Friday, June 28, 2013

Author Extra: The Strings of the Violin by Alisse Lee Goldenberg

The Strings of the Violin by Alisse Lee Goldenberg


Seventeen-year-old Carrie is lying in her backyard ignoring all the looming
responsibilities in her life, when a fox makes a mad dash across the grass
in front of her. After she manages to keep her dog from attacking the
frightened animal, the fox turns to Carrie and seems to bow in gratitude
before he disappears into the bushes. All Carrie knows in that moment is
that something has unexpectedly changed in her life.

Carrie has been best friends with Lindsay Smith and Rebecca Campbell for
years. During a summer when they should focus on choosing colleges, the
girls suddenly find themselves swept away on the adventure of their lives.
The fox reappears three days later and reveals to Carrie that he is Adom,
emissary to the king of Hadariah. With his land of music and magic in peril,
Adom has been sent to seek help from Carrie and her friends. In the blink of
an eye, the three teenage girls go from living an average suburban life to
being the champions of a world where they must contend with giants, witches,
and magical beings. Will they ever make it home once more?

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Author Extra:

A Fox's Trouble

Adom sighed, exasperated. He rubbed a tawny paw over his eyes, his tail
twitching in agitation. He swore the young prince would one day be the death
of him. He remembered coming to the palace after learning etiquette, court
procedure, and all the laws of the land. He had been told that his position
would be as tutor to the prince. It would be his job to ensure that the
prince learn all he must know in order to one day rule the Kingdom of the
Light. Adom had anticipated an easy job. He had pictured the prince to be a
quiet, well-behaved young man. Or at least that was how he had appeared when
he had first met his charge. Now he understood that to have been an act. The
prince was truly a hooligan. It took all Adom's energy and patience to keep
the boy in line. There was nothing he could do to make him listen. At only
ten years of age, the raven-haired prince was nothing but trouble. He seemed
to contain endless reserves of energy and mischief. He was always going
missing and was never where he should be.

That day, Adom had been trying to teach the prince all about how to behave
at a ball. On their way to the palace's ballroom, the prince had escaped
Adom's sight and was now missing. He had searched everywhere. The boy was
nowhere to be found. He was not in the stables, the gardens, his bedroom,
the fencing room; he had simply vanished. Adom sighed once more. He knew the
prince had a good heart. He had seen examples of his kindness. He was always
asking after his tutor's well-being, bringing him little tokens from his
adventures, treating him as a member of his small family. Yet, this wild
streak had to be curbed if he were to become a king worthy of his subjects.
Adom did not know how this was to be achieved. He walked through the palace
corridors once more looking for his wayward charge. He crept down towards
the servants' quarters and the kitchen and heard the noise of two soft
child-like voices speaking.

"You must do as I say!" came the whine of a young boy. "I am to be king!"

"Yes," replied his companion. "However, you are not king yet."

Adom peered around the corner and saw the prince speaking to a young girl.
She looked to be around nine years of age. Her silver hair was pulled into
two braids, and her amethyst eyes flashed with amusement at the prince's

"What do you know?" the prince said angrily. "You are nothing but the cook's

"I know a lot more than you," the girl replied. "I bet I could run the whole
land better than you ever could!"

"Could not!" the prince shouted, stamping his foot indignantly. "I am
studying to be king."

"Really? Than why am I always hearing of you running away from Adom? I bet
you have not paid a bit of attention to any of your lessons."

The prince crossed his arms across his chest and snorted in annoyance.
"Etiquette is stupid. What does using the right fork have to do with ruling
Hadariah anyway?" 

"It has to do with not offending the dinner guests who wish to trade with
you," Adom answered, choosing that moment to enter the room.

The prince jumped in fear. He flushed red at being caught and looked down at
his tutor. "Sorry for running off again," he murmured.

Adom nodded. "Try not to let it happen again," he chided his young charge.

The prince nodded. "Okay."

The girl smiled at the prince. "Here," she said, handing him a cinnamon
biscuit. "If you listen to your tutor, I'll give you more."

The prince broke out into a large grin. "Okay!" he said. "I'll come back and
visit again. Maybe, if your mom lets you, I can take you to see my horse!"

"I'd like that," the girl answered with a smile. She turned and ran off,
eager to tell her mother.

The prince and Adom walk back to the library together, the prince in
thoughtful silence.

"What is on your mind?" Adom asked him. 

"Am I really going to be a bad king?" the prince asked.

"Not if you pay attention to your lessons," Adom answered with a smile.

"Then I will," the prince answered. He paused again. "Must I marry a

"There is no official law about it," Adom answered.

The prince nodded. "Good," he said.

"You are only ten years old. You still have much time before you need to
worry about such things. Why do you ask?" Adom asked him.

"Because I have decided. I will marry the cook's daughter!" the prince
proclaimed. "She seems smart, and I like her."

Adom shook his head in consternation. "You like her because she gave you a
treat," he said. He rolled his eyes. He knew he should not worry too much
about this. The prince would probably change his mind several times before
he even went to bed.

For the first time, Adom was wrong about the prince. He studied hard, doing
everyone proud, and ten years later, he was present and filled with pride
for his charge as he made the cook's daughter his queen.

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