Monday, 28 November 2016

YA author HL Carpenter's Glass is Always Half-Full...

by HL Carpenter
Image source: Roger McLassus 1951 assumed (based on copyright claims).
The utility worker who knocked on the door handed over a green sheet of paper and a bit of unexpected news. Due to a leak, the water main supplying water to our house had to be repaired. The water would be shut off for at least six hours, and we'd be under a "boil water" advisory for a minimum of two days following the repair.

Given the severity of water issues suffered by others, the brief interruption in our service was nothing more than a minor inconvenience. And yet every time we reached for the faucet to fill a glass, we were reminded of how much we take for granted in our everyday lives.

The hero of our book, Pirate Summer, learns a similar lesson when she travels back in time two hundred years to save her brother. Josey's thirsty, dirty, and surrounded by "water, water, everywhere, nor any drop to drink," as the old poem goes. And – horror of horrors – her cell phone doesn't work either.

Like Josey, we've developed a new appreciation for the value of daily desiderata. Clean water, abundant food, a safe, warm home, people we can trust and believe in, and who trust and believe in us — we are fortunate indeed, and these days we make a point of taking time to recognize and acknowledge what we once might not have noticed.

What about you? What are you taking for granted? We look forward to reading your comments.

Fifteen year old Josey is a liar. She’d like to stop. But after Mom left, the lies started popping out, like the time Josey left her little brother at the library and told Dad he’d run away.

Then Josey meets a boy who tells bigger whoppers than she does. He says he’s the son of a privateer who’s been dead two centuries. He’s so convincing Josey’s brother believes every word and sets off to find the privateer’s hidden treasure.

When her brother disappears, Josey is sure she knows where he's gone. But everyone thinks she's lying again. Everyone, that is, except the so-called privateer’s son. He knows she’s telling the truth because jeweled riches are only part of his tale. There’s also the snooperscope, a device that makes time leaps possible, like the one that brought him to the present.

The story is fantastical...and yet Josey will do anything to save her brother, including traveling back in time two hundred years with a boy she can’t trust.

 Amazon Buy Link

Florida-based mother/daughter author duo HL Carpenter write sweet, clean fiction that is suitable for everyone in your family. The Carpenters write from their studios in Carpenter Country, a magical place that, like their stories, is unreal but not untrue. When they’re not writing, they enjoy exploring the Land of What-If and practicing the fine art of Curiosity. Visit their website to enjoy gift reads and excerpts and to find out what’s happening in Carpenter Country.

Stay connected on Pinterest, Linkedin, Google+, and their Amazon Author Page.

Monday, 21 November 2016

Book Tour: The Time Traveller's Resort & Museum by David McLain...

New Release by David McLain!

Title: The Time Traveller's Resort and Museum

Author Name: David McLain

Illustrator: Felix Eddy

Genre(s): Time Travel, Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure, Romance, Comedy, Steampunk

Release Date: November 17, 2016

Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing 

Follow the Tour:

Guest post by David McLaine: San Tiempo Community Events Calendar...

                Thank you for listening to XYXY 199.99 FM, San Tiempo’s one and only public radio station, supported by time traveller’s from all centuries, bringing news and information to everyone in the Time Travelling community, and if there’s anyone else listening, I can tell you that our plan to kill Hitler is underway! For you who don’t know me, my name is Hadron Wessex, and up next we’ve got the San Tiempo Community Events Calendar.

                The H P Lovecraft Centre will be hosting a talk on paradoxical biology this Sunday, November 20th at eleven pm. Focus will be on horns, wings, and tentacles. Refreshments will be served. Let’s hope they don’t have calamari.

                The 23rd annual 4th dimensional chess championship will begin on Tuesday the 22nd at the San Tiempo YMCA. Players of all ages are invited to attend. Please bring your own chess set and anti-gravitational boots.

                The 1938 New York Yankees will be playing a charity pick-up game against the 2438 Somerset Cricket Club, on November the 23rd at 9 pm at Charles Taylor field, proceeds going to widows and orphans of the second world war.

                And they said it would never happen, but the Beatles will be reuniting on November the 26th, for a benefit at the museum of the Time Traveller’s. Opening act is Beethoven. Hope you’ve got your tickets everyone, because this one is sold out.

                If you can’t catch that, you may want to catch the dinosaur photography exhibit, that’s going on all month long in the museums biology wing. Tickets are available to purchase in almost all major currencies.

                And it’s the End of the World as We Know it and I Feel Fine! Folktales from various future dystopia’s can be heard on Monday, November 28th at the Ninth Street Coffeehouse. All Major Religions are encouraged to attend, but may leave disappointed.

                November the 30th Will be opening night for the Art Theatre’s Classic Film Festival: Movies from the twenty first century, with a discussion afterwards entitled: Marvel Comic Book Movies, Why the hell were these guys so obsessed?

                If art is your thing, why not check out the 3d impressionist exhibit going on now through November 31st in the Time Travel Museum’s Fine Art Gallery. The focus is on 33rd through 38th century painters, and their selection of walking paintings is absolutely spectacular.

                Finally, on the 32nd of November, the Veterans of Fictional Wars will be holding their annual Spaghetti Dinner and Balloonfest at their hall at 5 PM. Everyone is invited to attend.
                That’s it for our community calendar. If you have a community event you’d like us to broadcast, please send a telepathic message to our community events organizer. Up next we’ll being hearing an hour of classical rap.  Stay with us, we’ll be right back.   

About The Time Traveller's Resort and Museum:

“If you need to know men's secrets
Or if there's something you need to find 
If you want to see the dinosaurs 
Or the insides of your mind.
If you want to watch the earth begin,
Or see what the apocalypse will leave behind,
You need to thank Alice Anderson,
For Alice is the mother of time.”

That was how the rhyme went. Every time traveler knew it. Everyone that is, except of course, for Alice herself, since she hadn’t invented time travel yet. Since returning to London, Alice’s life has been turned upside down. She’s been accused of murder and lost her position in the scientific community. Her only ally in this journey is a strange man who seems to think that Alice may be about to open up a strange new world of possibilities, but is probably not telling her everything he knows.

Read an Excerpt:

“Hello,” Alice said, with a certain degree of reluctant enthusiasm.

“You sound American,” an annoyed voice on the other end of the line said.

Alice dropped her bag. “I've been in New York for three years,” Alice said. “You're lucky I don't sound like I'm from the Bronx.”

It was Alice's sister, Wendy, giving what by her standards was a remarkably warm and friendly greeting. “You're lucky I don't steal your passport while you’re here and force you to teach Electrical Engineering at the University of the Orkneys. Electrical Engineering, that's what you do, isn't it?”

“You do realize that I just spent an entire evening in a metal tube, sitting on a very small seat that appeared to have been made from rocks confiscated from terrorists at security?”

“Terrorists use rocks these days?”

“Well, they're harder to spot going through metal detectors, aren't they?”

Ending a sentence with a question apparently sounded appropriately British and Wendy seemed to ease up a little.

“How was the flight, then?” she asked.

“I believe I aged three years,” Alice answered, looking for the way to the exit. “Do you want to have a drink?”

“Is that a rhetorical question?”

“In America, it's considered polite to ask.”

“I believe that the University of the Orkneys has early tenure.”

Wendy took pride in her absolute loathing of all things American. She saw Alice's decampment to New York as nothing less than a complete betrayal.

“Would you mind if we met in at my hotel?” Alice asked, trying to sound as if this were a polite request and not a desperate plea.

“I don't know,” Wendy said. “There aren't going to be a lot of randy outer-space types there, are there?”

“It's an astronomy conference,” Alice insisted. “Not a Sci-Fi convention.”

There was the unmistakable sound of pursing lips on the other end of the phone. “What hotel are you staying at?” Wendy asked.

“The Kensington.”

Wendy thought about it. “I'll meet you, but let's meet somewhere else. There's a pub down that way that I've had my eye on.”


“I have to drive in all the way from Brixton. You can walk a hundred metres out of the hotel lobby.”

Alice sighed. She decided not to point out that in fact she had come quite a bit farther than hundred meters. “What's the name of the place?” she asked.

“The Gristle and Thorn,” Wendy said.

Alice spotted the word “EXIT” on the far side of the hall. “Couldn't find any place with a ghastlier name? Was the ‘Skull and Crossbones’ already booked?”

“Just meet me,” Wendy insisted, and for a moment, she did her best to sound kind. “I've missed you.”

It has been said that all journeys begin with a single step, and while it might seem that Alice's journey began all the way back at JFK, in actuality the first step of Alice's journey began with a decision. It was not a big decision, not the kind of thing that would strike a historian as a significant chapter in the decline and fall of the Western Empire, but for Alice Anderson, it was the equivalent of crossing the Rubicon. It was the simplest thing really – a choice of restaurants.

“The Gristle and Thorn it is,” Alice said, picking up her bag again and shuffling through the crowd.

Meet the Author:

David McLain is the author of the two novels: Dragonbait, and The Life of a Thief. His stories have been published in the anthologies Metastasis, Penny Dread II, and the Doctor Who Anthology Time Shadows, as well as over two dozen magazines. He has been featured on NPR's Off the Page and the History of England podcast. He lives in New York.

Connect with David McLain: 

Meet the Illustrator: 

Felix Eddy graduated Magnum Cum Laude from Alfred University. She is the author and illustrator of A Bestiary Alphabet, and has illustrated several book covers and children's books. You can find out more about her at

Purchase Links:







Monday, 14 November 2016

Book Review: She Dreamed of Dragons by Elizabeth J. M. Walker…

If you enjoy stories filled with magic, mystical characters, and supernatural new worlds, then Elizabeth J. M. Walker’s book about a teen-age dragon mage looking for acceptance may be just up your alley. I found this story filled with enchanting characters and had a bewitching take on books written about schools for witches, wizards, mages, and things that go bump in the night.

So what’s my take on a story that’s all about trying to win a Royal Tourney to become the successor to the throne using magical powers and prowess? This is what I posted on Amazon and Goodreads…

4 Star Sorcery! Elizabeth J. M. Walker works her magic from the very first chapter!

She Dreamed of Dragons is reminiscent of JK Rowling’s Harry Potter series with a dash of JRR Tolkien thrown in the mix. Walker doesn’t just create another young adult witches and wizards at school tale, rather she spins an entire tapestry of the world of Dorlith, and their dire need for a successor to the throne.

Trina, a fiery dragon mage, is chosen from her mage school to attend, and hopefully win, the Royal Tourney. What she doesn’t realize is that she must face many obstacles and challenges, including trying to get witches and wizards to accept mages back into their society. A fun, fantastical read that will have you cheering for the underdog again and again.

About the Book:

Trina is a fifteen-year-old dragon mage in a kingdom ruled by witches and wizards – the same people who have brought dragons and other magical creatures near extinction. Trina can barely control her fire powers and is desperate for an apprenticeship, but finding a fellow dragon mage to be her teacher is proving more difficult than coming across an actual dragon.

Then there’s the Royal Tourney – a competition presented by the Queen to find a successor to the throne. Trina heads to the competition in the hopes of sparking some interest in the mage society and earning herself an apprenticeship.

She never intended to be a frontrunner in the competition.

She never meant to catch the attention of the evil witch trying to take over the throne.

She never expected to fall for a wizard.

Now Trina must face tough decisions about who she is and who she could become. Trina must ask herself: Can she really win the Royal Tourney?

Purchase Links:

Amazon Kindle - US -

Amazon Paperback - US -

Mirror World Publishing -

Barnes & Noble -

Meet the Author:

Elizabeth J. M. Walker lives in Windsor, Ontario, Canada. She has always loved books and writing. As a teen she discovered zines, which inspired her to publish her own litzine of odd fairy tales for over a decade.

She Dreamed of Dragons is her first novel.

Connect with Elizabeth J.M. Walker:


Amazon US: 

Goodreads Author Page:
Publisher Website: 

Author Website:

Monday, 7 November 2016

What it’s Like to Write a Real Person’s Story by Carol Browne...

I want to welcome friend and fellow author, Carol Browne for sharing her experience for what it's like to walk in another person's shoes. In my novel, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, my time travel characters are whisked back to Amsterdam during World War Two. You can imagine the amount of research that went into this book, so when Carol recently had the opportunity to give a Holocaust survivor a voice, and tell her story, I jumped at the chance to have her on my blog. Here's Carol's journey on writing this poignant biography...

When I volunteered to write the life story of local woman, Krystyna Porsz, I was a very reluctant biographer. I did it because no-one else could be found to do it, so I thought, “If I don’t do it, no-one will.” It seemed far too big a responsibility to me but I told Krystyna’s son I’d give it a go, even though I was convinced I wasn’t up to the job. I write fiction. I make stuff up. I assumed non-fiction would be completely different.

It turned out not to be so different after all. Although I had the facts of Krystyna’s life, they amounted to a few sheets of A4 paper, hardly enough material for a book. So I had to build a structure to hang those facts on, very much like creating a plot for a work of fiction. My friend Agnieszka had visited Krystyna on two occasions and I used her as a narrative device, so we see the story unfold through her eyes. This gave me much more opportunity to pad out the text while still being true to the available facts.

Writers of fiction know that characters are apt to take on a life of their own. They seem real to their creators and as authors we want to portray them in their best light. When you are writing a real person’s story, this becomes vitally important. The sense of responsibility the author feels is magnified. For me, writing about Krystyna, it was off the scale; here was a very old lady whose ability to communicate was seriously hampered by dementia. There wouldn’t be any chance of being able to discuss the book with her. There wouldn’t be any feedback. While I was writing the book, I kept thinking, “If this were my life story, would I be happy with how it’s being handled?” That was my benchmark all the time and I’m confident I kept to it.

Writing a real person’s story seems to provide you with a ready-made plot but you can’t simply make the book a record of the events in someone’s life. That would be dull. You still have a responsibility towards the reader to make it as compelling as possible so they want to keep reading, but you mustn’t sensationalise the facts to do that; this is someone’s life you are dealing with and you have to keep that in mind.

Third-party involvement can cause problems too, and in this case it held up the book for several months. This just doesn’t happen with make-believe characters and so I wasn’t expecting it and it was very frustrating. However, it hasn’t deterred me from tackling anything similar in the future because I now know I must address issues such as these before I commit myself.

Writing a real person’s story is a challenge. It’s hard work. But I recommend it, especially if that person’s life is drastically different from your own. It’s an enlightening experience. It will broaden your mind and test your ability as a writer. It will give you the opportunity to write something that really deserves to be written. I only met Krystyna once but I made a point of shaking her hand before I left. I needed to physically touch someone who had survived the Holocaust, who had lived a history I had only read about or seen on black and white newsreels. Krystyna Porsz is a truly brave person. A survivor. I’m grateful not only to have met her, but to have had the honour of telling her story.

Look for Being Krystyna, releasing from Dilliebooks, on Amazon this winter.

Blurb: Being Krystyna

In 2012 when young Polish immigrant Agnieszka visits fellow countrywoman Krystyna in a Peterborough care home for the first time, she thinks it a simple act of kindness. However, the meeting proves to be the beginning of a life-changing experience.
Krystyna’s stories about the past are not memories of the good old days but recollections of war-ravaged Europe: The Warsaw Ghetto, Pawiak Prison, Ravensbrück Concentration Camp, and a death march to freedom.
The losses and ordeals Krystyna suffered and what she had to do to survive are horrors Agnieszka must confront when she volunteers to be Krystyna’s biographer.
Will Agnieszka be able to keep her promise to tell the story, and, in this harrowing memoir of survival, what is the message for us today?

Buy Links:

Carol Browne regards Crewe, Cheshire, as her home town and graduated from Nottingham University in 1976 with an honors degree in English Language and Literature. Carol writes speculative fiction, non-fiction, and poetry. She is also a ghost blog writer, proofreader, copy editor, and copywriter. Along with a passion for gardening, Carol is an avid animal lover.

Carol lives in the Cambridgeshire countryside with her dog, Harry, and cockatiel, Sparky. Pagan and vegan, Carol believes it is time for a paradigm shift in our attitude to Mother Nature and hopes the days of speciesism are numbered.

Stay connected with Carol on her website and blog, Facebook, and Twitter.

Monday, 31 October 2016

YA Author Leigh Goff Works her Magic in the Kitchen and on the Pages...

Leigh Goff is here with a delicious Halloween treat that can be adapted for any special occasion. Work your magic, Leigh! I came across this fun recipe on the internet, tried it, and loved it. I hope you do, too.

Melted Witch Pudding Parfaits
Vanilla Snack Pack pudding cups
Green food coloring
Brownies, crumbled into smaller pieces
Oreos, crushed
Reddi Whip Whipped cream
Halloween sprinkles

Dye the vanilla Snack Pack pudding cups green. This can be done in each individual pudding container or transfer all of the pudding to a bowl and then add the green food coloring until you get your desired color. Set aside.

Assembling the Parfaits
Layer brownie pieces in the bottom of each glass. Divide the brownie pieces evenly among the parfaits.

Spoon on a layer of whipped cream.
Add the crushed Oreos.

Ladle the pudding on, filling each glass full.

Add Halloween sprinkles and top with the witch's legs.

For best results, enjoy these parfaits within a few minutes of making, otherwise the ingredients can become soggy.

Witch's Legs
paper straws
black paper

Cut paper straws desired length, about 4½ inches long. HINT - don’t cut them too short or you won’t have enough straw to stick into your parfait.

On one end of your paper straw, make two small slits across from each other, this is where will you put the shoe. Repeat this process until all the legs are assembled.

Draw shoes on the black paper, cut out, and then insert in the slits on the straws.

How about a glimpse into my witchy novel while you enjoy your parfait?

In Disenchanted, Sophie Goodchild is a sixteen-year-old witch living with her eccentric aunt in the small town of Wethersfield, Connecticut—the sight of the first American Witch Trials. She is descended from a powerful black witch, but struggles with her erratic white magic while dealing with a mean girl witch clique known as the Glitterati, who love to make Sophie feel like she is less than they are.

Sophie is beautiful with wild waves of sable-colored hair, eyes the color of dark blue sapphires, and heart-shaped pillowy lips. More importantly, she is beautiful on the inside, although she hides it well behind her impatience and impetuousness, which makes her very relatable.

It is those heart-strong characteristics that lead her into trouble, and since she is ruled by her heart, she’s all in once she finds trouble. She is fiercely loyal, determined, and fearless and there is nothing she wouldn’t do or sacrifice for the ones she loves, especially when she learns of the true love curse her ancestor cast on the Mather family.

When Judge Mather, a descendant of the reverend who condemned Sophie’s witch ancestor to hang, finds out his handsome son (who has recently returned to Wethersfield with a sexy British accent and a face that could melt a black witch’s heart) has fallen hard for Sophie, things get even more dangerous for her. Dark secrets come to light and impossible choices are made as Sophie sacrifices everything, including her soul to save her forbidden true love.

Buy Links: Mirror World Publishing - Amazon

Leigh Goff loves writing young adult fiction with elements of magic and romance because it's also what she liked to read. Born and raised on the East Coast, she now lives in Maryland where she enjoys the area's great history and culture.

Leigh is a graduate of the University of Maryland, University College and a member of the Maryland Writers' Association and Romance Writers of America. She is also an approved artist with the Maryland State Arts Council. Her debut novel, Disenchanted, was inspired by the Wethersfield witches of Connecticut and was released by Mirror World Publishing. Leigh is currently working on her next novel, The Witch's Ring which is set in Annapolis.

Learn more about Leigh Goff on her website and blog. Stay connected on Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, and Goodreads.

Monday, 24 October 2016

Get Ready for Halloween with JoAnne Keltner's Goth Girl, Virgin Queen Book Blog Tour...

Welcome to the 2-week blog tour for Goth Girl, Virgin Queen by JoAnne Keltner.

Follow the tour and connect with bloggers, read reviews of the book, and meet the author.

How to Carve a Pumpkin that Will Scare (but not repulse) Trick or Treaters

What better way to invite Trick or Treaters to your doorstep than with a carved Halloween pumpkin. But if you’re like me—unable to draw a straight line with ruler and better skilled at carving a pumpkin for deer feed—you’ll benefit from this trick I discovered that can help you create a Jack-O-Lantern that’s horrific in a good Halloween way. The trick: use stencils! The treat: you’ll have a carved pumpkin to be proud of!

Where to Find Stencils

Free is always better...well, at least if you’re trying to go cheap. I discovered several sites from which you can download free stencils (patterns). Below are just a few of the sites I downloaded patterns from:
!         Pumpkin Masters:

Before downloading a file from any website, make sure it’s a reputable site and that you have virus detection software installed and running on your computer!

If downloading files from the Internet frightens you, you can always buy the stencils from a store like Wal-Mart, Target, or Party City or from an online store like Amazon. Stencils are sold as part of pumpkin carving kits and are also sold separately.

Keep in mind that unlike downloadable stencils, which are just patterns, most purchased stencils have the image cut out or are perforated so you can cut the image out yourself; hence, they are actual stencils. This allows you to trace the features onto the pumpkin with a marker instead of having to poke tiny holes into the pattern and pumpkin to transfer the image.

Tools You’ll Need

!         Stencil or pattern
!         Small nail or poking tool (if using a pattern)
!        Marker (if using stencil)
!        Scraper
!        Pumpkin carving saw or small serrated knife
!        Tape
!        Newspaper

How to Apply Image and Carve the Pumpkin

1.) Cover your worktable with newspaper.

2.) With the pumpkin carving tool or small serrated knife, cut a circle around the stem of the pumpkin wide enough to fit your hand into. This circle, complete with stem, will later serve as a lid. So, when you cut out the circle, cut at a slight angle toward the stem as this will help keep the lid from falling into the pumpkin.

3.) Clean the seeds and goo out of the pumpkin using the scraper tool. You can use a big spoon to scrape the insides out or use the scraper tool that came with the kit. Dump the goo and seeds onto the newspaper for easy clean up or into a bowl if you plan on making pumpkin seeds.

4.) Tape the stencil or pattern onto the pumpkin. Be sure that the outside of the pumpkin is clean and dry so that the tape will stick to it, and be sure that the stencil or pattern lies flatly across the curved surface of the pumpkin.

5.) If using actual stencil, use the marker to trace the image onto the pumpkin. If using a pattern, use the poking tool by inserting the tool into the design to transfer the drawing. Holes should be spaced about 1/4" apart.

6.) Remove the stencil or pattern from the pumpkin.

7.) Use the carving saw or small serrated knife to cut along the drawn or perforated lines on the pumpkin.

8.) Proudly display your carved pumpkin!

Here’s a picture of my finished product. For the cat cutout, I used a kit, and for the Jack-O-Lantern cutout, I used a free pattern from The Pumpkin Lady website and a small nail to poke the holes for the image. Not too shabby, eh?

Book Information:

Title: Goth Girl, Virgin Queen

Author Name: JoAnne Keltner

Genre(s): Young Adult Paranormal

Length: Approx. 298 pages

Release Date: December 3, 2015

About Goth Girl, Virgin Queen:

Calling Jackie Turov psychic makes her cringe. But Jackie’s no normal seventeen-year-old. She picks up emotions from people and objects like a freak. The emotions make her sick, and the guilt she feels for lying to her church when she was twelve causes her to deny her psychic abilities.

So Jackie goes goth to make others stay away from her and forget her past. But her past is soon resurrected when her jealous friend Trish invites a demon, a persecutor of healers, to steal away Jason’s love for Jackie. The demon causes Jackie to be bullied for the lie she told and puts her best friend, Jason, in danger.

Jackie must learn how to use her gift to protect Jason and herself and to heal the negative energies of those around her. To do so means she must overcome her guilt and accept who she is before the demon claims her soul.

Enter the Goodreads Giveaway:

Read an Excerpt:

The medicine cabinet mirror—dotted with rust and turning gray—made the powder foundation on Jackie’s face look ashen and her jet-black hair, blurry. She looked like a shadow of a girl. She smeared black lipstick on her lips and shook out her shoulder-length hair. Her straight-cut bangs veiled her mascara-lined eyes, and the layered ends of her hair stuck out in defiant wisps.

Some of the kids at school—the ones she didn’t hang out with—called her Goth Girl. Some, whose memories wouldn’t die, called her VQ for Virgin Queen.

Jackie preferred Goth Girl, to be one of the living dead, to be numb to the emotions that plagued her. But this was what she wanted, not what she got.

Goth Girl or Virgin Queen, she was a freak, absorbing the emotions around her like a sponge. Sometimes the emotions made her sick. Sometimes they made her see things.

Because of this, she kept to a tight-knit group of goth friends—Jason, Zeta, and Trish—and avoided social activities. She attended high school only because Mom wouldn’t let her homeschool. Mom was afraid she’d hang with Babu all day, making piroshki and doing needlepoint instead of studying. Jackie, afraid of what life offered a freak like her beyond high school, had to admit that hanging with Babu all day was tempting.

Typically, Fridays were movie nights for Jason and her, but tonight would be different. Tonight, she’d subject herself to a hodgepodge of emotions from crowds and rides and the very ground she’d walk on to protect Jason. For this, she would need physical and spiritual strength, which she sought from Babu these days.

Babu’s door was cracked, and Jackie slowly pushed the door open. “Babu?”

The room smelled of beeswax and down. A candle burned on the shrine on the dresser. The flickering flame animated the icon of the Virgin of Vladimir and cast shadows across the picture of Babu, Grandma, Mom, and Jackie. Although Babu didn’t speak English, and Jackie didn’t understand much Russian, Jackie knew Babu kept that picture on her shrine to pray for Grandma, who passed away several years ago; for Mom, who divorced Dad; and for the girl who saw the Virgin when she was twelve—for the girl she had become as a teen.

Babu sat in bed, a country quilt spread over her legs, her thumb pressed against a knot of her prayer rope, her head bowed sleepily, and her lips wording prayers.

“I wanted to say goodbye,” Jackie whispered.

Babu crossed herself and then smiled at Jackie, her gold eyetooth shining from the light of the bed-stand lamp. She patted the empty space beside her. “Sadees.”

Jackie sat down beside Babu at the edge of the bed and took Babu’s hand in hers. Babu’s hand was warm and knotted with arthritis. Jackie rubbed her thumb over the bumps on Babu’s knuckles; her black fingernails were a sharp contrast to Babu’s flour-white skin.

She wasn’t afraid to touch Babu’s hands and absorb her emotions. Jackie got a good feeling from her. Babu filled Jackie’s inner vision with white light. She renewed her spirit. And this is what Jackie needed for the commitment she had made for tonight.

Kooda eedyosh?” Babu asked.

“I’m going out,” Jackie said as if Babu understood her. This is how they communicated: Babu telling her stuff she couldn’t understand, Jackie telling Babu stuff she couldn’t understand. Somehow they carried on fine this way.

Eedyosh sdroozyamee?”

“I’m going with Jason.”

Babu rubbed the top of Jackie’s hand and ran her thumb over black fingernails. “Fsyevo kharoshevuh,” she said in a comforting tone and gently squeezed Jackie’s hand. Then she cupped her hands around Jackie’s jaws and pulled her forehead to her lips. Jackie imagined Babu’s kiss imprinted on her forehead and carrying Babu’s blessings and love with her tonight.
Meet the Author:

JoAnne Keltner is the author of Goth Girl, Virgin Queen (Solstice Publishing, 2015) and Obsession (Musa Publishing, 2013 ed.). As an only child and avid daydreamer, she spent hours alone in her backyard on the South Side of Chicago, which she imagined to be everything from an alien planet to the Antarctic. She currently lives in Raleigh, North Carolina, with her husband, four dogs, cat, and three chickens. When she isn't writing or freelance editing, she's obsessively streaming popular TV shows.

Social Media Links:

Monday, 17 October 2016

Fire up those Time Portals for The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret...

Well, it’s finally here! Book release day for The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret through Mirror World Publishing. There’s a Facebook Party happening today from 4-6 p.m., so if you get a chance, I’d love for you to surf by and get to know me, and even enter for a chance to win some awesome prizes. Plus, I’ve hooked up with Sapphyria’s Book Promotions for a virtual book blog tour starting today, October 17th to October 21st, so I’m pumped about that! And as an added bonus, I’ve got one signed first edition paperback up for grabs through my Goodreads Giveaway starting October 17 to November 11th.

I also want to include what I have written for the Dedication and Acknowledgements section in The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret because it’s so important to be grateful to those people who have supported me throughout this particular venture, and will most likely continue to do so in the future. So, without further ado, here’s the icing on my proverbial cake:

For my brother, Ian. I am truly grateful to have gotten to know you better during the last two years of your life. Until we meet again, please reserve a glass of scotch for me.

As always, life is a team effort, and nothing is done without the help and support of others. The following people are in some way connected to the fabric of this work, to which I am eternally grateful:

Thank you to Justine Alley Dowsett, my fabulous boss at Mirror World Publishing, editor extraordinaire, and now one kick-ass book cover artist! I applaud you for keeping the vision of my young adult time travel series intact and unique, and I truly appreciate your support, investment, and creative expertise. Also, a big high five to Robert Dowsett, our resident expert on anything Double-O-Seven. Cheers, mate!

Thank you to my mother Peggy, who experienced World War Two first hand as a young girl, and survived to pass down her many war stories. And always, thank you to my hubby Mike, who keeps me grounded, balanced, and most times sane.

A special shout out goes to my Authors Moving Forward group, especially to my cohort and our fearless leader, Sloane Taylor, and to author and friend, Christine Hayton. You’ve all shown me that it truly takes a virtual village to raise an author. Thank you all for your show of kindness, support, caring, solidarity, and teamwork. May your lives be blessed with many bestsellers!
Last but not least, I want to thank all the men and women who fought courageously in past wars, and continue to fight today to keep our country free and safe. I salute all of you. God Bless.

Follow the Tour:

Goodreads Book Giveaway

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret by Sharon Ledwith

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret

by Sharon Ledwith

Giveaway ends November 11, 2016.
See the giveaway details at Goodreads.
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