Tuesday, January 25, 2022

Thorn of Secrets by B. Truly

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. B. Truly 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.

In love with the same face that haunts me….

The falling leaves of autumn are like the deceit in my family lineage. Closing the door on the infinite cold—winter blossoms into the spring of new beginnings. In the next season of my life, I’m mending the pieces back together. Opening myself up, I even begin to date, which is a big step for me.

After graduating from high school, a shocking development causes me to be on alert. When nothing comes of it, I move forward, wanting desperately to put the past behind me.

About to start college, I bump into someone from my complicated past, and my heart is torn. The dilemma I struggle with: Do I let other people’s opinion define who I am? I must decide if I’ll push through the ridicule and pave my own path. Could the face that’s scorned me be the key to my resolve? I’ll never know if I take the easy way out.

I’ve unlocked my darkest secret only to have it return to torment me. As the thorns of his obsession encompass me, I discover I’m part of a twisted ploy. If I don’t figure a way out of this predicament, then the life I’ve known may cease to exist.

Don’t miss the riveting sequel to Madison’s story that will have you dangling on the edge of your seat.

Read an Excerpt

The power of the wind beating against the windows becomes too much—two of them shatter. Glass explodes everywhere. Justin uses his body as a shield, keeping the invading glass from hitting me. Tanya screams bloody murder.

Jackson shouts from down the hall. “Move your asses, people!”

Justin ushers me in that direction quickly. As I move, I notice putting weight on my right foot is painful. It gives out against my will, then I’m hobbling.

Tanya rushes into the half-bath. Justin stops and scoops me up, carrying me the rest of the way, making me feel like a helpless child. It’s more than humiliating. We huddle in the half-bath. The room doesn’t have windows, thank goodness. Since the house doesn’t have a basement, this makes the half-bath the safest spot.

A flashlight propped up on the counter is our only source of light. Jackson’s forehead is wrinkled. Tanya is sitting on the toilet with the lid closed with her arms wrapped around herself. Justin is near me as I crouch in the corner, shivering uncontrollably. The house feels like an earthquake has gotten a hold of it—shaking under the wrath of the cyclone.

My heart is slamming against my ribcage. The sound blends in with the rumbling of the foundation. With the expressions on the others’ faces, I’m not imagining it. The tornado is right on top of us, and I’m certain the house is inside of it. For a couple of seconds, all sound seems to cease. The vroom of the monster is muted.

“Is it gone?” Tanya wonders.

My senses are waving red flags. The cyclone is nowhere near done. It’s only getting started. My intuition is confirmed when the roaring picks up again and, to my disbelief, is even louder. The theory about the eye is wrong. The center of the storm is not peaceful, only a momentary calm before the beast unleashes its full wrath. The wind is so ferocious, it takes everything in me not to cry.

Tanya lets out her fear. “Why is the house shaking? Why is it so loud?”

A moment later, it becomes clear why the house is trembling. It has been defeated and can no longer stay rooted. The roof cracks open. The cracks spread quickly, like worker ants determined to snag a meal, and then the roof rips off completely.

“Ah, hell!” Jackson yells.

About the Author:
B. Truly has wanted to be an author since she was fifteen years old. She is grateful to have accomplished this dream. B. Truly has very vivid dreams and a wild imagination. She likes to read, watch tons of TV shows, and movies. She’s addicted to romance and gets a thrill out of suspense and sci-fi. She writes young adult, new adult, and adult romance, sci-fi, dystopian, and paranormal genres.

B. Truly likes to explore conflicted plots of romance with thrilling twists. She also loves creating impossible situations for her characters to grow from and try to overcome.

B. Truly has three wonderful children, and a husband who defines the person that she is today. She works full-time as an Ultrasound technologist in Houston, Texas.



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Monday, January 10, 2022

Journeys: the Archers of Saint Sebastian by Jeanne Roland

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Jeanne Roland will be awarding a $40 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.

A barracks full of beautiful boys. A girl in disguise, living among them.

It’s the 14th century, and the longbow is king. But in the northern European principality of Ardennes, archery isn’t just the nation’s defense. It’s the national obsession.

12 young Journeyman archers, the best in the country
2 years of public competitions, in which looks count almost as much as ability
6 will win a coveted membership in the Archers’ Guild of St. Sebastian
1 will become the prince’s new Guardsman

15-year-old Marieke is as obsessed with St. Sebastian’s as everyone else in Ardennes. Only it’s the middle ages, and girls just don’t become elite archers. Except Marieke's prospects as a girl aren't promising either, after a well-timed kick from a mule has left her with a face that’s badly scarred and ruined for marriage. But when circumstances force her to leave her old life behind and flee to the guild for refuge, there are only two things Marieke really knows about the place. One is that a mysterious accident ended her own father’s time as a Journey. The other?

There are no women allowed inside St. Sebastian’s.

Marieke knows disguising herself as a boy and infiltrating the guild means embarking on a dangerous deception. But it may be her only chance to find out the truth about her father’s past and to stop a murderous plot from coming to fruition. When the dashing young Journeyman Tristan takes her under his wing as his squire, she’s got to stay – at least long enough to help him beat out his brutal arch-rival to win the competitions.

Keeping her identity a secret will be hard. Living in close quarters with a pack of gorgeous boys? That will be harder still. But the hardest thing of all will be keeping the vow she makes for herself: to see Tristan become the next Guardsman, without ever letting him find out she’s a girl - a girl, who loves him.

Part Robin Hood and part Princess Bride, with a pinch of Mulan and a dash of Cyrano de Bergerac in the mix, The Archers of St. Sebastian I: Journeys is a humorous action and adventure saga inspired by late medieval/early Renaissance Belgium and packed with romance, wit, and longbow archery. Perfect for young adults looking for an immersive read and for adults who love young adult themes, Journeys is an escape into the past that reads more like romantic historical fantasy than pure historical fiction.

Unrequited love? Ugly heroines who stay ugly? Friendship, coming of age, romance, adventure, and plenty of archery competitions? A unique setting inspired by the glorious city of Bruges, with a richly imagined world set within the walls of a male-only archers' guild? Journeys: The Archers of Saint Sebastian has it all, so if you're looking for a great escape, don your disguise and join Marieke as she enters the forbidden world of Saint Sebastian's, and prepare to fall in love with the Journeys - that is, the twelve best and most beautiful archers in all of Ardennes, the Journeyman archers of St. Sebastian's.

Read an Excerpt

“Do you know what I love about you, Marek?” he says. At the word ‘love,’ the band around my chest constricts painfully, though he’s used it lightly enough. “You’re completely without pretense!”

If he only knew. I blush, not only at the compliment, but out of shame, too. But Tristan doesn’t notice. He rolls back onto his back.

“Admit it. Much as we may love dear old St. Seb’s, it’s good to be away. It’s good to be able to let your guard down.”

“And, to stop acting?” I venture boldly.

“Oh, I’d never do that. Not entirely!” he laughs.

“Tristan,” I ask, “Just between us. Who are you, really?”

“I firmly believe, Marek, a man has two choices,” he replies, crossing his arms behind his head and looking up at the sky. “He can stage his life as a comedy, or as a tragedy. Personally, I prefer comedy.”

“Very clever. But that’s not an answer. Besides, not even you can really laugh at everything.”

“No. But I can try.”

“Come on, Tristan,” I say, refusing to let him brush me off this time. “Give me a real answer.”

“A real answer? Ok, Marek, my friend,” he says. “The real answer is, I wish I knew.”

On impulse, I say, “Well, I know exactly who you are, Tristan.”

“Oh really? Who’s that?”

“You’re the next member of the Black Guards, if I have anything to say about it.” And I mean it. I resolve right then and there that I’m going to find a way to make it happen.

About the Author:
Roland hails from Davis, California, where she spent most of her youth lounging at the pool, soaking up the sun, and daydreaming. She had a key ring that read 'I’m running away to join the circus,' and her favorite moment of the day was when the local movie theater went dark, and the slogan 'escape to the movies' appeared on the screen. As an adult, her passions include all things melodramatic and beautiful — everything from classic movies, British romantic poetry, ancient tragedy and epic, to Italian opera. She is now a professor of Classics in a small midwestern town, where she lives with her Greek husband, her fraternal twins, and a Bernese mountain dog named Franco Corelli.

Website: http://www.jeanneroland.com
Blog: http://www.nepenthepress.com
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/booksbyJeanneR
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/jeannerolandwrites
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/jeannerolandwrites

Amazon purchase link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B09L6KZ8D7

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Wednesday, January 5, 2022

Andy Gets Angry by Mike J Masse

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Mike J Masse will be awarding $15 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.

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

 You would see some old apples, and bananas, some toy trucks and action figures, definitely a soccer ball and some crumpled up permission forms from 3 months ago. 

 What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

  I was into martial arts big time, and my Mom got me this book “Master of Tae Kwon Do” which was a choose your own adventure book. I loved the idea that a book didn’t have to be linear, the concept that I could be on page 17 and then get to choose between turning to page 36 or 75 blew my 8 year old brain. 

 What’s your favorite sweet treat? 

This is almost like choosing between my kids! If I had to pick one, I’d have to go skor and cookie dough blizzard. I can enjoy anytime of year, and I find it if I get an extra large one I can share it with my partner, who LOVES SWEETS more than I. 

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

 I always wanted to be a lawyer and a chef, and not one or the other, but both. I loved watching true crime from an earlier age, I believe that’s why I wanted to be a lawyer. As for a chef I have always loved to cook, and unlike my interest in law, my love for cooking hasn’t changed 

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

I’d tell him that life will work out, it’s not the path we had planned, but it will work out and be great. I’d tell him to be flexible, work on being more present with the people you love because life can take a turn fast, and tell him to not get so caught up in thoughts, of the past or the future. And if this was 16 year old me, I’d let him know that his girlfriend will be his wife, and they will have two beautiful humans and create a life that they want to live. 

What candy do you give out at Halloween? 

I like to give out candy that I love, so I can a)snack while I am handing it out, and b) have some treats after for our Halloween movie. This year when deciding what box of chocolate bars we would give out, my family (my wife Jenn and two boys Dexter and Beau) ranked 4 boxes of treats all having 4 different types of chocolate bars. We each individually ranked each chocolate bar on a scale of 1 to 4, then came up with an average Masse ranking per box. So to make a long story short (took us around 60mins) the box with the wonderer, caramilk, crispy crunch and mr Big won. 

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

I’d love to be on the Amazing Race with my Mom. We have a super funny relationship, we watch massive fans of anything Bachelor franchise , or reality dating shows. My wife is constantly making of fun of our comments and banter during our shows, I think our interaction on TV would be hilarious to watch, Plus my mom is a hoot. 

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

The main character Andy in my book is based off of my youngest son Beau. We call him Beau Dozer as he generally plows his way throughout life. My artist (Emily) used Beau as the model for all the paintings for our book. Andy feels so real to me, as so much of the book is Beau (who also negotiated his royalties at the age of 6) 

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

Travel with my Fam Jam, both my sisters, and their partners, my parents, Jenn and the boys and my in-laws (who are super fun). I’d be flying us all to Italy, where we can eat great food, and drink fabulous wine as we travel around until the last cent is gone. 

Who was your teenaged crush? Why? 

 Topanga from boy meets world, I have always been a sucker for brains and beauty.



Children can develop the ability to respond to their emotions in a healthy way through the practice of mindfulness. Andy Gets Angry is a great introduction for children to learn a fun and simple breath technique to respond to their emotions. The beautifully hand-painted illustrations provide the perfect landscape to tell the story of Andy and his journey in learning the wonderful skill of mindfulness. Share the book with your loved ones, and help us all plant the seed to be present!

Read an Excerpt

Andy has a brother, Bobby. Bobby can be pretty silly.

Andy also has a sister, Sierra, who sings all the time.

Andy loves watching funny videos, he enjoys playing some sports and he loves video games.

But sometimes, Andy gets angry!

About the Author:
Mike Masse is a mindfulness consultant and public speaker who specializes in mindfulness-based stress reduction. For over a decade, he has been teaching adults, youth, and children mindfulness skills to help reduce their levels of stress and anxiety. A highly sought-after trainer, Mike facilitates workshops with educators, first responders, health care providers, and others who work in high-stress environments. Mike lives in Stratford, Ontario with his two sons and his wife.


WEBSITE: https://mindfulmike.ca/
FACEBOOK: http://www.facebook.com/mindfulmike.ca
INSTAGRAM: http://www.instagram.com/mindfulmasse


AMAZON.COM: https://amazon.com/dp/0228859115
KINDLE: https://amazon.com/dp/B09FW5P83Y
BOOKSHOP: https://bookshop.org/books/andy-gets-angry/9780228859116
BARNES & NOBLE: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/andy-gets-angry-mike-masse/1140165071
BOOK DEPOSITORY: https://www.bookdepository.com/Andy-Gets-Angry-Mike-Masse/9780228859116

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Thursday, December 9, 2021

People of the Sun by Ben Gartner

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

The explosive reveal about who John and Sarah really are and why they’re traveling through time, with their most gut-wrenching challenge yet.

In the time of the Aztec, a scoundrel named Cortés arrives and the kids are forced to make an extremely difficult decision: If you could change history, should you? For more twists, more danger, and more fun, read the third book in The Eye of Ra series, People of the Sun!

Read an Excerpt

The ground shook like the end of the world.

At least, that was how it felt to John, who had never experienced an earthquake while growing up in Colorado. And they’d only lived in Maryland for a month before taking this trip to California to visit their aunt. On their second day in the steep mountains of Santa Cruz, while hiking through an old-growth redwood forest that reminded John of a fairy tale, he suddenly felt woozy. But he wasn’t sick. His legs swayed like he was dancing the hula, as if the ground beneath his feet were the roiling sea. Birds took to the sky. Their aunt’s dog, Nickel, barked and snapped at the air, her ears tucked back and tail between her legs.

“Sarah?” John looked over to his sister and held out a hand to steady himself.

She wore the same expression of bewilderment for a moment, then realization dawned across her face. “Is this an earthquake? Cool!”

Her voice rose and fell with the waves just like her knees riding the shifting earth as if it were a skateboard or a pair of skis. Dander like fireflies floated down from the trees and sparkled in the sun’s rays.

“Earthquake,” Aunt Lorraine confirmed. “Just a little one. Hold on, it’ll end in—”

The earth eased to a halt.

“There ya go, all done.” Aunt Lorraine heaved a breath. “For now.”

“For now?!” John hunched over, ready to fall flat on the ground if it got any worse.

About the Author:Ben Gartner is the award-winning author of The Eye of Ra time travel adventure series for middle graders. His books take readers for a thrilling ride, maybe even teaching them something in the meantime. Ben can be found living and writing near the mountains with his wife and two boys.

WEBSITE: https://BenGartner.com
TWITTER: https://twitter.com/BGartnerWriting
FACEBOOK: https://www.facebook.com/BenGartnerAuthor
INSTAGRAM: https://www.instagram.com/BGartnerWriting

Books2Read: https://books2read.com/people-of-the-sun-ben-gartner

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Wednesday, December 1, 2021

Shattered by C. Lee McKenie

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. C. Lee McKenzie 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.

Courage put Libby Brown into the final selection for the Olympics, but betrayal crushed her spine and her chance at the Gold. Now she has two choices, use her courage to put her life back together, or remain shattered forever.
Read an Excerpt

I’d just made it to my room when my cell chimed. I pulled it out of my pocket and stared at the name on the screen. Javier Martín.


“It’s Javier from the pool. Do you remember me?” His low-pitched voice came through the phone even deeper and richer than when we’d talked earlier today.

How could I not remember? Just hearing him made butterflies dance along my arms. “How…how did you get my phone…my number?” Why was I stammering? Surprised, I guessed. That and until today, I hadn’t realized just how hungry I was for some male energy in my life.

About the Author:
I’m someone in love with the English language...well, any language for that matter. How did we decided to use words, intonation, structures to communicate? Does our language come from our culture or does our culture come from our language? I love to drive people nuts with questions like this.

I have a background in Linguistics and Inter-Cultural Communication, but these days my greatest passion is writing for young readers. My young adult novels are Sliding on the Edge, The Princess of Las Pulgas, Double Negative, Sudden Secrets, and now Shattered, A Story of Betrayal and Courage. Sometimes I write Middle Grade Fantasy and have four of those stories published.

When I’m not writing I’m hiking or traveling or practicing yoga or asking a lot questions about things I still don’t understand--like what is language anyway?

Barnes and Noble

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Monday, November 29, 2021

A Moment in Time by Martin Dukes

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Martin Dukes will be awarding a $25 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.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I was growing up in the sixties and seventies and the first book I can remember being totally bowled over by was The Hobbit. This book was my initiation into Tolkien’s amazing universe and it wasn’t long before I had first laid my hand on The Fellowship of the Ring, in the school library. This was by far the most adult book I’d read up until then and I felt very grown-up taking it to the desk and getting it checked out. When I got home and started reading it I found myself completely entranced by the world of Middle Earth, the wonderful depth and detail of it. There’s an large area of hills and open woodland close to where I lived then and my equally Tolkien obsessed friends would roam these woods pretending to be elves or otherwise acting out scenes from the books. I was always a big reader but Lord of the Rings was the first book that really captured my imagination. In addition, it made me want to create worlds of my own and give names to all its features and places. My school exercise books used to contain, in the back pages, little sketch drawings of islands with rivers, mountains and cities. Geography was amongst my favorite lessons because I learned to places such features in a geographically convincing manner.

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

I would say ‘Hey, chill out! You’ve got a tricky few years ahead, but it’ll all work out in the end. Being hilariously bad at sport may seem embarrassing to you now, but it really doesn’t matter in the big picture. Be kind to your mom and dad. I know it seems like they just want to ruin your life and put a stop to your attempts to be like the cool kids, but actually they were once where you are now, and they have your best interests at heart. If they don’t want you to go to that party you’re desperate to go to, it’s because they know that kid’s parents, they know that neighbourhood and they’re anxious about you. They’re allowed to be. They love you. One day, when you’re a parent, you’ll get it too. So knuckle down to your work and appreciate the friends you do have, rather than trying to be like those who seem to have that easy popularity and that way with the girls. It’ll all come together in time. Oh, and that daydreaming thing you do, that your teachers are constantly beefing about. Don’t listen to them. That daydreaming thing is your essential preparation for what you’re going to do later in life. You’re going to be a writer.’

Favorite class in high school. Why?

I loved English and History but I guess my favorite class was Art. Drawing was something that always came easy to me and I think most people derive enjoyment from what they can do well. In addition, my childish attempts at drawing cartoons and painting pictures always won me the praise of proud parents and brought me delighted blushes as they showed my lurid masterpieces to friends and relatives. As I was growing up, I found my Art lessons to be amongst the most fulfilling. Imagine my distress when, at the age of fourteen, I found that my school’s subject option scheme obliged me to choose between Biology and Art. Naturally, my parents, who still nurtured hopes that I might grow up to be a scientist, insisted that I choose Biology over Art. Instead, I was obliged to study Woodwork as a practical subject, a subject I despised and for which I had precisely zero aptitude. My woodwork teacher, soon despaired of my ability with the saw and the chisel. Although my homework drawings of tools were of the most exemplary standard, my attempt to make a yacht resulted in hilarious failure and I was eventually allowed to sit in the woodstore with a book. I never gave up on my Art, though. My favorite teacher was the Art mistress and I used to go and spend time in her studio at lunchtimes and after school. I eventually went to study Art at college, having turned up to interview with no official qualifications at all but a folder full of work I had made in my own time. I’m glad I never gave up, because I ended up teaching Art and Graphic Design for thirty-eight years and apart from writing, (and my wife!) it’s been the love of my life.

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

I live on the edge of an area of urban sprawl, with some lovely open fields nearby, that are constantly mooted as sites for building new housing. They’re wonderful open spaces, that people use to walk their dogs and to take their children to learn a little about nature. If I had a million dollars to hand, I would buy those fields and establish a trust to keep them in public ownership for all time. I’d establish a mix of different habitats, ranging from woodland to heathland, have a big pool dug and make meadows for butterflies and dragonflies. I’d surround the place with a nice high fence to keep out people with motorbikes and four-wheel drive vehicles, who might want to churn it all up. In addition, I’d put up information displays at the entrances, so that people can learn about all the insects, birds and animal species that live there. I’d make it a place of quiet and rest for people to go when they want to get away from the city and find peace in nature.

summer vacation.

I’m not one for lying about on beaches, even with a book! Likewise, I don’t want to spend my holidays abseiling, kayaking or engaging in other energetic activities. I am not really a physical being at all and treat my body pretty much as a conveyance for my head. Instead, I would wish to visit Italy, dividing my time between historic cities, with lots of museums/galleries to explore, or quiet, off the beaten path villages and rural towns, where I can indulge my passion for history and archaeology. I have a particular interest in Classical History as well as Renaissance Art, which I used to teach at school. For many years I guided tours to Florence, Venice and Rome, and it is always a great pleasure to return to those familiar places. My ideal day would consist of exploring an Italian hill town, looking at churches and local galleries, followed by a gentle walk in the countryside and an evening with good company, good food, good wine and a good book. Perfection!

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

I’d love to be able to fly. I’m sure this must be a very common daydream and must have been as far back as the dawn of human existence. I can imagine the caveman looking up from his misdirected spear throw and envying the startled bird its swift flight into the air. In a way, given the rapid progress of science in recent centuries, it seems odd that our race was entirely earth-bound until the development of hot air balloons in the eighteenth century. But that, and later developments, relied on advances in technology. What I would like to be able to do, is launch myself into the air and soar and zoom simply through the power of my mind over the elements, using my body and my arms only to guide myself more aerodynamically through the skies. I’ve seen extraordinarily brave and daring people wearing flight-suits, jumping off mountain precipices and flying is such a way, although their trajectory is necessarily always downward. Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster, the creators of Superman, surely had it right in singling out this ancient human desire, when making this one of his prime attributes.

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

I always wanted to be a writer when I grew up. Not that I really feel completely grown up, even now, as a sixty-two year old! If we mean the attainment of mental and physical maturity, then I would admit to have achieved only one of those. In some ways, I still feel like a child in an adult’s body, and that’s something that I cherish. I would hate to lose the wide-eyed wonder of the child, when gazing out at the world, or the breadth of imagination that accompanies it. Picasso said ‘At the age of sixteen I could draw like Raphael; I spent the rest of my life trying to draw like a child.’ This open-minded way of engaging with the world is what I have tried to retain throughout my life. I always enjoyed the potential of words for painting mental pictures and the potential of words, as of music, in creating beautiful patterns of sound. In addition, as a particularly dreamy child, I always wanted to permanently fix in place the content of my imagination. Writing gives us the opportunity to do that, and to use words to paint pictures that each reader will see differently. Naturally, the desire that others should read your work, is part of this urge. I doubt there are many writers who are content to keep their work un-shared in a desk drawer. I want people to share and to enjoy what I have written.

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

I like writing about teenagers. My whole professional career has involved working with this age group, and so I think I have a good instinctive insight into the teenage mind. For this reason, I believe that I can write convincing teenagers. In addition, I have vivid recollections of that period of my own life. It’s a most interesting part of a anyone’s life, this extraordinary transition from the world of the child to that of the adult, beset with perplexing physical changes and the attendant emotional challenges that hormone supercharge can bring. It’s a rich field for literary exploration, as legions of writers have discovered. In addition, I think there are places you can go in this genre that may be denied to those writing exclusively for adults. For teenagers, the childhood world of myths and fairy-tales remains close at hand. Re-clothing those worlds and reinterpreting them in more adult contexts gives tremendous scope for imaginative exploration.

Alex Trueman has just turned fifteen. He's a typical teenager, a bit spotty, a bit nerdy and he's not exactly popular at school, not being one of the 'cool' kids. His tendency to day-dream doesn't exactly help him to be cool. either! But being cool isn't as good as the talent Alex discovers he has - stopping time.

Yes that's right. Stopping time!

Well, for everyone except Alex, that is, who finds that whilst everyone else is caught in a moment in time, he is able to carry on as normal. Maybe not quite 'normal', after all, he's able to stop time, and whilst that's not exactly as good as a certain 'boy wizard', it's pretty close!

The only trouble is that reality for Alex isn't always what is seems, and being plunged into an alternative can be a bit tricky, not to mention the fact that he makes an enemy almost as soon as he arrives, which tends to cause a problem.

Will Alex Trueman, nerdy daydreamer, be able to return to reality or will he be stuck forever in his alternative? Is a moment in time enough for Alex to discover the superhero he needs is probably himself?

A Moment in Time is the debut novel of author Martin Dukes, and is the first in a series of Alex Trueman Chronicles, which take the reader, along with Alex, into a bedazzling world of time travel, alternative reality and flying sea creatures. His further adventures include the past, possibly the future and definitely a fight to save reality itself.

Read an Excerpt

“What on earth are you doing?” rang Alex’s mum’s voice from behind him, and then “Oh!” as she took in the scene of the accident. The two girls were led past Alex. He gaped. There was something so familiar about that girl, and as she passed their eyes met. There were tears in hers – anguish, shock – and then as she passed by a glimmer of recognition. Alex almost called out, but what was there to say? Then she was gone, her head turned away once more as the crowd swallowed her up. His mum was scolding him, grabbing at his arm, but Alex hardly heard. He remained frozen, watching until the two girls vanished inside the police station. Then he allowed himself to be drawn away back towards the High Street, letting his mum’s complaints wash over him.

“… out of your pocket money,” she was saying. “Great clumsy clot. And running off like that. What on earth did you think you were doing?”

A stranger appeared at Alex’s side, a young man with a struggling goatee beard and a kindly face. He wore an ill-fitting suit. Before Alex could react, the stranger had taken his hand and pressed something into it. Alex glanced down. It was a page torn from a jotter with a name and a telephone number scrawled upon it. Alex looked up.

“Come on,” called his mum impatiently from up ahead.

But the young man had gone. Alex glanced wildly up and down the street. He looked at the paper again. ‘Kelly’ was the name.

About the Author: I’ve always been a writer. It’s not a choice. It’s a compulsion, and I’ve been writing as long as I can remember. Lots of childish scribbles in notebooks, lots of rejection slips from publishers and agents testify to a craft long in the making. In addition, it has proved necessary to earn a living by other means whilst those vital skills mature. For thirty-eight years I taught Art and Graphic Design, thirty-seven of them in a wonderful independent girls’ school in Birmingham, UK. For much of the latter part of this career I was Head of Department, which gave me the opportunity to place my own stamp on Art education there, sharing with the pupils there my own love of Art and the History of Art. Over a decade I was able to lead annual visits to Florence, Venice and Rome (some of my favourite places on the planet) as destinations on my Renaissance Tour. These visits created memories that I shall cherish for the rest of my life.

I love history in general, reading history as much as I read fiction. I have a particular interest in the ancient world but I am also fascinated with medieval times and with European history in general. This interest informs my own writing to the extent that human relationships and motivations are a constant throughout the millennia, and there is scarcely a story that could be conceived of that has not already played itself out in some historical context. There is much to learn from observing and understanding such things, much that can be usefully applied to my own work.

Teaching tends to be a rather time-consuming activity. Since retiring, I have been able to devote much more of my time to writing, and being taken on by the brilliant Jane Murray of Provoco Publishing has meant that I am finally able to bring my work to the reading public’s attention. I like to think that my ideas are original and that they do not readily fall into existing tropes and categories.

I am not a particularly physical being. I was always terrible at sport and have rather poor physical coordination (as though my body were organised by a committee rather than a single guiding intelligence!). I tend to treat my body as a conveyance for my head, which is where I really dwell. My writing typically derives from dreams. There is a sweet spot between sleeping and waking which is where my ideas originate. I always develop my stories there. When I am writing it feels as though the content of my dreams becomes real through the agency of my fingers on the keyboard. I love the English language, the rich majesty of its vocabulary and its rhythmic possibilities. My arrival at this stage could hardly be describes as precocious. However, at the age of sixty-two, I feel that I have arrived at a place where I can create work of value that others may appreciate and enjoy.


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Wednesday, November 24, 2021

Just a Girl in the Whirl by Annie Wood

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Annie Wood will be awarding a $40 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?

It kind of just happened naturally. I wrote two other books, rom coms, Dandy Day and A Quantum Love Adventure and it turned out that a lot of my readers were teens and young adults. I’m also a screenwriter and playwright who often writes coming-of-age stories, which is exactly what young adult and new adult is in the book world. It just feels natural to me. I started writing book versions of my screenplays.

And even though, I am officially very much a full fledge adult, the way I think now, about myself and the world, hasn’t changed much from when I was a kid and a teenager.

I recently read in the book “The Power of Neurodiversity,” about the concept of neoteny, which is Latin for “holding youth.” It’s when you retain childlike quality into your later life. I have that. I definitely have that. So did my mom. Hey, maybe it runs in the family. I know that “childlike” can be taken in a negative way but I see it as a positive way of holding on to the newness, always asking questions, staying open and appreciating the wonder around you.

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

Lauren has stacks and stacks of journals full of her poetry and loose leaf papers that she scribbled her ideas on. She has a purple pencil case full of her favorite pens and pencils, each one carefully chosen for their smoothness and darkness. There’s three books of poetry by e.e. cummings and a copy of Virginia Woolf’s A Room of One’s Own and on the inside door is an enamel sticker of a vintage typewriter with the words, Just Write It Out! There’s a Dora the Explorer key chain that her baby sister gave her for good luck and a photo of the whole family having a picnic in their backyard back when they were all together and happy.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, The Little Prince and Where the Sidewalk Ends. I love stories about a young person learning life’s lessons. But I like them told in a light hearted and interesting ways. And as far as Where the Sidewalk Ends - that’s told by funny poems and drawings by Shel Silverstein.

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

An actor. Always. The story goes, when I was three years old I put my hands on the TV and announced, “I’m going to be on the TV!” Or maybe i said “in” the TV. I can’t remember. But I’ve just always known that being part of storytelling is where it was at for me. A writer is something I’ve always been. My dad is a playwright. I wrote my first short story when I was around 7 years old. It was about a Leprechaun and a pot of gold. And I still can’t spell leprechaun. Spell check can though. I’m still an actor as well as a writer and a visual artist. I just want to tell stories in all the ways that I can.

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

I was the host of a dating show in the 90s (BZZZ!) so I think I’d like to host another dating show. I love love.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

Soooooo many! I love TV! Okay, here’s what pops into mind, Mork & Mindy, Laverne & Shirley, Fantasy Island, Schoolhouse Rock and Free to be You and Me. I realize most of your readers haven’t heard of these, that’s okay. They live on! I recommend if you’re going to YouTube any of them that it’s Free to be You and Me. I was a tiny toddler when it first aired but then watched when it reran. I feel like it helped shape who I am.

What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?

Willy Wonka, Mary Poppins, Glinda the Good Witch and Winnie-the-Pooh

Love and Good Vibes,
Annie Wood

A 17 year old girl is overwhelmed with responsibilities trying to keep her messy family together. Everything spins out of control when her addict actor dad who bailed on the family three years ago leaving her with her lovable but bi-polar mom and her two little sisters, comes back into town and wants to reconnect.

Writing poems is her only escape. Just a girl in the is about family, forgiveness, and having enough courage to live your own life, your own way.

Read an Excerpt

“I never know what to say to her.” Matty complains.

“You don’t need to say anything. Just your presence is enough.”

I put Sara’s old baby monitor in Mom’s room so I can hear Matty enter. I imagine Mom is watching TV with it turned off again.

“This is my favorite part.” Mom says.

Matty doesn’t say anything. She’s probably just staring at her. Matty often just stares at her.

“Tell me something I don’t know,” Mom says.

After a moment, Matty says, “Did you know that Americans watch two hundred and fifty billion hours of television a year?”

I can hear Mom applauding and then saying softly, “I love you so much, Matty.”

Matty says nothing in response. I could almost hear her heart break into a million little pieces, then I heard footsteps, and then the door closing. Matty comes zooming down the stairs. She pauses and looks out the front window. “Grandma Gayle is here.”

Grandma Gayle is Dad’s mom and when she knocks on the door, it means one thing and one thing only: it’s payday.

I open the door. She stands there, studying me. I know I look like a mess with my wild, unbrushed hair and olive oil stained t-shirt. I’m the polar opposite of this woman who stands before me. Gayle is tall, super thin, and doesn’t look like anybody’s grandma. Not at all. She speaks abruptly, using as few words as possible so she can get to the point quickly. I’m pretty sure she uses less words than the most mortals.

About the Author:
Annie Wood is an Israeli-American, Hollywood native, and a lifelong actress and writer. The web series she created, wrote and stars in, Karma’s a Bitch, was Best of the Web on Virgin America. http://anniewood.com/Karma)

Wood was part of the NBC DIVERSITY SHOWCASE with her comedic scene, That’s How They Get You. She’s written 100s of scenes for actors that have been used by Emmy Award-winning TV director, Mary Lou Belli in her UCLA course and casting director, Jeremey Gordon in workshops all around town.

As an author, she has three books out: Dandy Day, Just a Theory: a quantum love adventure and her first YA novel, Just a Girl in the Whirl (Speaking Volumes Publishing)

Annie’s also an Internationally exhibited mixed-media artist, a produced playwright, and was the third female solo dating game show host in the history of television with the nationally syndicated show, BZZZ! that she also co-produced. (Which just re-ran in 2020 on BUZZRTV!)

Annie writes and creates art daily.

Writing: http://medium.com/@anniewoodinhollywood
Twitter: https://twitter.com/anniewood
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anniewoodworld/
Art: http://ArtistAnnieWood.com
Shop: https://www.etsy.com/shop/GoodVibesByAnnieWood

She also runs the Twitter account for the Women of the Writers Guild West Follow us here —> @WoWGAW
She is part of the Middle Eastern Committee at WGA and a Dramatist Guild Member and an Authors Guild Member

Get the book! https://amzn.to/3xL4hMI

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