Ironwood Alchemy Anthology Release–Including a short story by moi! (*squeal*)

Yay! It’s finally here! I’ve been wanting to tell you guys about this super fun anthology coming out this month, but didn’t want to post until the link was live. And guess what? It is!! Go find it here.

This is the first anthology I’ve been part of and I’m really excited to read all the other stories by my fellow writers from the Parchment and Prose Writers’ Group in Phoenix, AZ. My time in AZ was short but I was crazy blessed to be part of the group and to meet so many talented writers! This anthology reflects the blood, sweat and tears of the fourteen authors that went into creating it over the past year. (Special thanks to H. Duke for editing/formatting/literally-putting-together-the-entire-thing! The Parchment and Prose group is indebted to you, girl! *heart*)

Since the theme was Transformation, my brain went in the direction of taking a classic children’s tale and adding a twist. Check out my middle-grade short story, Wonderland Revisited, and let me know what you think! I’d love to hear your comments below. And feel free to come back and post which story was your favorite of the lot! Maybe you’ll find a new favorite short story. *wink*

Happy reading, friends!

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Ironwood Alchemy is now available on Amazon. 

Book Review: RED by Liesl Shurtliff

Here it is! My review of book #3 from Liesl Shurtliff‘s series of children’s novels based on fairytales. I’ve mentioned Shurtliff’s other two novels–RUMP and JACK–multiple times in past blog posts regarding middle-grade books I would recommend. (You can find those reviews here and here.) So it’s no surprise that RED, The True Story of Red Riding Hood is no exception! Read on to learn about this delightful tale!

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Synopsis:

Red is not afraid of the big bad wolf. She’s not afraid of anything . . . except magic.
But when Red’s granny falls ill, it seems that only magic can save her, and fearless Red is forced to confront her one weakness.

With the help of a blond, porridge-sampling nuisance called Goldie, Red goes on a quest to cure Granny. Her journey takes her through dwarves’ caverns to a haunted well and a beast’s castle. All the while, Red and Goldie are followed by a wolf and a huntsman—two mortal enemies who seek the girls’ help to defeat each other. And one of them just might have the magical solution Red is looking for. . . . Continue reading

Flash Fiction Monday: Legends

“Good luck, Sarena!” Freyren said.

He held his tanned back straight as one hoof pounded the brambled ground in anticipation, a gentle smile on his lips. Those centaurs loved anything that had to do with adventure.

The sweet scent of blackberries followed me as I took flight. “Thanks, Frey!”

His son, Brayden, was just my age and had begged his dad to see me off. But lessons and responsibilities kept him away. Frey would surely tell my friend every detail when he got home from his afternoon rounds spent in the forest.

I stretched my wings long and wide while I floated close to the dirt, and moss, and bugs that tried to stay hidden. The smell of earthworms and newness filled my lungs as I soared in the shadows from the thick trees. Mother would yell that I wasted fairy dust just to fly a few yards forward, when my feet could’ve done the job. But I’d only come-of-age a month ago, the power to fly and use fairy dust now a reality. My fingers itched to grab another pinch so I could make some flowers grow.

A snap of a twig and I whirled in fright. “Oh, Rain. You’re so quiet, you scared me!”

I placed one hand across my chest, the weight of my new charm necklace heavy against my hand. That was one more thing I’d earned on the day I came-of-age. The third gift – a revelation – would come today. My heart skipped a beat.

The unicorn stuck his head out from under a collection of leaves and neighed. I giggled. Not many Wood Folk spoke his language, but I understood enough to get by. Rain had come by to wish me well. And to remind me not to run out of dust and land face first in the creek beside the wood. Which may have happened the first time I attempted to use the stuff, although I preferred to keep that part a distant memory.

I flew over and brushed a clump of silvery mane from his eyes, a quick kiss to his nose. “Stay right here and I’ll be sure to give all the juicy details, as soon as I’m back!” He grumbled something else and I threw my head back in laughter. “You promise?” Another grumble, another kiss.

“Tavia!” my mother’s voice rang through the trees and foliage.

The swallow stalled in my throat. This was it! It was time to see if the legends were true.

“Wait!” I breathed, as I flew to the tree above, where she sat. “Lorian. I didn’t get to see her yet today! She’ll want to send me off with a blessing, too.”

My mother huffed, a flutter to her wings. “We’ve no time, Tavia. The Gathering begins in ten minutes. You’ll have to visit the lake once we’re finished. Besides, the merfolk have their own rituals to attend today. I’m sure Lorian has a line of mermaids waiting to usher her into adulthood.”

Adulthood. My belly twisted in circles. Thirteen hardly seemed like an adult, despite the rules of The Forest. I had turned thirteen, and was now full Fairy. Lorian faced her thirteenth tomorrow. What would it be like when Brayden came-of-age next year, with the Centaurs?

“Come, Tavia. We must finish what has begun.”

My mother swept off the branch, I trailed close behind. Needles pricked at my fingers and toes. What if I hadn’t used enough dust? A wibble and wobble would be so embarrassing in front of the others my age, also come to see The Forbidden.

On we went, past the caves that marked the end of our territory, over the water that separated our world from Theirs. These were lands I’d never seen before. Lands I was destined never to see again. Not for a while, anyway. Not until my own offspring came-of-age and it was my turn to lead them on this journey.

Fairy blood pulsed in my veins, my wings already fatigued from the length of the flight. They would grow strong, one day soon.

“Up ahead!” my mother said with delight. “I see them!”

We fell in line behind the rest of the Fair Folk – the parents and those that had come-of-age. I recognized a few but truly knew none. Another swallow got caught in my throat.

“We move together as one,” Elder Sprine said. “Remain in the trees and settle onto a branch as quickly as possible. Once there, be sure not to make any sudden movements, so as not to attract attention. We will stay for thirty minutes only, then I will signal for us to leave in unity. Remember, any sign of danger and put up an alarm. We will retreat without question.”

I nodded along with all the other newly minted adults. The parents remained stoic, albeit amused. This was such a big deal for us Fair Folk, I didn’t want to be the one to screw things up. I made a mental checklist: fairy dust at my fingertips, stick by my mother’s side, listen for the signal to leave. Stay hidden. Got it.

A minute later, our group had risen above the horizon, each with our own branch on which to rest. The sound of music and laughter echoed across the field. A scent I didn’t recognize drifted by, sweet and assaulting at the same time. I narrowed my eyes. Tents and bright colors and strange ribbons wrapped around a pole. A Spring Festival, they called it.

My mother leaned in to whisper. “So what do you think, Tavia? Do you believe the legends now?”

I exhaled, unable to contain the excitement that welled deep within my core.

“Humans. Humans are real.”

 

©Laura L. Zimmerman 2016

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Photo cred pixabay

Book Review: Rump by Liesl Shurtliff

So, I think I’ve decided something. I like to read and I like to blog but I don’t necessarily have time to post a review about every single book I read. You’ve probably noticed the last number of reviews have all been 5 stars, which I think I’ll keep as my standard for choosing which books to review! So, without further discussion on the matter, here is another fantastic book that I’d like to recommend – Rump by Liesl Shurtliff.

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Synopsis:

In a magic kingdom where your name is your destiny, 12-year-old Rump is the butt of everyone’s joke. But when he finds an old spinning wheel, his luck seems to change. Rump discovers he has a gift for spinning straw into gold. His best friend, Red Riding Hood, warns him that magic is dangerous, and she’s right. With each thread he spins, he weaves himself deeper into a curse.

To break the spell, Rump must go on a perilous quest, fighting off pixies, trolls, poison apples, and a wickedly foolish queen. The odds are against him, but with courage and friendship—and a cheeky sense of humor—he just might triumph in the end.

The Short: 5 out of 5 stars Continue reading