Then I hear it: the drone of an engine, swelling above the gulls' protests. It comes from somewhere above the canopy, its source hidden by the cloud cover above. Just as the sound reaches its climax and begins to wane, a cough interrupts the otherwise solid purr of the aircraft's motor. It carries on for another second or two before it sputters and stops. I listen for several more minutes, ears straining to learn the ultimate fate of the stricken craft, but neither crash nor splash gives me the answer.
Just as I give up to return to my cabin, another sound splits the sky: a human cry. What's that? A rebel yell cuts through the silence like a warning. I look up again, just in time to avoid the parachutist dangling beneath the shrouds of a colorful canopy. She lands with a smooth glide and a shout of exhilaration.
Let's welcome to Distant Shores, teen-lit author Penny Estelle, here to show us a bit about her new release, Billy Cooper's Awesome Nightmare.
Penny: Good morning Cyrus! I want to thank you for letting me stop by today.
Cyrus: Not like you had a whole lot of choice, young lady. Thanks for dropping in. Tell us all a bit about yourself.
Penny: I have written a couple posts on my life in rural Arizona and living with no electricity. We have solar and wind generators. It’s been quite an adjustment for this city girl. I retired three years ago after living in the big city all my life. I told my hubby he had two years to make me love it or he needed to promise to move me back to the good life.
Cyrus: Yeah, we're all a little hooked on our conveniences. I'd be willing to bet, then he fulfilled his end of the bargain?
Penny: Well little did I know, this yahoo kind of life was the good life. There is one thing I can’t seem to get a handle on. The annihilation of snakes and mice (or rats) in the area.
When we first bought this property we were moving some wood and I said, “Oh my look, a baby bunny..uhm..with a really long skinny tail!” No, it was a pack rat – a HUGE pack rat. I have come to hate these things and in the three years we have been up here, they seem to have moved on to find other living arrangements.
Cyrus: Did I mention I had a gerbil named Penny once? She was my fuzzy little buddy. Any other little buddies you encounter out there?
Penny: The other visitors that drop in uninvited are the rattlesnakes – Diamondbacks and Mohave greens. We are indeed lucky enough to have seen them all.
Cyrus: Well, I guess lucky is a relative term, there. All the same, I would think you'd be happier seeing them than not seeing them, if you know what I mean.
Penny: One day, my husband called me out and said, “I am moving the truck and there is a rattler underneath.” He handed me the gun that always has the first three shots loaded with snake shot. For those that don’t know, snake shot shoot a 3 – 5 inch circumference.
He moved the truck and I started blasting, emptying the gun. He ended up crawling away but I know he was wounded! Apparently I need work on target shooting!
Cyrus: You never know. The critter could have been wearing armor. Sounds like one tough snake. You sure you don't need to follow up with a grenade next time? Though a couple extra hours on the range wouldn't hurt, either.
Penny: I have also learned NOT to shoot the bull or king snakes. They eat the mice, rats, etc. The only problem there is they look an awful lot like rattlers, so when they appear out of nowhere, another 5 years is taken off my life. My life continues to get shorter and shorter.
Cyrus: Well, Penny, if it was upo to us, you'd have a long, long life cranking out these cool teen stories.
Tell us about your new release.
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Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare – The Wickware Sagas
Now let me set the stage before I tell my little story. I was visiting my daughter in Utah, last summer and my ten-year old grandson was playing with some of his friends. Somehow, the subject of William Tell came up and not one of these boys had any idea who William Tell was.
Okay, okay…I’m getting to the point. This is how my series, The Wickware Sagas, started. It seems so much of our history is getting lost, especially when it comes to historical legends.
Miss Wickware is a history teacher for 7th and 8th grades students at Langdon Middle School in Phoenix, AZ. Rumor has it that strange things happened in her class. Is she a witch? Is she from another planet? Nobody can, or will, talk too much about what has happened. Yea…probably just rumors…or are they?
Every year, she gives an assignment for an oral book report. Each student will draw a name from a box and then give an oral report on whom they have chosen and somehow, one of these students ends up face to face with their drawn subject. How does this happen?
Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare is the first of the Wickware Sagas Series.
Billy Cooper is so annoyed about this oral report. Old Lady Wickware drops this bomb on a Friday afternoon and it’s due on Monday. Well he has plans for the whole weekend and simply doesn’t have time to do a report. He figures he will do a quick computer search on Sunday night on this William Tell guy, whoever that is, and then he will just skate by on this assignment. All that changes when he finds himself in the 14th century and standing in front of William Tell’s house.
Billy Cooper’s Awesome Nightmare!
Stop by for a visit and let me know what you think!
Cyrus: Looks like an intriguing concept, Penny. I can see this taking off for sure. Speaking of taking off, you don't mind sticking around for a while, do you? The next plane arrives some time after it runs out of gas.
Congratulations on your release, sis, and welcome to MuseItUp Publishing.