Phoenix Island by John Dixon

The inspiration for the CBS TV show Intelligence—a thrilling adventure that's “Lord of the Flies meets Wolverine and Cool Hand Luke” (F. Paul Wilson, creator of Repairman Jack).

The judge told Carl that one day he’d have to decide exactly what kind of person he would become. But on Phoenix Island, the choice will be made for him.

A champion boxer with a sharp hook and a short temper, sixteen-year-old Carl Freeman has been shuffled from foster home to foster home. He can’t seem to stay out of trouble—using his fists to defend weaker classmates from bullies. His latest incident sends his opponent to the emergency room, and now the court is sending Carl to the worst place on earth: Phoenix Island.

Classified as a “terminal facility,” it’s the end of the line for delinquents who have no home, no family, and no future. Located somewhere far off the coast of the United States—and immune to its laws—the island is a grueling Spartan-style boot camp run by sadistic drill sergeants who show no mercy to their young, orphan trainees. Sentenced to stay until his eighteenth birthday, Carl plans to play by the rules, so he makes friends with his wisecracking bunkmate, Ross, and a mysterious gray-eyed girl named Octavia. But he makes enemies, too, and after a few rough scrapes, he earns himself the nickname “Hollywood” as well as a string of punishments, including a brutal night in the “sweatbox.” But that’s nothing compared to what awaits him in the “Chop Shop”—a secret government lab where Carl is given something he never dreamed of.

A new life...

A new body. A new brain.

Gifts from the fatherly Old Man, who wants to transform Carl into something he’s not sure he wants to become.

For this is no ordinary government project. Phoenix Island is ground zero for the future of combat intelligence.

And for Carl, it’s just the beginning....

Genre: YA Action, Fantasy, Mystery, Thriller
Published by: Gallery Books (Simon & Schuster)
Publication Date: January 7, 2014
Length: 320 Pages

} The Book Excerpt }

} About John Dixon }
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

John Dixon’s debut novel, Phoenix Island, inspired the CBS TV series Intelligence. A former boxer, teacher, and stone mason, John now writes full time and serves as a consultant to ABC Studios. He lives in West Chester, PA, with his wife, Christina, and their freeloading pets. When not reading or writing, he obsesses over boxing, chess, and hot peppers.

Girl in the Middle by Christine Bailey #Spotlight #Giveaway

Fifteen-year-old Skye, the middle child, finds herself wishing for a new life-one that doesn’t include daily harassment from the in-crowd at Highland Creek High School. Skye barely survived freshman year. She only did because her best friend, Goose, a semi-popular fellow band geek, was by her side. But when their sophomore year starts, Goose ditches Skye for a new crowd.

Cast into a lone existence at Highland Creek, Skye wishes for a touch of extraordinary that everyone, except her, seems to have. Her older sister, Sara Elizabeth, has it. Goose is getting close to it, and even her little sister is wildly popular in junior high. Skye would do almost anything to cast off her ordinary life…but at what price?

When her older sister goes missing without a trace, Skye gets her wish…but it’s not exactly what she had in mind. And when she questions Bryan, the senior class renegade and also the last person to be seen with her sister, she finds something she never quite expected.

Genre: YA Romantic Suspense
Release Date: September 22, 2013
Length: 210 Pages

} The Book Excerpt }

} About Christine Bailey }

Christine H. Bailey teaches Creative Writing and Written Composition at a private university in Tennessee. Before teaching English, Bailey worked as a journalist, a marketing/public relations writer, and a freelance editor.

Girl in the Middle is Bailey’s debut novel. To learn more about this author and her work, visit her online at

} The Giveaway }
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Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo #FF @LBardugo

The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction --- and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for.

Publication Date: June 3, 2014
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Young Adult 12+, Youth Fiction
Hardcover: 448 pages
Publisher: Henry Holt and Co. (BYR)
ISBN-10: 080509461X
ISBN-13: 9780805094619

} The Epic Excerpt }

} About Leigh Bardugo }

Leigh Bardugo was born in Jerusalem, raised in Los Angeles, and graduated from Yale University. She is fond of glamour, ghouls and costuming, and gets to indulge all of these fancies in her other life as a makeup artist. She can occasionally be heard singing with her band, Captain Automatic.

Into the Dark Book #1: The Shadow Prince by Bree Despain #Excerpt

Haden Lord, the disgraced prince of the Underrealm, has been sent to the mortal world to entice a girl into returning with him to the land of the dead. Posing as a student at Olympus Hills High --- a haven for children of the rich and famous --- Haden must single out the one girl rumored to be able to restore immortality to his race.

Daphne Raines has dreams much bigger than her tiny southern Utah town, so when her rock star dad suddenly reappears, offering her full tuition to Olympus Hills High’s prestigious music program, she sees an opportunity to catch the break she needs to make it as a singer. But upon moving into her estranged father’s mansion in California, and attending her glamorous new school, Daphne soon realizes she isn’t the only student in Olympus who doesn’t quite belong.

Haden and Daphne --- destined for each other --- know nothing of the true stakes their fated courtship entails. As war between the gods brews, the teenagers’ lives collide. But Daphne won’t be wooed easily and when it seems their prophesied link could happen, Haden realizes something he never intended—he’s fallen in love. Now to save themselves, Haden and Daphne must rewrite their destinies. But as their destinies change, so do the fates of both their worlds.

A pulsating romance of epic proportions, Bree Despain’s THE SHADOW PRINCE will leave her fans breathless for the next book in the Into The Dark series.

Series: Into the Dark (Book 1)
Genre: Mythology
Paperback: 496 pages 
Publisher: Egmont USA (March 11, 2014)

} The Book Excerpt }

} About Bree Despain }
Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Pinterest | Goodreads

Bree Despain is the author of The Dark Divine trilogy: The Dark Divine, The Lost Saint, and The Savage Grace. She rediscovered her childhood love for creating stories when she took a semester off from college to write and direct plays for at-risk, inner-city teens from Philadelphia and New York. She currently lives in Salt Lake City, Utah, with her husband, two young sons, and her beloved TiVo.

Marvelous by Travis Thrasher #Excerpt

Brandon Jeffery’s summer started out with a bang --- as in, a friend crashed his car and now he has to work two jobs to pay it off. It’s at Fascination Street Records that he’s introduced to a beautiful but quiet girl named Marvel. She’s new to Hidden Cove and looking for a summer job, so Brandon secretly strikes a deal with their boss to work for free so she can be hired.

When a classmate is found murdered, however, their summer takes a turn for the mysterious. Brandon’s friend Devon is sure he knows just who’s to blame: the creepy recluse of the town quarry. But the police have few leads, and Brandon has the sneaking suspicion he’s being watched.

That’s not what’s on the forefront of his mind, though. More than trying to pay off his car to his unemployed, alcoholic father and protecting Seth Belcher from the school bullies, he’s determined to date Marvel. He doesn’t understand why they seem so close and she refuses to date him, but as the mystery behind her tragic past begins to unravel, Marvel finally confesses her reason: God has revealed she’s destined to die saving others --- and it’s going to be soon.

Series: The Books of Marvella (Book 1)
Paperback: 352 pages
Publisher: TH1NK (May 6, 2014)

} The Book Excerpt }

Chapter 1

The worst feeling in the world is being stuck. Stuck in a place you know you can’t leave, stuck in a position with no power. Stuck being a person you’d never trade places with.

Summer’s barely begun, and I already feel like some kind of prisoner.

I walk past my brothers’ bikes sprawled on the lawn, past the open garage that stands separate from our two-story house. I’m actually coming home with a piece of good news: I got a job at the record store downtown. But I don’t find anyone inside to share it with. I grab a can of Coke from the fridge and glance at the stack of mail on the kitchen table—mostly unopened bills addressed to my father.

I wonder if and when I’m going to have to start helping pay some of those bills.

I hear the back door open and my brothers’ excited voices. I step into the hallway and the first thing I see is blood on Alex’s face and T-shirt. Carter is right behind him.

“Brandon, look at this,” Alex says, holding one hand up to his nose. It’s probably broken.

Not Alex, not now.

I know what happened, and I know that I finally have to act.

I rush back to the kitchen and grab a big butcher knife. No, that’s crazy. I put it back and grab a big, round cast-iron skillet instead, holding it like a warrior about to go off to battle.

Alex has followed me into the kitchen and is still talking. “Carter’s big head busted me on the nose,” he says.

“What?” I stop and look at him again. My heart is racing. “What were you guys doing?”

“Wrestling on the trampoline.”

I sigh and let out a tidal wave of anger.

“I didn’t mean to,” Carter says. “What are you doing with that frying pan?”

I shake my head and put the skillet away. Not that I would’ve done anything with it anyway. It was just an impulse.

Carter laughs and runs off to the family room.

I poke my head into the room and see my father in his usual place on his armchair throne, eyes focused on ESPN. “I got another job,” I tell him.

He nods and looks at me the way he always does. Like I’m some kind of stranger. At least I’m not a stranger holding a cast-iron skillet, prepared to whack the side of his square face.

“Who would hire you?” Carter asks, and laughs at his own joke. “Someone whose grass you cut?”

Carter’s a little full of himself. Comes from being the baby, I guess, and Mom and Dad’s obvious favorite.

“At least someone around here has a job,” I say.

“Carter’s not the one who busted up his car, is he?” Dad says.

He’s just trying to irritate me. I don’t say anything, because I can’t deny it. I do have a busted-up car. Which is exactly why I now have two jobs this summer.

I turn to head upstairs to my room.

“You need to get your crap out of the garage, ’cause I’m cleaning it out.”

“Okay,” I call back.

I’m asking for trouble by not saying “Yes, sir,” but I’m already halfway up the stairs so I get away with it. It’s a ridiculous request anyway. My father “cleans the garage” at least once a month. It’s just an excuse for him to hide out and drink the day away while claiming to Mom that he’s working on something: his car, a washing machine he hopes to sell, the motor from a dishwasher. Things that have been broken since forever.

When I’m upstairs and Alex passes by me again, I shake my head. “Change your shirt,” I tell him.

For a second he wonders what I’m talking about. “Oh, yeah.”

Four males in this house. Sometimes it’s not a pretty sight.

Mom’s running late at the law office where she works as a paralegal, and I’m doing anything I can to stay clear of Dad. I pump air into the tires on my bike, since it will be my main mode of transportation this summer. I have an older bike in the garage too, one that I’ve said is garbage but Dad keeps saying he’ll fix up and sell. If I had a dollar for every time he’s said one thing and done something else, I could buy a new car. A really nice one.

Dad’s an electrician, or was, till he lost his job—he hasn’t electrified anything in years. Work got scarce when the housing market tanked years ago, and during my sophomore year it dried up altogether. Dad’s mood went from slightly overcast to pitch-black.

“Got the bike out, huh?” Dad walks by me and I freeze. For a second he looks down at my bike, then he keeps going to the back of the garage where his work table sits. There’s a big Chicago Bears flag behind it, along with pictures of the 1985 Bears. The wonderful, infamous ’85 Bears. There’s a funny shot of William “The Fridge” Perry doing a touchdown dance.

It’s a bit sad when you know your father loves a 325-pound defensive lineman from several decades ago more than his own son.

“So—you gonna go find a third job?” Dad says, his back turned to me. “Since they’re so easy to get?”

I don’t respond, because I’m not sure where this is coming from. He’s the one who told me I needed the second job because I’m paying off my car—the car that got crashed by a friend.

Dad turns around and looks at me. “You think you know what it takes to be the man of the house?” he asks.

I think of those bills again. “No, sir.”

He nods slowly, then smiles. It’s the meanest sort of smile I’ve ever seen. The kind the bad guy flashes right before he beats the hero to a pulp.

Maybe I need that skillet after all.

“You guys just stay so busy with your jobs. . . .” His voice fades out as if he’s talking to himself.

I just stand there, not sure what to do, really unsure where this is going. I’m not even sure who he’s referring to. Mom and me?

Dad snaps out of whatever it is. “Go on inside, okay?”

There’s not one bit of hesitation in me. I don’t need to understand anything. I don’t need to ask what’s happening with him. All I want to do is get out of here.

Back inside the house, I feel a little better. Mom will be back from work any minute with her clueless, busy self, and that’ll make me feel even better. But something’s going on inside Dad that can’t be explained by a couple of beers in the middle of the afternoon. This—this whatever it is—scares me.

It scares me because summer has only begun. And Dad has nowhere to be except here. Maybe I should get a third job.

} About Travis Thrasher }
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Critically acclaimed and creatively diverse novelist Travis Thrasher has made a career out of defying expectations. Writing stories that have moved, haunted and provoked readers, Thrasher has told tales in a variety of genres. His one common theme is brokenness, and his one common tactic is surprise. He lives with his wife and three daughters in a suburb of Chicago.

The Rabbit and the Raven by Melissa Eskue Ousley #Spotlight #Review #Giveaway

Darkness is beguiling…and power always comes with a price.

Adopted by loving parents, David Corbin had no idea his life was a lie. Then he met a girl. Abby Brown freed David from the spell keeping him from the truth, that he was the lost heir to the throne in a magical realm.

Even though he got the girl and gained a kingdom, David had no clue about the unfathomable power he would inherit, nor did he realize how much he would have to sacrifice to keep the throne.

If there is any hope of winning the war against the deadly Kruorumbrae, David and Abby will have to journey to the outer edges of the realm to secure the loyalty of the four Oracles. Along the way, they will learn just how seductive darkness can be.

Genre: Young Adult
Length: 276 Pages
Release Date: March 15, 2014
Published by: Gazebo Gardens Publishing

}The Book Excerpt}

}The Epic Review}

Loved, LOVED this book - Melissa Eskue Ousley has done it again! The Rabbit and the Raven is an awesome second installment in the Solas Beir Trilogy.

The story is full of wonderfully well-written characters and a wild ride of magical plot twists, turns and romance that will leave you looking forward to the third book in the series - I know I am.

The villain, Tynan Tierney, is exceptionally written as a darkly seductive, even sympathetic character {"Darkness is beguiling . . . and power always comes with a price."} There's no doubt, he's a very bad guy who has done some awful, evil things . . . That being said, you can't help but like him just a little bit. 

David and Abby, both with their own powerful abilities, are the kind of compelling characters you remember for years to come. 

The Rabbit and the Raven  has earned a 5 Star Epic Review and is definitely a book that's going on my Keeper Shelf, along with the first book of the series, The Sign of the Throne. And I'm looking forward to reviewing the third and final installment, The Sower Comes, when it's released.


}About Melissa Eskue Ousley}
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Melissa Eskue Ousley lives in the Pacific Northwest of the United States with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found hiking, swimming, scuba diving, kayaking, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick. 

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping road kill off a molten desert highway, to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona. Her interests in psychology, culture, and mythology have influenced her writing of The Solas Beir Trilogy.

}The Giveaway}

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The Rithmatist by Brandon Sanderson

More than anything, Joel wants to be a Rithmatist. Chosen by the Master in a mysterious inception ceremony, Rithmatists have the power to infuse life into two-dimensional figures known as Chalklings. Rithmatists are humanity’s only defense against the Wild Chalklings --- merciless creatures that leave mangled corpses in their wake. Having nearly overrun the territory of Nebrask, the Wild Chalklings now threaten all of the American Isles.

As the son of a lowly chalkmaker at Armedius Academy, Joel can only watch as Rithmatist students study the magical art that he would do anything to practice. Then students start disappearing --- kidnapped from their rooms at night, leaving trails of blood. Assigned to help the professor who is investigating the crimes, Joel and his friend Melody find themselves on the trail of an unexpected discovery --- one that will change Rithmatics --- and their world --- forever.

Bestselling author Brandon Sanderson brings his unique brand of epic storytelling to the teen audience with an engrossing tale of danger and suspense --- the first of a series. With his trademark skills in world-building, Sanderson has created a magic system that is so inventive and detailed that that readers who appreciate games of strategy and tactics just may want to bring Rithmatics to life in our world.

Publication Date: May 14, 2013 
Genres: Fantasy, Fiction, Science Fiction, Young Adult 12+ 
Hardcover: 384 pages 
Publisher: Tor Teen 
ISBN-10: 0765320320 
ISBN-13: 9780765320322

} The Book Excerpt }

} About Brandon Sanderson }

Brandon Sanderson is the bestselling author of books including WARBREAKER, ELANTRIS, THE WAY OF KINGS and The Mistborn Trilogy --- MISTBORN, THE WELL OF ASCENSION and THE HERO OF AGES. He has also written ALCATRAZ VERSUS THE EVIL LIBRARIANS, a book for middle-grade readers, and has completed the final books in Robert Jordan’s Wheel of Time® series --- THE GATHERING STORM, TOWERS OF MIDNIGHT and A MEMORY OF LIGHT --- based on Jordan’s notes and material. Sanderson teaches writing at Brigham Young University. He lives in Utah.

Born of Illusion by Teri Brown

Anna Van Housen has a secret.

A gifted illusionist, Anna assists her mother, the renowned medium Marguerite Van Housen, in her stage show and séances, easily navigating the underground world of magicians and mentalists in 1920s New York. For Anna, the illegitimate daughter of Harry Houdini --- or so Marguerite claims --- handcuffs and sleight-of-hand illusions have never been much of a challenge. The real trick is keeping her own gifts secret from her mother: because while Marguerite's powers may be a sham, Anna possesses a true ability to sense people's feelings and foretell the future.

But as Anna's powers intensify, she experiences frightening visions of her mother in peril, which lead her to explore the abilities she's tried so long to hide. And when a mysterious young man named Cole moves into the flat downstairs, introducing Anna to a society that studies people with gifts like hers, she begins to wonder if there's more to life than keeping secrets.

As her visions become darker and her powers spin out of her control, Anna is forced to rethink all she's ever known. Is her mother truly in danger, or are Anna's visions merely illusions? And could the great Houdini really be her father, or is it just another of Marguerite's tricks?

From Teri Brown comes a world bursting with magic, with romance, with the temptations of Jazz Age New York --- and the story of a girl about to become the mistress of her own destiny.

Publication Date: June 11, 2013
Genres: Fiction, Historical Fiction, Paranormal
Hardcover: 384 pages
Publisher: Balzer + Bray
ISBN-10: 0062187546
ISBN-13: 9780062187543

Amazon | Barnes & Noble | Indie Bound

} The Book Excerpt }

} About Teri Brown }
Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

Teri Brown is proud of her two children but coming in a close second is the fact that she parachuted out of a plane andbeat the original Legend of Zelda video game.

She is a word scribbler, head banger, math hater, book reader, rule breaker, food fixer, novel writer, kitty keeper, and city slicker. Teri lives with her husband and way too many pets in Portland, Oregon.

Sign of the Throne by Melissa Eskue Ousley

Abby is an ordinary girl haunted by dreams of an ivory castle, blood-thirsty monsters, and a striking stranger. Working as a babysitter for a family of mythology lovers in wealthy Newcastle Beach, California, she struggles to define herself among the elite class while trying to make sense of her strange visions. Upon meeting David, the doppelgänger of the mysterious young man in her dreams, Abby’s life is changed forever.

Encountering the queen of Cai Terenmare, a magical kingdom in a parallel world, Abby learns of an evil lord hell-bent on usurping the throne, the murder of Cai Terenmare’s king, the Solas Beir, and the kidnapping of the Solas Beir’s infant son.

As the kingdom struggles to endure, the queen shows Abby the full extent of her destiny. She must convince her mysterious crush, David, that he is the lost heir. While braving attacks from the dark lord’s sadistic minions, David must realize his true identity and return to Cai Terenmare to claim his throne before time runs out, lest the evil that was temporarily locked away be unleashed, threatening to destroy both the kingdom and all of humanity.

Amazon {Paperback} Amazon {Kindle} Redroom

} The Book Excerpt }
Abby spent the next evening babysitting for Cassandra and Riordan. She putthe kids to bed and laid out her homework on the coffee table downstairs. She was immersed in her work when she realized—the house was quiet. Eerily quiet.

She was used to the familiar creaks and groans of the old house, and night ushered in the occasional chirp of a cricket or flutter of moth wings around theantique sconces lighting the room. Tonight she heard nothing—there was only dead silence. She felt a prickle at the back of her neck and realized she was shivering. The room had gone unnaturally cold, and she had the distinct sense that she was not alone.

Out of the corner of her eye, she saw a shadowy presence, someone standing still, watching her. She turned to look, but there was no one there. She felt a terrible unease twisting in her gut. Something was wrong.

Responding to her intuition, she got up and climbed the stairs to check on thechildren. Ciaran was snoring, perfectly at peace. He had wriggled out of his covers in his sleep. Abby tucked him back in.

Leaving his room, she walked down the hall to the twins’ room. The nightlight inthe hallway began blinking erratically. She entered the room and froze. Perched monkey-like on the corner of Rowan’s crib was a shadowed figure thesize of a small boy, leaning over the sleeping child. Sensing Abby, it turned its head, blood-red eyes meeting hers.

Abby gasped with horror as the creature leapt with unnatural agility from thecrib and crouched like a spider high on the wall, staring down at her. Slowly, it smiled, revealing rows of pointed narrow teeth, sharp as razors. And then…it pounced.

Abby raised her arms to shield herself, scrunched her eyes shut, and screamed. But there was nothing. She heard a low chuckle behind her and saw the creature near the door. The shadow boy laughed and ran out. Thesmoky form changed into a large black housecat before disappearing throughthe hallway wall.

Abby ran to the twins’ light switch and turned on the lights. She checked to make sure Rowan and Siobhan were unharmed, and then hurried to Ciaran’s room, flicking on lights as she ran. Ciaran was still fast asleep—her scream had not disturbed him at all.

She jerked open his closet door and found his aluminum baseball bat. Then, scooping him and the quilt up from his bed, she ran back to Rowan and Siobhan’s room. She shut the door and nestled the five year old into a make-shift bed on the floor. Sitting against the dresser next to him, she hummed, trying to reassure herself. Armed with the bat and the adrenaline coursing through her body, she waited.

} The Interview }
At what point in your life did you realize that being an author was no longer going to be just a dream but a career you were going to turn into reality?
I always loved reading and writing, but it took me a long time to become a writer. My background is in education and psychology, and I enjoyed working in those fields, conducting research and teaching college classes in Arizona. Eventually though, I realized writing was something I had to do. When my husband and I moved to the Pacific Northwest for an opportunity with his career, I decided to focus on my writing. I jumped in with no plan B, but lucky for me, doors opened and I was able to connect with a wonderful press.

Which of your characters is most like you?
Tynan Tierney, for sure. I’m a sociopath. Just kidding. Actually, this is a tough question, because although none of my characters are autobiographical, I can relate to many of them. I can be introverted and empathic like Abby, but sarcastic and loyal like Jon, and adventurous like David. I’m envious that he went cage diving with Great White sharks. I’d love to do that, and I wouldn’t mind borrowing his bike.

If you were stranded on a desert island, which character from Sign of the Throne would you want with you?

Cael is very handy with a sword. He could hack down some trees to build us a hut and track down some food. Maybe I’d learn some survival skills from him.

Where do you write?

I have an office at home which is nice, because I’ve surrounded myself with photos, art, and objects that inspire me. But I write anywhere on anything—waiting in line or for an appointment, writing on napkins, post-its, or whatever I have on hand. When I get an idea, I try to capture it as soon as possible, and then type it up later.

Do you have any “rituals” you go through before you write?

No, but I do like listening to music while I write, and there’s often chocolate involved.

What was your favorite chapter (or part) of Sign of the Throne to write and why?

I love reading horror, so the chapter called “Changelings” was really fun to write—lots of action and gross creature stuff in that one. It’s always fun to write about the bad guys—they keep things interesting as they wreak havoc. I also enjoyed writing the romantic banter between Abby and David.

How did you come up with the title?

There is an object of power called the Sign of the Throne that plays a role in this book and the two that follow, and it symbolizes both the authority of the Solas Beir, ruler of Cai Terenmare, and the power of the Light.

What would YOU like your readers to know about this book or you in general?

I love mythology and psychology, so this book is brimming over with both. The book was inspired by the idea that many of the bogeymen from various human societies have similar characteristics, and I imagined that these creatures had a common origin in a world parallel to our own. I’ve woven in mythological references and some of the characters’ names have symbolic meanings.

What's one piece of advice you would give aspiring authors?

A good editor who knows your genre makes all the difference. Even if you need to invest your own money in an editor before seeking publication, it is worth it. Don’t worry if you’re not the best writer—keep learning and keep reading. You can learn a lot about what to do, and what not to do, from other writers.

Do you have a favorite author?

Stephen King is my all-time favorite because I read The Talisman (written with Peter Straub) when I was about 13, and have been reading him ever since. His book, On Writing, is one of the best out there for writers. It is user friendly with practical and often humorous advice. I also love Christopher Moore, Neil Gaiman, J.K. Rowling, and have recently gotten into a lot more YA authors. Kendare Blake’s Anna Dressed in Blood series is brilliant.

I've read The Talisman and also Black House. What is your favorite quote?

The only people for me are the mad ones, the ones who are mad to live, mad to talk, mad to be saved, desirous of everything at the same time, the ones who never yawn or say a commonplace thing, but burn, burn, burn, like fabulous yellow roman candles exploding like spiders across the stars… Jack Kerouac

What genre of books do you read for pleasure?

Young adult, fantasy, and horror mostly.

What’s the most amusing thing that’s ever happened to you?

My dad is a do-it-yourself kind of guy. He grew up on a farm out in the middle of nowhere, so he learned a lot of DIY vet skills to care of his family’s animals. This came in very handy when I was a kid, like the time he used part of a milk carton to patch the shell of a tortoise that had a close shave with a lawn mower, or when my cat Solomon (a.k.a. Chewy, because, as it turned out, he wasn’t very wise) decided the engine of my mom’s car was a good place to nap. When I was a teen, he developed an interest in DIY medieval weaponry, making knives (swords, really). This did not go over very well with some of the young men I tried to date (nor did some of his DIY vet skills). It probably did not help that when displaying his talents, my dad spoke in a disturbingly cheerful voice—nothing says overprotective psycho-killer father to teenage boys like a guy calmly holding a large knife, talking about surgery. 

One of the boys, however, shared my dad’s interest and gave me flowers and a chest plate as a gift. Impressive as it was to have a hand-made chest plate, I had no use for armor at the time, so I returned it. I should have kept it though because later, my dad got into larger weapons, and fashioned a trebuchet out of an old swing-set. It worked really well, but, unfortunately, he chose to load it with softball sized rocks. The first time he demonstrated the trebuchet, the rock shot straight up into the air and fell frighteningly close to where I was standing. The next time, the rock flew further, but alarmingly close to his neighbor’s backyard. I suggested that he might not be suited to life in prison, and he agreed, so he returned to making swords.

**LOL** What do you like to do when you’re not writing?

I love to hike, swim, kayak, and walk along the beach. The Pacific Northwest is perfect for that. I also love to scuba dive, although I haven’t been able to do that as much as I’d like. I did get to dive the Great Barrier Reef and saw a black-tip reef shark and a lion fish, so that was amazing. I also like to paint, mostly coastal scenes, and restore furniture I find in thrift shops or discarded on a street corner. The chair in my writing office was one of those finds that looks amazing now that it’s been repainted and has a new cushion and fabric.

If all TV shows were real, what show (all time) would you most like to live in?

Probably Doctor Who, just because anything can happen, any time.

Okay, this has been an awesome interview so far and now it's time for some

} Random-Ness }
Party dress or blue jeans? 
Either, so long as I can wear boots.
Plotter or Panster?
Both, but more of a pantser. Sign of the Throne is part of a trilogy, so there had to be some plotting to keep things cohesive, but as I’ve gotten to know the characters, I’ve been surprised by things in each book, and the endings are not always what I expected. I’ve also had the luxury of being able to work on all three before the first one has been published, so that helps smooth things out. Too much plotting, however, feels contrived to me. I really like listening to what the story needs, and what the characters want, and letting that guide me, adjusting things to remain true to the story. It sounds crazy, but for me, the story takes on a life of its own—I’m just watching things play out and transcribing what happens as I listen to my characters. I’m not the first writer to see it this way (see Stephen King’s On Writing), and it’s a blast when it happens, and not nearly as creepy as it sounds. When you get lost in the world of your story, it’s thrilling.
Print or e-Book?
I do read e-books but I prefer print. It seems like I’m always reading in some location where there’s water (the tub, the pool, the beach), so I’d probably be at risk for electrocution with an e-book.
Coastal walks or extreme sports?
Both, if scuba diving counts as extreme. I still haven’t worked up the courage to sky-dive though. I’ll save that for when I’m eighty. Then I can curse the whole way down and people will find it amusing.
Cookies or cupcakes?
Either, if there’s chocolate involved.
That's a given! Super hero or super villain?
Oooh, great question. Probably hero because it would be nice to help people and use my powers for good. But being a villain could be more interesting.
If I had a free afternoon I’d . . . 
Go on an adventure and hike somewhere new.
Peanut Butter: Crunchy, Creamy, or I hate peanut butter and am addicted to Nutella.
You suddenly realize you live in a haunted house. Do you:

1. Run screaming for the door.
2. Bravely go to a church, load up on holy water and try to get rid of the ghost.
3. Set up ghost hunting equipment to capture phenomenon.
4. Call in the Ghost Adventures crew so that you can ogle the lead guy Zac’s amazingly stiff hair when you’re not ogling his….physical attributes.
5. Deny you have a ghost and just let it scare the bejesus out of your visitors.

These are all perfectly valid options. Unfortunately, I have to go with #5, because I worked in this old building at a university, and sometimes when I worked alone I’d see and hear weird stuff (as did some of my coworkers), and I just decided I didn’t want to talk to dead people so I ignored them. Same thing for a house I lived in once. Some of those experiences actually inspired some things in Sign of the Throne. Once when I was writing late at night, out of the corner of my eye, I saw someone tall standing in my hallway. I thought it was my husband, coming out into the living room to talk with me, but when I looked up the shadow, or whatever it was, disappeared. So I pretended it didn’t happen and kept writing.
Spooky! Could you tell us five random facts about yourself?
1. When I was in kindergarten, my teacher thought I was dyslexic because I wrote everything backwards. Turns out, I’m just left handed and wrote the mirror image of the letters.
2. When I was a kid, I had a cat named Trash that my family rescued from the dump and nursed back to health (thanks to my dad’s DIY vet skills).
3. We also had a pet cemetery, but this was unrelated to my dad’s vet skills. We lived in rattlesnake territory in Arizona, which is not great for dogs and cats.
4. I’m part Scottish and I am a descendent of the Buchan family. The motto used in the book is the real Buchan clan motto.
5. I have twin boys. They are fraternal and completely different from each other.
Very cool interview, Melissa - Thanks for stopping Epic YA Reads today to visit!

} About Melissa Eskue Ousley }
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Author Picture - Melissa Eskue Ousley
Melissa Eskue Ousley is the author of The Solas Beir Trilogy. “Sign of the Throne,” the first book of this young adult fantasy series, will be released on September 14. She is currently working on the second and third novels in thetrilogy, “The Rabbit and the Raven” and “The Sower Comes.”

Melissa lives in the Pacific Northwest with her family and their Kelpie, Gryphon. When she’s not writing, Melissa can be found swimming, hiking, kayaking, scuba diving, or walking along the beach, poking dead things with a stick.

Before she became a writer, she had a number of educational jobs, ranging from a summer spent scraping roadkill off a molten desert highway to years spent conducting research with an amazing team of educators at the University of Arizona.

} THe Awesome Giveaway }

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Benjamin McTish by June M. Pace {Guest Post & Review}

It’s Harry Potter meets the Celestine Prophecy in this magical and thrilling ride! The McTish Series is an explosive adventure through a dimensional Gateway into another world, a world of beauty and magic, Coranim…a land of insight, thought and possibilities, that sits beneath the enchanted Gilley Forest.

There is local legend in the small town of Grandlochcheshire that has been passed down for a 100 years about the mysterious disappearance of the Chickering family, that trails on the coat tails of the equally shocking abduction of the Skeffington Union Rails heirs, Connor and Shelbe. The circumstances that follow this notorious tale enter into the modern world of Benjamin and his two best mates.

One day Benjamin watches from behind the Rhododendron as a mysterious little woman steps out of a taxi in front of the cream colored house with the forest green trim next door and in one synchronistic moment their eyes lock and a series of visual snippets of unfamiliar events unfold in his mind’s vision. His razor sharp sixth sense allows him the freedom to explore the extrasensory messages coming at him in a frenzied speed, like a derailed freight train.

And when Benjamin finds a peculiar old relic of a key in his grandmother’s garden shed, he could never know his world was about to change forever.

Annabel and Mathilda, two sisters who have moved to Grandlochcheshire from America, have become more than mere friends to Benjamin, they have all become the three Muskydeers (Mathilda’s mispronounced version of Musketeers, which was a huge laugh and of course it stuck), as they are plunged head first into this curious journey.

In the Gilley Forest they discover that the path they have chosen is inundated with many obstacles as well as intrigue. Alliances are made with the Forest clan of Gnomes known as the Set, and with the aid of the Vila sisters, Sethina and Morel, as well as some surprising and unexpected allegiances, the three friends take on the test that is the Grandfather Tree. They must stay on the preordained Path of prophecy, portended by the ancient seer Pajah Set, whose ancestry comes from the home of the oldest living beings on the planet, the Elves of the Darmon. However, this is no easy task for the Muskydeers as they have the foulest of sorcery hunting their every move, the powerful dark beauty known to all as Tar Vigorn.

This ruthless Queen is not without humor however, and loves a good game of cat and mouse, as long as she’s the cat. With her biting sense of sarcasm and calculated taunting, she knows just how to unnerve the young Benjamin. Her phantom army known as the Blunt are searching for a way into the Grand Tree and will stop at nothing to infiltrate the pristine world beneath his giant roots.

Once in Coranim the children make the acquaintance of the greatest Medicine Elder alive, Esmerelda Fet. A most powerful Light Sorceress with a brazen in your face attitude and a thick Irish brogue, who guides the trio on their Path of destiny. “All tings be possible ya wee chil’ren, if’en ya put yer mind to it! Thar be nothin ya can’t accomplish. Ya just need ta be placin all yer carage inta tha middle of yer core whar yer Spirit shines…an ya can do anythin! Ha!”

Filled with many wonders, and home to the Fet clan of Gnomes, Coranim is a magical world of art, sound, thought, invention and discovery….and home to the World Library of Identity, with none other than Dunston Tibbitts at the helm.

Every being on the planet has a book dedicated to the entirety of their lives. Dunston reports to Benjamin, “according to what I see here now, this very minute, whatever it is that you are seeking will show itself today and change your Path immediately. It will put you into a whole new dynamic as they say.”

What could alter the overpowering trajectory Benjamin has followed to Coranim? How will it change his life?

Find out as our three heroes delve into the mystic, as well as their own inner character, as you watch from the edge of your seat.

Book Two, Benjamin Mctish and the Wizards of Coranim, coming 2013.

Don't forget to enter the Giveaway below for your chance to win a copy of Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree and a $15 Amazon Gift Card!

}The Book Excerpt}

Well, that’s very odd, thought Benjamin. He had never noticed the peculiar looking key, hanging from a very worn and tattered green ribbon, on the rusted nail in the garden shed before. The garden shed was not a traditional shed in the least. Even though the walls were constructed from very old worn out wood, the interesting element was the solid glass roof. It was a very unusual version of a greenhouse, and the permanent home of the most rare and beautiful of begonias, grown by his grandmother Emmagene. It also doubled as Benjamin’s secret hideaway.

The design was one of a kind, built by his grandfather, Owen McTish, way back before Benjamin was even born. The wood came from an old abandoned farm on the outskirts of town. The remnants from the farm had sat in the big fields on the edge of the Gilley Forest for close to a hundred years or more now. The property was part of a long forgotten estate that had iron clad deeds and legalities making it impossible to tear down. Save for some wood that was sold off at auction, (which was now the main body of structure to the McTish garden shed), along with some rusted antique barnyard equipment, nothing had been touched in all these long years. The passed down rumors of the mysteries surrounding the Chickering farm was still local legend with all the residents, but especially with the children, in the small town of Grandlochcheshire.

And here he was now, sitting in the garden shed built of the same wood that had housed the infamous Chickerings all those long years ago, staring at a mysterious key.

Benjamin sat upright from his perch on top of the pile of burlap bags that covered the mound of hay his grandmother stored in the shed for new seedling cover and stared up in utter disbelief at the mysterious key.

His grandmother enjoyed the smell of fresh hay, as it reminded her of her youth on her family’s horse ranch. This resulted in her always keeping much more hay than she truly needed under the burlap, making this a particularly cozy little spot for Benjamin to lounge about. As an added attraction, it also happened to be in direct sight of the door and most of the surroundings, and proved to be the perfect lookout for any uninvited guests.

Benjamin whipped his head around quickly and scanned the shed for any movement. Nothing out of the ordinary, no one else around, no sounds of any kind, he thought. He sat still and stared into the air before him, going into his deeper mind to hunt down an answer. After a moment he continued his search around the room.

The light coming in from the glass ceiling was soft and dark grey as it was about to rain. This added a touch of anxiety to the moment, as Benjamin’s all too familiar feeling of questioning arose. Everything appeared to look the same as it did every other day that he could remember…except for that confounding and peculiar key! The hairs on Benjamin’s arms stood straight up and a flush washed over his entire body and he knew something big was about to happen.

Benjamin had the ability to know things that other people never realized. He knew secrets about people, their inner workings, even before they knew about it themselves. It wasn’t like he could see dead people, or tell you what you had hidden in your pocket, or anything like this. It was more about sensing things. He had gut feelings, but in a bigger more expanded way. He was rather good at telling you when your Aunt Gertie was going to show up at your door, or where to look for the lost cat. However, he was really good at knowing if something was significant or not, if something needed a further or deeper exploration.

It had always been this way for Benjamin. When something was about to occur he always had a warning it was coming. The hair on his arms stood up and an extremely powerful tingling from the bottom of his toes would rush up over his body. His heart would pound and a little sweat would instantly gather on his face and neck. His breathing would speed up and his eyes would widen in anxious search of the source of his alertness. Many times these sensations came with lightning rapid visions and sounds. And always attached to these pictures was a deeply felt emotion clinging along for the ride.

Benjamin hesitantly turned back around slowly, like he was moving through thick syrup and stared at the hanging piece of tarnished metal. He had a very uneasy feeling about this key. In all his years of living with his grandparents he had never seen the key dangling in the shed. Nor, in fact, had he seen its equal or anything remotely close to this anywhere in the whole of the household.

He estimated the key was somewhere around nine inches in length and looked as old as the hills…Or the Gilley Forest, came the distant thought to Benjamin for an unexplained instant. It was intricately designed with marks that Benjamin couldn’t make out from where he was sitting.

An impending alarm flooded Benjamin’s mind as he began his slow concise descent off the mound of burlap covered hay. He inched his way toward the foreign old relic of a key. The key with a worn out tattered green ribbon to match, that hung from an equally rusted old nail pounded soundly into the beam of the garden shed, that was home to Benjamin McTish and all that he knew.

As Benjamin approached the key he couldn’t take his eyes off of it. It was like a magnetic beam was pulling him closer and closer to his target. Benjamin reached up on his toes and removed the key from its mysterious home on the old nail. The weight of the key surprised Benjamin, he hadn’t expected it to be as heavy as it was. He turned it around and around in his hands, studying every line of the design. When suddenly, by accident, he noticed that at a certain angle when he looked at it almost sideways there appeared to be…words!

Words and symbols in some kind of extraordinary language that Benjamin had never seen before. Benjamin’s heart started racing and his breathing grew louder. His eyes widened and he quickly took the key over to the potting bench in the middle of the shed. The bench stood immediately under the huge expanse of window ceiling and in between two other tables that were filled with pots and dirt. He laid the key on the top near the corner, in the strong growing light of the imminent storm.

The eerie cast that the light makes when it is so bright, yet dark at the same time, gave illumination to the key on the table’s edge. The table was a perfect height for Benjamin to scrunch on down with his hands on his knees at eye level with the key. He marched back and forth, squatting and repositioning himself for every possible discoverable view of this curious relic without actually touching it. This small, yet significant, distance gave solace to Benjamin as he went deep into dissecting thought.

Just as he was about to pick up the key to examine it closer for details, the door of the shed flew open. A burst of exuberant and animated voices came at him so fiercely that he jumped from the sudden fright, scratching his shoulder on the edge of the table behind him.

“Blast it!” he groaned.

Quickly recognizing the voices of his two best mates, Annabel and Mathilda, he grabbed the key with stealth speed and put it in his back pocket. He pulled his jumper over the protruding end of the key to hide it and turned around to see what the commotion was about.

There was Annabel in her familiar flower-printed rubber cowboy boots and her younger sister Mathilda in her ever more familiar lavender tutu, with today’s addition of a yellow, red and green plaid rain slicker and hat. All her wild orange curls were peeking out everywhere around her face and she held something tightly in her closed up fist. The girls were in the middle of a heavy debate.

“….and it always does,” Mathilda was saying in mid sentence.

“That’s not true,” Annabel defended vehemently, “Where do you get these ideas from anyway, you’re just too weird for words Tildie. I mean it. You really are starting to bug me. I just wish you would find some friends your own age already, as if anyone would be friends with you, and leave me alone!” shouted Annabel with force as she kept walking towards Benjamin.

With this, Mathilda stopped dead in her tracks and looked up as her sister walked away from her. Her eyes began to instantly fill with huge blinding hot tears. Benjamin could see Mathilda beginning to lose it completely and he could also see the rage in Annabel’s trudge towards him. He made a small gesture with his eyes for Annabel to turn around. However, before Annabel could understand what Benjamin’s coded expression meant, Mathilda’s sweet little round face was rapidly contorting. With this her little shoulders were bouncing up and down from the weight of her silent wailing.

This was the kind of crying that one makes when the hurt is so sudden that your brain can’t react as fast as your body. Instantly your eyes fill up and closed all at once.

Unprompted, Mathilda’s clenched fist opened and the three gum balls that had been held prisoner, loosened their stickiness in slow motion and fell to the ground, leaving dots of candy flavored red, green and white imprints on her sweaty palm. She held her stiff sticky little rainbow colored hand open like it was something defective and unattached to her. Her rain hat was falling down over her forehead from the jiggling of her bouncing shoulders. And then with all the force of her tiny little person…it came. A huge pile of hurt rushing out of her mouth and filling the room, instantly covering Annabel in shame.

When Annabel finally turned around and saw the incredible anguish of her words, her heart practically popped out of her body. She ran with urgency back to her sister and fell to her knees.

Wrapping her arms around Mathilda she urged, “Oh Tildie, I’m so sorry, I didn’t mean it…really, I didn’t mean it. Please Tildie, you know I love you. Please stop crying.”

Benjamin stood behind Annabel and attempted to help the situation by reassuring Mathilda that she was indeed his best mate, equal only to her sister Annabel, and he couldn’t imagine one without the other.

“Blimey Tildie, we’re the THREE Muskydeers ein’t we?” offered Benjamin.

Finally the gentle coaxing of love from her sister began to slow Mathilda’s seemingly relentless sobbing. Now she had hiccups mixed in with gentle sobs and loads of snot. Annabel took her own sweater sleeve, spit on it a little, picked up Mathilda’s sticky hand and wiped it. Mathilda whimpered through a very runny nose and all the wetness of tears and snot caused a big slobber bubble when she spoke, making the word gum balls come out gum bowls instead.

“I di.dent know…B.Bellie…I just…oh no! I dr..dropped the gum bowls…I’m s..sorry Bellie…”

Attempting not to giggle, Annabel assured her baby sister with a small smile, “Ssshh Tildie, it’s okay, we can just wipe them off, it will be fine.”

Benjamin nodded in reassurance from his end.

Annabel wiped her sister’s tears and her profoundly running nose with the back of her sweater sleeve and propped her rain hat back up on her head. Then the sisters leaned in, resting their foreheads against each other, they looked deeply into one another’s eyes for a very long moment. Slowly a small smile started to grow between them. With this Mathilda threw her arms around Annabel’s neck and Benjamin exhaled a deep breath of relief.

The Wickcliff girls were the most truest and best mates that Benjamin ever had, without exception. It had been almost a year since he sat in his bedroom window and watched in curious amusement as the moving van unloaded the entirety of the Wickcliff belongings into the two story cream house with the forest green trim, next door to his grandparents.

}The Guest Post}

When I began writing this series, mulling over the mystical little world I was creating, I had to imagine not only what this world would look like, but what was the bigger picture? Where did it come from, what was it’s purpose...and more importantly, who would care? I wanted Coranim to have meaning...a greater intention than just a fairy tale...something more than merely Gnomes and magic. 

Many years ago I was at a meditation group that used a massive tree as a visual guide, and up at my old home here in the mountains I had a tree I always referred to as the Grandfather it seemed logical to start there.

The story has many layers of thought behind it and the Spiritual theme is sewn into the fabric of this world in a subtle way. The idea of “as it is above, so it is below,” is a big motive throughout the book. I wanted to bring in the flavor of how we are connected on all levels.

The actual world itself just stemmed completely from my vivid imagination of the whimsical and fantasy that I so adore. I was an interior designer for many years and I LOVE fabric...beautiful damask, meaty woven it was a natural for me to write that into my world. The descriptions of Na’talom, the entrance city into Coranim from the Grandfather Tree, are extremely detailed, with intricacies of specific colors and textures of fabric draperies in storefront windows and wrought iron lanterns with deep colored glass, while mosaic and iron benches dot the cobblestone street sidewalks, etc. I simply couldn’t get enough of building this secret little world beneath the Gilley Forest and beyond. It has a bit of Steampunk, English garden cottage, Diagon Alley and Shire all rolled into one eclectic and beautifully full world of wonder and mystery...the second book actually brings this in a bigger way.

The land follows the circumference of the Tree’s root structure then expands out into the greater part of the underground, beneath continents and oceans. There are jungles and water masses, it has it’s own central sun, which again, is explained further by Pips, the eccentric artist/scientist/inventor, in the second book....

“You see, we are the only city in Coranim that needs the artificial illusion of sunlight. We are not deep enough and the thickness of terra firm above us is dense, no way to utilize the interior sun.”

“Interior sun?” asked a stunned Benjamin.

“Yes, you see there are many openings between our world and yours, some of them separated by a thick gel like clear seal, like the one under the lake. The interior of Earth is an eco system, a solar system unto itself. There is a main core of light. There is vegetation and rivers, animals, everything that you have up top, minus the industry pollutants. The Aurorus Jungles are proof of that.”

“Actually it’s been theorized in your neck of the planet that the gasses escaping from our luminous world below are the cause of the Aurora Borealis. That is where the name for the Jungle is derived.”

“How would you know something like this Pips?” asked Benjamin.

“One does get around young man. I’m am a scientist you know, it’s my duty to know these things regarding this orb of dirt and water we all call home. Esmerelda Fet came upon the possession of such knowledge in her wealth of a library and she shared it with me. She knows way more than you can imagine about your to her sometime, she might surprise you,” responded the Gnome, as he gave a sly wink to the Medicine Woman.

In the end I believe I’ve created a world of magic, beauty and thought. A world that the reader will hopefully lose themselves in wonder at the visual concept laid before them. Coranim comes from my imagination, however, the idea of possibilities is all around just seeped into a magical little land below an ancient behemoth of a Tree in another dimension that is the Gilley Forest.

}Maggie's Review}

I've read the entire Harry Potter Series (more than once), and I have to say that Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree is every bit as much of an adventurous read!

Like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, Benjamin McTish is a story about the power of friendship. And also like Harry Potter and The Lord of the Rings, there's a world to be saved. June M. Pace does a fantastic job of building that world fresh and new with mystical creatures, wondrous magic, valiant heroes and evil villains galore, and it all begins with a key . . .

I loved the characters in this book, especially Benjamin McTish and Annabel and Mathilda Wickcliff - How cool are those names!?!

Benjamin McTish and the Door Through the Grandfather Tree is a great story for kids of all ages, and I'm going to give the book an Epic 5 Star Review!


Disclaimer: I received this book as part of the Buy the Book Tour for Benjamin McTish in exchange for an honest and fair review of the book.

}About June M. Pace}

Website | Twitter | Facebook | Goodreads

June lives with her husband and best friend Ray, his youngest son and their two dogs, seven chickens and two ducks, in Santa Cruz Ca. Ray’s two older kids live respectively in LA and San Francisco.

June spends her days writing and sometimes painting her well known series of Rock n Roll icons.This series of work, the McTish characters, are a part of June in every sense of the word. “This work brings a deep sense of joy and passion for me in a very profound way, like nothing else that I do.”

}The Awesome Giveaway}