Category Archives: Ephraim’s Curious Device

Read About Lita Burke's Clockpunk Wizard World

Praised by Readers’ Favorite with a 5 Star Review: Lita Burke’s Ephraim’s Curious Device

Ephraim's Curious Device – 5 Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers' Favorite

Ephraim’s Curious Device – 5 Star Review by Jack Magnus for Readers’ Favorite

Readers’ Favorite recently read Lita’s fantasy novella, Ephraim’s Curious Device, and awarded it with a lovely 5 star review.

In Ephraim’s Curious Device, a wizard seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar. It is the second story in Lita’s Clockpunk Wizard series, where wizards with ~twisty~ magic live on a plate-shaped ocean world. The wizards fly their fantastic airships between islands that float far above the sea. Here is what the Readers’ Favorite reviewer had to say:

The Clockpunk Wizard series is a marvelous and magical melding of steampunk with epic fantasy that is fresh, original and really quite exciting.

Ephraim’s Curious Device is Book 2 of Lita Burke’s epic fantasy series, The Clockpunk Wizard. Kadmeion, a young wizard, and Sir Bright, his Metal-Man and companion, have been summoned by Lord Hissalumieon of Mevil City. When they get there, the lord and his wizard, Nob, inform them of the quest Lord Hissalumieon needs them to complete. Read more of the review…

Ephraim's Curious DeviceRead Chapter 1 of Ephraim’s Curious Device for FREE now.

Watch the Ephraim’s Curious Device book trailer.

The Ephraim’s Curious Device e-book is available now with instant gratification for Kindle US/UK, Nook, and Kobo.

Curious how the Clockpunk Wizard adventures began? See how Kadmeion befriended a very unusual familiar in Forever Boy–read Chapter 1 now for FREE.

Continue your explorations of the Clockpunk Wizard world in Old Bony Blue Eyes–read Chapter 1 now for FREE.

Young Wizard

Studies in Phrenology and Obscure Languages

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the Clockpunk Wizard world today, with an excerpt from Ephraim’s Curious Device.

Young Wizard Kadmeion, and his half-elf assistant Sir Bright, have received a coded map. They must read the bespelled map, follow the decoded clues to a magical thingummy made by Wizard Ephraim, and return the device to Lord Hissalumieon.

They Put the Fragile Parchment on the Table

They Put the Fragile Parchment on the Table

They put the fragile parchment on the table. Bright did not recognize the diagram’s writing, but Kadmeion did. The wizard requested a reference book. Bright fetched the volume from Kadmeion’s library and opened it to the indicated page.

“Good and bad news,” Kadmeion said.

“Do tell.”

“It is written in an obscure magical language, but I can translate the map.”

“That’s encouraging. What is the bad news?”

“The map will take time to translate properly.”

“That’s no problem. What do you need?”

“A paper and writing quill for you to write the translation.”

“Why can’t you write it?”

Wizard Ephraim Bespelled the Map

Wizard Ephraim Bespelled the Map

“Ephraim bespelled the map so it couldn’t be copied,” Kadmeion said. “Then he used a bewitched alphabet so the reader would forget the words. So I’ll translate the letters, and you write them. Then we’ll read the message from your paper.”

“So you’re going to read a map that cannot be copied, and I’ll write your translation for the alphabet that cannot be remembered.”

“That’s correct.”

“Do they teach wizards to be this sneaky at the University?”

Phrenology is the Art of Measuring the Skull’s Dimensions

Phrenology is the Art of Measuring the Skull’s Dimensions

“Absolutely. It’s an upperclassman course called ‘Studies in Phrenology and Obscure Languages.’”

“Phrenology is the art of measuring the skull’s dimensions?” Bright asked.

“I’m impressed you knew that.”

“What do head sizes have to do with writing unclearly?”

“Not much. That was the intent.”

“What was the classwork like?” Bright asked.

“We learned the seven traditional ways to make written words unclear.”

“Seven? That many? Which was the most effective?”

The Spell Seals the Lips of the One Casting It

The Spell Seals the Lips of the One Casting It

“Poor grammar skills.”

Bright blinked. “Profound. I’m surprised this wasn’t a graduate class.”

“Another of the techniques was to make contradictory spells.”

“For example?”

“A spell that must be sung aloud, but it seals the lips of the one casting it.”

“How would you weave that spell?”

“That’s why wizard assistants are so useful. I would think loudly so you could hear me, and have you cast the spell in my stead.”

(Ephraim’s Curious Device excerpt Copyright 2012 by Lita Burke. All rights reserved.)

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Amazon US

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Amazon UK

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Barnes & Noble

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Kobo

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Goodreads

Magic Books Here

Come See These Wonders at the Bazaar

Lita takes Gentle Reader to the bazaar today.

Dizzy Yourself on Flying Chairs

Dizzy Yourself on Flying Chairs

Ah, look at all the lovely stories scattered about at Demelza’s bookseller’s stall. Her tales tell Gentle Reader why Hell is really the corporate world. Find all kinds of genres at Demelza’s–romance, YA, science fiction, and Lita’s favorite–fantasy. Browse the box sets, novels, and exciting short stories that are like a kiss in the dark by a stranger.

The bazaar has other magical wonders. Buy a beverage in a cup that fizzles away after your last sip. Dizzy yourself on flying chairs. There will even be a show tonight on trampoline.

Lita has a booth at the bazaar, too. All tickets to the wizard’s airship are now only 99 cents, no matter the destination. Welcome aboard. Visit the world of pellar magicians and hedge witches. Meet Lady Luck, Sir and Madam War, and the Queen of the Harpies. Check out the Clockpunk Wizard world at these bargain prices:

Forever Boy is available now on Amazon US/UK. Make your iPhone/iPad happy and pick it up in the Kobo store.

In this first trip to the Clockpunk Wizard world, a dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic. Let Lita introduce Gentle Reader to a couple of magical gents who have recently graduated from the Agatha University of Magical Arts and Sciences. Wizard Kadmeion and his half-elf assistant Sir Bright meet a dog with a remarkable enchantment.

Ephraim’s Curious Device is available now on Amazon US/UK. Don’t forget your smart phone, and get it at the Kobo store.

On this second trip to the Clockpunk Wizard world, a wizard seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar. A despicable minor noble has kidnapped Kadmeion’s familiar, and our two magic men set out on a series of adventures to find a trifle that will free Furgo. Problem is, this magical gadget may not exist.

Old Bony Blue Eyes is available now on Amazon US/UK. See, it’s also available at the Kobo store.

On this third trip to the Clockpunk Wizard world, a wizard faces a dangerous journey to Sir Death’s castle to win a powerful spell book for a love-starved dragon. Furgo comes along with Kadmeion and Bright to the edge of their plate-shaped ocean world, and beyond. They discover that Death’s wizard is not what they expected at all.

Pick Up a Clockpunk Wizard Book

Lita Celebrates: Clockpunk Books Now Just a Buck

Methinks Lita Lost Her Mind

Methinks Lita Lost Her Mind

Lita Burke has reduced the price of all her Clockpunk Wizard stories to just a measly buck each. Methinks she lost her mind. Get the books now before Lita regains her senses.

What is the Fuss About?

Lita is giddy.

She is pleased to announce that the first draft of the next Clockpunk Wizard story, called Glitter Ponies, is complete. It’s done. “Done” is a delicious word. To celebrate, Lita opened a bottle of champagne and shared the bubbly joy with Mister Lita. But that was not enough. Gentle Reader, you have been so patient, so why not join the celebration? Lita has reduced Ephraim’s Curious Device and Old Bony Blue Eyes to 99¢ to tantalize your reading enjoyment.

It is now easier than ever to visit the plate-shaped ocean world filled with wizardry, fantasy creatures, and Leonardo Da Vinci technology. But these book prices are for only for a short time. Catch the wizard’s airship today and get all three Clockpunk Wizard tales at this absurd discount while the bubbly distracts Lita.

Forever Boy (Clockpunk Wizard #1) always 99¢

A dog flees his cruel master, befriends a wizard, and discovers his shapeshifting magic.

Amazon US, UK, CA, AU

Smashwords and Kobo

Barnes & Noble

 

 

Ephraim’s Curious Device (Clockpunk Wizard #2) now only 99¢

A wizard seeks a legendary magical device to free his kidnapped familiar.

Amazon US, UK, CA, AU

Smashwords and Kobo

Barnes & Noble

 

 

Old Bony Blue Eyes (Clockpunk Wizard #3) now only 99¢

A wizard goes on a journey to Death’s castle to win a spell book for a dragon.

Amazon US, UK, CA, AU

Smashwords and Kobo

Barnes & Noble

 

Handsome Young Man Awaits a Magical Elevator Pitch

Ephraim’s Elevator Pitch

All sorts of odd things happen at Lita’s castle. Even a trip on a mundane lift turns magical when a sorceress goes along for the ride.

The Box Beyond This Door Whisks You From the Ground to the Clouds in a Magical Minute

The Box Beyond This Door Whisks You From the Ground to the Clouds in a Magical Minute

The fun of fantasy worlds is that anyone can turn the mundane into the fantastic. Consider the magic of elevators. You enter the box on the ground floor of a lofty office building, and faster than an eagle can fly, it transports Gentle Reader to the building’s peak among the clouds. See? Magical.

Let Lita spin an enchantment the next time Gentle Reader rides in one of those lovely magical boxes. Now suppose this happens instead. Press the Up button to call enchantment. The doors rumble open. You, Madam Lita, and two others step inside the compartment. The elevator doors close, and then sigh as if whispering magical words. One of your companions, a jeans-clad guy all curious and handsome, sits down in front of the doors. “Madam Lita, tell me your tale,” he says. “But you have only a minute to beguile me.”

Press the Up Button to Summon Enchantment

Press the Up Button to Summon Enchantment

Well. Lita would smile, rub her hands, and weave this spell called Elevator Pitch.

“Let me tell you Ephraim’s sad and lovely tale,” Lita says. “It is about a wizard who seeks a magical thingummy to free his kidnapped familiar.”

Your other elevator companion, a suit-clad businessman whose face looks like he eats unsweetened lemons, shakes his head. He sets down his stuffed and tired leather briefcase, and then crosses his arms. “Tell me more, Madam Lita. Good luck enchanting this doubting fool.”

“The young Wizard Kadmeion struggles with getting his magician-for-hire business off the ground.” Lita goes on about the wizard’s adventures in the skies filled with islands floating above the sea. [Find more of Lita’s spell here]

Beyond the Lift's Doors Stretches a Grassy Airship Field

Beyond the Lift’s Doors Stretches a Grassy Airship Field

The satisfied young man blocking the exit stands. He steps aside and the elevator doors bang open. The lemon-faced man jumps.

Lita and the jeans-wearing man grin. Beyond the lift’s doors stretches a grassy airship field from the plate-shaped ocean world of Ephraim’s Curious Device. Take a deep breath and smell the grass and engine oil. Hear the screeching birds and the thumping of the propellers. Shiver a bit, because it is chilly beyond the doors.

“That’s impossible,” says lemon-faced man.

The handsome guy makes a grand gesture. His hand leaves a ribbon of glittery magic in the air. “See the fantasy world for yourself, doubting sir, and be a fool no more.”

The Enchantment So Beguiled Him, the Visitor Forgot His Briefcase

The Enchantment So Beguiled Him, the Visitor Forgot His Briefcase

Lemon-faced man nods, adjusts his tie, and steps across the threshold. The elevator doors close. Oops. The enchantment so beguiled him, the visitor forgot his briefcase stuffed with mundane world cares. Not to worry. He can fetch his Case of Cares during the return trip.

“Ah, Madam Lita. Tell me another Elevator Pitch?” jeans-clad man asks. He punches the Down button, again settles to the floor, and awaits the next story.

Lita again rubs her hands. “Let’s find more beguiling tales at Lisa’s Elevator Pitches.”

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Amazon US

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Amazon UK

Ephraim’s Curious Device on Goodreads

Read about Lisa Hall’s Elevator Pitches

Will 'o the Wisp

Will ‘o the Wisp: Swamp Siren (Part 2)

A Will 'o the Wisp's Seductive Light

A Will ‘o the Wisp’s Seductive Light

Last time, we put on hip boots and splashed around in the fen near Lita’s castle. We met the swamp’s malevolent siblings, Will and his sister Wisp.

The Will ‘o the Wisps invited us to dinner. Shall we join them and exchange some small talk? Lita must tell Gentle Reader a story about a wizard’s swamp date with these sirens.

Swamp Siren

Wizard Kadmeion, his assistant Sir Bright, and some thick-witted goons had to travel through Murphy Swamp. It’s a bog on floating Hurt Island where everything goes wrong unless the traveler is a pessimist.

Have a Care, Sir Wizard, If a Will 'o the Wisp Asks You to Stay for Dinner

Have a Care, Sir Wizard, If a Will ‘o the Wisp Asks You to Stay for Dinner

During the night, Wisp and her gal pals sang a siren song to lure the doomed wizard and goons into the swamp’s chill water. Guess what was on the girls’ dinner menu? Tasty wizard’s flesh, served tartare and still warm on the bone.

Another Fine Mess

The dangerous spell woke Bright. His half-elf nature provided scant protection from the evil magic, but he still plunged into the knee-deep muddy swamp water and went after the enthralled wizard. Bright’s poor aim with a flung stone missed the siren’s light and instead knocked Kadmeion out cold.

The ravenous Will ‘o the Wisps swarmed, settled onto the wizard and his assistant, and prepared to feast. Bright was a mage still coming into his magical powers, and had just one desperate way to get them out of this mess.

We’re Late

So sorry Lita is a tease, but we must run now and catch the last airship home. We can stop along the way if Gentle Reader would like to read more about how their adventure began in the Clockpunk Wizard world of Ephraim’s Curious Device.

Will 'o the Wisp

Will ‘o the Wisp: Swamp Siren (Part 1)

Beyond the forest and rim-ward of Lita's castle is a fen.

Beyond the forest and rim-ward of Lita’s castle is a fen.

Beyond the forest and rim-ward of Lita’s castle is a fen. Let’s put on hip boots, splash right in, and meet its resident sirens. Just like mermaids, these girls love wizards to death.

The Will ‘o the Wisp only comes out at night. This fiery little witch has many names: ignis fatuus (“foolish fire”), chir batti, jack o’ lantern, hinkypunk, spook-light, hobby lantern, pixy-light, marsh ghost-light, Luz Mala, friars’ lantern, corpse light, Min Min light, and orb. Let us call her Wisp.

Wisp and her ilk are mischievous and malign. Here are stories travelers have told Lita.

Wisp Left the Traveler at the Edge of a Precipice

Wisp Left the Traveler at the Edge of a Precipice

Follow Me Not

Wisp carried a lantern and guided a late-returning fellow all over the countryside. She took him to the edge of a chasm, leapt across, doused the lamp, and laughed.

Wisp left the man far from home, standing in pitch darkness, at the edge of a precipice.

Blacksmith Will (Wisp’s brother, methinks), made a deal with the Devil and won a piece of glowing pit coal. Will uses it to warm his hands and light the way on desolate walks through the marshes. Wisp’s helpful bro leads wanderers into the swamp and abandons them when they come close to Will’s hell light.

The Curious Follow the Will 'o the Wisp's Path

The Curious Follow the Will ‘o the Wisp’s Path

Graveyard Path

Will and Wisp’s lights are also death omens. Curious nighttime travelers see the siblings’ small flickering flames in graveyards and call them “corpse lights.”

The blue-green flames mark the path of a pending funeral. If Gentle Reader follows the path away from the graveyard, it takes you to the soon-to-be deceased’s home. Usually yours. See? Curiosity killed more than the cat.

Next time, we join this nighttime siren and her brother for dinner. Guess what’s on the menu?