*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

Many people spend a great deal of time meditating in such a way as to be able to reach the spiritual zenith. Some claim to have been able to travel to the astral plane while their bodies remain on Earth completely unharmed. They have been able to learn many things through this experience.

History tells us that the original founders of our county were directed to this land by means of traveling to the zenith.



*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

From Ella’s Journal:

I just put even more marks on the map showing where I have been with the beasts. I can’t understand how we travel so far when it feels as if we haven’t even walked for five minutes. I would think I was making it all up, but I know I’m not.

We drove to a park the other day and I swore I’d been there before, only it took us 20 minutes to drive there and I know I didn’t walk that far. It makes me think the beasts could take me to the Yukon if they chose to.

Well, chock it up to one more thing I don’t understand about Castle County.


*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

Xanax is a controlled substance used by many medical professionals outside Castle County. It is used to help with those who suffer from anxiety, panic disorders, or depression. It may cause paranoia, suicidal tendencies, impair memory, judgement and coordination. We think it is interesting that it may cause the same problems it is said to treat.

We do not use medicines that are common to the rest of the world. Our Castle has its own garden filled with medicinal plants that are made into medicine for our patients.

We believe Xanax may be similar to one of the medicines made from pumpsquash berries. We grow our own pumpsquash in our medicine garden. They are very unique plants and must be handled with care.


During the yearly competition between the two new classes in Castle Academy, students weed the pumpsquash field. Last year’s West Wing class had quite a disastrous experience which you may read about in the book.

W is for…


*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

Water: Castle County is surrounded by water. It also has many other bodies of water including ponds, rivers, streams, the moat, and most surprisingly to outsiders, it has an ocean in its interior.

Witches: Castle County has a history of magic, yet the term witch is not commonly used.

Woods: There are a number of woodland areas featuring a wide variety of plants and trees.

Warnings: Many of the citizens are experts at interpreting warnings, especially the Points. Warnings may be received in many different ways. The most common are in the form of dreams, alarms, voices, and flashes of lights.

Vampires in Castle County

*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

One of the most common questions people ask about Castle County is whether or not there are vampires in Castle County. We really do not understand why people ask this. Of course there are no vampires in Castle County.

The idea that people would change form from a person to a bat is simply preposterous to us. Surely even the most superstitious people understand that vampires (and werewolves for that matter) could not exist. People simply cannot be transformed to a threatening creature based on a bite from another creature.

Well, maybe getting bitten by a rabid animal would be an exception to this rule, but these people simply die a painful death, they do not turn into the animal that bit them.

Now, we do wish to clarify that there is a well-known story of the group of Vultures in the woods that are able to turn into people in order to do business during the day. While we are not verifying their existence, we wish to clarify that they do not become vultures because they were bitten by another vulture. They simply are vultures for another reason which may or may not someday be explained.

Suffice it to say, there are no vampires in Castle County. Vampires do not exist.

Thank you,

The Powers That Be



*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

There are no unicorns in Castle County. Newcomers often ask if there are unicorns once they hear that there are so many rare and wonderful creatures within the walls.

We do have reindeer, and we have sea monsters in the moat, but we do not have unicorns.

Just because we do not have unicorns does not mean we are not intrigued by their existence. We would love to provide shelter and care for unicorns. We believe they would be truly happy in our wonderful environment.

Should you know of any live unicorns, please let us know how we can make arrangements to obtain one.



*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

Thorn is the leader of the community in the woods. These residents live in tents. They may be known to leave their community during the day, but they do not leave at night. They are a close-knit community, and are generally kind, but they are leery of strangers. Should you ever stumble upon their camp, be sure to look for Thorn, otherwise you might not feel very welcomed.

Thorn is also rumored to be one of the Points who watch over the county. He monitors all movement within the woods. This must be a very difficult task considering a large amount of the county is covered in woods.


Simon Wizard


*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

Poor Simon Wizard does not have many friends.

He was raised in the Magic Community. Though nobody is permitted to perform magic anymore, the residents are steadfastly holding onto their identity as a Magic Community. It does make one wonder if they secretly perform magic when nobody is looking. We would not blame them, we think Mystic is far more dangerous than the Magic.

Simon is the only child from his particular neighborhood who did not attend Castle Academy as a day student. This caused his family great shame. It also caused the other children to view Simon as somewhat abnormal and strange. They feared playing with him would make them abnormal as well.

Poor Simon had no friends when he finally became a student at Castle Academy. He will probably have difficulty making friends now because he has no experience making friends.

Poor Simon has another problem as well. Simon’s roommate is Roger Carmichael, and Simon can’t see him.

Roger Carmichael


*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

Twenty one years ago, Roger Carmichael was a bright 13-year-old boy with a promising future. He was dreaming of the future when he would be attending Castle Academy as a full-time, boarding, student. He had mischievous plans to stay just out of sight of the administration while he and his friend, Felicity, could fully explore the Castle.

That was all a long time ago.

Roger does not know what happened, but he does know that his first day as a full-time student in Castle Academy was not at all what he had expected. For one thing, Felicity is nowhere to be seen. Even worse, most of the students in the Grand Entrance don’t seem to see Roger.

Now Roger has to find out what happened to him. He is quite certain he is not a ghost. He knows without a doubt that he is not dead. How can he be invisible to so many?

Roger is grateful for one thing only. The new girl, Ella James, sees him.



*This is part of the A to Z challenge for April.

After hearing her father is Missing in Action and assumed dead, Ella James has so many questions she fears will never be answered.

Why did she not know her father was part of a secret military force working directly with the President?

Why did he never tell her about his family?

Did he really want her to move to Castle County, or is someone playing a cruel joke on her family?

Why do people she meets in Castle County seem to think she needs protection?

Why does she keep hearing voices when she is alone?

Are any of her dreams real?