Guardian of the Green Hill (Under the Green Hill)

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9780805089851: Guardian of the Green Hill (Under the Green Hill)

Only a few weeks ago, Meg Morgan and her siblings went to England for the holidays―and found themselves in the middle of a fairy war. Now the war is over, but the battle for control of the fairies has just begun.

A mysterious painter named Gwidion appears at the Rookery, ready to give the children art lessons. But his real plans are far more sinister: He means to destroy the Guardian of the Green Hill, the woman who keeps the peace between fairies and humans.

Meg knows nothing of the evil artist's plans, but she is beginning to understand that she might be the only one who can become Guardian when her great-great aunt's time is over. Yet Meg is just a girl―surely she has plenty of time before she must decide whether she wants to take on such an enormous role.

Then someone she loves is stolen by fairies, and no one but Meg can get him back. . . .

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About the Author:

Laura L. Sullivan is a former newspaper editor, biologist, social worker and deputy sheriff who writes because that's the easiest way to do everything in the world. She lives in the woods of Kentucky with her loved ones. Guardian of the Green Hill is her second novel.

Excerpt. Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

She Will Be My Creature
 

MORE SKIN THAN FLESH, more bones than skin, the artist hunched over his easel. He added shading under the eyes and thickened the hair, then growled in disgust. It was still nothing like her, nothing like what he wanted her to be. The eyes were only wistful, not yet weak and sorrowful. The round chin looked too strong.... It would never tremble. Even the short curling silver hair looked too tidy, nothing like the unkempt locks of one given up to despair. And that is how he needed Phyllida Ash—hopeless, self-pitying, cringing, and powerless.
He tore the paper off with a flourish and fed it to his goat.
“I am only half the artist my father was,” he said bitterly, sketching out new lines on a fresh sheet.
“True,” said the goat, “but you are twice the magician.” He munched on the paper contemplatively. “Perhaps if you switched to charcoal.”
“You just don’t like the taste of ink, Pazhan,” the man said. “Be glad I don’t use oils. I will, though, just as soon as I can worm my way in. Into the house, into her confidence ... and into her place at last. One good sketch, and I’ll have a hold on her, enough to create an opening. Then when she sits for me, when I can do a proper portrait, she will be my creature.”
“Will she really do as you say, Gwidion? She’ll give it up, just like that?”
“You’ve seen what I can do.”
“Sketches to make the innkeeper give you a free night and a full flagon. Portraits to charm some gullible young woman into leaving her loved ones to follow you ... till you’ve had your fill. I’ve seen that, sure enough. But this is something else entirely. Phyllida Ash is a strong woman, bred to her role for generations, and she has powerful protectors. She may keep the fairies in check, but do you think they don’t love her?”
“What of you, Pazhan? Do you love her?”
He shrugged his goat shoulders. “That is neither here nor there. I am part of your family. So long as there are Thomas men, I am yours, not hers, till such time as you strike me thrice in three days.”
Which didn’t quite answer the question, but Gwidion nodded. “My only inheritance. My father’s only inheritance, and his father’s before him, when it could have all been ours. All mine.”
“Have I been such a bad bargain?” the goat asked archly, but Gwidion ignored him.
“Soon I will come into my own. No more wandering, a penniless rover. No more living by my wits, day to day, town to town. Here is where I belong, Pazhan, here at the Rookery, at the Green Hill. Whether they like it or not, I am home.”

 
Text copyright © 2011 by Laura L. Sullivan

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