Tag Archives: young adult

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

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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.

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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

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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

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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/

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Foul is Fair, on #LisaBurtonRadio

Coming at you with one point twenty-one jigawatts of power, this is Lisa Burton Radio. I’m your host, Lisa the robot girl, and with me in the studio is Ashling, a pixie from An Teach Deiridh. “Welcome to the show, Ashling.”

“Thank you for having me and for accommodating my service crow. Say hello, Count.”

‘Caw.’

“I find it odd that you’re from a fairy castle, but choose to spend the bulk of your time in Seattle. What’s so cool about Seattle?”

“Well, for one thing, there’s the Fremont Troll, and I totally know the guy who was the model for that, true story. Then there’s the football, and the fact that I first met the Count in Olympic National Park, not long before my wings got hurt, but really, one goes where the job leads. So really the main quality of Seattle most related to my spending so much time there these past couple decades is the local music scene and, specifically, a certain beautiful redheaded bass player in the late ‘90s. She and my employer, well, the relationship didn’t really end all that well, but it was fun while it lasted, apparently, and they got Megan out of it. Good kid, Megan. Likes art. Her father never really made it back to Seattle once he left, so she’s kinda been my super top secret charge.”

“Wait a minute. You have a job in Seattle? You mentioned your employer and your charge. Can you tell our listeners a little about that arrangement?”

“You ever try to keep a secret in the Faerie castle of An Teach Deiridh? It is not easy. Not even when the secret’s over in the mortal realm. And it’s not like the mortal realm is super safe anyway. Consider the odds that now that they’ve figured out cockroach mind-control, jewel wasps are clearly planning their next steps in world domination.

“So here I’ve been, flitting back and forth, trying to keep Megan safe and secret. And this is working in an environment where 90% of people look at a pixie and only see a butterfly. Very good for keeping a low profile, although as usual, my disability makes it a little complicated, because even your average human might blink a little at seeing a butterfly perch on the back of a crow to fly. But as usual, we make it work.”

“Now back to Megan, you called her your charge. Who gave you this mission?”

“That would be my employer, the Unseelie King. And the whole mission’s been disrupted ever since he’s gone missing. Ambushed. The kidnapping’s also led to the secret getting out somehow about Megan. Kinda couldn’t wait anymore to start talking to her about her heritage. Barely solved the medication issue – did you know that overdosing on too much ADHD medication can interfere with focusing one’s magical heritage? Little-known fact. I knew, of course. It’s my job to know these things. But anyway, barely dealt with getting her medication back to normal when she’s attacked by a redcap. In broad daylight. In Seattle. That’s An Teach Deiridh politics for you. Seelie, Unseelie—nearly everyone’s working an angle and a weapon. And we’ve got to get the king back. We especially need to get him back by Halloween, when it all gets even more complicated, and Megan’s so new at this, she literally had to ask if her dad was ‘80s David Bowie… I’m telling you, Lisa, my plate is pretty full at the moment … Count, when did I last eat?”

‘Caw’

Of course that counts as a meal. ‘Pixie’ was right there in the name, so it must be good for me…”

“Stay with me here Ashling, don’t crash just yet. Have some M & Ms, lots of sugar there. So the drama over at An Teach Deiridh is getting in the way of your mission with Megan? Who’s left defending the palace?”

“Oh, plenty of people say they’re defending An Teach Deiridh. Sidhe, bane sidhe, trolls, redcaps, pixies, sprites. Of course, even though the castle is primarily associated with Irish and British faeries, we’ve actually got Fairy Folk from origin-cultures around the world. Scandinavia, for instance, or Greece. We’re very cosmopolitan.

“Megan’s BFF is one of the menehune, the Hawaiian engineering faeries, and let me tell you, it’s nice to have it clear a few people are definitely on your side in all this politics. She’s also got an in on some arrangements to keep an eye on Megan’s mother through all this mess. I can’t do everything myself.”

“So what has to happen to get the king back home and set everything back to normal?”

“Well, word is, there’s an artifact that may help get him out of the mess. The Claiomh Solais, the Sword of Light. Thing is, nobody just hands you the Sword of Light. It’s always on the other side of a quest. Very quest-oriented, that sword. Some of the An Teach Deiridh politicians tried sending someone else, and that guy never made it back, so it’s going to be the new princess. And Megan’s just a kid. She’s managing to learn a little bit of bardic magic—you know, where you do the spell with music—due to my fabulous on-the-road explanations, but she certainly can’t handle this all alone.”

“Oh come on. We all know who’s going to take up the quest. Load your backpack with M & Ms and Pixie Stix and get on with it. What kind of risks will you face?”

“You ever hear of the Wild Hunt? The deadly annual Faerie sporting event? Well, in their down time, some of those things are going to be in our way. And so will unfordable rivers with occasionally migratory whirlpools, and that’s before we get to the lost city of Findias –“

‘Caw

“I don’t want to talk about that part, Count. I wouldn’t want you to get all emotional. And anyway, Lisa, this is all on a time crunch. If the king isn’t back by the ritual deadline, it will throw off the entire mystic balance of the seasons that will slowly destroy nearly all the art and music in the world. I think that’s giving poor Megan a bit of pressure. Luckily, I’m there to keep a level head. Quiet, stoical support; I’m very good at that.”

“Ashling, I wish you and Megan the best of luck. The obstacles are formidable, but I have faith in you. Any last ideas you want to leave with our listeners?”

“We’re almost done already? But I have so much I need to tell your listeners about. I mean, I bet they’d like to know where faeries come from. And why Count is named Count. And what everything has to do with the price of tea in China. And why dragons hate bridges. I’m full of useful knowledge. That’s why the King keeps me around, and entrusts me with keeping an eye on his daughter.

“Okay, fine. Last ideas. Everyone should have a crow for a best friend. Oh, and brownies make the best cookies. If a brownie ever offers to make cookies, YES is the only correct answer.

“Any last thoughts, Count?”

‘Caw’

“Well yes, Count. I think that goes without saying. Thanks for having us on the show, Lisa.”

“Listeners can find out what happens with Ashling and Megan in the book Foul is Fair. I’ll put all of the purchase links on the website.

“Don’t forget to use those sharing links on the way out. I’m sure Ashling would appreciate it, and she’d do the same for you when your character appears on the next Lisa Burton Radio.”

***

Lots of girls play Fairy Princess when they’re little. Megan O’Reilly had no idea the real thing was like playing chess, guitar, and hockey all at once. Megan had known for a long time that she wasn’t an entirely typical girl. But living with ADHD—and her mother’s obsessions—was a very different thing from finding out she wasn’t entirely human. Somewhere out there, in a completely different world, her father needs help. There’s a conflict, revolving around Faerie seasonal rituals, that could have consequences for humanity—and if Megan’s getting the terminology straight, it sounds like her family aren’t even supposed to be the good guys. As she’s further and further swept up in trying to save her father, Megan may be getting too good at not being human.

 

Purchase your copy here.

 

 

Jeffrey Cook lives in Maple Valley, Washington, with his wife and three large dogs. He was born in Boulder, Colorado, but has lived all over the United States. He’s the author of the Dawn of Steam trilogy of alternate-history/emergent Steampunk epistolary novels and the YA contemporary fantasy series the Fair Folk Chronicles. He’s a founding contributing author of Writerpunk Press and affiliate of the Clockwork Dragon author’s conglomerate. When not reading, researching, or writing, Jeffrey enjoys role-playing games and watching football. Katherine Perkins lives in Ontario, Ohio, with her husband and one extremely skittish cat. She was born in Lafayette, Louisiana, and will defend its cuisine on any field of honor. She is the series editor of the Dawn of Steam series and co-author of both the Fair Folk Chronicles and various short stories, including those for the charity anthologies of Writerpunk Press. When not reading, researching, writing, or editing, she tries to remember what she was supposed to be doing.

Connect with Jeffrey and Katherine at the following places:

authorjeffreycook.com

clockworkdragon.net

facebook.com/dawnofsteamtrilogy

twitter.com/jeffreycook74

 

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I have the Book of the Moment

It’s a huge honor to have Will O’ the Wisp as the “Book of the Moment” over at Venture Galleries.

Will O’ The Wisp by C. S. Boyack

Will O' The Wisp by C. S. BoyackPurchase:

  • Buy for Kindle

This book goes beyond YA and should be enjoyable for anyone who loves a terrific plot that is beautifully written.

There is something evil up Bergamot Holler, and it’s been targeting the Hall family for generations.

Read on here

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