Elf in the Night

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On the eve of Neron becoming king (ri) of the Jutland Elves in Good Sister, Bad Sister, he discovers to his horror that his wife Nessa has the plague. He goes in search of Wizard Razzmorten…

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“Trafferth!” muttered old white haired Peredur as he yanked tight the sash of his robe. “I’m doing ye a favor here, unless ye want to be scared clean away from the door.” He glanced in the direction of the knocking as he stooped to pick up a flame on the wick of his 221028294183064616_NBVKNTHb_bcandle before stumping the length of the house to the door. “Dod i mewn, dod i mewn,” he said, fumbling to lift the latch with an empty sconce in one hand and a dribbling candle in the other. He threw open the door and looked the stranger up and down.

“Gabhaim pardun agat…” said Neron.

“Prince Neron!” said Peredur with a wide eyed gasp as he twisted the candle into the sconce at last. “Do come in! My word, I’m hardly dressed fit for a prince.”

“I’m so very sorry to be bothering you in the middle of the night…”

1859_021Peredur was already shaking his head. “Razzmorten’s not here,” he said. “It’s something terrible, isn’t it?”

Neron gave a nod.

“I simply don’t know where he is, Your Highness. He’s like that sometimes, and I never know what to do. But I can certainly wake Mistress Dewin for you…”

“Forgive me, but please do.”

Peredur’s eyes got very wide at this. He thrust his sconce into Neron’s hands and vanished into the blackness of the house, leaving a trail of hurried footfalls. He crept past Ugleeuh’s room andimages knocked softly on Minuet’s door. The door came open immediately, causing him to gasp and step backward.

” Peredur!” said Minuet. “I thought you were Leeuh.”

“I suppose my tiptoeing woke you. I’m sorry. Prince Neron is down at the door. Something awful has happened and he wanted to see your father. I told him you’d speak with him.”       

“Very well. Thank you. Just go on back to bed. I’ll take care of it.”

Minuet found Neron still dutifully holding the flickering candle. She curtsied and relieved him of it image018as she lit every candle in the room with a wave of her hand and saw that his face looked haunted. “The plague?” she thought. “You’re trying to find Father?” she said.

“Desperately, I’m afraid. My wife may be dying.”

“That’s terrible! I don’t know where he is.”

Neron’s eyes fell shut for a moment.

“Is she ill, injured?”

“I’m very sorry,” said Neron, getting hold of himself. “It would be irresponsible of me to disclose that. Please. It’s just that…”

“Is it the plague?”Medieval-Home-Decor

“Oh Fates, yes!” he said, squeezing shut his eyes with a silent sob.

“Forgive me Prince Neron,” she said. “I’ve not quite told you the truth. Please excuse me. I’ll be right back.” She turned at once and vanished into the hallway. By the time he had found a chair and had taken a weary seat, she was back. “This,” she said as she handed him her vial and pipette, “is oil of oregano. Put six drops under her tongue, six times a day.”

“This is the very cure?” he cried, springing to his feet.oil-of-oregano

“Yes it is. Does she have buboes?”

“My dear sweet child,” said Neron as he reached out, intending to give her a firm hug. “Thank the very Fates for you! Oh!” he said, stopping short and stepping back away from her. “I mustn’t expose you. No. She has the hepatic kind.”

“Good. Then that will give you more oil for under her tongue. Make sure she takes every last oreganodrop of it. And again, I’m sorry for my not telling you the truth. Father gave me strict orders that no one was to know his whereabouts. He’s getting a hay load of oregano plants along the south shore of the Gulf of Orrin. I’ll tell him that I told you, but please tell no one else.”

“You have my word. Niarg has the plague, too? remote_image_1331653487

“Several have died at Castle Niarg,” she said with a nod. “The first death was a young courier from Far, so it’s there, too.”

Neron paused to shake his head grimly. “I must go,” he said as he hurriedly stepped to the door and opened it. “Thank you, thank you! You’ve saved my whole world.”

“Six drops under her tongue, six times a day…” she called after him, but he had already vanished into the night air.

“Nessa,” he said softly the moment he appeared by her side, “I have the most wonderful news.” He gently brushed aside her hair. Her forehead was cold. For a moment he couldn’t breathe. He frantically grabbed up her cold hand and held it to his cheek as a horror of icy fire flooded his chest. “Oh…! No!” he cried out, echoing through every hall in the palace as his legs buckled and gave way.

 

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

 

 

It’s Either Kill Trolls or Pack for Home

 

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The breeze rattled the cottonwood leaves overhead as it chased through the tall big bluestem grass beyond the butt and died away. Rose drew her bowstring to her cheek,
hesitated and planted her eighth arrow in the target. A warbling vireo went back to its
meandering medley from the crown of the cottonwood. Rose nocked her next arrow and
found the target with her eyes.

“My word!” said Fuzz as he walked up behind her. “That’s a whole bouquet of arrows in the bull’s eye. That looks like forty yard.”

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Rose nodded and lowered her bow. “Father always had us practice,” she said.

“I remember seeing that light longbow of yours back home, but we were in such a rush that I never once saw you use it,” he said with a nod at the target. “You’re just plain good, particularly with this breeze. Have you missed any at all?”

“I’ve not yet been to the target.”

Fuzz whistled. “Well what do you think of Olloo’s spare bow? I’m all done feeding the birds, by the way.”

Rose raised her bow and quickly put another arrow in the bull’s eye. “I like it,” she said, letting the breeze blow a strand of hair out of her face as she turned to look at him. “But it’s not at all like the one Soraya had. This thing’s longer and shoots almost like a proper 9204cacfb3a66323628d914d5330f62clongbow.”

“Well that makes sense, out here in the open in the Strah,” he said, giving her a quick peck on the cheek. “I knew Inney had got it for you, but I never asked you why. Are you wanting to be ready for Spitemorta or Demonica sometime after we get home?”

“I was thinking trolls.”

“The raid…”

“Damned right!” she said with a fiery look. “Those were the sweetest three little kids I think I ever saw. That little towhead Aalin trotted up with her ringlets just a-bouncing and gave me a fistful of asters the very afternoon before the trolls came. I still see her face.” she thrust out her chin and picked up another arrow. “You know, that makes four men, three young ladies, one of them about to be wed, and six little scoots like Aalin since we got here. They’re going to get wiped out at this rate.”

“Probably not. They’ve been out here doing this for the last thousand years.”

Rose turned to face the target to find an old ewe and her pair of lambs in the way. “Yea?” Ewe and lambsshe said. “Well what about our wee baban on the way, aye? One of those trolls gets too close to our little girl to be, and I’ll want to puncture the curse.”

“So that’s what this is about,” said Fuzz. “Have you forgotten that trolls don’t eat humans?”

“You think they’ll look at her ears after they grab her up? And can you imagine any trolls raiding Balley Cheerey who’d check each little girl for pointed ears before stealing her away? They’d just grab her up, right? And if they saw their mistake, do you reckon they’d dutifully fetch her back here? They’d either eat her for dessert or kick her out in the woods with the wolves.”

“Well, you’re right,” he said, squatting beside her and pulling a timothy head. “So what do you want to do?”

“Fight back!” she said, dropping to her knees beside him. “Or at least be able to. You Warbling Vireo, singing_6444know, I don’t really understand why the Elves haven’t wiped them out by now, Fuzz. Inney told me once about when they almost did. They tracked the monsters to their
stinking caves and killed nearly every one of the curses where they slept before the
handful which survived got away. And when they can do nearly everything just a little
better than we can, why didn’t they ever hunt down those survivors and end the menace?
When I think of little Aalin, it makes me want to cry.”

“Tramman was telling me about that, once,” he said as he watched the ewe graze bite by bite to the foot of the target. “He said that they did indeed hunt down the trolls that got away and they were right certain they’d got all of them, too. So when the next troll raid occurred years and years later, they were completely unprepared and lost eleven children all in one night. Can you imagine?”

“Oh Fuzz, what are we going to do? It’s a true paradise here without the troll raids. I’ve never in my life been around such wonderful, wonderful people. Inney’s the sweetest kid I’ve ever known. And I really did want to have the baby right here. But the trolls scare me. And I find myself missing Niarg more, day by day. I keep thinking we should be there for the birth. It’s where we really belong.”

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Fuzz scooted closer, picked up her hand and closed his eyes as he kissed her wrist. “Then maybe we should go home, dear,” he said. “The Elves have told Karl-Veur and me that we might well hire a fishing boat from Gwael to take us across the sea.” He paused to look at her. “And there’s nothing to stop us from doing it right now if we were to buy our
passage with some of the jewelry that washed up on the beach in your trunk. Now believe
me, I’d never just up and tell you to do such a thing…”

“I’ll give every blooming jewel I thought was long lost if it takes it,” she said. “Well, not the emerald necklace from Mother nor your earrings that match. Well. You know, I’d almost give those to go home.”

“Then it sounds as though you might be serious. Well if you think it over and…”

“That would just waste time. I’m ready to go pack.”

“Then I’ll go talk to Tramman right now.”

“Fuzz,” she said, putting her hand on his arm before he got to his feet. “I will stay if you want.”

“You really would, wouldn’t you?”

“Of course I would.”

“That’s why I’m crazy about you, Rose,” said Fuzz. “But I miss Edward. I mean, what must he think after all this time?”

Suddenly two half grown strike falcons appeared out of the grass and came dashing up to them across the butts with a rabbit apiece, startling the sheep.

“Carrey and Sidoor!” she said, shooting to her feet to hug Carrey’s fluffy neck. “How’d Phororhacosthey get out?”

“Sidoor kept putting images of fat rabbits in my head, so I thought about you out here and turned them out.”

“So what about our birds, Fuzz? We can’t leave them behind.”

“Of course not,” he said as he watched the birds drop their rabbits and rip them into pieces small enough to swallow. “They go with us, and that’s all there is to it. Now, I think we should find Karl-Veur and see if he wants to go with us or stay here.”

“Or go back to the Dark Continent. After all, you know he misses Yuna and young Yann-Ber. I think we should let him know that it’s all right with us if he changes his mind about trying to get into Demonica’s good graces.”

“Oh sure. But I’ve got a feeling he’s set on doing what he came with us to do, in spite of the price he has to pay.”

“Let’s go,” said Rose as she unstrung her bow and picked up her quiver.

“Then we talk to Tramman and Obbree about hiring a fishing boat,” he said, taking her by the hand.

“I’m for that,” she said, squeezing his arm.

Ch. 20,The Reaper Witch

 

Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Ocker Teaches Blodwen

 

The moment Blodwen leant aside for more apples for her pan of water, Ocker and Urr-Urr rushed at her other pan and snapped up several apple slices apiece.”Hey fowl!” she cried, hoplessly too late as they buoyed themselves above the reach of her swat with a couple of flaps and settled at the far end of the board.

bn_raven“Yea?” said Ocker as he gobbled down his slices. “Ravens is the kind we happen to be, if ye want to sound like you know things, dear. And by the way, nice apples.”

“Thieving vermin is what,” she growled. “Ye’re damned well told, nice apples! I sliced ’em.”

“Good for you, sweetheart,” he said as he lunged into the air to hover over her shoulder. “You owe us.”

“Just how in all the chiming bells of Golltowre is that?” she said, turning square
about on her seat in time for Urr-Urr to grab out more slices from her pan and lungeimages
into the air.

“Damn you varmints!” she cried, wheeling back to her pan.

“Listen quiente,” he said, hovering at her ear, “you owe us because Meri Greenwood would never have got here without us. And if you had any sense you’d see hit. And while you’re a-wising up, shouldn’t someone be looking after Meri?”

“What?” she said.

“What’s going to keep him from going all crazy and beating up the old hag,anyway?” he said, settling onto the table by Urr-Urr to take one of her slices. “If she’s as
confounded ugly as these two, he might.”

Closeup_North_Amer_Crow_t700“Look ‘ee here!” cried Hubba Hubba. “These old ladies are nice!”

“Yea?” rattled Ocker. “What do you know about it, fraud? You ain’t even a bird.”

“I’ll have you know I’m a double yellow-head Amazon…”

“Popinjays never made it all the way to birddom, hole!”

“And nobody owes you the time o’ day…”

“Well Hubba Hubba,” said Minuet, “I do owe him my life…”

“He’s that very Ocker?”

Minuet and Razzmorten both nodded with twinkling eyes.

“Well maybe if he just watched his mouth…”

“Hey, I’m just distracted, Yellow Crow,” said Ocker with wide-eyed smacks of his beak, gobbling down another slice of apple. “I mean, we brought Meri all the way here,and now his whole world just caved in on him, don’t ye know…”

il_570xN.408687206_rfku“Whosoes woreld hath juste kaaved in?” said Meri as everyone in the room stopped short at the sight of the radiantly gorgeous Celeste on his arm.

“You fixed her,” awked Ocker. “You going to pretty up the other Fairies, too?”

“Ich didde nat,” he said as he and Celeste knelt before a speechless Minuet. “My gracious Queene. Wolt thou us to marye this verray howre? In dede, wolt thou plesebeauty-blue-hair-emo-green-hair-Favim.com-1014236
marye us byforn weo risen fro oure knees?”

“Why, there’s nothing I’d enjoy more!”

“Thanne byforn weo to risen, plese do,” said Meri.

“But you need a bouquet,” said Nacea.

“And shulden nat weo for this to reherse?” said Alvita.long-blue-green-hair

“Swyven off, you two!” said Ocker. “They want to nest.”

“Plese,” said Celeste. “Byforn my lokes dekay. Everych oon plese stant with us. Ocker, perchestow on Meri, if thou woldest. Every brid on a shulder. Ceidwad and Lladdwr, my derre children, plese yeve me awey.”

The room hushed at once to hear the joyous vows.

Ch. 15, The Reaper Witch

***

They heard wings in time for Ocker to land on the board in front of Blodwen. “Hello, Apple-Slice,” he said, running his beak down a flight feather.

162767579_a-basket-of-apples-giclee-print-by-august-laux“No!” snapped Blodwen, covering her pan with her arms. “Beat it!”

“Hey Apple-Slice,” he croaked, walking right up to her pan with a cock of his head. “Better look out for Urr-Urr.”

At the sound of wings behind her, she threw her chin to her shoulder to see.Quarter-the-Apples

Ocker grabbed up a huge beakful of slices and flew to the mantle.

“Look out Blodwen!” cawed Hubba Hubba, right before Urr-Urr grabbed a slice from the other side of the pan.

“Shut up Two-Head,” said Ocker, setting his mouthful at his feet.

“You’re in on it too, Hubba-Hubba?” said Blodwen as she watched Urr-Urr fly away with her prize.

“No!” cawed Hubba-Hubba. “I was only trying…”

“Thanks Two-Head,” said Ocker. “Urr-Urr would never ‘ave got hers without yourhelp.”

“Hey! I was not trying to help Urr-Urr.”

“Don’t you birds ever learn?” said Blodwen as she covered her pan with a bread board.

“You’re the one who won’t learn, quiente,” said Ocker. “We had you figured out the moment we saw you. That’s why we’re still having to give you lessons.”

Ch. 17, The Reaper Witch

 

 

 

Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

The Albino Troll Kid and the Elves

 Excerpt From Elf Killers

“Isbal! Reina! Strangers!” bellowed the troll as he wheeled and vanished into the adjoining room.

“It talks!” cried Kieran, springing after to let fly an arrow which glanced off a long polished table top and stuck in the far wall.

“Stop!” shrieked a woman, suddenly appearing from the hallway.

“Aunt Isbal!” cried Oisin, letting down his bow. “You’re alive!”

“Yes I am. Now don’t shoot our troll…!”

“‘Our’ troll? Who else made it through the massacre? And how would you ever have a troll?”

“Your aunt Reina is who else. Now you heard me about not shooting him, right?”

“How does one not shoot a troll?” said Kieran.

Beautiful male elf in the magic forest. Fantasy. Fairy tale, magic.

“By being polite enough not to, Kieran!” said Isbal.

“I’m sorry, Isbal. I just saw them kill…”

“Yes. So did I. But this one won’t. Come on out Darragh. Come on now.”

After a pause, a chair scooted away from the long polished table with a screech on the stone floor as Darragh lumbered out from under it and slowly stood up.

“Now this is Darragh, and I swear he’ll not harm a single hair on your head…”

“What’s the matter with it?” said Olloo. “I’ve never seen one with snow white hair before. And what’s wrong with the thing’s eyes?”

“Shake their hands, Darragh,” she said as she gently took him by the wrist and held his hand toward Kieran.

Kieran stepped back as Oisin came forth in his place and took Darragh by the hand.

“How do you?” rumbled Darragh with a beetle browed nod as he pumped out a couple of giant handshakes.

“Carefully, sport,” said Oisin with a wary look as he stepped back.

“Meanie. And he meanie, too,” said Darragh, wrinkling his nose with a sneer and pointing at Kieran and Olloo

“Well shake his hand, Kieran,” said Olloo.

“No!” said Darragh, shaking his head from shoulder to shoulder. “He big big meanie. He dirtybutt stinkerman.”

“Well,” said Olloo, “there’ve been moments on the way here when we’ve thought so ourselves, Darragh.”

Kieran bit his lip and kicked Olloo in the ankle.

“See?” said Darragh. “Meanie!”

“So how did you come by him?” said Oisin. “And where’s Aunt Reina?”

“Back through the house,” said Isbal. “I can see that this will require some refreshments. Let me take you to the sitting room. Come along, Darragh.”

Soon they had exchanged greetings with Reina and were all seated comfortably around a tea table in a small parlour. Isbal and Reina disappeared into the kitchen and returned shortly with hot blackberry tarts and tea. “We harvested the blue maidenhair you’re about to drink last year right after the massacre,” said Reina as she set down the tray with the steaming pot.

“Why do you have it so dark in here?” said Oisin.

“The light hurts Darragh’s eyes,” said Isbal. “If we don’t keep it dark, he’ll sleep all day and keep us awake all night…”

“Drum and hoot-hoot, Isbal?” said Darragh as he tumbled onto the floor in front of her and pressed his cheek to her foot. “Please hoot-hoot?”

“That’s probably a good idea. Go get the instruments,” she said as he sprang to his feet and raced out.

He was back in short order with a field drum and two clay jugs. He set the drum on its side with a bang and reverently nestled the smaller jug in Isbal’s lap before plumping down cross legged on the floor with the larger jug. He scooted the drum about until he could touch its head with the ball of one foot. Like a conductor tapping his baton, he shifted about for a moment and got still. Presently he began a brisk tapping of the drum with his foot: pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum, pum..

Isbal joined him in time with her jug: foof…foof…foof…foof…

Darragh in turn added a commanding: toofa…toofa…toofa…toofa… so that together they went: foof toofa, foof toofa, foof toofa, foof toofa, foof toofa, foof toofa, foof toofa, foof toofa… for a very long time. After a spell, it became quite mesmerizing indeed. Suddenly he stopped his jug with a loud thump of his drum: bam!

Isbal continued: foof…foof…foof…foof… until Darragh went: wham! on his drum, sprang to his feet and gave a dignified bow. For a moment, there was not a sound in the room.

At last, Oisin set down his teacup with a clink. “Why, I’ve never heard the like,” he said. “That was quite impressive, Darragh.”

Darragh grinned hugely and bowed again and again.

“Darragh,” said Isbal, holding out her jug, “why don’t you go out and play for a while? I promise that as soon as Reina has the next pies out of the oven, we’ll call you in.”

“Oh good, good!” he said with a bounce as he gave her a squeeze and took her jug. He scurried out at once with the jugs. He was back immediately for the drum, pausing to stick out his tongue at Kieran. “Bad meanie stinky privy seat!” he rumbled. He gave his chest two good thumps with his fists and tramped out.

“Just what does he have against me?” said Kieran.

“I expect he takes exception to being shot at,” said Isbal.

“Nay. He’s just a good judge of character, is all…” said Olloo.

Kieran leant aside with a frown and gave Olloo a smack on the back of the head.

“Well, speaking of fighting and dying, if you know what I mean, how ever did you come by Darragh?” said Oisin. “Do you really trust him?”

“So the dear child scares you, does he?”

“Not as much as on first sight. Child? I can see that he sort of acts like one, but he’s a good head taller than me and might weigh as much as all three of us.”

“He’s not an Elf Killer,” said Isbal, looking up as Reina returned with another pot, “Well troll he be, but he is indeed innocent.”

“How can you call any sort of troll a ‘dear child,'” said Kieran, “or innocent?”

“Because that’s what he is, Kieran,” said Isbal. “Darragh wouldn’t harm so much as an insect unless it bit him first.

a9d58e6a220145c3376074ebc15e9f02“You say he’s actually a child?” said Olloo.

“Aye,” said Reina as she poured tea all ’round. “We reckon that trolls are grown enough to start pestering sows at about eleven. You’d have to bathe him, but you’d see he’s not near there yet.

“Eleven!”

“They’re pretty short lived. When did you first get giddy over girls, two hundred and ten or two hundred and twenty, perhaps?”

“But trolls are monsters, Reina,” said Kieran.

Reina sighed and carefully set the teapot on the marble tea table. “Monsters they be, Kieran,” she said. “We were captured, don’t you know, along with who knows how many others.” She turned a haunted look to Isbal and licked her lips. Isbal took up her hand and squeezed it, but neither of them smiled.

Everyone sat for a moment, stunned by this. “How did you ever…?” said Oisin.

“Oh, as far as we know, we were the only ones to escape their horrible fires. They had so many captives, and were all gone wild with their hellish carousal that they seemed to have no interest in a couple of dried up old gammers. They never even bothered tying us up. They just threw us down in the dirt outside where everyone could see us. We were so terrified that we just stayed right where they put us, doing everything we could not to watch what was going on. We still wake up in the night with horrible dreams…”

“Then a scrap broke out right in front of us,” said Isbal. “The big old trollbrutes tore Darragh away from his mother. The moment they took out their sharp flints, fixing to cut him open, she stopped kicking at them and began licking their feet…”

“With her tongue?” said Olloo.

“Yes indeed, all over the tops of them and between their toes, and it stopped the curses from cutting him open. They yanked him up onto his feet by his hair and shoved him at his poor mother…”

“And the instant they did that,” said Reina, “I grabbed Isbal and we ran for the brush as hard as we could go. Just after we’d got well out of sight of the fires, the mother grabbed us by the hair and yanked us onto our backs. As we were a-struggling to get up, she shoved Darragh at us and got on her hands and knees and went to whimpering and licking at our feet. Poor Darragh was crying and carrying on too, and she bit him good a couple of times and made him go with us.

“We ran for what seemed like hours, and Darragh stayed right with us, hanging onto us for dear life. When we got back here, we found no one alive and we spent the next several days, burying bodies. We just kept running into them. Darragh kept trying to help us, so long as we didn’t go out in the bright sun. He also started in right away, trying to use our words. He won’t use trollish…”

“How can you be sure he won’t turn on you sometime?” said Kieran.

Reina heaved a sigh. “Well he’s not about to,” she said. “A few weeks ago, maybe fifty trollbrutes came back here late in the evening and nosed around through building after building for long enough, we thought they’d never leave. Darragh hid us in a passage in the palace that he’d found. He was playing outside when they showed up and the very sight of them terrified him. He was trembling all over and he kept calling them ‘monsters,’ and we couldn’t begin to coax him out of the passage until long after they were gone. He won’t ever talk about living with the other trolls, but over time we have managed to piece together that he was tormented by them day and night, and that they were continually threatening to eat him.” She clapped her knees with sudden resolution and stood up. “I think the pies must be ready by now.”

“Yea,” said Isbal. “It might do you some good, Kieran, if you went out and got Darragh. My guess is that he’s out in the stable. He won’t be far. He’s crazy about blackberry tarts…”

“Me?”

“Just go out through the kitchen.”

Seeing that no one was about to come to his aid, Kieran sheepishly rose and followed Reina. Beyond a long roofed breezeway, he stepped into an enormous barn like a rough hewed cathedral. “Darragh?” he called. There was no answer. He went from stall to stall along both walls, standing empty in the cobwebs. “Darragh?” Not finding him, he climbed into the mow. Pigeons cooed and strutted along a great timber, high up the far wall. “Darragh? Darragh! Come on! They’ve got pie!”

“No!” cried Darragh, standing up in the hay. “You dirtybutt meanie!”

“Come on, Darragh! I came out to get you for pie!”cherry_pie_case_for_the_ipad_mini-rf252931f447246c89e9010b93c82d7d7_w9wmu_8byvr_324

Darragh shook his head from shoulder to shoulder. Without warning, he threw a fist sized rock, taking off Kieran’s hat, making him see stars and setting him down hard upon the mow floor. Darragh was standing over him at once. “We even, Dirtybutt!” he cried as he gave his chest a good drumming with his fists. He held out his hand. “Now maybe you no more be meanie.”

Kieran took his hand and stood up.

“Now. Any more meanie?”

“No. I came out here to get you for pie.”

“Good, good! I like pie.”

“Even better than what you ate when you lived with the Marfora Siofra?”

“Boof! Dyrney no eat good things. Dyrney say they’ll eat me and say they’ll eat me and say they’ll eat me. Dyrney even want Fmoo to eat me.”

“Are Dyrney the Marfora Siofra? Who’s Fmoo?”

Darragh clenched his teeth and his fists and gave an angry shudder as he nodded and hissed through his nose. “‘Dyrney’ be troll talk for ‘people,’ but Dyrney no be people. Dyrney be awful, awful, awful, awful monsters.”

“Who’s Fmoo?”

“Fmoo be my real momma. But ‘fmoo’ and ‘Dyrney’ be troll words. I hate troll words. Just Elf words, please? I be Elf now.”

“You’ve got a deal, Darragh.”

“Good, good!” cried Darragh, with a thundering leap on the mow floor. “We eat pie.”

The heady aroma of blackberry tarts met them as they returned to the parlour beyond the kitchen. “Kieran no more be dirty butt meanie,” said Darragh as he scurried up to sit on the floor before the tea table.

“Why, that’s remarkable,” said Olloo, earning another smack on the back of the head as Kieran took his seat. “We never quite managed.”

 

Elf Killers

 

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps 

Welcome to “THE BUTTON” Blog Tour! @DLFinnAuthor #4WillsPub #RWISA #RRBC

The Button Tour Giveaway:

2- “The Button” Kindle Format

$5 Amazon Gift Card

1-“The Button” Signed Paperback and Book Marker

 

Character Interview from 1983 between D.L. Finn and the angel, Zelina.

DF: Welcome, Zelina. I’m excited to have you here today.

Z: I am pleased to be here with you.

DF: Can you tell us a bit about yourself?

Z: Tell you a bit about myself? I am an angel, as you can see from my green wings. My job is to help humans.

DF: Yes, of course, you’re an angel. About your job, do you work alone or with others?

Z: That is a good question. I usually work alone, but there is another angel, Thomas, that needs some extra guidance from me. Of course, I can always use help when dealing with evildwels.

DF: Can you explain what an evildwel is?

Z: They are a dark mist with red eyes that feed off human fear and pain. They find their hosts and encourage evil people to behave worse. I cannot read them like I do humans or other angels. There seems to be no explanation of their behavior other than to cause more suffering in this world. You should note that not all bad people have evildwels inside of them, and good people do not attract these things. One strange thing about them is some will take the soul with them after their host dies and some leave it. We get the ones they leave. And to be honest, I am quite uncomfortable around these dark entities.

DF: They sound horrible.  I’ve never heard of them. Are they new creatures?

Z: Yes, they are horrible. You have never heard of them because they do not reveal themselves to humans. New? No. I believe their race to be ancient like us angels. It was a long time ago I saw my first evildwel. I have no idea where they came from but not the same place as us angels. I cannot read them, like I said, and what interaction I have had has not produced much information other than their hate directed at angels. I might have an answer in the future. There is this evildwel…but no, I cannot talk about that right now.

DF: You have me intrigued, but I won’t press you for an answer. How did you find Lynn?

Z: Find her? She was not lost and not mine to find. I do not pick and choose who I help. I get the cases that fit me, and, like I said, Thomas needed closure and my help. Lynn’s existence and survival are essential for many reasons I cannot go into now. I suppose one reason, since you seem to have to know, is because of my reputation of being what is called a “tough angel”.

DF: I didn’t have to know…oh, right, you read minds. Okay, well…um…You were there when Lynn tried to kill herself as a teenager, correct?

Z: Yes, that is correct.

DF: Now you are trying to help her as an adult? Is she going to survive?

Z: She has made some poor decisions and gotten into a mess, as you humans put it. As for surviving, it depends on what she does and who she trusts. Her best friends’ life depends on that. I really cannot comment anymore on this situation. It is unfolding as we speak, and I should get back to Lynn. In a few hours, she will need my full attention.

DF: I understand. Please come back. Maybe we could talk more about evildwels. Thank you for your time Zelina.

Z: You are very welcome. I will consider coming back in the future. Excuse me; I must extend my wings — goodbye for now.

 

D.L. Finn is an independent California local, who encourages everyone to embrace their inner child. She was born and raised in the foggy Bay Area, but in 1990 relocated with her husband, kids, dogs and cats to the Sierra foothills in Nevada City, CA.  She immersed herself in reading all types of books, but especially loved romance, horror and fantasy. She always treasured creating her own reality on paper. Finally, being surrounded by towering pines, oaks and cedars, her creativity was cradled until it bloomed. Her creations vary from children’s books, young adult fantasy, adult paranormal romance to an autobiography with poetry. She continues on her adventure with an open invitation to her readers to join her.

D.L. Finn Links:

Twitter

Facebook

Instagram

Pinterest

D.L. Finn blog

Purchase Links:

Amazon

Barnes & Noble

Smashwords

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  
Lastly, D.L. is a member of the best book club ever – RAVE REVIEWS BOOK CLUB {#RRBC} and she’s also a member of the very elite, RAVE WRITERS -INT’L SOCIETY OF AUTHORS {RWISA}! If you’re looking for amazing support as an author, or if you simply love books, JOIN US! We’d love to have you!
Thanks for supporting this author and her work!

 

 

WHAM! First Ever FREE BOOK Promo 2/28/19 – 3/04/19

FREE for the FIRST TIME EVER and the ONLY TIME this year. WHAM! Timewalker Book 1  getbook.at/WHAM  2/28/19 – 2/04/19.

 

They took her world. They took her family. They said it was for the greater good.

They lied… 

From husband and wife writing team, Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps, WHAM is an imaginative and original dystopian fantasy where technology and magic stand side by side. 

“Rarely have I seen fantasy and science fiction married so successfully.” 

When Children and Family Assistance police drag her mom, her dad and her beautiful sister out the door into the night and beat her senseless, Tess Greenwood finds herself alone, her every move watched by the hidden World Alliance. Almost blind after her beating, she flees to the forbidden Broadstreet compound and a troll named Maxi.

So begins Tess’s journey from quiet teen at home to fierce young woman, determined to get back her family any way she can. Even if she must travel time itself. 

But time is one thing she has little of. Those arrested in the night seldom live for long, and beautiful young women are destined to become toys for the elite.

Frantic, Tess tries to pull herself together to save her loved ones and her world… and the clock is ticking.

Get your copy and enter the world of the Timewalkers.

“At first, I thought this was your typical dystopian story, but I quickly learned it is so much more. Layer upon layer was peeled back as I read, revealing themes of corruption, power, and greed as well as familial love and loyalty that spans the ages.”

DOWNLOAD YOUR COPY! 

Recently Tom and I woke up to this in my email:

CONGRATULATIONS! – 2018 Fifth Annual New Apple Book Awards for Excellence in Independent Publishing

Your book ‘WHAM! Timewalker Book 1‘ was chosen as an “Official Selection” in the YA FANTASY category of our Fifth Annual Indie Book Awards! 

We are excited and most honored to have been chosen for this award.

COMING SOON: WHAM! Audio Book

LISTEN to the beautiful voice of SKY WILDMIST as she reads TIME DOES NOT EXIST, the intro to WHAM!

Time does not Exist

multiverse

My how time flies. Isn’t it something how twenty years ago seems like only yesterday, yet back when you were four, a summer lasted for a small eternity? Not only have we all heard this sort of thing, but every last one of us experiences time exactly this way. Meanwhile, we have the clock ticking away at exactly the same rate today that it ticked forty years ago. The reason that this can happen is because there is no real time which exists in nature at all. And since it doesn’t exist, there is no way one could ever run it backwards, change its rate or travel in it.

article-2636397-1E1DB20500000578-944_634x460

All that happens in nature is the progressive occurrence of natural phenomena. Cells divide at the speed which they happen to divide, the granite cliff face crumbles onto the talus pile below as fast as it crumbles, and the earth rotates on and on, independent of any sort of time.

Time is our abstraction. We invented it, just as we came up with the inch and the foot and the mile. We began keeping track of the earth’s rotations and invented time based upon a rotation’s subdivision, hours at first with sundials, then minutes, once we had managed a reliable clock escapement and eventually nanoseconds. As soon as we had invented these hour and second pieces of a rotation of the earth, we could measure the duration of all sorts of things in terms of them.

And from beginning to end, we remain biological beings. We do not innately look at things from the perspective of a ticking mechanism. Events fly by more as we get older simply because our only natural way of sensing them is by contrasting their duration with how long our life has been so far. A summer for a four year old is a far more noticeable percentage of his life than it is of the life of an eighty year old.

stock-footage-a-network-tunnel-computer-generated-animation-seconds

There is indeed a progression of natural events that we are swept along with. And we can call this progression “time” if we must, but our label gives us no mastery at all. We only progress at the rate nature allows. We might someday leap into space faster than light and turn about to see earlier events brought to us by the light we outran, but this is not time travel. We are only fooling ourselves. If we are ever to go rollicking about in the distant past or future, we shall simply have to use magic.

Tom Phipps

Listen to Time Does Not Exist as read by Sky Wildmist:

 

Welcome to the “ACE CARROWAY AND THE BLOG MONSTER” Blog Tour! @GuyWorthey #4WillsPub #RRBC

Greetings one and all, and a hearty thank-you to my kind host and 4 Wills Publishing!

Please be sure to leave a comment below for your chance to win one of the following prizes:
-(3) Kindle ebooks – Winner’s choice (US residents only)
-(1) $10 Amazon gift card (US residents only) or $10 (via PayPal for non-US residents)

In this first blog tour stop, I’d like to introduce myself and the Ace Carroway series. It’s no use railing against the inevitable. It’s got to be done or else people will be lost. Here to help me is my fake interviewer, Mr. Bigg Faquir, abbreviated herein as “FAQ.” He looks a little bit like Boris Karloff in a turban.

GW: Greetings, Mr. Faquir.

FAQ: Tell us little bit about yourself.

GW: I’m a bloke. He/him. I live in the dry part of Washington State.

FAQ: That’s it? That’s the “elevator pitch?” You’re not very good at back-cover blurbs, I take it.

GW: Terrible.

FAQ: …

GW: All right, I’ll try harder. I’m a professor of astrophysics at Washington State University, specializing in galaxy evolution, especially the creation and distribution of the various chemical elements.

FAQ: …

GW: …

FAQ: Moving on, then. Do you have any training as a writer?

GW: Nope! Just what I gleaned in school to start. In my day job I write a lot, but it’s technical writing. As soon as I started contemplating publishing fiction for general consumption, I had to learn a huge amount in a short time. I joined several writer’s groups, bought self-help books, and found a couple of support groups online. It’s a good thing I like learning, because creative writing and technical writing are worlds apart.

FAQ: House?

GW: Gryffindor. Subcategory Neville Longbottom, of course.

FAQ: Naturally. What are your books about? Ace sounds like a card in a poker game more than astrophysics.

GW: Cecilia “Ace” Carroway has a sense of humor, but she’s not really a card. She is an actual Ace, though, in the sense of having downed more than five enemy planes in the Great War. She’s a very well-educated young woman, clearly destined to be a hero. The books are about the adventures of Ace Carroway and her five associates as they travel the world, solving mysteries and fighting crime.

FAQ: The way you said that, it sounds a little corny.

GW: It’s pulp fiction, or at least has that flavor. Think wild plots with exaggerated characters. It’s written for teens, so it’s clean, but I’m finding that older readers appreciate a fast, clean read, too.

FAQ: What’s the setting?

GW: 1920s. But it’s not quite the earth we know. It’s altered from true history. It’s got airships, undiscovered lands, and the status of women is a little higher than the actual.

FAQ: How many books are out?

GW: Three.

FAQ: More on the way?

GW: I’ve drafted seven. Erm. They’re short.

FAQ: Good grief. When do you find time to do all that?

GW: That’s seasonally dependent and day job dependent. The short answer is, for the most part, the hour or two before I go to bed. Editing takes a lot longer than writing the first draft. The turtle wins the race, as they say.

FAQ: Is seven the end? When are you going to stop?

GW: Well, the story arc, such as it is, wraps up in about ten. I’ll evaluate whether to write more after Darko Dor gets some comeuppance.

FAQ: Darko Dor is a character? List your characters.

GW: Stick with me through the week. The remainder of the blog tour is a tour of the characters. One character per day.

FAQ: Is it time for the limerick, yet?

GW: Yes. Each stop on the tour concludes with a limerick.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A limerick!

 

Ace and her crew never shrink

From danger, and never rethink

The rash high speed chase

Or risky crime case.

Their motto could be “never blink.”

 

 

 

 

 

Join Ace Carroway and her motley gang of associates as they travel the world, solving mysteries and fighting crime.

In ACE CARROWAY and the GREAT WAR, sixteen-year-old Cecilia Carroway lies about her age and joins the war effort as a pilot. She earns her Ace nickname over France, but is forced down behind enemy lines. Escape plans are imperiled when Ace catches the attention of imperial minister Darko Dor.

Three years later, in ACE CARROWAY AROUND THE WORLD, Ace’s father dies in a hail of bullets in quiet Hyannis, Cape Cod. Lieutenant Drew Lucy is on the case, but it’s Ace Carroway at the top of his list of suspects.

In ACE CARROWAY and the HANDSOME DEVIL, Ace barely survives an assassination attempt at the hands of her old nemesis Darko Dor. Figuring the best defense is offense, she starts a detective agency in New York. Before the paint on the door dries, a new web of deception ensnares the rookie sleuths. Sudden romantic attention from a pair of handsome strangers is good, right?

The Adventures of Ace Carroway are available at many fine stores around the world.

Links #1 Great War #2 Around the World #3 Handsome Devil
Paperback Paperback Paperback Paperback
Kindle Kindle Kindle Kindle
Nook, Kobo, Apple, 24 Symbols, Playster, Scribd, Angus & Robertson Ebook $1.99 Others Others

Wyoming native Guy Worthey traded spurs and lassos for telescopes and computers when he decided on astrophysics for a day job. Whenever he temporarily escapes the gravitational pull of stars and galaxies, he writes fiction. He lives in Washington state with his violinist wife Diane. He likes cats and dogs and plays keyboards and bass guitar. His favorite food is called creamed eggs on toast, but once in a while he heeds the siren song of chocolate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.

Welcome to the SEASONS Blog Tour @ErnestineRose25 #4WillsPub #RRBC

 

Reflection

 

There I was, just minding my own business

Doing all the things I thought I was supposed to do.

I ate fruits and vegetables,

Even juiced and detoxed sometimes.

I exercised.

Four laps around the lake, or three miles on the treadmill

To no avail.

And every summer I went to the clinic

So that cold machine

Could squish my ninnies

In unfathomable pain.

You know it, the mammogram slam.

So relieved when it let go

And I could breathe again.

 

I gave up everything

That was supposed to be a threat:

Microwave popcorn,

Barbecue on the grill,

Even bologna sandwiches.

I sold my car

So the smog wouldn’t get me.

I gave up my summer tan.

I gave up smoking, too, all kinds,

Paid money for a newer house

Less chance of asbestos poisoning.

I run from gamma rays and alpha particles. I read labels 24/7.

 

But still. . .

On that last check-up,

Some abnormality,

A pattern they couldn’t make out.

“Why me, Lord?” I asked Him.

“Does it run in the family?” he said.

Two aunts, dead, two years apart.

He nodded but didn’t say a word.

So here we are.

“What next?” was my first question.

“Where do we go from here?”

“The usual paths, chemo and surgery.”

“No.” I said, before he could get it all out.

“Early detection is half the fight.”

“No!” I yelled louder this time.

He cocked his head and looked at me strange,

Unaccustomed to being challenged.

 

“No,” I said, softer this time.

“I won’t. I’ve seen what that can do.”

“But your life. . . “

“My life is determined by a Higher Power.

I won’t have it taken from me.

I’ve seen the effects of chemo. . .

Sick. Pain. Wasting away. No energy. No hair.”

“But if it can save your life. . .”

“It can’t. Only He can.”

“Does this mean you’re rejecting treatment?”

No. It means I’m rejecting YOUR treatment.”

And I went home and cried.

 

I thought about it, long and hard.

I don’t want the life or death my aunts had,

Life oozing out of my pores for months.

Unliving life, not living it.

I want to be me.

All of me, preferred,

But most of me if that’s not possible.

Hmph.

I could stand to lose some weight anyway.

And who doesn’t like to shop?

And if he doesn’t love me without them,

He didn’t deserve me in the first place.

So I called the office and made an appointment.

 

He was glad I called.

He started his campaign again.

“The protocol—“

I cut him off.

“The protocol,” I said, “is research.

Find out what’s best for me.

In the meantime, I’ll do my own due diligence.

There are survivors all over the world

Who don’t depend on hospital policies,

Or big drug companies building up their profits.

There are doctors taking chances,

Really trying to find a cure.

So you do your thing, and I’ll do mine.

And if my way doesn’t work,

I’ll meet you in the OR.”

 

So I did. My own research, that is.

Everything from mushrooms to peroxide.

Naturopaths with great track records,

And waiting lists four miles long.

It would take weeks, months even

Just to get in for an exam.

And I didn’t have that kind of time.

And don’t even think about insurance.

What little I had wouldn’t cover experiments,

Not to mention a pre-existing condition.

So I lifted my eyes again and said,

“Why me, Lord?”. And He smiled.

And the words I heard but did not see were

“This will only make you stronger.”

 

So I gathered my strength, my faith,

And my determination to live and go on loving.

I walked to the mirror

And took a good, hard look.

“I’ll miss you guys,” I said to my image.

“We had some great times, you and me.

But the time has come to part our ways.

I want to live.

And I don’t want my life compromised

With worry, pain, or weakness.”

“I want to live!” is the last thing I said

Before counting to ten and I was out.

Not down for the count, but out for the moment.

I’d come to terms with who I am

And who I would become.

Why?

I want. . .

To live!

 

 

 

 

 Ernestine Rose,

                                                                                       October, 2013

 

 

Author Bio:  Ernestine Rose grew up on the west side of Chicago during the turbulent 50’s and 60’s. Adopted by an older couple, she spent a great deal of time as a child reading and participating in dance and drama club activities in school. Bradley University and the University of Dallas prepared her for a successful career as a teacher of English, speech and theater in Peoria and Fort Worth, where she earned numerous educator awards.

As a retired public school teacher and mother of four sons, she made her debut as an author with the publication of three books: 7 Tips for A Successful Marriage, Raising the Roses, and Tales from the Family Tree, all in 2012.  She later produced a romance novel, Monday Morning Blues. Her most recent work reflects her experience as a caretaker and widow, Seasons: My Journey through Grief. Inspired by Toni Morrison and Alice Walker, her focus in both writing and theater is on the power of language, love, and family. Follow her on Facebook, Twitter, and her website.

 

BONUS!!! The Author is also hosting a giveaway during each day of her blog tour. Simply comment on each stop to be entered. You can win a copy of one of her e-books or even a $10 Amazon Gift Card!! (There will be a total of 13 giveaways!!)

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.  Thanks for supporting this author and his work!

 

Welcome to “THE SLEEPING ONE” Blog Tour! @KarlJMorgan #4WillsPub #RRBC

Karl Morgan Bio

With a long career in finance and as author of almost twenty books, I like to say that words and numbers are my life.

I have had a lifelong fascination with stories in the science fiction and fantasy genres, whether it was the Tom Swift novels by Victor Appleton I read as a young boy, or television like Lost in Space and Star Trek. More recently, I have devoured film series like Star Wars, Harry Potter, and Lord of the Rings. That fascination is combined with a keen interest in cosmology, astrophysics, quantum physics, and spirituality.

That quirky combination along with the fantasy genre allows me to craft stories that reinforce the importance of family, friendship, and love. The protagonists must overcome incredible danger and challenges to survive their journeys, but eventually end up on top. It goes without saying that as a finance guy, my life has been less action-packed than my characters (thank goodness).

With Carl Prescott and The Sleeping One, I ventured back to comfortable territory. Many of my stories reinforce our direct connection to the Divine. While that is an element of this story, the sequels feature that relationship to a much greater extent. That element in my stories is an homage to what I believe really matters in this life.

I am the son of an Air Force pilot and as such, I have lived in many places, never for more than four years at a time. Thankfully, as an adult, I have lived in Chula Vista, CA for the past thirty-seven years. I met and married Aida, the love of my life, thirty years ago. Our grown children have made us grandparents four times over. It is a blessing to be around such wonderful parents and children.

My new goal is life is my stories. I hope you can follow me on this new adventure.

Character Interview- Professor Bertrand Aloysius Thorndike VII

KM- Professor, thank you for taking the time to talk today.

BAT- I am happy to be here. Please call me Bert.

KM- Thank you, Bert. Your family plays a major role in this book. Tell us about the school’s founder after whom you are named.

BAT- It is difficult to know much about one’s five times great grandfather. He did found this version of the school, but it was not the first or last. Before the end of the first millennium, spiritual education was quite normal and schools were plentiful. Around the time my ancestor was born, the Catholic Church began to eradicate those schools by linking them to Satan. The Church wanted to be seen as the sole arbiter of religious education. It is recorded that my ancestor was also the first verified holder of the Invisible Hand talent in more than a thousand years. Shortly thereafter, the school he attended was burned to the ground. The survivors started this school on an island that is now part of the nation of Denmark, out of the way of prying eyes and zealous priests.

KM- Did most of the students and faculty move too?

BAT- That is impossible to know. Obviously, enough did to reconstitute a school.

KM- The school in now in the Azores. When did that happen?

BAT- Around 1500AD. The island off mainland Denmark was not suitable for a growing institution. As well, their neighbors were not happy with the settlement of what they considered witches and wizards so close to their homes. Eventually, a small island in the mid-Atlantic became our home. Other than the few workers who help at the institution, we are invisible to the outside world.

KM- You son is heavily featured in this book and series in general. What would you like to say about him?

BAT- First, since so many have the same name, we tend to use the number instead. One Bert talking about his father Bert or son Bert would be confusing. I am afraid that in this tale, Eight is not a good son. I hope one day you can tell his full story.

KM- Yes, that is highlighted in book three.

BAT- Thank you. Due to an unfortunate set of circumstances for which I take full responsibility, my son left Thorndike to join the Masterson Academy. As you know, there has always been animosity between the two schools. Let us say that feeling is on full display throughout this story. As well, there is something wrong at Masterson these days. The hatred between the two schools is worse than ever before, well, for a least a few centuries. I just cannot put my finger on the cause. It seems most sinister.

KM- That is certainly true. Hopefully, Carl Prescott and his friends help resolve it.

BAT- Perhaps, but this resentment among the schools is older than time. There are always those who choose to use their gifts for self-gratification and gain. I am not certain a few new students can ever change that.

KM- You could be right, Bert. Before we close, do you have any questions for me?

BAT- Yes I do. As you know, I am over one hundred years old. Do you plan to retire me soon? I wouldn’t mind, you know. Perhaps I could retire on the other island where my grandchildren live?

KM- Perhaps one day, Bert. You continue to play a pivotal role in books two and three. I think the presence of seasoned adults like you, Alistair, and Alex are needed to keep the students moving in the right direction.

BAT- That’s totally fair. Thank you for inviting me.

 

Karl Morgan Social Media and Contact Links:

Book on Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07L7HHNB3

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/karlmorganauthor

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Karl-Morgan/e/B00A57RWPO

Website/Blog: http://www.karljmorgan.com

Twitter handle: @karljmorgan

 

To follow along with the rest of the tour, please visit the author’s tour page on the 4WillsPublishing site.  If you’d like to book your own blog tour and have your book promoted in similar grand fashion, please click HERE.