Monday 30 July 2018

Celebrate this Summer with Sharon's Score Big Bars and a Trip to Fairy Falls...

If you love Skor® bars, then this is one of those must-make treats to cook for all the holidays and special events. The buttery toffee, rich chocolate, and crunchy nuts create a party-in-your-mouth experience, and will make you beg for a second (or third) piece. Perfect for family gatherings or holiday parties, you’ll score BIG with these treats nestled on your table, tucked in the cottage cupboards, or wrapped as gifts.

Sharon's Score Big Bars
Photo by Elseneju

1 cup sugar
1 cup butter
¼ cup water
½ cup semisweet chocolate
½ cup chopped pecans
Candy thermometer

IN a heavy saucepan, combine the sugar, butter, and water. Set candy thermometer in place. Cook and stir over medium heat until the thermometer reaches 300° F (150° C).

POUR onto ungreased baking tray. Sprinkle with chocolate chips and spread with a knife when melted.

AFTER one minute, pour chopped pecans over mixture. Let stand until set, about 1 hour.

BREAK into 2 inch pieces. Store in airtight container.

Add this tasty treat to gift baskets for bridal or baby showers or wrap in see-through bags and place on dinner plates to be the hostess with the mostess at home or the cottage. Pack extra candy in your cooler for picnics, camping or family reunions, and you'll be the talk of the summer!

Every cook should test their finished product before serving. Select a piece of candy, or two, then relax in your favorite lawn chair or hammock and crack open the first book in my teen psychic mystery series, Lost and Found. You may just find yourself wanting to visit Fairy Falls.

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking... 

The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.

Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.


Amazon Kindle - Amazon Paperback - Barnes & Noble - Mirror World Publishing ebook - Mirror World Publishing Paperback

Thursday 26 July 2018

Celebrating #Windsor Writers: Meet Author Ben Van Dongen…

Today, I have Windsor author and entrepreneur, Ben Van Dongen for a mini Q&A and spotlight on his newest novel, The Thinking Machine. Ben’s shy demeanor never stopped him from pursuing his dreams. He’s brilliant and the co-owner of Adventure Worlds Press based in LaSalle, Ontario, Canada which releases fringe titles including Horror, Science Fiction, Short Story Collections, Anthologies, Graphic Novels, and more.

Welcome, Ben! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Thinking Machine?

The initial idea for The Thinking Machine came from the scene where Zed first meets Belle. I just wanted a character who was a stranger to the world being led around by someone who was completely steeped in it. I am a fan of cyberpunk stories, like Blade Runner, where the worlds are so big and the characters so insignificant. Where the future isn't bright and shiny. A noir style world with retro-future plastered on top.

“A noir style world with retro-future plastered on top.” Love that line! What sets The Thinking Machine apart from other books in the same genre?

I'm not sure what sets Thinking Machine apart from other cyberpunk books. Maybe the scope, maybe the perspective from someone new to the technology. It's really series of run-ins with a bunch of interesting and nefarious characters where Zed learns more about the world each time. I like to think there is an underlying mystery to the story. There is a lot about puppets and pulling strings (people controlling others who may not know it) and I hope the reader can see that and recognize who the real villain is.

It sounds like anyone who loves reading cyberpunk or science fiction will enjoy your book, Ben. How long did it take for you to start and finish The Thinking Machine?

The Thinking Machine started as a short story for my first collection, No Light Tomorrow, but wasn't ready in time for the release. I really wanted to do a novella (and a book without other authors involved) so I took the unfinished story and made it The Thinking Machine. Since I was working on getting All These Crooked Streets out while I wrote Thinking Machine, it took a lot longer than I'd hoped. I probably spend six weeks writing it and a month editing, but that was over eight months or so. Working on the unconnected sequel is going much faster.

I wish you all the best with your sequel and future writing projects! Do you have any advice for other writers, Ben?
For writers just starting out, go to a writer's group and get your stuff torn apart. I can't emphasize enough how much I improved from that. Also, having a partner to do events with has made the non-writing side of things so much easier. Also, do lots of events. You meet all kinds of people. If you can keep the writing side going, you will end up with plenty of opportunities.
About The Thinking Machine:

A Man and a Monster with the Same Name
In a city that spans most of the eastern seaboard, there is a creature that used to be a man. A stranger, from the shrinking wilds of the north, is called by a spirit to enter the city and destroy the abomination. The thing that shares his name. Zed.

Read an Excerpt:

Zed searched the edges of the yellowed lights and watched for movement. He
thought about the information he had. The name. A Giant came to him while
hunting—the tree sized spirit that children often see. It told him to go into the city to
destroy the other Zed. The rest was in his hands. The only information he’d been able to
gather was that he had to find a broker. Someone with the ability to find the information
he needed.
The brakes engaged, throwing up more flashes in the tunnel. The train jerked as it
slowed to a stop. Zed put his face to the window and peered into the darkness. He saw an
open space, something beyond where the tunnel walls should have been, but it was too
dark to see anything else. In the reflection, he saw the sleeping woman was slumped
forward in her seat, snoring.
The rest of the passengers moved to the far side of the car. A kid with big cups
over his ears and a tattoo across his face put up his hood and faced the other direction. He
looked like he was shivering, but the train was warm. Zed tensed.
He leaned closer to the window until his nose touched the filthy glass. Far back,
or extremely dim, lights danced through the empty air. They bobbed and swayed glowing
brighter, getting closer. A scream cut through the snoring and the woman flinched.
A flame sailed in an arc and smashed against the train, lighting the side with a
swath of fire. Zed jumped back. More whoops and screams echoed over each other and
several more fires crashed against the car. The blaze was difficult to see through, but Zed
made out the dozen or so oddly dressed figures lighting bottles on fire.
The train lurched forward again, causing Zed to stumble.
The speakers built into the ceiling crackled. “Attention passengers.” The other
people in the car stared at the empty space in front of them. “Due to a disturbance on the
Oxley Platform we will not be making our scheduled stop. Please keep your voucher for
this trip to receive a transfer for a Skyship or Magtram when we reach the next station.
The TXRC apologises for any delay this may cause. Have a pleasant trip.”

Book Info and Links:

You can find The Thinking Machine on, through Adventure Worlds Press, or locally at Anchor Coffee House and Bibilioasis.

Meet the Author:

Ben Van Dongen grew up in Windsor Ontario. He likes to think that if he tried harder he could have been an Astronaut, but he is happier writing science fiction anyway. He co-authored the books No Light Tomorrow and All These Crooked Streets, and is one half of the founding team of Adventure Worlds Press. His newest book, The Thinking Machine, a cyberpunk novella, is out now. You can read more of his crazy notions on his website:

Connect with Ben Van Dongen:

Monday 23 July 2018

Guest Post: When Pen Names Collide by Emma Lane and Janis Lane...

The Digital Artist
I confess I am a Gemini. That means I do not apologize for having two personalities, two serious interests and two distinct pen names. As Emma Lane (Historicals) or Janis Lane (Cozy Mysteries) I spin tales at my computer happily imagining characters and plots. I enjoy the interaction of readers and writers on-line forming firm friendships that endure. It’s a perfect way to spend short winter days and early evenings.

Ah! But in the mellow bath of the Spring sun, I emerge much like a daffodil and bloom with my favorite plants and gardens. March finds me in the greenhouses coaxing tiny plants to their full potential while the maple trees give up their sap for delicate syrup. May finds me happily breathing the fragrance of perky pansies.

June, ah, June. Who doesn’t love June with a surfeit of bouquets for the picking? July is for the necessary communication with the weeds, August is Sunflowers and September is a rainbow of mums. Late into Fall, we glory in the astounding blaze of fire from the trees. Never is the color blue so well represented as by the intensity of a cloudless Fall sky.

Winter approaches, plots have now inched forward; an interesting character speaks from the corners of my mind (that muse again!). A new story is born to share with readers.

I love to chat books, reading, or characters with my friends and colleagues both on line and off. Alternately I am eager and available for discussions regarding plants and gardening in all its forms. Is it Emma already enmeshed into 1800th century storytelling, or has Janis toddled off with Detective Fowler to solve a crime in peaceful Hubbard, NY?

Here's a teaser from one of my Regency books.

What happens when a strong heroine meets an arrogant, but handsome hero? Sparks fly. It's a Regency Romance Romp!

Miss Amabel Hawkins acknowledges her unusual upbringing, but she thinks James Langley, the Duke of Westerton, might be a tad unbalanced when he protests her efforts to right his badly managed properties. The duke, who has been away on the king's business, demonstrates no respect for the beautiful but managing Miss Hawkins. Amabel has taken refuge at Westerton, fleeing from a forced marriage to a man who claims to be her relative in order to gain control of her young brother's estate.

The Duke arrives home to find his estate under the firm control of a beautiful but managing female. His suspicions are fueled by his recent task of spy-hunting and he wonders if Amabel Hawkins is just who she seems. While a dastardly spy lurks, a wicked man poses as her cousin threatening to take over the guardianship of her young brother. Amabel might be falling in love, but she knows for certain the duke would never approve of a meddlesome woman, and she decides to flee his estate. Will the duke finally realize the true value of the woman he loves or will his prejudice ruin his chances forever?

Amazon Buy Link

And a little from my cozy mystery.

Detective Kevin Fowler is baffled by the wall of silence that greets him from the relatives of two septuagenarians whose bodies are discovered in a country cemetery called Blake Hill. Even more upsetting is the unusual rash of vandalism reported nightly by the citizens in his peaceful community. Have the teenagers declared an uprising? Night patrols reveal a totally unexpected and shocking situation. When a poignant secret is revealed, Beverly Hampton weeps over the sadness of a long ago tragedy, but soon wedding bells are heard for the home town princess and the popular detective. At the local diner the alluring fragrance of fresh-baked, cinnamon sticky buns continues to reign over the peaceful citizens of Hubbard, New York.

Emma Lane enjoys leaving her garden for a few hours to dip into the romance genre Regency era of history. Join her for a glimpse of a half selkie fairy as she teases a powerful duke and fights the curse of a lowly, evil warlock. Other Regency romances are available on Amazon and Wild Rose Press. As Janis Lane she writes a series of Cozy Mysteries for Soul Mate Publishing.

Look for information about writing and plants on her new website. Leave a comment or a gardening question and put a smile on Emma's face.

Stay connected to Emma on Facebook and Twitter.

Thursday 19 July 2018

Celebrating #Windsor Writers: Authors in the Limelight featuring Brittni Brinn…

Windsor author, Brittni Brinn had the awesome idea to cross-promote with four authors in the area, and graciously invited me to participate to be one of those guinea pigs…er authors. I jumped at the opportunity of course, so for the next three Thursdays I’ll be hosting Brittni, along with Ben Van Dongen and Justine Alley Dowsett. I’ll be the author featured on the fourth Thursday, sharing a ‘behind the scenes’ post about the process of writing the first book in my Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls teen psychic mystery series, Lost and Found. For Brittni’s post, I decided to resurrect my ‘Authors in the Limelight’ interview series, where I get to ask an author eight questions about their newest book, and how they deal with life as a writer. So, without further ado, let’s get this interview started…
Welcome, Brittni! How long have you been writing?

I've been writing since I was pretty young. I suppose I started writing because my parents gave me a journal when I was 7. It had a lock with a small key, and I loved it. But writing stories I think started more around grade five. I had a teacher who encouraged me to pursue writing and a classmate who wrote beautiful stories she would read aloud. I read a ton of books at that age too. A lot of those influences shaped my interest in storytelling. So, after I decided not to be a scientist, I decided to be a writer.

A scientist, eh? Makes sense that you followed your heart and wrote in the science fiction genre! Where did you get your idea and inspiration to write The Patch Project?

It started with a short story I wrote in my undergrad. Just a small piece about a married couple spending Christmas in the apocalypse. I took it to a Sci-Fi conference for writers and submitted it to an editor panel. One of the editors expressed interest in the story and asked to see a manuscript. So I started writing a novel. I'd been reading A Canticle for Leibowitz and Do Androids Dream of Electric Sheep? around that time, and the post-apocalyptic genre appealed to me. But I wanted to do something different.

Okay, so what sets The Patch Project apart from other books in the same genre?

The aspect that most sets it apart from contemporary post-apocalyptic novels is that The Patch Project isn't about an exterior threat. There are no zombies, no monsters. No incurable epidemic. The event that wipes out most of the world is mysterious. It's the resulting isolation and character shifts that drive the story. Characters are dealing with new abilities as well as personal loss. The main questions become Who am I, now that this has happened? What should I do now?

Wait…no zombies? Now that’s refreshing! As an author, what is your writing process, Brittni?

I take naps? Those help, but I suppose writing just happens. When I'm on the bus or after watching a play. Sometimes I write something because I'm inspired. Sometimes out of boredom. But it usually starts with a specific image or a specific character. Once I have that in mind, I write how the first scene plays out. Then I leave it for awhile, think about it, come back to it. Usually it's a struggle to get myself back in the writing chair. Sometimes I use writing exercises like free-writing or following a character's stream of consciousness. I rarely map out my stories; I like to garden. Let the characters and story grow as I go along. Then go back afterwards, transplant, weed, and add some fertilizer where the growth is thin.

Well, I hope you harvest many stories that way, Brittni. How long did it take for you to start and finish The Patch Project?

From the original short story to the first draft of the novel was about two years. After the manuscript was rejected by a publisher, I put it away for awhile. When I went back to it in 2016, I did a full edit of the story and the following summer did three further rounds of editing with EDGE's house editor, the wonderful Heather Manuel. And here we are, a year later! Altogether, The Patch Project was about 6 years in the making!

Now that’s staying power! Do you have any advice for other writers, Brittni?

I don't know if I have any advice, but I would suggest finding writing friends. Having people to really talk to about writing has been invaluable to me. Plus, it's good to see that there's not just one way to be a writer. We all go about it differently, tell our stories in ways unique to us. And that's good! We all have so much to learn from each other.

Having a support system in this business is a must for sure. What’s next for Brittni Brinn the author?

Well, there's a sequel to The Patch Project in the works! (Hooray!) I'm also hoping to work on some collaborative film and graphic novel projects in the near future as well!

All the best with your future writing endeavors, Brittni! Okay, here’s one for me, since I’m writing a time travel series—If you could time travel anywhere into Earth’s past, where would you go and why?

Time travel is such a fascinating concept! Not too far back for me. The 1980s maybe? Could see some New Wave bands, have 80s hair, buy a walkman, it'd be fun.

About The Patch Project:

May and Isak live on what used to be Holly Street. But when a mysterious event wipes out most of the earth's surface, they find themselves the sole survivors of a once thriving neighbourhood. Another survivor, Ed, is stranded at a highway gas station. Pinot and Miller wander the wasteland, scrounging for supplies. Some of them have developed strange new abilities; some of them have experienced unthinkable loss. In this post-apocalyptic novella, each of them will have to come to terms with who they've become, and what they've done, in order to survive.

Book Info and Links:

You can find The Patch Project on, through EDGE Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing, or locally at Juniper Books.

Meet the Author:

Brittni Brinn is a writer and playwright. She has a Masters degree in Creative Writing and Literature. Her interests include rocks kicked up by the ocean, books from friends, and comfortable sweaters. She currently lives in Windsor, along with her husband and two cats.

Connect with Brittni Brinn:

Instagram: @brittni_in_ink
Twitter: @brittni_in_ink

Tuesday 17 July 2018

Cover Reveal: Unreachable Skies by Karen McCreedy...

In a world where it is normal to fly, what happens when you can’t?

About Unreachable Skies:

When a plague kills half the Drax population, and leaves the hatchlings of the survivors with a terrible deformity – no wings – suspicion and prejudice follow. Continuously harassed by raids from their traditional enemies, the Koth, the Drax are looking for someone, or something, to blame.

Zarda, an apprentice Fate-seer, is new to her role and unsure of her own abilities; but the death of her teacher sees her summoned by the Drax Prime, Kalis, when his heir, Dru, emerges from his shell without wings.

A vision that Dru will one day defeat the Koth is enough to keep him and the other wingless hatchlings alive – for a time. Half-trained, clumsy, and full of self-doubt, Zarda must train Dru to one day fulfil the destiny she has foreseen for him, even if it is quickly becoming clear that the Prime’s favourite adviser, Fazak, is not only plotting against the wingless, but is gaining more of Kalis’ trust by the day.

Efforts to fight prejudice and superstition are certain to lead to death for some and exile for others; while Zarda’s own journey to understanding her role in events may lead her to abandon all tradition in order to protect her peoples’ future.

Genre: Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Adventure - This book is targeted toward a general audience.

Page Count: 242 pages

Publish Date: August 17, 2018 

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing 

Meet the Author:

Brought up in Staffordshire, England, Karen McCreedy now lives in West Sussex where she recently retired from the University of Chichester. She has written articles on films and British history for a number of British magazines including ‘Yours’, ‘Classic Television’, and ‘Best of British’. 

Karen has had a number of short stories published in various anthologies. She also won second prize in Writers’ News magazine’s ‘Comeuppance’ competition in 2014 with her short story ‘Hero’. 

‘Unreachable Skies’ is her first novel.

Monday 16 July 2018

Guest Post: Elves - the Good, the Bad, and the Awesome by Carol Browne...

Photo Courtesy of Fun Photos Pixabay
When Elgiva, the protagonist of my fantasy novel The Exile of Elindel, is forced to seek the society of humans in order to survive the winter, she can only do this by adopting a disguise. Although mythology insists that elves are shapeshifters, I have Elgiva borrow magic instead so she can change her appearance. Why would she need to do this? In these modern times, we have friendly elves that help Santa; we have the innocuous Elf on the Shelf; we have glamorous immortal beings like the elves in "Lord of the Rings" that fascinate us with their pointed ears and otherworldly beauty. Why on earth would an elf feel compelled to hide their true nature?

Belief in elves as actual beings is as old as belief in the Norse gods. Indeed Freyr, one of the gods most widely and ardently venerated by the Norse and Germanic peoples, dwelled in Alfheim, the elves’ homeland. Germanic Mythology described three divine races: the Aesir, the Vanir and the Alfar (the elves). The origins of the Vanir and Alfar are cloaked in mystery and the relationship between the gods and the elves was ambiguous enough to permit a number of possible connections between Freyr and the elves.

Photo Courtesy of The Royalmen Pixabay
However, godlike or not, elves were often seen as mischievous and spiteful, if not downright dangerous, liable to lash out with magic if crossed. For example, the word 'stroke' for a sudden paralysing seizure is an abbreviation of 'fairy stroke' or 'elf stroke' and was supposed to come from being elf-shot, a blow which struck down an animal or human victim. Similarly, cramps were often the punishment for annoying the elven folk. The Anglo-Saxons recognized being elf-shot as a valid condition and thought it was caused by unseen elves firing invisible arrows at a person or animal, causing sudden shooting pains in a particular part of the body. And should a person’s hair become matted or knotted, he or she was said to be sporting elf-locks, that some unhelpful elf had tangled up. This was particularly said of the hair of sleeping children. And keep an eye on those children, for elves like to steal them!

Given their capricious and magical nature and supernatural origins, it is no wonder the Anglo-Saxons feared them. So Elgiva could not have strolled into a human settlement with impunity and was compelled to cloak herself in enchantment in order to pass as a human.

Scandinavian folklore boasts an abundance of elves, trolls and other mythological creatures. Most people in Denmark, Norway, and Sweden haven't taken any of them as fact since the 19th century, but it’s a different story in Iceland. Surveys taken there even in the present century revealed that more than half those surveyed believed in elves, while a number of major road construction projects have been halted, thanks to protestors concerned about the deleterious effects it would have on the habitat and culture of the resident elves.

Elves have been part of our folklore for a very long time. How we have interpreted them down the ages has varied tremendously. They originated as demi-gods, became malicious and belligerent, then friendly and industrious, and now they feature heavily in fiction and popular culture. They may be light elves. They may be dark elves. One thing is certain, good or bad, elves are always cool!

How about curling up with my epic fantasy while you contemplate the possibility of elves?

Elgiva, a young elf banished from Elvendom, must seek shelter among the Saxons as her only hope of surviving the coming winter.

Godwin, a Briton enslaved by the Saxons, is a man ignorant of his own inheritance and the secret of power he possesses.

A mysterious enemy, who will stop at nothing to wield absolute power over Elvendom, is about to make his move.

When destiny throws Elgiva and Godwin together, they embark upon the quest for the legendary Lorestone, the only thing that can save Elvendom from the evil that threatens to destroy it.

There is help to be found along the way from a petulant pony and a timid elf boy but, as the strength of their adversary grows, can Elgiva’s friends help her to find the Lorestone before it falls into the wrong hands?


The night was waning when Elgiva woke, wondering where she was. The dark ceiling of Joskin’s cave hung above her, and everything had a reddish glow, cast by the embers of the fire. She slid from under the fur coverlet, her skin tightening at the loss of its warmth, and searched for her leather sandals.
Something had woken her, something that waited outside the cave. A runnel of dread ran down her spine.
She had an inexplicable sense of impending danger, but it was too insistent to ignore. An unnamed instinct stopped her from alerting her companions. She must face this menace alone.
She left the cave as quietly as she could. Her heart pounded in her throat as she peered between the rowan trees and searched the night. Whatever had awakened her, it beckoned. She held her breath and listened, but her ears detected nothing, save for a silence as dark and empty as an abandoned crypt.
It would soon be daybreak, but the sun had yet to rise, and the dark beyond the cave swarmed with potential horrors. She stepped out from among the rowans, relying on her acute senses to make out her surroundings. An unnatural calm gripped the night and as her sandals whispered against the cold grass, they sounded abnormally loud. She feared they would betray her presence.
After a while, she came to a stop and searched the trees. Thin strands of mist curled along the ground, cold and clammy, like an exhalation of sickness.
She hugged her shoulders, knotted her fingers in the cascade of her hair, and shivered in her ragged robe. All around her, the silence seemed to be drawing into focus.
“Who is it?” Her throat was too dry for her purpose. She swallowed and licked her lips. “Who’s there? I know you’re there. I can . . . I can feel you!” 
Feel you.
A flash of silver sliced through the dark, and Elgiva gasped in fear. Her arms came up to shield her face as the beam struck a rock several yards ahead. It exploded with a whoosh and sent up thousands of splinters of light, which fell to the ground and sizzled in the mist.
A shape now stood upon the rock, its form concealed in a black, hooded cloak.
Elgiva clutched the amulet to her breast. Her hands were white with terror. “In the name of Faine, who are you? What sort of trick is this?”
A soft, sly voice spoke back to her. “Why should you fear magic?”
“What do you want?” she pleaded, her voice a croak of fear.
“To see for myself.”
“To see what?”
The dark shape sniggered, but made no answer. Instead, it swept its cloak aside, and a cloud of sparks flew out and covered the ground with beads of light.
Elgiva stepped back unsteadily, resolved to flee.
“Stay!” commanded the creature.
It raised a skeletal hand, and the forefinger swung towards Elgiva and pinned her against the darkness, holding her like a rivet of bone. No elf, no wilthkin, ever owned such a hand. Her legs threatened to buckle beneath her. This had to be a nightmare; she was still asleep in the cave. But no, it was all too real.
“Who are you? What do you want?” she cried. “I have . . . I have an amulet!”
The creature laughed derisively. “I am Death, and I have come for you.”
It began to radiate a sickly green light, enveloping itself in a caul of brilliance that pulsated with force. The light grew in size until the trees behind it were bathed in its angry glare. It reached for Elgiva, like a foul stench creeping along a breeze, and she was helpless. The creature’s power throbbed in the darkness.
Within the taut coils of her fear, her instincts screamed at her to run, but her limbs had turned to stone.
Siriol, Siriol, help me . . . help . . .
With a shriek of glee, the creature increased the throb of its power. Elgiva’s mind was suddenly invaded by an inexplicable force. She became divorced from herself and watched from a great distance, waiting for the horror to unfold.

Born in Stafford in the UK, Carol Browne was raised in Crewe, Cheshire, which she thinks of as her home town. Interested in reading and writing at an early age, Carol pursued her passions at Nottingham University and was awarded an honours degree in English Language and Literature. Now living and working in the Cambridgeshire countryside, Carol usually writes fiction and is a contracted author at Burning Willow Press. Her non-fiction book is available at Dilliebooks.

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

Monday 9 July 2018

Blog Takeover: Author Elizabeth Walker Grills Sharon Ledwith about her Writing Life…

With Elizabeth Walker, who is on my left.
I thought it would be fun to cut, paste, and edit an interview I had earlier this year with fellow author, Elizabeth Walker, to let my followers know what’s going on in my writing life and offering other interesting tidbits. Take it away, Elizabeth…

First off, would you like to tell a bit about yourself and your writing.

I’d be happy to, Elizabeth! So, I have a confession. Besides being a late bloomer as a writer (I started in my mid-thirties), I didn’t seek out writing for young adults as I primarily do now. Nope. I lurked in the deep pool of the supernatural romance genre before I ever considered dipping my toes into the welcoming waters of young adult fiction. The idea to write for the younger crowd actually came to me through a dream I had around 1998. In this dream, I saw seven arches, and there were seven people (five kids, two adults) with crystals in their hands, walking up to these arches. It definitely had an “Indiana Jones” feel to it. I really thought about that dream a lot to the point where an idea for a book began to grow, and take root. So, I thought I’d challenge myself and write a novel—a series—that would appeal to my son, who at the time was the target age of my audience. I’ve always loved the time travel genre, so I imagined the arches I saw vividly in my dream as time portals. Then, boom. The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis was born.

To say it’s been a long haul is an understatement. It’s been an uphill climb with peaks and valleys. I started gathering ideas and writing the first draft in 1999 before I signed a publishing contract with a now defunct publisher in September, 2011. Now, this was a back and forth project. During the twelve years before I signed a contract, I wrote a second book in The Last Timekeeper series, created and penned two novels for another young adult book series entitled Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, revised and edited my supernatural romance, took a writing correspondence course and various writing workshops, and worked at the local animal shelter. I finally returned to The Last Timekeeper and the Arch of Atlantis in 2010 to revise and polish it, and kept sending the manuscript out until I struck gold with a publishing contract offer. And even then, after all that, there were major revisions on changing my point of view over from five characters to one character. But I was determined, and did it. In early 2015, Mirror World Publishing, a local Windsor publishing company rescued my time travel adventure series, and the rest is history! Pun intended.

Do you have any new books coming out?

I sure do! The second book in my teen psychic mystery series, Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls will be released (tentatively) May 17, 2019. It’s entitled, Blackflies and Blueberries, and is about seventeen-year-old Hart Stewart who possesses psychometrythe psychic ability that discovers facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. In the first book in this series, Lost and Found, fifteen-year-old animal communicator Meagan Walsh is coerced into helping the shelter animals save their home before it’s too late.

You currently have two series, the Last Timekeepers and Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls. Do you have more books in store for both series? And – how do you write two series at once? Do you alternate writing one book for one series, and then go back to the other?

Definitely yes to the first question! I plan to have ten books, plus the prequel written for The Last Timekeepers time travel adventure series. I know, go big or stay home. Wink. Presently, I have Book #1, The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #2, The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, and the prequel, Legend of the Timekeepers published. I’m working on Book #3, The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, which should be out sometime in 2020.

I have five books planned for Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, starting with Book #1, Lost and Found published in June 2017. The next installment, Blackflies and Blueberries will hopefully be released May 17th, 2019, as mentioned above. All these books revolve around the same setting (Fairy Falls) with a different cast of characters with psychic powers for each book.

When writing two series at once, my plan is to release one book and write one book during the course of a year. So, yes I alternate writing the books for each series, which helps me produce fresh content every year and building both book series backlists at the same time. Trust me, I’m never bored with writing about the same characters, that’s for sure! 

Sharing my reading wares at the Windsor Comic Con
Do you enjoy being a writer in the Windsor region? What are the pros and the cons (if any!)?

Yes, very much! Comparing to where I used to live in the Huntsville area (seven hours drive north), Windsor has more opportunity for a writer and hosts a few writing groups to help writers improve their work for publication. Add in the fact that there’s the Windsor International Writers Conference here, and you’ve got a place that gives a writer plenty of chances to grow and learn. Though as a con, I’d have to say that it’s not a huge ‘arts’ oriented community, like Toronto. But we’re talking a different demography here. Windsor also boasts about seven publishing companies and over a thousand published/self-published authors. Not too shabby statistics for a city that’s known more for their manufacturing acumen. 

Do you have any advice for new writers?

Never stop investing in yourself. Invest in the best. That’s in yourself, and in your readers. Your readers deserve the best of what you have to offer them. Start building your author platform and brand early, even before you’re published. Surround yourself with the best possible team. Never stop learning. As you grow, so will your readers, so be prepared for this. Oh yeah, and never give up. That’s a given and should be part of any author’s credo. 

And – do you have anything else you would like to add?

Just a couple of things. I have a few freebies available on my website, so head over to my Home and Fun Stuff pages to find out what I’m offering! Oh, and if you live in the Windsor area and order any books through Mirror World Publishing’s Bookstore, delivery is FREE!

Thank you for grilling me on my blog today, Elizabeth. I appreciate your support and interviewing prowess. Wishing you all the best! Cheers!

Meet the Author/Interviewer:

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.

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