Wednesday, 27 November 2013

Review: Scary School by Derek the Ghost

Scary School (Scary School #1)
Released: 26 June 2012
Genre: Paranormal, Middle Grade, Humor
Publisher: HarperCollins
At the Other End:
You think your school's scary?

Get a load of these teachers:

Ms. Fang, an 850-year-old vampire
Dr. Dragonbreath, who just might eat you before recess
Mr. Snakeskin—science class is so much more fun when it's taught by someone who's half zombie
Mrs. T—break the rules and spend your detention with a hungryTyrannosaurus rex!


Gargoyles, goblins, and Frankenstein's monster on the loose
The world's most frighteningly delicious school lunch


The narrator's an eleven-year-old ghost!

Join Charles "New Kid" Nukid as he makes some very Scary friends—including Petunia, Johnny, and Peter the Wolf—and figures out that Scary School can be just as funny as it is spooky!

Sum Up:
Scary School is absolutely genius! A great paranormal for middle graders.

Behind the 272 Pages
“Ms. Fang is the nicest, sweetest teacher at Scary School. She only ate twelve kids last year.” 

This book was absolute genius! I wasn't sure what to expect from this book, as it is obviously a middle grade novel. I've only had a few experiences with these kind of novels, and I had mixed feelings about them because it didn't feel right to read it. But with this book, it was funny and I liked reading this! I can easily pass this onto my younger cousins for a read that I know they will enjoy and will want to keep on reading.

I was surprised at how good this book was, to me. I was even a little disappointed when this book finished! It has a brilliant story line that middle graders (and some of you) will love.

Even though I didn't laugh out loud at this novel, I did find it a little funny and was chuckling to myself. But to middle graders, this book would be hilarious and thrilling all at the same time! I love how this book can get through to so many audiences, even though it's meant for younger readers. No matter what review I've already seen about this book, I don't think I've seen a bad review. Scary School appeals to everyone in some small way, and to some more than others as well.

With each new chapter, we see a new character's story presented. We feel so many different things with new chapter and character, yet it is so easy to transition to each character and to meet them all that we don't have trouble going back to characters. In each chapter, we get an inside look on each character in Scary School as well as what they like to do and even some of their troubles. Some things that happen are just freaky, and one (Petunia) just left me stunned thinking W.T.F!!! I was staring at the book for about 5 minutes after I finished reading her story. I'm not too sure how some younger readers will react to her story, but.... it's hard to describe.

No matter what kind of books that you read, this book has something for everyone in it! So... what are you waiting for? GET READING!!

Also, a big thanks to Derek Taylor Kent (the Ghost Whisperer for Derek the Ghost) for sending me this copy for review. See disclaimer at end of post.

What's Next:
13015324Monsters on the March (Scary School #2)
Behind 272 Pages
Released: 1 January 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Middle Grade, Humor
Publisher: HarperCollins
At the Other End: 
As winners of last year's Ghoul Games, the students of Scary School are off to Monster Forest. School may be scary, but the forest has a few frights of its own, including:

Bearodactyls—so terrifying we can't even show you pictures of them
Princess Zogette, the Monster King's toad-faced daughter, who falls for Charles Nukid . . . hard
Captain Pigbeard, fearsome leader of the Monster-Pirates and Princess Zogette's fiancÉ (well, former fiancÉ, thanks to Charles)
And when Zogette follows Charles to Scary School, the Monster King and Captain Pigbeard raise their armies and chase after her. But the monsters have no idea who—or what—they're dealing with.

In this clever, funny sequel to the frighteningly hilarious Scary School, Charles, Penny Possum, Dr. Dragonbreath, and all the students and teachers prove that scary monsters are no match for Scary School!

16065581The Northern Frights (Scary School #3)
Behind 242 Pages
Released: 1 July 2013
Genre: Paranormal, Middle Grade, Humor
Publisher: HarperCollins
At the Other End:
Charles “New Kid” Nukid and his friends, including Lattie, a girl ninja, must fight an epic battle with an ice dragon to save their school. But first they must survive going to Scream Academy as exchange students. And that may be hard, because the Academy has an abominable snowman for a principal, a Headless Horseman as one of the teachers, and the students are yetis, trolls, and ogres!

Will Charles survive to make an ancient prophecy come to pass and save everyone? The illustrated Scary School trilogy by Derek the Ghost, with its mix of humor, scares, and adventure, is a perfect pick for middle-grade readers of the Wayside School series and the Zach Files books.
Derek The GhostAuthor Bio:
Derek is an eleven-year-old ghost who haunts the classrooms and hallways of Scary School, writing down all the spine-tingling often hilarious things that go on there. Despite his ghostly state, Derek still enjoys reading comic books and hopes to one day become a master ninja. If that doesn’t work out, he will continue to share the fun of this very special, very secret school, so all kids can experience the scariest school on earth. Derek the Ghost communicates through the first-time ghost whisperer Derek Taylor Kent, who is a writer and performer in Los Angeles, California.

Find Derek:

Goodreads  |  Website
An interview with the Ghost Whisperer, Derek Taylor Kent
1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
The Scary School series was my first published books. Before that I was a little bit know for my one-man show – Michael Jordan’s Magic Shoes, which toured around the country. I also wrote directed musicals and started my own production company – Sad Ninja Comedy.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
When a book has been on sale for a week, I’m usually hustling doing promotions, so the work has just begun. I’m going to launch events, school visits, storytime visits, and also handling all of the viral marketing. It’s a very busy time so I’m usually on overdrive trying to get the word out and making new fans.

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
The first novel I ever wrote was originally called SCARY SCHOOL: BOOK 1 - MY HOMEWORK ATE MY DOG!  - it's a middle-grade fantasy series very similar to Harry Potter. The only problem was, it didn't have a whole lot to do with a "scary school". I just thought of that title and wanted to use it before someone else did. So my editor at HarperCollins read the book, and almost acquired it, but in the end, they ended up passing on it, but gave me the recommendation to write a book series called SCARY SCHOOL that was lighter, funnier, and more school-centric. I took their advice, which became the Scary School series we know today.  It was also great because for inspiration I got to use all of my favorite characters from the horror movies I loved, like Jason, and Freddy, and even the dinosaurs from Jurassic Park! I wanted to imagine what it would be like if they had all gone to school together when they were kids, and in my silly head, the reality of that would be pretty dang funny .By the way, the original book ended up becoming RUDY AND THE BEAST: BOOK 1 - MY HOMEWORK ATE MY DOG! which is available exclusively through my website at  - and you can get it on Kindle (just $2.99!) or paperback! For those who like dark fantasies like Harry Potter, I've gotten many responses that young readers enjoy it even more than Scary School!

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
Well, luckily the reviews for Scary School have been extremely positive. If it were a movie on Rotten Tomatoes, I think we'd be polling at 99%, so I can chalk up the 1% to being out-of-touch elitists :)   But, if they have good, constructive criticism, I love hearing that. Those helped me make improvements in Book 2 of Scary School after seeing the same couple criticisms pop up a bit too often.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
I usually take about a month or two of serious pre-planning. I make lists of things I want in the book (that can happen all year when I think of something). And then I spend a good amount of time outlining. I make a general outline and then flesh it out into a very detailed outline that’s like a beat sheet.

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?
I loved the cover art when I first saw it, but I had one idea for a change that they actually ended up using. The first mock-up of the cover had a werewolf kid riding a skateboard. I suggested they might want to try a zombie instead, and they ended up going with that.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
Yes! Lots of stuff! Of course you can expect Scary School #2: Monsters on the March due out June 26, and then Book 3 June of 2013. I also have a very funny new book called Principal Mikey that we're currently shopping, plus I'm starting up a couple new projects - one is an older YA book that will be kind of an adventure story through great cinema, and also a new middle-grade series about the wackiest town in the world.

8. Top 5 books

  • Maus 1 and 2 – Art Spiegelman
  • Welcome to the Monkeyhouse – Kurt Vonnegut collection of short stories
  • Harry Potter 7 – I forget the author
  • If I Ran the Circus – Dr. Seuss
  • Sideways Stories from Wayside School – Louise Sachar

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
Ready Player One by Ernest Cline, Save as Draft by Cavanaugh Lee, Shark Wars series by EJ Altbacker, A Weapon to End War by Jonathan Ross, anything by Cormac McCarthy or Stephen King, The Beyonders series by Brandon Mull, 52 Reasons to Hate my Father by Jessica Brody

10. Why read your novel? 

If you buy the book for your kid, I guarantee that it will turn them into a well-adjusted, ivy league-bound, world-beater dynamo. You can actually read all about why this is true in an article I wrote right here   But seriously, Book 1 of Scary School just won the award as the "Funniest Middle-Grade Book of 2011" from Children's Literature Network, so you know there will be a lot of laughs. Since Scary School is aimed at kids just starting to get into chapter books it's important for them to read books that will create a positive connotation in their brains about how fun reading can be, which will instil a life-long love of it. And that of course will make them smarter, happier, and more creative in the long run. So why not?? Plus, it's a whole series, so it will hopefully bring enjoyment for years to come :)  

If you’re still not sure, please check out my website - it’s lot’s of fun. You can tour the school, meet the students and faculty, unlock secret chapters, and even play a videogame. If you beat the game, you will win the weirdest trophy ever!

This novel was received for review via the author. This review is entirely my own, no bribery or any deals have been made to sway this review or change my personal opinion of the novel

Saturday, 23 November 2013

Deadly to Promise by Mia Hoddell Release Day Blitz!!

Deadly to Promise (Elemental Killers #2)
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy


A broken promise is all it takes.

Becoming an E.K isn’t a choice for Serena – it’s a necessity to survive. To destroy the Elementals she has to leave her old life behind. She has to train and follow a strict regime. But with time against her, she has only a few weeks to master the skills Kai spent his whole life perfecting.

The knowledge passed down from her ancestors is crucial to the Elementals demise and the success of their mission. However, the path they must follow is lined with riddles, each more confusing than the next. It doesn’t matter how close to succeeding they get, it’s never enough. The Elementals are one step ahead at every revelation and that can only mean one thing – the E.Ks have a traitor among them.

For one week only, both Deadly to Love and Deadly to Promise are 99c / 77p!
Buy Now: Amazon | Amazon.c


“Have you ever been swimming here?” I asked moving my head to watch his reaction as I brought my feet up out of the water and folded them beside me.
“Yeah, most summers when I came here. We all used to use it as a way to cool off or just have some fun in between training.”
“How about skinny dipping?” I asked my grin growing due to the thoughts running through my head.
“Why? You want to try it?” he challenged.
“Only if you go first,” I laughed but stopped instantly when he removed his shirt and tossed it behind us. My eyes widened in surprise and I started to regret my words. “You’re not being serious are you?” I stuttered as he pulled off his shoes, throwing them over to where his shirt was crumpled.
“You can’t chicken out now Rea. It was your idea,” he said smiling as he removed each sock, teasing me as they ended up with the rest of his discarded garments.
I just stared at him, my lips moving but not making a sound as I tried to find an excuse.
He laughed at me. “Relax Rea, I’m just teasing you. Well unless you’ve changed your mind. In that case I’m being deadly serious.” He had a cheeky grin on his face as he spoke and I pushed him hard, toppling him into the water below.
There was a lot of splashing but Kai surfaced finally, taking a deep breath as he flicked the hair out of his eyes. I was clutching my stomach in fits of laughter as I bent over. The shock on his face was priceless.
“Oh you are so dead Rea, so, so dead,” he said, his voice ragged as the cold water and shock affected his half naked body. I just continued to laugh as he floated in front of me, his head bobbing up and down in a comical way.

Deadly to Love (Elemental Killers #1)
by Mia Hoddell

Genre: YA/Romance/Paranormal/Fantasy
ISBN: 978-1-291-41025-9


The world is dangerous – but love will kill you.
Little did Serena Jackson know that one simple, flirty remark to an anonymous guy online would lead to her world being changed forever.

She doesn’t know him, but inexplicably, is drawn. She knows it is wrong but she agrees to meet.

His real name is Kai. He is beautiful. And immediately Serena feels herself blindly falling for him even though she senses a lie. She knows he is hiding something and it terrifies her.

What she doesn’t realise is that her entire life has been built on secrets and lies. The people she loved left her in the dark for a reason.

She trusted them. She trusts Kai. But as he pulls her straight into the heart of the danger the lies and deadly secrets are revealed. They overwhelm her, and the person she once was no longer exists as she is thrown into a ruthless world of elemental forces. The price of truth is her life—and now the world wants her dead.
Buy Now: Amazon (Kindle) | Amazon (Paperback) | Lulu


“I couldn't put it down. So I finished it last night and all I can say is WOW! This book was amazing and different.” Brianna (Book Blogger)

“I loved how the author took a different approach to writing a love story in modern times with the paranormal element present. I thought it was absolutely wonderful and refreshing. Marvelous!” Kathy H (Amazon Reviewer)

“In the end I had fallen in love with this story…completely untraditional it was a very original idea, not to mention modern. This story had such a good plot and the story structure was sound.” Kacii – The Kooky Bookworm (Book Blogger)

About the Author

Mia Hoddell lives in the UK with her family and two cats. She spends most of her time writing or reading and loves anything paranormal. Mia always had a love of writing but never reading. She was more interested in sports and hated sitting still - despite getting three poems published before the age of sixteen. Finally though, she found some novels that captured her interest and developed a love of reading which is now one of her favourite hobbies.

Mia began with poems before moving on to short stories. Although she enjoyed this, Mia found she had too much to tell with too little space, so later on she created her first series 'The Wanderer Trilogy' and from there other ideas have emerged. With a total of nine books planned at this moment, she is busy working on her second series 'Elemental Killers' before moving onto the next idea on her ever growing list.

Friday, 22 November 2013

Interview with Georgia Bell, author of Unbound

Behind 287 Pages
Released: 30 October 2013
Genre: Fantasy, Science Fiction
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Me: Amazon
At the Other End:
After her father dies, Rachel realizes she is scared and stuck. Scared of heights, of cars, of disasters harming the people she loves. Stuck in a life that is getting smaller by the minute. Stuck with a secret she has kept all her life: Someone has been watching over her since birth. Someone who tends to show up when she needs him the most. Someone she believes is her guardian angel.

Eaden is a 1,500-year-old immortal who wants to die. Drained by a life stretched too thin, he has requested his final reward – a mortal sacrifice bred specifically to bring him death. But something went wrong. Rachel’s ability to grant death has mutated in ways that threaten to upset the uneasy alliance between mortals and immortals. And utterly beguiled, Eaden discovers that although Rachel is the key to his death, because of her, he no longer wants to die. And he will do anything to protect her.

Swept into a world of legends, caught between the warring political factions of immortals, and carrying the future of mortal kind in her flesh and bone, Rachel must risk everything to save her world and the man she loves.

Shhh... Take a Sneak Peek

“I know you’re there,” I said, pitching my voice towards the darkness. It echoed down the empty street. “We need to talk.” I waited, forcing myself not to move away, not to look away.  My heart pounded in my ears and I took a deep breath to steady myself. A car moved down the road towards me and I watched it pass, the headlights glaring and then receding as it rounded the corner of the next street.
His shadow stretched out before him as he moved on to the sidewalk under the glow of the streetlamp. He said nothing, only stared at me with a bemused expression. I wanted to say something else, but found that now I could only stare back. He wore the same long dark coat and gloves he always wore, his clothes tailored, but nondescript, his hair dishevelled, but not untidy. The familiar feeling of tranquility settled on me as he moved closer and my head swam as if each of my thoughts was sinking slowly through deep water. Looking up at him, his stormy grey eyes were as sad and as haunting as I remembered them. 
We stood staring at each other silently, as if the other was something new and remarkable. I was puzzled by my lack of speech. After all of this time, there were so many things I had wanted to say to him. Why wasn’t I talking?Reaching up to touch my throat, I frowned, trying to remember how to voice the questions that waited patiently for articulation. Seeming to notice my confusion, his expression became strained and his eyes guarded. He stared down at his gloved hands as if he was unable to bear witness to my struggle for words.
Minutes passed and neither of us moved.  
Distantly troubled, I watched as he confronted whatever demons were wrestling within him. Eventually, his shoulders slumped in defeat and he nodded to himself – an acknowledgement that a decision had been made.
            Moving slowly, he took off his gloves and placed them in his coat pocket, raised his hand towards my face with infinite care, and lightly touched my cheek. He let his fingers trace the line of my jaw, his expression now unfathomable as a shiver raced down my back.
 “Hello,” he said. 
I finally found my voice and my eyes locked on his. “Who are you?
            “My name is Eaden,” he said.
            I nodded. It was a start.
            “We need to talk,” I said again. It was unlikely that I had ever been guilty of such an understatement.
He stepped closer, our bodies almost touching. I was aware of every inch of him, as if somehow he had become an extension of me, another limb once lost and now recovered. My heart rallied and sped up as I tilted my head to study him. Sighing, he raised his eyes to the sky and then closed them, shaking his head before looking back down at me, a hint of a smile dancing around his lips.
“I’ll see you in the morning, Rachel,” he said and then turned and walked away. Within a few heartbeats he was hidden amongst the shadows once again.
“Eaden,” I said quietly to myself and went inside.
Author Bio:
Georgia Bell was raised on a steady diet of science fiction and fantasy, courtesy of her father, a man who loved his family, fishing, scotch, and science (although not necessarily in that order). Georgia is an avid reader of young adult fiction, and a lover of good wine, music, children, and cats (although not necessarily in that order). She's currently working on Unknown, the second book in the All Good Things trilogy. 
Find Georgia:
Goodreads  |  Website  |  Twitter

1. Where have we seen you before? (previous projects/works)
You haven’t, unless you live on my street. Unbound is my debut novel. Up to this point, most of my writing has been either professional or personal (i.e., academic, journals). I do hope you’ll see a lot of me in the future.

2. What goes through your mind after your novel has been on sale for the first week?
Excitement and anxiety, mainly. I’m thrilled that Unbound is finally out in the world for others to read. I had so much fun writing this story and really hope that other people will care about the characters and the world I created as much as I do. But it’s also nerve-wracking to have it out there. In some ways it makes me feel very vulnerable and totally brings out the neurotic in me. I’ve been compulsively checking twitter and goodreads, waiting for new reviews. But good or bad, I’m glad it’s done and out of my hands.  

3. What inspired you to write this novel?
A few years ago, I had a really long commute to work by train. I started writing snippets in my journal every day and before long, I realized I was writing a story. That was the beginning. What kept me going was how wonderful it felt to get lost in the world I was creating. I’ve always loved reading because it takes me out of my life completely and allows me to escape into someone else’s. I was surprised that writing was like that for me, too. While I was writing Unbound I felt like I was living in the world that Rachel and Eaden live in. It was so much fun that I started the sequel not long after I finished writing Unbound. I just wanted to hang out with them all some more and find out what happened next.

4. What do you think about when getting/seeing negative reviews?
I won’t pretend it isn’t hard. It is. But I try to remain respectful of other people’s opinions. It makes sense that not everyone will like my book, just as I don’t like every book I’ve read. I’m notoriously stingy about giving stars in my own reviews and so I understand ratings that are critical. I’ve also been working on growing a thicker skin.  I remind myself that as a writer, my job is to write the stories I want to tell, not the ones that I think others want to hear.

5. How long was the writing/planning process?
The first draft of Unbound took about a year from start to finish. Although there were major revisions after that, the storyline never changed drastically. I put it away for awhile after my son was born and then pulled it back out about a year ago to continue to edit and revise.

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?
Seeing my cover for the first time felt incredible. I had the pleasure of working with a very talented graphic designer named Andy Patrick. When I found out he was Scottish, it felt like serendipity as so much of Unbound is tied to Scotland. After we talked about some of my ideas he sent me three beautiful covers. It was an embarrassment of riches, really, as they were all great. But I’m besotted with the one I’ve chosen. It really has become such a big part of Unbound and the way I envisioned the story.

7. Any plans for future writing projects? Any being worked on now?
I’m currently working on the sequel to Unbound, which I’ve tentatively titled Unknown. I also have a stand-alone that has been knocking around my brain for a few years. No title yet, but it falls within the speculative fiction category.

8. Top 5 books

  • The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger
  • Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell
  • Angelfall by Susan Ee
  • Outlander by Diana Gabaldon
  • Finnikin of the Rock by Melina Marchetta

9. What book/s from other authors do you wish you had written?
I think I realized I wanted to become a writer after I read The Time Traveller’s Wife by Audrey Niffenegger. I so wish I had the brilliance to write that story. Henry and Clare are one of my favourite couples. I’m also a huge fan of Melina Marchetta. She has a gift for storytelling. I wish I had written any of her books, but given my long history with high fantasy, I suppose the Lumatere Chronicles would be top my list. And Rainbow Rowell impressed the pants off me with Fangirl. Such funny dialogue and real characters. When I grow up, I think I’d like to be her.

10. Why read your novel?
I can’t think of way to answer that question without sounding selfish or corny. The truth is, I want people to read Unbound so that they get a chance to meet Rachel and Eaden and hear their story. I want people to read Unbound because I hope that I’m able to share some of the joy I had in writing this story with those who read it.

Displaying UNBOUND_banner_small.jpg

Thursday, 21 November 2013

RELEASE DAY BLITZ! Jaded Stone by Kelly Walker

Jaded Stone (Souls of the Stone #0.9)
Behind 298 Pages
Released: 15 November 2013
Genre: Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Kobo  |  iBooks
At the Other End:
In Cornerstone, Valencia Roth died to protect her daughter. In Jaded Stone, she'll live for her.

 Twenty years before the events of Cornerstone, Valencia Roth is the Crown Princess of Sheas, as lonely as she is privileged. She wants for nothing, except a clear path toward peace for her land. She’s always known personal happiness might not be in The Three’s plan for her. As the future ruler of Sheas, and a Cornerstone, her life belongs to her people.

 But when Valencia meets the charming Reid Hendel, she dares to believe love could be within her reach. That is, if they can both survive long enough for it to blossom. A new threat prowls the land, and she’s their primary target. Armed with stubborn pride and all the resources of Sheas, she fears nothing—until her brother leads her intended directly into the fray and at least one of them doesn’t return. Burdened with grief, Valencia must carve her own path forward. From the forge of chaos, a new era will be born.

Author Bio:
Kelly Walker is a YA and NA author of several romantic titles, including the Souls of the Stones series. She has an unhealthy appreciation for chocolate, and a soft spot for rescued animals. Her best lessons on writing came from a lifetime of reading. She loves the fantastical, and the magical, and believes a captivating romance can be the most realistic magic of all. Kelly, her husband and her two children share their Virginia home with three dogs who walk her, and two cats who permit her to occasionally share their couch.

Find Kelly:
Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter  |  Goodreads

Now for a special surprise...
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 20 November 2013

Guest Post with Lyn Fairchild Hawks, author of How Wendy Redbird Dancing...

How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought
Behind 284 Pages
Released: 27 March 2013
Genre: Young Adult
Publisher: Self Published
Buy Me: Amazon  |  Barnes & Noble  |  Smashwords
At the Other End:
At sixteen, Wendy Redbird Dancing flies her freak flag high; she’s a scary-smart white girl with a hippie mom, a missing father, and a rarefied Michael Jackson obsession. It doesn’t help that her mother just uprooted them yet again, this time from California to North Carolina. Now Wendy has to survive a new school and fight bullies who rule this Southern roost.

But one black girl reaches out—Tanay—and she and Wendy forge a friendship to help her fight back. Her mother’s new boyfriend, Shaye, turns out to be decent—not the usual sleaze, but instead, a charming and attractive guy. As he gains her trust, Wendy’s crush ignites, and her hopes for a stable future soar. 

When Shaye starts flirting, Wendy is flattered but confused. When things take a terrible turn, she must go underground, waiting for the day she can escape to London for Jackson’s final tour. All seems lost when the King of Pop dies. But Wendy suddenly hears his ethereal voice, offering guidance and sending her west. Is St. Michael now the only one she can trust?

Author Bio:
Lyn Fairchild Hawks is the author of a YA novel, How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought, and a collection of short stories, The Flat and Weightless Tang-Filled Future. She is also author of several works for educators. In the last few years, she has won a James Jones First Novel Fellowship prize and an Elizabeth George Foundation grant. As Lyn is married to a musician, Greg Hawks, and stepmom to Henry, an aspiring filmmaker, their North Carolina home hums with the soundtracks of clawhammer banjo, classic films, and chattering computer keys.

Find Lyn:
Goodreads  |  Website  |  Facebook  |  Twitter
Behind a Million and One Things

I like the title of this site. Behind a Million and One Pages reminds me of my character, Wendy Redbird Dancing. Almost 16, she’s learned the way to survive is to live behind a million and one things. Like her hoodie. Like her Michael Jackson obsession and his soundtrack in her headphones. Like her expanded vocabulary and flat-line exterior.

Check out the book trailer to get a synopsis of Wendy’s strange and troubled life.

Gifted, weird, wise girls are not the kind we put on pedestals. They think too much and they have too much to say. And what they say is usually counterculture. Wendy rants about America in 2009, feeling like a misfit when she looks at what seems to thrill everyone else:

“I wasn’t made for these times. I hate the two thousands, the Ohs, the Oughties, or whatever the hell we are. How bad is it I came into consciousness in a time when nothing matters? Fake celebrities on reality shows, fake talents doing glorified karaoke on Idol, fake money in banks, fake friends on Facebook, a fake President for most of my waking life?”

As actress Caity Brewer who played Wendy told the premiere crowd, it’s important to give voices to the girls who are hidden and outcasts. So much stirs inside them. Behind rough exterior, there’s beauty.

This gifted, weird, wise girl takes a stand with a new friend she’d never thought she’d make—Tanay. Tanay doesn’t fit her crowd either. She disappoints her mother, she doesn’t know her status with the guy she loves, and a friend calls her out for not being tough enough. Actress Hannah-Kathryn Wall who played Tanay told the premiere crowd that How Wendy Redbird Dancing Survived the Dark Ages of Nought reflects contemporary teen life and stands out from the average read where boy meets girl, they dream of forever after despite obstacles, et cetera, et cetera.

We all hide behind things. If you were bullied in high school for having a different thought than the mainstream—if you were ever called out from the crowd as being strange, even for a moment—you know what Wendy’s daily life is like.

Shakespeare’s voice, Mark Twain’s voice, Michael Jackson’s voice—all of these keep Wendy going, and so does the voice of her new friend at the worst time in Wendy’s life. Whatever life preserver we need to cling to, there can be hope. If just one person calls our name and says, “I see you,” we know we have a chance.
~ Lyn

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