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Showing posts with label middle grade. Show all posts
Showing posts with label middle grade. Show all posts

Sunday, May 5, 2019

Alyssa McCarthy's Magical Missions Series by Sunayna Prasad


The
Frights of Fiji
Alyssa
McCarthy's Magical Missions: Book 1
by
Sunayna Prasad


Genre:
Middle Grade Fantasy 

A
world of magic and adventure awaits…


Sent
to live with her strict, aloof, and uncaring uncle after her parents
are killed in a car accident, twelve-year-old orphan Alyssa McCarthy
longs for the life she used to have—one filled with fun and love.
Then one stormy night, a message appears in the raindrops on the
window that will change everything.

"Your
life will never be the same again, as magic will interfere."

Before
long, Alyssa is kidnapped by Master Beau, a banished sorcerer with a
mysterious connection to her who can only regain his power by
weakening hers. Suddenly hurled into a world of wizardry filled with
fantastical beasts and marvelous technology beyond her wildest
imagination, Alyssa must defeat Master Beau if she ever wants to get
home again. But Master Beau will stop at nothing, including using
Alyssa’s friends, to ensure he is triumphant.

Originally
titled "From Frights to Flaws", this story is the exciting
and enchanting first book in the "Magical Missions" series.





**Only
99 cents**





The
Uncontrollable Curse
Alyssa
McCarthy's Magical Missions: Book 2

History,
like magic, has a habit of repeating itself


It’s
been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic
behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then
the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton
named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her
in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous
effects, and if Alyssa can’t learn to control the magic, she will
lose everything she holds dear.

In
order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost
her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But
every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to
getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to
achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s
happiness.

Originally
published in 2016 as "Wizardry Gone Wild", "The
Uncontrollable Curse" is book two in the exciting and
suspenseful paranormal Magical Missions series.










Sunayna
Prasad has been writing stories for over several years, starting at
the age of six. Now twenty-four, she is done with college and will
pursue a career in art and design as well as continue to write for
children. Aside from that, Sunayna also likes to cook, watch movies,
and draw. She lives on Long Island, New York, with her family.







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the tour HERE
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Sunday, September 30, 2018

Mrs. Murray's Ghost: A Piccadilly Street Story Book 1 by Emily-Jane Hills Orford




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

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

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





















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





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This was a really good book!! Nope I am not in the middle grades but I enjoyed this book. This is a really great version of a haunted house story. The story is a fun adventure. I really enjoyed Emily-Jane Hills Orford writing. Like I said this is for middle grade readers but people of all ages will enjoy it. 

The star of the book is Mary. Mary is 10 years old. Her family just moved into a new home and it is haunted. Mrs. Murray is the resident ghost but there are also Brownies in the house. Nope not the chocolate kind, but more or less the fairy kind. When Mary comes down with influenza everyone must work together, human, Ghost, and Brownies, to save her. 







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Wednesday, September 26, 2018

The Journal of Angela Ashby by Liana Gardner


The Journal of Angela Ashby
Liana Gardner
Published by: Vesuvian Books
Publication date: September 25th 2018
Genres: Middle-Grade, Paranormal
A Middle Grade “Death Note”
“With great power comes great responsibility.” ~Voltaire
I have great power.

That’s what she told me. The old fortune-teller at the school carnival.

I thought I was doing the right thing … with the magic journal she gave me. But nothing could prepare me for what happened next.

Or, for what I unleashed.

At a school carnival, a mysterious fortune-teller gives twelve-year-old Angela Ashby a journal and warns her to use it wisely. Nothing prepares Angela for the journal’s power—when she pours her heart onto its pages her desires come true.
She tests the journal by conjuring a gnome, a unicorn, and a farting fairy and then uses it to stop the school bullies in their tracks. But the unintended consequences alienate her best friend and puts her favorite teacher in danger of losing her job.
After she shares her deepest desire of all—that her parents get back together—her adversary steals the journal, and Angela fears she will use it to bring mayhem to the entire school if she doesn’t get it back.
EXCERPT:
In the middle of the layout the Ace of Spades drew me in. Smoke from the candles created a foggy layer and the image wavered and morphed into a winged hooded figure carrying a scythe through a graveyard. The angel of death. I blinked and ran a hand over my eyes. Once I lowered my hand, the card showed the black spade and letter ‘A’. Nothing else. Not even a gravestone.
I didn’t imagine it. Or maybe it would be better if I had. I gazed back at Madame Vadoma.
“You will gain power beyond your wildest imaginings and need to use it wisely.”
Yeah, right. What twelve-year-old ever had power? We were back to the usual phony reading. I settled back into my chair to wait for the line about the dark stranger.
Madame Vadoma narrowed her eyes. “Young lady, this is not trick done for amusement. I give you caution. You would be wise to pay heed.”

Was she reading my mind?
“You have struggles ahead as you learn to use your power. Temptation will beckon and you will want to use it for ill. You must resist. Down the path of ill-will lies destruction.”
Weren’t these things supposed to be light, fluffy readings about finding love and fortune? Ill-will and destruction were not supposed to be part of the deal.
Her amber eyes bore into mine. “You have choices to make about the power of your heart. Casual choice makes trouble. Be cautious with desires. The right choices will lead you to happiness and fulfillment.”
A shiver ran through my body and goose pimples dotted my arms. The words sounded like the usual trickery. Besides, I could hear the same lecture from my mom. Make the wrong choices and you get in trouble. Make the right choices and you’ll be happy. Big deal.
So why were the hairs standing on my arms?
Madame Vadoma grabbed a thin leather book lying on the table beside her. She ran her hands over the cover and mumbled words I didn’t understand. Her claw-like hands grasped the book as she stared at me. Her gaze penetrated my soul and as much as I wanted to, I couldn’t look away.
Her eyes widened at something behind me. With one hand she clutched the book closer to her body, then blew twice in rapid succession on the fingertips of her other hand. Tingles ran down my spine and I snapped my head around to look over my shoulder. Nothing was there. Creepy.
She closed her eyes and the tensions drained from her arms and shoulders. Taking a deep breath, her lids fluttered open and she met my gaze. Madame Vadoma grunted and gave a nod, which sent her hoops swinging. “I give you this. It is for you to write what is in your heart.” She handed me the book. “Remember your heart has power. Use it wisely.” She stood. “Keep your heart pure, and you will do no harm.”
Things were getting a little too freaky. Hugging the book to my chest, I shot out of my seat. “Um, thanks for the reading.”
Backing up a few steps, I turned and bolted through the curtain.



Author Bio:
Liana Gardner is a two-time teen choice award-winning author of the Misfit McCabe series and finalist in 2018 International Book Awards for Children's Fiction. Daughter of a rocket scientist and an artist, Liana Gardner combines the traits of both into a quirky yet pragmatic writer and in everything sees the story lurking beneath the surface. Engaged in a battle against leukemia and lymphoma, Liana spends much of her time at home, but allows her imagination to take her wherever she wants to go.
She fostered her love of writing after reading Louisa May Alcott's Little Women and discovering she had a great deal in common with the character Jo. The making up of stories, dramatic feelings, and a quick temper were enough for her to know she and Jo would have been kindred spirits.
Liana volunteers with high school students through the International Trade Education Programs (ITEP). ITEP unites business people and educators to prepare students for a meaningful place in the world of tomorrow. Working in partnership with industry and educators, ITEP helps young people "think globally and earn locally."
Her debut Middle Grade novel, 7th Grade Revolution, launched 10/24/2017 and will be followed by The Journal of Angela Ashby out 9.25.2018. Currently she is working on a chapter book series as LK Griffie, with creator Luke Matthews and co-authors Olivia Claire and Jared Cross, entitled Timmy and the Golden Lion Tamarin. In addition to the children's book series, she is working on a Middle Grade series which will be released under the name Liana Gardner, with the first book titled, The Star Warriors and the Secret of the Red Key. Her most recent YA novel, Speak No Evil, will also be released under the name Liana Gardner.

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Mrs Murray's Ghost by Author Emily-Jane Hills Orford




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

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

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





















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





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Excerpt 2 :
Excerpt#2:

An aura of reds, golds, yellows and whites flashed outward, sparkling and sizzling as it gobbled up shrubs and dry grass. In the center was Mary, curled into a ball, one hand reaching outward. The Brownie gasped in shock at what he saw. The fever had obviously taken over Mary’s body. Was it too late? He hoped not. There was no time to lose. He was in the girl’s dream world. Or, more likely, her nightmare. And he had to work fast to save her life and take her back to the real world, to her real home.

Seeing Brunny, Mary let out a pitiful wail. “Brunny. Help me! Help me!” She unwound her body, half sitting on the bed of smouldering leaves and twigs, smoke streaming from her ears, nose and mouth. “What are you doing here? Where are we? It’s so hot.”

“We’re in your dream world,” Brùnaidh said as he hesitantly took a couple more steps forward. He could feel the scorch of the heat on his skin, making the hairs on his head and arms spark as if surged with static electricity.  

“You’re the same size as me,” Mary noted. “How come? I don’t understand.”

“In your world, you are very sick,” Brùnaidh tried to explain. “You’re burning with fever. I’ve come into your dream to give you some medicine to make you better.” He reached into his pocket to retrieve a small vial. Uncorking it carefully, he bravely took the remaining steps to bring himself to within arm’s reach of the girl. “Here, take this.”

Mary cringed and inched backward. “It looks disgusting. It even stinks! I can’t take that.” She held one hand in front of her face and waved him away with the other.

Brùnaidh was not surprised by the girl’s reaction. It really did look disgusting. Considering the root crops that had been added to the berry concoction, it was not at all appealing in looks or smell. The contents were quite old, too, well aged and potent, as the king would say. “Here. If you take it quickly, it’ll be down your throat in no time and you won’t even taste or smell a thing. It’ll make you feel better and then we can both leave this nightmare.”

Mary shook her head vehemently. “No way!” She continued to slide back, becoming more engulfed in the roaring flames.

“Mary, you must.” Brùnaidh was starting to get antsy. If Mary didn’t take the medicine, she could very well die and then he’d be dead in the real world but stuck in this nightmare of a place forever.

“No!”

Before either could react, the vial was snatched from Brùnaidh’s hands.










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Monday, September 24, 2018

Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf by Nancy Gray




Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf by Nancy Gray, Mid-Grade Horror, 112 pp.





Title: BIG BAD WOLF

Author: Nancy Gray

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 112

Genre: Middle Grade Horror




Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her
school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed
wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared
her and, lately, she has been having strange dreams about it that make
it seem like it’s something more.




Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit
that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her,
or worse, escapes the prison of the last creature it took to sate its
horrible appetite.

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon












Chapter
1 - Casting



            “I can’t believe it!  I got the part!” Jane hopped up and down as
she looked over the casting sheet one last time to make sure.



            Her best friend, Sophie, laughed, “I
knew you would.”



            “I didn’t think so.  I did awful at the audition.  I tripped over my own feet.”



            “Mrs. Rose knew you were nervous
because you wanted it more than everyone else.
You deserve it.”



            Jane sighed. “Are you sure that you
have to go on that trip?  I want you to
be here to at least see the play.”



            Sophie shrugged. “I know.  But, it’s been awhile since I’ve seen my
cousin.  Besides, I like spending time on
the farm.”



            “I’ll get my mom to tape the
show.  We can watch it when you get
back.”



            Sophie smiled. “That’s good.  Then at least I’ll get to see it later.  It should be pretty scary.  Well, I’d better go and you’d better
too.  You don’t want to make a bad
impression being late on the first day.
Good luck, Red Riding Hood.”



            Jane practically skipped to the
stage and lined up with the other students that were chosen for parts.  She glanced down the row and frowned.  Patrick was grinning at her with his squinty
green eyes and freckled face.



            She snapped, “What are you so smug
about, Patsy?”



            He chuckled. “Well, Janey Jane, Let
me guess, you were so excited you didn’t read the rest of the cast sheet,
right?”



            Jane looked away, embarrassed.
“Well, I didn’t want to be late.”



            He laughed harder. “I’m going to be
playing the wolf, Red.”



            She ran a hand down her face and
murmered. “I knew it was too good to be true…”



            Mrs. Rose walked up to the stage and
handed out the scripts to the row of excited students.  Everyone sat down and began to page through
their individual copies.  Patrick glanced
at Jane with an infuriating grin, but she simply rolled her eyes at him one
last time and then moved back to avoid looking in his direction again. 



            Mrs. Rose walked in front of them
and said, “First of all, congratulations on all of your parts.  Since this is a Halloween play, I chose the
rolls based on who could portray their parts in a suitably ominous way.  Remember, these are fractured fairy tales, so
nothing is supposed to end well.  And,
the common element in all of them will be the big, bad wolf.”



            Patrick stood up and gave a quick
bow.



            Jane thought, “Show off…



            Mrs. Rose continued, “The main theme
is Little Red Riding Hood, but as you can see, there will be elements from
other stories incorporated.  While she’s
going to grandma’s house, she’ll run into Snow White being chased by the
woodsman, and themes from other stories as well, as she continues to get lost
further and further in the woods.”



            A kid with round glasses and unruly
hair spoke up. “Can I play with different colors of lighting depending on the
fairy tale?  And can I use strobe
effects?”



            “Well, probably no strobe
effects.  We wouldn’t want anyone in the
audience to have a seizure.  Still, I
think different colors according to the story would be excellent.  Everyone, this is Kyle.  He just joined the club as our lead
technician.” 



A few people clapped, but Jane clapped a little
more than the others. “Thank goodness,
someone finally volunteered to be techie, instead of all the backstage work
being done by someone who didn’t get a part.
The lighting might actually be good this year.
 



Kyle was in a few of her classes, but she never
really talked to him.  He didn’t seem the
type to be interested in the Drama Club.
He was always playing with his laptop or some kind of electronic
device. 



            Patrick whispered in her direction,
“I think someone’s in love.”



            Jane whispered back, “Bite me,
Patsy.”



            Patrick said, “Maybe I will…AWOOOO!”



            Mrs. Rose tapped her foot
impatiently. “Save it for the rehearsal, Patrick.”



            They both muttered an apology and
quickly looked at the ground.



            “As you know, we don’t have a good
budget this year, so I want all of you to look for old costumes and props that
we can reuse.  The basement under the
stage is a good place to start, as well as the various trunks backstage.  I believe, if we can get it working, the stuffed
wolf would make a great prop too.  There
should even be a speaker inside of it from our last play.  Kyle, see if you can reconnect it.”



            “Okay.  It should be pretty easy.”



            “Jane, you go with Kyle and show him
the ropes.”



            She nodded. “Yes, Mrs. Rose.”





















Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her middle grade series Spine Chillers. She also published her YA fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.




Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South
Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video
games, anime, manga, and horror.


Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf.


WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK









Sunday, September 16, 2018

Splotch by Anne Rothman-Hicks

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Middle Reader Fantasy
Publisher: MuseItYA a division of MuseItUp Publishing.

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Alice’s parents refuse to let her have a dog, so when Alice sees a paint stain on the sidewalk that looks like a dog, she decides that she will make him a virtual pet. She calls him Splotch and downloads a picture of him to her computer. To her surprise, he escapes from the computer and begins to act as Alice’s self-appointed protector. Unfortunately, he sees most people as potential enemies of Alice, including her teacher and the school principal, and he is not shy about giving those various enemies a bite. When Splotch starts to attack Alice’s best friend, Alice knows there is a big problem. But how will she get Splotch to stop being a guard dog and go back into the computer?


About the Authors

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Anne Rothman-Hicks is a graduate of Bryn Mawr College where, in 1969, at a college dance, she met a student from Haverford named Kenneth Hicks. They have been together pretty much ever since, getting married, having children, writing books, making art, and generally conspiring to live lives that are happy, creative, and good.

Anne and Ken’s most recent novels and stories are set in New York City, where they have lived for most of their married lives.

Their middle reader series, Alice and Friends, features Alice, a 10-year-old girl with a vivid imagination that gets her into and out of trouble. The titles are, STONE FACES, BROWNSTONE FACES, and SPLOTCH.

In Ken and Anne’s tween book, THINGS ARE NOT WHAT THEY SEEM, Jennifer and James find a pigeon in Central Park whose foot was caught in a bit of string attached to a fence. Only this pigeon was actually a man before he was turned into a pigeon over a hundred years earlier. Now he needs some help to be turned back into a man before a certain hawk captures and eats him instead.

A sequel, REMEMBERING THOMAS, has been published by MuseItUp Publishing in March of 2018.



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Thursday, September 6, 2018

Spine Chillers: The Scarecrow by Nancy Gray


SPINE CHILLERS: THE SCARECROW by Nancy Gray, Mid-Grade Horror, 113 pp., $2.99 (Kindle)



Title: SPINE CHILLERS: THE SCARECROW

Author: Nancy Gray

Publisher: Independent

Pages: 113

Genre: Mid-Grade Horror

BOOK BLURB:

Eleven year old, Sophie, arrives at her Aunt and Uncle’s farm to
horrible news: her cousin, Hunt, has gone missing.  When Sophie starts
searching for clues to where her cousin went, strange things happen. 
The scarecrow wanders around the cornfields at night and murders of
crows lash out at other animals for no reason at all.



An ancient spirit wants revenge. Sophie will have to be brave and clever in order to save her cousin…and herself!

ORDER YOUR COPY:

Amazon

Excerpt:




Chapter 1 – Aunt Angie’s Farm

Sophie leaned
against the car window listening to the soothing sounds of the dirt road that
threatened to lull her back to sleep. When her head rolled to the side, her
glasses occasionally rattled against the windowpane, waking her from her
dreamlike state. She glanced at the scenery rolling by like the background of a
side-scrolling video game. Even though most of what she could see was the
forest, she knew that they had to be getting close to the farm. The oak trees
would occasionally part revealing a long patch of clover or grass that looked
luxurious in the setting sun. She imagined rolling around in the grass like a
happy puppy and then exploring the woods, climbing into a tree or discovering a
hidden trail.
Just as she thought
that she couldn’t take wondering if they were getting close and was about to
ask, she realized that her parents were talking in hushed tones that they
thought that she couldn’t hear. They must’ve thought that she was still asleep.
She closed her eyes and listened, curious about what they were saying.
Her mother sighed
and said, “Sometimes I really don’t know how you two are related.”
Her father
chuckled. “Yeah, but at least she isn’t living out in the woods foraging
berries or something. Angie’s always been a flake.”
“Do you think that
Sophie likes coming here? I mean, the farm used to always scare her so much
when she was little, but she acted like she was excited to come this time.”
At first, Sophie
thought about telling them that she could still hear them, but instead she just
continued to lean against the car door with her eyes shut.
“Well, she’s always
liked seeing the animals and I think she likes spending time with her cousin.”
Her mother made a
snorting noise and said, “Sometimes I wish she didn’t. That boy is a bad
influence on her.”
“I talked to Angie
about that. This time, if they want to explore they’ll be going with one of
us.”
Sophie frowned at
her mother’s comment. Part of the reason why she enjoyed going to the farm at
all was to spend time with her cousin Hunt. They were a lot alike. They both
loved exploring the farm together and playing with the animals. They even could
be mistaken for siblings because they both looked alike as well, around the
same height with blond hair and blue eyes. Even though she hated to admit it,
her mother was right.  Sometimes Hunt did get her into trouble, but it was
always fun. They loved to sneak into places on the farm that they weren’t
supposed to go, like the old barn or the woods nearby. Playing with Hunt always
meant going on some sort of adventure.
She thought
miserably, “It just won’t be as fun if mom and dad are close by. I never get
into any trouble at home. Why can’t they just let us play? I guess, at least,
we won’t be getting lost in the corn field this time.
Sophie’s dad said
in a voice that shook her out of her daydream, “Sophie, we’re here.”
She opened her eyes
and stared out the window at the rows of feed corn in front of her, fascinated.
The road was so narrow the plants scraped against the sides of the car. She
could hear a tractor up ahead and their car slowed down. The tractor motor stopped
and her dad stopped the car. Sophie craned her neck and saw her uncle waving at
them from the seat of a large, green combine and motioning for them to get out
of the car.
Her father
muttered, “Looks like Mike wants to talk. Come on, Sophie. Why don’t you get
out and stretch your legs too.”
She gladly got out
and stretched then ran in the direction of her uncle. He gave her a long hug
and said, “There’s my favorite niece. Good to see you, Sophie. Give me a minute
to talk to your dad, and then maybe I’ll give you a ride on the tractor later.”
Sophie said,
“Okay.”
She thought, “He
usually seems more excited to see us. Why is he frowning? Is something wrong?
Her uncle put an
arm around her father’s shoulders and walked down the road until they were far
enough away that Sophie couldn’t hear them. From the way they pointed in her
direction, she knew they didn’t want her to listen in and were talking about
something that concerned her as well.
Sophie walked up to her mother.
“Mom, can I go look around?”
“Okay, but don’t go
too far. I’m going to talk to your dad. Stay close to the car.”
Sophie squinted and
shielded the sunlight from her eyes, glancing at row after row of corn.
Finally, she spotted what she was looking for and carefully entered the corn,
counting the rows so that she wouldn’t get lost, until she reached the
clearing. Hanging on a pole in the center of the open area was a scarecrow.
Oddly, there were several crows perched on top of it. One was even pulling on
one of its button eyes. The black birds glanced at Sophie for a moment with
dark, doll-like eyes and then flew away as she approached to get a closer look.
Since the
scarecrow’s head was tilted downward she got a good look at its face, and
immediately wished that she hadn’t. The head was made of a burlap sack. Even
though it was just a cloth bag, the folds around the bottom and the eyes were
deep, creating grooves in the material, making the scarecrow appear to have an
unhappy expression, possibly even an angry one. One of the button eyes hung limply
where the crow had pecked it loose, and the wide brimmed black hat on its head
cast a shadow that made the body seem to leer over her like the intimidating
silhouette of a villain in a western movie. Sophie stepped back slowly and then
turned and ran in the direction of the car, not stopping until she reached her
mother. Sophie hugged her tightly around the waist.
Her mother glanced
down at her and asked gently, “Sophie, what’s wrong?”
“Can we go?”
She nodded. “Yes,
we were just about to go to the guest house and get settled in.”
Sophie got into the
backseat of the car and didn’t glance back in the direction of the scarecrow
until they were driving. When she did turn to look, even though she knew it
wasn’t possible, the scarecrow’s head seemed to be cocked in a different
direction, slightly upward, as though it was watching them leave. Just as she
was about to say something to her parents, a wall of crows flew up from the
cornfield and obscured her view. When they were gone the head was resting down
again. Sophie made a whimpering sound in the back of her throat that she was
glad her parents didn’t hear and shifted further down into her seat, hoping
that even the top of her head wouldn’t show through the back window.

















Nancy Gray 
 

Nancy Gray has published a number of works including her young adult fantasy series Blood Rain. Her short story “Chosen” appeared in Jim Henson’s The Dark Crystal Author Quest: a Penguin Special from Grosset & Dunlap. Her work also appears in various anthologies.



Nancy Gray has been writing for over ten years. Gray lives in South
Carolina with her husband and two daughters. She enjoys books, video
games, anime, manga, and horror.

Her latest book is the mid-grade horror, Spine Chillers: The Scarecrow.

WEBSITE & SOCIAL LINKS:

WEBSITE | FACEBOOK


Interview with Nancy Gray

How did you come up with name of this book?

It actually was a difficult process coming up with the name for the series itself. I had nearly an entire page of ideas and played with putting several different eerie concepts together. In the end, I came up with the name Spine Chillers as homage to R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps series and to show there are similarities to his stories in my own. I guess you could say his books were partly my inspiration.
The subtitle of each book is about the particular monster of the story. In Spine Chillers: The Scarecrow, the scarecrow is the antagonist. In some of the others the monster of the story might be a bit more subtle in the title, but don’t let the titles fool you either. Just because this story is called The Scarecrow doesn’t mean that there isn’t more going on in the plot. Usually there are subtle layers in each story and the title is sometimes meant to be slightly misleading so the reader is surprised when they find out more about the monster.


Do you read yourself and if so what is your favorite genre?

I read many different types of books. I’ve read everything from reference books to classic literature, but my favorite genre has always been horror. Even though I’m well past the age of the target audience, I still like the occasionally mid-grade scary story. Right now Stephen King is one of my favorite authors. I’ve been a fan of his work ever since I read my first Steven King story, Thinner. I fully intend to read some of his new work in the near future.
I also enjoy reading fantasy, but particularly dark fantasy interests me. Occasionally I read fantasy comics as well. The most recent stories that I’ve read are J.M. Lee’s Shadow of the Dark Crystal novels. I’m planning to read A Wrinkle in Time soon simply because I never got to read it as a child and one of my friends suggested that I would enjoy it.


Do you prefer to write in silence or with noise? Why?
I prefer to work in silence because I can be easily distracted, but there is always background noise in my house because I have two young daughters. A little bit of background noise is usually okay because silence in a house with children is always suspicious and just as distracting.
Even though I don’t listen to anything while I write, I love listening to music that feels right for the book I’m currently working on while I’m in my car. Usually there is a particular album that seems to fit with the book and I listen to it every chance I get to become inspired. Music is very inspirational. Sometimes certain songs just feel right for the setting of the book or the lyrics seem almost perfect for how the characters feel. Most of the music I listen to could probably be categorized as fantasy metal, but the feel of the songs is usually more like dark fantasy.


What do you feel you can accomplish with this book?

I feel that this series will be able to provide the readers with a good scare. More than that, though, I feel that the world is a frightening place and that scary stories are a good outlet for feeling afraid but knowing that in the end none of it is real. Middle school is a difficult time of transition for children. Right now children have to deal with a lot of difficult problems. Even going to school can be a frightening experience.
Children are bombarded with news stories about violence at school, separation of families, and child abuse. For them, being able to experience a story about a child facing what seem to be impossible odds and overcoming their fears is important. If my books can provide them with escape from the real fears they have to face, or give them the courage they need to face what frightens them, then I will have accomplished what I set out to do.   


What is your next project?

My next project is another Spine Chillers story. This one is called Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf. Again, don’t let the title fool you. It isn’t a fairy tale, and though there are fantasy elements to it, it is a horror story. I’ll include the blurb for this story here.

Jane is ecstatic when she gets the role of Red Riding Hood in her school play, but she didn’t realize that they’d be using the stuffed wolf prop as the Big Bad Wolf. That tattered old prop has always scared her and lately she has been having strange dreams about it that make it seem like it’s something more.
Jane will have to get help to save herself from the hungry spirit that has haunted her people and her nightmares before it consumes her, or worse, before it escapes the prison of the last creature it took to satiate its horrible appetite.

There are other stories to look forward to as well. After Spine Chillers: Big Bad Wolf there will be at least three others of this series featuring a new main character in each and a new horror to face.  

Thank you very much for having me here and for letting me talk about my books. I hope you enjoy them.