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.