Sunday Inspiration: Courage

Courage is almost a contradiction in terms. It means a strong desire to live taking the form of a readiness to die.
—G. K. Chesterton

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Sunday Inspiration: Entertainment

I used to be embarrassed because I was just a comic-book writer while other people were building bridges or going on to medical careers. And then I began to realize: entertainment is one of the most important things in people’s lives. Without it they might go off the deep end. I feel that if you’re able to entertain people, you’re doing a good thing.
—Stan Lee

New Review of Children of Pride

Thanks to Cari Jehlik for her kind words about Children of Pride!

What I liked: 

I LOVE fantasy books and this book did not disappoint me at all. It’s definitely for younger readers, but I still loved it so very much.

The characters were well rounded, the explanation of how magic and The Wonder and other things did NOT feel info-dumpy, and there were some excellent curveballs thrown in that I did NOT see coming. The storylines were brilliantly woven and executed.

Oh, and I read it in one day. Yep, another one-day-er here.

What I didn’t like: 

It was too short. And it’s not really that short of a book. But I would have liked more.

Overall thoughts and opinions: 

There are actually FIVE books in this series and I intend to buy every single one of them, plus search out the Danny stand alone in an anthology called Fell Beasts and Fair. So if that’s not a clear indicator of how I feel about this book, I don’t know what is.


I wrote Into the Wonder for an audience of one (my daughter). It’s always gratifying to find out that other folks like it, too!

Medieval Alchemy 101

Have a look at Sarah Durn’s primer on medieval and Renaissance alchemy as it is depicted (quite accurately, apparently) in Deborah Harkness’s A Discovery of Witches.

Where many fantasy novels are complete works of fiction, perhaps inspired by the medieval period, but not in any way historically accurate, A Discovery of Witches combines the fantastical with the academic. Deborah Harkness, the author of the series, is a history of science professor at the University of Southern California. She wrote her doctoral thesis on the history of science and magic in Europe from 1500 to 1700—the same subject her protagonist, Dr. Diana Bishop (played by Teresa Palmer in the adaptation), is researching in Oxford’s Bodleian at the outset of A Discovery of Witches.

I have looked for a long time for a concise, objective, and easy to follow description of alchemy. Thanks to Dr. Burns, an actual card-carrying medievalist, I now have it!

And it looks like I also have a trilogy of books I need to read…