Friday, May 31, 2013

Blog Tour Stop: Trickster's Totem

The Magic of Storytelling
I write stories about fantastical creatures, magical objects, and imaginary worlds. Not only do I get to spend the day flying with dragons, playing with fairies, and swimming with mermaids, I’m able to share my adventures with others. Now that The Trickster’s Totem is complete, I’ve been visiting local elementary schools. I bring my posters and signed bookmarks for the kids. I begin my visit by introducing myself and showing the book trailer for The Serpent’s Ring. But I’ve discovered something a little unexpected through this process. 
The students have a ton of intelligent questions. They’re eager to learn about the different realms of mythology and the creatures/gods that dwell there. The boys and girls want to know more about Evan’s and Claire’s superpowers. But it doesn’t end there. They want to know more about my journey to becoming a published author, and what my future holds for me. They wonder if I knew I’d become a writer when I was a kid. A few of these questions caught me off-guard. I didn’t expect 4th and 5th graders to be so incredibly insightful. In fact, I believe they impressed me more than I did them.   
The school year’s coming to an end, but I still have a couple of schools to visit before summertime’s officially here. I’ve decided to give more time to answering questions and interacting with the little visionaries and dreamers of tomorrow. After all, it’s by far more fun, and somewhat surprising, to have the students navigate how our time is spent together.
Photo Credit
Dragon and Floating Castle
photo credit: balt-arts via photopin cc

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

Ghost Dance

In his first book-length fiction for adults, Award-winning author Mark London Williams spins a historical supernatural tale like no other.

Wolf Bob knows there's something seriously messed up in Los Angeles when skeleton mariachis are serenading the populace and magical creatures are taking the city by storm. It's 1937 and ghosts are invading Hollywood during the premiere of Disney's "Snow White". Leon Trotsky is writing cowboy scripts in Mexico and bible epics are being filmed in the Mojave. If he can figure out who the mysterious "GhostDance" is, he might be able to put things right.


Guest Post: Debbie Dee The Underground Witch

Welcome to The Howling Turtle's blog stop for The Underground Witch!
As the last of the Incenaga Witches, Emmeline has been tortured and forced to use her power to kill. But unlike the Incenagas before her, she has survived. With her freedom restored, she should feel safe, invincible even. After all, she has the protection of Prince Erick's army and a power strong enough to obliterate any enemy. Yet Emmeline lives in fear for the next person who will try to control her, and no one can seem to find the tyrant threatening to claim her. 

Until it's too late. 

With everything on the line, and the enemy at her throat, will Emmeline be able to use her power like never before? Even if it kills her? 

In The Underground Witch, the second novel of the Incenaga Trilogy, Debbie Dee delivers enough adventure, heartbreak, and suspense to captivate readers at every turn.

The Car of Shame
Thanks so much for having me on your blog again! Several years ago I was rushing around getting ready for church. My husband had left much earlier and had taken “the good car” with him. He claimed it was a mistake, especially since the kids’ car seats went with him, but I knew it was a subconscious aversion to the hunk of junk he had promised to take. “The Car of Shame”, as we called it, had missing hub caps, peeling paint, rotting upholstery, and a screech that could be heard for miles. We avoided it at all costs.
I cringed as I backed it out of my garage and into public view, my children wiggling out of their adult seatbelts. Still under the delusion that I could be on time, I pressed on the gas…and was promptly pulled over for speeding. Suddenly, a stream of “rubber-neckers” appeared, inching along the road to witness the enfolding drama. I sunk into my rotting seats, hoping the crack in the windshield might obscure my identity.
“License and registration,” the cop said.
My mind went blank. “Um, what does the registration look like?”
The cop rolled his eyes. “It has your name on it, proving you own the car.”
“Oh, right.” I flicked open the glove compartment and grabbed a wad of papers. Rifling through them, I gulped the moment I noticed a sharp steak knife tucked between the sheets. Yeah, that’s right, a kitchen knife. Don’t ask me why it was there, because I have no clue. I glanced at the cop, hoping he hadn’t noticed my concealed weapon. I had visions of him pulling me out of the car and slamming my head against the hood as he handcuffed me, the rubber-neckers gawking.
A half hour later, after I talked myself out of turning around and crawling back into bed, I trudged into church with a fat ticket in my purse. I looked around the congregation, looking for the mocking glances. But, there were no pointing fingers or quiet snickers, just warm smiles and kindly nods. It seemed no one cared that I drove a hunk of junk, that my children were climbing over the seats, or that I had a minor encounter with the law. What mattered was that I hadn’t turned around and given up.  
I recently blogged about how nervous I was to write a sequel on Kellie’s blog, Snarky Bird, Uber Nerd. So many readers loved The Last Witch–they talked about it and shared it with their friends—but what if The Underground Witch was a big fat failure? What if it became “The Book of Shame”? Sometimes I wanted to hide my manuscript in the garage, so to speak, but I knew I couldn’t just turn around and give up. I’m sure I will run into plenty of “cops” who will tell me all the things I have done wrong in my writing. That’s okay. I hope to learn from them and the many other speed bumps I’ll hit along the way. And then I hope to keep truckin’ along, doing what I love and bringing new stories to life.  

Buy The Underground Witch on Amazon

Book Blast! Girls' Day Out

All T wants is a break from her day job. After months of fighting angry demons and keeping humans oblivious to the Underworld, she needs some time off. Her solution is brilliant: A girls’ day out, full of shopping, massages, and mani-pedis. Luckily, she has a friend to bring along—her business partner, J. Unluckily, J wants nothing to do with T’s plan.

T manages to drag J along, promising a day full of pampering and relaxation. But the Underworld has different plans. When T and J are attacked by a pack of demons, their girls’ day is ruined and replaced by something much more sinister: A life-or-death investigation into the person—or demon—who wants them dead.


Monday, May 27, 2013

Spotlight: Wanderamid's Crystal Ball

A devious young girl, Devilea, tricks Emera, the powerful witch of Wanderamid, stealing her crystal ball and sending her through to another dimension. For the past three years, Emera has been living as Ms. Biddock, the principal of Whilom Elementary.
On the last day of school, Emera crosses paths with Rena Winterton, a student who soon after, discovers her hidden identity. To prevent Rena from revealing her long kept secret, Emera recites an incantation that will send Rena away to retrieve the clear stone she believes can bring her home, Wanderamid's Crystal Ball. However, when the chosen spell emerges, Emera is surprised to see Rena already has it in her possession! She attempts to stop the spell, but her powers fail. It's too late! The summoning has begun and for Rena, an unexpected journey begins.
A never seen before portal embraces Rena and directs towards her future encounters, as she ventures into an unfamiliar world. In this world between many, curses, revenge and magic delay Rena's search for her intended destination, the entryway back to Whilom.

Author Bio:
I. V. Phillips had written many poems as a child, but as the years went by, the path to her true dream became further away. Her passion for writing seemed unreachable, until finally it had become as close as the next day. In 2007, her imagination took hold with her every breath and she began to create A New World Fantasy Novel called, "Wanderamid's Crystal Ball".
She lives in Florida with her teenage son.

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Mother's Curse Blog Tour Stop!

Mother's Curse
BadgeAs part of this special promotional extravaganza sponsored by Novel Publicity, the price of the Mother's Curse and Daughter's Justice eBook editions are just 99 cents this week. What’s more, by purchasing either or both of these fantastic books at an incredibly low price, you can enter to win many awesome prizes.

The prizes include a Kindle Fire, $450 in Amazon gift cards, and 5 autographed copies of each book.

All the info you need to win one of these amazing prizes is RIGHT HERE. Remember, winning is as easy as clicking a button or leaving a blog comment--easy to enter; easy to win!

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  • Get your copy for just 99 cents

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  • Mother's Curse is a coming of age story about the youngest Princess of Cothel and her efforts to save her father and brother from her mother's schemes, while at the same time, coming to terms with what it means to be a witch. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.

    Daughter's Justice continues Stephenie's journey of discovery, where she must overcome national opposition to her being a witch as well as lead her friends and protectors on a mission to stabilize her countries finances. Get it on AmazonBarnes & Noble, or iTunes.

    Thaddeus Nowak is a writer of fantasy novels who enjoys hiking, photography, and the outdoors. Visit Ted on his websiteTwitterFacebook, or GoodReads.

    a Rafflecopter giveaway

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    Why This Male Reader Loves Strong Female Characters

    A Guest Post by Thaddeus Nowak

    I've mentioned it before, but my formative childhood years were spent with the neighborhood girls.  My family had the only boys for many blocks and with my closest brother being four years younger than me, the only people my age to play with were girls.  I learned all about Barbie and Ken and playing house.  I'm not complaining, we also romped around the woods, got covered in mud, had snowball fights, and played ball just like any group of kids would.  To me, they were just my friends.  There were no boys versus girls attitudes between us (that concept came later when we went to different schools and I had to make new friends).  And even when faced with that concept, I always preferred to be on the girls' team, because that's where the girls were.

    Due to those early years--to this day--I always think of women as equals, and probably superior in many cases.  So when it comes to reading novels or watching movies, I have no trouble identifying with a female lead.  In fact, I think female leads actually make stronger characters than their male counterparts.

    What is a strong character?

    To me, a strong character is one who's personality can be felt.  They may have inner fears and concerns, but they make the hard decisions and are decisive when it counts.  They know what they want and actively make plans to get it.  A strong character is a leader, someone the other characters look to for guidance.  That is not to say they are hard-headed and stubborn; they have to be smart enough to know when they need to ask for advice and be willing to admit when they are not able to do something themselves.  Delegation does not have to be a weakness--when done right it is a strength.

    It may seem counter intuitive, but physical strength and prowess do not make a character strong.  In fact, it can make them weaker in the long run.  A bully lashing out and attacking may be able to overpower and intimidate others, but they still lack the strength of character that someone standing up to them possesses.

    For male characters, physical strength and skill in combat (especially in fantasy novels) is a socially expected norm.  A male character, who is not stoic in the face of danger can't overcome his foes and has to rely upon others, is perceived as weak.  The problem is, being a stoic loner often overshadows some of the character's personality and limits how dynamic the character can be.

    Whereas a female lead, while she may be physically adept, is not expected to use brute strength to overpower her foes.  Society accepts the fact that she can have doubts (which are perfectly human, regardless of sex) and allows her to use her mind and intelligence to overcome obstacles.  She has to decide to stand up to the stronger bully.  I personally feel it makes the character richer and more balanced--more human and more like the girls I grew up with.

    It's not what's on the outside that counts

    The other reason I prefer stories with strong female protagonists is that they do not usually feature the females as window dressing--on the cover or in the story.  While I have my share of traditional fantasy art hanging on my walls, my childhood influences don't align with the concept of the half-naked damsel in distress unable to do anything for herself.  Too many of the stories with male protagonists tend to have the main woman of the stories hopping along on the man's coattails, doting on his every action.  The girls I grew up with definitely did not dote; they knew what they wanted and knew how to get it.  So when I read a story, I want to enjoy a little nostalgia and see women as I know they are.