Like One Fish Out of Water

YA Fiction

WovenCoverIsn’t it gorgeous? Woven, the debut novel from Michael Jensen and David Powers King, is published by Scholastic and coming out in January 2015. From the back of the book:

When Nels, the Kingdom of Avërand’s most eager aspiring knight, is murdered, his ghost haunts the only person in the kingdom who can see and hear him: the beautiful – but headstrong – Princess Tyra.

Together, the ghost and the princess learn that an ancient magic, called Fabrication, has prevented Nels from crossing over to the other side. Because Nels isn’t really dead – he is just unwoven.

To weave him back to life, Nels and the princess must journey to find the magic Needle of Gailner. They struggle to get along, but when secrets unravel, Nels and Tyra realize they’re the only ones who can save each other, the kingdom, and reality itself.

johnnySomeone was pound, pound, pounding on the side door. The vicious tiny attack poodles at my feet each peeked one eye open and went back to sleep. Wow, I thought. This must really be important! I quickly hit save, then back-up, then compile, then save again on my manuscript before dashing madly to the door.

A gas leak? A house on fire? Girl Scouts with cookies to sell? I flung open the door ready for anything except a wall of raging tie-dye waving a summons in my face.

“You’re taking me to court?!” the mountain thundered.

“Oh, hi Johnny. Welcome to the Parker Hale. It’s not nearly as grand as the Blog Mansion, but we like it.”

“Court! Over some dry-cleaning and an ER bill.” Johnny Worthen, author extraordinaire of Beatrysel and Eleanor, the Unseen was huffing and puffing like the Big Bad Wolf in acid-laced Technicolor.

“What?” I grabbed the papers and quickly scanned them. “Oh, good. They did include the costs of the rabies shots. How’s Morey The Eel?”

“When my lawyer Sammy ‘Light Finger’ Calzone gets through with you, you won’t have a coconut to crack!” Johnny snarled.

I smiled. “I really liked Eleanor, the Unseen.”

Like water on the Wicked Witch, Johnny melted. “You did?” he breathed.

“Yep.” I opened the door wider. “Wanna come in and talk about it?”

On the back deck I cracked open a couple of Diet Cokes and poured them over ice.

“What? No bourbon?” Johnny sulked.

I waved my hand over his glass. “Tah-dah! Now it’s bourbon.”

He sniffed it. “It’s still soda. You can’t do that. You’re not magic!”

“Says the guy who just sniffed his drink. We’re authors, Johnny. It’s all about suspending disbelief. In Eleanor you create a creature that’s not what she seems. Parts of her transformation are rooted in modern physics—endothermic, mass conservation, and the like—while other parts are more mystical—tasting, shifting, mimicking, and hints about Native American lore. She’s not quite one thing or another. How did you go about creating her?

The power of metaphor, the energy of symbol, and a web of imagination. I wanted to embody the idea of potential radical change, put it within the most vulnerable creature I could imagine and make it all believable.

new_coverEleanor, The Unseen, is a paranormal story, which suggests that something ain’t right in it, but I wanted that something to be natural as opposed to supernatural. I based it on legends for historical grounding. Every culture I know has some kind of folktale about a shapeshifter, be it the werewolves of Transylvania, the Skinwalkers of the Navajo, or the Nimirika among the Shoshone. I approached that paranormal element within Eleanor from the idea that all these stories were right but wrong at the same time. These ancient peoples all witnessed the same thing, event, creature, what have you, but they didn’t understand it. Their descriptions are full of fear and superstition and prejudice (a theme in the series) but what they have in common, a brush with something unusual, marvelous and scary, was right on point. There is a predator in their midst. The suggestion becomes then that the paranormal element in the story is old and familiar to mankind, but forgotten and dismissed because it is so rare and unstudied.

I wanted the miracle to be metaphor and symbol, a complication and not the story itself. The story is Eleanor, her tale, her trials as the ultimate outsider hiding in plain sight. She is a soup of contradictions, lost but found, loved but lonely, malleable but fixed, struggling with who she is, what she might be, and afraid of her own powers in the face of tragedy and hope. To compound the metaphor, it’s placed at that time of life when young people become young adults and grow into what they are to be, those awkward socializing high school days. Eleanor is an exaggeration of the growing up, trying to fit in while being different.

Finally, keeping with the theme of change, I needed Eleanor’s to hurt. Change is painful and her wonderful “gift” has costs — terrible, painful, frightening costs. It’s not easy. It is not quick. She becomes helpless. And she is a slave to it. Thus is change. Change is not easy. Also, I think this simple symmetry of cost and benefit help to sell the concept and make it easier for the reader to suspend their disbelief and concentrate on the story.

While Eleanor prefers to hide rather than fight, she will when her back’s against a wall. Do you think most bullied people are that way? Is there a snapping point?

Bullying is a social interaction that extends far beyond the microcosmic high school experience. It’s a hierarchical thing, alpha males and females rising to the top of the herd by beating others down. I see it as a symptom of insecure people trying to gain some control over their lives. It’s hard to pity them, but in the wide shots, you can and I try to.

The idea of fighting back is a tricky one for Eleanor. Her snapping point has less to do with what her bullies are doing to her than it does with her change of perception of her own worth and her future. She admits to herself that she’s becoming reckless, fighting back when she’d always retreated before because at that point in the book, she has something to fight back for. She has hope. Most people would snap after a long history of abuse, a final straw thing, but for Eleanor it’s an awakening inside her, a new idea of self-worth brought on by the simple affection of a single friend. When survival is no longer enough, the timid become bold.

There’s a whole cannon of literary work about young girls transitioning from victim to victor, everything from Stephen King’s Carrie to Alice Walker’s The Color Purple to Jerry Spinelli’s Stargirl.  How does Eleanor add to the empowerment conversation?

There is a lot of Carrie in Eleanor, I admit that. The similarities struck me as I wrote my book, but there are important and fundamental differences between King’s story and mine: his is horror. Mine is a fable.

I don’t think Eleanor is a victor over her bullies. They are trials that shape her, complications that vex her, metaphor for an intolerant society but they are just some among the many troubles Eleanor faces. Because Eleanor has lived in fear her entire life and was forced to hide, she is fearful and passive. She reacts as a frightened animal might. Her achievements then, not to give too much away, are to take control of her life and become an active player in its events. It’s the difference between being a scavenger and a hunter.

It is a complicated dynamic, the bullies and Eleanor, and not to give too big a tease, but it is explored in depth, passionately and lovingly, over the length of the series.

While many readers will focus on the developing love story between Eleanor and David, the love story that caught my heart was the relationship between Eleanor and her mother, Tabitha. Tell me about how this theme came about.

Yes. Absolutely. The original title for the book was not Eleanor, but Tabitha. The series was to be called Eleanor, but editors and publishers wanted Eleanor so Tabitha, Eleanor Book 1, become Eleanor, The Unseen Book 1. Whatcha’ gunna to do? But so central was Tabitha to the book that she was in fact meant to be the title character.

The relationship between Eleanor and Tabitha is central to the book: two women, vulnerable and alone, broken and lost coming together, saving each other. It is a powerful symbol of love and acceptance, joy without conditions. The best of humanity – a mother’s love. It is healing among death, growth during decay, the future from the past. Tabitha is the teacher and Eleanor the student and what is taught is the best our species has to offer.

I channeled my own grandmother into Tabitha, and other friends and family. I took from them the best I’ve seen in people facing the worst; the nobility and affection, strength during weakness, joy during pain. Tabitha’s very personal to me.

Give me the links so readers can find you.

 Here’re some:

The Blog Mansion

Kirkus Review of Eleanor, the Unseen

Amazon

Twitter: Twitter @JohnnyWorthen

Facebook

Goodreads

 Any upcoming events? Just in case I need to serve you new papers.

Upcoming events? Serving papers? Well, uhm, I’ll be at the “Process Server Lynching” on the 19th and the “Frivolous Lawsuit Retribution Society” meeting, gun sale and barbeque on the 5th. Don’t forget the “How to Poison Your Neighbors” workshop on the 8th. I’ll be presenting.

Otherwise check out my events page.

http://www.johnnyworthen.com/Events.html

And make sure you come out to the Eleanor, The Unseen Book Launch on the 28th of June at Barnes & Noble in Sugarhouse. 12:00-3:00.

Johnny leaned back in his chair and drained his glass. “Well, you got me all talkative about Eleanor, The Unseen. I love that book. It’s deeply personal. My grandmother is in Tabitha; Eleanor is the daughter I never had. The issues are as deep to me as the marrow in my bones. Now, where was I? Oh, yeah. You still owe me for Morey The Eel’s rabies shots.”

I waved my hand over a cocktail napkin. “Here you go. Paid in full.”

“Full what?”

“Magic!”

Links to my visit to Johnny Worthen’s Blog Mansion

Lehua Parker Did Not Buy Me Lunch

Lehua Parker is My Chum

Johnny Worthen’s book review of One Boy, No Water

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You could argue that all teenage girls are self-centered survivalist monsters at heart, at times unlovable, wholly malleable, and subject to the whims of the adults around them.

But in Eleanor’s case these typical teen traits are a little more literal.

Eleanor the Unseen is the first in a trilogy by Johnny Worthen that explores love in many forms: redemptive, passionate, maternal, transformative, first, true, self, and sacrificial. It’s a theme repeated in metaphor and action both gentle and terrifying. Johnny has a knack for drawing the reader into his world like a warm bath. Just don’t get too comfortable. And for heaven’s sake, don’t close your eyes.

On the surface, Eleanor is a YA horror novel about a monster that flies under the radar masquerading as a shy Wyoming teen growing up in a small town on the edge of an Indian reservation. The town itself is a character with all its stifling contradictions playing a part in Eleanor’s decisions as the plot progresses. David, a military kid, was Eleanor’s best childhood friend who knew all her secrets and her heart—until he moved. In their sophomore year, David returns, and Eleanor can no longer hide behind her hair.

Despite its premise, Eleanor is a literary work that builds gradually. It echoes other great works including Grendel, I Heard the Owl Call My Name, and even To Kill a Mockingbird. But don’t let that fool you. There are some horrific scenes in the story that showcase how very alien—and therefore human—the monster is. But rawer than the monster’s survivalist thoughts and actions is Tabitha’s debilitating cancer. Tabitha, Eleanor’s foster mother, races against time to prepare her daughter for life without her. At the heart of the book is their symbiotic redemptive love, a love so strong that it has the power to work miracles.

But don’t forget. Eleanor the Unseen is a horror story, too.

For me, the most realized characters in the story were Eleanor and Tabitha, which sometimes made other key characters like David seem a little underdeveloped in comparison. I also felt that the ending was rushed given the previous pace of the book, but I think I understand why: Johnny wants to hurry the reader past the clearing of the first course to the next tasty morsel in a lazy Sunday brunch. I spent a morning reading Eleanor in one delicious gulp; yes, it’s that good.

Eleanor the Unseen by Johnny Worthen is published by Jolly Fish Press and is available for pre-order from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and wherever fine books are sold. Eleanor‘s publication date is July 1, 2014.

johnnyConnect with Johnny Worthen

Blog: http://johnnyworthen.blogspot.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/JohnnyWorthenBooks

Twitter: @JohnnyWorthen

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/7230878.Johnny_Worthen

Confessions of the Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know of) book coverYou know when you read a book about teens and you think the author just didn’t get it? Well, F.J.R. Titchenell gets video gaming, paintballing, Vespa riding, teenage tomboy angst, true love, the uses of theater paint—oh, and killing zombies.

Confessions of The Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) is awesome like that.

The story is told in a flashback diary format, a record written by teenage Cassie Fremont for future generations about the first week the dead came back to life. It’s the story of being at ground zero when she accidentally kills her crush with a sawed-off paintball gun’s pellet to the temple. Unable to spare a moment to wrap her mind around it, Cassie has to leap into action when Mark snaps back to life as one of the world’s first zombies. An escape from jail—suprbat and psycho-bunny backpack filled with fireworks in tow—she begins a fantastic cross-country journey to reunite twin sisters.

Cassie is not about to wait to be rescued. She embodies what every teenage girl who would rather hang with the boys aspires to—wit and a can-do-buck-up-little-camper attitude. She calls herself a listener, but in reality she leads through example and rock-steady nerves. Cassie’s bravery is in doing what she has to in the moment. She’ll think about it later.

Maybe.

I’m going out on a limb here to say that this YA novel is less about a zombie apocalypse and more about finding yourself, learning to see what’s right in front of you, grabbing life with both hands, and living in the moment. It’s a love story about two people who would never have seen the rightness of each other until life stripped away everything unimportant. Yes, the zombies are there in all their classic want-brains-quick-hit-‘em-with-a-headshot glory, but they serve as a catalyst and an inconvenience, a way for Cassie to show-off her bad self. Titchenell’s touch is refreshingly soft. She trusts her reader to understand her characters through their quirks and reactions to situations rather than relying on a ton of exposition and backstory.

Confessions is a tale that can be read on many levels, and I love meta-fiction like this. While the narration is mostly straightforward, the situations are hilarious and dark. Cassie’s first time driving a car is epic in both scope and tragedy, but she brushes it off with her trademarked that sucked, what’s next aplomb. There are many moments like this that hint at a much larger story unraveling in the background.

Confessions of The Very First Zombie Slayer (That I Know Of) by F.J.R. Titchenell is published by Jolly Fish Press and is available in paperback and eBook formats from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other retail outlets. Don’t miss this one.

F.J.R. Titchenell Head shotConnect with F.J.R. Titchenell

Blog: http://fjrtitchenell.weebly.com/

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/FjrTitchenell

Twitter: https://twitter.com/FJR_Titchenell

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/18722335-confessions-of-the-very-first-zombie-slayer?ac=1

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Here’s a first look at Matt Carter & F.J.R. Titchenell’s Splinters, the first book in The Prospero Chronicles. There’s a giftcard giveaway for this upcoming title on Goodreads. From the back cover:

Under ordinary circumstances, Ben and Mina would never have had reason to speak to each other; he’s an easy-going people person with a healthy skepticism about the paranormal, and she’s a dangerously obsessive monster-hunter with a crippling fear of betrayal. But the small town of Prospero, California, has no ordinary circumstances to offer. In order to uncover a plot set by the seemingly innocent but definitely shapeshifting monsters-that-look-like-friends-family-and-neighbors, the two stark opposites must both find ways to put aside their differences and learn to trust each other.

F.J.R. Titchenell and Matt Carter met and fell in love in a musical theatre class at Pasadena City College and have been inseparable ever since. Though they have both dreamed of being writers since a very young age, they both truly hit their stride after they met, bouncing ideas off of one another, forcing each other to strive to be better writers, and mingling Matt’s lifelong love of monsters with Fiona’s equally disturbing inability to forget the tumult of high school. They were married in 2011 in a ceremony that involved kilts, Star Wars music, and a cake topped by figurines of them fighting a zombified wedding party.

Carter and Titchenell head shotConnect with Matt Carter & F.J.R. Titchenell

F.J.R. Titchenell’s blog: http://fjrtitchenell.weebly.com/

Matt Carter’s blog: http://mattcarterauthor.weebly.com/

F.J.R. Titchenell’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/FjrTitchenell

Matt Carter’s Facebook: www.facebook.com/mattcarterauthor

F.J.R. Titchenell’s Twitter: www.twitter.com/FJR_Titchenell

Matt Carter’s Twitter: www.twitter.com/MCarterAuthor

Splinters Goodreads page: www.goodreads.com/book/show/20860637-splinters

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Isn’t gorgeous? This is the cover for Mojave Green, the second book in the Dimensions in Death series by the Brothers Washburn.  Here’s the blurb.

Camm and Cal thought they had killed the unearthly creature that preyed upon the people in their isolated mining town deep in the Mojave Desert. Off at college, they feel safe, until they hear news that Trona’s children are still disappearing. Caught in that nightmare since childhood, Camm feels responsible for the town’s children. As her life-long best friend, Cal feels responsible for Camm. With unsuspecting friends in tow, they return to warn the town’s innocent people, but things have changed.

Death comes in a new form. The dimensional balance is altered. Crossovers multiply. The situation spirals out of control, and Cal is pulled into another world where his chances of survival are slim. Without Cal, Camm seeks help where she can, even from the dead. Soon, she is on the run from relentless federal agents, who are hiding secrets and pursuing their own agenda. The mysterious depths of the Searles Mansion may yet contain a key to stopping alien predators, if it is not already too late.

It sounds amazing. Be sure to pick up Pitch Green if you haven’t read it. You won’t want to miss a word.

AuthorsPhoto-smiling-1mb-0313Connect with The Brother’s Washburn

Twitter:   https://twitter.com/BrosWashburn

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/TheBrothersWashburn

Blog:      http://www.thebrotherswashburn.blogspot.com

Biographies

A. L. Washburn and B. W. Washburn are licensed lawyers and full time writers, residing in Colorado and southern Utah. They grew up in a large family in Trona, California, a small mining community not far from Death Valley, and spent many happy days in their youth roaming the wastelands of the Mojave Desert. After living in Argentina at different times, each came back to finish school and start separate careers. Living thousands of miles apart, they worked in different areas of the law, while raising their own large families.

Each has authored legal materials and professional articles, but after years of wandering in the wastelands of the law, their lifelong love of fiction, especially fantasy, science fiction and horror, brought them back together to write a new young adult horror series, beginning with Pitch Green and Mojave Green. They have found there yet remain many untold wonders to be discovered in the unbounded realms of the imagination, especially as those realms unfold in the perilous wastelands of the Dimensions in Death.

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‘Ewa Which Way by Tyler Miranda peels back the bandage of what adults think adolescence is like to expose the raw, oozing strawberry of reality. I loved this book for its ability to show all the complicated rules, expectations, and entanglements of being a 12-year-old boy trying to make sense out of adult behavior. Set in ‘Ewa Beach, Hawaii in 1982, Landon DeSilva and his brother Luke know that lickins can fall from the sky like lightning, that a certain side-eye from a parent means a storm’s coming, and that sometimes no matter how long you hold your breath you can’t escape, but have to endure the wave to the end.

For Landon, things are bad at home, but not bad enough. Not enough for child protective services to swoop in and spirit Landon and Luke to a new home, not enough for the cops to do more than show up when his parents’ fights wake the neighbors, and not enough for his mother to realize her marriage is over. Throughout the novel Landon tries to figure out what he’s supposed to do when there’s really nothing he can. His parents’ troubles are deep—there’s guilt, prejudices of class and race, loss, alcohol abuse and valium popping coping mechanisms, unfulfilled expectations, and sheer dysfunction. Landon sees it all with the clarity of a twelve-year-old and his reactions and understandings are heartbreaking and true. Adult readers will read not only the story, but all the words and character motivations between the lines. It’s powerful, immediate, and like a bloody scrapped knee, painfully evocative of the transition between childhood and adulthood.

Tyler’s lyrical writing hit so many of the details of growing up in Hawaii pitch perfect—the politics of school bullies and teachers, the endless hours of chores (I so remember scrubbing toilets with Comet and Scott towels and weeding Saturday mornings in heat that felt like standing in a clothes dryer), frustration with siblings who seem to glory in amplifying the problems instead of flying under the radar, conflicting messages between Catholic church teachings and family actions, and the blessed escape an hour in the ocean can be. I particularly enjoyed Tyler’s description of surfing and futzing around in the shore break as a kid. It’s some of the most evocative passages about being in the ocean I’ve ever read.

There’s an argument in literary circles about the difference between books about kids and books for kids, with the educational conceit that kids will read stories about characters their age and a little older, but not younger. While Landon begins the novel as a sixth grader, (well, technically looking back to sixth grade), this book is not for the fourth–seventh grade crowd. My recommendation is for readers grade eight to adult for several reasons.

‘Ewa Which Way is finely crafted as literary fiction and by that I mean it’s rich in symbolism, allegory, metaphor, and has well-developed themes. As entertaining as it is, it’s also perfect for deconstruction in a literature class for kids old enough to appreciate the nuances in the writing. There is much for readers to explore in this novel that goes beyond a simple analysis of plot, character development, and setting. Like To Kill a Mocking Bird, Huck Finn, and The Chosen, ‘Ewa Which Way is a peek into a world few readers know and understand with a storyline that feels universal.  (And yes, I do consider ‘Ewa Which Way  a Pacific Lit equivalent to Huck Finn. Thanks for asking.)

Another challenge is the language—there’s a lot of Pidgin English construction in the dialogue, mainly dis, dat, an’ da oddah ting kind of phrasing. This version of Pidgin is common on ‘Oahu public school playgrounds, and I think ultimately easier for the non-Pidgin speaker to understand than a more a hard-core version of Pidgin liberally sprinkled with words like hammajang, lolo, and pau. In telling his story Tyler used an authentic interpretation of Hawaiian Pidgin English’s sounds and rhythms that native Pidgin speakers will have no trouble reading, but it requires a little more decoding for English-only speakers. I think this extra work puts it out of the range of most mainland elementary and intermediate readers.

A final red flag that it’s for older kids is the occasional swearing, which might make parents and teachers of younger readers uncomfortable. Don’t worry, the language isn’t a  gratuitous Sopranos-bar-of-soap-on-the-tongue fest and it’s used to good effect. Yes, I understand kids know, hear, and use these words, but parents and teachers are the ones who buy the books, and in their eyes, there’s a big difference between what’s appropriate for sixth and eighth grade. It’s the only reason I mentioned it.

I loved this book and can’t recommend it too highly. It’s the kind of novel that makes you think about all the Landons in the world and the DeSilvas next door. Readers looking to remember growing up in Hawaii or wanting to experience life as an island kid are in for a real treat.

‘Ewa Which Way by Tyler Miranda is published by Bamboo Ridge Press and is available in trade paperback at most Hawaii bookstores and Costco or online at Bamboo Ridge Press, SPD, Barnes & Noble, or Amazon.

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Telesa: The Covenant Keeper, book 1 in the Telesa Series by Lani Wendt Young is nothing but trouble. It starts out innocently enough with orphaned Leila Folger as a recent private all girls’ high school graduate leaving Washington D.C. against her grandmother’s wishes to meet her mother’s Samoan family for the first time. Born with a privileged silver spoon and raised by her recently deceased Caucasian father, it’s easy to predict the conflicts of wealth vs. modest means, American permissiveness vs. traditional Samoan conservative values, and the culture shock of everything from the food to church to going to school with boys. Lani nails all the angst of being on the cusp of womanhood perfectly and these themes are well-developed and a pleasure to read.

But Sistah Lani didn’t stop there and that’s why this book is Trouble with a capital T. After I started reading, dishes piled in the sink. Kids were late to piano and soccer and shhhhh, Mom’s working was yelled all too frequently. Dinner? Order pizza, I’m busy.

Fo’real. The Covenant Keeper takes Samoan legends of Teine Sa and Pele, who I know best as the Hawaiian goddess of volcanos, and creates a new mythology that sizzles. Hoping to discover her Samoan roots, Leila uncovers family secrets beyond anything you can imagine.

I love that Leila is a modern woman who questions her gifts with a scientific mind. She respects tradition, but isn’t afraid to blaze her own trail or shake up the status quo.

Did I mention the love triangle? Break out the fans, people! I doubt there is anything more beautiful than a young Samoan man who is kind, moral, graceful, and athletic. Sparkly vampires? Give me a break! One love song from Daniel and you won’t remember why you liked vampires or werewolves in the first place.

And that’s the key–like the Twilight series this book is written for young adults from their perspective. Leila’s powers, love, relationships, and emotions are raw, new, and overwhelming. If you can remember being 18 and in love for the first time, you’ll be highly entertained as you escape to a fantastical vision of life in Samoa for an afternoon.

Telesa: The Covenant Keeper by Lani Wendt Young is self-published and available from Amazon as an eBook and trade paperback. Don’t miss the other works in the series,  I am Daniel Tahi, When Water Burns, and The Bone Bearer.

 

lani_wendt_youngConnect with Lani Wendt Young

Bookstore/Blog: http://laniwendtyoung.me/

Telesa Series Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Telesa-Trilogy/146318935466086?fref=ts

Twitter: http://twitter.com/#!/laniwendtyoung

 

Click to read my review of Telesa: The Covenant Keeper, I am Daniel Tahi, When Water Burns, and The Bone Bearer.

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My good friend Teri Harman’s book Blood Moon, book 1 in her Moonlight Trilogy is publishing June 22, 2013 by Jolly Fish Press. Teri stopped by to answer a few of my niele questions.

Blood Moon is about witches, covens, good versus evil, and strength in numbers. It’s also a love story. Which ideas came first?

The witches came first. I was inspired by an epic Halloween party I threw in 2010 at a creepy 100 year old school house. I’d read all this literature on witches to draw inspiration for games and decor so I had a great knowledge base to start from.

Willa and Simon came next because who doesn’t love some romance. But I also wanted it to be about finding your true self and defeating the odds. For witches that usually means an opposing force, hence the good vs. evil plot. Plus, I really love a seriously bad bad-guy and wanted to take a shot at creating one. I think Archard, the Dark witch, fits the description rather well.

 The magic in your Moonlight Trilogy is based on six gifts of magic with each witch being adept or gifted in only one: Earth, Air, Fire, Water, Mind, or Dreams. Are some rarer or more valuable than others? Which gift would you choose and why?

The elemental gifts, Earth, Air, Fire and Water are more common. The two psychic gifts, the ones connected to the Otherworld (the realm beyond our own), Mind and Dreams, are much rarer. Because they are rare and tap into the unknown they are also more powerful or have the potential for more serious magic.

I think I’d want to be a Dreamer, or a witch with the Gift of Dreams, like Willa. I actually based her gift on my own wacky dreaming experiences. Some of her dreams in the book are inspired by my own. Plus how cool would it be to dream of the future and past and, like Willa, see and talk to ghosts?

 I know you love reading as much as I do. When you’re looking for sheer escape and entertainment, which authors or titles do you look to?

As an official story addict, I’ll take anything that has a fabulous tale and interesting characters. But when I sit down to read for pure pleasure, I usually chose something with a magical twist, whether it’s obvious magic or magic realism. Some of my favorite authors are Sarah Addison Allen, Paula Brackston, Eowyn Ivey, Roald Dahl, Erin Morgenstern, and Kate Morton.

 What can we expect in book 2?

Book #2, Black Moon, is all about Simon’s struggle to control and understand his wicked-powerful magic and Willa’s fight to find a way to help him. Everything that happened in book #1 is thrown into question and evil abounds in expected and unexpected forms.

The story has taken some pretty incredible turns and I hope readers love it as much as I do.

Thanks so much, Lehua! I always love ‘talkin’ story’ with you.

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To read my review of Blood Moon, click here.

Connect with Teri Harman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTeriHarman

Website: http://teriharman.com/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/TeriHarman

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Two weeks after high school graduation, he walks into Willa’s life, the boy who gets into her blood like a fever. But Willa barely has a chance to mention Simon to Solace, her best ghost friend, before they’re swept up into kidnapping, murder, and the dangerous hidden world of witchcraft. As Willa and Simon discover their quirks are actually powerful gifts, they have to decide whether to join a True Coven and fight the darkness or simply walk (run!) away, turning their backs on who—and what—they really are.

Blood Moon by Teri Harman is book one in her Moonlight Trilogy. It’s a page turning read with a fast paced plot and characters that draw you into their world of intrigue, deception, and witchcraft like you’ve never read before. Deeply rooted in earth magic, the tendrils of witch generations reach out through time, the past affecting the future in ways unexpected and imaginative. It’s a master’s chess game of light versus dark magic that affects us all—even if the rest of world doesn’t realize it. Simon and Willa seem fated for true love, but I have to question whether it’s real or simply witchy thinking.

By the Moon, I guess I’ll have to wait until book two to find out!

Blood Moon, book one of The Moon Trilogy by Teri Harman is published by Jolly Fish Press and is available in hardback, trade paperback, and eBook from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other purveyors of fine books beginning June 22, 2013.

teri_photoConnect with Teri Harman

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/AuthorTeriHarman

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Click here to go to
the Niuhi Shark Website.
ONE SHARK, NO SWIM
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
Because even out of the water,
you're not safe.
ONE BOY, NO WATER
AMAZON
BARNES & NOBLE
Living like a fish
out of water.
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