Wishing you all a very Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.
In the past, chimney sweeps used to wander from house to house on the first day of the new year, to wish people good luck, in their role as the ultimate bringer of good luck.
A chimney sweep is a sign of good luck, wealth and happiness. There are many legends why a chimney sweep is said to be the harbinger of good luck. One version has its origins in the UK, where King George III was riding horseback in a royal procession. A dog ran from the crowd, barking and nipping at the King’s horse. The horse reared and almost threw the King. A lone figure, shabbily dressed and filthy, stepped into the road. He caught the horse’s halter and quickly calmed the animal.
As soon as he appeared, the man faded back into crowd. The King, wanting to reward the man, asked for his name. No one knew the man’s name, but many told the King that he is was a chimney sweep. The King declared that from that day that all chimney sweeps should be regarded as lucky and treated with respect.
Here’s wishing you and your family all the very best luck and happiness for 2016 and beyond. Happy New Year.
If you have read several of my eBooks, you might have noticed that I have developed a specific formatting style for many of my works. Most of my stories have a simple narrative thread but they are packed with numerous beautiful illustrations to accompany the text. However, you may have noticed that my last story (The Christmas Penny) deviated from this general trend. The reason for this change was that my last story was written solely for a steampunk podcast competition, due to be released in time for Christmas.
I am very pleased to announce that this story was successful in the competition and that it was selected (with three others) to form part of the podcast production. Incidentally, just by chance, all four stories were based around street urchin characters and so I understand that the podcast will have a strong steampunk urchin theme. If you have children, they may particularly relish this aspect!
The podcast is currently in the production stage and I understand that it is due for release in the few weeks. Of course, I shall be pleased to provide a link when it is finally available for download.
Do you believe in the tooth fairy? Not many children do. Even the thirty-two young boys and girls at the New Babbage orphanage all knew that Mr. Bagshaw, the resident housemaster, really took their old teeth and left a silver sixpence under their pillows. Even still, a whole sixpence is such a lot of money: you can buy so many sweets with just the one coin.
When Albert’s wiggly tooth fell out, he wondered what happened to it after he left it under his pillow. To his surprise, he discovered that Mr. Bagshaw was selling the children’s teeth to a local dentist, in order to build dentures for the elderly people in town.
Discover the crazy antics of what happened in church the following Sunday morning, when Albert discovered the identity of the new owner of the children’s missing teeth.
Like all stories from Maxwell Grantly, nothing ever goes to plan!
This month’s featured story is called “Runs Like Clockwork.”
This heart-wrenching tale is set in the fictional steampunk town of New Babbage, in a world without electricity.
An elderly clockmaker and seller, Mr. McKenzie, constructs a mechanical shop assistant to help in his store, using the remains of a child’s stuffed toy bear and some miscellaneous clock components. He gives his creation the name of “River Falcon” after randomly scanning the pages of a yellowed dusty atlas and he takes the clockwork bear to work in his store. One noticeable feature of this amazing invention is the addition of a mechanical reading eye, which allows River Falcon to read the labels of the clocks and timepieces for potential customers.
The invention proves its worth in the store, by attracting a great deal of attention from customers and passers-by alike. However, a thief also spies River Falcon and decides to steal him as an attraction for a travelling circus.
It is then that his reading ability allows him to achieve his true potential and to discover how the power of the written word can change his life for the better: how he can discover the true meaning of both friendship and love.
When a local spiv is deceived into stealing a supposed bird’s egg, a series of events start to unfold in the steampunk town of New Babbage. This results in an adventure that no one could have imagined. It is only with the help of the town’s numerous street urchins that order can finally be restored. Find out for yourself what was inside the stolen egg and how this creature came to affect the residents of New Babbage with a series of incredible exploits and adventures.
This book is produced as a cartoon series, composed of hundreds of incredibly beautiful and detailed pictures that will enchant and mesmerize you.