Skip to main content

Psalm 103:2-3

Psalm 103:2-3 Dear Lord, Thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done for me. Don’t let me forget that you are always blessing me whether I notice it or not. Thank you for forgiving my sins, and thank you for healing me. I trust you and love you, Lord. Amen 詩篇103:2-3 親愛なる主よ、 主よ、あなたが私のためにしてくださったすべてのことに感謝します。私が気づこうが気づくまいが、あなたはいつも私を祝福してくださっていることを、私に忘れさせないでください。私の罪を赦し、癒してくださってありがとうございます。主よ、あなたを信じ、あなたを愛します。 アーメン

Excerpt - There’s a Spaceship in My Tree! by Robert West

Today's Wild Card author is:


and his book:

Zonderkidz (April 1, 2008)

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:


Rob West doesn't just write about tree ships. He sometimes retreats to write in the flying ship he built in his own back yard--it's the only place he can escape his wife, three sons (and their cronies), two dogs, three cats, two doves . . . and, when she chooses to drop in out of the sky, a duck!

Visit the author's website.

Product Details:

List Price: $4.99
Reading level: Ages 9-12
Paperback: 144 pages
Publisher: Zonderkidz (April 1, 2008)
Language: English
ISBN-10: 0310714257

AND NOW...THE FIRST CHAPTER:


Chapter One


Alien

Beamer was an alien. He wasn’t a ten-legged slime bag with fourteen eyes, unless, of course, you believed his big sister. Still, Beamer was an alien — no question about it. He didn’t belong here. He couldn’t even breathe here.

His mom said it was just the humidity. Sure! Methane was more like it! When they found his shriveled, oxygen-deprived body, they’d be sorry.

Now he’d been sent to some place called a cellar — clearly an alien environment. Nobody in California had a cellar.

Beyond the small pool of murky light at the foot of the steps, a heavy gloom spread out across the room like a fog bank. He stepped down from the last creaking step. “Hey!” he yelped, recoiling back up the step. “What is this stuff?”

He kneeled down to test the floor with his fingers. Weird, man . . . spongy, like maybe it wasn’t a floor at all but something alive, like a tongue for something with a digestive system!

Dust was what it really was — several years’ buildup. Beamer stepped down again hesitantly, sending a puff of it into the air. The wind outside picked up, rattling the high, grime-coated windows. The structure above him creaked and groaned like a cranky old woman.

Then something scritched and scratched. He turned . . . and froze!

It was huge, with tentacles attached to a disgustingly bloated body. Not a second too soon, Beamer dived to the floor to avoid a twisted tentacle reaching over his head.

Now, point-blank in front of him, was a large bin of shiny, black rocks — no doubt the shrunken, dehydrated remains of creatures the beast had already devoured.

Beamer scooted back frantically on all fours. At the same moment, a high whining sound came from behind. He lurched to his feet and whirled around, bumping into a cart, which sped rapidly away. Suddenly he was pelted in the face by a strangely filmy object. A moment later he was wrestling with an entire barrage of filmy, flimsy, smelly things.

Aiiii! Germ warfare! his mind screamed.

There was a screech. “Yiiiii!” Beamer yelped, as a small creature flashed by. It leapt to a table and fled through a break in a window.

Beamer shot up the steps like a missile and blew through a door into a short hallway. He slammed the door behind him and leaned against the opposite wall, breathing heavily.

“Mother!” A shrill voice from upstairs brought him spinning around in panic. “Did you know they’ve got a vacuum laundry chute up here?” The voice continued. “Shoots clothes down to the basement like spit wads!”

Beamer’s mother stood in the entryway wearing tattered, cut-off overalls and a tool belt. “Well, at least something works around here. Beamer!” she exclaimed in amazement, “What are you wearing on your ear?”

“Huh?” Beamer removed a pair of girl’s underwear from his left ear — Vacuum laundry chute? Whoever heard of a vacuum laundry chute? — and threw them down disgustedly.

“Hey, Mom!” the shrill voice called again. “I can’t find my pink Nikes.” It was Beamer’s big sister, Erin. At fourteen going on fifteen, she was God’s self-proclaimed gift to the ninth grade. Of course, that was back in Katunga Beach. Middleton was a whole new ball game.

That’s what this alien world was called — Middleton — a middle-sized city in a middle-sized state, smack dab in the middle of Middle America — a thousand miles from the nearest beach!

Only a week ago, Beamer was hanging out in a cool, high-rolling suburb of L.A. on the cutting edge of the early teen set. Now he was carting boxes around a broken-down house in a prehistoric neighborhood on an ancient street probably named for somebody’s dog. Murphy Street. It certainly wasn’t Shadow Beach Lane.

Beamer scrunched up his nose. The house even smelled old — as in fossilized. The discovery of an electrical outlet had been a great relief. He wasn’t sure Xbox came in a windup version.

He banged through the screen door onto the front porch and picked up another carton. His mother was standing there, holding a scraggly plant in a pig-shaped pot.

The lady realtor who had given it to her was bustling toward her car, her mouth on auto-speak. “If you run into anything unusual,” she called, “don’t panic. I’m sure it’s not dangerous. The previous residents were . . . uh . . . different — scientists or rock singers or something — but harmless. Anyway, just call if you have a question.”

“I will,” Beamer’s mother responded absently, still looking in bewilderment at the ugly pot.

Beamer looked at the ramshackle porch swing and the peeling paint around the windows. Rock singers in this dive? Who did she think she was kidding? Then again, that same lady had managed to sell this overgrown pile of bricks to his otherwise genetically superior parents.

Beamer MacIntyre shifted the box in his arms, pried open the screen door with his pinkie, and spun through into the house. The antique door immediately fell off its hinges. Mrs. MacIntyre, or Dr. Mac, as her kiddie patients called her, groaned and pulled a screwdriver from her tool belt.

Beamer trudged slowly up the staircase with his load. “Move, you dunderhead,” his sister growled as she pounded down past him like an avalanche. “Mother, isn’t this place air-conditioned? I’m about to die!”

“It’s the humidity, honey,” her mother answered. “You’ll get used to it.”

“Mo-o-o-o-ommm!” Erin wailed, charging into the crate-littered living room. “D’you mean there’s no air-conditioning?!”

“No, I mean you’ll get used to the humidity,” Dr. Mac replied. “Air-conditioning is being installed — one for upstairs and one for downstairs. Your father is out arranging things now. Last I heard the downstairs one will be working tomorrow.”

“What about the upstairs one?” Erin asked with a shrill note of panic.

“Uhm . . . not for a couple of weeks, I’m afraid.”

“Weeks!!! So I’m supposed to wake up every morning with my hair dripping? That does it; I can’t start school — not ’til the air conditioner’s working.”

“Calm down, honey,” her mother said. “Your hair always looks just fine. I’m more concerned about whether that oversized octopus of a coal-burning, water-heating furnace in the basement will keep us warm in winter.”

Octopus? Furnace?! Beamer cast a glance down at the basement door, his cheeks picking up a definite reddish glow. Oh great! So I had a battle with a furnace! What were those little black things then? At least nobody saw me . . . I hope.

“Now go finish unpacking. I’m sure your shoes will show up,” Dr. Mac said, turning her daughter around and pointing her back up the steps. “Go on.”

Erin groaned and lumbered up the staircase, then accelerated past Beamer to the top. She triumphantly stuck her tongue out at him and yanked open a door.

Beamer finally reached the second floor. Straight ahead was a wide but short hallway with two doors on the left and one on the right that opened into bedrooms. Immediately to the right of the staircase was a short, narrow hallway that led to the upstairs bathroom and a spare bedroom beyond. He kicked open the door to his room — the second one on the left — and promptly tripped over something in the doorway. “Oomph!” he gasped as he and the box’s contents simultaneously thudded to the floor.

Groaning, he propped himself up to see the spilled items strewn, like a comet’s tail, across the floor toward the tall, twin front windows. Through a window he noticed clouds gathering above the rooftops. Back in L.A. we had rain programmed down to just one season a year. Here I am, two time zones and half a continent away from home. “Marooned in Middle America,” he moaned out loud. “I’d rather be on Mars.”

Suddenly a blood-curdling scream shook the windows. It sounded like his big sister was in trouble, which meant it also sounded like fun. He charged into the hallway and saw a door that he hadn’t noticed before that was nestled in that narrow hall next to the main staircase. The door was now open, revealing a narrow set of steps going up. He careened up the stairs and saw Erin standing off to the side, frozen in place, eyes glazed over like she’d been zapped with a stun gun.

“Hey, Erin, what’s the matter?” he taunted her. “See an itsy-bitsy — ” Then he saw it. “Awesome!” he gasped.

Their nine-year-old brother, Michael, clattered up the stairs on his hands and feet like a cocker spaniel, followed by their mom, who was tightly gripping a vicious-looking broom. They too caught Erin’s freeze-dried expression and tracked along her sight line.






It is time to play a Wild Card! Every now and then, a book that I have chosen to read is going to pop up as a FIRST Wild Card Tour. Get dealt into the game! (Just click the button!) Wild Card Tours feature an author and his/her book's FIRST chapter!

You never know when I might play a wild card on you!

Comments

Popular Posts

Bethany House Publishers Cover Survey Invitation

Captain's Log, Supplemental I just got this from Bethany House Publishers: Hello Reader, We at Bethany House Publishers appreciate our readers opinions about the books we publish. Occasionally, we seek your input about upcoming products. Currently, we are conducting a survey about the cover image for an upcoming novel. For your time, we are offering a giveaway in conjunction with this survey. You will be able to choose from ten recent Bethany House novels, and there will be ten winners. Winners will be notified within two weeks. Click here to take the survey, which should take about 10 minutes to complete. Thank you for your participation, and feel free to forward this email on to your friends or link the survey on your website. The survey will be available through Monday, September 17. Thanks for your time and your opinions. We value your feedback. Sincerely, Jim Hart Internet Marketing Manager Bethany House Publishers

Save the Date - Camy's Patreon Launch

My Patreon will launch in 1 week! I took all the results of the poll and I have hopefully created fun and appealing tiers. About my Patreon: I'm trying something new for the next 6-7 months. If it works, I'll continue, but if I end up not liking it, I'll stop it in September or October. I will be starting a monthly subscription membership on a new Patreon account. I will be posting the chapters of my current book ( Lady Wynwood’s Spies, volume 7 ) so you can read ahead of when the ebook will be edited and published. My current plan is to post 1-2 chapters weekly. One reason I’m switching things up is that I want to get closer to my readers and build a tighter, more intimate community with you. You can comment on each chapter of my book, give a reaction, ask a question, or even correct mistakes. My books will become a dialogue with you. If you subscribe to my Patreon, you'll be charged monthly and have access to all the benefits for the tier you subscribe to. The

No Cold Bums toilet seat cover

Captain's Log, Stardate 08.22.2008 I actually wrote out my pattern! I was getting a lot of hits on my infamous toilet seat cover , and I wanted to make a new one with “improvements,” so I paid attention and wrote things down as I made the new one. This was originally based off the Potty Mouth toilet cover , but I altered it to fit over the seat instead of the lid. Yarn: any worsted weight yarn, about 120 yards (this is a really tight number, I used exactly 118 yards. My suggestion is to make sure you have about 130 yards.) I suggest using acrylic yarn because you’re going to be washing this often. Needle: I used US 8, but you can use whatever needle size is recommended by the yarn you’re using. Gauge: Not that important. Mine was 4 sts/1 inch in garter stitch. 6 buttons (I used some leftover shell buttons I had in my stash) tapestry needle Crochet hook (optional) Cover: Using a provisional cast on, cast on 12 stitches. Work in garter st until liner measures

Tabi socks, part deux

Captain's Log, Stardate 07.25.2008 (If you're on Ravelry, friend me! I'm camytang.) I made tabi socks again! (At the bottom of the pattern is the calculation for the toe split if you're not using the same weight yarn that I did for this pattern (fingering). I also give an example from when I used worsted weight yarn with this pattern.) I used Opal yarn, Petticoat colorway. It’s a finer yarn than my last pair of tabi socks, so I altered the pattern a bit. Okay, so here’s my first foray into giving a knitting pattern. Camy’s top-down Tabi Socks I’m assuming you already know the basics of knitting socks. If you’re a beginner, here are some great tutorials: Socks 101 How to Knit Socks The Sock Knitter’s Companion A video of turning the heel Sock Knitting Tips Yarn: I have used both fingering weight and worsted weight yarn with this pattern. You just change the number of cast on stitches according to your gauge and the circumference of your ankle. Th

Sweet Romance Reads: How do you celebrate accomplishments?

I’m at the Sweet Romance Reads blog and Facebook group talking about finishing my book and posting a poll about how you usually celebrate accomplishments. Check out the blog or Facebook group to weigh in!

Psalm 103:2-3

Psalm 103:2-3 Dear Lord, Thank you, Lord, for all you’ve done for me. Don’t let me forget that you are always blessing me whether I notice it or not. Thank you for forgiving my sins, and thank you for healing me. I trust you and love you, Lord. Amen 詩篇103:2-3 親愛なる主よ、 主よ、あなたが私のためにしてくださったすべてのことに感謝します。私が気づこうが気づくまいが、あなたはいつも私を祝福してくださっていることを、私に忘れさせないでください。私の罪を赦し、癒してくださってありがとうございます。主よ、あなたを信じ、あなたを愛します。 アーメン

FREE: Hidden Currents by Christy Barritt

Join Christy’s email list to get this story free! A notorious gang puts a bounty on Detective Cady Matthews’s head after she takes down their leader, leaving her no choice but to hide until she can testify at trial. But her temporary home across the country on a remote North Carolina island isn’t as peaceful as she initially thinks. Living under the new identity of Cassidy Livingston, she struggles to keep her investigative skills tucked away, especially after a body washes ashore. When local police bungle the murder investigation, she can’t resist stepping in. But Cassidy is supposed to be keeping a low profile. One wrong move could lead to both her discovery and her demise. Can she bring justice to the island . . . or will the hidden currents surrounding her pull her under for good? Hidden Currents is the first book in the six-book Lantern Beach Mystery series. Each book contains a standalone mystery, but there are overarching mysteries within the entire series. Get it now for

Chopsticks and knitting

Hahahahaha! My husband, Captain Caffeine sent me this cartoon. The Asian and the knitter in me loves this one: My parents taught me to use chopsticks at an early age so they’re pretty comfortable for me. Did you know there are differences between Japanese and Chinese chopsticks? The Chinese ones tend to be blunter and more slippery whereas the Japanese ones are pointier and sometimes have a textured tip to make it easier to grab food. My mom will eat salad with a chopstick, which I have to admit is a bit easier than a fork, for me. Any of you knit? Any of you use chopsticks?

ICRS, part 2

Captain’s Log, Stardate 07.14.2006 For all you writers —check out my Story Sensei critique service Summer Sale ! Ends tomorrow! Blog book giveaway: My Monday book giveaway is ARMS OF DELIVERANCE by Tricia Goyer. My Thursday book giveaway is TANGLED MEMORIES by Marta Perry . You can still enter both giveaways. Just post a comment on each of those blog posts. On Monday, I'll draw the winner for ARMS OF DELIVERANCE and post the title for another book I'm giving away ICRS, part 2 (continued from part 1 ): Sue Brower had invited me to the Christy awards that night and I was so thrilled to get to go. Everyone looked gorgeous. I’ve never seen Brandilyn Collins or Meredith Efken in anything besides jeans before. I hadn’t seen Sue Brower in two years and I was deathly afraid I wouldn’t recognize her, but Wendy introduced me and saved me from doing anything remotely stupid like, oh, walking past her. Sue immediately slammed me with the big dogs—she introduced me to the VPs of sales and

Grace Livingston Hill romances free to read online

I wanted to update my old post on Grace Livingston Hill romances because now there are tons more options for you to be able to read her books for free online! I’m a huge Grace Livingston Hill fan. Granted, not all her books resonate with me, but there are a few that I absolutely love, like The Enchanted Barn and Crimson Roses . And the best part is that she wrote over 100 books and I haven’t yet read them all! When I have time, I like to dive into a new GLH novel. I like the fact that most of them are romances, and I especially appreciate that they all have strong Christian themes. Occasionally the Christian content is a little heavy-handed for my taste, but it’s so interesting to see what the Christian faith was like in the early part of the 20th century. These books are often Cinderella-type stories or A Little Princess (Frances Hodgson Burnett) type stories, which I love. And the best part is that they’re all set in the early 1900s, so the time period is absolutely fasci