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The Twin Jinn

Let’s pretend

I had a childhood steeped in imaginative play. This was out of necessity as I lived a rather sheltered life. My parents, the children of immigrants, didn’t get the concept that we could play at a friend’s house. That’s what family is for. And so that’s what happened.

My chief playmate was my sister, Christine, who is three years younger. One of us would think up a fantasy to play with the invitation: “Let’s pretend …” I don’t remember all of the scenarios we or our TwinJinn_book_3b copydolls acted, but it doesn’t matter. What I do remember is that during those hours we spent together, we were delightfully in another world.

Another outlet was reading. Our mother would take us to the town library once or twice a week to stock up on books. In the summer, the bookmobile came to the church parking lot at the bottom of the street. I spent hours and hours — in the summer staying up late — lost in those words.

And when I became my mother, I enjoyed watching my children do the same.

Now the words “let’s pretend” is the motivation behind my writing fiction. I sit in front of my laptop and let my imagination take over. For my Isabel Long Mystery Series, it’s let’s pretend a former newspaper editor decides to solve cold cases in the hilltowns. Isabel’s elderly mother is her “Watson.” Her first case involves the disappearance of a woman 28 years earlier in her town.

The same is true for the fiction I’ve written for adult and young readers.

My most recent release is the first in The Twin Jinn Series. For this book, I circled back to those times in the backyard when my sister and I played, or upstairs in my bedroom reading a book I couldn’t put down.

First, I’ve always been fascinated by genies. Yes, there’s that Aladdin story. But my genies or jinn, as I prefer to call them, don’t live in lamps. In the first book — The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries — they live and have a magic act in a traveling carnival. Of course, their magic is just one of their many powers such as being invisible, flying, casting spells, oh, the list goes on. The twins are Jute and Fina, brother and sister who are 11 by human age. They are sweet but mischievous and like so many siblings, competitive. Their parents, Jeffer and Mira, are protective, but that’s because they tricked their evil master into letting them go. Yes, he’s trying to find them.

Pretending with The Jinn family is so much fun that I completed two more books, and a third is halfway done. I plan to continue publishing them, because I want to inspire young readers and anyone else who loves magical realism.

So how can you get a copy? The paperback is available. Note the great illustration by Ezra Livingston, one of my sons. If you like Kindle, that will launch March 6. Here’s the link to Amazon: https://mybook.to/TwinJinnAtHappyJacks

And thank you for joining me.

 

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Magical Realism, The Twin Jinn

Ta-da! Magic by The Twin Jinn and Friends

The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries — the first book in my new series — is now available for pre-order on Amazon, well the Kindle version for now. Click on pre-order and it will TwinJinn_book_3b copymagically appear in your device on March 6. The link is below.

This series has a lot of what entertained me as a book-reading child: genies, magic, and family. Now I offer it to middle grade readers, those who read to children, and perhaps adults who want a little light-hearted magical realism in their lives, especially now.

Here’s a brief synopsis from the back of the book:

Jute and Fina Jinn, twin brother and sister, and their parents, Elwin and Mira, are enchanted beings who seek refuge at a traveling carnival after escaping their cruel master. 

While in hiding, the twins must pretend to be 11-year-old humans, but mischievous and curious, they sometimes get carried away. Who could blame them? The twins have the power to fly, be invisible, and use spells. Thankfully, they have an outlet as carnival kids assisting their parents in a magic act and making friends with their fellow performers, including a shy boy.

Still, amid the fun, there is danger for the Jinn family because their former master, a man with evil intentions, is desperate to get them back, and having a magic act that turns out to be a huge hit could be their undoing.

You will learn more about this book as I lead up to the launch. But I wanted you to know, I relied on the creativity of two people to see this book materialize: Michelle Gutierrez and Ezra Livingston.

I worked with Michelle at The Taos News, where she was our editorial designer. She also did the layout for my novels, The Sweet Spot and Peace, Love, and You Know What. Here’s her website: www.mmgcreate.com. I love that Michelle is able to transform words and illustrations into a book.

Ezra Livingston is my son and an artist since he was a young child. He created the illustration for the cover, which I believe captures the playfulness of the book’s main characters. He created the illustration above.

So how can you pre-order my book? Here’s the link: The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries

I will let you know as soon as the print version is uploaded. I can hardly wait.

 

 

 

 

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Magical Realism, The Twin Jinn

My New Series: The Twin Jinn

A bit of news: I am delving into 2021 with a new series, starting with the first book, The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries. I wrote this series for middle-grade readers, but I hope they will appeal to adults who read to and with kids, plus anyone who enjoys magical realism. I expect a February launch.

Right now, Michelle Gutierrez, who designed two of my adult books, has just completed the cover, using an illustration created by my son, Ezra Livingston, and is working on the Kindle and paperback versions.  That’s the cover above.

So, what’s this book about? Here’s a description:

Forget about genies who are fiery spirits or live in lamps. The Twin Jinn at Happy Jack’s Carnival of Mysteries is a story that will make readers believe they are real. 

Jute and Fina Jinn, brother and sister, and their parents are enchanted beings who seek refuge at a traveling carnival after escaping their cruel master. While in hiding, the twins must pretend to be 11-year-old humans, but mischievous and curious, they sometimes get carried away. Who could blame them? The twins have the power to fly, be invisible, and use spells. Thankfully, they have an outlet as carnival kids assisting their parents in a magic act and making friends with their fellow performers, including a shy boy.

Still, amid the fun, there is danger for the Jinn family because their former master, a man with evil intentions, is desperate to get them back, and having a magic act that turns out to be a huge hit could be their undoing.

I’ve tried for a long time to find a publisher, and at one point, even had an agent pitching the series, but, alas, with no luck. So, I’ve decided to do it on my own, with Michelle’s help. Besides I’ve become more savvy about promotion on social media.

So far, I have completed three books in the series  and I’m about a third of the way into the fourth. Stay tuned for news about pre-orders and the launch.

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