Notes from the Edge of My Mind

Margaret McManis' blog

A few medieval titles I loved.

Jul 022017

I will mention a few here and include a review of the most intriguing title I read recently.

Crispin The Cross of Lead by Avi was a favorite because Avi is an author I love. Before he became an author Avi was a librarian, so we have books and a love of reading in common.

The Time Traveller's Guide to Medieval England by Ian Mortimer. This non-fiction title arranged as a travel guide helped me immensely in finding out how people traveled in medieval Europe, where they stayed, what they wore and their health and hygiene.

By far the most intriguing book on the list was 'The Inquisitor's Tale' by Adam Gidwitz.

Written as a spin off of 'The Canterbury Tales' for middle grade readers it chronicled the tale of three magical children and their Holy Dog, and was a Newbery Honor Book for 2016.

The reviews were glowing and I will mention only a few here and finish up with my take on one of my favorite books on the lengthy list.

From School Library Journal:

'Gidwitz is on fire here, making medieval history feel fresh and current.

From Sara Lipton professor of medieval history at SUNY, Stony Brook:

'...a well researched and thoughtful engaging adventure, which beautifully imagines the feel and texture of thirteenth-century France. It is also a moving exploration of friendship, curiosity, and a love of learning in a world all too filled with narrow-mindedness and hate."

This riveting tale of three very different orphans with supernatural powers traveling across France to escape the clutches of the French king is filled with humor and superb attention to detail on every page. The adventures the children experience are close to miracles and they are hounded at each step by the king's spies and eventually come to their final showdown in the waves at the foot of the abbey at Mont Saint-Michel.

Don't miss this one if you are in the mood for a rollicking adventure filled with historical detail and heartfelt friendships.

Medieval Bibliography Used for Research on my Relic Hunter Series

May 232017

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Over the past five years I have poured over books set during the middle ages to get a better understanding of the time period and my characters. Below you will find my bibliography. Next post I will review some of my favorites so you may enjoy them as well. They are in no specific order, some being non-fiction and biographies but most are juvenile titles since my Relic Hunter series is for Middle Grade readers.

The Squire, the Knight, and His Lady-Gerald Morris-MG

Ghost Knight-Cornelia Funke-MG

The Youngest Templar Series-Michael Spradlin-MG

The Ramsey Scallop-Frances Temple-MG

Isabella of Castille-Nancy Rubin

By Fire by Water-Mitchell James Kaplan

Kings of the Grail-Margaret Torres Sevilla

The Passion of Dolssa-Julie Berry

War Horse-Don Bolognesse-MG

Writing Historical Fiction-James A. Thom

Crispin-Avi-MG

The Book without Words-Avi-MG

The Inquisitor's Tale-Adam Gidwitz-MG

Arthur at the Crossing Places-Kevin Crossley-Holland-MG

Arthur and the King of the Middle March-Kevin Crossley-Holland-MG

The Seeing Stone-Kevin Crossley-Holland-MG

Gatti's Tale-Kevin Crossley-Holland-MG

Relics of God-Keith Sniadack

The Last Templar-Michael Jecks

Jack Templar: Monster Hunter-MG

A World Lit Only By Fire-William Manchester

The Time Traveler's Guide to Medieval England-Ian Mortimer

The Witch in the Well-Sharan Newman

The Wandering Arm-Sharan Newman

In the Wake of the Plague-Norman Cantor

Canterbury Tales-Geoffrey Chaucer

The Ink Garden of Brother Theophane-C.M. Miller

Walking the Way A Medieval Quest-Neal Wiegman

A Medieval Feast-Alike

Marguerite Makes a Book-Bruce Robertson

A Stitch in Air-Lori Carlson

The Kitchen Knight: A Tale of King Arthur-Margaret Hodges

Infidel--Ted Decker-MG

 

 

Another Bucket List Completed

May 122017

Since I became an author over ten years ago with the publication of my first book it has been a dream of mine to attend the Bologna Book Fair in Bologna, Italy. This book fair is the largest children's book fair in the world and after attending in April it is no exaggeration to believe the hype. There were 78 countries in attendance with over 1,800 children's book publishers manning the many booths. Countless speakers from around the world presented their books and media to a captivated audience.

Although I was attending as an author the media fair intrigued me even more and I was able to travel as an assistant to Richard Barrett of Richard Barrett Productions and see and experience some cutting edge technology. We were delighted to find software to help us prepare the e-book that will soon be on-line. Pubcoder is magical and will work wonders for our project.

The fair lasted four days from April 3-6 and we attended three days and then took in the sights of Bologna including some world class gelato along the way. It was truly an experience I will not soon forget.

 

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Breastplate of Rightousness

May 092017

Now for an introduction to the chapter where all the excitement starts for the Relic Hunters. It begins on a pilgrimage to a holy shrine near you guessed it, Granada. Martin de Arce, Rodrigo's master and the lieutenant commander, is along as an escort for one of Queen Isabella's bishops as well as to provide protection for the pilgrims traveling to the shrine. They are nearing a river and a pass that has been a haven for Moorish ambushes. It is a beautiful day and the friends have learned much from the travelers, one who works as a physician, and another as a cobbler. But Rene is anxious about her uncle, a musician who is a friend of the bishop, a man she doesn't trust. Let's find out what happens to the friends and Martin, the Santiago Knight next.

Here is Chapter 34 from The Relic Hunters - Santiago Knight for your reading pleasure.

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