New Books || September 12, 2014

“First Sun”

by Tara Tolly

The universe brought them together…can it tear them apart?

Eden Warren’s world is about to change. When she’s uprooted from her laid back Midwestern lifestyle and thrown into the fast-paced society of Washington D.C.’s elite, she finds herself enrolled in school with Andrew Wellington, the president’s gorgeous son.

But Andrew is not known for his good looks alone. He is famously known as “First Disaster” for his reputation as America’s biggest player. And he has set his sights on Eden. Eden is less than impressed by Andrew’s antics and has no intention of becoming his latest conquest.

What could this former bad boy do to convince Eden that he has truly changed his ways, especially when she discovers he’s hiding a government-protected secret that could permanently alter the course of life on Earth?

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New Books || August 21, 2014

“Roots Entwine”

by Victoria Bastedo

Hidden in the trees is a boy with a mysterious past and powerful ability- will the team that found him have to watch him die?

15-year-old Joaquin can hear a man’s heart beating a half a mile away. He can see in the dark when others are stumbling. One whiff and he can tell what was served for yesterday’s dinner. But then he needs near-coma sleep to heal his brain from the searing pain. He’s a Phoshat, and his ability comes with a price.

Rumors spread about the mysterious Phoshat living in the forest around his family’s estate. Then Kallum comes, the tall stranger who leads a mission team for the king. He’s determined to add a Phoshat to the list of talents that his team boasts. He takes on the responsibility of a teenaged, untested Phoshat, and they set out, but soon it’s evident that Joaquin’s gift is so powerful that it almost swings out of control. As their journey goes on and unconsciousness overwhelms Joaquin over and again, Kallum begins to question whether Joaquin is ready for the dangerous mission that’s growing more intense every day.

Joaquin wonders too. Why was he born different than everyone else?

Roots Entwine is a young adult fantasy adventure. A tree standing alone shades no one, but entwining his life with his team moves Joaquin towards the inevitable choice he must make for them. It’s up to him to decide what the sum of his life will be, and if his inborn ability will be a curse to him or the gift that saves his friends.

New Books || July 24, 2014

We’ve only got one release today and it’s one that I’m very excited about.

When I first read this book, when the author submitted it for consideration to be published, I thought to myself, “Wow! This is different. I have not read a book like this. What a refreshing change of pace.”

The Haunting of Secrets

by Shelley R. Pickens

Are some secrets worth dying for?

Sixteen-year-old Aimee doesn’t like to touch people. One touch and she sees their past. One graze over her skin and she can see all the good and bad deeds a person has ever done. It isn’t until a bomb explodes during lunch that she realizes exactly how many dirty secrets the students in her school harbor-or exactly how far one of them would go to keep his secrets safe.

In the aftermath of that fateful day of the bombing Aimee is brushed by a fellow student as they are caught in the mob running for their lives. Images of tortured and murdered young girls rise up to choke her. The problem is, Aimee doesn’t know who touched her. Somewhere in this school a fellow student is a killer, and Aimee is the only one that can find him before he murders again.

 With the help of her friends Aimee must sift through her stolen memories to determine clues. The quest to find a killer unravels the very fabric of her carefully woven life. He won’t stop until he silences her- for only she knows all his secrets. She will have to summon all of her inner strength to decide what she must do: hunt or be hunted. Are some secrets worth dying for?

New Books || June 26, 2014

 

2014-06-26

I am so excited to announce this months releases!

“Twell and the Army of Powers” is a fantastic story set in a dystopian future. There’s a little bit of action and a little bit of romance, complete with super powers.

“Mira’s View” is the first in The Sword of Lumina series. If you like fantasy quests and elves then you are in for a treat.

“Good Vs. Evil High” is exactly what it sounds like. A high school for “good” kids rivaling a high school for “evil” kids. Throw in some Romeo & Juliet romance and you’ve got entertainment galore.

And finally, “Emma and the Cutting Horse” is a keeper for the horse lovers out there. Will Emma’s horse become a champion cutting horse? Read on to find out!


 

Twell and the Army of Powers by Kate O'LearyTwell and the Army of Powers

The Como Chronicles #1

by Kate O’Leary

Twell lives in the new world of Como, and has always neglected her telekinetic gifts, desiring to be ‘normal.’ Her biggest drama in life is having to be genetically partnered with a boy she doesn’t know or love by her next birthday. Unfortunately she loves her best friend, who loves the girl she hates most, and Twell is left frustrated & heartbroken.

 When Twell is requested alongside several other teens to develop her skills for the protection of Como, she reluctantly agrees to the training, and finds herself thrown into all sorts of mental and physical challenges.

 Handsome, charismatic Jonaz, is gifted with the power of healing. According to Twell he’s an infuriating prat who delights in provoking her. But first impressions have always been her downfall.

 When Como is attacked, life as Twell knows it is changed forever, with devastating consequences. With no choice but to fight, Twell risks her life to protect those who have survived, coming up against unexpected dangers she could never anticipate. Will she survive, and if so will she be matched to a stranger when the one she is growing to love is destined to another?


Mira's View by Erin ElliottMira’s View

The Sword of Lumina #1

by Erin Elliott

In a world ruled by the dark, what would you do to see the light again?

Galena is just like every other elf, enslaved by the powerful Rau. Once a beautiful and powerful race, the elves have been reduced to slave labor in the mines of Rau. Galena grew up hearing the stories of old about a sword, when wielded by the right elf, ending Rau’s tyranny. Unsure if she believes these stories, she finds herself plunged into a world unfamiliar to her, hunted by Rau for her unnatural magical abilities. Will she find the sword promised to her people? Or will she fall prey to the idea of a sword that doesn’t exist?


Good Vs. Evil High by April MarcomGood Vs. Evil High

by April Marcom

Deadly disaster strikes when Good falls in love with Evil.

Kristine’s just been adopted into North Haven High, an ice castle hidden in the farthest reaches of the north for orphaned teenagers who possess an unfailing disposition for good. And she’s just in time for their Winter Competitions, a rivalry held each year between NHHS and Southland Cinder High, a school made up of the exact opposite sort of teens. Here she finds Knight, a Cinder she grew up with but lost contact with years ago. And even though it’s forbidden, she begins to fall for him. Of course, her North Haven boyfriend’s got a thing or two to say about that. But Kristine doesn’t care. She’s happier than she’s been in years as she gets closer and closer to the man she’s falling completely in love with and having crazy fun with her new roommates.

Unfortunately it’s short lived, because everything begins going wrong.


Emma and the Cutting Horse by Martha DeeringerEmma and the Cutting Horse

by Martha Deeringer

When Emma Dean’s parents buy a plain sorrel mare with slightly crooked knees at a prestigious horse sale, Emma isn’t sure whether to be elated or disappointed. Cranky and irascible, the mare refuses to warm up to people or other horses. After she dumps Emma in the dirt on her first ride, Emma’s dad loads the mare in a trailer and takes her to a trainer to protect his daughter from the bumps, bruises and broken bones that can result from riding a cantankerous 2 year-old.

At first the mare seems like an outlaw, but beneath her plain red coat and independent attitude, the trainer slowly uncovers a surprising streak of hidden talent and an unexpected natural balance and athletic ability. When a well-known cutting horse trainer approaches Emma’s parents about training the mare for the NCHA Futurity, the family must make a difficult decision. Should they stretch their already strained budget to pay for training and futurity nomination fees? Could such a hardheaded little mare become a champion cutting horse?

 

New Books || May 21, 2014

2014-05-22

Thanks for stopping by.

Check out the brand new books from Fire and Ice, available now for your reading pleasure.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Someone”

by A. M. Edwards

SOMEONE is the story of a rock star who gained worldwide acclaim while performing anonymously under a pseudonym and at the height of his fame vanished mysteriously during the middle of a concert series, never to be heard from again. Eighteen years later a former fan, now a journalist, tries to uncover who was Someone and whatever happened to him.

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

“Ken’s War”

by B. K. Fowler

As the conflict in Viet Nam escalates, army brat Ken and his hot-headed dad are suddenly deployed from Pennsylvania to a dinky post in Japan. Culture clash is just one of the many sucker punches that knocks Ken’s world upside down. He struggles as his assumptions about friends and enemies, loyalty and betrayal, and love and manipulation are fractured. An army misfit, a Japanese girl and a martial arts master play unforgettable roles in Ken’s rocky journey from a boy itching to get his driver’s license to a young man standing shoulder-to-shoulder with his father.

 

 

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

The Horse Rescuers #3

“Turn on a Dime”

by Patricia Gilkerson

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?

Interview | Ryan Petty | “Finding Hope in Texas” + Giveaway

Finding Hope in Texas is a heartfelt story of a girl trying to find her way in life after the terrible tragedy of losing her family.  The difficulty of finding her way through her grief was made more difficult by the trials and tribulations of a high school student.  Hope’s determination to making the most of her life is inspiring and thought provoking.

Author Jill Bisker interviewed Ryan Petty, the author of “Finding Hope in Texas.” Read the interview below.

First, about the book:

How do you move on in your life after a horrible tragedy?

That’s what Hope Kilpatrick must ask after losing her family in a horrible car accident right before Christmas. Unable to deal with the pain, she leaves the haunting memories of her New York home behind and escapes to Texas with an estranged aunt that is her only family.

Still reeling from her loss and the culture shock of her new home, she must also deal with a school bully that has set her sights upon her. Hope’s only solace is the quiet girl at the vacant lunch table, an eccentric history teacher, and the introverted handsome young man she meets at a Texas parade. Finding Hope in Texas deals with the tragedy of loss, the sardonic struggles of teenage life, and the sanguinity in finding a special someone that will help her discover the strength to live again.

Jill: Introduce yourself to us.

Ryan: Well, I am a 33 year old high school history teacher.  I am married with two boys, all of which are the love of my life.  I have been doing Civil War reenactments for about 16 years.  And for my entire life, I have had to wear a brace on my right leg due to a doctor’s mistake when I was born.  As for writing, Finding Hope in Texas is my second book, but my first young adult fiction.

Jill: So tell us what brought you to writing and in particular what brought you to Hope’s story.

Ryan: My first book was because I was a reenactor.  I took the personalities I had met through reenacting and put them in an actual historical battle of the Civil War.  I had fun with it and it went on to win the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award.  I’m not exactly sure what started me on Hope’s story.  A little of it had to be just to see if I could write in the perspective of a teenage girl, and I guess the readers can be the judge as to whether I did any good or not.  Hope to me is a fighter, a person that losses everything she knows and still struggles to continue, to start life over again as best she can.  She is the type of person I’ve always had respect for and I was happy to write a story for her and the many people like her.

 
Jill: One of your themes in the book is bullying which is a topic many teens have to cope with.  What advice would you give a student faced with this type of behavior?

Ryan: First off, tell someone.  Tell your parents, a friend, a teacher.  Tell someone what is going on because they can help you find a way out.  Never think you have to take on a bully alone or accept what they are doing to you.  And stand up for yourself.  It might be the most courageous thing you do, but you won’t regret it.

Jill: If you suspect bullying is occurring with someone in your life, what do you as a teacher try to do to help?

Ryan: Well, I won’t give away all my secrets, but I’ll say I really dislike bullies in my school.  If I see it, the first thing I do is let all parties involved know I see it.  If it continues, then a bully has to see my bad side.  Whether it’s going as far as getting parents and administration involved or just pulling the bully aside and giving them a stern talking to, I will make sure it ends pretty quickly.

Jill: I enjoyed the reenactment portion of your story.  If anyone is interested in getting involved with this hobby, how would you suggest they start?

Ryan: The easiest thing to do is just show up.  Attend a reenactment and talk to the men there and ask questions.  Most units are always looking for new recruits and will help people get into the hobby.  We all started somewhere.  For me, a captain handed me a loaded musket and let me fire it at the age of sixteen.  After that, I was hooked.

Jill: Besides bullying, what other themes did you want to convey to your reader with this story?

Ryan: I think getting over a loss is a big theme.  Hope’s loss is horrible, but that doesn’t mean that teenagers don’t deal with it every day in their lives.  It’s something that can only take time and that they must deal with themselves in their own way.  Another theme is a change in culture.  Hope is new to Texas and quickly learns that it’s nothing like her Upper East Side home in New York.  Again, teenagers change schools all the time and many have to adapt to their new peers and surroundings, which can be tough at times.  And finally, I hope readers appreciate that Hope is intelligent, strong, and caring, and there is nothing wrong with being any of those things.  You should always do your best, no matter what life throws at you.

Jill: Hope moves to a new school with an entirely new life, where do you think she draws her strength from?

Ryan: It comes from her parents.  You can really tell that Hope has a strong tie with them and that they were a very big part in her life.  That is quite different from Jason, whom she meets during the story, whose parents were never around and hardly cared.  Hope and Jason have quite different backgrounds and yet they both begin to find strength in each other for what they had been through.

 
Jill: What was the most challenging part of writing of this story?

Ryan: Well, as a teacher, I’ve seen a lot of different ways on how teenagers act.  I think Hope was a different case entirely though, but I hope I was able to get as close to the teenage mind as I could.  It’s been a few years since I was that age, but I hope the young adults who read my book will enjoy it and find a little bit of themselves in what I wrote.


Buy the book HERE.

Add to your GOODREADS shelf.


About Ryan Petty

Ryan T. Petty is a thirteen-year high school social studies teacher in a small town in northeast Texas and an adjunct history professor at a local junior college. He grew up in the country and started doing Civil War reenactments as a hobby at the age of sixteen, traveling across East Texas and surrounding states and participating in national events such as Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Gettysburg. He graduated from college with a master’s degree in history in 2011. Finding Hope in Texas is his second novel. His first, a historical fiction, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in 2012. Ryan is married to his wife, Megan, and they have two boys together.

Website: www.ryanpettybooks.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ryan.petty.988
Email: ryan.petty@hotmail.com


About Jill Bisker

Jill Bisker lives in Stillwater, MN with her husband and a calico cat named Senora. She believes in empowering women to be strong enough to protect themselves, while still soft enough to be loving and compassionate. Her work includes paranormal mystery and traditional high fantasy, as well as contemporary and humorous fantasy and an everyday living blog. Her novella Within Reach is her first publication with Melange. Once a dedicated stay at home Mom, Jill now writes full-time.

Website: www.jillbisker.com
Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/authorjillbisker
Blog: http://www.unaccompaniedjaunt.blogspot.com


GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below for your chance to win a free ebook copy of “Finding Hope in Texas” by Ryan Petty.

Winner will be chosen on (or shortly after) May 13, 2014.

 

 

Interview | Melissa March | “Love You to Death” + Giveaway

Ryan Petty and Melissa March both have new releases from Fire and Ice.

Ryan took the time to interview Melissa about her New Adult book “Love You to Death.”

Seventeen year-old Arden Elliot is alone, barely surviving life on the streets. All she wants is a place to call home, somewhere she can be safe.

After meeting Det. Cass Bateman, surviving is exactly what she will need to do. He dominates her world, steals her spirit and breaks her body. All in the name of love. She knows if she stays, one day he will love her to death.

On the run she meets Gideon, a Kentucky cowboy. She tries to resist the power of her heart, knowing she doesn’t have the luxury of falling in love, but just when she thinks her life is finally secure, her past comes calling. Now she will have to decide whether to confess everything to her new family or leave them safely behind to run again.

Ryan: What inspires you to be a writer?

Melissa: Everything. I’ve been writing since I was in elementary school. My first award was in the 2nd grade for a bookmark I made with a poem on it.I still remember how thrilled I was when I saw my little blue ribbon.

Ryan: Being your first book, what have you enjoyed about the writing and publication experience?

Melissa: I was blessed to be joined with a small publishing company on my first time out and they have made this an easy road to travel. They answer all my questions, hold my hand, and never make me feel like a bother. It’s a hard business to break into and having good people around you is the key to success, to me anyway.

Ryan: What is your favorite thing about being a writer?

Melissa: The freedom of it. I don’t have a filter. I can write about whatever I want; however I want.

Ryan: What can you tell us about Arden, the main character in your book?

Melissa: She’s a got a sassy sense of humor, she’s compassionate and she’s a survivor. But her best quality is that she’ll fight to the very end for someone she loves.

Ryan: Are you working on anything new?  Would you tell us a little about it?

Melissa: I am working on an adult novel. I want to see if I can write in a few different genres. I recently titled the book Uninvited. It’s about a wealthy scientist who finds out her father was murdered because of a life altering medical breakthrough. She picked up where he left off and now someone is after her. Of course there is a guy in the picture. A security specialist hired to protect her, but he has serious relationship hang-ups so it’s a real bumpy ride between the two of them. No hearts and flowers though.

Ryan: You deal with tough topics in your book.  Was there any time during the writing process that you found it difficult to write about things such as homelessness or domestic violence?

Melissa: No, not really. I think everyone knows someone or of someone in either of these situations. But I didn’t start out with either of these issues in mind, they just developed as I wrote. Kinda like: Hmm…Why would this happen to her? What would make her do this or that? I never thought it would end up being the book it became. Which was kind of fun.

Ryan:  Where can readers find out more about you?

Melissa: I have a website www.melissamarch16.com


 

Buy “Love You to Death” here.

Add the book to your Goodreads shelf. 


About Melissa March

Melissa March lives in Pennsylvania with her husband and son. Love You To Death is her first published novel.

She gravitates toward YA fiction and is currently working on three other novels, expanding her genre to include an adult mystery.

She spends most of her time writing, trying to figure out how to work her blog site, and chasing after her toddler.

Website: www.melissamarch16.com

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/pages/Melissa-March/275534429276752


About Ryan Petty

   Ryan T. Petty is a thirteen-year high school social studies teacher in a small town in northeast Texas and an adjunct history professor at a local junior college. He grew up in the country and started doing Civil War reenactments as a hobby at the age of sixteen, traveling across East Texas and surrounding states and participating in national events such as Shiloh, Chickamauga, and Gettysburg. He graduated from college with a master’s degree in history in 2011. Finding Hope in Texas is his second novel. His first, a historical fiction, won the Pinnacle Book Achievement Award in 2012. Ryan is married to his wife, Megan, and they have two boys together.

Website: www.ryanpettybooks.blogspot.com
Facebook: www.facebook.com/ryan.petty.988
Email: ryan.petty@hotmail.com


GIVEAWAY

Want to win a free ebook copy of “Love You to Death”? Just leave a comment below!

The winner will be chosen on (or soon after) May 10, 2014.

 

 

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!