Merlin’s School for Ordinary Children – The Ring of Curses #1 ‘You’re joking,’ Bridget gushed, causing the girl at the next table to turn in her direction. She stared at the girl until she shrugged her shoulders, only to turn away again. Bridget was very grateful for the other girl’s indifference, hoping that Orion wasn’t going to be angry with her for her blunder. ‘Sorry,’ she said softly, ‘but I wasn’t expecting you to say something like that.’
‘Tha–that’s okay,’ Orion responded. ‘I fa–find it hard to believe myself.’
‘I reckon,’ Bridget said, a little more delicately this time. She took another sip of her now cold drink, then another before asking, ‘Did he get expelled?’
‘Na–na –no,’ Orion declared, debating again about how much he should tell Bridget. He watched the girl closely for a moment, deciding that he liked her. Keeping his voice low he continued, ‘Ca–ca–can you keep a secret?’
Bridget nodded quickly. She was so overwhelmed that she was beginning to feel a bit sick.
Orion was so relieved to be offloading his dark confidence that he didn’t notice Bridget’s discomfort. He lent a little closer. The seemingly intimate movement made Bridget’s eyes fair shine with delight.
‘Tha–tha–the ring is magic, ja–just like Professor Flounder said it was.’
‘No way,’ Bridget breathed, her eyes widening with awe. She waited expectantly for Orion’s next words, which came slowly and hesitantly.
‘Tha–tha–the night we returned from tha–the pyramids we tried it out. The other boys were in ba–bed so we had the common room to ourselves. It ta–ta–took a while, but eventually we conjured up a pa–plate of sweets. After tha– that there was no stopping him! The wishes got bigger and ba–better, you know … watches, jewellery, and one na–night even a small motorbike. But we couldn’t get out of tha–the castle to give it a test run. Eventually, Terrie and I ga–got fed up with Neville’s wa–want, want, want sa–so we let him get on with it. After about a week he just vanished.’
Back page blurb –
A reclusive old man had to die before something of major proportions happened in the small seaside town of Calder Cove. Over a long and extended period, a series of weird and rather extraordinary events occur, most of which are hidden from view behind a construction of tall screens. Then, with a very grand and bizarre opening ceremony, a strange and mysterious castle is revealed, a castle that seemed to have appeared out of the darkness and silence of nowhere.
Was it magic? The townsfolk wondered.
Or was it something more sinister.
In time it is made known that the massive grey edifice is nothing beyond a school. But when the exclusively invited children finally step inside, the huge doors are locked securely behind them, creating a strict division between the world of their families and the castle. Everything that was once part of everyday life becomes a thing of the past and the new students are thrown - without warning - into the unknown. It is with great trepidation that they begin to question these changes and ask … is this place really a school?
Merlin’s School for Ordinary Children – The Ring of Curses is jam-packed with magic and adventure – a timely cross between Enid Blyton’s, Famous Five with a hint of JK Rowling’s, Harry Potter.
Link - http://www.amazon.com/Ring-Curses-Merlins-Ordinary-Children/dp/0992509548/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1424573701&sr=8-1&keywords=merlin%27s+school+for+ordinary+children+-+the+ring+of+curses (print version but is available in ebook format)
Excerpt – RIVERBEND; A Collection of Fairy Tales and Other Stories. Tumbledown Witch
It was while they took turns dancing with a handsome dark-haired fellow, with eyes like a stormy ocean, that both Maree and Cecelia had their souls filled with golden words of love, swooning into the young man’s arms with each twirl of the dance floor. Each sister was unaware of the other’s emotions, however, until this very moment when they spoke together of their pledges and passions.
What were they to do?
In a fog of confusion each ran to their mother, who pulled them into a soothing embrace. ‘Do not worry, my lovelies,’ she said after some thought, ‘for I know of a witch who lives in Tumbledown Woods. She can fix these things of the heart. One of you shall run to her and gain a spell. I will find a gold coin for we must always pay our dues.’
Cecelia’s eyes shone as her mother went off to find the required monies, but Maree studied her sister’s face with a look of contempt. She had a ready idea of who would do the running as she knew that Cecelia was the favourite. It had been that way throughout their childhood. But … this time it would be different. Maree would make sure that Cecelia would be the one to go the witch while Maree stayed at home and prepared her seduction. She had no intentions of coming off second best this time.
Both girls now felt confident that all would be well and they did not worry their mother any more. But they might have worried greatly if they had known how their mother knew about the witch.
The next day, as the sun shone down, Cecelia and Maree stood with their mother at the door of their home. ‘You shall go to Tumbledown and meet the witch, Maree,’ the mother said, handing her the gold coin for payment. ‘Wait until sunset … she will come to you. Do not fear her for she cannot cause you grief.’
‘But why must I go?’ Maree asked, a frown dancing across her lovely face.
‘Why … you are the youngest, my dear; if only by minutes. And you do run as swift as a gazelle and will surely be back from Tumbledown in no time.’
But Maree was prepared for this, saying, ‘Oh … mother dear, alas I understand your reasoning, but unfortunately I cannot run today. My feet still pain me from our night of dancing. Maybe Cecelia would consider going in my stead.’ She smiled sweetly at her sister, offering her the coin.
‘Oh … yes … I’ll go, Cecelia said, grinning from ear to ear. It was wonderful that Maree did not grump and grouch this day as she usually did. Cecelia took the gold coin from her sister’s outstretched hand.
But the girls’ mother seemed extremely hesitant about this turn of events. It was almost as if she was reluctant to let Cecelia go. ‘I don’t know,’ she said finally. ‘Maybe we can leave it ‘til another day … one where you are better suited to the journey, Maree.’
‘No, no, mother,’ Maree argued, ‘surely it would be better to resolve this matter as soon as possible otherwise we will both be broken-hearted.’
Back page blurb –
Riverbend is a real place, 12 kilometres west of Tiaro in Queensland, Australia. It is 28 acres of beautiful bushland, with a winding seasonal creek; an enchanted place where once a dragon came. He lies there still, infusing the land with his magic. Because of this Riverbend is now a locale where fairies dwell and leprechauns visit, where trolls take an evening stroll and a witch once lived, casting spells and curses! A Read To Me or Read Alone book.
Link - http://www.amazon.com/Riverbend-Collection-Fairy-Tales-Stories/dp/1508493855/ref=sr_1_1_twi_1_pap?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1429244142&sr=1-1&keywords=margaret+r+blake (print version but is available in ebook format)
I was born in the northern hemisphere, immigrating to Australia with my family when I was almost ten years old. I’m a jack of all trades when it comes to my work-life, trying my hand at car detailing, machining, commercial artist, fabric designer, waitressing and have even been a farm hand. I’ve had a go at playing piano and guitar, done some time on stage, was a co-founder of a Camp Quality group, raising money for children living with cancer. I love reading and have written book reviews for a local newsletter, as well as been a teacher’s aide with kindergarten and grade one/two children. In between all that I was married for a while and have two grown-up children. After spending thirty three years living in Tasmania I now reside in Queensland. I’m retired and spend a lot of my time writing … though I do like to read a good book as well as doing some needlework when I can get to it.
I have recently released a children’s ‘read alone or read to me’ book of short stories entitled, RIVERBEND; A Collection of Fairy Tales and Other Short Stories - the writing of this book was inspired by a property that I bought together with my brother, Terence and his new wife, Tonya. This book is to be followed very soon by the release of Sword of Stone, the second book in my ‘Merlins’s School for Ordinary Children’ series. The first book The Ring of Curses.
Margaret R Blake @