Monday, March 02, 2015

In the Spotlight: Wintergarden by T.M. Wallace




Title: Wintergarden
Author: T.M. Wallace
Publisher: Brownridge Publishing
Pages: 220
Genre: YA/Children’s Fantasy
Format: Paperback/Kindle

Addyson Marten must travel a magical labyrinth to its center in order to reach her friend Connor and free him from the witch of the Median Realms. Both Connor and Addy must learn to use their own magical abilities to fight the growing evil in the Human and Fairy worlds.
Wintergarden is the sequel to the Award-Winning book “Under a Fairy Moon,” (Gelett Burgess Children’s Book Awards—Fantasy, 2012, Canadian Christian Writing Awards—Young Adult, 2012.)

For More Information

  • Wintergarden is available at Amazon.
  • Discuss this book at PUYB Virtual Book Club at Goodreads.
Book Excerpt:

Connor clenched his jaw shut until it ached—like the bat- tered heart inside of him. He should have known it was too good to be true. He should have known that they—the fair-folk—would never let him go. He winced as a voice screeched loudly, with a noise like metal scraping against metal: “Where is the girl?”

From his hiding place among the trees, Connor saw the long, bony fngers of the witch grip the shoulders of a smaller fgure in a black cloak. The hood of the cloak slid down revealing the unmistakable lizard-like features of Dubhan: servant of the Elf King.

“She has left the Median Realms, my Queen. Adalira has released her.”

Dubhan's lizard-tongue ficked out suddenly, and his eyes narrowed to slits. He looked over to where Connor sat crouched in the thick of the forest. Connor held his breath. Would the lizard-man sense his presence? His heart drummed loudly in his ears. Dubhan's eyes seemed to look right through Connor for a moment, then turned away.

The too-red lips of Uthrace contorted impossibly, wavering and fickering like a fame. A cry of an eagle sounded just as the witch-queen threw her head back and screamed an ear-shattering cry born of anger and hatred.

Dubhan hissed. “All is not lost, my Queen. The magic worked on the boy—he is here. Shall I fetch him for you?” The Queen released the lizard-man from her grasp: A cruel smile spread across her face.

Suddenly, the ground beneath Connor gave way. He found himself falling into an entirely different place - a narrow space with stone walls. He looked up to find the source of light and saw a sky full of creeping vines. Hairy roots had managed to crowd their way through the stone, partially obscuring the rough grey rock. The place reeked like the earthy dampness of a cellar.

Something large was moving in the tangled mass of leaves and tendrils directly above him: a large black spider, likely one of the witch-queen's pets, was waiting up among the vines to snatch a pixie with butterfly wings. Connor watched in horror as the bulbous form pounced on the unsuspecting fairy creature, sending a rain of leaves and dirt spinning down over Connor's head. He continued to watch through his fngers, frozen with horror.

He cried out: A gloved hand rested firmly on his shoulder. Wheeling around, he looked up into a familiar face. It was the Elf King himself, his dark brows raised in an expression of scornful amusement.

“You thought you could escape? Foolish boy ... Don't you know we have great plans for you?” He grinned and shoved him toward a group of squat, potato-skinned gnomes. “Take him to the caves—be sure to keep him this side of the Labyrinth.” The largest of the gnomes bowed and led Connor roughly through the tunnels of earth and stone.

Connor offered no resistance. He moved along mechanically, kicking the occasional rock or clod of dirt out of his way. He did not lift his head. He didn't bother to wipe his dirt-smeared glasses. He tried not to think ... tried not to notice the dull ache in his heart. 

Connor stared down at his hands in disbelief: only moments ago he was standing with Addy, his one true friend in this twisted world—and his only chance at going home. Now, he was back where he started—a prisoner of the Median Realms.

It was not that he really missed his past life in the Human World—he couldn't remember much about it now—but he knew that his one hope of reclaiming his past had been snatched away. Some dark magic had ripped him away from Addy's side just when they were about to finally escape this place.
The last thing he remembered was whizzing through the fairy-path with Addy in a blur of light and colour ... and just within sight of the stone statues of the Garden in the human world. They had joined hands, so they could be sure they would not be separated. He remembered Addy's long dark hair streaming behind her in the wind, her green eyes dancing. He remembered the lightness in his heart ... how happy he had been! How foolish! In the end it hadn't mat- tered ... . He had been ripped away from her by some dark magic.

One tiny fame of hope still fickered inside of him: At least Addy was safe—and if Addy found the sun-dial, maybe she could fnd her way back to him. Even if no one else could, Addy could fnd a way ...

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