Monday, October 27, 2014

Griffin Rising: Optioned for Film Rights

My YA series, Griffin Rising, has been optioned for film rights. There will be more details to come, but for right now, this is one happy author!

Monday, October 20, 2014

Cernunnos. Because.


Book Review: Star of the Team by Beverly Stowe McClure

Star of the Team 
Beverly Stowe McClure

A girl.
A dream.
An accident.
A dream shattered.

Eleven-year-old Kate Taylor dreams of being the star of her basketball team, Angels. When Kate’s tooth is knocked out at one of the games and her mother, who is also her coach, says she can’t play until the tooth the dentist replants heals, Kate’s dreams are in jeopardy. Add Emily, the new girl at school who claims she’s the best, and Kate faces a challenge to prove that she is the star.

Will Kate succeed? Or will Emily ruin Kate’s plans?


My Review:

I've been waiting to read this book for a long time! Once again, Beverly Stowe McClure has written another winning middle grade story.

As with all of McClure's books, the characters are well-rounded and multi-layered. Kate, her family and friends, and even Emily, her enemy (or is she?) all portray typical pre-teen behavior, both enduring and frustrating. Simon, in particular, is a delight. I love his willingness to try new things, even if he isn't very good at them - a great lesson for all of us.

While the plot revolves around Kate's dream of being the star of her basketball team, it is what Kate learns about herself and other people, that make this such a delightful read. And I have to say, I had to laugh at Kate's creative use of a face mask. Cracked me up!

The only problem I had with the book is that it's too short. I have quickly grown attached to the characters and I want to read more about them. This is my not-so-subtle plug to the author to write a sequel. Hint, hint.

The other thing I like about the book is the emphasis of girls and sports. Yes, please - more books like this! McClure even had some boys on the girls' teams and vice versus.

Star of the Team is a terrific book for both girls and boys, especially those that enjoy basketball. It would make a great addition to any school or classroom library.

Highly recommended.

Author’s Bio:

Most of the time, you’ll find Beverly in front of her computer, writing the stories little voices whisper in her ear. When she’s not writing, she takes long walks and snaps pictures of clouds, wild flowers, birds and deer. To some of her friends, she is affectionately known as the “Bug Lady” because she rescues butterflies, moths, walking sticks, and praying mantis from her cats.
For twenty-two years Beverly taught children in grades two through five how to read and write. They taught her patience. Now, she teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church. To relax she plays the piano. Her cats don’t appreciate good music and run and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Review of The Beast of Seabourne by Rhys A. Jones

The Beast of Seabourne (Book Two of The Artefact Quintet)
Rhys A. Jones

Oz Chambers has a wonderful secret; the obsidian pebble, gifted to him by his dead father, is an artefact of astonishing power. The sort of power that makes the year eight science project a hands-down walkover thanks to the the pebble's genius avatar, Soph.

But, there are sinister forces abroad who will do just about anything to get their hands on the pebble, and when fellow pupils start being attacked,  Oz finds himself in very hot water.  Soon Oz and his friends, Ruff and Ellie, are caught up in a centuries old mystery involving a missing ring, lava toothpaste and a murderous monster known as the Beast of Seabourne

My review:
Last year, I was swept away by The Obsidian Pebble (Book One in The Artefact Quintet.) Before I go into my review, let m just say that it makes my heart do all kinds of jigs and reels to know there will be two more books in the series.  The world building and the characters from The Obsidian Pebble stayed with me long after I was finished with the book. Now, Rhys A. Jones has worked his considerable magic and created the next book in the series, The Beast of Seabourne.

It was a pure delight to return to Oz’s world. His friendship with Ruff and Ellie make the three of them quite a team. Each has their own strength, and, boy, were those strengths put to the test in this adventure! As the trio continued their search for the other artifacts, they were also faced with a beast, a loony lady, a science fair competition, and the sinister group that would stop at nothing to gain control of the artifacts. A typical school year, eh? Jones did a superlative job blending enough background from book one that this book could easily be read as a stand-alone. (But, trust me, you will want to read The Obsidian Pebble. I donated a second copy to my local junior high library and will do the same with The Beast of Seabourne.)

One of the best things about these books, beside the blend of adventure and magical realism, are the relationships. Certainly, the bond of friendship between Oz, Ruff, and Ellie is the most explored and most richly realized.

But the secondary characters as just as three-dimensional. Oz’s mom is terrific, although there were a few times I want to shake some sense into her head. *cough* Rowena Hilditch? Really? You would let her in your house? *cough*.  However, Jones makes up for her with two delightful characters: Mr. Gingel and Ms. Arkwright, two teachers at Oz’s school. I am keeping my fingers crossed for them.

Another terrific thing about these books are the real day-to-day issues that are addressed. From a family’s money problems to sibling rivalry (and love), these are real characters with real problems that children and teens can relate to.

Magic realism to delight the soul, adventures to keep the pages a-turning, and characters that continue to speak to the reader long after the book is finished—The Beast of Seabourne has all of these.

Five Stars! Highly recommended.

Rhys A Jones was born in 1955 and grew up in a mining village in South Wales with his nose in a book and his head in the clouds. He managed to subdue his imagination long enough to carve out a career in medicine, writing whenever the chance arose.

In 1994, writing as Dylan Jones, he published his first scary book for adults, a thriller, which was subsequently made into a two-part film by the BBC. Other scary books followed.

A growing desire to move away from adult thrillers and write for children is what currently preoccupies him. The Obsidian Pebble is the first in a quintet featuring eleven-year-old Oz Chambers whose family inherits a ‘haunted’ house. His mother wants to leave, but Oz wants to unlock the house’s mysteries and uncovers a secret that will change his life forever.

Rhys A Jones has three grownup children who have emerged remarkably unscathed into adulthood. When not writing, he practices medicine and lives in darkest West Wales with his understanding (very) wife and two dogs.

Visit the author at

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Or buy it here:
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Tuesday, October 14, 2014

The Stag Lord by Darby Kaye (Darby Karchut)

A nice mention about my upcoming release: The Stag Lord in Library Journal yesterday:

"Shape-shifters continue to be a draw, and they will be represented in Darby Kaye’s The Stag Lord (Spence City, Dec.), as a vengeful shifter forces a man and his son to seek the safety of a shield maiden in modern-day Colorado."

Yup. I was doing this: