New Book Cover Revealed: Countdown Begins

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This week, Tourmaline Books released  the cover for Calhei No More, the sixth and probably final book of the award-winning Wycaan Master series. In addition, they made a surprise announcement. Scroll down to find out what.

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The cover shows Abel, the Mushroom Man, who first appeared in From Ashes They Rose, and became a popular figure. Guess he earned his place on the cover both for his role in the novel and launching a new hobby for the author – almost every dish I’ve cooked since has had common or exotic mushrooms in it.

A big Thank You to our long-suffering cover artist, William J. Kenney. Art is an incredible talent that the unskilled like me view as magic. But William also possesses the talent to take my jumble of verbal images and produce a work of art.

As a way to encourage readers to finish the previous…

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Book Review: The Wheel of Osheim by Mark Lawrence

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The Wheel of OsheimGenre: Dark Fantasy
Series: Red Queen’s War
Author info: http://www.marklawrence.buzz/

This book picks up the adventure where The Liar’s Key left it, with a bang -quite literally! This book is one of the best conclusions of a series I have ever read to date and it answers all of the questions in the most brilliant way with mind blowing twists and reveals. No question was left unanswered for me and the climax was brilliant.

And, if you are a Jorg fan, you will get a stunning scene featuring Jorg and Jalan’s dialogue with Jorg is one of my favorite parts in this book. Jalan’s desert scenes were splendid, but his journey through Hell with Snorri was even more so. Snorri is one of the best fantasy side characters ever and the emotional depth in Snorri’s character arc is incredible.

I am not a fan of battle scenes featuring the zombie/undead…

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So I Read Harry Potter and the Cursed Child

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My brief and informalgoodreads review:

I wasn’t sure at first if I even wanted to read this not being a fan fiction reader, but was encouraged to do so and am glad I did. That said, this is clearly in that realm as it requires a relatively strong background in Harry Potter lore to make sense of it all. So much revisits pieces of the earlier books, amplifies themes, characters, and possibilities. I found that great fun (especially after having recently spent a pleasurable day at Orlando’s Harry Potter World).

I also am a regular theatergoer and so enjoyed reading the script and imagining the staging. I’m guessing it will eventually end up on Broadway and I will then have a chance to see it.

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Coming Soon: Shaun Tan’s The Singing Bones

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I’m so pleased that those in the U. S. will soon have an opportunity to see Shaun Tan’s brilliant Grimm fairy tale sculptures in the forthcoming The Singing Bones from Scholastic. I first heard of them several years ago when I met the German publisher Klaus Humann of Aladin Verlag who told me about a wonderful new project — having Shaun Tan illustrate (with small sculptures) Philip Pullman’s retellings of the Grimm fairy tales. Since I do read German (poorly) and was eager to see the book I ordered it from Germany and was not disappointed. (You can read my reaction here.)  I wondered about this new book and so found more information on Shaun’s website.

Naturally I was very keen to bring my illustrations to readers in other languages, but other editions of Pullman’s Grimm Tales for Young and Old precluded this (and worked perfectly fine without them). In…

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Coming Soon: The BFG Movie

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This past week, through the kindness of Walden Pond Press, I was able to attend a screening of the Steven Spielberg adaptation of Roald Dahl’s The BFG.  I went into it knowing little, as it is one of the few Dahl titles I have not read, attributable to my working full time, doing a part-time graduate degree, running competitively (did my second NYC marathon that year), and slowly giving up on my dream of becoming a children’s book illustrator the year it came out. When I heard about the movie last year I started reading the book, but soon gave up — I found the BFG’s made-up vocabulary highly irritating. However, knowing how much others love the book, the positiveresponses to the movie so far, and the impressive people involved made me eager to see it.

And now I am here to report that it is delightful. I don’t know if it is a great departure from the…

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Go On, Celeb — Write a Children’s Book!

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Is there a celebrity (past or present) left who hasn’t or isn’t writing a children’s book because, as the latest (Simon Cowell) evidently feels, “…all children’s books are boring – at least the ones that he’s reading to his two-year-old.”?  I vaguely recall Madonna making a similar claim a few years ago.  Doing a bit of internet research I came across this entertaining quiz from, what else?, Entertainment Weekly.  Here’s another list.

I’m trying to think of my favorites in this oeuvre, either the most horrifying or those that are actually good. Of the later, I really liked B. J. Novak’s The Book With No Pictures. (ETA — just thought of an example of one that was really, really, REALLY bad — Tyra Bank’s Modelland.) Betsy Bird had a few thoughts about some adult writers turning their hand at writing for kids. Like them, but they aren’t really…

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What’s in a Name

ElvesWriter

This week, Tourmaline Books announced the title to the sixth Wycaan Master book, perhaps the final one in the series: Calhei No More.

Anyone who has read the previous books in the series knows that calhei means children, specifically elven children (do you need to brush up on your elvish?).

images-2There was considerable back and forth regarding the title. A previous book had an elven word in the title and the publishers were not keen on this as it might be a barrier to people purchasing it. While Ashbar failed to become a New York Times bestseller, I don’t think the title was to blame.

Still, this makes perfect marketing sense, but I always thought that by the time you bought Book 3 or Book 6, you would have read the preceding novels – or in the case of Book 6, read Sacrificial Flame (#4) and From Ashes…

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Philip Pullman’s Ponytail

we love any news about Philip Pullman!

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It is “moving towards the place where I think the end will be. I’ll be so glad to reach it so I can cut my hair.” He has promised not to do so until the book is done. “When I cut my ponytail off I shall put it in a zip-lock bag and give it to the Bodleian,” he says with a smile. In a tone of mock self-importance, he adds: “Present it to the nation.”

“The book is getting longer. But it is filling up with things that are all germane to what the story is becoming. Some of the themes I turned up in the course of His Dark Materials are going to be central to it.” One of these is to do with William Blake’s ideas about how we see things, as expressed in a little poem he wrote in a letter to a friend. Pullman wants…

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