“Backus Cupcakus!”

Salagadoola mechicka boola bibbidi-bobbidi-boo!
Put ’em together and what have you got?
Bibbidi-bobbidi. Bibbidi-bobbidi. Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo….

Jess Townes, children's author

Who doesn’t love a smidge of magic and pixie dust mixed into their day? Cinderella’s Fairy Godmother has nothing over Jess Townes, the clever author of a new picture book Spellbound. This enchanting story crafts a fun, fresh twist on new-sibling relationships and the magic of love that binds them.

Willow’s world blossoms with magic until baby brother Rowan is born. When her adorable, new sibling seems to charm everyone he meets, Willow decides that he is the real deal–a genuine wizard. Can she put a stop to Rowan’s abracadabra, or is his magic too mighty to resist?

First page spread of SPELLBOUND

Jess Townes’ crisp and lively writing is sure to connect with both young and old while gifted illustrator Jenn Harney’s vibrant art style brings this pleasing, playful story to life.

Jess Townes and her lap dog

Jess Townes is a lifelong storyteller. She’s worked in education, non-profit, birth and lactation services, freelance writing, and acting. Presently, she works as a bookseller at Main Street Books in St. Charles, Missouri, where she loves connecting with people through stories. More than anything, Jess enjoys her family: her ukulele/partner husband, two stimulating teenagers, two crafty cats, and a 50-pound lap dog.

Visit her at https://jesstownes.com/about/ and follow her on Twitter https://twitter.com/jessicatownes and Instagram https://www.instagram.com/jesstownesbooks/

Treat yourself and share with others this magical adventure:


Wouldn’t life be nice if by waving a stick and whispering hocus-pocus, we could create something delightful? Somehow, I think not. Hard work of heart and mind is where the story magic happens. But go ahead and try. Gather a theme and ideas—a pumpkin, some mice, and a big dog named Bruno. Whip your wand in the air, singing: Bibbidi-bobbidi, Bibbidi-bobbidi, Bibbidi-bobbidi-boo. And if that doesn’t work, well…sit. Then write…and write…and write.

Life is a series of moments, strung together by memories. May each of your days spark with a spritz of magic. Salagadoola!

More of what you love

Kindness at the Border

Before, the sun drenched the yard. Our neighbor’s laughter danced in the streets. Now, the streets are quiet. Papa is gone, and we are no longer safe here. We are leaving, too.
Based on actual events at the Tijuana/San Ysidro border, author Stephen Briseño’s moving story—The Notebook Keeper—follows Mama and her young daughter, Noemi, as they seek asylum in the United States. Illustrator Magdalena Mora uses heartfull illustrations to depict this emotional journey, fleeing from a home in Mexico to the U.S. border.

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Here I Come!

My last post was a WHOLE YEAR ago. Totally embarrassed. Life has had its way with me.

The newly-published magical, picture books and young adult novels entered into the market offered many stories to read and savor. I found myself buried by books at times. I also tried a new path from writing picture books by finishing the third draft of the first book in a two-book young adult historical fiction fantasy. I lived my days and nighttime dreams within a land of three kingdoms. My multigenerational characters became my new best friends. I even discovered I liked sparring with my multi-layered villains. Drafting and then twice reworking a 68,000+ word novel was like caring for a four-ton elephant. All my storytelling struggles were well worth the hard work. An interested literary agent—a dynamic, instinctive storyteller—has my manuscript. It’s a time of waiting, wondering and…hoping.

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Marsha Elyn Wright

Bursts of belly-laughs. Raised eye-brows. Teary trickles. Heart tugs. Grumbly mutters and more. Good storytelling sparks emotions and memories in us. It connects cultures and generations. The best words create melodies on a page we can sing reading aloud. These story songs expand, challenge, affirm, and delight us. My hope is that my storytelling creates this magic for you.


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