Author Guest Post & Giveaway

Today's blog post is all about magic, genies and lamps -- three things that make me wish I could re-visit my childhood and live in a world of fairy tales and make believe all over again. Children's author M. Tara Crowl has recently published the second book in her Eden of the Lamp series -- which sounds incredibly awesome, and would be a great gift for Christmas! -- and one lucky reader will have the chance to win a signed copy of it (how awesome is that?).

About the author:

M. Tara Crowl grew up in Murfreesboro, Tennessee. She studied Cinematic Arts at the University of Southern California, then received an MA in Creative Writing at Macquarie University in Sydney, Australia. She lives in New York City.

Social media links: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Website

Eden's Wish, Eden of the Lamp #1:


All twelve years of Eden's life have been spent in an antique oil lamp. She lives like a princess inside her tiny, luxurious home; but to Eden, the lamp is nothing but a prison. She hates being a genie. All she wants, more than anything, is freedom.

When Eden finds a gateway to Earth within the lamp, she takes her chance and enters the world she loves. And this time, she won't be sent back after three wishes.

Posing as the new kid at a California middle school, Eden revels in all of Earth's pleasures--but quickly learns that this world isn't as perfect as she always thought it was. Eden soon finds herself in the middle of a centuries-old conflict between powerful immortals. A ruthless organization run by a former genie will stop at nothing to acquire the lamp and its power--even hurt Tyler and Sasha, the new mortal friends who have given Eden a home. To save her friends and protect the lamp's magic, Eden must decide once and for all where she belongs.

You can purchase a copy of Eden's Wish on Goodreads , Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indiebound.

Eden's Escape, Eden of the Lamp #2:


Eden's new life on earth begins in New York City under the guidance of her new guardian: Pepper, a petite, bubbly genie alum who's also a Broadway actress. Before she has a chance to settle in, though, Eden is whisked away for a granting--only to find herself trapped in a laboratory. David Brightly, owner of the world's leading tech company, cares more about tapping into the lamp's power than making a wish and starts performing tests on Eden. With Brightly's plasma shield around the lamp, Eden has no way home. Left without a choice, she escapes the lab and goes on the run. After her daring exit, Eden finds herself on the streets of Paris--home to Electra's headquarters. Left in a strange city with a price on her head (courtesy of scheming Brightly), Eden has to keep her wits about her. She dons a chic disguise and flits around Paris incognito, investigating Brightly Tech. Assisted by Pepper and her old adversary Bola, as well as some new friends, Eden embarks on a quest to retrieve the lamp and protect the secrets of the genie legacy.

You can purchase a copy of Eden's Wish on Goodreads, Amazon, Barnes and Noble and Indiebound.

Q&A:

What inspired you to become an author?

When I was a kid growing up in Tennessee, I read pretty much all the time. I read at the dinner table, in my bed, and at the grocery store when I went with my mom. I read my favorite books over and over. And from when I was very young, I remember wanting to write books like the ones I loved so much.

Why did you decide to write books for a younger audience?

When I was a middle-grade reader, reading really helped to shape who I was becoming, and the way I saw the world. When I write for that age group, I think I return to that place in a way. It’s a comfortable and natural place for me to write from.

In one hundred words or less, can you summarise what your new book Eden's Escape is all about?

Eden is a twelve-year-old genie who dreams of freedom. At the end of Eden’s Wish (the first book in the series), she learns that she’s going to become the first genie ever to live on Earth while she completes her granting career. Eden’s Escape begins in New York City, which is to be her new home. But soon, she’s whisked away for a granting that goes very wrong. She escapes the wisher, realizes she’s in Paris, and goes on the run. But she has to find a way to retrieve the lamp in order to save her masters.

Who is your favourite character in the Eden of the Lamp series?


It has to be my protagonist, Eden. She’s gutsy, funny, smart, and brave. But I also really love some of the immortal genie alumni who Eden comes into contact with on Earth. My favorite out of them is probably Pepper, who becomes Eden’s guardian in Eden’s Escape. She’s a true New Yorker; she’s lived in New York City for hundreds of years, and carried out seven different careers as a theater actress. She is radiant, with an infectious love for the city and for life.

Do you have any advice for aspiring children's authors?

Pay attention to your life, and experience it as fully as you can. Learn from your day-to-day experiences and relationships, and let your heart grow from them. The things that are most familiar to you have the power to give you the unique perspective that no one else in the world can ever have. And make sure to keep your heart soft. Children’s authors simply can’t be hard-hearted.

Why did you decide to write a book about magic? Is it something that has always influenced / inspired you?

I’ve always liked books that are set in the world we know, but where there’s magic lurking in the corners that goes unnoticed by normal people. The Harry Potter books are a great example. There’s also a book I love called The Mennyms by Sylvia Waugh that’s like that, which was an important influence on me. It’s about a family of rag dolls that magically comes to life after their owner dies. They live undercover, hiding their magical nature.

What's the best thing about being a children's author?


Meeting readers! Their enthusiasm and curiosity are refreshing and exciting. They’re open-minded, imaginative, and so much fun to talk to.

If you describe Eden's Wish -- the first book in the Eden of the Lamp series -- in three words, what would they be?

Genie escapes lamp.

Was becoming an author the career path that you planned?

Although I’d wanted to write books when I was young, when I was in high school, I decided that I wanted to make movies instead. After graduation, I went to film school at the University of Southern California, and then I worked in Hollywood for a couple years, first for a producer and a literary manager, and then in the motion picture literary department of a talent agency. That was when my childhood dream of writing books was reawakened. A big part of my job was reading and helping develop screenplays. Although I loved what I was doing, it also made me realize that I was never going to be satisfied if I didn't try to write my own stories. I knew I had to go for it, or I’d always regret it. So I left LA and moved to Sydney, Australia for a Master’s program in Creative Writing at Macquarie University.

Are you planning on writing any new books in the future?

Yes! Right now I’m working on a new book that’s completely different from the Eden books. Stay tuned!


GIVEAWAY: TO WIN A SIGNED COPY OF EDEN'S ESCAPE, RT (+ FLW) THIS TWEET. ENDS 28/12/16, US/CAN ONLY.

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