There are only a handful of the beautiful Hidden Mickey Heart Pendants left. First introduced in Hidden Mickey 2: It All Started… and featured throughout both series of novels. Limited edition, with a gorgeous 30 carat lab created RUBY on a 14K Yellow Gold Vermeil “Hidden Mickey”.
All three of the Hidden Mickey Adventures Game Books are on sale on Amazon! The sale applies to both the paperback and the eBook copies. Whether you are going to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, or WDW’s Magic Kingdom, you can get a paperback quest book for only $4.99-that’s half off the regular paperback price! If you will be going to 2017 D23 in July, be sure to stop by my booth 310E because I will have a special deal for you! Here is the link to Amazon’s sale: amazon.com
These books are fun for the whole family. There are trivia pages and puzzles you can work on while waiting in lines, there are Hidden Mickey searches, there are pictures you must find in the Park, there are road rallies, and even games for the Junior Adventurers in your family.
You will enjoy reading what others have said about the game books:
Here’s what Vera said: “My family and I love Hidden Mickey Adventures. We are annual pass holders and have been for a few years now. Taking the book to the park with us and doing the quests was a nice change from our normal routine. We have only done a couple of the quests so far and are looking forward to doing them all.”
The Reed family posted: “Fun book! We brought it with us to DCA and it added a lot to our trip for our kid, and us as well! Fun visual scavenger hunts, quizzes (which our kid loves!), and pictures of hidden Mickeys, but you have to find where they are. Good book for Disney fans as well, there were (many) times I found myself looking up challenges before the kiddo asked! And some of the questions were hard, it was stuff I didn’t already know and I thought I knew most of it being a pretty big DLR fan. The book was small enough that it fit in the front pocket of our back pack so it was easy to bring to the park. It actually fit in my front pocket. Well worth the $ to make an already magical trip just a little bit more fun. I truly hope there will be more quests book that come out in the future.”
Natalie had this to say: “During a recent vacation, I took a copy of the book with me into the Magic Kingdom. The book is very lightweight and small, making it easy to carry while touring the parks. I, being someone I who knows quite a bit about the Magic Kingdom parks, found this to be a lot of fun. Many of the facts mentioned were new to me. It offered me the opportunity to find something new while vacationing in a park I have been to many, many times. While I did not complete all of the adventures, I did have a great time participating in the fun! I felt that people of all ages will definitely find this entertaining. I found that I would read the questions while standing in line, then headed out on my hunt for the answers afterwards.”
So grab a game book for only $4.99 while they are half price, and Have a Great Time inside the Park. Here is the link: amazon.com
I wanted to share some of my pictures from Disney’s D23 this year. D23 comes around every two years, and I have been privileged to have been there with my Hidden Mickey and Hidden Mickey Adventures novels since 2011. Every time it is different and we get to see new exhibits and meet new people. Being in a booth, I was there from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. each of the three days. But, I did have some time before the event opened to the public on Friday morning to snoop around the exhibits in my section and get some pictures!
One of the first things we saw as we approached the Convention Center was Buzz Lightyear. Now, this was no ordinary Buzz. This was an actual Macy’s parade balloon. He was huge! I had never seen one of the balloons up close before and I can now understand why there are so many ropes and people helping guide it through the street.
One of the exhibits that touched me the most was the Disney Archives. Some of you know the historian Dave Smith and his tireless efforts to preserve the history of both Walt Disney and Disneyland. Dave stopped by my booth, and it was nice to be able to say hello to him again.
The Archives was a treat for those of us who remember back to years ago. It brought back rides and parades and attractions that are no longer in the Park, but are still vivid in our memories.
Other displays showed us some of the designing concepts that the Imagineers when through to bring us some of our favorite rides. Here is an example of the Alice in Wonderland ride vehicle in concept and in reality:
Plus, we got to meet up close and personal Disneyland personalities like Murphy and Harold!:
Another part of D23 that made some of us (no names here…) tear up was seeing some of the rides that had been removed from the Park. One collector brought a working Peoplemover. The doors opened and closed, the roof raised, and there were four different spiels.
One highlight of the D23 Convention was seeing fans dress up as their favorite characters. The costumes were sometimes elaborate, sometimes whimsical. And, best of all, the costumed fans were always happy to stop for pictures! Here are a few of my favorites:
As you can tell, there was something for everyone at the event. I was happy to release my newest novel: Hidden Mickey Adventures 4: Revenge of the Wolf. It, like most of my novels, is available now in paperback, hardback, and eBooks. Check them out on Amazon and Barnes & Noble!
I even got to meet Sven.
One person I couldn’t have done it without is my husband, Russ. He was at my side the entire event and worked tirelessly to help make it a success. And, by his side, is his service dog, Toto. As you can see, we wore her out!
Thank you to those of my Facebook fans who came to meet me. Some of you I got to meet for the first time in person. And some I got to see again and renew our acquaintance. You all made the event very special to me!
Best wishes to all of you and I hope you enjoyed my pictures from Disney’s D23 – 2015.
Blog HM4: Hidden Mickey 4: Wolf!: Happily Ever After?
When Disneyland first opened in 1955, Fantasyland was themed to look like a village from Medieval Times. It reminded guests of the days of King Arthur and Merlin. There were cutouts of shields and banners that decorated the front of the rides such as Peter Pan and Mister Toad instead of the detailed and lovely façades of today. It was a simpler look – one that I remember well and really enjoyed.
In 1963, the magazine National Geographic did a spread about Walt Disney, Disneyland, and his Studio. Included were pictures of artists as they worked on the animated film The Sword and the Stone. As we know, King Arthur and Merlin are the subjects of that film. In Disneyland we have the King Arthur Carrousel and a sword embedded in a stone facing the Castle. There used to be a Sword in the Stone ceremony presided over by Merlin himself in which a youngster was pulled from the audience and given the chance to rule the kingdom – for a moment or two at least!
In Hidden Mickey 4: Wolf: Happily Ever After?, we explore those days of King Arthur and Merlin as our intrepid heroes have a slight miscalculation in time and end up in the moat surrounding King Arthur’s castle, not King Stefan’s. Found by the owl Archimedes and taken to Merlin himself, Wolf, Wals, and Briar Rose discover their error but are still intrigued by the idea of actually getting to see King Arthur. But Merlin wisely tells them, “You don’t want King Arthur to see you.” Oh, the bothers of time travel!
Not wanting Walt to be left out, we go back in time to see him at various stages of his career and what he was working on. Whether busy at his Studio, or traveling in Europe with his family, Walt always had his eye on the future and how he could improve his Park.
In the second book of this series, Hidden Mickey 2: It All Started…, you got to see Disneyland as it might be in the future. Now you will return to Disneyland of 2042 as the story of the heart-shaped, red diamond pendant comes to its thrilling, heart-tugging conclusion. You will see the Guardians of Walt from the past and present as they unite for one final conflict with the dragon Nimue in an epic battle of Good versus Evil.
We aren’t done, though! Be sure to keep the adventure alive by continuing with my new Hidden Mickey Adventures series of novels. The torch of the Guardians is slowly being passed to the next generation of clue solvers. All your friends will be there: Wolf, Lance, Kimberly, Adam, and Beth. And now you will be reading the adventures of their children: Peter, Catie, and Alex. As always, Walt will be there, too, to tell his story and share his history.
Walt Disney once said that fantasy and reality often collide. And, if you look at the lengthy list of movies that have come out of the Disney studios, you will see that the sprinkling of pixie dust—fantasy—is present in so, so many of them.
It is with Hidden Mickey 3 Wolf!: The Legend of Tom Sawyer’s Island that I begin to add the wonderful element of fantasy to the novels. I introduced a special security guard named Wolf in Book 2 of the series, and hinted at some unique aspects of his abilities. I explore and explain those abilities in Book 3 and add the “what-if” factor. What if a character was able to travel through time? What if the places you are familiar with in Disneyland have another life somewhere else? And, as a twist to the usual time travel theme: What if the things that happen in Disneyland now affect the past?
One of my favorite places in Disneyland is the Frontierland River, or Rivers of America. Whether I was on a keel boat, a canoe, or the Mark Twain, or just sitting on the upper deck of the Hungry Bear Restaurant, the River has always captured my imagination and caused a wave of peace to wash over me. There is a quietness about the trip down the River where the sounds of the busy Park vanish as the rhythmic strokes of a canoe paddle or the swishing background noise of the Mark Twain’s wheel take over.
As a young girl I ran wild through Fort Wilderness, climbed into the lookout towers, and scurried through the Escape Tunnel. As I went by on one of the river vessels, I would stare at Cousin Jed as he bent backward over a fence post, an arrow sticking out of his chest and flames shooting into the sky as his cabin burned. I even have a picture of my brother standing in front of a huge stuffed buffalo that used to be in the Friendly Village.
For years Cousin Jed’s cabin was empty, the flames long extinguished. Always a fan of the Old West, I wondered what it would have been like to live in that log cabin and visit the Fort when it was up and running. When it was time to write book 3, I knew that was where I wanted to go. I wanted to go back in time and bring that cabin and Fort Wilderness back to life.
As Wolf, his friend Wals, the mysterious Rose, and an innocent Dr. Houser tread the dangerous waters of frontier life, Wolf begins to notice an alarming trend. He finds that the changes that are being made to Disneyland in the present day are changing the way of life back on the Island and Fort Wilderness. When he hears that the Island is going to be turned into “Pirate’s Lair,” he knows he has to get all his friends back to their proper time. There’s just one problem: Wals, Rose, and Dr. Houser don’t remember their previous life…
Walt and the beautiful red heart pendant are part of the story, too. When Wolf wants to visit his long-gone boss, Walt, he makes a miscalculation and lands too far back in the past. We get to meet a 9-year-old Walt and his sister Ruthie on the farm in Marceline when Ruthie suddenly spots a big, bad wolf. You will also find out what happened to the Dreaming Tree.
So, sit back, put yer feet up, ‘cause this here’s the wildest ride in the Wilderness!
A common question I get is: “Where do you get all your ideas for the books?”
It’s a good question and one that I had to think about before answering.
My first visit to Disneyland was way back in 1962 – and it was love at first sight. I have been going regularly since then, at least once a year and sometimes more often. There have been many changes to the Park over the years and I have seen a lot of them. There are rides and attractions that I enjoy and go on every time I visit. There are shows where I know most of the words of the songs by heart. So, part of the answer to the above question would be that I know the Park so well, it is somewhat easy to pick out sections I want to share with others. Sometimes the part I choose for a particular novel is no longer still at Disneyland, so I get to bring it, and its creator, Walt Disney himself, back to life in flashbacks.
Another part of the answer would be from all the research I do. Even before I started writing the Hidden Mickey novels, I was already an avid reader about the Park and about Walt. I have many of Disneyland’s souvenir books throughout the decades that I have been reading and re-reading since the late 1960’s. There are many fan pages on the Internet that have staff writers who worked at Disneyland, or, more excitedly, worked with Walt and are now sharing their experiences with all of us. There are also biographers whose works are quite fascinating. I read their words and try to look behind the scenes and find some part that might have more to it than what was said.
One example of this was found in a popular, quite lengthy, biography about Walt. The writer was talking about the tour Walt did in South America in 1941. This was the time the strike was going on at the Studio and it was tearing Walt apart. His good friends told him he needed to get away for a while and they all decided that a tour throughout South America would be just the thing. He could get some rest and do some PR work. Well, it sounded good on paper, but Walt ended up being mobbed everywhere he went. He needed to have some alone time. According to the biography, once they got to Columbia, they “commandeered a boat and went 40 miles up the Amazon River.”
Now, that was all the biography said about that little side trip. As I read, my eyes kept coming back to that one sentence and I wondered, “Hmmm, wonder what happened when they got up the Amazon?” And that was all it took. I include that PR trip in my second novel: Hidden Mickey 2: It All Started… and take the readers up the Amazon with Walt and show what happened on that overnight trip. Walt was given something special in the jungle – something that showed him that all his dreams would actually come true at a time when he was beginning to doubt everything. With a deft blend of fiction and fantasy, I set up for the future novels with the recurring theme of the red diamond Hidden Mickey pendant and its special powers.
I hope you will check out this exciting continuation of the Hidden Mickey story as Lance Brentwood teams up with a new partner and delves even further into the fascinating history of Walt Disney.
Writing a book is an exciting process. There are ideas, situations, funny stories, and characters that have come to be as familiar as family that we writers want to share with our readers. Many months, sometimes years, can go by before the story is ready and in print. It can seem an extremely long time for the author as well as the readers who are anxious to see how their favorite character is doing.
You well know that most of my stories end with something of a cliff-hanger. I do wrap up the main story line, but I always leave something dangling that will lead into the next book. I, too, worry about my characters and want to see how the problem or danger will work out!
In my last novel, Hidden Mickey Adventures 2: Peter and the Missing Mansion, Peter and Catie were being shadowed by a mysterious woman who seemed to be following their every move. The book ended with Peter being in possession of something that the woman wanted – very badly! And, she made it very clear to Peter that she would do whatever she had to to retrieve it.
I am happy to announce that the wait is over! Hidden Mickey 3: The Mermaid’s Tale was officially released July 1st, and now available.
You will find out the identity of this mysterious woman named Omah and why she is so intent on getting the item back – even though it makes no sense to anyone around her. Our favorite security guard Wolf is on hand trying to protect the children. However, Omah seems to stay one step ahead of him at every turn.
Readers will relive the Disneyland of the 1960’s as they get to ride along on the original Submarine Voyage and the Motor Boat Cruise. Stand with Walt Disney himself on the deck of the Chicken of the Sea Pirate ship that stood so elegantly in Fantasyland. Travel with Walt and Lillian to Ireland where he makes a very special purchase.
If I may quote Oscar Wilde, he once said that “….life imitates art….” I was given a wonderful example of this when a Hidden Mickey Fan Club member sent me a few pictures of youngsters enjoying the Hidden Mickey Adventures in Disneyland game book.
To explain, here is an excerpt from chapter 1 of my novel Hidden Mickey Adventures 1: Peter and the Wolf. The Brentwood family is on an outing at Disneyland with a new game book that Lance bought for his family to enjoy:
“Okay, Andrew, watch the Dumbo elephants as they go by and find the one that’s numbered twelve. What color is his hat?” “Where are the numbers? I don’t see any numbers!” The boy jumped back and forth at the black iron gate surrounding the popular ride, eagerly staring at the smiling gray elephants whizzing by overhead as they were being encouraged by Timothy the Mouse. “See the long red arm that holds the elephants? Look way up on the arm for the number.” “I see it! I see it!” Andrew declared, getting more excited. “Nine. Ten. Eleven. Twelve! That’s the one.”
You can see in the picture that young Rhiley, age 6, is holding the Hidden Mickey Adventures in Disneyland game book and doing Quest #2 – The Junior Road Rally, and she is on the same question that Andrew, age 7, was doing in the story!
It is always heart-warming for an author to see families enjoying their works. My idea behind developing the game books was just that – families having fun together and doing something different at the Park. So, whether you are 6 or 60, a first-time visitor to the Disney Parks or someone who has gone so many times that it is impossible to count, there is something just for you in the Hidden Mickey Adventures game books. If you are going to Disneyland, Disney California Adventure, or Walt Disney World’s Magic Kingdom, there is a book for you!
If you would like to follow the further adventures of Andrew’s oldest brother, Peter, and his family, be sure to check out my Hidden Mickey Adventures series of novels. Explore hidden parts of Disneyland and see the Park with a new set of eyes, and learn more about the exciting history of the man who started it all, Walt Disney.