Tag Archives: Wee Folk Promo

Wee Folk Promo….

29 Apr

Today is the last day of the GSP Wee Folk Promo. Thank you so much for all your support in reading, commenting and sharing.

Below is the direct link to the Gypsy Shadow Publishing page where you can browse the entire selection.

Please join us in May for our next promo.

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/WeeFolk.html#top

 

Lord Badger’s Adventures….

28 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Promo we welcome Gene Fehler.

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Gene Fehler loves to write for kids of all ages. He also loves baseball, both playing it and writing about it. He still plays more than eighty baseball and softball games a year, and ten of his thirteen published books deal with baseball, the most recent being When Baseball Was Still King: Major League Players Remember the 1950s (McFarland, 2012), a collection of anecdotes gleaned from the interviews Gene did with more than one hundred former major league players. Gene’s poems have appeared in more than three hundred periodicals, anthologies, and textbooks. He’s also an avid book collector, with more than 6,000 titles in his personal library, about two-thirds of them sports books. Gene has two grown sons and three granddaughters. He lives with his wife Polly in Seneca, SC, where he loves to walk their two toy poodles.

Hie book we are highlighting today is Lord Badger’s Adventures.

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Lord Badger is the wisest creature in the forest. He needs every bit of that wisdom to be able to solve the poem riddles that let him know his beloved nephews Melfryn and Bryndelf face a crisis, whether the crisis is in the form of a giant dragon that breathes green fire or in the form of someone who has stolen Santa’s magic dust and thus threatens the arrival of Santa on Christmas Eve.

In these two delightful stories, “Lord Badger and the Gray Mice,” and “Lord Badger and the Magic Dust,” we see the wisdom and heroism of the ageless gentle badger.

Except:

One: Lord Badger and the Gray Mice

Lord Badger smiled as he shut his front door. He walked to the window and watched Melfryn and Bryndelf Badger skip back toward their home in the woods. It had been quite a fun evening of games and music and storytelling.

Old Lord Badger lived by himself in a small cottage in a deep forest. At least three evenings a week, the children of many of his forest friends would stay with him. And he never accepted payment. “It keeps me young,” he told the parents. “I’m happy to do it.”

And happy he was. Those evenings were among his most wonderful and exciting times. Why, just this evening he’d been reading his paper while Melfryn and Bryndelf were in the kitchen, eating their dessert. A frantic shout from the kitchen brought him running. “Come quick, Lord Badger! We’ve had an accident!”

He’d bounced from his chair, letting the newspaper flutter to the floor behind him. Imagine his surprise to see Melfryn and Bryndelf sitting at the kitchen table, blood covering their faces. “We’re hurt! We’re hurt!” they called out.

What could have happened? He rushed to their side, praying they weren’t seriously injured.

Then they laughed and wiped their faces with their napkins. “It’s only strawberries,” Melfryn said. “We decided to dip our noses in it to see what it would look like.”

“Doesn’t it look real?” Bryndelf Badger asked. “Just as if we’re really bleeding.”

Lord Badger took a deep breath before he answered. He decided not to tell them he’d just aged another twenty years. “Quite real,” he said, and the stripes on his own face returned from a pale white to their normal shade of brown.

“Are you okay?” Melfryn Badger asked. “We’re sorry if we scared you. We didn’t mean for you to be worried.”

“Oh,” Lord Badger said, “I wasn’t worried. I was merely afraid for you. I was frightened that you had both suffered some terrible accident. I was terrified that two of my favorite nephews might be in pain and might be permanently disfigured. But worried? No, I wasn’t worried.”

Now, alone in the house, Lord Badger sat before his fireplace and smiled. They were good boys. They had apologized again and again for having played such a thoughtless practical joke.

Lord Badger had not fibbed to them. He had not been worried, merely terrified. Every time he started to worry, this poem automatically popped into his head:

 Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/GeneFehler.html#LordBadgerExc

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Lord-Badgers-Adventures-ebook/dp/B009WWEV2U/ref=sr_1_2?ie=UTF8&qid=1367128825&sr=8-2&keywords=Lord+Badger%27s+Adventures

The Ellsworth Express…..

26 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Promo we welcome John C. Elliot.

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Dr. Elliott worked for the U.S. State Department from 1966 to 2008, conducting international operations, and concurrently for Mossad in Israel from 1985 to 2010. While engaged with his work, he has been shot on four separate occasions, stabbed three different times, run down by automobiles twice and blown up twice. He holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Business, an MBA and a Juris Doctorate degree. He is a public and motivational speaker and conducts safety and crime-avoidance seminars nationwide. He is fluent in English, Gaelic, Hebrew and Hungarian, and can speak conversationally in Italian and French. He’s an on-air contributor for the BBC in London and in Belfast, Northern Ireland. He is also an editorial writer and the author of eleven books, with several more on the way. His first book was penned aboard a charter flight across the Pacific Ocean in 1969. By the time he reached Travis Air Force Base in California, it was complete.

His book we are highlighting today is The Ellsworth Express

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The story takes place in Columbia Falls, Maine, a sleepy coastal village, and involves a strange sea fog that creeps in from the ocean every few months, a Civil War ghost train, and five friends who attend the small elementary school in town. One of the friends, Tobias Franklin, has a mysterious past, and together they go about attempting to solve the village’s recurring mystery where people occasionally disappear, never to be seen again. The book is intended for children in grades two through six.

Excerpt:

Every night I lie in my bed,
Cold and afraid of the nightmare to come. Scared of the screaming and running in my dreams. That face, a horrible face. The face I see before waking up screaming. The woods, the branches clawing at me like knives. Stumbling over roots and unstable ground. Afraid to look back at the dark face trying to catch me. He tries to grab at my hair missing by just inches. Everything so real. I trip knowing that he’s inches away. All I can do is scream. I wake up screaming only to realize it’s only a dream.
~Francesca Paul

Prologue

No one in the village saw it coming, because it came in the middle of the darkest night anyone could ever remember. No one heard it coming, because most people were asleep as it crept steadily forward. Those very few people who were awakened when it came felt their ears popping and they felt very, very afraid! Mrs. Emma Hewitt, the elderly lady who lived in the small one bedroom apartment above the tiny pottery shop, was one of those unfortunate few. She just happened to be returning to bed with a warm glass of milk when she looked out of her bedroom window. She gasped in horror and stepped back from the window in fright, the glass of warm milk falling from her hands and breaking into hundreds of tiny fragments on the cold, hardwood floor at her feet. “Oh no,” she murmured to herself. “Please, not again.”

But it had returned, and it was right outside of her window. She looked again and saw that it was growing stronger and getting closer. It looked as if it was alive, a terrifying living beast, so enormously huge. The colors were so odd, so strange, and so disturbingly vibrant; and she knew right then and there that lives would be taken that night, people would be changed forever, and her small village would be thrown into chaos once again. Just then, she remembered her window had remained wide open, because she liked the cool ocean breezes while she slept at night. She quickly lurched forward to slam it shut against the oncoming horror, cutting her foot on the broken glass, her blood mixing freely with the warm milk on the floor. She was just in time! It would move on tonight, taking someone else away, never to be seen again. But it would return; it always did.

Chapter One
Two Weeks Later

It was late in August in Columbia Falls, Maine, and for the students of the tiny Columbia Falls Elementary School it would soon be the start of the new school year.

Columbia Falls was a small village, and everyone seemed to know everyone else. The summer had been long and hot, and many of the students had spent those long hot summer days at Jasper Beach, where they collected buckets full of green and red jasper stones; the beach at Rogue Bluffs, where they happily swam in the cool waters of the Atlantic Ocean and explored the miles of rocky coastline.

But all that was soon coming to an end, and some of their parents had driven the forty-two miles into Ellsworth to buy new school clothing for their children at the department stores there, an hour away. Others would even drive an extra half hour, all the way to Bangor, to shop. And while most of the children were looking forward to the new school year, some were sad to know summer was almost over.

This new school year was a little different, however, because four new students would be attending classes in Columbia Falls. Two of those new students were the twin brothers, Jeffery and James Carlisle. They were identical twins, and it was sometimes difficult to tell who was who. Occasionally, even their parents had a hard time telling them apart. Their father was a technician for the Air Force, attending to the enormous radar installations at the Columbia Falls Air Force Base several miles away. It was located at the top of one of the largest hills in this part of Maine, and from the top of those barrens, that’s what the local people called the tops of those hills, one could see for miles. Mr. and Mrs. Carlisle fell in love with the beautiful scenery in Columbia Falls, and when they found out about the job at the air force base, Mr. Carlisle applied for the position right away.

Another new student was Jack Higgins. Jack had bright red hair and hundreds of freckles all over his face. All three boys were twelve years old, but Jack was quite short for his age, and was sometimes embarrassed because he thought that the others would make fun of him when he attended the new school. He had been made fun of before, back in his old school in Rhode Island, where some of the students called him Peewee and Midget. One of the students in Rhode Island had even called him a dwarf right to his face. So for Jack, the thought of attending this new school was somewhat frightening. Jack’s parents were doctors at the Machias Hospital, about twelve miles away, and they were hoping the students attending Columbia Falls Elementary School would be a lot kinder to Jack than the boys and girls back in Rhode island.

The fourth new student was someone hardly anyone knew anything about at all. He was a tall, skinny boy, who called himself Tobias. Tobias was actually Tobias Franklin, and the only person who seemed to know anything about him was George Morris, an old farmer. Mr. Morris was the person who registered Tobias for school, and some people thought Tobias lived above Mr. Morris’ enormous old barn. There was a small room up on the third level of the old, hay-filled barn, and some of the boys and girls in the village had seen Tobias walking into that barn through the huge double doors more than once.

Tobias always wore the same old-fashioned looking clothes. He had a pair of dirty, mud-streaked work boots, gray-colored coveralls, and a long-sleeved shirt best described as red with a checkered pattern. He had been seen only for the last two weeks in the village, and no one seemed to know where in the world he came from. No one saw Tobias’ parents, nor had anyone seen him riding in a car. If you happened to see Tobias at all, you only saw him walking quickly with his head down and his hands thrust deeply into the pockets of those gray coveralls.

The most striking feature about Tobias, however, was the color of his unruly mop of hair. It was a thick head of hair, but it was stark white. No one had ever seen a twelve-year-old boy with that color of hair before. Not even old Mr. Morris had that much white in his hair. Oh sure, Mr. Morris had gray hair, but not the snow-colored white Tobias had. Tobias was a complete mystery, and some of the boys and girls sitting on the rocks of Jasper Beach that day were talking about him, wondering how he got to Columbia Falls in the first place, and why his hair was so very white.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnCElliott.html#EllsExpExc

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/The-Ellsworth-Express-ebook/dp/B0090R3KUG/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366993116&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Ellsworth+Express

Irish Mouse Tails…

25 Apr

On the GSP Wee folk Promo today Irish Mouse Tales from Violetta Antcliff.

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Michael O’Leary, a mouse with a larger than average size tail, is a story teller who can hold audiences spellbound with his tales of daring and adventure. Michael, along with his two friends Patrick and Guido, lives on a farm in a remote corner of the Emerald Isles and it is here he holds his story telling evenings. Some of his yarns arere so graphic, small rodents have been known to suffer attacks of panic, faint clear away and have to be dragged outside.

Guido, however, is a different case; his stories, although they always contain a grain of truth, need to be taken with a large pinch of salt, but they are entertaining. As for Patrick, well at times he finds it just too much trouble to compete, so he doesn’t bother.

Excerpt:

Michael O’Leary was relaxed and in an expansive mood. With his longer than average tail draped over one arm, perched nonchalantly on a bag of corn, he surveyed the motley crowd that had gathered for one of his storytelling evenings.

“Did I ever tell you about the time Patrick Shaunessy, Guido Rafferty and myself nearly met St. Peter?” he began.

For a while no one answered, then, “You did me,” piped a small vole. “You did me twice.”

Michael peered round to see where the voice came from. “Well, just youse keep quiet not to spoil the telling for the others then,” he warned. The vole scurried away into a dark corner of the barn.

“If there is any blame to be proportioned,” he continued. “Patrick Shaunessy was the instigator, therefore it’s on him I’ll be putting it.”

Patrick, whiskers flaying the air, shook his head vigorously.

“It’s not denying it that you are, is it, me old friend?” The look Michael gave the little mouse was enough to silence further protests. “After all, was it or was it not your idea that we should visit Father O’ Brien, and see if he had anything brewing?” The nod he received in answer to this question was barely discernible.

“Yes, if I remember correctly . . .” he paused for effect. “It was October, and Father O’Brien had gone away leaving his barn of a place unprotected. So, Patrick, Guido and myself decided to keep an eye on the place for the good man. Naturally we rewarded ourselves for the good deed, by sampling a few drops of spillage from his vats. Myself, I only had a wee sup. But Guido, his mother being one of those that came over on the boats, had a liking for the stuff and got legless.”

“You must admit, Michael, it was some of the best stuff that’s been brewed round here for a long time,” squeaked the unrepentant Guido, “and, if I remember correctly, your head was as thick as mine the next morning.”

Michael chose to ignore that remark and continued with the telling. “Blind drunk they were, the pair of them. I’ll admit my own vision was a bit blurred. But I was in a better state than the pair of youse. And,” he stressed, “if it hadn’t been for my clear thinking we wouldn’t be here now.”

“As I recollect, me old friend,” ventured Patrick. “It was my idea to tie the rope round Guido’s middle and drag him along behind us.”

“And was it or was it not my tail you hung on to for support?” Michael flicked the said tail angrily.

“And just whose idea was it to cut through that old Biddy’s garden, nearly getting us killed?” As Patrick grew more daring, his squeaks rose higher.

“It’s not an argument I’m looking for, me old friend,” Michael said. He could see that if he wasn’t careful, things would get out of hand, and the evening would most likely end in a free for all. “It’s just a telling of things the way I saw them.”

Patrick gave a mollified grumble. From the rest of the barn there was no sound. Those who had not heard the story before waited for its conclusion with baited breath.

“I knew we could be taking our life in our hands, taking that shortcut,” he admitted. “But things were desperate, and if it hadn’t been for Guido—” Guido tittered nervously. “—we’d have got away with it. We’d tiptoed through the cabbages, broccoli and carrots, crept along the gravel path and we were just about to pass the front door of the cottage, when Guido decided to wake up and give a rendering of O Sole Mio at the top of his voice. This set the dog barking, a wolfhound that bayed like the very hound of the Baskervilles.”

About the author:

Violetta Antcliff has been a member of the Nottingham Writers’ Club for the best part of Twenty years. She is the winner of numerous short story competitions and was area short listed in Waterstone’s WOW factor story competition. She took first prize in Nottingham short story competition with a story called Irish Mouse Tales and has read her poetry and short stories on local radio.

Congratulations to Violetta for being in the 2011 Preditors and Editors top ten Short Story Category for Magic and Mayhem.

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/Violetta.html#IrishMExc

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Irish-Mouse-Tales-ebook/dp/B008R2CS4O/ref=sr_1_1?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1366918305&sr=1-1&keywords=irish+mouse+tales

 

Philip and the Girl Who Couldn’t Lose…

24 Apr

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

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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

The Cat Lottery….

23 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Pomo we welcome John Des Fosses.

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John Des Fosses is a sixty-five years old retiree, living in Williamsburg, VA, with wife of 43 years, Sandra Anne.

John was raised in Holyoke, Massachusetts with one brother and three sisters and two loving parents. He graduated from Holyoke High School, where in his senior year he earned an All American High School swimmer title.

John attended one semester at Springfield College, Springfield, MA. A financial crisis forced him to leave college. From 1966—1970 he served with the US Navy aboard a submarine, the USS Salmon, SS573, stationed in San Diego, CA. He attained a rank and rate of E-5 torpedoman.

John returned to college, after a two-year stint with a property management company in San Diego. He attended a local college for two years after which, Sandi and he left San Diego for Manhattan, Kansas and Kansas State University. He graduated in 1976 with a BS degree in Biology with a minor in Chemistry.

After college he worked for GE Medical Systems, Marquette Electronics, Decision Data, and Econocom. In 1987 John started he own computer company and he is now semi–retired after 22 years in business.

His book that we are highlighting today is The Cat Lottery.

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Camille has exhausted the last of her nine lives. Under strict cat law, she must depart this earth for the eternal tenth life. Pioline and Poulet, her eight-week-old kittens, are left behind. Willed by Camille’s departed spirit, Boots, her aging brother, finds the kittens under the deck of John and Sandi’s house. They are wired with fear and spirits so lost they might never be found.

Boots, a life long stray, confesses he is ill suited for the caring of kittens. He must devise a plan to convince the humans to take the kittens into their home. A more daunting task is to convince the kittens they should become house cats. Sandi becomes an unwitting partner in his plan. John becomes an unwitting foil. Learn the laws that govern a cat’s life and how they deal with death, fear, joy, humor and love.

Excerpt:

Camille’s kittens were born in early October when leaves fell from the tall trees in the yard, weaving colorful patterns of red, gold, and orange. As they landed, the once-green grass of summer gave way to the hues of fall. The warm breeze turned cool, signaling to all the coming of December’s wintry nights. Camille wished her two kittens had been born during the spring, but this hadn’t happened.

Mother and litter lived beneath a wooden deck attached to a house at the end of a dead-end street. The owners of the house, John and Sandi, built the large deck so they could enjoy the only comfortable seasons in Virginia Beach: spring and fall.

The deck had a rectangular shape and was eighteen inches off the ground. A forty-two inch railing followed the edges. At each end were two sets of wooden steps each with three planks: one leading to another set of stairs and the back door of the house, the other to a covered stack of firewood some thirty feet away and parallel to a cedar fence. John had cut a hole in the deck so a twenty-foot tall maple tree wouldn’t have to be cut down. The tree provided ample shade for the potted plants scattered about the deck.

The ground beneath the deck was covered with years of accumulated leaves, some put there by John, some blown there by the wind. Although the leaves had a musty smell, they made a soft bed on the hard clay soil and offered protection from the winter winds. The leaves also provided a hiding place from humans, and from animals that walked through the yard. It was a safe place to live and play, and it was the only world the kittens had ever known.

From time to time, Camille would leave her kittens while she hunted, but she had come to realize she couldn’t run or stalk her prey the way she once had. She remembered the days when to catch a bird at a feeder was mere kitten’s play. And when mice were just as easy.

Because winter was nearly upon them and food supplies were scarce, Camille often felt her kittens were being punished for the poor timing of their births. She also knew she’d used up all of her nine cat lives and her time on earth was limited.

The kittens were too young to know their mother was preparing for a journey—a journey traveled only by those cats who had used up their nine lives. Camille knew she was about to travel alone to a place where her ninth life would end and her eternal tenth life would begin. It would be a place where there were fields of catnip and pools of honey milk. It would be a place where peace and harmony were joined together. A place unlike anywhere she’d visited as an outdoor cat on earth. She had to take great care to keep this trip a secret from her kittens. They must not know anything about it, she thought. Not knowing was important for their survival.

With all her courage and determination, Camille put off her journey as long as the rules that govern a cat’s life would allow. But on this afternoon when colored leaves fell from the trees, she knew her time had come.

She was thankful her kittens were nine weeks old and fully weaned from her milk and could eat solid food. There had been few occasions lately, however, when she could make solid food available to them. One of those occasions was the previous night; it would be their last meal together.

Just before dawn, while the kittens had slept soundly and safely beneath the deck, Camille had seen an opossum snatch a half-chewed turkey leg from a tipped-over garbage can. The can more than likely had been turned over by Boris in the night. Boris was a three-year-old Doberman Pinscher who hated every living thing. Camille worried about her kittens when Boris was around. He often passed through the yard. She knew that had he seen her kittens he’d have tried to snatch them up. But why would Boris miss this morsel of food? Camille figured he had found something more alive and challenging to chase and catch.

From under a red-berry holly bush, Camille watched the opossum climb head-first into the trashcan and back out with his prize. He gripped the brown, meaty turkey leg like a fat cigar in his narrow, pointy mouth and headed toward the back of the house. Camille followed close behind.

Waddling as fast as he could, the opossum found a safe spot near a pile of leaves and twigs by a cedar shed. He sat down and prepared to eat.

Camille crept up without his noticing her. Quietly, she filled her lungs to their fullest capacity and let go a howl that broke the night’s silence like a fire truck’s siren.

The startled opossum jumped two feet in the air, fell hard to the ground, and played dead. Camille wasted no time worrying about whether the opossum was actually dead. She bit deeply into the turkey leg and dragged it to her hungry kittens. She’d been sneaking up on and scaring opossums all of her life, and she really enjoyed doing it. They fell dead before her scream every time.

Her kittens ate heartily until their stomachs were full and little was left. The bone remained near the nest of leaves like a trophy won by a great hunter.

The next morning, Camille watched her kittens play as the sun began to rise. The boy kitten, Pioline, stalked his sister, Poulet, who tried to ignore him. Pioline had long, jet-black fur. Camille thought this was odd because there had never been longhaired cats in the family. Black fur looked very good on him, she decided. Poulet had jet-black fur, too, but it was short like Camille’s. The true family resemblance was in their golden eyes and ink-black pupils. They have my eyes, Camille thought, smiling. Their day together was quiet, peaceful and happy.

It was a half-hour before the sun dropped behind the weathered fence when Camille left her kittens. She did not utter a sound. The kittens watched with surprised eyes as she passed the perimeter of the deck and headed toward the shed. She had never before left to hunt at this time of day. The kittens thought something was wrong, but didn’t say anything.

Links: http://www.gypsyshadow.com/JohnDesFosses.html#CatLotExc

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/The-Cat-Lottery-ebook/dp/B008R19PBY/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366738359&sr=8-1&keywords=the+cat+lottery+john+de+fosses

Philip and the Thief…..

20 Apr

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

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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

Destiny…

19 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Promo we have Charles Reap.

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Charles Reap is a former newspaper reporter and columnist, a dentist and a lecturer. He has authored two textbooks and two published novels (Amazon.com). His illustrated children’s book Destiny has just been released by Gypsy Shadow Publishing. Also among his accomplishments, Reap lists being an actor and a film extra.

His book that we are highlighting today is Destiny.

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This little story is for youngsters up to the age of perhaps 10. It is about a tiny sprig of a post oak that grows in a huge forest totally consisting of pines. It is resented and not wanted by the pines, does not understand why it was thrust into such a place and is unmercifully teased and tormented by the older pines. In the end, however, it perseveres and progresses to its intended destiny as a lovely shade tree in a restful meadow. The story presents to youngsters that they can succeed in life even through adversity. Illustrated by Elbert L. Tremblay

Excerpt:

“Hey,” came the booming voice from high above.

“Huh?” responded the tiny newborn, somewhat alarmed.

“And just who do you think you are, popping up down there?”

“I don’t know. I think I’m a post oak.”

“You don’t even belong here. You’re not our kind.”

“I can’t help it.”

“Well, just dry up and wither away.”

“No! I won’t and you can’t make me.”

The elder, a huge pine, brought itself up to its full dignity and spoke to its companions, “Did you hear that? Do you think we ought to do something about it?”

His neighbor said quietly, “What we can do?”

Another piped up, “We could cut off his sunlight, and drop cones on him.”

Farther away, one said, “Any idea why he’s here?

“Not supposed to be. This is our neighborhood anyway.”
Once again, the big one spoke somewhat arrogantly, “Tell you what, you puny little fellow. We’ll just see if you can make it here with all of us big ones. You’re not like us. You’re not as good as us and you don’t deserve to survive.”

One year passed, then two. The blazing sun and pouring rains had nurtured him and he became even more determined, even though the pines still towered over him.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/CharlesReap.html#Destiny

Amazon:

http://www.amazon.com/Destiny-ebook/dp/B007WFQS6G/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366397640&sr=8-1&keywords=destiny+charles+reap

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

Zvonek, Agent 08, Feline spy…

17 Apr

Today on the GSP Wee Folk Promo we have another release from Anne H Petzer, Book 2 in the Zvonek 08 series

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Mau-ow:
Zvonek enjoying some down time after a stressful mission with Clawdette at the helm. However, this peace was not to last. Clawdette has a special job for Zvonek – only he can be trusted to do. He discovers she has a secret in her past. What link does it have to the mission? Zvonek needs to know and in his quest ends up with more than just lose ends.

Return of the Rats:
A local enemy re-surfaces in Strašnice. The on going struggle for dominance between cat and rat. The rats have the upper hand this time when they snatch one of FI dearest. Will the operatives be able to rescue their own? It’s a maze in the rodents’ tunnels under Prague, foreign territory for the the felines.

The Miracle of the Carp:
Christmas is dawning and preparations for cats and humans are under-way. Disaster strikes. The centre of the Czech Christmas dinner is in danger. Stray felines? Or is it more sinister? FI aims to find out to save the strays and Christmas.

Excerpt:

Prologue
1786 BC

The bejewelled sky spread its dark velvet covering over the silent earth below. The pale light of the moon cast a cold glow on Ma’at. The form of the goddess nestled among the columns of the temple; statuesque, protected from the night. Still and calm filled the land with peace that brought comfort.

Somewhere in a corner, a small movement. Not threatening. In the shadows, a small, huddled bundle. Silver, shining in the tiniest of pale rays that reached it. Another movement, shifting, and then the smallest of contented mews.

On the other side of the temple, a door opened silently. A dark shadow grew in the pale light. Stopped. Then moved again. Another mew, the shadow moved stealthily forward, growing longer in the pallid light. It reached the far corner, bent. There on the floor in a golden basket, lying on a silken quilt, the small body of Anther was rhythmically breathing the safe, contented breath of sleep.

The shadow stopped, did not move for an entire twelve seconds, then quietly bent over the basket and gently lifted the sleeping kitten, clothed in the soft quilt, into its arms and moved quickly and noiselessly back to the door. A sharp glow from the eyes of Ma’at pierced the shadow, causing it to stumble and fall in a heap at her feet.

Anther, now awake and frightened, darted for the door and disappeared inside.

In the bright golden light of day, a few worshippers gathered on the temple steps, all with only one eyebrow. Anther could not be found. All that remained were the empty basket and a crumpled silk quilt.

2011

Zvonek was not in the mood to wait for Honza. They had decided to have lunch at Whiskers. The last mission had been successfully completed, the paperwork filed, and now all that was left was to kick back and relax. It hadn’t been as dangerous or as stimulating as other missions. Clawdette had decided to stay in Prague to oversee the mission, causing undue stress for everyone.

He looked around the pub. It wasn’t as full as usual. It was only their second visit to Whiskers since the HQ of Feline Intel had moved to their new location. Zvonek hadn’t been sad to leave the old FI building at all. It was getting cramped and they needed something more upmarket. Their new location certainly was in a better area. The garden around the flat—it had been arranged for Mom to move as well, which wasn’t easy since she hated change—was so much better, too. Lots of long, soft, grass. And trees! Zvonek loved trees. It was great to have them in his own garden! The flat was down the road from the former residence.

One window was situated halfway behind a leafy bush, so you could look out, but it wasn’t that easy to look in. This garden had a proper fence, about ten metres from the window. Nice all round. Alas, there still were many things he missed about the old flat.

The humans who came to pet him while he lay in the sun at the living room window. The human friends he had made on the block. Ah well!! Guess it was time to move on.

“Anything else, sir?” The kit arrived at the table, disturbing Zvonek’s thoughts.

“Nothing more for me, thank you. Just the bill.”

He looked around and saw Honza was still at the bar, purring at a couple of felines. Zvonek smiled to himself. It was typical of Honza; his friend just couldn’t help it.

He slowly walked home. It had been a hot day and Zvonek was glad for the reprieve. He stopped under the bushes in the garden to enjoy the coolness before going in.

He sat under the tree outside the window. He still used the flap method in the cat net to get in and out. Simple and it worked well. He smelled the air. Different smells, but not unpleasant.

This time, he had a dog to contend with. She belonged to their neighbour, and he had groaned inwardly when he saw her. She proved useful in a canine sort of way, like keeping strays away, which meant that he had peace, so he would tolerate her for now.

Zvonek stood up and stretched out his legs in front of him, rump in the air. He’d better go in. Mom would be home soon and he should be inside, ready to greet her. It was Wednesday, which meant poached fish! It was his second favourite. He especially hadn’t had lunch at Whiskers not to ruin his appetite. When he got inside he would nibble on some granules, just to keep himself going. He walked slowly towards the window, stretching one back leg at a time. Just as he was about to jump onto the window ledge he heard a noise. The dog! He high-tailed it across the remaining space, leapt onto the window, through the flap, and onto the sofa. Just in time. The dog bounded toward the fence, to bark at people passing the garden.

Dogs! Zvonek shook his head as he sat down on the sofa, catching his breath. He looked around the room. It was a smaller flat than their last, by a couple of square metres. Instead of a separate bedroom and living room, in this flat they were together. Mom closed the door between the living room and kitchen while she was out, so that he didn’t run out when she came in after work.

About the author:

Anne lives in Prague with her two cats, Zvonek and Metaxa, both who feature in the Zvonek 08 series.

Links:

http://www.gypsyshadow.com/AnneHPetzer.html#Zvonek2

Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Mau-ow-Miracle-Intelligence-Republic-ebook/dp/B006JG0TWS/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1366209433&sr=8-1&keywords=Mau-ow