Sunday, October 4, 2009

Thank heavens for the wonderful child remote!

Children laughing, screaming, shouting,
frazzled mother searching, searching, searching...
Children screaming, shouting, laughing,
frazzled mother searching, searching, searching...
Children shouting, screaming, laughing,
frazzled mother searching, searching, searching...

Where is it?
Can't find it?
Ah, got it!
Mute button pressed...
Ah, what quiet! What bliss!
Did someone say 'Silence is golden'?
What a truly marvellous quote...
Thank heavens for
the wonderful child remote!

Copyright © Helena Harper

Saturday, October 3, 2009

Katie Hines's urban fantasy novel, Guardian

Katie Hines, fellow member of the group VBT-Writers on the Move, is my guest this month and in this, my second post about Katie, I'll be focusing on her upcoming book, Guardian, soon to be published by 4RV Publishing.

Imagine you have made a secret promise that can lead you to an incredible treasure and an ancient power. But in order to fulfill that promise, you must defeat an age-old sect determined to claim the treasure and power themselves. Would you do it? This is what Guardian, Katie's first novel, is all about.

Review by Deborah Hockenberry

“Promise me you’ll find the journal and search for the treasure,” gasped Drew’s dying mother. “It’s your destiny.”

Three months later, three teenagers sat around a campfire roasting marshmallows. Drew Newman is just about to tell his friends a secret when a man steps out of the darkness. The man carries an old fashioned sword and wears a long, hooded cloak. He lifts Drew’s chin with his sword. “Where is it?,” the man asks. “Where is the book?”

Who is this man and what does he want? Is the book the one Drew touched when he was a kid? The book was leather bound with gold and silver threads embossed on it. The threads formed a tree and its root system. When Drew touched the book magical things happened. Is this the book the man is asking about? What is this mysterious, magical book? Does this have anything to do with the promise he made to his dying mother?

Drew’s adventures start that night and continue when he travels to Nova Scotia where his grandparents live. Grandpa Ian tells him a story that involves Christ’s crucifixion, ancient magic and secret societies. Drew eventually finds out that he’s a contender to be the Holy Grail’s next guardian. He has to answer two questions correctly. Through his answers we learn what the Grail really is.

Ms. Hines combines Christianity and fantasy, making ‘Guardian’ a very enjoyable book. It’s fast paced with a lot of twists, turns and danger!”


TITLE: Guardian
AUTHOR: Katie Hines
PUBLISHER: 4RV Publishing
GENRE: Middle Grade Urban Fantasy

Find out more about Guardian and the author at:

Thursday, October 1, 2009

Introducing fantasy novelist, Katie Hines

I am delighted to have as my guest this month fantasy novelist and fellow member of VBT-Writers on the Move, Katie Hines.

Katie has been writing snippets here and there for as long as she can remember. When in 8th grade, she wrote a short story called Underworld. Then, in high school, she wrote several poems that were published in an anthology.

Marriage and raising two children contributed to putting away writing for a few years, but she came back to it while in her 40s. Since that time she has been a contributing feature writer and columnist for a local newspaper, has written several features articles for another area newspaper and religious and humor articles for an online Catholic ezine. Her short story My Name is Bib, was published by the Loch Raven Review in October, 2008.

Katie has finished her first novel Guardian, which is soon to be published by 4RV Publishing, and she is now working on another middle grade, urban fantasy novel as well as a couple of chapter books. She is also extending My Name is Bib into a full, young adult novel.

I asked Katie a few questions, so readers could get to know her a little better.

Katie, what genres do you write and why?
I currently have a book under contract which is a middle grade, urban fantasy and I'm working on a follow-up in the same genre. That being said, I also have a young adult novel that I'm working on and a couple of chapter books. I write in these genres because they interest me and because I have a “vision” for my books - I hear them in my head, so am compelled to write.

What prompted you to write your first book 'Guardian' ?
It was really all my husband’s fault! He was the one who first encouraged me to pick up writing, and more specifically, to write a book (as opposed to newspaper articles or copywriting). I had a memoir that I wrote before I knew anything. It was truly horrible. But I also embarked on a several month long education tour, learning as much about writing and the publishing industry as I could. So, with my husband’s encouragement again, I wrote Guardian, which is much better than that first book!

What did you find the hardest thing about writing your book?
Catching my own errors, like having a person be in one room and two pages later be in another room, but not showing them walking from one to the other. That’s not a real example, but you get the picture.

What was the easiest part?
Writing a humorous chapter about chickens. I laughed all the way through writing it.

What pre-publicity are you and/or your publisher involved in to promote your book?
I have a blog, a website is under construction, I belong to many social networking groups, I have a media kit, am a guest blogger on other blogs, and am working on a teacher’s guide. I have also been a guest on a podcast and BlogTalkRadio.

What marketing will you and/or your publisher be doing after publication?
I will utilize corresponding with the contacts I’ve already made, create a media release, throw a book launch party, be involved in local book signings and school visits, and (hopefully) be able to travel in the South a bit to schools and bookstores on a physical tour, but I also anticipate a blog tour.

When you're not writing, what are you doing?
Cleaning house and cooking dinner. Also, keeping close ties with my children and grandchild. Family is big and important to me and comes first.

What are your future writing goals?
I want to finish some of the specific books I'm working on, but I also want to be able to balance my writing life with my personal life better. I take time off to be with family and friends; time I could be writing, but family is most important. I see additional books in my future, and (of course) I see myself winning the Newbery award!

Katie, it's been a pleasure talking to you. Thank you for such an interesting and informative interview.

You can catch up with Katie on her blog

Drop by on Saturday to learn more about Katie's intriguing and fascinating novel Guardian. If you'd like to ask Katie a question, please leave a comment.