Book Tours, Interviews and More

School Visits
January 2015

Next week I will meet up with the students from another High School.  The school ordered several copies of Amethyst Eyes, (book one), Emma and Rebirth for the students to read. (I will bring Book 2 in the Amethyst Eyes series since it is now available.)
This is actually quite exciting since it will be the first time I talk to a group who will have read the books. A little nerve-wracking too, since as an author I get stressed out when someone says, "I'm reading your book!" So, I am not sure what to expect or how it will turn out, but I will post more after the event is over.

Feb 2013

I had the pleasure of returning to my old high school, (in Qc, Canada that is grades 7-11), and talking with students who have the same English teacher I had many moons ago. I was pleasantly surprised when my English teacher  sent me an article written by a student.

Debbie Brown Visits RHS
By Elizabeth Hua
Secondary 1

On Wednesday, February 13, 2013, Ms. Debbie Brown came to visit our Secondary One English class to talk about writing. Ms. Brown is a former student of Rosemere High School and has successfully published two novels. One is called Amethyst Eyes, and the other is called Rebirth. She writes these wonderful books using her vivid imagination and great skills in writing. She spoke to us about how everybody creates stories, but not many actually take the time to write them down for others to enjoy. She said that experiencing things and staying attentive is the best way to be able to express feelings and realistic events through words. Using our five senses also helps to convey emotions and make scenarios believable. Ms. Debbie Brown told us a bit about her life, the things that she had accomplished, what her books are about, and what inspired some of her novels. One was inspired by a short story she had written in high school. Near the end of class, she got us to do an activity in which we were asked to write a word for each sense describing what you would feel, hear, see, taste, and smell if you were at a beach. Her amazing ability to share her experiences and opinions about writing, and her passion for what she does have inspired many secondary one students to pursue their goals. We, as a class, are more determined than ever to accomplish our dreams and to put our best efforts into everything that we do. If we work hard, we can achieve anything. Writing is truly magical, and should be properly appreciated. Many do not realize how much effort and time actually go into writing a novel, or even a poem. Each word is specifically chosen to fit the mood the author has decided to set. Hearing what a real author has to say about writing has been a truly refreshing experience.

This is an article that has recently appeared in a community newsletter serving the area from Kanesatake to Rosemere. 

Community Connections  

Page 20  December/January  2013 

New English Laurentian Author: Debbie Brown

By Emily Barber 

   When I heard that my friends Denise and Jim Brown's daughter Debbie had written a book I was naturally curious about the book and the trials and tribulations she endured in writing it and having it published.  

I went  AMAZON.CA and bought a copy of her book entitled "Amethyst Eyes".  I was drawn into the story after the first few pages… I don't usually read that genre of fiction so I was surprised by my positive reaction to this story. 
 I asked Debbie why she wrote this book and the following is her answer to my questions.
 (book blurb) 
  Amyethyst Eyes:   
"Waking up in the hospital from the car accident that claimed his mother's life, 15 year- old Tommy is told his father is on his way.  Unaware of his father's true identity, or the reason he left so long ago, the teen is unprepared for the reality of the life he must now lead.  In the blink of an eye, Tommy finds himself on an alien vessel… his father is not from earth! 
     The challenges Tommy faces go beyond adapting to a new home and school.  But first, he has to survive Jayden… the reluctant, unsympathetic tutor, tasked to help him fit in. When he finally thinks things are better, things come crashing down as he learns that being born with amethyst eyes has made him the target of some very unfriendly beings."  
     Debbie's story:  
Ever since Amethyst Eyes  has been released, I have had the pleasure of meeting people from around the world to share and talk about my book.  One question that is often asked is “Why did you write it?”
     In all honesty, writing the book kept me sane.  I came home from the hospital broken hearted and confused.  My baby (Emma) had died because of medical negligence and there was this gaping hole inside of me. I had trouble breathing and sleeping.  My toddler Zoey was only 21 months old and very much in need of her mother, so I couldn't allow myself to sink into a depression. 
     I signed up for a writing course through the  Institute of Children's Literature (ICL), and used reading, writing and homework ( along with caring for Zoey), to keep me moving from day to day. 
     The idea of for Amethyst Eyes stems back to a writing assignment I had had ten years earlier.  So alongside my course I started expanding on it.  By the time I had completed my course and became a graduate of ICL my novel had been written. 
     I needed to create a place where people cared about people, and even though my main character (MC) Tommy suffers personal loss, he is surrounded by people who do have his main interest at heart. 
     The story had originally been aimed at a young adult audience, but there is definitely something in it for everyone.  I feel real emotions and interactions are important, and I tried to capture this in my writing.  I have had some readers say they connect to the adults in the story more than the MC. 
     I returned to the instructor I had ten years earlier to have the novel professionally edited.  I printed up the manuscript and sent it off to San Antonio, Texas.  Needless to say, I was anxious to hear what she thought of it.  SHE LOVED IT!   And I sighed in relief.  The next step was to send out queries to both publishers and agents. This requires both patience and perseverance.  
      The first acceptance I got was from an agent, but after consulting the "writers Beware" website, I declined the offer.  The next offer came in from a publisher, but when they explained that the book would only come onto the market some 18 months later, I again declined and went with assisted publishing.  This allowed me to hold my book a few weeks later.  I needed to complete this project as part of my healing.  
     I live in the Laurentians, minutes from ski hills.  My book can be found in over 100 online book stores, from Chapters, to Amazon, Barnes and Noble, and Powell's.  The only store in Québec at this point to have it on the shelves is Quintessence in St. Sauveur. 
     I know many of you have young readers on your mind for buying Christmas and birthday gifts, so by giving them the book of one of our local authors not only will it lead them into a new adventure but it may also help nurture a love of reading. 

LINK to page. Simply scroll down to p. 20


Here are 2 pictures from the book signing.

I had 2 presentations, both with grade 7 students, and a third presentation with a volunteer group that had invited me as a guest speaker. I am waiting on pictures to share with you :o)


Come have a bit of fun with us,

and check out JAYDEN'S interview!


OK, so I am really excited about this,
Pointe Claire, Chapters store in Montreal, Qc
Sunday, April 29th, 2012
at 11:00 am

You know that you are all invited to join me :o)


And we're off!!!
Don't forget to visit the sites and get in on the giveaways, it's open to all :o)

March 5 - BookSpark - (interview & giveaway)
March 6 - H.A. (interview/giveaway)
March 7 - Making Connections Blog - http://makingconnectionsgroup.blogspot.c...
March 8 - Tess - My Pathway to Books (interview)
March 9 - Pragya Sharma Reviewing Shelf (review & giveaway)
March 10 - Stephenie - Stephie Reads Books (review & giveaway)
March 11 - Suzanne - Off the Page (interview, author bio)
March 12 - Cecilia Robert's written word URL: (review)
March 13 - Faye - A Daydreamers Thought's (interview & giveaway)
March 14 - Blogging with Kristine Cayne Blog URL: (author bio, blurb and giveaway.
March 15 - J.A. Unnecessary Musings' at - (Interview)


Saturday, March 3, 2012


Tell us a little bit about Amethyst Eyes?
In a nutshell it’s about 15-year-old Tommy who loses his mother in a car crash, and has to go live with his father. The catch here is that Tommy, who has grown up in the Canadian Rockies with his mother and ends up living on a space ship with his father, the ships commander. He had no idea his father was an alien...but as soon as he meets his father, he realises where his amethyst eyes come from.
There’s never a dull moment as he struggles to fit in to a world where nothing is the same, and not just the technology, but the whole structure of the society and even family.
The characters are very rich and very much alive.

What made you want to start writing Amethyst Eyes?

I was taking a writing course and the first chapter in the book (minus the flashback) was a short story for an assignment. This bit of homework was the premises for Amethyst Eyes. I couldn’t get the story out of my head and ended up carrying it around for ten years before finally sitting down to write the book, (which went from beginning to publication in a year).
Where do some of your ideas come from?
I have always been a sci-fi fan, and grew up with Star Trek (books). But the strange thing about Amethyst Eyes was that I didn’t feel as though I was creating a world or a story. I felt like an observer, documenting what was playing out in my mind. I remember thinking “Wow, that’s cool,” at one point or “I can’t write that” at another. It was quite an experience.
When I write, I try to be as accurate as possible. Granted when I’m inventing a piece of technology, my resources are limited to my imagination, but I try to find something to base it on. I have hundreds of pages of notes and hundreds of hours of research for Amethyst Eyes. He legend referred to in the book is real. Two-Feathers’ tribe (or band) as well. It took forever to find a location that had Native Americans in the Rockies that would permit Tommy to live an hour up in the mountains from a small town etc. It could have just as well been in the States. I won’t disclose WHERE because I intend to use it as a trivia question in the future.

Who is your favourite character in the book? why?
I have a soft spot for each and every one but if I have to choose it would be Two-Feathers, a Ktunaxa Shaman from B.C. Canada where Tommy lived.
He is mysterious and relies on teachings and awareness of his surroundings to accomplish some amazing stuff whereas the ship’s doctor or Commander rely on technology.

Are you working on any writing at the minute?
I have two books in the making. One is for an advanced writing course with the Institute of Children’s Literature. I will have completed the first draft of another YA sci-fi adventure by mid March. The second is the story of Tommy’s parents, so an adult book with adventure and romance.

What genre do you enjoy reading, Debbie?
I enjoy anything and everything with the exception of gore and sex. I love to learn and enjoy reading to increase my knowledge. I also enjoy reading for the sheer pleasure of discovering new characters and worlds.

Tell us your top 5 favourite reads?

Spiritual Growth, Being Your Higher Self by Sanaya Roman, Les Miserables by Victor Hugo, The Wild Sight by Loucinda McGary, Cowboy Daddy Jingle Bell Baby by Linda Goodnight (strange name, but great characters), Pawns and Symbols by Majliss Larson.
In all honesty…I have too many favourites to choose from.

Do you have a favourite place to read?
Curled up by the fire during the winter or in the veranda during the summer, where all you see are trees. I read everywhere though, day and night, even in the car while my husband drives.

How do you choose a book to read? the cover? Blurb? Reviews?
The cover has to catch my eye, then I read the blurb if I’m in a book store, but if I’m shopping online I’ll check the reviews before I read the blurb.

Do you hoard books, like me? or lend them out? give them away?

I would have to go with hoard…my library is filled with books covering 3 of the 4 walls. They are all tightly squeezed in place, keeping their form. I hate broken spines and curled corners. I try to keep them looking as new as possible, even though some have been read dozens of times. I do lend books on occasion, but far too often they never return, or if they do look as though they’ve been mercilessly tossed from a moving bus and dragged through the mud, (in this case I have had to go and purchase another).

What inspires you?
My inspiration comes from life and everything around me. Form the sound of the wind through the trees to human interaction. From the good and the bad in everything, I especially like to imagine things from the other’s point of view.

Do you have an interesting quirk?

Now how would I know ;o).

I seem to have a different sense of humour than those around me. However, when I was teaching in Gagetown (the largest military base in the commonwealth), I found kindred spirits with the same sense of humour. (Remember Marty, the zebra in Madagascar, well I felt like him when he discovers the heard).

Tell us about some of your favourite authors?
I honestly do not have a favourite. I think it’s because I love to read so much. I love to discover new authors and their creations. I have read complete series by authors because I have enjoyed their style, but then I move on to another.

Where can people find you? and your works?
I have a facebook page for the book; ,
a Goodreads author page under my name and a blog at;

You can always message me through Goodreads, or facebook. I will answer.
As for my book, it can be found in over 100 online bookstores worldwide, from Amazon to Barnes & Noble, Powell’s, Chapters Indigo, Fishpond, and the list goes on…
It is available in both paperback and ebook format.

Is there anything else you would like to say to your readers?
There is much more going on in the book than just a teenager trying to fit in. It touches on family and the ties that bind. Jayden adds spice and there is an element of danger.
You can read some 50 pages on Google books, much more than what the “look inside” options offer.

I want to thank you, Carly, as well as Fiction Fascination, for giving me the chance to stop in and share my book with everyone.


Thursday, February 23, 2012

The biggest thing on 15-year-old Tommy's mind is convincing Mom to let him go to the drive-in, but when an accident claims his mother's life and puts him in the hospital, the arrival of his estranged, alien father brings more changes than he had bargained for. It doesn't take his father long to figure out that Tommy knows nothing about who or what he is. Without any explanation, Tommy finds himself onboard his father's spaceship where he is forced to trust a man he does not know in a world he knows even less about. Adapting to his new life seems overwhelming, and his father's solution may prove to be Tommy's finest challenge yet...Jayden. A few months younger than Tommy, high strung and always in a mood, the doctor's daughter definitely didn't like being 'told' to help Tommy fit in. Jayden is not the most welcoming or patient of tutors, let alone a friend. As fate would have it, Tommy quickly learns that none of these things compare to the peril that comes from being born with amethyst eyes.


A great for YA that can cross over to middle grade. Young readers will identify with Tommy, who faces life struggles and discovers himself in a whirlwind of adventure. and you'll go along for the ride. A definate page turner that keeps you wanting more. A great debut for this new and upcoming author.

KF Ridley


Monday, February 20, 2012

Interview with Debbie Brown

In honor of announcing the winner for the I <3 YA Giveaway today, I have done an interview with the author who donated the awesome book I'm giving away! Debbie Brown was kind enough to take the time to answer some questions about Amethyst Eyes in addition to donating this wonderful novel!

Question: How long have you been writing?

Answer: I have been writing for about as long as can I remember, or at least making up stories. I started to write them down from the time I was twelve, and hated to leave home without a pad and pencil.

Q: Is Amethyst Eyes your first book?
A: Yes. Although I had thought about writing for a long time, this one finally came to be. I lost a baby at the end of my pregnancy 2 years ago, and writing helped me focus on other things. I believe that in some way it kept me sane. I started to write, and it was as though the story unfolded before my eyes. At times I had trouble writing fast enough because the scenes were moving so fast. It was an incredible experience. I wrote, revised and had the book edited, ready for print in less than a year.

Q: Will there be a sequel to Amethyst Eyes, or is it a stand alone book?
A: There will be a sequel to the book and maybe even a third, as Tommy has room to grow in his new environment. The possibilities are endless. I hadn’t written it with the intention of creating a series, but there are some doors left open, and avenues to explore. It just feels right to go on.

Q: Can you tell us a little bit about what other projects you're working on at the moment?
A: I am taking an advanced writing course with The Institute of Children’s Literature, which requires me to write another book. I have almost completed the first draft of another YA sci-fi novel, but the story line is quite different from Amethyst Eyes.

In between homework assignments I am working on another Amethyst Eyes related book and have just about reached the half-way mark. It cannot be a YA novel though, since it tells the story of Tommy’s parents…from his father’s crash landing on Earth to Tommy’s birth.

Afterwards, I will get on with the 2nd in the Amethyst Eyes line. Since I live in Quebec, I am working on having the book translated into French. I am bilingual, but not at ease enough to do the translation myself.

Q: If you were stranded on a deserted island, and you could only have on book with you, what book you have?
A: Could I take my Kindle with the hundreds of books inside?
That is almost impossible for me to answer, since I read a book every two days on average. I read just about everything I can get my hands on, from home improvement, auto repair, flight manuals, spiritual, self-help, YA, fiction, sci-fi and even romance (I read my first a few months ago, wanting to see how other authors portrayed human interaction)…and now I’m hooked.
So, if I could choose one per genre, then maybe I could give you an answer.
I do not care for gore, extreme violence or overly graphic novels though.

Q: What do you like to do when you're not writing?
A: My three-year-old keeps me busy ;o). I also have 3 grown children.
I am a CIC officer (a captain) with the Canadian Forces and work with cadets. I’m answering your questions after having spent the day on a field training exercise in -35 degree weather (Celsius) …and thoroughly enjoying my toasty fire!
I have taught martial arts, namely Kyokushin Karate and Tai Chi for over 20 years, in fact most of my jobs are teaching related. I was a nurse, and have turned to holistic healing, so I spend a lot of time reading and researching this topic.
I love woodworking, painting, music, reading, cooking, gardening…you name it.

Q: Are Tommy and Jayden based off of people you know in your everyday life?
A: Tommy came to life on his own, but Jayden’s fire comes from my 3rd child Eliane (Elly-ann).

Q: If you could visit anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
A: Kind of hung up on Ireland, but I could start with Scotland or England and work my way through LOL. For some reason I feel drawn to Ireland, it’s countryside, music, folklore and culture. I have been reading a lot of books set in Ireland lately too.

Q: What song would you choose to be the soundtrack of Tommy's life?
A:I had actually chosen one by my son Devan, called ‘It’s OK to Cry’ which basically says that sometimes life can be hard, but tells you to hold on to life and it’s flair, that it’s ok to fall and it’s ok to cry…once in a while. I thought it was fitting for Tommy.

Q: Where did you come up with the idea for Amethyst Eyes?
A: I had written the first chapter (minus the flashback) as an assignment for a writing course some 10 years ago, but the idea of an abandoned child who had a father that worked in space came up when I was eleven. I used to read a lot of science fiction throughout elementary school, but I was given my first Star Trek book when I was twelve and fell in love with it (and the idea that there are always options)…I own about 150 Star Trek books now, several from different countries, in different languages.

Thank you Debbie for allowing me to host your awesome book for the giveaway and for taking the time to do this interview!

Buy Amethyst Eyes today!

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