Welcome to Day 4 of the #AngelofTime Blog Tour!
Can you tell us about Alice—Angel of Time, the sequel to Alice of the Rocks?
I felt it important to continue the story, as the first book ended with a cliffhanger. Alice of the Rocks tells the story of a couple whose love spans 500 years, all due to an 'experiment' gone wrong by Leonardo Da Vinci. The novel is about a young lady (Alice) who lives in the year 2029, the near future, and eventually travels back to Florence, where she was born. The story starts in 1512 when Claudio, who is a high born member of the Medici court in Renaissance Florence, falls in love with Elisa, a scullery maid. This goes against social norms, but he doesn't care about her station. The two stories intertwine, one playing out in 2029, the other in 1512, and are set against lush Tuscany scenery with a lot of Medici treachery and meddling, for good measure.
In the sequel, through a series of difficulties, Alice ends up going back to the past, as Claudio's life is in danger.
Your books have a strong narrative focus on feisty, strong-minded female characters. Why is this important to you as an author?
I have four daughters, so having a role model to inspire young women and girls to overcome obstacles and achieve their goals is something I always try to encourage in my daughters and in my students. Alice is a strong female protagonist who goes back in time to save her young man, which is quite against the grain as we're so used to it being the other way around.
Alice of the Rocks and Angel of Time are set across five centuries. What inspired you to incorporate a time travel and/or science fiction element?
Part of the reason I did this was for entertainment value. Everyone loves a good imaginative story – one that takes you away from the everyday! That's, I think, the best thing about science fiction – one can take the 'what if's' of today and turn them into the done deals of the future; and Alice and Claudio are the best vehicle to deliver this fiction by using the very real concept of love that transcends time and space. I felt that in order for the book to deliver its message, it had to be fun.
Did you find it challenging to write the narrative of Alice from a teenage perspective?
It was challenging at first, but then I came to really enjoy writing for the Young Adult genre. Young readers don't want to have adults' opinions forced upon them, but at the same time, as an author, you are trying to deliver an overall message. I like to entertain as I write, but I also write with purpose. When I write, I don't "feel" a certain age – I think the important thing with any story is to write it from your heart. Readers can 'see right through you' if you're not being honest in your craft. Plus, my daughters keep me "young"! When I hear them speak to their friends, I tap into what they are saying, which definitely makes the task of writing for the teenage audience much easier.
What is your advice for aspiring young adult authors?
My main piece of advice is that every story starts with a blank page. I would say, just write; if you don't have something on the page, you don't have anything to edit! It's also good to do plenty of research – depending, of course, on the type of project you are writing.
I would also recommend doing lots of reading, and if you run out of ideas or inspiration, to set it aside and carry on with something else. Come back to it later and go from there, that way you'll come back to it with a fresh perspective.
You can follow author E. Graziani on facebook, twitter, and her website.
Alice of the Rocks and Alice—Angel of Time are published by Morning Rain Publishing.
I'm super excited to welcome you to the #ShadowShifts blog tour - Day 2!
I'm relatively new to the urban fantasy genre, but it's a neighbourhood I'd like to get to know better. On the literary map, it's nestled somewhere between alternate history and high fantasy in the province of speculative fiction. Because so much of it is rooted in modern-day life, world-building is simplified and a bit restricted, but at the same time... anything can happen.
The Liminal world is no different than the one we currently live in. Towns and cell phones and cars and wifi and schools and bookstores and anything else you might find in a regular neighbourhood exist within it. The magic is well hidden, buried deep inside tweens and teens, away from the prying eyes of more cynical adults.
The only addition, not visible to the naked eye, are the Liminal creatures. Some lurk in the light, others skulk in the shadows, but both are necessary for the survival of the human race, even if we don't know it. These fairy-like creatures harvest the magic that develops in youth, reap the elements they need, and restore the rest to the teens so they can continue to develop into the adults they're meant to be. In Shadow Shifts, we get a glimpse of what happens when the harvest goes wrong.
The beautiful thing about writing urban fantasy is that the outline of the world-building is already drawn. All that's left is shading in the colours, and it's okay to go outside the lines. There's no need to recreate language, financial systems, or unusual species – but if you want to, you absolutely can.
Having said that, creating relatable urban fantasy can be tricky. Each character, event, and emotion needs to contain an element of realism. It needs to hold within its palm the small, but niggling sentiment of "what if". This might be speculative fiction, and it might contain humans with super powers or mythical creatures, but if the events and characters don't mesh seamlessly with the modern world, then you've stepped outside of urban fantasy and into a different community.
There's only one book left to write in the Liminal Series, but I've come to know this world well, and I'll hate to leave it behind. The best thing about books is that they can be revisited easily whenever homesickness settles in. Even better, as a writer, I get to help decide when and how the story will end.
Thank you, J.M. Bogart, for your interesting views on what it's like to write urban fantasy.
Wait, there's prizes! Enter the Rafflecopter to win!
The winner will be announced at the end of the tour (May 26th) by J.M. Bogart.
And don't forget to visit Jorie Loves a Story for a guest post/interview with J.M. Bogart on Day 3 of the #ShadowShifts book tour!
If you missed the official tour launch, you can find it at Writerly Yours.
The Liminal Series
You heard it! Enter this rafflecopter for a chance to win a free e-copy of Deep Calling! The winner will be announced at the end of the tour (August 9th) by J.M. Lavallee.
Wait, there's more... grab your 20% discount coupon for any MRP book by visiting author E. Graziani's website.
Heard something about secret messages? You sure did! Each day, a new word will be posted to reveal Deep Calling's greatest secret. You'll find today's word in the image below. For the next word and more surprises, visit Irish American Mom's blog tomorrow!
Follow along, have fun, and happy blog touring!
Yesterday my daughter asked if we could visit a bookstore in search of bookmarks. This got me thinking that I haven't bought one in like, forever. I like bookmarks, there's something homey about them, and I wondered if the introduction of eReaders would one day make these cute markers obsolete.
In my mind's eye, I could see my reading device sitting on the bedside table, and the boring little tab that keeps my place. Boring little tab... why don't they give us options? If they can design a pointy tab, surely they can come up with other symbols to choose from. Can't they?
Hey, but I read books in print! I love flipping the pages, their bookish smell, nestling them under my pillow before falling asleep. Still, as we turned the display round and round, I tried to convince myself that I didn't really need one. Wait, of course I do, except I've taken to using almost anything to mark the page: scraps of paper, a pencil, a paper clip, basically anything that's within reach on my nightstand. Then I remembered this post I saw:
Does it bother you when this happens? Hmm, maybe I should place a bookmark in all my books in hopes that when I share them with friends they'll feel compelled to use it instead of dog-earing the pages.
Unlike me, my daughter didn't find anything that caught her eye. However, she also likes books in print. So when we got home I made these for her:
How about you? Do you think bookmarks will one day become obsolete?
EBO's launch is a few hours away, and it's hard to describe my state of excitement and nervous anticipation. To everyone who took part in making this dream come true, thank you!
To my future readers: May the night grant you safe passage and the stars guide your steps.
There's magic in the world. Humans all carry some, and every once in a while someone with an inordinate amount of magic comes along. What we don't know is that left raw, this magic can lose purpose and become destructive, as we are often unable to channel it in a positive way. This is where Liminals come in.
Often confused for faeries or pixies, Liminals are neither. They are a species of their own. Liminals help talented humans by cultivating and reshaping their magic, and in return, they take a small amount for themselves. It's needed for their survival, you see. But something is happening in the world; humans with this kind of magic appear less often. The Liminal population is fading, and they're not the only ones. Darker forces are at play, and Liminals are faced with protecting their human charges while waiting for the right time to cultivate their magic.
Will it be too late?
In Liminal Lights, the first of a three book series, J.M. Bogart has developed an intriguing concept where symbiotic relationships are meant to keep balance. Following a strong plot, Liminals come to life as the reader journeys alongside Bean, Tissa, and Pritt through Bogart's wonderful imagination. Written with the Middle Grade student population in mind, her masterful use of language is engaging without becoming overly challenging. However, as a read aloud or for independent reading, Liminal Lights is without a doubt a page-turner that will appeal to younger and older audiences as well.
Liminal Lights was published by Morning Rain Publishing on May 15, 2014, and is available in both e-book and print versions.
For more about J.M. Bogart you can follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and on her blog.
Click on the Morning Rain Publishing logo to get your copy of Liminal Lights.
Originally written for L. F. Young’s own children when they were at an age at which magic and fantastic tales are what make us dream, Ryan’s Legend takes us through a beautiful tale of friendship and awareness of the world we live in.
Being in time-out after arguing with his older brother might just have turned into the best thing that ever happened to Ryan. From his bedroom window, he sees a snake-like creature disappear into the old chicken coop. Armed with nothing but great curiosity, Ryan sets out to investigate the mysterious tracks left in the snow.
Noticing a large hole under the boards, he descends into the dark tunnel that lies within. Not an easy task for a young boy without a flashlight! He soon discovers there is more than one tunnel to follow. Despair grabs his heart when he realizes he is lost, yet being the adventurous and clever lad that he is, he devises a plan to mark each tunnel he explores while trying to find his way back home.
It is then that he comes upon the most amazing thing he has ever seen. Ryan knows keeping secrets from his parents is not a wise thing to do, but this secret he must keep. Well, let’s just say that not everyone would take the time to find out if such an extraordinary creature is friend or foe. Luckily, Ryan does. He soon convinces his dad to help him fix the chicken coop, but he has to be careful, no one can discover the tunnels or the secret inside.
Soon, a wonderfully magical friendship between the creature and Ryan develops. Through that friendship, Ryan grows a little wiser, becomes more aware of the need to be kind to all living things, and comes to understand that we are responsible for caring for the world we live in.
Written in a voice that captures the imagination; the setting, characters and message in Ryan’s Legend are sure to make it a must have jewel for children young and old alike.
Ryan’s Legend was published by Morning Rain Publishing on Dec. 05, 2013.
Click on the Morning Rain Publishing logo to buy your copy of Ryan's Legend.
Hi all. First off, I'm not a blogger. At least I don't think so. Okay, never say never and all that. I'm mainly opening this space because I want to post a review for a lovely book I've read recently. As with a few others, I've followed this book through several stages: from being posted on a writers' site, to being picked up by a publisher, and finally to its release into the world as an eBook. It gives me great joy to see this happen. There are so many great authors out there, so when they're given a chance, I love to see them shine.
Okay, so that's that. I'll consider this my introduction. The review will come in the next post. Others might come later.
Happy blogging to all who blog and happy day to all who don't,