These are the facts: My name is Callie Sinclair. I am seventeen years old. I live in San
Francisco. I love my boyfriend, Charlie. I work for a secret governmental agency. I am a psychic spy. This romantic, action-packed twist on the classic spy novel is perfect for fans of Ally Carter’s Embassy Row series or for any reader who enjoys cinematic writing and stories of romance and intrigue.
At seventeen, Callie is the government’s youngest psychic spy, trained to track dangerous people and weapons in her visions. When another young—and handsome and witty—psychic joins the agency, Callie’s personal and professional lives get messy all at once. If she can’t find a way to change the events she’s seen in her visions, she could lose the people she loves most . . . and her mind. Literally.
Richly painted against the backdrop of San Francisco and Berkeley, Lauren Sabel’s enthralling novel captures the thrill of exploring a unique power in a dangerous world.
An Excerpt from the Book
She smiles. “I’ll order Chinese. What do you want? Tofu with vegetables for you and ginger shrimp for Charlie?”
“That sounds good,” she continues, dialing the number to the Happy Fun Restaurant and switching to Mandarin. “Nin hao.” Mom speaks three different languages fluently, and talks about string theory like it’s an item on her grocery store list. She’s a lifelong MENSA member and always invites me to the meetings. She says that with my IQ, I can get in, but what would we talk about? Math equations? No, thank you. “I’ll leave you two lovebirds alone,” Mom says, getting off the phone. She presses a fifty-dollar bill into my hand, but I shake my head and hand it back.
“I’ve got it,” I say, pulling my wallet out of my back pocket. Ever since I started working for Branch 13, I’ve noticed how Mom looks at me like I’m an adult whenever I offer to pay for things.
Mom even brags that she’s never seen anyone more dedicated to a nannying job than I am, and raves to her boyfriend, Richard, about how I contribute to the household expenses. I take a couple of twenties out of my wallet, not missing the look of respect on I see on Mom’s face for paying my own way.
Of course, I’d work at Branch 13 even if I didn’t make any money.
The disappearance of my daily migraines would be reason enough on its own. Indigo says the viewing helps because the part of my mind that I view with gets tired by the end of each session, and so a headache doesn’t build in the unused tension in my brain. When it comes down to it, I’ll take mental pain over physical pain any day.
About the Author
Lauren Sabel lives in the quirky dark spaces of her mind, and she tries to shed light on these spaces in her books. After publishing VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD in Summer 2014 with Katherine Tegen Books, an imprint of Harper Collins, she confronted her lifelong fear of being psychic by writing LIES I LIVE BY. Since in this YA thriller, teenage psychic spy Callie Sinclair works undercover for the government, forced to hide her real identity from everyone she loves, Lauren is now certain she’s on the CIA watch list.
Book Purchase Links:
LIES I LIVE BY:
VIVIAN DIVINE IS DEAD:
http://www.amazon.com/Vivian-Divine- Dead-Lauren- Sabel/dp/0062231952
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vivian-divine- is-dead- lauren-sabel/1117005007
Lauren will be awarding $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
The McElroy brothers find trouble easily. Dylan plunges headfirst into it, while Daniel cleans up behind him. That’s the way it’s always been, ever since their mother left them to be bounced around the foster system, causing trouble wherever they went. The soon-to-be euthanized giraffe they just stole from the Northside Animal Park may be their biggest predicament yet, in more ways than one, but there's no undoing what's been done.
Lost in Nebraska without a plan, clueless how to care for the ornery old beast in the back of the trailer, the well-meaning brothers stop to rest at an abandoned-looking barn. A pretty redhead with a snappy temperament and a shotgun discovers the boys and their sixteen-foot stowaway. Her name is Josephine, she lives on this farm with her father who is spoken of, but never seen, and her root cellar has more locks than a bank vault. She’s got a way with animals and plenty of secrets, not to mention the interest of two brothers who swore they’d never let some girl come between them.
Please help me welcome the author, Sarah Mandell!
Exclusive post from Sarah Mandell
Today I’m sharing an excerpt and recipe from my new coming-of-age novel, Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe.
In the story, Daniel and Dylan McElroy, along with the soon-to-be euthanized giraffe they just stole from the Northside Animal Park, trespass for the night in an abandoned-looking barn, but are soon discovered by Josephine Larsen, a redheaded farmer’s daughter with a snappy temperament and a shotgun. The brothers end up staying on to help Jo with the harvest, since they need to earn some money and she could use a few extra hands around the farm. One of the many crops the boys help her with that summer is rhubarb.
Jo’s extremely book smart, she’s got a green thumb and a way with animals, but has absolutely no idea how to cook, so one night after a long day of working in the fields, Daniel bakes a rhubarb pie from memory, something his grandmother taught him when he was a kid, a few years before he and his brother ended up in the foster system. Daniel isn’t baking to impress Jo, or to show off. He’s just doing what he does best: being quietly helpful.
Excerpt from Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe
“Does anyone actually eat these things?” Dylan asked, holding up a stalk of rhubarb. He inspected the thing like it was from some foreign planet, apt to explode at any minute.
Wiping sweat from her brow, Jo said, “You’d be surprised.”
“I wish you grew good stuff, like blueberries and strawberries. Seems like all we harvest around here is healthy stuff nobody likes.”
Daniel chimed in from a few feet away, diligently plucking rhubarb at a faster rate than his brother, “I’m gonna make one of Grams’ rhubarb pies tonight. Remember those?”
Daniel’s Rhubarb Pie (from his grandmother’s recipe)
Ingredient list (filling):
(A note from Angela: Yum! I love rhubarb pie, and this one looks amazing, Sarah. Thanks for sharing!)
About the Author
Sarah Mandell is a professionally trained artist with a background in commercial interior design.
She's also the brains and busy hands behind a thriving indie craft business called Once Again Sam in Greenville, SC. Even with an ever-expanding collection of creative outlets, she's truly the happiest when she's writing. Two Brothers, One Redhead, and a Stolen Giraffe is Sarah’s second novel. Her debut novel was Celia on the Run (Untreed Reads, 2012).
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com//Sarah-Mandell- Author
Newsletter Signup: http://www.sarahmandell.com/newsletter
BUY LINK: https://www.amazon.com/Brothers-Redhead- Stolen-Giraffe- coming-ebook/dp/B01F4ND9ZU
Sarah will be awarding 5 of her handmade laser etched wooden pendants that she is launching as a new collection in conjunction with the release of the book to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.
Spirit of the Northwoods
by Auria Jourdain
GENRE: Young Adult
Struggling to settle into a new school, junior Shannon Colfax finds herself entangled in a feud with popular football jock Brent Duray after he bullies her autistic twin brother, Shane. After an unlikely savior comes to her rescue—Brent’s friend, Cody Williams—the jock and his entourage devise an immediate retaliation plan: Duray promises to leave Shane alone if Shannon and Cody survive the infamous Paulding Light Challenge on Halloween night. Desperate for vindication, they take the dare...but are the local legends truly paranormal, or are they dealing with something more sinister?
“Bye Shanna!” Shane yelled again, looking at the ground as he waved at his sister.
Shannon whipped around, ready to throttle the sarcastic bully that dared mock her brother.
“What an idiot! Who the hell would tease an autistic boy?” Christa stood on her toes, her lips lifting into a sneer. “Idiot is right. Look who it is!”
As the culprit emerged from the crowd, Shannon glared at Brent Duray, the school’s most popular jock. His girlfriend, a petite cheerleader with blonde, blown out hair and a toothpick waist, walked next to him, smirking at Brent’s teasing. As usual, the arrogant football player’s entire entourage followed close behind—mostly members of the football team. Shannon balled up her fists and cursed under her breath.
Christa tossed her head, scoffing in derision. “Duray’s a jerk. Let it go, Shannon.”
The tall, blond boy sneered. “Yeah, Shanna, let it go.”
Shannon’s face flushed with anger as she glared at Brent menacingly. She and Brent had been oil and water from day one when she overheard him teasing her twin. The senior linebacker refused to back down, and they’d been mincing words ever since.
“Leave them alone, Brent. You are acting like an idiot.”
Glancing over Brent’s head, Shannon frowned, unable to recognize the voice that had called out from the back of the crowd. “Who is that?”
“Cody Williams!” Christa’s face lit up as Duray turned toward the dissenting voice, her excited whisper echoing in Shannon’s ear.
About the Author:
An avid reader from an early age, Auria Jourdain has fond childhood memories of spending quiet afternoons with a book in her hand. She loved the "happily ever after" sweet teen romances, and when she came of age, she plunged into the world of historical romance with fervor, transporting herself to a bygone time. Her favorites were Regency, but as a girl brought up in a common home, she was disheartened that most of the novels of this era focus on the nobility and wealth. Auria set out to write her own romance, encompassing her passion for French Revolutionary history and her innate sense of goodwill for the common man. An idealist at heart, she writes heroes and heroines that struggle to find acceptance in their world.
To go along with this theme, two years ago, Auria wrote a Young Adult novel during NaNoWriMo for her 17 year old autistic son who is struggling to make his own way in the world. Looking to educate people about this mysterious disorder, she wrote Spirit of the Northwoods for him and set it in their hometown in the Upper Peninsula. Her release coincides with Autism Awareness month, April 2016, and all proceeds for this novel will be donated to the Autism Society of America. Auria hopes that someday we can break down the social barriers and forgo stereotypical judgments that harm our world so that people like her son can form positive relationships with others.
Auria lives in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan with her husband of twenty years, her four children (ages eight to eighteen), and two golden retrievers. A rather new transplant to the area, she loves the changing of the seasons, and she is currently working on a contemporary romantic suspense trilogy set in her rough and rugged homeland. Silence the Northwoods is set at a local ski resort in her hometown of Ironwood, Michigan—the ski capital of the Midwest. Silence the Waters takes place during the summer on the dangerous river ways that flow into Lake Superior in the Keweenaw Peninsula; and Silence the Birchwoods is an autumn tale set on Sugar Loaf Mountain, near Marquette, Michigan. All three involve murder, mystery, and romance, of course.
Auria spends her the long winters plotting and scheming her next book, and in the mild summers, she and her husband devote every waking moment hiking and kayaking the Northwoods. An amateur photographer, she lives fifteen miles from the shores of Lake Superior, and her muse has been piqued by the awe-inspiring beauty that surrounds her. Although she hasn’t officially acquired “Yooper” status yet, she can’t envision living anywhere else.
Find Auria here!
Auria Jourdain will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour! Enter below:
Koolura is no ordinary girl. Neither is her best friend Leila. While visiting Mexico, the girls discover a device which hurtles them back in time to an early Mayan civilization. The Mayans have troubles of their own—the alien Aquari people have all but enslaved them. They need a goddess to set them free. Could Koolura be the one?
I had the pleasure to meet the author of this fun book at a local book fair, and enthusiastically picked up his latest book.
Koolura and the Mayans is a fantastic read for middle-graders. Filled with sparkling characters, Koolura immerses the reader in a light-hearted adventure rich with Mayan history. Michael Thal gives us Koolura and Leila, two refreshing characters who communicate through American Sign Language (ASL). He does a wonderful job of weaving ASL into the narrative. Thal's integration of elements of science fiction, alien conspiracy, and Mayan myth infuses humor and intrigue into this action-filled adventure. His rich settings transport the reader in time, to authentic Mayan villages and cities, and fantastic alien worlds.
I highly recommend Koolura and the Mayans to middle-grade readers, as well as Thal's other books in the series, The Legend of Koolura and Koolura and the Mystery at Camp Saddleback.
About Michael Thal
Michael L. Thal, an accomplished freelancer, is the author of The Legend of Koolura and Goodbye Tchaikovsky. He has written and published over eighty articles for magazines and newspapers including Highlights for Children, The Los Angeles Times, and San Diego Family Magazine.
Michael lives in Sherman Oaks, CA. He's the proud father of two adult daughters, Channie and Koren, and the grandfather of Arielle and Shaye. You can reach him at email@example.com.
Find him on the web at:
Find Koolura and the Mayans at:
I'm Angela Myron, your hostess
for this leg of the PINK TEAM for YA Scavenger Hunt!
You are currently hunting on TEAM PINK.
Looking for my exclusive bonus content? You’ll have to keep searching.
Somewhere on this blog hop, I’ve hidden Pinterest inspiration boards for Ennara and the Book of Shadows! Before you go looking for it, check out the amazing author I’m hosting.
But, first, a few rules.
SCAVENGER HUNT PUZZLE
Directions: Below, you'll notice that I've listed my favorite number. Collect the favorite numbers of all the authors on the pink team, and then add them up (don't worry, you can use a calculator!).
HINT: THE SECRET NUMBER IS HIGHLIGHTED IN PINK!
Entry Form: Once you've added up all the numbers, make sure you fill out the form here to officially qualify for the grand prize. Only entries that have the correct number will qualify.
Rules: Open internationally, anyone below the age of 18 should have a parent or guardian's permission to enter. To be eligible for the grand prize, you must submit the completed entry form by Sunday, April 3rd, at noon Pacific Time. Entries sent without the correct number or without contact information will not be considered.
On this hunt, you not only get access to exclusive content from each author, you also get a clue for the hunt. Add up the clues, and you can enter for our prize--one lucky winner will receive one signed book from each author on the hunt in my team! But play fast: this contest (and all the exclusive bonus material) will only be online for 72 hours!
There are NINE contests going on simultaneously, and you can enter one or all! I am a part of the PINK TEAM, but there is also a RED TEAM, GOLD TEAM, ORANGE TEAM, BLUE TEAM, PURPLE TEAM, TEAL TEAM, & GREEN TEAM! Check out each team for a chance to win eight different sets of signed books!
If you'd like to find out more about the hunt, see links to all the authors participating, and see the full list of prizes up for grabs, go to the YA Scavenger Hunt page.
Now that all the technical stuff is out of the way, I’ll introduce the author I am hosting on this hunt.
SCAVENGER HUNT POST
Find out more information by checking out the author website or find more about the author's book here! http://www.amazon.com/Tick-Tock-Seven-Tales-Time-ebook/dp/B01AC1H2E8
Hello YA Scavenger Hunters! I’ve been doing the hunt for several years now, and it’s always a blast. This year, I’m excited to announce the official release of a science fiction/speculative fiction anthology featuring 7 sci-fi and fantasy authors, including yours truly.
TICK TOCK: 7 Tales of Time is based on the premise that it only takes a second...a minute...an hour for everything to change. Our stories have twisted time into very different tales of adventure, horror, mystery, romance, and ghosts. The book officially released yesterday, 3/28, so you’re some of the first people to see it!
All it takes is a second . . . a minute . . . an hour . . . for everything to change.
A serial killer returns years later to finish what was started.
A coffee shop offers a respite for the cursed.
A hangover masks the horrors of the previous night.
A princess’s wedding gift comes with a price.
A locked apartment door hides a chilling secret.
A girl wakes up in an asylum and must survive and escape.
A young woman must protect the past to thwart a thief from the future.
An interesting fact about us is that all 7 of us are Denver-based authors, so we love to find excuses to get together for brunch. You can find out more about all the authors at Wicked Ink Books. If you like sci-fi/fantasy, please check out the anthology and let us know what theme you'd like to see us do next time! Happy hunting!
CONTINUE THE HUNT
Don't forget to enter the contest for a chance to win a ton of signed books by me, Angela Myron, and more! To enter, you need to know my favorite number, which is hidden in this post. (HINT: It is PINK, BOLD, and accompanied by an interesting graphic.) Add up all the favorite numbers of the authors on the pink team and you'll have all the secret code to enter for the grand prize!
Below, please leave a comment, say hi to Kristi, and if you'd like to enter my coloring contest for bonus prizes, you can check out this post here. (This contest is not associated with YASH and closes on July 31, 2016.) Thanks for stopping by!
To keep going on your quest for the hunt, you need to check out the next author! EMILY SKRUTSKI
)Ah, spring! What better time to break out the crayons and have some fun. In the spirit of this vibrant season, let's do a super fun coloring contest! Open to all ages,
There are two categories:
I'm not checking ages on each entry, these are just guidelines. And the 13+ category is open to everyone. Unleash your coloring skills, friends!
Deadline for entries is July 31, 2016.
Download and print your entry form here.
When the summer holidays begin, Aurora thinks she’s just a normal teenager about to have another boring summer. Then, for her seventeenth birthday, Nana Brin gives her a long-silent Oracle that has been passed down through their family for generations. The mysterious Oracle soon awakens in response to the creeping Darkness that is escaping and destroying all worlds. Aurora must quickly find the courage to come to terms with her calling as the Huntress of the Dream.
Interview with the Author
How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
Working as an environmental artist I enter a world of wonder. I communicate with the Earth, the Spirit world, and the Animal, Insect and Plant worlds to create work that connects viewers to natural sites and the energy, and memories, they contain. I was called to expand upon the way that I work; to communicate messages from the Earth and Spirit worlds, with a wider audience–especially with youth. In writing Hunters of the Dream I want to invite readers, through story, into a world of wonder where they can begin to access their own innate memories of ancient mysteries and our deep connections to all beings, both seen and unseen.
What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
Hunters of the Dreams, weaves together the way that I work, both as an artist and Reiki healer, with the magic of writing and calling forth characters and stories. As an artist I work in this magical space where I walk between worlds. I work with, and through, dreams as well as meditations. In this way my environmental art practice is similar to the work of shamans and healers. Through the Hunters of the Dream trilogy, I want to encourage readers to begin to imagine that they too can affect the world around them with their thoughts and emotions. I want to invite them to remember a time when they too were deeply connected to the, Earth and to remember the magic they felt in the presence of, Nature.
I’ve had some great feedback from readers who have tried some of the teachings that Aurora receives from Nana Brin in Book One: The Gathering…they tell me they work J I’ve also been told the same thing about the Eco Heart Oracle, the Oracle guides the character’s journey – the cards in the deck speak to people.
What was the hardest part of writing this book?
The hardest part of writing Hunters of the Dream was overcoming my own blocks and fears of becoming a fulltime writer and author. Sometimes when you’ve held a dream so close to your heart, and for so many years, it becomes challenging to move forward into the unknown. It can be very scary to begin to walk into your dreams, trusting that your intuition is leading you in the right direction. I encourage anyone who is struggling with this to, just keep writing. Keep believing.
What did you enjoy most about writing this book?
I love writing. I love the magic that takes place when I begin to receive the story. When the characters arrive and introduce themselves. I love weaving threads of history into the present, into the book, and into the future. I love adding threads of some of my personal experiences working with Nature and Mystery to the story.
How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
A lot of hard work and determination, combined with trusting and following my intuition! I was a graphic designer and loved my work. But after a few years I began to question what I was doing with my creative gifts. I didn’t think I came here to make ads, logos and magazines for the rest of my life – it felt like I was copping out. So, I quit my job and returned to school, as a single parent with two children. I completed a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree, which included electives in Creative Writing, and then a Master of Fine Arts degree, and then I started a PhD. I was two years into my PhD work when I realized that I just loved researching and exploring new ideas and didn’t need another degree. I dropped out of my program – it was extremely hard to let go of that, but I didn’t think I came here to be an academic. After I graduated from my MFA program I got a teaching job, at the college I started at, and became a professor. I was honored to be there and, I loved working with students and watching them blossom into artists. I did not love the politics of teaching, and quit after six years. Letting go of teaching, and taking a break from being an artist allowed me the time to begin to really move towards my first love – being a writer and author. I will always be an environmental artist – it’s part of who I am – and it informs my writing. My artist skills also allowed me to create the Eco Heart Oracle deck.
For those interested in exploring the subject or theme of your book, where should they start?
I am in the process of creating a membership website where readers can continue their journey into the world of Hunters of the Dream. Membership is free to readers, and gives them access to complimentary art and writing projects. Paid modules are also available for a nominal fee. The paid modules will be especially appealing to youth, parents and home schoolers who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of our sacred connections to the natural and Spirit world through a variety of teachings and videos. Signup to become a member here:
Thank you for inviting me to your blog, Angela!
Thank you, Ingrid, for joining me today on my blog for a very special interview. I can't wait to read Hunters of the Dream!
Ingrid Koivukangas, BFA, MFA, is an award winning environmental artist, writer, designer, Reiki Master and educator.
As an artist Ingrid works intuitively at sites creating new works in response to sites and their energies and histories both natural and human. Her work encompasses many media including site specific ephemeral, large scale public works, writing, video, photography, sound, web, sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking.
Ingrid's artworks have been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia. She's been featured as an artist in residence on CBC-TV; has had numerous gallery exhibitions; has many site specific ephemeral works left in situ and large scale permanent public art projects.
Ingrid's artworks have been included in many publications and books including: Art in Action: Nature, Creativity and Our Collective Future, published by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environmental Programme and Art + Science Now: How scientific research and technological innovation are becoming key to 21st-century aesthetics by Stephen Wilson, Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University. One of her favourite publications to be included in is Scholastic Book's Now See This! Art That Influences.
Ingrid has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Distinction, from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and a Master of Fine Arts, Environmental Sculpture, from the University of Calgary. You can view her work at: www.ingridkoivukangas.com
Ingrid lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband Robin, two dogs, Lucy and Scout, and a fierce cat named Hunter.
NOTE: Hunters of the Dream will be available at Amazon from February 22 to March 20 for only $0.99
Get a free online Eco Heart Oracle reading. http://bit.ly/FreeEcoHeartOracleReading
Visit the World of Wonder membership site. This site is for Hunters of the Dream readers. Continue exploring the world of Hunters of the Dream: http://bit.ly/EnterAWorldofWonder
Ingrid Koivukangas will be awarding an Eco Heart Oracle Deck valued at $28 US, (the Eco Heart Oracle is an integral part of the Hunters of the Dream trilogy) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (International Giveaway).
For more interviews, book excerpts, and giveaway chances from Ingrid, check out her book tour.
Escape from the Past: The Kid
by Annette Oppenlander
GENRE: YA historical/sci-fi
Time-traveling gamer, Max, embarks on a harrowing journey through the Wild West of 1881! After a huge fight with his parents, Max tries to return to his love and his best friend, Bero, in medieval Germany. Instead he lands in 1881 New Mexico. Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, he runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.
INTERVIEW WITH ANNETTE OPPENLANDER
1. How did you become involved with the subject or theme of your book?
In “The Kid,” book two in the “Escape from the Past” trilogy, time-traveling gamer, Max, intends to return to his friends in medieval Germany, but mistakenly lands in the Wild West of 1881 New Mexico where he must overcome many horrific challenges.
Growing up in Germany, I’ve always been fascinated with the Wild West. I remember watching westerns with my father and reading books about pioneers, Native Americans and the gold rush. After I moved to the U.S. I continued reading historical fiction set in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.
I chose Billy the Kid because I see him as a tragic character who encountered a string of bad luck and was basically set up to fail. He isn’t much older than Max and you can easily see how any young man could’ve had Billy’s fate. The second important character is Chief Nana, a Warm Springs Apache warrior, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army. He was never caught nor were his fifteen or so warriors. The amazing thing about him was his age. He was around eighty years old then and lame in one leg.
2. What were your goals and intentions in this book, and how well do you feel you achieved them?
First and foremost I believe in telling a good story with a great, fast-moving plot, relatable characters in a fascinating setting/world. While I believe in people learning from reading fiction, this learning should happen as a secondary outcome and in a natural way. Otherwise it’d be like school and textbooks. Brrh!
So, provided I’ve done a good job with my story, I believe my readers come away with three different kinds of information to enrich their lives.
Entertaining and Fascinating Information about Historical Eras
In “The Kid,” gamer Max meets Billy the Kid and we’re witness to Billy’s last month in Fort Sumner. We also learn about the ruthlessness of the Wild West, encounter Chief Nana, a Warm Springs Apache, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army and was never caught. The fascinating thing about Nana is that he only had a dozen warriors and that he was about 80 years old and lame in one foot. We also get to live in an American Indian village, learn about rattlesnake bites and the viciousness of a “Norther.”
Max, the protagonist in the series, must make many decisions to survive. More times than not he chooses to help people at the expense of his own comfort and/or safety. While this endears him to us readers, it puts him in dangerous situations. Max makes moral decisions that if we believe in “leading by example” will leave a positive and lasting impression on us. He acts heroically.
We may ask ourselves what we’d do in the same situation. Run and save our hide or help those in need. They say a hero is somebody who choses to do the right thing in the face of adversity. Hopefully, some of that heroic behavior subconsciously sticks with the reader. And maybe one day, s/he’ll help somebody in need.
Seizing the Moment
Many people dwell on the past, hold grudges, hate what happened once upon a time and in general do not appreciate what they have… now. At the other extreme we live for the future, always charging ahead without enjoying and being present in the moment.
Max deals with a lot of adversity, including a split-up family, but in the end he learns he must embrace what he has now. Sure, it’s not perfect, but whose life is perfect, whose family is perfect? Not too many. So, being aware and present in the moment, being grateful for one’s life is a huge learning experience.
I believe that all readers, teen and adult, benefit from reading the series. Most adults would appreciate learning about history, watch a character rise above and make tough moral choices, and seize the moment. I, for one, feel that Max taught me a few things along the way.
And next time you consider playing a new computer game, you may be more careful. You never know if it’s “EarthRider.”
3. How did you get to be where you are in your life today?
Becoming a writer/author was a process that took several years. In the beginning–the late 90s–I wrote children’s stories for early readers. I didn’t know anything about writing for children, the market nor the submission process, so this went nowhere. In 2002 I interviewed my parents about their lives during WW2 in Germany which led to a number of short stories. I didn’t really imagine writing a novel, let alone several, I merely wanted to preserve the memories for my family.
But I grew aware how much I enjoy the writing process. How I felt while I did it. I worked for a PR agency and did lots of business-related writing. I’d go home at night and write some more, spent my weekends writing fiction. I grew more and more invested, took classes, read books on craft, attended conferences and joined a critique group. In 2009 I attended a short story class at Indiana University and that’s when the light bulb turned on fully. I’ve known ever since that writing is my passion and I must do it even if publication is light years away. I finished the first manuscript in 2010. The first two books were published in 2015.
Thank you very much for having me!
ENTER TO WIN A $25 AMAZON OR BARNES & NOBLE GIFT CARD!
Increase your chances of winning by following the tour and commenting; the more you comment, the better your chances of winning! Tour dates can be found here.
The wonderful people at my publishing co-op have asked me to post my goals for 2016. But first, I have to take a moment to let you all know how amazing these women are. They've created one of the most successful author co-ops in the industry, have spun-off businesses in cover design, book tours, netgalley and more, have launched a line of non-fiction books on writing, and have created a free online community for writing called Weapenry. In addition to writing, editing, and publishing over thirty amazing books. The ladies at Patchwork Press are, seriously, a powerhouse of fun. Check them out at www.patchwork-press.com, at www.weapenry.com, and at www.authorservices.patchwork-press.com.
So without further ado, looking back at 2015 and onward to 2016:
What is your favorite writing/publishing memory from 2015?
I have to say, easily, that my favorite memories as an author in 2015 were from attending elementary school book fairs. Kids are super fun, authors are super fun, and combining them? =Awesome.
What story are you most looking forward to working on in 2016?
I really look forward to writing Ennara's third book, Ennara and the Silver Throne. Actually, I really really look forward to the Twixt Between, a story about time-travelling gnomes, but it's slated after a few afters. And before either of those, I need to finish the Flying White Horse and Lapse first. That's how it goes in the writing game, eh? We always have more ideas for stories than we have time to write.
Are you the type of person who makes New Year’s resolutions? Why or why not?
Not really. I mean, yes and no. A new year is always a time to reflect and make goals, to try to do something new. I think that's a good thing. But changes that require resolutions, they need to come more often than once a year. The things people generally save to a New Year's resolution really ought to be implemented as soon as the person is aware it needs to be done--like losing weight, exercising, eating healthy, or learning to play the piano, whatever it is. Following up with those decisions is much easier if you do it right away, and not wait until a predetermined calendar date. And putting it off until January 1st really only trains you to thinking it's okay to tell yourself "I'll do it later".
It takes 21 days to break a habit, or to establish a new one. That's it! So change what you need to change and get on with it.
What area(s) of your writing/publishing process are you going to work on improving in 2016? (dialogue, marketing, output, pacing, formatting, etc.)
Getting it DONE, lol. I'm slogging through revisions, and clearly need to carve more time out of my schedule for my writing. So perhaps scheduling my work is what I'll be working on first.
How would you describe a successful publishing year in 2016? What goals are you working toward?
A successful 2016 would be selling FWH and Lapse to publishers, getting Ennara and the Book of Shadows out on audio, and writing, revising, and publishing Ennara and the Silver Throne.
If you had to guess, what do you think your biggest challenge will be when it comes to publishing and writing next year?
Finding time to write, definitely. It's not easy with two young children at home. I have to find time when they are asleep, with my husband or their grandma, or in school, to write, and that's going to be my first focus of the year: ensuring I have hours every day to work on my writing projects.
How far ahead do you plan your writing schedule? Do you prefer to prepare or to see where your muses take you?
I prefer to prepare, definitely. I have a very general five-year plan that I'm working on, and break that down into yearly goals, and revisit that each month to set up monthly and weekly goals. It's all flexible so I can go with the flow, and change goals as circumstances change, but I like to know I'm making progress on larger goals that I set for myself. The big one now: getting a story traditionally published.
Tell us about something non book related that you’re currently looking forward to for 2016.
I'm looking forward to the summer with my kids, and hoping we'll take some camping trips. Do the roasting marshmallow and tromping through the forest thing. Can't wait!
If you could offer up one piece of advice to other authors and writers for 2016, what would it be?
Be patient with your career and craft. Protect your stories and your process as you would a painting or sculpture. Keep working, it'll come.
GENRE: YA Sci-Fi
After conflicts in Korea, Pakistan and the Middle East turned nuclear, the world stood on the eve of destruction. Realizing that we only have this one precious planet containing all of humanity, the United Nations pulled us back from the brink, and started a new, multinational effort to conquer space. Many years later, the peak of achievement for any young person is to be admitted to the Space Academy. Previously available only to a precious few, it has recently opened enrollment to anybody who can meet their strenuous entry criteria. Space Cadets is the story of the first African-American girl, Aisha Parks, to enter into the academy, where she learns that the more some things change, the more they stay the same, and despite the honorable intentions of the academy, there are some dark secrets being kept – secrets that could be the end of us all.
It never failed to give her a thrill when she saw the moonscape rush by underneath her ship, and the blue curve of Earth rise above it. Aisha smiled at its beauty.
Down there, girls her age were wondering about homecoming dances, and what dress they’d wear, or which boy would ask them out. She was much happier here, piloting her ship, zipping at breakneck speeds across the Moon, and getting ready to break into deep space.
“I think I see them,” said David, her navigator and co-pilot, sitting in one of the wing pods to her right. “Two-seven-zero karem one-nine-eight.”
“Confirmed,” came the clipped voice of Soo-Kyung, her gunner. Aisha glanced to the pod on her left and her eyes met Soo-Kyung’s. The Korean girl smiled and nodded.
Aisha always wanted a visual confirmation. Comm lines could be hacked and voices faked. Soo-Kyung knew this instinctively. That’s what made them a great team.
“Okay,” said Aisha. “Weapons hot. Let’s check them out.”
She punched in the coordinates, and the ship turned towards their target.
“Visual range in five seconds,” said David.
“I see them,” Aisha replied. Her heads up display started to light up with targets. Squares projected on her canopy, wrapping tiny dots that could easily be mistaken for stars to the naked eye.
“That’s a lot of ships,” she said, awe sneaking into her voice.
“That’s a bloody awful lot of ships,” said David.
Soo-Kyung was business as always. “Orders?”
“Can you confirm ship type?”
“They are mostly type-three fighters. About eighty of them.”
“A single mothership. That’s the target.”
“No other fighters?”
“A couple of type-ones, but hard to tell with all the movement.”
The fighters were moving around the mothership, following what looked like random patterns, making it hard to get a radar lock.
“Are they moving to intercept?”
“David, probe the edge of their defense shield.”
His gentle voice sounded in her earpiece. “Yes, Sir.”
David took the ship forward slowly, while Soo-Kyung watched the behavior of the enemy fighters. They knew from experience that these ships could turn from defense to offense in the blink of an eye. If they didn’t react, they could find themselves surrounded and destroyed in seconds.
“We are at the edge of previous attack ranges,” said Soo-Kyung. “Recommend that we hold at this position.”
The ship halted, and they floated in space, watching the enemy.
“Any update on ship types, David?”
“The best I got is maybe two or three type-ones, the rest are definitely type-three.”
She wished she had read the spec books more closely, but was glad David was there. “Turning radius of type-threes?”
“Two hundred degrees,” he answered, almost in reflex.
“Distance of fighters from the mothership?”
“Average about three hundred clicks.”
Soo-Kyung raised an eyebrow. “Are you thinking what I’m thinking?”
“Yes,” said Aisha. “Full frontal assault, all shields on front.”
“If we leave our back exposed--”
“Hopefully they won’t get a chance. Maximum throttle, straight at the mothership, direct all energy to front shields.”
“Including lasers. We’re on bullets and torpedoes. Can you do it?”
She heard the smile in Soo-Kyung’s voice. “Done.”
“Good. And fire at will.”
“David. Punch course in.”
“Manual control to me.”
“Here goes nothing!”
Aisha punched the program, and she felt the craft lurch as they accelerated forward. She continued its burn, getting faster and faster as they approached the enemy ships.
“Ships turning to intercept.”
She saw the enemy ships swarming to intercept. Suddenly their random patterns stopped, and they turned, almost as one, bearing down on her. They opened fire, but the forward shields held.
“Intercept in five seconds,” said Soo-Kyung. Aisha marveled at her ability to stay calm, and it seemed the more stressful the situation, the calmer she was.
And just like that they flew through the squadrons of enemy fighters, on a course straight for the mothership.
“They’re turning to intercept.”
Time seemed to slow down in her mind. The mothership approached weapons range at a painful crawl. The enemy fighters, now behind her, were slowly turning to follow them, with a clear shot at Aisha’s tail. She’d turned off their lasers, directing their energy to the shields, so they’d need to be close for ballistic weapons to be effective.
It was going to be tight. Once the enemy fighters had turned around, the back of Aisha’s fighter was exposed. The lead ones had almost turned, and were ready to open fire.
But then Soo-Kyung had her target locked and opened up with everything she had on the mothership. Direct hits, but the ship stayed intact.
A hit on their right wing made the ship lurch.
“Now would be a good time, Soo-Kyung.”
Aisha looked to her left, seeing her friends’ face deep in concentration. Another torpedo launched, hitting a module to the rear of the mothership's bridge. A small explosion was followed by several large ones, but before the ship was destroyed, Aisha’s ship was hit again. This time right in the engines.
Aisha felt her ship lurch. Red lights all over her console. The reactor had taken a direct hit. It was about to go critical. Her heart was beating hard. She reached for the eject buttons, hesitating long enough to see the mothership go up in a ball of flame.
The moment’s hesitation was enough.She felt the ship lurch as the reactor gave out. Her mind slowed as the white flash enveloped them. She had enough time to realize, with resignation, that she was dead. Both co-pilots too.
The simulator door opened, and Captain Simms’ craggy face looked in at her.
“You’re dead. All of you. Again,” he said. Disapproval in his voice. “I thought you guys were better than that.”
AUTHOR Bio and Links:
Laurence Moroney is the author of more books than he’s prepared to admit. After several best selling programming books, his first Young Adult novel “The Fourth World” became a #1 book on Amazon Kindle, spawned two sequels “The Million Year Journey” and “The Legend of the Locust”, and is currently being shopped around studios for a potential movie. “Space Cadets” is his latest, a cutting edge science fiction novel, based on real science that starts a new series charting out humanity’s course to the stars. He’s presently working on the sequel “The Quiet World”, which he hopes to finish in 2015. For his day job, Laurence works as a Developer Advocate for Google, where he is constantly counting his blessings for being part of the best workplace in the world…
Find him here:
Space Cadets Blog
Space Cadets Website
Laurence will be awarding a signed copy of Space Cadets to a randomly drawn winner (US ONLY) via rafflecopter during the tour! Enter below:
Be sure to follow the tour and comment! The more you comment, the better your chances of winning!
The tour dates can be found here: http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2015/10/book-blast-space-cadets-by-laurence.html
Angela Shelley, herself.
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