A friend recommended this book Magic Kingdom For Sale-Sold by Terry Brooks after reading some of my own work. She thought it might be something helpful to read for reference. I happened to pick it up in the For Sale bin at the library. I started reading it a few weeks ago and finally finished this week while on vacation in Vegas. I loved it!
Ben Holiday is a widowed lawyer who sees an ad in a magazine for a magic kingdom for sale. Searching for something new, exciting and different in his life, he decides to purchase the kingdom for $1,000,000. Upon arrival into a strange and new world complete with a talking dragon wreaking havoc on the valley of his new land, gnomes, fairies, a talking dog named Abernathy and a court wizard who can't do magic, Ben realizes that the kingdom is in desperate need of help. Things are falling apart, the land is in ruin and he needs the people to help him, but no one will pledge to him as the new king. Everyone wants him to fix something in exchange for a pledge and each problem is near impossible to fix: get rid of the dragon, fix the pollution killing the magic in the land, get rid of the demons trying to claim the kingdom. But Ben Holiday has never given up on anything and he is determined to fix this and be the king that Landover needs and deserves.
The characters in this story are amazing. Abernathy, the talking dog, and Quester Thews, the court wizard who can't do magic, are hilarious characters. They quibble back and forth with each other endlessly. You can almost hear the bickering. Quester is a perfect comic relief with his inability to conjure up anything that results in hilarious experiences that frustrate everyone else. Abernathy's current state as half dog-half man is a testament of his inability to do magic and Abernathy never lets him forget his mistake. Quester is loyal though secretive and Abernathy is a grumbling know-it-all. Ben himself has the characteristics you would hope to see in the hero--determination, kindness, empathy, ferocity and courage--and he makes me want to continue reading. His love interest Willow, who just so happens to turn into a tree at night, doesn't give up on love even when it gets hard. Their relationship adds power to the story, a reason to cheer for both of them to win. The plot jumps around a little, dragging Ben here and there across the country fighting one epic battle after another and risks being a cliche, but the fantasy, the humour, the excitement and the characters make it a series I want to keep reading.
If you like fantasy, especially fantasy for adults, this is a book you should read.
Everyone says you shouldn't gossip, but I like to keep on things happening in the industry. I guess that technically makes me bad. Gasp!
1. Candace Bushnell''s
(Sex in the City
author) newest work was leaked. Publisher doesn't seem to be doing much about it except embracing it. 2. Harper Lee sued her agent over the copyright to her book To Kill A Mockingbird.
She claims he tricked her into signing over the copyright on the book. Sounds like a bad boy.3. Psy gets his own comic book....Seriously?
I saw this video on GalleyCat
and thought I'd share. It's rather long, but it's very interesting information from literary agents about the business of publishing today. Enjoy!
I'm giving this book away! If you'd like to enter, leave a comment below after reading the review. For an extra entry, head over to my Facebook page, like my page, and comment there, too. Draw happens Friday, April 12th at 12pm MT.
**This draw is now closed. Congratulations to Linda White!**
I happened to get a copy of Nicholas Sparks' book The Lucky One the other day. While on Spring Break, I slipped into its pages. Once again, Sparks did not disappoint.
Logan Thibault is an ex-marine who has survived the war in Iraq while many of his friends didn't. His luck is attributed to a photo of a girl he found one day in the desert. When he returns home, he walks across the country to find her and when he does he is surprised to find that he's in love with her. But, the picture is a secret he's hiding that could tear them apart.
The story starts with an encounter in present day between Beth's ex Keith Clayton and Logan. The encounter reveals the character of both people in the story, namely villain and hero, but I thought it was an interesting start to the story. The reader gets a taste of the villain and who he is before really understanding who the main character is, which is confusing. But once I got past that, the story moved right along and I was drawn in. I felt disgust for the villain and admiration for the hero. I wanted to the hero to win the girl.
The story speaks of love and fate, how lives intertwine, how fate brings us to our true love, and how surprising life can be. Sparks clearly defines the boundaries of good and evil, but also highlights that some areas are grey, especially when pertaining to love. Overall, this is a great romantic love story that draws you right in. Now I want to watch the movie!
So, Jessica Alba has a new book out. She owns a company called The Honest Company, which sells natural products that are good for environment and people. She now has this book out, which is a compilation of recipes and DIY projects and beauty products that she likes and uses that are enviro-friendly, people-friendly and wallet-friendly. EOnline.com
quotes her as saying, "I always thought that being healthy or green or eco or whatever was an extreme lifestyle. I'm not
a vegan, I don't live off the grid, I don't wear hemp every day. I don't have time! I have two jobs, I have two kids, I have a husband, friends and family to care about. I have so much to do in my life, and all I want to do is make healthier choices that are realistic and inexpensive." This lady sounds like such a down-to-earth and sensible person and I am SO interested in reading this book.
Check it out.
So I finally finished Who Has Seen the Wind. It was an excellent story, but it did take me a while to read with all the commitments in my life. Soooo, again, I'm a couple of weeks behind. (Grrr!) Anyway, I'm now on to Where Nests the Water Hen by Gabrielle Roy. This is a French-Canadian book, originally titled La Petite Poule D'Eau, that was translated into English. This book is set in Northern Manitoba and is about the frontier life and follows pioneers in their obscure lives. Gabrielle Roy is known for her compassionate writing. The back of the book says that this story is "as pure as the lives of the people in it". So far it's very intriguing and I'm looking forward to finishing the rest. Thankfully, it's short!
So, I was supposed to read 4 books this month for English, but it hasn't gone as planned. I'm a little behind, but I'm hoping to catch up this weekend. Book 3, which I'm on to this week, is Who Has Seen the Wind by W. O Mitchell.
It's a coming-of-age story about a boy who lives in small-town Saskatchewan in the Depression era. His life takes a turn when his parents leave temporarily and he has to live with his Uncle on the farm. This story is a comedy as well as a drama. (So, a dramedy? By the way, that is an actual term, at least in television.) The conversations between the boys in this book are hilarious. If you haven't read this book, you should. Mitchell is, was, a huge Canadian writer. Apparently, this book also was made into a film in 1977.
If you have time, take a gander. It's good to know our fellow Canadian writers.
This week I'm on to As For Me and My House by Sinclair Ross. If you haven't read this Canadian book, you should. It's fantastic! In it's initial run, this book majorly flopped and only sold a couple hundred copies. It wasn't until later that it gained recognition for its contribution to Canadian literature.
As For Me and My House is a story about a preacher and his wife and their life in small, rural town Horizon. It's about relationships that bond people together and about emotions and feelings that can ruin them. It's written in a journal-type form instead of chapters, but it's fluid and engaging. I'm addicted to these characters already and want to know what happens to them and what makes them tick the way they do. If you're looking for a literary book to read, this is it!
Patricia Cornwell won a bunch of money the other day in a lawsuit against a financial company that was supposed to be managing her money. A bunch of money as in $50.9 million dollars. In the words of Charlie Sheen, winning! I'd like to point out the part, though, where it said she made over $89 million in the four years she was with the company. (She said she was worth only a little more at the end of those four years than when she started out with the company.) People, $89 million! That's $22.2 million per year. And people say that writers don't make money?!
Yeah, yeah, only an elite few make that kind of money, like John Grisham, Patricia Cornwell, J.K Rowling, Nora Roberts etc. I'd like to remind you that Cornwell wrote 3 novels that were rejected before being published. Grisham was rejected something like 29 times. These were ordinary people who just persevered. It's possible for everyone. Specifically, $89 million? Maybe not, but publication? YES! But only if you keep working at it. This writer's income, even if it's not entirely derived from writing product and is say, return on investment, should inspire you. It's possible, people. It's possible.
This week I attended a workshop by Margaret Macpherson
and it was amazing! This woman is a vibrant soul. She loves to chat and she made all us awkward creative people, who would rather write than talk, feel normal and right at home. She presented us with some writing exercises that really pulled us through the loops and forced my stalling brain to push past the familiar. It was fabulous and fun! Later in the evening, she read from her latest book Body Trade
at the Literary Night for the local Arts Festival. Her reading was so engaging and expressive. (I'm thinking I need lessons on public readings from her.) I've added her book to my reading list and I'm excited to get into it.
says this about the book:
Body Trade weaves together two stories of survival. The main narrative follows Rosie and Tanya, two young Canadian women who decide to leave the Northwest Territories and head south on an ill-conceived road trip through California, Mexico and Central America. The story takes a life-defining twist when their search for freedom and adventure beings them into contact with predators of the Central American sex trafficking trade. The girls' journey into unknown and dangerous territory is punctuated with scenes from a place crash in the far North, underlining the novel's themes of survival, betrayal,
epiphany and hope. In a deeply personal narrative that explores power, sexual manipulation, cultural consumption and trust, Body Trade asks the ultimate question: To what terrifying places will we journey, and at what cost, in order to save our own lives?
Sounds interesting, right? If you get a chance to see Macpherson, you should. She's so fun!
So, the week was inspiring. I got my hiney kicked in to gear and felt excited about writing again. I also got to hang out with a bunch of very accomplished writers, authors and storytellers, all from Alberta. My task this week is to keep the inspiration rolling and get back on top of my projects so I can get cracking at the story that just doesn't want to leave me alone.
Let's roll, people!