Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career

So you’re a high school or college student who thinks you know what you want to do with the rest of your life. Or maybe you don’t have the first clue about your future. In either case, Tamara S. Raymond’s Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career should be at the top of your reading list.

Tamara wrote Careering to help young adults avoid the traps she fell into as a result of struggling to figure out her career path after college. Today, this successful leadership development coach shares her hard-learned lessons to help you quickly identify your passions and strengths so you can find your way in the world of work. “I want you to avoid spending eight years in the wrong jobs like I did,” she says.

Her concise and easy-to-read pocket guide helps you:

  • evaluate your interests, skills, and passions
  • identify jobs, internships, and volunteer positions that align with your personal gifts
  • identify multiple career exploration avenues, from camps to summer jobs
  • put together a resume and references, even if you’ve never had a “real” job
  • learn how to network, apply for jobs, and develop interviewing skills
  • learn how to pursue entrepreneurial opportunities
  • learn how not to use social media if you want to land a job
  • and do so much more
Young adulthood is the best time to explore, experience, and eliminate possible career paths. Careering will help you do all three–and get you on the path that is right for you!

 

Praise:

“As a career coach and recruiter, I am forever meeting people that are unfulfilled and deflated by the work that they do, instead of joyful and deeply satisfied. Tamara offers a solution by empowering students — who are on the very brink of their career — with the steps necessary to create a career path that is custom-made for them, based on their inherent skills, gifts, and passions. Every young person deserves the gift of Careering, and the difference it will make in their lives.”~ Lindsay Putnam Conn Pekar, Career/Life Coach & Recruiter

“Careering is ideal for any young adult at any point in their life — whether they are applying for college, looking for a job or serving our country. It helped me organize my thoughts in a simple yet beneficial way. With personal narratives from different events in her life,positive and negative, Ms. Raymond proves that anyone can be successful once they take the time to prepare themselves. I highly recommend this book to other students. It’s a must read!”  ~ Jeremiah Edwards, Undergraduate Student and Announcer for the Hampton University Marching Force 

“This subject is so important. Even though I am many decades removed from beginning my career, I still cannot comprehend why high schools do not spend more time on this. You have hit on the right combination of length (short enough to be read in an hour or so) and practical insights (enabling those entering their careers to see from the perspective of potential employers). Your book is very well done and I can highly recommend it. It should be required reading for every high school junior and senior.” ~ Nonfiction Authors Association Book Awards Program


About the Author:

Tamara S. Raymond is a certified leadership coach and career strategist dedicated to helping professionals reach their maximum potential; and young people get on the right career path so they can make a difference. Careering: The Pocket Guide to Exploring Your Future Career is Tamara’s first book. It is available as a paperback, e-book and audiobook. An online course based on the book was released Fall 2020.

In her book, Tamara has woven together her extensive career experience, academic journey and passion for coaching-mentoring youth to share knowledge with teens and young adults. Tamara’s goal is to offer them unique insight into how to excel both academically and in their chosen profession through awareness of their goals, interests and talents, in a purposeful and focused way.

For more information about Tamara and her other projects, including her coaching services, visit www.imcleaders.com.

Readers can connect with Tamara on Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Instagram  |  Goodreads

 

Chronicles of a Spell Caster by J.J Singleton

Chronicles of a Spell Caster is the first book in the Orientation series by J.J Singleton. It was released in September 2020. Genre: Young Adult / Fantasy / Magical Realism

Synopsis:

With Jet’s freshman year gearing up to start, and the normal pressures of college looming, Jet will have to navigate finding a place to fit in, classes, homework, tests, and papers. But in a world where people have powers and abilities and can-do extraordinary things. A new norm has been imbedded into the College curriculum. Students must also complete tasks and assignments within a virtual reality called the AITS to hone their abilities and skills. The idea of who is the strongest hovers over the whole student body and fighting, backstabbing and betrayal are ever present. This notion is amplified during the spring semester of every year when the student spends the remainder of the year within the AITS. Over time Jet will find out who his real friends are and what he must do to survive this hostile world of college. What secrets will be revealed this year. Will one of them be Jet’s dark secret? Will he be able to control the aftermath if it’s revealed or will it harm everyone around him?

Chronicles of a Spell Caster is currently available for sale on Amazon.


About the Author:

J.J. Singleton is an author who holds a Bachelor’s degree in Anthropology and a Master’s Degree in Ancient Studies. Throughout his life, he has dealt with Dyslexia. So, books were never a source of entertainment for him when he was younger. With the difficulties he had with reading and writing, he never dreamed he would one day write a book. He always had a vivid imagination. When he was a young child, he was always pretending that he was the main character in the imaginary stories he created in his mind. Remembering the worlds and characters he created and combining his creative thoughts with historical themes and ideas he learned from his academic career, he has created his first novel Chronicles of a Spell Caster.

When not writing, he likes to play tennis, travel, and watch various tv series, his favorite are historical dramas. His favorite trip was to Greece, one of the many places he studied. He plans to continue his travels to a variety of locations around the globe. His goal is to see many of the historical places he studied and gather inspiration for future projects. Readers can connect with J.J. on Facebook, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to: http://chroniclesofaspellcaster.com/

Elandrian Press Announces the Upcoming Release of ‘Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria’ by J.M. Bergen

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, the second book in the Thomas Wildus series, will be released in Spring 2020, published by Elandrian Press. Through a fresh voice, genuine characters, and a unique storyline, Thomas Wildus and The Wizard of Sumeria is destined to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and young adult readers who enjoy books about magic and adventure.

Since it’s release in February 2019, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows, the first book in the series, has received rave reviews with reviewers likening it to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson –  

“I am always so excited when I come across a book series that I KNOW my middle schoolers will LOVE!  I hit the jackpot when I had the opportunity to review the book, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen.  It is exactly the type of book my students are always interested in! … If your students love the likes of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, they are sure to be equally obsessed with The Book of Sorrows Series!” – Lit with Lyns

“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a charming, chummy tale that will instantly draw in any reader who has secretly (or not so secretly) wished for a little more wonder in their world. Parallels will of course be drawn to the Harry Potter series—and rightfully so—but this book also shares much in common with Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.” – 5 Stars, Red City Review

“Middle graders will find Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows a compelling story… and an adventure tale that proves hard to put down.” – Midwest Book Review

“Reading this truly well-written novel was a lot of fun… It had plenty of exciting moments, funny parts, intriguing developments, and characters you just have to love… Harry Potter fans would love Thomas Wildus too. And while the story is aimed at younger readers, adults can also enjoy it.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite

“An exciting story about family, friendship, magic, and good versus evil.” – KidsBookshelf

“For fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I would definitely recommend this book as a must-read…” – Alliee Reads

“This is a wonderful fantasy tale well-told by the author. The character development is good, the friendships Thomas has are heart-warming and the magic is unpredictable.” – Long and Short Reviews

“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is an enchanting foray into a fantasy world where stories can become realities, science and magic intersect, and crystals hold the power to destroy. If you’re looking for an enthralling and thought-provoking read, this is the book for you!” – Middle Grade Minded

“This was a wickedly fun and richly imaginative middle-grade urban fantasy with a compelling plot and endearing characters… From the moment Thomas enters the bookstore I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out the mysterious book’s secrets. This little gem of a story has magic, action, mystery, intrigue and rollicking adventure, and held my interest until the wild ending… there are more adventures yet to come so I can’t wait to delve into the next book.” – Roger’s Reads

“In Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, J.M. Bergen has created a marvelous fantasy/sci-fi story for children and teens. With all the qualities a great book should have, the story holds your interest and offers a pleasing blend of legend and modern-day problems. Thomas must choose between good and evil… and accept the consequences of his actions. J.M. Bergen provides a wonderful tale that anyone can enjoy.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite

“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M Bergen is a stunning fantasy novel… The book was very descriptive and incredibly well written. The plot was intriguing and well thought through … This book will entertain readers of all ages. I would definitely recommend this book.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers’ Favorite


Synopsis:

In Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, three months have passed since Thomas and Enrique faced off against Arius Strong and prevented an all-out apocalypse. Three long, glorious, summer months – months filled with friends, family, magic, and Thomas’s first real kiss.

Unfortunately, the good times are coming to a rapid end. With a cryptic message from a mysterious hacker, Thomas discovers that his nemesis is pursuing an object even more powerful than the crystals. Arius will stop at nothing to find the treasure and destroy his enemies, and this time he’s not alone. Dark creatures with darker powers are flocking to Arius’s cause: shapeshifters, warlocks, even a sadistic killer in a schoolgirl outfit.

The forces of good are gathering as well, but with so much darkness at Arius’s disposal, the prospects for Thomas and his friends look increasingly grim. Will time run out before he sees through the lies and uncovers the next level of his destiny?


About the Author: 

J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.

When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.

If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).

Readers can connect with J.M. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://jmbergen.com/


For further information, to request a review copy or an interview with J.M. Bergen, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

Master Blacke: Tales of the Great Wood

On the heels of his five-book fantasy series, The Chronicles of Dorro, author Pete Prown brings us a new tale that returns readers to the magical world of Thimble Down—but with a twist!
In Master Blacke, we journey to the other side of the Great Wood and meet exciting new characters from the village of Wattle’s Way. Among the players in this saga are Rue and Doily, as well as a strange and deadly kestrel named Jesper Stormcloud, who becomes their friend. There’s also the wise schoolmaster, Master Blacke, and the wicked, but beautiful Minerva Silvercoat and her equally blackhearted accomplice, Mr. Slinks.
The story unfolds with the arrival of Rue, a shy girl lost in the Great Wood. Master Blacke settles Rue into the home of Mrs. Locke, a cold shopkeeper, and her mean-spirited daughter, Meera. There’s something else, too—Doily overhears villagers talking about The Vine, something which will change the way the village is run and who’s in charge. The mystery deepens as townsfolk begin to disappear one by one. Even Master Blacke is baffled by these dark, ominous events.
There’s danger in the heart of the Great Wood. After centuries of peace and tranquility, there’s a plot by the bigger creatures — who call themselves The Vine — to seize power and take control of the meek.
Soon, the fast-paced saga begins, as Rue, Doily, and Jesper find themselves battling for their very lives and fighting back with the help of their tutor, Master Blacke. But will it be enough to defeat The Vine and its forces of evil?
Welcome to the Great Wood, friends ….
Master Blacke: Tales of the Great Wood takes readers on an epic fantasy adventure. Young readers, aged 9 to 13 – as well as not-so young ones—will have trouble putting it down. It is available for sale on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

EXCERPT from CHAPTER 1:
Almost Supper
“Drat!”
Rue stubbed her toed and screeched in pain—she was lost and knew it. The small, brownish pocket-mouse hadn’t seen her parents for weeks, and left their comfy mouse-hole in the Great Wood to search for them, even though her mother said her shouldn’t ever do so. They’d never been gone this long before.
Young and naïve might Rue be, but not entirely foolish. As the afternoon grew long and began throwing shadows, she flitted from leaf cover to tussock, remaining exposed in the open as little as possible. She dug up a few mouthfuls of nuts, roots, and berries as she explored—Rue had never been alone in the forest before, but on the whole, rather enjoyed it.
“I could survive out here, I know it,” boasted the mouse. “I’m Rue the Brave and all shall tremble before me!”
She laughed out loud, but tripped over something hard while crossing a mossy pad.
Whump.
“Ouch, that hurt! Who left a big log on the forest floor for nice mice pups to fall upon?”
Rue was perturbed and didn’t mind who knew it. Then she sneezed.
Ach-choo!
And she sneezed again. Ach-choo!
Curiously, she became aware of something moving in the periphery and all her hairs stood on end. It didn’t feel right.
“Dear me, I’m sorry, young lady—how rude of me to leave my tail lying about.”
“Who are you? I can’t see you,” snipped Rue, transfixed by the deep, mellifluous voice.
She heard something sniffing over yonder, under the fronds of an ostrich fern swaying gently in the breeze.
“Mmmmm, delicious! I mean, it’s delicious to meet you. I don’t think you’ve been this way before. We don’t get many field mice here in the deep wood. The occasional vole, but not one of your distinguished species.”
“I’m just a pocket-mouse. Nothing special about that.”
The disembodied voice replied, “I beg to differ. You see, voles are tough and wily, and moles too earthy. And rats—well, I shan’t even deign to make a comparison. Ooooh, but a tender young mouse. Now that’s enough to make up for my abbreviated nap. The pocket-mouse is something I’ve always heard about, but never enjoyed … its company before.”
Rue was suspicious. “You don’t know me, sir. And perhaps you shan’t!”
“On the contrary, my superior sense of smell tells me much. Why, you dine on dandelion petals and thyme leaves, morning dew, and nuts of all types. But I think walnuts are your favorite, correct?”
“That’s true, Mr. Voice-Without-a-Face. I do love walnuts and nuts of all sorts. How did you know?”
“My nose tells me everything, friend. I can even sense the sun-baked warmth of your fur, as well as the rich loamy soil of your mouse-hole. Say, you don’t live near a stand of rye grass, do you? What is that strange scent—summer barley?”
“That’s remarkable, sir! You must be a great detective? Or a magician!”
Rue was suddenly fascinated. “That must be how you can speak without possessing a body.”
“Oh, I have a body and a face and a mouth and a snout. Would you like to see me? I am quite grand, I really am.”
Ach-choo!
Rue sneezed and became wary again. Something in her veins and blood told her Beware!, but she couldn’t put a finger on it. She’d never really been afraid before, as her parents were always nearby and calmed her when a thunderstorm struck and the rain pelted about the door to their mouse-house.
What is that strange tingling in my paws and legs? thought the mouse girl. My senses are trying to warn me of something, but I don’t what it is.
Suddenly, Rue knew exactly what the tingling was, just as the ferns began to shiver and move. Something was moving in those fronds, inching closer by the second, and it meant her harm.
Then Rue saw it—a black snout pushing through a few fronds. The snout grew longer and impossibly longer, until a face peered out. A sharp face with reddish fur, two pointy ears, and a pair of glowing orange eyes. And its mouth was smiling, but not a friendly smile. It was more of a leer, displaying quite a rack of dazzling teeth. The pocket-mouse knew she was in trouble, as this was surely a red fox seeking its supper.
“I demand to know your intentions, sir,” barked Rue, though quivering and trying to put on a brave face. “I don’t know your name, but I know your heart. You mean to eat me.”
“You are an astute young lady—quite intelligent! My name is Mr. Slinks, though I’m not such a bad fellow,” said the red fox with his usual grace and savoir-faire. He kept talking.
“My job in this part of the Great Wood is to bring balance and order. When something is out of place, I fix it. If Genevieve Possum has too many babes one spring, I help her return her litter to a reasonable number. And should the robin or wren population explode for unknown reasons, just call on Mr. Slinks to scale a nice low tree, find the nest, and bring the number back to earth —quite literally! Logically then, should a tasty mouse get lost and wander into my dell, as a concerned citizen I feel I should do my part to rectify the issue—quickly and with the utmost skill.
There’s no need for endless suffering, I always say. Fast ‘n’ precise, that’s my motto.”
“I may be a pup, Mr. Slinks, but I don’t want to be eaten today. I like seeing the sunshine every morning and I like my walnuts. And I don’t like … you!”
At that, Rue shot from her moss pad like a rocket, so fast that even a deadly predator like Mr. Slinks was taken aback. He figured the lass would make a fine nuncheon and be perfectly civilized about it. Perhaps even lie down and expose her neck in a cordial way, in order to make the fox’s job easier. But no, this brat wanted to put Slinks to the test.
And this is what happened.
Rue had been pent up in her mouse-hole for so long that all her bound-up energy exploded at that very moment. Even she was amazed at how fast she could run, especially when there was a Fox giving chase.“
Catch me if you can, Big Nose!” laughed the girl as she shot under a thicket of rambling roses and in and out tufts of grass.
It would have been a wonderful game if the mouse didn’t hear a Snap! and feel the wind-gust as a pair of jaws narrowly missed her tail.
This spurred Rue on faster, but she knew she couldn’t run forever and that about twenty of her steps equaled only two of Mr. Slinks’. Mathematically, the fox would catch up to her in about five seconds. Fortunately for Rue, fate was on her side, as a new commotion exploded to her left.
“Weeee-haaaaaa! Out of my way, Slinker. Stinker is on the move!”
For a second, Rue couldn’t make out what was happening, but then saw flashes of white and black just off the way. She also knew it wasn’t good news for her rival, as Slinks shouted out a most unfortunate expletive—one we shan’t repeat here in the name of proper decency—and followed it up with various snarls, grunts, and barks.
The race bounded down a sharp slope, with Rue in the lead, Mr. Slinks in hot pursuit, and an unknown personage running interference. The pocket-mouse reached the bottom of the dell and found a rapidly running creek in her way. She leapt onto a flat rock in the water, and then another and another, her toes getting quite wet in the process.
On her tail, Mr. Slinks shouted, “You know this is quite inevitable, mouse. I will have my satisfaction in the end, even with Mrs. Posey being a busy-body.”
Turning his head, he hooted to his right, “I shall deal with you later, Posey. You’re not as invincible as you think—nor are your babes!”
It was at this precise moment that Rue made a grand leap for the far bank, but slipped and missed her mark by a foot. Instead, she landed in a bit of muddy muck and lay immobile on the creek’s bank. She rolled over and, just Mr. Slinks had hoped, exposed her soft belly and throat dangerously.
“A-ha! The day is mine,” gloated Slinks as he bounded across the creek for the final kill. But t’was not to be. For as our friend Rue lay prostrate in the mud, a shadow crept over her, blotting out the light and burying her in dark fur.
“One step closer, Slinksy, and I shall give you such a spray that your prey will know you’re coming two weeks ahead of time. That will give your stomach something to think about, eh?”
“Back off, Posey. I want to eat now, nor was I jesting earlier. Skunk babies are just as tasty as mice and slower off the mark than their mums. They’re sweet and don’t stink yet—I might have a few for a snack.”
Mrs. Posey growled in return and extended her claws.
“Go near my babes and I shall write a note to my cousin Pelarch and, well, even you don’t want that. Pel could rip you into pieces before you even rose to your feet.”
“Is your cousin a precious little bunny rabbit?”
“If you consider high-mountain wolverines to be little bunnies, then yes!” cackled the skunkess in return.
“Curse you, Posey! Always ruining my sport. I just wanted to have a bit of a go at the tender thing,” sneered Slinks.
“No harm was intended. You know me better.”
“Oh I know you, Slinks. Your idea of fun usually ends up with torn throats and gasping final breaths. But I shall let it pass this time.”
Mrs. Posey relaxed her posture over Rue and let a little light and air penetrate. As she moved off, the mouse-ling saw a beautiful black-and-white skunk taking shape, while Mr. Slinks glowered at them both from a rock in the middle of the creek. She took a few steps away from Rue as matters calmed, but was distracted by the Caw! of a fish-crow in a nearby sourwood tree.
That’s all it took for Mr. Slinks to make his move. Bounding the final steps between himself and young Rue in half a heartbeat, the red fox suddenly had the young pocket-mouse cradled in his jaws, even before Mrs. Posey had a chance to turn around.
“How dare you, Slinks! I thought you were going to be a good boy today,” snarled the angry skunk, once again dropping to combat posture.
Mumbling with the creature in his mouth, Mr. Slinks replied, “I’m th-orry, Mrs. Po-thee. But e’en I muss eat!”
“Then I can’t be held responsible for my actions, you rotten Fox!”
At that, Mrs. P. spun on a tuppence and, from a gland within her hind quarters, hit Mr. Slinks with a massive blast of skunk stink. With skunk juice stinging his eyes and fouling his nose and mouth, Mr. Slinks had no choice but to drop the equally befouled Rue in the creek and run screaming into the woods.
“Oh, you horrible woman—now I shall never eat again! I am the saddest and smelliest fellow in all the Great Wood!”
And it was true, Mrs. Posey had doused the fox so completely that he wasn’t able to find any tasty prey beyond beetles and worms for the next few weeks and, along the way, lost a full three pounds.
Yet as he slunk off into the underbrush, Mr. Slinks muttered something under his breath. It sounded something like this: “You think you’re so clever, Skunk. But wait until the Vine becomes law in the Great Wood. Then you’ll learn to serve your betters in silence. And that foolish pocket-mouse will be in my belly.”
With that, the black-hearted fox disappeared into the forest.
Poor Rue, meanwhile, was not only drenched in skunk stink, but was also being borne down the creek with great force. Neither could she swim, thus was gasping for air in between desperate strokes in the bubbling, frothy water.
Fortunately, Mrs. P. was on the scene in a flash and, before she knew it, Rue was gently hoisted into the air within the front teeth of her new protector and carried back to the very soft, spongy moss pad from whence her very troubles had begun.
Exhausted, wet, confused and thoroughly skunked from head to toe, Rue began to cry, yet soon drifted off to the lands of sleep and quiet. Over her, Mrs. Posey stood guard, humming a tune to herself. In that time, she knit her a blanket of sweet-smelling lavender and clover petals, which drew out the stench and coaxed sweet dreams within the girl’s heart. As the hours passed, the forest calmed more and more until this recent episode was all but a distant memory.
From somewhere above them in the Great Wood, a grey thrush hooted the “all clear” signal and life resumed as usual.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pete Prown is a noted American writer of Young Adult fantasy books. His debut fantasy series The Chronicles of Dorro (Thimble Down, Devils & Demons, The Lost Ones, Death of a Dwarf, and Goblin War) has received rave reviews. THIMBLE DOWN, the first book in the “Chronicles of Dorro” series, tells the tale of a Halfling bookmaster named Mr. Dorro and the dark mysteries he becomes entangled with, along with young companions Wyll Underfoot and Cheeryup Tunbridge. Fans of the Dorro series can’t get enough of the classic-fantasy action and adventure, as they explore the magical world of Thimble Down and its surroundings.
Readers can connect with Pete on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://www.peteprown.com/

An Interview with Author Iain Reading

Author Iain ReadingWe had the pleasure of interviewing Iain Reading – who is best known for the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, a young adult series of adventure mystery stories. He is also the author of the dragon of the month club, a middle grade fantasy series, and The Wizards of Waterfire.

At what point did you consider yourself a full time writer?
Hmmmmm.  I suppose once I finished the SECOND Kitty Hawk book and put it out there, then maybe I knew that I was an author for-real.
Do you have a writing routine?
I have a dream of a writing routine….  it would consist of renting an apartment somewhere exotic and going for walks every day and night to figure things out in my head and then sitting down in-between to actually write.  Otherwise, at home I suppose I sort of do the same, in-between those annoying things like my day-job and life, etc.
How long does it take you to write a book?
The actual writing has sometimes been very fast – a matter of weeks, on occasion.  But thinking things through and figuring everything out BEFORE setting pen to paper takes a lot longer.
Do you research settings, characters types, or topic for your works?
For the Kitty Hawk series (where she’s flying around the world) I DEFINITELY do research for settings.  My favourite thing is to make an excuse for myself to actually visit a place that Kitty Hawk will be visiting and have a vacation under the guise of “book research”.
Do you belong to a writing group or do you have trusted others who read your drafts?
I have a couple of trusted friends who I have read my books and give me feedback.  But to be clear, these are VERY trusted friends – not even necessarily close friends – but when it comes to books and editting they are in the VERY trusted category.
Do you have books you read for inspiration?
There is a lot of history in the Kitty Hawk series, so I read a lot of history books to learn and research.
Do you write in multiple genres?
Yes and no.  Yes in the sense that “urban fantasy” is a different genre than “young adult mystery – female sleuths”.  But no in the sense that they are all kind of young adult to adult books.
Do you ever have epiphanies while writing?
Definitely yes!  There have been times where I’ve stopped in mid-sentence and thought…  what?!!???  In an unpublished fantasy book of mine I was busy writing away and trying to hook the main character up with a boy from another school nearby.  And suddenly, the next thing I knew was realizing…. wait….. is he the BAD GUY?!???
What do your novels start with, a plot, a character, a central question?
I think mostly they start with a character, followed by plot and if I’m lucky there might arise a question in there somewhere.
Do you see reoccurring themes in your fiction?
Exploration seems to be a recurring theme.  My Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series focuses on a young female pilot who has decided to fly around the world.  She visits different places and solves mysteries.  And in the process she explores the world and readers explore with her.  Similarly, in my Dragon Of The Month Club series the two main characters explore a world of books, drawn from real life books.  It’s almost like Kitty Hawk as they travel from one book world to the next, exploring.
Do you have a favorite book out of the books you have written?
My current favourite is The Dragon Of The Month Club – followed close second by Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the Titanic.
What is the story of getting your first book published? Did you have an agent, did you send to multiple publishers, etc.
Sadly, no publishers or agents were ever interested so I had to publish my books myself.  A proud self-publisher, am I.
What questions do you frequently get from teacher and librarians? From students?
One of the most common questions is what inspired me to write.  And the answer is the main character of my first series – Kitty Hawk.  It was this character and her ambitious plans to fly around the world that really inspired me.  I could see that there was a lot of adventures out there waiting for her, so I had to actually write them in order to find out what happened.
What do you try to accomplish when you visit schools or conferences?
My main goal is always to connect with people, particularly anyone who is interested in my books or has enjoyed reading them, or who is interested in trying to do what I am doing – writing and self-publishing books.
What jobs did you do before becoming a writer and do any of them influence how or what you write?
I’ve had a lot of jobs.  McDonalds.  Pizza Hut.  Right now I work for the United Nations.  That is my “day job” for the moment.
Do you have any advice or suggestion for other writers?
My advice (for whatever it’s worth) is always this:  Write the book you’re capable of writing – don’t try to write a book you are not capable of writing.
Do you get many letters or emails from your readers?
Never enough of them!  Send me more!  I always try to respond.
What book have you read over the last year that seems to stick with you?
Stephen King’s The Shining.  I had never read it before and had the misfortune to read it while staying in a big hotel in Toronto where the closet had a light inside that randomly switched on and off in the middle of the night, thus totally freaking me out.  That experience led to me re-reading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, and I was very interested to read in his new foreward to the book that this was the book he thought was his most scary.
What question would you love to be asked about your work that no one thinks to ask?
I think I’d like to be asked whether I would recommend the process of writing and self-publishing to people.  Because the answer would absolutely be yes.  I think that anyone who has a book inside them waiting to come out should go for it.  Write it.  And that’s not to say just write it and throw it out there.  But put some work into it.  And heart into it.  And yes, money into it, and make it the best book you can possibly do.  And don’t worry if it’s not timeless fiction for the ages.  Write the book you can write.

books by iain reading

Mitchell Charles Announces the Upcoming Release of His Young Adult Fantasy Adventure Audiobook

kingdom of oceanaMarch 21, 2016 (Beverly Hills, CA) – Mitchell Charles announced today that his young adult fantasy adventure novel, The Kingdom of Oceana, will be released as an audiobook in May 2016.
The story takes place five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, where there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.
As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.
The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure filled with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also dealing with real-world environmental issues like ocean conservation.
“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture. Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Charles. “The audiobook is narrated by Lanai native and Honolulu based voiceover artist Rayton Lamay, who brings his inherent authenticity to the story, as he shifts from narrator to each character’s dialogue with his lyrical “pidgin” (Hawaiian dialect) accent. You can listen to the first chapter of the audiobook here: http://kingdomofoceana.com/audio-book/.”
The Kingdom of Oceana is available for sale on Amazon in eBook and paperback. Charles is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/.
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
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The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

kingdom of oceanaThe Kingdom of Oceana is a new Middle Grade / Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles, recommended for 5th-8th grade students. 
At its core, The Kingdom of Oceana is a story about a sibling rivalry.
Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.
As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.
The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure that is filled with non-stop action, from big wave surfing, to fire walking and shark taming. It is also an educational read, as it brings to light many of today’s pressing environmental and social issues, such as ocean conservation.

 

Praise:
“This book is a real page-turner, full of action and adventure, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope that there will be more books like this from Mitchell Charles in the future.” – 5 Stars, Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
“Adventure, exotic places and animals, as well as a unique culture, will drag readers head first into this novel…The talent from this writer is amazing. I look forward to reading more by Mitchell Charles in the future.”Danielle Urban, Urban Book Reviews
“Filled with names, vocabulary, animals, and customs that are related to the setting the book opened my eyes to the ancient world of the Pacific peoples. I can envision middle school students fascinated by the words of the text made curious to research to learn more about this unique time and place.” – AngelaThe Teacher’s Desk 6
“As I read, I had several of my student’s already in mind who will eat this up. I feel good about having it on my shelves, as it is not too violent or ‘scary,’ yet it contains that fun zombie style-action that my students love.” – Jillian, Elements of Elementary

 

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – Waimoku Falls
We climbed the backside of the canyon, still winding through the singing forest. A sudden gust blew through the treetops, causing the tall hollow stalks to cry a warning and my heart to beat faster. What danger was Nahoa getting me into this time?
By midday we reached the tree line, and the terrain became near vertical, with slabs of volcanic rock stacked in a series of small ledges and caves.
I turned around, looking out over the green bamboo treetops. To my right, the towering snow-capped summit of Mauna Kea dominated the sky. It was the tallest and most sacred spot on the Great Island, and on rare occasions smoke and ash billowed from its peak, rising above the icy white snowdrifts. Fortunately, there had not been a major eruption or lava flow in many generations.
“I’ll race you to the top,” Nahoa challenged. “I’ll even give you a head start.”
We had always enjoyed a spirited rivalry, feeding off each other’s competitive nature. I surveyed the cliff, picking my route.
“You’re on,” I said as I hoisted myself up and grabbed onto a small lava finger hold. Just above me was a long fissure in the rock, sloping upward to my right and then back to the left. While this path would take me on a longer course, it was less demanding, and my best chance to beat Nahoa to the crest.
He saw my plan. “Good, little brother. That path is safer.”
I carefully moved forward, while Nahoa soon got stuck above me on the sheer vertical wall of lava, his legs dangling and his feet probing the cliffside.
“Fingers getting tired?” I asked him as I moved closer to the top. I was going to beat him, for once.
“I won’t be here long,” he said.
As I followed the crevice back to the left, Nahoa whipped his body to the right and leapt off the cliff, his foot landing on my shoulder. He pushed off my neck and hoisted himself onto the ledge above me, just below the crest.
“Thanks, omo,” he said with a wicked laugh.
As I pulled myself onto the ridgetop I saw Nahoa ahead, following a fast-moving river that disappeared in the distance.
“Move it!” he yelled above the sound of the rushing water.
I hurried to catch up and we crossed the river along a jagged path of partially submerged boulders smoothed over by the rapids.
Before us, the river gained strength where it merged with a smaller tributary and formed a swirling vortex that plummeted off the cliff as Waimoku Falls.
“That’s it,” said Nahoa, pointing at a small hill piled with rubble just in front of where the two rivers joined.
There we found the remains of a crescent-shaped fortress made from stacked lava rocks. The curved wall was crumbling, with crusty orange lichen growing in the crevices and bright green geckos sunning themselves on top. The ground was littered with shark teeth, razor sharp and bleached by the scorching tropical sun.
I was disappointed. I’d hoped to find a great temple with cryptic markings or intricate carvings. What lay before us was nothing more than a pile of weather-beaten rocks.
“Well, this is a waste of time,” said Nahoa. He picked up a stone and hurled it at the remains of the fortress. From beneath the broken wall, a gathering of centipedes scrambled to escape the sunlight.
An icy wind went through me. It wasn’t like a tropical breeze that cools your sweaty cheek. No, it pierced my flesh like I was no more solid than a palm frond. Disturbing the centipedes was a bad omen—they were minions of the shadows.
“Did you feel that?” I asked.
Nahoa stood frozen, the hair on his arms standing on end.
He swallowed. “Feel what?”
“I don’t think we should be here,” I said, motioning for us to leave. For once, I hoped he’d agree with me.
“Do you want me to hold your hand, little brother? We’ll just have a look around, that’s all.”
Nahoa walked over to where he’d thrown the rock and knelt to examine the rubble. He picked through and uncovered a wooden tiki head. The carving was badly weathered, its left ear missing. Its mouth snarled, and its eyes glared with menace.
I looked at my brother’s face. He was in a trance, his head tilted down and his eyes looking up. They were cold and lifeless.
“Nahoa,” I screamed. “Stop playing around. That’s not funny!”
But he just stood there. I yelled again, “Nahoa! We shouldn’t be here. Let’s go!”
He blinked, but otherwise remained perfectly still.
As I stepped toward him, Nahoa pulled his knife and backed me toward the rushing river.
“It’s you that doesn’t belong here, little brother,” he said in a hushed tone.
Then he charged at me like a wild boar, knocking me into the water. I stood up, knee- deep in the fast-moving river, and dug my feet into the rocky bottom, bracing myself so the current didn’t pull me downstream. Nahoa leapt again and landed on top of me, sending us both tumbling into the whitewater.
Since we were old enough to walk, Nahoa and I had been schooled by the masters in lua—wrestling, hand-to-hand combat, and the use of our tribe’s most savage battle weapons. From years as sparring partners, I knew all his offensive moves and counter attacks as though they were my own. But as we raced downstream, bouncing off the rocks and plummeting down the rapids, I felt as though I was fighting a stranger. And I was fighting for my life.
Up ahead, jagged rocks rose above the waterline. I flipped onto my back with my feet below me, struggling against Nahoa’s hands wrapped around my throat. I kicked free of him, but that only quickened my pace down the rapids. I slammed into a boulder, my feet bracing my impact. I was exhausted, but knew I had to get out of the water before I reached the falls. I managed to clamber partway up a slippery rock, then gathered the strength to hoist myself completely from the rushing current. Upstream, I saw Nahoa dangling from a tree branch, the rapids churning below him.
My footing slipped and in an instant I was back in the river. The turbulence engulfed me, pulling me into the foaming whitewater. Then I was weightless, freefalling.

 

Mitchell CharlesAbout the Author
Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.
Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise..
These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic. He is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls, which is expected to be released in Fall 2016.
For more information, visit KingdomOfOceana.com
Readers can connect with Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Mitchell Charles, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at bookpublicityservices@gmail.com or 805.807.9027.

 

Christopher Mannino’s Epic Fantasy Novel ‘School of Deaths’ is Now Available in Audiobook

School of Deaths Book CoverJanuary 26, 2016 (Greenbelt, MD) – Author Christopher Mannino announced today that School of Deaths, the first installment of his Young Adult trilogy, is now available for purchase in audio format from the popular audiobook site, Audible. Sword of Deaths, the second book in the trilogy, is expected to be released in audio format next month. The books are narrated by acclaimed audiobook narrator Joel Froomkin.
“I’m really pleased with how well The Scythe Wielder’s Secret series has been doing,” says Maninno, “I know a lot of people are interested in audiobooks for long trips or even their daily commute, but the selection can be on the skimpy side. I’m happy I can contribute School of Deaths as a fresh option.”
School of Deaths has been ranked as an Amazon bestseller in Epic Fantasy, and reviewers have compared the series to Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson.
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? 
Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.
As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn’t an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.
“If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this!” – Sasha Alsberg, A Book Utopia
“Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!”Reader’s Favorite
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, MD. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life. To learn more, go to ChristopherMannino.com
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Christopher Mannino, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
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