Tag Archives: John Paulits

The Golden Mushroom

6 Mar

Another GSP release from Author of the Week: John Paulits.

The Golden Mushroom by John Paulits

Soon-to-be fifth graders, Paul Drummond and Billy Sparks’ summer vacation at the beach with Lige Drummond, Paul’s grandfather, is interrupted when Lige’s best friend Jess Hubbard disappears, and the boys are off to find him in Shumbus, a strange land deep within the Earth.

Excerpt:

An old man peered through the curtains which covered the front windows of his house. He saw no cars coming from either direction, so he went out on the porch, sat in his rocking chair, and lit his favorite pipe.

This old man, Jess Hubbard by name, lived in the town of Seaview. The Atlantic Ocean rolled up onto the beach less than a block from his house, and during the quiet hours of evening, he liked to sit and smoke and listen to the crash of the waves. To him it sounded like a weary giant breathing heavily and slowly. During pleasant weather, Jess liked nothing more than to take quiet walks along the shore.

A green car drove by and stopped a few houses away. Jess stopped rocking, took his pipe out of his mouth, and made a sour face when he saw two children tumble from the car, followed by their parents lugging suitcases. The summer season approached. Seaview, his town, would fill up with the kind of people now getting out of the green car. Families with noisy, annoying children. He had put up with it for years, but now something better had come along, and he wouldn’t have to put up with it much longer. He had pondered for a long time over what he planned to do and where he meant to go before he reached a decision—a firm, unshakeable decision.

He turned away from the newly arrived family, the screeching of the children ringing in his ears, and began to rock. He closed his eyes and pictured his bright and happy future out of Seaview. He smiled and felt quite pleased with himself.

                                                                     ~ * ~
Paul Drummond rejoiced as a long and boring year in fourth grade came to an end. Spelling tests, math tests, social studies tests, citywide tests. Tests, tests, tests! Nothing but tests. But no more now! His mother had recently gone back to work—his father had always worked—and so his parents planned to ship him off to his grandfather’s house for the summer in a beach town called Seaview. Paul invited along his best friend Billy Sparks. Billy didn’t have a father, only a mother who worked all day and who happily gave her permission, when Paul’s mother asked for it, to allow her son to spend the ten weeks of summer vacation with Paul at his grandfather’s house.

Suitcases already packed and in the car, Paul’s mother met them outside the schoolyard as soon as school let out for the summer, and they drove off to Seaview.

                                                                      ~ * ~
Lige Drummond, Paul’s grandfather, woke early as he always did and took his usual before-breakfast walk along the beach. After breakfast he went out to sit on his porch. Jess noticed him from across the street and decided to join him.

Both men had white hair, but Jess Hubbard had a lot more of it. He was a little taller and much heavier than his friend Lige. He often bragged to Lige about his sharp eyesight. Lige Drummond would adjust his spectacles and respond with his usual, “Good for you.” Both men smoked pipes. Jess liked to talk, and Lige Drummond didn’t mind listening. They got along well.

“Good morning, Jess,” said Grandfather Drummond.

“Morning,” replied Mr. Hubbard, stepping onto the porch. They sat in silence and smoked for a while.

“The town’s really filling up with summer coming, isn’t it?” remarked Grandfather Drummond.

Jess watched two cars drive by. “What? Oh, yes. Be too crowded for me soon. I like it best when summer’s over, and these people go home. Then the town is quiet and peaceful, the way it should be, with no one to bother us.”

“These people don’t bother me. Things get mighty lonesome and quiet here during the winter. Heh, heh. Look there.”

Half a dozen children crossed the street in front of Grandfather Drummond’s house. The smallest of the group, a girl about four years old, got tangled up in her baby blue, plastic inner tube and fell down, the tube ringing her neck as if someone had thrown it there hoping to win a prize. The other children laughed, and the little girl started to cry. The oldest of the group, a teenage girl, picked up the crying child and, carrying her in one arm and the inner tube in the other hand, continued across the street, the child’s cries slowly dying away.

Jess rolled his eyes, and the two men returned to their pipes.

“Lige,” said Jess, “ever think about going away? Far away. To a different place. No worries, no troubles.”

“Why would I do that? Don’t have many worries or troubles right here,” said Grandfather Drummond. “Seaview’s good enough for me.”

Jess’s pipe had gone out so he spent some time relighting it. The two men chatted for a while about the way Seaview used to be until Jess rose and said, “I’ve got a bunch of things to do, but I’ll see you again, I hope.”

Grandfather Drummond chuckled. “I certainly hope you do, Jess.”

The two men parted.

Grandfather Drummond also had a number of things to do. His grandson and his grandson’s friend would arrive soon, and he looked forward to having them around. It had been a long, lonely winter, and he’d enjoy the company.

He finished grocery shopping by one-thirty—he remembered how young boys could eat—and returned to his porch to await the boys’ arrival. He lazily watched the cars drive by until the red Jeep carrying the boys pulled in front of his house. Paul and Billy piled out and ran shouting to him. After some hugs and how are yous, the boys carried their suitcases upstairs as Grandfather Drummond made lunch for his guests.

Their appetites would have shrunk considerably, though, if they’d seen the angry look on Jess Hubbard’s face as he stared at them from across the street through his front window. The mumbled word, “Traitor,” slipped from his lips. It won’t be long now, he told himself. Tonight is the night.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#GMushroomExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Golden-Mushroom-Paul-Billys-Adventures-ebook/dp/B00I5YBXU4/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394132715&sr=8-1&keywords=the+golden+mushroom+john+paulits

Philip and the Thief…

5 Mar

Another release from Author of the Week: John Paulits.

Philip and the Thief

After Philip solves a few neighborhood mysteries, he decides to open a detective agency with his best pal Emery. Their classmate Jason starts making fun of their efforts, though, and being a detective suddenly isn’t so much fun. But soon Jason is accused of stealing money from the teacher, and Emery encourages Philip to solve the case and get Jason thrown out of their class. Philip sets to work and shocks the class when he reveals the solution to the mystery.

Excerpt:

“Philip the Great,” shouted Philip Felton as he bounced noisily down the stairs from his bedroom to the living room, purple Jolly Rancher in hand.

“Philip, you’re so humble,” said his father, looking up from the sofa, where he lay reading the Saturday newspaper.

“Philip, don’t talk like that,” said his mother as she passed through the living room, carrying Philip’s little sister Becky on her way upstairs. “It sounds very impolite. If anybody heard you . . . and candy again?”

His mother’s voice trailed away as Philip watched her climb the steps. He walked over to his father. “That’s not what I meant. I didn’t mean great like better than everybody, Dad.”

“Well, you are great, Flipper. Even if your tongue is purple.” He reached over and messed Philip’s hair.

“I meant like Nate the Great,” said Philip. “He solves the neighborhood’s mysteries. You read me a couple of the books.”

“I know Nate the Great well,” said Mr. Felton. “He’s a fine boy. Since you’re using his name, you better have solved a mystery or two to back it up.”

“I did!” exclaimed Philip. “Remember last night when Emery came over?”
Emery Wyatt was Philip’s best friend, except for when they argued. He sat across from Philip in Mr. Ware’s fourth grade class at the Donovan Elementary School.

“I remember. Take the candy out of your mouth when you talk.”

Philip removed the Jolly Rancher and said, “We were upstairs in my room. I gave him a candy bar, a Snickers. He only ate half of it.”

“A half of a candy bar went uneaten?” said Mr. Felton. “That’s a mystery right there. I thought you guys didn’t stop until you devoured every candy bar in sight.”

“He might have been filled up from the two Milky Ways and the Baby Ruth he already ate.”

“Ah, I see. Mystery solved.”

“That’s not the mystery, Dad. I woke up this morning and remembered the half a candy bar, but I couldn’t remember what Emery did with it. I knew he didn’t eat it.”

“Go on.”

“He didn’t take it home, either,” said Philip, “because I remembered his hands were empty when he left. Then I saw a brown fingerprint on my wall, and it had to be a chocolate fingerprint of Emery’s.”

“Why Emery’s fingerprint and not yours? And clean the wall before your mother sees it.”

“I will,” said Philip. “Emery’s because I gave Emery the soft candy bars and he got all chocolaty. I ate the hard ones.”

“Very cunning of you. Then you could tell your mom Emery made the mess, not you.”

“Dad, stop. I found the fingerprint on the wall next to my bureau. I looked around, but I didn’t see the candy bar anywhere. Only my three Nate the Great books were on top of the bureau. I read them again after Emery went home and left them there. Threw them there, actually. Since I threw the books on top of the bureau, I figured maybe the books knocked the candy bar behind the bureau and when I looked, I saw the candy bar stuck halfway down.”

“So where is the evidence now?” Mr. Felton asked.

“I ate it.”

“You ate the evidence?”

“After I washed a little dust off it,” said Philip.

“Sounds kind of gross to me,” said Mr. Felton, making an ick face.

“I couldn’t waste a whole half a candy bar, Dad. I said I washed it before I ate it.”

Philip’s father smiled. “And you owe your success to teamwork between you and Nate the Great.”

“What teamwork?”

“Nate’s inspiration and your careless aim.”

The doorbell rang and Philip ran to get it. When he opened the door, Emery walked in.

“Emery, hello,” said Philip’s father. “We were just talking about you.”

“I lost my Superball,” Emery moaned dejectedly. “And I had to pester for it, too. My mother said I pestered her so much she only bought it to keep me quiet. Now I can’t even find it.”

Philip and his father looked at each other. Another mystery!

“Emery,” said Mr. Felton, “I have good news for you. Philip the Great will help you find your missing ball.”

“Who’s Philip the Great?” Emery asked.

“Me, Emery. Me.”

“What makes you so great?”

“Explain it to him, Philip,” said Mr. Felton. “I have to go. Good luck finding your ball, Emery. See you later.”

“My dad’s joking. I solved a mystery the way Nate the Great does, so that makes me Philip the Great.”

“Find my Superball,” said Emery sadly, “and I’ll feel like Emery the Great.”

“Let’s go over your house,” said Philip. “Tell me what happened and maybe I’ll be able to find a clue.”

“I hope so.” And the boys left.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#PhilipThiefExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Thief-The-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B007Z5YGJE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1394040638&sr=8-1&keywords=Philip+and+the+Thief+john+paulits

 

Philip and the Superstition Kid

4 Mar

A GSP release from Author of the Week: John Paulits.

Philip and the Superstition Kid by John Paulits

Emery’s clumsy and monumentally unlucky cousin Leon is coming to visit for a whole week!  Philip and Emery, best friends, are desperate to find ways to keep Leon out of their way, but Leon’s bad luck―and disaster―follows them everywhere.  Rabbits’ feet don’t work.  Homemade remedies don’t work.  And when Emery and Philip have an extraordinary spell of bad luck themselves, they’re certain that Leon’s bad luck is contagious.  They plot and plan to convince Leon that the safest place for him is in his own home.  In a panic, Leon gets his mother to end his visit early but promises to return for a night a week from Friday, when he hopes he’ll be over his bad luck.
     Triumphant, Philip and Emery laughingly decide to circle that unlucky date on Emery’s calendar, but when they do they get a shock.  The thirteenth of the month.  Friday the thirteenth!  And they have to spend it with Leon!

Excerpt:

Philip looked out his bedroom window and smiled. Splashes of sunshine glinted off the windows of the houses across the street. The summer breeze blew gently through the window screen, just strong enough that his hair tickled his neck a little as the breeze ruffled it. Philip usually associated good smells with chocolate and bakeries, but right now the sweet aroma of somebody’s newly mown lawn made Philip inhale deeply. Today was the first official day of summer vacation; fourth grade was a thing of the past; and the long, beautiful, wonderful-smelling summer lay ahead, day after endless joyful day.
     Below and to his right Philip saw his best friend Emery step out of his front door. Philip hurried from his room, dashed down the stairs, and bolted outside. He waved to Emery and crossed the street. Emery walked toward him.
     “Emery.” Philip smiled and opened his arms wide. “Welcome to summer vacation.”
Emery glared at him unresponsively.
Philip lowered his arms. Now what? he wondered. “Summer vacation, Emery,” he reminded his friend.
     “I dreamed a dream last night,” Emery said gloomily.
     “So what? Everybody does that.”
     “Not like this they don’t. There goes the summer.” Emery moved his hand like he was shooing away a fly.
     Mrs. Logan lived at the corner, and there was an empty space inside the thick bushes near the back of her house Philip and Emery used as a hidden clubhouse. Mrs. Logan rarely left her house—Emery insisted she was a hundred and four years old, but Philip said that was impossible—so no one bothered them when they sat in the shady coolness, unknown to the world. They were on their way there now out of habit.
     “Emery, vacation just started,” Philip said impatiently. “How could a dream spoil the summer? It’s only the first day for Pete’s sake.”
     “You know those stupid rabbits’ feet we all got at Kevin’s party last week?”
     “Yeah.”
     “They’re not good luck.”
     “Whoever said they were?”
     Emery looked at Philip sadly. “Everybody knows that a rabbit’s foot is supposed to bring luck. That’s why people chop off the rabbit’s foot—to get good luck.”
     Philip winced at Emery’s description.
     “That’s just make believe,” Philip argued.
     “It’s not. Look it up. Why would people keep chopping off rabbits’ feet just for make-believe?”
     “Stop talking about chopping off feet, okay?” Philip said, his voice rising.
     “I carried my rabbit’s foot around since the party, and I didn’t have any bad luck.”
Philip waited. Then he asked, “Did you have any good luck?”
     Emery shrugged. “I got promoted,” he offered.
     Philip could feel his exasperation beginning to build as it always did when Emery started acting weird. “I got promoted, too, and I don’t even know where my stupid rabbit’s foot got to. And I didn’t have any bad luck this week either. And everybody got promoted.”
     “The babies didn’t cry as much this week,” Emery argued. Emery had two infant sisters.
     “They’re getting older. They’ll cry less anyway. What about the dream?”
     “I figured that if I got good luck during the day carrying the rabbit’s foot, then I was wasting it at night just leaving it on my bureau, so last night I decided to put it under my pillow to get good luck when I was sleeping.”
     Philip shook his head and in a loud voice cried, “What kind of good luck can you have when you’re asleep? Nothing happens when you’re asleep.”
     “I didn’t fall out of bed,” Emery said.
     “Did you ever fall out of bed before?”
     Emery thought a minute. “I don’t remember that I did.”
     “So there. You wouldn’t fall out of bed anyway. I didn’t fall out of bed. My mother and father didn’t fall out of bed. A zillion million people didn’t fall out of bed. What did the rabbit’s foot have to do with it?”
     Emery shrugged.
     “The dream?” Philip said impatiently.
     The boys had reached the corner and, with a quick look around to assure themselves that no one was watching, ducked alongside Mrs. Logan’s house and crawled into their hideaway.
     “It was weird,” Emery said reluctantly, looking at Philip. The boys sprawled on the sparse grass in the deep shade.
     Philip pressed his lips together as if he was going to burst. When Emery saw Philip’s eyes widening, he said, “Okay, I’ll tell you. I dreamed that me and you . . .”
     “I was in the dream?”
     Emery nodded. “I told you it was awful.”
     Philip frowned. “What does that mean?”
     “Me and you were somehow on a bouncing boat. I don’t know how we got there. But we were going up and down and up and down.” Emery moved his hand in time with his description.
Philip grabbed Emery’s hand and lowered it. “Up and down, yeah?”

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#PhilipExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Superstition-Kid-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B0043XXF34/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1393959549&sr=8-1&keywords=Philip+and+the+Superstition+Kid

GSP Author of the Week: John Paulits

3 Mar

Congratulations to GSP Author of the Week: John Paulits.

John Paulits, Author of Philip and the Superstition Kid

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

 

Learn more about John here:
   Facebook
   Website

 Please watch this space for releases from the author.

NEW NEW *** Philip and the Loser *** NEW NEW

15 Aug

Congratulations to John Paulits on his new release from GSP, Philip and the Loser.Image

Philip and Emery dread their school assignment: perform an activity demonstrating brotherhood. Philip gets an inspiration, though, when a neighbor tells him about her women’s club fair which will raise money for charity. He and Emery decide to create a game for the fair and donate the money they collect. Creating a game proves more difficult than they thought, especially when Leon, Emery’s unlucky cousin, shows up to help out. Can Philip and Emery deliver their game on time, or will Leon’s monumental bad luck prove their undoing?

Excerpt:

Chapter One

Philip slumped at his desk. The teacher eyed him coldly, so he quickly sat up. When the teacher looked elsewhere, Philip slumped again. Will this class never be over? he wondered. Will lunch time never get here? Fourth grade had to be the most boring thing in the world, and September hadn’t even ended yet! The teacher looked his way a second time, so Philip took the trouble to wriggle upright again. Mr. Sagsman wasn’t their real teacher. He only came into the class twice a week to teach about feelings, conflict resolution, brotherhood, and stuff like that.

“And so, kids, what I want you to do is find an example of brotherhood somewhere in your own lives,” Mr. Sagsman went on.

Philip quietly moaned and glanced at his best friend Emery, who sat next to him. Brotherhood; oh, brother, Philip moaned inwardly. He had one baby sister, and Emery two baby sisters. Why didn’t Mr. Sagsman teach about sisterhood and how to put up with it? That would have been something worth learning, instead of his making the class write a whole page about some kind of brotherhood in their lives. Philip didn’t even know what Mr. Sagsman was talking about. He hoped Emery would be able to clue him in.

Suddenly, a jolting crash came from outside the classroom. Philip sat up again. At last! Something interesting to break the monotony. Mr. Sagsman walked over and opened the classroom door, and from where he sat, Philip saw a boy lying on top of an upside-down, single desk, trying to get untangled from the four upright legs of the desk.

“What in the world happened?” Mr. Sagsman asked, stepping outside to help the boy to his feet.

Philip noticed Emery put his head down on one arm and cover the top of his head with his other arm. Philip looked back at the doorway. Mr. Sagsman led the boy into the room.

“Are you all right?” Mr. Sagsman asked. “What happened?”

The boy smiled, and Philip could see one of his big front teeth had a chip out of it. The boy’s hair looked like his mother forgot to make him comb it. The boy gave a loud sniff, scratched above his right ear, and said, “I fell down.”

The class laughed. Mr. Sagsman shushed them. “What do you mean you fell down?”

“Well,” the boy said slowly, scratching the other side of his head above his left ear. “I was pushing this desk to Ms. Bethal’s class. She’s my new fourth grade teacher, and this is my first day here, and that’s gonna be my desk.”

New in school, Philip thought. No wonder he hadn’t seen him before.

“I was pushing it and . . . and . . .” The boy wobbled his hands around in front of him for a few seconds. “. . . it fell over.”

The class laughed again.

“You were pushing the desk, and it fell over?”

“Yep,” the boy nodded. “It went . . .” He flipped one hand over the other. “. . . over. Boom!” The boy smiled at the laughing children, pleased to be entertaining them.

Mr. Sagsman looked at the class and shook his head. “Stop.” He turned back to the boy. “Are you hurt?”

“No, I didn’t go . . . boom! The table went . . . boom!” He said ‘boom’ real loud and gave a loud “yuk yuk” after the second boom, and the class laughed ever harder.

“All right. All right, enough,” said Mr. Sagsman. Philip wondered why teachers didn’t have the same sense of humor as their students. Mr. Sagsman, especially. “Come on. Let me help you.” Mr. Sagsman took the boy into the hall and righted the desk for him. “Be careful now.”

The boy stared back into the classroom and said, “No more booms?”

“No more booms,” Mr. Sagsman responded over the laughter of the class. He turned away from the boy and reentered the classroom. The boy followed Mr. Sagsman to the door. “Boom!” he cried again and joined in with the wildly laughing children in front of him.

“Young man,” Mr. Sagsman began. Philip saw this boy knew what ‘young man’ meant. The boy turned away and got behind the desk and pushed it out of sight. “All right, class. We still have ten minutes. Let me finish explaining your assignment.”

Philip saw Emery raise his head. The class hadn’t quieted yet, so Philip quickly said, “You missed everything. Why’d you have your head down? It was pretty funny.”

Emery shook his head. “It wasn’t.”

“It was.”

“It wasn’t. That boy?”

“Yeah?” said Philip.

“He’s my cousin Leon, the one I told you was moving a block away from me.”

“That goof’s your cousin?”

“Quiet, there,” said Mr. Sagsman.

Emery nodded at Philip and faced the teacher. Philip faced front, too. That was Emery’s cousin? The cousin Emery never wanted to talk about? The one Emery’s mother said they’d have to play with every day? Philip glanced at Emery, who sat with his head cradled in one hand. Philip knew if Emery had to play with him, he would have to play with him, too. Philip cradled his head in one hand while Mr. Sagsman droned on about the wonders of brotherhood.

 

About the author

 John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#PhilipLoserExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Loser-Emery-ebook/dp/B00C0906B2/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1376541023&sr=8-1&keywords=philip+and+the+loser+john+paulits

 

 

Philip and the Girl Who Couldn’t Lose…

24 Apr

Another in the Philip series from John Paulits on the GSP Wee Folk  Promo.

Image

Philip runs into Jeanne, a new girl in the neighborhood, who defeats him at every game they play. Philip enlists his best pal Emery to help him, but even when they join forces, they lose to Jeanne. In his frustration, Philip foolishly assures Jeanne that he will win the poster contest being run at the mall. She laughs off his challenge, certain first prize will be hers. Philip cannot allow himself to lose again to this girl, but how in the world will he ever defeat The Girl Who Couldn’t Lose?

Excerpt:

“Why didn’t you catch it?” Emery asked for the tenth time. “He threw it right to you. Your team could’ve won.”

“Yeah, ninety-nine miles an hour he threw it to me. How could anybody catch a ninety-nine-miles-an-hour football?”

“The other kids did.”

Philip threw his arms over his head in frustration. “The other kids are way older. I didn’t see you catch anything.”

“They didn’t throw me anything. If they did, I’d probably’ve caught it.”

“You didn’t catch it last game.”

“It hit me in the nose! How could anybody catch a ball that hits you in the nose?”

The two boys walked a short distance in silence.

Then Emery said softly, “I guess we’re lucky they let us in the game at all.”

“The only reason they let us play is ‘cause none of them wants to stand on the line with his hands up and count to ten.”

“I guess, but at least my team won.”

“You didn’t have anything to do with it. You just stood there counting.”

“I ran out for passes.”

“They didn’t throw to you. At least they threw one to me.”

“And you missed it.”

“If they used a smaller football like the one we play with . . .”

“The big kids don’t want to play baby football.”

“Oh, Emery, be quiet!”

The bigger boys had allowed Philip and Emery to join the touch football game for the exact reasons the boys described; to either count to ten before running after the quarterback—and never catching him—or to run out for a pass—and never get thrown to—usually.

“So what do you want to do?” Emery asked a moment later.

“I don’t want to go home. My father’s watching the football game.” It was a Sunday.

“His team usually loses so he’s always yelling at the television, and afterward he’s grumpy the rest of the day.”

“Maybe some guys are in the schoolyard playing punch ball.”

Philip felt his frustration rise.

“Don’t start with punch ball,” he warned.

“Hey, I like punch ball. I won every game this week.”

“Your team won; you didn’t win.”

“Your team lost; you really didn’t win.”

Philip glared at his friend, but Emery walked on.

“Want to play wall ball?” Emery asked. “But I don’t have a ball.”

“I have one.”

“No, wait. I don’t like to play wall ball with you. You get mad when you lose.”

Philip felt an angry little snake start to crawl up his back. “I’m not going to lose, Emery. And I don’t get mad. Here, I have a new ball.” He took the ball out of his pocket.

“Let me see it,” said Emery.

Philip tossed the hard, air-filled pink ball to his friend.

“This is the ball you owe me,” said Emery.

“What!”

“You threw mine away, remember?”

“That was two weeks ago.”

“So?”

“That was two weeks ago.” It was the only thing Philip could think of to say. He and Emery had been playing wall ball behind Emery’s house. Emery had been way ahead, and Philip got angry and told Emery the ball was no good and threw it so wildly it missed the wall and sailed past the house into the street. A gigantic truck rolling by ran over the ball and exploded it like a balloon.

About the author:

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#GirlWho

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Couldnt-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B008R19PF0/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366821752&sr=8-1&keywords=the+girl+who+couldn%27t+lose

Philip and the Thief…..

20 Apr

Today yet another release from John Paulits in the Philip series, Philip and the Thief.

Image

Philip runs into an awful streak of bad luck at the same time as his best buddy Emery runs into a streak of good luck. When Emery reveals that he’s been using a newly acquired luck charm, Philip sets out to find one of his own, but what he finds turns out to be more deadly curse than good luck charm.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Philip the Great,” shouted Philip Felton as he bounced noisily down the stairs from his bedroom to the living room, purple Jolly Rancher in hand.

“Philip, you’re so humble,” said his father, looking up from the sofa, where he lay reading the Saturday newspaper.

“Philip, don’t talk like that,” said his mother as she passed through the living room, carrying Philip’s little sister Becky on her way upstairs. “It sounds very impolite. If anybody heard you . . . and candy again?”

His mother’s voice trailed away as Philip watched her climb the steps. He walked over to his father. “That’s not what I meant. I didn’t mean great like better than everybody, Dad.”

“Well, you are great, Flipper. Even if your tongue is purple.” He reached over and messed Philip’s hair.

“I meant like Nate the Great,” said Philip. “He solves the neighborhood’s mysteries. You read me a couple of the books.”

“I know Nate the Great well,” said Mr. Felton. “He’s a fine boy. Since you’re using his name, you better have solved a mystery or two to back it up.”

“I did!” exclaimed Philip. “Remember last night when Emery came over?”
Emery Wyatt was Philip’s best friend, except for when they argued. He sat across from Philip in Mr. Ware’s fourth grade class at the Donovan Elementary School.

“I remember. Take the candy out of your mouth when you talk.”

Philip removed the Jolly Rancher and said, “We were upstairs in my room. I gave him a candy bar, a Snickers. He only ate half of it.”

“A half of a candy bar went uneaten?” said Mr. Felton. “That’s a mystery right there. I thought you guys didn’t stop until you devoured every candy bar in sight.”

“He might have been filled up from the two Milky Ways and the Baby Ruth he already ate.”

“Ah, I see. Mystery solved.”

“That’s not the mystery, Dad. I woke up this morning and remembered the half a candy bar, but I couldn’t remember what Emery did with it. I knew he didn’t eat it.”

“Go on.”

“He didn’t take it home, either,” said Philip, “because I remembered his hands were empty when he left. Then I saw a brown fingerprint on my wall, and it had to be a chocolate fingerprint of Emery’s.”

“Why Emery’s fingerprint and not yours? And clean the wall before your mother sees it.”

“I will,” said Philip. “Emery’s because I gave Emery the soft candy bars and he got all chocolaty. I ate the hard ones.”

“Very cunning of you. Then you could tell your mom Emery made the mess, not you.”

“Dad, stop. I found the fingerprint on the wall next to my bureau. I looked around, but I didn’t see the candy bar anywhere. Only my three Nate the Great books were on top of the bureau. I read them again after Emery went home and left them there. Threw them there, actually. Since I threw the books on top of the bureau, I figured maybe the books knocked the candy bar behind the bureau and when I looked, I saw the candy bar stuck halfway down.”

“So where is the evidence now?” Mr. Felton asked.

“I ate it.”

“You ate the evidence?”

“After I washed a little dust off it,” said Philip.

“Sounds kind of gross to me,” said Mr. Felton, making an ick face.

“I couldn’t waste a whole half a candy bar, Dad. I said I washed it before I ate it.”

Philip’s father smiled. “And you owe your success to teamwork between you and Nate the Great.”

“What teamwork?”

“Nate’s inspiration and your careless aim.”

The doorbell rang and Philip ran to get it. When he opened the door, Emery walked in.

“Emery, hello,” said Philip’s father. “We were just talking about you.”

“I lost my Superball,” Emery moaned dejectedly. “And I had to pester for it, too. My mother said I pestered her so much she only bought it to keep me quiet. Now I can’t even find it.”

Philip and his father looked at each other. Another mystery!

“Emery,” said Mr. Felton, “I have good news for you. Philip the Great will help you find your missing ball.”

“Who’s Philip the Great?” Emery asked.

“Me, Emery. Me.”

“What makes you so great?”

“Explain it to him, Philip,” said Mr. Felton. “I have to go. Good luck finding your ball, Emery. See you later.”

“My dad’s joking. I solved a mystery the way Nate the Great does, so that makes me Philip the Great.”

“Find my Superball,” said Emery sadly, “and I’ll feel like Emery the Great.”

“Let’s go over your house,” said Philip. “Tell me what happened and maybe I’ll be able to find a clue.”

“I hope so.” And the boys left.

About the author:

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#PhilipDCurseExc

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Thief-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B007Z5YGJE/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366470813&sr=8-1&keywords=philip+and+the+thief+john+paulits

Philip and the Monsters…

18 Apr

Another release in the Philip series from John Paulits on the GSP Wee Folk Promo, Philip and the Monsters.

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Could the Frankenstein monster, Dracula and the Wolfman actually move into someone’s respectable neighborhood? Philip and his best friend Emery are convinced it has happened when a suspicious new family moves in down the block. The boys have seen the vampire bat; they’ve heard the werewolf’s growl; they’ve witnessed the coffin delivery to the house. When Emery’s mother invites the new family to dinner, Philip and Emery have no choice but to prepare for the worst.

Excerpt:

Chapter One

“Boo!” shouted Emery. Philip’s heart shot up, and his stomach tumbled. He spun to face his friend.

“Are you crazy? Are you really crazy? Why did you do that? I walk into your house and you jump out like a maniac? You almost gave me a heart attack.”

Emery laughed and waved a hand at Philip. “Get out. We’re too young to have heart attacks. Unless,” said Emery in a spooky voice, “your arteries are clogged with the cholesterol of fear.”

Philip stared at Emery.

“What?” Emery asked.

Philip continued to stare.

Emery smiled nervously and shrugged.

Philip didn’t move a muscle.

Emery blinked and blinked again.

Philip continued to stare and refused to blink.

“Say something, please,” said Emery in a small voice. He waited. Philip said nothing. “Come on, you’re scaring me.”

Philip kept on staring and counted to himself. When he reached three, he threw his arms in the air and shouted, “BOOOO!”

“Ahhh!” Emery burst out. “Why did you do that? Are you crazy, too? You were scaring me and then you scared me. Why’d you scare me?”

“Can we go back to the beginning?” Philip asked slowly, still giving Emery his coldest stare.

“The beginning?”

“Did you ask me to come over so we could do our homework together?”

“Yes, I did,” said Emery, paying very close attention to Philip’s questions. He didn’t want Philip to start staring and BOO-ing him again.

“Did you tell me you would leave the front door open, and I should just walk in?”

“Yes, I did.”

“Why?”

“So I could jump out and scare you.”

“Then you admit it!” Philip cried. He tried to stay calm. “Why did you want to scare me?”

“Uh, because you said I could.”

Philip stared at Emery again.

“Are you going to do the staring Boo! thing again, because . . . ?” Emery stepped back, arms out, hands waving slowly.

“No, stand still,” Philip said softly. “When did I say you could jump out at me and try to give me a heart attack? When? When did I say it?”

“You said we would do our homework together, didn’t you?”

“Yeah, so? Is giving me a heart attack doing our homework together?” Philip shouted.

“No, but scaring you is. I’m doing my report on how people act when they get scared. You have to do a report too, you know. The class report we have to do about a feeling. Remember?”

“What was the stuff you said before?”

“Before? When?”

“Before. About the arteries and the clogging.”

Emery laughed. “Did you like it? I made it up. I read this newspaper article about good heart health, and I read a different article about how peoples’ hearts beat faster when they get scared.”

“You didn’t have to read about it. I could have told you.”

“Yeah well, I put the two things together and I said . . .”

“I know what you said. What does cholesterol have to do with your report?”

“Nothing. I made a joke, for Pete’s sake.”

“Some dumb joke. Next time, save it for Pete.”

“Never mind the joke. Tell me what you felt when you got scared.” Emery scrambled to the floor and lay on his stomach, pencil in hand and notebook open. “Go on.”

Philip tried the best he could to remember everything he felt when Emery jumped out at him. As Philip talked, Emery wrote fast.

“Good,” said Emery, his pencil zipping across the paper. “Good. Now let me write what I felt when you scared me.”

When Emery finished writing, Philip said, “Lemme see.” Emery handed him the notebook.

Philip read, “When Philip first scared me by staring, I got scared because I didn’t know what he was doing. I felt scared because I didn’t know what would happen next. When Philip jumped at me, I felt really scared, heart-beating scared.”

Philip looked at Emery, impressed. “Pretty neat. You got scared a different way each time.”

“Yeah, it’s great for my report. Now I need you to add things to my list.”

“What list?”

“My list of things people get scared by. Tell me what things scare you. You know, to see or think about. Know what my mother said? She said hairy people scare her. You know with hairy hands and arms and eyebrows and nose hairs and hair where it shouldn’t be, like on warts and stuff.”

“Disgusting!”

“Yeah, but scary. Go on, what scares you?”

“What did you put for yourself?”

Emery flipped back a few pages. “I put waking up in the dark in a strange place.” Philip agreed. No argument there. It happened to him. “Watching scary movies in the dark when my parents are out.” Philip agreed again. Still no argument. “Being alone in the house. Sometimes. Like at night. That’s all.”

“They’re all good ones.”

“Your turn.”

“You took all the good ones.”

“You have to give me something different. Come on.”

“The haunted house scared us. Going inside it, remember?”

Emery wrote it down.

“Somebody finally moved in there, you know,” Emery said, when he finished writing.

“I heard. My dad told me. At least we won’t have to mow their lawn anymore. The new people can mow their own lawn.” He and Emery had beautified the deserted house by mowing its lawn as part of a community service project.

“Give me one more. A good one. How about monsters? Are you afraid of monsters?”

“What kind of monsters?”

“Regular monsters. You know. Frankenstein, Dracula, Wolfman.”

“Everybody’s supposed to be afraid of them, but they’re not real.”

“I’ll put it anyway.”

“Under my name?”

“Sure.”

“No, no,” Philip scoffed. “I don’t want everybody in the class to think I’m afraid of Dracula. Put your cousin Leon’s name instead of mine. He’s afraid of everything.”

“All right. All right. So there. Only one more person to interview and I’m done making a list. I’ll ask Mrs. Moriarty later what she’s scared of.” Mrs. Moriarty was their favorite neighbor. “Fourth grade projects aren’t so bad. You pick yours yet?” Emery closed his notebook and tossed it on the sofa.

“No,” said Philip.

“You better hurry up. Want to go see what the new haunted house family looks like?”

Philip looked out the window. It was early December and darkness arrived early. Philip checked his watch, hoping Emery got the message and would suggest a time with more daylight available.

About the author:

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#PhilipMonsters

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Monsters-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B006JG0N2E/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1366300439&sr=1-1&keywords=Philip+and+the+Monsters

Philip and the Haunted House….

14 Apr

Another release in the Philip series from John Paulits on the GSP Wee Folk Promo.

The book we are highlighting is Philip and the Haunted House.

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Philip and Emery are scared out of their wits when they learn their community service assignment involves dealing with a haunted house, but it gets worse! Circumstances force the boys to sneak inside the haunted house, and when they do, they receive the shock of their lives!

Excerpt:

The rumble of a heavy truck caused Philip to turn in his bed and open his eyes. He felt his heart pounding. He had been trapped in some dark, awful house. He immediately recognized his own bedroom and sighed in relief. Only a dream! The sound of the truck stopped briefly and started up again. Turning a corner, thought Philip. As he listened, the truck noise ended suddenly, instead of fading little by little. Philip guessed the truck had stopped somewhere in his neighborhood.

He sat up in bed, turned, put his feet on the floor, and stretched. A long Saturday loomed ahead of him. No school. What a great feeling! Philip thought of his dream again. Yesterday, his teacher Mr. Ware read the class the part of The Adventures of Tom Sawyer where Tom and Huck look for treasure in the haunted house. While they’re looking, they hear someone coming and run upstairs to hide. One of the two men who enter the haunted house turns out to be Injun Joe, who wants to kill Tom for identifying him as Doc Robinson’s murderer at Muff Potter’s trial. Injun Joe gets suspicious, takes out his knife, and starts to climb the stairs. Tom and Huck lie frozen in fear on the floor, peeking through a chink in the wood as Injun Joe, step by step, gets nearer and nearer. Then, CRASH! The old, rotten stairway collapses and tumbles Injun Joe to the floor.

When Mr. Ware read it, he’d shouted the word “crash” as loud as he could. Everyone, including Philip, jumped out of their chairs. For once he’d been paying close attention, and the teacher rewarded him by almost giving him a heart attack. Philip blamed Mr. Ware for his frightful dream.

How could Tom and Huck even want to go inside a haunted house, Philip wondered, even if they thought they’d find some buried treasure? Buried treasure. Philip thought he might go into a haunted house to get rich, but not for fun. No way. He decided he’d go back to daydreaming in school next week and stop listening to the teacher’s heart-attack reading lessons.

Philip dressed and went downstairs. His father lay on the sofa reading the newspaper.

“Well, look who’s awake,” his father said, sitting up. “Your mother went to the supermarket. Becky’s still sleeping.” Becky was Philip’s baby sister. “Emery called twice already.”

“What time is it, Dad?”

“A little after ten.”

He had slept a long time. Maybe if he’d gotten up earlier he wouldn’t have had the dream about the haunted house. Stupid reading lesson.

“Give Emery a call, and I’ll get your cereal.”

Philip called Emery, who said he’d be right over.

As Philip dropped his cereal bowl into the sink, Emery walked into the kitchen.

“Are you sick?” said Emery.

“No, I’m not sick. Why?”

“You slept so long. I only sleep long if I’m sick. My two baby sisters cry so much I can’t sleep late anyway.”

“No, I’m not sick. I had this weird dream, though.” Philip led Emery into the living room.

“You, too, eh?”

“Me, too? You had a dream?” Philip asked in alarm. Maybe something’s going around, he thought.

“No, I mean putting the dishes in the sink.”

“Oh. Yeah, something new.”

“My mother, too. She must have talked to your mother. They do these things together sometimes. What did you dream about?”

“The haunted house Mr. Ware read about yesterday.”

“Oh, yeah. When the stairs crashed, and he made everybody jump. Cool!”

“I didn’t jump,” Philip lied.

“Well, everybody else did. Haunted houses are spooky.”

“Only around Halloween,” Philip said boldly.

“All the time,” Emery replied with a sharp nod.

Philip felt he’d established his bravery, so he dropped the topic.

“Weird, though,” said Emery.

“What’s weird?”

“A big truck pulled up around the corner, and they’re taking everything out of the junky, empty house.”

“The one with all the grass growing around it?”

“Yeah. It’s still got a “Sale” sign on it so I guess nobody bought it yet. That’ll be an empty house now and look even more haunted.”

Philip pictured the house—dark, empty, and surrounded by tall weeds. It could be haunted for all he and Emery knew; and there it sat—right around the corner from where they lived.

“Want to go watch them take stuff out?” Emery asked.

“They’re still there?”

“Yeah. They only got there a little while ago.”

Philip thought of the truck that woke him up.

“Okay,” Philip said. He’d go now, but once they’d emptied the house and left it empty and lonely and scary looking, he planned to stay away from it. Far away.

About the author:

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#HHouseExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Haunted-House-Series-ebook/dp/B005NWS9W6/ref=sr_1_7?ie=UTF8&qid=1365961411&sr=8-7&keywords=philip+and+the+haunted+house

Philip and the Superstition Kid……

5 Apr

On the GSP Wee Folk Promo today another in the Philip and Emery series from John Paulits. His book we are highlighting today is Philip and the Superstition Kid.

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Emery’s clumsy and monumentally unlucky cousin Leon is coming to visit for a whole week!  Philip and Emery, best friends, are desperate to find ways to keep Leon out of their way, but Leon’s bad luck―and disaster―follows them everywhere.  Rabbits’ feet don’t work.  Homemade remedies don’t work.  And when Emery and Philip have an extraordinary spell of bad luck themselves, they’re certain that Leon’s bad luck is contagious.  They plot and plan to convince Leon that the safest place for him is in his own home.  In a panic, Leon gets his mother to end his visit early but promises to return for a night a week from Friday, when he hopes he’ll be over his bad luck.
     Triumphant, Philip and Emery laughingly decide to circle that unlucky date on Emery’s calendar, but when they do they get a shock.  The thirteenth of the month.  Friday the thirteenth!  And they have to spend it with Leon!

Excerpt:

  Philip looked out his bedroom window and smiled. Splashes of sunshine glinted off the windows of the houses across the street. The summer breeze blew gently through the window screen, just strong enough that his hair tickled his neck a little as the breeze ruffled it. Philip usually associated good smells with chocolate and bakeries, but right now the sweet aroma of somebody’s newly mown lawn made Philip inhale deeply. Today was the first official day of summer vacation; fourth grade was a thing of the past; and the long, beautiful, wonderful-smelling summer lay ahead, day after endless joyful day.
     Below and to his right Philip saw his best friend Emery step out of his front door. Philip hurried from his room, dashed down the stairs, and bolted outside. He waved to Emery and crossed the street. Emery walked toward him.
     “Emery.” Philip smiled and opened his arms wide. “Welcome to summer vacation.”
Emery glared at him unresponsively.
Philip lowered his arms. Now what? he wondered. “Summer vacation, Emery,” he reminded his friend.
     “I dreamed a dream last night,” Emery said gloomily.
     “So what? Everybody does that.”
     “Not like this they don’t. There goes the summer.” Emery moved his hand like he was shooing away a fly.
     Mrs. Logan lived at the corner, and there was an empty space inside the thick bushes near the back of her house Philip and Emery used as a hidden clubhouse. Mrs. Logan rarely left her house—Emery insisted she was a hundred and four years old, but Philip said that was impossible—so no one bothered them when they sat in the shady coolness, unknown to the world. They were on their way there now out of habit.
     “Emery, vacation just started,” Philip said impatiently. “How could a dream spoil the summer? It’s only the first day for Pete’s sake.”
     “You know those stupid rabbits’ feet we all got at Kevin’s party last week?”
     “Yeah.”
     “They’re not good luck.”
     “Whoever said they were?”
     Emery looked at Philip sadly. “Everybody knows that a rabbit’s foot is supposed to bring luck. That’s why people chop off the rabbit’s foot—to get good luck.”
     Philip winced at Emery’s description.
     “That’s just make believe,” Philip argued.
     “It’s not. Look it up. Why would people keep chopping off rabbits’ feet just for make-believe?”
     “Stop talking about chopping off feet, okay?” Philip said, his voice rising.
     “I carried my rabbit’s foot around since the party, and I didn’t have any bad luck.”
Philip waited. Then he asked, “Did you have any good luck?”
     Emery shrugged. “I got promoted,” he offered.
     Philip could feel his exasperation beginning to build as it always did when Emery started acting weird. “I got promoted, too, and I don’t even know where my stupid rabbit’s foot got to. And I didn’t have any bad luck this week either. And everybody got promoted.”
     “The babies didn’t cry as much this week,” Emery argued. Emery had two infant sisters.
     “They’re getting older. They’ll cry less anyway. What about the dream?”
     “I figured that if I got good luck during the day carrying the rabbit’s foot, then I was wasting it at night just leaving it on my bureau, so last night I decided to put it under my pillow to get good luck when I was sleeping.”
     Philip shook his head and in a loud voice cried, “What kind of good luck can you have when you’re asleep? Nothing happens when you’re asleep.”
     “I didn’t fall out of bed,” Emery said.
     “Did you ever fall out of bed before?”
     Emery thought a minute. “I don’t remember that I did.”
     “So there. You wouldn’t fall out of bed anyway. I didn’t fall out of bed. My mother and father didn’t fall out of bed. A zillion million people didn’t fall out of bed. What did the rabbit’s foot have to do with it?”
     Emery shrugged.
     “The dream?” Philip said impatiently.
     The boys had reached the corner and, with a quick look around to assure themselves that no one was watching, ducked alongside Mrs. Logan’s house and crawled into their hideaway.
     “It was weird,” Emery said reluctantly, looking at Philip. The boys sprawled on the sparse grass in the deep shade.
     Philip pressed his lips together as if he was going to burst. When Emery saw Philip’s eyes widening, he said, “Okay, I’ll tell you. I dreamed that me and you . . .”
     “I was in the dream?”
     Emery nodded. “I told you it was awful.”
     Philip frowned. “What does that mean?”
     “Me and you were somehow on a bouncing boat. I don’t know how we got there. But we were going up and down and up and down.” Emery moved his hand in time with his description.
Philip grabbed Emery’s hand and lowered it. “Up and down, yeah?”

About the author:

John Paulits is a former teacher in New York City. He has published five other children’s novels, four about Philip and Emery, as well as two adult science fiction novels, HOBSON’S PLANET and BECKONING ETERNITY. His previous Gyspy Shadow book, PHILIP AND THE SUPERSTITION KID, was voted best children’s novel of 2010 in the Preditors and Editors readers poll.

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnPaulits.html#Philip

Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Philip-Superstition-Emery-Series-ebook/dp/B0043XXF34/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1365180898&sr=8-1&keywords=Philip+and+the+Superstition+Kid