Fairy, Texas by Margo Bond Collins: Book Blast Tour

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 Genre: YA Fantasy

Content/Theme(s): Romance/Mystery

Release Date: February 5, 2014

Publisher: Solstice Shadows Publishing

  Book Blurb 350

Fairy, Texas. A small town like any other.

Laney Harris didn’t want to live there. When her mother remarried and moved them to a town where a date meant hanging out at the Sonic, Laney figured that “boring” would have a whole new meaning. A new stepsister who despised her and a high school where she was the only topic of gossip were bad enough. But when she met the school counselor (and his terminal bad breath), she grew suspicious. Especially since he had wings that only she could see. And then there were Josh and Mason, two gorgeous glimmering-eyed classmates whose interest in her might not be for the reasons she hoped. Not to mention that dead guy she nearly tripped over in gym class.

She was right. Boring took on an entirely new dimension in Fairy, Texas.

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Book Excerpt 350

Fairy High could have fit into one wing of my old school. The three-story, red brick building looked like it had been around for at least a century—it actually had carvings over two of the doorways that read “Men’s Entrance” and “Women’s Entrance.” I was glad to see that none of the kids paid any attention to those instructions.

            “Counselor’s office,” I muttered to myself. At least I wasn’t starting in the middle of a term—though given the fact that there were fewer than 500 students in the entire high school, I didn’t think I was going to be able to go unnoticed, even in the general bustle of the first day back from summer vacation.

            I walked through the door marked “Men’s Entrance,” just be contrary, and faced a long hallway lined with heavy wooden doors. The spaces in between the doors were filled with lockers and marble staircases with ornate hand-rails flanked each end of the long hallway. Students poured in behind me, calling out greetings to each other and jostling me off to the side while I tried to get my bearings. None of the doors obviously led to a main office; I was going to have to walk the entire length of the hallway. And people were already starting to stare and whisper.

            God. I hated being the new kid.

            I took a deep breath and stepped forward. I made it halfway down the hall without seeing anything informative—all the doors had numbers over them and many of them had name plaques, but neither of those things did me any good since I didn’t know the name or office number for the counselor. I was almost getting desperate enough to ask Kayla, but of course she was nowhere to be seen.

            I turned back from scanning the halls for her and caught sight of the first adult I’d seen—and almost screamed. As it was, I gasped loudly enough for a guy walking past me to do a double take. The man standing in the open doorway was tall, over six feet, and way skinny—so emaciated that it looked like you ought to be able to see his ribs through his shirt, if his shirt didn’t hang so loosely on him. He had white hair that stuck out in tufts, thin lips, a sharp nose, and pale blue eyes that narrowed as he watched the kids walk past—and all the kids gave him a wide berth without even seeming to notice that they did so. He stood in an empty circle while students streamed around him in the crowded hallway.

            But none of that was what made me almost scream.

            For a moment, just as I’d turned toward him, I could have sworn that I’d seen the shadow of two huge, black, leathery wings stretched out behind him.

 About the author 350png

MargoBondCollins 

Margo Bond Collins is the author of a number of novels, including Waking Up DeadFairy, Texas, and Legally Undead (forthcoming in 2014). She lives in Texas with her husband, their daughter, and several spoiled pets. She teaches college-level English courses online, though writing fiction is her first love. She enjoys reading urban fantasy and paranormal fiction of any genre and spends most of her free time daydreaming about vampires, ghosts, zombies, werewolves, and other monsters.

Connect with Margo

Amazon Author Page: Author Page

Email: MargoBondCollins@gmail.com

Twitter: https://twitter.com/MargoBondCollin  @MargoBondCollin

Goodreads: Author Page

Facebook: Author Page

Facebook: Novel Page

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Visiting the Not So Helpless: #Places to visit

Our family had an awesome time out with disabled kids this weekend.

There was a flea market at the school for kids with special needs just across our house.

This is a school and home for the physically and mentally challenged called “Gateway Village”

My kids love going to such events because of the variety of activities, the junk food (yes its normally non nutritive) and of course the chance to pressurise and torture their parents into giving into the pressure to buy “new toys”.

My 4+ year old is especially adapt at telling me that I cannot say no because whatever she wants is “only a few dollars, 100 at most” even though we use the rand as a currency_thank you cartoon network.

Today’s fair however was extremely special.

We have never spent time with people with disabilities and this was a marvelous revelation and experience for all of us.

The entertainment was wonderful, mainly chareographed dancing by the children, I’m guessing the groups ranged from 4 to 18 years. The DJ was right on the money with the music, a mix of current and yesteryear, mostly the 70’s, think Meryl Streep in Mama Mia.

It was somethin special seeing these kids who have cognitive and physical difficulties work at keeping in step with the beat and remembering choreography. Sometimes it worked, others not but it was all adorable.

What really impressed me though is what the kids are doing in art classes.

And one of the things to appreciate first and foremost is that everything in art class is made of recyled material. They do ask for donations towards this so if you live in Johannesburg you would be doing them a great favour by delivering your wooden coat hangers, fancy bottles, tins, boxes of any material, spare fabric, fancy paper, wood cutoffs, and the list goes on forever. 

Donations to:  011 958 0384 or email chanelle@gatewaysociety.co.za

As you enter the large shedlike place that serves as an art studio you just see tables upon tables of arts and crafts.

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Recycled plastic cooldrink bottles made into traditional decorative figurines possibly for use as door stoppers.

I thought they were goods which had been donated when i first walked in but as I got closer i saw some they looked more homemade than shop items but they were beautiful none the less., 

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Looking at what these kids worI appreciated two things:

One, that although the disabled have more challenges to deal with in life than any able bodied person, that does not take away from their potential to achieve what they set their minds to.

Two, the people who work patiently and with love with these childres are nothing short of being saints. I had the privilege of speaking to three of them and you can just sense the love and pride they have for their work.

I think the brief that they had on the letters their handouts was quite apt:

excerpt “GEC strives to find and nurture the hidden talents within our Villagers to improve their confidence and t give them a sense of pride and self worth.”

I promised to put up a page with some of the items they had on display (particularly the post cards and calenders) as part of the online shop here to get more sales. You can imagine they need the funding.

But for now I’ll show you some of the pictures I took with my phone. They are not great quality but you’ll get the idea and see why i was blown away.

One of the teachers impressed on me that they only do the writing but everything else is done by the kids.

I hope you like what you see as much as I did.

Until next time.

Wendy

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Go Back In Time at Weltevreden Farm: #Places to visit

This morning I took a trip through time.

After dropping my son at a soccer clinic this morning I stopped at a place I’ve always seen in passing and thought of as perhaps some sort of tea garden hidden among all that greenery (actually its right across the road from my old townhouse / condo to some I think). Little did I know that there was a piece of the 1900’s hidden right in the middle of cosmopolitan Johannesburg.

Driving through the gate you feel like you going into an indigenous forest and yet a very busy main road (John Voster) is a mere 100 steps away, with only a face brick wall, trees and some plush vegetation separating the two of you.

Sounds of chirping birds, mewing of cats (and if early enough)cock ‘a doodle doos of cocks crowing confirms your return to nature.

One of the first things you see as you leave the parking lot, headed for wooden sheds and mysterious darkly foliaged areas.

My intentions for the visit were to find a book store I had been referred to but was too early so I had to pass the time. Conveniently an outrageously quaint coffee shop aptly named “The Second Cup” for I had more than one _ was open. Walking into this delightful eating establishment galvanized me into a virtual blogging frenzy.

I could hardly contain my excitement long enough to grab my phone. (I apologise for poor quality of photos, I was not equipped).

As I frantically clicked away all I could see in my mind’s eye were my high school history lessons coming alive. Oh how I hated those periods of theory upon dreadful theory about a group of people who named another group of people after trees when they couldn’t pronounce their names (e.g Grootboom / Bigtree). In those days of cruel and unusual punishment my mind often times felt  tortuously crowded with “insignificant” details of the Dutch East India Company, the Great Trek and the Battle of Blood River among other frightfully life sapping events for a 15-year-old.

Just to put you in the picture about a part of South Africa history. About 360 years old in fact:

 In 1652 a small company of employees of the Dutch East India Company were settled on the southern tip of Africa to establish a refreshment station for the Company’s ships en route to the Far East.  From this group of Dutchmen the Afrikaners were to develop. (Orville)

These are the Afrikaner people (aka) Boere _ whose past I say came to life for me today at Weltevreden Farm (aka) The Colony. I shall let the pictures speak for themselves about what I saw. I think history does not spend enough time talking about life as  it was, certainly far less than it does about big historical events which are but a small part of life (yes… I understand that they do shape life). I find it a great pity that there is little reference made to people’s way of life compared to the multitudes records of events, that are readily available.

Today I came away thinking, “well in that period life cannot always have been about assagias, powder guns, treachery and bloodshed”. There was vibrant living, love, laughter, industry, creativity as would have been shown by painters, writers, musicians, dancers, fashion (tailors and seamstresses), family……and so much more…………..and I would love to know about it.

Antiques and things I need to have…….(sigh)

As much as it is a place that seems to have stood still in time. It is hub pf activity. Every bosy there has some form of artsy or entertainment enterprise strating with the quaint little bookshop that was my intented target.

Student at The Potter’s Place

Potter’s can be reached at: mail@spine.co.za or pottersplace@vodamail.co.za

or +27 824224927            +27 824224927    +27 825734645            +27 825734645

Shopaholic @ The Belly Button falling for coat…..you’d be one too if
you saw this place, I left with the most divine ring.
Contact Belly Button @ +27 83 440 7276 +27 83 440 7276

With all that being said, I want to thank the delightful people I met today at Weltevreden Farm who keep a small but beautiful part of a period in my beloved country’s history alive. I hope many people will find a moment to take a country fresh breath in the heart of Johannesburg and reflect on life as it should be.

More pictures on what’s happening there.

Angela owner of this beauty spar, you can reach her at: 27798746267@vodamail.co.za
or cell +2782 854 1371 +2782 854 1371

Another hot art student….I should mention that this place is brimming with hot people.