The Breedling and The City in the Garden
by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
These were the laws that once governed Bartholomew, an immortal soulcatcher, until one ill-fated night when he was forced to make a choice: rebel against his masters or reveal an ancient, dangerous secret.
He chose defiance.
Imprisoned for centuries as punishment for his decision, Bartholomew wastes away—until he creates an opportunity to escape. By a stroke of chance, Bartholomew finds himself in the human world and soon learns that breaking his bonds does not come without a price. Cut off from the grace that once ruled him, he must discover a new magic in 1930s Chicago.
Armed with only a cryptic message to give him direction, Bartholomew desperately tries to resume the mission he had started so long ago. Relying on the unlikely guidance of the streetwise orphan Charlie Reese, Bartholomew must navigate the depressed streets of the City in the Garden. But in order to solve this riddle, he must first discover if choice and fate are one in the same.
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When she is not in her writer's room, working her current "day job", or consuming other literary worlds, she enjoys hiking and cycling around the bluffs of your Southeastern MN home and catching up on her favorite pop culture.
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by Kimberlee Ann Bastian
“The cat spoke. It spoke!” ~ Sailor Moon
While every author has his or her writing rituals, for me, besides theoccasional exercise break or listening to instrumental music, there is one ritual I would venture a safe bet would fall right on the bizarre list. My quirky ritual stems from Japanese nekomimi. What is nekomimi you ask? Well, nekomimi or catgirls are female characters in anime or magna with cat ears, tails, or other feline characteristics on an otherwise human body. I was first introduced to nekomimi during my freshman year of college, when my then floor mates, Erin and Dawn came to my dorm room with a serious question.
Enter – “Sugar and spice and everything nice.”~ Powerpuff Girls
On these anxious faces, the two girls, who I barely knew, asked me if I wanted to be the third Powerpuff Girl, their Blossom to Erin’s Buttercup and Dawn’s Bubbles. I know I stood silent for a moment and remember not thinking anything odd about the inquiry, after all, from what little I did know about Erin and Dawn it was clear to me that these two were my kind of quirky. It was like being asked to join a secret club with private handshakes and decoder rings. I had never been asked to be a part of a secret club and so with much enthusiasm I accepted the invitation, of course I wanted to be their Blossom. With jubilant relief the girls presented me with a pink camo head band with cat ears, my totem for the sisterhood.
“When you believe a thing, believe it all the way, implicitly andunquestionably.” ~Walt Disney
Over the next few years, the three of us wore our cat ears in theapartment every day, sometimes even out on those midnight Walmart runs or those miserable nights when we were so hungry we went out in search of sustenance. Our ears quickly became a symbiosis part of our bodies when we wore them and it was our belief that our cat ears had special powers that helped us concentrate on our studies and maintain the knowledge we were learning in our brains, at least until after test time. The magic was undeniable, because every semester after receiving my cat ears, I was on theDean's List.
“Imagination is the only weapon against reality.” ~The Cheshire Cat
Immediately after college, I had little need for magical cat ears, going out into what older people referred to as the “real” world, as though I had never been a part of it until getting a piece of paper that said I had a bachelor’s degree. But, I digress. It wasn’t until I started writing the Element Odysseys that I dusted them off the pink camo andmade sure my cat ears sat next to my computer in wait for me to put them on. And so, wearing cat ears became my quirky ritual. Their magic ensures my focus and every day since the start I am thankful for that moment Erin and Dawn asked me to be their Blossom.