Tuesday, January 24, 2017

THE MAGICIAN'S WORKSHOP Spotlight & Giveaway Blitz

http://tometender.blogspot.com/2017/01/the-magicians-workshop-spotlight.html
  A  world limited only by one’s imagination

The Magician's Workshop, Volume One

The Magician’s Workshop, Volume One

Authors: Christopher Hansen, J.R. Fehr

Published by: Wondertale, California

Ebook Publication Date: November 8, 2016

Paperback Publication Date: April 25, 2017 (estimated)

ebook ISBN: 1-945353-11-2

ebook ASIN: B01MQGHGBH

Genre: Coming of Age, Fantasy, Magic

Ages: 12 and up.
Length: 85,000 words / 290 pages
 
Available from: AmazonCAAmazonUS
Add to Goodreads
 
Travel to the fantastical island world of O’Ceea where everyone has the same magical ability: they can augment reality in any way they can imagine. Whoever becomes a master over these powers is granted the title of magician and is given fame, power, riches, and glory. This volume of books follows the journey of a group of kids as they strive to rise to the top and become members of the Magician’s Workshop.
 
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 The Magician's Workshop by Christopher Hansen (Volume 1)

Imagine living in a world where everyone has the same magical ability! That is the world Christopher Hansen and J.R. Fehr have created for younger readers as well as the young at heart! THE MAGICIAN’S WORKSHOP: VOLUME 1 is a delightful trip into a world limited only by one’s imagination, or in this case, by one’s imagination and abilities. Follow one group of children as they attempt to be the best of the best and gain entry into the elite group of the Magician’s Workshop.

A fanciful read told in an upbeat and colorful way, there wasn’t a moment to rest once the ground floor development has been completed. It was absolutely refreshing to see a group learning to work together as a team, losing that it’s all about me attitude.

Are you concerned about what is being offered for younger readers today? Trust me, THE MAGICIAN’S WORKSHOP is a magnetic and fantastical read that will have even the most reluctant of readers hurrying to read “just one more page,” before bed, school, or whatever! Created for children of all ages, prepare for a book that will have you smiling, wanting to try your own magic and trying to exercise patience waiting for the next book in the series. The perfect gift, the gift of magic and adventure, all without leaving home!
 
An original short story by Christopher Hansen:
The Train and the Long One

When I was twenty-two, I lived in a neighborhood that sat right at the foot of the Rocky Mountains. Looking east there was nothing but flat land. Heading west, literally steps from my door, there was a trail that weaved up through a rocky canyon. One day a good friend and I were looking for something to do. Not content to go watch a movie, grab a coffee, or anything ordinary and safe, we decided to go on an adventure. 

“I feel like I need to jump onto a train,” one of us said. It probably wasn’t me.
“A real train?" I asked. 
“Yeah, that one that heads up into the mountains. We should just hop on and ride it all the way to Salt Lake City.”
“Oh. That would be perfect.” 

I had always wanted to climb on a train and ride it across some swath of the country. I imagined myself standing on its roof like some bandit in a western. “Or a hobo,” my friend laughed. But this idea was even better than what I’d imagined. 

The train line from Denver to Salt Lake City is epic. After departing Denver, the train passes through twenty-five tunnels in about seven miles as it chugs up the steep incline before it reaches the historic 6.2 mile long Moffat Tunnel where it passes beneath the Continental Divide. 

“Let’s go.”
“Now?"
“Yeah, I don’t have to be back at work for two days,” my friend said. 
“Yeah, I’m good too,” I answered. “Let’s do it.” 

So we went. Right then. Like that. No planning. No water bottles. No candy bars or beef jerky. And no cell phone; very few people had them back then. We just started hiking up and into the mountains figuring we would have to cross paths with the train tracks eventually. And you know what, we did. Not even an hour had passed after we set out. Now all we needed was a train. 

We sat around waiting for all of five minutes before we got restless and said, “Heck, let’s keep moving.” So we started walking between the two rails, uphill. Visions of great train-track walking moments from film history filled my imagination. The one that I remembered best was from the movie “Stand By Me.” 

I was feeling great. Here we were, two close friends walking the line together. What could be better? A tunnel, of course. It wasn’t long before we reached our first one. It wasn’t very long; we could see right through it to the other side. We didn’t think too much about the dangers we might encounter by stepping inside. If we saw a train coming, we could just run for it. No problem. So, we kept on walking, and after a few minutes we were on the other side.

We kept hiking up, and eventually we were rewarded with what we sought: a train. But it was going the wrong direction. It came chugging down the rails, toward us. We stood aside and let it pass. To this day I still remember the blast of wind this huge monster created. It blew against us with such force it nearly knocked us over.   

Up until that moment the only major concern I had was being physically able to hop onto a moving train. I was a bit worried about being caught, but meh, I could handle that. It didn’t even dawn on me that we were doing something that could end up with one of us hurt—or worse. Stupidity is blissfully stupid. 

Continuing on, we passed through a handful of other tunnels. I kind of liked being inside them, especially when I was right in the middle. There, in the heart of the mountain, I could go either way: onward and upward, or back and down. As we hiked on and up, we talked about what we would do when we got to Salt Lake City. Neither one of us was particularly interested in seeing anything there, so we decided we would just hop off our train and find another one, headed back home. We tried to figure out how we would sleep aboard a moving freight train; it would be a long ride, one that passed through the night—we needed to be prepared. 

It’s funny how often you don’t prepare for the right thing.

After several hours of hiking our opportunity finally came. A train was coming our way, in the right direction. Even better, it was arriving at an ideal spot to hop on. It was a long, straight uphill stretch. The pitch of the track meant that the train would be going at a slower speed, making it all the easier to climb aboard. 

For everyone who hasn’t tried running alongside a moving train with the intent of leaping onto it, let me tell you what to do. First, you need to sprint like your life depends on it—while running along a sloped bank of crushed rock. Next, you need to identify your target. This can be an open doorway, or in my case, the ledge of an empty, flat platform. Finally, while still running forward, you need to jump up as high as you can, sideways. 

No physical education teacher ever had me practice running and jumping sideways while in school. It’s actually pretty fun; you should try it. 

If this sounds hard, it is. Yet, it’s not impossible. In a few moments my friend was sitting up on a railcar, smiling. Next stop Salt Lake City. I, however, couldn’t make it work. I could point out how hard it was to run on the crushed granite without tripping. I could explain how the ledge I was trying to leap up onto was about chest high. Every time I planted my hands onto it I couldn’t manage to muster the strength necessary to push my body up high enough. But the thing that really got me was the wind. 

Before, when the other train car was passing by us in the opposite direction, I was standing about ten feet away from it. Now, I was inches away. Here, up so close, the wind from the train felt like it was trying to suck me down and under the tracks. Running beside it, I looked at the giant wheels rolling along the metal rails next to me. It wasn’t hard to imagine the lower half of my body being swept underneath. 

I think this fear was the real reason I never managed to hop on. Despite trying a dozen times I couldn’t make it. The irony, of course, is that by making so many attempts I placed myself at greater risk than my friend, who made it up so soon. 

When it was clear I wasn’t going along with him, my friend jumped off and rejoined me. He’s a good friend. We kept on hiking up the tracks in silence for a long time. Internally, I was trying to ignore my shame. He, however, was working on a Plan B. If we weren’t headed for Salt Lake City, then what?

“There are supposed to be a lot of cool tunnels up ahead,” he said. "We can still go and hike through them.” And with this we decided to keep going. We passed through a couple more tunnels, and they were cool. But none were as awesome as the Long One. 

We saw it up ahead. We knew it was a long tunnel by the size of the mountain it was carved through. That, and the fact that when we entered it we couldn't see any light at the other end. All of the tunnels before had at least a bit of light shining through them.  

“Um, what if a train comes along while we are inside?” I asked. In response we calculated probabilities. Based on how often we had seen trains and how long ago the last one passed, we figured we had plenty of time. Then we discussed what we would do if a train did appear, and we were set. Feeling confident we, two well-prepared idiots, went in. 

Entering the Long One was like stepping into the unknown. We walked at a steady, brisk pace for about ten minutes and we still couldn’t see anything up ahead. Behind us the light from the entrance gradually grew faint. We started wondering if the tunnel made a turn. Could this be why there was nothing but blackness? No. So far the tracks went dead straight. This was just a really long hole. 

After a few more minutes we couldn’t see anything at all. No light ahead, and when we looked back, the light from the entrance had been extinguished as well. How long is this thing? We both wondered, but neither of us said anything out loud. We were in the belly of a mountain. Enveloped in silence, it didn’t seem right to utter any words. The Long One was an empty, lifeless place: like deep space or whatever place our mind goes when we fall into a deep, dreamless sleep. But it was not entirely devoid of life. We were there after all.

Yet, we didn’t belong. Being inside the stomach of this mountain made me feel like I was holding my breath. I wasn’t, of course. While the air smelled musty, it was otherwise fine. It was like the feeling you get when you see how long you can hold your breath underwater. You feel just fine for a little while, but then everything inside you starts screaming, “You don’t belong here. Go to the surface. Now!” The deeper I got into the tunnel, the more urgency I felt to get out of it. 

The motivation to leave came in the most unexpected way. After walking in total darkness for a few more minutes we saw a flicker of orange light ahead. The Exit! But something about it looked off. It was shimmering in a way that wasn’t like sunlight. What was it? We stopped. It’s moving!

It’s a train!

“Run!” we shouted, breaking the silence. 

Before, when I was attempting to jump onto the train car, I thought I was running like my life depended on it. Nope. Not even close. I’ve never run as hard or fast, before, or since. This is what adrenaline was made for. Unfortunately there are limits. As fast as I was going, it was far slower than the train barreling down upon us. Apparently, the engineer of the train saw us because the whistle started blowing. Yup we got the message, buddy: Train. Long Tunnel. Us. Big Trouble. 


It had to have been at least half a mile to the exit. As the train got closer I tried to push harder, but I was already at my limit. I was running down the middle of the track, and to this day I can picture looking down at the railway ties as they streamed past me. Eventually I could see the proverbial light at the end of the tunnel. I now had a target, a finish line I had to cross. But I didn’t know if I would make it. I glanced over to the side of the tunnel to see if there was enough room for me to crouch between the rock wall and the train. There probably was. But there was the wind to account for. I remembered how powerful it was before. Would it suck me into the train as it passed? Nope, I needed to keep running.  

My friend burst out of the tunnel first. He was a good twenty seconds ahead of me. I saw him fling his body off the tracks and out of sight, down the steep bank to the left. Now the only question that remained was, would I make it, too? The train was close. When I looked back I could see the conductor. I could tell he was working to slow down the train but, come on, it’s a train. When fools place things in their way, they get into wrecks for a reason. 

The last stretch was the hardest. My legs were long past fatigued; I was starting to stumble on the rocks. The train was right there behind me. The exit was right there before me. When I ran out into the light, I caught a brief glance at how it shined on my skin. Then I turned, hurled myself sideways, and tumbled down the bank. Ten seconds later the train passed by. 

I was out. We were both okay. We set out that morning to have an adventure, and here we were, sprawled in the dirt watching the monster that had been after us slither down the tracks, away. 

I don’t know if we were ever in any real danger. Ten seconds may not seem long, but it felt like ages then. Maybe I had a lot more room between me and disaster than I had imagined. I’ve wondered what would have happened if we were further along inside the tunnel when the train appeared. I do think we could have snuggled up against the wall of the tunnel and the train would have passed us by, unharmed. But that would have certainly been more traumatic. As it was, what did happen didn’t leave either of us emotionally scarred. 

As we hiked back down to our homes we spoke of how awesome it was. We faced a dragon inside the belly of the Long One, and we emerged victorious. To be certain, we were fools, but we were happy to be the kind of people who sought out adventures. We were also grateful to have each other to share adventures with. 

My friend matured and eventually became an FBI officer. Now he goes on adventures where he looks for a different kind of dragon: drug dealers and terrorists who are hiding in their own unique dark places. I matured and became a storyteller. I now get to go on adventures that are far more fantastical, and a whole lot less deadly, than jousting with trains.




The first glimmering Chris Hansen had that there was far more to reality than he had ever imagined occurred six days after his ninth birthday. “Christopher!” cried a wise, old sage. “Life is full of deep magic. Miraculous things happen all the time and all around us, if you know where to look for them.” Full of expectation and childlike optimism, Chris began searching for this magic, prepared to be surprised and amazed by it. And he was: he found Wonder! Now he’s chosen to write stories about it.

For more information:
Jennifer Hansen, woowoowhoosh@gmail.com
 



 


When J.R. Fehr popped out of the womb, he knew there was more to the world than the four boring hospital walls that he was seeing. “Zango!” his newborn mind exclaimed as he saw people appear and disappear through a mysterious portal in the wall. As a child he found life wowtazzling, but as he grew older the cold water of reality hit him, and the magic he once knew vanished. After spending some wet and shivering years lost in a joyless wasteland, he once again began to see magic in the world. He writes because the Wonder of true life is far grander than anything he ever thought possible.

Connect with the Authors


 

 

Enter to win some "magic" for all ages!
Christopher Hansen & J.R. Fehr
are giving away TWO  2- volume eSets of
The Magician's Workshop
PLUS
A GRAND PRIZE of
A $10 Amazon Gift Card 

3 comments:

  1. Guess I'll need to conjure up some magic of my own to win this giveaway. Good luck with the series, Chris & J.R. Thanks for hosting, Lady Dii! :-) --Michael

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Maybe you could put Mac on the case....Best of luck!

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  2. Good luck Michael - I hope you win - it's a great series and a very magical read!

    ReplyDelete