Angel Falls: The Way through Hell and Back?

Angel Falls cover

“I closed my eyes and felt her presence in my veins, wandering, like a lost girl inside of a dark tunnel. My pulse pulled on her, drawing her ever closer to my heart, until the gravity was too great. I felt her soul enter, felt the familiar fire burn, felt myself grow stronger even as she vanished. And for some reason, for the first time, I cared.”

Ever wonder what the devil really wants with all those souls? Or about what hell is really like?

Angel Falls (a.k.a Hell) has an interesting perspective on what hell could really be like if it were a city with gods who could rule it as if it were their own playground.

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Angel Falls is very tongue in cheek and is an enjoyable read as you imagine what could be true about our final destination.

Related: What is heaven really like?

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This tale will open up the question as you read about a new and unique take on hell. It stands on its own, while also making you think about some of the classics and has fun references to modern culture.

Think you know all about how it went down in the Garden of Eden? This tale will enlighten you and will give you a taste of the forbidden fruit.

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The characters in the story will surprise you- it reads like a confessional mixed with a fairy tale-like romp that mixes the pilgrimage of The Canterbury Tales with Dante’s Inferno and blends in some new spices that you wouldn’t have suspected resulting in an engrossing and enjoyable journey as long as you don’t mind too much heat- and it’s the right amount of heat, so if you think you are too faint of heart for a tale of hell, don’t be afraid- angels can even make the journey here, though they need to first announce their names, positions, who they were sent from and for what purpose when they do (as Lucifer kindly reminds the visiting angel that this is protocol  when he visits him down south, much to his chagrin).

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Overall, you will be delighted at the characters you meet- and the ones you thought you knew will shock you as you learn about a whole new side of them here in Angel Falls.

No holds barred. No punches held back. The characters band together and do whatever it takes to complete an impossible mission: to break out of hell and take on heaven. The question is- will they ever be able to return alive?

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How about in real life? Does hell really compare to the stories? What do you believe hell is like?

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Do you believe in heaven and/or hell? Do you think the devil is like we imagine him to be? Please sound off in the comments below!

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

Welcome to Novel Publicity’s first ever publishing house blog tour. Join us as three new titles from Perfect Edge–we’re calling them the Perfect Edge Trifecta–tour the blogosphere in a way that just can’t be ignored. And, hey, we’ve got prizes!

About the book: It’s been rough lately for the Lord of Darkness, with ex-girlfriend drama rearing its head at inconvenient moments, ancient gods returning to take over the universe, and Satan’s own unstoppable laziness. But whatever.

Satan is okay, and he thinks you’re okay, too. This whole eternal damnation thing is all a bit of a misunderstanding.

He runs Hell as a resort, kind of. A vacation spot. The point is, he’s not a bad guy. He’s trying to save Heaven and all of creation, and he only has a dimwitted giant, a surly waitress, and a monkey to help him. So, a thank you might be nice. Maybe buy him a cup of coffee next time you see him. And you will see him.

It’s the Apocalypse, and all that.

Pick up your copy of this Fantasy/ Satire through Amazon US, Amazon UK, or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Michael Paul Gonzalez lives and writes in Los Angeles. He is the editor at ThunderDomeMag.com, an online lit zine and small press. He is at work on his next novel as you read this. Seriously. He probably just rattled off a really amazing chapter, and someday you’ll read it and think back to this moment, and exhale. Connect with Michael on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win either of two $25 Amazon gift cards, an autographed copy of Angel Falls, or an autographed copy of one of its tour mates, The Sound of Loneliness by Craig Wallwork or Stranger Will by Caleb J Ross. Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win a $25 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other $25 gift card and the 3 autographed books will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked below or on the official Perfect Edge Trifecta tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Perfect Edge Books was founded in late 2011 to unite authors whose books weren’t “obviously” commercial. Our books tend to sit in various genres all at once: literary fiction, satire, neo-noir, sci-fi, experimental prose. We believe that literary doesn’t have to mean difficult, and that difficult doesn’t just mean pointless. We prefer to cultivate a word-of-mouth approach to marketing, and keep production as simple as we can. Learn more at www.PerfectEdgeBooks.com.

Learn more about Angel Falls‘s tour mates HERE.

Perfect Edge Trifecta

Enter the contest to win prizes! Get your code here!

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Persnickety Princess: Or a Lesson in How (NOT?) To Be Rescued!

Persnickety Princess cover.jpgEver wonder what it would really be like to be a princess from the classic fairy tales you read as a child? Would you dwindle your time away in the highest tower waiting for the day that your handsome Prince Charming will dash in (if he ever arrives, that is…) to your rescue?

Lavender, the Princess of a particular purple castle, decides to try to speed up the waiting process (after all, it’s been TOO long already, and no prince seems to want someone who is so….picky? Is that the right word?)

The irony of the story adds to its enchantment. There are some definite laugh out loud moments (which is not princess-like at all, according to our Resident Princess, I might add!) that add to the lovableness of the story.

What do you get when you take a princess who waits in a tower all day, mix in a fire breathing dragon, a not so wicked witch and a prince who tells it like it is and falls in love with the sister of the princess waiting to be rescued for years? You get the Persnickety Princess: A princess who will do nothing short of throwing herself in harm’s way,  even if that means inventing some danger for herself that she must be rescued from by her prince.

Enter Petunia, the princess who doesn’t need rescuing. She ends up turning the tables on the prince and turning her sister’s plans upside down. (How does the Happily-Ever-After Ratio of The Fairy Tale deal with this?) The princess learns how being so persnickety might not really help her (as well as some other crucial lessons that are not taught in Princess School these days!)  And she learns what happily- ever-after might really mean!

This could be a how to for girls today, as it shows that you don’t have to wait to be rescued and that not every guy who claims to be a prince is really the one for you. The persnickety princess just might find a dashing suitor who looks beyond all her…. finickiness(?) to see that she might be quite a beauty after all.

A charming love story with a funny twist at the end, it will keep you hanging onto every word of the Bard and forgetting that there is a story teller at all (until the end!) as you go along for the adventure and as are slightly conned like the jailers of the Bard- as you find yourself on a bit of a precipice hanging right along with them!

About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the book: High up in the tallest tower of the purplest castle in the Kingdom by the Sea, Princess Lavender awaits rescue. Desperate as she may be, only the most dashing, well dressed, properly mannered prince will do. Oh, and he must stand exactly four and three-quarters inches taller than her. A princess has got to have standards, after all.

When, finally, one such prince comes to her castle—not to rescue her, but her younger sister—Lavender refuses to be ignored. Instead of waiting for the next suitor to come along, she devises a plan to put herself in danger, thus forcing the upstart prince to forget her sister and rescue her instead.

Well accustomed to getting her way, there is only one thing, unfortunately, that this princess can’t control—her luck. When her plans go awry, putting her in very real danger, will she allow the prince to rescue her as he sees fit? Will he even want to try?

And will anyone be able to find a way to rescue Lavender from her persnickety ways once and for all? Find out in this comedic tale of princes, dragons, and dreams that just may come true.

The Persnickety Princess is a lower grade chapter book intended for kids 6 to 9 years old (although kids of all ages are sure to enjoy it! Pick up your copy through Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Smashwords or Kobo Books.

About the author: I was born in the frozen wasteland of Alaska with the unfortunate stigma of being both a daydreamer and left-handed. Starting from an early age, I’ve filled my life with stories of every sort from my father’s hunting trips to the Holy Trilogy (read: Star Wars). In the fourth grade, I became more interested in telling stories of my own than listening to those of others. Doctors—being doctors—attempted to medicate them out of me, but the best cure has always been a pen, a notebook, and my crazy, unrestrained imagination. I continue to whittle away at these stories in my endless search for the one that will finally bring me back to reality. All the while, I secretly hope such a story will never come along. I hear “reality” is far too boring. Connect with Falcon on his website, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win (1) a $25 Amazon gift card, (2) a $50 Amazon gift card, or (3) a Princess Prize Pack, which includes a plush purple dragon, necklace with lavender pendant, The Fairy Godmother’s Guide to Being a Princess, tiara and wand party set, and a DVD of The Princess Bride.

Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the $50 gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes (including the awesome Princess Prize Pack) will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form on the official Persnickety Princess tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Persnickety Tour Badge

The Road to Tomorrow: Will it ever come?

Road to Tomorrow cover FINAL[1]

Will I ever get out of here? Was this the best way to do it? Will I really be able to leave him?

Such were the questions that were racing through main character Andrea’s head in Mary Metcalfe’s stirring new novel, Road to Tomorrow.

How will I get away for good? What about the kids? Will he really let me leave? Will I even survive trying to leave or will he kill me first?

Read on to enter to win a $50 Amazon gift card!

With the tension mounting as Andrea prepares her getaway, the reader becomes the character and breathes in the fear and anxiety that Andrea feels when she is trying to make fleeing from her abusive husband a reality. The reader is thrown headfirst into the action and can feel the heat and smell the smells that the character is experiencing.

Everything seems to come crashing to a halt once something unexpected happens that ruins Andrea’s attempt to escape. Will she still be able to get her freedom and her children? At first, it seems doubtful, but many surprises happen that  leave the reader wondering what will happen next.

When the unexpected turns out to  be a blessing in disguise, Andrea finds herself staying with some new friends while she is on the run and she cannot believe her good luck with this new support system that forms around her. She is staying with them while trying to get on her feet so she can get her kids back and into safety with her.

But some things might be too good to be true, after all. Andrea’s husband comes to town and pays a visit. Will he find her and get his revenge?

Not in this town!

One of the highlights (that provided some comic relief as well) was seeing how the town really stood up around Andrea and protected her as one of their own (the military catch phrase for protecting their soldiers. Andrea also has to deal with the military standing behind her husband to protect him. Will anyone still be able to protect her?) The town becomes a force of its own as they rally around Andrea and do battle for her against her abusive husband who tries to come to get her back.

This novel really stands out as a powerful message for how to show support to those dealing with and suffering from abuse and domestic violence and living under fear. It delves into the sometimes scary truth (that happens in real life!) of those whom you go to for help sometimes sending you right back out into the line of fire. But fear must not stop us from helping those we love. Andrea is able to stand strong and her family and friends also stand with her, though it doesn’t all come easily at first.

Also a testament to the courage it takes to be in the military (and to be in a military family!) and how this comes with a duty to protect and not to hurt others, Road to Tomorrow is a powerful story about what to do when you think your world has ended and how to rebuild it.

Even if the trouble comes back to haunt you again.

But armed with a plan, courage and those around her who love her, Andrea just might make it out okay.

This hits close to home for some and it is crucial to know that there is help out there. It may seem impossible, but you are loved and there is help for you. Read here on how to find out about Making a Safety Plan.

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Sometimes we don’t know or may suspect that a friend or loved one is facing abuse, read here on How to help your friend who is in this situation.

Remember, there is always hope and you can always ask for help to get to your tomorrow, no matter how rough the road may seem now.

Have you or a friend experienced abuse? What are some ways that you got help? Please share in the comments below, I want to hear your story!

“The road that is built in hope is more pleasant to the traveler than the road built in despair, even though they both lead to the same destination.”

~Marion Zimmer Bradley, The Fall of Atlantis

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About the Book – About the Author – Prizes!!!

About the book: Andrea Garrett is trying to escape her abusive marriage. Fearing for her life, she leaves her two small children with her twin brother and flees her home the day before her husband is due to arrive back from a tour of duty. After falling asleep at the wheel and landing in a ditch, her life takes on a new direction when strangers step in and introduce her to a life she could only have imagined and one that could save her soul and give her children the future they deserve. Get Road to Tomorrow through Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

About the author: Mary Metcalfe lives in the foothills of the Laurentians, northeast of Ottawa, Canada with her husband, three cats and a very large dog. Love of writing runs in the family. Their daughter is a published literary non-fiction author. Clarion Review described Mary’s debut novel as a “sparkling debut… readers will love being swept along by Winds of Change.”Road to Tomorrow is her third novel in the Look to the Future series. Connect with Mary on her website, blog, Facebook, GoodReads, or Twitter.

About the prizes: Who doesn’t love prizes? You could win one of two $50 Amazon gift cards or an autographed copy of Road to Tomorrow! Here’s what you need to do…

  1. Enter the Rafflecopter contest
  2. Leave a comment on my blog.

That’s it! One random commenter during this tour will win the first gift card. Visit more blogs for more chances to win–the full list of participating bloggers can be found here. The other two prizes will be given out via Rafflecopter. You can find the contest entry form linked here on the official Road to Tomorrow tour page via Novel Publicity. Good luck!

Road to Tomorrow Badge[1]

My Life According to Books 2012

It’s that time of the year again, when I share a little bit about my life using sentences from titles of books I read in the last year. Thanks to Pop Culture Nerd for the inspiration to write this post and a big thanks to The Picky Girl’s blog as well (who I first heard about this from! )  Check out the inspiration for the post here and also take a gander at My Life in Books from 2011!

Here is my 2012 report on my life, according to books! Enjoy reading and please comment with your choices as well, or post the link for your blog post in the comments if you post it on your blog:)

Every Monday, I look/feel like: Crewel (Crewel World) it really is a cruel world when Mondays come every week! (Gennifer Albin)

 Last time I went to a doctor/therapist was because: Marco Polo didn’t go there (Rolf Potts) We were sworn enemies. No, really- I felt like I needed to expand my horizons and thought this would be a good place to start to make sure I was headed in the right direction. I didn’t want to follow Marco Polo for that, now did I? I wanted to get to the right place and not somewhere off the map!

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Last meal I ate was: Eat that Frog! (Brian Tracy- As the man at the night market so kindly recommended, where I am currently living in Taiwan) Okay I admit it, I did not eat it. Though I did eat the stinky tofu…

My savings account is: Cloaked in Red (I read Gone by Michael Grant a few years ago, I believe, so couldn’t put that in here) Vivian Vande Velde

When a creepy guy asks for my number, I: tell him I am a Gypsy Bride and don’t have a phone (I really don’t have one though, so this is a half truth, which brings me to the next one…) (Sam Skye Lee)

Ignorant politicians make me: pull out The Liar’s Bible to cross reference what they are saying 😉 Lawrence Block

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Some people need to spend more time: Smiling! (and laughing!) Smile: The Astonishing Powers of a simple act by Ron Gutman (Try it sometime! 🙂

  My memoir could be titled: Life Nomadic (Tynan)

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If I could have I would have told my teenage self: Love must be tough (but not tough hearted towards you- the right love is healthy and loyal- it must be kind hearted!) -James Dobson

In five years I hope I am: Writing Away (Lavinia Spalding) as a successful author!  It is my goal to write my blogs more often and put my first book out (!) so here’s to a happy 2013 filled with lots of joy and writing!

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Eating Frogs, Making Sh*t Happen & the Motivation to Reach your Concrete Goals

Challenges and Warriors

The Crazy Frog Goal Style Method- Doing Whatever it takes, even if it's crazy or scary

What is the thing that challenges you the most? What do you really care about? What is one thing you want to change?

In honor of the new year, I will post about a couple of inspirational books I have read or people I have heard about.

Many people may be fed up with any mention of New Year’s resolutions or change by  now. This might be because they didn’t follow through after the first day or because they didn’t see a need to make a resolution this year at all. Like a jaded warrior, you may run the other way or pull out your sword and start slashing wildly when you hear any talk of resolutions or goals. Why the fear? (Or violence?)

Here’s a quote that might give a possible answer.  “In order to change we must be sick and tired of being sick and tired.” ~ Anon.

This quote could describe how some people may feel if they constantly face failure or not following through on their goals. This is how I sometimes feel, but I am ready to dive in and make the changes that I need to in my life. Jenny Blake, motivator and awesome life coach I just found out about, may have some answers as well. She quit Google to pursue her dreams that included writing a book and she speaks about the importance of taking little steps towards your goals and not just having an all or nothing mentality on following your goals in her web conference here about how to Make Sh*t happen.  She is also the author of Life After College: The Complete Guide to Getting What You Want, a book I just discovered that may be very helpful for anyone graduating, recently graduated, or feeling like they should have done something more after this so-called graduation into real life. It is also helpful for anyone wishing to make changes in their life and turn things around.

Samurai Style Method: Facing your Fears to carry out your goals (and not stabbing blindly at them)

I have also been reading called Eat That Frog!: 21 Great Ways to Stop Procrastinating and Get More Done in Less Time by Brian Tracy.  Don’t turn away yet, as this book is powerful and packs a punch that goes straight to the core of what you need to do to change your habits that bring you nowhere. You need to take the right steps and this cuts right to the bone of the issue. There is so much you can take away from this book, but a few helpful tips it suggests are:

  • Do something, whatever it is and however small it is, RIGHT NOW towards your goal. Taking the first step is always very difficult and just starting can really be a great motivation for you to keep going.
  • It also lets you know how important it is to develop the right habits, as they can determine how successful you are. This is important because what you spend your time doing, or what you are used to doing can determine what opportunities you open yourself up for and what you miss out on because your habits or ways of doing things get in the way.
  • The importance of Visualization and seeing yourself successful and as the person you would like to be. This is similar to Jenny Blake’s method of Act As If.
  • The super importance of writing your goals down. This allows you to see your goals in concrete form, or rather, on paper I should say. Or Concrete Paper? Check out Papercrete here- recycling paper into concrete
  • I won’t say anymore about what the book advises you, just that it is awesome advice presented in a way that allows you to apply it to your life right away to make true changes.

Other Inspirational people who really blew me away

Alicia Kozakiewicz  is someone who survived being kidnapped and exploited for human trafficking. She was rescued by a FBI team and now has goals to prevent others from experiencing the trauma that she did. She is currently going to school to reach her dreams of being on a FBI team herself.

“I’d like,” she says, “to ultimately become the person who rescues the child, and then helps to recover that child’s soul.” 

Find out more about her at the Alicia Project

Someone else who has touched my heart ever since I heard about her is Elizabeth Smart. I was glued to the TV and scoured the internet trying to find out more about her and praying that she would return home safely and soon. Elizabeth and Alicia created a video on how everyone can help to rescue children who have been kidnapped and held in horrible conditions against their wills, just like they were. Everyone can be a hero and it starts with taking a single step, a single click of your mouse. Check out their video here, called Not One More Child and determine today how many more children should have to be stuck in slavery.

Issues like this really touch my heart and set it on fire. I will make a difference for these children, many who have nobody out there fighting for them. And EVERYBODY  can make a difference for the causes they believe in. The Wikipedia Blackout has shown us this. Where there is a fire, there is a way, a solution to that fire. You have to spread the fire to get to the solution. What are the causes that you believe in, that you are wildly passionate about? Please share below, I would love to hear!

What happens when Shadows from the Past return to haunt you?

Review: Shadows from the Past by Ashley Dawn

Shadows from the Past opens up with a bang, literally. This is one story that really hooks you in and keeps hold of you. It is one that I did not want to put down and found myself wondering what would happen next.

 Bullets and shadows and a faceless murderer. It’s the stuff of nightmares. This is the problem that the main character, Aurora, an undercover cop, must face. She has had nightmares every night that she has been on her undercover stakeout, trying to put a name to the shadows. It tortures her that she is helpless to solve the crime and find out who the murderer is.

And what happens when there are characters that you fall in love with and you root for that unlikely couple? You know, that one where it seems they will never get together, even though they are so right for each other? But this is not just a love story, it’s a try-to-say-it-while-the-bullets-fly-around-you type of story, the one where you hope against hope that it’s not too late to tell people how you feel about them.

This is Christian suspense that holds your interest and doesn’t go over the top with the message. You really get to know the characters and feel their struggles. It is a great story about God coming through even when everything seems to be impossible.

It shows how it is important to trust God even when that is the last thing that seems to make sense. Because God truly does have the best for His children. And He sees them through loving eyes. One may look at themselves completely differently and focus on their faults. But the characters and events in this story really help you to explore what is going on with your own life and helps you to see that God really is there and He really can and does work everything out. Against all odds.

Bullets. Love. Inspiration. It’s all there.

Blog & Author Kidnapped? Masquerade Tour: Review of Toonopolis & Interview with Author

Author Jeremy Rodden: Whereabouts unknown.

His message asking for our help: “Someone has hijacked my blog as part of the Indie Book Collective’s Masquerade blog tour!  Not only has the fiend kidnapped me, but they also stole my shtick in talking about cartoons!

Read the post and try to figure out which of the 12 authors stole my blog for the day.  If you comment on the post, I will give you a free eCopy of Toonopolis: Gemini, my Kindle bestselling cartoon novel!

Also, you’ll be entered into a drawing for my prize pack called “Cartoons Through The Years,” including a Looney Tunes Golden Collection DVD, Animaniacs Volume 1 DVD, and an autographed hardcover copy of Toonopolis: Gemini.

Come help me pull the mask off this villain.  If you are a meddling kid, all the better!”

Bookwormcastlegirl: I am one of the sponsors for the Masquerade Blog Tour! Check out the site here for more info!

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Review of Toonopolis by Jeremy Rodden

It has the fantastical quirkiness of Alice in Wonderland, the uniqueness of Willy Wonka, the magic of Never Never Land, along with a sprinkle of the darkness/gothic wonder from Tim Burton and the other-worldness of Neil Gaiman’s Coraline, and then some. But at the same time it is an unparalled universe (or parallel universe) Tooniverse that is all its own.

You want to know what is going on with this character as he wakes up and finds himself in this new alternate reality, feeling quite disoriented and a bit like he fell down the strangest rabbit hole known to man (or cartoon, for this matter).  The main character, who christens himself Gemini, (having to pull a name from the air, the Mad Hatter’s hat,  his scattered and lost memories) really pulls you in as you discover this new world he is thrown into. It is a fantasy type world where everyday is Saturday morning, the popular time for nonstop cartoons. He becomes a cartoon version of himself, so to speak, although he is actually dubbed an Outsider. Lucky for him, this means he has even more power than the toons around him do.

You won’t find Bugs Bunny here or The Famous Mouse (as Gemini sadly discovers), but you will find many loveable characters as you embark with Gemini on this adventure. He at first views it as a fun experiment type virtual world (which is partly true) but then he starts to see the bigger picture. He realizes that they are real, just like him and they do feel courage, fear, pain, love, loss and other emotions.

Science fiction and fantasy fans are not the only ones who will love the world of Toonopolis, as it will pull in anyone who loves an adventure (read:epic) and it works really well to remind you of that childhood joy you found in a really good story. Toonopolis has it all: Great references to some of your favorite cartoons, childhood stories and movies that you loved as well as amusing jokes about the current trends in books and what people like to read about (Bloodthirsty vamps? Anime? Superheroes and annoying sidekicks? It’s all here!)

*Insert Distracting Sidenote: There is even some (hidden) love for fans of a certain video game (which is my all time favorite one now that you mention it) that involves a talking frog, time travel, a silent type as the leading character and a tomboy princess, as well as a couple magical worlds of its own- are you a fan? Please comment by following the link in the parentheses, glad you found me!) END DISTRACTING SIDENOTE  (For New Game+ option click here – for real!) *

Back to the world of Toonoplis, you will find yourself smiling and laughing along with the characters. In the cartoon world, there is a fun mix of tongue in cheek humor, puns, parodies,  and plays on words.

The back story is also very enthralling to follow, as you get an inside look at this “experiment”- i.e, how  and why Gemini  was thrown into this world and what he does/doesn’t remember. This could be very dangerous for him and adds a serious undertone to his adventures that shows there is more at stake than meets the eye and makes the read even more into one of those books that you just can’t put down.

This is a great place to visit and you will find yourself wanting to return to this world to hear more about the character’s adventures and this very unique creation that is the Tooniverse! Luckily for you too, as there will be more to come in the Toonopolis Files. Keep reading for more juicy info about the Tooniverse below and to find out more about the kidnapped author!

Toonopolis: Interview Questions

Bookwormcastlegirl: Thank you for joining me for this interview! I know you have been kidnapped as part of the Masquerade Blog Tour, so I am glad that I was able to get this clandestine interview without your kidnapper finding out… 😉 I know you don’t have a lot of time before your kidnapper/blog hijacker notices, so here goes:

What was your goal in writing Toonopolis?

Jeremy:  I had two goals. The first goal was to get the ideas out of my head that have been floating around since I was in high school. Toonopolis was a world created for an online fiction game when I was a senior in high school and it never left. Second was just to tell a fun story that had humor in it. I find so many stories in my favorite genre (fantasy) tend to have ulterior motives and underlying messages (like Narnia being one long Christian allegory or His Dark Materials heavily espousing atheist ideology). More of them need to just be what they’re supposed to be: fantastic stories for entertainment purposes.

Bookwormcastlegirl:  Toonopolis is a unique world all its own. I know you are a devoted reader as I am and have mentioned Alice in Wonderland as the type of fantastical magnetism you wish your own created world to have, among other books as your inspirations. Where do you get your inspiration from for this world you have created? Related to this, what are your favorite childhood stories and/or cartoons?

Jeremy: A lot of my inspiration comes from some of my other favorite childhood stories such as The Wizard of Oz and The NeverEnding Story as well as movies such as Who Framed Roger Rabbit and the Pagemaster. My favorite cartoons as a kid were Tiny Toon Adventures and Animaniacs. There is a reason that many people pick up the connection to the parody-style humor of these shows, as they were the ones I watched the most when I was younger!

Bookwormcastlegirl:  Once I got enchanted by the world you had created, I did not wish to leave it and definitely wanted more of Toonopolis and the dynamic characters. Where do you see this world and the characters going?

Jeremy: I have a lot more books planned, including the recently released novella for Anchihiiroo (the Rogue from Animetown). I have several more novellas planned for minor characters as well as two more books to the Toonopolis Files series. These will introduce new characters (and new sections of Toonopolis) as well as explore more from existing characters. Lastly, there is also a dual-trilogy planned to follow up with the Toonopolis Files that will be co-written with another author who has known Toonopolis since I first created it. This will be a trilogy of paired novels (six books total) that tell a brand new story. I will be writing the story from the perspective of my protagonists (such as Gemini, Jimbob, etc.) and Nelson Díaz will be writing it from the perspective of brand new antagonists.

Bookwormcastlegirl:  About those characters that I love. How did you make the characters so unique?

Jeremy: I can’t really answer that except that they are very alive in my mind. With some of the secondary characters, I started with stock characters (such as Miss Fire and Hawk) and just allowed them to grow and respond to situations that they normally wouldn’t face. A stock character in a stock world is boring. A stock character in a different world becomes a whole new creation. My main characters have existed in my mind for over ten years. They’ve grown and changed over the years. Gemini, for example, was originally Kid Gemini and 3 years younger. Jimbob gained a new wrinkle a few years ago that people will learn when they read the book.

Bookwormcastlegirl:  Jimbob is definitely a great character! When writing your characters, do they ever surprise you?

Jeremy: Absolutely! When I write my Toonopolis stories, I often outline the chapters very loosely. I put the characters in a new environment, give them a purpose, and then see what happens from there. The end result is often surprising to me but I’ve learned that it is much better (and usually funnier) to let them react and just capture it that way.

Bookwormcastlegirl: How did you create the rules for the cartoon world, i.e., the abilities of the cartoons as well as the “Outsiders”, who have different “rules” so to speak?

Jeremy: I started with some core rules when I first created Toonopolis for my online fiction writing game ten years ago. A lot of the cartoon rules (such as C-Space and Gravity Effectiveness Displacement) are adapted from watching lots of cartoons myself (and there exist websites online that have documented many of them). As for the rules of how the Tooniverse works? Those have been developed over the years. I have some good friends who know and love Toonopolis and will often just ask me series of ‘what-if’ questions. These questions helped me fully understand the complexity of Toonopolis and the Tooniverse well before I sat down to write even the first book. As crazy as this world is, there is order amongst the chaos!

Bookwormcastlegirl: Speaking of rules, are there any “rules” you stick to for writing, such as times, methods, or how you plan a novel?

Jeremy: I have preferred methods but being a stay-at-home dad to two boys (6 and 1) makes those fly out the window. I love to be sitting alone with music playing (usually something instrumental, like video game or movie soundtracks) in large chunks of time. Since that can’t work, I just write when I can. Sometimes it’s early in the morning if the baby decides he wants to be up at 5 AM. Sometimes it’s during that blessed time of day where the 6 year old is at school and the baby is napping (of course, often I have a boatload of housework to do during this time). As for planning out a novel, I don’t write out very detailed outlines. I prefer to just put the setting and 2-3 bullet points for the chapter. This allows the story to flow where it feels more natural instead of me forcing it into detailed ideas that I plan out in advance. This works well for me considering the fluid nature of Toonopolis itself, but might not work as well for someone writing a more serious work.

Bookwormcastlegirl: Enough about rules 😉 … Now for a more “creative/fun” question: If you got stuck in a cartoon of your choice, what would it be and why? Would you be able to get back out of this said cartoon (if you wanted to, that is)?

Jeremy: Man, that’s a tough one. Right now I am enjoying Thundercats and Voltron Force a ton, but I think both of those worlds are a little serious and dangerous for me. I think I’d have to go a little more classic and get into the Looney Tunes world (but not the Looney Tunes Show currently airing, because I’d have to punch Lola repeatedly in the face). It’d be fun to be in one of the worlds where it all began. Watching Wile E. Coyote demonstrate laws of cartoon physics in person would be great. Also, being a classic cartoon… no one ever REALLY gets hurt or dies. That’s one of the core rules of Toonopolis that is… erm… rarely broken… unless…

Bookwormcastlegirl: Unless…?! I know, I know, your hands are tied. 😉 Onto my next question, then.  As you may know, I have a new special page on my blog for all of our fellow and prospective writers. What advice would you give to all of the writers out there? Any advice about the world of publishing?

Jeremy: The first bit of advice is to make sure you never stop reading. I found I have trouble writing during chunks of time where I don’t keep reading the way I normally do. It also helps to read outside your own genre to improve your writing ability and range. Publishing is a scary thing, especially if you plan on going on your own like I did. I created my own publishing company and spent 3 months filling my brain with information on printing, fonts, formatting, and all sorts of craziness that isn’t nearly as fun as writing. If you’re going to do it, just remember that it takes time and a lot of work but is very worth it in the end. Just make sure that you can produce a professional quality product if you want to be able to be taken seriously. This includes a pro-looking cover (I paid an artist to do mine) and proper editing (again, worth the investment to hire a pro). Just because you feel you can self-edit, make your own cover, and throw your work on Kindle just because you want to save money, doesn’t mean you should (unless you are an editor/artist/etc.).

Bookwormcastlegirl: Is there anything else that you would like to share or expand on?

Jeremy: I would love to throw out the information regarding a completely different project that I am currently working on. I am accepting submissions for non-fiction essays by other stay-at-home dads to be published as a collection under the title The Myth of Mr. Mom. Anyone interested can get all the details here: http://www.toonopolis.com/2011/10/06/hey-stay-at-home-dads-wanna-be-published/

Bookwormcastlegirl: Thank you so much for your time, it is always fun to find out more about a world that you love being pulled into as you are reading! I hope you haven’t been roped into this too much and hope you get free soon!

Jeremy: Thanks for taking the time to interview me.  I’m glad the kidnapper didn’t take away my iPhone so I could still communicate with people!  It’s also the only thing giving me light!

Read the author’s free novella Anchihiiroo here! It is the backstory of one of the characters from the Tooniverse, review to come soon!

Don’t forget to comment below to get a free eCopy of Toonopolis: Gemini, a world you will not wish to leave once you enter it! You will also be entered into the drawing! Visit The Tooniverse to find out more about the novel, the Masquerade Blog Tour, as well as how to find out what happened to Jeremy!