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1. Cynthia's Attic: Legend of Lupin Woods Blog Tour 2012!


Introducing Cynthia's Attic: The Legend of Lupin Woods!

Please visit the following blogs for fun stories, interesting facts about the Cynthia's Attic Series and read an excerpt from the new book!

May 13, 2012 - Mayra Calvani, Children's Book Week Blog -

May 14, 2012- Laura Schaefer, The Teashop Girls Blog – Real Friendship in Cynthia's Attic 
May 15, 2012 – Interview: Princess ReviewsSummers in Cynthia's Attic/Interview

May 16, 2012- Strands of Thought Blog - Interview

May 17, 2012 - Manic ReadersExcerpt: The Legend of Lupin Woods!

May 18, 2012– Legend of Lupin Woods - Jennifer Wylie Blog

May 19, 2012- Stories For Children –Families Matter Blog; Reading Vs. Writing -

May 21, 2012TheWriteChris Blog - – Interview

May 22, 2012Literary Asylum &amp Blog Werewolves in Cynthia's Attic

May 23, 2012The Writing Mama Blog - Writing Tips by Mary Cunningham

May 24, 2012Cheryl Malandrinos Children's and Teens Book Connection; Review

May 25, 2012 - –Veronika AsksCynthia’s Attic: Legend of Lupinwold (Book Five)


 

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2. Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster strike Japan

This Day in World History

March 11, 2011

Earthquake, Tsunami, and Nuclear Disaster Strike Japan


Japan, situated on the Ring of Fire on the edge of the Pacific Ocean, has suffered some major earthquakes over the years. However, nothing before compared to the triple disaster of March 11, 2011: a massive earthquake followed by powerful tsunamis which led to a serious nuclear accident.

The horrors began shortly before three in the afternoon local time with a 9.0-magnitude earthquake. Its epicenter was nearly 20 miles below the floor of the Pacific Ocean about 80 miles east of the Japanese city of Sendai. The quake was one of the most powerful ever recorded, and the strongest to hit this region of Japan.

Map prepared by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration depicting the tsunami wave height model for the Pacific Ocean following the March 11, 2011, earthquake off Sendai, Japan. Source: NOAA Center for Tsunami Research.

The quake unleashed several tsunamis, or tidal waves, that moved as fast as 500 miles an hour in all directions — most destructively to the nearby northeastern coast of Japan’s Honshu island. Waves as high as 33 feet high crashed into towns and cities along the coast, washing away anything in their path. One wave reportedly reached as far inland as 6 miles.

Several nuclear plants are located in northern Honshu. Most shut down automatically when the quake occurred, but the powerful tsunamis damaged the backup power systems at a plant in Fukushima. As a result, cooling systems shut down, and nuclear fuel overheated and later caught fire. The fire released radiation in the air, and the use of seawater to try to cool the reactors led to radiation contaminating the sea. Japanese officials had to ban people from a zone up to 18 miles around the damaged reactors, scene of the second worst nuclear accident in history.

In the end, the triple disaster cost Japan nearly 20,000 dead — mostly from the tsunamis — more than 130,000 forced from their homes, more than $300 billion in damage, and a severe jolt to the economy.

“This Day in World History” is brought to you by USA Higher Education.
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3. Cynthia’s Attic, Vampires, and Werewolves


In 2004, fresh off the excitement of my first 2-book publishing contract for Cynthia’s Attic, I began establishing an online presence at my publisher’s request, uh…insistence.

One of my first tasks was to explore author websites and chat groups. Believe it or not, I didn’t find one blog! Blogging had not reached the manic stage of today, with most bloggers simply writing online journals; but networking sites were hot.

I joined a children’s chat group in order to schmooze with other young reader (‘Tween) authors and immediately related to one particular author. Both of us had first-time multi-book contracts, the idea for our series’ sprang from recurring dreams, and our stories were fantasy/fiction. A perfect networking match.

We chatted, online, for several months, and then lost touch. I can’t quite remember why, but I’d guess it was because I was in the middle of editing my first book, The Missing Locket, deadlines approached, and time management was crucial. I’m sure it had nothing to do with Stephanie Meyer’s schedule. Wonder what ever happened to her? I do hope she had some success with her series about…vampires, I think.

Speaking of vampires, I was recently asked why I chose to write books for ‘Tweens that are lighter; vampire-less, werewolf-less, zombie-less…you get the drift. I can’t really say. It just happened. Cynthia’s Attic does delve into magic and spells and such, but the scariest monster, so far, is Stony, a rock monster who attacks twelve-year-old Gus, in an enchanted garden in The Magician’s Castle. Other than that, a nasty, bad-breathed clown, a sinister stranger on horseback and a friendly alligator are as menacing as Cynthia’s Attic gets.
Until Book # 5.

Yes, I’m crumbling. In the next book (title TBD), a werewolf pops into the lives of best friends, Cynthia and Gus. Not your typical werewolf, mind you…a more congenial, helpful type, but a werewolf to be sure. Stay tuned!


Cynthia's Attic Series
The Missing Locket
The Magic Medallion
Curse of the Bayou
The Magician's Castle


Blurb: The Magician’s Castle

In trying to escape the boring summer of 1964, the adventurous twelve-year-old girls discover a trunk in Cynthia’s attic that her family has possessed for three generations.

Cynthia’s Attic: The Magician’s Castle (Book Four): Sebastien the Great, a magician whose fiancée, Kathryn, disappears through the magic trunk, vows revenge. If Cynthia and Gus don't find a missing page from the “Book of Spells,” Cynthia’s family could face financial and personal ruin.

The twelve-year-old best friends walk through miles of tree tunnels, stumble on an enchanted garden ruled by a cranky rock monster, and receive clues from an eccentric fairy named Eloise Elloway. They get the surprise of their lives when they're sent fifty years into the future, have a shocking encounter with another set of best friends, and gather a fresh set of clues that could lead to breaking the magician’s spell.

Mary Cunningham Books

YouTube code for video: Cynthia’s Attic Series

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4. Cynthia's Attic Celebrates Earth Day!



Join Athletes For the Earth and do your part!





For over 40 years, Earth Day—April 22—has inspired and mobilized individuals and organizations worldwide to demonstrate their commitment to environmental protection and sustainability. Take small steps to save our earth!

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5. Cynthia's Attic: # 5 - Excerpt

1964:


A dog yapped in the distance. Molly? Is that you?
"Yow! Sam? What the heck are you doing, boy? Get off my chest!" I awoke to find my corgi-beagle-whatever dog sitting on my chest, and trust me, he was a load. "I can't breathe, Sammy. Move. A gentle shove coaxed him to the other side of the bed where he wagged furiously, panting for attention.
"Go get Mom. She'll let you out." Surely someone was up and moving around. I shaded my eyes from the sun shining full-fledged through the venetian blinds. It must be at least 9 AM. "Mom?" I yelled, "Will you let Sam out?"
No answer. Oh, yeah. She's working today. I sighed, but could never be mad at my short-legged, floppy-eared buddy waiting impatiently for me to get out of bed. I knew from experience that one slight twitch and I'd be toast. He would fly over my head, off the bed and down the stairs, expecting me to be right behind him. Oh, yeah. I knew the drill.
I shut my eyes in a vain attempt to go back to sleep when the pitiful whining began and I admitted defeat. "Okay, you miserable mongrel." I gave the top of his head a pat and hit the floor, running, but he easily beat me down the steps. I'd barely cracked open the door when he sprinted into the fenced back yard; a fence my dad was forced to build because of Sam's escapades around town. Wish I had a doughnut for all the phone calls we'd gotten from business owners.
"This is Drummad's Auto Parts. Your dog is guarding our front entrance and we haven't had a customer in more than an hour. Come over and get him or I'm calling the pound!"
Or, Flora’s Bakery. "Sam's at the back door begging for cookies. We've already given him three, but he won't leave."
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6. Cynthia's Attic heads to Decatur Book Festival!

One of my all-time favorite events, The Decatur Book Festival, is this weekend. I'll sign my 'Tween book series, Cynthia's Attic, along with humor/lifestyle favorite, WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty.

Stop by booth # 110 (near the children's stage) and say "Hi"!




Mary Cunningham Books on Amazon

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7. It's Here!



I'm thrilled! Pre-published copies of Cynthia's Attic: The Magician's Castle have arrived! The cover is magnificent, and don't all four books look great together? Wouldn't you love to own these books? (heh-heh)

The series is available for purchase on Amazon (click below), any online bookstore and through the publisher. Plus, pre-orders for "The Magician's Castle" can be made today! Contact,
Echelon Press.

"Cynthia's Attic: The Magician's Castle" will be released by
Quake (Echelon Imprint) DEC 2009!

Buy the first three books on Amazon

Mary

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8. The Shadow Stone - Regan Black


For a quartet of girlfriends known as the Pixie Chicks, life takes on a delicious new flavor when their normal Friday night walkabout through the Hobbitville Gardens reveals secrets and adventures previously unimagined. Who knew the statues were portals to similar, magical gardens around the world? Or that only a select few can travel by statue and fewer still can arrive at their desired point? These four will reach for the stars despite the risks of the unknown to embrace an adventure suitable only for the boldest of teens. "The Shadow Stone" is the second installment of the Hobbitville Saga.

Hey Gus and Cynthia! Thanks for having me here today. Regan's told me about your attic and your adventures with the trunk. Pretty cool that you've been jumping around history together.

I've got three really close girlfriends, they call us the Pixie Chicks because, well, I'm not sure how it got started, but it was our first summer of marching band camp. Probably it started because Brie looks like a fairy with her pale blonde curls and tiny, girly build and we all sort of stay in the same vicinity. Her sparkling personality must've rubbed off on us through the years. LOL

My friends can all use the magic in a nearby garden called Hobbitville, but for whatever reason, the magic doesn't cooperate for me like it does for them. They've tried to help me – like friends should – but so far, no real luck. Or magic. It's annoying really. And tough to watch your friends share an experience you can't relate to.

They're not mean about it, but who wants to miss this kind of action? Jumping through a garden statue here, into another garden somewhere – anywhere – else is just too cool. I love my town, but it's not the most happening sort of place. Except it's where my friends are (when they're not gallivanting around the world via magic).

You guys know how that is, right? When you're sort of afraid they'll have too much fun and forget about you. Really, after all we've been through, I know the Pixie Chicks wouldn't ditch me, but I confess to having moody moments about it.

Well, like Regan tells me, you two manage to succeed and you're as different as night and day – except for the part that you're inseparable friends! So I'll keep throwing myself at Hobbitville statues and hope for the best. If I make it – yay – if not, the Pixie Chicks will still be my friends and I'll keep the garden light on for them.

Lana Richmond, band geek, Pixie Chick, and Hobbitville magic seeker.

Author, Regan Black crafts her stories in the South Carolina Lowcountry where the rich history adds fire to her vivid imagination. Encouraged by her husband, children, retired greyhounds and numerous other pets, she savors the rare quiet moments when the words flow onto the page. A voracious reader, she's often found with a book in hand, or at least nearby, as she taxis children and dogs to their respective appointments. She's pleased to credit her friends and critique partners with her successful leap from her blissfully boring daily life into the action market.

Buy on Kindle

Buy on Echelon

Regan's Realm Blog



Mary

I'm proud to announce the release of Book Four in the award-winning series, "Cynthia's Attic" will be released by Quake (Echelon Imprint) DEC 2009! Buy the first three books on Amazon and pre-order "The Magician's Castle." Echelon Press

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9. The Shadow Stone Review - A Halloween Hobbitville Adventure


For a quartet of girlfriends known as The Pixie Chicks, life takes on a delicious new flavor when their normal Friday night walkabout through the Hobbitville Gardens reveals secrets and adventures previously unimagined. Who knew the statues were portals to similar, magical gardens around the world? Or that only a select few can travel by statue and fewer still can arrive at their desired point? These four will reach for the stars despite the risks of the unknown to embrace an adventure suitable only for the boldest of teens.

Lana's circle of friends, The Pixie Chicks, use the magic of Hobbitville, but, to her frustration, always leave her behind. Not this time, though. She is determined to find her own "touchstone" that will let her magically jump from the secret garden to places beyond her imagination.

But, a deep, mysterious voice disrupts her plans. Lana notices something very familiar about this tall, dark haired stranger who asks for her help, and she has a decision to make; help him break the curse that has trapped him in limbo for years at the risk of becoming stuck, herself. Will adventure win out over fear?

Regan Black's second Pixie Chicks, story, The Shadow Stone- A Hobbitville Halloween Adventure, is as exciting and beautifully crafted as the first. Young adults and old adults will enjoy the light-hearted and romantic journeys of Brianna, Austin, Lana and Claire, best high school buds. I'm already anticipating the third installment!

Buy on Kindle

Buy on Echelon

Regan's Realm Blog


Mary

And check out my latest short story, Ghost Light!


Ghost Light -
Amazon
Echelon Press:

I'm also proud to announce the release of Book Four in the award-winning series, "Cynthia's Attic" will be released by Quake (Echelon Imprint) DEC 2009! Buy the first three books on Amazon and pre-order "The Magician's Castle." Echelon Press

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10. The Magician's Castle - Blog Tour!




To celebrate the release of "The Magician's Castle," (Quake/Echelon Press, DEC 1, 2009), I'm guest blogging DEC 7-17 on some super blogs! Stop by each blog and leave a comment. A winner will be chosen on each blog stop to receive a copy of the "Cynthia's Attic" short story, "Christmas With Daisy!" So, be sure to make a comment!



DEC 7 - Mayra Calvani - Interview - Blog Critics (Link coming soon)


DEC 9 - Sandra Novack -
Sandra Novack Blog - "Through the Looking Glass in Cynthia's Attic"

DEC 10 - Barbara Techel -
Frankie the Walk 'N Roll Dog Blog - "Ghost Dogs"

DEC 11 - Laura Schaefer - The Teashop Girls blog - "Friendship in Cynthia's Attic."

Regan's Realm Blog
- "For the Love of Softball"

DEC 13 - Bookland Heights - "The Magician's Castle!"

DEC 14 - Cheryl Malindrinos - Interview - Children's and Teens Book Connection

DEC 16 - Alyssa Montgomery - Alyssa's Area - Interview

DEC 17 - Christine Verstraete - First graphs - Candid Canine Blog

Buy "Cynthia's Attic: The Magician's Castle" on Amazon - Today!

Watch the Video!


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11. Video: Cynthia's Attic Series

Latest video for the series, "Cynthia's Attic!"

Follow twelve-year-old best friends, Cynthia and Gus, as they travel through time meeting and having adventures with their ancestors!




Mary Cunningham Books
Amazon
Kindle
Fictionwise
Quake/Echelon Press

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12. Not Just "One Of the Guys!" Iris Black, author


I'm thrilled to welcome one of my favorite young authors, Iris Black. When you meet Iris, it's impossible not to feed off her energy and enthusiasm. Enjoy the interview!

“Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you always imagined.” - Henry David Thoreau

Iris Black is a young adult author and a young adult! Juggling school projects and college applications with her laptop full of bright characters and fun stories guarantees she will have an eventful senior year.

Your character, Sam, has tons of friends, but is no longer content with being "Just One Of The Guys." What inspired you to write Sam's story?

I guess the inspiration was in my own experiences. Most of my close, longtime friends are guys and they range from all types: computer nerds, science and math geeks, athletes, and especially band kids. We’ve had some fun adventures - and misadventures. Being the only girl in the group put me in the interesting position of having to keep up while being the go-to guru for relationship advice. Despite the fact that they all had girlfriends before a guy ever asked me out. So Sam is the product of some of the things girls like me go through. I just hadn’t found a young adult book that dealt with the issues - the romance and the adventure and the conflicts - that can and often do happen to real girls.

You're a young author trying to balance school with writing. Do you see a career in writing, or will it be your "secondary passion?"

I am going to keep writing and I hope to make it a big part of my life and not let it slip into a hobby. Still, I enjoy the more academic side of life. I plan to pursue a full career apart from writing, but I’m willing to adapt those plans if my writing situation changes.

E-books are booming and you're reaching a huge audience. To what do you attribute your success? Any marketing tools you'd care to share with other authors?

Honestly, I have to lay my success at the feet of my readers. I think there’s a big demand for young adult e-books - most teenagers have access to a computer or even iPhones and iPods that are equipped with e-readers. Being able to read a book on the same device that plays your music or lets you check Facebook is a big draw for teen readers. The best tip I can give on marketing is to find a need and fill it - but fill it with what you know and like. I was in the marching band at my old school and we had a ton of fun adventures, so I knew exactly what my characters needed to experience to make the story feel real. Add a touch of imagination and you have a realistic escape - something that appeals to most teen readers.

Any plans to expand Sam's story? Are you working on any other writing projects?

I am writing a sequel to Sam’s story and plan to continue chronicling the adventures of her and her friends. Like you mentioned before, I’m balancing school and writing. I started at a new, more rigorous school this past year and it’s been a bit of an adjustment digging out some time to hang out with Sam, but I’ve got a better handle on things now. I’ve also been playing with urban fantasies and even a historical fantasy. I hope to have at least one of those bigger projects completed sometime next summer.

What one piece of advice would you give young writers starting out?

Don’t lose your imagination, loose it. In school, the focus is going to be on academic writing - analyze this book, anal

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13. The Newest Character in "Cynthia's Attic" is...


Molly mulling over her next role in "Cynthia's Attic" # 5!

Without further ado, the winner of the Choose the next character in Cynthia's Attic (Book # 5) is...Veronika for her passionate plea for Molly to be a recurring character!

I have a feeling Molly would approve too, Veronika since you described her as pretty, clever, funny, nice, etc. :) I'm sure she's excited to be in the next book since she had so much fun in "The Magician's Castle."

Anyway, gotta get busy writing Molly's scenes along with the NEW character, Veronika!

I'll keep you posted. Thanks, everyone who participated on my blog, the Quake blog and facebook!





Mary Cunningham Books
Amazon
Kindle
Fictionwise
Quake/Echelon Press

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14. Inspiration From Others - Cheryl C. Malandrinos




My love of books began many years ago. I can’t point to a specific book that captured my interest, but I can say our house was always filled with books. My parents were avid readers. They set a good example by reading every night, even if all they had time for was the daily newspaper.

Who knew all those years ago that my love of books would turn into a fabulous and satisfying career?

After graduating from the Breaking into Print program (now called Break into Print) from Long Ridge Writers Group in 2005, I started blogging. Mostly it was about me, my articles for Writer2Writer, and my works in progress.

In the spring of 2007, Pump Up Your Book! (formerly Pump Up Your Book Promotion) opened its virtual doors and I began hosting authors at my blog. Being a tour host offered my readers interesting and regular content. Learning about all those good books made me realize how much I missed reading daily. Yes, I still read from time to time, but many months could pass between books. I wanted to carve out a career in writing and I didn’t feel I could do both well. One thing I kept hearing over and again, however, is the importance of reading what you wish to write. That made sense, so I decided if I wanted to be successful as a writer, I must make the time to read.

So I did.

The more authors I hosted, the more inspired I felt to keep plugging away at my works in progress. I began reviewing books at my blog, which is how I discovered the publisher who would eventually release Little Shepherd, my first children’s picture book.


A few months after I started hosting authors for Pump Up Your Book! I became a member of their staff. I’ve been coordinating virtual book tours for authors in a variety of genres for over three years now, and I love it more each day. I tend to work with clients who write in the genres I am interested in writing and reading most frequently: Christian fiction and non-fiction, mystery and crime, historical fiction, and books for children and teens.

Has this influenced my writing? Most definitely.

I learn from every author I work with. I discover what I love about my clients’ books, and sometimes, what I don’t like. I’ve seen how important it is when you’re writing a series to keep track of the major characters and the need to develop them as the series progresses. I’m learning how to sprinkle in just the right amount of backstory and details so that the reader gets to know my characters and feels like she is right there alongside them.

Can you name some authors who inspire you? How have they influenced your writing?

Cheryl Malandrinos
is a freelance writer and editor. A founding member of Musing Our Children, Ms. Malandrinos is also Editor in Chief of the group’s quarterly newsletter, Pages & Pens.

She is a Tour Coordinator for Pump Up Your Book!, a book reviewer, and blogger. Little Shepherd is her first children’s book. Ms. Malandrinos lives in

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15. DFF: Dead Friends Forever

Extreme Hauntings #1

Wanna be among the first to read it?

BUY HERE

Skater Kaylee Hensler might not be Miss Popular, but there are some friends a girl can do without. When the decaying ghost of a murdered girl decides they need to be total BFF’s, Kaylee will sacrifice the trust of her family, her swim coach’s respect, and any hope of a date for the Harvest Dance.

And oh yeah… discover that super-evil entities are nothing at all like they are on TV or in the movies Aside from seriously bad attitudes, they not only like to kill…but replay the killing again and again for all eternity. To avoid that fate, she’ll have to rely on her wheelchair-bound friend Davey, the mysterious Madame Maggie, and the surprising depth of her own power.

Will Kaylee survive, or will she become someone else's DFF: Dead Friend Forever?

Reviews:
"This book is exceptional! Turner takes a typical kid and ignites her courage to face unthinkable evil. Creepy, exciting, and totally cool, keep a light on when you read this one!" –M.K. Scott, author of Zamora's Ultimate Challenge (aka Michele Scott, The Wine Lovers Mysteries)

"Dead Friends Forever is a gripping tale of teenage turmoil taken to an extreme level. …it's more than a great story, it's a life, or shall I say, after-life event." –Matthew-Levi Kalik

"An incredible book…constantly changing and surprising me…sometimes leaving me breathless after an intense scene…one of the top books I've read…it has the power to leave anyone who reads it completely enthralled… A GREAT READ!!!!" –Skyler Byas

Bio:
During the long winters in central Wisconsin, J.R. Turner loves watching movies, doing arts and crafts and hanging out on MySpace. In the summer she can be found gardening, camping and enjoying the fresh water lakes and rivers. As a kid, her imagination got her in tons of trouble. At seven she dragged her five year old brother onto the roof of their two story home to practice for an imaginary flood, then later nearly drowned him when she imagined a five-foot tarantula in the shadows of the river bank. Many years later, she made her family proud when she won her first award for that very same talent. Today, she takes great pleasure in exploring exciting new story ideas and great characters, as well as chocolate of all kinds.

Quick Facts:
Release Date: March 2009
Title: DFF: Dead Friends Forever (Extreme Haunting #1)
Author: J.R. Turner
ISBN: 978-1-59080-625-8 (10-Digit 1-59080-625-5)
Genre: YA Horror
Pages: 272
Price: $13.99 US $16.99 CAN
Age Group: 12 +

Retail Distribution:
Echelon/Quake Direct (*45% - no minimum -returnable in sellable condition)
Ingram Book Co.
Partners Book Dist.
Follett Distribution
Brodart Co.
Amazon.com
Fictionwise (e-Formats)
*Paid pre-orders will receive a 48% discount.

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16. WIN A $25.00 VISA GIFT CERTIFICATE!


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17. Gus's First Interview!


Cynthia's Attic meets Starry Night!


Sam takes a break from her sleuthing in Searching For A Starry Night, to talk to her new pal, Gus, about what's going on in her life.


Check out the Candid Canine to see how Gus handles her newfound fame!

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18. Pixie Chicks are running around in Cynthia's Attic!



I'M SO EXCITED!! Just got my copy of Pixie Chicks, by Regan Black (Quake - Fictionwise). Can't wait to read it! I'll review it in the days to come, but meantime, here's a preview of the Pixie Chicks themselves!

Pixie Profiles

The Pixie Chicks are a quartet of girls in the high school marching band. They got this name from the drum major during their freshman year of summer band camp. Yes, eventually you will hear more about him.

Brianna Marie Fairchild is the leader - when a leader is needed for planning and arranging things. Brianna has wavy, white fairy-blond hair and blue eyes. She’s got a dancer’s wand-slim build and she’s only about 5′5″. She marches piccolo, so, naturally she plays the flute as well. She lives with her mother and brother and her dad, when he’s not often working elsewhere in the world. All her friends refer to her mother as “Mom Fairchild” and though her brother, Ben, is younger, he’s taller - this annoys Brie.

Austin Patricia Kelley is an inch taller than Brie, with sleek, dark blond hair and big doe eyes. She plays flute and shares a band locker with Brie. She prefers to watch rather than participate in sports, unless it’s a team venue where she has plenty of back up (like the band). Her most unique (and valuable asset) is her ability to know anything and everything about any cute guy rating above average. Her depth of knowlege creeps out the Pixies, but only a little. After all, Austin isn’t really a stalker, and she’s a great friend.

Lana Louise Richmond is tall and a curvaceous - which is a lethal combination in high school. The resulting jealousy means the Pixies are her only girlfriends - good thing they’re the BEST! She’s got long, dark hair and mesmerizing dark eyes…and they all wonder why she never has dark circles because no one has caught her sleeping since Kindergarten naptime. She can play any of the low brass instruments and has been known to march sousaphone.

Claire Taylor Sullivan, with her curly red hair, green eyes and shorter stature, looks like she’d be more at home in an Irish Pub than a midwestern highschool. She’s a talented musician who marches alto sax, drum line or trombone…wherever the band director needs her. She’s more quiet than the others, but don’t let that fool you, she’s got serious skills - and she’s keeping some serious secrets from the Pixies - including a very hot Scottish boyfriend!

Meet them and see other great 'Tween and Young Adult Books - now available from Quake!

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19. Zamora's Ultimate Challenge Blog Tour

Mason and Carter Clover only agree on two things--their baby sister Isabella is a royal pain and their favorite video game, Zamora s Ultimate Challenge, is totally awesome. But fantasy turns to reality when Zamora's evil face appears across the brothers television screen. Claiming to have kidnapped Isabella, the queen challenges the boys to a daring rescue before she takes over their sister's soul. Zamora's plan is to use the baby as a human vessel to travel to Earth and dominate the world.

Once the brothers figure out how to get inside the video game, they are hurled into the magical land of Boysen where they meet their helpful guides: a sage, a quirky mermaid, and a Pegasus (who flies them to each thrilling level of the video game). Racing against time, the brothers search for their sister, encountering a myriad of dangerous enemies including stinging fairies, haunted Master Souls, and brutish, knife-wielding pirates.

Can they beat each level of the game while being hunted by a fire-breathing dragon, stalked by a robotic shark, and terrorized by acid-poop-bombing pterodactyls? Driven by the powerful bonds that unite siblings, Mason and Carter are determined to face their fears and will stop at nothing to bring Isabella home...but first they must survive Zamora s Ultimate Challenge!


M.K. Scott, a total book fiend and a horse lover extraordinaire, is both a children's book author and adult fiction author. She is currently writing two mystery series (the Wine Lovers Mysteries and the Horse Lovers Mysteries) for Berkeley Prime Crime. When she's not hanging out with her kids and trying to keep them in line, she teaches creative writing to middle school kids. Her love for horses keeps her busy, but not as busy as her writing. Right now she is juggling ideas for about 8,456,342 ideas for new stories to write. Her imagination often keeps her awake at night, but she doesn't mind as she is constantly meeting new people and "things" even if it is only in her mind. M.K. lives in San Diego, CA with her super-cool husband, and her equally cool three kids, two dogs, two cats, and two horses.

Website: www.michelescott.com or you can just link to www.mkscott.com (it's all the same)

Want to win a $15.00 Gift Certificate from Quake? Visit and comment on each stop of the Zamora Spring Blog Tour and you will automatically be entered to win!

Blog Tour Stops

March 23--Life as a Publisher launches the Blog Tour for author M.K. Scott. Discover who M.K. Scott is and what Zamora's Ultimate Challenge is all about.


March 25--Candid Canine Michele will be blogging about her writing companion- Java.

March 26--Cynthia's Attic Discover the story behind the story of Zamora's Ultimate Challenge.

March 27--Marta's Meanderings What exactly is M.K. Scott's "Novel Project" and how does it involve middle school and junior high kids.

March 30--Drey's Library M.K. Scott talks about the differences between writing children's fantasy versus adult mystery

April 2--Booking Mama How does a multi-genre author balance a big family and writing

April 3--Beth Fish Reads Find out what one Tween thought after reading "Zamora's Ultimate Challenge." A special interview.

April 4--Teen Seen Hop on over to give your thoughts on the debut Blog tour for Zamora's Ultimate Challenge and see what goodies you could win.





10 Comments on Zamora's Ultimate Challenge Blog Tour, last added: 4/6/2009
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20. Sandra Novack - Interview, Part Two


Part Two of my interview with fascinating writer, Sandra Novack, author of the adult literary novel, "Precious."

Sandra Novack Bio:

I was born in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, in 1972. When I was little, my brother used to hide me in his paper route bag and then come home and tell my mother he'd lost me somewhere in town. It was like a great secret the two of us shared, one only given away by an inevitable laughing spell.

My sisters and brothers were older than me by ten to fifteen years, and I spent much of my time tagging along after them, stealing their rock-and-roll albums, and imitating their every word and action. In some ways, I was as much raised by them as by my parents. Or, as I like to tell people, I was raised by a band of gypsies. They are my tribe, my family.

Precious is dedicated to my sister, Carole, who left home when I was seven.


CA: I believe we all have "little pieces" of our own lives in our writing. You have been on a promotional tour for "Precious." How has it changed your life? Or, has it?

SN: It's gotten me outside myself a bit. Most writers are solitary, and my days are usually very quiet, which is good because my voice and writing spring from that silence. Meeting people is always a positive experience, though the downside is that I'm "off" my schedule and not writing lately, and writing is the thing that keeps me most level in life. I always take the advice of my friend, who says, "You've got to enjoy the excitement when it comes because it'll always end, too. Enjoy the moment." So I try to look at it like that. I don't think it's changed my life, no. I'm still Sandy. Always have been, always will be. There's not a lot that gives me a big head, and there's also not a lot that discourages me, either, from picking up the pen again and telling a new story.

CA: You seem so down to earth, and I can't imagine you'll ever change! Can you give a couple of tips to aspiring writers? Maybe some that made an impression with you when you were starting out.

SN: Never be afraid to risk, and never be afraid to fail. Very few people (if any) start off being brilliant writers, or even competent writers, but you've got to keep at it to even get to those places. Rejection and even failure are both inevitable on the path to success. Successes are best measured one at a time, too. I remember when I started writing and finally had a story that had a sense of plot I felt that was a big success, since if I wrote one story that "worked" I could write another. Same with publishing. When I first published, it was in a very little journal that no one had ever heard of, but I thought, If I could do it once, I could do it again, and I could get even better at doing that. It's dangerous to be like, "I have to be brilliant right away and be noticed right away and be published in top venues right away." That kind of thinking can lead to disappointment, I believe. Finally: Read. Anyone you love! And learn from that fiction, and those stories.

CA: This is great advice, Sandra. It's all about prepration, isn't it.

Finally, is there something funny you can share about yourself that your fans might not know? Hmmmm??

SN:
1) I once had two pet cows named Sirloin and Hamburger.

2) I once proudly announced to my mother that I could spell "relief" and then spelled Rolaids. I was very young--and very pleased with myself--and didn't understand WHY she laughed.

3) When my grammy was living with us and dying of cancer, I, in my ten-year-old wisdom thought it prudent to read to her from the Bible, and I picked (in my even more infinite wisdom) the Book of Job. I read to my dying grammy from Job everyday!!!! It's bad enough, I think now, that I picked JOB, but I don't even know if my grammy was very religious...I still feel very badly about this.

4) I love the smell of Vicks and also Scotch tape, and sometimes just smell both for the heck of it.
5) When I was four I named my pet cat "Linda" because I was smitten with the Good Witch in the Wizard of Oz. It took my brother, Jimmy, telling me that the witch's name was Glinda, not Linda, and that we should probably name the cat Morris because it was a boy, anyway.

CA: Sandra, I can't tell you how much I've enjoyed having you visit "The Attic!" This will definitely go down as one of my favorite interviews. Your generosity to your fans and readers shines through. Please come back again, soon!

In case you missed it, here's Part One:

Visit Sandra on her Website

Buy Precious at your local Independent Bookstore (Such as, Horton's Books & Gifts)

(Watch for Sandra's short story collection! Random House 2010!)





Mary Cunningham Books
WOOF: Women Only Over Fifty

Quake - Shaking Up Young Readers!

Discover the Magic in Cynthia's Attic!

4 Comments on Sandra Novack - Interview, Part Two, last added: 4/6/2009
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21. Zamora's Ultimate Challenge - M. K. Scott


Cynthia's Attic is thrilled to host author, M. K. Scott and the release of her 'Tween fantasy, Zamora's Ultimate Challenge.

About the Author:

M.K. Scott, a total book fiend and a horse lover extraordinaire, is both a children s book author and adult fiction author. She is currently writing two mystery series (the Wine Lovers Mysteries and the Horse Lovers Mysteries) for Berkeley Prime Crime. When she's not hanging out with her kids and trying to keep them in line, she teaches creative writing to middle school kids. Her love for horses keeps her busy, but not as busy as her writing. Right now she is juggling ideas for about 8,456,342 ideas for new stories to write. Her imagination often keeps her awake at night, but she doesn't mind as she is constantly meeting new people and "things" even if it is only in her mind. M.K. lives in San Diego, CA with her super-cool husband, and her equally cool three kids, two dogs, two cats, and two horses.

Synopsis:


Mason and Carter Clover only agree on two things--their baby sister Isabella is a royal pain and their favorite video game, Zamora s Ultimate Challenge, is totally awesome. But fantasy turns to reality when Zamora s evil face appears across the brothers television screen. Claiming to have kidnapped Isabella, the queen challenges the boys to a daring rescue before she takes over their
sister's soul. Zamora s plan is to use the baby as a human vessel to travel to Earth and dominate the world. Once the brothers figure out how to get inside the video game, they are hurled into the magical land of Boysen where they meet their helpful guides: a sage, a quirky mermaid, and a Pegasus (who flies them to each thrilling level of the video game).



Racing against time, the brothers search for their sister, encountering a myriad of dangerous enemies including stinging fairies, haunted Master Souls, and brutish, knife-wielding pirates. Can they beat each level of the game while being hunted by a fire-breathing dragon, stalked by a robotic shark, and terrorized by acid-poop-bombing pterodactyls? Driven by the powerful bonds that unite siblings, Mason and Carter are determined to face their fears and will stop at nothing to bring Isabella home...but first they must survive Zamora s Ultimate Challenge!

M. K. is giving away prizes! Check her site for more information.

M. K. Scott website
Quake (Echelon Imprint)

Discover the Magic in Cynthia's Attic

2 Comments on Zamora's Ultimate Challenge - M. K. Scott, last added: 4/4/2009
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22. Getting the Families Involved

Hi there, meet Alyssa Montgomery. Alyssa is an author. She is also sixteen, or maybe she is seventeen now. Alyssa writes young adult stories for Quake!


Okay, at Echelon Press we have a little thing called Quake. It's our imprint for kids and young adults. We love it. Internally, we have a group called Team Quake. It's all the authors who write for Quake. It's where we get together and brainstorm and network and come up with brilliant ideas to get YOUR kids reading and enjoying it. It's also where we come up with ideas on what to post at Teen Seen, our Blog.

We try not to preach, we try not to lecture, we try to have fun (some more than others: meet Norm Cowie and Sam Morton)

Problem is, we don't do much but talk to you, the parents. Now, don't get me wrong, we love parents, they make the rules and decide what the kids can and cannot do. We want you involved, too. We need you to be involved, heck, your kids need you to be involved. But more than anything, we want to talk to you kids and have them talk to us! We need to know what they think and like and want in order for us to publish the books they will want to read. See what I mean?

So what the heck is this Blog post about? It's an invitation. We want you to join us at Teen Seen and we want you to bring your kids (ages 10 and up) We know some of you might have grown kids who would be interested, so bring them too. Please let your kids post and talk to us, it's what will make Quake the huge success it deserves to be.

What have we got to offer? We have fun, we do talk about important stuff, but we try to keep it interesting. Reading is so important to the kids and we don't want them to read just the stuff they HAVE to, we want them to actually enjoy reading. That's why we make our books as cool as possible.

Once you get to Teen Seen have your kids join our Birthday Book Bash. Click on the link to contact Quake and send the following info:

Child's name (first name only!)
Full birthday with year (must have been born after 1989)
e-mail address (this is used only for the BBB and nothing else-cross my heart)

On their birthday we will send your kid a FREE PDF eBook of their choice.

So, will you hop on over to follow us and bring your kids, too?

4 Comments on Getting the Families Involved, last added: 4/19/2009
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23.


My first car! Okay, so it belonged to my mom & dad. And, no, neither one of those men are my dad. I just didn't have a decent picture of the real thing...okay??

"Use the clutch!" Words that still echo in my ear coming from Mr. Cato, my high school driver's ed instructor.

Clutch? I don't see no stinkin' clutch! Which is probably why the "training" car with the manual (on the steering column back then) transmission died halfway up the steep Southern Indiana hill. (In case you're unfamiliar with the terrain, the southern part of the state is known for rolling hills and valleys.)

"Put on the brake," he said, through clenched teeth. (Mr. Cato had virtues. Patience was not one)

Note 1: He was also the varsity basketball coach, known for ripping off his sports jacket and hurling it to the sidelines within 10 seconds of the start of the game.

"Now, ease out on the clutch as you push down on the gas pedal."

Clunk! Clunk! Sputter! Sputter...die....

(Sigh) "Put on the brake...again. Ease up on the clutch and give the car some GAS!!"

"Yes sir." I gulp, glancing sideways toward the passenger seat. Whew. Mr Cato is in a short sleeve shirt. No jacket to hurl toward me.

Meanwhile, Jimmy, Pat and Crissy were in the back seat, laughing hysterically...which wasn't helping my concentration. I shot them a dirty look, which brought on more laughter and a couple of snorts.

Finally! I made it up that hill, only to encounter another steeper climb on the other side. I exhaled. Can I possibly make it up a second hill? But, then it came to me. More speed! No need to use the clutch. This driving thing won't get the best of me!

I floored it! Up that hill, down another and up the next. Yep, I'm getting the hang of this.

Mr. Cato's death grip on the dash and silence from the back seat, said it all.

Note 2: Don't try this at home! Back in my day, the roads were practically empty and we had all the real estate in two counties to practice our driving skills. And, in case you're interested, here's a real picture of my first car! In black and white because we didn't take color Polaroids in the "olden days." F-85, red (see pic at top) and white Oldsmobile with red bucket seats, and automatic transmission.


Discover the Magic in Cynthia's Attic

Mary Cunningham Books

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