All Because of Chickens

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Family Secret by Kay LaLone

Sixteen-year-old Thomas Patrick Henry is thrown into a web of secrets and demons after his mother’s murder.

 Back Cover

On the road to solving his mother’s murder, sixteen-year-old Thomas Patrick Henry discovers a secret his father has kept from him for years. Tom thought Dad’s secret put him in danger, Mom’s secret is far worse. Magic. Witches. Ancient Book of Spells. Magical Amulet. Ghosts. Demons. Tom never thought these things existed until he is face to face with them. There is nothing else to do but destroy the demons before someone else Tom love dies. He already lost his mom and a close friend because this secret was kept from him. No one else will die. No one else will be possessed. Tom faces his demons. A mother’s love gives Tom the strength to slay his demons.


“Ow.” Tom yanked the chain and dragged the burning amulet from under his shirt. Even the chain was warm, but there was no way he was going to take the stupid thing off. He let it drop to his chest and rest warmly on the top of his shirt as he stared at the demon.

“It’s not your grandfather,” Tom whispered. Anger rolled around inside him because of what this thing did to Sarah.

The dark figure stepped out of the shadows causing the boys to take two steps back. The demon looked like a man dressed in thunderous storm-like clouds from head to toe. Even his face was black and the eyes a dimly puke-yellow that churned Tom’s stomach. He felt Rob’s heavy breathing just inches behind him, but it didn’t stop a chill from shimmering up his spine like fingernails on a chalkboard.

“I know who you are.” Tom tried to sound confident even though his voice shook with fear. He swallowed hard. “What do you want?”

The demon raised a shadowy arm and then his stormy cloud-like body started to swirl like a mini tornado. In a gust of black smoke, the demon shot up into the air and zipped right over Tom and Rob’s heads. The boys ducked and laid flat on the wet grass, afraid the demon would consume them.

Tom turned his head to see the black smoke head toward Mr. Watson’s house. Tom got to his feet while Rob remained on the ground. The black smoke swarmed over the house and then drifted back down. It slithered around the house like a snake looking for a place to sneak in, circling several times before seeping through the crack in the window and disappearing inside.

Rob scrambled to his feet. “That thing is inside my grandfather’s house.” His voice was high-pitched in fear. “My…” He glanced toward the empty driveway. Then he sighed. “Mom must still be at the hospital.”

Tom touched Rob’s arm to prevent him from doing something crazy. He didn’t want another one of his friends to get hurt by this thing.

“We need to do something, but I don’t know what.” Tom glanced over to the tents in Granddad’s backyard, hoping Matt or Granddad would come running to save the day. But there was no movement over there.

Inside the house, Jake growled and then started to bark wildly. Before Tom could stop him, Rob dashed upon the back porch and flung the backdoor open. Jake continued his wild barking as if protecting Rob and the house. If only the dog could save the day, but Tom feared nothing would save them.

A cracking noise caught Tom’s attention, and he turned his head toward what he assumed was Mr. Watson’s bedroom window. The glass appeared pitch black at first, and then a face appeared. The same puke-yellow eyes stared at Tom and gave him an evil grin.

This is my family husband, three sons, daughter-in-law, and my granddaughter. I'm Kay LaLone author of Ghostly Clues, my first MG novel and now my first YA novel, Family Secret. I live in Michigan. I recently moved north, in the country surrounded by cornfield about six miles from a small town and I love it. Being surrounded by cornfields can be kind of spooky especially at night. So, yes, I let my imagination run wild. I love to get up every morning and write about ghosts, the paranormal, and things that go bump in the night. I write PB, MG and YA novels. No matter the books I write, I want my readers to feel like they have met a new friend. I’m an avid reader of just about any type of book (mystery, paranormal, and ghost stories are my favorites). I do reviews and post them on my website and blog. I love to collect old books, antiques, and collectibles. You can find many of my antiques and collectibles selling on ebay and at fleamarkets and my new antique shop.

Where did the idea for Family Secret come from?

Family Secret is not based on a secret from my past or from my family. The idea for Family Secret came from a picture I saw for a writing class. We had to look at a picture and develop a story from it. I asked the question, What if? What if this boy was running away from something? What if he felt like he wasn’t wanted? What if a secret was being kept from him? Asking what if gets the imagination flowing. Over the years (it took fifteen years before Family Secret became published) I just let my imagination run wild and soon it developed into the book it is today.   

Interested in posting a review? Let's talk. I love hearing from my readers.



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Saturday, September 26, 2015

Saturday Morning Musings: Sept. 26 2015: The after reading emotion, thoughts

Reading is about escape and enjoyment. While in school it may seem more like homework and something we had to do…which is a quick fire buzzkill…reading is fun. And it will become fun again once you get past that whole “must do” aspect of it.

Reading allows us to forget what’s going around us and live other lives, if only for a few minutes each day. And that’s what writers want…your enjoyment in their worlds and words.

However, you might be surprised to find out there are other elements we writers hope you discover, feel, so here’s our musing for this Saturday…


…after reading your story, what do you hope/want the reader to walk away...feeling, thinking...

After reading any of the books in the Princess of Valendria series I'd be thrilled to hear that a reader learned something new, or formed a new book boyfriend (or girlfriend).

But, honestly I'd be happiest to learn my reader walked away with a sense of enjoyment. To know that they felt their investment of time and money was well spent traveling through the lands of Valendria with my heroes and heroines. And I'd be honored and humbled to know that they want to return for new stories or re-read past tales.

So, if you've read any of the series, drop me a line and let me know what you thought. If you haven't read them, let me know if you do. I'd love to hear from you!

After reading War Unicorn, my readers should feel an affinity with Reg, after going through his inner struggles and outward battles, and being forced to make difficult choices with family and friends. As an author, I want my readers to be so wrapped up in my story that when they look up, they wonder for a moment where they are - in my book setting or in their own reality. They should feel that War Unicorn is complete, but want to read more...and there will be more!

For me it varies from project to project. First and foremost with each book, I want people to be entertained. As for In a Pickle, I also want readers to walk away feeling hopeful and to see the importance of being kind. Bullying is a major theme in this book, something I know a lot of kids (and adults) deal with in real life. Like ripples in a pond, just one act of kindness can change the course of someone's life. One bad decision, one good decision. Everything has an effect on the outcome of things.

Another thing I want for my young and not-so-young readers is for them to KEEP READING! Never give up on your imagination. If my books can encourage readers to pick up another book, I have ultimately done the job I am meant to do.

After reading my story I want the reader to side with my main character and feel that she or he has been able to triumph with a solution to her or his problem. Also I want the reader to think she or he got to this place by understanding and by the help of their friends. Of course I want my reader to ask: What happens next and be waiting to find out from the next book if a series. Or if not wanting to read my next book because they love my writing!

The first book in my trilogy, Country and The Rock, shows the reader how important friendship is. The story revolves around a young alien that want to know what it's like to be a boy on Earth. The protagonist, Sean 'Country' West, and his friends show him while giving him another lesson on what a true friend is.

This is the reaction I hope people get from my books. I want them to feel like they've been on an adventure and escaped from reality for a little while. I hope they enjoy the story, relate to the characters and it makes enough of an impression that they check to see if I've written other things.

I want my readers to end up being a bit more open-minded about those who are not like themselves. I want them to be able to appreciate that there are more points of view than their own. I want to jolt them out of complacency. I also want to startle and amaze them with dazzling vistas of alien planets and a universe where mind-to-mind communication is a reality.

First and foremost, I want my readers to be smiling when they finish my story. If they didn't enjoy it enough to smile then I failed as an author. I also want my characters to show them that everyone has struggles. Many kids, especially Tweens, feel like no one understands them and they are alone in what they are going through. I hope I can show them that things aren't always what they seem, so they can begin to develop empathy for others.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note:

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Saturday Morning Musings: September 19 2015 - Why are we writing this genre?

Hi and here’s to the start of a fantastic weekend. Hope the week went well for you.

Today we want to explain…Why we write MG/Tween/YA/New YA.

It never dawned on me, but I guess this was the first genre I wrote…attempted to write. Lea, close your eyes, I’m mentioning (drum roll to no surprise) Nancy Drew type stories. Thinking back to my childhood my Barbies always went on mysteries or took their camper to other planets (aka Lost In Space). I never once took them down the nightmare lane even though I love that genre now.

Let’s visit with a few Musers

I actually write in a few different genres and categories (age groups.) I write middle grade because I am truly a kid at heart and I like reading books in this category. I wrote time travel (In a Pickle) because the topic has always fascinated me. So much can go wrong! My recent projects have tended toward the grown-up side of the spectrum, some speculative/fantasy, some not; but I plan to visit MG and YA and children's in the future. So many pots (90+ projects in the think tank at the moment), only so many burners.

I started writing YA because I was in a children's writing workshop and then after writing my first novel the next character was a fifteen year old. The next one which I am still not finished revising is a sixteen year old boy. So I keep having these characters and enjoy writing about them.

I think there is a way to go back to your own life and rewrite those years as you might have wanted to live them from an older perspective. That is part of the reason I like writing YA. Also the themes in each novel coincide with a teen's life. Also I have read a lot of YA and wanted to write my own ideas.

To be honest, I wrote EARRINGS after seeing the lack of diversity in my bilingual classroom.  I also was doing my own research into my Mexican roots and was a grad student in bilingual/bicultural education.  My Chicano Studies classes opened my eyes to another part of history that textbooks don’t cover.  I learned to embrace my Mexican heritage and became passionate for having protagonists that mirrored not only my second language students but me as well.

I started at the beginning though with writing poetry.  Poetry helped me deal with my abusive background.  My poetry has been in numerous magazines and in chapbooks.  I think this is one huge reason why edgy subject matters also appeal to me.  When I was asked to write a letter to my sixteen-year-old self for DEAR TEEN ME, I was amazed at how many others had been through similar experiences.

Right now though I’m toying with getting out of my comfort zone and writing a mainstream diverse romance.  I love to think outside the box and challenge myself.

The reason I write fantasy stories is because that's what I love to read the most...and why I like to read in this genre is because for me, it is the most captivating. It transports you to another place, and even if it takes place within our own world, there is still some element of the fantastic that makes the world distinct from the world we live in. And I find magic can be more 'real', or at least more true, than our own world, because it touches a higher level of reality, something beyond what science can explain to perhaps a higher kind of science. And I love the adventures in fantasy stories, and in writing them, the ability to create amazing new things.

I write YA because it's a time of change. It's a transitional stage between childhood and adulthood, with lots of emotions and feels and expectations. My MC's are poised at the edge of having responsibility and still wanting the freedoms of childhood. The demands of life from friends, family, and the world and the character's reaction to these demands are a lot of fun to play with to discover the inner strengths (and weaknesses of my characters.)

Why do I write YA/New YA? I write in this genre because I like to read it. In a good YA/New YA book, the character's emotions are close to the surface. They experience life with the curiosity of youth, the commitment of someone who still believes, and the dogged determination of someone untried and inexperienced with failure. They aren't jaded. It makes me remember what it was like to be that age.

Keep reading and dreaming. If there’s anything you’re curious about just drop me a note: