Winterfrost Crafts Presents: Bats and Butterflies!

An unlikely duo, but nevertheless, both very important for pollination and for my books! First, a little something about bats — an equally important pollinator. Some of us think of bats as evil, blood sucking creatures that turn into vampires! Somebody had a great imagination when they thought of that. In fact, Bram Stoker wrote the very classic, but scary book about a nasty vampire from Transylvania (a real place), named Dracula! And, did you know, the story was based on a history! There really is a castle in Transylvania, a part of old Romania, believed to be Dracula’s Castle.

There are also bats called “vampire bats”. But, the main bat in my books, the Phillip’s Quest series, is not a vampire bat. The main bat-in-charge is named Bael. And is found in “Above the Stars.”

The head chiroptera, named Bael, flew through her window and landed before her. He bowed, in respect to the Red Witch.

“How can I be of service, Your Majesty?” A low deep voice ensued.

The chiroptera was huge, almost as big as Jet, with a blood-red body, tall pointed ears, and huge black wings. His eyes were black, and they reflected no light. He had long, sharp fangs and a forked tongue. His paws and feet had razor-sharp talons.  

Phillips Quest, Book II: Above the Stars

Now, you are probably wondering why I call Bael and his notorious friends, a chiroptera, and not just a plain old bat. Well, here’s why!

  1. Bat
    Animal
  2. Bats are mammals of the order Chiroptera whose forelimbs form webbed wings, making them the only mammals naturally capable of true and sustained flight. Wikipedia
  3. Scientific name: Chiroptera
  4. Rank: Order

Now, you know the scientific name for a bat, and why decided to use it.

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Making a bat is not the easiest thing to do, especially, in origami. Origami is the ancien tart of paper folding. Perhaps you have learned or have seen an origami bird or crane?

Each piece of origami starts out with an absolutely square piece of paperAll you need is a piece of paper from a printer, or copy machine, to start. When you get good at the folds, you can use some light weight colored, or black paper.

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Andy Origami has a great video on You Tube, that shows you how to make a square. Just click on the link. Be sure to make your square perfect. Now, you’re ready to make anything!

For the origami, bat, chiroptera or Bael, here is a great link for you to follow! Watch his hands and notice how carefully he folds!

Here’s an idea! Don’t have black paper? Unfold the bat and color it or make several and use for Halloween decorations!

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Next, the butterfly! Butterfly fairies are also in “Above the Stars.”

Again, they heard the hushed voice. Phillip immediately unsheathed Lionslicer and spun around, only to come face to face with the most exquisite butterfly he had ever seen. Her wings were an iridescent blue, outlined in a beautiful gold. She wore a pale pink gown that shimmered in the sunlight, her beautiful black hair braided with small white flowers.

“Oh! Dear gnome, I didn’t mean to frighten you. I’m Farfalla, the Butterfly Queen!” Farfalla landed on a large river rock. “I am here, at the request of Azur, to guide you to the bridge.”

No sooner did she say that than six other butterflies, equally beautiful, but not as large, joined her. When their wings were open, they were as colorful as the flowers that surrounded them. Some were orange and green, some yellow and black, and some were beautiful shade of pink, but all with a blue dot at the tip of each wing.

Phillips Quest, Book II: Above the Stars

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Beautiful butterflies can be made quite easily. Don’t forget to start with that square paper. Wrapping paper is great to use! Again, you can decorate your own, after you get your square!

Here is an easy set of instructions from YouTube! Easy Origami Butterfly by Maggy Woodley and some ideas of what you can do with them!

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April Showers Bring May Flowers — and Ragworts!

Busy days ahead for the Ragwort family!

“The Ragworts are taking center stage for the month of May,” says Rawlink Ragwort. “My brother Roscoe’s story about his treacherous journey through the Dark Forest and Bandersnatch Swamp is about to be released in the very exciting book, The Ragwort Chronicles, Along the Way: Roscoe’s Journey.”

Such is the news from Winterfrost Publishing — hot off the press! Roscoe is still recovering from his terrifying journey and encounters with such creatures as the mold-trolls; Llora, the Witch of the Dark Forest, and her wolves. With help from his good friend, Timonius Toad, he managed to escape her clutches and survive!

See the wonderful illustrations of Annie Wilkinson and a new, exciting story about the lovable Roscoe Ragwort. Reserve your copy NOW by completing the form on this website — it won’t be available until May 19, 2015, OR come visit the author at these locations during the month of MAY …

05/02/15 – Arts Alive! at the Hylton Center for the Performing Arts, Manassas, VA

05/08 – 05/09/15 –IMG_0880

Prospero’s Books, 9129 Center Street, Manassas, VA

05/23/15Local Author Fair, Bull Run Library, 2-4 p.m., 8051 Ashton Ave., Manassas, VA

Orders for this newest version of The Ragwort Chronicles, will be taken at the Hylton Center or on this website.A SPECIAL pre-order price of $13.50 will be honored until 05/10/15.

Hope to see you soon!

Easter is Not Just for Rabbits!

Edward the Squirrel, here! Just want to remind all of you that Easter is not just for rabbits, chicks and ducks! Squirrels like Easter, too! Oli, Piper and I have been busy since the Vernal Equinox, clearing and cleaning out the ol’ nest and getting it ready for the nice weather. Here, in Twistedoak, the buds have already burst and there are beautiful flowers everywhere. We’ve been busy digging up our buried acorns getting them dried out and ready for some of Oli’s famous biscuits, (page of Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: WInterfrost).squirrel

Now, back to the Easter thing. We’re always running around being busy and you should be, too! Especially because there’s Spring Break coming up! Instead of having those kids of yours inside, playing with those video games and driving you nutz, buy them a book! Even an e-book to read! Nutz and acorns!!! Expand their minds!!!

Did you know that our PQ books (short for Phillip’s Quest, in editor lingo)have all kinds of things in it? Goodness me, there are two maps, one from Twistedoak to Winterfrost and one, just a map of Twistedoak! That’s the one I like. Have your kids draw a map, like the ones in the PQ books, of your house, your street, your village! You can even get them started by teaching them which direction is North! Or, tonight, look for the North star!!! Who knows, they might even see Azur, the Blue Wizard!

In the back of Winterfrost, there’s even a family tree! Not my family tree — we’d need at least a whole book! But, there’s the Tuber family tree — funny names those Tuber folks! Sound like a bunch of potatoes, if you ask me. Anywho — the kids could do a family tree of your family, starting with themselves!IMG_0115

Oops, I hear Oli calling –needs more acorns for her biscuits!  She has that recipe in the back of the book, you know! All of our books have recipes!!! Gotta run — will post more activities for the Spring break — please remember to put a few nutz out for us! And, nutz and acorns, Happy Easter!

— Edward the Squirrel. Editor-in-Chief

Winterfrost Publishing

Autumn in Twistedoak!

Autumn in Twistedoak is, like many other places, a time for harvest and celebration. Besides being the most beautiful time of year, the gnomes celebrate the coming of the new season on the day that they have equal hours of day and night. During that time, the Equinox, they complete the gathering of their food, and do their canning and preserving of that food for the winter.  This is all done in a communal setting. That is, the men of the village, up until age 300, get together and go from farm to farm to help with their neighbors’ harvest, while all the women meet in the square and set up a “kitchen” for doing the preserving. They work, all together, making sure that each and every resident of Twistedoak has enough food to get through the long winter months.

As soon as the sun sets, samples of the food that was prepared, along with other goodies, that are contributed by all, are laid out on several long tables. There is also plenty of mead and beer–gnomes are great brewmasters! A huge bonfire is built and all the gnomes eat, drink and dance and sing until the sun comes up!

Gnomes are workers. Besides being good farmers, they are the first “environmentalists.” Much of their day is spent on their farms, during the growing seasons, but when the season is over, they spend time in the forests, planting seeds and saplings that they care for, and grow to repopulate trees and as food for the animals. There are many gnomes, like Nonna Ragwort and Grandma Polli, who tend to injured animals that are brought to them. A gnome always helps a hurt or wounded animal.

The gnomes are very careful about the materials they use. They do not waste anything. Before the snow arrives, the homes of Twistedoak are supplied with dried berries and nuts, firewood and pinecones. They make sure that they have enough to care for their family.

The women are especially busy in the Fall.  That is their time for weaving and sewing. They use the fur and hair shed and combed from various creatures to create the cloth they need. Autumn is the best time to collect the shed animal hair, as it is much softer before the animals grow in their thick, winter fur.

This year, however, their routine has been disrupted. This year, they must prepare for another challenge, besides Winter. Goblins and trolls are the gnomes archenemies and when they are controlled by a witch… This Fall, in Twistedoak, Mr. Ragwort and Edward’s sister, Oli are preparing the once peaceful village of Twistedoak, for battle.  The “Battle of Twistedoak!”

Read about Phillip, in the land of Winterfrost, and his mission to save his brother, Phallow, and the village of Twistedoak from the onslaught of Razorsnoot and his goblin hoard! Book II, Above the Stars, tells of his adventure and the struggle of the Twistedoak gnomes to overcome the fight of their lives!

Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars will be available on ebook and in print on or before Dec.1, 2014. If you haven’t read Book I: Winterfrost, now is the time to read it!  Winterfrost is available, now, in ebook!  Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars is available for pre-order, through this website.

If you would like to receive a newsletter from Phillip and the gang, please complete the form on the sign-up page.  Thank you.

Wait to read in October, 2014

Wait to read in December, 2014

August is almost halfway gone…

“Good grief, Charlie Brown, it’s almost time for school!” Certainly, that phrase was said over and over again, by the wonderful Peanuts’ kids. And here we are again, almost mid August.

I don’t know about you, but my summer has definitely been eventful–in a good way. Every time I look at my blog page, I am more and more aware of how far the internet stretches. I see people from all over the world that have looked at my page. I wish I could meet them all. Regardless, thank you!

I think it takes a year for things to really start to percolate for a writer. As some of you know, my year–Phillip’s one year anniversary was July 7th. Since then, things just started to rock ‘n’ roll. <a href="http://www.amazon.com/dp/061593739X&quot; title=“Phillip’s Quest, Book I: Winterfrost”>Winterfrost” has received new energy and new followers. The Gnome Gnewsletter was published and accepted by most. Personally, I would recommend a newsletter for any author. It allows one to get the word out to those who are not a fan of social media–yes there are some “un-fans.”

It certainly takes a village to market a book. So, I was able to put together a team of unbelievably professional women to help me out. From one of the sweetest and most brilliant ladies I know–Ms. Katherine Gotthardt, who helped me when I was a floundering guppy (floundering flounder?), to the amazing Bethany Joy Carlson, of The Artists’ Partner (my personal cheerleader and marketing guru), to the wonderful Jessica Parker and her team, at BookLogix Publishing Services, I couldn’t be in better hands.

So, Phillip will be ready for his next adventure without the bumps and bruises he suffered before. Can I just tell you how important it is to find the right people!

Our next endeavor happens September 1, 2014. The Kickstarter Campaign begins for Phillip’s Quest, Book II: Above the Stars. Don’t let anybody kid you, it is definitely laborious. But, with the support of a great team, it can be done. We have put in many pledge rewards. There are different rewards listed for the level of pledge you make. When I say “pledge,” I mean MONEY! As I said, producing and marketing a book takes some outgo of cash to pay the team members and help defray other costs, so anything you can spare to keep Phillip’s Quest, on the shelves is very much appreciated.

September 18, 2014 will be the closing night for Virginia’s <a href="http://fallforthebook.org/2014/08/10/haute-cuisine-at-the-hylton/&quot; title="Fall for the Book”>Fall for the Book festival. The event starts in Fairfax, Virginia on September 11th at George Mason University and ends at the Hylton Center for the Arts in Manassas, Virginia–you can follow all the activities on their app. The event is a Haute Cuisine event and will have food tastings, demonstrations and discussions by a variety of chefs, foodies, cookbook authors and Cluadia Lefeve, a fellow author and friend. Oh! And me! From the recipes of “Winterfrost”, and “Above the Stars”, to the recipes from my Mom’s table. I was and am honored to have been chosen to participate and will be serving; Ivy’s Tater Dumplings, Phillip’s Mater and Hazlenut Sauce and one of the recipes from the new book!

This week, I was able to start scheduling my signings for the Christmas season and was thrilled when the owner of <a href="http://www.thethingsilovemanassas.com&quot; title=“The Things I Love”>The Things I Love, an exquisite shop in Old Towne Manassas, allowed me to do that on December 5, 2014, during the Tree Lighting Festival. This store and the downtown area comes alive and turns into a Winter Wonderland. I am thrilled, to say the least. Then, on Sunday, December 7th, I have another signing at <a href="http://www.flowergallerymanassas.com&quot; title=“The Flower Gallery”>The Flower Gallery. Another magical shop where I will be part of their Holiday Open House. Such a special opportunity and I am grateful.

Not to leave out one of my favorite events for November! I will again be reading to the children at Mayfield Elementary School–as I did last year.

So, this summer has flown by, but what a great summer it has been. Thank you to all my gnomes, fairies and angels! I’ve loved every minute.

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Now, he’s pretty!

Meet Razorsnoot! You’ve read about his before in Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: Winterfrost.  You know, the goblin with digestive issues–probably from eating small rodents–and henchman for the Red Queen, well, here he is again. In living–sort of–color!Image

 

Such a pretty fellow! And now, the poor guy has competition.  It was bad enough when Jet set his butt on fire in Phillip’s Quest, Book 1:Winterfrost, but now he’s dealing with the Queen’s favorite chiroptera bat, Bael! But, he still has to learn how to deal with Jet!

He rode to the top and approached the witch, head bowed. His

spider slinked up the knoll, ever so quietly. Razorsnoot was

dumbfounded by the Red Witch’s transformation. Where was that

hideous dragon of hers? He peered at the huge, black horse with his

one purple eye. He hated the dragon, but a horse? He decided he

could handle a horse, until he saw its eyes. They were red! The horse

watched Razorsnoot as he approached on the spider.

“Your report, Razorsnoot,” said the witch as she peered down at

the skulking figures.

“Yesssssss, ma’am,” hissed the goblin. “Market destroyed, jusssssst

as you commanded.”

“And the bodies?” she responded.

“We captured a bunch of the little runtssssss and locked them in

the wagonsssss. The resssst are lying dead in the market.”

“Very well!” replied the witch. “Run and fetch me that little

gnome, Phillip, and his wife Ivy and our business shall be complete.”

Razorsnoot picked at a large wart on his nose and looked around.

He had a tendency to pass wind when he was nervous.

“Umm…Phillip and hissss wife Ivy, ma’am? I don’t recall (fart, fart)

their whereaboutssssss (fart).”

“You don’t recall their whereabouts?” responded the Red Witch

with a raised and dreadful tone. “One of your very simple instructions,

goblin, was to capture OR kill two VERY specific gnomes. You were

provided descriptions. WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU, YOU VILE

CREATURE. GO BACK DOWN THERE AND BRING ME THEIR BODIES!

NOW!”

“(FART, fart, FART, fart) Yes ma’am! (fart),” cried Razorsnnot.

Jet’s eyes glared at the mumbling and frantic goblin. The steed

had become agitated and his nostrils began to smoke.

As Razorsnoot reared his spider around to go back down the hill

to the wagons, he started to fart uncontrollably. The other goblins

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could even here his farts from the bottom of the hill and they began to

snicker and giggle.

Jet’s nostril’s opened up. He shot a flaming hot blast of fire right

at the goblin’s backside.

“AYYYYEEEEEEEEEEE!” screamed Razorsnoot.

He lept off the spider and rolled down the hill. His rear was on

fire.

“Help me!”–Phillip’s Quest, Book 1: Winterfrost