I have been on a healing hiatus for the last three weeks, but my keyboard has been whining at me and my inner writer hostage has also been burning to get out.
The first great news I have is that my middle-school book, Silent Wishes has come back from my wonderful creative editor, Cynthia Hall, and I am so excited about getting this published and into my readers and their children, grandchildren, and friends' hands and on their bookshelves! As some of you may know, my amazing co-writer is my 11-year-old granddaughter, Gwyneth Leaf. She is a true dragon girl with wit, creativity, and pure magic. I cannot begin to tell you how much fun we have had in collaborating on this book and the next one after...and the next one after..
Our goal is to have it published by Oct 1. I will continue to keep updating on this project. We will be doing a book reveal hopefully in mid-September.
I am sending a little excerpt out for all of you, just to get your curiosity aroused.
On another note..Pull of the Sister Moon , Book 2 is coming along right behind this, and I will have a Pre-order date soon!
I have many wishes. The most important wish is that my sister will be happy in the great ocean.
My adoptive mother and I lived on a rocky cliff with a tall forest behind our cottage and the Atlantic Ocean in front. We were weavers of fish nets and lived quite a lonely life, just the two of us and a small, funny pet dragon named Ponur.
Merry washed up in an old fisherman's net when she was young, and my mother - quite the kind woman - decided to raise her as my sister. Merry and I played at the edge of the foaming water every day. Even when it was cold, she would jump in and stay under for an exceedingly long time.
Merry was beautiful and happy, that’s why our mother named her Merry. As a child, she had legs like mother and me, but things began to change the day she turned twelve. As she got older, her golden-red hair grew extremely long, her eyes deep blue, and her creamy skin shimmered like a pearl. She also grew a tail with shiny green scales that would sometimes glow blue when we played on the shore.
Over the years, mother told us stories of half-human Mer-people that eventually went to the sea to live with others like themselves. As she continued to change, Merry would sometimes stay close to the cottage, but on many days, she'd be gone for hours. Mother consoled me in her calm, loving voice that this was best for Merry.
On her fourteenth birthday, Merry left for the sea. A family of Mer-people welcomed her to their home, about a day's swim away, in a part of the ocean called Whitestone. Occasionally, my sister showed us her beautiful face, but it was not enough. I missed her so much over the last few years. Merry is now sixteen, and I am eighteen; she is a lovely mermaid, and I am of no consequence - a tall, skinny, dark curly-haired girl.
Thankfully, my best friend Sam would visit now and again. I met Sam on my fourteenth birthday. Mother sent Ponur to fetch him and her brother, Uncle Harin, so they may sing for me, and Sam and I have been friends ever since.
Sam lost his parents in a fishing accident when he was twelve. Uncle Harin was his father’s closest friend, so he adopted Sam as his sidekick. The duo earned their keep as traveling musicians and always had new songs to play for us.
Sam was tall and thin, like me. His dark, unruly hair was almost as long as Merry's, and his green eyes sparkled when he sang his cheerful melodies, banjo in hand. He enjoyed teasing me, calling me his "bird" friend.
Often, when Merry visited our part of the ocean, Sam and Uncle Harin would entertain both of us. Today was one of those days.
The air was cool. We nurtured a little fire along the beach, and Merry sat on one of the jagged rocks, her hair mirroring the color of the setting sun, her eyes as blue as the deep waters she lived in. She ate seaweed and drank salt water, and we all slurped oysters roasted over the fire. She asked Sam to sing her a song, and he obliged with her favorite tune.
*"When I was a lad in a fishing town.
My old man said to me:
"You can spend your life, your jolly life
Sailing on the sea.
You can search the world for pretty girls,
til your eyes grow weak and dim.
But don't go fishing for a mermaid, son,
if you don't know how to swim."
Her hair was green as seaweed.
Her skin was blue and pale.
I loved that girl with all my heart.
But I only liked the upper part...
I did not like the tail.
So, I signed aboard a whaling ship,
And my first very day at sea,
I spied her there, among the waves,
Reaching out to me...
"Come live with me in the sea,” said she,
Down on the ocean floor.
And I'll show you many a wonderous thing
that you've never seen before." *
Merry clapped her hands and beat her tail while Sam crooned her sweet song, and our two special bird friends, Song and Frirock, whistled along.
Sam’s voice deepened over the last year, and he seemed to always get taller. He was my favorite person to take walks with and go fishing with, but I sensed a change in him the last few times he’d come to visit, and I cannot - for the life of me - figure out what it could be.
When the night cooled and darkened, Merry waved her hand and threw a kiss at us. She dove into the black sea and remained there until the next day. We made seaweed rolls for her in the morning before she left on her trip back home.
The next day Sam and I hopped onto his buggy and headed into town for supplies, fishing nets in tow. While steering around a stand of oak trees before a fork in the road, Frirock pierced the air with a high-pitched caw. Sam jerked on the reins, awkwardly bringing our two horses to a stop. Frirock flew ahead of us into the forest, where the two paths split. He flew back with blue hair in his mouth.
"What is it, Sam? What is he warning us about?"
"I am not sure, Alasa, but I will find out," he replied, jumping off the wagon.
Song flew onto my shoulder, chirping away. I waited for Sam as long as I could, which wasn’t very long. Curiosity had gotten the best of me, so I jumped off the buggy and walked into the wood bearing right at the fork.
It was dark, and I squinted my eyes to see ahead of me but suddenly came to a lighted clearing. I saw what Song and Frirock tried to warn us about. A ten-foot fox with blue fur the color of Merry's eyes, lay sleeping before me. Song flew to me and surprised me by singing, "You need to turn back, Alasa. You don’t want to wake him. He is not a pleasant fella."
I looked around for Sam but did not see him and wondered if he’d gone down the path to the left.
"If that’s the case," I whispered, softly retracing my steps, "I'll go see where Sam took off to."
At the edge of the wood, I ran back to the buggy to find Sam giving the horses a drink from one of our freshwater jugs.
"Sam, come quick!"
"Why? What is it, Alasa?" Confusion upon his furrowed brow and wide-open face.
"Did you see that large fox on the path?"
"No, I saw a regular fox scurry across the road, but nothing unusual."
I shook my head and returned his confused expression. "I thought I saw something strange," I mumbled, "I suppose it was nothing."
Maybe I have been seeing things, and did Song really speak to me?
"Come on, Alasa, we must keep going," Sam interjected, waking me from reverie, "want to get to town before dark."
On our way back from selling our nets and buying supplies, we spent a safe, uneventful night within a circle of trees in the center of a small meadow. However, I didn't sleep well, thinking of the enormous blue fox, wondering if he was something I should be concerned about. But sleep finally came when Song settled my worries with a lullaby he sang quietly on my chest.
Keep checking back for more fun excerpts, and hint, hint.... some Giveaways!!!!