entered the fray. “Your uncle lives there? That’s awful.” I was afraid he might cry and the tears would get caught up in the black material that covered his eyes. I didn’t want him to drown behind the wooden kitty face. He’d vanish into thin air like everyone else did when they died, and then we’d be staring down at Jurij’s clothes and the little kitten mask on the ground, and I was afraid I wouldn’t be able to stop myself from giggling. Some death for a warrior.
Darwyn shrugged and ran a hand over his elbow. “He moved in there before I was born. I think a weaver lady was his goddess. It’s not so strange. Didn’t your aunt send her man there, Jurij?”
Jurij was sniffling. Sniffling. He tried to rub at his nose, but every time he moved the back of his hand up to his face, it just clunked against the button that represented the kitten’s nose.
I sighed and patted Jurij on the back. “A queen’s retainer must never cry, Jurij.”
Darwyn laughed. “Are you still playing that? You’re no queen, Noll!”
I stopped patting Jurij and balled my hands into fists. “Be quiet, Darwyn! You used to play it, too!”
Darwyn put two fingers over his wolf-mask mouth, a gesture we had long ago decided would stand for the boys sticking out their tongues. Although Darwyn was the only one who ever did it as of late. “Like I’d want to do what some girl tells me! Girls aren’t even blessed by love!”
“Of course they are!” It was my turn to put the two fingers over my mouth. I had a tongue, but a traitorous retainer like Darwyn wasn’t worthy of the effort it took to stick it out. “Just wait until you find your goddess, and then we’ll see! If she turns out to be me, I’ll make sure you rot away in the commune with the rest of the unloved men.”
Darwyn lunged forward and tackled me. My head dragged against the bush before it hit the ground, but it still hurt; I could feel the swelling underneath the tangled knots in my hair. Elgar snapped as I tried to get a grip on my attacker. I kicked and shoved him, and for a moment, I won the upper hand and rolled on top of him, almost punching him in the face. Remembering the mask, I settled for giving him a good smack in the side, but then he kicked upward and caught me in the chest, sending me backward.
“Stop!” pleaded Jurij. He was standing between us now, the little timid kitten watching first one friend and then the other, like we were a dangling string in motion.
“Stay out of this!” Darwyn jumped to his feet and pointed at me. “She thinks she’s so high and mighty, and she’s not even someone’s goddess yet!”
“I’m only twelve, idiot! How many goddesses are younger than thirteen?” A few, but not many. I scrambled to my feet and sent my tongue out at him. It felt good knowing he couldn’t do the same to me, after all. My head ached. I didn’t want him to see the tears forming in my eyes, though, so I ground my teeth once I drew my tongue inward.
“Yeah, well, it’ll be horrible for whoever finds the goddess in you!” Darwyn made to lunge at me again, but this time Jurij shoved both his hands at Darwyn’s chest to stop him.
“Just stop,” commanded Jurij. Finally. That was a good retainer.
My eyes wandered to the old crone’s cottage. No sign of her. How could she fail to hear the epic struggle outside her door? Maybe she wasn’t real. Maybe just seeing her was worth twenty points after all.
“Get out of my way, you baby!” shouted Darwyn. “So what happens if I pull off your mask when your queen is looking, huh? Will you die?”
His greedy fingers reached toward Jurij’s wooden animal face. Even from behind, I could see the mask tip dangerously to one side, the strap holding it tightly against Jurij’s dark curls shifting. The strap broke free, flying up over his head.
My mouth opened to scream. My hands reached up to cover my eyes. My eyelids strained to close, but it felt as if the moment had slowed and I could never save him in time. Such simple things. Close your eyes. Cover your eyes. Scream.
“DO NOT FOOL WITH SUCH THINGS, CHILD!”
A dark, dirty shawl went flying onto the bush that we had ruined during our fight.
I came back to life. My head and Darwyn’s wolf mask spun toward the source of the sound. As my head turned, I saw—even though I knew better than to look—Jurij crumple to the ground, clinging both arms across his face desperately because his life depended on it.
“Your eyes better be closed, girl!” The old crone bellowed. Her own eyes were squeezed together.
I jumped and shut my eyes tightly.
“Hold that shawl tightly over your face, boy, until you can wear your mask properly!” screamed the old crone. “Off with you both, boys! Now! Off with you!”
I heard Jurij and Darwyn scrambling, the rustle of the bush and the stomps of their boots as they fled, panting. I thought I heard a scream—not from Jurij, but from Darwyn. He was the real fraidycat. An old crone was no match for the elf queen’s retainers. But the queen herself was far braver. So I told myself over and over in my head.
When the last of their footsteps faded away, and I was sure that Jurij was safe from my stare, I looked.
Eyes. Huge, bulbous, dark brown eyes. Staring directly into mine.
The crone’s face was so close I could smell the shriveled decay from her mouth. She grabbed me by the shoulders, shaking me. “What were you thinking? You held that boy’s life in your hands! Yet you stood there like a fool, just starin’ as his mask came off.”
My heart beat faster, and I gasped for more air, but I wanted to avoid inhaling her stench. “I’m sorry, Ingrith,” I mumbled. I thought if I used her real name, if I let her lecture me like all the other adults, it would help me break free from her grasp. I twisted and pulled, but I couldn’t bring myself to touch her. I had this notion that if I touched her, my fingers would decay.
“Sorry is just a word. Sorry changes nothing.”
“Let me go.” I could still feel her dirty nails on my skin.
“You watch yourself, girl.”
“Let me go!”
The crone’s lips grew tight and puckered. Her fingers relaxed ever so slightly. “You children don’t realize. The lord is watching. Always watching—”
I knew what she was going to say, the words so familiar to me that I knew them as well as if they were my own. “And he will not abide villagers who forget the first goddess’s teachings.” The sentence seemed to loosen the crone’s fingers. She opened her mouth to speak, but I broke free and ran.
My eyes fell to the grass below my feet as I cut across the fields to get away from the monster. On the borders of the eastern woods was a lone cottage, home of Gideon the woodcarver, a warm and comfortable place so much fuller of life than the shack I left behind me. When I was near the woods, I could look up freely since the trees blocked the eastern mountains from view. But until I got closer …
“Noll! Wait up!”
My eyes snapped upward on instinct. I saw the upper boughs of the trees and almost screamed, my gaze falling back to the grass beneath my feet. I stopped running and let the gentle rustlings of footsteps behind me catch up.
“Jurij, please.” I sighed and turned around to face him, my eyes still on the grass and the pair of small dark boots that covered his feet. Somehow he managed to step delicately through the grass, not disturbing a single one of the lilies that covered the hilltops. “Don’t scare me like that. I almost looked at the castle.”
The toe of Jurij’s boot dug a little into the dirt. “Oh. Sorry.”
“Is your mask on?”
The boot stopped moving, and the tip of a black shawl dropped into my view. “Oh. Yeah.”
I shook my head and raised my eyes. There was no need to fear looking up to the west. In the distance, the mountains that encircled our village soared far beyond the western fields of crops. I liked the mountains. From the north, the south, and the west, they embraced our village with their jagged peaks. In the south, they watched over our fields of livestock. In the north, they towered above a quarry for copper and stone. And in the east, they led home and to the woods. But no girl or woman could ever look up when facing the east. Like the faces of men and boys before their Returnings, just a glance at the castle that lay beyond the woods against the eastern mountains spelled doom. The earth would shake and threaten to consume whoever broke the commandment not to look.
It made walking home a bit of a pain, to say the least.
“Tell me something important like that before you sneak up on me.”
Jurij’s kitten mask was once again tight against his face, if askew. The strap was a bit tangled in his dark curls and the pointed tip of one of his ears. “Right. Sorry.”
He held out the broken pieces of Elgar wrapped in the dirty black shawl. He seemed very retainer-like. I liked that. “I went to give this back to the—the lady. She wasn’t there, but you left Elgar.”
I snatched the pieces from Jurij’s hands. “You went back to the shack? What were you going to say? ‘Sorry we were spying on you pretending you were a monster, thanks for the dirty old rag?’”
“No.” Jurij crumpled up the shawl and tucked it under his belt. A long trail of black cloth tumbled out immediately, making Jurij look like he had on half a skirt.
I laughed. “Where’s Darwyn?”
“Home.”
Of course. I found out later that Darwyn had whined straight to his mother that “nasty old Noll” almost knocked his mask off. It was a great way to get noticed when you had countless brothers and a smitten mother and father standing between you and any form of attention. But it didn’t have the intended effect on me. I was used to lectures, and besides, there was something more important bothering me by then.
I picked up my feet to carry me back home.
Jurij skipped forward to join me. One of his boots stumbled as we left the grasses behind and hit the dirt path. “What happened with you and the crone?”
I gripped the pieces of Elgar tighter in my fist. “Nothing.” I stopped, relieved that we’d finally gotten close enough to the woods that I could face forward. I put an arm on Jurij’s shoulder to stop him. “But I touched her.” Or she touched me. “That means I win forever.”
The kitten face cocked a little sideways. “You always win.”
“Of course. I’m the queen.” I tucked the broken pieces of Elgar into my apron sash. Elgar was more of a title, bestowed on an endless number of worthy sticks, but in those days I wouldn’t have admitted that to Jurij. “Come on. I’ll give you a head start. Race you to the cavern!”
“The cavern? But it’s—”
“Too late! Your head start’s over!” I kicked my feet up and ran as if that was all my legs knew how to do. The cool breeze slapping across my face felt lovely as it flew inside my nostrils and mouth. I rushed past my home, not bothering to look inside the open door.
“Stop! Stop! Noll, you stop this instant!”
The words were something that could easily come out of a mother’s mouth, but Mother had a little more patience than that. And her voice didn’t sound like a fragile little bird chirping at the sun’s rising. “Noll!”
I was just an arm’s length from the start of the trees, but I stopped, clutching the sharp pain that kicked me in the side.
“Oh dear!” Elfriede walked out of our house, the needle and thread she was no doubt using to embroider some useless pattern on one of the aprons still pinched between two fingers. My sister was a little less than a year older than me, but to my parents’ delight (and disappointment with me), she was a hundred times more responsible.
“Boy, your mask!” Elfriede never did learn any of my friends’ names. Not that I could tell her Roslyn from her Marden, either. One giggling, delicate bird was much like another.
She walked up to Jurij, who had just caught up behind me. She covered her eyes with her needle-less hand, but I could see her peeking between her fingers. I didn’t think that would actually protect him if the situation were as dire as she seemed to think.
“It’s crooked.” Elfriede’s voice was hoarse, almost trembling. I rolled my eyes.
Jurij patted his head with both hands until he found the bit of the strap stuck on one of his ears. He pulled it down and twisted the mask until it lined up evenly.
I could hear Elfriede’s sigh of relief from where I was standing. She let her fingers fall from her face. “Thank the goddess.” She considered Jurij for a moment. “There’s a little tear in your strap.”
Without asking, she closed the distance between them and began sewing the small tear even as the mask sat on his head. From how tall she stood above him, she might have been ten years older instead of only two.
I walked back toward them, letting my hands fall. “Don’t you think that’s a little stupid? What if the mask slips while you’re doing that?”
Elfriede’s cheeks darkened and she yanked the needle up, pulling her instrument free of the thread and tucking the extra bit into the mask strap. She stood back and glared at me. “Don’t you talk to me about being stupid, Noll. All that running isn’t safe when you’re with boys. Look how his mask was moving.”
His mask had moved for even more dangerous reasons than a little run, but I knew better than to tell tattletale Elfriede that. “How would you know what’s safe when you’re with boys? You’re already thirteen, and no one has found the goddess in you!” Darwyn’s taunt was worth reusing, especially since I knew my sister would be more upset about it than I ever was.
Elfriede bit her lip. “Go ahead and kill your friends, then, for all I care!” The bird wasn’t so beautiful and fragile where I was concerned.
She retreated into the house and slammed the door behind her. I wrapped my hand around Jurij’s arm, pulling him eastward. “Come on. Let’s go. There’re bound to be more monsters in the cavern.”
Jurij didn’t give beneath my pull. He wouldn’t move.
“Jurij?”
I knew right then, somewhere in my mind, what had happened. But I was twelve. And Jurij was my last real friend. I knew he’d leave me one day like the others, but on some level, I didn’t really believe it yet.
Jurij stood stock still, even as I wrenched my arm harder and harder to get him to move.
“Oh for—Jurij!” I yelled, dropping my hands from his arm in frustration. “Ugh. I wish I was your goddess just so I could get you to obey me. Even if that means I’d have to put up with all that—yuck—smooching.” I shivered at the thought.
At last Jurij moved, if only to lift his other arm, to run his fingers across the strap that Elfriede had mended. She was gone from my sight, but Jurij would never see another.
It struck them all. Sometime around Jurij’s age, the boys’ voices cracked, shifting from high to deep and back again in a matter of a few words. They went from little wooden-faced animals always shorter than you to young men on their way to towering over you. And one day, at one moment, at some age, earlier for some and later for others, they looked at a girl they’d probably seen thousands of times before and simply ceased to be. At least, they weren’t who I knew them to be ever again.
And as with so many of my friends before Jurij, in that moment all other girls ceased to matter. I was nothing to him now, an afterthought, a shadow, a memory.
No.
Not him.
My dearest, my most special friend of all, now doomed to live or die by the choice of the fragile little bird who’d stopped to mend his strap.

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
Amy McNulty

Amy McNulty is a freelance writer and editor from Wisconsin with an honors degree in English. She was first published in a national scholarly journal (The Concord Review) while in high school and currently spends her days alternatively writing on business and marketing topics and primarily crafting stories with dastardly villains and antiheroes set in fantastical medieval settings.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
The book will be sent upon the titles release.


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The Fact Behind the Fiction of Vessel

LCresswell_Vessel_M9B_eCover_1800x2700

The sun exploded on April 18, 2112 in a Class X solar storm the likes of which humankind had never seen.
They had exactly nineteen minutes.
Nineteen minutes until a geomagnetic wave washed over the Earth, frying every electrical device created by humans, blacking out entire continents, and every satellite in their sky.
Nineteen minutes to say goodbye to the world they knew, forever, and to prepare for a new Earth, a new Sun.

Generations after solar storms destroyed nearly all human technology on Earth, humans reverted to a middle ages-like existence, books are burned as heresy, and all knowledge of the remaining technology is kept hidden by a privileged few called the Reticents.
Alana, a disfigured slave girl, and Recks, a traveling minstrel and sometimes-thief, join forces to bring knowledge and books back to the human race. But when Alana is chosen against her will to be the Vessel, the living repository for all human knowledge, she must find the strength to be what the world needs even if it's the last thing she wants.

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Title: Vessel
Publication date: May 2015
Publisher: Month9Books, LLC.
Author: Lisa T. Cresswell

 
~The Fact Behind the Fiction~

In Vessel by Lisa T. Cresswell, the characters are living on Earth in a future time period that has vastly changed from what we know today. A massive solar storm, bigger than anything we've ever experienced, has damaged the electrical network we now rely on and often take for granted. Entire civilizations have been destroyed and humans are starting over.

The idea for Vessel was actually born out of the recent development of ebooks. Ebooks were (and are) becoming more and more popular and it got me thinking, what if some day we stopped making print books all together? What if all our books, all our information, and knowledge became strictly electronic and we somehow lost it all? What would become of us?

So many of us living on the planet now are reliant on large scale farming for our food supply. Our cars, airplanes, satellites/telecommunications are more reliant on electricity and computers than ever before. It might make a person a little bit nervous to know that the sun at the center of our universe, the very thing that allows us to live on Earth, could actually change the life we know dramatically.


Solar flares and solar storms are a real phenomenon. Electromagnetic waves from the sun affect us all the time, but our atmosphere protects us from serious damage for the most part. That's not to say it couldn't cause damage in the future. You never know. It has in the past. In the 1850's a solar storm knocked out telegraph service in North America and the Northern Lights were visible in places on Earth they normally aren't seen. Luckily for folks back then, they weren't relying on electricity yet for much of anything. If they were, things might have been different.

Here's a link to more info on the web if you're interested to read more about the science behind my science fiction novel Vessel. Enjoy~

 
~About the Author~

Lisa T. CresswellLisa, like most writers, began scribbling silly notes, stories, and poems at a very young age. Born in North Carolina, the South proved fertile ground to her imagination with its beautiful white sand beaches and red earth. In fifth grade, she wrote, directed and starred in a play "The Queen of the Nile" at school, despite the fact that she is decidedly un-Egyptian looking. Perhaps that's why she went on to become a real life archaeologist?
 
 Unexpectedly transplanted to Idaho as a teenager, Lisa learned to love the desert and the wide open skies out West. This is where her interest in cultures, both ancient and living, really took root, and she became a Great Basin archaeologist. However, the itch to write never did leave for long. Her first books became the middle grade fantasy trilogy, The Storyteller Series. Her first traditionally published work, Hush Puppy, is now available from Featherweight Press.

Lisa still lives in Idaho with her family and a menagerie of furry critters that includes way too many llamas!

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
 
 


 


Monday, February 16, 2015

#WeNeedDiverseBooks Come see Christine's Odyssey by J.L. Campbell


Welcome to the "Christine's Odyssey" Mini-Tour!

Award winning author J.L. Campbell pens a powerful story that brings you to tears. Christine's Odyssey is Book One in the Simms Sibling Series, about a set of children who lose their parents. This is a story that doesn't speak only to children, but adults and families as well.

 

~About the Book~




Raised in a hotbed of arguments and fights, eleven-year-old Christine Simms is the victim of her mother's temper and cruelty. A domestic dispute ends in tragedy, sending the family into a tailspin.

A shocking discovery sends Christine on a quest to find the stranger who left her behind in Jamaica. Determined to unravel the mystery of her birth, Christine uses every tool at her disposal and treads with courage where no child should.
You can support this diverse title by clicking and purchasing on the link below and adding it to your Goodreads want-to-read list!



 
 
 
 
~About the Author~
 
 





J.L. Campbell is an award-winning, Jamaican writer who is always on the look-out for story-making material. She writes romantic suspense, women's fiction and young adult novels. She is the author of A Baker's Dozen-13 Steps to Distraction, Absolution, Anya's Wish, Chasing Anya, Christine's Odyssey, Contraband, Dissolution, Distraction, Don't Get Mad...Get Even, Kicked to the Kerb, Grudge, Hardware (written under the pen name Jayda McTyson) Saving Sam, Taming Celeste and Retribution. Her Amazon author page is here.
Visit her on the web at http://www.joylcampbell.com You can also connect with her on Twitter @JL_Campbell or on Facebook.
 
 
 
~Author Interview~
 

Welcome to the blog Joy!
What went into writing this book and who were the people (if any) that inspired these characters?

I cut my teeth on this book. Christine's Odyssey is the second book I wrote and it was ages before I really knew what I was doing in terms of the technical aspects of writing, so it was a learning experience. When the writing was fairly decent, I entered the book in a local competition and earned a bronze medal.

Christine's Odyssey came out of a conversation I had with someone who had just lost her brother. She took her niece to live with her and our conversation triggered a series of 'what ifs' that became Christine's story.

 Why do you find diversity important in your writing?

I have diversity going on right at the starting gate, since my books are set in Jamaica. I've been a reader for most of my life and as such, I've been exposed to many cultures. For me, sharing my island home is important. Many readers will never have the opportunity to visit Jamaica and so in each book, I try to ensure they have a clear picture of what it means to live on an island in what might seem to be an alien culture.

How did you choose the cover for your book?

I'll search through hundreds of images looking for one or two that are exactly right and I back that up by doing a poll or asking friends, including those with graphic skills, what they think.

Why did you choose the genre in which you write?

I write in several different genres, but in terms of middle grade and young adult fiction, I write the stories as they come to me.

What piece of advice would you give a writer about to be in your position, who is just starting out?

My best advice is to learn the craft of writing and continue learning every day. You can't do justice to your characters if you don't know the intricacies of storytelling.

Do you typically start with characters, or plot first?

Most often, a character comes to me along with their story. The plot is never complete, but the general story idea is enough for me to figure out what other incidents will make up the novel.

Who are some of the people that inspired you to write?

My inspiration comes from people like Jeffrey Archer, Charles Dickens, Gerald Durrell, James Herriot, Mark Twain and Eric van Lustbader. They inspired a love of reading in me, which eventually led to my love affair with writing.

What can you tell us about your future in writing? Anything in the works?

As long as I'm alive, I'll be writing. The stand-alone sequel to Christine's Odyssey is complete and there is a third book in the works. I've moved into the New Adult genre and have a book scheduled for release shortly.

Where can potential readers learn more about you and your current and future projects?

My website is at www.joylcampbell.com and I post about my work there. My kid lit blog is at http://jamaicankidlit.weebly.com/

What are some of the things you like about being self published ?

Before I self-published, I was published with two small publishers and one of those contracts is still in force. I like the ability to publish my books to a schedule I've established. I also enjoy being able to have 100% input on how my covers turn out and I also like learning different things on each journey.

Congratulations, Joy! Thanks so much for visiting the blog! 

Saturday, February 14, 2015

Find your Passion~



Here's a thought for you on this Valentine's Day, which is really just a day like any other, but with more flowers and chocolate~

The older I get, the more I've come to believe that finding your own personal passion in life is the key to happiness. Many young people seem to think fortune and fame are things to strive for, and its true, those things can come from following your passion if you really have a knack for entertaining people, but I'm thinking of something more personal.

What is it that you love? What gets you out of bed in the morning and feeds the fire of your imagination?

Maybe you really love to read. Or putz around in your yard, planting and pruning your flowers. Maybe you're a constant redecorator, always working on your home. You might find you really love to run races or workout, physically challenge yourself. Or maybe it's mental challenges, like games. You might be the world's biggest fangirl. Or have a soft spot for animals. Maybe you're artsy/crafty. Maybe you sew quilts or create other beautiful objects out of ordinary materials. You might dance or sing or play sports. Or you might write stories, like me.

I look at the all people around me, including my internet friends, and I'm always struck by the variety of passions people have. We call these things "hobbies" but I think they're more important than that. They're passions and they are what makes life worth living.

What is your passion? Have you found it yet?

Friday, February 13, 2015

Cover Reveal: Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti with Giveaway #M9BFridayReveals


M9B-Friday-Reveal

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for
Joshua and the Lightning Road by Donna Galanti
presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Joshua and The Lightning Road

Stay away from the window, don’t go outside when it’s storming and whatever you do, do not touch the orb.
Twelve-year-old Joshua Cooper’s grandpa has always warned him about the dangers of lightning. But Joshua never put much stock in his grandpa’s rumblings as anything more than the ravings of an old man with a vast imagination. Then one night, when Joshua and his best friend are home alone during a frightful storm, Joshua learns his grandpa was right. A bolt of lightning strikes his house and whisks away his best friend—possibly forever.
To get him back, Joshua must travel the Lightning Road to a dark place that steals children for energy. But getting back home and saving his friend won’t be easy, as Joshua must face the terrifying Child Collector and fend off ferocious and unnatural beasts intent on destroying him.
In this world, Joshua possesses powers he never knew he had, and soon, Joshua’s mission becomes more than a search for his friend. He means to send all the stolen children home—and doing so becomes the battle of his life.

add to goodreads
Title: Joshua and the Lightning Road
Publication date: May 19, 2015
Publisher: Tantrum Books/Month9Books
Author: Donna Galanti

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author

Donna Galanti

Donna Galanti writes murder and mystery with a dash of steam as well as middle grade adventure fiction. She is the author of books 1 and 2 in the paranormal suspense Element Trilogy, A Human Element and A Hidden Element, the short story collection The Dark Inside, and Joshua and The Lightning Road (Books 1 and 2, 2015). She’s lived from England as a child, to Hawaii as a U.S. Navy photographer. She now lives in Pennsylvania with her family in an old farmhouse. It has lots of writing nooks, fireplaces, and stink bugs, but she’s still wishing for a castle again—preferably with ghosts. For more information on Donna and A Human Element, please visit: http://www.ElementTrilogy.com AND http://www.donnagalanti.com

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!
(Winners will receive their book on release day)

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Monday, February 9, 2015

#WeNeedDiverseBooks Realm of the Goddess Book Tour


Welcome to the "Realm of The Goddess" Mini-Tour!

For readers looking for fantasy books that vividly blend mythology, but feel as though Greek and Roman might be in need of a break, or overkill, "Realm of The Goddess" might be up your alley!

It blends South Asian myth, with paranormal elements! Plus hot guys!


 ~Read the Blurb~
Seventeen year old Callie discovers she is an avatar of the powerful Hindu Goddess Kali and she has to save the world from Mahisha, the King of Demons. Now Callie has to accept her fate and control her powers. Before she can face Mahisha, she must find the Sword of Knowledge that the Immortals had given Kali five thousand years ago. 

As Callie embarks upon the dangerous quest to find this weapon, she must travel deep into the jungles of India to find a temple that time has forgotten. 


The Rakshakari, who are sworn to protect the Goddess, guide her on this treacherous journey, fraught with demons and mortal conspiracies. 



She is accompanied by the gorgeous, enigmatic Shiv for whom she feels an inexplicable but undeniable attraction. 

Can she trust Shiv with her life or are there dark forces at work that will divide loyalties and leave Callie at the mercy of Mahisha and his army of demons?



Sabina Khan's "Realm of The Goddess" blends Young Adult themes, Paranormal Elements, and South Asian Mythology.

You can support this Diverse Book by purchasing it on the link below, or adding it to your Goodreads TBR List!



~About the Author~
 
Sabina Khan is the author of Realm of the Goddess, the first in a series of YA Paranormal Fantasy books based on the gods and goddesses of India. She is an educational consultant and a karaoke enthusiast.

After living in Germany, Bangladesh, Macao, Illinois and Texas, she has finally settled down in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, with her husband and three daughters, one of whom is a fur baby. She is passionate about the empowerment of girls and women, hoping to inspire them with the strong female characters in her novel.


~Read an Excerpt~
 


Ten years before, my parents and I had lived in Kolkata, City of Joy — only I didn’t remember a whole lot of joy, just heat. Intense heat and an unbearable stench. It was everywhere, rising from the open sewers in waves and permeating the air so that it stayed with you wherever you went. And all the people. I was used to big crowds and intense heat, but this was ridiculous. You could barely move, and then only at a snail’s pace. That was bad, because your first instinct was to get out of the crowds and into a secluded spot, preferably in the shade.

But here on the banks of the Hooghly River in Kolkata in the middle of summer there was no escape. We were visiting the temple of the Goddess Kali, one of the oldest, most revered places of worship in the city.

That morning we tried to get an early start to avoid the crowds that were expected later in the day, but judging by the number of people there already, I didn’t know how there could be any more. As we slowly made our way to the temple grounds, the crowd started to thin. I could see many people heading off toward the courtyard while a few entered the main temple that housed the famous statue. Mom had told me that she and Dad had to get special permits to enter the restricted areas on the inside. Apparently some of the worshippers did not come for the Goddess but rather to try to steal the valuable gold ornaments she wore and the ancient artifacts she held in each of her six arms.

“Wow,” I said breathlessly as we approached the main temple. “This is amazing.” The two-thousand-year-old structure stood majestically, its nine spires rising up to meet the sky. The intricate carvings on the outside ran all the way to the top.

Dad put his arm around my shoulder. “Callie, we’ll need about an hour with the head priest to go over our research, but you can look around, okay? Just don’t leave the main building. We don’t want you getting lost.”

I rolled my eyes. “I’ll be fine, Dad. Just don’t take too long. You promised we would go to the mall after.”

Just then the head priest came out to meet us. He was dressed in a cream-colored dhoti and a saffron shawl, typical attire for a man of his position. In the middle of his forehead was a vermillion circle surrounded by three white vertical lines and a Y-shape. I knew that the Y-shape meant he was a devotee of the Goddess Kali and Lord Shiva, her consort.

“Ah, Mr. and Mrs. Hansen. You have arrived at last. I trust your journey was pleasant.” He greeted us warmly and deftly maneuvered his rather large frame down the stone steps that led down from the temple. He joined his hands in a namaste, the traditional Indian greeting, and bowed slightly. After we had all exchanged pleasantries, he led us back up the stairs toward the main temple.

As we entered the inner sanctum, I was struck by how large it was inside. The high ceilings and curved walls gave it a cave-like appearance, while the low, discreet lighting kept the temple cool and dark. After my parents had left with the priest, I looked around first to decide where I was going to start. The main statue stood in the center of the inner temple, while several smaller ones were scattered around the periphery. Each had its own alcove and was cordoned off with thick ropes, no doubt to deter sticky fingers. I decided to leave the Kali statue until the very end and made my way over to some of the smaller ones. I came to a stop in front of a statue of Lord Shiva the Destroyer. There he was in his famous dancing pose as Lord of Dance. I liked this particular version of him, dancing on top of the demon of ignorance. I moved on to the next few statues. 

There was one of the Goddess Parvati, Shiva’s wife, as well as other minor gods and goddesses of the Hindu pantheon. Finally I came to a stop in front of the statue of Kali. I’d saved the best for last. It was awesome. She was usually depicted as dark and a little frightening, but here she was, bronze and quite beautiful — if you liked strong, powerful and kick-ass women, that is. She was supposed to elicit terror in the evil-hearted, but to me she was the coolest goddess of them all. She was dressed in a beautiful sari made from red silk with gold threads woven in an intricate pattern. Her eyes were black and fierce. Around her neck she wore a necklace of skulls. They belonged to all the demons she had killed. With each of her six arms she carried a weapon. With her three left arms she carried a bow with arrows, a discus and a mace. With the right she carried a thunderbolt, a trident and her sword. Legend had it that all these weapons were given to her by the gods who created her so that she could vanquish the demon king, Mahisha. The gods had each given her their powers so that she was virtually indestructible. My parents, who were both anthropologists, talked about this sort of stuff all the time, so I was quite well versed in Hindu mythology. I stared at the goddess. She looked right back at me, her piercing eyes unwavering. I shook myself mentally, laughing at my silly imagination. 

As my gaze wandered down, I noticed something. Centered on the base of the statue was a rectangular engraved metal plate with the words DO NOT TOUCH. I really wanted to touch the goddess. I looked around furtively to make sure no one was watching then gingerly reached out to touch the cool stone surface of the statue. Instantly a painful jolt shot up my arm.