Happy Book Birthday to Almost Magic!

Almost-Magic-web-coverHappy Book Birthday to Almost Magic!

This month’s release is Almost Magic,  by Kathleen Bullock.

SBN 9781939392114 paperback

Ever since she turned twelve, Apple Bramblewood’s life has been plagued by visits from weird creatures from the magical realms.

It seems she is a rare Attractor, a Wizard whose sole talent is solving the clamorous demands of very odd beings, usually in the most unorthodox, haphazard, and klutzy ways. Apple doesn’t want to be an Attractor; her most passionate goal is to attend the ordinary high school with ordinary kids where her perfect older sister, Cornelia, is allowed to go. Her parents have no doubts about Cornelia’s magical prowess, but Apple seems destined to be home-schooled forever if she can’t pass the entrance exam and perfect at least one magical enchantment.

Almost Magic is Apple’s first-person account of that magic summer between childhood and adolescence and, in Apple’s case, one filled with the most amazing, hilarious, and often dangerous events.

Get to know the author by visiting her author page.

 

An Interview with Darby Karchut

Darby KarchutBW - authorDarby Karchut is the author of the Spencer Hill Middle Grade series THE ADVENTURES OF FINN MacCULLEN. We tied her down recently and made her give us the scoop on what it’s like to be a writer.

SHPMG: Tell us a little bit about yourself.

DK:Unlike a lot of writers, I never once thought about penning anything, much less a book, until I was fifty years old. It was either write a novel or run a marathon. You know – that whole mid-life crisis thing. (Why, yes. I am planning on living until I’m a hundred years old.)

While I do run cross country a lot (as well as mountain biking, skiing, and mountaineering), the marathon seemed like too much of a commitment, so, I went with the book thing. I know. I KNOW! What was I thinking?

Five years later, I’m wrapping up my 14th book. And, until last spring, I also taught social studies at a junior high school here in Colorado Springs, where I live with my husband. Nope, no kids.

What do I write? Mostly middle grade adventure fantasy, young adult urban fantasy, and under the pen name of Darby Kaye, urban fantasy for adults.

SHPMG: For readers unfamiliar with your work, how would you describe what you

Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut

Finn Finnegan by Darby Karchut, the first in the series

write? What can readers expect from THE ADVENTUERS OF FINN MacCULLEN series?

DK: Based on Celtic mythology, but set in a suburban neighborhood in modern-day Colorado, this series is a coming-of-age tale full of adventure and monster hunting. But the heart and soul of the series is the father and son relationship forged between apprentice monster-hunter, Finn MacCullen, and his gruff, but affectionate master, the Knight, Gideon Lir. Readers of the series will find both young teen and adult heroes and heroines to cheer for.

 

SHPMG: What character did you love or hate the most while writing?

DK: Gideon Lir. The guy is a blend of chivalrous Knight, fierce Celtic warrior, and a father figure to his apprentice. True, he’s not perfect – he’s got a bit o’ the famous Irish temper. But, when push gets knocked on its tush by shove, Gideon Lir is the guy I would want at my back in any situation. Since the series is told from the viewpoints of dual protagonists (Finn and Gideon), watching both of them grow as characters is a delight.

Gideon's Spear by Darby Karchut

Gideon’s Spear by Darby Karchut

SHPMG: What do you consider the most challenging part of the writing process? And how do you overcome it?

DK: The first draft. Oh, how I detest the first draft. I’ve tried elaborate plotting. I’ve tried just winging it. I’ve tried everything in between. But, the first draft is a bloodletting for me. I think it’s because Demon Failure sits on my shoulder the entire time, whispering in my ear that all my other novels were a fluke, and that I really don’t have what it takes to finish a book.

But writing a book is a lot like running uphill. You put your head down and concentrate on a steady stride; a pace you can maintain the entire distance. Telling yourself that the only way to reach the top is one step after another. One word after another. Sure, sometimes, you have to slow down, or even walk, but you keep going. And then, finally, you reach the top of the hill. The end of the book.

 

Repeat for the next hill/book. And the next.

SHPMG: What is the greatest lesson you’ve learned, thus far, in your writing career?

DK: Keep reading. Reading is what first got me into writing, and reading is still something I do a few hours each evening before bed. I read everything, but I read in my genre the most. Reading great middle grade books is one of the best ways to improve my craft. And while I may give up writing some day, I will never give up reading.

SHPMG: What are your passions when you’re not writing?houndatthegate-web

As I mentioned before, I love the Colorado lifestyle – running, skiing, biking, hiking, backpacking, climbing, and I have recently gotten into stand up paddle boarding and yoga. (Not at the same time. Yet.) I also read a lot. I used to knit. Gave it up. Don’t know why.

Oh, wait, I do know why.

I started writing…

Darby loves visiting with readerly and writerly folks. You can stalk her at:

Her Website

Her Blog

Friend her on Facebook

Follow her on Twitter

or Goodreads!

You can also find out more about the author on her author page.

Find Darby’s books at:

Barnes & Noble, Amazon, and at independent bookstore everywhere.

 

Happy Book Birthday to Tangled Magick!

Tangled-Magick-forwebHappy Book Birthday to Tangled Magick

This month’s release is Tangled Magick,  by Jennifer Carson.

SBN 978-1-63392-000-2 paperback

ISBN 978-1-63392-001-9 Ebook

The Sequel to Hapenny Magick

Enter the giveaway on the author’s website!

A hapenny should live a simple life, but two years ago Maewyn Bridgepost discovered her magick and saved her village from a troll invasion. Now as an official Protector of the Wedge, Maewyn shares in the responsibility of keeping it’s residents safe.

When her mentor, the wizard Callum, leads a Great Expedition, Maewyn joins, knowing that to be the best protector she can be, she must be familiar with what the world holds beyond her tiny village.

When you are only 3 foot tall, the outside world can be a scary place, and the hapennies soon find themselves knee deep in troll trouble. Captured by a gang of trolls the group is taken to a broken-down castle to be servants to the troll queen, Huldfrejya. Unfortunately, Callum is cast into a deep slumber. It’s up to Maewyn to rescue herself and her friends before they are entangled by a powerful magickal enchantment that will turn them into slaves to the troll queen forever!

Don’t miss the first book in the series, Hapenny Magick!

Get to know the author by visiting her author page.

Interested in purchasing Tangled Magick? Order the book on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM or from your local Indie store!

Happy Book Birthday to Little Miss Evil!

LittleMissEvil-finalcoverforwebHappy Book Birthday to Little Miss Evil!

This month’s release is Little Miss Evil,  by Bryce Leung and Kristy Shen.

ISBN: 978-1939392091

When you live in a volcano, ride to school in a helicopter, and regularly see your dad on the news with the caption “EVIL GENIUS” underneath his picture, it takes a lot to rattle you.

Until you get a message that says: We have your father. Deliver the NOVA in 24 hours or we will kill him.

What’s a NOVA you ask? It’s a nuclear bomb capable of turning the city into a radioactive mushroom cloud, and ever since Fiona’s dad built it, it’s caused nothing but grief. But telling him to stop building weapons is like telling Michelangelo to stop painting.
And that’s why thirteen-year-old Fiona has a flamethrower strapped to her arm. After all, who’d mess with a girl who can throw fireballs?
Apparently, these guys.
Big mistake.

You can purchase Little Miss Evil from :Amazon, B&N,  and any fine bookseller near you!

Get to know the author by visiting their author page.

 

 

 

 

Cover Reveal! The House on Blister Hill

blisterhill_finalBeautiful cover art by the fabulous Veronica Jones! Find more at her website VVJones.com

The House on Blister Hill, coming in October 2015. Click here to request an advanced reader copy!

In the summer of 1949, twelve-year old Neddy Puddy’s only concern is settling a score with Delores Shrumm, her former best friend. But one summer night, a strange snow falls over Heaven’s Peak, North Carolina, leaving blisters on anyone it touches.

Grandpa Joe dons his bowler hat the next morning and sets out with Old Jim Flint to solve the mystery, only to end up dead. To make matters worse, all the adults in Heaven’s Peak have come down with the floating flu, and an evil carnival has risen on Blister Hill. When the carnival owner threatens to eliminate each and every bugsnot kid west of the Dismal Swamp, Neddy knows that everyone she loves might disappear with the last fold of the carnival’s tents.

With a posse of misfit kids and Old Jim Flint by her side, Neddy will have to face her worst fears in the middle of her worst heartache. But will she live to tell the tale?

KT Gannon was born in Queens, New York. She studied writing at Columbia University and then received her MSW from New York University. KT worked with victims of violent crime in New York City for years before returning to writing. Now she lives in Arlington, VA with her stuntman-turned-lawyer husband and her three amazing daughters: Ava, Cate and Syd. When KT isn’t writing she can be found in the bleachers at Ava’s softball game, answering (inadequately) Cate’s questions regarding human existence, and reveling in Syd’s quiet triumphs.

Find out more about the author by visiting her author page.

If you’d like to request an ARC, please use the reviewer form on our website.

http://spencerhillmiddlegrade.com/for-reviewers/.

 

 

Happy Book Birthday to The Hound at the Gate!

houndatthegate-webHappy Book Birthday to The Hound at the Gate!

This month’s release is The Hound At the Gate,  by Darby Karchut.

ISBN: 978-1939392480–paperback,ebook

The Sequel to Gideon’s Spear

 

 

Autumn: the season of endings. And beginnings.

Especially for one young apprentice.

At the annual Festival of the Hunt, thirteen-year-old apprentice goblin hunter Finn MacCullen and his master, Gideon Lir, join other Tuatha De Danaan to honor their people’s heritage. But Finn soon realizes that there are some who denounce his right to attend due to his half-human bloodline.

While he struggles to keep his place by his master’s side, he finds himself embroiled in a decades-old grudge between Gideon and another Knight, bewildered (and beguiled) by a female apprentice with a temper as explosive as his own, and battling a pack of goblins determined to wipe out the entire camp in a surprise attack.

It’s going to take some fancy knife work, the help of a female Knight with a lethal bow, and one old pick up truck to defeat the goblins and prove to his people that his blood runs true-blue Tuatha De Danaan.

Don’t miss the first book in the series, Finn Finnegan!

Get to know the author by visiting her author page.

Interested in purchasing The Hound at the Gate? Order the book on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM or from your local Indie store!

 

 

 

Happy Book Birthday to The Earl’s Childe!

The Earl's Childe no eyesHappy Book Birthday to The Earl’s Childe!

This month’s realease is The Earl’s Childe  by T.J. Wooldridge, author of The Kelpie and Silent Starsong.

ISBN: 978-1939392435

T.J. Wooldridge

paperback, ebook
My chore after dinner is to feed my kelpie.  A kelpie, if you don’t know, is a carnivorous faerie horse. Until I accidentally gave him a piece of my soul, this particular kelpie had killed two kids near the hundreds-of-years-old castle my family and I live in. Heather MacArthur had a hard enough time dealing with the arrival of a kelpie into her life, but that was only the beginning. Summoned as liaison between humans and faerie, Heather is informed by the fey nobles that another danger has arrived in the area and is claiming rights to the MacArthur lands: a particularly mad daoine síth named Calbraith, that even the kelpie finds cruel and unusual. As luck would have it, twenty students have also just arrived at the MacArthur family castle for her mother’s riding camp. It will take Heather, her whole family, the royal family, and a few friends she didn’t realize she had, to keep Calbraith from enslaving–or killing–all of them.

Read the first book in the series, The Kelpie. Get to know the author on her author page.

Order the book on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM

 

 

 

Happy Book Birthday to Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain! Plus an interview with the author!

Happy Book Birthday to

Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain!

This month’s release is Niles Wormwart, Accidental Villain by D.M. Cunningham.niles_final_t

 

In the science fair world of ketchup-spewing volcanoes and potato clocks, one boy, Niles Wormwart, plans to alter the history of science fairs with his time travel wristwatch based on Nicola Tesla’s work. Unfortunately, history has different plans for Niles.

After Niles blows up his school’s science wing with his project, his father, deciding his son needs to man up, make some friends, and take a break from his constant experiments, sends unsuspecting Niles off to the mysterious Camp Mayhem.

The only problem is that Niles’ father thinks it’s a role-playing camp. Well, it’s not.

Headed up by the ominous Red Czechmark, Camp Mayhem is ground zero for training the future villains of today. A place for real kids to realize the real villain inside them. Niles sharpens his focus on escaping the camp while everyone inside wants him to sharpen his focus on discovering his own dark powers. There’s a sinister plot brewing, and Niles is dead in the middle of it.
Thrust into a world he only thought existed in comic books. Niles discovers his true potential inside the walls of Camp Mayhem-the potential to become the darkest of evils or stay true to his good-hearted roots.

SHPMG:  What inspired you to write NILES WORMWART: ACCIDENTAL VILLAIN?

A culmination of so many things. I think staying out of jail was the first thing. Because if I didn’t right books I would have to be a villain and that’s no good for anyone. Especially me. I don’t do good in small spaces for long periods of times. Plus I heard the coffee in jail is no good.

SHPMG: In NILES WORMWART, our hero is sent to a camp for villains. Are you secretly (or not so secretly) a villain?

It’s NO secret, I am a villain. Which totally contradicts the first question you asked me. Which is what a great villain does. I said no, then WHAP, cold fish slap out of nowhere. Full mastery of distraction. Oh hey look over there it’s a turtle wearing a sweater! (That’s where turtle neck sweater came from – just in case you didn’t know that).

SHPMG:  What’s your writing process like? Do you plot everything ahead of time, or just let the words flow?

Hold on, let me process this question…. Okay. First thing I do is watch and read and listen to everything that inspires me toward the new story I am about to write. Then I totally rip it off (score one for the villain!). Ahem, I’m only kidding about that part. I sit for days and let it marinate. I only recently started really outlining in great detail. I was much looser early on. Like a 70s disco queen (can I say that?) I spend a lot of time on the outline, massaging it, looking for holes in the story and so on. Then I write like a mad cow and vomit out that first draft. THEN I realize that I completely abandoned my outline because the characters took me somewhere else.

SHPMG:  What sort of reader would enjoy NILES WORMWART?

Only people who love awesome books and pumpkin flavored anything. If you like Oxen you’ll like this book up to a certain point. I don’t think this book is for everyone, because if it was…  J.K. Rowling would be serving me soup. Nikola Tesla would love this book. I’m thinking of using that watch of his to jump through a wormhole and give him a copy and rewrite all the Harry Potter books to be Niles Wormwart.

SHPMG:  What’s next for you as a writer?

I was thinking of walking to the coffee shop and getting a latte. Want to join me? Oh, wait, that’s probably not what you meant. I’m working on a middle grade horror. I told my super amazing agent Bree Ogden the story line and her head exploded. Figuratively, not literally. Because if that did happen I would have to look for a new agent. And we know what a task that is!

Want to learn about the inspiration for Niles Wormwart? Click here!

Interested in purchasing ? Order the book on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM

Get to know the author by visiting his author page.

 

 

Happy Book Birthday to The Beast of Seabourne!

Happy Book Birthday to

The Beast of Seabourne!

This month’s release is The Beast of Seabourne,  by Rhys A Jones.

Oz Chambers has a wonderful secret; the obsidian pebble, gifted to him by his dead father, is an artefact of astonishing BeastofSeabournefinishapprovedCOVERpower.  The sort of power that makes the year eight science project a hands-down walkover thanks to the the pebble’s genius avatar, Soph. But, there are sinister forces abroad who will do just about anything to get their hands on the pebble, and when fellow pupils start being attacked,  Oz finds himself in very hot water.  Soon Oz and his friends, Ruff and Ellie, are caught up in a centuries old mystery involving a missing ring, lava toothpaste and a murderous monster known as the Beast of Seabourne.

Interested in purchasing The Book of Kindly Deaths? Order the book on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM

Get to know the author by visiting his author page.

 

 

Happy Book Birthday to The Book of Kindly Deaths, and read a free short story!

Happy Book Birthday to

The Book of Kindly Deaths by Eldritch Black

The Book of Kindly Deaths by Eldritch Black

The Book of Kindly Deaths!

This month’s release is The Book of Kindly Deaths,  by Eldritch Black.

WHAT WOULD YOU DO IF THE MONSTERS IN A BOOK BECAME REAL?

When twelve-year-old Eliza Winter finds a secret room in her missing grandfather’s sprawling, Gothic house, her safe, sheltered life is blown apart. Inside, below a stained glass window where moonlight shines no matter the time of day, sits The Book of Kindly Deaths.

In defiance of her controlling mother, who has always forbidden her to read anything strange or imaginary, Eliza takes the book. As night sets in, Eliza reads one haunting story after another. And the further she journeys inside the book, the more the boundaries between our world and a shadowy land of monsters and forbidden places begin to blur.

When the strange, crooked man from the book arrives on the doorstep claiming to be a rare-book collector and demanding entry into the house, Eliza’s world is turned upside down. To escape him, she must dive all the way into the spine-tingling world of The Book of Kindly Deaths to save her grandfather–and write an end to the nightmare she’s caught inside.

To read a new short story from The Book of Kindly Deaths,  click here.

Interested in purchasing The Book of Kindly Deaths? Order the book on: Amazon, Barnes and Noble, BAM

Get to know the author by visiting his author page.