Wednesday, September 22, 2021

The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave, Book 3

 


Welcome to the 1-week virtual book tour for 

The Last Timekeepers and the Noble Slave

The Last Timekeepers, Book 3

by Sharon Ledwith

 


 

About the Book:

 

Eleven-year-old Drake Bailey is an analytical thinker and the genius of the Timekeeper crew. However, no logic or mathematical acumen can change the color of his skin, or prepare him for this third Timekeeper mission in antebellum Georgia. To survive, Drake must learn to play the role of a plantation slave and when confronted with the brutality, hatred, and racism of the deep south, he’ll have to strategically keep one move ahead of his sadistic captors to ensure his lineage continues.

 

In a dark world of Voodoo, zombies, and ritualistic sacrifice, the Timekeepers must ensure a royal bloodline survives. Can Drake remove both literal and figurative chains to save both himself and a devout slave girl from a terrible fate? If he can’t summon the necessary courage, humanity could stand to lose one of its greatest leaders.

 

Book Details:

Genres: Young Adult, Time Travel, Fantasy  

 

Page Count: 244 Pages

 

Publisher: Mirror World Publishing

 

Release Date: September 17, 2021

 

Follow the Tour to Read Exclusive Excerpts, Guest Posts, Reviews, and Spotlight Posts:

https://saphsbooks.blogspot.com/2021/09/book-tour-schedule-last-timekeepers-and.html 

Read an Excerpt:

Drake read over their Timekeeper mission again. Blood. Deep south. Race. Broken. Soul. Red flags waved through his mind like a category five hurricane. He’d seen one too many movies and documentaries to know 1855 was not a great time in history for people with his skin color. Drake shut the Timekeepers’ log, and shook his head vehemently. “There’s no way in hell I’m gonna go on this mission, Lilith!”

Lilith wrinkled her long, narrow nose. “I understand why you have these fearful feelings, Drake, but I do not choose where you go into the past. Belial is the one who holds that power, and seeks to disrupt history whenever he sees a chance.”

“May I see the Timekeepers’ log, Drake?” the Prof asked. 

“Sure, Prof, but I’m still not going,” Drake replied, passing the log over.

“Can he do that?” Ravi asked, glancing at Treena.

“I don’t think so. It’s like signing a contract for a movie. You’re committed to finishing the film or you face the studio lawyers. Case closed, gavel down.”

“Lilith isn’t a judge.” Ravi looked at Lilith. “Right?”

“No, Ravi, I am not your judge, but what Treena said rings true. You were all chosen as Timekeepers for a reason, and are bound by this covenant,” Lilith replied, unclasping her hands. “That is all I can offer you.”

“Fine. I’ll just remove my Babel necklace,” Drake said, digging under his shirt. “Problem solved.”

“Drake, why are you freaking out like this?” Jordan asked, helping Amanda to her feet. “It can’t be as bad as fighting the Nazis in our second mission.”

“Yeah, or being interrogated in the Gestapo Headquarters by Belial’s creepy crony Marcus Crowley,” Ravi added.

“Why don’t you ask Amanda why she puked? It wasn’t because she had warm and fuzzy feelings about this mission,” Drake argued.

Melody wiped Amanda’s chin. “Do you feel well enough to speak?”

“I…I think so.”

Professor Lucas whistled. “Now I see why Amanda was sick to her stomach. Using the words deep south and the date as a clue, this mission puts us in the antebellum era, six years before the American Civil War began. This period was filled with so much hate, racism, turmoil, and political upheaval, I’m willing to bet these emotions went right through her.”

“If Uncle John is right, why would Belial want to change anything back then?” Jordan asked, frowning. “That slithering douche-bag lives for human suffering during those dark times in history.”

“Exactly.” Drake removed his Babel necklace. “So why tempt fate?”

“N-no, Drake, you have to come.” Amanda reached for his hand, and squeezed it. “Trust me, you’re an important part of this mission.”

“Huh? How?”

       “It’s hard to explain. I just know you have to be there.”

 

Purchase Links:

 

Mirror World Publishing:








 

Meet 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 award-winning 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 spoiled hubby, and a moody calico cat.

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOGLook up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOKTWITTERPINTERESTLINKEDININSTAGRAM, and GOODREADS

Publisher Website:

Mirror World Publishing 


Signed Copy Giveaway | Rafflecopter :)

Kindle Version







Thursday, August 12, 2021

The Nikki Landry Swamp Legend Series

 Behind Every Legend Lies the Truth

Written and illustrated by Rita Monette

Published by Mirror World Publishing



Set in the 1950s, and steeped in South Louisiana Cajun culture, Nikki Landry draws you into her world of gators, moss-covered cypress, and gumbo gurgling on a kerosene stove in her raggedy old houseboat.

But bayou country is also bathed in mysterious tales of swamp creatures and strange happenings that might make you wanna sleep with the light on. 

papa says there's always truth behind a legend. And Nikki is determined to get to the bottom of the age-old beliefs that sometimes terrify the folks living in her small town.

Each episode finds Nikki, along with her quirky pals and her loyal but lazy beagle, Snooper, on a new and spooky trail to uncover the truth. And nothing is going to stop her.

If you liked the Nancy Drew Mysteries, you'll love the Nikki Landry Swamp Legends.


The Legend of Ghost Dog Island

The Curse at Pirates Cove

The Secret in Mossy Swamp

The Mystery on Lost Lagoon

The Haunting near Battlefield Ridge

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


a Rafflecopter giveaway










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. 






Tuesday, December 12, 2017

Whirlpools, Wormholes, and Time Travel, by Rita Monette





WHIRLPOOLS, WORMHOLES, AND TIME TRAVEL

by Rita Monette

What do wormholes, whirlpools, and time travel have in common? In reality, probably nothing. But in Nikki Landry’s historical, yet fictitious world, legend has it that if you go into Lost Lagoon, you may never return, but just might enter into a land where strange creatures live. 

A FICTITIOUS WHIRLPOOL

When a mad scientist arrives in Nikki Landry’s hometown and hears the legend of the mysterious Lost Lagoon, he decides to build a machine that can traverse a whirlpool—which he calculates just might be a wormhole to a prehistoric time. 

Nikki has been warned to stay off Flat Lake due to the frequent whirlpools and strange disappearances. But snooping around Mr. Beekers’ camp boat gets her and her friends kidnapped and taken to a hidden inlet in a swamp off of the large lake. Soon they learn what’s behind the mystery on Lost Lagoon.

A REAL WHIRLPOOL

In reality, in the South Louisiana bayous, there are many, many salt caverns beneath the ground. There are also oil companies drilling for oil. Those two can spell disaster, especially if those caverns are under a lake. 

One such disaster occurred in November of 1980, when an oil drilling rig and a salt mine created a whirlpool that became large enough to engulf the rig, eleven barges, and a tugboat, sucking water in from the Gulf of Mexico, and changing the landscape—as well as a once shallow fresh water lake—forever. 

While drilling for oil off Lake Peigneur, near New Iberia, Louisiana, a drilling rig owned by Texaco, drilled too far and punctured into an active salt mine. Fishermen on the lake that day saw the whirlpool that began pulling their boat toward it. Luckily they got away before it sucked them into the abyss. Beneath, fifty-five miners, seeing the water rushing in, managed to escape via an elevator. Amazingly, no one lost their life, but it cost Texaco millions of dollars.



AN EXCERPT:


Spikes stuffed the papers into his shirt. “I need to finish reading this.”
The three of us dashed for the door. But a shadow covered the opening, and Mr. Beekers stepped into it, blocking our way out.
He looked at the broken door and then glanced around his home. “What have y’all done to my house?” he scowled.
“We didn’t do it,” I said. “Honest we didn’t.”
“Don’t lie to me. You kids have been nosing around here before. What do you want here?” 
“Just let us go,” Tim said. “We promise not to come back.”
“No, you’re not going anywhere until I see what you’ve taken...or destroyed.” He stepped in and closed the crooked door behind him. “Now all of you sit.”
Spikes found a chair. Tim and I pushed some newspapers to the side and sat on a tiny sofa with springs poking out. 
“Now, which one of you broke my door in?” 
“It was some men,” Tim said. “I think they were detectives or something. They had on suits and ties, and drove an official looking car.”
Mr. Beekers looked around, then ran to the window. “Where did they go?” 
“They’re from Ohio,” I said. “I think they’re coming back. So you better let us go before they get here. Whatever you did, they might get you for kidnapping us too.”
“Oh, no you don’t,” he said. “I’m not letting you go. You brought them here, didn’t you?” His eyes were wild and his mouth turned into a snarl. His whole face turned really evil looking. “I know what they want, and they won’t get it.” He grabbed up some rope and began to tie Spikes to the chair.