Reviews & Acclaim for MOTHER CHRISTMAS: Volume 1 The Muse

Mother Christmas, by writer Valya Dudycz Lupescu and artist Vic Terra, reimagines the story of St. Nicholas, putting it into the context of his times and introducing the conflict between the pagan religions of the land and the Christians who arrived with conquest, of land as well as souls, on their minds. The lead character is a muse named Amara who is assigned to guide a woman named Flavia, the sister of Nicholas. The story has a complex mythology that is beautifully laid out in panels filled with telling details and bright colors. Although this is just the first volume, this slim, 104-page graphic novel packs in a lot of story. The book will be released on November 1. ~Brigid Alverson, “Gift Guide: Small Press Graphic Novels,” ICv2

Reviews & Acclaim for FORKING GOOD: 

“Unlike any cookbook you’ve encountered previously…It’s educational and thoughtful…And the resulting recipes? Well, they’re absolutely delicious…Fans of The Good Place will absolutely love this cookbook.”~ Danielle Zimmeran, “Forking Good’ cookbook excerpt: Tasty pancakes like you ‘Kant’ believe,” HYPABLE

“[The recipes] include a fun, easy to understand philosophy lesson that might not keep the cook out of the Bad Place, but would make a fun dinner party.” ~Leslie Gray Streeter, ‘The Good Place’ cookbook offers pun-filled goodies for your plate,” THE PALM BEACH POST

“An extended inside joke that show fans will delight in adding to their shelves, Forking Good is a comfort-food laden, lightly philosophical cookbook worth indulging in.” ~FOREWORD REVIEWS

Reviews & Acclaim for GEEK PARENTING

Finds deep and unexpected truths in sources ranging from Game of Thrones to The Chronicles of Narnia. The authors argue, for example, that pseudo-parent Jiminy Cricket failed Pinocchio by not telling him why it was important to be good. And if Obi-Wan had been a better listener, maybe young Anakin wouldn’t have turned out so evil. ~Keith Blanchard, “Must Read Books for Geek,” THE WALL STREET JOURNAL 

Loaded with parenting tips from across the galaxies, Geek Parenting provides solid parenting lessons using pop culture touchstones like Neil Gaiman’s Sandman, Star Trek, Star Wars, Game of Thrones, X-Men, Wonder Woman, Thor, Loki, and Odin, and so many more. There are amazing comics, TV, and movie references in here, all with the same thing in common: the advice is solid and heartfelt. ~Rosemary K, “Celebrate Geek Parenting!”ON WEDNESDAYS WE WEAR CAPES

Reviews & Critical Acclaim for THE SILENCE OF TREES:

Audiobook of the year

THE SILENCE OF TREES was picked as the Audiobook of the year. Continue reading on Susie's blog

Lovely prose and the mix of mythic Ukrainian matter with a contemporary setting won me over

Before starting this book, I wasn't familiar with either Valya Dudycz Lupescu or Chicago's Wolfsword Press. But I'm happy to have that corrected, because I want to read more of Lupescu's work, and Wolfsword Press will probably be publishing it. The Silence of Trees wasn't entirely successful for this reader (for reasons I'll get to), but the lovely prose and the mix of mythic Ukrainian matter with a contemporary setting won me over. Continue reading on

Few book reviews start with a foot rub but, really, more should.

Few book reviews start with a foot rub but, really, more should. In one of the most thrilling scenes in Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s first novel—exciting for its unabashed passion and feminism, and most important for the new story it promises to start even thirty pages from the book’s end. . .
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Highly impressive and exquisite debut

In The Silence of Trees, Nadya, the astonishing matriarch, war survivor, and narrator, weaves a remarkable life centered on fate, love, luck and choice while honoring the ghosts of her past. Her voice is an important and unforgettable addition to the post-war immigrant experience in this highly impressive and exquisite debut by novelist Valya Dudycz Lupescu.

Irene Zabytko
author of The Sky Unwashed and When Luba Leaves Home

Engaging Read

Valya Dudycz Lupescu seamlessly weaves Ukranian folklore and traditions into the events of the book. It is an engaging read to be savored and reread as you discover the stories within Nadya’s story. The house spirits and tree spirits become as real as the other characters in the book. Ms Lupescu’s writing is lyrical and moving in its simplicity, when giving voice to Nadya and her remembered dead, who have been silent too long. Continue reading on

Veronica Marie Beaumont
The Romance Reviews

Impressive Novel Debut

Valya Dudycz Lupescu presents us an impressive novel debut with The Silence of Trees, in which she conjures a captivating story of the heroine, Nadya, across more than fifty years of secrets, truths, tales told and untold, quiet sacrifices, as well as memories of a difficult personal history she left behind in Central Europe. While letting go of her ghosts during her final years, she came closer to what was painfully lost to her and her people, even closer to the many small measures of happiness awaiting her . . . Will she embrace a present that renews and honors a heavy past? Like an enchanting tapestry of Ukrainian magic and folkloric images, this is a thoughtful and beautiful work.

Fiona Sze-Lorrain
author of Water the Moon

Secrets, Magic, Revelation

The opening of The Silence of Trees describes a Ukrainian legend about a magical flower that can grant wishes. Though there are many folktales recounted in the novel, this specific one captures the spirit of the work as a whole. Valya Dudycz Lupescu’s novel is one of secrets, magic, and revelation. It tells the story of Nadya, a girl whose life is torn apart by war but eventually takes a turn toward the ordinary.
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I loved this novel

I loved this novel.  Nadya’s story – both past and present - is engrossing.  Her experiences are both a poignant reminder of the destruction and disruption of lives during World War II, and of the resilience of the human spirit.
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Jennifer Cameron-Smith
Lunch Network

Weaves a Magical Tale

Lupescu weaves a magical tale in two senses: first, from the perspective of the craft of writing and, second, from that of sheer entertaining storytelling. It is the rare book that can bring the reader into the mystical side of folk religion without engaging the fantastical. Lupescu has done so. She has given us a window onto Ukrainian folk traditions that elegantly reveals the complexity of spirituality as it intertwines with politics, economics, folk traditions and formal or institutional religion. The story is captivating. The holocaust and the attempted demolition of the Ukrainian people is not an easy subject but Lupescu deftly frames her contemporary story against those shadow times without losing sight of the hopefulness, the determination and the spiritual faith of the survivors evidenced in their struggle to sustain their culture in America. This is a story that may make one laugh and cry, but, in the end, inspires readers to remember there are many ways of “knowing” and many perspectives on the notion of truth.

Monica M. Emerich, PhD
Groundwork Research & Communications Associate Researcher, Center for Media, Religion and Culture, University of Colorado, Boulder


Interviews with Valya Dudycz Lupescu:

Thresholds” Between the Lines Interview with Kevin Neilson

Photo by Rob Lambert

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