Gertrude's Broken Wand (Marmalade Book 1)

Gertrude's Broken Wand (Marmalade Book 1)

by Jason Thibeault

ISBN: 9781935893264

Publisher Dime Novel Publishing, LLC

Published in Children's Books

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Sample Chapter

Prologue Gertrude took a deep breath, closed her eyes, and pointed her wand at the ground. “Farzyah!” She said. She waited a second and then opened one eye, peering out across her long nose at the unchanged landscape around her. She gritted her teeth. “Palash!” She said, this time pointing the wand at a tree. Nothing happened again. “Gripple!” She yelled, feeling her anger boiling. Calm down, she thought. Getting angry isn’t going to help. Need to focus… She took another deep breath and steadied herself. But her mind was blank. She couldn’t think of any more names. The dark forest around her groaned in response, as if it too was frustrated by her efforts. It wasn’t the first time that she had stood underneath the leafless branches of the haunted forest with her wand, trying to come up with a name for the land in which they lived. Just like the witch before her and the witch before her and as long back as Gertrude cared to imagine. She wondered if this was where it all started—when the land turned to a perpetual Halloween. It was a curse that had ruined travel, destroyed the countryside, and brought dark creatures into their lives. Gertrude looked around, wondering where they were lurking. Ghosts. Ghouls. Zombies. And worse. She looked back at the castle that was shrouded in a perpetual gloom from the clouds above. A rustling in the trees caught her attention and out of the corner of her eye she saw something moving. A zombie. The shambling corpse wandered aimlessly. “Ugh, zombies,” she said. “Freak me out.” With a quick snap of her wand and a few muttered words, the zombie’s head popped off and the corpse fell to the ground. Gertrude smiled slyly. But the appearance of the zombie just punctuated the fact that time was running out. No one had been able to give the land a name. Gertrude slid the wand back into her braided gold rope belt and remembered the dream she had for the past two weeks—a wide open field, lush green grass, leafy trees…and someone falling on top of her, breaking her wand. At first, she had been mortified by the dream, dreading the idea of asking Turkley to fix her wand again. The old goat hated her and had sworn never to fix her wand again especially not after what happened last time. But as the weeks wore on, the same dream waking her every night, she began to look at the brighter side: If someone breaks my wand, she had thought, perhaps I can get them to fix it and they can be the kingdom’s witch! She smiled even now thinking about when she had come up with her plan. Although it was a short-lived smile as she thought about her trip just that morning to the royal library to read the prophecy again. The scroll had been very clear—if the land wasn’t named by sunset tonight, everything would disappear forever. The castle. The spooky trees. The zombies. Even her. And although she didn’t want to disappear (she was okay with the zombies going), she’d come to realize that she’d rather have her last day spent as not-a-witch than waste anymore time trying to give the stupid land a name. “When it apparently doesn’t like any of my suggestions,” she mumbled. She looked back at the castle and then at the path that led in the direction she thought the clearing from her dream was. With her wand in her belt, certain she could take care of any of the other haunted forest’s cursed inhabitants, she headed off to put her plan in motion. She kicked the trunk of a huge tree as she walked by and the land shook once as if in reply. Gertrude, though, just kept right on walking.
Excerpted from "Gertrude's Broken Wand (Marmalade Book 1)" by Jason Thibeault. Copyright © 2011 by Jason Thibeault. Excerpted by permission. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher. Excerpts are provided solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.
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Author Profile

Jason Thibeault

Jason Thibeault

Jason Thibeault received his undergraduate B.A. degree in English/Creative Writing from the University of California, Irvine. After unsuccessfully publishing his first novel, Ordinary Magic, he obtained his M.A. in English/Creative Writing from California State University, Northridge where he wrote most of a second novel, founded a literary magazine, taught creative writing, and realized the difficulties of raising a growing family on an academic salary.

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