routine so that’s why I’m delighted to be a part of author Hank Quense’s MOXIE’S DECISION Blog Tour with MC Book Tours today.
funny and satire at its best. Selected as one of
2016’s best YA novels: Huffington Post. It’s also a top pick! Indie Reader: 5 stars
DECISION today. Be sure to check out the giveaway details below.
Princess Moxie (Book 2)
Strange Worlds Publishing (October 15, 2015)
◊ Genre: Fantasy, Action,
Merlin sat on a chair with his flute in his lap and watched the dozen knights perform stretching exercises. The knights were members of the Step-dancing Troupe and today was a rehearsal day. Armor and weapons had been piled in a corner of the room of the shed located behind the castle. The Knights of the Round Table used the room for many of their practices and rehearsals. It had a dirt floor except in the practice area where oak planks formed a stage.
Shamus, the dance master, stood near Merlin and called out instructions for the exercises. Shamus was a wizened old man from Eire and the foremost step-dancing master in the British Isles. Shamus wore a wig that resembled a much-used mop. The wig wasn’t for looks, it kept his bald head warm.
Artie had convinced Shamus to come to Camelot, form a troupe and develop the knights’ talents. Shamus once told Merlin that if it wasn’t for Artie’s five-year contract, he would have long ago returned to Eire.
Shamus clapped his hands. “All right everyone. That’s enough stretching. Let’s get started with the rehearsal. I want you to form two lines facing each other. Today we’ll begin to learn our routine for our Yuletide presentation. It’s a difficult number called the Fall of Troy.”
“Who’s Troy?” Kay asked.
“Why did he fall?” asked Galahad.
Shamus sighed. “Troy was an ancient city in Asia. It was destroyed in a war with the Greeks. The war was described in a famous epic poem by a Greek named Homer. Our dance routine will depict the sacking of the city called Troy. Is this all clear?”
“All pagan nonsense,” Galahad said.
“What was the war about?” Bedivere wanted to know.
“‘Tis not relevant to our rehearsal.” Shamus stamped his foot. “Now, form the lines and stop babbling like children. The line on my left will be the Greeks, while the Trojans are on my right.”
Merlin liked to watch Shamus lose his temper with the knights. The old man called out original and innovative curses when angry.
Once the knights had gathered on the dancing platform, Shamus rearranged the lines. “Palamedes, you have a Trojan look about you with your swarthy skin, move to the other line and switch with Lamorak.”
Once the knights had switched places, Shamus went on. “The Greeks will attack with a series of four-steps. The Trojans will retreat slowly using their two-step routines. Is that clear?”
“I ain’t retreatin’,” Galahad said. “I stand my ground and never move back.”
“It’s a dance routine, idiot.” Shamus now had a red face. “It’s not a real battle.”
“Whether ’tis a sham battle or real, I ain’t retreatin’.” Galahad folded his arms and glared at Shamus.
“Kay, would you be good enough to change places with Galahad?”
“I ain’t fightin’ on the losin’ side. I’m stayin’ with the Greeks.”
Merlin watched Shamus mentally wrestle with that predicament.
“If that’s how it is, then here is what I will do. I will assign each of you a place in the two lines and I don’t want hear a word out of any of you. Is that clear?” Shamus’s voice had risen in pitch as he went through his little speech.
Despite the rising sound of grumbling as Shamus rearranged the lines, it was done quickly.
“Now, Merlin, will you pipe us a tune while the Greeks advance against the Trojan shield wall which will slowly give way.” Shamus pointed to Merlin.
Merlin began the notes of an old folk tune. He held the flute in his hand away from his lips and played it by casting short magic spells.
The knights began their steps, producing a racket on the wood floor of the stage.
Shamus kept moving his hand to establish the beat.
The Greek line advanced while the Trojans held their position. Merlin, having seen a number of different rehearsals, could predict what was about to happen.
The Greek on the right side of his line tangled feet with the Trojan opposite him. The Greek four-stepper fell to the left and the Trojan two-stepper fell to the right. Each grabbed the arm of the closest dancer to regain their footing. That action dragged down the second dancer who grabbed the next man in line throwing another dancer off-balance. The sequence played out until all the dancers were on the ground in a pile of snarling, cursing and growling warriors.
“I curse all of you to your fourth generation,” Shamus yelled.
Merlin stopped playing the flute and watched Shamus.
The old man grabbed his wig, threw it on the floor and stomped on it. “May all of your ancestors’ bones be piled up and burned and the ashes dumped into the ocean.”
Merlin stood and left the shed. Today’s rehearsal was over.
He often lectures on fiction writing and publishing and has a series of guides
covering the basics on each subject. He is currently working on a third Moxie
novel that takes place in the Camelot era.
He and his wife, Pat, usually vacation in another galaxy or parallel universe.
They also time travel occasionally when Hank is searching for new story ideas.
(worldwide) of MOXIE’S DECISION and three (3) print copies of MOXIE’S
DECISION (U.S. entries only). The giveaway ends at 12 a.m. (EST) on Monday, July 3.