Editor’s note: It’s true. It’s been verified. Whether or not Goblins took More Publishing CEO prisoner, AMOS THE AMAZING is FREE as an EBOOK on all platforms from Winter Solstice to Spring Festival. The offer ends on January 31, 2023. Get it while you can, and if you like it, please review it.
AMOS THE AMAZING IS FREE AS AN EBOOK ON ALL PLATFORMS FROM WINTER SOLSTICE, HANUKKAH, CHRISTMAS and SPRING FESTIVAL.
“Freeze,” I called, and the goblin’s greenish-grey pointy ears twitched up, but it kept madly typing away on the keyboard, filling the well-edited manuscript with tidings of chaos and nonsense. I needed to get its attention fast. The typos it was putting in the story could be fixed, but if it realized there was a delete button….” Amos trailed off, letting his words hang in the air, as he played a hypnotic, melodic, heavy metal lick upon his cherry Fender Spellcaster guitar. A twirling mist drizzled from the headstock, and the illusion magick animated his story inside a collective cloud above the circle of students in Grammagick class. Around him, the students were spellbound, but the burly baby werebear Babbledos eyed the door.
“And then what happened? Hurry, the teacher will be back soon.”
“Well,” Amos said, “I needed to draw the goblin away quickly, as I said,” Amos said, eyeing the door also. “So I told it a riddle… a joke, kind of.” He grinned ear to ear as his friends leaned forward, eager to hear more. Clarabelle’s long delicate elvish ears flopped down over the crown of snow-frosted cerulean horns as she exchanged glances with Munick, the quiet, spectacled gnome, and they face-palmed together. They knew, of course, what was coming next; they’d been with Amos at the negotiation assignment also, but you wouldn’t know it listening to Amos’ story of single-minded heroism. Amos paused a moment for dramatic effect, and Prawnithan, an eager boy the color of a lobster, whose antennae twinkled in excitement as he pleaded with clasped claws for Amos to hurry up.
“Fine, fine, so I said to the goblin, I said…When set loose, I fly away, Never so cursed as when I go astray. What am I?”
The snarling thing paused to glance at him but wildly smashed the keyboard and returned its steady gaze to the screen.
A family of humans muttered muffled exclamations near the Christmas tree: a handsome salt-and-pepper-haired man in glasses, his pretty blonde-haired wife, and their four angelic blond-haired children, all gagged and bound under the tree with care, hoping the goblins would soon not be there.
Amos continued, a quick-thinking stream of riddles determined to shock the goblin away from the delete key. “Never resting, never still. Moving silently from hill to hill. It does not walk, run or trot. All is cool where it is not. What is it?”
The goblin’s ears twitched again, for goblins were easily distracted by riddles, but this one was uncannily determined to wreak havoc. Amos glanced at the family and took a deep breath. This was, after all, the home of More Publishing, and the book under attack was the live copy of his story, Amos the Amazing. This was delicate work.
“Fine, fine…Sometimes I am born in silence. Other times, no. I am unseen, But I make my presence known. In time, I fade without a trace. I harm no one, but I am unpopular with all. What is far in the beginning and has arts at the end? Whoever makes it tells it not. Whoever takes it knows it not. And whoever knows it wants it not. What is it?”
The snarling thing swung about, wide eyes bulging in shock. It backed slowly away from the keyboard, putting a hand upon its chin and giving the wispy chin beard a hearty, inquisitive scratch. NOW, Amos thought, brought his hands together to create a pyramid, laser focussed on the goblin in front of him. “Myea klaniá! Éana vroomeeró sýnneiyfo!” His hands warbled and shook violently, and a green, noxious gust of wind rocketed toward the little terrorist, who, eyes wide, had no time to react before it was surrounded by the noxious stinking cloud.
“That’s right,” Amos said with a laugh. “A fart!” The goblin’s eyes rolled back in its head, and it collapsed to the ground, gagging… and then we only had one left to negotiate with—”
Suddenly, Professor Marcella Veerle, the Grammarian professor of Grammagickal studies at Kronoswons, stomped back into the room in the thralls of full rage. “Of course, there’s a difference!” she screamed over her shoulder. “Mixing up they’re and there because they sound similar is like confusing a catastrophe with a cat’s ass trophy!” She grabbed a framed picture off the wall and held it overhead, shaking it violently. Pulsating Grammarian muscles activated from her wrists, through her swole biceps and triceps, and culminated and throbbing veins that stood out on her neck. Amos marvelled one last time at it, reading: “Commas save lives. It can be the difference between “Let’s Eat, Grandma!” and “Let’s Eat Grandma!” Grandma was winking at him, excited to have been saved by the comma. Suddenly Professor Veerle grunted and twisted and bent the sturdy bronze frame. Slowly at first, it collapsed upon itself. Glass exploded and the metal twisted into a pretezel before she chucked it to the ground.
A voice behind her protested colorfully, “it could have happened to anyone, you see, Marcella, I was dictating into my Mypad, you see—-”
“But you sent to it my PARENTS,” Professeor Veerle roared. “They’re tenth generation Grammarians, they won’t ever forgive you — or me!”
Suddenly, she stopped, noticing the entire class had frozen, eyes wide, and Amos quietly set down his spellcaster next to his desk. He tucked it underneath his chair, whispering, hoping, and praying she did not notice it until her destructive rage had subsided.
Professor Sibelius walked into the class behind her and let out a deep sigh. “To be continued,” he said, his face a purple, mottled blush the mirrored his dandy costume of garish purple couture and white frilly sleeves. Sibelius pointed to Amos with one stout, stubby finger. “You.” He made the pronoun sound like a curse, in that very special, alchemical way that he was a master of at the Bardic college of music and magick. “Thou venomed boil-brained moldwarp, to my office, now. There’s someone waiting for you.” The way he uttered someone so mysterious Amos forgot about the rest of the insult completely.
Amos wrapped his jacket over the spellcaster, tucked it deep under his desk, and ran out of the room. Curiously, he trotted toward the office of Professor Sibelius. He found the door open and hesitated for a moment at the threshold.
Is it safe?
Now it is, the Kraken grunted.
Amos stepped inside and looked around. Sighing, he looked around the inner sanctum of Professor Sibelius, headmaster of bardic magick and musicology.
The room was immaculate, with a long, hardwood library holding many leather-bound books, a desk with a stack of student papers, a bone horn, and a photo of a young woman waving, spinning, and smiling in a yellow dress. The Duke stood at the library, staring at the wall of tomes and muttering to himself. One arm rested on a marble bust of — himself! As Amos entered, the Duke smiled playfully at Amos. He looked quite dapper in his form-fitting creme suit, large-brimmed fedora and—
Hurry up! cried the Kraken. We don’t have much time! Finish the story!
Fine, fine, Amos thought, turning to stare at the Storyteller, who, having just coallesced from magickal fog, found himself, an an antique rosewood desk, feather quill pen in hand, furiously scribbling at an endlessly long parchement that spiraled over the desk and rolled itself back into a neat and tidy scroll as the ink dried.
“Anyway, the Duke smiled at me and asked how I was getting along and all, you know, and it was a big surprise to have him visit the school at all, much less to pay respects to a new first-year student. But at the moment, I was just as shocked as anyone to see him there.”
“What brings you here, Duke?” Amos asked, collecting his jaw from the plush carpet gathering his wits back together.
“I’m curious…” drawled the Duke, slyly, a twinkle in his eye. “You just got back from your first goblin negotiation field op? That’s what I’ve been told. Yes, what I’ve been told…told… and how did it go young chap?”
“Why… yes,” Amos wondered how the Duke could know that, but then, he was the Duke after all.
Fine, fine, Amos cursed. “Anyway, the Duke wanted to know if I knew where Professor de Porte-Doubles had portaled us to, and I had – it was to Chengdu – yes – my Chengdu! And to a publisher’s house.”
“Do you know what book the goblins had been trying to destroy?” the Duke asked coyly.
Just get to the point. It’s nearly Christmas! The Kraken howled. In fact, Amos eyed the clock, and it was true. The clock would strike any moment, and their spell would fizzle out.
“Ok, so basically, as it turned out,” Amos recounted with a grin, “that it had been my story. Amos the Amazing. And he wanted to know if we’d been able to negotiate with the Goblins, and we had, in fact, offered them a 3rd rate hotel buffet lunch and a good word that no one had been seriously harmed and they were willing to abandon the whole plot. Who’d set it up? Well… that’s a question the Duke and I thought rather long and hard about, and we weren’t sure.”
The Storyteller scribbled furiously, and the ink dried and the parchment swirled. Candles flickered, betraying an endless void beyond them, a curious, hungry, opressive nothing that made Amos pick up his pace.
“The Tides of Chaos, Amos,” the Duke had said to me. “I’m not sure what It means yet, but the Duke had told me, when the time came, to learn to ride the Tides of Chaos or I’d be lost in entropy.” Amos shrugged. “But yeah, then he read me a poem and told me the most remarkable thing.”
“And?” the Storyteller asked, eyes wide with exasperation. His quill holding hand quivered, and his eyebrows danced merrily upon his flexed forehead. This was, after all, a most remarkable lucid dream.
“Anyway, here’s the poem,” Amos said, and his features blurred, becoming the sharp, angular, and ancient features of the handsome Duke, so familiar in the world of the Storyteller, and many other worlds, still.
“May the longest night shroud you in an exquisite cloak woven from raven feathers, hope wolf fur, and mistletoe, carefully stitched by a faithful heathen crone who invites you to sit for a spell besides her solstice fire. May you find a midnight home there, steeped in clove-and-evergreen belonging, deep in the dark and holy womb where the yet-to-come is nested.”
“Who wrote that?” the Storyteller asked.
“Oh, a witch I know, Danielle Dulsky.”
“It’s quite spectacular,” the Storyteller said, scribbling each and every word.
“From the shortest day of the year comes the promise of hope and light,” the Duke crooned on, with a nod and a soft, secretive smile. “The wheel ever-turning onward takes us through the longest night. Winter solstice blessings to you and everyone. May your worries and your problems disappear with the Solstice Sun.”
“Fantastic!” the Storyteller said, sitting down. “So .. is that about it?”
The Duke shook his head, and flipped around through the thick, heavy leather tome. “A little more, you see, it’s the holiday after all, and we must deck the halls with cheer. You know, a Merry Everything and a Happy Always, so heres… yes, here it is, one more then, from the warlock, CC Wiliford.” The Duke straightened up to his full height, and cleared his throat, and then he began to speak, softly but intensely. His voice was hyponotic, and electric, and the Storyteller was sure, enchanted.
“‘Twas the Night before Yuletide, and all through the glen, not a creature was stirring, not a fox, not a hen.
A mantle of snow shone brightly that night
As it lay on the ground, reflecting moonlight.
The faeries were nestled all snug in their trees,
Unmindful of flurries and a chilly north breeze.
The elves and the gnomes were down in their burrows,
Sleeping like babes in their soft earthen furrows.
When lo! The earth moved with a thunderous quake,
Causing chairs to fall over and dishes to break.
The Little Folk scrambled to get on their feet
Then raced to the river where they usually meet.
“What happened?” they wondered, they questioned, they probed,
As they shivered in night clothes, some bare-armed, some robed.
“What caused the earth’s shudder? What caused her to shiver?”
They all spoke at once as they stood by the river.
Then what to their wondering eyes should appear
But a shining gold light in the shape of a sphere.
It blinked, and it twinkled; it winked like an eye,
Then it flew straight up and was lost in the sky.
Before they could murmur before they could bustle,
There emerged from the crowd with a swish and a rustle,
A stately old crone with her hand on a cane,
Resplendent in green with a flowing white mane.
As she passed by them, the old crone’s perfume,
Smelling of meadows and flowers abloom,
Made each of the fey folk think of the spring
When the earth wakes from slumber, and the birds start to sing.
“My name is Gaia,” the old crone proclaimed
in a voice that at once was both wild and tamed,
“I’ve come to remind you, for you seem to forget,
that Yule is the time of rebirth, and yet….”
“I see no hearth fires, hear no music, no bells,
The air isn’t filled with rich, fragrant smells
Of baking and roasting, and simmering stews,
Of cider that’s mulled or other hot brews.”
“There aren’t any children at play in the snow,
Or houses lit up by candles’ glow.
Have you forgotten, my children, the fun
Of celebrating the rebirth of the sun?”
She looked at the fey folk, her eyes going round,
As they shuffled their feet and stared at the ground.
Then she smiled the smile that brings light to the day,
“Come, my children,” she said, “Let’s play.”
They gathered the mistletoe, gathered the holly,
Threw off the drab and drew on the jolly.
They lit a big bonfire, and they danced, and they sang.
They brought out the bells and clapped when they rang.
They strung lights on the trees and bows, oh so merry,
In colors of cranberry, bayberry, cherry.
They built giant snowmen and adorned them with hats,
Then surrounded them with snowbirds, and snow cats, and bats.
Then just before dawn, at the end of their fest,
Before they went homeward to seek out their rest,
The fey folk they gathered ’round their favorite oak tree
And welcomed the sun ’neath the tree’s finery.
They were just reaching home when it suddenly came,
The gold light returned like an arrow-shot flame.
It lit on the tree top where they could see from afar
The golden-like sphere turned into a star…”
“And then what was the good news?” The Storyteller asked the Duke, as the clock struck 12, and the world began to shake and wobble …. and The Dream began quickly dissolving.
“The good news is, from now, Solstice, the long night, through Christmas and Spring Festival, the Lunar New Year, we will send Amos’ story out to the world, to millions of young eyeballs, and they will learn of his adventures – for there are many yet to come, and so they must be ready.”
“Yes, yes,” the Storyteller said. “The book is out, but what’s the big surprise?”
“That your publisher was so grateful to be saved from the goblins that he agreed to give the book away free for a whole month. Absolutely free for all to read, share, and pass on. Happy Solstice, Joyous Hanukkah, Merry Christmas, Happy New Year, and Xīnnián hǎo – 新年好,” the Duke said with a wild, manic grin.
As he spoke the final worlds, the dreamworld shattered absolutely, plunging the Storyteller violently back into his bed.
He heard the voice of the Summer Queen ringing out in his ears, as the world crystalized around him, and he knew just what he had to do. “The old crone just smiled at the beautiful sight, “Happy Yuletide, my children,” she whispered. “Good night.”
Was it really real? Truly true? The Storyteller wondered, so he bounded up to check, and it really was – Amos the Amazing was really free. And so he told Bookbub, who shared it with millions of young children on the holidays. He sat down at his desk and recounted the whole dream, from memory, and posted it on his blog, and that is what you are reading right now.
And how did Amos deliver the grail?
On Nitro, of course, the world’s fastest snail.
Amos the Amazing
A 'Chinese Rock 'N Roll Harry Potter' meets 'A Darker Alice in Wonderland'
What happens when you take an almost-famous D&D dungeon master with a history of headlining major music festivals and breathing fire in the circus and send him to a mountain in China to sit alone with his own thoughts? A new epic solarpunk fantasy novel, somewhere between a 'Chinese Rock 'N Roll Harry Potter' and a 'Darker Alice in Wonderland.'
Finding time can be difficult in today’s hypermodern world. Making time, however, can be magick.
In 2038, in the SOLARPUNK futuristic city of Chongqing, a dangerous story gets told that threatens our entire multiverse. The world’s spiciest ice cream, a trip to Chongqing’s rural countryside, & a strange collection of curious belongings begin this unforgettable tale that mixes Solar Punk science fiction and high fantasy for a thrilling modern fairytale about a boy who risks his soul to chase a 9-tail fox into the dreamlands for the adventure of a lifetime and the chance to save his family.
"A fun YA coming-of-age solarpunk fantasy that's oozing with creativity and imagination." - Marie Sinadjan, ‘Humans Media’
"I absolutely adore Amos. Like Harry Potter meets Lord of the Rings." @book_st_gram
"My favorite book of the year." - Brooke Auckerman @BrookLovesBooks23
"Full of excitement, adventure, and magic" - @lisabookishlife
"Once it got me turning the pages, I simply couldn't stop. For me, that was the theme of Taoist thought, which gets me every time I encounter it in the wild. It is so beautiful -- and here it is, like finding grass growing from glass. For other readers, the element that snags and pulls the imagination into this story might be one of a hundred others. That's kind of this book's magic…" - @Donasbooks
"The end left me gasping for the next installment," - Richard Devall, Vine Voice
Amos, a puckish 12-year-old boy who hides his insecurities behind a mask of mischief, dons strange artifacts he uncovers from his father’s childhood bedroom. A peculiar power pulses through his body as he slips into a world of magic and monsters, where the dangerous-amber-eyed huli jing—a nine-tailed fox spirit—draws him out, steals his soul, and poisons his grandpa.
Against all odds, Amos chases the fox into the dreamland, where he meets friends and foes along the way on a perilous and fantastic journey to recover his soul before all is lost. A spine-tingling adventure full of imaginative characters and dazzling creatures, Amos the Amazing will delight adults, teens, and anyone who dares peer beyond the shadows.