Sunday, April 19, 2015

The Heart of the Staff: The Complete Series is Now Available on Amazon

Heart of the Staff Box, Best
The Heart of the Staff: The Complete Series Blog Tour by 4 Wills Publishing will begin April 20 and run through April 26.
We hope you will join us and follow along each day of the week - long tour. Please register for our Amazon Gift Card Rafflecopter Giveaway while you are visiting and kindly leave a comment along the way.
The boxed set will be on a temporary half-price sale for the duration of the blog tour as a special introductory promotion. Don't miss your chance to pick this set up at this low price of just $3.99 (Reg. $7.99).
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Heart of the Staff: The Complete Series Blurb
Minuet Dewin, eldest daughter of the wizard Razzmorten, practically raised her half sister Leeuh. For many years, Minuet is Leeuh's passionate champion. As time passes, Leeuh grows awful and impossible to defend. Whilst undoing her dangerous pranks, Minuet finds herself the target of her hatred and jealousy. And when they fall for the same prince, it looks like war.
Suddenly Leeuh vanishes. She returns years later, compliant and sweet as she always should have been. Should Minuet trust her, or will it be the very death of her?  
 ***
Frantic to find out if she really is the daughter of an evil sorceress, Rose makes a rash departure on a quest to the Chokewoods, a forest of horrors which no one in her kingdom dares enter.
Her brother Lukus blackmails her into traveling with him. Together they discover that trolls, Elves and cyclopses really do exist as do the perilous visions in the Valley of Illusions.
In the Chokewoods, they survive a horde of flesh eating devils, the fruit of the choke oak and a village of beasts who prepare to eat them. A hag crashes through the treetops and takes them away to a mad forest of her own where she turns them into thralls and taunts them with threats before they manage to escape and return home.
 ***
A great evil awakens to shatter Niarg's peaceful world.
In her remote island keep off the shores of Head, the fearsome sorceress Demonica at last learns that her granddaughter Spitemorta has come by the long lost Staff of Power.
She leaves immediately for Goll and offers to teach Spitemorta how to develop her considerable powers. Spitemorta accepts at once, thereby uniting the two most dangerous sorceresses of the age, determined to conquer the world. When they find the Stone Heart, making the Staff the most powerful tool of all time, it seems that nothing can stop them from crushing Niarg and conquering the entire world. King Hebraun of Niarg is dead and not a single Elf is left alive in the Jutwoods.
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Spitemorta's husband, King James, tries to ride out of Castle Goll with her Great Staff of Power, but is tortured by Demonica and her and locked away to die in the the dungeon. He escapes across the Great Barrier Mountains, just as Spitemorta and Demonica destroy Castle Niarg, sending Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten and the people of Niarg fleeing to the Pitmaster's Kettles.
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Niarg has fallen. The dragons have fled from their caves. Confident that Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten are dead, and that the trolls have eaten every last Elf, Spitemorta brings down the last hamlets of the Northern Continent as she prepares to conquer the rest of the world.
But Queen Minuet and Wizard Razzmorten do live and are hiding in the crater of Mount Bedd with the Fairy guardians of the Forest Primeval, where they wait for what remains of their army before fleeing to the Black Desert to live beneath its burning sands with the dragons and all of the Elves who escaped Demonica's great troll raid, down their hidden river.
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With the murder of her husband, King Artamus of Gwael, Queen Spitemorta at last rules the world. She declares herself Omnipotent Empress and moves into her monstrous new castle in Niarg. And with her tools of power, the Great Staff and Crystal Heart, she believes she is invincible.
But then come tidings that four Elves have appeared in Niarg. These Elves should have been killed and eaten by her trolls, twenty years ago. And with these Elves returns the threat that the ancient Elven Prophecy predicting her downfall and death could still come to pass.
And somewhere far away, Ariel and Daniel, the very twins foretold in the Prophecy have become more powerful than any sorceress or wizard ever known. Together they could be invincible.
But can they destroy Spitemorta and her great tools of power? The time has come and one thing is certain. Either the twins and the rebellion will meet their doom, or Spitemorta and her minions will.
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3D Heart of the Staff Appendix coverDue to file size limitations on Amazon we were unable toHeart of the Staff Box, Best include any appendices with The heart of the Staff: The Complete Series boxed set other than a limited archaic and foreign words appendix. To resolve this omission, we have decided to publish the complete appenix as a separte volume. Unfortunately, again, due to Amazon policies, we will not be able to immediately offer this volume as a Free download, so it will temporarily priced at $.99. You can circumvent this charge, however, simply by downloading the appendix from Smashwords where it will be listed as Free from the outset, as they have no such restrictions. We will endeavor to get the price to Free on Amazon as soon as we possilby can.
The companion book, The Heart of the Staff: Complete Appendix will be AVAILABLE SOON on Amazon
3D Heart of the Staff Appendix cover
Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Friday, April 17, 2015

DOOM: The Heart of the Staff, book 6, Available Now!

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The Final Book of The Heart of the Staff series
With the murder of her husband, King Artamus of Gwael, Queen Spitemorta at last rules the known world. She declares herself Omnipotent Empress and moves into her monstrous new castle in Niarg. And with her tools of power, the Great Staff and Crystal Heart, she believes she is invincible.
But then, General Coel, commander of all of her armies, brings tidings that four Elves have appeared in Niarg. These Elves should have been killed and eaten by her trolls, twenty years ago. And with these Elves returns the threat that the ancient Elven Prophecy predicting her downfall and death could still come to pass.
And somewhere far away, Ariel and Daniel, the very twins foretold in the Prophecy have become more powerful than any sorceress or wizard ever known. Together they could be invincible.
But can they destroy Spitemorta and her great tools of power? The time has come and one thing is certain. Either the twins and the rebellion will meet their doom, or Spitemorta and her minions will.

Monday, April 13, 2015

GallupNMHP
Tom Phipps Presents:
Tontons Macoute
Come to
Gallup
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Pierre Jon LeTrec was the dictator of an island in the West Indies which was once the property of France. Unfortunately no one cared for Monsieur LeTrec, for they resented being murdered in their sleep by his Tontons Macoute. When he disliked someone's politics, he would send his Tontons around at midnight to haul the unfortunate soul out into the street in front of his horrified family and shoot him in the head. At last, the citizens rose up in an armed coup de tete and drove him from the island.
Meanwhile the people of Gallup were peacefully going about their business. 63% of them CH04_090m_sheknitteditformehad jet black hair. 22% of them had dark brown hair. 7% had light mousy-brown hair. 5% were blond and 3% had red hair (the punk rocker with the blue Mohawk doesn't count, for he never woke up from his sleep in the drunk tank).
As fate would have it, Pierre Jon LeTrec and forty of his Tontons Macoute arrived in Gallup in their Bentley Superfast, with a trunk full of Uzis and AKs. They blocked off the roads. Nonews-graphics-2004_565903a one could come in. No one could leave. Within 48 hours, LeTrec had total control. Before he could open the road blocks, he knew he would have to win the hearts of the citizens of Gallup. To do that, he would have to blow out the brains of all who disagreed with him. He set to work at once. Every midnight he sent out his Tontons with a list of people to execute.
The most feared voodoo witch of LeTrec's island had red hair. In fact all voodoo witches 5794819670_af6a694725_mdid. The Tontons Macoute were terrified whenever they hauled someone out under the street lights to find that they had red hair. They would gasp in horror and let the luckyRed_Hair_Model red haired person go.
The people of Gallup didn't like LeTrec any more than the people of his island did. The people of Gallup refused to give in. After fifty years, the road blocks were still in place. What was the most common color of hair of the citizens of Gallup after fifty years?4jWiP

Answer:________________________________.

Friday, April 10, 2015

As if You can Hear the Trees Scream Part Five

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They arrived at the edge of Chokewoods just after sunset, feeling relief and dread at the sight of the looming trees. Everyone hesitated, not wanting to enter. Lukus slid off Spark, grabbing his head with a grimace when he lit. Rose dismounted and stood by his side, Sinornithosaurus_magsaying nothing. Lukus turned wide eyes to meet Rose's barely perceptible nod. This was like it was the first time they arrived, in spite of it being a different part of the woods and a different time of day. "Well," she said, jostling everyone by speaking. "Let's get on with it, shall we?" She gave Lukus an abrupt shove and followed him through an opening in the tangle of brush and matted vines. Fuzz, Spark, and Lipperella came immediately behind.
In they went, straining from side to side in hopes of spying some sort of clearing or cave for a place to camp. "If you listen, it's almost as if you can hear the trees scream," said 
Lipperella, in a whisper tinged with awe.
"We thought so the first time," said Lukus. "It's so eerie."
images 2"Indeed," said Fuzz, "But the trees are in fact not screaming, and when their trunks look so grotesque, one's imagination would understandably be thrall to suggestibility."
"So you don't hear anything then?" said Spark.
"I didn't say that, "said Fuzz. "It sounds like far away moans and murmurs in some giant hall, but that must be the wind 'way up in the trees, rather than the trees themselves."2004_1024chapel0005
"Are you sure?" said Spark. "I'm not."
"Well no, but it's the simplest explanation, isn't it?"
"Perhaps, but 'simple' doesn't take Razzorbauch's perversion of the place into account."
"Good point," said Fuzz, as everyone fell into a nervous silence.
"Hey," said Lipperella. "Look up ahead. That could be a clearing." It was. They made a hasty camp by doing little more than spreading out their blankets and deciding how 
they would keep watch. Rose heard no owls at all, only the ghostly murmur and sighs 
echoing from unimaginable reaches off in the timber.
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Wednesday, April 8, 2015

The Chokewoods and the Peppermint Forest are not the Same: Part Four

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Lukus heaved a large peppermint limb into the fire. "If Ugleeuh doesn't find us right soon," he said, "I'll go back into the woods and see if I can find some nuts and berries for 
supper. I saw some when I was gathering wood."
"Well why didn't you just gather them in the first place? You just made more work for yourself."
"Yea? Maybe, but the last time I ate berries in this forest I nearly strangled to death, so RowanI had to think about it."
"You tried to eat a choke oak fruit? What kind of crazy are you? Doesn't matter, though. Things like that don't grow here anymore. This is the Peppermint Forest and it's different than the Chokewood Forest, or haven't you noticed?"
"I could see that at once. But just what's what, I need some time to sort out. So tell me, did Ugleeuh actually create all of this?" He gave a wide wave.
"She didn't create it so much as change it, though perhaps whether she did or not Scan10067depends on just what a person considers creation to be. But, you're right if you think that all this forest was once identical to the Chokewoods. When Ugleeuh and I first arrived here it was really awful. We battled with the smallies and dorchadas and other awful things almost every day before she was through with all of her wonderful transformations of the 
place."
"Rose and I had the idea that she made this place out of part of the Chokewoods, but I'm surprised to hear about the dorchadas actually attacking you. Rose and I saw the chief 
of the dorchadas and his heathens trembling with fear in front of her."
"You have utterly no clue at all about the kind of sadistic wrath that Ugleeuh is capable of," Scan30001said Hubba Hubba, breaking into his first laughter of the outing. "The smallies are so terrified of her now that they'll tramp each other to death, trying to hide if they see her. Same thing with the dorchadas. Hoo-wee! She taught them. Nasty, nasty old lady!"
"So, why were you so worried that the smallies might get you, if I left you to go for help?"
"Do I really look like Ugleeuh to you? Had she ever worked you over once, you'd never confuse us. Besides, if the smallies got me, there'd be no trace. No feathers. No nothing. They'd have a free bit of revenge on her and she wouldn't be able to prove it at all."
"You got that right, Birdo. Rose and I saw them take down a deer. It just vanished before our eyes. It gave out a good dying snort, and the next moment it was gone without any sign that it had ever been."
"Yes, yes. I've seen it. It's been years, but I've seen it." he said with a shudder. "Let's build up the fire some more, Lukus, just to be sure Ugleeuh doesn't miss it. Let me come with8138228_7122_1024x2000 you for the wood. I hope that hearing the mint owl doesn't mean that the smallies are in this neighborhood."
"Yea," said Lukus, glancing about. "I think it might be good to stoke the fire a bit, at that, but I'll hunt for fuel where you can see me from here. You stay off that foot unless we have no other choice but to move on." And with that, he went to picking up sticks.
Hubba Hubba's head spun as he trembled and inched closer to the fire, hoping that whatever might be in the forest would fear the crackling flames.
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps

Monday, April 6, 2015

Lukus Strangles on a Choke Oak Fruit Part Three

Rowan
Lukus bounced in his saddle and renewed his interest in their surroundings. There were ironwood and gnarled muscled hornbeam trees all over the flat of the creek bottom near 2004_1024chapel0005the banks, but as he looked, he saw that there imagesbwasn’t a single tree of any kind, not even a sapling, that was not bent and twisted into some horribly unnatural pose. "I'll declare," he thought. "How could trees give me the creeps?" He kept seeing ordinary looking leaves on the ground, much like the white oak leaves in Niarg. When he looked overhead to find where they came from, he saw that they weren't sorbus-decora-fruitoaks at all, but bore brilliantly colored succulent fruits in bunches, each bunch a different bright color. "Fresh fruit and lots of it, just hanging there for the taking. And I think I will," he said as he steeredSORBUSJOSEPHROCKv2 Starfire toward the nearest tree. Directly he had a handful of the irresistible smelling treats. “Hey Rose!” he hollered. “Come back here and try some of this fruit! They’re better than your old figs! And they're all different colors!”
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Rose turned Mystique about at the word fruit and came galloping back for his first bite.
sorbus-maderensis-fruit"Wow Rose! This is good," he said, champing away. "Strange, but real good. It's got milky white juice which is real bitter but really, really sweet at the same time." He popped11684990965_4bd7dfdd98_b another one into his mouth and savored his prize. Suddenly his eyes bulged open with strained urgency. He turned frighteningly red as his veins stood out. He wheezed in a gasping panic as though he might explode. And now he was gagging convulsively.
Rose fought down her horror. She sprang from Mystique and mounted Starfire behind TR0000004742_card_lgLukus, who by this time was bent over, turning purple and nearly unconscious. She wrapped her arms around him, mxsa7ep4GuMMZ6APQ6Beb-Agrabbed her fist and yanked, making him cough out chewed fruit all down his front. He slid to the ground and sat there gasping and coughing as tears streamed down his face. Rose knelt beside him, and saw that the inside of his mouth and throat were still swelling. Once she had rinsed out his mouth, he croaked a hoarse thanks for saving him.
1279287337-53793900“Needles! It felt like needles," he said as he mounted Starfire. "I don't understand what happened. Those berries weren’t even big enough to get stuck in my throat like that, not to mention fill up my mouth the way they did. My throat hurts."
“Lukus,” said Rose, “I just remembered something that Grandfather once told me. Sorry I didn't think of this before now, but I reckon I'd no reason to. He said the berries here were all the different colors of the rainbow. I think the pits can be roasted, but anyone who eats the fruit strangles to death while his windpipe swellsThe_Collector_Witch_Cover_for_Kindle shut. That's why they're called chokeberries and this place is called the Chokewood Forest. Those trees are called choke trees or choke oaks, though they aren't true oaks at all. I guess they grow all over here."

Carol Marrs Phipps & Tom Phipps

Friday, April 3, 2015

Razzorbauch Shows Ugleeuh his New Plantation in the Chokewoods: Part Two

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Ugleeuh looked down at her ash blackened shoes and at the greyed skirts of her black silk kirtle. Ash and the smell of fire were everywhere, particularly with it having not rained since Razzorbauch set fire to the forest on his plantation land. "I should have worn a wimple," she thought as she held her hair away from her face in the breeze. "I hate wimples. The Dead_deer,_Glenarm_forest_-_geograph.org.uk_-_1546832only one I have goes with that awful dress back at Peach Knob." She gazed 
out at the burnt off land, rolling away in gentle swags and swells, practically as far as the 
eye could see in all directions. There were no insects, frogs nor birds to be heard at all 
except for some ravens in the air, a good distance off, croaking before circling down to a 
charred and bloated deer.
"So Leeuh," said Razzorbauch as he took in a grand breath of air. "What do you think of our little venture, so far?"
"It's so vast," she said, turning to him with a bounce. "Thousands upon thousands of acres, hidden entirely in these forbidding woods."
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"Yes. I've put out quite a bit of effort on the forbidding part. I want this plantation to be protected. The most common tree here now has an irresistibly attractive fruit that should cause certain death. And I've transformed the great indigo lyoth of the jungles of the Dark Continent into a tribe of beings who hunt people. In time, no one will ever blunder onto our land. But my dear, what do you make of the project?"
"Well...if there's really a market, how would we not make a fortune?"
"You have doubts about a market?"
"Arguments rage in Niarg, Uncle Razzorbauch. Some amongst the young and well to do think it's marvelous, but there are a lot who call it the sweet of the very Pitmaster himself. I'm not sure that merchants there will even consider buying it."
220px-John_Dee_Ashmolean"Fools. Honey trader lies. They call sukere a swindle in place of honey because it threatens their trade. They tell everyone that those eating it become obsessed with the 
Pitmaster's wiles because they fear for their purses."
"It causes no obsessions, then? Those who eat it don't become thralls?"
"There's not a shred of proof that it's harmful in any way, dear. In fact, sukere gives one a sense of well-being. The more you use, the better you feel. Why, you've only to stop eating it to be reminded of how unhealthy you must have been before you first used it."
"More of Father's being an old fool. I've never tasted it."
"Oh, but you have. Remember the cherry tarts at supper?"
"They were wonderful, Uncle Razzorbauch. It sounds like people need to give sukere a fair trial before making up their minds."
"Absolutely, dear."
"Well why couldn't you, or we, just give them some to try? Just at first, don't you know."Ugleeuh_rub_880683_c_medieval_scarlett_red_hooded_dress_costume_adult_a
Razzorbauch went wide eyed. "My dear, you're a thundering prodigy. I believe you've just launched our little business venture. I knew having you along was going to work well."
"Thank you, Uncle Razzorbauch," she said with another bounce.
It's wonderful having someone who actually likes my ideas for once."
"I know what you mean, dear. I've always been the bane of the family, just as you seem to be, don't you know."
"We do have that in common, don't we?"
"Without a doubt, dear," said Razzorbauch, suddenly looking about. "But just now, if you don't mind, we need to return to my keep so that I can be off for a spell to attend to a thing or two."imagese
"I don't mind," she said. "In fact, I usually don't get up so early in the mornings and I'd like to catch a nap."
Razzorbauch already had out his scrying ball.
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Carol Marrs Phipps and Tom Phipps