Sneak Peek: Katherine L. Holmes’ The House in Windward Leaves

The House in Windward Leaves CoverToday we get a sneak peek of author Katherine L. Holmes’ novel,  The House in Windward Leaves:

At this Halloween party, costumes make the child.

The painter Mistral’s mural transports Sadie and her friends to a star where their Halloween costumes become real.

As Fortuneteller, Sadie only has to look in her crystal ball to see the adventures of her friends in their dream identities.

The hunt for a star-of-sapphire necklace takes up the latter chapters of this madcap fantasy.

The House in Windward Leaves is available in print and for Kindle on, for Nook on Barnes & Noble, and on Smashwords.

Now, from The House in Windward Leaves:

After he pulled the bell string outside the tent, he sounded a herald of his arrival.

“Come in,” he heard a low, distracted voice. The Trumpeter entered on feet that felt as prickly as if they’d gone to sleep on him.

The Fortuneteller was intent on discovering her own fortune. “Shhhh,” she hushed him. “Wait behind the curtain.” Then she drew the bead curtain so she could finish her own consultation. For the first time, the fog stopped blowing from her fortune in the crystal ball. But what she saw disturbed her.

There was a girl who looked sad in the crystal ball, a girl with a face like hers. She wore boring, schoolgirl clothes. Then the name Sadie Waskowsky floated to the brim of the crystal ball, its letters connected like a hanging. She decided not to tell anyone, only perhaps Mistral, about the girl, the name, and the house behind her.

These pictures bothered her so much that she shook the crystal ball in anger and until she only saw herself, the Fortuneteller, in it. More detail wasn’t available. “I’m happy as I am,” she thought, pushing the sad-faced girl from her mind.

“Alright! I’m ready now,” her voice wound to the Trumpeter.

He opened the curtains and there she was – through the burning incense. The Trumpeter sneezed and took another look, entranced. The Fortuneteller was like a genie come out of a bottle, dark-eyed in her gleaming jewelry. He felt awkward when, on the stage, his mouth had all the coolness of music. But that was all he was really sure of on Mistral’s star.

Off-stage, the Trumpeter found that he was shy and couldn’t think of anything bright or brassy to say. During his breaks, he felt like answering other people with notes from his trumpet. Instead, he would say something like, “The moon’s rays are balmy tonight.”

Balmy seemed like a sophisticated, off-hand word. But then that didn’t work when he talked to anybody more than once. For one thing, there weren’t many changes in the weather on the star. And for another thing, he had stolen the word balmy from the violinist’s comments. He couldn’t think of any other way to describe the moon’s rays.

Now he stood staring at the Fortuneteller. And she stared back at him with an annoyed look in her dark blue eyes. They shone like the shaded lamp.

“You were going to tell our fortunes, remember?” he finally sputtered out. He talked as if he was blowing his trumpet!

“Your fortune.” the Fortuneteller said. “As I told you before, I don’t tell anyone my fortune.”

“The moon’s rays are balmy tonight.”

“You said something like that the last time I saw you. You’ll say something like that the next time I see you. Oh well, come over here to this table and sit down.” The Fortuneteller was already bored.

After he fell into a chair, the Trumpeter just sat staring at the girl he couldn’t place.[subscribe2]

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