Interview with D.S. McKnight, Author of Of Dreams and Shadow

 

D.S. McKnightD.S. McKnight has enjoyed a varied career—from working as a radio DJ on a small AM station to serving as president and co-owner of a marina, until Hurricane Ophelia took aim at the Carolina coast.  Currently, she works at an insurance agency as well as hosting her blog – Novel Notions.  

 

It is her love of the North Carolina coast that fueled her desire to write.  Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not (book 1) is her first novel.  

 

You can visit the author’s website at: http://www.dsmcknight.com

 

When did you begin writing?

I have been writing since I was a teenager – poems, lyrics to songs, and short stories –  words that were only seen by me.  When I reached my forties, I realized I had neglected myself.  My days were spent working, getting my children to and from practices and games, helping with homework, etc.  I found that I needed something for me.  I started taking a writing class and never looked back.

What is the book about?

Of Dreams and Shadow is a story about choices – not only the choices we make but those that are made by others and the consequences that follow.  The main character is Jenna Barton.  She’s had to deal with moving to a new town, transferring to a new school, leaving old friends and trying to make new ones.   It doesn’t help that her new neighbor, Chase Williams, is particularly unwelcoming.   Unfortunately, for Jenna these are the least of her problems.  She has unwittingly stepped into the middle of a mystery involving a missing child.  The predator is still on the loose and Jenna has become his new obsession.  Sarah Jones was just four years old when she disappeared and Chase was the only witness.  No one believed the ramblings of a scared little boy — especially when resides in her backyard — but how can he tell her?  She wouldn’t believe him anyway.

What inspired you to write it?Of Dreams and Shadow 7

My writing instructor gave us an assignment.  We had to write a “what if” scenario.  I chose to write about an incident from my childhood.  When I was three years old, my mother found me crying – afraid of my shadow.  I asked myself What if my shadow had been trying to get me… And the story was born.

Who is your favorite character in the book?

I don’t know that I have a favorite character but I absolutely loved writing Silas.  He had no moral code so I was free to explore his dark side.  Who would have thought that writing a murder scene could have been so much fun? 

Where can readers purchase a copy of your book?

Of Dreams and Shadow: Forget Me Not is available on Amazon.

What is up next for you?

I am finishing my first New Adult Novella.  The Reasons Why will be available by summer 2014.  I am also working on the sequel to Of Dreams and Shadow.

Title: Of Dreams and Shadow
Author: D.S. McKnight
Publisher: Stone Bay Press
Pages: 286
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Purchase at AMAZON

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Kindle Freebie: Psyched by Juli Caldewell

psyched

Aisi Turay has it all under control.

At least, she thinks she does. Forget that the most popular girl in school hates her guts and will stop at nothing to embarrass her. Forget that her little brother is tormented by the ghosts and demons she sees all the time. Forget that her mom is a con artist who pretends to be psychic to make some cash. Forget that her dad is hiding a secret than can destroy everything she knows about herself. Nope, she’s got this one…until that one awful day when she nearly loses it all.

With ghost-hunting hottie Vance, a guy who stumbled into her life at the worst possible moment, Aisi must search for the messages hidden in visions and memories to protect her family. Maybe, just maybe, they can reclaim what she thought was lost forever.

File Size: 376 KB
Print Length: 255 pages
Page Numbers Source ISBN: 0615838650
Publisher: Julianne Hiatt Caldwell; 1 edition (May 30, 2013)
Sold by: Amazon Digital Services, Inc.
Language: English
ASIN: B00D4C4HOQ

PURCHASE HERE!

Interview with Talia Aikens-Nuñez, Author of OMG… Am I A Witch?!

witchTalia Aikens-Nuñez wanted to be a meteorologist, a politician and a lawyer. She never thought she would be a writer. It was the birth of her daughter that caused her to start writing. Raising a bilingual child inspired Talia to write multicultural children’s books. Talia’s family loves nature so much that she and her husband vowed that they will always try to live close to water. She, her husband, daughter and newborn son live on a river in Connecticut.

When did you first get bit by the writing bug?

After the birth of my daughter, I started writing books for kids. I wanted to write fun and imaginative books for kids that featured multicultural characters.

Why did you decide to write stories for children?

I wanted my kids to be able to see and read books featuring multicultural characters that did not focus on race or ethnicity.

 

Do you believe it is harder to write books for a younger audience?

No. I love to try to think like an 8-12 year old. My favorite part of writing for the age group is trying to capture their imagination and fun-loving nature.

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

OMG… Am I A Witch?! is the enchanting story of a little girl who discovers her magical powers after turning her annoying older brother into a dog using a spell found on the Internet.

A classic story of “be careful what you wish for.” OMG… is a hair-raising, action packed tale of a girl looking for a spell reversal and finding herself in the process.

What inspired you to write it?

It just came to me one day as a fun and imaginative idea.

Where can readers purchase a copy?

They can purchase a copy from the publisher’s website (Pinwheel Books):
https://pinwheelbooks.myshopify.com/collections/our-books/products/omg-am-i-a-witch

Amazon (for Kindle): http://www.amazon.com/OMG-Am-Witch-Talia-Aikens-Nu%C3%B1ez-ebook/dp/B00FQI9SZO/

Amazon (paperback): http://www.amazon.com/OMG-Am-I-A-Witch/dp/0985424850/

Barnes & Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/omgam-i-a-witch-talia-aikens-nu-ez/1117110410

What is up next for you?

I am trying to find a home for my next children’s book, Dragon Guardians.

Do you have anything else to add?

I hope everyone enjoys the fun and magical adventure of April and her friends. You can find me online at http://talia-aikens-nunez.vpweb.com and like me on Facebook at  http://www.facebook.com/taliaaikensnunezchildrenswriter

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

 

Just Released: OMG!…Am I A Witch?! by Talia Aikens-Nuñez

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OMG… Am I A Witch?! is the enchanting story of a little girl who discovers her magical powers after turning her annoying older brother into a dog using a spell found on the Internet. Follow April and her friends, Grace and Eve, on their spellbinding adventures as they race to reverse the spell before her parents find out.

A hair-raising and action packed tale of a girl looking for a spell reversal and finding herself in the process, OMG… Am I A Witch?! is sure to delight children while teaching them important life lessons like “Be careful what you wish for!”. Is April really a witch? Will she be able to undo the spell in time? Is she gonna be punished FOREVER? and will her brother ever stop growling at her? Join us and find out!

Available today, October 31st thru AmazonBarnes & NobleiTunes, on Kindle and MagicBlox!

Author: Talia Aikens-Nuñez
Illustrator: Alicja Ignaczak
Paperback | B&W interior
150 pages
Release date:Oct. 31, 2013
Ages 8-12

Talia Aikens-Nuñez is a children’s book author specializing in bilingual and multicultural children’s books. Her first book, Escucha Means Listen, was released by Musa Publishing in 2012. OMG…Am I A Witch?! is Talia’s first chapter book and she is currently seeking a home for her next children’s chapter book, Dragon Guardians. Talia lives with her husband, daughter and newborn son on a river in Connecticut.

Visit Talia online at http://talia-aikens-nunez.vpweb.com/

Visit Pinwheel Books to enter for your chance to win one of five copies of this book: http://pinwheelbooks.com/

New Release from Clean Teen Publishing: The Awakener by Amanda Strong

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A simple touch will change their lives forever.

Seeing Micah for the first time in years, fifteen year old Eden wants nothing more than to run and hide, but instead in a moment of sheer embarrassment, she throws her arms around his neck; unaware she just changed her childhood friend forever.

With eyes’ opened to the realm of angels and demons, Micah discovers he has become the Seer, called to save the world from an impending fire. Shy and awkward, Eden stumbles through high school clueless her guardian angel shadows her every move, keeping her safe while she unknowingly “awakens” others to their spiritual gifts. Micah will need those Eden touched to complete his mission which began long ago in the ancient City of Enoch and its secret underground temple.

With angels and demons fighting around them, both Eden and Micah must find their own personal courage and faith in order to know what to do for the battle that awaits them, one they must triumph or risk losing everyone they love.

Excerpt:

She bit the inside of her cheek, the instinct to duck behind the two girls intense.  Spine tingling with adrenaline, she pushed her glasses up.  Down the corridor, sandwiched between two girls and a guy, was her childhood best friend, Micah.   Though no longer a lanky boy, she still recognized his light blue eyes.  The mop of black hair he had as a kid was now short, little longer than a buzz.  Eden was drawn to his smile, even if it was meant for the blonde girl at his side.  A good foot shorter than him, the girl craned her neck up as she wrapped an arm around his waist.

Got to be his girlfriend, she decided.   A stocky jock-type boy with chestnut brown hair and a tan girl with jet-black hair stood next to them.  The jock slugged Micah’s shoulder as his bellowing laugh made its way down the hall to Eden.

Then the scene was gone as jeans and myriad of different colored t-shirts blocked her view.  She sucked in a deep breath, her lungs burning from holding it too long. Sweat was beading at the top of her forehead as she prayed she could pass Micah’s entourage unnoticed.  If I can’t see him he can’t see me either right?  She hoped.

The stair case loomed nearer.  I’m going to make it, she thought wishing the kids in front of her would move faster.

“No way dude. Coach always gives you the ball Micah,” a male voice boomed.

Eden glanced over.  Micah’s group was directly left of her now.

He hasn’t noticed me, just keep moving, she told herself.

Face ducked down, she lifted her leg up only to have her foot land sideways and to the left.  Her weight uneven, she feared toppling over, but a pressure on her left side held her up.  Confused, she again attempted to move away, only this time, her body made a ninety degree turn, bringing her a foot away from the blonde girl.

Horrified, Eden’s legs stepped one in front of the other, heading straight towards Micah.  Within seconds she stood dead center, stopping his small group of friends short.  Sky blue eyes swam in front of her vision before she was lunging forward, throwing her arms around his neck, hugging him.

Funny the things you notice in a moment of sheer humiliation, she thought, as time dropped into neutral, prolonging her torture.

There was a hiss-like sound from the short blonde.  Yep, definitely his girlfriend.

A male was chuckling.  Not Micah. Must be the jock.

Arms wrapped around her hugging her back.  Oh my gosh!

She shifted her weight back, trying to detangle herself from Micah’s arms.   Pulling her face away from his neck, the memory of his scent automatically tucked away in her mind, she met Micah’s raised brow line, wide eyes, and even wider grin.

“Eden?  Is that you?” he asked, as they separated further.

Aware his hands still held her forearms she was forced to remain and maintain eye contact. She nodded, terrified to speak.strong

“Wow! How the heck are you?  It’s been forever!” Though his face appeared delighted, she couldn’t help but notice how un-delighted his girlfriend was, as her amber eyes glared up at her.

PURCHASE AT AMAZON!

Born in Dekalb, Illinois, Amanda Strong has called Utah, Arizona, Hawaii, Virginia and now New Mexico home. Amanda has been spinning tales since she was a child. Her family still remembers finding young Amanda with her bright pink glasses, hiding in random corners of the house while scribbling away in one of her many spiral-bound notebooks. You could say that some things never change since Amanda is still writing today. Amanda began her writing career when she uploaded The Awakener, her first full-length novel, on Wattpad where it received over 430,000 reads in four weeks. She was blown away and humbled by the reader support and feedback she received. Because of The Awakener’s success as a non-published book, she was asked to talk on 1400 KSTAR about her story.

In September 2013 Amanda Strong signed with Clean Teen Publishing for publication of The Awakener, which is scheduled to release in late October of this year. The Awakener is the first book in an all-new young adult paranormal romance series called: The Watchers of Men.

When Amanda isn’t writing, you can find her chasing her three rambunctious children around the house and spending time with her wonderful and supportive husband. On some occasions you can still find Amanda with her not-so-pink glasses, hiding in a corner reading her favorite young adult fantasy novels or working out only to blow her diet by eating ice cream.

Like Amanda on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authoramandaestrong

Follow Amanda on Twitter: https://twitter.com/aewstrong

Add The Awakener to Goodreads

The Astral Ordinance Book II by Meltem Y K

book ii cover copyWith special permission from the Ascended Masters, Jayna and Ethan have a spectacular wedding in the Astral plane. Jayna’s family and close friends are also transported to the wedding and they experience the Astral plane for the first time. Life goes on in a happy monotone for the next few years. Jayna and Ethan are together every night, but they are still forbidden to see each other on the Earth plane. One morning, Jayna and Liam do not wake up from their state of suspended animation. Their family is frightened out of their wits and hold vigil by their beds. With a lot of help from Hope and guidance from the other side, the siblings finally awake. Something major has happened on the Astral plane and Jayna is not telling them the whole story, but there is no denying the sense of danger. Their almost perfect lives are about to unravel.

Excerpt:

Cassie screamed with pain.

“How does it feel to be on the receiving end of pain, Dr. Jewel?”

“How do you know my name,” the Shadow woman asked squirming on the floor.

“I know a lot of things about you, and none of it is good. Did you feel real powerful when you had helpless people kidnapped?”

There was shock on Cassie’s grey face.

“Yeah, I know all about it. You had three innocent people killed to get your dirty hands on that gold. You are scum Cassandra Jewel.” Jayna grabbed Cassie from the floor and threw her against the wall.

Cassie cowered.

“Were you planning to go to their funeral,” Jayna asked, “and pretend you were their friend? Maybe shed a few tears?” Jayna threw a powerful punch into Cassie’s solar plexus. Cassie doubled over with pain, coughing.

“Stop it,” Cassie whispered hoarsely.

“Why should I? Tell me one good reason I should not kill you?”

Cassie coughed, still trying to catch her breath.

Jayna, that’s enough. Ethan warned her. We are not here to kill anyone.

That’s what the bitch deserves.

Jayna turned around and saw a new stack of gold plates on the dining room table. “I see, you brought more gold from the Underworld,” she said to Cassie.

She walked up to the table and scooped up the plates in her arms. They were about ten pounds.Awesome! We’ll make a few more miracles with these.

Cassie screamed with rage again. “Put those back. You can’t have them. They are mine.”

“Not on your life,” Jayna said and walked through the wall. Ethan and Colin followed her; they didn’t want to lose sight of Jayna for a second, in case the demon came back.

Buy Links:

Amazon:

Astral Ordinance Book 1: http://www.amazon.com/The-Astral-Ordinance-Book-ebook/dp/B00AS1EUCU/

Astral Ordinance Book 2: http://www.amazon.com/The-Astral-Ordinance-Book-ebook/dp/B00CCWELBI/

Astral Ordinance, Ayshen’s Story:  http://www.amazon.com/Ayshens-Story-Astral-Ordinance-ebook/dp/B00ETNC8ZY/   

Smashwords: 

Astral Ordinance Book I: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/267847  

Astral Ordinance Book 2:  https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/306411  

Astral Ordinance, Ayshen’s Story: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/351814

A university graduate in Economics, this mother of three and foster mother of 25 has been drawn to the world of paranormal since childhood. A devoted reader herself, Meltem Y.K has always had the aspiration to create her own brand of fantasy. 

While working full-time and raising a family, into the late hours of the night, Meltem Y.K dreamed the fantasies that only she could and created a story that’s grown into the Astral Ordinance Series.

Social Media Links:

Author Website:  http://www.meltemyk.com/about-the-author.php

Twitter: @MeltemY_K

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/pages/Meltem-Y-K/165499443586418

Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/6862855.Meltem_Y_K_

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First Chapter Review: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat by Beverly Stowe McClure

TC&TBC

Today starts the virtual book tour for Beverly Stowe McClure’s A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. My first chapter review of this middle grade/tween paranormal is part of that tour. The author had sent me a copy of this book when it was first released.  It’s high time I read it.

pirate-blockade-runner-cat-200x300BLURB: Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.

Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. The only problem is the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a phantom cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, all searching for rest.

A former nonbeliever in the existence of ghosts, Erik cannot deny the proof before him. And he has a revelation: The ghosts may be the answer to his desire to return home. Erik soon makes a deal with the ghosts. He’ll help them find what they’re looking for so their spirits can rest in peace. In return, the ghosts will scare Erik’s mother so she’ll be on the next flight back to Texas. Star thinks his plan stinks, but Erik wants his life back, even at the cost of his mother’s sanity.

COVER: This publisher has a lot of great covers, but I have to admit this is one of my favorites. The color, the fonts, the images, they all work together nicely. Kudos to the cover artist.

FIRST CHAPTER: Erik is feeling sorry for himself. His mom has uprooted him and moved to South Carolina where he’s got no Dad, no baseball, and no friends. There are those two freaky twins, Stormy and Starry Knight, but Erik is not having a grand time. He’s kind of tired of hearing about the light coming from the lighthouse–which is not likely since the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Then when what looks like a ship appears, he’s had enough.

KEEP READING: I had the privilege of seeing this story in the pre-published stage, so I have to admit I knew I would keep going. What McClure has always done well is capture the emotions of her characters. Here’s this thirteen-year-old boy with a great life and great friends in Texas, maybe even a girl to admire, and suddenly he’s pulled from all that and brought to South Carolina where all he has is a set of freaky twins to hang out with. His mom keeps telling him he’s going to love it, but Erik isn’t convinced. Change can be hard for children, especially a move away from friends, and McClure captures that so well with Erik.

The ending of this chapter hints at what is to come, even if Erik isn’t ready to buy into anything yet. This makes for a smooth transition into the next chapter, as Erik walks home and contemplates what Stormy and Starry are telling him about the lights and the ship. I’m definitely eager to continue. I don’t know what additional edits have been performed since I first read this book, but everything I’ve read from this author has been fantastic.Beverly Stowe McClure photojpg

Pages  240

ISBN  978-1-77127-219-3

I received a free copy of this book from the author. This review contains my honest opinions, which I have not been compensated for in any way.

Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.

Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.

You can learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com or follow her blog at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

 

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