Operation Pharaoh’s Curse

Hello friends, Lissy here. Such happy news as the fourth book in the CIA series, Operation Pharaoh’s Curse, is released into the world, revealing our latest adventure in Egypt and the Valley of the Kings.

Already two wonderful five star reviews on Amazon which I know have made my aunt very happy. It’s always fun to know that children are reading the CIA series and loving our adventures.

Here is what readers have to say:

“Laugh Out Loud Funny! – My daughter will be thrilled with the release of the fourth book in the Cousins in Action Series. She is a voracious reader and has read the other books in this series over and over again. She says they are full of suspense, action, and danger (“in a fun way”). She likes the characters’ different personalities and says the books are “laugh out loud” funny. She’s gotten a bunch of her friends hooked on the series as well.”

CIA OPC for bookmark

“Adventure, Humour, Mystery and Fun! -My daughter is eleven, and has been hooked on this series for years. She cherishes the books and reads them over and over. So we are thrilled with the publication of Operation Pharaoh’s Curse, which offers up the same wonderful mix of adventure, humour, mystery and fun! The characters are beautifully drawn, and opening up chapter one feels like falling back in to the company of old friends. Highly, highly recommended!”

Happy reading, everyone!

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Launch for CIA – Operation Jewel Thief

Operation Jewel Thief LaunchHey guys, Lissy here.

My aunt’s new book, CIA  – Operation Jewel Thief, came out in December and she is having a launch party on Saturday, January 16th at our local community library.

This is always such a fun event. I get to go up front and read the trivia questions (the answers are all in the book) and then one of the other cousins hands out the prize to the person who wins!

This time my aunt is also going to be serving tea and biscuits (one of her main food groups). She’ll also be reading a passage from the book (one of my favorites about our visit to Buckingham Palace) and taking questions.

If you are in the Austin area stop by and say hi!

Operation Jewel Thief

OJT - 9-8-15Hello friends, Lissy here. Happy to announce that my aunt’s third book, Operation Jewel Thief, about our time in England has just hit the Amazon shelves.

This was such a fun adventure, although it was a bit spooky and a bit embarrassing for me, as you will find out at the end. Our time in England was full of castles, ghosts, royalty and coconuts! We met some wonderful people with crazy  names like Pickle and Puffin and the wonderful Featherington-Twits.

I think this was my favorite adventure yet and I hope you enjoy reading about it.

CIA – Operation Jewel Thief

OJT - 9-8-15

As most of you probably know, the third book in the Cousins In Action series takes place in England! Today my aunt got the cover art for CIA – Operation Jewel Thief (drawn by her friend Han Randhawa who I interviewed a few months back), so I wanted to share it with you. I just love it – the fire, the corgis, the expression on Cagney’s face! Check back soon for details of the release date. Lissy Puddleton.

You May Not Know!

handsc flutec

Something you may not know about us cousins is that we are all musical.

Cagney sings in the school choir, Aidan plays the guitar. Olivia plays the flute, Tess the clarinet and they both play the piano. I play the violin. See Tess’ drawings above.

At Christmas we got together and played Christmas carols, which was actually more fun than it sounds!

Happy February, my friends. Hope you are all staying warm and dry – Lissy.

Swashbuckling Alien Adventurer – Han Randhawa

han_photo2 Han3Hello Folks, Lissy here. Today I have the great pleasure of interviewing Mr. Han Randhawa, who is the talented artist who draws the cover art for my aunt’s books. Han is originally from England but has lived in the States for ten years.

Originally from Birmingham, Han has lived in California, Texas and now lives in Washington State where he works for a small up-and-coming company called Microsoft! Han’s main job is to oversee the creation of video games and can often be found flying back and forth to Japan. Cover art is just something he does for fun!

LP How old were you when you realized you wanted to be an artist?

HR    My earliest memory of art was at Wattville Infant school in Birmingham UK, I was probably six and I made a side view of a car out of rolls of plasticine( English Play-dough) and was fascinated by its 3d-ness and 2dness! I remember painting bright colours about the same time and I recall the summer breeze through the open windows. Then later about when I was nine my dad got me  a comic book called ‘SUPER FRIENDS’, it had superman, Batman, Aqua-man, Wonder woman and these twins who had super powers.  Read that comic book a billion times and I spent hours copying the awesome dynamic poses. I didn’t realize I wanted be an artist till much later maybe fifteen or sixteen. I didn’t know how or if it was even possible.

LP    Where did you study art?

HR:    I went to St.Philip’s Sixth Form in Birmingham to study my A Levels, but I really got going when my teacher recommended I go to Bournville College of Art and from there I went to Liverpool John Moores University to complete my BA in Graphic Design and Illustration. But I’ll tell you a secret, I learned most of what I know from drawing from that Super Friends comic book and following my face concept artists who worked on Star Wars. I used to draw all day from TV or books. I think this was the most important part of my studying. THE DOING!

LP    What is the most challenging part of drawing cover art?

HR    Probably getting the likeness of the characters. It’s such a tough thing to do. Also getting the lighting to look right.

CIA - Operation Golden Llamabook club coverCIA - Operation Tiger Paw

LP    What do you like most about designing video games at Microsoft?

HR    I get to learn a lot about how Japanese Game designers work and how other Art Directors create the game visuals. I get to work with a whole bunch of different artists, from 2d concept guys, 3d modellers, animators, graphic designers. Plus, I get to increase my art skills by applying all I’ve learned these years. The stuff I apply in video games is pretty much the same stuff I apply when making book covers, colour, composition, visual storytelling.

LP    What kind of games have you designed?

HR    Mostly Science Fiction and Fantasy. I worked on games like X-men, StarTrek, and also I’ve worked on a lot of non-movie games, I was the art director on Darksiders 1&2.

Han4

LP    What words of wisdom would you give to an up and coming artist about following their dreams?

HR    First: Don’t let anyone tell you you can’t. If it’s your dream, keep on making art! I had so many people tell me I couldn’t get anywhere doing art. Somehow I carried on!

Second: Make Art! Every time you have some time spare, keep a little sketchbook and pencil. I even keep a wad of PostIts and a tiny IKEA pencil just in case I have 10 mins to spare. Draw people, draw ideas, draw anything! Paint, sculpt whatever you need to.

Third: All artists are scared of showing their work, because we are worried that people might not like our art. Remember it’s okay if people don’t like your art, ask them why? This is how we learn to make our art better. You won’t learn anything if everyone told you it was awesome all the time. Its even better if you ask other artists they may see something you missed!Hana

LP    If you weren’t an artist, what would you be?

HR    Wow tough one. Traveling the Galaxy swashbuckling with aliens and adventuring across planets! Maybe make music in a band? I actually quite like being an artist, one thing I would add to that would be storytelling! I’m inspired by Sam and I want to tell stories that make you laugh, cry and jump up for joy!

https://twitter.com/hanrandhawa

http://darksidersdungeon.net/wiki/Han_Randhawa

Christmas Traditions

Christmas 2012 2

Christmas Traditions

Hello folks. This is Lissy. We have a large extended family that get together for the holidays. We exchange gifts, but we also do so much more, things that don’t cost money and that have become yearly traditions. Take advantage of having friends or family around and, instead of sitting in front of the TV, try the following.

  1. Play games, Our family is big on games Apples to Apples, Curses and HeadBanz are just a few of the games we play on a regular basis and that are fun for both adults and children.
  2. Sing carols or better yet, go caroling.
  3. Walk or drive around the neighborhood and look at the light displays.
  4. If you are lucky to have snow – have a snowball fight, make snow angels or build a snowman.
  5. Volunteer at a shelter or charity. This will make you feel better than all the rest put together, plus it helps others and reminds us to be thankful for all we have.
  6. Roast marshmallows over an open fire, or an indoor one if it’s freezing outside.
  7. Tell funny stories of Christmas’ past.
  8. If you live in a cold climate – go ice-skating on your local frozen pond. If you live in a warm climate – go for a hike along your local Greenbelt. Helps get rid of some of those turkey calories.
  9. Read ‘Twas The Night Before Christmas’ – my dad does this every year before we head to bed on Christmas Eve and everyone gathers around the fire to listen.
  10. Take photos. Always a good time to take lots of group shots of you and your cousins, aunts and uncles which will be fun to look back on when you get older.