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Book Excerpt Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

Book Excerpt

From “Jodie’s Magic Balloon”

 

There was a stand with beautiful balloons of all colors and shapes. They were on long strings and floated high in the air.

Jodie grabbed her father’s hand and pulled him right to the stand. When the man selling the balloons saw her, he winked and said, “I have a special magic balloon just for you, Jodie.”

“How do you know my name?” she asked, surprised.

“I’m a magician,” he said. “And when I made this balloon, I saw it had instructions stating that it was only to be given to a little girl named Jodie.”

“But how did you know that was me?”

“Oh,” the magician said with a smile. “That was easy. The instructions also said I would recognize her because she has the tiniest nose you ever saw and the sweetest smile. As soon as I saw you, I know you were that person.”

The man gave Jodie a very large and beautiful balloon. It had every color of the rainbow and sparkled like gold in the sunlight.

“Oh,” said Jodie. “It”s beautiful. But why is this a magic balloon?”

The magician smiled again. “When you crawl inside this wonderful balloon, it will obey everything you ask it to do. Would you like to try it?”

“Oh, yes!” Jodie cried excitedly, and she crawled inside the balloon. “It’s very comfortable in here. Now what do I do?”

“Just tell the balloon to go anywhere you like,” answered the magician with another smile.

“Please take me high into the sky, even higher than the clouds” instructed Jodie.

About the Book

Title: Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

Author: Bernard Ditchik

Genre: Children’s Books

These delightful tales are sure to help your little ones settle down and drift contentedly off to sleep.  Written by a grandfather for his own kids and grandchildren, these eighteen entertaining stories feature lots of talking animals, including a kangaroo who teaches a pony how to jump, a little bear who wants to play baseball, a coyote who learns to fly, a magic balloon that takes a little girl all the way to Japan and back, and some resourceful ants who build a swimming pool so they can play as well as work.  It’s full of positive images and plots that inspire creative solutions to various challenges.  A lovely read-aloud adventure the whole family will enjoy!

 

Author Bio

I didn’t begin my career as an author by writing stories. First, I was a storyteller. Let me explain. Many years ago, when our children were very young, I would sit on their beds at bedtime and tell them a story. Instead of reading a story written by someone else, I preferred to make up my own story right on the spot. They were stories about animals who learned to fly, children who talked to birds, alligators who were friends with elephants, and even one about a horse that learned to jump like a kangaroo. Our children loved them. So I made up lot of stories. Then there was a long period of time when there was no one who wanted to listen to my stories because they had all grown up!

But then, something wonderful happened. We had our first grandchild—and I became Grandpa Bernie. One day, one of my daughters said, “Dad, you have so many stories. I think other children would like to hear them.” That’s when I became an author.

At the age of 93, I am still playing tennis (doubles only) five times a week in a 60+ league. I have been married 64 years to my wonderful wife, Faigie, had three children, and five grandchildren. I continue to sit in my favorite chair, with a large pad on my lap, and a pen in my hand, lean back, and let my imagination soar.

 

Links

Red Sky Presents Grandpa Bernie’s Bedtime Stories

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Book Excerpt The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnigan

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The Lavender Line

“What’s your favorite color?”

Francesca asked Rich the all-important color question after she’d introduced herself and they’d risen from the leafy park grounds. The color question was Francesca’s favorite, along with, “Can you play?” Richard the hops-drinking vice president of something preferred, “What do you do?” or, “Where do you golf?” Sadly, this was the second-to-last time Rich would answer the color question, and so marked the beginning of the end for him. Once people stop asking you what your favorite color is, you’re done for.

Rich decided then and there his favorite color was something like her hair. “Blue,” he said. “You?”

“Red. Reminds me of my red friend, the esteemed Mr. Fox, of the Red Line.” Rich wasn’t sure who or what she meant by her red friend, the esteemed Mr. Fox, of the Red Line, but decided against any questioning on the subject. She might think it rude, or stupid—he wasn’t exactly sure what the word “esteemed” meant.

“Let’s see, blue and red, red and blue, blue and red,” Francesca thought aloud. “Mix those two, add a dash of stardust, and we have a lavender. That’s settled, tonight we’ll go for a Lavender Line ride.”

Here, Rich felt he should correct her. She could talk about esteemed foxes all she wanted, but when it came to city trains, he was the expert. His uncle was employed by the Chicago Transportation Authority in an important office job, and had educated him in all there was to know about city transportation. Rich was sure there was no Lavender Line. There were the Red, Orange, Purple, Green, Blue, Pink, and Yellow lines. Definitely no Lavender in there. Maybe she’d meant Purple.

About the Book

ftalechicago-cover-imageTitle: The Fairytale Chicago of Francesca Finnegan

Author: Steve Wiley

Genre: Fantasy

“Did you know most anything that matters in this city was built by magic before it was built by men? Of course you didn’t. This city is different from other cities. The true history of it is unpublished. Lucky for you, I know it all by heart.”

~ Francesca Finnegan

In Chicago, a secret L train runs through the mythical East Side of the city. On that train, you’ll find a house-cat conductor, an alcoholic elf, a queen of the last city farm, the most curious wind, and an exceptional girl by the name of Francesca Finnegan.

When we first encounter Richard K. Lyons, he is a man who has long forgotten the one night, when he was still a boy called Rich, when Francesca invited him aboard the secret L for an adventure though the East Side. The night was a mad epic, complete with gravity-defying first kisses, mermaid overdoses, and princess rescues. Unfortunately for Rich, the night ended like one of those elusive dreams forgotten the moment you wake. Now, Rich is all grown up and out of childish adventures, an adult whose life is on the verge of ruin. It will take the rediscovery of his exploits with Francesca, and a reacquaintance with the boy he once was, to save him.

Author Bio

Steve is a father, husband, uncle, brother, friend, and purveyor of fairy stories. He grew up in and around Chicagoland, where he still lives with his wife and two kids. He has been published in an array of strange and serious places, from the U.S. Chamber of Commerce in Washington, D.C., to Crannóg magazine in Galway, Ireland. This is his first book. He has an undergraduate degree in something he has forgotten from Illinois State University and a graduate degree in something equally forgotten from DePaul University. You can email Steve at Lavenderlinepress@gmail.com, or visit thewileymancan on Instagram.

Illustrator Bio

Chris is an artist who studied at Columbia College Chicago. He is a Chicago native and has lived here all his life. Chris’s paintings have been showcased in many local galleries and beyond. When he feels like it, he travels elsewhere to find inspiration. You can reach him at Chris.cihon@gmail.com, or visit _ccihon on Instagram.

Links

Book Website: www.fairytalechicago.com

Facebook Page

Kirkus Review

Amazon

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Book Excerpt On Top of the World

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Book Excerpt

The devil doesnt wear Prada, he wears Sean John and I was the idiot who taught him how to shop.

That was what I got for reading Frankenstein in college. Id been turned into a mad scientist without even realizing it. Just my luck, I was a math major and the one literature course I took had tricked me into creating a monster.

When I first met Scrooʝe, he—like most humans with XY chromosomes—was a fashion emergency. Awkwardly walking around campus—lost, desperately in need of a haircut, and for some strange reason wearing glasses so big he looked like an owl hunting for prey.

 He was just plain pitiful.

Though I have to confess, from the moment I saw him my heart sang a happy song and I couldnt look away. Something between us was magnetic.

What can I say? I was always the kind of girl who liked rescue projects. When I was eight years old, I turned my familys garage into a makeshift animal shelter and damn near gave my father a heart attack when a hungry pack of strays rushed at him as he pulled into the driveway.

So naturally, one look into Scrooʝes sad, puppy dog eyes and I felt right away—he was the one.

Before I knew it, we were college sweethearts and the best of friends. Of course, I had to clean him up; but after a few months under my tutelage, everyone noticed his transformation. They saw that with his gorgeous toffee skin, deliciously full lips, and sexy broad shoulders, he was the cutest boy on campus. Pretty soon I had girls telling me I needed to start a makeover service.

That was how it all started. Who could’ve known a simple makeover would unleash the devilish genius of the sweetest, shyest, most socially awkward boy I’d ever met? Or that he’d be transformed into music’s biggest superstar with an ego the size of Texas yet more fragile than an egg yolk? Certainly not me.

About the Book

51QnnmV6blL._SX322_BO1,204,203,200_Title: On Top of the World

Author: David Lamb

Genre: Contemporary, African-American Romance

2016 BEST FICTION-Pacific Book Awards. FROM THE FUNNY AND NATURALLY BRILLIANT DAVID LAMB, award-winning playwright of the New York Times celebrated play, Platanos Y Collard Greens, comes a modern spin on Dickens’ classic tale that perfectly combines humor and romance in a story re-imagined for our digital, consumerist age.  This version of Scrooge and Belle is familiar, yet unlike any you’ve come across before. Scrooge, or rather Scrooje, is music’s biggest superstar, with one hundred million albums sold, fifteen million devoted YouTube subscribers, two and a half million Facebook likes, and twenty-five million fanatical Twitter followers known as Scroojites. Belle, is a legal shark who gulps down her opposition voraciously and whose beauty and stunning figure causes traffic accidents as she zips through the sidewalks of Manhattan stylishly adorned and taking no prisoners.   They never imagined being music’s most powerful couple, but that’s exactly what happened when Belle fell head over heels and gave the Coke-bottle glasses wearing, plaid and stripe attired, scrawny, biggest nerd on her college campus the ultimate makeover, turning him into a fashion impresario whose style sets trends from Milan to NY Fashion Week and who can be seen courtside at the NBA Finals sporting a perfectly-fitted cashmere suit.   Then it happens. Belle realizes too late that she’s created a chart-topping monster as Scrooje’s ego explodes and he starts acting a fool.   Now, it’s been three years since they ve spoken. But tonight at Hollywood s biggest red carpet event, with the whole world watching, they’ll be given a second chance.

Author Bio

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David Lamb is a native New Yorker, born and raised, bitten with the writing bug since he was in elementary school and had handwriting nobody could decipher. Like Charles Dickens, David grew up a poor boy in the big city who found that the pen really is mightier than the sword.  After finishing college David went on to law school at NYU, but all the time writing was still his heart. While working as a lawyer by day, at night he transformed into a writer and eventually wrote and produced the award-winning hit off-Broadway romantic comedy Platanos Y Collard Greens. Being a writer and having the chance make people laugh out loud while challenging them to think about the world around them, and inspire each of us to believe in the power of love and our own ability to overcome life’s challenges is a great gift that David truly enjoys and thanks you for allowing him to share with you in On Top Of The World (Until The Bell Chimes)

Links

davidlamb.club
@authordavidlamb

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Book Excerpt The Adventures of Fawn Series

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Book Excerpt

          With her teeth, Fawn gently grabbed Bunny by the scruff of her neck. She carried her that way, as they struggled through the cold, biting wind and drifting snow.

     Hanging from her friend’s mouth, Bunny watched as her leg bandage came undone. Then, it went flying off in the wind. She saw it bounce into a drift or two. Then, it disappeared in the dizzying whiteness of snow, which blew like a hurricane around them.

     “Fawn! Your bandage just came off!”

     “There’s nothing much I can do about that!” answered Fawn, doing her best not to drop Bunny as she called out. “Right now…a bandage coming off is the least of my worries!”

     A voice in Fawn’s head seemed to be shouting at her, taunting her, “Is this enough excitement for you?! Do you still not care how dangerous it is?”

     Fawn wanted to argue back, “But I’m just a kid! I was bored! Sometimes kids say stupid things! Sometimes kids say things they don’t mean!”

     But at that moment, Fawn understood words once said, cannot be unsaid. She tried her best to shut out the voice. She had enough trouble at the moment.

     “I—I—I’m freezing!” Bunny cried. “I’m s-s-sorry Fawn!!”

     “Why? What for?” Fawn mumbled as she tried to hold onto Bunny.

     “It was my idea to go out looking for clues! I made you break your promise. Now…we’re probably going to die in this blizzard.”

     Bunny almost slipped from her grasp, as Fawn scolded her, “Stop that! Don’t talk like that! Don’t even think like that! Everything is going to be fine! Just remember…together…until the last snowflake faaallll—”

     Suddenly, with Bunny still clenched in her teeth, Fawn was tumbling down a steep slope. Head over hooves she rolled and rolled. She never lost her grip on her little friend until they came to an abrupt stop at the bottom of the hill. Bunny flew from her mouth, up into the snowy air.

     “Aahh!” Fawn cried out in fear. “Bunny!”

     She was lying in the snow, unable to move, and then suddenly Fawn felt something land on her belly. It was Bunny! But, she wasn’t moving! She just lay there…silent and motionless.

     “Bunny! Bunny? Are you alright? Speak to me! Bunny!!”

     She was too weak to raise herself to check on her friend. The sound of her voice was lost in the roaring winds. Tears rolled down her cheeks, as she looked at Bunny lying helplessly on her belly.

     “Oh…Bunny!” she murmured through her tears.

     Then, she saw shadows approaching. She could hear voices…but couldn’t make out who they were.

     Foddle? Snowman?

     But, she couldn’t see…and she couldn’t stay awake any longer.

About the Books

The Adventures of Fawn Book 1: ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls

book-1-book-coverThe Adventures of Fawn is a ‘coming of age’ series set in the magical world of Santa’s North Pole! The year is 1849, and legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen have a young daughter, Fawn. In this first book, ‘Til the Last Snowflake Falls’ the young reindeer spends far too many days alone in the stable at Santa’s Village with no friends and nothing to do. While her parents caution her she’s much too young and inexperienced to go exploring outside Santa’s Village by herself, Fawn disagrees. Declaring, “I want some fun and excitement! I don’t care how dangerous it is!” she begins sneaking out each day in search of friends, excitement and adventure. She’ll find them all…but also find herself facing dangers like a fierce hungry wolf, a freezing North Pole blizzard, and the treachery of a sea captain capturing animals of the arctic to sell to a zoo in New York City. Along the way, she’ll also learn some valuable lessons about what’s really important in life. The Adventures of Fawn are filled with fun and excitement for all ages!

The Adventures of Fawn Book 2: The Ona Pendulum

book-2-book-coverThe Adventures of Fawn continue as an evil former elf Princess is trying to destroy The Ona Pendulum…a device that enables Santa, Wajic, his elves and reindeer to live for hundreds of years. So Fawn and her friends are off to the rescue to save Santa and company…Christmas 1849….and every other future Christmas, as well! In the process they’ll learn how a young toymaker named Kristoff Kringle became Santa Claus, how he met the elves, and where his famous, “Ho-Ho-Ho” comes from. They’ll also learn about the Rua Ondos…wonderful, magical shooting stars which fell to Earth on the very first Christmas. The Ona Pendulum is an adventure the whole family will enjoy!!

The Adventures of Fawn Book 3: Far and Yet So Near

far-and-yet-so-near-coverThe Adventures of Fawn continue as the young reindeer, Bunny, Doctor Weather and friends trail Santa’s reindeer after they come under the control of a mysterious stranger, and suddenly, mindlessly march off together. “Far And Yet So Near” sees the group led to an underground cavern where they learn the mystery man intends to steal the team of reindeer. Santa and Wajic turn up in the nick of time…and it looks like everyone is rescued. But the stranger has a few tricks up his sleeve, and explosions unexpectedly rock the cavern as he makes good his escape. But not before he ‘reindeer-naps’ Fawn. She soon finds herself a pet in an English manor house near London. Will Fawn ever return to the North Pole? Will anyone ever be able to find her? Did Santa, Wajic, Doctor Weather and the reindeer perish in the explosions? Read “Far And Yet So Near” to find out!

 

Author Bio

 al-e-boy-photo   Through almost 40 years as a Santa Claus, Al E. Boy developed quite a repertoire of tales to explain and answer the many questions children ask about Santa, the North Pole, his reindeer, and his friends, the elves.

     It was this collection of tales which prompted him to begin writing The Adventures of Fawn. Through the young daughter of legendary reindeer Comet and Vixen, he’s been able to weave an exciting, colorful, imaginative world which will delight readers of all ages!

     Mr. Boy not only hopes you enjoy these tales, but make reading them part of your Christmas traditions, as well.

Links

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Book 1: Amazon

Book 2: Amazon

Book 3: Amazon

Website: http://aleboysnowflake.wix.com/fawn

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Book Excerpt Monsterland

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Book Excerpt

“What’s up with you, Howard Drucker? I thought you wanted to go.” Wyatt turned, looking at his friend’s pinched face.

“Yeah, that was before, this is now.”

Melvin hooked his arm around the headrest. “What’s that supposed to mean?”

Howard shrugged indifferently.

“Come on,” Melvin said impatiently.“In theory it sounded like a great idea. You know, seeing vampires, zombies, and werewolves in their natural habitat.”

“So?”

“The point is, this,” he gestured to the massive gates now in eyesight. “It seems unnatural. It feels—”

“What? Wrong? What else are they going to do with them? Kill them like in an old Boris Karloff movie? This is so right,” Melvin said hotly. “They were dying in those detention camps.”

“Containment camps,” Howard corrected.

“Whatever.” Melvin went on. “The hillbillies practically wiped out the werewolf colony once it was discovered. Vampires lived in fear, almost harried out of existence. Here they are protected. If they did that to the rhinos, maybe they wouldn’t have become extinct.”

“It’s sterile, not real!” Howard was leaning over the front seat.

“What happened to you? You were so excited about it,” Wyatt asked.

“This was all over YouTube this morning.” He typed something on his phone and then showed them the screen. It looked like a dilapidated portion of any American city. The image was filmed in a choppy fashion, bouncing around, going in and out of focus. The Werewolf River Run sign was in the viewfinder. Uniformed men, some with lab coats, entered the ride area. The camera panned out to view an artificial river with alligators rhythmically rising and falling in the choppy water. There was a rustle and then shouts. A howl turned into a wail, and all four boys watched, their collective breaths held.

About the Book

monsterlandTitle: Monsterland

Author: Michael Phillip Cash

Genre: Horror / Action

Welcome to Monsterland – the scariest place on Earth. All guests can interact with real vampires in Vampire Village, be chased by an actual werewolf on the River Run, and walk among the dead in Zombieville. Wyatt Baldwin, a high school student and life-long movie buff is staring bleakly at a future of flipping burgers. Due to a fortuitous circumstance, Wyatt and his friends are invited to the star-studded opening of Monsterland. In a theme park full of real vampires, werewolves and zombies, what could possibly go wrong?

Author Bio

MPC_Photo_bethpageMichael Phillip Cash is an award-winning and best-selling novelist of horror, paranormal, and science fiction novels.  He’s written ten books including the best-selling “Brood X”, “Stillwell”, “The Flip”, “The After House”, “The Hanging Tree”, “Witches Protection Program”, “Pokergeist”, “Monsterland”, “The History Major”, and “Battle for Darracia” series. Michael’s books are on the Amazon best-seller list and have also won numerous awards. Additionally, he is a screenwriter with 14 specs under his belt. Michael resides on the North Shore of Long Island.

Links

Amazon Direct Link: https://amzn.com/1517180678

Website:  http://www.michaelphillipcash.com/

Blog:  http://www.michaelphillipcash-officialblog.com/

Facebook:  https://www.facebook.com/MichaelPhillipCash

Twitter:  https://twitter.com/michaelpcash

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Guest Post Dragon Called

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Please welcome Melissa Christopherson today, author of DRAGON CALLED, a fantasy novel, who will talk about her editing process.

Guest Post

Hello!

My name is Melissa Christopherson, and I’m the author of Dragon Called, book one of the Remnants of the Past Saga.  I’m excited to get to have the chance to have a guest post on Editor Charlene’s blog!  What I’m here to talk to you about today is my editing process.

A lot of you know that ever author’s process is different, and I’m as guilty of that as anyone else.  Once I have the rough draft of my book completed – a process which generally takes around a month of dedicated writing time – I actually don’t get started on changing things right away.  I take a few days break, so when I come back to the project I’m working on, I have fresh eyes and a fresh mind.  At that point I’ve also had time to think about what I forgot to include, or come up with new things I want to put in!

Which is a good thing…because after that first step of taking a break, my next step is to actually go through and rewrite the entire book.  For me, this typically means that I go through the book, and get rid at least half of what I had written before.  Since I’m someone who doesn’t touch anything in the rough draft until it’s complete, sometimes it’s a bit more than half.  Everything that stays gets reorganized, so I can maximize that scene’s impact as best as I can.  And then for everything I got rid of, I write something new to replace it.  I can’t have half of a book, after all!

Once the rewrite is complete, and I have everything as good as I can make it, I send it off to a couple of people I trust really well.  I know if there are any big flaws or problems with my book that they’ll call me right away so I can address it, even though it means I’ll have to resend it to them.  Sometimes this means they call me about the same thing – other times they catch things the other missed.  That’s why it’s important to have two of them, at least!

After they’ve finally given the book back to me, I make any changes that are needed, and hand the book off to my family grammar nuts.  A lot of people hesitate to give their books to family, because they’re worried they’ll go easy on them – I don’t have that fear.  I know if I’ve made a lot of mistakes, they’ll tear it to pieces…and sometimes that’s what it needs!

When the book has made it through the grammar checks, the editing is done.  All that’s left to do is format it, and get in touch with my cover artist!

Thanks again for having me!  I hope this insight into my personal editing process is beneficial to help you on your own journey – or even just an author you know, too.

Book Excerpt

“We are the Heart of the Leviathan.  The ones who are in charge of the others, and who, in the end, decide the true fate of things.” It was clearly Vicenta who had spoken, as it was coming from the person with the diamond mask.

“You are indeed guilty of the crime of soul merging, but…” The sapphire masked one said, as the five of them seemed to be exchanging looks.  “The circumstances are as you explained them to be.”

It was the one in the emerald mask who spoke this time.  “Because the circumstances are as they are, and more complicated than you or we understood..  We offer you a choice, instead of punishment.”

“A choice?” Liliana asked quietly, glancing between them as best she could.  “What do you mean?”

“You may either become dragonkind fully, or you must surrender any and all ties to magic, be they transmitted through blood or by matter of Chara’s soul having merged with yours.” The man in the amethyst mask answered.  “But be warned, if you become wholly a Mystical, you shall become a citizen of Levac.”

Become one of them, or lose any and all ties to magic?

About the Book

dragoncalledfrontTitle: Dragon Called

Author: Melissa Christopherson

Genre: Fantasy

Liliana’s life is perfectly normal. A young woman who has grown up in the kingdom of Kalvia, she knows all too well the importance of secrets. As a member of nobility, she is even expected to have a few of her own!

When her parents take her to a ball, Liliana expects her life to go on as normal after it’s conclusion. Instead, she finds herself swept into a betrothal with a man whom all of the whisperers say is crazy.

As the evidence builds up, Liliana must make the choice to stay in a nation where secrets are the currency…or step out of her human-ruled kingdom into a world so much bigger than she ever imagined.

 

Author Bio

melissaMelissa Christopherson is an avid reader, passionate writer, and lover of everything literary. She serves as an AmeriCorps Service Member in the Iowa Reading Corps and is proud to help kids enhance their literary abilities. She served two years as a Municipal Liaison for NaNoWriMo in the Iowa area to help other authors grow in both ability and confidence.

She was born in Mason City, Iowa, and has spent most of her life reading books and spent most of her younger years daydreaming.  While in high school, she participated in Academic Decathlon for four years, and credits the reading assignments for the club for further expanding her literary horizons.  She is currently pursuing a degree in English, with a client-centered distributive minor.

Links

Website: http://www.melissachristopherson.com/

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Book Excerpt Raising Sleeping Stones

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Book Excerpt

Kiva looked down from her position on a tree branch high above the forest floor and frowned. She took a slow, deep breath while calculating the distance between the maple she was in and the branch she’d need on the elm tree, then started putting together all the training steps she’d been taking.

Bending her knees and rolling forward on her feet, she curled her left hand behind her and went into a crouch. She instinctively twitched her hand away just before it touched her back, a move that would trigger another of Sakral’s withering criticisms that had been making Kiva’s errors painfully memorable.

While letting her breath out slowly, she whipped her left arm forward, snapping her wrist up to release the coiled swingvine Sakral had lent her. Pointing at her swing branch, she waited as the end of the vine landed and curled around it, then jerked back with her fist to set its hooks into the branch.

Feeling the connection was solid, Kiva took a quick, deep breath and jumped.

Though she’d done it dozens of times in the past four nights of training and traveling upriver with Sakral, the moment of jumping off a branch was still terrifying. The feeling of falling always threatened to make her panic and lose focus. Before it could, though, the tightening of the swingvine around her glove snapped her body into the series of practiced moves Sakral had taught her to turn falling into flying, fear into freedom. Extending both arms over her head, Kiva swung her legs back and put her head down until she passed under her swing branch midway into the arc of her flight, then smoothly lifted her head and brought her legs down.

As she passed the first level of branches on the other side, she pulled down on the vine, tilted her head back, and swung her legs forward in one fluid movement. The rush of swinging up—even more intense now than it had been that first time with Raymonde—made the past few days of dropping through the air, crashing into trunks, and getting tangled up in her swingvine all worth it because, at these moments, she felt more powerful, energized, and alive than she ever had. She was so thrilled by the sensation that she almost didn’t see the small branch in her way before it was too late.

In a flash, she tightened her left arm’s hold on the vine as she brought her right arm angled up in front to deflect the branch away from her face and swung her legs to the left to keep from being spun to the side. Even though the branch was thin, it slashed like a whip, but the bark shields Sakral had tied on her forearms took most of the impact. In less than a second, Kiva had swung her legs back to the middle and up to complete her arc. She was delighted to find she was still heading straight for a good landing branch on her target tree.

Then came the most difficult move of all. Just before reaching the top of her arc, she pulled the vine forward, swung her legs down, bent her knees, and landed softly on the near side of her landing branch, letting the momentum roll her forward exactly to the middle. She felt her feet naturally flex to fit the curve of the branch and stabilize her as Sakral had been repeatedly telling her to do. A perfect landing!

And now, for the finishing touch, she said to herself. Without turning around or even looking back, she brought her left arm down, waited until she felt the vine go slack, then twitched the vine, and waited again. She counted to six—the amount of time she had learned the living vine needed to detach its hooks from the pivot branch and coil itself back up—then curled her wrist forward, opened her fingers, and caught it neatly in the palm of her gloved hand.

 

About the Book

raisingcoverTitle: Raising Sleeping Stones

Author: P.H.T. Bennett

Genre: MG Fantasy

Like every kid in Solasenda, 11-year-old Kiva Stone has been far too busy training for one of the five town guilds to think about something as useless as dreaming. But when she and her sister DeeDee uncover a mysterious plot to get rid of them, their only hope lies with a shadowy group of people who get unimaginable powers from their dreams. As the girls escape with them up the river, they start learning secret dreaming techniques that have been forbidden for centuries. But how can they learn enough to stand against the enemies chasing them? The answer lies in the shattered history of Orora Crona, the lost Valley of Dreams, and whoever can piece it together first will rule for centuries to come.

Author Bio

raisingauthorP.H.T. Bennet began exploring his dreams when he was a child and has never bothered to stop. He had the good luck to have two daughters, Juliette and Paola, who not only served as the inspirations for DeeDee and Kiva, the main characters of Raising Sleeping Stones, but also helped him turn their family dreamwork sessions into this book. His lucky streak grew when he married his lovely wife, Mim,who tolerates his turning on a light in the middle of the night to write down ever-crazier dreams and talking about them in the morning as long as he lets her sleep in, first. His favorite dreams involve flying, visiting the dead, and replaying nightmares until they reveal their secrets.

Pratt’s latest projects are editing Book Two of the Orora Crona Chronicles and planning a virtual summer dreaming camp with other dream authors.

Links

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