Title: Thomas Templeton and the Whispers of Branson Manor
Author: Emily A. Steward
Back Cover Blurb: Thomas has only vague memories of the night his parents vanished, and the memories haunt his dreams: an old mansion, a game of hide and seek, and panicked screaming.
After their aunt threatens to split them up, Thomas and his two sisters journey to the abandoned family mansion looking for clues to their parent’s disappearance. Soon after they arrive, terrifying messages and apparitions make it clear that someone or something doesn't want them there.
When another person close to Thomas disappears, the children must work quickly to stop the sinister force before they become the next victims of Branson Manor.
Tagline: A sinister force awaits…
Author Bio: Emily Steward spent the better part of her childhood dressed as a ninja and trying to convince others to call her ‘Ace.’ When she wasn’t saving the world from evil samurai, she could usually be found in the branches of a tree reading a good book. She now lives in the Pacific Northwest with her husband, three daughters, and dog Bentley. Though she seldom dresses as a ninja now, her adventurous spirit remains as does her love of tree climbing and reading good books.
Excerpt (325 words):
Evie stood in the doorway of the room just ahead. She seemed frozen to the spot. “I think it’s in here,” she said in a loud, breathy whisper.
I looked past her into the room. It was empty except for a full-length iron mirror in the right corner. The knocking came from the opposite side of the room. As I stepped inside, I signaled for my sisters to wait and crept closer. The sound was definitely getting louder and was way too consistent to be an animal. It sounded like a pattern. Just as I reached the wall, the knocking stopped.
“Thomas . . . ” Sarah’s voice came out thin. “Let’s go back to the living room.”
I ran my finger along the edge of the peeling wallpaper. Some faint markings were beneath it. “Just a second,” I murmured, pulling the paper back. There was definitely something written under here. The letter t?
A loud thud sent me sprawling. It sounded like something was trying to get out. I scrambled to my feet and backed up to where the girls were waiting. The knocking resumed, louder and faster now.
“Thomas,” she said in a low voice. “I think it’s . . . I think it’s Morse code.” Sarah and I had spent a whole summer learning Morse code. We wanted a way to communicate without our aunt understanding. Turning my head, I listened hard. The knocks came in short quiet raps and louder distinct pounding. This might represent the dots and dashes. I tried to concentrate. The first one sounded like an h . . . no, an r. Rats, it was too fast for me and I couldn’t make it out. Sarah had always been better at it. She squinted in concentration as she counted under her breath.
“It’s just one word over and over.” As she spoke her face went pale.
“What is it?” I asked, afraid to know the answer.
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Every year on my birthday I get a new journal. I’ve been doing it as long as I can remember and over the years I’ve had everything from a cute illustrated French scene to a journal with F. Scott Fitzgerald’s handwriting on it (the first page of The Great Gatsby in his own handwriting!), to a Van Gogh art one. Each year there’s something that stands out to me in them. The year I got the Fitzgerald one was a turning point for me with my own writing. The year I went to visit Grand Haven to take pics and research for Next Door to a Star was the year I picked up the one with the girl at the lake with a lighthouse on the cover. And I got a Wonder Woman one the year I turned eighteen. I still have it.
I admit I can be seduced by a pretty cover and pick up one that’s not particularly functional as in the ones that don’t have that “Lay Flat” binding. I used to buy mainly spiral journals until I discovered the whole “Lay Flat” binding actually. I prefer lined paper, but can go without. And I’m not too picky on paper quality.
This year I wasn’t finding anything that spoke to me. I went in thinking I wanted something colorful and/or inspiring. I picked up one that had sections to write down moments of joy in the day. I thought that sounded nice, but wondered if that would confine me in writing other things in it since I write a lot about what’s going on in the world.
Then I saw one that looked just like a hardcover book—more precisely, it looked exactly like a hardcover book my grandmother had on her bookshelves. Grandma often took the dust jackets off hardcovers if the books matched the color scheme of the room. Gold and yellow were her main living room colors and this book was a similar shade of yellow. The feel of the cover wasn’t particularly nice, but the fact that looking at it instantly transported me back into Grandma’s comforting living room was everything.
I'm so excited that Dating the It Guy is now in the finals for the Crème de la Cover Contest from Ind'Tale magazine. Would you mind voting for the cover here: indtale.com/node/110
Thanks so much! I'm working on a fun post to show you some of the pics I took of places and things that inspired the book that I haven't shared before on Pinterest or on my blog! I'll have it up soon. Thanks again.
Pleased to have children's writer Dawn M. Paul on th blog today sharing her letter to her younger self. Dawn and I met at the Dayton Book Expo this year. I love this letter so check it out!
Letter to My Younger Self
Dawn M. Paul
Dear Younger Self,
I’m so glad to have this opportunity to give you advice from the knowledge I’ve gleaned over this life so far. Here goes:
Your Forty-Something Self
Dawn is a Christian children’s author and poet. She currently has four books in publication. Her favorite, “Gnomeling,” is the first in a fantasy series about a young gnome who must take on a mission of great import in Ohio. Her second book in the series is due out at the end of August. If you would like to connect with Dawn, or to find information about her and her works, please visit her websites at:
https://dmpaul.com/ and https://christiantompta.com/
You may also connect with her on social media at:
Google +: https://plus.google.com/u/0/+DMPaul/
Author of the Landry's True Colors Series, the Cecily Taylor Series, the Star Series, and Dating the It Guy.