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It’s time for an update…

Hello readers!

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It’s March already and I don’t know how 2018 is getting away from me so quickly. As you may know, Murandy and I signed up to participate in this years #85K90 writing challenge. The challenge is to write 85,000 words from January 1st to March 31st. This is our third year participating in the challenge, but unlike previous years, it is not going well for us. In 2016, we wrote the first draft of Uncharted, in 2017, Mirror’s Deceit, and this year we’re supposed to be working on Mirror’s Despair, the 4th in the Mirror World series. Unfortunately, we discovered that in retrospect we probably weren’t ready to dive into writing Mirror’s Despair, especially at the speed needed to complete the challenge. What we were missing were the final changes and editorial notes being made to Mirror’s Deceit. Without them, our plans for Mirror’s Despair were incomplete. You might be wondering how two veterans like ourselves could make such a mistake, and the answer becomes pretty clear when you remember that Murandy and I are not plotters, we usually write by the seat of our pants. (For an explanation of how that works, read this blog post.) Unfortunately when you’re writing a complicated series like this, plotting and taking notes becomes not only helpful, but extremely necessary. Live and learn, I suppose.

Well, it’s March, so one more month left to catch up and see if we can complete the challenge. I’m not overly optimistic about our chances anymore, but the great thing about the #85K90 cycle is that April is left open as a 30-day finish in case you need it to wrap things up. Don’t fret either way, Murandy and I WILL get Mirror’s Despair done and you’ll likely see it launch in 2019.

In other news, we are currently looking for beta readers to give us a hand in reading a middle grade manuscript. You may have read our announcement about Karen Koski’s The Gimmal Ring? (Find that here.) Well, as part of the publishing process, we’d like a small dedicated team of readers to read and review the manuscript for us. If you’d like to volunteer, please get in touch with us through email or Facebook.

Coming up, we’d like to invite you to participate in two local events. If you are near enough, or can get to Windsor to visit us, you might want to consider attending this unique literary event: A Taste of Literature. This month’s book is a mystery by local author John Schlarbaum and included in your ticket is musical entertainment, a live interview/Q&A/Signing with the author, along with a gourmet five-course meal by a trained chef. Go to the restaurant’s website to book your ticket now, space is limited!28168499_907024422811919_9145286208312990388_n

And last, but certainly not least, Mirror World will once again be attending The Windsor International Writers Conference. This year the event is being held July 6-8 at the Holiday Inn on Huron Church Rd. You can find everything you need to register and attend this great event on their website, but if you’re a writer and you want to improve your writing career and have the chance of a lifetime to network with other writers and industry professionals, the Windsor International Writers Conference is your chance to do so! You can register here. If you have any questions about this event, you can leave them in the comments and I would be happy to answer them.

 

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The Search for the Golden Feather by Elizabeth J. M. Walker – Part 1

Have you read Elizabeth J. M. Walker’s young adult fantasy novel, She Dreamed of Dragons? Well, you can find it here or in our store. You can also learn more about Elizabeth J. M. Walker on our website. This short story is a prequel, so read on!

***

Trina woke with a sneeze. It was an alarming way to be brought out of dreamland. She rolled over and tried to go back to sleep. But then the scent of burning began to fill her nose and her eyes shot open.

“Trina!” her roommate Oriella yelled, jumping out of bed. “Your bed is on fire!”

Trina had already realized this and was trying to extinguish the flames by smothering them with her hands. Being a dragon mage, the fire didn’t harm her skin, but it did harm her comforter. By the time she had successfully smothered the small fire, her periwinkle blue bedding was burned to a crisp and faint tendrils of smoke were floating about the tiny dorm room.

Oriella rushed to open the third-storey window. She began to cough, she so stuck her entire head of dark blond waves out the window and into the early morning fresh air.

“What just happened?” Oriella called back into the room.

“I think I sneezed,” Trina said as she shoved the charred remains of her bedding onto the floor. She’d have to find a dustpan to clean it up. And she’d have to find a new comforter.

“You sneeze fire?” Oriella asked, bringing her head back into the room. The smoke was beginning to clear.

“Sometimes?” Trina said meekly.

“I don’t sneeze leaves,” Oriella said, referring to her own powers as an elf mage, which included being able to travel through trees.

“I think I’d rather sneeze leaves,” Trina said.

There was a knock at the door.

“Hey! It’s Corbin!” their house don called. “Everything okay in there, Trina? I smell smoke.”

Trina went to open the door.

“Sorry,” she told her don, a Fifth Year with dark brown skin and shoulder-length black hair. He was a phoenix mage and knew a thing or two about having fire powers, but nothing nearly as powerful as Trina’s dragon mage abilities.

“Everything is under control,” Oriella chimed in.

“Please don’t burn our dorm down,” Corbin said. “It’s bad enough we have scorch marks in nearly every room, so let’s try to keep our house in one piece.”

Being the don of Knox House, the dorm that housed mages with fire powers, was not an easy task. The dorm was placed the farthest from the main school building of the Mage Academy and the cluster of other dorm houses due to the risk of student mages not always having full control over their fire powers.

Trina jumped as she heard the sound of breaking glass.

“Forest pixies!” they heard someone shout from the ground floor and Corbin sighed.

“Again?” Corbin said as he headed down the stairs. Being farther from the school and the main dorms also meant being deeper in the Whispering Woods, which meant being plagued by the forest pixies who lived in the woods.

“I hate pixies,” Oriella said as she yanked open a drawer and began to pull out some clothes. “I’m getting dressed before we go find out what they did this time.”

Trina nodded as she shut the door. She found a plain brown dress with singe marks around the wrists of the sleeves to change into. She tugged on her brown boots as Oriella did the same, pulling hers over a pair of green leggings she wore under a black tunic. Trina ran her fingers through her brown hair, which was so short that she didn’t need to properly brush it. She would have liked to have longer hair like Oriella, but she kept accidently burning it.

***

Come back next week or SUBSCRIBE for more!

Unmoored by Justine Alley Dowsett – Part 6 (finale)

Please find part 1 here if you’d like to read from the beginning. Otherwise, read on!
Despite himself, Renaud ran forward, but the girl didn’t scream or otherwise announce her presence. Instead she hunkered down and waited for the lift to bring her safely to the ground.

Renaud was there to meet her.

“Petite fille,” he called to her, not even realizing he’d reverted to French in his distress. “Are you all right?”

She stood and nodded, her grey eyes wide and serious-looking in her young round face.

“Come away from the lift,” he told her, holding out his hand. “It’s not safe.”

She didn’t take his hand. She was wary of strangers. Good for her, Renaud thought, nodding to himself. “C’est d’accord,” he said, trying to be comforting. “Je m’appelle Renaud.

Êtes-vous un Capitaine?” she asked cautiously in halting French.

Abruptly, Renaud remembered that he was, in fact, a Captain. He straightened his back. “Oui, Madame.” He switched back to English, which the girl was obviously more comfortable with, “My ship is called The Clover. She’s waiting right over there.” He pointed out which vessel was his in the harbour.

“My mother…” She fought back tears that threatened to overwhelm her, hugging something to her chest beneath the navy-blue cloak she wore. “My mother wants me to find a good ship, one without soldiers.”

“Well there are no soldiers on The Clover, only sailors. And Dot, she’s a cook.” Renaud didn’t know why he was wasting time talking to this little girl when he should be fleeing Ismera, but some part of him missed his own family and he didn’t have it in him to leave this girl all alone. “Would you like to come to my ship and you can wait for your parents there?”

The girl nodded vigorously, darting a hand out of her cloak to wipe at her tears. This time when he extended a hand to her, she took it. “What’s your name, little one?”

“Meredith,” she answered between sniffles. “Meredith Turrell.”

Renaud almost stopped where he was, halfway back across the dock to where his ship waited with the gangplank lowered for him. Turrell?! As in ‘Lord and Lady’ Turrell? The man and woman I saw on the lift earlier, they own this town and this is their daughter. Of course, I’m so stupid! The Turrell Manor is at the top of the cliff, you can see it from the Channel.

“Are you sure you should be down here?” Renaud looked back at his newfound companion, suddenly nervous that his act of charity would be misconstrued for a kidnapping. “I could take you back up the lift to your house.”

She shook her head. “Mother told me to find a ship.”

He would have pressed the issue, but at that moment a bright light erupted on top of the cliff. Renaud’s eyes went wide. It looked like nothing more than a massive bonfire, its light reflected on the clouds above.

Vitement,” he urged Meredith and the two of them hurried across the gangplank, which was pulled in after them.

Back on his ship, Renaud gave the order to disembark and his skeleton crew worked double-time to obey his command. Unmoored from the dock, The Clover began drifting into the Channel, and one by one the crew unfurled the sails to take advantage of the rising wind.

Looking back toward Turrellin, and at the Turrell Manor on the hill, it was clear that the civil war his good friend Christian Vellaire had fled from had reached Turrellin, and young Meredith’s parents were among the unfortunate casualties.

Renaud heard a thump and looked down to see that Meredith had dropped a satchel the size of her torso onto the deck at her feet. He didn’t have time to wonder much about that before he felt the girl’s arms clamp tightly around his waist as she buried her face from the sight of her home up in flames. Overcome with emotion, Renaud put a hand on her slight shoulder. “I’m sorry, little one,” he whispered, his voice thick and his cheek moist from tears he hadn’t realized had formed. “I’m so sorry.”

Watching the flames grow farther and farther away, Renaud couldn’t help but feel that his victories over the past twenty-four hours were being balanced somehow by Meredith’s losses, and he vowed right then and there that he would do everything within his power to see this little girl safe.

Renaud turned Meredith about so she could face the water and the way to Saegard instead of the chaos they were rapidly leaving behind. He wiped at the tears that ran down his cheeks to nestle into his bushy beard. I promise my dear, if I have anything to say about it, one day you’ll be the luckiest girl to have ever crossed the Ismeran Channel.

 

The End

***

This story relates to and is a prequel to the novel, Uncharted. Find more info here.

The Last Hockey Fight by Nate Friedman is here!

There is nothing better than a good Hockey Book. This goes doubly for Nate Friedman’s new Canadian Classic ‘The Last Hockey Fight’. The story’s hero, Billy ‘The Bruiser’ Fenton, has had a legendary career as every hockey fan’s favourite player. Billy is a Hockey League enforcer for his hometown team, The Windsor Punch. Gaining momentum for his team, defending his fellow players, and entertaining the fans every game is his job and he takes that responsibility seriously.

Billy has overcome a lot of things throughout his career but this season is sure to bring some big surprises. First among them is the announcement that the Hockey Commissioner has decided to take fighting out of Hockey. Will the players be able to adapt? Will ‘The Bruiser’ still have a place in the game he loves most? Will The Windsor Punch still have a shot at winning the prestigious Hockey Cup? Find the answers to these questions and more in… The Last Hockey Fight.

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The Last Hockey Fight is available in ebook and paperback form wherever books are sold. You can get them from our online store, where all proceeds from the ebook will go to the Make-A-Wish Canada. Here are the links:

Paperback: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/juvenile/products/the-last-hockey-fight-paperback

Ebook: https://mirror-world-publishing.myshopify.com/collections/juvenile/products/the-last-hockey-fight-ebook

Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Last-Hockey-Fight-Nate-Friedman-ebook/dp/B078X1HV5Y/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1519054992&sr=8-1&keywords=The+Last+Hockey+Fight+by+Nate+Friedman

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Nate Friedman
A writer from Windsor, Ontario, Canada, Nate graduated from the Kinesiology program at the University of Windsor. His education has fuelled a keen interest in how people think and what drives them to be their best. Comedy is his firstlove and his desire to be creative has directed him towards writing children’s literature. He enjoys reading to his nephews, two of his biggest fans.

Unmoored by Justine Alley Dowsett – Part 5 of 6

Find Part 1 here

Sure enough, there was a brawl on the street ahead of him. Patrons of The Crow’s Nest, including his friend Dagan, were out on the street en masse, caught in a one-sided fist fight with a bunch of armed soldiers. The fight was one-sided only because the other side was using swords, not fists.

Renaud grabbed the nearest soldier to him by the plume on his ridiculous-looking helmet. Catching the man completely off guard, Renaud was able to knock him over and relieve him of his pointy metal stick. Launching himself onto the next man, he pummeled that one with his fists, striking any place he could reach.

It didn’t take long for the invading army to realize they had a madman in their midst. Renaud fought with abandon, breaking noses, biting fingers, and kneeing the stupidest of men in the balls. Didn’t your fathers ever teach you to guard your stones? He made a mental note to teach his own son that very lesson as soon as he got home.

Renaud was an unstoppable force, until several of his victims began to recover and he found himself in the middle of a pile-up. He took a foot to his ribcage, a knee to his left kidney, and an elbow in the eye before Dagan and some of the others were able to come to his rescue, pulling him free of his attackers and leaving them to wrestle one another.

“Thanks, man.” Renaud clapped Dagan on the shoulder. “I owe you one.”

Dagan grinned, one of his front teeth missing. “How ‘bout you give me a posting on that new ship of yours and we’ll call it even?”

My ship! He belatedly recalled that he was Captain of his own ship now. That’s right! I don’t have to stay for this. I can be out on the water and away from Ismera before this civil war, or whatever this is, gets any worse.

Though something about what was happening rubbed Renaud the wrong way. Turrellin declared itself as neutral in the conflict between the King and those who want to dethrone him. Why would Vance Chappelle attack his own people?

Suddenly eager to return to his ship and sail home to Saegard, where the world made sense, Renaud found himself looking back toward The Crow’s Nest. He watched as the barkeep, Ginny, tossed a pot full of boiling hot stew in the face of one soldier before retreating within the inn and shutting the solid oak door tightly behind her. She’ll be okay, Renaud realized, and I’m right, this isn’t my fight.

“Dagan,” he held a hand out to his red-headed friend, “you’ve got yourself a deal. Let’s get the hell out of here.”

“Aye, aye, Captain!”

Renaud and Dagan made their way down the hill much faster than Renaud had initially run up it, despite the stitch in Renaud’s side and his rapidly swelling eye. Once his feet were firmly on the docks, though, Renaud felt his pain and worry melt away to be replaced with a sense of duty and purpose. He was a Captain now, and his ship and crew were waiting for him to lead them safely out of here.

He was within shouting distance of The Clover when his eyes happened to notice something out of place on the lift, way up at the top of the cliff edge. Is that a person?

“Why are you stopping?” Dagan demanded. “That’s yours there, with the four-leaf clover, right?”

“Yeah,” Renaud answered somewhat distractedly. “You go on. I’ll catch up.”

Dagan shrugged and resumed his forward motion, but Renaud’s eyes were glued on the lift far above. At this distance and in the failing light the form he saw was a small lump. It could be a pile of supplies with a tarp over it, but when it moved Renaud knew better. It’s a child, he realized with a sharp intake of breath.

He watched as a small white hand, stark against the dark fabric of the cloak the child was wearing, darted out to grip the lever that would activate the lift. Renaud’s breath caught in his throat. The lift usually has operators to run and monitor it. What is she doing?

Renaud couldn’t explain how he knew, but he had a sinking feeling in his gut that told him the small child who now had both hands on the lever and was pulling as hard as she could was the girl he’d seen this morning; the one with the bouncy dark hair and perfect young, happy parents.

As he watched, the lift mechanism gave way and the lift plummeted.

***

Subscribe or come back next week for the final installment of this short story!! 

And last but not least… Karen Koski and The Gimmal Ring!

Hello everyone! For the past month, we’ve been introducing some new authors and our upcoming new releases for 2018 and we’ve got just one more introduction to do!

If you’ve missed any of the others, here they are: 
Nate Friedman – The Last Hockey Fight (Pre-order now!)
Sandra Unerman – Ghosts and Exiles
Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred – Mirror’s Deceit
HL Carpenter – The Ghost in the Gardens
Regan W. H. Macaulay – Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast
Karen McCreedy – Unreachable Skies

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And now introducing another Windsor native… Karen Koski! 

By day, Karen Koski works for the Fire Service. By night, she writes stories set in magical Windsor and Essex County, Ontario where she was born and raised. Karen’s love of a good mystery inspired her to become a licensed Private Investigator. She is intrigued by anything that is not what it appears to be. When she is not writing, she enjoys reading her friends tea leaves and dragging them along on her adventures.  Karen resides in Windsor, Ontario with her ever patient husband, her two beautiful daughters and a spoiled, red Doberman.

We’re so excited to have Karen Koski join the Mirror World Family and we’re looking forward to bringing you her debut novel for middle grade readers: The Gimmal Ring. We don’t have an exact release date for The Gimmal Ring yet, but here’s a quick description to hook you on it:

Gwendolyn Gimmal desperately wants an invitation to the mysterious Gimmal Gala where her family’s coveted ring is bestowed upon new inductees.  She wants the ring and she wants it bad!  Not that she particularly likes bling, but because she knows it will unlock exciting secrets and reveal what she believes will be her true life’s path. Her younger brother, Gage, also wants to attend the party, but mostly for the food.

After finding her way into the hidden gala, Gwen learns that The Gimmal Ring is not only a piece of jewellery, but also a secret society of people. Things go awry when their parents are kidnapped from the Gala and held for ransom. Gwen, and her three sidekicks, must solve the clues and find the hidden formula the kidnappers have demanded, by midnight, or they will never see their family again.

Subscribe to this blog to be kept informed on the developments of this and all our upcoming titles! Or join our newsletter! Thanks for reading.

 

Unmoored – Part 4 of 6 – by Justine Alley Dowsett

Catch up by reading from the beginning. Here’s part 1. This is the prequel to Uncharted by J.A. Dowsett and M. Damodred. Find Uncharted in ebook and paperback form wherever books are sold. Then keep reading… 

He’d just washed and was having supper served to him that evening in his new Captain’s Quarters by his new cook, when one of the shipyard’s staff came for him. “Is the Captain aboard?”

“I’m the Captain.” Renaud grinned at the chance to name himself as such.

“I’ve been sent to let you know that your paint is dry enough that you’re free to go.”

“Splendid.” Renaud got to his feet, taking a piece of hard tack with him out onto the deck.
The ship was moored inside the shipyard, but with the torches all lit and the last of the light outside, it was bright enough within. He crossed the gangplank to solid ground and backed up enough to get a look at the painter’s handiwork.

The Clover? What is this? He blinked repeatedly, but the green four-leafed clover and the English name also painted in green stayed the same as if to mock him. “Excuse me,” he grabbed hold of the messenger, “what’s this supposed to be? Some kind of joke?”

“No, sir!” the young man said. “We painted it just as you said, only it took us some time to translate what you meant when you said a…a ‘trefle’?” he garbled the French word.

Le Roi du Trefle!” Renaud exclaimed. “The King of Clubs! As in poker? As in the card that won me this ship!”

As soon as he said it, Renaud realized where he’d went wrong. He’d been half-asleep and all the way drunk when he’d given his instructions to the shipyard worker this morning. It, therefore, stood to reason that he’d reverted to his native French.

“I’m…sorry, sir…” the young man stammered.

Renaud laughed, his anger dissipating as quickly as it had formed, and he clapped the young worker on the shoulder. “Never mind! It’s luck that won me this ship, so luck should name it. My lucky Clover.” He laughed again, shaking his head at the absurd coincidence.

“Glad you like it, sir.” The young man smiled before scampering off, leaving Renaud staring with pride at his newly-christened ship.

It’ll do perfectly.

***

Renaud was overseeing the relocation of The Clover from the docks, as the shipyard’s workers and his own meager crew worked together to clear the shipyard’s gates, when the first sounds of trouble came to his ears.

He turned around to look back along the dock, toward the town of Turrellin. The sun was setting on a cloudy day, but there were too many lights and far too much commotion for an average evening in the small port town. As he watched, a ripple of panic seemed to pass through the people he could see, emanating from somewhere beyond his visual range.

“You got this?” he called out to the shipyard worker who seemed the most likely to be in charge of the operation. Getting a nod in return, Renaud tossed the rope he was holding to the nearest sailor and made the leap from boat to dock without waiting for it to be secured. It was foolish, but he felt on high alert, like he was on open water and feeling one hell of a storm coming his way.

Renaud started for Turrellin, but the plague-like emotion that had infected the small but prosperous town didn’t take long to reach the docks, and soon people were darting every which way around him. He stopped someone at random by the simple expedient of grabbing hold of their arm. “What’s going on?”

“It’s King Vance the Usurper!” the young man in his grasp exclaimed, lost to panic. “Turrellin is under attack!”

Renaud felt the world beneath his feet give way and the warm breeze off the water left him suddenly chilled. My luck’s about to run out, I think.

He looked up at the town. He was near enough now that he could see the light from various torches bobbing up and down and hear the clash of weapons between those attacking and those trying to defend their homes. Shops and businesses lined the road that sloped upwards from the dock to the cliff edge, and at the top of the hill overlooking it all was The Crow’s Nest.

Damn. Renaud realized he was running again before he’d actually decided to do so. His gait slowed considerably going uphill, and he soon became aware of the fact he was the only person running uphill, as opposed to down toward the waiting ships. This shouldn’t be my fight, but that’s my bar you’re attacking!

Introducing… Karen McCreedy and Unreachable Skies!

Our family is growing again!

Last week, we announced HL Carpenter and their upcoming middle grade paranormal adventure, The Ghost in the Gardens. Before that we told you all about the upcoming third installment in J.A. Dowsett and M. Damodred’s Mirror World Series, Mirror’s Deceit and of course, Sandra Unerman’s quasi-sequel to Spellhaven, Ghost and Exiles. And we can’t forget Nate Friedman’s The Last Hockey Fight (which you can pre-order here.)

This week, it’s all about another new addition: Karen McCreedy!

Karen McCreedyBrought up in Staffordshire, England, Karen McCreedy now lives in West Sussex where she works at the University of Chichester.

She has written articles on films and British history for a number of British magazines including ‘Yours’, ‘Classic Television’, and ‘Best of British’. In 2009, her essay on ‘British Propaganda Films of the Second World War’ was published in ‘Under Fire: A Century of War Movies’ (Ian Allen Publishing).

She has also written a number of online articles and reviews for The Geek Girl Project (www.geekgirlproject.com), as their British correspondent.

Karen has had short stories published in anthologies by Fiction Brigade (2012, e-book), Zharmae Publishing (‘RealLies’, 2013), Audio Arcadia (‘On Another Plane’, 2015), Luna Station Publishing (‘Luna Station Quarterly’ December 2015), Horrified Press (‘Killer Tracks’ and ‘Waiting’, both 2015; and ‘Crossroads’, 2016), and Reflex Fiction (‘Voicemail’, published online 2017). She also won second prize in Writers’ News magazine’s ‘Comeuppance’ competition in 2014 with her short story ‘Hero’.

Unreachable Skies’ is her first novel. And we’re pleased to be the ones to publish it!

Unreachable Skies will be the first in a planned trilogy about Zarda, an apprentice Fate-seer on a planet where it is normal to fly. In this first novel, Zarda finds she is ill-equipped to deal with the consequences of a plague that has resulted in wingless hatchlings. Efforts to fight prejudice and superstition lead to death for some and exile for others; while Zarda’s own journey to understanding her role in events may lead her to abandon all tradition in order to protect her peoples’ future.

Unreachable Skies is an adult speculative fiction novel. Not full fantasy or science-fiction, it lies on the cusp. We were blown away by it while reading submissions and we know you will be too! Subscribe to this blog or our newsletter to be kept up to date on our progress with this new release and all the others!

Unmoored by Justine Alley Dowsett – Part 3 (of 6)

Here’s Part 1 and Part 2, in case you missed them. Here’s more about me. Or, keep reading… 

Renaud exited The Crow’s Nest as the sun was coming up with his pockets a fair bit heavier, but the real prize was still waiting for him down at the docks.

I really am the luckiest man to have sailed across the Ismeran Channel! Renaud exulted. What a night!

He stopped by the bucket of a ship he’d ridden here on to pick up his things and tell his former Captain that he never wanted to see his liver-spotted face again, then he set off for the mooring labelled C-2 to greet his new baby.

And there she was, a two-masted brig. She was small for a warship, but far more grand than the Ismeran Lord had made her out to be, despite her obvious age and faded paint job. From the moment he laid eyes on her, Renaud was in love.

What is that it says on the side? La Giovanna? No way I’m letting my baby have a prissy Italian name. I’ll have to get that fixed right quick. Renaud patted the coins in his pocket. Should be enough here for a coat of paint, eh?

Grinning widely, Renaud set off with purpose toward the shipyard at the end of the dock. At the mouth of the wide opening, he stopped. The lift, he found himself staring at the marvel of modern invention fastened to the cliffside, it’s about to go up.

Sure enough, the lift had three people standing on it. A woman, elegant in a white dress with lace that flapped like a sail in the wind and a matching wide-brimmed hat she had to hold in place to keep from blowing away. A man – her husband, Renaud assumed – a tall, thin gentleman wore freshly pressed grey pants and a pristine white shirt under a grey vest. His dark ash-coloured hair matched that of their daughter, who stood beside them, except hers was long and wavy down her back, and bounced when she moved. She turned to look up at her father, with a wide smile on her young features that was both happy and trusting.

Now, that’s what real luck looks like. Though the sight of them made him acutely aware of his own unwashed state and the smell of sour ale that wafted from him, it also made him nostalgic and yearn for his home across the Channel in Saegard.

She can’t be more than ten, but she reminds me of my own boy. I remember when my son used to look at me like that. Now, at thirteen, I can’t do anything right in his eyes. His thoughts inevitably returned to his new acquisition. Maybe I’ll take him out when I get back home. If that ship doesn’t impress him, I don’t know what will.

He watched the lift soar upwards with the young family against the backdrop of the cliff face and felt his spirits rise with it. That boat’ll fix everything. No more serving with the unwashed masses under unfeeling Captains. Having a ship of my own means I’ll have guaranteed work. Maybe I’ll even get a commission and join the Navy. Ha! Wouldn’t that be a sight!

Capitaine Laurent, I like the sound of that. The smile back on his face, he strode into the shipyard with confidence.

He was soon led to the appropriate man for the job he needed doing. He showed the man the paperwork Christian had signed over, rumpled and wine-stained though it was, and paid him upfront for the paint job and renaming of the vessel. With that taken care of, he walked back to his new ship, boarded it, and proceeded to fire its old Captain.

“If any of the rest of you want to stay on,” he announced to the small crew once he had them assembled, “you’re welcome to, but this ship is bound for Saegard where it will make a new home port!”

Most of the sailors left, but a few stayed on, and he greeted them warmly. The cook, a woman named Dot, simply stated, “I go where the ship goes, Cap’n or no Cap’n.”

“Very well then.” Renaud surveyed his new domain and found it to his satisfaction. He finished his inspection in the Captain’s Quarters where he promptly fell asleep.

Check back next week for Part 4 or subscribe to be notified when we post next! 

Of course, We can’t forget Mixter Twizzle!

We’re announcing 2018’s upcoming new releases:
The Last Hockey Fight by Nate Friedman is now available for pre-order and launches February 17, 2018!
Ghosts and Exiles by Sandra Unerman is coming April 17, 2018!
Mirror’s Deceit by Justine Alley Dowsett and Murandy Damodred is coming May 17, 2018.
The Ghost in the Gardens by HL Carpenter is coming June 17, 2018!

And we have more announcements coming… but this week we wanted to remind you that Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast by Regan Macaulay is also coming soon!

We had a few delays, but Mixter Twizzle should be joining us sometime in 2018. We’ll announce the official launch date as soon as we have one. For now, though we’d like to announce that a new illustrator has joined the team. Her name is Wei Lu. She also goes by Lulu, and here’s a sample of her work:

MTB

You can see her portfolio here. We look forward to seeing what she comes up with for the rest of Mixter Twizzle’s Breakfast and we hope you’re looking forward to this one too! Subscribe to this blog, or to our newsletter to be kept up to date!

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Regan writes novels, short stories, children’s literature and scripts. Writing is her passion, but she’s also a producer and director of theatre, film and television. She is an animal enthusiast as well, which led her to become a certified canine (and feline) massage therapist. https://reganwhmacaulay.weebly.com