Sunday, December 9, 2012

The Lamplighter’s Special by Alison DeLuca: Guest Post and Giveaway!

Brought to you by First Rule Publicity...

From Myrddin Publishing...
Miriam, Simon, Neil, and Riki reunite on Lampala for the summer holiday. They are happy to be together but wonder what has happened to Neil’s family.

Neil’s sisters, short-sighted Lizzie and beautiful Ninna, are forced to work in the Manor House to help take care of new guests.

The guest arrives, a lovely lady called Miss Wilkinsl. She and her brother have a mysterious obsession with the Crown Phoenix.

Lizzie meets Toby, the oldest son who cannot leave the attic. They become friends. Lizzie is also forced to work in Miss Cantwell’s rooms, where the dresser, Siddons, tortures her with violence and overwork. Siddons locks Lizzie in a room, and Toby finally emerges from his attic to rescue Lizzie.

Toby fixes The Crown Phoenix.They all board a ship called The Lamplighter’s Special and sail to the island. On the way, the typewriter works some strange magic and they arrive in a matter of hours instead of weeks.

Lizzie, Ninna, Toby and Priam discover there is a person hidden below deck in the boat.

Miss Cantwell takes the four children to the island and strands them there. They are rescued by Miriam, Neil, and Mana.

Miss Cantwell threatens to blow up the islands with the Crown Phoenix. She is captured. The rest return to the boat and head back to England, but Toby’s agoraphobia returns.

The Dark Horse: Hazards of Being a Writer

Books are vampires, some of them—they bite into you and don’t let go. Like a vampyr’s victim, the reader is changed forever.

It’s even worse when the urge to write takes hold. It is a fever that produces visions, ones that are so strong that at times they feel like reality. It can be a form of madness.

An author must be strong, must learn to live in two worlds at once. When the characters are talking and the scene plays out in the author’s head, as she listens to those voices and sees what happens to people who are, to her, completely real—when the real world intervenes, she must learn to silence the other, the unseen universe.

Of course the most important thing in the world is one’s family—children, husband, parents. Yet, when the writer is on a roll, riding that dark horse called fantasy as the movie plays out in her head, when the real world calls, she must rein in the steed and dismount.

In order to control those two warring, concurrent universes, the writer must have system—a plan. Writing needs to be in one room, real life in another. (Jane Austen was so conscious of this that she used to hide what she wrote under a piece of paper, kept on hand at all times, should anyone enter the room.)

The escape and the visions are scheduled for certain times—in the morning in my case, for others, at the dead of night. The visions themselves are outlined, or planned in careful notes, with painstaking research, all to create a map for the wild regions known as the right side of the brain.

I don’t know why some people have that key to the stables, to ride the dark horse. In my case, perhaps it came from a childhood without much television, where my sister and I entertained ourselves with our own made up stories. As we sat in absolute silence in endless, formal teas, we formed the ability to see within, to watch an interior movie that no one else could see.

There are many hazards of being a writer—deadlines, editors, publishers, and social media. For me, however, the greatest pleasure in being an author is also my greatest hazard – that of harnessing the dark horse.

About the Author

Alison DeLuca grew up on an organic farm in Chester County, Pennsylvania. Her parents were British, so in the summers she went to stay with her grandparents near Dublin.

There was no stereo or TV there, so Alison, her sister, and her cousins spent the summer inventing stories and plays for each other. “This gave me the ability to entertain myself with my own imagination in any situation,” she says. “We used to be taken to tea with great-aunts, and we were expected to sit on an uncomfortable couch and not move or say a word. It was possible to endure it because I was watching my own little stories play out in my mind.”

After graduating from West Chester University, Alison became a teacher of English and Spanish, teaching students from kindergarten up to college level. She loved teaching, and it was with reluctance that she left the classroom to be a fulltime mom when her daughter was born.

While she was teaching and raising her daughter, Alison took every free minute she had to write. The Night Watchman Express and The Crown Phoenix series were the result.

She is currently working on the final book in the series, as well as several other projects.


Thanks to the author and First Rule Publicity, one lucky reader will receive their choice of either a set of ALL THREE books in The Crown Phoenix series in digital format or ONE autographed print copy of one choice of book. To enter, all you have to do fill out the Rafflecopter form below :) a Rafflecopter giveaway
In addition, there is a tour-wide giveaway, which you can enter by filling out the Rafflecopter form below:
a Rafflecopter giveaway
Rules and Disclosure:
Stop giveaway ends December 24th; tour-wide giveaway ends December 17th.
Open internationally! Woohoo!
I will be selecting the winner for the stop giveaway; First Rule will select winners for the tour.
Winners have 48 hours to claim their prize once they are chosen, or else their prizes will be forfeited.
I am in no way responsible for the prizes, nor for shipping and handling.
As a reminder, you do not have to follow my blog to enter, though it is always very much appreciated ❤
Good luck!