Monday, March 31, 2014

Setting: The Silent Character

I’ve heard it said that setting can act as another character in a novel and I tend to agree. A rich setting can create a mood or an atmosphere that compliments a story, perhaps even illustrates the theme in a subtle way. It’s true, a character-driven story may not rely that much on setting, but even those need a sense of place. Sometime a place can even be a driving force for a character. What would Gone with the Wind have been without Tara and Scarlet’s love for it?
In my novel Hush Puppy, the forbidden romance between Corrine and Jamie could probably take place anywhere in the world there’s prejudice. I chose to set the book in rural North Carolina for several reasons. The South is a place of great contradictions and conflict, beauty and ugliness. As any author knows, the best stories have strong tension. Having grown up there myself and experienced that tension, it seemed the natural place to set the story. My feelings about my childhood home are complex and multi-faceted, filled with contrasting memories of love and hatred. I wanted to show the reader that complexity, so I used the setting to invoke both positive and negative emotions.  The sweet tanginess of wild blackberries, the burn of the summer sun sizzling in August, the smell of cigarettes and perfume in Mama’s hair all gently remind the reader that there is no black and white. No good or bad. Only shades of gray in a world that’s doing the best it can.
You can read more about me and Hush Puppy at www.lisatcresswell.com
 

Friday, March 28, 2014

Another Awesome @Month9Books Cover :) Fingers in the Mist~

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Fingers in the Mist by O’Dell Hutchison

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

Fingers in the Mist 1600x2400

Sixteen-year-old Caitlyn Foster never believed in the legend of the Redeemers. That was before the trees started to whisper her name. Before a murder of crows attacked the town. Before she and her family came home to find a bloody handprint on their front door, marking one of them as a sacrifice. As Caitlyn’s friends are ripped from their homes, she knows it’s only a matter of time before the Redeemers come for her. Caitlyn has the power to stop the terror, but she’ll have to decide if she’s willing to sacrifice herself to save those she loves.

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Fingers in the Mist by O’Dell Hutchison
Publisher: Month9Books
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
O'Dell Hutchison
O’Dell was born in a small rural town in Idaho. There were no Redeemers living there (that he knows of). After attending college in the Pacific Northwest, he found his way to the Houston area. By day, he is a Business Systems Analyst and at night you can either find him sitting at home, dreaming of random super powers he wishes he had, or directing plays and musicals at various theaters around Houston.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Monday, March 24, 2014

Please Welcome Ty Drago, author of The Undertakers Series from @Month9Books~

http://www.chapter-by-chapter.com/tour-schedule-secret-of-the-corpse-eater-undertakes-3-by-ty-drago-presented-by-month9books/


Special treat today peeps! I recently had the chance to visit with Ty Drago, author of The Undertakers series for his blog tour. He has a new book out, number three in the series, titled Secret of the Corpse Eater. Be sure to scroll all the way down the page to enter the giveaway too~


Hello Ty! It’s so nice to have you visit my blog. Can you tell me a little about your writing journey? How you got to this point?

Ty: I've been writing all my life. Seriously. I started storytelling when I was just four years old, before I knew how to read. I've seen the old photos! Apparently, my storytelling back then took the form of a fat little kid with no shirt on, sitting in the middle of his living room floor with a piece of a paper, a crayon, and his tongue sticking out the corner of his mouth — scribbling. Afterward, I would hold up my latest masterpiece and yell out something like “Cow!” But, you see, in my head I was telling a story!

 Later on, I got into drawing comic books. Badly. But these were eagerly read by the kids in the neighborhood, mainly because, back then, we lacked video games or the internet. All these comic books centered around a group of kid superheros that I called the “Kid Kidets.” I was eight year old, you see, and didn't know how to spell “cadets.” Anyway, the Kid Kidets had all the typical superhero powers. Some could fly. Others were super strong. Others could control the weather, move things with their mind, etc. They were captained by a brother and sister team named Tom and Sharyn Jefferson, and their secret HQ was a huge installation located deep below the ice in Antarctica (don't ask me why!). Whenever trouble brewed anywhere in the world, this entire installation would rise up out of the ice and the Kid Kidets would head off into the world to write some wrong.

This went on for years, until one day the Kid Kidets faced an enemy they couldn't defeat: I grew up. I grew up and I forgot about them for about thirty years. Then one day, back when my son Andy was twelve years old, we were strolling through the mall when he asked me, “Dad, why don't you write a book for me?”

 So I started trying to come up with an idea, and I suddenly remembered the Kid Kidets. Not the superhero/Antarctic installation nonsense, but the idea of a child army. A army of just kids, fighting a war that only they can fight because only they know about it.

 It took a while — years — to get the voice right. After all, it had been a long time since I'd been twelve, and the world had greatly changed. In this, my son became my teacher. He read the drafts, commented on the realism, and educated me on how kids of his generation view the world, how the world views them, how they act toward one another, and how they speak to one another in a language all their own. I honestly couldn't have made this series happen without him, which is why the first book is dedicated to him.

And, from that, the Undertakers were born. True, they can't fly worth a darn, and their HQ, in Book 3 anyway, is a crumbling urban sub-basement, but the spirit and heroism is all there. Best of all, they're still captained by Tom and Sharyn Jefferson!



Lisa: The Secret of the Corpse Eater looks awesome. Can you give me an idea what the Undertakers series is all about? Is this the final book in the series?

Ty: The Undertakers Series is the chronicle of a war. The Earth has been invaded by beings who, as they arrive with no bodies of their own, must animate and occupy the bodies of the recently dead. Called Corpses (never “zombies!”), these intelligent, walking/talking cadavers wear their host bodies until they literarily rot out around them. Then they simply discard them and “transfer” to another. This makes Corpses very hard to kill.

 The focal point of the invasion is Philadelphia, and it is here that the Corpses have established their foothold. They've infiltrated schools, the police department, even city government. Their goal: to slowly spread worldwide, gradually corrupt and finally destroy the human race!

But there's one fly in the ointment. For reasons that no one, not even the Corpses, understand, certain kids can “See” through the illusion of normalcy that Corpses are able to somehow project around themselves. These kids, ranging in age from eleven to seventeen, can recognize the rotting cadavers beneath the Corpses' fake smiles and, for that, the Corpses hunt them down.

So, to stay alive and protect their unbelieving families, these kids have had to run away from home. They'd joined together to become a resistance group, and a good one. They call themselves the Undertakers. Only they know the danger. Only they can see it. And only they can fight it. As Tom Jefferson, Chief of the Undertakers, puts it, “In this war, we ain't the first or last line of defense. We're the only line of defense!”

The books follow the adventures of twelve year old, Will Ritter, an eighth grade boy who “gets his eyes” one morning and starts recognizing the horrors that surround him. Then, as so many others have before him, he must flee for his life, join the Undertakers, and learn out to fight this ruthless and pitiless menace that threatens our world.

In Secret of the Corpse Eater, which is the third book in what will be a five book series, the Corpses have somehow managed to replace a sitting U.S. senator with one of their own. Will and Sharyn go undercover as Senate pages down in Washington D.C. to try to ferret out what this Corpse doppleganger is up to. But their already dangerous mission is made doubly so when they learn of a mysterious ten-legged monster that haunts the halls of the Capitol Building — a monster with a taste for Corpse flesh!

But can such an alien “enemy of his enemy” really become Will's friend?


Lisa: The book has a great cover. How did it come to be and what it does it represent?

Ty: It really is a wonderful cover, isn't it? I love the new branding! The cover illustration beautifully represents the same theme that all of the Undertakers covers have tried to convey: that notion of a child standing bravely against an onslaught of the walking dead. Courage and long odds — that's what the Undertakers are all about.

Lisa: Do you have any particular themes in your writing that you love?

Ty: The big themes in the Undertakers books are heroism, courage and self sacrifice. This isn't a “club.” These kids are not having fun. Every single one of them has been forced to abandon their families. Some even witnessed their family being murdered by the Corpses. They are frightened, outnumbered, outgunned, and totally on their own. And, despite it all, they rise to the occasion. When I wrote these stories, I wanted to my readers to feel empowered by the struggles of the Undertakers.

Children make the best heroes.


Lisa: You got that right! :) Is there anything else you’d like readers to know about you or The Secret of the Corpse Eater?

Ty: If you pick up an Undertakers books expecting to find “The Walking Dead,” you're likely to be surprised. Corpses aren't moaning, shuffling morons. They're smart, fast and organized. Oh, there's plenty of wonderfully disgusting stuff going on. These are animated cadavers after all, and the Undertakers have no qualms at all about doing awful things to these invaders when the situation calls for it. :)

But, if you're looking for a dark, gritty adventure, where the stakes are high and things get as “real” as a story like this can be, then the Undertakers are the books for you!

 Lisa: Sounds thrilling, Ty. I wish you all the best of luck with it. Thank you so much for stopping by my blog!

Learn more and enter the giveaway below~




Title: Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers 3

Publication Date: March 25, 2014

Publisher: Month9Books

Author: Ty Drago


Synopsis:
The Corpses are up something.

U.S. Senator Lindsay Micha had been kidnapped and replaced with a “dead” ringer, the sister to Lilith Cavanaugh, the Queen of the Dead. Now Will Ritter must go undercover in our nation’s capital to ferret out the truth and try to stop this ambitious deader. But his mission becomes even more dangerous when he learns of a mysterious ten-legged monster that prowls the halls of the Capitol Building — a lethal monster with a taste for Corpse flesh.

Can such an alien “enemy of his enemy” truly become Will’s friend?


ABOUT Ty Drago:

In addition to the first two books in UNDERTAKERS series, RISE OF THE CORSPES and QUEEN OF THE DEAD, Ty Drago is the author of PHOBOS, a Science Fiction whodunit and THE FRANKLIN AFFAIR, an historical/mystery about Benjamin Franklin. His short fiction has appeared in numerous venues, including the 2009 anthology YESTERDAY, I WILL ..., and he has written articles for WRITERS DIGEST. His first UNDERTAKERS novelette, NIGHT OF MONSTERS, is currently available for FREE on Smashwords.com and barnesandnoble.com.


Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Purchase Links:  Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Kobo | The Book Depository




Giveaway Information:  Winner will be drawn April 25, 2014


· Four (4) winners will receive an ebook copy of Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers 3) by Ty Drago (INT)

· One (1) winner will receive an ebook copy of Secret of the Corpse Eater (Undertakers 3) by Ty Drago AND a $10 Amazon Gift Card or B&N Gift Card – Winner’s Choice (INT)



  
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Sunday, March 23, 2014

Spring Break arrives :)

Hey peeps!
Woodburn Tulip Fields by Stokes RX


Spring has arrived - hurrah!! I know it might not feel like it where you are. I know it's still falling well below freezing here, but it's only a matter of time now before we're all complaining about how hot it is, right?? If you need a little pick me up, go here~

I just want to make sure you come back tomorrow and check out the launch of Ty Drago's new book tour on the blog. It looks super awesome. My 8 year old son even said so. Don't miss it!

I feel like I've been busy, but I'm not sure how much I've accomplished. I've been reading a lot, most recently The Invention of Wings by Sue Monk Kidd. I think she's my author-hero. :) I'm like 90% done with it and I'm sure I'll be writing a review for it. Just not sure what to say, but wow! We'll see.

I just know I have to finish it before I can get on with my own writing. It's too distracting to me to try to do both. I have a Goodreads goal to read 20 books this year, but it's a tough balance for me. Maybe you want to join me in my reading quest?

In the mean time, keep thinking Spring everybody!

Purple and Pink Lupine Flowers

Friday, March 21, 2014

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

My Tethered Soul (Reaper's Rite #2) by Dorothy Dreyer

presented by Month9Books!
MTS_Ebook_2400x1600

It’s been months since Zadie faced her sister’s Reaper, months during which she’s been under her mentor’s magical protection. But now that she’s turning seventeen, that protection is about to run out.


When dark forces lure Zadie to wander at night, she’s manipulated into committing unspeakable acts. With her friends and family at risk, Zadie must try to use her powers to break free from the Reaper’s grasp, or surrender to the Reaper’s Rite, which can only lead to death.

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My Tethered Soul (Reaper's Rite #2)
by Dorothy Dreyer
Publication Date: June 2010
Publisher: Month9Books

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author


Dorothy Dreyer
Dorothy Dreyer has always believed in magic. She loves reading, writing, movies, and spending time with her family and friends. Half-American and half-Filipino, Dorothy lives in Germany with her husband and two children.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Friday, March 14, 2014

Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

Boneseeker by Brynn Chapman

presented by Month9Books!

BrynnChapman-Ebook-1800x2700

Arabella Holmes and Henry Watson embark on an archaeological dig to determine if a giant skeleton is Neaderthal or Nephilim. Someone or something does not want the riddle solved; they learn they are the second expedition deployed... and the first team...are dead.

add to goodreadsBoneseeker by Brynn Chapman
Publication Date: June 18, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books
Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author


       Brynn Chapman

Born and raised in western Pennsylvania, Brynn Chapman is the daughter of two teachers. Her writing reflects her passions: science, history and love—not necessarily in that order. In real life, the geek gene runs strong in her family, as does the Asperger’s syndrome. Her writing reflects her experience as a pediatric therapist and her interactions with society’s downtrodden. In fiction, she’s a strong believer in underdogs and happily-ever-afters. She also writes non-fiction and lectures on the subjects of autism and sensory integration and is a medical contributor to online journal The Age of Autism.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

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Wednesday, March 12, 2014

New Snark and Circumstance Series Book Cover Reveal!

What a cute cover, right?? Stephanie's fourth book in the Snark and Circumstance series comes out this May!  If you need to catch up, here's a bit about the first three books~

Snark and Circumstance (book 1) : "One superior smirk from Michael Endicott convinces sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett that the Devil wears Polo. His family may have founded the postcard-perfect New England town they live in, but Georgia’s not impressed. Even if he is smart, good looking, and can return Georgia’s barbs as deftly as he returns serves on his family’s tennis courts. After all, if Michael actually thinks she refuses to participate in lab dissections just to mess with his grade, he’s a little too sure that he’s the center of the universe. Could there be more to Michael Endicott than smirks and sarcasm? If Georgia can cut the snark long enough, she just might find out.

Snark and Circumstance is the first title in the Snark and Circumstance series of young adult romance novellas from Stephanie Wardrop." It's based on Jane Austen's Pride and Prejudice.

  

Charm and Consequence (Book 2): Sixteen-year-old Georgia Barrett is no expert on guys. Her bio-class partner is harder to dissect than anything on their lab tray. He’s smart, almost as sarcastic as she is, and can’t refuse a date with her fast enough. So why does he seem so upset when a senior hottie takes an interest in her? Could his game of playing hard to get have just backfired?

 




PRIDE AND PREP SCHOOL is book 3 in the bestselling Snark and Circumstance novella series from Stephanie Wardrop! 

Georgia can’t figure out why the burden of a Y chromosome seems to make guys so hard to understand. First, there’s the handsome but slippery Jeremy Wrentham. After Georgia shared some pretty devastating kisses with him, she found her way home and he found her sister! 

And then there’s Michael Endicott, who never fails to let her know that her family’s quirkiness lies too far outside the pale for this preppie townie. But if he really feels that way, why is he in Georgia’s kitchen, asking her out? And why don’t boys come with instruction manuals? 

 

Saturday, March 8, 2014

A Lovely Review~

I like to think I'm not a braggart, but I just had to share this with you. It's a review that appeared in the Entertainer, a print publication in southeastern Washington State this week. Many thanks to Uncle Dennis who submitted it to the book reviewer! It's stuff like this that keeps me going. :) Many thanks to all of you who've read and reviewed my book.

***



Hush Puppy by Lisa T. Cresswell

Idaho author Lisa T. Cresswell’s first traditionally published debut novel, Hush Puppy, is a brilliantly gutsy young adult coming-of-age story that doesn’t shy away from dealing with difficult themes.

Set in the small town of Carolville, North Carolina, Hush Puppy tells the story of Corrine, an intelligent and ambitious young girl about to enter her senior year of high school. Despite her poverty and the absence of her parents, Corrine finds support in her caring extended family and her academic achievements; she dreams of college and traveling the world outside of her backwater town, where issues of race and class still subtly dominate the landscape.

Soon, she finds herself unexpectedly drawn to the new boy in town, her white trash neighbor’s son, Jaime. Sensitive, intelligent, but insecure, Jaime is a poet trapped in his father’s dreams of high school football glory who must keep his creativity hidden. Together, Jaime and Corrine share their love of literature and dream of a better life away from the oppressive norms of Carolville.

But Jaime is na├»ve about the realities of racism in his community. He can’t understand that just because he doesn’t care that Corrine is black, that doesn’t mean that the rest of the world is so forgiving of their friendship. When tragedy strikes their small town, Jaime yet again seeks out Corrine to make things better for him. As she discovers the dire consequences that result and begins to see her dreams for the future dim and fade, Corrine is forced to ask herself if she was wrong about their relationship all along. Will she be able navigate the difficult waters of early adulthood, or has she unwittingly already made the misstep that will put her dreams out of reach forever?

Simple and stunning, Hush Puppy is an emotionally powerful story that will stay with readers long after they’ve closed the final page. Crisp, evocative prose and a refreshingly realistic black protagonist make this novel a standout among YA literature. This uncommon YA novel is highly recommended, especially for public and school libraries. The difficult topics the book so deftly addresses are relevant today, and even the day-to-day difficulties of the high school classroom are presented realistically and without dramatic overindulgence.

While there is some mature content in terms of thematic elements, there’s nothing objectionable or inappropriate in the novel. Rather, the harsh realities that Hush Puppy brings up present an ideal discussion point for difficult situations that young adults can encounter. Love, loss, poverty, and the legacies of racism are just a few of the complex topics brought up in the novel. Corrine manages to be both highly relatable and a surprisingly good role model for readers who may recognize some of the difficulties she faces as their own.

Hush Puppy is available in paperback and ebook formats from Amazon.com, Barnes & Noble, and your local bookseller. For more information on the author and her work, including Hush Puppy discussion questions for teenage readers, visit her website at www.lisatcresswell.com
~Andrea Green
ENTERTAINER, March 2014

Friday, March 7, 2014

@Month9Books Cover Reveal and Giveaway!

M9B-Friday-Reveal
Welcome to the Cover Reveal for

A Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger

presented by Month9Books!
Be sure to enter the giveaway found at the end of the post!

A Whispered Darkness Final

When a soul breaks, it isn’t pretty. The pieces are sharp; they cut and bite and rend at flesh. They seek blood, want vengeance. They congeal, become something more than they were, something dark and beautiful and terrible.

add to goodreadsA Whispered Darkness by Vanessa Barger
Publication Date: August 26, 2014
Publisher: Month9Books

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---About-the-Author
OLYMPUS DIGITAL CAMERA
She’s a middle grade and young adult author, represented by Jennifer Mishler and Frances Black of Literary Counsel. She teaches high school technology education in rural Virginia and is the slave to one cat, Molly. She spends all her free time writing. She’s a member of the SCBWI (Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators). When not writing, she’s reading, and an avid movie fan. She also loves long walks on the beach discussing Shakespeare while sipping large fruity drinks with little umbrellas.

Connect with the Author: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Chapter-by-Chapter-header---Giveaway
Complete the Rafflecopter below for a chance to win!