July 19, 2017

Favorite Vacation Spot by Beverly Stowe McClure (Princess Breeze Tour)

I'd like to welcome Beverly McClure to Stands of Thought. She is visiting today to share her brand new book with us, Princess Breeze.


For months, Breeze Brannigan has heard nothing from Cam, the prince she met at school and who disappeared one night, without telling her goodbye. On the night, she graduates from middle school, however, he contacts her and invites her to visit Isla del Fuego, his home. Who could refuse such an invitation?
          Breeze along with her whole family and best friends, Amy and Allison, soon sail to the island, where she and Cam renew their friendship. But danger lurks; a legend comes to life; and Breeze finds herself in the middle of a battle that can have one winner.

PRINCESS BREEZE is available at Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and 4RV Publishing

Since Breeze gets to travel in her newest book, I asked Beverly McClure to stop in today to share with us one of her favorite vacation spots. Take it away, Beverly.

ONE OF MY FAVORITE VACATIONS

I’ve never visited an exotic island like Breeze and her family visit in PRINCESS BREEZE, but one of my favorite vacation spots is Charleston, South Carolina. It’s a paradise for history buffs as well as for people who love to fish or swim in the ocean or wander through beautiful churches and homes built in the early years of the city.

One of my favorite places in Charleston is Fort Sumter, now a National Park where old cannons still exist, and guides take you on a tour through the fort and the museum.

The beautiful College of Charleston, founded in 1770, still stands and students from all over attend.
The Battery and White Point Garden with artillery left from the days of the Civil War and antebellum homes, along with a monument of the hanging of the pirate Stede Bonnet (who is a character in my novel A PIRATE, A BLOCKADE RUNNER, AND A CAT) give visitors a look back at early America.

One summer when we were there, the Piccolo Spoleto Festival with artists, music, children’s activities, arts and crafts was going on and it is a sight to see. One of my favorite places in Charleston is Boone Hall Plantation, built by1681, but no exact date has been found. It reminds me of Scarlett O’Hara’s home in GONE WITH THE WIND. We took a tour and learned some interesting things about the times. The house has a room where the men would go after dinner for drink and talk and such. The door to the room is very narrow. Why? So the women in their full-skirted dresses could not go in. (I doubt that would work today.)

My vacation does not compare to the one Breeze had, but it is a wonderful experience to see how our ancestors lived. If you ever get the chance, try Charleston, SC. There’s something for everyone. 

It sounds lovely, Beverly. Readers be sure to enter the giveaway!

a Rafflecopter giveaway
Thanks for sharing your vacation spot and the giveaway with us. And thanks for sharing Princess Breeze.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:

Most of the time, you’ll find Award-Winning Author Beverly Stowe McClure at her computer, typing stories young voices whisper in her ears. When she’s not writing, she’s snapping pictures of wildlife, flowers, and clouds. She’s affectionately known as the “Bug Lady.” She’s not telling why. To relax she plays the piano. Her fur babies don’t appreciate good music and hide when she tickles the ivories.

Beverly is a member of the Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. She also teaches a women’s Sunday school class at her church.

For more on Beverly and her writing visit her at her:
Twitter @beverlymcclure
Goodreads: http://goodreads.com/author/show/11462.Beverly_Stowe_McClure

July 3, 2017

July #InkRipples: Heroes and Villains

A quick side note before I get into a favorite topic of mine. My alter ego, LA Dragoni, is releasing a paranormal romance for the adults among us on August 1st. I’m coordinating a blog and social media tour for the release week (July 31 – August 5), complete with a rafflecopter giveaway. If you can help, please sign up here:
The cover reveal is happening all over the internet this week. Please hop over to my Facebook page  to visit the lovely sites showing off the stunning cover for me.



Now, let me ask you, hero or villain?

If any of you have read my Super Villain Academy series, you might garner where I stand of the topic of heroes and villains.

We are all both a hero and a villain. All of us.

And we need to be.

If we were all only virtuous and brave, there would be no inspiration to improve. There would be no room for us to get better. Plus, who would we be friends with? “What cause do you support?” you’d ask a stranger. “Are there any left that we haven’t fixed?” There would be no need to save children from child abuse or women from oppression, because we’d all be impossibly good. The only bad we’d have to fight would be nature born. We’d concentrate our good efforts on fixing cleft palettes and curing cancer and eventually have to concentrate on things like toenail fungus and sun burn prevention. And you wouldn’t be alone if you just pictured this:



Sure, we’d be good – good for nothing that is.

And if we were all only malicious? Evil-doers? Well, we wouldn’t be around anymore because we’d have taken each other – and eventually ourselves – out of the equation.

Writing King of Bad, book one in my Super Villain Academy series, was an eye opener for me. Writing a main character who is inherently bad isn’t exactly the easiest way to attract readers, so I had to make my main villain complex. Sure he’s bad. He’s a pyromaniac, disrespectful, a budding womanizer, and thwarts authority, but when he’s recruited to Super Villain Academy, he learns that he isn’t as bad as most. Or that he’s bad in a different way. Turns out the manners his mother has been pounding into him his whole life are suddenly making an unfortunate appearance and his ‘pleases’ and ‘thank yous’ have identified him as an outcast – possibly even a…hero!

There are supporting characters in the book/series with misleading personality traits meant to make you think they are one thing (villain/hero) when in truth, they are actually the opposite. I tried to keep readers guessing (subtly at least) on purpose. As a matter of fact through out the three+ years I promoted the release of each book, I always asked the reader the question Hero or Villain? because I want readers to consider their own heroic and villainous traits.

Book characters should be as complex as real life people. They should have good traits and bad. Strengths and weaknesses. Endearing mannerisms and annoying ones. There should be stuff they aren’t sure of about themselves – where do I stand on politics? Abortion? Death penalty? And things they are shocked or embarrassed to learn about themselves – Oh my God, I’m a bigot. I need to change that.

If you’ve ever wondered how I wrote an entire series with villains as the main characters, you should know it’s because I gave each of them redeeming qualities as well. Vulnerabilities. They learned. They changed. They defined who they are and what their goals are. Not all of them made good choices – or the same choice you would have made, but hopefully in the end, you understood why they made the choices they made.

So, again I’ll ask you, dear reader: hero or villain?

#Inkripples is a themed meme hosted by Mary Waibel, Katie L. Carroll, and Kai Strand posting on the first Monday of every month. To participate compose your own post regarding the theme of the month, and link back to the three host blogs. Feel free to post whenever you want during the month, but be sure to include #inkripples when you promote so readers can find you. The idea is that we toss a word or idea into the inkwell and each post is a new ripple. There is no wrong interpretation. Themes and images and more information can be found here.