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Wednesday, November 1, 2017

The Man with the Crystal Ankh / The Girl Who Flew Away by Val Muller - Book Tour - Guest Post - Giveaway - Enter Daily!


Hey lovelies! It gives me great pleasure today to host Val Muller and her new books, “The Man with the Crystal Ankh” and “The Girl Who Flew Away”!  For other stops on her Goddess Fish Promotions Book Tour, please click on the banner above or any of the images in this post.

Be sure to make it to the end of this post to enter to win a $10 Amazon or Barnes and Noble Gift Card, a download code for “The Girl Who Flew Away,” a download code for “The Scarred Letter,” a print copy (US only) of “The Man with the Crystal Ankh,” AND an ebook of “Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive!!”  Also, come back daily to interact with Val and to increase your chances of winning!

Thanks for stopping by!  Wishing you lots of luck in this fabulous giveaway!

  

The Man with the Crystal Ankh / The Girl Who Flew Away
by Val Muller

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GENRE: YA Paranormal / YA Literary

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BLURBS:

The Man with the Crystal Ankh:

Everyone’s heard the legend of the hollow oak—the four-hundred year curse of Sarah Willoughby and Preston Grymes. Few realize how true it is.

Sarah Durante awakens to find herself haunted by the spirit of her high school’s late custodian. After the death of his granddaughter, Custodian Carlton Gray is not at peace. He suspects a sanguisuga is involved—an ancient force that prolongs its own life by consuming the spirits of others. Now, the sanguisuga needs another life to feed its rotten existence, and Carlton wants to spare others from the suffering his granddaughter endured. That’s where Sarah comes in. Carlton helps her understand that she comes from a lineage of ancestors with the ability to communicate with the dead. As Sarah hones her skill through music, she discovers that the bloodlines of Hollow Oak run deep. The sanguisuga is someone close, and only she has the power to stop it.

The Girl Who Flew Away:

No good deed goes unpunished when freshman Steffie Brenner offers to give her awkward new neighbor a ride home after her first day at school. When her older sister Ali stops at a local park to apply for a job, Steffie and Madison slip out of the car to explore the park—and Madison vanishes.

Already in trouble for a speeding ticket, Ali insists that Steffie say nothing about Madison’s disappearance. Even when Madison’s mother comes looking for her. Even when the police question them.

Some secrets are hard to hide, though—especially with Madison’s life on the line. As she struggles between coming clean or going along with her manipulative sister’s plan, Steffie begins to question if she or anyone else is really who she thought they were. After all, the Steffie she used to know would never lie about being the last person to see Madison alive—nor would she abandon a friend in the woods: alone, cold, injured, or even worse.

But when Steffie learns an even deeper secret about her own past, a missing person seems like the least of her worries…

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EXCERPT TWO:

From The Girl Who Flew Away:

My mind races. My tailbone aches. I’m exhausted and scared. Darkness has fallen, and everything takes on a sinister shape. Car headlights seem to glare at me. Even strangers going in and out of the stores look more dangerous.

I feel alone. I think about going back into the store, explaining everything to the clerk, and asking him to call my parents. I look down at Sally’s dragonfly necklace. I wonder how many times in Sally’s life she must have been scared and felt hopeless and had nowhere to go. If she could do it, then the least I can do is spend a few extra hours trying to rescue my friend. When a police car pulls into the convenience store parking lot, I dash out of the way and resolve to make it to the park somehow.

The park is a half mile up the road. I know it’s difficult for cars to see me now, so I keep way to the side of the road. Before long, I get off my bike and walk. At the entrance to the park, I realize the gate is locked: no one is admitted inside after dark. It’s a chained fence meant to keep out cars, but I’ll be able to sneak in. I leave my bike at the gate and climb over the barrier—and I’m in the park.

Alone.

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GUEST POST:

Five Reasons You Should Read The Man with the Crystal Ankh

ONE: It’s spooky and fun. Have you ever felt like there was someone else in the room…even when you were home alone? I grew up in the same house that my mom did, and we both agreed that one particular part of the house—the upstairs hallway—always gave us the creeps. We felt a presence, something unexplained and unseen but undeniably there.

I remember coming home from late-night outings with friends as a teenager. I would open the garage door and peek my head into the house. Then I’d call my dog so he would be there to “escort” me to my room. After all, they say pets are often attuned to the other-worldly, right?

Protagonist Sarah Durante feels like she’s being watched on the foggy morning that opens the novel The Man with the Crystal Ankh. Into the novel I channeled my fear of and fascination with the unseen, and with Sarah’s help the reader discovers what it is that follows her in shadow. There were scenes that gave me goosebumps as I wrote them, and nights I preferred to leave all the lights on.

TWO: It’s musical. I grew up playing the violin and the piano and from a young age was fascinated with the language of music. I felt amazed that the Mozart and Beethoven I played seated in a modern orchestra basically allowed long-dead composers to come back to life. The idea stayed with me. I wondered if Beethoven and Mozart would ever travel to another planet through their music. I wondered if they had become truly immortal.

In The Man with the Crystal Ankh, Sarah finds relaxation in tasks that occupy parts of her mind that aren’t always put to use. When she plays the violin, for example, and when she recites Latin roots to study for her etymology quiz, her mind relaxes and opens itself to her surroundings. It is in this trance-like state that she is contacted by a voice from beyond, one she soon identifies and recognizes. In the novel she quickly becomes known for her amazing musicianship. Her fans don’t understand that the truth of her talent has its roots in a world beyond our own.

THREE: It’s linguistic. One of my writers groups was joined by a high school student who admitted that when she sat in an advanced calculus class, she felt inspired to write her novel. While she wasn’t doing so well in calculus, her novel was coming along nicely. I was fascinated with the ability of one subject to inspire different parts of the brain.

In my role as a teacher, I am lucky to teach Etymology—the study of word roots. Through a study of Latin and Greek roots, of the rules of suffixes and prefixes, and of the sordid history of the English language, the course opens up our understanding of our language. That is power. And that’s the point of the course: to empower students to understand and take control over language by understanding its origins and rules, to be able to pick apart words and know their true meanings.

In The Man with the Crystal Ankh, Sarah discovers Latin passages written during the colonial era in New England. She already feels empowered and relaxed in studying roots for her Latin class, but the passages give her additional power. By reciting them, she is able to enter a trance-like state in which she can travel beyond her body and communicate with those who have passed away but haven’t yet moved on.

Fun fact: I had my co-worker, a Latin teacher (who has been teaching Latin about as long as I’ve been alive) help me with my translations. Neither of us would have thought we’d be sitting there, using our knowledge of word roots, history, and Latin to compose Latin poetry for a supernatural novel!

FOUR: It’s historical. I used to teach American literature, and my favorite two works were The Crucible and The Scarlet Letter since I’m fascinated with our early obsession with witchcraft. I’m always amazed at how closed-minded we seem when we look back at ourselves in history (as I’m sure we may appear to those two hundred years in the future). But what I really like about that time period is the way the scrutiny of the time period forced some people to confront their identities. When life becomes unfair, we often have two undesirable options to choose from, and our choices define us.

In The Man with the Crystal Ankh, the main characters discover a stash of historical research linking each of them to the original settlers of the fictional town of Hollow Oak. While the names are fictional, I based some of the things that happened to the colonists on real historical accounts. As the characters discover, several of their ancestors had less than desirable circumstances, often as a result of the beliefs of the time. And the modern characters are faced with even tougher crucibles that put their integrity to the test.

My favorite part of the research was learning about all kinds of possible causes of the Salem witch hysteria. Everything from hallucinogenic fungus to climate change to women’s empowerment.

FIVE: It’s rooted in blood. When I was a violin student in school, we were pulled out of classes periodically to have music lessons in small groups. One day, a group of three or four of us had a lesson. Our instructor’s hands were quite dry: as the instructor demonstrated a passage using my violin, we noticed that one of those dry hands had cracked and started bleeding. A drop of blood got on the neck of my violin. When the instrument was returned to me, my friends all looked at me, wide-eyed, wondering what I would do. None of us were brave enough to say anything for a while, so I just wiped the instrument with my cleaning cloth. I was already fascinated with music and its power, but that drop of blood was all I needed for my writer’s mind to imagine all kinds of strange scenarios.

Did my violin now have special power? Would a piece of my instructor always be bound to it?

In The Man with the Crystal Ankh, one of the characters is a sanguisuga, a force that drains the living essence from others. While it’s not literal blood being drained, this metaphorical vampire has its roots on that fateful day of my blood-speckled violin lesson.

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AUTHOR BIO:

Teacher, writer, and editor, Val Muller grew up in haunted New England but now lives in the warmer climes of Virginia, where she lives with her husband. She is owned by two rambunctious corgis and a toddler. The corgis have their own page and book series at www.CorgiCapers.com.

Val’s young adult works include The Scarred Letter, The Man with the Crystal Ankh, and The Girl Who Flew Away and feature her observations as a high school teacher as well as her own haunted New England past. She blogs weekly at www.ValMuller.com.

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CONNECT WITH VAL:

Website:

Facebook:

Twitter:

Goodreads Author Page:

Goodreads Book Page – The Man with the Crystal Ankh:

Goodreads Book Page – The Girl Who Flew Away:

Amazon Author Page:

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BOOK BUY LINKS – THE MAN WITH THE CRYSTAL ANKH:


Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:

Kobo:

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BOOK BUY LINKS – THE GIRL WHO FLEW AWAY:


Amazon Kindle:

Amazon Paperback:

Barnes and Noble:

Kobo:

Google Play:

Barking Rain Press:
Free Preview + Discount Code:

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GIVEAWAY INFO:

Val will be awarding a $10 Amazon or B/N GC and a download code for The Girl Who Flew Away, a download code for The Scarred Letter, a print copy (US only) of The Man with the Crystal Ankh, and an ebook of Corgi Capers: Deceit on Dorset Drive, to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter during the tour.


**This post contains affiliate links and if clicked and a purchase made I may receive a small commission to help support this blog.  This does not cost you anything, it just helps pay for all those awesome giveaways on here.**

This contest is sponsored by a third party. Fabulous and Brunette is a registered host of Goddess Fish Promotions.  Prizes are given away by the sponsors and not Fabulous and Brunette. The featured author and Goddess Fish Promotions are solely responsible for the giveaway prize.

20 comments:

  1. Val ~ It is great to have you here! Congrats on your new book and good luck on the book tour! :)

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    1. Thank you--and thanks for having me :)

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  2. congrats on the tour and thanks for the chance to win :)

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  3. Sounds like a book I'll enjoy reading, thanks for sharing!

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  4. I was wondering what the author is working on next?

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    1. Thanks for stopping by. I'm working on the 4th book of my kidlit mystery series (www.CorgiCapers.com). But then I'm off to finish the second book in the Hollow Oak series.

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  5. Where did you get your ideas for this book-- characters, plot, and setting?

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    1. I talk about some of that here: http://booksdreamslife0829.blogspot.com/2017/11/the-man-with-crystal-ankh-girl-who-flew.html Though many of my ideas are inspired by dreams or daydreams.

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  6. What's your writing process/routine like?

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  7. Replies
    1. I talk about Ray Bradbury here: https://the-avidreader.blogspot.com/2017/10/30-virtual-book-tour-giveaway-man-with-crystal-ankh-girl-who-flew-away-val-muller-GF.html

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  8. Do you ever get writer's block, what do you do to overcome it?

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    1. If I ever feel "stuck," it's because the story isn't working. So I try to always have the "end" in mind as I begin crafting. That way, I know where the characters need to go. That said, spending time outdoors or near water always helps clear my mind.

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  9. What's on you to read shelf these days?

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  10. What's your ultimate writing/career goal?

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  11. If you could meet any author alive or dead, who would it be and why?

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  12. Do you write other genres or focus on one?

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  13. Thank you for answering so many of my questions. Good luck in your writing career and congratulations!

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