Pump Up Your Book – Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery

Will Elanora persuade the colony and swimmers to
overcome their fear of the unknown and embark on a dangerous journey to their
new home?

By Kathleen Jae

Author: Kathleen Jae
Publisher: Twenty Paws Publishing
Pages: 213
Genre: Middle Grade Fiction

After a series of terrifying events, Elanora is transported to a strange neighborhood where the only way to get about is by water and the only food to eat is the grasses of the marsh. When she discovers that the water level in her new home is falling, she suspects humans are the cause and puts together a plan to save the creatures who live there.

Will Elanora persuade the colony and swimmers to overcome their fear of the unknown and embark on a dangerous journey to their new home?


Elanora the Questioner

lurk both high and low,

curs, moggies too.

darkness comes, we must not go,

wait for light’s renew!

Elanora’s mother uttered the verse daily, just as her mother’s mother had
told it to her, so who was Elanora to question it? It gave her shivers when she
heard the serious way her mother told it, as if every menacing creature
mentioned in the verse were waiting just outside their burrow, ready to pounce
on them for daring to leave the safety of their home. The first time her mother
recited it, Elanora was busy studying the stripes on the back of her sister
Vala. All of them had these same stripes, even her mother, but Elanora thought
them quite unnecessary.

“One…two…three…” she counted, poking hard at each line, until her sister
screamed for her to stop. Elanora was quietly scolded, as it was normally a
time for rest. She promised herself to ask her mother about the stripes at
feasting time, for she had an almost vital need to know things.

“Please tell me now—why do we have these silly stripes on our backs?”
Elanora asked her mother this question after they arrived at the edge of a
clearing where the cobbings grew on the popple trees. She pulled a piece of
cobbing from the tree and shoved it in her mouth. Her sisters and brothers
foraged around her, and she had never heard them complain about the ugly and
slimy things. But Elanora thought they tasted like dirt, and their shape
reminded her of the lily pads she had seen in the pond that was not far from
their home. Elanora accepted the tops, but she had long ago rejected the stems
for she thought they made her tummy hurt. At least that is what she told to all
who would listen.

Her mother smiled at Elanora’s question. “Hava has used her wisdom once
again with the creation of our stripes. You noticed they are different colors,

Elanora nodded.

“That is so we are one with everything else she has created.”


“Look at your brother there,” she directed, pointing to Calum. “You must use
your eyes skillfully to see him among the leaves and the twigs and the ground.”

Elanora tried to observe the scene in an open-minded way and decided that
her mother was right: when Calum was still he seemed to disappear.

Elanora nodded. “I agree, Mother. But if Hava has done this good thing, why
did she also create the defyers—those awful creatures who watch for us and take
us away with their sharp claws?”

Her mother stopped eating and frowned at Elanora. “You are asking too many
questions! We will leave that for another outing!”

She had been told such things before, like when she would ask why the water
fell from the sky or why the brightness left and the darkness arrived at the
same time. She knew her queries annoyed her family, but she could not help
herself. That was why she loved to talk to Damhan. He answered her questions
thoughtfully and always welcomed more.

That eventide, Elanora asked if she might explore the nearby pond the next
brightness, and her mother agreed. Just as the light pushed through the tops of
the trees, Elanora’s mother received a report of a cur wandering near the rock
wall. After securing a promise from her daughter that she would not be away
long, Sorcha gave Elanora permission to leave the nest.

She peeked from the opening of their burrow. Elanora loved the cozy home she
shared with her family, and her mother once told them that she had lived in the
same burrow when she was a youngster. The tiny entrance was at the bottom of a
tall honey tree, and once inside, Elanora had to turn to the right, climb up
two steps, and turn left. A feathered creature had bored a hole through the
bark at this point, and Elanora loved to watch the brightness of the moon push
through the opening and into their burrow, and it was the last thing she saw
before falling asleep. The other part of the burrow, one that Elanora did not
like, was under the ground. Its entrance was just beyond the steps, and the
tunnel that led downward was narrow. They sometimes slept in a nest in one of
the larger pockets, usually after hearing the cries of a moggie.

lurk both high and low,

curs, moggies too.

darkness comes, we must not go,

wait for light’s renew!

Amazon → https://amzn.to/3lIQUY6 

Check out my book at Goodreads!

Kathleen Jae has been writing in one form or another for almost twenty-five years. Her greatest success story is her daughter, Katie, whom she refers to as “my hero,” and their journey is chronicled in Kathleen’s first book, From Prompting to Shaping to Letting Go: My Love Affair With ABA and How Being a “Bad Mom” Helped My Daughter With Autism Succeed. In past lives the author has been a proofreader, editor, newspaper reporter and columnist, newsletter writer for a wildlife organization and writer of stage plays and screenplays. She considers her six-year stint as a home-based behavioral program director in the ’90s her most difficult, albeit important, job and is counting the days until all autism-related ABA therapy positions go the way of the dodo. Two of Kathleen’s short stories made it to the finals of the 2017 Florida Writers Association Royal Palm Literary Award competition.


Website: http://www.kathleenjae.com

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/kathleenjae2

Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/authorkathleenjae

Pinterest: http://www.pinterest.com/kathleenjaeauthor

Amazon author page: https://www.amazon.com/Kathleen-Jae/e/B07YQ7JNF9%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share


Kathleen Jae is giving away a $50 Amazon Gift Card


One Printed Canvas Bag

Included in the canvas bag printed with the Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery book cover by Etsy shop owner BAGANDTOTE1: One plushie muskrat (Beathas, Lachi and the rest of the colony); one plushie chipmunk (Elanora); one plushie gray squirrel (Nara); one roseate spoonbill (Moira and Muireall) photo transfer hanging by Etsy shop owner FeelinGroovyPhotos; one framed manatee (sea cow) art print by Etsy shop owner SammWehmanArt; one cormorant (Pelles) printed tea towel by Etsy shop owner HearthandHarrow; one yellow-crowned night heron (Morven) signed printed note card by Etsy shop owner BlueHenCraft; one set of 5 vintage bobcat (bullycat) postage stamps by Etsy shop owner AxmxZ; one red-tailed hawk (defyer) applique iron-on patch by Etsy shop owner PatchParlor; one diamondback terrapin (Ùna) vintage, upcycled and hand-soldered glass pendant with ball-chain necklace by Etsy shop owner ObjectFound; one reusable shopping bag adorned with assorted forest animals including red fox (oppect), white tailed deer (Damhan), rabbit (quidge) and owl (marauder); one bird-watching notebook with blue jay (Jae) on front; two signed copies of Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery and two Elanora bookmarks.

Terms & Conditions:

  • By entering the giveaway, you are confirming you are at least 18 years old.
  • One winner will be chosen via Rafflecopter to receive $50 Amazon Gift Card & one winner will be chosen to win tote bag with goodies.
  • This giveaway ends midnight April 30.
  • Winner will be contacted via email on May 1.
  • Winner has 48 hours to reply.

Good luck everyone!


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4 thoughts on “Pump Up Your Book – Elanora and the Salt Marsh Mystery

  1. Thank you so much for participating in my Virtual Book Tour with Pump Up Your Book! Could you check on the page to see if the excerpt is covered in gray at your end? It might just be my computer. Thank you so much!

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