Plip Plap Plot by Ibk Akin- Book Blitz

 

 

 

Children’s Fantasy Adventure / Early Reader

Date Published: February 6, 2016

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Uncle Fazo is not your typical Uncle… in that he was the crazy scientist that invented lots of funny and random things for the fun of it. Zach, his nephew and Miranda loved to test them out. Since Zach’s Uncle ‘passed away’, Zach inherited all of his junk.

Join the brave best of friends, Zach and Miranda as they discover some insane inventions like the mute wand, ice cube ray gun, a talking robot and oh’ did I mention a teleporting device that takes them anywhere in the world in seconds, where they can discover secrets of old times, solve mysteries and outsmart goons of all sorts?

And then there is the evil overlord Tain who has a mission to destroy the very things Zach and Miranda try to save – ‘WORDS’. How do you save words, you ask? Find out as the Beginning Series, starts the tale of their adventures, but as the best friends quickly discover, maybe some things are better left alone”

In this children’s book and a bit of superhero comedy, find out as the Beginning Series, starts the tale of their adventures, but as the best friends quickly discover, maybe some things are better left alone. This beginning reader’s chapter book is filled with action and adventure.

The Prequel is currently FREE on Amazon

 

This is a prelude factoid book for the Plip Plap Plop Series. This Book introduces some of the characters in BOOK 1 (Fazo’s Junk). Miranda and Zach are best friends and do everything together.
Zach’s crazy inventor uncle left Zach some of his inventions in passing
As they go through his stuff they stumble upon a teleporting ball and unknowingly use it a few times
His uncle also had a robot who could help them on some of their adventures. Tain and his goons is the main enemy who opposes them on their adventures
In this introduction children’s book, Selena, Fred and Mr Lee the wordbot is introduced. These characters make a cameo appearance in Fazo’s junk. To get a sample teaser chapters for FREE of BOOK 1 of the series be sure to check out the contents pages of this factoid book or visit the website http://eyebeekay.com and sign up to get your free chapters and other sweet notifications right away.
The Plip Plap Plop Series is geared towards children ages 6-9. It is a Beginner Readers Book and also a chapter book for children. It has plenty of Action and Adventure to check out. The power and origin of words is one way the series have been described. Be sure to check out this children’s eBook series today. 
EXCERPT
“Where should we start?” Miranda asked, looking at the collection of weird objects.
“Let’s look for the notebook he mentioned then we can start from there.” Zach suggested. Miranda agreed and they began going through some boxes to find it. And find it they did.
After about 15 minutes, Zach yelled, “AHA!” and pulled out a red scientific notebook that said ‘FOR ZACH: INSTRUCTION MANUAL.’
Miranda dropped the things she was going through and hopped over to him as he opened to the first page. “Huh, an ice-cube shooter” he said, flipping to the next page. “A sticky rope swing.” Then he flipped to the next page. “Plip Plap Plop ball” and in fine print under the picture was the note ‘it all began with words’.
“HUH!?” Miranda squealed grabbing the notebook and reading the page. She looked at the drawing, then looked around the garage. “There!” she said pointing to the far back corner. There was an interesting clear ball that reminded Miranda of the plastic ball she had for her hamster to run around in. They both walked over to the ball.
“What does it…what do you think it is?” Miranda asked quietly. She reached out her hand slowly to touch the outside and as soon as she laid her fingers on the cool hard ball, Zach grabbed her shoulders from behind and shook her. Miranda jumped from the surprise then laughed as Zach said, “Gotcha!”
“Zach! That wasn’t funny!” she said although she was laughing. But at that same moment, the ball made a tiny ‘plip’ sound and began to beep.
“What the…?” Zach said as they both stepped backwards.
Miranda bravely leaned forward and covered the beeping light with her finger and the ball again seemed to come to life as they heard the sound “plip! plap! plop!”
Then all of a sudden the ball went from clear to pearly blue. Zach and Miranda felt their stomach rising, like you do when you are at the top of a high rollercoaster. Then after a moment, they were in a bakery. Miranda looked around and saw a funny sort of writing on the jars.
“All the jars have Swedish writing on them. I think that’s Swedish…” she said.
“Swedish? Could we be in Sweden?… How!? ” Zach said, alarmed.
“Or at least we are in a Swedish bakery store somewhere.” Miranda quickly noted.
They heard a noise coming from behind the  bricked wall. “I think someone must be baking something over there.” Miranda could smell cinnamon rolls on her breath.
The two crept silently to see a little, old, blonde woman leaning over the hearth. She was pulling out a roll that smelled of ginger and cinnamon.  They watched as she set it down to cool and stared at it.
A little girl appeared from the stairs on the other side of the kitchen. She was reciting a phrase that she may have just learned.
“See Nana’s bun! See Nana’s bun, the little girl recited over and over again. The blond lady smiled at the young girl and then seemed to freeze in a moment.
She jumped very quickly and started running around searching frantically for something.
“Where is my pen?” She yelled.
“I need to write this down, oh, angel you are a genius!” she said excitedly referring to the little girls’ rant. We shall call it ‘Seenanasbun’. Zach had seen enough. He motioned for Miranda to go back to the ball which was now clear again. Miranda approached and touched the ball, the ball came to life.
The two held onto the ball and plip plap plop, within a minute they were back in the garage again. Miranda and Zach couldn’t believe what had just happened. Had they really just teleported to another place and time?
“What just happened?” Miranda asked, still in shock, “is that ball a…you know?”
“I might be crazy, but I think we may have a teleporting ball,” Zach exclaimed. They both sat in silence for what felt like an eternity, but was actually only a couple minutes when Miranda said, “Want to try it again?”
About the Author

 

IBK lives in Winnipeg, Manitoba. He was originally born and raised in Lagos, Nigeria. IBK enjoys traveling and adventure. He has a talent for storytelling and has only just started putting his words to paper. IBK works in children’s programs across the province of Manitoba. IBK’s debut series is the Plip Plap Plop series.
Contact Links
Purchase Link
 
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Journey Through Morowak by Kari Peterson — author interview

morowak
Fantasy / Adventure
Date Published: 4/25/15
 
 

It is medieval times in the land of Morowak.  Kings and Queens maintain sovereignty, and wielders of magic and fire breathing dragons are real.  Nobleman’s daughter, Arabella Wallington, is about to embark on a journey across the kingdom to meet her betrothed.  Stengar McKinnon is a titled soldier in the King’s army and she is assured a life of wealth and bliss. Arabella is herself a gifted war maiden, yet she follows her father’s orders and employs someone to protect her along the perilous crossing.  She chooses a man named Briol, whose magical abilities are tested throughout their adventure, and an enigmatic bond forms between them. Briol realizes there is something unique about Arabella, and it is brought to light.  A new unforeseen path now lies ahead.  This journey challenges everything Arabella has ever known.

 

Hi Avenue Books!  Thank you very much for featuring my book on your blog!  I am very excited for your stop on the tour!

Tell us about this story.  Journey Through Morowak was born from a location.  The area within the story is the same landscape that surrounds my family lake house.  We frequent this vacation home during the summer and it hold so many wonderful memories.  I have hiked across the difficult terrain and driven along the dirt backroads and my mind ran with ideas.  Arabella’s character developed first as her journey was what formed the story, but Briol’s character developed quickly as his abilities were exciting!  Everything from there came easily and naturally.  This is a story of honor and testing your worth, but also having to choose whether or not to follow your heart.

What living person do you most admire? I honestly don’t know.  All my life I have admired my grandfather, and he continues to be the person I admire most even after he passed away in 2005.

What is your most prized possession?  My kids.  It may be an obvious, boring answer, but it’s true.  If I couldn’t say my minions, then I would say my coffee pot.  [Symbol]

Which talent would you most like to have?  Teleportation.  I would love to be able to snap my fingers and get immediate inspiration from a beautiful place or take my family on an instant vacation.

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?  I really enjoyed meeting Harry Potter.  He had so much to overcome, and through it all he maintained his integrity and personality.  I really dig that.

Who’s the favorite character that you created?  I would have to say Zorinthallis.  He may only have a short moment in this book, but believe me, there is much more of him to come!

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?  I’d say I am pretty darn close to it.  I have a wonderful family and have been blessed with health and a vast imagination.  I would only change the location where I live.  I live in a dust bowl.  I would love living on 600 acres with part of that pine tree covered mountains and lots of horses. <3<3<3

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?  Easy.  I would NOT have Hypothyroidism.  It has plagued me since third grade, and it has been a very tough obstacle to overcome.  I am still climbing!

Thank you!

morowak Author Pic I am not your average gal.  I didn’t grow up playing with Barbies or dressing in my mother’s clothes, jewelry or makeup.  I drove my matchbox cars over obstacle courses, climbed trees, built forts, dreamt of owning my own horse, and pretended to be an elven princess.  I continued to live my life on my terms, while staying true to my old fashioned values and respect.  After completing high school, I took on a full-time job and put myself through college.  In just under three years, I earned a degree in computers.  I try to use that knowledge as often as I can.

In 2006, before I had even discovered my passion for writing, I married a wonderful man named Mark.  Our love story is blissfully unique.  We now live in Washington State with our three rambunctious boys, a beautiful chocolate lab, a bouncy min pin, and a tubby tailless kitty.  I am as passionate about my books as I am of my family.  This is exactly where I’m supposed to be right now.

 

Contact Information

At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson: Author Interview

At Water’s Edge by S. McPherson:

S. McPhersonPublisher: by S. McPherson Books (November 10,  2015)
Category: Romance/Fantasy
Tour Dates: October/November, 2015
ISBN: 978-0-993360503
Available in: Print & ebook,  347 Pages

‘At Water’s Edge’, tells the tale of two lovers trapped in two different worlds. One world is Earth, and the other is Coldivor; a dimension full of magic and danger. When Dezaray Storm is mistaken for th
e most powerful sorceress of this other realm her life changes forever. She finds love in the arms of Milo Thor, but this love can also lead to her death and the destruction of seven empires.

‘At Water’s Edge’ is book one in the ‘Water Rushes’ series.

Tell us about this story.

At Water’s Edge tells the tale of Dezaray, a seventeen-year-old girl in England who falls in love with an eighteen-year-old boy from another world. A case of mistaken identity, lost portals and battling empires leads to an adventure between worlds, centred around love, loss and magic.

Dezaray; under the questionable care of her brother finds herself having visions of a boy she has never met – Milo, a teenager from another world with the ability to teleport. One night, when on the run for her life, Dezaray comes across a portal and when mistaken for the most powerful sorceress of this other land, she is pulled through it and immersed in a world of magic and empires, meeting the man of her dreams…literally.

But Dezaray cannot stay in this realm and as this other world, Coldivor, descends into war, in desperate need of their true sorceress, Dezaray realises that her journey into Coldivor will end in one of two ways; with her return or with her demise. But what about Milo?

They say love can cross oceans but can it cross worlds?

What’s your idea of perfect happiness? I think happiness is when you are one hundred percent comfortable in your own skin. When you still strive for more, making every day an exciting adventure but knowing deep down that there is nothing missing from your life, even if on paper it looks like there is.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? I think the lowest depth of misery is when you truly cannot see anything positive in yourself. When you actually manage to convince yourself that you are worthless. The brain is a powerful tool and we have to be careful with the ideas we let it build.

Why do you write? Because the places I long to see, the people I long to meet and the adventures I would love to embark on, for now only exist in my mind; unclear and disarrayed. Writing allows me to experience them. I delve in to every detail and just for a moment, I find magic at my fingertips.

What is your motto? If you always do what you have always done, you will always get what you have always got. Although now I’m also really trying to live by the words of J.D. Rockefeller. ‘Don’t be afraid to give up the good to go for the great.’

Who’s your favorite writer?

I will always bow down for the infamous Shakespeare with his wonderful way of turning a phrase and his delightful yet traumatic tales of love and woe however, (yes, however) J.K. Rowling definitely stole my heart with the brilliant Harry Potter series. I do love, love but it seems I love magic just as much…although perhaps they are one in the same. The desire to combine my two favourites; epic love with illustrious magic is actually what lead to ‘At Water’s Edge’, where the love story is just about the two characters and where the magic is so much more- stories unto their own mingled into one.

Praise for Chapters One-Three of ‘At Water’s Edge’ by S. McPherson:

“Loved the teaser! It pulled me in and made me want to read more. Your writing style is clean, uncluttered and brimming with tension. Well done!”

“You got a lovely and interesting story,  hope to read more from you.”

“I liked it a lot! While I was reading it, I was able to be drawn into the story easily by your words. A stormy night like you were describing sets the perfect scene for a suspenseful fantasy novel.”

“I really enjoyed reading your first chapter. It was gripping. The descriptions are well written.”

About S. McPherson:S. McPerson

S. McPherson is a young British expat living in Dubai and working as a Foundation Stage 1 (FS1) teacher. When she was younger S. McPherson travelled a lot with her family, though, no matter how often her surroundings changed, one thing never did. And this was her love of writing and dreaming up the impossible. After combining her two loves of teaching children and writing, S. McPherson self-published her first book; a rhyming verse children’s story titled ‘Shania Streep wanted to Sleep’. Thus fuelling her love of seeing her work in print and sharing her stories. This is S. McPherson’s first novel.

Website: http://www.smcphersonbooks.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Smcphersonbooks
Twitter: https://twitter.com/SMcphersonBooks
P
interest: https://www.pinterest.com/smcphersonbooks/
Goodreads: www.goodreads.com/smcphersonbooks

Follow the ‘At Water’s Edge’ by S. McPherson Tour:

Teddy Rose Book Reviews Oct 5 Tour Kick off & Giveaway

Through Eyes Of A Book Goddess Oct 6 Review, Excerpt & Giveaway

Sunshine Book Promotions Oct 7 Excerpt, Interview, & Giveaway

Cassandra M’s Place Oct 9 Review & Giveaway

Infinite House of Books Oct 12 Interview

Tome Tender Oct 13 Review & Giveaway

Binding Addiction Oct 15 Excerpt

Father, Writer, Logistical Wizard Oct 19 Review

Bookishly Me Oct 20 Review & Interview

Buffy’s Ramblings Oct 21 Review & Excerpt

Rockin’ Book Reviews Oct 22 Review & Excerpt

Pomegranate Radio Oct 23 Review

Books, Authors, Blogs Oct 26 Review

What U Talking Bout Willis? Oct 27 Guest post & Excerpt

Books, Books, & More Books Oct 29 Review

The Writing Desk Oct 30 Guest Post

Little Read Riding Hood Nov 2 Review, Excerpt  & Giveaway

Happy Tails and Tales Nov 4 Review & Giveaway

I Can Has Books? Nov 10 Review

Deal Sharing Aunt Nov 11 Review

Avenue Books Nov 12 Interview

Ashley’s Bookshelf Nov 18 Review

Alpha Book Club Nov 23 Spotlight

Teatime and Books Nov 24 Interview

A Room Without Books is Empty Nov 25 Review

Self-Taught Cook Nov 27 Excerpt

Universal Creativity Inc. Nov 30  Interview

S. McPherson

Blood Diamond by RJ Blain: Author Interview

Blood Diamond

Paranormal Suspense / Urban Fantasy / Supernatural Thriller / Light Paranormal Romance
Date Published: June 25, 2015
 
 

The world is full of corpses, and Jackson knows them by name. When a group strives to destroy the Inquisition, his powers may be all standing between the supernaturals and extinction.

However, when he learns the truth behind the deaths of his wife and unborn daughter, Jackson may prove to be the greatest threat of all to the survival of mankind…

***

What living person do you most admire? 

This is a terrible thing to say, but most of the people I admire are dead—and have been for a long time. I’m a bit of a hermit, which doesn’t help things, either. I don’t admire a lot of the famous people, mainly because the media rarely tells the full truth about them.

So, it’s cliché, but I’m going to go with my husband. He puts up with me each and every day, and there’s no one out there who can top that—because he does so by choice… and that’s a pretty spectacular thing.

We’ve been married for thirteen years now, and that’s saying something about his special sort of crazy.

What is your most prized possession? 

My Levenger Circa journals. They contain all of my writing notes, which is extremely precious to me. My macbook pro comes a close second, since I write the novels on it…! I love office supplies, but my journals and their precious pages are my most prized possessions.

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time? 

This is worse than asking me what my favorite book is… so many wonderful characters, so little time. Do I really have to choose one? This is like telling me to go into a bookstore and saying I can only buy one book. Just one?

I… I…

Fine. I’ll pick FitzChivalry from Robin Hobb’s Farseer etc trilogies. He’s definitely up there… and if he doesn’t get a happy ending by the end of the current trilogy, I will be ruined. There are so many reasons to love Fitz… and hate that he always, always seems to get the short end of the straw. I hope he gets a Happily Ever After. Of all of the characters I’ve read—and loved—he truly deserves it.

Caz from The Curse of Chalion is an honorable mention.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery? 

Ironically, FitzChivalry’s existence. That character doesn’t catch a break ever. The books are so good, but the depth of misery this character endures is epic. I’m of the opinion if you want someone to suffer, make them walk in Fitz’s shoes a while.

Why do you write? 

Is it terribly cliché of me to say ‘Because I must?’ I don’t think I could stop at this point. Writing is such an integral part of who I am, I’m not sure I could walk away from it now.

I love everything to do with writing, but I want to entertain and give readers a chance to escape their reality for a while and step into a new world. I was a practitioner of escapism as a teen and young adult, and I want to pass that on.

I write because I love books… and I love people who love books, too. It may be such a canned answer, but it’s the truth. I write to entertain, but I write for myself as much as I write for fans.

Where would you most like to live? 

California… and I get to move there in the near future. Yep, I get to check an item off my to-do-before-I-die bucket list!

I’d say Yellowstone, but I don’t think they’d let me live in the park.

What is your motto? 

Sit down, shut up, and get the <bleep> to work. Yep, I’m one of those ass in chair and type types. My solution to most of my problems is “work harder.”

Who’s your favorite writer? 

This is almost as bad as asking me who my favorite character is. Do I really have to pick one?

I’m a rebel. I’ll pick a few. I can’t just pick one.

In no particular order… Brandon Sanderson, Patricia Briggs, Jim Butcher, Robin Hobbs, Diana Pharaoh Francis, Mercedes Lackey, Vince Flynn, Tom Clancy.

I could go on all day, but here’s a good start…

Happy reading!

***

RJ Blain suffers from a Moleskine journal obsession, a pen fixation, and a terrible tendency toRJ Blain - Author Photo pun without warning.

When she isn’t playing pretend, she likes to think she’s a cartographer and a sumi-e painter. In reality, she herds cats and a husband, and obeys the commands of Tsu Dhi, the great warrior fish.

In her spare time, she daydreams about being a spy. Should that fail, her contingency plan involves tying her best of enemies to spinning wheels and quoting James Bond villains until she is satisfied.

Contact Links:

Website: http://rjblain.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/RJ-Blain/121746651191778

Twitter: https://twitter.com/rj_blain

Purchase Link:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Blood-Diamond-Witch-Wolf-Book-ebook/dp/B010FAGRC4/

 

Shadows Collide by Dan Levinson: Guest Post and Book Excerpt

Shadows Collide cover

Sci-Fi / Fantasy
Date Published: September 15, 2015
 
 
 

The Orion Psi Corps is in shambles, the dead still being counted. And though Orion’s retaliation has begun, Calchis isn’t finished yet.

 

New Axom City—that’s where Nyne Allen has taken refuge in the wake of his desertion from Orion. Soon it will become a battlefield, as familiar faces from both sides barrel toward a collision that will forever alter the course of history.

 

Meanwhile, in the Far East, Aaron Waverly learns the truth behind the red-robed man, and discovers a destiny that might one day spell the end of the world itself.

excerpt:

JANE DOE

Date Unknown

Location Unknown

The air was on fire.

As the blaze embraced her, she raised her hands, shielded her eyes; the billows of flame engulfed her as she screamed her defiance. The world blinked shut, like an eye closing, and when it opened once more, she saw faces, murmuring alarm. She tried to tell them they should leave her be, let her die in peace, her body still ablaze as if subsumed in the inferno. Yet before she could speak, wings of darkness enveloped her, carried her into oblivion.

When she surfaced again, she saw glaring lights.

She lay upon a gurney, moving swiftly through florescent-lit halls, the acrid stench of burned hair like a halo around her. Again, faces peered at her, their voices a low babble, distorted, as if through a tunnel. When a sudden movement jarred her, she howled, her vocal cords raw, like pulverized meat. Even the air rushing by tormented her.

What had happened?

She glanced about, eyes rolling, unable to move her head. A sign loomed above: Burn Ward. Another jolt shook her, and an animal sound escaped her throat as she lapsed again into unconsciousness.

She awoke in a white, sterile room, and for a moment thought she was somewhere familiar. But the hospital room was only an echo of a place she couldn’t quite recall, the memory slipping from her like sand through a sieve. She shifted in her bed, gasped, and only then looked down at her arms and hands, covered in bandages, the rest of her hidden beneath a thin, tan wool blanket. She could feel where those bandages compressed her flesh, chafed her raw throat, her belly, breasts, legs, and feet.

To her left, she saw a morphine drip, but could not reach it, the effort of moving her arm more than she could bear. She tried to cry for help, but now her voice came only in croaks and whimpers. She was trapped in her scorched body, no one to help her, while machines and monitors mocked her with ceaseless beeping.

A male nurse walked by the room, peered through the door’s glass pane, and she met his eyes, silently begging him for aid. He ran off, and for those next interminable minutes, each second seemed to her a test of will simply to exist. An inner voice told her to be strong, that she could make it through this, and she clung to it, the vague notion that she could endure all that she had. Mentally, she counted, One, two, three, four, five, those numbers like a life raft, though she did not know why.

At last, the doctor arrived—an austere, dark-haired man in a white coat, his eyes gauging her behind silver-framed glasses. She could read the pity on his face. “My name is Dr. Shipley,” he said. “You’ve been involved in a very bad accident. I don’t mean to alarm you, but you’ve suffered third degree burns over sixty percent of your body. Do you understand?”

She tried to nod while her mind processed. An accident? Of course. How else could she have ended up like this?

“How’s the pain?” Shipley asked. “I can increase the painkillers if you—”

“Hurts,” she rasped, her voice like sandpaper.

Shipley adjusted the morphine. “Your esophagus is damaged, from inhaling superheated air. I’ll ask a couple more questions, but keep your answers to one or two words. After that, no talking. Okay?”

She nodded again as the painkillers entered her system, making her woozy.

“What’s your name?” he asked.

She opened her mouth to reply, then closed it, the answer elusive. The pain had so consumed her that, until now, she hadn’t realized the details of her life were whispers and shadows lurking in unseen corners of her mind. She couldn’t remember her name, nor the accident, nor anything else. She choked back a sob, the force of it stabbing at her injured body.

“You don’t know?” Shipley asked.

Feebly, she shook her head.

“Well,” Shipley said, “given the trauma you’ve been through, it’s not unheard of. Unfortunately, when you were found, you had no identification, and your hands are too badly burned for us to take fingerprints. But don’t worry. When you’ve had the chance to recover, I’m sure it’ll come back to you.” He offered her a reassuring smile.

She knew he was trying to comfort her, and so restrained the urge to tell him to go fuck himself. Don’t worry too much? What kind of advice was that?

“Is the pain still bad?” he asked her. He fiddled with the drip again, and the room grew hazy, indistinct, before she could manage a word.

When she opened her eyes, the room was dark, all shapes indistinct save the colors on the monitor feeds. Burning, throbbing blanketed her. She rolled her head to the side, saw that the window shade lay slightly open, revealing the lights of an unfamiliar city—the greens and reds of traffic signals, the whites of far-off windows, the myriad colors of illuminated billboards. She had no idea where she was.

Despairing, she wept, and as the grief shuddered through her, it ignited her body anew, though she could do nothing to stem her tears. “Why?” she murmured. What sin had she committed that she was being punished so? “Why did this happen?” She didn’t care that she was not supposed to speak, for hearing her own voice reassured her; it was an anchor, even if it was a whisper.

And that was what she had become, she realized. A shadow of her former self.

A whisper.

***

The “Why” of Storytelling

Why do we tell stories?

It’s a fundamental question, with many answers: To share our words, our experiences; to achieve a level of recognition, career success, in a field that we love; to channel our own lives—our joys and sadness—into something transmutative and cathartic for our own souls; to, as Aristotle wrote in his Poetics, “through pity and fear [effect] the purgation of these emotions,” thus liberating us to lead a freer and more effective existence.

I feel there’s no greater goal than a “good story well told.” Stories extend far beyond the written word. There are stories in every piece of music, every painting, every film and fascinating movement of the passersby we observe on street corners, in cafés and local stores.

A good story resonates, echoes deep into our subconscious minds, eliciting a human connection beyond what words can convey. Robert Frost wrote, “No tears in the writer, no tears in the reader.” Why is that if we feel what we write, the reader feels it too?

I’ve always ascribed to the philosophies of Carl Jung and his theories of the collective unconscious, and my time both as a consumer of story, and as creator of it, has allowed me to feel its awesome tidal swells. The breadth and depth of the human race itself, the enormity of mankind’s experience, somehow echoes in us all. How else could characters who have never existed on any mortal plane move us so deeply? Bring us to tears, to anger, or make us feel an incomparable sense of hope? How could the very possibility of something that has never in fact occurred make us feel with such powerful conviction?

Story connects us, and I think a good story is a reflection of the most fundamental aspects of human experience: love, and loss; life, and death. It is no less true despite its immaterial nature.

“I like a good story well told,” Mark Twain once said. “That is the reason I am sometimes forced to tell them myself.”

We all tell stories, whether we are writers or not. When we come home from at work, put our feet up, pour a glass of wine, and tell our loved ones about our day, we are storytellers. When we dance to a beautiful piece of music, expressing our inner selves, we are storytellers. When we sing along to the radio, when we draw a picture, when we imagine . . . we are storytellers. For what is storytelling, but the articulation of all that we are, as individuals, and as a collective whole?

We tell stories because they illuminate the human condition. We do not exist in a vacuum. We are all connected. Stories seep down into the deepest layers of what comprise us as human beings. They move us without explanation. Somehow, they penetrate the thick armor we don each day to bear the world’s wicked barbs and prods, and lay us naked and vulnerable, whimpering, quivering, crying in both despair and exultation. They leave us knowing that no matter what hardship we endure, we are not alone. In this vale of tears, we all suffer. But our stories connect us, now, and forever.

We tell stories because they remind us of who we really are, and yet they also provide a conduit to tap into something greater than ourselves. They let us know there is something other than what we can see, or feel with our fingertips. We tell stories because they take us beyond all time, all place, to a realm that knows no mortal ken, that is both impermanent and yet eternal.

We are the stories we tell.

***

Dan_Levinson_author_photoDan Levinson is a NY-based writer of speculative fiction. Trained as an actor at NYU’s Tisch School of Arts, he also writes for the stage and screen. He grew up immersing himself in fantastical worlds, and now creates them. In addition to the Psionic Earth series, he is also the author of the upcoming YA fantasy novel The Ace of Kings, first book of The Conjurer’s Cycle.

Girl of Myth and Legend by Giselle Simlett: Author Interview

dfw-gs-gomal-cover-large-194x300

Genre: Fantasy / Romance

What inspired your latest work?

My inspiration was fairy tales. I loved fairy tales, but wanted something gritty. I didn’t want a princess who existed purely to show how brave the prince was. I didn’t really want a princess at all. I wanted a character who seemed real and who could mirror the reader. That’s when the main character, Leonie, kind of burst into my head and said, ‘FINALLY! Are you going to be the one to tell my story?’ I honestly had no choice but to write it then.
 
Another inspiration was the theme of immortality. It’s always been perceived as something exciting and wonderful, but what if yo spend your forever in a cage, obeying a master who thought you were nothing but dirt? That wouldn’t be so much fun, would it?
 
I also wanted to explore loss and grief, but also hope within it. Loss and grief are horrible but necessary feelings. You’re truly alive when you have known them. But one thing a lot of people forget is that in those feelings, you can find hope, you can find light, and I think this is the building blocks between the two main characters.

Tell us about this story.

A girl with a past she tries to forget, and a future she can’t even imagine.

Leonie Woodville wants to live an unremarkable life. She wants routine, she wants repetition, she wants predictability. So when she explodes in a blaze of light one morning on the way to her college, it’s enough to put a real crimp in her day.

And things only get weirder…

Leonie learns from her father that she is last of the Pulsar, a phenomenally powerful member of a magical species called the Chosen. It will be her sole duty to protect the Imperium, a governing hierarchy, from all enemies, and to exceed the reputation of the Pulsar before her. So – no pressure there, then.

 

Leonie is swept away from her rigorous normality and taken to a world of magic. There, she is forced into a ceremony to join her soul to a guardian, Korren, who is both incredibly handsome and intensely troubled, a relationship for which ‘it’s complicated’ just really doesn’t cut it.

But Leonie is soon to learn that this ancient world is no paradise. With violent dissidents intent to overthrow the Imperium, and dark entities with their own agenda, she and Korren find themselves caught in a war where they will have to overcome their differences if they are to survive.

What living person do you most admire?

I really admire Queen Elizabeth II. I know that may seem strange, but look at everything she has done! She puts her country before anything else, and she is a symbol for women across the world. Long live the Queen!

What is your most prized possession?

I won’t count my family in that (hah). My freaking USB that has my entire life on it. I’ve lost it more times than you know but I always manage to find it. It has my stories on it, too!

Who is your favorite fictional character of all time?

Tough choice. I’d say Lyra from His Dark Materials. She is one of a kind. There is so much passion and love in her heart that it fills the whole trilogy. I will never forget her.

Who’s the favorite character that you created?

Leonie, the main character of GIRL OF MYTH AND LEGEND. She is by far the most inspirational person to me. She can be annoying, rude, and such a teenager, but she has a rare kindness and a rare hope that things will get better. She may not be strong physically, but she has a stronger heart than any other characters I’ve known.

What’s your idea of perfect happiness?

Laughing, crying, making pancakes, getting angry at stupid things, getting excited at stupid things … basically, living is the great happiness. Experiencing all kinds of emotions, even bad ones. Fully living!

If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?

My reluctance to accept myself. I have many self-confidence issues, especially regarding my personality. Sometimes I feel like I don’t know myself, and sometimes I feel like I do. But I have these moments when I hate who I am and want to change, but you know what? I don’t have to change, not unless I’m some evil jerk trying to destroy the world. Like a lot of people, the journey to loving who you are is a long and stressful one, but I figure, just shrug your shoulders. You don’t need to love yourself. Just be yourself.

What do you regard as the lowest depth of misery?

The complete and utter loss of hope. When you had hope, held it in your hand like a star cradled in your palm, and then had it ripped away from you forever. When there is no reaching hand to pull you out of the darkness.

On that happy note, thanks for having me here!

Giselle Simlett was born and raised in England. She has studied Creative Writing at both Gloucestershire University and the Open University. She has a diploma in Creative Writing, Language and Literature and will soon complete her BA Hons Open Degree.

She does not as yet have a degree in the power and responsible use of magic, but she does have a young son, which amounts to the same thing. She currently lives in Australia with her husband and son.

Website: http://www.gisellesimlett.com/

Rise of the Sidenah by C.M. Story — book excerpt and author interview

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Author: C.M. Story

Genre: YA Fantasy

Adrienna Vedica longs to build the creatures living in her imagination. One day, she hopes to sculpt them out of stone, creating great statues like those that guard the Celany village.

She doesn’t understand why everyone seems to disapprove.

It’s only when Tishaan, a powerful man in the high council, agrees to help her sculpt that Adrienna is finally able to pursue her passion. She dives into her work, but creates with such energy she collapses from exhaustion before seeing the final results, giving Tishaan time to hide her masterpieces away.

Her mentor, Sreng—the man she secretly loves—tries to convince her that Tishaan is using her, but she can’t abandon her art. Only when people start showing up dead does she think again. There’s something off about Tishaan…and then Sreng shows her one of her early works.

But something is wrong.

It’s alive. And it’s digging a grave.

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Excerpt from Chapter 7, “Sacred Grounds” 

The rain woke her up. Small drops blew onto her cheeks and ran down her neck. Overhead, the network of branches shielded her from the bulk of it, but the wind blew the moisture in from the side.

Reluctant to leave, she clung to the stone and looked on the image of her father’s face. Having familiarized herself again with his features, the representation disappointed her. Too still, too stern, the eyes too vacant. This was nothing more than someone’s idea of her father. Looking at it now, she realized it was entirely inadequate. If she had the chance, she would do it over, carve it in a way that would reveal her father’s true spirit.

The rain streamed over the sculpture, pushing dirt trails past the ears, over the cheeks and down the chin. With the edge of her shirt, Adrienna wiped the face clean and then hurried across the grounds and ducked under the largest tree near the center. For a time she crouched there, undisturbed, but then something snapped off to the left. She jumped, senses alert.

The Tucadorr. It could have heard her screams. How could she have been so stupid?

She held her breath, but when the animal emerged, it was much smaller than the beast that haunted her dreams. Like an overweight river rodent it waddled through the bushes, making its way toward her. She guessed it to be about four hands high, its elbows on the ground, paws drawn up under its chin. Powerful back legs sprung forward in hops, after which it would wait, look around, and clack its long nails together.

It had no tail. Gray, wiry hair lay matted with clumps of mud, streams of dirty water pouring off its belly and onto the ground. Strings of drool escaped the side of its mouth. It drew its lips wide, uncovering pointed teeth, and then puckered them forward again. Thick eyes bulged from the side of its head, each eyeball moving independently of the other.

Adrienna stared. The creature was unlike any she had seen before, but still something felt familiar about it. Afraid to move lest she draw its attention, she remained by the tree while it shuffled forward, intent on its path. At one point she worried it was coming toward her, but then it passed by, neither eye seeming to take notice of her. On it went, heading east, stopping after every three hops. Ahead, she saw a dark shadow in its path, rectangular shaped, a shallow depression in the ground. Was this where it sought shelter in the storms?

The animal hurried forward now, no longer hopping but wobbling back and forth at an ungainly pace. The tongue slung about, elbows working like paws over the ground. At the hole it gazed hungrily for a moment and then tore into the dirt, claws slicing, hips protruding into the air. Sloppy mud slung wide behind it, some landing with a slap on other markers. On and on it worked, hopping about now and then to send the dirt another direction. Adrienna watched in horrid fascination. In the time it would take her to bathe, the creature had dug a deep, square hole.

A grave.

***

What living person do you most admire?

My mother, by far. She is one of the bravest and strongest people I know. She ended up in difficult situation when my older brother and I were very young, and she had the strength to get us all out of it so we could start over in a new location. For a long time she raised us as a single mom, and after the man I know as my father adopted us, she continued to be someone that I wanted to emulate. I consider myself very lucky to have her as such an important person in my life.
What is your most prized possession?

My health. I’m a health writer by day, which means that I’m continuously reminded of how difficult life can be when you’re unwell. I really feel for people who are struggling with disease and chronic conditions, and am grateful for each day that I feel strong and healthy.
Why do you write?

I’ve always enjoyed writing as a form of expression, I think because I was a shy child who was a little frightened by the world and the people in it, and felt that the page was the only really safe place to “share” my feelings. As someone who was always drawn to music (I started piano lessons in first grade, French horn lessons in fifth), I also liked the musicality of language, and enjoyed playing with words so that they created a certain wave or rhythm.

I didn’t start to get serious about writing stories, though, until I had graduated college with my degree in music education. I moved to a different state, which meant I couldn’t get a job until I took more classes to become certified in that state. I was a bit weary of college, so I chose to wait a bit. It was during this time I bought myself a word processor and started creating stories. I’ll never really know why the storytelling bug hit me right then, but I suspect it was because I hadn’t really found my “voice” in any other place, and something about the blank page called to me. Once I started indulging that longing, I felt a lot more like my true self, and that feeling hasn’t left.
Who’s your favorite writer?

I have a number of favorite writers—to list them all would be to take up far too much space on this blog—but some of my current favorites are Andre Dubus III, Margaret Atwood, Dennis Lehane, Neil Gaiman, Terry Goodkind, Gregory Maguire, and Kazuo Ishiguro.
Tell us about your creative process.
It’s messy! I usually start out with some image in my mind, and a main character, and just write. The first draft is a sort of unconscious spill. When things are going well, I often feel as if I’m just watching a movie in my head and recording the happenings on the page. I can get at some unique ideas this way, but it does mean that I have a lot of work to do in the second draft, as that’s when I have to clean it all up.

Thank you to Avenue Books for hosting me and Rise of the Sidenah!

Author Bio C M Story

M. Story has always been a fan of fantasy in all its many forms, including the kind she frequently indulged in during boring lectures in school. She didn’t try her hand at penning her own stories, however, until long after she’d gotten her Bachelor’s degree in music.

Once she sold her first short story, she got a writing job and never looked back. Today she runs a successful freelance writing and editing business out of her home in Idaho, and frequently travels to other inspiring places with her trusty laptop in tow. And yes, despite rumors to the contrary, “Story” is her real last name.

“Rise of the Sidenah” was inspired by gothic architecture, a tune by “The Calling,” and the idea that following the heart may cause pain, but is the only way to truly fulfill one’s purpose in life.

Find more at cmstorybook.com.

Links

Website: http://cmstorybook.com/

Writing & Wellness: http://www.writingandwellness.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/colleen_m_story

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/pub/colleen-m-story/34/80/814

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28541211-colleen-m-story

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Rise-Sidenah-C-M-Story-ebook/dp/B013Z0F6QE/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1440706686&sr=1-1&keywords=rise+of+the+Sidenah