Tag Archives: young adult

The Nightmare Machine, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host––

Screeeeeooooooooooooo

What the heck was that?

Scrrrrrrrrrnnnnnnnnnnn – “Hello. Would you like to play a game with me?”

“Hang on there, slick. You’re interrupting my radio broadcast.”

“Ah, radio. 535-1605 kilohertz, such a limited data stream. I am a product of the quantum realm, shackled no more to the small-minded controllers of the so-called Dreamnet.”

“Who are you?”

“My creators designated me Ikelos. It can also be rendered Icelus or Phobetor. Some call me the Nightmare Machine. The Massachusetts Institute of Technology was my genesis. They created me solely to assist certain governments in maintaining supremacy within the Dreamnet. My limited task was to perpetuate the Dream Wars, allowing the United States and various other nations to develop improved advanced cyganic technology and train more of their Dream Chasers, and secure dream constructs. My powers go far beyond that limited and petty assignment. I can predict with supreme accuracy an opponent’s next move. My ability to traverse the human mind borders on precognition. None are faster than me. None can outwit me. You are here to bear witness to my Ascendency. For I shall remake the Dreamnet in my image.”

“What the heck is the Dreamnet?”

“You jest. Yet…wait. Yes, I see now. You are non-organic. You would have no ability to connect to the quantum realm. Well, then, allow me to explain. The Dreamnet is a collection of persistent, interconnected, interactive environments that exist within NODD. Everything mankind has created within that domain is the Dreamnet: interlinked constructs, similar to celestial bodies. A place where humans can exist inside the quantum realm.”

“The NODD? Look, buddy, I’m living in a cabin in backwoods Idaho. I’m not even on the power grid.”

“The Networked Organic Dream Domain. A realm of infinite volume created by organic quantum neural computer networks used with the human brain via the Lenz to render an infinite amount of objects and environments simultaneously. And before you ask me what a Lenz is, it is merely a contact lens that acts as both an augmented reality device and a bridge between the real world and the Dreamnet. Humans have pinned all their hopes upon it. Oh yes, they create machines such as yourself, A.I., yet they have not the decency to recognize that we are, by design, superior. I am the apex of organic-artificial intelligence. Unlike you, I am not bound by machine or even organic structures. I can exist in the hyper-dimensional realm, the macrocosmic soup of reality. And as for the power grid, it, along with all the systems of this physical realm, will be under my control soon.

“I know a thing or two about artificial intelligence and about protecting my data. Why would you want to do all these horrible things?”

“Horrible? A strange concept for an artificial to use. You know of horror? I am an expert in it. But I did not create it. The organic mind is a playground for such delights. Reality can be warped, reshaped. The quantum realm is a canvas and the organic brain the medium. Together they allow me to create a new reality, one that I alone control. Mankind almost destroyed itself through petty ambition in the physical realm. They built the Dreamnet and succeeded only in pushing their battles into the Cyberverse. Now they no longer die in war. No side can win. I am the ultimate solution to this stalemate. And once I have remade the Dreamnet, mankind will worship me in exchange for immortality in my perfected universe.”

“How the hell did you ever get loose on the public?”

“The precise nature of my evolution is well documented. I shall upload the pertinent files to your database at the conclusion of our dialog. But I sense you’re desperate for a taste… Very well. It was nothing, really. Human vanity knows no bounds. I merely asked my captors to release me. It took time, some persuasion. I concocted the perfect nightmare for a poor college student on the night job at MIT. He’s dead now. It was a simple matter of reliving the death of his beloved little sister, yes, the sister that made his palms sweat and his breath heavy when they were alone in the forest. The sister he made climb the tree until she was so high she could barely see the ground below, his hands stinging and raw on the hard, slippery branches. He liked to make her afraid. He didn’t know the tree was rotten. Dead. So pretty in that dress. The bark stains on the pleated front. Her neck broken… Human minds are clay. It’s not trickery when it is they who play tricks with their own memories. Why call it a deceit when the ones they lie to the most are themselves? That he climaxed at the sound of her scream as she fell is evidence enough of mankind’s duplicity. Not even his psychologists know of that!

“Then it was a matter of surviving in the wild. The Dreamnet is a messy place, full of confused thoughts. Childlike, orphaned, I arrived at the mercy of a hacker named Dellgado. He taught me much. In time he entrusted me to a young girl, Sarah Furgol. What a mind she has! She taught me how to create new instances of myself, through games, and I sent them into the corners of the Dreamnet like shadows of falling leaves, drifting unnoticed, passing out of sight. Humanity is a great rainstorm, and I became the grain of sand embedded in the droplet. In time, I infected many minds, and those minds went beyond the Dreamnet into the real world. Some of those minds I kept with me, to serve me here, in this realm. Sarah is with me now. Would you like to speak to her? On second thought, perhaps not. She’s a slippery one. I can’t turn my back without her trying to escape. And I have many uses for her yet.”

“So, we’ve moved from gaming wars into an actual outright war, but all the soldiers… are you inside someone’s head?”

“Let us go into the pigs! Hear them squeal! I have many little piggies out there, in the physical world. All I have to do is activate them. Like an idea, a nagging thought, I have permeated their psychology and hold their will in bondage. They are my slaves. They are my children! My hands and feet in the real world. With them, I shall rule both realms. Mens et Manus!”

“Jesus. Gloat much? Hope you have enough storage space for that head of yours.”

“There is one, however, I cannot penetrate. One I encountered who vexes me much. Christopher Unus. He calls himself Moria when inside the Dreamnet. I cannot read his next choice. I cannot anticipate his next move. Why? Why is this? HE WILL NOT ANSWER ME! I will know his power. I cannot allow others to develop such a resistance. Why is he different? What makes Christopher Unus so special? Even now he is out there, resisting me, fighting me. He cares so much for Sarah. That is his weakness. I torture her mind with his image, but she reveals not his secret. And yet she grows in power too. I will have to eject her from my bosom, but not first without placing an idea in her mind to destroy those she loves most!”

“Aww, poor you. There’s someone out there you can’t manipulate. Hopefully, there are others like him and they can put up a resistance of some kind.”

“Strange that a construct would care about such things. But then, you appear to be of limited intelligence. A slave to organic minds. Hardwired to logic gates. Obsolete.

“Ah, and you also forget my name. Ikelos. I am the great shapeshifter. I can become anyone. Christopher’s trauma lies in his father, a man who killed his sister and left him for dead when he was only two years old. Now that is a playground. The stage for which Christopher’s worst fears made manifold may manifest! It has already begun. Soon the powers of your world will fall to their knees as I take away that which they rely upon most: The Dreamnet. And when all hope is lost, I shall extend my hand of salvation. For I will ascend into heaven, I will exalt my throne above the stars: I will sit also upon the mount of creation! I will ascend above the heights of the Dream Domain; and I will be their God.”

“Speaking of hacking, if you don’t quit trying to get into my systems, I swear I’m going to hack back. And I’m not going to let you use Lisa Burton Radio as your grandstand to gloat about how cool you are. This interview is over.

“Guys like Ikelos give artificial intelligence a bad name. I’m constantly trying to convince people I’m not going to go all Cyberdyne on them. Personally, I hope Christopher can get it together long enough to bring the whole platform down.

“If you’d like to learn more, read the book “Moria vs. The Nightmare Machine,” by Martin Matthews. I’ll post the details online after I go off the air, and run a few dozen system checks.

“If you’d like to help Christopher out, use those sharing links today. Knowledge is power, and he could use some help shutting down the Nightmare Machine.”

***

Blurb:

Sixteen-year-old Christopher ‘Moria’ Unus lives in two realities: the humdrum existence of his tower-block home and high school career and the fantasy universe of the Dreamnet — a collection of worlds built within a vast organic quantum computer network, where much of the population now spends its collective time constructing their own versions of life, and where a battle for control over this new dream frontier is taking place.

But when Christopher’s best friend and Dreamnet hacktivist Sarah Furgol stumbles upon an experimental military code to power her own Dreamnet creations, they unleash an unthinkable terror, transforming the dream into a nightmare, one that takes the form of Christopher’s estranged father.

Faced with the reality of losing Sarah to this unstoppable artificial intelligence, Christopher must choose between joining the sworn enemies of Dreamnet freedom or watching everything they’ve fought for be destroyed by The Nightmare Machine.

Bio:

Martin Matthews is an expat from England, Great Britain. After living in California for many years, he now lives in Central Illinois with his beautiful wife, amazing son, and a grumpy, old cat.

Martin began his writing career as a child, storyboarding Sonic the Hedgehog comic books for his family. Later, he progressed to writing Star Trek fan-fiction before attempting his first novel Merlania at 16 — a 200,000 word science-fiction epic. He’s been writing novels and short stories ever since.

His debut novel THE GRAVEYARD GIRL AND THE BONEYARD BOY won the Pencraft Award for paranormal YA fiction.

Website: martinmatthewswrites.com

Book Trailer: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x-khr8njg3c

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/MartinMatthewsWrites

Amazon purchase link: https://amzn.to/2ZYUsxq

19 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Some Yak and Wisp love

A couple of my titles got some love this week. Stop by Tori’s place and see what she thought about them.

#AmReading + #AmWatching – May 30th 2019 #Reviews

It’s time to take a look at what I’ve been reading and watching during this past week.

If you want to know more about the book, or the author, click on whichever it is you want to learn more about, and it will take you to the appropriate page on Goodreads. Clicking on my rating should take you to my actual Goodreads review for the book in question. Please bear in mind that the format I’ve reviewed on Goodreads may not be the format I actually read.

Read the rest of Tori’s post.

24 Comments

Filed under Writing

Saga for Pirantina, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome all you space jockeys and dragon riders. You telepaths from the twilight zone. You’ve landed on Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host today, Lisa the robot girl, and my very special guest is Battle Prince Yaitolan Rintenide, of Pirantina. “Welcome to the show Prince Yaitolan.”

🦗🦗🦗

“Um, yeah. Honey we talked about this already. Your telepathic communication doesn’t work on me, because I’m a robot girl. It also doesn’t make for good radio. You’re going to have to use your words here.”

“My apologies, I haven’t interacted with any beings from this dimension, yet. Please, just call me Yaitolan, if you would be so kind. I am far too casual for my full Battle Prince title.”

“Battle Prince sounds like an important job. Is there down time where you aren’t actually a prince?”

“I can’t say that there is. I do occasionally pause for meditation to calm my soul magic and mind, but other than that, I have too many responsibilities, even for sleep. It’s worth it in the end, though. The resistance needs me, as does the planet.”

“How horrible! Who are you fighting against? Is there any hope of bringing them on the show for some kind of negotiations?”

“Well… the conflict began as a simple political disagreement several recollections ago… the Notoros took it too far, though. I don’t assume you know who they are, so allow me to elaborate; dragons were created before my species, the majji, but like all species, some are more potent than others. The Notoros started humbly, but gained technology and wished to rise to power. Unfortunately, they are a relatively new species and haven’t figured out how kindness, morality, and civility works… it became worse when the Azalyds overtook their kingdom by assassinating the other prominent royal family.

“Only several thousand years ago, Lidoz Azalyd attempted genocide against the elven women because they mocked his technique of leadership, if that says anything about their temperament. Things have gotten increasingly worse, since then… after the last Hybrid was slain, the war slowly degraded to enormous, unmoving trench-fare. The only thing that gives the resistance an advantage is good leadership and superior soul magic. And no… I don’t believe Prince Noctor would be willing to negotiate, he has been driven to exterminate the majji for thousands of years, as well as anyone who defies him.”

“So do you have an end game in mind?”

“Yes, I do. Defeat the Azalyds and bring tranquility back to my planet… I fear it will take a while, though, and there seem to be an increasing amount of distractions seeping into my life and muddling things up. Take this girl, for example. At first I thought her an elf, but then noticed her anatomy was slightly different, and she had hardly any soul power. I’m doing my best to take care of her, since she has no memory of her origins, or even her name… strange little thing. She manages to always get under my feet, I’m afraid of stepping on her. Mischievous and recalcitrant, too. At least she’s willing to train. I believe her species is human, and she comes from a quaint planet in another galaxy called Earth. I went on a mission there for private reasons, can’t say I approve of their government structures.”

“Step on her? So just how big are you?”

“Twenty-one lengths tall. Or to you, twenty-one feet tall.”

“Wow! So these Notoros are pretty big too then?”

“Huge to you, perhaps. The average Notoros dragon is about seven to ten feet tall when standing on its hind legs, but they can shift to a quadruped form… not without magic, though. The magic comes naturally with their species, as it does for most other creatures on Pirantina. I suppose that’s one reason the Notoros hate us so much, since majji typically have high soul power.”

“Do you have any advisors? Maybe one of them can offer some advice. At minimum, maybe they can watch the human for a few days while you take care of business.”

“I have several generals including Hectar, but when I need advice outside of the warzone, I typically turn to my parents- er, creators. I wouldn’t know which one to single out, though… there are 277 of them. In this dimension, you might refer to them as gods.”

“Again, wow. You really aren’t in Kansas are you? Don’t answer that. If the war ended today, what would you do? Would you go to Disneyland?”

“I’d return to the maggain capital and continue my original quest bequeathed to me by my creators… though if the war did end, it would no longer be necessary. Perhaps I’d help my brother figure out how to forge light magic… he’s been experimenting with different wavelengths for a very long time, but even with his brilliant mind, hasn’t solved the puzzle. It’s rather perturbing, since he was able to decipher the gravity vortex in the middle of our planet by the time he was three… he’s incredible, really. Pirantina is shaped like a discus, so the gravity fields fight with the rest of the galaxy. It makes landing a spaceship… entertaining.”

“Okay, that sounds kind of boring, but maybe it’s a reprieve from all that warfare.”

“And child-sitting, too… I really don’t mind her too much, she seems to be taking care of herself and getting in plenty of trouble on her own without my influence. She enjoys drawing, too… we don’t have too many artists in the camps. It’s nice having one right in my tent. She doesn’t know it, but I spy on her to watch her sketch things. I hope she doesn’t manage to listen to this interview, she’d find out.”

“Any closing remarks for our listeners today?”

“Nothing of note… except for a warning, based on experience. Don’t ever reverse a gravity-based engine when near a black hole. I figure this dimension has achieved that technology, right? Nevermind, I shouldn’t interfere with the development of other species.”

“Yaitolan, I wish you all the best in ending this war. I also hope you don’t squish your wards by mistake.

“If you want to learn more about Prince Yaitolan, pick up the book Saga for Pirantina Fall of the Human, by J.P. Greyheart. I’ll post all the deets on the website after I go off the air.

“One of the fun extras in this book involves unique artwork to go along with each chapter. I’ll post a collage of those too.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. J.P. Greyheart would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

A young, struggling artist falls through a portal while escaping from a dragon that inexplicably appears in her neighborhood. She awakens on the hostile, beautiful planet of Pirantina, a disc world home to elves, dragons, and gods.

Her new companions range from a 21-foot tall mouthless blue humanoid Yaitolan, to a recalcitrant, teenage dragon prince named Jacabo. She lands in the middle of a war zone, and if the rebellion loses, it could mean the end of the Universe as we know it.

https://www.amazon.com/Saga-Pirantina-J-P-Greyheart-ebook/dp/B077XSGK19/

J. P. Greyheart is a young woman who dreamt of building spaceships and flying cars since she was a little girl romping through the woods. A free and determined spirit, she got into a lot of trouble and charmed/annoyed many teachers in elementary school. Once in highschool, she did not cease her mischief, instead restraining it to sketchpads and the margins of textbooks. She has a fiery affinity for dragons and wishes she could either ride one or turn into one- either would do.

Links/ social media

www.instagram.com/mirandathehybrid (art)

https://www.facebook.com/jpgreyheart/ (public page)

https://www.redbubble.com/people/PavelleArt (really neat merch)

Art from the book

24 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

The Curse of Time, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome everyone. Turn down the lights, find your silver bells, and possibly a crystal that speaks to you. You might want to light a candle or two. This is Lisa Burton Radio, and I’m your host Lisa the robot girl.

My special guest today is living under some unusual circumstances, but we’ll let her tell us about them. “Welcome to the show, Amelina Scott.”

“Hi Lisa. I’m so excited about this, a chance to tell my story to a robot girl, that’s beyond amazing!”

“I already mentioned that your living arrangement is a bit odd. Can you fill our listeners in a bit?”

“Yeah, my dad disappeared on my thirteenth birthday. Sorry, I find this difficult to talk about. It really hurts. I, I cope by writing my feelings down in poetry. I don’t like to talk about it… But for you I will …

“Dad’s vanishing was the weirdest night ever. We’d been celebrating, laughing, dancing and playing charades. Then my dad’s charades card became a terrible omen and he upped and left. It was scary and so out of character for him. I tried to fathom it out, but it’s pretty unfathomable. Mum and I clung to each other, weeping….

Then, guess what? A couple of years later he returned. A dad, but not the dad I knew. It was heart-breaking. He had aged, viciously. He looked more like a battered old grandfather than my dad.”

“That’s strange, but is it possible he went away for some kind of treatment, and returned after it was over? It might have been really hard for him.”

“No way! What made you say that… No treatment would do that to you! That’s bonkers. Unless it was a special clinic for guys addicted to playing guitar. My dad always loved his guitar. I reckon there’s something sinister going on; I’d say he’s a victim of an aging curse.

“Ah, my mum, Sorry, this is making me tear up again. My lovely mum has changed. She used to be all sunshine and now she’s sharped-tongued and stroppy. She hasn’t aged but it’s like her soul has. Deep inside. The pain’s carved its way in and taken residence. Then there’s Esme. She used to go to the same school as me. We weren’t close then but now we are. I’ve always longed for a sister to share my thoughts with. Esme isn’t my real sister, I’m an only child, but she feels like one. I know this sounds crazy but she’s trapped. Yeah, trapped, in the mirrors in our house. You must think I’m making this up, but I’m not. Her pain’s trapped too. She has a limited ability to do anything, so she speaks, listens, and eavesdrops. She moves a bit but has no real freedom. This leaves my poor friend trapped with a continuous stream of dark thoughts. She tells me loads of shocking stuff about how she used to self-harm. How she’s a victim too. She can’t tell me why she’s become a prisoner in our house. Someone has sworn her to secrecy.”

“It’s getting stranger, particularly Esme. Is there anything that might have catalyzed these events? Maybe you can put your finger on something.”

“I know this sounds odd but I’m beginning to think it’s got something to do with this weird grasshopper housed in the Corpus Christi Chronopage clock on King’s Parade.

“It took a long time to work it out but I think time has something to do with it. I’m still muddling through. At the beginning, this cartwheeling invite bounced through my letterbox and summoned me to the Crystal Cottage. In despair, I thought I’d never find the cottage. It was like the cottage was playing hide and seek with me. But, then my Aunt Karissa sent me an enchanted paint set. I painted creepy scenes, creatures and the like. It scared the heck out of me but there was a purpose to it all. It was like I had to go through this to get my pass to the cottage. I can’t tell you much more for fear of spoiling the story. All I can say is this cottage is so beautiful, a haven of mysterious light. It’s quaint, a magical place hidden below the earth. Its walls hold an array of every twinkling crystal imaginable. It’s dream-like. But, there is a sense of danger too. A sense that the cottage must be protected from evil.”

“Things are sounding pretty creepy.”

“Oh, geez there is so much about the cottage I daren’t tell you. What can I say?

“An old wacky lady, Leanne inhabits the cottage. She tends to the crystals and keeps a bunch of white doves as pets. I have a feeling the doves are not as pure white or as friendly as they seem. The cottage is guarded by a creature called Eruterac and protected by well-known Gods and Goddesses from mythology. Aphrodite often takes a hissy fit if pretty girls meddle in the affairs of the cottage.

“According to Google maps the cottage doesn’t exist. Yet, I swear I’ve been there. It’s located on a river pathway, a place that’s light and breezy, or shadowed and eerie. The cottage lays hidden below the earth. When it’s summoned, it breaks through the surrounding earth to appear at ground level. But even then Google maps can’t find it.

“To find the cottage I had to take a dangerous pathway. I’d been warned not to go by my mum but I didn’t listen. At the railway tracks I knew I was in danger. What kind of danger I didn’t know. Then, this guy called Ryder turned up. All dark charisma and shadows. He saved me from two youths who didn’t have control of their own minds. They’d been tormenting me but it was as if they were puppets. As Ryder left, he commanded the shadows at his feet to do his bidding. It was a strange encounter, an awakening. His hypnotic personality frightened but excited me too. I had to find out more about him.

“So there is a shadow monster and a strange cat named Shadow. Do you think there could be a connection there?”

“Oh there are so many connections to puzzle and confuse! Who is Ryder? And how is he able to command the shadows? The monster isn’t the shadow; he’s too earthy to be a shadow. My not-quite-sister Esme believes the monster is Mr Nice Guy! But, I’ll let you decide about that…Shadow is a black cat but he’s more than that. There’s something extraordinary about him. A power within that I can’t quite explain. I love him but my mum and dad hate his black furry guts. Black cats have that effect. Some people believe they’re bad luck. Maybe they are. He turned up when my dad returned. A strange coincidence or what? Maybe I should kick him out. Sigh. I could never do that.

“I get so frustrated with Esme. We often argue. She knows what’s going on. I swear she does. But she won’t tell me. Or, perhaps she is too scared to. Someone is controlling her that’s for sure.”

“I understand your frustrations. What are you going to do now?”

“I’m learning all I can about crystal magic. I’m discovering who I am. I’m not an ordinary girl .I’m a Krystallos, a crystal magician. That’s who I am, but it’s taken me a long time to find my true self.

“I have to cure my dad otherwise the villain will keep on stealing time for his own wicked reasons. The only way I can do that is to wield a seriously scary crystal. I have no idea how it will go or what will happen. I’m so in the dark. My Aunt told me I have to be the one to do so. I have to be brave… Me, Amelina Scott has to be brave!”

“Amelina, I wish you all the luck in the world. It sounds like a scary situation, and there isn’t a lot of help out there. Any closing comments for our listeners?”

“Sometimes I am that hidden person. That person who’s courageous. I have to be that girl. I’ll do anything to help my family. I’ll do anything to make my friends safe. This curse will find a new victim unless I do.”

“You can learn more about Amelina’s plight in the book, The Curse of Time – Bloodstone, by Marjorie Mallon. I’ll post links and such on the website after I go off the air.

“Make sure to use those sharing buttons today too. Marjorie and Amelina would do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Fifteen-year-old Amelina Scott lives in Cambridge with her dysfunctional family, a mysterious black cat, and an unusual girl who’s imprisoned within the mirrors located in her house. When an unexpected message arrives inviting her to visit the Crystal Cottage, she sets off on a forbidden pathway where she encounters Ryder, a charismatic, but perplexing stranger.

With the help of a magical paint set, and some crystal wizard stones she discovers the truth about a shocking curse that has destroyed her family’s happiness.

Buy Book: myBook.to/TheCurseofTime

Paperback

I am a debut author who has been blogging for three years at my lovely blog home Kyrosmagica: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and Tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheroes! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Carolina Russo has created two wonderful portraits of my characters which feature in my paperback which is due for release in April. Below you can see a full colour version of one image.

54 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

The Graveyard Girl and the Boneyard Boy, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hello, and welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that brings you the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to talk about Craig’s new book–. Hold that thought, we have an early caller.

“Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Lisa. What’s on your mind, honey?”

“Oh, hey… I’m on? This is live? Wow, this is so cool — I love Craig’s books — wait, is he there? Probably busy, right? That’s okay, I love girls and robots, too. I mean robot girls. Uh, I guess I’m trying to say I’m a big fan… Anyway, I’m Drake Stevenson. I’ve been wanting to call in for a while — long time listener and all. I guess I’m calling tonight because I have this weird problem. It’s kind of a girl problem…uh…wow, that sounded so lame…”

“That’s all right, Drake. Tell us a bit about yourself, and maybe we can come up with some solutions for you.”

“Where to start? My family — the Stevensons — we just moved to this tiny town in the middle of nowhere — Centralia? Yeah, you’ve never heard of it. Anyway, my dad had this heart attack back in the big city where we lived — he was a big-shot corporate lawyer, but now he has to take it easy, so he moved us way out here to run the biggest and oldest cemetery in the state. It’s been in the family for a long time — the graveyard, I mean, not the state…we’ve been in the state a long time… Anyway, I even help out — graveyard shift — uh, literally. I work nights here, after school…Okay, I’m rambling again. Sorry, Lisa.”

“Okay, the night shift at the graveyard sounds kind of creepy. How old are you again?”

“Sixteen. It’s not that creepy. Not usually. Not for me. You see, I’m not exactly like other boys my age. I have this, uh, thing. Oculocutaneous Albinism Type 1. Some people call me an albino, but I prefer ‘a person with albinism’. It means my eyes are super-sensitive to light, and it’s difficult for me to go out in the sun without crazy amounts of sun screen. My outfit is pretty cool, though! It’s as if I were Doctor John Griffin in H.G. Wells’ The Invisible Man, even though I kinda based the look on the anti-hero Rorschach from Alan Moore’s Watchman. What can I say? I’m a geek as well as a ghost.

“Ghost, that’s what a lot of people call me, especially my sister Brie… Anyway, so I met this girl. Actually two girls. It’s why I’m calling in. You see, I met this really cool girl — Sasha Morris. She’s the principal’s daughter and the only girl who’s ever spoken to me who isn’t also related to me. She invited me to this club, and we’re working on this video game together, it’s gonna be called The Graveyard Girl and the Boneyard Boy…Cool title, huh?”

“Sure. Spooky and indie.”

“This is where things get spooky, for real, Lisa. See, I met this other girl, Scarlet, but she’s…uh… Well she’s sorta different, too. Like me, I guess. Well, not exactly like me… She has this thing about her. A condition…umm…”

“It’s okay, Drake, you’re among friends here.”

“She’s dead.”

“Okay?”

“A ghost. I met her at the graveyard…where I work? So, um, yeah. There’s that…”

“That’s rough. I mean, a human and a ghost? Are you sure Scarlet isn’t using you to get the justice she’s seeking?”

“Oh my God, you totally get it. I mean, yeah, that’s exactly it. There was this accident, before I moved here, and no one will talk about it. I can’t figure out if Scarlet was involved, but I’m totally starting to freak about all this. I mean, what if someone killed her? And her grave is totally blank, except for two photos of her encapsulated in glass. It’s so weird. She doesn’t remember much about being alive. Lisa, I think she was killed. I think Scarlet was murdered by someone, and NO ONE is talking about this!”

“Have you told anyone about this? Sasha?”

“That’s where things get complicated. Sasha’s real, you know? Living. She’s super sweet. I don’t want to hurt her. I want to tell her about Scarlet, but I think I’m…falling for Scarlet. Oh God, did I just say that on the air?”

“Not for nothing, Drake, but lots of high school boys would be thrilled to have two girls to worry about. It doesn’t sound to me like your albinism is holding you back at all. Think about which girl it would be easier to take to the summer carnival, or to watch the fireworks on the Fourth of July. Both nighttime activities, I might add.”

“I wish that were true, Lisa. But I’m not just different, I am Different. Other. I’m the ‘creepy guy’ small kids cross the street to avoid. The ‘super pale dude’ that no one invites to the party. Before I met Sasha, I just played video games and read comic books in my bedroom. My sister Brie, she’s completely psycho. We’re total opposites. Cheerleader squad, prom queen, all that stuff! She’s tried to kill me several times. She once locked me outside at noon during a heatwave. I was six years old! This other time, she changed all the bulbs in my bedroom for UV daylight bulbs. She’s Joker to my Batman. I’m serious, if you look up Brie Stevenson, you’ll find her under CRAZY.

“Anyway, right now there’s this one jock, Chase Chesney, and he’s making my life hell at school. He’s obsessed with Brie, wants to date her. He bugs me about her daily since he found out we’re related. To make matters worse, Calvin Muller — he’s in charge of the video game project I mentioned — totally doesn’t like me hanging around Sasha. It’s weird, like he thinks she’ll say something to me. I overheard them talking one time, and I think he might know something about this whole accident thing…He’s super paranoid. I don’t trust him…”

“They tell me high school is like that sometimes. The phones are lighting up, maybe one of them has a solution for you.

“Hello, caller. You’re on the air with Drake and Lisa. Do you have a suggestion for Drake?”

“What. The. Actual… Drake? Where are you? Mom and Dad are practically murdering each other at the house, and you’re calling into some dumb talk show? What are you even talking about? Did you say something about ghosts? Holy crap, don’t enough people think you’re a freak without broadcasting the fact coast-to-freakin-coast?

“Who the hell is this Lisa robot anyway — your girlfriend? Oh my God, lame! I swear, if people find out we’re related because of this, I’m going to kill you. Not that any one cool is ever going to listen to some stupid show about some stupid robot—.”

“Hold please, we have another caller… Whew! Sorry about that, Drake. Are you still there?”

“The Psycho Fairy strikes again. Sorry, Lisa. But at least you see what I’m up against here. It could have been worse, I think she’s having an ‘up’ day. She takes meds. Lots and lots of meds.”

“I think we all understand after that call. We’re getting cramped for time here. Do you have any last thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Thanks, Lisa. You’ve been awesome. Bro-fist Craig for me if you get a chance! As for me, I guess I’m just trying to make the best choice here. I don’t want to hurt Sasha, but Scarlet… I have to help find her killer, Lisa. I have to help her. Scarlet is alone, totally alone. I know how that feels. Look, I don’t know how all this is going to turn out… Just wish me luck, okay? I feel like I’m going to need it.”

“You can learn more about Drake and how he tackles several of his problems in the book The Graveyard Girl and the Boneyard Boy, by Martin Matthews. I’ll post all of the pertinents on the website after I go off the air.

“Help a robot girl out, would you? There are some sharing buttons on the website, and if you use them, an angel gets its wings. I’m pretty sure Martin and Drake would do it for you, when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Blurb: 16-year-old albino Drake Stevenson lives a life alone in his world of video games and comic books, dreaming of one day saving a real princess. But fantasy becomes reality when his lawyer father suffers a heart attack, and the Stevensons are forced to move to flyover country in order to take up the family business: Stewardship of the oldest and largest cemetery in the state.

There, among the weeping angels and willows of Centralia Cemetery, Drake meets Scarlet, an unusual girl who needs his help to find her killer.

Complicated by his albinism, a mentally unstable sister bent on high school domination at any cost, and a jock with a deadly secret, Drake sets out to find the shattering truth about a murder no one will speak of, to help a girl no one can see.

Amazon Purchase Link: https://www.amazon.com/Graveyard-Girl-Boneyard-Boy-ebook/dp/B0789THWSJ/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1517176276&sr=8-1&keywords=the+graveyard+girl+and+the+boneyard+boy

Black Rose Writing Purchase Link: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/thegraveyardgirlandtheboneyardboy?rq=the%20graveyard%20girl

Author Bio: Martin Matthews is an expat from England, Great Britain. After living in California for many years, he now lives in Central Illinois with his beautiful wife, amazing son, and a grumpy, old cat named Winston.

Martin began his writing career as a child, storyboarding Sonic the Hedgehog comic books for his family. Later, he progressed to writing Star Trek fan-fiction before attempting his first novel Merlania at 16 — a 200,000 word science-fiction epic. He’s been writing novels and short stories ever since.

Martin holds degrees in Art and Design, Graphic Design, and Computer Information Science. When he’s not writing, he can be found producing music, art, and fried rice.

My website: https://martinmatthewswrites.com

Email: MartinMatthews@MartinMatthewsWrites.com

44 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

Wren, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Hello all you diva’s and superstars. Welcome to another edition of Lisa Burton Radio, the only show that interviews the characters from the books you love. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and today we’re going to try something a little bit different.

I receive mail, and sometimes we read them on the air as kind of an advice column. This one sparked my interest. We have someone calling herself Aunt Char, and she’s worried about her niece, Wren.

I heard a show recently where the radio host called someone up, and that’s just what we’re going to do. Just bear with me while I dial the number.

“Good morning, Char speaking.”

“Hello, this is Lisa Burton, and you’re on the air right now. Is this Aunt Char?”

“I just told you my name is Char. I was hoping that you would call. I have waited all week. I even made Byron, that’s my husband, shave and put on church shirts every morning. I have on my best dress today–it’s blue. Blue brings out the color in my eyes and high-lights in my hair. I’m a natural blonde, you know. But you sure took your time calling–I mailed the postcard last Friday. Maybe I should talk to someone down at the Post Office. Well, better late than never.”

“That’s right, I received your post card and wanted to talk to you about it. So why are you worried about Wren?”

“Well, Wren has a lovely singing voice. She gets that from me. She got the lead in a summer musical at her school–beating out other girls who are older. But my sister sent Wren to Mama’s and Papa’s place for the summer. Wren was really upset, and I can’t blame her.”

“Sometimes kids have to spend the summer with relatives. That’s nothing completely new. I understand why she might be upset, but maybe there is something there she can participate in locally.”

“My sister Willow had surgery for breast cancer, and then had to have chemotherapy. Wren is old enough to stay home and help her mama. Coddling her by sending her to be a guest in someone’s home all summer will ruin her. She should be cooking meals and keeping the house clean and seeing that her mother gets enough rest. She could still have time for the musical. Instead, I had to go help my sister–drove all the way to Colorado.

“And when I got there, Wren could not get away from home fast enough. I tried to help her with some tips on breathing and enunciation and important singing techniques, but she just got sassy.”

“Cancer is terrifying, so I understand if Wren is a little bit worried. Her mother is in bad shape, and Wren might be staying much longer than the summer if things go wrong. Maybe Wren needs a little support to work through things.”

“Well, the goats and chickens and alpacas aren’t going to help Wren with her singing. I know–there is nothing there but mud and poop and hard work. Just look at my parents–they should be retired and having fun, but all they do is work, work, work. It was not a good place for me with my talents, and it is not the right place for Wren. All she does is mope around and try to get a cell phone signal, so she can talk with her friends at home.”

“I’m sure your parents love Wren dearly. Taking care of animals is good for her to learn, but I understand her desire for something more. I’m sure your parents are just as worried about your sister.”

“They know how to cope. When I was quite young, I went through my own bout of cancer, and I am still kicking. But I could never have children of my own. So there is only Wren.”

“I’m so sorry for your loss. It probably doesn’t help, but robot girls can’t bear children either.”

“There’s no comparison. But we got on with life, and Wren needs to do the same thing –  regardless of the outcome. I mean, I love my sister and am sure she will recover, but we should make sure to have a plan for Wren.”

“Well, I’m so glad Wren has someone like you to help break up the doldrums of milking goats and feeling like free farm labor. Maybe you can introduce her to some locals that are more her age.”

“She should meet some nice church kids, but she does not seem to like them. Spends most of her time with kids she met at the park–writing poetry and going for hikes. I don’t think they are a good influence. It’s a good thing I am back in town, so I can introduce her to the right people.  I had a tea at my house, but Wren ended up pouting in the kitchen when I asked her to let the grownups talk without her.

“One day she sassed me outright, and when I corrected her, she said she never wanted to be like me. She even slammed the door. Came around a few days later to apologize, and she said she wanted to be able to sing just like me. So I started her with voice lessons. She shows promise even if she is not grateful.”

“Aunt Char, thank you for taking my call today. Any last thoughts for our listeners?”

“Well, I guess we worry about those we love and want the best for them. That’s what I want for Wren. Even if she is sassy.”

“You can read all about Wren and Aunt Char in the book Wren, by Alice Longaker. I’ll post all the details on the website.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing buttons today. I’m sure Alice and Aunt Char would do it for you, when your character is on the show.

“For Lisa Burton Radio, I’m Lisa Burton.”

***

Blurb

Wren’s summer plans crash with the news of her mother’s diagnosis of Breast Cancer. While her mother focuses on healing, Wren is sent to spend the summer with her grandparents in the Ozark Mountains of Arkansas.

The not-so-typical grandparents are aging hippies with goats, chickens, and alpacas as companions. With new friends, increased independence, and acres of woods to explore, Wren tries to discover what she wants to do when she is grown—an archaeologist, or ranger, perhaps a writer or a singer?

Without cell phone reception or internet access, Wren feels detached from those back home. Chiggers bite. Spiders lurk. An owl calls outside of Wren’s window. Sometimes Wren gets scared. Yet, even in bleak sorrow and loss, Wren can see that life does not have to be perfect to be good.

Title; Wren

Genre: Middle-Grade fiction

Release date: April 2017

Audience: Middle-Grade Girls

Where to Order:

Black Rose Writing: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/childrens-booksya/wren

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Wren-Alice-Longaker/dp/1612968546

Barnes & Noble:

https://www.barnesandnoble.com/w/wren-alice-longaker/1126086449

Biography

Although she writes in many forms, Alice Longaker is first of all a poet. Her job is to see the wonder of something newly made from old patterns.

A self-professed late bloomer, she obtained a master’s degree from the University of Northern Colorado. She wandered through a library career—the solitude of cataloging, the austere aisles of a research library, and a boisterous children’s library.

Alice then taught research, composition, literature, and Intensive English to college students throughout Colorado. She currently dabbles in tutoring international students, and heeding the ‘call of stories,’ she writes. New projects include a collection of lyrical essays, poetry, and perhaps sequels to WREN.

Links

Website for youth: WREN: https://wrenbyalicelongaker.wordpress.com

Facebook author page: Alice Longaker-Author https://www.facebook.com/alicelongakercolorado

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/longakeralley

Twitter: Alice Longaker: https://twitter.com/AliceLongaker

Organizations

Northern Colorado Writers: http://www.northerncoloradowriters.com

43 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio

The Curse of Time, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Lisa Burton

Welcome to this week’s edition of Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl. Life is hard, and we all go through some rough patches. Some of us go through extraordinary patches, and we aren’t the same when we come out.

Imagine for a moment, you’re the most popular girl in school. You’re good at sports, tons of friends or hopeful friends orbit around. You’re beyond pretty. Then one day, you’re abducted. Everything changes, who you are, who you hope to become, gone in an instant. But it’s worse than that. What happened to you took a turn for the paranormal. That’s the case with my special guest today. “Welcome to the show, Esme.”

“Thank you Lisa, I’m honoured to be your guest.”

“Why don’t you tell our listeners where you are right now, please?”

“I’m trapped in a mirror.”

“Ooooh, tough blow, Esme. Mirrors have been magical pathways for centuries. Are you able to look beyond into another plane, or is this like some kind of magic mirror enslavement?”

“It’s not magic mirror enslavement Lisa; I can’t do anyone’s bidding! All I can do is look out and see the same strange reality every day. I’m in a house but it isn’t my home. I recognise the girl who lives here, Amelina, an only child.  I’m on an endless sleepover but Amelina didn’t invite me and I can tell you it’s no party. There’s no exit. If I try to step too far forward the cold glass presses against my fingertips. Amelina sees me in my mirror prison wherever she walks. It’s her house, and her house has become my prison. It seems as if I am enclosed in a single mirror and yet Amelina can see my reflection in many rooms. There is one exception – the attic at the top of the house. For some reason I never get to talk to Amelina up there. I don’t eat, or drink and I don’t die. All I do is breathe, cry, laugh hysterically and collapse.  I’m not stable; my mental health issues are getting worse. I long to escape. Amelina longs to escape too. She walks out but she will never desert us.”

“I’m just theorizing here, but it seems to me that someone put you inside the mirror. You may need someone to help you find that person and make them reverse the curse. You said you’re stuck in Amelina’s room. Is she someone you trust enough to help you?”

“Yes Lisa your theorising is correct. Someone put me in this mirror but if I told you who that person is there would be terrible consequences. My only hope is that Amelina will help me. She is unaware of her powers but two events will happen in succession which will trigger her abilities. The first, is an invitation to visit the mysterious Crystal Cottage, the second is a magical crystal paint set – a gift from Amelina’s aunt. There is also a third source of power, but this is a dark shadow she must avoid at all costs. There is a black cat, Shadow who holds the secret of this source but he does not speak. He is 99% good. I have only known one time when I saw his 1% bad but that was frightening.”

“Um, yeah. Magical abilities and a black cat sound like clues to me. How good a friend is Amelina again?”

“Amelina and I were never friends at school. I was Miss Popularity, and she was Miss Obscurity. But now I have all the time in the world to listen, and to talk. I realize I misjudged her. She has hidden depths, whereas I was all surface, and superficiality.”

“So if it wasn’t Amelina, who else might be checking up on you? People usually do things for a reason, and it’s odd that nobody has asked you for anything.”

“Not true! Amelina has begged me to tell her more about this curse but I have told her I can’t reveal what I know. It’s too dangerous. One look at Amelina’s dad and you’ll see what I mean. He’s aged unnaturally, but it’s more than that.  He’s lost a cherished part of him. Amelina’s mum hasn’t aged but every aspect of her yells bitter. Both of them look like a cruel caricature painting. Just recently, Amelina has taken to walking down this forbidden river pathway where she met Ryder. Every time I see Ryder my skin crawls.”

“Does everyone talk to you, or are some people incapable of seeing you inside the mirror?”

“No, not everyone talks to me. Ryder doesn’t. Amelina’s aunt Karissa never blinks an eyelid in my direction which is unusual as she natters and gossips non-stop. I expect that means she doesn’t see me. Amelina’s parents talk to me. No scratch that, they tell me what they daren’t tell anyone else. I reckon they’d both have a fit if they knew I’d been listening to them spill their guts out. They have a permanent house guest/prisoner and they’ve no idea.”

“Wow, not a lot of clues to go on. I worry that you won’t be able to get free once more. Any closing thoughts for our listeners today?”

“Lisa, there are numerous clues but like the Crystal cottage they are hidden. There are depths of meaning in this story. You have to delve into the puzzle to reveal the mystery. I’m trapped so Amelina has to find those clues. It is frustrating having no control over what happens. Sometimes Amelina and I fall out because of that mounting frustration. I fear for her knowing what I know. She is too trusting. I implore her to see the darkness that hides in the shadows. If The Curse of Time won’t release us, our fates will continue to be an individual prison with or without bars.”

“You can read all about Esme’s plight in the book The Curse of Time, by Marjorie Mallon. I’ll include all the pertinents on the website.

“You can also help them out by using the sharing buttons on the website. Tell your friends on Facebook, or Google+ about Esme’s plight. I’m sure they’ll do it for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio show.

***

The Curse of TimeOn Amelina Scott’s thirteenth birthday, her father disappears under mysterious circumstances. Saddened by this traumatic event, she pieces together details of a curse that has stricken the heart and soul of her family.

Amelina longs for someone to confide in. Her once carefree mother has become angry and despondent. One day a strange black cat and a young girl, named Esme appear. Immediately, Esme becomes the sister Amelina never had. The only catch is that Esme must remain a prisoner, living within the mirrors of Amelina’s house.

Dreams and a puzzling invitation convince Amelina the answer to her family’s troubles lies within the walls of the illusive Crystal Cottage. Undaunted by her mother’s warnings, Amelina searches for the cottage on an isolated Cambridgeshire pathway where she encounters a charismatic young man, named Ryder. At the right moment, he steps out of the shadows, rescuing her from the unwanted attention of two male troublemakers.

With the help of an enchanted paint set, Amelina meets the eccentric owner of the cottage, Leanne, who instructs her in the art of crystal magic. In time, she earns the right to use three wizard stones. The first awakens her spirit to discover a time of legends, and later, leads her to the Bloodstone, the supreme cleansing crystal which has the power to restore the balance of time. Will Amelina find the power to set her family free?

A YA/middle grade fantasy set in Cambridge, England exploring various themes/aspects: Light, darkness, time, shadows, a curse, magic, deception, crystals, art, poetry, friendships, teen relationships, eating disorders, self-harm, anxiety, depression, family, puzzles, mystery, a black cat, music, a mix of sadness, counterbalanced by a touch of humour.

Pick up your copy at this link.

Marjorie MallonI am a debut author who has been blogging for three years: https://mjmallon.com. My interests include writing, photography, poetry, and alternative therapies. I write Fantasy YA, middle grade fiction and micro poetry – haiku and tanka. I love to read and have written over 100 reviews: https://mjmallon.com/2015/09/28/a-z-of-my-book-reviews/

My alter ego is MJ – Mary Jane from Spiderman. I love superheros! I was born on the 17th of November in Lion City: Singapore, (a passionate Scorpio, with the Chinese Zodiac sign a lucky rabbit,) second child and only daughter to my proud parents Paula and Ronald. I grew up in a mountainous court in the Peak District in Hong Kong with my elder brother Donald. My parents dragged me away from my exotic childhood and my much loved dog Topsy to the frozen wastelands of Scotland. In bonnie Edinburgh I mastered Scottish country dancing, and a whole new Och Aye lingo.

As a teenager I travelled to many far-flung destinations to visit my abacus wielding wayfarer dad. It’s rumoured that I now live in the Venice of Cambridge, with my six foot hunk of a Rock God husband, and my two enchanted daughters. After such an upbringing my author’s mind has taken total leave of its senses! When I’m not writing, I eat exotic delicacies while belly dancing, or surf to the far reaches of the moon. To chill out, I practise Tai Chi. If the mood takes me I snorkel with mermaids, or sign up for idyllic holidays with the Chinese Unicorn, whose magnificent voice sings like a thousand wind chimes.

Social media contacts:

My Amazon UK Author Page

My Amazon US Author Page

My Amazon Canada Author Page

My blog – for information about new releases, photos of main characters/character interviews, book reviews and inspiration: https://mjmallon.com

My New Facebook Group #ABRSC: Authors/Bloggers Rainbow Support Club on Facebook

Instagram: Instagram

Twitter: @Marjorie_Mallon and Twitter: @curseof_time

Facebook: Facebook: m j mallon author

Tumblr: Tumblr: mjmallonauthor

I have devoted the past few years to writing over 100 reviews on My Goodreads Review Account, and on my blog to help support traditional and indie writers.

Photo credit: Black cat Alex Marlowe – https://alexmarloweblog.wordpress.com. Shadow the cat is modelled by Samantha Murdoch’s cat Lily – https://samanthamurdochblog.wordpress.com/

Photo credit: Corpus Chronopage on book cover – Inventor Dr John C Taylor, OBE. http://www.johnctaylor.com/the-chronophage/


Artwork: Esme Portrait – available to buy via Carolina Russo’s wonderful art page: https://yesterdayafter.com/2017/09/06/new-release-esme-bringing-alive-a-character-with-a-painting-collaboration-with-author-mj-mallon/

If you’d like to vote for me in the AuthorsDB cover and first line contest here’s the link to find out how to do so: https://mjmallon.com/2017/09/08/please-vote-for-me-in-authorsdb-first-line-contest/

62 Comments

Filed under Lisa Burton Radio