Meet Phillip. His mom relocates him to a new school in the middle of the school year.
Things do not go well. Phillip lands himself a trip to the dean of student’s office when he tries to forge his mother’s signature. Maybe if he spelled her name correctly it would have gone better.
Phillip also finds himself having more and more anxiety. And the song some bullies are singing is certainly not helping:
Phillip Willip, Puddin and Pie.
Got a bad grade and made him cry.
There is one class Phillip has that is going well. It is with Mr. Filter, who starts each day with a writing prompt. These “jam sessions” allow students to be creative and enjoy writing. Phillip writes about being a basketball on a soccer field. Another day he writes about receiving two dragon eggs in the mail, one for himself and one for a particularly cute girl.
But will Phillip ever be able to make his real life go as well as his Jam Sessions?
“Wow! You really SHOWED her! That’s awesome, Phillip. We hate Tina. She is such a prude.”
Robert added from the bus seat behind them, “Remember when we tied her gym shoes together and threw them up onto the basketball goal? She got us a detention for that. She deserved it, Phillip!”
Phillip didn’t feel like he “showed” anyone anything. And he certainly didn’t feel like Tina deserved to have her earring ripped out, even if she was reading his journal. But Chuck seemed to think it was the best thing that had ever happened at Cloverfield Middle School.
“Yeah,” Phillip added, “but I have ISS tomorrow. And it is in the afternoon, so I still have to get that math test signed. My mom is going to be so mad after this.”
“Let me see that test,” Chuck interjected.
Phillip hesitantly pulled it out of the front pocket of his trapper keeper. There again was the massive red “35%” on top of the page.
“What is your mom’s name?” Chuck asked.
It was a weird question. “Rhodman, just like mine.”
“No dude, like her FIRST name.”
Chuck suddenly produced a pen from seemingly nowhere. Before Phillip could protest, Chuck wrote in big letters:
“There you go, Phillip. Problem solved!” Chuck handed the paper back with the name written boldly right below the “35%.”
“What did you do?” Phillip said louder than he meant to. “That isn’t even how you spell it!”
“Mrs. Murray will never know. You are good. Now you don’t have to tell your mom. Seriously, I did you a favor. Be grateful.”
Jerry Harwood was born in Ooltewah, TN. His mother was an elementary school teacher and he spent his afternoons reading books in her classroom or the nearby library. He has experimented with other occupations: camp director, program director at a counseling center, college professor and middle school teacher. Jerry has backpacked Europe, taught in a Ukrainian University, worked in Rwanda after the genocide, is a first responder, sort-of remodeled a VW Thing, and has a love for Cherry Coke Zero that is only surpassed by his love for his wife, six children, and grandson.
Jerry attended college at UT Chattanooga where he was in university honors and majored in Latin and classical literature. He has two master’s degrees, nearing completion on a third. He lives in Chattanooga, Tennessee, where he is an active member of the Chattanooga Writer’s Guild, the Atlanta Writer’s Club, and the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators.
Starting May 1st, there will be a read-along of Hannah Reed’s YA Fantasy, Tenebrasco! The read-along will last a month and each week there will be specific chapters to read. Of course, people can read at their own pace too. Starting today, you can download Tenebrasco for free until the 17th (April 15 – 17) from Amazon!
Each weekend one of the hosts will do an IG live to talk about the chapters of the book that week, themes within the book, mermaids and even interview the author.
Throughout MerMay there will be competitions, prizes, and a free giveaway!
Anyone who joins will also receive a bonus epilogue to Tempus, the final book in the Pearl Wielders series!
Tenebrasco by Hannah Reed (The Pearl Wielders Trilogy) YA Fantasy/ Mermaids
Princess April Meridia is preparing for the long-awaited Peace Treaty to unite the mer and legged after centuries divided. The most powerful mera under the sea her only instruction for the evening is to look ‘pretty and harmless’.
But when peace is threatened, and April’s powers start acting strangely it is time for her to take control.
Hannah Reed writes YA contemporary fantasy. Her latest novel ‘Essentia’ Book 2 of the Pearl Wielder Trilogy is out now (available on Amazon).
Her first novel ‘Tenebrasco’ was published in July 2019 and is the debut novel in the Pearl Wielder Trilogy.
Hannah grew up in Jersey, Channel Islands where was never more than 10 minutes away from a beach. She is addicted to ice cream, has an unhealthy relationship with chocolate and is trying to learn to love running.
Currently, Hannah is living in Canada and is waiting patiently to see a Moose!
I’m thrilled to share this gorgeous cover for upcoming new release, Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan!
Technopaladin by Elizabeth Corrigan Genre: YA Sci-Fi/ Fantasy Expected Publication Date: May 2021
Clarity’s paladin order forbids her from entering the Azure District, the one location in her high tech city that refuses paladin rule and technology. When she receives an illicit invitation to violate the prohibition, spurred on by rumors of suffering in the district, she passes through the crumbling brick entryway into no-man’s land. Within, she finds the residents lack not only the ocular implants and three dimensional computers she takes for granted, but also medicine to fight a disease infecting the children.
Clarity knows her order isn’t perfect—after all, they stole her from her parents when she was a small child to raise her with their values—but she cannot believe they know what’s going on in the Azure District. When she confronts the head of the order, he refuses to aid people who have rejected his help in the past, even the children. Unwilling to take no for an answer, Clarity enlists the help of the leader’s son Cass and takes matters into her own hands.
Desperate both to cure the children and keep her place in the order that is her only home, Clarity engages in increasingly questionable behavior—deleting official records, lying to her friends, and manipulating people who can help her. As the nefarious nature of her actions tarnishes the purity of her cause, she must determine what it truly means to be a paladin, in both name and action.
Elizabeth Corrigan has degrees in English and psychology and has spent several years working as a data analyst in various branches of the healthcare industry. When she’s not hard at work on her next novel, Elizabeth enjoys playing tabletop role-playing games and cooperative card games. She refuses to watch most internet videos and is pathologically afraid of bees. She lives in Maryland with two cats and a very active iphone.
Drowning when his ship went down in a vicious storm, Ulrik the Viking thought it was the end. Instead, he awakens on a new and brutal Earth. Believing he was banished to this strange land by the gods as punishment, he faces the mountainous wilderness alone.
Tessa, a lonely and broken-hearted woman, dies in her sleep on her 85th birthday. She too awakens surrounded by the frightful and the unknown. Both are mysteriously thrown into new bodies facing new lives, new hopes, new dangers, and new desires.
Cast through time and other dimensions, fate has given Ulrik and Tessa a second chance at life and love. They must survive on a ruthless new world against a brutal warrior race determined to use them to conquer extinction and enter into the age of metal. All that stands against them is ULRIK!
Ulrik sat on the bank of a cool stream that ran down the mountain where he usually hunted. He watched as the water trickled over smooth rocks and sprayed the moss-lined bank. Down the mountainside, the stream narrowed and was eventually joined by another river, widening to become a rushing, roaring froth of cold, crystal blue water flowing swiftly over rapids. His gaze followed the stream as it meandered off into the distance and gently widened into a deep slow-moving river. He listened to the different sounds the water made. The roar, as it cascaded down the waterfall further uphill, to the trickle of the stream over moss-covered rocks, and finally the faint pounding of distant rapids. The forest was raucous with sound and full of breath-taking sights.
The forest’s majesty was lost on him today. Ulrik was bored. He reached for a stone and tossed it into the stream then stood, grabbed his spear, and walked up the hill toward the lake at the bottom of the waterfall. He decided he had better find something for his supper and thought fish sounded as good as anything else.
Memories swamped him as he recalled all the times he had fished with his brothers as a young man. Those thoughts led him to contemplate, for the hundred thousandth time, his current solitary situation. By his count, it had been around two years that he lived alone in these mountains in this strange place. Being banished by the Gods he knew, enraged him and his loneliness made him feel like less of a man. Two years without speaking to another soul or without seeing another human’s face made him angry. He cursed, kicking at a stone in his path. The stone shot forward, struck a tree, and fell uselessly to the ground.
“By Odin and all the gods! I wish I had a woman!”
He cursed out loud and continued stomping up the path until he came to his usual fishing spot at the lakeside. He hefted his spear and waded into the lake, not even bothering to remove his boots.
The warm spring wind blew across his face. As he had a hundred times before, Ulrik stood still, slowed his breathing, and searched the deep emerald depths for the flicker of a silvery tail. Quick as lightning he stabbed down and, wrenching his arm back, pulled an impaled fish out of the water. He grasped the wriggling tail, pulled it from the spear blade, and threw it to the bank of the lake where it flopped, struggling to breathe as its life leached away.
Hello, I’m Wendy L. Anderson. I am a fantasy author! I will also reveal that my fantasy writing has a bit of romance thrown in. There is action, adventure, magic, danger, and intrigue in all of my books.
My first foray into the world of writing was my five book Kingdom of Jior epic fantasy series. I have created an entire world full of fantastic and noble beings and it all begins with book one Of Demon Kind. Most of my reviewers have found this book series surprises them with its uniqueness.
One thing I love about writing fantasy is world creating. Would it be bad of me to admit that I love to escape into the worlds I make up rather than face the one I’m in?
I am a pantser which means I write by the seat of my pants and do not use a formal outline, process, or formula to write. I just sit down and start typing an idea I have or a scene that pops into my head and I just go from there. I also use many themes in my writing because they are my favorite things and places and they just happen. Being born in Colorado, it should not come as a surprise, that I love the mountains. I also love winter, forests, waterfalls, hot springs, crystals and jewels, prisms, and anything medieval. Knights, chivalry, swords, and honorable quests inspire me to write these fantasy adventures. Those favorites appear often in many of my stories, but I am always pushing the boundaries and I do try to expand my writing horizons.
In addition to my five book fantasy series, I have written a stand-alone Viking story titled, A Cut Twice as Deep. This is a beautiful tale I saw in a dream and is about twin sisters who only have each other in a world where women are not particularly valued. They have grown up serving their tyrant of a father when suddenly they find out that they have been given in marriage to the highest bidders. Forced to separate and travel great distances they are parted so that their father may increase his wealth and power. This story has everything danger, intrigue, and romance, and did I mention Vikings? I test the waters of historical fiction with my special brand of fantasy thrown in. A Cut Twice as Deep is an emotional tale of sisterly bonds and finding love in a land where blood and ice reign.
I once read, and perhaps you have heard the saying, that a true writer needs to write it is in their nature just like a painter needs to paint or a sculptor needs to sculpt. That is me. When it comes to writing, I live by Winston Churchill’s wise words, “Never, never, never, never give up.”
I hope you have enjoyed this ramble. You can learn more about my books and my writing on my website http://www.wendylanderson.com. Be sure to subscribe and feel free to contact me about anything you’d like to know about me and my fantasy writing.
Wendy L. Anderson is a Colorado native and mother of two boys. She has an English Degree from Regis University and writes books, short stories and poetry. Wendy is a devout reader of the classics, fantasy, sci-fi and historical fiction. She has decided it is time to write down the fantasies from her own mind. Writing about everything from fantastical worlds to the stuff of her dreams she takes her stories along interesting paths while portraying characters and worlds she sees in her mind’s eye. Her goal is to deviate from common themes, write in original directions and transport her reader to the worlds of her creation.
Welcome to the tour for the most adorable story, The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow, illustrated by Tessa Verplancke! We also have a fantastic giveaway — Digital Prize Packs which include the ebook copy of the book, two desktop wallpapers for the computer, two cell phone backdrops, plus three printable activity pages including colouring two book pages and a maze.
The Littlest Dinosaur by Bryce Raffle and Steven Kothlow Illustrator: Tessa Verplancke Genre: Children’s Literature Publication Date: November 2, 2020
Ty, The Tyrannosaur just wants to make a new friend.
Sadly, the other dinosaurs are all afraid of his sharp teeth! So Ty must go on an adventure to find a dinosaur brave enough to be friends with a Tyrannosaur.
To win a digital prize pack which includes the ebook copy of the book, two desktop wallpapers for the computer, two cell phone backdrops, plus three printable activity pages including colouring two book pages and a maze, click the link below to enter!
I received a copy of this book from the Author and R&R Book Tours, in exchange for an honest review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.
Oh my goodness this was such a cute book.
The lesson of this story is you should not judge a person by their appearance.
This is so important for children to learn and I know a few adults that would benefit from this too 🙂
Essentially this story is about Ty who wants to make friends but when he approaches other dinosaurs they see him and run away. No one gives him a chance to even talk to them until he finds the Littlest Dinosaur. The LIttlest Dinosaur and Ty become friends and when the other dinosaurs see them together they realize they might have acted rashly. I won’t tell you why you have to get the book to see.
Bryce Raffle was the lead writer for the video game studio Ironclad Games. He also writes stories for young adults and designs book covers.
Steven Kothlow is making his debut as a children’s book writer. He hopes to tell many more stories that help spread a message of diversity and inclusion especially in children’s literature.
Tessa Verplancke is a sound designer by day and an illustrator by night. She lives to tell stories through as many mediums as possible.
Imagine a secret, hidden city that gives a second chance at life for those selected to come: felons, deformed outcasts, those on the fringe of the Outside World. Everyone gets a job, a place to live; but you are bound to the city forever. You can never leave.
Its citizens are ruled by a monstrous figure called the “Man” who resembles a giant demented spider from the lifelike robotic limbs attached to his body. Everyone follows the man blindly, working hard to make their Promised Land stronger, too scared to defy him and be discarded to the Empty Zones.
After ten years as an advertising executive, Graham Weatherend receives an order to test a new client, Pow! Sodas. After one sip of the orange flavor, he becomes addicted, the sodas causing wild mood swings that finally wake him up to the prison he calls reality.
A dynamic mash-up of 1984 meets LOST, ORANGE CITY is a lurid, dystopian first book in a series that will continue with the explosive sequel LEMONWORLD.
At six on the dot, the gloved cellular let out a piercing ring. A timer turned on, ticking down with each buzz. E wouldn’t have long to remain idle. The entire pod apartment vibrated, and his capsule bed slid open. The white ceiling drew his attention, the walls devoid of color, a minimalist’s fantasy—nothing like a home.
Shades of the dream from last night still lingered. His knuckles painted with blood as he beat a shadow. The voice of the shadow belonging to a ten-year-old boy. The boy’s cries stabbing E’s ears. He shook that dream away.
He removed the intravenous tube that connected him to his bed and switched off the cooling mist which allowed him to slumber for days. He stretched his old bones, his hair standing up in a state of white shock like it had since he was a young man. Swinging his thick legs over the side of the bed, he yawned at the morning before finally answering his cell.
“I’ll be right there,” he coughed into the digital eye on his gloved palm.
He removed the glove and pushed a button on the side of the bed. Doors opening along the wall revealed a sliver of a kitchen with a piping pot of subpar and gritty coffee brewing on the counter— the best offered to the Scouts— and two sizzling poached eggs from a suspect source. He scarfed down the eggs and pushed another button to raise the shades along the lone wall facing east. The heart of The City hovered in the near distance, its new buildings staggering on one end like giant colorful stalagmites. Sipping his black coffee, he watched it in motion as he did every morning.
Between the Scouts and the rest of The City lay a half a mile of ice water. The City was made up of many Regions, his situated on the outskirts. Sometimes he wondered what it would be like to fall into those frosty waters and drift off to wherever it might choose to take him, no longer having to shuttle between The City and the faraway Outside World anymore. But instead of a dramatic suicide, he suited up and headed through the tunnel with a suitcase in hand like he had for twenty years. He’d convinced himself long ago that living here was better than rotting in prison like he would’ve been if they hadn’t selected him. At least he was still able to get lost in a bottle of whiskey or feel the sun against his cheek during the few instances it was allowed to peek through the chronic clouds. Even though The City was far from ideal, the Outside World remained definitely worse. It reminded him too often of the man he used to be and of the terrible sins he’d committed. These thoughts returned at the beginning of every week while he geared up for another one, as he wondered if one day the Man in the Eye might give him a promotion and he wouldn’t have to be a Scout anymore.
That way, he’d never have to return to the Outside World.
Then, he could possibly be at peace, like all The City’s inhabitants wished.
Lee Matthew Goldberg is the author of the novels THE ANCESTOR, THE MENTOR, THE DESIRE CARD and SLOW DOWN. He has been published in multiple languages and nominated for the Prix du Polar. His first YA series RUNAWAY TRAIN is forthcoming in 2021 along with a sci-fi novel ORANGE CITY. After graduating with an MFA from the New School, his writing has also appeared in The Millions, Vol. 1 Brooklyn, LitReactor, Monkeybicycle, Fiction Writers Review, Cagibi, Necessary Fiction, the anthology Dirty Boulevard, The Montreal Review, The Adirondack Review, The New Plains Review, Underwood Press and others. He is the editor-in-chief and co-founder of Fringe, dedicated to publishing fiction that’s outside-of-the-box. His pilots and screenplays have been finalists in Script Pipeline, Book Pipeline, Stage 32, We Screenplay, the New York Screenplay, Screencraft, and the Hollywood Screenplay contests. He is the co-curator of The Guerrilla Lit Reading Series and lives in New York City. Follow him at LeeMatthewGoldberg.com
‘Sometimes you have to enter the death zone to save the innocent ’
A top-secret clique of former spies meet for dinner to hatch a plan to murder a competitor, not knowing that they are under surveillance from a covert arm of British Intelligence. Hours later, with bodies strewn across a terrace, a piece of secret intelligence reveals an international plot of colossal magnitude.
For disgraced agent Sean Richardson, this is the beginning of a deniable mission to infiltrate and disrupt a group of Russian mercenaries who are working clandestinely to take over a nation state.
Acting covertly as an illicit arms trafficker, Sean is dropped into a deadly cauldron of terrorists and high-tech weaponry that will take a nation down. As the bullets fly and the chaos rains in, can Sean take down the merchants of death…..or has he finally met his match?
One of my favourite extracts from the novel where Sean has to act with guile and stealth to hack into his targets home computer. A nervous espisode, as capture would mean death from the brutal Russian mercenary.
At exactly eight o’clock in the evening, Dozich’s internal CCTV system was infiltrated by The Court’s hackers sitting at their dimly lit consoles somewhere in the quiet Suffolk countryside. Sean’s phone began to vibrate – sure enough, right on time. Jack messaged him on TextSecure and the phone came alive with a green screen showing three dots flickering. ‘Good to go. All stations on standby.’
The Court’s hackers had inserted a Trojan worm deep into the servers of the villa, which quickly propagated laterally to gain the privileged access rights to the CCTV system. The hackers took control of each of the internal cameras that would provide sight of Sean making his way to the rooms he would search.
‘I’ll be back in an hour,’ he said to Yelena. ‘If anyone comes and asks where I am, text me, and tell them I’m on the loo.’
‘I can come along and keep an eye out for you while you’re in the room you know. It’s my father’s house and if anything goes wrong, I’ll be able to tell a story far better than you at being caught mooching around like a jewel thief.’
‘Funny that, Jack set my legend up to show I was once an amateur thief.’
Had Sean seen the anxious look on Jack’s face back at The Court, he may have taken her up on the offer to tag along. But no. he needed to do this work alone. He stepped outside the door knowing the corridor cameras were now under the control of The Court hackers who had digitally manipulated the imagery being seen by Dozich’s security operators deep in the basement of the villa. He then sent a text to Jugsy: ‘Land the drone on Dozich’s balcony. Five minutes.’
Within three minutes, Sean had turned a key to enter the spacious office which was located on the first floor of the villa. He’d memorised the plans of the villa and the layout of Dozich’s office with the help of Yelena who had managed to coax the information from the housekeeper as well as the location of the spare key that her father always left in the vase opposite the door.
As Sean started to rummage the room, he still couldn’t work out why Yelena had been so accommodating, so helpful. Almost from the very beginning when he first caught her half naked in that room in Tuscany. Since that moment, it had not been at all difficult to extract information from her. Indeed, she even steered him straight to the Albanian thug. Why, he wondered?
His phone began to ring. The signal that the drone was now inbound and imminent. Sean walked over to the terrace, released the latch on the sliding door, and stepped out to be confronted by a buzzing quadcopter two feet ahead of him at head height. He imagined Jugsy grinning at him through the onboard camera, so he decided to give him the finger. Following a smile at the ugly whirring beast, he grabbed a small black pouch from a cradle below the drone’s belly. He gave a thumbs up into the eye of the onboard camera, and watched it lift quickly before silently peeling off into the night to land on the roof of the villa.
Sean pointed his penlight towards the large white desk that sat neatly in the corner of the room with two twenty-inch screens and a desktop computer. He gazed briefly at the three large pictures behind Dozich’s desk. His gaze turned into serious study. Something had caught his eye. One picture had three men dressed in Spetsnaz fatigues and Dozich holding an AK47. It looked like it was taken in Afghanistan. Dozich was stood next to a man Sean recognised. It was a much younger Sergei. The Russian spy Jack had recruited and the man he had met only a year ago in the very conference room that Jack was now sat in. Sean’s nape began to tingle. What if Sergei had played Jack all along? Surely this is too much of a coincidence for Sergei, the lead officer for a Russian illegals programme in the UK, to be a military friend of Dozich?
Sean took a photo of the wall mounted picture with his smartphone and beamed it back to Jack using the secure photo app specially designed for Court operations. He muttered a few words to himself about moles and how Swartz might have been compromised, before sitting at the desk. The computer screen was alive with a background picture of a mountain view. He tapped the return button to bring up the password box. He then stood up and walked around the room once more until he finally found what he was after. A small second desktop machine with a laptop beside it on a small table next to an open fireplace. Sean instinctively knew that Dozich would probably use the laptop for emails and internet transmissions, whilst he kept his main desktop machine isolated from any intruders who would hack into his machine via the internet. Operational security for organised crime lords in the digital world was a must, and one that Dozich would take seriously.
Sean tapped the number into his phone that he’d been given by Jack to speak to a Court operator in the operations room back in Suffolk. The hacker would help him get into the machine to search and retrieve all of the files of Dozich’s illicit trade, his financial connections and any connecting evidence to Sir Rhys.
‘Sean? Can you hear me? My name’s Bill?’
‘Yes, I can, I’m in front of the machine, go ahead.’
‘OK, this won’t take long. First off, there are two pensticks in the black pouch. Both will be required to perform this attack which should take less than five minutes. The blue stick will be used to create a live USB that will boot on the laptop while, the yellow stick holds the payload that will then be executed on the device. It will infiltrate the machine and search for the password hash. Place the blue one in now.’
Sean drew the blue pen drive from his jeans pocket and placed it into the USB drive. ‘Done,’ he said waiting impatiently for the next instruction.
‘OK, now on the pen drive is a small switch. Turn it on so a green light flashes once before going solid after five seconds.’
‘Done, what’s next.’
‘Just sit back for about three minutes or so. It’ll boot on the laptop and also sniff for the drone sat above you on the roof, and once it’s connected, we’ll have a transmission frequency to extract the data we need.’
I started climbing at 13, survived being lost in Snowdonia at 14, nearly drowned at 15, and then joined the Army at 16. Risk and adventure was built into my DNA and I feel very fortunate to have served the majority of my working career as an intelligence officer within Defence Intelligence, and as an explosive ordnance disposal officer and military surveyor within the Corps of Royal Engineers.
I feel privileged to have served for twenty-eight years in the British Army as a soldier and officer, working in Defence Intelligence and Counter-Terrorist Bomb Disposal operations, rising through the ranks to complete my service as a major. I served across the globe on numerous military operations as well as extensive travel and adventure on many major mountaineering and exploration expeditions that I led or was involved in.
I was awarded the Geographic Medal by the Royal Geographical Society for mountain exploration and served on the screening committee of the Mount Everest Foundation charity for many years. It was humbling after so many years of service when I was awarded the MBE for services to counter-terrorism in 2007.