About the Book
Title: Things Are Not What They Seem | Authors: Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks | Publication Date: April 9, 2014 | Publisher: MuseItUp Publishing | Pages: 268 | Recommended Ages: 10+
Summary: What would you do if you were sitting on a park bench, minding your own business, and one of those annoying pigeons suddenly started to talk to you? And what if the pigeon didn’t just talk to you – in a meticulous British accent, no less – but pleaded with you to help untangle a piece of string that had accidentally attached his leg to a wrought iron fence surrounding the playground? And what if, while you are still convinced that this is all a big nasty trick, a hawk swoops down out of the sky and starts cursing at you, also in the King’s English, for getting in his way when he wanted to execute the pigeon?
That is the quandary in which Jennifer (almost 13 years old and probably a bit too smart for her own good) finds herself one sweltering July morning while babysitting her 11-year-old (very precocious) brother James and his mopey, allergy-prone friend Sleepy. She soon learns that the bird is actually a man named Arthur Whitehair, a 19th-century Englishman who had been turned into an eternally-lived pigeon by misreading an ancient spell that was supposed to give him eternal life as a human. Likewise, an unscrupulous colleague of his, named Malman, had been turned into a hawk by Whitehair’s blunder. After years of searching, Whitehair claims (half-truthfully) that Malman has found him hiding in Central Park and is now out for revenge. On top of all this strange business, Jennifer has recently begun having weird dreams in which a crazy-looking man with curly red hair speaks cryptic phrases in Latin. Are they random phrases, or messages? And why would some sketchy guy be sending her messages in her dreams?
“I LOVED “Things Are Not What They Seem”!! It is funny, exciting, and touching, and very fun to read. The characters are relatable and interesting, so I really cared about all of their adventures while I was reading. “~ 5 Stars, Hermione, Amazon
“The story line is original and makes for an incredibly fun read. This is a book which is VERY hard to put down, all of their adventures will definitely have you on the edge of your seats and you read from page to page. All of the characters in this book (both large and small) are well developed and their personalities definitely come off the page.” ~ 5 Stars, Alex, Goodreads
“The characters are well-developed and fun. The story moves along at a brisk pace. Lessons on love, friendship, kindness, and finding your inner strength shine through. And the humor is plentiful! Great for tween readers, as well as a quick, fun read for adults. ” ~ 5 Stars, HFBrainerd, Amazon
“Things Are Not What They Seem is a well written story and a joy to read. I was hooked from the start.” ~ 5 Stars, Granny’s Hill, Amazon
“What a sweet, interesting, and overall wonderful book! I love the interesting, multi-layered, realistic characters, the numerous, unexpected but extremely interesting plot twists, and the use of Latin phrases to enhance the magic. I love the simple, yet powerful message that was woven throughout- that things are not what they seem- even in the rough, harsh world of New York City. That message strongly resonates for kids, teenagers, adults, and anyone in between. I strongly recommend this book to anyone who reads this review!! ” ~ 5 Stars, Pat D., Amazon
Question and Answers with the Authors by Mother Daughter Book Reviews:
Since Ken and Anne are co-authors of Things Are Not What They Seem, they have asked for permission to answer individually. Here goes:
About The Book
1: As succinctly as possible, tell us why someone should read your book.
Ken: Because otherwise we’ll burn your house down and make you cry!
Anne: I think that may be the wrong approach.
Ken: It works for the Mafia.
Anne: Let’s tell them about the great characters they are going to meet—the surprising things that the reader will learn about the characters and that the characters will learn about each other and about themselves and about friendship and love and loyalty.
Ken: They may still cry. I cry when I read about Mr. Bags.
Anne: I’m going to try not to cry at the next question.
2: What is YOUR favorite part of the book?
Ken: Can I do this one? My favorite part is when Whitehair leads the other pigeons on a bombing mission and—
Anne. Wait! First you have to tell them that Whitehair is actually a man who was turned into a pigeon 160 years ago when he recited a magic spell incorrectly.
Ken: I like that part too. But I really like when they dive-bomb those nasty bullies and —
Anne: Couldn’t we talk about something that is a little less infantile than pigeons doing their business on a few bullies?
Ken: We could. But it wouldn’t be my favorite part.
3: What is the main message you want to convey to your readers in your books?
Ken: Pigeons are God’s creatures too. Feed them once in a while!
Anne: That would be Whitehair’s message, Ken. He’s the one who’s always hungry. The message we are trying to convey is about friendship and love and the effects of those uplifting emotions on the lives of the characters.
Ken: But people should still feed the pigeons, right. One of them might be Whitehair.
Anne: Right… I think I’ll handle the next question.
4: Can we expect more books from you in the future?
Anne: (Looks at Ken and makes a face). Sure….I guess …
Ken: Are you kidding. We have one in our brains right now and it’s kind of annoying because this plot involves an actual battle with cannon and muskets and so the scenes are very loud inside my head— Ouch! Why did you kick me?
Anne: We are indeed working on a sequel involving Jenny and James, Sleepy and Katylyn, and of course, Whitehair the person turned into a pigeon. They will be traveling back to the Revolutionary War, trying not to do something that will change the course of history in unforeseen ways.
Ken: That’s very deep, Anne. Wow. Change the course of history….
Anne: Your turn, Ken.
About Being an Author:
5: What has been the best compliment you received as an author?
Ken: Easy peasy. My fourth grade teacher said, “Really, Ken you actually wrote a book?”
Anne: Ken, I don’t think that was meant as a compliment.
Ken: From her it was a compliment.
Anne: What about when people say that our characters seem like real people, or that they cried or laughed when certain things happened, or that they are looking forward to reading the sequel, or that the book stayed with them well after they were done reading.
Ken: I’ve got to remember all that stuff when I see my fourth grade teacher again.
6: How do you react to a bad review?
Ken: Another easy one. When we get a bad review, we look up the person on the internet and burn their house down.
Anne: We do not! Why are you saying these things.
Ken: (Whispering) Just in case. You never know who might be reading this.
Anne: But that is not what we do. We are upset, of course, because it is as bad as someone criticizing our children. However, in the end we say, “It doesn’t matter.”
Ken: We do?
Anne: Yes, because if the reviewer is right and our book really is bad, then we deserve the negative comments and, anyway, we’ll be getting a lot more bad reviews. But, if the book is good, one bad review won’t make a difference. You see, in the end it doesn’t matter.
Ken: You are so wise, Anne. Were you this wise when I married you?
Anne: Apparently not.
7: What is the best advice you received as an author?
Ken: This is another one that I’ll ace. Again, it was my fourth grade teacher. She said, “What in the world makes you think you can write a book?” And then she started laughing.
Anne: How was that good advice?
Ken: Because, just to prove her wrong, I sat down with my wonderful wife and wrote a book. And then we wrote another one and another and…. How many have we written now?
Anne: A lot , Ken. And that is a very sweet thing for you to say. But don’t you think the best advice was not to give up? To keep working? To rewrite and rewrite again until you can read it aloud and feel as though someone else wrote it?
Ken: True. But it is a little creepy when the book is so polished that it seems someone else wrote it. I mean, what if someone else really did write it?
Anne: (Sighing again). Are there many more questions?.
8: What advice would you give someone aspiring to write a children’s book?
Ken: Don’t do it!
Anne: Why would you say that?
Ken: (Whispering again) Because there’s enough competition already.
Anne: But do you want to deprive anyone of the pleasure of writing a book for children. Do you remember how much fun it was when our own daughter read the chapters as we were writing them.
Ken: It was the best, Anne.
Anne: So I think we should tell people to find a child of the appropriate age and write it for that person as if he or she is listening.
Ken: And if they walk away in the middle, give it up!
Anne: No! Keep writing and rewriting until you get it right!
Ken: You give the best advice, Anne. Will you marry me?
Anne: We are married, Ken.
Ken: I know. But if we get divorced, will you marry me?
Anne: That really doesn’t make sense.
Ken: It sounded kind of romantic in my head. But, you know, with all that musket and cannon fire, it’s hard to always tell.
Anne: Say goodbye to the listeners. Ken
Ken: Goodbye listeners, and don’t forget to pay the fire insurance.
Ken: Only kidding.
About the Authors: Anne Rothman-Hicks & Kenneth Hicks
When Anne Rothman was a student at Bryn Mawr College and Kenneth Hicks was a student at Haverford College, they began writing together in an independent-study course with one of Ken’s professors. A brief interlude ensued while Anne wrote wonderful poetry and Ken wrote a book about hitchhiking (The Complete Hitchhiker Tobey Publishing, Dell Distribution), but they soon got back together as writers when Ken was in law school at Columbia University and Anne was paying the rent by working in publishing. They have continued to write together for about forty years and in that time have published four adult novels, eleven non-fiction books for children, two fiction books for middle readers, and two photography books. They also produced three children whom they love even more than writing.
Their most recent middle reader book is Things Are Not What they Seem, published by the MuseItYoung division of MuseItUp Publishing, and available in all formats. Their three latest adult novels are Kate and the Kid, a mainstream novel, Mind me, Milady, a mystery thriller, and Praise Her, Praise Diana, a thriller.
Between projects, they started a web site www.randh71productions.com. In case you were wondering about the address, “R” is for Rothman, “H” is for Hicks, and “71” is the year of their marriage. No secret codes or numerology anywhere.
“Things Are Not What They Seem” Blog Tour Schedule (2015)
* Blog Tour Giveaway *
Contest closes: March 19, 11:59 pm, 2015
Open to: Internationally
How to enter: Please enter using the Rafflecopter widget below.
Terms and Conditions: NO PURCHASE NECESSARY TO ENTER OR WIN. VOID WHERE PROHIBITED BY LAW. A winner will be randomly drawn through the Rafflecopter widget and will be contacted by email within 48 hours after the giveaway ends. The winner will then have 72 hours to respond. If the winner does not respond within 72 hours, a new draw will take place for a new winner. Odds of winning will vary depending on the number of eligible entries received. This contest is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with Facebook. This giveaway is sponsored by Anne Rothman-Hicks and Kenneth Hicks and is hosted and managed by Renee from Mother Daughter Book Reviews. If you have any additional questions – feel free to send and email to Renee(at)MotherDaughterBookReviews(dot)com.