Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Top Ten Tuesday - Ten Bookish Things


 
http://www.brokeandbookish.com/p/top-ten-tuesday-other-features.html



This week's top ten is...Top Ten Bookish Things (That Aren't Books) That I'd Like To Own (new bookshelves, bookends, cool bookmark, a bookish shirt, etc.

So, of course, I'd like to start with number ten...

10. I would really love to get bookshelves built into the walls of my room, so I don't have these huge, towering things hogging up so much space in my personal areas.


9. I think some really neat looking bookends always add a little touch of personality to your shelves, SO I would get these next.



8. BOOKMARKS! I read so many books, these would be essential...plus, I notice many that are different and unique from your original piece of paper.



7. Any kind of merchandise related to my books. I'm particular to clothing and decorations that I am likely to use again and again, like coffee mugs or phone cases.


 

6. Giftcards to bookstores...getting one of these is like Christmas morning for me.


5. A unique bag to carry all those books in! Not only would it be more convenient for me to haul the non-ebooks in, but it adds style and flare to my personality.



4. Accessories for my e-reader...I mean, look at all the neat covers and things they have in stock for me to buy!


3. I desperately want a bedspread with my books printed on it...though they do make comforters with book covers on them, I was unable to convince the "higher authority" to let me have one.



2. The movie...occasionally. I do have to admit they tend to butcher books when they make them into movies, so I usually don't like to watch them, but even so it's still neat to see your characters brought to life, in the right way, of course.



1. A book nook! I always wanted a small area that I could hide away in and read by myself...I'd love to have some windows involves in it, as well. :D

Friday, April 11, 2014

The House of Chalice by T.T. Escurel - Book Blast and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. One randomly chosen commenter will receive a $20 Amazon gift card, an autographed copy of AURONIA, and an autographed copy of THE HOUSE OF CHALICE. Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

Vartan is lost. His fiancé has just run off with his mortal enemy and now his mother, the Queen of the House of Rose, has disappeared. Venturing into a land with no magic, no army and no fiancé, will he be able to survive?

Lia is in trouble. Clashpeak has a new king who requires a bride, one who has eyes for the young baker’s daughter. During a violent coup, Lia seizes her chance to escape. With every soldier in the kingdom looking for her, nowhere is safe.

An ancient curse lingers in the air, still working its magic. Madness has seized the blood of the royals of the House of Chalice. A battle for power, the likes of nothing Auronia has ever seen, is about to begin…

Enjoy an excerpt:

“Ever since I was a boy, my father would tell me such stories about his adventures. He’d describe this epic battle and detail how he defeated the Raven Queen to save my mother. He’d talk of making pacts with the wood imps and the tree lords. He’d talk of the ancients and how magic was an important part of the land. But,” he says, looking at his reflection in the shining metal, “he never talked to me about what it is like to lose someone.”

Vartan pauses to glance down at the crown of my head, all that he can see of me in the tiny, dark space. I give him no sign that I am listening, yet he continues.

“That’s the one thing we can’t escape, magic or no magic: Loss. Death is one thing. Death I can handle. My life is my own and hopefully my death will be glorious, but still, it will be my death. Loss… Loss ripples out, bashing against the people you love like waves crashing on rocks. It wears them down, turning them to dust and carries them away into a vast sea of nothingness.”

Another pause. He holds his blade to the light. “I saw what losing my mother did to my father. I chased her here, not just to find her for myself, though I desperately wish to know she is alive and safe. It’s my father, you see... I’ve seen your sorrow before. He wears it, curling up in it like a cloak in the dead of winter, but instead of keeping him warm, it only freezes his heart. I can see him becoming bitter and cruel. Without her, we will fall apart. I can’t let that happen. I love my kingdom too much. I love my mother too much. And, above all, I love my father too much to watch him do it.”

He sheathes his sword and grabs me in his arms.

“I know that you want to give up. It is painfully hard to carry on. I may have had an entire kingdom relying on me, but I felt alone in my loss. The thing is…” he pauses, furrowing his brow as he searches for the right words. “…I think the hardest thing to do is to continue on. To die for them would be too easy. Living for them… continuing on… that is the hardest thing of all.”

“So why should I?” I snap, turning away. I can’t bear to look at him. His words hurt me more deeply than my own pain. “Why not let Baston take me? Why not fling myself from the tower window?”

“Because,” Vartan says, resting his hands on my shoulders, “that isn’t the kind of life your parents wanted for you.”

“What do you know about what my parents wanted?” I growl.

Silence. I feel a twinge of guilt, but I can’t get past my own selfish need to lash out at him.

“I don’t,” he says finally. “But… I know it isn’t what I want for you.”

I lift my head and our eyes meet. His words are there, trapped behind those green eyes.

About the Author:
Science Fiction/Fantasy writer in Southern California where the sun shines, the waves roll in and the roads become a backdrop for an apocalypse movie every time the word "precipitation" is mentioned.

Where did you grow up, and how did this influence your writing?

I grew up on a sailboat. That did something odd to my imagination, I think. There is a certain type of surreal serenity that comes with living aboard a boat. That undercurrent seems to run through all my books, even though most of my characters have far more conventional backgrounds. Growing up on a boat helped teach me a stable world evolves not from your environment as much as from your perspective. My books are full of strange worlds and even stranger people, but all my main characters seem to have that grip on reality despite being dropped in the heart of chaos.

Blog: http://ttescurel.wordpress.com
Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/T.T.-Escurel/e/B00EAHPJKK
iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/us/artist/t.t.-escurel/id741251013?mt=11&ign-mpt=uo%3D4
Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/c/t.-t.-escurel
Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/ttescurel

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

Dragon's Fool by Aldred Chase - Virtual Tour and Giveaway

 
http://goddessfishpromotions.blogspot.com/2014/01/virtual-nbtm-book-tour-dragons-fool-by.html



Aldred Chase is visiting with us today as part of his virtual book tour for hisYA book, Dragon's Fool.

Aldred will be awarding a $25 Amazon GC to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Click the tour banner for dates.

Why Middle Grade fiction? What draws you to it?

The stories can be inventive, humorous and playful, while at the same time they can tackle big, important issues. Children at middle grade age are full of potential, and it’s exciting to write stories about characters that are discovering who they are in the world.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

My favorite books were Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit and ‘The Lord of the Rings’. The feeling of having such a richly imagined new world open up inside my head was exhilarating. I loved all of Roald Dahl’s children’s books, especially ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’. My favorite series was the ‘Just William’ books by Richmal Crompton. I liked the way that William, with the best intentions in the world, always managed to get himself into trouble, and I think a little of that has rubbed off onto my hero Keth.

What did you want to be when you grew up? Why?

I wanted to be a writer because I loved reading and I thought it would be an amazing buzz to be one of the people who created these stories. When I grew up I did become a writer but I wrote computer programs. It was satisfying work and financially more secure. However my young self had it right, writing stories is a huge buzz and I feel extremely lucky to be living my childhood dream.

Ideal summer vacation?

I like to visit foreign countries and my favorite form of travel is any long distance train journey. I get two bites at the cherry when I travel because I enjoy the planning almost as much fun as the actual trip. I like to read on my journeys and I love my Kindle as it saves me dislocating my shoulders lifting heavy, book-filled bags.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

I have a terribly sweet tooth. I eat choc-chip cookies as if I’m inhaling them. If I had to pick a favorite it would be apple crumble with ice-cream or chocolate fudge cake with caramel sauce or baked cheesecake with blackcurrant topping. I’ll have to stop now as I’m drooling all over my keyboard.

Favorite TV show from your childhood?

My favorite TV show was the original Doctor Who and my favorite Doctor was Tom Baker. I’m also a big fan of the rebooted version and I can’t wait to see where the show will go with the new Doctor.

What four literary characters would you most like to have over for dinner?

Ratty from Wind in the Willows because he is such relaxed company and we could go boating on the river after dinner was finished.

Gandalf from The Lord of the Rings because he has a sly sense of humor and he would have lots of wonderful stories.

Nanny Ogg from the Disc World because she knows how to make any dinner party a roaring success, but please don’t ring me the morning after.

Willy Wonka because he is bringing the dessert. Did I mention earlier that I have a terribly sweet tooth?

Keth has become the most powerful person in the city of Russett. He is both Prince Dawyn's fool and his most trusted adviser. The secret of Keth's success is listening to the tart, sour comments that the turnip on the end of his fool's stick pours into his mind, which no one else can hear.

When an earthquake strikes Russett, it is only the first in a series of disasters to devastate the city. Superstitious folk say that these are signs that a dragon is coming and only the golden prince of legend can save them. Keth's turnip tells him that these are only natural events and dragons don't exist, but he can use peoples' fears to his own advantage.

In the ruined city, Keth has to decide who he will trust and what he will believe. The fate of his friends and the survival of the land depend on the choices he makes.

Dragon's Fool is book four in the Nobody's Fool Quartet, the gripping climax to a tale of comedy and adventure.7:56 PM 1/14/2014



The roar of the water was now deafening. It had wiped out all the other sounds. Urchin and Grub had got hold of Wilbert’s arms and Smiley and Bead were clinging to them to stop them toppling over, but Wilbert was too heavy for them to drag up. Wilbert’s foot pushed down against my shoulder but he didn’t have the strength to boost himself up. My last view before the water engulfed me was going to be of Wilbert’s bum.

I had an idea. I raised my turnip stick. I wedged the turnip head against Wilbert’s backside. I shoved hard. Wilbert shot up. The others hauled him on to the roof tiles. I climbed up after him.

“I hate you,” Turnip said inside my head. “I’m glad you’re going to drown.”

I scrambled onto the corner of the roof. Urchin, Grub and Smiley were crawling up to the ridge of the roof. Wilbert was lying, gasping like a stranded fish and clutching his bum. Bead was kneeling over him, checking he was okay.

From up here, I had a much better view of the wave than I wanted. A great wall of water swept towards us with terrible purpose. It ripped up the wooden pier beyond the stone quay and tossed the timbers high in the air. It blasted over the top of the city wall and collapsed the buildings on the other side as though they were made of paper.


About the Author

Aldred Chase’s first experience of fantasy fiction was reading ‘The Hobbit’ at school, and he has been hooked on the genre ever since. His favorite places for writing are cafes and park benches, but he does most of his work sitting at his desk. His best ideas come to him when he is travelling by train or walking by the sea.

Aldred has just released Dragon’s Fool, the final installment of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, a tale of adventure and comedy with some scary bits, aimed at children age 9 to 12. He vacated his desk to give his brain and keyboard a rest, but during a recent train ride the idea for his next novel arrived, and the desk is calling him back.

Links

Aldred’s website: http://www.aldredchase.com
Aldred on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/aldred.chase

Dragon’s Fool can be purchased at:

https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/dragons-fool-book-four-nobodys/id787425279?mt=11
http://www.amazon.com/Dragons-Fool-Nobodys-Quartet-ebook/dp/B00HF8TL7I
https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/389892
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/dragons-fool-aldred-chase/1117786145

For readers who would like to begin the series from the beginning, Apprentice Fool, book one of the Nobody’s Fool Quartet, is available free at Amazon in the USA, Canada, and UK, Smashwords, Apple, Kobo and Barnes and Noble. I’ve included the links below:

http://www.amazon.com/Apprentice-Fool-Nobodys-Quartet-ebook/dp/B00DMCVSSG
http://www.smashwords.com/books/view/329184
http://itunes.apple.com/us/book/apprentice-fool-book-one-nobodys/id667842738?mt=11
http://www.kobobooks.com/ebook/Apprentice-Fool-Book-One-Nobodys/book
http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/apprentice-fool-aldred-chase/1116057771

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Understudy by Cheyanne Young - Virtual Tour and Giveaway


LRS is visiting with us today as part of her virtual book tour for her YA book, Understudy.

The author will be awarding a $20 Amazon GC and five ebook copies of Understudy during her tour. Enter below using the rafflecoter at the end of this post.

Why YA (or Middle Grade) fiction? What draws you to it?

I started writing YA books because I was in the YA age group at the time and that was all I read. Now that I’m almost 30 (ahhhh!!!) I’m still passionate about young adult books because I feel that being young is the most important part of your life. Being a teenager is about experiencing the “firsts” in life, and that’s what I like writing about. Plus, I’m still a teenager at heart and I’m not sure if I’ll ever actually grow up.

What books were your favorite as a youth and why?

I read every single Babysitter’s Club book (My teacher had over 100) when I was in 5th grade and then quickly moved on to RL Stine’s Fear Street series. I loved reading about characters I knew and going on exciting adventures.

What candy do you give out at Halloween?

I recently started giving out glow stick bracelets and I quickly became the cool house in the neighborhood. Kids get a ton of candy anyway and the glow sticks make for a spooky scenery when everyone is walking glowing at night. The best part about Halloween is hitting up the store the day after and then consuming ridiculous amounts of discount chocolate.

What reality show would you love to be on? Why?

I would want to have my own reality show. Something about the crazy and sometimes boring life of a writer. The main reason I’d want this is because I feel like having a camera in your face would be great motivation to quit watching TV and get back to writing my books.

Sum up your book for Twitter: 140 characters or less.

Directing a play with a hot guy can’t possibly go wrong. Or can it?

Favorite hot beverage. Why?

I am in love with coffee. I think my obsession came from being a child who spent the summers with my grandmother. She had a 2pm coffee and cookies break every day and although my coffee was mostly milk, it was tradition and a tradition I still keep to this day.

You’ve just won a million dollars and you’re not allowed to save any of it. What do you spend it on?

I’d pay off my mortgage, my parent’s mortgage and my best friend’s student loans. Then I’d take my family on an epic vacation that only ended when the last penny was spent.

The high school play is in two months and senior Wren Barlow just became director. Wren still isn't over the fact that she got stiffed as a stagehand instead of the lead role that she totally deserved. Now she is in charge of rehearsals, costumes, navigating around cast member hookups and managing the real life drama at home.

The principal counts on her to succeed because tickets have been sold and the money has been spent. But when he drops a gorgeous bad boy on her and wants him to help the play for extra credit, she falls hard for someone she knows she can't date.

With everything spinning out of control, the mysterious and secretive detention king named Derek has a few tricks up his sleeve and wants to help—too bad Wren is scared to give him a chance to prove himself.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Cheyanne is a native Texan with a fear of cold weather and a coffee addiction that probably needs an intervention. She loves books, sarcasm, nail polish and paid holidays. She lives near the beach with her family, one spoiled rotten puppy and a cat who is most likely plotting to take over the world.

She also writes under the pen name Amy Sparling.

www.CheyanneYoung.com

www.Twitter.com/NormalChey

https://www.goodreads.com/CheyanneYoung

a Rafflecopter giveaway

The Zombie Next Door by T.W. Kirchner - Virtual Book Tour and Tour Wide Giveaway



This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Bewitching Book Tours.

Tour wide giveaway - enter to win a $10 Amazon Gift Card using the Rafflecopter below.

You can see the other stops on the tour by clicking the tour banner. Thanks to the author for answering a few of our prying questions!

Why middle grade fiction? What draws you to it?

It’s kind of a round-about answer, but here it is. I’ve always liked to write, but I originally became interested in writing books because I wanted to illustrate them. About the same time that I learned that publishers don’t want you to illustrate your own books unless you’re officially an “illustrator”, I also realized that I like to write more than 800 words. Problem solved. The material I liked as a child and still do includes pirates and creepy creatures, which are perfect subjects for middle graders but not always good for the picture book crowd. I also like to write material geared toward getting boys interested in reading. It’s fun for me to write fast-paced action-adventures.

What’s your favorite sweet treat?

Dark chocolate. I love the stuff, and it’s supposed to be good for you—in moderation, of course. I can even pass up milk chocolate, but I get cravings for Hershey’s dark when I’m stressed out. A close second is an awesome chocolate chip coffee cake that I bake—with semi-sweet chocolate chips. I just took one out of the oven, so I’m smelling it as I’m writing about it…

What superpower would you love to have? Why?

That’s an easy one. The power of instant transport. If I could get from point A to point B in the blink of an eye, I could have so much extra time in my day. Some days, it feels like I spend three hours in my car driving back and forth..and that doesn’t include the waiting-in-the-car time at the final destination when I’m the driver for Mom’s Taxi Service. It not only would save time, but just think how mind-blowing it would be to pop over to any destination that I’m writing about instead of scouring the Internet for info. I could vacation anywhere and return home in a flash at the end of the day to sleep in my own comfy bed.

What book is on your nightstand currently?

There is no book on my nightstand, but there is one on my computer. I’m getting a sneak peek at the Scarlet Envy, the sequel to Scarlet Revenge written by a close friend of mine, Ann McGinnis. It’s a mystery romance, which isn’t my usual type of book, but it’s hooked me pretty good with the mystery aspect.

You’re stranded on a desert island—which character from your book do you want with you? Why?

My choice is purely from a ‘who can help me get off the island the fastest’ standpoint. I’d have to go with whoever placed the white magic on the pendant. By the way, I know who it is, but I don’t want to leak a spoiler. Readers can find out the magician’s identity in The Zombie Upstairs. Since white or light magic is good magic, I’d feel like they would be able to conjure up an escape plan that didn’t involve evil. And they wouldn’t be tempted to turn me into a zombie, either.


The Zombie Next Door

For the sleepy, seaside town of Vivian, life is usually just another day at the beach until a rash of bizarre robberies occur with one thing in common—the DNA lifted from the crime scene belongs to a dead man. Fourteen-year-old Goldie Rich is hardly concerned about that. She has enough problems dealing with her annoying guardian for the summer, older sister Gema.

Goldie’s problems escalate when she finds a pendant necklace washed up on the beach. The pendant contains the souls of zombies created by an evil sorcerer. Goldie must wear the necklace until she frees the souls, but to accomplish this, she has to confront the zombies face to face.

Goldie seeks help from her best friend, eccentric and free-spirited Rita. Although the pair’s zombie hunting exploits get them into huge trouble, they uncover the truth about the town’s robberies and how the secrets of Goldie’s past will define her future.


Now enjoy an excerpt:

Chapter 1

Friday the thirteenth. Bad things happen. Superstition, right? Wrong. My day started off on a downward slide when I rolled out of bed. My bare feet didn’t sink into the soft, dry carpet like they always did. Instead, a warm, gooey substance oozed between my toes. Before I could slip my glasses on, the unmistakable odor of dog poop drifted by.

Right then, I should have poured hand sanitizer on my feet, cleaned the carpet, and gone back to bed, but I couldn’t. I was facing the dreaded math section of testing in my second to last week of eighth grade at Vivian Middle School. My anticipated last week as a Vivian Sea Turtle.

“Goldie, are you up, yet?” my sister, Gema, screamed from downstairs. “Goldie, did you hear me?”

While I stood in a pile of poop, the annoying factor of Gema’s screeching voice was magnified by a million.

After I took a deep, calming yoga breath, I screamed back. “I’m up already.”

The deep breath didn’t really calm me at all, and I made sure my answer sounded heavy with attitude on purpose. Gema had been driving me nuts, and it was only the first week of my three-month sentence. This was going to be a long summer. Come to think of it, it seemed like Friday the thirteenth all week.

Besides not having time to eat breakfast, I couldn’t find my favorite earrings or a matching pair of shoes. I showed up five minutes late for school, choked on the probability section of the math test, and swapped radius for diameter. By the time the final school bell rang, I sprinted away from school in tears and headed for my favorite get away spot. The beach.

Rita was thrilled to go with me even in my pathetic state, but that’s how best friends are.

I closed my eyes and took a deep breath of the salty air. The breeze blowing through my hair, sun warming my face, and harmony in the waves sent me to another place. A beautiful island where there wasn’t school or screaming sisters. I loved the feel of warm, grainy sand, instead of dog poop, squishing between my toes. Nothing beat the feeling.

I was brought back to reality with a nudge from Rita. “Earth to Goldie. Let’s head over to the pier.”

As I gazed toward the pier, the beach was creepily deserted. Not that this narrow half-sandy, half-rocky strip of Vivian ever was overly crowded, but today, only a few sunbathers, joggers, and hobos were scattered about. I was really glad Rita tagged along because this scenario seemed like a good opening for a horror movie. After all, it was still Friday the thirteenth. “Isn’t it weird how empty the beach is for the middle of the afternoon? Why do you think? There’s not a cloud in the sky and it’s hot.”

Rita tied a side knot in her pumpkin-colored tee making the stack of bangle bracelets jingling up and down her arm sound like sleigh bells. “No idea.” She tightened her ponytails by pulling two sections of hair in opposite directions. They sprouted from the top of her head and were streaked with neon orange gel to match her ‘mood of the week’. “It’s more of a mystery why you’re such a downer on a beautiful day. Especially a Friday. And with the math exam over and only one final left before summer break.” Rita improved a cheer. “Then we’re gonna be high-schoolers!”


After working an assortment of jobs which include a computer programmer, marketing director, and substitute teacher, T.W. Kirchner decided to concentrate on her second loves, writing and art. Her first loves are her husband, two children, and furry menagerie known as the Kirchner Zoo. Other published books by T.W. Kirchner include Pirates Off the Deep End and Pirates Off the Wall.

Website: http://www.twkirchner.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/tinainlv
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/profile.php?id=100006500718993
Publisher Author Page: http://shortontimebooks.com/?page_id=231

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Friday, March 28, 2014

Seventeen by Mark Diehl - Guest Blog and Giveaway


This post is part of a virtual book tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. Enter the Rafflecopter below to win a $25 Amazon or Barnes and Noble gift card. You can see the other stops on the tour by clicking the tour banner.

How I handled the research for the book


The premise of “Seventeen” is that, because of the way we live now, with bigger organizations being better able to provide insurance and other benefits and controlling an increasing share of the world’s resources, eventually non-corporate characteristics like individuality and creativity will be eliminated from the human genome.

That is, I believe we are evolving into a corporate species.

As I became increasingly obsessed with the idea, I followed whatever questions arose. Some I could just figure out, like the fact that Japan is clearly the world’s most corporate society. Corporations are at the heart of everything there. I studied some Japanese history, just trying to get a feel for how the culture developed over time, what made it the way it is.

I looked for other cultures that had similar trajectories, similar patterns of development, and I found some similarities in ancient Rome. I realized that there were patterns that endured, things that all of the world’s most efficient societies shared. It became clear that common to all was a rigid and often brutal hierarchy.

That made a certain degree of sense to me. Every army in the world became an extreme, top-down hierarchy in short order, because those that didn’t were wiped out by their neighbors, who through enforcement of blind obedience had transformed into more efficient killing machines. Murder has always been part of life among the humans, but organized, massive campaigns of murder are the result of mind control and a chain of command. True evil began when one man learned he could control the mind of another.

I saw that if I wanted to show how that trend is now continuing (i.e. how corporations and other entities are building militaristic hierarchies), I would need to write a book set in the future. I did research into food production and genetic engineering, to see how people would eat, and I discovered that it’s likely that all food will soon be engineered. That led me to think about other things that could come from biotech, like medicines and even tangible items like furniture. I read about biochemistry and decided that bacteria were the most likely sources of the future world’s food and medicine, and possibly for most everything else, because they’re easy to reprogram and have little else to them beyond protein manufacturing. Splice a few genes, a strain of bacteria starts producing a new substance, and the corporations profit from every bite you take, not by supplying you with the meal, but by owning your right to consume it.

From there I took the story step by step, imagining what would happen in a certain circumstance and then researching parts that I saw would change over time, then revising the original idea to match what the facts had helped me realize.

Most of the world's seventeen billion people are unconscious, perpetually serving their employers as part of massive brain trusts. The ecosystem has collapsed, and corporations control all of the world's resources and governments. A bedraggled alcoholic known as the Prophet predicts nineteen year-old waitress Eadie will lead a revolution, but how can she prevail when hunted by a giant corporation and the Federal Angels it directs?

About the Author:
Mark D. Diehl writes novels about power dynamics and the way people and organizations influence each other. He believes that obedience and conformity are becoming humanity’s most important survival skills, and that we are thus evolving into a corporate species.

Diehl has: been homeless in Japan, practiced law with a major multinational firm in Chicago, studied in Singapore, fled South Korea as a fugitive, and been stranded in Hong Kong.

After spending most of his youth running around with hoods and thugs, he eventually earned his doctorate in law at the University of Iowa and did graduate work in creative writing at the University of Chicago. He currently lives and writes in Cape Elizabeth, Maine.

Author’s Website: http://www.markddiehl.com a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, March 19, 2014

REVIEW: The Purple Girl by Audrey Kane


This post is part of a review tour organized by Goddess Fish Promotions.

Audrey will be awarding a $25 Amazon gift card to a randomly drawn commenter during the tour.

Click on the tour banner to see the other stops on the tour.

The Purple Girl by Audrey Kane
Middle Grade, Adventure/Magical Realism
4.0 rating
138 pages


CAUTION! Violet lives within the pages of this book. And her purple spreads to everything she touches…

Violet lives behind garden walls. Is she magical? Is she the devil’s child—or simply cursed? When the lonely thirteen-year-old embarks on a dangerous journey to find the one boy that dared to befriend her, she travels at night...in the dark...to keep people from seeing her purple skin. But no one is more surprised than Violet when she unlocks her mysterious gift.

My Review


This is a sweet little story suitable for all ages, but would probably be enjoyed most by younger readers (10-13).

Violet, from birth, was different. She was purple and she shared that color with anything she touches. Needless to say, this definitely marked her. And, people fear what is different. Violet wishes she could change things, but comes to find out that maybe things aren't as bad as she thinks.

My only complaint about this story is that it was too short. I would have loved to see a little more about Violet and her life. There was another character in the story that Violet sees briefly in a vision. I would have liked to find out more about him and how he and Violet are connected.

I do like the character of Violet though. Even with all she's gone through in her short life, she has a sweet character. I was very glad to when she found a friend, and I was sad when he had to move away. I can really understand why she felt she needed to try to find him. After all, it's hard to lose a friend...especially when it's your only friend.

Here's hoping that Ms. Kane has more stories set in this world in store. I would really like to read more of them.

Now, enjoy an excerpt:


This is how the story was told to me.

When the midwife brought me into the world, she let out a scream. Hands trembling, she swaddled me in a white blanket, leaving only a small opening so I could breathe. She refused to let my mother see me until my father appeared and stood by her side. Purple mist seeped through the white blanket, staining the midwife’s fingers.

“God help us all. This baby is cursed!” the midwife cried, thrusting me into my father’s arms. She grabbed a rag and tried to scrub the stains off her hands.

As my father unwrapped me, the color drained from his face. My mother, weak from the delivery, reached toward him...or perhaps to me.

“What’s wrong?” After a moment, he held me up.

My mother wailed when she saw her purple baby.

My father turned away from her and laid me in the cradle, far from my mother, his fingers shaking as he bundled me in the plum-colored blanket. He remained silent, wiping his purple stained palms on his pants. The stains wouldn’t stay on him forever... only a few moments...but he didn’t know that then.

“Oh, Samuel,” my mother sobbed. “How did this happen?”

My father gazed into my eyes, and when he finally spoke, his voice broke.

“We’ll call her Violet.” He stroked a tuft of my lavender hair and sank to his knees.


About the Author


As a writer, and also a designer of tapestries with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, it is only natural for Audrey to weave visual stories. When she is not designing tapestries, she is busy conjuring up characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations. Between carpools and design work, she is plotting, scheming, writing, and revising. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, their three children, and her unruly dog, Rascals. Audrey's favorite time to write is in the early morning while her family sleeps. With Rascals sprawled out snoring beside her, it only takes one oversized cup of coffee to get her mind moving.

Audrey is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. She loves traveling, museums, and blackberry-apple pie. Actually, she loves all kinds of pie. And she especially loves her family. They have put up with Violet and Waxy for a long time. You can visit her at: www.audreykane.com or Facebook.
The Purple Girl can be bought at Amazon