Some of you may be aware that I spork the Maradonia book series by Gloria Tesch. I even have a website!

[shameless pimping]
[/shameless pimping]

And one of these days my webmaster will figure out how to turn the comment feature on. Wouldn’t that be nice?


I’m nearing the end of the second book, Maradonia and the Gold of Ophir (book 4 of the cut-in-half-and-released-as-two-books versions), and to ensure there were no long, depressing waits between sporks (that is, longer than what already exists), I needed to get my hands on a copy of Tesch’s latest.

Which presented a problem because there aren’t any used copies of the book anywhere. And I didn’t really want to give the Tesches any money. So, I had a friend buy the book and then send it on to me when he received it, and then I paid him back. It didn’t really accomplish anything, but it made me feel better.

So yeah, the cover. It looks better than previous books, although the image is off-center toward the right. It’s annoying, but I guess that happens.

Hmm. “Gloria Tesch is one of the World’s Youngest Novelists and is widely seen as a great talent.” Well, at least they’ve toned down the hyperbole. I’m not really buying the “widely seen” bit, though. I mean, sure, Mommy and Daddy Tesch probably think she’s a great talent, and maybe Fisher, but aside from those three…..

On the title page, I was delighted to see that Tesch had personalized my copy with a signature and a smiley face, so my book (being a first edition and all that) will someday be worth thousands of dollars.

The font size has also been toned down a little, moving from Dr. Seuss to slightly bigger than Large Print. On the other hand, the margins are tiny, so I guess it evens out. The nicest thing is that the Tesches have cleaned up some of the most egregious formatting errors that plagued the first two books. Hell, the paragraphs are actually all indented properly! Well. Mostly all indented.

Best of all, tucked inside the book were two inserts asking me to please support their movie! With a “Double Your Money in 24 Month”…uh, something. Usually, it’s called a guarantee, but this one is just in quotation marks. And it’s 24 Month, rather than 24 Months, but I’m being nitpicky.

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  1. Fireshark on 27 October 2011, 02:25 said:

    I wonder what they’re doing with the movie money, assuming it’s been unofficially cancelled.

  2. Rorschach on 27 October 2011, 02:36 said:

    There isn’t really any signs that the movie has been canceled, aside from the lack of any recent updates. My guess is they’re still soliciting investors and holding out hope for a movie.

  3. Taku on 27 October 2011, 07:21 said:

    Can’t they get in big trouble for promising a 200% return on your investment? NOBODY makes that guarantee, especially not honest, experienced investors. It’s simply not feasible, practicable or believable, in most cases (the investments that do double your money generally don’t need to solicit potential investors).

    I’m not sure that making such a claim is even legal.

    Happy to see an attempt at professional-looking typesetting, though. I guess they stumbled across my spork in the early days and, of everything else they could have changed, decided that the font was most important.

  4. Fell Blade on 27 October 2011, 08:31 said:

    Nice typo on the back cover. “Gloria Tesch brings us back to the land were anything is possible”. Beautiful. They really need help with this whole editing/proof reading thing don’t they?

  5. swenson on 27 October 2011, 08:59 said:

    Oooh, this is nice.

    I’m slightly impressed that this thing has better formatting. So maybe she is paying more attention these days?

    And the movie thing… yeah. If anyone thought it was real before, we now know it’s not legit at all. (Or, if they had any intention of making the movie in the first place, we know it’s simply not going to happen now.) The problem is I’m sure some poor sucker out there has probably fallen for it. Or maybe not, we can only hope that Maradonia’s complete lack of a fanbase has protected the idiots of the world.

  6. BettyCross on 27 October 2011, 11:57 said:

    How much did it cost you? Are they still selling those things for the ungodly price of $99? I’ve seen them on sale for $19, which is actually a reasonable price for such a thick paperback.

    I actually like the cover art for “Law of Blood.” It’s extremely badass, which appeals to me. As for being slightly off center to the right, I don’t much care about that. It may even be deliberate. When I was taught newspaper layout, I was taught the eye scans the right side of the page first.

  7. Licht on 27 October 2011, 15:12 said:

    The cover-art reminds me of what they put on the “Die Zwerge” (The Dwarves) and “Die Orks” (The Orks) covers.
    Anyway, it’s a rather good one, second that.

  8. Vikingboybilly on 27 October 2011, 15:28 said:

    I wonder, is Gloria busy writing Battle for the Key right now? Judging from her brother’s youtube channel she’s been spending all her time jumping in lakes, LARPing resident evil, pretending to get caught in a hurricane at the beach, screaming her head off at lil’ wayne concerts, and riding her glow-in-the-dark skateboard.

    Will the sixth book ever be published? It was originally intended to be the second half of Law of Blood, both as one book titled “Battle for the Key”, and the conclusion of the trilogy. Rorscach, I think it would be proper to hold out for Battle for the Key’s release before starting the law of blood spork and call the third spork “Battle for the Key Sporkings.” Unless Battle for the Key never gets released, which sucks because we all already know Law of Blood won’t have a real ending on it’s own. Not that Seven Bridges did, either. Maya and Joey just went home when it was convenient. Actually, it wasn’t even convenient and made no sense. Gloria just got sick of writing.

  9. Erin on 27 October 2011, 15:47 said:

    I’m slightly impressed that this thing has better formatting.

    So was I! Perhaps she can be taught after all!

    @Vikingboybilly. Of course she’ll finish it! The world needs to know how the “mature and sophisticated” Maradonia saga ends.
    But really, I don’t see why she wouldn’t write it. Though the ending will, like Seven Bridges, probably just peter out instead of actually wrapping anything up.

  10. BettyCross on 27 October 2011, 16:23 said:

    There’s supposed to be an apocalyptic battle between good and evil, in which Maya and Joe[y] will be triumphant, according to the Oracular Toad / Frog. That’s the tricky thing about prophecy in fiction. You run the risk of spoiling all suspense about the ending.

  11. BettyCross on 27 October 2011, 17:36 said:

    Maya and Joey just went home when it was convenient. Actually, it wasn’t even convenient and made no sense. Gloria just got sick of writing.

    They went home when it was convenient for the author. They had never shown any homesickness before they decided to leave, and the conflict was far from over. The Mards bade them a fond farewell instead of begging them to continue providing such wonderful leadership.

  12. Vikingboybilly on 27 October 2011, 18:01 said:

    @Erin: I have no doubts she’ll finish writing battle for the key. But can it be PUBLISHED? Momma and daddy Tesch must be running out of money to throw at her failing franchise. Do they have the funds to print the final tome of fail? Do they have the heart to admit to their daughter that maradonia is a black hole where their money falls to disappear forever with less than no hope of turning a profit to feed themselves?

  13. Prince O' Tea on 27 October 2011, 20:59 said:

    I really do wonder where all their money came from. Probably drug trafficking or organ smuggling. The movie probably gobbled up what was left of the funds a (whatever the hell Jerry Tesch is, since we know now he is not a doctor of anything) and a homemaker with dubious drawing talents can accumulate between them. I really hope the Tesches didn’t do anything stupid like get a second mortgage and flirt with the prospect of homelessness. Unless they shot their movie dinosaur in the head before it seriously started cutting into their funds, since what they have spent so far is probably the cost of a nice holiday or two. Maybe more.

    But I am guessing the movie has been cancelled since there have been no updates in over six months.

  14. Mangraa on 27 October 2011, 22:25 said:

    I wonder if Tesch can spell “ponzi scheme” For the potential upcoming lawsuits.

    Somebody has to inquire about this, caused that’s what it sounds like is going on…shaaaady.

  15. Erin on 29 October 2011, 16:15 said:

    That’s a valid point. I too, have often wondered just where they’re getting the funds for this…thing.

  16. Prince o' Tea on 30 October 2011, 19:01 said:

    Tax evasion, drug and organ smuggling, with a bit of human trafficking.

    Considering Momma Tesch is a homemaker who occasionally draws for a hobby (rather then being a “gifted illustrator of books” as she is referred to on the Maradonia site) and Gerry Tesch… actually no one knows what the hell he is…

    They really can’t generate enough funds to keep the franchise afloat, especially since about twenty people have purchased Maradonia bukes.

  17. Mangraa on 13 April 2012, 09:19 said:

    I’ve heard daddy is a doctor. Gloria also stated that daddy was an evangelist (he may still be),, which makes sense given the Bible plagiarism which runs rampant in these books. I also read that daddy sort of screwed over the guy hired to direct the film, and even tried offering the directing job to someone the pseudo-director had introduced to daddy, for a lower price (meaning he went behind the directors back and offered someone else the job). Daddy never wrote up contracts or anything.

    All in all, daddy seems like he has a touch of the scumbag or hustler in him, but I could be wrong. But with all of the above (tax-free religious donations, shady business projects) plus the “double your money” thing which just SCREAMS ponzi scheme, I’m guessing they got some of their money through old-fashioned asshole tactics.