Meet Alana (Siegel) Mag, author of the (after)life series

  Alana is the author of the young adult fantasy series, Olivia Hart and the Gifted Program. Books in the series include: The Charm (#1), The Retreat (#2), and The Rescue (#3) and are published under her maiden name, Siegel.

She grew up on Long Island in New York and graduated with a B.A. from the Leonard N. Stern School of Business at New York University. Alana currently lives in San Francisco, California, with her husband and two ragamuffin cats named Zeus and Thor. Since early childhood she loves to read fantasy books. Add a little romance and a happy ending and in her eyes you have a perfect afternoon of reading.

website: http://optimisticsuperheroes.wordpress.com/
Twitter: @AlanaSiegel

The Curse of the Winklevoss Twins
((after)life lessons Book 2)

 

THE CURSE OF THE WINKLEVOSS TWINS is a young adult fantasy novel and book #2 in the (after)life lessons series.

Death is optional.
Communicating with spirits may be normal for some people, but forcing a spirit back into a body is downright creepy. Hair-raising abilities aside, bringing her boyfriend back to life doesn’t come close to crowning Jules Winklevoss the most dramatic in her family, which is prone to headline-grabbing feuds and life-or-death spectacles.

Jules’s mother and grandmother are always at odds. Her grandmother enforces law and discipline, while Jules’s mother is touted as the Great Liberator of the Downtrodden for exposing the spirit-seeing community’s embarrassing secrets.

The downtrodden may not be grateful when these secrets strike a nerve with the elusive evil spirit, Machiavelli. If the High Spirit Advisory Council is unable to prepare proper defenses, Vita Post Mortem Academy students are not only helpless, but Machiavelli’s first target. Jules and an unusual crew will need to band together if they have a shot at saving the school.

Amazon Buy Link

 

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Guest Post: Rev Up Your Mind by Kirsten McNeill

 

The hardest part about writing is to start writing! You would think I’d be constantly excited about writing. This is my livelihood and dream after all. Unfortunately, I’m full of excuses and fear, and I’m sure that goes for many others looking to accomplish a big task.

It’s easier than you think to make time to write. I’ll make excuses like “oh, I’m too tired” or “I have no time today.” Then, make time! The only thing getting in my way is myself and my fear. I’m afraid to start because I think my work will be bad.

All first drafts suck anyways, right? It’s better to have it done. That’s what editing is for. My fear controls me. It tells me that I’m not good enough and that I’ll never succeed. I haven’t tried yet, so it’s impossible for me to fail. All I have to do is come up with an idea and get my butt in gear.

I was watching a webinar once, and the person said that good writers make time to write. I don’t think “good” is an appropriate adjective here. Making time to work on your craft doesn’t have that strong of a correlation to your talent.

Sure, if you never write, you’ll never practice and get better. Sometimes, it’s hard to find motivation to work, though. That doesn’t make you a bad writer. It just means that you won’t get as much practice in as you may have wanted.

Day jobs, family, friends, and other responsibilities take up our time. I guess what the person from the webinar should have said was to make the most of the extra time you do have. Every bit counts, so when you don’t know what to do you should write.

Start typing, even if what you’re typing is complete garbage. You can always go back and change it later. Just get something on that page! That is my advice to myself and all the other struggling writers out there. Crush your fears and get your butt in gear.

Kirsten McNeill is an aspiring YA writer and hopes to change the world with the written word. She loves to create stories, play music, and read whenever she has the chance.

Kirsten’s website is www.theartisours.wordpress.com.
You can also find her at www.twitter.com/WorthInMusic, www.facebook.com/TheArtIsOurs, and
www.cornerhub.social/member/KirstenM

 

Book Review: Knox Chase on the Case of the Valentine’s Day Mystery by Adam Lipsius

Sure To Become A Big Hit In Books and On The Screen,
Kids Won’t Be Able To Get Enough Of Knox Chase

Reading clubs everywhere – be on alert!  Knox Chase is making his way to bookshelves, and this super sleuth kid is winning middle-school fans across the country.  Parents love this story because it harkens back to the books they read when they were young, and it teaches kids to believe in the power of solving their own problems.

The book, Knox Chase on the Case of the Valentine’s Day Mystery by Adam Lipsius was released on January 1st, 2016.   The book is being adapted into a motion picture in association with Sean Covel (the producer of “Napoleon Dynamite”) and Casting Director Mary Jo Slater (“The Contender” and “Dumb and Dumber”) – and the producers will be holding an online casting contest, providing the opportunity for aspiring kid actors and actresses to be in the movie, maybe even one of the lead characters.

Meet KC Green, a small-town kid with a big-time imagination — and an even bigger secret.  He can see the pulp fiction detective he was named for, from the 1930s & 40s Knox Chase on the Case novels, and no one else can.

This old school gumshoe lands our hero into tons of small-time trouble, but when a mysterious stranger bumps into KC on Valentine’s Day, a crime wave hits town.

Someone is trying to steal a fortune, and they’ll hurt anyone who gets in the way.  It takes all of KC’s wits, his invisible partner, and his best friends, Cat & Ben, just to stay alive in the Case of the Valentine’s Day Mystery.

“It’s the kind of book you grew up on,” says Adam. “… Where kids face danger, make mistakes and keep fighting to save the day.”

Adam Lipsius attended USC’s School of Cinematic Arts.  He is an accomplished author, feature film director, producer and screenwriter.  His movie, “16-LOVE” was distributed in 2012 by Warner Bros. Digital, Gravitas Ventures and Entertainment One.  He graduated from Dartmouth College where he wrote his first book, The Birth of Dr. Seuss, and he serves on the board of the Denver Museum of Contemporary Art.  His short films and commercials have received many awards.

buy the book on Amazon
Knox Chase on the Case of the Valentine’s Day Mystery
By Adam Lipsius
Uptown 6
ISBN: 978-0615988887

Praise for Knox Chase on the Case of the Valentine’s Day Mystery:

Ransom Riggs, New York Times Best Selling Author of Ms. Peregrine’s Home for Peculiar Children: “An utterly charming adventure brimming with wit, heart and intrigue. A stellar debut!”

Brigid Pasulka, PEN/Hemingway Award Winning Author of A Long Long Time Ago and Essentially True: “Lipsius brings a black-and-white hero into the vibrant world of today’s kids. Children, parents, and grandparents will find plenty to laugh about and bond over with this soon-to-be serial classic.”

Amazon Customer Review:

5 starsGreat Read for Young Mystery Lovers reviewed by Elly Perl

Young readers will find it hard to put down this lively, entertaining mystery. It’s an intriguing tale that begins with a mix-up of Valentine’s cards and combines a cast of young sleuths, a few suspicious characters, and a fictional detective who appears and disappears as the plot thickens. The main character, KC Green, leads Benjy, his best friend and Cat, the girl he’d like to have as a girlfriend, on a fast-paced and very amusing adventure. The story is told with skill and humor and quite a few plot twists that keep the reader trying to figure out how it will be resolved. Very entertaining and enjoyable!

About the Author:

Adam Lipsius is an Author and a feature film Director, Producer and Screenwriter. His movie, “16-LOVE,” was distributed in 2012 by Warner Bros. Digital, Gravitas Ventures and Entertainment One. It was a day-and-date Video On Demand hit in the US, racking up over 18 months on iTunes’ best-seller lists en route to becoming WB Digital’s #1 acquisition of 2012.

Other film credits include “Making of 16-LOVE” (writer/director), “Generations” (writer/director), “Asteroid vs. Earth” (writer), “Above Water” (writer), “Star Raiders: the Adventures of Saber Raine” (producer).

His new kids mystery novel, “Knox Chase on the Case,” is represented by agent Alex Slater at Trident Media Group and is in development as a feature film in association with Sean Covel (the producer of “Napoleon Dynamite”) with Mary Jo Slater (“The Contender,” “Dumb and Dumber”) casting.

Adam is an alumnus of Dartmouth College where he wrote his first book, “The Birth of Dr. Seuss,” as a critical biography of the children’s author for his thesis. He received a Masters from USC Graduate School of Cinema-Television, where 3 of his short films played festivals around the world. He’s received numerous awards for his commercials and movies and lives in Denver, CO with his wife and kids.

Meet Rebecca Luther, author of Chronicles of Magic: Secrets of the Untold

 

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Rebecca Luther’s debut novella, Chronicles of Magic: Secrets of The Untold, was written and published in conjunction with the Teen Writing Group at The Stony Point Rose Memorial Library. Created and run by Jennifer Russell, the library program guides young individuals in the process of writing for publication through collaborative critiques and editing workshops.

 

Rebecca has been attending the Teen Writing Group since it’s inception in the summer of 2013. The challenge was to have a teen writer finish a piece, have it edited and then self published to be put in circulation at the library. Rebecca is the first participant to have accomplished this goal! Once her book was published she had a book signing and open discussion at The Outside Inn gallery in Piermont, NY. She also attended the Book ExpoAmerica event in NYC to meet authors and get a sense of the publishing world.  Rebecca continues to write and attend the Teen Writing Group.
~~~This is a first book in a series of three.~~~
The main character, Kellie Lynn, wakes up on her 13th birthday to discover that she has innate magical powers that she inherited from her parents. Her four other sisters wake up to the same information. They will set out on a quest to vanquish evil in the form of a dark sorceress.
ISBN  ~  9781312050563
Copyright  ~  Rebecca Luther (Creative Commons Attribution 2.0)
Edition  ~  First Edition
Publisher  ~  Rose Memorial Library Association
Published  ~  May 9, 2014

 

Book Review: The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon

The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon

by Lowell H. Press

The König is a tyrant. His subjects are starving. And all-out war is fast approaching. Will a pair of young, courageous brothers save their kingdom? When an emissary sent by the König himself stops by the remote mouse colony of Long Meadow, the peaceful life Sommer and Nesbit have shared is turned upside down-and the brothers are catapulted into separate death-defying adventures. Sommer, levelheaded and clever, is ordered to the palace to join the König’s illustrious Eagle Guard as it prepares to face a full-scale invasion by the nefarious Emperor Wolfsmilch and his army of a hundred thousand forest mice. Meanwhile, the small but spirited Nesbit is banished to the Forest of Lost Life for insulting the König, and must dodge hungry predators at every turn. The brothers struggle to reunite and defy the oppressors who threaten everyone and everything they have ever known and loved. But time is quickly running out for both of them-and the fate of the kingdom hinges on one last, daring mission. Set against the magnificent backdrop of Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria, The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon is an action-packed adventure story for young readers and adults alike. Ages 10 and up.

5 Stars

 Exciting Story in a Magical Setting reviewed by M. R. Campbell
Lowell H. Press has written an inventive novel about a hierarchy of mice living in the gardens and secret interior spaces of a castle inspired by the Schönbrunn Palace in Vienna, Austria.

The colony’s king cares little for his subjects and is mostly interested in taking the food they save throughout the year for his own use during the winter months.Two brothers, Sommer and Nesbit, discover that all is not what it seems, including the king’s purported fear of a pending invasion of the colony by a massive army of woodland mice.

Sommer, who is drafted by the king’s minions for a suicide mission on the colony’s behalf and Nesbit, who insults the king and flees into the dangerous forest, take different approaches to survival and justices. Sommer becomes a cadet commander, while Nesbit becomes known as either a worker of magic of an exceptionally lucky mouse.

Set in a 1700s world, “The Kingdom of the Sun and Moon” is a delightful story with well-drawn characters and an underlying culture and myth that will delight young readers while keeping their parents engaged whenever this derring-do yarn is shared around the dinner table or at at bedtime.

Press used his visit to the Schönbrunn Palace to great advantage in developing a setting for his story that is well suited to the mice colony’s culture and history as well as to the people and cats who appear through the tale for better or worse.

Sommer and Nesbit of the Long Meadow Colony are tiny, as mice go, but they make up for it in bravery and guile.

Buy Links

 

Book Review: Sure Signs of Crazy by Karen Harrington

 

Sure Signs of Crazy

Book Description

Love can be a trouble word for some people. Crazy is also a trouble word.

I should know.
 
You’ve never met anyone exactly like twelve-year-old Sarah Nelson. While most of her friends obsess over Harry Potter, she spends her time writing letters to Atticus Finch. She collects trouble words in her diary. Her best friend is a plant. And she’s never known her mother, who left when Sarah was two.
Since then, Sarah and her dad have moved from one small Texas town to another, and not one has felt like home.
Everything changes when Sarah launches an investigation into her family’s Big Secret. She makes unexpected new friends and has her first real crush, and instead of a “typical boring Sarah Nelson summer,” this one might just turn out to be extraordinary.
By K. M. Martin VINE VOICE

SURE SIGNS OF CRAZY is the story of a momentous summer in the life of Sarah Nelson. She has just finished sixth grade and turned twelve. Her best friend Lisa has gone away to camp and Sarah has finally convinced her father that she is old enough not to be sent to her grandparents’ house for the summer vacation. Sarah and her father have lived many places in Texas and are currently in Garland. Each time they are spotted, they have moved.

Sarah’s mother is infamous because she tried to kill Sarah and successfully killed Sarah’s twin brother Simon when they were two year old. Since then, she has been in a mental asylum and Sarah has only seen her twice. Sarah’s father also went to trial regarding the incident but was acquitted. Whenever reporters find and harass them, they move on.

Sarah spends the summer taking care of Plant and writing letters to Atticus Finch in her journal. Her favorite book is To Kill a Mockingbird and she has adopted Atticus as the mentor and father she wishes she had. Her own father is an alcoholic and Sarah spends a lot of time in the role of caregiver.

Sarah has an articulate voice and a fascination with words while still have the world view of a twelve-year-old. She is a faithful observer of those around her but her observations are colored by lack of context because of her lack of maturity. She grows up a lot this summer. She has her first crush (on a very nice young man), confronts her father, and helps an elderly neighbor deal with the loss of her husband.

Pair this one with To Kill a Mockingbird. It would also be a great book to use for a classroom literature study.