New Story Release!

December 17, 2017

New Story Release!

Yippee!  My illustrator team (Christina and Rebeccah) did some awesome cover art (Rebeccah just had to get Tawny perfect) on the newest chapter in the story of The Devonians!

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The Devonians are space castaways who have developed a colony on a strange new planet (they name it Devonia).

This newest story, A Foundling Furball, begins a few days after the end of The Brown-Sheep Prank.  Joseph Taylor, Alena Summers, and some of their siblings are meeting at the fishing spot on Ice Cube Creek after helping with Washing Day (everyone in Covenant, it seems, washes clothes on Wednesday).

While fishing, they chat, argue, and tease each other.  (Not much different than Earth, is it?)  This is until Alena hears a strange noise and investigates.  Joseph joins her.  They find an injured baby animal – which they realize is a dreaded dengee after it is protectively cradled in Alena’s arms.

On Devonia, dengees are formidable foes.  The tallest stand five feet at their shoulder!  They resemble wolves in most of their hunting and communication techniques yet they are ruled by a protective pack male much like a lion pride.  They often raid Covenant’s wachick flocks and Brown-Sheep herd.  Because of a long-ago attack where early settlers were injured and killed by a pack of dengees, most of the adults in the village hate them.

But today, Alena found, Joseph rescued, and Alena claims she will nurse and care for a blind baby dengee.  How will this be received?

For a peek into Devonia, read this excerpt from “A Foundling Furball!

 “Janine!  Keep hold!” Matthew yelped and jumped into the water to grab her fish.  Janine giggled and wrestled the long creature toward the creek bank.  With teamwork, they managed to catch, unhook, and plop the fish into the vine trap. 

“Wow, that one’s way bigger than my best!” Michael grinned, “way to go, Janine!”

“They love the black-spotted grasshoppers,” Janine giggled.  “Thanks for tossing him, Matty!”

Alena set her pole down and wandered toward the far bank.  There was a clump of water-bushes that blocked up the far edge of the fishing spot and tangled in a long stretch about fifty feet down the creek bank.  The children weren’t allowed to go beyond the water bushes. 

“Alena!” Joseph called after her, set his pole down, and followed.

“Joseph!” Stephen taunted, “you go past the water-bushes and I’m telling Dad!”

“What are you doing?” Joseph asked.

“Do you hear it?” Alena returned.  They both ignored Stephen’s threat.

“The crying baby sound?” Joseph did hear it.  It was a soft, watery cry that sounded like a newborn baby’s very tired, almost asleep, “feed-me” cry. 

… (continued reading A Foundling Furball here!  Or browse all titles and formats here!)

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart

 

New Story Release! The Brown-Sheep Prank

December 13, 2017

New Story Release!

There’s a new chapter in the continuing story of the Devonians!  The Devonians are space castaways who have developed a colony on a strange new planet (they name it Devonia).

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The soft-crayon illustration is done by Christina Tart. (She is a published illustrator who wisely takes commission for her work!)

This newest story, The Brown-Sheep Prank, begins the day after the end of Daydreamer. Alena Summers, whose family husbands (takes care of) the village’s herd of Brown-Sheep, is very excited about her second-favorite time – Shearing Day!  (It just so happens, that’s the day covered in the story!)

Alena loves the busy time when all of her neighbors will be gathered at her family’s house, trimming the wool (called Shearing), washing fleeces (a fleece is the wool from one sheep), preparing food (Alena’s job is to assist here), and stacking the finished fleeces in the big barn (this one is shared by the entire village).  The boys and overgrown boys (men) love the table of ready-to-eat food that those on refill duty (Alena and Butterfly) have to keep stocked.

Devonia travels in a longer solar orbit so has the equivalent of 499 Earth days in the Devonian year – so when Alena says “5 years 8 months” it really means “about 7½ Earth years.”  Just a little hint about the world of Devonia!

Now to get an idea of how busy Shearing Day is in Covenant, read this excerpt from “The Brown-Sheep Prank!

Everyone was so busy that Alena had barely stopped moving since Mother had called her away from the Brown-Sheep observation this morning. 

It was nearly lunchtime. 

Alena’s stomach growled. 

“Oh my!” Cried Butterfly in fake shock, “you’d better feed that monster!” 

Alena laughed.  She and Butterfly were on refill duty.  This meant they helped in the kitchen and ran back and forth from the big table refilling the food baskets and bowls.  For Shearing Day, everyone snacked whenever they were hungry from the long table outside.  The unwed boys had brought it over from the meetinghouse before Alena awoke.  She grabbed a carrot stick and quickly ate it.

Alena’s Father and most of the other men plus a few older boys were cutting each Brown-Sheep’s wool close to the skin but taking care not to cut the soft skin.  This was called shearing.  This formed what they called a fleece.  The fleece was the shape of a flat sheep without legs or head.  The Brown-Sheep’s head and legs didn’t have wool like the rest of the body. 

A cluster of two men and three women with a few of the older boys and girls were thoroughly washing each fleece to make sure they would get clean. 

… (continued reading The Brown-Sheep Prank here!)

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

 

Meet Matthew

October 8, 2017

Meet Matthew Taylor

Matthew is one of the Taylor boys.  He lives with his father, mother, brothers, and baby sister on the first settled family plot in Covenant.  Although he must help with chores on his family’s farm first, he prefers to spend time around the Summers’ farm and learn about Brown-Sheep.

Matthew has a twin brother named Stephen.

Matthew and Stephen don’t like to wake up early.  Sometimes their little brother, Jacob, will jump on them to wake them up!

Matthew sometimes likes to set pranks for others.  This isn’t a good trait, as he discovers every time he tries, but that doesn’t seem to stop him.

You can read more about Matthew and his family in The Devonians series, starting with Daydreamer.

 

Thanks for reading!

Type at you later…

~Nancy Tart

Meet Joseph

July 13, 2017

Meet Joseph

Jaquline’s favorite series of stories right now is The Devonians.  She loves the short, easy to read, stories with “bright colors” (Christina illustrates the covers in bold crayon) and “big words” (the lettering is large print).

Each of the Devonians stories follows a different child within the village colony of Covenant.

Daydreamer follows Joseph Taylor.

Joseph is a colonist on a planet called Devonia.

This planet has a much longer year than Earth does, so when Joseph says “6 years old” he’s really the same age as someone over 8 years old on Earth!  Joseph’s year is equal to about one year, four months, and two weeks of Earth time.

Joseph’s family lives on a farm – like everyone on Devonia.  They have running water because they pipe water using a waterwheel from the Crystal River to their farms using bamboo pipe!  They also collect rainwater from their rooftops!

Joseph likes to daydream.  He sometimes lets his daydreaming get in the way of his chores!  This is what happens in Daydreamer.  Joseph has a best friend who lives on the next farm.  Her name is Alena.  Joseph has four brothers and one new baby sister named Rose.  Two of his brothers are twins.

Jaquline says she likes Joseph because he’s a lot like her.  He tries to do big kid stuff, but sometimes his wandering thoughts get in the way.

Jaquline says, “Maybe, children on Devonia are the same as children everywhere!”

*Of course, Devonia is fiction.  It’s a world I made up and all the characters are also fiction!*

Thanks for reading!

Type at you next time…

~Nancy Tart