Wednesday, June 17, 2020

Ruins of Sapphire, by Justine Dowsett



About the Book:

When Japanese high school student Yukari Namikoya finds herself suddenly and inexplicably on another planet, she must quickly come to terms with the fact that she may never see Tokyo again. With a sun that never sets, the desert world of Crimson Winter is on the brink of extinction and day-to-day survival can be difficult; especially for someone used to the modern-day conveniences of Earth.

Following the only clue she has to a way home – a cryptic message from a woman long dead – Yukari heads into the desert searching for the Temple of Sapphire. There, she finds the temple in ruins, but what waits there for her is her destiny as a Chosen of the gem god Sapphiros.

Stranded on this new world and hunted by the Vile Emperor and his vast forces simply for being what she is, Yukari has no choice but to learn how to fulfill the role she’s been cast into and become the long-awaited saviour of a dangerous planet she doesn’t yet understand.

Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Reviews, and Guest Posts. Make sure to enter the giveaway, too!!



Book Details:

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publication Date: June 17, 2020
ASIN: B088DHBLG4

Purchase Links:


Mirror World Publishing


Read an Excerpt:

I
awoke to the sound of the alarm on my cell phone.
Confused and muddled by sleep, I reached for it
and put my glasses on to read the display.
Tuesday – 8:15AM
Something told me today was going to be much the
same as the last. I snapped the phone shut in disgust, silencing it. It rang
again as soon as I had done so. 
I stared at it astounded for a moment, then I
read the screen. Hotaru-chan’s residence.
This, at least, hadn’t happened before. I
answered it. “Hotaru?”
“Uh huh,” she answered in an uncertain tone. I
marveled that she didn’t sound sleepy this early in the morning. “Um,
Yukari-san, you haven’t noticed anything weird, have you?”
I was cautious in revealing my insanity, even to
Hotaru who might be the only person to believe me – my friend had a very active
imagination. 
“Hotaru, I just woke up,” I informed her
steadily.
“Yeah, well me too…it’s just that…well…” She
floundered. “Are you sure you haven’t noticed anything strange…” She took an
audible breath. “Over the last couple of Tuesdays, maybe?” 
“Um,” I hesitated, which is rare for me, “you
mean the way that Tuesday just seems to keep repeating itself?” 
“So it’s true then…what should we do, Yukari?”
So I wasn’t the only crazy person. Hotaru,
someone I had known my entire life, was here with me. Somehow, knowing Hotaru,
that was only a small comfort. Growing up together, anytime something had
occurred that Hotaru couldn’t grasp or keep up with, she would turn to me. I
was smart, she said, so I would know what to do. Well, generally she was right
– I just wished this time could be that simple. 
“Meet me outside the gates at school,” I said,
sounding more confident than I felt. “We’ll figure this out.”
“Do you think anyone else realizes this is
happening?” Hotaru asked and I realized she had a good point. Was everyone
affected, or were certain people just reliving this day over and over again to
some purpose? There was only one way to find out. 
“We’ll look into that too. I’ll see you at
school.”
I finished getting ready and I hurried to the
gates. Hotaru looked worried. I greeted her in what I hoped was a reassuring
fashion. 
“Look,” I said, gesturing, “there’s Kaji and
Shuzhue over there. Let’s go and talk to them, and see if they know anything.
I’m almost certain Shuzhue is at the heart of this.” 
Hotaru nodded, trying to look determined, and
together we approached Kaji and his girlfriend as they milled about school
grounds, waiting for the bell.
“Kaji-san, Chi-san, do you have a minute?” I
asked.
“Sure,” Kaji replied easily as Shuzhue seemed
shocked I was addressing them. I guess I don’t have much of a reputation for
being social. 
Hotaru jumped right in without any of the
sensible hesitation she had shown earlier when broaching this subject with me.
“Have either of you noticed the odd way this Tuesday seems to be looping? It’s
like that anime, ‘The Girl Who Leapt Through Time’.” 
Shuzhue grew even more confused, but Kaji seemed
to be waiting patiently for me. I made a few calculations in my head.
Corroborating Hotaru’s claim would only make whatever I had to say seem
implausible and I would run the risk of not being taken seriously. “Chi-san,
did you have any plans for after school today?” 
This, I could tell, was even more surprising to
her. “Um, well, yes actually,” she answered tentatively and Kaji looked at her
in surprise. This was evidently something he didn’t know either. Good – I might
be getting closer to the circumstances under which she went
missing.  
“I’m supposed to go with my mom to visit my
grandmother.” I frowned, that didn’t seem a likely possibility for a
kidnapping. 
“Oh,” Kaji said. “How is your grandmother? I
don’t think I’ve seen her since last Christmas.”
Shuzhue did not look pleased the subject had
come up and truthfully neither was I. Kaji was veering the conversation away
from where I was likely to get information about Shuzhue’s disappearance.
“Actually, she’s not well,” Shuzhue admitted
reluctantly. “We’re going to visit her in the hospital tonight.” 
I opened my mouth to ask her more questions
about her plans. If I had the details, maybe I could accompany her there or
follow her to see what happened, but as soon as I even thought it – 
Reset the program.
The words were in my head, spoken by a strange
voice. It was unlike anything I had ever heard before or experienced before.
The voice may have been robotic, that was the closest descriptor I could think
of. 
Again? A different voice responded. This one was more guttural
and less clearly defined. It was harder to make out. 
I shook my head, trying to clear it. 
Reset the program. The robotic command was repeated and Hotaru in front of me
met my gaze with a shocked expression of her own – she had heard it too. 

Meet the Author:





Justine Alley Dowsett is the author of nine novels and counting, and one of the founders of Mirror World Publishing. Her books, which she often co-writes with her sister, Murandy Damodred, range from young adult science fiction to dark fantasy/romance. She earned a BA in Drama from the University of Windsor, honed her skills as an entrepreneur by tackling video game production, and now she dedicates her time to writing, publishing, and occasionally role-playing.

Connect Justine:



Facebook:

http://www.facebook.com/mirrorworldpublishing



Twitter:

http://www.twitter.com/mirrorworldpub



Amazon:

https://amzn.to/2UMkqjj



Goodreads:

https://www.goodreads.com/user/show/28439132-mirror-world



Blog:

http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.wordpress.com/



Publisher Website:

http://www.mirrorworldpublishing.com/



YouTube: 

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Friday, April 17, 2020

The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge Release



Welcome to the 1-week book tour for The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge!!











“I never believed in ghosts… then I met Oggie.”




About the Book:



Nikki Landry and her friends discover strange white smudges in photos Patti’s grandmother had snapped at an old gravesite. No one can explain what they are.

Did Nikki’s little brother mark them up with a piece of chalk?  Did a low-lying fog move in just as she snapped the photos? Could it be just a smear on the camera lens?

Spikes insists it’s a ghost.

Then Mrs. LeBlanc remembers a legend her grandfather told her of a spirit that haunts the small family cemetery located near an old Civil War battle site. 

Will Nikki and her legend busting gang discover it’s just an old tale, or does the ghost really exist?  If so, why is he there? What does he want?


Join Nikki and her friends as they go searching for the answers…and the truth behind the Haunting near Battlefield Ridge.




Make sure to visit all of the tour hosts and leave comments about the book, read the guest posts, and enter the giveaway!!


Book Details:


Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition

Publisher Website: Mirror World Publishing

Publication Date: April 17, 2020

ASIN: B085MMZLFF


Purchase Your Copy:



Mirror World Publishing eBook


Mirror World Publishing Paperback




Meet the Author:


Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth!




Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and draw. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge is the fifth book in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series. Rita now lives with her husband, two lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.





Social Media Links:






Enter the Giveaway:




Winner's choice of a Kindle copy of one of the books in Rita Monette's Nikki Landry Swamp Legends series. Go to Amazon to learn more about the books in the series


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Thursday, March 19, 2020

The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge - Cover Reveal









Welcome to the Cover Reveal for The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge!!




About the Book:



“I never believed in ghosts… until I met Oggie.”

Nikki Landry and her friends discover strange white smudges in photos Patti’s grandmother had snapped at an old gravesite. No one can explain what they are.

Did Nikki’s little brother mark them up with a piece of chalk?  Did a low-lying fog move in just as she snapped the photos? Could it be just a smear on the camera lens?

Spikes insists it’s a ghost.

Then Mrs. LeBlanc remembers a legend her grandfather told her of a spirit that haunts the small family cemetery located near an old Civil War battle site. 

Will Nikki and her legend busting gang discover it’s just an old tale, or does the ghost really exist?  If so, why is he there? What does he want?

Join Nikki and her friends as they go searching for the answers…and the truth behind the Haunting near Battlefield Ridge.

Book Information:


Publisher: Mirror World Publishing; 1 edition

Publisher Website: Mirror World Publishing

Publication Date: April 17, 2020

ASIN: B085MMZLFF

And drum roll please...….



Here is the cover of Nikki's latest episode!








Pre-Order Your Copy:


Amazon



Meet the Author:




Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth!




Rita Monette was born and raised in Southwest Louisiana. After retiring from her “real” job as an administrative assistant for the State of Michigan, Rita began doing what she always wanted to do…write and draw. Her stories are set in the beautiful, yet mysterious, bayous and swamps of her home state. The Haunting Near Battlefield Ridge the fifth book in her Nikki Landry Swamp Legend series. Rita now lives with her husband, two lap dogs, and one lap cat, in the mountains of Tennessee.

Social Media Links:
























Sunday, February 16, 2020

The Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee








About Coffee Monster and the Land of Coffee:


The Coffee Monster’s family has a secret. 

The Coffee Monster has been a part of a great family for as long as he can remember. There’s mom and dad, Jenna and James. Everything in the Coffee Monster’s life is perfect until he learns of the place he came from, The Land of Coffee, and is given the chance to visit. There, he’ll learn all about his heritage and the extended family he never knew he had. 

In this sequel to Nate Friedman’s debut children’s book, our lovable Coffee Monster is confronted with the truth of his past where he learns the true meaning of family through a journey to the land of his birth.







Book Details:

Series: The Coffee Monster (Book 2)
Paperback: 40 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publish Date: February 17, 2020
ISBN-10: 1987976606
ISBN-13: 978-1987976601


Purchase Links:










Re-launch of The Coffee Monster, Book 1




About the Book:


There's a little 'Coffee Monster' in all of us...

In a pleasant little town lives a normal family with a mom, a dad and two beautiful children. There is just one thing that makes this family different from most other families; they don't have a dog, a cat, or pets of any kind. Instead, they have a Coffee Monster! Follow Jenna and James as they try to deal with the Coffee Monster's antics and help him overcome a personal struggle. Through this simple, but comedic tale, learn about the value of telling the truth, taking care of oneself and each other, and how to work-through everyday issues. Most of all, you just might learn that there's a little 'Coffee Monster' in all of us...








Book Details:

Series: The Coffee Monster (Book 1)
Paperback: 36 pages
Publisher: Mirror World Publishing
Publish Date: July 1, 2015
ISBN-10: 0994749015
ISBN-13: 978-0994749017

Purchase Links:

Amazon


Follow the Book Tour:

https://saphsbookpromotions.blogspot.com/2020/02/book-tour-schedule-coffee-monster-and.html


Meet the Author:





I want to change the world, one smile at a time!

A writer from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Nate graduated from the Kinesiology program at the University of Windsor. His education has fuelled a keen interest in how people think and what drives them to be their best. Comedy is his first love and his desire to be creative has directed him towards writing children’s literature. He enjoys reading to his nephews, two of his biggest fans.

Connect with Nate:


Facebook

Publisher Website:










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.

Friday, April 13, 2018

First Pages in Writing, by Rita Monette

First Pages 
in Writing


by  Rita Monette




How important are the opening pages of your novel? VERY important. 

First of all, you must keep in mind that busy agents and publishers will usually judge your writing and your book by the first few pages, and oftentimes by page one! 

Also, readers, who might be grabbed by your title, tagline, and your cover blurb, still will judge whether they want to continue to read on by the first chapter, or even the first page. So you’d better work really hard at getting it right.

How do you do that? you might ask. Well here are some well-worn tips to accomplish that.

Prologue or no prologue…that’s a good question.

Although there are quite a few great books on the market that use prologues to introduce their novel, many experts agree, that a good rule of thumb is to leave it off. 

Instead of telling the reader your character’s background and motivations, use your writing skills to weave that information in, letting your reader figure it out. 

I’ve been told most readers don’t bother to read prologues anyway. I know I don’t like them. I usually want to jump right into reading the story. So just jump right in writing it. But where DO we start?

Tension is the key.

Every movie-goer knows that the first scene of a film usually begins with a huge car crash, guns blazing, or a murder... then jumps back to why on earth all this went on. Many books begin this way also. But wild action isn’t always the key. Most times it’s tension.

On page one, feed the reader some intriguing questions they will surely want the answers to. What is your character doing, saying, observing, or thinking that makes the reader want to know what’s going to happen next, or what the character plans to do about the situation at hand?

The Character.

The reader will want to know something about your main character. What is he about? What does he want? Is he relatable or liked enough for them to want to know more and to invest the next few hours of their time in. What is he doing in that first scene that tells us something about his personality, his ambitions, his goals? First impressions count. 

The Setting.

Give the reader an idea of the setting on that first page also. Where is your character? Is the time period important? What is the season? Is it hot, cold? Don’t let the reader have to figure that out as he reads along.
The Hook.

This seems like a lot to cram into a first page, but you want to draw the reader in from the very start. It’s called the “hook.”

Sometimes it takes many re-writes to get those elements in effectively. 

Feedback. 

Get an honest opinion from a person or persons…typically not your mother or spouse. Join a critique group or a group like Critique Circle.