Monday, 3 December 2012

BLOG TOUR!! Ambril's Tale: Return of the Dullaith by Wendy D. Walter

At the Other End:
Fourteen-year-old, Ambril struggles with the mystery surrounding her father’s death when she moves back to the mysterious town where she was born. When she accidentally uncovers a secret which threatens to destroy her entire family, she continues her quest, against all odds, to clear her father’s name. But will she be able to claim her magic and and heal the rifts in her family?

Shhh....... Don't Tell:


EXCLUSIVE EXCERPT from Chapter 1 of the Ambril's Tale: Return of the Dullaith

Of Chicken Legs and Bad Breath

Death by chicken-legged monster.

How embarrassing.

The last thing Ambril remembered was the chicken-legged monster bending over her. She was pretty sure that had been after the tree ate the other thing. The creature with breath so bad that it had nearly melted her fingernails. But she couldn’t be sure.

Too many monsters—way too many.

She lay there for a time, letting her body wake up slowly. There was something covering her eyes, but she was too shaken to remove it. Oddly enough, she felt warm and cozy, like she was being rocked to sleep. Was this how it always felt after a near-death experience? She had nothing to compare it with, as she’d lived an ordinary life until an hour ago, when she’d been pelted by Brussels sprouts, accidentally fought off a demon with a decorated stick, and was almost vacuumed up by a smelly, smoky monster.
How had this all started?

Exactly when had she taken a sharp left turn into this weird, monster-infested place? She began thinking back, over her upside down day, trying to make sense of it all.

Her day had started when her mother had raced into her room and vaulted onto her bed. “Get up! We’re already late,”  her mother had peered out the window at a murky yellow van parked in their driveway. “The movers are on time for once, which makes us, later than usual.” Her mother had cinched the tie of her robe more tightly when one of the movers had squinted up at Ambril’s window. “How many times is this, Sweetie?”

Ambril grunted from under her quilt as she felt her mother prod her with her big toe.

“Come on, Ambril, I’ve lost track. How many times have we moved?”

“Nine times.” Ambril’s tousled brown hair emerged from the covers.

Her mother smiled magnificently, “Nine times is the charm!” She jumped from the bed and was through the door before the old bedsprings had time to squeal. Ambril heard her skip down the stairs, and open the door, then the murmur of polite conversation had started up. Move number nine had begun.

Ambril groaned. She did not want to get up ever, ever again. She loved this old house, stuck on a hill and overlooking the San Francisco Bay. It had been home to Ambril, her brother and her mother for over a year, the longest time they had lived anywhere. But now, she had to act happy about moving to a boring, country town. OK, so it was the town where she’d been born, but it didn’t count if you didn’t remember it. They had left when she was only three. Trelawnyd, it was a stupid name for a town, Ambril thought, as she burrowed back under her quilt.

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Author Bio:
Writing was an early passion for Wendy. As a kid, she wrote lots of stories, but being shy, they usually ended up under the mattress. When she finally set out to tell Ambril’s Tale, she decided not to write a story but a world, full with her own marvelous illustrations. She considers The Return of the Dullaith as just the curly tip of the fairy boot. Wendy lives near San Francisco with her husband, daughters, cat and border collie. More information about Wendy's book and art, check her site

Handy Hinty Links:
Goodreads:                         Ambril's Tale Series                                      Wendy D. Walter
Facebook:                                 Ambril's Tale                                             Wendy D. Walter
                    Website                                                  Blog                                           Twitter

Take A Seat. Get Strapped In. Let's Go For A Ride:

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
You might have caught a glimpse of me as an Interior Architect years ago, slaving over a drafting table and in front of screens, in San Francisco, Houston, and just outside of Philadelphia. Or you might have heard me teach at Arundel School, in San Carlos...actually, you probably plugged your ears during one of my art lessons, as they always listed toward the rambunctious. You might also have seen my name on a Sand Hill Review publication, I’m the Assistant Fiction Editor. Or on the California Writers Club, SF/ Peninsula website, I’m their webmaster.

I’ve always wanted to write and illustrate a fantasy series. Ambril’s Tale, Return of the Dullaith, is my first book. Book 2, Riding the Cursed Shoots will be out in early 2013. Hurray!

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
Thank the gods that’s finally my shirt on inside out?

It’s wonderful to see my writing in book form, it feels as if I’m giving the world the very best part of me. I wrap it up in illustrations and send it off in full sail. Will it sink, or roll with the literary tides? I’m proud to say that it is navigating the publishing world with greater skill than I had ever hoped.

But at the same time, I feel overexposed. Writers are more accustomed to having conversations with their studio walls than talking to audiences...sometimes it feels as if I’m standing in the middle of a busy street in my underwear...and not the pretty kind either.

It’s a roller-coaster ride of emotions.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
The idea of Ambril’s Tale was born during a move from Southern California to Utah in the middle of a snowstorm. At ten, I was awkward, clueless and no match for the forward-leaning kids who I soon butted heads with. I felt like a Martian, and longed for some ruby slippers which might whisk me back to the sunny place that I knew and loved.

This experience formed some big questions in my mind, questions that just wouldn’t leave me alone...Who am I and why am I so different?...sat across the lunch-table from me for a couple of weeks. Is this their problem, mine or is this something bigger?...oversaw a lot of games of solitaire during those first few months. To be honest, these same questions have hung around me for most of my life. They were getting a bit annoying, so I decided, one day, to sit down and see if I could get Ambril to answer them.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
I’ve been fortunate to receive mostly positive reviews for Ambril’s Tale. But I’m braced for the bad ones, you can’t please everyone.

My critique group, however, is very good at giving me constructive criticism. Early on, they told me to work on my action sequences. I went home and Googled it, and discovered that they really are more ballet than street fight. It changed the way I thought of near-death experiences, and made me a much better writer.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
Ambril’s Tale took about 5 years to write. Books 1, 2, and 3 have all been written at this point. I felt that before I put out a very big world like Ambril’s Tale, I really needed to know where all the demons were hiding. 

6. What was your reaction to the cover art when you saw it for the first time? Did you have any ideas from the days of writing/inspiration?
It turns out that I did my own cover and illustrations. The tree, featured on the cover of book one, Ambril's Tale: Return of the Dullaith, is a tree that I sketched several decades ago. I actually wrote on the back how disappointed I was with it. Last year, I pulled it out and decided to play with it. I’m certainly glad that I never throw anything away!

I must say that I learned a lot about my characters while sketching them. Who knew that Mr. Pinwydden always wore argyle socks? Or that a fanged geranium’s teeth were never straight?

(Illustrations for Ambril's Tale: Return of the Dullaith, found here)

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
Book Two, Ambril’s Tale: Riding the Cursed Shoots is scheduled to launch in early 2013. Book Three is slated for 2014 and Book Four (still to be written) for the year following. Then I plan to heave a long, sigh of relief, preferably on a beach somewhere...before starting another adventure!

8. Top 5 books
Dark Lord of Derkholm, Dianna Wynne Jones
Prisoner of Azkaban, J.K. Rowling
Shadow of the Wind, Carlos Ruiz Zafón
Emma, Jane Austen
Hitch-Hikers Guide to the Galaxy, Douglas Adams (this is actually an anti-novel but it still counts, right?)

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written? 
Anything by Dianna Wynne Jones, I love the big worlds she has created and the fact that she never spoon fed me her plots. I also love Ozma of Oz by Frank Baum. I would have loved to have come up with a villain who has interchangeable heads, wouldn’t you?

10. Why read your novel? 
I wrote Ambril’s Tale for those who love to take sharp left turns into big-world, magical adventures. And for those who wouldn’t mind trying to answer some of their own life questions by watching Ambril struggle with her problems. Also, I wrote my story for readers who firmly believe that magic exists in our world, but that we just haven’t found the way in yet.

 Want MORE of the Tour? Check out these stops:  
  • December 3   |    Behind a Million and One Pages ( <-- You Are Here)
  • December 4   |    Writer’s Fun Zone
  • December 5   |    2 Gliterary Girls
  • December 6   |    Laurel Ann Hill
  • December 7   |    Howling Turtle
  • December 10   |   Lost in Believing
  • December 11   |   Girl About Books
  • December 12   |   School of Ages
  • December 13   |   RoseBuz
  • December 14   |   Lady Reader’s Bookstuff
  • December 17   |   So Much Writing So Little Time
  • December 18   |   Lady Reader’s Bookstuff
  • December 19   |   Mixtures: Books…+
  • December 19   |   SM Boyce
  • December 20   |   The Muse Charmer
  • December 21   |   A Dream Within A Dream
  • December 26   |   Austin S. Camacho
  • December 27   |   Writer’s Fun Zone
  • December 28   |   Beth’s Author Blog
  • January 3         |   Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan
  • January 3         |   Mixtures: Books…+
  • January 5         |   Coach Teresa LeYung-Ryan


    Now for a special surprise!


    At each blog stop on her tour, Wendy is giving away a prize, a copy of one of her books (paperback or e-book). You can also enter her 12-12-12 Grand Prize Giveaway of a sterling silver pendant of the Tree of Life, and an End-of-Tour Grand Prize Giveaway of a hand-painted gnome, hand-painted by Wendy herself! There will also be some surprise giveaways along the way! Stay tuned!

    1. To win a book: leave a comment on this blog post about what you like about magic to be entered to win a copy of Ambril's Tale: The Return of the Dullaith in paperback or e-book format. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments so we can contact you if you’re the lucky winner. This giveaway ends five days after the post goes live.
    2. To win one of the Grand Prizes: Go to Wendy's website and enter the Rafflecopter at the bottom of the page. A winner will be selected on Dec. 12th for the 12-12-12 for the a sterling silver pendant of the Tree of Life.
    a Rafflecopter giveaway



    1. Your blog looks really awesome! I found it on Figment and I hope it's not creepy if I follow it. :)

      1. Hey Hannah! Thanks so much, hahaha no it's not creepy :) Hope you liked my stories on Figment

    2. I enjoyed the interview.



    Thanks for leaving a comment, I love hearing what you have to say and talking to you all!