Welcome back to the Blogfest! Today’s guest author is Sara Stinson. Sara’s sharing her new Young Adult Fantasy with us called Forever Changed. It’s Book One from the Hally Witch of Magic Hollow Series.
Sara’s giving a new twist for today’s blog. Sam Hopwoods is a reporter and a good friend of Skyla Hally’s in Forever Changed. He’s going to interview her. In this way, you can get to know them and other characters in the remarkable world of Magic Hollow.
Sam: Hi, Skyla.
Skyla: Hey, Sam. Well, here we are again.
Sam: Yeah. I can remember the first time I interviewed you in Magic Hollow.
Skyla: Me too. You did a great job! I know you’ll do great today. The Pen Pusher Newspaper will be proud.
Sam: Thanks. I hope so. I wouldn’t want to upset Mr. Pigsters or the Magical Council at Roddenbury Castle.
Skyla: You’ll do fine. Let’s get started.
Sam: Wow, um, where to start? We’ve all been through so much, you, Alec, Pennie, and me. (He says with a serious tone.)
Skyla: Yes, we have. Everything has changed since my seventeenth birthday. My parents murdered, me moving to live with my grandparents.
Sam: I’m sorry about your parents. Maybe that’s where we can start…with the Deathstalkers, the monsters who killed your parents.
Skyla: Okay. They are what brought me to where I am. The Deathstalkers have been after me since before I was born. They’ve tortured and killed many of my father’s people and my mother’s. There are seven of them. They’re the seven deadly sins, and they’re after my powers. Seems they need them to survive.
Sam: Where did these Deathstalkers come from?
Skyla: Over 600 years ago, these creatures were created from the Black Plague. Seven vampires, from a respected coven known as the Vardons, fed from the sick inflicted with the disease, generating this evil bunch. A vampire named Helfrador is their leader.
Sam: Helfrador. I remember him. (Sam narrows his eyes. It’s more of a goofy look.) I stared him straight in the eyes when he was coming out of the tunnel that unforgettable night. I’m not afraid of him.
Skyla: (Laughing) Yeah, right. I think you need to get on with the interview and not give too much of the story away…or embarrass yourself.
Sam: (Slumping in his seat again and massaging his chest, Sam looks over his notes, his face turning red.) So, after your parents were killed, you moved from North Carolina to Madison, New Hampshire. Tell the readers what you found to be hidden in Madison. (He leans in closer to Skyla.) You know, the first time you went through a portal.
Skyla: (Smiles) Grandma Lil’ and Aunt Fanny were the first to take me through a portal. It’s Magic Hollow where witches and wizards can be themselves, where candy shops come alive, and where wizards and witches like you and me can go to school. Of course, you and I know, I’m homeschooled for now.
Sam: Skyla, you are The Hally Witch of Magic Hollow. The magical world has waited many years for you to be born. Can you tell the readers about this prophecy?
Skyla: When the Deathstalkers drank blood from the sick, it gave them unbelievable strength. They now know this strength will not last forever. That’s why they want mine. Taking my powers will not only give them the strength to survive, but will stop me from stopping them. If they succeed, they will not only have power over the mortals, but the magical world too. I have much to do and much to learn before I can go face to face with the Deathstalkers. Grandma Lil’, Saada Byrd (A witch and helper who lives behind the main house along with her husband Obi and their son Little Peg), and Aunt Fanny Cornels are teaching me daily. I have lessons to read and potions to learn. Sometimes I think my brain is going to implode I study so much. Oh, and I also have help from Rigspul.
Sam: Who’s Rigspul?
Skyla: I guess I haven’t told you about him. He’s a box, although, he doesn’t like to be called a box. He’s more like a beautiful antique trunk. (She giggles.) And he’s ticklish.
Sam: Um, okay.
Skyla: He is. He’s very nice when he wants to be and deadly when he needs to be.
Sam: I think I’ll stay away from him.
Skyla: Probably a good idea.
Sam: Let’s talk a little about this ghost you’ve been seeing.
Skyla: The ghost is a big part of the story. Let’s save her for the readers. (She pauses.) I will say the ghost is known as Witch Hagnar. Believe it or not, there’s a love story behind her. By the end of the book, the readers will love her.
Sam: Sounds romantic, and strange, since we are talking about a ghost who was a witch. (Sam scans his notes again.) I have one more thing I’d like for you to talk to our readers about.
Skyla: Okay. What’s that?
Sam: (He smiles) Alec Stone.
Skyla: (Now her face turns crimson.) Alec comes into my life after I move to Madison. He’s very good-looking, girls, and he has been wonderful to me. He lives with Chief Jo. Other than that, you’ll have to read to see if there’s anything else between the handsome guy and me. (Skyla winks.)
Sam: I understand. Don’t want to tell too much.
Skyla: What about you, Sam? Don’t you have a special someone?
Sam: Haha. Not telling. The readers will have to read to find out about me too. (He playfully points at me.) Two can play that game.
Skyla: I’m glad we met in the story, Sam. You, Alec, Pennie, my grandparents, Obi, Saada…oh, I could go on and on. Everyone has been so kind to me, you know? I just hope I can hold up my end of the bargain with this prophecy.
Sam: You will, Skyla. All your friends and family, we’ll be there by your side the entire way. Together, we’ll stop the Deathstalkers.
Here are two excerpts from Forever Changed from
Chapter 11 and 15.
Chapter 11 Dusk
“Amos, you have pushed enough, back off!” Lucas demanded loudly.
But Amos didn’t listen. If ignorance was a new breed, Amos would be the first on the list. New anger rose as he spat evilly, “Your father was a failure and your mother...”
“Skyla, may I help you, walk you over to sit down?” Lucas asked cautiously.
Chapter 15 Restless in the Night
This cannot be happening—I pounced up like an animal into the alert position, listening to determine how far away the sounds were. Oh no, maybe five minutes at the most, maybe less! Chica heard the screams too. She neighed and stepped nervously backwards. When I turned and prepared to mount her, something else startled her, and she jumped from fright, darting backwards several more steps. Then, without warning, something slammed into me from behind, causing me to roll several times on the ground, and whatever grabbed me had not let go.
I stopped in mid-sentence again, but this time from the eerie screeching voices hollering, “Skyla...Skyla, we can smell you, Skyla! We are coming for you, and when we find you, we will kill you as we did your parents!” The voices sounded as though they were traveling our way, and they were traveling fast!
I enjoy creating my characters and bringing them to life. I am also writing a series called The Finger Bones Series. Finger Bones is a ghost who helps three energetic kids chase and send ghosts to their next destination. At one of the schools nearby, I had a younger student to ask me if I had asked Finger Bones to have Christmas with us. The child was concerned Finger Bones would celebrate Christmas alone. How cute is that?
I am now retired as a Speech-Language Pathologist, but I continue substituting. I’m married and have two grown children, two cats, and one spoiled Yorkie named Addie.
Sara Stinson - LINKS
You can buy my books on Amazon, Createspace, and Barnes and Noble