Fable Bellbrooke is a 12 year old girl living in a world that’s barfing up magic all around her, yet she has NONE! And Fable is just fine with that, thank you very much! She hates magic! Then, when an ancient wand appears to her one late summer’s eve, it turns her world upside down!
On the run from the evil shrike with her best friend, Elara, and her annoying know-it-all stepbrother, Irving, and with the help of a seven foot tall BigFeet, the trio are transported to a sanctuary called the Weird Wood and into the secure arms of its Caretaker, Doctor Rose Smoot.There, they find that the residents live up inside trees called Treenormous, towering trees that scrape the clouds.
Then, on their very first day in the Weird Wood, the trio walk in on a burglary. Fable discovers that SOMEONE has spirited Doctor Smoot’s assistant away into a painting, and then just hours later, the director of the Bureau of Magics herself is turned into a statue!
The Mad Craftmaster is on a rampage inside the Weird Wood, its residents up in arms. Determined to discover who the culprit is, and sure that he or she is hot on their trail, Fable, Elara and Irving set out to investigate, but with so many dead ends, twists and turns, will they unmask the villainous fiend in time before one of them become the next victim??
Targeted Age Group:: 12+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
What inspires me to write, period, is my love of words. I love playing with words, and I love weaving them together to paint a fun and exciting tapestry for the reader. My sister is a painter, and I would compare writing to painting, only you're using the written word instead of a paintbrush. I remember when I was eleven, purchasing my first thesaurus and fanning through it, dazzled by all the synonyms. Now, I visit it online a hundred times a day!
Fable Bellbrooke has been in the back of my mind forever, and the first incarnations of her look nothing like the end result inside Bellbrooke, Kandle & Crooke. The idea of the legacy wand came to me when I was sitting in my backyard, looking at an old dead oak tree that had been chopped down, and I was counting the rings inside its trunk, and I thought to myself, what if wands aged in much the same way, with rings counting their years? What if a wand was almost – alive?
It is my sad duty to inform you that the world will indeed end and, though it was the opinion of the esteemed T.S Eliot that it would go out with a whimper not a bang, I am sorry to say that there will be BANGS, and BOOMS, and even KA-booms. Stuff will drop from the sky, the Earth will shake, buildings will fall, oceans will rise, people will get squashed (lots and lots of people will get squashed!) and that's not even the worst of it. Little do you know, there have been witches and sorcerers lurking in the shadows for eons now, many of whom were just biding their time, waiting for the moment when humanity was most vulnerable to strike. And strike they shall, my friend.
Hug your mother, your father, your teddy bear, a tree, or anything that might give you comfort. Oh and – you might want to consider digging a very deep hole for you and your loved ones to hide away in, and pack toothbrushes – lots and lots of toothbrushes. You will be needing them. If you survive, that is.
If you do happen to survive the coming calamity, I pity you and suggest that you prepare yourself for the centuries of horrors to come – magic, disease, magic, hunger, magic, indentured servitude. Oh, and did I mention magic?
You won't have it, of course – magic that is. No skab in the history of the world has ever had magic. By the way, that's what you'll be called after the end – skab. Your kind will be made to forget every deed ever done, good or bad. Automobiles? You never invented those! Skabs flying in planes? Nonsense! The moon? Oh, there's much to be said about that particular lunar body and none of it is good, but fear not, there is a glimmer of hope for your kind, and that hope lies in the pure heart of a very young girl, but alas, I am babbling, and you must be getting bored, so let us get on with it.
Our story begins as most stories do – with death, despair, destruction and a little mystery, centuries after the end of the end of the world, because there is always a new beginning, even after the end.
There were exactly two stars that night which fell over a small town called Creet, far north of Old Boston, out in the wilds. Of course, there was no one left in the town to see them fall – no one left alive that is. Nor was there anyone there to witness the bespectacled woman who stepped out from the forest near the southern edge of town. She was tiny and a little bit hunched and she had a huge nose, the kind that could smell stuff from a good distance away. She also had a two foot tall, snowy-white beehive hairdo, which had a foot-and-a-half long stick protruding from it (her hair made her seem much taller than her five foot, three inches) and she had a thick, blue book tucked beneath her left arm. The tiny woman was dressed very businesslike, in a jacket, a plaid skirt and sensible shoes. Her name was Doctor Rose Smoot, though she was also known as Rose-the-nose in some circles.
Of course, one of the very first things that Doctor Smoot did was sniff at the air.
She quickly pulled a purple hanky from her jacket and blew her nose and then she tucked it away and plucked the stick from her hair, holding it out in front of her.
“Leoht,” she whispered.
A bright, glowing orb, no larger than an acorn, appeared at the tip of her wand. It hovered there for a quick moment and then it sailed forward, its light chasing away the gloomy shadows ahead.
A thick smoke hung in the air and there was ash falling from the sky like snow. It seemed that not a building or home was left standing in the entire town. Everything and perhaps everyone had somehow been turned into a smoldering pile of coals in an instant.
“Goodness,” a voice said. “What's happened here?”
A second figure stepped from the forest's edge and walked up behind Doctor Smoot. He was a skinny man with blue, curly hair and he wore a long white lab coat, a yellow and black polka-dot tie and pointy boots.
“That is the question, Doctor Loon,” Doctor Smoot said.
“And this is the correct town?” Doctor Loon asked, knitting his bushy eyebrows together.
“It is,” Doctor Smoot replied.
“The people?” Doctor Loon asked, glancing around.
Doctor Smoot shot him a very serious look, and then she shook her head.
Doctor Loon clicked his tongue. “Goodness me,” he said. “Terrible – just terrible. Well, if there's nothing more to see here…”
Doctor Loon seemed anxious to make a quick exit, but Doctor Smoot had already moved ahead, following the orb north through the ruined town, glancing left and right as she went. Doctor Loon let out a great sigh and then he quickly caught up with her and the pair shuffled by hunks of twisted metal and heaps of burning rubble. They paused for a moment by the hollowed-out husk of an automobile, a relic of centuries past.
There were ruts in their path spilling over with smoldering ash that they had to circle around. They crossed the dirt road to avoid a collapsed building and passed by a charred skeleton, propped up against a stone wall. Doctor Loon shivered and looked away and then the blue book beneath his companion's left arm caught his eye.
“I've witnessed an ocean of black bindings and even a few red in my time,” he said. “But that is the first blue book I've ever seen. What does it mean?”
“It means we have something quite unique on our hands, Faustus,” Doctor Smoot said.
Doctor Loon seemed unsatisfied with her answer, so he persisted. “And – all this – destruction? Is it connected?”
Doctor Smoot sighed. “I do not have an answer for that. Yet,” she said.
“Can you speculate?”
“I cannot,” said Doctor Smoot.
“Do you think the sozerveech are aware of this?” asked Doctor Loon.
“If they are not, then they soon will be,” said Doctor Smoot.
The orb rose into the air above the shattered remains of a wagon and it paused there. Some of the wagon's metal bars were bent, while others had been melted and then they had re-hardened into puddled slabs in the dirt below. Ahead, several more wagons were in much the same shape as the first.
“I expect that this was the impetus,” said Doctor Smoot, pausing by one of the wagons.
“Slavers?” said Doctor Loon, glancing around.
Doctor Smoot cut her eyes in his direction. “Indeed.”
“They did all this?” asked Doctor Loon.
“I expect that they were the impetus, not the cause of the destruction,” said Doctor Smoot.
“Then what?” asked Doctor Loon, impatiently.
“We are black watch, Faustus,” said Doctor Smoot. “As such, we are not in the business of speculation. We gather evidence and we attempt to make an informed decision from that evidence.”
“But could it be – him?” Doctor Loon said.
He glanced up anxiously at the broken moon in the night sky as if something might drop down on them at any moment.
Doctor Smoot ignored her companion's question as the orb rocketed ahead, and then it paused yet again, this time hovering above a crater in the road. She quickly shuffled to its edge, kneeled, and she pushed away a pile of ash, retrieving something and holding up.
“Is that -.”
“A wand,” said Doctor Smoot.
She blew the thin covering of ash from the wand's surface, revealing a handle shaped like a dragon.
Doctor Loon gasped. “No – it can't be!” he said, squatting down next to Doctor Smoot.
“But it is,” she said.
“By the broken moon!” Doctor Loon exclaimed. “How did the thing get all the way out here??”
“Excellent question, Faustus,” said Doctor Smoot and then she pointed to something else in the ashes on the ground.
“A child's footprints, but who do they belong to?” said Doctor Loon.
Doctor Smoot pulled the blue book from beneath her arm and she flipped through its many pages, which were all blank except for the first, and just three words were written on page one at the very top; Fable Bellbrooke – Creet.
“Where have you got to, little one?” Doctor Smoot whispered, as she ran her index finger over the name.
Her eyes glanced over her spectacles at the trail of footprints that winded their way towards the shadowy forest ahead.
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I'm old, older than my years , with a crick in my back, and I love anything fantasy. But Fable Bellbrooke, is far older than my aches and pains, since I have been working on getting her just right for years. Elara too, and Irving has always been in the back of my mind.
These days, if I'm not out on my porch with a cup of coffee in my hand, surrounded by my four cats and contemplating new and terrible ways to torture my young protagonists, then I am writing. (Generally, with a cat keeping my keyboard warm).
I love gardening, landscaping, cooking (especially in the crock pot!) – spaghetti and lasagna are a couple of my favorites, and, of course, writing and reading. When I'm not writing these days, I'm usually engrossed in my third time around reading Game of Thrones.
I am excited to say that, as of this writing, I am currently working on book two in the series, entitled – Bellbrooke, Kandle & Crooke – Death's Door, which will be a bit darker than its predecessor, but will still include all the fun, as well as all the quirky characters from book one, including the spriggan and the gnaw. However, Death's Door will introduce a whole slew of new and exciting characters and magic to drive Fable crazy during her exploits in the Weird Wood!
And, for those of you who have finished book one, you know EXACTLY who or what one of those characters will be! 🙂