Interview | C. S. Adler | “Scarecrow on Horseback” + Giveaway

Author Erin Elliott (“Mira’s View” – Sword of Lumina book 1, due out from Fire and Ice in June 2014) took some time from her busy schedule to interview fellow Fire and Ice author C. S. Adler about her latest book “Scarecrow on Horseback.”

Humiliated by an experience with her stepsister’s horse Mel refuses to become a rider, but she loves horses. When her mother gets an office job on a dude ranch, Mel is happy to scoop poop and do other scut work just to be near her favorite animals.

The trouble is every time she bonds with a horse something bad happens. It seems she is jinxed, that is until she develops a relationship with a mustang that rich Mr. Jefferies has bought. Then Mel risks everything to make that wild horse her own.

Erin: Where did you get the idea for this book?

CS: I could make up a story to answer question one, but the truth is I don’t know how I got the idea for SCARECROW ON HORSEBACK.  Either that or I just don’t remember.

 

Erin: Have you grown up with horses? If so did you have a favorite horse growing up?

CS: I grew up in New York City, an animal lover for sure, but my only experience with horses was falling off a farm horse my cousins let me ride on my grandparents’ farm in the Adirondaks one summer vacation week when I was about ten, and then falling off one in Central Park on an early date with my future husband when I was sixteen.

Erin: Did you ever work on a dude ranch? Or is that something that you would have like to do?

CS: A dude ranch?  To a N.Y.C girl, that was an exotic dream destination, not a reality until I was middle-aged and celebrating an  important wedding anniversary.

 

Erin: What is your favorite type of horse?

CS: The only horse I remember is one who came over and bumped his head against my chest in a field of horses one day. I fell in love on the instant.

 

Erin: How long have you been writing?

CS: I have been writing fiction since I was seven years old,, more than seventy odd years ago.

 

Erin: Are there any other books that you are working on?

CS: I am always working on another book, but none with horses right now.

 

Erin: Will you be making a sequel with Mel?

CS: A sequel with Mel?  Not unless some readers want me to write one.

 

Erin: Are there any words of wisdom you would like to pass on to future writers?

CS: To future writers I would say, keep a journal;  it’s incredible how much you forget, even of the important things in your life that you think are engraved in your memory.


Buy the book here.

Add it to your Goodreads shelf here.

 


About C. S. Adler

Born in New York City at the end of the great depression, I graduated from Hunter High School and College, got married, worked in advertising, had three sons, and spent thirty some years in upstate New York where I was an English teacher at Niskayuna Middle School for nearly a decade. My husband and I retired to Tucson, Arizona where I fell in love with the desert. I am a passionate tennis player, grandmother and nature lover, and have been a full time writer since the publication of my first children’s book, THE MAGIC OF THE GLITS.

That book won both the William Allen White Award and the Golden Kite Award. My novel, THE SHELL LADY’S DAUGHTER, was chosen by the A.L.A. as a best young adult book of 1983. WITH WESTIE AND THE TIN MAN won the Children’s Book Award of the Child Study Committee in 1986 and that committee commended many of my novels. SPLIT SISTERS IN 1987 and GHOST BROTHER in 1991 were I.R.A. Children’s Choices selections. ONE SISTER TOO MANY was on the 1991 Young Adults’ Choices list. ALWAYS AND FOREVER FRIENDS and EDDIE’S BLUE WINGED DRAGON were on a 1991 I.R.A. 99 Favorite Paperbacks list.

ONE UNHAPPY HORSE won the ASPCA Henry Berg Award in 2002.

Many of my books have been on state lists and have also been translated and published in Japan, Germany, England, Denmark, Austria, Sweden, Norway, Finland, France, and currently Turkey.

Website: www.c-s-adler.com


About Erin Elliott

I’ve been a preschool special education teacher for the last ten years. I’ve always wanted to be a writer and started writing stories and “books” when I was in high school. I have three books coming out, The Sword of Lumina series. I love spending time with my family, reading, summer and the sun. My lifelong dream is to live in Hawaii someday.

Facebook: Facebook.com/swordoflumina
Blog: erinelliottwriter.wordpress.com
Twitter: @eelliottauthor


GIVEAWAY

Mel, the heroine in “Scarecrow on Horseback” has a fear of riding horses. Leave a comment below sharing your biggest fear to be entered to win a free ebook copy of the book.

Don’t want to share your fear? No problem. Just comment with “Count me in!”

The winner will be chosen on (or shortly after) May 7, 2014.

 

Interview | Caroline Akervik | “White Pine” + Giveaway

Caroline Akervik is the author of “A Horse Named Viking” and the latest, “White Pine: My Year as a Lumberjack and River Rat.”

Fellow Fire and Ice author D. G. Driver, author of “Cry of the Sea” stopped by to have a chat with Caroline about “White Pine.”

After Sevy Anderson’s father breaks his leg in a sawmill accident, the fourteen-year-old must take his place with the rough and tumble lumberjacks and river rats who harvest the white pine forests of Wisconsin. The men of the Northwoods live hard and on the edge, and Sevy must prove his courage and his worth in the company of legends.

Will he become the man he so longs to be?
Will the other men ever accept him?
And will he even survive his first winter in the Northwoods?

 


Donna: I love the use of the slang, jargon and slips of foreign words in the book. It’s also really interesting how you slip them into the story without explaining them, allowing the reader to kind of figure it out. I know there is a glossary at the end, but it was fun to try to read the words in context and put it together. Could you tell how you learned all those terms? Also, why did you choose to use them the way you did?

Caroline: I wanted this story to be as historically accurate as possible. The men who worked the logging camps of the Minnesota and Wisconsin Northwoods were a cultural hodgepodge. One reason that they were not allowed to speak during meals was that there were concerns that miscommunications could lead to fights. So, to be accurate in the setting, I had to include the foreign words and jargon. Now, I don’t speak most of these languages. Thankfully, my editor, Jessica Dall, was both creative and firm about getting the terms right and using them appropriately. I hope that we were successful.

 

Donna: I understand from your author’s note that you did a lot of research into logging and the area up north. The book is full of details that give it so much life. Could you talk about your experience researching the book? Where did you find most of your information?

Caroline: This story was inspired by going with my children on field trips to the Paul Bunyan Logging Camp and the Chippewa Valley Museum with my children when they were each in third grade. I am not originally from Wisconsin. So, the history and the lore of the lumberjack era were all relatively new to me. On one of these field trips, I remember sitting in the bunkhouse with my oldest son, and we were looking at the boots and wool socks hanging up around the pot belly stove and my son said: “You should write a book about a lumberjack camp.” I liked the idea and I was also intrigued enough to want to learn more about the era, itself.

I work as an elementary school librarian. We teach children how and why we research. With the kindergartners and first graders, I explain that we research in order to answer questions. And this was exactly what I did. That is, I sought to satisfy my own curiosity about what it was like to work in those white pine forests in the middle of winter and while separated from your family and friends. Then, I thought about what it would be like for a young person.

For my actual research, I read anything and everything about the era in both print and electronic format that I could get my hands on. The actual research took several years and fills two notebooks. I had to consider questions like what sorts of games would lumberjacks play, what they would wear, and even if they bathed over the course of the winter. I did my best to be historically accurate, and I have my fingers and toes crossed that I achieved that goal.

 

Donna: Still on research, were there any interesting things about logging that you learned that you didn’t get to use in the book?

Caroline: That’s a big question. I think of writing as being rather like sculpting clay. You have to give the sculpture shape and form and then keep removing that which is not needed. Now, I am not a sculptor, but this is how I imagine the process. You end up with a lot of clay on the ground. So, of course, there was information that I did not use. I was intrigued by the idea that some women accompanied their husbands to the logging camps, but this fact didn’t work with the story. I would have liked to have spent more time on the river run. There is a great deal about life in the “sawdust city” of Eau Claire that I would have liked to include. But part of the writing process is cutting away the fat, removing that which does not add to the story. White Pine is Sevy’s story, and I had to narrow my focus to that lens.

 

Donna: The book never says what year it actually is. It is clearly before cars, but could you say when the lumberjack era was?

Caroline: In Wisconsin, the lumberjack era extends from the mid to the late nineteenth century. I didn’t want to get very specific about the year, because then I would be tied into specific historical events. I had some specific years in mind, around 1880, but I didn’t want to be tied down to that year.

 

Donna: There is a great juxtaposition between green, young Sevy, and hardened, burly Roget. It is terrific how you keep us guessing if Roget will ever come to respect Sevy. Were these characters based on real people? Why did you decide to make the antagonist in your young adult story a grown man instead of another teenager?

Caroline: The book is intended for a boy audience. I truly believe that most books that are published today for middle grade or YA readers are intended for girls. When my son was fourteen, I remember taking him to the public library and telling him to check out the Teen section. He came back empty handed and when I asked him why, he explained that all of the books up there were about “vampires or werewolves.” He just didn’t go for fantasy or romance. As a school librarian, I am very aware that many boys are reluctant readers. They need exciting and adventurous fiction that is written for them as well.

 

Donna: There aren’t many girls in this story, but the character of Adelaide and how Sevy reacts whenever she is around is precious. Did you always plan to have the little hint of romance in this “boy book”, or did you add it in later drafts?

Caroline: The very first book that I ever wrote was a fantasy. I asked a college professor whom I liked and admired to read it. He wrote copious notes on the book and mentioned in them that he had read very few books in which there wasn’t some sort of romance or love interest. That comment really resonated with me. I like a little romance or sparkle in what I read. Sevy, despite all of his adventures and his courage, is a typical fourteen-year-old boy. He knows he likes Adelaide, but he has no idea of how to behave around her.

 

Donna: In a lot of young adult books at least one parent is dead, or both parents are absent. Could you tell about how you got Sevy away from his parents and why you chose what happened to his dad?

Caroline: Immigrant families in the nineteenth century had to pull together and work hard in order succeed. Sevy’s father supports his family by working at a lumberjack camp through the winter and at a sawmill in the summer. A sawmill was a dangerous place back then. So, what would happen to a such a family if the breadwinner was seriously injured and unable to work? Then, the fourteen-year-old son, in this case, Sevy, has to take his father’s place and work a man’s job. Sevy has to succeed in order for his family to survive. The stakes are incredibly high for him.

 

Donna: I think it’s ironic that I have a book out about environmental activists, and I’m interviewing someone who wrote about logging. I think the sentiment in the final chapter is lovely and poignant. Is there anything you learned about the history of logging that you could share with us that is different from the way logging is done now? Is it more environmentally friendly now?

Caroline: I am deeply concerned about the environment and committed to conservation. I struggled with writing a book about logging as well. I knew that I wanted to have Sevy reflect on the wastefulness of the entire process, but that is a very modern mind set. Still, no matter how one feels about the act of logging or the industry, the spirit of those nineteenth century lumberjacks, their courage, and the exciting and dangerous lives that they lived make for compelling stories. These were remarkable people and they should not be forgotten.

That said, I didn’t study twenty-first century logging. I would certainly hope that it is more environmentally sound today.


About Caroline Akervik

Caroline Akervik has been an avid reader since the fourth grade when a nun named Sister Dorothy introduced her to the magical world of Narnia. Caroline read anything and everything and was a particular fan of Marguerite Henry’s horse stories and, especially, of King of the Wind.

Most of her early adulthood was spent as a professional horsewoman. She competed through the Grand Prix level of Dressage and worked with and trained many horses. Then, Caroline was blessed with a wonderful husband and three incredible children. Spending time with her own children motivated her to return to school to become a library/media specialist.

Now, Caroline shares her love of story and of the magic and power of words with the children she teaches. In her own work, Caroline seeks to write from the heart and to transport her readers and give wings to their imaginations. Caroline writes for young people, but agrees with C.S. Lewis that “A children’s story that can only be enjoyed by children is not a good children’s story in the slightest.”

Blog: http://carolineakervik.blogspot.com


About D. G. Driver

D. G. Driver grew up in Southern California only 30 minutes from the beach. As a girl, she used to dream that magic would change her overnight into a beautiful mermaid. Alas, that never happened, but her love of the ocean never diminished. Even though she is landlocked in Tennessee now, she still only needs one whiff of sunscreen to bring her imagination alive. Thanks to the support of her husband and a sweet drawing of a mermaid done by her daughter that was taped on the wall above her desk to keep her motivated to finish, Cry of the Sea is now her first published Young Adult novel. A dragon picture hangs there now, so we’ll see what happens…


GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below to be entered to win a free ebook copy of “White Pine” by Caroline Akervik.
The winner will be chosen on (or shortly after) May 4, 2014.
Don’t forget you can also enter to win the $10 Amazon Gift Card here!

 

New Books || April 24, 2014 + Giveaway

New Releases from Fire and Ice YA Books - April 24, 2014

Our $10 Amazon Gift Card is still up for grabs! Check out our latest releases then check out the bottom of the page for info on how to win!

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"Song Magick" by Elisabeth HamillSong Magick

by Elisabeth Hamill

In a realm where true magic has been lost for centuries, seventeen-year-old bard Telyn Songmaker’s powers are unprecedented — and unpredictable. Able to control the actions and emotions of others with her melodic enchantments, the violent aftermath of an accidental spell has left Telyn exiled from the King’s court — unaware of the price on her head.

When Telyn is outnumbered by assassins in the Wood, Mithrais comes to her aid, dispatched to protect her by dying sylvan gods who need her unique magical gifts to free them from an ancient and deadly spell. Bound to the Wood by blood and by oath, Mithrais is more than the mere soldier he seems, and he and Telyn discover that they share a rare empathic bond of heart and mind.

The Fates have plans for Telyn and Mithrais, but what is brewing will further endanger their lives. If they succeed, magic will return to the realm, but love may be the most unpredictable magic of all…

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The Revengers #3

Under Cover

by Caroline Crane

A senseless murder. A teenager accused—the body found in his car.

It all happened in Hudson Hills, the town next to Cree Penny’s home of Southbridge. To her it seems remote, until her father comes from his home in Borneo, halfway around the world, to help. The youth who is accused might be a relative. His name is Liam Penny.

Liam insists he’s innocent. Of course. They all do. Cree wants nothing to do with any of it. Her mind is on Ben Canfield, the love of her life, who seems to be drifting away. Then she overhears a gang threatening Liam. He might really be innocent.

Everyone advises her to leave it alone. But Cree is determined to learn the truth, to exonerate the innocent and punish the guilty. To do that, she goes undercover. The gang members have never seen her, don’t know anything about her. She can infiltrate them, and does—until someone blows her cover.

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A T.J. Jackson Mystery #3

Roberto’s Return

by Paul Ferrante

Something’s Wrong in the Birthplace of Baseball

In life, he was one of the all-time greats, a trailblazing icon who played the game with unmatched passion and style.
In death, his mystique only grew, the circumstances of his demise shrouded in controversy and myth.
When he passed into legend it was believed his like would never be seen again.
But now he’s come back.
And it’s up to T.J., LouAnne and Bortnicker
to solve the riddle of Roberto’s Return

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The Horse Rescuers Volume 1

The Horse Rescuers

by Patricia Gilkerson

The Penny Pony

Piper Jones has always loved horses, but little did she know what would happen when she and her best friend, Addie tried to help a neglected pony. When all the adults in her life can’t or won’t help, Piper and Addie take matters into their own hands. They must find a safe haven for the pony and protect it from its cruel owner. A little old lady from Piper’s past steps up to help and a suspected liar proves he’s not a bad guy at all. But as the girls try to solve a mystery involving the suspicious owner, will they be forced into crime themselves in order to save their new-found pony friend?

Nickel-Bred
Piper and Addie, looking for another horse, find the perfect one in Nickel, but discover the owner is part of a gang of criminals. Nickel’s life is in danger. Can the girls save him from the slaughterhouse? Will they be able to save their friends and family as the vicious criminals take revenge?

Turn on a Dime
Piper and Addie are going to start their sophomore year in senior high school, when their friend, Miss Julie, rents rooms to Cassie and her stepson, Jeff. Cassie’s mare is going to foal soon and Piper has the responsibility of checking on her daily. Piper and Addie disagree about boys, a situation which worsens because of Piper’s initial dislike of Jeff. As she gets to know and accept Jeff, when he is accused of theft, Piper and her best friend defend him to all adults. What will happen when Cassie steals, then leaves the country as her mare goes into labor with no one but the girls and Jeff to help?

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GIVEAWAY

And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win the $10 Amazon gift card as well over on THIS post!

Interview | Julie Otzelberger | “The Cat That Went to Homecoming” + Giveaway

Today I’m thrilled to present an interview that author Laura Kennedy (“Double Take”) conducted with Julie Otzelberger in regards to Julie’s February release “The Cat That Went to Homecoming.”

First, a little about the book:

The Cat That Went To Homecoming is the coming of age story of Ellen Jones, an overweight teenage girl from a single family home. She is under constant attack by her peers, bullied because of her weight and her family’s poverty. Through volunteer work with her cat, Hershey, Ellen finds her self esteem and the courage to stand up to her bullies. Along the way, she discovers what true friendship and forgiveness are and tells us how Hershey became The Cat That Went To Homecoming.

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Laura: Ellen tells us she’s dreamed of a summer transformation for several summers. Why don’t you think she was ever successful?

Julie: Loneliness can lead to a sedentary lifestyle, and Ellen was lonely for many years. Ellen lives in a suburban neighborhood where most of the residents are upper-middle class families. She is bullied over the fact that her clothes and shoes are not designer brand. Her Mother doesn’t receive child support on a regular basis from her ex husband, and her income alone is not enough to support a healthy diet so she and Ellen eat a lot of high-carb foods like Ramen Noodles and Hamburger Helper. A poor diet can lead to obesity, and unfortunately, Ellen is overweight. Combining her weight with her poverty, Ellen is a perfect target for a bully. After years of being insulted, she built a wall around herself that Hershey helped her break down.

Laura: Do you think that the fact Ellen comes from a low-income, single parent family enough reason for her to have low self esteem? Do you think that a teen with one loving parent can be happy and secure?

Julie: Coming from a low income, single parent home is not the only contributing factor to Ellen’s low self esteem. Teens growing up in single parent homes have every opportunity to be happy and secure as teens in two parent homes do. Their changing hormones, new relationships and new experiences can bring about feelings of insecurity. A parent or parents can only help their child cope with these insecurities if the child communicates with them about the issues. Statistics show that 64% of the victims of bullying never tell their parents that they are being bullied. Ellen happens to be one of those 64 percent.

Laura: What do you think would have happened to Ellen if she hadn’t had Jane in her life? How does Ellen’s cat Hershey help her?

Julie: Jane is the director of a volunteer group of therapy animal teams. It is with Jane’s help that Ellen is able to take the Pet Partners online course and train her cat, Hershey, for work in animal assisted therapy. Jane not only gives Ellen a laptop, she also offers her a summer job to help pay Hershey’s registration fees. Once Hershey’s registration is finalized, Ellen and Hershey become a part of Jane’s team of volunteers.

Ellen could have used the library or found another way to get online to take the Pet Partners course, but since Jane gives Ellen her old laptop, the process is much easier for her. However; without Jane in her life, Ellen may never discover the joy of animal assisted therapy.

Ellen’s work with Hershey creates a relationship with a woman she otherwise would not have gotten to know, and that person will teach Ellen valuable lessons about life.

I like to say that it is BECAUSE of Hershey that Ellen finally goes to homecoming. Ellen’s work with Hershey gives her confidence, and more importantly, a purpose in life.

Laura: What advice would you give to someone who is being bullied?

Julie:TELL SOMEONE! Don’t just take it and let all the insults and abuse pile up on you until you can’t climb out from underneath it. Your parents will not be ashamed of you. Your school guidance counselor is another person with whom you can talk. He or she can direct you to the proper channels to resolve the bullying. Schools are obligated to address bullying and harassment when the behavior violates federal education anti-discrimination laws.

Laura: What would you do if you encountered someone who is bullying someone else? Have you ever bullied someone?

Julie: I would point out the behavior to the offender, asking them how they would feel were the roles reversed. I taught my daughter to be compassionate and respectful of others and made my expectations of her very clear. When I found out she was being bullied, I went to the school personally and spoke to the principle, teachers, and I even called parents to bring their child’s behavior to their attention. One Mother wasn’t so kind on the phone and made me realize why her child was a bully, but one Mother actually made her son write my daughter an apology letter.

I can’t say I haven’t bullied anyone, bulling is everywhere. It’s in the schools, in the home, in the workplace. I’m ashamed to say I have laughed at jokes made at someone else’s expense. But my experiences as a victim have turned me into a “people pleaser” for the most part. I do not go out of my way to hurt anyone’s feelings and I’m always as polite and as careful as possible given the situation. I do not discriminate against race, religion, political beliefs, appearance, or sexual preference. I won’t discuss politics or religion. To me, FAT is the “F” word, and gay means happy.

Laura: Have you ever been bullied and if so, how has if affected you?

Julie: I had a “Darcel” and a “John” in my life, along with others who followed their lead. To this day I have self esteem issues, there’s no denying that. I will never be satisfied with my appearance, but I have found a way to live with that and hopefully I can help someone else combat their bullies.

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About Julie Otzelberger

My name is Julie Otzelberger and I am no stranger to bullying. I grew up in a small suburb in Wisconsin and was overweight for most of my life. The comments made by classmates still haunt me after over thirty years. I admit I’ve had self esteem issues all of my life because of the bullying I underwent, and in an effort to overcome it, in January 2010 I underwent gastric bypass surgery.

Anyone with pets will tell you how special the bond between a pet and owner is because of the he unconditional love pets offer. I’ve had many cats during my life, all of them special and dear to me. I currently have four cats, one of whom I am a registered animal handler of through Pet Partners. My cat Bear and I currently volunteer for Heartland Hospice and Health Heelers, and I find this to be the most rewarding experience of my life. Gastric Bypass surgery may have changed my appearance and the way some people treat me, but my work with Bear has changed how I feel about myself and has given me the self esteem I’ve been lacking.

Hershey is a combination of each cat God has blessed me with over the years. My life was similar to Ellen’s, but I did not find anything like Pet Partners until very recently. I hope I help a young girl finds her way to Pet Partners and follow her altruistic path with her best friend.

Facebook: www.facebook.com/ladyhawk1967

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About Laura Kennedy

LAURA KENNEDY lives in Tarpon Springs, a Greek sponge fishing town on the West Coast of Florida. She grew up in Minneapolis where her mother was a romance writer who helped her father support the family. By the time she was twenty-two, she lived in Southern California, was married, had a baby, and was broke, the perfect Petri dish for the beginning of a writing career. Encouraged by her mother’s writing success, Laura borrowed her mother’s portable typewriter on which she concocted her first story that sold for the staggering sum of $225.

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GIVEAWAY

Have you ever been a victim of a bully?

Leave a comment below and be entered to win a free ebook copy of “The Cat That Went to Homecoming” by Julie Otzelberger.

A winner will be chosen via Random.org on or soon after April 9, 2014.

And don’t forget, there’s still time to enter to win the $10 Amazon gift card as well over on THIS post!