Wednesday, December 18, 2013
Sunday, December 1, 2013
Rather than the latest toy or gadget, have you ever thought what the gift of a book has to offer, especially to a child, a tween, or a young adult? This is the age when young folks are dealing with so many issues. A book can become a comfort in a time of transition. It can become an escape into another world. It can become a learning tool, while getting to know interesting characters. Or it can be just darned good entertainment. Here are eleven great reasons to give your middle grader or young adult a book for Christmas.
Leave a comment here for a chance to win a signed copy of The Legend of Ghost Dog Island. But that's not all. Mention the object that Nikki finds in the blue bottle, and win that item, along with a chance to win a stuffed Snooper!
Sunday, September 1, 2013
When seventeen-year-old Nissa leaves at her father's insistence, she believes the trip to Idari will be a short one. But when she meets a young dragon exile, Edgeshifter, her life is thrown into chaos. Along with danger and mystery, Edgeshifter brings word of a legend as old as time itself. Nissa is forced into an adventure she isn't sure she wants. With only Edgeshifter and her heart to guide her, Nissa must embark on a journey full of destiny, danger, and legend. Her quest will require her to prevail over the shadows covering the land and save both the elves and dragons from ultimate destruction.
Segolia: Daughter of Prophecy is the story of a young princess's journey to become a true hero and follow her heart.
Buy now at Tate Publishing.
Like Brittany's Facebook page.
About the Author
Brittany Oldroyd has had a passion for writing since middle school, where she began to write Segolia: Daughter of Prophecy. Since then, she's experienced many trials that have tested her determination, including a truck fire that destroyed all of her work. Like her characters, she believes in dreaming big and never giving up. She recently graduated high school and plans to go to BYU-Idaho in the fall. She wants to major in English Literature with an emphasis on Creative Writing. Along with her passion for reading and writing, Brittany has a love for night skies, music, and thunderstorms.
Saturday, July 27, 2013
Recently, I’ve been stuck in a writing rut. I Can’t seem to get past the middle of any of the novels I’m working on. So I did a Google search to see if there were some remedies out there. I stumbled upon this bit of advice, from i09.com (see link below) and narrowed my problem down to number four of their list of ten possible problems.
4. You're stuck in the middle and have no idea what happens next.
Either you don't have an outline, or you ditched it a while back. Actually, here's what seems to
happen a lot - you were on a roll the day before, and you wrote a whole lot of promising developments and clever bits of business. And then you open your Word document today, and... you have no idea where this is going. You thought you left things in a great place to pick up the ball and keep running, and now you can't even see the next step.
If it's true that you were on a roll, and now you're stuck, then chances are you just need to pause and rethink, and maybe go back over what you already wrote. You may just need a couple days to recharge. Or you may need to rethink what you already wrote.
If you've been stuck in the middle for a while, though, then you probably need to do something to get the story moving again. Introduce a new complication, throw the dice, or twist the knife. Mark Twain spent months stuck in the middle of Huckleberry Finn before he came up with the notion of having Huck and Jim take the wrong turn on the river and get lost. If you're stuck for a while, it may be time to drop a safe on someone.
The other ideas are worth taking a look at, but I think I’ve found my problem. I need to take Mark Twain’s advice and go wreck someone’s day…in my story that is.
See the entire list at: http://io9.com/5844988/the-10-types-of-writers-block-and-how-to-overcome-them
Have you ever had writer's block? How did you overcome it? Share your ideas!
Thursday, July 4, 2013
Sunday, June 30, 2013
The Legend of Ghost Dog Island is indeed a personal story. I wanted to tell the story of the Louisiana Cajuns. Ask a child today about Cajuns and they may tell you that it is about hot food, or about shooting alligators (Incidentally, I started my book long before Swamp People over took the History Channel.) I figured there was no better way to tell the story than to start with my own childhood.
I was raised in the Louisiana bayous. My father trapped and fished crabs for a living, and moved our family three times a year in search of better fishing spots. Being new in school was common place for me. My father was also fond of telling legends about what might be living in nearby swamps. Perfect for a children’s story, right? My historical fiction novel, set in the 1950s, is told through the eyes of my ten-year-old protagonist, Nikki Landry. But it would be rather boring if she’d stuck strictly to my routine, so Nikki (braver than me) sets out to discover the truth behind one of the legends she feels poses a threat to her dog, Snooper. She gets herself into trouble more than once, and has many spooky mishaps and adventures, but in the end, Nikki discovers the truth and solves the mystery behind the decade old legend.
However, being true to my mission, I made sure to inject some of my father’s stories about the lifestyle and treatment of the Cajun (Acadian) people of his day, and about learning a new language… something today’s immigrant children might relate to. Heads up librarians! I’ve included an author’s page, which encourages more reading about the history of the Acadian people and their exile from their homeland in Canada.
I wish to thank Musa Publishing for believing in me and my debut novel The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, and the staff of wonderful editors and artists that helped put it all together.
Book Trailer on You Tube; http://youtu.be/iB51g_CnuNE
Saturday, June 22, 2013
Welcome to Sunday on the Bayou, folks. We'll have some cake later, but first of all, I'd like to introduce
Her book, Celestina Silvenfare: The Legend Begins, is...as the name indicates...the first in a young adult series, "Silvenfare." Published by Ink Smith Publishing.
Here's a blurb:
This book sounds great. You know I love legends!
Here are the links to buy this book!
Now that we have our books, let's have some cake fit for a goddess:
1/2 cup oil
3/4 cup sugar
1/3 cup creamed honey
1 1/2 teaspoon vanilla
3 teaspoons baking powder
1 teaspoon salt
2 cups all-purpose flour
3/4 cup heavy cream
1/2 cup butter
2/3 cup honey
1/4 cup light brown sugar
1 teaspoon vanilla
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Grease 8 6-ounce custard cups.
In a large bowl, combine oil, sugar and honey until well blended, about 2 minutes. Beat in vanilla and egg. Scrape sides of bowl and beat until well combined.
In another bowl, stir together baking powder, salt and flour. Alternate adding the flour mixture and heavy cream to batter, beginning and ending with flour.
Fill each custard cup about 2/3 full of batter. Bake 20-25 minutes. DO NOT OVER BAKE. Let cool about 5 minutes then remove from pan and place each cake on a small lipped serving plate. Prepare glaze by melting butter in saucepan. Add honey and brown sugar. Bring to boil and stir until sugar is dissolved. Remove from heat and stir in vanilla. Poke honey cakes with a toothpick all over. Brush or spoon glaze all over each honey cake until glaze is gone. Allow cakes to cool completely.
Thursday, June 20, 2013
It is said that this traditional practice was brought here by the Africans during the slave trade. In the Congo, Natives have hung hand-blown glass on huts and trees to ward off evil spirits since the ninth century, and perhaps earlier.
The Legend is told that the spirits are attracted to the sparkling color of the bottles, blue ones seemingly more enticing. The moaning sound made by the wind as it passes over the bottle openings are said to be proof that a spirit is trapped within.
Whether you believe the legend or not, the trees are a sight to behold, displayed in various shapes, sizes, and forms, as beautiful yard and garden decorations.
An excerpt from Eudora Welty’s short story Livvie, describes one such tree:
“…Then coming around up the path from the deep cut of the Natchez Trace below was a line of bare crape-myrtle trees with every branch of them ending in a colored bottle of green or blue.
There was no word that fell from Solomon’s lips to say what they were for, but Livvie knew that there could be a spell put in the trees, and she was familiar from the time she was born with the way bottle trees kept evil spirits from coming into the house – by luring them inside the colored bottles, where they cannot get out again.”
A bottle tree is featured in the movie, Ray, a Ray Charles biopic. And again in the Princess and the Frog, a cartoon movie set in New Orleans, where bottle trees hang in the bayou.
|Blue Bottles in my Dogwood Tree|
“What kinda dog?” The face pushed closer to the small window and into view.
Spikes took a step forward.
Saturday, June 8, 2013
I’ve always been a storyteller and writer. But I didn’t consider becoming a professional writer until my oldest daughter and I became hooked on the Harry Potter series and we were between book releases (the fourth and fifth book, I believe.) I decided while I waited for the release of the next HP, I’d create my own characters and my very own world. In fewer than four months, I had completed my very first middle grade novel. Read more on my website.
Books by Kai Strand:
Suggested age for readers: 7-12
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?
Coming July 2013 - King of BadJeff Mean wears his bad boy image like a favorite old hoodie, until he's recruited by Super Villain Academy - where you learn to be good at being bad. Jeff wonders is he bad enough for SVA?
Visit Kai at http://kaistrand.blogspot.com/
Wednesday, May 8, 2013
|Photo by George Monette|
Today, I was going to write a post about Louisiana bayous, since it is the main theme for my blog and for my book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island. I found instead this wonderful article in USA Today and decided to share it.
|Photo by George Monette|
|Photo by George Monette|
About the Author
Lee Morgan is a fiction writer and journalist. His writing has appeared for more than 15 years in many news publications including the "Tennesseean," the "Tampa Tribune," "West Hawaii Today," the "Honolulu Star Bulletin" and the "Dickson Herald," where he was sports editor. He holds a Bachelor of Science in mass communications from Middle Tennessee State University.
Wednesday, May 1, 2013
Also known as Coypu, the nutria (sometimes called nutria rat) is a rodent. They average ten pounds and look like a cross between a beaver and a rat. They have large rear webbed feet, which makes them good swimmers. They are native to Argentina, but found their way to the states in the 1930s.
They are cute, but I don't think they would make good pets because those large front teeth are three inches long and can penetrate your hand very quickly.
My dad, who was a trapper in the 1940s, said he was trapping for beaver when he caught one of these for the first time. They were rare in Louisiana back then, and their thick hides were worth a "pretty penny." By the 1960's they had become so plentiful in the state, the wetlands began to suffer under their ravenous appetite and wasteful eating habits, along with their high rate of breeding.
Nutria have large incisors that are yellow to orange-red on the outer surface. (Photo from U.S. Geological Survey.)
How did they get so plentiful so fast?
Science Daily says: The biology of the nutria species allows it to reproduce at rapid speed, making it an unwieldy animal to control if released into the wild. A female nutria averages about five young per litter, but can birth as many as 13 at a time. A female can breed again within two days after giving birth, meaning one nutria can have up to three litters per year.
To get a sense of their productivity, 20 nutria brought to Louisiana in the 1930s bred an estimated 20 million animals within two decades, according to a wildlife group in Maryland that tracks nutria data, quoted in a recent report by Louisiana journalist Chris Kirkham.
Although nutria were brought to all parts of the country, said Kirkham's report , warm weather in Louisiana has boosted their numbers. Already under pressure from saltwater intrusion, the marshes also have to deal with the nutria and their voracious appetite for the vital marsh roots that keep wetlands intact.
Did Mr. McIlhenny of Tabasco fame bring them to Louisiana?
For many years, Tabasco sauce magnate E.A. McIlhenny received most of the blame for introducing the rodents from South America to Avery Island in the 1930s. McIlhenny wanted to expand the fur trade in Louisiana at that time, so he brought nutria from South America to his home on Avery Island, the story went. But a hurricane blew down the nutria pen, releasing them into the wild.
The myth held for decades, sometimes perpetuated by family members themselves. Five years ago, a historian hired by the family found records that McIlhenny actually bought the nutria from a St. Bernard Parish fur dealer in 1938. He did eventually set the nutria loose, but not because of hurricane damage, said McIlhenny historian and curator Shane Bernard, quoted in reporter Kirkham's recent newspaper interview.
"I'm confident that all the myth has been stripped away," he said. "Anybody who knows oral history or folklore knows how stories can change when they're passed down from one generation to the next."
What do they sound like?
It is said that after Hurricane Audrey, in 1957, during which many young children were swept away into the marshlands, the cries of the nutria were mistaken for lost babies, crying "mom."
In my book, The Legend of Ghost Dog Island, set in Louisiana in the 1950s, there is mention of the eerie sounds these animals make.
What are the Louisiana People doing to save the Marshes from this over-abundant critter?
Check out Nutria Documentary.