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Monday, June 24, 2019

GSR Day 16



I’m a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. 

Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. 

Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales and Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.





 If they fail...

She could die over 3300 years from home!



Tackle the elements & evil of Ancient Egypt...
A history-changing battle & Time Travel Thriller...


Fifteen-year-old Rosa doesn't see dead people...
She hears them & talks to them.

When she agrees to help King Tut's ghost find his lost queen & clear his family's name, she doesn't count on falling for him.

She & Tut must also outwit an evil pharaoh determined to stop them...
Even if it means one of them must die.

Get it today and see who triumphs.


2015 IAN Book of the Year Finalist YA
2015 CAL Book Award Finalist YA Fiction
2014 Literary Classics Seal of Approval
2015 Readers' Favorite Finalist YA
2014 Literary Classics Silver Medal for PreTeen/Tween




Q&A With the Author:

1. What do you like to do when you're not writing?

When not writing, I spend time with my family, enjoy the Colorado outdoors, catch up on my reading, go to concerts, and travel.

2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?

I have tried several different methods for putting my thoughts down, but after 10+ years of writing have settled on just doing that—writing. I don't outline. I write one draft and recycle back through the last writing session to edit and add material. When I'm finished with the story, I send it do my editor and move onto the next. I love not being bogged down in multiple drafts.

3. What suggestions do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better authors?

My suggestions won't work for everyone but I encourage all levels of authors to try it. Write the stories you like to read. Entertain your readers. Don't think you have to know how your story is going to end. Have you ever finished a book where you already knew the ending? Trust your creativity to write the story. And as a writing instructor told me, "When you are stuck just write the next sentence and the next and the next."

4. Where do you get information and ideas for your books?

My stories have all come from my love of the ancient and medieval worlds and my imagination. I write the stories I would like to have lived.

5. What do you think makes a good story?

One that entertains, has engaging characters, a magical/mystical setting, and moves at a fast pace.

6. Tell us about your favorite summer vacation. Or what you like to do in the summer.


In summer, we go down to southern Mexico for 8-12 days and just play in the sun and ocean. We read a lot, and I do some writing. We love to travel and usually plan a trip overseas very 3-4 years. When we go, we spend 3-4 weeks in the country traveling around on our own.




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Saturday, June 22, 2019

Book Blitz: Offender by Author Michael Brooks





Since a young age Michael Brooks has been told he was best at making things up. If it wasn’t concocting a lie to get out of trouble, it was creating wild tales about aliens abducting cows from the barn, or stories of ghosts haunting the woods that surrounded their farmhouse in Missouri. Now he’s all grown up, earned a degree in creative writing, and has turned his passion for “making things up” into a profession.. 
He lives in Utah with his beautiful wife, their five amazing kiddos, four crazy chicken, too many fish to count, an impressive wand collection, and one or two invisible dragons. He also writes and illustrates stories for younger readers under the name Mikey Brooks. You can find more about him and his other books at www.mikeybrooks.com.

Keep in touch by signing up for Michael’s newsletter at: http://eepurl.com/JOpBv


Blog ~ Website ~
Amazon ~ Twitter ~



MURDER MADE HIM A PRISONER. TRUTH CAN SET HIM FREE.
In a distant  future, all criminals of violent crimes are sentenced to life in the  Arena where they must battle against both man and beast in a fight to  the death.

When sixteen-year-old Calvin Sawyer is wrongly  convicted of his father’s murder, his charmed life as the son of a  senator is changed forever. He’s stripped of his rights, his humanity,  even his name. Now as the property of the Arena, offender CS4521 must  learn to fight in the colosseum. It’s kill or be killed.  
See what people are saying about the book

“Murder, friendship, and forbidden romance in a tech-heavy futuristic world. Offender is everything we love about dystopian literature.”
—Rebecca Rode,  USA Today bestselling author of the Numbers Game Trilogy.
 ***
Offender gripped me on the first page and didn’t let go until the last line. Sharp and emotional writing combined with a hero you can’t help but cheer on. It will keep you turning pages with anticipation. Can’t wait for the next installment!”
— Ilima Todd, bestselling author of the Remake series


Character Casting:





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Friday, June 21, 2019

GSR Day 15





E. C. Jackson began her writing career with the full-length play Pajama Party. For three and a half years she published the Confidence in Life newsletter for Alpha Production Ministries, in addition to writing tracts and devotionals. 

Teaching a women’s Bible study at her church for eleven years naturally led to her current endeavor of writing inspirational romance novels and teen and young adult fiction. Her mission: spiritual maturity in the body of Christ through fiction.




~ Facebook ~ Amazon ~
  



Most sleepovers are simple. Food, fun, and pillow fights. But sixteen-year-old Karen Duncan has bigger plans for her slumber party. Family troubles have changed her over the past year, and she’s no longer the petty, selfish girl she used to be. Now she’s ready to shake things up with her friends. The guest list comes as a surprise to some and a slap in the face to others. This popular girl has invited some not-so-popular guests. Even more shocking, she’s left out some of the girls she’s hung out with since middle school.

Diane and Evette are outsiders, nervous about being stuck in a house with the same girls who tease them at school. Kathy, Lisa, and Joann come to the party with the confidence of the in-crowd, but they’re masking inner-turmoil that is bound to surface. Sandy and Angela are usually the voices of reason…usually. And then there’s Linda, the friend that got away. She may not ever forgive the girls who abandoned her years ago. Karen hopes to change her mind.

Her agenda is ambitious, and it could spell disaster. But Karen is convinced God will use this party to spark a new beginning for everyone involved. This companion book to A Living Hope gives us the inspired story Sadie Cummings wrote for the girls of Shiatown.


 


Snippet:

“Are all of the girls you invited coming over? What’s the itinerary for tonight?”
Karen beamed. “Nothing’s written in concrete, but, I bought a noisy interaction game for us to play. We’ll use the karaoke machine too. This will be a spontaneous night for us. My thoughts are to just let things happen.”
“Then our thoughts are far apart. Your friends are a tad dramatic. Reign them in so I won’t have to.”
“Mom, you just destroyed my happy list. I want spontaneity to rule tonight.”
“If it does I’m sending everyone home early.





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Thursday, June 20, 2019

GSR Day 14





Cas lives in the lovely county of Hampshire, southern UK, where she was born. On leaving school she trained for two years before qualifying as horse-riding instructor. During this time she also learned to carriage-drive. She spent thirteen years in the British Civil Service before moving to Rome, Italy, where she and her husband, Dave, lived for three years. They enjoy returning whenever they can. Cas supports many animal charities and owns two rescue dogs. She has a large collection of cacti and loves gardening. She is also a folk singer/songwriter and is currently writing and recording nine folk-style songs to accompany each of her fantasy books. You can listen to and download all the songs from her website: www.caspeace.com 

See the video of her performing live at the King’s Envoy book launch here: http://www.caspeace.com/cas-peace/the-wheel-will-turn



Author Facebook ~

Facebook ~ Website ~


 ~ Blog ~ Amazon ~ Reverbnation ~



Taran Elijah's quest for knowledge uncovers a plot that threatens the world...




In Albia, the fourth realm, the precious Artesan gift is dying. Although born to the craft, Taran is struggling to achieve his potential. Against his friends' advice, he embarks on a foolhardy plan to acquire the teaching he craves. Alone, he crosses into Andaryon, the fifth realm, but instead of finding a mentor, he stumbles upon a treacherous plot.



In the wake of Taran's actions, Albia suffers a series of vicious raids. Major Sullyan of the High King's forces is sent to oppose them. But a dark and treacherous force is moving through the realms and both Taran and Sullyan will feel its power.






  
~ Universal Amazon Link

 


Top Ten List:

1) Anthing to do with animals, especially dogs and horses. My favorite horse breed is the Friesian, which is why I put one in my novels. I also own two rescue dogs and support many animal charities.
2) Singing, especially folk-style songs. I also sing in my local church choir.
3) Chocolate!!
4) Dragons and (I have to admit!) unicorns. I have collected figurines and statues of dragons and unicorns since I was small and have a vast collection, some of which live outdoors. But I don’t like “twee”, only ones that look like they could be real.
5) Reading, especially fantasy and sci-fi.
6) Country walks.
7)All wildlife, especially butterflies. I used to breed and release UK varieties, and belong to the Butterfly Conservation Society.
8) Did I mention chocolate?
9) Spending time with family members.

10) Playing my bodhran (Irish drum). I can’t read music so decided to take up drumming instead! It’s fun and very theraputic.




To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





Wednesday, June 19, 2019

GSR Day 13




Marni Graff writes two award-winning mystery series: The Nora Tierney English Mysteries and The Trudy Genova Manhattan Mysteries. She teaches writing workshops and mentors the Writers Read program, and is Managing Editor of Bridle Path Press. 



Graff also writes the crime review blog Auntie M Writes, www.auntiemwrites.com.



Facebook ~ Website ~
Twitter ~
Bridle Path Press ~




Nurse Trudy Genova is making plans to take her relationship to NYPD detective Ned O'Malley to the next level, when she lands a gig as medical consultant on a film shoot at the famed Dakota apartment building in Manhattan, which John Lennon once called home. Then star Monica Kiley goes missing, a cast member turns up dead, and it appears Trudy might be next. Meanwhile Ned tackles a mysterious murder case in which the victim is burned beyond recognition. When his investigations lead him back to the Dakota, Trudy finds herself wondering: how can she fall in love if she can't even survive?

Readers of Death Unscripted, the first book in the Trudy Genova Manhattan Mystery series, will find the same pleasures in this sequel: fast pacing, engaging characters, twists and turns on the way to a satisfying close. From the award-winning author of The Nora Tierney English Mysteries, this second series is a winner. Once again M.K. Graff reveals her talents in crafting this delightful mix of amateur sleuth and police procedural.

Part procedural, part cozy, Death at the Dakota is a well-crafted and highly entertaining mystery.- Bruce Robert Coffin, #1 bestselling author of the Detective Byron mysteries.  

I fell in love -- not only with co-protagonists, Trudy and Ned, the richly detailed and historic setting of The Dakota, and the unique cast of characters, but with the unusual plot of Death at the Dakota. Sherry Harris, Agatha Award nominated author of the Sarah Winston Garage Sale Mysteries




  
~ Universal Amazon Link
  


Q&A With the Author:

1.  What do you like to do when you're not writing?
I read and read and read, three books a week for my crime review blog. I love old movies, too, when I'm not watching Masterpiece Mystery. And playing outside with my two Aussie Doodle pups, Seamus and Fiona, in nice weather is always fun. We live along a river in rural northeastern NC and walks this time of year always end with two wet dogs!

2. What would you say is your interesting writing quirk? My desk is one half of a vintage partner's desk so I'm facing the back of my husband's monitor, and our library space is at the end of our living room. I've learned to write with the television on or his own computer noises, putting myself in the zone, using the house noises are white noise. It works most of the time. The ringing of a telephone I find jarring though, and if I'm in that zone, will ignore it.

3. Do you have any suggestions to help budding authors become better writers? If so, what are they? I have four main ones: 1. Read and read and read, in your chosen genre and almost anything. You learn from reading what you like and good literature as well as what doesn't work. Read classics to see why their stories have endured even if the language use seems outdates. You are searching to develop your own writer voice. 2. Also, a good usage book on your desk is key. Many modern writers today use their computers for dictionary-thesaurus searches but I prefer the break looking things up in a book gives me. It clears my head. And a usage book that's well indexed is a great companion. Right now I'm recommending Benjamin Dreyer's DREYER'S ENGLISH to everyone. It's compact and filled with delightful footnotes, so it's a pleasure to read and to consult. 3. Find a writing critique buddy or join a writing group. You can find one online if you can't find anyone near you. It's helpful to have a good critique partner who knows the bones of writing and can provide honest feedback. If you are truly a beginner, take a course first to get the basics down. 4. Write. it doesn't matter what, it doesn't matter how long. Write about waht you see out the window. Write a character study you envision and may work into a future story. Write a setting that pleases you, and use all your senses in its description. Write when you can and don't dismiss even ten snatched minutes as worthwhile. The idea of writing soon becomes ingrained and more natural. Don't look at a large project at first; it's too daunting. Start small and work your way up and you will use all of that early writing at some point. And don't forget to always carry a small notebook around with you. It's useful for jotting down ideas that hit you in the grocery story or when you're out driving. If you hear a snatch of great conversation, write it down. Writers are sponges; soak up what is realistic in order to create your own world.


4. Where do you get information and ideas for your books?
I write two mystery series, one set in Manhattan and one in England, so setting is always a starting point for me. The place where a murder is set becomes its own character and lends itself to where my characters will go and what they do. Since I have recurring characters, why is Nora or Trudy in this place? Then I go to the end and figure out who will be murdered and why. I work my back from that point and fill in the characters, subplots, motives. I do some research before I start out but only have a vague idea of the 'muddled middle' when I do and do other research as it comes up. The idea for the actual murder usually comes from some human emotion in overdrive: jealousy, revenge, greed, even twisted love. I do keep a file with interesting news articles or things torn from magazines to spur ideas. The best ones come from reality.

5. What do you think makes a good story?
Readers are drawn to characters they can become invested in or understand, even if they are far different from themselves or their lives. Once they want to follow that character, that journey becomes the bulk of the story, whether it's Trudy figuring out a murderer or Nora wanting to prove what's being termed a suicide is actually a murder someone's getting away with. I'm a firm believer in a sense of questions answered at the end in terms of this story; that doesn't mean there won't be hint of a story to come, but most readers want to feel a sense of justice served, in a mystery particularly, and that the puzzle has been solved and the questions raised answered. 

6. Tell us about your favorite summer vacation? Or what do you like to do in the summer? Every other year I visit the UK to do setting research, so those are clearly my favorites. Sometimes my husband accompanies me, and we will build in side trips to France or Belgium, as we did one year. Last summer we spent a week in Cornwall and a week in Cambridge for the next two Nora books. I was writing the new Trudy, Death at the Dakota, at that time, but this is for the next two Nora Tierney's to follow. We had a few days in London visiting friends but with a week in each place, were able to really soak up the feel, meet locals, tour the area, and take lots of photos. Each summer my own writing group meets for a week, too, so there is that to look forward to. We usually travel to each other's homes as we are spread out throughout the US, but this year is our fifteenth year working together, so we are treating ourselves to meeting in Old City Quebec and will have time to workshop manuscripts and visit the sites. I'm looking forward to that!






To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page