Tuesday, September 27, 2011
Recommending Dragons of the Watch by Donita K. Paul
I have a new book to tell you about by an amazingly gifted author, Donita K. Paul. Here's the scoop on Dragons of the Watch. Be sure to pick up the others in this series too!
About the book:
With the final installment of the “Twilight” film series scheduled to be released in October, vampires and zombies are set to be among the year’s most popular Halloween costumes. Many parents feel torn between their child’s love for imagination and not wanting to encourage the darker side of fantasy. How can they encourage reading and wonder, but without all the junk? Meeting that precise need, popular and trusted author Donita K. Paul brings us her newest tale of dragons, adventure and faith in The Dragons of the Watch (October 4, 2011 from WaterBrook Press).
The Chronicles of Chiril continue as Ellie and Bealomondore find themselves trapped in an isolated city guarded by dragons and separated from everything they know and love. How can they escape? Along the way they meet a group of wild children and a very old man, whose needs they must meet before they can find their way home. With the help of the dragons of the watch, they discover that their fate depends upon their ability to recognize and step in line with the Creator’s will.
Mrs. Paul has created a fascinating and detailed world where dragons and humans “mindspeak,” tiny creatures are heroes, and gateways serve as doors to an entirely different place and experience. With a warm, accessible and humorous tone, lots of action, and avoidance of the heavy, dark elements found in much of today's fantasy fiction, The Dragons of the Watch is a great family read. On a deeper level, it also encourages discussion of how to interact with those who do not share one’s faith in a foreign culture or one’s own city. The book includes a map and a glossary of characters and terms, and fans can go even deeper at DonitaKPaul.com with puzzles, recipes, resources for aspiring writers and links for homeschooling families.
Here is an excerpt:
Ellie sat on her favorite boulder and looked Tak right in the eyes, telling him what was on her mind. “Gramps shouldn’t have taught me to read.”
Tak responded as he usually did when he received Ellie’s confidences. He lowered his head, placing it on her knee for a rub.
Ellie obliged her pet, stroking the white hair between his nubby horns with one hand while digging in the pocket of her homespun pinafore with the other. The mountain breeze toyed with the paper she withdrew. With difficulty, she smoothed the small poster out on her other knee. Dirty and wrinkled, it still made her heart beat a little faster.
Royal Wedding and Coronation:
Prince Jayrus, Dragonkeeper and Paladin
All invited to the celebration.
“All invited. But Efficinderpart Clarenbessipawl and her goat Tak can't come. No chaperone, no travel. Ma and Da aren't interested. And Gramps just laughs. 'You'll see. You'll see.' is all he says. He should take me himself.”
Her younger brother’s shrill yell came from the knoll rising out of the river to the east. “Ellie! Ellie!”
He stood on the hill, grinning like a bear with a paw in the honey hive and his face red from running. His stubby tumanhofer body bounced with excitement. He held his fists above his head and whirled them around in circles. Something had set him off.
She stood and hollered back. “You be calling me by my proper name out in the open ‘n at the top of your lungs, Gustustharinback. Ma will tan yer hide if she’s finding out you disgrace the family with such shabby care of our dignity.”
When he saw her, he cupped his hands around his mouth and shouted, “Yere wanted at home. Itta be good news.”
That information didn’t impress her. Probably a delivery of the bolt of muslin ordered, which meant she’d be cutting and dying lengths for making new clothes. Not exciting news at all.
“Can it wait?” She gestured behind her to the scattered goat herd. “I’ll have to gather Tak’s clan if I’m to come home now.”
“I’ll come help you.” Gus charged down the hill toward the footbridge across the river.
Ellie stared at him for a moment with her mouth hanging open. The good news had nothing to do with cloth. Her brother would never voluntarily come help bring the goats in for something as mundane as new clothes. And he scurried down the path, slipping some on the loose rocks. But the precarious descent did not slow him a bit. Even in the narrower patches where exposed roots of arranndon bushes tripped careless hikers, her sturdy brother skidded downward.
Folding the Royal Celebration notice into a small square, Ellie stuffed it back in her pocket. She turned away from watching her brother’s progress and nudged the goat. “Come on, Tak. You find the nannies, and I’ll find the billies.”
Ellie went one direction and Tak another. In a few minutes, she located the fifteen goats who regularly hung together. Mostly young males, these animals preferred the rockier terrain. She suspected it had to do with their perpetual game of I’m-up-highest.
She clicked her tongue and tapped her staff on a rock. Their heads rose as if all attached to the same string though they didn’t come right away. Each one chewed what was in their mouths and casually left their places one by one. Taking a serene amble down the hillside, they passed her, heading toward the bridge and home.
When the last one clomped by, Ellie rested her staff on her shoulder and followed. Tak already had the nannies plodding along the bank toward the footbridge. Gustustharinback trailed the nannies and carried the smallest of the baby goats in his arms.
He shouted when he caught sight of his sister. “Hurry! Aunt and Uncle Blamenyellomont are at the house. I can’t tell you the surprise, and I’m gonna burst with keeping my tongue from waggin’ and you from knowin’.”
She tapped her staff on the rock beneath her feet. The billies scampered before her, picking up her impatience and gratefully heading for home. Even after eating all day, they appreciated the handfuls of button-grain they got from the farmer’s younger children.
With the goat hooves pounding on the wooden bridge, Ellie couldn’t hear or be heard. So she waited until she’d caught up with her brother on the other side.
“What’s with all the folderol, Gus?”
She watched as he forced a glare onto his face, erasing the impudent grin he’d been wearing. “You are to call me by my proper name if I have to call you by yours.”
“There’s a difference between shouting ‘Ellie’ and speaking ‘Gus’ quietly.” She grabbed his arm. “Now tell me, or I’ll toss you into the river.”
He pressed his lips together and gave her his most obstinate glower. The corners of his lips twitched, and she knew he wanted to laugh. She let go. She couldn’t really dunk him while he carried the small kid.
“Why are aunt and uncle here?”
“Can’t tell you that either. But they’s only stopping, not staying. We better hurry.”
Ellie lost Gustustharinback’s help as soon as they came in sight of the pens. He scuttled down the last hill and opened the gate but then ran through the goat barn, across the yard, and into the house.
Cheryl here...did you like that?
Purchase Dragons of the Watch on:
Barnes and Noble
Mrs. Paul has also released a prairie romance, Taming the Wild Wind. Check out her website for details.