Hey everyone! Today I am hosting a guest post by author Heidi Bolton. Heidi is the author of the Middle Grade Series, Relics Mysticus. Read on for an exclusive excerpt, more info on Heidi, and links to download a copy of The Serpent’s Ring for free until Saturday 6/1/13!
The Serpent’s Ring – Book #1 of the Relics Mysticus Series
Evan and Claire Jones are typical teenagers, forced to go with their parents to yet another boring museum . . . that is, until something extraordinary happens to make their day a little more than interesting. After following a strange little creature into a closed exhibit, Evan and his older sister, Claire, discover the Serpent’s Ring, one of the magical relics formed from the shattered Mysticus Orb. Purely by accident, they have awakened its powers and opened a portal to Sagaas, land of ancient gods.
Before the siblings can comprehend what has happened, the Serpent’s Ring is wrenched from Evan’s hand by an enormous flying fish and flown back to Aegir, the Norse god of the sea. Evan and Claire, accompanied by a band of unlikely heroes, must retrieve the Serpent’s Ring before Aegir uses its immense powers to flood all the lands on Earth.
The Trickster’s Totem – Book #2 of the Relics Mysticus Series
Life has returned to normal for fourteen-year-old Evan and his older sister, Claire. That is until Dunkle, a clever but stinky little imp, pays an unexpected visit to their school. He has come to take the siblings back to Sagaas, the mythical realm of the gods. Once again, a Relic from the ancient Mysticus Orb has fallen into the wrong hands. Only Evan and Claire, with their unique mystical abilities, can help find it.
Through the power of the Trickster’s Totem, a coyote trickster has escaped. His laughter echoes throughout the realm, as he spreads mischief and mayhem. He burns an entire crop of popcorn, carves his grinning image into sacred artifacts, and things really get interesting when he shape-shifts into Evan’s friends.
Claire and Evan must capture the Trickster, retrieve the Totem, and be careful not to become sidetracked by robotic Steampunk animals, “sweet” pixie-like Pains, and a problematic mermaid … all while dodging Mothman-like aces. Most surprising, Evan discovers the true reason dragons exist in the Native American Spirit World.
Excerpt from The Trickster’s Totem
Pains raced toward an oval table prepared for a girl’s tea party—a frilly tea party
with pink ribbons and white lace. The table was set for six: six tea cups, six saucers
and six plates all white with pink flowers painted along their rims.
Evan had never been to a tea party, and for good reason. He wasn’t
interested in lifting his pinkie finger while sipping tea. But he was hungry and
would have loved to nibble a few scrumptious pastries. He sat on one of the pink
padded stools and scanned the table. Flowers were piled high on platters and
overflowed to the table—but where was the food?
Claire sat to Evan’s right and Dunkle to his left. Both appeared delighted,
pouring tea into all of the cups and chattering about how lovely the table was.
Chayton and Amadahy also joined them, but they didn’t look nearly as amused.
Kehl, who was too big for one of the dainty seats, was perched on a nearby branch.
Evan waited and waited, but no food arrived. “Are we going to eat or only
sip tea?” he finally asked.
Chayton motioned toward the center of the table. “There’s your feast.”
“Flowers?” Evan asked. “Are they any good?”
“Pains eat them all the time, but they’re too sweet for my liking,” said
Evan reached for a flower. The petals were stiff, feeling and looking a lot
like chalk. It smelled like icing, which was a relief, since he loved icing. He
popped the whole flower into his mouth … it dissolved instantly and melted over
his tongue. He ate another and then another: blue, yellow, green and basically any
other color within reach. They were delicious!
Pains flocked around the table, still humming a little melody. The music
was pleasant, even if Evan hadn’t a clue what they were saying. The words flowed
together into one long note, but every so often he heard something that sounded
“Don’t you think you should take it easy on the flowers?” Claire asked.
“You’ve gulped down a ton.”
Evan stopped eating long enough to ask, “Why would I want to slow down?”
“Those flowers are pure sugar, and they’re food for Pains. Who knows how
they’ll affect you,” Claire said and sipped her tea.
“She’s right, you know,” said Chayton. “Here, eat some of these acorns.”
“No offense, but I think I’ll stick with flowers,” Evan said. He scooped
another handful of petals, and colorful lights streamed around his arm. Pains
moved fast like tiny comets, dashing over the table and flitting near the flowers
before racing away.
After a long while, Evan was full. He scooted back and rested his hands
on his stomach. Finally, one of the Pains held still long enough to snatch a petal
from the table and eat it. She smiled at Evan and fluttered away. She didn’t move
as quickly as the others, and Evan wondered if she was injured. She delicately
beat her wings as she flew toward a group of pixielike creatures. Funny. The other
Pains continued to giggle and whirl around one another, but they too moved slower
For the first time since his arrival, Evan understood their song. “Welcome
friends. Glad you’re here. Play, play, play. Dance all day.” The lyrics were short
and repeated often. In fact, Evan wished they’d go back to singing like they were
earlier … but they didn’t.
Suddenly, he felt something jab into his ribs. He looked down and watched
Claire’s hand slowly return to her side. Her mouth moved in slow motion, and her
words stretched long and were unintelligible.
“I can’t understand you,” he said.
Claire’s eyes dragged in the direction of Chayton, and she said something
that sounded like, “Looooook aaaaaaat ’eemmmm. Whhhhaaaaat rrrrrrr weeeeeeee
goooooing toooooo doooooooo?”
“What’s the matter with you?” asked Evan. He then looked at Chayton.
“Did that tea do something to my sister?”
Chayton’s eyebrows inched up and he clenched his teeth. “Tooooo
“Whoa, you guys are acting strange,” Evan said, and one of the Pains
hovered in front of him.
She smiled brightly and squealed, “You are like us, now. Is it not
Another Pain joined them. “Dance with us!”
“What’s going on here? Why can’t they understand me?” asked Evan.
“You are too fast for them,” said a third Pain.
Evan sighed and looked at the flowers. “I ate too many. Didn’t I?”
“We eat them all day. Weeeee!”
“How long will I be like this?” he asked.
“As long as you like. Eat more and more and more!”
About the Pains
Pains are similar to pixies: tiny people with wings. I was surprised to discover
that such creatures exist in some of the Native American legends — Achumawi,
Atsugewi, Wintu and Shasta tribes, to be exact. In The Trickster’s Totem, Pains
eat way too many flower petals made from sugar. And don’t be fooled by their
cuteness: They can drive you to the brink of insanity with their unrelenting singing
and frolicking. And once in their clutches, they might never let you go.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
A magical part of H.B. Bolton’s childhood was being swept into worlds of enchanting characters, fantastical creatures and extraordinary powers—simply by picking up a book. As a mother and a teacher, she was compelled to create imaginary worlds of her own in order to share them, not just with her children, but with all children. H.B. Bolton lives in Florida with her supportive husband and two highly spirited children. Shh, can you keep a secret? Not only does she write books for the young-at-heart, adventurous sort who yearn to dive into a good young-adult fantasy story, she also writes spellbinding, heart pounding women’s fiction. These particular books are written under the name Barbara Brooke, but that’s another story, altogether.
WHERE TO FIND HEIDI ON THE WEB