Happy Tuesday.... I know you have all been wondering about Tell Me Something Tuesday. I will bringing it back next week, and I will be the full time host. I really really hope that you might consider participating. I want to utilize it as way to get to know other bloggers, start discussions and call attention to important issues. Please send me your questions and I will be sure to let you do a guest post intro on my blog for your question.
Today, I have something fun and different. I want to re-introduce one of my favorite aspiring bloggers: Mckenzie, a.k.a. Katertot. She co-blogs with her mom over at
A Belle's Tales. If you have not met Michele and Mckenzie you need to visit their blog. Not only are they two of my most favorite bloggers, they are also friends, too. They are super sweet gals! I am proud to know them.
Let me introduce you to Katertot. Here is her bio in her own words:
First her is a bio about Mckenzie in her own words!
Hi, I’m Mckenzie Kate, aka Katerot! My mom is Cheles Bells from A Belle’s Tales, and I credit my love of reading to her. I can’t wait until I’m a little older and can have my own blog. I adore reading, not just because it’s fun, but because it inspires me to be creative and look at life in different ways. I love YA books, and some of my favorites include: Entwined, Divergent, Delirium, the Hunger Games, and, most recently, Lost Girls. I’ve been obsessed with Greek mythology ever since I read my first Percy Jackson book - I.Was.Hooked. Some of my other favorite mythological books are the Heroes of Olympus series and Starcrossed. My favorite series of all time are The Iron Fey and Harry Potter. When I’m not reading, I enjoy writing, singing, photography, bird watching, sketching, dancing badly, and watching Buffy the Vampire Slayer (girl power - take that, Bella Swan). Find Katertot@ A Belle's Tales.
She is awesome!
Here is Mckenzie's interview with Victoria Simcox:
1. I read on your blog that your teenage daughter inspired Kristina, but who inspired some of the other characters, like Werrien and Hector? (Hopefully, no one real inspired Davina or Hester ;D)
Yes, Kristina, in the book was inspired by my daughter, and even though I named Kristina my character after my daughter, the two are different personalities. Werrien came from different personality traits of people I know. I have a teenage son, and I took some traits from him, as well as his friends and other teenagers I have encountered. Hector, I created from my imagination, at least I can't pinpoint where I got him from. Davina's and Hester's personalities came from kids I knew when I was in grade school—bully type peers. Even though they were annoying, hurtful and even scary when I was young, now that I'm an adult I find it quite fun to use their character traits in my writing.
2. This book has some beautiful illustrations. I know you teach art, so I was curious as to whether the cover or any of the images inside were your drawings?
Yes, I teach art and have been doing so for 11 years, but the illustration and cover were not done by me. I have a different style of drawing and painting than what is in my book. An artist by the name of Amanda Swanson did all the art work inside the book as well as the cover. She specializes in fantasy art and I am very happy with what she has created.
3. Bernovem seems to be such a beautiful place. Is there any place that you’ve been to or read about that inspired it?
I was inspired to create Bernovem from different places that I have been, like the Hoh Rain Forest in WA. I love hiking through its densely green, moss laden trails. There is definitely something magical about it. Hemlock Valley Mountain, in BC Canada, is a place I have been skiing at since I was a youth. It is a majestic yet peaceful place. I was in Tahiti and Hawaii some years back and enjoyed the beaches, aqua-blue waters, and tropical forests. I created Finimus Island from my experience at these two paradises. My mother and father are immigrants from Europe and throughout my lifetime I have had the opportunity to visit Austria, Germany and other places, like the beautiful city of Prague. These places have influenced me in creating the city Ezeree as well as Salas.
4. What inspired you to be a writer and to write the Magic Warble series?
I remember I was sitting in the movie theater watching the first Harry Potter movie when I envisioned my main character Kristina walking down a snowy sidewalk. At the time that was all of story I had. I went home that night and wrote my first page not knowing where the story would go.
5. So the ending of The Black Shard left me in total, utter suspense - can you tell us when to expect the third installment of this amazing series?
I was hoping book 2 would leave readers wanting to read more and I'm so glad it did. I am in the process of writing the 3rd book and when it is finished (I don't have a set date yet) I will definitely let all my Magic Warble fans know.
Thank you, Heidi for hosting me on your wonderful blog. I am so grateful for the opportunity.
Thank you, Victoria and Mckenzie!
Here is a bit more about Victoria:
Victoria was born in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, to an Austrian immigrant mother, and a Dutch immigrant father. She now lives in Western Washington with her husband, Russ and their three children, Toby, Kristina, and William. Her other family members are a Chihuahua, named Pipsy, and two cats, named Frodo and Fritz. Besides being an author, Victoria is a home-schooling mother of twelve years and an elementary school art teacher of eleven years. In her spare time, Victoria enjoys managing her two older children's Celtic band. She also loves reading, painting watercolors, hiking, good movies, and just simply hanging out with her family and friends. Find Victoria on her website, blog, twitter, Facebook and Goodreads.
Here is Mckenzie's review of:
The Black Shard by Victoria Simcox
Kristina's stay at summer horse camp is horrible to say the least, and it's all because Hester and Davina are there as well, making her life miserable. When Hester's cruel prank goes terribly wrong, it's actually what sends the three girls back to the magical land of Bernovem. In Bernovem, Kristina is very excited to see her former friend, Prince Werrien. When he invites her to sail with him on his ship to his homeland Tezerel, putting it simply, Kristina can't refuse. Reunited with her gnome, dwarf, animal, fairy friends ... and best of all, Werrien, things seem like they couldn't get any better for Kristina. But when Werrien becomes fascinated with an unusual seeing stone, the "Black Shard," Kristina is haunted by a ghostlike old hag. Struggling against suspicion, guilt, illness, and ultimately the one who wants to possess her soul, Kristina will see it's in her weakest moment that she will encounter more strength than she has ever known.
Paperback, 255 pages
Published November 11th 2011 by Two Harbors Press
I love when I am able to read and finish a book within hours of starting it. This is how it was with The Black Shard. I am in love with this book! There are no words good enough to describe it, but I’ll do my very best.
In the second installment of this lovely series, the two main characters, Kristina and Werrien, meet again in the magical land of Bernovem. Soon after, Kristina begins to feel odd and sick… . Something isn’t right, and no one knows what it could be. Kristina keeps seeing an ugly, old hag in the mirror when she looks at her own reflection, and, at one very interesting scene in the book, she sees the hag in the water and almost drowns. She soon learns that the old hag is trying to possess her soul and will not stop until she has.
When I read The Magic Warble (the first book by Victoria Simcox) I was intrigued by the storyline and knew that I wanted to read the second one soon. At the end of The Magic Warble, I was hoping that, in the next book, there would be a bit of romance… and I was very pleased that there was! Don’t worry - the romance is very innocent and very age-appropriate. Victoria Simcox has written yet another wonderful book, and I have fallen in love with her work all over again. There were so many pages that I marked because of a certain scene or a quote. I must have three dozen flags sticking out of the book right now.
I wish I could give The Black Shard ten stars! I adored it that much! I think one of the reasons is because the characters were a little older in this one, and I could really relate to them.
I loved this book so much that the day after I read it the first time, I read it all over again! I still read some of it every day. There were many parts in the book that had me giddy with excitement! There is so much more I could say about this amazing story, but I don’t want to give too much away!
The Black Shard feels more intense and even more exciting than The Magic Warble (if that’s possible), which is a big part of why I loved it so much. I needed more of these wonderful characters and this incredible book, and I was not disappointed in the least. The ending included a major cliffhanger, and I will be anxiously awaiting the third installment of this wonderful series.
A huge thank-you to Victoria Simcox for sending me The Black Shard for review!
What do you all think? A future blogger in the wings?? A big thank you to these ladies today for the fun post! Wait...before you go, Victoria is offering a chance to win an ebook copy of The Black Shard. This is open internationally. Just fill out the Rafflecopter to enter. Good Luck!a Rafflecopter giveaway