Monday, June 19, 2017

Realm Explorers Part XCVI: Visit Alora with Lara Ann

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:
Lara Ann

Title of book and/or series:
The Alora Chronicles

Brief summary of the story:
I’ve just met the perfect guy…pity he’s a figment of my imagination.
What happens when your dreams are better than reality?
Ash has been dreaming about Wyn, he’s different than anyone she’s ever met before. He’s been trying to convince her that he’s real and he needs her help.
It’s like something out of a fairytale and we all know fairytales aren’t true…right?

Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Alora is a parallel universe to earth. It is a land of forests, Elves and magic.

If we were to visit Alora as tourists, what would you recommend that we see or do there?
Who wouldn’t want to see what an Elven city looks like? I know I certainly would. I would recommend doing a tour of the Castle and then taking a horse ride up to the lookout that gives you a view over the city all the way to the ocean. After that I would go and see the treehouse stronghold known as Sanctuary.

What dangers should we avoid in Alora?
Like anywhere, there are bad Elves that live in Alora. The place I would definitely stay away from though would be Onvyr. The Elves there would probably kill you once they realised you were human.

Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Alora?
Well Argus would probably serve you some eel stew and then laugh at you while you pulled faces. I would recommend some of the sweet desert balls as a favourite.

What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Alora?
Stave fighting is the predominant form of combat, although archery and magical elements are also used. The honour code says stave fighting is the true form of combat to display your fighting skill.

What types of vehicles, animals, technology, etc. are used to travel in or to Alora?
Elves ride horses or walk to get where they are going, although to travel between worlds you will need one of the rare travelling artefacts. The Jaega Locket belonging to Ash is the most powerful of the artefacts.

What role, if any, does magic or the supernatural play in the lives of people in Alora?  If there is magic, please give some examples of what it involves or how it’s used.
All Elves possess magic in the form of gifts. Some of these manifest in childhood, while others aren’t apparent until the Elf reaches adulthood at the age of 18. These gifts can be almost anything from the rare gift of mind telepathy with animals that Wyn has, to the more common gift of speed. Some gifts are used to help others like healing, where others can be used to inflict pain and influence mood.

Is there a particular religion practiced in Alora?  Please describe what it involves.
Elves believe in a Creator. Although this is not widely discussed in the books.

What is the political or government structure in Alora?  Who is in charge there at the moment, and what kind of leader is he/she?
Alora is a Monarchy, although the rule is not passed from generation to generation. Instead there is a competition of strength, skill and moral courage that determines the next ruler. All Elves are eligible to compete as we see in book 3.

Has anything in your actual life inspired the locations, cultures, etc. in your book?
The Elves are probably a reflection of what I feel makes a more ideal society. Although they certainly aren’t perfect, they strive to work together for the good of all. Even though there is a ruling monarch ideally they don’t see themselves as greater than the people they rule, but rather a a protecter and organiser of the society. This is evidenced by the fact that anyone can become King or Queen.

What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
Loyalty, war and racial inequality and social standing as well as slurs upon a person because of their birth parents.

Author Autobiography:
Lara is an Australian writer who writes young adult fiction. She lives in Tasmania. 
Having moved to the island state in 2013, the stunning coastline and beautiful forests inspired her to set part of her series The Alora Chronicles here.
In her spare time she enjoys wandering through national parks and chasing waterfalls with her family.

Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books? 
All my books are available on Amazon

Where can readers connect with you online? 

https://www.facebook.com/laraann.books/

I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Alora.  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

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Girl in the Spotlight: an Ice Skating Romance with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
Girl in the Spotlight
By Virginia McCullough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below...



Launch - Author Interview

If you could sum the book up in one sentence, what would you say?

Lark McGee and Miles Jenkins shared the painful experience of giving up a child, but without fanfare or effort they’re given a path to see their daughter, and if they have the courage, to grab their second chance with each other.

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Who are Lark and Miles?

When Miles and Lark met as college students both confided their big career dreams. It was such a
pleasure to portray a guy who early in life chose to become a professional speaker/consultant. I’m
familiar with that life, so I know how much time speakers spend in airports and hotel rooms, with phones and laptops as their only companions.


"I so loved this story and I was pulling for Miles and Lark to not only get to meet their daughter, but to realize they were meant to be together. This is a heartwarming tale of love almost lost but found again. I highly recommend Girl In The Spotlight."

Book Lover in Florida - Love Those Second Chances

What would life be without second chances? Pretty bleak, I’d say. I think most of us fall in love with second chance stories. And why not? It’s a universal theme in many ways, because all our lives we identify with the longing for second chances. People joke about Zog and Grog sitting around “the cave” or the campfire telling stories, but for as long as humans have been on the planet, we’ve be inspired by stories. Whether a particular story involves popular culture, folklore, or religion, the “plots” likely offers the characters second chances.


"Girl in the Spotlight by Virginia McCullough puts you right in the audience, sitting high up in the arena seating, experiencing the skating competitions along with the fictional spectators. You’ll hold your breath for every axel and lutz and salchow, and you’ll easily be able to picture the sparkling costumes and the ‘kiss-n-cry’ bench as we all wait for the scores. Though the pace is slow in some places and the story overall is light on romance, you’ll be emotionally invested in this compelling story from the very first chapter!"


Perrie Lynn skated to the center of the ice, and after one last quick pivot, she assumed her starting position in the center of the ice and the melody of Moonlight Sonata began.
Lark’s tears flowed freely. Miraculously, though, after the first couple of jumps her tears stopped. Along with all sense of time and any focus on technical elements. She lost herself in Perrie Lynn’s graceful journey across the ice and the triple jumps that brought outbreaks of applause. Maybe it was the lightness of her arm movements that enchanted Lark the most. No, the extension of her dramatic arabesques captured Lark’s attention.

When Perrie Lynn finished her final spin, Lark let her head drop against Miles’ shoulder. “Thank you for this.”



"Girl in the Spotlight was well written and the words flowed perfectly. I enjoyed getting to know Miles and Lark as well as there children. . . . The book was enjoyable, the characters truly loved the daughter they had been unable to watch grow. "

Becky on Books - Excerpt

Detecting an edge of apprehension in her voice, he said, “Oh, Lark, it’s nothing bad. No need to worry.” He put his hand on his chest, hoping to slow the pounding of his heart. “It’s just that I believe it’s possible, not a certainty, but possible, our—our child, our daughter…is a figure skater. Sort of a rising star.”

A sharp intake of air. Then silence.



"I really enjoyed reading this book. It has a really sweet story that could very well be a true story. It is very real. . . . I would recommend this book to other readers. It is a clean sweet story. I enjoyed it very much."

Mel's Shelves - Hope and Healing Come First

Whenever I’m asked about the broad themes of my novels, I quickly respond, “Hope, healing, and plenty of second chances.” GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT is no different. Lark and Miles earn their second chance in stages starting with hope. Lark never stopped hoping that one day she will learn what happened to the child she gave up, and maybe, just maybe, she’ll be give a chance to meet her. Miles hopes Lark will forgive him for not stepping up when they were young and faced with such a life-changing decision. It’s his biggest regret.


"I really felt like this was two books in one – love story meets long lost child story. It had the perfect balance of both stories – neither one dominated the other. This is the first time I have read a book by Virginia McCullough, so I wasn’t sure what to expect. I’ve heard from others that I would not be disappointed, and they were right! She has a charming way of telling a story that will tug at your emotions, yet leave you with a smile."

Harlie's Books - Excerpt

Lark could probably calculate the exact number of days and hours that had passed since she’d murmured reassuring words to the tiny bundle in her arms. I’m so sorry, but it’s for the best, little one. She’d stared at the perfect little face one last time and drew her closer to her heart. I promise you’ll have a good life with people who will love you so, so much. They can give you what I could never hope to. A family.

It's All About the Romance - Let’s Go to the Movies! What are Your Favorite Second Chance Movies? 

So many all-time favorite movies have a second chance theme. Maybe this is why big fans have watched them multiple times. Here are a few of my favorites.


AMUSED BY HOW proud he was that he’d asked Lark out on a real date, Miles’s heart raced. Even his hands were clammy, like a teenager who knew that his date wasn’t just any girl. She was special. At some point, maybe after watching Perrie Lynn skate live for the first time, Miles was hit by how fast the weekend had passed. He’d wished he could have slowed it down, made it last.



“The girl is a beautiful skater,” Andi said. “From the flash I saw, you and Lark seemed like quite a couple, huddled together, all smiles. Is there something you’re not telling me? And what about Perrie Lynn’s mother? I heard she’s sick.”

I Am A Reader - What Do we Know about Perrie Lynn?

A couple of my reader-writer friends have remarked about Perrie Lynn being so vibrant and real, even though she’s not “on stage” in the book. One friend said she found herself tense waiting for Perrie Lynn’s performance scores—just like the minutes of waiting during televised competitions! I like that—as far as I’m concerned, Perrie Lynn is out there living her life. So, even seeing her from afar, what do we know about her?


The kiss. It was all she’d thought about the last two days. She sat on her couch in the TV room with her feet tucked under her, warm in heavy wool socks. Her open tablet sat balanced on her lap. How delicious to be held in his arms. She shook her head—again—to concentrate on the article displayed on the screen. Normally, a piece on rare and virulent viruses captured her attention. Dawn even teased her about her fascination with medical research. But not that evening.


"The meaning of a second chance is personified in Virginia McCullough’s debut Harlequin Heartwarming novel! . . . The characters are well developed, their story is well thought out and leads us into the turmoil they are feeling from the first chapter. Ideally I would have wanted the ending to happen earlier in the book so we could have seen a little more of what happened after such a build-up, but overall, a great read and a satisfying resolution!"

Sylv.net - Excerpt

“You can leave now, Lyle. I think you’ve done enough damage for one night.” She moved alongside Evan in the small space by the front door. Showing her alignment with her son was the only way to contain her rage at her ex-husband.

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

Girl in the Spotlight
by Virginia McCullough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

The daughter they never knew

When Miles Jenkins sees the graceful young figure skater on TV, he can't believe how much she resembles Lark McGee, the girl he dated briefly in college. Could this aspiring star be the child Lark gave up for adoption eighteen years ago? He has to find out.

Locating Lark ignites conflicting emotions in Miles—including regrets for what might have been and romantic feelings that take the two single parents by surprise. As they prepare to meet their daughter, this deeper connection between the two just might be the chance at love they never got.

Advanced Praise

Mesmerized by the real world of characters--brought to life beautifully, I found myself entranced by this thoughtful, delightful, sad, and joyous, novel about second chances and all forms of love. The situation, characters, and consequences left me shedding happy tears at the ending. — Casey Clifford, award-winning author

A compelling love story crafted with characters you'll fall in love with. Miles and Lark's journey to be reunited with their child captured my heart, as did their blossoming romance. The best book I have read this year! —Lily Silver, author of Dark Hero

McCullough is always adept at creating suspense on multiple levels. In Girl in the Spotlight, the intrigue builds from page one and doesn’t let up until the end. But she understands that readers need relief from tension, and through her masterful storytelling and perfect pacing, McCullough delivers satisfying outcomes along that way. The relationships she’s developed are complex and realistic, and their evolution is deeply satisfying. — Lynda McDaniel, author of A Life for a Life

Girl in the Spotlight swept me away to Wisconsin's Lake Michigan shore and reminded me of loves left behind. McCullough invokes deep emotions through her writing, which will pull at your heart. More than a romantic love story, it is a love story of parents for their children. A must read."  — Anne Parent, author/reviewer


About the Author

A writer all her adult life, Virginia McCullough has had the opportunity to write the stories of her heart in her novels, including Girl in the Spotlight, the first book in her Two Moon Bay series for Harlequin Heartwarming. (Book 2 is scheduled for release in January 2018). Her award-winning romance and women’s fiction titles include The Jacks of Her Heart, Amber Light, Greta’s Grace, The Chapels on the Hill, and Island Healing.

Born and raised in Chicago, Virginia has been lucky enough to develop her writing career in many locations, including the coast of Maine, the mountains of North Carolina, the U.S. Virgin Islands, and currently, Northeast Wisconsin. She started her career in nonfiction, first writing articles and then books as a ghostwriter and coauthor. She’s written more than 100 books for physicians, business owners, professional speakers and many others with information to share or a story to tell.

Virginia’s books feature characters who could be your neighbors and friends. They come in all ages and struggle with everyday life issues in small-town environments that almost always include water—oceans, lakes, or rivers. The mother of two grown children, you’ll find Virginia with her nose a book, walking on trails or her neighborhood street, or she may be packing her bag to take off for her next adventure. And she’s always working on another story about hope, healing, and second chances.

Tour Giveaway


1st Prize (US only): Tea & Contemplation, a collection of favorite things, starts with an uplifting message from “Seize the Day” Pop Open Cards. Fill a ceramic thermal mug to sip Lavender Chamomile Tea while you contemplate your ideas and dreams. Write your thoughts in a journal, whose guiding words are: When Your Heart Speaks... take good notes! A Wish pen is included. Finally, pick a place to display a large piece of gemmy rose quartz, a stone long linked to matters of the heart. It’s said when rose quartz is nearby, love (of all kinds) comes along to keep it company. These items will be arranged in a “keeper box” and delivered to your door.

2nd Prize (open internationally): You will receive a $35.00 Amazon eGift Card, and a digital copy of GIRL IN THE SPOTLIGHT, plus one digital copy of another of Virginia’s five award-winning novels—it’s your choice.

Ends June 16th

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Saturday, June 10, 2017

The Man She Knew: a Romance Novel with a Giveaway!

On Tour with Prism Book Tours.

Book Tour Grand Finale for
The Man She Knew
By Loree Lough

We hope you enjoyed the tour! If you missed any of the stops
you can see snippets, as well as the link to each full post, below...

Launch - Note from the Author

Researching this novel was different from any other I’ve written, because Ian Sylvestry is my first ex-convict hero! A very troubled teen, Ian got involved with some bad dudes, and didn’t realize just how bad they were until, one rainy night, he goes along with them as they commit a felony. He had plenty of time to think about his unwise, immature choices while he served ten years for the crime. Plenty of time to think about all the people his imprudent decision had hurt. Upon his release, he works tirelessly to become a respectable citizen, and earns the respect of family and friends. But is it too late to win back the heart of Maleah Turner, the love of his life…?

Rockin' Book Reviws - Review

"The story is a very good one. The characters were portrayed well, the scenes easily visualized from familiarity, and had a steady smooth flow throughout most of the book. A few real social problems are addressed. It is also a story of strong family relationships and support, and of dysfunctional homes. It is often uplifting and has a few twists which adds to the drams. I truly enjoyed the quite predictable tale."

deal sharing aunt - Interview

What was one of the most surprising things you learned in creating your book?

For The Man She Knew, I learned that everyone, no matter what terrible thing is in their past, deserves a second chance. I also learned a whole lot about life in prison, and what it’s like to return to a society that flat-out doesn’t trust you. Those who succeed in life after serving a prison term are to be commended, because my research and interviews proved…it ain’t easy!

Booklove - Review

"Amazing, beautiful and captivating with strong and lovely characters and a flowing and engaging plot. I loved it and would recommend it to everyone."

Beck Valley Books - Excerpt

Those final moments in the courthouse were as vivid now as they had been that dreary morning: Ian, looking like a terrified boy as one guard slammed the prison van’s side door and another put the vehicle into gear. He’d raised a hand to wave goodbye, but the chain connecting handcuffs to leg irons stopped him. Tears filled his eyes, and unable to watch, she’d closed her own. By the time she opened them again, the driver had already made the first turn onto Lombard Street and started the hour-long trip Lincolnwood Correctional of Central Maryland…

Hearts & Scribbles - Character Descriptions



Ian Sylvestry:

Mid-30s, 6’2”, 190 lbs.; green eyes, dark hair (ponytail), diamond stud in left earlobe, tattoos; former convict, now owns a popular bistro in historic Fells Point.

Janice's Book Review - Review

"Loved that beside that he owed and ran a restaurant that he also did search and rescue with his dog. Love the families on both sides and closeness. I definitely recommend this book."

Katie's Clean Book Collection - Introduction to the Series



“By Way of the Lighthouse” features heroes and heroines separated by hurt, anger, and disagreements.

Falling Leaves - Excerpt

Was this it then? The end?

When they tell her I’m gone, will she cry?

Ian hoped not. He’d only seen her cry once, on the day the carted him off to Lincoln.

Most awful thing ever…

Because he’d caused her tears, and it shamed him, even now.

If the powers that be decided to give him one more chance, he’d make things right.

Somehow, I’ll make things right…

Brooke Blogs - Character Interviews

Interview with Ian Sylvestry:

Q: So Ian, tell us what led up to your arrest…
A: I was a dumb kid with a big chip on my shoulder. After my mother ran off to England with another guy, my dad turned to alcohol to hide from what she’d done to us, leaving me to pretty much raise myself.

Q: And that’s how you got involved with what you’ve referred to as “some bad dudes”?
A: It makes no sense to me now, but back then, they were like brothers, there for me no matter what.

Reading Is My SuperPower - Review

"There are a lot of things going on in The Man She Knew – and it all combines to make a great read! An inspiring story of second chances, forgiveness and family, this novel more than lives up to its ‘heartwarming’ brand. It never gets sappy, though, or saccharine; instead, Lough has given us warm characters, a compelling plot, and a tender romance."

Cinnamon Cindy's Book Blog - Excerpt

It had been a mistake, asking Andy to drop him this far from her grandparents’ drive. Walking on flat ground had been a challenge with crutches, and then the cane. He took his time, but tromping through deep snow made him wince with every step. If you put yourself in the hospital, you’ll only have yourself to—

Becky on Books - Interview

Where did the inspiration for this book come from?

For some reason, I kept hearing stories about how difficult it is for the newly released—men and women—to return to normal lives. From reuniting with family to finding a job, they meet obstacles of every variety. Now, I’m no Pollyanna…I realize some of these people are hardened criminals that will return to their old ways and probably end up right back in prison. But some of them honestly want to leave that life behind, and do everything in their power to start fresh and stay on the right path. So I wrote a story featuring a guy like that, who made a stupid mistake—and paid for it—and wanted little more of life when he left prison bars behind than to prove himself a changed man.

Christian Suspense Author Mary Alford - Review

"This is a heartwarming story of love overcoming all obstacles. I thoroughly enjoyed the romance and the characters that Ms. Lough created in this epic story and I can’t wait to read what she has in store for us next."

It's All About the Romance - The Setting



All stories in the “By Way of the Lighthouse” series are set in and around Baltimore, and feature the quaint, picturesque, and historic streets, shops, and homes.

Bookworm Lisa - Review

"This book dealt with some real emotional issues. I was impressed the Loree Lough took a tough subject matter and turned it into a positive. There are so many psychological issues that had to be overcome for this book to succeed. I felt that it was done well.

If you like books about second chances, success in spite of obstacles, family loyalty, and honor, this may be a book for you to dive into."

Heidi Reads... - Excerpt

He’d forgotten how good, how right she felt in his arms. If she kept looking up at him that way he’d kiss her, long and hard and…

Ian cleared his throat. “You look pretty good in an evening gown.”

“And you look pretty good in a tux.”

“Good thing it didn’t snow, like Marty Bass said it would.”

“In his defense, he said might.”

“So he did…”

“But you’re right. If it had snowed, I’d break my neck in these shoes.”

Nicole's Book Musings - The Song that Changed Everything

On the night of the big charity ball, Ian and Maleah shared a dance. Just one dance. But it was enough to remind them both how perfect their young love had been…

Getting Your Read On - Review

"The whole premise of the book is such an interesting one and I was caught up in Ian's struggle. There is just something about a story of second chances, especially one in the extreme like this one. It wasn't just a second chance at love but a second chance at life."

Thoughts of a Blonde - Review

"Redemption, turmoil and undying love are brought to life in Loree Lough’s latest release! We meet Ian, a tarnished man who has gone to great lengths to turn his life around and is such a joy to grow to adore throughout the book. The heroine however, is not easy to love. She’s a kind and generous soul to everyone else, but to him, she’s self-righteous and hurtful. In the end, we have to find forgiveness in our heart as well as we make our way through the story towards that happily-ever-after..."

underneath the covers - Excerpt

He missed hearing her sweet-yet-sultry voice. Missed those big glittery blue eyes, too. Once, that cheery smile had the power to light every dark corner of his life and make him forget that his mother had chosen another man over him and his dad.

Inside the Mind of an Avid Reader - Review

"This book has every thing you could want from a clean contemporary romance. You have heartache, love, laughter, and of course the Happily Ever After. If you looking for something to just make you feel good while your reading it and keep a smile on your face this book is perfect for you."

And don't forget to enter the giveaway below...

The Man She Knew
(By Way of the Lighthouse, #1)
by Loree Lough
Contemporary Romance
Paperback & ebook, 384 pages
June 1st 2017 by Harlequin Heartwarming

Don't they both deserve a second chance?

Fourteen years ago, one reckless act cost Ian Sylvestry everything, including the girl he planned to marry. Since then, he has fought hard to turn his life around. Returning to his Baltimore town after serving a prison term was the first step. Winning back Maleah Turner's trust is a far more daunting challenge. From their first sparks-flying reunion, it's obvious they still have powerful feelings for each other. In fact, they might be even stronger together now. But if their second chance is going to work, Maleah has to believe that Ian is a changed man. She really wants to believe…but she simply isn't convinced.

GoodreadsAmazonBarnes & NobleHarlequin

About the Author


Bestselling author LOREE LOUGH once sang for her supper, performing across the U.S. and Canada. Now and then, she blows the dust from her 6-string to croon a tune or two, but mostly, she writes novels that have earned hundreds of industry and "Readers' Choice" awards, 4- and 5-star reviews, and 7 book-to-movie options. The Man She Knew, #1 in her “By Way of the Lighthouse” series, her 3rd for Harlequin Heartwarming, is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Harlequin.com.

Tour Giveaway

- Two winners will receive a $10 Amazon eGift Card (open internationally)
- Two winners will receive an ebook of THE MAN SHE KNEW (open internationally)
- Two winners will receive a print copy of THE MAN SHE KNEW (US only)
- Ends June 13th

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Thursday, June 1, 2017

Five Poisoned Apples Cover Reveal and Writing Contest


THE FINAL FAIRY TALE CONTEST
Rooglewood Press invites you to join the adventure of the Five Poisoned Apples creative writing contest!



The cover model/photographer is WYNTER CLARK. Want to peek at her photography website? Here it is.

And, as always, the gorgeous cover design was done by the amazing JULIA POPOVAwhose website is here.

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