Thursday, May 7, 2020

Upcoming Fundraising Anthology: Glimpses of Time and Magic

Today I'm helping to spread the word about a fun 

upcoming anthology for a wonderful cause. 

Glimpses of Time and Magic

$3.99 and all proceeds go to Feed My Starving Children


History is quite a fascinating thing. We know the stories that have been told to us since we were children, but there are secrets…Magical secrets that are desperate to be revealed.

Pompeii was a tragedy the world will never forget, but what really caused the volcanic eruption that ended it all?

Why was the great sword Excalibur really destroyed?

The rolling hills of Victorian England seem peaceful enough, but what secrets really lurk there?

And would it surprise you that there are darker secrets in Ancient Rome than people ever dreamed? If the Great Fog of London isn’t what it seems?

You think you know Harry Houdini, but do you know the man behind all the tricks?

And what if Roanaoke runs deeper than you could ever imagine?

Could Ireland’s potato famine really be caused by a mage gone mad?

What if a ghost ship off the coast of England was more than a phantom?

Want to find out the secrets behind each of these stories? Read nine exciting tales where history and magic collide from authors Michaela Baker, James Quinlan Meservy, Ariel Paiement, Joshua Reid, Alicia Scarborough, Maria Vermisoglou, Joanna White, Kandi Wyatt, and Sara Zagorski.


Release Date:

July 28, 2020

Tell me a bit about this anthology.
Glimpses of Time and Magic was put together by Ariel Paiement and Joanna White. They wanted to have a historical fantasy collection to sell to raise money for a charity. The book covers eight different historical time periods, putting a twist on the history you know. Travel to ancient Rome or Ireland right before the potato famine. Discover what happened to Pompeii and Houdini. The stories you think you know just might have a bit of magic thrown in.

Tell me a bit about the fundraiser and why it matters to you.
The idea behind the anthology was to raise money for a charity. As a group we decided on Feed My Starving Children. The organization provides food for children in impoverished areas by providing them with a “manna pack”. These packs are put together by individuals and then sent out to the children.

I voted for this organization, because they believe in more than feeding the body. They also focus on the spiritual aspect of the children and families. This made me feel comfortable giving to them.

If you could travel in time, would you go to the past or the future? Where would you go and why?
Hm, good question. I’d love to visit the medieval times, but then again, I know it wasn’t the best. Seeing Jesus would be amazing! Maybe travel to a Bible story and witness it first hand. That would be really fun, but I bet my expectations would be blown out of the water—maybe even in a bad way. Often my idea of what something was like isn’t anything near what it was like.

Tell me a bit about your story in the anthology and your inspiration.
I wrote The Apprentice of Amadan Dubh. When asked to join the anthology, I wondered what timeframe to use. As I debated, I was sucked back into the black hole of my family tree. My great-aunt wrote out a book about my dad’s family, and I’ve gained her fascination with discovering our ancestors and their possible stories. There’s one in particular that I can’t find information on. My aunt says that Patrick Maher settled in Westerlo, NY, after journeying here from Ireland. We don’t know when he came over, only that he died in 1863 and had his first son in 1825 while in Westerlo.

So, I thought, why not write my own history of Patrick. I threw in magic and some family health issues and wrote the tale of a young boy who loves the flow of magic under his toes. When the mage takes him as an apprentice, he’s on cloud nine, but when the mage presents a dark magic, Paddy will have to determine if it’s worth losing everything dear to him.

I chose 1820, Knockarley as the setting because I found a census that has a Patrick Maher living there along with a younger Patrick Maher. The townspeople are from that census document. It was fun to explore and dream of what it would have been like to be Paddy. When we created the cover image for my story, I used my son, who loves his Irish heritage, as Paddy.

Monday, May 4, 2020

If She Had Stayed: Book Review

If She Had StayedIf She Had Stayed by Diane Byington
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

Thoroughly enjoyed this story about regret, what we'd do differently if we got a second chance, and learning lessons the hard way sometimes. If you are a fan of Tesla, you will be thrilled at how he is woven throughout the story. I could have done without the detailed sex scenes, however. They felt out of place with the style of the rest of the story, and I kept thinking what a great book it would be for even middle school classrooms (all the fun what-if assignments!) without becoming so graphic. Sometimes fade to breakfast is best. I still enjoyed the read and stayed up to get through the last chapters. Very suspenseful!

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Saturday, April 18, 2020

Happy 13th Birthday to Hiro and Kimba

Today is Hiro and Kimba's 13 birthday!! Happy Birthday, girls!! We will celebrate with some extra playtime and treats, but you can always join the fun by grabbing a copy of their books for only $6 or $7 dollars and free shipping right now. They love it when folks read about them.

Here's to another year ahead for these very spoiled and much-loved felines. 

Wednesday, April 1, 2020

Read Aloud for "Max's Wild Night"

Stuck at home and bored? Let me read to you from my best seller Max's Wild Night! Just tap here to go to the YouTube playlist for this specific book. Enjoy!

And don't forget that you can get a copy of this book for only $5 right now at my paperback sale. Only at my online store (not Amazon). All paperbacks of my children's books are $5-$7 now with free shipping. It's a quarantine special! Take advantage and stay at home reading.

Tuesday, March 24, 2020

Sanditon Book Review

Sanditon: Jane Austen's Last Novel CompletedSanditon: Jane Austen's Last Novel Completed by Jane Austen
My rating: 4 of 5 stars

I'm glad I read this after seeing the butcher job on PBS. Shame on Andrew Davies for making it sound like Jane Austen actually wrote all the sex and nonsense he put on the screen. About the only thing he got right was the name of the characters and the location. Charlotte is as rational as Miss Lizzy and never speaks horribly out of turn. Sidney is charming and delightful and never scowls. Miss Lambe has nothing to do with Sidney at all, is shy and retiring, described as half-mulatto and "pale" at one point, and nothing about slavery is involved at all. Sanditon is not in financial crisis, though Lady Denham is very much the same rich and selfish character.

This version was finished in 1975 by "Another Woman," who did an excellent job of capturing Austen's style and how the rest of the story would have logically played out. I would love to see THIS version on PBS.

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Saturday, March 14, 2020

Spring Book Sale Begins

My original plan for this post was to let you know that my online store has fully transferred from PayPal to Square, but life has gotten more interesting than that in the last week. Even in Arkansas, where we are pretty spread out in the first place, events are cancelling and theaters are closing. School locally is still in session because we have not had a COVID-19 case in the area, but that could change any moment. In light of all the families who are suddenly finding themselves at home with many normal events and activities closed, I've started my Spring Book Sale now and reduced prices as much as I can.

At my YouTube channel, I already have old videos of me reading all of the first edition of Why Kimba Saved The World, so maybe that can give parents and teachers a break along the way too. It's a little clunky to navigate because each chapter is a separate video, but it should all be there. If you have a newer edition of the book (with vocabulary in the back) you may notice some text is different here and there. See if you can find the changes!

As I mentioned earlier, shopping for autographed paperbacks and hardcovers should be easier now that I've updated to a Square store. All paperbacks are on sale right now at my lowest event prices through my store, though you will have to pay shipping. Amazon will not allow me to set prices that low (though I notice they have some paperbacks and hardcovers discounted on their own), so make sure you are going through the store link to find paperbacks for $7 or $8 for my kidlit and $11 for At the Corner of Magnetic and Main. 

If you'd like to pick up discounted copies of my ebooks, here's some links for you:

Why Kimba Saved The World  FREE  (sites other than Amazon)

All at 99 cents until May 16th at least:

Why Kimba Saved The World (Amazon has the hardcover for $14.08)

Vacation Hiro

Miss Fatty Cat's Revenge (Amazon has the hardcover for $7.68 right now!!)

Slinky Steps Out

Kimba's Christmas

Max's Wild Night

Dottie's Daring Day

Bianca: The Brave Frail and Delicate Princess

And visit your library, if it's still open, and stock up on all the books you can. Anything by Sharon Creech or Natalie Lloyd is top on my list. Stay safe, and happy reading until the world gets back to a bit of normalcy.

Kimba thinks staying at home is the purrfectest way to live.

Monday, March 9, 2020

Book Review: Crossover

The CrossoverThe Crossover by Kwame Alexander
My rating: 5 of 5 stars

After the first few pages I determined I was just too old and to WASPy to properly enjoy this book. Then I read a few more pages, to get to the end of the section. But that ended in a place I couldn't stop, so I read the next section. Then I finished it in one sitting and cried at the end. Not too WASPy after all.

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