Monday, August 31, 2020

NBtM Virtual Book Tour and Giveaway - The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol: A Dragonstone Story by Mark M. Even

Welcome to my stop on the NBtM virtual book tour for The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol by Mark M. Even. This book tour was organized by Goddess Fish Promotions. On my stop, I have an excerpt for you and a guest post. There's also a tour wide giveaway for a chance to win a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card. Be sure to visit the other stops on the tour for more content. Enjoy!
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Title: The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol
Author: Mark M. Even
Publisher: Cresting Wave Publishing
Publication Date: October 20th 2019
Print Length: 131 pages
Genre: Children's Fantasy
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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)

**The eBook is only $0.99!**

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EXCERPT:
Mickey smiled at everyone and said, “OK! Here we go!” and started twirling the parasol. Instantly the dragonstone flashed a bright purple light, and Mickey was frozen still—with a big grin on his face.

After about ten minutes, during which time the parents, as they always did, checked their watches about a hundred times, Mickey popped back to life and said, “Neato!”

Everyone else applauded and clamored for his story. Not one to easily cede being the center of attention, Mickey entertained everyone with a story of being a high-performance race car driver in a sort of “Olympics of Racing.”

“It was amazing!” he said. “I got to be in several different races in one day. One event was drag racing. And I got to drive a big purple car with extra-large black rear tires, a tiny steering wheel, a jet engine—and a parachute to stop the car at the end of each race. Totally cool!

“Then I was also in an Indy-style race of one hundred laps around a huge red brick track. Then I did an off-road endurance race in a cool purple dune buggy with oversize tires with ‘MICKEY’ in white letters six inches high on each tire. I won two of three races with my buggy!” He rolled his eyes and continued, “I only lost once to a yellow dune buggy in the cool endurance race event. And you know what? That yellow dune buggy was driven by a girl I thought I knew. She was wearing a red and yellow jacket and a silver helmet with blue and green lightning symbols on it. She looked so… familiar!”
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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.

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GUEST POST:
- What advice would I give my younger self if I could go back in time and why?

Well, being 64 years old, going back in time is a pretty wide span to pick from --- just how far back would I go?

I actually had a pretty good childhood, growing up in a small Iowa town (population 1000). From the time I was 8 years old, I was free to go anywhere in town on my bike. I played golf, I played baseball, I went to the swimming pool. During the summers, I would leave the house as soon as I woke up and would only come home to eat at noon and at 6 and then go out until bedtime. My dad had one of those super shrill whistles (the ones that you pressed your fingers into your mouth – I could never do it) that we could hear just about from anywhere in town – when you heard the whistle, you hustled home.

So, I wouldn’t go back that far. High school was also enjoyable – met my wife freshman year and played a lot of sports. My baseball team went to the State tournament 4 times (Iowa had both Fall and Summer baseball back then) and we won the championship twice. I’ll never forget those days and wouldn’t want to change a thing.

So – the timeframe I would pick to go back to would be just after graduating from college. My wife and I married during my final year and we packed up and moved to New Jersey from Iowa to start my career with IBM. During the 4 years we lived there, we worked hard and saved enough money to buy a house (interest rates were at 17% at that time). We played hard too, joining softball and volleyball teams with our new friends and workmates. And every possible holiday or vacation, we chose to travel back to Iowa to spend time with family – which in hindsight was the very right thing to do!

We also “explored” a little bit – but not as much as we should have. Living an hour outside of New York City, we did venture in and saw the sights, went to Broadway, and attended a few Yankee games. But in hindsight – we didn’t do this enough. We really had no major responsibilities to keep us from exploring the surrounding area. I still haven’t been to New Hampshire or Maine (2 of the 7 states I’ve never set foot in). I didn’t learn to downhill ski until we took our kids to a local bunny hill in Minnesota overlooking the Mississippi River almost 12 years after leaving New Jersey – my friend kept asking us to go to Vermont to ski with him when we lived out East but we didn’t go. Those 4.5 years before kids were spent keeping our nose to the ground and building our careers. We could’ve had a lot more fun and adventures!

That’s what I would tell myself if I could!
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GIVEAWAY:
Mark M. Even will be awarding a $20 Amazon or Barnes & Noble gift card to a randomly drawn winner via Rafflecopter after the tour. To increase your chance of winning, leave a comment at a different stop on the tour each day. Good luck!
a Rafflecopter giveaway

41 comments:

  1. Which character was the most fun to write?

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  2. Thanks for hosting the tour of my book. I'll be checking in throughout the day to answer any questions that might get posted.

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  3. To answer "what character was the most fun to write", I think Mandy is the most interesting (because she's the main character), but the most fun was Mickey (see the excerpt above). I tried to make him somewhat of a smart alec, and had to come up with humorous quips or scenarios to demonstrate both his sense of humor and his silliness.

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  4. THis looks like a great read! Thank you

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  5. I love the artwork on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  6. I like the cover. It has cute artwork.

    abfantom at yahoo dot com

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  7. It's been great getting to discover your book and share with the readers in my family. Thank you and thanks for the giveaway. 

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  8. What do you most enjoy about writing in this genre?

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  9. This sounds like a very sweet book. I'd like to add it to our collection.

    Nancy
    allibrary (at) aol (dot) com

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  10. Answer to what do you most enjoy about writing in this genre: I'm a lifelong comic book/superhero and Star Trek/Star Wars fan and also a big fan of Harry Potter. So, my natural creative juices are influence by what I've read (and seen via movies) -- being able to invent and make up magical situations (some inspired by actual science) was very fun. Then, even more fun was developing a plot line across 4 books (my 2nd book in the series, The Power of the Emerald Ring is due out in Sept). Bottom line, just being creative was a big thrill.

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  11. I haven't read any of this genre, but it sounds cute! The cover is simply darling.

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  12. Love the cover artwork. I think my great niece will love it

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  13. I love the muted colors on the cover. Thanks for the giveaway!

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  14. Nice cover. It sounds like an interesting book. Thank you for sharing.

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  15. I found an old box my mother kept for me full of fantasies I wrote as a kid. Best genre ever

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  16. I'm sure my nieces would love this story.

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  17. We have grand kids who would devour this book!
    Thank you for sharing the review.

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  18. Thank you all for your nice comments. For those of you who plan on getting the book, be sure to also check out the short stories providing background on some of the supporting characters on our website: www.dragonstonestories.com

    Thanks again to All the Ups and Downs for hosting the tour.

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  19. When writing this book did your job at IBM influence it in anyway>

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  20. interesting question....Thinking about it, I know I didn't include any IBM related terms or experiences, but there is one technical scenario related to optical cabling that I did have some knowledge of that I incorporated into one of the chapters. My IBM job required me to be aware of technologies and how they worked, but not to actually implement them or program them (at least not for the last 25 years of it). Most of the influence and inspiration came from my immediate family with personalities and relationships, including my own.

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  21. Seems like a fun read many children would enjoy :-) Thanks for the link for the short stories

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  22. Sounds like a good read for my grandkids! Thanks for sharing!

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  23. This book sounds like a wonderful read. I love the cover art.

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  24. looks like a fun one

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  25. My daughter would LOVE this book! I would enjoy reading it to her as well.

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  26. Thanks for the opportunity to win! And thank you for sharing.

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  27. Based on the excerpt I believe I would enjoy reading this book. The cover is cute too.

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  28. I enjoyed the excerpt. Thanks for the giveaway!

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