Monday, March 11, 2019

An Unexpected Escapade by Kandi J. Wyatt Cover Reveal and Guest Post

What’s in a Name?
            When Shakespeare wrote Romeo & Juliet, indie publishing must not have had the same struggles it does nowadays. He said, “A rose by any other name is still the same.” That doesn’t hold true for books. The name really does make a difference.
            The Myth Coast Adventures originally was called Mythical Creatures of Myrtle Beach. I wanted to focus on the mythology aspect and showcase where the story took place. Book 1 was titled Myrtle Beach Dragon at first and then became Myrtle Beach Adventure. I used my handy-dandy online thesaurus and looked up synonyms for adventure. I discovered escapade and exploit. So the following books used those words in place of adventure.
            However, when my editor finished book 1, she asked me if I was settled on the names. She didn’t think that the series title or the book names really set the tone for the trilogy. From her suggestions, I took Myth Coast Adventures and loved it. It fits the trilogy and showcases the mythology as well as its setting and what happens in each book—adventure. From there, she suggested An Unexpected Adventure. Again, I fell in love with it.
            Books two and three went through a couple of changes as evidenced in the earlier editions of An Unexpected Adventure. I switched up unexpected with unlooked-for and unintended and kept adventure. Again, my editor came to my rescue and suggested keeping unexpected and the original variations on adventure. So now I have An Unexpected Adventure, An Unexpected Escapade, and An Unexpected Exploit.
            To make matters even better the second and third book titles have verbs that coincide with them. Escapade is close to escape. That’s exactly what Ana wants to do in the book. She’s looking for a way to escape the pain and heartache that she’s going through. Exploit can also be a verb where someone tries to get something for their gain and another’s loss. In book three our villain who’s introduced in book two tries to exploit the realm of the mythical creatures. (Yes, we get to explore the world that Steria and Kajri come from in An Unexpected Exploit.)
            With that said, there is something special about a name, Shakespeare, and I’m very glad I have my editor and she piped up to give input into my book titles and not just the words in the stories. 

This Middle Grade Fantasy is releasing on April 9th!
Available for pre-order at just 99 cents now!

 Protect friendship, family or a creature that's not supposed to exist?
Ana and Daisy have been friends since third grade, but a rift in the space-time continuum in their little town may change that. When a unicorn waltzes into the pasture with Daisy’s appaloosas, a poacher, who will stop at nothing to gain the unicorn horn and its healing tears, shows up. Daisy is focused on saving the unicorn while Ana’s parents face sudden life-threatening health issues. When Ana learns about the healing tears, she’s forced to choose between friendship and her family’s health. 

Can the girls find the grace to compromise and save Ana’s parents and the unicorn?

Book 1 in the series, An Unexpected Adventure will be 99 cents from March 11 - 18.

GIVEAWAY Scavenger Hunt!
Visit all the blogs participating in the cover reveal to gather all the clues and win a prize, a felted unicorn and unicorn charms!!

Make sure you fill out this form to enter!

Kandi’s Bio:
Even as a young girl, Kandi J Wyatt, had a knack for words. She loved to read them, even if it was on a shampoo bottle! By high school Kandi had learned to put words together on paper to create stories for those she loved. Nowadays, she writes for her kids, whether that's her own five or the hundreds of students she's been lucky to teach. When Kandi's not spinning words to create stories, she's using them to teach students about Spanish, life, and leadership.

Other Books by Kandi J Wyatt:

Dragon’s Cure:   
Dragon’s Posterity:
 The One Who Sees Me: 

Friday, March 8, 2019

The Curse of Halim by Alfred M. Struthers

Genre: Middle Grade, Mystery
Source: I received a copy from the author to facilitate my review. The opinions expressed here are my own.

I have not found a single one of this author's books that I didn't fall in love with.  I love the idea of a bookcase that pops out books with clues  to solving a mystery. In this book a drawer in the bookcase pops open and Nathan finds a slip of paper. His friend and cohort Gina has been banned from hanging with him because of the danger they found themselves in the year before. Nathan is determined to solve this mystery even if Gina can't or won't help. When she see that he is up to something, she can't help but try to find out what it is. There is another issue at stake, a reporter who had lost her standing for her last coverage. She knows something is going on with these two kids and is determined to get the scoop to get back in her bosses good graces.

Nathan meets one of his grandfather's dearest friends and his daughter. This gentleman know all about the bookcase as does his daughter. There are secrets that even they are hiding from Nathan. Near the end of the book  Nathan learns his mother had a sister and she was murdered.  What if any is the connection to the bookcase?  You have got to read this to find out. 

Wednesday, March 6, 2019

Saving Ferris - Guest Post and Excerpt

By A.R. Kennedy

ISBN-10: 1718150709
ISBN-13: 978-1718150706
Independently published
Paperback: 394 pages
September 23, 2018, $9.99
Genre: Romantic Suspense

Also available for Kindle

After Cecilia’s husband dies, she’s forced to become Ferris’s caregiver, something she does not immediately warm to. But when his life is threatened by an intruder, she shoots the intruder to save the golden retriever. Police Chief Holden Owens thinks Cecilia acted lawfully, but few agree. The prosecutor feels that Cecilia has committed murder, not self-defense. In the eyes of the law, one can use lethal force to protect themselves and others, but not property. Pets are considered property. Holden loses his fight with the prosecutor and is now in a new fight—his undeniable attraction to Cecilia. Celebrity defense attorney Wyatt Sewell identifies a sympathetic defendant, a case he can win, and a way to garner more acclaim. When he learns of Cecilia’s motive, to save Ferris, he sees a blockbuster case that can set legal precedent. He forces the jurors to ask themselves— Is your pet property or family? Will saving Ferris's life cost Cecilia her freedom? And a second chance at love?

Guest Post

Any writer will tell you the importance of editing. (And the importance of a having a great editor. Thank you Lourdes Venard!). Editing consists of two elements — developmental editing (big picture review of your story and its structure and characters) and copy editing (basic level review for grammar and spelling). 

When I first started writing I had the naive notion that you wrote a book, you re-read it to review it and then you were finished. Oh no, there are so many more drafts than just that first one and the final one.  

I have no idea how many drafts I had of Saving Ferris. There was the first one, the one I sent to beta readers, the first one I sent to my editor, the edited one she returned to me, the second one with many changes I sent back to her, the second edited version, several proofread versions and then finally the final one, which I hope you read (and enjoy!)

Last week I was in Israel. For 12 days, I traveled around the country with a group who first started out as strangers. By the end, a few of us were friends. (Getting lost in an Arab market and repeatedly being mistaken for family will do that).

I’ve always loved to travel. Trips over the past few years have a new objective as I seek inspiration for a cozy mystery series, The Traveling Detective, that I am currently seeking representation for.

After becoming inspired at the Dead Sea for an upcoming novel is this series (Yes, I know it seems obvious that the fictional death would occur at the ‘Dead’ Sea but when the muse strikes, it strikes!), we were off to Qumran where the Dead Sea Scrolls were found. 

Per, ‘Among the Scrolls are partial or complete copies of every book in the Hebrew Bible (except the book of Esther).’ 
Our guide, Adina, gave us a thorough tour of the area and told us that many of the scrolls found are identical to texts in the Bible.
(The confirmed this. ‘Many biblical manuscripts closely resemble the Masoretic Text, the accepted text of the Hebrew Bible from the second half of the first millennium ce until today. This similarity is quite remarkable, considering that the Qumran Scrolls are over a thousand years older than previously identified biblical manuscripts.’)

I was astonished to learn this! Can you imagine copying manuscripts thousands of years ago in the desert? And not making mistakes? They didn’t have white-out, auto-correct, or extra paper to just start over. 
I’m a good typist but I still make a lot of mistakes. I cannot imagine the amount of mistakes I would make having to handwrite something, in the heat of the desert. 

While my fellow travelers were most likely overwhelmed by the scenery and the amazing find of the Dead Scrolls, I was reminded how much I am thankful for my MacBook and my editor!

Saving Ferris Excerpt     (First chapter)

Cecilia woke up. She’d never get used to the darkness of country nights. She rolled over to return to sleep and heard the noise that must have been the cause of the early wake-up call. A small yip from the window. She mumbled her displeasure and slapped her husband’s side of the bed.
“Joey, wake up.” No response. “Joey.” She reached for him again and found nothing but his cold pillow. A small yip again. “Dumb dog,” she mumbled. She was fully awake now, remembering why her husband’s side of the bed was empty. Why it would forever be empty. 
Cecilia sat up at the edge of the bed and hung her head. She no longer wanted to be in the empty bed. A low growl emanated from the dog. “Okay, Ferris. I’m coming.”
She snapped on a nightlight and shielded her eyes from the small, yet bright, light. In the city, she could have seen the bedroom without such an aid. Some people called it light pollution. Cecilia called it the life of the city.
She could make out the profile of Ferris, staring out the window onto their backyard. He stood tall enough that his head rested on the windowsill. She often found the golden retriever looking out any window of the house like this. Waiting for Joey to return, she assumed. She had done it for weeks too. 
But tonight, he stood at alert. 
“Do you want to go out or what? Remember, I’m not the one who likes you, so hurry up.”
He turned his head briefly and looked at her, then returned his attention to the backyard. “I am not taking you out in the middle of the night to chase a squirrel.” The backyard’s motion sensor light was on and she cursed the squirrel that must have triggered it.
She started to lie back down and return to her dreamless sleep. The dreams, in reality and in sleep, had disappeared with Joey. The call of nature diverted her and she headed to the bathroom instead. 
With the door to the hallway open and the rest of the house now available, Ferris took off and ran down the stairs. “I’ll take that as I got to go now too, woman.”
Putting Ferris’s bathroom needs before her own, she followed him downstairs to the kitchen’s sliding glass door, his exit to the spacious backyard. It was far more likely he’d have an accident than she and she didn’t want to spend the rest of the night cleaning up his mess.
She snapped on the kitchen light. Now that she was fully awake, the light no longer caused discomfort. She doubted she’d return to sleep again tonight anyway.
“Calm down,” Cecilia told the dog as she struggled to put on his leash. “I know Joey lets you run around but I’m not chasing you at two in the morning.” It was no surprise that Ferris continued to move. Listening was not his forte. It was how he got homed here. 
Cecilia finally got the camouflage leash on Ferris’s collar and opened the sliding glass door. Ferris squeezed through before she had it fully open, pulling her through as well. An alarm beeped and she reached for the doorframe to stop her momentum. “Ferris, come on!” 
Ferris had a lot of flaws but pulling her on their walks was not one of them. Holding the leash in one hand and firmly placing her foot over the doorframe, she quickly punched in the alarm code. The incrementally louder and faster beeping stopped. She stepped onto the patio and Ferris pulled her onto the backyard’s grass. “You really are a pain in the tush tonight.”
The motion light flicked on as Ferris pulled her into the middle of the yard. He stopped and surveyed what Cecilia figured he imagined as his kingdom. Again, he was in high alert. 
She looked around the yard but could only see as far as the backyard’s light illuminated. She couldn’t see the fence that ran around the acre of land. She couldn’t see her closest neighbor’s home. She couldn’t see anything but Ferris. And her breath in the cool night air. 
“What’s wrong with you?” She patted him on his back. Usually when she petted him on his back, he squirmed in glee. Tonight, she didn’t think he even noticed the touch. 
With the damp grass soaking through her socks, Cecilia wished she had put on shoes. The chill ran up her body and she regretted not putting on a jacket as well. Joey’s T-shirt and boxers did little to keep her warm. Hoping to generate a little warmth, she told Ferris, “Come on, one lap and we’re back in.” Several pulls on his leash yielded no movement. With no motion, the yard’s light flipped off. Suddenly engulfed in darkness, Cecilia let out a short scream. 
Ferris twirled around, yanking Cecilia with him. As the light flipped back on, Cecilia screamed again.

Alicia Kennedy

A R Kennedy was born and raised on Long Island, New York. (And no, she doesn't have that Long Island accent). The finale of her Nathan Miccoli Mystery series, the 8th in the series, is expected in 2019. 

When not working on her next novel, she works full time in healthcare to feed (and sometimes clothe) her two little dogs. Both are named after her favorite fictional characters from British entertainment, which few friends and neighbors understand. 

The Nathan Miccoli Mystery series is her debut series.
er next book, Saving Ferris, is expected September 2018.