Archive for the Reading Category

The Adventures of Bailey Boots #8: Nothing Moo Here

Posted in Bailey Boots, Comics, Kids, Reading with tags , , , on April 10, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

BaileyBedroom1

Bailey Boots is a curious girl. She tr–

Wait. Where is Bailey Boots?

BaileyBedroom1

“No!”

… uh… says Bailey Boots? Silly B–

“I won’t come out! You can’t make me!”

But… Bailey Boots. Don’t you want an adventure?

BaileyBedroom4

 “No.”

But… why not?

“It’s scary.”

BaileyBedroom2

Please come out.

“No.”

Okay, okay. If I promise no more cows, will you come out?

BaileyBedroom5

“No more cows?”

No more cows.

“Promise?”

Cross my heart.

BaileyBedroom6

“Oh… okay. As long as there’s no more cows.”

… says Bailey Boots?

“Don’t push it.”

BaileyBedroom7

Okay! We’re back in business!

*Ahem*

Bailey Boots is a curious girl. She tries new things every d–

BaileyBedroom8

“Wait.”

… what now?

BaileyBedroom9

“Where’s Moo?”

Moo?

BaileyBedroom6

“Yeah. He’s supposed to be on my shoulder now, remember?”

You… never really had Moo. You know that, right? Moo was a charac–

BaileyBedroom13

“No Moo, no me.”

Bailey Boo–

BaileyBedroom10

“Get Moo back, then we’ll talk Miss Big Writer Lady.”

Bailey, be reasonable.

“Moo first!”

But–

BaileyBedroom11

“MOO!”

Sigh. Fine. I’ll be back later.

BaileyBedroom12

“You’d better be. You’d. Better. Be.”

Bailey Boots #5

The Adventures of Bailey Boots #6: Mooo-d Science!

Posted in Bailey Boots, Comics, Reading, Stories with tags , , , on March 20, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

BaileySchool1

Bailey Boots is a curious girl. She tries new things every day.

BaileySchool2

Today, Bailey Boots is at school. Her teacher is talking about the science fair. Bailey Boots is curious AND excited!

BaileySchool1

But what should her science fair project be?

BaileySchool7

“Moo!” says Bailey Boots’ parrot friend.

BaileySchool2

“Moo?” says Bailey Boots with a giggle. “That’s your name, silly parrot, not a science project!

BaileySchool7

“Moo,” insists Moo.

BaileySchool1

Bailey Boots knows that Moo can say more than that. She starts to wonder what he means.

BaileySchool3

Moo?

BaileySchool4

Moo?

BaileySchool5

Moo?

BaileySchool7

“Moo project!” Moo says excitedly. “Moo science!”

BaileySchool8

Bailey Boots wonders if a cowshark or a cowtree are real science. She’s not convinced.

BaileySchool7

“Moo!”

BaileySchool8

BaileySchool7

BaileySchool8

BaileySchool7

BaileySchool8

BaileySchool7

BaileySchool6

“Nah,” says Bailey Boots. “I think I’ll just stick with a volcano this year.”

Happy Bailey Boots!

 

Blight: Chapter 1

Posted in Books, Fiction, Literature, Reading with tags , , , , , , on March 18, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

Here is the first chapter of my new YA novel, Blight. I thought I’d already posted it here, but I looked and can’t find it. Very odd. Please let me know what you think! Thank you. ~JR

 

Blight
by Jessica Rising

Chapter 1

Witchcraft.

The ancient word hangs in my mind as I kneel in the dirt. My fingers, chalky with dust, working slowly. Carefully. I can’t afford another mistake. Already the rocky ground is littered with broken bits of metal, cracked cogs and de-twined springs. Here and there, peppering the mess, shiny bits of white glass reflect the low light from outside.

That, I broke on purpose.

Even in the beginning there were only two of the fragile globes. The most important pieces. But I had to know how they worked, and the glass cover hid the details inside. I’d had to sacrifice one to understand the other.

A pointless sacrifice.

I lift up the uncovered innards to study them again in the faint light. The tiny bits are as mysterious to me now as they were when I’d first killed the Knight, three days before.

The bottom is curved around and around like the hand drills we use in the quarry, only much shorter and fatter. Above, surrounded by a jagged lip of the broken glass that had covered them, two tiny metal wires stand up side-by-side, connected at the bottom by a small cube of clear glass. Another wire runs along the top, connected back to the glass cube by even thinner, springy wires.

I’ve studied it for days, at every angle, but it still makes no sense. Both globes worked perfectly when I saw them focused on me within the hollow eyesockets of the Knight, blinding me with their bright glow. But they’d gone dead with it. I haven’t been able to make them glow since.

Frustrated, I pull my book out of its secret pocket in my robes. Something hits my knee. I look down to see its sister has followed it. I’ve had both books for as long as I can remember and known they were dangerous for just about as long. Books are heresy against Bask, outlawed in the Under. Nobody here can read.

Nobody except me.

I don’t know why I can read. Neither of my parents can. Nobody I know can. I don’t remember learning how, I just always have. Just like I’ve always had the books.

I pick up the second book. It’s smaller than its sister, thinner, with a brown cover that almost matches my robes. I’ve always wanted to read it but I can’t. The lock on its side keeps its secrets well hidden.

I put it back in my pocket and focus on the other book, the one I can read. A little bigger than my open palm, its title is 8th Grade Physical Science. I’ve read it so many times I can almost recite it word for word, but I still understand so few of those words. I open it to a wrinkled page with a picture of a bulb. My lips move as I whisper the caption under my breath.

“Electricity is a force created by a difference in charges due to gained or lost electrons. Electricity flowing between two points is called an electrical current. In order for these electrons to flow, there must be a difference in charges between the two points. Electricity always flows from a location with a negative charge to a location with a positive charge.”

Words. So many words, so little sense in them.

I stare at both bulbs — broken and whole, and bite back a scream of frustration. It’s right here. RIGHT here. Light for the Under. Freedom for my people. So close, but so impossibly far away.

The small cavern where I kneel vibrates to the long, low toll of a bell.

The waking-bell. And today is Atonement. I won’t have another chance at lighting up our darkness for another whole day.

The Adventures of Bailey Boots #5: Polly Wanna Moo?

Posted in Bailey Boots, Books, Comics, Reading with tags , , , on March 15, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

BaileyPet1

Bailey Boots is a curious girl. She tries new things every day.

BaileyPet2

Today, Bailey Boots is curious about pets. She’s had such fun with her cow adventures that she’s decided to get a pet of her very own to have lots of adventures with.

So today, she’s at the pet store.

BaileyPet1

But what kind of pet should she get? Bailey Boots is confused.

BaileyPet3

“Hello, cat,” says Bailey Boots to the first pet she sees. “Do you want to be my pet?”

BaileyPet8

“Moo.”

BaileyPet1

Bailey Boots decides to try another animal.

BaileyPet4

“Hello, doggy,” says Bailey Boots to the next pet.

BaileyPet9

“Moo.”

BaileyPet10

“Next.”

BaileyPet5

“H… hi s… snake?” Bailey Boots says to the next pet. “Nice snake?”

BaileyPet11

“Mooooooooooo.”

BaileyPet1

“Um… that’s… that’s okay,” says Bailey Boots. She wasn’t sure she wanted a snake anyway.

BaileyPet10

But what will Bailey Boots do? She can’t find a pet of her very own.

BaileyPet2

But she won’t give up! One last try, Bailey Boots!

BaileyPet7

“Hello birdy,” says Bailey Boots to a pretty parrot. “Um… moo?”

BaileyPet12

BaileyPet1

BaileyPet12

BaileyPet1

BaileyPet12

BaileyPet1

BaileyPet12

“Hello!”

BaileyPet2

“Hello!” says Bailey Boots to her new pet. “I’m SO glad you didn’t say moo!”

BaileyPet12

“Hello Bailey Boots! Hello!”

BaileyPet13

“Let’s go home, Parrot,” says Bailey Boots happily. “What do you think about that?”

BaileyPet12

“Moo.”

BaileyPet14

BaileyPet15

“Oh, well,” says Bailey Boots. “Close enough!”

Happy Bailey Boots!

The Adventures of Bailey Boots #4: Hello Mooey

Posted in Bailey Boots, fun, Reading, Stories, WebComic with tags , , , on March 12, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

BaileyFarm1

Bailey Boots is a curious girl. She tries new things every day.

BaileyFarm2

Bailey Boots has met a lot of cows lately, and she feels sad that she was mean to them. After their swim, her CowShark friend told her that to meet a real cow and make friends with it, she has to go to a farm. So today, she is visiting a farm.

BaileyFarm3

Look Bailey Boots! There’s a cow over there!

BaileyFarm5

“Hello cow,” says Bailey Boots.

BaileyFarm3

BaileyFarm1Bailey Boots is confused. Why won’t the cow say hi?

“Wait!” she thinks, “I’m so silly! Cows don’t speak English!”

BaileyFarm2

“Moo!” says Bailey Boots. She’s learned to speak cow very well.

BaileyFarm3

BaileyFarm5

“Moo?”

BaileyFarm4

BaileyFarm6

“Moo?”

BaileyFarm7

BaileyFarm13

“Moooooooooooo!”

BaileyFarm14

“Nay.”

BaileyFarm9

“Nay?”

BaileyFarm10

“Neigh.”

BaileyFarm9

BaileyFarm11

No new cow friends. Poor Bailey Boots.

The Adventures of Bailey Boots #2: How Does your Garden Grow?

Posted in Bailey Boots, Books, Reading, Stories, WebComic with tags , , , , , , , on March 8, 2015 by Jessica Crichton

BaileyGarden1

Bailey Boots is a curious girl. She tries new things every day.

BaileyGarden2

Today, Bailey Boots is curious about gardening.

BaileyGarden3

“I’m going to be a gardener!” she says excitedly. “I have my tools all ready!”

BaileyGarden4

Oops! She forgot something. A seed! But where will she get one?

BaileyGarden5

Bailey Boots has a rock, a button and a marble. Which one should she plant?

BaileyGarden6

“The marble looks pretty,” says Bailey Boots. “I bet it would grow some tasty treats!”

BaileyGarden4

Bailey Boots has to wait now. She hates waiting.

BaileyGarden2

But she doesn’t have to wait long!

BaileyGarden7

The next morning, a pretty little plant pushes through the ground.

BaileyGarden8

It grows so fast! But when will it bear the pretty marble fruit?

BaileyGarden2

When?

BaileyGarden9

*Grow*

BaileyGarden10

When?

BaileyGarden11

*Grow*

BaileyGarden12

WHEEEEEEEEEEN?

BaileyGarden13

Moo.

BaileyGarden15

“Moo?”

BaileyGarden14

Moo.

BaileyGarden15

BaileyGarden4

No fruit today. Poor Bailey Boots.

The Zombies are Coming… RELEASE DAY! YESSSSSSS!

Posted in Books, kidlit, Kids, Parenting, Reading with tags , , , , , , , , , on October 2, 2013 by Jessica Crichton

TZONFront

“What was that?” Roach whispered, pointing across the water.

At the exact same time, I saw movement in the bushes under the archway. I hoped so hard that it was just my eyes playing tricks on me. I hoped. And hoped.

And HOPED.

Then my hopes were crashed into a billion little pieces.

Small shadows — tons of them – broke out of the greater gloom, wading silently through the water towards us. I sat there, unable to move or even scream, as they got closer and closer. Soon I could make out human-like shapes, arms raised, legs moving jerkily through the green sludge.

About halfway across the water, the shadows gave out a long, low moaning-wail that froze my bones.

“What… what’re they sayin?” Roach whispered.

I shook my head. I couldn’t talk. I couldn’t breathe.

But I knew exactly what they were saying.

“BRAAAAAAAINS!”

Yes, it’s THAT time! Finally! Time to reveal the exact release day for The Counterfeit Zombies of Noc, Book 2 of “Guts and Glory, Freedom Fighters of Nil”! (Book 1 can be found here.) So, without further ado, just in time for Halloween…

Online Ordering Release: Friday, October 11th, 2013

First Public Paperback Release and Signing: Saturday and Sunday, October 26th and 27th, 2013 at Glamirita Clothing and Accessories in Spokane, WA!

Thank you all for your patience while Jessica Turner and I have been working hard to bring you the best “Guts and Glory” ever! We promise, it’ll be worth it. 🙂

John M. Cusick

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