books

Hit the books #AtoZChallenge – Peculiar ‘Pen fellows’ – Quirks only a writer can understand

peculiar penfellows

HHit the books

As writers, we have an interesting relationship with books. We spend our life surrounded by them – our own, other people’s – it doesn’t matter. Reading is a passion we share for various reasons; for the connection, for pleasure, to learn. We collect them, covet them, and often use them to benefit our own writing.

I love to hit the books, often I spend too much time losing myself in other worlds, and as a writer, I could probably talk for days about everything I love about them. But I’ll save you from the essay on how books enrich our lives – you likely already know the power of the written word!

Instead I’ll share an image from the aMAZEme book maze, which was part of the London 2012 Festival. A maze I would happily get lost in. I’d probably stay there for a good long while, providing someone dropped in a few care packages (including a notepad and pen for when I get antsy and want to add to the collection!)

amazeme-book-maze-london-2012-festival

Thanks for stopping by
Mel

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New Release: Charms of the Feykin by Charles Yallowitz

I’m delighted to share details about Charles Yallowitz’ new release – Charms of the Feykin. More exciting Windemere adventures…bring it on!

Return to Windemere in Charms of the Feykin!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

To make a champion fall, one must wound their very soul.

Nyx is leading the charge to rescue Delvin and Sari, who have gone missing in the southern jungles of Windemere. Battling through the local predators, the champions are surprised when they reunite in the Feykin city of Rhundar. Instead of captives, the missing heroes have become the city’s rulers and are on the verge of starting a war with those that want to exterminate their new followers. Even with such a noble cause, Delvin and Sari have changed into brutal warlords that may kill each other and their friends long before they step onto the battlefield.

Have Delvin and Sari really changed for the worst or is there a greater threat pulling the champions’ strings?

Grab it on Amazon!

Add it to your Goodreads ‘To Read’ List!

Excerpt: Broken Bonds

Sari draws two daggers and sprints at Luke, slashing at his sabers in an attempt to cut his hands as he unsheathes his weapons. Instead, the forest tracker unclips the scabbards from his belt and spreads his arms to avoid the gypsy’s attack. The swords still sheathed, he does his best to deflect his former friend’s strikes while harmlessly smacking her in the sides. When a dagger slices his arm, Luke kicks out to knock Sari back. A hint of a grin on her face causes him to slow his attack, his foot aching as it bounces off her immovable body. Knowing he has to trick her, the half-elf runs backwards to get the gypsy to charge. Before she falls behind, the warrior lets her gradually catch up while remaining out of slashing range. Once Luke reaches the riverbank, he lunges forward and aims a swing at the sprinting woman’s knee. Forced to decide between taking a blow that would surely break bone or risk a similar injury by turning her power on while running, Sari tries to twist out of the way. She lands on her back at the forest tracker’s feet and curses when he pins her arms by jamming his sabers against her wrists.

Before Luke can tell the gypsy to stop struggling, an arm of water bursts from the river and bats him away. Phelan leaps out of the rapids and sprints at the prone warrior, his daggers lengthened by keenly edged liquid. The weapons sink into the muddy earth when their target rolls away, the ringing of drawn steel revealing that the champion is no longer restraining himself. With a flurry of stabs and slashes, the half-elf drives his new opponent back and whittles away at the watery daggers. Trying not to kill the Feykin, Luke delivers an echoing hilt punch to Phelan’s head every time the other warrior attempts a counterattack. Faced with the full speed and skill of the agile forest tracker, the outclassed hunter has various watery weapons fly out of the river. None of them hit the champion, who remains close enough to continue his barrage of muscle-rattling strikes.

Ducking to the side, Luke slashes at the other man’s exposed flank in what he hopes will be a crippling, but non-lethal, blow. The saber clangs off a patch of icy armor and a freezing tremor makes the half-elf’s arm go numb. A searing pain erupts from his lower back and he whirls around, the motion preventing Sari’s dagger from doing more than a long cut across his side. His first saber swings an inch over her head, but his second weapon leaves a gash up the middle of her chin. Enraged by the pain, the gypsy moves out of Luke’s reach and summons a massive hammer of water. She freezes the forest tracker’s feet to the ground before he can move, which allows the large weapon to connect. It repeatedly comes down on the warrior, breaking several ribs and one of his arms. Sheathing his sabers and remaining on the ground, the half-elf draws the stiletto and hurls it into Sari’s thigh. A look of shock is on her face and she stares at Luke’s battered form as if seeing such injuries for the first time.

Need to catch Legends of Windemere from the beginning? Then click on the covers below!

You can start for FREE . . .

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Or grab the $4.99 ‘3 in 1’ bundles!

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen 3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen
3D Conversion by Bestt_graphics

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

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Also Available in Single eBooks:

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover Art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

Cover art by Jason Pedersen

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Interested in a new adventure? Then grab your Kindle & dive back into the world of Windemere! Don’t forget an apple for Fizzle.

Author Photo

About the Author:

Charles Yallowitz was born and raised on Long Island, NY, but he has spent most of his life wandering his own imagination in a blissful haze. Occasionally, he would return from this world for the necessities such as food, showers, and Saturday morning cartoons. One day he returned from his imagination and decided he would share his stories with the world. After his wife decided that she was tired of hearing the same stories repeatedly, she convinced him that it would make more sense to follow his dream of being a fantasy author. So, locked within the house under orders to shut up and get to work, Charles brings you Legends of Windemere. He looks forward to sharing all of his stories with you, and his wife is happy he finally has someone else to play with.

Blog: www.legendsofwindemere.com
Twitter: @cyallowitz
Facebook: Charles Yallowitz
Website: www.charleseyallowitz.com

Sunday Spotllight: WR101 – Geoff Le Pard

sunday spotlight

This week at Writing Room 101, Geoff Le Pard popped in for a visit and shared a great article with us. Geoff just finished his book tour – My Father and Other Liars, and you can learn more about the tour and his new book, here.

The treatment of the adult orphan.

When I started writing My Father and Other Liars I had been thinking about the grieving process. My own father died in 2005 and, while his death came naturally as the end of a process the family lived through, I was intrigued by how the impact of grief worked. I vividly recall the moment I was told he had been diagnosed with cancer. I was sitting in my office, about 3.30 in the afternoon when the phone rang. Mum. She never rang me at work. I knew Dad was in for tests but her news hit me like a set of punches. It wasn’t a long call and by the end of it the initial shock became numbness. I sat staring at the conference table at the other end of my room and realised I couldn’t talk, not without breaking down. I was 47, head of this that and what have you and breaking down would have been embarrassing, humiliating. I got up, walked to the toilets and shut myself in a cubicle.

And that was it. An hour later I was off home to pick up the car and drive to my parents. From there on until well past his actual death a year later and well past the funeral I shed not a tear, felt rather divorced from all the emotion around me. He died in March 2005. In August I cried for the first time. I’ve had those tearing up moments since, never when I expect them and always difficult to deal with.

I talked to a friend about this, about how no one really seemed to understand this late flowering grief. He said something to the effect that being an adult orphan isn’t taken seriously. It’s expected, parents dying before their children. When that occurs at an expected age, people understand your loss, are sympathetic. But they expect you to be ‘grown up’ and ‘get over it’. Why? That’s what I asked myself. I read an excellent book ‘The Orphaned Adult’ by Alexander Levy. In it he takes a series of case studies to examine how grief impacts us as adults when we lose one or more parents.

I wanted to incorporate this theme into my book, since it was about fathers and my father’s death was still quite raw. My main character, Maurice Oldham is in his thirties and has lost his mother, blaming himself for her death. His father is also lost to him, but emotionally not because he’s dead. The book begins very shortly after Maurice finds his father – he believed him dead for many years – and he is angry and, in many senses, grieving for both parents. Finding his father alive robs him of his grief and that causes anger and a different grief in its own right. One of the themes throughout the book is how Maurice tries to come to terms with his father’s continued existence and the betrayals he feels at his father’s hands.

When Mum died five years later, the process was as erratic and difficult. I stood at the graveside and felt an awful heavy lump. This was truly it. Both parents had gone and the tangible connection to my past, my youth, my ancestry gone with it. I tried to bring out some of that in My Father and Other Liars, that linkage and to see in Maurice’s stuttering steps towards a reconciliation with his father the attempt to postpone that loss of one’s own living history.


my father and other liars

My Father and Other Liars is the second book by Geoff Le Pard. Published in August it is available as an ebook and paperback here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com


dead flies and sherry trifleHis first book, Dead Flies and Sherry Trifle can be found here:

Amazon.co.uk

Amazon.com


GeoffGeoff Le Pard started writing to entertain in 2006. He hasn’t left his keyboard since. When he’s not churning out novels he writes some maudlin self-indulgent poetry and blogs at geofflepard.com. He walks the dog for mutual inspiration and most of his best ideas come out of these strolls.


Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Cover Reveal – A Father's Protection by KJ Hawkins

I have a cover reveal for you today and, as I’m sure you’ll agree – it’s really cool.

EPSON MFP image

The land beyond The Forest of Ferrês belongs to the kyres mortal enemies the twin-tailed foxes. Standing on the borders DarkDeath will have to plunge into the unknown to save his adventurous pup.

Will he be able to find Digger and make it out alive? The battle to protect his own will be tested when DarkDeath faces off against an old rival. Death lingering over his pup’s head will test his strengths as DarkDeath braces himself for battle.


KJ Hawkins is a young fantasy author making her way into print. She has had a strong love for fantasy since she was nine years old.

As an adult the magic stayed with her inspiring her to write stories of adventure and magic.  Hawkins, at her best, brings personality to every word she writes, exciting her readers with every page.

Fun Fact

KJ Hawkins is actually a pen name taken from the initials of her real first and last name. Hawkins came from her favorite childhood film, Treasure Planet, the lead character is James Hawkins!

KJ Hawkins Links

Twitter: https://twitter.com/authorkjhawkins

FB Page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/KJ-Hawkins/870825462984486

Google+: https://plus.google.com/u/1/106664460289461678421/posts

Newsletter: http://eepurl.com/bvWek5

Website: http://kjhawkins.wix.com/authorkjhawkins


Pre-order on Amazon

KJ Hawkins would like to acknowledge and thank K Tolentino. She created a beautiful cover for “A Father’s Protection.” Her design was spot on and shows how talented a designer and illustrator she is. Link to K Tolentino’s fiverr account.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

Summertime Madness Book Tag

Callum tagged me in this book tag and, though it’s taken a week to get to the questions, I never could resist talking about books so – thanks, Callum 🙂

Show a book with a summery cover.

the beachI haven’t read the book in years, but I enjoyed it. It was a gripping read, and I remember being relieved Richard got off the island! Not exactly a light summer read, but a great cover for the subject matter!

Pick one fictional place that would be the perfect destination for a summer vacation!

Narnia – I’d only have to go through my wardrobe to get there, too. How cool is that!

You’re about to go on a flight to your summer vacation. But you want to read a book that lasts for the whole flight, what novella do you choose?

I’d take Fairest (The Lunar Chronicles 3.5) by Marissa Meyer. I’m curious about the evil queen, Levana, and this novella is a bridge between Cress (which I just read) and Winter, the next in the Lunar Chronicles series. I love the spin Marissa put on the classic tales.

You have a case of summertime sadness what happy book do you pick up to shine a smile on your face?

It would probably be a children’s book, one I could share with my nephew and get a sneaky cuddle while I’m at it! He’s a little young yet, but I keep trying him with Dr Seuss. My youngest daughter was partial to Horton Hears A Who! so that book has fun memories, and never fails to bring a smile to my face.

You’re sitting at the beach all alone…which fictional character would be your beach babe?

I’ll go with the first thought that popped into my head – Arthur Curry – Aquaman. I never sit on a beach for very long, I prefer to go exploring. Perhaps I could persuade Aquaman to take me to Atlantis, in fact, now that I think about it, I’ll change my answer to the second question and go to Atlantis instead!

To match your ice cream you want an icy cool sidekick! Which fictional side kick do you pick?

I think, given my previous answer I already have one! Though, let’s be honest – I’d be the side-kick in that scenario!

Share the Summertime Happiness! Who do you TAG?

I’ll tag Taylor Grace, and anyone else who would like to take part. If  you have the time, it’s a lot of fun.

Thanks for stopping by

Mel

Cover Reveal: Alicia by Gloria Weber

Today I would like to share with you the cover reveal for Gloria Weber’s upcoming release – Alicia. As a bonus, Gloria has also provided us with a trailer for the book. Enjoy.

Alicia

ALICIA
by Gloria Weber
Published by Solstice Publishing (Summer Solstice imprint)
Release Date: August 18, 2015

Blurb:
Leon has decided it is better to remain silent and accused of Alicia’s murder than admit the truth. The truth, well… that’s so unbelievable it’s crazy. Not that Detective Dorndorf believes a word that comes out of Leon’s mouth. Dorndorf just wants a confession and figures dragging Leon to the last spot Alicia was seen might just pry it out of him. Will the detective’s plan work or will the truth come out?

Price: $0.99
Expected To Be Sold At: Amazon (for kindle) and Solstice Publishing’s website (http://solsticepublishing.com/)

aliciapromoghost2

Author Bio:

Gloria Weber lives in Ohio with her husband, son, daughter, and many pets. She has been writing for publication since March 2006 with over a dozen titles published. Her favorite letter is L.

Website: http://gloriaweber.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @GloriaWeber ~ http://twitter.com/GloriaWeber
G+: http://plus.google.com/107706782152210234267/posts
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/GloriaWeberWriter
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/GloriaWeber

aliciapromonobody2

Thank you for stopping by.

Mel

Sourcerer’s Eleven: Questions for Author Joshua Robertson

I had the great pleasure of interviewing Joshua Robertson as part of Sourcerer’s Eleven this month. Hop on over and check it out, Joshua is very engaging 😀

Sourcerer

Welcome to round three of Sourcerer’s Eleven. An interview series where contributors within the site get a shot in the big chair. The Instigator-In-Chief, Gene’o interviewed Luther Siler, who then put me through my paces, so now it’s my turn *rubs hands together*. In the hot seat today is Joshua Robertson, author of Melkorka (Book 1: Thrice Nine Legends), and A Midwinter Sellsword (Book 1: Hawkhurst Saga).

AuthorPic2

  1. You recently released Gladiators and Thieves, book two of the Hawkhurst Saga. Can you tell us a little about that series and how it came about?

You will have to forgive me if I momentarily nerd rage. The story of Hawkhurst was never intended to be in my collection of stories. Hawkhurst first began as a politically-themed RPG MUD (Roleplaying Game Multi-User Dimension) played through text on a web-based platform. I spent an entire weekend creating a complex city from the…

View original post 1,840 more words

Introducing Amy M. Reade, Author of Secrets of Hallstead House

I’m delighted to welcome Amy M. Reade to Writing Room 101 today, author of Secrets of Hallstead House. Amy has shared an excerpt with us, which is really exciting. So read on to learn more about her latest release, and don’t forget to show Amy some love in the comments!

MSecrets Of Hallstead House (eBook)acy Stoddard had hoped to ease the grief of losing her parents in a fiery car crash by accepting a job as a private nurse to the wealthy and widowed Alexandria Hallstead. But her first sight of Summerplace is of a dark and forbidding home. She quickly finds its winding halls and shadowy rooms filled with secrets and suspicions. Alex seems happy to have Macy’s help, but others on the island, including Alex’s sinister servants and hostile relatives, are far less welcoming. Watching eyes, veiled threats…slowly, surely, the menacing spirit of Hallstead Island closes in around Macy. And she can only wonder if her story will become just one of the many secrets of Hallstead House…

SECRETS OF

HALLSTEAD HOUSE

by

Amy M. Reade

CHAPTER 1

My journey was almost over.

It was raining, and I looked out through the drizzle across the
blue-gray water of the Saint Lawrence River. Only a few boats were
out on such a raw and rainy day. From the bench where I sat on the
Cape Cartier public dock, I could see several islands. Each was covered
with trees—dark green pine trees and leafy maples, oaks,
birches, and weeping willows. In the chilly late September air, the
leaves were already tinged with the colors of fall: yellows, reds, oranges,
browns. I could glimpse homes on the islands, but I didn’t see
any people. It was beautiful here—so different from the city I had
just left behind.

Even though twenty years have come and gone since that day, I
can still remember the calm that settled around me as I waited for my
ride to Hallstead House in the middle of the Thousand Islands. My
nerves were still ragged, but the river had an immediate and peaceful
effect on me. I was only twenty then, but I had been through so much.
Though I had been traveling for just a few hours, my journey to this
place had begun six long weeks earlier.

As I listened to the raindrops plunk into the river, the sound of the
motor from an approaching boat cut into my reverie. It was an older
boat of gleaming mahogany with a large white awning covering most
of it, protecting the cabin and the pilot from the rain. It puttered up to
the dock slowly and in a few moments had pulled alongside, close to
where I sat. The pilot moved to the stern and climbed out quickly, securing
the boat to the dock with a thick rope. He turned to me with a
questioning look and said, “Macy Stoddard?”

“Yes.”

He shook my hand curtly. “I’m Pete McHale. I work for Alexandria
Hallstead. She sent me here to pick you up. That all the luggage
you brought?”

“Yes, that’s it.”

He shot me a disapproving look and said, “I hope you brought
some warm stuff to wear. It starts getting cold up here pretty early in
the fall. It’s colder here than it is in the big city, you know.” He
smirked.

Determined to stay positive, I ignored his look of reproach and
replied that I had plenty of warm clothes. Once he’d stowed my two
large suitcases in the boat under the awning, he helped me on board,
where I chose a seat in the front so I could see where we were going
and stay dry. I had been in a boat once as a child when a furious storm
blew up, and I had hated boats ever since. Still, though I was unhappy
and nervous to be riding in one, there was absolutely no other way to
get to my island destination. Pete untied the boat and we slowly
pulled away from the dock. As he scanned the river and began turning
the boat to the north, I glanced at his profile. He looked like he was
in his mid-thirties—medium height, with light-brown, windblown
hair, and green eyes with creases in the corners that made it look like
he squinted a lot. He wore faded jeans and a Windbreaker.

When he had steered the boat out of the small, sheltered bay at
Cape Cartier and into the more open channel, he glanced at me and
said, “We’ll be at Summerplace in about ten minutes.”

“Summerplace?”

“That’s the name of the house on Hallstead Island.”

“Oh. I thought it was called Hallstead House.”

“Its official name is Hallstead House. The people who live on the
island just call it Summerplace.”

We sat in silence for several moments, and finally I asked, “Why
is it called Summerplace?”

Pete sighed. Evidently he didn’t relish playing the role of tour
guide. “It’s called Summerplace because it used to be a summer retreat
for the Hallstead family. Now Miss Hallstead stays there for as
much of the year as she can. In early to mid-October she moves the
household over to Pine Island and spends the winter there.”

To keep my mind off my abject fear of being on the water, I turned
my attention to the islands we were passing. Each one had a home on
it, and all of the homes were beautiful. Some looked empty, since
their occupants had probably left after the summer ended, but some
still had boats tied to docks or housed in quaint boathouses. The
homes themselves, most of which were huge and had large, welcoming
porches, were surrounded by the ever-present trees. Several had
bright awnings over the windows.

In the face of Pete’s apparent ambivalence, I had determined not
to ask any more questions. But as I sat looking around me I forgot my
self-imposed rule. “Are there really a thousand islands in this area?”
I blurted out.

“There are actually over eighteen hundred islands in the Thousand
Islands,” he replied. To my surprise, he seemed to warm to this
subject and continued. “In order to be included in the count, an island
has to be above water three hundred and sixty-five days a year and
support at least two living trees.”

I continued to draw him out, asking, “What do you do for Mrs.
Hallstead?”

His attitude changed again, becoming colder. “It’s Miss Hallstead.
She never took her husband’s name.”


2013 1548Amy M. Reade grew up in northern New York. After graduating from college and law school, she practiced law in New York City before moving to southern New Jersey, where she lives now with her husband, three children, dog, two cats, and a fish. She writes full time and is the author of Secrets of Hallstead House, a novel of romantic suspense set in the Thousand Islands region of New York, and The Ghosts of Peppernell Manor, a novel in the same genre set outside Charleston, South Carolina. She is currently working on her third and fourth novels, set in Hawaii and Cape May, New Jersey, respectively. She loves cooking, reading, and traveling.

Amy can be found online at http://www.amymreade.com (website), http://amreade.wordpress.com (blog), http://www.facebook.com/amreadeauthor, and http://www.twitter.com/readeandwrite.


Thanks for stopping by. Until next time.

Mel

Author Interview – Fiona Ingram

Welcome back to the second part of Fiona’s spotlight post. I’d like to share an interview with you, and have included information about Fiona and her work at the bottom of the post as a reminder.

Interview with Fiona Ingram
  1. How do you market your work? What avenues have you found work best?

scarab_cover_webWhen I first began a career as a fiction writer, I knew absolutely nothing about marketing. I thought you wrote a book and people flocked to buy it. I did a lot of research and found a site called Author Marketing Experts. Two great and unforgettable pieces of advice from them are: “Do something every day to market your book, no matter what it is” and “Tell everyone you know about your book because word-of-mouth is the best form of marketing and it’s free!”

  1. How did you choose the genre you write in?

Writing for middle grade readers was a total accident that came about after I went to Egypt with my late mom and my two young nephews, then aged 10 and 12. They really put the magic into exploring a new and exotic location and that sparked my own memories of the childhood magical belief in fantastic possibilities and adventures. I wrote a short story about our escapade in Egypt. It turned into a book and then a book series.

  1. Do you suffer from writers’ block?

Never. If I am not sure about a certain part of the story then I focus on another scene. When I get back to the ‘sticky’ scene, I find the characters have carried on without me and basically sorted out the hurdle.

  1. Do you use an outline or just write?

A combination of both works for me, whatever genre I am writing in. I have an idea, I scribble some basic notes (beginning, middle and ending) and then gradually break it into chapters/scenes, making notes of maybe just a line or 2, and then I get started. Often the story takes me into sub plots I hadn’t even thought of. Sometimes I see whole scenes in my head which may actually happen much later in the book. In my MG book series, I have the outline of every book already done, along with the various important elements that have to appear.

  1. What are you working on right now? Tell us your latest news.

As you know, Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is enjoying its launch (so please tell everyone you know!) but I am about to wrap up Book 3: The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper. I hope that it’ll be published early in 2015 since my artist is forging ahead with the cover and interior graphics. I am about halfway through Book 4: The Cabal of the Ouroboros, also very exciting because a lot of the action takes place underground in the catacombs of Paris. On the international front, my Japanese publisher just sent me print copies of Book 1: The Secret of the Sacred Scarab in Japanese, so hopefully the series will garner some young fans from that country.

  1. What has been the toughest criticism you’ve received, and the best compliment?

So far I haven’t received any tough criticisms, and maybe that’s because children’s books are perceived in a less critical light? Not sure. My best compliments: this is what a few reviewers have said about Book 2: The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. “Ingram brings history alive in her writing…” “Ingram describes her characters and locales in such a vivid way that the reader cannot help but picture themselves right there alongside the cousins.” “Ingram’s storytelling is masterful; she adroitly weaves historical fact and fantasy in a smooth and fluid style that makes reading this book both an exciting and intellectually satisfying treat.”

  1. What is the best piece of advice you’ve been given by another writer?

The best pieces of advice I have ever received are: 1. Never give up. 2. Make sure your book meets the highest levels of the publishing industry’s standards. 3. Tell everyone you know about your book.

  1. Is there any advice you’d like to share?

This advice is for parents. If any readers are parents or have young relatives, the best gift you can give them is a love of reading. Enjoying reading is a learned skill, and a clever parent will encourage an enjoyment of reading by spending just a few minutes a day reading to and with their child. Reading then becomes associated with a pleasurable experience. If your child is a bit older, then encourage them to read anything that interests them, even comics. A child who loves to read will have a wonderful start in life and seek out knowledge on their own later on.

  1. Do you start with character or plot?

Interestingly, it’s a bit of both. Luckily for me, I had my characters more or less settled because they are modelled on real young people. The plot kind of made itself up and has become more complex and interesting with each book. I do write other books in other genres and there I find I just need the germ of an idea and the plot and characters unfold together.

  1. In your words, what defines a good story?

A tale that captures and keeps its audience’s attention from the first to the last page.

  1. What kind of questions do you ask yourself when you get an idea for a project?

Do I have time to include this in the list of things I am already doing…?

***

Ingram

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—The Chronicles of the Stone. This was inspired by a family trip the author took with her mom and two young nephews aged ten and twelve at the time. The book began as a short story for her nephews and grew from there. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a treat for young King Arthur fans. Fiona is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico.

While writing The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Fiona fostered (and later adopted) a young African child from a disadvantaged background. Her daughter became the inspiration for the little heroine, Kim, in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. Interestingly, the fictional character’s background and social problems are reflected in the book as Kim learns to deal with life. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read and to enjoy books also inspired many of her articles on child literacy and getting kids to love reading.

About The Chronicles of the Stone Book Series:

Book One, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab:

scarab_cover_web

Click on the image for purchase information.

A 5000-year-old mystery comes to life when a scruffy peddler gives  Adam and Justin Sinclair an old Egyptian scarab on their very first day in  Egypt. Only when the evil Dr. Faisal Khalid shows a particular interest in the
cousins and their scarab, do the boys realise they are in terrible danger. Dr.  Khalid wants the relic at all costs. Justin and Adam embark upon the adventure  of a lifetime, taking them down the Nile and across the harsh desert in their  search for the legendary tomb of the Scarab King, an ancient Egyptian ruler.  They are plunged into a whirlpool of hazardous and mysterious events when Dr.  Khalid kidnaps them. They learn more about the ancient Seven Stones of Power and the mysterious Shemsu-Hor. They must translate the hieroglyphic clues on the underside of the scarab, as well as rescue the missing archaeologist James  Kinnaird, and their friend, the Egyptologist Ebrahim Faza, before time runs out!

Click on the image for purchase information.

Click on the image for purchase information.

Book Two, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur:

A modern day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds!

Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archaeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur.

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them?

Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped.

Author Spotlight: Fiona Ingram author of The Chronicles of the Stone

scarab_cover_webThe Chronicles of the Stone is an action adventure tale spanning seven books, seven ancient cultures, seven periods in history, seven historical figures and Seven Stones of Power. With such a winning combination of facts and fiction, it is designed to get kids hooked on books, even those reluctant readers. I have loved history and interesting facts since I got my first book on ancient Egypt at a very young age, thanks to my book loving mother. My love of history, travel, ancient cultures and archaeology has found its home in my book series which has five wonderful elements to make it a must-read for young (and young at heart) explorers.

  1. History: History can be absolutely fascinating, as young readers who love books about Egypt (Book 1) and King Arthur (Book 2) will confirm. My young heroes explore various ancient cultures, and their myths and legends, through their journeys to different countries. Each book supplies a wealth of fascinating details that kids just absorb. The books also highlight the need to preserve history and culture as part of the wealth of any nation, as part of their traditions, and what constitutes their heritage.
  2. Geography: Kids love travel stories where the action and adventure take place in new, different, and exotic locales. Since my heroes always get stuck in various dangerous situations, such as being stranded in the jungle in Mexico (and subsequently rescued by an uncontacted tribe), going to different places teaches them about that place, where it is found on the world map, the animals, environment, customs, people, food etc. Locations to look out for are (in book order): Egypt, Britain, Mexico, France, India, Turkey and West Africa.
  3. Archaeology: In exploring past cultures, archaeology is paramount. The young heroes befriend an archaeologist whose ancestor started the ball rolling in AD 1296 by finding an ancient document mentioning the various Stones of Power. Wherever they go in their adventures, my young heroes learn how to discover and preserve the past. Archaeological exploration is all part of unravelling and deciphering the secrets of the past, and this brings me to the next point.
  4. Ancient artifacts: Each Stone of Power is set as a jewel in an ancient artifact, and some are readily recognizable (such as Excalibur, King Arthur’s sword in Book 2), while others relate to real historical artifacts or artifacts in legends. I’ve been very fortunate in finding information about some wonderful ancient artifacts that I have woven into the adventures.
  5. Real Heroes: This was amazingly easy as there are some incredibly interesting historical figures who achieved greatness. This, coupled with their feats and triumphs, has made creating the stories that much easier. Young readers will relish the idea of real heroes who did great deeds. The past truly is a fascinating place.

excalibur front cover final2-2

Hopefully this exciting combination of facts woven into fiction adventures will encourage young readers to research a bit more, to dig into the history books and find out if something really did happen, and if various places and people did exist. They’ll learn so much while having loads of fun.

IngramAbout Fiona Ingram:

Fiona Ingram was born and educated in South Africa, and has worked as a full-time journalist and editor. Her interest in ancient history, mystery, and legends, and her enjoyment of travel resulted in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in her exciting children’s adventure series—The Chronicles of the Stone. This was inspired by a family trip the author took with her mom and two young nephews aged ten and twelve at the time. The book began as a short story for her nephews and grew from there. The Search for the Stone of Excalibur is a treat for young King Arthur fans. Fiona is busy with Book 3 entitled The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper, set in Mexico.

While writing The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, Fiona fostered (and later adopted) a young African child from a disadvantaged background. Her daughter became the inspiration for the little heroine, Kim, in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur. Interestingly, the fictional character’s background and social problems are reflected in the book as Kim learns to deal with life. Fiona’s experiences in teaching her daughter to read and to enjoy books also inspired many of her articles on child literacy and getting kids to love reading.

***

I’m sure you’ll agree that these books sound delightful. There is an adventurer in all of us, and it’s a precious gift to share history with children in a fun and informative way. Join me later this afternoon as I put Fiona in the hot seat, for an interview about her writing processes.

Thanks for stopping by.

Mel

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