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All Because of Chickens

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Release Day For Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia!

 

Howdy! I'm Stuart R. West and the second book in my YA, paranormal, suspense, murder mystery, comedy, romance series, Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia, came out July 26th!

 Tex McKenna’s junior year of high school is just as bad as his sophomore year. Maybe worse. Olivia’s dumped him. He's caught up between two warring gangs and goes “undercover” with the Modern Gangstas to unmask a murderer. Being a supernatural trouble magnet and a witch is hard enough. But all Tex wants to do is end the school year alive. And maybe find out who the mysterious punker girl is and how she knows all his secrets.


 That's Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia in a nutshell. But, really, at its heart, the book's about the shocking and sudden violence that happens in schools across the world. The suburban gangs depicted in the novel may seem silly but they're based in reality. A couple years ago, there was a gang shooting at my old Kansas high school. According to the media, these gangs held sway over the student populace, even scaring teachers and parents into submission. Its a shame when, we as parents, have to fear for our children at high school, a place my grandmother used to say would reap the best years of my life. Well, besides the fact she lied, even high schools are a frightening place these days.

But the book's not all about angst and violence! I introduce a new character, Elspeth. She's shrouded in mystery and to give more away about her would ruin the surprise of who (or what) she is. Elspeth has become one of my favorite characters to write, even threatening to take over the whole dang series (she gets her own book when the Tex trilogy is completed).

 Elspeth also figures heavily into my first attempt at writing a romantic farcical quadrangle. Love spells gone bad! Unrequited love! Mistaken intentions! Longing looks! Sexual identity confusion, mix-ups and foul-ups! Kisses that shouldn't've been made! And, um, some that should.

 It's all here and then some. Still trying to mine humor and entertainment out of the angst and issues teens go through since, um, early 2013.
 

The first in the series, Tex, The Witch Boy was released in January, 2013. The second, Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia is out July 26th. Tex And The God Squad , the final book is due in December, 2013. Many more books to come.

Super special AmazeBalls Deal! Act fast, hit up the MuseItUp website, and you can buy both the Tex books for the price of one! My publisher's going cray-cray! But don't tell her and buy! Our lil' secret! http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=759&category_id=281&manufacturer_id=277&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1

 
Tex, The Witch Boy on Amazon: (.99 Special!): http://www.amazon.com/Tex-The-Witch-Boy-ebook/dp/B00B3U5OWU/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374849079&sr=1-1

Tex And The Gangs Of Suburbia on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tex-Gangs-Suburbia-Witch-ebook/dp/B00E5RWBGA/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374849134&sr=1-1&keywords=Tex+and+the+gangs+of+suburbia

BLOG: http://stuartrwest.blogspot.com/

FACEBOOK:
https://www.facebook.com/stuartrwestwriter?fref=ts

TWITTER: @StuartRWest

TEX, THE WITCH BOY Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B6YA8yjNVMc

Saturday, July 27, 2013

Meet Kim Baccellia



My just released book is NO MORE GODDESSES  Link: http://www.zumayapublications.com/title.php?id=301


Tell us something about yourself


I’m a YA author, homeschool mom, and reviewer.  I love yoga, chocolate, facials, bittersweet love stories,
and 80s music.
What prompted you to write your book?


After getting the 70th rejection for CROSSED OUT I decided to write a lighter, younger YA story with romance.  But if you know me, light horror/fantasy element came into the storyline.  Basically NO MORE GODDESSES was my attempt to take the whole lemon experience of rejections and turn it into lemonade.
 How much research did you have to do and how did you go about it?


First off I wanted Jordan Lake to have a favorite icon that she loved.  It had to be a classic actress.  Audrey Hepburn came to mind.  I ended up devouring all I could about her and fell in love with her too!  My favorite AH movie has to be THE NUN’S STORY.  Jordan’s list came from the one Audrey Hepburn’s character makes in WAR AND PEACE.  Book two will see more references to FUNNY FACE as Jordan will travel to Paris!


Then I had to research the Egyptian part for the mischievous goddess.  I chose Hathor as she’s the Egyptian goddess of love.  My sister has been studying to be an Egyptologist and helped me with finding ancient text and other material.


Also I got permission from an actual present day Isis Priestess to use one of her hymns which was pretty cool.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?


NO MORE GODDESSES is more of a lighter story that I hope will leave readers with a smile.  I hope they can be engaged with Jordan, Selena, and Andrew’s adventures enough to want to continue with book two!  Yes, I signed a contract for a second book!  And it would be fun for readers to rediscover Audrey Hepburn and see her magic.  
Do you have any themes that recur in your books?


This one is basically be careful what you wish for because it might come true with not too fun consequences.
What are you working on now?


I’m currently working on book two in the goddesses series.  I’m also going over a revision of an edgier multicultural YA set in the not too distinct future.  This one is more suspense/thriller and might even end up becoming New Adult.  Right now just polishing it up enough before I send it out.

How did you get started writing?


I’ve always been writing.  Even when I was a bilingual teacher?  My main emphasis in English Language Arts had to be the writing component or Writer’s workshop.  My students and I have been mentioned in the South Whittier Newspaper in the 1990s.  To me I loved to see my second language learners embrace reading and writing.  I then thought, why don’t I practice what I preach and actually write too!  The rest is history!
Where can readers find you on the web?


I’m @ixtumea on Twitter
I’m @kbaccellia on FB
My website is www.kim-baccellia.com
I’m also an editor/reviewer at YA Books Central: http://www.yabookscentral.com/
EXCERPT


Heart-shaped posters announcing <i>Candygrams! 25 cents! were plastered all over campus. It was here, the day I had anticipated with dread and hope, although it would probably end in disappointment.


As if the guy I drooled over would actually send me one.


I dreamed of the moment anyway. Every night since the announcement, I had played it all out in my head. I would be so cool, so sophisticated—just like Audrey Hepburn in <i>Tessa’s Treasure.


If I closed my eyes, I knew I’d go right to that dream, but then I’d risk being battered by the throng of students bumping and jostling in the overcrowded hall. Thank God there had never been a real emergency. Us lowly freshmen would be floor splatter.
Then, like the parting of the Red Sea, the crowd flowed to the sides of the hall as the star of my dreams, Ethan Taylor, and his bunch of basketball friends walked down the center, flipping their heads and waving as if they owned the place. Who am I kidding? They did. They <i>were McKnight High.


“There he is,” said my best friend Selena Garza with a subtle wag of her eyebrows. Lost in all the Candygram stuff, I’d almost forgotten she was there. “Go talk to him.”


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Thursday, July 25, 2013

Interview with Penny Estrelle, author of Flash to the Past



Tell us something about yourself


I’m retired after working as a school secretary for twenty-one years.  My husband and I live off the grid on a fifty-four acre ranch in very rural Arizona.  Between the two of us we have five kids and seven grandchildren.

What prompted you to write your book?

Flash to the Past is Book 3 of the Wickware Sagas.  I was ecstatic when MuseItUp asked me to do a series, which will include 5 stories, total.


Your main character travels back in time to 1776. How much research did you have to do and how did you go about it?

The Wickware Sagas are about 21 Century kids that go back in time, and meet the subject of an assignment they have drawn in class.  Once I figured out who/what the subject would be I had to do quite a bit of research.  History and I were enemies in school.  I wanted nothing to do with it!


What would you like readers to take away from your book?

That history is not an enemy.  It is truly interesting, which I have learned in my golden years, and I’m trying to make it fun for kids to learn a few facts about some historical events and heroes.


Do you have any themes that recur in your books?

As a matter of fact I do – Miss Wickware, the 7/8 grade history teacher, is the key to how these kids do a little time travel.  In each of the five stories, the readers get a glimpse of Miss Wickware’s powers.


What are you working on now?

I’m working on a story called
The Unwanted Christmas Guest.  This is a story that will be for the older folks.  It is a romance of sorts.  I also write adult stories under P. A. Estelle.



How did you get started writing?

I think I’m like millions of people in this world, that reads a book and thinks, “I can do that.  How hard can it be?”  Silly, silly girl!  I started writing seriously when I retired.  My story, Hike Up Devil’s Mountain, was the first story for kids to be picked up.  My daughter was teaching fifth grade and read my first three chapters to her class.  They all wanted more and that’s what kept me motivated.



Where can readers find you on the web?www.pennystales.com







Excerpt


“What a jerk!” Kristy hollered, hoping Larry heard her.  “Like that little twerp could protect me!”  She looked around.  Not a sound could be heard.  No birds, no rustling of leaves, nothing.  She opened her mouth to call Larry back, but stopped herself.  “He’ll be back!”  Kristy was beginning to regret her outburst when Larry came around the bend in the road, running as fast as he could.
Her “I knew it” smirk faded when she saw the frantic look on his face.  He grabbed her arm and dragged her into the group of trees, tripping them both, rolling into the brush.
“What’s your…” Her words were smothered as Larry’s hand clamped over her mouth.  Kristy’s outrage lasted only seconds when a group of horses, ridden by men in red coats, galloped by.
When the dust cleared, they continued to sit in stunned silence.  A hard gnashing of teeth clamped down on Larry’s finger, snapping him painfully out of his trance.  “Ouch!” he yelped, pulling his finger from her teeth.
“Well, get your hand off my mouth!” she growled.  They got up and brushed leaves off their clothes, glaring at each other.  “Did you think, maybe for one second, those guys could have helped us figure out where the heck we are?”  Kristy asked, hands on hips.





http://museituppublishing.com/bookstore2/index.php?page=shop.product_details&flypage=flypage.tpl&product_id=758&category_id=58&manufacturer_id=244&option=com_virtuemart&Itemid=1&vmcchk=1&Itemid=1

Monday, July 22, 2013

Meet David Rollins, author of Ambassador from Earth

Tell us something about yourself

I'm an ex-Navy nuke, with a beautiful wife and two great daughters. I'm a beginner triathlete who swims just well enough to watch the other athletes pass me for the rest of the race. I love science and space and can watch documentaries for hours on end.

What prompted you to write your book?
I loved reading science fiction as a kid. I spent three years as a kid living on a U.S. Navy base in Japan. The only English television was one hour of Sesame Street every Sunday at 6pm. So, I read a lot of books. I wore out the collection of Tom Swift books at the base library and most of the non-fiction science books as well.

This particular book starts with a childhood fantasy. I always thought it would be so cool to find an alien spacecraft hidden somewhere. I would find it, learn how to operate it and travel to other worlds.

This is where Ambassador from Earth begins.


What kind of world building did you do for your novel?
The book begins in present day so world building was a lot of childhood memories of middle school brought forward to early 21st century.

Once the main characters leave Earth, the fun began. I tried to imagine how advanced alien cultures would interact with less advanced civilizations they encountered as they traveled beyond their native world. I tried to draw from examples of Earth history. The story usually ends badly for the less technologically advanced society but it isn't always a straightforward military conquest either. I also had to think about how each alien's environment and evolution would affect their culture. I didn't want a bunch of humanoids who simply mimed Earth cultures past or present, I wanted them to be truly alien.

I then tried to throw in as much real science as I could. For instance when the children travel at close to light speed in their ship, time is compressed and what seems like hours to them is days to others.

What would you like readers to take away from your book?

A few laughs. My main characters are middle school aged and sarcasm needs to flow like an old episode of MASH. On the philosophical side some thoughtful questions. Like a lot of science fiction I get into some big ideas and concepts. I don't want anyone to get the impression that I think I know any of the answers.

Do you have any themes that recur in your books?
Sometimes kids are a lot smarter than adults, and braver, better people. Life hasn't had a chance to bruise their humanity as much.

Every intelligence usually acts in its own self interest. Our inability to define what one's self is and what its best interests are leads to delightful confusion and interesting stories.

Good and evil make more sense as directional arrows on a continuous moral scale than definitions of people or their actions. Sometimes a thing can be right and wrong at the same time.

Geeks rule.

What are you working on now?
A steam punk (I guess) story about a sixteen year-old in the early 1920s. In brief: Mars actually is as Percival Lowell described it, Germany wins the Franco-German War of 1914 in forty days, Martians appear on Earth shortly after and begin causing mayhem, nuclear fission and rocketry are mastered by 1919 putting Britain and Germany in a space race and our hero and his father are sent to Mars on a British rocket to stop the invasion. Oh, and there's some stuff about spies, traitors, psychic girls, and of course a lot of alien monsters to be fought.

How did you get started writing?
I started trying to write sci-fi novels in the sixth grade. Every story I ever read or watched and everything about science and the universe I eve learned wants to come out into a story.


Where can readers find you on the web?

Ambassador from Earth will be published on MusItUp.com in August. My previous e-book Akiesha: Princess of Mars was published on Storyplus.com but that website is currently inactive.

I can also be found on Facebook.

Excerpt:
“Now do you believe me?” Ellen asked.
“Never doubted you,” I lied.
Suddenly, the spaceship changed. In the blink of an eye, it became the battered old van. In seconds, it changed again to the same van, but brand spanking new. Then it became a medium-sized helicopter, then a small private jet. Ellen let out a gasp as she found herself standing inside the wing of the jet.
“James, what are you doing?” Ellen shouted.
“This thing has a whole library of different things it can appear to be,” James called out.
The craft changed again: a fighter jet, an ice cream truck, a mail truck, and then it disappeared altogether.
“James, where’d you go?” I shouted.
“Right here, Brother Matt. This one’s called Cloak Mode Middle Band.” I heard James’ now disembodied voice.
“Now you’re invisible,” said Ellen.
“Right,” said James. “You can even change the outside without changing the inside. Now watch this.”
The van reappeared ten meters away, then farther off, in a different direction.
“I can make it appear anywhere I want,” said James, the sound of his voice coming from the same place.
The van had not moved, only the image. The craft then reappeared in its true location and quickly became a series of what appeared to be other spacecraft, some strangely shaped, but all close to the same size. None looked like anything on Earth.
“What are these things we’re seeing?” I asked.
“A…Sklethos DR7 cargo pod, a…Pruscharri TL12 fighter, and…a…Veechi S18G sub-sentient expendable probe.” James described each of the vehicles.
“James, I think that’s enough, we get the idea. Better turn it back into the van before someone comes along and sees,” said Ellen.
“Wait, I want to try one more thing,” said James.
“You’d better not be doing what I think you are,” I said.
“I want to see if I can download images from the Internet and feed it into this thing’s database…there!”
Ellen and I now beheld a large white SUV, complete with twenty-two inch, chrome-plated spinners and purple chassis underlighting. Inside the cab, James touched a control and “Wooly Bully”, by the Sam the Sham and the Pharaohs, boomed through what sounded like a 600-watt base tube at over 80 decibels. I signaled to James to reduce the volume.
“James, you pimped the spaceship,” I groaned.
“Just giving it a little style, Brother Matt.” He smiled, and with the click of a mouse on his laptop, the spaceship was again a beat-up old van.



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Saturday, July 20, 2013

Friendship or love? To marry his love Princess Tuskja, Prince Darinel has to kill his best friend, Idunal, the dragon.

Meet Darinel Dragonhunter






Prince Darinel is traveling–for what feels like forever. Expelled from his father’s kingdom, he just wants to find a new home. When a shadow lures him to a wealthy kingdom, he stays to discover more about the darkness, but the citizens are tight-lipped.
Their king welcomes the foreign Prince hoping that he will solve his two problems: the dragon and his strong-willed daughter. Coming from a warrior kingdom, Darinel despises violence, but charmed by Princess Tuskja’s dare, he sets out to confront the beast. Instead of finding a fierce dragon, he finds a friend. The dragon’s malicious humor and his love of fairy tales entangle Darinel in a summer of adventures, while danger stirs in the East, the Dark Prince. Being refused by the Princess and humiliated by the dragon, this proud prince seeks revenge.
In compliance with the king’s decree, Darinel is torn between his friendship with the dragon and his love for Princess Tuskja, whom he can only marry if he kills his friend. Before he can make a decision, the kingdom is under attack. Now it is up to the dragon to either help his friend or respect his wish to not interfere.

Darinel Dragonhunter is my first published book and it has been a very exciting journey. Thanks to Museitup Publishing has found a home in the Museit Young section and I am very happy with that.


Here is a teaser if you like to read a bit more: 


The prince sighed. “Yeah, you’re right. Do you mind if I take a break here?”
“Oh no. Be my guest,” the voice replied, cheerfully.
Darinel dismounted and reached to tie Tibor’s reins to the trunk of a tree, when a dark shadow swished over him. The horse bolted in panic and disappeared. Dumbfounded, he stared down the path they had just travelled.
“Oops!” The voice sounded a bit regretful.
“That was not supposed to happen.” Still shaking his head, he turned to a little sparkling stream at his feet and knelt beside it. He took off his helmet and splashed water onto his face and over his head.
“It is a bit inconvenient, isn’t it?” the voice said. “But don’t worry, the way down always seems faster,” it added cheerfully.
“Yeah, right!” the prince said with a smirk as he slid back to lean on a big boulder behind him. “Now you see I am no threat to you, won’t you come out and sit with me?” He ruffled his hand through his wet hair.
“I’d love to, but don’t you know, there’s a fierce dragon in these mountains?” the voice pointed out.



To find out more about my book and me, come visit me on my webpage:

http://www.antjehergt.com//



Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Ask the Author

Ladies and gentlemen, boys and girls, readers of all ages, it is time for ASK THE AUTHOR!!!!!!!

This week we have two questions being posed for our Muse Tween and Teen authors. As always, we want this to be a conversation and invite authors to answer the questions in the comments and readers to join in by remarking on a particular comment or asking another question of your own.

Our first question is posed by Jerry Race. Jerry would like to know:

What is the oldest age for a young adult character?

Great question, Jerry! This is a topic discussed again and again by people in the industry, so we should get some varying ideas. Thanks for asking!

Our second question is from Suzanne de Montigny. Suzanne wants to know:

How do you come up with funny stories (like Vin and the Dorky Duet by Maggie Lyons?)

Funny is very difficult to write, great question, Suzanne! Thanks for asking.

Okay, Muse authors, now it is your turn. Let's hear it!

Monday, July 1, 2013

3rd Place in the 2013 IDA Contest

The Unhewn Stone
placed 3rd in the Young Adult category of the International Digital Awards Contest for 2013.



 Available from    Amazon,     Barnes & Noble,    MuseItUp

This novel for older teens  reinvents the legend of Wilhelm Tell through the eyes of a Swiss time traveller who belongs to the tyrant Governor Gessler's family.

On a mission to prevent the legend from happening and restore his family honour, Stefan Gessler enters the 14th century as a stubborn, proud, arrogant, pacifist unaware of the dangers he will face and the difficult lessons he will learn.

Tour modern and medieval Switzerland. Experience life in the Middle Ages, first hand. Encounter fascinating characters while you live by your wits and maybe, like Stefan, reinvent yourself. Does Stefan make the right choices?  You be the judge

Watch the video-trailer and widget of the actual location on HERE.

Excerpt from a review of The Unhewn Stone by Great Historicals:

This novel is suspenseful, yet humorous at times. It is a coming of age story. From its likeable protagonist to its detestable antagonist, and the plentiful adventures and suspense in between, this is a wonderful novel to savor. Luscious prose that is simple and uncomplicated, allows the reader to slip easily into the story. Can the hero alter the past to improve the future for others? That is one of the main premises in this fascinating tale.