Come, see what's in store for you in 'The Fourth Lesson'.
Sneek-Peeks Come and learn about what Richard discovers in my latest novel. Not only does he discover what his Grandfather William did when he needed help, but he also found a friend in another wizard -- one who had a completely different outlook on magic...
Book 2 of 'The Pragamore Chronicles'
Life's road is lined with many choices.
They're like veins that run through a lief.
Some are lighted by familiar voices,
while others are darkened by fear and
Standing with a light is not for the faint hearted.
Hold your torch high and guard it against the wind.
Others will take notice and see you have started
on a way that is now lighted for them.
For more information, call
901 262 4944 or visit
Excerpt from chapter two - Isle of the Basilisk.
Richard is on the Ghost - a large schooner captained by Mr. Mitchell. Richard, with the help of Mr. Mitchell and his crew are searching for a mysterious water creature that has been scaring the local fishermen on Lake Horn. As the excerpt opens, Mr. Mitchell drops anchor off the shore of an Island named Wermod after spotting a suspicious looking stream that has been clouded with muddy water.
"Drop the anchor!" ordered Mr. Mitchell as he eyed the dark forests of the island.
"Think like a hunter, you sea rats." Mike laughed. "Look at the part of the stream where it greets the lake. Do you see anything unusual?"
"I do now," noted Smiley. "The water is discolored - muddied as it were. Something's been up that stream and not long ago."
Mike edged closer to the swing bow and placed the winch hook to its string.
"I wouldn't worry," added Richard. "If he saw us, we would have heard him."
"Are you a dragon expert also?" asked Mr. Mitchell.
Richard smiled and slowly nodded in the captain's direction. "I've known two or three in my life...so far, and consider them to be good friends."
"Dragons!?!" exclaimed Wade.
"Oh..." paused Richard, "I don't mean anything like the one here. I mean the great-winged ones of the forest."
"Now," muttered Wade weakly, "you're starting to scare me."
Mr. Mitchell rubbed his chin and looked at Richard curiously. "I thought dragons were a thing of the past - sources of fables and stories from overactive imaginations."
"Well, there's not many left," agreed Richard. "Right now, let's concentrate on this one, and after him, or her, I'll finish this little story."
"Agreed," said Mike. "Let's lower the dinghy. I want a closer look at that stream."
"Make it so," snapped the captain and the dinghy was hoisted over the stern.
Richard, Mike, and Wade climbed down the netting and entered the small vessel.
Richard took the rudder and directed the small craft away from the stream. "We'll beach the dinghy east of the stream and walk up and into the woods. We don't want to get between this thing and the water. He'll surely fight us if we do and I want to avoid that if at all possible."
Mike then pointed to a place on the bank where a tree had fallen into the water. "Lets put in there. It'll be easy to secure and hide the dinghy by the tree."
Richard guided the small craft to the far side of the dead oak and put to the bank.
"Remember," advised Kimbrough, "this creature is a great swimmer but he doesn't climb well. Don't try to run from him. You won't make it. Take to the trees. They are our best bet."
"I really would like to see this one," added Mike, "but don't count on me to back you up. I'll be the first one up a tree."
All three laughed as they entered the woods.
"No more loud talking," warned Richard. "I would prefer to see him before he sees us."
"How big are these things?" whispered Mike.
Kimbrough paused. "The two I have seen have been at least thirty feet long and too big to hug."
"Nice sword," added Mike, who was right behind Richard. "Where did you get it?"
"It was a gift from a very special friend."
"Shhhh!" prompted Wade as he pushed through the bushes. "If he hears us we could have him in our laps before you know it. Remember, we just want to find his lair." Wade slowed again. "Over here," he whispered as he motioned to Richard. "What do you make of this?"
Richard eased up to where Wade was and looked around him. A path more than three feet wide had been worn in the grass by something evidently going to and coming from the stream now only a short ways ahead of them.
"Look at this," said Mike, holding up a thumb-size sapling which had been torn up by its roots. "This thing is no baby. What about making some smoke and signaling the Captain. He can bring us the swing bow."
"The smoke is between your ears," answered Wade, not even looking up. "All you want to do is shoot something. Can't we just go and look?"
"Perfect," snapped Mike. "I'll find the thing for you and you two can look all you want."
Mike stepped into the rubbed out path and followed it deeper into the island. In not more than ten minutes, he slowed to a stop and squatted down. With his index finger across his lips, he signaled the other two and pointed ahead.
Richard eased up to where Mike was all but sitting and joined him. From there, the lad could see why Mike had stopped. The almost level ground fell away quickly to a wide, grass-covered gully starting from where they were and moving toward the lake. On the east side of where it had started, yawned a huge opening to a very dark cave.
"It's in there," added Mike. "The slide goes right into the cave."
"Drat!" exclaimed Richard as quiet as he could. "it has a sandy floor. It might not burst my acorns."
"Acorns?" said Wade, moving up closer to Richard. "What in blazes are you talking about? We're fixing to possibly face a dragon and you're talking about acorns."
Richard sat back in the grass, smiled, and then looked at Wade. "Do you believe in the fireball I made while I was on the Ghost?"
Wade nodded his head.
Richard reached into his coat pocket and pulled out three dusty-looking green acorns. "These were gifts, sort of, from a witch named Laphidius Monks. When they are shattered, a fog-like mist will come out of them and put anything it touches to sleep for a short while."
Wade sat down hard in the grass and pushed his hair back from his eyes. "First dragons, then witches," he groaned. "What next?"
Excerpt from chapter six - Guardian of the North Wall.
While asleep in their room at Maidenhead, Krypendorf's castle, Skylar is disturbed by something in the room touching her...
"Richard!!!" shouted Skylar as she sat up quickly, brushing the object from her stomach.
The lad sat up and rubbed his eyes as Skylar fumbled with the oil lamp. She quickly became aware of a dry, leafy sound of something fluttering near her on the floor, to the far side of the room by the door. "Light this thing, Richard!" she exclaimed. "There's something in here with us!"
Richard took the lamp to the fireplace and lit it with a twisted piece of paper. Holding it high, he looked about the room as Skylar held on to the back of his night shirt.
"The door's still bolted," said the lad as he tugged on its handle, then looked at her with a slight grin.
"Don't look that way, wizard boy. It touched me more than once. I thought it was you."
"Well," quipped the lad, "I don't see a thing." Richard pulled her to his side and walked back to the bed. "If it happens again, wake me up."
Skylar took the lamp from him, turned it down, and put it upon the table next to her. Almost before she could find a comfortable spot on her pillows, Richard was fast asleep. Clutching her quilts tightly about her chest, she finally relaxed enough to do the same...
Sometime in the early morning hours she was disturbed again. This time it was not a strange sound she heard, but a familiar one that pulled her from slumber. It was the squeaking of one of the hinges on the vent shutter above the door.
That's it, she thought as she slipped her right hand from the covers to grab a piece of firewood placed there earlier. Whatever you are, you're fixing to get a rude reception, she thought, pulling the eighteen inch limb under the cover with her.
"Richard," she whispered as she nudged him. "It's back."
A sleepy "All right," was all she could get from him.
Slowly, she eased from the bed with a firm grip on her club. As she crept toward the door, she could hear the faint sound of that same dry fluttering from somewhere in the hallway outside the door. I'm gonna' give you a king sized headache, she thought as she quickly opened the door and peered outside. There was nothing in the left part of the hallway, but as she turned her head, she could hear the dry rustle coming from somewhere around the huge, black statue of the Minotaur.
The embers gave a soft glow to the room as she glanced back toward the bed. Richard had not budged. She then turned back and looked toward the mysterious statue. When she noticed he was still on his stone, she caught a glimpse of something in the moonlight at the base of it. The little creature quickly flew around the corned and out of sight.
"All right, Mr. Peeper," she whispered, "let's see how far you flew down that hallway."
Skylar tiptoed quickly down the hall and stopped just short of the corner across from the statue. She eyed it cautiously. "I'd be more disturbed if I saw your marble stone empty," she said weakly. She then peeped around the corner with her firewood at the ready. I couldn't be so lucky. she thought as she stared at the little faerie. He sat facing away from her in the middle of the walkway just a few paces away. He wasn't at all like Rosebud. He was about a foot tall, dressed in some kind of fabric that appeared to be like tree bark, and had the strangest of wings. They were long, leafy, and tattered looking. He had them folded close to his back and they drug the floor behind him. Skylar's bare feet made no sound as she crept within arms length of the little creature.
"Fly and I'll bean you!" she said loudly.
The little creature spun around with his mouth agape and looked up at the giant before him.
She then noticed the larger, top pair of wings being slowly raised above his head.
"Don't do it!" exclaimed Skylar as she shook her club at him.
The little creature slowly lowered his wings, "I didn't think you would come out in the hall," he said. "I'm about the only one he doesn't bother at this time of night."
"Who doesn't bother?" asked Skylar.
"That big, black fellow behind you," answered the little fae as he looked slightly over her head.
"Right," quipped Skylar. "I look, and you're gone. Not a chance butterfly boy. We're gonna' have a - "
Skylar's lecture to the little fae was cut short as she felt two rather strong hands take hold of her arms just above the elbows.
"I told you," the little faerie giggled. "You didn't listen to the old wizard did you?" he said as he backed slowly from the two.
"Oh God," she said weakly as she looked down at the two big, black hands holding her.
"Don't struggle," said the little fae, "and drop the stick," he added as he flew into the darkness.