Thursday, April 3, 2014

Fool for Love Bloghop

Welcome to the "Fool For Love" spring blog hop! If you get lost, just click on the banner and it'll bring you back on to the hop. Remember to follow all the way through for your chance to win all kinds of goodies, including our grand prize, a Kindle Paperwhite!
For my stop on the hop, I have for you a little bit of a scene from a short story. Last hop, I had a free story you could down load, and I was trying to do that again for this hop, but I didn't get it all the way edited in time. If you keep an eye on my Face Book author page, I'll let you know when the full story will be available for download. In addition to the gift certificate I'm offering for the whole hop, I'm going to be giving away one copy of my latest novel, "Catching the Hunter" in trade paperback to one random person who leaves a comment.

Special thanks on this story to Ken Rolt, who so graciously let me have custody of his polt device, the white hanky of anti-doom. He suggested it as a story idea on a sci-fi writer's group I belong to and my imagineation ran with it. I hope you enjoy this sneak peek of it!
So, without further ado, I present a story of a young soldier with dreams of grandeur and an apprentice mage with little talent but enough moxie to see the job done anyway:

"The Troll and the White Hanky of Anti-doom, Chapter 2"

The troll sneezed and a wave of noise echoed through the valley like a peal of thunder, made more ominous by the fact the sky was a lovely cloudless blue. Watt quickly ducked behind a large boulder and waited for the debris to clear—he had already learned the hard way not to stand in the open when the troll sneezed, lest he find himself covered in things best left unmentioned. Once he felt it was safe, he peered cautiously out from behind his shelter. The troll hadn’t moved. It was still sitting on a tree stump next to the only bridge across the River Tam that the spring rains hadn’t flooded out. Its presence effectively barred safe travel along Trader’s Road and cut off all commerce to Kernow.
“Tell me again,” he said with quiet dread, “Why, exactly are we doing this?”
“Because we want to eat,” came the reply form the Lisa, an apprentice mage who had volunteered to accompany him on this damn fool mission. “Kampton hasn’t received any supplies in a fortnight, so there’s nothing to eat if you didn’t grow it yourself.”
“Yeah,” he said with a nod. “But why are we doing it?”
“Really, Watt,” she said with a huff. “You know why. The captain of the city guard said he had no need of another untrained soldier, but you were welcome to go try your hand at killing trolls.”
“And you volunteered to accompany me because your master kicked you out of his house after saying that he didn’t want to feed an apprentice that wasn’t any good,” Watt said, picking up the thread of her statement. “But why are we doing it, and not some gallant knight in shining armor or a fully trained wizard or something?”
“I’m a very good mage,” Lisa shot back hotly, ignoring the last few words and focusing on the easily debated portion. “I’m just not flashy, is all. I prefer to use one well-thought-out small magic rather than a huge spell that makes a lot of noise. It’s more efficient,” she added with a sniff.
“And about the small magic you promised,” Watt said. “What have you come up with? Or do you need me to get you even closer than this to figure out how to defeat that smelly lump of snot?”
“This is close enough,” she muttered. He turned and looked at her, just now realizing that she had been up to something while he kept an eye on their query.
“What are you doing?” he asked when he saw her grinding what looked like twigs and dirt into a handkerchief. He carefully peaked out to make sure the troll hadn’t moved since the last Earth-shattering sneeze—it hadn’t—before slipped back far enough to look over her shoulder.
“Spelling this cloth to ease his allergies,” she mumbled as she gathered the corners together into a pouch and shook the bundle vigorously.
“You’re making… a what? A white hankie of anti-doom? And I’m supposed to just walk up and offer it to the troll?” Watt asked incredulously.
“More or less,” she agreed cheerfully. Watt stared at the short blonde haired girl, flabbergasted, as she muttered a few magical phrases of gibberish before flinging the herbs out of the handkerchief with a dramatic flick of her wrist.
“There!” she said, handing the now dirty white hankie of anti-doom to him as if offering him the sword Excalibre.
He didn’t take it.
“Watt,” she said sternly.
“What?” he asked back, belatedly realizing how silly he sounded. Really, it wasn’t his fault that his name rhymed with ‘what.’
“Go give this cloth to the troll,” she said slowly, as if talking to a backwards child.
“Say I manage to get him to take your magic hankie,” he hedged, still not accepting the scrap of linen, “then what? The troll will still be blocking off access to the only passable bridge in the county. And it’ll probably still be sneezing since it’s a troll. Trolls don’t blow their noses, Lisa! It won’t even begin to understand what it’s supposed to do with the bloody thing!”
“Well, do you have a better idea?” she asked with a sneer.
“Yeah!” he huffed back at her. “Make me a potion of something that will turn him into stone when I dump it on him or something!”
“I’m sorry,” she snapped back. “I can’t do that kind of high magic. It would take a real wizard to do something like that and you haven’t got a wizard to help you. Just me, a level two apprentice mage.”
They sat there, crouched behind a boulder, glaring at each other while the troll sneezed and then sneezed again. As one, they realized that the second sneeze had sounded much closer than the first. Watt gulped nervously and peeked around the top of the boulder. The troll must have heard them bickering, because it had gotten up from its tree stump and was shambling their way, swinging its brutish head from side to side as it looked for them.
“Right then,” Watt said, reaching blindly behind him for the white hanky of anti-doom. “I need to find some way to get the troll to blow its nose.”
“Just get it onto the troll’s face so it covers his mouth and nose,” Lisa whispered as she shoved the hanky into his groping hand. “His breathing should be enough to get the spell into his sinus cavity, where it’ll go to work and end this bout of hay fever.”
“And then what?” he hissed. She shrugged once, looking terrified.
“I assume the troll will go on about his business once he’s not feeling so poorly. He doesn’t usually sit next to the bridge, after all.”
“Right,” Watt muttered. “Right, I’ll just slap the hanky over his nose and then somehow get him to retreat back under his bridge, where he belongs.”
“You might try tripping him when his face is covered with the hanky,” Lisa pointed out. “He looks pretty clumsy.”
Watt looked at her, realizing belatedly that she had moved up and was peering at the troll over the top of the boulder. She looked back at him and shrugged again.
“It can’t be that easy,” he said in awe. “If it were that easy, someone would have tried it by now.”
“Most people think big problems need bid solutions,” Lisa replied. “The fact is, that troll’s always been here, sleeping under that bridge and bothering nobody. We don’t need to get him to go away, just go back to sleep.”
“And since he’s sneezing, it’s probably just hay fever that woke him up,” Watt said back, finally realizing the brilliance of her plan. “White hanky of anti-doom, indeed!”
They grinned at each other and then ducked behind their impromptu shelter when the troll sneezed again.
“Here goes nothing,” Watt muttered before darting out from behind the boulder. “Oy! You, there!” he yelled at the troll.


  1. What a great story, enjoyed reading it.
    skpetal at hotmail dot com

  2. Ohhh how fun! Love it!!

  3. Love - love - Love the story… more please soon!

  4. So is this book out yet.. I'm curious. lol It sounds like its going to be a good book to me.

  5. No, it's not out yet. I had hoped to have it all edited in time to release it for the blog hop, but that didn't happen. Check back next week, though! It's almost done! It's going to be self-pub'd on Smashwords and just as soon as I get it done.

  6. Loved it! Anything with trolls and mages has to be good. :)

  7. What a great exerpt thanks for sharing it made me smile :)

  8. I don't think I've ever read anything like that. I enjoyed it, and want to read more!

  9. Love the excerpt! Can't wait to read more!

    samanthahodges64 at yahoo dot com

  10. What a great scene! I really liked the interplay between them.

  11. Great excerpt. I really enjoyed it. Thanks.

  12. Can't wait to read the rest of the story. And I love that picture. :)

    carolcobun @

  13. Alrighty then. We have twelve reader comments. The random number generator over at chose comment #6. Congrats, Jeanette Platt! I IM'd you on Google+ with the details!