Albert Camus

Don't walk behind me; I may not lead. Don't walk in front of me; I may not follow. Just walk beside me and be my friend.

Friday, July 25, 2014

Kids Moments: Excerpt Thomas Holland and the Prophecy of Elfhaven by K.M. Doherty

Published: April 2014


Tom does not believe in magic.

For a thousand years, the Prophecy of Elfhaven has predicted the arrival of a boy who would irrevocably change their world. But what does that have to do with Tom? with his dog Max? with his robot Chloe? When Tom’s mom and her team of scientists unexpectedly open a portal to another universe they discover a world where magic, not science rules. And when Tom’s robot, Chloe, is drafted into service to explore that strange new world, it unleashes a bizarre series of events. Events where dragons, wizards, ogres, trolls, elves, dwarves, magic and technology collide; events that propel Tom headlong towards a war that threatens to destroy Elfhaven. 

Even with the help of his new-found friends, and despite the efforts of his new-found enemies, can Tom save this world or will he inadvertently bring about its destruction?

Meet the Characters


Max, Tom’s enormous furry St. Bernard, brings help!

At this point, Avani and the others had reached the last row of trees before the clearing. They were about thirty paces to the right of the campfire. Directly in front of them there was indeed a boy tied to a small tree. But the boy was no elf child. He looked similar to an elf, but his face was all wrong. His ears were short and flat and his eyes were small and too close together. Plus his nose was round instead of pointy. He sat ten feet away, directly on the ground with a filthy rag tied around his mouth, and his hands were bound together behind the tree. 

Just then Max started crawling toward the edge of the clearing. Kiran grabbed his collar at the last moment. Max let out a slight whimper. The prince grabbed the hilt of his sword and looked in the direction of the trolls. The elves all stopped breathing. Luckily the trolls were still intent on their argument, oblivious to the noise that Max had made. Avani looked back toward the boy and saw that he was now staring right at them, only his eyes looked much bigger.

Avani put her finger to her lips and mouthed the sound “shush.” He seemed to understand and relaxed a little, glancing back to where the trolls stood arguing.

Avani turned toward Devraj whispering, “First I’ll create a diversion by conjuring up a dragon. Then I…” 

“Hold on. We’re not attempting to rescue the boy. The plan was to sneak up and have a better look, then head back and tell the guards, remember? My father will decide what to do. If he chooses to do a rescue mission, it needs to be carefully thought out and planned. Besides, a troll patrol this far into elven territory is not good! There are bigger issues at stake here than just some scrawny—whatever he is.” 

At that moment, another troll entered the firelight, apparently returning from patrol. There was a quick recounting of his events and what he'd found. 

“There isn't time. They’re arguing whether to kill the boy or take him with them. Sounds like they intend to leave soon. If we go now, by the time we get back to the city the boy will likely be dead and the trolls will be long gone. So I'll conjure up a dragon and then—”

“You don’t know how to conjure up a dragon, and even if you could, it would probably toast us as soon as you did,” whispered Kiran.

Avani wrinkled up her nose at her brother, and turned back to Devraj, “True I can't actually conjure up a real dragon, but these are just dumb trolls, remember? I should be able to create the illusion of a dragon. It doesn't have to fool them for long, just a couple of myntars, by then we’ll be long gone.”

“I'm the smallest and the steel—, stealthiest,” said Kiran firmly, “so once Avani creates the dragon, I’ll crawl over and untie the boy.”

Avani stared hard at her brother, her eyes intently studying his face. Finally she said, “Okay,” and then whispered to Devraj, “Once we have the boy we can make our retreat. You guard our rear,” at which point Devraj raised an eyebrow and smiled slightly. Avani rolled her eyes. 

“What?” whispered the prince with mock sincerity.

Avani continued, “You guard our FLANK as we make our escape. I’ll hold the image of the dragon as long as I can. We probably won't get far before the image collapses, so we must be quiet and hope they don't notice the prisoner’s missing, at least until we’re far enough away, okay?”

Avani, Kiran and Max all gazed expectantly at Devraj. Looking from one face to the next, he finally sighed. “All right, it looks like we have no other choice. But if anything goes wrong, you two run for help while I try to hold off the trolls. Agreed?”

Avani and Kiran nodded. Max just drooled.

Glaring, Devraj pointed his finger at Avani and added, “And no changing the rules this time, do I have your word?” 

“You have my word!” she whispered innocently.

The prince looked once more at the boy tied to the tree, then back at the trolls. He drew his sword. “Summon your dragon!”

About the authors:
Bellchar is a critically acclaimed author in Elfhaven. That’s in a parallel universe, for those of you who don’t know. Obviously, Bellchar is a rock troll. As this is his first novel published on the planet Earth, and due to the fact that there appears to be strong and continued prejudice against rock trolls on this planet, Bellchar has wisely decided to publish on Earth using a “quill name.” The author has chosen to write under the name of a human who befriended him some years back, K. M. Doherty. The two first met when, due to an unfortunate series of mishaps, Bellchar journeyed to the planet Earth. But that’s another story

K. M. Doherty grew up in eastern Oregon in the shadow of the blue mountains. When he was a young lad he and his dad would stay up late at night watching old movies. But watching movies wasn’t enough. No, they’d painstakingly analyze them, searching here and there for little bits that didn’t work, and then discussing how they could fix them. Perhaps a bit of foreshadowing here, getting a character to stay in character there, adding or removing clues, etc... They especially loved mysteries and who-done-it’s, trying to figure out ahead of time who the real murderer was and what they did wrong that got them caught! Likewise with heist movies: how the crooks screwed up and how they could have gotten away with it. That was the catalyst that finally led to writing this book. However there were a few detours along the way. For instance, skiing, motorcycling, playing lead guitar in a rock and roll band, aikido, tai chi, acting, drawing, a master’s degree in engineering, working for a time as a hardware and software engineer, racing small sailboats, poker, and pool. Lastly, he loves to read science fiction and fantasy novels and he’s seen way too many movies…


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