Monday 28 December 2015

Lights! Camera! Action!

Happy Holidays to all my followers! If you didn't get the chance to watch my first video author interview with the charming Adam Giles for Mirror World News, then here's your chance. During our interview, I talk about my time travel series, what's coming up next, and give some pointers to fellow writers. It was fun to do, and although I was a tad nervous, I think I pulled off my first face-to-face interview with style and finesse! At least I hope I did! Wink.

Wishing you all the best in 2016, and thank you for investing your time by tuning into my weekly blog! I really appreciate your support and kind comments. Cheers and please enjoy! Roll'em, Adam...

Monday 14 December 2015

Book Review: The Time Keeper by Mitch Albom…

I was looking for a book to take with me on my recent holiday (something light and easy to read)—so when I saw the title of this book, my heart almost stopped. Huh? Another book using the name time keeper? Perish the thought! And not written by just any author, but by Mitch Albom who has rubbed elbows with the rich and famous, including being Oprah’s Book Club pick. I reached for the book and checked the publication date. To my surprise The Time Keeper was published in 2012, the same year as the first book in my young adult time travel series, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis came out through my former publisher. Coincidence? I think not.

Here’s the gist of this novel…

The Time Keeper is a compelling fable about the first man on earth to count the hours. The man who became Father Time.

In The Time Keeper, the inventor of the world’s first clock is punished for trying to measure God’s greatest gift. He is banished to a cave for centuries and forced to listen to the voices of all who come after him seeking more days, more years. Eventually, with his soul nearly broken, Father Time is granted his freedom, along with a magical hourglass and a mission: a chance to redeem himself by teaching two earthly people the true meaning of time.

He returns to our world-now dominated by the hour-counting he so innocently began-and commences a journey with two unlikely partners: one a teenage girl who is about to give up on life, the other a wealthy old businessman who wants to live forever. To save himself, he must save them both. And stop the world to do so.

After reading The Time Keeper, I found Albom truly has a gift for words. He has a unique brand of storytelling, one I’ve never come across before, which made this book flow easily. The tale is original and inspirational. At first, I wasn’t quite sure how to read Albom’s prose, but soon I found that I couldn’t put it down. I’d get to the end of one chapter, then was hooked into the next one. Although Albom’s spiritual convictions shine through, he’s not preachy, and leaves room for his readers’ imagination to percolate throughout the story. I loved the way certain myths were introduced into the mix—the Tower of Babel and Father Time—to give the story an air of familiarity. All and all, this book is worth the investment of your time, whether on vacation or cozying up on the couch at home.

Having read this book made me stop and think about how I spend my time and what is truly important in my life. Trust me, when you’re on your death bed, you’re not going to wish you could have spent more hours at work. Life is all about relationships, how you treat others and how you treat them. Life is about what makes you happy, what fulfills you. Just to stop and be still in the moment—now that’s a gift you can’t count.

So what about you? Read any good books lately? Would love to hear your comments! Cheers and thank you for reading my blog!

Monday 7 December 2015

Book Tour: Goth Girl, Virgin Queen by JoAnne Keltner...

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

Jackie Turov, a Different Kind of Psychic...

Jackie Turov (Goth Girl, Virgin Queen) hates being called psychic. When her friends compare her to Madam Sophie, the local fortuneteller and serious fashion crimes offender, she swears she’s not psychic—not like her. Although Jackie denies her psychic gifts because of the guilt she carries, she’s right in that she has different abilities than Madam Sophie.

There are many types of psychics, which are based on the ability they possess. For example, mediums communicate with the dead. Clairvoyants see things that can’t be seen with the five senses. Since they can see things that the normal person can’t, they are typically helpful in offering people guidance. Some psychics use divination tools, such as Tarot cards and tea leaves, to predict the future or to gain insight into a person’s life. Others can see and interpret auras, the colorful energy fields that surround living things. Empaths pick up the emotional states of people. Psychometrists read objects and people through touch. And claircongnizants know things intuitively, typically by picking up a “gut” feeling. This is just a short list of psychic types, and many psychics have a combination of abilities.

So what kind of psychic is Jackie? Jackie is an empath and a psychometrist. Plus, she can read auras. She absorbs the emotions of people just by being near them and also picks up emotions and information through touch. This information tells her things about a person’s past and about the present. Her empathic ability is the most crippling for her because she absorbs emotions into her body. This makes her sick, especially when the emotions are toxically hateful or extremely sad.
Madam Sophie is a classic mind reader, plus she uses psychometry and divination tools to gain insight.

Jason (Jackie’s best friend) argues that Jackie is psychic in the traditional sense, that she can predict the future because she predicted the Holy Resurrection fire. Is Jason right? Does Jackie also possess the power to see into the future? Read Goth Girl, Virgin Queen to find out.

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.

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.

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