White Chalk, Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake & The Prairie Winter


I can smell it cooking, and I know it doesn’t sound like it has much to do with the book, but that Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake I’m making is not only almost the same colour as the book cover, it’s just as tasty as that lollipop in Chelle’s mouth.

Did I actually say that?

I did, but I did it to make a point.

White Chalk has been described as a novel inline with “White Oleander”, “Lolita” and “Thirteen Reasons Why”. It was not easy to read, it made me think about things in a different way, and it tested my boundaries. (Which are pretty wide, so that’s saying something.)

The story is set in North Dakota, a state I was intimately familiar with in my youth. It feels odd, to say youth, as I sit in a living room that is no longer on a farm, situated in the centre of a city, and it feels like I’ve come a very long way from where I began. Chelle is 14, and oddly enough, that’s the age I first engaged with and made friends with a great many people in the state known now for things like the Bakkin oil fields, Fargo (the movie and the city) and the International Peace Gardens/Music Camp.

Tyler has a way of transporting the reader into the mind and body of her characters. It was both disconcerting, terrifying and beautiful. The issues brought up in the book aren’t easy to deal with. Chelle’s relationship with her teacher is written from her point of view, and its obvious Tyler went to great lengths to get inside the head of a 14 year old girl who believes she is ‘in love’.

I hate to even use air quotes, but I’m not sure how exactly to describe what Chelle feels. It’s complex in the least, and crosses lines that most people are uncomfortable talking about. Chelle gets pleasure out of her relationships too, and its heart-breaking and sad, and wrong in so many ways, but beautifully told.

I’m not assigning this book a rating, as I work for Novel Publicity and Pavarti K Tyler herself. As with most of my clients though, I think this book has an important story to tell. I’ve thought a lot about why I end up working with the people I do, and its often because of some smaller link, or mutual interest in our lives, no matter how far apart we are.

About the Book

WCFinalCover

Click to buy on Amazon

Evolved Publishing presents an intimate glance inside teenage angst and confusion, and one talented but troubled girl’s attempt to make sense of life, in the coming-of-age tale, “White Chalk,” by award-winning author Pavarti K. Tyler. [Literary, New Adult, Women's Fiction]

Chelle isn’t a typical 13-year-old girl—she doesn’t laugh with friends, play sports, or hang out at the mall after school. Instead, she navigates a world well beyond her years.

Life in Dawson, ND spins on as she grasps at people, pleading for someone to save her—to return her to the simple childhood of unicorns on her bedroom wall and stories on her father’s knee.

When Troy Christiansen walks into her life, Chelle is desperate to believe his arrival will be her salvation. So much so, she forgets to save herself. After experiencing a tragedy at school, her world begins to crack, causing a deeper scar in her already fragile psyche.

Follow Chelle’s twisted tale of modern adolescence, as she travels down the rabbit hole into a reality none of us wants to admit actually exists.

About the Author

HeadshotAward winning author of multi-cultural and transgressive literature, Pavarti K Tyler is an artist, wife, mother and number cruncher. She graduated Smith College in 1999 with a degree in Theatre. After graduation, she moved to New York, where she worked as a Dramaturge, Assistant Director and Production Manager on productions both on and off Broadway. Later, Pavarti went to work in the finance industry several international law firms. She now lives with her husband, two daughters and one very large, very terrible dog. She keeps busy working with fabulous authors as the Director of Marketing at Novel Publicity and penning her next genre bending novel.

White Chalk (Evolved Publishing) marks Tyler’s third full length novel and promises readers familiar with her work the same mind bending experience. Her other projects include: Shadow on the Wall (Fighting Monkey Press) and Two Moons of Sera (Fighting Monkey Press). Shadow on the Wall has received many awards: Winner of the General Fiction/Novel Category of the 2012 Next Generation Indie Book Awards, Winner in the Fiction: Multicultural category for The 2012 USA Best Book Awards, and Finalist in the Multicultural Fiction category for the 2012 International Book Awards.

White Chalk has been hailed as “brave”, “raw”, and “destroyingly beautiful”. In line with novels such as White Oleander, Thirteen Reasons Why and Gemma, White Chalk invites you to witness one girl’s heartrending story of confusion and desperation.

You can find out more about Pavarti K Tyler here:

Website: http://www.pavarti.com
Twitter: PavartiDevi
Facebook: Facebook profile
Blog: http://www.pavarti.com

Oh, you’re wondering about that delicious coffee cake, which goes really well with Zaphy organic red wine by the way.

Cherry Cream Cheese Coffee Cake

Cake

2 1/4 cups flour
3/4 cups fair trade cane sugar
1/2 tsp each, baking soda, baking powder & salt
1 egg slightly beaten
3/4 cup Lime Greek Yogurt
1 tsp almond extract

Mix the flour & sugar, blend in the butter with a pastry blender until crumbly (reserve 1/2 cup crumb mixture at this point.) Add other dry ingredients. Mix egg, yogurt and almond extract in a 2 cup measuring cup then combine with flour mixture and press into a 9×9 pan or a spring form pan.

Filling

1 pkg cream cheese softened and cubed
1/4 cup fair trade cane sugar (from 10,000 Villages here in Brandon!)
2 eggs

You may find you’re okay with only one egg, and rather than blend sugar & cream cheese first, I threw them all in the blender, and let it work its magic for 1 minute.

Top crumb mixture with filling, add 1 cup of cherry pie filling. For the cherry pie filling, I used my own made with fruit picked over the summer with Fruit Share Manitoba here in Brandon. The original recipe calls for 1 21 oz. can, I used a little more than 1/2 a yogurt container (the larger ones). Top the cherries with crumb mixture that was reserved, and add 1/2 cup slivered almonds, and/or 1/4 cup of toffee bits. (Really, you can top this with whatever you like. . . I almost shredded the white chocolate. maybe next time!)

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Naawe, by Eleanor T Beaty: Launch Event Sign Up


Launch events are so important for authors – and especially for Indie authors. One way to help out is to read an advanced copy and review for the day of the launch, and other great ways are spotlights, interviews and guest posts.

Novel Publicity is currently recruiting bloggers for a great event coming up in May. We like to give you lots of time to read, but are confident you’ll breeze through this captivating middle grade book in no time!

Why sign up for another blog tour & event?

I can come up with many reasons, from really simple – you get to read a great book for free – to much more in depth. Here are just a few reasons why joining a Novel Publicity event is special, and aims to make your experience an enjoyable one.

  1. You’ll get the ebook to read in the format of your choice, and lots of time to read it. This is a quick read, and the event doesn’t start until May 5th, so you’ll have lots of time to spend with this book – you might even enjoy reading it with or alongside your kids! This is such a new book, it’s not even live on GoodReads and Amazon yet, so you really are getting an exclusive look at a new book before anyone else if you sign up to review.
  2. It’s not a lot of extra effort for you – Novel Publicity is great for providing you will well formatted, posts so you have all the information and links to the contests and tour pages you need. All you have to do? Copy & paste! Many bloggers write an intro, or work the post into something else they’re blogging about that way, and…
  3. It’s a great way to get more readership on your blog. We’re good at tweeting out your posts, and linking them to the tour page as soon as they’re live. You’ll meet lots of new bloggers, and help out a great author at the same time.

Reviews are just one way to help authors, these types of events also help the cover artists, and the whole team that works with the author. Reviewing before a launch of a book can be a great way to help and author build excitement around their latest work, and simple things like updating what page you’re on on GoodReads is an excellent way to help before the launch day.

Reviewing can be tough, and sometimes we just don’t connect with a book, but even if that’s the case, open and honest reviews are so very important to authors. Novel Publicity never asks for positive reviews, and always makes sure bloggers and reviewers know that honesty is more important, and constructive criticism is a great way for authors to learn.

Now that you know why we want you to sign up for this book, here’s a little more about the story. It’s captivating and fresh, and a great book for any middle grade reader.

Deep in the heart of the Amazon jungle lives a magical race of creatures. Some say the Curupiras are the protectors of the Amazon and all who live there, but others say they are mischievous demons bent on torture and destruction. One boy is about to find out the truth.

Naawe, a young Mani Indian and only son to the chief, is nearing the age of manhood, yet has no desire to grow up. Blessed with the ability to speak to animals, he has been an outcast his whole life, ridiculed by his fellow tribesmen. He finds solace in the company of his animal friends, especially Odu, his armadillo, with whom he spends most of his time. His indifference towards the tribe and constant disobedience brings shame to his father, and tribe members doubt whether Naawe will ever be ready to lead.

But when Odu is kidnapped right before his eyes by an invisible enemy, he must embrace responsibility if he has any hope of finding his friend. The journey will take him farther into the Amazon than he has ever gone, and push him to his physical limits. Naawe discovers a dark evil that threatens to destroy the forest, its magic and its native tribes. When he learns he might not be able to save both his people and Odu, he must leave behind his childish ways forever. Will Naawe sacrifice his one chance at rescuing Odu to save his people and their home?

You can click the book up there to sign up now, or click here to connect with Eleanor on her website & blog!

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Daughter of the Sea and the Sky, Home is where the ? is.


I wanted to write a post to go along with this beautiful cover reveal. I’ve also read the ARC, but want to leave it up to you to to read without giving anything away.

I’ve mentioned before that I read quickly, but now I’m becoming increasingly frustrated with my lack of time. I’m the daughter of a farmer, and a farmer’s wife. Now, in my mid-thirties, I’m trying to find a path that works for me, and allows me to be true to my roots. Or put down roots at all.

I’m not a city girl – those were my cousins that came out to play on the farm during the summer. Back then, I didn’t understand why they held so much fascination with the farm, the animals, or just being away from people.

After living in a medium sized city for more than 15 years, I now understand more about why they felt that way.

I long to go back to the farm, with open skies, wild water, and nature around me at every step. It smells different, tastes different, and it actually gets DARK at night. (yes, after 15 years, I still notice that).

The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky is such a touching story, and hits pretty close to ‘home’ for me.

What I’m learning, is that home can be wherever you make it, it can be a place you long to go back to, or a place you make your own.

I think the key is figuring out when to put down roots somewhere else, and keep the past as a memory.

Oh, and it’s still National Poetry Month, so while I’m not doing it every day, I’m at least committed to doing it each time I blog.

Today’s prompt is to write a love poem . . . but the object of the poem should be inanimate. You can write a love poem to your favorite pen, the teddy bear you had as a child (and maybe still have), or anything else, so long as it’s not alive! Happy writing. ~ http://www.napowrimo.net/

She’s always there,
staring, with silver lit eyes,
a point on the horizon of love.

Calling us back
To times and places long forgotten,
With sun and wind
sprinkling senses with memories
With water and nature
sending the spyche on a long journey

Of depth, discovery and destiny.
Call me back home, with your white sands,
siren call
and love light on the horizon.

Also, here’s a neat post on teaching poetry in schools.

The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky by David Litwack

From the author of There Comes a Prophet and Along the Watchtower comes a new literary journey exploring the clash between reason and faith, and the power of hope and love.

After centuries of religiously motivated war, the world has been split in two. Now the Blessed Lands are ruled by pure faith, while in the Republic, reason is the guiding light—two different realms, kept apart and at peace by a treaty and an ocean.

DaughterDuckySummary: A mysterious nine-year-old from the Blessed Lands sails into the lives of a couple in the Republic, claiming to be the Daughter of the Sea and the Sky. Is she a troubled child longing to return home, or a powerful prophet sent to unravel the fabric of the Republic? The answer will change the lives of all she meets… and perhaps their world as well.

Author: David Litwack

Genre: Fantasy/Speculative Literary Fiction

Release Date: May 19th, 2014

Publisher: Evolved Publishing

Now, let’s celebrate! Tell the world about this great title below and enter to win one of these great prizes: You can find the Rafflecopter give-a-way on my facebook page here!

Read an Excerpt:

Jason grabbed the girl just as she began to sink. Despite the buffeting sea, he carried her back to the shore without straining and lay her fragile form on a swath of grass beyond the rocks—a slip of a child no more than nine or ten years old.

Plain cotton pants clung to the girl’s legs, and an elaborately embroidered tunic covered her slender frame—the typical garb of the zealots, but other than her clothing, she looked nothing like a zealot. Her skin was light and perfect, unblemished but for a trickle of blood on her arm. Her golden hair hung down to the middle of her back, and her round eyes held the color of the ocean.

Were Helena a believer, she’d have considered this the face of an angel.

Jason offered his bottle, but the girl shied away. Helena cradled the child’s head and tilted her chin while he trickled a few drops into her mouth.

The girl licked her cracked lips and opened for more. After she’d drunk her fill, she turned to Helena. Her eyes grabbed and held. “The dream,” she said. “It’s true. I can see it in your eyes.”

Helena felt a sudden urge to distract the girl, to disrupt that penetrating gaze. “Who are you?”

The girl ignored the question, instead resting her hand on Jason’s forearm.

His muscles twitched as if he were unsure whether to linger or jerk away.

“Your arm is hot,” she said.

“That’s because I’ve been running.”

The girl’s ocean-blue eyes opened wider. “From what?”

He withdrew his arm and flexed his fingers. “Are you from the Blessed Lands?”

The girl nodded.

“Why would you make such a dangerous voyage alone in such a small boat?”

“I was in no danger,” she said.

He waved a hand at the flotsam, still surging in the tide. “But your boat’s destroyed, and it took us to save you.”

“Yes, I suppose.” She looked back out to sea as if expecting to find her boat still afloat. “Then I thank Lord Kanakunai for sparing me and delivering me to kind people who would help.”

“But who are you?” Helena said more insistently.

The girl motioned for more to drink, this time grasping the bottle with both hands and emptying it. When she finished, she sat up and lifted her chin like royalty. “I am Kailani, the daughter of the sea and the sky.”

About the Author:

David Front PageThe urge to write first struck at age sixteen when working on a newsletter at a youth encampment in the woods of northern Maine. It may have been the wild night when lightning flashed at sunset followed by the northern lights rippling after dark. Or maybe it was the newsletter’s editor, a girl with eyes the color of the ocean. But he was inspired to write about the blurry line between reality and the fantastic.

Using two fingers and lots of white-out, he religiously typed five pages a day throughout college and well into his twenties. Then life intervened. He paused to raise two sons and pursue a career, in the process — and without prior plan — becoming a well-known entrepreneur in the software industry, founding several successful companies. When he found time again to daydream, the urge to write returned.

There Comes a Prophet is his first novel in this new stage of life. His second book, Along theWatchtower, will be available June 2013. And The Daughter of the Sea and the Sky isnearing completion.

David and his wife split their time between Cape Cod, Florida and anywhere else that catches their fancy. He no longer limits himself to five pages a day and is thankful every keystroke for the invention of the word processor.

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