New from 4RV Publishing

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Ten-year-old Leona Chapter doesn’t understand why her papa left his six children at the Brooklyn Home for Homeless Children after their mother’s death in 1921. Each day she prays he’ll return and take his children home. God, however, isn’t listening. Her brothers and sisters are either adopted or run away, leaving only Leona and Baby Mildred in the orphanage. Leona promises she and Mildred will be together for always. A promise she cannot keep, for Leona, along with her friend Noah, who she defends from the bullies Hiram and Jehu, and several other orphans, are soon on a train headed to Texas, while her sister stays at the orphanage. Leona vows she’ll go back to Brooklyn, the first chance she gets. An Orphan Train tale of the early 1900s.

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Houston, Texas, is one of the largest cities in America. It is known for its unique heritage, colorful stories, and interesting people, many of whom moved to Houston from countries all around the world. H Is for Houston is an alphabet book with fun facts about Houston. The book is ideal for children and adults who want to learn more about the “Bayou City.”

For these and other titles by 4Rv Publishing, please visit http://www.4rvpublishingcatalog.com/

New Book Arrivals

Here are some books that arrived recently in one way or another. These came from the publisher.

Book 1

Gena (short for Genevieve) and Finn (short for Stephanie) have little in common. Book-smart Gena is preparing to leave her posh boarding school for college; down-to-earth Finn is a twenty-something struggling to make ends meet in the big city. Gena’s romantic life is a series of reluctant one-night-stands; Finn is making a go of it with long-term boyfriend Charlie. But they share a passion for Up Below, a buddy cop TV show with a cult fan following. Gena is a darling of the fangirl scene, keeping a popular blog and writing fan fiction. Finn’s online life is a secret, even from Charlie. The pair spark an unlikely online friendship that deepens quickly (so quickly it scares them both), and as their individual “real” lives begin to fall apart, they increasingly seek shelter online, and with each other.

 

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On Haven, a six-mile long, half-mile-wide stretch of barrier island, Mira Banul and her Year-Rounder friends have proudly risen to every challenge. But when a superstorm defies all predictions and devastates the island, when it strands Mira’s mother and brother on the mainland and upends all logic, nothing will ever be as it was. A stranger appears in the wreck of Mira’s home. A friend obsessed with vanishing is gone. As the mysteries deepen, Mira must find the strength to carry on—to somehow hold her memories in place while learning to trust a radically reinvented future.

Gripping and poetic, This Is the Story of You is about the beauty of nature and the power of family, about finding hope in the wake of tragedy and recovery in the face of overwhelming loss.

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In the war-ravaged England of 1940, Charlotte Bromley is sure of only one thing: Kitty McLaughlin is her best friend in the whole world. But when Charlotte’s scientist father makes an astonishing discovery that the Germans will covet for themselves, Charlotte is faced with an impossible choice between danger and safety. Should she remain with her friend or journey to another time and place? Her split-second decision has huge consequences, and when she finds herself alone in the world, unsure of Kitty’s fate, she knows that somehow, some way, she must find her way back to her friend. Written in the spirit of classic time-travel tales, this book is an imaginative and heartfelt tribute to the unbreakable ties of friendship.

These came from the library book sale. Sure can’t beat audio books that are 4/$1.

Book 4

Eleven-year-old Sallie March is a whip-smart tomboy and voracious reader of Western adventure novels. When she and her sister Maude escape their self-serving guardians for the wilds of the frontier, they begin an adventure the likes of which Sallie has only read about. This time however, the “wanted woman” isn’t a dime-novel villian, it’s Sallie’s very own sister! What follows is not the lies the papers printed, but the honest-to-goodness truth of how two sisters went from being orphans to being outlaws—and lived to tell the tale!

Book 5

Tiger Ann Parker is smart in school and good at baseball, but she’s forever teased about her family by the girls in class. Tiger Ann knows her folks are different from others in their small town of Saitter, Louisiana. They are mentally slow, and Tiger Ann keeps her pain and embarrassment hidden as long as her strong and smart Granny runs the household. Then Granny dies suddenly and Aunt Dorie Kay arrives, offering Tiger Ann a way out. Now Tiger Ann must make the most important decision of her life.

Book 2

Eleven-year-old Abigail Jane Stewart records the despair and hope of the difficult winter between 1777-1778–when she witnessed George Washington readying his young soldiers on the frozen fields of Valley Forge.

Book 3

Twelve-year-old Mem presents a diary account of the trip she and her family made on the Mayflower in 1620 and their first year in the New World.

The Adventures of Archibald & Jockabeb by Art Collins

Inside the Book:

 
 

Title:
 In the Forest
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

When two young brothers, Archibald and Jockabeb, find and old leather map hidden in the forest just beyond their backyard, they can’t help but sneak out one night to follow its path. So begins the first of the boys’ amazing adventures. After a terrifying encounter with supernatural creatures, the boys meet a young Indian brave, Haktu, who shares with them the tragic story of how he was separated from his tribe and placed under an evil spell. The saga leads the two boys into Haktu’s secret world behind the forest mist, the power of the blue feather, and teaches them the importance of friendship and loyalty in the face of untold evil.

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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Mountains
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: October 1, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first book, the two brothers meet Haktu, the young Indian brave who was trapped inside the body of an underwater dragon, and then find his lost pony, Uno, deep within a mysterious forest. After the boys narrowly escape several vicious attacks from evil wolf-crows, they receive a magic blue feather from Haktu as he bids them his final farewell. Book Two begins with Archibald and Jockabeb flying to a secluded summer camp perched high in a rugged mountain range far from home. The fact that they are the only two campers to show up at Camp Bear Claw that summer is just the first of many surprises — incredible surprises that test the protective power of their magic blue feather in completely unexpected ways. On their way to a final face-to-face showdown with a deadly creature that possesses supernatural strength, the young boys meet several unforgettable characters who end up changing their lives forever. If you liked In the Forest, hold onto your hat as you read its sequel!

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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Amazon
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: November 10, 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Desert
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

In the first two books, Archibald and Jockabeb make a number of wonderful friends while battling unearthly foes that possess supernatural powers. In a dark forest close to home, they escape almost certain death with the aid of a young Indian brave, Haktu, and his pony, Uno. Later, in a distant mountain range, they come to know the kindness of Gran, Ben, Tommy Two Feathers, and their four-legged companions, Champ and Ghost Rider. Stalked relentlessly by the blood-thirsty wolf-crows in the forest, and then by the cunning devil cat in the mountains, the two brothers manage to barely escape with their lives. However, when they accept their uncle’s invitation to visit him in Brazil, little do they know that their most terrifying adventure is about to unfold — an amazing adventure that will again test the magical power of Haktu’s blue feather. So, as you prepare to read In the Amazon, get ready for an unforgettable journey into the dark recesses that lie between the crevices of reality and fantasy!

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Inside the Book:

 Title: In the Caribbean
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The fifth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series picks up right where the fourth book left off. With many questions about what really happened in the Sonoran Desert still unanswered, Archibald and Jockabeb’s family head to the island of Jamaica for spring vacation. What begins as an idyllic stay at a secluded beachfront inn soon takes a turn for the worse when the boys and the inn’s proprietor, Salty, charter a fishing boat for the day. The captain of the boat is none other than Tommy Nat, Mr. Natonto’s estranged son. The violent storm that follows turns out to be only the first of many unexpected events that quickly propel the two brothers toward an unexpected showdown on another Caribbean island. The elusive Tommy Nat, a mysterious island doctor, a giant Haitian named Maurice, and unseen zombies all combine to set the stage for another classic clash between the forces of good and evil. While the final confrontation that unfolds inside a deserted cafe ultimately provides answers to the remaining mysteries of Lizard Flats, it also places the boys in untold danger. The book contains a number of interesting facts about the Caribbean, its culture and religion, and a bit of the occult. As in past books, the reader observes firsthand how Archibald and Jockabeb grow as brothers and young teens, all the while learning the true meaning of friendship.”

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Inside the Book:




Title: In the Big City
Author: Art Collins
Release Date: April 2015
Publisher: A&J Publishing
Genre: YA Fiction
Format: Ebook

 

The sixth book in The Adventures of Archibald and Jockabeb series finds the two brothers and their younger sister travelling to New York City to spend a long weekend with their aunt. After finishing a wonderful dinner at Sardi’s the first night, the boys become separated from Tess and Aunt Claire in nearby Times Square. Events quickly take a menacing turn when a mysterious person from the past suddenly appears with two henchmen in tow. Frantically trying to escape, Archibald has no idea what he’ll find when he leads Jockabeb down the stairs into a nearby subway station-and what the boys do find launches one their strangest and most electrifying adventures to date. A beautiful young girl named Willow, a one-armed man called Meatloaf, and a dangerous gang leader who goes by the name of Shabazz are just a few of the characters who the boys meet in the abandoned subway tunnels far below the streets of Manhattan. As Archibald and Jockabeb try to make their way safely back to Aunt Claire, they only move closer to a final confrontation with their pursuers, both human and non-human alike. The reader will learn interesting facts about America’s largest city while once again watching the teenage brothers’ personalities evolve. As in all the previous books, the forces of good and evil are pitted against one another-this time, above and below the streets of “The Big Apple!”

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Meet the Author:

When Art Collins retired as a highly successful chairman and CEO of a Fortune 500 company, he didn’t write the book on leadership that many had expected. Instead, he decided that penning adventure stories that could be enjoyed by young and old would be far more interesting, not to mention much more fun. Borrowing two characters, Archibald and Jockabeb, from tales told by his father many years before, and drawing upon his own rich imagination, Art introduces the two young brothers to an incredible cast of characters—some human, some otherworldly—in locations that range from the mysterious forest behind the boys’ house to the lush and exotic Amazon. The nine book series reflects his love of the mountains and ocean, as well as his extensive travels that have taken him to every continent except Antarctica. Art currently divides his time between Chicago and the Vail Valley in Colorado. 

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Hope by Grier Cooper (Giveaway)

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Indigo is living the life she’s always imagined at the famed New York School of Ballet. Or is she? Although she hopes she’ll be chosen for the company, her ballet teachers aren’t talking and their silence is confusing.

When Indigo is singled out for a coveted solo she feels her dreams are finally within reach, until she finds out she’s dancing with Felipe Gonzalez, the school’s smolderingly hot rising star. In the days that follow, Indigo questions everything she thought was true and finds herself making surprising choices.

After a fateful piece of paper reveals the truth, Indigo must ask herself the hardest question of all: can she take control of her own future to create the life she wants?

Excerpt:

Someone grabs my elbow firmly and I turn to find the new guy leading me to get a spot in line. I scowl at him and then at my elbow. “Um…hi? That’s my elbow.”

“You do not wish to dance?” he says, eyes wide. His accent is silvery, melodic. Also hot.

“Um, no–I mean yes–I mean, you’re grabbing my elbow a little too tightly.”

He drops it like he’s been scalded, holding up both palms in defense. A stray lock of brown hair curls along his temple. “My apologies. Sometimes I forget myself.”

I look at him as I try to appraise whether or not he’s making fun of me, but his face is unreadable. Also I can’t look at it for long or I might get hypnotized. “Riiight,” I say.

We wait in silence, watching the other dancers ahead of us. When we reach the front of the line I see our two reflections–dark and light–in the mirrors that run along the entire front wall of the studio and decide they are complementary. At least it’s nice to have a tall partner for a change; my opportunity to dance with someone my size is limited because I dwarf several of the other boys in the room.

I start to move and feel his hands firmly on my hips. His breath warms the back of my neck and I feel myself flush. Normally I’d take a glimpse in the mirror to make sure my alignment is perfect, but I don’t dare. For reasons I don’t want to admit to myself, I feel nervous and jittery. We face each other and he offers his hand as I come into arabesque. He starts the slow promenade and I chance a quick glimpse at his face. He smiles and I catch my breath. I switch my gaze over to his shoulder and notice that my palm is slick with sweat. I’m so embarrassed I feel heat in the tips of my ears. I pray my face isn’t bright red.

He slides a hand around my waist for the dip and I close my eyes. “Relax,” he says into my ear. “I’ve got you.”

Guest post: You Never Forget Your First Love by Grier Cooper

New York City has long been associated with glamour and all of the perks that come with a big city lifestyle; it’s also one of the most major hubs in the world for the arts, which means anyone who’s serious about a dance career knows they need to be there. I came to New York City when I was fourteen, leaving my home, my family and my friends behind after I received an invitation to become a full-time student at the School of American Ballet. I’d already spent the past two summers commuting into the city everyday to attend the Summer Intensive at the School of American Ballet, but it was thrilling to take the next step with my ballet career and move to New York. For the next four years, I lived and breathed ballet in the Big City, with all of its perks and challenges.

I had a lot to figure out at first, like how the city was laid out (did Madison come after Park Avenue, or was it the other way around?) and which bus went where. I had to find a way to squeeze school into my busy ballet schedule (I spent a lot of time running back and forth multiple times per day across the half-mile between school and ballet) and finding a place to live that was both convenient and affordable was even more challenging (think lots and lots of roommates). But eventually I fine-tuned all the details and my life existed in a one-mile radius on the Upper West Side, with Lincoln Center and the School of American Ballet at the heart of it all.

Those years in New York were an incredible time of growth for me, both as a dancer and as a human being, a pivotal period that shaped so much of who I am today. There were fun discoveries, like finding the best breakfast spots (especially the delicious super-sized muffins at the deli two blocks from my apartment), trying coffee for the first time (hated it), and exploring the city with friends during rare free moments. Mostly, there was a lot of work, both in ballet class and the rest of my waking hours (school, Pilates strengthening classes, homework, sewing pointe shoes…). Most of all, it was a glorious inspiration to walk past Lincoln Center most days and dream about dancing with New York City Ballet some day. Occasionally I got to attend performances of New York City Ballet when I worked at the gala events. Those evenings, everything in life felt magical. Wealthy patrons shimmered in exquisite gowns, the top dancers of New York City glittered like the stars they were, and the Lincoln Center fountain sprayed liquid diamonds all night long.

When I started writing the Indigo Ballet Series, I knew these were things I wanted to share with readers. Even though it’s been many years since I experienced that part of my life, most of it lives on in my memory in crystal-clear detail. There were a few things I needed to clarify, however, so while I was in New York City a few years ago I took the time to revisit the Upper West Side and see the places where I spent my teens. I walked the halls of the School of American Ballet (now in a completely different building than it was in my day), photographed my old apartment buildings and other landmarks I remembered and walked around Lincoln Center. The area is a little glitzier than it used to be, but a lot of it remains the same.

They say you never forget your first love. I suppose that’s why New York lives on in my heart.

Amazon Author page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00LPUJWSK

Barnes and Noble: www.barnesandnoble.com/c/grier-cooper

Grier began ballet lessons at age five and left home at fourteen to study at the School of American Ballet in New York. She has performed on three out of sevenHope Author IndigoDreams continents with companies such as San Francisco Ballet, Miami City Ballet, and Pacific Northwest Ballet, totaling more than thirty years of experience as a dancer, teacher and performer.

She writes and blogs about dance in the San Francisco Bay Area and has interviewed and photographed a diverse collection dancers and performers including Clive Owen, Nicole Kidman, Glen Allen Sims and Jessica Sutta. She is the author of the Indigo Dreams ballet fiction series for young adults and The Daily Book of Photography.

website: http://www.griercooper.com

 

Twitter: http://twitter.com/griercooper

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/griercooper

LinkedIn: http://www.linkedin.com/pub/grier-cooper/1a/63/357/

Instagram: https://instagram.com/griercooper/

Grier Cooper will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour, and a $10 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn host.

Enter to win a $20 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Annette Oppenlander, Author of Escape from the Past

AuthorPhoto_EscapeFromThePastTheKidAnnette Oppenlander writes historical fiction for young adults and anyone who loves stories set in the past. When she isn’t in front of her computer, she loves indulging her dog, Mocha, and traveling around the U.S. and Europe to discover amazing histories.

“Nearly every place holds some kind of secret, something that makes history come alive. When we scrutinize people and places closely, history is no longer a number, it turns into a story.”

Website/blog: http://www.annetteoppenlander.com
Thank you for joining us today, Annette. Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I grew up in Solingen, Germany, a city known for its cutlery and sharp kitchen knives. After completing a business degree at the University of Cologne I moved to the U.S. for a one-year work assignment. Instead, I met my future husband at a Super Bowl party and got married a year later. That was in 1987. I’ve been living in different parts of the U.S. ever since.

I’ve been married for 28 years and have fraternal twins (24) and a son (27). My roommate is an old mutt, Mocha, a pooch we adopted from the Humane Society 11 years ago.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

Becoming a writer/author was a process that took several years. In the beginning–the late 90s–I wrote children’s stories for early readers. I didn’t know anything about writing for children, the market nor the submission process, so this went nowhere. In 2002 I interviewed my parents about their lives during WW2 in Germany which led to a number of short stories. I didn’t really imagine writing a novel, let alone several, I merely wanted to preserve the memories for my family.

But I became aware how much I enjoy the writing process. How I felt while I did it. I worked for a PR agency and did lots of business related writing. I’d go home at night and write some more, spent my weekends writing fiction. I grew more and more invested, took classes, read books on craft, attended conferences and joined a critique group. In 2009 I attended a short story class at Indiana University and that’s when the light bulb turned on fully. I’ve known ever since that writing is my passion and I must do it even if publication is light years away. I finished the first manuscript in 2010. The first book was published in 2015.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

Maybe I never quite grew up. I have vivid memories of my teenage years and I raised three kids through the rough and tumble teen years. It’s an age so full of wonder and turmoil, but also of tough times. I think it’s one of the most interesting periods in a human’s life.

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love the quirkiness, the surprise moves my characters make. Sometimes, Max, my main character just throws me for a loop. He’s unpredictable and rash, but he also has a good heart and means to do well. It just doesn’t always work out that way. At the same time I love taking my readers on an exciting journey. I want them to ‘feel’ the action, be there with the characters, bring history alive.

The challenge is getting into the heads of the teen characters and understanding that their approach to things is quite different from adult logic.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

In “The Kid,” book two in the “Escape from the Past” trilogy, time-traveling gamer, Max, intends to return to his friends in medieval Germany, but mistakenly lands in the Wild West of 1881 New Mexico.

Struggling to get his bearings and coming to terms with Dr. Stuler’s evil computer game misleading him, Max runs into Billy the Kid. To his amazement Billy isn’t at all the ruthless killer history made him out to be. Trouble brews when a dying Warm Springs Apache gives Max a huge gold nugget to help his sister, Ela, escape from Fort Sumner. Shopping for supplies Max attracts the attention of ruthless bandits. Before Max can ask the Kid’s help, he and Ela are forced to embark on a journey to find his imaginary goldmine. This is book 2 in the Escape from the Past trilogy.EscapeFromThePastTheKid

What inspired you to write it?

Growing up in Germany, I’ve always been fascinated with the Wild West. I remember watching westerns with my father and reading books about pioneers, American Indians and the gold rush. After I moved to the U.S. I continued reading historical fiction set in the eighteen and nineteen hundreds.

I chose Billy the Kid because I see him as a tragic character who encountered a string of bad luck and was basically set up to fail. He isn’t much older than Max and can easily see how any young man could’ve had Billy’s fate. The second important character is Chief Nana, A Warm Springs Apache warrior, who in the summer of 1881 rode a 3,000 mile vengeance war against the U.S. Army. He was never caught nor were his fifteen or so warriors. The amazing thing about him was his age. He was around eighty years old then and had a bad leg.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

“Escape from the Past: The Kid” is available at any bookstore and online. Here are a few links:

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Escape-Past-Kid-book-2/dp/178535213X/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/escape-from-the-past-annette-oppenlander/1122768791

IndieBound: http://www.indiebound.org/book/9781785352133

What is up next for you?

I just finished the third book in the trilogy, “Escape from the Past: At Witches’ End” which takes Max back to the Middle Ages. The manuscript is currently in editing at the publisher. My current writing project is a story about two teens growing up during WW2 in Germany. It’s a love story based on my family, but it is ultimately a story of forgiveness.

Do you have anything else to add?

I always love hearing from readers and invite you to leave a comment or note here on the blog or on my website, Goodreads or Facebook author page https://www.facebook.com/annetteoppenlanderauthor/

Thank you very much for having me!

 

Annette Oppenlander will be awarding a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

 

Enter to win a $25 Amazon/BN GC – a Rafflecopter giveaway

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Interview with Ingrid Koivukangas, Author of Hunters of the Dream (International Giveaway)

 

MediaKit_AuthorPhoto_HuntersOfTheDreamIngrid Koivukangas, BFA, MFA, is an award winning environmental artist, writer, designer, Reiki Master and educator.

As an artist Ingrid works intuitively at sites creating new works in response to sites and their energies and histories both natural and human. Her work encompasses many media including site specific ephemeral, large scale public works, writing, video, photography, sound, web, sculpture, painting, drawing and printmaking.

Ingrid’s artworks have been exhibited in Canada, the USA, Europe and Asia. She’s been featured as an artist in residence on CBC-TV; has had numerous gallery exhibitions; has many site specific ephemeral works left in situ and large scale permanent public art projects.

Ingrid’s artworks have been included in many publications and books including: Art in Action: Nature, Creativity and Our Collective Future, published by the Natural World Museum and the United Nations Environmental Programme and Art + Science Now: How scientific research and technological innovation are becoming key to 21st-century aesthetics by Stephen Wilson, Professor of Conceptual and Information Arts at San Francisco State University. One of her favourite publications to be included in is Scholastic Book’s Now See This! Art That Influences.

Ingrid has a Bachelor of Fine Arts, with Distinction, from the University of British Columbia Okanagan and a Master of Fine Arts, Environmental Sculpture, from the University of Calgary. You can view her work at: http://www.ingridkoivukangas.com

Ingrid lives on Salt Spring Island with her husband Robin, two dogs, Lucy and Scout, and a fierce cat named Hunter.

***

Links:
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/13548228.Ingrid_Koivukangas
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/IKoivukangas
Twitter: https://twitter.com/HuntersTheDream
Website: www.IngridKoivukangas.com

Thank you for joining us today, Ingrid, Can you please start off by telling us a bit about yourself?

I wear, and have worn, many creative hats. I sometimes joke around and say that I’m a creative ad agency for the Earth, Nature and Spirit. As a designer I worked intuitively, taking people’s ideas and products, and turning them into tangible marketing pieces that delivered messages in a way that spoke to other people’s hearts and imaginations. As an environmental artist I work intuitively with dreams, Spirit and site energies to create work that connects the viewer to a specific natural site. In this magical space I walk between worlds – entering a world of wonder where I communicate with the Earth, the Spirit world, and the Animal, Insect and Plant worlds. As a writer I continue working with deep intuition, wonder and awe. Hunters of the Dream weaves together the way that I work as a designer and artist, with the magic of writing – calling forth characters and stories to reconnect readers to their innate memories of ancient mysteries and our deep connections to all beings, both seen and unseen.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

I was bitten by the reading bug first. From the time I was a young child, I loved books–there was nothing I wanted to do more than read. I devoured books. I drove my sister, Anne (we shared a room) crazy because I stayed up, under my covers with a flashlight, reading until the sun came up. Stories allowed me to enter a world of magic and imagination. The more I read, the more I wanted to create and write stories that would allow others to also enter a world of their imagination. I wrote my first story at seven, novella at 12 and that was it, I was hooked.

Why did you decide to write stories for the YA market?

I remember the impact reading books had on me when I was a young reader. With the kind of work I do as an artist I wanted to share the magic that I encounter when I’m working at sites and with Nature, through storytelling blended with fiction. I also wanted to write about, and begin a dialogue formed in the imagination, around the challenges we are facing in the world today, especially for youth. MediaKit_BookCover_HuntersOfTheDream

What is your favorite part of writing for this group? What is the greatest challenge?

I love that young adult readers are still open to new ideas and magic. They are still forming their views of the world around them. It’s an exciting and pivotal time. I think the biggest challenge is writing for a group that can range in age from as young as ten up to eighteen–or older. What one understands of the world at ten is not one understands at eighteen+. So, the challenge was how to write a story that didn’t leave behind the younger YA readers or become boring for older readers.

Can you tell us what your latest book is all about?

Hunters of the Dream, is about a young woman, Aurora, who thinks she’s just a normal teenager about to have another boring summer. Then, for her seventeenth birthday, Nana Brin gives her a long-silent Oracle that has been passed down through their family for generations. The mysterious Oracle soon awakens in response to the creeping Darkness that is escaping and destroying all worlds. Aurora must quickly find the courage to come to terms with her calling as the Huntress of the Dream.

As she is initiated into a world of deep magic, energy healing, and alternate universes she finds her fellow hunters and allies. They include, Ash and Wolf, who have been sent to protect her; Beaumont Sebring, a seasoned time traveler; Vaadin, an ancient Shaman with amnesia; Ronan Havelock, the shapeshifting Selkie who doesn’t understand that he is no longer human; Eirwen, the mischievous Nature Fairy; and Nana Brin, Aurora’s grandmother, who isn’t exactly who she appears to be.

What inspired you to write it?

I wanted to share some of the experiences I’ve had, and messages I’ve received, while working with Spirit and Nature, through storytelling.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

It’s available on Amazon (KDP Select until March 8), Kobo (ebooks as of March 9/16) and Chapters/Indigo. It is also available from all bookstores and retailers who order through the Ingrams Catalogue. NOTE: Hunters of the Dream will be available at Amazon from February 22 to March 20 for only $0.99.

What is up next for you?

I’m currently working on Book Two: Darkness Approaching, the second book in the Hunters of the Dream Trilogy.

I’m also creating a membership site for readers who would like to continue their journey into the world of . Membership is free to Hunters of the Dream readers, and grants them access to complimentary art and writing projects. Paid modules will also be available for a nominal fee. The paid modules will be especially appealing to youth, parents and home schoolers who are interested in developing a deeper understanding of our sacred connections to the natural and Spirit world through a variety of teachings and videos.  http://bit.ly/EnterAWorldofWonder

Do you have anything else to add?

Thank you for hosting me.

I’d like to invite your readers to signup for a free online Eco Heart Oracle reading: bit.ly/FreeEcoHeartOracleReading The Eco Heart Oracle, guides the characters of Hunters of the Dream through the story. Although the 48-card Oracle is central to the book, a user of the Oracle does not need to be a reader of the book to access the Oracle for messages from the natural world.

Thank you for spending time with us today, Ingrid We wish you much success. 

Ingrid Koivukangas will be awarding an Eco Heart Oracle Deck valued at $28 US, (the Eco Heart Oracle is an integral part of the Hunters of the Dream trilogy) to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour (International Giveaway).

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Interview with Author Joseph Bruchac, Author of Brothers of the Buffalo (Giveaway)

buffalo authorJoseph Bruchac is an internationally acclaimed Native American storyteller and writer who has authored more than 70 books of fiction, nonfiction, and poetry for adults and children. His writings have appeared in more than 500 publications, including National Geographic, Parabola, and Smithsonian. He is the author of the novels Dawn Land and Long River and is the coauthor of the Keepers of the Earth series. He lives in Greenfield Center, New York.

Visit the author online at http://josephbruchac.com/ or https://twitter.com/JosephBruchac

Your new YA novel, Brothers of the Buffalo, is a historical fiction tale of the Red River War. What captivated you about this particular moment in American history?

Although the so-called “Indian Wars” would not conclude until two decades later when the last of the Chiricahua Apaches surrendered, the Red River War marks the beginning of the end insofar as armed resistance to the United States government goes. It was the last major coalition of different tribes put together to resist militarily–like King Phillip, Pontiac and Tecumseh did in previous centuries. The fact that it was largely done to attempt to save the American bison (and the way of life of the Plains nations) from being destroyed makes it even more memorable. Another part of this story, which has long fascinated me, is that on the United States side a very large role was played by the 10th Cavalry, made up entirely of African American soldiers (with the exception of their white officers), some of them former slaves and veterans of the American Civil War. However, what I think drew me the most to this war is that it led, quite directly, to the creation of the American Indian Boarding Schools that would deeply impact the lives of virtually all Native American communities, an impact still being felt to this day. Lieutenant Richard Henry Pratt, an officer of the 10th and the man placed in charge of the Native American POWs sent to Florida after the Red River War would experiment with “civilizing” those men and go on to found the Carlisle Indian School which had the stated objective of “killing the Indian and saving the man,” nothing less than cultural genocide.

Brothers of the Buffalo is written about two drastically different young men, Wolf and Wash. What inspired you to write from both perspectives and did you find it challenging? Did you have a favorite character?

I chose to approach the story from those different perspectives because I felt that the complexity of this story deserved more than one POV. One of the oldest sayings in a number of Native American communities is that we have two ears on either side of our head so that we can hear more than one side of every story. I believed that a reader would understand the story better by having more than one voice to hear and that it would provide more depth to the history being told. What you see often depends on where you stand. I was given a great deal of help in writing this story from any number of directions–people in the Cheyenne community, for example, such as my friend for more than 4 decades Lance Henson. I also was fortunate enough to have been part of the American Civil Rights movement in the 60s, to have lived in Ghana, West Africa as a teacher for three years, to have had the privilege of teaching African American and African literature and to count more people than I can easily count in Africa and the African diaspora as close, dear friends. All that experience did not make it easy to inhabit such different characters, but it did make it easier. I’d also been researching and writing about parts of this story or events before and after that tie into it–such as the Civil War and the Carlisle Indian school–for decades before I began to work on this manuscript.

Insofar as a favorite character goes, I guess I feel so strongly about both my main narrators that it is impossible to say that one of them was my favorite. But beyond those two young men, I think the person I found most interesting and most fascinating in this story–is Richard Henry Pratt–even though I disagree DEEPLY with the conclusions he drew about how to deal with the “Indian Problem.”

Brothers of the Buffalo is infused with both first-person letters from Wash and songs and proverbs from Native American culture. Could you tell us what you hope readers will take away from both?buffalo

My idea in including the songs and proverbs was to offer greater depth and more insight into both characters and the cultures to which they belong. In Wash’s case it is both African and African American. When I lived in West Africa I was often told that every human being is not just part of a family he or she IS their family. And I have also often been told by Native American elders that community, oral tradition, and family make us who we are. The use of letters is a great way to both tell a story and provide insight into the persons writing those letters, both in what they say and what they do not say as it is projected against the larger canvas of the overall story. In addition, I think those stories from the backgrounds of both my main characters are great stories, worth reading on their own, proof of the sophistication and intellectual complexity of cultures (African, Native, African American) that were usually portrayed as innocent, uncultured, uncivilized and ignorant in the 19th century when this story takes place–and, sadly, still sometimes pictured that way in the 20th and even 21st centuries.

What motivates you to write for young adults?

I began as a poet, writing for adults, with my first book in 1971. I still write and publish poetry, but when my two sons were born in the 70s I began to write down the stories I told them, largely traditional tales that were lessons stories–enjoyable to hear, but filled with meaning. I was delighted, not just by the way my books were received, but by the effect I saw them having on young people. I then began writing for middle grade and YA readers and had a similar experience. I believe that some of the best writing being done today is being done for young adult readers. You honestly do not have to hold anything back when writing for them. They are sophisticated enough to understand and appreciate complexity, but also very much in need of good literature. (At this point I could break into a long tribute to reading and what it does for us, young and old, but I shall restrain myself.) I still write for all audiences, from the very young to the adult reader. But, more and more, I am finding the deepest satisfaction in creating books for YA audiences.

What are you hoping readers will take away from Brothers of the Buffalo as a whole?

One of my hopes is that they will better understand a period of history that is often neglected and see that history through very different eyes–the eyes of a young Cheyenne fighting for his family and culture, the eyes of a young African American soldier who is just as deeply committed to family and freedom as is his Native counterpart. In the end (an end of the story that is not at all fantastic but reflective of documented history) the two of them physically arrive at the same place–seeing each other not as enemies, but as equally human. I hope my readers may arrive at a similar place, perhaps with a broader perspective on some of the issues faced by my two heroes–issues of race, class, Native American and human rights still being played out today.

For more information, visit the book’s page at Fulcrum Publishing website.

Purchase the book at  Indie BoundAmazonBarnes and NobleBooks-A-Million.

 

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