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Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2014
  • 9781495130304
  • 228 pages
  • $9.95
ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties, Book III in the Cape Cod Witch Series

Children/Young Adult; Sci-Fi/Fantasy/Horror; (Market)

ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties is set in the present on Cape Cod and the Scottish Highlands. It’s the coming-of-age story of a young witch with a family trust to protect the natural world. ElsBeth feels the need to know the secrets of her heritage but is getting no answers -- when a threat to clan lands in the old country compel three ancient ghosts of the castle to call her across the sea before her time. The present dangers, and the mysteries of her ancestral homeland, are way over her magic level. With help and harm from some classmates who’ve been swept along, and new friends magical and not, ElsBeth has to find a new measure of herself -- and use all of the past and the present to make a future for herself, her family and her friends. ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties is a 2014 Moonbeam Children’s Book Award medal winner. Includes eighteen original black and white illustrations.

Reviews
D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review

"ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties is about as fine a middle school fantasy as you could get: vivid, packed with ghosts and mystery, and yet tempered with an attention to interpersonal depth that is rare and inviting."

Storyteller Ink

"I want to very highly recommend ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties. I found it humorous and entertaining. The story caught my interest quickly due to the character development. There is a sense of adventure, responsibility and fun in this book. One of my favorite things was the way the kids in the story worked together to understand and solve a problem, which helped others. I love stories that have a positive outcome due to the inventiveness and courage of kids! And this book is rich in this quality. Read it and spread the word. This one is really enjoyable!!!"

News
06/08/2015
LitPick Author Interview with Chris Palmer

SIX MINUTES WITH CHRIS PALMER:

Today Chris Palmer joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! Chris, along with his wife J. Bean Palmer (who is joining us tomorrow), wrote ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties, the third book in the award winning Cape Cod Witch Series. ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties won the 2014 Moonbeam Award for Pre-Teen Fiction.

How did you get started writing?

I have always written, since grade school, particularly poetry, and was often asked by schoolmates to edit or write things for them. When I was fifteen, a student I didn’t know that well asked me if I’d write a poem for an assignment he had. He had the idea I could write and he didn't think he could. The poem was selected for and published in the school literary magazine under his name, which was fine with me. I still like the poem.

Who influenced you?

The authors I’ve read and loved and a few I’ve met: Terry Pratchett (read), Neil Gaiman (read and met), Kurt Vonnegut (read and met), John Irving (read), and most recently Jonathan Franzen (read).

Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?

I very much like Terry Pratchett’s Tiffany Aching books, particularly A Hat Full of Sky and The Wee Free Men. Also The Graveyard Book by Neil Gaiman. I knew Neil in England before he began his writing career in earnest and he’s a funny, brilliant fellow. As a subject, I am fascinated by the spirit in man and nature, and love Cape Cod, New England and “the old country,” which we write about in ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?

Write, write some more, and read a lot. Don’t study “how to write” by “authorities” or “experts” -- at all, if you can avoid them, or at least until you have written lots and love writing (excepting, perhaps, Stephen King’s On Writing). Many authorities can expertly tell you why writing is hard and there is so much to learn and you won't be successful anyway. By-pass that, write, and love writing before you work too hard at “getting better” -- you’ll be getting better as you write anyway. There are things to know, but don’t gorge on what you don’t know until you enjoy some of the fruits of your labor. 

Where is your favorite place to write?

On the couch overlooking our vegetable garden and the Sandy River that borders our backyard.

What else would you like to tell us?

Both our families have lived in New England since that little ship came here in 1620. I’m a 14th generation Cape Codder, in fact, though now live in Maine. Scarily, my wife and I share the same Mayflower ancestor, William Brewster. The point is we have the Cape and the old country deep in our bones and a love of these lands in our blood.

Chris, thank you for joining LitPick for six minutes! You are the first author we’ve interviewed who has told us you had a relative who came over on the Mayflower!

 

06/09/2015
Author Interview with J Bean (Annie) Palmer

SIX MINUTES WITH J BEAN PALMER:

Today, J Bean Palmer joins LitPick for Six Minutes with an Author! J Bean co-authored ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties Book III in the Award Winning Cape Cod Witch Series, with her husband Chris Palmer, who we interviewed yesterday. J Bean is also the author of Book I, ElsBeth and the Pirates Treasure, and Book II ElsBeth and the Pirates Adventure, in the Cape Cod Witch Series. She also wrote The Little Cape Cod Witch Cookbook, The Secret Recipes of Hannah Goodspell.

How did you get started writing?

Like Chris, I began in grade school, but in high school ran into the dreaded grammar teacher and my mojo disappeared. Somehow I resurfaced in university only to be told by my professor that one couldn’t make any money writing. A single parent at the time with mounting bills to confront and a wild little boy to help grow up, writing went to the far, far back burner. But the urge couldn’t be entirely snuffed. I came upon an unusual stretch of free time and a safe audience when my granddaughter came into my life. For her first birthday I wrote her a story. I liked it, and others did, and I’ve rarely stopped wielding a pen since.

Who influenced you?

It is hard to be unaffected by William Shakespeare. Each phrase is so evocative, and I find it inspiring that writing touched by the gods lives in our hearts and minds generation after generation.

Do you have a favorite book/subject/character/setting?

I’m in love with adventure that tackles the “Big Questions.” Huck Finn and Tom Sawyer, I’m with you every step.

What advice do you have for someone who wants to be an author?

Read. I’m tempted to make that the answer, but it isn’t really complete. I would advise any aspiring author to completely indulge in the joy of creating a work of their imagination to share with others as a gift. Many people will accept the gift and appreciate the writing. Some will not. Focus on sharing with those who do. As to the others, learn what you can from any positive feedback, but never lose sight of what you love in your work.

Where is your favorite place to write?

I like to write in either noisy coffee houses or completely quiet places. I have to be close to nature or lots of people, one or the other. Don’t ask me why.

What else would you like to tell us?

There is no better reward for writing than seeing a young person’s shiny face as they read your work. Priceless!

Thank you very much for joining LitPick for six minutes with an author! It has been a pleasure interviewing you and your husband.

INTERVIEW QUESTIONS

Q1. What three words best describe your Cape Cod Witch Series?

Natural-world magical adventures (OK, maybe that’s three-and-a-half words.)

Q2. Can you give us your best one sentence pitch to convince readers, especially reluctant readers, why they should give this series a try?

This is quote from a review of the first ElsBeth book:

The Cape Cod Witch and the Pirate’s Treasure got such rave reviews from my two nephews … I felt like I had to pass it on: What makes their recommendations so remarkable is that they’re sort of reluctant readers, and hey, anytime two boys jump up and down (literally) and implore me to read something, I listen -- my nephew said all of the kids in his third grade class love this book, bar none.” --Ali Decker, Ypulse Book Editor

Q3. Grab a copy of the latest Cape Cod Witch book, ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties, and answer the following:

Favorite chapter?
“Beasties, Banshees, and Other Creatures of the Night”

Favorite page?

The first page, “The Call”

Favorite illustration?

“The Griffin and Black Roses of Malfleur Manor”

Flip to a random page and give us a 1-3 sentence teaser:
“ElsBeth was right behind Frankie when they stepped off the Sea Charmer -- and a sharp shriek again tore the still air. Frankie jumped straight up and came down in his most aggressive boxing stance. From fear to fierce in less than a second.”

Q4. What inspired your Cape Cod Witch Series? Were you influenced by any particular witch myths/lore, or pop cultural elements (other books/movies/shows)?

Oddly enough, Huckleberry Finn. I wanted to write an adventure story in the vein of the classics, and something for both boys and girls. But with magical elements that presented new realties and an environmental theme because of my passion and respect for the natural world and its magical kinship -- influenced, no doubt, by my education and degree in Environmental Science.

Q5. Can you tell us a bit about your heroine, ElsBeth? What makes her special or different from other middle-grade heroines?

Though ElsBeth’s skills are still developing, she has a clear calling to protect the natural world, using the best she knows of science and magic (which are not so very different from each other, after all).

Q6. How important are the settings in each book in the Cape Cod Witch Series?

Book I is set on the Cape, in and near ElsBeth's seaside home, and she and her friends have to face off against dangerous outsiders and a notorious pirate to restore the balance of past and present, good and evil.

In Book II ElsBeth and her friends go on a field trip to the Boston Freedom Trail. They get caught up with a freedom-fighting pirate ghost in the rescue attempt of a kidnaped student, and travel across the waters to Nantucket Island, in a real-life lesson in fighting for freedom and something bigger than themselves.

In Book III ElsBeth is called across the sea to the Scottish Highlands by three ancient ghosts of her clan when their ancestral lands are threatened. She has to begin in earnest her chosen calling to protect the natural world -- while unearthing in the old country older, odder family mysteries than she could ever dream.

In other words, the settings are actually important characters, themselves, in the stories.

Q7. Throughout the three books, ElsBeth has obviously had some interesting adventures and met some intriguing people ... do you have a favorite thing she’s done and/or favorite person she’s met?

Meeting ghosts, and finding they’re not so different from the rest of us -- they have problems, too, after all. Durst, the ancient warrior ghost in ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties, is my current favorite. He’s a little difficult to get along with at first, but well worth getting to know.

Q8. Can you give us any tidbits about what’s to come for ElsBeth in future book?!

ElsBeth ventures to the Wild West and gets involved with some Native American spirits who are troubled by what's happened to their lands. ElsBeth is growing up even more, and she learns she can’t make things right all on her own, even if she is a witch.

Q9. Answer the following:

I’m really awesome at ___.

Imagining things!

I’m really embarrassed to admit that ___.

I fell down eight times cross-country skiing the other day. (Don’t tell my brother, a former captain of the Dartmouth ski team.)

The last great book I read was ___.

Across the Nightingale Floor by Lian Hearn.

Q10. If you were to create and bake a cupcake inspired by your Cape Cod Witch Series, what would it look and taste like, and what would you call it?

Funny you should ask! It would be called Double-Double Chocolate Chip Fairy-Cream Cupcakes -- and we included the recipe at the end of Book II and also in The Little Cape Cod Witch Cookbook: The Secret Recipes of Hannah Goodspell, a cookbook for young folks we published as part of the series (and which won First Prize in the Cookbook category in the 2012 New England Book Festival). It looks (and tastes) like a dark chocolate cupcake with swirls of vanilla frosting.

Some awards include:

ElsBeth and the Pirate’s Treasure, Book I in The Cape Cod Witch Series and originally published in print copy as The Cape Cod Witch and the Pirate’s Treasure, was awarded Honorable Mention in the Pre-teen Literature Fiction category of the 2012 Global eBook Awards, and also received Honorable Mention in the Children’s Books category of the 2013 Paris Book Festival. 

ElsBeth and the Pirate’s Adventure, Book II of the series and originally published as The Cape Cod Witch and the Legend of the Pirate, was awarded Honorable Mention in the Regional Literature category of the 2013 New England Book Festival, and also received Honorable Mention in the Genre-Based category of the 2013 London Book Festival.

ElsBeth and the Call of the Castle Ghosties, Book III the series, was awarded (pre-publication) Honorable Mention in the 2013 Midwest Book Festival in the Unpublished Manuscript category and was awarded a bronze medal in the 2014 Moonbeam Children's Book Awards.

Additionally, The Little Cape Cod Witch Cookbook, The Secret Recipes of Hannah Goodspell, a children’s cookbook written for the series and available in print copy only at this time, won First Prize in the Cookbook category in the 2012 New England Book Festival.

Formats
Paperback Book Details
  • 12/2014
  • 9781495130304
  • 228 pages
  • $9.95

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