Welcome to Stop Ten of the DC Green Grat Siege Blog Blitz Tour!
Today’s topic: Sneak Peeks!
Jackie: Can you give us any sneak peeks into Erasmus James and the Grat Siege?
DC: I’d love to! Here is the prologue…
I slump against the railing.
My tower view reveals enemy tents and trenches stretched to the horizon, a patchwork of scabs.
The castle defenders have drained their final, stagnant barrel and gnawed their every belt.
One more attack, and we’ll all be overrun.
It’ll be over. Everything. And I mean, everything.
Guess who doomed the universe?
Jackie: Wow! But that was only 58 words! Can we have a longer sneak peak this time please?
DC: I can never say ‘no’ when you say ‘please.’ Here’s the whole first chapter…
Chapter 1: Seahorsia
My eyes tore open.
The dawn-smeared skyline tilted 90 degrees.
‘That’s not supposed to happen!’
I gawked at the 30 bodies around me, jolting from their sleep. Most were kids, their ages ranging from zit-piled 16-year-olds to wrinkly unborn babies in jars.
Air whizzed past, thick with salt, watering our eyes.
Nicole, a bratty nine-year-old, shrieked, ‘We’re all gonna DIE!’
‘Don’t panic!’ I screamed (only mildly panicked).
My balding dad snored beside me, drool trailing from his chin onto the jar baby cradled in his lap. Beside him dozed Sanders, a chook so ancient she left her purse on Noah’s Ark.
Stupid hard-to-wake adults! I jabbed their ribs.
‘Good gravy!’ Dad blinked. ‘We’re plunging from the sky!’
‘Way to state the obvious.’ I sucked a deep breath. Situation check. We rode on the back compartment of Phooey, a giant mutant chook known as a roccor. Her flock angled down through clouds, their dangly chin bits flapping like muscular red doonas.
My stomach surged into my chest.
Why had the birds turned kamikaze cluckers?
Everyone gaped my way, expecting me to pluck a twitching solution from my magician’s hat. I crawled to the front of the compartment, seized Phooey by her neck feathers and roared, ‘Think of the children!’
Igby pointed down. ‘Igby can see-spy-spot a new-oooh island!’ the 11-year-old amped. ‘It’s mass-massie-massive! Are we crash-ouch-splatting into Nextland?’
Dad wiped sleep from his eyes. ‘I believe that’s Seahorsia, Uponia’s eastern-most province.’
‘Great,’ said Clarissa, the sarcasm in her 12-year-old’s voice undimmed by impending doom. ‘Slamming into land will kill us far more effectively.’
Ignoring Clarissa, I peered over the edge. A town filled my eye-balls. Seconds to impact! I calmly said, ‘ARRRRGH!’
‘Fear not,’ Sanders squawked. ‘Roccors are not lemmings. They will simply fly no deeper into the human king’s lands.’
‘Brace yourselves!’ Dad cried.
Everyone braced. I closed one eye and held on so tight my knuckles glowed.
70-tonne Phooey pulled up from splatteration. Her tree-trunk legs touched down on a football field with 103 nimble stumbles. Poultry in motion! The G-force landing rattled even the most comatose kids awake, and aged everyone seven years.
‘WAAAA!’ Babies screamed.
Locals gawked and pointed from the side-lines. I half-recognised a plump old lady waving from the shade of a building. ‘Hi children, and adult!’ she called. ‘Hi roccors, rats and chook! I’m Mayor Blister. Welcome to Seahorsia! My team has prepared a huuuge breakfast!’
‘Yayyy!’ the kiddies whooped.
‘Unload the jar babies and sleeping kids first!’ Dad yelled.
‘KNEW he was evil,’ said Nicole.
‘Wheza little oi-yoi-boys’ room?’ Igby turned purple.
While kids lugged jars into the breakfast building, the roccors elbowed down the last of their red rocks.
‘CRUNCH!’ they munched.
‘Almost forgot.’ I crawled to the dark-haired 16-year-old who was my excellent second-in-charge on Kid’s Paradise (well, excellent apart from her betraying me to my evil enemy). ‘Happy 16th, Zara!’ I grinned.
Zara seized my head and kissed me for the second time. My cheeks blazed like a sunrise over Venus.
Soldiers emerged from behind the building. An officer scowled, ‘Who’s in charge here?’
Before Dad or Sanders could answer, I piped up. ‘I’m (former) King Erasmus James!’
‘I’ve heard of you.’ The handlebar-moustached officer aimed his crossbow at my squishy bits. ‘I’m Captain Kroak. And you’re under arrest!’
For once, I was speechless.
* * *
Captain Kroak marched me, Dad and Sanders through the town to a wooden fort. Palm trees gently hula-danced. Soldiers saluted. Crossbows jabbed us into an office. Soldiers lined the walls. Kroak slumped behind a creepily tidy desk.
We had to stand.
‘This is nuts,’ I griped. ‘I’ve broken no laws… recently.’
Kroak snorted. ‘You head an army of hundreds.’
‘Hundreds of KIDS!’ I forced a chuckle. ‘You must be joking.’
‘I do not know this Joe King. And your “hundreds of kids” could be an invasion force cleverly disguised as midgets. Certainly, they are not Uponian citizens.’
I rolled my eyes. ‘Must I always be fly-paper for freaks?’
Kroak squinted. ‘Did you just insult me?’
‘We are here for a reason,’ squawked Sanders. ‘Breakfast.’
The captain ignored the chook queen. ‘KING Erasmus… on your last Uponian visa, you caused mass environmental destruction and a revolution that led to the death of our king!’
I sighed. ‘Geriatric news. I was an immature 11-year-old then. I’m a mature almost-13-year old now!’
As if we played poker, Kroak saw my sigh and raised me a temple rub. ‘Why have you brought these so-called children to Uponia?’
‘First, a science lesson.’ I raised the stakes with an arched eyebrow. ‘Uponia is one planet of umpteen billion zapp worlds existing inside MY BRAIN!’
‘Absurd!’ Kroak snorted.
‘But still a fact.’ I smiled. ‘Zapp universes swirl inside EVERY living brain, made of hopes, dreams, fears and other school counsellor stuff. The genius who invented a galactic zapp machine to travel into MY zapp universe was none other than my balding dad, right here!’
‘Anyway,’ I continued, ‘Uponia was a blast. But I busted to explore more planets. So I zapped to a tropical world where adults were banned. There were no rules, no bed-times, unlimited dessert bar and, best of all, the other kids wanted me to be their king! I’d found Kid’s Paradise!’
‘Then why return here?’ asked Kroak. ‘Did you wreck Kid’s Paradise also?’
‘I don’t wreck EVERY world I visit,’ I grumbled. ‘I had a top time until I learned an army of giant kid-scoffing rats headed by Queen Dice wanted to gobble my subjects! So I saved everyone: a few hundred kids and three creepy rat teachers – though I wasn’t so stoked about them (they were teachers, after all). Yeah, I had a little help from my six minor royals – Zara, Roy, Dinah, Bobo, Clarissa and Igby. Sanders here offered minor psychic chook aid too. Oh, and my dad helped – roccor-rescuing us when the island was ’bout to blow up.’
Dad coughed again.
‘With me so far?’ I asked. Kroak nodded unconvincingly. ‘Cool. Maybe your parents aren’t siblings. Coz here’s where things get confusing – even to me. Turned out we were on UPONIA all along, your planet of talking ninja horses and weirdo chooks! The reason? Dad reckons every time I visit a new zapp planet, it gets copied and fused onto Uponia, which is my… master template?’
‘Bravo.’ Dad smiled. ‘Terrific plot summary.’
Kroak’s eyeballs spun, a jackpotting poker machine.
‘Heh, warned you,’ I said. ‘Anyway, to the point. These kids aren’t invaders. They’re… migrants! And… Whoa. Can you hear thundering?’
Kroak grabbed his crossbow, stepped outside and gaped.
We all stepped outside and gaped.
‘Ah,’ said Sanders. ‘I’ve waited 3,649 years for this!’
Jackie: Wow, that was a great sneak peek.
DC: There are even more sneak peaks at my publisher’s website. The full first chapters of all my books are available for FREE download at my publisher’s website: www.barrelbooks.com. Plus, the ENTIRE BOOK of the first Raz story, Erasmus James and the Galactic Zapp Machine, can also be downloaded… totally FREE!!
The DC Green Grat Siege Blog Blitz Tour Itinerary!
Topic 1: Blog Tour Mania!
DC Green, Saturday May 12
Topic 2: Inspiration and Ideas
Ian Irvine, Sunday May 13
Topic 3: Book Giveaway
Kids Book Review, Tania McCartney – Monday 14 – Sunday 20
Topic 4: DC Green’s Books
PIO – Monday May 14
Topic 5: DC’s Amazing Life
Buzz Words, Tuesday May 15
Topic 6: Writing Great Characters
Robyn Opie, Wednesday May 16
Topic 7: Plotting and Planning!
Jill Smith, Thursday May 17
Topic 8: Surf Journalism
Chad Kolcze, Friday May 18
Topic 9: Random Questions
Helen Nolan, Saturday May 19
Topic 10: Sneak Peeks
Jackie Hosking, Sunday May 20
DC would be stoked if you could like his ‘DC Green Author’ page on facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/DC-Green-Author/184192614968404
DC’s books can be purchased online here: www.barrelbooks.com.au
Jackie: Thanks DC it’s been great having you and thanks so much for sharing so much of your new book – can’t wait to read the rest of it!!