Author Interview: Kristy Perkins from Fractured Ever After

I’m so pleased to host Kristy Perkins on the blog today to talk about her short story in the anthology Fractured Ever After.

But first, here’s the blurb:

Old classics are fractured into exciting new tales in this international collection of magic, mystery, and adventure.

Some heroes go searching for their happily ever after: a dragon cocoon hunter explores the dangerous woods for his sleeping beauty; a prince forces a perfect romance on an unsuspecting maiden; and when a girl leaves town, she must quickly decide to trust—or be wary of—a new stranger.

Destiny is thrust upon others: a disconnected emperor struggles to retain his title; a frog prince leaves his pond in search of answers; and after Rapunzel is rescued, a new quest is awarded to her savior.

Whether it is destiny or choice, all actions have consequences: sibling rivalry pushes one little piggy to extremes and a princess must choose to follow her heart or step up as future queen.

Prepare for an adventure as these eight fantastic fairy tales transport you to places beyond your imagination.

Jebraun: Hi Kristy! Thanks for joining me. I love that we’ve both got short stories in upcoming anthologies. The blurb sounds great! I’m wondering, what was the inspiration behind your story?

Kristy: I wrote a short story as a Christmas present detailing the holiday misadventures of an older Rapunzel’s family. I’m not sure how much I want to spoil about my story’s ending, so I’ll just say that there were elements of that story that made me curious how things could have ended up that way after the usual events of that fairy tale. So that was my starting point.

Beyond that, I knew that Rapunzel had a secret, so the prince had to be the POV character, and the rest of the story unfolded from there.

Jebraun: Oooh! Rapunzel is a favourite of mine! Did you have any difficulty coming up with a story to fit the theme of the anthology?

Kristy: Oh, no! I love fairy tales, and my real problem was choosing which story idea to go with. Another forerunner was a variation on The Little Mermaid, the version where she ends up as heartbroken seafoam.

Jebraun: Oh, dear! Break my heart! That ending truly makes me sad! What were some of your biggest challenges during the writing/editing process?

Kristy: The prince! Almost everyone who read early and middle drafts noted that he didn’t quite work as the POV character because Rapunzel just felt more like the main character. It was a struggle to bring him forward and make him more active in how he was dealing with Rapunzel and their relationship. Hopefully I succeeded!

Jebraun: I can’t wait to read it and find out! What was your favourite story in the anthology (besides yours, lol) and why.

Kristy: “On the Wrong Foot”! It’s the funniest retelling of Cinderella I think I’ve ever read. I tend to gravitate toward the more humorous stories. Also, “Beauty” gets an honorable mention because dragons are my favorite.

Jebraun: I love Cinderella retellings, too! How do you sustain yourself whilst writing?

Kristy: Sugar. Pure, raw sugar that I consume by the spoonful.

Oof. Forget the joke, that just makes me feel a little nauseous.

I like things like goldfish crackers, chocolate chips, pieces of chicken. Not all together! The main idea is something where I can nibble it a tiny bit at a time. Reward myself after every sentence if the writing is going slowly.

Favorite drink is tea, either pu-erh or a spice tea, depending on my mood. I tend to get involved in writing and forget I made myself a cup so it oversteeps, but that’s how I like it so it works.

Jebraun: Yeah, I was definitely making a face at the idea of spoonfuls of sugar! And I tend to end up with oversteeped tea myself 😉 So, if you could be a fairy tale creature, what would it be?

Kristy: DRAGON!!!! Absolutely I would choose to be a dragon. I could fly, breathe fire, have beautiful shining scales, a massive hoard of treasure, and if I was lucky, I could find the right cave and be as antisocial as I wanted because no one would bother me because DRAGON. I could even still be a writer, with voice-to-text programs.

I’m Jebraun: Dragons are awesome! Thanks so much for answering all my questions and best of luck with the release of your anthology!

Kristy Perkins is a nanny, and a writer whenever she can find the time. Ever since she could write legibly, she has created stories. She writes fantasy and sci-fi stories to satisfy the need for more dragons and spaceships in her life.

“Out of the Tower” started as a simple tale of a boy falling in love with a girl after he rescued her from a witch. But that was too easy, so he had to lose all his memories and then try to avoid the problem. When that also proved too simple, the wonderful Rapunzel gained a secret of her own, which led to the story found here.

Short stories of Kristy’s can be found in other JL Anthologies. Check out Kristy’s blog or follow her on Twitter or Pinterest.

We’ve got a fabulous giveaway going to celebrate the release of both Fractured Ever After and Encircled!

Grand Prize (US only): Two Paperbacks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), book cozy + shoe ornament, 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design), set of four signed illustration prints

First Prize (US only): Two Paperbacks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), charm bracelet, 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design), set of four signed illustration prints

Second Prize (International): Two Ebooks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design), set of four signed illustration prints


Third Prize (International): Two Ebooks (Fractured Ever After and Encircled), choice of 3D-printed bookmark (pick one design) OR set of four signed illustration prints.

Enter the giveaway through this magic portal!

Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, Jebraun lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island surrounded by thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her loves include coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and she harbours a secret penchant for British spelling. You can find her sci-fi short story “Beyond the Stars, Past the Moons” in Encircled, a collection of fairy tale retellings.

Have you signed up for my newsletter yet? You’ll get instant access to my flash fiction story, “The Stone Veil,” plus I give away New Zealand chocolate and an e-book in every newsletter!

The Awesome Adventure of Kill the Beast ~ and a giveaway!

You know those stories that keep you up late at night reading? The ones with fantastic heroines, lush descriptions, and exciting adventures?

If you’re in the mood for such a story, look no further.

Michele Israel Harper has done it again!

In Kill the Beast, an imaginative retelling of familiar fairy tales, Michele weaves a wonderful world of monsters, mademoiselles, castles, and crossbows.

Set in a long-ago France, this book captures some of the best elements of Beauty and the Beast (the enchantment! The food! The rose!) as well as manages to turn Little Red Riding Hood into a kick-butt heroine who is anything but a damsel in distress.

Want more? Of course you do!

Ro remembers the castle before. Before the gates closed. Before silence overtook the kingdom. Before the castle disappeared. Now it shimmers to life one night a year, seen by her alone.

Once a lady, now a huntress, Ro does what it takes to survive—just like the rest of the kingdom plunged into despair never before known. But a beast has overtaken the castle. A beast that killed the prince and holds the castle and kingdom captive in his cruel power. A beast Ro has been hired to kill. Thankful the mystery of the prince’s disappearance has been solved, furious the magical creature has killed her hero, Ro eagerly accepts the job to end him. But things are not as they seem.

Trapped in the castle, a prisoner alongside the beast, Ro wonders what she should fear most: the beast, the magic that holds them both captive, or the one who hired her to kill the beast.

Doesn’t that sound intriguing? Now check out this cover:

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What I liked about this tale was the smattering of French phrases scattered here and there to lend authenticity, the mouth-watering descriptions of the food, the detailed world-building which made me picture the Beast’s castle and surrounding countryside, the backstory that left me begging for more, and the unexpected twist at the end.

But most of all, I loved the heroine, Ro. She is feisty and fierce yet somehow vulnerable at the same time. I loved her loyalty to her family, especially her sister, and how she would do anything to protect her.

I enjoyed it soooo much, I’ve giving you a chance to own your very own copy! I’ve got a prize pack for one lucky reader including a paperback version of Kill the Beast, some yummy chocolate all the way from New Zealand, and a book cozy featuring a forest scene complete with foxes, hedgehogs, and rabbits.

*Giveaway Closed*

Go through the magic portal to enter (erm, actually, it’s a link to Rafflecopter).

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You’ve got a week to enter. Sorry, only open to residents in the United States.

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You also don’t want to miss the Facebook party on Thursday, September 27, 2018 8-10pm EST.

Michele-Israel-Harper-HeadshotMichele Israel Harper spends her days as a work-at-home mom and her nights typing away furiously on her laptop. Sleep? Sometimes… She has her Bachelor of Arts in history, is slightly obsessed with all things French—including Jeanne d’Arc and La Belle et la Bête and loves curling up with a good book more than just about anything else. Author of Wisdom & Folly: Sisters, Zombie Takeover, Beast Hunter, and Kill the Beast, Michele prays her involvement in writing, editing, and publishing will touch many lives in the years to come.

Connect with Michele on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest or her website.

You can also purchase Kill the Beast on L2L2 Publishing’s website!

Thanks for joining me!

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Sign up for my newsletter. I give away chocolate and an e-book in every one!
For even more exclusive content, join my street team, Jeb’s Fearless Fans

 

A Visual Peek at the The Story Peddler

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Another blog tour, another fabulous story!

Today I get to spotlight The Story Peddler, the latest release from award-winning author and editor, Lindsay A. Franklin.

She compiled a fantastic visual display of images and text for you and I hope you enjoy it as much as I do!


Tanwen

Ho, fellow story-lovers! It’s me, Tanwen, but you can call me Tannie. I’m a story peddler by trade, and that’s how I put food on the table since I moved out of Farmer and Ma-Bradwir’s house some years ago. They were kind to take me in, but a girl’s got to find her own way at some point, don’t you think?

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Ah, the Eastern Peninsula of Tir. Our little scrap of farming countryside. This is at the edge of our village, Pembrone. Doesn’t look like much, does it? That’s because it’s not. A burp of a town, my mentor Riwor says. She’s not wrong.

Brac

Aw, Tannie. Come on, now. You make it sound so…ugly. Pokey. Dull. That ain’t fair. Pembrone is the best spot in all Tir! It’s our home, after all.

*sigh* That’s Brac Bo-Bradwir—best friend, constant nuisance…would-be suitor. *double sigh* Brac, this is my tour. Can’t you ever mind your own onions?

All right, I’ll humor Brac and show you my cottage. It may be the only part of Pembrone I don’t despise.

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It was my mother’s family home once. I wish I could have known her, but since that wasn’t in the stars for me, this is second-best. I can sleep in the room where she slept. I can cook in the kitchen where she cooked. Plus, it’s right down the lane from the Bradwir stead. The cottage is getting a little shabby these days, but at least it’s a warm place to return to after a long peddling tour.

Do you want to see the actual best part of Tir? Whatever Brac says, it’s definitely not Pembrone. It’s Urian, the capital city! Now, I’ve never been there myself, but one day I’m going to live here in the palace and serve the king as his Royal Storyteller. I just have to get King Gareth to notice me somehow…

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If I could only make it to Royal Storyteller, I’d finally be someone, you know? I’d no longer be the parentless urchin, fighting for every scrap of food, handing over most of my earnings to Riwor. I’d be Tanwen En-Yestin, faithful servant to the king and honored guest at his court. Imagine—me at court. Brac doesn’t think I’ll make it, but mark me. I’ll show him. I just have to stick to telling the crown-approved stories and keep making those babies crystallize clear as glass, and eventually I’ll get there. Sure, sometimes the storytelling gift is a little…wild. But as long as I practice those crowned stories like Riwor taught me, what could possibly go wrong?

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Want to dive into a new world or in need of a good book?

Enter to win a signed print copy of The Story Peddler, a blue strand book sleeve, custom Story Peddler bookmark, a fluffhopper sticker, and a set of five mini Story Peddler art prints! (US only.)

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There’s also a Facebook party!

Join authors Lindsay A. Franklin and Sara Ella to celebrate the releases of their novels, The Story Peddler and Unbreakable, on May 1st! 

Grab your favorite drink and snack and be prepared for a fun time of chatting with Lindsay and Sara, games, and giveaways.

The party starts at 8 PM EST (7 PM CST and 5 PM PST) and here’s your official invitation. Can’t wait to see you there!


Lindsay A. FranklinLindsay A. Franklin is an award-winning author, award-winning freelance editor, and homeschooling mom of three. She would wear pajama pants all the time if it were socially acceptable. She spends a lot of time in made-up worlds, and she’s passionate about sparking imagination through stories of infinite possibility. Her debut fantasy novel, The Story Peddler, releases in 2018. When she’s not exploring the fantastical, she’s exploring the Bible and encouraging young women through her devotional books (click here for more information on Adored).

Lindsay lives in her native San Diego with her husband (master of the dad joke), their awesomely nerdy kids, two thunder pillows (AKA cats), and a stuffed wombat with his own Instagram following (@therealwombatman). You can find Lindsay on social media, too, if Wombatman hasn’t hijacked all her accounts. She’s @LinzyAFranklin on Instagram and Twitter, and she Facebooks at www.facebook.com/LindsayAFranklin. You can also sign up for her email list.


Thanks for joining me!

Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Have you signed up for my newsletter?
I give away an e-book and chocolate in each one!

 

 

Drifting: A Sequel Worth the Wait and a GIVEAWAY

Drifting Blog Tour.pngI never read a mermaid story until I read Sarah Armstrong-Garner’s Sinking a little over a year ago.

And I could. Not. Put. It. Down.

The prose was beautiful, the story enticing, the characters endearing…I didn’t read it, I devoured it!

And then I had to wait for the sequel. 

Forever, it seemed.

In the interim, I found my mind returning again and again to the story. What was going to happen to Jocelyn? Would she return safely to the sea? What about hunky sea captain Aidan? I don’t want to give too much away in case you haven’t read this epic story…but I was itching to get back to it.

(And…by the way…I’ve got a giveaway of BOTH titles at the end of this post!! 😉 )

Finally. Finally. Finally.

The sequel is here! And I read it! And I love it!

But first…the cover and blurb:

Jocelyn plunges into the ocean near Calcutta, India, thrown overboard by a man claiming it’s the only way to save her life. As she sinks, the transformation begins, and the ocean welcomes her back into its embrace.

Aidan Boyd thought the only way to save Jocelyn was to give her back to the ocean, but now he’s not so sure. Aidan doesn’t believe in mermaids, but he can’t explain the way she changed. Will he see Jocelyn again? Or has he condemned her to a watery grave?

Jocelyn drifts in a world she’d forgotten only to find she’s hunted by a deadly force from the ancient city of Thessa, the reason she was hidden in the world above. But she cannot get Aidan out of her head. Was what they shared real? Or was it a fantasy brought on by her unconscious need to seduce a human?

Both Aidan and Jocelyn begin a desperate and dangerous journey to discover the truth . . . and hopefully each other. But will their love be enough?


Happy sigh. Isn’t that cover gorgeous?!?

Drifting starts exactly where Sinking left off. Which is good. Because I was on the edge of my seat by the end of Sinking. And, let’s face it, distraught at the cliffhanger ending.

Right away we get introduced to some new characters. Merfolk to be exact. As Jocelyn rediscovers her mermaid origins, we get to travel under the sea with her to a strange and fascinating new world.

I’ve heard the author talk about her love of writing screenplays, and let me tell you, she packs a lot of visual description into her narrative. As a very visual person, I loved imagining the intricate scenes she sets, the facial expressions, the flick of a tail, and especially the underwater mining city of Ommo.

Then there’s Jocelyn’s captivity and…ooops! Again…I don’t want to spoil the story for you.

Okay. On to the romantic aspect of Drifting.

Two men vie for Jocelyn’s affection. Benlar, the noble merman, and Aidan, the hunky sea captain I mentioned earlier. I’m definitely Team Aidan, and I cheered him on as he struggles to regain control of his ship and then desperately searches the world for his beloved.

Throw in the mystery of why Jocelyn is a hunted mermaid, and this story covers all the bases: fantasy, romance, adventure, and suspense.

I savoured every word!

So run, swim, commandeer a ship, whatever it takes to get a hold of these beautifully written stories!


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Don’t forget to go to the launch party. L2L2 Publishing seriously throws some of the best parties around with lots of prizes. RSVP here!


Sarah Armstrong-Garner lives in Northern California with her husband and three children, and get this: not only is she an author, screenwriter, and photographer, she also shoots indie films with her husband. You can visit www.SarahArmstrongGarner.com to learn more about her and her upcoming releases.

Connect with Sarah

Website: http://www.saraharmstronggarner.com
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/SarahArmstrongGarner
Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/SarahTwyla
Instagram: http://www.instagram.com/saraharmstronggarner
Goodreads: http://www.goodreads.com/user/show/33156298-sarah-armstrong-garner
Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/sarahtwyla

Purchase Link (L2L2 Publishing’s Website):
http://www.love2readlove2writepublishing.com/books/drifting

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If you want to read Sinking and Drifting for yourself, enter my giveaway! One lucky participant will win an e-book of both of these beautiful books. You have until May 5 to enter.


Thanks for joining me. If you’ve read these books, what did you think? Let me know in the comments below 🙂

cropped-jebraun-clifford-lr-3.jpgJebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, and enjoys creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Have you signed up for my newsletter?
I give away an e-book and chocolate in every one!

 

What Do You Think of my Website’s Awesome Makeover? (and do you want some chocolate?)

A year ago I did an overhaul of my website. Got my own domain name and decided it was time to devote the site entirely to my writing.

I had fun playing around with a theme and coming up with the tagline dream.write.repeat.

I continued to share about my writing journey, featured new releases and debut authors, and threw myself into social media. I started a newsletter. Published some flash fiction.

But something still didn’t feel…right.

A tagline should give readers an idea of what they can expect from my stories. And while dream.write.repeat. sounds kinda cool, it’s what I do, not what I write.

So I hired a professional.

Some of you may remember reading my post about goals for 2018 that I wrote earlier this year over at Quills & Inkblotts. In it, I mentioned I worked with Janeen Ippolito from Creative Breakthroughs in Speculative Fiction and Beyond to develop a new tagline.

Jebraun Clifford and Janeen Ippolito

We brainstormed for thirty minutes (and had entirely too much fun!), and she asked me all kinds of questions about why I wrote and what I wrote. Then she read some of her ideas back to me. As soon as I heard the right one…I knew it was me!

I changed up my website header, played around on Canva.com, and voilà!

Fearless Words in Fantasy Worlds jebraunclifford.com

Fearless Words in Fantasy Worlds. 

I love the alliteration. I love the concepts. I love the imagination.

This is me! This is what I write!

I also added a page for the stories I write, tidied some links, and even started formulating a plan for my street team.

To celebrate my gawgeous new look, I’m giving away chocolate. That’s right. New Zealand has the best chocolate ever (totally my opinion, feel free to disagree, and be wrong 😉 ).

And I’ve got two bars of Whittaker’s chocolate to give away to anyone in the world. All you have to do is go to my Rafflecopter page (link below) and tell me if you prefer dark or white chocolate (or either, who are we kidding!), and you’ll be in the draw to win a Whittaker’s Marlborough Sea Salt and Caramel Brittle with Saffron in dark chocolate OR Whittaker’s West Coast Buttermilk Caramelised white chocolate with Gingerbread Biscuit.

Stop drooling and enter by clicking the photo below!

A chocolate giveaway

BONUS: you’ll get 5 extra entries if you sign up for my quarterly newsletter.

And for those of you who already are on my newsletter list, you will be having your own chance to win some chocolate and a fabulous e-book (by a certain author whose initials are Mary Weber) in the middle of next month.

Thanks for sharing the adventure with me!

come say hi at jebraunclifford.com

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island in a town filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. She writes about discovering identity, living without fear, enjoys and creating fantastic worlds. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.

Sign up for my newsletter. I give away an e-book in every one!

 

8 More Fascinating Behind-the-scenes Facts About Spark and a GIVEAWAY

I’m on the tail-end of the fabulous Spark tour which means they saved the best for last 😉

In all seriousness, I’m excited to share some more cool stuff about J.M. Hackman’s YA fantasy debut, Spark.

And I’ve got an e-book to GIVEAWAY! Woohoo!

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Author J.M. Hackman sat down with me in a virtual cafe, where I got a low-down on on all the gossip about Brenna and the fantasy world of Linneah.

Jeb: Very excited to catch up with you about Spark. The first few chapters are intense. Man, you jump into the action right away. So, explain to me where Brenna’s powers come from?!?

JM: She was born with them, although Linneans don’t come into them until their teen years (a lot like puberty).

When I first started writing Spark, I tried to come up with a superpower that hadn’t been done before. Unfortunately, I think Solomon was right—nothing is new under the sun. Still, fire-starting intrigued me.

Jeb: Are you kidding? Fire-starting is cool! It’s a talent that would come in handy in more than one scenario, though I understand Brenna kinda wishes it would go away. She also mentions her frustration that Belgian waffles don’t exist in Linneah. I want to know if there’s a significant story to why she loves them so much?

JM: When they lived in Vermont, Brenna’s mother made them often on Saturday mornings. They would douse them with butter and real maple syrup because everyone in New England (and I mean everyone) uses real maple syrup.

Why does she love them? Have you ever had a Belgian waffle? Fluffy dough, fried to perfection, smothered in syrup, or confectioners’ sugar, or fruit/chocolate chips/whipped topping? What’s not to like?

Why does she love them- Have you ever had a Belgian waffle- Fluffy dough, fried to perfection, smothered in syrup, or confectioners’ sugar, or fruit%2Fchocolate chips%2Fwhipped topping- What’s not to like-.png

Jeb: You’re right. Belgian waffles are awesome. Unfortunately, maple syrup is rarer than dragons here in Middle Earth. Speaking of dragons, in an epic battle with a dragon, who would win…Brenna or the dragon?

JM: Hmm. Brenna hasn’t learned all there is to learn about being a Firebrand. And if she didn’t have protection (i.e., a shield), I think the dragon would win. After all, before dragons became extinct in Linneah, the Firebrand’s main rule was, “Never engage a dragon in an unnecessary firefight.”

Jeb: Sounds like a wise proverb! I love the world-building in Linneah. Are any of the settings (Silvastamen, for example) based on real places?

JM: Cloverdale’s reservoir and spillway are modeled after the reservoir our small town used before the artisan wells were drilled. I haven’t been there in years, but I remember a trip there when I was young. Most of Linneah is lightly wooded, much like central Pennsylvania. Flare (book 2) will take place elsewhere in the Jasper Territory and therefore have different scenery/settings.

Jeb: Well, your memory is a good one because I can picture the Cloverdale reservoir clearly from your description in the book. What about Brenna? Does she have a favorite childhood memory?

JM: When she lived in Vermont, she loved to go ice skating—especially on the dirt road that went past their house! (If it sleets—or rains and then freezes—on top of untreated hard-pack snow, it becomes like an ice rink.) She and the two other neighbor kids would strap on their ice skates and skate in each other’s driveways and the ice-covered dirt road. Going downhill was especially terrifying because it was impossible to stop once she picked up enough speed. She’d just skate into a snowbank to stop.

Jeb: I’ve never been ice skating. I prefer my own two feet flat on the ground, lol. What does it feel like to travel through the portal to Linneah?

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JM: Are you wearing a jasper?

Jeb: Uh…no…

JM: That’s what makes the difference. Without the jasper, it’s harsh. You get blasted with extreme temperature swings, your vision becomes fuzzy, and nausea hits. With the jasper? A brief cold wind, a little hot flash, some hazy vision, and you’re through.

Jeb: Eeek! Sounds a little scary. I’ll stay in my world, thank you very much. Brenna’s hair is gorgeous—did her mother object when she colored it? (Did you notice my attempts at using American English with favorite and colored? I’m biting my fingernails, it’s bothering me so much, lol.)

JM: Good job, Jeb—we’ll convert you yet! Her mother didn’t object—because both her mother and her grandmother have a similar colored hair streak, too. You’ll have to read the book to find out why!

Jeb: Oooh, like the teaser! Any of your characters based on real people? 

JM: I think Brenna is a mixture of my two daughters and a much-younger me. My youngest has ADHD, my oldest is the same age and emotionally like Brenna, and when I was younger, I would say anything (like Brenna, I had no filter).

A few months ago, I realized Baldwin is like my husband: dark good looks, sexy (at least I think so), and very conscientious. He plays by the rules (while I look for ways to break them.)

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  (1).png

Jeb: Now I’d like to find out a few things about you. I understand you’re a chocolate lover like me. What’s your favorite? If you say white…I may have to unfriend you on Facebook…

JM: White!?! Phth! That’s not chocolate—that’s candy. My favorite is dark. Deep, dark, rich chocolate…excuse me while I wipe the drool off my chin.

Jeb: Yusss! Kindred spirits!!! We’ve both worked at libraries before, too. I always got in trouble for reading the books I was supposed to shelve, hehe (I mean, I worked in my university’s children and YA section…what did they expect?!?) What was the best part about working in a library?

JM: Getting a new shipment of books. I read them first, because my name was at the top of the list. (For what it’s worth, I also got in trouble for reading the books in the stacks. Some people just don’t understand the temptation. All those books, and so little time.)

Jeb: I know, right? Wait a minute. You like dark chocolate, you worked at a library, you were also a teacher. Me tooooo! Were we separated at birth? You’ve got wavy hair and glasses…your name starts with a ‘J’…hmmm…I can’t believe all of these similarities are a coincidence.

more chocolate- yes, please!.png

JM: As far as I know, Jeb, I was an only child and used my vivid imagination to keep myself occupied. I did get a degree in elementary education. Although I enjoyed the kids, I was surprised at how much discipline factored into the job. About 50% is teaching and the other 50% is discipline. Because I tend to throw myself into almost everything I do, I probably would’ve been one of the teachers that burned out.

Jeb: Well, you’re going to excel at writing books. I for one, have loved reading Spark and can’t wait to finish it. And then I get to look forward to Flare getting published.  

JM: Thanks so much, Jeb, for chatting with me!

Jeb: Thanks so much for taking the time to share all about your new book and congratulations!


Author_JM_Hackman_HeadshotJ.M. Hackman has held many positions: assistant librarian, office assistant, office manager, substitute teacher, writer, wife, and mother. She still holds the last three. And loves it. She received a degree in Elementary Education from Pennsylvania State University and now spends her days writing stories, consuming massive quantities of chocolate, and looking for portals to other worlds. You can find her at:

Website | Facebook | Twitter | Goodreads |Pinterest

You can purchase Spark from L2L2 Publishing and it’s also available at Amazon, Barnes & Noble, iBook, Kobo, and any other online retailer.


Did you miss any of the other blog stops? Then check them out:

5/15: Amy Brock McNew – Spark! Into the World of J.M. Hackman
5/16: J M Hackman – What I Learned While Writing Spark (And Spark Teaser!)
5/17: Emilie Hendryx – Author Chat with J.M. Hackman and The Story Sanctuary – Review
5/18: Michael Israel Harper – Five Reasons Why I Love Linneah
5/19: Kat Heckenbach – Behind-the-Scenes: A Different Kind of Magic
5/20: Writing Prompts, Thoughts, Ideas – Interview

Week 2

5/21: Quills and Inkblotts – Visual Post: The Visual Feast of Spark
5/22: Laura Zimmerman – Book Review
5/23: Lands Uncharted – Behind-the-Scenes: The Evolution of Spark
5/24: Pam Halter – Guest Post
5/25: Pages and Hope – Interview

5/26: Ralene Burke – Confessions of a Small Town Mountain Girl) and 8 More Fascinating Behind-the-scenes Facts about Spark (right here!)


Spark_cover_med_res (2)Do you want your very own copy of Spark? Cos I’ve got one to giveaway!
–> –> –>enter to win!<– <– <–


Jebraun-Clifford-LR-3

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwoods to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and the 2016 Genesis contest. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.


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Balloons celebrating a giveaway on jebraunclifford.com

So here’s the deal: along with my gorgeous new website, I’m also putting together a newsletter!

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I promise this newsletter won’t be spammy! And it won’t be simply a repeat of all my blog posts either but will have fresh content such as:

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And that’s where the giveaway comes in. Every newsletter will have one.

That’s right.

Every 6-8 weeks, you’ll have a chance to win something awesome like one of my newly-discovered-and-now-favourite e-books (I’m stocking up on some great titles!) or an Amazon gift card.

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come say hi at jebraunclifford.com

Jebraun Clifford always wanted to step through a door into an imaginary kingdom, so it’s no surprise she now calls Middle Earth home. Too short to be an elf and too tall to be a Hobbit, she lives in a gorgeous town smack-dab in the centre of New Zealand’s North Island filled with thermal activity, stunning lakes, and enough Redwood trees to make her Californian heart swoon. Her unpublished YA fantasy, The Two Queens of Kyrie, won both the American Christian Fiction Writer’s 2015 First Impressions contest and their 2016 Genesis contest in the YA category. She loves coffee, tree ferns, dark chocolate, and Jesus, and harbours a secret penchant for British spelling.