Monday, December 14, 2020

Interview with Sunayna Prasad, author of A Curse of Mayhem

 


Today we welcome Sunayna Prasad to the blog. She's letting us take a sneak peek into her new book A Curse of Mayhem and then answers a few questions so that we can get to know her and her book a little bit better. Be sure to follow the tour for even more and ask her some of your own questions along the way. Best of luck in the giveaway!



History, like magic, has a habit of repeating itself

It’s been six months since thirteen-year-old Alyssa McCarthy left magic behind for good. Or so she thought…

Then the enchanted objects that protected her disappear. Now a skeleton named Errol has cursed her with magical powers that keep getting her in trouble. Suddenly strange things are happening with disastrous effects, and if Alyssa can’t remove the magic, she will lose everything she holds dear.

In order to get rid of her unwanted wizardry, Alyssa will have to boost her bravery and confidence and determine who Errol really is. But every time Alyssa uses an enchantment, Errol is one step closer to getting his flesh back and becoming alive, and he will do anything to achieve his goals…even if it means destroying Alyssa’s happiness.

Originally published in 2016 as “Wizardry Goes Wild” and “The Unruly Curse” in 2019, “A Curse of Mayhem” is book two in the exciting and suspenseful “Magical Missions” series.


Read an excerpt:
Several hours had passed. It was now ninth period, the last one before school ended. Only twenty minutes remained until the bell rang.

However, thanks to the library closing because two classes had occupied it, Alyssa hadn’t gotten to hone her presentation skills. Even the teachers monitoring the hallway had forbidden her to practice there.

Today through Wednesday, the students would present on different literary elements in the last novel they’d read, Angelica: A Whale Princess. Alyssa had been assigned to discuss the themes and morals of the book.

Mr. Godfrey, the teacher, had picked students randomly to read their brief speeches today, tomorrow, or Wednesday. Alyssa had been assigned for today. So, her stomach made several knots as she watched Sydney present on the characters from the book.

Usually, Mr. Godfrey had a more easygoing attitude toward the class. On his birthday last month, he hadn’t given homework. For the first assignment of the year, he’d played a game with the class to help them prepare for a quiz.

Alyssa wished that he’d let her and everyone else pick when they’d wanted to go—or he could’ve at least chosen the bravest speakers for today. She assumed that Mr. Godfrey knew that many children stuttered, hesitated, or got words wrong when having to present in front of crowds.


Book Links



Describe your book in one sentence or fewer than 25 words.
A 13-year-old girl is cursed with sorcery that she cannot control and needs to remove.
What was the inspiration behind this book?
A chunk of the inspiration came from the movies, “Frozen” and “ParaNorman”
What kind of research did you have to do for it?
How detention works in schools (since I never had detention… ever!) and a bit about the Puritans, although some of it I already studied in junior high.
Which character was your favorite to write?
My main character’s godfather, Alex, as he is sweet and nurturing. He is developed the way I’d want my ideal caregiver to be.
What was one of your favorite scenes?
Any scene where my MC’s godfather comforts her after something terrible has happened has always been enjoyable for me to write.
Will we see these characters again?
Yes, we will see my MC, her godfather, friends, dog, and mentor in future works.
How do you make yourself stand out in this genre?
The book is a modern-day, American fantasy, where even wizards use modern technology, far more advanced than the regular kind.
Tell us about your other published works.
There is Book 1, “The Frights of Fiji,” where my MC discovers magic’s existence and is abducted to Fiji, where she must fight against dangers in order to leave.
On what are you currently working?
Book 3 of my “Magical Missions” series. I’m hoping to publish it by this spring.
What are you currently reading? Up next on your TBR?
“Mistborn” by Brandon Sanderson. I will probably read another one of his books.


About the author:

Sunayna Prasad enjoys writing fantasy books for children, as well as cooking, creating artwork, watching online videos, and blogging. She has also written The Frights of Fiji, formerly titled as From Frights to Flaws. She is passionate about modern life, fantasy, and world-building. Aside from her website, she also has a blog about different creative and entertaining topics, including fiction and writing, called “Sunayna Prasad’s Blog”.

Sunayna has graduated from college in May 2017. She lives in Long Island, NY.

https://www.sunaynaprasadbooks.com/

https://sunaynaprasadblogs.com/

https://twitter.com/SunaynaPrasad



Sunayna Prasad will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Saturday, November 28, 2020

Science Stumpers: Brain-Busting Scenarios Solved with Science! by Keegan Burmark & Kevin Brougher

 


Winner of four awards! Science Stumpers has a game-like quality that kids enjoy both solo and in group settings. It's a fun and engaging approach that excites learners of all ages and covers scientific topics ranging from subatomic to interstellar, with many fascinating peculiarities along the way. Science Stumpers contains well over 100 mini-mysteries and solutions.


Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)







30 years of teaching proved rewarding, challenging and heartbreaking at times. There is only so much a teacher can do when you see over 150 students a day. Still, it was a place for inspiration, creative outlet, and humor.

I was fortunate enough to start out in the elementary grades - progress to middle school - then spend some years at the high school level. Fortunate, because it gave me a much clearer picture of the progression of skills, than just reading about it.

Even during my student teaching days, I was intrigued with finding ways to get kids thinking and learning in a fun way. Of course, FUN can be an ambiguous term. But still, I was on the constant look out and constant dwelling on what could hook them just a little bit more and make them THINK just a little bit longer.

What I noticed, too, was that there were activities that were done in school that were good but, would not be replicated or done at home. And, there were some fun activities that were done at home that just didn't quite have enough content or thinking skills involvement that would allow for it to be justified in the classroom. What was MISSING were activities - games - books that families would enjoy enough to play and use together with OUT it being an "assignment" but teachers could use in the classroom.

I eventually went on to start Missing Piece Press, LLC. A publishing company that would publish those types of works. Over the years I have encouraged MANY to create these types of works. Besides books and games that got people THINKING, I also enjoyed writing verse. It probably not only stemmed from inspiration from my mom but, from learning how to play guitar and writing songs in college and later writing songs for the classroom.

I am MOST fortunate and SO blessed to have two wonderful, beautiful and talented daughters. One, happens to now be a graphic design illustrator and illustrated a story that I had written for the girls during my early years of teaching - Reindolphins. She is currently working on illustrating another one of my stories - we are both VERY excited about it.

Thank you SO much for your interest and any support.

More information on my games can be found at: MissingPiecePress.com or KevinBrougher.com



I was compensated via Fiverr for sharing this post. I only share those books that I feel will be of interest to my readers.

Thursday, November 19, 2020

Review of Sophie Washington: Class Retreat by Tonya Duncan Ellis

 


It's time for another installment of my current favorite middle grade series, Sophie Washington by Tonya Duncan Ellis! This one, Class Retreat, is full of fun and some subtle lessons and discussion topics for kids. Check out an excerpt and further thoughts of mine. Let Tonya know in the comments what you think. And then be sure to follow the tour and enter the great giveaway!



There is no such thing as Big Foot! Or is there…

Sophie Washington and her classmates are on their way to Camp Glowing Spring for a class retreat. It’ll be two full days of swimming, eating s’mores around a campfire, tug-of-war, archery, and more! Sophie’s been looking forward to the trip all school year and can’t wait to spend extra time with her friends. It will also be great to get away from her bratty younger brother, Cole, and his constant stories about Big Foot. If Cole warns her about what to do if she sees the hairy ape man on the retreat one more time, she’ll put in ear plugs. Everybody knows Big Foot is a hoax!

Once the kids arrive at the retreat site things are as exciting as Sophie imagined. She has fun exploring nature with her besties, Chloe, Valentina, Toby, Nathan, and Mariama, and meeting new friends too. Then the kids see a giant footprint during a nature hike in the woods and the adventure really begins!


Read an excerpt:
“Wake up, Sophie!” Chloe rubs my shoulder. “We’re here.”

I twist my stiff neck until it cracks and rub the sleepy stuff from around my eyes. I must’ve napped for over an hour. My jeans feel drier, thank goodness. I won’t have to change my clothes.

The bus tires crunch over gravel as we drive past a white and green billboard that reads “Camp Glowing Spring: Established 1965.” The only drawing on the big sign, besides the green letters, is a pine tree with a swirly line around it, which seems like the perfect symbol for this place.

It reminds me of a Grimm’s Fairy Tale forest, beautiful, but spooky. Giant evergreens surround a long, one-story building, with a lake behind it. The bright sky stretches overhead like a canopy bed. Spanish moss drips from some tree branches like frizzy, gray hair. As we pass a foot trail that winds into the greenery, I shiver, remembering Cole’s warnings about Big Foot.

Camp Glowing Spring looks exactly like the woods from my nightmare. What if Big Foot comes to our cabin to get us at night? I blink and shake my head to snap back into reality. Big Foot is a hoax. I need to enjoy being away from my little brother’s tall tales for the next two days.

As the bus drives deeper into the campground, the hum of excited kids gets louder.

“Check that out!” Toby bounces on his seat and stares at a water park on the lake. There’s a wooden pier in the center and an inflatable blue and yellow water slide. A giant-sized, red, yellow, and blue plastic pillow floats beside it.

“That lake is probably 100 feet deep!” Nathan leans over Toby’s shoulder.

I wonder what lurks underneath the greenish blue waters. Does Big Foot swim?

“That’s the Blob!” Chloe points at the huge, plastic pillow. “Some eighth graders told me how much fun it is. I can’t wait to jump out there. If a bigger person flops on after you, your body flies high in the air before you hit the water.”

“Cool!” Nathan’s eyeballs widen behind his glasses.

I bite my thumbnail.

I’m scared of heights, and the idea of bouncing over a huge lake doesn’t exactly float my boat. I better make sure that I’m the last one on the Blob if I do try it.


Available on Amazon
(affiliate link)



**My thoughts**
I'm always so excited to see a new Sophie Washington book come out! I have been following this series right from the start, and it's seriously my favorite current one for middle grades right now. In every installment, Sophie and her friends learn some important lessons, and sometimes even have something to teach others as well. Plus they are just full of all kinds of kid fun and adventures. This one was no different.

This time, Sophie and her class are going away on a class retreat at a camp. These are supposed to be a sort of bonding experience. I remember doing one my junior year in high school and actually kept flashing back to that as I read through this. 

So of course, you have your usual campground antics going on and the usual fun scuffles between the girls and the boys in Sophie's class and friend group. Then there is the mystery of the scruffy Bigfoot lookalike that keeps appearing around the campsites. Sophie's brother warned her ahead of time about encountering Bigfoot, so she's all kinds of concerned!

But a more important part of this book is how Ellis touches on racism and how nasty kids can still be, even today. It's quite blatant and the characters do acknowledge it. I kind of wish they would have gotten more into trying to resolve it. But at the same time, addressing it in a camping situation like they were in would be difficult. Maybe this is something that can be touched on again later? It definitely provides a great discussion point for adults to have with kids about identifying racism. And then perhaps they could brainstorm some ways to handle similar situations as a small group.

I was more impressed at the introduction of microaggression with a camp counselor. I know a lot of us still make mistakes and don't realize that our words and ideas are hurtful to BIPOC. We're all still learning a lot. I'm proud of Sophie for being able to address it with the counselor and of the counselor for acknowledging her mistake and suggesting that the counselors do some more diversity training as soon as possible so that they do not have this kind of incident again. It gives adults food for thought as well, and may also inspire some kids to be more mindful of some of the things that they say. Again, another great discussion point in this book.

And then, there's the lesson about how sometimes if you just try something new, it may not be so bad after all. I'm thinking of the various camp activities that Sophie is unsure of trying, convinced she will not enjoy them, but then ends up having a lot of fun. It's hard for kids to do, and even some of us adults.

Following the fun story is a lot of other fun related information, such as how to make s'mores, facts about Bigfoot, and more. I always appreciate those sections at the end of stories to help inspire kids to learn even more about what they have just read.

So as always, another great installment in this series. Sophie has grown so much and I can't wait to find out what she does next!

Thank you to the author and to Goddess Fish for providing me with a requested copy of this book to review. All thoughts and opinions are my own.


Tonya Duncan Ellis was born and raised in Louisville, KY. She loves reading so much that as a child she took books with her everywhere. She knew she wanted to become a writer after an article she wrote was published in her hometown newspaper when she was a teen. Since then, Tonya has worked as a journalist and freelance magazine writer. A graduate of Centre College of Kentucky and Washington University in St. Louis, she’s an Amazon bestselling and award-winning author of the Sophie Washington children's book series, geared towards readers ages 8 to 12. The books recount adventures of Houston, TX preteen Sophie Washington and her diverse group of friends. Each funny and heartwarming story teaches lessons about friendship, responsibility, truthfulness and perseverance. Books in the series include Queen of the Bee, The Snitch, Things You Didn't Know About Sophie, The Gamer, Hurricane, Mission: Costa Rica, Secret Santa, and Code One. When she's not writing, Tonya enjoys reading, biking, swimming, travel, and spending time with her husband and three children. She lives in Missouri City, TX.


tonyaduncanellis.com

Instagram: @tonyaellisbooks

Facebook: @tonyaellisbooks

Twitter: @TonyaDEllis

https://www.amazon.com/Tonya-Duncan-Ellis/e/B0762ZB3BN



Tonya Duncan Ellis will be awarding a $25 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Sunday, November 15, 2020

The Story Pirates Prize Package #Giveaway 2 Winners! Ends 12/14



The arts are a great way to inspire your child's creative side. Why not add in a mix of music, adventures, plus a writing guide for young authors? Check out this awesome collection and then enter to be one of two winners in the giveaway!

Sponsored By: Sugar Mountain PR


Hosted By: Love, Mrs. Mommy



2 WINNERS Will Receive: 


A Story Pirates Prize Package!

Includes: 3 Albums, 1 EP, 1 Book,
and a 2 Month Creator Club Membership ($66 TRV)! 

(affiliate links included)

3 Albums

1 Digital EP 


This giveaway bundle has everything to connect the young creators in your life with The Story Pirates! The bundle includes all three Story Pirates albums, an upcoming "made-up holidays" EP, their most recent middle grade reader, and a 2-month membership in the Story Pirates Creator Club. 

About the Story Pirates 
The Story Pirates believe that kids are creative geniuses. All of them. This nationally renowned group of top comedians, musicians, best-selling authors and incredible teachers have 15 years of experience creating content that celebrates the imaginations of kids. Winner of the 2020 iHeartRadio award for Best Kids and Family Podcast, The Story Pirates Podcast is one of the top three kids and family podcasts in the world. Downloaded over 20 million times and featuring songs and sketches based on stories written by kids, their special guests include top talent like Billy Eichner, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Dax Shepard, Bowen Yang, Claire Danes, John Oliver, and Lake Bell. The Pirates have released three critically acclaimed middle-grade books with Penguin Random House and two award winning albums, all based on ideas from kids around the world. The Creator Club, their new subscription service, features activities, live streamed classes, a daily radio show, and videos to entertain and encourage creativity for kids at home. 


About Sugar Mountain
Sugar Mountain PR is a public relations agency specializing in 
award-winning music and other media for children.

Open To US and must be 18+ to enter
Giveaway Dates ~ 11/14 9:00AM EST through 12/13 11:59PM EST


Disclosure: Love, Mrs. Mommy and all participating bloggers are not held responsible for sponsors who do not fulfill their prize obligations. This giveaway is in no way endorsed or sponsored by Facebook or any other social media site. The winners will be randomly drawn by Giveaway Tools and will be notified by email. Winners have 48 hours to reply before a replacement winner will be drawn. If you would like to participate in an event like this please contact LoveMrsMommy (at) gmail (dot) com.

Tuesday, October 20, 2020

The Infamous Frankie Lorde: Stealing Greenwich by Brittany Geragotelis

 


I'm always on the lookout for fun new middle grade books, because this is the age where we want to keep them reading! And this one definitely looks like fun, almost reminding me a little bit of Artemis Fowl, maybe? But of course, with its own twists to make it its own! Check out an excerpt and download your own copy to read and let us know what you think! Follow the tour for even more, plus a great giveaway.



Launch of a new series for upper middle graders about a girl who has lived as an international thief, now returned to the real world.

Frankie Lorde and her dad have been a team for as long as Frankie can remember. Being a tutor under the man responsible for some of the world's biggest heists has given Frankie a unique perspective on the world. And a special set of life skills. Frankie can spot an FBI agent in a second. Pick a lock in two seconds. Steal a Bugatti in three. Then dad is arrested.

Frankie is sent to live with her uncle, her dad's brother who she barely knows, and is, ironically a cop. Now Frankie has to go to middle school, learn what suburban kids wear and eat. But also ironically, Frankie is in Greenwich, CT, one of the richest towns in America. Seeing the starkness of super rich and the super not rich who support the community gives Frankie an idea. How to use her skills for doing good, to even the score. . . .


Read an excerpt:
Let me draw you a picture of my life with Dad. This is what happened during our last daddy/daughter outing:

Dad and I were in Paris, hanging out at a hip local spot, drinking café crèmes—a fancy term for milky coffee, in case you didn’t know—and people-watching. It’s one of our favorite things to do. We take turns coming up with backgrounds and stories for strangers who walk by.

Trust me, it’s a lot more entertaining than it sounds. I’d just dug into the most delicious chocolate croissant when Dad discreetly pointed to a lady crossing the street. She was wearing a smart-looking trench coat and sporting a short, boyish haircut.

“So, Frankie, what’s her deal?” Dad asked me.

I studied her like she was a work of art, noting her appearance and the way she moved and then taking in any other details she was giving away. If you know what to look for, it’s easy to tell exactly who a person is within the first fifteen seconds of meeting them.

And who taught me this cool superpower? My dad. See, I told you he’s awesome.

“She’s American. That’s obvious. Look at her shoes,” I said, gesturing at the boringly practical black flats the woman was wearing. “She’s trying to act like she’s not in a rush, but she is. And she’s nervous about something. Maybe she’s meeting someone for the first time? Her trench coat isn’t a fashion statement. It’s there to hide what’s underneath, which appears to be . . .”

I squinted in the midmorning sun in an attempt to see better.

“ . . . very unstylish and poorly fitting pants,” I finished. “She’s a professional of some kind, though her appearance doesn’t seem to be a concern of hers, so I’d guess she’s not in media or entertainment, or any field where she has to sell things to people, for that matter.”


(affiliate link)


Brittany Geragotelis is living the dream. After 10 years of rejection from the publishing industry, she began to post her original novel, Life's a Witch, on the online writing site, Wattpad, hoping that others would enjoy reading her book. A year after the first upload, the book had received 19 million reads, which caught the attention of Publisher's Weekly, The Huffington Post and The Wall Street Journal.

After building up some buzz in the industry, she hooked up with her agents who instantly received interest from publishers and movie/tv producers. Within weeks, Life's a Witch went into auction between four major publishing houses, and in the end Brittany landed a 3-book deal with publishing powerhouse, Simon & Schuster.

http://www.brittanygeragotelis.com

http://www.facebook.com/BrittanyGeragotelis

http://www.twitter.com/TheBookSlayer

http://www.youtube.com/TheBookSlayer

http://www.pinterest.com/TheBookSlayer

http://www.instagram.com/TheBookSlayer



The author is giving away a print copy of the book (US only). Follow the tour for more chances to win!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, October 5, 2020

Read an exclusive excerpt from Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #LifeSkills by Kathleen Boucher

 

Ah, the tween years. Not a time I would necessarily want to revisit! But it's a time that really needs some extra help and guidance, because it is such a confusing time in life. Here's one book that aims to do so. Check out an exclusive excerpt before you get your own copy. Be sure to follow the tour for even more! Best of luck entering the giveaway!



Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #LIFESKILLS is a self-help book for tweens. Fraternal twins Emma and Elliot teach tweens practical life strategies that they've learned from their parents and teachers. These life skills include how to have more confidence when presenting in class, the importance of work ethic, a simple writing technique to help deal with anger, and more. There are exercises at the end of each chapter that tweens can use to integrate what they've learned.

"Engagingly written and well-designed, NINE WAYS TO EMPOWER TWEENS #LIFESKILLS by Kathleen Boucher should be required reading for teenagers and even older readers interested in building personal strength, developing a positive mind-set and achieving goals throughout their lives."
- Andrea Karen Hammer for IndieReader

Check out an excerpt:


BUY LINKS

(affliate links included)


Excerpt text:
Chapter 1: How to Speak Confidently


"Here is how to be confident in just about anything: Write down on a piece of paper what you already do well. Are you an amazing writer, singer, or guitar player? Are you great at tying your shoes, making your bed, keeping your room neat, washing dishes, singing in the shower, feeding the dog, zooming around in your wheelchair, hugging your parents, doing schoolwork, or riding a bike? Remember that list. Each time you try something new, first remember something you are really, really good at doing. Remember something that makes you confident. Then, take that confidence and associate it with whatever you are trying that is new. It's as simple as that."


**My thoughts**

Self-help and self-empowerment are hot topics for us adults right now. It's good to start implementing some of these skills in kids, so that ideally, they can grow up to be healthier adults. And the tween years are horribly difficult. Any positive guidance at this age is fantastic.

This book is told from the point of view of fraternal twins Emma and Elliot. My guess is that's to make it seem like it is coming more from peers than an adult. And then, of course, you have one boy and one girl sharing their stories. As an adult, I didn't buy that tweens wrote this book, or at least not without a ton of adult help. But perhaps kids won't quite catch on to that as easily. 

I think this is the kind of book that tweens, and even older teens, should slowly work through and process. It is a lot to take in, especially when you are already in a time of great change and growth. It could work for individuals with a trusted adult with whom they could discuss their situations and progress. I think it could also work for some small group discussions, with individual follow-up.

It reads quite similarly to some of the current adult empowerment articles and books, though the example situations are more geared toward some that tweens and teens might encounter. This is where I think the small group and/or individual discussions could come in handy, to better help the tweens apply the different chapters to their own lives. They still need to do the work in themselves, but some guidance would be good.

I'd actually love to sit down with some of my tweens and teens with whom I am still in touch from when I taught them in their younger years and work through some of these chapters with them. We already have some of these conversations, but perhaps this book could provide some further talking points.

Honestly, I think that adults would also benefit from reading this. A lot of the referenced works for further reading would also be good for adults to read.

I received a requested review copy from the author and Goddess Fish Promotions. All thoughts and opinions are my own.

 



Kathleen Boucher is an award-winning children's book author, a certified lifestyle coach, a certified neurocoach, a certified stress and wellness consultant, and a registered nurse. Her mission is to inspire kids to follow their dreams. Nine Ways to Empower Tweens #LIFESKILLS gives tweens strategies that empower them.


CONNECT WITH KATHLEEN

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Great-kids-and-me-661472150542382/

Twitter: https://twitter.com/goodoutstanding

LinkedIn: https://www.linkedin.com/in/kathleen-boucher-7b6b0246/

Website: https://www.boucherbooks.com/



Kathleen Boucher will be awarding a $20 Amazon or B/N GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Monday, August 10, 2020

The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol (A Dragonstone Story) by Mark M. Even

Welcome to the Name Before the Masses tour for The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol, the first book in a series about Mandy Mandez and her extended family's special magic. Check out an excerpt from this book and a special preview of the next book in the series! Be sure to follow the tour for even more. And then enter the giveaway for a $20 gift card at the end!

The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol is an outstanding fantasy that shows how Mandy discovers her magic under strange circumstances. It focuses on how Mandy will get home and how she'll discover her real purpose in coming to this land, providing the basics of how this new world operates in a manner that elementary-level readers can readily understand: "The parasol and the dragonstone work together to sense the presence, or lack of presence, of the inner magic of the person holding the parasol. The dragonstone uses the infinite power of the sun to tap or channel or access that magic. And one way it does that is to transport an individual to Storyworld.”

As Mandy harbors a secret, puzzles out how to use the dragonstone, and interacts with her family while battling lizards and building an army, young readers will relish the blend of real-world family dilemmas and fantasy world encounters.(D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review)


Read an excerpt:

She opened the parasol and placed it on her shoulder. Just as she started twirling it, she heard the creak of the back door to the house open. Grandma rushed out, waving her arms and shouting, “Mandy, wait! Don’t!”

Too late, it’s my turn! Mandy thought.

A blue glow fell across her. Her vision blurred in the blue light. She felt like she was standing still… and spinning at the same time. Indistinct, blurred images appeared and disappeared in front of her, quickly fading away. She felt frustrated; she couldn’t quite make out what the images were.

Finally, she found herself standing on a desolate hillside. Below spread an open vista of hundreds of acres of land covered in boulders. Across this landscape, large and small vents spewed steam, which condensed into shimmering silver, white, and blue water vapor rising into the stark blue sky.

Turning to her right, Mandy saw a large unevenly formed mountain some distance away. On top of the mountain sat what appeared to be an old stone castle with massive parapets and what Mandy thought was… a drawbridge.

There were some… creatures flying around the castle and in between the fortifications and towers.

“I wonder what those are,” Mandy said aloud, squinting her dark hazel eyes to try and make out their shapes.

Behind Mandy, a deep bass voice loudly said, “Oh… no! How did we get to Talon?”


 Available on Amazon

(affiliate link)


Take a sneak peek at the next book:

The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol is the 1st book of a 4 (currently) book series. The subtitle of the book, “A Dragonstone Story”, identifies the ongoing story of Mandy Mandez and her extended family as they deal with the magic they can wield through a dragonstone.

The 2nd book, The Power of the Emerald Ring, continues the story and tells the reader how the family copes with using magic in the real world rather than within the fantasy worlds that the magic parasol had provided. While they struggle with hiding their powers from the authorities, they also decide that they want to use their powers to help mankind. And in doing so, they discover that they are not alone – that there are others that are also magical, but that use magic for their own personal benefit.

The Power of the Emerald Ring is in the final stages of editing by Cresting Wave Publishing and will be available September 2020.

Here is a preview of the cover art for The Power of the Emerald Ring:



About the author:

I retired from almost 40 years working for IBM in Mar, 2017. I’ve been married for 43 years to my wife, Joyce and have 3 children and 8 grand-children. I enjoy golfing, fishing, bird-watching and travel.

Shortly after retiring from IBM in 2017, I was at a small-town celebration in northern Wisconsin and noticed that a number of the little vendor booths were people selling children’s books that they created and self-published. I looked at these and told myself that I could write something like that. And I did, but these were the type of books that were targeted at small kids and needed vibrant pictures and artwork.

In the spring of 2018, I was visiting my niece and her family, and she told me of this wonderful idea for a story for a children’s book and after talking with her about it, we agreed to collaborate and I took on the task of writing the story. After many iterations, The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol became a reality.

www.dragonstonestories.com (Mark Even website)

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Even-Books-106679040686753/

Goodreads: https://www.goodreads.com/author/show/19679689.Mark_M_Even

www.gocwpub.com (Cresting Wave Publishing)



Mark M. Even will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway