Tag Archives: Fantasy

With Great Power Comes Great Responsibility: CentreStage with Jennifer M. Eaton

Welcome to CentreStage!


Today it’s my great pleasure to welcome the one and only Jennifer M. Eaten as she celebrates the release of her latest masterpiece, The First Day of  the New Tomorrow. Take it away, Jen!

The First Day of the New Tomorrow medium 333x500

With Great Power….

“With great power comes great responsibility.”**  It’s one of the most famous movie quotes of all time.  Thanks Uncle Ben!  Great words of wisdom. (From the first “Spiderman” movie, 2002)

Did you now that Stan Lee, the creator of Spiderman never actually wrote that?  Well, he did, and he didn’t.  The original comic actually read: “With great power must also come great responsibility”.**

Did you know though, that this phrase was common far before Stan Lee? (I’ll give Stan credit for making it famous, though.  Kudos!)

You can trace this back to Voltaire.  Yep, that far back.  In 1817, a member of UK parliament actually said that the phrase had become cliché.

Cliché?  Maybe that’s because it can be applied to so many things, and it’s great advice, isn’t it?

So good, in fact, that you can trace the quote all the way back to the bible, so Voltaire wasn’t all that original either:

“From the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked” (NIV**)

In my story The First Day of the New Tomorrow teenage Maya is forced to meet this statement head on. Let’s watch as a teenager faces her destiny…

Excerpt from “The First Day of the New Tomorrow”

“I have a bad feeling you don’t want to talk about college.”

A smile touched his lips. “No. I’ve never even been to college myself.”

Maya’s unease became a bat and struck her into panic mode. She jumped up from the chair, her heart racing. “Who are you? What do you want?”

Edgar folded his hands and leaned on them. “I’m your guide, Maya. Your mentor, so to speak.”

“Mentor for what?”

“We have a lot to talk about. Would you please sit?”

She backed up until she reached the door. Without turning, she fumbled for the handle, and a rush of hot air hit her as she pulled it open. Maya raised her hands as the sting of hundreds of tiny pebbles thrashed her face. She peered through her fingertips and squinted into the blinding rays of a low-hanging sun. The cascading sunbeams warmed her cheeks and illuminated the outline of a figure that looked a lot like the Sphinx in Egypt. She gasped and choked on air riddled with blowing sand.

Edgar laughed behind her. “Let me guess. You were thinking that you’d rather be anywhere but here, and somewhere deep in the back of your mind, you always wanted to see the Great Pyramids.”

He appeared beside her, and she allowed him to close the door. Sweat poured from Maya’s brow as the room instantly cooled.

“Do you want to be back at school?”

She nodded, terror constricting her from any other movement.

Edgar turned the handle and pushed. The secretary looked up from her computer, her eyes narrowed. He smiled, waved, and closed the door again.

Numbness crept from Maya’s toes and up her legs. She stumbled as he led her back to the chair.

Edgar eased her down. “Are you ready to talk to me now?”

She shook away her fright. “How’d you do that?”

“I didn’t do anything. You did.”


Wow, is she in for a wild ride or what? Can you imagine?  Anything she wishes for can happen.  But let’s remember what Stan Lee advises… There’s always a catch.

What about you? Have you ever faced a responsibility you weren’t sure you were ready for?

**Facts and quotes researched and quoted from http://en.wikiquote.org/

About Jennifer M. Eaton

J Taylor cleaned up crop

Jennifer M. Eaton is a contemporary blender of Science Fiction, Dystopian, and Romance.  Her work ranges from the sweet contemporary romances of Paper Wishes, to the dystopian society of Last Winter Red and Optimal Red, with a dusting of young adult paranormal just for fun in The First Day of the New Tomorrow.

While not off visiting other worlds, Jennifer calls the East Coast of the USA home, where she lives with her wonderfully supportive husband, three energetic boys, and a pepped up poodle.

Full time team leader, full time mom, and full time novelist… what more can you ask for?  Writing help did you say?  Well, sure!  Jennifer hosts an informational blog aimed at helping all writers be the best they can be. Stop on by and chat. She loves to hear from fans! http://www.jennifermeaton.com/

Email | Website | Blog | Twitter | Facebook | Manic ReadersGoodreads | Amazon

Her contemporary sweet romance, Paper Wishes is currently available in ebook format.  The Dystopian novelette “Last Winter Red” is available as part of the “Make Believe” Anthology.   Each title is available from Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble.com and Smashwords.


Paper Wishes:  Jill has no idea what she wants for Christmas, but when it looks like her best friend Jack is going to get exactly what he asks for, Jill makes a Christmas wish that will change both of their lives forever.

Last Winter Red:  In search of a husband, Emily leaves the safety of the city and risks her life stepping into the outside world.  What she finds there will question the foundations of everything she believes in. Available as part of the Make Believe anthology.

The First Day of the New Tomorrow: Maya dreams of having everything she wants, but when she gets it, she can’t give it back fast enough. (Coming in September, 2013 from Muse It Up)

Zoom to Amazon.com to buy Jennifer M. Eaton’s books

Zoom to Barnes and Noble

Zoom to Muse It Up’s Website to buy “The First Day of the New Tomorrow”

Wow, thanks, Jennifer, for a fabulous post. Over to you! Have you ever faced a position of tremendous responsibility that, perhaps, was a tad overwhelming?

I’ll take the lead and tell you mine. Which was: taking my first child home for the first time, me and my husband on our own. Complete newbies to the parenting thing. Completely clueless. Terrified. Overwhelmed. It was an awesome moment, and one I’ll never quite forget. A tiny life, depending on me. I’m not sure there’s ever going to be a greater responsibility, LOL!

CentreStage with Claire Kinton: Introducing Dead Game

Welcome to CentreStage!


CentreStage hosts amazingly talented authors from around the world, showcasing their novels, sharing their inspiration or telling stories about their lives. Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome an author local to my own whereabouts, the one and only Claire Kinton! Claire and I met at the recent Lincoln Inspired Festival and I remember being deeply moved by the inspiration for her debut novel, Dead Game… so over to Claire!


Finalist in the People’s Book Prize!

Thank you so much for having me on your blog today Nicky – I’m so delighted to be here.  I love the fact that us authors are so supportive of one another.  It makes the writing world all the more fun to be in.

Today, I really would just like to let you all know about my debut novel, Dead Game, the first in The Game Trilogy, and how it has been made a finalist in The People’s Book Prize (the literary world’s version of the X-Factor).  As you can imagine I am delighted that Dead Game readers have responded and back in the Autumn, voted for my work – but now that it has made it into the finals, I need to start my mini campaign again and this is the week – voting ends on the 28th May 2013.  So, let me tell you a little bit about Dead Game, why I wrote it and why you should vote for it.

Introducing DEAD GAME

Charles - Copy

The Game Trilogy, particularly Dead Game, was written in memory of my cousin Charles, who served out in Iraq 2003 – it’s about the journey of a young Lance Corporal whose life was cut short.  It begs the questions, ‘are we really just a heavy mass of bodies made up of blood, bone and skin, glued to the Earth by gravity, running around creating a giant mess?’   It’s a question that will be answered with a thousand different voices.   But in my moment of grief and as my atonement to my cousin, and every soldier who has stood for their country, Dead Game is my answer.  The conflicts of today and the pressures that are on our soldiers shoulders are all too clear for us to see, particularly given the Woolwich Soldier news of yesterday.

Dead Game is an epic reflection of our wanting to connect with something bigger than ourselves; a fantasy entwining English patriotic family values and tradition with profound philosophy and spirituality and at the same time, it is the deepest love story.  Uplifting all those who have ever loved and lost, it strives to put forward one answer to death and is an allegorical story of bravery, acceptance, friendship, trust and love, but in the same breath, it is the ultimate adventure of a soldier, propelled by the inconceivable motivation to survive.

Dead Game Cover

With guardian angels, a cursed centaur and mythical saints, Lance Corporal Archie Fletcher battles his way through Transit, discovering an underwater world of ancient secrets and brawling with wild lions, enraged charioteers and venomous plants. With the Moon’s trickery endangering his sanity and a three-headed dragon that never sleeps blocking his path, Dead Game is no easy feat. The fantasy will whisk you away to a parallel world confirming the knowing deep within us all that the adventure of life must go on.

And there’s more…

The sequel to Dead Game and the second part in the trilogy, ‘Waiting Game’, was released on 3rd March 2013 with Ghostly Publishing Ltd and follows Sarah Walker after the tragic death of her cousin, Archie.  Embarking on a long-awaited trip around the world she lands herself in a dingy Thai soi and runs into a forgotten rogue from her past.  Terrified, Sarah flees and in doing so, finds herself in a ghostly world with warped satyrs, dual-headed snakes, and a wicked witch who plots to enslave her; trying to piece together the jigsaw of her past in time; the true meaning of friendship is at stake.  Waiting Game is a dangerous journey but it is a fragile heart that travels it.  Compelled to move on whether she wants to or not, Sarah’s scars run deep, but just how far will she go in an attempt to find Archie?

You can find DEAD GAME on AMAZON!

Supporting Charity

The Game Trilogy supports ‘The Soldiers Charity’ (Army Benevolent Fund), who gives a lifetime of support to those serving and retired soldiers and their families.  My family could not have got through it without them, which is why a percentage of every book sold will be going to their life-saving cause.

Vote now: Dead Game is a Finalist in the People’s Book Prize!

Dead Game can only win with YOUR votes… it doesn’t cost anything to vote… all you need to do is click the link below, register, scroll down two books and click on VOTE FOR DEAD GAME – it will take 30 seconds, so please, please, please when you have 30 seconds spare, vote for my hero’s tale.

Every life is like a novel with the ending ripped out.  Nobody really knows what is to come.  My fantasy can be read on many different levels… teenagers particularly seem to have taken to it but really, it’s just a story about a soldier, gone too soon.  I hope, if you read it, you can all relate to it and that it strengthens you.

With all my best wishes


Claire, thank you so much for visiting here today and HUGE congratulations on becoming a finalist in the People’s Book Prize. I wish you every success ~ let’s hope those voting fingers click away!!! 🙂 Here’s that link again:


It was fabulous to meet you at the Festival, and I’m thrilled you could visit here today to spread the word about DEAD GAME!

So, people ~ what do you reckon about DEAD GAME?

CentreStage with Stephanie Keyes: Finding Magic in Everywhere

Welcome to CentreStageCentreStage showcases fantastic authors from around the world, introducing in particular fellow featured authors at loveahappyending.com as well as fellow authors in the Sapphire Star Publishing family.  In this new, exciting feature, these authors might write for you about their lives, or their writing journey, or anything else that matters to them.  Every feature will be different in format and flavour, so watch out for a variety of stories and tales.

Today, it is my tremendous pleasure to welcome loveahappyending.com featured author Stephanie Keyes to this fifth edition of CentreStage!

CentreStage:  Please give it up for…. STEPHANIE KEYES!

Hi, Stephanie!  Thanks for visiting CentreStage today, it is really exciting to have you here.  Tell us about yourself… Who are you, and what makes you tick?

I am a gadget freak, a GLEEK, a Harry Potter addict, a full-time working mom of two, a wife, a lover of banana and Nutella crepes, and thunderstorms. When I’m working, I talk to so many people all the time, every day, that when I’m home I prefer to stay in and order a pizza over going out and celebrating. I travel regularly, about twenty-five per cent of the time for work, and spend a great deal of my time coaching people on how to communicate more effectively. I self-published my first novel, The Star Child, on December 15, 2011.”

Stephanie Keyes is my pen name. So most of the time I feel like I have this alter ego that I’m maintaining. However, our personalities are identical so maybe we’re twins? Who knows!

Stephanie Keyes’ photo courtesy of
Kristina Serafini Photo

Tell us about your debut novel, The Star Child

The Star Child is a Young Adult fantasy novel about Kellen St. James, who isn’t just your average seventeen-year-old prodigy. This kid has a Yale degree, a photographic memory, and is addicted to everything 80s. Plus there’s the girl who’s been haunting his dreams for the last eleven years. When the sudden death of his grandmother, takes him from the East Coast to the Irish Coast, Kellen suddenly finds himself face to face with his own personal ghost. Plus, she’s come spinning a tale about a prophecy in which Kellen will save the world from darkness. Together they will travel through an underworld of faeries and ghosts, angels and demons, not to mention a pack of really ticked off wild dogs, all to save the world from darkness. But will they make it in time? That’s the question.

What inspired you to write The Star Child?

Kids have to grow up so early today, much earlier than I had to. So when I got the idea for The Star Child, I didn’t hesitate, but immediately started writing it with the YA Genre in mind. Why not encourage imagination a little longer? Plus, I just love the idea of magic and reality co-existing. I always look for magic in everywhere, I believe that we all start out with magic inside of us – we just make a personal decision about whether or not to keep it alive. The Star Child is Stephanie Keyes doing just that.

It sounds like Stephanie Keyes, author, is full of surprises.  Would you like to tell us some of the wild and wacky things you have done in your life?

Wild and wacky…

Well, like my character, Kellen St. James, I too lied to my parents about my college major. I didn’t go as far as to photoshop my grade reports, however, I did keep them from them. When I graduated from high school, I wanted to study Music Education and they wanted me to study Accounting. Now, I have never had a gift for numbers. They don’t interest me. So you can imagine how well that would have gone down as a profession for me. I tried it for one term, before I changed my major to music without telling anyone. It’s a good thing that I did, too, because that was where I met my husband, who was a trumpet performance major.

Anyhow, my parents refused to provide any type of financial support for this little “escapade” of mine. So I subsidized my college expenses by playing in a bar on the weekend in a small jazz band. I played saxophone and sang. In order to make our stage show a little more interesting to the ten or so blatantly intoxicated individuals that showed up, I would walk the bar playing the saxophone while people added tips to the jar. While I am certain that Ella Fitzgerald was cringing at this blatantly disrespectful forum that I’d chosen in which to render covers of her classics, the patrons, while conscious, seemed to enjoy it.

Ooooh, I bet there’s more! What’s the most fantastical experience of your life so far?

For the past fifteen years or so, I’ve been a total workaholic. I’d be glued to my blackberry or whatever smartphone happened to be available. Whenever a work e-mail came, I’d respond, even if it was 2 a.m. My life was structured, organized, and boring. Needless to say that was pre-kids, but that’s another post. Anyway, one day in 2006 a co-worker came and told me that she was planning a vacation to Ireland and I was jealous. I’d always wanted to go to Europe.

My husband and I had planned a trip to London and Paris for our honeymoon in 2001, but tragically, September 11th occurred one month before, and we cancelled our European trip for a honeymoon in New England. So this enticing carrot, dangled directly in front of me by my co-worker, was almost too much to take. When I told my husband about it, he said, “Why, why don’t we just go? What are we waiting for?”

So we planned the trip for the weekend of our fifth wedding anniversary, not knowing that I would be five months pregnant when we actually go to go! What was so fantastic about the trip was certainly the people and the culture, but also the fact that I completely disconnected from everything during that experience and I just lived in the present. There were times when I didn’t remember the last day I worked, breathed air so clean that my lungs burned from taking a shallow breath, and moments when I knew that there must be a better version of me, a better life for me out there.

Though I’m absolutely certain that my fantastical experience might seem boring to some, to me, it was the start of a new life. One that’s been changing every day ever since. Oh and that workaholic? The one who checked her phone in the middle of night? She just turned in her notice.

Whoop whooop and congratulations, that is so exciting for you!  And not at all a boring experience, I think it takes a lot of courage to step out of your life so completely and take a long trip abroad.  Speaking of exciting: I hear you have some very exciting news about The Star Child!

What’s really exciting about The Star Child is that I just signed a contract with Inkspell Publishing for The Star Child.  While I self-published it in December 2011, after signing with Inkspell, the publisher and I agreed that The Star child would benefit from some extra TLC. So it’s gone off of the market for the time being while it gets edited and a new cover. I am thrilled to see how Kellen will turn out! So, although the book isn’t available right now, it will be on September 21st! Look for more information to come on my website or on Inkspell’s website.

Thanks so much for sharing your background, inspiration and fantastic news:  congratulations! That is so exciting, I can’t wait to see how it all develops.  And of course, having read The Star Child, I am anxiously awaiting the sequel!  Rock on, Stephanie Keyes!! X

More about Stephanie Keyes

Stephanie Keyes was born in Mt. Lebanon, Pennsylvania and has worked for the past twelve years as a corporate educator and curriculum designer in the Telecommunications industry. A seasoned, facilitator, Stephanie Keyes is no stranger to presenting. She’s worked in Training and Development for an international telecommunications corporation for the past twelve years; spending the first eight years of her career as a Software Trainer and Technical Writer and the last four working in Human Resources and Employee Development.

Stephanie holds an undergraduate degree in Management Information Systems and a Master’s in Education. She’s also created and delivered several courses on winning and retaining customer business, including Powerful Presentations: Conversations That Drive Results©. In addition, Stephanie has worked extensively as a personal coach and mentor. In her spare time, Keyes also operates a freelance graphic and instructional design business, Sycamore Road Design. She holds a Master’s degree in Education with a specialization in Instructional Technology from Duquesne University and a B.S. in Management Information Systems from Robert Morris University. She is a classically trained clarinetist, but also plays the saxophone and sings. When she’s not writing, she is a wife to a wonderfully supportive husband and mother to two little boys whom she cites as her inspiration for all things writing. The Star Child is Mrs. Keyes’ debut novel.

Visit Stephanie’s website or blog to find out more about her work in progress.  You can follow Stephanie on Twitter or Facebook as well as Goodreads and LinkedIn.  Stephanie has a presence on YouTube and is a featured author with the innovative and interactive author/reader project, loveahappyending.com.