Friday, October 28, 2011

Alice in Whenland stop in: The Chronicles of the Mira

Our Alice has returned from the zombocalypse - ALIVE and well (meaning NOT undead) and her adventure continues in Whenland.

But what is Whenland?

WELL, hmmmm.

* scratches head *

'tis a place where Alice can be thrown into the past or present, fact or fiction, here or there or nowhere-at-all.

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by Christine E. Schulze
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The Chronicles of the Mira truly is a perfect fantasy collection for autumn. When Velvet asked me to do up a guest post, she said to go with the theme of “falling into” my book. Not only does this three-story anthology tell about the Mira Wood and how it came to be a place of eternal autumn, where the healing autumn leaves grow anew and fall in a continuous cycle, but it even includes a story called “Autumn Falls”.

I’m not going to glimpse into that story though. Much as I like it, my heart really pulses with the third story of the bunch called “Alastair’s Cottage”. Let’s take a peek inside that autumn tale instead.

Character Focus and Situation: Alastair Lance, of the Mira race. He is a sorcerer and healer. Once renowned amongst his people, he is now an outcast. Why? Because he has a horrible record for breaking girls hearts. He makes them fall madly in love with them, but when they speak those magic words of “I love you”, he never returns them. Is he really so cruel or too proud to really love any of those common girls? Does he never return their feelings just because he won’t—or because he can’t? What darker secrets lie within the heart of this troubled young man? And can his new love interest, the sweet unsuspecting Lily, delve inside that heart at last and illuminate those secrets, heal those wounds?

Here’s a small glimpse of Alastair’s Cottage that may help you solve the mystery for yourself.


The door creaked open, and Lily slipped in and closed the door behind her. Beneath the myriad tall, lofty trees hovered hundreds of thousands of glowing discs made of radiating light. They seemed to stretch on endlessly.

Lily slowly walked up to one and carefully passed her arm through the disc of light.

Her arm did not appear on the other side but instead seemed to vanish. She knew her arm was still present for she felt it brush up against some sort of plant, and then she realized her arm had somehow slipped inside the disc.

As she drew back her hand, a forest scene flickered in the circle of light before vanishing. Lily stared at it awestruck for a moment, but soon the sound of children's laughter drew her attention to another of the circular lights. Within the light flashed a scene of children giggling as they watched a strange metal contraption taking flight. This scene, too, vanished, but then Lily's gaze snapped to another in the distance.

Upon drawing closer, she saw Alastair arguing with Elenor! She could not hear their words, but by the hurt, angry expression on Elenor's face, Alastair just told her something devastating. Then the scene morphed to show him arguing with another clearly upset girl, then another and another...

Finally, Lily tore her eyes away. So this is what Elenor wanted her to see. Alastair breaking the hearts of young girls. Had Elenor wanted her to know out of spite and jealousy, or did she truly want to help her? Lily could not believe that Alastair would delight in breaking young girls' hearts. Maybe he had broken their hearts, but certainly not without good reason like everyone said he did.

Lily suddenly realized how quick her breath and heartbeat were. She walked away from the disc and turned to leave, but Alastair suddenly rounded a tree. He jumped in surprise when he saw her, but then sighed with relief.

"Ah, good," he said. "I was worried when I woke up and you weren't there."

Lily shrugged. "You were still sound asleep, so I decided to go for a walk."

"I see you found the 'Endless Lights'."

"Yes. But what exactly are they?"

"They're portals of time and space. Each one shows what is, has been, or will be. They're a form of time travel, if you will. They're very important, not to be used lightly, which is why they're protected in the garden."

So the scenes she saw were all true. Alastair broke all those girls' hearts. And yet, she could not believe that he was a cruel, selfish--

"Lily, are you all right?" Alastair frowned.

She was breathing fast again, and she could almost feel her skin blanch paler than the moonlight. "Yes," she said, snapping out of her thoughts. "Yes," she repeated, smiling with reassurance. "I'm fine."

Guest post created for October Trix-n-Treatz event by Christine E. Schulze, author of The Chronicles of the Mira
© 2011. All rights reserved.

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by Christine E. Schulze
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READ more about these characters here...

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The Chronicles of the Mira
by Christine E. Schulze

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* image source Alice in Clockwork by Strangeling

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