Meet FJ Stewart!

Dive into The Hatchling, Soul Keeper.  It is two thousand years into the future after the Great Change, when the planet turned over, and the human species is down to about fifty million worldwide. Magic has reentered this world, and the environment is pristine.
And so it is, on a calm green sea sails the Taraway, an old two-piston wreck, carrying its crew of fishermen. The crew notices a strange thing: a damaged vessel surging through the water embroiled in its own personal storm, with a ravaged woman tied to the mast. She is stranded on the ocean terribly weakened, with a broken ship and no retinue. The kind captain and his crew take her in and become intoxicated by her beauty. But she has guiled the crew into assisting her. In fact she is the queen of an alien race called the Voth. The queen is on a desperate mission across the world to save her species, a mission that — if successful — threatens to destroy all of humanity, putting an end to earth’s peaceful existence.
The key to her success is her unborn child. This ‘Hatchling’ holds great powers and his sole purpose is to finish his mother’s mission, a goal that will bring full magical abilities back to the Voth. Yet as the Hatchling grows and experiences the world around him, he discovers that there is much more to his new life than what his mother had planned. Soon he learns to harness his developing powers. But is it for good, or is it for evil? —-Book Excerpt.

 How long have you been writing?
I’ve been telling stories since I was a child to escape a tough upbringing. I’ve been writing professionally for just over ten years.

What is your most recent literary/artistic project?

I am currently completing a trilogy. The series is called “The Hatchling”. I’ve already written the first two books; the first one, The Hatchling Soul Keeper, is published and is for sale. The second one, The Hatchling, Migration, is almost done being edited, and will be out soon.

What inspires you to write?

Life inspires me. My daughters inspire me. My wife. My past experiences. I’ve lived a full life with many hardships, but with a lot of laughter and fun. I also live in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by trees, mountains, rivers. Gives a lot of room for creative thinking.

Who’s your favorite author and why?

I have many, but I always go back to Hemingway. I enjoy his truncated style of writing. Simple, direct, strong. Deep meaning always beneath the surface.

What advice can you give to other authors or writers?

Don’t over-think the story. Let it come organically. Close your eyes and see the end, then just have fun filling it all in until you get there. Get out of the city, too, if you can. Even if it’s just for a week. Get out of the smog and clear your brain.

Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?

My website: http://www.fjstewart.weebly.com. I’m also on twitter @fjstewart42.
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Meet Cindy Cowles!

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If I Could Turn Back Time, is a NA Romance.  Imagine if you could go back and fix your biggest regret, change your mind and make a different choice? Would you do it?  Sara does.   Four years ago she made a huge mistake that has haunted her every day since.  She  lost so much in the blink of an eye. Now, that she has been given a second chance, a chance to hit the reset button…she will stop at nothing to make it right.  But let’s hope, she doesn’t screw up again.

How long have you been writing?

I wrote my first poem at age 8. I kept a notebook and wrote them in it. I’d show them to my mom, and she always kept all of them. A year or two later, I started writing short stories, too, and though I’ve paused at certain points in my life, I never stopped writing.

What is your most recent literary/artistic project?

Wow, that’s a tough one, because I have several going. The one I started last would be a story about a young witch who moves back to her mother’s home town with her mother, after her parents separate. She meets family she never knew existed, starts noticing a lot of strange things, inconsistencies, and follows her findings to a huge, disturbing discovery. It’s called Infernal Beauty.

What inspires you to write?

The characters in my head inspire me to write. They tell me their stories and I share them with the world.

Who’s your favorite author and why?

My favorite author is Anne Rice, because she was the first author I read that wrote in more than one genre, like I enjoy doing. All of the other authors I read wrote either sci-fi or fantasy or romance, but that was it. Here I was, writing romances, sci-fi, fantasy, and poetry, and she helped me see that that was okay.

What advice can you give to other authors or writers?

Don’t stop writing. Don’t give up. Each story you write gets a bit better, a bit more polished. And, traditional publishing isn’t the only or necessarily the best route. If you don’t fit into their narrow perceptions of ‘right’ and ‘publishable’, it’s not the end. Don’t give up. Self publishing is a great option. It might be a bit harder, but it can be done…with persistence.

Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?

If readers want to see more of my work, I can be found on Goodreads, under both Cindy Cowles and AnnaBelle Ashley. My stories are published on Amazon kindle, Apple iBooks, B&N, Smashwords, Kobo and ARe (All Romance eBooks) I also have a few books available through Create Space, if you’re a fan of paperback.

Meet John Hope!

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John Hope is the author of Silencing Sharks, a book that teaches the importance of compassion, friendship, and doing the right thing, even when it’s not easy.  According to the author, this book is told through the silent lens of 13-year-old Peter. Deaf and tormented by neighborhood bullies, Peter seeks solace in summertime snorkeling outings with his eccentric Viking-horn-helmeted Uncle Sverrir. But after a dangerous encounter with a giant hammerhead predator, Peter discovers he has a unique gift: He can talk to sharks. Peter quickly learns that the sharks near his Florida home are being mysteriously killed off. They need his help. Thrust into a scary but exciting adventure, both above- and below-water, Peter is distressed to learn that his dad, a chef, is connected to the crime—being blackmailed by his boss to cook up illegal shark-fin soup. Peter sets himself to the daunting task of saving both the sharks and his father, but to do so, he must rely on the very bullies who have tormented him.
 silencing-sharks-john-hope
How long have you been writing?
I’ve been writing seriously since 2001, starting with short stories and scripts for local performing arts. My first children’s book was published in 2012, with my first novel published in 2014.
What is your most recent literary/artistic project?
Silencing Sharks, a novel about a deaf 13-year-old boy who learns he can talk to sharks. Using the advice from an eccentric, Viking-loving uncle, he has to team up with neighborhood bullies to rescue the sharks from poachers who are making illegal shark fin soup while saving his blackmailed dad. I’ve received a lot of positive feedback from readers on this one, several personally reaching out to me with thanks for covering such important issues.
What inspires you to write?
Everybody. People’s reactions to my stories make it all worth while. I strive for two things in everything I write: make people think, and make people feel. It truly excites me when I’m able to reach people in such deep, intimate ways.
Who’s your favorite author and why? 
This is always an impossible question for me. I love so many stories and the authors who compose them. Stories themselves are so primordial to being human that everybody has an author inside them. I love it every time I have the privilege to enjoy the stories that come out of people, regardless how they share it, through words, theater, movies, etc. I hate to say this, but I really don’t have a single favorite, I’ve got dozens, maybe hundreds, of favorites. They include friends, family, famous and unknown acquaintances. I love them all.
What advice can you give to other authors or writers? 
Write everyday, and force yourself to finish the stories you’ve begun. Both are very hard for everybody. Writing is hard, very hard at times, especially when doing it well. But it’s a skill that grows and matures the more you do it. Often, I come across people who have a great story bubbling up inside them, but they sit on it for years and sometimes never act on it. What a shame to neglect something so wonderful. Let it out.

Where can readers go to find out more information about your work?
My website http://www.johnhopewriting.com has all of my published works and is continually updated with the latest books. The site contains free presentations, fun worksheets, and even comics. The main page also has a field that allows people to sign up for my monthly newsletter, that gives readers opportunities for free story downloads and special inside info.

 

Review: Mother Bruce by Ryan T. Higgins

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Finally, here’s a children’s book that makes sense!  Mother Bruce is an amazingly clever book that brings a modern day spin to a very popular moniker:   Mother Goose. Traditionally, we have come to know Mother Goose as a lovable motherly figure who has graciously bestowed upon us the wondrous world of fairy-tales and nursery rhymes.   Had she in fact been a real goose, there’s no doubt she would have been a doting mother. Mother Bruce, on the other hand, bears no resemblance (excuse the pun). To begin, Mother Bruce is not quite a mother, at least not in a biological sort of way.   She, I mean he, is a grumpy old bear who becomes the victim of mistaken identity.

It all starts with a batch of eggs that he collects from Mrs. Goose.  He intends to use the eggs as ingredients for a recipe.  However, while out fetching fire wood for his stove, Bruce returns home to find that the eggs for his “would be” dinner has hatched.  Instead of satisfying his appetite for a gourmet meal, Bruce has to contend with a flock of goslings- and they think he is their mother.   As the story unfolds, Bruce does everything within his power to get rid of the annoying birds but to no avail. In the end, he finds a way to really take care of his unwanted guests once and for all. Will they finally leave?  Or, will they continue to hang around?

The beauty behind this story lies in its humor and educational value. Both teachers and parents alike will find that this book is an excellent teaching tool.  It is perfect for read-alouds.  The book provides its readers with a robust selection of vocabulary words and real world connections.  Teachers can definitely take advantage of the story’s literary elements, including the use of personification and its unintended plot. Although Mother Bruce is not your typical mother, I’m sure Mother Goose would be proud!