Hey did you all miss me? I took November off because its NaNoWriMo not because I was busy writing for it but because I just can’t do it. I’m not very good at writing like that and its not my style but hey its okay. Congrats to all of you who did and participated I hope it worked out.
I’m still working book two and it is going slowly but then again I have been working on school and I’m starting to get to the end of that of that and I’m excited for the break. I really need to take the time to breath.
We had an all right Thanksgiving. My brother and his family came in an we had a nice time. I did spend a lot of time working with Jeffery and that’s okay.
A couple of things. My husband and I will be working on our Holiday Mix. We’ll be posting our picks here. Applogies to the He Said She Said Experience already.
Also! I will be starting a blog tour for Spring Blessings very, very soon. As a celebration enjoy this taste of Book Two.
Karl watched the summer wind bend the green leaves letting the sunlight spill into the floor of the old forest. He sighed contently to the sound of gentle creek water splashing against wet rocks gave a gentle beat as he walked along the carved dirt path. A sparrow took its time to let out a soft song that pushed through the trees on the late morning. Karl took the time to sit on the bank of the creek taking a break from his travels to look up at the rusted train trellis that was above the deepest part of the water. This was the part of the trail that no one walked down but the Crowes. They were the ones who carved out years ago. This was the spot where Jodell’s great-grandfather and great-grandmother hid their hand cart. The first Crowes settled the Cove just after the Revolutionary War. The first of the Crowes had been given this land for their service to General Washington’s army as the story went. They had come from Ireland for the same reason that most people settled around here. The Crowes were Conry. It wasn’t something they were proud of. The very first Crowe was in Jamestown. He’d been hired by the colony to take care of the Powatan Skin Walkers. That didn’t work out well and by the winter he’d join the pack and wondered off. Another one didn’t show up until the Revolution came to the mountains. They’d figured out where this land came from and now it as a modern scared spot for Those Crowe Boys. This was a family spot where they became Those Crowe Boys.
One day, as the story went, the first of the Crowe Boys and his wife were on their way to work when there was a came out barreling down on the trellis. If they hadn’t moved the cart when they did both of them would be dead. Her great-grandmother cut her leg on the trellis that left a long scar on her thigh. It was the smell of blood that had activated her great-grandfather’s first transformation on that spot and the subsequent attack had triggered her great-grandmother’s first transformation. It had become the spot for generations for the Crowe tribe to sit and hope to see the Prince of Famori to receive the blessing of Cu Chulaind. All of her cousins and siblings had received that blessing except for Jodell. She cursed being the one who took the frailty of being a half breed. Karl never quite understood it. If he could shed being a monster he would gladly throw it off. It was nothing the Karl wanted more than to return to the life that he had once lived.
He let out a dusty sigh as he sat on the creek bank as he rested. He was already tired. It was a mile on that trail back to town and three miles back to the Blackmore Estate. This was a choice that he’d made. He could have called Jodell or asked for a ride from Henry. Of course none of this was official Department business. This was a personal matter for Karl that Karl alone could attend to. He couldn’t tell his hosts of his need to go see something on his own. No one would care to believe him. After a moment of rest Karl finally stood up and started on his path.
It was around noon when Karl’s feet finally met the asphalt of Hampton which hung as a wide spot over the mountain from the Cove. Relief left his sighing lips as he started along the deserted road that went through the center of town. Hampton had chosen to remain small through the years and was taking today as slowly as anyone could in the East Tennessee summer. There wasn’t anything loudly going on except for the call of young boys as they raced each other down sidewalkless streets and somewhere a girl screaming at them to pay attention to her as she used a trampoline in a back yard. A town like this, Karl wondered if they bothered with holding to the laws set down by the Department of the Arcane. With Arlo and Boyd brewing both moonshine and alchemy up in the hollows and those Crowe boys running around in the woods they had to. Not unless they bowed to the authority of the medicine woman. That had to be the case.
Gaiman Heights wasn’t the only place looking to preserve a traditional way of life.
That was, by the way, Karl was on his way to see. On his first trip down he’d met with her and had been rather impressed. The religious folk called her the witch of Ripshin Mountain. They may have looked at her with disdain but they never quite tried to remove her from their lives. Even they knew that she was important. So they would spit bile and slander her name and she’d take their money the same. Religious people were the best business a witch could ever ask for. They were the ones who would look for the extra protection from the evil powers of the woods. Tilly Lee Bowers never considered herself a witch. She’d never worn a pointed hat or rode a broom. She had a series of cats on the farm but that was to catch the mice and rats on the farm and never once were any of them a familiar. What she did know was how read omens and what herbs that would work to cure and heal a body. She still would tend to her garden out back of her home and like other shamans had learned how to communicate with the spirits. She was their shaman.
Tribal life was still alive and well in the mountains.
Karl walked towards the store where Tilly did her work. It was the newest looking building in the town and it was made out of red brick between the last surviving Chevron station and a store front church which had the longest name he’d ever seen. Tilly’s Beauty and Day Spay was designated from the other store front by a bright neon purple paint around the frame of the door and signs the window that listed the services offered which made Karl cringe just a little. Tilly did hair, nails, tanning, and general omen reading and sooth saying. That was the kind of thing that bothered Karl as an agent. Advertising your skills would have ended your practice in Gaiman Heights. Here it was just something else. No one in their right mind never told Tilly what she could and couldn’t do. It was safer to let her share what she knew with the people in her tribe.