The cast of the Curse Breaker series would like to wish you and your loved ones a happy Thanksgiving. Feast with care this holiday season because food (and its preparation) can be deadly.
I should know. (This is Ran, if you hadn’t guessed.)
I’ve been involved in a fair amount of food-related capers in my short fictional life. To keep you safe this holiday, I’ve compiled a list of tips to help you arrive alive to your chosen bounty.
So here we go. 7 Holiday Survival Tactics from the fictional pros (me):
- The wait can be deadly.
Keep your wits about you because those innocuous-seeming shadows might be hiding a mega-dust bunny with claws. We recommend you keep a fork close to hand in case spearing said dust bunny becomes necessary.
- Demons do eat little boys.
(The proof is below.) Keep your younger relatives away from those creepy statues. You don’t know what might be hiding behind them.
- Kitchens are more deadly than they appear.
If a pot hanging from yonder rack starts swinging all on its own–back away slowly. If it winks at you, turn and run. Always have a preplanned escape route or barring that, someone with a broad back to use as a human shield.
- Wooden spoons make good kindling in a pinch but poor torches.
(Momma had a fit when Papa torched her spoons.) So if the lights go out, make sure you’ve got a lumir stone to hand. Please don’t stick your wooden spoons in the fire unless you’re holding them with a fire-proof mitt. We recommend getting that mitt because of #5.
- Dragons hide in ovens.
Well, the little ones do. That’s how ovens get so hot–dragon babies breathe fire on your food. So beware when opening that oven door. If flames shoot out, don’t reach in or you’ll lose a hand!
- Hide the barbecue sauce.
(In case there’s a dragon in your oven.) Not all ovens have them. Some heat your food via red lumir. So beware. Don’t touch the red light!
- Spells and sauces explode when mixed.
Stir with care if there’s a mage in the kitchen. That pepper shaker might be the difference between spicy and scorching. Back out of splash range just to be safe and put a solid stone wall between you and any culinary magic before it goes awry.
- The wait can be deadly.
Since the proof is in the pudding–er–excerpt, I’ll show you how to avoid becoming dinner for the demon who just waltzed into your kitchen. Be calm and read on!
Ran crossed his arms over his chest and glared at Papa creeping across the twenty statue-choked feet to a doorway. Hurry up, Papa. I’m hungry. But Ran knew better than to voice his complaints aloud.
Papa’s attention had fixed on the goal of food finally. Why it had taken all morning to aim him in breakfast’s direction mystified Ran. Mama had been more reliable about meal times, but Mama was gone. Only Papa was still here, and Papa operated on his own timetable. Most of the time it matched up with Ran’s. Not today though and the missed meal made him cross.
His stomach gurgled again. Papa continued his statue impersonation as he studied the kitchen’s interior. Go inside. What was taking Papa so long? Ran had smelt hunger’s fruity scent on Papa’s breath.
Finally, Papa went in. A light flared up inside Ran’s head marking Papa, and he smiled. Papa might be out of sight but not out of mind. Behind him, Shade shifted from foot to foot in nervous agitation. Ran moved out of knee range. Big People tended to forget he was there, not Papa, but Papa had magical reminders.
Ran glanced over his shoulder to gauge the distance between himself and Shade’s shifting appendages and froze. Shade’s clothes bulged in odd places as melons rolled around under the gray cloth. Ran moved sideways, stopping when his back bumped a statue’s braided base. Something was wrong with Shade.
Doubling over, Ran groaned as nausea crawled into his tummy, twisting it into knots. A translucent hand pointed toward a narrow aisle between the statue and Shade. Ran shook his head at the not-boy-thing. Frantic now, the hand semaphored his danger.
“Papa said I have to stay with Shade.”
Intense cold gripped Ran’s wrist. Papa had made him promise to be quiet, so he clapped his free hand over his mouth to silence his whimpering. The cold crept up Ran’s arm as the not-boy-thing’s hand dragged him out of the alcove formed by two catty-cornered statues. Lumir crystal eyes scowled at Ran for disobeying Papa.
The disembodied hand yanked Ran into the corridor proper and let go when they’d reached its middle. By then, its touch had numbed Ran’s entire right arm. Tears stung his eyes as feeling tingled back into his fingers.
White light exploded from the kitchen blinding Ran. Shade screamed, and a breeze rustled Ran’s clothes. After rubbing his eyes, Ran searched the corridor for Shade and the floating hand but saw only gathering shadows. They extruded whipping tendrils. Ran backpedaled. If he stayed here, a shadow monster would eat him.
Scary things always fled from Papa and his magic. Ran darted through the door toward the beckoning afterimages left by the light show.
Winding around giant slabs, he slipped through a forest of legs, tripping up a rotund fellow. As Ran scrambled, heart in mouth, he shivered from fear and cold. Where was Papa?
— Excerpted from Curse Breaker: Enchanted.
Want a signed paperback? We’re trying to convince our scribe to sell them for the holidays. Email us at Melinda@Melinda-Kucsera.com and tell us if this is something you’d be interested in.
Want a to hear us? The cast of the Curse Breaker series has hijacked a narrator. Yes, we’re making an audio book, and we’re giving away the entire audio book when it’s done. Email us at Melinda@Melinda-Kucsera.com if you’d like an advanced listen.
Shh, don’t tell our scribe. She doesn’t know we hijacked her voicebox for this project, and we’d like to keep it that way.
Holiday Deals, Steals & Giveaways
Until next time, dear reader
This is Ran, son of Sarn, “the Turkey Chaser” wishing you a happy Turkey Day!
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