tales of the zeppelin artwork by frazer irving

The Boy in Winter's Grasp
Available now  - click here

It is Christmas 1914. As Europe descends further into the Great War, Christopher Flyte is sent home in disgrace from his school. He returns to the sleepy English village of Alton. It is there that he meets the mysterious traveller, Bailey - a master storyteller who fills the boy's head with stories of King Arthur's time. The more Christopher hears, the more he suspects that Bailey's stories are more than just simple myths.

Soon, Christoper is a pawn in a game that has been playing out for centuries....

Published by Fantastic Books

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The Boy In Winter's Grasp - character introduction: Sama

Posted on Oct 23, 2015 by John Scotcher

Click image to open an enlarged version.
Illustrated by Silviu Sadoschi

In celebration of Fantastic Books publishing of "The Boy In Winter's Grasp", here is the second in a series of short bogs introducing the main characters.   Meet Sama.

Sama rubbed the dish towel impatiently over the plate she was drying, glanced out of the window and signed. Her father, Stanley, grinned at her back as he strolled past towards the direction of the bar.

“Buck up, Sama.” He said, trying to keep the amusement out of his voice. “Staring out of the window won’t get them plates dry. Sooner you get done, the sooner you get to sit down.”
“I know, Dad. I’ll have them done in a bit,” Sama said in her most obedient voice possible. She turned and flashed her father the smile she knew he loved. The corners of his mouth struggled not to wrinkle up again in response.

“It'll take more than a cheeky grin to get out of your chores, Sama Neeley,” he said, as much to himself as to her. “You’ve been running around me and your brother all week.”
He disappeared into the bar. Sama crashed the dried plate onto a pile and reached into the sink for another. It was so unfair!

Sama wasn’t like other girls of her age. At sixteen she was really supposed to be a demure young woman, fitting into a role that everyone expected and understood. So far, however, she had successfully resisted all attempts to turn her into one. Whilst the other girls she knew seemed to spend countless boring hours finding ways to appear more feminine, Sama couldn't care less. As to the idea of capering around the floor of numbingly polite church dances with some idiotic farm hand, all stares and boasts, the very idea made her want to throw a plate through the window in front of her.

Instead, she added the plate to the pile with another crash, then reached down into the sink, feeling through the hot cloudy water for another plate. Empty. Sama’s heart leapt. She rubbed her hands on the towel to dry them and hurled it over to the corner where it was kept. She nearly tripped over herself in her rush to get the dishes into the cupboard. She set them down with more crashes.

“Sama!” her father called through from the bar. “Be careful!”

“All finished, Dad!” she called back before a telling off followed.

She ducked through to the bar. Her father was kneeling at the hearth, building a fire to welcome the evening’s visitors. Above him the three fish in their display cabinets stared into the room with three beady glass eyes.

“I’m going to get the whites ironed for Auntie Violet,” Sama blurted, and then bolted back into the kitchen, leaving her father staring bemusedly at the space she had been in.

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