Book: Hike Up Devil’s Mountain by Penny Estelle
Tell me a little about yourself?
Well, I’m ten years old and I’m in a world of trouble. I went to a house that is supposed to be demolished tomorrow and I found this box in the basement that had this stick in it. Well, the thing started glowing this bright red, then just stopped. I was trying to get it to glow again, when Jason Crew and his brother found me. Well, Jason is the new school bully and he tried to take my stick. We were fighting for it and the next thing I knew, Jason was a toad. I mean, that wouldn’t be my fault, right?
Where do you live?
Who is the most important person in your life?
Right now, it’s the person that lives on top of Devil’s Mountain who can, hopefully, change this spell.
What was your childhood like?
Well until today, it was just like anybody else’s. I mean, I was just a regular kid. Now, I’m hiking up the scary mountain with another kid my age and he has his twelve year old brother, who is now a toad, in his shirt pocket!
Of all the people you've met, who would you LEAST like to be stuck in an elevator with?
Jason Crew, when he turns back into a kid. I don’t think my life is going to be worth squat, when that happens.
What is the most important thing in your life?
This very minute it’s my mom’s understanding, 'cause I don’t think I’ll be seeing much of that when she hears the trouble I’ve gotten myself into.
What is your biggest fear?
Right now it’s whatever is coming out of this cave. There is a horrible smell and we can see a green glow coming our way.
Do you have any special talents or abilities?
I didn’t think so! But when this day is over, I will find out I have a VERY SPECIAL TALENT!
How do you see your future?
Hopefully – Alive!
If you could spend the day with someone you admire (living or dead or imaginary), who would you pick?
Merlin - the wizard, Glinda - the Good Witch of the North, Dumbledore or any of the students from Hogwarts…anybody who could turn this spell around!
Where can we find out more about you?
In the story, Hike Up Devil’s Mountain.
Hi everybody! My name is Penny Estelle. I was a school secretary for 21 years and retired in 2009. We moved to our retirement home in Kingman, AZ, and we live on 54 acres in a very rural area. Actually we live “off the grid”, on solar and wind. A real adjustment for a city girl. I must say – I love it. Nothing like looking out your window in the early morning and see a wave of quail running across the property, or walking out your front door at night and hear coyotes howling in the distance and seeing a sky bursting with stars. It is breathtaking!
I started writing for kids right before I retired. There is always material when kids are involved. I am pleased to say I have several middle grade/tween books out and, under P. A. Estelle, I have stories for the not so young. I also have a non-fiction story out about our life with solar.
Jason was getting closer to Andy. His voice hissed through his teeth. “You must think we are some kind of stupid. We aren’t like the hicks who live in this town and if you think we would even begin to believe some story about an old witch who lived here, then you better think again!” Jason pushed Andy hard against the wooden cabinet.
Andy shut his eyes waiting for the first blow. Nothing happened. He squinted open his left eye and saw Jason’s head cocked to one side, trying to see behind Andy’s back. “What have you got there, Andy Pandy?”
Uh oh, the glowing stick. Andy wasn’t about to give that up. “Nothing,” he told him, trying to back away but there was no place to go.
“Oh I think there is something,” Jason sneered.
“It’s mine!” Andy shouted. “You will have to do your worst if you think you are taking this from me!”
“No problem,” Jason said, lunging forward. Andy tried to fake him out, pretending to run one way and then the other. That didn’t work. That never worked! Jason grabbed Andy’s arm that held the stick and tried to grab it. Something was going to break, and Andy wasn’t sure if it would be the stick or his arm. They both fell and were rolling on the floor. Andy knew he was losing this battle. No matter how hard he held on, he could feel his new-found treasure start to slip out of his grasp.
“Jason, stop it!” Danny shouted. “You’re acting like a big dumb toad!”
“Yeah…you’re … acting… like…a…toad!” Andy gasped between each word.
The stick exploded into a flash of light and then the fight was over. Andy jumped up, trying to fill his lungs with air. What happened? Danny came running over to where Andy stood. “Where’s Jason?” Andy couldn’t answer because he couldn’t catch his breath. Danny yelled, “Jason, where are you? Quit messing around!”
His chest still heaving, Andy stammered, “I don’t know. I . . . don’t know what just happened.”
They both looked to the floor. Under one of the boxes was what looked like a pair of pants. “Jason!” Danny hurried to lift the box. No Jason — just his pants. Lying close by were his nice Nike shoes, socks and a short distance away was his shirt. “What did you do?” he yelled at Andy.
“Nothing! I didn’t do anything! I . . . don’t know!” Andy had no answers.
Danny tried again. “Jason,” he screamed his name. “Where are you?”
Helen, thank you so much for letting me stop by today. You are a wonderful hostess and I appreciate your time!
Hike Up Devil’s Mountain
by Penny Estelle