When was the last time you experienced an epic fantasy?
One that would stay with you for a long time coming?
One that leaves you wanting more?
Well, I have just the book series for you!
The Complications Of Being Lucy
local talent and author Gus Kenney!
Today I'm going to share with you an excerpt from each of the three novels in this series. There are three of them. Well, two that are currently available and one that is due to release in July of this year.
I am super excited to share this with you today as I love this series!
Up first is The Changeling And The Cupboard: Book One
My name is Lucy Bison. It’s pronounced Bay-soon, not like the lumbering animal. It is not an easy name to grow up with. Noncreative people call you a cow, which is probably why I force myself to stay so skinny. That and a grandmother who pokes my stomach and proclaims how fat I am getting. That was when I was six. I am presently nine years old exactly which makes it my birthday. I know I could be like most kids and be spending my morning running around playing with children my own age in preparation of some big slumber party celebration. But I am not like most kids, thank you very much. Plus, I live with my uncle and he would never stand for such things.
His name, my uncle, is Mortimer Claus. Uncle Mort is the most he will tolerate for informal address (his words, not mine). He might sound strict which is fair because he is. The rules were laid down the first day I came to live with him when I was, well, too young to remember. They have remained unchanged and, wisely, on my part unbroken.
1. I will wake up promptly in the morning at six and consume a meal that meets the nutritional requirements for someone of my age and height as outlined by governmental guidelines.
2. I will attend school every scheduled day, unless deemed physically unwell and obey every rule laid down by the administration and staff.
3. I will return briskly home at the end of school and immediately locate myself to the dining room table, unless it is already in use and then an alternative location will be designated, for the completion of all homework.
4. Dinner will be served at seven. After its completion I will clean myself, brush my teeth, and lay out my clothing for the next day.
5. I will place myself in bed at nine. Lights out.
6. I will never go into the park.
Now the last one there may sound a little strange, but we do live next door to a large park. One of those big conservation preserve ones that was all trees and no camping. I never asked Uncle Mort why he had that rule, but I never broke it either. Not until I met Frankie Friday.
“Whose brother are you?” I asked Uncle Mort while he was cutting vegetables for dinner at a speed I thought only possible in cartoons.
“Your parents.” Uncle Mort answered in his thick German accent, his S's coming out like a hard Z, making quick work of an onion before a tear could reach any eye.
“I know, but my mom’s side or my dad’s?” I tried again.
“Yes.” Uncle Mort’s piercing blue eyes never twitched away from his work and his face never gave anything away, but it never did. Uncle Mort was tall and thin with short blonde hair and a desire to wear only black clothing like a second skin. I remembered, of what little I could remember some days, that my father was tall and thin and my mother had long blonde hair, but nothing clearly enough to say which one matched my uncle the closest.
“Well which one?” I pressed on. This was a conversation I had tried to breach several times in the past. Usually with the same result.
“Which one what?” Uncle Mort crushed a garlic clove with the flat of his knife and a loud bang of his fist that shook the cutting board. Anyone else would have taken that as a sign of irritation, but I had never seen Uncle Mort irritated, or angry, or anything resembling an emotion. I had failed a science project in school on purpose once, just to see what he would do. He made it clear that it was my own fault for failing and that I should try harder in the future. He even went as far as to inquire if I needed additional educating or assistance from professional tutors. Once I told him no, he walked away from the subject and never mentioned it again.
“Are you my mother’s brother or my father’s brother?” I tried to be clearer in my inquest. “I mean my name is Bison and yours is Claus--“
“Claus!” Uncle Mort snapped his name as a correction to the way that I said it, though I was never sure how we said it any different from each other. Continue reading sample...
You can get this book for $2.99 or download it for free with Kindle Unlimited!
Next Up Is The Changeling And The Borrowed Family: Book Two.
This book is on sale for $0.99 until May 27th, 2017.
Mortimer had been pacing his office staring at the newest message from Mother Morgan about Lucy's dreams, indulging in his private pleasure on the record player, and contemplating the next move both in his real investigation and the one he presented to the Ruke, when an intrusion came in the form of a small knocking at his door. He swore under his breath, feeling that he had been on the cusp of discovering something before the interruption, but knew that it was just annoyance and hope making him think that. His annoyance grew slightly when he opened the front door and found the young Friday standing there.
“Hi, Mr. Claus.” Francis said nervously, a state that the man was fine with leaving the boy in. If not he had a tendency to talk. A lot.
“Francis.” Mort replied with his usual hiss of menace.
“My mom wanted me to bring this over for you.” The small boy hefted a plastic shopping bag from off the porch and offered it to him. “She says she figured you would be too busy with what's going on to have a proper Thanksgiving, so she made you a small dish.”
“That is very kind of her.” Mortimer took the bag from Francis, surprised by the generosity of his mother. No, not true. It would be generosity from his father that would surprise him. “Please express to her my deepest thanks.”
“Okay.” Francis hadn't moved from the mat outside the door. Usually he would be half way down the walk if he wasn't there to see Lucy. “She also said that she knows it's not in your usual diet, but that it was the thought that counted, and that she made enough just in case Lucy's aunts and grandmother showed up.”
“Exceptionally thoughtful of her.” Mortimer gave the boy a more thorough regard. He was still not leaving, but was still nervous about something. Mort knew his experience with children was heartrendingly limited to just what he had received from Lucy, and as she continued to bloom into adulthood, he felt he would fall further out of touch with her. But even drawing on his own life at Francis's age, he could not determine what the boy was doing. Of course the boy was not a typical child. “Is there anything else?”
“Not from my mom.” The down turned face and the fiddling with a mitten, told the tale clearly to the older man.
“I think I should return your mother's generosity in some small token.” Mort stepped aside. “Why don't you come in while I locate something for you to take home?“
“Okay.” The boy looked relieved at the offer and scurried in. Like a good visitor, he immediately removed his hat and boots. Mortimer walked slowly ahead of him, giving him a guiding shadow until the fog on his glasses cleared. “What's that music?”
“Nothing.” Mort snapped and slammed his office door closed.
“Sounded like a guy my dad does an impression of at New Years.” Francis went to press his ear to the door and Mortimer cleared his throat at him. “Is it true you are friends with Burymore Legions?”
“We are acquainted.” Mortimer credited himself as quick with his wits as he was with his blades, but even he had trouble keeping up with the subject changes when dealing with the boy.
“Did he really attend Lucy's coronation?” Francis asked too loudly for Mort's liking.
“He was in attendance.”
“Mom said that she was surprised to learn that.” Mort started for the kitchen, hoping the boy would either get to the point or wish to leave. “She thinks he had a falling out with the All King. She says that he is on Manus's list.”
“Which list is that?”
“The same one your on of my dad's.” Francis looked around the room nervously. “The one that starts with a bad word.”
“He was there, I can tell you.” Mortimer knew the truth of this and more.
“I just read about how he turned the tide in the Battle of Betrayal.” Francis did not take his customary place at the kitchen table but followed Mort to the pantry. “Did he really duel General Nicodemus to force him to surrender?”
“It is likely.” Mortimer rattled cans and boxes about in the small room, trying to sound busy as he let the boy get whatever was on his mind off. Francis had a mind like Lucy which meant Mort might be rattling about for awhile. “It is also likely that it was just a fanciful historian's take on the conclusion to the second war.”
“I should ask Dargo.” Francis sounded enthused. “He was probably old enough to remember that stuff.”
“Indeed.” Old enough to serve, Mort knew for a fact.
“I also read how a swamp witch saved Magnus's life.” Francis dropped his voice as low as Mortimer had ever heard it. “They drew her to look an awful lot like Lucy's grandmother.”
There was that nervousness again that Mort had been picking up on. He was starting to believe it had nothing to do with him and very little to do with what the boy was rambling about.
“I am sure it was done to show respect to the woman.”
“Either.” Mort gave up on pretending to search the pantry and went back into the kitchen, Francis on his heel.
“I also read–.”
“Is that all you do? Read?” Mortimer didn't snap at the boy as he was prone to do when annoyed and distracted. He was certainly no more annoying than usual and he was a huge distraction to what he should be focusing all his energy on. There was no logical reason to be indulging the child.
“No.” Francis gave him the confused look of an analytic person being asked a rhetorical question and trying to figure out its true answer.
“Good. Books are full of the shadows of the past cast by the light of the present for people who wish to change the future.” Mortimer prattled off the line that he had heard from Mother Morgan once when she was bothered by the amount of time Lucy spent reading and blaming it for her lack of social interaction.
“Really?” The boy sounded excited by the analogy, and Mortimer sometimes forgot he was dealing with a Croucher, or at least half of one.
“Yes.” He slammed a cupboard closed and opened the last one. “And if you find a way to travel to those shadows, let me know. I have a few memories I would like to revisit.”
“This is kinda like that thing Lucy and I were talking about the other day. With the changing your past stuff.” Mortimer let out a sigh as he felt that the boy would never get to the point. By the way that he suddenly got very quiet, Mort knew he was wrong. “Is Lucy going to be home for Thanksgiving?”
“I don't know.” Mort said, hating that it was not just the holiday plans he had no clue about.
“I hope so.” Francis looked at the floor. “I miss her.”
“Do you?” Mortimer gave the top of the boy's head a penetrating stare, wishing he could peel him open to read his mind.
“Of course.” He looked up and Mortimer remembered that the boy didn't have a lot of layers to dig through. “She's my best friend and a lot of fun. And Mom was going to invite you guys over. She was going to meet my uncle. He is so much fun.”
“Well, let us both hold out hope that our holidays will be made complete by her presence.” Mort pulled down an old bottle of his personal blend of basting oil. He placed it in a bag from the pantry and added a loaf of fresh bread that he had made the other week.
“I can do that.” Francis perked up, his nervousness only slightly relieved. “Do you think she wants to come home?”
Mortimer's hands faltered in his search of the vegetable crisper, and he was grateful that the boy could not see his face, for there was no way he could have kept hidden the sudden pang of dread that came over him. He had been only trying to think of how to keep her safe and bring her back under his protection. He had never thought that she might not want to come back. It never made sense that she should want to be anywhere else but where she was safest and had lived her whole life. Thoughts that he had buried centuries ago, and with the exception of the influence of the Sleesh had never been unearthed, called to him. She had her real family; why would she want to leave that?
“Tell your mother thank you very much for the food.” Mortimer said brusquely, as he hurriedly placed the remainder of the ingredients into the bag for the boy. “She will have everything in here to make homemade stuffing with the exception of fresh sage, as I am all out.”
“Okay.” Francis sounded down. He clearly had hoped for some kind of reassurance but Mort had none to give. He didn't believe in false hope or misinformation. He did have hope that he would solve the puzzle of who wanted to hurt Lucy because he knew his own skills. And it wasn't false hope to think that he might see her on the holiday, because he planned to roust the culprit very soon. “Happy Thanksgiving.” Francis said prematurely, as Mort held the door open for him.
“And to your family as well.”
“Do you guys do the whole sit around the table and say what you are thankful for?” The boy asked, once he was on the porch.
“No.” Mortimer hated the sentimentality and false humility of the act.
“Oh.” Francis looked crestfallen again, “What about watching the football game?”
“Have you ever seen a television in this house or seen an enthusiasm for organized sports?”
“No. What about the big nap on the couch after eating?”
“We don't do any of the typical traditions.” Mortimer suggestively began closing the door on the boy.
“We only do some of them because of Dad.” Francis shrugged. “He made a deal with Mom that if we had to do Herald holidays, then we also had to do human ones too. It's the best of both worlds.”
Or the worst, Mortimer privately mused as he finally got the boy to stop talking and leave. He made it only a step back into his office when it hit him. He knew what the kidnapper's next move would be, or more importantly when.Get this book for $0.99 Right Now While You Can!
And finally, we have Traitor's Niece: Book Three. This book is almost ready to go! I'm going to share a sample with you here and then I will leave you with the option to sign up to be one of the select few that will get a pre-release copy of Traitor's Niece. The author is only offering this opportunity for a little while longer, so take advantage of this offer while you can!
Lidio didn't react to my words. Not so much as a flicker.
“With lot's of ice.” I reshaped my mind around the image of the most perfectly satisfying beverage I could imagine. “Actually, ice cream. A shake. A chocolate shake. With a swirl of hot fudge. I want it so thick that you can barely use a straw to get a taste.”
Boris began to pester me for the treat again and I let him. I even began slowly passing it before his face, making sure he kept it in focus.
“Yeah. Chocolate ice cream with chocolate milk, syrup, and fudge, all mixed together and poured slowly into a chilled mug.” I could almost feel the cool glass in my hand and the sensation of trying to draw the thick drink up the straw. “Perhaps with just a ring of whip cream with dark cocoa shavings on it.” Boris got more insistent for the sweet and I ignored the sticky sensation of his tongue trying to liberate it from my teasing hand. “For one of those, right now, I'd give anything.”
From the edge of my vision, the briefest silhouette flickered into existence for a heartbeat. And the world changed in that beat. I snapped my hand towards the shape and let fly the treat I had been withholding from my dog. The figure just started to fade from reality when the candy hit them and a very amusing second later, Boris followed. The pressure, I had started to suspect was afflicting us all, dipped in the moment that my dog lost interest in the treat and instead put his jaws around something tastier. The shape of the room changed as sounds of terror and alarm came from the thrashing form that Boris held at bay. The space grew in size and in occupants. A thin figure stood in a corner behind Lidio and before they could do what they might be capable off, I grabbed what I assumed was an ashtray and hurled it in their general direction. My aim was as good as before but the target was more prepared and swatted it aside. This still worked in our favor, as whatever had suppressed Vienna relinquished and she illuminated the room with a bolt of lightening that the man in the corner could do nothing to deflect. With the after images of Vienna's Art fading, I witnessed Grandmother rise to her feet and bring the tip of her cane up into Mr. Skalden's jaw. The thin man snapped back into his chair and rolled several feet away from his desk from the assault.
I grabbed for the nearest thing I could use as a weapon when a scuffle broke out behind me. I turned to face a wall of solid black that after several seconds of thoroughly concealed violence, faded to reveal Cecilia standing calmly straightening her long dress. A moment or two later, the door burst open to let in my aunts and Dargo. They didn't seem in a hurry to lock or barricade the entrance.
“How did things go in here?” Aunt Eva asked, walking over to check on me before going to see who Boris still held subdued.
“Unexpectedly.” Grandmother said sharply. “I thought this man was an enemy to your kind.”
“So did we.” Aunt Eva did little to hide her confusion. With a nod that it was okay, I finally called off my dog and my aunt hauled his victim to it's feet. “Why would a Succubus work for this monster?”
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