Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Tower of Parlen Min Chapter Commentaries 1-3

Tower of Parlen Min Promotion

Join me for Matt Xell's Tower of Parlen Min Promotion

During December and January Matt Xell will be posting the Tower of Parlen Min: The Chapter Commentaries videos on Youtube. These 21 videos will include Book Excerpts, Q & As and Trivia for the first 16 chapters of the book topic by topic (without giving away too much of the book of course).
He is also graciously allowing a giveaway:
10 lucky winners will get free copies of the book via coupon
Enter your name and email address on the RAFFLECOPTER FORM below.

Today I am posting Chapter 1, 2, and 3

Tower of Parlen Min: The Chapter Commentaries Ep 1

Tower of Parlen Min: The Chapter Commentaries Ep 2 

Tower of Parlen Min: The Chapter Commentaries Ep 3


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Tuesday, December 27, 2011



Alex Kosmitoras’s life has never been easy. The only other student who will talk to him is the school bully, his parents are dead-broke and insanely overprotective, and to complicate matters even more, he's blind. Just when he thinks he'll never have a shot at a normal life, a new girl from India moves into town. Simmi is smart, nice, and actually wants to be friends with Alex. Plus she smells like an Almond Joy bar. Yes, sophomore year might not be so bad after all.

Unfortunately, Alex is in store for another new arrival—an unexpected and often embarrassing ability to “see” the future. Try as he may, Alex is unable to ignore his visions, especially when they begin to suggest that Simmi is in danger. With the help of the mysterious psychic next door and new friends who come bearing gifts of their own, Alex must embark on a journey to change his future.


This book was a nice read. This is a great Young Adult book for readers interested in paranormal ideas. I especially liked the use of Runes at the start of the chapters as Runes are one of my favorite metaphysical items. The use of one of the Nostradamus quatrains also pleasantly surprised me. I think the idea of a boy who is blind seeing past/future events is intriguing. Alex drew me into the story and really spoke to me with the teenage angst. I am looking forward to the next book in the series and hope the Nostradamus quatrains and rune references are used again. I would recommend this book for young adult to adult readers who are interested in the paranormal as well as readers who are interested in runes and Nostradamus prophecies. I gave this book 4 fairies for the spiritual/romance mix.

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Twitter: @emlynchand

Monday, December 26, 2011

Tad Williams' new short story collection, A Stark and Wormy Knight-Available Now!

Tad Williams’ new short story collection, A Stark And Wormy Knight, is available now, worldwide, as an ebook, $4.99 (or equivalent) for one month
The following story is unique to this blog and a few others. Happy Holidays.
(A Christmas Story)
Tad Williams
Danny Mendoza counted his change three times in while the teacher talked about what they were all supposed to bring for the class winter holiday party tomorrow. It was really a Christmas party, at least in Danny’s class, because that’s what all the kids’ families’ celebrated. Danny had his party contribution covered. He had volunteered to bring napkins and paper plates and cups because his family had some left over from his little brother’s birthday party with characters from Gabba Gabba Hey on them. He’d get teased about that, he knew, but he didn’t want to ask his mother to make something because she was so busy with his little brothers and the baby, and now that Danny’s stepfather Luis had lost his job they had a Money Situation. Danny could live with a little teasing.
Danny was going to buy a candy bar for his mother, one of those big ones. That was going to be his Christmas present to her and Danny knew how much she’d like it — he hadn’t just inherited his small size and nimble fingers from her, he’d got her sweet tooth, too. And she had just been talking about the Christmas a few years ago when Luis had a good job with the Sanitation Department and he’d brought her a whole box of See’s chocolates. Danny knew he couldn’t match that, but the last of the money he’d saved up from raking leaves in the neighborhood and walking old Mrs. Rosales’ wheezy little dog should be enough to buy a big old Hershey bar that would make Mama smile. No, what to get wasn’t a problem. The thing that had him thinking so hard as he went down the street at a hurried walk, hands shoved deep into his jacket pockets, was whether he dared to get it now or should wait another day.
In Danny’s San Jose neighborhood the Mercado Estrella was like an African water hole, not only a crucial source of nurture but also the haunt of the most fearsome predator in his 3rd grade world. Any stop at the little market meant he risked running into Hector Villaba, the big, mean fifth-grade kid who haunted Danny’s days and often his nights as well. Danny couldn’t even begin to guess how much candy and other goodies Hector had stolen from him and the other kids over the years, but it was a lot — Hector was the elementary school’s Public Enemy Number One. About half the time his victims got shoved around, too, or even hit, and none of the grown-ups ever did anything about it except to tell their humiliated sons they should learn how to fight back. That was probably because Hector Villaba’s father was a violent, drunken brute who didn’t care what Hector did and everyone in the neighborhood was as scared of him as the kids at school were scared of his son. The last time someone in the neighborhood had called the police on Hector’s dad, all their windows had been broken while they were at church and their car scratched from one end to another.
Danny was still trying to make up his mind whether to risk stopping at the market today or wait for better odds tomorrow (when class ended early because of the holiday) when he saw Mrs. Rosales walking Pinto, her little spotted dog. He almost crossed the street because he knew she’d want to talk to him and he’d spent a lot of time doing that already last week when went to her house to get Pinto nearly every day. He was too close, though, she’d seen him, and Jesus hated being rude to old people almost as much as he hated it when kids lied, or at least that was what his mama always told him. Danny wasn’t expecting much from Santa anyway, but if Jesus got upset things would probably be even worse. He sighed and continued toward her.
“Look who’s here!” Mrs. Rosales said when she saw him. “Look, Pinto mi querida, it’s your friend Danny!” But when he waved and would have passed by she told him, “Hold on a moment, young man, I want to talk to you.”
He stopped, but he was really worried that Hector and his friends might catch up if he stood around too long. “Yes, Mrs. Rosales?”
“I short-changed you the other day.” She took out a little coin purse. It took her a long time to get it open with her knobby old fingers. “I owe you a dollar.”
Really?” Danny was astonished.
She pulled out a piece of paper that looked like it had been folded and unfolded a hundred times and handed it to him. “I know boys need money this time of year!”
He thanked her, petted Pinto (who growled despite all their time together, because Pinto was a spoiled brat) and hurried toward the market. Another dollar! It was like one of those Christmas miracles on a television show – like the Grinch’s heart growing so much it made the x-ray machine go sproing! This changed everything. He could not only buy his mom’s present, he could buy something for himself, too. He briefly considered blowing the whole dollar on a Butterfinger, his very favorite, but he knew hard candies would be a better investment — he could share them with his younger brothers, and it was Christmas-time, after all. But whatever he got, he didn’t want to wait for tomorrow, not now that he had something to spend on himself. Danny Mendoza had been candy-starved for days. Nothing sweeter than the baby’s butterscotch pudding had passed his lips that week, and the pudding hadn’t been by his own choice. (His baby sister had discovered that if she waved her spoon things flew and splattered, and she liked that new trick a lot.) If he hurried to the market he should still get there long before Hector and his friends, who had many children to harass and humiliate on their way home. It was a risk, of course, but with an unexpected dollar in his pocket Danny felt strangely confident. There had to be such a thing as Christmas luck, didn’t there? After all, it was a whole holiday about Jesus getting born, and Jesus was kind to everybody. Although it sure hadn’t seemed like a lucky Christmas when Luis, Danny’s stepfather, had lost his job in the first week of December. But maybe things were going to get better now — maybe, as his mama sometimes said, the Mendoza family’s luck was going to change.
He was even more willing to believe in miracles when he saw no sign of Hector and his friends at the market. As he walked in Christmas music was playing loudly on the radio, that “Joy to the World” song sung by some smooth television star. Tia Marisol, the little old lady who ran the place on her own since her husband died, was trying to hang some lights above the cigarettes behind the cash register. She wasn’t his real aunt, of course. Everybody in the neighbohood just called her “Tia.”
Oye, little man,” she called when she turned around and saw him. “How’s your mama?”
“Fine, Tia Marisol. I’m getting her a present.” He made his way past the postres to the long candy rack. So many colors, so many kinds! It almost seemed to glow, like in one of those cartoons where children found a treasure-cave. When Danny was little, it was what he had imagined when the minister at the church talked about Heaven. The only better thing he had ever seen in his whole life was the huge piñata at one of his school friends’ birthday party, years and years ago. When the birthday boy knocked the piñata open and candy came showering out and all the kids could jump in and take what they want – that had been amazing. Like winning a game show on television. Danny still dreamed about it sometimes.
Danny realized that he was staring like a dummy at the rack of candy when every second the danger that Hector and his friends would arrive kept growing. He quickly examined the big Hershey bars until he found one with a perfect wrapper, a massive candy bar that looked as if it had been made special for a commercial. He would have loved to spend more time browsing — how often did he have a whole dollar to spend just on candy? — but he knew time was short, so he grabbed a good-sized handful of hard, sour candies for sucking, took several different colors of candy ropes; then, as worry grew inside him, as uncomfortable as needing to pee, he finally snatched up a handful of bubble gum and ran to the front counter.
“What’s your hurry, m’hijo?” Tia Marisol asked.
“Mom needs me,” he said, which he hoped was not enough of a lie to ruin Jesus’ upcoming celebration. After all, Mom did always need his help, especially by this time in the day when she’d been on her own with the baby and the littlest brother since morning, and had just walked the other brother home from preschool. He pulled the three dollars worth of much-counted change out of one pocket and mounded it in front of Tia Marisol, then put the Hershey bar and his own handful of candy down beside it before digging out the crumpled dollar Mrs. Rosales had given him. She slid her glasses a little way down her nose while she looked at it all.
“Where’d you get so much money, Danny?”
“Raking lawns. Taking Mrs. Rosales dog for walks.”
Tia Marisol smiled, handed him back twenty-three cents, and put everything into a paper bag. “You’re a good boy. You and your family have a happy Christmas. Tell your mama I said hello, would you?”
“Sure.” He was already halfway through the door, heart beating.
The Christmas miracle continued outside: other than a couple of young mothers with strollers and bundled-up babies, and the old men who sat on the bus bench across the street drinking from bottles in paper bags, the area around the store was still clear. Danny began to walk toward home as fast as he could without running, because he had the bag under his coat now and he didn’t want to melt Mama’s candy bar. Still, he was almost skipping, he was so happy. Joy to the world, the Lord is come…!
Hey, Mendoza,” someone shouted in a hoarse voice. What’s in the bag, maricon?”
Danny stopped, frozen for a moment like a cornered animal, but then he began to walk again, faster and faster until he was running. There was no question whose voice that was. Pretty much every kid in his school knew it and feared it.
“Hold up, Mendoza, or I’ll kick your ass good!” The voice was getting closer. He could hear the whir of bike tires on the sidewalk coming up behind him fast. He looked back and saw that Hector Villaba and his big, stupid friends Rojo and Chuy were bearing down on him on their bikes, and in another second or two would ride him down. He lunged to the side just as Hector stuck out his foot and shoved him, sending Danny crashing into the low wire fence of the house he was passing. He bounced off and tumbled painfully to the sidewalk as Hector and his gang stopped just a few yards ahead, now blocking the sidewalk that led Danny home. The hard candies had fallen out of his bag and were scattered across the sidewalk. He got down on his knees, hurrying to pick them up, doing everything he could to avoid eye contact with Hector and the others, but when he reached for the last one Hector’s big, stupid basketball-shoe was on top of it. The older boy leaned over and picked it up. “Jolly Rancher, huh? Not bad. Not great, but not bad.” He waved it in Danny’s face, making him look up from all fours like a dog at its master. “I asked you what’s in the bag, Mendoza?”
“Nothing! It’s for my mama.”
“For your mama? Oh, iddn’t dat sweet?” Hector’s fingers hooked under Danny’s chin and lifted. Danny didn’t fight — he knew it wasn’t going to help — but he still flinched when he saw Hector’s round, sweaty face so close, the angry, pale yellow-brown eyes. Hector Villaba even had the beginnings of a real mustache, a hairy smudge on his upper lip. It was one of the things that made him so scary, one of the reasons why even bigger twelve year olds like Chuy and Rojo let him lead them — a fifth-grader with a mustache!
“C’mon, open it up,” Hector told him. “Let’s see what you got for your mama.” When Danny still didn’t offer up the bag, Hector’s friend Chuy put a foot on Danny’s back and pushed down so hard that Danny had to brace himself to keep from being shoved against the sidewalk. “I said show me, maricon,” said Hector. “Chuy gonna break your spine. He knows karate.”
Danny handed Hector the bag, biting his lip, determined not to cry. Hector pulled out the big Hershey Bar. “Hijole!” he said. “Look at that! Something for your mama, shit — you were going to eat that all by yourself. Not even share none with us. That’s cold, man.”
“It is for my mother! It is!” Danny pushed up against Chuy’s heavy hiking boot trying to reach the candy bar, which didn’t look anywhere near so huge clamped in Hector Villaba’s plump, dirty fingers. Chuy took his weight off for a moment, then kicked Danny in the ribs hard enough to make him drop to the concrete and hug himself in pain.
“If you try any more shit, we’ll hurt you good,” said Hector, laughing as he unwrapped the candy bar. He tossed a piece to Chuy, then another to Rojo, who grabbed it out of the air and shoved it in his mouth like a starving dog, then licked his fingers. Hector leaned down and gave Danny another shove, hard enough to crash him against the fence again. “Don’t you ever try to hide anything from me. I know where you live, dude. I’ll come over and slap the bitch out of you and your mama both.” He pointed to the hard candies still clutched in Danny’s hands. “Get that other shit, too, yo,” Hector told Rojo, and the big, freckled kid bent Danny’s fingers back until he surrendered it all.
The Christmas chocolate bar, looking sad and naked with half its foil peeled away, was still clutched in Hector’s hand as he and his friends rode away laughing, sharing the hard candy out of the bag.
For a while Danny just sat on the cold sidewalk and wished he had a knife or even a gun and he could kill Hector Villaba, even if it made Jesus unhappy for weeks. At that moment Danny almost felt like he could do it. The rotten, mean bastard had taken his mom’s present!
At last Danny wiped his eyes and continued home. It was starting to get dark and the wind was suddenly cold, which made his scratched-up hands ache. When he reached the apartment he let himself in, dropped his book bag by the door, then called a greeting to his mama feeding Danny’s baby sister in the kitchen as he hurried on to the bathroom so he could clean up his scratches and tear-stained face and do his best to hide the damage to the knees of his pants before she saw him up close. It wouldn’t do any good to tell her what had happened – she couldn’t do anything and it would make her very sad. Danny was used to keeping quiet about what went on between home and school, school and home.
After a while he went out and sat at the table and watched as his mother fed green goop to the baby. Even her smile for Danny looked tired. Mama worked so hard to keep them all fed and dressed, hardly ever yelled, and even sang old songs from Mexico for Danny and his brothers when she wasn’t too tired…
And now that cabron Hector had stolen her present, and he didn’t have any money left to get her something else.
Later that night, when the house was quiet and everyone was asleep, Danny found himself crying again. It was so unfair! What had happened to the Christmas luck? Or did that kind of thing only happen to other kids, other families?
Please, Jesus,” he prayed quietly. “I just have to get Mama something for Christmas – something Hector can’t take. If that’s a miracle, okay – I mean, I know you can’t do them all the time, but if you got one…an extra one…”
Something woke him up – a strange noise in the living room. For a moment he lay in bed wondering if Santa Claus might have come, but then he remembered it was still three days until Christmas. Still, he could definitely hear something moving, a kind of quiet fluttery sound. His brothers were both sprawled in boneless, little-boy sleep across the mattress they shared, so he climbed carefully over them and made his way out to the living room. At first he saw nothing more unusual than the small Christmas tree on top of the coffee table, but as he stared, his eyes trying to get used to the dark, he saw the tree was…moving? Yes, moving, the top of the pine wagging like a dog’s tail.
Danny had never heard of a Christmas tree coming to life, not even in a TV movie, and it scared him. He picked up the tennis racket with the missing strings Luis kept promising to fix, then crawled toward the scraggly tree with its ornaments of foil and cut paper.
As he got closer he could see that something small was caught in the tree’s topmost branch, trying to fly away but not succeeding. He could hear its wings beating so fast they almost buzzed. A bird, trapped in the apartment? A really big moth?
Danny looked for one of the baby’s bowls to trap it, then had a better idea and crept to the kitchen cabinet where his mom kept the washed jars. He picked a big one that had held sandwich spread and slithered commando-style back to the living room. Whatever the thing was, it was really stuck, tugging and thrashing as it tried to free itself from the pine needles. He dropped the jar over it and pulled carefully on the branch until the thing could finally get free, then Danny clapped the lid on the jar to keep it from escaping.
The thing inside the jar went crazy now, flying against the glass, the wings going so fast that it made it hard for him to see for certain what it was. The strange thing was, it actually looked like a person — a tiny, tiny little person no bigger than a sparrow. That was crazy. Danny knew it was crazy. He knew he had to be dreaming.
“What are you doing?” the thing said in a tiny, rasping voice. It didn’t sound happy at all. “Let me go!”
Danny was so startled to hear it talk that he nearly dropped the jar. He held it up to the light coming in from the street lamp to get a better look. The prisoner in the jar was a little lady — a lady with wings! A real, honest-to-goodness Christmas miracle! “Are you…an angel?” he asked.
“Let me out, young man, and we’ll talk about it.” She didn’t sound much like an angel. Actually, she sounded a lot like that scratchy-voiced nanny on that TV show his mama watched sometimes. Her hair was yellow and kind of wild and sticky-uppy, and she wore a funny little dancing dress. She was also carrying a bag over her shoulder like Santa did, except that hers wasn’t much bigger than Danny’s thumb .
“P-Promise you won’t fly away?” he asked this strange small person. “If I let you out?”
She had her tiny hands pressed up against the inside of the jar. She shook her head so hard her little sparkly crown almost fell off. “Promise. But hurry up — I don’t like enclosed places. Honest, it makes me want to scream. Let me out, please.”
“Okay. But no cheating.” He unscrewed the lid on the jar and slowly turned it over. The tiny lady rose up, fluttering into the light that streamed through the living room window.
Oh, that’s so much better,” she said. “I got stuck in a panoramic Easter egg once, wedged between a frosting bunny and a cardboard flower pot. Thought I was going to lose my mind.”
“Wow,” he said. “Who are you? What are you?”
She carefully landed on the floor near his knee. “I’m a sugarplum fairy,” she said. “Like in that ballet.”
“Never mind. Look, thanks for getting me loose from that tree.” She turned herself around trying to look down at herself. “Rats! Ripped my skirt. I hate conifers.” She turned back to Danny. “I didn’t mean to scare you, I was just passing through the neighborhood when I felt somebody thinking candy thoughts — real serious candy thoughts. I mean, it was like someone shouting. Anyway, that’s what we do, us sugarplum fairies — we handle the candy action, especially at Christmas time. So I thought I should come and check it out. Was it you? Because if it was, you’ve got the fever bad, kid.” She reached into her bag and produced a lollypop bigger than she was, something that couldn’t possibly have fit in there. “Here, have one on me. You look like you need it.”
“Wow. Wow!” He suddenly realized he was talking out loud and dropped his voice, worried that he would wake up his mama and Luis. He reached out for the lollypop. “You’re really a fairy. Do you know Jesus?”
She shrugged. “I think he’s in another department. What’s your name? It’s Danny, isn’t it?”
He nodded. “Yeah.” It suddenly struck him. “You know my name…?”
“I’ve got it all written down somewhere.” She started riffling through her bag again, then pulled out something that looked like a tiny phone book. She took out an equally small pair of glasses, opened the book and began reading. “For some reason you fell off the list here, Danny. No wonder you’re so desperate — you haven’t had a sugarplum delivery in quite a while! Well, that at least I can do something about.” She frowned as she took a pen out of the apparently bottomless bag and made a correction. “Of course, they may not process the new order until early next year, and I’m not scheduled back in this area until Valentines Day.” She frowned. “Doesn’t seem fair…” A moment later her tiny face brightened. “Hey, since you saved me from that tree branch I think I’m allowed to give you a wish. Would you like that?”
Really? A wish?”
Yes. I can do that.”
You’ll give me a wish? Like magic? A wish?”
She frowned again. “Come on, kid, I know you’ve been shorted on candy the last couple of years but is your blood sugar really that low? I just very clearly said I will give you a wish. We’re allowed to when someone helps us out.”
He was so excited he could barely sit still. It was a Christmas miracle after all, a real one! “Could I wish for, like, a million dollars?” Then even if Luis didn’t find another job for a while, the family would be okay. More than okay.
She shook her head. “Sorry, kid, no. I only do candy-related wishes. You want one of those extra big gummy bears? I hear those are popular this year. I could bend some rules and get it to you by Christmas.”
He was tempted — he’d seen an ad on television — but now it was his turn to shake his head. “Could I just get a big Hershey bar? One of those extra-big ones? For my mother?”
The little woman tilted her head up so she could see him better from where she stood down on the ground. “Truly? Is that all you want? Gee, kid, I could feel the desperation coming off this house like weird off an elf. You sure you don’t want something a little more…substantial? A pile of candy, maybe? A year’s supply of gumdrops or something? As long as it’s candy-related, I can probably get it done for you, but you better decide quick.” She pulled quite a large pocket watch on a chain out of her bag, then put on her glasses again. “After midnight, and I’ve still got half my rounds to go.” She looked up at him. “You seem like a nice kid, Danny, and it doesn’t look like you guys are exactly swimming in presents and stuff. How about a nice pile of candy, assorted types? Or if you’d rather just concentrate on — what did you say, Hershey Bars? — I could probably arrange a shopping bag of those or something…”
For a moment his head swam at the prospect of a grocery bag full of giant chocolate bars, more than Hector the Butt-head Villaba could ever dream of having now matter how much he stole…but then another idea came floating up from deep down in Danny’s thoughts – a strange, dark idea.
“Can you do all kinds of wishes? Really all kinds?”
“Yeah, but just one. And it definitely has to be candy-related. I’m not a miracle worker or anything.”
“Okay. Then I’ll tell you what I want.” Danny could suddenly see it all in his imagination, and it was very, very good.
The school holiday party was nice. Danny and his classmates played games and sang songs and had a snack of fruit and cheese and crackers. Nobody brought Chips Ahoy cookies, but one of the mothers did indeed bring cupcakes, delicious chocolate ones with silver, green and red sprinkles for Christmas. There were even enough left over that although Danny had finished his long ago despite making it last as long as possible, he was allowed to take home the last two for his little brothers. He suspected that the teacher knew his family didn’t have much money, but for this one day it didn’t embarrass him at all.
After the bell rang Danny followed the other third-graders toward the school gate, holding one cupcake carefully in each hand, his book bag draped over his shoulder. He was watching his feet so carefully that he didn’t see what made the other children suddenly scatter to either side, but as soon as he heard the voice he knew the reason.
“Look at that, it’s Maricon Mendoza, yo,” said Hector Villaba. “What’d you bring us for Christmas, kid?” Danny looked up. The mustached monster was sitting astride his bike just a few yards down the sidewalk, flanked by Rojo and Chuy. “Oh, yeah, dude — cupcakes!” said Hector. “You remembered our Christmas presents.” He scooted his bike forward until he stood directly over Danny, then reached out for the cupcakes. Danny couldn’t help it — he jerked back when Hector tried to take them, even though he knew it would probably earn him another bruising.
“Punch the little chulo’s face in,” Rojo suggested.
Hector dropped his bike with a clatter. The other kids from school who had stopped to stare in horrified fascination jumped out of his way as he strode forward and grabbed the cupcakes out of Danny’s hands. He peeled the paper off one and shoved the whole cupcake in his mouth, then tossed the other to Chuy. “You two split that,” he said through a mouthful of devil’s food, then turned his attention back to Danny, who was so scared and excited that he felt like electricity was running through him. “Next time, you better remember to bring one for each of us, Mendoza. You only bring two, that’s going to get your ass kicked.”
Danny backed away. It was hard to look into those yellow-brown eyes and not run crying, let alone keep thinking clearly, but Danny did his best. He dropped his book bag to the ground and out fell the stringless tennis racket that he had brought from home. Hector hooted with angry laughter as Danny snatched it up and held it before him as if it was a cross and Hector was a vampire.
Que? You going to try to hit me, little boy?” Hector laughed again, but he didn’t sound happy. He didn’t like it when people stood up to him. “I’ll take that away from you and beat your ass black and blue, Mendoza.” The bully took a step nearer and held out his hand. “Give it to me or I’ll break your fingers.”
“No.” Danny wasn’t going to step back any farther. He lifted the racket, waved it around like a baseball bat. It was old and flimsy, but he had come to school determined today. “You can’t have it…you fat asshole.”
Behind Hector, Rojo let out a surprised chortle, but Hector Villaba didn’t think it was funny at all.
“That’s it,” he said, curling his hands into fists. “After I kick your ass, I’m gonna rub your face in dog shit. Then I’m gonna kick your ass again. You’re gonna spend Christmas in the hospital.” Without warning, he charged toward Danny.
Danny stepped to the side and swung the racket as hard as he could, hitting Hector right in the stomach. With a whoop of surprise and pain Hector bent double, but when he looked up he didn’t look hurt, just really, really mad, his eyes staring like a crazy dog’s eyes.
“That’s…it. I’m…going…to…get…you…Mendoza…” he said, then sucked in air and stood up straight, but even as he did so a funny expression crossed his face and he looked down at where he was holding his belly. Hector’s hands were suddenly full of crackling, cellophane-wrapped hard candies, so many of them that they cascaded over his fingers and onto the ground. He lifted his hands in disbelief to look and dozens more of the candies slid out of the front of his open jacket — candy bars, too, fun-size and even regular ones, Snickers bars, Mounds, Tootsie Rolls, lollipops, candy canes, even spicy tamarindos. The other children from the school stared in horrified fascination, guessing that Danny had broken a bag that Hector had been carrying under his coat. They were so scared of Hector that they didn’t move an inch toward any of the candy that was still slithering out of the big boy’s coat and pooling on the ground at his feet.
“Oh, man,” one of the other third graders said in a hoarse whisper, “Mendoza’s going to get beat up so bad…!”
But even more candy was pouring out of Hector’s belly now, as if someone had turned on a candy-faucet, a great river of sweets running out of the place where Danny had knocked him open with his old tennis racket.
“What the…?” Then Hector Villaba looked down at himself and began to scream in terror. Candy was showering out of him faster and faster onto the sidewalk, already piled as high as the cuffs of his pants and still coming.
Hijole, dude!” said Rojo. “You’re a piñata!”
Hector looked at him, eyes rolling with fear, then he turned sprinted away down the street squealing like a kindergartner, a flood of candy still pouring from him, Crunch Bars, M&Ms, (plain and peanut) as well as boxes of gumdrops and wax-wrapped pieces of taffy, all raining onto the street around the bully’s legs and feet, bouncing and rolling.
Rojo and Chuy watched Hector run for a moment, then turned to stare at Danny with a mixture of apprehension and confusion. Then turned from him to look at each other, came to some kind of agreement, and threw themselves down on their knees to start scooping up the candy that had fallen out of Hector Villaba. Within a few seconds the other school kids were all scrambling across the ground beside them, everybody shoveling candy into their pockets as fast as they could.
Danny waited until he wasn’t breathing so hard, then started for home, following the clear trail of candy that had gushed from Hector Villaba as he ran. He didn’t bother to pick up everything, since for once in his life he could afford to be selective. He stuffed one pocket of his jacket with candy for his brothers, then filled the other just with Butterfinger Bars, at least six or seven, but kept walking with his head down until he spotted a nice, big Hershey Bar in good condition which he zipped in his book bag so it would stay safe for his mother. The rest of the way home he picked up whatever looked interesting and threw it into the book bag too, until by the time he reached home he was staggering with its weight up the apartment building walkway. For once, Hector Villaba had been the one who had run home crying.
He didn’t feel sorry for Hector, either, not at all. Scared as the fifth-grader was now, he would be all right when he reached home. Danny had made that a part of the wish and the fairy had said she thought it was a good idea. Jesus didn’t want even mean kids to die from having their guts really fall out, Danny felt pretty sure, so he had done his best not to spoil the Lord’s birthday. Of course Hector Villaba probably wouldn’t have a very merry Christmas, but Danny had decided that Jesus could probably live with that.

Sunday, December 18, 2011

Scott Nicholson Creative Spirit Blog Tour Stop!!

Greeting fellow bookworms!! Today, I'm pleased to reintroduce Scott Nicholson to my blog for a tour stop of his book Creative Spirit. This book is a good one for readers of paranormal thrillers. I haven't had a chance to read this yet but will post a review when I do read it. 
Scott Nicholson is one of my favorite authors.

A paranormal thriller by Scott Nicholson
After parapsychologist Anna Galloway is diagnosed with terminal cancer, she has a recurring dream in which she sees her own ghost at Korban Manor. She’s compelled to visit the historic estate to face her destiny and the fate of her soul.
Sculptor Mason Jackson has come to the manor to make a final, all-or-nothing attempt at success before giving up his dreams. When he becomes obsessed with carving Ephram Korban's form out of wood, he is swept into a destructive frenzy that even Anna can’t pull him from.
The manor itself has secrets, with fires that blaze constantly in the hearths, portraits of Korban in every room, and deceptive mirrors on the walls. With an October blue moon looming, both the living and the dead learn the true power of their dreams.
"Scott Nicholson explores the dark legends of the southern end of the Appalachian mountain chain, a nightmare country that ends in Stephen King's yard."-- Sharyn McCrumb, author of The Ballad novels
View or sample Creative Spirit at Amazon US, Amazon UK, Kobo, Smashwords,, or Goodreads. Look for Liquid Fear and Chronic Fear from Amazon’s Thomas & Mercer imprint.
CREATIVE SPIRIT is Scott Nicholson’s revised edition of the 2004 U.S. paperback THE MANOR. Scott is Kindle bestselling author of 12 novels, including THE RED CHURCH, DISINTEGRATION, LIQUID FEAR, and SPEED DATING WITH THE DEAD. Connect with Scott on Facebook, Goodreads, LibraryThing, Twitter, blogspot, website or Amazon page

Wednesday, December 14, 2011

Twin Bred Blog Tour


Today, I'm welcoming Karen A Wyle to my blog for her Twin Bred Blog Tour.

Ten Favorite Stories of Human-Alien Encounters

Since my current release, Twin-Bred, concerns an attempt to improve communication and understanding between humans and aliens, I thought I'd give a shout-out to ten of my favorite treatments of this theme. Here they are, in random order.

--The Sparrow (and Children of God), Mary Doria Russell: The first of these two books, The Sparrow, is one of my favorite novels in any genre and from any period. The writing is exquisite, and I loved spending time with the characters. Russell does a superb job in both books of creating unique alien races and showing how attempts at comprehending an alien culture can go terribly awry. Children of God, the sequel to The Sparrow, is almost as good, and carries the story forward in a satisfactory way, delving further into the results of human contact with the alien society.

--Footfall, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: An examination of a species with distinct similarities to a (nonhuman) Earth species, best understood by extrapolating from that species to its intelligent alien analogue. The aliens' struggle to understand humanity is at least as interesting as the human attempts to fathom the aliens. One of my favorite touches: the President of the United States, faced with alien contact, creates two teams of science fiction authors -- one assuming friendly aliens and one "Threat Team" -- to advise him on what to expect. The characters "Robert Anson" and "Virginia Anson" are a lovely tribute to the science fiction author Robert A. (Anson) Heinlein and his wife Virginia.

--The Mote in God's Eye, Larry Niven and Jerry Pournelle: More wonderfully conceived aliens, and more examples of how humans and aliens could start by making fundamentally incorrect assumptions about each other's biology and culture. The plot thickens as one species (I won't say which) realizes the other's ignorance on a key point and tries to preserve that ignorance as long as possible.

--Speaker for the Dead, Orson Scott Card: This sequel to Ender's Game has some mind-boggling aliens not present in the first book. Once again, we see how much trouble can come from the nigh-inevitable misunderstandings as radically different intelligent species confront each other's customs.

--The Birthday of the World, Ursula K. LeGuin: this collection of short stories includes some stories set on the planet where the better-known The Left Hand of Darkness takes place, and most of the others are set in that same universe. Members of the species taking center stage in The Left Hand of Darkness are asexual except during periodic episodes of "being in kemmer," when they become, quite intensely, either male or female, usually with no predisposition to transform in one direction rather than the other. LeGuin explores how this very different approach to sexuality would shape a culture. I choose the collection of stories rather than the novel because of its more extensive cultural themes and variations.

--The Host, Stephenie Meyer: With ten trembling fingers, I defend Ms. Meyer's abilities as a writer. She has her flaws, as do we all, but she is one heck of a storyteller and creates many appealing characters. The Host -- which I would say has fewer flaws than the Twilight saga, much as I enjoyed the latter -- takes place after a species of intelligent parasites has invaded and largely conquered Earth, taking over humans and living in a transformed superficially-human society. The narrator, Wanderer, is one of these parasites, placed inside Melanie, a particularly strong-willed human rebel. Melanie's memories of those she loves affect Wanderer in ways that transform them both. This is a story of the growth of empathy and understanding.

--Sector General series, James B. White: White is a great storyteller, and perhaps not as great a craftsman. But this series of novels about a galactic hospital is great fun. The main characters come from about half a dozen species, all with their interesting attributes. Many of the stories involve the appearance of newly discovered species, in immediate and desperate need of medical attention. The challenges posed for the medical staff are daunting indeed. One useful invention is the ability of surgeons to temporarily take on the memories and skills of a renowned doctor of another species, so as to treat that species more effectively. The greater challenge, undertaken by only the most emotionally stable, is to receive semipermanent mental imprints of several different alien doctors at once. Those who hold up under this assault of alien personalities become diagnosticians, best equipped to speculate on what is ailing new aliens and what to do about it.

--The Uplift War, David Brin: This is my favorite of Brin's Uplift series. The background: an intergalactic civilization called the Five Galaxies has existed for billions of years. Throughout that time, existing intelligent "patron" species have altered pre-sapient "client" species, who then occupy a subservient position to the patron, but can go on and uplift new clients. Earth's humans do not fit into this picture, having no known patron. Moreover, when discovered by the Five Galaxies, humans were in the process of essentially "uplifting" chimpanzees and dolphins, putting them prematurely in the "patron" category. Different members of the Five Galaxies have different attitudes toward these distressing new upstarts, with all sorts of political and military results. In The Uplift War, humans are in the process of reclaiming Garth, an environmentally devastated planet, when one of the more hostile patron species, the Guthru, invades and takes the human population hostage. The relationships between various patron and client species, as well as the social characteristics of Guthru (essentially large flightless birds), are thoughtfully and imaginatively worked out.

--Robert Silverberg's Majipoor series (starting with Lord Valentine's Castle): This science fiction series has the feel of fantasy in some respects, but it takes place on a distant planet, involves multiple alien races from yet other planets, and does not take any more liberties with physical laws than your typical science fiction novel. Humans came to the planet Majipoor in some distant past, co-existed uneasily with the shape-shifting indigenous species, eventually conquered and marginalized that species, and then invited the inhabitants of other planets to come and fill up their large new world. I can't say much more without spoilers, but the books gradually reveal a good deal about the society and viewpoint of the native species -- or rather, viewpoints, as there are two quite different approaches about how to reclaim a proper place in planetary society. The human political structure on Majipoor is also original (as far as I know) and interesting.

--Stranger in a Strange Land, Robert A. Heinlein: The Grand Old Man of science fiction did not spend much time examining alien societies. This book goes further than most in that direction, though in the service of other themes. Valentine Michael Smith was orphaned as an infant, on Mars, and raised by Martians. As a young man, he is found by an Earth expedition and returns to Earth. We learn about Martians from him, and -- of more importance -- see human society from his essentially Martian viewpoint. This is, among other things, a science fiction spin on the coming of age story, as Michael gradually learns to become human, while trying to share some aspects of Martian culture.

Readers, please comment with your own favorites!

Twin Bred
By Karen A. Wyle

Genre: Science Fiction

Can interspecies diplomacy begin in the womb? After seventy years on Tofarn, the human colonists and the native Tofa still know very little about each other. Misunderstanding breed conflict, and the conflicts are escalating. Scientist Mara Cadell’s radical proposal: that host mothers of either species carry fraternal twins, human and Tofa, in the hope that the bond between twins can bridge the gap between species. Mara lost her own twin, Levi, in utero, but she has secretly kept him alive in her mind as companion and collaborator.

Mara succeeds in obtaining governmental backing for her project – but both the human and Tofa establishments have their own agendas. Mara must shepherd the Twin-Bred through dangers she anticipated and others that even the canny Levi could not foresee. Will the Twin-Bred bring peace, war, or something else entirely?
Amazon (POD):
Nook Store:
Smashwords (various ebook formats):
CreateSpace (paperback):

Author Bio

Karen A. Wyle was born a Connecticut Yankee, but eventually settled in Bloomington, Indiana, home of Indiana University. She now considers herself a Hoosier. Wyle's childhood ambition was to be the youngest ever published novelist. While writing her first novel at age 10, she was mortified to learn that some British upstart had beaten her to the goal at age 9.

Wyle is an appellate attorney, photographer, political junkie, and mother of two daughters. Her voice is the product of almost five decades of reading both literary and genre fiction. It is no doubt also influenced, although she hopes not fatally tainted, by her years of law practice. Her personal history has led her to focus on often-intertwined themes of family, communication, the impossibility of controlling events, and the persistence of unfinished business.

Sunday, December 11, 2011

Aithne Jarretta Interview

Aithne Jarretta

Shrouded in the Mists of Avalon is a Hidden Legacy. Enter this in-between realm and discover new found love and perilous danger. Meekal Chilkwell, life Guardian to the Chalice Well, meets a young woman in the Gardens.
Little does he know his family stands at the edge of a new danger. An evil wizard threatens
their sacred way of life. Shayla Brinawell, American visitor, comes from a fragmented family. Fearful of the dangers Shayla could face, her mother raised her to deny and hide family magic.
Shayla’s world is about to be turned upside down. She must come to terms with her magic in hyper-drive. Syther the Quitch is bent on spreading wicked darkness into the non-magical world. To do that he must steal the power of the sacred Chalice Well. Will Meekal and Shayla survive Syther's diabolical plan? Will love conquer all?

Did you always want to be a writer? If so, what medium did you start with? Poetry, Short Stories, Novellas, Novels??

Confession... I was so busy reading I never considered writing. Once upon a time I grumbled during a college American
History exam that my answers weren’t ‘technical’ enough.
Why? My essay answers read like a story.
I’m a bit stubborn. It took awhile for the truth to sink in. Then... the magic unleashed!
Although there are a few short stories out there that I’ve written, the challenge of novellas is my current thread of focus.
The idea of putting a whole story into a shorter package without losing aspects of my characters is a fun twist.
It’s also an interesting way to give Concentric Circles (novel) little branches like a family tree.

What was the inspiration for your book, Concentric Circles?

Avalon. With a modern twist.
One day I sat down to write and an ornery young wizard entered the story. It didn’t take long to discover he lived in
Glastonbury, England (Avalon) and is descended from a long line of magical Guardians. (‘twas actually his many-many-times-great-grandpa, an immortal changeling, who introduced us;) This young wizard faced several life threatening challenges during
his teen years, but managed to grow up just fine.
His name is Meekal Chilkwell and he became the hero in Concentric Circles. It wasn’t until the day he met Shayla Brinawell
that his storybecame this novel.The core inspiration also includes the Chalice Well (the family protects this important
magical artifact). The beautifully designed well cap has a depiction of concentric circles looped together. Symbolically that
represents Meekal & Shayla joined within my magical mind.

Are your stories based on true experiences that you have had??

;) Yes, I’ve been known to sneak real life experiences and locations into my writing. The goal is to blend them in so effectively
that a reader will add them to the storyline in their mind and never know they are reading a real event. They are just little
ripples anyway and are not earth shattering. :D You could say it’s magical.

What is your favorite genre to read and why?

Romance with paranormal elements. Whether it’s time travel or magical characters, (gotta love those fae & shapeshifters)
romances are usually my favorite place to escape.
Why? Well... I guess it has something to do with seeing books and stories as a means to explore new worlds. I was an avid
reader from early childhood and that was the true purpose of books. (I grew up in a sleepy little neighborhood where
nothing ever happened and Saturday trips to the library opened doors to new worlds.) I thought I would outgrow the magical
elements. That never happened. lol

Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?

Self-published. Because I can make the important decisions like cover images, who will edit (once lost a book to an
editor for 6 months-editor disappeared) and I can also keep my unique story lines.
That doesn’t mean my words don’t get nipped and tucked. Such actions are a regular occurrence in every author’s experience.
It just means I have an opportunity to handle those issues myself. Think about it as though a self-published author is a business owner. ;)
Did you ever experience a major life changing event that impacted your writing?
Unfortunately, yes. It’s difficult to write about, but I believe it’s necessary.
In the beginning I became a writing fiend. Frequently, eighteen hours in front of the computer was normal.
Well, sadly it took a toll on my health. Seriously. It destroyed my immune system.
Now, I must be very careful and monitor all time spent in front of this wonder machine.
I didn’t write for more than a year.
There’s something about creatives... When we stop doing what we love a part of our spirit dies. Therefore, when I stopped
writing, even though I was no longer spending hours in this chair, my health didn’t improve because I lost my true expressive
joy. So I’m learning balance. Tricky, tricky, tricky.

If you could be any book genre, which one would you choose and why?

Magical of course. Imagination is boundless. Think of the pages and worlds I could explore and share!

Name a song(s) that define(s) you as a writer.

Not just one song. ;) During writing Concentric Circles my fav was Stevie Nicks solo cds & Fleetwood Mac The Dance
(because of Stevie).

If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive??

I would stand at ‘the edge of extinction’ and face off... Rewriting the future with kicka$$ heroine’s and magical shapeshifter

What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself??

Take care of your health. That’s a short but powerful statement because your body houses your muse.
And listen to your muse. It’s a wonderful symmetry when story elements come together. In the beginning I had a few
disagreements with my muse. That’s how I discovered that nasty thing--writer’s block. But when we listen, even if we
don’t always know where the muse is leading us pieces fall into place and you’ll read it later and think, Wow! ;) Then, have
gratitude and say, “Thank you.” Muse will reward you with more...
Why is this important? Well, I only recently discovered that Shayla was conceived in a pyramid. Something clicked in my
head...that certainly explains a lot! Shayla has been around for a while, but her story still grows.

What other projects do you have on the horizon??

Claire: the Lost Fae is due for release soon. Novella length, it details aspects of Claire’s life that could not be touched upon
in Concentric Circles. Why? It falls into the category of ‘things your mother never told you.’ Trust me, *wink* Claire had her
reasons. Besides, would you really want to know everything about your mother?
As for Shayla, heroine in Concentric Circles, learning aspects of her mother’s life story? Yikes!
For updates and release news visit Claire here:

Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??

Only 5? lol I asked because my two favorite authors (influence divas) wrote more than 5 books each.
From a ‘historical’ perspective Diana Gabaldon’s Outlander Series turned me on to time travel. Her richly descriptive prose,
intriguing characters and specific historical times hooked me.
From a ‘magical’ perspective J. K. Rowling is the Goddess of magical worlds. (Even though she doesn’t include Fae) It would
probably take a whole book to describe how she influenced me.
But the main thing JKR taught me was that there’s a widespread subculture of adults reading magical stories. The Internet
has also helped with that, too.
Until that realization struck me full force, my muses hid in the closet behind the family skeletons. That’s how JKR changed
my life. For the first time I started putting my stories into words and computer files.
I do want to mention that once upon a time I tried to write a non-magical story. It was an impossible feat. ;D
The magic in my stories grabs hold and won’t let go until revealed. That’s what makes this so much fun!

If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??

Early American, between 1795-1820.
Why? Remember that history exam mentioned in question 1? Well the answer I wrote that day was about a law in the
Carolina hills that made fighten’, biten’ & kickin’ a hanging offense. Yes, you could be hung for biting someone’s ear--in this case--off. *yuck*
That isn’t the whole answer though. I’d like to travel back in time and ask my many-times-great-grandpa if love was worth it. ;D (that yucky taste in his mouth from the ear)
You see, he got into a fight over a Cherokee woman, bit the other guy’s ear off, grabbed his woman and ran. Knowing what
he did was a hanging offense he didn’t stop until he got to Alabama.
There, they made babies... Here, I am.
And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?
Make sure I have plenty of healing Chalice Well water, several phoenix friends (for magical travel & helping others) and the
memory of accessing the sacred veil between Annwn and the Earthly realm so that I could save extended family, community
and many creatures. Zombies beware! The Fae are here to stay!

Feel free to add any social media links you have and anything else you felt I should have added to this interview. Thanks for joining me and being a part of my blog!

I’m a bird! ;) Most of my online time is at Twitter:!/AithneJarretta
It’s my favorite and yes, I do frequently chatter with my Peeps. Come over and join in the conversation!

Thank you, Heather for hosting me at your magical niche of the Internet. Good Luck with your writing.
I hope you eventually share your stories with the world. Blessed Be. ~ Aithne

Saturday, December 10, 2011

Emlyn Chand Farsighted Blog Tour

I'm working on the review as we speak and hope to have it up by the 15th of this month. Sorry about that folks.
Lightning Book Promotions:

Did you always want to be a writer? If so, what medium did you start with? Poetry, Short Stories, Novellas, Novels??
I was born with a fountain pen grasped firmly in my left hand, at least that’s what my Twitter bio says. But seriously, I do believe writers are born into the craft—we haven’t got much choice, but it’s a great calling to have. As a child, I always had a story to tell. I also loved illustrating my own books and comics. I did this for my younger brothers when I was 9 or 10. The series was called Spot and Dot and was about a cat and a dog. I wrote one about Spot coming home from the pound and needing to get a bath and another with a sequence of dreams that Dot the cat might have—she woke up in ancient Egypt and was revered as a Goddess; she found herself in a giant room filled with yarn balls, and she somehow ended up inside an aviary exhibit in the zoo. They were so much fun to create, and my younger brothers loved them.
What was the inspiration for your book, Farsighted?
Everything started with a single image—my face in these tacky oversized sunglasses reflecting out at me from the car’s side mirror. I was daydreaming while my husband drove us across Michigan for my sister’s wedding. Something about my image really struck me in an almost horrific way. I felt the glasses made me look blind but found it so weird that there was still a clear image within them; it seemed so contradictory. At the time, my book club was reading The Odyssey, which features the blind Theban prophet, Tieresias. I started thinking about what it would be like to have non-visual visions of the future and began forming a modern Tieresias in my mind. Lo and behold, Alex Kosmitoras was born. I didn’t want him to be alone in his psychic subculture, so I found other characters with other powers to keep him company. Thank God for my poor fashion sense.
How does your experience as a medium impact your writing? Are your stories based on true experiences that you have had??
I’m not a medium. I often joke that I have psychic powers but only when I’m in India. I’ve been able to predict some truly random events during my visits in Delhi, but I think that’s just because I don’t talk so much and instead really pay attention to my surroundings.
What is your favorite genre to read and why?
I LOVE YA—I read it, write it, love it! It all comes down to the enjoyment factor. I like the vulnerability and changeability of the characters. I love the ease of language and the connection that is created by writing in first person point-of-view. Nothing quite compares.
Do you prefer to be indie published, self-published, or traditional published?? Why?
I actually wrote a blog post explaining why I prefer indie or self-publishing (that’s here). Basically, the industry is not only changing – it’s changed. I’m not really sure there is any benefit to being traditionally published anymore, especially if you’re an author who has the know-how and financial/time resources to A) professionally edit your books, B) get a stellar cover designed, and C) market your work. Another reason I’m all gaga for the self-pub world is because it’s what I preach through Novel Publicity. I spend all day trying to convince writers that the indie path can work for them. By choosing that route for myself, I am showing my belief in that statement; I am practicing what I preach. Yes, I have a literary agent and a condition of our contract was that I’d be allowed to self-publish Farsighted. I want the hands-on experience. I want the control. If this works out for me; I’m pretty sure I’ll stay indie forever!
Did you ever experience a major life changing event that impacted your writing?
I met my husband, Hitesh. He’s from New Delhi, India. The culture has had a profound impact on my writing. I love creating Indian characters too (like Simmi).
If you could be any book genre, which one would you choose and why?
You know what? I’d be YA, because friends are made, adventures are had, lessons are learned, loves are found, and endings are generally happy. Almost any other genre is too dangerous to live inside!
Name a song(s) that define(s) you as a writer.
It’s an old one, “On the Street where you live” by Nat King Cole. It’s a song about love but can be applied quite aptly to the love of writing. My favorite line is “people stop and stare, but they don’t bother me for there’s nowhere else on Earth that I would rather be. Let the time go by, I won’t care if I can be here...”
If the world was on the edge of extinction, how would you survive??
I’ve actually watched quite a few survival shows on Discovery, so I feel like I would have a good working knowledge of what to do. I also have the good fortune of being married to a man with a doctorate in engineering—technology, check. I’m good with animals and with finding strange, creative solution, plus we have a killer attack parrot named Ducky and a Golden Retriever who is big and strong and will do whatever it takes to make us happy. End of the world? Bring it!
What advice would you give to other aspiring writers like myself??
My advice is this: Have fun with your writing. Don’t put pressure on yourself or your story and don’t try to fit either into some type of mold. Not every work HAS to be published, but every work will teach you something, and it will make you a better writer. Find the joy in writing, and you won’t go wrong.
What other projects do you have on the horizon??
Farsighted is a 5-book series. Each book will be told from a different character’s point-of-view, so in book #2, we’ll actually be able to see what Grandon looks like! Next up is Open Heart. I hope to have that ready by the middle of next year.
Tell us about 5 books that changed your life in some way??
I always credit Harold and the Purple Crayon by Crocket Johnson as THE book that changed my life. It opened my eyes to the world that could exist if only I was willing to create it—I think it’s what encouraged me to be a writer in the first place. Others that have had a profound impact are: Vladimir Nabokov’s Lolita, JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series, Victor Hugo’s Les Miserables, and Anton Chekhov’s Seagull (Okay, that last one is a play).
If you could time travel, what time period would you go to and why??
I’d love to go back to 19th century Britain and see the setting of so many of my favorite literary tales, like Jane Eyre, Wuthering Heights, and the whole host of Dickens.
And a fun one, what would you do if there was a zombie apocalypse?
I would train a flock of parrots to attack on command (I already have one who will do it). I will keep the birds swarming around me wherever I go. The zombies won’t have too much interest in them since their brains are so small, but they can pack a very powerful bite!
Feel free to add any social media links you have and anything else you felt I should have added to this interview.
All my links can be found here >

Twitter: @emlynchand
Tour Schedule:
2nd John @ The Incessant Droning of a Bored Writer (interview only)
2nd Stephanie @ Our Family World
3rd Amanda @ Letters Inside Out
4th Alaiel @ Librarian Mouse
5th Beverly @ The Wormhole
7th Wendy @ Minding Spot
9th Angel @ 909 Reviews
10th Heather P @ Earth's Book Nook
12th Connie @ The Character Connection (interview only)
13th Andrea @ Dark-Readers