Tag Archives: reader response

By Request, Helki and the Killer Bird (‘Bell Mountain’)

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This is what he saw–taller than a man, and able to kill a horse with one bite.

Heidi has asked for another excerpt from Bell Mountain, this one featuring one of her favorite characters, Helki the Rod, and one of those giant birds that has lately wandered into Obann. We pick up the scene on Page 197.

“Helki, too, spent the night on the plain; and Helki, too, saw a giant bird.

“It stalked right past him, and looked right at him, and opened its massive beak halfway, as if to warn him not to move. Helki stood his ground, returning the bird’s look. He thought that if he had to, he could break the bird’s leg with his staff. But he very much hoped he wouldn’t have to.

“The bird made no move in his direction. Whatever it was hunting, it wasn’t him. He watched until it strode out of sight.

“Only then did he become aware that he was trembling from head to toe. He threw his staff in the air and caught it, and yowled at the top of his lungs.

“‘Whee-aaaah!’ The whole night rang with it. ‘Lord God, you have outdone yourself!'”

“It wasn’t much of a prayer, but that was how Obst had taught him to pray and that was how he did it….”

Anyone can ask for an excerpt from any book in the Bell Mountain series. There are now 11 titles in print, and Book No. 12, His Mercy Endureth Forever, is being edited. Just make sure you give me the right page number and a brief description of what you’d like me to post as an excerpt.

 


Comment Contest: Unbearable Excitement

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Byron the quokka is about ready to jump out of his skin with excitement. Well, he does take these things to heart. Ever since I made him in charge of the comment contest, he can hardly sit still.

There are a mere 127 comments left to go before someone posts No. 44,000 and wins the contest–and an autographed copy of The Temptation. Byron keeps checking because he wants to make the announcement. Unfortunately, the bicycle he wanted to give away as a prize belonged to someone else who has since gone home with it.

Everyone can play and all comments are eligible, with only these exceptions: comments abusive of anybody on this site; comments containing blasphemy or f-bombs; commercials disguised as comments; and, of course, comments too blindingly stupid to be published. Other than that, anything goes!


By Request: Showdown at the Palace (from ‘The Palace’)

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“Teddy Kiara” asked for this excerpt, from The Palace (Bell Mountain No. 6). I can’t give her exactly what she asked for, because I fear it’d spoil the climax. But I think the following comes close.

Gurun is the girl from a faraway island who, against her will, is taken up as queen of Obann. Goryk Gillow is a traitor who means to crown a false king. We pick up the scene on page 312.

“Gurun came out next. And at the sight of her, Goryk Gillow’s heart seemed suddenly inadequate to keep him on his feet.

“He couldn’t breathe. He’d seen her once before, on the walls above the East Gate. That time he’d been afraid of her, not knowing why. But this time he was frozen.

“She was no natural creature. Her white garments and her long hair blazed, whiter than any white he’d ever seen. The rain seemed not to touch her. Goryk ground his eyes shut, lest her eyes should meet them, but still her white light thrust against the darkness. Deep, deep, deep inside his soul there was a scream.

“The God he had betrayed, defied, and mocked: that God had sent her here to take His vengeance on him. She was His messenger. Goryk trembled from head to toe. Mardar Zo looked up and stared at him, alarmed…

“Goryk didn’t hear them. His only impulse was to escape the terrible white lady: to escape from God. With a strangled scream that finally worked its way out, he freed his feet from the stone and fled, moaning, into the palace…”

Ah! And what happens next?

Read the book and find out.


By Request: The Bell (on ‘Bell Mountain’)

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Joshua asked for this excerpt: from page 1 and page 2 of Bell Mountain. Remember that Jack’s dream, described here, was originally one of mine.

“In Jack’s dream, he would be somewhere in the valley, maybe trying to throw a stone across the river… So he would be throwing stones, or looking for blackberries, when suddenly the mountain would begin to sing.

“It was always the biggest mountain, Bell Mountain, with its peak hidden in a cloak of clouds so that no one ever saw it. Jack had never in his life heard the sound of a really big bell, or he might have said the mountain rang, not sang.

“But it was a terrible song that made the other mountains tremble and filled the whole valley as if God had flooded it to the foothills with ice water. Jack couldn’t hear the noise of the river anymore, nor the wind, the birds, nor his own heart beating. Indeed, it seemed the river stopped flowing and his heart stopped beating. And he was too terrified to pick up his feet and run away–too terrified even to breathe.

“And then he would wake up.

“As his breath came back to him, he would always find that he was still frightened: scared enough to shiver. But on top of being frightened, and running deeper than the fear, was something else…”

Anyone can request an excerpt from any of my books. Just be sure to give the title, page number, and a brief description of what you want me to excerpt. And remember–we don’t want to spoil any of the climaxes.

And if you haven’t read any of these books yet–well, they’re waiting for you.


By Request: The Omah (‘Bell Mountain’)

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This is Heidi’s idea, and I’m going with it: taking reader requests for excerpts from my book. It’s only fitting that she have the first crack at it; and she has asked for this passage, from Bell Mountain, introducing the Omah–the squirrel-sized, manlike creatures who will play a large role in the story. We find it on Page 47.

“Jack and Ellayne held their breath. This was no animal whose like they’d ever seen before. Not a fox, nor a rat, nor anything they had a word for.

“It came tiptoeing out on little furry feet, walking on its hind legs like a tiny human being. Indeed, it might have been a human being, if it weren’t so small and covered with glossy brown fur from head to foot–except for its face, which was bare and pale and almost human.

“From outside the light, the creature’s eyes had shone red; but up closer they were brown, almost black, bright and shiny and large.

“It tiptoed up to the bread, hesitated for a moment, and then reached down and picked it up–with hands.

“Little furry hands, real hands like Jack’s own: Jack didn’t know what to think. All he could do was stare as the creature handled the bread with nimble fingers, studying it, sniffing it, and finally stuffing it into its mouth. Jack saw a flash of tiny white teeth.

“With its cheeks bulging, the creature turned suddenly and scampered back into the darkness.”

I’ll take reader requests for excerpts, although I have no idea whether this new feature will be popular. Just make sure you give me the page number and describe what you want to see. Do steer clear of excerpts that might spoil the ending of the story.

Gee, wouldn’t it be great if these excerpts moved people to buy the books?


Byron the Quokka: ‘Excerpts, Anyone?’

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I’m always looking for ways to get readers more involved with my books and this blog. This morning Heidi had an idea that appeals to me: post excerpts. Revisit favorite characters and incidents, etc.

Now, I don’t have time to be poring through the books, looking for excerpts. But what I can do is post excerpts requested or nominated by readers. It might drum up interest in the books. It might be fun for everybody.

Some parameters immediately suggest themselves:

Make ’em short excerpts, just a paragraph or so.

Avoid posting things that will spoil the book’s ending.

When you request an excerpt, make sure to include the book’s title, the page number, and the first couple words of the desired paragraph or passage (so I can find just the one you want).

I have delegated this project to Byron the Quokka, who’s been tugging at my pants leg, demanding a greater role in our proceedings. “I can do it, I can do it!” he chirps. And squeals.

So… let’s give it a try and see how it works out. I’m not committing myself–after all, there’s always the chance that hardly anybody will be interested and almost no one will participate. Who knows, maybe it’ll turn out to be fun.

P.S.–I don’t have a car this week, it’s still raining, and tomorrow I’ll be collecting cobwebs in the eye doctor’s waiting room. Byron will be here to process your requests. If he doesn’t eat them.

P.P.S.–If you click and visit “Books,” you will find the opening chapter of each book provided as a sample. So in a way, we’ve been doing this all along. It’s just that no one noticed.


Remember the Comment Contest!

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I have enlisted the services of Byron the Quokka, pictured above, to remind everybody that we’ve got a comment contest going. Not much action on this blog today!

Byron says we currently have 43,447 comments, which means we are only 553 short of a winner. His arithmetic is impeccable. Yes, whoever posts Comment No. 44,000 will win an autographed copy of The Temptation–unless I can come up with something gaudier: maybe one of those supermarket robots that wanders around the aisles looking for spills.

All readers are eligible to play, and all comments are eligible except for the following: remarks abusive to anyone else on this site; comments containing profanity or blasphemy; ads thinly disguised as comments, as if we couldn’t see through that; or comments simply too inane, jejeune, or vacuous to bother with. Other than that, anything goes.

If you’ve already won a contest, don’t be shy–try to win again. Just don’t make a habit of it. I mean, if the same person wins all the time, that could make me look bad…


Comment Contest: Halfway!

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Well, we’ve got those first thousand comments out of the way, and that means the comment contest is halfway to a winner. We’re shooting for 44,000 comments, and now we’ve got 43,000 and change. Whoever posts Comment No. 44,000 will be the winner!

Ah! But what will the winner win? An autographed copy of The Temptation. I was hoping to be able to offer one of those magic rings that make you invisible, but I can’t seem to find the guy who had it last.

Anyone can play, and all comments are eligible, except for the following: comments abusive to anyone else on this site; comments containing blasphemy or profanity (sorry, liberals); ads disguised as comments; or comments simply to jejeune to bother with. Other than that, anything goes.

So c’mon out there, let’s get chatting! Like, some of you are here every day and have yet to post a comment. Don’t be shy. Reader input is what makes this blog go.


‘An Open Letter to My Critics’ (2013)

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The last time I re-ran this post, it touched off a lively discussion among the readers. I’d like to see it do it again.

https://leeduigon.com/2013/08/23/an-open-letter-to-my-critics/

Why it should be at all controversial, in a work of fiction, to depict a religious dimension to the characters’ lives and culture, is not easy to explain. Some of those secular fanatics really hate it if you even admit “religion” exists.

It has been suggested that I could be more winsome in my dealings with them.

That much effort, I’ll save for more important things.


Joe Collidge Explains How Flying Snakes Evolved

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Yiu “can” alyaws tel ordrinary dum peeple thay “nevver” goed to Collidge and thay are Anti Sience!! This one guy out Thare he dont know how themb Flying Snaiks thay Evolved so i amb goingto “tel” himb!!!

Hunderds of yeers ago thare was ordrinary reglur snaiks who keppt “falling” out “of” Trees and then thay de-sided thay auhght to do It On Porpus!! At frist thay jist kepp geting Kild but thay stuck whith “it” yeer afftar yeer, thay Practised untill thay got it rihght!!! Thay de-sided to Evolve thare boddies so as To Be Abel to Glyde!! For a wile thare thay was only Haf-way abel to fly butt Practise it maikes prefeckt!! al themb snaiks that falled Out “of” “the” Trees eventurly thay got good at glyding evvin “the” “ones” that got Kild thay stil hadded Baybe snaiks that didnt Fall so Hard!!! And eventurly becose of Natchral Sellectoin and Jeneticks thay was abel to Flygh!!!

In Nothing Studdies we “are” goingto “do this” hear Exspearmint some of us thay wil “jump” out of Dorm winders and Flap thare Arms lyke Whings al the weiy Down and iff stodents keep “doing” “this” fore menny Centries thay wil “get” beter And beter at it until thare Arms thay Evolve into Whings!!! Yiu jist has to allouw enuohgh Time four “it”!!!!!


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