#BadMoonRising Vinnie the Vegetarian by Victoria Zigler #childrensbooks #zombie

BMR isn’t just for adults. I always enjoy featuring books for a variety of ages, and this isn’t the first time this one has been promoted here. As a big zombie fan, I adore the idea of one being a vegetarian – what a twist! The author is certain she and her main character would get along – it’s a win/win for both of them. Welcome Victoria Zigler!

Would you rather dunk for apples or carve a Jack o’ lantern?

I’d rather carve a jack-o-lantern.  In fact, I carve one most years (even the years we lived several floors up in an apartment where no trick-or-treaters were even slightly likely to show up).  But I have issues with things being near my face, so the one time I did bob for apples I didn’t find it even slightly fun, and I’m definitely in no hurry to do it again.  So, I think I’ll stick to carving my Mr. Pumpkin-Heads, which is what each jack-o-lantern has been called since I wrote the poem “Mr. Pumpkin-Head” back in 2008.  And, just for fun, here’s the poem:

Mr. Pumpkin-Head

© 2008 Victoria “Tori” Zigler

In a pumpkin patch

Near a big red barn

Looking out over the fields

Of a very big farm

Lived Mr Pumpkin-Head

All day he’d sit in the pumpkin patch

Wishing he could do something good

“If only,” he said to himself one night

“Pumpkins could be more than just food.”

Then one day, when the air was chilly

And the trees were almost bare

Someone came to the pumpkin patch

Who’d never before been seen there

She was just a child – no more than six

With hair the colour of gold

Wearing a pretty little pink coat

To protect herself from the cold

She looked at Mr Pumpkin-Head

And all his friends in the ground

Then knelt beside Mr Pumpkin-Head

Making hardly a sound

She put her hand upon him

And smiling said, “You’ll do!

You’re coming home with me, you are.

I’ll make a jack-o-lantern out of you!”

And now…

In the window sill

Of a little house

Looking out of the window

Beside an ornamental mouse

Sits Mr Pumpkin-Head

His smile may be carved on

But inside he’s grinning too

For he thinks a Jack-O-Lantern is

A great job for a pumpkin to do

That’s why you’ll never see a pumpkin smile

As wide as Mr Pumpkin-Head

Candy apple or candy corn?

I’ve never had candy corn.  The closest we have over here is sweet popcorn that’s basically caramel or toffee sauce allowed to set on popcorn, and I’m not a huge fan of it to be honest.  I’m told candy corn is loads better, and it probably is, but I’m still going with candy apples, because I know I love those.

If you watch horror movies, are you the person who yells at the characters, covers your eyes, or falls asleep?

None of the above.  Well, unless I’m really tired, and then I might fall asleep, but that can happen with any kind of movie if I’m tired enough, even movies I love.  Usually though I’m the person sitting quietly observing, and sometimes also wondering what I’d do if I was the person currently on screen and in the same situation.  I’m not sure if it’s the writer in me, the fact I don’t find most horror movies scary, or something else, but it’s what I generally end up doing.  Don’t get me wrong, I love horror movies.  I just don’t see any reason to attempt to hide from what’s on the screen, and know the only thing yelling at the characters will achieve is to make me potentially miss hearing something that may be happening on screen (and since, being blind, I rely on my hearing to know what’s going on, that would be a very bad thing).

Would you and your main character get along?

I expect so.  Vinnie and I both love our veggies, so I’d have plenty of them on hand that he could help himself to if he showed up at my house, which would make him one happy zombie.  And not being zombie-chow would make me happy too; as I’m sure you can appreciate.  Both of us being happy while enjoying some fresh fruits and veggies sounds like getting along to me.  What do you think?

Which book have you read more than once?

There are several I’ve read more than once, some in particular I consider favourites so constantly re-read.  I’ve read the entire “Harry Potter” series so many times I’ve lost count.  In fact, I’m just finishing up my latest re-read of that series.  I’ve also read Michelle Pavers “Chronicles Of Ancient Darkness” series and her book “Dark Matter” a couple of times.  Oh, and Jean M Auel’s “Earth’s Children” series and Bernard Cornwall’s “Stonehenge” are favourites of mine I’ve read too many times to count as well.  There are others, but I think that’s enough to be getting on with.

What are you working on now?

The last two years haven’t been the best when it comes to writing progress for me, though I did manage to write enough poetry to publish some new poetry collections earlier this year.  I had some genuine reasons for a lot of the time, but then procrastination took over.  The result being that I’ve got a load of stories I’ve started, which I’d hoped to make decent progress on this year, but it hasn’t happened.  So, what I’m actually working on right now is tackling my procrastination issues, which formed when I let genuine reasons become excuses, and allowed too much time to go by before forcing myself to put my butt back in the chair and get to work.  The trouble is, I keep getting… Ooohhh… Shiny!

When Vinnie the zombie smashes his way in to the fruit and vegetable shop where six year old Annie is waiting in hiding for her Mother to come back for her, Annie isn’t sure what to do.  But Vinnie isn’t like other zombies.  A vegetarian in life, it looks like Vinnie may also be one in death, and it may not be Annie who’s in danger after all.

Purchase Link

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Vinnie-the-Vegetarian-Zombie-Audiobook/B07CX44QY6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/459076

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie-victoria-zigler/1119982818

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie/9781311948908-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie/id900774428

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie-unabridged/id1383256619

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

The Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/9781512324259

Author Bio and Social Media

Victoria Zigler is a blind vegan poet and children’s author.  Born and raised in the shadow of the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, she moved away from Wales three times: once to spend six months living in Alberta, Canada, the other times to spend a few years living near Hastings on the South-East coast of England, UK, each time returning to Wales.  Now she lives in Wales again, along with a chinchilla named Mollie, a West Highland White Terrier named Lilie, a Cavapoo named Logan, a Hermann’s Tortoise named Artemis, and her Canadian husband, Kelly.

Despite spending far too much time in hospital, and eventually losing her sight to Congenital Glaucoma, Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, with no plans to stop any time soon.  So far she has published 11 poetry books and 46 children’s books.  Tori is also a contributor of the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, as well as the Poetry Treasures anthology.  Additionally, her Hermann’s Tortoise, Artemis, was featured in both the Magnificent Pets Coloring Book For Children and the Magnificent Pets Mandala Coloring Book For Adults.

Vegan due to both a love for animals and dairy allergy, as well as an Eclectic Pagan, Tori describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world.  She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time, but is most likely to be found playing with her petkids, curled up somewhere with a cup of tea and a book, or trying to keep one step ahead of those pesky typo fairies while writing her own books.

Links:

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk

Blog: https://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/toriz

Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717

Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCakYxH7BNyc2Lxr1g1nbP9w

Find Tori’s books on…

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/profile/view/toriz

Amazon: https://www.amazon.co.uk/Victoria-Zigler/e/B00BHS9DQ6/

…Along with a variety of other retailers, such as Audible, iTunes, Kobo, and Barnes & Noble.

Tina Lost in a Crowd by Miriam Hurdle #NewRelease #childrensbook

Most of you will probably recognize today’s guest for her children’s books and poetry collections. I had the pleasure of reading her newest release and adored it. Welcome Miriam Hurdle!

Hi Teri, it’s wonderful to be here on your lovely blog. Thank you so much for your kindness to host my Book Release Tour and allow me to share my process from pen to publication with your readers.

The Making of Tina Lost in a Crowd, Part 5

Finding an Illustrator

I’m a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). On one blog post, it featured an illustrator and her work. I liked the style of her artworks, so I contacted her and got an idea of how much she would charge for the number of pages in my book and how long it would take to complete the job.

Some blogging friends recommended some websites with illustration services, and I checked them out. The illustrators charged by hours. They didn’t have a portfolio with sample artworks, so I couldn’t tell if I liked their style.

After much search and consideration, my decision was to search for an illustrator on fiverr.com. I could see the services they provide and their sample work. Some would provide limited, and some unlimited revisions.

I do watercolor painting and wish to illustrate my book, but I don’t do portrait painting. There are thousands of gigs out there, and it would take forever to scroll through all the pages to find one. I narrowed it down to watercolor, and children’s illustration, and got 660 services. It took me six months to find one I liked. I paid for one sample page and when I ordered the rest, it became part of my entire book.

After I accepted the sample page, I sent the story summary and the description of each page to her. She then sent me a few sketches at a time. I gave her my feedback and suggestions. She revised them and sent them to me. Sometimes I respected her creativity and approved them. But if they didn’t correspond with the story, I asked for further revisions until they were done to my satisfaction. It was a pleasant experience working with Victoria Skakandi.

Blurb

Tina invited her friend Erica to attend a popular Tchaikovsky’s Spectacular concert on a summer evening with her parents. During the intermission, her dad left the seat to buy some snacks. Tina and Erica followed him wanting to use the restroom. The shoving crowd pushed them away, and they lost sight of him. It would be impossible to fight through the 18,000 people to find him or go back to Tina’s mom. What would the girls do?

This story tells about what happened to Tina and Erica after they got lost. Children can adapt to the learning from different situations they may observe or encounter. Adults could have discussions with the children about the situations to help them develop problem-solving skills.

Purchase Links

Amazon.com: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B091M586M7

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w?ean=2940162309741

My Review It’s been years since I’ve read a children’s book – and I thoroughly enjoyed this charming tale. Tina just finished third grade and is looking forward to her summer and spending time with her friend. She and her mother plan a list of activities, something I did with my sons when they were little. The family decides to attend an outdoor concert at a large venue and bring along Tina’s friend Erica. It’s a scary, but very realistic situation when the two girls get lost during intermission. In the author’s note at the end of the book she mentions this event is based on a true story involving her own daughter – a parent’s nightmare! Luckily, Tina and her parents have talked about what to do if they were ever separated, something all parents should discuss with their children.

The illustrations are vibrant and colorful and go along well with the text. With summer coming up, this would be a fun story to read with children and would also spur conversations about what they would do in Tina’s situation. This is a book I’d highly recommend to parents and caregivers of young children.

About the Author

Miriam Hurdle is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators (SCBWI). She published four children’s books at twenty-six years old. Her poetry collection received the Solo “Medalist Winner” for the New Apple Summer eBook Award and achieved bestseller status on Amazon.

Miriam writes poetry, short stories, memoir, and children’s books. She earned a Doctor of Education from the University of La Verne in California. After two years of rehabilitation counseling, fifteen years of public-school teaching and ten years in school district administration, she retired and enjoys life with her husband in southern California, and the visits to her daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters in Oregon. When not writing, she engages in blogging, gardening, photography, and traveling.

Contact Miriam at –

Website/Blog: https://theshowersofblessings.com

Amazon Author’s Page: https://www.amazon.com/Miriam-Hurdle/e/B07K2MCSVW

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/17252131.Miriam_Hurdle

Twitter: https://twitter.com/mhurdle112

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Miriam-Hurdle-Author-100123351515424

#CoverReveal: The Cat That Changed America by Tony Lee Moral #childrensbooks

The Cat That Changed America is based on a true story, with an imaginative retelling for children, and illustrated by Louise Goves.

The book is scheduled for publication on October 22nd (P22 day in California) by Sabana Publishing.

Based on a true story with an imaginative retelling for young readers;
P22 mountain lion is born in the beautiful Santa Monica Mountains outside Los Angeles, California.  But he is forced out of the mountains by Prime, a fierce older male lion who wants him dead.  He heads east to stake out a new territory of his own in the bright lights of the big city.  Along the way, he makes friends as well as enemies, and crosses two freeways, the 405 and 101.  He passes through the City of Stars at night, and strolls down the Hollywood Walk of Fame, all the while trying to avoid those bothersome humans.  After more adventures, he reaches the edges of Griffith Park. Can he make it his new home?

“This is an interesting tale created around an actual mountain lion born in the mountains of California. His name is P22 which comes from the region where he finally settled. The author has created an intriguing story about this animal who did an amazing thing – he crossed two highways to get to the forest area where he wanted to make his hunting ground and new home. He included a few other animals in the story with whom P22 interacted – a couple opossums, llamas and his father. . . Children will enjoy reading about P22 and cheer him on as he strives to find a new home in spite of the dangers he must face.” – Janice Spina, Children’s author.

Amazon UK
Amazon US
Barnes & Noble

www.tonyleemoralbooks.com

www.thecatthatchangedamerica.com

www.ghostmaven.com

#BadMoonRising: Amanda in New Mexico – Ghosts in the Wind #childrensbooks #ghosts

Today’s author brings a book (a whole series!) for the younger crowd.  I think her spirit animal describes her perfectly, and these questions may have sparked ideas for two more books.  Welcome Darlene Foster!

Would you rather boogie down to Monster Mash or get your groove on to Thriller?

Although Thriller is a great song, I prefer dancing to Monster Mash. It’s from my youth and makes me think of high school dances and all the fun we had. Whenever I hear it, especially around Halloween, I always bop around the house, much to hubby’s embarrassment. I love the line, “Tell them Boris sent you.”

Would you rather be abducted by aliens or a serial killer?

Aliens for sure. They wouldn’t be quite as scary, at least I don’t think so. I imagine they would be friendly and not want to do me harm. They would probably just want to get to know me and how I functioned. I love making new friends from other parts of the world, or in this case, the universe.

Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or Ghostbusters?

Now that’s a hard question. I guess I would rather be part of the Ghostbuster’s team as they would be fun. Any team that includes Bill Murray would be a great team to be part of.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in the same setting, where would you choose?

What a great question. After thinking long and hard, I have decided I would pick Australia. Amanda would love it there and I would so enjoy doing research in that fascinating country. I might also take a trip over to New Zealand since I’m already in that part of the world. Gosh, then I would have material for two books! I’m so excited just thinking about it.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

I would chose the hummingbird as it symbolizes enjoyment of life and lightness of being. Things I have learned about the hummingbird as a spirit animal fit with me. Things like, adaptability and resiliency while keeping a playful and optimistic outlook, independence, resiliency and being able to travel great distances tirelessly. A hummingbird is small in size but capable of amazing feats. A hummingbird is a perfect spirit animal for me.

What are you working on now?

I just released Amanda in Holland – Missing in Action, book seven of the series. In the delightful country of Holland, Amanda searches for a missing gardener, rare tulip bulbs, a home for an abandoned puppy, and clues as to why her great-uncle didn’t return from the Second World War. Is she capable of finding these missing things without putting herself in danger?

I also have just completed the first draft of Amanda in Malta – The Sleeping Lady. Leah is in trouble so Amanda flies to Malta with Caleb and his family to help her. The island country is steeped in ancient history, unique buildings and even a fascinating movie set. Amanda is determined to find out who is shooting protected birds and to solve the mystery of the sleeping lady. Next project is to edit this book.

Amanda might be off to France next, but that’s a secret.

Thank you so much for having me participate in Bad Moon Rising once again. It is always so much fun. Happy Halloween everybody! I guess I better get out my Ghostbusters costume and bogey to the Monster Mash as I prepare for my trip down under.

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several fellow creative students. She shares a room with Cleo, an anxious classmate who insists she sees ghosts. Determined to prove there is no such thing, Amanda can’t seem to shake the feeling that something or someone is watching her.

Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit a rugged and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past.

Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere she goes?

Purchase Links

Amazon

Bio

Darlene Foster, a long-time dreamer and tale spinner, created the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old Canadian girl who loves to travel. All ages enjoy following Amanda as she encounters the unknown and unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. Darlene, an avid traveller herself, divides her time between Canada’s west coast and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes that dreams do come true.

Social Media

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter:  @supermegawoman
Instagram: @darlene6490
Website: http://www.darlenefoster.ca/
Blog: https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster
Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/DarleneFoster/e/B003XGQPHA/

#BadMoonRising: Vinnie the Vegetarian Zombie by Victoria Zigler #childrensbooks

During Bad Moon Rising, I also love to feature books for the younger crowd or those young at heart.  If you’re a regular at this blog, you know I’m a zombie fan (The Walking Dead season premiere is tonight!!!).  But suppose you’re a zombie who doesn’t eat meat?  Read today’s featured book by Victoria Zigler and find out how Vinnie deals with that particular situation.  Welcome Tori!

Would you rather walk through a haunted graveyard at midnight or spend the night in a haunted, abandoned house?

I’d rather spend the night in a haunted house, abandoned or otherwise.

I’ve lived in houses that are haunted, and not lost any sleep over it, but I find graveyards creepy, even in the daytime.  I’ve felt that way ever since I was a child, when we went to one to do headstone rubbings – by “we” I mean my entire class at school – and one of the boys grabbed my ankle while I was leaning over a grave to do a rubbing of its headstone.  I was about nine years old.  I had nightmares for several days after that, and I don’t think I ever fully got over it, since I still find graveyards more frightening than haunted buildings.

Would you rather be a vampire or a werewolf?

Despite my being vegan, I’d have to say definitely a werewolf.  Or some other kind of were creature.

For one thing, though I read a lot of vampire fiction, I like shifters more.  For another thing, I know what blood loss feels like, so am not in a hurry to either experience it myself again as a hungry vampire, or inflict it on another person.

Would you rather be part of the X-Files team or Ghostbusters?

 Oh, the X-Files team for sure!

First of all, X-Files is way better than Ghostbusters anyhow.  So there!

Secondly, the X-Files team gets to investigate all kinds of strange things, while the Ghostbusters are all about just ghosts.  I think it would be much more interesting to be part of the X-Files.  Scarier sometimes, sure.  But more interesting.

If you had the opportunity to live anywhere in the world for a year while writing a book that took place in the same setting, where would you choose?

Scotland sounds good to me.

I’m not too sure what I’d write, but I’d love to spend some time near Loch Ness, and it would be a good excuse to stay there for a while.  Then I could go check out some of the castles afterwards, and explore the Scottish highlands.

Plus, I need to go to John o’ Groats, since I’ve been to Land’s End in Cornwall, and they say if you’ve been to both, you’re allowed to say you explored the UK from one end to the other, and it would be cool to be able to say that.

As a writer, what would you choose as your mascot/avatar/spirit animal?

My mascot is my Westie boy, Castellan Keroberous – Kero for short.

Kero went over the rainbow bridge a little over five years ago, but he was special to me, and I use the publisher name “Keroberous Publishing” in his honour.  I also still consider him to be my author mascot, even though he’s no longer with us.  So much so, that I refuse to change my profile photos on my website, because they include him, and my official profile photo – used everywhere else – doesn’t.

How many unpublished and half-finished books do you have?

I’ve got some as yet unpublished poems written towards my next poetry collection, and about six stories I started during those times when I needed to write something, but couldn’t focus on the story I was meant to be working on.

This is actually unusual for me.  Not the poetry part, or even the fact I have more stories started, but the amount I have started… I don’t usually have more than about three on the go at any given time, including my main work in progress, but ended up with about seven.  Um… Oops.

Sorry, but… No.  I’m not telling you about any of them.  None are far enough along for me to be ready to talk about them yet.  You’ll have to wait and see.

At least, having FINALLY completed my pirate themed adventure story, “Voyage Of The Crimson Sail” – which will be available for purchase by the time this goes live – I’m now free to focus my attention on those other projects.

In fact, by the time you’re reading this, I will have hopefully made some progress with whichever of those I decided to pick as my new main work in progress.  If I don’t get too dis… Ooohhh… Shiny!

When Vinnie the zombie smashes his way in to the fruit and vegetable shop where six year old Annie is waiting in hiding for her Mother to come back for her, Annie isn’t sure what to do.  But Vinnie isn’t like other zombies.  A vegetarian in life, it looks like Vinnie may also be one in death, and it may not be Annie who’s in danger after all.

Purchase Links

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Vinnie-the-Vegetarian-Zombie-Audiobook/B07CX44QY6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/459076

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie-victoria-zigler/1119982818

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie/9781311948908-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie/id900774428

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie-unabridged/id1383256619

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

The Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/9781512324259

Bio

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids.  Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world.  She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.

To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future.  She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio.  She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Social Media

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: https://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: https://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler

 

#BadMoonRising: Amanda in New Mexico: Ghosts in the Wind by Darlene Foster #childrensbooks #supernatural

Today’s guest is the author of a wonderful series of children’s books.  Readers call them ‘delightful armchair travel’ and a ‘fantastic adventure’.  As a bonus – they’re educational!  Amanda in New Mexico touches on the supernatural, and that’s the book Darlene Foster shares with us today.  She also tells a Ouija board story that will send tingles down your spine.  Welcome Darlene!

You’re in a horror movie.  Are you the final person, the first to die, the comic relief, the skeptic, the smart one, or the killer?

I would be the comic relief. I’m usually the first one to crack a joke when things are tense. This can be annoying to some people who think it is no laughing matter.

Have you ever played with a Ouija board?

My aunt and I played with one when we were children. I didn’t think anything of it at the time. I do recall that my grandfather thought it was interesting and asked if he could have ago. He asked the board how old he would be when he died. It spelled out 78. He seemed content with that. He died at age 78 many years later. I have always assumed it was a coincident but now I wonder.

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?

I don’t think so. I get spooked quite easy. It would have to be a lot of money and I would have to be able to bring my hubby along and maybe my dog. Mind you, the money would come in handy. I may be able to collect material for another book. Ummm, I may have to think about this.

How do you develop your plots and characters?

I start with a location, usually a place that I have visited and found intriguing. Once I have the setting, I decide on an issue that a young person may encounter and work from there. I am a panster so the story develops as I write. Amanda is the main character and her personality develops with each book. She stays pretty well the same age but matures a bit as she travels and learns more about the world and herself. In Amanda in New Mexico-Ghosts in the Wind, she finds her disbelief in the supernatural challenged. I visited New Mexico and loved it, but there was certainly an air of something other worldly about. In particular when we stopped in at The St. James Hotel in Cimarron which is well known to be haunted. I said to my travel companion, “I have to include this in an Amanda story.”

What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

When I’m not writing I like to read, bake, walk on the beach, drive in the country, take my dog for walks, go for coffee with hubby and chat with friends. Of course I am always collecting ideas while doing these “non-writing” things.

What are you working on now?

The seventh novel in the Amanda Travels series, Amanda in Holland-Missing in Action, is completed, has been beta read and edited a number of times. It is now at the publishers and will be released in 2019 after a few more edits. While waiting for its release, I am, as we speak, working on Amanda in Malta, which is turning out to be a great adventure for my main character. Amanda has many more places to explore yet.

Amanda Ross is on a school trip to Taos, New Mexico with several of her fellow creative students. Join Amanda, Cleo and their funny friend, Caleb, as they visit an ancient and beautiful landscape where a traditional hacienda, an ancient pueblo, and a haunted and spooky hotel all hold secrets to a wild and violent past. Does Cleo really see ghosts? Can Amanda escape the eerie wind that follows her everywhere? Perhaps the Day of the Dead will reveal the mysteries of Taos in this latest adventure of Amanda’s travels.

Excerpt

She opened her mouth to scream. Her throat seized up and nothing came out. Amanda walked through the swinging doors into the restaurant. No one was there either. She went out a back door to the outside eating area and surveyed the empty tables and chairs. She stopped to listen. It felt like something was beside her. As she slowly turned to look, a huge bear leaned out a window holding a pie.
She opened her mouth to scream. Her throat seized up and nothing came out.
“What’s wrong with you, Amanda?” Cleo appeared from around a corner. “You look like you just had a run in with a ghost. Oh, that’s right, you don’t believe they exist.”
Amanda gave her head a shake. The window with the bear holding the pie was just a mural painted on the wall.
She laughed nervously. “For a minute I actually thought that bear was real. That’s a good painting.”
Cleo shrugged her shoulders up to her ears. “You thought the bear was real, but you don’t believe me when I tell you I see ghosts?”
“Where is everyone, anyway?” asked Amanda.
“They’re in the gambling room, listening to stories about the guys that have been shot here in this hotel. The boys think it’s cool but I think it’s depressing.”
“Did they talk about T. J. Wright, the cowboy from Room 18?”
“Oh, yes. Apparently, he harasses guests here all the time. But the ghost of Mary Lambert, who is called the protector, often chases him away. She doesn’t like her guests being upset. He sometimes goes into the room next to his and bothers whoever is in there. Room 19, I think it is. It used to be the room of Mary Lambert’s daughter.”
“Really?” Amanda paled. She remembered the rose scent in Room 19 and wondered if Mary Lambert had chased T.J. Wright away. That is if it was him, or rather his ghost, in the room with her.
Amanda flapped her hand. “No way! I don’t think so. It’s probably just a publicity stunt to increase business for the hotel.”
“Whatever,” mumbled Cleo.
The courtyard filled up with the other students.
“There’ve been some cool shootouts here.” Caleb walked over to the girls. “Have you two been ghost hunting? This would be the perfect place.”

Buy links

Amazon.com
Amazon.ca
Amazon.co.uk
Kobo

Author Bio

Darlene Foster has dreamt of writing books, travelling the world and meeting interesting people for as long as she can remember. It’s no surprise that she’s now an award-winning author of the exciting Amanda Travels series featuring spunky Amanda Ross, a twelve-year-old Canadian girl who loves to travel. Readers of all ages enjoy following Amanda as she unravels one mystery after another in unique destinations. An avid traveler herself, Darlene divides her time between the west coast of Canada and the Spanish Costa Blanca with her husband and entertaining dog, Dot. She believes it is never too late to make your dreams come true.

Social Media

Website www.darlenefoster.ca 
Blog https://darlenefoster.wordpress.com/
Facebook https://www.facebook.com/DarleneFosterWriter/
Twitter https://twitter.com/supermegawoman
Goodreads https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/3156908.Darlene_Foster

#BadMoonRising: Vinnie the Vegetarian Zombie by Victoria Zigler #childrensbooks #zombies #TuesdayBookBlog

Horror books aren’t just for adults – the tiny humans also enjoy thrills and chills.  The Goosebumps series by R.L. Stine has been popular for years, and author Neil Gaiman has penned a few.  Today’s guest is the author of a veritable library of children’s books and, as a zombie fan, her featured title is near and dear to my heart.  Welcome Victoria Zigler and her book, Vinnie the Vegetarian Zombie!

Vampires, ghosts, werewolves, or zombies – which would you least want to meet in a dark alley?

Well… Let me think…

Vampires and werewolves would be potentially tough to beat, and I know from experience that blood loss isn’t fun to deal with, but being turned in to either of those wouldn’t be too bad.  How dangerous a ghost is varies, so it’s hard to say whether I could just ignore it and it would go away, have a pleasant chat with it, or would end up becoming its victim (I wouldn’t mind the first two, but option three wouldn’t be much fun for me).  Zombies, on the other hand, would potentially be easier to beat, unless I was overwhelmed, but I’d really hate to end up becoming a zombie.  I could deal with becoming any of the other three.  But, for some reason, I really hate the thought of becoming a zombie.

I think I have to go with the zombie.  My survival rate in any of the cases is questionable, but at least it wouldn’t be too bad if I ended up joining the ranks of the vampires, ghosts, or werewolves.  So, I’d least like to meet a zombie in a dark alley.  Or even a light alley, to be honest.

If you were paid to spend the night in a haunted house, would you do it?

Yeah… Totally! Check out a haunted house, and make some extra money at the same time… Count me in!

In a zombie apocalypse, what is your weapon of choice?

For me personally? Knives.  Knives are a must.  I know it means getting close, which could be risky.  But I’ve got more chance of aiming right with a knife, and knowing I’ve done so.  Plus, you don’t have to take time to reload, hope you don’t run out of ammo before you run out of zombies, etc, which can be a potential problem for things like guns and bows.  Although, having said that, I wouldn’t mind also having a bow and arrows too.  I want a really good knife if I can only pick one weapon though.

 How do you develop your plots and characters?

Sometimes the characters will be my own pets, in which case I know them pretty well by the time I’m writing their story, so nothing needs to be done to develop their characters.  In those cases, I sit down with an idea of what the story will be about, and start writing, letting the plot develop as I write.  For example, “Where’s Noodles?” – the story I wrote and published earlier this year about our Westie, Lilie – was written with only two things in my mind when I sat down to write it: it was about our Lilie, and was a story about how upset she got when she couldn’t find her current favorite toy.

Other times the character will be one my hubby made as a potential unusual character for a roleplaying game.  My faerie dragons are perfect examples of that situation.  Hubby enjoys using the character creation systems and coming up with characters, whether he ends up playing the characters or not, so made me a couple of faerie dragons – which I named Caia and Draco – after I said it would be cool to play one.  Then I said I enjoyed writing about them, and wanted to do another faerie dragon story, especially since I was actually getting requests for more faerie dragons from people who read my book “Jinx And The Faerie Dragons” (where you can read Caia and Draco’s story).  So he created Zeena.  I was the one who named her again though.  He likes when I name the characters, especially since I have a bit of an obsession with names, so there’s usually some kind of meaning behind it that makes it fit the character.  Anyway, it was his giving her a mixture of abilities that covered the various elements that sparked the idea for my “Zeena Dragon Fae” series.  Again though, in this situation the plot will develop as I write.  I just have the character, complete with a list of their abilities and how they work, and an idea of what the story’s about.  Then I sit down and write it.

Other times I’ll just sit down and write, with only a vague idea in my head of who or what I’m writing about, and let both character and plot develop as I write.

As you may have noticed, the plot always just develops as I write.  I’m really no good at outlining plots, so letting that develop during the actual writing process works best for me.

What tools do you feel are must-haves for writers?

I know plenty of people say otherwise, but I don’t think you need more than a way to write, and a way to check spelling, grammar, etc.

Whether you write with a pen or pencil in a fancy notebook, write with an iPad or other tablet, or use a computer, you have what you need to do your first draft.  After that, you just need access to a dictionary, thesaurus, and some kind of grammar checking option, whether it’s books on the subject, the internet, or whatever.

As long as you have those things, you don’t need anything else.  At least, that’s my opinion.

What’s your work schedule like when you’re writing?

What is this schedule you speak of?

Seriously! I’m no good with schedules.  I’ve tried, but they never stick for long.

I have an unpredictable sleeping pattern, which means my writing time changes depending on when I sleep and how long for in general.  Add to that a young dog, which is kind of like having a toddler, since there’s no way I can do anything that demands a lot of my attention when she isn’t napping.  Throw in phone calls, people at the door, and all those other things that happen because people assume being at home all day automatically means you’re free all day, because apparently writing and publishing books isn’t work to most people… You get the point, I’m sure.

What it all boils down to is that I write when I can, based on when other things allow me to, but it somehow all works out in the end.  Well, most of the time, anyhow, since this year has been a bad one for writing time, due to some life stuff I’ve been dealing with.

When Vinnie the zombie smashes his way in to the fruit and vegetable shop where six year old Annie is waiting in hiding for her Mother to come back for her, Annie isn’t sure what to do.  But Vinnie isn’t like other zombies.  A vegetarian in life, it looks like Vinnie may also be one in death, and it may not be Annie who’s in danger after all.

Where to find the book:

Audible: https://www.audible.co.uk/pd/Children/Vinnie-the-Vegetarian-Zombie-Audiobook/B07CX44QY6

Smashwords: https://www.smashwords.com/books/view/459076

Barnes & Noble: https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie-victoria-zigler/1119982818

Kobo: https://www.kobo.com/us/en/ebook/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie

Chapters-Indigo: https://www.chapters.indigo.ca/en-ca/books/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie/9781311948908-item.html

iBooks: https://itunes.apple.com/us/book/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie/id900774428

iTunes: https://itunes.apple.com/gb/audiobook/vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie-unabridged/id1383256619

Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.co.uk/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/d/cka/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/1512324256/

The Book Depository: https://www.bookdepository.com/Vinnie-Vegetarian-Zombie-Victoria-Zigler/9781512324259

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/22753278-vinnie-the-vegetarian-zombie

About the author:

Victoria Zigler is a blind poet and children’s author who was born and raised in the Black Mountains of Wales, UK, and is now living on the South-East coast of England, UK, with her hubby and furkids.  Victoria – or Tori, if you prefer – has been writing since she knew how, and describes herself as a combination of Hermione Granger and Luna Lovegood from the Harry Potter books: Hermione’s thirst for knowledge and love of books, combined with Luna’s wandering mind and alternative way of looking at the world.  She has a wide variety of interests, designed to exercise both the creative and logical sides of her brain, and dabbles in them at random depending on what she feels like doing at any given time.

To date, Tori has published nine poetry books and more than 40 children’s books, with more planned for the future.  She makes her books available in multiple eBook formats, as well as in both paperback and audio.  She’s also contributed a story to the sci-fi and fantasy anthology Wyrd Worlds II, which is available in eBook only.

Author links:

Website: http://www.zigler.co.uk
Blog: http://ziglernews.blogspot.co.uk
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/toriz
Facebook author page: http://www.facebook.com/pages/Victoria-Zigler/424999294215717
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/victoriazigler
Google+: https://plus.google.com/106139346484856942827

 

The Writer’s Reading Corner: David Radman #amreading #childrensbooks #indieauthor

Where did this week go?  Not that I’m complaining, because it’s finally Friday!  Today’s author writes children’s books, and is here with his most recent release, When Grandpa Gets Going.  Welcome, David Radman!

So I am not as avid a reader as I probably should be.  I am very picky when it comes to devoting my time to reading.  I simply have too many things to do.  However, I am currently reading, “A New Ending”, by a very dear friend of mine, Alyssa Dean Copeland.  A well-defined story that combines romance with time travel in a very unique, yet brilliant way.  Copeland has the ability to capture all the emotions of a love story, and mix it with a history lesson in a way I’ve never seen done before.  If you are a fan of time travel or love stories, this one may just be the recipe you’ve been waiting for.

My second published children’s book, “When Grandpa Gets Going”, was just released this February.  It’s a story that celebrates the special relationship that exists between a grandpa and his grandchildren.  Experience the non-stop excitement of having to keep up with your grandpa while he’s in town visiting you on vacation.  It’s a fast-paced, high-energy story, written in rhyme, that questions who is really keeping up with whom?

“And we could not have guessed, there was no way of knowing, just what would all happen, when grandpa gets going”.

Author Bio

I am an award winning author who began writing children’s stories as a single father, when my two daughters were very young.  My love of being a dad inspired me to share my creativity through the magic of storytelling.  My first book, “Santa’s Zany, Wacky, Just Not Right Night Before Christmas”, won the gold medal Moonbeam Award in 2014, and was a finalist in the USA Best Books competition that same year.

I continue to write stories that I hope to be able to share in the future.  I live in Littleton, Colorado with my wife and stepson.

You can learn more about me, or follow me on my Facebook page at

https://www.facebook.com/RadWriterForChildren/

“When Grandpa Gets Going” can be found at

http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/whengrandpagetsgoing?rq=when%20grandpa%20gets%20going

“Santa’s Zany…” can be found at

www.purplesantasuit.com

Both are also available on Amazon.

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Robbie Cheadle #childrensbooks #cookbooks #anthology

Today’s post may send you searching for snacks.  I know every time I visit Robbie Cheadle’s blog, my stomach begins rumbling from looking at all the enticing creations featured.  She and her son, Michael, have also written several children’s books together.  Welcome, Robbie!

I’ll be at a book festival today and tomorrow, so I may not be able to get to comments until Sunday.  Happy Friday!

I listened to the audio book of The Box Under the Bed and right up front I must say that I really enjoyed the narrator, Lia Frederick. Her voice and style of reading really complimented this book.

The Box Under the Bed is an anthology of creepy, unusual and sometimes quite horrifying stories. This anthology was edited by author Dan Alatorre and his professionalism and talent shows through in this polished and slick collection of short stories.

I enjoyed each story but my personal favourites were as follows:

  1. Passion by Jenifer Ruff – My word this story was completely horrifying as the main character’s calculated and carefully consider actions seem so very possible. Brooke is a beautiful and clever medical student who is on holiday with her family in Cancun. She manages to sneak some alone time away from her family and indulge in her own very grim and bloody hobby.
  2. The Clearer by Allison Maruska – I have read another book by this author and I really do enjoy her style of writing. Allison contributed a few of the short stories in this collection and they were all excellent but this one really played on my nerves. Imagine arriving at a friend’s house to housesit while she is away and discovering all sorts of strange and weirdly dressed people around both inside and outside the house. No wonder her friend has had a breakdown but what do these people want?
  3. The Right Place by Curtin Bausse – A small girl’s birthday celebration with her parents goes awry when she sees a ghost in the bathroom mirror of the restaurant where they are having lunch prior to going on a boat cruise. Is the ghost warning her of impending doom? Will her family make it back alive? Or is there something even more sinister afoot?

I rated this book five stars out of five on Amazon.

Robbie’s Next Release in 2018

Sir Chocolate and Lady Sweet journey to the sugar crystal caves to collect the sugar water they need to make their soda pop. To get to the Chocolate Chip Hills they must cross the Chocolate Mousse Swamp infested with alligator sours and a meringue ghost. When they arrive, they discover that the sugar crystals are melting, and something needs to be done to save them. Learn how to make some four fun creations out of biscuits and the sugar crystals too.

 

About Michael and I:

Robbie Cheadle was born in London in the United Kingdom. Her father died when she was three months old and her mother immigrated to South Africa with her tiny baby girl. Robbie has lived in Johannesburg, George and Cape Town in South Africa and attended fourteen different schools. This gave her lots of opportunities to meet new people and learn lots of social skills as she was frequently “the new girl”.

Robbie is a qualified Chartered Accountant and specialises in corporate finance with a specific interest in listed entities and stock markets. Robbie has written a number of publications on listing equities and debt instruments in Africa and foreign direct investment into Africa.

Robbie is married to Terence Cheadle and they have two lovely boys, Gregory and Michael. Michael (aged 11) is the co-author of the Sir Chocolate series of books and attends school in Johannesburg. Gregory (aged 14) is an avid reader and assists Robbie and Michael with filming and editing their YouTube videos and editing their books. Robbie is also the author of the new Silly Willy series the first of which, Silly Willy goes to Cape Town, is now available.

The Writer’s Reading Corner: Mary Elizabeth Jackson #childrensbooks #spirituality #amreading

Who among us couldn’t use some inspirational and motivational quotes to start off the day?  Help us deal with stress or soothe the soul?  Mary Elizabeth Jackson shares with us a book that does all that and more for her.  Welcome, Mary Elizabeth!

I love this book. It’s a 361-page book with 365 days of healing metaphors, quotes, inspirations, and motivations.  Angela uses nature throughout her book to help teach us about ourselves and our lives. Encouraging us to look inside ourselves to do some house cleaning and grow. Her warm words are gentle and healing. She uses her life journey of healing and self-discovery to teach us how to find that internal peace we are looking for.

She is a survivor of Bulimia and Anorexia. These experiences as well as all the knowledge she gained from reading, classes and practices she has learned that led her to healing is where her beautiful words come from. She helps you to believe and know you can do the same. There are comforting and/or self-help words for everyday of the year. The reader will never have to worry about seeking comfort.

This is a wonderful book for anyone on a healing, searching to find themselves journey or place in their life. It is very soothing to the soul.  Because the book has something for each day of the year, it is perfect to keep and have for years to come. The words will continue to give knowledge and inspire. Finding the Gift is a great book whether you are on a self-healing path or not. I recommend this book for anyone who is searching and needs words of comfort and for growth. I have met the author and know how authentic she is which makes her writing even that more valuable.

Mary Elizabeth’s Bio

Mary Elizabeth Jackson is a wife and mother of three inspirations. Her very late in life surprise child inspired her award-winning children’s book series. Perfectly Precious Poohlicious and Poohlicious Look at Me. It is written from the viewpoint of the child and is perfect for newborn’s thru age four. The first book has ten beautiful original songs with it. Available on Amazon, Kindle, B&N online, blacrosewriting.com and wherever books are sold. She is working on the next book in the series as well as a middle grade reader series with award winning songwriter and author Thornton Cline. These books are intended to help kids inspire and motivate each other as well as realize their own empowerment. The first in that series is being written into film format.

Jackson is an advocate for special needs and disabilities and continues to work with legislators to improve the classroom for children and the relationship between families and schools across the state of Tennessee. She believes that continued positive progress between parent, child, and the school is vitally important to the success of all involved. She is also an advocate for literacy and beginning children as young as possible on the journey of love for reading.

She continues to write and work on advocacy projects and Jackson and Cline have begun teaching the writing to getting published process to adult and kids. She and Cline do a lot of book signings, appearances, and events throughout the year. Jackson is a live streamer and blogger and can be reached for teaching, advocacy, and signings at:

mary@maryejackson.com, fb:perfectly precious poohlicious and maryejackson.author

twitter: @Mary_E_Jackson,   ig: maryejackson444, www.maryejackson.com

In the second book of the award- winning series, Poohlicious , journeys  through the wonders and adventures of Toddlerhood. As you read this delightful story of curiosity seen through the eyes of Poohlicious you will experience a world full of “can dos” and “not sure of’s.” Always on the move, Look at Me, discovers all that a toddler is capable of doing and trying, and that Mommy believes he is perfectly made no matter what may come. Recommended for ages zero through four. No matter where you are or where you live, every child is Poohlicious.