By Debra Dunlap
Format: Currently available in ebook formats, soon to be released in print.
Genre: YA novel
Brief synopsis: Magic lives in the Americas, too…
Dog sleds. Mount Denali. 60 degrees below zero. Moose. Grizzly bears. Salmon. Gold nuggets. Blueberries. and duct tape.. The . .
To most people, the word “Alaska” evokes visions of a wild, mysterious land, but for Fallon O’Reilly, it means home. Growing up in a village hidden deep in the wilderness, she eagerly anticipates her first sojourn at the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts. Nothing dampens her enthusiasm; not the creepy bookseller, her sisters’ nagging or the world’s nastiest classmate.
However, when village inhabitants disappear, someone murders a student’s pet and she suffers a near-fatal attack by a horrible, hairy creature, Fallon’s curiosity draws her into a dark mystery. Can a twelve-year-old witch, together with her wheelchair-bound cousin and new found friend from Wyoming, uncover the identity of the evil behind the chilling events?
From the wind-swept tundra to the frozen peaks of Mount Denali, Fallon’s struggle to protect the school and her fellow students encompasses a journey of far more breadth than she expected.
Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair
For readers that enjoyed the Hogwarts Magic School, but wanted some American flavor, here it is. Dunlap placed the Borealis Academy of Magical Arts in the rugged and magical state of Alaska. Her knowledge of the nuances of living in the climate and terrain provides readers with a feel and knowledge of Alaska.
Fallon O’Rielly is born into a mystery. Even her mother does not realize what role Fallon is predestined to play. The reader is given enough information in the beginning of the book to whet their appetites for intrigue and mystery. Each chapter builds onto the suspense.
The mystery of the Ice Queen heightens. Children have disappeared. She stays on the periphery. Danger emanates from her very being. She’s not just a myth, but a horrific reality.
The main character’s cousin and best friend is wheelchair bound, but the school is prepared and supplies her with spells that enable her to navigate stairs and obstacles to her travel around the castle.
Characters are richly portrayed. The reader feels a kinship with them and shares their journey and Fallon’s fear. They will embrace the danger, mystery and intrigue in the fantasy fiction novel. I recommend this book.
BOOK MARKETING BRAINSTORM
The game, Blitz, in the book makes an ice skating rink an ideal place for book signings. The climate makes ski shops another place. (Try to get some free passes as giveaways). I know ZERO about skating. When I roller skated (in the dark ages on 4 wheels) I wanted pom poms that hang from your laces. Do they have them for ice skates? What do people use to sharpen their skates? Use them for giveaways.
Make a winter wonder basket (Alaska brochures, hot spiced cider or hot chocolate), candles, pine cones or similar items that hint at alpine wilderness, hot packs (go in your shoes to keep your feet warm, contact local patrons for hefty discounts or gift cards (especially if that’s where your signing takes place) at ski and skate shops, a warm throw blanket, Snuggy, etc…
Try to get some reviews from speed skaters, a hockey team or figure skaters. Design a neat sweatshirt with the Blitz game’s name on it. On the back you can put your book cover. Sell them or use them as giveaways.
Hold a reading at a library. Send coupon and advertising flyers about your book to skate and ski shops. Try to get them to post your flyer announcing your events.