Sunday, April 23, 2023

The Deliverers 4: Chapter 4 - 1777

Eric felt like he was in a dream as he walked down the dusty road with his friends past places that were familiar but foreign. Many of the houses he was used to seeing were not there. Others were, but they were different—newer looking and less worn, and also less modern. He felt like someone who had been out of town for a long time. It was the same place, but it had changed.

As they walked, they encountered some of the townspeople going about their business—a farmer on a wagon pulled by a team of oxen, a middle aged woman in a long homespun dress and shawl shepherding a couple of children in linen shirts and patched breeches. Everyone they met wished them a good day, but it seemed to Eric that they eyed them strangely and perhaps a bit distrustfully. Eric guessed that the sight of two unfamiliar children and a dwarf being followed by a snowy owl in flight was the cause of their consternation.

They continued along the road toward the center of town. But it took longer to reach than Eric thought. The town center was much smaller in 1777 than in the present day. It seemed alien to him. There were no supermarkets or shopping centers, just houses and a few shops. Eric’s stream, which had followed the road widened out into a mill pond that powered a grist mill, the rushing water turning a large wheel to grind corn and wheat into flour.

“My town is really different,” he said.

“I think it’s nice,” Kate said.

“Yeah, you said that, but to me it’s like being in a museum. It’s also freaky to think that no one I know will be born for, like, 200 years or more.”

“That’s gotta be strange, sure enough,” Hallo agreed. “But it’s also somethin’ that few if any have had a chance t’ do.”

“What do you mean, Hallo?” Eric asked.

“Well I know I’d love t’ go back t’ the foundin’ of the Dwarf Kingdom, don’t ya know. It’d be great t’ see King Orvis I settin’ up the Kingdom and diggin’ the first mine. It’d be a chance t’ see hist’ry.”

A chance to see history. Eric had not thought about it like that. He might even get to witness the real Battle of Candlewood Corners. That would be cool.

They were passing by the town blacksmith’s shed. When he heard the clang, clang of a hammer ringing on iron, Eric realized how quiet it had been. In the 21st century he was used to hearing the constant rumble of traffic and the occasional jet or helicopter flying overhead. Here in the 18th century bird calls, the hum of insects and the mooing of cattle were the dominant sounds.

In the center of town, only a few things were recognizable. Just about everything was different. In the heart of the village, King’s Highway intersected the road they were traveling on. Directly ahead of them, Eric recognized the old Congregational church which would one day be converted into the town library.

When they reached the King’s Highway intersection, Eric looked to his left and gasped. There stood Keller Tavern. What had surprised him was that it looked almost exactly like it did in his time.

“Wow, I guess some things never change,” he murmured.

“What was that, my boy?” Stig asked as he landed beside him.

“The tavern—It looks the same. The people in my town treat it almost like a shrine.”

“Why’s that?” Hallo wondered.

“There was, or will be, a battle here,” Eric explained. “The British came up this road looking for stores and ammunition collected by the colonists here in town. The local militia mustered under and around that tree,” Eric pointed to a large oak across the street from the tavern. Eric noted it was a lot smaller than it was in his day. “It’s called the Liberty Tree, or that’s what it will be called someday. The militia stood against the British troops. In the fighting, the tavern was hit by several cannonballs. One even lodged in the wall. In my time, it’s a museum and the cannonball is still stuck in the wall.”

Sunday, April 2, 2023

Sharky and the Jewel New Cover Reveal

 Hello, everyone! The time has come to share the new cover for Sharky and the Jewel with you. Many thanks to Emily Hurst Pritchett for her great work on the cover art and design, the map, and the chapter heading illustration. She really has knocked it out of the park if you ask me. 

Here is the new cover:

The 2nd edition of the Kindle version of the book is live. The paperback version is, too, I'm told, but the old cover is still showing on Amazon. However, if you click on that, the "Look Inside" has the new paperback cover and interior. I'm told that it might take a few days for the cover to appear on the product page.

I have updated the book trailer as well. Here is the new version:

Emily has started knocking around ideas for the updated book 2 cover. I hope to be sharing more news on that sometime later this month.

Please let me know what you think of the new cover in the comments below. Also, please spread the word to anyone you think might be interested in checking out my books. It's a great series, but I'll need all the help I can get in spreading the word. Have a great week!