Monday, May 29, 2017

Realm Explorers Part XCV: Visit Fairy Falls with Sharon Ledwith

Welcome to Realm Explorers!  In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors.  Enjoy your travels!  And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book. 


Author’s name:

Sharon Ledwith

Title of book and/or series:

Lost and Found, Book One; Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls

Brief summary of the story:

Fairy Falls was bores-ville from the get-go. Then the animals started talking... 
The Fairy Falls Animal Shelter is in trouble. Money trouble. It’s up to an old calico cat named Whiskey—a shelter cat who has mastered the skill of observation—to find a new human pack leader so that their home will be saved. With the help of Nobel, the leader of the shelter dogs, the animals set out to use the ancient skill of telepathy to contact any human who bothers to listen to them. Unfortunately for fifteen-year-old Meagan Walsh, she hears them, loud and clear.
Forced to live with her Aunt Izzy in the safe and quiet town of Fairy Falls, Meagan is caught stealing and is sentenced to do community hours at the animal shelter where her aunt works. Realizing Meagan can hear her, Whiskey realizes that Meagan just might have the pack leader qualities necessary to save the animals. Avoiding Whiskey and the rest of shelter animals becomes impossible for Meagan, so she finally gives in and promises to help them. Meagan, along with her newfound friends, Reid Robertson and Natalie Knight, discover that someone in Fairy Falls is not only out to destroy the shelter, but the animals as well. Can Meagan convince her aunt and co-workers that the animals are in danger? If she fails, then all the animals’ voices will be silenced forever.

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:

I took all of my childhood and adult experiences from vacationing and living in cottage country to breathe life into Fairy Falls, and the surrounding area. When you think of a small, northern tourist town, what emotional cord does it strike? Vacationing with the family when you were young? Visiting your grandparents at their cottage? Camping in the backwoods with your friends? Whatever vision you conjure, I’m sure you have plenty of happy memories of that special place. That’s the basis of creating the town of Fairy Falls. I wanted to give my teen psychic mystery book series a nostalgic feeling coupled with a sense of adventure and…wait for it…the supernatural. Welcome to Fairy Falls. Expected the unexpected.

If we were to visit Fairy Falls as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?

When we used to live in cottage country, we’d visit the local bakery in the tiny town five minutes south of us. The smell of fresh baking does something to a body. Sometimes it takes you back to when life was simpler. The downtown core of Fairy Falls hosts such a bakery, and is situated so you can sit at one of the ample tables beside the Vista River and enjoy your sweet treat, while watching the boats slowly putt by. Or better yet, book a boat tour to go on a three-hour cruise that takes you through a lock system, and into Blueberry Lake. Other draws to this tourist haven include The Court Jester, the local bar and grill, serving up down-home food courtesy of the area famers and growers. Oh, and make sure you don’t forget to stop by the Fairy Falls Farmers’ Market on Saturdays to score a deal from one of the crafters, produce, or food stands. Tell them Sharon sent you…

What dangers should we avoid in Fairy Falls?

The usual suspects. Bears and blackflies. Oh, and the odd swarm of mosquitoes.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Fairy Falls?

Yes, you must go to the Court Jester and try the Jester Burger! It’s topped with a slice of Canadian back bacon and pepper jack cheese, and piled high with onions, garlic, and mushrooms, all fresh from the Fairy Falls Farmers’ Market. Add a pint of locally brewed Blackfly beer, and this meal will bring tears of joy to your eyes! Sit on the patio and enjoy the view of the Vista River where it may transport you to back to those good old days, and happy childhood memories.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Fairy Falls?

Same as anywhere on Earth: trains, planes, automobiles, and boats. And like any small northern town, Fairy Falls has a train station that runs along its outskirts, a bus depot in the middle of town, and a bustling marina on the bend of the Vista River, just past the Court Jester. Fairy Falls also boasts access to a small airport fifteen minutes south, just off the busy highway. Those who love to explore trails hop on their all-terrain vehicles and take in the sights too. So there’s plenty of ways to get to, or get out of Fairy Falls, but trust me once you’ve arrived here, and experienced the beauty of nature and serene setting this town has to offer, you’ll never want to leave.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Fairy Falls?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.

Well, it’s not so much magic, but more on the paranormal side. Fairy Falls has always been a magical place, but for some reason it seems to be a haven for those with psychic abilities. In Lost and Found, the animals at the Fairy Falls Animal Shelter need a champion to save their shelter, and find one in rebellious Meagan Walsh, who’s a bona fide telepathic animal communicator. There are others with different psychic powers who have been (or will be) drawn to Fairy Falls, not to hide, but feel that they have been forced here by circumstances beyond their control. Or could it be a matter of serendipity that has brought them to the small, tourist town?

Is there any advanced or unusual technology in Fairy Falls?  If you haven’t described it already, please give some examples.

Honestly, it’s hard enough just to get high speed internet in Fairy Falls. However, cell phones are getting better reception as more towers are being built, and seeing satellite dishes on almost every cottage roof has unfortunately (or fortunately) become the norm. But in my opinion, as far as advanced technology goes, sometimes it’s nice to unplug while you’re visiting Fairy Falls, and let nature stir your soul.

Tell us about any sports, games, or activities that are available for entertainment in Fairy Falls.

Lacrosse is very popular in Fairy Falls. Even the local high school has a winning team that’s hard to beat. Summer swells in population with the tourists and cottagers, so fishing, boating, water skiing, and tubing are favorite sports and past times. In the long winter months, hockey is the staple along with curling, as well as snowmobiling across the network of frozen lakes and trails. And believe me, you’d better have a sport or hobby to keep you busy during a Fairy Falls winter, because sometimes the ice doesn’t come off the lakes until May. Brrrr!

What holidays or special events are celebrated regularly in Fairy Falls?

That’s an easy one! There are three long weekends during the summer months, and Fairy Falls relies on these holidays to boost their economy enough to keep the town running all year round. The first long weekend is in May where firework celebrations dominate the skies. The second is at the beginning of July which includes more fireworks, street parties, and starts the beginning of farmers’ market season. The third is usually on the first weekend of September, when Fairy Falls hosts their famous fall fair which includes a concert, carnival rides, and a smash-up derby. 

What is the political or government structure in Fairy Falls?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?

Fairy Falls is like any small town with a mayor, deputy mayor, and a selection of town counsellors. At the moment, Mike MacGregor is at the helm as this town’s mayor. Unfortunately, Mayor MacGregor is in mourning with the loss of his wife, Joy, who sat on as one of the counsellors for Fairy Falls. She was viciously attacked and murdered, and her killer is still at large. These characters are featured in the next installment of Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls, Blackflies and Blueberries.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?

Absolutely! Fairy Falls and its surrounding area is a cumulative result of all the small, northern tourist towns I’ve visited as a child (and adult) that has left an emotional impression on me. Every sight, sound, smell, taste, and feeling of what I’ve experienced has trickled out of me and into the fictitious town that is Fairy Falls.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?

In Lost and Found, it’s more about speaking up for the animals, and the need for constant fundraising and continued support for the upkeep of an animal shelter. I also touch on bullying in the work place as well as dealing with bullies. There are some unique ways which my characters try to right wrongs and stand up for themselves and the animals, and I must say, I’m pretty proud of this book and its messages. It truly is a story about being a champion of the underdog.

Author Autobiography:
 
Sharon Ledwith is the author of the middle-grade/young adult time travel adventure series, THE LAST TIMEKEEPERS, and the teen psychic mystery series, MYSTERIOUS TALES FROM FAIRY FALLS. When not writing, researching, or revising, she enjoys reading, exercising, anything arcane, and an occasional dram of scotch. Sharon lives a serene, yet busy life in a southern tourist region of Ontario, Canada, with her hubby, one spoiled yellow Labrador and a moody calico cat.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?

All my books are available in paperback and ebook formats. Below is a list of my buy links for each book series:

Mysterious Tales from Fairy Falls Teen Psychic Mystery Series:
Lost and Found, Book One Buy Links:

And for those readers who love to escape to the past and have a blast…

The Last Timekeepers Time Travel Adventure Series:

The Last Timekeepers and the Dark Secret, Book #2 Buy Links:
The Last Timekeepers and the Arch of Atlantis, Book #1 Buy Links:
Legend of the Timekeepers, prequel Buy Links:

Where can readers connect with you online?

Learn more about Sharon Ledwith on her WEBSITE and BLOG. Look up her AMAZON AUTHOR page for a list of current books. Stay connected on FACEBOOK, TWITTER, GOOGLE+, and GOODREADS.


I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Fairy Falls.  Questions about the world or the book?  Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!  

Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.

Please join us again next Monday for a trip to another world in next week's edition of Realm Explorers!
-Annie Douglass Lima
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Saturday, May 27, 2017

All the Way My Savior Leads: an Orphans of the West Adventure by Faith Blum

 About the Book

 Caroline and I walked out the back door and went into the barn.
“What are we going to do?” Caroline asked.
“Head out on our own. Saddle Whitey, please.”
Caroline’s mouth gaped open. “They’ll find us.”
“I know.”
Caroline sighed. “What can we do then?”
I shook my head. “We can stick together. Always.”

Tragedy stole everything from him … except her …

Three years ago, an illness orphaned Henry and Caroline Sullivan. The harsh years at the orphanage have forged a strong bond between the pair.

But Henry’s about to age out.

He must choose whether to leave his only family behind in relative safety, or take her with him as he pursues dreams of owning a farm. Henry trusts that God has a plan for him, but little does he know that others have plans for him and his younger sister as well. He will need all his faith to find the right path.

Although this is the second book in the series, it can be read as a standalone.

Note: 50% of my income from this series will go to the World Orphans organization.


About the Author

Faith Blum is a 20-something author of multiple books in various genres. She loves to write, read, play piano, knit, crochet, sew, watch movies, and play games with her family.  She lives in Wisconsin with her family on a small family farm where they raise goats, chickens, turkeys, ducks, and have 2 dogs and a varying number of cats.
Faith’s goal in her writing is to encourage Christians in their walk with Christ. If you enjoyed this book, go to her website to sign up for her Monthly Newsletter so you can get an email with fun facts, giveaways, and so much more every month. You will also find links to her other Social Media sites on her website. She loves to hear from her readers, so feel free to contact her.

Double Sale


For May 26-31 only, get both books in the Orphans of the West series for just $0.99 each! They are both available on Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, iBooks, and more.


Giveaway




Three prizes, three winners! The grand prize is a Savior, Like a Shepherd notebook and paperback. Sorry, but the lantern isn’t mine to giveaway. In second and third prize, the winners will receive a free eBook of All the Way My Savior Leads.

Note: The grand prize is open only to those in the continental US, but the other two are open to all.


Tour Schedule

May 26
Annie Louise Twitchell-Review

May 27

May 28
God's Peculiar Treasure Rae-Guest Post: Why Henry?

May 29
Writings, Ramblings, and Reflections-Character Q&A with Henry

May 30
Frances Hoelsma-Book Spotlight

May 31
Rachel Rossano’s Words-Guest Post: How I Pick Hymns

Written Rest-Review

June 1
Bookish Orchestrations-Giveaway Winner