Tuesday, August 16, 2011

FF–Humpty Dumpty by Jennifer Anne Kogler

** Today on Dark Faerie Tales don’t miss Darynda Jones’ version of Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, you could also win a copy on Second Grave on the Left** 

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When Lizzy Mortimer, 14, reads the newspaper one morning, she can’t believe her eyes as the letters swirl and rearrange themselves into a message about her best friend’s death.  Confused at first, Lizzy soon learns a family secret from her grandmother, Bizzy—that the newspaper shuffle was a death-specter and that Lizzy and Bizzy are descendents of Morgan le Faye, one of the legendary sisters of Avalon.  Caught in a feud older than time between Morgan and her sister Vivienne le Mort, Lizzy must save people from dying before their time.

Now let’s see what happens when Lizzy meets Humpty Dumpty!


“Lizzy, you remember Mr. Greenblat, right?”

I definitely remembered Mr. Greenblat.  He was one of my favorite teachers, always taking extra time to explain science concepts to me.  He was also one of the smartest people in Crabapple.  With a PhD in Wildlife Biology, locals often wondered why he stuck around teaching Earth Science to a bunch of obnoxious eighth graders.

The whole family was gathered around the breakfast table.  Mom handed me that morning’s newspaper.  “Take a look at this.”   I stared at the headline:  LOCAL EGG-HEAD TO GIVE TALK AT HIRAM CHITTENDEN LOCKS IN SEATTLE TODAY.

The article detailed how Mr. Greenblat, who’d just published a book on the evolution of the Chinook Salmon, was giving a lecture at the famous locks that kept Lake Washington’s water at the correct level, explaining how the fish ladder there allowed migrating salmon to move around the locks and dam.  There was a picture of the fish ladder, a deep concrete water shoot, bordered by a white railing.

My grandma, Bizzy, who knows my secret and shares my gift, peered at me curiously.  Bizzy sees her death-specters as visions in water, but I get mine reading a newspaper.  A normal article suddenly morphs into an obituary, with details about how and when a person’s death occurred – sometimes it’s dated days in the future, and sometimes it’s weeks.  Then the person’s name appears on my inner wrist in red letters, as if I’ve scratched them on.  Bizzy and I have recently taken to calling ourselves The Death Catchers, because we try to stop the deaths we see in visions.  If we succeed, the letters disappear from my hand.

Anyway, that’s when things went blurry.  The letters and words in the article swirled.  I focused on the page as the text disappeared completely.  Soon, under the LOCAL EGG-HEAD headline, a different short paragraph appeared.  I took a deep breath and began to read, knowing it would be important to remember every detail if I wanted to help the person who’s deadly fate I was about to learn.

Humpty-Dumpty sat on a wall,

Humpty-Dumpty had a great fall;

All the King’s horses, and all the King’s men

Couldn’t put Humpty-Dumpty

Together again.

I blinked several times.  Normally, when I have such a vision, I get details about how a person died and when.  But this was nothing more than a nursery rhyme.  Was it some kind of joke?  I shook my head and blinked again.  But the poem was gone.  The original article about Mr. Greenblat’s speech was back.  I looked down at my palm, wondering who the death-specter was about, if it was a death-specter at all.  There was the beloved teacher’s name, Morton Greenblat, as plain as day.  I panicked.  How was I supposed to save Mr. Greenblat when the only clue I had about his death was a nursery rhyme?  I knew I would have to confer with Bizzy . . . and quickly.

*  *  *

Bizzy and I brainstormed for nearly an hour.  At over seventy years-old, with decades of practice interpreting her own death-specters, she was the expert.  Her intense gaze zeroed in on the newspaper. 

“Holy mackerel, that’s it!” she exclaimed.
“What?”  I asked, frustrated.  I had no idea what a Humpty Dumpty could have to do with Mr. Greenblat’s soon-to-be-demise.

“Mr. Greenblat is an egg-head.  A’ course.  He’s the egg in the poem!  He’s humpty-dumpty. He has a great fall.  That’s what the death-specter is tryin’ to tell you!  That’s how he’s gonna go kaput!”  Bizzy was speaking quickly, her southern accent in full force.

“That doesn’t seem likely, Bizzy,” I said skeptically.
“All the King’s men?  That’s King County . . . which is where Seattle is located . . . where he is giving his speech!”
“But that speech is today.”

“I know it is, Sweet Pea.”

“And that poem was tryin’ to tell you that the King’s men – like the county police and firemen, won’t be able to rescue him.”

“That’s crazy,” I said.  But Bizzy was undeterred.

“ Now, sayin’ he has a great fall.  How?”  Bizzy put her finger on the picture of the fish ladder.  “If I were a bettin’ woman, I’d say he has an accident involvin’ some defect in that railin’ and fallin’ in that water.

“Even if what you’re saying is true . . . how in the world can we help save him if he has his great fall today?  We’re in California and he’s in Seattle!”  I looked at Mr. Greenblat’s name in blazing red letters on my wrist. 

*  *  *

I was the one who located Mom’s copy of the Crabapple Middle School Staff Directory, although it was Bizzy’s idea to try to call Mr. Greenblat in the first place.  As I dialed the number, my hand trembled.
“Hello?”
“Mr. Greenblat?”
“Yes?”  Mr. Greenblat sounded as nice as I remembered him.  
“Mr. Greenblat, it’s Lizzy Mortimer.”
“Oh, hello Lizzy!  It’s great to hear from you, but I’m actually right about to give a talk—”
“It’s actually about your speech.  I wanted to tell you to be careful at the Hiram Chittenden Locks because . . . uh . . . because I hear there’s a weak spot in the rail there and someone fell over it recently.”

Mr. Greenblat let out a shocked laugh.  “Well, Lizzie, it’s very nice of you to alert me.  I appreciate your concern.  I will certainly stand back from the rail.  Thanks for the call.”

“You’re welcome,” I said.  And then he hung up.

Bizzy looked at me anxiously.  After a few minutes she said, “Now check your hand, Sweet Pea.”  I took a deep breath and flipped my hand over. 

I gasped when I realized that Mr. Greenblat’s name was no longer etched at the base of my palm.  Despite the odds, the warning had worked. 

Bizzy broke into a wide smile. 

“Well, I think you learned something ‘bout bein’ a Death Catcher today, Lizzy.”

“Oh yeah?” I said, my pulse finally beginning to return to a normal rate for the first time since I saw the rhyme in the newspaper.  “What’s that?”

“Sometimes, the best solution is to just phone it in.” 

**********

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Jennifer would like to offer a signed copy of her latest release, The Death Catchers, Harper would also like to offer a second copy. So you have two chances of winning one!

On her fourteenth Halloween, Lizzy Mortimer sees her first death-specter.

Confused at first, Lizzy soon learns from her grandmother Bizzy that as Death Catchers, they must prevent fate from taking its course when an unjust death is planned-a mission that has been passed down from their ancestor, Morgan le Fay. Only, Lizzy doesn't expect one of her first cases to land her in the middle of a feud older than time between Morgan le Fay and her sister Vivienne le Mort. Vivienne hopes to hasten the end of the world by preventing Lizzy from saving King Arthur's last descendant-humanity's greatest hope for survival. It's up to Lizzy, as Morgan's earthly advocate, to outwit fate before it's too late.

With its unique spin on Arthurian legend, this fresh, smartly written story will stand out in the paranormal genre.

Purchase: Amazon | Book Depository

Interested in winning this book?

  • This giveaway is open INTERNATIONALY (signed copy INT, second copy US only) 

  • To enter, just leave a comment letting me know what you think of the Death Catchers’ concept.

You can to earn an extra entry by spreading the word, please provide link in a second comment

tweet: #FantasticFables Read @jenniferkogler 's take on Humpty Dumpty | win The Death Catchers http://www.tyngasreviews.com/2011/08/ffhumpty-dumpty-by-jennifer-anne-kogler.html | #giveaways PLZ RT

Ends September 7th, 2011.

----------------

Jennifer Anne Kogler lives in California, where she was born and raised.  She graduated with a degree in English literature from Princeton University in 2003.   Her most recent novel, THE OTHERWORLDLIES, is a 2011 Truman Award Nominee.  Jennie has two books coming out in 2011:  a sequel to The Otherworldlies, THE SIREN’S CRY (released in July), and THE DEATH CATCHERS (due in August).

She currently attends Stanford Law School and has worked as an intern for the Late Show with David Letterman, a clumsy waitress, and a legal intern for the U.S. Department of Justice.   Jennie is a longtime fan of the L.A. Dodgers, which as it turns out, was a great thing to be in the 1980s and not so much since then.  She remains hopeful.

Visit Jennifer Anna

More books by Jennie

 

Tynga is a 28 years old mom from Montreal, working as a lab technician in an hospital specialized in heart disease. In her free time, she enjoys reading all things Paranormal and blogging about them. You might also catch her watching an hockey game. Make sure to say hi on twitter!

Follow Tynga on: Facebook | Twitter

60 People left their mark' :

  1. This is new to me. I like the death catcher concept. I especially liked the end of the snippet where Bizzy says "sometimes it's best to phone it in." That was cute.
    vsloboda(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  2. What an original concept! I will definitely be adding this to my wish list :) I also liked the ending line!

    efender1@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  3. I like the idea of a Death Catcher - it plays very much into the fate vs free will angle that is always good debate material! :)

    I'm International so thanks for the chance to win a copy! :)

    notanotherbookblog(at)hotmail(dot)co(dot)uk

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  4. I'm really looking forward to this story because not only does it include plot on sisters, but also that of the Arthurian legend! I want to read a modern take on it. :)

    ReplyDelete
  5. tweeted:

    http://twitter.com/#!/mrhcontesttweet/status/103490639827714048

    maidenveil(at)gmail(dot)com

    sorry i forgot to put my email on my first post.

    ReplyDelete
  6. Oooooo that was good!! I'd love to read this book it sounds great. I loved the twist to humpty humpty, very creepy and spooky. I'd love to read more from this author.

    eckstein99@comcast.net

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  7. This is such an unusual concept, I definitely would love to read more.

    vampiremistress2010(at)gmail(dot)com

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  8. I like the tie to Arthurian legends. It sounds very interesting.

    jasmyn9[at]hotmail[dot]com

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  9. This is a really new spin on the Arthurian ledgends.

    sgiden at verizon.net

    ReplyDelete
  10. Death catchers and Arthur? Win!

    twinmomx5 at gmail

    ReplyDelete
  11. Love anything related to Arthurian legend and the concept sounds pretty unique which is always fantastic. Can't wait to read this!

    bookaholic117(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  12. I think it's a great idea especially with connection with Arturian legends!Thank you for the chance to win!
    impy80 at hotmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  13. Love the sound of this one!! Very creative.


    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  14. +1 spread here
    http://www.goodreads.com/event/show/128313-ff-humpty-dumpty-by-jennifer-anne-kogler

    Vivien
    deadtossedwaves at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  15. what an inetersting concept - I would love to know how the author came up with Margan Le Fay as a good guy ... sort of, and I like the idea of a death catcher - I think this has great potential! Thanks so much for the story and the head's up and the contest! :D
    apereiaorama[at]gmail[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  16. I loved it. Is this going to be a series?(I hope) Thanks for the laugh! Putting it on my wishlist right now!
    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  17. http://twitter.com/#!/alterlisa/status/103579827214356480
    (\___/)
    (='.'=)
    (")_(")

    alterlisa AT yahoo DOT com
    http://lisaslovesbooksofcourse.blogspot.com/

    ReplyDelete
  18. The concept of Death Catcher's is interesting and different. I like how it will have a new spin on Arthurian legend also. Thanks for the giveaway.

    rachaelmccully@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  19. I like the death catcher's theme. It reminds me several TV serials with a chapter about this topic. Charmed, Supernatural...;)

    chiara_eeub05@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  20. I love all kinds of mythology and those of Camelot and King Arthur have always been a fave. This book sounds fantastic! It's always great to find something with a unique spin on an old fave and this concept of death catchers is nothing I've ever heard before so I’m oh, so intrigued.

    Hugs for making it international and thanks so much for the chance!

    rachybee101@live.com.
    au

    ReplyDelete
  21. I tweeted too =)

    http://twitter.com/#!/RachyBee/status/103635906581381121

    rachybee101@live.com.au

    ReplyDelete
  22. I love that it has an Arthurian connection.
    rickimc[at]aol[dot]com

    ReplyDelete
  23. I like the concept. It's a nice idea that someone is out there trying to prevent death. I like the Arthurian angle-I'm a big fan of anything related. Well done!

    mljfoland AT hotmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  24. +1 Tweet: http://twitter.com/#!/Rogue237/status/103646507084943361

    ReplyDelete
  25. I think it sounds amazing! And also, I love the cover!

    ReplyDelete
  26. I tweeted!

    http://twitter.com/#!/ElfRenee/status/103665363664900096

    ReplyDelete
  27. Sounds like a very good book!

    gomezrose61@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  28. My kind of read! tWarner419@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  29. thanks for the giveaway ! the Death Catchers’ concept sounds interesting, there are not a lot of books about that, it make me curious to read it !

    thanks for the international !

    ellana_(at)hotmail(dot)fr

    ReplyDelete
  30. Love the concept of this book, I dont think Ive ever read a book like that. Great interview too and thanks for the chance.

    natcleary(at)gmail(dot)cok

    ReplyDelete
  31. Tweeted http://twitter.com/#!/natcleary/status/103735137317040128

    natcleary(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  32. You had me at Arthurian Legend. I want to read more about The Death Catchers. I'm loving it.

    marypres(AT)gmail(DOT)com

    ReplyDelete
  33. Very interesting!!! I like.

    sarie101 at webmail dot co dot za

    ReplyDelete
  34. I would love to read this book - I love the thought of death catchers, in theory that is! I would not want the godawful responsibility that came along with it! I would love to read about it though, so thanks for a great giveaway:)
    jwitt33 at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  35. I tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/jwitt33/status/103856120359157762

    jwitt33 at live dot com

    ReplyDelete
  36. Getting around what is decreed by the Fates. Sounds as if that could be interesting.

    And I always tend to think of Morgan la Fay as a villian rather than a heroine.

    Please enter me in the giveaway.

    I am International.

    Thanks.

    Carol T

    buddytho {at} gmail DOT com

    ReplyDelete
  37. I really liked this concept. It seems full of possibilities, and I am curious to read more about it, so thanks for the giveaway! :D

    I am International.

    catarina_romeira(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  38. Interesting concept & I love the term "Death Catcher". It always amazes me how writers come up with ideas.

    thumbelinda03@yahoo.com

    ReplyDelete
  39. I love this concept and throw Arthurian Lore in with it is just awesome
    audie@wickerness.com

    ReplyDelete
  40. I think the concept is refreshing and I'm excited to see if it becomes a full fledged series or if it's a trilogy.

    ReplyDelete
  41. I love the concept of this book. I've always been a fan of the King Artur story, and this seems like an interesting new take on it.

    jlynettes @ hotmail . com

    ReplyDelete
  42. Death Catchers sounds awesome. I am ridiculously excited to read it given that it involves Arthurian legend.

    Thank you so much for the giveaway!

    twiztidsharkie@aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  43. This sounds like an interesting concept. I love the idea of seeing people's fate in something so ordinary as the newspaper.

    jen at delux dot com

    ReplyDelete
  44. Celtic myth is really interesting to me, so this new take sounds very interesting. With Morgan and Vivienne being mentioned, I'm interested to see if Nimue will make an appearance too, since she is another said to be a Lady of the Lake. Dedinately an interesting concept though, beyond just the Arthurian aspect, and an awesome give-away! Thanks.

    devon-allcoat@hotmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  45. This sounds unlike anything else I have read or heard of. It sounds like a very captivating book!

    Thanks for the chance!

    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  46. Tweet:

    http://twitter.com/#!/Maria_Smith_76/status/104989802067279872

    mmafsmith at gmail dot com

    ReplyDelete
  47. i love the concept of this book and cant wait to read the whole thing

    jenny

    madsheepno1@yahoo.co.uk

    ReplyDelete
  48. I love different yet new concepts and this is one of them. Arthurian legends fasinate me so I'm looking forward to read this!

    miss.smileygirlie@gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  49. Any Arthurian Legend-spinoff is just amazing - of what I've read so far. But with a, what was it, paranormal twist (?) it's really all I could hope for in a book. :)

    frederikker.jb@gmail.com

    www.petaldewreads.blogspot.com

    Frederikke. :)

    ReplyDelete
  50. develop the plot of King Arthur is a very interesting new.
    Thank you.
    Follower int
    micia@email.it

    ReplyDelete
  51. Tweet:
    http://twitter.com/#!/micia18/status/107188450272354304
    follower int
    micia@email.it

    ReplyDelete
  52. I am intrigued by the concept and very fascinated by it.

    lesly7ch(at)yahoo(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  53. I think the Death Catchers concept is very fresh and interesting and gives an all the more reason to root for Lizzy in her role!

    chibipooh(at)gmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  54. I think the concept is really interesting and I really want to read it :)
    Thanks for the giveaway!
    stephbarkerdrew(at)hotmail(dot)com

    ReplyDelete
  55. I think that the concept is extremely unusual.

    little lamb lst at yahoo dot com

    ReplyDelete
  56. I absolutely love the concept, especially because of the Authurian twist! I definitely want to read this book!

    Tweet
    https://mobile.twitter.com/#!/itzKelseyD/status/110080520838316032

    Poisnivyred AT gmail.com

    ReplyDelete
  57. The concept seems fascinating. I'd really like to see how things pan out with it.

    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  58. https://twitter.com/#!/pams00/status/111311746756644865

    pams00 @ aol.com

    ReplyDelete
  59. I love anything even remotely linked to the arthurian legend, so The Death Catchers caught my eye immediately. I think the concept is new and refreshing and it's always interenting to sse what new authors can do with old tales and legends! Van't wait to read it!

    +1 Tweeted: http://twitter.com/#!/eyelashwishes/status/111475782471266304

    debs_diggory[at]yahoo[dot]com[dot]br

    ReplyDelete