Category: Uncategorized

Guest Post: A Parallel Trust

GEOCACHING TREASURE The Inspiration for A Parallel Trust. When my eldest son was seventeen, he and a friend travelled to see their friends in Santa Rosa, California. When he returned he was buzzing about his time out there, much of which he spent geocaching. I had never heard of the word before but I was fascinated by his stories of using GPS on his phone to locate hidden treasures all over North California. I had been interested in treasure hunts since I was young; I loved mysteries and collected all my memories in boxes (I still have) under my bed. Once a year IÂ’d revisit them: postcards, train tickets, photographs, marbles, letters and notes from friends – paper social media of old. As my children were growing, I created treasure hunts in the house. I would hide clues behind picture frames, in storage jars, inside books and CD cases, and later staged treasure hunt road-trips for days out. I enjoyed creating them as much as they enjoyed finding the treasure. I could understand my sonÂ’s enthusiasm for his experiences; this was an exciting discovery for me too. The dopamine triggered childhood memories of finding perfect conkers in their shells on the way to school that my friends had missed. We discovered caches at the end of our street and a further twelve nearby. All these mini treasures around us all the time, many we had passed daily without realizing. When I began […]

Posted December 24, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Character Interview: Clara and Hailey from Gemini

Character Interview: Clara and Hailey from Gemini

Gemini by Sonya Mukherjee Published by Simon & Schuster Books for Young Readers on July 26th 2016 Genres: Contemporary Pages: 336 Buy on Amazon In a powerful and daring debut novel, Sonya Mukherjee shares the story of sisters Clara and Hailey, conjoined twins who are learning what it means to be truly extraordinary. Seventeen-year-old conjoined twins, Clara and Hailey, have lived in the same small town their entire lives—no one stares at them anymore. But there are cracks in their quiet existence and theyÂ’re slowing becoming more apparent. Clara and Hailey are at a crossroads. Clara wants to stay close to home, avoid all attention, and study the night sky. Hailey wants to travel the world, learn from great artists, and dance with mysterious boys. As high school graduation approaches, each twin must untangle her dreams from her sisterÂ’s, and figure out what it means to be her own person. Told in alternating perspectives, this unconventional coming-of-age tale shows how dreams can break your heart—but the love between sisters can mend it. I’m so excited to welcome Clara and Hailey today! They are characters from one on my most anticipated 2016 releases. I’m 100% sure that once you read this interview, you will want this book just as much as I do. Clara and Hailey have such original voices and I simply can’t wait to get to know them […]

Posted December 21, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Awesome Indies: Bonus Man by Will Tinkham

Awesome Indies: Bonus Man by Will Tinkham

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page So excited to feature Will Tinkham today and the third book of his Americana series, Bonus man. Check out what he has to say about it below! How long did this book take you to write? BONUS MAN took a couple of years while stopping and starting between finishing up the first two books in the series and starting the fourth. I jump back and forth between books in a futile attempt to preserve continuity. How do you develop your plots and characters? Honestly, they develop themselves. With BONUS MAN, the story came out of a news story of the Bonus Army of 1932 with Bonus Man himself emerging immediately. After that, circumstances and other historical situations dictated his development. What was the hardest part of writing this book? There’s nothing difficult about working on something you love. The peddling of the finished product is by far the hardest part. The research involved in piecing together an historical puzzle can be time consuming but it’s still a joy. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it? Plenty. That’s the wonder of working with historical events and characters. Mostly I learned what went on over there in St. Paul with the gangsters of the ’30s. What book are you reading now? TEN DAYS IN A MAD-HOUSE, Nellie’s […]

Posted December 18, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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Awesome Indies: The Silver Braid by Shanna Hughes

Awesome Indies: The Silver Braid by Shanna Hughes

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page Tell us about yourself? My name is Shanna and I live in the UK, although originally IÂ’m from the Netherlands. I work full time in affiliate marketing and squeeze in writing during my lunch break and evenings. I kicked this year off with the publication of The Silver Braid, a short story about ass-kicking seventeen-year-old Leigha Griffin, who has to save the world on a regular basis. I wanted to have a fierce heroine, and at the same time a story with a Christmas feel to it – as I wrote this over Christmas 2014. Was this book inspired by something in particular? It was! Years ago, through Write a Soldier, I started e-mailing with a US soldier called Leigha, and it sparked the idea to write a story about a female heroine whose job it is to save the world. ThatÂ’s how eventually I used that and came up with The Silver Braid. Did you learn anything from writing this book and what was it?  To never give up and that itÂ’s okay not to be perfect! For years, I was afraid of sharing my writing with others. I wanted to tackle that fear and that is why I wrote and self-published The Silver Braid. And yes, it has helped me to grow as a writer. What were you […]

Posted December 11, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 2 Comments
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Debut Author Bash: Mandy Mikulencak

Debut Author Bash: Mandy Mikulencak

Burn Girl by Mandy Mikulencak Published by Albert Whitman and Company on September 1st 2015 Genres: Contemporary, romance, Young Adult Pages: 288 Buy on Amazon A meth lab explosion leaves Arlie permanently scarred — both physically and emotionally. Yet, she develops the street smarts and survival skills to keep her addict mother out of the reach of the law and hidden from her stepfather, Lloyd, the man responsible for the explosion that killed three people.Shortly after ArlieÂ’s 16th birthday, her mother overdoses, forcing an end to their nomadic lives. Social services steps in and rules suddenly exist where none had before. Soon, sheÂ’s living in a 31-foot Airstream trailer with an eccentric uncle and attending high school for the first time.While her facial scar makes it hard to fit in, Arlie begins to think a normal life might be possible – that is, until her stepfather tracks her down and insists she return drug money her mother had stolen. A final confrontation tests ArlieÂ’s idea of right and wrong, and how far sheÂ’s willing to go to protect her new life. I wanted to read this book and then I got to interview Mandy Mikulencak. Now I HAVE to read this book. I’ve posted about blindness before and how I think its important to have a positive view of disabilities because the way people are represented in literature is […]

Posted December 6, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Mini Review: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Mini Review: Trigger Warning by Neil Gaiman

Trigger Warning: Short Fictions and Disturbances by Neil Gaiman Published by William Morrow on February 3rd 2015 Pages: 310 Buy on Amazon Multiple award winning, #1 New York Times bestselling author Neil Gaiman returns to dazzle, captivate, haunt, and entertain with this third collection of short fiction following Smoke and Mirrors and Fragile Things–which includes a never-before published American Gods story, “Black Dog,” written exclusively for this volume. In this new anthology, Neil Gaiman pierces the veil of reality to reveal the enigmatic, shadowy world that lies beneath. Trigger Warning includes previously published pieces of short fiction–stories, verse, and a very special Doctor Who story that was written for the fiftieth anniversary of the beloved series in 2013–as well “Black Dog,” a new tale that revisits the world of American Gods, exclusive to this collection. Trigger Warning explores the masks we all wear and the people we are beneath them to reveal our vulnerabilities and our truest selves. Here is a rich cornucopia of horror and ghosts stories, science fiction and fairy tales, fabulism and poetry that explore the realm of experience and emotion. In “Adventure Story”–a thematic companion to The Ocean at the End of the Lane–Gaiman ponders death and the way people take their stories with them when they die. His social media experience “A Calendar of Tales” are short takes inspired by replies to fan tweets […]

Posted December 2, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Awesome Indies: The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp

Awesome Indies: The Big Book of Post-Collapse Fun by Rachel Sharp

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page Rachel Sharp is here today to talk about the struggle of being an author and living with a chronic illness. She is a tough lady and that shines through in her writing. I love how she compares her writing to an escape. Thank you for this beautiful guest post! Rachel Sharp As a reader and writer, there is nothing that I cannot do. I can fly with dragons and swim with dolphins. I can score winning goals and cast magic spells. I can even travel through time. As an ordinary person, I cannot climb stairs without assistance. This mind-boggling contrast gives me trouble sometimes, but itÂ’s the life of a disabled author. There are quite a few of us. Some live with the result of serious injury or an imbalance of brain chemistry. Personally, I live with an autoimmune disease, which means that my body is trying to kill itself and my job is to stop it. My doctors have been tremendously helpful. Sometimes it does get a bit old, cycling through various clinics to have blood taken out, vitamins put in, scans scanned, and monitors monitored, but it is orders of magnitude better than going untreated. While I am receiving treatment, I still have both pain and limitations. I canÂ’t go out drinking anymore, although as I close out […]

Posted November 20, 2015 by Emily in Awesome Indie, Uncategorized / 1 Comment
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Awesome Indies: Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett

Awesome Indies: Zaria Fierce and the Secret of Gloomwood Forest by Keira Gillett

For more information, check out the Awesome Indies page Keira GillettÂ’s Favorite Magical Kingdom in Zaria Fierce Hi everyone, my name is Keira Gillett. Thanks Emily for having me here today! IÂ’m very excited to join you and your readers to talk about Zaria Fierce and the Enchanted Drakeland Sword, the second book in my middle grade/young adult trilogy. IÂ’ve been asked which magical kingdom in the Zaria Fierce Trilogy is my favorite. ThatÂ’s a tough question, because I like them all and would want to visit each of them, simply because I created them. I think thereÂ’s a story in each kingdom waiting to be told. But since you said favorite, I guess IÂ’ll have to choose! As cool as it would be to see the underground cavern of Trolgar, to stroll in its markets, and see their wolf and reindeer herds, I simply donÂ’t think I could stay in the mountain-troll city for very long. I would be afraid of starting a Wild Hunt! And Álfheim would be beautiful with its delicate silvery architecture set high in the trees. I wouldnÂ’t be afraid for my life with the elves, but IÂ’m not sure I could stay long, even if they are adapting human technologies for their society. I enjoy reading at night too much to give up a steady light for a bonfire or flickering candle. The […]

Posted November 14, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 2 Comments
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Completely Off Topic #3: Braille Dice Kickstarter

Completely Off Topic #3: Braille Dice Kickstarter

I’ve talked about this a little on twitter. I certainly don’t keep it a secret. In my spare time, when I’m not blogging or tweeting or even teaching (my day job), I help my husband make braille accessibility kits for popular board games. So this is a little complicated because it involves so many niche markets. However,I think its important. Have you ever heard of Apples to Apples, Cards Against Humanity, or Pandemic? These are the kinds of games that we love and the kinds of games that we are making accessible to blind players. These games aren’t your typical board games. They come from the booming hobby board game market, which my husband loves. In my day job, I teach braille. I’m incredibly passionate about braille literacy. Especially with my love of books, I want everyone to have the opportunity to read.  So when you put our two loves together, 64oz Games was born. In March of 2014, we ran a successful kickstarter to jump start this process. It was successful and we raised the money to buy a braille embosser and some start up materials to make kits for other games. Now we offer more than 70 kits at our store. One thing we always wanted to offer was braille dice, like a D20 for playing Dungeons and Dragons or other RPGs. We have a 3D printer but the […]

Posted November 11, 2015 by Emily in Uncategorized / 0 Comments
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