Check out an interview with the author for this #middlegrade #fantasy... Legend of the Storm Sneezer by Kristiana Sfirlea (Interview & #Giveaway) @celebrate_lit

Welcome! Check out an interview with the author and enter the tour giveaway below...

Legend of the Storm Sneezer
(The Stormwatch Diaries #1)
By Kristiana Sfirlea
Middle Grade Fantasy
Hardcover, Paperback & ebook, 374 Pages
May 5, 2020 by Monster Ivy Publishing


Legend Seeker. Part-time Ghost Hunter. Time Traveler.

Thirteen-year-old Rose Skylar sneezed a magical storm cloud at birth, and it’s followed her around ever since. But when “Stormy” causes one too many public disasters, Rose is taken to Heartstone, an asylum for unstable magic. Its location? The heart of a haunted forest whose trees have mysteriously turned to stone.

They say the ghosts are bound to the woods … then why does Rose see them drifting outside the windows at night? And why is there a graveyard on the grounds filled with empty graves? Guided by her future selves via time traveling letters, Rose and Marek—best friend and potential figment of her imagination—must solve the mystery of the specters and the stone trees before the ghosts unleash a legendary enemy that will make their own spooks look like a couple of holey bed sheets and destroy Heartstone Asylum.

Letters from the future are piling up. Rose can’t save Heartstone herself. However, five of herselves, a magical storm cloud, and a guardian angel who might very well be imaginary? Now that’s a silver lining.

But will they find what killed the ghosts before what killed the ghosts finds them?

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Q: Would you tell us a little more about the main characters?

This question makes me so giddy! If I’m not careful, I’ll dissolve into a gushing, incoherent mess—that’s how much I love my fictional babies.

Rose Skylar is…probably not like most narrators you’ll read. She’s adorable. Enthusiastic. Hilarious and heartfelt in all she does, and she has this incredible compassion and desire to bring out the best in others. I love her outlook on life and her humble resilience. Just thinking about her makes me smile.

And then there’s Marek Knoxwind…he’s the big brother that everyone should have. He’s comfort and strength personified. I love his unflappable nature, the way he meets every problem head-on—not with brashness or arrogance but with this steady perseverance that acknowledges the difficulties, yet has unshakable hope in a positive outcome. He breaks a lot of stereotypes, and readers seem to really connect with his beautiful heart.

Q: What one piece of advice/tips would Rose Skylar give?

Rose’s one piece of advice also happens to be one of my favorite lines from the book, and it’s this: Books are even more important than underwear.

Q: What part or aspect of this story do you love the most?

It’s hard to choose! Honestly, I loved writing all of it. The humor, the spooky scenes, the plot twists—but most of all, I love the character relationships. There are so many different dynamics—big brother/sister, best friend, new friends, mentor, role model—and Rose gets to experiences them all. That was so much fun to write, and for me (and hopefully readers, too!), added a richness to the story that makes me so invested in this world.

Q: When you reach for a book to read, what genre do you grab and what are some of your favorites in that genre?

Ooh, I love me some speculative fiction (fantasy, paranormal, limited sci-fi), but the key ingredient is it has to have a killer voice. I am ALL about voice—if I don’t connect with the narrator within the first chapter or so, chances are I’ll move onto a new book no matter how much I love the sound of the plot. Maybe that sounds a little harsh, but for me, having an emotional connection with the main character plays a HUGE role in enjoying the story. Some of my favorite books include the Lockwood & Co. series by Jonathan Stroud, The Weaver trilogy by Lindsay A. Franklin, the Story Thieves series by James Riley, and The Tragical Tale of Birdie Bloom by Temre Beltz.

Q: What are you working on next?

Legend of the Storm Sneezer is the first book in a series called The Stormwatch Diaries, so of course I’m working on its sequels! But there’s something else I’m equally excited about—my publisher hired me to narrate Legend of the Storm Sneezer’s audiobook, which is a dream come true and something I’m thrilled to be working on!

About the Author

As an author, Kristiana Sfirlea knows what it means to get in character. She spent five years volunteering as a historical reenactor and trying her best not to catch her skirts on fire as a colonial girl from the 1700s (leading cause of death at the time next to childbirth). Working at a haunted house attraction, she played a jumping werewolf statue, a goblin in a two-way mirror, and a wall-scratcher—so if she’s standing very still, growling, checking her reflection, or filing her nails on your wall, be alarmed. Those are hard habits to break.

Kristiana’s speculative flash fiction has been published by Havok, and her debut novel Legend of the Storm Sneezer is a whimsical Middle Grade fantasy involving time travel and things that go bump in the night. She dreams of the day she can run her own mobile bookstore. Or haunted house attraction. Or both. Look out, world—here comes a haunted bookmobile! (And this is precisely why writers should never become Uber drivers.) She loves Jesus, her family, and imaginary life with her characters.

More from Kristiana

Should kids enjoy spooky things?

It’s the question on many Christian parents’ minds this time of year. Should my kid see that movie, wear that costume, celebrate that holiday? From tots to teens, most kiddos have an undeniable fascination with Halloween. But should this be encouraged—or cut down quicker than the first victim of a horror flick?

Let me tell you a story. (Don’t worry, it’s not too scary.) Once upon a time, there was a young girl with a monster that followed her wherever she went. It bit at her constantly, venom flooding her veins with anxiety, teeth gnawing her courage to worried nubs. But her monster wasn’t really a monster—it was a debilitating health condition that took the girl’s entire childhood to diagnose.

For years, her fears and pain and panic seemed like her only friends. But then one day, the girl discovered a book series unlike anything she’d ever read before. (And believe me, she’d read a lot.) It was filled with magic and monsters and chilling, thrilling adventures. The heroes faced so many scary things—and putting herself in their shoes, the girl had never felt so understood. Finally, she had friends to take with her to the endless doctor appointments, and somehow holding those books in her hands made her braver.

But in the end—for there is always an end to such things—those books failed her.

They failed her because they didn’t point her to the only true source of bravery: Jesus.

And so, with this in mind, the girl grew up to write a book called Legend of the Storm Sneezer, a story about ghosts and time travel and the true meaning of sacrificial love.

Should kids enjoy spooky things? Maybe. Should kids enjoy spooky things that show them how the power of God’s love frightens any monster—or monster-sized problem? Absolutely.

Tour Schedule

Rebecca Tews, October 2
Vicky Sluiter, October 5 (Author Interview)
Wishful Endings, October 9 (Author Interview)
Artistic Nobody, October 12 (Guest Review from Joni Truex)
Sara Jane Jacobs, October 12

Tour-Wide Giveaway
To celebrate her tour, Kristiana is giving away the grand prize package of a signed copy of the book, mini red umbrella, two mini storm-scented candles, a storm sneezer tissue packet, and a button!!

Be sure to comment on the blog stops for nine extra entries into the giveaway! Click the link below to enter. 

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