Microcerpt: Nothing but Fear

Sawyer and PejjenvekOnce the dragon appeared, Sawyer forgot all of his anger. He forgot how angry he was at Velvet—how dare she order him around? He forgot his anger at the newcomer, Kale, and her big mouth. He forgot his anger at his father, which had been building up for the past week. He forgot his constant hunger from lack of food. He forgot everything except his fear.

“I am Pejjenvek,” the dragon said, responding to Kale, “of Hkiye Janx.”

The golden dragon studied all of them, and then its gaze landed on Sawyer. Sawyer didn’t know whether to be frightened, brave, or if he should just make a run for Velvet’s horse. All he could see was the golden dragon. He was too afraid to look at it, but he needed to know what color his eyes were. His father had told him many years ago that, if you feared someone, you had to memorize their eyes. You had to remember those eyes all your life. They gave you an advantage over your opponent. The dragon’s eyes were who it was. So, with fright, Sawyer looked up.

The dragon was huge. It stood at least seven meters above the ground. One look at the spikes that ran down its back and tail, and Sawyer knew one of them could impale him with ease. Sawyer could barely make out the eye color from down there, but he did know that when he met those eyes, he could feel them almost burning into his soul. They were golden eyes, just like the color of its scales. He didn’t like this dragon. There was something about it that only Sawyer could understand, which made absolutely no sense. It was cunning and dangerous, just like Sawyer was.

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2015 IAN Book of the Year Finalist!

The Stolen Dragon of Quanx was selected as a Finalist in the 2015 Independent Author Network Book of the Year Awards in the “Children’s Fiction” category! IAN Finalist

Cover Etching!

Cover etchingMy sister designed a computer program that etches book covers! Here she’s doing The Stolen Dragon of Quanx!

Book Trailer Released!

The Stolen Dragon of Quanx Book Trailer Released!

Microcerpt: Harsh Reality

Karl eyeShe looked at the peasant.  His hot pink eyes met her eye as his knees buckled and he fell to the ground with a large thump.  They were full of anger and hatred for everything that she had done. Everything that she had ruined. Then they were empty.

Karl was dead.

The reality of it all hit her instantly.  She had killed someone.

Her eyes were wide with horror at the whole experience.  She looked around at her surroundings for the first time since the battle.  Rodrigue’s mouth was wide open, his jaw gaping as he stared at his fallen cousin while the other peasants looked around uncertainly.

Then Kale looked behind her and saw the face of her allies.

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Microcerpt: Dragontongue

JyakPaka remained silent for a little while before replying with cautious words, “It was my father’s sword before it was mine. He named it ‘Jyak’ after something in Dragontongue. No one knows what it means, obviously.  You know, Mokunu, a lot of things are named in Dragontongue.  Like ‘Jeykeh’. It doesn’t make sense.”

Kale didn’t ask him exactly what didn’t make sense. Instead, she asked, “Can I look at it?”

Paka didn’t slow down as he unsheathed Jyak and held it out for Kale to examine.  It was a strange sword.  It looked rather plain, other than the fact that the blade was blue. The hilt glowed silver and had an old cloth wrapped around it. Looking at the blade was almost blinding. The moon reflected the startling blue as it caught the light. As it glimmered, Kale noticed it had a very long scratch from the very tip of the sword that went almost all the way to the hilt. She gazed at the weapon in wonder.

“How did it get scratched?” asked Kale.

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Microcerpt: One of the Few to Lay Eyes on Hkiye Janx

DragonCrouching behind a pine tree that Kale guessed would offer a good view, she peeked her left eye out of her hiding place.  There was a bright flash of red light that almost blinded her. Resisting the urge to jump to her feet and unsheathe her sword, Kale sat there trying not to move. Moving would only give away her position.  As soon as the sun drifted behind one of the few clouds in the sky, Kale found that she was looking at a blazing-red dragon. It was barely a hundred meters from her hiding place.

As she blinked the bright spots out of her eye, she noticed that the red dragon wasn’t the only one.  There were about twenty in all: half of them were huge and their scales were a bright mixture of reds, golds, yellows, and oranges.  The other half were small and dull and their dark-green, brown, and black scales blended perfectly with the landscape.  The dragons were intermixed on two sides of a shallow looking and slow-flowing river. The river cut through a giant clearing.

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Microcerpt: Property of Elise Translunski

Sword

In her hand was a gleaming bright silver sword with a green pommel and a miniscule sparkling emerald on the hilt. It was a little longer than Jyak, but much thinner. It was, in Kale’s eyes, a perfect sword. The weight felt like an extension of  her arm. She turned it over in her hands, feeling the tip and weighing it in both  arms. Only then did she catch the small words that were engraved halfway up the blade. It said:

Property of Elise Translunski

Kale gaped at the writing in awe. The name “Elise” was obviously a peasant woman’s name.

Paka had just rounded the last bend and called, “Mokonu, what are you doing up here? I thought….” His voice trailed  away as he spotted the sword in her arm. He seemed like he was a slight loss for words, but quickly recovered. “Where did you get that sword?”

Kale’s voice sounded strangely distant as she replied, “Under that boulder….”

Paka moved toward the boulder and pushed it away with a hard shove. How he did that, Kale did not know, but she did not ask to find out. She gazed back at Elise Translunski’s perfect sword. What was a sword doing under that boulder? It must have been under there for years, yet the sword looked brand  new.

“Um…Paka?” Kale asked. The boy was still gazing under where the boulder had been before he had moved it. He was probably looking for more treasure.

“Yes?” he said, without turning to look at her. Luno sniffed under the boulder beside him. The poor dog was panting from the long run.

“Did Haikeni ever mention a peasant named ‘Translunski’?” Master Haikeni was their history teacher. Kale always found it very hard to concentrate in his classes, due to it being the first subject after their six hours of training.

Paka now turned to face her. “Why do you ask?” he asked.

“I was just wondering. Now will you answer the question, please?” she snapped.

“No,” Paka said stubbornly, and went back to his search.

Her temper, which had been rising the whole day today, suddenly overflowed. “Paka, I want to know who this Translunski is right now and I’m not taking ‘no’ for an answer!” she shouted, her voice echoing through the mountains.

Paka looked unperturbed by her outburst. “Fine, then. I don’t know. Happy?”

“No, I’m not! Paka, this is important. I need to know who this Translunski is! Please, tell me!”

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Why Parents Should Let Their Kids Have Smartphones

Here’s an interesting fact that I haven’t told anyone: I wrote the first three chapters and prologue of my book on my phone when I was eleven while driving to swim practice. I remember just typing away in the notes app. Between school, swimming, and triathlon I didn’t have much time to sit and write…except when I was in the car.

I tried writing my stories with pen and paper, but it never seemed to work out. Sometimes I couldn’t decipher my own handwriting. Other times I lost pages. Sometimes the folder and pages got wet in my swim bag. And the ever-growing folder that contained my stories wasn’t very portable. And writing on paper in the car (which was pretty much the only time I ever had the time to write) is not very pleasant.

So when I finally got my first smartphone, I was ecstatic. Not to text my friends, but to write. I saw it as a portable infinite piece of paper. None of the pages would get lost or wet. It was much lighter, easier to read, and I could write in the car without worrying if the next pothole was going to ruin it.

I rewrote the first few chapters about a year ago, but I’ve kept the prologue the same. Note to parents: it’s not bad to give your kids a phone at a young age! They might be doing something creative with it!

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