Projects, in our reading pile, and a free ebook

As you may have noticed I haven’t  been writing much recently.  I have a pile of commission paintings on my desk to get done before Christmas , which is a blessing, plus some other webdesign/server related work that really needs done soon.  The projects are all fun and challenging but are taking up more thinking time than usual because they ARE challenging.  I will post the artwork as soon as I finish and get permission fromthe clients to post.

The kids are busy with various projects of their own, mostly on the computer though Issac is currently very focused on his giant floor puzzle of the US (and continuously telling us all about it and where all the states and other places of interest are located despite his assurance that he “can’t read”) as well as on The Three Stooges and The Marx Brothers.  Now that Halloween is over the girls are taking a break from their constant costume creation and are instead writing plays/puppet shows to put on in the theater they built in our basement and designing the perfect marionette from my old Mandy doll.

In our spare time (of which there is not much)  the kids and I have been watching “Good Neighbors” and reading lots of books.  Right now we are reading aloud from both “The Hobbit” and “DragonSpell
” (on top of our daily chronological Bible reading–we are in Nehemiah) and I have a book waiting on the back burner for as soon as we finish those.  We have read “The Hobbit” before so this is a redo but this is the first time through “Dragonspell” as a family and we are all really enjoying it and looking forward to getting the rest of the series.

And now for a cool thing.  The next book in our to be read pile is called “Here, There Be Dragons”–a book my brother loved and lent me, which I read and loved, and which I am now impatiently waiting to read aloud to my brood.     As you likely know by now we love a good fantasy story and this one is excellent.

The art work (several plates illustrate the novel)  is gorgeous and all done by the author.  It is one of my favorite sorts of illustration, partly because I find it impossible to do myself–full of minute details and tons of cross hatching.  (Though I should note that Esther’s response to it was very similar to  Emperor Joseph II’s response to Amadeus of “too many notes”.  I guess she prefers a minimalistic approach to line art.) James and I both loved it though and are looking forward to buying the rest of the series.

When searching for it online we found that not only  does the author have a blog where he shares his illustrations in progress and the book have a site but that right now they have a promo going on where you can read the first book online for free here: http://promo.simonandschuster.com/dragons/ .  They also have wallpaper using the gorgeous cover illustrations (I now have the green dragon as my desktop.)  And so, if you enjoy a good epic fantasy story (or your kids, like mine, do) hop over and take a read.  And then I suggest you pick up a physical copy–the artwork alone is worth it.

*The book will be taken down on Monday  so you need to go NOW.