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Showing posts from July, 2014

Three Times A Charm with Mary-Jean Harris

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Welcome to Three Times A Charm. I love introducing my readers to new authors, illustrators, bloggers, agents, editors or promoters from the children’s publishing industry.
Today’s guest is author, Mary-Jean Harris. Thanks for joining us, Mary-Jean. Please tell us a little about you.
I write young adult fantasy and historical fiction, both novels and short stories. My first book, Aizai the Forgotten, was released on June 20 with Muse it Up Publishing. I am now writing the sequel to Aizai the Forgotten, which will continue where the first book left off.
I am also a student at Carleton University in Ottawa, Canada studying theoretical physics with a minor in philosophy. I love animals and have a miniature poodle and rabbit, and some day (soon, I hope) I want to have a Bernese Mountain Dog. I have travelled to England, Scotland, and Peru and hope to travel to many other interesting places with old ruins and castles, and beautiful places to hike.
Now, can you tell us about your book?
My young …

Favorite Authors' Favorites

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Welcome to my new feature all about author favorites. One thing I really love about the internet is the access it gives us to authors. Heck, I’m a fangirl and I’m not afraid to admit it, and I LOVE to be able to help readers get to know their favorite authors as well as discover new ones.
When I put the call out to authors to answer my ‘Favorites’ questions, I didn’t expect for my to-read list to grow so fast. Grab a pen and paper, or log onto Goodreads, because more than likely you’ll find a title or two to add to your very own list. Please visit the authors’ websites and browse their work. Be sure to come back weekly to learn more about many awesome authors!

I asked authors to share with us some of their favorite middle grade fantasy books.
Noah Zarc: Mammoth Hunter  by D. Robert Pease I just recently read and reviewed this one. The action and the characters were exciting. The main character is in a wheelchair, so it is a good story for kids with a great message about what kids can …

Excerpt of Worth the Effort: Ayden's Story

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With only days left before the publication of WORTH THE EFFORT: AYDEN'S STORY, I thought I'd give you a peek at the first chapter. For those of you who have read ELLA'S STORY, this opening answers the question of why Ayden was in the alley in the first place. For those of you who haven't read ELLA'S STORY - what are you waiting for?! ELLA'S STORY is told from her point of view in first person, present. AYDEN'S STORY switches gears and puts us inside Ayden's head. He tells his story in first person past. I found the past tense a better fit for his careful personality.

Chapter One:

The timer in the lower corner of the computer screen showed only five minutes remaining. After saving the document I worked on, I clicked into my inbox. Empty.

Three minutes.

I drummed my fingers on the keyboard, making the clicking noises, but not actually typing. The lady at the computer across from me glared in my direction, and I stilled my nervous digits. When her gaze to…

Building Character with Martin Samuels from Geek Games

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It’s Friday! Time for my blog feature, Building Character in which you get to meet characters from a book. Talking to a character outside of their book is fun! Huge. Amounts. Of fun. 
This week Strands of Thought plays host to Martin Samuels from Geek Games. Welcome, Martin. Can you tell our readers a little about yourself, please?
Hi, I'm Martin Samuels from Geek Games. Right now I'm a couple of hundred years in your future, and I got involved with a bunch of aliens and some terrorists. I ended up doing something stupid, and as a result my friend's father died.  I'd give anything to be able to take it back and make it not have happened, but life doesn't work like that. Instead, I'm left with trying to do something to balance out my cosmic karma – or whatever it is – by doing something to catch the jorks who actually set off the bomb.
Wow, Martin. That’s really serious! I hope that’s the only conflict you’re up against.
Conflict? I was an idiot, and then my fat…

Favorite Authors' Favorites

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Welcome to my new feature all about author favorites. A feature I like to call Fave-A-Fave. One thing I really love about the internet is the access it gives us to authors. Heck, I’m a fangirl and I’m not afraid to admit it, and I LOVE to be able to help readers get to know their favorite authors as well as discover new ones.
When I put the call out to authors to answer my ‘Favorites’ questions, I didn’t expect for my to-read list to grow so fast. Grab a pen and paper, or log onto Goodreads, because more than likely you’ll find a title or two to add to your very own list. Please visit the authors’ websites and browse their work. Be sure to come back weekly to learn more about other awesome authors!

First I asked authors to share with us some of their favorite young adult fantasy books.
The Host by Stephanie Meyers. I loved this book. It’s a different spin on Invasion of the Body Snatchers. Big difference is that Stephanie does an amazing job of having two main characters in the same b…

Cover Reveal for Soulless by Crystal Collier

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Have you met the Soulless and Passionate? In the world of 1770 where supernatural beings mix with humanity, Alexia is playing a deadly game.
SOULLESS, Book 2 in the Maiden of Time trilogy
Alexia manipulated time to save the man of her dreams, and lost her best friend to red-eyed wraiths. Still grieving, she struggles to reconcile her loss with what was gained: her impending marriage. But when her wedding is destroyed by the Soulless—who then steal the only protection her people have—she's forced to unleash her true power.
And risk losing everything.
What people are saying about this series: 
"With a completely unique plot that keeps you guessing and interested, it brings you close to the characters, sympathizing with them and understanding their trials and tribulations." --SC, Amazon reviewer
"It's clean, classy and supernaturally packed with suspense, longing, intrigue and magic." --Jill Jennings, TX
"SWOON." --Sherlyn, Mermaid with a Book Reviewer
Cryst…

Project Fierce Chicago - Everyone Deserves A Home

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My sister-in-law approached me a while back to ask if I'd help her spread the word about a project she is involved in. She knew I might be interested, because the project benefits homeless youth, a subject I address in my Worth the Effort series.  One of the reasons I chose to tell Ayden's Story is because I feel it is VERY important to 1) expose people (especially teens) to the fact that there are homeless kids and 2) let people know there are so many different reasons kids end up on the streets. The underage homeless population is exceptionally vulnerable and really flies under the radar. So when Dianne approached me, I jumped on the chance. I'll repeat: There are so many reasons kids end up on the streets. Dianne Hartsock is here to share some with you, along with the anthology project she's a part of. Since it is RELEASE DAY for the anthology, we're among the first to hear about it. Take it away, Dianne. *** Thank you Kai for having me over! I wanted to talk a l…

Elspeth the Living Dead Girl: The Art of Teen Girl Flirting by Stuart West

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I'm happy to turn my blog over to Stuart R. West. He'd like to talk a little about his new book, ELSPETH THE LIVING DEAD GIRL. Or more accurately, about the voice within the book. 
Take it away, Stuart.
Thanks so much, Kai, for having me on your blog.
Elspeth the Living Dead Girl is my newest novel.  One live girl, one dead, both sharing the same body. It’s complicated. Elspeth is a take no prisoners tough gal, dead, plucked from Limbo to take over Elizabeth’s body to bring down a high school drug dealer. On the other hand, Elizabeth is an ice princess, a future dominator of the world. All she wants to do is marry Prince Charming, make a couple million bucks, and most importantly, become prom queen. Very different agendas.
You know, I’m probably not the most logical choice to be the biographer of these two very different teen girls. I’m a 53 year old male. What do I know, right? But as Elizabeth channels Elspeth, the two girls pretty much channeled through me as well. All of …

Reviewers Wanted for YA Romance Novella

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I'm looking for a few (read hundreds of) good readers to review my upcoming novella, WORTH THE EFFORT: AYDEN'S STORY. It is not necessary that you have read Ella's Story first.

Seventeen-year-old Ayden Worth shouldn’t have to seek peace of mind in the streets. But as family pressures mount, his anxieties increase, and he turns his back on comfort for a life in homeless camps and back alleys.
Then one fateful day he runs into the only person he ever wanted to know better. Ella Jones. His memories paint her as kind and undemanding, and it seems the years haven’t changed her. Her simple expectations draw him to her. Against all odds, a relationship buds and grows.
Yet, as Ayden repairs his life, Ella suggests he help others who also struggle. Will Ella turn out to be just like his dad, expecting more from him than he can give? Or will he prove that he is worth the effort?
Worth the Effort – Ayden’s Story is a young adult contemporary romance novella at 22,000 words.

Just fill …