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Tales of an Outcast Faerie

Allison Rose Author Interview

Allison Rose Author Interview

The Nameless follows Nola and Kelty as they’re faced with difficult decisions that affect both the Faerie and human worlds. What was the inspiration for the setup to this compelling story?

The Nameless was actually inspired by a nature preserve near where I live. It’s so magical, and my imagination is so overreactive, I dreamed up a story about a faerie creature with elemental magic. Then I thought, “What would happen if she met a human?” And the story developed from there.

Nola is an intriguing and well developed character. What were some driving ideals behind her character development?

From the start, I wanted Nola to be this character that was sympathetic to the faeries and so curious about them. Then as she encounters the world of faerie outcasts, she sort of evolves through the story into this stubborn, incredibly kind and brave force of good, and it’s been amazing to watch her come into her own.

The Outcasts faeries are fascinating. What were some themes you wanted to capture in their characters and world?

The outcasts are so interesting because they have been banished from faerie and are not allowed to return because of the faeries’ hatred of the humans. Yet, as is Kelty’s case, their crimes are not particularly egregious a lot of the time. This shows quite a lot of prejudice on the part of the faeries. It also shows how powerful the faerie courts truly are that they banish as a form of punishment rather than keeping dissenters in their own world.

This is book one in your Tales of an Outcast Faerie series. What can reader expect in book two, The Court of Outcasts?

The Court of Outcasts, Book Two, delves deeper into the world of the outcasts as a faerie with the power to influence minds offers Kelty the throne to the Court of Outcasts. Nola also finds herself in his clutches. And both will have to fight to survive with their minds and relationships intact. There is also a plot twist you won’t see coming.

Author Links: Facebook | Instagram | Website

The Nameless (Tales of an Outcast Faerie Book 1) by [Allison Rose]

Outcasts of Faerie have lived unseen and secluded from humans. Until now.

When a strange dark magic threatens the human world, sixteen-year-old Nola seeks the help of Kelty, an outcast faerie she discovered with her rare magic sight, to help her stop it.

Reluctant and wary, Kelty must choose between turning her back on the helpless humans or sacrificing her chance to return to Faerie, which is only possible if she remains untainted by human contact.

The outcast responsible for Kelty’s banishment is playing his own dangerous game. He might be the answer to defeating the dark magic. He also might destroy them both.

Will the truth be discovered before the dark magic is unleashed upon the human world?

For fans of fast-paced YA fantasy, intense plots, and breathtaking magic, The Nameless is a tale unlike any other.

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The Sea-Tossed Tale

Ruth Finnegan Author Interview

Ruth Finnegan Author Interview

The Helix Pearl is an enchanting book that retells the story from Black Inked Pearl but this time from the perspective of the sea. How did the idea for this novel come to you?

I really don’t know because like my other novels it just arrived with me in my sleep. So maybe it already existed in the liminal space that anthropologists talk about and the students of the Enchanted know so well, the in-between space when you’re not awake, you’re not asleep and dreaming, and yet you’re both. A very receptive place.

So I didn’t really plan it, but I suppose in a way. yes, it is just that the plan was already there in my unconscious or in, should we call it , in the tapestry of the Universe that’s been there since the beginning of time and always will be, something that I, somehow, somewhat tap into when I’m in that mysterious ‘away’ place.
But then I suppose in another way it comes from my literary background. Not everyone likes this because it’s not written in, for example, the kind of grammar and so on that you were taught as ‘correct’ prose at age 12 or so. The wording seeps up, somehow, from the depths, from my knowledge of poetry, from my learning of the rhythms of African storytelling which I think now infuse all my creative writing, and above all from Greek myth, and maybe too from the shared collective unconscious that Jung talked about (when I was younger I used to think thtvnonsense – no longer).

The novel also comes, more directly, from my reading ( aloud) of Homer’s wonderful epics – songs, really – specially the sea-tossed tale of the Odyssey. Homer knew what he was talking about! He knew well those violent storms of the Mediterranean, He knew firsthand the ways of the sea, p the tossing of the waves and the fury of Poseidon, the raging god of the sea.

In fact the subtitle is a direct translation of Homer’s epithets or the sea – wine-dark and garrulous, chattering, always always talking, never still – have you really known a really quiet sea? Peaceful at times, certainly, magical, but always murmurs from the tiny little wavelets. And wine-dark – I don’t think that means dark in the sense of gloomy, more glowing like deep red wine. Homer also calls the sea ‘ever laughing’, isn’t that just right? never ever totally still but always moving, roaming , rambling ( the Literary Titan review puts it well), sometimes sparkling and laughing in the sun, sometimes laughing violently in storm as it engulfs ships and holds monsters in its depth.

The other bit of background, very deep in me, is from growing up by water: in part by the Donegal sea and in part by a great river, the Foyle, that opens out to the sea by my beloved native city of Derry, Columba’s oak grove. These memories, these experiences, run all the way through the book and give it meaning for me.

When writing from the Sea’s perspective what were some themes or feelings you felt were important to capture in the character?

I think the themes and feelings I wanted to capture were exactly those I’ve talked about in answer to the first question – the laughing of the sea, its storms, the way it’s always there, eternally laughing, so that its view somehow puts the familiar, story and characters into – yes this above all – a kind of universal perspective.

Isn’t that the way, the role, of literature? to bring out the universal? I think I wanted to make that happen.

And remember – the double helix, the mystic spiral, the curl of the wave, is the sign of life, of eternity, infinity: ‘heaven in a wild flower’. That too.

Also, thoiugh in essence it just arrived irrespective of my conscious planning, I did also work at the research on water. I searched out the songs and poems associated with the great rivers (they all had at least one, amazing) the huge number of rivers tun under London, maybe also under or anyway through many of the great cities of the world. I marvelled at what I found.

I was also amazed to discover how much of the earth’s surface is water. I know in another book I (well, I in my maternal grandfathers name, David Campbell Callender) talked about the importance of grass, the weed that so miraculously clothes the earth. But that’s just the dry land. What, to my astonishment, I discovered Pin The Helix Pearl is that most of our planet’s surface is water. In the novel I wanted to convey not just that fact but the wonder of it.

So I wanted that to come out but also, and maybe above all, the fairytale quality of the story.

Another surprise, which then for me became a central theme, was that I learnt more about Kate – about the many sides of her nature – from the book. Even more important possibly, I discovered more about the male character.He has become more central, someone whose nature we struggle to. unlock (more so in later books). In Black Inked Pearl he is shown in quite a bad light, inexplicably abandoning Kate, and though he heroically goes back to find her he’s pretty curt with her when he does and is only redeemed (if anything could really redeem his earlier betrayal) by his offered sacrifice at the very end

In The Helix Pearl, I began to understand that there was far more to him than I had realised, and that he hadn’t abandoned Kate, rather she just hadn’t followed him, in this book because of her fear of the water, a central motivation for the tale. Quite a discovery on my part.

You’ll notice my vocabulary – I think of the book as something I ‘discovered’, magically already there, not planned or invented.And yes, that is the feeling I would like readers get from the book.

What were some goals you set for yourself as a writer with this book?

Well, the things I’ve just been saying.

To be quite honest. I’ll have read it again, because I’ve forgotten almost all of it. It came so quickly in dreams or whatever. I don’t even remember the process of writing it.

I do know however this as with all my fiction and poetry and even a little bit with my screenplays and non-fiction. I wanted it to sound good. Here it is specifically the sounds of the sea and of water but always I want there to be rhythm and sonic echoes and cadences and resonancing. As with Homer and all ancient and mediaeval literary works it needs to be read aloud.

Do you have plans to continue to expand this story?

Well, as with all my writing I’ll just have to see what emerges.

But also yes, in the way, definitely.

In fact I have already expanded, or, rather, recycled, the story,
exploring its many dimensions in my own literary way. I know not all readers like my style, and that’s all right though I love it when people do warm to it and I get lovely understanding reviews (
Literary Titan’s for example!), but , really, I have no choice. That’s just the way of writing that’s been given to me.

So yes I’ll be re-doing the story. It will be a series that, once it reaches the full novel form, will go on being expressed in a poetic way steeped in implicit literary metaphors and associations, specially inspired by Shakespeare. Homer, Rumi and the Bible – and so much else from my life of reading and listening.

When you write out of sudden unsought inspiration, you don’t exactly have plans – all the same this is how I now see my ‘Kate-Pearl’ series eventually emerging.

Some are published, some already written and, in several cases, waiting for the illustrator, the fantastic Rachel Backshall. The final one is just a (very insistent) gleam in the eye – it will arrive when it’s ready.

So here’s the full.lst (double asterisk if published, single if written but not yet published, obelisk (!) if, for children, illustrated

Oh Kate! A block book * !
The magic adventure: Kris and Kate build a boat A picture book ** !
Kris and Kate’s second adventure: the Pearl-Maran A picture story book * !
The enchanted Pearl-Away A chapter book !
Voyage of Pearl of the Seas **! for young adults/adults
Black Inked Pearl **
The Helix Pearl **
Pearl of the Wind *
Thy Tears are Pearl

Let me explain. It is a projected series that, unlike most series, is not directed to a particular age group, set of interests or specific genre. Rather, as you can see, it runs through all ages (something like the British National Health Service is supposed do, ‘from cradle to grave’). It is all essentially the same story but told in a way suitable to its target audience, about, in the opening volumes Kate and a companion and her dog, Holly as their younger selves. After the first novel, Black Inked Pearl which for some reason was different, they’re all about setting out on the water in a boat that is in some way felt to be magical, and facing disaster – and coming through, strengthened and more mature.

The next novel will be Pearl of the Wind. It is complement not sequel to the earlier ones in that it is the same story but now told not in the third or first person, as with the previous two , but in the second, the vocative. Homer opened with ‘Sing oh goddess .., ‘, here it is ‘Sing oh Wind … ‘; and unlike the earlier focus on earth, then on water, it is the third element, air, that is invoked and that gives the setting.

The text of Pearl of the Wind is probably incomplete but I am not sure. It has an unusual origin. I was on a cruise, a ship in mid-ocean ( what more liminal … ) when I happened on an email about a competition to write a novel in 3 days – 3 days flat! You could have thought about it before (as I had, I’d just never had time to get it down) but the actual writing had to be done in just three days. A challenge! Well I did it, loved the process,and sent it off. Naturally I’ve heard nothing since but at least it’s there.

I can by now recall nothing – nothing – of its content ( some interspersed poetry about winds possibly?) just its POV – point of view. I guess it needs to be extended before going out – or maybe not. Anyhow time I looked at it again.

As for the final one – that will probably be the most complex and searching of the lot, so maybe not till my deathbed. It will of course be the same story – myth – again but this time bringing together the dimensions of the rest in terms of tense and person and material elements and love; and above all of the elusiveness of personal identity.

It’ll probably be called (I leave you to winkle out the Shakesoearean, as ever, allusion) ‘Thy tears are pearl’ , and though I already have quite a feel for the setting and perspective and central character I decline to say any more at this point. We’ll just have to wait and see (me too).

Till then my best writing wishes and thank you for reading this.

Author Links: Website | Twitter | Facebook | GoodReads

Inspired variously by the Odyssey,William Blake’s cosmologies, Rumi’s poems, and Charles Kingsley’s stories foryoungsters, this novel embraces the magic of childhood imagining. Kate andChris, along with Kate’s loyal dog, Holly, swim and frolic on a summer shore. Aship built from driftwood becomes their vessel: Kate’s the queen and Chris isthe Man of Action, the one who saves them both from wind and water. At first,Kate’s fear of sailing the high seas causes her to abandon ship, but a terribleloneliness sets in, and she regrets leaving. The sudden appearance of amagician saves the day; she answers his riddles to regain her berth. In theirboat, the Pearl of the Seas, Kate and Chris pilot through treacherousrocks and come ashore in a welcoming kingdom, where they learn a version of theTower of Babel story, “the very disaster of our world.” In this hybrid book ofnarrative blended with verse and song, different ways of telling a story mayappear on a single page. The King of Names instructs Kate that “for the deepthings it is poetry.” Such wise lessons fortify the children, but even happydreams must end. Their parting gifts include a magic pebble-pearl that rightsthe broken mast so they may return to the shore of reality and family. Though thePearl of the Seas may not buoy them to distant lands again, theydetermine that Black Inked Pearl–the written record of theirtravels–shall be their legacy. As in the novel for adults, Finnegan’s (BlackInked Pearl, 2015) “fairytale prequel” for younger readers delights in theassociative wordplay of sound and sense. A moment of canine joy provides avivid illustration: “Still in gleeful flightful lightsome delighting delight.Barking, sparking, larking.” A handful of superb black-and-white drawings by Backshallcomplements the work’s whimsical vision.

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Not Enforcing Sameness

Rachael Higgins Author Interview

Rachael Higgins Author Interview

The Silver Tabby is a wonderfully illustrated children’s book about a kitten that struggles to fit in with the other cats. What was your inspiration behind this kids book?

The Silver Tabby was initially written as a high school English assignment. At the time, the class was studying the topic of myths and fairytales, and how the stories portrayed a message or lesson to pass on to the next generation. The assignment task was to write and illustrate a story that embedded a lesson relevant to our societal paradigm. In completing the assignment, I wanted to pass on the message that differences can be beneficial, and that no-one should be judged based on their appearance of being different. I was inspired by authors such as Beatrix Potter and A. A. Milne, with their use of animal characters to portray their stories. Having a love of animals myself, I wanted to use animals in my story to spread a message of hope, kindness, and reconciliation. I also followed the commonly heard writer’s advice of “write what you know” and incorporated some of my own experiences of being considered different, spending time alone; as a result, then receiving acceptance.

Over the years, since the original high school assignment, The Silver Tabby has been redrafted and revamped, but the inspiration and passion in telling the story have remained the same. I believe that passing on the message of accepting others for who they truly are, and not enforcing sameness, is an essential lesson to teach our future generations.

Are you a cat person or a dog person (I’m guessing a cat person)? Do you have any pets that this story was based on?

I would say that I am an animal person in general, not specific to being a cat person or a dog person. However, I have had both animals as pets in the past as well as guinea pigs, and most recently, rats. I’m the type of person who will go for a walk and rescue a lost or injured animal or will visit an animal shelter and want to adopt all the animals to make sure they have a happy, loving, and safe home.

When I originally started writing The Silver Tabby, I had a short-hair silver tabby cat named Silver who the main character of the book is based on. The real Silver was born from my families’ then neighbour’s cat, who had chosen the enclosed area where our hot water tank was stored, below our Queenslander-style home, as a warm, safe place to birth her litter of kittens. The kittens were a mix of tortoiseshells, ginger tabbies, and black furred kittens; Silver was the only silver tabby. Our neighbours called Silver’s mother, Mama Cat. Mama Cat would lead the kittens between our house and the neighbour’s; Silver would venture away from the litter and come inside our house and make herself comfortable while I read. I think Silver really ended up adopting me rather than the other way round.

I loved the illustrations in this book. What was the collaboration like between you and the illustrator Grace Elliott?

Grace is fantastic to work with; I would recommend any author seeking an illustrator for their children’s book to look Grace up on Instagram. Initially, I showed Grace a draft of the text and concept of illustrations that I had drawn years ago for the high school assignment; and later digitally remastered for a later draft. Then Grace worked her magic on the artwork for The Silver Tabby. I feel I made the right decision collaborating with Grace, rather than illustrating the story myself. Grace’s artwork compliments the text and sets the scenes of the story, bringing the characters to life, in a way that I couldn’t have done myself.

As an artist, Grace was willing to accept feedback and advice from other artists, as we amended drafts, and she shared my vision as the author for how the book might look as a finished product. Most of our collaboration was done online, as I spent a lot of the last year moving intercity and overseas, Grace was very patient and understanding throughout every pause and readjustment that was made during the production of The Silver Tabby. I am very grateful to have had Grace onboard for the project, and would gladly work with Grace again.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I have a couple of concepts that I am working on at the moment. Another illustrated book that poetically portrays the epic clash between Heaven and Hell. I expect this book will be available within the next year or two. The other concept is a romantic story of undetermined length, and availability, at this stage; although I anticipate the story to evolve into a novella if not a novel.

Author Links: Website | Facebook | Instagram

The Silver Tabby by [Higgins, Rachael]

The Silver Tabby is about a kitten named Silver who struggles with being different from the other kittens in her litter.

Then one day, Silver manages to become the same as the other kittens. Excited to meet a new friend, all the kittens play happily together. But, Silver’s disguise does not last long.

When the other kittens discover their new friend is Silver, will she still be accepted?

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A Dark Side of History

Micah Genest Author Interview

Micah Genest Author Interview

The Land of Ick and Eck follows Harlot’s strange encounters as she travels through a strange land. What was the inspiration for the setup to this intriguing story?

I’m fascinated by children’s stories that are strange and make you think, “Wait, What? Haha, did that just happen?!” Victorian literature for children, as well as older versions of fairy tales, are where I found inspiration for the setup up of this book; they so often make you take a step back, laugh, think, and then continue on with curiosity. These stories can sometimes be whimsically mature, exploring violence, sexuality, and/or morality in creative, imaginative ways. Not treating children like delicate sugar-flakes and allowing for such content adds so much depth to the meanings and understanding of the stories, something I have found difficult to come across in modern children’s literature.

So when I started writing, I wanted it to be something that that gave me similar feelings to when I read older, bizarre fairy tales. I wanted it to take place in a strange world, where things were non-sense, but also made sense if you had the knowledge to understand what was happening, especially when the reader becomes aware of the innuendos. Like many episodic folkloric tales, there is much more than what lies on the service, multiple understandings; that is what I really enjoy about such types of stories. This is one of them.

The world that you’ve built is enthralling and curious to say the least. What were some sources of inspiration for when creating this world?

Reading literature about/from the faerie, medieval, Georgian, and Victorian world was where some of my inspirations came from. I would often find myself reading, for example, faerie lore and tales, medieval fabliaux and chivalric romances, and strange episodic stories that involve children, such as Jerzy Kosiński’s The Painted Bird (a modern tale). I wanted to create something like Frank Baum’s The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and Lewis Carol’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, but darker and with more macabre and questionable situations.

The realm of Ick and Eck needed to somewhere that made sense not necessarily for the human world but in the faerie world. It was to be a place that the mind of an imaginative child could easily follow and bring to life, but for adults, things might seem a little off (unless they still have the child within them). It needed to be absurd, but penetrable if you put yourself in a different sort of mind-set. To get this inspiration, I often found myself delving into the artworks of Brian Froud and other artists who have continued to add to the world of faeries and fantasy, also mixing them with some of my other interests.

One of those curiosities was religion. There are many religious characters in the book, ranging from the fat-Friar, empty moon creatures, Crowned-Alter-Fops, gluttonous monks, to name a few; I enjoy studying Abrahamic religious texts, traditions, as well as medieval stories of how clergy use power to control others. Several scenes in the book comment on these injustices, but they are mixed in with the faerie world to create a more folkloric feeling. Truth be told, no hesitation of satire was taken.

Another source of inspiration was the study of medieval and Victorian prostitution. As a reader would observe, the protagonist’s name is Harlot; yes, the story does indeed explore the ideas of a dark side of history, as well as a subject very much alive today. From the exploration of courtly love and the desperate knights in need of a doctor’s (i.e. a beautiful woman) cure to save them from love sickness, to the poetic grocery-list like booklets of women found in Harris’s List of the Covent Garden Ladies, these studies were an essential backbone and driving force of inspiration. The story is a critique of this behaviour. It is meant to bring light to a subject so many people want to hide.

The introduction of the book lays this out:

  • Into a land of fantasy
  • With haste we cast them all aside
  • No tearing if you cannot see
  • That is what we all make-believe

My list of inspiration could keep going on, so I will stop before I get carried away even more.

Harlot is a curious and innocent character that I found endearing. What were some driving ideals behind the character?

I wanted to create a character that constantly found interest in novel things, while at the same time never really learns much from their experiences. Even after Harlot is assaulted at the beginning of the book (i.e. her blue flower), deceived, used, and treated as inferior, she continues on. Some say this might be a weakness, others a strength, that is for the reader to decide.

I have found it quite funny though, how some people really like Harlot, while others really do not. Some like her curious and innocent perspective, while others think she is rude and inconsiderate, and do not want their children to read about her because she is a negative role model.

In any event, what drives Harlot is her curiosity, her unwavering innocence, and her ability to navigate such a strange place, the land of Ick and Eck. She is such a strong character, a feature I have seen in people who have been abused. I can never understand their strength. They are stronger than I could ever be.

What is the next book that you are working on and when will it be available?

I am currently working on a couple projects, but I am a very slow writer. It took me eight years to be contempt enough to pursue publishing The Land of Ick and Eck: Harlot’s Encounters. But in any event, I am working on a continuation to The Land of Ick and Eck, per say, following a girl named Perfume, as well in another section about Harlot. Each are separate and different stories, written in different styles, but in a way they meet together through common characters, situations, and absurdities.

I am quite excited about it, though I do not know how long it will take to complete.

Author Links: GoodReadsYouTube

The Land of Ick and Eck: Harlot's Encounters by [Genest, Micah]

A much too trusting Harlot finds herself in the preyful Land of Ick and Eck, a place where she encounters peculiar creatures that have the most awful intensions of the carnal sort. By happenstance, she finds the company of a Ground Faerie, a Wood and Water Nymph, and a Butter-Maiden to assist her (sort of) along the way.

But Alas! How the outlandish figures are quite the handful, ranging from the likes of Spriggans, the-man-with-a-can-for-a-head, Jaw Skins, to Alter-Fops, a knight of courtly love, and a Nigwig (to name a few). Thankfully, there are moments of repose, such as those with the band of eunuchs with sacs on their heads, the beautiful Milk-Maidens, and the adventures within the Faerie Ring.

Though the bombardments continue to pursue her, Harlot’s innocent temperament, irrational faith, and devotion to feeding her curiosity provokes her forward, and thus her true strengths are revealed within the Land of Ick and Eck.

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The World’s Greatest Mousetrap

The World's Greatest Mousetrap by [Fegan, B.C.R.]

Mice don’t grin. Mice certainly don’t chuckle. Or do they? For dear old Reginald, devoted reader and shopkeeper, a grinning mouse in his bookshop simply won’t do. Children and adults alike will delight in reading along as Reginald makes several hapless attempts to catch the cleverest mouse of all time in B.C.R Fegan’s The World’s Greatest Mousetrap. Will Reginald’s madcap quest to construct increasingly elaborate traps succeed in catching one tiny mouse, or, will he end up catching his customers instead!?

In this warm and humorous tale of determination and unlikely friendship, Fegan offers a look at what could happen if humans let go of preconceived notions and open their minds to new ideas. Fanny Liem’s illustrations are instantly engaging for children and, importantly, intriguing for adults. Readers’ will enjoy Liem’s drawings and Fegan’s writing of the distinctively bespectacled Reginald as a slightly zany and lovable bibliophile whose expressive eyes tell of excitement, resolve, and kindness. Fegan has a knack for turning a small story in a small setting into a laugh-out-loud epic battle between mouse and man. Can you guess who wins? This is a cozy, funny, and heart-warming tale for all ages.

Pages: 44 | ASIN: B07PB4NHBY

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The Land of Ick and Eck: Harlot’s Encounters

Harlot is mostly driven by curiosity and a desire to find interesting things. Like those blue flowers she loves so much. Harlot’s Encounters in the Land of Ick and Eck is a dark children’s story. Harlot walks through this mythical world and often finds ‘friends’ to walk the distance with her. Typical of all children, she makes friends quickly. Often voices her thoughts. She does not seem to understand the concept of fear even when she is encased in a dome with rising temperatures. It is interesting to look at life from such a perspective.

This is definitely a dark fantasy children’s story, but not too dark though. It would make for an interesting and wonderful Halloween pick. Micah Genest does a great job of painting vivid pictures. Even with actual painted pictures within the book. The book provides more than enough material for the reader with an active imagination to set the mental scenes. Very colorful and delightfully sinewy characters. Each with a quirk of their own. Perhaps the biggest take for an adult in all this is the way all the characters just move together despite being vastly different.

Harlot is typical of any kid, really. She’s innocent and looks at the world into which she is cast with pure interest and curiosity. Never judging anything and anyone. She is very trusting with almost blind optimism. Most children who read this book will understand her desire to follow voices and strange creatures. This book reads a lot like a dream. With vivid pictures and whimsical occurrences.

Oh my, the songs and chants. Imagine how fun it would be to try this out at a Halloween sleep over. They are so interesting and fun to follow. They almost take the gloom out of this decidedly morbid tale. This could very well be my most liked parts of the book.

For a children’s book, the vocabulary is quite advanced and may prove challenging for children. However, this could be a good thing as it could be an exercise in building vocabulary. It could help develop an interest in learning and seeking out new words. It is doubtful that most children will read into the illustrations by John Bauer. See them as more than just pictures. You never know though, this could be another fun exercise for these malleable young minds.

This book may be aimed at children but adults will enjoy it too. It reads like a children’s book but the plot and writing itself are excellent. This book reminds me of the children’s book, In A Dark, Dark Room: and Other Scary Stories. Fascinating, morbid, curious, and I couldn’t stop thinking about it.

Pages: 208 | ASIN: B07MXPYLJ7

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Journey to Osm: The Blue Unicorns Tale

Journey to Osm follows the story of Blue, a young unicorn with a big destiny. Blue is part of a tribe of unicorns going extinct under the harsh rule of an evil sorcerer. A prophecy foretells that Blue will save them but when he is born without metal in his horn, and thus without magic, all hope is lost. When Blue comes of age at 12, he is faced with destiny but how can a magicless unicorn have any hope of saving his tribe?

The book is a fun and unique YA fantasy novel. I really loved the unicorn-centric view of the story. Unicorns are often left out or less significant in fantasy stories, and I think this is a waste of a fun and interesting creature. Author Sybrina Durant furthers this by taking an intriguing twist and really exploring the magic of the unicorns as well as what unicorn civilization looks like. I really loved the world she created with the metal symbol of magic and the hierarchy that creates and the different powers that the magical unicorns possess. With an evil sorcerer, a prophecy, a fight against good and evil, this all adds up to an imaginative and exciting fantasy world.

The plot of the book is that of the underdog character finding strength against evil. Blue is a very sympathetic character through this journey as he is young, sweet, and very strong-willed. From the very beginning of the book you can see how hurt he is that he doesn’t think he can save his people, reciting his mantra ‘No Metal, No Magic.’ But even with this, he does not give up. He trains hard even when he thinks there is no chance. This self-determination in the café of certain failure really endeared Blue to me as a character. Silubhra was also a character that I grew very fond of as she was so compassionate and kind. There are a lot of characters in the story, but I think the author did a good job of making them unique and interesting and I liked how we get to see multiple perspectives.

This book is an exciting fantasy story. Filled with adventure, magic, love, loss, hope, action, and destiny. The story came together well and kept me engaged in the plot from beginning to end. The book is a great read, particularly for young adult readers who love fantasy stories.

Pages: 353 | ASIN: B07LDKX25N

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Really Real

Ellie G. Collins Author Interview

Ellie G. Collins Author Interview

Mylee in the Mirror explores young romance and school drama with an infusion of Greek Mythology. What were some themes you wanted to continue from your first book and what were some new ideas you wanted to explore?

Well, in Daisy, Bold & Beautiful I wanted to create a situation for my main character that would demonstrate the same moral of the story that I find within Persephone’s story – it is important to stand up for yourself. The story in Mylee In The Mirror is very different, but I arrived at it in the same manner – I wanted a story that would demonstrate the moral of the story I find in Aphrodite’s story – you can’t force someone to love someone else. I hope to do that with all the books in this series – decide on a moral of the story for each god/goddess featured in the book and create a story that demonstrates that moral.

I enjoyed Ty and My’s characters and interactions. What was the inspiration for their relationship?

Hmmm… well, I didn’t really have a specific relationship in mind when I was writing it. I developed each character (for instance, Ty is loose combination of my [real life] Trampoline & Tumbling teammate, Ty, my dad, and my brother, Will), then had them interact the way I imagined those characters would interact with each other. I have a friend, Peter, who I joke around with, kinda like Mylee and Ty joked around together, but My & Ty were friends longer than Pete and I have been and they’re closer than Pete and I are.

How has your writing developed and changed from book one in your Greek Mythology Fantasy Series?

I don’t know exactly how my writing developed and changed from Daisy to Mylee, but this book was really different to write because Daisy was all about 6th graders and I was a 6th grader when I was writing it, so I could really relate to what they were doing and how they were acting. Mylee is about ninth graders AND Ty was my first male main character. Obviously, I don’t know anything about being a boy, and certainly not a 9th grade boy, so I had to talk with my brother quite a bit to decide what Ty would do and how he would act. I also talked quite a bit with my mom about the two moms in the story and Grammy Jean. Grammy Jean was based on my real-life great grandmother, who passed away last winter. The character wasn’t exactly like my Grammy Jean, but pretty close. So, I guess I can say I worked more and worked harder this time trying to understand motivations to make the characters feel really real, know what I mean?

What are you currently writing and when will it be published?

I’m just starting work on book 3. This will feature my first god (instead of a goddess), and the main character will be a boy this time. I hope to be done with it sometime this spring, so hopefully it’ll be published sometime in the summer. I’ve been busy, though, because this is competition season for both my gymnastics team and my tramp & tumble team. Last weekend we traveled down to Oregon for a meet and this weekend we fly to Reno, Nevada for another one. Between all that and school there isn’t a ton of time for writing, but I’m really anxious to share this next story, so I’ll find the time! 😊

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Mylee in the Mirror (Greek Mythology Fantasy Series Book 2) by [Collins, Ellie]

Freshman year is just starting, and already Mylee fears her family is falling apart. She’s not interested in dating or any of the high-school drama it brings, but that’s just what she gets when Sam, the most popular guy at school, invites her to the Homecoming dance. Mylee needs advice, so she summons Aphrodite, Goddess of Love and Beauty, her secret confidant.

Tyler is worried about Mylee, his best friend and teammate. Already sad about her family woes, he’s livid that Slimeball Sam is trying to ooze his way into her life. And she seems to be falling for Sam’s act! Worse, Ty is worried all this attention from such a popular guy will place Mylee officially out of his league.

What does an ancient Greek goddess know about modern teenage romance? Can My and Ty save their friendship and discover what matters most?

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