Wednesday 14 October 2015

Introducing YA author: Sara Stinson...

Thank you for having me on your blog today, Sharon!
My name is Sara Stinson. I have a Young Adult Fantasy I want to share with you called Night Owl.  It’s Book One from the Hally Witch Series.
It will be ready to purchase October 17th!

I’m going to give a new twist for today’s blog.  I hope you like it!

Sam Hopwoods is a reporter and a good friend of Skyla Hally’s in Night Owl.  The book is written from Skyla’s point of view.  He’s going to interview her.  In this way, you can get to know them and other characters in the remarkable world of Magic Hollow. 

Sam: Hi, Skyla. 
Skyla:  Hey, Sam.  Well, here we are again.
Sam:  Yeah.  I can remember the first time I interviewed you in Magic Hollow.
Skyla:  Me too.  You did a great job!  I know you’ll do great today.  The Pen Pusher Newspaper will be proud.
Sam:  Thanks.  I hope so.  I wouldn’t want to upset Mr. Pigsters or the Magical Council at Roddenbury Castle.
Skyla: You’ll do fine.  Let’s get started.
Sam:Wow, um, where to start?We’ve all been through so much, you, Alec, Pennie, and me.  (He says with a serious tone.)
Skyla:Yes, we have.  Everything has changed since my seventeenth birthday.  My parents murdered, me moving to live with my grandparents. 
Sam:  I’m sorry about your parents.  Maybe that’s where we can start…with the Deathstalkers, the monsters who killed your parents.
Skyla:  Okay.  They are what brought me to where I am.  The Deathstalkers have been after me since before I was born.  They’ve tortured and killed many of my father’s people and my mother’s.  There are seven of them.  They’re the seven deadly sins, and they’re after my powers.  Seems they need them to survive. 
Sam: Where did these Deathstalkers come from?
Skyla: Over 600 years ago, these creatures were created from the Black Plague.  Seven vampires, from a respected coven known as the Vardons, fed from the sick inflicted with the disease, generating this evil bunch.  A vampire named Helfrador is their leader. 
Sam: Helfrador.  I remember him. (Sam narrows his eyes.  It’s more of a goofy look.)  I stared Helfrador straight in the eyes when he was coming out of the tunnel that unforgettable night.I’m not afraid of him. 
Skyla: (Laughing) Yeah, right.  I think you need to get on with the interview and not give too much of the story away…or embarrass yourself.
Sam: (Slumping in his seat again and massaging his chest, Sam looks over his notes, his face turning red.)  So, after your parents were killed, you moved from North Carolina to Madison, New Hampshire.  Tell the readers what you found to be hidden in Madison.  (He leans in closer to Skyla.)  You know, the first time you went through a portal. 
Skyla:  (Smiles) Grandma Lil’ and Aunt Fanny were the first to take me through a portal.  A portal connects two places.  This portal will take you to Magic Hollow.It’s where witches and wizards can be themselves, where candy shops come alive, and where wizards and witcheslike you and me can go to school.  Of course, you and I know, I’m homeschooled for now.
Sam:  Skyla, you are The Hally Witch of Magic Hollow.  The magical world has waited many years for you to be born.  Can you tell the readers about this prophecy? 
Skyla: When the Deathstalkers drank blood from the sick, it gave them unbelievable strength.  They now know this strength will not last forever.  That’s why they want mine.  Taking my powers will not only give them the strength to survive, but will stop me from stopping them.  If they succeed, they will not only have power over the mortals, but the magical world too.I have much to do and much to learn before I can go face to face with the Deathstalkers.  Grandma Lil’, Saada Byrd (A witch and helper who lives behind the main house along with her husband Obi and their son Little Peg), and Aunt Fanny Cornels (Grandma’s sister and owner of Fanny’s Fun Flavors) are teaching me daily.  I have lessons to read and potions to learn.  Sometimes I think my brain’s going to implode.  Oh, and I also have help from Rigspul.
Sam: Who’s Rigspul? 
Skyla:  I guess I haven’t told you about him.  He’s a box, although, he doesn’t like to be called a box.  He’s more like a beautiful antique trunk.  (She giggles.) And he’s ticklish.
Sam:  Um, okay.
Skyla: He is.  He’s very nice when he wants to be and deadly when he needs to be. 
Sam: I think I’ll stay away from him.
Skyla:  Probably a good idea.
Sam: Let’s talk a little about this ghost you’ve been seeing. 
Skyla:  The ghost is a big part of the story.  Let’s save her for the readers.  (She pauses.)  I will say the ghost is known as Witch Hagnar.  Believe it or not, there’s a love story behind her.  By the end of the book, the readers will love her.
Sam:  Sounds romantic, and strange, since we are talking about a ghost who was a witch.(Sam scans his notes again.) I have one more thing I’d like for you to talk to our readers about. 
Skyla: Okay.  What’s that?
Sam: (He smiles) Alec Stone.
Skyla: (Now her face turns crimson.) Alec comes into my life after I move to Madison.  He’s very good-looking.  Girls go crazy over him.  (She pauses and smiles.)  He has been wonderful to me.  He lives with Chief Jo.  Other than that, you’ll have to read to see if there’s anything else between the handsome guy and me.  (Skyla winks.)
Sam: I understand.  Don’t want to tell too much. 
Skyla:  What about you, Sam?  Don’t you have a special someone? 
Sam: Haha.  Not telling.  The readers will have to read to find out about me, too.  (He playfully points at me.)  Two can play that game.
Skyla: I’m glad we met in the story, Sam.  You, Alec, Pennie, my grandparents, Obi, Saada…oh, I could go on and on.  Everyone has been so kind to me, you know?  I just hope I can hold up to my end of the bargain with this prophecy. 
Sam: You will, Skyla.  All your friends and family, we’ll be there by your side the entire way.  Together, we’ll stop the Deathstalkers. 
Here are two excerpts from Night Owl
Chapter 5 – Physical Changes
He gently took my hand and guided me across the room.  Mina walked over and stood with me.  I heard her footsteps and smelled her scent. 
I raised my hands slowly, removing both pieces from my eyes.  I opened them, but all was blurry.  A cloudy outline of a mirror hung in front of me.  I closed my eyes again. 
“Let them rest a few seconds,” Dr. Krumble said caringly. 
Not responding, but doing as he said, I waited. 
A minute ticked away and Dr. Krumble spoke.  “This time your vison should improve.  Don’t force it, Skyla.  Be calm and take your time.  Take a deep breath and slowly let it out.  That’ll get the blood circulating.” 
I did as he said.  I took a deep breath and as I exhaled calmness washed over me, allowing my body to unwind from my head down to my toes.  I remained composed even after hearing Mina gasp. 
As my vision became clearer, I understood why she was so astonished.  Like my hearing, my vision had greatly been enhanced, but startling were the physical changes of my eyes.  They were the color of a Snowy Owl like my father’s eyes mixed with the green eyes like mother’s, causing my features, to me, to look almost animalistic. 

Chapter Eighteen – Secrets in the Family
I started out calm.  I had never raised my voice to Grandpa.  Forgetting the words Little Peg had warned me about, the panic grew quickly, and finally, anger surfaced as I responded. 
“You do?  How do you know, Grandpa?  How could you possibly know what I’m feeling?  I don’t know what I’m feeling?  I’m happy here, truly, I am.  Don’t ever think I’m not, but my emotions and thoughts are becoming unmanageable and flipping on me.  Even now...I don’t mean to be so...angry.  But I feel trapped.  I felt this way in that room.  It wasn’t that we were closed in a room like a claustrophobic feeling,” I said, trying to explain my anger.  “It was something deeper.  My senses were so strong, all of them.  My emotions heightened, and my vision was stronger than ever.  I saw and felt what Hagnar felt,” I said with horror and fear showing in my eyes.  “I could see through her eyes!”   
“It’s normal, Skyla, to relive moments in your visions,” Grandpa said reassuringly. 
“Normal?  Is it normal to reverse the role and be the murderer in my vision and to enjoy being the one who’s pursuing the person?  Is it normal to want to kill the person, smelling their blood and wanting it?”  I cried, my body now severely shaking. 

I enjoy creating my characters and bringing them to life.  I am also writing a series called The Finger Bones Series.  Finger Bones is a ghost who helps three energetic kids chase and send ghosts to their next destination.  At one of the schools nearby, I had a younger student ask me if I had asked Finger Bones to have Christmas with us.  The child was concerned Finger Bones would celebrate Christmas alone.  How cute is that?

I am now retired as a Speech-Language Pathologist, but I continue substituting.  I’m married and have two grown children, two cats, and one spoiled Yorkie named Addie. 

You can also find Sara Stinson at these locations...

You can buy Sara Stinson's books on Amazon, Createspace, and Barnes & Noble


  1. Thank you for having me today!

    1. Oh, Sara, you are welcome on my blog anytime! Wonderful having you, and I wish you so much success with your new book and YA series! Salute, my friend!

  2. Congrats Sara on your new release! Love the the cover. Go Sara!!!