Authors' Chat

Searching for Lincholn’s ghost- Barbara Dzikowski

Author Interview:  Barbara Dzikowski   Stephanie: I would like to introduce Barbara Dzikowski. Winner of the BRAG Medallion. Searching for Lincoln's Ghost is Barbara J. Dzikowski's debut novel. She earned an undergraduate degree in philosophy and a graduate degree in counseling from Indiana University. These areas of study fueled her desire to create fiction that closely examines the human heart and its complex search for love and meaning. Fascinated by the passion, idealism, and lost hope of the 1960s, she is putting the finishing touches on her second novel, Losing Is Still Ours, about two families struggling with the changes and uncertainties of that decade, with a particular focus on the cataclysmic year of 1968. She is also hard at work on her third novel, which depicts a family's personal struggle while caring for a loved one with Alzheimer's disease. I have been so intrigued about your story, "Searching for Lincoln's Ghost." Please tell me a little about it. Barbara D. Barbara: Searching for Lincoln's Ghost is a story about coming of age during the tumultuous 1960s. Although it begins as a "look back" from an adult's perspective, at its heart, it's a story about Andi Powell, a young, lonely,…

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The Highland Games- Gael Harrison

Author Interview:  Gael Harrison   I would like to introduce Gael Harrison. Winner of the B.R.A.G Medallion. Gael was born in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia in 1954, where her father was a rubber planter. At the age of eleven, she returned to Scotland to complete her schooling at Morrison's Academy in Crieff. She qualified as a teacher in Dundee in 1975, and married in the same year. She and her husband moved to Singapore and later to Kota Kinabalu in Sabah, East Malaysia. Together with their three young children the family moved back to Scotland and lived for the next eleven years in an old manse in Glenelg, on the west coast of Scotland. After her divorce Gael moved to Edinburgh and worked as a teacher. In 2001 she took the VSO challenge with Save the Children UK, and spent a year in the north of Vietnam working as a pre-school teacher trainer. After that assignment, she spent the next three years at the United Nations International School in Hanoi and during that time she met her husband, John. For the last ten years they have been working in Kiev, Qatar, Australia and New Zealand. They are now back in Scotland…

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Mom, Am I different- Jennifer Adkins

Author Interview: Jennifer Adkins   S: I would like to introduce Jennifer Adkins today. Hello Jennifer! Thank you for chatting with me today and congratulations on the BRAG Medallion! First I would like for you to tell me what has inspired you to write?J: I was first inspired to begin writing when I was in third grade. I was fortunate during those formative years in my life to have been blessed with an amazing teacher who helped develop and mold me into the writer and teacher that I am today. I remember being obsessed with the creative writing prompt box in her classroom. This obsession soon transcended the classroom and became something that I did for fun at home and even with my friends. S: Please tell me about your book, "Mom, Am I Different." J: "Mom, Am I Different" is the story of a young girl's journey of self-discovery. Inherently introspective and curious, she is struggling to reconcile the fact that her thoughts and interests do not align with other children her age. With loving guidance from her mother, she begins to look at the world through a different lens, giving her the confidence to embrace her differences and…

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Pegasus-A Dragon Tale – Gina LoBiondo

Author Interview:  Gina LoBiondo Stephanie: Hi, Gina! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your book, "Pegasus — A Dragon's Tale". Please tell me about your story.Gina: Thank you so much, Stephanie, it was a real honour! Pegasus – A Dragon's Tale is the heartwarming story of two young bear cubs that come across an unusual egg while out playing one day. They decide to take it home and it soon hatches into a baby dragon. All too soon, however, Pegasus has outgrown the cubs and their father, the King, makes a heartbreaking decision. You'll have to read the book to find out what happens.I wrote it originally as a short story with two human Princesses but when my god-son got married and became an instant father, I rewrote it using my new niece and nephew as the main characters. I had also gotten Kameela, who was 8 at the time, a Build-A-Bear and decided to turn the brother and sister characters into bears. That's basically how the whole thing came about.Stephanie: Is this your first children's book or are there others?Gina: This is actually my first published book. I've been writing since I was 13 (nearly 40 years) so…

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Feud- Derek Birks

Author Interview: Derek Birks   Stephanie: I would like to welcome Author Derek Birks to my blog today! So delighted he has taken the time to chat with me today. Derek, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion for your novel, "Feud." Historical Fiction is my all time favourite genre and I'm happy to say I have your book on my kindle waiting for me to read! I can't wait! Please tell me about your story? Derek: Feud is basically a story about a family, the Elders, who are caught up in a feud over land with their neighbours, the ambitious Radcliffes. Because it takes place during the Wars of the Roses, they are also embroiled in a war.The Elder family comprises: Ned, a young swordsman; Emma, his serious, but conventional sister who has run the household since her mother's early death and her sister Eleanor, a beautiful redhead who knows few social boundaries and is more than a match for most men.At the start of the book each of the three is thrown into a frightening and unfamiliar situation. The book traces their separate paths towards a resolution of the feud as the war itself reaches a point of climax…

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You can’t shatter Me- Tahlia Newland

Author Interview: Tahlia Newland Award winning author Tahlia Newland writes contemporary fantasy and magical realism with a metaphysical twist. When not reading, writing, reviewing or mentoring authors you may find her being an extremely casual high school teacher or making decorative masks. Tahlia began writing full time in 2008 after twenty years in the performing arts and a five-year stint as a creative and performing arts teacher in a High School. In 2012, she set up the Awesome Indies List to showcase quality independent fiction. She has had extensive training in meditation and Buddhist philosophy and lives in an Australian rainforest south of Sydney. Creativity is her middle name! Stephanie: Hello, Tahlia! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion! That is great news! Please tell me about your book, "You Can't Shatter me." Tahlia: Hi Stephanie, thanks for having me over. You Can't Shatter Me is magical realism, so it's like a contemporary fiction but with very extended metaphors. Many readers say that the main characters have a great imagination, for others it's like a cross between contemporary fiction and urban fantasy. So, it's different in style to most YA books. It's about a couple of sixteen-year-olds, a girl, Carly, and…

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Quintspinner – Dianne Greenlay

Author Interview:  Dianne Greenlay Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: www.layeredpages.com Stephanie: Born and raised on the Canadian prairies, Dianne Greenlay is the author of the hilarious story, THE CAMPING GUY, as well as QUINTSPINNER – A PIRATE'S QUEST and DEADLY MISFORTUNE, Books One and Two in a fast-paced award – winning adventure series, set in the 1700′s, in the pirate-infested waters of the West Indies. Greenlay is also a playwright, producer, and Creative Director of the long-running community theater group, Darkhorse Theatre. She is fluent in at least her mother tongue and she thanks her fierce English teachers for that. More of her thoughts on life can be found at http://www.diannegreenlay.com Dianne, it is a pleasure to be speaking with you today! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. I've heard wonderful things about your novel, Quintspinner: A Pirate's Quest. Please tell me a little about your story? Dianne: Thank you Stephanie! I am so pleased to have Quintspinner be awarded the BRAG Medallion. It is a story of Tess Willoughby, a young woman living in the 1700′s who, upon witnessing the murder of an old Seer, comes into possession of the woman's strange Spinner ring. As though this…

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United State of Love – Sue Fortin

Author Interview: Sue Fortin Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: www.layeredpages.com Stephanie: Sue Fortin writes women’s fiction; contemporary, suspense and time-slip, all with romance and a touch of danger. Lover of cake, France and dragonflies. Hater of calories, maths and snakes. Sue lives in West Sussex with her family and daft, old Labrador called Tess. She writes for the on-line emag, Loveahappyending Lifestyle Magazine, about crafts and hobbies. She is one ninth of The Romaniacs where she blogs regularly and, when not there, can be found at her own blog, Love Reading, Love Books, LLM Bookshelf, on Twitter and on Facebook. Sue is a member of the Romantic Novelists’ Association under their New Writers’ Scheme and published her award winning, debut novel ‘United State of Love‘ in 2012. This is available in both paperback and digital format through Amazon. Hello Sue! Congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion and I'm delighted to be chatting with you today. Pease tell me about your book, United State of Love. Sue: Hi Stephanie, thank you so much, I was absolutely thrilled my book received the BRAG Medallion. I'm delighted to be here, it's a real honour. Okay, my book United State of Love,…

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Leaving Lukens – Laura Wharton

Author Interview: Laura Wharton Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: www.layeredpages.com Stephanie: Hello Laura! Thank you for chatting with me today about your book and congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. I noticed your story (Leaving Lukens) is set in 1942 and it's a mystery. Please tell me a little about it and who designed your book cover. Laura: Leaving Lukens is the story of 17-year-old Ella who faces leaving the only home she's ever known: Lukens, a small fishing village on an isolated peninsula across the river from Oriental, North Carolina. Impacted by the economy, the threat of war, and the loss of a school teacher who was rowed across the river daily to teach the few remaining children in Lukens, the townspeople are dismantling their homes and floating them across the river on barges to larger communities of Oriental and Beaufort – moving away to find work in New Bern with its growing shipyard which is hiring to build minesweepers in support of the war or to the nearby military base of Cherry Point. Ella's convinced she can stay on by herself, but spying a Nazi patrol raft surprises her one evening. She quickly learns that the war…

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Saving Halloween – Lisa Ard

Author Interview: Lisa Ard Read more about B.R.A.G.Medallion Honoree authors at: www.layeredpages.com Stephanie: Author Lisa Ard is a children's book author AND avid reader, stay-at-home mom, part-time business consultant, school volunteer, library board president, Sunday school teacher, book club member, chauffeur, volleyball coach, wife and mom, not necessarily in that order. She lives in Portland, Oregon. Lisa, congrats on winning the BRAG Medallion. Please tell me about your book, "Saving Halloween." Lisa: "Saving Halloween" is a magical story about discovering one's true family. Anne Hudson meets a very unusual friend and through their friendship, she learns what she needs and she goes after it. Her journey is not without bumps in the road, and the path is not always clear – magic plays a part in that! I hope readers enjoy the deception within the story – in what characters say, do, even in their names. Book Blurb:When book-smart Anne Parson meets Halloween Spavento, she sees exactly what she wants to see — a friend. Halloween wave's away trouble, magically silences school bullies and offers Anne unfailing friendship. But, when the Spavento family's enchanting exploits are exposed, will Anne face her fears and save Halloween? A spellbinding tale of outcasts…

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