28 Feb 2014

NEW RELEASE: RUNE: EPISODE IV: ENTOMBED by J.H. Glaze

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“RUNE (Episode IV: Entombed)” by J.H. Glaze is speeding things up in this enchanting paranormal adventure series geared at young adults and young at hearts.  51iXd7LfU9L._BO2,204,203,200_PIsitb-sticker-v3-big,TopRight,0,-55_SX278_SY278_PIkin4,BottomRight,1,22_AA300_SH20_OU01_
Our trio of protagonists are 18 year old Jake, his girlfriend Maire and Pete, a demon trapped in a dog’s body. Hunted by evil demons the three of them have an exhausting and action packed journey ahead of them. Jake Rune has recently gone an ominous transformation and has acquired super human powers. Hunting down scrolls is part of their mission…and of course simply surviving, too.
Glaze has created very meorable and likeable characters who are great leads to bring and keep the story alive. They are chasing and are being chased in what might become a tour of the Southern States. Jake’s arch enemy Seraphine has joined the hunt for out young heroes and adds more colour to the story.

Of all four books this is the fasted and most action packed. After setting up the scene and characters and after getting us used to his originally created world Glaze now invites his readers to a moreadrenalin-fuelled episode that will be continued in Episode V.

Masterfully written, with natural dialogue and great pacing this is an easy and solid read.
A hugely enjoyable feast for fans of fun and suspenss-filled paranormal fare.

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Amazon: amazon.com/author/jhglaze
Facebook: facebook.com/JHGlaze.author
Goodreads: goodreads.com/JHGlaze
Twitter: @themostcoolone
Website: www.jhglaze.com

J.H. Glaze is a versatile storyteller, born in northeast Ohio. As a young adult, Glaze traveled the
country, frequently hitchhiking, and always looking for adventure and new opportunity. Much of
the quirky plot lines inherent to J.H. Glaze’s tales were informed by the experience of these early
years. Readers will appreciate his accessible, “Hey, I know you,” phrasing, and the everyman voice
that will seem so familiar, drawing them in before providing an unexpected twist. With a blend of
horror and humor, he delights in giving the reader a kick in every chapter of every book.

The Rune series marks Glaze’s début into the world of young adult fiction. In the style of a television series, each episode is a novelette that ends with a
cliffhanger requiring the reader to wait until the release of the next episode to learn what happens
next. In the first episode, the main character, Jake Rowan, experiences a mysterious transformation
on his 18th birthday. Fortunately, he meets up with a dog, later named Pete, who guides him into
what he learns is his destiny. As the series continues, Jake and Pete are caught up in a quest to save
humankind from the demons that have plagued them for more than a thousand years.

J.H. Glaze’s writings include the full-length novels, The Spirit Box, NorthWest, and Send No Angel,
which make up “The Paranormal Adventures of John Hazard.” Glaze has also developed a short
story series, “The Horror Challenge,” affording him the opportunity to interact with his readers who
are invited to suggest a word or phrase that he will use to twist into a theme or prop in one of his
engaging stories.
Glaze’s talent as an author with a sincere love of storytelling shines through as he transitions with
ease from spinning tales of horror that thrill to a heart-warming romantic novella, The Life We
Dream. All the while maintaining his compelling storytelling style, Glaze thrills again in Forced
Intelligence, the novelette that peeks into the moral dilemma of using animals in experiments for
scientific or military advancement.
A self-published author, J.H. Glaze is called one of the New Kings of Horror by fans. He currently
lives near Atlanta with his wife, Susan, two dogs who are crazy about him, and a Senegal parrot
that merely tolerates him.

 

22 Feb 2014

Cover Reveal ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation’ by Paul Cude

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Cover Reveal ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon in A Chilling Revelation’

“Stolen” from http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/

Following his harrowing and near death experience at the talons of the evil dragon Manson in ‘A Threat From The Past’, Peter Bentwhistle, the human shaped dragon and reluctant hero, finds himself on the slow path to recovery.

Helped by his dragon friends, Tank and Richie (both in their human forms), he finds solace in his new found friendship with the dragon king. But the three friends are soon unwittingly drawn into a deadly plot, when a straight forward meeting with the monarch sees them helping an injured dragon agent, straight back from his mission in Antarctica with news of a devastating encounter with another ancient race.

Blackmail, intrigue, forbidden love interests, a near fatal mantra gone wrong, a highly charged rugby match in which Tank takes a beating, combined with enough laminium ball action to please dragons the world over, stretch the bonds of the dragons’ friendship like never before. New friends and ancient enemies clash as the planet braces itself for one of the most outrageous attacks it has ever seen. Lost secrets and untold lore come to light, while sinister forces attempt to steal much coveted magic.

Explosive exploits, interspersed with a chilly backdrop and unexpected danger at every turn, make for an action-packed, electrifying adventure.

‘Snow way you’ll wanna miss this!  A-Chilling-Revelation-Cover-Reduced

Excerpt

With that the king looked away. Flash knew his time was up. It was now or never. With one last look at the semi-naked human dragon, Flash turned and flung himself head first into the icy flowing water.
The mantra that had been cast on him still held, was his first thought, as he tried not to pass out from the pain and shock of the water. His second thought was that it hurt more now, entering the water a second time around.
The light from the cavern subsided as the stream became fully enclosed underground, quickly leaving Flash encased by fast flowing water and bubbles of air. He couldn’t see further than about two feet in front of him. How on Earth was he supposed to see when the stream separated into two parts? Kicking with his feet and flailing about with his arms, he tried as best he could to stay over to the left side of the channel, scraping himself along the side of the icy underground tunnel as he did so.
A sharp right hand bend, followed by a steep drop, sent Flash tumbling head over heels as the freezing water numbed his exhausted body. As he came out of the roll, his face smacked violently into a sharp, vertical piece of rock, right in the middle of the stream.
‘Oh my God,’ thought Flash. ‘This is it! This is the point where the stream separates.’ Scrabbling with his hands, he managed to get a handhold on part of the rock that he’d just banged his face on, realising belatedly that the tumble had moved him to the wrong side of the stream and now he was perilously close to plunging down the right side of the stream, and almost certainly to his… DEATH! He held on for all he was worth, despite the fact that he could barely feel his fingers or hands. The fast flowing torrent of water continued to pulverise his body. He knew that the longer he remained here, the more likely it was that he would be carried to his doom down this side of the stream.
Digging his fingernails into the rock, he used every muscle in his entire body, willing them all to work, despite the pain he felt in each and every one of them. It was working. His head was nearly level with the top of the rock. All he had to do was pull himself up just a little higher and then he could get one arm over the other side and pull himself into the left hand stream’s current. He was concentrating so hard on pulling himself up that he hadn’t noticed the tiny slivers of water that had started to seep through the mantra that held the pocket of air around his head. The surprise of feeling the ice cold water running across his face nearly caused him to lose his grip. Opening his eyes, for they’d been closed as he had willed his muscles on to greater things, he saw that water had started to leak in all around his face.
‘The mantra must be wearing off,’ he thought, totally terrified. ‘I’m gonna drown in only a matter of moments.’ It was this thought, and this alone, that gave him all the energy he required. Scrabbling up the rock and throwing himself into the current on the other side, Flash zoomed headlong into the fast flowing water, concentrating on what was in front of him and the watery pocket encasing his head.
More water had started to flow around his face now, so much so that he’d swallowed a couple of mouthfuls accidentally, and had taken to spitting some of the water back out and away from his face. The stream started to slow as the tunnel widened. The icy white sides of the tunnel became smoother, a bit like an underwater bobsleigh run. Flash hoped that the changes were indicative of reaching somewhere outside the mountain, somewhere he could exit the stream. Still the water leaked in even more around his freezing, throbbing, bleeding head, if he was not mistaken.
‘Must have been where I hit that rock,’ he thought, spitting out the blood along with a mouthful of icy cold water. Flash’s hope that the river would be leaving the mountain and coming out above ground seemed to have been dashed. The much slower flowing water was still firmly encased in a dark, icy tunnel, punctuated only by a few random eruptions of bubbles from the stream bed. Flash knew his time had nearly run out. Only a small amount of air remained around his face, air that he knew could disappear at any time. Desperation forced him into action and he started to swim as fast as he could, all the time taking deep breaths of the remaining air, knowing that one of them may be his last. Rounding a huge corner in what seemed to be the widest part of the stream he’d come across so far, he pushed on, forcing his legs to move for fear of drowning.
Seconds after taking another deep breath, the remaining air surrounding his head bobbed away, leaving him terrified and exhausted. If he could have done, he would have cried. The irony of being surrounded by this much water and wanting to cry nearly made him laugh. The current carried him along as he held his breath and looked back on what had been quite an adventurous life. The first dozen or so thoughts and images that whizzed past jolted him into action. He wasn’t the sort of being that calmly laid down and waited for the end to come. Alright, given the choice, he probably would have gone for an all-out fight to the death, with amazingly bad odds and just a hint of glory.
‘Well,’ he thought, ‘I haven’t been given the choice, but that doesn’t mean I’m just gonna give up and drown.’ He urged his legs on, kicking as fast as he could, the muscles burning with pain as he did so. He knew at best he’d have maybe another minute or so before his breath gave out, but he was determined to fight to the very end, albeit in a very different way from what he would have preferred. Swimming for all he was worth, he seemed to be moving faster and faster.
‘The current is increasing again,’ he thought, ploughing on. Soon, wave after wave of bubbles blocked his vision, as he moved through them at unerring speed. His cheeks, with the remainder of his air, were battered and bruised by the rushing water and the bubbles, and wanted nothing more than to expel their last breath. Moving his arms and legs was getting harder, as he was concentrating so hard on not opening his mouth. As he pitched through another curtain of bubbles, a torrent of white water engulfed him, dragging him round a bend and into an almost vertical drop. Fighting not to open his mouth while wanting to scream, he hit the bottom of the river bed, hard, jarring his right knee and elbow, both at the same time.
He was only a few seconds away from drowning now. He could feel his mouth about to open, and knew there was absolutely nothing he could do to stop it. Unexpectedly, a haze of light appeared through the bubbles up ahead. Clamping his mouth shut with all his might he surged forward. Black spots started to cloud his vision, but he pushed himself on. Rising upwards towards the light, Flash had no option but to open his mouth. His body continued its journey to potential salvation as the freezing water poured into his throat. Amazingly he broke the surface of the stream, out into the bright Antarctic daylight. The spots before his eyes were getting worse; only tiny openings in his vision remained. With both his arms outstretched, he pulled himself for all he was worth out of the freezing cold stream and onto the snow covered bank. Turning onto his side, he immediately began throwing up all the water he’d swallowed. The cold nibbled at his wet body, piercing him like a poker. After the excess water had left his body, Flash passed out on the snowy river bank, only inches away from the bitter stream that had nearly cost him his life.
Barely five minutes later, Flash’s survival instinct kicked in, and in a staggering display of stubbornness he awoke, wishing with every part of his body that he hadn’t. Feeling worse than an alcoholic’s hangover, and shivering on a national level, he knew that he had to get back to the dragon domain. Nothing else existed, only that one thought. Getting to his feet, he staggered slightly and then fell back down to his knees. His head was so muzzy that he just couldn’t concentrate. Two deep breaths later, he was back on his feet. He had to get a grip, get his bearings and find a way to get away from this hellhole and back to the dragon world. Looking back round at the body of water he’d come out of, he found that the stream only broke the surface for perhaps twenty feet or so before disappearing back underground. The bank and the surface of the stream were shielded from the normally roaring wind by a wicked looking rocky overhang that hovered menacingly over him at the moment. As Flash took all this in, a little voice in the back of his head said,
“They’ll come after you. As soon as they’ve recovered, they’ll come.”
He knew what he had to do. Still shivering violently, he took off his precious watch, noting the time and GPS location of where he was before he did so, and then set it down in the snow. Rubbing his hands together, he tried to get some feeling back into them and his fingers before he went any further. Not seemingly making any difference to his fingers, he set about turning the watch into an explosive device. He knew how to do it of course, and under normal conditions it would only take a few seconds, but his cold fingers made it hard to press all the small buttons in the right order. At the rate he was going, he’d be lucky not to blow himself to smithereens.
Eventually, after lots of fiddling and amazing amounts of concentration, Flash managed to set the proximity detection function. Setting the countdown to sixty seconds, so that he had enough time to get out of range, he depressed the button to start the countdown, leaving the watch on the icy bank, just pressed into the snow. After the timer had counted down, any movement at all in a radius of thirty metres would set off the explosive device in the watch. Flash turned away from the watch and started to jog slightly, buoyed by the knowledge that he had once again escaped certain death by the very skin of his teeth.
A few paces into his jog, a loud splashing noise from the stream caused him to turn round. A vision from hell appeared, dripping wet, on the water’s edge. The golden-coloured naga who’d captured him earlier, the one that he’d last seen flailing around on the floor of the prison barely conscious, stared at him from thirty feet away. Flash couldn’t believe what he was seeing. Another forty seconds or so and the naga wouldn’t have been a problem, because the explosive Flash had just planted would have gone off, either killing the naga, or trapping it below the surface of the stream for good. Waves of exhaustion washed over Flash, begging him just to lie down in the snow and call it a day. He couldn’t believe that he’d come so far, avoided death by a gnat’s… well, whatever it was, only for it to end like this. If it weren’t for the deadly seriousness of the situation, he could definitely see himself laughing about it all.

Download ‘Benthwhistle The Dragon In A Threat From The Past’ free from Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/286035

Download ‘Bentwhistle The Dragon In A Chilling Revelation’ from Smashwords:https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/394788

Paul’s Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/Paul-Cude/e/B007339206/ref=ntt_dp_epwbk_0

Bentwhistle For Nook At Barnes & Noble:http://www.barnesandnoble.com/s/Bentwhistle-The-dragon?keyword=Bentwhistle+The+dragon&store=book

Paul’s Blog: http://www.thesoberhockeyplayer.co.uk/

Bentwhistle The Dragon Website: http://www.bentwhistlethedragon.co.uk/

Bentwhistle The Dragon on Facebook:https://www.facebook.com/Bentwhistlethedragon?ref=hl

Follow Paul on twitter: @paul_cude

04 Dec 2013

Travis Luedke Book Tour – THE SHEPHERD

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I rarely participate in blog tours because as bloggers we don’t tend to know what the book is like before er sing up for the tour.

On this occasion however I was extremely lucky to find a truly excellent book that I whole-heartedly can recommend.

“The Shepherd” by Travis Luedke is a paranormal thriller slash romance for young adults, the emphasis on adult. It is the kind of book that will probably not be in the high school library but one that most high school kids would like to find there and will find someplace else.
Luedke freshens up the genre by writing a book about how kids really are, not how they are written in young adult books to please the parents. The kids are hormone driven, obnoxious at times and are still finding their bearings in the world – and they certainly don’t just hold hands. Lifelike and real. The realistic writing style is the strongest part of this book.

The story is expertly told with several strands of plot intertwining: The rivalry of our hero Mike with other high school boys, the odd relationship Mike has with his best female friend Anita and his encounters with the mysterious Nadia.
Mike has school, family issues and then he has visions that keep flashing in front of his eyes, intuition that changes his perspective and lets him see into the future. But the past also catches up with him.

The main characters are excellently chosen and there is an unpretentiousness and fundamental realism in this set up that makes this a very easy and for this reader a very rewarding experience. Innovative and original, at times witty and very humorous, at others action driven and full of suspense this is a book that could easily achieve cult status amongst the younger readers and have us older ones look over their shoulders with keen interest. Very well done.

 

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About the Author

Travis Luedke is a husband, father, and author of Urban Fantasy Thriller, Paranormal Romance, Contemporary Fantasy, Young Adult Fiction, and Sci-fi. He is currently catching a 3rd degree sunburn in San Antonio, Texas, and loving every minute of it.

As the author of the Nightlife Series novels, Travis lives very vicariously through his writings. He invites you to enjoy his macabre flights of fancy, but be warned: The Nightlife Series is violent, sexy, and occasionally violently sexy.

 

 

Social Media, & other links

Blog     http://thenightlifeseries.blogspot.com/

Blog     http://twluedke.blogspot.com/

Website     http://www.twluedke.com/

Twitter   https://twitter.com/TWLuedke or @TWLuedke

Facebook    http://www.facebook.com/pages/TW-Luedke/231016383686967

Wattpad    http://www.wattpad.com/user/TWLuedke

Goodreads    http://www.goodreads.com/TWLuedke

Email    twluedke@gmail.com

 

 

 Rafflecoptor link: 

 

Excerpt

Chapter 1

 

Thursday, September 9th, 5:15 p.m.

 

Shit happens, life happens, but for some reason it happens to me a lot.

 

I was kinda hoping life would give me a break – maybe crap on somebody else for a while.

 

Yeah, right.

 

I mean, look at Justin Shelby.  I’m sitting here in my car, in the McDonald’s drive through, and what is he doing?  He’s climbing up the side of the damn playcenter.  Probably faded on prescription pills he stole from his mom.  This guy is begging for life to hit him upside the head.  But it never does.

And then there’s his buddy, Tommy Schroeder, goading him on.

 

“Do it man!  You’re almost there!”

 

One of the wrestling elite of Moses Lake High School, Tommy’s mere presence inspired Justin to new heights of idiocy.  Justin scaled the side of the outdoor playcenter like Tom Cruise in Mission Impossible.

 

Justin skated religiously, a regular at the downtown Moses Lake skatepark across from the Aquatic Center.  Like most of us skaters, he was thin, moderately athletic, and had a strong sense of balance from endless hours busting his ass on the concrete.  Climbing the playcenter wasn’t any more dangerous than the skate tricks we recorded and posted to YouTube.

 

He quickly reached the apex, damn spider monkey.  He stood exalted atop the dome of the airplane-shaped plastic toy.  An elementary kid inside gawked up at him from the Plexiglas window.

 

“This is classic!”  Tommy whipped out his cell phone and started recording.

 

Looked like a good idea to me, so I did the same.  You never know what folly you might catch on video.  I mean, this was live action stuff.  I could be ten seconds away from a viral Youtube video, Gangnam Style.

 

Tommy encouraged Justin’s antics with loud catcalls.  Justin proclaimed his status as king of the hill, arms held high.

 

“Yeah bitches, hell yeah!”  Justin yelled and hooted at the top of his lungs, pumping his fists in the air.

 

I narrated to my potential audience of millions, “This is a flagrant violation of the rules.” I panned my cellphone camera over to the placard by the entry gate and zoomed in to catch a clear shot of the playcenter rules.  “There it is folks, rule number three:  No climbing outside the playcenter.  And we can’t forget rule number four:  No children over the age of fourteen allowed.  For the record, Justin is sixteen.”

 

Returning to the action, I caught Tommy’s upturned face lit with excitement, and then slid the view up the playcenter to Justin.  “There’s the big man, putting on a show for his new best friend.”

 

It kinda stung in a way I didn’t like to admit, that Justin was doing all this for Tommy.  A couple months ago, Justin was my best friend, my idiot.  Or so I had thought.

 

But Tommy was cool.  Popular and wealthy, he also happened to be one of the biggest arrogant pricks in my class, and Justin’s ticket into the ‘cool crowd.’

 

“Always trying to prove something.”  I shook my head.

 

Tommy and I don’t get along so well.  It’s a Rachelle thing.  One of those life things that happens to me so often.

 

I should just keep my mouth shut and catch some choice video, but you know what they say, the observer always affects the observed …

 

“Hey ass munch, get down before you break your neck!”

 

Justin’s head whipped around to the sound of my voice, causing his body to sway with the sudden movement.  As soon as he spotted me parked in the drive-through a nasty smirk bloomed across his face.  In a moment of sublime inspiration, Justin dropped his pants with a show of lily-white butt cheeks.  He obviously hadn’t seen me recording with my cell phone.

 

Tommy noticed me too.  “How about a double McAss burger Mikey?”

 

He loves to call me Mikey.  He knows I hate it.  No one but Tommy calls me Mikey.

 

The girl delivering my cheeseburger held her hand over her mouth to cover her braces as she giggled and snarfed at the sight of Justin’s naked rump shaking back and forth while he taunted, “It’s a full moon tonight Mikey.  Hope you enjoy the view!”

 

Perfect.  Now Justin’s calling me Mikey.  God I hate that name.

 

“It’s Michael, asshole!  And thanks for the killer video.  Goin’ straight to Facebook.”  I held my cell phone out the window for him.

 

Justin looked back over his shoulder in surprise, attempting to pull up his pants at the same time.  The knee-jerk reaction caused him to lose his delicate balance atop the apex of the plastic airplane.  He fell onto his right side, and slithered down the side of the playcenter.  His hands shot out across the smooth surface, clawing, seeking a grip.  There was nothing to grab.

 

I watched him slide inexorably down the outside of the playcenter, pants and underwear still down around his thighs.  He tried rolling into position for a feet-first landing.  The maneuver would’ve worked if not for the fence being so close to the playcenter.  The bright yellow, powder-coated aluminum fence that had aided his climb to the top now blocked his landing on the way down.

 

Justin’s momentum came to an abrupt halt as he hit the top of the fence ass first.

 

I cringed and almost ruined the shot.  “That’s gotta hurt.”

 

Justin’s blood-curdling scream of agony made my skin crawl.  He sat there, squealing like a stuck pig.  The top section of fence tubing had impaled him where the sun don’t shine.  Pegged in the holiest of holies, he had two inches of aluminum post going in through the out door.

 

“Oh my god this is insane!”

 

I saved the ninety-three second video clip of Justin on my smart phone and posted it directly to my Facebook timeline.  I had a momentary twinge of conscience.  I mean, he was still crying, and Tommy was trying to climb the fence to help him.  It looked really painful.

 

“I can always delete it later …”

 

I was gonna call for help, but Tommy already had his phone out as Justin yelled in his face, “Call 911!”

 

I only had a few minutes to get to work.  As I drove off, I thought about taking that video down.  I probably should have.  But it only took fifteen minutes for my video clip to find its way to over 200 students at Moses Lake High School, shared over and over to dozens of Facebook profiles.  My first ever viral video.

 

I guess life happens to Justin Shelby too.

07 Nov 2013

Constructing Marcus by Danielle DeVor

2 Comments Book Reviews

 Today I have the pleasure of introducing multi-talented writer Danielle DeVor, author of young adult books as well as horror for grown ups. 

Large Base Consstructing Marcus Working copy

“Constructing Marcus” by Danielle DeVor is a very sweet ghost hunting book, probably written for young adults but with enough appeal for this young reader.

Our heroine Emma is a teenager with an anorexic mother and an interest in ghost hunting. When the family moves to Boston from Florida she loses all of her friends but keeps up her good spirit and engages in some research regarding the house. When she finds out that a witch was killed in the house her interest is sparked, as are her emotions when she meets the attractive Marcus, a ghostly creature made by said witch.

It is hard to describe just how lovely the main character is, melancholic but strong and full of life despite her problems. She is mature for her age but also just a girl, which makes her extremely likeable, simply a great protagonist for such a book.

The ghost hunting part of the book is also handled well. We are all inundated with ghost hunting programmes on TV and watching Emma going about it in her unassuming and gentle way is a pleasant and refreshing change from that norm. The paranormal detective story and the suspense in this book are kept at a good pace to keep the interest going but also giving enough space for the other issues of the book, particularly the parent-child relationships. 
Those are also full of thought, DeVor spends a lot of time describing the parents and making interesting and varied as characters to stop falling into the trap of cliquee. I loved the mother with all her foibles and flaws and Marcus is also a fun character and one that many young female readers will enjoy reading.

I found this a low key yet hugely enjoyable read that I finished in almost one sitting. I would like my nieces to have a friend like Emma and a boyfriend like Marcus.

Interview with Danielle:

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Tell us a little about yourself as writer and a person.

I guess you could say that I have always been a very imaginative person. I can remember being a kid and creating very specific scenarios for the toys I was playing with at the time. Usually, it was a combination of Barbies and Star Wars figures. I really believe that helped me create worlds and situations in my writing as I got older.

What made you decide to write for / about young adults? And why did you chose to write about ghost hunting?

I am one of those people who felt the old John Hughes films- The Breakfast Club still remains my favorite film. So, for me, it was natural to tap into that age group and create my own worlds. Ghost hunting was something I wanted to add to Constructing Marcus. You always hear the old, “Write what you know” advice. And, well, I belong to a ghost hunting organization called the West Virginia Paranormal Research Society.

Tell us a little about the history of the book. How did you have the inspiration for your story and your characters?

 I have always been the kid that researches weird things, so finding odd occult information is nothing new. Several years ago, I stumbled across a book about séances and Ouija boards and there was a story about a group of spiritualists in England who essentially “created” their own ghost “constructed” from ideas, a made up personality, looks, and powers. It is said that if you visit this house, the “Construct” will still speak to you via a Ouija board. So, when I decided to write a YA Paranormal Romance, this old story popped into my head and I knew it was something I could work with.

Do you have a particular message you would like to convey?

I don’t really think of my writing as having a specific message, but I’m sure that my views on certain thoughts come out in my writing whether I mean them to or not.

How much of the stories was fixed before you started writing and how much changed during the process?

Not too much. I knew Emma’s name. Marcus went through several name changes. But, I knew I was writing about a teenage ghost hunter who moved into a spooky house in Boston. The rest kind of just came along as I wrote. I fully admit it, I’m a total punster.

Which of your characters was most enjoyable to write?

In this book, it was definitely Emma. I liked making her strong and not give into her mother’s mental problems.

Who would play them in a film?

Emma, I would like played by a young brunette. Jennifer Lawrence would be perfect.

Are you like any of the characters in the book?

I’m a little bit like Emma in terms of standing up for what I believe in, but she puts up with things a lot longer than I do. LOL.

What is your life like? What do you do for pleasure and work when you are not writing?

I currently live in West Virginia. Lots of mountains around. Right now, writing is my job. When I’m not writing or doing promo for my writing, I read, watch lots of horror films, and crochet.

Who are your literary influences? What are your favourite books/ films/ albums?

Literary influences- Anne Rice, Stephen King, Richard Matheson.

My favorite books are: Blood Thrist by LA Freed, I am Legend by Richard Matheson, Salem’s Lot by Stephen King. There are more, but that’s off the top of my head.

My favorite movies are: The Breakfast Club, The Lost Boys, The Shining ( the one with Jack Nicholson), and An American Werewolf in London.

My favorite albums are: The Rolling Stones Greatest Hits, Type O Negative Bloody Kisses, and The Soundtrack to the movie Queen of the Damned

What are your views on independent publishing?

I think it is a great option for authors if they can afford to do it right. Hiring a good editor and a good cover artist are expensive parts of the process.

Can you recommend any indie books/ authors?

Travis Luedke’s The Shepherd, Maer Wilson’s Relics (her later books in the series will all be Self Pubbed), and Simon Okill’s Bigfoot series

What would your friends tell us if we asked for your best and your oddest qualities?

My best quality would probably be my loyalty to my friends. But, the oddest, would probably be that even though I’m an extreme horror film fanatic, I am afraid of the dark.

What are your favourite animal?

My favorite animal is the bat. I’ve even gone out with the DNR and helped tag bats for a study before.

What would you take to a remote island?

My favorite books. My harp. Tools to be able to make myself shelter and enable me to hunt for food.

Who would you like to invited for dinner and why?

I would like to be invited for dinner by Hannibal Lecter if he was eating a normal meal. There is something about the character and intelligence he has that fascinates me. Of course, it would be like throwing treats to a shark, but it definitely wouldn’t be a boring evening.

What are you writing at the moment and where would we find out about your next projects?

I am currently working on the sequel to my vampire book, Tail of the Devil. I hope to have it finished by the first of December. You can find out about my already published books and future books at my blog/website 

What else would you like us to know about you and your books?

I love hearing from readers, so feel free to contact me via social media. 

Social Media Links:

Twitter: @sammyig

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

Website: http://danielledevor.wordpress.com

Book Buy links:

Tail of the Devil

Amazon: http://amzn.com/B00CJHO7D8

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/tail-of-the-devil-danielle-devor/1115225829?ean=2940016494050

Sorrow’s Point

Amazon: http://amzn.com/1939173418

Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sorrows-point-danielle-devor/1117032105?ean=9781939173416

Constructing Marcus

Amazon:  http://amzn.com/B00EVS384W

Barnes and Noble:  http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/constructing-marcus-danielle-devor/1116804074?ean=2940148671886

Bio:

Danielle DeVor spent her early years fantasizing about vampires and watching “Salem’s Lot” way too many times.  After living briefly in Baton Rouge, Louisiana, she moved back to her hometown to write.  When not writing and reading about weird things, you will find her hanging out at the nearest coffee shop, enjoying a mocha frappuccino.  Visit her at danielledevor.wordpress.com

 

 I have since had the opportunity to read Danielle’s other work and here are my reviews for them:

“Tail of the Devil” by Danielle DeVor is a well written Vampire Story about a 15 year old boy. Mathias Drvar has run away from his evil aunt who became his guardian after his parents dies in an accident.
Living on the streets of New York he occasionally earns money by doing odd job for a mysterious man named Nic. On one of those missions Mathias gets injured and awakes in the hands of Vlad Dracula.
This is where the fun begins, as Dracula hates being called by that name and the mighty Nosferatu prefers to be called Nossy. It turns out that Mathias is a distant relative and belongs to the Vampire lineage and will be taught how to be a Vampire and how to fight his enemies.
DeVor has created a very entertaining set of characters in this coming of age of a vampire tale. Mathias is a great if somewhat unlikely and often reluctant adolescent hero and his allies are equally colourful. With Mathias we learn more about the world of Vampires, Lilith the evil Queen and Mathias’ s special role.tail of the devil coverart largeThe use of language might keep it slightly out of bounds for the youngest of the younger audiences but although the tone is dark at times it always remains slightly light hearted. 
Written with much love for the genre and attention to descriptive detail this is a wonderful Vampire story that has a great warm feel to it at times and then takes you into captivating scenes of action. For fans of the paranormal and supernatural this must be a feast with its own take on the Vampire myth.
Now that Mathias is established I hope this will become a series of books that will let us follow our young hero on further adventures.
Very well done

LgSorrowsPoint

 

 “Sorrow’s Point” by Danielle DeVor reads like a classic horror novel. Beginning with an ominous and horrifying scene at a house in Sorrow’s Point in 1950 the tone is set for a dark and sinister tale.
In the present now an ‘almost’ priest and a witch are called to help a family that lives in the house now to exorcise a demon that possesses a 6 year girl and put up with the dreams, the noises and lots of other creepy scary stuff going on in there.
Told in separate narratives and with flashes back to 1950 we gradually unravel the secrets of the house.
The horror in this novel is subtle and it is everywhere, there is a continuous sense of impending doom and a sense of foreboding that permeates even the parts that do not deal with the exorcism. 
When a policeman arrives at the house in 1950 his reaction and shock are almost more unsettling than what actually will be shown to the reader. Likewise, when Jimmy, the man who would have been a priest, thinks about his life and whether or not he might be suitable as an exorcist, there is again a sense of anxiety and an acknowledgement of the magnitude of the task ahead. Tabby, the ‘witch’ brings her own brand of darkness to the table.
Nothing is as scary than a little innocent child behaving convincingly like a demon possessed monster and that is exactly what we eventually get. The scenes with her and the spirits were very scary to me.
The team is made up of great characters, each bringing a different angle to the story and with the uncovering of the past there is a mystery aspect to the story, adding to the richness of the reading experience.
This is a must read for fans of exorcism and horror.

21 Aug 2013

“There’s Nothing Wrong with Claudia” by Brenda Kearns

2 Comments Book Reviews

ClaudiaCoverEnglish2.8X4

THERE’S NOTHING WRONG WITH CLAUDIA

Claudia does not like being different. She does not like being outside on windy days. And she does not like being able to float—because floating causes nothing but trouble. 

All Claudia wants is to be the same as everyone else…until the day there’s a major disaster at her school, and the only one who can possibly make things right is a very clever girl who knows how to float!

“There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia” by Brenda Kearns is a wonderful and magic book for children that I would highly recommend.
In the story Claudia is unhappy with her special gift, talent or curse to be able to float, for which no cure can be found.
Only her grandfather keeps assuring everyone: There is nothing wrong with Claudia.
The book is a wonderful plea for acceptance of all of one’s qualities. What may appear as a weakness could turn out to be a strength and a blessing.
The symbolism and the many possible readings of this story work on many levels, which is amazing for such a short story. Floating could be a metaphor for the ability to rise above things, for being light hearted and free or being able to go with the flow of the universe?
This book, being read to a child by an understanding adult as the grandfather in the story, can bring children a greater understanding of the gift that is being different, should help them to accept themselves for what they are and also allow them to enjoy the beautiful drawings and the cute characters.
A very impressive achievement

Brenda -1

 

Interview with Brenda Kearns

How did you come to writing?

It was an accident, actually. I was a science teacher on maternity leave, and was looking for an excuse to avoid cleaning the house. I was also looking for an excuse to get out of the house. I was bored, bored, bored. So I took an eight-week night class on creative writing. It was a blast! I had so much fun that I decided to try writing for a living, instead of teaching.

Is this your first book or have you written before?

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia was my second book. While I was taking that eight-week course, I wrote an early chapter book—Sleepover Zoo. That wasn’t leisurely, relaxing writing—I wrote like a chipmunk hopped up on caffeine. I felt like I had to justify the rather drastic career change that I was considering, and early chapter books were in demand at the time, while I’d heard that editors already had a glut of picture book submissions in their slush pile. Luckily, Scholastic Canada agreed to publish Sleepover Zoo. That gave me the confidence to write There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia. I figured I’d better have a backup plan, so I also started sending out query letters to every woman’s magazine that I could find. I sent out 365 queries that first year—and received 365 rejections. I stunk at writing query letters!

What made you decide to write for children?

Well, I had two kids. Then I had a third. Then I adopted two. Then I adopted two more. I’m constantly surrounded by kids, so it seemed like a good idea to write things that might distract them so I could get a few minutes of peace.

When did you first have the idea for this book?

My oldest daughter was three at the time. She was very energetic, and my former mother-in-law was convinced that there had to be something wrong with her. Leah loved running, she loved biking, she loved climbing onto counters, she loved crawling under tables…she did not want to sit still and listen to a bunch of boring adults talk about their boring lives. I found myself saying, “there’s nothing wrong with Leah,” a lot. That spawned the idea for the book!

What is your main message in this book?

The things that make you different aren’t necessarily flaws or weaknesses—with the right attitude, they can be your strengths! (also cod liver oil tastes terrible, and grandpas are cool)

How long did it take you to write this book?

SleepoverZooCover

Ooooh, good question…I worked on Claudia off and on for about three months. I got it to the point where I was fairly happy with it, then tucked it away to “chill” while I got the magazine writing rolling and started the next picture book, Parrots and Popcorn. When I went back to Claudia a few months later, I hated it! It was completely wrong! Aaarrrggghhh! So I picked away at it for, oh, probably two more years before I really felt good about it.

What do you find the most challenging aspect of the writing process and what the most enjoyable?

The toughest part for me is simply starting a new project. It isn’t actually writer’s block that holds me back. It’s a vague “jumping over a big mud puddle” feeling. I’m always hoping things will go smoothly, hoping I’ll enjoy the process and hoping the end result will be something worth reading, but there’s that annoying, whiney little voice in my head that makes me question whether or not I can actually do it. Oddly, I never worry about whether or not I can write something worth reading while I’m in the midst of a project—I only worry before I start.

The most enjoyable part? That’s the part I call tweaking (I’d call it editing, but that sounds too much like work). Once I have that first draft in place, I’m in heaven! I love to move stuff around, change how sentences are worded, change plot lines, find spelling mistakes and dumb phrases that need to be knocked out…Tweaking is fun, because the pressure is off at that point. I’ve finished the first draft—now I’m just playing with it and making it better.

How comfortable do you feel writing for young adults?

I’m a bit weird—I have an aversion to writing about sex, drugs, violence, vampires and all of that other gripping stuff that teens seem to like. I’m drawn to books that make me feel good and make me laugh, and I really can’t imagine writing something that would make me feel depressed or stress me out. So while I love writing for young adults, I focus on early young adults and my work is laced with humor.

Tell us about your other books

Parrots and Popcorn is a picture book about a girl, Kara, who’s upset about her upcoming birthday. What she wants is a real magic show and a puppy. Instead, her brother is going to do some fake magic tricks in front of her friends, then he’s going to pull some plain old presents out of his magic hat. The night before her birthday, Kara gets hold of her brother’s magic hat and starts experimenting, trying to see if she can actually make it work. She quickly discovers that she’s a lot better at magic than her brother—and she gets a lot more for her birthday than she’d expected!

PopcornCoverEnglish4.2X6

Sleepover Zoo—the early chapter book that I mentioned—is about a 6th grade girl who moves into a new neighborhood and tries desperately to hide her family’s weirdness from the kids at school. Toni wants to fit in and feel normal, yet her family runs a wild bird care center in their house, so it’s like living in a zoo. When Toni gets cornered by one of the popular girls and has to have a sleepover, things go downhill fast!

 

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet is an early young adult novel. It’s about Monica, a 14-year-old who desperately wants to spend August at a science camp far away from her idiot sister and weird little brother. Trouble is, Monica’s being dragged into the wedding party of her crabby old great aunt who lives in England—and if she wants to earn the science camp trip, she has to keep her siblings in line for the entire time they’re in England, plus convince her crazy Grandma to move into a nursing home. It’s a fast-paced story with lots of laughs (fair warning: no sex, violence or vampires).

How do you write? What is your writing environment like?

I love my office. It’s a small room with soothing green walls, a huge wooden desk, a bookshelf, and a comfy chair and love seat for my kids to use. Very zen. Our Great Dane uses up half of the love seat, so my kids often end up sprawled out on the floor. There have been times when five, six or all seven kids are scattered around in there yakking while I work. It’s a great room—everyone gravitates toward it.

 

I don’t really have scheduled “writing times.” I do an hour or so before my kids get up, then once they’re at school, or busy playing, I write until lunch. After lunch, I write until supper. Then after the younger ones are in bed, I write until bedtime (or until my brain goes on strike and I have to stop). As long as there’s no music playing, I can write. Kids talking, tractors running (we live on a farm), the TV blaring…nothing really distracts me except music.

 

How many rewrites did it take you?

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I never rewrite…I tweak! That makes the whole process feel less intimidating and less painful. I just tweak and tweak and tweak until I can’t see anything else that I could possibly do to fix the bloody thing. I picked away at There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia for about two years. Of course, if that was all I was doing for two years, I would have gone bat crap crazy. I’d also started writing health articles for Women’s World and First for Women—and I was working on Parrots and Popcorn—at the same time.

Who are your editors and how do you quality control your books?

My books are all self-published ebooks (even Sleepover Zoo is now an ebook, since the rights reverted back to me from Scholastic a few years ago). So that makes me the editor as well as the writer, which is scary. The thought of a reader finding errors in my books makes me cringe. So, when I think each book is ready, I send it to a freelance editor (Laura Backes is amazing) and ask them to be as critical as possible. It’s money well spent. I wouldn’t trust myself to self-publish without having a second set of eyes (official Editor Eyes) combing through the thing, first.

Another thing that helped was that I had all four books translated into Spanish and French. I didn’t do it to improve the books’ quality, specifically—I just got the wild idea to offer each book in three languages, and I can rarely dissuade myself once I come up with a wild idea. Well, the Spanish and French translators were spectacular, plus incredibly thorough. While doing their translations, one of them found two grammar issues that I hadn’t noticed, and the other one found a couple of typos!

Who are your favourite authors / influences?

I like anyone who makes me laugh, and I love clever, witty writing and smart, but flawed main characters. So Linda Urban (A Crooked Kind of Perfect) Karen McCombie (An Urgent Message of Wowness) and Louise Rennison (Angus, Thongs and Full Frontal Snogging) are great picks for me. Ever read Edward the Emu? I have that one memorized. And anything by Dave Barry, of course!

What is your favourite book?

Oddly, the book that I found completely absorbing, read multiple times and still remember vividly wasn’t actually a funny one (sorry, no chance of consistency with me, I guess). It’s David R. Palmer’s Emergence. I still have my original 1984 copy, here, in my office. My kids know they’re not allowed to touch it, because it’s so old it’s starting to fall apart. I’ll be putting it in my will—whichever kid sticks around and takes care of me when I’m old and frail will get it!

What would you take to a lonely island?

A boat with a working motor and lots of gas. I’d have to get home fast before my kids trashed the house. It never occurs to them that dirty dishes can actually be put into the dishwasher.

Who would play your characters in a movie?

Can I pick George Clooney? He’s a cutie—and a good actor. He could play a floating girl, don’t you think?

What are your next projects and where would we be able to hear about them?

I hope to have I Want To Go Home available by March, 2014. It’s a middle-grade novel about a 14-year-old girl (Allie) who’s already been in 17 different foster homes. Every time Allie and her younger siblings get tossed into a new foster family, she plays games (like lying about their mom’s drinking, and pretending counseling is helping) to get back home. Things backfire when they get placed on a farm with a savvy foster mom who doesn’t fall for Allie’s sneaky moves. I Want To Go Home is about Allie’s difficult, yet sometimes humorous journey as she struggles to decide if where she was born is truly where she belongs.

When it’s available, I’ll be posting the news on my Facebook writer page (www.facebook.com/BrendaKearnsWriter) and also on my blog (www.brendakearns.com/blog). So if anyone would like to subscribe to one of those, I can keep them posted (I only put a blurb on the Facebook page once or twice monthly, and I post one blog monthly, so I won’t clog up your e-mail in-box!).

My website:

www.brendakearns.com

Blog:

www.brendakearns.com/blog

 Twitter 

@Brenda_Kearns

AMAZON:

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia

http://www.amazon.com/Theres-Nothing-Wrong-Claudia-ebook/dp/B00DEP5BY8/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Theres-Nothing-Wrong-Claudia-ebook/dp/B00DEP5BY8/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_11?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-11

Parrots and Popcorn

http://www.amazon.com/Parrots-and-Popcorn-ebook/dp/B00CX7PMUG/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Parrots-and-Popcorn-ebook/dp/B00CX7PMUG/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-7

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

http://www.amazon.com/The-Washed-Face-Toilet-ebook/dp/B00C5K3I8O/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Day-Washed-Face-Toilet-ebook/dp/B00C5K3I8O/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-2

Sleepover Zoo

http://www.amazon.com/Sleepover-Zoo-ebook/dp/B00C5K44GY/

http://www.amazon.co.uk/Sleepover-Zoo-ebook/dp/B00C5K44GY/ref=la_B00CB702LW_1_10?ie=UTF8&qid=1376483174&sr=1-10

 

BARNES & NOBLE

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/theres-nothing-wrong-with-claudia-brenda-kearns/1115695875?ean=9780991811441

Parrots and Popcorn

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/parrots-and-popcorn-brenda-kearns/1115536392?ean=9780991811434

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/the-day-i-washed-my-face-in-the-toilet-brenda-kearns/1115228290?ean=9780991811427

Sleepover Zoo

http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sleepover-zoo-brenda-kearns/1115228289?ean=9780991811403

 

*These books are also available through Apple’s iBookstore, Sony’s Reader Store, Kobo, Copia, eBookPie, eSentral, Scribd and Gardners.

 

GOODREADS:

There’s Nothing Wrong With Claudia

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18085293-there-s-nothing-wrong-with-claudia

Parrots and Popcorn

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18006889-parrots-and-popcorn

The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17792466-the-day-i-washed-my-face-in-the-toilet

Sleepover Zoo

http://www.goodreads.com/book/show/17792499-sleepover-zoo

 

 MY REVIEW OF SLEEPOVER ZOO

“Sleepover Zoo” by Brenda Kearns is a lovely story for young adults.
As the title implies there is a sleepover involved, concerning several young girls. There is a long build up to the actual sleepover because of classroom ‘politics’ and worries by the girls about their image.
The location for said sleepover houses animals of all kinds and our heroine is worried that this will lead to ridicule rather than admiration.
The book does well in describing the worries and concerns of teenagers and it has some great revelations and a wonderful message. The description of the house with all the animals is often hilarious and entertaining, as it might be educational.
Once again Kearns has written sensitively about an important matter, the connection of humans with nature and animals. One party guest in particular has a steep learning curve. The characters are lovely, sometimes amusing and certainly very real.
This is a beautiful book that stands out from the many supernatural and superpower helpings of the genre.
Just right.

 

MY REVIEW OF THE DAY I WASHED MY FACE IN THE TOILET 

“The Day I Washed My Face in the Toilet” by Brenda Kearns is a fun read concerning a teenage girl who is plagued by her two eccentric siblings on a family trip to England. 
The book is full of hilarious episodes and colourful characters. A hyper or slightly autistic brother, the diva sister, a difficult great-aunt or the demented Grandmother.
Besides the comedy however the story touches on some serious issues such as the care for the elderly and what to do with problem children. The book remains light hearted with some uplifting moments and great humour.
As with all good young adult fiction there is some food for thought and a message for tolerance and acceptance.
Highly recommended.

 

 

 

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