Guest Post By M.K. Scott, Author of Zamora's Ultimate Challenge

7:12 AM

I'm really excited to M.K. Scott here today as a guest poster. Michelle is the the author of the book Zamora's Ultimate Challenge. This is the next stop on her Zamora's Ultimate Challenge Blog Tour! Be sure to read to the very end so you don't miss out on a chance to win some stuff!

Synopsis

Mason and Carter Clover only agree on two things--their baby sister Isabella is a royal pain and their favorite video game, Zamora s Ultimate Challenge, is totally awesome. But fantasy turns to reality when Zamora s evil face appears across the brothers television screen. Claiming to have kidnapped Isabella, the queen challenges the boys to a daring rescue before she takes over their sister's soul. Zamora s plan is to use the baby as a human vessel to travel to Earth and dominate the world. Once the brothers figure out how to get inside the video game, they are hurled into the magical land of Boysen where they meet their helpful guides: a sage, a quirky mermaid, and a Pegasus (who flies them to each thrilling level of the video game). Racing against time, the brothers search for their sister, encountering a myriad of dangerous enemies including stinging fairies, haunted Master Souls, and brutish, knife-wielding pirates. Can they beat each level of the game while being hunted by a fire-breathing dragon, stalked by a robotic shark, and terrorized by acid-poop-bombing pterodactyls? Driven by the powerful bonds that unite siblings, Mason and Carter are determined to face their fears and will stop at nothing to bring Isabella home...but first they must survive Zamora s Ultimate Challenge!

About the Author
M.K. Scott, a total book fiend and a horse lover extraordinaire, is both a children s book author and adult fiction author. She is currently wr
iting two mystery series (the Wine Lovers Mysteries and the Horse Lovers Mysteries) for Berkeley Prime Crime. When she's not hanging out with her kids and trying to keep them in line, she teaches creative writing to middle school kids. Her love for horses keeps her busy, but not as busy as her writing. Right now she is juggling ideas for about 8,456,342 ideas for new stories to write. Her imagination often keeps her awake at night, but she doesn't mind as she is constantly meeting new people and "things" even if it is only in her mind. M.K. lives in San Diego, CA with her super-cool husband, and her equally cool three kids, two dogs, two cats, and two horses.


And now on to the guest post from Michelle!!


The Novel Project

About ten years ago I had a dream—a literal dream. When I woke up in the morning, I actually wrote the dream down in my journal and still have it to this day. I dreamt that I opened and ran a center called The Creativity Center. It was a place where abused women and children could come and through artistic expression find some healing. I loved the idea and over years have revisited it and tried to figure out how I could make it happen.

As my writing career started to take off, I kind of got away from the Creativity Center idea, and as life sort of took hold and I found myself turning a book in every few months. The Creativity Center idea began to change shape. When my middle son had to spend some time each year at Children’s Hospital I thought it would be a good idea to try and start a program in the hospital that would help children write about their hospital experience or anything else for that matter. The problem I came across was the turn over rate in the hospitals and finding volunteers to help implement the program. I started thinking about a program that I could do on my own that would get kids writing and hopefully get them to enjoy writing on a long term basis. I developed The Novel Project and for the past six months have run the pilot program.

I currently work with two classes—a fifth grade class and an eighth grade class at different schools. I tailor each class’ needs a bit differently from one another but the ultimate goal is to get kids to want to write. TV, video games, and computers take up way too much space in our culture and I really want kids to go back to using their imaginations. My eighth grade class started out in September by doing character interviews, character journals, plot outlining and lots of side assignments to help them work on the craft. The best part of this for me was that every week these kids seemed genuinely happy to see me. I have just wrapped up my program with the kids and after working with them during this time, they now each have their own novellas printed. Not one kid wrote less than twenty-five pages and I had some kids that wrote up to sixty! Not to mention we did a handful of revisions with lots of editing. This was a major project, but very well worth it, and I have had kids tell me what I wanted to hear—that they love to write now.

My fifth graders do more short story projects, but the ultimate compliment came from their teacher last week when she told me that one of her kids who never does anything in class or for homework can’t wait each day to work on writing his stories. He’s even doing his homework for them! The world needs writers! If I can help one kid become a writer, I will have accomplished something I set out to do in some ways ten years ago when I dreamt about the creativity center.

How about you—have you ever had a dream, be it literal, or a goal type dream that you’ve gone for and succeeded at? Have your dreams changed over the years?

In my kids’ fantasy novel “Zamora’s Ultimate Challenge,” Mason and Carter Clover have to ask themselves if what they are experiencing is a dream. This question pops up a few times in the book and readers will only find out the answer at the very end, so I won’t spoil it here. Here is a short excerpt from the book when the boys first get inside the video game and wake up in the Land of Boysen. Enjoy!

Excerpt

"Carter was the first to open his eyes and look around. It had to be a dream. He was lying on long, thick grass–grass that was greener and thicker than any he had ever seen. He turned over, looked up and saw the sky above him was an amazing blue with clouds like huge cotton balls. He heard a stream of flowing water and, as he sat up, noticed a long, winding river with water so clear he could see the bottom, which appeared to be quite deep. At the bottom of the river were a variety of colored crystals reflecting off the water from the sun's rays, like a rainbow. He looked to the other side and saw an amazing waterfall, like he'd never seen before. Threads of gold flowed from the falls.

Flowers grew everywhere and in bright, crazy colors like iridescent orange, blue and all shades of purple. They were vibrant and smelled heavenly like apple pie, fresh lemons and roses–even better smelling than any of his mother's perfumes.

The grass was soft under him, softer than the down comforter on his bed. For a minute he wondered if he'd died and this was Heaven. He suddenly remembered Izzy, and why he was there. And Mason. Oh no, where was Mason? "Mason! Mason!" His heart beat faster, panicking as he cried out for his brother. It felt like the times when he'd have a nightmare and he'd sneak into his parent's room, curling up on the floor next to their bed. "Mason!"

"What?" Mason sat up only ten feet away, rubbing his eyes. "Man, is it already time for school? I don't want to go. Tell Mom I'm sick. Wow, I had the weirdest dream."

"Uh, Mason."

"What? Leave me alone. You always wake me up ten minutes early. Go away." He flopped back down.

"You might want to sit up and look around, cause unless we're having the same dream, this is for real."

"Oh, it is very real." They heard a deep, but gentle sounding voice. Mason sat up quickly. The look of surprise and shock on his face made Carter want to laugh. For a minute he didn't feel quite so afraid. The voice spoke again, and the boys directed their attention down to the river where the voice echoed."


I will be checking in throughout the day and answering any questions you have or responding to comments. Please visit my blog at http://www.adventuresnwriting.blogspot.com for an opportunity to win a fun-filled vacation in San Diego, Ca!

Happy Reading!

M.K. Scott

Now for the fun stuff! Michelle has gifted me with 3 copies of the book to giveaway to a lucky reader! Everyone say THANK YOU MICHELLE! Ok, now that our collective cosmic thank you is on it's way...;) Leave me a comment...tell me why this book sounds good!


PLUS!!!!


Visit Michelles blog to view the trailer for the book as well as find out the details of a great contest to win a vacation for 2 to San Diego!!

I told you not to miss the good stuff at the end ;)

Available from the Publisher







Follow the Rest of the Blog Tour

** Don't forget to stop every day at Michele's blog for a fun contest. San Diego anyone?? (Be sure to check out the cool book trailer!)

* March 30: Michele blogs about the differences between writing children's fantasy versus adult mystery at Drey's House

* April 2: Michele talks about balancing multi-genre writing and family at Booking Mama.

* April 3: A tween's view of "Zamora's Ultimate Challenge" at Beth Fish Reads.

* April 4: Stop at Teen-Seen and maybe win some prizes!


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