The boy rose from the stool he’d been sitting on and bowed his back as he stretched. His spine cracked loudly with the relief of stiffness the stretch provided. He thought, for not the first time ever or even the first time today, ‘My father is going to kill me!’
His gaze returned to the pages of the enormous book on the workbench before him. The runes all seemed to flow together in a jumbled mess. With a sigh of frustration, he slammed shut the cover of the grimoire. A plume of dust billowed from the ancient book causing him to sneeze violently and repeatedly.
“It’s no use guys. I can’t find what I need in this stupid book! I’ve been through it over and over and it’s just not here!”
He spoke to the two animals sitting on the table in front of him. The large greenish frog, Desmond, looked at him with a mournful gaze and croaked softly. The ginger cat, Lydia, looked at Keldane with a malevolent gaze, her tail swishing angrily from side to side.
“You guys KNOW transmogrification isn’t my best subject. I’d change you back in a second if I could only remember the bloody spell.”
The frog croaked more loudly and the cat hissed menacingly as if to say nothing was Keldane’s “best subject”. Although he was the son of THE most powerful wizard in history, Keldane was, unfortunately, so inept even his wizarding instructors openly referred to him as Keldane the Cursed.
*While it’s unlikely your father would actually kill you, I doubt he’ll be pleased with this latest in a long series of disappointments.*
The boy glanced up to the rafters at the immense vampire bat hanging there.
“Barnabas, you HAVE to help me!” the boy moaned, “You’ve served our family for over 20 years. There has to have been a problem like this happen before.”
*No, I don’t think any of your siblings quite managed an embarrassment of this caliber. Although I’m not especially hungry, I suppose it’d be easiest to just suck them dry and you can toss the remnants into the rubbish bin. No one need be the wiser.*
Neither the frog nor the cat was privy to the exchange between the boy and his bat, but they WERE both a bit on edge. Thusly, neither was as surprised as one might expect when the bat swooped down to feed.
Before Keldane could intervene, his friends took matters into their own hands, so to speak. Barnabas learned firsthand why they called them “catlike reflexes” as Lydia ignominiously slapped him out of the air. Desmond jumped on to the chest of the dazed bat and held him down while Lydia, daintily, tore his head from his leathery shoulders.
Both animals settled back on to the bench with expressions simply daring Keldane to protest.
“Yes indeed. My father IS going to kill me.” The boy mused as he plopped back down on the stool.
Now that I’ve gotten your attention, let’s talk about the book and it’s author.
Keldane’s Curse, which I happened to get to read before you all, is a collection of short stories that revolve around Keldane. The son of THE most powerful wizard in history, Keldane is not the most sauvé wizard in the land. In fact, he’s somewhat inept. And unfortunately for Keldane, most of his classmates know this and thus his nickname, Keldane the Cursed. To add to Keldane’s woes, his father’s trusted right hand vampire bat, Barnabas, who more often than not, is the brunt of Keldane’s misdirected spell casting and keeps his father informed of all Keldane’s mistakes.
The collection of stories is one most school age readers are going to connect with as Keldane repeatedly tries his hardest at living up to his father’s reputation with mostly humorous, unwanted results. It can be purchase through Kobo, Barnes & Nobel, and Amazon.
And the author you ask….Jeffrey Hollar was born in Lima Ohio. Developing a love for reading in his early life, Jeff read anything and everything he could get his hands on. Graduating from Lima Sr. High in 1980, he joined the army where he found a career in communications. Jeff remained in the army for 14 years, traveling the world to places like Germany, Turkey and England.
Jeff moved around the United States as well, living in Arizona, Iowa and Missouri before moving back to Lima where he met his wife. Jeff works in the security field during the day and writes by night. He also has a love for cooking and practices his culinary skills on his family.