Wednesday, February 15, 2017

YA Writing Team Lee Bice-Matheson is Back!

Carpinello's Writing Pages welcomes back the mother-son writing team of Lee Bice-Matheson with their latest book in the Page Maddison series.

First, a bit about both of our authors:

Lee Bice-Matheson is the author of Wake Me Up Inside, Book One, in the Paige Maddison Series. It was the recipient of the Literacy Award from the Readers' Advisory Panel, Orillia Public Library, and the series continues to be included in the Battle of the Books, Simcoe County. Lee is proud to say she coauthored Destiny's Gate, Book Two, and Shine Your Light, Book Three, with her son, J.R. Matheson. Lee has degrees in Honours History and a Master of Library & Information Science, both from Western University.

J.R. Matheson has been writing fantasy and horror since he was old enough to hold a pen. Collaborating on the Paige Maddison series has reignited his passion for creative writing. When he’s not weaving tales with his mom and coauthor, Lee Bice-Matheson, he can be found drowning in scientific publications and talking incessantly about his research at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Ontario, where he is a clinical pharmacology PhD student. Some may claim that science and the creative arts are at odds, but J.R. feels they are one and the same.

It’s been a while since you were on my blog. What has the writing team of Lee Bice-Matheson & J. R. Matheson been up to?

J.R. and I released book 3 in the Paige Maddison series called Shine Your Light on November 15, 2016. We are happy to say it is a bestselling novel and was listed for 5 weeks in Teen and Young Adult Ghost Stories and #2 Hot New Release on for our paperback edition. As you know, writing a novel takes time. It took us two years from our last release of Destiny’s Gate. Since the release of Shine Your Light, we’ve had 6 interviews, 2 newspaper write-ups, and I was on ‘live’ TV representing our writing team on Daytime Simcoe discussing our series. It’s been a whirlwind and we are grateful.

How did you come up with the idea of the Paige Maddison Series?

I started out as a storyteller creating bedtime stories for J.R. He loved them so much, one day, he suggested I should write them down and share them with the world. My husband also encouraged me to write them down. Our family often hiked along nature trails, and I didn’t want us to be eaten by bears, so I would create animal stories and say them aloud to scare off any nearby wildlife. When our son was in Grade 10 and living in France on an exchange, I realized that I must have something to do in my off-hours from working in my husband’s office. In fact, he said to me, “You’ve done so much for J.R. and me, why don’t you finally write some of those stories and publish them.”  I enrolled in a post-graduate writing course. At the end of the course, we were asked to write an outline of a novel, or to write a short story. I chose the novel … and my mentor, Cheryl Zach, said ‘you can go into writing novels.’ I was thrilled. During this course, I lost my parents (nine months apart), my father-in-law, my maternal grandmother, and many more loved family members, and my best friend. They say write what you know most about. I chose to write about family relationships, unconditional love, loyalty, death, and afterlife. I began to write about ghosts and spirituality, naturally.

Give us a summary of books one and two.

Wake Me Up Inside, Book One, is a ghost story centered around Paige Maddison, a strong teenage heroine. Paige is disturbed by nightmares of places she has never seen, and visions of a girl haunting her dreams. She is angry because she must move with her parents to an estate called O'Brien Manor to help her estranged grandparents, one of whom is in ill health. With the help of her friend, Bradley Adam Parkman, they begin to piece together a stone tablet that holds the key to supernatural events occurring on the O’Brien Estate. Paige bears the burden of solving a family secret. Will Paige uncover the mystery of O'Brien Manor before it's too late? It's a page-turner and will leave you feeling haunted.

Destiny’s Gate, Book Two: ‘Live from a place of love. It conquers all that is evil.’
Shaken by the haunting on the O’Brien Estate, Paige hopes to put it behind her. When Paige’s premonitions, nightmares, and ghostly visions return, however, she realizes there is no way of getting back to the normal she once knew. Try as she might to adjust to her new life at the O’Brien Manor, dark forces begin to brew on the grounds of the haunted O’Brien estate. But where there is darkness, there is also light. Paige soon learns that she is not only being watched over by guardians of both the spirit and mortal realms, but also being called upon by a greater power beyond her wildest comprehension. As her world is turned upside down, Paige faces a life-changing dilemma: Should she embrace her special gift and fulfill the destiny that is unfolding before her? Or will she succumb to the evil that surrounds her and deny her true identity? Destiny’s Gate follows the young heroine on her personal journey of discovering inner strength, undying loyalty, and the profound power of unwavering love.

Tell us about book three, Shine Your Light.

Our third novel is written as a standalone. Paige understands who her arch-nemesis is and that her family is its target. She fights against the ultimate evil with her friends and risks it all to fight for the good of humanity. It is a supernatural, spiritual, and ghost mystery series. After the release of SYL, we’ve been referred to as: ‘the Nancy Drew of the realm of high spirits and dreams and visions,’ by John Robert Colombo, Canada’s Master Gatherer, and author & anthologist of over 200 books.

Paige Maddison is only 17 years old, but many know her spirit is ageless. She holds the gift of seeing beyond the layers of our reality, the courage to battle the evils that threaten to tear those layers apart, and the key to an ancient mystery that will decide the fate of the spirit realm, and our own, for another century.

In Shine Your Light, Paige finds herself precariously balanced between the mortal and spiritual realms, even while being haunted by events of the past. Surrounded by powerful allies, old and new, she discovers the true power of friendship―and the impact of its betrayal―as she faces her greatest challenge: the Prince of Darkness himself. The Ultimate Evil.

When a black moon looms over All Hallows' Eve, and the battle for control of an ancient Grimoire threatens to destroy the world as we know it, Paige will be put to the test. Will love and goodness win the day? Will the strength and magic of her Celtic ancestry, the First Nations People, her Spirit Wolf family, or even divine intervention be enough to help her prevail?

Paige’s visions tell her that she is the Chosen One―chosen by fate, God, or perhaps the universe itself ... but is she worthy? The ultimate battle between fallen angels, humanity, and the upperworld is about to be fought on Earth’s battlefield.

What if they've made the wrong choice?

Here's a peek at Shine Your Light:

“Okay, black-eyed-Susan and lavender thoughts it is.” I smiled at Peggy and noticed a frown on her face. “Don't worry, Peggy. I’m taking this very seriously. I have spent time with the Testament of Solomon and have guarded the Seal, too. There is only one outcome, our victory, tonight.”

Peggy hugged me for dear life and sent me on my way. As I ran down the gravel road to the O'Brien estate, I heard her say, "'Shine your light, Paige. Shine your light. People have been trying to shut it down since the day you were born."

"I will, indeed, Peggy. Thanks to you,"  I replied in kind. Then I was off to cleanse myself. How could I battle evil if I did not ensure evil was not attached to me or to my soul?

What’s next for the Paige Maddison Series? Are you working on book four?

I have recently announced that my co-author and son, J.R. Matheson, is retiring from the Paige Maddison series. He is in his PhD working on research: how cannabis effects driving behaviour. We support J.R. 100% in his endeavours and we’re very proud of him.

I am rebranding the Paige Maddison series and have begun working on book four. It’s bittersweet as I miss J.R.’s input, but it’s also an exciting time.

Do you always write as a duo? Have either you or J.R. Matheson written books on your own? Do you find writing together easier or harder than writing solo?

I wrote Wake Me Up Inside on my own. J.R. wrote a book when he was 10 years old. The TV series Lost came out, and it was similar to J.R.’s book; he tossed it in a drawer where it sits to this day. I am hoping one day he’ll revise it and then release it. I loved it! That’s why I asked him to be my writing partner. He is very talented. We wrote books two and three together via emails, skype calls, on family holidays, using dropbox, and texting one another through the day to ask questions here and there about the storyline. We managed to write the books together, scene by scene. We respect each other and think along the same lines too. We challenged each other in a good way. We never had a disagreement, and we’re closer now than before.  I will miss writing with J.R. I loved it more than writing solo. But he has encouraged me to carry on, as my husband has, and so many readers have, too.

What else would you like readers to know?

Thank you from the bottom of our hearts to our supporters and book buying readers of the Paige Maddison series. We wouldn’t be continuing this journey if it wasn’t for you. Also to our new readers, we hope you enjoy Paige’s spiritual awakening.

Please leave honest and constructive reviews for any of your favourite authors on Goodreads, Amazon, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, or any online bookstore. It is one of the main ways to give feedback to help authors understand how their work is being received or how it could be tweaked to make it better. We appreciate all feedback for the Paige Maddison Series.

Here is our latest review: 5 STARS - I recently had the pleasure of reading Shine Your Light. It was refreshing to read a well-written novel void of sex, drugs, and smoking. Avid readers of all ages will enjoy Paige Maddison's adventures with her loyal friends. If this book was available in our schools, I feel the students would find it to be a great read and learn important life lessons from it. My great-granddaughter is turning 13 this year and I think she will find Paige's spirit wolves, out of body experiences, and Archangel Guardians fascinating! What a great book! L.W.

Where can readers find you and your books?

Twitter: @BiceMatheson @justinrmatheson

Shine Your Light: Amazon, Indigo, B&N, Friesen Press

Wednesday, February 1, 2017

MisFortune Annie Virtual Tour

Carpinello's Writing Pages is one of the stops for Colorado co-authors Janet Fogg & Dave Jackson on the MisFortune Annie Book Tour. 

Janet co-wrote Fogg in the Cockpit (Casemate)—with husband Richard—one of five books nominated in 2012 by the Air Force Historical Foundation for best World War II book reviewed in Air Power History. Keeping her historical knowledge sharp, Janet manages the 359th Fighter Group’s Facebook page, sharing WWII stories and photos about the Fighter Group.  She is also a member and 2015/16 Vice President of Rocky Mountain Fiction Writers.

Dave released of Tattoo Rampage by Curiosity Quills Press in 2013. The novel follows Evangelina Marquez-James, a strong female heroine, who gets her first tattoo as a symbol of courage to carry on after her police officer husband dies in the line of duty. He performs stand-up and skits regularly, as Comedy remains one of his many passions and he writes and performs skits, as well as stand-up. Also a songwriter and guitarist, Dave has composed over 300 musical titles.

Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper

About the Book:


Pages: 154


Pages: 154


Pages: 129

Middle Grade, Young Adult
October 22, 2016

Enjoy this peek at MisFortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper:

When Annabelle Fortune, the fastest gunslinger in the wild west, inadvertently stops a stranger from attacking a train -- and he wears a suit that enables him to fly! -- the government believes she's the only one to have witnessed the Locomotive Reaper and survived to tell the tale.

Promising to find out what he can about her missing father, the Director of the Secret Service persuades Annie to swear in. Too soon, her detested nickname re-stakes its claim.

Partnered with Beau Slokam, whose penchant for gambling leads them straight to the Doom Gang, Misfortune Annie guides the smooth-talking Southerner in a chase through the Rockies, with her Cheyenne friend, Wontoa, rounding out their unlikely trio.

When Annie again meets the Locomotive Reaper, his gadgetry proves far more advanced -- and deadly -- than even top scientists could have imagined.

A sequel is already underway! Visit Annie at for updates on release, as well as announcements regarding future books in the series!

About the authors and their writing partnership:

Q: Your protagonist was inspired by spitfire Annie Oakley, but what’s the full story behind your exciting middle grade adventure Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper?

Dave: To properly tell Misfortune Annie’s origin, we must first go back to the spark from a great machine. I make no bones about my awe of George Lucas and the Indiana Jones series. It’s widely known by most Lucas fans that the rugged archaeologist first showed up in spirit in old matinee serials until George tweaked him a little for a new generation of movie lovers. Indy’s trusty whip came from Zorro cliffhangers. So, hoping to scare up just anything that could give Indy a run for his money, I poked around in the same cinema of yesteryear and dug the cowboy genre. Roy Rogers, the Lone Ranger, Gene Autry—they were huge! So like Indy, my new star had to have a catchy name and signature duds. He was going to have a 10-gallon hat and Levi jacket.

I never got to name him though because fate threw in a wildcard that made me so grateful and stoked, I could never go back to the dude. On Christmas vacation one year, nearly sleeping behind the wheel through flat old Kansas, I passed a sign that boasted, “Annie Oakley Museum.” Jolted awake, I had my new hero. It would be a young lady known by a slick nickname.

Janet: We were chatting about his concept for Annie and what he wanted to accomplish with the book/series, and asked if I'd join him on that journey. Annie appealed to me for many reasons. First, because she was a young cowgirl struggling to excel in the man's world of the wild, Wild West. I really liked that. Second, because I thought we could weave subtle "lessons-learned" into the books, so that young readers, especially teen girls, would have a role model with strength, courage, determination, and strong morals.

What made you decide to co-write as a team on this series - and how is it collaborating on a book?

Dave: We didn’t collaborate. Like spoiled rich kids we fought, I tell ya. Nah, actually, the writer’s journey is very lonely, and I highly recommend brewing with another author, especially someone as tenacious, gracious, and creative as Janet.

Janet: Or as funny, talented, and kind as Dave. (Can you say mutual admiration society? It’s been a blast!)

Can you tell us more about the “Fun Facts” readers will find at the very back of the book?

Janet: We decided to incorporate some historic facts in each book, and the “Fun Facts” helps define certain facts versus fiction. One example is the waist overalls made by Levi Strauss that Annie wears. These were the original blue jeans, and in our Fun Facts a reader will learn that when they were first created by German-born businessman Levi Strauss and Latvian-born tailor Jacob Davis, blue jeans were actually called “waist overalls.” The duo received a patent for them on May 20, 1873, with a product that had one back pocket, a watch pocket, a cinch, and brace buttons. When a young reader reads this Fun Fact, we hope it inspires them to pause and consider the origins of other everyday items. Perhaps there are many young inventors out there, in need of inspiration and a nudge!

What is your favorite part of being an author/or the process of writing?

Dave: Hands down, it’s when I daydream of people reading our stories. After which, my imagination blossoms more to fans tossing me the keys to their Ferrari—and not to park it for them—then they offer to buy me, and Janet fried chicken dinners.

Janet: What Dave said. Plus, bending my imagination 90 degrees to somewhere. Inspiring a reader. Preserving history.

What does a typical work day of writing look like for you?

Dave: There is no typical. My days are maxed with tutoring my son in algebra, playing music gigs, performing stand up, an auditing occupation, planning a convention, exercise, my lovely girlfriend, and having a good time. I truly write due to my love for it because there’s no time otherwise. Because of odd predicaments, I’ve borrowed other folks’ computers and even typewriters to get something on the page. I’ve scrawled on napkins.

Janet: I've never been a good sleeper, so I sneak out of bed when the Great Horned Owls are still conversing. First, I check email. (Who doesn't?) While I used to work on manuscript drafts during those wee hours, now I work on my 359th FG posts or answer questions about the Fighter Group.  After breakfast I write new words. Then I'll edit—I can edit all day, but my brain begins to protest after writing three or four or pages of new words. That's another reason I love collaborating on stories!

Have you ever had a mentor, or someone who sparked your passion for writing?

Dave: Yoda, but Janet wound up being better.

Janet: After I stop blushing, I'm going to work on growing long pointy ears. Really though - reading, reading and more reading.

Annie is such a trailblazer and great role model for young readers. What do you hope fans of the book will take away from the story?

Janet: That girls rock!

Dave: Misfortune Annie and the Locomotive Reaper is the really good book you’ve been looking for. Also, I do want everyone to know that I learned to crack a whip just because of the Indiana Jones movies—which influenced Misfortune Annie’s creation).

What do you feel makes your book unique from other middle grade fiction out there?

Dave: The characters are peculiar, funny, and cool.

Janet: Especially Annie.

Dave: Yes, you won’t be able to wait for Book Two.

Ah! So speaking of book two, what’s next for Misfortune Annie?

Throughout the series, we will see more problems that Annie doesn’t get credit for because she’s a girl in a ‘tough guy’ world.

A long cast of colorful crooks (think James Bond’s bullies) is waiting to take on the fastest draw in the west. Book Two leads Annie to New Orleans and face-to-face with a wicked Voodoo priest. In another episode, the Dragon Warrior shall render her six shooters useless. A sinister magician will perform the ultimate trick on her and the Secret Service. Beware pirates! Look out for creatures in the woods, Annie! Not to mention cameos by historical figures like Wyatt Earp, Baby Doe Tabor, and Teddy Roosevelt—perfect walk-ons to spark curiosity about US History.

Where to find the authors:

Dave Jackson Website
Janet Fogg Website
Dave's FB Page
Janet's FB Page