Monday, November 16, 2015

Hand-drawn-- now available!

It's here! And almost gone! In 3 days! Crazy!

BUT-- there still are a few left, and I'm getting ready to get more from the printer. The website will be set up to take pre-orders on the second batch if the first runs out. Plus, locals, message me here and we'll figure out a way to get you your books without having to pay shipping. 
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My website is The coloring books are under line art, or a direct link is

Working on #2 which is Wheel of Time themed, pysanky style.

Sunday, November 15, 2015

Carry On, by Rainbow Rowell

When I finished Fangirl by Rainbow Rowell, I remember whimpering to a friend, "The book was great, but I want to read the ones about Snow and Baz!" Rainbow Rowell heard my pain, (or actually felt her own, according to the author's note) and decided to explore the world of Simon, and Baz, and Penelope, and Agatha. Fun!

Someone, somewhere, is going to make comparisons to another school or two for young people with magical abilities, but it won't be me. Rowell's school, magical system, and characters are all their own folks, not a carbon copy among them. She builds the tension between characters, shifts it, creates more edginess, and it's a great ride. Somewhere, someone's gonna be upset how she spun out the characters' relationships, but it won't be from this corner of the reading world. My only complaint is that while the character interactions were well-explored, I would have liked a bit more about the magic of the version of world in which the story was set. (Of course it's entirely possible I am dense, or still recovering from illness, and missed some valuable information.) But even so, this was a good read, and I applaud Ms Rowell for bringing her fictional-fictional characters into their own.

Tags: a-favorite-author, didn-t-want-to-put-it-down, grandgirl-nonsparkly-fodder, i-liked-it, magic, read, read-in-2015, satisfying, thank-you-charleston-county-library, vampires-ghosts-and-other-creatures, will-look-for-more-by-this-author, ya-lit

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Mystic by Jason Denzel

I am fortunate enough to have talented, creative, and imaginative friends. One of the side benefits of that is that a number of them write, so I get to read creative and imaginative works by people I know and like. And sometimes, I get to be a part of that creative process, as a Beta reader. Such was the case with Mystic. Back in early 2014, this lucky gal got to read an early version of the manuscript, before it was accepted for publication.

Sometimes re-reading a book you read in manuscript is tiring. Not the case with Mystic. The story zips along, fairly sings to the reader, as Pomella, a commoner,  journeys to the seat of the new High Mystic, to compete as a candidate for her assistant. The catch is, few commoners have ever been welcome into the world of the Mystics. Should Pomella lose to one of the high born candidates, she most likely will be shunned by society, and become a scorned Unclaimed.

One of the things I really like about this book is that Jason has incorporated his extensive knowledge of the master/disciple relationship, gained from his many years involved in martial arts. Whether that relationship is in martial arts, spiritualism, or magic, there are essential shared elements. The author sculpts the growth of Pomella's character using the these same techniques. This, for me, along with the magic system within the book, and with a strong female main character, was quite welcome.

In a market for YA literature drenched in sensationalism, Mystic is a blessed relief. There are elements that satisfy those yearning for romance, but the story itself is focused on the task at hand: the chance to rise above a lowborn birth and find your destiny, find your song, in a world of magic. As the cover proclaims: "One Master. One Apprentice. One Chance."

Pick up a copy of Jason Denzel's Mystic for you or for your favorite YA reader. I think you'll be pleased.

(Jason was just here in Charleston for the start of a book tour that is running conjointly with The Wheel of Time Companion, of which my husband is a co-author. I have known Jason since 2007, when we met at the funeral of Robert Jordan (James O Rigney Jr.) It's just a tad embarrassing  to learn I've been saying "Denzel" wrong, all these years. Sorry Jason. Unfortunately, I can't remember which way is right, as I have both in my head now, so am bound to be wrong at least 50% of the time. What are friends for?!)

tags:  worth-the-rereadmet-the-authorfantasyread-in-2014read-in-2015first-novel-or-bookgrandgirl-nonsparkly-foddergreat-covermagictorwill-look-for-more-by-this-author ya-lit 

Monday, November 9, 2015

The Witch of Lime Street by David JAher

World War I and the Spanish Flu epidemic of 1919 carried many souls from this earth. But could those left behind actually still communicate with them? It is this question that is at the heart of The Witch of Lime Street. David Jaher presents the background of the time, and those who championed each side, including Sir Author Conan Doyle and Harry Houdini.  The two sides debated mightily with perhaps the culmination being offered by Scientific American magazine: $2500 to any medium who could physically produce proof of life after death and another $2500 for a genuine example of spiritual photography. The panel of experts included MIT physicists, respected judges and Harvard psychologists. And Harry Houdini, a man bereft from loss, but soured by the frauds and schemers bilking other bereaved out of masses amounts of money. But also a man who was an expert on illusion, and who vehemently unmasked charlatans. The panel dismissed many applicants: frauds, delusional, mentally ill. And then came Margery (aka Mrs Crandon, or The Witch of Lime Street.)

The author did good job presenting both sides, allowing the reader to act as their own judge. The book reads well, though the pace dropped for me a midstream. However, if this period of time is of interest, and the phenomenon of clairvoyance and interacting with the sprits of the dead intrigues, this presents a good picture of a time in history when these pastimes were prominent.

Many thanks to LibraryThing Early Reviewers and to the publisher for sending me this copy.

Friday, November 6, 2015

Doodletopia: Cartoons by Christopher Hart

I'm afraid I'm going to part from the crowd on this one. It's a fine book, and I can see the appeal of Hart's style of cartooning, but it's not for me. I was hoping for more tips on figure drawing, and they're there, but mainly if I want to draw like Christopher Hart. My style is very different from his, and I'm not wanting to change. I think I just somehow entirely missed the "cartoon" in the title (which is crazy, because it's right there in big letters, but I was rushing to select a book from Blogging for Books, and now hear my grandmother's voice telling me "haste makes waste"). Oh well. I think that if I dig in more deeply, I'll probably find some helpful information regarding proportions etc, but for the most part, it's not really what I'd hoped. Plus side is, I know someone who'll adore this book, so it's being put away for a holiday gift. Many thanks to Blogging for Books and the publisher for sending this on to me.