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Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Brains to Books J.S. Burke

Brain to Books Blog Tour

Fast Facts

Author: J.S. Burke
Genre: Young Adult Science Fantasy
Book: The Dragon Dreamer of the Dragon Dreamer Series


J.S. BurkeI have worked as an artist, chemist, teacher, and as a marine biologist, studying creatures of the dark abyss and diving on coral reefs. I toss lightning with dragons and quest across the sea. I’ve published five marine research papers, two hands-on chemistry books for children, one art/science activity/coloring book, and one science fantasy novel.
I was manager of a marine research program for the Florida Department of Natural Resources. I have degrees in Math, Science, Marine Science, and Education, with certification to teach Math, Science, Middle Grades, and Gifted.
 Author Accomplishments:
I have a free math/science/art lending library for local teachers and homeschoolers with my books and classroom sets of crystals, kaleidoscopes, shark’s tooth, etc. Crystal Geometry has hands-on activities that use the angles of beautiful crystals to explore chemistry and geometry. Crystal Colors has math and science activities with shells, crystals, and a huge fossil shark’s tooth. Other writers shared their craft knowledge with me; I have passed this along with constructive reviews and occasional edits for other authors.
Book Blurb:
The Dragon DreamerTHE DRAGON DREAMER is a young adult science fantasy/adventure with flying dragons and an undersea world, layered for readers age 9 to 99. A secret gift. An unlikely friendship. A dangerous quest.
Arak is a misfit, called "Dreamer" and tormented by other young dragons. Determined to prove himself he leaves on a dangerous quest, is caught in a fierce sea-storm, and crashes on ice. Wounded and alone, he faces death. Then a fearless, undersea shape-shifter named Scree heals him, and an unlikely friendship begins. When an undersea volcano erupts it triggers a towering tsunami and a deadly chain of events. Can Arak use his unique talents to save the dragons?

Book Review by Maranda on Amazon

I really enjoyed this fantasy journey. The plot was good, filled with lots of action and excitement to keep things moving along, but my favorite things about the book were the characters and the author's gift for detail.
To me, characters are what truly make a book engaging, regardless of the genre, and I immediately found myself invested in Arak and Scree. As the book went on, many other characters appeared but I think Arak and Scree remained my favorites throughout. I have always been fascinated by "healers" so that element about Scree appealed to me greatly. I found it kind of unique to have an octopus as a main character in a fantasy book about dragons, but I felt that it worked well.
As for the detail, I mention that because the author truly has a gift for painting scenes with words. I love books where I can really picture what is going on in my head and for some reason, that definitely worked for me with this book. Even though this book is technically a middle grade fantasy, I think young adult and adult audiences would greatly enjoy the tale as well!


“Please be careful.” Orm’s arms curled and uncurled with anxiety. “It’s not safe to be alone, away from the pod.”
Scree sighed. It was unnatural to travel alone. Most octopi appreciated the security of a village, with its seafood farms and sturdy dens. Each spring, many thousands of octopus eggs hatched. The tiny hatchlings drifted far from home on sea currents. Few survived. Orm was a young juvenile on the return migration when a shark tore by and killed all of his comrades. Scree still saw the haunting memory in his eyes. He could not believe that anything she found was worth the terrible risk of exploring. She twined two arms affectionately with her mate. “Your research can be done here, but I must leave to gather healing supplies.”
Orm handed her a large pearl. “For luck.”
“A black pearl . . . that’s new. It’s beautiful.” She placed it in her bag and looked into his eyes. “I will be careful.” Scree flowed away into the darkness.
Scree pulsed through the inky dark waters toward the starlit surface, seeking rare items for her healer’s bag. She also sought solitude and the magic of the stars, which shone in their full glory during the new moon. Few octopi ventured so far from home. Fewer still risked the dangers of a journey through open water, with no place to hide.
Scree twirled beneath the starry sky. Then she headed for a small ice floe that she’d found earlier, where a weathered branch protruded.
A golden streak seared the dark sky. A falling star! Her eyes widened as it plunged toward the small ice sheet, growing to the size of a shark. The crash shattered the night, rocking the ice and almost knocking her off her log seat. The star flopped, in a very un-starlike manner.
Scree had never seen anything like it. She instantly camouflaged, changing her color to match the log perfectly. Scree could stretch about two feet across between the tips of her arms. But this frightful, alien creature must be at least eight feet long and it had gleaming sharp claws. She trembled and flowed away, matching the log as she moved, invisible.
Scree glanced back, ready to slip into the sea, hanging by the tip of one arm.
The creature writhed.
Scree stopped. It looked more dangerous than a shark, but it must have been injured in such an incredible fall. She felt the weight of her healer’s bag, and the responsibility. She struggled to look beyond the deadly claws, noticing instead the crimson splashes of blood that stained the snow.
Scree rippled back onto the branch.

Connect with J.S. Burke

Buy The Dragon Dreamer


“Like” my Facebook author page from your home page (or like three posts on my author page if you've previously liked the page) and leave a message here:https://www.facebook.com/pages/Jenny-S-Burke/721518861218158?ref=aymt_homepage_panel You will be entered into a random drawing for one of THREE free kindle copies of The Dragon Dreamer. Winners will be contacted within three days after the event.
See additional Giveaways for the Brain to Books Summer Blog Tour here at Lu J. Whitley's site!

Brain to Books Blog Tour Ella Drayton

Brain to Books Blog Tour Ella Drayton

Fast Facts:

Author: Ella Drayton
Genre: Mystery/Thriller
Book: The Letters


Ella DraytonWriter. Book Critic. Mother. Animal Lover. Twitter addict. Insomniac.
Ella is from a very small town in Alabama. When she is not day dreaming about her next story she spend most of her time caring for a Tiny Tyrant and her furry best friend, Mutt. Her house and her electronics are cluttered with books she’s read, books she’s reading, and books to be read. She also pretends to be a housewife in her spare time, occasionally cooking and cleaning for a wonderful husband who never complains. Writing and reading are her two biggest passions other than pretending to be a T-Rex princess pony that can only eat pink Starburst with her little one. Ella also uses movie quotes and song lyrics constantly in conversation and freaks out/passes out at the sight of slugs.


The LettersBrodie Barrett is a widowed mother of a 10 year old girl and a homicide detective for the Birmingham Police Department. Everything seems fine in her world until her ex-fiance, Keaton Maddox walks back into her life. She's ready to start a new life with Keaton but he's also got a pregnant girlfriend working at his restaurant. Things at work start heating up for Brodie when someone decides to send her love letters at work. These aren't your ordinary love letters, though! These letters leave clues for Brodie to find bodies of her admirer's victims. Who could be sending these letters and why do they want Brodie to find the bodies?
Book Review:
“For me, the mystery within The Letters carried just the right amount of weight. The story was well paced, offered plenty of provocative details to keep me enticed, and happily kept me guessing. Pacing is an important detail for me as a reader; based upon the pacing of this book, I look forward to reading more by Ms. Drayton.” – Cary Ellen Kramer
“I liked this book. It overcame something of a hurdle I’ve had in enjoying mysteries for a long time: patterns of clues and behaviors that don’t hold up when you consider that cell phones and the Internet both exist. I’ve often worried that the onward march of tech was going to lead to the end of mysteries of the kind I used to love, but I’m now reassured that the art of writing good mysteries is alive and well.” — John Blackport


“What do you want?”
“Feel like company?”
“Too bad. I’m at your front door.”
“Go away.”
“I’m using the key.”
“Shove that key up your ass.”
I heard the phone go dead and then my front door opening. Walker had been my best friend since junior high. I had given him that key after my husband, Grayson, had been kidnapped and killed by a man who had been stalking me. His body was found on our fifth wedding anniversary.
I decided since Walker was already in my house and there was no chance of going back to sleep, I might as well get up off the couch. I walked into the bathroom and flipped the switch nearly burning my eyes with the fluorescent light that flooded the room. As I was about to brush my teeth, he appeared behind me in the mirror. Walker, who was a chubby kid in high school, had become a muscular gym rat. He traded in his shaggy brown hair for a bald head, stopped fighting the beard that kept trying to grow (he kept it very closely shaved, however), and wore most of his designer clothes so tight that you didn’t have to imagine what that muscular body might look like without them. At nine forty-five in the morning, he looked like an Abercrombie model in his light pink button down shirt and faded jeans with the holes strategically placed down the legs. I looked like shit.
“You’re really rocking that whole t-shirt and sweatpants look. Nice bun, too, grandma.”
“Who left your cage open?”
“I was just wondering how you comb your hair so the horns don’t show.”
“Gee, you’re hilarious. Have you ever thought about doing stand-up? What do you want? This is supposed to be my off day. As in, I’m off from everything. I do not exist to the rest of the world. It’s just supposed to be a ménage trios between me, the couch, and my TV.”
“A ménage, huh? I didn’t know you were into such kink. I could make that a lot more fun for you, you know?
“Oh, Walker,” I said between strokes of my toothbrush. “I’m not your type, sugar. I’m not inflatable.”
“I wish there were words to describe how much of an ass you are.””
“There are. They just aren’t covered in ‘Run, Spot, Run’ so you’re not familiar with them.”
“Ha Ha. Wash your face and let’s get something to eat. My treat?”
My eyebrows shot up and I stopped wiping my mouth on my towel. Walker was apparently up to no good. He never offered to pay for anything unless he was trying to talk me into something or sweeten the blow of something he’d done. He’d purchased my senior prom dress and brought it to my house in the hopes that I wouldn’t be pissed at him for breaking my date’s nose two days before the prom. I can also remember two separate occasions that he paid for a weekend vacation at the beach to make up for backing into my car and for setting my custom built shooting house on fire. The stories of how these two instances actually came about were still kind of vague. Needless to say, Walker was an accident waiting to happen and believed that money could smooth anything over.
“Your treat means something is up.”
“You always were a smart one. Hurry up.”


Book Links: