Elandrian Press Announces the Upcoming Release of ‘Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria’ by J.M. Bergen

Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, the second book in the Thomas Wildus series, will be released in Spring 2020, published by Elandrian Press. Through a fresh voice, genuine characters, and a unique storyline, Thomas Wildus and The Wizard of Sumeria is destined to appeal to fans of Harry Potter, Percy Jackson, and young adult readers who enjoy books about magic and adventure.

Since it’s release in February 2019, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows, the first book in the series, has received rave reviews with reviewers likening it to Harry Potter and Percy Jackson –  

“I am always so excited when I come across a book series that I KNOW my middle schoolers will LOVE!  I hit the jackpot when I had the opportunity to review the book, Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M. Bergen.  It is exactly the type of book my students are always interested in! … If your students love the likes of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, they are sure to be equally obsessed with The Book of Sorrows Series!” – Lit with Lyns

“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is a charming, chummy tale that will instantly draw in any reader who has secretly (or not so secretly) wished for a little more wonder in their world. Parallels will of course be drawn to the Harry Potter series—and rightfully so—but this book also shares much in common with Madeleine L’Engle’s A Wrinkle in Time.” – 5 Stars, Red City Review

“Middle graders will find Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows a compelling story… and an adventure tale that proves hard to put down.” – Midwest Book Review

“Reading this truly well-written novel was a lot of fun… It had plenty of exciting moments, funny parts, intriguing developments, and characters you just have to love… Harry Potter fans would love Thomas Wildus too. And while the story is aimed at younger readers, adults can also enjoy it.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kim Anisi for Readers’ Favorite

“An exciting story about family, friendship, magic, and good versus evil.” – KidsBookshelf

“For fans of Harry Potter and Percy Jackson, I would definitely recommend this book as a must-read…” – Alliee Reads

“This is a wonderful fantasy tale well-told by the author. The character development is good, the friendships Thomas has are heart-warming and the magic is unpredictable.” – Long and Short Reviews

“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows is an enchanting foray into a fantasy world where stories can become realities, science and magic intersect, and crystals hold the power to destroy. If you’re looking for an enthralling and thought-provoking read, this is the book for you!” – Middle Grade Minded

“This was a wickedly fun and richly imaginative middle-grade urban fantasy with a compelling plot and endearing characters… From the moment Thomas enters the bookstore I was hooked and couldn’t wait to find out the mysterious book’s secrets. This little gem of a story has magic, action, mystery, intrigue and rollicking adventure, and held my interest until the wild ending… there are more adventures yet to come so I can’t wait to delve into the next book.” – Roger’s Reads

“In Thomas Wildus and The Book of Sorrows, J.M. Bergen has created a marvelous fantasy/sci-fi story for children and teens. With all the qualities a great book should have, the story holds your interest and offers a pleasing blend of legend and modern-day problems. Thomas must choose between good and evil… and accept the consequences of his actions. J.M. Bergen provides a wonderful tale that anyone can enjoy.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Melinda Hills for Readers’ Favorite

“Thomas Wildus and the Book of Sorrows by J.M Bergen is a stunning fantasy novel… The book was very descriptive and incredibly well written. The plot was intriguing and well thought through … This book will entertain readers of all ages. I would definitely recommend this book.” – 5 Stars, Reviewed by Kristen Van Kampen (Teen Reviewer) for Readers’ Favorite


Synopsis:

In Thomas Wildus and the Wizard of Sumeria, three months have passed since Thomas and Enrique faced off against Arius Strong and prevented an all-out apocalypse. Three long, glorious, summer months – months filled with friends, family, magic, and Thomas’s first real kiss.

Unfortunately, the good times are coming to a rapid end. With a cryptic message from a mysterious hacker, Thomas discovers that his nemesis is pursuing an object even more powerful than the crystals. Arius will stop at nothing to find the treasure and destroy his enemies, and this time he’s not alone. Dark creatures with darker powers are flocking to Arius’s cause: shapeshifters, warlocks, even a sadistic killer in a schoolgirl outfit.

The forces of good are gathering as well, but with so much darkness at Arius’s disposal, the prospects for Thomas and his friends look increasingly grim. Will time run out before he sees through the lies and uncovers the next level of his destiny?


About the Author: 

J.M.’s debut fantasy/magic series originally started as a bedtime story for his oldest son. The story turned into a saga, and one book turned into five.

When J.M. isn’t working on the Thomas Wildus books, you can find him playing with his kids, napping, or dreaming up new adventures.

If you ever meet him and can’t think of anything to talk about, you might ask about Herman the Shark, the Kai and Eli stories, or why Riddle-Master by Patricia McKillip is his all-time favorite book. Or maybe, just maybe, you’ll have questions and stories of your own (if you do, he’ll think that’s far more interesting).

Readers can connect with J.M. on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to https://jmbergen.com/


For further information, to request a review copy or an interview with J.M. Bergen, please contact Kelsey Butts at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or (805) 807-9027.

Master Blacke: Tales of the Great Wood

On the heels of his five-book fantasy series, The Chronicles of Dorro, author Pete Prown brings us a new tale that returns readers to the magical world of Thimble Down—but with a twist!
In Master Blacke, we journey to the other side of the Great Wood and meet exciting new characters from the village of Wattle’s Way. Among the players in this saga are Rue and Doily, as well as a strange and deadly kestrel named Jesper Stormcloud, who becomes their friend. There’s also the wise schoolmaster, Master Blacke, and the wicked, but beautiful Minerva Silvercoat and her equally blackhearted accomplice, Mr. Slinks.
The story unfolds with the arrival of Rue, a shy girl lost in the Great Wood. Master Blacke settles Rue into the home of Mrs. Locke, a cold shopkeeper, and her mean-spirited daughter, Meera. There’s something else, too—Doily overhears villagers talking about The Vine, something which will change the way the village is run and who’s in charge. The mystery deepens as townsfolk begin to disappear one by one. Even Master Blacke is baffled by these dark, ominous events.
There’s danger in the heart of the Great Wood. After centuries of peace and tranquility, there’s a plot by the bigger creatures — who call themselves The Vine — to seize power and take control of the meek.
Soon, the fast-paced saga begins, as Rue, Doily, and Jesper find themselves battling for their very lives and fighting back with the help of their tutor, Master Blacke. But will it be enough to defeat The Vine and its forces of evil?
Welcome to the Great Wood, friends ….
Master Blacke: Tales of the Great Wood takes readers on an epic fantasy adventure. Young readers, aged 9 to 13 – as well as not-so young ones—will have trouble putting it down. It is available for sale on Amazon, iTunes, Barnes & Noble, and Kobo.

EXCERPT from CHAPTER 1:
Almost Supper
“Drat!”
Rue stubbed her toed and screeched in pain—she was lost and knew it. The small, brownish pocket-mouse hadn’t seen her parents for weeks, and left their comfy mouse-hole in the Great Wood to search for them, even though her mother said her shouldn’t ever do so. They’d never been gone this long before.
Young and naïve might Rue be, but not entirely foolish. As the afternoon grew long and began throwing shadows, she flitted from leaf cover to tussock, remaining exposed in the open as little as possible. She dug up a few mouthfuls of nuts, roots, and berries as she explored—Rue had never been alone in the forest before, but on the whole, rather enjoyed it.
“I could survive out here, I know it,” boasted the mouse. “I’m Rue the Brave and all shall tremble before me!”
She laughed out loud, but tripped over something hard while crossing a mossy pad.
Whump.
“Ouch, that hurt! Who left a big log on the forest floor for nice mice pups to fall upon?”
Rue was perturbed and didn’t mind who knew it. Then she sneezed.
Ach-choo!
And she sneezed again. Ach-choo!
Curiously, she became aware of something moving in the periphery and all her hairs stood on end. It didn’t feel right.
“Dear me, I’m sorry, young lady—how rude of me to leave my tail lying about.”
“Who are you? I can’t see you,” snipped Rue, transfixed by the deep, mellifluous voice.
She heard something sniffing over yonder, under the fronds of an ostrich fern swaying gently in the breeze.
“Mmmmm, delicious! I mean, it’s delicious to meet you. I don’t think you’ve been this way before. We don’t get many field mice here in the deep wood. The occasional vole, but not one of your distinguished species.”
“I’m just a pocket-mouse. Nothing special about that.”
The disembodied voice replied, “I beg to differ. You see, voles are tough and wily, and moles too earthy. And rats—well, I shan’t even deign to make a comparison. Ooooh, but a tender young mouse. Now that’s enough to make up for my abbreviated nap. The pocket-mouse is something I’ve always heard about, but never enjoyed … its company before.”
Rue was suspicious. “You don’t know me, sir. And perhaps you shan’t!”
“On the contrary, my superior sense of smell tells me much. Why, you dine on dandelion petals and thyme leaves, morning dew, and nuts of all types. But I think walnuts are your favorite, correct?”
“That’s true, Mr. Voice-Without-a-Face. I do love walnuts and nuts of all sorts. How did you know?”
“My nose tells me everything, friend. I can even sense the sun-baked warmth of your fur, as well as the rich loamy soil of your mouse-hole. Say, you don’t live near a stand of rye grass, do you? What is that strange scent—summer barley?”
“That’s remarkable, sir! You must be a great detective? Or a magician!”
Rue was suddenly fascinated. “That must be how you can speak without possessing a body.”
“Oh, I have a body and a face and a mouth and a snout. Would you like to see me? I am quite grand, I really am.”
Ach-choo!
Rue sneezed and became wary again. Something in her veins and blood told her Beware!, but she couldn’t put a finger on it. She’d never really been afraid before, as her parents were always nearby and calmed her when a thunderstorm struck and the rain pelted about the door to their mouse-house.
What is that strange tingling in my paws and legs? thought the mouse girl. My senses are trying to warn me of something, but I don’t what it is.
Suddenly, Rue knew exactly what the tingling was, just as the ferns began to shiver and move. Something was moving in those fronds, inching closer by the second, and it meant her harm.
Then Rue saw it—a black snout pushing through a few fronds. The snout grew longer and impossibly longer, until a face peered out. A sharp face with reddish fur, two pointy ears, and a pair of glowing orange eyes. And its mouth was smiling, but not a friendly smile. It was more of a leer, displaying quite a rack of dazzling teeth. The pocket-mouse knew she was in trouble, as this was surely a red fox seeking its supper.
“I demand to know your intentions, sir,” barked Rue, though quivering and trying to put on a brave face. “I don’t know your name, but I know your heart. You mean to eat me.”
“You are an astute young lady—quite intelligent! My name is Mr. Slinks, though I’m not such a bad fellow,” said the red fox with his usual grace and savoir-faire. He kept talking.
“My job in this part of the Great Wood is to bring balance and order. When something is out of place, I fix it. If Genevieve Possum has too many babes one spring, I help her return her litter to a reasonable number. And should the robin or wren population explode for unknown reasons, just call on Mr. Slinks to scale a nice low tree, find the nest, and bring the number back to earth —quite literally! Logically then, should a tasty mouse get lost and wander into my dell, as a concerned citizen I feel I should do my part to rectify the issue—quickly and with the utmost skill.
There’s no need for endless suffering, I always say. Fast ‘n’ precise, that’s my motto.”
“I may be a pup, Mr. Slinks, but I don’t want to be eaten today. I like seeing the sunshine every morning and I like my walnuts. And I don’t like … you!”
At that, Rue shot from her moss pad like a rocket, so fast that even a deadly predator like Mr. Slinks was taken aback. He figured the lass would make a fine nuncheon and be perfectly civilized about it. Perhaps even lie down and expose her neck in a cordial way, in order to make the fox’s job easier. But no, this brat wanted to put Slinks to the test.
And this is what happened.
Rue had been pent up in her mouse-hole for so long that all her bound-up energy exploded at that very moment. Even she was amazed at how fast she could run, especially when there was a Fox giving chase.“
Catch me if you can, Big Nose!” laughed the girl as she shot under a thicket of rambling roses and in and out tufts of grass.
It would have been a wonderful game if the mouse didn’t hear a Snap! and feel the wind-gust as a pair of jaws narrowly missed her tail.
This spurred Rue on faster, but she knew she couldn’t run forever and that about twenty of her steps equaled only two of Mr. Slinks’. Mathematically, the fox would catch up to her in about five seconds. Fortunately for Rue, fate was on her side, as a new commotion exploded to her left.
“Weeee-haaaaaa! Out of my way, Slinker. Stinker is on the move!”
For a second, Rue couldn’t make out what was happening, but then saw flashes of white and black just off the way. She also knew it wasn’t good news for her rival, as Slinks shouted out a most unfortunate expletive—one we shan’t repeat here in the name of proper decency—and followed it up with various snarls, grunts, and barks.
The race bounded down a sharp slope, with Rue in the lead, Mr. Slinks in hot pursuit, and an unknown personage running interference. The pocket-mouse reached the bottom of the dell and found a rapidly running creek in her way. She leapt onto a flat rock in the water, and then another and another, her toes getting quite wet in the process.
On her tail, Mr. Slinks shouted, “You know this is quite inevitable, mouse. I will have my satisfaction in the end, even with Mrs. Posey being a busy-body.”
Turning his head, he hooted to his right, “I shall deal with you later, Posey. You’re not as invincible as you think—nor are your babes!”
It was at this precise moment that Rue made a grand leap for the far bank, but slipped and missed her mark by a foot. Instead, she landed in a bit of muddy muck and lay immobile on the creek’s bank. She rolled over and, just Mr. Slinks had hoped, exposed her soft belly and throat dangerously.
“A-ha! The day is mine,” gloated Slinks as he bounded across the creek for the final kill. But t’was not to be. For as our friend Rue lay prostrate in the mud, a shadow crept over her, blotting out the light and burying her in dark fur.
“One step closer, Slinksy, and I shall give you such a spray that your prey will know you’re coming two weeks ahead of time. That will give your stomach something to think about, eh?”
“Back off, Posey. I want to eat now, nor was I jesting earlier. Skunk babies are just as tasty as mice and slower off the mark than their mums. They’re sweet and don’t stink yet—I might have a few for a snack.”
Mrs. Posey growled in return and extended her claws.
“Go near my babes and I shall write a note to my cousin Pelarch and, well, even you don’t want that. Pel could rip you into pieces before you even rose to your feet.”
“Is your cousin a precious little bunny rabbit?”
“If you consider high-mountain wolverines to be little bunnies, then yes!” cackled the skunkess in return.
“Curse you, Posey! Always ruining my sport. I just wanted to have a bit of a go at the tender thing,” sneered Slinks.
“No harm was intended. You know me better.”
“Oh I know you, Slinks. Your idea of fun usually ends up with torn throats and gasping final breaths. But I shall let it pass this time.”
Mrs. Posey relaxed her posture over Rue and let a little light and air penetrate. As she moved off, the mouse-ling saw a beautiful black-and-white skunk taking shape, while Mr. Slinks glowered at them both from a rock in the middle of the creek. She took a few steps away from Rue as matters calmed, but was distracted by the Caw! of a fish-crow in a nearby sourwood tree.
That’s all it took for Mr. Slinks to make his move. Bounding the final steps between himself and young Rue in half a heartbeat, the red fox suddenly had the young pocket-mouse cradled in his jaws, even before Mrs. Posey had a chance to turn around.
“How dare you, Slinks! I thought you were going to be a good boy today,” snarled the angry skunk, once again dropping to combat posture.
Mumbling with the creature in his mouth, Mr. Slinks replied, “I’m th-orry, Mrs. Po-thee. But e’en I muss eat!”
“Then I can’t be held responsible for my actions, you rotten Fox!”
At that, Mrs. P. spun on a tuppence and, from a gland within her hind quarters, hit Mr. Slinks with a massive blast of skunk stink. With skunk juice stinging his eyes and fouling his nose and mouth, Mr. Slinks had no choice but to drop the equally befouled Rue in the creek and run screaming into the woods.
“Oh, you horrible woman—now I shall never eat again! I am the saddest and smelliest fellow in all the Great Wood!”
And it was true, Mrs. Posey had doused the fox so completely that he wasn’t able to find any tasty prey beyond beetles and worms for the next few weeks and, along the way, lost a full three pounds.
Yet as he slunk off into the underbrush, Mr. Slinks muttered something under his breath. It sounded something like this: “You think you’re so clever, Skunk. But wait until the Vine becomes law in the Great Wood. Then you’ll learn to serve your betters in silence. And that foolish pocket-mouse will be in my belly.”
With that, the black-hearted fox disappeared into the forest.
Poor Rue, meanwhile, was not only drenched in skunk stink, but was also being borne down the creek with great force. Neither could she swim, thus was gasping for air in between desperate strokes in the bubbling, frothy water.
Fortunately, Mrs. P. was on the scene in a flash and, before she knew it, Rue was gently hoisted into the air within the front teeth of her new protector and carried back to the very soft, spongy moss pad from whence her very troubles had begun.
Exhausted, wet, confused and thoroughly skunked from head to toe, Rue began to cry, yet soon drifted off to the lands of sleep and quiet. Over her, Mrs. Posey stood guard, humming a tune to herself. In that time, she knit her a blanket of sweet-smelling lavender and clover petals, which drew out the stench and coaxed sweet dreams within the girl’s heart. As the hours passed, the forest calmed more and more until this recent episode was all but a distant memory.
From somewhere above them in the Great Wood, a grey thrush hooted the “all clear” signal and life resumed as usual.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Pete Prown is a noted American writer of Young Adult fantasy books. His debut fantasy series The Chronicles of Dorro (Thimble Down, Devils & Demons, The Lost Ones, Death of a Dwarf, and Goblin War) has received rave reviews. THIMBLE DOWN, the first book in the “Chronicles of Dorro” series, tells the tale of a Halfling bookmaster named Mr. Dorro and the dark mysteries he becomes entangled with, along with young companions Wyll Underfoot and Cheeryup Tunbridge. Fans of the Dorro series can’t get enough of the classic-fantasy action and adventure, as they explore the magical world of Thimble Down and its surroundings.
Readers can connect with Pete on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads. To learn more, go to http://www.peteprown.com/

An Interview with Author Iain Reading

Author Iain ReadingWe had the pleasure of interviewing Iain Reading – who is best known for the Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency Series, a young adult series of adventure mystery stories. He is also the author of the dragon of the month club, a middle grade fantasy series, and The Wizards of Waterfire.

At what point did you consider yourself a full time writer?
Hmmmmm.  I suppose once I finished the SECOND Kitty Hawk book and put it out there, then maybe I knew that I was an author for-real.
Do you have a writing routine?
I have a dream of a writing routine….  it would consist of renting an apartment somewhere exotic and going for walks every day and night to figure things out in my head and then sitting down in-between to actually write.  Otherwise, at home I suppose I sort of do the same, in-between those annoying things like my day-job and life, etc.
How long does it take you to write a book?
The actual writing has sometimes been very fast – a matter of weeks, on occasion.  But thinking things through and figuring everything out BEFORE setting pen to paper takes a lot longer.
Do you research settings, characters types, or topic for your works?
For the Kitty Hawk series (where she’s flying around the world) I DEFINITELY do research for settings.  My favourite thing is to make an excuse for myself to actually visit a place that Kitty Hawk will be visiting and have a vacation under the guise of “book research”.
Do you belong to a writing group or do you have trusted others who read your drafts?
I have a couple of trusted friends who I have read my books and give me feedback.  But to be clear, these are VERY trusted friends – not even necessarily close friends – but when it comes to books and editting they are in the VERY trusted category.
Do you have books you read for inspiration?
There is a lot of history in the Kitty Hawk series, so I read a lot of history books to learn and research.
Do you write in multiple genres?
Yes and no.  Yes in the sense that “urban fantasy” is a different genre than “young adult mystery – female sleuths”.  But no in the sense that they are all kind of young adult to adult books.
Do you ever have epiphanies while writing?
Definitely yes!  There have been times where I’ve stopped in mid-sentence and thought…  what?!!???  In an unpublished fantasy book of mine I was busy writing away and trying to hook the main character up with a boy from another school nearby.  And suddenly, the next thing I knew was realizing…. wait….. is he the BAD GUY?!???
What do your novels start with, a plot, a character, a central question?
I think mostly they start with a character, followed by plot and if I’m lucky there might arise a question in there somewhere.
Do you see reoccurring themes in your fiction?
Exploration seems to be a recurring theme.  My Kitty Hawk Flying Detective Agency series focuses on a young female pilot who has decided to fly around the world.  She visits different places and solves mysteries.  And in the process she explores the world and readers explore with her.  Similarly, in my Dragon Of The Month Club series the two main characters explore a world of books, drawn from real life books.  It’s almost like Kitty Hawk as they travel from one book world to the next, exploring.
Do you have a favorite book out of the books you have written?
My current favourite is The Dragon Of The Month Club – followed close second by Kitty Hawk and the Tragedy of the Titanic.
What is the story of getting your first book published? Did you have an agent, did you send to multiple publishers, etc.
Sadly, no publishers or agents were ever interested so I had to publish my books myself.  A proud self-publisher, am I.
What questions do you frequently get from teacher and librarians? From students?
One of the most common questions is what inspired me to write.  And the answer is the main character of my first series – Kitty Hawk.  It was this character and her ambitious plans to fly around the world that really inspired me.  I could see that there was a lot of adventures out there waiting for her, so I had to actually write them in order to find out what happened.
What do you try to accomplish when you visit schools or conferences?
My main goal is always to connect with people, particularly anyone who is interested in my books or has enjoyed reading them, or who is interested in trying to do what I am doing – writing and self-publishing books.
What jobs did you do before becoming a writer and do any of them influence how or what you write?
I’ve had a lot of jobs.  McDonalds.  Pizza Hut.  Right now I work for the United Nations.  That is my “day job” for the moment.
Do you have any advice or suggestion for other writers?
My advice (for whatever it’s worth) is always this:  Write the book you’re capable of writing – don’t try to write a book you are not capable of writing.
Do you get many letters or emails from your readers?
Never enough of them!  Send me more!  I always try to respond.
What book have you read over the last year that seems to stick with you?
Stephen King’s The Shining.  I had never read it before and had the misfortune to read it while staying in a big hotel in Toronto where the closet had a light inside that randomly switched on and off in the middle of the night, thus totally freaking me out.  That experience led to me re-reading Stephen King’s Pet Sematary, and I was very interested to read in his new foreward to the book that this was the book he thought was his most scary.
What question would you love to be asked about your work that no one thinks to ask?
I think I’d like to be asked whether I would recommend the process of writing and self-publishing to people.  Because the answer would absolutely be yes.  I think that anyone who has a book inside them waiting to come out should go for it.  Write it.  And that’s not to say just write it and throw it out there.  But put some work into it.  And heart into it.  And yes, money into it, and make it the best book you can possibly do.  And don’t worry if it’s not timeless fiction for the ages.  Write the book you can write.

books by iain reading

Mitchell Charles Announces the Upcoming Release of His Young Adult Fantasy Adventure Audiobook

kingdom of oceanaMarch 21, 2016 (Beverly Hills, CA) – Mitchell Charles announced today that his young adult fantasy adventure novel, The Kingdom of Oceana, will be released as an audiobook in May 2016.
The story takes place five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, where there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.
As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.
The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure filled with big wave surfing, fire walking, and shark taming, while also dealing with real-world environmental issues like ocean conservation.
“While the book is fiction, it is heavily influenced by the rich and beautiful Hawaiian myths, legends, locales, and culture. Many locations in the story are inspired by real places in Hawaii,” says Charles. “The audiobook is narrated by Lanai native and Honolulu based voiceover artist Rayton Lamay, who brings his inherent authenticity to the story, as he shifts from narrator to each character’s dialogue with his lyrical “pidgin” (Hawaiian dialect) accent. You can listen to the first chapter of the audiobook here: http://kingdomofoceana.com/audio-book/.”
The Kingdom of Oceana is available for sale on Amazon in eBook and paperback. Charles is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls. For more information, visit http://kingdomofoceana.com/.
For media inquiries, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
###

The Kingdom of Oceana by Mitchell Charles

kingdom of oceanaThe Kingdom of Oceana is a new Middle Grade / Young Adult fantasy adventure series by Mitchell Charles, recommended for 5th-8th grade students. 
At its core, The Kingdom of Oceana is a story about a sibling rivalry.
Five centuries ago, on the island now called Hawaii, there was a kingdom filled with adventure, beauty, and magic.  When 16-year-old Prince Ailani and his brother Nahoa trespass on a forbidden burial ground and uncover an ancient tiki mask, they unleash a thousand-year-old curse that threatens to destroy their tropical paradise.
As warring factions collide for control of Oceana, it sparks an age-old conflict between rival sorcerers that threatens to erupt–just like Mauna Kea, the towering volcano. With the help of his ancestral spirit animals, his shape shifting sidekick, and a beautiful princess, Prince Ailani must overcome his own insecurities, a lifetime of sibling rivalry, and a plague of cursed sea creatures brought forth by the tiki’s spell. Can peace be restored to the kingdom? Can Prince Ailani claim his rightful place as the future king of Oceana? Two brothers, but only one can rule.
The Kingdom of Oceana takes readers on a fun and exciting adventure that is filled with non-stop action, from big wave surfing, to fire walking and shark taming. It is also an educational read, as it brings to light many of today’s pressing environmental and social issues, such as ocean conservation.

 

Praise:
“This book is a real page-turner, full of action and adventure, and I would highly recommend it to anyone. I hope that there will be more books like this from Mitchell Charles in the future.” – 5 Stars, Anne-Marie Reynolds for Readers’ Favorite
“Adventure, exotic places and animals, as well as a unique culture, will drag readers head first into this novel…The talent from this writer is amazing. I look forward to reading more by Mitchell Charles in the future.”Danielle Urban, Urban Book Reviews
“Filled with names, vocabulary, animals, and customs that are related to the setting the book opened my eyes to the ancient world of the Pacific peoples. I can envision middle school students fascinated by the words of the text made curious to research to learn more about this unique time and place.” – AngelaThe Teacher’s Desk 6
“As I read, I had several of my student’s already in mind who will eat this up. I feel good about having it on my shelves, as it is not too violent or ‘scary,’ yet it contains that fun zombie style-action that my students love.” – Jillian, Elements of Elementary

 

Excerpt from Chapter 1 – Waimoku Falls
We climbed the backside of the canyon, still winding through the singing forest. A sudden gust blew through the treetops, causing the tall hollow stalks to cry a warning and my heart to beat faster. What danger was Nahoa getting me into this time?
By midday we reached the tree line, and the terrain became near vertical, with slabs of volcanic rock stacked in a series of small ledges and caves.
I turned around, looking out over the green bamboo treetops. To my right, the towering snow-capped summit of Mauna Kea dominated the sky. It was the tallest and most sacred spot on the Great Island, and on rare occasions smoke and ash billowed from its peak, rising above the icy white snowdrifts. Fortunately, there had not been a major eruption or lava flow in many generations.
“I’ll race you to the top,” Nahoa challenged. “I’ll even give you a head start.”
We had always enjoyed a spirited rivalry, feeding off each other’s competitive nature. I surveyed the cliff, picking my route.
“You’re on,” I said as I hoisted myself up and grabbed onto a small lava finger hold. Just above me was a long fissure in the rock, sloping upward to my right and then back to the left. While this path would take me on a longer course, it was less demanding, and my best chance to beat Nahoa to the crest.
He saw my plan. “Good, little brother. That path is safer.”
I carefully moved forward, while Nahoa soon got stuck above me on the sheer vertical wall of lava, his legs dangling and his feet probing the cliffside.
“Fingers getting tired?” I asked him as I moved closer to the top. I was going to beat him, for once.
“I won’t be here long,” he said.
As I followed the crevice back to the left, Nahoa whipped his body to the right and leapt off the cliff, his foot landing on my shoulder. He pushed off my neck and hoisted himself onto the ledge above me, just below the crest.
“Thanks, omo,” he said with a wicked laugh.
As I pulled myself onto the ridgetop I saw Nahoa ahead, following a fast-moving river that disappeared in the distance.
“Move it!” he yelled above the sound of the rushing water.
I hurried to catch up and we crossed the river along a jagged path of partially submerged boulders smoothed over by the rapids.
Before us, the river gained strength where it merged with a smaller tributary and formed a swirling vortex that plummeted off the cliff as Waimoku Falls.
“That’s it,” said Nahoa, pointing at a small hill piled with rubble just in front of where the two rivers joined.
There we found the remains of a crescent-shaped fortress made from stacked lava rocks. The curved wall was crumbling, with crusty orange lichen growing in the crevices and bright green geckos sunning themselves on top. The ground was littered with shark teeth, razor sharp and bleached by the scorching tropical sun.
I was disappointed. I’d hoped to find a great temple with cryptic markings or intricate carvings. What lay before us was nothing more than a pile of weather-beaten rocks.
“Well, this is a waste of time,” said Nahoa. He picked up a stone and hurled it at the remains of the fortress. From beneath the broken wall, a gathering of centipedes scrambled to escape the sunlight.
An icy wind went through me. It wasn’t like a tropical breeze that cools your sweaty cheek. No, it pierced my flesh like I was no more solid than a palm frond. Disturbing the centipedes was a bad omen—they were minions of the shadows.
“Did you feel that?” I asked.
Nahoa stood frozen, the hair on his arms standing on end.
He swallowed. “Feel what?”
“I don’t think we should be here,” I said, motioning for us to leave. For once, I hoped he’d agree with me.
“Do you want me to hold your hand, little brother? We’ll just have a look around, that’s all.”
Nahoa walked over to where he’d thrown the rock and knelt to examine the rubble. He picked through and uncovered a wooden tiki head. The carving was badly weathered, its left ear missing. Its mouth snarled, and its eyes glared with menace.
I looked at my brother’s face. He was in a trance, his head tilted down and his eyes looking up. They were cold and lifeless.
“Nahoa,” I screamed. “Stop playing around. That’s not funny!”
But he just stood there. I yelled again, “Nahoa! We shouldn’t be here. Let’s go!”
He blinked, but otherwise remained perfectly still.
As I stepped toward him, Nahoa pulled his knife and backed me toward the rushing river.
“It’s you that doesn’t belong here, little brother,” he said in a hushed tone.
Then he charged at me like a wild boar, knocking me into the water. I stood up, knee- deep in the fast-moving river, and dug my feet into the rocky bottom, bracing myself so the current didn’t pull me downstream. Nahoa leapt again and landed on top of me, sending us both tumbling into the whitewater.
Since we were old enough to walk, Nahoa and I had been schooled by the masters in lua—wrestling, hand-to-hand combat, and the use of our tribe’s most savage battle weapons. From years as sparring partners, I knew all his offensive moves and counter attacks as though they were my own. But as we raced downstream, bouncing off the rocks and plummeting down the rapids, I felt as though I was fighting a stranger. And I was fighting for my life.
Up ahead, jagged rocks rose above the waterline. I flipped onto my back with my feet below me, struggling against Nahoa’s hands wrapped around my throat. I kicked free of him, but that only quickened my pace down the rapids. I slammed into a boulder, my feet bracing my impact. I was exhausted, but knew I had to get out of the water before I reached the falls. I managed to clamber partway up a slippery rock, then gathered the strength to hoist myself completely from the rushing current. Upstream, I saw Nahoa dangling from a tree branch, the rapids churning below him.
My footing slipped and in an instant I was back in the river. The turbulence engulfed me, pulling me into the foaming whitewater. Then I was weightless, freefalling.

 

Mitchell CharlesAbout the Author
Mitchell Charles’ love of the ocean and its miraculous creatures began at the age of 12 when his father taught him to SCUBA dive. From his first adventure 50 feet (15 meters) beneath the Caribbean Sea he was hooked.  He has been involved in the Oceanic Society, America’s first non-profit organization dedicated to ocean conservation, established in 1969.
Mitchell’s inspiration for The Kingdom of Oceana was born of exploring the spectacular coastline, lush valleys, and vibrant coral reefs of the Hawaiian Islands. On these excursions, he imagined what Hawaii was like hundreds of years ago. Before Captain Cook arrived from England. Before the golf courses and hotels. Before the ukulele and the Mai Tai became icons of Hawaiian culture. He dreamed of a time when the islands were an undiscovered magical paradise..
These days, Mitchell divides his time between Southern California and Hawaii. He has two teenage children and a dog named Magic. He is currently working on the second book in the Kingdom of Oceana series, The Legend of the Nine Sacred Pearls, which is expected to be released in Fall 2016.
For more information, visit KingdomOfOceana.com
Readers can connect with Mitchell on Facebook, Twitter, and Goodreads.
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Mitchell Charles, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at bookpublicityservices@gmail.com or 805.807.9027.

 

Christopher Mannino’s Epic Fantasy Novel ‘School of Deaths’ is Now Available in Audiobook

School of Deaths Book CoverJanuary 26, 2016 (Greenbelt, MD) – Author Christopher Mannino announced today that School of Deaths, the first installment of his Young Adult trilogy, is now available for purchase in audio format from the popular audiobook site, Audible. Sword of Deaths, the second book in the trilogy, is expected to be released in audio format next month. The books are narrated by acclaimed audiobook narrator Joel Froomkin.
“I’m really pleased with how well The Scythe Wielder’s Secret series has been doing,” says Maninno, “I know a lot of people are interested in audiobooks for long trips or even their daily commute, but the selection can be on the skimpy side. I’m happy I can contribute School of Deaths as a fresh option.”
School of Deaths has been ranked as an Amazon bestseller in Epic Fantasy, and reviewers have compared the series to Harry Potter, Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson.
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? 
Thirteen-year-old Suzie Sarnio always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe. Now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. The task is demanding enough, but as the only female in the all-male College, she quickly becomes a target. Attacked by both classmates and strangers, Suzie is alone in a world where even her teachers want her to fail.
As her year progresses, Suzie suspects her presence isn’t an accident. She uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must also discover the reason she’s been brought there: the first female Death in a million years.
“If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this!” – Sasha Alsberg, A Book Utopia
“Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!”Reader’s Favorite
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, MD. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life. To learn more, go to ChristopherMannino.com
For further information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Christopher Mannino, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.
###

The Scythe Wielder’s Secret by Christopher Mannino

The Scythe Wielder’s SecretThe Scythe Wielder’s Secret is a thrilling young adult fantasy/adventure series by Christopher Mannino. The first two books in the trilogy, School of Deaths and Sword of Deaths, are out now, with the third book Daughter of Deaths expected to be released next year.
The Scythe Wielder’s Secret series has received rave reviews and been compared to bestsellers like Harry Potter, The Hunger Games, and Percy Jackson. It is recommended for readers who enjoy magical realism, fantasy, paranormal, middle grade, young adult, and/or books with a strong female protagonist.

 

School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1):
Thrust into a world of men, can a timid girl find bravery as the first female Death? 
Suzie Sarnio is a thirteen-year-old whose world is turned upside down when she discovers that she is destined to be a Death. She always believed the Grim Reaper was a fairy tale image of a skeleton with a scythe, but now, forced to enter the College of Deaths, she finds herself training to bring souls from the Living World to the Hereafter. As her year progresses, Suzie uncovers a plot to overthrow the World of Deaths. Now she must learn and embrace the reason she was chosen to be the first female Death in a million years.

 

Praise for School of Deaths:
“If you like Harry Potter, you’ll love this!” – Sasha Alsberg, A Book Utopia
“Wonderful! Addictive! Two thumbs up! The plot itself was beyond intriguing. It definitely took me for a spin. I wasn’t expecting the story to take me where it did, and it definitely kept me guessing all the way toward the end. The author did a wonderful job at keeping me both entertained and fascinated by the world he created. Would recommend School of Deaths to YA lovers everywhere.” – Kristy Centeno, author of The Keeper Witches series and the Secrets of the Moon series.
“The characters are well developed, the story is complex and non-stop. Lots of surprises along the way. A dash of romance, lots of intrigue, mystery, and fantasy. This was a book I didn’t want to end.” – Montzalee Wittman
“Loved this book! Suzie is a wonderfully well written and in depth main character. I understood her struggle and appreciated her growth throughout the book.” – Ann Andrews
“Not just a book for young adults, but an imaginative read for everyone who likes something a little bit different. 5 Stars!” – Reader’s Favorite

 

Excerpt from School of Deaths:
Chapter 1
“You okay, squirt?” Joe bounded through her bedroom door. He smelled of sweat and dirt.
“I’m okay,” said Suzie. She sat up in her bed, putting her book aside. “They teased me a lot today.”
“You? My sister? I’ll beat ’em up.” He slapped her on the back playfully, making Suzie slump forward. He leaned closer to her and peered in her eyes. His cinnamon gum stank.
“Tell me honestly.” He lowered his voice to whisper. “What’s going on? You’ve been losing weight since Bumper died. Mom and Dad are freaking out.”
“I’m not trying to scare them, Joe. I’m sure I look anorexic or something, but I keep eating and eating and nothing changes. It must be some disease the doctors haven’t heard about, they’re bringing in a specialist and everything.”
“Suzie?” Joe sat next to her and wrapped his big, muscular arms around her wiry frame. “You’ll be okay?”
“I will be, yeah.”
“Susan,” called Mom from downstairs. A moment later, her head appeared in the doorway. Joe released Suzie and stood.
“How are you feeling honey?” asked Mom.

“I’m fine.”
“Why don’t you both come down for dinner?”
“Okay, Mom,” they said in unison. Joe turned to Suzie and smiled. They headed downstairs and sat down.
“Your father had an urgent call, and won’t be home until late,” said Mom, carrying a steaming dish of delicious-smelling rosemary chicken and potatoes to the table. The doorbell rang.
“I hope it’s not the Mormons again,” muttered Mom, rising.
“I’ll get it,” said Joe. Whenever Dad wasn’t home, Joe tended to act like the man of the house. Suzie wasn’t sure if he was annoying or endearing, or perhaps a little of both. Mom sat down, and Joe opened the door.
“Can I help you?”
A hunchbacked man in a black robe, carrying an immense scythe, stood in the doorway. Something shiny hung around his neck.
“Er, um. H-h-hello. I-i-i-s Su-su-su-Susan here?”
Joe laughed. “Halloween’s not for over a month, man. Why don’t you come back then?” He started to close the door, but the strange man lowered his scythe, propping it open.
“What are you doing?” yelled Joe.
“P-p-please. I n-n-need to ta-talk to Susan,” he stammered.
Suzie gasped, remembering where she had seen the strange man. He was the one who opened the door looking out in the strange dream she kept having. Mom touched the blade of the scythe and drew her hand back in surprise.
“That thing’s real,” she said. “Get out. Get out of my house!”
 “P-p-p-please,” he started again.
“Wait, Mom,” Suzie said, rising. Joe, Mom, and the strange man turned to her. “I want to talk to him.” Was it the man from her dream?
“Susan, sit down,” said Mom, her voice trembling.
“No, it’s okay,” said Suzie. She walked to the door. The man seemed scared, even a little confused. He was probably her father’s age, but was nothing like Dad. His face was chubby, unshaven, and pockmarked, and his blond hair was uncombed. A golden chain with a charm hung from his neck. He raised his scythe and nodded. Joe held the door, ready to slam it, but Suzie stood in the entrance.
“Who are you?” she asked.
“My n-n-n-name is K-k-k-Cronk. C-Cronk Averill.”
“C-Cronk Averill?” laughed Joe. “Is this guy for real?”
“I’ve c-c-c-come to t-t-t-take you b-b-b-back.”
“Take me back where?” asked Suzie.
“You are a D-d-d-d…”
“What?”
“A Death,” said Cronk. Joe reached for Suzie, but before he touched her, Cronk grabbed Suzie’s arm. His speed surprised her. She yelled, but he raised his scythe and lowered it, cutting the air. Suddenly, the house, Joe, Mom, and the entire world vanished. Colors and smells, noises and strange sensations, flowed past Suzie in a blur.
She opened her eyes. She was standing in a field. Cronk stood in front of her, frowning.
“What did you do?” she demanded. “Where are we?” She looked up. It was sunny. But there were two suns.

 

Author Christopher ManninoAbout the Author:
Christopher Mannino’s life is best described as an unending creative outlet. He teaches high school theatre in Greenbelt, Maryland. In addition to his daily drama classes, he runs several after-school performance and production drama groups. He spends his summers writing and singing. Mannino holds a Master of Arts in Theatre Education from Catholic University, and has studied mythology and literature both in America and at Oxford University. His work with young people helped inspire him to write young adult fantasy, although it was his love of reading that truly brought his writing to life.
Christopher’s debut novel School of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 1) was published in May 2014 by MuseItUp Publishing. The second book in the trilogy, Sword of Deaths (The Scythe Wielder’s Secret, Book 2), was published in August 2015. The third book Daughter of Deaths is expected to be released in 2016. His series has received rave reviews and been compared to Harry Potter and The Hunger Games.
Christopher’s wife Rachel Mannino is also an author. She writes romance books. To learn more, go to RachelMannino.com
Readers can connect with Christopher on Facebook, Twitter, or Goodreads.
To learn more, go to ChristopherMannino.com
For more information, to request a review copy, or to set up an interview or appearance by Christopher Mannino, please contact Kelsey McBride at Book Publicity Services at Kelsey@BookPublicityServices.com or 805.807.9027.

 

The Dragon of the Month Club by Iain Reading

The Dragon of the Month ClubThe Dragon Of The Month Club is the exciting first installment in a new children’s book series by Iain Reading that tells the story of Ayana Fall and Tyler Travers, two best friends who stumble across an extraordinarily magical book and soon find themselves enrolled as members of a very special and exclusive club – The Dragon of the Month Club.
On the thirteenth of every month a new dragon conjuring spell is revealed and the two friends attempt to summon the latest Dragon of the Month. The varieties are almost endless: Air Dragons, Paper Dragons, Fog Dragons, Waterfall Dragons, Rock Dragons, Tree Dragons – not to mention special bonus dragons for all the major holidays, including a particularly prickly Holly Dragon for Christmas.
But one day when a conjuring spell somehow goes wrong Ayana and Tyler find themselves unexpectedly drawn into a fantastical world of adventure based on the various books scattered all across Tyler’s messy bedroom. Traveling from one book-inspired world to the next with nothing to rely on but their wits and a cast of strange and exotic dragons at their disposal they must try to somehow find their way home again.
Drawing inspiration from some of literature’s most memorable stories – from 19th century German folktales to the streets of Sherlock Holmes’s London – the adventures of Ayana and Tyler bring these classic stories to life in delightfully strange and unexpected ways. Filled with fascinating detail and non-stop action these books will spark the imaginations of readers of all ages to inspire a life-long love of reading and seeking out books that are just a little bit off the beaten track.

 

Praise:
“No other book bonds together so many stories in such a fashion that is actually readable and enjoyable at the same time. With the title being The Dragon of the Month Club, many might think this is a book strictly about magic and dragons, yet you will find that what’s inside this book will leave you awe struck.”Red City Review
“Iain Reading has quickly become one of my favorite authors. I started reading his Kitty Hawk books and now I’m introduced to a fantastical world. This is the type of book I would have spent hours in my room, wishing I could slip into the pages and have an adventure.”Sandra Stiles
“The Dragon of the Month Club is a very enjoyable read. I’m a grown adult and I enjoyed it. It reminded me of a Harry Potter meets Goosebumps (the part where the books come alive) meets Sherlock Holmes. I found the book to be engaging and kept me wanting to read on. This is a wonderful series for any young reader.”sgebhard

 

Excerpt:
Chapter 2 – The Book
Following their most unlikely of beginnings, the friendship of Ayana and Tyler grew quickly, and before they knew it, they were the best of friends, meeting up with each other almost every day. Sometimes they met up with Ayana’s mother after school at the downtown Dairy Queen for ice cream. Other times they climbed the edges of the coulee behind Ayana’s school and went to Tyler’s house where they did their homework together in his room. But most of the time, they just agreed to meet up at the place where they’d both accidentally bumped into each other on that very first day—amongst the dusty old bookshelves of the old library at the row between the history of the anatomy of earthworms and the illustrated guide to the indigenous mosses of Iceland.
It was on just such a day that Ayana and Tyler first discovered THE BOOK—a name that would be forever capitalised in their minds whenever either of them dared to utter the phrase aloud.
It was a magical book. That much was clear almost from the outset, so perhaps the manner in which these two unlikely friends happened to come across it was magical as well.
It all started on a typical Friday afternoon. Ayana and Tyler had agreed to meet at the library right after school. Tyler had a dentist appointment and would either be a few minutes late or a few minutes early, depending on how long that took. Not surprisingly Tyler was a few minutes late. This could have been expected since Tyler took dentist appointments very seriously. For weeks ahead of time he would be sure to brush his teeth five times every single day—once when waking up, once after breakfast, once after lunch, once after dinner, and once again before bed—which was two more times a day than he usually did. (He normally deemed the wake-up and after dinner steps unnecessary.) All of this was in addition to flossing, rinsing, and otherwise generally trying to keep his teeth in the best possible shape for the check-up.
To Tyler, going to the dentist was like studying for a test in school. Failure was not an option. So it shouldn’t be much of a surprise that once he was actually in the dental chair, he expected the dentist to be every bit as thorough as he was, a process that required a bit more time than it normally would with less fastidious patients.
So Tyler was late.
And so, when he finally arrived, he hurried down the stairs and quickly navigated through the maze of shelves at the back of the library and found Ayana sitting there, crouched on the floor, sobbing her eyes out.
Tyler sighed heavily. He could already guess what must have happened: Heather van der Sloot… again.
He took off his backpack and set it on the floor. Folding his legs under him, he lowered himself down until he was sitting next to Ayana, not too close, of course, but as close as he dared to.
“What happened this time?” Tyler asked.
Ayana sobbed and buried her face even deeper in her hands. After a moment her left arm shot out, pointing an accusing finger toward a stack of soiled and dishevelled papers lying in a heap on an empty space on the shelf opposite them.
“That,” Ayana cried, her voice thin and cracking.
Tyler stared at the papers, and it took him a moment to realise what they were.
“Your poems,” he gasped.
Tyler had to take a breath and swallow. Ayana’s poems were a work of art, neatly written in careful flowing script, one to a page. Ayana carried them with her sometimes in a stiff green cardboard folder with trees on it that had little strings that you used to tie it shut.
Ayana nodded, still sobbing.
“She threw them all over the playground,” she said, her voice raspy. “She grabbed my tree folder away from me and threw them everywhere. I… I ….”
Ayana stuttered and couldn’t speak for a second.
“I don’t know if I got them all back,” she finally said, finishing her thought. “I think I lost some.”
Tyler nodded and crawled over on one knee to pick up the chaotic stack of papers. He sorted through them, one by one, trying to put them back into some kind of order. They were smeared and scratched and crumpled. One even had a dirty footprint stamped squarely on it.
Normally Ayana wouldn’t even let Tyler glance at one of her poems, so he was surprised that she wasn’t bothered by his looking through all of them now. She clearly wasn’t thinking straight, so he tried to make as neat a stack out of them as possible and set it down on the carpet in the middle of the row of shelves.
“There are a lot there,” he said, sitting close to her again. “Maybe you did get them all.”
Ayana shrugged her shoulders hopelessly.
“It doesn’t matter,” she said, staring blankly at the pile of papers. “I don’t care.”
Tyler felt a sudden squeeze around his heart. He had no idea what he was supposed to do to make Ayana feel better.
But as his mind was racing, trying to think of something, the universe intervened.
“I hate her, Tyler,” Ayana said. “I HATE her!”
On this second last syllable, Ayana kicked at the opposite shelves with the heel of her shoe, making the wooden frame shudder and some of the books rattle around. One particular book—a small, thin one high up on the very top shelf—tipped forward as if in slow motion until it was hanging precariously at an impossible angle, almost as if it was levitating, before tumbling end over end to the floor.
Tyler tried to catch it but he was too slow, and instead it crashed into the stack of papers, scattering them slightly, before it fell flat on its back, right side up right in front of them.
how to conjure
your very own dragon
in six easy steps
…read the front cover of THE BOOK in bright yellow letters against a wavy blue background.
Tyler frowned and Ayana stopped crying for a moment. They both stared at THE BOOK with wide-open eyes, neither of them quite able to believe what they were seeing.
“How to conjure a dragon?” Ayana asked, kneeling forward to grab THE BOOK.
Tyler crawled next to her as she opened the front cover.
THE BOOK was very thin—more like a pamphlet, really— with no table of contents, no copyright page, no dedication page. There wasn’t even an indication of who the author might be. It just went straight into the first chapter, which was entitled:
the water dragon
“A water dragon?” Tyler read over Ayana’s warm shoulder.
Underneath the chapter title was a brief list of the various characteristics of the water dragon.
category: lesser dragon
difficulty: medium
classification: common
Below that was a basic introduction and explanation of the dragon followed by some advice to those who might want to conjure one:
this spell is a relatively simple one, but be forewarned that the water dragon is a damp and clumsy creature, prone to making messes and causing trouble. It is recommended to have plenty of towels at hand when undertaking this conjuring.
Underneath this brief introduction was a list of materials needed to actually conjure the dragon.
required material(s): water, towels (optional)
And last but not least came the instructions, six simple steps to conjuring your very own dragon. Tyler could hardly believe what he was reading. The steps were so simple. Just a series of strangely specific hand gestures performed by two people simultaneously. The instructions even had little helpful sketches to help you understand what to do.
It reminded Tyler of IKEA assembly instructions when his parents bought new furniture and let him put it together for them. But that was furniture made of wood and fabric and those little IKEA screws that needed a special tool to screw them in. This was supposed to be a dragon, whatever that meant. How could such simplistic instructions possibly result in assembling anything, much less an actual dragon?
“We have to try this!” Ayana said excitedly.
To learn more, go to DragonOfTheMonthClub.com