Saturday, November 13, 2010

Review of Fallon O'Rielly and the Ice Queen's Lair By Debra K. Dunlap Post 2

Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair
By Debra Dunlap

Copyright: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9865875-2-8

Price:$5.95

Format: Currently available in ebook formats, soon to be released in print.
Genre: YA novel
Brief synopsis: Magic lives in the Americas, too…

Land of the Midnight Sun. The Aurora Borealis. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Dog sleds. Mount Denali. 60 degrees below zero. Moose. Grizzly bears. Salmon. Gold nuggets. Blueberries. Bunny boots and duct tape.

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.


REVIEW

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.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Debra K. Dunlap Alaska and a Magic School

Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair
by Debra K. Dunlap
Copyright: 2010
ISBN: 978-0-9865875-2-8

Price:$5.95

Format : Currently available in ebook formats, soon to be released in print.
Genre/age group/type of publication: YA
Brief synopsis: Magic lives in the Americas, too…

Land of the Midnight Sun. The Aurora Borealis. Valley of Ten Thousand Smokes. Dog sleds. Mount Denali. 60 degrees below zero. Moose. Grizzly bears. Salmon. Gold nuggets. Blueberries. Bunny boots and duct tape.

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.

Author: Debra Dunlap
Blog Address: http://debrakdunlap.blogspot.com/

Website Address: http://debrakdunlap.com/

Email: Dkdunlap2002@yahoo.com


Bio: Born in Missouri, Debra K. Dunlap became an Alaskan resident at the age of nine months when her parents traveled north on the Alcan & settled on a wilderness homestead. She holds a B.S. in Physics and a second B.S. in Paralegal Studies, both degrees earned while raising her five beloved children. Currently residing in a small Wyoming town, she spends her days working in the legal field and her nights writing (and playing computer games!). In her first YA novel, she weaves together her education, love of Alaska and experience as a Children’s Librarian to create a hidden world of magic in the far north.


Interview

Aday: Thanks for stopping by to talk to us about Fallon O’Reilly and the Ice Queen’s Lair.

Debra: Thank you for having me, Aday.


Aday: Your book has a similar setting (a magic school) to the Harry Potter series. What does your book have to offer the fans of those books? ”

Debra: My book offers a peek into life at an American magic school. Someone asked J.K. Rowling if she planned to put Americans or other nationalities in her books. She said...if anyone wants to write about American wizards they are of course free to write their own book. The comment made me think about some of the things that are important to us as Americans; independent thought yet a team spirit, acceptance of other cultures, generosity. You will find these defining attributes (and many others!) in the book’s characters. Additionally, Alaskan history is filled with eccentric characters and interesting events, many of which are woven into the story. For the avid reader, the book holds many clues about future events, although I don’t want to say more and risk giving away the secrets!


Aday: You placed the school in Alaska. How did you become so knowledgeable about the area?

Debra: My parents moved to Alaska to homestead when I was a few months old, back in the days when the Alcan (Alaska-Canadian Highway) was a dirt road. I grew up in the Alaskan wilderness and spent most of my adult life in Alaska. Although I am familiar with the history, I conducted quite a bit of research to verify historical figures and happenings. I didn’t want my Alaskan friends to spot any mistakes!


Aday: Why did you choose Alaska?

Debra: Alaska is a rugged, magnificent land. As a small child, I believed it to be magical. Although I live elsewhere now, Alaska will always be the home of my heart. It’s the perfect setting for a story about magic and certainly is big enough to hide small communities!


Aday: I see your publisher is MuseItUp Publishing. They are a fairly new publishing house. Can you tell us about your publishing experience with them?

Debra: MuseItUpPublishing is an author’s dream publisher. Manuscripts are weighed with care and response time is excellent. Authors are treated with respect and encouraged to participate in business decisions. Suggestions are always welcomed and often incorporated. Lea Schizas, the founder, is an energetic and wonderful woman. She has created a team, not just a business. Every aspect of my experience with MIUP has been positive and I highly recommend it.


Aday: Now that your book is published what are your plans to market and promote the book?

Debra: I’m working on developing an online presence. I’ve established a website and blog, but both are in the construction stage and desperately need an update. With a full-time job and a fixer-upper home, time is always at a premium. However, I plan to work on the blog and website during vacation time over the holidays. A friend, a former librarian, plans to host book signings when Fallon O’Reilly comes out in print and I’m considering sending news releases to papers in the many states where I’ve lived.


Aday: Can you tell readers something about Fallon O’Reilly they won’t know by reading the book?

Debra : She carries a roll of duct tape in her pocket.


Aday: What can we expect to see from you in the future?

Debra: I recently completed a second YA novel, unrelated to the Magic in the Americas series and am now working on the second Fallon O’Reilly book. That may be my writing pattern, to alternate between a book in the series and an unrelated book. So many ideas, so little time!