Sunday, December 7, 2014

New Book Alert: Paladin: Pawn by Michael D. Young

Happy December!

I wanted to let you all know about a new middle grade novel that's just hit the shelves: Paladin: Pawn by Michael D. Young.

One of my favorite things to ask authors is what inspired them to write their books. What about the story reached out and grabbed them. Author Michael Young is here to answer what inspired him to write Paladin: Pawn.

Believe it or not, in the days before the advent of the smartphone, we had to make our own fun. On long, Summer days growing up, it was up to me, the oldest, to entertain my younger brothers and sisters. Luckily, I had an active imagination, and loved telling stories. My siblings and I would make up elaborate stories, of dragons, knights, hideous monsters, and plots within plots. Often, we’d act out our exploits on the trampoline in the backyard, or on our bikes as we rode around the neighborhood. Bikes double pretty well for a noble steed when you are ten. 
I especially loved making up stories about knights. I’d even draw illustrations of their elaborate armor, labeling them with lavish, heroic names. I believe that this story was an outgrowth of the stories of my youth. It is a story that I wrote years ago, wondering what it would be like if a kid the age I was when I used to make up those stories really were a knight. The central point of a good knight to me was always their noble aspect, the fact that they did the right things for the right reasons, which is why I wrote the knights in this story like I did. They gain strength as they do the right thing, and lose power when they make selfish decisions. 
As for the chess connection, I grew up playing that as well, though often it was a version called “Nightmare Chess” where you each had different cards that allowed you to all sorts of crazy things. That’s more the kind of chess this is. 
In any case, I hope that readers will enjoy Rich’s trip from normal boy to knight just as much as my siblings did on those long Summer days making up stories. 

A little bit about Paladin: Pawn to whet your appetite: :D 

When nerdy Rich Witz unwittingly becomes a Paladin, a white knight, in training, he is thrust into a world where flunking a test can change the course of history and a mysterious bully is playing for keeps with his life. 
Rich’s grandmother leaves him with one thing before disappearing for good: a white chess pawn with his initials engraved on it. The pawn marks him as the next in an ancient line of white knights. He must prove himself in a life or death contest against his Nemesis, a dark knight in training, all while dealing with math homework and English projects. With the ghost of an ancestor for his guide, he has seven days to complete four tasks of valor before his Nemesis does, or join his guide in the realm of the dead. 
As Rich rushes to complete the tasks, he realizes the chilling truth: his Nemesis is masquerading as someone at school and will stop at nothing to make him fail. As the tasks grow ever harder, the other knights reveal to him that his failure will break a centuries-old chain and bring the Paladin order to ruin. If he fails, the dark knights win the right to control the fate of the world, a world without hope or the possibility of a new dawn. So this is one exam Rich has to ace, with no curve and no extra credit.

Michael D. Young is the author of the novels THE CANTICLE KINGDOM, THE CANTICLE PRELUDE and THE
LAST ARCHANGEL. He is also the author of the inspirational pamphlet PORTRAIT OF A MOTHER, a contributor to the anthologies PARABLES FOR TODAY and DARK STARS, the co-author of VOICES IN YOUR BLOOD and the author of several web serials through His most recent works are SING WE NOW OF CHRISTMAS, and CAROL OF THE TALES, two anthologies of short stories with the proceeds going to charity. He has also had work featured in various online and print magazines such as Bards and Sages QuarterlyMindflightsMeridianThe New EraAllegory, and Ensign.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Spirits Bright! It's December!

Happy December!

I can't believe 2014 is almost over. I was just starting to revel in the fall--the crisp tattered lace fallen from the trees, that moment when the trees put off their prim greenery and are a blaze of color, the scent of apples heavy in the air, that time when the world has neither foot in summer nor winter but some magically wonderful place in between.

And now it's December and my thoughts are filled with gingerbread and the soothing scent of pine, with brightly colored lights and that snuggly warm feeling that means home.

Christmas, I'm looking at you. :)

Naturally, my reading tastes tend toward whatever I'm feeling, which means I'm on the lookout for some Christmas reading.

And what did I spy with my tiny reindeer? But a collection of Christmas stories written by a dear friend and a very able wordsmith: Angie Lofthouse, writer of inspirational science fiction for everyone in the family. :)

Spirits Bright: A Christmas Collection by Angie Lofthouse

A different kind of Christmas on a far-away planet. A starship lost on the wrong side of the galaxy. A woman disconnected from everyone she knows. Combining family, traditions, and faith with the wonder and excitement of science fiction, this collection is sure to delight and inspire you this holiday season.

Christmas. In space. How awesome is that?

I snapped up my copy and can't wait to dig in!

Places you can find Angie:

Amazon  | Goodreads | Facebook | Twitter | Website | Blog | Newsletter

What about you guys? Any favorite stories you like to read around Christmas time?

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Fall into Fantasy Giveaway

Welcome to the Fall Into Fantasy Giveaway, hosted by urban fantasy & paranormal romance author Ash Krafton

Just like last year, more than FIFTY AUTHORS of fantasy and paranormal books are giving away books and swag. Hope you’re ready to start clicking and start winning because the Rafflecopters await!

In order to ensure you get a book you will love, we have divided our prizes into two groups—adult books and YA books. Feel free to enter either giveaway or both. ☺ 

Giveaway runs until October 31st...plenty of time to get all your entries in...

The authors:
Tricia Schneider, Nicole Zoltack, Marsha A. Moore, Mimi Sebastian, Terri Rochenski, Kiru Taye, Julie Reece, Lori J. Fitzgerald, Debbie Christiana, Georgia Lyn Hunter, M. Pax, Sharon Saracino, Shah Wharton, H. L. Burke, Angela Myron, Jocelyn Adams, James Garcia Jr, Tina Moss, Danielle DeVor, Sharon Buchbinder, April Aasheim, CL Bledsoe, Mara Valderran, Angela Yseult, Kallysten, Juli D. Revezzo, Aldrea Alien, Loralie Hall, Allyson Lindt, Sotia Lazu, Angela Castillo, Valerie Twombly, R.M. James, Shanyn Hosier,
Ronesa Aveela, Sofia Grey, Konstanz Silverbow, Melissa McPhail, Jamie Marchant, Brandy L Rivers, JC Andrijeski, Stacey Nash, Nancy Corrigan, Scarlett Dawn, Jami Gray, Erica Crouch, Janna Jennings, Tonya Macalino, Christine E. Schulze, Selah Janel, and Ash Krafton.

The books:

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

BookBox: embed book widget, share book list

The entry forms:

Make some new author friends and see what they’ve been up to…they may have written your next favorite book. ☺

Good luck to everyone and thanks for entering!

Friday, October 3, 2014

Fairy Tale Retelling Alert: The Dwarf and the Twins (Snow White and Rose Red) by Katharina Gerlach

Happy Wednesday!

I wanted to let you know about a new fairy tale retelling that's just about to hit

the shelves: The Dwarf and the Twins by Katharina Gerlach. Finding new retellings makes me very happy indeed, but even better is that this is the first book in a new series! I also love the idea of including the original fairy tale.

The other awesome thing is that if you're into learning foreign languages, Katharina is also releasing a German version:

(I've got to admit, I love the way the German title trills off the tongue. The books officially release on October 4th, but you can preorder here.)

And now, without further ado, a word from the author:

As a German (born and raised but with a “spare” family in Scotland), it is no wonder I have a soft spot for fairy tales. What's surprising is that it took me so long to write another one... two... three... ;-) When I began writing, the first story I considered publishable but probably wasn't was a fairy tale, but every publisher I sent it to told me fairy tales don't sell. I think that might be the reason why I stopped writing them. 

Then, I took a course a little while back about series writing (I'm working on a Middle Grade time travel series), and my Muse (that's my creative side) insisted on writing “The Dwarf and the Twin”. It is a retelling of “Snow White and Rose Red” by the Brothers Grimm. 

In the original tale, two innocent maidens help a talking bear through the winter. They also help a vicious dwarf despite his bouts of anger. It was one of my favorites as a kid. So when my Muse insisted, I jumped at the chance. I got a story with a traditional fairy tale flavor – with magic, a real fairy and all.

However, that was not the end.

Next, my Muse insisted on a retelling of “Beauty and the Beast” (scheduled for release in early January) and surprised me by setting that tale firmly into the Steampunk genre.

Me: “There's no way these tales are from the same series.”
Muse: “But they are, and I can prove it to you.”
Me: “Why don't you come here and we'll go through the suggested planning?”
Muse: “Your course is fine for the other series but this one's different.”
Me: “But I like planning.”
Muse: “You like surprises. Now, sit down and write.” 

 And thus, the third tale was born, still rough and uneven. It is a retelling of “Little Brother, Little Sister” from the point of view of the stepmother who's not as evil as the original makes out. And it is the tale that brings together magic and steam engine technology in a logical and absolutely interesting way. I'm awed. My Muse is the best.

But now, I'm off to revise tale #3 and write tale #4, a retelling of “The House in the Wood” (Grimm again) because my Muse won't let me off so easily. I wish a day had more time. Meanwhile, get a copy of “The Dwarf and the Twins” and leave a review when you're done reading. Thanks a ton.

"I was born in Germany in 1968. Me and my three younger brothers grew up in the middle of a forest in the heart of the Luneburgian Heather. After romping through the forest with imagination as my guide, tomboy-me learned to read and disappeared into magical adventures, past times or eerie fairytale woods.
I didn’t stop at reading. During my training as a landscape gardener, I wrote my first novel, a manuscript full of a beginner’s mistakes. Fortunately, I found books on Creative Writing and soon my stories improved. For a while, reality interfered with my writing but after finishing a degree in forestry and a PhD in Science, I returned to my vocation. I like to write Fantasy, Science Fiction and Historical Novels for all age groups.
At present, I am writing at my next project in a small house near Hildesheim, Germany, where I live with my husband, my three children and my dog. I've had various short stories published in Germany as well as a non-fiction e-book in US-Fantasy author Holly Lisle’s “The 33 Worst Mistakes Writers Make About …” series."

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

Two Items of Business

Happy Monday Tuesday!

I'm happy to say that Saltwater Curiosities is up and available if you're a subscriber to my mailing list. I'll be uploading it to Amazon, B&N, and Kobo within a day or so.

Which brings me to the next Curiosity: Curiosities of the Enchanted Forest. It was meant to be the Curiosity for September. However, plans have changed a little. About a month ago, I was dealing with a stomach virus and all the lovely things attendant upon stomach bugs. And one of the fun things with having Chronic Fatigue/Adrenal Fatigue is that it takes me a lot longer to get all the way better. I'm still working on recovering--my energy, my stomach's been good for a long while--and haven't hit 100% yet.

So I lost about a month's worth of work, time wise. Which means, I could push and stuff words into this Curiosity so I can Maintain My Deadlines, or I can do the smart thing and let you guys know this one is going to be a little late.

I'm opting for smart this time around. :D Telling good stories is, in my opinion, more important than hitting every single deadline no matter what. And while I could, possibly, maybe have this one out on time, I need to finish THE TROUBLE WITH MAGIC first. I only need another week or so before it's ready for edits, so that's where I'll be throwing my energy and storytelling.

So. Curiosities of the Enchanted Forest is coming, I just won't be maintaining my previous posting schedule. In fact, there's a pretty good chance I won't be posting any of it online this month. The actual Curiosity itself shouldn't be available more than a day or two later than originally planned. And, if you're a subscriber, you'll still be getting your copy somewhere thereabouts. :)

As for the second, I'll still be posting here occasionally, but will mostly be over on link to my tumblr.
Over at Trapped in Ink, I'll be posting whatever takes my fancy. Pretty stuff, thoughtful stuff, quotes from stuff I'm reading, quotes from stuff I'm writing, quilling stuff, spinning/knitting/crocheting stuff. Pretty much, stuff. :D I've figured out how to add comments to my tumblr feed, so *crossing fingers it works* feel free to stop by, pull up a comfy chair, and say hi. :)

 So have a great week. I'm off to Bettony's and my first ball. Wish us luck!

If you'd like to receive info about upcoming books as well as receive the Subscriber's Special Complimentary Curiosities, enter your email below to subscribe to my mailing list. 
*You must be 13 or older to sign up for my mailing list*