One of the themes of this blog is adventure, which I think everyone should experience at some point. But sometimes adventures are planned…and sometimes….
As she reached Broadway, a worn blue bicycle pulled up next to her, horn screeching over its rider’s distinctive squeal. “Where is your car, woman?”
Jelani eyed her best friend, Iris Pallaton, whose blonde hair swirled above the bright cloud of a magenta blouse. “Richard had it towed.”
“Tell me about it. I’m late.” Jelani headed off again.
Iris pedaled along the curb beside her. “You should call his supervisor and complain.”
“And what? Humiliate myself because he’s a jerk? Screw him!”
“Maybe you should.” Iris laughed. “Then he’d be too awed to bother you again.”
Jelani glared as they crossed the street. “Funny.”
On the far side, she caught the glint of glass in the middle of the sidewalk. “What idiot would drop a bottle when there’s a trash can right there?” she grumbled. “I’ll get it. First karma points of the day.”
Iris climbed off the bike and put down the kickstand. “What is that?” She bent down near the object. “Oh, sweet Gaia! It’s a glass slipper!”
No kidding. It really appeared to be a shoe made out of glass. A large one.
“Who would have left this here?” Jelani picked it up, looking around for a prankster camera team. Something kept her from tossing the shoe.
“Try it on,” Iris whispered. “It would get Richard Snyder off your mind.”
“Richard is not on my mind. He’s on my crap list.”
“Oooh. Sorry.” Iris ran her finger over the shoe. “You’re chicken anyway.”
“Don’t even go there.”
“Chicken. Bawk-bawk.” Iris giggled.
“Fine! If it means I can get to work.” Reaching down with her right hand, she unzipped her boot and kicked it off. “Ready? You want a picture?”
Iris dug for her cellphone and raised it, ready to take a shot. “Just in case your prince shows up right then.”
“I don’t need a prince,” Jelani complained. “I don’t need a man. I need a new life.”
Setting the shoe on the ground, Jelani slipped her foot in it and gently stepped down, not sure to what expect.
The slipper shattered, slicing into the sole of her foot.
Nauseous, Jelani screamed and could only watch in disbelief as tiny men sprang from the blood trickling under the broken shoe. She lost track of how many. With the biggest maybe two inches high, the men scattered into the shadows around the nearest building and disappeared.
She lifted her foot, shaking off the blood, and examined her sole to see if glass remained buried in her skin.
“Did you see that?” Iris gasped, nearly breathless. She grabbed at the wall, eyes closed for a moment.
Jelani felt faint, too, suddenly washed out. “I don’t know.”
There were no glass fragments in her foot or anywhere. The shoe had vanished. The only trace of the whole incident was dark blood, slowly drying in the sun on the sidewalk. As she watched, the cuts in her foot healed.
Iris knelt down to peer at Jelani’s foot. “There were little people. Naked little people. They ran away. I swear they did.”
“Did you get pictures?”
“I almost forgot!” Iris got up and activated the screen on her cell phone, pressed the arrow. Jelani leaned close to watch the whole thing replay in living color. “Oh. Bless. My. God,” Iris said, in her shock reverting to the male deity.
Jelani nodded. “And the horse He rode in on.”
When Jelani tries on a real glass slipper left lying on the sidewalk, it splits in half and out pour dozens of two-inch high creatures who scurry away into the shadows. As if that’s not bizarre enough, she is soon approached by two men claiming (of all things) to be elves who need her help to rescue their queen.
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Interesting story about Bozeman, Montana, not too far from the Bitterroot. Seems like they have a lot of problems that my new home city, Asheville, NC, is dealing with:
Is it possible to build up too much fun for anyone to afford?
Come by, read an excerpt and check out the new covers for the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series!!
Today I’ve got a selection/snippet from the opening of THE ELF CHILD, book two in the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot series:
He wanted her dead.
All the years he’d been alive, Grigor Biren had wanted…something. An ever-changing, vast ‘something’ that seemed to be just out of reach. He had never been able to define exactly what would leave him satisfied.
He wanted her dead. Jelani. The elf queen. The child of elven Linnea and human Vincent Marsh, who’d grown up to return to Montana, to the Bitterroot Mountains, to ruin everything.
And from there evolves a bitter plot that drives that story through the end of book two and into the beginning of book three. But I guess it’s good to figure out your motivation, right?
More snippets from the series are available at the Clan Elves tab above and also at the Clan Elves of the Bitterroot webpage. The books are available at Amazon.com, Barnes and Noble.com, Smashwords and many other outlets, or order it from your local indie bookseller! (We support local bookstores!!)
More snippets from other talented sci-fi/fantasy writers are available at the Science Fiction Fantasy Saturday page, so don’t miss a one!
This is a review by Kenra Daniels at Grave Tells, from last fall; for the entire no-spoiler review see here:
I was immediately drawn into the world Ms. Alexander weaves with brilliant description and multi-dimensional characters. If you’ve ever wondered how Elves deal with disputes over the throne, Elf Queen shows a strong likelihood, including mixed loyalties, subterfuge and politics.
As a Heroine, Jelani Marsh is multi-faceted, dealing with life’s challenges as so many of us do, by keeping her head down and taking the easiest path. Until circumstances force her to question everything about herself, and to come to terms with everything she’s been avoiding. Even as she faces a new way of life, with new problems, she still feels real, human, still the same person, just stronger, growing.
Asten Hawk and Daven Talvi make perfect Heroes, each with his own faults and weaknesses, and strengths. When it comes down to it, they are both prepared to make the ultimate sacrifice to save Jelani so she can take her rightful place among their people. Even though they compete for Jelani’s affections, their differences don’t stop them from working together for her best interest. Ms. Alexander manages to keep the secret of who Jelani ultimately chooses until the end, a difficult balance to maintain.
Although Elf Queen is a Fantasy with Romantic elements rather than a Paranormal Romance, I believe it will appeal to readers who prefer less sexual tension in books, and it is entirely appropriate for Young Adult readers.
Nice! Thanks Ms. Daniels!