Mythical Doorways Anthology

Hello readers, if you clicked through to this site from a link that says dolphin18cb, don’t worry you’re still in the right place. I’m just going through an identity crisis right now.

Welcome to cobonham.com and I’m so excited to share a new book with you. The best part is: IT’S FREE FOR EVERYONE!!!! (Unless you want paperback, then you have to pay because — trees.)

I am not reviewing this book. I am always unsure of how to review anthologies. Do I rate each story? Rave about the book as a whole? Or should I only mention the stories that I liked best?

But I will say that, all of these stories we’re amazing and were written by very talented authors.

Download this anthology (again it’s free) and see if you can figure out which stories I’m describing below:

Childhood must end, but the adventures don’t.

If a mouse really wants a chocolate bar . . .

If Sherlock Holmes were a wizard . . .

To save a fox he must catch the cat, or is that a dragon?

Once you’ve read it, let me know in the comments which stories you think I was talking about.

About the Anthology

Eleven Tales of Magical, Mysterious, Mythical Doorways!

Step through portals and into adventure as the authors of the Fellowship of Fantasy take you on another journey into fantastic worlds. Travel through time, space, and realities to encounter monsters, mechanical foxes, and the Fates themselves. You’ll fly with dragons, save implausible beasts, and perhaps find your true home. Choose your path wisely, for dangers lurk in the lands beyond.

In the third anthology from the Fellowship of Fantasy, eleven authors promise you journeys into fairy lands hidden within the modern world, futuristic universities, and lands of ancient myth. So what are you waiting for? Cross through our Doorways for the adventure of a lifetime!

Download the ebook (free to download starting March 27th) at your favorite digital store: https://www.books2read.com/u/bxq70e

 

Mythical Doorways Authors

Katy Huth Jones
D. G. Driver
Lauren Lynch
H.L. Burke
Savannah Jezowski
A. J. Bakke
Laurie Lucking
Jenelle Schmidt
Arthur Daigle
Bokerah Bromley
J.M. Hackman

(Click the author to learn more about them and their books!)

 

Let’s Party!

Fellowship of Fantasy is celebrating their third short story anthology release, Mythical Doorways!

Whether they open onto new worlds or just new opportunities, doorways allow us to step through and uncover great adventures, discoveries, and risks.

Where will these Mythical Doorways take you?

Grab your favorite drink and snack on March 29th at 8 PM EST (7 PM CST and 5 PM PST) and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with multiple authors, games, and giveaways!

RSVP Today

 

Giveaway Time!

The Fellowship of Fantasy and Deep Magic E-Zine have joined together to offer you an awesome paperback giveaway! Dive into eleven new worlds by entering to win a paperback of Mythical Doorways! (US only.)

About Deep Magic E-Zine: The name Deep Magic pays homage to C.S. Lewis’s The Chronicles of Narnia. Deep Magic is a quarterly e-zine dedicated to creating a safe place for minds to wander in the worlds and universe of SFF. We want all who visit to feel welcome and confident that they will encounter professionally written fiction of the highest quality that is safe for all to read.

Click here for more information: http://deepmagic.co/giveaway-fun/

>>> Entry-Form <<<

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Tuesday, March 27th

Wednesday, March 28th

Thursday, March 29th

 

C.O. Bonham dot com

If you have been on the site recently you may have noticed a change.

 The dolphin18cb is gone. The website is now cobonham.com.

 “Why?” you ask.

 Well, random musings from my addled mind really weren’t cutting it. I needed more focus, better branding if you will.

 I’ve felt like I’ve been floundering on the blog. Just writing about whatever struck my fancy wasn’t working. I started this blog to promote myself. But what was I really promoting?

 Dolphin18cb isn’t a pen name it’s a user name.

 Enter the Pen name C.O. Bonham.

 Why a pen name?

 The pen name was born out of two thing.

 1) I’ve written two unpublished novels and a handful of short stories, all with one thing in common. Male POVs. That’s right I write about boys, and someone who I trust and respect told me that boys don’t want to read books written by Cathrine Opal Bonham.

 Could I have asked for a more feminine name?

 This is a great lead-in to thing two:

 2) You may have noticed that Cathrine is spelled with out an E in the middle. It’s not wrong, I’ve checked my birth certificate.

 I was content to be unique until I took some bad advice from a job fair flier. “A professional email address should be yourname@mailservice.com so I created an email with no e in Cathrine.

And you guessed it, the only emails I got were spam. My potential employers couldn’t read well enough or didn’t care enough to spell my name right.

 So there it is, you have my weird writing habits and my odd spelling to thank for cobonham.com.

 A decidedly book-centric website, for promoting my works and the works of others. No more Randomness, no more addled mind. But dolphins are still nice, yes I’ll find away to work in dolphins.

 Keep watching this spot as I gradually make updates and tweak my brand.

author logo

Also I made a logo. Let me know what you think of the changes in the comments.

Dive in Review of Common

So you remember awhile back I hosted a cover reveal for a book called Common?

Well I finally got to read it and now I’m posting a review so you can all be excited enough to go read it too.

I’m also the last stop on the book’s release tour.

Common_coverOne person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.

Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.

Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?

Author Bio:

Laurie-Lucking-HeadshotAn avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up late begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. She writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, and her debut novel, Common, releases in 2018 from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing. Laurie is the secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of http://www.landsuncharted.com, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more about Laurie and her writing by visiting http://www.laurielucking.com.

You can find links to purchase it here:  http://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/common/

Dive in Review of Common

 Common by Laurie Lucking is a new YA fantasy novel about knowing your place and not trying to reach for things outside of you current circumstances.

I’m just kidding.

 This book is totally the opposite of that. Even though Leah is a chambermaid she has no problem bucking the system. Everything thing she does from learning to read and write, to meeting the crown prince in a broom closet, (totally clean, nothing kinky happens in the closet, I promise) is forbidden. The real kicker is that she’s so not a rebel.

Leah’s life would improve without the elitist king and queen on the throne, but she goes out of her way to try to save them from an assassin. She could just run away with the prince like he’s been begging her to do for three chapters but she believes their country needs him on the throne. (Also, not to point out the elephant in the broom closet but, he has no marketable skills to speak of.)

 Since were talking the elephant now anyway. I was really underwhelmed by the romance element. Which was fine by the way, I’m not really a romance reader. So I was pleasantly surprised when this turned out to be an espionage story. Court intrigue, secret meetings, assassins, spies and evil wizards are much more my speed.

I hope I haven’t spoiled anything, there is so much going on in this story that you really need to read it for yourself. It’s part romance, part espionage, part magical fantasy, and part spiritual warfare. Yes, read it for the warrior nuns.

*I received an advance copy of this book for review purposes and was asked for nothing but my honest opinion.*

 And so you can back track and check out all the other great stops,

I give you the Blog Tour Schedule:

Monday, February 5th, Review of Common, Pam Halter, www.pamhalter.com

Monday, February 5th, Interview with Laurie Lucking, Taylor Bennett, www.taylor–bennett.com

Tuesday, February 6th, Visual Post, Nancy Moors, www.antrimcycle.com

Tuesday, February 6th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Rae E, www.anewlookonbooks.com

Wednesday, February 7th, Visual Post, J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com

Wednesday, February 7th, Guest Post: Author’s Journey, Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com

Thursday, February 8th, Guest Post, Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com

Friday, February 9th, Interview with Laurie Lucking, Jebraun Clifford, www.quillsandinkblotts.wordpress.com/

Friday, February 9th, Review of Common, Erica Hogan, www.booksaholic.wordpress.com/

Saturday, February 10th, Top 3 Post, Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com

Sunday, February 11th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature: Laurie’s Writing Process, Liv Fisher, www.livkfisher.blogspot.com/

Sunday, February 11th, Review of Common, Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com/

Monday, February 12th, Character Interview, Brenda Anderson, www.inspyromance.com/

Monday, February 12th, Visual Post, Jannette Fuller, www.jannettefuller.com/blog

Tuesday, February 13th, Interview with Laurie Lucking, KaLyn Cummins, www.authorkacummins.com

Wednesday, February 14th, Release-Day Feature, Laurie Lucking, www.laurielucking.com (Release Day)

Thursday, February 15th, Facebook Party Feature, Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com (Facebook Launch Party)

Friday, February 16th, Review of Common, Cathrine Bonham, You Are Here.

 

Amber Eyes Blog Tour: A guest post

Hello, you may have noticed that this blog was dormant for a while. The reason was because I work retail so I pretty much died after Christmas. But I’m better now and ready to share more awesome books with you. The first of which is S.D. Grimm’s newest fantasy novel, Amber Eyes. And it’s on tour.

 

About the Book

Destiny can be cruel

Darkness retreated from the light of the scarlet moon, but has since grown even stronger. The Mistress of Shadows has found a new pawn—one that may be the key to unlocking the door to her underground prison. Now evil threatens to escape its shackles and destroy the land.

In the aftermath of loss and betrayal, Jayden’s fight with the enemy still isn’t over. But while she isn’t sure she can stop the Mistress alone, leaving her friends might be the only way to keep them from being consumed by the darkness.

With lives hanging in the balance—and no time for error—can Jayden make the right choice?

AmazonBarnes & Noble Christianbook.com

About the Author

S.D. Grimm’s first love in writing is young adult fantasy and science fiction. She is represented by Julie Gwinn of the Seymour Agency and author of SCARLET MOON. She currently has four books under contract, including the remainder of her YA fantasy series Children of the Blood Moon. When she’s not writing or editing, Sarah enjoys reading (of course!), practicing kickboxing and Brazilian jiu jitsu, training dogs, and binge-watching shows with great characters. Her office is anywhere she can curl up with her laptop and at least one large-sized dog. You can learn more about her upcoming novels at www.sdgrimm.com.

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Instagram | Goodreads | Newsletter | Spotify

Instead of an interview or a review I was evil and told S.D. that she could steal my blog to talk about what ever she wanted. A segment that I am unashamedly calling: Be Our Guest Post.

Be Our Guest Post: S.D. Grimm

 Thank you so much for having me as a guest on your blog today! I am so excited to be here.

 So I’ve been thinking about some things that I could share about Amber Eyes that are basically non-spoilery but also touch on the heart of the story. One thing that came to mind is the phrase I put on my special Amber Eyes bookmarks: the dragon will rise.

 Dragons! The good ones are amazing. The bad ones are terrifying. They’re a fascinating embodiment of the fantasy genre. And yet that dragon on the cover of Amber Eyes is clearly creeeeeepyyyy.

 And so perfect for the story. When I saw the cover the first time, that dragon made me quiver inside. Because it’s so … perfect and scary!

 I think a lot of Scarlet Moon is about overcoming fears. And that plays a part in Amber Eyes, too. But more than that, Scarlet Moon is about overcoming fears that the characters will face—outer dragons—while Amber Eyes is about characters facing the fears of what they might become, aka inner dragons.

 In Amber Eyes, they’re battling their inner dragons while also facing the very real monsters in front of them.

 I think it’s evident in that I chose the title “Amber Eyes” for a few reasons. You can see from the very awesome dragon on the cover (thank you, Kirk DouPonce for the AmAzInG cover) that it has eyes of amber. And it’s ferocious and scary and dangerous. There are other characters in the novel who are also those things, and while they may be pulled toward darkness, not all of them will accept that call.

 So they’re like two sides of the same coin. Two paths in the same wood. Two ways a character could go. That’s what it’s like for us when we make choices that we have to wrestle with at a soul level, though, right? We have to decide which path to take. Which choice to make.

 Sometimes it’s the right one. Sometimes it’s not. And that’s at the heart of this book. Struggling with choices. Living with consequences. And choosing the right path. Just. Like. Life. Dragons are dangerous either way, but there are good ones and bad ones.

 I think that’s why Amber Eyes was so fun and yet hard to write at times. Because it’s hard to watch the characters you love make choices you know in your gut are wrong. But watching them become stronger, wiser people because of the lessons they learned through those mistakes is so satisfying. So I hope you enjoy going through those moments with my characters. Following them on their journey toward hope. Growing with them. Cheering for them. Watching them face their dragons. And everything in between. I am so excited to share this with you.

***

Thank you S.D. Grimm for the amazing guest post. I admit when I gave you free rein, I was really hoping for dragons. You did not disappoint. In case you didn’t know S.D. also makes really cute dragon figures that she calls Grimmlies. Check out this picture she included.

Fun Author Pics

Rumor is that she’s giving some away at her Facebook Party. Keep scrolling for a Giveaway link for a chance to win not only a Grimmlie but paperback copies of both Scarlet moon and Amber Eyes.

Facebook Launch Party

Calling all book readers! Join author S.D. Grimm as we chat about her fantasy novel Amber Eyes on January 30th from 8 PM to 11 PM EST (6 PM CDT and 5 PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with SD, games, and giveaways.

Special guests Nadine Brandes, Lindsay A. Franklin, and Sara Baysinger will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun.

RSVP Today

 

Giveaway

Want to dive into a new world? Enter to win a signed copy of both Amber Eyes and Scarlet Moon, a grimmlie dragon of the dragon on the cover (made by the author), a charm bracelet (made by her Captain America), and a $10 amazon gift card. (US only. Sorry!)

>>> Entry-Form <<<

 

Blog Tour Schedule

Monday, January 22nd

Tuesday, January 23rd

Wednesday, January 24th

Thursday, January 25th

Friday, January 26th

Saturday, January 27th

Monday, January 29th

Tuesday, January 30th

Wednesday, January 31st

Thursday, February 1st

Friday, February 2nd

Saturday, February 3rd

Monday, February 5th

 

Cover Reveal: Common by Laurie Lucking

So you’ve heard the phrase, “Don’t judge a book by its cover.” Well it might be a don’t, but we all do it. That’s why it’s sad when you see a hardback without the book jacket or why stores rip the covers off books they can’t sell.

Because the cover is important. It’s like the window into a book’s soul. It’s your first impression, your ten second introduction to a new world.

That’s why cover reveals are important. It’s the first time you get to put a face to that story you’ve been hearing so much buzz about.

But before we put a face to it. Let’s get to know it first:

***Common, by Laurie Lucking***

One person knows of the plot against the royal family and cares enough to try to stop it—the servant girl they banished.

Leah spends her days scrubbing floors, polishing silver, and meekly curtsying to nobility. Nothing distinguishes her from the other commoners serving at the palace, except her red hair.

And her secret friendship with Rafe, the Crown Prince of Imperia.

But Leah’s safe, ordinary world begins to splinter. Unexpected feelings for Rafe surface just as his parents announce his betrothal to a foreign princess. Then she unearths a plot to overthrow the royal family. Her life shatters completely when the queen banishes her for treason.

Harbored by a mysterious group of nuns, Leah must secure Rafe’s safety before it’s too late. But her quest reveals a villain far more sinister than an ambitious nobleman with his eye on the throne.

Can a common maidservant summon the courage to fight for her dearest friend?

Author Bio:

Laurie-Lucking-HeadshotAn avid reader since birth (her parents claim she often kept them up late begging to hear just one more story), Laurie Lucking discovered her passion for writing after leaving her career as an attorney to become a stay-at-home mom. She writes young adult fantasy with a strong thread of romance, and her debut novel, Common, releases in 2018 from Love2ReadLove2Write Publishing. Laurie is the secretary of her local ACFW chapter and a co-founder of http://www.landsuncharted.com, a blog for fans of clean young adult speculative fiction. A Midwestern girl through and through, she currently lives in Minnesota with her husband and two young sons. Find out more about Laurie and her writing by visiting http://www.laurielucking.com.

***

And now the moment you’ve all been waiting for. Here’s the cover for Common by Laurie Lucking. (No Judging please.)

Common_cover

The Final Paladin Blog Tour: A Dive in Review

Hi everyone, I’m super excited to be hosting a stop on the Blog tour for The Final Paladin by T.J. Akers.

First a little about the book:


Final-Paladin-by-TJ-AkersLife for Peg Bowman is rough in the infamous slums of Five Points, New York, but her brother’s murder changes everything.

Thrust into incredible worlds beyond any story she’s ever heard, Peg meets Sir Godfrey, an eleven-hundred-year-old knight from Charlemagne’s court, trainer of Paladins. He reveals to Peg her family’s ancient obligation to protect the Key of Apollyon, a relic of immense power. She is the last descendant of the Paladins and his only hope for keeping it safe.

When Godfrey confides her brother was murdered because of the Key, Peg rejects her calling and demands revenge, a luxury she can ill afford as otherworldly creatures seek her death to claim the Key’s power for themselves.

Can Godfrey and his faithful retinue—Chim the Hobgoblin, Rebecca the Jewish Maven and healer, and Jack the sometimes human and sometimes seven-foot Black Dog—keep her safe and convince her that her calling is worth pursuing? Or will she succumb to the Key’s lure and wield it for revenge?

The Final Paladin releases November 14th and you can purchase it here.

TJ-Akers-HeadshotAbout the Author:
T.J. Akers desires to be a multimillionaire when he grows up and give his wealth to his favorite causes: churches, schools, and animal shelters. Since the millions have been slow in coming, he’s settled for working as a computer technician for a state university and volunteering at his church and local animal shelter. Whenever possible, he indulges his love of writing stories to entertain people, especially younger readers.
Akers holds a Masters of English from Minnesota State University, Mankato, and can often be found roaming the university’s library, especially the children’s and young adult sections. Librarians have always been his heroes.
He lives with his beloved wife of thirty years, his dog, and two cats. The dog is an excellent writing companion, but the cats have proven to be rather critical. Learn more at www.tjakers.com.

Okay, now that the formalities are out of the way I’m sure would like to know what I thought after reading The Final Paladin.

Dive in Review of The Final Paladin by T.J. Akers:

Wow, that was not what I was expecting.  But not in a bad way.

From reading the back cover, I was expecting Indiana Jones and the last crusade. What I got was Alice in Wonderland directed by Tim Burton. If you’ve seen either of those movies then you have an inkling of what I’m talking about.

 The Book starts out in a dark alley in New York city, then ends up spending a great deal of time in the Ether. The land of the Fairies. A Topsy-turvy place where nothing is as it seems. Though do to certain name dropping I suspect the comparisons to Wonderland were done on purpose. 

 The story is fascinating, the world building intriguing and the characters engaging.

On the world building: I thought the bits set in 1900’s New York were well done. I got the sense of how gritty and dangerous it was for Peg in the slums, with gangs and dirty cops on every corner.

On the Fairy world: I could easily get into deep spoiler territory here. Needless to say there are lots of references to not only Lewis Carroll, but to other classic folk tales and other literary works. You’ll either get them or you won’t. If you get them jolly good. If you don’t I think you can still enjoy this book.

 My favorite character is Jack. He can turn into a gigantic black dog at will. (Note: not a werewolf.) He is also charming and witty and impulsive and short tempered. He is also mysterious. Jack’s backstory is only touched on in the book. I want to know more about him.

Surprisingly I liked Peg too. I am always cautious of books where men write Female PoVs. Sometimes they come across as a little off. But Peg was spot on. She is not a male in a dress, nor is she some weak stereo type. Peg is Strong and can hold her own in a world (literally) out to get her.

 What I didn’t like: there was very little I didn’t like but one thing I would change is Archie. His death is the catalyst for the whole story. And we never see him alive. It’s isn’t a spoiler to say this: he’s already dead in the first chapter. We never get to see him, and as a result, I just don’t really care very much that he’s dead. (Well until the end anyway, but still that’s more curiosity than caring.) Drat! I hope that didn’t count as a spoiler.

The ending will leave you wanting more and maybe wondering what did I just read?

*I was given a free copy of this book in exchange for an honest review.*

 Be sure to visit the rest of the tour stops:

·    Monday, November 6th, Visual Post, Liv K. Fisher, www.livkfisher.blogspot.com

·    Monday, November 6th, Review of The Final Paladin, Gretchen Engel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com

·      Tuesday, November 7th, Guest Post, Kristen Stieffel, www.newauthors.wordpress.com

·      Wednesday, November 8th, Interview, J.M. Hackman, www.jmhackman.com

·      Wednesday, November 8th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Jebraun Clifford, www.jebraunclifford.com

·      Thursday, November 9th, Visual Post, Laura A. Grace, www.unicornquester.com

·      Thursday, November 9th, Review of The Final Paladin, Laurie Lucking, www.landsuncharted.com

·      Friday, November 10th, Behind-the-Scenes Feature, Steve Rzasa, www.steverzasa.com

·     (You are Here) Saturday, November 11th, Review of The Final Paladin, Cathrine Bonham, www.dolphin18cb.wordpress.com

·      Sunday, November 12th, A Sneak Peek of The Final Paladin, Lisa Gefrides, www.lisagodfrees.com

·      Monday, November 13th, Interview, Bruce Weller, www.bruandmir.com

·      Tuesday, November 14th, Release-Day Feature, T.J. Akers, www.tjakers.com

·      Wednesday, November 15th, A Writer’s Best Friend, Jebraun Clifford, www.quillsandinkblotts.wordpress.com

·      Thursday, November 16th, A Celebration of The Final Paladin, Michele Israel Harper, www.micheleisraelharper.com Don’t forget: (Facebook Party Day)

·      Friday, November 17th, Guest Post, Bokerah Brumley, www.superbokerah.com or www.bokerah.com

Meg Mitchell Blog Tour

Meg Mitchell Blog Tour Banner

I am so excited to kick off this new blog tour for a very enchanting book.

Most of you are familiar with my FANtastic interview segments. Do you remember the author who helped me out by being my first interview?

It was Amy Williams! (You can read my first interview here.) Amy is back today using her super secret alter ego of Kimberly McNeil. She has an epic YA novel that is sure to excite fans of sci-fi and fantasy alike.

Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal

 Stories never end. They just get bigger.MegMitchell_Journal

 You only have to turn the page.

 Meg Mitchell lives in a castle, but she’s no wilting princess. Raised in an alien world by adoptive parents, she spends her time fighting Centaurs, training as an Andai warrior, and chilling in her favorite willow tree.

 But when Meg uncovers her birth father’s journal, she discovers a cousin she didn’t know existed. Meg and her little brother and sister travel through an interdimensional rip to San Francisco to search for their cousin, setting off a chain of events no one could have foreseen.

 When her sister is kidnapped, Meg enlists the help of teenage detective Barb Taylor and her genius little brother Jim. Following clues dropped by a mysterious benefactor, they embark on a cross-country adventure to rescue her sister and find Meg’s cousin.

 Family is everything to Meg, but not all is as it seems. In her quest to reunite her family, she may lose more than she ever imagined.

Find it at these fine retailers: AmazonBarnes & NobleCrosshair Press

 Don’t forget to add it to your Goodreads list. 

 Excited to know more? I hope so because there is lots more. (Seriously, this will be a long post.)

FANtastic Interview with Amy Williams Kimberly McNeil:

CB) Meg Mitchell is chock full of fun references and characters that feel familiar. Too Familiar. Tell us about your inspiration for the Legend of the Lightkeepers series.

 KM) One word: Fanfiction. I was writing fanfiction before it was a thing. I had my No. 2 pencil and my wide-ruled notebook paper, and I’d sit at the never-used fireplace at my house in Houston and scribble better stories than the ones I saw on television.

 Best example? Probably my two favorite television shows as a young child were My Little Pony (the original) and Star Trek: The Next Generation. I loved My Little Pony so much that I saved up my allowance money to buy the toys at Toys ‘R Us, but even at seven or eight years old, I thought their writers needed help. I always wondered what would happen if the Ponies were in charge of spaceships rather than holding scavenger hunts and putting on festivals. So, in kindergarten and first grade, that’s what I wrote about.

 Fast forward to the early 90s, when I was nine or so, a new range of cartoon shows hit the television. I discovered Star Wars and amazing adventures like Where on Earth Is Carmen Sandiego? and the totally awesome (horribly dubbed) anime Ronin Warriors. I loved those new stories, but I didn’t want to let go of the stories I’d been telling myself since I was six. So I just expanded my mental universe.

 Then, one day, I told my childhood best friend about my stories. I was eleven years old by this time, and my universe had really become a cohesive world I could describe. My friend was desperate to read the stories, so that’s when I wrote the first version of Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal.

 By the time I hit high school, I had amassed quite a following of friends and family who loved the world I’d built. I kept writing because they kept asking for more. At the end of high school, I had completed somewhere around 30 novels in the series. Somewhere along the way in all those 30 books, I had left all traces of the original source material behind. The stories themselves bore little resemblance to the old cartoon shows.

 So I guess you can blame the Lightkeepers series on the boring writers for My Little Pony back in the 1980s, specifically whoever wrote the pilot episode. Seriously, that pilot was epic. If you haven’t watched it, you should, and then you should read Meg Mitchell & The Secret of the Journal, and you’ll laugh.

 CB) That was an epic answer. A thirty book series based on all my favorite 90’s cartoons. I am so there.

 When I meet an author, most of them tend towards humility. You are the only author that openly fangirled with me about your own books. Do you ever find yourself reading your own books for fun?

 KM) You know, I spent most of my life refusing to talk about my stories. There I was, 16 years old with more than 20 completed novels, and I was too scared to say anything about them. I wasn’t afraid of rejection; I was more scared to be thought of as boastful.

 But the more people read my stories and loved them, the more I wanted to talk about them. Because I loved them too! I mean, I’d spent every free moment I had since I was six years old living in this crazy universe in my mind. My characters are real to me, friends who’ve been with me for 25+ years, and their stories have taught me about myself, about God’s grace, and about life.

 One thing I’ve learned about storytelling is that it’s a gift, and for me, it’s a gift God gave me. And I can ignore it or refuse to talk about it, but how does that bring glory to Him? If He’s given me the gift to tell stories, then He’s also given me a story to tell. And I want as many people as possible to know about it, because maybe something I’ve written will encourage them or help them know God better. That’s the definition of success for me.

 And, heck, yeah. I read my stories for fun. Part of the joy of my writing process is that I’m not 100% in control of what my characters say or do. Sometimes—No, most times, they surprise me. They make me laugh, and I enjoy spending time with them and sharing their adventures.

 And if you’re not a writer, that sounds completely psycho. I know.

  CB) Right, but then we write (usually) because we love to read.

 The antagonist, Phoenix, starts off as one of those not too threatening villains that would never hurt a child and is just bad because it’s more fun. But by the end her true colors show and I believe that she is really evil. Was it important to you that readers see her as the bad guy, and not as someone they should root for?

 KM) Oh, Phoenix. I love Phoenix, but then I’ve always had a soft spot for the baddies. Phoenix Munroe is so very important. I wanted to present Phoenix as honestly as possible, because I truly believe that “bad guys” always have a motivation that matters to them. Sometimes they’re willing to do horrible things to accomplish their goals, but in their own minds, they’re justified. It’s important for readers to be able to judge Phoenix and her heart for themselves.

  CB) When I interviewed you about New Name you had quite the dream cast lined up. Who would you cast in a movie version of Meg Mitchell?

 KM) I have about 200 folders of images on my computer with reference images for the Lightkeepers cast. (It doesn’t help that the size of my cast makes Game of Thrones look like a short story.) Some characters are really easy to pick an actor or actress for. Others make it really difficult.

 I actually just did another interview on this blog tour that asked for a dream cast, so I’ll pick a few different characters than what I told her. Except for Meg. Meg’s the main character in the book, after all.

AylaKell-MegMitchell 

The best actress I’ve seen yet for Meg is a gal named Ayla Kell. As with most of the people I’ve picked, I chose her years and years ago, so as she is in 2017, she’s probably too old for Meg. But her photos from several years ago match Meg very closely.

 

ChristianMartyn-JimTaylor

 

 Most recently I stumbled onto a young actor named Christian Martyn who looks similar to Jim Taylor. He’s got the clean-cut, wholesome look, but give him some glasses, and I think he could pull the massive nerdiness off really well. 

 

 NecarZadegan-VelannaIttai

The actress I would pick for Velanna Ittai, Meg’s adoptive mother, is Necar Zadegan. I saw this woman act in two seasons of 24 and nearly came unglued when she walked on the screen, because she is Velanna. Absolutely crazy.

 

 FamkeJanssen-PhoenixMunroe

Finally, because you asked a question about her, Phoenix Munroe was a pretty easy pick. The actress Famke Janssen is perfect for her.

Someday soon I’m going to be doing blog posts on characters from Lightkeepers, so I’ll feature all my reference photos. Those will be fun!

 CB) Epic Cast. It’s too bad kids have to age. Maybe you should get cracking on that movie.

 If given the choice would you rather work as a Peregrine detective or train as an Andai Warrior? Bonus choice: Or would you rather commit crimes with Phoenix?

 KM) Oh, gosh…. That’s a tough question. I would have to say, I would love to train as an Andai Warrior, as long as I didn’t have to train with Meg’s teacher!! He’s brutal! But getting to learn an ancient martial art that uses energy sabers? That would be epic.

 Granted, being a Peregrine agent would be awesome too, but there’s a lot of politics in play there. And I am way too clumsy to keep up with Phoenix. I’d fall off a bridge during a getaway, and she’d leave me behind. That being said, I’d love to have coffee with her.

  CB) Now for the last but most important question: When can I get my hands on book two?

 KM) Fingers crossed, Book Two—Barb Taylor & the Mountain of Fire—should be available next year. I’m hoping for spring 2018! The super exciting news is that I’m releasing a web serial that ties into the Lightkeepers series. It will be available shortly after the first of the year. At least, that’s the plan. But you can watch my website or my publisher’s website for announcements!

acwilliams2015

Amy Williams is a novelist, freelance writer, founding member of Crosshair Press LLC, and professional nerd. You can find most of her work under the name A.C. Williams, but she also writes young adult fantasy (The Legend of the Lightkeepers) under the pen name Kimberly McNeil. Amy is single and lives in her family’s 100-year-old farmhouse on five acres in the middle of the Kansas prairie. She loves cats and drinks far too much coffee.

Follow her on social media:  Website  — Facebook TwitterInstagram — Google Plus

I’ve been featuring a lot of books lately and I figure most of you would like to know what I thought after reading them.

So since Amy was the first of my FANtastic Interviews, I thought I’d use one of her books as the start of a new segment I’m calling: Dive In Reviews. Because I dive in and gush about all the parts I liked while trying very hard not to giveaway spoilers.

Dive in Review of Meg Mitchell and the secret of the Journal:

Meg Mitchell and the Secret of the Journal by: Kimberly McNeal, is the first book in what is sure to be an epic YA fantasy series.

I loved everything about it. It’s a science fiction, fantasy, adventure, mystery, superhero mash up. The writing is tight, the characters are intelligent and witty.

First we have the young heroes: Meg, Danny, and the youngest Jenny. Their sibling relationship is very believable. (As a sibling this is important to me.) These three live in a wonder-filled and dangerous fantasy land (One that we do not see nearly enough of). But they may still have family in our world. Once here they quickly find trouble in the form of a super criminal named Phoenix Munroe.

Pheniox is a failed detective, her last case was trying to track down the run away Mitchell kids. In her new life of crime, she likes to leave clues for two teenage detectives named Barb and Jim. (Where in the world could that have come from.)

Oh and there may also be vigilante samurai, secret assassin training, and mysterious Jedi storytellers. (But you didn’t hear that from me)

This book is non stop action and is chock full of Easter Egg hints to eighties and nineties nostalgia. Kids and adults alike will be entertained as the Mitchell kids cross worlds to prove that Family is everything.

The Legend of the Lightkeepers promises to be an enjoyable series with witty and complex characters. Not just a novel for children but for anyone who remembers getting up at six am on Saturdays just to see stories that your parents promised would rot your mind. They did anything but, right?

If Meg Mitchell was a cartoon, I would be up at six am on a Saturday just to see what happens next.

 

Meg Mitchell FB Banner

Calling all book readers! Join Laura A. Grace and A.C. Williams (pen name Kimberly McNeil) as we chat about her urban fantasy novel MEG MITCHELL & THE SECRET OF THE JOURNAL on November 2nd from 8 PM to 10 PM EST (7 PM CDT and 6 PM PST).

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with A.C., games, and giveaways.

Special guests Kat Heckenbach and Kara Swanson will also be sharing their books and joining in the fun. 

And here’s the schedule so you don’t miss any posts in this epic tour:

Wednesday, November 1st   

–       Review & Interview – dolphin18cb (You are here)

Thursday, November 2nd  

–       Review & Guest Post – Thorn & Vine

–       Character Interview – Unicorn Quester

Friday, November 3rd  

–       Author Interview – Lands Uncharted

–       Fan-Made Book Trailer – Unicorn Quester

–       Author Interview – Welcome to Arhyalon

Saturday, November 4th  

–       Review – Live Life Reading

–       Review & Author Trivia – Of Pens & Paper

Monday, November 6th  

–       Review – It’s Storytime With Van Daniker!

–       Spotlight – The Hermit Librarian

–       Author Interview – Taneisha’s Book Blog & More

Tuesday, November 7th    

–       Author Interview – Jebraun Clifford ~ dream.write.repeat.

Wednesday, November 8th

–       Review – The Overactive Imagination

Thursday, November 9th

–       Blog Tour Wrap-Up – Unicorn Quester

Friday, November 10th

–       Review – Taneisha’s Book Blog & More

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