A to Z Challenge: Day E

5 04 2014
Grace and the Guiltless (US)

US Version ~ August 1 ~ Capstone/Switch Press

E is for Erin. Erin Johnson. One of my pen names. People often ask why I have so many pseudonyms, and I have to say it’s because I have so many different personalities. Writers can get away with having a multiple personality disorder by claiming they’re using pseudonyms. They can talk to people who don’t exist and say they’re developing their characters. Non-writers get help for these problems; writers welcome them.

So as part of the A to Z Challenge, which is offering 30 prizes, I’m giving away a copy of the UK version of Grace and the Guiltless, part of the WANTED series…

Have you heard about the A to Z challenge?

Here’s a link to 26 posts about 26 awesome books by 24 terrific YA authors, AND there will be prizes. Yep, most days there are book and/or swag (mostly books) giveaways. There are about 30 prizes to be won in April.

For the fantastic lineup, see the previous post or go here.

 

azimage1

And here’s the UK version of Grace and the Guiltless that you can win:

WANTED: Book 1

WANTED: Book 1

Advertisements




Spells & Spies

10 03 2014

photo PatriceI love it when I see authors using creativity to hook readers. Had to smile at Patrice Lyle’s preparations for her Skype visit with a school.

With her Spells & Spies sign in the background and crystal ball in hand, she was ready to discuss her tween mystery in the Poison Ivy series, The Case of the Invisible Witch. Other props included items from her paranormal collection (the figure she used to inspire the series) and surprise visits from two of her three cats.

She also gave the schools a pdf with discussion questions (authored by Mary Helen Sheriff, along with some great Common Core activities)and writing prompts as well as tidbits of interesting information about herself, such as the fact that her father was a detective and she used to snoop in his files. That’s how she learned so much about solving mysteries.

And just to clarify, the pink room is her writing room, not her daughter’s bedroom, as one student guessed.

Interested in a Skype visit with Patrice? You can contact her through her website. Learn more about her at her Leap Books author page or Twitter (@Patrice_Lyle).

Poison Ivy Cover

Poison Ivy Cover

ABOUT THE BOOK

Thirteen-year-old Tulip Bonnaire, Witch PI, runs Spells & Spies out of her dorm room at Poison Ivy Charm School, a school for polite witches and warlocks. She has only 72 hours to figure out her latest case, or her classmate, Missy, will never be seen again. Literally.

When Missy shows up in Tulip’s dorm room around midnight, she’s invisible. As in not even x-ray vision could spot her. The mean triplets who call themselves The Belles have cast an invisibility spell on poor Missy. But if Tulip can’t break the spell in 72 hours, Missy will remain invisible forever.

It’s a case Tulip can’t resist — between her mom’s annoying new boyfriend and her own secret crush at school, Tulip understands how much it stinks to feel invisible. Luckily for Tulip, her two best friends and her cute, techy guy friend help dig up clues on a case that turns out to be her freakiest one ever.





Junior FBI Agents Solve Mysteries

20 12 2013

Fallen Prey    CoverIt’s always exciting to announce new releases from other Carolinas SCBWI members. And today, I’m lucky enough to have mystery writer Ann Eisenstein here to talk about her new release, Fallen Prey. Not all mystery writers have Ann’s background, so I’ll let her share about herself and her qualifications.

I grew up on a farm in Sidney, Ohio, where weekly trips to the library made it possible to explore and dream about the world beyond. I attended Miami University in Oxford, Ohio, graduating with a BS degree in Education, with an English and Journalism minor.

I taught elementary school in Ohio and California before obtaining my M.Ed. in School Psychology from Wright State University, Fairborn, OH. As a psychologist, I served in school systems in Texas, California, Michigan, and South Carolina, in adolescent psychiatric treatment facilities, in private practice, and for the South Carolina Department of Juvenile Justice. I taught college level Psychology in Columbia, SC, where I currently reside.Ann E Eisenstein

I continue to volunteer and mentor with Richland County Schools, the Richland County Sheriff’s Department, the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the National Alliance on Mental Illness.

My first juvenile fiction, Hiding Carly, was published in 2012. Fallen Prey, book two of the three-part Sean Gray, Junior Special Agent Mystery series, was released in November, 2013.

A lot of people have asked me why I wrote Hiding Carly. Where did I get the idea, the inspiration, and the mystery? None of my persona operates in isolation. I was mentoring a fifth grade boy at the time. I work a lot with kids in that community on various skills from school problems to social skills and problem and conflict solving. He was not much of a talker. And struggled academically. He was from an extremely low social-economic stratum.

Sean Gray JSA BadgeAlong with his fifth grade peers, he was engaged in a unique program offered by the FBI, the Junior Special Agent Program. I witnessed a growing interest in what this program had to offer. He was genuinely interested in something! It was exciting – and gave us something to talk about! (Besides his baseball games – which I loved watching!)

An idea crept into my head about a Junior Special Agent protagonist! I struck up a conversation with the Special Agent in charge of this program, relaying how much my mentee was learning and benefiting from it. And I mentioned “the book”! The agent agreed to an interview! A seed. A kernel. A beginning.

And from that seed the series began. Hiding Carly was the first book and the latest is Fallen Prey.

ABOUT FALLEN PREY

Twelve-year-old Junior Special Agent Sean Gray is in a race against time.

Could there be a connection between his testimony in the trial of an international child kidnapping ring and his mysterious accident?
While the sheriff’s department and the FBI are investigating, his new friend, Gabby, gets caught in the web of an online predator and disappears. She’s been missing for more than 48 hours, and the authorities have not been able to find her. Sean goes undercover to bait the mysterious hunter. But when he becomes the prey, how will he rescue her?

To find out more about Ann and the Junior Special Agent Sean Gray series as well as her other books, you can visit her website. And if you’d like to win an autographed copy of Fallen Prey, just leave a comment any time up until January 2, 2014. We’ll pick one lucky winner in the New Year.





New Thriller Releases

13 10 2012

New Recruit book coverIt’s always fun to read books by friends, even more so when they’re YAs. I confess, I’m a YA addict. Maybe because I’m still a teen at heart. Or maybe I love them because YAs are usually better written, more tightly plotted, and faster paced than adult books. I prefer stories that move along rather than meander along. I’m big on action and characters, not too interested in getting bogged down with description and setting.

So I found Jill Williamson’s YA thriller, The New Recruit, a rapid rollercoaster ride that met all my requirements.

Here’s the book blurb:

Forced to choose between military school and a Christian spy organization, skeptic Spencer Garmond signs on with the Bible geeks. But before he even boards the plane for Moscow, Spencer realizes this is no Bible club.

These guys mean business.

Stumbling onto a case involving a gang of homeless boys, a chilling tattoo, and the always beautiful Anya Vseveloda, Spencer struggles to find the faith needed to save the Mission League from enemy infiltration.

For more about the series, go to the Mission League. Jill is also offering an undercover scavenger hunt with some terrific prizes.

The book trailer:

This isn’t the only book of Jill’s that I’ve enjoyed. She has an award-winning fantasy/speculative fiction trilogy, The Blood of Kings, and the recent YA sci-fi release, Replication. Coming  in 2013 is the first of a dystopian YA trilogy, Captives.

And this must be thriller release month for my friends, because one of my CPs, Don Helin, just released Devil’s Den (Headline Books), a fast-moving adult suspense that moves from a ghostly disappearance on the Gettysburg battlefield to a plot involving an Irish mob. The hero, with his post traumatic stress syndrome, becomes the prime suspect in a ghost-related crime.devil's den book cover





What Are You Doing to Help Mother Earth?

23 04 2012

I thought I’d devote some time this week to promoting a fellow author I admire not only for her writing, but also for her commitment to the environment. Her latest book, Stakeout, was a finalist for the Green Earth Award this year.

Bonnie J. Doerr not only writes green, she lives green. Her home is a log cabin set in a patch of woods in North Carolina. Bonnie J. Doerr's cabin in North CarolinaBonnie has carved out a space for herself to garden. You can see some of her lovely landscaping in this picture, but to truly appreciate what she’s done, you need to look at the before and after pictures of her garden space (see below). It’s difficult to believe that these pictures are of the same place. Bonnie’s hard work and green thumb are evident. In the first picture, she’s hard at work planting her garden.Picture of Bonnie J. Doerr plantingThen in the next picture, here’s how her garden grows. Amazing! Bonnie brings the same dedication and passion to her writing and to her environmental activism. So I asked her to write a blog post in honor of Earth Day.

By Bonnie J. Doerr

During Earth Week I’m reminded more than ever about why my writing took off in the direction it did. A deep appreciation of nature and the need to be immersed in the outdoors on a regular basis has defined my mental health for as long as I remember. I’ve been astounded to learn how many people are missing the gene that connects them to nature. In recent years my astonishment has turned into alarm. This dissociation from nature, I believe, is in many ways at the core of our environmental crisis.

Richard Louv, author of Last Child in the Woods (Algonquin, 2005), defines this as Nature Deficit Disorder. As a result of a lifetime indoors, children have limited respect for their immediate natural surroundings. According to Louv, “An increasing pace in the last three decades, approximately, of a rapid disengagement between children and direct experiences in nature… has profound implications, not only for the health of future generations but for the health of the Earth itself.”

Watch the wonder and delight on a young child’s face when first observing a nest of eggs hatching, a tadpole growing into a frog, or a bean sprouting and reaching for the sky, and you know how much joy children naturally find in nature. We are wired to appreciate nature’s gifts. To nurture that appreciation, before it is lost to modern day society, can be soul saving.

Without first having experienced something, how can we come to care for it? So it seems tragically understandable that a lack of association with the natural environment leads to ecological abuse, or at the very least, taking our natural environment for granted.

I began to write poetry first, then short stories. But by the time I drafted my first novel, the die was cast. Each piece of writing had brought me closer and closer to natural settings, to crimes against the environment, and finally to where I am now—writing ecological mystery/adventures. I realize not every child can visit a wilderness, or explore a National Refuge, but every child can feel like they have when immersed in my novels. Teens can learn how much fun it is to be outdoors, how sensitive the environment is, and how they can set a good example for the adults in their world. They can virtually join other teens as they work to improve the Earth and save its creatures. It’s one small thing I can do to inspire environmental stewardship.

This month the Girl Scouts of USA are featuring Bonnie at their site. You can learn more about Bonnie and her novels on her website and by reading a recent interview. You can also see more about Bonnie’s work on her videos, which are posted at the Leap Books blog. And even better, Bonnie’s books are on sale the rest of this month for 40% off the paperbacks: Stakeout is only $7.79 and Island Sting is only $7.19.

Here’s one video of Bonnie’s work to whet your appetite:





Free and Bargain E-books

30 03 2012

Pass it on… Some great bargains for lovers of YA books are available this month:

FREE, yep, that’s right, FREE for the next few days (for Amazon prime members). It will be only 99 cents from April 1 to May 1:

Island Sting Check out Island Sting at Amazon.

Spirited Anthology by Maria V. Snyder

Anthology by authors Maria V. Snyder, Candace Havens, Shannon Delany, Jill Williamson, Judith Graves, Kitty Keswick, Dawn Dalton, Linda Joy Singleton, and others...

Spirited available on Amazon for 99 cents!! It has augmented reality by Karl Gee.

Under My Skin

Under My Skin regularly $4.99, available for 99 cents on Amazon for a limited time.

And for adults, check out Dancing with the Devil, by Cate Masters, FREE on Amazon for a limited time. For other great bargains, check out the Leap Books site on April 1, 2012, for some great bargains.

And for a blog about FREE and BARGAIN BOOKS, see Downtown YA.





Can You Resist a Free Book?

6 05 2011

I don’t know about you, but I can never resist a free book, even if it’s a genre I don’t normally read. So I jumped at the chance to get this Free e-book and thought I’d share the link in case you wanted a copy too:

Linda Joy Singleton has a FREE YA paranormal romance  Dead Girl Walking for the Nook and Kindle available at Amazon.