For Zed and Tuesday, adjusting to life in modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim means normal is relative.
Welcome to the June 16th stop on the blog tour for The Secret Benefits of Invisibility by C. W. Allen with Goddess Fish Promotions. Be sure to follow the rest of the tour for spotlights, reviews, author guest posts, and a giveaway! More on that at the end of this post.
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Author Guest Post
The Perks of Writing Holiday Stories
Christmas in my home means a lot of things. It means dusting off the decorations I put away in January, taking a moment to admire each one and perhaps reminisce about the person who made or gifted it before finding a place to display it for the season. It means digging out stained and splattered recipe cards, coating the kitchen with flour in pursuit of familiar flavors: gingerbread and spiced cranberry and peppermint. And the celebrations of the season wouldn’t be complete without pulling old friends off the bookshelf and getting reacquainted with Scrooge and Marley, Saint Nicholas, and of course those incorrigible Herdman children.
In short, holidays are about tradition. And that’s exactly why you should consider adding a holiday story to your writing lineup. Whether it’s Halloween or Hanukkah, Thanksgiving or Talk Like A Pirate Day, including holidays in your writing can earn your story a treasured place in your readers’ seasonal routines.
One of the most famous holiday stories is A Christmas Carol. Even if you don’t celebrate Christmas, you are undoubtedly familiar with the miserly old grump’s supernatural stroll through his memories in search of a change of heart. The word “scrooge” doesn’t even belong solely to the character anymore, but to every penny-pinching misanthrope, just like every lip balm is called chapstick. You either die a hero, or live long enough to become a generic noun.
You’d think a story this universal must have launched with a multi-bajillion dollar ad campaign and the backing of a powerful publishing tycoon, but no—after his usual publisher rejected it, Charles Dickens decided to self publish the book. It was released just ten days before Christmas, and yet the initial print run sold out well before the holiday arrived. You don’t need any gatekeeper’s approval to send a great story out into the world. And a great holiday story will inspire its readers to come home to your words year after year.
Of course it may be a tad ambitious to aspire to A Christmas Carol’s readership and cultural impact. The other benefit of holiday stories takes just the opposite path, in fact—finding an unexplored niche. If the holidays that capture your heart are not of the over-commercialized variety, you may be able to remedy a serious lack of representation in the market. And by speaking to people who feel the same way, you can cultivate a loyal and enthusiastic readership. (Believe it or not, one of my favorite books includes a chapter about Arbor Day.) So if you want to add some literary traditions to your Ramadan, Holi, Purim, Winter Solstice, or Pi(e) Day celebrations and find your options lacking, maybe it’s time to write the stories you want to see in the world.
(Note: The Secret Benefits of Invisibility features a completely new 5-season calendar system, but it also incorporates familiar holidays. Hanukkah, Winter Solstice, and Christmas all take place during the events of the story, with Hanukkah featuring particularly prominently. No matter what holidays you celebrate, diving into this winter adventure will be a welcome break from the summer heat!
About the Book
The Secret Benefits of Invisibility
The Falinnheim Chronicles Book Two
by C.W. Allen
Published 7 June 2022
Cinnabar Moth Publishing LLC
Genre: Middle Grade Adventure Fantasy
Page Count: 262
Add it to your Goodreads TBR!
For Zed and Tuesday, adjusting to life in modern-meets-medieval Falinnheim means normal is relative. Lots of kids deal with moving, starting new schools, and doing chores. But normally, those schools aren’t in underground bunkers full of secret agents, and the chore list doesn’t involve herding dodos. The one thing that hasn’t changed: all the adults treat them like they’re invisible.
When a security breach interrupts a school field trip, the siblings find themselves locked out of the Resistance base. With the adults trapped inside, it’s up to Tuesday, Zed, and their friends to save the day. And for once, being ignored and underestimated is coming in handy. After all, who would suspect a bunch of kids are capable of taking down the intruders that captured their families, let alone the murderous dictator that put them into hiding in the first place?
Turns out invisibility might just have its benefits.
Fariq lifted the latch and stepped back to let the doors swing slowly open. An avalanche of dodos poured out, brushing past them like a flock of short, grumpy businessmen in dusty grey suits, impatiently bustling around a train station on their way somewhere more important.
Zed jumped out of the way and whipped out his notebook and pencil. Tuesday jumped too, but more in alarm than amazement.
“Augh!” she yelled. “Why are they so big?” She flinched away as one of the dodos brushed past her leg. Its bald, leathery face came all the way up to her hip.
Zed was too busy sketching to look up. “What were you expecting?”
“I don’t know!” Tuesday blathered. “Smaller, I guess! Slower. Dumber. More like chickens!”
It would have taken a Leaning Tower of Chickens stacked three high to see eye to eye with a dodo. They looked like gigantic turkeys with their tail feathers plucked and stunted wings tucked in by their sides, with bulbous bike horns for heads. It was like someone cobbled together a Frankenbird out of spare parts as a prank.
“It’s okay,” said Fariq in his customary monotone. “Bird phobias are really common. I don’t like spiders much, myself.”
“I’m not afraid of them,” Tuesday protested. “Just…surprised.”
Celia brushed past them with her rake, dropping a derisive chuckle as she passed. “Honestly, it’s like you’ve never seen a common dodo before. You panic about worms in the garden wing too? Or is Her Highness too important to get her hands dirty with the commoners?”
About the Author
C.W. Allen is a Nebraskan by birth, a Texan by experience, a Hoosier by marriage, and a Utahn by geography. She knew she wanted to be a writer the moment she read The Westing Game at age twelve, but took a few detours along the way as a veterinary nurse, an appliance repair secretary, and a homeschool parent.
She recently settled in the high desert of rural Utah with her husband, their three children, and a noisy flock of orphaned ideas. Someday she will create literary homes for all of them. (The ideas, not her family.)
Relatively Normal Secrets (Cinnabar Moth Publishing, Fall 2021) is her debut novel. She writes fantasy novels for tweens, picture books for children, and short stories and poems for former children. Her work will appear in numerous anthologies in 2021. She is also a frequent guest presenter at writing conferences and club meetings, which helps her procrastinate knuckling down to any actual writing.
C. W. Allen will be awarding $10 Amazon or B&N gift card to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway
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