This year, my theme for the challenge is Strange Feelings: weird and possibly made up words to describe feelings we all have. I'll let you guess if the word is real or not.
––a feature of modern society that suddenly strikes you as absurd and grotesque
Kimberly never got understood the concept of motherhood. Yes, babies were cute when they weren't crying, but they were always crying. And they threw up on you and pooped on you. They needed to be carried everywhere and constantly fell over.
Why would any woman want to deal with that? It was a job without the paycheck.
Thanks but no thank you! The man she married was going to be a stay-at-home dad. He could deal with the baby and she'd be the breadwinner. Now, all she had to do was find a guy willing to do that.
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Willoughby the Narratorby Jemima Pett
Book 7 of the Princelings of the East series
genre; older middle grade mystery adventure – age 10 and upwards.
ebook 55,000 words, ebook ASIN B06XVZTCB7 / ISBN 9781370770830 (cover with dark lettering)
paperback ; 276 pages; ISBN 9781366081049 (cover with light lettering)
Just where did Willoughby, who first appeared in the Talent Seekers (book 5), learn his ninja skills? How did he come to be a Narrator? And what happened after he fell from the high tower at Castle Deeping? Discover Willoughby’s origins, his big secret, and follow his adventures as he travels around, telling stories and acting as an undercover agent for the rich and powerful, as dark deeds start causing big trouble between the rival castles.
As might be expected from a Narrator, Willoughby tells his story with style and panache, starting with his somewhat surprising arrival in the Realms.
Lovers of the series will enjoy this latest tale, but newcomers may find it easier to start with book 1 or book 5. It’s a mystery adventure in a world not quite like ours, suitable for age 11 and upwards.
In which Willoughby tries out the sport of wall-running (running around the vertical inner sides of the castle walls) for the first time.
I wasn’t laughing now. We moved to the windowsill and crouched on it, ready to jump out. The starter yelled ‘go’ and dropped a flag, and I let Prince Kevin get away first, since he was due to start behind me. He’d been eyeing me up and strutting a bit, and I didn’t feel the need to take him on. He was about my age, and if I did this another time, I reckoned we’d meet then. I wasn’t wrong.
I swung myself out on the window ledge and let the fall forces take my body down and then around, with momentum to fly up to the next floor. I let go of one ledge and turned upside down to grab the ledge below with my nails, and swung again, sideways this time, to the next window. I got a real swing on and made it to the brickwork on the corner. Then I leapt sideways high onto the second wall, sliding a little to the third level, where I thought I saw Diesel’s face pull back as I arrived at the brickwork bar dividing the central glass panes. I brought my back legs around to the bar and sprang off it, leaping horizontally but with my tummy to the castle wall, to catch the next window’s bar and repeat the manoeuvre. I couldn’t do it a third time as a competitor was already on the next window, but I swung down a floor and passed another coming up from the first floor as I made the edge there. I think she slipped, but I ignored her and bounded for the next window and then onto a pole that stuck out. Someone had said it was for banners on feast days. There would be another one opposite. Bearing that in mind, I quickly rounded the next corner, which was a shorter side, flicked myself along three windows, and leapt for the pole matching the one I’d left behind.
Every now and then the crowd roared, but I barely noticed; I was concentrating on the next move. I suddenly realised Champion Christopher was in front of me, and I wondered if he was leading again. I went to overtake him by a double swing from the third floor ledges, but he ducked beneath me and I slipped right to the ground floor window. The crowd below me scattered so I didn’t touch them and disqualify myself. I got through a loop of swinging to wind myself back up to leap for the last wall, but collided with Prince Kevin, and we both fell to the ground, caught by the crowd and set back on our feet. He glared at me; I felt his anger in more than just the heat of his eyes. I had a feeling that Kevin and I would meet again. Probably often. I bowed to him, and he bowed back. I wasn’t sure that meant anything, but I turned away and made my way through the crowd to the centre where the announcer was commentating. Huge cheers rang out: Champion Christopher had won again. I was right not to put him off his line, since one of the visitors I’d met in the practice was a close second. I joined in the cheering with the rest of them, and I’m sure he gave me a special wave.
Wall-running. My new favourite pastime!
© J M Pett 2017 Willoughby the Narrator, Ch 3.
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About the Author
Jemima wrote her first book when she was eight years old. She was heavily into world-building, drawing maps, building railway timetables, and dreaming of being a champion show-jumper, until schoolwork got in the way and she went down the science path, writing research papers, manuals and reports, as well as editing the newsletters for her sports clubs. Forty years on she started writing stories about her guinea pigs and their adventures in a fantasy world where everything ran on strawberry juice. Eventually the Princelings of the East took shape, originally intended as a trilogy, but the characters just wouldn’t lie down. The planned ending will now be with book ten.
Meanwhile, Jemima continues to enjoy the company of new guinea pigs in her home in Norfolk, UK. Only Kevin is left of the ones in the stories to date, and he runs their blog ‘George’s Guinea Pig World‘. Check out their posts for the A to Z Challenge, too!
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