🎆 Is this book a firework? 🎇 A sparkler? 🫠 Or a lit fart? 🎆 Bia Bella Book-Hoarder #6

Hi! 

I’m back again with my second post of the day, which is something I would usually never do, but this post is based on my last one. If I rate this book one or two stars, it’s a lit fart. If I rate it three stars, it’s a sparkler. If it’s four or five stars, this book is a firework. However, I don’t have any firework, sparkler, or fuming rotten egg stickers to put before my reviews, but let’s get to the review anyway. 

*** 

The Woodlands 

By: Lauren Nicolle Taylor

Goodreads Blurb 

When being unique puts you in danger and speaking your mind can be punishable by death, you might find yourself fighting to survive. Sixteen-year-old Rosa lives in one of the eight enclosed cities of The Woodlands. Where the lone survivors of a devastating race war have settled in the Russian wilderness because it’s the only scrap of land left habitable on the planet. In these circular cities, everyone must abide by the law or face harsh punishment. Rosa’s inability to conform and obey the rules brands her a leper and no one wants to be within two feet of her, until she meets Joseph. He’s blonde, fair-skinned, green-eyed, and the laid-back complete opposite of Rosa. She’s never met anyone quite like him, and she knows that spells danger.

But differences weren’t always a bad thing. People used to think being unique was one of the most treasured of traits to have. Now, the Superiors, who ruthlessly control the concrete cities with an iron fist, are obsessed with creating a ‘raceless’ race. They are convinced this is the only way to avoid another war. Any anomalies must be destroyed.

The Superiors are unstoppable and can do anything they want. After all, they are considered superheroes by the general public. But not everyone sees them this way. When they continue to abuse their power by collecting young girls for use in their secret, high-tech breeding program, they have no idea that one of those girls has somehow managed to make friends even she didn’t know she had. And one man will stop at nothing to save her.

This book came in a dystopian series book bundle called Worlds Undone, which I had downloaded for free during an Apple Books compulsive shopping spree. Several years and something-hundred hoarded books later, I’d finally read this one and then read the rest of the series. This first book was fun. It was disturbing at some parts, and other parts were silly and B-movie-ish, but that added to the fun. 

I didn’t read the blurb before diving into this book. So I got confused about the location. It says that the story starts off taking place in Palo Brazil where Rosa lived, but the natural surroundings throughout the story were very unBrazil-like. There was snowy pine forests where tropical rain forests should be. And how was it possible that December was a month in winter and April was a month in spring when Brazil is in the southern hemisphere? I laughed about this, thinking, how in the blue hell did this thing get published when the author doesn’t know cheese doodles about Brazil? Not even the elementary school level basics! But I’m a very forgiving reader and brushed this off as a typo. Things got even more laughably nonsensical when they were in Brazil and somehow traveled through where Russia used to be—on foot. Hahaha! What

It wasn’t until waaaaaaay near the end of the second book that the Palo Brazil thing was clarified. Rosa didn’t come from a town called Palo in Brazil. They were in what used to be Russia the whole time. This story happens a hundred or so years after civilization as we know it had ended, by the way. The weird-ass ring system town where Rosa grew up in was called Palo Brazil, because a lot of imported Palo Brazil trees had been planted there. I had to laugh at this realization while reading book 2 The Wall. I don’t think one would’ve figured that one out if they didn’t read the blurb.  

Besides the location confusion, other parts made me laugh too. Like the part where pregnant Rosa was held prisoner in a top secret genetic engineering project facility, and she discovered that she and her roommate were being drugged by a machine that was under the bed that pumped some kind of sedative gas into the room. So she stops the gas by plugging up the machine with a potato chunk from her meal tray. And the facility staff just went about, never noticing that the machine stopped! 

My favorite funny part was when Rosa and her group of anti-superior rebels were surviving out in the wilderness, and authority caught up with them, but they couldn’t figure out how. Then they found out later on that monkeys had invaded their campsite during the night and were playing with this quazi-smart phone-like device called a Reader, that belonged to one of the grownups among the group, and they turned the Reader’s tracker back on. The monkeys were the traitors! Hilarious! 

The writing itself seemed a little amateur. There were a few noticeable—I don’t know if I would call them plot holes—but more like bloopers. For example, there was a part where they were out in the wilderness and Rosa was climbing a tree to escape a wolf attack, but she wasn’t quite quick enough to avoid getting bit in the foot. They hadn’t found a natural source of water yet, and no one had spare water hanging around. One of the grownups had a first aide kit, but it wasn’t opened until several chapters further into the book. Yet, when the wolves were gone, Rosa’s friend, Clara, was somehow able to clean the wounds on Rosa’s foot. How? What did she do? Lick her wounds clean, like a cat? The author’s metaphors went all over the place at times too. Sometimes they were fun and quirky and metaphoric, and other times it sounded like Rosa might’ve eaten the wrong kind of wild mushrooms. My final criticism is this author’s lack of transitioning between scenes. It’s not through the entire book, but in some parts your in one scene, and then that place and time just abruptly vanishes without warning and the story jumps to someplace totally different, leaving the reader like, who? What? Where?…Huh?… 

Okay, now I’ll be nice. 

Despite its faults, this book was still thoroughly entertaining. There wasn’t a single boring moment. I liked Bitchy Rosa. Between the hellish state of the world, losing her father and then putting up with her abusive asshole stepfather and her subservient chicken-shit mother, witnessing all the brutal horrors done to townspeople at the hands of the superiors, guardians, and police, which no child should ever have to witness. Then to top that all off, being abducted, drugged, and forced into pregnancy at sixteen years old, by a human genetic engineering experiment—I don’t blame her for turning out bitchy and full of anger after all that. Besides, she owns up to her anger problems in some parts, and she really wants to make an effort to improve herself. I also loved the author’s dystopian world building. The electronically gated ring system towns that were designed to resemble the interior rings of a tree. I thought that was original. The author was disturbingly awesome with the living hell factor in this book too. The way the rules were so strict and repressive, and the things that were done to punish those who broke rules gave me the chills. 

The Woodlands may not have been the most brilliant and well written dystopian masterpiece, but I still really liked it. I laughed. I smiled. I cringed. I gasped out loud in horror. This was a fun read that I’m glad to have finally read after its been waiting around for me in my Apple Books library for the past few years. So, is this book a one or two star lit fart? A three star sparkler? Or a four or five star firework? 

I give The Woodlands 3.5 stars. 

It’s a sparkler! 

Love you all! Post you soon!  

☮️☮️I apologize if my choice of words in the original title to this post had offended anyone. The content of this post has nothing at all to do with actual abortion.☮️☮️☮️

One thing about being a writer is, dam, could it turn you into a neurotic basketcase. 

Hi, y’all. Neurotic basketcase here. 

There was a time, so innocent and pure—okay, and maybe a little on the delusions of grander side—when I used to believe everything I wrote was destined for greatness. I used to think that writing a novel meant to just kick back and relax, and transcribe the vividly detailed mental movie within my brain into text form. Then, BAH-BAM, it’s a book. I had completed the first incarnation of HECCTROSSIPY 1, in autumn of 2017, and like a child, I expected the magic to happen. 

Eventually, the shrill, blaring alarm of the ugly-truth clock radio woke me up to reality. Between 2017 and 2020, that one book had gone through a few reincarnations, re-editings, and a couple rejections from traditional publishers. Then in October of 2020, it was published and available on Amazon at last. 

My publisher, The Writing Collective, sent me my first book sale royalties the following December, which was $11 and change. My book got three reviews with a total of a 4.3 star rating. Then in April of 2021, I had done my first give-away promo and earned seven downloads. Nothing wrong with starting off small, but certain issues made the neuroticisms creep in like the silent formation of tumor growths. 

My first review of the three was a 3 star. The person was someone I’d never met who received an ARC. Her big complaint was all my alien planet fact info dumping. I began my book with an introduction to the planet, intending for it to be like a travel guide to get readers acquainted with the world before they get into the alien teen drama. A few months later, one of my writing group members had gotten the book, and then constructively and honestly admitted that she DNFed it. She couldn’t get past the introduction info dump. Time kept passing by since Jo from The Writing Collective had sent out ARCs. He sent them to more than a dozen people, but that first reviewer was the only one who wrote a review. My sister, Christa, also sent an ARC to a former member of our group, but she never posted a review either. It got me thinking, Oh no, did all those people not even want to bother reading it, because of that info dumpy introduction? Six months after my first royalty payment, it was time for my second one. My royalties dropped down to $6 and change. 

So as Beevis and Butthead would do, if something sucks, change it. I had all the info dumpy planet fact stuff that nobody liked removed from the beginning of the book and shoved in the back as part of the Appendix. In June of 2021, the original version of my book was removed from Amazon, and a second edition was released. The following December, my third royalty payment came, and it dropped down to $5 and change. 

As the second book in my series was coming closer to its big launch, my proof reading sister, Gina, good old Jo, and myself talked about re-releasing the first book at the same time the second book gets released. Before book 1’s re-release, Gina wanted to give it another quick proof read, and I thought that I only needed to make a few minor tweaks. Then June of this year came and went, and I made ZERO royalties. 

The book business is not for those who can’t take rejection. Not for pessimistic thinkers or bad sports, and I especially would advise people with self esteem problems to not jump into pursuing a writing career. perfect your self esteem while you perfect your writing craft., before putting your finished product out on the market. Pursuing a writing career can hurt and make you feel like a complete failure whose writing will never amount to anything beyond a few friends and family members buying copies of your books. You got to be thick skinned and optimistic and keep going. Never let your doubts and disappointments and insecurities get to you, which of course, is a lot easier said than done. It’s hard to not feel insecure as a writer when my royalties dropped down to nothing. I couldn’t help wondering, OH MY GOD! Do people think my writing sucks THAT BADLY??? 

I took a crazy risk and aborted my own baby. HECCTROSSIPY  book 1  The Legend of the Land has been removed from Amazon. I had Jo unpublished it, but not because I’m giving up on it. It’ll come back, reincarnated as book 2’s fraternal twin. Aside from a new cover and some minor tweaking, I had planned to give the new and improved third edition a brand spanking new prologue. I even posted excerpts of the new prologue on this blog. (Thanks to all who’d read them! I love you like chocolate mousse!) My insecurity tumor convinced me that maybe moving the intro to the back of the book didn’t eliminate enough of what bores readers. Maybe my original prologue was boring to readers too and was a culprit to my deceased book sales. So I darkened the prologue and got some pretty positive reactions. Not surprisingly, last time I checked, the excerpt with the most dark and disturbing details got the most likes. Still, I was not sure about this prologue. It was juicier, but my insecurity tumor made me wonder if it was still too long and info dumpy for readers’ liking. 

Through the past five years of learning how to write a novel and make it readable too, it’s been drilled into my mind that readers want instant action or something gripping to happen right from the start. And that today’s readers don’t have the patience or the attention span for slow beginnings that start with things like an info dumpy back story, or an author’s descriptiveness with setting up the scene. However, my dear, sweet prologue was a darling that I didn’t want to murder, because it’s a crucial part of the whole series storyline, and there’s some valuable little bread crumbs and hidden Easter eggs embedded in it. So I sent the prologue as a whole to Jo for him to be the better judge of it, and I told Christa about it and asked for her opinion.  

Sure enough, they told me things I dreaded to hear. Jo said that my rewrite was TWO THOUSAND WORDS LONGER than the original version, and Christa advised me to whittle it way down. As a whole, it was something over 9,000 words. I think around 9,610 words. Christa said that a prologue should be no longer than 2,500 words. I was like, yikes. My prologue was as long as it was, because it went over things that happened within a span of fifteen years. Reducing it to 2,500 words wouldn’t be whittling it down. It would be dumbing it down. I know that I need to keep working on trying not to let my writing get too overly descriptive and info dumpy, and full of too many details that may not be important to the plot, or to readers, but I have limits on how much I’m willing to reduce and simplify my story. Then a whole new idea was conceived in my brain. 

I went ahead and murdered my darling prologue, but now it’s precious soul will reincarnate into a book 0.5! A prequel novella on Mell May’s story, which I’ll release at the same time as book 3. In prologue form, the story was all like, “This happened to Mell May when she was a baby. Then this and that happened when she was four.” When it gets reborn into a novella, I’ll have more wiggle room to do more showing than telling, because I won’t have to condense it so much. I could make Dox and Sudra and Maxlink and Sapone have speaking parts, and get deeper inside Moca’s mentally disturbed head, and have lots of fun bringing the story more to life. HECCTROSSIPY 3 won’t be out until God-knows-when, but I had already written it back in 2017. It used to be the butt end of the first incarnation of book 1. So I already know that the shit hits the fan for sweet little Mell May, and the memory of why her first adopted parents disappeared finally comes back to her. I’ll shorten the flashback in book 3, and save the full, clear detailed version of it for book 0.5. I think this will be better for the third book anyway. I hadn’t looked at my draft for it in a few years, but if I could recall, her flashback was written kind of clunkily anyway, because it comes to her during a breakfast table conversation that leads to a big fight. As for the now un-prologued book 1, I did a little of what my 3-star reviewer thought I should’ve done from the start, taking out some of the frontal info dump and weaving it into the actual story. 

Now I look forward to the future for book 1 and for the new baby book 0.5, but not in a child-like, magical thinking sort of way, of course. So to all you other authors out there who are struggling to make your books take off, and you feel like you’re going nowhere, keep doing what you do and be proud of it. The book business can be a real flame wielding, death lazar spitting shit beast, but your will to carry on with writing and publishing your books is the All-mighty Mega Battle Toilet. So PUSH THAT TOILET HANDLE DOWN, MY FRIENDS! FFFLLLUUUSSSHHH

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

🧀Bia Bella Book-Hoarder🧀 #3 Presenting… Wind Warrior

Wind Warrior? 

More like Wisconsin Warrior. This book oozes with cheese. 

Hello, fellow book lovers! I present to you another dystopian delight that I enjoyed, yet I can’t help make fun of. Oh boy, this is the third review where I make fun of someone else’s book. I hope this doesn’t activate bad karma that’ll someday catch up with me when people write book review posts about my books. 

**** 

WIND WARRIOR 

(World of Flame  book 1) 

By: Jon Messenger

3 stars 

Goodreads Blurb 

THE EARTH GIVES WAY TO THE SEA,

THE SEA BOWS BEFORE THE WIND,

THE WIND FEEDS THE FLAME,

THE FLAME BURNS THE WORLD OF MAN DOWN TO THE EARTH.

The sleepy town of White Halls harbors a dangerous secret. On a picturesque street, two houses down from a lovely little park, in a quaint little home with a wraparound porch, lives a family that seems rather normal. Sure, their twenty-year-old son, Xander, still lives at home, but he’s going to college and dating the leader of the schools top sorority. It’s all very… normal. However, when a man is miraculously saved from being hit by a bus, Xander’s life turns in to the living embodiment of the tornadoes he can suddenly create with a flick of his wrist. Whether he wants this gift or not, Xander must learn to use his new ‘super power’ quickly if he wants to survive. For his kind is a dying race, and when this sleepy town has a sudden influx of new, blonde, fire wielders, no one is safe, especially Xander. It doesn’t help that one of these blondes happens to be the most beautiful girl he has ever seen. Xander can’t deny the instant connection he feels to her so, when she tries to kill him, it certainly makes things complicated. 

**** 

I really liked the whole elemental aspect. How groups of people with genetically inherited elemental powers existed throughout history with the purpose of using their powers to guide humanity in the right direction and help the world evolve. First there was the cast of people with earth powers, and then came the water cast, and then the wind cast. Each cast naturally died off when their purpose was served, and it was time to let the next cast take charge of bringing the world to it’s next level of evolution. Only one elemental cast is to exist at a time. As one starts naturally dying off, more and more people are born with elemental powers of the next cast. I thought this was cool and original. However, for some weird reason, those who were born into an elemental cast aren’t supposed to develop their abilities until they are at least twenty-five. Uh… okay… After the wind cast dies off, it’s the fire cast’s turn to take over. Then it goes back to the earth cast as the world is to be reborn and the cycle of nature and evolution is to continue. Aside from this cool aspect, the rest of this story was hilariously cheesy. I was cracking up through the whole book. 

It’s the wind cast’s time to die off. The big conflict in this first book is, they’re not dying off fast enough for the fire cast’s liking. They are just itching for their turn to take over, to the point where there’s a gang of them on the hunt for the remaining wind people. Then come to find out, Xander is a new young fledgling of the wind cast, at a time when no more wind people were supposed to be born. This threatened to slow down the wind cast’s extinction, which would post pone the rise of the fire cast’s rein even further. The fire cast wasn’t having it. So their leader—a ruthless dictator type of individual who went by the name, Lord Bailer—sent out his irresistibly gorgeous, young blond daughter, Sammy, as an assassin. Her job was to beguile Xander with her charm and beauty, and lure him into a trap and kill him. 

Sammy did try to kill him but couldn’t finish the job, because she and Xander had fallen in insta-love. They met during a class lecture and went on one date to a school dance, and they were suddenly the love of each other’s lives. (eye roll) Sammy even mentioned that there was an undeniable connection between them during the assassination attempt scene. (groan) 

When it was time to meet the fire people, I was like, “Oh, shoot me.” They lived in this underground Haitis type kingdom beneath a fault-line near Los Angeles. It’s a kingdom made of many tunnel chambers, and bridges and catwalks that extend over bodies of lava. The evil Lord Bailer lives in—get this—a black castle. He wants power. Control. To take over the world! I pictured him having a growly voice and a sinister cackle to go with that. 

Then come to find out, maybe Sammy’s dad might not be such a cookie cutter villain after all. He was once a good dad who spent quality time with her. Now all he cares about is his rein of power, and he treats Sammy more like an accessory than his own daughter. Hmmm… something must be taking hold of his mind. Some mysterious entity more powerful than he. 

A little earlier in the story, while her dad was in his throne room discussing his devious plans with his henchmen, Sammy had seen him unlock a secret passage behind a tapestry. So she crept out of bed and tricked the guards into letting her in the throne room so she could figure out how to unlock that passage and find out what was hidden within it. The secret passage lead to an empty, pitch black place, and there was the culprit. Low and behold, she gets confronted by this glowy-eyed, demonic thing-a-m’bob emerging from the darkness! So of course, she runs away and hurries back to bed so to not get in trouble with daddy. 

Meanwhile, there’s drama a’brewin’ with Xander’s family. Xander had discovered his wind powers when he’d unintentionally made them come out and save some guy from getting hit by a bus. His wind-powered grandpa wants him to know the secret of who he really is, but his non-wind powered dad doesn’t. His dad wants him to remain living as a normal person, because having a dad with windy powers botched up his childhood. When Xander’s dad was a boy, windy grandpa was hardly ever around, because he was always preoccupied with saving the day with his wind power. Doing super hero things, like putting out forest fires and stopping accidents from happening. Could this get any cheesier? Yup. 

Xander just-so-happens to be freakishly special. Not only was there not supposed to be another new generation of wind people, he developed his powers abnormally early. So his purpose must be at some higher level. 

After Xander finds out about his secret and his grandpa explains everything about the elemental casts, they get confronted by a gang of Lord Bailer’s fire supremacistse. Then a battle ensues. Both the wind guys and the fire guys conjure up their powers by assuming the standard holding-up-outstretched-hands, power conjuring position. Their hands—surprisingly—are where their super powers shoot out from. 

After Xander and Grandpa kick some flaming ass, they decide they should leave town for the sake of their family and friends’ safety. So they fly away in a conjured up giant wind bubble, and go to a secret island up in the sky where the rest of the wind people live. The island is far out above the ocean, concealed within a waterspout where it’s hidden from normal people’s view. The entire island is held afloat by some dude named Robert who is permanently locked in a meditative state. If Robert breaks out of his trance, the island would kerr-plop from the sky and everyone on it would be dead. I’m laughing just writing about this. Even sillier, how would that kill the wind people if they could fly or float inside wind bubbles? This secret floating island is where Xander gets his wind warrior training so he could fight the fire people. 

I’ll stop right there. I don’t want to give away the whole book, and I also don’t want to make you constipated from too much cheese. 

Joking aside, I definitely did not have a boring time reading this. Time for me to load up on wine and Town House crackers, because—you guessed it—I bought the rest of the series! Cheesiness makes me laugh. However, I’m no troll. If the other three books tickle the part of my brain that says, “Make fun of it!”, I won’t post reviews about them. Despite my unflattering opinion about the first installment, I could picture this becoming a Netflicks series. 

I recommend this book for those who like fast-paced super hero entertainment, but I don’t recommend this to those who are lactose intolerant—Okay, okay, I’ll stop with the cheese jokes! 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

👌Bia Bella Book-Hoarder👌 #2 Presenting… Concealed in the Shadows

I read this book from beginning to end 

But I’m sorry to have to say 

That even though I finished 

This book was just okay 

It was …eh 

It was …meh 

It didn’t blow me away 

I didn’t think it was horrible 

It was just okay 

The plot was fine 

The characters were decent 

But my opinion shall not sway 

My rating stays in the middle 

Because this book was just okay 

**** 

How are you doing, cyber space travelers? 

Today’s topic is another book I had downloaded on impulse, just because it was free on Apple books. When I got my first Iphone, back in 2014, and then discovered authors’ marketing strategy of offering the first book in their series for free… man, oh, man. It’s a wonder my double-tapping finger didn’t turn all blue, numb, and tingly from how many times I’d tapped that “Get” button. As long as the book was free, and if it had an author, a title, and a blurb, it went into my phone. I read a little of almost everything, so what the hell, why not. 

***** 

CONCEALED IN THE SHADOWS 

(Concealed in the Shadows—book 1) 

By: Gabrielle Arrowsmith

3 stars 

Goodreads Blurb 

Sydney Harter has long awaited September 12th, 2033, her eighteenth birthday. She can finally apply for guardianship of her sister Evvie, her only family and entire world. Sydney holds a sliver of hope that they will be lawfully reunited, and that light will return to her desolate life, but she is prepared to defy authority and risk everything to escape Miles County so that she and Evvie can live full lives together.

Escaping will be difficult and dangerous. Citizens are bound to their county by sophisticated chip implants that deliver shocks to anyone who crosses the county’s electric barrier. Sydney is very clever, but her trickery is limited against the all-seeing eyes of county technology. It seems impossible to escape into the forgotten forests and cities of the past, but Sydney is determined to find a way if she is denied guardianship of her sister. For years she has longed to break free from the government’s experimental Petri Dish and the hallowed drones that inhabit it.

What Sydney doesn’t know is that the county has a particular interest in her. Her place in this complex dystopia is about to change. Deceit, fear and warfare will come to characterize her life, yet her love for Evvie will always prevail. She must protect her sister, but at what cost? )

*****

I got to really like the dystopian genre. I like the whole on-edge, uncomfortable feeling of constant paranoia within the novels I’ve read so far. The genre hits a nerve with me, after living through 2020 when the world seemed like a dystopian novel come true. 

This book had that 1984 vibe to it. People lived under close surveillance by the government and were forced to abide by strict, repressive rules. One of the things I thought was unique was the environmental protection extremism. People were restricted to live in these gated counties that were bordered by walls with surveillance cameras. Outside of these counties were expanses of land that was to be left for the natural world, which people were forbidden by law to set foot in. There were strict rules on transportation to keep pollution under control. Those who owned their own vehicle were only allowed to commute a certain number of hours per week. If they went over their time limit, the GPS satellites could just cut their car’s power off. It didn’t matter if they were in the middle of a busy highway. Even public transportation was restricted to how many hours each person could use it. 

The government also had a stranglehold on keeping the human population under control. Adults were euthanized when they turned sixty, and parents were given a certain number of years they were allowed to raise children. They were granted a total of thirty-six years, but eighteen years per child. If parents used up the child raising years in their account by having a third child, or even by taking another in, say if a relative unexpectedly died, they were forced to give their children up to foster care. Those who wanted to become parents were encouraged to raise foster kids rather than further increasing the  population by having their own kids. There were also forced abortions. Pregnancies could be terminated via the mother’s computer chip implant. Yes, this book had the cliche of everybody having a computer chip implant in their wrist that had personal info in it, but I thought that how the Powers-That-Be could somehow cancel out the life of an unborn baby through this chip was kind of creepy. Pregnancies were forced to be terminated if the baby had a birth defect, if there were multiples, and in some cases, they were terminated just because… 

I also thought the love story part was unique. It seems that the love within most YA novels centers around a romance between the main character and a love interest. There is a hint of a sprouting seed of young romance in this first book, but it’s just a mild temperatured crush. The real love story is about the close bond between sisters and the unconditional love shared among their family. 

So what made this book less thrilling? 

First of all, it sounded like the author was trying too hard to sound literary. Like a lot of readers, I appreciate some nice, well-written, poetic prose, but this book was told in the narrative voice of a teenage girl. Seriously? An eighteen-year-old girl speaking so maturely and sophisticatedly and in long winded prose? It made Sydney unrealistic to me. She sounded more like a prim and proper thirty-or-forty-something who—despite all the drama with getting kidnapped, joining a renegade group, helping her sister escape Miles County, and then running and hiding from corrupt government organizations—harbored an aspiration to someday hobnob at ritzy cocktail parties and engage in sophisticated conversation about poetry and philosophy. I think it would’ve worked better if this story was told in third person, and the literary-ish prose was the narrative voice of the author herself. There were at least a few times when Sydney acted more believably teenaged girlish, like the part where she had an irrational hissy fit when she thought the guy she liked had a baby-momma among the group. 

For me, the battle scenes were kind of lacking. Sure, the action was there, but the feeling of being amidst the chaos and bloodshed wasn’t. Not that I dearly love graphic descriptions of war. I just like when an author can write a battle scene that really affects me. The type of battle scene with disturbingly life-like sensory details, along with descriptions of what the battlers are physically and emotionally going through while in the throws of combat. The battling in this book was more like: So-and-so jumped behind a tree. Such-and-such followed close behind him. Such-and-such fired a few rounds and took three of the guys out, but then So-and-so was knocked to the ground by a blast of bullets from the other side. He lay on the dirt with a gushing wound in his shoulder. Okay, that wasn’t an exact word-for-word excerpt, but to me, the battle scene was written more like a sports play-by-play. 

The book also had parts that were just so draggy, especially the dialogues. The dragginess made me have a hard time following what was going on at some points. There was justsomuch… drawn out conversation about the Black Operations Team, the renegade Seeker organization and their secret refugee towns, and all the strategies of how they would stand against all the political corruption. Sydney’s inner dialogue rambled at times too. I totally understand her angst and other emotional term-oil amid the crises that she faced, but it added even more dragginess to the book. 

My biggest bugaboo is—Okay, so after Sydney and her sister, Evvie, escaped the confines of Miles County and ran away with these Seeker people who help rescue others from living under so much governmental control, they had to do their best to hide from Black Operations Team satellites, which can detect escapees by the infrared from their body heat. These human heat seeking satellites were so sharp and accurate, there was a part where Sidney and company hid in the basement of this abandoned farmhouse, and they covered themselves with special shielding blanket thingies to make their body heat undetectable. If these satellites are so sharp and accurate with picking out where people are, how are so many other escapees getting away with living in abandoned places that were turned into refugee towns? Then there are refugee towns that authority knows about, like the one Sydney and Evvie had escaped to. How are they still in existence if authority is so hellbent on keeping people under tight control within their surveilled and closed off counties? Did I misunderstand something? 

I was also annoyed with the whole trope where, they think they’re onto something with figuring things out and outsmarting the corrupt system. But then it turned out that an even more corrupt group of powerful people only made them think they were figuring things out and being so smart and sneaky, because this was all a set up. When there’s the bad guys, but beyond them there’s bigger, scarier bad guys. Then beyond them, there’s bigger, bigger, scarier, scarier bad guys. Ugh! That type of arc or trope or whatever can get exhausting. 

Complaints aside, I did like the book enough to care about the characters, and then buy the other two books in the series to see what happens next. I’d like to know stuff like, will Sydney and Crew get together? Was that misinformation in the computer about Sydney and Evvie’s mom still being alive and with a history as a foster mom to twin girls who were the daughters of the leader of one of the refugee towns, really just only a part of the whole big orchestrated set-up? And what makes Sydney so special? Why did selflessly turning herself over to the BOTs make them agree to let go of her sister and leave the refugee town they were hiding in alone? There’s also the fact that I’m a sucker for a series. If you’re an author who has a book series published, and all the books are available on Amazon or Apple Books, you’re series will become a thug to my psyche. Ready to blow my brains out with a loaded Colt-45 if I don’t hand over all my money. God bless to all you FUCKING RAT-BASTARD BOOK ADDICTION ENABLERS! You make my life complete. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

👾👾👾👾THE ADOPTION👾👾👾👾 Final Part Of My Prologue Rewrite❣️

It is the last but not least excerpt of my chopped up long prologue. A big special, huggable shout-out to all of you who had read the three previous excerpts and gave them likes. In case anyone missed them, and you don’t feel like doing all that scrolling around, below are the links. Being technologically mediocre, throughout the five and a half years of blogging on WordPress, I never added links to previous blog posts until now, after I’d self taught myself how to do it. 

I think… 

Fingers crossed and prayers answered that all three of these links work. 

https://tiawojo.wordpress.com/2022/07/15/%f0%9f%91%be%f0%9f%91%bethe-adoption%f0%9f%91%be%f0%9f%91%be-my-prologue-rewrite-

https://tiawojo.wordpress.com/2022/07/16/%f0%9f%91%be%f0%9f%91%be%f0%9f%91%bethe-

~~~~~

The news quickly got around to Moca’s family about her death. They removed her body from the South Section 5,898 family’s back yard and fed it to the forest. When Moca’s family got acquainted with Burjiss and Tabatha, they informed them that Moca had suffered from Snarvox, and her story about what happened to Mell May was nothing but delusions. Nobody ever tried to kill Mell May, they reassured. According to Moca’s family, Mell May’s birth parents didn’t attempt to feed her to wolves. Her birth parents were young and restless and not ready to be tied down by the responsibilities of parenthood. So they’d agreed to let Sapone and Maxlink adopt Mell May, because they had been struggling to have a child of their own for years. However, Moca’s family had no explanation to what had happened to Sapone and Maxlink. The last time any of the grungols had spoken to the couple, they had talked about plans to move to another village. Then they were suddenly gone. The grungols and everyone else that knew them assumed that Sapone and Maxlink moved away and that Mell May was with them, although it was shocking and disappointing how abruptly the couple had decided to pack up and relocate. However, those who knew the couple well knew that they were poor communicators, and they sometimes made decisions on impulse. 

When Moca’s family had found out that Mell May hadn’t been with them, the idea that Sapone and Maxlink moved away no longer made sense. They were a devout Jumellica admiring pair who loved their little girl more than anything, probably even more than they loved the good entity. They would never abandon Mell May, or allow her to be left in the care of someone with a debilitating mental illness. And they especially would never leave her to die. Something else had to have happened to them. The grungols made it their mission to solve this mystery, and promised Burjiss and Tabatha that they would let them know when they found answers. 

*** 

Mell May adapted to life with her new family amazingly quick. She and Artheena became fast friends, shortly after Burjiss and Tabatha introduced Artheena to her new sister, the morning after they had taken her in. As a four-year-old, part of Mell May believed that Maxlink and Sapone really had left her on purpose, and she resented them for it. If they hadn’t left her, she wouldn’t have had to be stuck with the abusive old grungol. Because of this resentment, Mell May latched on to Burjiss and Tabatha and gladly accepted them as her dad and mom as though Maxlink and Sapone never mattered. Still, she wondered where they went. If she asked her new parents about them, her mom would give her the same answer. “Sapone and Maxlink love you very much. They just couldn’t take care of you anymore.” Tabatha couldn’t think up a better, gentler way to explain to a four-year-old that her former mom and dad had disappeared without a trace. 

It was surreal, but in a rejoicing way, for Mell May to find out that there was never such a thing as Jyoseppy admiring, rampaging killers that killed everyone in the village except for Moca and herself, and that all her friends were still alive. “Moca made that up, because she was very sick with a disease that made her think terrible thoughts and believe they were real.” Her parents explained. They told her what they knew about Snarvox, which wasn’t much. The disease is rare, because most grungols don’t live to be two-hundred-ninety-seven. 

Mell May’s physical recovery was even more amazing. She was at a healthy weight and had a full head of hair within a couple dozen days. 

Over time, Mell May’s memory of Maxlink and Sapone and Moca, and all of her other memories of her earliest years would eventually fade to the point where it seemed to her as though her life before she became Mell May of South Section 5,898 had never happened. The only remnants of that forgotten time were in a reoccurring nightmare. The nightmare was far-fetched, but the feelings of helplessness and abandonment were hauntingly real. 

*** 

For the next eleven years, Mell May and Artheena were as closely bonded as identical twins. They lived the ideal happy childhood, being raised by loving parents in a clean and cozy home that was surrounded by flourishing tropical gardens. Their childhood days were full of sleepovers and pool parties, neighborly get-togethers and countless fun outings in the East Section, like going to the playground, the theater, the clay sculpting park, the game room, and the Cake and Pudding cafe. 

Their all-time favorite place to be was the music club, which was also in the East Section. 

The music club is where singers and bands from all over Continent 15, and all over Velva Leena came to perform. Microphones, speakers, and amplifiers don’t exist on this planet, but the club’s enormous stage has a half-dome made of sound-amplifying metal over it, called valvarian. Beyond the stage, club-goers could dance to the music on their choice of three dance floors. A regular dance floor, a dance floor that was bouncy like a trampoline, and one that rocked and spun around when people danced on it. People danced by the stage too, if whoever was performing was a crowd favorite. When Artheena and Mell May got tired of dancing, there were plenty of comfortable seats to sit in and continue enjoying the music. The club’s staff were constantly walking through the rows of seats, or squeezing through the dance floor crowds to offer skitzo paper plates of snacks and wooden goblets of drinks. Artheena and Mell May went to the music club as much as they could, with or without their friends or parents. No matter whose concert they’d attended, being at the music club always felt like being at a never-ending party. 

*** 

Artheena and Mell May’s grungol best friend, Audry, came into their lives when they were six years old. Audry was just Mell May’s friend at first. When Mell May was having a nightmare, Audry would come into her room by climbing through her window and comfort her. Then the two little girls would quietly play together until Mell May was able to fall back asleep. When Mell May got Artheena to join in on the middle-of-the-night play time, Audry’s visits became a nightly routine. 

Hanging out with a grungol made the two vervetts grow an addictive love for the night. They loved the starry night sky and its three egg shaped moons, Jinnian, Jewnian, and Jeenian. They loved the fire-winged moths and ghostly glowing tree worms, and all the other beautiful forms of bioluminescent life. Night was when the solar powered teppid stone pool deck and garden paths released their pastel multi colored glow. Small, teppid stone statues and hanging strings of beads lit the gardens up like Earth’s Christmas lights.  The tropical breezes at night had a different, more alluring  sweet aroma than the breeze during the day, and the sounds of the nocturnal creatures who lived in the forest just beyond the South Section 5,898 family’s back yard made lively music.   Audry, Mell May, and Artheena’s nightly play times in Mell May’s room lead to them sneaking outside through the bedroom window to play out in the yard. Both the front and back yards were so extensive, the three little girls were free to run around and play their favorite outdoor games without worrying about keeping their voices down so they wouldn’t wake up Burjiss and Tabatha. 

When they grew too big to sneak out through Mell May’s bedroom window, the vervetts snuck out through the back door and met up with their grungol friend in the back yard. The older they got, the later Mell May and Artheena were able to stay up. They spent a lot of that extended time out of bed hanging out in the under-village, especially during their twenty day breaks and Audry’s twenty night breaks between school terms. Audry’s street was conveniently right below their back yard. One at a time, the vervetts would get on her back, and she’d burrow them below the surface where they would either hang out at her cave home, or go to the under-village East Section. 

Going to the under-village was another reason to love the night. Mell May and Artheena loved the silver-white crystal streets that were outlined with silver-white, blue, and golden yellow glowing gemstones. They loved the vertical gardens of wildly colorful underground plants and flowers that grew along the exterior walls of grungols’ cave homes. Most of all, they loved Audry’s limitless generosity, especially Mell May. 

Audry was exceptionally wealthy, even though she was too young to have a job. Both of her parents contributed their work to their under-village, but they earned not even a tenth of the amount of coins that their daughter received. If anyone asked how this was possible, Audry or her parents would just say that she has an extremely generous family. They’d say that whenever she did favors for her relatives, they had a habit of paying her Thank You coins by the hundreds. Having such an abundance of money, Audry loved to take Artheena and Mell May, and other grungol friends on shopping sprees in the East Section. When the vervetts were ready to call it a night, they would be brought back to the surface with their shopping totes loaded with goodies, like stuffed animals, puzzle books, and grungol-style candy. 

*** 

The mystery of Mell May’s former parents’ disappearance was never solved, but Mell May didn’t care. She was perfectly happy and content with her fabulous life as a member of the South Section 5,898 family, and had no interest in seeking out her past. All she knew was what her parents had told her about how she was adopted. Since she no longer remembered anything about it, she concluded that this meant that the good entity had taken her early memories away, because they were not worth remembering. 

Mell May didn’t think her life could get any happier until she and Artheena were ten years old, and their baby brother, Willberry, was born. He was the cutest, rosy cheeked, smiling baby boy. His skin was light tan, like Artheena’s, but his eyes were a warm amber. His hair was amber too, and it had the perfect pattern of vertical black stripes that extended from the middle of the top of his head. His silver shell was swirled with blue, purple, and pink jewels, like Artheena’s, but it also had jewels that were dark blue, dark green, and pearly white. 

Artheena and Mell May happily pitched in with helping their parents and a few neighbors who had home construction skills put together an additional room for Willberry. The girls loved their baby brother so much, they didn’t think any other boy could have them wrapped around his finger, like he did. That is, until Leeandro Paul came along.

*** 

This story begins on a balmy, breezy spring night, five years later. Willberry is no longer a baby, but a typical active five year old boy, much like five year old boys on our world. Artheena and Mell May are fifteen. Despite the fact that they are considered adults on their land, they are much like teenagers on our world. All three of them are excited about the up-coming Hecctrossipy Festival, which is a yearly tradition on Continent 15 that takes place when spring begins transitioning into summer. It’s also a tradition for the festival to be held in a different village every year. This year’s festival was going to be in Group 4 Village 3. 

Legend has it that 8,000 years ago, Jyoseppy was tired of sharing the world with Jumellica. So it created the hecctrossipy—A monster that could turn all elements into chaos and double the strength of Jyoseppy’s dark powers. This monster was meant to drive the good entity out, so Jyoseppy could have all creation to itself. The evil entity and its monster took over Continent 15 first, because it was the smallest and easiest land to wreck havoc upon. However, their combined powers were no match for Jumellica and its overwhelming number of admirers. The good entity encouraged every person, animal, and plant life in the land to join forces and battle against the hecctrossipy with their forces of good and positivity. The hecctrossipy was destroyed and Continent 15 was saved. So was the rest of the world from Jyoseppy’s evil plan. Even though this story is believed to be only a myth, and countless different versions of it had been published throughout thousands of years, the Hecctrossipy Festival celebrates the victory over the dark entity and its monster.   

Willberry was a hecctrossipy enthusiast. He had almost two dozen versions of the old tale in his bookshelf, and not a day went by without him mentioning the hecctrossipy. 

As for Artheena and Mell May, they could care less about the hecctrossipy. They were only going to the festival because their favorite singer, Leeandro Paul was going to be the star performer and was putting on a grand concert. Not only was he the most famous performer in the land, he was the first villager in Continent 15 history to own his own aircraft, and he had special connections with the Guardians that no other villager was known to have. He was vervett girls’ most desired eligible bachelor too. Even grungol girls were smitten with him. Mell May and Artheena weren’t just smitten. They were hopelessly obsessed. 

~~~~~ 

Okay, I know that blog-wise, that’s not a very conclusive place to end a story, but this is, of course, the beginning before the beginning of a full length novel. Obsession is a big part of the story. 

thank you to the end of infinity for reading this new prologue! If you’re wondering what happens next, please be patient. The rerelease of book 1, along with the newborn book 2’s grand entrance into the world will be happening in early 2023. Both books need proof reading and cover art. I hope with all my heart, soul, and blood cells that the cover art issue won’t be a setback. Any of you know of anyone who does good cover art at a price that won’t obliterate my bank account? 

Once again, thanks for reading. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

👾👾👾THE ADOPTION👾👾👾 My Prologue Rewrite–Part 3

Guess what! It’s another prologue chunk. In case you missed the previous chunks, here’s the ping backs of them for you. 

https://tiawojo.wordpress.com/2022/07/15/%f0%9f%91%be%f0%9f%91%bethe-adoption%f0%9f%91%be%f0%9f%91%be-my-prologue-rewrite-

TRIGGER WARNING: The following excerpt contains scenes of child abuse. It’s just as sad when it happens on a different planet as it is on Earth. 

~~~~~

Moca grew lazy and just seemed to stop caring about anything. She spent more and more time taking long naps, or lounging on the sitting room couch and staring blankly at the curtain covered windows. She stopped tapping on the lights. Mell May was too small to be able to reach the light fixtures on the ceiling with the tapping rod, and tap on the lights herself. So the house was left almost as dark as a dungeon. Moca was no longer motivated to do the chores either. Sapone and Maxlink never made Mell May do chores, so she couldn’t take over the work for Moca, and the house went unkempt and was soon infested with house pests. The toilet bucket became too over-stuffed with urine and feces and soiled leaf litter to be able to use, so Moca and Mell May relieved themselves on the bathroom floor. Everything became infested with mold and fungus too, because Moca kept the place so dark and stuffy. 

Fungus and mold grew on the furniture and walls, and along the interior of every cabinet, closet, and cupboard. Mell May’s clothes and stuffed animals began to decompose as the mold ate away at the fabric, making it brittle and full of tiny holes. Fungus infected the little vervett’s finger and toe nails and formed itchy patches on her scalp. 

Moca stopped caring for herself too. Her teeth rotted, and she grew skeleton thin. Her unwashed fur became rank and oily and patched with fungus. 

Worst of all, Moca neglected Mell May. The little girl was left unbathed. Moca stopped brushing her hair and let it become a matted mess, clumped with dirt and grime. She’d wear the same filthy, moldy clothes for days at a time, because Moca stopped doing the laundry. She didn’t want to bother with preparing meals either, and let Mell May get almost as skeleton thin as herself. The remaining food that was in the pantry had rotted from sitting in the sweltering heat, and Mell May was afraid to go outside and gather food from the gardens herself, even though Moca had stopped talking about the rampaging killers. She was so desperately hungry that she resorted to eating bugs that she smooshed with her hands. She at least was able to get barrels of water from the water storage closet by herself, and she knew how to use a water barrel opener which helped her survive.   

If the little vervett was bored and wanted the grungol to play with her or read to her, Moca would treat her like a nuisance. “Get out of here, you winy little runt!” she’d often snap at her. “I’m trying to get some rest!” And Jumellica-forbid if Mell May asked Moca if she could get her something to eat from the gardens. “Go eat your bugs, you disgusting freak!” would be Moca’s response. “There’s nothing to eat in the gardens! The gardens all died! Now leave me alone!” If Mell May started crying over missing her Mom and Dad, or if she cried for Moca’s comfort after waking up from a bad dream, the old grungol would just holler at her to shut up. 

Mell May was too young to understand that Moca acted this way because she was seriously sick. Her brain tissue was crystalizing and gradually crumbling to dust. The vervett just assumed that Moca was tired of looking after her and didn’t love her anymore. 

Believing that Moca didn’t want her around, Mell May did her best to keep herself entertained. The closed, mold patched curtains allowed enough daylight into some parts of the house for her to be able to play with her toys and look at her books. When she got tired of that, she talked to Jumellica. The good entity was her only friend and the only one who she was sure still loved her. She liked to tell it about all the fun things that she and her parents were going to do when they came back home, and she liked to go over her favorite memories about her friends who she thought were all dead. She made up silly stories about what their new lives were like, living as pretty flowers and playful animals after their bodies had been fed to the forest. She imagined that, if Jumellica had a face, the great entity was smiling at her and laughing with her when she talked silly.  

Even though she found some comfort and companionship in talking to Jumellica, it wasn’t enough. The entity was an invisible force of nature and not a person. Some days the loneliness made her depressive, and she’d not want to do anything but lay in her dark bedroom and weep into her pillow. However, as Moca’s condition steadily progressed, being lonely and depressed was better than being in the grungol’s company when she was feeling more awake and alert. 

*** 

Moca would sometimes hallucinate that she’d overheard Mell May talking to Jyoseppy. Or she’d overheard her rudely making fun of her and laughing about it. The grungol punished Mell May for this, beating her with a light tapping rod, or her boney fists, or the nearest blunt object available. If Mell May tried to get through to Moca that she had done no such thing, it often infuriated her all the more, because Moca couldn’t always understand what Mell May was saying. The Snarvox wasn’t making her go deaf, but she was losing her cognitive ability to understand what she was hearing.  “You’re making up words again!” the enraged grungol would accuse, as she beat the defenseless little vervett. “Stop it! Stop it! You good-for-nothing, wicked little brat!” The beatings didn’t stop until Mell May’s skin ached excruciatingly from all the bruises, and her face burned from her tears of torment. Mell May couldn’t help wondering if she would’ve been better off in the company of a bunch of Jyoseppy admirers than staying in the house with a nasty old lady who she believed hated her. 

Moca eventually lost control of herself. She’d  have psychotic episodes where she’d climb all over the walls and ceiling like a giant spider, roaring with insane laughter. Or she’d run around in every which direction, growling like a wild animal and biting and taring the furniture, and even biting herself until she bled. These psychotic episodes terrified Mell May more than the beatings. She thought Moca was going to kill her. She’d hide far enough under her bed where she hoped the crazy grungol wouldn’t be able to reach her, and she’d stay there until Moca wore herself out and fell asleep. There were times when Moca’s episodes lasted a full day and night. By the time Mell May came out of hiding, her bones and muscles were so painfully stiff and achey from hiding in a cramped space for so long, she could barely move. And her skin broke out in fowl smelling rashes from so much time spent lying still on the filthy floor   

The neglect, the starvation, the filth, and day after day of living in constant fear took a tole on Mell May’s little body. She became weak and lethargic, and too depressed to have any more of a will to live. She gave up the hope that her parents would come back, and came to the conclusion that they no longer loved her and didn’t want her around anymore. Just like how she believed Moca felt about her. Mell May had nobody, or so she believed. Her friends and everyone else she knew had been murdered by the rampaging Jyoseppy admirers. There was nobody left in the world who would care about her, so living felt pointless. For two whole days, Mell May laid in her filthy, rodent eaten bed and waited for death to come. During those two days, the house was unusually still and quiet. The only sign of life was the scurrying of vermin. It seemed that Moca had left her too, just like her parents did. 

*** 

Moca didn’t leave. During those two days, she had been asleep in Sapone and Maxlink’s bedroom, very close to death herself. By the grace of Jumellica, Moca woke up with a start, late in the evening. A spark of her true self came back, the kind hearted grungol who loved the little vervett and would do anything to keep her safe and happy. That spark made her aware that she was unfit to look after Mell May, and she had to find her a new home. Moca’s instinct told her that she had better find her a new home immediately, because both she and the little girl were about to run out of time. 

“Mell May!” she called out, hurrying out of the bedroom and looking around the dark house, trying not to panic as the disease made her forget where Mell May’s room was. There was no response. The vervett’s body was beginning to shut down, and she had slipped into a coma. Moca kept calling her name and looking around. She opened all the curtains to let the moonlight in, so she could see better. But the more she looked around, the more confusing the house seemed. Each time she looked in the rooms, she hallucinated that their furniture and wall coloring was different, making the house appear to have no end. “Jumellica! Please help me!” she cried. “I have to save this child!” Her nose caught a smell that seemed familiar. Among the stench of filth, one of the rooms also emitted a faint sweet, grassy, metallic smell. Moca gasped as she entered the room, frightened by how its window changed right before her eyes. A moonlit view of tall bushes full of purple flowers disappeared and was replaced by a view of what looked like piled up tree limbs.  She ambled about in the room, which was now too dark for her to see much of anything, and sniffed the air. It took a few moments for   her brain to register that the familiar smell was the scent of a vervett. A scent she had known all her life. She felt around with all four hands until her upper hand touched grimy tangled hair attached to a small head. Moca cried tears of joyful relief as she realized that the head felt warm. Mell May was still alive. 

Moca scooped up the vervett into her lower arms and carried her through the house, praising Jumellica when she managed to find the front door among her confusion. She hurried outside and into the village to look for a new home for Mell May. 

The grungol didn’t get very far before her vision went dim, as the life was starting to fade from her body. Now nearly blind, she stumbled through the neighborhoods, tripping over fruit and fallen branches that littered the streets and clumsily staggering over plants and garden statues in people’s yards. It was dusk, a time when most vervetts were in their houses and getting ready for bed, and when most grungols were just waking up. So there was no one around to help her. She tried calling out for help, but in her state of panic, the words wouldn’t annunciate. Any vervett who heard her assumed her babbling calls were from a noisy animal wandering around. 

She wanted to call out to Jumellica for help, but the good entity’s name had suddenly slipped her mind. Jumellica seemed to have answered her anyway, when she spotted a patch of light on the ground that was large enough and bright enough to be visible through her dimmed vision. She remembered that that type of light was part of a vervett’s house. As she stumbled closer, she heard voices coming from the light. 

A young vervett couple named Burjiss and Tabitha of South Section 5,898 were relaxing on their pool deck made of glowing teppid stone, just enjoying the beautiful, starry tropical evening. Their conversation abruptly stopped when they noticed a gravely ill-looking grungol wandering into their back yard. At first, they thought Moca was carrying a piece of a dead tree. 

“Could you please make room in your home for this poor little girl.” said Moca. “I never knew of another child who had as much bad luck as this one.” Burjiss and tabatha looked at the piece of tree. They figured that this grungol was insane, but they politely let her finish her story. “First, she was left to die in the forest when she was only three days old. Her wicked birth parents left her in front of a wolves’ den. They thought she would be eaten by the wolves, and nobody would find out. I know where that wolves’ den is. The wolf who found her and brought her to me is a friend of mine. She was pregnant. So she didn’t have the heart to eat the baby. She wanted to save her instead, like she would save her own babies. The wolf told me all about it. So I found the baby some new parents. Wonderful parents.” Moca burst into tears. It was time to tell the truth. She didn’t care if she sounded crazy. “They were wonderful parents, for four years. But then they abandoned her and left her to die. So I told her that no trees fell in front of the window…” To her frustration, the memories of what happened suddenly fragmented in her mind, coming apart and scrambling together in a nonsensical jumble. “And then the garden feeder was blocking her bedroom door… Full of rocks. Heavy rocks in every drawer… And I told everyone about the lambs getting killed in the back yard… She was asking me about a storm in the village, but the house was in the day… and I can’t take care of her. They abandoned her because…” The old grungol collapsed to her death, before she could finish her explanation.      

When Burjiss and Tabatha went to remove the piece of tree from Moca’s lifeless arms, they were shocked to discover that it really was a sleeping child. She was naked and emaciated. Her skeletal arms and legs looked like tree branches, and her gold shell with its neutral colored jewels barely had any shine. Her brown skin and hair were caked with so much filth, it looked very much like decaying tree bark. She was limp and unresponsive to their gentle attempts to wake her up. Her breathing was very shallow, and her pulse was frighteningly weak and slow. Even though the grungol was insane, they believed her story. This child definitely had been abandoned.  

Burjiss and Tabatha took her into their house and heated up some herbs and water over the kitchen stove to make her a bath. They poured the water into the hand and face washing tub and carefully laid her down in it. Tabatha got out one of her wicker cutting tools and cut Mell May’s hair down to a thin layer of bristles over her scalp. Her hair was such a dirty, matted mess, that trying to salvage it would be too painful for the little girl who had already suffered enough. 

The light in the kitchen, the comforting sound of a man and woman conversing, and the blissful feeling of getting bathed in warm water woke Mell May up. At first, she thought her parents had finally come back to her. When she opened her eyes and saw that two  complete strangers were bathing her in an unfamiliar kitchen, she was scared and confused. Then she got a better look at Burjiss and Tabatha’s faces and saw their expressions of concern and compassion, and saw how greatly relieved they were that she was awake. These strangers cared about her. This made her feel more relaxed and willing to trust them.  

Mell May was so weak that, just being awake for only a few moments made her exhausted. She was too tired to ask questions about where she was and how she got there. So Burjiss and Tabatha did all the asking. Mell May struggled to stay awake as they asked her questions, such as what her name was, and how old was she, and if she had any favorite colors or animals. When all the filth was washed off of her, they fed her some warm poultry broth. After eating nothing but meager amounts of bland raw insect meat for so many days, the broth seemed like the most delicious thing she had ever tasted in her life. She drank two mugs of it and felt just a little bit stronger. They rubbed a grassy smelling ointment into her finger and toe nails and all over her scalp to kill the fungus. Then she was put to bed. They just-so-happened to have an extra bed available. Shortly after their daughter, Artheena, was born, they added another extra bedroom to the house, hoping to someday give Artheena a sibling.  

~~~~~~  

Thanks for reading! You’re my favorite person now! The last piece of prologue will be served tomorrow. 

Love you all!—Especially those of you who bother to read the works of an author who got off to a depressing failure of a start—Post you tomorrow! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

👾👾THE ADOPTION👾👾 My Prologue Rewrite–Part 2

Welcome back to a free sample of my new and improved prologue, chopped up into blog post sized excerpts. If you’re lost and don’t know what the hell is going on, here’s the link to the first excerpt. 

TRIGGER WARNING: This excerpt contains scenes that involve child abandonment and mental illness. 

~~~~~

One afternoon, Mell May woke up from a nap and was surprised how dark and suffocatingly hot her bedroom was. She called out for her Mom and Dad, but there was no response. The house was unusually quiet, which scared her. Her parents had never left her alone before. Mell May called out for them again and again, louder and louder, but still there was no response. She looked out her window, and increasing fear raced through her little heart. It looked like a bunch of trees had fallen and piled up in front of her window. Small bits of daylight barely shown through several tree limbs. She wondered if a violent storm came through the village, while she was asleep, and ravaged the back yard. “Mom?!… Dad?!…” she called out. “Did we have a storm?!… Mom?!… Dad?!…” Her window was shut. She tried to open it, but it wouldn’t budge. “Mom?!… Dad?!… I can’t open my window! I’m hot!” When she tried to leave her room, to her horror, the door wouldn’t budge either. She was trapped. Panicking, she screamed and cried for her parents as she frantically beat and kicked the unyielding door. Terrified thoughts raced through her four-year-old mind. Had trees fallen in front of her door too? Did the storm smash her house? Were her parents killed? 

She yelled for help as loud as she could. Thinking her parents might be dead, she tried calling out to whoever. Her friends, her friends’ parents, her teachers, anyone she could think of, but nobody came to her rescue. She thought that maybe nobody could hear her through all the fallen trees. Still yelling for help, she tried making as much noise as possible, slamming her shell against the walls, throwing wooden toys at her window, and beating her light tapping rod against her furniture. Still, no one came. Her room felt like an oven, and it was getting harder to breathe every moment. Mell May thought that nobody was going to find her, and she was going to die in there. 

Moca had wandered out of bed that day. She was having one of her bouts of confusion between what she was dreaming about and what was really going on around her. When she burrowed up to the surface, she became lucid enough to realize that she was in Sapone and Maxlink’s back yard, and she could hear Mell May’s desperate cries for help. The back door was unlocked, as usual. By the looks of the house, Moca immediately knew what had happened with Mell May’s parents. However, she doubted that anyone would’ve believed her if she told the unspeakable truth. 

Moca was two-hundred-and-ninety-seven years old, and her brain was withering away from a debilitating, age related grungols’ disease called Snarvox. She first started showing signs of Snarvox, shortly after she’d turned two-hundred-ninety. She’d have bouts of being unusually absent-minded, or she’d get confused with things that happened in the past, and what was going on in the present. These episodes didn’t happen often enough to cause that much concern, and Moca just laughed at her little mental mishaps. Then as time went on, these mental mishaps gradually started happening more often, and other symptoms came along: delusional thinking, hallucinations, and delirious sleepwalking. The disease was making Moca’s eyesight deteriorate too, and it was causing the rest of her body to start shutting down. She barely had much of an appetite and lacked the veracious thirst for well water that every healthy grungol should have. 

Moca refused to accept the fact that she was dying, which was part of her delusional thinking. She went about her nightly life doing her best to appear normal and healthy, forcing herself to eat and drink, and trying hard to keep up with the habit of thinking before she spoke, in order to avoid accidentally saying something nonsensical. By now, her family was well-aware of how sick she was and did their best to look after her and keep her happy. Part of keeping her happy was playing along with her attempt to be normal and pretending that she had them fooled. 

Moca thought that if she tried to tell the truth, others would say that such a thing couldn’t have possibly happened. They might say that it was all in her mind, which would remind her that she had Snarvox and was dying. 

The old grungol moved aside what was really blocking Mell May’s door. She came in the room to find the terrified little vervett curled up in a ball on her bed, crying and trembling. Mell May was dangerously overheated and dehydrated from being locked in her bedroom for so long. 

“Did Mommy and Daddy die in the storm?” the little girl wept, as Moca scooped her up and held her tight, mentally praising Jumellica that she survived. 

The old grungol couldn’t make sense of Mell May’s question. The weather was clear and sunny with no signs that there had been a storm.“No, they’re not dead, sweetheart. I don’t know where they are now, but I’ll try to find them.” was the only thing Moca could think to say. Her withering mind still had enough sense in it to not try to explain to a four-year-old how her parents were suddenly gone without a trace. Through her tears, Mell May asked more questions the old grungol couldn’t make sense of. She asked about a storm that came through the village when she was taking a nap, about what parts of the house were still left, and about the trees that the storm knocked over in front of her window. Moca didn’t see any fallen trees in front of Mell May’s window. Instead, she hallucinated that the window viewed  tall bushes full of purple flowers, and in her partially delirious mind, those bushes had been there Mell May’s whole life.   “It’s going to be okay,” was all Moca could say. “Everything is going to be all right.” The little vervett cried in her arms until she fell asleep. 

Moca loved the dear little vervett like she was one of her own great, great, great, great, great grandchildren, and would do anything to keep her safe and happy. As the old grungol, still cradling Mell May, curled up on the child’s bed and drifted off to sleep too, she mentally promised to Jumellica that she would look after Mell May. She promised to also take care of Sapone and Maxlink’s house and gardens, and to make sure Mell May stayed well fed, well groomed, and lavished with love and attention. She planned to be just as involved in Mell May’s education as Maxlink and sapone were, and to take her out to the East Section and do all the fun things with her that they did. Forcing herself to change her natural nocturnal body clock to take care of a diurnal vervett was not too much of a sacrifice fore Moca. The old grungol’s heart was in the right place, but sadly, thinking she would be able to look after Mell May was just another delusion. 

*** 

For the first ten days of Sapone and Maxlink’s absence, everything went according to plan. Moca was able to stay up all through the day, doing the cooking and cleaning and yard chores, all while spending lots of time with Mell May. They played together and napped together, and went over the lessons in Mell May’s school books. Moca made sure Mell May had her bath and swished her teeth wash before bed. Then she’d sing to her, or read bedtime stories to put her to sleep, like Sapone and Maxlink did. The hardest thing for Moca to do was comforting Mell May whenever she was missing her mom and dad. Mell May couldn’t understand why they were gone, and Moca couldn’t give an explanation. “Jumellica knows where your mom and dad are.” she promised. “Our good entity will bring them back to us any day now.” Mell May didn’t want to go to school, or go on any fun outings in the East Section, because she wanted to be home where her parents could find her when they came back. Moca went along with this, even though she remembered that letting a child skip school was against the law. Not going along with it would mean that Moca would have to try to explain to the little girl that there was no hope that her Mom and Dad were coming back, and she didn’t want to see Mell May’s innocent heart get broken.  

Poor Mell May was oblivious to how gravely ill and mentally unstable her new caretaker really was. In the days that followed,, the Snarvox progressed at a faster rate, making the old grungol slip further and further into insanity. 

*** 

Moca put it in little Mell May’s mind that there were rampaging killers invading the village. She told her that they were all admirers of Jyoseppy, the creator of all things negative, and they were spreading their evil around every neighborhood. Mell May was no longer allowed to leave the house, because Moca believed that it was too dangerous for vulnerable children. Moca was afraid to leave the house too, only venturing outside to gather food from the gardens or watch for approaching danger. She soon got in the habit of keeping all the doors, windows and curtains closed all the time, which made the house stuffy and sweltering. The only thing that prevented them from suffocating in the stagnant air was a cracked kitchen window that Maxlink and Sapone had forgotten to fix.. The crack was big enough to let fresh air seep in.    

Mell May sometimes woke up in the middle of the night and heard Moca shouting insults and getting into violent confrontations with people outside. In her gullible little mind, this was proof that the Jyoseppy admiring, rampaging killers were real, and Moca was protecting her by preventing them from coming into the house. 

Sadly, the people Moca was confronting outside were her own family who she no longer recognized after those first ten days. Her family knew that she decided to move into Sapone and Maxlink’s house, but because grungols only come to the surface at night, and because Moca kept all the curtains closed and never moved the pile of tree limbs in front of Mell May’s bedroom window, they had no idea that Mell May was living in the house with her. She had told them that she wanted to live in her old vervett friends’ house, because it was a peaceful place to spend the remaining nights of her life. 

Her family would come up to the surface to check on her and bring her food and extra well water, and anything else she might need, which she’d appreciated until she stopped recognizing them. She believed that they were the Jyoseppy admiring, rampaging killers and did anything she could to drive them away, punching them, biting them, throwing heavy rocks while berating them with nasty insults. It was all very unlike Moca, and unlike grungols in general to be so mean and violent, but her family accepted the fact that she couldn’t help it and took the abuse. They left food and water for her anyway, which she believed was poisoned and dumped it all out in the yard. 

Four-year-old Mell May learned to be just as paranoid as her mentally ill care-taker and started sleeping under her bed at night, fearing that there might come a time when the rampaging killers who kept coming into the yard might succeed at breaking into the house. She came to the conclusion that those evil doers must’ve gotten her friends and neighbors, because nobody had stopped by the house since sometime before her parents disappeared. None of her friends came over to play with her, and no Guardians came knocking at the door to question Moca about why she hadn’t been in school for so many days. She hoped to Jumellica that wherever her parents disappeared to, they would be able to find their way home without getting caught by the Jyoseppy admirers. 

One morning, after another long and terrifying night, Mell May confided in the grungol about what she feared might’ve happened to everyone she knew. Moca confirmed that it was all true and convinced the child that the two of them were the only good, Jumellica admiring people left alive in Village 3. For several days, Moca and Mell May spent long periods of time crying over all those they’d lost, and sharing their favorite memories about them. Moca’s memories were all fabricated nonsense, but Mell May, being at such a young and gullible age, didn’t know any different. Little did she know that her friends and neighbors and the Guardians were alive and well, going about their normal, happy lives. 

One night when Moca’s family came up to the surface to check on her, she ambushed them with Sapone and Maxlink’s hunting spears, getting the tip of one lodged in her grandson’s stomach. The wound wasn’t deadly, but that’s when her family decided to stop checking on her. Her life was very near its end anyway. If she was going to become a threat to their own lives, they felt that it was better off to just leave her alone, and let nature take its course. The most they could do was look out for others’ safety and warn everyone they could to not go anywhere near Sapone and Maxlink’s house. Unfortunately, this was far from being of any benefit to little Mell May’s safety. She was completely left alone with the insane grungol where no one would hear her cries when the old woman beat her and berated her. No one would know that a helpless child was being starved and neglected and living in squaller. 

~~~~~~ 

Thank you for reading. You’re the best! 

Another samplet coming tomorrow… 

Love you all!—Yeah, yeah, yeah, you know my little catch phrase. 

👾THE ADOPTION👾 My Prologue Rewrite–Part 1

Sweet, precious, darling, pookie-poo blog followers, could you do me a favor? 

I’m re-releasing HECCTROSSIPY  Book 1  The Legend of the Land, in early 2023. This third edition will not only be released alongside HECCTROSSIPY  Book 2  The Will of the Dark Creator, it’ll also have a few minor editing changes that won’t change the story, but a completely rewritten prologue. I’m posting a free sample version of my draft for this rewrite, and I would LOVE to read what you think of it in the Comments section. 

As you may or may not know, the story takes place on a different planet, and the main characters are non human teenagers. The prologue is a little on the omniscient narrative side, because it brushes through things that happened within a span of fifteen years. The chapters that follow aren’t omniscient. The prologue sample as a whole is too long to be a blog post, so I’ll be dividing it into several excerpts. Compared to the original prologue, a lot of the extra factual details have been removed, and the dirty details about Mell May’s past have been enhanced. So here goes… 

~~~~~ 

This epic journey begins with two teenaged vervett sisters named Artheena and Mell May, who live in Village 3 of village group 4 in a land called Continent 15. They were both fifteen, which was the age of legal adulthood on their land, but they were as different from each other as a lizard with wings and a bear with hoofs. 

Artheena was strikingly beautiful with flawless, light tan skin, and shimmering waves of long blonde hair. Her hair also had three stripes of color that flowed evenly down the middle, a shimmery blue stripe, a shimmery purple stripe, and a shimmery pink stripe. The stripes in her hair matched perfectly with her shimmery pink lips and her pearly, jewel-like eyes. They were as blue as the Velva Leenan sky, and both irises were perfectly edged with a ring of purple. Her hair and face matched the turtle-like silver shell on her back, which was swirled with blue, purple, and pink jewels. 

Being naturally color coordinated was very rare among Continent 15 vervetts, and it was seen as a characteristic of ideal beauty. Artheena was proud of this. So she only wore clothes and accessories that were the same shades of blue, purple, and pink as herself. 

Mell May wasn’t strikingly beautiful, but she was attractive in an average sort of way. Her brown skin was full of freckles, and her long hair was brown and plain. It hung down the back of her shell as strait as a rain-soaked window curtain. Her eyes were pearly too, like with all vervetts, but they were a less vivid moss green, and her gold shell had a diagonal striped pattern of more bland looking neutral colored jewels. 

Unlike Artheena, Mell May could care less about dressing nicely. Wearing an eye-sore of an outfit, like hot pink, polka dotted shorts and an olive green plaid shirt wouldn’t bother her at all. 

Artheena was the smarter of the two. She studied her school books diligently and excelled in every class. Whenever any of her classmates had trouble with their assignments, Artheena was happy to help them. She was a vervett with a heart of gold, who was also happy to help people with other things. Like helping elderly neighbors clean their house, or running errands for a friend’s mom. There wasn’t a single lazy bone in Artheena’s body. She honestly enjoyed doing chores around her house and yards. She was always first to get her share of the work done, and she didn’t mind helping the rest of her family get their chores done too. She was also talented at many things, such as dancing, sewing, painting, making furniture, and the list goes on. However, her best talents were her gifted abilities. Artheena could communicate with animals, plant life, and the living liquid in her back yard swimming pool. She was also a little bit psychic, but this ability needed more time to sharpen.  

Mell May was a more simple kind of person. She didn’t have any special abilities or talents. She could never stay interested in a hobby or an aspiration long enough to develop a talent. Her favorite pass-time was simply hanging out with friends and having fun. While Artheena had so many interests and aspirations, she couldn’t decide what she wanted to do with the rest of her life, Mell May’s only goals were to get married and raise a family. 

Mell May was lazy and felt no shame about it. She’d constantly take advantage of her sister’s kindness, just because Artheena would let her get away with it without a complaint. Mell May hated studying and doing school work. So she made Artheena help her with all her assignments. Sometimes she deliberately acted more air-headed than she really was, so Artheena would lose patience with helping her, and finish her assignments for her. Mell May hated chores too. She would often do her share of chores until she let herself get sidetracked by something she found less boring, leaving Artheena to pick up the slack. While Artheena would be busting her shell, Mell May would be taking a nap on the pool deck, or goofing off with their little brother, or playing with the gipsos out in the gardens. Sometimes she’d even take off and go hang out at a friend’s house, or go out for some fun in the East Section. As long as Artheena didn’t complain and acted perfectly okay with this, their parents didn’t reprimand Mell May and make her do her fair share of work. 

Mell May was always given more slack than her two siblings, because she had suffered through trauma during her early years that no innocent, defenseless little child should ever have to endure. Not on such a beautiful, harmonious world as Velva Leena. So she was spoiled with love and leniency. 

Their parents treated them equally, but all around the village and the neighboring under-village below the ground, Artheena was everyone’s favorite. Mell May was rarely ever jealous about this, and the two sisters were each other’s best friend. She understood that Artheena earned everybody’s favoritism. Mell May didn’t have it in her heart to be so selfless and helpful. To her, being everyone’s favorite was too much work. Mell May would rather enjoy all the free time she could get, instead of putting up with needy neighbors making her feel obligated to do boring favors for them. She didn’t want to be their neighborhood’s most in-demand babysitter, like Artheena, and she especially would never want to do the amount of school work and helping classmates that it took to become the teachers’ pet.  

Artheena was the more fortunate one. Not only was she blessed with ideal beauty,, intelligence, multiple talents and gifted abilities, she also had charisma, a knack for conversation, and she had just about all the vervett men in the village in love with her. Sure, Mell May felt envious about these blessings, but when she did, she often reminded herself how blessed she was for the times she had miraculously escaped death. 

The reason why the two sisters were so drastically different, is because Mell May was adopted. Through the horrors of her early childhood, Jumellica, the creator of all things positive, made miracles happen in favor of Mell May’s survival. 

*** 

When Mell May was only three days old, her birth parents had attempted to dispose her in the forest. They left her near the entrance of a wolves’ den, thinking that she would be killed and eaten right away, and nobody would find out the truth. Luckily, the first wolf that found her was pregnant and was due to give birth to her litter in a few nights.   The wolf’s motherly instinct over ruled her appetite for tender baby vervett meat. However, the motherly wolf knew that she wouldn’t be able to fend off the rest of her pack away from such temptation. So she took the baby and sprinted off to the nearest vervetts’ village. Once she was far enough into the village, she gave the baby to the first person she saw, which was an elderly grungol woman named Moca. 

Moca was enjoying her habitual nightly stroll around her favorite South Section neighborhood. The last thing she would’ve expected to happen was for a wolf to come charging right towards her, and shove a baby vervett into her four arms. Moca had a moderately in tuned ability to communicate with animals. Enough to be friends with some of the more intelligent species among the wild. The wolf was one of these animal friends. As she was trotting back to the forest, she telepathically told Moca how she got the baby. 

Moca was horrified over what the child’s parents had done. Thankfully, the baby stayed peacefully asleep through it all, unaware of how close she had come to getting killed. Moca planned to report the attempted murder to the Guardians, but then her mind, which had been gradually deteriorating from old age, slipped into a psychotic state. Paranoid delusions took over her thoughts, making her believe that the baby’s murderous parents were lurking somewhere behind her and reading her mind. She hallucinated that they telepathically threatened to kill her and the baby, if she tried to report them to the Guardians. Then they would kill her wolf friend. Terrified for her life and for the life of the wolf and the baby, she ran as fast as she could to the home of her vervett friends, Maxlink and Sapone, believing the baby would be safest there. 

Sapone and Maxlink were an average, middle-aged couple. Sapone was a hat maker, and Maxlink worked at a library for young children. They always wanted to have children of their own, but they had no luck with that. Maxlink had a rare medical condition where babies couldn’t fully develop inside her womb. She’d gone through three full term pregnancies, and each one lead to the devastating birth of a lifeless mass of malformed bone and tissue attached to a baby vervett shell. So Moca thought they would be happy to adopt the abandoned baby. 

Maxlink and Sapone hardly ever locked their front door. Moca crept into their house and nearly scared them out of their shells when she came into their bedroom with the baby, who was awake and crying by now. Once her vervett friends were wide awake, Moca told them all about what had happened, forgetting about her delusional thoughts and hallucinations of being threatened by the child’s birth parents. She pleaded for them to take the baby into their home where she would be protected from her psychotic parents. Maxlink and Sapone were thrilled to adopt her. However, their happiness turned to infuriated shock when they tapped on their bedroom light and realized that they recognized this baby. Her name was Alzalore, and she was only three days old. She belonged to a young couple named Dox and Sudra, who were very close friends of theirs that they had known for many years. Or so they thought.  

Maxlink and Sapone planned to confront Dox and Sudra, and then report them to the Guardians, but they decided to not bother with this until morning. Alzalore belonged to them now, and they wanted to take some time to relish in the joy of finally becoming parents. They spent the rest of that first night taking turns holding the baby and feeding her. Fresh fruit juice and nectar infused water were warmed up on the kitchen stove. They didn’t have a baby bottle. So they took a piece of soft fabric from Sapone’s hat making supplies and wound it into a narrow roll that fit perfectly in Alzalore’s tiny mouth. They dipped the fabric into the nourishing fluids, and she drank them voraciously. Once she was satisfied, they took great joy out of watching her sleep. It was the happiest night of their lives.  

When Sapone and Maxlink went to confront their former friends, the following morning, Dox and Sudra were long gone. Dox and Sudra’s neighbors had no idea where they had taken off to, and why. Sapone and Maxlink changed their minds on impulse and decided to not bother with going through the hassle of trying to get the law after Dox and Sudra. Alzalore was alive and she belonged to them, and that was all that mattered. So they acted as though they knew that Dox and Sudra had moved. They told the shocked neighbors that the young couple were eager to see the world and didn’t want to be tied down by taking care of a baby. So they had Maxlink and Sapone adopt her. The new parents had faith in Jumellica that those cold hearted baby killers would never show their faces in Group 4 Village 3 again. 

*** 

They changed their new daughter’s name to Mell May, after their favorite flower. They always loved the flower’s cheerful shade of bright yellow, and the way its frilly petals shimmered like silk in the sunshine. Mell May flowers were a delicious sweet treat too, with a scent like Earth’s freshly baked lemon cake, and a taste like buttery caramel. 

If princesses existed on Velva Leena, Mell May could’ve been compared to one during her time as Sapone and Maxlink’s daughter. For the next four years, they pampered her and catered to her every little desire. Her bedroom was overwhelmed with toys. They let her eat candy and other treats whenever she wanted, and they took her on countless fun outings in the East Section. It was a life of care-free joy and continuous play, and an abundance of love from her doting parents. Then the happy times came to an abrupt end with no explaanation. 

~~~~~ 

All right, we’ll stop right there for now. Thanks for reading. 

Love you all! Post you with another samplet as soon as tomorrow! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

🦯Bia Bella Book-Hoarder #1🦯 Presenting… Project ELE

Hey, geeks-like me. 

Among my Hodge-podge of Velva Leena stories, life stories, and occasional re-blogs, I decided to post my book reviews here too. I know, how very original. Like, how many millions of bloggers post book reviews? It’s just that I love writing reviews, but I don’t love writing them on my mobile Goodreads and Apple Books apps. And when it comes to learning to do technological things differently, like simply writing reviews via website or desktop app, I’m a lazy procrastinating turd who would rather do things the easiest way I know how, like blogging it. I just type my bloggity-blah into a Pages doc on my computer, spellcheck it, and then copy and paste it into my desktop WordPress. Ah, relaxing. Not much brain work required. 

Like I mentioned before on previous posts, I can’t see worth a shit. So I use voiceover. I don’t know if this is a voiceover problem, or if it’s like this for everybody, or am I really just that technologically ignorant, but it seems while typing reviews on a mobile app, there’s no way of going back to fix mistakes and rewrite sentences line by line. For example, if I don’t like the way something sounds in the first paragraph, the only way to rewrite it is to erase the third and second paragraph, which takes so many dozens of double-taps on the delete button, and then delete my way up into the first paragraph until I find the sucky sentence. Then I have to rewrite all that I deleted all over again. Learning to get what I want to say right the first time makes me uncomfortable. I’m anal to the extreme when it comes to writing anything for the public. I can’t do it without tweaking this and rewriting that five to a thousand times over. 

Then, because I can’t see what I’m doing, I often lose track of what I had written. So I have to keep going back, and let voiceover read everything from the beginning. This all made writing reviews TEDIOUS. 

Then I came up with the brilliant—or maybe more ridiculous—idea of writing my reviews on a Pages doc and then dictating them into Goodreads. This didn’t make the job get done that much quicker, and perhaps it was flat-out nuts to do all that work just to post a review that hardly anybody will read. So sorry, people who follow me on Goodreads. From now on, I’m going to be boring and just post ratings. 

So here goes book review #1 on this one-of-a-kind blog series… 

Project ELE 

By: Rebecca Gober & Courtney Nuckels 

4 stars 

Goodreads Blurb 

Millions have already died, and thousands more are perishing daily. As a last ditch effort to preserve the human race, the government implements Project ELE. With the earth heating at rapid speeds, all remaining survivors are forced to turn to F.E.M.A. shelters to wait out ELE’s wrath. 

Fifteen-year-old Willow Mosby’s life, as she knows it, ends the moment she walks through the shelter’s door. Willow has to quickly adapt to the new challenges that shelter life demands, the least of which includes making new friends and working a full time job.

Soon after making an interesting discovery, Willow and her friends start exhibiting strange abilities. Seeking answers, they embark on a mission to find out what these new abilities mean and whether they are a gift or a curse. 

This new adventure can send her world crashing down around her. The question is: Can Willow survive the fall?

Yo… 

This is embarrassing… 

But I confess… 

that I enjoyed this. 

It’s a known fact among those who’d read this book that the writing is junk quality. Editors really are expensive. I assume the authors were living on such a tight budget when they started this series, they couldn’t even afford to save up a few thousand dollars together to pay for even a reasonably priced editor and proof reader. This book is crawling with things like punctuation mistakes, misspelled words, and misplaced homonyms. Yes, it is the off-brand fruit drink and 1-ply toilet paper of written works, but I enjoyed *the story* 

I do at least have a good excuse for overlooking the low writing quality. My voiceover isn’t programed to read punctuations. So I never would’ve known so many punctuation bloopers existed in this book, if I hadn’t read the reviews. Voiceover pronounces homonyms as the same sounding words, like people do, but it’s not programed to point out the spelling differences. So it sounded as though there were no homonym mistakes. Also, whether I’m reading or writing or pittling around on the internet, the voiceover has a glitchy habit of sometimes pronouncing correctly spelled words as though they are misspelled and misspelled words as though they’re spelled correctly. Voiceover did pick out a small sprinkling of minor mistakes, like a repeated word, or no space between a period at the end of one sentence and the first word of the next sentence. It’ll read it as “dot” between the two words. Other than that, it “sounded” like the rest of the writing was just fine. So I was able to further enjoy *the story* 

I got Project ELE some years ago when going through a phase where I used to horde free downloads.  The beginning of the story was the most compelling, where the family was waiting in an extensive line to get accepted into the safety shelter. I really got the dystopian feel. I loved the whole thing with the man-made patches over the holes in the ozone layer, and how the patches were removed to increase Earth’s temperature in order to kill off the virus that was killing off humanity. 

I cried when Willow’s four-year-old brother was tested positive for having traces of the virus in his system and was declined from being let into the shelter while the rest of the family was accepted. And then the family split up because the mom left with the brother. The  shelter wasn’t going to let Willow and her dad leave for at least another two or three years, and there was no means of communication with those who were declined. So they weren’t going to know what would become of the mom and the little boy, or whether they would live or be dead by the time everyone was let out of the shelter. That was crushing to read. I really felt how shitty Willow and her Dad felt in that situation. The grief over missing them. The guilt from leaving them behind. The stress and anxiety of having no way of knowing where they went and how they were doing  

Luckily, Willow and her dad were able to stay strong and not let the grief destroy them. It was comforting that father and daughter had a close bond and were assigned to share living quarters, and they had their strict, by-the-clock, assigned busy schedules at the shelter to keep their minds distracted from their heartache. It also lightened the mood when Willow eventually bonded with a clique of friends and got herself a nice boyfriend. 

The teenagers in this book were a little on the unrealistically wholesome side. They reminded me of how teens were portrayed in young adult books from back in the day, like in the classic Sweet Valley High and Fear Street series’. It gave the story kind of a Disney style dystopian feel. However, I’m the kind of reader that mentally fills in the blanks. I pretended that, since this was in the future, teen culture has changed, and perhaps teens have gone back to being more innocent like they were in the 1950’s. 

They also had a very teenager cliche way of talking too, like using the word “totally” a lot. They also used very old school slang terms, like, “You rock” and “sweet” I just pretended that that way of talking made a comeback in the future. 

The teenaged bullies—Zack and Candy—were Disney-ish to, almost to the point of being more like cartoon character school bullies. Through most of the book, they acted more stupid and annoying than threatening. 

Speaking of future, most of the technology in this story was a little too much on the 2010’s side. The only thing that felt truly futuristic was the level of global warming and the fact that there were some sort of energy patches that covered the holes in the Ozone layer. 

The first few chapters and the last few chapters were the most gripping. The parts in between didn’t have much suspense or twists and turns. Those parts were still entertaining, but more in a cute way. A lot about daily life in the shelter and about Willow and her friends having some good clean fun going off on little shelter exploration adventures. The way they got their cartoonish super powers from the underdeveloped immunization shots was entertainingly cute too. 

Despite how entertained I was, there were some parts in this book that bugged me. The revelation of who the real villain was was a little anticlimactic, and the way the kids thought their way of getting past surveillance was so slick, was stupid. Okay, so it was mandatory for everybody to have their tablets on them at all times, so shelter security could keep track of every person’s move. In order to be able to sneak around where they weren’t supposed to go, Willow and her friends managed to tape their GPS programmed tablets to the bottom of the maids’ cleaning carts. So, while they were off on their little adventures, according to the shelter’s GPS based surveilling  system, it would look like the four friends were innocently moving about in permitted places within the shelter the whole time. How did shelter security not find it questionable that the four teenagers were spending their few-and-far-between days off following the maids everywhere while they were making their cleaning rounds? Then there was a part where, instead of taping the tablets to the maids’ carts, Allic hid the tablets in the elevator ceiling. Seriously? It didn’t raise suspicion among servailers that four teenagers appeared to have crammed inside an impossibly small space,  and spent several hours riding the elevator ceiling? 

I hate to be a know-it-all, but I think it would’ve seemed less silly if Willow and her friends did something like, have Willow and Allec go to the library and check out several books. Then put the books in their rooms and hide the tablets in their work desks, before sneaking around to meet up with Clair and Conner. Then it might’ve appeared to surveillance that they had been in their rooms reading the whole time. This would’ve especially worked out for Willow, since shelter authority forced her poor dad to work double shifts and he hardly ever was around. Meanwhile, Clair and Conner, who were orphaned and lived in more closely supervised dorm rooms that were crowded with other orphans, could’ve done a disappearing trick. They could’ve gone to one of the places that was jam-packed with kids and other teenagers, like the pool, and looked for a discreet enough place to slip their tablets. They could’ve hung out there for a few minutes and mingled around among the crowd, and then get themselves lost in the shuffle before sneaking away to meet up with Allec and Willow. Then surveillance might’ve thought those two were at the pool area and had left their tablets on the pool deck, like any old person would’ve done. 

Another part that bugged me was when Willow discovered she had the ability to read thoughts, she also discovered that the only way to block this ability was by making the slightest physical contact with Allic. Then a couple chapters or so later, Willow was suddenly able to turn her ability on and off at will… Huh?    

For me, the big holy-shit twist was Candy. She and Willow were enemies throughout the whole book. Then come to find out, the snobby, bratty, rich mean girl had some human decency when she sneakingly went behind her corrupt father’s back and  helped Willow get spared from getting into some serious deep shit. I guess I’ll have to find out what brought on Candy’s sudden act of kindness in another installment. 

All and all, I was entertained by *the story* Although I hope my smarty-arty writing group friends don’t come across this review. If they read the book, they’d be like, “Ahhahahahahaha, you LIKED this?” 

And I’d be like, “Yes I did, because I liked *the story*” 

From any heap of shit, beautiful flowers can grow. 

Love you all! Post you soon! 

UPDATE ALERT: After taking all day to compose this post anal OCD-style, I cut and copied the blurb from Goodreads and noticed that Rebecca Gober and Courtney Nuckles enclosed the blurb with a note, letting readers know that they’d fixed the editing errors that reviewers complained about. Maybe that’s why my voiceover had such a smooth time reading it.  

Once again, love you all! Post you soon! 

Come write with me in the Writers Mastermind!

⭐️F⭐️I⭐️N⭐️A⭐️L⭐️ Installment Of 🚎🚎🚎🚎🚎 The Trolley Tracks Are Alive

Last call for my first fic-fact story in my fresh new blog series! I seriously need to write much shorter posts. I promise you, this post is quite a bit shorter than the previous one. Oooweee, did my forth installment NOT go over well with you guys. I apologize for how long that one was. This new series is still in its embryonic stage, and I’m still learning how not to screw up with building my author brand. 

Last we left off, Artheena, Mell May, and Audry had a blast at Audry’s mom’s cousin Jill’s 167th birthday party, despite Mell May having a couple embarrassing mishaps. They played Conjo Mog and Moldy Couch, and the two vervetts partied until they passed out. Now it’s the end of the night for Artheena and Mell May, and the end of this story. 

***   

Artheena, Mell May, and Audry’s parents, Budgy and Lulu Bell, were greeted by the same awkwardly shy ticket holder at the North Section trolley stop. Audry, the exceptionally wealthy grungol in her family, wasn’t around to pay Artheena and Mell May’s way. Artheena nearly protested when Budgy and Lulu Bell pulled out a more modest amount of extra Thank You coins than Audry would’ve given to the ticket holder, after paying for the vervetts’ tickets, but she decided to be polite and keep her mouth shut. She was thankful that Audry’s parents were nice enough to leave the party and miss out on a lot of fun to ride with her and Mell May all the way to Under-Village 3, so they could burrow them back up to their back yard. 

Compared to how busy and bustling underground public transportation was at the beginning of the night, the North Section trolley stop seemed nearly deserted. It was so quiet, they could hear the faint sounds of turn whistles echoing from far within the trolley tunnels. The only other sound was some low-key chattering among trolley stop venders. Aside from Artheena, Mel May, Budgy, and Lulu Bell, the only other people who were waiting for a ride were an elderly grungol couple who sat in the leisure travelers’ section of the waiting area. Both their heads were immersed in books. So the four other travelers didn’t bother them as they took their seats on a couple of stone benches in the leisure travelers’ section too. 

If Velva Leenans used clocks, it would be about equal to the time of 3:00 a.M.—Much too late for a couple of fourteen-year-olds to be out when they had school the next day, but Artheena doubted she would have any trouble staying awake through her classes. She felt as wired as an Earthling with a caffein overdose from all the excitement of the night. First there was the Leeandro Paul concert, earlier in the evening, where she realized that Continent 15’s latest and greatest, drop-dead gorgeous singing sensation is into her. Then she had a blast at Lulu Bell’s cousin Jill’s wild and crazy, 167th birthday bash. She sat between Budgy and Lulu Bell, animatedly going over the events of the night and how amazing they were. Meanwhile, Mell May had taken a whole bench for herself and passed out. 

She was so tired when they left the party that she acted like a cranky big baby all during their walk to the trolley stop, yawning every other moment and constantly complaining, “My feet hurt.”, “My legs hurt.”, “How much further do we have to go? I can’t keep my eyes open.” Budgy, Lulu Bell, and Artheena tried carrying her part of the way, but she complained that she couldn’t get comfortable. Now she laid on her shell, sprawled out on the bench, snoring and drooling and making goat noises in her sleep. If Artheena wasn’t in the company of kind and non-judgemental grungols, she would’ve been embarrassed by her sister. Mell May’s blue left foot stuck out in the aisle. It was still stained from when she’d stepped in a pile of spilled berries after crashing onto Jill’s snack table. Artheena wondered how they were going to explain to their parents why Mell May’s foot was blue. Maybe they could tell them that she’d accidentally stepped in a paint set in the middle of the night, when she got up to go to the bathroom. Jumellica only knows if Mell May really did own a paint set, but her room was so cluttered with her hoarded impulse buys, their parents might not know any different. 

I love you, sis, but why do you have to be such an idiot, Artheena thought, looking over at Mell May. As though responding, her sister snorted as her head flopped to one side, allowing a gush of drool to spill onto the stone bench. Artheena made a mental note to herself to have a trolley stop assistant sanitize that bench. 

The sound of loud bongo drums thundered into the room from the open entrance to the trolley tunnel. Their ride was here. “Welcome to Under-Village 8!” said the friendly Commute Coordinator who had Welcomed Artheena, Mell May, Audry, and the others they’d traveled with to Under-Village 8, earlier that night. A Guardian and a grungol came into the room, not returning the friendly greeting or bothering to acknowledge anyone as they started across the waiting area, talking in hushed voices. Artheena was surprised when she recognized the grungol. He was the same advanced pediatric medicine lecturer she had seen at the South Section trolley stop in Under-Village 3. The same books of notes and charts that contained disturbing pictures of children with gruesome diseases and birth defects were tightly clutched in his lower arms. He looked upset, which was rare for a grungol. Even the Guardian looked a bit frazzled. This got Artheena concerned. The trolley stop was quiet enough to where she hoped to get an earshot of what they were talking about. Did it have to do with those poor, disfigured children? Artheena cringed as the images from those charts flashed across her mind. The Guardian sensed that she was staring after them and shot her a quick, warning look that said, I know you’re trying to eavesdrop on us, villager. She immediately turned her gaze toward one of the murals on the wall, not wanting to break a behavioral law by being rude in the presence of authority. Whatever the issue was, she just had to have faith in Jumellica that the Guardians would soon resolve it. 

“The two of you going to Under-Village 6 and the four of you going to Under-Village 3, come on aboard!” called out the Commute Coordinator. Artheena, Budgy, and Lulu Bell stood up. Budgy went over to Mell May’s bench and clapped loudly in her ears with all four hands.  Mell May groaned irritably as she opened her eyes and stretched. 

“Up and at’em, Mell May flower! Come on, come on!” he coaxed. 

“Okay, okay,” snapped Mell May, trying to grab at Budgy’s hands to make him stop clapping. “Knock it off, please.” She sat up, stretching again and yawning. “Curse of Jyoseppy. Waking up sucks.” 

“The trolley is here,” he said, helping her get to her feet. “It’s time to get on board.” 

“You could take a nap once we’re in the trolley.” said Lulu Bell. 

Ugh, my foot is bluer than ever,” Mell May noticed, as they started walking towards the tunnel entrance. “I hate kanipple berries.” 

“It’s probably just the bright lighting in here that makes your foot look bluer.” said Artheena. 

“I’m sure you could get that off by soaking your foot in the pool for a little while.” said Lulu Bell. 

“Maybe I’ll tell Mom and Dad I have a rare, contagious foot fungus infection,” said Mell May. “Then they’ll let me stay home from school tomorrow.” 

“Yeah, right.” Artheena laughed. 

“Hey, guys, going home from the party so soon?” said the coordinator, with a smile. 

“No, Lu and I are going back,” said Budgy. “These girls have school tomorrow. So we got to get them home, so they could catch a few winks of rest before it’s time to get up in the morning.” 

“Well, good luck with getting through your classes, girls,” said the coordinator. She grinned when she noticed Mell May’s foot. “What’s up with your foot? That better not be something contagious.” They all laughed. “You all have a good night. Until we meet again, Budgy and Lulu Bell.” 

Mell May and Artheena always adored how cool and lenient grungols are. None of them cared that the two vervett kids often stayed out inappropriately late. As long as they didn’t cause any trouble, and as long as their late night adventures didn’t make them too sleep deprived to be able to keep up with everyday responsibilities, grungol grown-ups didn’t question them or see any reason to tattle to Artheena and Mell May’s parents about their sneaking out at night. The girls thought that Budgy and Lulu Bell had to be the coolest grown-ups in the world. Even when they were little, no matter what time of night Audry brought them down to the under-village, her parents never ordered her to take them back up to the surface so they would go home and go back to bed. They encouraged Artheena and Mell May to hang out with Audry as much as possible to the point where it was a little weird sometimes, but no one questioned this. 

As they walked through the short cavernous hallway that lead to their awaiting trolley, Mell May let out an embarrassingly loud yawn that sounded like a cross between a howl and a bird squawk. It echoed all down the trolley tunnel. 

Jeeze, Mell May.” Artheena laughed. Her poor sister was so overly exhausted that when they boarded the trolley, she nearly shoved her ticket into the driver’s eye instead of his hand. Then she staggered to the nearest empty bench and conked out the instant she sat down. 

Artheena sat in the empty seat across from her. Budgy and Lulu Bell were about to join her, but the elderly couple who were going to Under-Village 6 beckoned them over. The wife thought she recognized Budgy. 

“First stop is South Section, Under-Village 3,” the driver announced, as he adjusted his destination panel. “I’m not going to drive too fast, because I don’t want that young lady sleeping over in that seat to get knocked to the floor. Are we ready to start?” the passengers who were awake gave him the okay. “Everybody have everything”? Nobody left anything in the trolley stop? Got your water bottles, my fellow grungols? Okay then, off we go.” 

The trolley started down the slippery algae track in a smooth and gentle glide. After sitting alone for a few moments, Artheena thought maybe she should join Budgy and Lulu Bell and hang out with that other couple, but then she got a listen of their conversation and changed her mind. The old woman who claimed to know budgy started talking about repairs and renovations her neighbors planned to do on their home, which lead to the four of them swapping boring stories about the occasional problems they’d had with their pantries and kitchen cabinets. 

Artheena looked out her window and admired the glowing gemstone artwork they glided past. The part of the tunnel they were in now was adorned with pictures of silver-white stars that were many different sizes. Some stars overlapped with one another to make weird designs. Some large stars had smaller and smaller stars within them that reminded Artheena of the layered rings within a tree trunk. She let her mind wander, dreamily thinking about Leeandro Paul. It was no surprise that he was interested in her. She was the most beautiful girl in her village. She’d went on dates with every boy she knew and had them all spellbound. Not a day went by without having boys following her around, staring at her, wanting to hang out with her and competing for her attention, or approaching her with the hopes of another date. Sometimes she agreed to go out with them, but other times it was fun to mess with their heads. 

Sometimes she’d agree to meet up with her date at a restaurant or the theater, or some other place in the East Section, and then not show up. She’d get one of her friends to find him and report back to her how long the poor guy had been moping around, waiting for her like a fool. If ever he confronted her about standing him up, all she had to do was make up some story about how one of her neighbors needed her help with something, or one of her friends needed help with homework, and she’d unintentionally took a lot longer than she’d wanted to. The gullible sap would always believe her and forgive her, especially if she acted very apologetic and flirted with him too. It was also fun to agree to go on dates with two boys to the same place, with either boy not knowing she made plans with the other. Whichever boy showed up first was her date for the evening, while she would apologize to the other boy and claim that there must’ve been a misunderstanding about the day and time they planned to meet up. She liked to watch her losing suitor jealously look on as she enjoyed her date. Or the boys would exchange dirty looks and mouth insults at one another before the one who wasn’t her date walked away. They never blamed her for any dating mishaps. Her favorite way to mess with a boy’s head was to say, “I’ll think about it.” when he asked her out on a date. No matter how she tormented her many admirers, they always came back for more. Every boy dreamed of making Artheena his wife. She’d caught the eye of eligible grown men too, like Leeandro Paul. He was the only guy whose head she would never mess with. The only guy she truly wanted. He would never be expendable to her like the rest. 

She would be fifteen in three seasons, the age of legal adulthood on Continent 15 and the age when she would be old enough for men to pursue her until she would choose one to be her husband. With so many guys in love with her, Artheena used to imagine that being old enough to choose a husband would be the most challenging age in her life. Now that she knew she had Leeandro Paul smitten, her choice was made. She just hoped to Jumellica that he could wait three more seasons for her. But three seasons was an awfully long time for a guy like him, who was so hot and so talented and who hundreds of women wanted. She hoped to Jumellica that she wouldn’t be expendable to him, that some other beautiful girl wouldn’t come along and snag him away before she was old enough to accept his pursuit. 

Before Artheena knew it, she drifted off to sleep and into a bad dream. She dreamt that she was doing yard chores on a beautiful sunny day, and all her animal friends were around her, but for some reason, she hated Mell May. Murderously hated her. It wasn’t clear in the dream what her sister had done, but Mell May had betrayed her in some unthinkable way. The deep hurt, the level of anger that was darker than any negative feeling Jyoseppy ever induced in real life, it was all so real. So terribly, vividly real. Like this moment of being in such a dark state of mind had truly happened. The sound of the trolley driver’s bongo drums thankfully banished that horrible dream, and she was back in her happy waking life. 

They were pulling up to Under-Village 3’s South Section trolley stop. Artheena smiled at the glowing abstract artwork of carnivorous beasts with monkey limbs frolicking up in the trees. She looked across the aisle at her sister who was stretching and yawning and looking more refreshed. The horrible dream flashed back into Artheena’s mind, but she shoved it out of her thoughts. It was just a dream. Mell May was her best friend in the world. Sure, she had many faults, but she was as harmless as a butterfly. She would never betray Artheena or deliberately hurt her in any way. 

Then once again, they were at their lovely local trolley stop. Andrill the ticket holder and her son, Droft were still there, happy to greet them. Mell May and Artheena couldn’t believe the night was over. This was probably the latest they’d ever stayed out. If they went to bed when they got home, morning would be not too long of a nap away. Luckily, the naps they had taken recharged them with perky energy. 

They exchanged good-nights with the world’s coolest grown-ups, once Budgy and Lulu Bell burrowed them up to their back yard. They were welcomed to the surface by a glittering night sky with the three moons shining bigger and brighter than usual. It added an extra touch of cheer to their back yard, which was already a festive light show of teppid stone, swirling clouds of fire winged moths, and other walks of bioluminescent life. It added an extra touch of cheer to their hearts too, as being back on the surface reminded them of the Leeandro Paul concert they had went to before Jill’s party. They went dancing down their garden paths, singing their favorite Leeandro Paul songs, holding hands like they did when they were little girls as they swung and twirled each other around. Their singing carried through the fragrant tropical breezes. Jumellica, the creator of all things beautiful, somehow made their singing harmonize perfectly with the music made by the creatures of the night. Life was wonderful, and the sisters felt completely blessed by the good entity in countless ways… 

But this was in the past. 

This entire story was just a happy childhood memory in the blissful, care-free past when their world seemed like a paradise that thrived with Jumellica’s love, and their mindset was full of naive optimism brought on by the innocence of youth. As Artheena and Mell May sang and danced their way to the house beneath the starry, moonlit sky, joyfully living in the moment on such an amazing night, they could’ve never imagined that these blissful, carefree times would end in only a little over a year. 

Only a little over a year from now, the Guardians will reveal terrifying truths that they had been keeping from their villagers. Continent 15 will be in a state of crises, and Mell May, Artheena, and Audry’s close life-long friendship will be broken. In only a little over a year from now, one of the three best friends will be dead… 

*** 

Thanks-a-billion for reading. The stories in this blog series will not be available in the Hecctrossipy book series, BUT they are linked to the events in the books. Book 2 WILL be coming out in late summer or early autumn. Book 1 has been all by its lonesome at Amazon for nearly two years, but book 2 will follow it up at last. Book 2 is coming out! Book 2 is coming out! Ah, yeeeaaah

Love you all! Post you soon!