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Wednesday, December 4, 2019

IWSG...Keeping it fun

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers comes together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let  frustrations and woes flow. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group), then head on over here.

Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG . They can also be found on Facebook or on the IWSG blog.

Not only am I thrilled to help co-host today (because that's always tons of fun), but the winners of the anthology contest are being announced, too! I was lucky enough to be one of the judges, and wow! The stories were terrific! This anthology is going to be a real treat and probably not what you expected. Adventurous? Yep. But each story is so much more than that.

The winners can be found HERE ... the IWSG blog (after 5am EST)!  Congratulations to all of them!


Don't put down those pens, yet! January is just around the corner, which means it's almost time for...

From 8am to 8pm EST, you can tweet a pitch of your finished and polished manuscript (with genre, audience age group, and #IWSGPit ). If you receive a like/heart from a publisher or agent, then check out their submission guidelines, send in the desired materials, and Wa-La! Your story will get at least a glance.

I, personally, love peeking in on these just to see all of the awesome stories. The ideas are always amazing!


I'm skipping over today's question because I wanted to share something with you, instead.
My co-author loves to whittle and has been creating the characters from our WIP.  We have quite the cast, and the ones I'm showing you aren't necessarily the main characters. At least, not in the first book. Let's just say that someone is going to be whittleing for many moons to come. 

The first two figures are still in the making, but I couldn't resist giving you a glimpse anyway (hope Mr. Co-Author forgives me.) 

This is Niles, a fifteen-year-old, who is trying to support himself and his sick, little brother. He works as a janitor at the castle. Later, he needs to learn how to fight... the scenes from which this figure originates. On his back are the arrows, and he's holding a bow. (I can't wait to see it when it's sanded.)

Meet Anglia (oh, I hope I spelled her name right!). She's nine/ten-years-old and a bit of a handful. She's extremely playful and has a rich imagination...maybe a little too much so? Niles becomes a big brother figure for her (that's why he's currently standing at her back). I'm super excited about where her story will take her during the series (yep, we're writing a series!) She packs tons of surprises! And yep, this is definitely a YA read...take that as a very slight and impossible-to-know-where-it's-going hint at what her future holds.

Meet Midnight. She's not a character in this first book and is a very, very tinsy-tiny side-character, whose name might or might not be mentioned in the series (We're still working on book one and although the basic plot stands for the series, who knows what surprises will pop up!). But her best friend, Fay, is definitely a force to be reckoned with in the first book. Fay carries so much spunk that her little body can hardly contain it. Since I can't find my Fay photo (and I'm sure Mr. Co-Author emailed it to me..hmmm), I decided Midnight was too interesting to ignore. Her wings are iridescent, and you can kind of see that in the photo if you squint. She's still drying in this image...perhaps, that explains her scowl? But then, she does have a bit of a dark side.

As you can tell, Mr. Co-Author and I are having fun. Considering how much rewriting and editing is involved, fun is a vital element and keeps the excitement level high.

So, does chocolate.

Tons of chocolate.

Have a Happy Holidays! And see all of you next month!!!

Wednesday, October 23, 2019

Wednesday Whittleings...and where those whittleings wander.

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children's books, others about writing, and whatever else strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

I'm a horrible whittler. Honestly, I've never done much whittleing outside of creating pointed sticks to roast marshmallows on...(if that's not a worthy whittleing activity, though, then I don't know what would be!)  My co-author, however, is a whittler and is creating some of the characters from our book. I'll be sure to post pictures soon, so stay tuned for that!    (See, I'm getting you hyped for later!  ...ummm...and I haven't told him I'd like him to take pictures of them yet. So, if he's reading this, now he knows.)


In other news, an awesome writing friend is celebrating the release of her new book in just TWO DAYS!!! I haven't read it yet...my 'to-be-read' pile has been getting the best of me lately...but I've heard so many good things about it and will be reading it. I'm a fan of her writing. So, I'm going to say...This Is A Must Read!

by C. Lee McKenzie
Evernight Teen
YA Contemporary / Thriller / Mystery

A bloodied knife. One young man's word against another. A lifetime dream shattered.

B&N https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/not-guilty-c-le…/1133757423
KOBO https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/not-guilty-19
SMASHWORDS https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/959648


Also, in the world of writing (is there another world?)

I'm going to be at the Barnes & Noble in St. Peters, Missouri from 12 to 3 pm this coming Saturday (October 26th.) They're planning quite the Halloween event (I've heard), and there will be an adult horror/thriller/spooky author there as well.

I've been told to come dressed for the celebration. I might have the perfect outfit.

So, stop by if you can. Plus, it's supposed to be yucky weather—a terrific time for a visit to the book store!


The super-awesome, amazing narrator, Nance Weber, put together a short video to help tease the audio book version of Music Boxes. I'm still over the moon about this and love listening to how she reads the characters.


And lastly...but not leastly...

Here's the on-going Tour line-up for the next week's stops and Music Boxes, conducted through Silver Dagger Book Tours.
There's a giveaway for a Music Box + Swag AND a $20 Amazon GC (2 separate prizes). Plus, there are guest posts, where I babble and babble and babble. Is there a prize for babbling?

Today, Wednesday:







Wednesday, October 2, 2019

IWSG and a ton of other stuff!

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers come together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let out frustrations and woes. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group) then head on over here.

Twitter is @TheIWSG and hashtag #IWSG

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts (and these are awesome co-hosts!): Gwen Gardner, Doreen McGettigan, Tyrean Martinson, Chemist Ken, and Cathrina Constantine! 

Hello, October! I'm a huge Fall/Winter fan. So, I'm all smiles this time of year...taking walks in the leaves...enjoying mums and pumpkins...eating apples...apple cider...the cool breeze...

*sigh* Yep, life is good. (Well, as of tomorrow. We've been stuck in this weird heat wave the last few weeks).


I've got a lot to hit today, but I'll start with the question:

 It's been said that the benefits of becoming a writer who does not read is that all your ideas are new and original. Everything you do is an extension of yourself, instead of a mixture of you and another author. On the other hand, how can you expect other people to want your writing, if you don't enjoy reading? What are your thoughts?

Can a baker who's never tasted or smelled or touched bread bake? Maybe. But how are they to know if it tastes right, has the right consistency, or even resembles bread? Writing is a learned craft like everything else. You need to know how to write and see writing to become a writer.

Otherwise, I'm in the deep, dark editing cave right now and probably will be there until November or longer. I hope I brought along enough candles and snacks.


And now, off to everything else!!!

I didn't have internet the last two weeks. So, not only did I disappear, but so much happened during that time!

First, I was blessed enough to meet two authors during my last signing. This is the first time I've actually come face-to-face with some of you, and wow! What amazing people, too!

Erika Beeba (https://erikabeebe.com/) stopped by. Some of you might know her as CloudNineGirl. And what a bright person she is!

I also met the talented Rosie Russell, who's not only brought out more than a few amazing childrens books but is also an amazing person to chat with.


The audio version of Music Boxes is about to be released...
any day now!!!

To help spread the word and celebrate, Silver Dagger Book Tours is helping me run a month long blog tour. I have several guest posts going up (more secrets revealed about me?) and a giveaway for a music box as well as a $20 Amazon GC. So, if you get a chance, you might want to stop by and join in.

A list of stops can be found here.

This is where to go this week:
Oct. 2 - A guest post and excerpt at Silver Dagger Book ToursTwisted Book Ramblings
Oct. 3 - The Sexy Nerd 'Revue'The Bookshelf Fairy
Oct. 4 - The Spooky BookshelfJava John Z's
Oct. 5 - A Pinch of BookdustBook Corner News and Reviews
Oct. 6 - A guest post at Readeropolis 
Oct. 7- Literary GoldThe Book Dragon
Oct. 8 - Speculative Fiction SpotScrupulous Dreams


I have another book signing this month!

I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in St. Peters (St. Louis area) on October 18th from 10 am to 2 pm.
If you're in the area, feel free to stop by!


What about you? Do you think reading makes it difficult to come up with original tales of your own? What do you take with you into the editing cave? Are you also suffering 90 degree temperatures when it's supposed to be cooling down???

How's your writing life going?

Tuesday, September 3, 2019

IWSG - Breezes, News, Chicken Mysteries and a Ship to the Stars!

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers come together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let out frustrations and woes. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group) then head on over here.

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts:  Gwen Gardner, Doreen McGettigan, Tyrean Martinson, Chemist Ken, and Cathrina Constantine!

September is here!!! I love this time of year. Not only do the cooler temperatures make me smile, but the work outside starts to slow down. Yippee! Which means more writing time for me!

I have a lot planned on that front, but then, I have high hopes every year at this time. (Let's not admit how much writing really gets done in the end, though, because I'm staying positive.) 

Before heading into this month's question, there are a few tidbits, dates, and surprises I want to mention...

Bookworm for Kids was placed at #14 in the top 50 Children Book Blogs according to Ranked Blogs. So yay!

I'm honored to be September's featured author over at the Society for Children Book Writers and Illustrators for the KS/MO district and have an interview up on their website.

I'll be up in northern Kansas City at the Barnes and Noble on September 28th for their 'Campfire Chills' event and will be signing books, handing out SWAG and simply having fun chatting with everyone who stops by. (So mark those calendars!)

And on the farm front....

A calf was born this last week. So cute! It's black and bouncy, and I'm not sure if it's a boy or girl yet, but I'll figure that out as soon as it (or its mother) lets me get close enough to take a peek.

I also had a chicken coop murder mystery, which took longer to solve and cost more feathered lives than I would have liked. We lost our proud, majestic rooster...and two hens.

Did you know that raccoons are smart enough to lift doors and enter the coop? I didn't. 

But we caught the villain, and now, there's peace in the realm of eggs again.

Before things start popping up again, here's this month's question!

If you could pick one place in the world to sit and write your next story, where would it be and why?

THIS is a question which could take an entire novel to answer.  There are so many places I'd love to write. I'm open to so many things!

On a cliff overlooking the Irish shore.
On a raft floating down the Amazon river.
On a branch in a tall tree with a great view of a rain forest.
In front of the fireplace, curled up in a blanket.
Next to a waterfall.
In an igloo.
Sitting in front of a dinosaur bone display in a museum.
Riding a gondola in the Alps.
Sitting on the side of the Himalayas.
In a chair on the moon.
In a dungeon of an ancient castle.
The list goes on...and on... and on...

See? I'm not even picky? Especially if I'm allowed to bring snacks.

And where would you like to sit and write your next novel? Do you have any news or tidbits to share? Does September put a smile on your face or are you sad to see Summer go?

Wednesday, August 28, 2019

Wednesday Whittleings — Fantasy Building Silliness and Dr. Dolittle

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children's books, others about writing, and whatever else strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

As some of you know, I'm currently hitting new ground (for me) in writing and am working on a co-authored project. If you want to know the truth, it's a ton of fun. Not only is it great to finally bounce ideas back and forth without having to deal with eye rolls and disinterest...

...my family members don't need to listen to my non-stop babbling about whatever I'm writing on at the moment. 

But it's a blast to play around in a fantasy world with someone else. I thought I'd share an email from my co-author, when I had a question about the magic building he'd set up (just to give you a hint at how crazy and hilarious this process is). And this is the email.

"All right! So first off, I want to thank you all for coming here today...if this is your first visit to my head, don't forget to fill out the new personality form back there on the table as you enter. As always, snacks are free, but the bar is cash only."
 *audible grumble*
"First order of business.  Necromancy. Now, I know this is old news for some of you, but we have a visitor, so please, be respectful.Necromancy is an off shoot of witchcraft, which is a religion, and therefore, anyone can partake in. Now of course, we're not talking Harry Potter here."
 *chuckles from the peanut gallery*
"So I'll turn it over to an expert in the subject. Lady Dolethea?"
A pale thin dark haired personality with bright violet eyes steps behind the podium. She sweeps a gaze across the crowd with a mixture of arrogance and disdain.
"Fools. You know nothing!" Her face softens. "Ahem. So, let's start with the basics...
One doesn't need any special abilities to become a witch. You simply have to understand the flow of energies binding the universe together. Inviting a spirit guide to help you through the process is an important initiation ritual dating back before recorded history. As you progress in your journey to enlightenment—assuming, of course, you please your spirit guide—he, she or it will open new doors to abilities you never thought possible."
"Excuse me."
Dolethea squints into the crowd, shielding her eyes from the lights. "Yes, we have a question?"
A man in black clerical robes stands up. "Forgive me, but I'd like to point out that this is completely against our religious beliefs..."
Dolethea points at him, and he sits back down. "Yes, well... This process is defiantly one used by Satan throughout the ages. Hinduism, Taoism, Zoroastrian and many others employ the same..." She coughs. "We're not converting...just covering how things work where I'm from. Where was I? Oh yes. The spirit guide demands payment.  In fact, even accepting the guide's assistance requires surrendering some aspect of yourself to it. Other abilities require greater sacrifices. As Necromancy lies a the far end of the dark path, this tends to involve some rather nasty business."
Gandalf rises leaning on his staff. "And how does this differ from wizardry?"
Dolethea nods. "So glad you asked." She leans in close to the microphone with a barely vocalized whisper. "It doesn't."
Galdalf chuckles. "I never summoned a spirit guide."
Dolethea smiles. "No? Maybe not consciously, and maybe you don't walk the dark path, but when you speak a spell, who are you talking to?"
Gandalf works his lips nervously.
Dolethea smiles. "Exactly. The natives of every culture on the planet believed, and still do, that spirits inhabit everything. Air, rocks, literally everything. Magic is nothing more than convincing these spirits to give a darn about what you want and getting them to act accordingly. Wizards placate, as do some witches, but necromancers deal with the spirits beyond this world. Our influence among the living is...more forceful." Her face falls and she shudders slightly. "And comes with great cost."
She leaves the podium much more shaken and desperate than before.
I return to the microphone applauding. "Well, I must say...I hope you all enjoyed Dolethea's exposé. And let's hope she gets the help she needs after that speech. Next week, Dr. Dolittle will give a talk on the art of sitting on your hands. Thanks for coming!"

And that's a glimpse into our world...or my co-author's head...which is a very interesting place to visit. Believe me. Oh, and it took me awhile to get his Dr. Dolittle joke.

Tuesday, August 13, 2019

Happy Book Birthday, Garden of Ravens by Krystal Jane Ruin with Giveaway!

A collection of dark poetry that journeys through folklore, twisted tales, mental breakdowns, and depression. 

We hide in shadows
We wither under layers
Sunlight is for beautiful people
Darkness is for us

And here she is...
Krystal is a writer of paranormal and supernatural fiction residing in the Tennessee Valley. When she’s not writing, she can be found sipping matcha frappucinos and searching for unicorns in the wild.

Social Media:


Wednesday, August 7, 2019

IWSG: Boom! Bang! Never Saw That Coming

It's IWSG time!

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers come together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let out frustrations and woes. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group) then head on over here.

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts:  Renee Scattergood,Sadira Stone, Jacqui Murray, Tamara Narayan, and LG Keltner!

August is upon us.

August is upon us?

August is upon us!

Nope, this isn't a play on punctuation or even a hint at any deep meaning or thoughts. It's me freaking out because...
Holy Crow! Where did the summer go?

I do wish I'd had more time for blogging, and I'm not even going to start on how bad I was at visiting others. (Talk about embarrassing!)  I'm planning on changing these problems this coming September because things will surely slow down by then, and I'll have tons of more time on my hands.


Yeah, I don't believe it either.

Well, before I dive into this month's question, there are a couple quick things I'd like to shout out.

A few days ago, I received the cover for the audio book version of Music Boxes! Plus, I heard the first two chapters and am over the moon. The voice actress, Nance Weber, has to be one of the most talented individuals ever. Yep, I'm a total fan.

Also, I'm busy this month on the book signing front. I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Rogers, Arkansas from 11 am to 2 pm this Saturday, August 10th. Then, I'll be at the Barnes and Noble in Springfield, Missouri from 10 am to 2 pm on Saturday, August 17th. If you just happen to be in either of these areas and have a little time on your hands, feel free to pop by and say 'hi'! I'd love meeting every single one of you.

And now, off to the meat of this month's IWSG:

Has your writing ever taken you by surprise? For example, a positive and belated response to a submission you'd forgotten about or an ending you never saw coming?

Yes. Yes. And again, yes.

I once sent out a query and received a full request fourteen months later. It never lead to anything...or maybe they don't respond to fulls for several years?

And as to surprises in my writing, these happen constantly. Although I'm a plotter (mostly), characters and story lines tend to have a mind of their own. For example: Broussard in Music Boxes loves apples. There's even an apple on the cover. I'd never dreamed he, as a dog, would like apples, nor did I ever think apples would have anything to do with the story. But obviously, that's not what Broussard wanted. Lindsey met him on the street just like she should, and...Boom!...suddenly he demanded an apple. Tricky dog!

Or let's take my current WIP. One of the main characters, Myra, is helping her parents finish up the mushroom harvest. The plot was flowing along nicely as she chatted with her mother about executions and the new boy at the market and knives and such (regular mommy-daughter sorts of things). Then... Bang!...suddenly she's insisting that they take a trip the next day to an underground lake. Why? I have no clue. But that lake became one of her favorite spots in the world and harbors more symbolism and memories than I would have ever believed. (*ahm* That's if my co-author agrees. She hasn't shared this secret with him yet)

That's one of my favorite things about writing. No matter how much I plan or mold or map out, the characters and plot take on a life of their own. There's no telling what surprises they have in store. It's always so exciting!

What about you? Enjoy a crisp apple? Ever talk to your mother about the horrors of death magic? Are you an audio book fan with a favorite voice actor/actress?

Does your writing surprise you too?

Wednesday, July 31, 2019

Wednesday Whittleings — Tension with Tenses!

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children's books, others about writing, and whatever else strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

First, I need to thank the wonderful people up in the Gallatin, Missouri area and Daviess Public Library. I was up there last week to present Music Boxes and ramble on a bit about writing...and boy, can I ramble! Luckily, they were very kind and patient, and simply a wonderful bunch. So, here's my special thanks to you!!!


In two weeks, school starts again.     (Oops. I'm not suppose to mention the 's' word in our household)

My co-author (with whom I'm writing a series) has been happily reminding me that I'll have more writing time and can pick up the pace soon. Which he's right...although I grudgingly admit that. Especially since we've run into a little disagreement. Well, more of a friendly contemplation?

(We never argue. Not really. I promise.)

We've declared a Tension with Tenses! And it's as fun...frustrating?...as it sounds.

A story can be told in so many ways. First person? Third person? Or maybe even second? Or perhaps, the omnipotent narrator? And what about past, present or future?  See? It can be a real struggle.

For fun, we took a sentence or two out of our WIP and shoved them into every tense we could think of. The results had us laughing...but then, we laugh a lot. Here are some examples:

Second person, present tense: 
A chill runs down your back, despite the warmth of the day heating through the door. If your talents are discovered, you'll be executed on the spot.

This one hit the ultimate 'no' buzzer. Why? Well, we have four main characters. None of them are 'you'.  (But it was fun to try!)

First person, past tense:
A chill ran down my back, despite the warmth of the day heating through the door. If my talents were discovered, I’d be executed on the spot.

This one is not bad, but we have four main characters...each receiving their own chapters. We decided this up-close-and-personal approach would get a bit out of hand with so many heads.

Third person, future tense:
A chill will run across Myra’s back, despite the warmth of the day heating through the door. If her talents are discovered, she’ll be executed on the spot.

And this one? We added a few more sentences for fun and...Holy Crow! All of the 'will' s, 'need to' s and other future tense constructions make for quite the stumbling read.

It didn't take long to whittle the list down:
Second person in any tense?  Nope. Just plain awkward. And confusing. Definitely confusing.

Future tense? Not going to happen.

First person? Maybe. If we didn't have four main characters. Even if we decided to go for this one, our 3rd/4th characters would make it difficult. These two are, in many ways, actually one character. Kind of. Not really? Somewhat.  Let's just say that they have a unique plot, which is proving tricky even when the distinction between them is in clear-cut third. Putting both into first person would add a new level of insanity. Or possibly genius? I think it's better if we don't go there.

Omnipotent narrator? Uhh...I wouldn't even know where that all-knowing being would come from. A squirrel?

That leaves us with third person in either past or present tense. While our example sentences work fine in both...and wouldn't cause any problems...I'm a past tense fan. My co-author, however, thinks he might prefer present tense.

See, it's...

Tension with Tenses!!!

So, I did what any good writer would do.


There can't be many books out there, which are written in present tense and qualify as being successful. There's no way I would enjoy reading a third person, present tense novel. Right?

Let's just say I did a crash dive on that concept.


Did you know that the following books are written in present tense? (I'm choosing young adult and fantasy/scifi/dystopian examples, since our own book heads in that direction)

The Hunger Game series
Red Queen series
An Ember in the Ashes series
Matched series
and the list goes on...and on...and on...

Yep. My argument that past tense is king/queen was dissolved. Worse yet, I obviously don't mind reading present tense either. Since I was proven dead wrong, I'm now open to either possibility. But now, so is my co-author.

Of course, he is.

Present or past?

Past or present?

Whoever thought that tenses could be so tense!

Wednesday, July 3, 2019

IWSG - Speaking Novels, Men in Tights and Voice Actresses

It's IWSG time!

Every first Wednesday of the month, this group of writers come together to offer support, advice, encouragement or simply to let out frustrations and woes. Writing is a tough journey, and we don't have to go it alone.

Thanks goes to the brain behind this group, Alex J. Cavanaugh! If you want to join in or find out more (because there is so much more to this group) then head on over here.

Special thanks goes to this month's co-hosts:  Erika Beebe, Natalie Aguirre, Jennifer Lane, MJ Fifield, Lisa Buie-Collard, and Ellen @ The Cynical Sailor!

I completely missed last month's IWSG, which speaks novels about my entire Summer. Now, if only these novels also happened to reflect the amount of writing I'm getting done.

Summer is so distracting! Luckily, my current project is co-authored, and that's been forcing me to keep up a half-decent writing pace. We've just started the third round of edits and will be searching for beta readers around September/October. Or so I hope.

Before I head off into this month's question, I do have a super-duper, extremely exciting announcement to make.



I was so excited when my publisher decided to do this. She was sneaky too and kept it as a surprise until after the auditions had already started.

It's so strange to listen to others read my book, but I enjoyed listening to the voice auditions...I'm awed by people who can read so well!  I'm even more awed by the woman, who was chosen and accepted the offer.

I could listen to her for hours, and the way she expresses the characters is amazing! To say I'm excited is (obviously) an understatement, and I can't wait until the world has the chance to hear it.

And now, on to this month's question:

What personal traits have you written into your character(s)?

Hmmm...I think my characters all have a little bit of me in them, but I've never purposefully or knowingly given them any of my traits. I have used quirks from other people I've seen or met or know, though.

For example, Mr. Lagunov from Music Boxes is a burly bear in tights. My daughter had a ballet teacher like that once. This gentleman wasn't Mr. Lagunov; he wasn't Russian nor did he complain about posture and have a ton of hair (actually, he was heavily balding). But he was a larger gentleman and in his upper years. A jolly man, who loved the kids and whose presence simply warmed the heart.

And when he put on his ballet outfit...

Well, let's just say that when I wrote Music Boxes, he had to be included.

What about you? Do you feed some of your traits into your characters? Or how do you handle them?

Monday, June 17, 2019

Happy Book Birthday, Windy Hollow by Tara Tyler!!!

Tara had a long journey to get this book published!

Beast World MG Fantasy Series, book #3
by Tara Tyler
Available NOW!

In BROKEN BRANCH FALLS, Gabe and his friends go on a quest to save their school, blowing up all the rules, and discover their origins.

Then they go to CRADLE ROCK and meet some real live humans, scaring them into attack mode. The Beasts realize they have to spread the truth ASAP.

Now, school's out, and Gabe is ready for a break from all the drama...

Gabe and his friends fly over the Great Sea for the wedding of the century: a dragon prince and a beautiful harpy. But Gabe can't relax on this vacation. Besides competing in rigorous wedding events, he overhears the nearby human village WINDY HOLLOW is in danger from an evil human scientist and a vengeful were-ogre experimenting on beasts. Gabe and his friends risk crossing the mountains to help, despite several warnings. 

Maybe he's going too far this time, but he's in too deep to quit. It's do or die, hopefully not die!

Paperback ~~~ Ebook

And here are my thoughts...because I already have read it!

Gabe and his friends head off into another unexpected and exciting adventure...one that is even more thrilling than the first two.

Excitement and expectations run high as Gabe and his friends are invited to attend a wedding, which being between a dragon prince and a harpy, is bound to be something to see. Toss in the knowledge that the Council is about to reveal to everyone that humans and beasts, and this is an experience none of them want to miss. Unfortunately, evil is not far away. A horrible scientist is lurking in the dark shadows of the castle above. Gabe and his friends are told to stay out of it, but they know they can't do that.

This is the third book in the series, and I recommend reading them in order since the characters and background information does help understand this book better.

Gabe and his friends are a spunky, brave and a 'not-always-listening-to-what-they're-told-to-do' bunch of teen beasts. They are kind-hearted, have a great moral compass, stand with each other, and yet, have all those problems younger teens tend to have. There are misunderstandings, hurt feelings, and mistakes...but they always work out in the end. Although these are beasts, they are as human as any human can be. 

Boring is not the word for this book. From the first moment on, something is always happening and the tension builds from chapter to chapter. What appears at first to be a simple problem, layers with secrets and mutates into a challenging adventure. There are many twists and turns, and surprises. It's hard to put this book down until the last page. Among all of the adventure, there are also lovely messages about friendship and trust. 

This is a read fantasy fans are sure to enjoy.

Tara Tyler has had a hand in everything from waitressing to rocket engineering. After moving all over the US, she now writes and teaches math in Ohio with her husband and one boy left in the nest. She has two series, Pop Travel (sci-fi detective thrillers) and Beast World (fantasy adventures), plus her UnPrincess novella series where the maidens save themselves. She's a commended blogger, contributed to several anthologies, and to fit in all these projects, she economizes her time, aka the Lazy Housewife—someday she might write a book on that... Make every day an adventure!

twitter: @taratylertalks
Instagram: taratylertalks

newsletter: tara tyler news

Check out the WINDY HOLLOW Release Blog Tour schedule:

6/20 - Heather Holden - How does she Create such Awesome Art?
6/22 - Ellen Jacobson - Interview
6/24 - Patricia Lynne - Keeping Magic Alive
6/26 - MJ Fifield - Fantasy World-Building
6/30 - SA Larsen - Special Newsletter & a Vlog?!
7/1 - Tara's IWSG post with updates and a Special Guest!
7/3 - Alex J. Cavanaugh - IWSG Day - Fantasy Movies
7/4 - Tonja Drecker - Kids in Books
7/8 - Christine Rains - Levels of Romance
7/10 - Heather M. Gardner - Binge Watching TV
7/15 - Tyrean Martinson - Hiking!
7/17 - Julie Flanders - Gotta Have Friends

And of course, there's a giveaway!
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Wednesday, May 29, 2019

Wednesday Whittleings - Splash Down!

Wednesdays are my day to randomly babble. Sometimes about children's books, others about writing, and whatever else strikes my mind. Random thoughts...random whittleings.

I'm late this morning thanks to a very busy weekend. But then, Summer break and having the kids at home tends to do that. It's not just the kids which are keeping me on my toes. Book events add to the stress...uh.... fun!

Since I don't have a 'baby-sitter' and take the kids with me everywhere I go, we've been shaking things up to keep these events interesting. How? We make day trips out of them!

Saturday was a book signing in Ozark, MO....which meant a trip out for ice cream (who can say 'no' to ice cream?) and a trip to an old Mill...which turned out to be a bit of a bummer. The entire thing was under construction and behind a chain-linked fence :( 

But that doesn't ruin the fun! 

Tuesday was a book talk and rock painting in Mountain View, MO followed by Rocky Falls Shut-Ins....

The kids are now convinced that my book events are super fun to attend (with things like this afterwards)

Then, we went to see Avengers Endgame (yeah, we were late with this) and....
we were disappointed.

While we understand what Marvel was doing and wanted to give the entire thing 'deep meaning' and wrap it up with a sense of humanity and personal notes....  

Sorry. We don't want superheroes with personal notes. 

I mean, how fun is it to dream about being your favorite superhero when you watch him wrap things up like that? A superhero holds a special place in a child's heart. They are the impossible dream of strength come true! They stand for all which is right and the power Good has over Evil. And this movie....well, it destroys that mirage. 

When writing, I've been told not to undercut the 'power' of my own characters. While things can weaken them at times and while they do need to develop and learn, once we chop their feet out from under them without any chance of getting back up, we've killed them. The awe, which they inspire disappears with them. The sense of magic is gone. In Kidlit, this is not a good thing. Kids need to dream...to hold those heroes with them forever.

Reality bites. They know that too. Being able to believe in the impossible dream with these heroes is one of the wonders of being a child.

So for us, the move was a thumbs down. While the effects were top-notch and the fight scenes amazingly cool, the story line blew it.

And what's up with all women heroes now walking around with chips on their shoulders? I mean, I love strong women (go get them, girl!), but I'm slowly growing weary of this silly mold feminism is trying to push. Can't we as women be strong and kind and humble and be willing to ask for help when necessary and wise? Arrogance and 'get out of our way' is not a great trait in my opinion. For any gender.

OH, and while I'm on movies (I'm ranting today), we were excited about seeing the trailers (we're kind of strange in that way) and thought 'Cool! let's see what new movies are coming!' We were hit with Toy Story 4, the next Star Wars, and The Lion King. All remakes or continuations. Seriously? We're beginning to lose hope on the originality end of things too.

I mean, they could make an awesome kids/family movie out of Music Boxes. Just saying :)

To wrap up my whittleings...here's a couple pictures from our Memorial Day BBQ. We weren't going to do anything special, but then my oldest called and wanted to celebrate. So, we ended up having a wonderful day then too.

Hope you had a wonderful Memorial Day and are staying safe from the severe weather. And what are your thoughts on 'movies'?