Author Spolight: Jade Harley

The other day I was looking on Amazon for books that might be similar to Forest Secrets and happened upon an author whose work I just had to share with all of you. Jade Harley is self-confessed rebel who wants to inspire girls to stand up for what they believe in and protect the environment. Go girl!

She recently released her first novel, The Adventures of Lola, which follows thirteen-year-old Lola’s journey to save her town before disaster strikes. As Lola struggles to remain in the good graces of the people in her life, she starts to realize just how unique she truly is and the magic she held inside all along.

lola

Who or what inspired you to be an author?

I’ve always been creative; my first job was as a singer and I studied performing arts but most recently I’ve worked in the media industry. I had never considered writing a book before but my circumstances changed, I was no longer happy doing what I was doing, my company went out of business and suddenly I had this character in my head, keeping me up at night. The only way to get some sleep was to start writing her story, so you could say I didn’t get much choice in the matter. Once I started writing I realized how much I loved it.

Your author biography says you are a fierce conservationist. How do you use this passion to inspire your writing? 

I have been a vegetarian since I was twelve, way before it was commonplace. As I’ve got older I’ve become more educated on the complex issues that lead to deforestation, climate change, and animal extinction and I’ve realized that the only chance we have of saving this planet is by ensuring widespread education on these issues. I hope that my books can encourage a love of the natural world and the desire to protect both the environment and the myriad of amazing creatures that depend on the planet for their very survival.

What inspired The Adventures of Lola? Is there a takeaway that you want young readers to have after reading?

There was no inspiration, Lola was just very insistent about telling her story. I am merely the channel, she is in control. I hope that young readers escape reality for a while, (after all that’s what a good book should do) and hopefully become more interested in the world around them. It’s a big beautiful world and I want them to explore it.

Do you see yourself expanding into other genres?

Maybe who knows what will happen in the future! But for right now, I’m working on my second book and a range of coloring books and eco-clothing, watch this space…

If you were only allowed one book, what would it be and why?

The Magic Faraway Tree by Enid Blyton, because it was the first book I fell in love with. Everyone has that one book, the one that grabs them and makes them a book lover for life. The Magic Faraway Tree was that book for me.

What advice would you have for aspiring writers?

Just write. Starting is the hardest part and once it’s written be ready to learn a lot, writing is just the beginning, the real work starts trying to market it and reach your readers, I’m learning daily.

If you could send one message to your fans, what would it be?

Be in love with the adventure of life.

For more information click here: Jade’s website

Promotion

This weekend I am offering my environmental fantasy book for just $0.99. That’s less than a latte, an ice cream cone, or even a gallon of gas.

C. Hilts five star review said, “I might be a grown-up, but I enjoyed reading this to my daughter as much as she enjoyed listening. A  whimsical tale of adventure that teaches the importance of saving our environment for future generations.”

Buy Forest Secrets Today!

 

Author Spotlight: Dax Varley

Fantasy YA author, Dax Varley, loves writing books she wishes were around when she was a teen. These thrilling fantasies take her readers on journeys where love is found after an encounter with the Headless Horseman, a girl’s job in a New Age enchantment shop leads to real spells, and a glass of water tells of a mystical lost girl.

When I recently contacted her about a biopic, she offered, “How about the top 10 reasons I write?” 

And here they are:

  1. I make my own hours. No punching a clock. Unless I’m mad, of course, and the clock has offended me in some way. Would that be clocking a clock?
  1.  No business wear. I write in my jammies. Wait…I don’t literally write in or on my jammies, I wear them while writing.
  1. I’ve got a headful of stories that need to come out. If I don’t write, they continue to build until I have this unpleasant visual of my noggin popping like a balloon.
  1. I’m a pantser. So writing the story is an adventure. I love adventures.
  1. Research. Of all the books I’ve written, I’ve never had one just fall out of my head without some research. I’m constantly learning new things. (Though occasionally I feel the need to clear my browser history.)
  1. Creating characters. I love being in someone else’s skin. Even if that someone is about to go through a string of misfortunes. But, hey, conflict is fun when it’s fictional.
  1. I get to travel at home. My characters don’t live under my roof. They are set in various areas and time periods. Therefore, I must (time) travel to those places for accuracy. (See #5.)
  1. Creating new worlds. If no city, state, or country suits me, I simply make one up. Yes, that’s fantasy. And, yes, that’s so cool.
  1. Hanging out with other writers. Being part of the writing community is essential to me. Lunches, conferences, and cons are where I’m most comfortable in public…like minds and all.
  1. Fan mail! Over the years I’ve received some wonderful letters and emails. They always make me smile, and I always write back.

If you’d like to keep up with new releases by the author, follow her at:

https://www.bookbub.com/authors/daxvarley  https://www.amazon.com/-/e/B00CXJVTME https://www.facebook.com/DaxVarley/    https://twitter.com/daxvarley   https://www.daxvarley.com/blog

Dax Varley Publicity Photo

Our Connections

Have you ever thought about how we are linked together? How our connections define who we are? And how each action can either create gentle ripples or leave the waters untouched. So often we imagine ourselves as separate, just living our lives. But I believe that when we seek to understand the impact our actions can have, amazing things are possible.

Like Dean Bernal did when he befriended a wild dolphin. Then he spent half his life keeping it safe.

Watch, and be inspired. You never know, the ripples you create just might keep a beautiful creature alive.

A Dolphin’s Legacy: The Story of Dean and JoJo

When Dean told me he was lowering the price of his ebook because Discovery’s Animal Planet had plans to air Dolphins I couldn’t help but spend some time reflecting.51TsZtDmxVL._SX332_BO1,204,203,200_

A few years back I had the honor or working with naturalist and dolphin advocate, Dean Bernal, on his biopic. I spent months interviewing him, taking notes, and learning about his relationship with one amazing bottlenose dolphin named JoJo. I even traveled to Turks and Caicos to swim in JoJo’s crystal blue waters, seeing for myself the impact Dean had had on this beautiful creature. I am so proud to have been one small part of a story that moved me beyond words.

And am so glad that more people can now share in this inspirational story. Available on Amazon.com

Artania III Teaser

Alex gripped his skateboard even tighter and tried not to think of how high the ramp was. So what if it was fourteen feet straight down? As dorky as his gear looked, with elbow and knee pads, a helmet and even wrist guards, at least he was protected.  All Mom’s idea but he didn’t care what other kids thought. In 6th grade he’d almost lost her and now he’d wear an elephant costume if it meant keeping her weak heart from worrying.

Anyhow he’d skated in rocky caverns with slime-covered monsters in hot pursuit and lived to tell the tale. This was just Santa Barbara. Okay it was the Volcom Games with hundreds of people watching and he’d only been skating vert for nine months. But still his life wasn’t in danger.

He hoped.

He glanced at the audience below and saw his skateboarding buds, Jose, Zach, and Gwen, give him a thumbs-up. Not easy acts to follow. They’d each wowed the crowd with backside airs, fakies, and real clean kick flips. Alex raised three fingers for a quick wave wondering if his best friend had been able to make it, but Bartholomew’s white suit was nowhere to be seen.

“And next we have thirteen year old Alexander Devinci in his first competition. Give it up for the Southern Cal Kid.”

The crowd cheered.

Heart pounding, Alex stepped up to the ledge. He tried not to look down as he set the board’s tail over the coping. When he saw the dizzying height he took a deep breath and forced himself to anchor the wheels in place with his back foot. Closing his eyes, he imagined that he was safe at home standing in front of his easel, paintbrush about to create wonder.

And he was there. Ready.

Like a furious hand slapping paint on canvas he stomped his front foot and dropped over the vert wall. Wind whooshed past his face causing the few curls that had escaped the helmet to whip and tickle the nape of his neck. His eyes narrowed as his wheels rolled ever faster.

He hit the bottom of the ramp ready to scale the other side when the doubts began.

Were his feet in line with the bolts on deck? He’d fallen buko times over the summer because of bad foot placement, ripping five pair of jeans, scraping his knees and arms, and even dislocating his shoulder. Mom wasn’t too thrilled about that but since he’d called Dad to take him to the hospital she only had to deal with it after the joint was back in place.

The glare of summer sun on the vertical blinded him for a moment. Blinking, Alex shifted his weight and tried to remember all the tips Gwen had given him about rolling up the transition. On the ascent Alex tried to gauge his speed. Was he going fast enough for the backside ollie he planned to do over the rail?

“Go Alex, rip it!” Gwen cried from the crowd.

With a quick nod Alex aimed his board at the sky. He’d lay it down just like Tony Hawk or Christian Hosoi.

“This Santa Barbara kid is holding his own,” the commentator announced over the loudspeaker.

Higher Alex rolled, aiming straight for the lip. Everything was perfect.

He looked up. There, amongst the wispy clouds he saw something red shimmering. No, it was a sparkle. A glistening reflection off of the underbody of a creature.

The creature opened its long snout in a plaintive wail.

Dragons over Santa Barbara? What the?

And that’s when he fell.

Without Love

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Without touch

We are a dead sea

Where tides rise and fall

On a barren shore

 

Without family

We are the last white rhino

Of a nearly extinct sub-species

Waiting in vain for a mate

That never comes

 

Without love

We are but hollow shells

Exoskeleton crustaceans

Branded by the noonday sun

 

Alone

We are but specimens in a zoo

We pace before the bars

Of a hundred onlookers

Searching each face

In despair.