All Because of Chickens

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Ask The Author

Welcome to ASK THE AUTHOR, where readers ask the questions and MuseItYoung and MuseItYA authors answer!

In this edition, reader John Rodgers Clark IV asks:
  • Where are the gaps in the YA fiction genre these days. I've read a ton of dystopian and 'fish out of water' stuff. Impress me with some completely new ideas.
Thanks for your question John.

Your turn Muse Authors. Time to impress John and our other readers with the variety of YA that is being published by MuseItUp Publishing! Readers, feel free to join the conversation. We'd love to hear your favorites and why they were your favorites.

Monday, May 27, 2013


Hi. My name's Beverly Stowe McClure, and I'm so happy to be here today.

If anyone told me I’d be a writer someday, I’d have thought they were crazy. When I was young, I hated to read. Even though my eighth-grade-teacher sent my poem “Stars” to a high school anthology and it was published in Young America Sings, I hated to write. In spite of my rocky relationship with literature, I graduated from high school, attended the university (which meant a lot of reading), and earned a Bachelor of Science in Education degree. I then became a teacher, which meant more reading. What was I thinking?

A funny thing happened in my new career, however. Reading great Newbery books with my students and reading to my sons made me realize what I’d been missing. Reading was fun. The classroom offered such great ideas for articles, I even started to write, mostly non-fiction about science activities and art projects we did. To my surprise some were published. My work appears in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse Jr. and other leading children’s magazines. My breakthrough article is in the June, 2007, issue of The Writer magazine.

Then I graduated to writing novels. My MG/Tween Paranormal A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, published by MuseItUp, is my ninth novel. My article “Traveler” also appeared in Chicken Soup for the Soul, What I Learned from the Dog. My YA Historical Fiction Caves, Cannons, and Crinolines, Twilight Times Books, has won a few awards. Two of my manuscripts are now under contract, with a couple more stories soon to be finished. So to all my former teachers, who despaired over my lack of reading and writing skills, I did it. Thanks.

I live in the country with my husband, two cats, and a variety of critters that stop by for a handout. We have four sons, one an angel in heaven; five granddaughters, one an angel in heaven; two grandsons, and three great-grands.

You can learn more about me (unless you’ve had enough J ) at:

Here’s a blurb from A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat

Thirteen-year-old Erik Burks’ life is falling apart. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom leaves his father and drags Erik from being king of the hill in Texas to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, no friends, just Starry Knight (a girl who reads minds) and her equally weird brother, Stormy, the twins that live down the block.

Just when Erik thinks life can’t get any worse, while hanging out at the beach one evening, he and the twins notice lights radiating from the lighthouse. The only problem is the lighthouse was deactivated years ago. Stranger still, a ship materializes in the moonlit harbor. Curious, the twins and a reluctant Erik investigate and discover the ghost of a blockade runner, a phantom cat, and a pirate who prowls Charleston Harbor, all searching for rest.

A former nonbeliever in the existence of ghosts, Erik cannot deny the proof before him. And he has a revelation: The ghosts may be the answer to his desire to return home. Erik soon makes a deal with the ghosts. He’ll help them find what they’re looking for so their spirits can rest in peace. In return, the ghosts will scare Erik’s mother so she’ll be on the next flight back to Texas. Star thinks his plan stinks, but Erik wants his life back, even at the cost of his mother’s sanity.


Available at



And other online stores.

Saturday, May 25, 2013



Two Announcements:
1.Check it out. Laura Davis is interviewing me over at Interviews and Reviews. Here is the link
Palace of The Twelve Pillars
Palace of The Twelve Pillars
2. Sanctuary of Nine Dragons: Book Three  inPalace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy is now under contract with MuseItUp Publishing and scheduled for release February 2014.
Palace of Three Crosses: Book Two in thePalace of the Twelve Pillars trilogy is in the final edit stage. Waiting on a cover with a scheduled release September 2013.
Sneak peak at Palace of Three Crosses:
Brandan and Joachim have returned from the brink of Hell, but everyone questions if they are truly healed and one with Asha.
As each prince tries to readjust to life, they must face the funeral of their father and their missing mother.
They each take on the responsibility of ruling a country with new wives by their sides, but can they and the countries survive the trials that will ensue because of their choices?
Brandan and Joachim survived the war, but can their relationship and their countries survive the aftermath.

Friday, May 24, 2013

Introducing Erin Albert

Hello!  Thanks for joining me on the MuseItYoung and MustItYA blog!  My name is Erin Albert, and my epic high fantasy novel, The Prophecy, debuts in November of this year!  I am thrilled! 

Since I don’t have an awesome cover to show you (will be in the works soon) or a book jacket and excerpt to offer (keeping those cards close to the chest for a teensy bit longer), I’d like to talk about creating characters.  As a writer (and really for my regular life too), I like to fly by the seat of my pants.  I have a beginning and end in mind for my stories, but sometimes the middle takes me for a ride even I didn’t anticipate. 

How, in that situation, do I create consistent, believable characters?  I start with their physical characteristics because that’s the easiest.  How does this person look?  After I establish their outer attributes (which can sometimes affect their inner attributes), I work on their habits, quirks, strengths, and weakness.  Let me tell you, I love quirks.  J  It’s crucial to include weaknesses in a character.  No one wants to read about a practically perfect person.   We all know those people we think are perfect…and we generally don’t like them.  J

For an example, let’s pretend I’m a character.  Here is how I would start working out a description…

Name: Erin Albert

Physical features:   Brown hair (dyes blond in the summer and dark brown with red in the winter), bright blue eyes, 5’2” tall, _____ weight (yeah right-haha), tiny chickenpox scar on left cheek, large scar on left knee from childhood injury.

Habits and Quirks:
1) OCD (literally checks the locked doors three times at night—it HAS to be three times)
2) Major hand washer (not because of germs but because she doesn’t like the feel of a “film” on her hands)
3) Never leaves the house without makeup on (thanks, Grandma for that hang up)
4) Family and friends say she’s a member of the “Grammar Police,” but she can’t spell
5) Crazy, lifelong crush on Val Kilmer
6) Loves running and kickboxing
7) Played a recurring character in a play for 4 years, took her 3 years after the last play to donate her costumes


1) Lively and energetic
2) Health conscious
3) Tries to do the right things
4) Tries to be kind and thoughtful


1) Procrastinator (you know, Procrastinators Unite…tomorrow)
2) OCD when it interferes with regular life
3) Can “check out” and live in her own little world
4) Easily distractible

You’re probably thinking, but you’re a real person!  Exactly!  You want your character to be so realistic that he/she seems like a real person.  These “people” should be someone with whom you could be friends, fall in love, hate, envy, and—most importantly—relate. 

Who is your favorite book character?  What makes him/her so likeable? 
I’d love to hear your thoughts!

Thank you so much for joining me on MuseItYoung and MuseItYA today!!  I hope you’ve enjoyed my blog post, and I really hope you’ll give The Prophecy a read in November!  J

Since you hung around and read my whole post, I’ll give you a “sneak peak” of my tagline to say thanks!

The Prophecy
“One often finds destiny on the road taken to avoid it.”

You can find me online at, Erin Albert Books (on FB), and @ErinAlbertBooks (Twitter).  Subscribe to my blog, like me on FB, and follow me on Twitter if you’d be so kind! 

Until next time,

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Meet Kay LaLone Author Of Ghostly Clues


 The sweet scent of lilacs permeates the air around Grandma’s gravesite. Only Sarah Kay can smell Grandma’s favorite flower, and they’re not even in bloom. 

Sarah Kay and her best friend, Mary Jane, believe the lilacs are a sign from Grandma’s ghost. The girls follow one ghostly clue after another, uncovering a secret that Mom never wanted Sarah Kay to know.

Grandma makes sure Sarah Kay gets the message even from the grave. As the evidence piles up, Mom still refuses to accept the possibility Sarah Kay’s father is alive.

Sarah Kay finds Dad’s parents. A set of grandparents she didn’t realize existed. They make it clear her father is alive but days and miles separate the father and daughter reunion because Dad is a truck driver on a long haul. 

Sarah Kay waits. The news reports a fatal car accident involving a semi and Sarah Kay fears the worse. She runs away which leads to Dad and the truth, Mom wanted Dad to remain dead.

Dad had faked his death so why not just stay dead.  The ghostly clues of Grandma wouldn’t allow Dad to remain dead to Sarah Kay.



The house was blanketed in a quiet slumber. I snuggled under the sleeping bag with Allison, trying not to think about ghosts, as I drifted to sleep.

Random pictures floated in my mind like ghostly images.

I tiptoed among tombstones and my heart ached as if I had lost something or someone. He had to be here, somewhere. The gravestones rose like stone walls. No names engraved on them. No dates. No R.I.P. Nothing. Just smooth, flat stones. Ghosts—grayish, smoky forms with black eyes—floated over the tombstones.  I shivered, suddenly cold, freezing. My breath visible like a little ghost. I didn’t want to look at the ghost anymore so I looked down at my feet. A tombstone with Grandma’s name appeared out of nowhere. The earth moved. The dirt around the headstone broke away and gnarled fingers clawed their way into the air, searching, grasping. Shriveled fingers clutched my leg.  

Something grabbed at my leg—the hand, I screamed and frantically wiggled out of my sleeping bag, bumping MJ as I tried to get away from the hand I thought I felt grab at my leg.



I’m Kay LaLone. Ghostly Clues is my first middle grade novel published by MuseItUp. I live in Michigan with my husband and teenage son (two older sons and a daughter-in-law live near by) and two dogs and a cat. I love to get up every morning and write about ghosts, the paranormal, and anything that goes bump in the night. Or anything that interest my characters. Making my characters come to life for readers is important to a good story. I’m an avid reader of just about any type of book. I do reviews on the books I read and post them on my website and blog.



My website

Barnes & Noble



Thank you for stopping by this blog. Please leave a comment or shoot me an email. I love to hear from my readers and meet new people.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Meet Katie L. Carroll author of ELIXIR BOUND

My name is Katie L. Carroll and I’m a mother, writer, and editor. I started writing after my 16-year-old sister unexpectedly passed away. She was a huge Harry Potter fan and turned many people into readers from sharing those books. I wrote my YA fantasy ELIXIR BOUND as a way for her to live on in the pages of a book. 

In ELIXIR BOUND, Katora Kase must decide if she will become guardian of a secret healing Elixir and bind herself to its magic. It is available on the MuseItUp bookstore, Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and other online book retailers, and will be out in paperback later this year. My picture book app THE BEDTIME KNIGHT, illustrated by Erika Baird, is available from MeeGenius. My website is or you can find me on Facebook and Goodreads.

When did you first consider yourself a writer?
After my sister died, I kind of reevaluated my whole life. At the time, I was in college studying to become a physical therapist. I asked myself what I really wanted to do for a career, not a job. Writing fiction was the answer. It took me another couple of years to figure out I was writing a story for the YA crowd.

What book did you wish you had written?
I’d have to say The Sky is Everywhere by Jandy Nelson, which is about a 17-year-old girl whose 19-year-old sister has just died. It’s the only book I felt compelled to write in (because I never, ever write in books). I think the author somehow managed to get in my head just after my own sister died and so eloquently put into words how I was feeling.

Coffee or tea?
Tea, definitely tea.

Fun Fact about yourself most people don’t know?
I work out most of my tricky plot points while in the shower. It just happens when I’m not even trying. Must be something about the soothing sound of falling water and the calming scent of soap.

What was the publishing process like for you?
Difficult. I tried several different paths to publication, including subbing before my story was really ready (a common mistake for a new writer), subbing directly to publishing houses, subbing to agents, getting lots of feedback, growing as a writer, and finally landing with MuseItUp Publishing. It was just shy of 10 years from when I first started writing ELIXIR BOUND to when it was released.

What is some advice you would impart to writers who wish to be published?
I guess that would have to be DON’T GIVE UP! Keep reading, keep honing your craft, keep learning about the business of publishing, and write, write, write. Try not to compare yourself to others and their publishing journeys. Cheer on other writers while you work away at your own stories.

If you could have breakfast with anyone dead or alive, who would it be and what would you eat?
Vincent Van Gogh. I’ve loved his paintings since I was a kid. It was so awesome to get to his Sunflowers painting at the National Gallery in London. As for food, well, something Dutch I suppose. Maybe some Edam cheese and bread.

What is your favorite childhood book and/or author?
The Little House Books by Laura Ingalls Wilder were some of my favorites growing up. My mom used to read them to us before bed. THE GIVER by Lois Lowry was the first book to really blow my mind (back when I first read it in 5th grade). I have to mention LITTLE WOMEN by Louisa May Alcott because I’m a sucker for anything with sisters in it.

What is the next book you want to write?
The book I’m working on now is a follow-up to ELIXIR BOUND called ELIXIR SAVED. Kylene, the character name after and inspired by my sister, is one of the point of view characters. I originally started ELIXIR BOUND from her point of view, but found it too hard to write it that way. I think it was too soon after Kylene’s death. Now I’m ready to give Kylene her story. There are two other point of view characters in ELIXIR SAVED as well. All three main characters have been saved by the Elixir and now they have to decide how much they are willing to sacrifice with their second chances at life.

Last words???
Effervescent, poink, and flibbertigibbet.


“Let me start with what I can tell you,” Pop explained. “The Elixir…well, it’s not just any healing Elixir. It’s the greatest healing Elixir ever available to humans.”

Katora remained perfectly still; her father’s words deflated the balloon of anger building inside her and filled the hole with cold shock.

Pop stood and began to pace while he explained. “Deep in Faway grows the plant that gives the Elixir its potency. The Kase family and our ancestors have harvested this plant and acted as guardians of the Elixir for hundreds of years. We developed methods for increasing its potency and have passed these secrets down for generations. I am the current guardian.”

Pop? The guardian of the greatest healing Elixir ever available to humans? Could it be true? As he stood in front of Katora, his eyes betrayed no hint of a lie. How did she fail to notice this all her life? And what did it mean for her?

Pop’s words came in a hurry. “Even though the Elixir has largely remained a secret, there are several very important beings and others close to this family who know of it. Some are human, but others are greater than human, like Mother Nature and her offspring. These beings use the weather to communicate. Sometimes it’s not very clear what they mean, but I believe the snowstorm arriving as the supply of Elixir dwindles is a message from the Great Mother that we need to stock up.”

Katora put her hands on her hips as if she didn’t care, but subtly leaned against the bookcase at the same time. She doubted if her legs would support her. Not only was Pop the guardian of the Elixir, but Mother Nature herself knew. She sent Pop messages through the weather. If Katora took over the farm, she must take over everything to do with the farm.

Katora’s breaths came in shallow puffs. She realized Pop stared at her with concerned eyes. She silently cursed herself for making such a spectacle.

“I know this is a lot to take in,” he said. “I have a little more to tell you right now. My business partners outside of Tussar have reported unrest throughout the Great Peninsula. There are things stirring in this world, things that I have no control over, and I believe they are going to spin out of control sometime in the near future. When that happens, there will be a dire need for the Elixir. There’s so much I can’t control, but the future of the Elixir is in my power right now.”

Pop stopped in front of Katora, placed his hands on her shoulders, and looked her straight in the eyes for the second time that night. Katora knew what was coming, but she held her breath, hoping maybe she was wrong, maybe she had more time before this responsibility fell on her shoulders.

“Katora, you are next in line to be guardian of the Elixir. Its future is in your control.”

Friday, May 17, 2013

First Reviews Palace of the Twelve Pillars

First Reviews Palace of the Twelve Pillars

The first review for Palace of the Twelve Pillars is in and can be seen at:

Meet Terra Harmoner from Beware of the White

Today, we welcome the main character from the newly released MuseItYoung title, BEWARE OF THE WHITE.

Terra, can you please introduce yourself to our readers?

Hi. My name is Terra Harmoner. I’m in the sixth grade and recently turned twelve years old. Right around my birthday, my usually sane mom suddenly started acting all cagey, saying strange and random things, like: We should buy you new pajamas. Honestly I tried to ignore it, but then this little elf-like Introguide showed up in my bedroom in the middle of the night to tell me I’m not quite human and to take me to the Underworld city of Concord where I’m “destined to serve.” Yeah…I was kinda freaked out. But at least I understood why Mom was suddenly all sentimental and sappy.

Not quite human? Then what are you?

I’m a Natures Spirit. A being specifically created to serve in the peaceful city of Concord. Oh my gosh, it is SO cool down there. After I finally got used to walking around on ground that looks just like the sky, I was totally intrigued by the crazy creatures and Seuss-like buildings. It’s really strange because my whole life I’ve never quite felt like I belonged – until I visited Concord.

What are some of the biggest stumbling blocks you’ve encountered in Concord?

Besides the crazy sky-like ground? Well, this creepy dude, named Finny, showed up on my first night of training to tell me that the leader of his species (they are the Trepidus, or death janitors) wants me…well…dead. Yeah, that was a bummer. And even though Finny has this totally gross way of speaking where his throat roils and undulates, I somehow liked him. Maybe because his warning might have saved my life!

Terra, we’d love to learn more about you. Tell us about your best friend or sidekick.

Oh, well, I don’t really have any close friends. Remember I said I didn’t feel like I belonged? That’s one of the reasons. I’ve never been very good at developing a close friendship. BUT, there is this Natures Spirit, named Frank, who seems to be a friend. He’s a Spirit of Security and was assigned to protect me after my life was threatened. We’re becoming quite close. It helps that he’s gorgeous and sweet and smart and…way too old for me…so really, we are just friends.

What is your strongest personality trait?

Uh…I’m kind of just average. In everything. Just boring, little ole me.

If you could change one thing in this world, what would you change?

This probably isn’t what you want to hear, but I’d bring my dad back. He died in a car accident a couple of years ago and my mom and I miss him so much. He was one of those people that made everyone he met feel special. I miss his happiness.

What words of wisdom would you like to share with our readers?

There is this girl at my school who thinks she’s so important and has teased me about my awkwardness my entire life. And I guess I let her. Once my life was threatened – for real by the head Trepidus guy, Blanco – suddenly her snotty words no longer bothered me. So I guess my words of wisdom would be to NOT give people like that power over you. They aren’t any more important than you unless you allow them to be.

About the book:

As is tradition, Terra learns on the Saturday past her twelfth birthday that she is a Natures Spirit. It is her legacy to serve in the peaceful underground city of Concord. Learning she is named in a prophecy and being threatened by the leader of the death tribe…that part breaks tradition.

The Trepidus are the death janitors of the Underworld, responsible for delivering fatalities with a smile and cleaning up after themselves until Blanco, recent leader of the Trepidus, decides the day of reckoning for his species is coming. He begins organizing the creatures and leads them toward an uprising. The prophecy says there is one person who can stop him. Terra.

With Spirit of Security, Frank, protecting her, Terra attempts to complete her training and discover her Spirit talents. Together, they go on a rogue investigation to learn how to defeat Blanco. In the end, it comes down to a battle of the minds. The future of Concord is at stake. Will Blanco, the older, more experienced being win? Or will Terra, the young, new Spirit earn back the peace of the city?

Purchase your copy at:

Or look for it on iTunes

About the Author:

Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was a finalist in the 2012 EPIC eBook Awards. She is a (very lucky) wife and the mother of four amazing kids. The most common sound in her household is laughter. The second most common is, "Do your dishes!" She and her family hike, geocache, and canoe in beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home.

To find out more about Kai’s books, download companion documents, find links to her published short stories and discover all the places to find Kai both virtually and in person, visit her website:


To celebrate the launch of BEWARE OF THE WHITE, Kai Strand has awesome book related prize packages. Be sure to enter to win. And return again and again to claim entries as you qualify. Kai will also have Spontaneous Giveaways during her book tour. Those giveaways won’t be announced so be sure to follow Kai’s tour. Only virtual stalkers will have the opportunity at all the fun!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Penny Estelle stops by for a chat!

Good morning everybody!  My name is Penny Estelle and I’m excited to be invited to the new Muse It Up Blog for kids and YA!

A little about myself – drum roll – I am retired from a school district in Phoenix, AZ, which I worked for twenty-one years as the school secretary.  My hubby and I moved to our fifty-four acre ranch in NW Arizona when we retired and my children now consider me a true redneck hick.  Of course, they have no problem bringing the kids up for weekends to quad all over the many dirt roads that are everywhere up here.  We live off the grid, only with solar and wind to run our household.  Though it was a huge adjustment, I must admit I love it up here.  The night skies are breathtaking and the wildlife is amazing (though I could do without the rattlers)

Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare – the Wickware Sagas, came out in June of 2012.  It’s a story of seventh grader Billy Cooper, who has to draw a name from a box, and then is expected to do an oral book report on Monday.  He has way too many plans for the weekend to be bothered working on a history report.

All this, of course, changes when he meets his subject face to face in the fourteenth century.


Word on the street is other students have had these weird experiences in time travel, but the thing is, it only happens in Old Lady Wickware’s history class.  Is she a witch?  Does she have some sort of magical powers?  Maybe some alien?  Nobody knows and nobody’s talking.

I was ecstatic when Muse It Up asked me to come up with a few more stories in the Wickware Sagas.  Book 2 is, A Ride of a Lifetime, and will be out this summer.  It is the story of a school bully meeting up with Sybil Ludington, a young girl who’s been called the female Paul Revere!

Be watching for the remaining three stories in the Wickware Sagas to be released soon! 
Please take a minute to stop by my websites.  I love visitors!

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

Tex, The Witch Boy And Me

 They say you should write what you know. I incorporated a lot of autobiographical detail in Tex, The Witch Boy, my debut book. I still remember the pain, suffering, bullying, cliques, and social structure of high school all too well. And the occasional victory that somehow pulled me through every day.

Let’s start with a checklist.

*Tex is a student at a suburban Kansas high school. Check.
*Tex is socially awkward and uncomfortable in his own skin. Um, check.
*Tex’s dad is in a wheelchair and his mother has cancer. Yes. Check.
*Tex is unpopular and physically and verbally bullied. Unfortunately, check.
*Tex is in love but to afraid to do anything about it. Sigh. Check.
*Tex is a teenage male witch. Wait…What? Run that by me again…
*There’s a serial killer running through the halls of his high school. No! Where’d that come from? Stop! Maybe this checklist isn’t such a good idea after all!

I’m not a witch and obviously, we didn’t have a serial killer in our high school, but I doubt if anyone’d care to read a straight-up autobiography. So I gussied the novel up with what I hope are entertaining elements. Things were changed, of course. Tex’s dad has multiple sclerosis and his mom has breast cancer. But unlike the book, the outcome’s different. My father passed away years ago and my mom’s still alive, a proud two-time cancer survivor. Why did I change it? Just seemed right for the story. I thought the dynamics would work better. Plus, I wanted to portray a strong, handicapable character in Tex’s dad.

The bullying events in the book may seem strong. They are. But they also happened to either me or a friend of mine. Sadly, things haven’t changed much since my high school days. Two years ago, in a Kansas suburb, a group of sociopathic bullies set a boy on fire because he went to reclaim his stolen bicycle. Horrifying and tragic.

“But, Stuart,” I hear you asking, “what is the book about?” (Okay, maybe you’re not asking me that. Maybe it’s a voice in my head. Issues, I have issues.) Regardless, this sums it up nicely: Being in high school sucks. Just ask Richard “Tex” McKenna, a Kansas sophomore. Dealing with bullying, burgeoning love, the loss of parents, and dodge ball is bad enough. To top it off, he's just found out he's a witch. Oh, and fellow students are being murdered. The suspicious eyes of local law enforcement are looking right at Tex and his loyal group of friends. And so are the killer’s. Will Tex's new-found skills prove helpful? Or cause even more problems?

Tex, The Witch Boy is about tolerance, bullying, growing up, making right decisions, diversity, friendship, and love. Oh, and it’s a young adult, paranormal, murder mystery, suspense thriller, comedy romance. There’s also a kitchen sink in there if you look carefully. I wrote it to appeal to males (woefully underrepresented in YA books today) and females of all ages. It’s also for anyone who’s ever been bullied or have children who are being bullied. And to exorcise my high school demons.

It’s the first of a trilogy, the second one slated to come out from MuseItUp this summer. All of the books deal with topical issues based on real events and are supernatural murder mysteries.

Official Tex, The Witch Boy Trailer:

Tuesday, May 7, 2013

Visiting Susan Royal

Visiting Susan Royal

Hi Everyone,
After some technical difficulty my visit from yesterday with Susan is now live on her blog. Here is the link:
Pop in and check it out. We had great fun and can't wait to do it again.
God Bless,

Introducing Tammy Lowe

Hello all you beautiful people! 

I’m Tammy Lowe, author of The Acadian Secret. 
The Acadian Secret is the story of a time travelling twelve year old who lands in trouble while visiting the 17th century Scottish Highlands.  Add to that the true tale of the longest running, the most expensive and the deadliest treasure hunt in history and it becomes an action adventure both girls and boys can enjoy. 


Inspiration Everywhere:

As a kid, I loved to read books and watch shows like Little House on the Prairie and Anne of Green Gables.  I loved anything set in the “olden days”.

When I was about ten years old, I began to wonder about time travel.  My biggest wish was that I’d end up back in the pioneer era.  I wanted to go and hang out with spoiled Nellie Olsen.  I don’t remember why I wished for Nellie over Laura Ingalls, but I think it had something to do with the fact that her parents owned the candy shop.

I had it all figured out.  I didn’t want to live in the 18th or 19th century; I’d miss my family too much. And I can’t live without modern comforts.  I wanted the freedom to travel back and forth through time.

So strong was my wish to time travel, I even dressed the part, as much as I could, without raising anyone’s suspicions.  I wore dresses to school every day, when all my friends wore jeans and t-shirts. I had to be prepared just in case it worked and I was whisked through time. That summer, I even begged my mom to buy me a bonnet.  She did.  I wore that white bonnet everywhere.  If I ended up in Walnut Grove or Avonlea, I was prepared.

Much to my dismay, not only did I grow up, I remained in the twentieth century. However, the idea for my new series was born. Travel back through time with Elisabeth London. Join the treasure hunt with John Smith and his friends as they attempt to dig up the secret buried deep in Acadia. The adventure awaits you…


Gather round and I'll read you an excerpt.

This is when Elisabeth first ends up in 17th century Scotland and is discovered by a barbaric looking Highland warrior.

Ready?  *clears throat*

As the afternoon sun began to travel behind the mountains, it cast an emerald glow across the glen. The valley was littered with boulders, while a small river twisted its way toward a distant forest.

Malcolm Craig was stalking his prey. He was a tall, strong man with piercing blue-green eyes, a short beard, and wild black hair that gave him a crazed look. He smelled the boar before he saw it. Talbot, his hunting dog, lunged into the brambles after the wild pig which began to grunt in anger. That was when something to the right caught his eye. A young girl lay motionless in the heather.

"What the devil?" Malcolm said as he jumped down from his horse. While still keeping his hearing attuned to Talbot and the boar, he walked over and bent to peer at her. He breathed a sigh of relief to find she was fast asleep. Malcolm scooped the sleeping girl into his arms. “You’re lucky I found you, lassie, before that beast did.”

With a sigh, she rested her head against his chest and put her arms around his neck. “Daddy…” she said in her sleep.

Malcolm laughed. “Daddy? I’m nae your daddy. No daughter of mine would be dressed like this, wandering around barefoot in the middle of…”

Elisabeth’s eyes popped open and she let out an ear-piercing scream. She bit Malcolm’s shoulder and he dropped her.

“Och, child!  You bit me!”

The silence in the valley broke as Talbot howled, the boar squealed and Elisabeth jumped to her feet and wailed in horror.

"Dinnae move, lass!" Malcolm yelled to be heard over the pandemonium. He reached for his dagger. It was almost time for the kill.

The enraged boar deserted his hiding spot in the brambles and charged toward the dog, its lethal tusks ready to kill. Talbot was well-trained so, instead of turning tail and running, he danced backward, facing the pig, luring it away from his master. With the boar now in pursuit of the dog, Malcolm did what was natural to any man born and bred in the Highlands: he ran at the beast as if he were a wild animal himself. Jumping on the boar from behind, he grabbed its ear, yanked its head up and slashed its throat.

Elisabeth continued to scream. Malcolm jumped off the boar as it fell limp at his feet and cleaned the blade on the carcass before putting it away. He walked toward Elisabeth, his bloody hands held in front of him.

“Enough, lass.  It's all right now.” 

Her wide eyes fixed on the enormous man dressed in a skirt. “You’ve got a knife!”

“Aye. And a sword.” He smirked as he pointed to it.

“You’re armed!”

“I’m nae going to harm you, though. I was hunting.”

“Hunting what?  Little girls?  Where am I?”

Not waiting for an answer, she ran from Malcolm and toward the forest, her bare feet slowing her great escape.

“That lass is completely mad,” Malcolm grumbled while rubbing the shoulder she had bitten.

Malcolm mounted his horse; he couldn’t leave the terrified girl alone out here. It wasn’t safe and would soon be dark. She would be easy enough for a blind man to find again because she hadn’t stopped screaming. For some reason, he hadn’t stopped smiling.

His black warhorse was as large and intimidating as Malcolm was, and the animal’s powerful legs kicked up tall grass and thistles as it barreled along. The sound of its hooves seemed amplified as it raced toward Elisabeth. Malcolm caught up to her. Without needing to slow his horse, he reached down, scooped her up into his arms, and placed her in the saddle in front of him.

“There. Now be a good lass. I promise, I’m nae going to hurt you.”

And with that, Elisabeth fainted.

“Well now, that certainly makes things easier,” Malcolm muttered under his breath as he wrapped her in his plaid and nudged his horse on.



About Tammy:

When she isn't writing, you will either find Tammy Lowe surrounded by little children and covered in glitter and glue, or on some grand adventure: inside an Egyptian pyramid, twirling on an Alp or climbing the Great Wall of China. She's part Mary Poppins, part Indiana Jones.

Tammy lives in Cambridge, Ontario with her husband of twenty years and their teenage son.

You can find her at

The Acadian Secret is available wherever e-books are sold. 





Monday, May 6, 2013

King Kendrick and the Surprise Guest

The following is the second in a series character introductions/profiles from the upcoming novel Unveiling the Wizards' Shroud, and the first in a series of teaser scenes that aren't excerpts from the novel but additional scenes that show the thoughts and actions of characters just before they become major players in the book. Enjoy!

"Andrea! I'm so glad you could make it." King Kendrick said as he entered the receiving hall. "And Weylin, welcome to Innes Castle."

Weylin stared at the wall over Kendrick's shoulder. His unfocused gaze seemed to penetrate the wall and proceed to the throne room beyond.

"Please forgive him, Kendrick," Queen Andrea pleaded. "Weylin doesn't travel well, and the Northern Straits were terribly rough. I've never seen them so churned up without a storm."

"I'm just thrilled you're here. Now this celebration can be a great surprise for Owen and all the people of the Central Domain."

Kendrick led Andrea and Weylin to the dining hall where stewards hustled about making the final preparations for the evening's banquet. The three of them sat at the head of the table.

"Your letter said you didn't know if you'd make it due to the trouble with some rogue magicians," Kendrick said. "Did everything get resolved alright?"

Andrea's eye's flickered and darted to Weylin. He still seemed dazed and unfocused.
"Yes," she said. "All is well."

"It wasn't a resurgence of the Wizard Rebellion as you feared?"

"No. I think it was just some troublemakers with some basic magic skills looking to start a ruckus."

"I'm so happy you and your people are safe," Kendrick said.

He grabbed Andrea's hand and held it tight, thinking of the love he lost at the hands of the Wizard Rebellion. He stood and pulled her in tight for a kiss.

"I love you," he said.

"I love you, too," she returned. A smile graced the corners of her mouth and lit her eyes.

Sunday, May 5, 2013

Introducing YA Author Wendy Laharnar

     I am Australian. I love history, myth and fantasy so my writing draws on these interests.

My YA is a 93,000 word time travel novel in which I send a modern Swiss boy back to the Switzerland of 1307, to experience history in the raw.
Titled The Unhewn Stone the novel redefines the Wilhelm Tell Legend and examines the themes of Personal Indentity, Pride, Friendship and Honour and asks is there a difference between freedom Fighters and Terrorists.

This is a hero's journey with a difference because the hero belongs to the 'wrong side' and rather than gathering useful items to help him find his way, Stefan sheds his 'treasures' one by one until ...well that's all I have to say.

Published by MuseItUp, I have three short stories too.

·      Billy the Bonsai Bull is a true story told from Billy’s point of view. This story fits well as a short chapter book for Middle Graders as it deals with bullying, loneliness, and the difference between true and false friends, but it was written for my husband and me. It symbolizes life on our Australian grazing property, which we sold several years ago.

·     Happiness Guaranteed is mainstream Science Fiction but older teens would find it interesting as a futuristic psychological thriller.

·     A Summer Squall features a 10 year old boy, but again I wrote it for myself as a metaphor for the writing process. Young teens would enjoy the adventure but might not get the literary aspect, so I’d have to say this one is mainstream fiction...though much of this story is based on fact. 

 My books are available at
And all online ebook stores

My website   with my bio, the book video trailer, Swiss widget and book excerpts.

I love to talk about writing to young readers and writers. You can email me here.