Friday, October 19, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz: STEVIE-GIRL AND THE PHANTOM STUDENT






Ann Swann was born in the small West Texas town of Lamesa. She grew up much like Stevie-girl in The Phantoms series, though she never got up the nerve to enter the haunted house. 

Ann has done everything from answering 911 Emergency calls to teaching elementary school. She lives in Texas with her husband, Dude, a rescue cat named Oscar, and a part-time box turtle named Piggy. 

When she’s not writing, Ann is reading. Her to-be-read list has grown so large it has taken on a life of its own. She calls it Herman.



Facebook ~ Blog ~ 
Amazon ~
Goodreads ~ Twitter ~




Stevie asks Jase to help her find out why the ghost of a girl keeps appearing in her mirror. They think it has something to do with the new student at their school, a boy who has Tourette syndrome. Both the boy and the phantom seem to need some kind of help. All is revealed when the new kid falls prey to the school bullies. 

Will Stevie and Jase be too late, or will a tragic moment in their school's history be repeated on Halloween night?












Q&A With the Author:

1.     When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author? 
 I’ve been writing since dinosaurs roamed the Earth. My mom, dad, and Aunt Alma bought books for me on every birthday and Christmas. They fostered my love of reading, which in turn fostered my interest in writing. I wanted to be like my author-icons.

2.     What is your favorite writing snack? 
 When I’m writing, I have to have my Diet Vanilla Coke and something crunchy – trail mix or any kind of nuts. If the nuts have a chocolate coating, so much the better!

3.     If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve? 
  I would love to have dinner with Stevie & Jase. I would serve Stevie’s Inside Out Chocolate Cake and ask them to tell me their best ghost stories!

4.     Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it? 
  When I first wrote about Jase and Stevie, I thought it would be limited to a short story (which is how it began), but it won a couple of awards and an editor asked if could expand it, so I did. And it’s still going…I love this pair!

5.     How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing? 
  Reading, movies, playing with grandkids, going to the beach (which is a million miles from here) and walking on my favorite trail while listening to one of my many playlists or audio books.

6.     What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
  My unfulfilled dream is to write the story of my parents’ lives. I’m working on it bit by bit.

7.     What do you fear most? 
  My greatest fear is for some harm to befall one of my loved ones.

8.     What advice would you give someone who wants to write a book some day? 
  Just start writing. Write the most important parts first. Don’t worry about making it pretty, just get it down while it’s fresh. You can always revise later.







To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





Thursday, October 18, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz: WHERE THE RIVER BENDS





I have been reading love stories for as long as I can remember and when I ‘met’ the classic authors like Jane Austen, Elizabeth Gaskell, Henry James The Brontë sisters, etc. during my Honours studies, I was hooked for life.

I married my college boyfriend and soul mate and after 43 years, 3 interesting and wonderful children and 3 beautiful grandchildren, he still makes me weak in the knees. We are fortunate to live in the picturesque little seaside village of Betty's Bay, South Africa with the ocean a block away and a beautiful mountain right behind us. And although life so far has not always been an easy ride, it has always been an exiting and interesting one!

I like the heroines in my stories to be beautiful, feisty, independent and headstrong.  And the heroes must be strong but possess a generous amount of sensitivity. They are of course, also gorgeous!  My stories typically incorporate the family background of the characters to better understand where they come from and who they are when we meet them in the story.




"Kalinda Evans works for the Anglo-Boer war foundation in Canada. She's sent to South Africa to make sure everyone who lost their lives in the war will be remembered. On her drive to the guest farm in Kimberley, South Africa, Kalinda picks up a female hitchhiker and is startled when just moments later, the woman vanishes. Kalinda would be convinced she was dreaming…except there’s still a white lace handkerchief on the passenger seat.

Extreme sports enthusiast and computer game designer Zack Carter is always after the next big challenge. He’s far too busy for romance and adheres to a three-date rule, until he meets his parents’ latest guest. When she relays the story of her mysterious experience, Zack’s family shares the local ghost story. Kalinda and Zack work together to solve the puzzle of the ghost and how it all ties in with the war and the work Kalinda is doing.

As their attraction grows, Zack realizes he no longer feels the need to prove anything to himself. He only needs to prove to Kalinda that he’s more than a good time."





Q&A with the Author:

1.       When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
I started writing in 2008 when I entered an Afrikaans romance wirting competition. I was fortunate enough to win an the prize was that my story was published. I’ve always loved reading romance novels and once I’ve told one story, I couldn’t stop! 


2.       Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
I’m currently working on another Afrikaans story, but Tule Publishing will be releasing a series of three stories about three brothers and the women they fall in love with in 2019!


3.       What is your favorite writing snack?
Tea and rusks.


4.       If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve?
I’d love to join Zack and Kalinda for dinner to see first hand the undeniable spark between the two of them! I’d cook them a ‘waterblommetjie' stew. ‘Waterblommetjies’ literally means water flowers, something you find in dams around the countryside this time of year. The taste reminds one of green beans but it has a very unique taste. It was traditionally cooked with ‘suring’ a sour-tasting plant but you can also use use lemons with it and lots of black pepper. 


5.       Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
You have to deal with past hurts so that you can move forward. Both Zach and Kalinda have issues from their pasts they have to deal with and while they are trying to solve Suzie’s past, they also manage to find a way to deal with their own


6.       How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I knit and I crochet - my hands have to stay busy! I also enjoy to cook for the people I love. But when I really have time to relax, I read. Escaping between the pages of a book has been my way of escaping from reality ever since I was a little girl.

7.       What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
I married my soul mate, we have three children and have also been blessed with three little grandsons, so most of my dreams have been fulfilled. But if someone wants to use any of the stories I’ve written to write a screen play, I’d be thrilled to bits!


8.       What do you fear most?
I don’t think I’d like to encounter a real-life ghost!


9.       What was your favorite Halloween Costume?
We don’t really celebrate Halloween in South Africa but I’d love a Superwoman outfit!







To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





Wednesday, October 17, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz: THE SEARCH FOR THE STONE OF EXCALIBUR





I am a children’s author, but up until a few years ago, I was a journalist and editor. Something rather unexpected sparked my new career as an author—a family trip to Egypt with my mother and two young nephews. We had a great time and I thought I’d write them a short story as a different kind of souvenir…. Well, one book and a planned book series later, I had changed careers. I have now published Book 3 (The Temple of the Crystal Timekeeper) in my MG adventure series Chronicles of the Stone, with many awards for the first book, The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, and a few for Book 2, The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, and one already for Book 3! I also teach online novel writing for aspiring authors and I find that very satisfying. Relaxation time finds me enjoying something creative or artistic, music, books, theatre or ballet. I love doing research for my book series. I love animals and have written two animal rescue stories. I have two adorable (naughty) little dogs called Chloe and Pumpkin, and a beautiful black cat called Bertie.





A modern day adventure as our protagonists search for Excalibur and the treasures it holds! This is a must-read for Middle Graders keen on action, adventure, and Arthurian stories! 

Continuing the adventure that began in Egypt a few months prior in The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, cousins Adam and Justin Sinclair are hot on the trail of the second Stone of Power, one of seven ancient stones lost centuries ago. This stone might be embedded in the hilt of a newly discovered sword that archeologists believe belonged to King Arthur: Excalibur. 

However, their long-standing enemy, Dr. Khalid, is following them as they travel to Scotland to investigate an old castle. Little do they know there is another deadly force, the Eaters of Poison, who have their own mission to complete. Time is running out as the confluence of the planets draws closer. 

Can Justin and Adam find the second Stone of Power and survive? And why did Aunt Isabel send a girl with them? Join Justin and Adam as they search not only for the second Stone of Power, but also for the Scroll of the Ancients, a mysterious document that holds important clues to the Seven Stones of Power. 

As their adventure unfolds, they learn many things and face dangers that make even their perils in Egypt look tame. And how annoying for them that their tag-along companion, Kim, seems to have such good ideas when they are stumped. 

Book extras include some historical background on King Arthur, the Dark Ages, warfare and weaponry during Arthur's time, and details on Excalibur. A fascinating peek into the life and times of the real King Arthur, perfect for young time travelers and budding archaeologists. For coloring-in enthusiasts, ten original black and white illustrations including 2 maps make for more enjoyment!





Q&A with the Author:


1.       When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
I have been a storyteller since the age of ten, ever since I made up ghost stories to entertain my younger brothers and their friends. I created an ongoing spooky adventure called Gruesome Gables, in which a group of youngsters (us, of course!) were trapped in a haunted mansion and had to fight off ghosts, vampires, ghouls, werewolves and other popular monsters. I actually became a writer only years later after I went to Egypt with my mother and my two young nephews. That trip inspired the idea of a short story for my nephews. It turned into a full-length book called The Secret of the Sacred Scarab, the first in the adventures of The Chronicles of the Stone.
2.       Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
I am busy with Book 4 in The Chronicles of the Stone middle grade adventure series. Book 4 is called The Cabal of the Ouroboros and is set in the catacombs of Paris, with the main theme being the treasure of the Templar Knights.
3.       What is your favorite writing snack?
I try not to eat while writing although I have lots of cups of tea. But when I need a break and a pick-me-up, it’s either a cup of tea and a digestive biscuit, or a cup of coffee and a very small piece of chocolate.
4.       If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve?
I love the characters of Humphrey Biddle (paleographer) and Archibald Curran (historian and expert on King Arthur) in The Search for the Stone of Excalibur, because they are hilariously funny when they are together, being such old friends. Plus, they know so much about history! And instead of dinner, I’d have their favourite meal: a slap-up full English tea with scones, cream and jam, cucumber sandwiches, lots of cake and tarts, and plenty of English Breakfast tea (which can be drunk any time of the day, not just at breakfast!).
5.       Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I always learn so much when writing my books because they are based on historical fact, ancient history, mythology and legend. This time, I learned an incredible amount about King Arthur, whom I had always considered to be a legend. It turns out he was a real person, who united the warring British tribes against the Saxons and pushed them back. His actions kept Britain safe from invaders for the next 50 years.
6.       How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
I love to read, watch movies, take walks with my eager pooch, Pumpkin, visit historical spots, travel…
7.       What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
That my books are sold in their millions and billions, that my books bring joy and happiness to readers worldwide, that they are made into bestselling films and I achieve the fame I dream about. To achieve this, I am taking my own advice to others and every day, in a way, I tell people about my books – word of mouth is the best advertising. (Plus, I have a movie agent so that’s a big help and I have had some interest…)
8.       What do you fear most?
Not achieving the above.
9.       What was your favorite Halloween Costume?
A witch, of course…



To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page 





Tuesday, October 16, 2018

Monster Mash Countdown Blitz: MRS. MURRAY'S GHOST




Mary’s family has moved into a huge Victorian mansion. She loves her gigantic new house, especially her room. But then she begins to meet the house’s other residents. 

Mrs. Murray was murdered in Mary’s new house. At first she tries to scare the new residents away, but there seems to be a force connecting the ghost to Mary. 

Even the stranded Brownies, the little people who live between the walls, feel that connection. When Mary becomes deathly ill, the Brownies and the ghost team up to try to rescue her, only to encounter a witch and her evil minions. Time is running out. They must rescue Mary from a fever-induced dream world before she is trapped there forever.











Emily-Jane Hills Orford is an award-winning author of several books, including Gerlinda (CFA 2016) which received an Honorable Mention in the 2016 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards, To Be a Duke (CFA 2014) which was named Finalist and Silver Medalist in the 2015 Next Generation Indie Book Awards and received an Honorable Mention in the 2015 Readers’ Favorite Book Awards. She writes about the extra-ordinary in life and her books, short stories, and articles are receiving considerable attention. For more information on the author, check out her website at: http://emilyjanebooks.ca


~ Facebook Goodreads ~ 
Website ~ Twitter ~ Blog ~



Q&A with the Author

1.       When did you start writing, and was there a specific event or person who influenced you to become an author?
My parents and my grandmother were my greatest influences. They inspired me to look at the world around me and find stories there, as well as deep within my imagination. After all, life is a story just waiting to be told (or written), all the story needs in an author to write it, to tell it. My grandmother, Gran as we called her, said I had a vivid imagination. It served me well as the youngest child with the least chance of being heard at the dinner table when stories were being shared, on long car journeys that were cramped, uncomfortable and often hot, in school when the teacher was busy teaching something I already knew, when I was at home, sick (and I was sick a lot as a child). My imagination allowed me to venture to worlds beyond our scope of perception, to create stories to entertain me, to keep me from dwelling on being uncomfortable in that hot car, bored in the classroom or miserable when sick. And I dreamed a lot. “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is a story that digs deep into my childhood memories and the dreams and fantasies I had to keep myself entertained.

2.       Are you currently working on a project, and if so, can you tell us anything about it?
I always have several writing projects in the works. While I await the edits for book 2 (“Mrs. Murray’s Hidden Treasure”) and book 3 (“Mrs. Murray’s Home”) of “The Piccadilly Street” series (“Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is book 1), I’m working on book 4, “Mr. Murray’s Gun”. I also write a lot of short stories and articles for various print and online publications. And I’m a regular book reviewer for several sites, includinghttps://readersfavorite.com/
But those are just my writing projects. I have other creative passions as well: gardening, painting, needlework, playing and composing music. And, of course, reading. A day without reading a good book would be like a day without air to breathe or light to see.

3.       What is your favorite writing snack?
Chocolate. Anything chocolate. As long as it’s soy and dairy free.

4.       If you could have dinner with any of your characters, which ones would you choose? Why? What food would you serve?
Mary and Granny. Mary is, sort of, me as a child. And Granny is/was my very special grandmother, my mentor, my inspiration, and my best friend (BFF). I would serve Mary’s and Granny’s favorite foods: Scotch meat pies, cabbage salad made with apples, marshmallows and Granny’s secret dressing. And, for dessert, chocolate cake.

5.       Did you learn anything from writing your book and what was it?
I’m forever learning something new. Since “Mrs. Murray’s Ghost” is sort of a walk down memory lane for me, I was able to recount so many childhood experiences, dreams and nightmares and, of course, that very elusive ghost that prowled the halls of my childhood home. I guess you could say that I learned a little bit more about myself by delving into my past.

6.       How do you relax, or what do you enjoy doing when you are not writing?
Visiting with my adult children, reading, working on my art and needleart, composing or playing music on the piano – everything creative is relaxing. Oh yes, and walking my dog, my muse.

7.       What is your largest unfulfilled dream, and what are you doing to reach it?
My largest unfulfilled dream is to write a blockbuster, best selling novel. Isn’t that every writer’s dream? I have won awards for my writing, but I’m still aiming for that big prize – the label of ‘best selling author’. And how do I plan to get there? By writing lots, reading lots, and, believe it or not, encouraging others with their writing. I do believe that by helping someone else achieve their dreams, you are also helping yourself.

8.       What do you fear most?
Actually? Ghosts. I was terrified of the ghost that haunted my childhood home. As a child, I often slept with the blankets over my head. I didn’t want to see what I didn’t understand. But she was there. Especially when I was sick. She used to watch over me. And, when my now adult children visited their grandparents as children, if they misbehaved, something weird would happen, like a clock flying off the wall or a picture on the wall suddenly going very crooked. No one was ever hurt, but our ghost wanted her opinion known. I’ve had other ghosts visit me over the years. Whenever someone close to me passes away, they visit me at least once before they move on. And it always terrifies me, even though I understand their presence now better than I did as a child.

9.       What was your favorite Halloween Costume?
I had a few favorites – all creations using whatever we had in the house. No store-bought costumes in the 1960s. It didn’t fit into the family budget. I think my favorite was the one I chose just about every Halloween. I admired Dale Evans and her horse, Buttermilk. (I was a Roy Rogers and Dale Evans fan. It was the 1960s, after all.) So, I would dress up like a cowgirl. I had a cheap straw hat that looked like a cowboy hat (at least to me it did) and I wore pants and a plaid shirt. I tied a kerchief around my neck like a bandana and my rain boots. Dad configured a rope for me to swing over my shoulder as if I were carrying my lasso. It really didn’t matter what my wardrobe was. It was always cold on Halloween and I had to wear a heavy coat over my costume. (So much for dressing up.) The only thing missing was my horse. I didn’t have one. But I could always dream that my Buttermilk was walking along beside me. Or, better yet, giving me a ride to the next house for trick-or-treats.






To view our blog schedule and follow along with this tour visit our Official Event page