Friday, January 23, 2015

New Cover for People of Fae

As I live and learn on how to make covers, I can't help but to tweak them just a little.  This is still a work in progress for the hard copy version, but complete for e-reader downloads. I hope to have the second installment of the Fae trilogy, Children of Fae, complete sometime this year.

Monday, January 19, 2015

Midweek Mayhem Dancing With Monsters Chapter 4 excerpt

I'm early for Midweek Mayhem, but thought I would post early as I'm never sure how much mayhem I'll have to deal with by midweek.  Dancing With Monsters is going along well and watch for more giveaways soon!  For now, here's a sample of Chapter 4 of Dancing With Monsters.

This is the title page.


“Demons have penetrated the Shadowlands, are you sure it wasn’t someone’s hallucination?”  Ayil asked Ezra.  “The Shadowlands are secured by the angels.”
Ezra huddled next to me like a frightened cat.  “The angels have all but abandoned the Shadowlands.  Their portals are in danger and they abandoned the gates.  A few of us passed, but some lingered…”  Ezra nestled her head into the crook of my arm and wrapped her arms around me tightly.
She stayed and risked being caught by demons for me.  Ezra didn’t escape the Shadowlands because she wanted to be together.  I took a deep breath and held her back stroking her hair.
“The demons will easily take the power of the orb and make the Shadowlands their own.”  Ayil paced the floor rubbing her chin.
“That’s not all,” said Ezra.  “There were more than just demons there.  They had an army of new demons that I’ve never seen before.  They looked like a cross between demon and monster.”
Ayil’s eyes shifted to me.  “Demons must have been successful at transforming humans to hybrid monsters—this isn’t good, not good at all.  Walk with me.” 
Ayil abruptly went out of the room and into her study.  Malachi, Nessa and I exchanged glances as a light from the study flicked on.
“I said walk with me, and that means come here please,” Ayil said with a raised voice.
We went into the cluttered room with books piled high and loose papers strewn throughout the room.  It looked like a windstorm had gone through it, but Ayil seemed to know what she was looking for.
“Tuscany was considered a sleeper town now, but at one time it was a major trafficking route for demons to transport their drugs.  And all was wonderfully quiet in what I thought was retirement for me, then, a monster, genius really, came to town with an amazing discovery,” Ayil said as she rummaged through a basket she sat on top of her paper laden table.  “He had created a serum that we believe was contracted for him to make by demons.  Since demons are of a delicate state to travel to other realms, often use humans, monsters, and even fairies to do their leg work for them.  But this guy, this monster went to them, and I haven’t been able to locate him.  He lives in the area, but travels and moves very quickly.”   She then pulled something from her basket, and held it over her head.  “Ah ha,” she said.  “This will be our secret weapon.” 
Ayil had in her hand an amber colored stone.
“A broach?”  Malachi gazed at the antique looking piece of jewelry.  “A gaudy piece of jewelry is going to save everyone from demons?”
“This, my young monster, is no ordinary broach.  In fact it wasn’t even supposed to be a piece of jewelry—I had it made into one.  This amber colored stone in light from Iethia long before demons poisoned it.”  Her brown eyes focused on me as her silver hair glistened with gold as the stone began to glow in her palm.
Ayil extended her hand towards me and smiled.  “And you will be the one to save us, archangel.”  
“Archangel?”  Nessa blurted out pointing at me with her thumb.  “Seth isn’t an archangel.  He couldn’t even use a dragon blade correctly until I showed him.”
Ayil shifted her eyes towards her.  “Nessa, some things are in us that we don’t know we have.  Seth brought Ezra back from the Shadowlands, a feat no monster no matter how strong they are could do.”
Ayil turned her attention back to me.  “Take this.”  Her voice commanded.
I took the intricately cut stone that flickered with light.  “What do I do with it?”  I asked looking at her.
She smiled and then shrugged her shoulders.  “Your Uncle Hes gave it to me and said one day you’d come and said to give it to you.  As far as instructions, he gave none.  I disguised the importance of the stone as a piece of jewelry.”  She then cupped her hand over mine that held the stone.  The light emitting from it dimmed.  “It’s yours and as a monster with an archangel heritage, the limits of your power are infinite.”
“You mean Seth can rule any dimension he wants?”  Malachi asked standing next to Nessa.
“His powers are infinite; I didn’t say what powers were infinite.  That he will have to find on his own, no one knows that answer.  Not everything in the universe is attainable.”
Ayil turned off the light and motioned for us to leave the room.
“I suggest we all get some rest as our hunt for this serum-making monster will start tomorrow as well as the never ending battle with demons.”
“Wait,” Nessa said turning towards Ayil.  “Shouldn’t we start now?  I mean the Shadowlands are being taken over by demons and you want to go to sleep like nothing is happening.  What if Iethia is attacked?  What…”  Ayil waved her hand over Nessa’s face. 
Malachi caught Nessa before she slumped to the floor.
“She’s right about some things, but she hasn’t been in very many battles.”  Ayil glanced at all of us.  “Anyone else want to discuss as to what we should do now besides go to bed and get a few hours rest?”   No one said anything.  “Good, be up by sunrise.”

“I can’t believe I’m here with you,” Ezra whispered as she laced her fingers through mine.
The moonlight poured in through the window as the breeze made the tree limbs sway making shadows dance across the floor.  Ezra laid next to me, her body was warm, her skin was soft, and she was as I remembered holding her.
“And I plan on keeping it that way.”  I gently kissed her on top of her head smelling her sweet scent.
“But what if it comes back?”  Ezra sat up and gazed at me with worried eyes.  “What if my cancer comes back?”
I sat up and curled my arms around her.  “It won’t.  Didn’t you listen to Ayil?”  She nodded.  “I’m a monster with the abilities of an archangel.”  I could hardly believe those words were coming out of my mouth.  “If I can bring you here from the Shadowlands, then I think I can stop anything that might hurt you—including cancer.”
Ezra took in a deep breath and burrowed her head into my shoulder.  “Just hold me, Seth and be like how we were with no disease, no serum, and no demons.  I want it to be just you and me watching the sun come up over Black Sea in Iethia—our home.”
I closed my eyes and thought of home.  I had a simple life compared to now.  Uncle Hes always said I was special, and I wondered if he knew of my archangel abilities.  But I didn’t want to think of that right now.  I wanted to go back to a time when it was going to the beach with Ezra and going out with Malachi who deemed to annoy every girl he met when he was trying to impress them.
Suddenly a bright light flicked on and I opened my eyes to see Ayil standing in the doorway. 
“No rest for the wicked, come on, there’s been a disturbance in Brumbriar.  It’s about an hour away.  Time to put your abilities to work,” Ayil said leaving as she left the door open.
“Seth,” Ezra said with worry.
“It will be alright.  I promise,” I said putting a black wool coat over her shoulders and kissing her on the forehead.
I wish I knew how to use my abilities to transport us back to Iethia and to another time before demons ruined our world.

Saturday, January 17, 2015

Sunday Sampler Dancing With Monsters Excerpt of Chapter 4

Dancing With Monsters is finally picking up again.  I hope to have this one finished this spring-maybe sooner.  For now, here's a sample of Chapter 4. Enjoy!


I was still pumped up on how fast I had run, and not to mention, how I had outran Ben.  My body stilled tingled with excitement at my newly found abilities.  I felt a whole new world had opened up, and I finally had a place that I was beginning to fit into.  Ben was kind and patient with me, but I sensed something wasn’t right at the same time it was.  I couldn’t put what I felt into words, and didn’t know how to explain it to Ben, it would be too embarrassing.  Instead, I pushed it away.  I had had enough of pain and disappointments in my past.  I wanted happiness and that happiness wasn’t going to be clouded by anything.

“Yolanda just contacted me, and we are to meet her on Friday.”  Ben smiled as he put his phone on the table.
“Where at?”  I asked.
“Not sure, she’ll let me know just before we leave.”
I looked around his house.  “So, you’re just leaving everything?  What will happen to this house?  You just can’t leave without doing something to it.”
He laughed.  “Oh April,” Ben said getting up and walking over to me.  “You are truly a caring soul.”  He curled his strong hands gently around mine.  “That is why I chose you…” His phone began to vibrate on the table.
Ben read the text to himself.
“Who is it?  Yolanda sending a message?”
“No,” he shoved the phone into his coat pocket.  “Just a little monster business I need to attend to.  Stay here and get some rest, because it will be a long trip to sanctuary.”  Ben arranged the collar of his jacket, smiled, and planted a quick kiss on my forehead.  “Be back in an hour.”
“But where are you going and why can’t I go with you?”  I asked following him to the door.
“Be back,” Ben said with a click of the door.
I went to the window and watched him leave like lightning through the forest.
“Really, leaving me here,” I turned away from the window and crossed my arms.  “I don’t think so.”  I had the ability to run as fast as Ben, if not faster.

The cold air rushed past me as I darted through the forest.  I followed Ben’s footprints and…scent.  It was an earthy smell, like the first few warm days of spring when everything was finally thawed and just sprouting buds, leaves and flowers.  I had noticed the scent briefly, and thought it was something in Ben’s house, not Ben.  But it was him, and I could clearly follow it like a string tied from tree to tree.
I ran all the way to the outskirts of Westfall, a larger town a few miles from Ben’s home.  It had a small strip mall, gas stations, several bars, and a high school.  Looming in the thicket that lined the ditch, I gazed at that school that sat silent.  Cars were parked in rows next to the brick building that had a circular drive in front of several glass doors.  The American flag waved proudly in what looked like a rose garden surrounding it.
If I went there, I’d be graduating and getting ready to go to college.  I had come to Westfall a few times when we would get to go on the rare outing from Sunrise Acres.  I memorized the buildings, names of businesses, and streets that we drove by.  Later, I’d mentally go down those streets and go into the shops with my made-up friends before I went home to have dinner with my made-up parents.  How l longed to have that life, but knew it would never be. 
I stepped out of the thicket and gazed at the school. I was so close to the life I had always wanted and knew I could never have it.  Suddenly, the glass doors flew open and several people came out.  Like a frightened rabbit, I scurried back into the bushes as to not be seen.  I watched a group of girls get into a small red car with a dented fender that was parked straight out from my hiding spot. 
I laid down in the ditch among the tall, yellow grass to make sure I wouldn’t get caught.  They were going to Dairy Queen before they went to work I heard the last girl say before getting in with a slam of the door.  I could be one of those girls.  School…work…college…a future that I could decide, not the darkness that had followed me everywhere.
I watched them all leave until quietness surrounded me again.  That life was never meant for me.  I was a monster, whatever that meant I wasn’t sure yet. I’d never fit in here, and I knew it.  Besides, Ben’s scent was still strong and tugged on my senses like a leash.
I pulled up my hood and followed the scent downtown.  I walked past a café, furniture store, and a salon before the scent stopped.  Buildings lined each side of the street; some had businesses in them while others sat vacant. A few cars were parked along the sidewalk and a few people went in and out of the café and into the salon that looked busy.  Other than that, the town was quiet.
I sniffed the air and looked around.  The sky was a solid grey and the wind had a small bite to it.  I wasn’t sure where Ben had gone anyhow, and if I wasn’t at his house when he got back he’d probably be mad at me.  I gave up trying to find him, and started to head back towards the timber when I was pulled to the ground and quickly dragged into a narrow alley.
“Delicious,” said a scratchy male voice.  “Just right,” he said turning me over to face him.
Skin hung in rotting strips on his face, and his eyes were clouded, like he had cataracts.  He then grinned a toothless smile and chuckled as yellowed, pointed teeth poked out from his bloodied gums.
Repulsed and shocked, I wanted to scream, but couldn’t as he started to pull at my clothing.
“Must have you,” he groaned.
“No!”  I managed to yell as I tried to push him away.
He ripped off my jacket as he grabbed me by the shoulders and slammed me back down to the hard ground.  Lights flickered around me as my body went limp long enough for him to start to undo my pants.  He was laughing and mumbling something to himself as he undid my belt and started to pull on my jean button when I knew I had to do something or be raped by this corpse. 

Friday, January 16, 2015

Amazing Giveaway #2

Yes, another giveaway, but this time it's for all of you from the place I'd love to visit someday if I wasn't so afraid to fly-Ireland!  This giveaway will go until the luckiest day of all-March 17, 2015.  It is open to all in the lovely land of Ireland and what will that amazingly lucky winner receive?  One signed copy of The Librarian's Daughter The Story of Sage Green(play on words here, get it? Green & Emerald Isle both are green:)  And it's easy to enter-be the first to email me telling me how lucky you are to be the first to email me and I will mail you a signed copy of The Librarian's Daughter The Story of Sage Greene. It's that simple & my email address is provided in contact me at this blog.  Hope to hear from some lucky people!


Thursday, January 15, 2015

Winner of Giveaway!

The winner of the Sirens giveaway was a very quick person from Ohio! Congrats to them and thanks to all who responded!  Watch for future giveaways on my blog!

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Amazing Giveaway!

One lucky person will receive a signed hard copy of my latest novel Sirens!  And what do you have to do to have a chance to win?  Be the first one to email me and I will mail it to you. Easy? Yes, and sorry people of faraway places-shipping costs are expensive, so this time it is only open to any who live in the United Sates.  Please provide me your mailing address in the email and that you read this post.  Hope to hear from you soon!  And as always, watch for future giveaways!

You can find my email address in contacts at this blog.

You can win a signed copy!

Monday, January 5, 2015

Dancing With Monsters Chapter 3 excerpt

Things are going slow but steady with dancing With Monsters...if only there were more hours in the day reserved for just reading and writing with no interruptions would be great!  Here is an excerpt of Chapter 3 enjoy!


“You are with me now…finally with me,” Ezra said running her hand over the side of my cheek.  “Stay with me.”  She gazed at me with her desperate eyes.
“I want that more than anything.  I miss seeing you every day and I find myself searching for you when I wake up in the morning.”  I held her shoulders tightly making sure she was really in front of me.
“Then say it, say you want to be with me.”  She pulled herself closer to me.  “It’s awful here without you, and we deserve a future together.”
We did deserve a future together, but that’s not how things worked out.  In fact, this isn’t how things are supposed to be.  The it was pulling at me again.
I pushed myself away from Ezra.
“Seth…” she said in a hurtful voice.
“It can’t be this way,” I whispered forcing the words from my lips.
“We don’t have many chances at being together.  My time in the Shadowlands is running out…”  Her skin suddenly paled and fine cracks erupted on her cheek.  “Please Seth, come with me.”  She reached for me as it took all my might to step away from her.
“I love you, Ezra, but you are suffering here…leave the Shadowlands and follow the path to the Mists.  I don’t want you to suffer waiting for me.”
Ezra stood motionless, and stared at me with eyes filled with hurt.  I couldn’t come with her, and it pained me to let her go.
“Ezra…” I said her name softly.
Suddenly her image shattered as if made of glass, and before me with wild, round eyes was Nessa.  The roar of loud screams and yelling exploded around me.  Ezra was gone and Nessa now stood in her place.
“Come on!”  She demanded.  “Malachi found the opening, hurry!”
She grabbed my wrist and we ran through the swirling fog until we found Malachi standing in front of a large, jagged mirror.  It wasn’t very big, and looked like it had been cut away from a much larger portal. 
“They won’t hold for long,” Malachi said as screams from the glass people echoed in the distance.
“Her scent is strong, the angel passed here not too long ago,” I said running my hands over the portal.
It swirled like liquid silver, and I stepped through it grabbing hold of Nessa’s hand.  “Take Malachi’s hand and don’t let go.”
The portal was a thin one, and in the matter of only a few steps, we stood surrounded in peaceful darkness.  The portal had disappeared as if it was never there.  The wind was cool and I could hear it rustle through the leaves on the trees that framed the star-filled sky.  Tall grass swayed in the breeze that surrounded us.  We were in the openness of a field.
“Is this earth?  Do you think we are here?”  Nessa asked. 
“This is earth.  If angels have important business to deal with, they always conduct it on earth.” I replied.  “It’s their home away from home.”  I tried to reassure Nessa.
“Do you smell the angel?”  Malachi asked.
“Her scent ended in the portal.  She must have extinguished it when she got here.”  I turned towards Malachi’s shadowy silhouette.  “But we won’t find anything if we don’t move.”
Nessa and Malachi huddled together like two frightened rabbits.
“Yeah, but what way do we go?”  Nessa asked stepping away from Malachi.
I pulled from my pocket inside my coat a piece of paper and unfolded it.
“What’s that?”  Malachi asked.
“The name of someone that is going to help us—my uncle gave it to me before we left along with their phone number.”  I folded it back up and stuck it safely into my pocket. 
“Well, who is it, or are you going to be secretive.”  Nessa grabbed hold of my collar and gazed up at me.
“Her name is Ayil Archer, and she used to work with my uncle before escaping Iethia.”  Just then, a large semi-truck flashed by piercing the darkness with its headlights.   “There’s a road over there.”  I started to walk towards it.  “We need to get to the nearest town and contact Ayil.”

We walked along the ditch littered with garbage to avoid being seen.  Uncle Hes told me to make as few encounters with humans as possible.  The mission I was completing for him was the most important one he had—I couldn’t let him down.
“That mark isn’t helping you, is it?”  Nessa asked suddenly as she walked beside me.
Another car was coming and we laid down on the icy ground until it passed.
“It isn’t working, is it?”  She repeated. 
I took in a deep breath.  “No,” I couldn’t lie.  “It isn’t working.”
“She’s weakening though. I could feel it when we were caught in the portal.”  Nessa ran to catch up with me.
“Look,” I said in a stern voice.  “We need to concentrate on finding our contact first.”
“Don’t you think have your girlfriend haunting you is sort of jeopardizing our mission?”  Nessa was like a fly that kept humming around my head.
“I have it under control, and look,”  I said stopping in front of a large green sign that sat imbedded in the ground by two metal poles and illuminated by a tall light overhead.  “We are entering Tuscany with a population of eleven hundred.”

It’s almost disturbing how much this human town of Tuscany resembled the many small towns and villages of Iethia.  Though is shouldn’t surprise me, monsters and humans are bound by blood—even if it is a distant relation. 
It was a quiet town with one main road running through it.  Most of the businesses huddled together along each side of the street marked Main Street.  Houses lined the side streets, and were illuminated by yellow lights.  The clock that hung in one of the store windows showed it was one in the morning.  It would be mid-morning in Duneloc.  I wondered if it was Tuesday morning here or Monday morning. 
“Why are we stopping in the middle of the street right under a light?”  Malachi asked pulling me to the shadowed sidewalk.  “We can’t be seen remember?”
“It’s Ezra isn’t it?”  Nessa pounced in my face.  “Look, you’re going to have to ignore her because I’m not going to get caught in this world by some angel or demon from the hold she has on you.”  She pinched me on the arm.
“It wasn’t her!”  I jerked my arm away and hovered over Nessa as she scowled at me.  “I was wondering what day it was here.  Are we a day behind or ahead from Duneloc?” 
“The day isn’t important, and I think Nessa is right.”  Malachi looked steadily into my eyes.  “Ezra has a hold on you even though she isn’t with you.  You are still haunted by her until she passes from the Shadowlands.”
I didn’t want to believe him, but knew he was right.  And more importantly, I didn’t want to let down Uncle Hes or get my friends hurt.  I already endangered them when we went through the portal.  Ezra was suffering in the Shadowlands waiting for me to join her, but it wasn’t my time to pass.
I took in a deep breath and saw lights from a lonely building flooding the corner of the street. “There’s a business up ahead with its lights on.  Let’s go see if they have a phone.”
We went inside the brightly lit establishment that resembled the market place in Duneloc.  It had all kinds of caned beverages in tall coolers, packaged goods, and other incidentals one might need.  I walked in first followed by Nessa and Malachi.
“Excuse me, we are in need of a phone,” I said to the clerk behind the counter.
She was an older lady with short hair that had a defined line from brown to the grey strands close to her scalp.  Her wrinkled skin around her eyes deepened with more wrinkles as her blue eyes glared at me with suspicion.
“We don’t let the public use our phone,” said the clerk.  “Don’t one of you kids have a cell phone you can use?”  She placed both hands on the counter, squared her shoulders, and began to tap her fingers on the counter.  “Are you buying anything or what?” 
Despite her small stature and age, she looked like a human that would fight if provoked.  I also knew she wasn’t going to let us use her phone.  I had to do something instead of wasting time, and by the looks of Malachi and Nessa browsing the store, they weren’t helping me much.
I quickly grabbed her wrist and stared into her shocked eyes.  She tried to pull away and get the wooden bat under the counter. 
Why didn’t I just pull it out when I seen them kids come up to the door looking like they were up to no good…and at this hour.  I could read her thoughts easily, and tried to calm the woman.
This job isn’t worth eight dollars an hour!  She was mad over the position she was in rather than the danger of a stranger grabbing hold of her.  This perplexed me, but I needed to use the phone without causing too much of a disturbance.
“Agatha,” I said her name softly and her angered eyes met mine. “I’m not going to hurt you. I just want to use the phone to call a friend.”
“How do you know my name?”  She asked calmly.
We stood facing on another with my hand wrapped around her wrist.  Her hand was relaxed and she stopped trying to pull away.  My ability to compel, had worked on a human. 
Being a monster meant you had gifts.  Mine was the power of compelling, but I was taking a chance of it working on a human, and by the look on the woman’s face, it was working well.
“We need to use your phone,” I repeated staring into her eyes.
“That will be five dollars.”  Her eyes didn’t blink and her words slowed, but she still retained her ability to fight back.  “It costs five dollars to use my phone—local or long distance.”
“Nessa,” I yelled out keeping my eyes locked with the clerk’s.  “Malachi,” I said and heard their footsteps come up behind me.
“Having trouble?”  Malachi asked standing beside me.
“I need some currency.”
“Currency?”  Nessa questioned with a snicker.
“Yes, I have her compelled and she will see whatever I give her as five dollars.  Any piece of paper will be fine.”  I felt my grip weaken on the woman.  My spell wouldn’t last for long.  “Hurry or she’ll be swinging a wooden stick at us soon!”
Malachi and Nessa rummaged through their belongings and bickered at one another as they did.  Up until now, I had complete confidence in my friends, but I was beginning to have second thoughts.
“Hurry up,” I warned through gritted teeth.
“Here,” Nessa said shoving a dark brown, rectangular shaped piece of paper in front of my face. 
I looked at the bold letters that said Hersey’s.  I took it and handed it to the clerk who put it in her pocket and pulled out a boxy looking device from under the counter with a circular panel that had numbers on it.  Phones weren’t like this in Iethia. I had no idea how to use.
“Dial this number,” I commanded to the clerk as I handed her the piece of paper with Ayil’s number on it.
She handed me what I assumed was the earpiece that had a knob at each end and was making a buzzing sound.  I held it close so I could hear when the ringing stopped.
“Hello,” a female voice said at the other end.
“Ayil Archer?”  I asked pressing it to my ear with a pause at the other end.
“Yes,” she finally replied.
“Hesediel Grayson sent…”
“I’ll be right there,” she said as her voice was replaced with a continuous buzzing sound.
“Ayil,” I said her name and then looked at the earpiece. 
She had hung up and was coming, but how did she know where we were at?  I handed the earpiece back to the compelled clerk who put it away and stood waiting for another command.  I would release her with no memory of us being here when Ayil arrived.
“You’re not going to believe this,” Malachi said coming up behind me with a canned beverage in his palm.  “I think we’re too late, they are packaging up the serum and distributing it.”
I looked at the black can with a burst of color behind the word Monster.
“They’re not even disguising the name.”
“Where did you get it?”  I asked.
“In the cooler.”  He motioned behind him.  “They have about a half of dozen different kinds back there just sitting on the racks and cases upon cases in the cooler.”
I took the can from Malachi and shoved it in the clerks face.  “Who distributes this to you?”
She looked at the can and then at me.
“I said who is giving you this to sell?”  I raised my voice.
“It comes in a truck and Pete…he comes every Thursday,” she said with my eyes bearing down on hers.
Not only could I compel, I also could also sense lying when I had someone compelled.  And she wasn’t lying, at least not to her knowledge.  She knew no more than that it came off a truck every Thursday. 
“Tell me, do other establishments carry the same beverage.”
She nodded her head.  “We have only five kinds though.”
I gave Malachi a grim look as the door suddenly burst open.   A petite woman with long grey hair that was neatly pulled back came in and waved her hand over the clerk’s face.  The clerk’s eyes closed as the woman guided her to the ground.
“You shouldn’t have compelled her.  It doesn’t always work well on humans.”  Her brown eyes gazed at me steadily.  “I’m Ayil and you must be Hesediel’s nephew.”
I nodded my head.
“Good, then come with me.”
She turned and I tugged on her shoulder.  “Wait, we found something.”  I showed her the can.
Ayil looked at it and then gave me a crooked smile.  “Nice, isn’t it?”
“Nice?”  I questioned.
“It isn’t what you’re looking for.  That is what humans call an energy drink.  It won’t turn them into anything but a bundle of energy.  Now, come on, I’ve been expecting you.”