Mystery of the Golden Shells publishes this coming Monday, so I figured a short excerpt of the story might be fun.
Admittedly, I had a difficult time choosing this excerpt! With the various trails the story can take depending on a reader’s choices, it’s hard to pick a section that’s not going to give something away or confuse people for later. So I decided on an excerpt that happens early on in the story. Hope you enjoy!
Publication Date: August 15, 2022
Genre: Fantasy Adventure and Mystery (Multi-ending)
Lead In: You have just been given a two-part assignment to figure out who poisoned the Queen and find a mythical shell to heal her. While you’re on the ship that will take you to search for the shell, you get the chance to meet some of the suspects.
The Performer and the Storyteller 🙂
You lower yourself down the companionway, being careful not to let your land legs trip you as the ship sways.
At the thud of your boots, a scrawny old man pops his head above the counter in the galley. He shoves a hand through his steel-gray hair and exclaims, “Jumping jugglers, another contestant!”
Since it’s not a question, you don’t respond.
He continues without noticing. “No matter. Mark my promise, Allen will win no matter how many contestants the King includes.”
He stands up holding three late-season mandarins, which he starts juggling, sending the fruits toward the beams above in a high arch. As he passes by, his long coat flutters, revealing the red, yellow, and green patches on his pants that cover gallon-deep pockets.
There’s a snort and you look back to find a dark haired gypsy woman scowling at the old man. She sips from a glass in her bejeweled fingers that gives off the faint whiff of rum. “Performing parrot, he always talks about himself in the third person. It’s disgraceful,” she says.
“Allen heard that,” hollers the old man.
“Patricia doesn’t care!” responds the woman.
Suddenly, a mandarin sails out of the darkness from the other end of the ship.
Patricia fumbles, sloshing her rum, but catches the fruit. She scowls even harder and crow’s feet fan out from the corners of her dark eyes.
You hear a telltale whoosh and another mandarin comes sailing your way. Snagging it, you drop it into a pocket for later.
Patricia peels her mandarin like she wanted it in the first place, dropping the slices into her drink.
“Storytelling is far more refined than what that trickster does,” she says. Then, taking your raised brow as agreement, she wanders away.
That’s it for today! If you’re interested in a signed copy of Mystery of the Golden Shells, hop over to the pre-order page here on the website and order before the 15th!