Tuesday, October 22, 2019

A Bestiary Alphabet, by Felix Eddy



About A Bestiary Alphabet:


From Al-Mi’raj to Zlatarog, The Bestiary Alphabet features a different mythical creature for every letter of the alphabet, lovingly drawn and illustrated by the talented Felix Eddy.

Like the medieval bestiaries of old, the Bestiary Alphabet collects mythological creatures from all over the globe. Some are household names, others are delightful obscurities, but all will move and inspire you to dream of a world that you have never seen. Felix Eddy’s trip through the alphabet will show you the magic, mystery, power and beauty in all the things that might have been.

A Bestiary Alphabet is an illustrated guide to mythological creatures for a general audience.


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Book Details:

Hardcover: 92 pages

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

Publish Date: October 17, 2019

ISBN-10: 1987976614
ISBN-13: 978-1987976618

Read an Excerpt:



The al-mi’raj is a Middle Eastern beast that looks like a very large yellow rabbit with a long black horn growing from its head. Sometimes called simply a-mi’raj, they are said to kill and eat horses, and are very deadly to humans. They are featured in Islamic poetry and said to live on a mysterious island somewhere in the Indian Ocean.

Highly skilled traveling witches were the only ones able to destroy these creatures and prevent them from returning to an area. In fact, it’s likely that these “highly skilled traveling witches” actually spread rumors of these creatures so they could use their “skills” to exterminate them— for a price. They didn’t have to stretch the truth too far, though, because the al-mi’raj was possibly based on real life “attack bunnies”.

There are a few diseases that afflict rabbits, causing lumpy growths or making their fur matt up painfully, appearing like horns, or like bumps where a horn fell off. These rabbits are often driven mad with pain from their twisted and matted fur, which can make them unusually aggressive. While it’s doubtful that a rabbit could kill a horse, even if it was mad with pain, certainly a rabbit that was acting insane and rushing at people would cause some real alarm— perhaps enough to start the myth of a monstrous horned rabbit.

Horned rabbits have been translated into modern use by a number of fantasy writers and game companies. They are featured in video games and role-playing game books, both as monsters and as humorous creatures, called “horned rabbits” or “bunnycorns” or “unibunnies”.

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Meet the Author:



Felix Eddy is an artist from Upstate New York. She is the illustrator of several books, including Dragonbait, The Time Traveller’s Resort and Museum, Bark’s Mulberry Socks, and Witches Witches Everywhere. You can find out more about her work at www.felixeddy.com.

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Thursday, September 19, 2019

Unreachable Skies Vol 2



Book Details:


Print Length: 286 pages

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing (https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/)

Publication Date: September 17, 2019

Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction, Adventure



Follow the Tour to Learn About Exile, Read Exclusive Excerpts, and Enter the Giveaway:






About Exile:



Zarda, Fate-Seer of her people, the Drax, has chosen to join the wingless and their broken-winged dams on their long and dangerous journey into exile. But Kalis, the Prime she has abandoned, dispatches flyers to hunt her down and offers a reward to anyone who will give her up.

When their path takes them into the Crimson Forest, horror and death stalk the exiles beneath the vines. As the pain and hardship of banishment begin to take their toll, Zarda wonders which of the exiles will be the first to betray her, but nothing can prepare her for the discovery that awaits her beyond the furthest reaches of Drax territory; a discovery that has the power to alter the course of history.

Exile’ is the sequel to ‘Unreachable Skies’, and Karen is currently working on the third book in the trilogy.



Read an Excerpt from Exile:



“If you go through the Deadlands, you will all die.”

As I picked my way between strewn belongings, and smouldering campfires that did little to warm the icy dawn, it was the voice of Shaya, the Chief Hunter, which carried to me above the sound of breaking waves, whimpering younglings, and complaining females. Just two days ago, every wingless youngling, and every female who had produced one, had been sent into exile by our Prime, Kalis, urged on by his favourite adviser, Fazak. Yet already the arguments had started!

My nose alerted me to the stink of a shallow waste-pit and I edged around it, stepping over a broken beaker, and continued on toward the squabbling voices. As Kalis’ Fate-seer I was expected to return to my dwelling on the Spirax peninsula, a few nines of wingbeats across the bay, but a Vision had shown me that my future lay with the exiles and, after visiting my Dream-cave, I had flown to their makeshift encampment.

The females, their wings broken by Kalis’ new Elite Guard, had been netted over the river along with their younglings, and had been left on the claw of reed-tufted sand that jutted into the ocean from the Manybend estuary’s north shore. As I’d circled over the nines of fires, their spiralling layout had shown that someone had taken charge of setting the camp properly, and my sole concern had been finding somewhere to land without being seen. In the end I had set down on the beach to the north, wetting my feet as I landed at the edge of the incoming tide. Taking care to make sure I would not leave any traces of my approach, I had walked along the tideline till I reached the promontory at daybreak. I had intended to find my friend Doran and make myself known to her, but the sound of raised voices had drawn my attention, and I had instead made my way across the camp to the ridge of snow-covered ground that separated the hook of sand from the mud of the Deadlands. I smelled cooking – branmeal bubbling in a pot to my left, meat patties warming in a pan to my right. My stomachs rumbled a protest that I was not stopping to eat, but my attention was on the group at the foot of the slope where Shaya stood, and the arguments that I could now hear more clearly.

“The Deadlands are frozen, Shaya, just like everywhere else. I don't see why we can't walk straight across them to the Ambit river. We can head for the Eye, or even the river upstream from there where it narrows and will be easier to cross.”

I didn't recognise the speaker, though I knew from her copper tunic that she was an Artisan. As Shaya set her ears to a more aggressive angle and began to explain the dangers of the Deadlands – the thin ice masking mud that was deep enough to drown in, brambletrap that would feed on any creature living or dead – I spotted Doran’s russet fur and green-and-black Healer’s tunic amid the crowd. Forgetting that I had changed my appearance by dyeing my fur and changing my tunic from Fate-seer black to Trader blue, I made my way over to her and said, “Doran, what's going on?”

She twisted an ear my way, gave me a sniff, and looked me up and down. “I'm sorry, do I know you?”

I took a quick look round. Nineties of females were attending to their younglings, cooking meals, or still rolled in blankets, sleeping. Those in the group surrounding Shaya had their attention on what she was saying. Only Doran had an ear twisted my way. “It's me,” I hissed, “Zarda. I promised I would join you, didn't I?”

“But you're…” she said as she waved a paw from the neck of my tunic to my feet, “you look so different.” She sounded disappointed. “I've been waiting for you to come. I thought that having Zarda the Fate-seer join us would help all these drax to face what lies ahead. But if they don't know it's you…”

It had not occurred to me that I might help anyone's morale. “I came because I Saw that I should,” I said, “and because Kalis no longer listens to me. Besides, if Dru is to fulfil his destiny and defeat the Koth, he'll need help and guidance from a Fate-seer, especially—” No. Only members of the council knew that Dru had the Sight, and we had agreed to keep it secret for the moment. Doran had no need to know – not yet. I dismissed what I’d been about to say with a flick of an ear that told Doran it was of no importance, and spiralled a paw across the front of my tunic. “I can't be Zarda here. I know Kalis isn't interested in anything I have to say, but he is a stickler for tradition. I've left him without a Fate-seer and he won't be happy. He'll send the Guardflight to look for me – maybe even his new Elite Guard. And I think we can both guess what will happen to me if they find me.” As I finished talking, I turned my head to indicate the pathetic figure huddled in a blanket, sitting alone in the shadows beyond the encampment fires.

Doran flicked an ear in sympathy – the other was still turned toward Shaya and the ongoing argument – and ran a paw over her tunic. “I never liked Varna, but to lose her wings like that…” She shuddered, then leaned toward me to confide, “She howled through the entire first day. Only subsided to a whimper when Limar threatened to bind her mouth shut. Dru kept taking her beakers of soup from Limar’s cauldron, and showed her things he’d found on the beach, but she snapped and snarled every time he went near her. In the end, he stayed by the fire over there with Limar.” Turning back to face me, she waggled an ear in apology. “I suppose you’re right, you can't be seen to have joined us. Not yet, anyway. I just hoped…” she said, indicating the group arguing with Shaya. “Perhaps if the Fate-seer had been able to step in, these silly females wouldn’t be proposing to cross the Deadlands on foot.”

Purchase Links:

Mirror World Publishing eBook
Mirror World Publishing Paperback



Book 1 in the Trilogy:

Unreachable Skies, Vol. 1






Mirror World Publishing

Amazon



Meet the Author:



Brought up in Staffordshire, England, Karen now lives in West Sussex where she is enjoying her retirement. When not writing, she enjoys reading, watching films, local WI and U3A activities, volunteering with the South Downs National Park Volunteer Rangers, and spending time with friends and family. She has also flown in a Spitfire!

Karen has written articles on films and British history for a number of British magazines including ‘Yours’, ‘Classic Television’, and ‘Best of British’. In 2009, her essay on ‘British Propaganda Films of the Second World War’ was published in ‘Under Fire: A Century of War Movies’ (Ian Allen Publishing).

She also wrote a number of online articles and reviews for The Geek Girl Project (www.geekgirlproject.com), as their British correspondent.

Karen’s short stories have appeared in anthologies by Fiction Brigade (2012, e-book), Zharmae Publishing (‘RealLies’, 2013), Audio Arcadia (‘On Another Plane’, 2015), Luna Station Publishing (‘Luna Station Quarterly’ December 2015), Horrified Press (‘Killer Tracks’ and ‘Waiting’, both 2015; and ‘Crossroads’, 2016), and Reflex Fiction (‘Voicemail’, published online 2017). She also won second prize in Writers’ News magazine’s ‘Comeuppance’ competition in 2014 with her short story ‘Hero’.

Exile’ is the sequel to ‘Unreachable Skies’, and Karen is currently working on the third book in the trilogy.


You can follow Karen on Twitter @McKaren_Writer, or check out her website at www.karenmccreedy.com



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Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Blackflies & Blueberries by Sharon Ledwith









Welcome to the 1-Week Virtual Book Tour for Blackflies and Blueberries (Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, #2) by Sharon Ledwith!






About Blackflies and Blueberries:



The only witness left to testify against an unsolved crime in Fairy Falls isn’t a person…



City born and bred, Hart Stewart possesses the gift of psychometry—the psychic ability to discover facts about an event or person by touching inanimate objects associated with them. Since his mother’s death, seventeen-year-old Hart has endured homelessness, and has learned ways to keep his illiteracy under wraps. He eventually learns of a great-aunt living in Fairy Falls, and decides to leave the only life he’s ever known for an uncertain future. 

Diana MacGregor lives in Fairy Falls. Her mother was a victim of a senseless murder. Only Diana’s unanswered questions and her grief keeps her going, until Hart finds her mother’s lost ring and becomes a witness to her murder. 

Through Hart’s psychic power, Diana gains hope for justice. Their investigation leads them into the corrupt world threatening Fairy Falls. To secure the town’s future, Hart and Diana must join forces to uncover the shocking truth, or they risk losing the true essence of Fairy Falls forever.




Genre: Young Adult, Paranormal



Publish Date: May 17, 2019



Publisher:  Mirror World Publishing https://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/



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About the Author:



Escape to the past and have a blast






Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.





Learn more about Sharon Ledwith at the following online places:



Sharon’s Website: www.sharonledwith.com






Sharon’s Facebook Page: http://www.facebook.com/#!/seledwith






Twitter: @sharonledwith https://twitter.com/sharonledwith












Amazon Author U.K. Page: http://www.amazon.co.uk/-/e/B0084DUHJO





















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Saturday, February 2, 2019

Groundhog Day - The Truth Behind the Legend

Ever wonder why on earth we look to a groundhog to tell us what the weather is going to be?  And why February 2?  As with all legends, there's always a truth that starts it all.  And here's the truth behind this Groundhogs Day legend:

Here's a little history I found in the Farmer's Almanac, a most trusted source for Farmers since 1792.  That's a long time!

It turns out February 2 marks the midpoint between the winter solstice and spring equinox, also known as "Candlemas." Around this time, farmers needed to determine when to plant their crops, so they tried to forecast whether there would be an early spring or a lingering winter.

Sunshine on Candlemas was said to indicate the return of winter.  It was not a good omen if the day itself was bright and sunny, for that was said to bring snow and frost for six more weeks, or until the hiring of the laborers on Lady Day.

If the day was cloudy and dark, warmth and rain would come soon to thaw out the fields, which would then be ready for planting.

Today, our celebrated Groundhog Day is a remote survivor of that belief.  According to the legend, if a groundhog sees its shadow on this day, there will be six more weeks of winter. If it doesn't, then spring is right around the corner.

For centuries, farmers in France and England looked to the bear. In Germany, they kept their eye on the badger.

In the 1800s, German immigrants to Pennsylvania brought the tradition with them.  Finding no Badgers there, they adopted the groundhog to fit the lore.  Pennsylvania's Punxsutawney Phil has announced spring's arrival since 1887.

Other groundhogs also have carried on the tradition, including Ontario's Wiarton Willie.

Although we recognize that animal behavior isn't the only way to judge planting dates, the tradition continues, often with a wink and a smile.

For more legends and the truth behind them, check out Nikki Landry and the Swamp Legend Series.  at Mirror World Publishing.  or my website.





Friday, August 17, 2018

Interview with Nikki Landry, of the Swamp Legend Series




Nikki Landry is the ten-year-old main character of the Nikki Landry Swamp Legend Series, by Rita Monette

Following is an interview with Nikki by Musa Publishing


-So Nikki, what is your biggest fear?

My biggest fear is what might be in that swampy place Papa calls Ghost Dog Island. Does it really have a creature out there that steals dogs? Will it come after my best buddy, Snooper?

-What is your best or worst childhood memory?

Well, that can’t be too long ago, since I’m only ten. But when that gator got after my little brother and my dog tried to save him. That was pretty memorable.

-What would you say is your biggest strength? Weakness?

My biggest strength is that I am a good riddle solver. Just ask anyone.  My biggest weakness is that I get myself in trouble sometimes by not telling the truth.

-What is your biggest pet peeve?

What’s a pet peeve? Is it something like a possum? I’ve never had one of those. I hear they are mean.

-Is honesty always the best policy?

I guess it is, since my Papa gets awful upset with me when I’m not. But sometimes I forget.

-If you were stranded on an island and could only have 3 things (items or people), what would you choose to have and why?

Island? I don’t want to be stranded on no island. I went out there to Ghost Dog Island with my friend, Spikes, and I wouldn’t want to be out there by myself, what with gators, snakes, and mosquitoes. But if I did get stranded, I’d want a flashlight for sure, and my dog, Snooper. A boat wouldn’t be a bad idea either.

To learn more about The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, Nikki, and her friends, go to http://ritamonette.com or http://ritamonette.blogspot.com


Saturday, May 19, 2018

The Importance of Voice in Writing Fiction, by Rita Monette




What is Voice?

by Rita Monette


You may have heard the term voice in writing. However, there are two types of voice in writing fiction. 

One is the voice of the author: How you write and express yourself, tell their stories. That usually comes natural and develops over time.

Another important voice is that of the characters in your story.  Everyone has a unique way of speaking, and giving a strong voice to your characters helps bring them to life. 

To some, character voice comes easy, yet others may struggle with it. Here are a few things to remember when deciding on a voice for your character.

  1. Where are they from? Most regions have a certain dialect. Listen to someone speak from that area and try to mimic their speech pattern.
  1. How old is your character? It’s pretty obvious that someone that is ten years old will have a different way of speaking than say a fifty-year-old.
  1. When does your story take place? Look up words and phrases used during that period.
  1. What is their world view? Does your character have some background issues that fill him or her with sarcasm? Are they optimistic about everything, overly religious, or just plain grumpy/annoying?
  1. Still having problems? Trying interviewing your character and let them tell you about themselves.

And in all of the above, use in moderation. You don’t want to overdo dialects to the point where the reader gets frustrated trying to read it. 

Point of View in Using Voice.

An important rule is to know when you should use your character’s voice or your author’s voice.

If you are writing in first person, every word should be in the narrating character’s voice, except those that are in the dialog of a different character. 

In limited third person narration, the point of view character will usually carry the voice. 

In omniscient point of view, the author’s voice will narrate the story except during dialog. 

The Character Voice in my Series.

In my middle-grade series, The Nikki Landry Swamp Legends, writing in first person, the main character, Nikki, is a young girl growing up in the bayous of Louisiana in the fifties. She lives a simple life, doesn’t care much for school, and would rather be fishing with her Cajun French-speaking papa, or looking for clues to some swamp legend. Proper English is not her strong point. Taking all these things into consideration, I found my way into Nikki’s head.

Her friends, on the other hand, needed to have unique voices of their own. We can’t have them all speaking the same way. Patti is always prim and proper, and tries hopelessly to keep Nikki on the right track, while Spikes uses language typical of fifties’ teens. Together they are the legend busters and each contributes their own “voice” to every conversation.

Here is an excerpt from the Mystery on Lost Lagoon, which includes examples of their voices:

The August air was steamier than a pot of boiled crawfish. Tiny bugs danced like fairies on the gumbo-colored bayou. Cypress trees on a nearby swamp island dipped their moss-draped branches into the still water, trying to stay cool. 
I had been sitting in my new tree house for days trying to catch a cool breeze, and pondering on how to turn a plain old fort into an official club house, when I decided what it needed most of all was furniture. My friend Spikes had come over to help me build some. He was pretty good with tools.
“I saw that strange bird again.” Spikes stood beside me with a hammer in his hand.
“What bird?” I asked, busy with trying to arrange some old boards in the shape of a table, just before they collapsed into a heap. “Drats!” I folded my arms in front of me.
 “You have to lay them on the floor, Tomboy,” he said. “We need to nail them together first.”
“So you have to build it upside down?” I wiped the sweat off my brow with the back of my hand.
Spikes’ real name was Spencer Sikes, but I’d never heard nobody call him that ’cept for his grandpa. He was twelve years old, a whole year and a half older than me. I couldn’t imagine being almost a teenager. Me and him argued a lot, but we always stayed friends. He told me once he only liked me ’cause I wasn’t like other girls, and could climb trees and didn’t mind getting dirty. He sometimes called me Tomboy instead of my real name, Nikki.
He grinned, showing his broken front tooth. “Yeah.”
“We need some nails.”
He reached into his pocket and pulled out a handful of bent nails. “I was over at my grandpa’s yesterday. We took a boat ride out to Flat Lake, and I saw it flying around Pelican Pass, see.”
“Saw what?”

“The bird.” He sounded annoyed. “You know, the one that makes that screeching sound. The same one we saw over in Mossy Swamp.” He sat on the floor and began straightening the nails by laying ’em on their sides and tapping with his hammer.