Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Who is Rose?



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Princess (Tywysoges) Rose of the House of Niarg is the eldest child of King Hebraun and Queen Minuet of Niarg and the sister of Prince Lukus. Her grandfather, Queen Minuet's father is the
powerful Razzmorten Dewin of Peach Knob Manor, Wizard to the Crown of Niarg.
Rose merely appears as a precocious three year old in Good Sister, Bad Sister, but is the main protagonist in The Collector Witch, which opens on her sixteenth birthday, when it is to be announced that she is to marry Prince James of Loxmere. At her party, a rumor is circulated that she is not the Good_Sister,_Bad_Sis_Cover_for_Kindledaughter of Hebraun and Minuet, but merely their niece, and that her real mother, the queen's sister, was banished from the kingdom for something vile, immediately after giving birth. Upon a visit to the family grave yard, where she finds the stone of an "Infant Rose," she goes to her parents for an explanation. When they give her an The_Collector_Witch_Cover_for_Kindleunsatisfactory answer, she saddles her unicorn in the in the middle of the night, hoping to find her mother's sister in the Chokewood Forest to get and some real answers. Before she gets out of the stable, Lukus forces her to take him along.
The sister turns out to be Ugleeuh, a dangerous sorceress (witch, if you must), eccentric and Scan10028bitter from her solitary exile. Rose and Lukus become convinced that she is indeed Rose's mother and end up being her prisoners for the entire summer. At last, they find out that Ugleeuh is not Rose's mother at all, and that she gave birth to Princess Spitemorta of Goll. At this discovery, Ugleeuh tries to use them as ransom, hoping to extort her release from the Chokewoods. Rose and Lukus see their moment to escape, and with the help of Fuzz the bear, flee to the coast. Rose and Lukus safely return home to Niarg.
Years later, in Stone Heart, Rose, Lukus and their Stone_Heart_Cover_for_KindleGrandfather Razzmorten return to the Chokewoods to see what had become of Ugleeuh's part of the forest to find to their horror that Spitemorta and her grandmother Demonica not only have managed to get their hands on the fearsome Great Staff of Power, but they also have the Heart of the Staff, an even more dangerously powerful artifact, and are determined to use them to take over the world. They cross paths with Fuzz, who has just been accidentally restored to human form by stumbling through a magical ward left by Demonica, and is out making a frantic attempt to recover the Heart. They join forces and soon find themselves being pursued  through the wilderness by Spitemorta and Demonica. Rose and Fuzz fall in love along the way, and when they finally return to Niarg with dire warnings for all of civilization, Fuzz asks Hebraun and Minuet for Rose's hand in marriage.
image_fadeThey are married at once, but instead of a nice honeymoon, they find themselves sailing The_Burgeoning_Cover_for_Kindleacross the Orin Ocean, in The Burgeoning, to the Dark Empire in hopes of getting help with a strategy to undo Demonica. On the way back, their ship goes down and Rose finds herself alone, washed ashore in a strange land. What happens to her can be found out in The Reaper Witch..
 The Reaper Witch 01 copy




Tom Phipps

Monday, December 11, 2017

Wizard Razzmorten Fears for Minuet's Life


Hubba Hubba slowly ran his beak along the length of the back of a chair in the empty parlour and turned square about to run it all the way back. "All right, all right," he said, Buddy_3985_Warningpausing to give his feathers a shake before strutting on. "I said I would, I said I would. I did, I did. But now that it comes to it, I don't know what I think about being a crow again. And what if something goes wrong? What if Razzmorten is so weak that he can't handle the spell and turns me into a roach or a maggot? What if his spell gives out just as I fly in to spy on Spitemorta and Demonica? They'll kill me, is what. Pull out my feathers and wring my neck."
Without warning a long blade sliced the air near his head. "Help!" he quacked as he tumbled into a gasping heap of feathers on the floor. "Hey Queen! What is this, a test of my mortality or what? As you can see, I can handle apoplexy but my head would come
right off with that thing."
"Hubba Hubba!" she cried, stopping amidst her next swing. "I didn't see you!"
Hubba Hubba quacked again and backed under the chair.
"I'm so sorry! I just had Hebraun's claymore and...!"
"Minuet, what is all of this?" said Razzmorten, appearing as much without warning as she had.
"Why must these big missions always threaten to take off my head?" said Hubba Hubba, bristling and panting from the shadows.
"I'll learn this now, Father," said Minuet. "When Niarg goes to battle, they'll still have the crown to lead them forth."
"No!" said Razzmorten with a look of shock "Niarg needs you here. It can't afford to lose both Hebraun and you. If Spitemorta..."
"Ha!" barked Minuet bitterly, echoing in the arches of the ceiling. "Spitemorta! Yes! Let her come! When she does, I will cut out her black heart and feed it to the hogs. She took the light of my life and she'll meet her doom if she dares come at me."
"I will not cooperate with sweet and sour parrot. Traumatized, yes. Compliant? No. I refuse, I refuse. Queen, you and your awful sister..."
"What?" said Minuet as she stopped short to peer under the chair.
"I'll have you know that I'm not being dilatory," said Hubba Hubba with his tail fanned wide as he marched out from under the chair, running his beak along the floor as he came. "I'm right ready to set out on this mission without hesitation. I will not be threatened further..."
"Minuet please," said Razzmorten. "Hebraun would never have you do such a thing. For the love of
the Fates, daughter, it's the very thing that got him killed."
"Yes, I know," she said, turning to face him, "and she did it. And that's exactly why I have to do this. You love me and don't want to lose me, so you want to stop me. Please know that I would never cause you grief. I own that I'm being vengeful, but you can rest assured that I'm not being rash. I'm set! You could ease my burden enormously by supporting my decision. If you can't, I'll not be resentful, but I'll not stray from my path."
"I'm going, I'm going!" said Hubba Hubba, pushing his beak around in circles on the floor. "You don't have to threaten me..."
"Hubba Hubba," said Minuet, "What makes you think I'm threatening you?"
"Right. Ugleeuh wasn't threatening me either. She was merely distraught. And you're just what, vengeful did you say?"
"Hubba Hubba! Here I've gone and had a grand packet of food made up for you..."
"What? With all my favorite treats?"
"Well yes..."
"See? Runs in the family. Put away your blade. I'm ready! I'm ready!"
green-cheek-amazon-tracy-starr"And what are you doing down there?" said Pebbles as she and the chicks alighted on the back of the chair.
"Here's Herio," said Minuet as she scooped up Hubba Hubba and gave him a scratch before letting him step off onto the chair. "Looks like he's ready."
"Well, so am I," said Hubba Hubba with a confused look as Pebbles rattled her beak through his cheek feathers.
"Ready enough for me to change you into a crow?" said Razzmorten.
"Just give me a flash Wiz, and I'll be right as rain."
"You've prepared your family?"
"Yea. Go ahead...uh, I mean if there's no problem with maggots..."
"What?"
"Well, with lesser stuff like roaches. Hey Wiz, how's the strength o' your magic these carrion_tcm9-137380days, anyway?"
"Does this help?" said Razzmorten as he held up a hand mirror.



Ch. 9, The Burgeoning (Click on Title or Book Cover Image to Download from Amazon)The_Burgeoning_Cover_for_Kindle





Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Friday, December 8, 2017

Spark the Father


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"The council has relented, Lipperella," said Spark as he plopped onto the huge feather cushion in the parlour. "They've agreed to send three envoys to Niarg to consult with Razzmorten and King Hebraun before doing anything so rash as evacuating the Dragon Caves."
"That's wonderful news, Spark," she said, taking him by the hand. "If anyone knows the danger posed to the clan by a war, it will be Razzmorten. I hope it turns out that we're worrying needlessly."
"Perhaps," he said, putting his arm around her and staring through the doorway into the nursery. "It would be wonderful if our young ones could grow up and live in these caves without fear and slavery." His eyes narrowed with memories of Razzorbauch. "I'd rather that they had to survive the smallies and the dorchadas in the Chokewoods than to have them live in slavery," he said fiercely.i-2e7-7d9-a-1f
Lipperella sat upright and studied his vehement look. "I understand," she said as she leant against him and joined him, staring into the nursery at the first clutch of dragonets born in the caves the clan had lived in for nearly three hundred years.
Presently Laora blinked her big eyes and stretched, then sat up flapping her wings. At once Edward rushed into the nursery and up to her side. He patted and whispered to her, but neither Lipperella nor Spark could tell what he said, not that it mattered. Laora calmed at once, meeping contentedly as Edward gave her chunks of sukere while he patted and scratched her. In short order Laora was asleep again as Edward slipped out of the nursery without disturbing any of the other dragonets.
"That was amazing," said Lipperella. "Edward and Laora are so bonded now that he seems aware of what state she's in from any other part of the Dragon Caves."
"Right unusual, isn't it?" said Spark.
"I've never heard of such a bond between one of us and a Human. Perhaps some of the elders have, though. When I get the chance, I certainly intend to ask them."
"What have you asked Edward?"
"He told me that he gets a certain feeling inside and he knows that Laora wants him to come."
"That's certainly how it looks," said Spark.
"I wonder if they'll actually be able to communicate with just their minds when Laora starts talking?"
"They are already, dear. Laora's got it behind her..."
"Oh?"
"Absolutely, dearest Truth-Bearer. And if Edward has even a dash of your skills, then they're going 'o be. And Lipperella, I just saw you stirring even before I caught sight of  Flame, Brand and Blaise starting to move, and I was watching all of you the whole time. I see this happen every day."
Lipperella smiled a secret smile as she ambled into the nursery and turned around to hand Spark an arm load of raw sukere bundles. "Don't despair, love," she said. "They're feathered out. We could take them flying tomorrow, I'll bet."dinosaur-nest
"Lipperella! Have you forgotten we can't fly? Who's going to keep an eye on them in the air?"
"We're just going to have to trust them, aren't we?" she said as she patted his arm.
Stone Heart, Ch. 33 (Click on Book Title or Book Image to Download from Amazon)Stone_Heart_Cover_for_Kindle
 Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Wednesday, December 6, 2017

Who is Abaddon?



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Stone_Heart_Cover_for_Kindle
The_Burgeoning_Cover_for_KindleAbaddon is the son of King James of Loxmere and the witch queen Spitemorta of Goll. He is also the great-grandson of the fearsomeDemonica, the most powerful sorceress of all time. 
120904655645652Demonica abandoned Spitemorta's mother Ugleeuh at birth and returned to her keep across the sea in Head to continue her pursuit of power through her fortune in mines and arms. She has long dreamed of ruling the world, but she knows that in order to do that, she will need the Great Staff of Power and its Crystal Heart. When she hears that her very granddaughter has the Staff in Stone Heart, she becomes Abaddon's nanny. In time, she and Spitemorta leave Abaddon in the care of King James and go off on 
The Reaper Witch 01 copya hunt to find the Heart. Whilst they are away, James discovers that Spitemorta is a witch and that her influence over Abaddon is evil. In an effort to save him in The Burgeoning, he has his steward Lance hide Abaddon. When Spitemorta finds out, she tortures James and puts him in the dungeon.       
Lance takes Abaddon to his childhood home in Mount Bedd to see the Fairy sisters who raised him. They find Abaddon to be dark and troubled and in the sway of the Pitmaster, but under their influence he decides to help Lance find King James and get him to safety, out of Spitemorta's reach and thereby begins a transformation which continues throughout The Reaper Witch  and eventually turns him into a hero.

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps


Friday, December 1, 2017

The Great Stone Tree


The Great Stone Tree - Glossopteris titanodendrum-dactylophyllum W. was discovered as a 52 foot diameter fossilized tree stump by the First Wizard, who chiseled out


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the Heart of the Staff from its center. In search of what he believed to be Meri Greenwood the



Fairy's source of commanding renewal power, the Heart of the Forests or Calon Fforydd, he found it



standing upright, exactly where it had grown, surrounded by sections of its trunk and a layer of its own fossilized fallen leaves, in the middle of the exposed Permian deposit, known as the Koad

 Karreg or Stone Forest on the south edge of the

Mammvro on the Dark Continent. It differs from other glossopterids by virtue of its immense size and by its deeply lobed leaves. Sections of its trunk add up to a tree which could not have been any less than 530 feet tall, and with the size of its stump, it remains the largest



individual tree ever discovered. The Koad Karreg is the Permian location of the South Pole, which shifted to its present position with the multiple impacts of asteroids which closed the Age of Fishes. Compasses do not work reliably in the forest, and under its perpetual cloud cover, many a traveler has vanished. 

Since the Great Stone Tree is where the Heart of the Staff came from, there are indirect references to it in each book of The Heart of the Staff, but particularly so in

The Burgeoning.




Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Wednesday, November 29, 2017

Who is Spark?


Spark is a fireless, featherless and flightless dragon, the husband of Lipperella and the father of Good_Sister,_Bad_Sis_Cover_for_KindleLaora. Spark and Lipperella were rendered featherless by the wizard Razzorbauch and the sorceress Demonica when they rounded up most of the dragons in the Mammvro of the Dark Continent and hauled them across the sea to harvest sukere on Razzorbauch's vast plantation on the Northern Continent in Good Sister, Bad Sister.
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Spark's firelessness was considered contemptible by the other dragons for a time and he was exiled to the Peppermint Forest prior to The Collector Witch. After the death of Razzorbauch, he returned and marriedStone_Heart_Cover_for_Kindle the dragon clan's Truth Teller, Lipperella. By a fortunate accident, neither Spark nor Lipperella were rendered sterile when they lost their feathers, as were the rest of the dragons, so they were able to produce the only offspring possible for the entire clan, in Stone Heart. And without Razzorbauch's terrible spells, these offspring had feathers and could fly.
The_Burgeoning_Cover_for_KindleSpark and Lipperella became instrumental in coaxing the dragons to give up hating humans and to become important allies of the The Reaper Witch 01 copyKingdom of Niarg and formidable foes of Queen Spitemorta in The BurgeoningThe Reaper Witch and in Doom, the final book of the Heart of the Staff series.
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Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Tuesday, November 28, 2017

Waylaid by Elves



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After a nice supper in the Suds and Steer in The Collector Witch, Rose and Lukus find themselves on a dark road in the woods...
The_Collector_Witch_Cover_for_KindleBefore them lay the border of Loxmere, beyond which lay the Jut of Niarg, a southern arm of their own country, filled with a dense forest known as the Jutwoods. They crossed the border in the broad moonlight by leaving the road in order to avoid the guard houses. When they had found their way back onto the road, they were nearly three leagues beyond Loxmere in very dense woods. Suddenly Rose halted Mystique so abruptly that Lukus ran his knee into the skirt of her saddle. “Hey! Rose, call your shot next time.”
“Hush!” she said. “We’re being watched.”
"How do you know?"
"I swear I saw movement."
“It must be the robbers from the inn. I told you they were up to no good.”
“Can you see them, Lukus?”


"It's 'way too dark. I can’t see anything. They could hide anywhere. They could be right there in the rocks along the cliff, for all I can tell. I think they’re rocks. Maybe they're pacing us through the woods, just off the road.”
“What are we going to do?”
180291“Run or hide. We’d better choose one right quick, 'cause I just heard something. We can make out the road by the gap in the trees.”
“Then let’s ride like the wind. They'll not have mounts even close to ours.”
At once three figures stepped into the roadway. 
"Lukus!" she cried, wheeling square about and frantically digging her heels into Mystique's flanks 


to charge back the way they'd come. Lukus tried to follow, but Starfire reared and bolted off the road and through the brush to throw him sprawling in the briars. Two hooded figures rushed out of nowhere and grabbed Starfire's reins. Lukus scrambled to his feet and fell in time to be pounced on and rolled up in a blanket.
4ud2Rose was too far away by now to hear him over Mystique's pounding hooves, but she looked over her shoulder to see if he was behind her. "Lukus!" she cried. The moment she turned about, three hooded figures stepped into her way, spooking Mystique off the road to go crashing through a thicket while she hung onto her neck for dear life. As they raced under the limb of an oak, somebody dropped onto Mystique's back to grab her as she lost her grip. She gave out a throat shredding scream.
"Hush!" cried the somebody, clapping his hand over her mouth. "You'll scare lean air out of Lukus, and cac too, Princess!"
Directly, she was helped off Mystique by the one who had caught her and by two other hooded men who set to work at once, unwrapping Lukus. "Good for you!" she shouted. "You have us! Now what are you going to do to us? And just how did you know  Lukus's name?"
The three calmed the unicorns and stood quietly before them, faceless as wraiths.
"You're not from the inn," she said as they pushed back their hoods.    
The middle one smiled at her. 
“You’re Elves!” she gasped at their pointed ears. “But you don’t exist. You must be an enchantment.”
"Nope," said the middle one with a bow. "We're as real as you are. And enchantment would be beyond you, I'm afraid. I'm Danneth and these are my brothers, Strom and Jarund, and we most certainly mean you no harm in the least. In fact, we're here at your service.”
“Yea?” said Lukus. “And how is stamping on us and rolling us in the blackberry briars the same as serving us?”
“Yes, that was awkward,” said Danneth. “You have lots of energy. It took quite a bit to get you to hold still.”
“Just how many of you are there? Nine? Twelve?” said Rose. 
“We are three only,” said Danneth.
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“Now you're playing us for fools,” she said.
“Not at all,” said Jerund. "We merely move quickly when we must."
“Rose, they don’t have to let us find out. It’s pointless,” said Lukus, turning to Danneth. “Though it would only be fair if you all at least told us what you stopped us for and just what you are.”
“But Rose saw at once that we are Elves,” said Danneth.
Danneth looked like his brothers to Rose, but where his hair was silvery, Strom’s was metallic golden and Jarund’s was iridescent and black as pitch, far blacker than any black hair she had seen in her life. “They have to be what they claim, Lukus," she said, turning to the Elves. "I'm convinced that you're Elves, but telling us that you're at our service is no explanation at all for your waylaying us.”

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps