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.

Amazon Author Page:

The Chasm (Book 2) on Amazon:
The Calling (Book 1) on Amazon:
The Cords That Bind (Book 1.1) on Amazon:

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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:
Amazon Author Page:

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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.



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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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