Secrets of the UnderWhere: Welcome to the UnderWhere 002

sotu002The Crown Prince’s eyes widened, for they were of equal height, and both had a mop of unruly curls that hadn’t yet decided if they were going to be brown or gold.

“Bring the creature to me,” the Crown Prince ordered, raising his miniature scepter before he turned and scrambled back into his litter. The golems stood as one, and began the long run back to the Castle Under, while the Lord Mayor looked on with envy.

Now that was power.

“Well, you heard the Crown Prince,” the Lord Regent said, grinning. His teeth were every bit as yellow as his eyes. “See that the creature is delivered safely to the castle in a timely manner.”

Mutely, the Lord Mayor nodded. He was going to have to round up a committee to deal with the human child. The crowd, meanwhile, shifted restlessly and were already edging away.

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Mira Morganstein: The Pink Lemonade Club 002

mm001The box crouching behind the Danish pastries could only mean one thing: the Pink Lemonade Brigade was back in town.

Mira’s mother hadn’t finished setting the table yet, but the box covered with yellow paper and a gauzy white and bold pink ribbon was all the proof she needed. It wouldn’t be long before the table would be filled with cucumber sandwiches, fancy cakes, and a tall glass pitcher of pink lemonade.

“Mom,” Mira called, gripping the strap of her backpack. “I think I’m going to stop at the library on the way home. There’s, uh, a thing I want to—” She glared at the lacy white tablecloth. No matter how hard she tried to lie, she could never stretch the truth beyond trailing off vaguely and hoping the other person followed what she couldn’t say.

“Is it due soon?” her mother asked, polishing a teacup as she entered the dining room. “Because I’m going to need you home right after school otherwise.”

Mira rubbed the back of her leg with her foot, then shifted her weight from side to side as she tried to come up with a plausible excuse that didn’t fall under lying. Even if she’d had the constitutional ability to speak a lie, her mother’s intense gray stare would burn anything but the complete truth to smoldering ash. There was a reason the sales people at the kiosks in the mall gave them a wide berth.

“The leaves are turning and I want to add to my collection.” She gave her mother a wan smile, promising herself that she’d scour the entire forest behind their house if it got her out of meeting with the Pink Lemonade Brigade this year.

Her mother placed the teacup—another oddity out of the plethora of weird the Pink Lemonade Brigade always inspired—she’d been polishing on the table and pulled another out of her pocket.

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The Faerie Thief: The Ruby Queen’s Garden 002

tft002The daisies had been gossiping again.

Their voices, high and fluting then low and secret. Words cupped behind leaves, sepals curling with glee.

And their eyes.

Bright and knowing. Watching her. Waiting.

Gwyn curled her fingers into her fist, one by one as she stared back. For one breathless moment, she envisioned herself gripping slender stems and tugging upward, hard and sharp. Exposing root to sky, scattering the daisies’ secrets on the wind along with wishes and petals.

But the beastly things were sentient, and she was not a murderess.

Not yet, anyway.

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The Curious Leaf: Voyage to the Moon 002

moonmouse

Kya frowned at the moonscape stretching out as far as her eyes could see. It wouldn’t be fair if they had to leave now, not when they’d only just arrived. But like its earthly counterpart, the moon had its rules and regulations to keep it spinning straight and true.

“I’m afraid we didn’t bring anything with us,” she said, regret weighing down her voice. “We didn’t know we were supposed to bring anything.”

The mouse shook his paw at her. “What sort of guests arrive—uninvited I might add—without a gift for the host?”

Hearthorne strained against the force of her roots keeping her down in one place. Never before had she appreciated the ability to move even a single step to the side. But now that she no longer had any feet to step with, she would have to make do with what she had.

“What offering?” she asked again, her petals spread wide against the coming day.

Kya’s frown deepened a little. Hearthorne didn’t seem at all surprised to hear about the offering.

The mouse straightened, though his nose continued to quiver at them. “A wish or a dream is the usual fare.”

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Recommended Reads: Alice in Wonderland

UnknownOne of my favorite stories growing up was Alice and Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass by Lewis Carroll.

I loved the logical illogic of Wonderland, not to mention all the wondrous and strange (and a little more than slightly dangerous) people and creatures Alice meets there.

Alice in Wonderland inspired my love for both croquet and chess. Although it is the books I loved, and not the animated movie as much. (I did enjoy the most recent movie, save for the ending*, and I’m looking forward to the sequel.

The reason I wanted to include it my recommended reads is not only because it’s awesome (fantasy with a touch of horror if you don’t examine things too closely, and a large dollop of horror if you do) is because I’ve plucked a bone here and a feather there from Alice and woven them into The Faerie Thief.

Now, The Faerie Thief is not a retelling of Alice in Wonderland. There are just bits of pieces in the bones that were inspired by Wonderland.

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