I’m happy to announce the Vanilla Heart Publishing release of Emily’s Stories, my e-book fantasy collection of three short stories about Emily Walters, a sharp, inquisitive fourteen-year-old north Florida girl who loves maps, her rusty old bike, and the forest behind her house.
Sometimes her dreams tell her the future and sometimes her waking hours bring wise birds and other spirits into her life. In these three short stories, join Emily in her adventures and mysteries.
In “Map Maker,” Emily uses her skills to fight against a developer why wants to turn the woods behind her house into an upscale subdivision.
The family travels to the mountains in “High Country Painter” where Emily must learn to paint dreams into reality to avoid a hiking tragedy.
And, in “Sweetbay Magnolia,” she learns the secrets of her grandmother’s favorite backyard tree, the old house down on the driver, and why a certain ghost who comes around for a visit already knows her name.
Excerpt from “Map Maker”
Just yesterday, she asked her dad why his civil engineering firm cared about Barrett Hills.
“When I saw you experimenting with my old case of drafting instruments, I thought the map might provide an interesting learning experience.”
She laughed. “You’re always thinking up interesting learning experiences for what I call doodling.”
“Who knows, Punkin, you may doodle yourself into a career as a map maker,” he said. “But there is another matter you’re not going to like. The last of the Welles family’s known heirs passed away several months ago and his estate wants to sell the property behind our house.”
“How can they part with their The Ancient and Sacred Forest?” she asked.
“Nathaniel Welles is probably the last of the line,” he said. “If no heirs are found, the executor will dispose of all the assets in accordance with Mr. Welles’ will. A developer would want everything from our property line down to Old Welles Road to make a project viable.”
“Viable? What does that mean? What will happen to our woods?”
“Several developers have expressed an interest. With all of it, there’s enough space for 25 new homes and prospective new friends. That’s progress we can watch from our own back yard.”
Emily’s dad sounded upbeat, even excited. Maybe that meant Walters and Associates would design the new streets. If so, she didn’t want to know. The thing was, he was staring out the living room windows while he talked as though something highly interesting was happening between the back door and the Millie Macs.
“Losing The Ancient and Sacred Forest doesn’t sound like progress to me, Dad.”
“It’s regress, you know what I mean? When Mr. Welles’ executor disposes of assets he’s disposing of the shortleaf pine, the blackberries, hundreds of oak trees and the homes of thousands of birds and small critters.”
“Saying ‘Punkin’ doesn’t fix it, Dad.”