GUEST POST and EXCERPT
by Dennis Fishel
Russell's Revenge is currently on tour with Enchanted Book Promotions. The tour stops here today for an excerpt from the book and a guest post by author Dennis Fishel. Please be sure to visit the other tour stops as well.
Fate has been messing up Dennis’s life for as long as he can remember.
It was Fate that decided Russell Folmer - the biggest, ugliest, and meanest kid on earth - would live only two houses south of Dennis’s. Fate was also responsible for making Russell the same age and placing him in the same school. So who else but malicious Fate would arrange for Russell to be in the wrong place at exactly the wrong time when the bombs crafted from the only product a dog manufactures fell from Dennis’s experimental kite?
Now, with dog dumplings decorating Russell’s extremely large and angry face, it looks as though Dennis’s days of successfully dodging the well-known bully are over. As the sound of Russell’s pounding feet gets ever closer, two questions flare up in Dennis’s panicked mind like neon in the blackness of a cave: What has he done to make Fate hate him so much, and how is he going to get out of this fix?
“That’s quite a bruise on your forehead, Dennis,” Alice said. Her tone made it sound like a compliment, but she had that mischievous glint in her eye again. “What happened, did Russell catch up with you?”
“What–you mean you don’t already know?”
“Of course I know,” she admitted with a snap of her chewing gum. “How could I miss? That mom of yours is a terror, Dennis. She went after that guy in the Rambler like a rat after cheese. I was just teasing you about Russell. Too bad you can’t pin the blame for your accident on him somehow.”
Yeah. Too bad, I thought.
“He’s home again, you know,” Alice rattled on. “And it looks like he won’t be going back this time.”
There was that glint again, like letting me know Russell would be near and threatening had some form of entertainment value. Her smirky little face gave her away.
“Aren’t you going to ask me why he won’t be painting barns anymore?” she asked, the irritating smirk blossoming into a full-metal grin.
“Why would I?” I said. “It doesn’t really matter, does it. If he’s here, he’s here.” That ought to rock her, I thought. Alice had always dangled information like a baited hook, fishing for my neediness and maybe trying to catch a little power for herself. But she had no power over me if I treated her news like it had no special value.
“Shoot, man, that girl ain’t got a corner on the news market,” Jay managed to say at his house a few minutes later, his words detouring around a gob of rice pancakes he was wolfing. “Russell’s all broke out. His arms and face are glowing like he’s on fire.”
“How’d you get close enough to see that?” I asked.
“You don’t have to be close to see it, he’s so red. He was in his backyard when I spotted him over the fence. His mom talks to Mrs. Colmes, the Avon lady, and you know those women, man. They spread news around like fertilizer. Mrs. Colmes told my mom about Russell’s situation when she delivered a bottle of some kind of woman foo-foo. She was also pitchin’ some new skin cream and said it was good enough to fix chemical burns like what the Folmer boy had.”
“Turpentine,” Jay said. “Russell never cleaned the brushes he used and his uncle got tired of findin’ ’em all dry and crusty and havin’ to throw ’em away. So he showed Russell how to clean ’em with the stuff and the slob spilled it all over himself. He’s allergic to it or somethin’.”
“Oh, that’s just great,” I sighed. “That means Alice was right; Russell is probably home to stay.” I didn’t know if that was the bad news, or if Alice being right again was.
But now there was Mom to contend with, too. “He seems lonely,” she’d announced when she told me that Russell had come to our door again. She’d sent him home, telling him about my restriction, but also telling him she might lift it in a day or two.
“I think we’ve got to get out of town ourselves,” I said. “Mom’s done this stuff before.” I didn’t tell Jay he’d been one of her projects. “She thinks she’s a friendship matchmaker, but she’s kind of shy on knowledge when it comes to who and what Russell is. I think she’s about to invite him over to be one of my ‘little friends’.” I said the last two words with a sneer.
“That’s no good, man. If she matches you two up, it won’t be long until I get sucked into the mix. He’d probably play nice until we were all together with no parent around and then kill us both at the same time, like a two-for-one sale.”
Praise for the Book
"This book is listed as young adult, but it fits well into the general humor genre. It rocketed me back to my thirteenth year so fast I got whiplash. It's seldom that a book makes me laugh out loud, but I couldn't stop myself with this one. Thanks to Fishel, I was told to leave the room." ~ Brad Jensen
"A modern day Tom Sawyer and Huckleberry Finn. A wonderful book about friendship and long summer days. Great for girls and boys, men and women. It's sure to become a classic." ~ Jennifer F. Carran
"Russell's Revenge by Dennis Fishel is not the type of book i read at all but i have to say im glad and read it. This is a very refreshing book and it brought back a lot of good memories from my childhood. The conflict between Dennis and Russell can be very entertaining at times and it is something you will enjoy reading." ~ Reviewer for Romance Authors That Rock!!!
"This book has an uncanny way of bringing you back to your fondest childhood memories. You'll enjoy it as much as your teenage son or daughter will." ~ Jeramy Fishel
Guest Post by the Author
My Experience with Bullying
The plot of my book, Russell’s Revenge, is actually based more on the issue of the damage gossip and rumors about people can cause, but bullying certainly plays a role as the story advances.
I was a skinny kid with a self-preservationist’s attitude, pretty much in line with the "Den" character in the novel - an introverted mouse just seeking survival in the cruel world of the early teen. So yeah, I got shoved around once in a while, but not as badly as some.
The turn-around for me came when I saw a larger kid named Richie bullying a couple of my smaller-than-me friends. Something snapped, I guess. I’d never been a fighter, but that day I somehow managed to pick this large kid up, hook his shirt on a fence picket so that his feet didn’t touch the ground, and then work his stomach over until he started crying. For some reason I didn’t understand then I was instantly horrified; in the flash of a second’s time, I’d gone from being the bullied to being a bully myself.
I don’t know that this brief episode gave me any real insight into the issue of bullying at that young age, but it may have had some effect. It turned out that Richie’s reputation didn’t match his true persona; I’d come into his dispute with my friends thinking he was bullying them when, in fact, my mouthy pals had started the whole mess by calling him names.
I saw Richie the next day as he worked the neighborhood trying to find the home of a lost kitten he’d found. Yeah, I know - some tough guy he turned out to be. Under the dual influences of an edict from my parents and my own massive sense of guilt in learning I’d pounded a kitten-saver, I apologized to Richie. Then I helped him try to find out where that kitten had come from. We failed in that endeavor and Richie ended up keeping it - just as you’d expect from your average bully.
About the Author
Owned and managed by dogs for most of his life, Dennis shares a home on Washington’s Olympic Peninsula with his four-legged boss, Sally. Together they pursue their interests in wooden boats, fly fishing, chasing down obscure historic sites, and hiking to remote places just for the fun of it.