—– Justine Alley Dowsett’s Kadrean Authier Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

 

Everything happens for a reason… Four people. Four very different lives. Four tales interwoven. Meet Kenzie en Shareed, the High Clan Chief’s daughter who is sent south to fulfill a treaty by marriage only to marry the wrong man; Kadrean Authier, the Crown Prince who must come to terms with his new bride, even if he doesn’t much like the idea; Garron D’Arbonne, a noble Lord who has been commanded to marry a cool and aloof princess he doesn’t love; and Vivianne Chappelle, a young and ambitious woman who is in love with her abusive father’s manservant and must find a way to avoid having her entire future decided for her. Fate and wills collide in this Shakespearian-style romantic comedy about good intentions and their unintentional consequences.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I’d like to welcome everyone back.  Today, Justine is returning with Prince Kadrean Authier from Unintended.  Prince Authier, do you have a nickname you prefer?

  • No, I don’t. Though, my fiancée once called me ‘Kadie’ in public, but I think that was in an attempt to embarrass me. At least, I hope that’s all it was…
  • My name is Kadrean

Thank you, Kadrean.  Can you start us off with a little about where you were born?

  • I was born in Authera on the northern border of Ismera. It wasn’t until I was eight that my father, Raymundo Authier, took the crown and it was sometime after that when the family moved south to the capital city to live in the palace.

Since you come from a different world, I’m going to be nosy – are you human, or have any special gifts?

  • Uhhh… human. What a strange question.

Do you consider yourself to be a good or bad person?

  • I’d like to consider myself a good person and a good prince. When my father passes I will be King of Ismer and I hope to do right by my people.

Since you’re the heir, how would you describe your personality to your future subjects?

  • Charming, I hope. In all seriousness though, I’m a meticulous person with good attention to detail. I pay attention to my surroundings and I think I’ve gotten pretty good at reading people. Which really helps in my position, let me tell you.

I can well imagine.  I’m sure that being the monarch brings with it quite a bit of pressure.  How well do you handle the stress?

  • Of course. I have to be. Ismera needs a strong King and I have to set a good example so the people know they can trust me to lead them when the time comes. My father is a strong King, maybe too strong. He can be a bit domineering and harsh, even with me, his first-born. I can stand up to him when I need to though, and sometimes I need to when it comes to protecting my fiancée from his condescension.10.. Do you get along with others?
    Depends who you ask, I expect. People tend to have trouble picking up on my sense of humour sometimes. My ‘intended’ and I got off on the wrong foot when we first met. I think she’s coming around, though.

Definitely a plus.  It’s never pleasant having an enemy in your own home.  Especially when I’m sure you’ve a few in the court.  Any you can (or have) identified yet?

  • I’m a little concerned about Vance Chappelle. I know he’s up to something. There are always malcontents plotting against the royal family, but I suppose the real concern would be war. For now things are peaceful along our borders and I intend to cement that as best I can with my marriage to Kenzie, the Haldoram Clan Chief’s daughter.

What would happen if he were to complement you for no reason?

  • I know how the game is played. Vance compliments me often. Too often, which means he’s plotting something. I think he wants me to marry his daughter, Victory. Which is never going to happen. She’s got a voice like a cat in heat and her perfume is suffocating.

Would you consider her to be your only ally or friend, or are there others?

  • My sister, Margaret, is my closest ally and friend. She’s the only person who really understands me since we grew up together. It’s lonely being royalty, especially with parents like ours. Father is strict and unyielding and not exactly what I would call a ‘family person’ and mother isn’t much better.

What do you do if she insults you?

  • I would smile and laugh along. Margaret has a caustic sense of humour sometimes. At least with me. She’s not usually so open around everyone else.

Do you ever take time away from your duties to play the “what if” game?  If so, what animal would you become if you could?

  • As long as it’s hypothetical, why not? A horse, but not the domesticated kind. A wild stallion like the ones that are said to roam the Saegard Islands. I love to go riding with my sister. It’s one of the few times that we are able to feel free. There’s just something about running over open land with nothing in sight but trees and long grass.

I love horses too, and sometimes imagine myself as one.  In reality, though, is there anything you’d want to change about yourself?

  • Is it unfair to say my parents? I do love them, of course I do, it’s just that my life might have been easier without their constant attempts to control it.

Not unfair at all.  From the way you describe them, I can see where a few small changes would have made a big difference.

Prince Kadrian, thank you for letting Justine bring you out today.  It has been fun talking with you.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and would like to read Kadrian’s story, you can find it on Amazon here:  Unintended

If you would like for me to host an interview for you, please stop by my Offered Services page, and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get back with you soonest to discuss details.

 

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Book Review: Cool Kids Wear Glasses

 Mandy Harper, one of the meanest girls ever, viciously ruled the school. She decided who was in and who was out. At least until Kayla Littlebe started standing up to her.

But one day Mandy found out she might need glasses. Would she still be able to rule the school or would her new glasses help her see the error of her ways?

Lessons taught in this adventure include:
Friendship
The importance of being kind to others
Standing up for others
Not judging a book by its cover

This is a wonderful read for children of all ages.  Written for the younger readers, it has simple words and phrases they can understand without being talked down to, yet with a message that even teens and adults can appreciate and take to heart.  The examples given to highlight the lessons are ones I’m sure everyone has either participated in, or observed sometime during their life.

 

Getting down into the nuts and bolts:

World building

As this is a very sort story, there is a minimum of world building that occurs.  The illustrations carry the burden, and do a wonderful job helping to visualize where each of the encounters occurs.

Character development

Umm.. wow?  In the pacing, the sense of this being a snap shot in the lives of these children really makes it critical for the personalities to shine through.  The time covered in the story prevents any real physical development, so what is addressed is the mental and emotional development.

Having a personal experience or two, where some event drastically changed my outlook on life, I can say the changes presented in this story are not just plausible, but also realistic.  There is a tremendous amount of personal growth, and understanding by the main character.  And, even the support cast (barring a few who serve the purpose of villains here) have some growth as well.

When seen through adult eyes, the characters feel a little shallow and under developed.  However, if you can shift your thinking into how a child sees the world – every thing is new and exciting – then the characters take on a depth and complexity that make them feel as if they do exist.

Pacing

Again, being a book designed to the young readers sets the framework for this book.  It is short enough to keep their attention, yet the story is entirely told by the last page.  It only spans a couple of days, something most young minds will have no problem understanding, yet presents a sense of being a snap shot in the life of the characters.

It does not feel rushed, or like it drags as each encounter has a sparkle with a fresh, lively bounce to it.

Overall Rating

A wonderfully written 5 of 5 paws from this pukah.  Thank you Teddy O’Malley for letting me read this.

If you would like to read this for your self, or with your children, you can pick up your copy on Amazon here.

If you enjoyed this review, and wish me to review some of your own work, please stop by my offered services page and send me a submission.  I’ll be willing to discuss details with you.

—– Ailsa Abraham’s Nanny Ab Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

 

When Nanny Ab and The Ancient Mariner (not forgetting the faithful hounds) decide to look for a peaceful spot for her to write in the sun, they head for their usual hide-away in Spain. It’s June, they know the place and the only thing Nanny knows she’s forgotten is her hairdryer. So what can possibly go wrong?

 

 

 

 

Welcome everyone.  Today, Ailsa has returned, and has brought Nanny Ab with her, from “Four Go Mad in Catalonia“.  Nanny Ab, is this your name, or do you have something else you prefer to be called?

  • Nanny Ab [is fine]. It’s what everyone calls me so there’s no point knowing if I had another one.

Nanny Ab it is then.  And, I’ll be nosy as we have quite a few interesting folks come through here:  What species are you, and do you have any unique gifts?

  • I’m human but a witch. I spose that is normal in your world too , isn’t it?

Not around these parts.  Where were you born, that witches are common place?

  • I wasn’t born, I was hatched… out of the fertile imagination of Ailsa Abraham to take the blame for all her less-admirable traits.

Shame on you Ailsa!  Nanny Ab, do you define yourself in terms of “good” or “bad”?

  • I am very moral but I don’t suffer fools at all, never mind gladly. Got great patience with the afflicted or elderly but not “normal” people who are just being stupid.

My kind of gal!  Does that make it hard to get along with others, though?

  • [No] – I am the world’s greatest “get-chatting merchant”. I can’t go anywhere without being on the receiving end of other people’s life stories. Get ’em all laughing and leave ’em like that!

Makes sense to me.  Since you know you’re a hatchling from someone’s imagination, what does that do for your personality?

  • [I’m] split!

Does that split affect who you consider to be your friends or enemies?

  • [No.  My enemies will always be] anyone who is cruel to animals.

What would you do if one of your enemies complemented you?

  • Pick up my two-ton handbag and whack ’em with it.

Sounds about like what I like to call my Bakka Hammer.  Do you have anything you’d like to change about yourself?

  • I wish I weren’t such a soft touch and so wishy-washy (giggle)

I’d say that whacking your enemies isn’t wishy-washy!  Do you ever feel the knee-jerk reaction affects your chances of dating anyone?

  • At my age?????

You’re not that old!  There’s gentlemen out there who are looking, and they aren’t that much younger (or older) than you.  Or is it your occupation that prevents you from finding someone?

  • I’m full-time travelling companion to the famous author Ailsa Abraham and yes, I love it.

Maybe that’s the barrier?  They see you with her, and think you two are a couple already.

Do you have any deep secrets or dark fears you can share with us?  (Ones Ailsa may not know about?)

  • [My secret is that] I hate gravy.
  • [My fear is] people taking me seriously

Oh, dear.  That is a hard one to respond to.  Do you have any achievements to help counter that fear?

  • I stop Ailsa going out of her mind when we are on the road. I keep nudging her and saying “Think how good this is going to read in the book”.

::Chuckles::  That is a wonderful counter all right.  Nanny Ab, thank you for coming by today.  Ailsa, thank you for coming back on such short notice.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish to connect with Ailsa, you can find her home over on the  Bingergread Cottage, or on Amazon here writing as Cameron Lawton.  She also haunts Facebook Here, and makes appearances on Twitter Here.

 

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please head over to my Offered Services page, and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get back with you soonest to discuss details.

—– Roni Askey-Doran’s Emily Zylaz Stops By To Visit With The Pukah

Today is Emily Zylaz’s birthday. This is the day that she has chosen to kill herself. After struggling for many years to cope with the roller-coaster of mental illness, a devastating failed marriage, and a soul-destroying career that is going nowhere, she’s giving up. Feeling like the only solution to all of her problems is to take her own life, Emily plans to hang herself at midnight. She believes no one will care that she’s dead, that she won’t be missed, and that everyone will be better off without her and her fickle moods. As we journey alongside Emily, counting down the hours on her last day alive, we explore the twisted labyrinth of her troubled mind and learn why she so desperately wants to die.

 

 

Welcome back, and Roni, thank you for returning.  Who do you have with you today?

  • Emily Zylaz

Welcome Emily.  Why don’t you start us off with a little about yourself?

  • Madison calls me Emmy-poo because when I was a toddler, that’s how I said my name when people asked. It stuck and she uses it whenever we see each other.

Who is Madison?

  • Madison is my older sister. She’s more than ten years older than me so she wasn’t around much when I was growing up. She kind of drifted in and out of my life when I was a child, spending most of her time away at school, and then later on she moved away to work as a curator in Belgium. She’s a bit like a stranger to me, and I feel like I don’t know her that well. There were times when we did things together when I was a kid, but we also clashed from time to time. Most of the time, I just remember her being absent.

Sounds like you’ve had a rough childhood.  Has this affected the way you get along with others?

  • I don’t play well with others, and prefer to be left alone with my books. Mostly it’s because I’m secretly afraid of scrutiny and criticism, and I get tongue-tied in the company of strangers, especially men. My tongue feels like a rolled-up carpet and I have no idea what to say. I can’t help but feel stupid when I’m expected to speak.

Has this created enemies for you, or given you a group of people you don’t like?

  • Bullies do so much invisible damage to a vulnerable person that it’s difficult for someone like me to speak out against them. They come in all shapes and sizes, ages and professions, and their range of bullying tactics seems to be endless. It seems like a cycle, that those people have suffered somewhere in their lives too, and feel the need to snatch back their power by taking the power of others. I’d like to see all bullies and their victims united in the struggles of life and helping each other get through the tough spots. No bullies, no victims, just everyone helping everyone else. It’s impossible, I know. But dreams are free.

Yet, that is such a worthy dream to work towards.  Is there anything you would like to change about yourself that would help you bring that dream closer to reality?

  • I would become one of those confident self-assured women that I see around me, defending their rights and the rights of others, speaking out against injustice and social bullying and harassment, and walking with my head held high as I march down the street, instead of focusing on the cracks in the pavement and pretending to be invisible.

 

Has this led to any secrets you’re willing to share with us?

  • I never told anyone about the baby I lost when I was married. My husband Garrett knew, but he found out too late that I was pregnant. I hadn’t got my head around the idea yet and didn’t have the opportunity to tell him. After I recovered from the physical trauma of the miscarriage, I was so ashamed at my failure to protect my baby that I didn’t speak to anyone else about my loss. It’s a heavy secret I’ve carried inside me for years.

I’m so sorry to hear that.  But, you can speak of it now, which is a positive change.  Do you have anything you’d like to say to the folks who have read your book?

  • [No]

I understand.  Thank you for being brave, and coming in to talk to us today.  Roni, thank you so much for bringing Emily by.

 

If you are interested in more of Emily’s story, I have the book review hereand you can pick up a copy of Broken here on Amazon.

And, there she goes folks.  Roni Askey-Doran.  If you enjoyed the interview, you can find her blog here, Twitter here, and Amazon page with most of her books here.  (Don’t ask me why Amazon doesn’t have them all listed.  Shame on you Amazon!)

She will also be returning on Sunday with Emily from her latest book Broken.

If you enjoyed the interview, and wish me to host one for you, please stop by my Offered Services page, and fill out the simple submission form.  I’ll get back to you soonest to discuss details.

Cold Day For …

Everyone likes a good fishing story, right?

Well, this is one of those that could start out “No, joke.  There I was….”

It was a late winter’s day when Grandma decided it was time to go fishing.  We’d been off and on all winter, so bundling up for the chill, packing up our gear, and piling into the car wasn’t something uncommon.  She had a lot of farmer friends in the area who stocked their stock ponds with eating fish to help keep the algae problem down for their animals.  That meant for those with the privilege to enter their property, we had year round fishing spots.

This particular spot was one I hadn’t been out to before, and was a longer drive than I was expecting.  She kept my eight-year-old self from fidgeting by rivaling me with tales of what size (and how many) fish she’d pulled out of this pond over time.  Tales that set my imagination on fire, let me tell you!  At that age, I thought I was having a great day if I pulled out a perch big enough to fillet for dinner, and had caught the occasional cat fish worth eating.  So, stories of large mouth bass that could be weighed in pounds, crappie that could make up a meal by them selves, and perch that would test the line we had on my little ol’ kid’s pole seemed wildly outlandish, and imminently desirable.

Even though we started out right after breakfast, it was almost noon when we finally pulled up to the fence line along the pasture where the pond was located.  It didn’t take us long to collect our gear out of the trunk, nor to carefully crawl through the triple-wire barbed wire fence to begin our trek over the ridge that protected the water from the biting north wind.

Before long, we were carefully working our way through the tall reeds that grew along the northeastern shoreline.  The ground, while wet enough to support the reeds, remained firm enough for us to walk on; we were just being careful not to hit a really soupy spot that could claim our legs up to a knee (or higher).  And that was when I saw it.

And, that is where the “No joke” moment happened.

Grandma had just disappeared from view in the rushes, her trail marked by bent reeds and a slightly more cleared way than anywhere else.  I trailed in her wake, slightly uncoordinated as I juggled my tackle box, pole, and minnow bucket.  My pole had caught on the reed heads for the umpteenth time, and I was looking down to see where I could put the minnow bucket without spilling it when I saw something that almost allowed me to run across the reed tops like they were solid ground – a big water moccasin.  In our part of the world, these things are sometimes referred to as “cotton mouths” due to the snow white color inside their mouths that is visible when they hiss and strike.  Not exactly a snake you want to come across sunning itself when you can’t see where you’re going, and there’s water not too far away.

How I managed not to scream, I’ll probably never know.  But, as I looked at the snake it raised its head to look at me.  It remained stretched out, not bothering to coil up to threaten a strike, which I’m grateful for, because facing it down relaxed was unnerving enough.

I didn’t bother untangling my rod tip, or even setting anything down at this point.  I just started trying to sidle sideways so I could keep an eye on the snake.  Just because it was relaxed now did not mean it couldn’t coil and strike before I was out of range.  Something I really, REALLY did not want to happen.

It took a bit, but I was able to get around that thing, and finally find Grandma set up on the shore of the pond, hook in the water already, and calling my name.  I told her about the snake, which sent her into a flurry of collecting things and moving us around to a spot where the reeds didn’t come down to the water’s edge so close to us.

No, we didn’t leave – the temperature, while chilly, was nice enough to be encouraging about catching dinner.  A few hours later, we finally saw the snake emerge from the reeds not far from where we’d initially set up and swim across the pond to disappear in the unmowed pasture on the other side.