That Meddlesome Bear

Hi Readers,

I’m back. This is Ran, and I must dive into this week’s newsletter right away to avoid a plot hole. They can be quite deadly, which is why I’m doing my best to avoid falling into one.

Hold please while I back us up in time to the moment after Bear sent last week’s newsletter. Okay, are you still with me? Good, cause I’m going in, and you’re coming with me.

When you last saw our hero (me, Ran, Sarn’s son), it was through Bear’s eyes. Bear is my best and most furriest friend. He is also an animated teddy bear with big, shiny button eyes.

Do you see Bear standing in the hallway and somehow typing on Melinda’s (my scribe’s) smartphone with his big fuzzy paws? Okay good.

Do you see me running toward him? I’m the adorable child wearing a cut-down version of Papa’s Ranger greens. I now return you to the plot so we can fill in that hole before it gobbles us up. Plot holes are dangerous. Always avoid them.

“Bear? What are you doing?” I asked as I took Melinda’s cellphone from his paws.

“Saving you from that black hole that opened up last week—er two weeks ago. Yes, that happened two weeks ago now since you messed around with the timeline. That was very inconsiderate of you by the way.” Bear gave me a gimlet stare with his button eyes, and I tried not to laugh because he looked so cute with his furry face all scrunched up like that.

“Plot holes are bad, so I had to back us up to preserve the continuity of the story.” I glanced at the phone in my hands, but Bear had swiped to remove all traces of his digital meddling. Darn it. “So, how were you planning to save us?” I asked instead because he probably messed with our weekly newsletter.

Since Melinda receives them too, I could just check her inbox, but later because I wanted an answer. Bear had not participated much in our Dragonish Troubles. Except for the one time I ran into him in between newsletters in Melinda’s apartment, he’d been making himself awfully scarce. Usually, that meant Bear was up to something, and I wanted to know what.

Come to think of it, Bear did make a cryptic comment when I ran into him that time, but I couldn’t remember what it was. That incident was kind awkward since it bridged another plot hole.

“Maybe I found a clue in Melinda’s papers.” Bear tried to frown, but his face had been stitched into a perpetual smile.

Without magic, he couldn’t manipulate those stitches to show his real emotions, but his button eyes expressed them just fine. So his face kept that goofy grin I love so much, and I smiled too even though this wasn’t a smiley situation.

There was a large black thing expanding in the parking lot of my Scribe’s apartment building. We didn’t know if it was a hole or a portal thing that something would fly out of or a monster bent on eating us. Either way, it wasn’t good.

And, Bear was stalling. Double darn. If I pushed him, he wouldn’t answer. Well, Papa would just have to come up with a plan to deal with that thing in the parking lot. I’d better get back to his side, so I could be part of that plan.

“Bear, I appreciate what you tried to do, but this is my newsletter.” I pocketed the phone. “I’ll tell the story.”

“For now,” Bear said ominously.

I had been walking back to Papa and his sparkly shield, which was slowly creeping toward me. It liked to fully engulf me, and I think it was annoyed that I’d escaped it a few minutes ago. But I stopped and turned to face Bear. “What do you mean by that?”

Bear gestured to the little girl sitting on Robin’s lap inside Melinda’s apartment then they vanished.

“Hey, where’d they go?”

“Back to their book. They’re not published yet, so their presence here is a little anachronistic.” Bear raised a paw to silence me before I could ask what ‘anachronistic’ meant. “But there’s a free preview available of their first adventure.  Click to claim yours, and don’t forget to preorder Hunter’s Night, part of the Rogue Skies Boxed Set.”

“But we’re still arguing about the cover. How can there be copies already?” I scratched my head truly confused by this turn of events and a little hurt that Bear had gone behind my back and set all this up without me. I’m the one who gives away previews.

“Melinda bought a cover for it before she wrote it, so I used that for the preview and the review copies. Don’t look at me like that. I didn’t mean to upstage you. The organizers of Rogue Skies, the boxed set which features Robin’s first adventure, requested sample copies and review copies. Melinda had the files all ready to go, so I just added the cover she bought last year and sent them off.” Bear tried to fold his arms over his chest, but he didn’t really have a chest.

Bear was all head and belly with cylindrical arms that didn’t bend well without magical alterations, which he couldn’t make while we were in Melinda’s world.

“Oh, well I guess that’s okay. Melinda can’t publish it outside of that set until she gets the rights back, and she won’t get those until early next year.” I patted Bear’s shoulder. He did have a shoulder. It was just very small because he had no neck and a very round body.

“You should explain the reading order,” Bear said before I could ask him how had he’d planned to save us from that black hole/portal/monster thing growing in the parking lot and possibly the sky too?

My perspective was kind of skewed because I was small and looking at it through a hole a giant book punched through a wall. There was also a lot of debris and a magical shield in the way. So I didn’t have a clear view of it.

“What reading order? The Curse Breaker books are Enchanted, Darkens, Faceted, Falls, Sundered and Hidden (fall 2019). Then there’s my auntie’s origin story/adventure, His Angelic Keeper, which takes place before, during and after Enchanted. The sequel to it is coming next year.”

“What about Relic Hunters?”

“It’s a prequel/new series and can be read whenever.” I shrugged.

“And Hunter’s Night? What about Robin’s first adventure? Readers have been asking you know.” Bear gave me a pointed stare.

“Well, Hunter’s Night, Rogue Night (fall 2019), and the first bunch of books in Robin’s series are technically prequels since they take place before Curse Breaker: Enchanted.

“So there are spoilers in there.” Bear nodded as if already knew what those spoilers were.

“Probably. Robin strikes me a sharp lady. She’ll definitely notice things about Shade that Papa didn’t until the end of Enchanted because everyone needs someone they can trust. For Papa, that someone was Shade.”

In hindsight, Papa probably knew there was something off about his friend, Shade, for a large chunk of their friendship. But he needed me to be the yardstick of loyalty, trustworthiness and all-around awesomeness to measure all others against, and Bear knocked the conversation way off-topic.

“Hey, you didn’t answer my question.” I shook my finger at him.

“I’ll have to answer it next time.” Bear’s button eyes actually shined in anticipation.

So not fair but we’ll have to continue this next week. Until then, this is Ran,  son of Sarn, the hero of the Curse Breaker series, signing off.


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