Southern Attraction- Young Adult Romance Book

Southern Attraction Coverart (2)

After tornadoes blast through Alabama in April of 2011; I wrote this book in memory of those that lost their homes or even their lives.  After seeing the tornado destruction and losing power for over a week, and seeing many lives changed that day, I wanted people to remember what happened not only to the state of Alabama but throughout the south.
Southern Attraction is a young adult romance book about a girl who loses her parents and is forced to live with a country-fied redneck uncle from Alabama. There she has to rediscover who she really is.  She goes from the snooty beauty queen cheerleader to part of the southern charm.  She has to choose between two young men that she likes.

Heather has everything she ever wanted; money, clothes, friends, popularity and parents that adored her. Until one terrible day, she loses it all. She is uprooted from a place she loves to a small town in Alabama with a uncle she doesn’t know. The small town of Huckleburg was nothing like Manhattan. Country rednecks owned the town and no one accepted Yankees from New York. Heather didn’t think things could get worse until a tornado comes and blast through the small town. Heather has to lose herself to rediscover what life is all about. She meets two guys that she can’t decide between who she really wants. Join Heather as she discovers that there is more to life than money and fame. Will Heather ever fit in and find true love or will she remain an outsider living in the south.

Excerpt

“Uncle Mick, something is wrong with my television. Can you fix it?” she yelled through the walls to Mick. Within seconds she heard an alarm sounding. “What in the —-”, she said. Her bedroom door came flinging open and Mick ran inside. “Heather, there’s a tornado warning going on. We got to head to the storm pit!” he exclaimed.

“What?” Heather questioned. “I said come on,” Mick said as he grabbed her arm and pulled her behind him. Heather didn’t know what to think. She had never been in a place where tornadoes ever doomed the city, so she just followed Mick’s lead..

As Mick opened the front door, Heather was stunned to see the sky so dark. It had only been a few minutes that she drove into the driveway with a clear sky. Now suddenly a dark cloud hovered overhead. Heather and Mick ran toward the back of the house. Heather started to worry when she saw a cement looking building carved into the ground. Mick grabbed the door handle and pulled it.

“Get inside quick or we are going to be blown away!” he exclaimed. Heather could hear a roaring sound like a strong wind approaching them. She turned to look at the sky when she saw a funnel shaped cloud in the distance. Suddenly, fear came over her and she didn’t know what to say or do. Mick pushed her inside, and he pulled the door closed. Then he latched the door closed. “What are we going to do?” she cried.

“Don’t worry, we are safe in here. I’ve been through several of these storms in the past and everything will be fine,” Mick said, trying to console her. Mick tried to act calm for Heather’s sake but deep down he was terrified. He was worried that the tornado was going to blow the door off the storm pit, and they were going to be sucked out into the twister. He had been fortunate in the past to escape a tornado’s fury, when it ravaged his neighbor’s farm and left his untouched. He wasn’t convinced that this time, he would be as lucky.

Mick’s words of encouragement did nothing to calm Heather’s nerves. She was more scared than she ever had been before. She didn’t know what to expect or what to think about the idea of a tornado approaching. That is something that she never had to experience living in Manhattan.

An extreme fear came over her and she was in shock. Yes, her parents’ passing had traumatized her, but she never felt this type of terror and doom before in her life. She was afraid that this could end her life and Mick’s and she wasn’t ready to leave this world yet. She felt her life was just beginning. She hadn’t lived the life that she always wanted to live. Mick could see the panic in Heather’s eyes and by the expression on her face. Mick heard Heather mumbling something that he couldn’t make out. Then he saw her close her eyes as if she were praying. She cried as she asked God to forgive her and to protect her and Mick from the storm. Heather wasn’t a religious girl but she believed in a higher power. She believed in God as a creator of all things. She knew that now was the best time to make her peace with God, because she didn’t know if she would make it to live another day.

Then suddenly without warning they both heard loud noises coming from outside. Heather heard a crash like something had been hit by a fast moving train. Then she head a hard thud and some clattering and crashing sounds. Her body could feel vibrations through the ground and the walls.

“Lord, I don’t want to die, please help us God,” she cried. Trying to keep his emotions to himself, Mick reached out to hug Heather. She held her uncle tightly hoping that the storm would soon be over.

The vibrations from the ground grew stronger while the deafening booming sounds got louder and louder. Then all of the sudden, there was a complete silence. The storm had only lasted a few minutes, but it felt like an eternity to Heather. After everything became quiet, Heather fell to her knees and began to sob.

“Heather it’s over, don’t worry,” Mick said. Mick was concerned and worried what kind of terror was going on inside of her head. He could see her distress, but he didn’t know what to do, except hold her until she stopped crying. He was hoping that he could regain his own composure in the process.

“Everything will be alright, I promise,” he consoled.

After sitting on the concrete floor for several minutes, Heather finally quit shaking. After seeing Heather come back to herself, Mick leaped up off the concrete floor and went to open the door to the outside. The sky began to lighten and he walked outside to look around. Heather slowly got up on her feet and crept outside. She was taken back at the sight she saw before her eyes. A pile of rubble sat where the house once stood. All she could see was a dirty field full of debris. Their furniture and possessions looked like garbage, scattered acrosss the ground.“Are you okay,” Mick asked.“Yes, I’ll be fine,” Heather replied. After climbing over a pile of of wood Mick said, “Look, your car is over there and there is my truck. Maybe they are driveable.”  “I guess things could be worse. At least we weren’t injured,” Mick said as he surveyed the area. “How can you say that? You lost everything in that terrible storm. Don’t you care that we are both now homeless?” Heather asked with frustration. “I know you are upset, but we’ll figure something out.”Heather couldn’t understand why Mick was so calm and unemotional. He has lost his mind or something, she thought.

Mick walked over to his truck and tried to crank it. The truck started up without a hitch. “Come on Heather, let’s go see if someone might need our help.” Heather was still a little shaken up and confused when she followed Mick to his truck and climbed inside. Mick started to drive down the gravel road leading away from his farm when they observed a horrendous sight. They both were astounded at what they saw before their eyes. They looked around as Mick drove and they saw piles of debris scattered along the road and fields. They noticed the path of destruction was over several miles and only a few homes were left untouched.

“It is weird but it looks like the tornado picked its targets,” Heather said. “I see what you mean. Some houses are left and others are completely gone. It even cleared out all the trees,”Mick replied. Mick pulled over to the side of the road by a mound of rubble. He jumped out of the truck and ran over to where a house once stood. “Is there anyone in there?” he yelled.

Please help us!” Noises came from underneath the wood fragments. Mick ran to the debris and started pulling off planks of wood and garbage. “Come help me!” Mick exclaimed as he motioned for Heather. Heather quickly hurried to help Mick pull off the jagged and sharp boards from the heap of rubble. “Be careful, these have nails in them,” Mick instructed.Finally, Mick could see an older couple peering out from underneath the wreckage. He dug faster but carefully trying not to injure them. At last, an elderly man and woman climbed out from underneath. “Thank you! Thank God, you came. We don’t know how long we would have been under there,” the man said. Heather could see how glad the man and woman were that they were rescued. Suddenly Heather felt good that she was able to help the couple. After checking for injuries, Mick told the couple that they were going to look for other people who needed help. They waved goodbye as they quickly drove down the rode. So many people were out examining the area looking for survivors and anyone that was trapped.

Heather saw steel power lines snapped in two. Cars and trucks were turned upside down on their axles. Huge trees were uprooted and pulled up from the ground with the roots lying on top of the ground. Cement slabs were robbed of the houses that once stood on their surfaces. Shreds of cloth that once resembled clothing lay on the ground. Pieces of twisted tin were wrapped around trees that still stood amongst the wreckage.

Buy Link:  http://amzn.to/1E6gmZz

Author website: http://writingcoach.wix.com/fullspeedahead

Facebook pages: https://www.facebook.com/TracyKauffmanFictionAuthor

&  https://www.facebook.com/pages/The-Writing-Coach/345272592347682?ref=tn_tnmn
My Literary Directory website: http://literary.yolasite.com

 

Broken Bridges by Roy Kindelberger

Author Interview:

Would you tell the readers a little bit about yourself?

After teaching kindergarten for eighteen years, this is my first year teaching second grade. I love teaching. The kids are so much fun. I’m a graduate of the Institute of Children’s Literature. I’m also a member of SCBWI and Haiku Northwest. My debut middle-grade novel, Broken Bridges was published August 15th, 2013, by Black Rose Writing. My short stories and poetry have been published online: http://www.sfcmagazine.com/ and
http://www.superteacherworksheets.com/index.html. I’ve also written fiction and nonfiction passages for the education market. I love sharing stories with my children and students. We are always looking out for a story, book, poem, or song that makes a difference in our lives. Some other things I enjoy are reading, spending time with my two daughters, watching football, practicing Yoga and Tai Chi, drinking tea and being outside. My favorite TV show is I-CARLY. Yes, I’ve suddenly found myself watching it myself, laughing, and my daughters have left the room. I admit to being a Star Wars nerd too. Friends and family shake their heads. “There’s another Star Wars book?” “Yes! There’re hundreds. Now let me tell you about the one I’m reading…” They are sorry they asked and quickly disappear. Finally, my lost love, the 1800s and the west, I’ve seen all the Clint Eastwood movies and read a lot of Larry McMurtry and Louis L’Amour novels. I also love non-fiction about this era. I was born north of Pittsburgh. I live with my beautiful wife and two wonderful children in Washington State.
Broken Bridges front cover
Which book are you currently promoting?

I’m currently promoting Broken Bridges.
Here’s the synopsis:
Twelve-year-old Rey is sent to an old rundown steel town near Pittsburgh, where he has to deal with his aging grandparents, isolated dad, missing mom, bullies, broken bridges, and horseradish sauce.
While Rey sits on an airplane bound for Pittsburgh, he clutches a crumpled note. It’s been forty-one days since his mom left – no word since. Rey is being sent to Pittsburgh for the summer to stay with his grandparents, so his dad can pull his life together. Rey is timid, unsure, yet has to make choices. These choices lead him to become more confident, as he makes the transition from child to teenager. Arriving in the middle of a heat wave he quickly runs into trouble with bullies and is in several difficult situations. Through it all he finds a true friend, Jason and discovers a mentor in his grandfather. Both bonds are put to the test when his grandfather becomes extremely sick and Rey has a final confrontation with the bullies. And then there are his parents.
Will things ever return to normal?

How did you come up with the idea for this book?

When I was eight I moved out to the west coast. Each summer, I’d stay with my grandparents in a town just north of Pittsburgh for about two or three weeks. I just took experiences from my childhood, twisted and embellished them. So really I’d remember something funny, sad, happy, or intriguing and ask myself, “Can I weave this into the story?” Or as another writer friend would ask, “What if?”

What can you tell us about your main characters?

Some of this is covered in the synopsis. I’ll try and go into a little more depth.

The story is told from twelve year old Rey’s perspective, his slice of life. Rey starts the story unsure and insecure. At first, Rey is not looking forward to staying the summer in a small, hot, run-down town with nothing to do. Rey deals with situations with humor and determination. It’s his summer of growth.

His grandpa, Pap, becomes his mentor who has faith in him. Pap tells stories to Rey that make him laugh and think. Writing about Pap, reminded me of my own grandpa. I remember my grandpa had faith in me and always had a story to tell. That’s what I wanted him to be for Rey. Rey’s friend, Jason is pretty angry. Jason’s determination seems to get him and Rey into trouble. Yet they are good friends and balance each other out. Jason’s story is one that I’m working on. Rey’s grandma is sort of the stabilizing force. She uses reason. His grandma is big on memories, especially happy ones.

What made you decide to become a writer?

As a teacher, I read a lot of books. I started out writing for my students or writing stories they could read and enjoy. The more I wrote, the more I enjoyed it. A few years later, I took a course at The Institute of Children’s Literature and joined The Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators. As I read and wrote more, it just became part of who I am. I just found I had stories to tell.

Do you have a general idea of what direction you want the plot to take ahead of time?

I usually have a starting point even if it’s just backstory. Sometimes I have some sort of ending too, I usually then take the story from there. With Broken Bridges, I had the beginning, the end, and some of the middle. In the beginning, I cut a lot of the backstory and weaved some of it throughout the novel. The ending, I added some stuff and made sure everything came together. For the middle, I added and made connections with the other parts of the story.

Have you ever had second doubts about a story you’ve written?

I try not to have second doubts. I believe that limits my writing. If those doubts creep up, I try to learn from them, so I can become a better writer. Really it’s a fine line, a balancing act. There are so many ups and downs as a writer. I could receive rejection letter after rejection letter but then a letter would come and say, “We’d love to publish your story.”

What other projects are you currently working on?

I’m currently submitting a picture book, written in verse, to publishers and agents. I’m also getting ready to submit a text for a graphic novel. I started to write a sequel to Broken Bridges. Right now I’m writing it from Rey’s friend, Jason’s perspective. The first chapter is in the eBook version of Broken Bridges. A lot of my time right now is with promotion and teaching a new grade level (2nd).

How long have you been writing?

I started writing for my students in 1999. I started to write for publication in 2003. My first story was published in 2007. It was a short story about a little girl, who blamed things she did on her imaginary friend, Jingo. I’ve been fortunate to publish something in each of the years since.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us that we have not already covered?

You can reach me at RoyKindelberger@roykindelberger.com or visit my website: http://www.RoyKindelberger.com. Also if Broken Bridges is not in the Amazon Kindle store it will be shortly. You can find out more information where to purchase it on the link below:

http://www.roykindelberger.com/broken-bridges.html

Now for a little fun, choose an answer from these questions. (Place xx by answer or fill in blank)
1. If you could live anywhere, would you rather live:
a. mountains
b. beach
c. in the country XX

2. What would you prefer?
a. salty foods XX
b. sweets
c. both

3. If you were stranded on a desert island, what is one thing you couldn’t live without?
________

My first answer would have been my Kindle but how would I keep it charged? My second one was water, but I thought that wasn’t very exciting. So I chose a book that I read five times in one year. I’m sure I’d find plenty of time to read it while stranded on a desert island. The book would be Star Wars: Traitor, by Matthew Stover. It doesn’t star any of the main characters from the movies. Instead, its main characters are Han Solo and Princess Leia’s son and a long lost Jedi. I’ll stop there with my Star Wars ramblings.

4. Tell me something about yourself that might be funny to others? (other than writing)
This is an interesting one. My kids and students think I’m funny, and many adults think that I think that I’m funny.

A teacher: “I’m really worried about the weight of our classes.”

Concerned principal: “Hmmm, I know, but there is not much more we can do.”

Me straight faced: “What about the height?”

They both stare. “What do you…”

The teacher: Rolls his eyes, laughs and tell me to go away.

The principal: “I can’t believe I haven’t learned to not to fall for such nonsense.”

My daughters and students laugh at many things I say whether it’s meant to be funny or not.

I’m just a big kid.

5. Tell us something that you did that might be considered dangerous.

This memory seems to stand out in my mind. When I was seven a couple of my friends went on a bike ride. It was a hot humid day, and we lived in the country, in Western Pennsylvania. This is back in the day when we rode everywhere and without helmets. We stopped under these shady pine trees. We found a tree to climb. It was a perfect climbing tree. What I remember is, I was way up high and the branch below me broke. I remember my feet dangling before I found safety on another branch. What I remember the most was the fear. I wrote a poem about this incident:

You can reach Roy Kindelberger at: http://www.roykindelberger.com/

Author Links:

 

Website: http://www.roykindelberger.com/index.html 

Blog: http://www.roykindelberger.com/dagoblog.html

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/roy.kindelberger

Buy Links:

Black Rose Writing: http://www.blackrosewriting.com/~shop/broken-bridges/194121/

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listing/1612962424/ref=sr_1_1_olp?ie=UTF8&qid=1376951854&sr=8-1&keywords=Roy+Kindelberger&condition=new

My Boyfriend the Squire

my boyfriend2 (197x300) (2)

My Boyfriend the Squire is a young adult fiction fantasy that will keep the reader guessing on what will happen next. It is a romantic tale of one girls guest to help a countess to free the spell of the king over her and her daugher, Princess Grace.

Synopsis: Lucinda is on her way to see her brother in Italy, when she is transported back in time to the Middle Ages. She is mistaken for a young princess named Grace. King Charlemagne has done something to the princess and his wife, Countess Hildegarde. The Countess prays for deliverance of her and her daughter. Lucinda is brought back to help the countess, since she is the spitting image of Princess Grace. She meets a young squire training for his knighthood and falls for him. He helps her in her quest to free the king’s hold on Countess Hildegarde and the princess. Lucinda returns back to the present day to meet Chad, a friend of her brother’s. She thinks that he is Chadwick, but discovers he is one of Chadwick’s ancestors. They fall in love, but then tragedy strikes. Can Lucinda and Chad’s love stay strong through trials of her brother’s death?
Sneak Peek: Chapter Three
Chad taught Lucinda how to play the perfect part of Princess Grace. Lucinda still couldn’t understand why she looked so much like her. Where was the real Princess Grace anyway?……..

Chad worried that King Charlemagne might suspect something, but he never said a word. The king barely spoke to his own daughter, even though she lived at the castle with him. He had more important things to do, like dictate his rule and leadership over his knights. At dinnertime, Lucinda tried to speak as little as possible. She didn’t want to draw attention to herself. The king wouldn’t look at her at dinner, as if he was afraid to. It appeared that he was caught up in more pressing matters, like protecting his kingdom from invasion of the Turks.
My website: tracykauffman.yolasite.com To order: <a href="http://www.amazon.com/My-Boyfriend-Squire-Tracy-Kauffman/dp/1622124197/ref=sr_1_12?ie=UTF8&qid=1360110353&sr=8-12&keywords=tracy+kauffman&quot;

 

The Great Big Book Tour

1) What is the working title of your book? The book that I’m promoting is Southern Adventures and it was just released December 18th.

 2) Where did the idea come from for your book? This is the very first book that I wrote and it is about my life growing up in the south.

3) What genre does your book fall under? My book is Young adult fiction/Christian but it can be considered a coming of age book.

   4) What is the one sentence synopsis of your book? Kay Harrison is a woman recalling her childhood growing up in the south, and she realizes that God was helping her throughout her life through the trials and the good times.

5) What other books are similiar to yours? Similiar books would be Little Women, Adventures of Tom Sawyer. 

6) How long did it take you to write the first draft of  your manuscript? I would say about six months to a year because I would write and lay it down a while and then start writing it again.

7) What other book would you compare this story to? I would say my book is a lot like Little Women.  It talks about my sisters and me.  I feel like it could be an adventure story too because it has several parts that talk about how Kay Harrison was always getting into trouble one way or another.

8) Who or what inspired you to write the book? I started to write this book when my son left home for the Air Force and I wanted to keep my mind on something other than him leaving home.

9) What else about your book might interest the readers? I believe if you like to laugh there are parts that will make you laugh.  If you want to be shocked than there are parts that will shock you.  It is a book that will just about interest any book lover.

10)Which actors would you choose to play in your movie rendition?

Suri Cruise as Kay

James Marsden as Ty
Pierce Brosnan as Carlton
Megan Fox as Kay
Sandra Bullock as Faye

Southern Adventures is available for purchase on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Southern-Adventures-Tracy-Kauffman/dp/1621476790/ref=sr_1_5?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1356075122&sr=1-5&keywords=southern+adventures

Other people participating in this blog tour are:

http://tracykauffman.blogspot.com

http://bridgetstraub.com/

http://stacyclaflin.com/blog/

http://bookblogs.ning.com/profiles/blog/list?user=2woeow8tj1kss

http://www.vickimtaylor.blogspot.com

http://www.pendarielraye.blogspot.com

Writing About the South

In my book, “Southern Adventures”, I write about living in the south. It is where I grew up and where I love to live. I have traveled to different parts of the country and have lived in the north and in the west before, and nothing gives me the feeling of enjoyment like living in Alabama. Many people have wrote stories and movies about Alabama and how people are redneck, country-fied, and can I say frankly, idiots. Alabama is nothing like what people say. We may speak a little slower and use words that are different and have a different type of accent than anyone else, but Alabama residents are some of the brightest and toughest people in the world. First, look at our football team. ALABAMA-roll tide. We have been number one how many times? Too many to name. AUBURN is a team from Alabama and they have won the national title not to long ago.

There has got to be something to the fact that people love to talk about Alabama. Look at the movies, “Sweet Home Alabama“, “Crazy in Alabama“, “My Cousin Vinny“, “Big Fish” to name a few. Then look at the books written about Alabama, “Southern Adventures“, To Kill A Mockingbird“, “Stars Fell on Alabama“, “Adventures of Captain Simon Suggs”, to name a few. Writing about the South is a pleasure, because Alabama is full of history, culture, and beauty. Famous historical sites include: Ivy Green-Helen Keller’s birthplace, Fort Morgan, Tuskegee Institute, the USS Alabama, Dexter Avenue Baptist church where Martin Luther King Jr served as pastor, and many more to name. Great places to visit are: The Space and Rocket Center, Point Mallard, Splash Adventure, Ave Maria Grotto, Desoto Caverns National Park, Talladega Super speedway, Noccalulua Falls Park, Robert Trent Jones Golf Trail, and Rickwood Caverns.

As an author, I have learned to write about things I know. Living in Alabama is what I know and I will forever write about it. Some of my stories may talk about the south in a funny way, but that is what is so great about it. Southern people are the greatest to write about because they are humorous and crazy and don’t mind the little things.

To order my books, you can visit my website:

http://tracykauffman.yolasite.com

Or through Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Tracy-Kauffman/e/B008S3OGNI/ref=sr_tc_2_0?qid=1355501497&sr=1-2-ent

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Fair Use Act

The use of some of these photo and content are protected under the fair use act under the copyright law. Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair. 1.The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes 2. The nature of the copyrighted work 3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole 4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

Sources

I would like to thank the following sources for allowing me to post photos, related text and helpful information on this blog. Sources: Google.com Bing.com Biblegateway.com Merriam Webster dictionary Ask.com Wikipedia.org About.com Pinterest.com
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