Book Release: “The Gold Son” by Carrie Anne Noble

Hey friends of Caffeinated Fiction! Today I’m super excited to have a visit from author Carrie Anne Noble to discuss her new release, “The Gold Son.” Read on to see what inspired a story about leprechauns and how you can get your hands on this highly-anticipated YA novel!

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Thank you for being here with us, Carrie Anne. Tell us three interesting (possibly little known?) facts about yourself!

  • I am currently the foster mother of a grumpy but adorable hedgehog called Chuff, while her owner is studying abroad.
  • If you keep me up past nine at night and give me Coke and chocolate, I will become quite silly and prone to fits of giggling. This may or may not be a good idea.
  • While riding the school bus to middle school, my best friend and I used to make up fan fiction about Han Solo, in which he’d always fall madly in love with one of us.

 

Can you share with us a little about your “writing path?” Have you always enjoyed writing? Do you prefer to write YA or are there other genres that peak your interest, as well?

From an early age, I enjoyed making up stories, plays, fictional newspapers, and comics. At 11 or so, I attempted my first novel, and I also wrote numerous, ridiculous short stories about a pair of rabbits called Mildred and George around that time. (They had a terrible marriage, let me tell you!) In high school, I moved on to poetry. After a bit of a break (during which I got married and then had babies to attend to), I took a writing course—which gave me the confidence to pursue writing again. A few “practice” novels later, I wrote The Mermaid’s Sister–and the rest is history!

I really like the YA genre and plan to stick with it for the foreseeable future. The teen years are so much about becoming who we are, discovering what we really feel and want and believe. I think there’s a lot of beauty in that confusing mess of a time, and endless story potential.

That said, I do have an idea for a Middle Grade science fiction book (about a dachshund) I’d like to write eventually. Continue reading

The Secret to a Good Sidekick

It’s time to head on over to AlmostAnAuthor to check out my latest blog post in the fantasy/sci-fi arena. This month we discuss sidekicks–why you need one and the role they can play within your story. My sincerest apologies to Jar-Jar Binks–(It’s not you, it’s me. Promise.)–but the truth had to come out. We all desperately want a Samwise. (In fact, I’ve long suspected that it’s ingrained in our human psyche to continue to search for a pal like Sam until our dying day. But that’s for another post…) Anywho, don’t miss out on some of the other great posts on the A3 website while you’re there!!

Happy writing, friends!

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Photo credit Unsplash by NASA

Caffeinated Speculation: How about that Game of Thrones trailer?

I will admit, I had intended on discussing the new (and improved?) version of The Dark Crystal: Age of Resistance, coming out on Netflix in 2018. Buuuttt then Game of Thrones had to go and release the newest trailer for season 7! Eep! Game over. We’re talking GoT, peeps!

For years I resisted the urge to follow the hype and watch this show. And truth be told, I didn’t even start watching this thing until last summer. However, thanks to DVD’s and streaming (and that wonderful thing called Content Filtering–I honestly have no desire to see that many naked people!) I was able to catch up and became a full-blown GoT-addict! Yes, between my daughter and I, we *might* own a number of Funko Pop characters, t-shirts, mugs and other fun GoT paraphernalia. I’m a geek. You already knew that.

So, let’s get to that trailer! (You can check it out here, if you haven’t seen it.)

It starts of with Cersei being all high-and-mighty, but quickly changes to all the trouble she’s going to face in season 7, ’cause trouble she will see! (I will be so happy once someone finally knocks that girl down for good. Ugh.) Anywho, what really got me was when Danny stands in front of those massive doors that open on Dragonstone, the ancestral home to House Targaryen. (Yes, I totally had to look that up. I was confused that she had entered Westeros but then was sitting on a different throne from Cersei!) When Danny says, “I was born to rule the seven kingdoms. And I will.” Chills, y’all! Woo hoo! I so want her on that throne. (No disrespect, Johnny-boy.)

Speaking of which…yes, I am a big fan of House Stark, and Johnny is a good little boy, but I’m still holding out that there can be an alliance between him and Danny? (Please, please, pretty please?) I’m sorry, but I just don’t want to see either of them fall! (“King of the North!”)

We see Melisandre (she’s back!), lots of fun fighting with the Dothraki’s (Cersei’s army doesn’t stand a chance!), Johnny getting in Petyr’s face (Take that, Little Finger!), and DRAGONS! Ahhh! So exciting! We see glimpses of my fav, Tyrion (yay!), along with Arya (Eye-ahhhhh), Sansa, and many others who will likely die because, Game of Thrones! Duh! It rounds out with Jon Snow saying in that smoldery-gravelly voice of his, “The great war is here.” Oh yes, Johnny-boy, it is finally here! *squeal*

Sooo, what did you think? Were you as giddy as I, while watching it? And did you go back and rewatch the thing…ahem, fourteen times? (Asking for a friend.) Please leave a comment below! I need to rejoice with other GoT fans!

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Photo credit Game of Thrones, HBO

Caffeinated Convo: Marvel or D.C.?

Yep! I went there!! But with the major motion picture Wonder Woman releasing in just over a week, the question had to be asked! Are you a Marvel or D.C. fan?

It’s no secret that these two universes have long fought for ultimate control over the geekdom that makes up the comicbook/superhero world.

While Marvel totes Stan Lee as their Commander-in-Chief, they lay claim to some of the most iconic heroes of all time: Black Widow, Spiderman, Captain America, Hulk, Thor and Wolverine, just to name a few. Heck they’ve got the entire Avengers, X-Men, Guardians of the Galaxy and Fantastic Four crews to their credit.

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But D.C. has just as much superpower with their cast. I mean, who can deny Superman, Batman, Green Lantern and The Flash all have serious chops in the superhero world? Not to mention the Amazonian woman referenced above? And D.C. also has the Justice League, Suicide Squad and Watchmen, among other teams on their side.

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It’s clear that both of these geekdoms have bragging rights on all levels. But where does your alliance fall? For me, I prefer Marvel. Yes, it has everything to do with the fact that more Marvel movies have gotten it “right” compared to the D.C. films. And maybe this doesn’t make me a true geek, since I don’t read the comics. But it’s where I side, so that’s that.

What about you? Do you favor one universe over the other? Which one and why? Please share below so we can get chatting!! 

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Photo credit Unsplash Korney Violin

Book Review: SPARK by J.M. Hackman

This week, I am honored to have the chance to review Spark: The Firebrand Chronicles, Book One by J.M. Hackman! Hold on to your seat! This action packed YA fantasy novel will take you places you never expected and will leave you yearning to read the next book in the series!

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The Synopsis:

Brenna James wants three things for her sixteenth birthday: to find her history notes before the test, to have her mother return from her business trip, and to stop creating fire with her bare hands. Yeah, that’s so not happening. Unfortunately.

When Brenna learns her mother is missing in an alternate reality called Linneah, she travels through a portal to find her. Against her will. Who knew portals even existed? But Brenna’s arrival in Linneah begins the fulfillment of an ancient prophecy, including a royal murder and the theft of Linneah’s most powerful relic: the Sacred Veil. Hold up. Can everything just slow down for a sec?

Unwilling yet left with no other choice, Brenna and her new friend Baldwin (Um, hello, Hottie!) pursue the thief into the dangerous woods of Silvastamen and beyond. Exactly what Brenna wanted to do for her sixteenth birthday. Exactly. When they spy an army marching toward Linneah, Brenna is horrified. Can she find the veil, save her mother, and warn Linneah in time? And more importantly, why on earth doesn’t this alternity have Belgian waffles?

The Review: 

This YA fantasy novel is filled with fun (Can you tell by Brenna’s sarcastic wit in the synopsis?), adventure (Romping around an alternate reality will do that to you!), and suspense (Will she be able to save her mother and return the Veil, or will there be a price to pay?)

Brenna is your average 21st Century teen–her favorite shoes are Chucks, she’s always on the search for waffles, and she tosses around adolescent-attitude like it’s confetti–until she’s drawn into a hidden world she never knew existed! Once in Linneah, we are introduced to a cast of characters that will keep you on your toes! From faithful griffins to questionable royal figures, Brenna must learn to navigate a new culture and find her purpose in this unfamiliar alternity. Baldwin (the hottie!) is always a source of attraction (and tension) and she can’t decide if his presence on the quest for the Veil hinders or helps. Hackman’s twists and turns within the story–and a villain with a secret you won’t see coming!–will keep you glued to the book. And wait until you meet Anna! She’s sure to become a favorite character for all! Continue reading

Flash Fiction Friday: No Trespassing

No Trespassing.

Mary Ann read the words allowed as she and her three friends stood on the sidewalk outside the abandoned, dilapidated Cape Cod.

“So, the old witch finally died,” Sammy said. At thirteen, he was the oldest of the group.

Sarah crossed her arms. “Oh posh, Sammy. She was just an old lady. Weirdly reclusive and totally mean to anyone who walked by, but still just an old lady.”

“Yeah, but she’s been around forever. I mean, at least as long as we’ve all been alive.” Thomas scratched a hand through his shaggy brown hair.

“We’ve only been alive for twelve years, Tommy. That’s not forever.” Mary Ann pushed her glasses up her nose.

“Whatever.”

“Well, I’m going in.” Sammy walked around the side of the house as the rest of the group sprinted to catch up.

“But—” Sarah whisper-yelled as she glanced around for nosy neighbors.

“You can’t just—” Mary Ann pled in a high-pitched voice.

Thomas just laughed. At five feet ten inches, he was the thinnest and tallest in their class, always ready for an adventure.

“Sam!” Mary Ann begged. “Would you just—”

“Too late,” Sammy sing-songed.

He jiggled the latch on the backdoor and it swung open. Amid protests from the girls, the four slipped inside the dark house.

“Whoa,” Sammy said. “This place hasn’t been dusted in a while. Gross.” He dragged a finger along a tabletop and cringed.

Sarah huffed. “Be nice, Sam. She was super old. Like, a hundred or something.”

“Yeah, and she was also a witch, remember?” Thomas gave her wink and laughed.

“Doesn’t look like a witch lived here,” Mary Ann said. “This place looks normal.”

“Normal?” Sammy held up a bowl filled with animal bones. “Does this look like something in your house?” Continue reading

Caffeinated Speculation: Buttercup to play in Wonder Woman?

Wow. Have I been living under a rock or something? How on earth did I miss the news that Robin Wright has a role in the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie? 

Yes friends, our beloved Buttercup–constantly in need of saving from things like R.O.U.S.es and evil Prince Humperdinck’s, from the every-handsome Westley–has gone all Hulk on us and is ready to take the world down with her supernatural powers as Aunt Antiope! Eep! (See article here.)

I will admit, “The Princess Bride” has been–and always will be–one of my most favorite movies of all time. And although I prefer to think of Robin Wright as the precious Buttercup (sorry Jenny from “Forest Gump”–I gravitate toward the non-drug addicted fairytale character), I am sort of excited to see the new “Wonder Woman” movie, if only to see a super-buff, crazy kick-a** kind of Robin! Woo hoo!

So, who will be in the theater with me on release day for this baby? I can’t wait to see our very first female-warrior, stand-alone superhero movie! (Girls rock! *wink wink*) And I definitely can’t wait to see Robin flex those muscles! 

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Photo credit Empire Magazine (Holy Smokes! Look at those guns!!) 

Four Ways to Give Your Fantasy or Sci-fi Character a Name

Hello friends! The SFF post I wrote over at AlmostAnAuthor has gone live! Visit here to glean a few ideas on how to choose a name for your characters. I’ve had a busy week moving into my new home in North Carolina! Yesterday was official “signing” day and today we have a team of people coming to help us unload our moving pods! Yippee! Hopefully the next post I write will be from my official writing desk!! Prayers appreciated!

Happy writing friends!

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Photo credit Unsplash by NASA

Flash Fiction Friday: Honey

“Heather, did you take the honey?”

The little girl withered.

“It was a full jar,” Momma said.

“Well….” Heather fidgeted with her dress.

Momma crossed her arms. “Did you give it to your imaginary friends again?”

Heather looked down.

“How many times have I told you?” her Momma huffed. “It’s a waste of food! We’ll get rats if you keep shoving food under the floorboards!”

She threw her hands up and stomped away.

Heather knelt and lifted the floorboard. “You okay, Scrimrim?” she said to her Brownie friend.

The fairy nodded and smiled, then took another lick of his honey.

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2017

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Photo Credit Unsplash by Amelia Bartlett