Saturday, April 10, 2010

Blog Tour: Robert Bresloff - The Wee Musketeers

A few weeks ago, I was asked if I wanted to participate in a blog tour for The Wee Musketeers, written by Robert Bresloff. I won an Advanced Reader's Copy through LibraryThing a short while ago. I was more than happy to join in, and was excited to get the opportunity to ask the author about the book, which tells the story of 3 friends who get transported into the story of The Three Musketeers along with the grandfather of one of the boys. There is suspense and action as they find themselves changing the direction of the story and needing to get it back on track.  I think I enjoyed the book as much as any kid who would read it. My children are familiar with the story because of the Disney live-action version with Kiefer Sutherland, Charlie Sheen, Chris O'Donnell, and Oliver Platt. I think perhaps this version might make them think about reading the story to compare the storylines.  

So now that I've filled you in on the background, here are the questions I asked Mr. Bresloff to answer for me:

What was the inspiration for this series?  I’ve always loved The Three Musketeers. Whether it be the book, movies, comic books, it didn’t matter. I even dressed as D’Atragnan on Halloween when I was in grade school. I still have my first copy of the book that my older brother gave me back in the early sixties.  Because I loved the book, the characters and the romance so much (my brother even taught me how to fence at 11 years old) that I often wondered what it would be like to walk the streets of 17th century Paris with D’Artagnan, Athos, Aramis and Porthos.
What other books do you have planned? I have recently signed with Gauthier to produce, The Fifth Codex, an adventure that takes place in modern day Yucatan Peninsula.  It follows the adventures of a well known archeologist and his teenage assistant, as they travel through the land of the ancient Maya searching for the mysterious Fifth Codex.
Illustrator Dan Ziembo and I are teaming up once again on the follow up to The Wee Musketeers, titled Robin and the Little Hoods. This time, Bobby, Fritzy, Keith, and Grandpa Max are joined by a new character, a girl named Judy as they travel to the middle ages and Sherwood Forest.
Is there a reason the book is set in 1961, as opposed to the 21st century? Being a parent and grandparent, I realize the importance of children using their imaginations as well as playing outdoors. Unlike today, where children spend most of their time on computers and playing video games, my generation played outside and we played pretend a lot. We played soldiers, cowboys and Indians, yes and even musketeers. I wanted children to know the kind of things that my friends and I did in the, really, not so distant past.
Are any of the characters based on people you know? Fritzy and Keith were, at the time, my two very best friends. We got into an awful lot of trouble (nothing serious) and played a lot of games. Many were pretend games, and just as the boys do in the book we played outside— almost all day. Grandpa Max, well, he was my grandfather. Unfortunately, Grandpa Max passed away before I knew him. I guess this was my way of having the relationship with the grandfather I never had the pleasure to know. It was actually my brother Marty that read to me and got me interested in the classics.
What do you like to do when you aren't writing? I’m an exercise therapist as well as a personal fitness trainer, so that keeps me pretty busy, but when I’m not working, my favorite thing to do is spend time with my grandchildren.
What is the best book you’ve read this year so far? That’s really a tough question. I try and alternate reading adult books and kid’s books. I love to see what other authors are writing as well as the classic children’s books authors, such as L. Frank Baum, Lewis Carroll and more recently, J.K. Rowling. The most interesting read so far this year was Codex 632 by José Rodrigues dos Santos. It’s about Christopher Columbus’s true origins.
If you could recommend one book for everyone to read, what would it be? I can’t really recommend one book that everyone should read, but for the kids, I recommend the Wizard of Oz series. Baum is a wonderful storyteller that created a fairyland like no other in literature. Oh, and The Wee Musketeers

I think this book would appeal greatly to boys, although some girls who aren't locked into the idea of "girl books/boy books" would also enjoy the story. It makes a great read-aloud for ones not reading yet, and would work for indpendent readers up to around 11 or 12, I believe.

Tuesday, April 06, 2010

What's goin' on

So I haven't really written much about what's been happening around the home lately; just haven't taken the time to sit and write much. But it seems I have a little time today between laundry loads to write, so thought I'd catch anyone up who's interested.

Last time I posted anything more than a meme post, I talked about looking forward to the ladies' retreat in Nashville. It was a great weekend (well, really less than a weekend) and I hated to see it end. We heard an awesome testimony and hiked MILES from our rooms to the convention center at the Opryland Hotel. Man, that place is HUGE! I think I'd rather go there when I didn't have anything to do and could just spend some time relaxing by the pool or something. The trip home was just as wonderful as the retreat. Lots of deep discussions and challenging conversation.

Then in the middle of March, we got to celebrate some birthdays. My brother-in-law's birthday was the 13th, Brian's was the 16th, and my "nearly-niece" Heidi's birthday was also the 16th. We used the occasion as an excuse to meet up for dinner at a new-to-us place called The Mellow Mushroom (sounds psychedelic, doesn't it?). They make AWESOME pizza.  It was deelish. Looking forward to a return visit!

The next week was a very special treat. Casting Crowns was in town for a concert on the 25th. I had scored 2 free tickets through a Facebook contest hosted by the local Christian radio station, WAY-FM about 2 weeks before this. Then the day before the concert, I won 2 more tickets from Mark Hall; these tickets included passes for a meet and greet before the concert. (Side note: I wonder if living in Alabama has made me more lucky... I've never been able to win anything so easily before!) I was able to give the first 2 tickets away to a friend and her daughter, and Brian and I used the last 2.  The concert was one of the best I've ever been to, probably because it was much less of a concert/performance than it was just a time of worship. Before Casting Crowns sang, we heard from Caleb (Steven Curtis Chapman's sons, Caleb and Will Franklin) and Kutless.

Sprinkle in some fun family dinners on the weekends (I've been lucky enough to be able to get my sister and her husband over for at least one meal a weekend, and sometimes one of the boys will come along too). The other fun part is that she brings their new Great Dane puppy over to play with our dogs. Sully (short for Sullivan) is  almost 14 weeks old now and is bigger than Campbell, but not big enough to take Rory down yet. Rory is great with him and they have a ball together. This past weekend, after they had been playing pretty intensely, we noticed things had gotten quiet and found them curled up together resting on one of the rugs. I wish we'd gotten a picture. I'll try to get one of them together soon. I have a feeling he is going to be a big boy. His paws are already larger than Rory's.

March was a month of movies as well. We saw Alice in Wonderland  (meh... I wasn't all that impressed) and Percy Jackson and the Olympians: The Lightning Thief. That last one was fun. We went with my sister and b-i-l to see it and everyone enjoyed it. Oh, and this past Sunday evening, we took in How to Train Your Dragon with sis/hubby, 2 of their boys, and the boys' girlfriends. I imagine we'll be getting that one on DVD eventually.

OK, this is getting long, so I'll make the rest of this quick. Halle and Joel are back at their respective music lessons again, and we're looking to get Noah started back with his guitar lessons. Emily had a visit from her best friend in CA for 4 days ; they spent 2 of them driving to MO to visit my mom and to eat dinner at Lambert's

And now for the really big news: We spent the better part of last evening scrambling around picking up the house and getting the last of the unpacking done that we'd been avoiding in order to get ready for a visit from ..... drumroll please..... our new cleaning lady. I can keep the laundry done, the groceries bought, the meals cooked, and the kitchen semi-clean, but this house is more than I can handle, so we found someone who is coming one day a week to clean. (Brian if you are reading... stop now.) I owe my husband more than I can say for this.

So there you have it. Indeed. (Inside joke...) I'll be back with more news sooner rather than later.

Saturday, April 03, 2010

Glorious Day - Then Sings My Soul Saturday

In honor of Easter, here's Casting Crown's version of an old hymn... depending on your hymnbook, you may have known it as "One Day" or "O Glorious Day." Strange how a new melody can make you hear the words almost as if it's the first time...

Glorious Day
Casting Crowns

One day when Heaven was filled with His praises
One day when sin was as black as could be
Jesus came forth to be born of a virgin
Dwelt among men, my example is He
Word became flesh and the light shined among us
His glory revealed

Living, He loved me
Dying, He saved me
Buried, He carried my sins far away
Rising, He justified freely forever
One day He’s coming
Oh glorious day, oh glorious day

One day they led Him up Calvary’s mountain
One day they nailed Him to die on a tree
Suffering anguish, despised and rejected
Bearing our sins, my Redeemer is He
Hands that healed nations, stretched out on a tree
And took the nails for me

One day the grave could conceal Him no longer
One day the stone rolled away from the door
Then He arose, over death He had conquered
Now He’s ascended, my Lord evermore
Death could not hold Him, the grave could not keep Him
From rising again

One day the trumpet will sound for His coming
One day the skies with His glories will shine
Wonderful day, my Beloved One, bringing
My Savior, Jesus, is mine

Oh, glorious day

More songs of inspiration can be found at Amy's.

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