#SPFBO 2018 Book Teaser: The Purple Haze by Andrew Einspruch

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As part of the SPFBO (details here) I’ve invited all the authors from my batch to visit my blog.  The Purple Haze by Andrew Einspruch is one of the books from my first batch of books and at the moment is still in the running.  Below is an excerpt from the book (reproduced here with the author’s permission of course).  Check out Chapter 1 and see if it whets your appetite.  I think this has a wonderful cheeky sense of humour that I’m really enjoying so far:

***

Chapter One – THE PROPOSAL

“Please, please, marry my son,” implored the chipmunk.

Princess Eloise Hydra Gumball III, Future Ruler and Heir to the Western Lands and All That Really Matters, sat on the Listening Throne in the ornate Receiving Room of Castle de Brague and took two precise sips of her haggleberry tea, trying not to let her surprise show.  She straightened, still holding the cup and saucer.  “I… I… Truly, Seer Maybelle? Jerome?”

Seer Maybelle de Chipmunk’s delicate whiskers drooped, and Eloise worried she’d been too harsh.  “Yes, Princess,” she said.  “Jerome,”

“Goodness.”  Eloise sipped again, buying a moment.  “I haven’t really thought about marriage much, but if I may so, I rather thought I’d end up with a prince of some description.  You know, someone more in the direction of a human, perhaps? But, please. I’m happy to hear you out.”

The chipmunk clasped her dainty paws in front of her and began an obviously well-rehearsed plea.  “My son, Jerome Abernatheen de Chipmunk, is a good boy, as you well know.  And believe me, I am aware of his flaws as only a mother can be.”  She extended her claws to enumerate.  “He’s forgetful.  He’s awkward in small groups.  He’s awkward in large groups.  He’s prone to wafting off into the La La Realms.  His dress sense veers unpredictably and inexplicably from one garish colour to another.  He knows far, far too much about the musical plays of Lyndia Thrind.  He has a penchant for babbling about nothing when stressed.  Then there’s the whole unfortunate thing with jesters.”

Eloise nodded.  Twice.  “One cannot characterize that description as unfair, Seer Maybelle.”

“But Princess Eloise, I’ve searched the future with every tool I have, methods common and obscure, profound and profane, some passed down from my grandmothers a hundred generations removed.  I have stared into the flame of the Burning Fungus, scanned dregs of haggleberry tea, and listened to the sounds of the Oracle Bellbirds.  I’ve drawn the Twigs of Fate from the Bag of Kismet and sought wisdom in the gurgling mud of the Elder’s Swamp.  It embarrasses me to tell you, because it took a week to get the stench out of my fur, but I’ve taken counsel with Gordon the Noisome, whose twitching earlobes have a strangely accurate predictive quality.”

Gordon the Noisome?  Wow.  Seer Maybelle was serious about this.  Standing close enough to Gordon to see his earlobes twitch was a sacrifice no one should have to make.

“Everywhere I look Princess, I see that my son’s destiny is to be by your side.  I’m, I’m…”  Seer Maybelle’s voice slid down to a whisper.  “I’m sorry, but I believe you must wed.”

Eloise took another sip of her tea, then set down the cup.  The saucer clinked on the marble side table, which matched the marble walls of the Receiving Room.  Eloise carefully moved the cup and saucer so they were in the exact middle of the table on a serviette whose edges were equidistant from the table’s.  She placed the spoon on the saucer so it lined up with the serviette and the table.  She would rather have put it across the top of the cup, but that would be taking it too far, given that Seer Maybelle was with her.

Until three years before, when Court began demanding so much of her time, Jerome had been her best friend.  For a decade, they’d been inseparable, whether exploding whifflenut pies in Cookery and Cuisine class (which she enjoyed despite the mess), plotting paint dart campaigns in Weapons and Stratagems (also fun despite potential mess), ridiculing each other’s poetry in Arts and Elocution, or creating the most elaborate contraptions in Engineering and Constructions.  Inseparable, until court life had done the inevitable – separated them.

Eloise understood Jerome like few did.  He was a klutz.  A clever klutz.  A verbose klutz.  A well-read, musically literate, historically curious klutz.  But definitely a klutz.  She loved him, klutziness and all, but like a brother and nothing else.  Even ignoring matters of species, marrying him was out of the question.  That’s just not what she felt for him.

The problem was Seer Maybelle de Chipmunk.

Seer de Chipmunk was the Western Lands’ visionary.  There was never, ever any escaping what the matronly chipmunk foretold.  But if Eloise had learned anything in Oracles and Insights (other than that Jerome showed not the slightest hint of divinatory talent, despite his family line), it was that there was always another interpretation, another angle.

Seer Maybelle shifted from foot to foot.  It was difficult for her to stand like this for so long, but pride and Protocol demanded it.  With a quiet rasp, she cleared her throat, preparing to sell, somehow, what was ridiculously unsellable.  Her son, short, nervous, and – there was no escaping it – a chipmunk, was completely unsuited to the willowy, athletic, 16-year-old, dark-haired and darker-eyed human.  Seer Maybelle opened her mouth, but Eloise held up a finger and stopped her.

“I have an idea.”

“Yes, Princess Eloise?”

“I shall name Jerome Abernatheen de Chipmunk my champion.”

Seer Maybelle stood gape-mouthed, then closed her eyes and scanned the Unseen.  When she opened them again, she graced Princess Eloise with a radiant chipmunk smile.  She nodded, amazed that such insight could come, once again, from someone so young.

Mrs de Chipmunk left the Receiving Room lighter of heart than she’d felt in weeks.

Eloise draped the Attention Cape over the back of the Listening Throne and wondered how in the name of Calaht she would ever convince her parents to allow her decision.

***

That was the first chapter of The Purple Haze.  What do you make of the style?

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12 Responses to “#SPFBO 2018 Book Teaser: The Purple Haze by Andrew Einspruch”

  1. Tammy

    I’m intrigued, it’s very well written and very funny. I’ll be curious to see what you think of the rest, Lynn😀

  2. waytoofantasy

    Seems humorous. I do love the cover for this one too.

    • Andrew Einspruch

      Thank you @waytoofantasy, and glad you like the cover. It was done by Stuart Bache, who’s doing the covers for the whole series. All kudos to him.

    • @lynnsbooks

      It is humorous and I also like the covers.
      Lynn 😀

  3. Mogsy @ BiblioSanctum

    Haha, this one had me at the first line. I was like, CHIPMUNK, lol wut!?

  4. maxinesobsessions

    This sounds like its full of whimsical fun.

  5. Kathy @Pages Below the Vaulted Sky

    Well, it’s definitely different from anything I’ve seen recently! It looks cute and fun! And “Eloise Hydra Gumball III” is a great name 😀

  6. #SPFBO Interview with Andrew Einspruch, author of Purple Haze | Books and travelling with Lynn

    […] books I rolled forward from the first month of the competition (you can check out the first chapter here) and my update for the first month of SPFBO reading is […]

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