Join us in Kidtropolis!

Join us in Kidtropolis!

“So Matilda’s strong young mind continued to grow, nurtured by the voices of all those authors who had sent their books out into the world like ships on the sea. These books gave Matilda a hopeful and comforting message: You are not alone.” Roald Dahl wrote great books, and like many children’s authors who came after him, the stories imprinted on children a world where anything was possible. We swam with Ariel, traveled with Max to where the wild things were, caught a train to the North Pole, shed a tear with Wilbur, and we joined Alice in her adventures…oh the places we went! Now as adults, we can’t wait to introduce these special characters to our children, to see in their faces the delight we experienced not so long ago. This summer, SPMG wants to introduce you to a new children’s book that will without a doubt be a staple in your children’s book collection. Just like the little engine who knew he could, six year old Mya blasts through the pages of Ray Lenard Brown’s new book, Kidtropolis. No ordinary girl, Mya, born with cerebral palsy, learns to overcome great difficulties and obstacles, not unlike the heroines we grew up with. One day, her grandfather, noticing how Mya routinely sits by the window watching the neighborhood kids play, decides that it is time to introduce her to an old family book called The Book of the Imagination. In it is a place inhabited only by children, a magical place where kids rule everything and all your wishes come true, and the place is called Kidtropolis. One evening, while Mya was being tucked into bed, she asked her grandfather “Where do babies come from?” Not knowing how to answer, her grandfather turned to the old family book and began reading. The magic begins as soon as you open the door to Kidtropolis, but you must make sure to keep it open, as while all your dreams can come true, “everybody who smiles and says hello may not be people you want to get to know.” This proves to be valuable advice for Mya when she wakes up the next day…trapped in the book. Buy Kidtropolis on Amazon or Barnes & Noble   Spectacle Publishing Media Group (www.spectaclepmg.com)  was founded in 2011 with a mission to change the publishing world. Spectacle PMG believes all talented writers should be granted the opportunity to have their stories read. With offices in Lisle, NY, Madison, WI, Savannah, GA., and Boston, MA., SMPG understands the importance of working with a diversified audience. Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new...

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Birth By Fire’s Embrace

Birth By Fire’s Embrace

A taut fantasy for all ages, Birth by Fire’s Embrace explores how drastically things can change when the world that lies just beyond our senses begins to surface. When all that is familiar vanishes from Shar’s life, she begins to look inside and find the strength and courage to carry on in a harsh world, and look towards another world that lies ahead. Available in all formats! Learn more at Ashleigh’s website: http://ashleighgalvin.wordpress.com/ Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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Wizard World Chicago

Wizard World Chicago

Spectacle Publishing at Wizard World Did you see us? We saw you! The Madison Spectacle Publishing team was in Chicago for the 2012 Wizard World event. In addition to great costumes, excellent shopping and junk food galore, the SPMG team talked about their first Role-Playing Game release, The Darkest Age.   “In 1354 the Black Plague killed 25 million people. Then they stood up and fed upon the living.” Written by veteran game designer, Rob Gee and science-fiction fantasy author, Eric Staggs, with art from Jeff Dewitt (among other fantastic illustrators), The Darkest Age is a d20-based role-playing game. The Darkest Age is set in 1345, during the height of the Black Plague. The Darkest Age role-playing game takes the zombie apocalypse into a brilliantly plausible and well-researched alternate history. To learn more about The Darkest Age, check out the website or like it on Facebook. The Names and The Faces Wizard World was packed to bursting with famous folks, icons of nerddom and geekness of unrivaled proportion. The Spectacle Publishing team got their pictures taken with the beautiful Cindy Morgan of Tron. Not to mention meeting the great Clyde Caldwell and a slew of other talented artists too numerous to name. But take heart, they’ve been “liked” on our Facebook page. Missed Spectacle at Wizard World? That’s too bad, but you’ll have another chance. The Spectacle Publishing team located in Madison Wisconsin will be at WisCon 2013. Never been to WisCon? Check it out! It’s the nation’s first Feminist Science-Fiction and Fantasy convention. We’ll be there showcasing books from our up and coming female authors, Alethea Eason (The Heron’s Path), Ashleigh Gavin (Birth by Fire’s Embrace) and of course we’ll have copies of The Darkest Age. See you there!     Share this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to email this to a friend (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Google+ (Opens in new window)Like this:Like...

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A Game of Tropes

A Game of Tropes

A literary trope is a figurative or symbolic metaphor in its most complicated sense. In its more homogenized definition, a trope is a technique or stereotype that uses commonly established archetypes to help convey meaning.  In all stories, we know that the Hero is special. He’s the Chosen One, who will affect change in his world; this one of the most common tropes in genre fiction. Another example would be the “evil galactic empire” reminiscent of Nazis, Romans, Fascists. They sport gray uniforms, and appear in Star Wars, Star Trek, Firefly, Chronicles of Riddick, and a dozen others. In these pieces the “good guys” are always diverse and colorful—this is a metaphor or trope for an idealized way of life slathered in diversity and personal freedoms. Consider: In Star Wars rebel pilots wear bright orange—their enemy counterparts look like SS soldiers. In Lord of the Rings, the heroes armies gather with brightly colored banners of silver and gold, blue and green. The orcs mass under a variants of a black flag. An interesting use of this trope is Robert Heinlein’s StarShip Troopers. The narrator is, in fact, one of those gray-uniform wearing space-nazis. Though we are sympathetic to this character, there can be no doubt that he is from a less than democratic society—this causes a gut reaction in most Americans. Everyone around me is gearing up for the next season of Game of Thrones. While watching/reading, I see elements from many other very successful authors in variety of genres. One cannot help but wonder is George R. R. Martin a singular fantasy genius or simply a well read nerd? Neither is really a bad thing, but I want to point some of the methods he’s using to bring standard fantasy tropes to life in new ways. I may go so far as to say that nothing in the Game of Thrones series is new or the sole creation of George’s imagination. That’s okay. I once had a writing professor offer the quotation, “Young writers invent, published writers steal.” He was not of course encouraging plagiarism, nor am I suggesting George R.R. Martin is guilty of this most heinous of crimes. I am saying the George R.R. Martin has brilliantly woven in commonly loved cultural elements from a myriad of fiction sources, made them his own and taken us on a great ride. First let’s address some of the standard tropes within the genre of fantasy literature. The one that always gets my goat is the chosen one. How many Chosen One’s can there be? It is important that we understand the necessity of this element, but also that it is as old as the concept of the story...

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Heron’s Path by Alethea Eason: (sample)

Check out this sample from the upcoming young adult fantasy novel Heron’s Path by Alethea Eason: — — — On a hot day in September I found Celeste’s clothes scattered all over the barn, one shoe upside down next to Papa’s forge and the other inside a milking pail. Her yellow dress hung from a ladder like a bird suspended in midair. I pulled the dress down by its hem and three tiny blue feathers, nearly the same shade as my sister’s eyes, drifted down to the dusty floor. I caught one of them in my hand; I stood there puzzling over what might have happened that morning to make her run off again. I felt alone, as though a wind had come up and peeled Celeste from the earth. I told myself that she was playing the same old game she’d scared us with so many other times, but this loneliness—so odd and new—followed me like a ghost as I ran outside and shouted for Papa. I was afraid he wouldn’t come; I’d find our cabin gone, and I’d be without any family at all. Papa searched the woods. I took our dog, Rufus, and ran up and down the river bank. When I found no trace of her I followed Papa into the trees where there were more shadows than seemed right. I didn’t dare go in very far and kept circling the places Celeste and I knew well. I heard Olena’s voice in my head telling me stories. Her words dripping slowly the way honey falls from a spoon. Her stories always made me uneasy. She believed in ghosts, the last traces of the Old Ones, who were a part of the breath and spirit of the rocks and trees, of the river Talum, and the surrounding woods. But the wei-ni-la, the darker ones, were the shadows to really fear. They were ancient too, and lived in the empty spaces of the woods, filling them with whispering. All afternoon Celeste’s name echoed through the trees as Papa and I called for her. Finally, his shouting changed and Rufus started to bark furiously. I was so tired my legs were shaking. I was running on legs that wouldn’t work. When I finally found them, Papa was half way up a steep gully with Celeste draped over his shoulder. Her hair, a skein of golden thread unraveling almost to the ground, was the only thing that covered her. I thought she looked newly born or newly dead. “Is she all right?” I asked. My lips were dry and hurt when I spoke, and my words felt like spittle as they came out of my mouth. All Papa could...

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