Cartboy and the Time Capsule

Cartboy and the Time Capsule by L. A. CampbellTitleCartboy and the Time Capsule

Author: L. A. Campbell. This is her first novel.

Genre: Middle-Grade

Readers: Stay at home moms Shawna and Colleen B., teacher Kelly, and media professional Denise.

Summary: Hal hates history class—it literally bores him to tears. But his father is a big history buff, and unless Hal gets a good grade this year, he’ll never get his own room. Sixth grade gets off to a horrible start when history teacher Mr. Tupkin gives the class an assignment to write journals that will be buried in a time capsule at the end of the year. Things get even worse when his dad makes him take his neighbor’s old shopping cart to school, earning him the nickname “Cartboy.” What else could possibly go wrong? Read Hal’s journal to find out!

Filled with photos, drawings, and timelines, Hal’s time capsule journal chronicles a year in the life of the hopelessly hapless Cartboy.

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Book Blitz: Dicey Grenor

We’re really excited to be a part of this summer’s Author Blitz put together by Books and Broomsticks. We are the proud hosts of author Dicey Grenor, who’s kind enough to answer far too many of our questions. We’re also giving away an e-copy of her Narcoleptic Vampire series to one lucky winner so be sure to keep reading…

You can see the Blitz schedule here. And join in on their Facebook event today, July 26th, at 3 pm!

Let’s start by talking about your books! You wrote the Narcoleptic Vampire series following your protagonist Sleepy Willow. Can you introduce people who aren’t familiar with it to a little bit about what they can expect from this series?

Thank you for having me on your blog today! The Narcoleptic Vampire Series is edgy. It’s raw and hardcore. It’s for adults who like characters that aren’t perfect and story lines that aren’t formulaic. Sleepy Willow is a vampire with narcolepsy, who works in a fetish club as a Necrophilia Specialist, and has a love interest with a personality disorder. This is during an era when vampirism is illegal, and Willow’s fighting with her maistre vampire for freedom from his tyranny. There are quite a few supernatural creatures to follow as the series goes on. On one layer, there are shocking sex scenes, taboo situations, and dysfunction all around. For those willing to dig deeper, there is a layer that encourages readers to think about their own world views and how they relate to others.

Did you always want to write about vampires? Or did it just happen by chance?

I’ve always wanted to write, and I’ve always loved vampire stories. It was only a matter of time before my passion for both would merge. Coming up with a unique concept in this saturated genre was difficult, but important to me, particularly because I wanted my work to stand out. Once I became serious about writing a novel, I wrote SHAMEFUL first, hoping a vampire idea would come soon. It did. Getting my first novel out of the way, gave me the momentum I needed. Fresh ideas for my vampire series flowed easily after that. I moved full steam ahead to my heart’s content. If I happen to end up being the last person writing about vampires, that would be A-ok with me. It’s in my blood.

So… narcolepsy. Definitely not something I’ve seen with vampires or romance novels before. Where did the inspiration come from for that?

Ah. Thank you. Being different was part of my grand scheme. *smile* Hubby and I were discussing dangerous situations a vampire might find him or herself in. He brought up narcolepsy as a joke, and we had fun with it. But once it came to mind, I couldn’t shake the idea, and decided to write my main character with the condition. I intended to write humorous situations, but still remain respectful of anyone who actually lived with the disorder. A few readers with narcolepsy and some who work professionally with sleep disorders have expressed their thanks and admiration for how I’ve treated the subject matter. That warms my heart to no end.

Do you have a “type” of reader? Romance lovers? Paranormal lovers? Or do you find your book attracts all kinds of readers?

I’d love for everyone to read my books and think they are the greatest inventions since sliced bread, but that will never happen. I definitely have a target audience: paranormal romance lovers who want something different, unpredictable, AND prefer their books to be edgy. If you’re squeamish or easily offended over profanity, explicit sex, graphic violence, and/or taboo situations, my books are not for you. There are plenty of other people who write those books. I’m interested in going against the grain. I warn people to death about them, so I no longer feel guilty when someone reads my books out of curiosity and become offended. They were warned. I have no intent of watering down my content to gain mainstream attention or to avoid offending anyone. I just have to put the extra time into finding my audience, but I know those readers are out there, since I am one of them.

You keep a blog, a Facebook page, a Twitter account and a Youtube channel. Do you enjoy the extra engagement with your readers? Is it a lot of work?

I really do enjoy interacting with my readers. When they are fans who love my work, it is the best thrill ever to receive that love from them. If it’s someone who didn’t enjoy my book, it is depressing as hell. You have to take the good with the bad, I suppose, and all things in between. Yes, it IS a lot of work, but it can be very rewarding. There are times when I cannot maintain my pages effectively—like right now, during these summer months. When that happens, I still make it a point to respond to each person that contacts me. I may not be posting regularly, but I will not let an opportunity to engage with a reader pass me by.

What have you been reading lately? Any must-reads?

I’ve been reading books that are as off-the-wall as the ones I write, maybe more so. My favorites from the past few weeks are: Heat by R. Lee Smith, Comfort Food by Kitty Thomas, and Tangled by Emma Chase. Do not approach Heat and Comfort Food casually. They are must-reads for those who can handle it, but NOT for everyone. Do not attempt to read those two if you cannot handle graphic violence, explicit sex, and hardcore situations. Tangled is hilariously written from a male’s POV. I post reviews on Goodreads for anyone with similar reading interests to follow.

 

Thanks so much to Dicey for answering our questions. And now you can win an e-copy of her 3-book Narcoleptic Vampire Series!

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The Light in the Ruins

Title: The Light in the Ruins

Author: Chris Bohjalian. He is the author of several books, including Midwives and The Sandcastle Girls.

Genre: Historical Fiction, Mystery

Readers: Editor Kristina, retiree Nancy, attorney Elizabeth H. and professor Michal.

Summary: 1943: Tucked away in the idyllic hills south of Florence, the Rosatis, an Italian family of noble lineage, believe that the walls of their ancient villa will keep them safe from the war raging across Europe. Eighteen-year-old Cristina spends her days swimming in the pool, playing with her young niece and nephew, and wandering aimlessly amid the estate’s gardens and olive groves. But when two soldiers, a German and an Italian, arrive at the villa asking to see an ancient Etruscan burial site, the Rosatis’ bucolic tranquility is shattered. A young German lieutenant begins to court Cristina, the Nazis descend upon the estate demanding hospitality, and what was once their sanctuary becomes their prison.

1955: Serafina Bettini, an investigator with the Florence police department, has her own demons. A beautiful woman, Serafina carefully hides her scars along with her haunting memories of the war. But when she is assigned to a gruesome new case—a serial killer targeting the Rosatis, murdering the remnants of the family one-by-one in cold blood—Serafina finds herself digging into a past that involves both the victims and her own tragic history.

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Cover of Snow

Title: Cover of Snow

Author: Jenny Milchman. This is her first novel.

Genre: Mystery

Readers: Consultant Alila and retiree Sulyn.

Summary: Waking up one wintry morning in her old farmhouse nestled in the Adirondack Mountains of New York, Nora Hamilton instantly knows that something is wrong. When her fog of sleep clears, she finds her world is suddenly, irretrievably shattered: Her husband, Brendan, has committed suicide.

The first few hours following Nora’s devastating discovery pass for her in a blur of numbness and disbelief. Then, a disturbing awareness slowly settles in: Brendan left no note and gave no indication that he was contemplating taking his own life. Why would a rock-solid police officer with unwavering affection for his wife, job, and quaint hometown suddenly choose to end it all? Having spent a lifetime avoiding hard truths, Nora must now start facing them.

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Finding Colin Firth

Title: Finding Colin Firth

Author: Mia March. This is her second novel after last year’s The Meryl Streep Movie Club.

Genre: Chick Lit

Readers: Production coordinator Joanna, writer Nan and stay-at-home moms Sarah L. and Megan V.

Summary: From the author of The Meryl Streep Movie Club, a “heart-warming,  spirit-lifting read just in time for beach season” (Kirkus Reviews), comes a new novel about three women, connected in secret and surprising ways, who are  in for a life-changing summer when rumor has it that actor Colin Firth  is coming to their Maine town to film a movie.

After losing her job and leaving her beloved husband, journalist Gemma Hendricks is sure that scoring an interview with Colin Firth will save her career and marriage. Yet a heart-tugging local story about women, family ties, love, and loss captures her heart— and changes everything. The story concerns Bea Crane, a floundering twenty-two-year-old who learns in a deathbed confession letter that she was adopted at birth. Bea is in Boothbay Harbor to surreptitiously observe her biological mother, Veronica Russo—something of a legend in town—who Bea might not be ready to meet after all. Veronica, a thirty-eight-year-old diner waitress famous for her “healing” pies, has come home to Maine to face her past. But when she’s hired as an extra on the bustling movie set, she wonders if she is hiding from the truth . . . and perhaps the opportunity of a real-life Mr. Darcy.

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