Tuesday, July 26, 2016

Sign of the Green Dragon by C. Lee McKenzie

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. C. Lee McKenzie will be awarding a $15 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

When a wall of their cave hideout crumbles, three boys discover a skeleton, clutching a treasure map. They set off to trace the story of an old murder, but stumble into a modern crime, and confront ancient Chinese dragons.

Read an excerpt:

They hunched under the table, their chins on their knees. Sam turned his legs from one painful angle to another.

“I can’t feel my legs,” Roger said. “And my neck is broke for sure.”

Joey lifted the tablecloth and peeked out. “It’s dark. I’m for getting out of here. Nobody’s looking for us anymore.”

“Okay. Let’s go.” Sam crawled out and stretched. “We can make it back to the museum now.”

Joey, who was on his way to the door, skidded to a stop. “What did you say?”

“This is our chance to find out about Langtree and Li Wei. By morning, Sadie’s going to be on guard again, and the sheriff’s going to spot us for sure. It’s now or never.”

Roger paced down the aisle of the church, shaking his legs and rolling his head. “What’s the plan?” he asked, coming back to them.

“Oh, nothing,” Joey said. “We’re just going to break into the museum now. Sam hasn’t actually got us arrested yet, but he’s still trying.”

“Me? I didn’t sock Roger. Besides if we don’t find the treasure now what do you think your mom and dad are going to do when the sheriff drives you home in his car?”

“Okay. Fine. Sure. Whatever.” Joey waved his arms overhead, surrendering.

Sam pushed open the door, looked both directions, and then stepped onto the street. Even though the town was deserted, he got that creepy feeling of being watched again.

About the Author:
C. Lee McKenzie has a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication. Her greatest passion is writing for young readers. Sign of the Green Dragon is her third Middle Grade novel. Alligators Overhead and the sequel, The Great Time Lock Disaster were her first two. She has traditionally published four young adult novels: Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative and Sudden Secrets. Check out the author's website for a free ebook: http://cleemckenziebooks.com
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/2809083.C_Lee_McKenzie
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/signofgreendragon/
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/cleemckenzie/
Pinterest: https://www.pinterest.com/cleemckenzie/movie-cast-for-sign-of-the-green-dragon/

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Thursday, July 21, 2016

Author Interview with J.G. Zymbalist

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen winner via rafflecopter will win a $50 Amazon/BN.com gift card. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

What is something you’ve lied about?

I tell little white lies to protect people’s feelings, and I have a strong feeling that people do the same for my own benefit.

Who is the last person you hugged?

I don’t know. It was probably my mother back in my childhood days. Ever since entering high school, I’ve been very reclusive and spiritual and melancholy. I have a great deal of Brian Wilson in me.

What are you reading now?

For Your Eyes Only by Ian Fleming. It’s a good escape, and it’s his only short-story collection. The best one is “The Hildebrand Rarity.” I believe I’ll be reading that one over one more time. Even though it’s a quest to find a wee little tropical fish, in some respects it’s sort of like Moby Dick—with James Bond as a kind of Ishmael. Unlike Moby Dick though, the fish is greatly abused and killed. It’s haunting.

How do you come up with the titles to your books?

I usually get them from my favorite poetry. (I am the mostly-ashamed holder of a totally useless M.F.A. degree in poetry.) I named my first work after a German poem by Heinrich Heine—“Der Gesang der Okeaniden” which translates to “Song of the Oceanides.” It comes from a cycle of exotic poems Heine wrote whilst on holiday in Bremen (a port city looking out on the tumultuous North Sea.)

Share your dream cast for your book.

My most complicated point-of-view character is a rather eccentric failed artist named Giacomo, so I think either Peter Sellers or Robin Williams would be right for him. Another one of my point-of-view characters is a very sensitive and bright Martian girl named Emmylou. She would be best played by Quinn Cummings from the motion picture The Goodbye Girl. The third point-of-view character is a very sensitive, bespectacled kid named Rory Slocum. I have no idea who would be best to play him, but whoever it would be, it would have to be a young person from England. Rory is an immigrant living in turn-of-the-century America, and I would want his accent to be right.

(I should probably also add here that I would never want any of my work adapted for the screen. In truth, I think Hollywood’s best days are in the past. Today everything looks too digital, and I would not want to be a part of any sort of movie like that. If I did give in though, it would only be because the filmmaker vowed to use only obsolete equipment from the seventies.)

Song of the Oceanides is a highly-experimental triple narrative transgenre fantasy that combines elements of historical fiction, YA, myth and fairy tale, science fiction, paranormal romance, and more. For ages 10-110.

Enjoy an excerpt

Blue Hill, Maine.

3 August, 1903.

From the moment Emmylou heard the song of the Oceanides, she recognized something godly in the tune. As it resounded all across the desolate shoreline of Blue Hill Bay, she recalled the terrible chorus mysticus ringing all throughout that extinct Martian volcano the day her father went missing down in the magma chamber.

Aunt Belphœbe followed along, guiding Maygene through the sands. “Why don’t you go play in that shipwreck over there?” Aunt Belphœbe pointed toward a fishing schooner run aground some fifty yards to the south.

When Maygene raced off, Emmylou refused to follow. By now the chorus of song tormented her so much that an ache had awoken all throughout her clubfoot. Before long she dropped her walking stick and fell to the earth. Closing her eyes, she dug both her hands into the sands and lost herself in memories of the volcano. How could Father be gone? Though he had often alluded to the perils of Martian vulcanology, she never imagined that someone so good and so wise could go missing.

The song of the Oceanides grew a little bit louder and increasingly dissonant.

Opening her eyes, Emmylou listened very closely. The song sounded like the stuff of incantation, witchcraft. And even though she could not comprehend every word, nevertheless she felt certain that the Oceanides meant to cast a spell upon some unfortunate soul.

About the Author:
J.G. Źymbalist began writing Song of the Oceanides as a child when his family summered in Castine, Maine where they rented out Robert Lowell’s house.

The author returned to the piece while working for the Martha’s Vineyard Historical Society, May-September, 2005. He completed the full draft in Ellsworth, Maine later that year.

For more information, please see http://jgzymbalist.com

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Tuesday, July 19, 2016

What She Wanted by Julie Anne Lindsey

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Julie will be awarding a digital copy of What She Wanted to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

It seems Katy has been waiting for her eighteenth birthday all her life. Raised by a grandfather who never got over losing Katy’s mother to cancer at a young age, she’s dreamed of a life free of the burdens of her family’s tragedies. But just before her birthday, she learns tragedy isn’t finished telling its story . . .

Before she can begin her new life, Katy’s grandfather suffers a heart attack, a box of her mother’s keepsakes, including a journal written to Katy while she was in her mother’s womb, at his side. Believing the only thing her grandpa loves enough to live for is her mother’s memory, Katy reads to him from the journal every night at the hospital. Night after night, line after line, Katy begins to see herself as her mother saw her in her dreams. Buoyed by her mother’s undying love and conviction, Katy vows to make her mother’s sacrifice mean something and promises to fulfill all her mother’s requests. Even the hard ones. Especially those . . .

Enjoy an Excerpt: I grabbed the packing tape and bounced to my feet. “I already have enough in savings to pay the difference plus first month’s rent. I just need to hurry up and turn eighteen so I can sign that lease agreement.” I dragged a line of tape across the top of one unsealed box.

Heidi squealed. “We’re going to have so much fun in your new apartment this summer. It’ll be even better in the fall, when you go to Kent with me.”

“There won’t be room for another freshman in the dorms by the time I have my birthday and apply. Kent’s too far to commute.” I glanced at my laptop. The flags outside the New York Film Academy billowed in the wind. I’d researched every photography school in the world, looking for my dream escape, and that was it. NYFA had been created by Jerry Sherlock, a veteran producer and sheer genius. He’d designed the school to put students into their craft immediately. He believed in learning by doing. I’d be surrounded with students like me: film students, performing arts students, peers studying acting, cinematography, and my favorite, photography. That was the short list. My heart sank impossibly lower. “Next year, okay?”

She deflated. “At least try.”

About the Author:
Julie Anne Lindsey is a multi-genre author who writes the stories that keep her up at night. She’s a self-proclaimed nerd with a penchant for words and proclivity for fun. Mother of three, wife to a sane person and Ring Master at the Lindsey Circus, most days you'll find her online, amped up on caffeine and wielding a book. Julie started writing to make people smile. Someday she plans to change the world.

Julie is a member of the International Thriller Writers (ITW), Sisters in Crime (SinC) and the Canton Writer’s Guild.

WEBSITE: http://julieannelindsey.com/
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/JulieALindsey
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/JulieAnneLindseyAuthor

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BN: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/what-she-wanted-julie-anne-lindsey/1122857377

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Thursday, July 14, 2016

The Last of the Firedrakes by Farah Ommerbhoy

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. The author will award a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn commenter via Rafflecopter. Please click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

16-year-old Aurora Darlington is an orphan. Mistreated by her adopted family and bullied at school, she dreams of running away and being free. But when she is kidnapped and dragged through a portal into a magical world, suddenly her old life doesn't seem so bad.
Avalonia is a dangerous land ruled by powerful mages and a cruel, selfish queen who will do anything to control all seven kingdoms--including killing anyone who stands in her way. Thrust headlong into this new, magical world, Aurora's arrival sets plans in motion that threaten to destroy all she holds dear.

With the help of a young fae, a magical pegasus, and a handsome mage, Aurora journeys across Avalonia to learn the truth about her past and unleash the power within herself. Kingdoms collide as a complicated web of political intrigue and ancient magic lead Aurora to unravel a shocking secret that will change her life forever.

Enjoy an excerpt:

"Today you will start lessons with me and learn to access your mage powers,” said Uncle Gabriel. “There are a few training exercises I want to start with, which will help you to access and channel your magic. I want you to have an open mind, and follow my instructions very carefully.”

I listened intently, breathlessly awaiting the secret I was so anxious to discover—how magic worked.

“You are still young and so far your powers have been diminished by the amulet, but if you have tapped into your fae magic already by mind bonding with the pegasus, that means that your powers are already manifesting,” Uncle Gabriel said.

He lit a candle and put it in front of me on the table.

“Now, our first lesson is going to be on concentration,” said Uncle Gabriel. “I want you to focus on this candle. Remove all other thoughts from your mind.”

I stared at the candle, my thoughts drifting in and out. Uncle Gabriel had said he was going to teach me to do magic. This was not magic; this was torture. My thoughts flickered back and forth like the flame on the tip of the candle. Finally I looked up.

“This is silly. Nothing is happening,” I said, getting frustrated.

“You are not concentrating,” Uncle Gabriel said, glancing up briefly up from his work. “Block out all other thoughts. If they come, push them away and keep focusing on the candle. Nothing else is of importance; your whole mind and concentration is on that candle.”

I tried again, but my thoughts wouldn’t leave me alone. Every time I looked up, Uncle Gabriel made me try again. He even changed the object of my concentration, from the candle to a smoothly polished stone, to a vase and back. I tried again and again, and every time it was the same, my thoughts came and went, flitting about in my mind, and my concentration was broken.

“Same time tomorrow, Aurora, and please practice. I expect you to concentrate on an object for measurably longer. Holding your concentration is one of the key aspects to working with your magic. You have to learn to channel your powers properly. If you can’t control your mind and will, then when you release your powers, they will be all over the place, and we don’t want that,” he said seriously.

About the Author:
Farah Oomerbhoy is a young adult writer with a master’s degree in English literature from the University of Mumbai. Farah loves the fantastical and magical and often dreams of living in Narnia, Neverland, or the Enchanted Forest. Her debut novel, The Last of the Firedrakes, Book 1 of The Avalonia Chronicles started on Wattpad where it received a Watty Award in 2015 and over 1.5 million reads. Since publication, The Last of the Firedrakes has gone on to win a silver medal in IBPA’s Benjamin Franklin Awards, become a finalist in the USA Best Book Awards and become an international bestseller. Farah lives with her family in Mumbai, India where she can be found checking for magical portals in every closet.


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