Legend Seeker. Part-time Ghost Hunter. Time Traveler.
Thirteen-year-old Rose Skylar sneezed a magical storm cloud at birth, and it’s followed her around ever since. But when “Stormy” causes one too many public disasters, Rose is taken to Heartstone, an asylum for unstable magic. Its location? The heart of a haunted forest whose trees have mysteriously turned to stone.
They say the ghosts are bound to the woods … then why does Rose see them drifting outside the windows at night? And why is there a graveyard on the grounds filled with empty graves? Guided by her future selves via time traveling letters, Rose and Marek—best friend and potential figment of her imagination—must solve the mystery of the specters and the stone trees before the ghosts unleash a legendary enemy that will make their own spooks look like a couple of holey bed sheets and destroy Heartstone Asylum.
Letters from the future are piling up. Rose can’t save Heartstone herself. However, five of herselves, a magical storm cloud, and a guardian angel who might very well be imaginary? Now that’s a silver lining.
But will they find what killed the ghosts before what killed the ghosts finds them?
Oh, the joys of being your own babysitter! Self-employment had never tasted so sweet. Yes, lack of pay was a slight disadvantage, but why would a girl be counting coins when she could be counting the steps from her house to the heart of a forbidden forest?
Of course, just because she was her own babysitter didn’t mean she was alone strolling the backwoods of her family’s estate. Rose was never alone, not with the little gray storm cloud following her wherever she went. Inside, outside, in the bathtub or in bed, there it was dripping raindrops like a runny nose. Lightning combed her curls till every strand was a live wire and the thunder…well, like most uncomfortable noises, thunder picked the absolute worst times to crack. Her storm cloud was, without any competition, the biggest nuisance in the domain of Chunter Woods.
Gosh, she loved that thing.
“I’m a good babysitter, aren’t I?” Rose asked her storm cloud. Stormy considered this, fluttering in thought, and patted her head affirmatively. Her hair poofed like a kernel of popcorn. “Thought so.” She nodded in satisfaction.
She really was a good babysitter. Qualified in all babysitting necessities such as storytelling, how to open child safety locks, and—“Can we do that thing where you sock someone in the stomach when they’re choking?”
Stormy swooped, ramming between her ribs with the force of a fist. She belly-flopped on the ground, supplies spilling out of her rucksack. “Good,” she wheezed. “Good to know.”
About the Author:
Kristiana Sfirlea is a writer of MG fantasy involving time travel and things that go bump in the night.
As an author, Kristiana knows what it means to get in character. She spent five years volunteering as a historical reenactor and trying her best not to catch her skirts on fire as a colonial girl from the 1700s (leading cause of death at the time next to childbirth). Working at a haunted house attraction, she played a jumping werewolf statue, a goblin in a two-way mirror, and a wall-scratcher — so if she’s standing very still, growling, checking her reflection, or filing her nails on your wall, be alarmed. Those are hard habits to break.
A proud homeschool graduate, Kristiana credits much of her development as a writer to her schooling experience, which also helped her combat a learning disability, dyslexia, and clear the path for her love of reading. Inspired by a local oddity, the Sweetreads Bookmobile, Kristiana dreams of the day she can run her own mobile bookstore. Or haunted house attraction. Or both. Look out, world — here comes a haunted bookmobile! (And this is precisely why writers should never become Uber drivers.) She loves Jesus, her family, and imaginary life with her characters.
When Lochlann becomes nervous about his upcoming Rite of Wands ceremony, his older brother, Mierta McKinnon, reassures him everything will be okay. But when Lochlann staggers out of his ceremony and refuses to use magic, Mierta is determined to find out why.
Meanwhile, the kingdom of Vandolay is under attack by a dangerous, unidentified creature, and Mierta’s father, Mortain McKinnon, requests his son’s assistance to help aid the injured.
But the people of Vandolay aren’t the only ones Mierta must save when someone he holds dear comes face-to-face with the creature and their life hangs in the balance.
Now Mierta must draw upon his strength and his newly acquired magic skills to defeat a dangerous foe and save everyone from death.
Today I’m fortunate to present Rob Davies, author of The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd.
Hi Rob, thanks for agreeing to this interview.
Question 1) What part of the world do you come from?
I live in Washington state now, but I was born and raised in a small town called Niles, southwestern lower Michigan
Question 2) What do you think makes a good story?
An argument could be made in lots of areas, but for me the essential element is an engaging and believable character or characters. Storylines will likely follow a more or less predictable path according to genre, but a compelling character the reader connects with (and will invest emotional capital willingly) is often the mechanism that keeps a reader turning the pages.
Question 3) What inspired you to write your first book?
I waited a long time before taking the plunge, but to be honest, it was curiosity. I wanted to find out if I was “publishable” and capable of writing stories anyone would enjoy reading. My mother was a librarian and always encouraged my scribblings in childhood, so credit to her for igniting the fire.
Question 4) What is your work schedule like when you’re writing?
On the fly and rarely according to a comprehensible schedule. I still work a day job, so writing is limited to evenings and weekends. The creative force often runs in peaks and valleys, which limits production as well. I hear others insist that writing even a few lines every day is important. Not to me. I write when I have something worthy of writing. I edit differently than I write, which is much more disciplined in terms of time management. Dreaming up stories is a scattered, ‘ride the wave while you can’ proposition in my experience.
Question 5) What would you say is your interesting writing quirk?
I can write with music in the background, but it has to be instrumental or orchestral only – no vocals. I prefer looped music, or extended versions (video game ambient music is great for this purpose). Also, I can’t seem to type “this” on the first try – it always starts out as “shit” and has to be backspaced and typed again. I don’t suffer dyslexia, so no idea where that eye-to-hand problem came from.
Question 6) Give us the title and genre of your latest book.
The Seventh Life of Aline Lloyd (paranormal romance)
Question 7) What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?
How much I thought I knew about history that, as it turned out, I didn’t. Research hours to writing hours is always a disproportionate ratio slanted toward research, and I considered myself quite versed in the historical elements I needed to tell the story. I was wrong, and that was both surprising and humbling.
Question 8) Do you have an excerpt from your current work you’d like to share?
My new neighbor’s interest was obvious, but not as clear was her goal. Vienne said it was terrible of me to say but I felt uneasy at the prospect of a mental patient lurking on the edges of my property. In simple terms, I wondered what the hell she wanted. “Treat her like any other,” Jeremy had cautioned, but that’s not so easily accomplished if she isn’tlike any other.
It seemed useless to worry about it, and I resumed my slow property walks, establishing from Jeremy’s map the neighboring property line I was determined not to violate. Damon’s investment was a rough, dogleg parcel matching the contours of our road on the western side and those of the hill separating it from Aline Lloyd’s farm to the east. It was getting late in the day, but splendid sunbreaks made for a nice stroll through the trees when I decided to aim downhill toward the southeastern corner and the limits of my modest domain.
The ground levels for a while with space between the groves where sunlight splashed across gathered leaves and twigs. I moved through them, dry and rustling with each plow of my boot, uncaring for the noise that echoed beyond. I remember being charmed at the notion of becoming a gentleman farmer until I saw in tangible terms what the process would demand. Taking out the underbrush alone would consume a summer, I reckoned, and that meant time I didn’t want to spend. It wasn’t long before my fanciful idea died out under the weight of cold reality, and standing on a decent-sized plot of land that was suddenly mine brought a strange calming effect I couldn’t help but notice. I bathed in it for a while until the daydream changed abruptly when I could hear the thump of my own heartbeat.
There was no reason or cause; I was at peace, alone and content in that solitude. I didn’t know why—not back then—but I turned left slowly and looked at a precise spot halfway up the hillside. Of course, she was there, motionless and watching me through the trees. She hadn’t made a sound and my line of sight was focused in the opposite direction, but somehow, I knew just where to look.
There is an interesting effect that happens in the ocean when predators hunt the shallow waters of a reef. Sea animals make noise—clicks and pops, squeaks and gurgles—and it is unexpected if you’ve never heard it. I marveled at a sound, shouting out the power of life, while snorkeling ten feet deep along a cliff of coral in the tidal channels of Takaroa when suddenly the water around me changed and went quiet when a sleek, gray shark moved through, perhaps compelling the subordinate creatures to silence (and survival). In the sunlight that poured on an angle through the trees, I felt like that as I stood perfectly still, looking only at her. Was I predator or prey?
I decided to offer a test, an unexpected action that might provoke an interesting response. Instead of a shout or another idiotic wave, I knelt down in the leaves and leaned over a bit to prop myself up with an outstretched arm as one might in the park on a summer afternoon. Would she return a gesture of her own, I wondered, or move down the hillside at the very least? Instead, she did nothing. A test returned in a silent war of wills? It was childish, but I wanted to see how far she would go. Could she be spooked if I called the bluff?
I looked away, only for a second, and when I turned back, she was gone. But as I grinned with a self-satisfied chuckle, a sudden, sharp noise like rocks being clapped together in a slow, deliberate cadence pulled me to my feet when I realized it came from the direction of my house. Without a thought, I sprinted across even ground and the spaces between trees, dodging them like a football player on a straight line for the opening to my weed-covered backyard. I could hear the clacking sound increase in its frequency, as though reacting to my pounding feet. Suddenly the direction changed, echoing downward from the north through trees to my right. As I drew nearer, and the roof of my house came into view, the air went suddenly and deathly still.
I paused where the ground levels off to catch my breath beside the remains of an old, fallen tree rotting on its side among the ferns. The odd sounds seemed frantic and hurried to draw attention but were now only a slight rustle in the leaves as a soft breeze wandered through. I breathed with relief those strange noises had not been made by uninvited visitors at my house. By habit, or maybe instinct, my eyes wandered from left to right looking for something—anything—to account for the sounds. Only the oaks, still holding their brown leaves tightly, looked back at me. The answer would stay hidden, it would seem, but I decided to move up the hill on my next foray to look around and find the source. A mystery to be solved, I thought to myself, but only for the moment.
As I turned to go, she stood in the open a few yards away, and I felt the hair on my neck standing in the shock and wash of adrenaline sudden surprise always brings. It was impossible she could have closed the distance so silently in a tangle of branches and dead leaves, yet she faced me without the slightest sign of fatigue or breathlessness. For a moment there was only the quiet of an undisturbed forest and an awkward pause until she spoke.
“Hello, Mr. Morgan,” she said.
“Evan,” I replied. “You must be Aline.”
Question 9) What can we expect from you in the future?
My next manuscript (WIP) is the third book in a sci-fi series and follow-on to my first two books, Specimen 959 and Echoes of Esharam. It will release in mid-2020. After an interesting exploration of romance and paranormal, I will return to my traditional sci-fi genre in the foreseeable future with a second Specimen Chronicles trilogy and two other, standalone novels.
Question 10) What was the best money you ever spent as a writer?
A Pleasure in Words, by Eugene T. Maleska
Question 11) How can we contact you or find out more about your books?
Enter to win paperback copies of Beauty Is The Beast and Pack of Freaks, 1 wolf plushie, a purple violin journal, and a music note tapestry.
Being alpha isn’t easy.
Gretchen wants a normal life: working in the salon, making music, and settling in with her new pack. If only her wolf side wouldn’t make decisions without her.
She survived betrayal and the fight for her freedom, so relationship issues and a group of fae-blooded circus freaks in her kitchen should be a breeze. But a plea from another pack and the exposure of the fae, including werewolves, to the human world just might tip the scale on her sanity.
Good thing she has good friends, a man who loves her, and music that soothed the savage beast.
Join Gretchen as she gives in to romance, discovers new truths about old friends, and embraces her role as alpha.
Meet Mackenzie Flohr, award-winning YA Fantasy author, at the Davison and Goodrich High School’s Holiday Arts & Crafts Shows. She’ll be signing copies of her novel THE RITE OF WANDS and THE WHISPERED TALES OF GRAVES GROVE.
☆¸.•*¨★☆ Howling Halloween Hop ☆★*¨*•.¸☆
Welcome to the Howling Halloween Hop.
We’ve teamed up with some amazing authors, blogs, and book world providers to share some amazing giveaways with you! All of us have joined together to also create a fabulous GRAND PRIZE GIVEAWAY!
Here’s what you need to do to enter:
Visit each Hop Stop and follow the instructions for entering their giveaway. You MUST visit each page and either enter their giveaway or comment hello on their post. When you’ve visited every stop, please go to the event page and comment on this post that you’re done. This is the ONLY way you will be considered entered for the grand prize. The grand prize winner will be verified!!
(we need an EASY way to create a master list of complete hoppers and this handles that)
-Hop Stops are open from 8am on 10/26 through 8pm on 11/1
-There are over EIGHTY stops on this hop. We recommend breaking up your hops into separate time chunks (we suggest 20 in a given hour), and then come back in another hour and do another 20, so Facebook doesn’t throw you in jail.
That’s it!! Not so hard, right??
The Grand Prize Giveaway winner will be announced on the event page on November 3rd.
Facebook is not responsible for any prizes or the draw.
Each page is responsible for their own page giveaway and the drawing of their winner. Amanda Walker PA & Design Services is only responsible for the administration of the Hop and for the drawing of the major prize draw.
In celebration of author, Toi Thomas’ birthday, on October 21st, all her ebooks are on sale $0 – $1.99 from October 20th – October 24th. All her books are also available in print and come with reasonable shipping through Createspace.com, if you don’t have Amazon Prime. Check out her books below and then stick around for Toi’s Top 5 Angel Books and giveaway.
Legend of the Boy, In the Window, and Other short stories – sale$0.99 | Createspace $9.99
Collection of multi-genre stories including science fiction, romance, and paranormal. The first title story is that of a boy who must destroy the world so he can save humanity.
It’s Like the Full Moon – sale$1.99| Createspace $14.99
A romantic comedy and the first in a series. The mild-mannered Rebecca gets caught up in a most unlikely love-triangle and her BFF Lisa isn’t much help.
Eternal Curse: Giovanni’s Angel – sale $1.99| Createspace $14.99
Giovanni’s a creature out of time. Mira’s a doctor trying to classify him. Beauty and the Beast meet Jekyll and Hyde in this paranormal romance with biblical influences.
40 DAYS AND NIGHTs OF ETERNAL CURSE- a nonfiction companion guide to the novel- saleFREE| Createspace $5.99
A family saga that touches the past and future. Giovanni’s story will bring you to tears as loss and duty blur the lines of hope for what is to come.
BATTLEGROUND SURVIVAL 101- a nonfiction companion guide to the novel- saleFREE| Createspace $5.99
Chip and Skip Need Each Other – sale$0.99 | Createspace $9.99
What Does Joe Need – sale$0.99 | Createspace $9.99
These two simple, yet vibrant, stories teach young children, and those with special needs, the difference and importance of needs and wants, at home, school, and overall. Sold separately.
Plants and Animals Change Over Time – sale $0.99 | Createspace $9.99
Land Changes Over Time – sale$0.99 | Createspace $9.99
These two simple, yet vibrant, stories teach young children, and those with special needs, the importance and inevitability of change in living things and the world. Sold separately.
Hi there; I’m Toi. If you aren’t familiar with me yet, don’t worry; this is your chance to learn that I love Batman, Betty Boop, Star Wars, and Angels. I like all kinds of angels. Good ones, bad ones, and creatures with wings that look like angels but may not actually be. I don’t think it’s just a matter of wings either. There are other winged creatures I like, such as dragons, but there are also some I don’t like such as flying monkeys or seagulls. LOL! But seriously, I’ve grown a fondness for angel lore and stories about and or containing angel-like creatures. Heck, I even write about them in my Eternal Curse Series. While my books are influenced by Bible tales, a great many angel stories are not. Either way, if it’s about angels, I’m probably going to like it. So, here’s a list of the Top 5 angel books (or books with an angel or angel-like character) I’ve read in at least the last ten years, and in no particular order.
If you like angels or supernatural and urban fantasy stories, you should enter my paperback giveaway (open to US only) of the books mentioned above. I’ve enjoyed them and hope you will too. If you are looking for discounted print books with free international shipping, give Book Depository a try. Thanks for celebrating my birthday with me… And remember, book reviews are every author’s life force. 🙂