Available at Amazon in soft-cover and ebook, the first of seven books in the Phillip’s Quest series.
The adventure begins with a visit from the wizard, Azur, to the gnome, Phillip Tuber of the village called Twistedoak. Time is running out for the peaceful little village and for Phillip’s brother, Phallow. The Red Witch of Winterfrost Castle is on a rampage and Phillip must undertake a quest to this magic castle. Not traveling alone, the gnome’s best friend, Edward the squirrel, accompanies him on this very exciting and perilous journey. A third companion joins them at Azur’s castle and so a gnome, a squirrel and a dinosaur make their way through many lands on their way to the frozen land of Winterfrost.
Phillip’s Quest appeals to children in the middle grades. There is action and adventure for both boys and girls. A reminder of J.R.R. Tolkien’s The Hobbit and Lord of the Rings, the gnome, Phillip of Twistedoak and his friends must travel to Winterfrost at the request of Azur, the Blue Witch, to retrieve a powerful crystal that will save Twistedoak forever. More than that,many valuable lessons will be learned.
If you and your children enjoy the books of J.K. Rowling’s Harry Potter, C. S. Lewis’ Narnia series, Tolkien’s Lord of the Rings, or Lewis Carroll’s Alice in Wonderland, for the fantastical and amazing creatures, meet Stinky the dinosaur, Edward the squirrel, Razorsnoot the goblin, (with his strange malady) and many more. Phillip’s Quest will bring you the new and exciting creatures of their world and their struggle for Winterfrost Castle.
Listen to “Chapter 3: The Curse of the Red Witch,” read by Michael F. Mercurio
You can read Chapter 1 of Phillip’s Quest, Book I: Winterfrost right here on my website!
Chapter 1 Phillip’s Garden
A blue, summer sky smiled upon Phillip’s garden. Colorful butterflies danced from flower to flower as crickets chirped and bees buzzed along the herb-filled windowsills. Rows of neatly tended plants lined the soft soil and stretched their hungry leaves towards the warm, mid-morning sun. Lush plants cradled shiny, red tomatoes and yellow squash grinned from beneath curly vines. Phillip puffed from his pipe as he stood between rows of taters and onions.
“A beautiful morning,” smiled Phillip.
Phillip was a little gnome who lived in an old oak tree on the side of a grassy hill. He stood about two feet tall and wore purple pants with an orange patch on the right knee. His favorite red suspenders fell neatly on top of a bright blue shirt. A pointed, green-rimmed hat sat atop his bald head and a long flowing brown beard hung down to his belt and ended in a curly point. Streams of purple smoke rose from his pipe as he surveyed the progress of his garden. A brown squirrel named Edward hopped along the fence that bordered his yard.
“Good morning, Edward.”
“Mornin’, Phillip,” replied the squirrel as he picked a juicy tomato from one of the large, green tomato plants. “Your garden has really come along this summer. It looks great!”
“Yes indeed it has! Thank you!” exclaimed the gnome. “I’m very pleased with its progress. We had a bit of trouble with the squash and cucumbers early on in the season. Some nasty little critters were eating them to pieces, but thankfully Mr. Curlyvine showed me how to get them under control with a special type of vegetable oil. I still see an occasional bug from time to time.”
Edward hopped down from the fence and disappeared under a few of the broad, green leaves of the squash plants.
“Found a few!” he proclaimed when he finally popped back up. As he flicked the bugs over the fence, he noticed that Phillip was deep in thought and staring out into the distant hills.
“Thinking about your brother again?” asked Edward.
Phillip blew a purple stream of smoke from his pipe and sighed.
“I’ve decided I’m going to tell Ivy tonight,” he replied. “Phallow has been gone on his quest for almost seven years now and I’m really starting to get worried. It’s time that I go and look for him.”
Edward had hopped back up onto the fence with a fresh, shiny tomato. “Well, well, well, Phillip (burp),” he said. “‘scuse me, but if you’re seriously thinking of going after your brother, you know that I’m going to be coming along with you.”
The gnome smiled. “Thank you, my friend. I was hoping that you’d say that.”
Phillip stood between the rows of taters and onions and stroked his long brown beard and puffed on his pipe as he pondered his brother’s fate. At that moment a small circular window opened from the base of the tree and Ivy’s head poked out. Warm yellow light glowed from the kitchen onto the garden.
“Are you still standing there?” asked his wife with a grin. “How long does it take an old gnome to pick three onions and a tater for breakfast? I bless, you’ve been talking up a storm for over an hour now.”
“An hour?” giggled Phillip. “Good grief, it’s only been a few minutes. Edward and I were talking about my brother.”
“Well,” replied Ivy. “Unless your brother is going to pick me three onions and check the mail, it’s of no concern to me.” She gave a snort and closed the window.
Phillip rolled his eyes, picked three juicy onions and a tater from the garden and walked along the front stone path to check the mailbox. He was surprised when he saw three envelopes sticking out. Two were bills, of course, but the third was a letter from his friend Azur, known by everyone in town as the Blue Witch. The addresses on the envelope were inscribed in a flowing, majestic calligraphy. A large purple stamp with gold trim had been carefully placed in the top right corner. A letter from the Blue Witch! Maybe this was news about his brother. Phillip grinned and felt his morning improve as walked back along the path to meet Ivy for breakfast.
To find out what happens next with Phillip, Edward, Ivy and Azur the Blue Witch, pick up your copy of Phillip’s Quest, Book I: Winterfrost , today!