Monday, July 31, 2023

Tiny Green Unicorns by Renée James

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Renée James will award a $15 Amazon or 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?

During my primary school years, my favourite books were all written by two of the most celebrated authors of children's literature: Roald Dahl and R.L. Stine. I was captivated by Dahl's imaginative and whimsical stories, from the beloved "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" to the hilarious "The Twits." As for Stine's "Goosebumps" series, they were the perfect mix of suspense, horror, and humour. Each book was a new adventure that kept me on the edge of my seat, eagerly anticipating what would happen next. Looking back, I'm grateful for the joy and excitement these books brought me, and they will always hold a special place in my heart.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

For me, warm and gooey chocolate chip cookies are pure bliss. The combination of the rich, melty chocolate and the soft, buttery cookie is simply irresistible. One bite and I'm transported back to my childhood. Yum yum yum!

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

Storytelling has always been a part of me - I can't remember a time when I didn't enjoy it. Even when I was a toddler, I would narrate stories without hesitation. As I grew up, my goals changed constantly: from aspiring to be an Olympic swimmer to dreaming of becoming an actress or marine biologist, and even an astronaut. But I have always loved writing and that never changed. I'd spend hours creating stories and binding them into books with my own hands. And now I love seeing my own kids do the very same thing.

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

I LOVE this question!! Here goes:

Dear Younger Teen Me,

Listen up, kiddo. You may think you know everything, but trust me, you don't. So stop acting like you do, and start listening to the people around you. Especially your parents. They may seem like they don't understand you, but they have a lot of wisdom and experience that you can learn from. And speaking of listening, try to talk less. I know, I know, it's hard when you have so many great ideas and opinions. But sometimes, it's better to just sit back and listen to what other people have to say. You might learn something new, or see things from a different perspective.

Another thing, stop trying to be a people pleaser. It's exhausting, and you'll never be able to make everyone happy. Focus on being kind to yourself, and the right people will come into your life. They'll support you, encourage you, and cheer you on as you become the best version of yourself. And trust me, those people are worth their weight in gold.

Finally, life is too short to worry about what other people think of you. Go out there and chase your dreams, even if it means failing sometimes. And for the love of all that is holy, stop plucking your eyebrows. Trust me on this one.

Love always,
Your Older, Wiser Self

What book is on your nightstand currently?

My current read, Girlhood by Maggie Dent. This book is all about raising our little girls to be ‘healthy, happy, and heard’. As a mum to a six-year-old daughter, I’m loving this book as a practical guide to help my little one become more confident and resilient.

Maggie Dent has a way of writing that makes you feel like you're chatting with a good friend. So, if you're a parent to a little girl or know someone who is, I highly recommend giving this book a read.

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

Coffee is my jam! Especially an oat flat white, that's my go-to drink. As a busy parent of three little ones, my coffee is like a warm hug in a mug. There's something about the aroma and the taste that just makes my day brighter. Whether I'm on my way to work or just lounging at home, coffee is always there to keep me going.

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

Fun fact! I have met two of my book characters in real from the Patroosh series and Tiny Green Unicorns! Can you believe it? Patroosh, the Pelican, was inspired by a real-life pelican that my children and I interacted with over the years. This interaction sparked the idea for my first published book, Patroosh, the Cheeky Pelican. And if that wasn't magical enough, I've also met Tiny Green Unicorns! It just goes to show that if you keep searching for magic, you might just find it. Thank you for having me here on your fun blog, and I have loved answering these questions! Happy reading!

Big hugs,
Renee x

Have you ever seen a green unicorn?

Tiny green unicorns are really, really small. They might be the tiniest unicorns of all.

They are here every day, and if you keep searching for magic, you might even find one yourself today.

About the Author:
Renée James is a multifaceted talent with an extensive communications and media background. She is creative to the core and treasures her family and friends. Her children are her greatest inspiration, as they are constant reminders to never stop searching for magic.



a Rafflecopter giveaway

Thursday, July 13, 2023

The Airs of Tillie by Barbara Casey

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Barbara Casey will award a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The small town of Wellington, Florida, has the distinction of playing host to some of the wealthiest people in the world as well as the most prestigious equestrian events. King Charles comes from England to watch polo on the fields where he once played as Prince. The United States Olympics Equestrian team trains and competes there with teams from other countries. In sharp contrast, just down the road, due west, are some of the largest sugarcane fields in the world. The people who work these fields are for the most part poor. They come from many cultures and backgrounds, but they primarily come from Haiti, Jamaica, and the United States. This combination of horse owner and cane worker is an unusual dichotomy, and it is a blend of these things that makes up the world in which my story’s main character, Tillie, the 11-year-old daughter of a sugarcane field foreman, lives.

In The Airs of Tillie, Tillie Turpning lives in an imaginary world that is filled with beautiful horses, polite people, and luxurious homes. Her real world, however, includes living in a cane foreman’s small tenant house with her over-worked mother, an autistic sister, and a rebellious older brother who is searching for answers within a radical Muslim group. When Tillie is unexpectedly forced to assist in the difficult birth of a new foal, she proves that her determination and belief in herself will allow her to accomplish anything she sets out to do.

Read an Excerpt

The soft pastels of yellow, pink, and magenta gently pushed upwards on the horizon. It would be daylight soon. Motionless, Tillie watched through the unshuttered window above her bed. In the distance she could just make out the darkened shape of a large, sprawling, two-story house and its steep-pitched roof. Beyond the house she could see another large structure, and beside it something long and built closer to the ground. It was the barn and stables. Tillie sighed and shifted her weight ever so slightly so as not to disturb her sister sleeping in the bed next to her. She pushed her face closer to the open window and breathed deeply. They had been clearing the cane fields for several weeks now, and the air was filled with the sweet, pungent scent of burnt raw sugar.

Tillie had been awake for what seemed like hours, listening to the night sounds, watching, and waiting. Maybe this was the wrong day. But it had always been the first Thursday in June, she argued with herself. Just then a flicker of light caught her attention, and she saw a car slowly move away from the big house. It turned from the driveway onto the blacktop road that ran between the cane fields and the pastures. Tillie could feel the excitement rising inside her. She had been right after all. It was today. Today the big girl would come home.

Tillie watched the car stop at the end of the blacktop road and then turn east onto the main highway toward Palm Beach. When she could no longer see its taillights, she quietly slipped off her bed. Tillie hadn’t pulled the covers down the night before so she wouldn’t have to waste time making her bed. Besides, it had been a warm night and very little breeze. It would have been too hot with covers. Mabe, her sister, had thought Tillie was playing a game, but she wouldn’t sleep on top of her covers. She always slept under a faded blue spread. It didn’t matter to Mabe how hot it was.

Tillie looked over at Mabe to make sure she was still asleep. She didn’t want to wake her before she normally got up or she would be cross. On the foot of Mabe’s bed was a ratty looking purple and green Easter basket. Its handle was positioned exactly perpendicular to the horizontal floorboards because that was the only way Mabe would go to sleep. In it was a pad of drawing paper, some charcoal pencils, and an assortment of broken crayons and colored chalk. Cardboard had been taped over the bottom and around the sides of the basket so nothing could fall out.

About the Author:
Barbara Casey is the author of over two dozen award-winning novels and book-length works of nonfiction for both adults and young adults, and numerous articles, poems, and short stories. Several of her books have been optioned for major films and television series.

In addition to her own writing, Barbara is an editorial consultant and president of the Barbara Casey Agency. Established in 1995, she represents authors throughout the United States, Great Britain, Canada, and Japan.

In 2018 Barbara received the prestigious Albert Nelson Marquis Lifetime Achievement Award and Top Professional Award for her extensive experience and notable accomplishments in the field of publishing and other areas.

Barbara lives on a mountain in Georgia with three cats who adopted her: Homer, a Southern coon cat; Reese, a black cat; and Earl Gray, a gray cat and Reese’s best friend.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, July 10, 2023

One Pale Reflection by Tycho Dwelis

This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Tycho Dwelis will be awarding a $10 Amazon GC and a signed print copy of the book (US ONLY) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Brenden McCoy and his sister, Lettie, have just lost their parents and are going to live with a distant relative in Ireland. They don’t know him, don’t like him, and - even weirder - strange things keep happening around their new caregiver’s house.

Meanwhile, in a strange world beyond a mirror, a mercenary has been sent by his king to hunt down and kill a fugitive, a powerful and immortal wizard. Time is not on his side.

Athos the Key Thief builds an army, and soon everyone will be just another Thrall.

Will Brenden be able to solve the mystery beyond the mirror, find the truth behind his parents’ disappearance, and put to rest someone who cannot die?

Welcome to MirrorWorld.

Read an Excerpt

Black Knife hesitantly reached out and touched the glass, the shimmering surface sticking to his fingers a little and jiggling, like jelly. Soon, his hand came through, then an arm, then a leg, and, at last, Black Knife stood on the dresser. What Brenden thought only possible in his fantasy novels came true right before his very eyes.

Black Knife jumped off the dresser and started to approach Mr. O’Brien, but something jerked his arms back. The shackles from his cell held fast to his wrists and were now stuck in solid glass. He yanked them, but with no luck, and looked to Mr. O’Brien. “Well?”

“Well, what?” Mr. O’Brien replied coyly, sitting next to Lettie. “There’s no way in the Seven Heavens that I’m going to unchain you yet. We need to come to an agreement first.”

“We shouldn’t talk here, and you should unchain me. This mirror goes right into Athos’ dungeon.”

“Do all mirrors do this?” Brenden asked, running his fingers over the chain that extended through the mirror.

“No,” Mr. O’Brien replied. “Only ones that have been enchanted to be portals. I’ve collected several of them and kept them in my home to… keep an eye on things.”

About the Author:
I’m Tycho (I also use the pen name Cassidy), and I love storytelling! I’m incredibly passionate about writing, art, and anything that allows me to create my own worlds. My goal is to write dreamy fiction for all ages that is unique, inspiring, and imaginative. I like to write about themes that include coming of age, magic realism, identity, relationships, and bullying. My books are intended for readers ages eight to twenty-five, and are meant to connect the world of the fantastical to everyday life.

I currently live in Colorado and have my MA in Publishing.

Linktree (includes all of my newsletter, social media, and projects):

Amazon Buy Link:

a Rafflecopter giveaway