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Tuesday, July 31, 2012

Teaser Tuesdays (46): Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones

Teaser Tuesdays...is a weekly bookish meme, hosted by MizB of Should Be Reading. Anyone can play along! Just do the following:
• Grab your current read
• Open to a random page
• Share two (2) “teaser” sentences from somewhere on that page
• BE CAREFUL NOT TO INCLUDE SPOILERS! (make sure that what you share doesn’t give too much away! You don’t want to ruin the book for others!)
• Share the title and author, too, so that other TT participants can add the book to their TBR Lists if they like your teasers!
*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*~*

Ian was the one who chased the majestic buck into the forest. Kendra and PJ followed him. They all hoped to return to the hiking trail before anyone noticed they were gone. However, the mountain had other plans for them: dark, sinister plans that only nightmares are made of.
The Goonies meets The Evil Dead in this series about three kids who become separated from their backpacking group in the Montana wilderness and discover they are stranded in the heart of zombie country.
Ian was the one who chased the majestic buck into the forest. (His motto: Act first, think later.)
Kendra didn't want to become separated from the other sixth graders, but she followed Ian anyway, despite what her analytical mind told her.
PJ followed him, too. Even though he was scared, he figured he might catch some amazing footage with his video camera.
They all hoped to return to the hiking trail before anyone noticed they were gone. However, the mountain had other plans for them: dark, sinister plans that only nightmares are made of.
Now they don't know where they are. They don't know how to get home. They don't know what gruesome creatures lurk in the shadows-but when they find out, will they be able to defeat these monsters and escape the mountain together?
This first book in the Gravediggers series is a scary, mysterious, wild ride that will thrill readers to the very last page.

Gravediggers: Mountain of Bones
Christopher Krovatin
9/11/12
Katherine Tegen Books

MY TEASER
And the smell, man, I can't even describe it, like a roadkill sandwich with rotten lettuce and toilet sauce on sourdough. With every slow, stupid movement, mossy dirt and wriggling worms fall off their bodies and tumble onto the floor. And even though some of them don't have eyes, it's obvious by the sudden simultaneous moan that comes from out of them that they all see us just fine. (ARC, pg. 123)

Saturday, July 28, 2012

Goodie Basket (11): Weekly Book Haul and Recap


Goodie Basket...is a weekly feature hosted here at Word Spelunking that showcases all the goodies (books, bookish things, reviews, interviews/giveaways/guest posts, blog tours, etc) that popped up in the Goodie Basket that is Word Spelunking each week.

Hiya, Cupcakes! It's been a slow blog week for me, with only two reviews, and I've sucked at visiting other blogs and commenting. I've been super busy with work and Real Life thangs...my biggest and cupcakest apologies ^_^
Hopefully, in the next week or two things will slow down for me and I'll be able to get back to more reading and reviewing!

Anywho, this is what arrived in my mailbox this week...

FOR REVIEW

Magic Genie Books
sent from author for review
look for my review and interview with Jody next month!

EBOOKS FOR REVIEW
Edgmont USA
sent from pub for review via Netgalley

eARC  The Cloak Society Jeramey Kraatz
Harper Collins
sent for review from pub via Edelweiss

Big THANK YOU's to Jody Gehrman, Egmont, Harper Collins, Netgalley and Edelweiss for all the bookish awesomeness!!!

Weekly Recap
Blog Tours and Interviews
Giveaways




What did you get in your mailbox this week?!
Leave links to your hauls/recaps :)

Friday, July 27, 2012

Interview and Giveaway: Adam Glendon Sidwell


I'm very excited to have the awesome Adam Sidwell here today for an interview and giveaway!!! Adam is the author of the fantabulous MG novel Evertaster...seriously, this book rocks and I LOVED it!  Be sure to check out my review of this wonderful book.


WS: What three words best describe Evertaster?
AS: Delicious. Dangerous. Delightfully-death-defying-fun.

WS: In one sentence tell readers why they MUST read your book…c’mon really sell it.
AS: You must read Evertaster because it will change the way you taste every morsel of food you will eat for the rest of your life.

WS: What inspired Evertaster? Where did the idea for the story come from?
 AS: I was browsing through the book store, when I happened upon a cookbook. I saw how thick it was, and how many other books there were like it, and thought about all the cookbooks in the whole world, and how many there must be, and how many were written over the centuries. That’s when I wondered: what are all those chefs looking for? What are they after? In science, there’s an idea that there is a grand Theory of Everything that is waiting to be discovered. What if there is was grand Recipe? The final answer to all cooking and food. From there, the Johnsonville family developed naturally, with the mom, Mabel, who feels inadequate about her abilities as a cook, and Guster, the eleven year old for whom food burns or stings his mouth and tongue as he swallows it. It made for a fun dynamic. The setting and adventure itself were inspired by some of the places I’ve had the chance to travel to. They were such interesting settings, I just had to put them into a story.

WS: Grab a copy of Evertaster and answer the following:
·         Favorite chapter?
Chapter 23 
·         Favorite page?
Page 274 
·         Favorite character?
Archedentus, the Master Mead Maker, the Great Chef.

WS: Any hints about what’s next for Guster and the Johnsonvilles? Please?!
AS: Yes. I’ll say this: currently the first sentence of Evertaster - the Delicious City goes something like this: Guster Johnsonville tasted a hint of danger in his tuna fish sandwich. The Delicious City will be about a delicious city of course. Guster and the Johnsonvilles find themselves in a far off place due to circumstances beyond their control. We see Guster taking a much more active role in decision making that ultimately affects the family. He’s a little more grown up now. The Delicious City is indeed a mysterious and wonderful place which if any of us were able to find it, we’d gladly spend the rest of our lives there. 

WS: In Evertaster, Guster and his family are on the hunt to uncover the Gastronomy of Peace, the most delectable recipe ever…what’s the yummiest, most delicious thing you’ve EVER eaten?
AS: It would have to be the ice cream cone I ate in 1993 in Tillamook Oregon. I was riding my bicycle across Oregon that summer and I passed some bovines with udders so large they dragged on the ground. We stopped off at the Tillamook factory where the ice cream came as direct from the cow as you can get. I had a blueberry cheesecake flavored scoop on top of a sugar cone. Perhaps it was because I was so tired or because my body was so drained, but that ice cream cone was the most delicious thing I’ve ever tasted. It completed me, and I’ve never forgotten it.

WS: You’ve worked on some pretty awesome movies, but what’s the most awesome movie you’ve worked on? What’s the coolest thing you’ve created for a movie?
AS: The most awesome movie I’ve ever worked on would probably be King Kong. I was working with the best in the industry at Weta Digital. I got to move to New Zealand for a year. I learned the cutting edge technology. My favorite thing that I’ve worked on would probably be building digital human replacements for Tron. I built the digital versions of most of the riders in the light cycle sequence. I also created the lightwalls. I built the digital double for Sam, which if you watch that scene, he’s mostly digital, though you shouldn’t be able to tell. The goal is to have people watch your work without even knowing that those humans aren’t actually actors but are computer generated.

WS: What are some your favorite MG books and characters (other than your fab book and characters, of course)
AS: Alcatraz versus the Evil Librarians by Brandon Sanderson. IT’s a mind bending idea that Librarians are really a secret organization that are controlling all the world’s knowledge. Brandon is an amazing author and has a mastery of the craft, and it really comes through in those books in a very humorous way that breaks the 4th wall as Alcatraz talks directly to the audience. I also will never ever forget the moments in 3rd grade when I discovered Roald Dahl. A freind passed off the Twits and Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and the BFG. I couldn’t believe I was reading about giants eating human beans. I love the BFG! Ultimately those books are what inspired me to write.  

WS:  Fill in the blanks:
·         I’m awesome at ________.
AS: Wilderness Survival 

·         I’m embarrassed to admit that _______.
AS: I don’t know the capital of Connecticut. Who knows? Maybe I’ll keep it that way. 

·         In the event of a zombie/demon/alien apocalypse I’d______.
AS: Teleport. 

WS: If you were to bake an Evertaster inspired cupcake what would it look and/or taste like and what would you call it?
AS: It would taste like the Gastronomy of Peace of course! The One Recipe that Guster and the Johnsonvilles spend 300 pages searching for. What would I call it? the Gastronomy of Peace! What does it taste like? The Gastronomy of Peace! No spoilers though. To know what that tastes like, you’ll have to read Chapter 23. What would it look like? Sunshine. History. Perfection.

Thank you so much for answering my questions Adam!!!
Connect with Adam: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
In between books, Adam Glendon Sidwell uses the power of computers to make monsters, robots and zombies come to life for blockbuster movies such as Pirates of the CaribbeanKing KongTransformersand Tron. After spending countless hours in front of a keyboard meticulously adjusting tentacles, calibrating hydraulics, and brushing monkey fur, he is delighted at the prospect of modifying his creations with the flick of a few deftly placed adjectives. He’s been eating food since age 7, so feels very qualified to write this book. He once showed a famous movie star where the bathroom was. Adam currently lives in Los Angeles, where he can’t wait to fall into the sea.

Evertaster
What if there were a taste so delicious that if you found it, you’d never want to eat anything else again?
When eleven year-old Guster Johnsonville rejects his mother's casserole for the umpteenth time, she takes him to the city of New Orleans to find him something to eat. There, in a dark, abandoned corner of the city, they meet a dying pastry maker who tells them of a legendary recipe called the Gastronomy of Peace -- a recipe created hundreds of years ago, shrouded in secrecy, and sought after by connoisseurs everywhere. 
So begins a perilous adventure that will take Guster, his clever sister Mariah, and the rest of the Johnsonvilles on an adventure to ancient ruins, faraway jungles and forgotten caves, where they discover that their search is more than just a quest to satisfy Guster’s cravings -- it is a quest that could change humanity forever.

Purchase: Amazon / B&N 

Win a signed copy of Evertaster
Adam has generously offered a signed copy of his awesome MG book to one lucky cupcake!!!
DETAILS
-One winner will win a signed copy of Evertaster
-US/CAN only
-Will run from 7/27 - 8/10
-Fill out Rafflecopter form to enter
  • Must be 13+ to enter
  • One main entry per person
  • Winner will be emailed and must claim prize within 48 hours
  • I am NOT responsible for lost, damaged or stolen prizes
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, July 25, 2012

The Stone of Darkness Blog Tour: guest post


I'm excited to have The Stone of Darkness Blog Tour stopping by today! Author Resa Nelson is here with a fab guest post...


Why My Heroes Are Women

I’ve been writing short stories since childhood, and the main characters in my short stories are sometimes men and sometimes women.  It depends on the story I want to tell and the point I want to make by telling that story.  But in the novels I write, the main character is always a woman.  As a novelist, my mission is to write about women who are smart and strong and courageous.  There are a few different reasons why I do this, and some go back to my childhood.

I’m lucky that my parents were readers.  They always read books out loud to me, and I’d often see my folks reading at home or even on vacation.  Books were always a normal part of my environment.  When I was old enough to read, my parents encouraged me to read the classics.  I suspect I’m mostly a fantasy writer because I read every book of fairy tales and folk tales in my hometown library.  From there I became a big fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder, partly because I grew up in the Midwest and her books opened up a window where I could get a glimpse of what everyday life used to be like.  And the hero was a little girl, someone I could relate to easily.

After reading Little House on the Prairie and all the books by Wilder, I read Louisa May Alcott’s Little Women.  The main character Jo thrilled me, because I already knew I wanted to be a writer.  I felt like I could walk in her shoes and see through her eyes.  I felt like a member of the March family and even collected dolls of all the characters.


I then went on to read books by Charles Dickens, Mark Twain, and Jules Verne.  I adored the Sherlock Holmes stories by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and everything by Edgar Allen Poe.  By my teens, my favorite authors were Ray Bradbury, Isaac Asimov, and Agatha Christie.  As much as I loved these authors and their work, I couldn’t help but notice that the hero was almost always a man (with the exception of Christie’s Miss Marple, who was a bit too old for me to identify with).  Every once in a while I’d find a book like the splendid A Wrinkle In Time where I delighted in walking in Meg’s shoes.  But books like that were a rare treat.

So as an author, I can’t help but wonder this:  Why should it be a rare treat to read a book where the main character is a woman?  It seems to still be true.  My readers tell me all the time how difficult it is to find books where a good and competent woman is the hero.

Don’t get me wrong.  I adore books like the Harry Potter series and other books that feature boys or men as the main character.  I just think there’s an imbalance, and I choose to be on the side of heroic women.  And while I appreciate books that include smart and courageous girls or women as sidekicks, I like to put girls and women in the spotlight and let male characters be their sidekicks!  So that’s why if you pick up one of my books, you can be guaranteed you’re going to read about a woman in charge!


If you’d like to sample my work for free, you can download a free “mini” ebook called “Dragonslayer Stories” from my website at http://www.resanelson.com/files.  No cost, no obligation, nothing to sign up for, no information gathering.  I like giving away samples of my work so you can decide for yourself whether you like it or not.  Also, you can enter to win signed copies of the first three novels in my Dragonslayer series on GoodReads at this link:  http://www.goodreads.com/giveaway/show/27323-the-stone-of-darkness.  If you like getting a discount, you can get 10% off my books (ebooks and paperbacks) when you buy them from my publisher (www.mundania.com).  Enter this code at checkout:  MP10.

The Dragonslayer Series

The Dragonslayer’s Sword (Book 1)
For Astrid, a blacksmith who makes swords for dragonslayers, the emergence of a strange gemstone from her body sets in motion a chain of events that threaten to destroy her life. Her happiness is shattered when her lover--the dragonslayer--disappears without a trace, and the life that she knows and loves implodes without warning. Astrid lives in a world of shapeshifters whose thoughts have the power to change not only themselves but others. Everything Astrid knows to be true is called into question when she learns the truth about her past and the mysterious family from which she was separated as a child. Reality turns inside out as Astrid gradually learns the truth about the people she loves as well as those she disdains. With the fate of dragons, ghosts, and slaves in foreign lands resting on her shoulders, Astrid faces the challenge of deciding who she is and how she will stand up inside her own skin. Will she withdraw and hide from the world that has disappointed her so much...or will she rise to lead others to freedom and peace? 


The Iron Maiden (Book 2)
Astrid is reluctant to travel the winter route beyond the Northlands, even though it's her duty. She'd rather stay home in her village, surrounded by friends and neighbors. Ignoring the bonds of tradition, she decides to spend the cold winter months in the warmth of her blacksmithing shop. Why should she leave the comfort of her cottage to serve and protect foreigners who might raid and harm her native Northlands?
Everything changes when a traveling merchant steals Starlight, the first dragonslayer's sword Astrid forged and her last link to her sweetheart DiStephan. Having no time to alert her friends, Astrid races in pursuit of the merchant, determined to reclaim Starlight as her own and return home in time for dinner. Instead, her quest leads her to new lands, unexpected friendships with foreigners, and a harrowing encounter with the damage done by the followers of a new god that considers women as nothing more than servants to men. All the while, she must be ready to face any dragon traveling the winter route.
In Book 2 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid must learn that deciding who she is isn't a decision she can make just once. It's a decision she must make every day.

The Stone of Darkness (Book 3)
In Book 3 of the Dragonslayer series, Astrid accepts her duty and follows the winter route--until she's bitten by a dragon. Everyone knows dragon bites are poisonous and deadly, so she reluctantly accepts her impending death. In a twist of fate, she survives. Desperate for an explanation, Astrid believes she has somehow been protected by the black stone she keeps with her at all times, a stone that emerged from the sole of her foot a year ago.
Determined to find out what the stone is and what kind of powers it possesses, Astrid begins a journey that leads her to alchemists and an army of men under the rule of the powerful warrior, Mandulane, the acting lord of the Krystr army. Mandulane's mission is to spread the word of the new god Krystr, which preaches the evil intent of women and the danger they pose to all men, who are entitled to dominate the world. Rumors about this new god and army have spread, but Astrid is the first Northlander to encounter them.
 Soon, she stumbles upon a secret of a far-reaching and mind-numbing plot that will impact the entire world. Astrid must find a way to spread the news of this threat and protect her people and everyone else at risk. She's convinced the answer lies inside the Stone of Darkness, and she must find a way to understand the stone and the powers she's convinced it must hold before it's too late.


Resa Nelson has been selling fiction professionally since 1988. She is a longtime member of SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) and is a graduate of the Clarion SF Workshop. Resa was also the TV/Movie Columnist for Realms of Fantasy magazine for 13 years and was a contributor to SCI FI magazine. She has sold over 200 articles to magazines in the United States and the United Kingdom. Her first novel, The Dragonslayer’s Sword, was nominated for the Nebula Award and was also a Finalist for the EPPIE Award. This medieval fantasy novel is based on a short story first published in the premiere issue of Science Fiction Age magazine and ranked 2nd in that magazine's first Readers Top Ten Poll. The Dragonslayer's Sword is Book 1 in her 4-book Dragonslayer series. Book 2, The Iron Maiden, was published last December, Book 3 was published in May, and the final book in the series is scheduled for publication in November. Resa's standalone novel, Our Lady of the Absolute, is a fantasy/mystery/thriller about a modern-day society based on ancient Egypt. Midwest Book Review gave this book a 5-star review, calling it "a riveting fantasy, very highly recommended." Resa lives in Massachusetts.


LINKS

Resa’s website:  http://www.resanelson.com                                                                       
Free “mini” ebook of Dragonslayer short stories:  http://www.resanelson.com/files
Ebooks ($4.99 each) are available directly from Mundania Press at:  http://mundania.com/author.php?author=Resa+Nelson (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)
Paperbacks are available from Mundania Press, Amazon, and Barnes&Noble:
http://mundania.com/author.php?author=Resa+Nelson (get a 10% discount at checkout with the coupon code MP10)


ARC Review: Between You & Me by Marisa Calin


TITLE: Between You & Me                 AUTHOR: Marisa Calin
PUB: Bloomsbury                                    PUB DATE: 8/7/12
FORMAT: eARC                                      SOURCE: Netgalley

Phyre knows there is something life-changing about her new drama teacher, Mia, from the moment they meet. As Phyre rehearses for the school play, she comes to realize that the unrequited feelings she has for Mia go deeper than she’s ever experienced. Especially with a teacher. Or a woman. All the while, Phyre’s best friend—addressed throughout the story in the second person, as "you"—stands by, ready to help Phyre make sense of her feelings. But just as Mia doesn’t understand what Phyre feels, Phyre can’t fathom the depth of her best friend’s feelings . . . until it’s almost too late for a happy ending. Characters come to life through the innovative screenplay format of this dazzling debut, and unanswered questions—is "you" male or female?—will have readers talking.


THREE WORDS: Honest & Thought-Provoking


MY REVIEW: Marisa Calin’s Between You & Me employs an unusual format to portray a relatable and contemporary glimpse into the complicated, confusing and often heartbreaking world of falling in love and growing up.


Written in screenplay format, Between You & Me follows sixteen year old Phyre as she grapples with her confusing and burgeoning romantic feelings for Mia, the new and young theater and film teacher. Phyre has never felt attracted to another girl before and her strong feelings for Mia have her questioning everything. Phyre eventually confides in her BFF, who is only referred to as YOU and whose gender is never specified, but he/she is dealing with their own secret romantic feelings; feelings for Phyre. Phyre hopes to get closer to Mia by starring in the school play, but only further complicates things. Life changing and heart-breaking realizations hit hard, but maybe Phyre and YOU can still have a happily ever after.


Calin has crafted an authentic, hip and relatable look at sexuality, love and growing up. Full of palpable emotions, engaging characters and a thought-provoking story, Between You & Me is a captivating contemporary read.


The screenplay format is innovative and creates a very cinematic experience. Unfortunately, the narration often switches from this screenplay format to longer prose and I found this switch jarring and confusing. There’s also no use of quotation marks to signify dialogue, so I was often confused as to just who was talking and when the dialogue stopped and Phyre was merely narrating her own thoughts and observations. I think if a distinction between dialogue and narration and who’s talking were made clearer then the screenplay format would work better.


The story itself however is enthralling and easily pulled me in. Phyre’s complicated and often painful exploration of her confusing feelings for Mia and YOU’s own feelings for Phyre are well-crafted and presented in a very unassuming, honest and relatable way. This isn’t a “coming out” novel and, even though Calin does a great job of exploring the notion of one questioning their sexuality in a thoughtful way, at its core this is a story simply about love and all the heartache, wonderment, excitement and confusion that comes with it. The real focus and important aspect of this novel isn’t that Phyre falls for a girl, it’s the simple and relatable notion that she falls hard for someone who intrigues, captivates, challenges and attracts her, someone who will never return those intense feelings.


I love that Phyre’s best friend and admirer’s gender is never revealed and YOU can easily be read as either a boy or girl. When I first began the novel I actually wanted YOU to be a girl, and there were many times when I was sure YOU was a girl, but then something would happen or something was said I was sure YOU was a guy. But as the story progressed I realized it didn’t matter and stopped focusing on YOU’s gender and just focused on his/her feelings and friendship with Phyre, which I think is the whole point. Calin has created something very profound and exquisite with her un-gendered YOU.


The story wraps up in a way that is kind of predictable and expected, but not unsatisfying. I think this is one instance where the journey the characters take is far more important than the destination they reach…and the journey is a tantalizing and tangible one.

MY FINAL THOUGHTS: While the unusual, yet refreshing screenplay format used does cause a few glitches and distractions, the candid, emotionally palpable and smartly crafted story of two teens discovering the complexities of falling in love certainly make up for them. Between You & Me is a fresh, relatable and worthwhile read.

MY RATING

Connect with the author: Website / Goodreads / Twitter / Facebook
Marisa is an actress and novelist. She grew up in Bath, England and moved to New York City to train at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts. She tried her hand at plays and screenplays before her love of a good book inspired her to take charge of every facet of the creative picture and tackle a novel. The only thing better than being absorbed in the world of a film for two hours is being absorbed in the lives of characters for the duration of a book. She lives in Greenwich Village and writes from what she knows - memories of her not so distant teenhood. Her debut novel 'Between You and Me' comes out in August, 2012

Watch the Trailer

Tuesday, July 24, 2012

"Waiting On" Wednesday (39): That Time I Joined The Circus


"Waiting On" Wednesday...is a weekly event, hosted by Breaking the Spine that spotlights upcoming releases that we're eagerly anticipating.

This week I'm excitedly waiting on....

A music-obsessed, slightly snarky New York City girl, Lexi is on her own. After making a huge mistake—and facing a terrible tragedy— Lexi has no choice but to track down her long-absent mother. Rumor has it that Lexi’s mom is somewhere in Florida with a traveling circus.
When Lexi arrives at her new, three-ring reality, her mom isn’t there…but her destiny might be. Surrounded by tigers, elephants, and trapeze artists, Lexi finds some surprising friends and an even more surprising chance at true love. She even lucks into a spot as the circus’s fortune teller, reading tarot cards and making predictions.
But then Lexi’s ex-best friend from home shows up, and suddenly it’s Lexi’s own future that’s thrown into question… 
With humor, wisdom, and a dazzlingly fresh voice, this debut reminds us of the magic of circus tents, city lights, first kisses, last heartaches, and the importance of an excellent playlist.

That Time I Joined The Circus
J.J. Howard
2013
Scholastic
That Time I Joined The Circus

Like many children, I often declared that I was gonna join the circus when I was a kid...honestly, even as an adult there are times when life just becomes Too Much and I want to scream " Screw it! I'm running away to the circus!". So, when I saw the synopsis of this book I just knew I had to read it. I cannot wait to join Lexi on her journey!

Plus, I'm in love with that gorgeous cover!!! I just want to reach through my computer screen and pet it ;-)

What are you waiting on this week?!


Author Interview: Anne E. Johnson


I'm pleased to have author Anne E. Johnson stopping by today for an interview. Anne is the author of the recently released MG novel Ebenezer's Locker.

WS: What three words best describe your MG novel Ebenezer’s Locker?

AJ: Exciting. Funny. Spooky. 

WS: In one sentence tell readers why they must read Ebenezer’s Locker.

AJ: If you love a ghost story with an unusual twist, and you like a fast and entertaining read with quirky characters, this book is for you. 

WS: Now using as many sentences as you’d like can you tell us a bit more about Ebenezer’s Locker?

AJ: A century ago, Corbin Elementary School's building housed Dr. Ebenezer Corbin's School for Psychical Research. A couple of old spirits are still wandering the halls. It's up to sixth-grader Rhonda Zymler to find out what they want.
 The more Rhonda digs, the more perilous her task becomes, and to complete it she must take two trips back in time. This story blends the realities of an economically-challenged modern American town with supernatural elements. What Rhonda finds not only gives her life a sense of purpose, but changes the fortunes of her entire town. 

WS: What inspired the story behind Ebenezer’s Locker?

AJ: When I was a kid, I loved Judith Spearing's novelGhosts Who Went to School. I wanted to to write my own book about ghosts in a school, but from a unique angle. So I made the ghosts the spirits of psychics who've come back to deal with some unfinished business.

WS: Grab a copy of Ebenezer’s Lockerand answer the following:
·         Favorite chapter?
AJ: Chapter 7, "The Spirit Hand," in which Rhonda and her friends have a seance with the neighborhood psychic. 
·         Favorite page?
AJ: Well, it's e-book only, so there are no page numbers! But my favorite passage is the speech by Tallulah (the psychic) when she gets all worked up about the various tricks some fake psychics use to pretend they're communicating with the dead.
·         Favorite character?
AJ: Tallulah Radley, the eighty-year-old psychic. She's spunky and powerful, despite her frail old body. And she knows everything about the history if communicating with spirits, and she has strong opinions about the right and wrong way to do it. 

WS: What writing projects are you working on now? Any plans for an Ebenezer’s Locker sequel or more stories about Rhonda?

AJ: In terms of books for kids, I'm just starting work on a new historical novel. It will take place in 1608, in the city of Mantua in Italy, and it will involve music and a mystery. And, yes, I do have plans for a sequel to Ebenezer's Locker.

WS: In Ebenezer’s Locker your character Rhonda must deal with ghosts…do you believe in ghosts? What famous ghost would you love to have an encounter with?

AJ: I do believe in ghosts, although I don't usually think of them as being so separate from our own minds as those in Ebenezer's Locker. In other words, our imaginations and memories are a part of the existence of ghosts, but that doesn't make them less real.

If by "famous ghost" you mean "ghost of a famous person," I'd love to talk to the ghost of Plato, the Ancient Greek philosopher, to really find out what life was life back then. If you literally mean "famous ghost," then I'd choose Jacob Marley fromA Christmas Carol. I've always wished he were in more scenes of that story. 

WS: Rhonda must also travel back in time (so cool!)…if you could go back in time (or in the future) where and when would you go? What would you do there?

AJ: If I were sure my time machine functioned well and could get me back to the present when I needed it, I would visit medieval France or England, just to hear the music from that era played live. But it was a rough existence, especially for women, so I probably wouldn't want to stay long.

WS: Fill in the blanks:
1.    I’m really awesome at ______.
AJ: Making cupcakes! Seriously! 

2.    I’m embarrassed to admit that ______.
AJ: I have a really hard time spelling "broccoli." (I always look it up.) But I do like to eat it, so it often shows up on my grocery list. 

3.    My favorite MG book is ______. 
AJ: Adam Rex's The True Meaning of Smek Day. 

4.    If I could live inside one made-up world I’d choose ______. 
AJ: The town where Willy Wonka's chocolate factory is. 

Q10. If you were to bake an Ebenezer’s Locker inspired cupcake what would it look/taste like and what would you call it?

AJ: This isn't as much of a hypothetical question as you might think. I had another book, a science fiction novel called Green Light Delivery, release recently, and for the launch party I actually made three types of cupcakes, inspired by the three main characters!

For Ebenezer's Locker, I would make a cupcake called Ebenezer's Surprise. It would look weird, maybe creepy, on the outside, but have a delightful, surprising filling. Let's say a chocolate cupcake with vanilla frosting dusted with cocoa powder (looks like dirt), and piped in shaky handwriting with the number 176 in frosting as close to gray as possible. But inside would be a perky lemon creme.

Thank you so much Anne for answering my questions! It's always great to meet another cupcake enthusiast :)

Connect with Anne: Website / Twitter / Facebook
Anne E. Johnson lives in Brooklyn. Her children’s short fiction can be found in Stories for Children,Spaceports& Spidersilk, Knowonder!, and elsewhere. Her middle-grade paranormal mystery novel, Ebenezer’s Locker, is now available from MuseItUp Publishing. She is also awaiting the release of a medieval middle-grade novel, Trouble at the Scriptorium, by the end of the summer. You can learn all about Anne at her website, AnneEJohnson.com.





Ebenezer's Locker
A hundred years ago, Corbin Elementary School's building housed Dr. Ebenezer Corbin's School for Psychical Research. It seems that a couple of old spirits are still wandering the halls. It's up to Rhonda Zymler to find out what they want.
Ebenezer's Locker follows the adventures of Rhonda, a sassy sixth-grader who's having trouble finding her place and identity. Getting to know these spirits becomes Rhonda's quest. The more she digs, the more perilous her task becomes, and to complete it she must take two trips back in time. This story blends the realities of an economically-challenged modern American town with supernatural elements. What Rhonda finds not only gives her life a sense of purpose, but changes the fortunes of her entire town. 

Purchase: Amazon / Publisher