Here's what our back-cover reviewers/blurbs have to say about THE MAGICKE OUTHOUSE.
“A unique cast of characters makes this a fun and enjoyable read!” – Alex J. Cavanaugh, author of the Amazon Bestselling Cassa series
“This rollicking story keeps the reader captivated until the last, surprising chapter. Who would have thought that a journey that begins in an outhouse could be so much fun?!” – Charlie Craig, showrunner/head writer for SyFi Channel’s hit series Eureka and writer for Fox’s The X-Files
“Mystery, adventure, exotic locations – Kym and Mark Todd have a time-travel hit with this new adventure in the Silverville Saga series. As soon as those deadly kinks are worked out, sign me up.” – Stacia Deutsch, NYT Bestselling author
Below is an excerpt from the novel, featuring a scene from one of our new fave characters, April Schauers:
April bounded down the sidewalk, crossed the street, and turned to face the steps leading inside an impressive, century-old, two-story red stone building. Its steep-pitched rooflines with transepting gables almost reminded her of an old church. The high wall of the façade surrounding the main entrance reached the entire height of the street-side gable, the top edges stair-stepping to a point.
She paused before entering to take in its allure. She loved libraries since her early childhood in Suffolk, England, where her father served two years as a jet mechanic. Hot summers had driven her inside, the cool walls insulating the base’s children from sultry temperatures. The smell of books intoxicated her as much as the cool air. Every time the Air Force moved her family, the local library became a favorite haunt. Books fascinated her, particularly those about history.
She climbed the stairs and opened the heavy door of the Silverville Public Library.
An older woman standing behind the circulation desk looked up. Had to be Miss Brumbelow, head librarian. The woman smiled and said, “Can I help you with anything?”
April marched to the desk and thrust out her hand. “I’m April.”
The smile melted into a frown. “Your internship started yesterday.”
“Didn’t you get my message?” The one I never sent.
“No, I don’t recall any messages from you.”
April forced a cough and drew a tissue from her pocket. “Really? You didn’t get my note about my recent relapse?”
Miss B appeared to wait for more of an explanation, which April was happy to provide.
“The Uruguayan Flying Worm Syndrome. It flared up again.”
“Excuse me? Uruguay? I understood you were from Placer City.”
“That’s where I grew up, after a traveling circus brought me into the United States and my parents adopted me.” April blew her nose long and hard into the tissue. “I caught the worm before that, when I was only six. Most people die from it. I was lucky.”
The librarian’s eyes narrowed. “Is it contagious?”
“Not once the worms work their way out of your system. Mine have.” April offered a long-suffering shrug. “But once you get it, it stays with you the rest of your life.”
“Is that why your pupils are so … so pink?”
April bent her head and plucked a small disk from one eye and held it up on her finger for the woman to inspect. “Colored contacts.”
While April replaced the theatrical lens, Miss B heaved a disappointed sigh and retrieved a sheet of paper from under the desk. “Here are the responsibilities I’ve typed up for you.” She handed it to her new intern and motioned her to follow.
April watched Miss B’s broad backside waddle down an aisle pushing a cart laden with books ready to re-shelve. Maybe she’d laid it on a bit thick with the circus story. Miss B didn’t appear to buy it. But the tale just sprang out of her mouth before she had a chance to think it through. All her life she’d re-invented herself at each new base as a way to impress and make new friends. It came so naturally to her. Even now, after three years of college and into her first internship for her library science major.
Several years ago, her parents had taken her to a high school counselor to address her overactive imagination. He’d told them many intelligent kids – and after all, she was intelligent, having skipped a couple grades – often supplemented their reality, particularly those continuously uprooted because of the transient nature of military life. He told them not to worry, she’d outgrow it. But she hadn’t yet nor did she want to. She enjoyed twisting reality for her audience, and of course they understood it was just a performance. Well, usually.
The librarian was talking about call letters and filing protocols as she slotted books onto the rows of shelves. “We use the Dewey Decimal instead of Library of Congress classification system because patrons find it easier to use and…”
April understood both systems already and tuned her out, more interested in the chance to look at the local history section. Having grown up just an hour away, she’d heard all the stories about Silverville. UFOs, curses, ley lines. Placer City never had that much excitement – well, except for the unsolved murder on the pass halfway between the two towns a few years back. She was eager to dive into library holdings on the local phenomena.
“…What do you think, Miss Schauers?” the librarian asked.
April had been nodding her head at the background noise of Miss B’s voice, but she had no idea what the conversation entailed. “I think there’s somebody over there who needs my help.”
She dashed over to an older man with wavy white hair sitting cross-legged on the floor facing a shelf of books. He did a double-take when he looked up into her pink pupils and politely turned away.
“Are you finding what you’re looking for?” The selections he perused sported titles like Piracy on the Open Seas, Plunder and Booty, and An Index to Ancient Topographical Maps.
“Just getting ideas for my next vacation.”
“Or researching locations for buried treasure?” She laughed at her own clever response, but he didn’t. Maybe her little joke hit where X marked the spot.
“Could be,” he answered.
She squatted next to him. “I’m April, the new library intern.” She bent closer to his ear and in a lower voice added, “Please let me help you. I’m trying to impress my supervisor, Miss B – er, Brumbelow.”
He considered her for a moment, and then said in a voice a bit too loud for the library, “Why yes, I could use some help.”
Miss B, who’d been staring at April, turned and pushed her book cart away.
“Thanks!” she whispered. “You know, first day and all. I really can help you, Mr….?”
“Call me Perry.” He reached out and shook her hand. “Retired and bored out of my mind. I’m looking for a new adventure.”
“If you’re interested in pirate treasure, you should check out the coasts of Madagascar. My parents are ocean archaeologists and –”
“—I know that area,” Perry interrupted. “I led an expedition down there several years back. We found a sunken Roman galley filled with artifacts. Unfortunately, I hadn’t cleared the excavation with the proper authorities, and they confiscated everything, threw me in jail, and I had a devil of a time convincing them I wasn’t a looter.” He gave her a knowing wink.
I can top that, April thought. But at that moment, Miss B’s cart rounded the corner and approached.
“Glad to help.” April stood. “If there’s anything else you need, let me know.”
And so went her day, assisting people, giving them valuable advice and tidbits that might have been true. Or not.