Coming Soon from SPMG: Kidtropolis by Ray Brown

Coming Soon from SPMG: Kidtropolis by Ray Brown

by Anna Tellman Stumpf Kidtropolis is found in The Book of the Imagination. This book is provided to a young Mya as she struggles with some of life’s bigger issues. One way to help a young person is to give them answers, but Mya’s grandfather hands her a book. A book with empty pages. Mya’s book takes her to Kidtropolis. Kidtropolis is a magical crazy mixed up world where kids run everything. The mayor is a kid, the policeman is a kid, and so is the fireman. Mya finds hysterical kids with fun lives, a rambunctious kid named Farticus, and even a very unhappy kid, Louie. Among the kids are helpful storks, forests and a village made out of poo. While these may not sound like keys to answers life’s big questions for a kid, they provide an entertaining backdrop to finding those answers through imagination. Read more by clicking here. Mya’s book takes her to Kidtropolis, which is a magical, crazy, mixed-up world where kids run everything. The mayor is a kid, the policeman is a kid, and so is the fireman. Mya finds hysterical kids with fun lives, a rambunctious kid named Farticus and even a very unhappy kid; Louie. Among the kids are helpful storks, forests and a village made out of poo. While these may not sound like keys to answers life’s big questions for a kid, they provide an entertaining backdrop to finding those answers through imagination. What a child will find in Kidtropolis is their ability to dream and to use those dreams to help shape their reality. Children will relate to Mya because she is confused by life and what better way to be confused than to step into an imaginary world that makes absolutely no sense? Kidtropolis is where Mya learns to dream and to believe. “Well, I’d say to try to only think on those things that matter. But don’t just think about it, believe it. That’s why we can do what we want, be whoever we want. It’s not that we think we can’t; it’s because we believe we can.” Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Get Your Holiday List Started Here!

Get Your Holiday List Started Here!

By Judy Spring The holiday season is upon us. It’s time for crisp winter air, warm fires, and visiting with family. It’s also time to begin to shop for your holiday gift lists. A simple and thoughtful way to get started is to shop for the bookworms in your life, and we have some suggestions for all of your differing needs. For fantasy lovers of all ages, we offer Birth by Fire’s Embrace by Ashleigh Galvin. “When all that is familiar vanishes from Shar’s life, she begins to look inside and find the strength and courage to carry on in a harsh world, and look towards another world that lies ahead.” To find purchasing information and to learn more about Birth by Fire’s Embrace, visit Ashleigh Galvin’s website at: http://ashleighgalvin.wordpress.com/. Try a romantic mystery for the mysterious types in your life! Twist of Fate, by Genilee Swope Parente and F. Sharon Swope is the first in a series chronicling Detective Sam Osborne as he ferrets out clues to help the young heiress Casey Lewis discover who is out to take her life. Discover love, companionship, and a good mystery to tie up all the characters in a simple Twist of Fate. Be sure to include the second book in the series, Wretched Fate, to round out the gifts you give your mystery lover. Twist of Fate can be purchased on Amazon here, and Wretched Fate is currently available through Amazon here. If you’d like to learn more about this writing duo, check out their website at http://swopeparente.com/. Next up, we invite you have a look at the young adult fantasy novel Heron’s Path by Alethea Eason. This book is perfect for your young adult that likes to adventure into other worlds. Join two sisters, Katy and Celeste, as “Like the current of the river Talum that witnesses all within these pages, you too will be swept along in the adventure, sometimes in reflective pools, sometimes drawn inexorably to the falls… to find the Heron’s Path.” Heron’s Path can be found on Amazon here, and you can learn more about Alethea and the novel on her website at http://theheronspath.com/. For those drawn to inspirational writings, try Mike Klumpp’s I Am: The Miracle. Klumpp shares his journey in this Christian inspirational memoir, spreading across the continent and into other countries. Bits of poetry and anecdotes highlight Mike’s faith and perseverance as he finds his purpose in life. From the listing on Amazon: “This book serves to further support those in need as proceeds will go directly towards efforts to help the underprivileged in various groups overseas. This is managed through Mike’s charity, the East African Service and Empowerment Organization (EASE: http://easeorg.com), which...

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Resurrecting Dead Ideas

Resurrecting Dead Ideas

by Yen Ooi Do you have story ideas that you have forgotten, left for dead, given up on, or worse, ignored? Well, why not take this spooky Halloween season to resurrect them? Perhaps they could be revived for a dramatic entrance as a new novel this NaNoWriMo? As a writer, I have notes in many formats, but thankfully, I’ve learnt to keep them all in one of two places; my computer, or my notebook. I don’t think that this is the best method, but it works for me. What methods do you use for note-keeping? Do you keep everything that you think would inspire a story someday? Being a writer is an ongoing learning process for me. I am always doubting what I should write down, and what I should just throw away, but I’m glad that I generally decide to keep most of my ideas. It can be anything from a word to an actual scene, or even a breakdown of a storyline. Sometimes, when I am feeling uninspired or just needing a kick up my creative backside, I pull out my notes and read through them as something would always jump out of the page and scream ‘write me’. Don’t be afraid to be different. Writers have their own quirks, which can be seen in this brilliant compilation of writers’ notebooks. http://www.jackiemorris.co.uk/blog/writers-notebooks/ Every story begins differently; some small, some large, some complete, some making no sense at all. Every story also has a different incubation period. It might take years to mature into an actual story, or it might take minutes from inception. Stories cannot be rushed and need to be worked with at their own pace. Earlier this year, I looked at my old notes and found just a short description of a young man whom I saw working at a Starbucks near where I had lived in Tokyo. I had written the description in 2008, wanting just a memory of that moment that might somehow be inspired into a story. I had looked at the same note various times in the last five years, but nothing came to it, until sometime earlier this year, when the idea for a short story came to me. I knew then, that my Starbucks boy will be written into a story and that was how the story of the same title was born. So, how will you react to your old notes and ideas? Do you think there’s something there that is screaming to be written soon? Don’t throw out old ideas, or ignore them. Keep them in a safe place where you can refer to them periodically. You’ll find that they each have a moment in which to shine in...

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With Love: An Interview with Genilee and Sharon

With Love: An Interview with Genilee and Sharon

by Judy Spring Recently, I had the opportunity to catch up to the authors of Twist of Fate, F. Sharon Swope and Genilee Swope Parente. This mother-daughter writing duo has offered insight into their lives, collaborative process, and a bit about the upcoming sequel in their Sam Osborne Detective Series, Wretched Fate. Sharon and her husband Robert live in Woodbridge, Virginia, while Genilee lives a little ways down the road in Dumfries with her husband Ray and daughter Christina. Although Sharon has had dogs most of her life, she currently doesn’t have any pets. Genilee’s household is shared with a mom cat and two kittens, and a dog that would like to make friends with the feline crew, but hasn’t yet succeeded. Music is a must in this family, and Genilee thanks her ma and pa for the introduction to swing music from the wonderful 40s, as well as a shared love of classical music. In addition to listening to acoustical folk music, country, and Irish music, Genilee offers an extended thanks to her daughter for sharing the popular genre, and also to her talented brother for a love of instrumental. In down time, Sharon relaxes by playing games of any kind: card games, mahjong, and computer games are a mentionable few. Genilee, however, relaxes by “doing ANYthing but play games. Mom did not pass down the competitive gene. I read, write, and watch movies.” Each of these ladies had a favorite quote to share. Sharon believes in fairness and hard work, citing two quotes that demonstrate these qualities to her: “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you,” and, “God helps those who help themselves.” Genilee shared the quote: “Life is not measured by the breaths we take, but by the moments that take our breath away.” She says that this quote has been overused in recent years, but she has a copy of it on her refrigerator. She applies this quote to her craft with these words, “Writing is about focusing on those moments.” When asked what advice they would give to their younger selves, they offered a ponderable thought. Sharon shared this piece of heart, “Don’t wait so long to pursue your dreams.” This is a powerful observation by one who is respectably pursuing and achieving her dream. It’s no wonder her daughter Genilee offered the same words of wisdom following it with, “But never give up on them, as they can happen at any age.” Below are a few detailed questions, followed with replies from both of the authors, and we hope you enjoy. Who is your favorite author? Sharon:  Jude Deveraux, Johanna Lindsay, and Mary Higgins Clark. Genilee:  Mary Higgins Clark,...

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Monsters

Monsters

Monsters by Ashleigh Galvin  This time of year, there is only one thing on people’s minds. Vampires, witches, and werewolves (oh my). These three ‘monsters’ occupy a large portion of fiction. Most bookshops I’ve been to even have their own vampire section. The epic plight for ‘top spot’ between creatures of the night has raged on for centuries, constantly vied for by shape-changing hairy men and those who have waited too long to see the dentist. They’ve become tropes and, like all tropes, people will tire of them when the next big thing sweeps through. What will the next big monster be? This article touches on some of the lesser-known horrors and will help you begin to create your own nightmare. Let’s get straight into it. The big blue deep is often associated with all manner of horrific and in some cases, quite unique monsters. A large factor behind these scary depths is the fear of the unknown. To this day, we are discovering new animals with amazing abilities (search pistol shrimp and you’ll know what I mean). This is simply due to the size of the oceans. They’re huge and if you’ve seen a whale, you know these vast bodies of water can house huge creatures as well. Due to the popularity of the Pirates of the Caribbean movies, there is one sea monster getting a surge in popularity: the humble Kraken. Heralding from Norse mythology, Kraken are squids of tremendous proportions said to be able to tear ships apart and eat them. Remember, monsters don’t have to be huge to be scary—small lakes also house those who wish to feast. The Kelpie are great examples of this. Celtic mythology tells of a water horse that transforms into a beautiful woman that lures men to their watery grave. The Kelpie also entice children to ride them. Once the child is on its back, its skin would turn sticky and the poor child is unable to escape as the Kelpie returns back to the bottom of its lake. If you thought staying out of the water would keep you safe, I’m afraid you’re dead wrong. Terra firma is also home to a host of horrors waiting to seal your fate. Let’s start with a creature you may recognize, the Dullahan. The name may be unfamiliar, but it is a classic specter of death. The Dullahan is a headless horse rider that carries it’s own rotting head under arm. Doors and gates open by themselves when a Dullahan approaches. Another great evil to stay away from is the often overlooked Mummy. Losing popularly slightly, the Mummy was once among the most feared monsters. While Mummies were written about as early...

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Halloween Reads

Halloween Reads

Something for all the Ghouls and Boils… by Merethe Walther There is little more compelling in horror stories than the unexplained and hidden things that go ‘bump’ in the night. And why not? Fear is a riveting source of entertainment. Why else would we sit, huddled in the dark around a television set, eyes glued to the screen, waiting for the monster or killer to jump out and scare not only the characters in the story, but also us, our pulses jumping just a *little* bit faster? For those of you who like the thrill of being terrified, the elation of a ghost story in the cemetery, and the fright of hearing noises when you know no one is there—we’ve got a little something for you. If you’re looking for a spine-tingling good tale, why settle just for one? Disturbing holds a collection of seven heart-hammering stories of the terrifying and the unknown. Disturbing is a compilation of the frightening; a tome of relentless, hauntingly creepy stories that leave goosebumps and uncertainty in their wake. Take a step outside of the ordinary and into a world where anything is possible, and everything is… Disturbing. “Truce.” She carefully unhooked her arm and reached up to clasp his hand. With help, Annie climbed up, swung her leg over the railing, and dropped to her feet on the other side. An odd, shivery sensation passed between them, leaving her a little disoriented when she eventually slipped her hand from his. His remained outstretched for a moment, suspended in the space where their palms had touched, until slowly, he curled his fingers closed and let his arm drop. His gaze never wavered from hers. Annie shifted away from his scrutiny and looked around. The dark expanse of bring yawned into the night from either side, with a single, sickly streetlamp to light the way. Something didn’t seem quite right, though she couldn’t explain why. “So,” Annie hugged her arms to her chest to ward off the sudden chill, “What are you doing out here? Really.” Her words frosted the evening air with little clouds of white. “Oh, you know,” he said. “Stalking.” “Yeah, right,” she looked at him, incredulous. “And girls on bridges just so happen to be on the venue tonight, huh?” He shrugged. “Those are the best kind, aren’t they?” Maybe you’re hungry for something a bit more gruesome than some ghost stories? Perhaps you’ve got a craving for something more to whet your horror appetite? How about a good old-fashioned, nail-biting, clawing, terror-inducing zombie attack to sate that craving? Welcome to a world in which the zombie apocalypse really happened, and see it from the view of those who kill...

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