Wednesday 21 February 2024

Book Spotlight: Peter Little Wing by Canadian Children's Author Regan W. H. Macaulay...


I recently released my first ever middle-grade novel. I’m so incredibly excited and proud...it was about 20 years in the making.

I wrote Peter Little Wing (book one of an upcoming series of four novels for readers 8 and up) shortly after my first visit to Aotearoa New Zealand. I went there as a pre-wedding honeymoon with my then fiancĂ©, now husband, Kevin. To say this place was inspiring—the gorgeous landscape that one can only attempt to capture in photographs and video, the wildly fascinating creatures (mostly birds!), and warm, friendly people (who often call themselves kiwi—after their national icon, the kiwi bird)—it had my imagination bursting with possibilities. The characters came first, and their locations: the New Zealand National Aquarium in Napier, Hawke’s Bay’s art deco town, and the facility next door called Marineland (which I called Marine Rescue in the book). These were to be critters from captivity, but their quest would see them stranded in the wilderness, that much I knew. 

I crafted a story of adventure—a quest to save the grandfather of a kiwi named Peter, but I also infused the book with truths about a real place. And the characters were all real and very unique animals, often endemic to New Zealand. I want readers to find out about this wonderful place and the creatures who inhabit it, while they’re whisked away on a journey that these uncommon and endangered creatures take—an adventure not dissimilar to the one Kevin and I embarked on all the way back in November of 2003.

And so, it came to be that a story about Peter, a captive Southern Fiordland tokoeka kiwi, and his friends from the National Aquarium and Marine Rescue—Onion, a little blue penguin with an inner-ear imbalance; Tim, a tuatara with Generalized Anxiety Disorder; and Rangi, a kea with clipped wings—and their quest through the unfamiliar wilderness of New Zealand in search of three ingredients needed to create an elixir to cure Peter’s ailing grandfather, Nandy Enzo, flowed out onto my laptop screen. After years of rewrites, submissions, notes from editors, publishers, and beta readers, more revisions, and lots more rejections, I found a home for Peter Little Wing, and the book is out in the wild!

Together, this unusually diverse group of friends traverse the length of the South Island of Aotearoa, all the way across the Cook Strait and back home to the North Island. They learn what they are all capable of in the wild of the wop wops, and what the world beyond the "Walls of Shadows" of Peter’s habitat is all about. And I finally had the opportunity to learn the ins and outs—the digressions, and the main but multiple paths—of taking a book from inspiration through to publication, and now beyond.

Allow me to share a bit of the story with you now…specifically, the second half of Chapter 1. It should give you an idea of where the story goes from there. 

An excerpt from the second half of Chapter 1:

"We can't expect much help from the humans. They just don't know what's wrong" Nandy Enzo sneezed and a shiver like ice ran along Peter's spine. Nandy's brown, wilting feathers swelled, then fell again as he heaved a sigh.

Peter swayed on the spot. He opened his beak as he searched his mind for words. Nothing came out.

"I'm just a bit knackered is all, don't fret. Come back later and we will sing some stories..." And his grandfather was asleep.

Peter turned and climbed out of the burrow, his cheeks burning and his insides churning. As he breached the den hole,

Peter was met by the rest of his kiwi family. They circled around and watched him closely. He explored the expressions on their faces—their collective gaze was heavy.

Peter opened his beak. "I...I didn't know what to say to him."

Bess rushed up and put her neck around his in an embrace. "You didn't have to say anything." Her voice shook.

Peter pulled away. "I should have said something while he was still awake."

"It's all right, Peter." Uncle Lloyd took a step towards him. Peter did not find his uncle's hesitant tone reassuring.

"I thought I could be braver than all our kiwi ancestors from Nandy's stories." Worry ate at the edges of Peter's skin. "When it really mattered, I couldn't say anything." Shame drizzled from the top of his head to the tips of his toes like an electric sweat.

"Hmph!" Ms. Elsa sniffed, interrupting whatever reply Bess might have given. "I doubt the humans' foul medicines jammed into the side of his beak or injected into his thigh, or anything fancy like that will cure Enzo. No, no! It didn't work for Louis, so it won't work miracles now."

Peter bristled upon Ms. Elsa's mention of his father. "But there must be something we can do." Peter held back a glare as an anxious pick stabbed at his heart.

"Us? A heap of captive kiwi? I suppose a young upstart like you will succeed where even our human caretakers have failed. Ha!" Ms. Elsa snorted, dislodging a bit of dirt from her nostril, sending it through the air towards the burrow. It landed neatly along the top rim of the entranceway.

Peter couldn't help but peek at it with a sideways glance. Normally, he would have to stifle a chortle, but this time the mood felt too somber. "But you just said their human medicines aren't going to work!" Heat inflamed Peter's face. He struggled to keep his voice even.

"The boy's right, on that count." Ms. Elsa was apparently oblivious to her dirt-booger projectile. "The humans are ignorant. We're going to have to figure out a way to tell them what Nandy Enzo requires."

"How in the name of Nature are you going to do that?" Lloyd's voice rose with every word he spoke. "You going to walk up to a human when they come in to do maintenance and just natter at them? Think they'll know what you're on about?"

"What do you suggest?" Ms. Elsa puffed out her aging feathers. They vibrated with hostility.

"It's just silly is all. I don't have any idea what we should do."

Aunt Myrtle joined in, a hint of sarcasm tainting her voice. "That's very useful." She then turned her attention to the fussing and grooming of Uncle Lloyd's feathers, despite his protests.

Peter sighed loudly. "Do you know what he needs?" There was a significant pause while Peter waited. "What would you tell the humans to do, if you could?"

Ms. Elsa cocked her head. She scratched at the ground with two of her toes, making circular patterns in the earth, while Peter's patience grew thinner. Then she hummed a tune. Peter thought he might have recognized it. Had he heard this tune while inside his egg? Did Nandy Enzo used to sing him to sleep this way? Ms. Elsa snapped her head back up, and her beak wagged. "It's a matter of ingredients."

"What ingredients?" Peter took a quick step forward.

"That's the difficult part. The song is from the time of our ancestors from the wop wops. It's been going
round and round in my head for days, now. It must have the answers we need! But none of you have ever seen or smelled the items mentioned in this song. You were all born in captivity. I haven't likely, either. So, I do not know the names for these ingredients, boy."

Peter's gizzard rose at Ms. Elsa's mention of never having smelled or seen items from the wild. Peter's secret surfaced in his mind, but his heart sank. "What good is that to us, then?"

"Now, now, boy, try to be patient! Patience is a virtue every winged creature on the islands should have in abundance. Patience and caution. Caution and precaution. Precaution and prudence and vigilance. Constant vigilance!"

Peter felt his eyes roll and quickly stared back at the ground. He lifted his face to Ms. Elsa again. "Is there anything you can tell us about the ingredients? Any clues?"

"Yes, yes, of course, boy! Now, let me see...it's a rhyme in three verses. We've all heard it. Haven't the foggiest what it means, but I'm sure it's important:"

Remember kiwi, when under the weather,
Take this mixture in perfect measure:
Meal from the dust of the oily wood tree, Gold-banded stabber-folk make remedy
Bid farewell to the germs on your insides,
Say goodbye to the bugs on your outsides.

Peter was dumbfounded by the sing-song lullaby.

Suddenly, Bess chimed in. "Yes, I've heard this! You used to sing it to me, Mum." She nuzzled against Aunt Myrtle's side and proceeded to sing the second verse.

Add the muscle of this animal chest,
With colours bright as sunset in the west. Grind its stone armour and extract you'll find, And salt from the ocean for gizzard to grind. With vitamins, you'll be rejuvenated,
From lethargy, you'll be liberated.

Aunt Myrtle picked up the tune:

Gather the petals of the crimson bloom, Collect its dust 'fore the stabber-folk consume. Petals like star bursts stem the bleeding,

Fine powder dust gives pain no feeling. Stir and warm each item overnight,

And then you will find that all is put right. "And that's all."

"That's more like a riddle than a nursery rhyme," Peter muttered. Might as well just retell old history tales to Nandy and see if that does him any good. "How is anyone supposed to figure that out?"

"Don't be a hard case, boy. You've far too much bitterroot in your blood for such a young one." Ms. Elsa snorted.

"But the humans won't recognize these ingredients." Bess glanced at Peter with a glint in her eye that told him arguing would do no good. "Humans aren't in touch with The Deep Understanding. They've drifted away from it."

"Oh, she's right," said Uncle Lloyd after a prolonged but not unusual absence from the conversation. "They never see what's right in front of them."

"I'm not sure we'd do better. How would we recognize anything outside of our habitat?" When Bess glanced at Peter again, he thought of his adventures she was helping him keep secret. A song he often heard playing throughout the Aquarium during the nights of his escapes jumped to mind.

Hit the trail, down an old dirt road.

"That's just fine. I've always said it's too dangerous out there, anyway. Best to stay in here where we belong." Ms. Elsa's eyes flashed over Peter. He felt a sting in her stare. Did she know about his nighttime escapes?

"Look now, how does any of this help my Da? We can't just let him cark it..." Lloyd's voice trailed off.

The rest of the family continued to squawk on about the terrors of the world outside and all the fearful things they'd find if they were out among the non-captive creatures of the wop wops— the ingredients Nandy Enzo required surely being just as dangerous in some unknown way.

Peter stalked off, allowing the dilemma to sink in without the pressure of the family. He knew that there was no way to communicate these needs to the staff at the Aquarium. Even if they could, the humans wouldn't make any sense out of these clues. They were only human beings, after all. An idea gnawed at him, returning him to his memories as a chick.

***

"I should like to go outside on a real adventure to the wop wops—out into the middle of nowhere." Young Peter quickly suppressed a yawn.

"Perhaps someday you shall, Peter Little Wing," replied Nandy Enzo. "But remember this—captivity is not a bad place. Inside can be good in some ways and bad in others, but so can the wop wops. Whether you are captive or wild, always listen to the voice inside you with an unfettered heart. It will tell you what you need to know with a clarity that Ms. Elsa's tall tales never will!"

Peter watched his Nandy Enzo chortle and sigh between drooping eyelids. Nandy pushed in more warm feathers and twigs around him, then he whispered to Peter one last time before sleep sped him away to the land of dreams.

"Ah, little one. If only your parents had lived to see what a brave and intelligent kiwi you are growing up to be."

***
...Shoved off, the song continued to play in Peter's mind…on my own.

l have to unriddle the riddles. l'll go into the wop wops and

find the ingredients. But l won't go alone. 

Get your copy of Peter Little Wing directly from my website (especially if you want a signed copy!): https://www.reganwhmacaulay.com/peter-little-wing.html

…from Pandamonium Publishing House: https://pandamoniumpublishing.com/product/peter-little-wing-pre-order-for-february-6-2023/

 …and anywhere online, including Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Peter-Little-Wing-Regan-Macaulay/dp/1989506658/ref=sr_1_1?crid=380CJPPZKLGM5&keywords=Peter+Little+Wing+by+Regan+W.+H.+Macaulay&qid=1674148126&sprefix=peter+little+wing+by+regan+w.+h.+macaulay%2Caps%2C76&sr=8-1


Regan W. H. Macaulay
is a multi-award-winning author of novels, short stories, children's literature, and scripts.

Writing is her passion, but she's also a producer and director of theatre, film, and television (Triple Take Productions). She is an animal enthusiast as well, which led her to become a Certified Canine and Feline Massage Therapist (Kuri K9 Massage).

As an author, Regan spins fun-filled tales with whimsical characters that charm and delight readersHer carefully crafted narratives, filled with enchanting characters, offer new vocabulary and gentle wisdom.

Each adventure portrays unique animal characters and weaves in teachable moments.

Regan hails from Toronto, Ontario, Canada, where she lives with her husband, Kevin, Chihuahua Raxl, Siamese cat Jacobi (Jack), and an assortment of amphibians and fish. 

Her award-winning picture books include Mixter Twizzle’s BreakfastBeverlee Beaz the Brown Burmese (and Beverlee la chatte de Birmanie), Sloth the Lazy Dragon, and Libby the Lobivia Jajoiana (all from Mirror World Publishing), Merry Myrrh the Christmas BatTamara Turtle’s Life So Far, and Chloe the Unfeathered Parrot (Pandamonium Publishing House), and Dog Band (Iguana Books).

She also writes books and short stories for adult readers, including her Trilogy of Horrifically Half-baked HamSpace Zombies! (based on the feature film Space Zombies: 13 Months of Brain-Spinning Mayhem! available on DVD and Amazon Prime), They Suck, and Horror at Terror Creek.

Find Regan:

Website: https://www.reganwhmacaulay.com/  

Don’t forget to subscribe to my monthly newsletter: https://mailchi.mp/686921778797/freeflashfiction

TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@reganmacaulay?lang=en

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/reganw.h.macaulay/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/regan.macaulay/

X/Twitter: https://twitter.com/reganwhmacaulay

YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCj7V0ndozKJlL4wBr4oHWlQ

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/regan-macaulay-18989a34/?original_referer=

Sunday 18 February 2024

Author in the Kitchen: A Sausage and Rice Casserole Recipe and Romantic Read by Cozy Mystery Author Janis Lane...

This is an easy casserole that may be prepared the day before and warmed up on a busy day when dinner should be quick and easy. A box of rice tucked in the pantry is always a great idea. Changing the flavor makes it your own personal recipe. I’ve made it with a can of stewed tomatoes and a bit of garlic. You’ll find your own favorites to add. Summer sausage gives this dish a Southern flavor. Don’t forget to call out at least two y’alls before the first forkful. 


Sausage and Rice Casserole
1 box Wild Rice
2 onions, chopped
¼ cup green peppers, chopped
1 lb. bulk ground sausage
1 small can sliced mushrooms
2 cans cream chicken soup
1 can mushroom soup
1 cup water
1 small can water chestnuts, drained 
Slivered almonds, toasted and drained

Preheat oven 350° F.

Cook rice as directed on package, set aside. 

SautĂ© onion, peppers and sausage until meat is browned. Drain. Stir remaining ingredients, except almonds, with sausage mixture; turn into 9 X 13 baking dish. 

Bake 30 – 40 minutes. Sprinkle with almond slivers then serve. 

Suggested Additional Sides
Fresh Green beans seasoned with ham bits
Lima beans
Stewed tomatoes
Fresh rye bread and butter  

Dessert
Fruit cup with slice of pound cake and cheese
Iced Tea or coffee
Glass of wine 

Here is an intro to Janis's romantic cozy mystery for your reading pleasure.


Snapshot Suspicions
is an adventure with Abby, beautiful, vagabond wildlife photographer, and Adam, ruggedly handsome, millionaire protector of the environment.

A dangerous wildlife mystery requires the close attention of Adam and the local sheriff as Abby deals with two hired goons stalking her with a grudge. Basking in the rosy contentment of their love, Abby and Adam must trust each other as they encounter the first rift in their relationship. An engaging puppy presents a conundrum and a terrifying incident.

Abby discovers she can enjoy photographing subjects (AKC) other than wildlife and delights in setting up her own office, while Adam breathes a sign of relief when Abby makes a permanent commitment. Could she finally be thinking of a life time pledge to him?


EXCERPT
As she entered the room, a long arm snaked out and pulled her swiftly toward a broad chest. Her face was again covered with kisses that trailed down her face, sidetracked to explore a curled ear with a sip on a tiny lobe, and continued a path of kisses until it landed against her lips, which were blossoming into a reluctant smile.

“Adam.”

The sandy-haired giant lifted his head from the places he had been attending and settled his piercing blue eyes on her green ones with a satisfied sigh.

“Eve?”

He sat down in a kitchen chair and pulled her onto his lap, wrapping her in a warm embrace and tucking her head on his shoulder. She snuggled contentedly against him. What a wonderful way to greet the day, she thought. Everyone should have a handsome blond giant to cuddle with . . . She could feel herself drifting off.

“Good morning, Abby, my tree sprite. Did you sleep well? I thought you might stay snuggled in bed this morning after such a late night.”

“Adam.” She took a deep breath inhaling the familiar fragrance that she loved. It was all Adam who was so dear to her. She rubbed her face into his shoulder and allowed him to cuddle her for a minute more. Her body relaxed against him, her hand half encircled his rock hard forearm, but her mind struggled with her problem. She knew she had to nip this in the bud if she were ever to have peace. This was exactly what she had feared when she resisted moving in with him, even though she knew she loved him.

“Adam.” She turned her head to stare into his intensely blue eyes, and then shut hers. There was always the danger of falling into those loving pools of blue if a girl were not careful. She knew from experience how mesmerizing they could be.

“You’ve got to control that dog. I know he’s young and means no harm, but you promised to train him. I can’t keep buying new sneakers every single day.” She felt Adam’s deep chuckle before she heard it. His chest erupted in those sounds that brought a smile to her face in spite of her annoyance with the situation.


Janis Lane is the pen-name for gifted author Emma Lane who writes cozy mysteries as Janis, Regency as Emma, and spice as Sunny Lane.

She lives in Western New York where winter is snowy, spring arrives with rave reviews, summer days are long and velvet, and fall leaves are riotous in color. At long last she enjoys the perfect bow window for her desk where she is treated to a year-round panoramic view of nature. Her computer opens up a fourth fascinating window to the world. Her patient husband is always available to help with a plot twist and encourage Emma to never quit. Her day job is working with flowers at Herbtique and Plant Nursery, the nursery she and her son own.

Look for information about writing and plants on Emma's 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. Be sure to check out the things that make Emma smile on Pinterest.

Sunday 11 February 2024

Ready for Valentine's? Paranormal Romance Author C.D. Hersh Can Help You Make Any Special Day Count...


This is for all the guys out there who have to figure out what to get the wife for that “special” day. Of course, you have to remember that “special” day first with enough advance notice to be able to even worry about the gift. If you only remember the day as you are coming home from work then stopping at the flower shop is the only recourse, with possibly a box of candy. Candy only if she is not trying to lose weight so you need to pay attention, but that’s best to do all the time. 

Remembering the “special” day has become much easier since we all carry smart phones. Just load the list of “special” days in with a reminder of that day a week in advance. That should give you plenty of time to start paying attention to get that special gift. Of course, just paying attention you also have to understand what the hints are, or you could end up like the guy in the old joke that said:

“I don’t know what to buy my wife anymore. First, she wanted a mink, so I got her one. Then she wanted a silver fox, so I got her one. She still isn’t happy, and now the house if full of animals.”

Yes, you had better understand what the hints are saying. When writing a story, you can always insert a little fun between the hero and heroine with him forgetting a “special” day, especially when he doesn’t even think of those type of things like the one week, one month anniversary of whatever is special to the heroine. This type of faux pas can give a little levity to some of your conflict between the hero and heroine without it always having to be about life and death. Mixing a little humor into a story can make the characters seem real to the reader. While not about forgetting a “special” day this excerpt from book one in our Turning Stone Chronicles series has a little fun between the hero and heroine.

No one knew what Rhys Temple liked better than Alexi Jordan. That’s what made them such good partners. That same intimacy would also make them great lovers, a thought that had crossed her mind many times.

Alexi retrieved Rhys’ birthday cake from the back seat of her car. The privilege of baking this momentous-occasion pastry had almost brought her to blows with the rest of the females in the precinct office. She scooped up his birthday gift and then dropped it as the cake box slid down her arm. A quick slap on the clear plastic lid stopped the perilous drop but squished the yellow roses she’d so carefully crafted onto the German Chocolate cake.

She examined the decorations. Rhys’ name, age, and birthday salutation were intact. She sighed. “So much for presentation.”

A deep chuckle sounded behind her. “Need some help?”

“Hey, birthday boy.” Alexi motioned toward Rhys. “Get your gift.”

His eyebrows rose, and a seductive grin eased across his face as his arm circled Alexi’s waist.

Electricity shot through her causing her to shudder. “Not me.” At least, not for now. “The box. In the car.”

“Oh, that gift.” He released her, his hand trailing across her back.

She jabbed at him with her elbow.

He shrugged, his grin playful. “You can’t blame a guy for trying.”

He’d been “trying” for some time now. It was starting to get to her, but there was no way she could afford to give in. Too many things stood in the way.

As he maneuvered his tall body in front of her, his taut abdomen brushed against her in a way she felt was purposely seductive. Old Spice cologne mixed with a manly scent, uniquely Rhys, drifted past her. She loved the way he smelled.

She backed away. He made concentrating difficult. So much that in the year and a half they’d worked homicide, she’d often been tempted to ask for another partner. But the thought of not spending most days with him always changed her mind.

Have you read a story where something has been inserted about a “special” day being missed or used humor about a special day that made the characters seem genuine? 

Putting words and stories on paper is second nature to the husband and wife co-authors whose pen name is C.D. Hersh. They’ve written separately since they were teenagers and discovered their unique, collaborative abilities in the mid-90s while co-authoring a number of dramas, six which have been produced in Ohio, where they live. Their interactive Christmas production had five seasonal runs in their hometown and has been sold in Virginia, California, and Ohio. As high school sweethearts, Catherine and Donald believe in true love and happily ever after. Which is why they write it! 

The first four books of their paranormal romance series entitled The Turning Stone Chronicles Series page are available on Amazon. Their standalone novella, Can’t Stop The Music, is in the Soul Mate Tree collection with twelve other authors from various genres. When they aren’t collaborating on a book, they enjoy reading; singing; theatre and drama; traveling; remodeling houses (Donald has remodeled something in every home they’ve owned); and antiquing. Catherine, who loves gardening, has recently drawn Donald into her world as a day laborer. Catherine is an award-winning gardener — you can see some of her garden on their website. 

They are looking forward to many years of co-authoring and book sales, and a lifetime of happily-ever-after endings on the page and in real life.

You can see excerpts of their books, connect with, and follow C.D. Hersh at:

Website

Facebook

Amazon Author Page

Twitter

Sunday 4 February 2024

A Recipe and Read for Valentine's Day by Time Travel Romance Author Stella May...

If you love time travel romances, as well as dunking cookies in your coffee or tea, I've got a treat for you today. I've asked my good friend (and fellow time travel writer) Stella May to join me in my virtual kitchen, and whip up something special for the upcoming Valentine's Day. Whether you share these tasty morsels with your loved one, or savor them for yourself, love is truly in the air, and in your stomach. Wink. Please welcome, Stella, while I put on a pot of coffee and preheat the oven...

This is my hubby’s favorite cookie. I must admit it is mine, too. I hope you like them as well. My recipe makes 10 - 12 medium cookies or 7 - 8 large ones. 

Almond Cookies

4 egg whites, right out of the refrigerator*
⅓ cup organic sugar, or ½ cup for a sweeter taste
1 tsp. almond extract
1 cup almond flour (I use super-fine blanched)
Almonds, slivered or whole 

Pre-heat oven to 250° F. 

Cover cookie sheet with parchment paper. 

Pour egg whites into a glass bowl. Set your mixer on high speed. Whip until whites are very firm. 

Gradually add sugar, almond extract, and flour. Drop dough onto cookie sheet using a tablespoon or a scooper. Add an almond on top of each cookie, then set pan into oven. 

Bake for 20-25 min, then turn off the oven, but leave cookies inside for another 40-45 min. 

Remove and enjoy. 

*Store the yolks in the fridge to scramble for breakfast the next morning.

Here is a peek at Stella’s time travel romance novel for your reading pleasure. 

One key unlocks the love of a lifetime…but could also break her heart. 

Nika Morris’s sixth sense has helped build a successful business, lovingly restoring and reselling historic homes on Florida’s Amelia Island. But there’s one forlorn, neglected relic that’s pulled at her from the moment she saw it. The century-old Coleman house.  

Quite unexpectedly, the house is handed to her on a silver platter—along with a mysterious letter, postmarked 1909, yet addressed personally to Nika. Its cryptic message: Find the key. You know where it is. Hurry, for goodness sake! 

The message triggers an irresistible drive to find that key. When she does, one twist in an old grandfather clock throws her back in time, straight into the arms of deliciously, devilishly handsome Elijah Coleman. 

Swept up in a journey of a lifetime, Nika finds herself falling in love with Eli—and with the family and friends that inhabit a time not even her vivid imagination could have conjured. But in one desperate moment of homesickness, she makes a decision that will not only alter the course of more than one life, but break her heart. 

’Til Time Do Us Part is available in Kindle and Paperback at AMAZON


Talented author Stella May is the penname for Marina Sardarova who has a fascinating history you should read on her website

Stella writes fantasy romance as well as time travel romance. She is the author of 'Till Time Do Us Part, Book 1 in her Upon a Time series, and the stand-alone book Rhapsody in Dreams. Love and family are two cornerstones of her stories and life. Stella’s books are available in e-book and paperback through all major vendors.

When not writing, Stella enjoys classical music, reading, and long walks along the ocean. She lives in Jacksonville, Florida with her husband Leo of 35 years and their son George. They are her two best friends and are all partners in their family business.

Follow Stella on her website and blog Stay connected on Facebook, Twitter, and Pinterest.

Wednesday 31 January 2024

Come Celebrate Sharon Ledwith’s Birthday Bash this February in Atlantis and Fairy Falls…


Welcome to Atlantis. I’ve been expecting you. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expect the unexpected. Okay, not the real Atlantis or Fairy Falls, but the next best thing! Since February is my birthday month, I like to celebrate the whole month by giving my readers a good deal on my books to bulk up on their winter reading. This year, I’m kicking off my annual birthday bash month by giving readers a discount on each of my books, including my box sets. Starting February 1st and running until February 29th, ALL my ebooks and books will be on sale for $3 off the listed price through the Mirror World Publishing online bookstore. This way, readers can pick and choose which books or ebooks they would like to dive into.

The discount code for February's promotion is BIRTHDAYBASH. To make this even easier for my amazing readers, here's the link for the sale which automatically applies the discount, along with the QR Code below it if you wish to use that:

https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com?cc=BIRTHDAYBASH

The year, 2024, also marks the 10th Anniversary for my publisher, Mirror World Publishing, which is a big deal in my humble opinion, and quite an achievement. Why, you ask? Well, since I’ve been a published author, I’ve witnessed many publishers who’ve closed their doors through bankruptcy or failed business practices, and left their authors to find other publishers or alternatives. Many authors never did, and some had a hell of a time getting their rights returned to them. I feel grateful for connecting with Mirror World Publishing when I did, as the publisher I was contracted with shut down in 2015. Call it kismet. Call it fate. Call it destiny. It was totally meant to be, and I applaud my publisher for keeping up with the times, and choosing their brand wisely. Kudos, Justine, Robert, Sabrina, and Rhiannon!

If you’re interested in a journey to Atlantis or Fairy Falls, check out the covers and blurbs for each book featured at Mirror World Publishing’s online bookstore. You never know. Maybe you’ll get an intuitive hit of living in Atlantis in a past life, or have a nostalgic feeling of visiting a small tourist town like Fairy Falls where anything is possible. Wink.

The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis (Book #1):

When 13-year-old Amanda Sault and her annoying classmates are caught in a food fight at school, they're given a choice: suspension or yard duty. The decision is a no-brainer. Their two-week crash course in landscaping leads to the discovery of a weathered stone arch in the overgrown back yard. The arch isn't a forgotten lawn ornament but an ancient time portal from the lost continent of Atlantis.

Chosen by an Atlantean Magus to be Timekeepers--legendary time travelers sworn to keep history safe from the evil Belial--Amanda and her classmates are sent on an adventure of a lifetime. Can they find the young Robin Hood and his merry band of teens? If they don't, then history itself may be turned upside down.


Legend of the Timekeepers (prequel):

Lilith was a young girl with dreams and a family before the final destruction of Atlantis shattered those dreams and tore her family apart. Now refugees, Lilith and her father make their home in the Black Land. This strange, new country has no place in Lilith’s heart until a beloved high priestess introduces Lilith to her life purpose—to be a Timekeeper and keep time safe.

Summoned through the seventh arch of Atlantis by the Children of the Law of One, Lilith and her newfound friends are sent into Atlantis’s past, and given a task that will ultimately test their courage and try their faith in each other. Can the Timekeepers stop the dark magus Belial before he changes the seers’ prophecy? If they fail, then their future and the earth’s fate will be altered forever.

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret (Book #2):

Fourteen year-old Jordan Jensen always considered himself a team player on and off the field, until the
second Timekeeper mission lands him in Amsterdam during World War Two. Pulled into the world of espionage, torture, and intolerance, Jordan and the rest of the Timekeepers have no choice but to do whatever they can to stay one step ahead of the Nazis in order to find and protect a mysterious book.

With the help of the Dutch Resistance, an eccentric baron, Nordic runes, and an ancient volume originating from Atlantis, Jordan must learn that it takes true teamwork, trust, and sacrifice to keep time safe from the evils of fascism. Can Jordan find the hero within to conquer the darkness surrounding the Timekeepers? If he doesn’t, then the terrible truth of what the Nazis did will never see the light of day.


The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave (Book #3):

Eleven-year-old Drake Bailey is an analytical thinker and the genius of the Timekeeper crew. However, no logic or mathematical acumen can change the color of his skin, or prepare him for this third Timekeeper mission in antebellum Georgia. To survive, Drake must learn to play the role of a plantation slave and when confronted with the brutality, hatred, and racism of the deep south, he’ll have to strategically keep one move ahead of his sadistic captors to ensure his lineage continues.

In a dark world of Voodoo, zombies, and ritualistic sacrifice, the Timekeepers must ensure a royal bloodline survives. Can Drake remove both literal and figurative chains to save both himself and a devout slave girl from a terrible fate? If he can’t summon the necessary courage, humanity could stand to lose one of its greatest leaders.

Lost and Found, Book One: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls:

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.


Blackflies and Blueberries, Book Two: Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls:

City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future.

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder.

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.

Remember, this fantastic deal won’t last long! Plus, I can’t think of a better way to ride out the forecast that Mr. Groundhog gives us than relaxing with a good book, a comfortable chair, and cozy blanket. Unless you live in the southern hemisphere and get to enjoy reading by the pool or at the beach. Keep warm (or cool), and I hope you choose to escape to the past and have a blast with me, this February! Cheers, and thank you for taking the time to celebrate my birthday month with me. I appreciate you!