29 November 2017

*Author Interview & Giveaway!* THE SECRET ROOM by John Alexander

THE SECRET ROOM (Amber-Autumn Series, #4)
  Genre: Children's Mystery / Chapter Book
Date of Publication: October 14, 2017
Number of Pages: 159

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Amber and Autumn, elementary school sisters, don’t seek out problems to solve, but they often find themselves engaged in uncovering truths, solving mysteries, and helping others in the process. Autumn’s natural curiosity, combined with her boldness, leads her to push for answers to anything she does not understand. Amber, her older sister, more cautious and easily spooked, prefers to let Autumn drive ahead to solve mysteries which come their way, but her keen skills of observation often lead to the resolutions they seek.
In The Secret Room, the girls, during their stay at a  B&B, discover a long-forgotten room in the attic and uncover its secrets. The story takes place at the House of Seasons, a bed-and-breakfast in historic Jefferson, Texas. Their quest to uncover secrets takes the girls on a journey through Jefferson history including a cemetery, a river boat tour, and even an evening ghost walk.

“Great book, really enjoyed reading.  I'd guess a target audience would be 7 to 13-year-olds. Thank you for allowing me the honor to preview your book.  I look forward to purchasing your published work.” -- Joseph (Teen Beta reader)

The Secret Room is a fun read. Not only is it a mystery; it also contains some of the history of Jefferson, Texas, and the surrounding area, as well as pictures of some special places there. Children and adults will enjoy reading it, just as I did.  -- Carol (Adult Beta Reader)

“Overall I thought it was a great book. I would be excited to read the next book in the series.” --Madeline (4th grade Beta Reader)

 “The whole time I liked the suspense and the mystery side of it.” – Beta Reader

“I relate more to Amber because she doesn't like a situation without light and she doesn't like doing scary things first. She sends her little sister in to do it first and I do that. Amber is the older sister and so am I.” – Beta Reader

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How has being a Texan (or Texas) influenced your writing?

I grew up in east Texas and visited Lake O' the Pines many times. I enjoyed using House of the Seasons in Jefferson as the setting for the book and researching the history of Jefferson.

Why did you choose to write in your particular field?

I love writing for children. I want them to discover early in life that reading is fun. It will benefit them for the rest of their lives.

Where did your love of books and reading come from?

I discovered the Hardy Boys mysteries early. I read all of them and then began reading Nancy Drew mysteries.

How long have you been writing?

I coauthored two technical books in 2001 and 2004. I completed a mystery suspense novel in 2010. I began writing children's books in 2014.

What kind(s) of writing do you do?

I wrote a mystery/suspense novel. I have half of a science fiction on the shelf. This is the fourth book on the Amber-Autumn mystery series. I have several rhyming picture book texts ready for the right agent.

What cultural value do you see in books and storytelling?

Not everyone can travel and mingle with people and cultures around the world, but books open that possibility to everyone.

How does your book relate to your faith and values?

All of my books I would categorize as wholesome. The Amber-Autumn series presents the values of integrity and desire to help others. My picture book texts represent faith, hope, and Christian values.

What do you think most characterizes your writing?

My desire to inspire the love of reading in the next generation.. They are our future.

What was the hardest part of writing this book?

Since this book takes place in a real town and a real bed and breakfast, I worked diligently to accurately describe the setting, the town, and its history while weaving the fictional story into that setting.

What did you enjoy most about writing this book?

Getting to know some wonderful people in Jefferson.

John writes chapter books that appeal to elementary school children to capture their imagination and help them discover the love of reading early in life. John lives in Frisco, Texas with his beautiful wife and his King Charles Cavalier Spaniel, Charlie Brown.
John spent his childhood in a small town in east Texas. He attended college at the University of Texas earning a BS in Physics and a BA in Math (minor in Computer Science). His years in the high-tech industry, most of it on the “bleeding edge,” allowed him to develop new technology with software.
John had the privilege of co-authoring two editions of CallManager Fundamentals. The two books sold over 23,000 copies, exceeding the publisher’s goal of 8,000. Having discovered his love for writing while still working in high tech, he began writing fiction in his spare time and published The Enclave, a mystery / suspense novel, in 2010.

After leaving high-tech in 2014, he now spends full time pursuing his writing passion. He loves writing books that help children discover early in life that reading is a fun adventure. He recently released illustrated editions of the first three books in the Amber-Autumn mystery series: Christmas Garden Illustrated, Grandfather’s Blessing Illustrated, and Golden Campout Illustrated. The Secret Room is the fourth book in the series.
GRAND PRIZE: Signed copies of all four Amber-Author series books + $10 Starbucks Gift Card TWO RUNNERS-UP: Signed copy of The Secret Room
November 27-December 6, 2017
(U.S. Only)
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