Monday, 21 September 2015

The Legend Series Blog Tour: Day 5

Please welcome author L.F. Young as he continues his online blog tour for the enticing Legend Series! Today is Day 5 of the tour, and it's my pleasure to share these words of a very important character in Young's MG novels... Willie the Dragon. Be sure to check out the puzzle below, as well as the Morning Rain Publishing coupon which can be used for your book purchasing delight. And don't forget to enter the raffle! You could win book swag!

Hello everyone, and thank you Jessica for inviting me to say a few words on your beautiful blog. My name is Willie, and I am a dragon. That is to say, I was named Willie by Ryan. I didn’t have a name, back then. Ryan and I have grown to be close friends, and I have been asked to explain what my typical day is like. That’s a tough question for a real live dragon. I guess what I mean is, my day is a little bit boring compared to the stories most people think they know about dragons. I have never
burnt down a village. I actually can’t breathe fire, and I can’t fly, either, although apparently some of my ancestors did. Mostly, I live underground, and I keep out of sight during the day, asleep in my lair. I don’t think humans would understand my species, well, other than Ryan, of course. We liked each other right away.

Let me see… I can tell when night falls and it’s time to get up, even from underground. Ryan told me about time and clocks and watches, but I just use my nose to tell time. I wake up when the smell of the air in my tunnel system changes, and I know I won’t be spotted as I look for food. My favourite foods are what Ryan calls tomatoes, but I can only get good vegetables and fruit like that in the summer, and I am sure the farmer doesn’t mind. After all, the deer and rabbits get their fill, and I
don’t even leave a mess. I also like the red juicy things on trees that he called apples, and there are a lot of those trees nearby. I spend a long time eating as I go along the countryside under the cover of darkness. In fact, I eat for most of the night. The other thing I really like to do is swim in my winter feeding grounds: the ocean. There, I can have as much of the seaweed and plants as I want, and the bonus is I have never seen a human down where I go for meals. I am also a great swimmer, and I can stay submerged for a very long time. I have been to a lot of places in the world by travelling in the oceans, but New Brunswick is the best, and now that I have found a friend, I won’t be so lonely. I hope you like our story, and I know you will learn some pretty interesting things about the ocean and about nature all around us. I sure enjoyed this chance to talk to everyone. Thanks again, Jessica.

In 1995, Lockard Young started banging away at the computer, and before long he had completed five chapters of a book. Because the characters were named after his children, he thought it fitting to read the tale to them. Enthralled by the story, they demanded more and so Lockard wrote. The end result was a story entitled, Ryan’s Legend, and then its sequel, the Legend Returns. Two books were born, and so was a hobby.
A plumber by trade, Lockard lives with his wife in the countryside of rural New Brunswick. In addition to a number of stories he has “in the works,” Lockard also has an impressive poetry collection, inspired by his trip to South Africa.
                                                                                                                   Morning Rain Publishing

Learn about book cover design during tomorrow's Day 6 of the tour by visiting
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Creating a Book Club

As a child I didn't have a great variety of book outlets. For a short time a public library became available in my tiny, isolated community, but due to the great expense of shipping books back and forth, it's doors soon slammed closed. There was a large library in our school, though for some strange reason it was almost never utilized. I believe it was because the books needed fresh cataloging... All that to say, the people in my life who recognized my love for literature, my yearning for more of it, thankfully nurtured it in any way they could. My mother shared the novels of her youth with me, and read countless fairy tales by my bedside. My father allowed access to his collection of biographies and history books, despite their adult content. And my teachers shared the greatest works of fiction and fantasy, which were my favorite, and often purchased titles I inquired about.

I was fortunate.

Throughout the years of reading I longed for others like me. I wished to yarn about the fantastic worlds I discovered between pages with more than just the loving adults around me. They were great and all... but I was a kid!

There were of course a few friends who enjoyed reading as I did, but none were ever as consumed, dedicated, or (let's face it) obsessed, as I was. How much I would have loved a nerdy "and not ashamed of it" book club.

For this reason, I have decided to create a Middle Grade book group at my current place of work, Penson School. I introduce to you the I Love Books Club!

I want to make this club a space for any young book lover to feel at home in their passion for the power of words. This will not be your ordinary, sit around the table and be quiet, book group. I aim to reveal the energy behind the book lover's soul through vivid conversation, character charades, cover vs. content knuckle rounds, novel themed costume meets, and more! I can't wait to get started.

Another special feature I'd like to introduce to the I Love Books Club is a monthly Author Q&A or Meet and Greet event. These need not be face to face, but may be worked online through email, video, or by live Skyping. If you are a Middle Grade or Picture Book author interested in making a group of book fans very happy (as well as interested in your work) please get in touch.

Let's spread the book love! You can visit the I Love Books Club blog and keep up to date on what we're reading, what we're celebrating, and more, by clicking the link below. We'll be enjoying our first meeting this Tuesday!

 I Love Books Club
Visit the I Love Books Club Blog

Saturday, 22 August 2015

The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles Blog Tour: Day 4 BOOK TRAILER

If you've been following this blog tour, you know there's a lovely new book getting ready to release. This Middle Grade novel is the second volume to the Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, and like the first volume, is sure to capture the magical minds of young readers.

Be sure to visit the Irish American Mom tomorrow, for Day 5 of the Blog Tour! PS: Yesterday's #Stillwart Riddle answer is.... APPLEBLOSSOM.

Here's a little about this upcoming read, and the talented author responsible for it...

Enjoy this coupon, compliments of Morning Rain Publishing.
The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, Volume Two
Stillwart the Pixie is back with her rag-tag group of magical friends! Determined to complete her mission to the Northern Lands, with the hope of saving her people from extinction, she ventures from Nova Scotia to Ireland.
The journey is long and arduous, fraught with danger at every turn, but Stillwart and friends band together, knowing their precious cargo is
Find the answer tomorrow by visiting Irish American Mom!
needed. With only their wits, a cell phone, and the human they’ve come to rely on, the group presses forward, facing each obstacle with spritely courage. To make matters works, the call of the Thorn Tree is strong, making the expedition all the more urgent.
The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles are a series of six short stories detailing the life and adventures of Stillwart the Pixie and her adopted fairy family. The stories capture the Southern Land Fairy folklore by bringing to life their world, hierarchy, and the challenges they face to keep their race and magic alive.

Author Bio:
Scott Butcher is the author of “An Eagle’s Heart” and “The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles, Volumes One
and Two”. Born in Austraila to Canadian parents, Butcher spent much of his younger years travelling between the two countries. Upon completing school, he lived in Australia for 33 years before moving with his wife and three children to Canada in 2009.

And now... here it is! The Fairly Stillwart Chronicles Book Trailer Reveal...

 Volume 2

Please enter your name into this draw for a chance to win great bookish prizes!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

Wednesday, 12 August 2015

Live Interview Stress

I get very nervous when doing live Q&As. One of the reasons why I love writing so much, why writing has ever been my therapy, is because speaking is a personal trial. There are many thoughts in my head, knots of them. When I try to speak them into words, the processing from brain to mouth and tongue takes far too long, resulting in more of a jumble, pauses, and lost words. I despise this about myself. I have so much to say, and I love sharing, but speaking my mind is difficult.

Writing, however, is not.

Somehow, as a child, when I was learning to communicate, my brain found a much quicker, more successful route... through my hands. When I speak through my hands (as in writing and typing), words flow easily, comfortably. There is no stress then, and zero words get lost.

As much as I know live interviews are necessary and a wonderful way to promote my books, I fear them, and struggle my way through. But I never turn them down.

During the #YADeepCalling Blog Tour, I had the privilege of speaking with radio personality, Ms. Monica Anderson. I'd spoken with her before my first novel's release, and during that novel's book tour while visiting Harrington Harbour. This interview touches on the Wishing Stone and Other Myths, what I've learned since that novel's release, and Deep Calling.

Have a listen...

I'm currently awaiting a call from CFBS radio out of Blanc-Sablon, Quebec. I'll chat with host Vicki Driscoll about books, writing, and the scoop on Deep Calling.

I'm a bottle of nerves. I feel sick. But I'm grateful for the opportunity to share my book love.

Wish me luck!

Monday, 10 August 2015

My Thoughts on Book Tours: Virtual vs. Face-to-Face

The tour is over, and I'm exhausted! You wouldn't think a virtual book journey would tire a person, but I think planning and rolling a blog tour takes more effort than the other (since I've done both I can say with certainty, "yes, it does"). I suppose it's because of all the sharing to spaces, the giveaway notices, the buzz. Plus, a reliance on other bloggers is terribly prevalent, and delegating has always been an issue of mine. When running such a tour, be prepared for small quirks, and unexpected mishaps. Be okay with them, and be able to go with the flow.

Overall, I feel the #YADeepCalling Blog Tour was  a success. I am grateful for the space participating bloggers shared. Deep Calling's cover has been viewed by many new eyes, I've gathered more followers in each my social spaces, and managed to catch the attention of BookTube Net Magazine (wohoo, and more on that to come)! All in all, the hard work and tension payed off.

I've had to battle my urge to compare Deep Calling's release to the Wishing Stone and Other Myths'. The Wishing Stone and Other Myths, a Middle Grade, Canadian Historical Fiction, became an Amazon Best Seller its first day, and remained so for months. A year later, it's still in the top twenty. The audience for that novel has been concrete, withstanding. There's a large group of people who have purchased the novel for nostalgic reasons, or because they are interested in its history and setting. I knew Deep Calling, a Young Adult Fantasy, would require a different audience, which is why I felt a virtual tour was necessary. If you already have a specific audience in place, I absolutely recommend a face-to-face tour. Your readers will come to you, and buy books because they are already familiar with you and your work. If not, I highly suggest the virtual route. Blog tours are for gathering new peeps. Don't expect immediate sales, aim for new followers who then may become new readers.

In it's category, Deep Calling jumped to #2 on Kobo upon it's release, and found itself #4 on Amazon. It's sales rate is now rising, but on the bright side, Deep Calling is currently being reviewed by significant YA booktubers. This has been my goal, to capture the interest of it's target audience... only now I must endure the torture of awaiting their thoughts! The author's terror. I must trust in my work, and the heart I wove into Deep Calling.

After surviving this tour I have seen sharing different medias to be extremely responsive. Below is an Intro video I crafted, which was posted to two blogs on Day 1 of the tour. Mixing it up definitely works. Also, promoting a sense of teamwork with your fellow bloggers enforces a duty to 'take part'.

A good blogger will realize a tour's potential, not only for the author. Participating in a virtual tour will bring a gathering of new readers to your blog. If you're asked to take part in one, don't turn the opportunity down. And don't botch it. By sitting on the rump and watching everyone else do the work, you risk being the 'skipped blog'. Work your social spaces. Talk about your post, before, during, and after its posting. Be sure to follow all the other blogs so they, in turn, have more incentive to follow you. Don't be a 'selfie'. Retweet, like, and google+ the posts of the other bloggers. Be seen. Don't think you're simply doing the author a favor. A blog tour can work for everyone involved, as long as everyone involved is willing to wholly take part.

CREATE A HASHTAG. A group of bloggers can't waste time forever explaining what the tour is about, what has happened, and is about to take place, but having that info available is important to eyes just coming into your 'go on'. By utilizing a hashtag, viewers have the ability to step in and see all that has been discussed, posted, and shared, in regards to the tag. There is also the potential of having your hashtag trend. That takes a lot of users,and don't count on it, but realize it could happen. If your hashtag trends; Wow. Every twitter user would then see it, and just maybe, join in. Try to round up as many pals as you can, let them know which dates you'd love to have them using your tag, and where.

When choosing a hashtag, try to make it something that can be continued after the tour. Don't call it #mybookblogtour. Also, be sure to try your ideas out on Twitter before announcing it. Someone may have already snagged the title.

Have you ever planned a blog tour? What were your experiences? Would you do it again? Tell me your thoughts!

Sunday, 9 August 2015

The #YADeepCalling Giveaway winner is...

Way to go Julie! I certainly hope you enjoy reading Deep Calling. Please keep in touch. Find Deep Calling on Goodreads, and maybe let us know what you think of the book. And why not visit me while you're there! Happy reading!

For those whose names were not picked, don't fret! You can still snag Deep Calling for only $4.99

#YADeepCalling Blog Tour: DIY video on crafting Celtic charms

Here's the DIY video on how to craft a Celtic charm. In the young adult novel, Deep Calling, main characters Melanie and Shawn learn the ancient art of crafting Celtic charms. These charms just might keep the Tuatha De at arms reach. Learn how to craft your own charm, because you never know who... or what, is lurking in the shadows.

Saturday, 27 June 2015

From Hyderabad, India

When poet, Priya Prithviraj out of Hyderabad, India, asked if I'd be interested in being interviewed for her website on writing and books, I quickly agreed. Her questions were thoughtful and fun, making for an enjoyable session! Take a look...

Interview with Canadian Author, JM Lavallee, by Priya Prithviraj

Monday, 15 June 2015

In Honour of this Special Month...


            The entire town knew of our families’ feud, though no one could agree on what caused the age-old rancor.  Some said Christopher’s great-grandfather enticed my great-grandfather’s sweetheart with the use of a wily smile.  Others said a wayward uncle was guilty of stealing fish from the Anderson nets when the fishery meant food in the cupboard or penury and disgrace.  Whatever it was, the anger from the confounded event stuck and my father despised Christopher and his, and like past men of our line, expected his children to share this sentiment.

            We did not.

            My sister and I, twins and close beyond comprehension, found nothing to dislike in Christopher.  He was kind, intelligent, and delightfully handsome.  There was great pleasure in his company and it was often sought when we figured father too busy to notice.  He did notice however, and hammered our bottoms fiercely, threatening more should he catch us wandering the Anderson way a second time.

            Sister took heed.  I could not.

I’d bonded with Christopher in a light striking way, and though we’d nothing sure in common, our feelings equaled the heat of a mid-winter’s hearth.  It fired me against my father’s will and I went to Christopher often, to talk, to feel his presence, to grow through his understanding.  His appreciative smile rewarded my every visit.

I don’t believe Father knew of my indiscretion, but as I grew it became obvious he disliked me in a terrible way.  There seemed nothing I could do to curb his jibes and jeers, to deflect his boots often colliding with my torso.  I tried to please him in different ways, but even my kindest poetry sparked his ire.  This aversion caused Mother’s softness toward me and her stiffness toward him.  He blamed her womb for this, and Mother often wept when he ranted about having received cursed twins rather than a strapping son.  This was sorrowfully uncomfortable and sowed a great wedge between myself and Mother.

Sister and I avoided their qualms by playing dress up in the attic and doing one another’s hair by the shoreline.  We talked for hours in the late night about books, dreams, and boys, pretending we both were loved.  Because though Sister wasn’t openly disliked by Father, his obsession over me and mother’s unpleasant doting forced her to feel a shadow in every room, situation, and moment.  She’d taken to cutting herself, hoping they’d soon notice.

They did not.

I followed father into his portage on rackets once, with a hope of mending our differences, or at least to broach my concerns for Sister.  Not even quarter of the way in, as I chatted alongside him, father heaved me into the air, and threw me behind him upon our trail.  My woven racket twisted awkwardly beneath me and I’d shrieked with pain of which he remained completely indifferent, though somewhat disgusted.

“Get the hell home,” he wailed.  “I can’t stand to be near you!”

He left me crumpled in the snow-covered wood.

            Christopher happened by with his father’s dog team in brilliant health.  He carefully lifted me onto his sled and cleaned my tear-streaked face.  This easy acceptance of my cursed frailty strangely induced strength, and I wished everyone in the world were like him.

Father never apologized.  Not even when the doctor bound my ankle in a cast.

Later that summer I worked hard at never being home.  The only light I’d had there was Sister, but she’d been snuffed and her darkness was more than I could stand.  In Christopher’s presence I could breathe again.  His affections cleansed my mind and heart, and when at last he moved to kiss me, I let him with such a relief I felt I should lift from the ground like a feather, to dance upon the sun-kissed breeze.

I loved him. Absolutely I did, and I wished the world to know.  Such a beautiful thing to find endearment.  I had been blessed, for I knew by way of my parents, not everyone does.  But I had fallen for Christopher.  It wasn’t allowed.  And so we kept our intimacy secret.

It was after a fresh swim in the river that he found us.  We were huddled together upon the sand shivering beneath a blanket and laughing.  I’d stepped on a flounder and my shriek had moved the surrounding birds into the blue.

A shock of pain blew me backward.

I heard Chris call my name, but it was plastic compared to the raining blows upon my head, ribs, and back.  When they stopped, a great paw lifted me by the hair.

“You disgrace me,” Father spit in my face.  “What are you doing here?  How dare you shame your family like this?”

Through the blood in my eyes I saw Chris barrel into him, and Father jerked to the side.  I crumpled to the ground mere inches from them, but could do nothing when Father easily conquered Chris and beat his beautiful face bloody.

“This is your doing, Anderson.  This is all your fault!

Christopher went limp.

“If I see you together again, I’ll kill you both!”


The next day, though I could barely walk, I was shipped off, cast out.  To a catholic school I was sent, and there I quickly learned the way of a chameleon.  Blending in became my life.  I was good at it though it gave me no joy.

Sister sent a letter once, letting me know she was about to marry.  I noted the word love had not been mentioned.

“If you married,” the letter begged “he’ll let me visit.  I need to see you, to know it’s true I exist.  I look in the mirror but it’s not the same.  Not even my reflection acknowledges me.”

Chris had survived Father’s beating, she informed, but if Father even suspected I reached out to him, he’d gladly finish Chris off.

And so I kept my distance and felt my poor heart shrink.

Two years later I wed and it was a complete farce.  Having Sister near was comforting, though meeting her husband was a blow to the stomach.  He was the image of Father in character, and after that reunion I’d not see Sister again.

Without love my marriage quickly decayed, and after playing house for twenty years we grew tired of make-believe.  Without children the divorce was easy and a great solace. 

I buried myself in work.

Last week my secretary announced a visitor was requesting my time, though no appointment had been made.  “Says he’s an old friend.”

When Christopher entered the room the world stuttered and a force of energy pulsed between us.  As my secretary closed the door behind her, I moved carefully around my desk.

There was evidence of Father’s beating in his aged face, mostly in his disfigured nose, but he was still beautiful.  And he still loved me.

At first I was self-conscious.  I’d not expected such an important meeting that day.  My hand lifted to my cheek; I’d forgotten to shave.

He recognized my embarrassment and took a tentative step closer.  “You look good Frederick.”

I was defenceless and let the tears fall and my chameleon skin shed.  When his warm arms embraced me, I was a young man once again.

Amid the thorns of my past I felt rose buds bloom in my heart.  What father thought no longer mattered because this was real, this was beautiful.  My Anderson boy held me and I felt more human than I had in decades.

“This is our time, Frederick,” he whispered, and all I could do was weep.

**For LGBT Pride Month**

Tuesday, 17 February 2015

Monday, 19 January 2015


You can now find me on tumblr!

Happy New Year!

Some time has passed since I've posted. Life has been busy and sweet. I watch my boys grow from day to day as I attempt to maintain some schedule that is a mix of family, work, writing, and reading. 
November GP Coles Book Signing Event
The time flies and things come to pass. Though I wish it so, I've not time to report them all.

I'm anxious about a few things. Back in October I submitted new works to different publishers; two children's picture books, an activity book, a novel. I've also submitted to CBC's short story contest... I'll be receiving news soon, so of course have been checking my email and mailbox too frequently. Funny what waiting can do to you.

I don't think I've reported that my diligent publisher, Morning Rain Publishing, is now selling print copies of the Wishing Stone and Other Myths Learned on Gull Cliff Island... or have I? It's been so long... If I have not, then here is the link...

I enjoyed a successful book signing at Grande Prairie Coles back in November. It was nerve- wracking but enjoyable, and an experience I'll not soon forget. Come Spring I should be planning more book signings near the Edmonton area... I promise to keep you better posted!

And let's not forget... Deep Calling is Coming Soon!

November GP Coles Book Signing