TITLE – Young Knights of the Round Table: The King’s Ransom
SERIES – Book I
AUTHOR – Cheryl Carpinello
GENRE – Middle Grade Arthurian Legend
PUBLICATION DATE – 2016/2012
LENGTH (Pages/# Words) – 120 Pages
DISTRIBUTOR – Bublish, Inc.
PUBLISHER – Beyond Today Educator
COVER ARTIST – Berge Design
Formats – paperback, ebook
Answer the hero's call to Adventure with the Young Knights of the Round Table on their Quest.
Three friends. Three quests. Three mysterious predictions.
In medieval Wales, eleven-year-old Prince Gavin, thirteen-year-old orphan Philip, and fifteen-year-old blacksmith's apprentice Bryan are brought together in friendship by one they call the Wild Man. When an advisor to the king is killed and a jewelled medallion is stolen from the king's treasury, the Wild Man is accused of the theft and murder. Filled with disbelief at the arrest of the Wild Man, the three friends embark upon a knight's quest to save their friend's life. To succeed, the three must confront their fears and insecurities, and one of them will have to disclose the biggest secret of all. Join Gavin, Philip, and Bryan on their quest and share the adventures that await them in the land of King Arthur and his Knights of the Round Table.
BUY & TBR LINKS
Gavin’s gaze was drawn back to the castle’s battle-scarred walls and the heavily armed guards. The evil emanating from the structure surrounded and held him captive, like a lone deer surrounded by hungry wolves in the dead of winter, unable to move, its eyes glassy with fear, its limbs frozen by the hypnotic gleam of the wolves’ yellow eyes. Even knowing its life was ending, the deer wouldn’t break and run. So Gavin sat frozen in front of the castle.
The enormity of his quest enveloped Gavin and he sighed. Continuing on meant he might save the Wild Man, but he might put himself in danger as well. King Edward was his father’s enemy and possibly responsible for Aldred’s murder. If Gavin were caught, Edward wouldn’t treat him kindly. The young prince summoned his courage and focused on the Wild Man. It had seemed so simple last night in the company of Bryan and Philip.
Looking at the stack of chopped wood, he smiled sadly. Two years ago he would never have dreamed he’d be here, chopping wood for food and a dry place to sleep. He shook his head at his thoughts, his shaggy, ill-cut black hair falling unevenly across his forehead. Two years. It seemed like forever.
Two years earlier, he had lived with his parents and baby brother on their small farm up north. His parents worked hard to put food on the table and to pay off the farm. Philip’s main job was to watch baby Benjamin while his mother helped his father in their small field. When Benjamin fell sick, Philip helped his father clear the old stalks and rocks from the soil while his mother nursed the baby. He helped his father carefully plant the winter wheat and barley for harvest in the spring.
As autumn slipped into winter, Benjamin hadn’t gotten better. His tiny body burned with fever. Those last few days when Philip held him, the heat coming from Benjamin threatened to slowly engulf him like the embers of a dying fire.
In the five years he’d been James’s apprentice, Bryan had learned a lot. He made a sturdy sword, so James said. Two years still remained in his apprenticeship. Two long years.
Like most sons of tradesmen or farmers, his family had secured this apprenticeship early on. At eleven, he and his father had made the three-day journey south to the Pembroke Castle blacksmith. At first, the prospect of being away from home, on his own, and learning a respectable trade, was exciting. More importantly, it allowed him to see and talk with real knights.
He spent every day learning how to forge stronger swords, tougher armour, how to shoe horses, and even make pots and pans. It was a satisfying trade and one that would ensure him a livelihood. But Bryan didn’t want just a livelihood. Even now, only two years away from completing his apprenticeship, he still couldn’t see himself working with metal for the rest of his life. As long as he could remember, he had wanted only one thing: to be a knight like Sir Lancelot.
I am a retired high school English teacher. A devourer of books growing up, my profession introduced me to writings and authors from times long past. Through my studies and teaching, I fell in love with the Ancient and Medieval Worlds. Now, I hope to inspire young readers and those Young-at-Heart to read more through my Tales & Legends for Reluctant Readers set in these worlds.
AUTHOR FOLLOW LINKS
Just in the Nick of Time - $250 Christmas Cash Giveaway
December 5th to 22ndEnter for your chance to win a $250 Amazon Gift Code or $250 in Paypal Cash!! Thanks to this awesome group of bloggers and authors who have joined with me to bring you one fabulous prize!! Sponsor List I Am A Reader Lori's Reading Corner J.L. Weil Author Mary Ting Heather Gray Literary Winner Coupons and Freebies Mom Caroline Clemmons Krysten Lindsay Hager author Here We Go Again...Ready? Simple Wyrdings Kindle and Me Lucy McConnell Jeanette Lewis Cindy Roland Anderson Cami Checketts Maureen's Musings Kimberley Montpetit Confessions of a Frugal Mind Glistering: B's Blog Rockin' Book Reviews Jennifer Youngblood Author Cindy C Bennett Diana's Book Reviews Author Ednah WAlters Raye Wagner Giveaway Details $250 in Paypal Cash or a $250 Amazon.com eGift Card Ends 12/22/16 Open only to those who can legally enter, receive and use money sent via Paypal or gift codes via Amazon.com. Winning Entry will be verified prior to prize being awarded. No purchase necessary. You must be 18 or older to enter or have your parent enter for you. The winner will be chosen by rafflecopter and announced here as well as emailed and will have 48 hours to respond or a new winner will be chosen. This giveaway is in no way associated with Facebook, Twitter, Rafflecopter or any other entity unless otherwise specified. The number of eligible entries received determines the odds of winning. Giveaway was organized by Kathy from I Am A Reader and sponsored by the authors, bloggers and publishers on the sponsor list. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. a Rafflecopter giveaway
The Darkness within threatens to destroy one and free another…
WITHIN THE DARKEST HOLLOWS
by D.A. Roach
The Demon Hunters Series Book 2
Cover Designer: REDBIRD DESIGNS
Cassidy and her mystical ring are stuck in the middle of a battle between the Demon World and the Mortal Realm…
A conflict with the demons has left Killian, head of the Demon Hunters, injured and stripped of his powerful Demon Hunter tattoo. Cassidy is tasked with caring for him in the Human Realm until he is well enough to cross back into the Demon Realm. But soon she notices he is acting strangely and begins to suspect something is wrong.
She seeks help from Serena, a retired Demon Hunter, but it’s too late…
Cassidy returns home to find Killian has gone missing. Tyler, a friend with his own set of mystical powers, shows up to tell her that Killian is at his house demanding a meeting with the Demon Queen Rya. She and Serena have to work fast to find a way to heal Killian and get Cassidy’s ring away from him before Rya is involved. Meanwhile, Tyler and his dad have their own plan to make a deal with the Queen.
The Queen has a decision to make, but not before securing her leverage…
Rya wants time to consider the offer presented by Tyler’s dad, and takes Cassidy to the Demon Realm as collateral. The Demon Queen must choose between Tyler, the mate she was promised, and the mystical ring that was forged for her years ago.
Tyler is forced to face the inner demon he has worked so hard to restrain. Will he succeed, or will he be lost to the darkness, leaving Cassidy to be sacrificed by the demons?
As both sides gain alliances, the tension between the realms grows and the time for action draws near…
Meet the author: D.A. Roach has been telling stories since she was a young girl in the suburbs of Chicago. In college she met the man of her dreams, her happily ever after, and married him 2 weeks after graduating. They have 3 kids together and a pet cockatiel named Gimli. D.A. did not find a love for books until after college. Her parents were immigrants from Lithuania and found tv and radio easier ways to hear stories so they did not do much reading or encourage it. But once she finished college and D.A. had free time, she discovered how amazing it was to get lost in a story. D.A. is a full time mom and wife. When she is not doing domestic things (laundry, bills, etc) she is writing, reading, creating mixed media art, and helping beautify her kids’ school landscape. Oh, and she is ALWAYS listening to music. Her favorite authors include Rebecca Donovan, Richelle Mead, Larissa Ione, Stephanie Meyer, E.L. James, and Sylvia Day. Reading great works from authors like these has motivated D.A. to write her own stories. She hopes to make positive changes in the world with her art and writing. “Life isn’t about finding yourself. Life is about creating yourself.” ― George Bernard Shaw * PUBLISHER * FACEBOOK * TWITTER * WEBSITE * GOODREADS *
The swim team is ripped apart when two girls vie to break a longstanding school record with a 50,000-dollar scholarship prize.
Sometimes winning is everything.
Champion swimmer Aerin Keane is ready to give up her dreams of college swimming and a shot at the Olympics. As she starts senior year in her third high school, Aerin's determined to leave her family troubles behind and be like all the other girls at Two Rivers. She's got a new image and a new attitude. She doesn’t want to win anymore. She's swimming for fun, no longer the freak who wins every race, every title, only to find herself alone.
But when her desire to be just one of the girls collides with her desire to be the best Two Rivers has ever seen, will Aerin sacrifice her new friendships to break a longstanding school record that comes with a $50,000 scholarship?
During swim season, you can find Marianne Sciucco, a dedicated Swim Mom for ten years, at one of many Skyline Conference swim meets, cheering for her daughter Allison and the Mount Saint Mary College Knights.
Sciucco is not a nurse who writes but a writer who happens to be a nurse. A lover of words and books, she dreamed of becoming an author when she grew up but became a nurse to avoid poverty. She later brought her two passions together and writes about the intricate lives of people struggling with health and family issues.
Her debut novel Blue Hydrangeas, an Alzheimer’s love story, is a Kindle bestseller; IndieReader Approved; a BookWorks featured book; and a Library Journal Self-e Selection. She also has two short stories available on Kindle, Ino's Love and Collection.
A native Bostonian, Marianne lives in New York’s Hudson Valley, and when not writing works as a campus nurse at a community college.
Swim Season is currently only available on Amazon in Kindle and paperback.
Amazon US: https://www.amazon.com/Swim-Season-Marianne-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B01JVHIW3O
Amazon UK: https://www.amazon.com/Swim-Season-Marianneamazon UK-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B01JVHIW3O
Amazon Canada: https://www.amazon.ca/Swim-Season-Marianne-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B01JVHIW3O
Amazon Australia: https://www.amazon.com.au/Swim-Season-Marianne-Sciucco-ebook/dp/B01JVHIW3O
Why did I write a book about girls’ varsity swimming? An interview with Marianne Sciucco
Aunt Mags didn't say a word on the way to the high school and neither did I. We were up and out too early for anything more than, "Got everything?" "Uh huh," and "Let's go." We'd left the house before her first cup of coffee and she was not in a talkative mood.
It was just after dawn, the moon still visible as the sun peeked out over the horizon. A chill in the air hinted at summer's end. I regretted leaving my sweatshirt behind, although after swim practice the sun would be shining and we'd be back to the mid-August heat.
We arrived at the school and a deserted parking lot. Mags parked her minivan at the athletics entrance.
"Are you sure it starts at 6:45?" she asked.
"Positive," I said.
She yawned. "Looks like you're the first one here."
"I doubt it."
Today was the first day of swim season. Tryouts started at 7 a.m. The coach had instructed all wannabe swimmers to be on the pool deck no later than 6:45. My experience as a varsity athlete told me that anyone with any degree of competitiveness had already arrived. I had five minutes to spare.
"Want me to walk in with you?" Mags asked.
My horror at her suggestion must have been all over my face, because she said, "Sorry. Having a teenager is new to me. My girls would beg me to walk them into that big, scary building." We looked at the three-story hodgepodge put together to house Two Rivers High School.
"I can take it from here." I was sure I’d remember the meandering route to the pool area from the tour we took when we registered for my senior year.
She still looked anxious. "Sure you're all right?"
"Don't worry. I've got this routine down pat." Two Rivers would be my third high school. I played the role of new girl so well I deserved an Oscar.
I opened the door and hopped out. "Don't hang around waiting for me to call for a ride home," I said, reaching back to grab my bag. "I'm not sure when I'll get out, and I don't want to mess up your day. I'm okay to walk."
Aunt Mags nodded, and I shut the door.
"Don't forget we're going back-to-school shopping later on," she said through the open window.
“Go get 'em, Aerin." She gave me a thumbs-up.
I shot her a grin, hoisted my bag over my shoulder, and went off to join the Two Rivers High School Girls Varsity Swim and Dive Team.
Minutes later, I stood on the pool deck with an odd blend of girls vying to earn a place on the team. I spotted the usual huddle of newbies benched together at the far end of the bleachers, glancing at each other nervously and at the seasoned swimmers with something like awe. On the opposite end were the members of last year's championship team, all wearing team T-shirts and chatting like old pals, ignoring everyone else. In the middle was a bunch who looked like they wanted to go back to bed, the ones whose parents pushed them into a sport and who chose swimming because we did it indoors and it looked easy. Most of them wouldn't make it.
I found a place to stand against the wall and blocked out the curious glances shot my way, using the time before practice began to check out my surroundings. Aunt Mags had said the natatorium, built just a few years ago, was state-of-the-art.
Banners hung from the rafters and on clean white walls, touting the team's success, and an enormous leaderboard listed all of their champions and their accomplishments.
A wall of windows on the farthest side and a ceiling loaded with skylights filled the room with light.
The six-lane pool had blue and white flags and lane lines, and the Trailblazers logo – a torch - was laid out in blue tiles on the bottom.
The floor tiles were a mosaic of white and three shades of blue.
The air was thick with the smell of chlorine.
I checked my expression, not wanting anyone to catch me gaping over the finest natatorium of any team I'd joined. The thought of swimming in it, of calling it "home" for the next few months caused a thrill of excitement in my belly. Around me, the other girls talked and laughed, none of them seeming to appreciate the beauty of the pool and the privilege to use it.
"Good morning girls." A man's voice cut through the chatter, and each girl sat up at attention. "Let's get started."
The voice belonged to an older man, with bushy white hair and bifocals, dressed in the school's colors: navy blue shorts and a white polo shirt. Coach Steven Dudash. I hadn't met him yet – he was out of the building when my father and I visited the high school – but Maggie and her husband, Pat, gave him high praise. He’d coached the Two Rivers boys and girls swim teams for more than twenty years, and they were both winning teams.
He pulled a chair behind him, positioned it in front of the bleachers, sat down, and organized the pile of paperwork on his clipboard. “Good morning,” he said again, studying us over the rim of his bifocals. “I'm happy to see last year’s team back for another year. And welcome to those of you here for the first time. I’m glad you decided to give us a try.”
He took a swig from an extra tall cup of coffee before continuing. “For those of you new to the team, meet Coach Denise.” He gestured toward the young woman who accompanied him. “She's my daughter. I coached her for six years when she swam for Two Rivers and got her name on the leaderboard."
I checked out the leaderboard and saw she held the record in the 200 IM and the 100 breaststroke. Good creds.
“This is her second year as assistant coach," he said. "She did a terrific job last year so I invited her back.”
The young blonde smiled at him and the swimmers cheered.
"Yay Coach D!" a few seniors shouted.
“It’s great to be back,” she said. “Ready to win another championship?”
The shouts and applause were deafening.
"During the next two weeks,” Coach said when the noise died down, “you'll all be working hard, doing drills both in the pool and in the weight room, four hours a day, six days a week. During the season, you'll be practicing from after school until five or six every weekday, and four hours on Saturday. Sunday is a resting day. And, of course, you will compete in swim meets at least twice a week. So, if you don't think you can make it through the first two weeks, you might as well leave now." He paused, waiting for anyone to opt out before we even got started. No one moved.
"Okay," he continued. "Most of you know that Two Rivers won the Division Championship last year, and the two years before. I plan to win again. When we do, and I say when, not if, we will be the first team in the division to ever win four consecutive division titles.”
Last year’s team broke out in wild applause and cheers. Coach waited for the outburst to die down before he continued.
“I need performers,” he said, “swimmers who aren't afraid to push themselves, to try new things and discover where they best support the team. So, in practice you're all going to swim every stroke, you're all going to swim distance, and you're all going to swim sprints. Each person will do all she can to defend our title."
Silence filled the pool deck as the girls looked each other over, wondering where each would fit in.
"That's the good news." He paused for effect. No worries. He had everyone's riveted attention. "But I've got some bad news. For years, the school board has been supportive of our team, and we've reciprocated by working as serious athletes and turning in winning records. Most years, the team can support as many as thirty-eight swimmers. This year, due to a budget crisis in our school district, our funds have been cut, and I can only put twenty-eight girls on the team."
Raised eyebrows and shocked inhalations followed this bit of news. I counted bodies: thirty-six.
"Yeah, eight of you will be cut, either at the end of this week or the end of next. Anyone want to leave now?"
Again, no one moved.
Coach Dudash smiled. "I like your level of commitment. Let's see if you can keep it under pressure."
He spent the next half hour reviewing team policies and the season’s schedule. I'd heard such talks before from other coaches and tuned him out while I studied the other girls, trying to figure out what their positions might be.
Most of them focused on Coach’s every word, but last year's champs ignored him and whispered among themselves. One of them, a lanky girl with sun-bleached hair and a killer tan, looked over the group of wannabes and held up her fingers one to five, scoring them, I guess, on whether or not they had a chance. Her friends snickered, trying to act as if they were paying attention to Coach instead of fooling around.
At last, the lanky girl's frosty blue eyes rested on me, and I met her gaze straight on. We stared at each other for a few seconds before she looked away first, then held up three fingers. It seemed she was ambivalent. I could go either way.
I was ambivalent too. I joined this crowd as a walk-on, someone with no history with the team and questionable ability. In their eyes, I was no better than a wannabe who needed to prove herself to gain a spot on the team and the other girls' respect.
I showed up because it's what I did at the start of every school year. Swimming was my only sport, and I was good at it. Really good. Still, I almost skipped tryouts today. The truth was, I didn't have the energy to join a new team, in a new school, for the third time. If anyone found out I’d won championship titles in club and varsity last year they'd expect great things from me, and I didn't want the pressure. Swimming was no longer the focus of my life. It was my therapy, and I wouldn’t let anyone mess that up.
The glimmer of challenge in the way the lanky girl looked at me caused a stirring in my gut, and I shot it down. I didn't come here to get involved in any personal challenges. I came here to swim, and not make any waves. My plan was to get through the senior year and go away to college, away from my troubles, and on to a new life that I could control.
I'm taking part in the Super Stocking Stuffer Giveaway hop with The Kids Did It http://thekidsdidit.com & The Mommy Island http://themommyisland.blogspot.com. I will giveaway a signed copy of my teen novel, Competing with the Star. This giveaway is for U.S. residents only.
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Thankful for an opportunity to talk with my readers and meet new people! My giveaway this year is a signed copy of my teen novel, True Colors. This giveaway is for U.S. entries only.
I'm excited to announce my sale for the Star Series! Both Next Door to a Star and Competing with the Star are on sale for 99 cents for this week (November 14-19th). This is the first Star Series sale and I thought it'd be nice to have before Black Friday in case you guys want to gift the books through Amazon for the holidays or to reward those good report cards that just came in. You can find the books here. They're available on sale on all the international Amazon sites and Amazon U.S.:
Next Door to a Star:
Amazon U.S.: http://amzn.to/2clGxE8
Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/2g66ezJ
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/2f7QOWQ
Competing with the Star:
Amazon U.S.: http://amzn.to/2cK1E3S
Amazon U.K.: http://amzn.to/2eS7nF6
Amazon Canada: http://amzn.to/2fLX0EQ
Thankful for Cash $250 Giveaway
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tle: The Decision
Genre: Young Adult Paranormal Romance
Author: L.K. Kuhl
The Decision is the second book in The Everlasting Trilogy
Tag Line: The Decision’s made. The choice is simple. Or is it?
Back Cover Blurb:
The guests are invited. The cake is all set. In just a few short hours Sophia Bandell will be saying “I do” to a guy she isn’t sure she loves. But where does she go from here? She feels her life is headed in a downhill spiral. Her first and real true love, Tate Forester, is a ghost. But he’s the man she wants to be with…the one she can’t live without. Sophia is faced with the toughest decision of her life. Does she forget about Tate and marry the egotistical lawyer, Aaron Stuart? Or does she take the plunge and join Tate to be with him for eternity?
Sometime through the night, Tate’s kisses woke me. They landed on my cheek like a soft sigh. He began on my cheek and traveled down my neck, resting delicately on my shoulder. But each one felt like he was snuffing out a candle flame. I knew that this would be the last time I’d ever feel him again. He was telling me goodbye in the gentlest way he knew.
I held in my sobs but couldn’t stop the silent tears from sliding down my cheeks. They spilled to my neck and pooled there in the deep, hollowed indent above my clavicle. Tate kissed them away, and wiped a wet strand of hair from my face.
“Don’t cry. I was hoping I could slip away without waking you. I need to go. Aaron will be home soon.”
My throat ached. I grimaced and tried to swallow away the soreness, but it had its claws dug in too deep. There was no way to release it, to ease this massive tumor that kept growing inside of me each time it was time to say goodbye.
“This is the end, isn’t it? Your kisses told me everything you can’t say. So do your eyes.”
“It has to be. It’s time.”
L.K. Kuhl is the author of the Young Adult Paranormal Romance Series, The Everlasting Trilogy. The Decision is book two of this trilogy. She has also penned Chasm, a Romantic Suspense novel. Chasm was released in May of 2016.
L.K. lives in Nebraska with her husband Gene of twenty-nine years, young son, Nathan, and Greg and Will, their furry dog kids. She has two older daughters, Morgan and Brittani and son-in-law, Trevor. L.K. has been writing for over twenty years. She first began writing children’s books and poetry, moved on to writing music, and is now writing Young Adult and Adult novels. She loves spending time with her family, vacationing, writing, reading, and taking long walks. It’s the characters who write their own stories in her novels, and she is just their messenger, sharing it with the world.
Author Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/kuhlreads
Amazon Author Page: http://www.amazon.com/-/e/B01BXDJGIY
Barnes & Noble:
This month I did a writing event and met an author named Victoria Ryan who shared with me that the tavern she and her husband own, (Ryan's Tavern in Hamilton, Ohio), has been the subject of several ghost investigations. She was gracious enough to give me, my husband, and our friends a private tour of the Tavern. She shared stories with us about the ghost sightings. One thing that really threw us was that one of her workers named the ghost, "Elizabeth," only for them to find out that an Elizabeth worked there in the kitchen many years ago!
The Tavern is beautiful and we enjoyed our tour. Did we see any ghosts? Well, I questioned something I saw and I did feel something touching my shoulder. I'm not sure where my bravery came from, but I ventured into the basement to see where the former underground tunnel had been and where they had ghost sightings. Am I brave or was I just looking for story material??? Ha ha! Victoria was kind enough to provide two photos from the ghost investigation which you can find at the bottom of this post.
If you're in the Hamilton/Cincinnati area, you can go on a ghost tour, too. October 30, 2016 - First and only Ghost Tour at Ryan's Tavern, 6:00 p.m. - 10:00 p.m. Do your own investigation at this historical site. Tickets are $30 and include delicious food, the investigation, meeting the TriOPS team and reviewing your evidence with them. Call 513-737-2200 to purchase tickets or for further information.
Here are some links to the ghost investigations if you're curious!
You tube about a real investigation https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iYpYhiQYAXw
To learn more about Victoria's books, you can find more about her here: on her webpage: www.thevictoriaryan.com
Top photos taken by me, the bottom photos were provided by Victoria Ryan
Taken with an IR motion detection camera in
Ryan's Tavern 1921 Room. No one was in the room at the time it was taken, but can you see the lady standing center in the middle of the room?
Taken with an IR motion detection camera in
Ryan's Tavern's basement. No one was in the basement at the time it was taken. You can see an energy signal peering around the door. With the picture enlarged, it looks like a sad-faced person
Ryan's Tavern is located at: 241 High St, Hamilton, OH 45011
Find out more at: www.ryanstavern.com/
Today we welcome Nadia L. King, author of Jenna's Truth, to the the blog. She wrote a special blog about teen suicide today. Read on and learn more about her book on bullying.
Teen suicide is a killer. Really. I don’t say this to be cute, I say this to shock you. Did you know suicide is the second largest cause of death for our youth after motor vehicle accidents?
I’ve heard it said that people commit suicide because they can see no other way to make the pain stop. They don’t want to die. They just can’t imagine living with that much pain.
I try to live in a bubble I really do, but sometimes I can’t keep the world out. A tragedy that slew me was the death of Canadian teen, Amanda Todd. I live way across the other side of the planet to British Columbia. On the day Amanda Todd died, I had no idea who she was or the pain she carried, nor did I know of the burden that became too much for her to bear. It was only this year, when I saw her video on Youtube where she shared her story of being bullied with the world, that I found out about Amanda Todd. After her death, the video went viral and 17 million people have viewed her video.
Like I said, her story cut me to the core. I was sad. Really sad and angry too. I wanted to change the world. I wanted to change history and bring Amanda back. I wanted to bring back all the teens who chose to leave us because their pain was too great.
So I sat down and wrote a story. I wrote a story about an ordinary girl called Jenna Wilson. She’s not particularly clever or pretty or talented. She’s completely, utterly normal – she’s almost invisible. Her life starts to go terribly wrong when she becomes visible to the cool kids at school and then she makes one tiny mistake and the next thing we know, her whole life is going down the toilet and it seems she is powerless to stop it.
‘Jenna’s Truth’ takes the ordinary and offers teens a way out of pain. I can’t wave a magic wand and change lives, but I can offer you my words in ‘Jenna’s Truth’. It’s a book to open up dialogue on bullying, cyberbullying, teen drinking, sex and suicide. There is another way. By opening up dialogue and offering teens different truths and realities, we may be able to help make the world a better, kinder, friendlier place.
Inspired by Amanda Todd’s tragic story of bullying, Jenna’s Truth is more than just teen short story. It’s a lesson in empathy, self-awareness, and speaking out about what matters, especially bullying. Jenna’s Truth, written by Nadia L. King is a gripping story, which explores the themes of cyberbullying, teen drinking, sex, and suicide. Life isn’t black and white, and sometimes teens can be the most insensitive people.
What happens when the very group of teens you crave to belong to, end up being responsible for one of the most painful and humiliating events in your life?
Published by Aulexic, a publisher specialising in books for children with language and literacy difficulties, Jenna’s Truth is dyslexia-friendly and contains features that aid in comprehension and developing vocabulary. The story is kept short, at just 6,000 words and includes curriculum connections, discussion questions, and recommended activities, making it an ideal tool for use in the classroom in grades nine and ten (15-16yos). It’s length also makes it an ideal quick-read read at home or during transit.
If you’re against cyberbullying, want to help someone who might be a victim of bullying, or you’re experiencing bullying in your life right now, use the buy link above and read Jenna’s Truth today!
Praise for Jenna’s Truth:
“Compelling and well-written. The storyline is great – this is a very real situation that all teens will be able to relate to. I teared up at the end.” – Dana Kerford, Founder of GirlPower and GoodGuys Inc.
Nadia L King was born in Dublin, Ireland in the 1970s. She reads voraciously and enthusiastically. She is an overexcited person who adores words and writes short stories amongst other things. Her first book “Jenna’s Truth” is published by Aulexic and is a powerful tool to arm teens against bullying. Nadia lives near the Swan River in Western Australia.
One of my favorite October rituals is carving pumpkins for Halloween. As soon as those orange gourds appear on the gardening lots, I experience a visceral need to stroll the fields, weighing the choices. It is not an easy decision. Size, weight, and surface area are integral to the creation of funny, spooky or downright creepy pumpkin faces. Once the selection has occurred, I load the potential jack-o-lanterns on my cart and, Sisyphus-like, push them toward the car. Once home, I spend more time arranging them in suitable groupings. (Did I mention I don’t buy just one?!!) The carving itself waits until October 31st. That way, I have plenty of time to sketch out faces, prepare my special pumpkin knives and anticipate the tactile pleasure of pulling out pumpkin guts. The smell of the fleshy interior is distinctive and so very fall-ish. And those seeds, rinsed and de-gooed, make for tasty roasting. All in all, it’s a feast for the senses, to be sure.
Carving pumpkins is a lot like crafting a story. Anticipation plays a huge role in the preliminary writing stage. I wander through my ideas, searching for the strands that most speak to me in the moment. Once the decision is made, I collect the disparate elements and bring them to the page, contemplating the next step. What will happen as these characters develop? How will they look, act, think, react? Can I trust myself to create just the right tone as I write the story? With the initial decision clarified, placement of plot lines becomes central to the development of the work. Pacing can make or break a piece. My line-by-line synopsis grows as the story does, a useful guide for the more intricate carving to come. Change and re-arrange are essential elements. Once the draft is complete, the real work begins, the increasingly subtle use of the metaphorical knife to shave away the unnecessary bits and reveal the inner life.
October fades, like the light, echoing ancient rites, blending the pagan and the Christian as the calendar turns. Observing the blend of primitive and modern, listening to the excited greetings of miniature ghosts and superheroes, I am transported into fantasy and imagination, two places where the artistic and creative life thrives.Within the glow of candlelight and toothy pumpkin grins, I find inspiration to continue my journey through the fields of story.
Bio: J. E. Irvin is the author of the award-winning novel The Dark End of the Rainbow. Her works have appeared in a variety of print and on-line journals, including Sherlock Holmes Mystery Magazine, Alfred Hitchcock Mystery Magazine, SPARK a creative anthology, Nexus Literary Journal and The Zodiac Review. Her second mystery/thriller - The Rules of the Game - is forthcoming in late fall, 2016. An avid hiker and canoeist, she lives in Ohio on the edge of a nature park. You may contact her at janetirvin.wordpress.com or facebook.com/darkendoftherainbow.
Halloween Post By Ariella Moon
October is a busy month for me and other shamans, psychics, and mediums. The veil between realms becomes most transparent between Halloween and November 2nd. Souls from the otherworld cross into the human world seeking ways to deliver messages to their loved ones. I am amazed at how creative they can be. Spirits will use dreams, songs, smells, psychics, and even billboards to deliver their messages.
Halloween can be traced back centuries to Samhain (SOW-in, SAH-win, or SAH-ween), a festival celebrated by the Celtic people in Ireland, northern France, Scotland, and Wales. Samhain marked the end of summer. The veil between realms was thinnest, and the souls of those who had died during the past year departed at Samhain into the otherworld. But the portal worked both ways. Ancestors and other spirits from the otherworld, and fairies from fairy mounds, could cross into the human world.
The Celts disguised themselves in animal skin costumes to a drive back the spirits. They left food offerings to appease the ghosts and fay. Bonfires were lit to deflect unwanted spirits and to light the way for departing souls.
In the 9th century A.D., the Catholic Church tried to subsume Samhain with All Saints Day/All Hallows. All Hallow’s Eve incorporated the belief in high supernatural activity. But the church claimed the Celtic otherworld was the Christian Hell, and demonized spirits, witches, and fairies as well as the Celtic priests, the druids. Mummers, people disguised as the demonized folk, would perform antics and threaten more mischief (tricks). Villagers would appease them with food (treats). All Hallow’s Eve became Halloween.
And spirits continue to traverse the veil.
Around Samhain, beloved pets that have departed enter my thoughts and dreams. Although I live in the desert, I keep thinking I smell the sea near my grandmother’s house, or hear my great Aunt Leona’s cackle when she cheated at board games.
So watch for signs. Who visits you in your dreams? What scents catch the wind? Which song is playing on the radio? Say hello to the person seated next to you on the plane (especially if you had a last-minute seat change), because she may be a psychic. Your loved ones are thinking of you. They want you to know they are doing well.
Maybe they guided you to read this post.
Copyright 2016 Ariella Moon
~Ariella Moon draws upon her experiences as a shaman to create magical Young Adult fiction. Her series include The Two Realms Trilogy, a medieval fantasy adventure, and The Teen Wytche Saga, a series of sweet contemporary paranormal romances.
urban fantasy, suspense, new adult/adult
Back cover blurb
Over a month has gone by since Melina won her internal battle between good and evil. She and the elders have been vigilantly waiting for Maura and Adelia to enact their plan, but there have been no signs of them anywhere. Then one day, Melina sees a Noxin demon lurking behind an old building. As more and more demons start to appear around town, she begins to worry that their plan may have already been put into play.
While Melina tries to figure out what the demons are up to, she starts to notice a sudden increase in her negative emotions, which in turn seem to be amplifying her powers. At first, she likes how strong it makes her feel. But when she realizes that her newly acquired demon powers are the cause of her sense of empowerment, she wants nothing to do with it. Even though she has reversed her demon powers to do good, she still sees them as coming from an evil source and fears that by using them the evil she fought so hard to overcome will rise up in her again.
But as the demon activity increases, and the people in her town, including all the people she cares about the most, start to display strange and violent behavior, Melina finally understands that if she wants to stop the demons and help her friends, she must embrace not only the good in her but also the bad. Because the only way to truly empower herself is by finding a way to use them together.
You have to have the dark to see the light.
She turned to look at the front of her store and saw that the huge front window had been completely busted in, allowing the chilly winter air to blow right through the room. The rest of the store wasn’t in any better shape. Broken glass, splintered wood, and burnt, ripped up books and paper covered the entire floor. She felt like she should be having déjà vu, seeing as how her store had been destroyed by Noxin demons before, but there was a difference this time. She didn’t have her friends to help her pick up the pieces.
Before she was able to get teary-eyed again, she heard footsteps coming from behind her. She turned around and saw that Walter was back, and he had Phinneas, Cecil, and Helene with him. They all nodded at Henry, who nodded back at them, and then they all returned their focus to Melina.
“Hi,” Melina said as she gave them all a slightly confused look. “What are you all doing here?”
“I thought it was necessary to tell them what’s happening with you,” Walter said.
Melina pulled her robe a little tighter around her and turned her gaze down to the floor. She wondered if they were disappointed in her for not telling any of them sooner.
“Melina,” Phinneas said as he took a step toward her. “None of us blame you for feeling the way you do. The fear you have of your anger and of your demon powers is completely valid. But it’s nothing to be afraid of, or ashamed of. I’ve told you before, not everyone is all good or all bad. We all have good and evil in us.”
“Yes,” Melina said as she nodded her head. “I remember you saying that. But then you also said that we just have to choose which one is going to win, and I chose good.”
“And I’m so glad you did,” Phinneas said. “But just because you chose good and were able to reverse the demon powers to use them for good, doesn’t mean that the bad aspects of the demon powers aren’t still a part of you, too.”
“Melina,” Walter said as he took a step toward her. “To truly embrace all of your powers, you must accept not only the good aspects of them but also the bad. I can only imagine how strong it must make you feel when your emotions amplify your powers, but instead of fighting them and trying to stop them, feel all of those emotions and use them in a good way. Use them to empower yourself.” He paused for effect and then continued. “You have become a force to be reckoned with. You just need to learn to accept them and then control them.”
Melina’s eyes were filled with tears again. His words reminded her of what Lee had told her—that she needed to accept all of herself. She knew they were both right, but she still couldn’t let go of her hesitation and fear.
“But what if it makes me susceptible to being taken over by evil again?” She bit down on her lip as she stared over at Walter with eyes full of distress.
He gave her a reassuring smile. “I know you’re scared, but I also think that you know, deep down, that you’re not going to be taken over by evil again. This is just how the demon powers are going to work in you. We all experience negative emotions, Melina. But it's what we do after the emotions arise that matters. We can act upon those negative feelings and let them control us, or we can feel them, acknowledge them, but then choose not to act on them. And instead of letting them control us, use them as motivation for something good.” He was silent for a moment then said, “You have to have the dark to see the light.”
Melina sat quietly as his last words sunk in. She had never thought of it that way, but he was right. She had both light and dark in her, just like everyone else, but she just needed to make sure that her light always shone brighter.
About the author
Ashley Stambaugh grew up in a small town in Illinois where she and her two siblings created some of the best memories playing on their family’s farm. She stayed in the southern region of the state to attend college where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree and also met her husband.
Now, she and her husband live in central Illinois and spend their time creating new memories with their two rambunctious boys. She also enjoys reading, taking long walks, and finding great bargains. When her sons are a little bit older, she has a great desire to travel with her family. Oh, and she also has a slight obsession with chocolate.
When she’s not busy chasing after her two young children or losing herself in a good book, you can find her curled up on her couch with her laptop, writing.
Social media links
Facebook author page: www.facebook.com/ashleystambaughauthor
Barnes & Noble:
Book One is on sale for 99 cents!
Author, journalist, book blogger, and undying Ronaldo fan, who tries to find the humor in everything. Life's too short to be too serious.
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