Posts Tagged: author post

Quincy Moves To The Desert Author Guest Post

28 Jun, 2012 by in Quincy Moves to the Desert 1 comment

Fire and Ice is today’s stop on the official tour for Quincy Moves to the Desert hosted by Walker Author Tours. We have an exclusive author guest post from Camille Matthews as part of the tour.
Quincy Moves to the Desert
Hardcover, 40 pages
Published August 1st 2011
by Pathfinder Equine Publications
ISBN 0981924018

Summary From Goodreads: In the second book of the Quincy the Horse series, Quincy and his friend, Beau, leave the comforts of home and go on a big trip across the US on a huge horse van. Beau is in his element as Quincy’s tour guide. This is the story of Quincy’s journey of self-discovery. He has his doubts about the trip until Beau explains that they are going West where there are “Trails as far as a horse can see.” Quincy is soon soaking up the sights and to his amazement, he learns that “Horses are everywhere.” On the way he sees all the jobs horses can do and dreams about his own possibilities. By the time they reach the desert, he has learned something about himself. He is an American Quarterhorse, the breed that can do anything. Full of energy and imagination, the beautifully illustrated book includes a map of the US with nine highlighted states. Team Matthews and Black have provided a perfect sequel.

Author Guest Post

Write About What You Know: Advice with More than A Grain of Truth

“Write about what you know” is such a longstanding piece of advice to anyone who is interested in becoming a writer that it has definitely become a cliché. That being said, like many clichés, there is more than a grain of truth in the idea.

Here are 3 reasons that writing about what you know it great advice.


One of the most important ways to hook readers is by offering them an emotional connection. What do we know better than our passion? Writing about what you are passionate about whether it is characters engaged in a fictional adventure, an important political topic like protecting and saving the environment, an amazing trip or the challenges of parenting, is the way to offer readers an emotional connection. This is a path to finding readers who will share your passion and value your words.

Creating an Experience

Over and over readers say that what they want is characters they can care about. How do we as writers engage readers in this way? A great story is a complete experience that is more than the sum of its components because it is entered on the experiential level. Most great stories include a highly detailed description of the setting and scenes. Who can forget the experience of Scout and Jem looking down from the courthouse balcony to where Atticus and Tom sat at the defense table or the dewdrops shimmering on Charlotte’s Web? In order to create this kind of experience, one must truly know the situation in some way either through personal knowledge or careful research.


Some synonyms for the word authentic are real, genuine and valid. The glue that holds it all together is that readers come to believe. They trust that they are exploring and sharing something that is at heart truthful. Even if it is the most amazing adventure such as the Lord of the Rings trilogy, it feels more like history, a genuine description of a bygone era that one has the privilege to relive as a reader. That truth is the feeling of authenticity that writers can convey when writing about what they know. -Camille Matthews

Author’s Bio: Camille Matthews is a licensed clinical social worker and author of the Quincy the Horse Books for children ages K-4t.h. She notes that most children have empathy for animals and identify with Quincy and his adventures which involve every day challenges that children face such as loss and change, a family move, confronting a bully and sibling rivalry.

Matthews was born in Lexington, KY, an area considered by many the horse capital of the world. She loved to read and treasured her horse books. She was an only child and her favorite activity was visiting her grandfather’s farm where she learned to ride. As an adult she has been an avid equestrian. In 2002, she became certified in the relatively new field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and established the Pathfinder Program, one of the first equine assisted mental health programs in New Mexico providing EAP to children and teens.
In 2008 she had the idea for a series of children’s horse books inspired by real events in the life of one of her horses. She teamed with Michelle Black, a horse trainer and artist in Farmington, New Mexico, to create the Quincy the Horse Books. Their first book, Quincy Finds A New Home was published in 2009 and awarded a Mom’s Choice Gold in 2010. The sequel, Quincy Moves to the Desert, released in August 2011, is a recipient of Mom’s Choice Gold and Tillywig Toy awards for 2011. The series will include at least two more of Quincy’s adventures. Quincy and Buck will be released later in 2012, Quincy and His Brothersin 2013. Matthews and Black have given great care to the details of horse life in the series and Black’s vibrant, authentic artwork brings Quincy’s world to life for young readers.

Find Camille Matthews online at the following sites:

Author Guest Post with Kelli Swofford Nielsen

15 Jun, 2012 by in Shadow Mountain, stone mage wars Leave a comment

Fire and Ice has invited author Kelli Swofford Nielsen today to talk about her book which was given at BEA last week and is an awesome YA fantasy debut for 2012 from Shadow Mountain. Here’s a little about the first in the Stone Mage Wars series as well as an exclusive post from the author below the summary.

Journey to the Fringe
Stone Mage Ward Book 1
by Kelli Swofford Nielsen 
Paperback, 368 pages
Published May 1st 2012
by Shadow Mountain
ISBN 139781609088521


Summary from Goodreads: Long ago, Stone Mages were revered in Lyria. They were men and women who could use powerful tradestones to harness their unique gifts of wind, rain, and earth to help those around them. But war with the Southern realm has threatened the mages with extinction. The truth about the tradestones has been lost, and the remaining magic is dwindling. When Princess Ivy, the beloved daughter of the king, is abducted, it seems that all hope for Lyria is lost as well. But when an unlikely group of loyal subjects embarks on a dangerous journey to the far-distant Fringe, the hope of restoring crown and kingdom is renewed. Among the group is Simon, a fool with wisdom beyond his years; Gilda, a nonmagical witch; Burr, a young thief; and Merrick, a jaded sea captain. Their quest will test their courage, their strength, and their friendship. But at the Fringe, they encounter a truth that will change everything they thought they knew about themselves, and this small band of heroes must embrace the power that is their birthright and stand together as Stone Mages of Lyria
Author guest post:
“I want to thank Heather for featuring my book, Stone Mage Wars: Journey to the Fringe on her website, and am excited for the opportunity to do a post for Fire and Ice.
I have always been a big reader. I read a wide variety of genres—classics, contemporary adult fiction, mysteries, some nonfiction, but I have long been especially fond of fantasy—particularly YA fantasy. I remember reading and re-reading Robin McKinley’s books The Hero and the Crown and The Blue Sword during my difficult middle school years, and gaining an appreciation for honest, character-driven stories that feature brave heroines, magic, a little romance, and deeply-woven settings with a sense of history and authenticity.
Although I spent years developing ideas about what made great fantasy, I never considered writing my own until after I left teaching high school English to stay at home with my infant son. During that time, I read a collection of short stories by Garth Nix called Across the Wall. Before each story, Nix told a little about why or how he had written it, and I found that the way he described his thought process felt a lot like mine. I thought, maybe I should write short stories, and then I thought, maybe I should just write short chapters, and so I did. I began writing the kind of story that I found I liked reading, and over the space of a couple of years my short chapters eventually became a novel.
When I started writing Journey to the Fringe I had a basic storyline in mind driven by a few key characters—chiefly Princess Ivy, who was captured and whisked away to the perilous Fringe, only to find out that the end of the world was only an edge, and that her adventure was just beginning. I liked the idea of the magic in the novel centering on these common objects, stones, that the characters wore all the time—and took for granted. Only later would they discover that they each possessed a unique gift, in connection with their stones, that they could use for the good of their kingdom. As I wrote, more characters emerged and occasionally took the story places I hadn’t planned. They included a brave local fool, a jaded sea captain, a rejected witch, a young thief, and others. I felt that the characters grew as the story went on, and so even though I originally wrote Journey to the Fringe to stand alone, I was excited to let it continue when the publisher suggested a trilogy.
I am very excited to have Journey to the Fringe now in print! I feel pleased with my first novel and the way it turned out. However, as I am now almost finished writing the second book in the Stone Mage Wars trilogy, I am happily anticipating the opportunity to allow the story to further evolve in interesting and fulfilling ways.”
~Kelli Swofford Nielsen

About the author: Kelli Swofford Nielsen graduated from Utah State University with a bachelor’s degree in teaching English. She and her husband, Jeff, live in Chicago, Illinois, with their two sons. Journey to the Fringe is Kelli’s debut novel.

Find out more on Goodreads/ Shadow Mountain/ Deseret Book


Guest Author Post with Danielle Thorne

02 Feb, 2011 by in Uncategorized 11 comments

Fire and Ice would like to welcome author Danielle Thorne to our site. She has written a wonderful post called ” Why Imperfect is Perfect” plus she’s donated a copy of her most recent book Josette as a giveaway.

About her: Danielle Thorne is the author of Historical and Contemporary romance with such titles as THE PRIVATEER, TURTLE SOUP, and BY HEART AND COMPASS. Other work has appeared with Espresso Fiction, Every Day Fiction, Arts and Prose Magazine, Mississippi Crow, The Nantahala Review, StorySouth, Bookideas, The Mid-West Review, and more. She won an Honorable Mention in Writer’s Digest’s 2006 annual writing competition and the 2008 Awe-Struck Short Novel Contest.

Danielle writes from south of Atlanta, Georgia. She was the 2009-2010 co-chair for the New Voices Competition for young writers, is active with online author groups such as Classic Romance Revival and moderates for The Sweetest Romance Authors at the Coffee Time Romance forum boards. She lives with four sons and her husband, who is an air traffic controller. Together they enjoy travel and the outdoors, High School marching band music competition and BSA Scouting.

Why Imperfect is Perfect
Most people don’t enjoy blemishes. We throw away moldy bread, agonize over pimples and rub those little smears on the mirror. Why then, do we prefer our heroes with a few defects?

This isn’t a new idea. Jane Austen created one of the most memorable and complicated heroes in 1813 when she penned PRIDE AND PREJUDICE. Our first few encounters with Fitzwilliam Darcy do not fare well in the opening pages. How could anyone fall for such a rude snob? But in a matter of chapters and exchanges of the heart, it isn’t just Elizabeth Bennet who falls for the gentleman. Readers do, too.

Most of us started out with Prince Charming, while toddling around in our mother’s heels, but by the time reality sank its teeth into our innocent little hearts, things were changing. Suddenly there was the “bad boy.” He was the cute but always-in-trouble boy on the playground with the cool tee-shirt and sweaty hair. You know the one…he yanked your ponytail hard enough to make you cry and lured you under the monkey bars for a sloppy first kiss. We all ran from boys like that. But it was kind of fun.

Nobody wants to reach for something they don’t believe they can ever have and let’s face it–none of us are the perfect size with perfect features. Our scars from reality’s bite marks make it hard for us to buy that some perfect hero is going to sweep us off our feet and love us for eternity. And if it can’t happen for us, we have a hard time buying it can happen for a heroine, even one that we love. We need a hero with a few flaws. Whether they are physical, emotional, or just a personality quirk, flaws make our heroes more human. They give us something to forgive. (So we can forgive ourselves?) And don’t forget, there’s also the flattering idea that a woman can make a man love hard enough to actually change!

The perfect hero is imperfect. We love him despite his flaws. He loves us back, and he changes for the better. I believe this principle gives us hope, not just for our heroine’s Happily Ever After, but for our own. There are still a few good gentlemen out there. I should know, I married one!

A good romance story can be so much more than a Cinderella story. It can make us believe that despite all our blemishes we can be loved; and despite his, he’s still the next best thing to Mr. Darcy!

Find out a little more about my moody hero in JOSETTE. Inspired by Jane Austen’s work, it’s my interpretation of romance in the Regency era of elegance and manners.

Josette Price sees her future in Beddingfield Park. While her brother, George, needlessly pursues a naval career, she promises to watch over their beloved parents and the park estate. Nothing would make Josette happier than to see her sister and her self settled within the palings of Beddingfield. But dark, brooding Captain Carter rides into their lives with news that ruins everything: George has been lost at sea.

Learning the Park is entailed to their cousin, Edward, Josette must decide between marrying her fickle relation or helping her besotted sister trap him in her stead. Only Captain Carter and his delightfully spinsterish relatives can stop the Price girls from making a choice that would be the greatest tragedy of all.

Here’s to heroes!

More about JOSETTE?

Danielle Thorne