Archive for the ‘Books’ Category
Lynn Davidson is giving away a copy of my bi-lingual book Pig on Trial/Cerdito a juicio on her blog. Read her review and make a comment. You may be the lucky winner!
Imagine medieval times, bizarre accusations, a pig on trial and the efforts to rescue him – as told by a ten-year-old boy. Now you have an interesting story. Plus it’s in two languages – English and Spanish.
When I asked author Darlene Foster if there was anything she wanted to tell me about the story or the writing of it, here is what she said:
Read the rest here
Thank you, Lynn, for reviewing my book. Good luck to those who enter the giveaway!!
I am taking part in #ComedyBookWeek and featuring Steve Vernon’s book Kelpie Dreams
Meet Lady Macbeth—a high school librarian, ex-assassin, and part-time kelpie, whose mother wanted to name her Hemorrhoid at birth. Now she has to take on a Sea Hag—eight legs of Godzilla-ugly poured into a bucket full of meanness—with the help of a one-woman army named Rhonda, a 200-year-old Sea Captain, and a hunky lighthouse keeper who won’t admit that he’s dead as well. KELPIE DREAMS is a funny, action-packed, paranormal romance novel for folks who HATE to read romance novels.
This is a laugh-out-loud, hilarious, wickedly funny book, written with that unique east coast Canadian sense of humour. Steve Vernon has created characters so off-the-wall they are believable. Like how could you not love a Star Trek loving librarian, a tough hit woman, an eight-legged sea hag, a weird little chain-smoking fisherman and a two-hundred-year-old dead hunk who is sometimes a horse?
Lady Cordelia Macbeth is grieving the loss of her eighteen-year-old son, Hamilton, which normally wouldn’t be that funny. She tries to drown herself, and that’s when things go crazy. The writing is great and the action keeps you on your toes as you wonder what bizarre thing will happen next. But the best part is the dialogue. I giggled when Cordelia said, “Yes, boys and girls, today’s near death experience was brought to you by the number eight and the letters WTF!” or “I could not find the proper key for any song if I were a locksmith.”
Amongst all that funny stuff, there are some gems of wisdom like, “I learned a long time ago that it was better to laugh about something that you cannot do anything about, rather than breaking down and crying.” And, “There is nothing more powerful than the power that lies beneath faith, hope and dreams.” Mr. Vernon certainly has a way with words and I was very happy to learn that he is planning more books in the series. If you need a good laugh, and we all do from time to time, pick up a copy of this book here.
Meet Steve Vernon
Everybody always wants a peek at the man behind the curtain. They all want to see just exactly what makes an author tick.
Which ticks me off just a little bit – but what good is a lifetime if you can’t ride out the peeve and ill-feeling and grin through it all. Hi! I am Steve Vernon and I’d love to scare you. Along the way I’ll entertain you. I guarantee a giggle as well.
If you want to picture me just think of that old dude at the campfire spinning out ghost stories and weird adventures and the grand epic saga of how Thud the Second stepped out of his cave with nothing more than a rock in his fist and slew the sabertooth.
If I listed all of the books I’ve written I’d bore you – and I am allergic to boring so I will not bore you any further. Go and read some of my books. I promise I sound a whole lot better in print than in real life. Heck, I’ll even brush my teeth and comb my hair if you think that will help any.
For more up-to-date info please follow my blog at:
And follow me on Twitter:
yours in storytelling,
Check out more of this amazing author’s books here.
Here is a list of other funny books featured on #ComedyBookWeek
Remember to keep laughing and reading funny books. It’s good for you.
I have a lot to celebrate. Can you believe I have been blogging for six years! It has been an amazing journey where I have met so many great people and learned so much. So many of my dreams have come true in these six years. Bring out the champagne!!
I am excited to share the cover and blurb for the next Amanda adventure, available October 1, 2016. I think it is fabulous! Hope you like it too. I had fun revisiting the sites along the Danube as I wrote this book.
Twelve-year-old Amanda Ross finds herself on an elegant riverboat with her bestie, Leah, cruising down the beautiful Danube, passing medieval castles, luscious green valleys and charming villages. When she is entrusted with a valuable violin by a young, homeless musician during a stop in Germany, a mean boy immediately attempts to take it from her. Back on their cruise, Amanda struggles to keep the precious violin safe for the poor prodigy. Along the way, she encounters a mysterious monk, a Santa Claus look-alike, and the same nasty boy. Follow Amanda down the Danube, through Germany, Austria and Hungary, as she enjoys the enchanting sounds of music everywhere she goes. She remains on the lookout, wondering just who she can trust.
Wait, there’s more!! It has also been six years since my first book was published. To celebrate, Amanda in Arabia – The Perfume Flask, ebook version, will be available free from June 17 to 30th on most sites. Here is a chance to meet Amanda, if you haven’t yet. Please tell your friends! And if you feel inclined to write a short review, that would be most appreciated. Thank you so much for those who already have.
Thanks so much for all the support you have given me and Amanda over the past 6 years. I could not have done it without you. Mucho Besos
Today I talk about location in a story and how to describe it.
As we continue our journey through Mystery Mondays writing advice, Darlene Foster is here to talk to us about location. Just check out the titles of the four books below, and you’ll see why she chose this topic.
Location, Location, Location
Jane Austen gave us English country villages, Charles Dickens took us along the streets of Victorian London, and Lucy Maude Montgomery made us fall in love with Prince Edward Island. The location of many well-known works of fiction are an important element to each story. Think of one of your favourite novels and I am sure a vision of a place comes to mind.
Real estate agents declare the three most important things to selling a property are – location, location, location. The same applies to writing a story. It doesn´t have to be a real place. In fantasy, writers create worlds of their own. But…
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I am pleased to introduce you to my special guest today, award winning children’s author, Gina McMurchy-Barber. Gina is the recipient of the Governor General’s Award for Teaching Excellence in Canadian History and the author of the Peggy Henderson’s adventure series, bringing history to life. Enjoy reading about her author’s journey and how she combined her love of archaeology and story telling to create an amazing series of books enjoyed by all ages.
1. Tell us a bit about yourself
I was born in Ontario and moved to BC when I was 9 years old. I am the
youngest child of four and led an active life on our little farm with
horses, ducks, geese, chickens and lots of barn cats. I married in my
early 20s and have two sons. My first degree I majored in archaeology
–which eventually gave rise to my four part archaeology adventure series.
I became a teacher when my boys were small and have now been teaching in
the Montessori Schools for over 20 years.
2. When did you decide you wanted to be a writer?
While I was studying archaeology I also started my writing career by doing
short stories for my community paper. I enjoyed doing that so much I later
studied journalism and became a newspaper reporter. I wasn’t too
interested in covering late night city council meetings or the garbage
workers strike so I turned my attention to creative non-fiction. I worked
as a freelance writer for local magazines until my first child was born.
That’s when I entered the amazing world of children’s books. I was very
tentative when I started—not at all sure I had what it takes to write
fiction. Now I’m working on my seventh book.
3. What motivates you to write?
Love of stories came from my Dad, who told us bedtime stories even after
we were grown. Then I started telling my own children stories. That’s what
led me to want to start writing them down.
4. How do you make time to write?
It’s hard these days as I work 80% —but I manage to get writing done
during the holidays. It’s a difficult thing to dedicate yourself to
staying put each day for a certain amount of time—especially when it’s a
beautiful day and the family is urging you to join them.
5. What is your writing style, a plotter or a pantster?
I always start out with a plan, but it rarely works out the way I thought
it would. But it feels comforting to begin with a some kind of a road
map—and I always feel free to take detours.
6. Where do you get ideas for your books?
So far they’re all from some seed of experience in my own life—but on the
other hand I’ve also had to branch out and learn lots of new things. For
instance, I have an archaeology background, but knew nothing about
underwater archaeology or scuba diving. So when I wrote Bone Deep —an
underwater excavation of a two hundred year old fur trading ship—I had a
steep learning curve.
7. What books did you read as a child?
Lots of books about animals. I loved Wind in the Willows. But we also got
the National Geographic and that was probably my greatest inspiration—it
led me to study orang-utans in Borneo and to study archaeology.
8. If you could have lunch with any writer, past or present, who would you
Since I’ve already had a nice lunch with Darlene Foster, I guess I’d pick
Lois Lowry. I’m a big fan of her books—The Giver being one of my
9. For fun, if you could be any kitchen utensil, what would it be and why?
I’d be a ladle so I can take big scoops of life at once.
10. Tell us about your most recent book. Do you have a work in progress
and can you give us a hint as to what it will be about?
My fourth archaeology adventure book came out in November, 2015 and is
called A Bone to Pick. It’s about the arrival of the Viking to the shores
of North America at L’anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland a thousand years
ago. I’m also working on a new book called “What Other People Think” and
explores why we try so hard to look good in the eyes of others—especially
11. Any advice to other authors or aspiring authors.
It’s so valuable to have a writing community. If you can form an small
group of friends to critique each others work in a supportive way it can
be the best thing to motivate you and keep you on track.
Great advice. Thank you so much for being a guest on my blog Gina. Your books are fascinating!
I can’t believe you have included me in the same sentence as Lois Lowry!
You can find out more about Gina and her books on her website www.ginabooks.com
and on Amazon
I love blogging for many reasons, but the best part is the wonderful people I have connected with in the blogging world. I am not sure how I met Paige, but I fell in love with her blog site immediately and have been following it for some time now. It is apply called, The Nice Thing About Strangers. Since I have always followed the philosophy of Will Rogers who said, “A stranger is just a friend you haven´t met yet,” the title grabbed my attention. Paige has the amazing ability to notice the smallest details of human interaction during her travels and record them in entertaining vignettes. Do yourself a favour and visit her blog, you will be so glad you did. She has recently collected some of these blog posts and published them in a book called, The Nice Thing About Strangers. In spite of the fact she is busy travelling again, she has agreed to be a guest on my blog.
Welcome Paige Erickson
1. Tell us a little bit about yourself
I am an American professor with a background in literature, philosophy, and playwriting. I’ve been working for several years on writing creative non-fiction from my travels on a blog called The Nice Thing About Strangers and recently collected about 150 of the stories into a book by the same name. I love reading, roaming, and long walks where I get a bit lost.
2. What made you want to travel?
This question made me pause. I can’t quite put my finger on it. I didn’t travel to Europe for the first time until I was 27, and there was something very freeing but also very intimidating about it. Now I want to travel because it always pushes my boundaries, opens my eyes, gives me gratitude, and connects me with people I meet.
3. What countries have you travelled to? Can you name a favourite and why.
I had the opportunity to live for a few months in Austria, Croatia, Hungary, and Turkey. I’ve been to Bosnia-Herzegovina several times and loved it. I traveled with my brother to Germany, Denmark and Sweden. Then, I first came to Europe for an extended stay, I took a lot of four-to-five day trips to Italy, Ireland, Portugal, Iceland, Serbia, and Montenegro.
Turkey is a favorite for me. I’ve been toiling over the language (then going home and forgetting it all!) for several years. I find the people to be very warm and encouraging. I’ve enjoyed both the big cities and small towns, the grand adventures and the local supermarkets. Iris Murdoch wrote, “If you long and long for someone’s company, you love them.” This sums up how I feel when I am away from Turkey for a long time. I must be in love.
4. What made you decide to create your blog, The Nice Thing About Strangers?
I am a professor and my students were always interested in the fact that I traveled alone. Many were worried about my safety and wanted to hear if I had any horror stories to share. Originally, I wanted a place to share the good news from my travels, since almost all of my encounters abroad have been positive, full of helpful strangers, or moving to me in some way. Also, I wanted to give myself some writing deadlines to produce stories and share them with others. I’ve loved to write most of my life, but it can be intimidating to share one’s work. I thought if I could get into the habit of writing on a schedule, this could give me some confidence. Also, I opted to write very short, non-fiction stories because I had a lot of notes about my experiences, but if I wrote long pieces I would procrastinate and/or quit. By keeping it brief, I could discipline myself to let go a bit.
5. Tell us about your book
The book is a collection of about 150 stories from the blog. I have friends and relatives who were interested in my stories, but who weren’t really into blogs. My aunt encouraged me to publish my work, and it’s been nice to hear from readers of the blog and new readers as well. Since each story is about a page long, people seem to like to read a few stories at a time with breakfast or over coffee. I hope it will help them to be on the look out for opportunities to connect with the people around them throughout their day.
6. What do you like to read? Can you name some of your favourite books and/or authors.
I think I learn the most about myself when I read fiction. Since I was a child, I could really get caught up in stories and feel the rest of my day was a matter of walking around in those stories. I love the Hungarian author Antal Szerb’s Journey by Moonlight. My best friend is reading it in Hungarian and, of course, I read it in translation, so we are anxious to see if we’ve loved the same passages. I love Iris Murdoch and Flannery O’Connor. I read Orhan Pamuk when I am “homesick” for Turkey. On this trip, I packed Graham Greene’s The End of the Affair, which I am reading for the third time and I love it more and more on each read. I get caught up in lines that really stick with me, so I keep a “book book” with lines that I love. This way I can re-read those passages or lines and meditate on the story once more.
7. What inspires you?
Small moments that I get to observe inspire me and make me grateful to be able to wander as I do. Sometimes I will pause and imagine what my grandparents would think of my life. Surely, they couldn’t have imagined that I could go rent an apartment in Istanbul for a month and chit chat with the elderly ladies at the market. I also try to remember my childhood self, who was unafraid to make up stories, plays, and plans, but quite afraid. I want to be faithful to “young Paige” as I keep writing and remain optimistic.
8. What is next on the horizon for you?
I am hopeful that I can finish an often-abandoned novel this year. It is a sort of thank you note to the people who became my friends during my travels. As often happens when you want to thank someone, it can be hard to find just the right words. This is where I am stuck now.
Thank you so much Paige for sharing your thoughts. It was great getting to know more about you. My favourite line is, “I want to be faithful to “young Paige” as I keep writing and remain optimistic.” We all need to be faithful to our young selves.
Check out the book http://www.amazon.com/The-Nice-Thing-About-Strangers/dp/0692590781
The Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/thenicethingaboutstrangers/?rc=p