Wednesday, November 23, 2022

The Chasm by Branwen Oshea



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Branwen OShea will be awarding $30 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Welcome to Books in the Hall! Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

I work with teens and wanted to write books for them. My Finding Humanity Series was inspired by several conversations where a bunch of teens told me they couldn’t imagine a future where humans got their act together and stopped killing each other and the planet. I wanted to create a story where instead of a chosen one saving the day, it was a group of diverse people who didn’t trust each other that eventually convinced everyone else to change.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

There are five points of view in The Chasm:

Rana, a star being, would have toys and food for her cave digger pup, Digga. Star beings don’t use books, so maybe she’d also have her walking stick and fur cape.

Kahali, another star being, would have all musical instruments, but mostly percussion instruments.

Bleu Reinier, a human, would have his equipment for the hologames as well as a pictures of he and his best friend, Stamf, winning at various tournaments. He’d also have secret computer files of cold weather wilderness survival techniques.

Atsushi Collins, another human teen, would have his pass to the Records Room, where he researches ancient Earth. He’d also have his personal comm loaded with music from the old world wide web.

Commander Savas, the human expedition leader, would have his expedition clothing, cologne, and a comb.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

When I was a teen I mostly read adult sci-fi, fantasy, romance and spy books. But my favorite book, which will tell you what a nerd I was, was Sir Thomas Malory’s Le Morte D’Arthur.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Lindt Chocolate Peppermint White Chocolate Truffles

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I always wanted to be a doctor that treated people regardless of their ability to pay. I’ve always been interested in health and healing, and wanted to help others. I did get a Bachelors in Biology Pre-Med, but then became a mental health therapist instead.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

I would tell myself that having perfect grades and the college I choose are not nearly as important as everyone makes you believe as a teen. But more importantly, I’d try to give myself hope, because my teen years were pretty awful.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

All the candy bars, because that’s usually what the kids want. But I also have allergy-free alternatives.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I’d love to be able to physically travel to book worlds. Then I could visit all my favorite characters and all the magical forests, and all the amazing planets.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

I don’t read in bed, so my own books, The Calling and The Chasm are on my nightstand. Seeing that I’ve actually brought stories from my imagination into physical form in this world is a dream come true.

Hunger Games or Twilight? Why?

Oh, this is hard. I definitely like Susan Collins’ writing better, but then…werewolves and vampires! I see this question, and my response is the meme from The Road El Dorado where the two guys look at each other and say “Both! Both is good.”

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

The old Battlestar Galactica. The newer one is also great, but the older one was out when I was a kid.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Coffee in all its wonderful forms. It tastes good, wake me up, fuels my writing, and has antioxidants. What’s not to love?

Ideal summer vacation.

I’m not a heat person, so I’d rather work through the summer and go to Iceland and see the Northern Lights in the winter.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

Another hard one. I’m not good at these choices, am I? I think I’d probably like to meet the Crowned Ones among the star beings, specifically Kalakanya, Luminary Vadin, and Bahujnana. The Crowned Ones are the star being version of enlightened beings, and I think we’d have great conversations. Kalakanya would be great to talk to about the nature of time and past and future lives. Luminary Vadin is really funny and kind, and Bahujnana is their healer and I’d love to talk to him about their healing techniques.

Alternatively, I’d love to meet two of the Ruined-Hakan and Mican- but if I say more about them it would be a spoiler. Also, if I were meeting them, I’d need a guarantee that they wouldn’t kill me, lol.

Favorite pizza toppings.

Hot Italian sausage, mushrooms, onions, and hot peppers

Create an ice cream flavor. What’s it called?

Butterscotch Expresso. Coffee ice cream with chocolate covered expresso beans, and butterscotch syrup.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on? A small farm with a guest house for any friends that need a place to stay as well.

Favorite class in high school.

I’m going to sort of cheat with this question. I spent my senior year of high school at college, and my favorite course there, and maybe ever, was a freshman interdisciplinary class that explored what would happen if extraterrestrial intelligent life was ever discovered. It looked at the science as well as effects on our society, political stability between nations, and how religious institutions would react. It was the perfect class for a budding science fiction author.

Thank you so much for taking an interest in me and my series.

They thought the biggest problem they faced was each other.

After Bleu, Rana, and their new friends narrowly prevent war between the star beings and humans, they hope the upcoming negotiation will secure the peace. Newly emerged from their subterranean haven, the Northern Haven humans are clearly not suited to Earth’s ice age, and require assistance from the enlightened star beings to survive long term on the Surface. But Commander Savas doesn’t trust the suspiciously kind star beings and their unexplainable abilities. When both sides reluctantly negotiate a joint mission to find the other Havens, Bleu must somehow cooperate with the manipulative commander to keep his friends safe.

As their team confronts unexpected dangers, Bleu and his teammates begin to suspect the star beings don’t know as much about the Surface as they claimed, while Rana is torn between remaining true to her nonviolent ways or becoming more human to survive. When an unnatural predator attacks, even the nearly all-knowing Kalakanya can’t explain it. Now the team must pull together or their new discovery will pull them apart, limb by limb.

Read an excerpt

Savas grinned. “Think of it as research. They’re a new species. You’re doing field observation.”

“I don’t think she eats at all.” Atsushi frowned. “None of the Crowned Ones seem to. They go to the gathering hall to socialize.”

“You do realize that’s impossible, right? They’re alive. They need an energy source.”

“Kalakanya said she eats air or something.”

Savas snorted. “Well, be curious. Ask Kahali when you’re alone. Later, ask the others. We’ll compare answers.”

Atsushi grimaced. “They’ll know what I’m thinking. I don’t want to upset them.”

“No, you don’t.” If he had another Medicci device to block mindreading, he’d offer it to him. There must be something the boy could do to stay safe. A tiny, guilty voice rose within him at exposing the boy to the dangers of mind-control. No kid should go through that.

“What if you keep that chant Kahali taught you running in your head? Maybe then they won’t catch on?”

“Maybe.” Atsushi was silent. “I’m supposed to be chanting that all the time, but I’m horrid at remembering.”

“Then work on that.”

Atsushi nodded and then glanced toward the fire, where the star beings suddenly sang more loudly. “You still don’t trust them, do you?”

“No, I don’t.”

“But why? They’re so nice.”

“There used to be a fish that lived in the depths of the ocean. It evolved a beautiful light that shone magnificently in the darkness. Other fish would swim close, mesmerized by the beauty, feeling completely safe. And then the light-bearing fish would tear them to pieces.”

About the Author:
As a young girl, Branwen wanted to become an ambassador for aliens. Since the aliens never hired her, she now writes about them.

Branwen OShea has a Bachelors in Biology from Colgate University, a Bachelors in Psychology, and a Masters in Social Work. She lives in Connecticut with her family and a menagerie of pets, and enjoys hiking, meditating, and star-gazing. Her published works include Silence of the Song Trees, The Calling, The Cords That Bind, and The Chasm.

Website: http://www.branwenoshea.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/branwenoshea
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/branwenoshea
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/branwenoshea
TikTok: http://www.tiktok.com/branwenoshea
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/author/branwenoshea

The Chasm (Book 2) on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09QFPHQVN
The Calling (Book 1) on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/1735915998
The Cords That Bind (Book 1.1) on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09CSK4813

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Monday, November 14, 2022

The After Times by Christine Potter



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Christine Potter will be awarding $50 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.

Pretend your protagonist is at school and opens his/her locker – what will we see inside?

Locker in school…that’s the problem!! My main character is locked out of her school; THE AFTER TIMES is set in the first days of pandemic. She’s going to Stormkill High online. Her bathroom sink has her eyeliner, about ten scrunchies to put back her hair (it’s gotten long and there’s no salon open to help), and alas, two or three masks, which her foster mom is cranking out at the rate of about five per minute on the sewing machine. At least they’re upcycled from cool material!

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I loved A Wrinkle in Time by Madeleine L’Engle. And also biographies. I went through a phase where I think I read every biography of every woman who had done something important and some of them twice. Ask me whatever you want about Madame Curie! I also had a Nancy Drew addiction.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I do like soft serve ice cream. The really good stuff near me is down on the Jersey Shore. Also, I just made a blueberry-poppyseed cake and it rocks!

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be an archeologist. Then, when I was about twelve, I realized that I’d probably be excavating human remains, and that totally freaked me out. I think it still would, although I’d love to visit some of the more famous sites—maybe the stuff near Jamestown.

What would you write in a letter to your teen self?

I’d tell young Christine not to let the mean girls get her down—there were plenty in my high school, and I was an early-on hippie. I’d also tell her that it’s okay to love the Grateful Dead and Beethoven at the same time, and that writing stories doesn’t make her a loser.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

We live in a very old (1740) house on a dark, winding street through a wooded area. No sidewalks. So alas, no trick or treaters. HOWEVER, when we still lived in our old place in Nyack, we get swamped; my husband and I are both retired schoolteachers. We gave out the good stuff: peanut butter cups. And none of those shrimpy little chocolate bars—real ones.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I’d like to have the power to grant anyone any wish he or she wanted. Sort of a pay-it-forward super power. I don’t like to hog my gifts.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

Lady Justice, by Dahlia Lithwick. About women and the law in 2022. It’s enough to make you want to go out and smash the patriarchy starting yesterday.

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

Maine Cabin Masters, because then I’d have a cabin in Maine. The Cabin Masters are a bunch of hippies who come fix lake and beach houses (or camps) in Maine. It’s a home reno show. I love home reno shows. They are my favorite chill pill. The Cabin Masters are hilarious onscreen; I’d watch them read the phone book. Plus: Grateful Dead fans. We’d open oysters and listen to vintage Dead shows. It would be great.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

The original Star Trek. I still can be had for an episode or three. I also really loved Bewitched, which was incredibly pro LGBT for its time, and stands up well. Search it out!!!

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Latte, two shots of espresso, no sugar. Because it gets you going and it is delicious.

Ideal summer vacation.

I like a cabin in Maine or Nova Scotia, a pile of books, my laptop if I feel like writing, and my dear and patient husband to open the oysters. Some local folk music in the local pub. Bliss.

Which of your characters would you most like to meet IRL? Why?

Bean, of course. She’s in all the books. By the end of the series, she’s in her late sixties, and she’s quite the gal. She started out being a bit like me as a teenager, but now she’s got a job as a producer at WNYC in Manhattan and I think she’s pretty smart. Smarter than me, in fact, but she always has been.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

Sounds like I’m getting my cabin in Maine! I’d want it fixed up comfortably but not too fancy. Near the water enough for a view, but not in danger of crazy beach erosion. And I’d save out ten or twenty grand to give to World Central Kitchen to feed the folks in Ukraine who lack both food and shelter.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

English! My 10th grade teacher modeled to me what a literary person could be—funny, hip, and taking absolutely no crap from anyone. I write and publish poetry as well as fiction, and it was in that class that I first realized I was going to be a poet, too.

Say you’re Gracie Ingraham, nerdy but happy high school senior. But you’re also a time-traveler from 1962 who got a bit lost and has been living in the 2000’s since 2018. That would be plenty without it now being 2020. Covid has just shut down the world. Your pandemic pod? Your BFF Zoey—and your ex-boyfriend, Dylan.

Dylan still lives to spin weird vinyl LP’s with your sort-of, kind-of Dad, Amp. So your quarantine hobby is going to have to be Being Mature About Stuff.

But then your time traveling kicks into high gear again. And your long-lost brother and mom mix it up with a creepy, pyromaniacal force that is most likely demonic. How can love save the day when you can’t even go downtown without wearing a mask?

Read an Excerpt

I pulled out a note and opened it up. The crease in it seemed sharp and fresh, as if it had just been folded that afternoon. It was on old-school yellow legal paper, torn from a pad, written in unfaded black ink—big letters.

Grace—I’m okay. I really am. Don’t believe everything you see. Mom’s okay, too. By the way, Jesse is a major asshole. Gotta go— Jack.

“Zoey! Claire!” I folded the note back up, put it in my pocket, and ran downstairs.

“Whoa! Those look great on you!” Claire pushed herself up from her chair. “Turn around! Let’s see how they fit in the back.”

Oh yeah, the jeans.

“Right. They fit really well.” I spun around. “But this was in them. From my brother!” I pulled out the note and waved it in the air.

I shouldn’t have been as shocked as I was when the paper in my hand burst into flames. I mean, we did have a theme going with that.

I ran to the sink and flung it in. I was about to blast it with water when it turned into a bright blue ball of light, silently exploded, and disappeared without a smudge of ash left behind. It didn’t even smell like smoke. Jack’s note was there—and then totally not there. It might as well have never existed. I leaned against the sink and felt dizzy.

Claire was beside me with a hand over her mouth.

“Holy crap, Grace.” Zoey looked down into the empty sink and then back at me.

“Yeah.” I don’t know why, but I turned on the water and washed my hands then. I’m not sure if I did the whole twenty second thing you’re supposed to.

About the Author:
Christine Potter is a writer and poet who lives in a (for-real) haunted house in New York’s Hudson River Valley, not that far from Sleepy Hollow. She is the author of Evernight Teen’s Bean Books, a five book series that travels through time—and two generations of characters. Christine is has also been a teacher, a bell ringer in the towers of old churches, a DJ, and a singer of all kinds of music. Her poetry has appeared in literary magazines like Rattle and Kestrel, featured on ABC Radio News, and sold in gum ball machines. She lives with her organist husband Ken and two indulged kitties. Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/christine.potter.543/
Insta: https://www.instagram.com/chrispygal/
Blog: http://www.chrispygal.weebly.com
Amazon Author Page: https://www.amazon.com/Christine-Potter/e/B001K7URHS/

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Tuesday, November 8, 2022

The Warlock's Curse by C.B. Oresky



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. A randomly drawn winner will be awarded a $50 Amazon/BN GC. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour

Do you have any tattoos? Where? When did you get it/them? Where are they on your body?

The truth of the matters is that I don’t have any tattoos, although I enjoy looking at other people’s tattoos. Tattoos tell stories and I’ve always wanted one…well, maybe a few. Being more of a chicken I’ve never indulged. I’ve always imagined ferocious dragons encircling my upper arms, as well as songbirds in flight.

Is your life anything like it was two years ago?

Like a bee, my life is busy. Besides being a full-time software developer by day, I’m writing another book about my spiritual life with troublesome Scottie dogs. Then, there’s promoting my debut YA Fantasy novel, The Warlock’s Curse. Add a naughty cat, a husband, ten squawking chickens, a stubborn Scottish Terrier, an Airbnb business, and a hedgehog, the whole mix is a recipe for non-stop craziness. With the pandemic coming to what seems an end, I look forward to start travelling again. First stop, Southern France, to travel in the footsteps of Vincent Van Gogh, then hopefully on to Spain, to hike the Camino de Santiago.

How long have you been writing?

I started writing The Warlock’s Curse, on and off, twelve years ago. I kept rewriting and rewriting the book, because every time I read through it, I knew I could improve it. It was my goal to have the book traditionally published. I felt fortunate to have it accepted by two publishing companies.

What advice would you give a new writer just starting out? My advice to a new writer just starting out is that writing is a difficult, difficult, lonely affair. It’s important to have people around you that support both you and your dreams. If you truly are meant to be a writer, it’s something you are compelled to do. Fill your heart with love, sprinkle yourself with stardust, spread your wings and fly. Don’t ever give up.

Tell us something about your newest release that is NOT in the blurb.

One of my favorite characters in The Warlock’s Curse, is a golden creature of light, joy, and love. This magical being, known as The Bliss, takes only what he needs and always gives back. His message about living in harmony with the natural world is very relevant, considering the perils that our planet’s numerous lifeforms presently face. I hope readers, both young and old, will heed his call.

Clara and Angelica Grace have never met ghosts. They’ve never sailed on a tall ship, ridden wild unicorns, or fought with magical weapons. Instead, the teenage twins have a wretched existence, ignored by their troubled parents in a rundown home and tormented by the town’s snobs.

Everything turns topsy-turvy all of a sudden when discovery of an ancestor’s hidden journal with an odd key to an unknown door leads them into an entirely different realm.

The girls go on a thrilling oceanic voyage to search for mysterious whales, train with a seasoned warrior, and are befriended by a wise Master. But all is not a bouquet of lovely lilies…they are hunted by a cunning warlock and must rid themselves of The Warlock’s Curse.

Read an Excerpt

“Help! Please help!” Angelica cried, turning toward the direction the voice had come from.

Veils of darkness greeted her eyes.

Suddenly, a strange sight seized both girls’ attention. The oddest-looking creature the girls had ever seen emerged from the gloom, waddling along a curved path near the pool’s edge. Its shape gradually came into view.

The squat creature stood about two feet tall, an amethyst stud adorning its short nose, its long face crowned by a single lock of fair curly hair. In place of normal clothing, a grasshopper-green mossy material covered its small hands and feet, while an amber mesh filament, appearing like thinly braided laces, swathed its arms and back. It eagerly flew toward the girls, appearing like a goldfinch, its smooth, translucent body quivering like firm jelly and glowing as the shimmering sun. The creature’s unforgettably deep eyes were grave and dark and splashed with touches of ocher, like glossy black beetles.

Clara trembled in her well-worn boots, imagining the approaching creature as a monster in some horror movie. She wrapped her wool cape more tightly about her, wishing it might somehow guard her from harm.

Angelica also eyed the peculiar-looking being fearfully and staggered back a step.

The golden creature stopped just short of them.

“It smells good…like meadow grass and flowers,” Clara whispered.

“Hummmmmm, Hummmmm,” its melodious voice buzzed, like bees flitting over flowers. The odd creature licked its rubbery lips.

About the Author
Fascinated by the works of Tolkien and C.S. Lewis, C.B. Oresky began writing her own fantasy novel, The Warlock’s Curse, after dreaming of being whisked off to an alien realm. Besides her debut novel, she has seen four of her short stories published in a small, national literary press: Conceit Magazine. When she’s not writing, she can be found wandering through the woods, dancing flamenco, or planting flowers in her garden. She currently lives in a small town in Connecticut with her bodybuilder husband, their exceptionally naughty Scottish terrier and Siamese cat, ten chickens, Mr. Tiggy the hedgehog, and a yard filled with majestic flowers.

Website: http://www.cbOresky.com
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/thewarlockscurse
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/thewarlockscurse/
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/cbOresky
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@cboresky
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/profile/c-b-oresky
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/22747540.C_B_Oresky

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Warlocks-Curse-C-B-Oresky-ebook/dp/B0B7KHB2RB/ref=sr_1_1

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Monday, November 7, 2022

Momma Llama's ABC Book of Latin America



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Momma Llama & Friends will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Momma Llama's ABC Book of Latin America is both fun and educational. This multicultural adventure includes people, places, and things from Central and South America - from Mexico to Argentina. The charming illustrations will make you and your child smile. Additionally, each page names the country or region of the subject; parents might learn something too.







About the Author:
Momma Llama envisions a world in which Mom becomes the star and the hero of each fun-filled adventure, giving a new perspective to the way children learn and play.

Each story showcases Momma Llama, a hard-working independent, and adventurous mother, promoting ideas such as teamwork, determination, respect, and the idea that Moms give more than we realize.

Momma Llama aspires to unify the diverse cultures of the Americas by promoting multiculturalism in a fresh new way.

There’s always something new in Momma Llama’s magical world, so join us for more adventures.

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Friday, October 21, 2022

Sopia Freeman Series by TX Troan



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. T.X. Troan will be awarding a $25 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

EARTH AWAKENED ... SEED PLANTED ... PATH REVEALED.

What begins as a special trip for eleven-year-old Sophia Freeman and her father, leaves her trapped on a mysterious island with a tree boy and fantastical creatures. Later, she learns she is dying from an eternal curse and the only way to prolong her life is to drink the island’s sacred water. Can Sophia and her companions reach the fountain and defeat the guardian before time runs out?

THEY MUST RISK IT ALL TO REGAIN THEIR FREEDOM ... OR BE SEALED AWAY FOREVER.

Sophia Freeman and her best friend, Tim Charnal, must beat all contestants in a three-round Beyond Event organized by the mighty arbiters to free him from the penalty of murder and gain the islanders' trust. Entering the hologram and surviving environments filled with everything from hammer-throwing cave giants to a slimy tentacled sea monster, they will need all their courage, wits, and skills. But how are they going to win when magic is forbidden?

EVIL RISING ... ISLANDERS MISSING ... AND FRIENDS BETRAYING.

With the increase in deaths of Pandilone Islanders, the arbiters devise a strategy to free the god demon within five days to lift the Eternal Curse. All goes as planned until iron-masked creatures kidnap magic users, weakening the army. To gain reinforcements, Sophia Freeman, Tim Charnal, and rescued Allen Chan must gather all six items to cast the Dream Spell, connecting them with Sophia’s father and his air force. But how can the trio succeed in time while surrounded by enemies and traitors aiming to stop them at any cost?






Read an Excerpt from SOPHIA FREEMAN AND THE GATE OF JADE (book 2 ):

“So, Wondnair, what happened back there?” Tim asked, picking at his food. “Why did the arbiters put our victory on hold?”

Sophia hung her head in silent shame.

“Sophia’s body was taken over by, uh … someone,” said Wondnair.

“You mean … T-Tombermon? Why would he help us win?” Tim shook his head. “No, it can’t be true—”

“Look, no monster of that size would simply drop and let you two pass,” Wondnair continued. “Sophia was like its master back there.”

Holding her bowl tightly, Sophia watched her teardrop fall into her earthy soup.

“So, she broke the rules?” Tim couldn’t eat any more. “It’s over—we’re disqualified.”

Wondnair said, “We don’t know that ye—”

“I am so sorry, Tim,” cried Sophia. “We lost because of m-me.” She wiped her eyes. “You shouldn’t have come with me to fight that fountain guardian. Then this n-never would have h-happened.”

“Sophia.” He slid closer to her on the bench.

“I’m n-not the Ch-Chosen One!” She slammed her fist on the table.

Tim gently placed her head against his shoulder and wrapped his arms around her. “Sophia, listen to me. The fight isn’t over.”

About the Author:
Thuan Doan was born in Indonesia, and grew up in St. Catharines, Ontario, Canada.

Thuan has been fascinated by art from a young age, especially fantasy. He would wake up hours before school, sit outside the classroom, and scribble in his sketch book.

After college, he worked on a series of jobs, including: an advergaming association as a storyboard/concept artist, gaming company as lead concept artist, and graphic designer for various clients.

Thuan conceived his first middle-grade fantasy novel, Sophia Freeman and the Mysterious Fountain, during a trip to Gabriola Island, British Columbia in the summer of 2013. Then he took his work and settled in a small town of Enderby, where it’s peaceful and quiet. 4 years later, the story is complete. While book 1, 2 and 3 are being shared with the world, he's writing and illustrating book 4 of the Sophia Freeman series.

Thuan is writing under a pen name of T.X. Troan. “X” stands for Xu, his grandmother’s name who passed away. And “Troan” is a combination of his parents' names.

“No matter how this turns out, I want my family to be a part of this wonderful journey.”

T.X. Troan married Sarah, his original fan and longtime love, in 2016. They live in Enderby with their pack dogs and school of fish!

AWARDS

★ Entrada Publishing Incipere Award, 2020
★ Readers' Favorite 5 star Badge, 2019, 2021 and 2022
★ Literary Titan Badge, 2020

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Tuesday, October 18, 2022

Juche Box Set by Adria Carmichael



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 would we find under your bed?
Mostly dust bunnies unfortunately.

What was the scariest moment of your life?
When I was stabbed with a needle at a Russian subway station. Apparently, pricking your arm is a common method robbers use to get you to drop the bag you’re holding, but it didn’t work because my winter coat was too thick so it didn’t go all the way into the muscle tissue. Still, I was terrified for several weeks that I had been infected with something. Thankfully, I was fortunate enough to walk away with nothing but a tiny red dot on my forearm.

Do you listen to music while writing? If so what?
I usually write in silence, but once in a while, I get the urge to put on some rock classics from the 70-80ies.

What is something you'd like to accomplish in your writing career next year?
Publish the next two books in the Juche series.

How long did it take you to write this book?
I originally wrote books 1-4 as one book and then split it into four to make the editing more manageable. So I can’t say for sure about the last book, but I have spent nights and weekends for the past 4-5 years on writing the Juche story.

Just when Areum - daughter of a privileged family in the totalitarian state of Choson (North Korea) - thought she was free from her personal prison, her world collapses around her as her family is taken away in the middle of the night to a hell-like camp in the mountains where people who have strayed from the righteous path are brutally re-educated through blood, sweat, tears, and starvation.

There she has to fight for survival together with the family she hates and is forced to re-evaluate every aspect of her life until then: her deep resentment toward her twin sister; her view of her father in the face of mounting evidence that he is a traitor with the blood of millions of fellow countrymen on his hands; and even her love and affection for the Great General - the eternal savior and protector of Choson, whom she had always considered her true father.

Note from the author:

Have you ever wondered what the world looks like when seen through an indoctrinated mind?

This is a topic that has intrigued me for as long as I can remember, so when I came up with the idea to write a book many years ago, I decided to create it from the viewpoint of a victim of indoctrination… which in the end became Areum (the protagonist of the story).

What I try to explore in this story is how deep the indoctrination of a 14-year old girl can run and how much “reality” it can be exposed to before breaking… if it will break at all. As a comparison, the defectors from North Korea who arrive in South Korea are isolated for three months in a de-programming facility called Hanawon before they are allowed to join society where they go through this process in a more controlled (and less brutal) way than Areum.

I hope you will enjoy this slightly different take on the dystopian genre!


Read an Excerpt

A loud screech in the sky interrupts me. I look up. A large black crow is circling high above us. Then another crow joins in. The screeching intensifies. Another one joins in, and then another. Before I know it, the whole sky has turned black with a swirling mass of crows, flying in a tornado-like circle right above us. I feel their beady eyes looking down at me.

The mass of crows now forms a funnel, spiraling downward toward us. I scream and put my hands up in defense. But the crows don’t target me. The black moving mass instead completely consumes the living corpse of my dad.

“NOOO!” I scream as I helplessly witness the crows dismembering him piece by piece right before my eyes. They pull his eyeballs out from their sockets. They tear the skin from his arms and legs. I cry and scream. I want to run to him, to help him… but I still can’t move.

Then it’s all over, and the crows disperse and ascend back into the sky, bringing their ear-piercing screech and the pieces of my father’s body with them. What was left of him is now again lying lifelessly on the ground. His face is still turned to me, but he had no more dead eyes to look at me with.

Another screech makes me look up to the sky again. The crows are circling ominously. Faster and faster. The screeching intensifies, cutting painfully into my ears, as they once more swirl down towards me like a tornado. I put my hands up in defense and scream as the first crow brushes against my hair. Another one grabs my arm with its claws. I try to break free, but my feet are still glued to the ground.

I now have crows all over my body, and as the one on my arm penetrates my skin with its beak, I…

About the Author:
Adria Carmichael is a writer of dystopian fiction with a twist. When she is not devouring dystopian and post-apocalyptic content in any format - books, movies, TV-series and PlayStation games - she is crafting the epic and highly-addictive Juche saga, her 2020 debut novel series that takes place in the brutal, totalitarian nation of Choson. When the limit of doom and gloom is reached, a 10K run on a sunny day or binging a silly sitcom on a rainy day is her go-to way to unwind.

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/20581191.Adria_Carmichael
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Adria-Carmichael-591550164840779
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/adria_carmichael_author/?hl=en
Twitter: https://twitter.com/AdriaCarmichael
Bookbub: https://www.bookbub.com/authors/adria-carmichael

Amazon Buy links:

Juche 1 – The Demon of Yodok: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08FQLHKYP/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i0
Juche 2 – The Weeping Masses: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B08J42Y4Y5
Juche 3 – The Storm of Storms: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B099BKWKKR
Juche 4 – Freedom or Death: https://www.amazon.com/Freedom-Death-Young-Dystopian-Survival-ebook/dp/B09D9NBZ7S/ref=sr_1_1
Juche 1-4 Box Set: https://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B0B3F21BKV/ref=dbs_a_def_rwt_bibl_vppi_i4

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Tuesday, October 11, 2022

The Fate of a Crush by Marie MacGrath



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Marie McGrath will be awarding a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Why do you write juvenile fiction? What draws you to it?

Juvenile fiction has always resonated with me. I love the themes and the discovery of that age group. Even after I surpassed the age group myself, I still find myself scrounging the shelves for books in juvenile fiction. There is an innocence in all of the interactions between friends and couples. It’s all so new for each character and that situation that it’s exciting. I think no matter how old I become, I can still relate to discovering parts of myself and going into situations with a perspective of innocence.

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I would love to have powers to freeze time. Time always seems to slip away when I don’t want it to. Unlimited time would be nice to finish a book I want to write or to finish a book I want to read.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

The Queen Will Betray You by Sarah Henning is currently on my nightstand. It is book 2 in the Kingdoms of Sand and Sky series. It follows a strong female lead trying to rule her kingdom when her father dies unexpectedly. Book 1 was beautifully crafted, so I had to follow her journey to the next one in the series. It is actually a three book series.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

This is somewhat tied. I love Sabrina the Teenage Witch and Charmed. If it is based on how many times I’ve rewatched the episodes, then Charmed would win. I love the magic in both and always secretly dreamed about how cool it would be to have powers.

Ideal summer vacation.

My ideal summer vacation would be going to a secluded beach. I could sit on the sand and read or soak up the sun’s rays. I could swim and enjoy the warmish ocean water and just tune out the world. As a mom of two small children, peace and quiet are a luxury I do not see often right now. So as long as the vacation let me relax and have some quiet time to read uninterrupted, it would be ideal.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

I think I would want Mia, the main character’s best friend. She’s spunky and a go-getter. She may not know all the survival skills in the world and she is shorter, but she would help us survive. She’s persistent and that would be valuable if we were stranded.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

Books? Obviously books and maybe a new house to put the books in with brand new shelves. A million dollars’ worth of books would require a lot of space because I like to read paperbacks. So some of the money would definitely need to be spent to put it somewhere and properly display them.

Favorite class in high school. Why?

I loved Child Psychology in my senior year in high school. I enjoyed learning how humans develop and the stages children go through. I knew I wanted to teach and so it was directly applicable to my life, including that I always wanted to be a mother as well. The ideas in that class are something I still come back to frequently.

Falling in love with a senior was risky … especially when he was your best friend’s brother.

Allie Duncan started sophomore year with two aspirations, make her school’s volleyball team and keep her crush on Hunter Baylor, her best friend’s brother, a secret. If Mia found out, she would feel betrayed. The crush was useless anyway. Hunter was a star basketball player and she was a nobody. Or so she thought until his attention was piqued after Allie went on the Baylors’ summer vacation. When Hunter goes to homecoming with Allie’s sophomore rival, she’s devastated and her confidence is destroyed, especially after his date tells her the Baylors pity her. Hunter tries to make it up to Allie, which leads to a kiss, leaving Allie confused.

Can she push this crush out of her heart to save her friendship? Or is Hunter worth the risk?


Read an Excerpt

“You have no idea how much I think about you, Allie Duncan.” He said my name almost as a whisper against my skin.

My body tensed and sent tingles to every spot he touched.

“I-I …” I squeezed my eyes shut and forced myself to say it. “I couldn’t think either. Being that close to you practically drowned all my brain cells and short circuited the wiring. If you had asked me my name, I doubt I would have been able to tell you.”

“Good,” he said as he straightened and outstretched his hand.

“What do you mean good?”

“It’s no fun if I’m the only one on the edge.”

I giggled. “You’re terrible.”

“Maybe, but at least I’m honest.”

About the Author:Marie McGrath lives in a small rural town in Maryland. She hopes to inspire others with her stories. Her favorite genres to read are YA Romance and Contemporary Fiction. She loves the color turquoise, tigers, and listening to music.

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