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Friday, January 18, 2013

Guest Post & #Giveaway: The Curious Bookshop by Jennifer Chambers #FMBBooks

Today I have a post for you from author Jennifer Chambers! This one somehow got off the roster and was supposed to go up in December--just to give you a point of reference on the post! :)


This time of year is ripe for fantasy. I love to read and write all kinds of fantasy—especially the kind that really draws you in to another time or place. That’s what we need right now, right? Hibernation. With books. At the end-of-year reckoning time where you stack up want you do to see if it matters, I looked at my chosen profession and was glad. Imagination matters this time of year.
My latest release, The Curious Bookshop, (Books to Go Now,) is a YA Historical fantasy. A 12-year-old girl is literally transported into the body of Queen Elizabeth the First and needs to solve a mystery. While I don’t always write YA, I think the fantasy aspect is necessary for kids to develop a deep creative life. Kids and adults need a rich fantasy life; a safe place to dream and experience other realities.
            The holidays are ripe for fantasy living. Whether it’s intentional (Santa) or vicarious (steamy romance novel) we perpetrate fantasy this season for a myriad of reasons. There have been times in my life when books have been the best reality I could come up with. People need respite from the occasional craziness of the holidays as well as wanting a book with the best possible version of a Hallmark Christmas.
            This series
(The Curious Bookshop is Book One) has been designed to help kids in late elementary/early middle school get involved with reading on two different levels. The characters in the book immerse themselves in history. Through their experience reading the story, and with the help of the study guide, my hope is that kids will be spurred to do more reading about the historical period that the book occupies. In the first book, it’s Elizabethan England; in the second, it’s the Underground Railroad, and so on.
            In my work-in-progress, Brambleberry Farms, a chef-in-training, Jo, fights for her dream job on an organic farm while trying not to fall in love with the wrong guy. Her story, no less valid than the one in The Curious Bookshop, is definitely adult, but it affords me the opportunity to explore through research what it would be like to live as a chef and student again, and know all her partners/friends/adventures. I only hope it evokes similar feelings in my readers. Plus, this one has recipes, so it’s fun (and tasty, usually)to do that kind of research too.
            I’m glad to be a part of a genre that promotes introspection. Imagine me curled up like a cat, bent around a computer and a ton of books, a cup of tea at my side, and you’ve got my idea of heaven right there. Fantasy, for sure- I’ve got a busy family, like most people- but boy, oh boy, that’s my idea of a great winter’s break.


I’d love to give away a copy of The Curious Bookshop to a commenter. What did you do on the break between Christmas and New Year’s? Comment for a chance to win. Have a great Solstice!




Jennifer Chambers is an award-winning author who writes from a kitchen table in a full house in the Northwest. She has written horror, poetry, adult fiction, women’s fiction, and young adult novels. Chambers writes a weekly newspaper column and writes and edits for Groundwaters Magazine. Her work has been in national newspapers and magazines. She has been seen on television and radio.  Recently, her passion is organic cooking, and she is currently researching her latest project combining sustainable agriculture with the food-to-table movement prevalent in the Northwest.





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