BLOG TOUR w/ GIVEAWAY: Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens

Welcome to Day #6 of the Emily and the Spellstone Blog Tour!

To celebrate the release of Emily and the Spellstone by Michael Rubens (6/13/17), blogs across the web are featuring exclusive content from Michaek and 10 chances to win a copy of Emily and the Spellstone, as well as a Grand Prize Giveaway!

Top Five Fantasy Books

When I was Emily’s age I was a huge fantasy fan – in fact, I barely read anything else. In no particular order, here are my top five series / books:

1. The Dark is Rising series by Susan Cooper. I think I first read this series when I was around eight or nine; I reread it every year for the next five or six years (usually around Christmas, because the first book starts then). There’s so much I love about this series: the main character Will, who at 11 years old is in no way a hero but finds himself burdened with great powers and in the midst of an epic, ancient battle; the close and sometimes complicated friendships that develop over the course of the books; the equally complicated and not-very-comforting character of Merriman, Will’s mentor; the sense of place that Cooper captures; the quest upon which the characters must embark.

2. Fafhrd and the Grey Mouser by Fritz Leiber. To me (or at least adolescent me) the ultimate in swords and sorcery fantasy. These loosely-linked stories follow the outlandish adventures of one of genre fiction’s greatest odd couples: Fafhrd, a massive Viking-like barbarian from the frozen north; and the Grey Mouser, a slender, compact, fast-as-lightning (both mentally and physically) man more at home in dense cities of the south. Funny, dark, action-packed, and probably completely inappropriate for an elementary school kid, which is when I started reading these tales.  

3. The Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander. It’s hard to find a more humble main character forced into the role of hero: when the story starts, young Taran isn’t even a pig-keeper – he’s an assistant-pig-keeper. I loved the way the books weave in Welsh mythology and the landscape of Wales -- between this series and the Dark is Rising (which also has a book set in Wales), that country seemed like a land filled with dangerous and thrilling enchantments, which is why my mystified parents found their young son pestering them for Welsh lessons (hard to find in Minnesota).

4. Dragonriders of Pern, Anne McCaffrey. Music, young people learning to control fire-breathing dragons, an existential threat that must be fought with those fire-breathing dragons...I loved these books.

5. A Wizard of Earthsea by Ursula K. LeGuin. I don’t think I liked this book much when I first read it – it seemed too spare, too serious, too solemn. But I’d say I’ve read it more times than any other – I’ve found myself returning to it over and over again, drawn by the very qualities that I originally found so challenging. It’s one of the books that made me want to be a writer.

Stop by YA Books Central tomorrow for day #7 the tour!
Blog Tour Schedule:
June 19th — Bookhounds June 20th — Mundie Kids
June 21st — WordSpelunking June 22nd — Foodie Bibliophile in Wanderlust
June 23rd — Positively Book Crazy June 26th — GeoLibrarian
June 27th — YA Books Central June 28th — A Dream Within a Dream June 29th — Book Swoon June 30th — Crossroad Reviews

Follow Michael: Website | Twitter
Emily picks up a stone that looks like a cell phone but has unexpected magical powers. It's a Spellstone! Now that she has become an unwilling Stonemaster—one who wields the power of the Stone—she has to figure out Spellstone technology fast if she is to survive a hair-raising adventure among giant dogs, demons, clones, mean girls, and deeply wicked people who want the Stone. A witty tale of a quiet girl who discovers she's a hero when she needs to be. Stonemasters rule!

About the Author: Michael Rubens is the author of two YA novels, Sons of the 613 and The Bad Decisions Playlist, and one novel for grownups, The Sheriff of Yrnameer. A correspondent and producer for Full Frontal with Samantha Bee, he has also been a producer for Last Week Tonight with John Oliver and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. His writing has appeared in places like The New Yorker’s Daily Shouts, Salon and McSweeney's. He lives with his family in Brooklyn. Visit his website at

  • One (1) winner will receive signed copies of Spellstone and Michael’s 2 YA novels, Sons of the 613 and The Bad Decisions Playlist, as well as a custom Spellstone phone case!
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