Puzzler’s Wednesday – Meet Hasslethymi

Over on my puzzle blog, it’s Puzzler’s Wednesday!

Paws 4 Puzzles

Welcome back to Puzzler’s Wednesday. Today we have a special treat. Meet British cryptic crossword setter, Ashley Smith AKA Hasslethymi. Ashley recently released his new collection of 100 Cryptic crosswords that you can pick up for just £2.50  from his website.

AshleyChicken

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Ashley?

I currently teach English to Grade 7 & 8 students in Cambridge, UK, where I also studied for a Modern Languages degree in the 1990s. I’ve just moved to an old cottage on top of a hill in Shropshire, 150 miles away, however. This will make my weekly commute interesting during the autumn. From Christmas, though, I am a free agent and, unless I can make my living out of crosswords, tutoring and e-learning resources, I’ll be looking for work nearer to home in the New Year.   

AshleyCottage

  1. How did you choose your puzzler name, Hasslethymi?

Hasslethymi is just an anagram of…

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Meet Mabel

Mabel

Mabel, like many young ones, has difficulty falling asleep and many excuses for delaying her nightly visit to the Land of Nod. So her mom tells her the story of the Queen of Fae who won’t visit her until she closes her eyes.

In their delightful new picture book, Henry, Joshua and Harrison Herz spins allusions to Shakespeare into the story which is whimsical and beautiful.

The illustrations by Lisa Woods are glorious. My very favorite is the one of “Old beetle working deep in an enchanted wood.”

Mabel and the Queen of Dreams will delight both parents and children.

Pick up your copy today.

Meet J.A. Culican – Author of The Keepers of Dragons

Today on Paws 4 Thought we welcome fantasy author J.A. Culican. Jamie recently released her first debut novel, a young adult fantasy The Keepers of Dragons.

Culican

  1. Tell us a little bit about yourself, Jamie.

I’m a teacher by day and a writer by night. I live in New Jersey with my husband of eleven years and my four young children. I spend my evenings at home, with my family, watching Harry Potter and Star Wars. When not at home you can find me rooting for my children on the field hockey or soccer field.

My inspiration to start writing came from my children and their love for all things magical. I invented bedtime stories for them featuring dragons and my oldest daughter begged me to turn them into a series. And from this The Keeper of Dragons was born.

  1. When did you first start writing?

I’ve always enjoyed writing. However, I just started writing with the idea of actually publishing a few years ago.

  1. What attracts you to writing fantasy?

The magic! The chance to create a whole new world and share it with others.

  1. Who are your favorite authors?

J.K. Rowling! In high school I used to stand in line at midnight to get her new releases J

  1. What inspires you to write?

My kids. They love all thing magical and fantastical! I hope to keep that love alive for as long as possible.

Here’s Jamie’s inspirations along with resident canine, Yankee.

CulicanKids-dog

  1. Tell us a little about The Keeper of the Dragons?

This story evolved from bedtime stories I told my kids.  It is about a boy, Cole who finds out at 18 that he is a dragon, but not just any dragon. Cole is the Keeper of Dragons and is tasked with keeping all true beings safe.

  1. Who is your favorite literary dragon (outside of your own book)?

Elliott from Pete’s Dragon. He becomes a protector and father/mother figure to young Pete.        

  1. What are you currently reading?

A Bond of Venom and Magic by, Karen Tomlinson

  1. What do you like to do to relax?

Read! Believe it or not it’s hard to find time to actually read!

  1. What super power would you most like to have?

To fly for sure!

  1. What are you currently working on?

I am editing a companion novella and writing Book 2 of The Keeper of Dragon series.

  1. Would you like to share a favorite snippet of your writing?

This is from book 2, completely unedited J

“Jericho in full fledge smoky dragon mode frightened me.”

  1. How can readers connect with you? You can find me just about everywhere!!

Website: www.jaculican.com

Facebook: www.facebook.com/jaculican

Twitter: www.twitter.com/jaculican

Instagram: www.instagram.com/jaculican

Pinterest: www.pinterst.com/jaculican

Newsletter: https://app.mailerlite.com/webforms/landing/r0y0u5

 

 Pick up a copy of The Keeper of the Dragons today!

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A mystical calling.
On his 18th birthday, Cole’s learns that he is a dragon fated to save all that was deemed true.
Destiny.
Cole’s life spirals into an uncontrollable battle for life or death. First, he learns that his family isn’t really his own and his birth parents are dragons. With that legacy comes a special calling; devoting an eternity to protecting all true beings from creatures bent on controlling the Earth and bringing an end to dragons.
Danger.
As the newly-minted Prince of Ochana, Cole is also the Keeper of Dragons and his first task is to keep the nefarious farro-fallen fairies-at bay. With no formal training, no control of his mahier-dragon magic, and fear like he’s never experienced before, will Cole be able to reach outside of his human side and embrace his destiny in time to defeat the farros?
Join bestselling author, J.A. Culican on an epic fantasy adventure fans and critics are calling a world of magic, and comparing to Robert Jordan.

Friday Freebie – Griddlebone!

The werecat flexed his claws, as he waited in the shadows. Griddlebone wished he could rescue them all, but his orders were clear. He could only take one …

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Hi everybody, I have a treat for you this Friday – a free copy of my werecat story, Griddlebone.

Griddlebone was originally part of the Sins of the Past horror anthology and this wily werecat will also make an appearance in the third volume of the P.A.W.S. saga, Umbrae, that will be out in early 2017.

Pick up your copy today!

Author Spotlight: George Sirois

Over on the YAAR blog an interview with my friend George Sirois. George and I will be running two panels together in the fall in audio book creation at Archon and at the Central St. Louis City Library.

YA Author Rendezvous

george sirois - authorInterview by Michelle Lynn.

An interview with George Siroiswww.georgesirois.com

What are the titles of your works, and can you tell us a bit about them?

“Excelsior” is a young adult / science-fiction novel, the first part of a trilogy. It tells the story of 17-year-old Matthew Peters, who has been spending seven years writing and drawing his own webcomic about a character named Excelsior, who is from the faraway planet Denab IV. Matthew is visited by an older woman who tells him that she is from planet Denab IV, and everything he has been writing and drawing have actually taken place. So now, with Excelsior’s enemies growing in power on both Denab IV and Earth, Matthew realizes that he has the opportunity to become the hero that he thought only existed in his imagination.

“From Parts Unknown” is a five-part science-fiction / sports serial that is currently…

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Spell Slinger – Free this week!

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Proper lady by day.
Evil fighting vigilante by night.

Yara Ortuso always knew she’d follow in her father’s footsteps as a Spell Slinger–until her mother sold her off as a concubine to a lord, after a forbidden romance.

Yara would have served her time as a wife to keep her family safe, but when King Loric sets a decree to abolish magic, she has no choice but to make plans for her escape.

Her best friend–a crow shifter named Hero is just what she needs. Yara vows to end the reign of murder and tyranny. But when the skeleton key transports Yara to a distant future, she must adapt to this new world.

The future is an alluring and mysterious place, where the effects of a world without magic is apparent by the rise in supernatural activity–and King Loric still lives.

New York Times & USA Today bestselling author, K.N. Lee presents Spell Slinger, a sci-fi fantasy romance fans are comparing to anime meets epic-fantasy. Follow Yara’s epic journey in this futuristic fast-paced steampunk adventure perfect for fans of Gail Carriger and Branden Sanderson!

FREE this week on Kindle. I’ve got my copy – go get yours 🙂

Precipitous Brew (5)

cauldron

Occasionally when I’m out I have a random idea for a scene far ahead in the P.A.W.S. saga. All kinds of things inspire such scenes and in this case it was a cryptic crossword clue I created – “Precipitous Brew” – the clue is a double definition. Both parts of it lead to the same answer. I’ll leave the answer off the post in case you’d like to guess it.

Anyhow I gazed at that clue and thought what a wonderful character name it would make, and then started thinking who Mr. Brew would be. I decided that Precipitous is Hugo Hogswarth’s counterpart in the London P.A.W.S. Institute that is hidden deep within Hampstead Heath. Now in a future P.A.W.S. episode Miri will visit London P.A.W.S. and encounter Precipitous Brew.

Here’s a little snippet of their first meeting:

(In the kitchen at the P.A.W.S. Institute of London in Hampstead Heath.)

Precipitous Brew stirred the soup. The cauldron bubbled ominously. “Needs more mustard,” he muttered.

“Oh Hello, what can I do for you?”

“I was looking for the mugwort,” said Miri, “Professor Holdum sent me.”

“Mugwort … mugwort. Can you hold this please?” He beckoned Mir forward and with some trepidation she grabbed for the large wooden spoon that rocked back and forth in its lumpy green ocean.

“Is that pea soup?” asked Miri, peering into the cauldron.

“Ah yes, its traditional, you know … NO! NO! Widdershins. You must stir it widdershins. Oh for a wizzlewoop.” Precipitous Brew stepped back from his cauldron, closed his eyes and sighed.

PAWSLondon