Lockard Young – update on a new print edition

Lockie Young has long been a friend and supporter of Reading Recommendations, was one of the first authors to be promoted here, in Dec. 2013, has come back with several updates, and is a member of the Reading Recommendations Revisited group of special authors who give back to me and their fellow authors more than they receive in promotion. I consider Lockie to be an integral part of my “writing family” – a number of authors I’ve met and worked with over the years, now a community, that came together for the mutual benefit of all. I think I speak for the other authors in this group, and for readers as well, when I say that Lockie’s friendship, collaboration and support is, and always has been, valued and appreciated by everyone –
Thanks, Lockie!

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Ryan’s Legend, The Early Adventures
by L.F. Young
Published by Morning Rain Publishing
Genre: Middle Grade

Ryan’s Legend offers the premise of a young boy finding an wondrous secret – yet it’s far more than that. As much as it’s a whimsical tale of a boy and a secret he must keep, it’s also an important education about the world around us, and how we treat each other and those that share the world with us.” – Danny Brown
“Though written for 7-10 year olds, this heart-warming tale about a young boy who befriends a mythical dragon will delight readers of all ages.” – Kate Bell

My name is Ryan, and this is the story of how I discovered a legend, and the biggest secret of my entire life! Just after Christmas, I saw these weird tracks in the snow, so I just had to check them out. You won’t believe what I found!

Deep underground, in a hidden cavern, I met the best friend a guy could have. The coolest thing of all was we used real magic to talk. He told me all about his life, and why I had to keep his secret.

I know keeping secrets from my family is wrong, but this is different. I just can’t have my parents or my annoying older brother figuring out what’s hidden in the old chicken coop. If anyone finds out about this legend, he might disappear from the world forever.

Ryan’s Legend is now also available in a paperback edition as well as eBook!
Amazon CA, US, UK
KOBO
Indigo/Chapters

Lockard Young – Reading Recommendation Revisited

Lockard Young was one of the “early adapters” of promoting himself and his work on Reading Recommendations, and since Dec. 9, 2013, Lockie has been featured twice on the blog, here and here when he published his own books, and here as part of an anthology in which a story of mine was also included. Lockie has become a great friend over these past 18 months since we “met” online. He’s been a terrific support of both my writing and the site as well as of his fellow authors. Here’s Lockie to tell us a bit more about himself!

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RL_ereader Since my last appearance on Reading Recommendations I have finished the sequel to my first book, Ryan’s Legend. This newest called The Legend Returns, picks up a couple months after the first story ends, and continues with the main character, Ryan, struggling with trying to keep his discovery of a real dragon a secret from everyone, including his friends and his parents.

LegendReturns_ereader The Legend Returns came out this year in the beginning of 2015.

However I was also very fortunate to be picked as a guest Author for Tim Baker’s anthology, Path of a Bullet, which was released in 2014 and has one of Susan Toy’s short stories in it, too. I’ve been asked to submit again for another anthology by Mr. Baker, to be released later in 2015. Path Of A Bullet final

I am enjoying taking some free online courses in Fiction Writing and Poetry and have started a Blog and website where I showcase some of my work. I am currently working on a continuation, but not a sequel, to the The Legend series which is currently just two books. The working title is The Legend Never Dies. This story takes place when the main character is not 10 or 12 but nearly finished university. The story opens with the brothers dealing with family death, so this is not for middle grade readers. I’m aiming for a maturity in the writing, in both style and substance, as the main character also matures. The second book was tested for a grade 4 or 5 level, so a progression from the first. I’m hoping if this book is published, it will also be viewed as a progression in both character development and of course story line. I also want the reader to check out my style of writing now, and in a different genre, perhaps YA paranormal will be the moniker of the next book. I am also compiling a humorous collection of short stories dealing with my life as a service plumber, and yes folks, I have really rescued teeth from the family throne. I’m not saying anything else, but hey! Soap and water or four thousand bucks?

I also have another project I am working on which is tough to write and revisit. I want to tell my story in a memoir, how I smoked for 34 years and thought because I had perfect … well, fairly good, lungs and a strong heart, I would be safe from the big diseases and all the other goodies associated with smoking cigarettes. I want to tell the story of a once busy tradesman, now an amputee traveling a very different road, who didn’t know he could lose his leg because he smoked all his life. I think it’s important, and I think I need to tell it.

I am at the stage of my rehabilitation as an amputee that I have been fitted with an artificial leg, and am finally mobile, and working on losing all the weight I gained while I was not mobile at all. I am still not able to drive a car unless it is fitted with hand controls, but as my range of motion in my good leg returns this should improve and I’ll be back to driving myself around. I have acted as a volunteer coach for Ability New Brunswick in this area for anyone who is going through similar circumstances as mine, just to reassure them there really is life after illness but it is not won easily, and they need to fight all the way. I was asked last week to talk to another person, so this meeting is being set as I type this. My medical circumstances over the past couple years has been food for my writing and has inspired several personal essays about my ordeal.

Unfortunately the marketing of my books has been solely through social media. I say unfortunately because there is so much more that can be done. Of course, money and time are two very big obstacles to overcome when promoting. I am still recovering from a near-fatal blockage in my right leg, and I plan on getting out more in my hometown and do some promoting when I can. I think it’s important as an author to try and get over the shyness of self promoting your work. That is a challenge for me because I was never a type to toot my own horn, but there are so many of us out there, we need to get over that shyness and interact more with our reading public. My target audience is young first-time readers in middle grade. They don’t buy a lot of books, but Mom does, so my real target audience is the mothers (and dads, but still mostly mothers) of these boys and girls. That’s who I need to talk to in libraries and schools if I can get into the schools. Not as easy as you might think, but if that is part of your strategy for promoting your book, I suggest getting an RCMP background check, as you will need one anyway. If the book you authored is a cook book, I’d try to get a table at your local supermarket or farmers’ markets on weekends. My advice in a nutshell: get yourself set up on all the social media sites like Twitter, Facebook and Goodreads. To showcase your book or perhaps short stories or poems you’ve written, you might want to start a Website or a Blog.

Lockie’s Reading Recommendations: I mentioned Tim Baker earlier, and his main character, Ike, is someone the reader can like and respect even though Ike does bend the rules a bit. Tim’s books can be found at his website (and on Reading Recommendations). The second author I discovered recently was Seumas Gallacher. His books also center on his main character Jack Calder, an ex SAS British professional, a ‘00’ if you will. His book links and excellent Blog can be seen here (and also on Reading Recommendations). The third author I have read lately that I want to read more of is actually you, Susan. I know that might sound like sucking up, but I’ve read That Last Summer and Island in the Clouds, and I loved both. I saw your growth in Island as a writer, and I can’t wait for your next book. Both are listed here. (And Susan is the brains and promoter behind Reading Recommendations.)

Aw, shucks! Thanks for that shout-out, Lockie!

Z.R. Southcombe

IMG_20140812_214029Hm, my name should be an easy question, but it’s actually not! My name is Zenobia, most people know me as ‘Zee’, and I write under my initials, Z.R. Southcombe

What is your latest release and what genre is it? The Caretaker of Imagination was released on the 21st of March 2015. It’s a children’s chapter book, but it’s for grown-up kids as well, and fits in the adventure / fantasy genre. The book features pirates, a dragon, and (of course) cupcakes.

Quick description: Bored with his normal life, John Carroll runs away with his faithful cat in search of adventure. When he meets a real-life pirate, John realizes there is much more to the world than he’d ever thought possible – that magic is real, and in desperate need of a hero.

John must convince the (once fearsome) Captain Simon Peabody to join him on a fantastic and perilous quest to find the only person who can save magic from being lost forever: the Caretaker of Imagination.

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Brief biography:
Z.R. Southcombe is a children’s fantasy writer and surrealist painter. She is the author of recently released picture book What Stars Are Made Of and upcoming chapter book The Caretaker of Imagination.

She usually has a few creative projects on the go, including a personal blog, and is always inspired by the young people she meets in her teaching job. No matter what project she is currently working on, Z. R. is usually accompanied by a cup of tea.

Links to buy Z.R. Southcombe’s book:
Amazon
Kobo
Pt Chev Bookshop, New Zealand (print book)

Z.R. Southcombe’s promo links:
Website
Facebook
Twitter
Instagram
Email: zeesouthcombe (at) gmail.com

What are you working on now?
In this series, I’ve got the second book with my illustrator and am working on the third book’s draft. I’m also working closely with author Anne Vrankovich to publish some of her children’s books, as well as doing some more personal paintings of my own.

Z.R. Southcombe’s reading recommendation:
One book I was introduced to this year and LOVED is an oldie: The Ship That Flew. It’s by Hilda Lewis, who was a novelist, and wrote this for her children so they wouldn’t get bored when they went on holiday and forgot to take books with them! It’s got a C.S. Lewis feel to the writing (though they’re not related as far as I know) and touches on Nordic mythology.

M. Doerner-Miller

61UdbGJn0yL._UX250_Matt Doerner-Miller

What is your latest release and what genre is it? Chronicles of a Clocksmith. Children’s Fantasy (5-10)

Quick description: One day, a bored little boy finds himself inside an old clock store. And while the boy is generally uninterested in most of the old and dusty clocks within the store, one particular clock strikes up his curiosity. And then everything changes for this bored little boy.

Transported into a wonderful world of mystery and magic – this average little boy soon learns why he just might not be so average after all.

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Brief biography:
Canadian, currently residing in Stockholm, Sweden, and moonlighting in banking and finance in my spare time.

Links to buy Matt’s book:
Amazon – eBook

Matt’s promo links:
Twitter

What are you working on now?
Loppan’s Garden is an interactive iPad children’s story that I wrote and co-developed in conjunction with StrangeFish Studios. It’s set to release in January 2015. Other than that, I have a few ideas that are very different from the children’s/middle age genres that I am still trying to reconcile. We shall see….

Matt’s reading recommendation:
Superintelligence: Paths, Dangers, Strategies – Nick Bostrom

Jennifer Priester

100_89992 Jennifer Priester

What is your latest release and what genre is it? My latest release is Mortal Realm Witch: Realms Unite? The genre is children’s fantasy.

Quick description: The book is about a witch who is tired of mortals hating witches without getting to know them first. Ever since she was a young witch living in the Mortal Realm she has dreamed of uniting the Realms and creating a peaceful relationship between witches and mortals. Now she is finally getting her chance to attempt this as the current Head of the Witches Council. To accomplish her goals she sends many different characters on unique missions all of which have the same end goal of changing mortals’ opinions about witches and magic.

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Brief biography: I am an author, artist, and publisher. I have currently written over 200 stories in the areas of animals, the relationships between humans and animals, magic, superheroes, and more. Some of my favorite activities include; taking my dog for bike rides, spending time outdoors, taking photos of animals, horseback riding, reading, listening to music, watching TV and movies, and playing video games. I love animals and have owned several, most of which have been adopted from rescue centers. I currently have a Chihuahua whose name is Taco, a Mini Rex rabbit named Kojikaki, and an 11 year old goldfish whose name is Pumpkin. In addition to the Mortal Realm Witch Series I have two stories in an anthology called Read for Animals Anthology #2.

Links to buy Jennifer’s book:
Amazon – paperback
Barnes and Noble – paperback

Jennifer’s promo links:
Mortal Realm Witch Series Website
Jennifer Priester Author Website
My blog
Facebook Author Page
Twitter
Pinterest
Goodreads

What are you working on now?
Currently I am working on the last 6 books in my Mortal Realm Witch Series, a crossover novel called The Shadow of All Worlds which will be free on Smashwords and should be available January 2015, several short story collections including; Heroes United, an unnamed book of animal adventure stories, an unnamed book of different stories about cats and/or horses, an unnamed collection of dog stories, an unnamed collection of stories about random animals, an unnamed collection of different magical, supernatural, and sci-fi stories, and a currently unnamed collection of Christmas stories. Several books that include interconnecting short stories that I am working on include: The Dogs That Saved the World, Back to the Wild, The Young Animal Psychics, and “Good Luck” Animal Shelter. Some chapter books I am working on include; Becoming Human and Cursed among other potential ones. I am also working on a second person story featuring my superheroes of Black Cat, Chihuahua and Star Power, a comic book/graphic novel about the relationship that my two dogs had called Spider & Jackal, some nonfiction books including: Animals in the Shelters, Animal Snippets: Memories of My Pets and Anipals, and Just Dreaming: The Dreams I Had and the Stories They Became. I am also working on an educational fiction series currently titled Animal World which will also have a split off series called Animal World: Endangered.

Jennifer’s reading recommendation:
At the time I took this interview, out of the latest batch of books I had read at the time, I particularly enjoyed Wizards of the Game by David Lubar. However, my most recent author obsession at the time was with Tui T. Sutherland’s books.

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Jennifer’s October 4th release and book signing at Half Price Books in Mayfield, OH.