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Blog Tour: Anni Moon & the Elemental Artifact by Melanie Abed





Synopsis 
Anni doesn't know about Elementals, Funk, Zephyrs, excited talking Bat-Rat creatures, and, least of all, Dragons. All that changes when her best friend, Lexi, is kidnapped and forces beyond Anni’s control trap her on a hidden, floating island in the Elemental world.In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?


ABOUT THE AUTHOR

In kindergarten my life's goal was to become a teacher who wore only pink and ate French fries all day long. Now that I've matured, my goal in life is to become a Miss Marple-Sherlockian-Jedi Knight--I'm totally serious, it's a real thing.
I love stories, and I've had the privilege of working in Hollywood for over a decade in many different capacities, working with celebrities, directors (I'm married to one, plus he's my illustrator), and a few executives (the head-honcho types that I can't talk about because I signed confidentiality waivers). I'm not sure any of these people would have hired me if they knew I had a closet full of mint condition Star Wars toys...
However, the life of a freelancer is not for the faint of heart. I've kept myself busy with my extracurricular activities, from skydiving to scuba diving, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a degree in Fine Art, an M.A. in Psychology (with a focus in Neuroscience), and a few other things that I like to keep top secret. ...Some people think I'm a spy, but I'll never tell!

Q &A with Melanie Abed:

1. What was your inspiration for Anni Moon and the Elemental Artifact?
I was inspired to write a story about the Edgewater Apartment building where I lived when I was a kid. The Edgewater is a famous historical landmark building in Chicago. As a child, I often imagined that the smallish door in the back of one of our closets led to a fantastical world, which is the main reason I was inspired to put several fantastical doorways, Elemental modes of transportation, into Anni’s story. Waterstone Academy for Girls, the school where Anni and Lexi attend, is actually a real location close to the Edgewater, but in real life it’s a country club. When I was a kid, me and my rag-tag-crew would hide-out in the underbrush trying to peek beneath the country club’s high fence, and if we were very lucky we might find a stray tennis ball to take home as a prize. 

2. Which writers inspire you?
First and foremost, I guess I would start with Charles Dickens. I’m an incredible fan of his book David Copperfield. When I started to reread Charles Dickins’ novels as an adult, I truly became inspired to write a story. I spent well over a decade, which my husband calls my own personal master’s program, reading UK and US children’s and some young adult literature ranging from classics to modern day authors. 
A few other favorite stand outs are: Jane Austen, A.A. Milne, C.S. Lewis, L. Frank Baum, J.R.R. Tolkien, Frances Hodgson Burnett, Ray Bradbury, Agatha Christie, Roald Dahl, Philip K. Dick, Philip Pullman, Neil Gaiman, Diana Wynne Jones, Terry Pratchett, Chris Wooding, Joseph Delaney and J.K. Rowling.

3. What was the most difficult part of the writing process?
The most challenging aspect of writing has been balancing what the reader needs to know, especially while introducing a huge new world, and striving to create an engaging plot that pushes the story forward. Even though this is the first in a planned series of six books, the reader can walk away feeling satisfied at the end. However, in future books, there is much to learn and explore in this world, especially for readers who love to speculate about different characters and plot lines, this is the kind of book they can look forward to digging into. 

4. How much research do you do, if any was needed?
While developing the Elemental world, I had my heart set on making it truly unique. 
Although I researched all kinds of different Elemental lore, I favored elements (no pun intended) of the Asian legends most, and found myself blending that with some Western folklore in order to create something distinct. For example, from the traditional Asian element Wood was born the Elemental travel sector, where Elementals utilize TreeTransport as their favored way to travel the globe in the bustling transportation center of LimBough. Throughout the story, I focused on the larger picture of the Elemental world showing: how Elementals lived and worked in their community, and how they deal with the dreaded Funk; how they existed alongside the human population – or in the case of the Wood Realms, not at all; how the Fectus used humans and infiltrated their world; how the Elofficial government’s rules regarding Funk and travel inhibits younger Elementals from traveling to human realms without proper DeFunkification; and, ultimately, what it would be like to throw a human into their world that was completely unaware of their existence. 

5. Do you work from an outline or plot or do you prefer to just see where an idea takes you? 
Generally, I need to plot everything first before writing, but in the case of this story I worked with plots and free writing. The characters and the general concept came first, after that I plot and outline. I knew Anni & Lexi’s characters almost instinctively, and I could see Waterstone Academy, LimBough, and Moon Zephyr. 

6. What would you say to a wanna be writer/author?
The only advice I would give writers is to read lots and lots of books, then write, and perhaps to read a few how to write books, which hopefully will save years of grief.

My Review:
I enjoyed this book for several reasons. It was fun, filled with likable characters and those you like to hate, and it was a quick read. More than all those reason I liked this book because I thought it was perfect for the age group. 
I thought it was silly when some adults on goodreads said they couldn't get into the plot because it was a bit to boring or one dimensional.... Think of the books you were reading in elementary and middle school. They did not have complex plots, they had fun characters and descriptions that created pictures in your head and they helped your love of reading to grow! Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact was all the good things. The younger readers out there will enjoy the quick pace the descriptive settings and lovable characters. If you have a younger child get this book for them!

My Rating:


GIVEAWAY
--Giveaway is open to International. | Must be 13+ to Enter
1 Winner will receive a Signed Copy of Anni Moon & The Elemental Artifact 
1 Winner will receive a $20.00 Amazon Gift Card.

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