Here today is a short excerpt of my book, Evertrue: An Underworld Fairytale, which is available in paperback and kindle from Amazon. Read on to find out more.
To save Grandma Crick from being fed to the ravenous Monger turtles, Mila must journey into the underworld to steal the Evertrue Emerald from the demon, Malrook. Joined by a motley bunch of experts through the deadly, dragon-infested caves, they meet Captain Tuna the accordion-playing walrus, a karate-kicking fairy, and a colony of strange and grumpy troglonomes. As time runs out, Mila discovers that friendship and ingenuity can unearth the greatest strength of all and win her heart’s desire.
Evertrue is a fairy-tale for readers young and old, and will appeal to fans of Philip Pullman and J. K. Rowling’s The Ickabog.
Falliiing! from chapter 6 of Evertrue:
A wind blew up around them as they edged across the bridge, catching their breath and making them gasp. The bridge seemed impossibly narrow and so old it was a wonder it hadn’t fallen down years ago—something Mila kept expecting at every step.
The end was in sight, but then Tomas slipped and suddenly they were falling. Tumbling down and down, their hearts in their mouths as they screamed. Mila saw something dark coming up toward them and they found themselves caught in a net.
“Hang on,” boomed a voice.
The net inched into what looked like a basket hanging suspended from a balloon, or rather, many balloons tied together. Inside the basket was a walrus, or something like one.
“I don’t normally catch things like you,” said the walrus. “Normally it’s just fish, but welcome aboard the Misty Queen. My name is Captain Tuna. Can I take you on a cruise of the pit? To be honest, it doesn’t really go anywhere exciting, just up and down, on and on in an endless kind of way. I’ve drawn a map of the pit if you’d care to see?”
He showed them a drawing of a tube that disappeared off the edge of the page in both directions. Apart from the places where Captain Tuna had marked out shoals of fish, and the occasional exit into a cave, it was a very dull map.
“Can you take us to Malrook’s Lair?” Mila asked.
Captain Tuna rubbed his chin.
“Let me check the map,” he said. “There might be a shortcut.”
On the map was a doorway further down, marked with the word ‘shortcut’.
“Yes, there it is,” said Captain Tuna. “It’s a bit below us, but once we get to that door it won’t be far to Malrook’s Lair. Can I ask why you want to go there?”
Mila explained about the king and the emerald.
“That’s bad luck,” said Captain Tuna. “Malrook is a tricky one. Lots of people have tried to get his emerald, and he’s fooled every one of them. You’ll need to be quick not to get caught in one of his games.”
Captain Tuna cut loose some balloons and the basket sank downwards.
“What kind of fish do you catch?” Mila asked.
“Flying fish,” said Captain Tuna. “A few climbing fish, but I hunt for the Great Swordfish of the Deep, though I’ve only ever seen the top of his great fin. I’m also learning the accordion,” he added.
He played for them as they travelled down the pit. The tunes were lively but loud, like a group of angry parrots arguing. Mila and Tomas had heard enough by the time Mila spotted the door some way below them.
“It even has a ‘shortcut’ sign,” she added as Tomas came over to look.
The captain brought them up to the door and let out a plank for them to walk across, and this time they made it without falling.
“I hope you manage to catch that swordfish,” Mila called out.
“Good luck getting the emerald,” Captain Tuna called back, and he sailed away, the squawking sounds of his accordion growing ever fainter.
Evertrue is available to buy here: https://www.amazon.co.uk/dp/B08X4SJYDD
Watch the trailer here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2zThWDcNx14