Read-it-if Review: YA Fantasy Novella “Miyuki” and a GIVEAWAY!

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Good morning to you all! Before we begin, I’d like you to have a look outside…what’s the weather like today? Any fires predicted for your tranquil bush home? Are there likely to be rockfalls rattle-tattling down your mountain-side mecca?  Is that the mother of all thunder storms cracking outside your window? Well if any or all of these are lurking on your weather radar, today’s book reviews are definitely something you should keep your eye on.

I am very pleased to be part of the blog tour for Veronica Bane’s young adult fantasy novella, Miyuki, which is book two in the Unusuals series.  The tour  is running from March 1st to April 1st, and I’m lucky last on the tour.  Which could also be lucky for you, as I’m also offering the chance for one lucky reader to win paperback copies of the first two books in the series – hurrah! Giveaway info is at the end of the post.

As today’s review is of the second book in the series, I’ll also give you a handy rundown on the goings on of book one, entitled Mara.  In Mara, we are introduced to a group of teens living in the less than idyllic town of Jericho.  Things have always been a bit off-kilter down good ol’ Jericho way, what with general dislike and persecution of the Natives, and some decidedly odd goings on throughout the years.  During this book, we meet Mara, a reasonably unlikeable young lass who is grappling with a difficult family history and trying to come to terms with the fact that she can manipulate fire. As in, throw flaming fireballs from her hands and such like.  Mara begins to seek out others of her ilk, and discovers that Jericho has its fair share of “Unusuals” – people with certain superhuman abilities – but that being an Unusual also comes with a good chance of an early death at the hands of some of Jericho’s haters.

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In book two, we pick up the story after Mara and some other Unusuals, Miyuki being one, find out who has been trying to pick them off.  Miyuki, manipulator of water and granddaughter of Katsumi, a long time resident of Jericho, has to learn how to use her abilities to fight in order to protect herself and the other Unusuals on her side.  Because, not every Unusual sees things the way Miyuki does.  Enter the mysterious and mixed-up Nayara and things are about to get violent. Fatally violent.

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Read it if:

– you’ve ever considered yourself a little bit…out of the ordinary

– you’re a misfit, a rebel on the run, and no one understands you…especially not your vengeful gun-toting brother, or the other thugs that have been hired specifically to kill you…yep, ESPECIALLY not them

– you suspect you may be in possession of very mild superpowers

– you enjoy your YA gritty, edgy and with a side dose of super-charged fight and flight

These two books felt very different from the general fare of YA fantasy being served up just at the moment.  The stories had some real suspense and  a pervading sense of fear woven into the mystery of just who is hunting the Unusuals and what they might want the talented kids for.  They are also reasonably quick reads, coming in at under 200 pages each, which is great if you’re looking for something that won’t bog you down for weeks on end while you plough through the previous book in order to get up to speed with the new release.

I was reminded of nothing so much as movies like the X-men while I was reading these two, and I would really LOVE to see these books in graphic novel format.  There’s a lot of action and the writing really paints a picture while you are reading, and I just feel that the characters and their story would work perfectly in an illustrated format.

These books would be the perfect choice for YA readers looking for a break from your standard high fantasy, but don’t want to bother with love-triangle romances or urban fantasy with a long, complicated back story.  Mara and Miyuki are the perfect novellas to jump into for a break from reality involving a bit of superhumanity, a bit of crash-bang-wallop and a bit of psychological thriller wrapped in a bite-size package.

So now for the giveaway! This one is only open to residents of the US (sorry non-US-ians) and the winner will receive paperback copies of both Mara and Miyuki.  To enter, just click on the rafflecopter link below (and good luck!)

a Rafflecopter giveaway

small fryOh, and just for the record, these books fit right in to category four of the Small Fry Safari Kid Lit Readers Challenge – a book with someone’s name in the title. Just sayin’.

Until next time,

Bruce

 

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Haiku Review: Zips Goes Wandering Blog Tour and Giveaway…

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Howdy pardners! It’s Mad Martha with you today and I’m very happy to be hosting a stop on the blog tour of the new children’s picture book Zips Goes Wandering by Chris March.  This tour is full of reviews & runs March 14-April 2nd. Check out the tour page for the list of tour stops!

Zips Goes Wandering follows the story of Zips, the young Zebra, as he ill-advisedly decides to take a walk around his savannah home, despite having been warned of the many predators lurking around the place just waiting for a tasty, defenceless, ambulant snack to deliver itself into their clutches, claws and jaws.  Although Zips manages to avoid becoming lunch for his carnivorous neighbours, he does realise that his sense of direction is not quite up to scratch, and has to use all his wits to make it safely back to his herd.

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Zebrish walkabout

nearly ends in tears for Zips

Lunch has been postponed

This is a bright, fun picture book for the pre-school market that features the oft-told cautionary tale about what happens when you don’t listen to your mother.  The illustrations are really eye-catching and their simplicity makes it very easy to take in the nuances of the scene, such as the sly looks of Zips’ predators as they attempt to hem him in.

The rhyme here flows easily and little kids will love naming all the savannah animals that come to Zips’ aid in finding his way home.  The book ends, predictably, with Zips safely ensconced with his herd, bedding down for the night under his mum’s watchful gaze.  This would be a perfect before bed read to help your little herd of wild creatures wind down for the night.

Now below is some more information about the book,including where you can buy it and there’s also a chance for you to meet the author.  At the very end of the post is your chance to win one of 20 ecopies of the book.  I like those odds!

Zips Goes Wandering by Chris Marsh

Releases: March 15th, 2014 by BookTrope

Age Recommendation: Preschool through 2nd Grade

This is the first book of the series, Savannah Friends, and tells the story of Zips the Zebra and how, after being told by his mum about the dangers of walking off alone, decides to go on adventure by himself only to end up in trouble!

After getting chased by a hungry lion and crocodile it is down to Zips to find his way back home by asking his friends.

Zipping across the savannah from friend to friend Zips finally manages to find his way home and back to the safety with his mum.

Through rhyming and bright, exciting pictures Zips has proven exciting for many young children and their parents find it a useful tool to teach their kids about the dangers of wandering off alone and what to do if they get lost.

Praise for Zips Goes Wandering:

“Be prepared to fall in love with Zips in the magnificent and rugged African savannah.”—Della Connor, author of The Spirit Warrior series

“Plunge into the unknown with Zips the curious zebra and find a savannah filled with friends.” —Jennifer L. Hotes, illustrator of the Inventor-in-Training series and author of Four Rubbings

“A charming book—the rhyming text makes it a great read-aloud. In addition, it gives kids an idea of the kind of animals that really do live in a savannah habitat.” —Roxie Munro, author/illustrator of Slithery Snakes and EcoMazes: 12 Earth Adventures

“Chris Marsh captivates with witty verse and charms with colorful scenes as Zip wanders from friend to friend across the savannah, finding his way back home. A treat for young readers and parents alike.” – Steven Luna, author of Songs from the Phenomenal Nothing

Interview with the Author:

1. Tell me about yourself.

I currently live in London, England and have done so for the last 7 years which is very different from where I grew up in the heart of the English countryside. Growing up in a rural village surrounded by farms, fields and forests gave me the opportunities to go on an endless number of adventures with my friends which allowed for my creative side to flourish. I’m a keen painter and pianist and love spending my spare time either drawing, writing or playing or listening to music. I have five nieces and nephews who also keep me very busy so I often rely on my creative streak to find exciting things for them to do and I hope that this will rub off on them.

2. Give a brief description of your book, Zips Goes Wandering.

Zips is about a young zebra who loves an adventure but doesn’t realise the dangers involved with wandering off without telling his mum. After she warns him not to wander off, he does just that and soon finds himself in a spot of bother with a hungry lion and crocodile. Fortunately, he manages to get himself out of trouble but only finds himself lost and miles from home. By asking his various friends for help he darts backwards and forwards across the savannah and before nightfall, he finds his family.

3. Why did you write Zips Goes Wandering ?

My five very active nieces and nephews are pretty fearless when it comes to going on adventures, often without telling a grown up where they’re off to. Knowing their love for stories and indifference to obeying rules I decided to create a story that they would pay attention to, enjoy and therefore remember. Zips Goes Wandering engaged them to ask questions about getting lost and since first hearing the story they haven’t gone wandering off, unless it’s to the kitchen to raid the sweet and cake cupboard.

4. Zips Goes Wandering has lots of animal characters. Which ones are your favorites?

I’ve always thought that zebras are pretty cool and interesting animals which is why I chose a zebra for the main character. But I also really like Alex Antelope, not only because I like his massive antlers but also because he’s named after one of my nephews.

5. Is this book part of a series?

Zips Goes Wandering aims at teaching children not to wander off and to spark up a conversation between children and their parents or guardians. It had such a great impact on my nieces and nephews that I thought about covering a variety of issues that children will come across through life. The next book covers an issue that is a worry for all parents – bullying – but I wanted to make it slightly different to other bullying stories and that’s to focus the book from the bully’s point of view. So keep an eye out for that one!

6. Your illustrations in Zips Goes Wandering are so expressive. Can you tell us about your illustration methods?

I actually first created the characters when I was about 13 in a Home Economics class at school – we were making aprons and I decorated mine with Zips and his friends (although they didn’t have names back then). When I first started writing the story of Zips onto paper I remembered the apron, dug it out and thought, here’s a style of drawing I’ve never seen before and that would be recognisable. I really think that the characters are quite cute which will hopefully appeal to adults as well.

7. The page design of Zips Goes Wandering is vibrant. Can you tell us about why you chose to place the text inside the clouds?

The words on the page are separated from the actual pictures themselves so I wanted to connect the two somehow. As the words seemed to float about on the page I thought, why not have them float about in a cloud above the savannah?

8. Why did you choose to set this book in the African savannah?

I’ve always had a fascination with African savannah animals. I’ve never been to Africa but I’ve been to so many zoos and even from a little boy I remember being mesmerized by the giraffes, elephants, rhinos, zebras and lions more than the other animals. One day I’ll get to Africa so I can see a real life Zips in the wild.

9. What kinds of children’s books have inspired you?

I’m so pleased that my nieces and nephews are great lovers of books because it gives me an excuse to read picture books to them. My favourite has to be Julia Donaldson. Her books are so much fun and the stories and rhyming draw the reader into the story every time.

10. What artists have inspired you?

Axel Scheffler is brilliant. He’s so talented and has worked with Julia Donaldson on a number of books including The Highway Rat and The Gruffalo. I think I enjoy the pictures more than my nieces and nephews! As a child I was a huge fan of the Roald Dahl books and a large part of that was because of the illustrations drawn by Quentin Blake. They’re quite simple but have a real impact on the reader because they’re so unique, fun and match the character of the story they’re in perfectly. ”

About the Author:

Chris Marsh grew up in the heart of the English Countryside and spent many sunny days going on wild adventures and long expeditions, with his mother constantly reminding him to be careful. On those rainy days he would spend hours either reading, painting or drawing, letting his imagination go wild and creating a variety of stories and tales about his adventures. Surrounded by pets and constantly exploring the local wildlife and farm animals, Chris developed a love for animals which crept into his creativity. Years later it was Chris’ turn to do the careful reminding to his adventurous nieces and nephews and he found the only way to engage them was through stories.

Giveaway:

20 ebook copies in your choice of format.

Open Worldwide.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

So there you have it – a delightful little story with an intrepid little hero!

Might I also suggest that Zips Goes Wandering would be the perfect choice for a number of categories in the Small Fry Safari Kid Lit Readers Challenge? It would suit category one (something related to Safari in the title), category four (someone’s name in the title) and category five (something that comes in pairs in the title..[zips…zips come in pairs, in that they have two halves]).  Haven’t heard about the challenge?  Then simply click on this attractive button, and be taken to a veritable treasure chest of information. Then sign up!

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Until we meet again, may you always find your way back to your herd without being chased by predators with large pointy teeth,

Mad Martha

ARC Read-it-if Review: Side Effects May Vary…

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Evening all! Today I have for you Side Effects May Vary by Julie Murphy, which I received as a digital galley from the publisher via Netgalley.  Thanks!

Side Effects May Vary follows the story of Alice and her (sometimes) best childhood friend Harvey through a period of ups and downs.  When Alice finds out she has terminal leukaemia, Harvey is there for Alice to lean on, even as she asks him to be her sidekick in some…unconventional…bucket list escapades.  Then, unexpectedly for everyone, when Alice is seemingly at death’s door, her doctors tell her that she is in remission.  Now Alice must face up to what and who she has become and find a way to move forward in a whole new future that she didn’t expect to have.

side effects may vary

Read it if:

* you read The Fault in Our Stars (I didn’t, by the way) and want to read another book featuring a main character with cancer

* you like YA novels that feature a female protagonist who is immature, manipulative and cruel, and a male protagonist who doesn’t respect himself enough to (a) stand up for himself and (b) distance himself from the immature, manipulative and cruel behaviour of the female protagonist, all in the name of “love”

Okay. You guessed it. I didn’t much care for this book.  Sorry Julie Murphy. It’s nothing personal.

Or rather, the book and story itself isn’t so bad – I think there are going to be a lot of people who really like the plot and the alternating points of view of Alice and Harvey, the then and now format of the book, and even the (miniscule and highly convenient) growth of the main character by the end of the story.  But it just wasn’t for me.

It’s the character of Alice that really put me off the whole thing.  She’s an entitled, nasty, revenge-seeking little madam. Plain and simple.  The thing that really tipped me over the edge into active dislike of this character was her over-the-top revenge pranks that involved publicly humiliating people who had wronged her in private. Later on in the book, when those she has pranked then seek their revenge in a public way, I had absolutely no sympathy for Alice.  Add to this the way she treats her supposed best friend, and I just couldn’t be bothered caring about how things would turn out for such an unlikeable character.

The other thing that annoyed me about this book **AND THIS MAY BE A SPOILER for some, so if you’re not up for it, skip this whole paragraph!!** was the whole idea of “love” that was portrayed.  I don’t understand why “love” is depicted through a character allowing himself to be treated like rubbish for a prolonged period of time by the object of his affection, as Harvey does, on the off chance that the person you “love” will suddenly “love” you back.  There’s no love here – Alice practices manipulation and then bargaining to win Harvey back, and Harvey demonstrates infatuation and submission.  That’s it.  This may be one of the reasons I don’t read too much YA with romance, because there very rarely seem to be depictions of healthy romantic relationships, but rather this perpetuation of the tortured soul who waits forever until their love object sees them for who they truly are and returns that skewed version of love.  Meh.

So again, not the book for me, but certainly one that I think a lot of YA contemporary (and especially romance) buffs will probably happily devour.  I’d suggest giving it a go if that’s your genre of choice and don’t let my curmudgeonly grouching put you off.  Side Effects May Vary is released on March 18th.

Until next time,

Bruce

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Fiction in 50 March Challenge: A Tiny, Beautiful Thing…

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Hey there fiction fanciers! It’s time for the March edition of Fiction in 50 – the writing challenge that asks you to create a fantastic, fleeting bit of fictional writing in 50 words or less.  Click on the picture for more info about how to participate.  This month’s prompt is:

tiny beautiful button

And here is the linky for this month just waiting for your entries.  You can also add your link in the comments if you prefer.

So my entry this month is based on a true story, that I have seen unfold over the past six months or so from my perch on the shelf. I have titled it…

What We Thought Was Lost Forever

Her eyes snapped open in response to the silence, already searching for the digital clock display.  5.42am.  Bolting upright in panic, her eyes took in the steady rise and fall of the cot blanket.

Falling back onto the pillow, she breathed out, counting her blessings.

One: a full night’s sleep.

So there you have it…and did you notice? No dialogue this time!  Take THAT  derogatory inner critic! 😀

We’d love to see more new mini-fic-fans joining us, so have a go or tell your friends and lets bring tiny writing to the masses.  For those who just love to be prepared, next month’s prompt is…

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Until next time,

Bruce


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For the kid inside the grown-up suit: Nurturing one’s jaded inner child…and a Fi50 reminder!

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Afternoon thrill seekers! Today I’ve got some special picture books to share with you … particularly if you are feeling the weight of the world pressing down upon your worthy and attractively shaped shoulders.  But before that, here’s a reminder for the Fiction in 50 crowd!  Fi50 for March will kick off on Monday and our prompt for this month is:

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If you want to join in all you have to do is come up with a piece of fiction or poetry or whatever in 50 words or less then link up to the linky that will be in Monday’s post, or leave your link in the comments.  For more detailed instructions, click on the button at the top of this post.  We had some new faces again last month and it was a lot of fun seeing the creative interpretations of “Love in the Time of….”  So light the fire of those creative cannons and get those powder monkeys working double time!

But on to the picture books….you know what I love? Coming across a book that is clearly written for adults, but is sneakily packaged in picture book format to trick the unwary into thinking that it’s just kid’s stuff.  Today I have two such sneaky tomes of which I’d like to make you aware.  These are definitely for the inner child who has been a bit neglected and downtrodden and needs a bit of solace and support.  Let’s all take a moment to consider our neglected inner child.  Poor little guy. Or girl.  *sniff* Sad book

First off, here’s the poignant, powerful and just plain awesome Michael Rosen’s Sad Book by Michael Rosen (obviously) and illustrated by Quentin Blake.  If you have ever suffered from depression or know someone who has, you NEED TO GET THIS BOOK.  It is possibly the most accessible and authentic and user-friendly explanation of the ebb and flow of experience for a person with depression that I’ve ever come across.

In simple and compelling prose, Rosen describes how his behaviour changes when he feels “sad” and how his experiences of grief and loss have contributed to this state of affairs and how sometimes his sadness has nothing to do with anything that he can pinpoint….it just “comes along and finds you”.

The illustrations and colour palette perfectly compliment the tone of the book as it moves from powerlessness to hope.  Get it. Do. You won’t regret it and it may resonate (if you’re beholden to the black dog) or enlighten (if you’re blissfully untouched by such a mental illness).

Next up is a book I happened across at the library and was caught by the intriguinhappily ever afterg title…Happily Ever After is So Once Upon a Time by Yixian Quek and illustrated by Grace Duan Ying.  The beautiful cover art also drew me in and I wanted to know what this book was about.  On reading the first page, in which the narrating little girl asks, “Will Prince Charming and Snow White still love each other after ten years? Does anything ever last?” I decided that I had to find out more.  So the book was duly borrowed to be perused at leisure.

The first half of the book consists of the little girl asking fairly bleak sorts of questions in the same vein as those on the first page.  She questions the hype and hyperbole of the “happily ever after” delusion and in rather depressing fashion, notes that “happiness, like bubbles, burst all too quickly.”

“So why is this a book to nurture one’s already-doing-it-quite-tough inner child, Bruce?” I hear you cajole.  Well, it’s the second half of the book in which things pick up.  After a bit of mournful introspection, the little girl seems to take a turn into a bit of Cognitive Behavioural Therapy and decides that happiness is hers to access, provided she has the right mindset.

All up, it’s an odd little concoction, but certainly worth it for the beautiful illustrations alone.

Right then. Enough faffing about with this nurturing business…I suggest you set that inner child to work creating a masterful piece of sensitve, inspiring fiction. In no more than 50 words.

See you on Monday!

(Oh and don’t forget to enter the two giveaways I have running right now. One finishes today so be quick! Click here or here)

Bruce

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Haiku Review: White Hart…

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Good morning readers – are we all sitting comfortably? Then we’ll begin.  Today I have for you a very atmospheric little number from Sarah Dalton – the new release young adult fantasy novel, White Hart.  I was lucky enough to receive a review copy from the publisher via Netgalley – thanks!

White Hart follows social outcast Mae, as she and her father scavenge wood for trade in the Waerg Woods, on the outskirts of the village of Halts-Walden.  Tacitly shunned by the villagers for living in the creepy and dangerous woods and riding a wild white stag, nobody but Mae and her father are aware that she is the craft-born – the only person in the kingdom able to control and manipulate the magic in the natural world.  Mae hides her gift because the King has decreed that the craft-born must marry the young prince Casimir and return magic to the workings of the Red Palace.  But another girl in Mae’s village claims to be craft-born and the prince arrives in Halts-Walden, ready to claim his bride.  When events take a major turn for the worse unexpectedly, Mae and Casimir must set out to right some wrongs – but will Mae be able to keep her secret from the prince?

white hart

Beware the Waerg Woods

They’re deadly, tricksy and wild

even for craft-born

The cover of this book really sums up the atmosphere in the story.  It perfectly conveys the lingering sense of danger once Mae and the prince enter the woods to finish their respective personal quests.

There was a lot I liked about White Hart.  One of the things I most appreciated in the writing was the way Dalton approached the world-building almost on a “need-to-know” basis.  Important details about the different cultures, the way magic works in the world, and the lie of the land were revealed naturally throughout the book as the reader required them.  This was a great relief to me, as I often find when reading fantasy that authors will get bogged down trying to explain different aspects of the world they’ve created to the detriment of the narrative flow.  Thankfully, Dalton was too clever to fall into this trap and by the end of the book I felt I had a good working knowledge of what Mae’s world was about without having to endure lots of action-stopping explanations.

The plot is fairly episodic, with Mae and Casimir and their loyal steeds falling afoul of a number of the dangers of the Waerg Woods while in pursuit of their quarry.  There were a few moments during the early part of their adventure that had me wishing things would speed up a bit, and I think this was a result of having a big chunk of the book reliant on just the two main characters.  Fortunately, another character eventually pops up to join the party and then a whole host of interlopers inject various helpful and hinderous action and things begin to move along at a reasonable pace again.

White Hart is the beginning of a series, and while this book ends on a bit of a cliffhanger, it wasn’t so perilous that I felt let down by having the story stop where it did.  There’s plenty going on in this novel to keep the reader busy, and the cliffhanger ending is just right to pique the interest for the next book.

I’d definitely recommend this book for lovers of YA fantasy, but there’s a bit of everything here – action, adventure, death, romance, friendship, tough ladies, beautiful ladies, carnivorous plants….you get the idea.

Until next time,

Bruce

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Author Spotlight and GIVEAWAY!: The Purple Girl by Audrey Kane…

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the purple girlGood morning to you all! I am very glad you chose to stop by today because we have a real treat in store for you.  Audrey Kane, author of middle grade fantasy adventure new release The Purple Girl has dropped by the shelf to tell you a bit more about the inspiration behind the book and to offer the chance to WIN a SIGNED paperback copy! Woot!!  (But in case you can’t wait to find out if you’ve won, you can buy it here).

In case you missed it, Mad Martha haiku-reviewed the book on Friday, and you can catch up by reading the post here. Go on, we’ll wait.

Right then.  So here’s the skinny on Audrey herself:

As a writer, and also a designer of tapestries with a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree from the University of Georgia, it is only natural for Audrey to weave visual stories. When she is not designing tapestries, she is busy conjuring up characters that find themselves in extraordinary situations. Between carpools and design work, she is plotting, scheming, writing, and revising. She lives in North Carolina with her husband, their three children, and her unruly dog, Rascals. Audrey’s favorite time to write is in the early morning while her family sleeps. With Rascals sprawled out snoring beside her, it only takes one oversized cup of coffee to get her mind moving.

Audrey is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers & Illustrators. She loves traveling, museums, and blackberry-apple pie. Actually, she loves all kinds of pie. And she especially loves her family—even if they aren’t purple.

PurpleGirl-audreyYou can find out more about Audrey and the book by visiting her website at http://www.audreykane.com

But in the meantime, Audrey herself is here to tell you more about how Violet’s story came about and how social issues are woven in amongst the fantasy threads in the book.

The Muse

As a child, I always had a stack of books by my bedside—with a notebook and a sketchpad tucked underneath them. I honestly can’t remember a time when I wasn’t reading, writing or drawing something. Not only did books keep me up late at night asthey swept me away on fantastical escapes, they inspired me to use my imagination. And since my passion for writing and art are interwoven, somehow art or color always wriggles its way into my writing. My mind thinks in pictures; the words come later.

Many readers are surprised to discover that The Purple Girl was born from a writer’s block exercise. A fellow writer suggested I try an exercise that would force me to take off my editing hat. My job was to write for twenty-five minutes without stopping. And there were rules. I wasn’t allowed to erase a word, revise a sentence or pause to collect my thoughts. The Purple Girl came to me…and I fell in love with her story. At the time, I never would have guessed that The Purple Girl would become my debut book.

I didn’t set out to write a story that would weave social issues with adventure and magic. I didn’t have a clue my character would take me there. I simply enjoyed the process of writing. I got to be in charge—be the boss! Making the rules in my world was great fun. There was a story burning to come out, and when my character whispered in my ear, I listened.

Now, I will let you in on another secret. Children and adults who overcome obstacles are truly the heart of Violet’s story. They inspire me every day. And kids who feel lonely or different always linger in the back of my mind. Whether a child is reading The Purple Girl to escape on an adventure or whether she is grasping the deeper messages woven into the story, I’m simply happy a child is reading. And if I’ve helped a child stand taller—well, that’s icing on the cake!

Alright, now here’s the bit you’ve been waiting for….the GIVEAWAY!  To enter, click on the rafflecopter link below.  Before that though, here’s the guidelines for the giveaway:

– The giveaway is open internationally, so provided you live on planet Earth and have a postal address, you should be right to enter

– One winner will be chosen at random via rafflecopter and will have 48 hours to respond to a congratulatory email before a redraw will occur.

– The winner’s prize will be shipped by the publisher – no responsibility will be taken for packages lost in the mail. Sorry.

– The giveaway is in no way related to WordPress, Goodreads, The Book Depository, Rafflecopter, Facebook or any other individual or company that is not me.

– I will be checking entries, so be honest.

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Good luck everyone!

Until next time,

Bruce (and Audrey!)