Not All Tall, Dark, and Handsome Heroes are Human
Heroes don’t need to be human or even a sexy male alien. When a witch’s power is speaking to animals, a hero can turn up anywhere, even in the middle of an icebound arctic sea.
In the Witches of Galdorheim series, Katrina the teen witch, has the ability to speak with animals. She doesn’t even know she has this ability until she leaves her home, Galdorheim Island. Since the island is somewhere in the middle of the Barents Sea above the Arctic circle, leaving home isn’t a walk in the park. Crossing iced over water in bitter cold weather is hard enough, but when the ice starts to break up and some dangerous creatures appear, it becomes a life-threatening situation. Kat and her brother, Rune, confront an angry and sleepy polar bear. He wasn’t in the mood to chat.
Fortunately for the kids, a HERO appears. Just because he happens to be an orca (killer whale) makes him no less heroic.
I’ll let the whale tell his own tale.
Salmon the Orca Hero
Chchchchch skreak! That be hello in human people talk. My name be Salmon Hunter because I so good hunting the fish. My friend Kat Witch call me Salmon.
When I meet her for first time, I save her from a white tooth she say human people call polar bear. This first time, I save Kat Witch from sinking too deep in the ocean. I think she should learn swim better, but I not blame her since she without fins or flukes. Funny thing the whitetooth awake. Should be in den this season. Too early to wake up. I think some bad magic wake him up to kill Kat Witch. She says that's truth. A shaman, she says.
Other times I save Kat Witch when she in trouble. All these savings written in books, but I never learn to read human words. Besides, books get too wet in the ocean. Soon fall apart.
The others of my pod don't speak to Kat Witch. They be what human people call stuck up. Think they're too good to speak to her. I think it best thing ever! It like getting new toy. Orcas love play. Spend most of time hunting, but playing is important too.
She a lucky Kat Witch to have me be her friend. I think she die many times if me doesn’t save her. She say I be her hero. Me say I’m just Salmon Hunter, the smartest and best looking killer whale in the seas.
Someday I visit Kat Witch home. It island named Skeckkeeech. It mean witches’ home. It way north and hard to find, but Salmon can find anything! Salmon is a hunter, after all. Here be part of the story showing me saving Kat Witch's life for first time.
Excerpt from Bad Spelling
Over the cracking and groaning of the ice breaking up, Kat heard a loud chitter, and then a high-pitched whistle. She stopped so suddenly Rune ran into her. Catching him before he fell, she moved him to one side and turned back toward the orca, her eyes wide with surprise.
“What did you say?” she asked.
“Chchchchch skreak!” the orca answered.
Rune looked at the orca; then his sister; then back to the orca. He leaned close to Kat’s ear. “You understand it?” he whispered.
Kat nodded, edging back to the orca, careful of her footing on the slippery ice.
“Kakkakakkak cheechee,” the orca screeched.
“Thank you. I didn’t think the bear seemed very friendly either.”
Kat looked over at her brother, who stood staring at her open-mouthed. “Better shut that, little brother, before your teeth freeze.” Her eyes sparkled with delight. Rune closed his mouth and zipped the hood up over his face.
In a muffled voice, he exclaimed, “You can… You really can talk to animals!”
“Excuse me a moment, Mr. Orca,” she said to the big dolphin. She turned to Rune, her face lit up with a delighted grin. “I guess I can. But why so surprised? You were the one who suggested I could.”
Kat turned back to the killer whale. “I think it’s because he,” she nodded at the orca, “is a highly evolved being. At least, that’s what he’s telling me.” After a pause, Kat giggled and said, “Must be why you can’t understand him, Rune!”
Rune slapped a glare on her then suppressed a smile. “Very funny, Kat. So funny, I forgot to laugh.”
She chatted happily with the orca when several more huge black and white heads popped up through the gaps in the ice. Rune and Kat had to step back again as the ice splintered with sharp cracking sounds.
“Back up, Kat, back up,” Rune said. For the first time in her life, Kat heard fear in Rune’s voice.
“You don’t need to be afraid.”
“I’m not. At least, I’m not afraid of the whales—”
“Orcas, then. It’s the ice breaking up. We could get dumped in the water.”
As if saying it made it true, the ice split once more. The crack exposing the frigid sea raced toward Rune and Kat. Before they could get traction to run, the ice floe created by the splintering tipped up and both of them fell into the water.
Kat’s parka filled with the icy water, and she sank. The sudden, intense cold knocked the breath out of her. She tried to claw her way back to the surface, but the weight of the parka kept dragging her down. Looking up, she could see Rune above her, thrashing toward the air. Blackness clouded the edges of her vision, and her struggles weakened.
Strangely, Kat felt warm. This is nice, she thought. Her arms floated out from her sides as she sank deeper.
Something big and black came up under Kat, and she rose up through the frigid water. She reached out with one hand and grasped a rubbery fin with all the strength she had left. The orca pushed her to the surface and shoved her out of the water. She landed face first on the ice.
About the Book
BAD SPELLING - Book 1 of The Witches of Galdorheim Series
A klutzy witch, a shaman's curse, a quest to save her family. Can Kat find her magic in time?
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If you’re a witch living on a remote arctic island, and the entire island runs on magic, lacking magical skills is not just an inconvenience, it can be a matter of life and death–or, at least, a darn good reason to run away from home.
Katrina’s spells don’t just fizzle; they backfire with spectacular results, oftentimes involving green goo. A failure as a witch, Kat decides to run away and find her dead father’s non-magical family. But before she can, she stumbles onto why her magic is out of whack: a curse from a Siberian shaman.
The young witch, accompanied by her half-vampire brother, must travel to the Hall of the Mountain King and the farthest reaches of Siberia to regain her magic, dodging attacks by the shaman along the way.