The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol

A young adult fantasy by Mark M. Even

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The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol is an outstanding fantasy that shows how Mandy discovers her magic under strange circumstances. It focuses on how Mandy will get home and how she\’ll discover her real purpose in coming to this land, providing the basics of how this new world operates in a manner that elementary-level readers can readily understand: \”The parasol and the dragonstone work together to sense the presence, or lack of presence, of the inner magic of the person holding the parasol. The dragonstone uses the infinite power of the sun to tap or channel or access that magic. And one way it does that is to transport an individual to Storyworld.”

As Mandy harbors a secret, puzzles out how to use the dragonstone, and interacts with her family while battling lizards and building an army, young readers will relish the blend of real-world family dilemmas and fantasy world encounters.

(D. Donovan, Midwest Book Review)


She opened the parasol and placed it on her shoulder. Just as she started twirling it, she heard the creak of the back door to the house open. Grandma rushed out, waving her arms and shouting, “Mandy, wait! Don’t!”

Too late, it’s my turn! Mandy thought.

A blue glow fell across her. Her vision blurred in the blue light. She felt like she was standing still… and spinning at the same time. Indistinct, blurred images appeared and disappeared in front of her, quickly fading away. She felt frustrated; she couldn’t quite make out what the images were. Finally, she found herself standing on a desolate hillside. Below spread an open vista of hundreds of acres of land covered in boulders. Across this landscape, large and small vents spewed steam, which condensed into shimmering silver, white, and blue water vapor rising into the stark blue sky.

Turning to her right, Mandy saw a large unevenly formed mountain some distance away. On top of the mountain sat what appeared to be an old stone castle with massive parapets and what Mandy thought was… a drawbridge.

There were some… creatures flying around the castle and in between the fortifications and towers.

“I wonder what those are,” Mandy said aloud, squinting her dark hazel eyes to try and make out their shapes.

Behind Mandy, a deep bass voice loudly said, “Oh… no! How did we get to Talon?”

~Buy The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol on Amazon
~Follow the rest of the tour

An Interview with Mark M. Even

-What inspired you to become a writer?

I had been retired from IBM for a year and had attended a local festival in a small town in Wisconsin. Browsing through the various booths set up along the main street, I took note of many booths that were selling books, self-published by the author. Nearly all of them were picture books intended for toddlers. Being a grandfather of 8, I looked at them and while they were all somewhat interesting, I thought to myself that I could write a book like these for my grandchildren. I tried various styles and attempts at a book, but never really got it going. But at a dinner with my niece and her husband, we were talking about my retirement “project” and she told me her idea for a children’s book. She and I talked for quite some time about her basic idea and she gave me permission to write the story. One idea followed another and then another and I couldn’t stop writing what has become my series: Dragonstone Story. Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol is the first book of the series.

-If you could visit your book’s world for a day, what one thing would you do?

I would definitely go on one of the magical adventures that the parasol takes the characters to. With the parasol, you enter a fantasy world and live out a story or an adventure. Whether you become a mermaid or Robin Hood, anything is possible.

-It’s two in the morning. What does your protagonist reveal in confidence? (Don’t worry, we won’t tell.)

She’s worried that she might do something wrong or bad with her magical powers.

-Which of your characters would you go out for drinks with?

Well – if one of the cousins was old enough, I go out for drinks with Mickey – he’s funny and good-natured. If they couldn’t go to a bar, I’d go out with Tyler – he’s based on my son and he and I have a good time together in real life.

-You’re in a tavern, and a dwarf challenges you to a duel. What do you do?

I’d for sure try to talk him out of it. A dwarf would probably kick my butt!

-Is there a genre you could never write? Which and why?

Romance! Not my thing. I tried reading Twilight and couldn’t finish it. I’m sure I couldn’t write that stuff.

About Mark M. Even

I retired from almost 40 years working for IBM in Mar, 2017. I’ve been married for 43 years to my wife, Joyce and have 3 children and 8 grand-children. I enjoy golfing, fishing, bird-watching and travel.

Shortly after retiring from IBM in 2017, I was at a small-town celebration in northern Wisconsin and noticed that a number of the little vendor booths were people selling children’s books that they created and self-published. I looked at these and told myself that I could write something like that. And I did, but these were the type of books that were targeted at small kids and needed vibrant pictures and artwork.

In the spring of 2018, I was visiting my niece and her family, and she told me of this wonderful idea for a story for a children’s book and after talking with her about it, we agreed to collaborate and I took on the task of writing the story. After many iterations, The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol became a reality.

Find Mark online:
Cresting Wave Publishing


Mark M. Even will be awarding a $20 Amazon/BN GC to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

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0 thoughts on “Excerpt+Giveaway: The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol by Mark M. Even

  1. Good morning (yes, it's 9:30 Central, but I am retired!). Thanks so much for hosting the book tour and getting the word out about The Wonders of the Peculiar Parasol. I will be monitoring comments all day, so if someone has a question, fire away.

  2. if you get the book, be sure to also check out the website ( and read a number of short stories that provide background for the historical characters in the book.

  3. This looks like a pretty cool book. It's not something I would normally read, but the more I read about it & the excerpt – I'm a new fan!! Thank you so very much for introducing your book to us & Thank you so very much for the incredibly generous giveaway!!! ❤❤

  4. I hope you like it! I'd like to hear about it if you do — just go to the website to enter a comment. Thanks again to Kit 'N Kabookle for hosting the tour

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