INTERVIEW WITH HEATHER S. FRIEDMAN RIVERA

 Custom Book Cover Heather Rivera Exaltia Ebook

I first became acquainted with Heather’s work through reading her book Ultreia. It’s a wonderful book about a woman named Tess and her spiritual journey while running a past-life travel agency. Such a great premise! Recently, I’ve begun reading her fun, fantasy series for middle-grade readers (ages 9-12) called The Prism Walkers.

In the first of the series, entitled Into Exaltia, we meet twelve year old Sara and her ten year old sister Molly. They are visiting their grandmother over spring break. The girls are bored and it’s up to Sara to keep Molly entertained and out of trouble. Things take a turn when a magical portal is opened and they find themselves in Exaltia. Sara and Molly are drawn into an adventure and towards their destiny.

Welcome Heather. I’m glad you could join us to talk about your books for young readers.

How did the idea for Prism Walkers come to you?

Thank you so much, Ellis, for having me today. I was working on the books about Tess that you mentioned above. My husband and I were flying to Europe for a vacation and some book research for that series in May 2014. Earlier that morning I had read an Edgar Cayce reading about myself and it mentioned that I would enjoy writing children’s books. I dismissed the idea immediately. However, the first night that we slept in Dublin, as I was waking up, the story of the Prism Walkers “downloaded” into my head. Most of my stories come to me as I am waking up and this one was no different. I told my husband that morning over breakfast, “Well, I guess I am writing a children’s book.”

Are you more like Sara or Molly? And, how so?

I am more like Sara. Although I think I may have a bit of Molly’s sass too. My younger sister and I spent a lot of time at our grandma’s house when we were growing up. We enjoyed our time with our grandmother very much. The house in the Prism Walker books is modeled after my grandma’s house.

When I was growing up, I took it upon myself to keep my sister entertained. I would make up fantasy adventures for her and make-believe the backyard was a magical land. Our uncle also gave us a prism that we loved to look through.

What were your favorite kinds of stories at their ages? Any favorite authors come to mind?

Good question. I had to go back in my mind a bit to remember. I did like the Nancy Drew mysteries. I also enjoyed Judy Blume books, E.W. Hildick’s “The Active Enzyme, Lemon Freshened, Junior High School Witch.” I also enjoyed “The Hobbit” by JRR Tolkein, and “The Phantom Tollbooth” by Norton Juster.

I also read and re-read Henry David Thoreau’s “On Walden Pond”. Some of it was beyond my level of understanding as a child but I was determined to keep reading it. I took that book everywhere and still have that beat up copy.

Since you write fiction for both grown-ups and kids, I’m curious if you have a preference for one over the other, or find each allows you to express a different creative side?

I enjoy writing for grown-ups and kids and tend to write my young reader books in between the adult books. I love allowing the child-like part of me to play and explore wherever my imagination wants to take me. Writing about fantasy worlds gives me a lot of freedom. As a child I imagined all sorts of magical worlds so I’m just continuing this as an adult.

Can you give us a hint of what’s to come as the series unfolds? You leave us a tantalizing clue at the end of book 1 that Exaltia may have spilled over into the girls’ world. What kinds of things will the Prism Walkers be up against next?

In the second book, “In Search of Emerald Bay”, there is indeed a crack between worlds that threatens the survival of magical Exaltia. Sara and the other Prism Walkers are in a race against time to save Exaltia and all who live there.

In addition, I just completed the third Prism Walker book. It’s called “Inside the Crystal”. In this book the Prism Walkers, along with their elven friends, find themselves in a world very different from Earth or Exaltia—a land called Mandriland. “Inside the Crystal” will be out this year.

All of the Prism Walker books are illustrated by Martin Kaspar from Prague. He is an amazing artist who quickly understood the vision of the books and captured the characters and setting perfectly.

Thanks for spending some time with us today, Heather! To learn more about her work, please follow the links below.

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Heather S. Friedman Rivera, RN, JD, PhD was born in Los Angeles. She founded a research institute for advancing past life research, PLR Institute. In addition to speaking and researching about past life and related therapies, she writes fiction and hosts writing workshops on healing through fiction. She is the author of Healing the Present from the Past, Quiet Water, Maiden Flight, Ultreia, Into Exaltia, and In Search of Emerald Bay. When not writing, she loves to bike ride by the ocean. Her best friends include a Puggle, a neurotic Chihuahua, and a black cat.

For information on her work, to read her blog, or to just say “hi”, please visit https://www.facebook.com/heather.friedmanrivera

Her website: www.heatherrivera.com

Amazon link for Into Exaltia: goo.gl/VsfOjm

FREE: Into the Land of Snows

This is the only time I will be doing this promotion. Get your FREE Kindle copy from Amazon (now through Dec. 10th). Snuggle up by the fire and join Blake as he treks in the Himalayas. Happy holidays to everyone! (We have a house in Brussels and we’re moving in Jan. I’ll join you from Belgium in the new year.)

GRAB YOUR FREE COPY HERE:   https://goo.gl/O6Bvxq

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NOW IN PRINT! Elephants Never Forgotten

 

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Just in time for the holidays.

Order through Amazon: goo.gl/EKcVDB

What’s it about?      Jurassic Park meets Micro 😉

A hundred years in the future, twelve-year-old Nigella receives a shipment from her deceased grandfather. Her inheritance is a herd of micro-elephants. While a lot of her friends have micro-pets, Nigella is at a loss on how to care for them. Why are her micro-pets so different from everyone else’s? What was her grandfather up to? With the help of her best friend, Kepler, the girls set off on an adventure to discover the truth.

Also available as an ebook.

3 Creepy Tales for YA Readers

‘Tis the season for chills & all things ghostly. Grab one of these if you dare!

Princess of the Damned (Skeleton Key) by Wendy Knight

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What do you do when the face in the mirror isn’t yours?
Landon has never seen his own reflection. He saw hers instead. He grew up watching this girl in the mirror grow with him. Grew up memorizing every feature, every movement, every horror she endured. He can see into her palace, into the darkness she’s trapped in.
When he was little, he told his parents about her. They thought she was an imaginary friend, and they humored him.
But she didn’t go away.
And when Landon was seventeen, he fell in love with her.
She is a captive of the Queen of the Damned.
Now he’ll risk everything to try to save her—his life, his home, his entire world.
Bloody Mary
The queen in the mirror.
Bloody Mary
Waiting to steal your soul.
Bloody Ma…

https://www.amazon.com/Princess-Damned-Skeleton-Wendy-Knight-ebook/dp/B01GOQ828U

Best Friends Forever by Patti Larsen

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A tragic accident strips sixteen-year-old Emily Underman of her three best friends. Depression consumes her as life becomes the endless gray place of feeling nothing. Until her little brother goes missing, jerking her out of her emotional coma. That’s when her friends appear. Haunting her, driving her to madness. Trying to tell her something. Making her question the motives of the lead detective on her brother’s case. Doubt the nice man next door. And making it hard for her to resist the only person who understands her—the detective’s son, Todd. Guilt forces her to trust the spirits of her ghostly friends who lead her closer and closer to the kidnapper—and redemption.

https://www.amazon.com/Best-Friends-Forever-Patti-Larsen-ebook/dp/B0080G04GQ/

Sanctuary:(Shifter Chronicles Book 1) by Melle Amade

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It’s survival of the fittest, but first you have to fit in.

Shae is sure the icy rage that eats away at her is driving away her friends and pulling her closer to the wrong boy. But, as her protected world unravels, she discovers the violent supernatural world that lurks in her quiet hometown and the ancient feuds that threaten to destroy both her friends and her family. To save those she loves, Shae must succumb to her own fury, but at what cost?

https://www.amazon.com/Sanctuary-urban-fantasy-Shifter-Chronicles-ebook/dp/B01M13W8EP

3 Creepy Tales for Middle Graders

The days grow shorter and the nights carry a chill. Halloween is just around the corner and here are some suitably scary tales for fall.

The Charmed Children of Rookskill Castle by Janet Fox

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Twelve-year-old Katherine Bateson believes in a logical explanation for everything. But even she can’t make sense of the strange goings-on at Rookskill Castle, the drafty old Scottish castle-turned-school where she and her siblings have been sent to escape the London Blitz. What’s making those mechanical shrieks at night? Why do the castle’s walls seem to have a mind of their own? And who are the silent children who seem to haunt Rookskill’s grounds? Kat believes Lady Eleanor, who rules the castle, is harboring a Nazi spy. But when her classmates begin to vanish, one by one, Kat must face the truth about what the castle actually harbors–and what Lady Eleanor is–before it’s too late.

Brightwood by Tania Unsworth

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Daisy Fitzjohn knows there are two worlds: the outside world and the world of her home, a secluded mansion called Brightwood Hall. But only Brightwood is real for Daisy–she’s never once set foot outside its grounds. Daisy and her mother have everything they need within Brightwood’s magnificent, half-ruined walls, including Daisy’s best friends: a talking rat named Tar and the ghost of a long-ago explorer who calls herself Frank.

When Daisy’s mother leaves one morning, a peculiar visitor, James Gritting, arrives on the estate, claiming to be a distant cousin. But as the days tick by and Daisy’s mother doesn’t return, Gritting becomes more and more menacing. He wants Brightwood for himself, and he will do anything to get it.

Curse of the Boggin by DJ MacHale

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There’s a place beyond this world, beyond the land of the living, where ghosts go to write their unfinished stories—stories that ended too soon. It’s a place for unexplained phenomena: mysteries that have never been solved, spirits that have never been laid to rest. And there’s only one way in or out.

It’s called the Library, and you can get there with a special key. But beware! Don’t start a story you can’t finish. Because in this library, the stories you can’t finish just might finish you.

 

Back to School Contest

9/9/2016: I’m awarding books to Laura Beth, maryy-st, and Of Glass and Books. I’ll be notifying you all shortly and sending the files. Thanks to everyone who entered.

It’s contest time! Leave a comment below and be entered to win a copy of the electronic version of Elephants Never Forgotten. Contest closes at noon (EST) on Friday (Sept. 9th). I’ll do a random drawing and award two books. To enter, post a comment below on what you most like(d) about school. What was/is your favorite class? Who was/is your best friend? Who was/is your favorite teacher (or who do you despise)? Spill! Don’t forget to leave me a way to contact you. Add your email or website where I can find you. If your icon doesn’t lead anywhere, I can’t find you!elephants never forgotten 2  

JURASSIC PARK meets MICRO in this exciting MG adventure!

ELEPHANTS NEVER FORGOTTEN

A hundred years from now, twelve-year-old Nigella receives a shipment from her deceased grandfather. Her inheritance is a herd of micro-elephants. While a lot of her friends have micro-pets, Nigella is at a loss on how to care for hers. Why are her micros so different from everyone else’s? What was her grandfather up to? In her struggle to understand them, she learns that there might be a group of wild elephants left in a remote part of Africa. With the help of her best friend, Kepler, the girls set off on an adventure to discover the truth.

 

What readers are saying:

“Ellis Nelson’s superb writing made this book a joy to read. I felt like I was right there experiencing the journey, the concerns, the total adventure. Lessons about friendship and family, ecology abound.”

“Ellis Nelson has a way with tweens.”

“…buy it for the tweens in your life and let it instigate a discussion on animal conservation.”

“An intriguing, positive read for tweens.”

BUY FROM AMAZON

BUY FROM MUSEITUP

 

 

Excavating Pema Ozer by Yudron Yangmo

 

Pema

As you all probably know, I have a deep interest in Buddhism and recently came across this book. It is a wonderful story of a teenager coming into contact with Tibetan Buddhism for the first time.

Here’s the blurb:

Weslyn Redinger wants one thing: to be normal again. Racked by panic attacks that have ruined her life and driven off her friends in the months since she saw the body of a young boy she loved rolled out to a waiting ambulance, she is now drawn into a circle of seekers who surround a mysterious stranger living in her grandmother’s backyard shed. After reluctantly attending his teachings, a series of dreams is unleashed—as vivid as her waking life. At night she is an attendant to the female teacher Uza Khandro from the Tibetan countryside, during the day she is a flawed sixteen-year-old struggling to get control over her body and her life. Why does she care so much about this man’s story of a long-lost set of Tibetan books hoarded by a greedy collector?

Amazon link: http://goo.gl/TFX8sy

 

BORN OF ILLUSION by Teri Brown

 

Born

This is an engaging story of teen Anna Van Housen’s life as a stage magician during the 1920s. When Anna and her mother relocate to New York City, their lives become more stable with sold-out shows. Unfortunately, Anna’s relationship with her mother is strained and when she insists that they continue to do séances on the side, Anna becomes worried. Although the séances are totally fabricated, Anna has real psychic ability she has yet to come to terms with. Continuing with the séances also puts them under the scrutiny of the police and debunkers (not the least of which is Harry Houdini who happens to be in New York as well). As success with the magic show and the séances grow, Anna gets mixed up with paranormal researchers, a high society bachelor, and a kidnapping plot. It’s a fast moving book with lots of well-researched facts about New York and the 1920s. And Harry Houdini might just be Anna’s father.

We Are All Made of Molecules

                                                                      by Susin Nielsen

molecules 

What happens when two very different teenagers are forced to live under one roof because their parents decide to live together? This is the story of a blended family in modern times facing the age old dilemma: how to get along and make the best of a challenging situation. Stewart is 13, socially challenged, just lost his mother. He’s as brilliant as he is awkward.  Ashley is 14, not good at school, and very concerned with her social standing and appearance. She is coping (just barely) with her parent’s divorce and her father announcing he’s gay. The story is told in alternating chapters revealing how each of them is adjusting to the changes. Stewart is a very likable character, but Ashley comes off like a spoiled brat. Their interaction shows Ashley’s ability to be cruel. I suppose, that’s why this book rings so true. The author’s use of humor certainly softens the tension and we do see Ashley begin to change over time. Issues of bullying and intolerance are core themes here. It’s an easy, entertaining read. RECOMMENDED!