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Welcome to the A Tale of Witchwood Book Tour!
I am happy to be hosting the first stop in the tour for this fabulous book! I truly enjoyed this book and you can read my review of it here. So please read on to read more about the book and its author, as well as a guest post by the author!
“Boy meets girl, girl insults boy, girl gets kidnapped, boy saves girl and whole world, girl still insults boy.” Or something like that…
by Sean Develin
In June I’m releasing the second book in the Witchwood Park series, A Knight of Witchwood Park, on Kindle and in paperback. The Witchwood Park stories are a collection of bedtime stories I told my kids (whether they liked it or not) back when I started law school. A Tale of Witchwood Park set the overarching story in motion. Now I get to have the fun of telling stories about the individual characters and finding out who they really are in the process.
The main focus of the new book is Jimmy, the reformed bully turned hero, who is struggling to find out who he is while attempting to wake the Witch of Creation, deep within a mist-enshrouded swamp filled with all sorts of nasty surprises. As if that’s not enough, he is saddled with “Ping,” the headstrong little Whisper girl that antagonized him immediately upon his arrival in the Witchwood.
Only now that Eliza has been banished, Ping is a real girl, every bit as cute as she is annoying, and she knows how to press all of Jimmy’s buttons at once.
I was once asked to describe A Knight of Witchwood Park in one sentence and what came out was this: “Boy meets girl, girl insults boy, girl gets kidnapped, boy saves girl and whole world, girl still insults boy.” I think that’s pretty much it, mixed with a healthy dose of Emily Spellmaker. I’m going to let you be the judge: here, on the Caffeinated Diva, is a raw, unedited sequence that I think pretty well sums up Jimmy and Ping’s relationship…
In the morning Jimmy practiced with his sword, partly to test his strength, partly to impress Ping. She ignored him, looking over at him frequently to make sure he knew she was ignoring him. They ate a quick breakfast of swamp grapefruits (yuck) then rode deeper into the Grey Mist. Ping wanted to take the lead but no one would let her. Jimmy said it was his right and duty. Tree Stump said it was too dangerous for her. The troll then guarded the rear, leaving Ping in the middle, riding twenty feet behind the “Hero.” She stared at Jimmy’s back for hours while they went nowhere in particular.
Ping was getting bored. And Ping was dangerous when she was bored.
“Do you even know where you are going, dweeb?” she called up to Jimmy.
“I know you aren’t talking to me. You can’t call me that,” Jimmy answered.
“Too late. I just called you a ‘dweeb,’ dweeb. There, I did it again.”
“I am the Hero of your realm.”
“That’s what worries me. We are doomed. I’m going to have to go back into hiding.”
“Good idea. You can start now.”
“Sorry, Mr. Hero. I can’t go anywhere until I make sure you don’t muck things up.”
“I never muck things up, Miss I-can’t-hit-the-last-fleeing-swamp-monster.”
“Look, I’m Jimmy. I’m so cool, I’m so cool, my sword flies right to me,” Ping mocked.
“I saw your face, Cass – – – ee,” Jimmy responded, thinking better of calling her by her real name. “You loved that move.”
It was true, she did love watching Jimmy’s sword fly to his hand, but she sure wasn’t going to admit that to him. Ping picked a giant, green nut from one of the trees that surrounded them on all sides. She lobbed it into the sky with a high arc so it seemed to hang in the air for a moment.
“Look what else flies right to you!” Ping called.
Jimmy turned and the nut hit him straight between the eyes.
“Ow!” he shouted as the nut bounced into the swamp. “That’s it!”
Jimmy wheeled his horse about and rode up alongside Ping, aiming to do her some harm.Tree Stump watched in disbelief as Jimmy and Ping engaged each other in something resembling combat.
“Stop pulling my hair!” Ping yelled.
“Yield!” Jimmy demanded.
“Don’t make me hurt you!”
“You can’t hurt me, Sir Wimp!”
Finally Jimmy’s superior strength let him pin Ping’s arms at her sides. But Ping wasn’t going to lose that easily. She had been fighting larger boys her whole life. She grabbed onto Jimmy tightly. If she was going to fall off her horse, so was he. They locked gazes. Ping stuck out her tongue. Jimmy gave her a great shove. Then Jimmy and Ping crashed into the swamp water below.
“Enough!” Tree Stump bellowed. “I am your guard and squire. Not your babysitter.”
“She started it!” Jimmy said.
Ping stuck out her tongue again. “Yuck!” she cried as the swamp water ran into her mouth.
“We’re doomed,” Tree Stump said. He turned and started riding away.
Jimmy and Ping sat there in the water, glaring at each other. Then they were both laughing too hard to be angry anymore, if they ever really were.
Well, that’s it for now – hope you enjoyed it. We’ll see if this sequence makes the final cut. Somehow I think it will, if only to ensure Ping gets to hit Jimmy in the head. My thanks to the Caffeinated Diva for the web real estate and to you for taking the time to read this. See you around…
About the Book
A Tale of Witchwood Park
by S.W. Develin
Cover Artist: Damonza
Genre(s): Children’s Fiction, Fantasy & Magic
“I am older than you can comprehend. I am eight.” – Emily Spellmaker.
Emily Spellmaker is missing. She didn’t return to Witchwood Park Elementary this year and Kendra, the shy little girl she befriended, is heartbroken. Kendra waits alone on the park bench after school each day until the Tuesday a troll walks out of the woods. He chooses Kendra, Jimmy (the school bully), and Daniel (an outcast) to come on a magical journey where they must overcome an evil queen and her Army of the Faceless to free an enslaved land. In the process they learn who they really are and what friendship means, while getting closer to solving the mystery of Emily Spellmaker.
Buy it: Amazon
They were falling.
“What’s happening?!” Jimmy shouted. “Where’s Daniel?”
Jimmy and Kendra had jumped through a hole in the top of the sky. There was no water to swim in and no ground beneath it. They were simply falling, from hundreds of feet above the kingdom.
Kendra looked around. Daniel was nowhere to be found.
“I don’t know!” she shouted.
Jimmy and Kendra reached desperately for each other. They clasped hands and watched as they fell toward certain doom.
They could see the whole of the kingdom below. There was the central mountain Tree Stump had told them about, with the False Queen’s giant castle atop. A river ran from the north of the kingdom, around the mountain on both sides like it was an island, and into an endless, shining sea in the south. To the northwest were rock-strewn plains with volcanoes and rivers of lava. To the southwest was a welcoming and vast, lush forest. And to the east…was nothing but an impenetrable wall of grey clouds.
They were falling straight for the castle.
As they fell the ground became clearer and clearer. The False Queen’s soldiers were coming out of the castle barracks. Two red shapes began to rise into the sky beneath them.
“Dragons!” Jimmy screamed.
Jimmy was right. There were two, giant red dragons flying toward them.
“Maybe they are good dragons?” Kendra asked.
In response, the closest dragon shot a burst of yellow flame past Jimmy. The next shot wasn’t going to miss. Kendra and Jimmy held each other and waited to be fried. Then a terrifying roar like nothing they had ever heard shattered the air. It must have filled the entire kingdom below. The red dragons heard it, but the sudden fear on their evil, snarling faces was coming from something they could see…
Jimmy and Kendra looked up.
A massive, black dragon, larger than the two red dragons combined, was flying directly above them. It opened its jaws and launched green dragon fire down at them. The stream of blazing hot flame rushed past them and hit its true targets, the red dragons. When the flame cleared, the red dragons were plummeting back to the ground.
The black dragon grabbed Jimmy and Kendra, one in each of its back claws, then turned and flew away from the army below. Kendra wanted to see if they had faces, but that was the least of her worries right then. In a matter of minutes they were low above the trees of the giant forest. The dragon dropped them both into the treetops.
Jimmy and Kendra crashed through the branches and onto wooden platforms built high in the trees. They were shaken, but alive and together. Through the trees they watched the shadow of the great dragon disappear over the mountains in the north.
About the Author
S.W. Develin lives in West Chester, Pennsylvania with his wife, Julie, and their three children: Brigid, Jack and Garrett. He has a dog named Pink, a cat named Floyd, and a small kitten disguised as a cow.