Ary lives high in the cliffs of Mount Ellyd where the wind currents are strong and riding is easy – for everyone but Ary. She had tried everything to help her ride, but nothing works and time is running out. Soon Ary will be forced to move to the Lowlands, leaving behind everything she knows and loves, including the mysterious Prince Cael.
Targeted Age Group:: 8+
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I’ve always been a dreamer and love to create my own worlds. The idea of Skyriders with their specially-shaped wings to ride the wind seemed like it would be fun to develop. They’re like fairies, but they’re NOT fairies. The world also includes Fireriders and Waterriders and is getting more complex as I go. It’s fun!
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
I usually develop a plot first and then come up with characters who can handle whatever situations the plot calls for. In the case of Skyriders, I wanted someone who was independent, strong-willed, and somewhat fierce, but still vulnerable.
“Whoa,” is all I can say when I step through the opening.
The room is full of crystals glittering in the streams of sunshine slanting from multiple holes cut near the ceiling. Some of the crystals are huge, wider than my bedroom and taller than my house, their faceted sides smooth as glass. Some are tiny and grow in clusters among the bigger ones. Most are white, but there are also blues, purples, yellows, and even patches of red.
“Be careful, some are sharp,” Cael warns as we move farther into the room.
“I can’t even see where it ends,” I breathe, peering beyond the slanting sunlight to where more forms take shape in the shadows.
“The chamber is pretty big, and there are more rooms beyond this one,” Cael answers.
“Is this where the glowstones come from too?” I ask.
He shakes his head. “Those are in a different cave.” He glances at the shaft of late afternoon sun and frowns. “I was hoping to get here before the sun went down so you could see it in full light. Maybe next time.”
Next time. I can’t stop myself from smiling.
I take my time exploring the cave. The crystals grow every which way—some straight toward the ceiling, others at angles. Several of the largest have fallen and lie propped against the shattered remains of their brethren, which they destroyed on their way down. There are some with sides as smooth and reflective as any mirror, and some so faceted I can see hundreds of my reflection. The whole place is quiet, reverent even, and there’s an aura of magic and mystery I’ve never felt before.
The Crystal Caves are open to everyone and the schools even take field trips here. But I’ve never been, because no one can carry me this high. No one but …
Cael is across the chamber, wandering around with his hands clasped behind his back. He lives here; he can come to the cave anytime he wants. This trip is specifically for me.
“Why are you being so nice to me?” My voice bounces and echoes around the room.
He turns and raises one eyebrow. “Why shouldn’t I be nice to you?”
“Well, you should,” I say. “But there’s nice and then there’s nice.”
He comes toward me. “So which one is this?” he asks in a slightly husky voice.
I’ve forgotten how to breathe. The crystals throw rainbows of light across his face, and I can see them reflected in his gray eyes as he comes even closer.
“This is nice, definitely,” I squeak.
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