I Is Pure Imagination

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The letter I can only mean one thing to a writer of fiction. If you’re inferring that I, today, is all about imagination, then you are correct! And before we get on with I, you’re not imagining it: my cozy mystery, Her Cousin, Much Removed is still free today, April 10. Snag a copy and solve a murder.

This morning’s post features one of the most imaginative books from one of the most imaginative authors who ever graced us with his presence. As the song in the original movie adaptation says, “Come with me, and you’ll be in a world of pure imagination.” It all sprang from the brain of Roald Dahl, an entire universe too fantastic to forget, giving us the concept of a “golden ticket.” And If you haven’t read his short stories for adults, you should. They’re really creepy.


Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl. Amazon for $3.86. Willy Wonka’s famous chocolate factory is opening at last!

But only five lucky children will be allowed inside. And the winners are: Augustus Gloop, an enormously fat boy whose hobby is eating; Veruca Salt, a spoiled-rotten brat whose parents are wrapped around her little finger; Violet Beauregarde, a dim-witted gum-chewer with the fastest jaws around; Mike Teavee, a toy pistol-toting gangster-in-training who is obsessed with television; and Charlie Bucket, Our Hero, a boy who is honest and kind, brave and true, and good and ready for the wildest time of his life!

Download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities along with Her Cousin, Much Removed. They’re both free!

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Fantasy, Reading’s Fabulous F-Word

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Fantasy is a huge F-word, a fantastic(ha!) category that brings to mind swords and villagers, quests and elves. But that’s only a fair-sized corner of the fantasy realm. There are the books that take an imaginative element and turn into an F-world (see what I did there? And it’s only Monday).

I can’t say, for certain, that Norton Juster’s The Phantom Tollbooth was the first fantasy I’d read when I became and independent reader. But it was the the one that burrowed into me, likely helping to form my odd, humorous aesthetic. It’s a book illustrates for readers–any readers, not just new ones–exactly what a book is supposed to do: open the gate and take you somewhere wondrous.


The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition by The Phantom Tollbooth 50th Anniversary Edition. Amazon for $4.99. It has been fifty years—and millions of readers—since the world was first introduced to Milo and his adventures in the Lands Beyond with Tock, the Humbug, and the captive princesses Rhyme and Reason.
Now we have a remarkable 50th anniversary edition to honor this universally adored and deeply influential novel. This special edition will include:

• Gorgeous packaging that features the classic original art stamped and debossed on the case with a transparent acetate jacket.
• Brief essays from esteemed authors, educators, and artists, including Philip Pullman, Suzanne Collins, Jeanne Birdsall, Mo Willems, and several others.
• Photos of the author and illustrator at the time of writing and today on the two-color endpapers.
• The 35th anniversary essay by Maurice Sendak.
• The complete text of the book.

A perfect gift for longstanding fans and lucky new readers, the 50th anniversary edition of The Phantom Tollbooth is a book to cherish.

From the Hardcover edition.

Download Better Living Through GRAVY and Other Oddities. It’s free! 

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Discover the Daffadors for Free Book Friday

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The delightful cover design drew my eye to Drew Chase’s The Daffadors. And that does it with the D words. I don’t know why, but I can’t seem to dream them up today. Darn. Anyway, help yourself to this free book, or any of the others under the “Free Book Friday” category, and let’s hope that E comes, well, easily.

The Daffadors: The Rivalry by Drew Chase. FREE from Smashwords.com
David McKreedy, a fourth grader with amnesia, discovers that he’s a powerful king from another planet. Several years earlier, he stopped his triplet brothers from taking over the universe. Now, they’ve escaped eternal imprisonment and are up to their old schemes. With the help of his talking dog and a team of his classmates, David fights against his brothers’ new intergalactic war.

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Dr. Seuss’s ABC for A-to-Z

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It’s all about the alphabet in April, and we can’t have the alphabet without asking the timeless question: “Big A little a, what begins with A?” Actually, technically you can but it would be a lot less amusing. Dr. Seuss’s picture book is an absolute classic, and the alphabet should feel very lucky to have it. (Please note: I’ve adopted the book’s punctuation of the title. It’s definitely funnier).

 


Dr. Seuss’s ABC by Dr. Seuss. Amazon for $3.99. Arguably the most entertaining alphabet book ever written, this classic Beginner Book by Dr. Seuss is perfect for children learning their ABCs. Featuring a fantastic cast of zany characters — from Aunt Annie’s alligator to the Zizzer-Zazzer-Zuzz, with a lazy lion licking a lollipop and an ostrich oiling an orange owl — Dr. Seuss’s ABC is a must-have for every young child’s library.
Originally created by Dr. Seuss, Beginner Books encourage children to read all by themselves, with simple words and illustrations that give clues to their meaning.

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At Amazon, the Book Buys You

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OK, that’s not entirely accurate. Or remotely accurate, but I couldn’t resist the joke.

Normally, about now I’d be telling you about a book you can buy from Amazon, but today I figured I’d flip that. I don’t know if you know, but Amazon will buy your books as well. It’s like a big, natural circle of reading. Amazon pays for shipping, so it won’t cost you anything. Current best-sellers are probably your best bet, but at least that takes some of the guilt out of buying a full-priced new book.

And it’s not just for books, either. You can trade in movies, video games and other things, and get an Amazon gift card in exchange. When I logged in, it even told me what some things I’d bought from Amazon were worth, which is nice to know, not that I’m parting with my Zumba World Party, which is the most fun game ever, but I digress.

So you can use books to feed your reading habit. It’s beautiful, in a way.

Anyway, thus concludes this public service announcement.

 

 

 

Put Down Some Witchy Roots

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I’m having one of those days when I wish I had a little bit of real-world magic. Well, at least we know there is one place we can always find it, even if, for now, it’s only electronic words on an electronic page.

Someday.

Well, probably not. But you might as well read this in the meanwhile.


Roots (Witchbound Book One) by Kelbian Noel. Amazon for $0.99. Roots (formerly Elemental) is the 2nd Edition of Book One of the Witchbound Series.

If you’ve purchased a copy of the 1st Edition and would like an updated copy, please contact me on my website or Goodreads.

Seventeen-year-old Baltimore Land just wants to be normal, but magic has other plans.

I don’t consider myself a witch, that’s my parents’ thing. I’ve never really believed in magic either. Sure, I tried it a few times. Fell for the whole “magic happens” thing. But it didn’t happen to me. No amount of rhyming stopped my parents from moving me halfway across the country. Not one spell stopped me from being labeled the town freak.

And worst of all, no matter how many times I begged the Universe to bring my twin back, I was ignored. Until now.

He’s back all right. And in a magical bind of his own. Not the magic-won’t-work-for-me kind either. In fact, it’s working a little too well. Too dark. Too deep.

It turns out our entire family’s magical roots run just as deep and my brother didn’t end up where he is by accident. So I’m going to help him. But magic isn’t really on my side. Nope. Once I finally get the craft under control, I’m expected to abandon the one person in the world who’s closest to me, just to save myself.

*******Check out the book trailer on the author’s Amazon page!*******

The Beetles are Blurting

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Let’s lighten up Monday with a little bit of silly fun. I think it’s fun to try exotic foods, but this guy takes it way, way too far.

By the way, it’s also available from Amazon.

The Blurting Beetles of Baloogo Loogo by Mathew Ferguson. $0.99 from Smashwords.com
Twelve-year-old friends, Tia and Max, and the last golden monkey, Po, fight against Toran, an amoral gourmet who eats endangered species to extinction. Featuring Exploding Cactus Corn, hungry Ligers, Red Goop, Sugar Slugs and Bolliverger’s Old, a cheese so disgusting it can knock you out, saving a hundred beetles from the frying pan isn’t going to be easy…