Rave Reviews Book Club’s “Spotlight” Author Blog Tour Spotlight Author, Wendy Scott

 

Witch-Hunt copy

Why I wrote Lodestone.

After I finished writing Ferrasium, Book 1 of the Windflowers Trilogy, which is reminiscent of an Ancient Egyptian culture, I wanted to explore a more traditional fantasy setting. A medieval influence with witches, forest, and magical creatures.

The city of Sha’La’Shang was inspired by sacred sects who built their temples among sheer cliffs and mountain tops. Extra-sensory perception and animal shamanism are also explored.

The monks of Sha’La’Shang are targeted for persecution. The Order’s fanatical fervour borders on religious mania. Power, deceit, and corruption are interlinked with yesterday’s so-called saviours morphing into today’s tyrants. The Orders’ power base is built on fear, misinformation, and conformity. The unpredictability of magic undermines their total control.

Inspiration was derived from multiple world events: Nazism, Communism, Medieval Witchcraft and the Inquisition.

forest-411491_1920To develop the magic system in Lodestone I researched medieval witches, myths, magical and healing practices, and weaved many traditional elements into the story (spells, flying broomsticks pentacles). I stumbled upon ancient healing texts, containing artful illustrations that listed old cures. Bloodletting was common in medieval times as physicians believed this cured many ailments (including toothache, impotence, lust, warts, over-drinking, swelling, poisoning, bell aches… the list is extensive!) Once attached leeches don’t stop until they’ve had their full. One leech can suck in about 15ml of blood. But beware! Leeches entering body openings like mouth, nostril or ears can cause internal bleeding and kill the patient.

pentacle-671276_1280I developed new creatures for the different environments, including aquawttrs, cheelings, aerons and vratts. Each one is tailor made for their environs (wetlands, forest, mountain skies, and caves).

yellow-mountains-532857_1280My author mind desired an outlet for story-lines with conflicting character motivations and heart wrenching dilemmas. Life is complex and we do not always understand the far reaching consequences of our actions and decisions. Or know if we’ve made the right choices.

In Lodestone, Mistress Florisah sums up this concept. “One thing I’ve learned in my lifetime is that things are very rarely as clear cut as black or white, good or evil, but varying shades of gray depending on which side you view them from.”

Lodestone (Witch-Hunt)Sabrina and Lauren’s tales entwine- linked by blood and magic. Sabrina, a newly fledged healer, is thrust out of her sheltered life at Mistress Florisah’s healing school after the  destruction of the witch-ancestor portraits. An anti-witchcraft militia is poised on Karthalon’s borders threatening full scale genocide, unless Sabrina, the last of Lauren’s bloodline, can destroy the Lodestone, and restore magic to Valloaria, but the Lodestone is buried deep within the heart of the Order’s headquarters. Sabrina struggles to accept this suicide mission, and is distracted by her inappropriate affection for Micah, a prospect monk. Lauren’s ghost haunts Sabrina’s dreams as her  diary reveals the tragic events behind Lauren’s actions. With invasion imminent, Sabrina embarks on her quest armed only with a sliver of the Lodestone, and Lauren’s diary but how can a lone girl prevail against an army?

SONY DSCAmazon US  124 reviews 4.4 * ratings

Amazon US Lodestone https://www.amazon.com/dp/BOOAMQX7DO

Amazon UK Lodestone https://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/BOOAMQX7DO

Connect with Wendy:

Twitter @WendyJayneScott

FB https://www.facebook.com/AuthorWendyScott

Author Profile Amazon https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Scott/e/BOO981N8NA/

Website http://www.wendyjscott.com/contact.html

Pinterest https://nz.pinterest.com/wendyscottbooks/lodestone-witch-hunt/

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Review for Janetta and the Book Thief

Janetta and the Book Thief

by B. S. Gibbs

This book is for kids between the ages of 8-12.

One afternoon twelve-year -old Janetta was reading an adventure book and was on the last chapter when the letters started to fade and the last few pages were blank. She dashed into the house and up to her room to find all her books were missing the last chapter.

Janetta was upset and started sobbing. She heard a noise and looked up to see a tiny little girl with transparent wings standing in the corner by her bookcase. Janetta could not believe what she was seeing or what she heard when the girl told her that she was a book fairy. They talked for a few minutes and then after making a circle of her favorite books in the middle of her room Janetta was transported to a magical fairy realm.

Janetta is taken to see the fairy queen who informs her that it was her job to find out who hates books and would take the last chapter out.

There are detailed illustrations throughout the book but it was the cover that caught my attention.  There are a few minor errors near the front of the book which could easily be fixed. They didn’t distract me from the story. The lessons of kindness and friendship are cleverly hidden throughout.

This is a Story Cartel Book.

https://www.amazon.com/author/mehembroff

https;//www.goodreads.com/mehembroff

Proud member of Rave Reviews Book Club

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Spring Time Block Blog Party

 

RRBC Badges (2)

Hello and welcome to Rave Reviews Book Club’s Springtime Book and Block Party. This is my first tour.

My location:   Alberta, Canada

#of winners:   3

These prizes are for people living in Canada and U.S. only.

Here is what I am giving away today:

1: Signed paperback copy of my middle grade novel Bess’s Magical Garden

2: Signed paperback copy of my picture book Gramma Mouse Tells a Story

3: One signed limited edition of my original cover art for Bess’s Magical Garden.( original was an acrylic painting.)

Please leave a comment below on April 15th to be entered in the drawing to win one of the three prizes.

Bess’s Magical Garden

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Bess’s mother moves them to Pineview, away from her best friend Megan, and she terribly misses her. Six months earlier, Bess’s father died in a car crash, and she’s also in the midst of recovering from the final stages of polio. She’s in a sad and lonely place. From the moment she and her mother settle into their new home, Bess hears whispering voices and encounters a ghostly figure in the well-kept garden and in her dreams. She can’t make sense of everything and so shares her observations with Megan by writing her regular letters. During the summer, she makes new friends, including an orange and white tomcat that she names Pumpkin, and her new neighbor Josie. With the help of Mrs. O’Toole, the woman who watches her, Bess continues to recover, both physically and emotionally. She becomes more and more curious about the garden and the unexplained clues that she finds there. In Bess’s Magical Garden, Bess discovers her own true strengths through enduring life’s struggles. She-with Josie and Megan’s help-also finds some hidden items in the garden, including a map, that leave the girls with more questions than answers. Who was the figure that visited Bess? Will Bess and her friends be able to uncover the garden’s secrets? Or will those secrets be mysteries forever?

Gramma Mouse Tells a Story

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Gramma Mouse is visiting and relaxing when her grandbabies beg her to tell them a story. Tiny, Gramma Mouse, tells them about her trip across the old garden to visit Cousin Mouse. Tiny struts off staying out of sight at first. Then she pops out to look around and immediately forgets Ma and Pa’s advice. She stops to visit and look around. She receives warnings of approaching danger that she ignores. Tiny is having fun playing and investigating and forgets to watch for danger. She has a few narrow escapes but does learn valuable lessons along the way.

front coverThis is what the art work for my cover looks like. I used several different references to paint this. The idea for the cover came from the quote that is on the book cover, ‘For a brief second she thought she saw an archway covered with orange flowers that lead into a colorful garden. It was gone in an instant.’  The original was done in acrylic paint on canvas. The image for the cover came to me when I as I did revisions. That quote was also what set the tone for the book.

Thank you for stopping by and don’t forget to share your thoughts and comments at the bottom of this post. Good luck on winning my giveaways.

https://www.mhembroff.wordpress.com

https://www.amazon.com/author/mehembroff

https://www.goodreads.com/mehembroff

Posted in animal stories, books, Christmas, children's stories,, literature, Uncategorized, writing | 58 Comments

Review for Jug Valley Mysteries, Boys V. Girls by Anne Digby

This is a Story Cartel Book that I got free in exchange for a review.

I liked this book because it took me back to the carefree days of my childhood.

This story takes place in the town of Jugminister in the River Jug valley.

Tim and Amy Dalloway , who are twins, live in a large house that is in the process of being renovated which causes the family conflict. The twins have a quarrel which causes additional stress to the family. Then Dad is away overnight which isn’t like him. On the way home from school they see Dad towing their yellow caravan to the river, on their property, where he parks it. They are puzzled but learn the caravan is for their use and will be a private play area away from their two-year-old brother. Electricity and water  are going to be connected. The twins are thrilled and can’t wait to start using it.

A bike is stolen at their school, Jug Valley County Junior School when one to the students left his bike there overnight. Tim hooks up with his buddies Luda and Ben and decide to be detectives and call themselves the Handlers. Tim and his buddies are the first ones to use the caravan and put a sign outside that doesn’t allow Amy and her friend Mini access. The boys come up with a plan to catch the thief.

Then Tim and Amy Mom’s bike is stolen which gets the girls involved. They have the caravan the next day after school and form a detective agency as well. They come up with the name The Sprouts and develop a plan to catch the thieves.

A quarrel develops between the girls and boys which doesn’t help solve the crime. Will they learn to settle their difference and work together to solve the mystery?

This book is an easy read and will be enjoyed by boys and girls between the ages of eight to twelve. I read it within two days not because of the size of the book but because I wanted to know what happened at the end. The suspense was skillfully built up to keep you turning pages.

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Honey Suckle Cottage, Part 2

The only sounds were the clicking of her heels on the cobble stone walk, twittering birds and the soft sound of dripping water from the tree branches. Princess strained on the lease when a squirrel scolded over their heads.  “No girl. Let’s go.” Marie tried to be stern but found it hard not to chuckle at the squirrel  tormenting Princess. She leaned down and picked up the squirming little dog. “Your feet are wet already. I hope there isn’t carpet inside.”  Marie opened the white picket gate with her foot and approached the white cottage with a green door and shutters. Green window boxes were full of ruby red geraniums and dainty white baby’s breath. Dark green ivy spilled over the sides and trailed down the bone-white stone walls.

Marie set Muffin’s carrier down for a second and turned the large old fashioned key in the lock. The heavy green door squeaked when Marie pushed it open. She paused in the foyer and squinted in the dim light. The foyer contained an antique grandfather clock and an ornate oak bench. There were three oak doors that lead in different directions. Marie turned to her right and went into an old fashioned library with shelves overflowing with antique books that filled the air with a mixture of sweet smells, a floral scent and vanilla. An old book smell that she loved. She placed Muffin’s carrier on the low backed burgundy couch in front of the stone fireplace with kindling arranged inside. A wooden box contained small logs. Marie opened the carrier’s door as Muffin stretched and poked her nose out. “There you go.”

“Come Princess. Let’s do a bit of exploring, shall we.” She returned to the foyer and discovered an alcove hidden behind one of the doors, with steep stairs, leading to the second floor. She turned towards the third door and entered a charming, enchanting kitchen. A large stone wall contained two alcoves. One contained a large gas stove and the second was a well stocked pantry. A round oak table was in front of three large windows that looked out onto a neatly manicured garden. Then she spotted a note on the table.

Dear Marie,

Help yourself to anything you want. The cook has stocked the fridge and pantry. Come to the main house when you get settled. There is a path across the meadow if you want to walk.

All the best,

Uncle John

Marie pulled the red lease out of her blue jeans pocket. “Princess outside.”

Princess was at her side in an instant wagging her stubbly tail and rear end.”Woof.”

“Okay. Let’s go.” Marie unlocked and opened the green dutch door with a stained glass window.

The sun was low in the sky when Marie walked along the sandy path with Princess at her heels. She paused at the corner by a rustic wooden bench in front of the gnarled apple tree. “Princess someone has looked after this cottage and garden. It is in pristine shape.”

“Woof.” Princess put her wet paws on Marie’s legs as she asked to be picked up.

“Oh look at you. You are soaked already. We will have to get your blanket from the car before we go back inside. Down.”

The evening was warm and the air felt humid after the recent rain that still dripped from the trees and bushes. Marie paused at the back gate and looked at the little stone bridge that arched over the creek and the stone path through a meadow full of wild flowers and tall grass that swayed gently in the slight breeze. There was another cottage and large stone house on the other side of the meadow. She turned back towards the  garden when she heard  whimpering nearby. Princess pulled on the lease eager to find what was in the lilac bushes.

“Easy girl.” Marie approached the bushes slowly and pulled the branches to one side. Two little orange and white kittens huddled in a bed of leaves. “The poor darlings. No Princess. Gentle.” Marie picked up the squirming crying kittens and tucked them in her sweat shirt’s large front pocket. “I hope Muffin adopts them. Let’s go. We can do more exploring tomorrow.”

The sky had a rosy glow when Marie piled her luggage in front of the grandfather clock before returning to the library. She had already named the kittens Curly and Moe. Marie shivered even though it was a warm evening. She rubbed her arms and smiled when she noticed Princess and Muffin cuddled on the large dog bed, in the middle of the room, with the kittens nestled between them. Marie went to the kitchen to prepare dinner. When she opened cans of cat and dog food, there was the patter of little feet padding across the black and white tiled floor. “Hungry are you?”

Marie had been looking for a change, and one had almost landed in her lap. Tomorrow she would go to the big house and meet Uncle John. Uncle John said in his letter he had difficulty getting around due to his crippled, and crooked legs. Marie was followed by three cats and a dog when she headed towards the library with an egg sandwich, tall glass of milk and a banana.

The End

If you have enjoyed this story then maybe you would like to go to my amazon author page and check out the information about my children’s books, Bess’s Magical Garden and Gramma Mouse Tells a Story.

https://www.amazon.com/author/mehembroff

https://www.goodreads.com/mehembroff

 

 

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Honey Suckle Cottage, Part one

Marie rested her head on the steering wheel and stared up at the overhead sign with the name O’Bryan in bold letters. The black paint was chipped and worn in spots with a greenish patina. Her feet crunched in the gravel as she strolled down the lane. It was eerily quiet as she lifted the latch to push the heavy gate open. She gazed down the narrow road that wound through a hardwood forest full of a variety of deciduous trees.

Marie had received a letter from Uncle John, her mom’s older brother, a couple of months ago. He had expressed his condolences about her mom’s passing but regretted not being able to attend the funeral. She had heard stories about them growing up in this remote mountain village, but her mom hadn’t visited very often. Photos of a charming cottage and large manor house were always on her mom’s bedside table.

Uncle John had said in his letter that this was the back entrance to the estate and that the cottage was now hers. Mom had inherited the cottage plus an allowance, but she had never claimed it. Mom had said she made enough with her hairdressing shop to provide all the necessities. Uncle John had sent papers that Mom had signed declining the inheritance and leaving it to Marie after her eighteenth birthday which had been a few weeks ago.

Tall grass filled the shallow ditches along the road that wasn’t much more than a trail. Marie’s knuckles were white from gripping the steering wheel as she slowly maneuvered around the many potholes. Then suddenly she saw a large shadow a few yards ahead. Her foot hit the brake as she barely avoided a large pothole. A deer, with large antlers, paused on the road looking at her. He meandered across the road and disappeared into the dense forest. Marie rested her head on the steering wheel. “Whew! That was close.” Her hands shook as she realized how close she had come to hitting the animal but she took a few deep breathes controlling her rapid heart beat before continuing. The Explorer bounced in the shallow ruts as Marie maneuvered around the many twist and turns. She flicked her headlights on as she peered ahead in the dim light. She drove through endless miles of trees that formed an arch blocking out the remaining afternoon light.

Her thoughts were in a whirl as she peered down the gloomy road. Her mom had passed away last fall after a lengthy illness. Marie and her mom had been close like the Gilmore girls in the TV show. They had done everything together, and her passing had left a big void in her life. Uncle John’s letter had contained directions to the cottage and keys.

A clap of thunder made her jump and almost bump her head on the car roof. She glanced in the rear view mirror to check on Princess, her blond cocker spaniel, and Muffin, her white Persian cat. Muffin was curled up sleeping in her carrier while Princess scratched on her kennel door and whined. “Just about there. It shouldn’t be long now.” Her words were almost drowned out by the scraping of the windshield wipers and pounding rain. Princess had never liked thunder or stormy weather. Marie pulled over to the side of the road and placed a blanket over Princess’s kennel and talked to her in soothing tones. Now was not the time to have a dog on her lap as she navigated the narrow trail.

The sun filtered through the dark clouds and the trees as the road widened. Marie stared in amazement as a double rainbow formed above the hills behind the charming bone-white cottage. A neatly manicured hedge of honey suckles and roses surrounded the spacious yard. She inhaled the smell of fresh rain, honey suckles, roses, and clover. The photos hadn’t prepared her for the magnificent view, and she rubbed her eyes in disbelief. She grabbed the lease before opening Princess’s kennel and picking up Muffin’s carrier. “Here we are. Let’s go.”

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Reptile Dysfunction originally published by Chris The Story Reading Ape

Originally posted on bluebird of bitterness: Have a Humpday Howl 👍😄😄😄 bluebird of bitterness View original post

via Reptile dysfunction — Chris The Story Reading Ape’s Blog

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