BOOKS

Welcome to my book page!  Keep scrolling and you’ll find info on The Enchanted Sonata, Entwined, and Illusionarium…as well as answers to questions I’m often asked.


The Enchanted Sonata

Clara Stahlbaum has her future perfectly planned: marry the handsome pianist, Johann Kahler (ah!), and settle down to a life full of music.  But all that changes when Clara receives a mysterious and magical nutcracker.

Whisked away to his world–an enchanted empire of beautiful palaces, fickle fairies, enormous rats, and a prince–Clara must face a magician who uses music as magic…and the future she thought she wanted.

The Enchanted Sonata, a retelling of The Nutcracker Ballet with a dash of The Pied Piper, will captivate readers of all ages.  It will be released on October 23rd, 2018.  If you enjoy royalty, music,  romance, and humor, you will very probably like this book!

Q:  Hmmm, a romance?  What age is this book appropriate for?
A:  The book is pretty clean, it’s something I’m happy my nieces could read.  I’d recommend ages 11-16, so upper middle grade –> young adult.  Older readers might enjoy it, too.

Q:  Is The Enchanted Sonata part of a series?
A:   YES.  It is part of a trilogy where music is magic.  I’m shooting for the next book to be out in a year or so.

Q:  Ooooh the cover!  I love it…but it looks different than your other books.
A:  Hahaha yes.  I designed the cover myself this time.  It was a blast.

Q:  Will The Enchanted Sonata have an audiobook?
A:   Fingers crossed!

Q:  Heather Dixon Wallwork?  You’re using your married name now?
A:  Yessssss I am.

Stay tuned for the book trailer!

 

Illusionarium

16-year-old Jonathan lives a quiet life on a far north aerial city, with hopes of one day becoming a surgeon.  But when his mother and sister fall ill with a mysterious and fatal disease, Jonathan must travel through an alternate London full of illusions and monsters to get the cure.  But can he find it before his family dies…and before he turns into a monster himself?

Illusionarium is an original steampunk story that was released May 19th, 2015.  While Entwined was more for my nieces, I wrote Illusionarium with my nephews in mind.

Illusorionarum

“Vibrantly imagined”
– { ☆ } Publisher’s Weekly

“Snappy dialogue, intriguing cast, and well-developed worlds”  – Booklist

“Fascinating, dangerous…compelling”  – Horn Book

“Fantasy elements, plot twists, and dramatic crescendoes”  – School Library Journal

Q:  Is Illusionarium part of a series?
A:   Illusionarium is a stand-alone, though I never say never.

Q:  Is Illusionarium something my younger reader could read?
A:  I try to write books that I feel comfortable having my nieces and nephews read.  There’s very little romance or swearing in Illusionarium.  It does, however, get a bit dark and violent…there are monsters in this book!  The publisher recommends it for 13 and up, but if you have an advanced younger reader who isn’t too jumpy, they’d probably enjoy it.

Q:  What is up with that cover?  It doesn’t match the book at all!
A:  I know.  I really did try to get the publisher to change it.

Q: Will Illusionarium be available in paperback?  What about audiobook?
A:  Illusionarium is only available in hardback, but you can find the audiobook here on Audible.

Q:  Did you make the trailer for Illusionarium?  What program did you use?
A:  I did!  Small-production animation is one of my favorite things.  I used After Effects for animation, assets from istockphoto, and music by Matt Gates.  You can read more about the trailer in this blog post.

Entwined AFQ’s

Confined to their dreary palace while mourning their mothers death, Princess Azalea and her eleven sisters dance in a magic pavilion deep below their room, tended by the mysterious and handsome Keeper…but it isn’t long before their magical nightly dances become nightmarish.

Entwined is a retelling of the Grimm fairy tale, “The Twelve Dancing Princesses”.  It was released March 29th, 2011.

“Royalty, romance, and magic” – ( ☆ ) Publisher’s Weekly
“Suspenseful and rewarding” – { ☆ } Booklist
“{A} masterfully woven tale” – { ☆ } VOYA
“An appealing blend of fantasy, romance, mystery, and creepiness.” – School Library Journal
“Charming, romantic.” – Kirkus
“Listeners will be charmed and enthralled.” – { ☆ } School Library Journal {audiobook} {I love the narrator, Mandy Williams.  She’s excellent.}
An Indie Next Pick
An ALA Booklist Top 10 Romance for Youth

Q:  How long did it take to write Entwined?
A:  Including the revision work with the publisher, the book took about 4 & 1/2 years.  I started it in early 2006.

 Q:  Who is your publisher?
A:  My publisher for both Illusionarium and Entwined was  Greenwillow Books {an imprint of HarperCollins.}
Q:  Will Entwined have a sequel?
A:  Entwined is a standalone.  However I’m not opposed to doing fanfiction or fanarts (as you know if you follow the blog.)

Q:  The princesses in this story are poor.  Why?
A:  In the Victorian era this wasn’t uncommon.  In general, Parliament controlled the funds, and the royal family was dependent on their generosity.  Story-wise, I felt it would provide a good foil between the real world and the enchanted pavilion below.  The poor childhood of Princess Alexandra of Denmark (1844-1925) was similar to the princesses’ in Entwined.

 Q:  Is the Entwine a real dance?
A:  The Entwine in a dance I created for the book, a dance that tells a story centered around the theme.  It’s a cross between a waltz, a maypole dance, and a fight.
dancing_the_entwine_by_betterthanbunnies-d32u9ds
Q:  Is the Soul’s Curtsy a real curtsy?
A:  The Soul’s Curtsy is also unique to the book.  It’s like the Texas dip to the nth degree, and takes two people to complete. The lady for the curtsy, and the gentleman to help her back to her feet.  I’ve tried to do this curtsy, and cannot.  But very good dancers can.
Q:  Will Entwined be published where I live?
A:  Besides North America, I’m happy to say Entwined is or will be available in Italy, Germany, France, Spain, Brazil, Korea, China, & Turkey.
Q:  Who made your book trailer?
A:  I made the Entwined trailer myself, which was a blast.  It was done with the help of Photoshop, After Effects,  The Graphics Fairy, and Matt Gates (music).

 

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