The Royal Magician of Oz Trilogy is a 3 volume tale of magic and wonder that recalls the cherished values of friendship, loyalty and courage. This timeless tale of Oz reminds us of the value of overcoming our deepest fears and conquering the challenges that might otherwise defeat us.

Volume One; Magician of Oz, Volume Two; Shadow Demon of Oz and Volume Three; Family of Oz are now available for your reading enjoyment, as well as The Ozian Adventure of Pickleless & Blu.

The Emerald Slippers of Oz
, featuring an Introduction by Roger S. Baum; great grandson of L. Frank Baum, as well as Tails of Oz are also
available for your reading enjoyment.

The newest adventure in Oz, entitled: Nomes of Oz is now available and fast becoming a best-seller in the Land of Oz.

All are available in both paperback and Kindle.

Monday, August 15, 2016

Mapleton Wizard of Oz Festival 2016 and Nomes of Oz!

Once again, Amanda and I found ourselves en-route to yet another Wizard of Oz festival and passing by yet another field of pinwheels.


This time, it was in Mapleton, Illinois and this was our third year of attendance. Fortunately, this wonderful festival is only about 3 hours west of our home in Terre Haute, Indiana.
Once we arrived, it was clear that we had arrived in the Land of Oz.





The first thing we noticed was an over-abundance of mud, which was due to unusually intense thunderstorms the night before and was certainly not something the organizers were able to control.



As it was, all of the wonderful volunteers did a great job of dealing with the mud and the vendors, some of whom were not pleased with Mother Nature and somehow blamed the Oz festival organizers. I know that none of them were Oz vendors, as Oz vendors know fully well the power of Mother Nature and Her penchant for tornadoes. Thank goodness there wasn't one of those, as there was back in 2010 at the Chittenango, New York Oz festival.
Once we set up, it was on and we were very well received by the thousands of Oz fans who had come out early during the cool weather.




If you didn't attend last year's festival, you won't know that the weather was blistering hot and crowds exceeded 5000 people, which was waaaaay beyond the year before, when only about 500 people showed up for the Oz fun. I'm very pleased to report that the organizers of the Wizard of Oz Illinois Festival learned from last year's experience and solved virtually every issue from last year. In all, we would estimate the count at well over 3500 visitors during the entire day.
The park was very well laid out with a mix of vendors, Oz-related activities and shows, as well as a stunning Land of Oz Yellow Brick Road Park.
We were very pleased to see the return of Steven's Puppet's, featuring Bob Walls. His show's are always a huge hit with both kids and parents and his performance skills are awesome. His sense of humor is equally odd and very enjoyable. I've always thought that kids need to see this type of performance more often and the organizers were wise to bring him back once again.

  
There was also a wonderful traveling animal show called Woody's Menagerie, which featured not only numerous animals for the kids to learn about, including a bear,


as well as a pair of Ligers, which it turns out, is a hybrid cross between a Lion and a Tiger. It reminded me of the Kalidahs, which were a part of the original Wonderful Wizard of Oz book (1900) by L. Frank Baum, but were transformed into Dorothy and her friends chanting Lions, Tigers and Bears, Oh My!


One new addition to the festivities was Professor Marvel and his Magic Show. It was a fine show and I found out after speaking with the Professor that he is a member of the International Brotherhood of Magicians, as I am as well.


Of course, one of the two highlights of the festival was the Spirit of Oz Character Troupe, who I have worked alongside of for over 5 years. These folks are amazing in their performances as Dorothy, the Scarecrow, Tin Man, Cowardly Lion, Glinda and the Wicked Witch of the West and they simply captivate everyone they encounter during their shows and while wandering about for photo opportunities.


The other highlight was the Yellow Brick Road Park, which was relocated and expanded from last year to accommodate the larger crowds.

It all starts out in Kansas with a rainbow, the Gale farm and Professor Marvel's wagon.






Watch out Toto! Looks like the Wicked Witch and her evil minions are coming after Dorothy and Glinda!





Of course, once the twister hits, we find ourselves in Munchkin City.



 As we "Follow the Yellow Brick Road" (I'll bet you sang that, didn't you?), we come across an old friend, the Scarecrow and the Apple Trees.















Shall we stroll into the Dark Forest?


Oh look, it's our old friend, the Tin Woodman!


Anyone brave enough to venture off the Yellow Brick Road and visit the Castle of the Wicked Witch of the West? Watch out for the Flying Monkeys!!!















"This is how long you have to live, my dear! And it isn't long... it isn't long!"






Fortunately for our dear Dorothy, the Wicked Witch of the West meets her melting fate.


Let's get outta here and find the Yellow Brick Road. Maybe we'll find one more friend.




Hello Cowardly Lion! Care to join us as we leave the Dark Forest and find the Wizard of Oz in the Emerald City?


Look, it's the Field of Poppies and Emerald City in the distance!





Whew! What a journey down the Yellow Brick Road that was!!!


Overall, words fail me in describing just how wonderful this festival was for all who made the journey to Mapleton, Illinois. The weather was great that day. There were no issues with parking whatsoever for the over 3000 visitors that showed up. There were plenty of Oz vendors with a wide selection of commercial and hand-made Oz-related goodies, great activities and shows, the Spirit of Oz Characters, and of course, two outstanding Oz Authors with a great selection of contemporary Oz stories which will please fans of Oz of all ages, young and old alike.





Of course, we highly recommend their latest book, Nomes of Oz, available in paperback at Amazon.com and through this blogsite, where you can get your copy personally autographed by the authors (that's us) themselves. Just leave a comment at the end of this posting and we'll be in touch with instructions on how to get your personalized copy of Nomes of oz... or any of our other fine books from the Land of Oz.


Special kudos and congratulations go out to the Hollis Park District, Jim Robertson and all the fabulous volunteers who put in soooo many hours of hard work to make this year's festival so memorable! You folks were the greatest!
We hope to be invited back next year as this festival continues to grow and excel~

Per ardua ad alta!!!

James & Amanda Wallace

Thursday, June 30, 2016

Ionia Wizard of Oz Festival 2016 and Nomes of Oz ~

Once more, Time passes before I can get to my posting and I find that it's been more than a few days.
Such as it is, here is my views on what Amanda and I experienced at this wonderful festival celebrating all things from the Land of Oz.

 As usual, we start near the beginning as we pass the Pinwheel Fields, which show up in our latest book, Nomes of Oz.





 Naturally, no trip to Ionia, Michigan (and this is our third journey there) would be complete without a lighthouse at the border.




I must confess that the journey northward was not without its share of unusuality.




Once we arrived at the American Inn & Suites on Thursday, which was a wonderful place to stay, both in the accommodations and the staff, we attended a very pleasant dinner for the local Council on Aging group. They served cake and I wound up eating Dorothy. Bwahahahaha!



The next morning started out oddly, as it seemed to be snowing in June.




Turns out it's a form of seed pods from the local trees, though no one we asked knew what type. The entrance into Ionia is very pleasant and we soon found ourselves upon the Red Brick Road and set up for the day.


 


We were soon joined by Vincent Myrand and his lovely lady, Alicia, along with a couple of Vincent's trained minions.


  The crowds were excellent, especially given the heat, which wasn't awful, but a bit intense. Fortunately for Amanda and I, we don't do air conditioning at home, so we're used to heat and Amanda did very well. Our location beneath the Ionia Theater marquise helped a great deal too. We like being there. A quick trip into the back of the theater confirmed that Enarc Brenkert was still around.


For those who may be interested, Enarc Brenkert is a major part of our latest book, Nomes of Oz. Turns out the residents of Oz get to experience what everyone out here in the Great Outside have enjoyed since 1939.




 Soon, the whole gang showed up and then it was on!


This was Friday and everyone was in a very Oz mood. 







Saturday was equally as hot and full of Oz. For me, the highlight was the appearance of a Corvette Show, which just happened to park right across the street from us.


One of the very unique things about this festival is that they show The Wizard of Oz (1939) at the theater for only a quarter. That's the 1939 price, so I'm told.


They even had a costume contest...


... and we got to spend a little time with the Guest of Honor, Mary St. Ellen Aubin (Munchkin-by-Marriage), who has been attending this fine festival for as long as we have, 3 years. We call ourselves Charter Members of the Ionia Wizard of Oz Festival and both Amanda and I always look forward to seeing and visitng with her.


By the end of Saturday, we were fully spent, but thrilled to be a part of the Closing Ceremonies and were grateful for the Love shown us by all in attendance.




We left Ionia on Sunday, unable to stop talking about the whole weekend and how much fun we had. We vowed to return next year... if they'll have us.

Amanda and I can't thank Linda Curtis, the fine folks who volunteered their time, sweat and effort, as well as the town of Ionia, Michigan for everything. We have watched this festival grow and grow, getting better each year and making us long for the next.