Sunday, November 30, 2014

Meritropolis by Joel Ohman

In Meritropolis everyone is assigned a numerical Score that decides their worth to society and whether they live or die. After a young boy is killed because of a low Score, his brother plots to take down the System.

Sounds good, right? Well, this exciting YA Dystopia is on sale for just 99 cents Thursday, November 27 through Monday, December 1. You can pick up your copy on Amazon.

To celebrate, we are offering a giveaway for an autographed copy and a $100 Amazon gift card—hooray!

Check out this interview with Joel Ohman, the author of the book critics are calling, “The Hunger Games meets The Village with a young Jack Reacher as a protagonist”, then scroll to the end of this post to learn more about the giveaway. Happy reading, and good luck!

Interview with Joel Ohman

Other than an author, who are you?
My name is Joel Ohman. I am 32 years old, married to my best friend, Angela, and have 3 kids, ages 5, almost 3, and 6 months. My writing companion is my 130lb Bull Mastiff, Caesar (who's asleep on the job most of the time, to be honest). I am a Christian who likes to talk about the good news of Jesus Christ. I do volunteer work with the Fellowship of Christian Athletes and also with my church in Tampa. I am a serial entrepreneur, having founded a number of different startups in the web space. I am currently the President & CEO of 360 Quote LLC and Real Time Health Quotes LLC, and we own a lot of different web properties, one of the most popular ones being our workout website/iOS App/Android App for WeightTraining.com. You can learn more about me at JoelOhman.com.

What is the most surprising thing you learned while writing?
One of the most important things I learned is maybe not all that surprising, but definitely important—the value of an editor. I worked with 3 different editors while writing Meritropolis. Each of them provided extremely valuable feedback and advice that was instrumental at various stages of the book writing process. The book that is available for purchase now is a much better book than it would have been without the expertise of my editorial team.

What are you doing to market your book now?
Right now I am concentrating on getting my book in front of as many of the awesome book bloggers and book reviewers out there as possible. Meritropolis is fortunate to have received a large number of 5-star reviews on both Amazon and GoodReads, and I am definitely hoping this trend will continue. I also recently started working with Emlyn Chand over at Novel Publicity, and she has been great, so I am excited to see what she can do!

What are your views on marketing your book through social media such as Twitter or Facebook?
I believe that social media can be an effective marketing technique if done the right way. The key is that social media is primarily about building relationships and about delivering something of value. We all know those Facebook friends who incessantly clog up our newsfeeds with pleas to join their health and wellness MLM—don’t be that kind of author! That being said, I do think that Facebook, Twitter, GoodReads, etc. can be a great way to meet other readers and authors and discuss fun and interesting things. Hopefully that will lead to more exposure and more book sales, but coming across as too salesy or pushy is something that I definitely aim to avoid.

What are your thoughts on getting bad reviews?
Everyone has different tastes in what they like to read, so I don't let bad reviews bother me too much. No matter what your favorite book is, you can almost be guaranteed that it will have many bad reviews on Amazon from people who just didn't get out of it what you did—that'sfine. I do try to stay objective and see if there might be something I can learn from the criticism to become a better writer, if not, then I just move on and don't worry about it.

Any advice for aspiring authors?
Take the first step! Just do a little at a time. If you decide writing is important to you then make time for it, be consistent, and read a lot.

Do you have any advice for authors who are considering the self-publishing route?
I am not one of those authors who will say that self-publishing is the best choice for every single author, but I am absolutely glad that I went this route. I love that I can fully control and fully own my work, but I would encourage anyone who self-publishes to try and adhere to the following advice:

Don’t be a cheapskate - be willing to pay for a professional editor, a professional book cover designer, etc. It boggles my mind that people will spend hours upon hours writing their book and then just take a few minutes to throw some clip art and stock photos together to “design” their book cover. Don’t. Just, don’t.

Work with professionals - by this I simply mean to not overly rely on friends, family members, and co-workers, all of whom will likely just tell you what you want to hear. You need someone who is not afraid to point out the problem areas in your book and provide an honest critique. You already know that your mom is going to say she loves your vampire-Scottish-Highlander-billionaire-love-triangle-in-space book that you wrote, so don’t even bother asking her for feedback. Instead, pay someone who does that kind of thing for a living...

Sell, sell, sell - If you are a self-published author and you are not actively involved in sales and marketing for your book—which is essentially your mini-business—or you are not paying someone else to be actively involved in the sales and marketing of your book, then you are not maximizing the reach your book can have. As uncouth as it might be to say this, writing is only half of what is required to see success as a self-published author. Yes, you need to write a good book, but you also need to effectively market and sell your book (either by hiring someone, or doing it yourself, or both).

What books would you would recommend to aspiring authors?
Here are some books that I highly recommend for all authors to check out:
Wordsmithy - Douglas Wilson
Bird by Bird - Anne Lamott
On Writing - Stephen King
The Anatomy of Story - John Truby
The Fire in Fiction - Donald Maas


Don’t forget!
Meritropolis is marked down from its regular price of $5.99, but only for a limited time. Feed your Kindle by picking up a discounted copy for just 99 cents, but make sure you do it before December 2!

Now enter the giveaway
a Rafflecopter giveaway




Friday, November 28, 2014

The Shadow of the Unicorn by Suzanne de Montigny

The Shadow of the Unicorn - cover About the Book

Title: The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy (The Shadow of the Unicorn, Book #1) | Author: Suzanne de Montigny | Publication Date: October 15, 2014 | Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing | Number of pages: 124 | Recommended age: 9+  

Summary: A loud, hissing sound filled the air. The unicorns looked up, their eyes filled with horror. Azaria, a unicorn colt, is intrigued when the young clairvoyant dinosaur, Darius, foresees a terrifying change in the world. When a giant fireball smashes into the earth, the unicorns struggle to survive the hurricanes and starvation that follow. Danger of a more sinister nature threatens when the creatures-that-walk-on-two-legs settle in the valley and their leader, Ishmael, discovers the healing power of the unicorns’ horns. Azaria, now a young stallion, must use his wits to save the herd from complete extinction.

Amazon (Print) | Amazon (Kindle) | Goodreads

*** For those of you living in British Columbia, you can grab a print copy of "The Shadow of the Unicorn" from the local Kidsbook Bookstore in Vancouver. ***  

FREE Study Guide

There is now a FREE 36-page reproducible study guide to The Shadow of the Unicorn complete with integrated activities for kids and a complete answer key for parents, teachers, and homeschoolers. Click on the image below to download your free copy.

 The Shadow of the Unicorn Study Guide by Suzanne de Montigny  

Book Preview


Global gold
Winner of the 2013 Global E-book Award for Best Fantasy/Alternate History
 

The Buzz About the Book

"The Shadow of the Unicorn provides an innovative and interesting plotline exploring how the fictional unicorns, the extinct dinosaurs, and early humans may have interacted if they co-existed in a post-apocalyptic world. Suzanne de Montigny does an excellent job of exploring the themes of natural disasters and environmental change, human greed, compassion, and courage. At the end of the day, The Shadow of the Unicorn is an entertaining read that I think will be enjoyed by children who love the fantasy genre and are keen on reading about unicorns. Ages 9+" ~ Renee @ Mother Daughter Book Reviews

"Kudos to Ms. de Montigny for writing an original variation on the fantasy epic--unicorns intermingling with dinosaurs! The book's themes include the humane and environmental concerns that Watership Down and the films of Hayao Miyazaki have in common. If you have a middle grader or are just young at heart, pick up The Shadow Of The Unicorn." ~ 5 Star Review, Stuart W., Amazon

"The Shadow of the Unicorn is a must-read for all unicorn lovers, but even more so for the ones, like my self, who hadn't read anything about them yet. It is a thrilling and encouraging story about a young unicorn that has to save his herd after a meteor nearly destroyed their environment and killed the dinosaurs. Suzanne de Montigny created a compelling universe with believable characters and a great adventure story to challenge them with. While the story finishes in this book, I can't wait to read about the new adventures the unicorns will face.." ~ 5 Star Review, Antje H., Amazon

"This story pulled me in with a beautiful portrayal of a time and place where unicorns and dinosaurs live side by side. It moved me forward with unexpected twist and turns (a requirement in any good story). I found it hard to put the book down and was totally engaged in seeing the young characters (unicorns and dinosaurs) survive and grow because of the challenges they faced." ~ 5 Star Review, NW Harris, Amazon

"What a delightfully unique book. Unicorns and dinosaurs facing changing conditions. Darius is a young dinosaur capable of seeing the future. Azaria is a young unicorn who becomes a friend and learns from Darius. Yes, there are humans in this book. They are the villains of the story. Greedy beasts. I think both boys and girls will love this story. Very quick paced and easy to read. A delightful story, and I look forward to more from this author." ~ 5 Star Review, DM Lawrence, Amazon
 

About the Author: Suzanne de Montigny

Suzanne de Montigny
Suzanne de Montigny wrote her first unicorn story at the age of twelve. Several years later, she discovered it in an old box in the basement, thus reigniting her love affair with unicorns. The Shadow of the Unicorn: The Legacy, is her first novel. Suzanne lives in Burnaby, B.C. with the three loves of her life – her husband and two boys. For more information about Suzanne and The Shadow of the Unicorn, please visit http://www.suzannedemontigny.com

Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

   

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *


Amazon 25 gift cardPrize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner's choice)  
Contest ends: December 27, 11:59 pm, 2014  
Open: Internationally  
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.  
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Suzanne de Montigny and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services
 

Wednesday, November 26, 2014

The Jewel of Peru Book Blast

The Jewel of Peru

About the Book

Title: The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru | Author: Sharon Skretting | Publication Date: September 20, 2014 | Publisher: Independent | Pages: 317 | Recommended Ages: 8+  

Summary: The Jewel of Peru is a magical adventure through time, taking young Captain Christopher and his loyal crew of orphaned stowaways on a perilous quest in search of Christopher's missing parents.

After his father's ship is found abandoned at sea, Christopher makes an unexpected discovery on board—The Ultimate Treasure Chest! Inside is a message that beckons him to set sail after the treasure and his parents. When a savage pirate and a corrupt businessman join forces to steal the treasure for themselves, the gang gets caught up in pirate chases, time travel, and an underground network of spies. Will Christopher find the Jewel and his parents, or will all be lost for ever?

* You can purchase an e-copy of "The Jewel of Peru" for only 99 cents from Amazon for the duration of the blast, so grab your copy now! *

Amazon | Teachers Pay Teachers | Goodreads

 

The Buzz

"Jewel of Peru took me on an adventure from page one. Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas. I loved making little discoveries along the way about the people and places. I found some of the features of Peru so interesting, I looked them up the Internet and was delighted to find things just as she described. Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale." ~ Sara Marschand, Quiethouse Copy Editing

"Engaging and meaningful, the author does an excellent job crafting this story. I don’t usually read middle school novels but made an exception for this one and will be passing it on to all the children in my life." ~ 5 Star Review, Love Reading, Amazon

"The Jewel of Peru is a wonderful piece of educational fiction that blends fact and fantasy to create a literary journey that is both informative and exciting for young readers... It's every bit as much of a page turner as it is a learning experience..." ~ 5 Star Review, Kelley, Amazon

"Sharon Skretting has captured Peru and deftly woven elements of the culture and geography into a fast-paced treasure hunt. It was well written, entertaining and introduced me to new ideas... Fact and fantasy blend seamlessly in this delightful tale." ~ 5 Star Review, Sara M., Amazon
 

About the Author: Sharon Skretting


Sharon SkrettingSharon Skretting is the author of The Ultimate Treasure Quest I: The Jewel of Peru, and the founder of Quest Teaching. She has been teaching elementary school for twenty years and lives with her husband and a cat, named Scat! Now that her three children have grown, she is spreading her wings into the realm of professional writing. Being able to use her love of writing to excite her students about learning is a dream come true for Sharon. Her goal is to write fast paced, excellent literature —filled with interesting characters, intrigue, danger and intricate plots—that will hook readers aged nine to ninety nine and make them want to read more!  

* Teacher support materials to go along with the novel can be purchased at Teachers Pay Teachers *

Website | Pinterest | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

 

* $25 Book Blast Giveaway *


Amazon 25 gift cardPrize: $25 Amazon Gift Card or PayPal cash (winner's choice)  
Contest ends: December 25, 11:59 pm, 2014  
Open: Internationally  
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.  
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW.

A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by the author, Sharon Skretting and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions - feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com. a Rafflecopter giveaway

MDBR Book Promotion Services
 

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The Rebel Series Book Blast

As a pawn in a bigger game, who and what can Annabelle trust?
Publication Date: October 1, 2014
Genre: Young Adult Science Fiction

Voices in 16-year-old Annabelle Scott’s head aren’t God or signs she’s going mad—yet. Despite being a Mech Warrior recruit, she rebels against her post-Second Civil War society by not only refusing to kill Morgan, a boy she’s attracted to, but also helping him to escape. After officially kicking her out of the program, Commander Samantha Hernandez gives Annabelle auditory implants and contact cams for an undercover assignment to investigate her corrupt police captain. Morgan hacks the implants to plead for her help in freeing his brother from a heavily guarded geek institute.

Unable to get either her commander or Morgan out of her head, Annabelle can’t confide in her adoptive mom, her beloved sister, or anyone else. While this rift tears at her bond to her sister, circumstance prevents her from searching for her birth mother or who tried to assassinate her adoptive mom.

As a pawn in a bigger game, who and what can Annabelle trust, including whether her mission is the commander’s vendetta? Can she find a way to help Morgan and discover the link between the attempted assassination, the geek institute, and her corrupt police captain without leading Morgan into a trap, being exiled and separated from her family, or getting herself and those she cares about killed?

The Rebel Trap was written as a standalone story, but also follows Annabelle’s adventures from The Rebel Within.




Publication Date: March 25, 2013

Sixteen-year-old Annabelle Scott lives under the iron rule of a female-dominated régime that forces males to fight to the death to train the military elite. When pressed into service as a mechanized warrior to capture escaped boys, Annabelle stays true to herself by helping some escape. Her defiance endangers everyone she loves and thrusts her to a place of impossible life and death decisions.




Publication Date: June 12, 2013

Geo Shaw is a young Outlands frontiersman and a sworn enemy of the female-dominated Federal Union. Nineteen-year-old Annabelle Scott is a Union Mechanized Warrior charged with killing Outland rebels. During a skirmish, she should kill Geo but instead lets him escape, which mystifies them both. In a political power play, Annabelle is given to the Outland Warlord as a bride. She has no other choice than to get Geo’s help—but now there’s a bounty on him and his father. Betrayed by their own people, Annabelle and Geo have to overcome mutual distrust to rely on each other in order to survive.






Lance Erlick grew up in various parts of the United States and Europe. He took to stories as his anchor and was inspired by his father’s engineering work on cutting-edge aerospace projects to look to the future. He studied creative writing at Northwestern University and University of Iowa.

He writes science fiction, dystopian and young adult stories and likes to explore the future implications of social and technological trends. He’s the author of The Rebel WithinThe Rebel Trap, and Rebels Divided, three books in the Rebel series. In those stories, he flips traditional exploitation to explore the effects of a world that discriminates against males and the consequences of following conscience for those coming of age.


Tuesday, November 18, 2014

CrossReads Book Blast with Sophie Dawson

Seeing The Life
by Sophie Dawson

About the Book

Seeing The Life is a look at the life of Yeshua the Christ in a way never used before.

Dassa, the daughter of the innkeeper, is sent to fetch the midwife to help the young woman in the stable give birth. She and Mary become close friends as do Micah, her fiance then husband, and Joseph. Separated when the young family flees Bethlehem in the night, their friendship resumes several years later in Jerusalem. Dassa and Micah know Yeshua is special, but he is still a boy with a boy's interests and love of life. Through the years the families, though separated most of the year, spend time together in Jerusalem during the Jewish Festivals. Then Yeshua begins speaking and teaching. Micah, Joseph of Arimethea, their sons and others who follow and believe Yeshua's message. Yet do they really understand it? Is he the long awaited messiah who will free the Jews from the grip of Rome? What do the stories he tells really mean? Seeing The Life sees the life of Yeshua within the social and political culture of the time. Not only do we see his ministry but also his family and friendships as he grew. Yeshua was a normal baby who cried, spit up, wet and messed. He was a child who fell and skinned his knees. He lost his baby teeth. He had siblings. He had friends. My goal was to show the humanness of Yeshua's life. We see him as fully God but often miss that he was fully man, boy and baby also.


Sophie Dawson 
Sophie Dawson is Midwestern born and bred and is the author of several novels, including the Cottonwood Series and Stone Creek Series. Her novel Healing Love has won three awards: AuthorStand 2012 Gold Medal, Indiebook 2012 Silver Medal, and Readers' Favorite 2013 Silver Medal. Giving Love was a finalist in Readers' Favorite 2013. Her books have also been #1 Best Sellers in their genre on Amazon. Seeing The Life is a finalist in Readers' Favorite Awards 2014. She is a member of Christian Independent Authors and Association of Independent Authors. An award-winning quilter with eclectic interests, Dawson posts to several blogs, including Little Bits Blog on her website, and holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Biology from Iowa Wesleyan College.

Follow Sophie Dawson  

Enter to Win a $50 Amazon Gift Card!

Enter below to enter a $50 Amazon gift card, sponsored by author Sophie Dawson! a Rafflecopter giveaway This book blast is hosted by Crossreads. We would like to send out a special THANK YOU to all of the CrossReads book blast bloggers!

Monday, November 17, 2014

Telepathic Clans Book Blast


In the world of the Telepathic Clans, the descendants of the ancient race that once ruled Europe live in a shadow society...
Publication Date: April 22, 2012
Genre: Urban Fantasy

Urban Fantasy with a dash of romance. The Succubus Gift is a completely different take on the succubus myth. Brenna's life isn't the same after she discovers her unusual and mysterious heritage. In addition to being a telepath and having other paranormal Gifts, Brenna learns she has the Succubus Gift. She's always been a good girl and isn't comfortable seducing men, except one she really loves. That's just the beginning of her problems. Someone is stalking her. Then there's the tall, dangerous woman who shadows her and hints a Goddess has linked them. And what is she going to do with a handsome, charismatic, womanizing man she knows she should avoid?

Some days a girl just wants to pull the covers over her head and stay in bed -- with a willing young man of course.

Publication Date: June 25, 2012

Book 2 of the Telepathic Clans Saga, the sequel to the multiple 5-star reviewed The Succubus Gift. 

It's not easy being a succubus. 

Brenna O'Donnell and Rebecca Healy continue their integration into the Clan. Learning more about their Gifts and always seeking someone who will love them. After a crash course in learning about her genetic heritage, Brenna O'Donnell has discovered what it really means to be a succubus and has learned to embrace her strange Gift. Her major concern is whether Collin will accept her for what she is. As she adjusts to telepathic society, others in the Clan have plans that will strip the last of her freedom. 

The social season is around the corner, including events that Brenna never imagined in her wildest dreams. The succubi, representatives of the Goddess on earth, are at the center of an ancient worship. And if a girl is going to be the center of attention, then obviously she needs a new dress. 

Between the romance and glistening balls of the Clan's social events, Brenna and Rebecca discover life is not secure. Telepaths from other Clans are kidnapping young girls and selling them into slavery. 

A continuation of what one reviewer called an, "... utterly heart stopping onslaught of sex, violence and paranormal abilities ..."



Publication Date: September 29, 2013

Private investigator RB Kendrick makes her living nailing cheating spouses, digging up other dirt to help in a divorce, finding long-lost relatives, and occasionally sniffing out criminal activity and fraud.

When she takes a job to find a missing girl, she has no idea she is headed for the most dangerous case of her career. Usually, her ability to read minds gives her an edge. But when the people she’s hunting are also telepaths, that advantage is limited. 

The search takes her into the dark underbelly of telepathic society, where anything, and anyone, is for sale. She discovers that telepathic women and girls are being trafficked as the ultimate sex slaves.

With people trying to kill her, she’s on the run, not knowing who she can trust. Will she find the missing girl, or become a victim herself?

A novel of paranormal suspense set in the world of the Telepathic Clans.





Publication Date: February 14, 2013

Book 3 of the Telepathic Clans Saga, Succubus Rising

The Goddess has plans for Brenna and Rebecca, and the Goddess has a wicked sense of humor.

Rebecca Healy is a true wilder, growing up with no contact or knowledge of other telepaths. Discovered by a Clan member on the streets of San Francisco, she felt like she’d hit the jackpot. Finally, she knew what she was, or at least she thought she did.

When Brenna O’Donnell, long-lost heir of the O’Donnell Clan, and the strongest telepath in history, is returned to her family, she and Rebecca form a tight bond. Brenna has it all, looks, money, power, and men falling all over her. 

Rebecca isn’t jealous, but it would be nice to find someone who would really love her and stick around in the morning. She’s intrigued by a handsome South American general, but of course, he has his sights set on Brenna. Carlos de Vargas wants more than love. His Clan has its back to the wall, and they hope for an alliance with O’Donnell. An alliance that would lead to war.

The story began in The Succubus Gift and continued in Succubus Unleashed. In Succubus Rising, questions are answered and new mysteries are revealed.



Publication Date: November 8, 2014

Book 4 of The Telepathic Clans Saga

Corwin has led Clan O’Neill for one hundred and fifty years. Nearing the end of his long life, he names a twenty-three year old girl as his heir. Not only is Brenna a member of Clan O’Donnell, she’s also a succubus, and many people disagree with his choice. When Corwin dies, his son Hugh launches an open rebellion.

But Brenna is named heir not only to O'Neill, but also to Clan O'Byrne, where Clan Chief Fergus's oldest son Andrew joins with Hugh and Finnian O’Neill in their rebellion. Faced with war on two fronts, and rebels using terrorist tactics that capture the attention of the human press and authorities, Brenna must fight off assassination attempts while trying to consolidate her rule.

As if all that wasn't exciting enough, her friend Irina is the target of repeated kidnapping attempts by members of a Russian Clan. Hoping to protect Irina, O’Donnell mounts an operation against the Gorbachev Clan. But the situation in Russia is no more stable than in Ireland, and they discover Irina is at the heart of the Russian Clans' internal plots.

Confused yet? Be glad you aren't Brenna and Rebecca, as they—along with Rhiannon, Irina, and the Irish Clans—attempt to sort through the mess in Succubus Ascendant, the action-packed conclusion of The Telepathic Clans Saga.






I grew up in Santa Fe, New Mexico, among writers, artists and weird Hispanic and Native American myths and folklore. I've lived all over the U.S. and earned a living doing everything from making silver and turquoise jewelry, to construction to computers. I currently split my time between Baltimore and Albuquerque.

I made silver and turquoise jewelry for almost a decade, ended up in nursing school, then took a master's in business. Along the way I worked in construction, as a newspaper editor, and somehow found a career working with computers.

Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads


Saturday, November 15, 2014

Release Day Blitz for Flury


We're celebrating the RELEASE of
Flury: Journey of a Snowman
By Tony Bertauski

An Introduction to Flury

     Frosty had a magic hat.
     There was no explanation, just a special hat that turned a pile of snow into a walking, talking best friend. Flury is more than that. And doesn’t smoke.
     Born on the North Pole, Flury was created by an ancient race of elven that evolved during the Ice Age and continues to live in the polar ice today. Technologically advanced, they sustain themselves with innovation and wisdom. But even the most peaceful settlements encounter danger, such as polar bears. That’s why they invented abominables.
     What we call snowmen.
     The life of an abominable doesn’t magically spring from a top hat. The heart of an abominable is a metal orb—an intricately carved sphere that generates an electromagnetic field and builds a body of snow around it. Abominables are intimidating and selfless. They run, they fly. Above all else, they protect.
     In the late 1800s, Malcolm Toye was part of an arctic voyage that ended in disaster. The survivors of the expedition never saw him again. Malcolm had wandered into the snowy landscape to be saved by a patrolling abominable he would come to know as Flury.
     His rescue, however, became more of a curse than a blessing when the elven refused to allow him safe passage back home, insisting they remain secret from humanity. Malcolm was destined to live out his days among the elven, pining for home.
     Longing for his wife.
     Malcolm escaped by stealing the metal orb of Flury. Quietly, he arrived back in the United States to settle down and resume a normal life. But there was nothing normal about it. As the years went by, his estate becomes shrouded in mystery and rumors.
     A hundred years will go by before the mystery is solved.
     Oliver Toye, a teenage type 1 diabetic, will discover the magic hidden on his grandmother’s property. He’ll read about Malcolm Toye’s journey when he finds a set of leather bound journals. He’ll see the snowman trapped on the property, and the other things that haunt the forest. Most importantly, he’ll uncover Malcolm Toye’s master plan to harm others. And why he wants to.
     Flury will come to Oliver’s rescue more than once.


Flury: Journey of a SnowmanFlury: Journey of a Snowman
(Claus #3)
by Tony Bertauski
YA Sci-Fi, Fantasy, Holiday

Life hasn’t been kind to Oliver Toye.

As if juvenile diabetes isn’t enough, he’s forced to live with his tyrannical grandmother in a snow-bound house. He spends his days doing chores and the nights listening to the forest rumble.

But when he discovers the first leather-bound journal, the family secrets begin to surface. The mystery of his great-grandfather’s voyage to the North Pole is revealed. That’s when the snowman appears.

Magical and mysterious, the snowman will save Oliver more than once. But when the time comes for Oliver to discover the truth, will he have the courage? When Flury needs him, will he have the strength? When believing isn’t enough, will he save the snowman from melting away?

Because sometimes even magic needs a little help.


About Tony Bertauski

During the day, I'm a horticulturist. While I've spent much of my career designing landscapes or diagnosing dying plants, I've always been a storyteller. My writing career began with magazine columns, landscape design textbooks, and a gardening column at the Post and Courier (Charleston, SC). However, I've always fancied fiction.

My grandpa never graduated high school. He retired from a steel mill in the mid-70s. He was uneducated, but he was a voracious reader. I remember going through his bookshelves of paperback sci-fi novels, smelling musty old paper, pulling Piers Anthony and Isaac Asimov off shelf and promising to bring them back. I was fascinated by robots that could think and act like people. What happened when they died?

I'm a cynical reader. I demand the writer sweep me into his/her story and carry me to the end. I'd rather sail a boat than climb a mountain. That's the sort of stuff I want to write, not the assigned reading we got in school. I want to create stories that kept you up late.

Having a story unfold inside your head is an experience different than reading. You connect with characters in a deeper, more meaningful way. You feel them, empathize with them, cheer for them and even mourn. The challenge is to get the reader to experience the same thing, even if it's only a fraction of what the writer feels. Not so easy.

In 2008, I won the South Carolina Fiction Open with Four Letter Words, a short story inspired by my grandfather and Alzheimer's Disease. My first step as a novelist began when I developed a story to encourage my young son to read. This story became The Socket Greeny Saga. Socket tapped into my lifetime fascination with consciousness and identity, but this character does it from a young adult's struggle with his place in the world.

After Socket, I thought I was done with fiction. But then the ideas kept coming, and I kept writing. Most of my work investigates the human condition and the meaning of life, but not in ordinary fashion. About half of my work is Young Adult (Socket Greeny, Claus, Foreverland) because it speaks to that age of indecision and the struggle with identity. But I like to venture into adult fiction (Halfskin, Drayton) so I can cuss. Either way, I like to be entertaining.

And I'm a big fan of plot twists.


Blitz Giveaway

- $25 Amazon gift card and ebook of Flury: Journey of a Snowman (open internationally)
Ends November 22nd

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