The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason

Posted on March 17, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

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The Blue Umbrella

In his first novel, best-selling author Mike Mason offers the Unfortunate Events crowd

a beautiful literary fantasy with deep spiritual resonance  

Your browser may not support display of this image. Dallas/Ft. Worth, TX—What would happen if all the world’s weather was controlled by one man with a blue umbrella?  If your mother had been killed by lightning, would you trust this man?  This is the decision facing 10-year-old Zac Sparks in Mike Mason’s new page-turning fantasy novel, The Blue Umbrella (David C Cook, October 2009).  Probing the depths of good and evil, the first in Mason’s series for 9 to 12 year olds is a superbly written children’s story with deep spiritual resonance.   

When Zac Sparks’s mother dies, he’s sent to live in Five Corners with his cruel old Aunties.  It isn’t long before Zac knows something strange is going on.  Five Corners is populated with weird characters—a midget butler, a girl who doesn’t speak, a blind balloon seller, and a mysterious singer who is heard but not seen.  Then there’s the Aunties’ father, Dada.  Zac’s first encounter with Dada is so terrifying he faints dead away. 

The one bright spot is Sky Porter, the proprietor of the general store across the street, a friendly soul who encourages Zac—when the Aunties aren’t looking—and shows him a kindness that is sadly lacking from his dismal life.  But Sky isn’t what he seems either, and when Zac learns Sky’s amazing secret he realizes, to his dismay, that this wonderful man may have a very dark side as well. 

Discovering that Dada is an evil magician who is intent on stealing the ultimate treasure, Zac knows many lives are at stake, including his own.  With time running out, he must turn to the one person who might be able to help: Sky Porter.  Can Zac trust him? 

In the vein of Lewis and Tolkien, Mason has crafted a fantasy that will certainly appeal to fans of Harry Potter, The Golden Compass, Lemony Snicket, and The Chronicles of Narnia.  “In this era of climate change, when weather is arguably the most important issue facing the world, a story that dramatizes the human role and responsibility in creating weather is highly relevant and timely,” says Mason.  “The Blue Umbrella is permeated with a sense of awe at the power and beauty of weather, and it asks the question: Who is behind all this?”  

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Author Bio

Mike Mason is the best-selling, award-winning author of The Mystery of Marriage, The Gospel According to Job, Practicing the Presence of People, and many others.  He has an M.A. in English and has studied theology at Regent College.  He lives in Langley, BC, Canada, with his wife, Karen, a family physician.  They have one daughter, Heather, who is pursuing a career in dance and the arts.  The Blue Umbrella is Mike’s first novel. 

Suggested Interview Questions

  1. The Blue Umbrella is your first novel.  Why did you decide to try your hand at fantasy fiction?
  2. Tell us about Zac Sparks and what awaits him when he is sent to live in Five Corners with his mean Aunties?
  3. Without giving away any secrets, can you tell us the significance of the blue umbrella?
  4. What fascinates you about the weather and why did you make it the book’s theme?
  5. What plans do you have for the next books in the series?

 

The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason

David C Cook/October 2009

ISBN: 978-1-4347-6526-0/425 pages/softcover/$14.99

www.davidccook.comwww.mikemasonbooks.com

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One Response to “The Blue Umbrella by Mike Mason”

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I don’t know about others but somehow, Dada didn’t seem all that frightening to me. I couldn’t feel Zac’s fear when he’s with Dada. That was the only letdown of the book for me.

Apart from that, the cover is amazing! 🙂

Here is my review of the book.


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