Books, books, books ~ and the Mom-Daughter Book Club

Posted on Feb 29, 2016 in books + more, news + muse, retail therapy, reviews + press

These days at Chez Art and Words, I’ve been deep into books more so than usual. Both the writing of them:



Exhibit A: Spreadsheets for the Next Novel and the Sekret Project book. Yes, I am that geeky.

And the reading of them:


Exhibit B: Just a few of the books gracing my shelves these days.

Total book immersion is a great way to survive the last licks of winter—in Brooklyn, spring can seem especially slow to arrive. Luckily, there’s no shortage of reading material here. I’ve books to read for research, as well as books to read for review. (More about those below.) Another spur to my increased book consumption: Thea and I have started a mother-daughter book club.

Here’s how the Mom-Daughter Book Club usually works: Thea recommends a book she loves. (Usually the book pick is thrust at me as soon as she finishes it. “Mom, you’ve gotta read this now.”) I read. We discuss. Sometimes it’s the opposite: I pre-read a book, if I’m concerned about content, before passing it Thea’s way.

images-1We’ve read some great books together this way: Rebecca Stead‘s When You Reach Me (okay, the ending made me cry—it’s basically a middle grade version of The Time Traveler’s Wife). The Hunger Games trilogy (so much to discuss! Dystopias and totalitarian governments. Greek mythology. The sharply drawn characters!). Other books … well, let’s just say I wasn’t the biggest fan of The Maze Runner, much as Thea loved it. But that’s okay. We can still talk about what worked for us as readers, and what didn’t. The Mom-Daughter Book Club leads to hours of great conversation, and is far less emotionally fraught than talking about, say, middle school applications and room cleaning.

imagesRecent additions to the mom-daughter book club I enjoyed: Absolutely Truly by Heather Vogel Frederick, which has a charming Charlotte’s Web-inspired subplot and a compelling exploration of post-traumatic stress disorder. Jerry Spinelli’s Eggs, which has one of the best book covers I’ve ever seen. John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars and Paper Towns. Besides being absurdly well written, Green’s novels spurred lots of deep philosophical discussion as well as laughter—he’s a master of dialogue. His novels also offer an entry point to discuss teen sexuality and other Uncomfortable Issues Usually Avoided. (Remember, DFTBA.)

UnknownOn the review front, I’ve received ARCS for some especially delectable books. (Many thanks to Touchstone Books and Houghton Mifflin Harcourt for providing me with review copies.) In the coming week, I’m delighted to be offering the inside skinny on Elizabeth: Renaissance Prince by Lisa Hilton, a new biography of Elizabeth Tudor that explores how she used gender expectations to advance her reign. Also on tap: Catherine Lowell’s The Madwoman Upstairs, a fun Bronte-fueled romp of a novel, and The Creative Tarot: A Modern Guide to an Inspired Life by’s Jessa Crispin.

More about these books soon. In the meantime, here’s a The New Yorker interview with Jessa Crispin about the co-mingling of tarot and literature. Enjoy!

What happens when a goddess, a phoenix, and a girl in a tower…

Posted on Aug 17, 2015 in books + more, news + muse, publishing, retail therapy

… Inspire three illustrated picture books illustrated and written by moi? Why, the result below. :-)

Sacred Animals

A work of both art and scholarship, this stunning gift book is for animal lovers of all ages…. Read more.

Persephone and the Pomegranate

A stunning retelling of one of the most important mother-daughter myths…. Read more.


Rapunzel, Rapunzel, let down your hair…. She was taken from her parents at birth, the penalty that her father was forced to pay.… Read more.

Though all three of these books were already available for the iPad, Kindle users were out of luck—until now.

I’m pleased to announce that, as of this weekend, Rapunzel, Persephone and the Pomegranate, and Sacred Animals can be downloaded as deluxe full color e-books from Amazon to anyone with a digital device be they Apple or Amazon.

So hooray!

Doomed Queens on BookBub

Posted on May 20, 2015 in muse, news + muse, queens + princesses, retail therapy


Thanks to the good people at Random House, BookBub is doing a special Doomed Queens promotion through the end of the month. Hooray!

Goddess Tarot android app update ~ and sale

Posted on Jul 29, 2013 in apps + e-books, goddesses et al, publishing, retail therapy

It’s been a big week for the publishing of tarot and oracles and such at Casa Art and Words. Besides receiving first hot-off-the-press copies of the Sacred World Oracle (which is now available for pre-order on Amazon), I’m pleased to announce that the Goddess Tarot android app has finally been rereleased. This update was to address compatibility issues that arose from the last Android operating system update. I fear it was a rather complicated process. That written, my wonderful developers at NewGenApps have done their best to catch every last bug and software conflict. (Can I hear a hearty hooray?)

If you already own the Android app, the update is automatically available for free. If you don’t own it, here’s more good news: to celebrate, both the Goddess Tarot Android and iPhone apps are discounted 50% for the next two weeks, through August 6, 2013; instead of $3.99, both apps are now $1.99. On top of this, I’ve discounted THE BOOK OF GODDESSES, the book that started it all, 50% at $2.99 (regular price $6.99) on Amazon,, and iBooks. Much of the art from the Goddess Tarot was adapted from THE BOOK OF GODDESSES.

So go forth and get inspired!

download the Goddess Tarot app for $1.99

purchase THE BOOK OF GODDESSES for $2.99

e-book: iPad and iPhone, NOOK ePub, Kindle; 206 pages. Over 130 illustrations.

Semi-Wordless Wednesday: The Sacred World Oracle…

Posted on Jul 24, 2013 in apps + e-books, books + more, goddesses et al, news + muse, retail therapy

… is here. At last!

While the Sacred World Oracle isn’t available yet on Amazon for pre-order, it will be by September 1st.* In the meantime, I’m raffling off one deck for advance enjoyment. To enter, leave a comment below by midnight August 1st. (If the form isn’t showing, click here and scroll to bottom.)

The small print: Winner will be chosen at random and announced on this site Friday, August 2nd. One entry per person. Sorry, US mailing addresses only.

*ETA: The Amazon pre-order link was just added! Learn more or pre-order here.