Rose isn’t sure she wants to be captain of her soccer team, much less queen of a strange place – that’s about to be overrun by invaders. When Rose slips into a strange world where her grandmother may have been a queen, she just wants to get home. But when enemies seek her out, finding a way home may be the least of Rose’s worries… and then, there’s that empty throne waiting, possibly, for her.
Read the excerpt!
As the sun set and the light began to wane they moved outside to enjoy a mild evening on the back porch. Rose sank into the cushiony comfort of a lawn chair while Eris ran into the flower garden, begging her grandmother to come with her, “C’mon Grandma, let’s chase fireflies.”
Her grandmother laughed. “Okay,” she said, stepping off of the porch and into the garden. “But remember to stay close to the house.”
Eris turned back to her sister. “Come with us, Rose, don’t just sit there.”
Rose ignored her sister, though. She leaned back in her chair and closed her eyes. She just wanted to relax. Eris didn’t give up and kept calling every few minutes. Finally Rose opened her eyes. It did look like fun. It was getting quite dark. Her grandmother had just caught two fireflies at once and Eris was peeking into her cupped-together hands, watching the glow through a small opening between her grandmother’s fingers.
Rose got up and joined the fun, chasing first this blink, and then the next. She followed one firefly out of the garden and into the meadow, only to lose it. She waited until it blinked again, this time a little deeper into the meadow. She ran toward it and when it went out she kept her eye on its darkened shape as it drifted still further away. She caught up to the hovering shape and when it blinked, she reached out to close her hand gently around it in triumph.
As she did so, three things happened. She heard her grandmother’s voice calling to her. She realized that she was no longer in the meadow but had run two steps along one of the paths into the wood. And without warning a huge, antlered buck bounded suddenly out of the trees at her right.
The massive animal, snorting a warning, leapt across the path and disappeared into the darkness of the forest, leaving Rose’s heart pounding in surprise. Rose heard her grandmother’s voice again. It sounded frantic and far away. She turned to call back and got a shock, her grandmother wasn’t there. The meadow wasn’t there. She stared instead into a shadowy forest that melted away into the surrounding night. Turning completely around, she saw nothing but trees vanishing into dense darkness wherever she looked. And then she heard a growl.
She jumped when a voice sounded in her ear, “Quick, climb up on the rock!” She spun to see who was there and saw only darkness and forest.
“There isn’t time for spinning!” the voice shouted. “Climb up on the rock, now!”
Rose looked to her left and was surprised to see the looming shape of a large boulder. Another growl came from somewhere in the darkness. Immediately she did as the mysterious voice urged, and very quickly she climbed to the top of the boulder.
Confusion played with the fear that began to tingle through her body. She couldn’t remember any boulders this big at the edge of the wood by her grandmother’s meadow – and her grandmother’s meadow had just turned into a forest. She looked down from her perch at the boulder’s top. Shining eyes stared up at her. “A coyote!” she thought, and soon there were others.
Before she could even think of what to do, a small light, pulsing in a spectrum of colors, appeared suddenly at her shoulder and dove at the animals below.
Incredibly the light spoke, “This isn’t what you’re after,” it shouted. “Go chase your buck and leave us alone!”
Rose gasped as one of the animals leapt and snapped at the light. Suddenly the single light was joined by what seemed like hundreds more. They swarmed the animals, flashing and pulsing in a myriad of colors. The coyotes yelped and danced around, snapping at the lights before finally being driven off by them into the dark wood.
One of the lights rose up and hovered in front of Rose’s nose. She was astonished to see that it wasn’t a light at all, but a tiny, winged person – a man, in fact. Swirling patterns of luminescence whirled over his face and body, as if fluttering ribbons of light had been tattooed onto his skin. Multi-hued pulses coursed over them, shining through his clothing. Dragonfly wings of shimmery, translucent silver fluttered at his back. She stared in awe.
The tiny person’s brow filled with serious furrows. “The wolves may be back soon, come quickly and we’ll lead you to safety.”
Rose blinked. “Wolves?” A vision of them, large and dark and coming after her, filled her head, pushing out images of their more timid, yipping counterparts. “They aren’t coyotes?”
“Coyotes?” said the man, “No, they’re wolves and they may be back. Hurry! Get down and come with us.”
Rose didn’t argue. She half scrambled, half leapt off the boulder. “Are you taking me to my grandmother?” she asked as her feet hit the ground. Her bright companion hovered by her face. The other colorful beings, each with shimmering silver or gold or jewel-like wings, formed a perimeter around them and then went dark.
“I don’t know,” the man said, “if she lives in the town, then yes. Quickly, follow me, and keep up! The others are still around us, though you may not see them.”
The word ‘fairy’ had popped into Rose’s head. She began to form the question on her lips to ask if he was a fairy. The chance was lost when, quick as a flash, the fairy person flew down a path in the direction that should have taken Rose back to her grandmother’s meadow, but instead went on and on through a forest that should not have been there.
Read the reviews!
Rose of Par Kluhnd: A Fairy Tale is an innocent but intelligent tale. Written in the classic style of children’s writers such as C.S. Lewis the language is evocative of another age. … Ash’s characters are appealing and realistic, even the mythological beings which, along with Rose’s happily ever after ending, make this story ‘a fairy tale’.”
Look for The Rose of Par Kluhnd at:
Amazon (Kindle edition and paperback): http://www.amazon.com/Rose-Par-Kluhnd-Fairy-ebook/dp/B004INHRJ2/
Barnes and Noble (Nookbook): http://search.barnesandnoble.com/Rose-of-Par-Kluhnd/Linda-Ash/e/2940011178979/
Linda Ash currently lives in northeast Ohio with her husband, two college-age kids, a few cats and one dog. She loves to read, write, garden, spin, knit, weave, and go for walks with her dog in the neighborhood park. Her background is in anthropology, but she has been known to dabble in physics and mathematics.
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