Monday, February 1, 2016

Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods

Scroll down if you're reading Tony the Phony and are ready to find out where your last choice took you.

I'm so excited today to be part of hosting a special blog event by T. Man, a 10-year-old author and homeschooler! When I was a teen in my first computer programming class, I set up an adventure story where the reader got to a different ending, depending on the choices they made. I even tried this format later as an adult when I was experimenting with the Internet. I think it's a fabulous idea, and I'm thrilled to be part of T. Man's story today!

Let me introduce you to T. Man: When he was only 8, he partnered with his older brother, M. Man, on a special homeschool writing project that resulted in their first published book, Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion. This year, T. Man went solo and just finished the second book in the series, Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods. Written in the engaging style of a Choose Your Own Adventure™, each book is available for only .99 on Amazon. (So click the names above, or the links below to get your very own copies!)

But today T. Man has chosen to share his new book with his readers in its entirety in a special interactive virtual event. Seven different bloggers are hosting sections of the story. The fun begins on T. Man’s blog. At the end of each page YOU have to decide how the story will go. Each choice will lead you to a new blog. You have the possibility of landing on any of four endings. Of course, when you finish you can always go back to the beginning and start again. Choose wisely!

Buy Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods

Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods

“Run down the tunnel!” shouted Tony.

So Ed and Tony sprinted away like they were in football practice. “I don’t have a good feeling about this,” panted Ed.

“Hide in that side tunnel,” said Tony.


“What that…? Why is that there?” said Ed.

“Because that’s a wall and we are stuck in here,” said Tony.

Berzok merbert.

“What was that?” Ed asked.

Bam! Something jumped from the ceiling.

“Mommy,” cried Ed.


“It’s behind us, so don’t move or talk,” said Tony.

“Can I kick it?” asked Ed.


Too late. Thwang! Ed fell to the floor clutching his foot. “Whatever it is, it’s wearing armor.”

Before Tony could say anything else, the thing pulled out a softly glowing gun. A yellow beam of light shot out of the gun and Tony saw the thing was a cave alien. “Ed, we have to get out of here!”

The alien shot again. Tony dodged. “Come on, Ed, let’s go!” He reached for his friend but Ed was gone. There was only dust. The alien had shot him.

Tony saw another bright light.

And then there was nothing but darkness.

The End

Go back to the beginning and choose again.

 Purchase Tony the Phony and Cursed Mansion
Purchase your copy today!

 Purchase Tony the Phony and the Northern Woods
Purchase your copy today!

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Fun with Fairy Tales

I've been absent from the online social scene for awhile because I took a job last fall as an assistant teacher at an elementary school. For almost 4 months, I taught close to 100 kids a day. I've returned now to working from home, but I miss my many new friends at the school!

One of my favorite lessons to teach was comparing and contrasting with Fractured Fairy Tales. I love things that are creative, and Fractured Fairy Tales definitely fit the bill! It was so fun to help the kids recognize the differences between the original story and the zany, hilarious twists some creative author had put it into.

Then, at the end of the unit, I got to guide the kids in writing their own Fractured Fairy Tale, which was super fun! If there's anything I like better than reading and writing, it's watching kids be creative!

So, in keeping with the theme of Fractured Fairy Tales, I'd like to feature a series my daughter is obsessed with at the moment: Whatever After by  Sarah Mlynowski. Last night, my daughter was reading the second book in the series, If The Shoe Fits, and suddenly she jumped up and declared that she wanted to make brownies!

In this book, Abby and her little brother Jonah go through a magic mirror in their basement and end up in Cinderella's world. They introduce the talented baking Cinderella to brownies, calling them "crownies," and help her sell a bunch at the local market so she can earn enough money to move out of her step-mother's house.

My daughter says: "This is the best book ever! It's my favorite of the series."

When I was growing up, my mom participated in a lot of holiday bazaars where she would sell cute handmade crafts and sewing projects she'd made, as well as delicious lollipops and baked goods. One bazaar favorite, guaranteed to sell out, was her brownies. I've tweaked the recipe a little to resemble the "crownies" in the book. Give it a try!

Cinderella's Crownies

1 cup butter
2 cups sugar
4 eggs
1 tsp vanilla
1 1/2 cups flour
1/2 tsp baking powder
1/3 cup cocoa
1/4 tsp salt
2 Tbsp water

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit. Grease and flour a cake pan.
2. Cream together butter, sugar, and eggs. Beat in remaining ingredients until well mixed.
3. Pour batter into prepared cake pan and bake for 20-25 minutes in the preheated oven, until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean.
4. Allow brownies to cool, frost with chocolate frosting, and cut into generous squares for serving.

To prepare a cake pan, use a paper towel to spread shortening evenly over the surface of the pan, then add about 1/4 cup flour and tilt and tap the pan until flour sticks to every surface. Dump extra flour back into the bag.

Soften the butter for about 20 seconds in the microwave.

Cream the butter and sugar together in a standing mixer, or use the back of a spoon to mash the sugar into the softened butter.

Sunday, September 28, 2014

Doing the Bandana Split!

It seems like forever since I wrote a blog post! I'm going to blame it on a job I started three weeks ago that has taken over my life. I have a tendency to throw my whole heart and soul into things, especially when I'm working with kids (I'm at an elementary school), but yesterday I realized that I'm burning out in a hurry and I've got to pull back and do other things besides work. SO, I'm going to get this blog post finished that I started a month ago! And this week, I'm determined to get back to writing my YA novel. I'm never completely happy unless I'm writing, so getting back on top of my novel should improve my outlook on life.

Thus, without further ado, let us proceed with my post on the Hushland Bandana Split! Now, you may think you read that title wrong, or that my fingers stumbled over the keys as I typed. But, no--it really is a Bandana Split. This comes to us from the wonderfully creative and wacky world of the Free Kingdoms in Brandon Sanderson's Alcatraz series. I have to gush for just a moment. Brandon Sanderson is one of my all-time favorite authors. I got to meet him once at a writer's conference, when he signed my copy of The Alloy of Law. (High-pitched, girly squeal!) His level of creativity and perfect pacing, involving plenty of action, is exactly the kind of thing I love to read. When you combine that with the laugh-out-loud humor of his Alcatraz series, you have the perfect storm! (Seriously: people give me weird looks when I'm reading these books, because I can't stop laughing and tears are running down my face.)

In the third installment, Alcatraz Versus the Knights of Crystallia, Alcatraz visits the home of his birth, the Free Kingdoms. Things are a little different than they are here in the Hushlands, and Free Kingdomers often don't understand our Hushlander culture. Thus, at an ice cream shop modeled after an old-fashioned 50s malt shoppe where the waitresses wear red stripes and proudly serve their version of Hushlander fare, Alcatraz finds himself confronted by a Bandana Split: an unidentified flavor of ice cream served in an actual bandanna. (I hope it didn't recently inhabit someone's brow...that's just nasty!)

As I contemplated how to recreate this exotic dish, I remembered a recent visit to Puerto Rico, where we stopped at a little ice cream place that served all kinds of creative flavors. (Including rice and beans and garlic...really!) I've long wanted to try my hand at creating some of these unique flavors at home (just not the really weird ones).

Thus, in homage to Mr. Sanderson's creativity, and to the Free Kingdomers who fight against evil librarians everywhere, I present my own version of a Bandana Split with CocoSpud Ice Cream!

A Hushland Bandana Split!

CocoSpud Ice Cream

1 medium sweet potato
3 cups coconut milk
1 cup coconut cream
3/4 cup brown sugar
1 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp salt
1 tsp vanilla

Wash the sweet potato and prick it a few times with a fork. Microwave it on high for about 4 minutes, then turn it over and microwave 4 more minutes until the sweet potato is tender. Allow to cool.

Once cool, peel the sweet potato and place in a food processor or powerful blender. Add about half of the coconut milk and process until the mixture is completely smooth.

Blend in remaining coconut milk and other ingredients, mixing well. Pour everything into an ice cream freezer and process according to the manufacturer's directions. The ice cream will still be soft at this point, so put it in the freezer for at least 4 hours or overnight. (However, don't forget to taste-test first! ;-)

The ingredients I used for this project.
To serve, clean a bandanna well with dish soap and rinse thoroughly. Dry it in the dryer without a dryer sheet (unless you really like the flavor of dryer sheets). Knot two opposite ends of the bandanna, then tie the remaining two ends together and tuck them underneath. (See the illustrations below.) Place the bandanna into an elongated dish to give it a firm base.

Scoop rounded mounds of CocoSpud Ice Cream into the center of the bandanna. Top with whipped cream and cherries and serve! (Just don't tell your victim...I mean patron...what's in the ice cream--it's probably better they don't know.)

Peel the cooled sweet potato and puree it so you don't have chunks.

Process the ice cream mixture according to manufacturer's directions until it is thick. Then freeze for several hours to firm it up for scooping.

Prepare bandanna by knotting two opposite ends.

Knot the two remaining ends together...

 and tuck under to create an elongated "bowl."

Friday, August 22, 2014

That's Amore!

My husband and I celebrated our 20th anniversary recently with a fancy Italian dinner, complete with mandolin music playing in the background. It reminded me of a book I read awhile ago: The Hourglass Door by Lisa Mangum. It's a time-travel romance, a little off my beaten genre path, but I thoroughly enjoyed it nonetheless. In fact, I'm reminded that I need to get back to reading the third and final book of the series.

The romantic interest in The Hourglass Door is a handsome time traveling Italian. What better way to win the heart of an Italian man than through good cooking? (Not that my husband is Italian: he just likes to eat the food!)

I prepared several traditional dishes for my anniversary dinner, but I was most proud of the tiramisu I made for dessert. I've often drooled over photos of tiramisu, with its custard and ladyfinger layers, but I've never tasted it because of the coffee traditionally used to prepare it ... I avoid coffee like the plague. The good part of making your own Italian dinner is that you can substitute ingredients to your own taste and style. And so, I present my Mormon Tiramisu. It's best eaten with Italian crooners softly singing in the background and someone you love by your side!

Mormon Tiramisu

1/4 c milk
3 egg yolks
3/4 c sugar
8 oz cream cheese (at room temperature)
3 c mascarpone cheese (at room temperature)
1/4 tsp vanilla
24 lady finger cookies
3/4 cup hot chocolate, cooled to lukewarm
2 tsp cocoa powder

1. Use a double boiler, or 1 large pan with a smaller pan that will fit on top without falling into the larger pan. Fill the large pan, or the bottom of the double boiler, with water and bring to a boil over medium-high heat.
2. Meanwhile, whisk together milk and yolks in smaller pan, or top of the double boiler. Whisk in sugar until well combined.
3. When water is boiling, reduce heat to medium-low (keeping water to a low simmer) and place smaller pan on top of larger pan. Cook and stir the egg mixture for 10 minutes until thickened. Remove from heat and allow to cool.
4. In a large mixing bowl, combine cream cheese with mascarpone cheese and vanilla. Beat well with an electric mixer. Once the chesses are smooth and creamy, slowly add the egg yolk mixture and mix well, until smooth.
5. Prepare an 8x8 baking dish, or 2 bread pans, by spraying with non-stick cooking spray.
6. Pour about half of the hot chocolate onto a plate. Dip lady fingers in chocolate, sugared side up. Don't allow them to sit very long in the liquid, as they will quickly soak it up. The top half of each lady finger should remain dry.
7. Arrange the lady fingers side by side in the prepared dish. Spoon half of the cream cheese mixture (or 1/4 of the mixture, if using bread pans) over the lady fingers. Add another layer of soaked lady fingers and cover with remaining cream cheese mixture.
8. Put cocoa powder into a fine-meshed strainer and gently shake over the dessert to add a dusting of cocoa powder.
9. Cover and chill for several hours or overnight.
10. To serve, slice into 9 even portions and place each on a plate.

I was surprised and pleased to find both mascarpone cheese and lady finger cookies at my small-town grocery store! I found the cheese in the specialty section, near the deli. However, it was rather expensive. I wasn't ready to empty my pockets for the whole 3 cups called for in the recipe, so I substituted more cream cheese for half of the mascarpone. I think it still tasted fabulous, especially if you love cheesecake, like me! The lady fingers were located on the cookie and cracker aisle, and one package was just the right amount for this recipe.

Tuesday, July 29, 2014

Dive Into Atlantis!

I've been really excited about a new series that arrived this week on the middle grade shelf: The Gates of Atlantis! Each book in the series is written by a different author, much like the Spirit Animals series, or 39 Clues. It's interesting for me to see the different spin each author gives this very imaginative world.

I had the opportunity to receive an advanced reader copy of the final book in the series, Battle for Acropolis by Mikey Brooks, and I've been waiting anxiously for the book to be released so I can share my excitement about it with the rest of the world! 

From the very first page, this book reeled me in: hook, line, and sinker! It starts out with a bang when Talon accidentally sets fire to the library, using magic power he doesn't understand and can’t always control. His emotions do more than run away with him whenever he’s upset: they cause terrible things to happen. Orphaned since birth, Talon knows he doesn't belong in a “normal” life with his foster parents, and agrees to run away with his foster sister, Hattie, in search of Hattie’s grandmother. What they find is a magical city under the sea that desperately needs their help to win a civil war.

For me, the best aspect of this novel was the growth of the main character. At the start of the story, Talon is a lonely kid with a surly attitude. I had to laugh every time he got annoyed with Hattie’s nonstop chatter. But through her easy acceptance of his strange magical power, and her resolve to be his friend, no matter what, Talon slowly comes around and turns into a strong leader that the other Atlantian kids can look up to.

I thought the characters were very strong and easy for kids to relate to. My personal favorite was Willy, the friendly truck driver who helps out Talon and Hattie. I also admired Hattie for her optimism in the face of incredible odds. It gave the book a positive undertone, driving home a message of perseverance and commitment.

The food scene I picked from this book takes place early on, while Talon and Hattie are on the run. They spend the last of their money on breakfast at a truck stop. Nearby, a friendly truck driver is eating the Grand Slam breakfast: pancakes, sausage, eggs, hash browns "you name the breakfast item, and this man had it." With their meager funds, Talon and Hattie can only afford a couple of eggs with toast. Talon asks for his to be scrambled. Lucky for Talon, Willy the truck driver has a big heart and later shares his leftover sausage.

My kids can be picky eaters (highly unusual, I know), and one of my girls refuses to eat scrambled eggs...unless they're cooked "Grandma style." Her grandma has a special way of blending together the eggs with cheese and milk to create the perfect combination!

Grandma Style Eggs
serves 6

12 eggs
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded cheddar cheese
1 tsp salt
1/8 tsp pepper

1. Crack eggs and empty into a large saucepan, making sure you don't drop any shells in. 
2. Add milk and sprinkle with cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. 
3. With a spatula (pancake turner), stir everything together until yolks are broken and ingredients are well combined. 
4. Cook on medium high heat, stirring frequently, until eggs are set.
5. Serve with toast and sausage. Add pancakes and hashbrowns for the real Grand Slam!

Add grated cheese directly to the pan with the other ingredients.

Use the flat end of the spatula to stir the eggs as they cook.

Eggs are set when they are no longer runny, but aren't completely dry.

Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Dreamkeeper Tour

I am so pleased today to be part of The Dreamkeeper audiobook tour! I have long admired the author, Mikey Brooks, for his skills at producing and promoting some fantastic books. I look up to him and hope I can be like him one day.

First of all, don't forget to check out the GIVEAWAY
at the end of this post for a chance to 
WIN some fantastic prizes!

I was privileged to review the second book in the series, The Dreamstone. My daughter is an auditory learner, and she prefers audio books to the printed variety. For kids like her (who may struggle with reading the traditional way), this series is an excellent choice for hooking them on books! It has action, magic, strong characters, and life lessons all rolled into a neat little package that is sure to please any middle grader. Beyond that, the audiobook is a quality piece of work. The narrator was expressive and highly skilled. He gave a distinct voice to each of the characters that fit them perfectly. It was a pleasure to listen to!

The Dreamstone picks up right where The Dreamkeeper left off. Parker and his friend Kaelyn must go back to the world of dreams to rescue Parker’s mother, who has been kidnapped by the wicked Queen Mab. They find the dream world in disarray, with dragons attacking willy nilly. Their friend Gladamyr loses his power to shift, and they have no idea where Mab’s wandering realm is located. It seems the only way to unravel all their problems is to visit the Crystal Table once again, but what price will the table exact this time?

With each book the author releases, his writing quality gets better and better! I've read all of his middle grade books, and I thought Mikey Brooks really hit his stride with this one! All the characters are solid, with real problems they’re struggling to overcome, like Parker’s anger at his estranged dad. Through the course of events, he learns how to begin the forgiveness process. I love it when a character grows and becomes a better person by the end of a book, and I found myself cheering for Parker and Kaelyn as they made the difficult choice to stand up for what’s right, pitting themselves against the more popular crowd at school. Moreover, their friendship continued to grow and develop in this novel, and I can’t wait to see where they’ll go from here.

The plot was well-paced and flowed naturally from one hurdle to the next. The only problem I have with this series is that the author likes to end on cliff-hangers, leaving us poor readers begging for the next installment! (Do I hear an evil laugh?) 

Kids aren’t the only ones who will gobble up this series faster than a plateful of pastries. In my mind, it’s right up there with Fablehaven, Far World, and the host of other National bestsellers that have graced the middle grade shelves in recent years.

As I pondered how I could bring this book to life in my kitchen, I remembered the taste testing scene with Mab, about halfway through the book. To prepare for her Majesty’s banquet, servants offer her various trays of pastry for inspection. She brings each to her lips and tastes it briefly. If she pronounces them “adequate,” the servant can breathe a sigh of relief. But woe betide the servant who offers an unacceptable pastry, as does one poor soul with a tray of fruit covered tarts.

I wouldn’t like to be the chef in Mab’s kitchen, with my life on the line depending on my skill in pleasing her. But I have a delectable recipe for banana cream pie that I think even Mab would have to pronounce “excellent!”

Banana Cream Pie Fit For a Queen

Delicate Pie Crust
1 1/2 cup flour
1/2 tsp salt
1/2 cup butter-flavored shortening
5-6 Tbsp ice water

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. 
2. In a medium sized bowl, combine flour and salt. Cut in shortening, using a pastry cutter or two forks, until mixture resembles fine crumbs.
3. Gently stir in ice water (being careful not to add chunks of ice), just until flour is moistened and becomes dough. Add more water if needed, 1 Tbsp at a time. Do not work the dough too much.
4. Turn out onto a floured surface and use a rolling pin to gently "push" the dough into a circle big enough to fit over a pie plate.
5. Fold the dough carefully in half, then in half again. Lift onto the pie pan, placing the center of the dough in the center of the plate. Unfold the dough and press gently into the pie pan. Trim the edges, fold under, and crimp into desired design. Prick the dough on the bottom and sides of the pan several times with a fork.
6. Bake in preheated oven for 15 minutes, or until crust is golden brown. Remove from oven and allow to cool completely before filling.

Banana Cream Filling
1 5oz package instant vanilla pudding
1 3/4 cups milk
2 cups heavy cream, divided
2-3 ripe bananas
1 Tbsp powdered sugar

1. Add vanilla pudding to milk and beat well for about 2 minutes. (Follow directions for Pie on the package.)
2. Whip 1 cup of heavy cream until stiff. Fold gently in with pudding mixture until thoroughly combined.
3. Slice bananas into bottom of cooled pie shell until banana slices cover the entire bottom of the pie.
4. Pour pudding mixture over the top of bananas and spread evenly.
5. Place pie in the refrigerator and allow to set up.
6. Meanwhile, beat additional 1 cup of cream until stiff. Add powdered sugar. When pie is set up, cover with whipped cream. Garnish with additional banana slices and serve.

A pastry cutter is a quick and easy way to "cut" shortening into the flour. When your mixture resembles coarse crumbs, you're ready to add the ice water.
The less you work a pie crust dough, the more delicate it will be. When rolling, think of pushing the dough outward in the direction you want it to expand, rather than rolling back and forth as you would with other kinds of dough.

To make a fancy edge, trim the dough so that it hangs over the edge of the pan about half an inch. Then fold the dough under to make a nice smooth edge. Press your thumb down on the dough with the thumb and index finger of your other hand pulling up on either side of your thumb to create a fluted edge.
Prick the dough before baking to prevent it from puffing up in the oven.
Will this pass the Mab Test?!

About the incredible narrator, Anthony Bianco:

Anthony Bianco is a professional actor living and working in Denver, Colorado. He is a native Oregonian and has been acting and storytelling for the past eighteen years. He received a BFA in Acting with a minor in Shakespeare Studies at Southern Oregon University in Ashland, Oregon. Anthony then went on to receive his MFA in Acting from University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. Anthony moved to Denver five years ago and has worked for three seasons with the Denver Center Theatre Company, one season at Colorado Shakespeare Festival and most recently appeared as Jay Gatsby in The Great Gatsby at the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities.

What have you enjoyed most about narrating The Dream Keeper Chronicles?

Bringing the mythology that Mikey has created to life. There is a sense of innocence, wonder, and possibility on the world of Awake and Dreams. Our dreams are one of the nearest things we still have to magic. And discovering the story has helped remind me to continue to look for the magic in the world around me.

How did you go about finding a distinct voice for each character?

Many times Mikey provided some kind of description of the character that would inform the choices I would make. Age, gender, body size/ shape. I imagine how the voices sound when I am reading and do my best to apply those changes when I get in the booth. I would like to think that all of the choices that I made were informed by the text. I did my best to fully imagine what Mikey created and trust that when he is satisfied with the result I have done my job. 

You work as a professional actor; do you find your profession helps you in narrating books?

I find it incredibly helpful. The fact that I am not in front of an audience doesn't make a lot of a difference to me. The act of storytelling is the same no matter what the medium. Many of the skills needed: articulation, breath support, vocal flexibility, emotion (to highlight a few) all come into play when recording. When you are in the booth you have to be hyper aware of every movement and sound. Even though nobody can see what you look like, any extraneous movements can cause sounds which can be picked up by the mic. It is essential to have the physical and vocal awareness to keep those sounds to a minimum. At the same time you can't allow that to keep you from bing expressive and energized when telling the story. It can be a tricky balance sometimes. But the years of training help to balance those factors.

Is there a character in the book you related to the most and why?

I think Gladamyr was the easiest to relate to, even though he is a Dream keeper. I love the tortured heroes. Plus, Gladamyr's powers are the coolest! Many of my favorite fantasy characters have been Shape-shifters or have had an ability similar to Gladamyr. It probably appeals to the actor in me, being able to shift and morph would be like the ultimate costume change.

If you were to dream up a nightmare what would it be?

Absolutely terrifying. Probably something similar to Minion, a monster made from a swarm of spiders. When I have nightmares they are the worst. I am usually being chased by a dark formless, shifting shadow (not unlike Gladamyr now that I think about it). There are always lots of teeth and it is fast; constantly changing throughout the dream. The worst nightmares know when to change and get worse when you think it can't get any worse. 

How do you manage to smoothly accentuate the “voice” of the different characters? 

Breath, breath, breath. You can't transition from voice to voice without the proper breath support to fuel the instrument. If it sounds smooth it is a combination of quality editing and quality vocal control by the narrator.

How did you become a book narrator? Did anything specific prompt you to undertake this career?

A friend encouraged me to pursue it. He made the transition from actor to narrator full time and thought I would also be good at it. So, he gave me the initial push. I haven't been able to make that transition fully, though. I am still working and auditioning for gigs in both careers. As well as working at a coffee shop and doing odd work as a ranch hand and landscaper to make ends meet. I am still at the beginning of my narrating career, but what has prompted me to continue to pursue it is the flexibility to create my own hours, work from home, and the complete artistic control of the storytelling.

About the amazing author, Mikey Brooks:

Mikey Brooks is a small child masquerading as an adult. On occasion you’ll catch him dancing the funky chicken, singing like a banshee, and pretending to have never grown up. He is the author/illustrator of the best-selling middle-grade series The Dream Keeper Chronicles, The Stone of Valhalla, and The Gates of Atlantis: Battle for Acropolis. His picture books include the best-selling ABC Adventures: Magical Creatures and Bean’s Dragons. His art can be seen in many forms from picture books to full room murals. He loves to daydream with his three daughters and explore the worlds that only the imagination of children can create. Mikey has a BS degree in English from Utah State University and works full-time as a freelance illustrator, cover designer, and author. As a member of the Emblazoners, he is one of many authors devoted to ‘writing stories on the hearts of children’ ( You can find more about him and his books at:
Check out the books for yourself!

The Dream Keeper

The Dreamstone