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Written in Ruberah by P. Christina Greenaway

Written in Ruberah  Cover

Title: Written in Ruberah
Author: P. Christina Greenaway
Publisher: Girl by the Sea Publishing
Pages: 420
Language: English
Genre: Paranormal romance
Format: Paperback & eBook

TRAILER: http://youtu.be/3tvUkabCafo

PURCHASE AT AMAZON!

New York real estate broker Miriam Lewis takes off for a brief getaway to a remote inn on the rugged cliffs of Cornwall. Rest and romance with her boyfriend seem like the perfect cure for a life that appears to be going nowhere, and too fast.

Entering Cornwall, Miriam crosses the River Tamar and glimpses a luminous girl floating in the river. A memory from long, long ago begins to unfold in Miriam’s thoughts—something about a promise she made to perform a selfless act of courage. Could it be true? Could she ever rise to such heroism or is it just a hallucination?

While at the inn, Miriam experiences a series of flashbacks from a life she lived in an ancient land called Ruberah. These startling images convince Miriam that she did write the promise and that she must keep it. But to do so, Miriam will have to let go of everything in her life and place her trust in a guide—the river girl—the wise and eternal spirit of the River Tamar.

EXCERPT:

The light of the ley line locks onto their feet and forms straps similar in style to the sandals they wore in Ruberah. Kate grins. “Cool, right?”

“Cool.”

“Ready?”

“No. Just kidding. Yes.”

A thundering sound like the drumming of kettledrums blasts through the mine, and the ley line shoots forward. Kate and Miriam hold hands and whiz down the tunnel on the beam of red light. Huge rocks at the end of the mine slide apart, and the girl and the woman skid into the ocean. The ley line expands and encases them in a bullet of light that looks like a futuristic, high-speed railway car. Their globes collapse into rings of ruby light and lie around their necks.

“Brilliant!” Kate runs her hands through her hair and tosses it about her shoulders. “We traveled like this in the Time of Ruberah. We could turn the ley line into airships that carried a thousand people at a time, and we controlled our speed and direction from an astral disk—a soft, razor-thin computer we stuck into the palms of our hands, which was programmed to the astral sphere of the Ruby Kingdom.”

Miriam tunes her out. Please God, she won’t have to use this astral disk thing—it’s hard enough to keep up with the computers of this world, let alone deal with some intergalactic system. She wonders what’s governing their speed now, but doesn’t ask. It might be Kate, in which case she’d rather not know. Foretune to travel well. Watching the waters of the Atlantic splash by, she tells herself that gliding along beneath the sea—breathing air without knowing where it’s coming from, losing complete control of her life—is a good thing. Panic beats beneath her every breath.

Christina Greenaway grew up in Cornwall, England in a small fishing village. One of her favorite pastimes as a child was to write a story, stuff it in a bottle, toss it into the sea, andP. Christina Greenaway imagine all her characters – pirates, kings, and others – come to life. Her life twisted and turned, however, in so many ways that she never ventured into writing until now, many years later. Her novels include themes generated from her life experiences including: trust, the fantasy parent, empowerment, work and travel and spiritual power. 

Christina has worked at BBC radio in England, a NYC high-powered ad agency, as assistant to the president of a perfume company in France, as a partner for a frog farm in Costa Rica, and numerous other venues. She has traversed the globe. 

She is the author of Written in Ruberah, published by Girl by the Sea Publishing, and Dream Chaser: Awakening, published by Girl by the Sea. You can visit Christina at www.christinagreenaway.com or her blog at http://christinagreenaway.wordpress.com

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Interview with Ronald W. Kirk, Author of Thy Will Be Done

RonKirk-photo-SAM_1429

Jesus Christ graced Ron with salvation late in his college career at the University of California, Berkeley, graduating in 1974. In entering his first church ministry, a lack of a Biblical material on education led him to the Christian History Movement and the works of R.J. Rushdoony. Since 1980, Ron has studied and taught the Biblically and historically identified applied-faith theology and philosophy outlined in this book.

God gave Ron a voracious appetite for learning about everything. Ron studied math and physics in college, and then pursued professional landscape architecture—design is a central component to his calling. He gained a passion for education after finding that a full-orbed Biblical treatment of education was nowhere to be found in contemporary literature.

Ever since about 1977, Ron devoted his life to understand God’s earthly and eternal purposes for mankind, to help others know them, and to derive and spread a thoroughly Biblical system of education aimed toward God’s ends for His people.

Ron’s success in pioneering day and home schools has long proven the effectiveness of systematic Biblical thinking. His work has been published internationally and translated into Spanish. Gloriously married since 1971, Ron and Christina have five children, five more sons- and daughters-in-law, and eleven grandchildren, all walking with Christ. American Heritage Christian Church ordained Ron in 1984.

Ron’s educational and worldview ministry website is www.getwisdom.us. He’s also on Facebook at https://www.facebook.com/GetWisdomMakingChristianHeroesOfOrdinaryPeople.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Ron. Can you tell us what your latest book, Thy Will Be Done: When All Nations Call God Blessed, is all about?

A:  Some might consider the book an earth shaking premise. What if the Father answered Jesus’ prayer and mankind obeyed God on earth as all do in heaven? What would we see? We all want to go to heaven, but what if God gave us a substantial glimpse of heaven in our earthly lives, not to replace the eternal goal, but to encourage us by His real grace of blessing?

This is no utopian dream. Thy Will Be Done is an eager, popular speculation on the answer in terms of Scripture, best expressions in history and personal experience. It is a culmination of a lifetime of research and thought upon the potential of life in Christ, in every area of life.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: God planted the seed of this book early in my life. As a new believer interested in child education, I could not believe that God wanted Christians to base their views on evolutionary psychology, which was all I could find in the mainstream literature. Discovering God’s providence in what Verna Hall called the chain of Christianity moving westward, prompted learning from the best examples of history tested in light of the Word of God.

My life’s work has been to share the notion that the Gospel of Jesus Christ is far more comprehensive, exciting and real than accepted. Christian life should be an adventure of faith.

In the end, my publisher suggested this particular expression of those ideas.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: The draft of this whole book came as a kind of stream of consciousness writing, though it covers many topics important to us all. We have collected over several decades what I like to call a Biblical body of wisdom.

This effort, then, flowed out of long held, ever refined and corrected understanding, based upon long Biblical and historic research and study, crafted and corrected educational activity, and other personal experience. Jesus says you know a tree by its fruit. We have been quite encouraged by the fruit we have seen.

For some topics, I needed to go back for a bit of new research to fill in gaps. But I tried to stay with a presentation of Biblical ideas in an accessible manner. I tried to avoid overly technical or academic language.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be? TWBD larger cover

A: In the last two hundred years or so, Christianity has suffered increasingly from a severely shriveled vision for this life. We have settled far short of God’s intent, merely holding out for eternity until we die or are raptured. Church leaders have told believers not to get involved in the world except merely to get people saved because it belongs to Satan. We have been very pessimistic regarding the power of God so often revealed in His Word.

On the other hand, the mainstream of the historic faith, reflecting the whole counsel of Scripture, speaks of an optimistic redemption of the world “as far the curse is found!” At the least, the church has been somewhat derelict of the foundations that support the Gospel work, namely a prosperous economy with generosity, and civil justice and liberty. Jesus bought back the world on the cross. While there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, I believe it is time to return to the big view of the Gospel where the government is on His shoulder, and the ministry of the Holy Spirit is successful. 

Therefore, I hope the reader will take away a sense of individual purpose and vision for a heroic Gospel life, along with some fundamental educational tools for learning to live it in reality.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: From Chapter One:

God gave man an imagination. The imagination provides a faculty for conceiving of things that do not exist or go unseen. Using this imagination, we can envision and design new things as if they already exist in reality. We call this creativity. The fact that the Bible denounces vain imagination (Genesis 8:21)—the selfish, sinful, God-usurping, human one—does not mean that the imagination is solely evil. In fact, the great evangelical, Yale University president Timothy Dwight (1752-1817), claimed that the Bible does not primarily appeal to intellect or emotion, but to the imagination. Consider the lilies…. The Kingdom of God is like….Accordingly, this essay seeks to pique godly imaginations to conceive and formulate a fulfilled Biblical Christianity in the world. We wish to reach every serious Christian, to encourage stirring up every gift, upon obedience, toward the fulfillment of Christ’s instructive prayer.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: Yes, it is very difficult to publish on traditional terms. Jerry Nordskog established Nordskog Publishing to fill a needed niche in Christian thinking at the urging of our mutual friend and my pastor the late Chris Hoops. My dad worked for Jerry Nordskog’s dad from the time I was baby. He is thus a life-long friend, and has long supported my educational ministry work. We share the Christian worldview to a very high degree. For the past six years I have served as Jerry’s theology and manuscript review editor. Jerry actually suggested I write this book. I have worked and am working hard to honor his investment.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: Oh, you really don’t want to know…

Just kidding. Long work days are the norm. Aside from Nordskog Publishing duties on behalf of other authors’ work, contractual design obligations as a practicing landscape architect—no joke—and sharing the fruit of my labors in Thy Will Be Done, I am working on developing personal missionary support for an incredibly important and far reaching educational work in Uganda.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I consider the success of this book a most important, however small, contribution to the redeeming of Americans and others to Christ. The reintroduction of the ideas represented in Thy Will Be Done are critical to the restoration of Christian societies and the foundations for the Gospel work worldwide. The Psalmist asks, if the Foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do? I have devoted my life to restoring the foundations. I hope to spend considerable time and effort to the book’s success.

For the same reason, I hope to answer the call to the work in Uganda. To expand a little, the work of the Master’s Institute for Education is capable of redeeming the entire country and its culture. It is sponsored primarily by Ugandan Christians themselves. A group there, New Hope Uganda, has used my educational system for the past 25 years. It is catching on because of its success and an increasing number of people, including educators, business people and government officials, wish to reproduce the same good fruit of true Biblical education—relational, character-, faith-, wisdom- and skill-based—and see it become the mainstream in the nation.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Ron.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for the opportunity to share! If I have piqued interest you can read more about Thy Will Be Done online at Nordskog Publishing and at Amazon.com. The book should be in regular bookstore distribution soon. Ask for it! If the message moves you, please share it!

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A Christmas Kindness Book Blast – Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card

Title: A Christmas Kindness
Genre: First chapter reader
Author: Cheryl Malandrinos
Publisher: 4RV Publishing
Pages: 24
Language: English
ISBN – 978-0985266141

Eight-year-old Robert is eager to share his wish list with Santa at the mall on Christmas Eve. When he meets Glenn, who has only one request for Santa, Robert is confused over what he should do. Can he cast aside what he wants and ask Santa to bring his new friend a special gift?

Excerpt:
Inside the mall, Christmas music and the tinkling of jingle bells tickled Robert’s ears. With his mother, Robert weaved through the crowd of shoppers. He smelled fried food from Burger Mart. The sweet scent of warm chocolate chip cookies from the bakery made his mouth water.

Watch the trailer: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YvW-tUyxDq8

Purchase your copy:

C.C Gevry is a children’s author from Western Massachusetts. A Christmas Kindness is her first book with 4RV Publishing. She is also a member of the SCBWI. Ms. Gevry is married with two young children and a son who is married. Visit her online at http://ccgevry.com

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A Christmas Kindness Book Blast Schedule
December 4
Book review at IE Mommy
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Blooming with Books
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at 4 the Love of Books
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at My Devotional Thoughts
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Lynn’s Corner
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Mayra’s Secret Bookcase
Book Blast w/ Giveaway at The Story of a Writer
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Book Blast w/ Giveaway at Naturally Kim



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Interview with Beverly Stowe McClure, Author of ‘A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat’

Beverly Stowe McClure photojpg

Beverly Stowe McClure, a former teacher, is now enjoying a second career: writing. She never planned to be a writer, but in the classroom she and her students did such fun activities in art and science that she decided to write about some of them. Luckily, a few magazines liked what she sent them, and her articles have appeared in Humpty Dumpty, Jack and Jill, Ladybug, Focus on the Family Clubhouse, Jr., and others. Nine of her stories have been published as books, the latest one a MG/Tween eBook: A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat. She also has two stories in Chicken Soup for the Soul anthologies.

Beverly enjoys discovering her ancestors in her genealogy research. She plays the piano. (Thank you, Mom, for making encouraging me to practice.) She takes long walks where she snaps pictures of wildlife and clouds, and of course she reads, usually two books at a time. She teaches a women’s Sunday school class. Watching baseball (Go Rangers) is another of her favorite activities. Retirement is fun.

You can learn more about Beverly Stowe McClure at http://beverlystowemcclure.wordpress.com or her blog at http://beverlystowemcclure.blogspot.com.

Friend Beverly on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/beverlysmcclure

Follow her on Twitter: https://twitter.com/beverlymcclure

Become one of Beverly’s fans on Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

Q: Thank you for this interview, Beverly. Can you tell us what your latest book, A Pirate, a Blockade Runner, and a Cat, is all about?

A:  Yes, the book is about three thirteen-year-olds that decide to help three ghosts find rest so they don’t have to wander forever between this world and the next. Along the way, they survive a hurricane, a ninety-plus-year-old lady who may not be what she seems, and a seasick pirate.

Q:  Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

A: Erik Burks is a typical thirteen-year-old, who loves baseball, his friends, and doesn’t understand girls. When he discovers a lace bra in the glove compartment of his dad’s car, his mom freaks out, leaves his father, and moves Erik and herself halfway across the country, where Erik goes from being the king of the hill in Texas, to the bottom of the pits in South Carolina. No Dad, no baseball, and no friends, except for the twins.

Starry and Stormy Knight are not your typical twins. Star can read minds. She calls them “mind dreams,” and she’s not shy about giving a person her opinion of their thoughts.

Storm is border-line genius. He’s funny and caring and tries to make Erik want to stay in SC.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?pirate-blockade-runner-cat-200x300

A: My characters are mostly from my imagination. A couple of the ghosts in this story, Major Stede Bonnet and Blackbeard, are historical characters that really lived. I researched the pirates to make their roles in the book accurate and the events that happened to them are true, with a bit of extra excitement that I added for fun.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

A: I usually have a general idea of the plot in mind, but it often takes twists and turns as the characters show me their ideas of what should happen. So I go with them. After all, it’s their story.

Q: Your book is set in Folly Beach, SC, and up the Carolina coast.  Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular?

A: I love the Charleston, SC, area. So much history is there. So many tales of ghostly residents living in some of the old homes. Their stories are just waiting to be told. This is my second book about SC ghosts. The idea came to me while visiting with my son and daughter-in-law, who live on James Island, SC. One morning, we went to Folly Beach to watch the sun rise. Across the inlet stands the Morris Island Lighthouse. Boy, did images appear to me that morning. A ghost had to be living in the lighthouse, right? Who was he? Why could he not rest in peace? This was the perfect setting for my next ghost novel.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

A: Yes, it does, because not only does a ghost, who turns out to be a former navigator for a blockade runner, live in the lighthouse, a phantom ship cruises the inlet, with a clear image of a pirate, wearing a tricorn hat, a cutlass at his side, on board, telling me I had a pirate ghost, as well. A big part of the novel takes place aboard the Revenge, Stede Bonnet’s ship. My ghosts made for a perfect tale. 

Q: Open the book to page 69.  What is happening?

A: The teens are on Major Stede Bonnet’s ship, the Revenge, discussing Blackbeard’s fate years ago and why Bonnet wants to find Blackbeard’s wandering spirit.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

A: (This is from p. 69.)

Storm grinned as he described the grisly scene in more detail. “They tossed Blackbeard’s body into the water.” He chuckled. “It gets even better.”

“Umm, we’ve heard enough,” I said.

Storm grinned even wider and went on. “Legend says Blackbeard swam around for days, in search of his head. Some people believe his ghost, minus a head, can still be seen today. Searching, searching, searching.”

“Wait a sec.” A disturbing thought had occurred to me. “We have a problem.”

“You’re right,” Star said. “No head, no brain, no logical pattern of action, no mind dreams to read to help us locate his remains.”

I tried to wrap my thoughts around this new idea. A headless ghost would be a challenge. I would not give up so easily, however. “Don’t worry. We’ll think of something.”

Storm shook his head. “Doubtful. Do you know how many people and scientists have tried to find Blackbeard’s head? And treasure?”

“You and your treasures.” Star almost snapped his head off. “More important things are at stake here.”

Storm shrugged. “So what’s the plan, Ek?”

I shrugged. “I’m thinking. I’m thinking.” 

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Beverly.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for letting me talk about my latest book for tweens. It’s been fun.

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Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow on Sale During October!

The story of “Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow” takes us on the journey she travels to figure out how to get the cows at a new farm to like and accept her.

While she hopes to find friendship at her new home, instead she learns what it means to be different from everyone else. (Spotless!) Mary Elizabeth uses clever ideas and a sense of humor to help her on her quest for friends at the new farm.

This inspiring tale shows how perseverance in spite of obstacles, using a sound thought process to arrive at solutions and the importance of having fun, using humor and enjoying playtime can build friendships.

When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program to make a difference in the lives of children with critical and life threatening illnesses.

Excerpt: 

Once upon a time……..there was a farm in Ohio with lots of Cows. They all had many spots to be proud of. One day a truck pulled into the farm. The back door opened and out came a new Cow. The other Cows were so excited to have a new friend!

But as the new Cow came out of the truck the other Cows looked on in shock!!! “Oh My! What on Earth?!”

It seems the new Cow, whose name was Mary Elizabeth, had no spots!

“Where are your spots??!!” Demanded the Cow called Anna Belle.

“I don’t have any spots. I was born spotless, you see.”

Well, Anna Belle and the other Cows were horrified.

(Not mad, you had to be very careful about mad)


Purchasing information: During the month of October, purchase Mary Elizabeth The Spotless Cow from the Sweetles website for only $12.00 (List price: $17.99). When you buy this book, 50% of net proceeds go to Phoenix Children’s Hospital Child Life Program. Visit http://www.sweetles.com/product/books/mary-elizabeth-the-spotless-cow-book/ for more information.

Sal is the author and illustrator of “A Sweetles Dream”® book series. As the Creative Director for Hartman-Barbera llc, a family media & entertainment company, he is also an animator, sculptor, painter and all around fun guy. Sal lives the phrase: “A day without laughter is a wasted day”. To that end, he uses his writing, illustrating and animation skills to create endearing characters and comedic stories.

Sal’s sense of humor and empathy for his characters explore personal and social situations in ways that makes it enjoyable for both adults and children to experience together. Born in New York City, Sal moved to North Bergen, NJ where he grew up on a steep hillside neighborhood with his four older sisters. He currently lives in sunny Arizona with his wife and artistic partner, Sheri, who he defines as his inspiration. On any given day Sal might be painting, sculpting, drawing, animating, writing or enjoying one of his favorite pastimes: cooking, television, movies and golf.

Visit Sal Barbera’s website at http://www.salbarbera.com.

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Interview with Tim and Debbie Bishop, Authors of Two Are Better

Two Are Better new cover

About Two Are Better

From an engagement to a cross-country trip in just ten weeks? And with no experience in bicycle touring—or marriage? While Tim left behind a 26-year corporate career and familiar surroundings, Debbie was about to enter a “classroom” she hadn’t seen in her 24 years of teaching. Was it a grand getaway or a big mistake?

Purchase from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Two-Are-Better-Midlife-Newlyweds/dp/0985624825/

Purchase from Open Road Press: http://www.openroadpress.com/store/

Q: Thank you for this interview, Tim and Debbie. Can you tell us what your latest book, Two Are Better, is all about?

A: Two Are Better: Midlife Newlyweds Bicycle Coast to Coast is the true story of two lifelong singles who come together in marriage at age 52, and then cross America on a self-supported bicycle tour on their honeymoon. Issues surrounding midlife courtship, marriage, and other life changes—and the lessons learned along the way—make Two Are Better more than just a travelogue.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: We decided to share our unique story of finding true love in our fifties and celebrating with a bicycling odyssey to beat all because we believe our testimony is a gift that can benefit others. We waited many years for companionship and intimate love, and had become entrenched in the grind of daily living. We think our story of breaking free will encourage, motivate, and bless people who are struggling with unfulfilled dreams and desires. And most people have them at some level. Sharing deep personal matters in the context of an adventure that others may fantasize about provides a perfect setting to engage readers with powerful and lasting impact. A dual narrative from the seat of a bicycle, as well as some captivating photography along the way, will also provide a fresh perspective on the beauty of America, and an entertaining read.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book?

A: We had the benefit of writing a memoir, so much of the content is based on our own personal experience. We learned how to blog during our trip, which became a valuable aid in the writing process. Our photography, trip log, and payment receipts helped to stir the memory and fill in the gaps. Since we shared this adventure together, each of us remembered unique aspects and reminded the other. And a GPS, along with downloadable capabilities and the power of the Internet, allowed us to retrace our steps when necessary.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A: The strongest underlying message of Two Are Better is that it is NEVER too late to realize your dreams—and to fulfill your desires. There is always hope!

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: “There they were: three big ones. I could see them from afar as they began barking and sprinting down their owner’s driveway, launched like a triad of missiles at the prospect of fresh meat. The driveway was about the size of a football field, so I had some time to gather my thoughts. They seemed on pace to intercept me when I arrived at the end of what had become their racetrack. And Debbie was several feet behind me. Surely, no one on this isolated stretch of road would be investing in invisible fence technology, but I could hold out hope. Since Debbie had our only can of pepper spray, it would do me little good. And another troubling thought occurred to me: If I get through this pack in one piece, what about Debbie? She’s lagging behind and sure to encounter these snarling canines. Nevertheless, I wasn’t inclined to stop and serve up lunch on a silver platter to these mutts.”

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today? How did you do it?

A: We had a choice to make going into this project. Would we seek a traditional publishing solution, or venture out on our own? Swayed by the primary motivation to share the story, we decided to start our own publishing company, Open Road Press. In effect, we traded in one set of challenges for another, but we remained in control of our message and our destiny, at least until readers were to weigh in.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: Our days no longer seem typical. Since “retirement” from long-term jobs, we are both feeling our way along as we discover our new life together, and our new work models. Each day comes with its own unique challenges. Such is the nature of adventure in life!

Q: What’s next for you?

A: We’re in an exploratory stage and we have several options. Tim is considering a few ideas for another book. He also consults for two small businesses, and may seek to build upon that. Debbie wants to write a program on learning to read, using the Bible. She also has a few part-time teaching opportunities. Both of us continue to serve as volunteer hope coaches for TheHopeLine, an organization spotlighted in Two Are Better. TheHopeLine has made a difference in the lives of many young people, aged 13-29, who came to them in crisis. We count it a privilege to be involved with that organization.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Tim and Debbie. We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for this opportunity to share our thoughts with your readers. We hope that our words have encouraged them to pursue their dreams anew.

About Tim and Debbie Bishop

Tim BishopTim Bishop

Originally from Maine, Tim Bishop has over thirty years of experience in business, first as a CPA, then for many years in various roles in the corporate world. In addition to consulting for small businesses, Tim serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine, a nonprofit organization that seeks to reach, rescue, and restore hurting teens and young adults.

Debbie BishopDebbie Bishop

Debbie Bishop has taught for over twenty-five years, for the past ten years as a literacy specialist in Framingham, Massachusetts. She has a passion for reading and seeing that young people do it well. She also has high interest in recovery issues and encouraging others with her own triumphs over struggles earlier in her life. Debbie also serves as a Hope Coach for TheHopeLine.

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Interview with Joe Sergi, Author of Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures

Sky-Girl-Front-CoverABOUT SKY GIRL AND THE SUPERHEROIC ADVENTURES

Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe Christopher, it is proving impossible.

In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. Last year, DeDe discovered that she possessed fantastic abilities that were strangely similar to those of a comic book character named SkyBoy.

With the help of her best friend Jason, a self-professed comic geek, DeDe accepted her legacy and became Sky Girl. Now, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick.

DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to Skyboy–secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny.

Purchase paperback from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Superheroic-Adventures-Series-Volume/dp/1625530277/

Purchase digital version from Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Girl-Superheroic-Adventures-Series-ebook/dp/B00D4FHE7U/

Purchase paperback or digital from Barnes and Noble: http://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/sky-girl-and-the-superheroic-adventures-joe-sergi/1115472264

Q: Thank you for this interview, Joe. Can you tell us what your latest book, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures, is all about? 

A: Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures is the sequel to Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy. In the first book, readers met DeDe Christopher, an ordinary teen with an extraordinary destiny to become Sky Girl. Being a teenage girl is hard enough, but for DeDe, it is proving impossible. In addition to cliques, books, and boys, she has to worry about capes, apes, and aliens. When we last left DeDe, she had just adopted the mantle of Sky Girl at the end of her sophomore year of high school. This book opens the day before she starts her junior year, so she’s had the whole summer to practice and train with her best friend and self-professed comic geek, Jason. She’s actually gotten quite good at being a costumed adventurer—except for her banter, which still needs work. Now, DeDe must learn what it means to be a heroine as Sky Girl faces the all too real enemies and allies of SkyBoy, including the clever Quizmaster, the beautiful Penny Pound, the enigmatic Jersey Devil, and the magical MissTick. DeDe must also face personal challenges as she discovers the secrets of her late father and his connection to SkyBoy–secrets that will affect Sky Girl’s destiny. 

Unlike the first book, which took place over the course of a week, this book covers the whole school year and allows for more diverse adventures. For example, Sky Girl faces off against Shadow, Jason faces off against Quizmaster, and they both have to face an angry horde of zombies. Each adventure stands on its own but is also part of a larger plot and expands on the mystery of what happened to DeDe’s father and Evil Brain’s plot for world domination. 

I guess the most important thing to note is that you don’t really need to read the first book to enjoy the second. 

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters? 

A: I love the relationship between the two main characters, DeDe and Jason, and enjoy writing scenes between them. DeDe is emotional and free spirited and Jason is analytical and restrained. I had a similar relationship growing up. And much like I was, DeDe is very different when she is with her best friend than when she is out in public because, with Jason, she actually gets to be her true self. (Of course, her Sky Girl persona helps DeDe overcome some of her shyness.) But, in order for the characters to grow as individuals, in the second book I split them up for some of their adventures. I’m a huge Star Wars fan and love the chemistry between R2D2 and C3PO in the first movie. Despite this, or maybe because of it, George Lucas decided to separate them in the second film and the results were pure genius movie making. I used that as an example in the second book and decided that Jason and DeDe should have their own adventures to realize how important they are to each other and to prove that each can be independent from each other. I always call Jason the sidekick, but they are really partners and I hope Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures helps establish that. I also wanted to ratchet up the tension in the second book, so I moved DeDe’s rival, Nicole, a little closer to DeDe’s inner circle. 

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination? 

A: It’s interesting how many people I went to school with say to me that they have figured out that, “Nicole is so and so, or Jason is based on so and so.” Popular theories are that DeDe is based on an ex-girlfriend from high school and that Jason is based on me. Actually, I wish I could have been Jason. I was never comfortable flying my geek flag until I was much older. In that way, I relate much more to DeDe/Sky Girl. She’s trying really hard to be the cool kid on the outside, but really she’s almost as much of a geek as Jason on the inside. Instead, I base a lot of these characters’ traits on my nieces and nephews. Jason is actually an amalgam of several people I know in the comics industry. A lot of people, editors and reviewers mostly, have a real problem with the formal way Jason talks, especially the fact that he never uses contractions. They think it sounds stilted – but that is the point. There really are people that talk like him in the real world. I can think of four off the top of my head. There is a lot of Adam that comes from one of my best friends/neighbors growing up. And, although I generally like everyone, Nicole is based on some people (men and women) who sadly have gotten under my skin. Of course, because she’s so evil, this also makes her the most fun to write. And, much to DeDe’s and my dismay, I frequently give Nicole the best lines. 

A lot of people ask for me to put them in my books. I think those people will be quite happy with Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures as I have managed to hide many Easter eggs in each adventure. 

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write? 

A: I usually have a general road map of where I want to go and an ending in mind. In the case of Sky Girl, I mapped out the entire trilogy. I knew exactly where I wanted to end, and how I was going to get there. Of course, when I started writing, I realized that my characters were taking me in a different direction than my road map and the ending of the third book. So, I had to go back and rework a lot of the earlier parts so they were consistent. Additionally, some things just didn’t work as well as I thought they would. For example, in the first draft, DeDe’s mother was remarried and DeDe had a little brother who was instrumental to the resolution of the plot. However, as I was writing, I realized that the brother wasn’t adding anything to the story. In fact, having DeDe’s mother being happily remarried prevented me from exploring how DeDe would react when her mother gets a new serious boyfriend. DeDe views this new guy as trying to replace her late father and must come to terms with that. So the brother vanished, which required a lot of restructuring. 

Q: Your book is set in New Jersey. Can you tell us why you chose this city in particular? 

A: The first book was set in my home town of Colonia, New Jersey. And while Colonia still continues to be the primary setting in Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures, I also was able to explore more locations. However, given that this book is a series of interrelated adventures, as opposed to an origin story, I was able to include a lot more locations outside of Colonia. A number of locations in New Jersey are featured in the book, including an attempted robbery of the First Bank of Colonia; a secret portal located at The Edison Memorial Tower and Museum in Menlo Park; and a hunt for the Jersey Devil in Jenny Jump State Park. I should also mention that there are cameos and references to many of the unique NJ places from my youth, like Merrill and Roosevelt Parks, the Menlo Park Mall, and the Krauzers convenience store where I used to buy my comics, as well as some imagined places, like the Colonia Memorial Cemetery. 

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story? 

A: I’m from New Jersey. My family still lives there and I visit the state as often as I can. New Jersey, and especially Colonia, is the perfect setting for this book. The fact that it isn’t New York (but close to it) makes it perfectly plausible that super villains would want to hide out there. It also allows Sky Girl to have a small town upbringing, while still being able to face big city challenges. New Jersey was Hollywood before there was a Hollywood and Las Vegas before there was a Las Vegas, and still has the best pizza in the world. The fact that two-thirds of the state is wide open space allows the potential for knock down drag out fights with no property damage or injuries in later volumes. Not to mention that New Jersey has its own cryptozoological creature, the Jersey Devil, which was a great character to play with in the Sky Girl story. 

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening? 

A: Good choice. This was an interesting page to write. Sky Girl has just arrived in the Mutardi Dimension in inner space. True to character, DeDe just rushed into the dimension without thinking. But, she isn’t really ready for what happens when she gets there. It was a challenge to write because I wanted to create a sense of peril while still being fun. 

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts? 

A: I don’t know if it’s my best excerpt, but my favorite villain to write was Alexander–he is a security guard that finds some of Professor Z’s equipment and decides to become a supervillain. He is horrible at it and it really lets me poke fun at the comic genre that I love. For example, in this short scene, Alexander tries to rob a bank, but is delayed by Jason, who engages him in a debate as to what makes a great villain. 

EXCERPT: 

Jason turned toward the tunnel, watching with a mixture of fear and excitement as the figure emerged from it. DeDe had run up against several villains in her short career as Sky Girl, but this guy was the big one: Professor Z. He was the cream of the crop, the greatest at being the worst. After all, Professor Z was the villain that had beaten SkyBoy. Jason squinted as the villain stepped into the bank from the tunnel.

An overweight, masked teenager dressed in black spandex and a black cape exited the Z-Gate. The ill-fitting spandex failed to fully cover his mid-section, and his stained white undershirt poked through. The tunnel vanished as quickly as it had formed, causing the villain to trip over his cape and sprawl out on the bank floor. As the villain regained his footing and tried to stand, Jason noticed that the fiend’s cowl-like mask had shifted and sat askew, so that one eyehole was blocked.

“Aw, man!” exclaimed the villain.

Jason cleared his throat, and the teenager in spandex turned to look at him. He smiled as his eyes met the villain’s uncovered one. ”Um, hi. Are you a super villain?”

“Hi. And why, yes, I am,” he said as he readjusted his mask.

“You know, they never mention in the movies how hard it is to keep the mask on.”

Jason nodded knowingly as he remembered DeDe’s many complaints over the summer during their mask trials. “I know what you mean. You know, a little spirit gum will hold that thing right in place.”

“Really? Spirit gum? Like the circus guys use? I hadn’t thought of that. Thanks.” The man smiled and then looked over at the wall.

“Well, okay then. Nice meeting you. I have, you know, villainous work to do.” He moved toward the vault.

Jason threw up his hands. “Wait!”

“Yeah, what?”

Jason stared at the overweight spandex-clad teen. “Um, you cannot just rob the bank.”

The villain stared at him. “I cannot? I mean, I can’t?”

Jason rolled his eyes. “Duh. First you have to announce your fiendish intentions and tell everyone your name.” Jason looked around the bank. Only the old woman remained.

The villain appeared to think for a moment. “Well, okay then. I guess there is some merit to that.” The villain took a deep breath and attempted to sound menacing as he spoke. “I’m Alex, and I’m here to rob this bank.”

Jason stared at him with an annoyed look.

“What?”

“Alex? Really?”

“What’s wrong with Alex?”

Jason glanced at his watch and hoped the police would be there soon. “It is a little plain. You want a name that invokes fear, like Professor Z, or Evil Brain, or Commander Chimp.”

Alex pursed his lips in thought. “I know—my mother always wanted me to be a doctor. So call me Doctor Doom!”

Jason shook his head from side to side. “That name is taken by a Marvel Comics villain. Trust me, you do not want them coming after you for infringement. They are owned by Disney now.”

“What about Doctor Destiny?”

“Nope. DC Comics.”

“Doctor Midnight?”

“No way.”

“Doctor Horrible?”

“Joss Whedon used that one. Neil Patrick Harris played him.”

“You mean that Doogie Howser kid?”

“Yeah.”

“I loved that show. How about Doctor Strange?”

“Marvel again.”

“Doctor Evil?”

“Oh, come on. You are not even trying now.”

The duo’s debate was cut short by the sound of sirens. Alex peered out the bank window. “Aw man, now the police are here. I didn’t even get to rob the bank.”

Jason smiled. “You had better go. You do not want to face them without a name.”

Alex, the nameless villain, pressed a button on his gauntlet and the tunnel reappeared. “Yeah, I don’t really have any weapons either.”

Jason chuckled. “Going back to your evil villain’s layer?”

Alex looked confused. “You mean my evil villain’s lair.” He stressed the last word. Jason pointed into the tunnel, and Alex read his spray-painted sign. “Darn it! You know, I thought I might have spelled that wrong.” Alex raced down the tunnel as the police broke into the bank. Jason watched as the glowing lights of the Z-Gate shrank away and vanished.

Jason threw up his hands as the police approached him. He could hear the security guard began to groan his way back to consciousness. “He is gone now. I do not think he took anything.” “Did he say who he was?” one of the officers asked.

Jason smiled. “Not really.” 

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Joe. We wish you much success! 

A: Thanks for having me. If you want to find out more, My author site is www.joesergi.net; Sky Girl can be found at www.SkyGirlNovel.com, and the official site for Great Zombies in History is www.GreatZombiesinHistory.com; my monthly column can be found at www.cbldf.org.

 

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Joe Sergi photoABOUT JOE SERGI

Joe Sergi lives outside of Washington, DC with his wife and daughter. Joe is an attorney and a Haller Award winning author who has written articles, novels, short stories, and comic books in the horror, scifi, and young adult genres. Joe is the creator of the Sky Girl series of novels and the editor of Great Zombies in History. His first novel, Sky Girl and the Superheroic Legacy was selected Best of 2010 by the New PODler Review. Joe is a life-long comic fan who regularly writes on the history of comics and censorship for the Comic Book Legal Defense Fund. A complete list of Joe’s titles is available at www.JoeSergi.net. When not writing, Joe works as a Senior Litigation Counsel in an unnamed US government agency and is a member of the adjunct faculty at George Mason University School of Law.

Sky Girl and the Superheroic Adventures Tour Schedule

Tuesday, September 3rd

First chapter review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Wednesday, September 4th

Book spotlight and giveaway at My Devotional Thoughts

Thursday, September 5th

Interview at As the Pages Turn

Monday, September 9th

Interview at Examiner

Wednesday, September 11th

Interview at Blogcritics

Thursday, September 12th

Book review and giveaway at Mommynificent

Friday, September 13th

Book spotlight at Literarily Speaking

Monday, September 16th

Interview at Literarily Speaking

Thursday, September 19th

Guest post and giveaway at Freda’s Voice

Friday, September 20th

Guest post at Paperback Writer

Guest post at Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, September 23rd

Book spotlight at The Writer’s Life

Tuesday, September 24th

Guest post at The Writer’s Life

Friday, September 27th

Interview at Pump Up Your Book

Tuesday, October 1st

Guest post and giveaway at The Busy Mom’s Daily

Wednesday, October 2nd

Guest post at The Story Behind the Book

Friday, October 4th

Interview at Between the Covers

Monday, October 7th

Book spotlight at Review from Here

Tuesday, October 8th

Book review at Library at the END of the Universe

Wednesday, October 9th

Interview and giveaway at Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Thursday, October 10th

Interview at Straight from the Author’s Mouth

Monday, October 14th

Book spotlight at YAdult Review

Tuesday, October 15th

Interview at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Wednesday, October 16th

Interview at The Story of a Writer

Thursday, October 17th

Interview at The Dark Phantom Review

Monday, October 21st

Interview at Broowaha

Monday, October 28th

Guest post at Authors and Appetizers

Monday, November 4th

Book spotlight at Literal Exposure

Monday, November 18th

Book review at Mary’s Cup of Tea

Tuesday, November 26th

Book review at The Children’s and Teens’ Book Connection

Wednesday, November 27th

Book tour highlights at The Book Rack

More tour stops coming soon! 

 

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A Conversation with T.J. MacLeslie, Author of Designed for Relationship

MacLeslie photoT.J. MacLeslie has been involved in a variety of Christian ministries since 1990, including pastoring, church planting, leadership development, prayer, and spiritual formation. He currently lives in the UK with his wife and two children where he leads a team focused on prayer and spiritual formation. You’ll often find him walking the fields with his dog, reading a book, or enjoying a warm cup of coffee.

Visit the author online at http://about.me/tj_macleslie.

Q: Thank you for this interview, T.J. Can you tell us what your latest book, Designed for Relationship, is all about?

A:  There are so many ideas about God floating around in our world today. Many present God in terms that are uninviting, and frankly, inaccurate. I grew up with a view of God as a distant and forbidding king and judge. I have joyfully discovered that while God is the King of kings and Lord of lords, He is also much more. The God of scripture is relational at His core, Father, Son, and Spirit, constantly loving and interacting. God decided to expand this community of love and created humans to be partakers of the divine nature and little images of His relational self. This is very different than the picture I received as a kid growing up in church.

The book invites you to rediscover the relational nature of God and humanity in two parts: Part One examines ancient truths in the Bible to renew our vision of God and humanity; Part Two applies these truths to our lives, using the Five Circles, a practical tool to understand what it means to be human and provide a framework for growth. All of this has come as a result of my own search for God in the confusion and chaos of the real world.

Q: How did you come up with the idea?

A: This book is a summary of the lessons I have learned in my search for truth and meaning. Along the way, I have met wonderful people who challenged me and encouraged me in my pursuit. Now, I have the opportunity to help others. It was in the process of listening to and serving others on their journey that the idea for this book came up. Some of those I have journeyed alongside kept asking me to write something down so they could share it with others. While the message of the book is ancient, the way it is assembled is unique, particularly the paradigm I call The Five Circles.

Q: What kind of research did you do before and during the writing of your book? Designed for Relationship cover

A: I spent a lot of time studying the Bible and checking everything against this unchanging standard of Truth. I also studied those who have walked similar paths through the years: from St. Augustine and St. Patrick, right through to Henry Nouwen, Dallas Willard, and David Benner. The book is heavily referenced and has an extensive bibliography, but above all this is a practical book. The lessons gleaned from others have been tried and tested in the laboratory of the real world. In a sense, my whole life has been research for this book. I draw on my own experiences as well as those of people I have worked with through the years, to share the principles and tools that we have found helpful for our journey.

Q: If a reader can come away from reading your book with one valuable message, what would that be?

A:  When we fail to understand who we are and who God is, we are missing out on the very core of what is available to us as people. There actually is an amazing, abundant, eternal kind of life available to us. Don’t give up hope! Keep searching along the ancient paths.

Q: Can you give us a short excerpt?

A: Here is a short section from Chapter 5:

People are incredibly diverse and our backgrounds are so varied that the problems we face deserve more than a ‘one size fits all’ solution. Whether we are working on our own issues or helping someone else, we need to ask questions and listen carefully to the answers. The Five Circles can guide us in asking questions, gaining insight, rightly understanding problems, identifying potential solutions, and suggesting practical steps toward healing, wholeness, and intimacy with God.

We need to be careful to remember that our relationship with God is the core pursuit. God is the One who heals and frees as we draw near to Him. If we make our goal wholeness, healing, or freedom, those goals can subtly become our idols. It is not that freedom is a bad goal, but it is not the ultimate one. I have found that as we grow closer to God we become more whole and free. We become like the thing we behold, the thing we exalt, the thing we worship. He made us for relationship with Him, and each aspect of who we are is important to that relationship. We cannot be content just to do what comes easy to us. Growing in relationship with God means embracing all of who God made us to be, and striving to become who we are. As we do that, freedom results.

Only human beings have to struggle to become who we are. Other creatures do not have a choice about what they become. Trees grow without making conscious choices. Only humans think about what we would like to become. We make decisions that affect the direction of our lives. The flip side of this is our capacity to stunt ourselves. We have the capacity for denial. We can choose to move into or withdraw from relationship. Sometimes these are conscious decisions and other times we choose them without realizing why. By pursuing God, we can cultivate awareness. We can choose to love God with all we are, leaving nothing out and holding nothing back. When we fail to love God with our mind, our will, our emotion, our spirit, or our body, we are failing in the most basic, the most central command – the command to love God with all we are.

Q: In your own experience, is it hard to get a nonfiction book published today?  How did you do it?

A: I think it is easier than ever to get a book published, particularly with digital printing and print-on-demand as options for the self-publishing author. I was fully intending to go this route for both of my books, but it seems that God had other plans.

I create in community, and invite people to read and respond to the manuscript, throughout the creative process. My goal was to hone and improve the book by getting a variety of perspectives, but an unintended consequence was the buzz being generated, and in both cases a small publisher asked to print the book.

This is my second book and my second small publisher. I feel like a small publisher has a lot of the benefits of self-publishing without the complications and loss of control that comes with a major publishing house. I like that the small publishers are responsive and are invested in marketing and selling the book, the parts that I find most difficult. I wrote the book because I wanted to help people and I believe in the message. I find the creative process to be a joy, but the publishing process to be really draining. I am happy to let someone else take the lead in the design, printing, distribution, and marketing of the book.

Q: What’s a typical day like for you?

A: I lead a team for an international missions organization, Pioneers, providing prayer and soul care for pastors and missionaries serving around the world. It is such a joy to get to listen to, pray for, and share with people who are experiencing God and helping people each day. Most days I pray with the team for people around the world, and then correspond  and talk with people that I am involved with in mentoring and spiritual companionship relationships. We live in a small town in the UK that provides some great places to walk through the fields and along the coast, so most days I take walks in the fields with my dog to connect with God and talk with Him about the people I love.

Q: What’s next for you?

A: I love my primary job, helping people to grow and experience God more day by day, and I see writing as an extension of that. I plan to explore the issues of faith, culture, and personality in fiction next. But one of the really interesting parts of living connected with God is the adventure of letting Him lead you into what’s next. I have my plans and ambitions, but if the past is any indication, my plans will have little bearing on what comes next.

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, T.J.  We wish you much success!

A: Thank you for interviewing me. I pray that you will be successful in all you set your hand to, and that you will become ever more who you truly are.

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Interview with Lindsey Fairleigh and Lindsey Pogue, Authors of After the Ending

Lindsey and Lindsey Headshot OFFICIAL!!!

Lindsey Fairleigh lives her life with one foot in a book—as long as that book transports her to a magical world or bends the rules of science. Her novels, from post-apocalyptic to time travel and historical fantasy, always offer up a hearty dose of unreality, along with plenty of adventure and romance. When she’s not working on her next novel, Lindsey spends her time reading and trying out new recipes in the kitchen. She lives in the Napa Valley with her loving husband and confused cats. You can visit Lindsey’s blog at lindseyfairleigh.blogspot.com.

Lindsey Pogue has always been a little creative. As a child she established a bug hospital on her elementary school soccer field, compiled books of collages as a teenager, and as an adult, expresses herself through writing. Her novels are inspired by her observations of the world around her—whether she’s traveling, people watching, or hiking. When not plotting her next storyline or dreaming up new, brooding characters, Lindsey’s wrapped in blankets watching her favorite action flicks or going on road trips with her own leading man. You can visit Lindsey’s blog at lindseypogue.wordpress.com.

Q: Thank you for this interview, Team Lindsey. Can you tell us what your latest book, After The Ending, is all about?

Lindsey Pogue (LP): With pleasure, and thank you for having us! There are a few non-conventional aspects to our book that we feel make it not only unique, but enjoyable to a wide variety of people. For starters, After The Ending is a post-apocalyptic story told in first person, but from two different perspectives–Zoe’s and Dani’s. I write for Zoe and Lindsey Fairleigh (LF) writes for Dani. The story begins with a deadly virus that infects everyone, including our characters and their loved ones. After the virus wipes out most of the human population, Dani and Zoe (best friends, mid-twenties) learn they are among the few who survived the pandemic. Although adult life has sent Zoe to the East Coast and Dani’s life is on the West Coast, their friendship is one of the few remaining things they have in the virus-ravaged world, so they embark on separate journeys to meet up with each other at a supposed safe haven, the Colony. It’s through their individual journeys that the reader can experience what our heroines see and feel as they discover what the world after The Ending is like and, in turn, discover more about themselves as survivors.

LF: From the get-go, we aimed to make sure the focus of After The Ending wasn’t entirely on the hardcore survival aspects of the post-apocalypse, but on the characters, specifically their personal struggles and relationships. The story highlights the undeniable power of friendship, love, and hope, and how they can make life worth living even when everything else is lost. There is romance, but there are also some definite science fiction elements, such as the spontaneous genetic mutations caused by the virus, leading to extraordinary abilities in survivors…or to insanity. We’ll be the first to admit that After The Ending was written with a female audience in mind–it’s very character-driven and the romance storylines aren’t negligible–but we have heard from male readers who enjoyed the book as well.

Q: Can you tell us a little about your main and supporting characters?

LP: Our two leading ladies are very different in both appearance and mannerisms. Zoe is the more serious of the two friends–a determined, independent artist. She grew up in a dysfunctional family, which has made her closed off and generally bitter about life. Zoe is twenty-six years old, tall, has long black hair and teal eyes, both of which end up being important character traits as the story progresses. She has a good grasp on reality that helps her remain level-headed in most situations, but she’s also melodramatic, and that makes her seem a bit younger at times. One thing she is is determined. It both aids and hinders her throughout the story. Dani is the only constant thing in Zoe’s life, so she’s grown to love her more like a sister than a friend. She relies on Dani’s vibrance and quirkiness to help coax her out of her hardened shell.

LF: Dani is petite, with curly red hair, green eyes, and a fierce intellect that she tends to hide. She is quite a bit girlier and more emotional than Zoe, and sees Zoe as the embodiment of personal strength and determination. She often draws on her perception of Zoe to help her get through tough times throughout the story. By far, I would say the most defining characteristic about Dani’s personality is that she’ll do almost anything to keep the people she cares about safe. Unfortunately, that tends to get her into slightly sticky situations in the world of The Ending.

Q: Do you tend to base your characters on real people or are they totally from your imagination?

LP: I’ve actually had a number of people ask me if Zoe is an extension of myself, if I see myself the way I portray her. The answer is no, not at all, and she’s not really like anyone I know either. I definitely don’t look like Zoe or act like her. I mean, she’s pessimistic, or “realistic” I like to call it, like me, but I think the similarities between us stop there. She has a lot of the qualities I admire in other people though. She’s super determined, whether she juggling two jobs, trying desperately to get to Dani when the world seems to be against her, or even just trying to understand her brother and every other man in her life.

LF: Dani is entirely from my imagination. So much so that it’s really difficult for me to picture any real people–actresses, models, or otherwise–as her. I think the problem is that she exists so vividly in my mind that nobody else quite looks or acts like her. I’m not sure where she came from, and she’s certainly nothing like me, but I love her all the same.

Q: Are you consciously aware of the plot before you begin a novel, or do you discover it as you write?

LP: Because this project was a team effort, we definitely had to draw out a skeletal outline so we knew which direction we were going with our characters. Once we determined the major subplots, character arcs, and where we wanted to end the book, each of our stories took off on their own, changing even from what we’d individually planned to write about. Characters have a way of doing that to you.

LF: Yeah, our characters definitely have a talent for commandeering the story. I have one character in particular, Jason, who has such a strong personality–I guess you would call him an Alpha–that I pretty much expect him to steal the reins whenever he’s present in a scene. I suppose I should apologize to LP because she’s had to deal with him a lot in the second book, Into The Fire. Sorry LP! I have to say that when the characters take over and the story starts writing itself is when I have the most fun.

LP: I guess you’re forgiven :)

 Q: Your book has many different settings. Can you tell us why you chose the cities you did in particular?

LP: I know for Zoe’s team, it was more of a question of “what’s practical”. Although our story is science fiction, we tried to make it as realistic as possible–using a logical route to move the characters from point A to point B across the US was one of the ways we did that. I had to figure out realistically how far a group of people could drive or walk in X amount of days and in the snow. That helped me narrow down my settings in Ohio, Kentucky, and St. Louis before finally getting to Colorado. Once I knew which areas I needed to have them settle in, I searched for locations that would work well with my evolving storyline.

LF: Like LP, I mapped out Dani’s route throughout the entire book, first by car, then by horseback, before I wrote the majority of it. I couldn’t just pick a town willy-nilly, but had to keep in mind how far a horse could travel in a day, or where there might still be unscavenged fuel or food left after X amount of time had passed. There are a few locations we chose purposely, like stationing the Colony, our heroine’s destination and meet-up point, at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado Springs based on the military branches stationed there and its central-ish location. We chose Bodega Bay as Dani and Zoe’s hometown because it was near enough to where we live that we could conduct setting research with relative ease.

Q: Does the setting play a major part in the development of your story?

LP: I think it definitely does. Our characters are just as new to The Ending as our readers are, so we needed Zoe and Dani to experience what was going on around the entire country. Not only does moving them around get them closer together and progress the story, but through their eyes we see the types of Crazies (those survivors driven mad by the virus)  they come across and how quickly and how much the world is changing.

LP: On a more technical note, the setting actually directed portions of the story because we had to be mindful of weather patterns. For example, Dani’s group of survivors spends some time near Lake Tahoe in the heart of winter, and it slowed down their travel pace quite a bit. I had planned for them to move faster than they did, but there was no working around it–snow slows travel plans, even in our own post-apocalyptic, fictional world.

Q: Open the book to page 69. What is happening?After the Ending cover art

LP: That’s sort of a funny and difficult question to answer. If you’re looking at the hardcover version, it’s a pretty intense Zoe chapter. She’s discovering how unnerving her developing Ability is, she thinks she’s losing her mind since she has no clue what’s happening to her yet, and she’s also starting to really process the fact that the world has ended and that her father is most likely dead.

LF: In the paperback version, Dani and her travel companions are just arriving at a swanky hotel in Portland…to squat. That is one thing to note about surviving in a post-apocalyptic world–the characters get to bunk down in some pretty interesting places, from mansions to wineries to barns. Let’s see, on this page Dani is also dealing with some tangled emotions regarding a certain man in her group–Zoe’s brother, Jason.

Q: Can you give us one of your best excerpts?

LP: This is one of the scenes I enjoyed writing the most. It’s a huge turning point in the Zoe chapters and her life is about to change more than she ever thought possible:

“Feeling alright?” Clara asked, batting her eyelashes and smiling innocently.

I hunched over as my stomach gurgled and churned, tangling into knots. Once again I reached for the water, but she yanked it away, dumping it out on the floor beside her.

Her grin lingered. “Sorry, I can’t let you do that.”

My stomach cramps worsened, and I broke out into a cold sweat–I knew I didn’t have much time. I needed to find help. Trying to run for the door I doubled over in pain and cried out. Fire seemed to be scorching my insides. Bile rose in my throat, and I began salivating profusely, unable to swallow. I spat desperately.

“I really hate you, Zoe. I’m not completely sure why, but I have to admit, this is a very good day for me.” Her cheerful voice was like a hammer in my head as I twisted and spasmed on the mess hall floor.

I prayed someone would find me before it was too late.

LF: I considered several different passages, some more dramatic and some more romantic, but I settled on this one because it shows the special relationship Dani has with one of my favorite characters, Jack, her faithful German Shepherd.

I tore open a peanut butter and chocolate chip protein bar as I exited the bedroom, tripping over my dog on the way out.

Jack wagged his tail happily while I righted myself. “Good morning, Sweet Boy,” I said between bites.

He yawned dramatically and bowed, earning the last nugget of the tasteless bar.

As I lumbered down the stairs, a plan of revenge formed in my mind. I waved at Chris and Ky, apparently the only other people awake at such an ungodly hour, as I neared the front room’s largest window. I peeked around the heavy tan and green-striped curtain and spotted Jason standing on the lawn—he was staring off into the woods. Smiling, I led Jack to the back door, and we silently slipped out into the damp morning chill.

Pausing on the back porch, I clicked my tongue, and my dog watched me intently. “Okay Jack,” I whispered, kneeling down in front of him. “You’re going to go that way.” I pointed to the left side of the house, and his eyes followed. “Find Jason. You need to be happy and loud.” I scratched his neck with both hands. He licked my cheek in return.

“Go find Jason,” I commanded quietly and stood. Jack instantly trotted away, barking every few steps.

Stalking in the opposite direction, I made my way around the house and found Jason watching Jack frolic like a month-old puppy. The grass muffled my steps as I snuck up behind him. I crouched, gliding the last few steps, and held my breath. Revenge is so sweet!

Q: Thank you so much for this interview, Team Lindsey. We wish you much success!

LF: Thank you for having us and for the wonderful questions!

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Meg the Egg Book Blast and Giveaway: Win a $25 Amazon Gift Card or Free EBooks

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ABOUT THE BOOK:

Meg the Egg coverLittle Meg finds the outside world a bit too loud and far too scary! So, she’s going to stay inside her safe white shell, thank you very much. But then the Howl breaks into the barn and steals Mother Hen! What is she supposed to do, still holed up in that egg of hers? She can’t run and she certainly can’t fly. Well, never get between a chick and her momma, cause this little bird’s got a can-do spirit and a whole lot of courage that she didn’t know she had before!

A tale of self discovery that speaks to all children’s fears of the unknown, Ms. Borg delivers a great read-aloud resource for parents and teachers alike. With an onomatopoeic construction that gives life to the story and encourages children to participate through repetition of words, noises, and actions, MEG THE EGG is the perfect story for beginning readers.

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR:Rita Borg photo new

Rita Antoinette Borg was educated in New York and now resides on the Mediterranean island of Malta. She performs storytelling and creative writing workshops in schools across the country and works as a freelance writer for local magazines and newspapers. Ms. Borg has published four picture books aimed at early readers as well as an anthology of short stories for older children. Her books have been recognized by the Malta National Annual Literary Awards. Her book “Don’t Cross the Road, Holly!” was chosen as the year’s best Children’s Book in English. She is a member of the Society of Children’s Writers & Illustrators.

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Pump Up Your Book and Rita Antoinette Borg are teaming up to give you a chance to win fabulous prizes!

Here’s how it works:

Each person will enter this giveaway by liking, following, subscribing and tweeting about this giveaway through the Rafflecopter form placed on blogs throughout the tour. This promotion will run from April 22 – May 17, 2013. The winner will be chosen randomly by Rafflecopter, contacted by email and announced on May 20, 2013. Each blogger who participates is eligible to enter and win. Visit each blog stop below to gain more entries as the Rafflecopter widget will be placed on each blog for the duration of the tour. Good luck everyone!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

If the Rafflecopter form doesn’t load, you can visit the Meg the Egg tour page at http://www.pumpupyourbook.com/2013/04/01/pump-up-your-book-presents-rita-antoinette-borgs%E2%80%99s-meg-the-egg-book-blast-%E2%80%93-win-25-amazon-gift-card-and-free-books/ for your chance to enter and win!

MEG THE EGG TOUR SCHEDULE

Monday, April 22nd

Literarily Speaking

Tuesday, April 23

The Children’s and Teen’s Book Connection

Wednesday, April 24th

The Writer’s Life

Thursday, April 25th

As the Pages Turn

Friday, April 26th

The Busy Mom’s Daily

Monday, April 29th

LadyD Books

Tuesday, April 30th

Tribute Books Reviews and Giveaways

Wednesday, May 1st

Classic Children’s Books

Thursday, May 2nd

My Devotional Thoughts

Friday, May 3rd

Review from Here

Saturday, May 4th

Bea’s Book Nook

Monday, May 6th

Mayra’s Secret Bookcase

Tuesday, May 7th

Paperback Writer

Wednesday, May 8th

Read For Your Future

Thursday, May 9th

Freda’s Voice

Friday, May 10th

Lori’s Reading Corner

Monday, May 13th

Books for Kids

Tuesday, May 14th

Wednesday, May 15th

Literal Exposure

Thursday, May 16th

4 the Love of Books

Friday, May 17th

The Crypto-Capers Review

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