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Monday, December 12, 2016

Midnight Without A Moon- Pre-Release Giveaway!

This holiday season, I've bought a lot of books to give as gifts. When I stopped at my local indie bookstore last week, I pre-ordered copies of Linda Williams Jackson's upcoming Midnight Without A Moon. Linda and I know each other from my early days in the blogging community, and I was thrilled when I first heard about the book. After reading an advanced copy, I knew it was something special that I wanted to share with people.

It comes out on January 3rd, just three weeks from now! Leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a copy~ I'll choose a winner on 12/19 (if your email address is not attached to your profile, please include it in your comment). UPDATE: The winner is.... Caryn Caldwell! Congratulations, Caryn, it's a special book. Thank you to all who entered~ I hope you all get the chance to read this once it comes out in January!

Here's a summary (my review is below that):

It’s Mississippi in the summer of 1955, and Rose Lee Carter can’t wait to move north. But for now, she’s living with her sharecropper grandparents on a white man’s cotton plantation. 
Then, one town over, an African American boy, Emmett Till, is killed for allegedly whistling at a white woman. When Till’s murderers are unjustly acquitted, Rose realizes that the South needs a change . . . and that she should be part of the movement.  
Linda Jackson’s moving debut seamlessly blends a fictional portrait of an African American family and factual events from a famous trial that provoked change in race relations in the United States.

My review:
This is the powerful story of Rose Lee Carter and her journey to find strength and purpose in a Jim Crow South on the verge of changes, set against fourteen-year-old Emmett Till's murder and trial (among other tragic, bigoted crimes). Vividly drawn characters and scene-setting will put readers right there with Rose, bursting with anger and sadness about the injustices she witnesses and endures, and struggling to make a decision about whether to seek a destiny outside of Mississippi, or to stay and be part of an important movement.

This book has it all from the first page~ setting, voice, character, heart, senses. Linda Williams Jackson's debut is just what Sharon G. Flake said in the blurb on the back of the ARC I read: "... an unflinching bird's eye view of 1955 Mississippi. A magnificent piece of writing!"

Bio courtesy of Linda's website: http://lindajacksonwrites.blogspot.com/
Born and raised in the Mississippi Delta in the teeny-tiny town of Rosedale , Linda Williams Jackson likes to spin stories about everyday people in small-town settings. Though she has lived in a few other states (Alabama, Missouri, and Kansas), Linda currently makes her home in a not-so-small city in Mississippi with her husband and three children.

While a degree in Math and Computer Science from the University of Alabama allowed her to enjoy careers in Information Technology, Linda now prefers manipulating words rather than numbers and symbols. Besides her debut middle-grade novel Midnight Without a Moon from HMH Books for Young Readers (January 3, 2017), Linda is published in multiple Chicken Soup for the Soul titles and has written reading assessment passages for various educational publishers.

Monday, December 5, 2016


A photograph from The Story Weaver
Hello Everyone!

I've been busy lately with a big move from Colorado to Pennsylvania and haven't been blogging at all~ I'm so pleased to return to posting by featuring a new book by a dear friend, Adriana Carlson.

"Co-authored" by a mischievous sprite named Harrier Bogbean, The Story Weaver: Penelope's Perils is the first in a trilogy. The plot and characters are wonderful, the novel's voice is engaging, and the inclusion of original photographs (taken by the author herself!) makes this a great choice for lovers of Miss Peregrine's Home for Peculiar Children by Ransom Riggs.

Adriana was kind enough to let me ask her a few questions (the interview is below)~ just leave a comment on this post to be entered to win a copy of the book. I'll choose a winner on December 11th. UPDATE: The winner is Amy! Congratulations, Amy~ please email me your address and I'll get the book mailed to you.

Here's a summary (my apologies for any formatting issues):
1926- Edinburgh, Scotland:
Penelope Collins and her father are the only ones who remember the folk and fairy tales of the world. Penelope's never met her mother, but she's always felt her presence. Lonely Penelope’s life changes for adventure after a vindictive teacher expels her for telling her schoolmates the tales she knows. Fleeing from her soulless school, she returns home. An enchanted fox appears that night to tell her a wondrous truth: her mother is alive, and creates the tales forgotten by the world on a hidden isle just across the sea, but her mother's in danger and won't Penelope come to help?

Like Prometheus bringing fire to earth, Penelope must travel to the isle and bring the tales she loves back to the Realm of Men. Terrors lurk at each encounter with the fairy and folk tale inhabitants of the isle, none of whom are left the way Penelope remembers their stories ending. A rogue sprite follows her journey and photographs her quest to find the Hob King, the cursed leader of the hobs, who kidnapped her mother. The Hob King will do anything to change his story – even if it means resurrecting the ancient god of chaos to stop Penelope.

Now it’s up to quiet, lonely Penelope to save her mother, save the stories, and save the world from looming destruction. The Story Weaver: Penelope’s Perils combines the ancient myths of Mesopotamia and the fairy tales of Northern Europe. It is illustrated with over 40 photos to create a photographic trilogy.

What were your favorite books as a child?
I always loved anything fantasy with historical elements: Five Children and It, The Castle in the Attic, Mary Poppins, and of course The Chronicles of Narnia.

What was your inspiration for this story?
I've always loved both mythology and fairytales. I was inspired by the lesser known folktales from the Northern European countries. I liked creating a world where ancient mythology was the history behind fairytales and folktales.

Queen Aschenputtel from The Story Weaver
You're a photographer as well as a writer and the book features photographs you took yourself~ what were both the benefits and challenges of integrating your visual creativity into this book? 
The benefit is creating something that hasn't been done much. When I tell people that the book is a photographic novel then they are instantly intrigued. The down side of photographically illustrating the book is how long it takes! My photo shoots depend on so much that I don't have control of: people's schedules, weather, time of day, finding a babysitter... It can be a lot to juggle! But I'm so glad I did it this way, and I'm having even more fun finishing up the second and third book!
I agree with Adriana~ the photographs add so much. Again, just leave a comment to be entered in the giveaway!
About the Author: Adriana Carlson lives in the shadow of a mountain with her husband, three magical creatures, and a dog and cat. She knows the world is full of wonder, there are elves in the woods, and magic is everywhere.