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Image courtesy of Chanpipat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

BCP Creative Dreams is Backover Promotions online magazine which is featured in their tour section of their site for a 3 post bundle.

BCP Creative Dreams is also available free for anyone that books a tour through them.

1 post in Creative Dreams is £2 – to book a slot please contact them kate[at]backcoverpromotions.co.uk

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Win paperbacks, magick wands, and a $25 Gift Card! (see below)

Warrior Faeries and Math Magick by Susan Kaye Quinn

My new middle grade fantasy, Faery Swap, is about a fourteen-year-old boy who is tricked into swapping places with a warrior faery prince and has to find his way back home before the dimensional window between their worlds slams shut.
2 minute book trailer
In my prior life, I worked for NASA and got a lot of degrees in engineering. (Yes, I really am a rocket scientist and have the Ph.D. to prove it!) I used the logical-left-side of my brain to design aircraft engines and study global warming. Now that I write fiction, I love using the creative-right-side of my brain to create compelling characters and dramatic adventures as well as the logical-left-side to weave math, science, and technology into my stories. Math and science have always seemed wondrous to me, so it made sense to me that the warrior faeries in Faery Swap would steal mathematical knowledge from humans in order to enhance their magickal faery powers.
In my story, knowledge is literally power.
I’m passionate about this message – that knowledge is power and math is magick – and the ethical use of that knowledge is a key theme throughout the story. I wanted to share this message, so I created a Virtual Author Visit, Common-Core-based Teacher’s Guide, and a card-based game, so any teacher, anywhere on the planet, could share this message with their students.

9 minute Virtual Author Visit

In this video, I share my background in science and engineering and talk about the book, then show how humans use math in the real world to do amazing things… even without magick to help them. The Teacher’s Guide, activities, card game, and videos are meant flexible – teachers and librarians can spend as little as 2 minutes sharing the trailer or they can use the materials to create a whole unit around the book and the Knowledge is Power When Math is Magick theme.

My hope is that some of my love for math and science will rub off on young readers, and that kids will see they each have an inner warrior faery capable of seeking knowledge and performing great deeds with it!

(Click here to find out more about the Virtual Author Visit).


Susan Kaye Quinn is the author of the bestselling Mindjack Trilogy, which is young adult science fiction. Faery Swap is her foray into middle grade, which is her first writing love. Her business card says “Author and Rocket Scientist” and she always has more speculative fiction fun in the works. You can subscribe to her newsletter (hint: new subscribers get a free short story!) or stop by her blog to see what she’s up to.
Faery Swap
Fourteen-year-old Finn is tricked into swapping places with a warrior faery prince and has to find his way back home before the dimensional window between their worlds slams shut.

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Previous Articles:

February 27th 2014: Why I’m “Lost:” the Peers of Beinan, world-building, and the “Lost Tales” by Laurel A. Rockefeller

February 28th 2014: Herbert’s Dilemma by Mysti Parker

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Dynasty OShea new cover 7(2)Title : Dynasty O’Shea

Author : Clarissa Cartharn

Length : 389 pages

Genre : Fantasy

Jack and Rachel O’Shea and their children are ordinary people living ordinary lives – or so it would seem. But everything changes when Jack turns up at Rachel and the kids’ home with a mysterious jewel. One of the kids accidentally creates a portal to another world, Spassenia, while messing around with the jewel, and Jack and Rachel are thrown back into a world they thought they’d never see again. While the children struggle to comprehend their newfound status as royals, their parents must battle to regain the throne of Gammalion. Through many incredible adventures through magical kingdoms complete with their own legends, peoples and fascinating creatures, the O’Shea family learn some vital lessons about themselves and become closer than ever before.

This is a promising debut novel. It includes everything you might expect from an epic fantasy – mythical creatures, incredible landscapes, bloodsoaked battles, heroic characters and even some romance. The various realms of Spassenia are richly populated with diverse and fantastical tribes and animals. Each member of the family is uniquely characterized and learns much about themselves and their family.

From the epilogue of the book, I gather we can probably look forward to a sequel, so those readers who have fallen in love with the world of Spassenia will surely be delighted to have another chance to explore that world with their favourite characters.

 


Mind over Mind by Karina Fabian grips you from the first page. Eighteen year old Deryl – or Ydrel as he prefers to be called – hears voices in his head that make him act in certain ways, and because of this he’s been in a mental asylum since he was 13. He doesn’t believe he’ll ever get out. Dr Malachai seems quite happy to keep him a patient forever and hopes to make some kind of mark, and hopefully money, with his studies of Deryl. It looks pretty hopeless for Deryl, but then a home-schooled, precocious, over-confident psychiatric intern, Joshua, is sent in to try and make friends with Deryl. Apart from friendship, Joshua plans on bringing neurolinguistic programming to bear in helping out the troubled teenager. He has some success but then things seem to get worse. It turns out that Deryl isn’t imagining the voices. Various beings from other worlds are calling on him for services such as advice and foresight and even to perpetrate crimes. In fact, an entire alien civilisation is depending on his help to survive a war. Not surprisingly Deryl is overwhelmed by his unwanted telepathic abilities which he doesn’t understand and can’t really control.

This is a paranormal psychological novel, unique and amazingly effective. It’s brooding, bordering on the dark. There is an air of menace, particularly around Dr Malachai with his ulterior motives for keeping Deryl as a helpless patient. There is some romance, and a few light moments, but generally this is a serious, powerful novel that explores how to differentiate between fact and fantasy. Hero Deryl is conflicted and socially inept – grumpy and rude on the outside but in desperate need of help and support on the inside and so Joshua is a ray of hope.  The real world of the hospital and the blundering efforts of family and suspect methods and motivations of Dr Malachai to help Deryl are sharply and well portrayed. So too are the fantastic realms of the Barin and the Kanaan. We get a real feel for their plights. The interaction between these parallel worlds facing physical destruction with Deryl in hospital facing a mental battle and possible breakdown is both poignant and ironic. This novel is a superb piece of writing and a more-than-promising start to a series.

Daisy Ashford, nine-year-old author of The Visiters (published in 1919), and Robert Louis Stevenson, poet and author, are two famous writers who started young. And here’s another one. It’s time to meet Skye Lotus who has now self-published four books in the Starry Wings series and she’s only eleven.

The Starry Wings books are about a group of fun, feisty pixies who have a very important role to play in protecting the universe. The series begins with Sweet Dreams, Not, and we get to meet Star and her friends – and enemies. Star is at boarding school and it’s clear from the start she’s a very special little pixie. We find her training with her friend Moony at the beginning before the two of them make use of their virtual purses and take the teleportus back to school. Then it’s back to ordinary things like tidying the dorm. However, soon things taken an unpleasant turn for Star. She has a run in with a nasty wizard Jamie and then she begins to have nightmares – the ‘sweet dreams not’ of the title. Worried by these, Star finds an unlikely ally in the very strict teacher Ms Thorn and Star discovers she has even more abilities than she could ever have imagined. And another name. It’s up to her and her friends to deal with a very wicked wizard who makes Jamie look tame. Star is set on destroying this wizard but there’s a very good reason why she might want to reconsider that…

This is a super story for 6-12 year olds with interesting characters, plenty of action and a cliffhanger ending. Skye writes really well and creates a truly magical atmosphere in her book. Star is a plucky heroine. She’s not scared to stand up against the unpleasant wizards and isn’t fazed when she discovers her new powers. She’s a courageous go-ahead pixie and a fun, loyal friend. She’s a very inspiring character.

I asked Skye some questions about her book and her writing, and a few other things.

What inspired you to write Sweet Dreams, Not?

I just naturally love writing. I wanted to write something big when I was younger. I started writing it in a class, but my teacher insisted that I finish it and cut it off short, so I continued it at home and finished it. When I was happy, I told Dad my wish to have it published, and we searched to find a publisher. The results: Sweet Dreams, Not and the series of starrywings!

 
Why did you choose pixies as your main characters?
I’ve always liked fantasy. I quite like elves, too, but I like winged creatures as well so in the end I chose a pixie, which has pointy ears, elvish features and wings! Also, I wanted to make people picture pixies not as mischievous  but cunning and intelligent, if a bit feisty.
 
Did you design the cover yourself?
Yes. I was already onto the beginning of manga and anime (Japanese cartoons) and I wanted to try my best to form my own style. I’m still practising my manga and anime at the moment, and want to publish my pictures as well. I often scan my pictures and colour them in.

Which character from the book are you most like? Star? Moony? Ms Thorn? Jamie?

Ah ha ha ha! I have small characteristics related to each character, such as being reactionary like Star, and a little moody like Jamie. Ms Thorn was just created for pure entertainment; for some reason, I find strict, stereotypical teachers really fun to imagine! So in ways, I’m like them all, but I lean towards Star the most.

Would you like to be a pixie?

Now that I think about it, I’d prefer to be an elf. I’ve just come to like them a lot, since Dad put me on to fantasy and medieval stuff. I have a feeling it’d be nice to fly, but I just love elves too much to change over to pixies, although they are pretty cool.

What will your next book in the Starry Wings series be? Will it be out soon?

My fifth book is being edited by my teacher instead of Dad this time, because my teacher is kinda professional in this area. The name is a secret, though! I guess you’ll just have to be patient.

Which authors or books are you reading at the moment?

I’ve been reading manga novels by Natsuki Takaya lately, called Fruits Basket. I love to study the pictures, and the storyline is really good. I, one day, would love to draw like her!

When did you first realise you wanted to be an author?

I guess it just started with the wish to write. It just came so naturally, I wanted to show the world how much I love to write. When I was in grade four my first book was published, so I wanted to continue it as a series and eventually branch out so I could become well known, just in case I become a known author when I’m older!

What one snippet of advice would you give to aspiring self-published authors, adults or children?

Always make the plot first. I didn’t have a plot for my series, so I’ve had to just go with the flow and make sure that everything lines up. I didn’t want to make any mistakes once I realised I had no plot, and kind of panicked, then figured if I just knew my facts, I’d be alright. Save yourself the stress and make a plot!

OK, enough of the serious stuff. What are your three favourite things to eat?

That’s easy. I mean, chocolate is an essential, but I really like dried dates and pistachios too. They’ve just got such unique flavours, and I really like to enjoy them as a little snack, if available!

What would you like for Christmas?

Now that’s hard. I have so many things I want, but I think I’ll just list three:
  • Peace/rainbow jewellery ( I love peace signs and rainbows. They’re so colourful and happy!)
  • A black tee with the word “Peace” rainbow spray-painted in the middle
  • A trip to Japan (I love Japan, best place ever!)

 

And finally, please describe your perfect day away from school and writing!

The perfect day away from school and writing? There are so many options! Since I only get about 30 minutes play time on computers/iPods/iPads/Playstation/Wii etc, I’d like the morning to play as much as I please, then for the afternoon hang out in Disneyland, Tokyo, Japan without anyone else there but my best friends, with a free pass until 3:00pm, then go shopping for clothes, jewellery, makeup, toys, electronics, etc as much as I want with unlimited money. All of this with my best friends, of course, and perhaps with my sister if she decides to be super nice.
Haha! That’s more of a dream day. A perfect day would be when I acheive making a true anime picture and get to meet Emily Rodda again and talk to her a lot about writing. I mean, I’ve met her before, but lots of other people were there and I would have loved to have talked to her alone.

Here is Skye’s page on Smashwords so you can have a look at all her lovely books. And keep an eye out for a lot more to come from this talented young writer.

 

I’ve blogged about Gary Vanucci before, and featured a guest post from him.

Time to mention his two newest books, both in the Wothlondia Rising series – Distant Familiarity, and Rose in Bloom, both of which have stunning covers drawn by William Kenney.

Distant Familiarity is the first in a series of new novellas by this very talented science fiction author. The realm of Wothlondia is a fascinating one, with distinctive landscapes and a rich variety of inhabitants, including dwarves, elves, barbarians, ogres and zombies.

This story introduces us to the three friends Tiyarnon the High Priest, Rolin Hardbeard the dwarf and half-elf Nimaira Silvershade. It’s a touching account of their relationship as they unite to face an old and dangerous enemy who may possibly be too powerful for them to defeat. Can he control their wills and turn them against each other? Or do they know and trust each other well enough to overcome Cyrza’s challenge?

Gary Vanucci creates excitement and tension in this story through the cleverly constructed, fast-moving plot and his inspired use of language which ranges from the brutal to the beautiful.

 

Now, you want a feisty heroine? Well, you’ve got one in Rose Thorne in Rose in Bloom. A troubled, abusive childhood has not cowed this young woman and she’s full of life and mischief as she starts her career at a bordello in Oakhaven in Wothlandia. This fantasy world, created by the ever-imaginative Gary Vanucci, has its seedier side, which Rose steers in and out of.

Rose is a little light-fingered, and it’s this that brings her to the attention of Ganthrope, an ambitious and quickly rising town digniatary, who keeps an eye on the criminal element of Oakhaven. But there’s more to him than meets the eye, and he has a proposition for Rose, his favourite redhead. A mutually advantageous relationship develops between the two of them.

However, there’s even more to Rose than Ganthorpe imagines. He may think he has her in his grasp, but you can never hold a rose too tightly because of its thorns! We’ll be hearing more about this wonderful character …

I’m thrilled to host a guest post from talented fantasy author Gary F Vanucci. I’ve been lucky to work with Gary on his latest project, Wothlondia Rising, a series of entertaining and remarkably powerful short stories. (I’ve written about them here.)

Stephanie asked me to write a blog for her and I was at a loss as to what I could say that her readers might find interesting. I figured at first, I’d briefly touch on my experience as a writer up until now. Let me preface the post by saying that I have met some very interesting and unique people through social media that I would never have met otherwise and am very thankful for it.

I met my artist and fellow fantasy author, William Kenney and many more amazingly talented people along the way. Stephanie Dagg was another. Where else but the social media hubs would I be able to meet someone in another country with the talents, similar interests and willingness to meet my demands other than on social media?

I have been writing on and off all of my life. Whether it be stories for games, blog posts, term papers or other writing projects (like a sci-fi series I started and never finished in 1999), I have been perfecting my craft for decades. I have thousands of unpublished pieces of writing under my belt. Alas, this is a tough business in which to attempt to make a living! There are so many other authors which you are in competition with that it really makes your head spin. And some are very good! Those are truly special when you can sift through and find those that write well and care about what they are giving to the consumer. I have decided to pursue my craft regardless of the outcome and let the people decide if my work is worth the purchase.

I thought that my writing was fair or possibly even above average from both the story-telling and grammar perspectives. And I was proud of my works and still am, especially seeing what editors can do for you! So, when I handed the stories to Steph, she not only repaired my grammatical errors, but she was able to take my work to the next level! I am truly pleased with the effort she turned in and with the amount of care that she took to make sure everything was in its proper place. She literally made me sound as if I knew how to express my thoughts with clarity and unbridled enthusiasm! Truly amazing!

I would highly recommend using the talents of this woman who clearly A) understands the business, B) cares about the work she turns out and C) understands the business and financial strains of the independent artist in order to work with them. A more polished editor will not be easy to find!

Steph, thanks for letting me ramble on here and for allowing me the venue in which to share my product with readers and fellow writers!

See you all in Wothlondia… I hope! Cheers!
Please visit MY HOME PAGE to enjoy an extended reading experience, see direct links to purchase my full length novel, Covenant of the Faceless Knights, the short stories: Wothlondia Rising, and to see what else Ashenclaw Studios, LLC has in store in the future.

 

I’m passing the buck in this post – to myself! I wrote a guest post for the fantasy writer Gary Vanucci  which you’ll find here. Do please head over and have a read. I talk about editing fantasy in general, and Gary’s books in particular. You’ll be delighted to discover an exciting new author and find out about his Wothlondia Rising series.

To find out more about my budget-friendly editing services, check out ebook-ed.it.