About the Book:
Steampunk meets Fairytale!
In a world of inventors, inventions, and where fairy tales are real, Tee, Elly and Richy find themselves caught in the middle of a plot to steal the plans for the first steam engine. Will the secrets of master inventor Nikolas Klaus’ past come to haunt him? And are rumors of a secret society called the Tub, lead by a butcher, baker, and candlestick maker, true?
Finalist for IAN’s BOTY 2015 award in YA, Honorable Mention for grade 4-6 award by Readers’ Favorite.
Loved by 9-15yo, and adults. Strong female characters. No drugs, swearing, graphic violence, or sexual content.
Targeted Age Group: 9-15
Chapter 1 – Coming Through
“Watch out!” yelled Tee.
Her gleeful voice could barely be heard over the sounds of her wooden contraption crashing down the forested mountainside.
A short distance away, Tee’s mother, Jennifer, looked up from her tomato garden. She wiped her forehead and looked at her husband, William. “What has your daughter gone and done now?” she said. Their daughter certainly kept life exciting.
“She’s your daughter, too,” said William. He was a tall, thin man with light brown hair, and a beard. He quickly tossed aside his axe and started hunting around the side of their cabin for the tool he’d need.
“Oh, William, love, I think she’s more yours in habits, if you ask me.”
“Watch out!” Tee gleefully yelled again. She was rapidly approaching the clearing surrounding their log cabin home.
Jennifer stood and looked in the direction of Tee’s voice. She couldn’t imagine how Tee was coming down the mountainside so fast. “Will—I’m worried she’s coming faster than usual.”
“Faster than the time with the pony? Now where did I leave my—”
“Somehow, yes. I’m wondering if she’s built something this time.” Jennifer furrowed her brow.
“Humph—I can’t find it! Where is it?”
Jennifer paused. “Oh! It’s hanging inside the front door. I put it there this morning. Sorry!”
William darted to the door and grabbed his crossbow. “There we go! Do you have the bolt with the rope attached?”
Jennifer tried to track where Tee was, using the swaying bushes and trees as indicators. “It should be in the quiver—the case thing… whatever you call it. Check by the spare saddles.”
“Right! I was going to put them in the shed this morning. Why didn’t I put them in the shed?” William raced across the yard and grabbed the bolt he needed.
Jennifer nervously moved from side to side. “Hurry up! I think you’ve got less than half a minute before she’s here.”
William fought to untangle the rope, glancing up every few seconds.
Suddenly, Tee popped into view. “Wheee! Hi Mom!” she said. Tee was clutching the steering wheel of her cart; a ripped bed sheet hung from its broken mast. Her yellow cloak flapped in the wind behind her.
“Got it!” said William. He loaded his crossbow and aimed at Tee’s cart as she rocketed past.
“Shoot already, Will!” said Jennifer, realizing their daughter might end up sailing right off the nearby cliff.
William took a deep breath. Just as his daughter reached the end of the clearing, he pulled the trigger. After a moment, there came a wood-splintering crash, and then silence.
Jennifer looked at her husband in horror. “Oh my—”
William waved for her to stay calm. “Tee!” he called loudly. “Can you get yourself down?” he asked, trying to sound confident. Worry started to creep across his face.
After an agonizing few seconds, there came some rustling sounds and Tee replied, “I think so, Dad. Give me a moment… Yeah! I’m okay.”
Then, with practiced flare, Tee jumped into the clearing and yelled her trademark, “La-la!”
Jennifer turned and looked at William with a mix of relief and frustration. “How many more years until I don’t have to worry about her?”
“Forever and a day, my love,” said William, smiling. “Forever and a day.”