Summer Beach Reads from Fire & Ice

 


"Swimming Alone" by Nina MansfieldSWIMMING ALONE

The Sea Side Strangler is on the loose in Beach Point, where fifteen-year-old Cathy Banks is spending the summer with her aunt (who happens to be mystery writer Roberta McCabe.) Although thrilled to be away from her psychotic, divorcing parents, with no cell phone or internet access, Cathy is positive that her summer is going to be wretched. Just when she begins to make friends, and even finds a crush to drool over, her new friend Lauren vanishes. When a body surfaces in Beach Point Bay, Cathy is forced to face the question: has the Sea Side Strangler struck again?

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"Surf Shop Sisters" by Laura KennedySURF SHOP SISTERS

I guess everyone wants something in life. It was easy figuring out what each of my BFFs wanted the beginning of our Junior Year at Coral Cove High. For brainy Sudsy it was to get skinny; for upwardly mobile Tamara to get more stuff, and problem child Maria to be treated like she was older than ten.

TWho knew that bigger problems lurked in the swampy bayous of Coral Cove, like redheaded Paris Breck, threatening to take me, Brooke, down like a clump of stinky seaweed in the Gulf of Mexico.

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"Cry of the Sea" by D. G. DriverCRY OF THE SEA

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average seventeen-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so “out there?”

Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren’t humans at all. They’re mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

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"Onion Girl" by Lori-Sue VodiONION GIRL

Syd Callens moves to Augusta, GA six weeks before the start of ninth grade and her beloved father’s funeral. She’s overwhelmed by the city of 200,000, which compared to Vidalia, is a crazy-paced cultural mecca. Syd stubbornly withdraws, refusing to cry at her daddy’s burial: “I didn’t cry when he got sick and I didn’t cry when he got sicker. I was only angry that he left me.”

She wallows in grief, resisting help from her mother or anyone on the outside, including an extension of friendship from Seth, her first crush—a boy who’s already spoken for and whose eyes look like the deep end of the pool. She also deals with the ensuing humiliation that comes when a girl realizes that everyone at school has mistaken her for a boy.

Syd feels an instant connection to Mel, a fellow oddball who clunks around Greenbrier in army boots and dresses. The attraction turns to mistrust however, when Mel divulges a secret Sydney takes for a lie. The girls are mere inches from forging a friendship but then Mel mysteriously disappears, leaving Sydney alone to wonder what happened and to face daily abuse from Greenbrier’s two meanest bullies—Ashley and Megan.

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"Into the Deep" by Missy FlemingINTO THE DEEP

No one understands the fury of the ocean like Zoey. Ten years ago, she lost her leg in a freak shark attack. The night after her sixteenth birthday, she has yet to accept her awkward prosthetic limb or the fact she will always be different. Wary of the sea, and its hidden threats, she ventures to a bonfire at the beach. She’s mesmerized by its awesome power, wondering what she ever had to fear, until a rogue wave sweeps her into the cool, salty water.

Zoey believed mermaids were creatures of legend, characters in silly children’s stories, but it’s hard to ignore the captivating tail that’s suddenly appeared, or the sense of finally being whole. She abandons her life on land in search of answers about who she really is and where she came from. What she discovers is a kingdom full of intrigue and danger, as well as a royal father she never knew existed. Settling into her role as a mermaid princess, she learns her family is under attack, both on land and in the water. Raging storms swell up, threatening coastal cities, and sea levels rise practically overnight, endangering the lives of everyone she loves. Determined to stop the strange phenomena, Zoey becomes caught up in the race to track down what, or who, is responsible for the catastrophic events.

But, Zoey possesses another secret, one born of legend and more powerful than any mer or human can imagine.

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"Trail of Secrets" by Laura WolfeTRAIL OF SECRETS

Spending three weeks of her summer at the elite Foxwoode Riding Academy in northern Michigan should have been one of the happiest times of sixteen year-old Brynlei’s life. But from the moment Brynlei arrives at Foxwoode, she can’t shake the feeling she’s being watched.

Then she hears the story of a girl who vanished on a trail ride four years earlier. While the other girls laugh over the story of the dead girl who haunts Foxwoode, Brynlei senses that the girl—or her ghost—may be lurking in the shadows.

Brynlei’s quest to reveal the truth interferes with her plan to keep her head down and win Foxwoode’s coveted “Top Rider” award. Someone soon discovers Brynlei’s search for answers and will go to any length to stop her. When Brynlei finally uncovers the facts surrounding the missing girl’s disappearance, she must make an impossible choice—protect a valuable secret, or save a life.

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SALE || Summer Isn’t Over Yet

Summer is winding down, but it’s not over yet!

 

Now is a great time to pick up these great ebook titles at a discount!
Act now, because these prices are only good through August 31, 2015!

* CORRECTION: We had previously listed the sale ending on August 1 and that is incorrect! The sale is from now through August 31, 2015. Sorry for any confusion!

* Sale Prices on Amazon Kindle and Smashwords

 

Regular $4.99 ||  NOW $2.99

"Cry of the Sea" by D.G. Driver   "Into the Deep" by Missy Fleming   "Love You to Death" by Melissa March

"A Door Just Opened" by Dorothy Stephens   "Roots Entwine" by Victoria Bastedo   "Happily Never After" by Missy Fleming

"Waiting for Dusk" - Nancy Pennick   "The Haunting of Secrets" by Shelley Pickens   "The Cat That Went to Homecoming" by Julie Otzelberger

"Dark Muse" by David Simms   "Twell" by Kate O'Leary   "Good Vs. Evil High" by April Marcom

"Song Magick" by Elisabeth Hamill

 

Regular $3.99 || NOW $1.99

"Hourglass" by Pauline C. Harris   "Bind Our Loving Souls" by April Marcom   "Twenty Minutes Late" by Caroline Crane

"Emma and the Cutting Horse" by Martha Deering

 

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!

 

Interview | D. G. Driver | “Cry of the Sea” + Giveaway

Erin Elliott, author of the upcoming fantasy series. “The Sword of Lumina,” stopped by to interview the oh so talented D. G. Driver about her new novel “Cry of the Sea.”

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average seventeen-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so “out there?”

Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren’t humans at all. They’re mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

Erin: Where did you get the inspiration for this story or when did you get the idea for it?

D.G.: When I originally wrote this book, I was in a writing frenzy, coming up with more ideas for books than I had time to write. I had been working on screenplays, novels and doing articles. The 10 year anniversary of the Exxon Valdez oil spill was all over the news, and the idea just kind of sparked into my head. It took a long time to go from there to the finished product. Interestingly, I originally called the oil company in the novel Effron, but I was told that was still too similar to feel safe, so I changed it.

Erin: Is conservation something that you personally feel strongly about?

D.G.: Yes. I like to keep my personal footprint small by conserving water and electricity. I don’t litter; I do recycle. I use a refillable water bottle. Stuff like that.

Erin: Everyone has a different image when they hear the word mermaids, what made you choose the description for yours in your book?

D. G.: In this book I wanted to represent mermaids as if they were real creatures, not those of fantasy. If mermaids had actually evolved under water, they wouldn’t be white-skinned girls with beautiful hair, wearing shells over their breasts. They would be a lot more like fish, I think. I also decided that they wouldn’t be able to talk. That would hardly make sense, would it? So, I made my mermaids communicate more like dolphins with a touch of telepathy.

Erin: Are there plans for a sequel?

D. G.: I’m toying with it. My original plan was to create a series where Juniper Sawfeather encounters a different kind of mythological being in each book, rather than sticking with further adventures with the mermaids. I kind of liked the idea of it being an X-Files, Fringe-ish series for teens.

Erin: When did you decide that writing was something that you wanted to pursue?

D. G.: I’ve been writing since I was a child. I did it only as a hobby, as I really wanted to be an actress. I majored in Drama and was a professional actress and singer throughout my twenties in Los Angeles. I still do community theater here in Nashville. I wrote my first book, a horror novel, when I was in college and took both a playwriting class and a short story class in school. Soon after college I was asked to write a play for a children’s theater, and that sparked my interest in writing for kids. I began seriously submitting my work after that and eventually started selling some. Once I turned thirty, I decided to focus on writing more than performing.

Erin: Is this your first published novel? If not, what are some of your other works?

D. G.: I published 3 middle grade novels around the turn of the century under my maiden name Donna Getzinger. That very small press was located in Florida and suffered some major losses after hurricanes in 2006. They couldn’t recover, and those books are now out of print. Still in print are 3 of the 5 award-winning biographies I co-wrote about classical composers Bach, Vivaldi, and Handel and a nonfiction work called The Triangle Shirtwaist Factory Fire. I have also published a couple plays, many short stories, articles, and I’ve had 4 of my plays produced. Cry of the Sea is my first Young Adult novel and the first one I’m publishing as D. G. Driver.

Erin: Do you have other stories in mind for new books along the way? If so, care to share any blurbs about it?

D. G.: I have more ideas than time to write. Currently I am cleaning up two novels. One is a middle grade fantasy novel about a young surfer who encounters a dragon hiding in a cave on the North California shore. The other is a novel about a girl who is mistaken for a boy when she goes to visit her grandmother in rural Tennessee. She is invited to go along to the annual camp-out on an island in the middle of a vast lake. She gets lost trying to get there and then finds out that the boat she is in might be haunted. I originally wrote this as an upper middle grade book for boys, but I am reworking it to a younger end young adult and changed the main character from a boy to a girl to make it more interesting.

Erin: What advice would you give a new writer just starting out in this adventure through the publishing world?

D. G.: My main advice is to read a lot of the kind of book you want to write. Read the blockbusters as well as the little books to see what makes them different and try to evaluate why. I’m a big supporter of joining Society of Children’s Book Writer’s and Illustrators. They have lots of resources, wonderful support and great conferences both locally and nationally. I highly recommend Ray Bradbury’s Zen and the Art of Writing and Stephen King’s On Writing. These books were very motivational for me when I first started out. Most of all, write. Write junk. Write quickly and blast those stories out. Then put what you’ve written aside and go back and fix it later when you have fresh eyes. I’m doing a blog about rewriting on my web site. It’s just started up, but I will be adding ideas, advice and examples of how to do it every week or two. www.dgdriver.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…

Facebook: www.facebook.com/donnagdriver
Website: www.dgdriver.com
Twitter: @DGDriverAuthor 
Tumblr: d-g-driver.tumblr.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.

~ * ~ * ~ * ~

GIVEAWAY

Leave a comment below and you’re automatically entered to win a free ebook copy of “Cry of the Sea” by D. G. Driver!

Winner will be chosen on or soon after April 6, 2014.

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

New Books || Feb 24, 2014

Welcome to the brand new Fire and Ice blog. This has been a long time coming and we hope that you’ll enjoy it and subscribe.

Watch out for brand new author interviews complete with giveaways.

For now, let’s kick things off with this weeks releases!

~ * ~ * ~

"Cry of the Sea" by D. G. Driver

Cry of the Sea by D. G. Driver

Juniper Sawfeather is choosing which college to attend after graduation from West Olympia High School next year. She wants to go to San Diego to be far away from her environmental activist parents. They expect her to think the way they do, but having to be constantly fighting causes makes it difficult to be an average seventeen-year-old high school student. Why do her parents have to be so “out there?”

Her feelings on the subject are changed when she and her father rush to the beach after a reported oil spill. As they document the damage, June discovers three humans washed up on the beach, struggling to breathe through the oil coating their skin. At first she thinks they must be surfers, but as she gets closer, she finds out that these aren’t humans at all. They’re mermaids!

Now begins a complex story of intrigue, conspiracy and manipulation as June, her parents, a marine biologist and his handsome young intern, her best friend, the popular clique at school and the oil company fight over the fate of the mermaids.

~ * ~ * ~

Stealing Time by Nancy Pennick
(Waiting for Dusk ~ Book 3)

Drew from the past… 
Kate from the present…

Two worlds collided.

As senior year comes to a close, a promise of new beginnings is on the horizon. Kate longs to head to Arizona and college until her former friend, Tyson, does the unimaginable forcing her to stay in Ohio. Her family has to pull together to keep their secrets safe. Anna wishes to return to the canyon in 1927 once more and Kate’s determined to make that a reality. Summer’s filled with wonderful memories and little warning of things to come. Kate’s world grows darker and she must be the one to conquer the demons and save the world that is most precious to her.

~ * ~ * ~

"The Cat That Went to Homecoming" by Julie OtzelbergerThe Cat That Went to Homecoming by Julie Otzelberger

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.

“The Cat That Went To Homecoming addresses many serious social issues including family separation, bullying, homophobia, social isolation, and depression. The compelling story is also about fun, friendship, and forgiveness.”

—Paula Scott-Ginn, Pet Partners Marketing Coordinator

~ * ~ * ~

Scarecrow on Horseback by C. S. Adler

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.