What if what once was beliefe… is now truth?
Sinya and Taylinn go off into space in search of Taylinn’s father, Jasper, and Sinya’s home world Earth. Along the way they meet new friends and explore new worlds by way of The Chronicle Gate but when Taylinn’s sister and friends from Ethereal get pulled into the battle of Mer-Dragons they all must learn to do the one thing they were taught was against the Fay Goddess law: Fight! Or Ethereal may be doomed to destruction. In order to learn to fight though they have to travel to Alphine, the plain of the Fay! Discovering a mystery about the Elousen race.
Targeted Age Group:: 8-12
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I first had the idea when a friend of mine bought me “Inkheart” by Cornelia Funk then after that series I began reading other middle grade fantasy books like “Fablehaven” by Brandon Mull “The Chronicle of Narnia” by C.S. Lewis and became hooked. Other fantasy books inspired me too like “Magic Kingdom of Landover” series by Terry Brooks, “Gatemage” by Orson Scott Card and “Books of Umber” by P.W. Catanese. I started working on this trilogy in 2006 after I wrote my urban fantasy novel “The Lost Angels.”
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
When I was in Jujitsu at twelve, I remember seeing kids as young as five years old taking lessons so drew and mixed from those experiences. But instead made my characters around seven and eight.
1 : Beyond the Gate
Taylinn hid herself among the trees, concealed by the branches and leaves. She burrowed into her cloak, glad that the darkness hid her fur along her arms and legs. Her sharp-hearing, elf-like ears listened for any movement. Her eyes enhanced the surrounding area. Where did he go? she wondered, gripping her staff in her hands. Taylinn’s tail twitched, ready to strike at a moment’s notice. Suddenly in the distance a figure, wearing a cloak flew by.
She leaped into the air. Her tail shot to a branch and pulled her forward. She hoped to gain momentum on the human.
Sinya jumped from branch to branch using a spear hook that shot out from a staff, his cloak billowing behind him as he zipped along. Landing on a branch, he then turned to face her.
With Taylinn’s jumping skills, she appeared in front of Sinya with her staff held out before her at the ready. “You’re getting good using your weapon to get away,” she said. “But have you learned to defend yourself?”
Sinya held his staff high and struck down as she made a block with her own. Every time she moved to throw him off balance, the wood struck against wood while Sinya deflected Taylinn’s weapon. Without warning the branch they fought on vanished beneath their feet. Not now! Taylinn thought.
The smell of mossy pine was replaced by a wet odor and the ground now was covered in slush. They landed with a thud in snow. Taylinn pushed herself up and shook the flakes off her face. Looking across from her, Sinya stood with his arms crossed rubbing his shoulders. Taylinn’s ears picked up on his teeth chattering as if they were right in her ears, thanks to her pointed ears that could home in on things from miles away. She smirked. I’ll win this fight easily, she thought. She still couldn’t get used to his furless arms after all these months with the human.
“Come on, don’t be a baby. It’s not that cold,” she said.
“You have fur covering your body.” He trembled out his words. His legs were shaking.
Taylinn rolled her eyes. “Excuses, excuses.” She picked up his staff and threw it toward him. He caught it in his hands before it hit his face and his expression was one of surprise. “You think the enemy is going to care?” She raised her wooden staff high above her and brought it downward toward Sinya, but at the last minute, Taylinn was stunned to see Sinya’s staff blocking her own. Taylinn stepped sideways through the slush, studying his body for an opening. She attacked again but each time Sinya blocked her until she caught him in the stomach causing him to double over then struck him on the back just to say “gotcha.”
When Sinya recovered he stood. His soft green eyes focused on her.
Taylinn’s sharp eyes saw a green glow come from Sinya’s hand which was aimed at her. A beam emitted from his ring. The beam streaked toward her. Holding up her hand, she created a shield that deflected the rays with her own ring. But then more rays launched toward Taylinn leaving her surprised that she didn’t have time to activate her ring. She flipped over the streaks. When she landed on her feet, she launched her tail. It slithered underneath the cold snow then wrapped around Sinya’s feet. He went down. She leapt on top of him and pointed the end of her staff with a sharp spike at his neck.
Sinya was breathing hard and he wiped tears from his eyes. “That hurt!”
Taylinn reached out her hand to help him up. “You’re getting better with those weapons. You surprised me this time.”
“Thank you,” Sinya said, trying to control his teeth. He looked at the tip of his staff that had a spike on it. “I like your invention. It works like a grappling hook. Very cool.”
“I do take after my dad,” Taylinn said, crossing her arms, “I’ll be the next great inventor.”
“Can—can we get warm now?”
Taylinn started walking toward an area of the frozen ground when the world started to shake. We’re being attacked. She ran on all fours then grabbed at something invisible from the ground. One by one the high mountain peaks faded, the frozen ground turned to metal, and the cold air warmed up.
Sinya looked around the metal ship they were on as if the fading hologram was new to him.
Taylinn ran down the passage into the cockpit taking her seat and hitting some buttons to get control of the Titania.
Sinya sat next to her, then screamed out.
But it didn’t take long to see what Sinya had seen.
Many rocks and huge space debris darted in their direction. A rock grazed off the ship, jolting it. A device of some sort hammered into the side. Taylinn searched over the buttons. “Where were the lasers at again?”
Sinya pressed a button causing a LED screen to read ‘weapons armed.’
Taylinn smirked. Oh, yes. He said he has a good memory. I knew there was a reason I brought him, she thought, taking the joystick in front of her and moving it around while aiming at the target on the screen. She fired, blasting a large panel that approached them from the south. Then she fired at an object that looked like a large bow tie that exploded before it reached them. She flipped a switch. “Keep shooting. I’m getting us out of here.”
Sinya looked at her with wild eyes.
“Just do it!” she snapped. Sinya took the controls in front of him while she maneuvered the ship through the space junk. Through the window, she saw a strange round device coming up on the north, rocks flew at them from every direction. “Coming up on the west, to your right, that’s the wrong side!” Boom! The ship shook from all sides.
“Sorry,” he said.
She growled. “Fire at that thing!” Two long tanks came into view, and then the tanks got zapped into oblivion. She slapped him on the back. “Good job.” She moved the ship carefully around the junk. She gave Sinya direction to where to fire and he aimed at the large items before they smashed into the ship. What seemed like hours to Taylinn was only minutes and the junk thinned out, sending them back to open space.
Sinya panted but still had a tight grip on the joystick.
Taylinn eased his fingers off, and then wiped his forehead of sweat with her cloak. “You’re not useless after all.” She smirked at him.
She walked toward the window and stared at the debris they had just dodged. I didn’t think space itself would be so dangerous! She wiped her face with her cloak. Who would have thought an eight -year- old human and nine -year- old Elousen would be in space searching together for her father? Certainly not her mother. According to her sister Avigale, who she spoke to from the planet LaTarus, their mother wasn’t doing so well after discovering her daughter and the human she was in charge of both gone.
She touched the window and gazed into the blackness of space. There were no stars, no light at all. Taylinn’s eyes could see in the dark but they couldn’t see a planet. Maybe this is why Captain Ajanta didn’t want to come this way. He knew he’d be lost. Just like us. “Not a planet in sight.” Taylinn sighed. A tear hung in her eye. She jumped when a hand touched her shoulder. She wiped the tear away before facing Sinya.
“Why would Malic be holding your dad captive if he forced your dad to work for him?”
Taylinn shook her head, “I don’t really know. It’s odd that my dad would have worked for such a nasty person.” Taylinn squeezed her fist. Why would you have worked for such a creature, Dad?
Sinya fell silent. “I’m getting hungry.”
Taylinn went through some of the crates that Lester and his men loaded on the ship for them. She found some sandwiches and passed one and ate one herself. She didn’t realize she was hungry until she started eating.
“I can’t wait for you to meet my mom and Dad,” Sinya said breaking the silence, “you’ll like them.”
Hopefully they don’t try to send me back home like Captain Ajanta tried to do on LaTaras, Taylinn thought, finishing her sandwich.
Sinya looked down at his ring and started playing with it when he finished eating. “Should we practice some more?” Sinya asked. He ran his finger over the green stone in the middle of the ring. “I want to get better at shooting my ring and maybe it will warm me up.”
At least he’s amusing and I’m not here alone, Taylinn thought. Even if it is with a human. “Okay,” she said, nodding. Besides, it’s fun to whip your butt. As Taylinn adjusted her ring and went for the square cube that changed the ship into a hologram, a beep came from the controls. She peered at them, then looked through the window. Not seeing a planet, she tapped at the screen and frowned at it. Sinya joined her.
“Did you find something?” Sinya asked.
“No,” Taylinn said. “But I wonder if it could be Misty following us?”
“Misty is one of those in the cloaks helping us, right?”
Taylinn shook her head. Human ears are too small I’m sure they need everything repeated to them. “Again, yes she is. Turns out she’s been helping us all this time,” Taylinn screwed up her eyes. “I wonder what she meant by ‘how the timeline may go now?’ She said she couldn’t talk to us directly.”
A gasp shook Taylinn out of her deep thoughts. “What now?” But when she looked up, she gasped at what Sinya saw through the view window. It was a small orb. Taylinn scanned the computer. “It’s Earth.” she gasped. The blackness of space seemed to disappear as they approached the planet. Now he’s going to want to go home. But I can’t do this on my own.
2 : Captured
With his face to the glass, Sinya’s heart sped up. “Mom, Dad. I’m home,” he whispered. While the planet got closer, his eyes got bigger. He could see the houses in his mind right now. See his parents’ faces. His mother, head of curls, would shower him with kisses. His tall dad, compared to his mother, would be in his suit and top hat, embracing him. His babysitter would demand to know what happened to him at once, most likely. She and Karla are almost the same, he thought. A hug from the teen and a stern lecture.
Sinya didn’t care. He was home. Taylinn steered the ship at an angle so they could make out a cluster of shiny stars
near the planet that looked as if they didn’t belong. A creepy feeling crawled up Sinya’s back. “Are those stars?”
Sinya looked at Taylinn who stared out the window.
“Ships. I think I’ll stay on this side.” She looked at him. “I thought your parents build ships?”
“Only on other planets. Never seen a ship up close before except this one.” They descended toward the left side of the planet. Sinya’s stomach lurched as the ship fell from space. Vast colors swarmed in front of Sinya. Neon blue, piercing white light. He blinked to adjust his eyes until they could see the clear sky and the bright sun he had to shield his eyes. Approaching the earth’s surface, he stared out in the distance to see blue and pink colors. Tips flashed from the reflection of the sun. The lush green grass of the clearing that they headed, he saw the same group of silver stars. Or, as Taylinn called them, ships. Sinya wiped tears from his eyes as the ship came to rest on the field. His hand print was left on the window when he took it away and
ran down the ramp as it lowered toward the ground. I can’t believe I’m home! At least there’s people here. Most of all I miss my parents and friends though.
Sinya felt more tears coming to his eyes as he looked around. To his left the emerald field stretched across the land. To his right, the cluster of silver, pointed ships. On closer inspection, Sinya noted they had a green moon symbol on all six of them at the bottom.
“Stay away from them,” Taylinn ordered. Sinya spun to see her coming down the ramp, holding a cloak in her hand. She tossed it to him. “Put it on, so we’re somewhat hidden.”
“Hidden from what? I’m human.”
She looked toward the darkened path before them. “Something doesn’t feel right. My tail can sense it.” She went on ahead.
Sinya threw on his cloak and followed.
They trudged on through the grass and some mud, which Sinya slipped in a couple of times. The sun was low, the moon to their left appeared faded, waiting to become full. Sinya looked ahead and saw that they approached a city. His heart swelled, and he burst into tears. He could already feel the fuzz of his father’s jacket. Smell a sweet fragrance coming from his mother’s dress when he hugged them both. He wiped his cheeks and smiled. Mom, Dad, I’m coming, he thought.
Taylinn froze and held her arm out to stop Sinya from going any further. “We’re not alone,” she whispered. A fog appeared and swarmed around them. Sinya grabbed Taylinn’s arm. He became very cold. When the fog departed the children were surrounded by humans wearing black shirts with a symbol. A circle of rings. They all held their palms out toward the kids. Sinya squeezed Taylinn’s arm. He began to shake and whimper.
A couple of the humans spoke in different languages.
Sinya swallowed. We’re going to die, he thought. Sinya felt Taylinn slip her hand underneath her cloak then stopped when a man in a hat spoke.
“What do you think, general, Kal? Think they’re spies?” one of them asked in basic language.
“They’re only children.” A female with blond hair lowered her hand. Then she spoke in another language.
A man with sunglasses stepped toward Taylinn and sized her hand. “They may be children, but they could still be spies.” He held her hand up and took the ring. “See, stolen property. And it’s not even human,” he said, throwing off the hood of her cloak to reveal her fur. “As I thought. Spies.”
“Run!” Taylinn ordered.
Sinya panicked and before he knew it a group of the people were on top of them. Sinya kicked and screamed but it was no use. Taylinn bit and clawed but still they dragged them off and threw them into a metal cage.
“Take them to the Crystal Palace. The Emperor will know what to do.”
The cage began moving. Below the cage, Sinya saw robotic legs moving forward. His stomach flipped flopped as they moved toward the darkness. A Crystal Palace?
3 : The Emperor of Earth
Taylinn and Sinya huddled in their cloaks for the remainder of their journey as the carriage swayed from the robotic legs. When Taylinn swiped at the bars, they shocked her. Just a jolt, but enough to know not to do it again. Clouds soon turned grey and a light rain began. The woman with blond hair peered at the children and gave a soft smile and mouthed. “Sorry.”
Taylinn put her hood over her head and crossed her arms. I bet, she thought. She looked at Sinya who stared out through the bars. But this is how we treated him when he first came to our planet. We just didn’t use a cage. Taylinn narrowed her eyes, hating herself for feeling this way.
Sinya looked toward Taylinn. “This isn’t my earth. There are trees over there. Our trees are in buildings.”
Taylinn sighed. “Where’s Misty and her friend when you need them?” They passed through an archway and looked around to see people taking shelter from the rain and going into pointed crystal houses. All lit up, blue, pink, neon, and purple. With her enhanced vision, Taylinn thought she saw a lizard walking on two legs hurrying into a building. “Where are we?” she asked. She huffed and turned around when she didn’t receive a response.
Taylinn and Sinya both gasped when they saw a huge purple crystal towering over them. The robotic spider-like legs came to a halt at the entrance. The legs folded into the sides of the cage with a clanking sound as the cage lowered to the ground. The men unlocked the cage and pulled the kids out, then forced them through the door.
The shiny walls sparkled like multicolored gems, including the cold floor that they stood on. Long hallways went off in all directions before them. Sinya gasped while looking around.
“Let’s move.” One of the people from behind said. “We’ve got things to do.”
They were pushed toward the hallway to the left. For a few minutes, they were in darkness. A drumbeat grew behind Sinya’s ears.
“Hold onto my cloak,” Taylinn whispered. He did. A brisk coldness swept over them. Rushing water could be heard off to their right. Taylinn’s eyes began to cut through the darkness. The wall in this area was made of black stone, like a curtain before the main act. A small waterfall splashed onto the ground. Someone clad in a green robe observed them motionlessly. Well-guarded she noted. Able to spring sneak attacks. The light returned when they emerged from the hallway to find spiral stairs ascending. A single guard stood at the foot of the stairs, but Taylinn sensed that there were more around them.
“What business do these children have with the Emperor and Empress?” he asked in a gruff voice, nodding toward the two.
“We bring spies,” the man with a beard said.
“We are not spies!” Taylinn stated. The guard stepped aside, and the group marched upwards. The stairs look to be made of crystal, sparkles of blue and purple gleamed from the steps. The wall of the stairs that held it up was made of crystal too. The air became warmer as they climbed. Sinya grabbed onto Taylinn’s cloak again, from fear of falling, for there was no wall following up. Everything looked to be so clean Taylinn had to wonder, If he’s this particular with ordering a job well done, I dread to know how he is with enemies.
The stairs kept rounding on upward. Sinya stayed close to Taylinn at all times while she kept her eyes ahead. Her feet hit the smooth, polished steps. Behind them, she felt someone spying. They must have been fifteen feet up by the time they reached the top. They came to a landing with a door. The man with the beard opened it. Beyond, a long bright hallway. The
neon light seemed to come from everywhere. The floor and walls gleamed. They all winced from the light for a moment. Entering, Taylinn looked in awe. The walls were lined with diamonds in the center. Avigale would love this, she thought moving along the corridor toward huge silver double doors. Two circular windows were above the diamonds, on either side of the walls.
“It’s like from a dream,” Sinya whispered.
Approaching the double doors at the end, they all stopped. The silver doors swung inward on their own. Taylinn narrowed her eyes in suspicion. So, they know magic like Mage Nimus. Crossing the threshold onto the same smooth floor, Taylinn quickly scanned everything and everyone in the small circular room.
First thing she noticed was that not all the people were human. Some looked to have green lizard faces. They were covered in light blue robes with hoods over their heads. Their yellow eyes peered at her.
One of them stepped forward. “And who do we have here?” His fork tongue flickered at them. Sinya jumped. “Who did the Orion Order find?”
“Spies, my Lord,” the bearded one said.
“But they’re only children,” a woman clad in white robes said. She did have a human face. She sat in a throne chair next to a man wearing a red robe, who was also human. They held hands. The man’s other hand held a long scepter that touched to the floor. The woman’s soft blue eyes seemed to smile at the kids.
The head man grabbed Sinya’s hand and took off the ring and held them before the couple in the chairs and kneeled. “Thieves as well.”
Taylinn glared at Sinya. “You had your ring but didn’t use it?”
“I was so scared I forgot.”
I The man in the robes stood and took the rings. “Thank you, Kal. But I don’t think we have anything to worry about from children. Even if they do belong to our enemies.”
“Who are you? Is this earth?” Taylinn asked.
The woman now stood by the man on the top of three steps covered in blue carpet. “This is,” she said. “And where are you from and what are your names?”
“Ethereal. I’m Taylinn and this is Sinya. We came searching for his home but he says this isn’t it.”
“It doesn’t look the same,” Sinya added.
The man in the red robe scratched his chin. “I’m sorry, this is my wife Empress Tara and I’m Emperor Emera—” A siren sounded from everywhere. A green being approached showing him some sort of computer.
“Emperor, the Martians are getting close. We can cut them off in time.” His tail hit the ground.
“You’re right, Donnon,” Emera said. He kissed his wife as he handed his scepter to another green lizard who took it away. “Take the kids to the safe tower. We’ll figure out what to do when this threat is resolved.” He then threw off his robe and drew two swords from his waist. He nodded toward the children. “I wish we would have met on different circumstances, but we are at war. Double O’s let’s go.” He headed toward the door and the group of Double O’s and the lizard people followed.
The Empress led the children through a door off to the right. Before going through Taylinn had a strange feeling again. Still not alone? Ascending stairs that were outside this time, she slipped her hand underneath her cloak for her staff but Sinya grabbed her arm. Nine years old and still a baby, she thought.
They reached a battlement that was made of silver. Three people were at posts on either side staring out. Taylinn saw groups of armies charging each other far below. Taylinn explained how they came here through a Chronicle Gate to find her dad from their planet Ethereal.
guess I should have used mine too.
“We’ll find a way to get you back to your mom,” the Empress said, “And I’m sure I would recall if I saw your dad.” Climbing a few more stairs they came to a tower with a door, which Tara opened and ushered the children inside. They followed a brightly lit wall that bent toward the right until they found another door. Tara unlocked the door with a key and opened it to a big room. “You’ll be safe here,” she declared. “Safest room we have.”
If we stay in here, we’re going to be defenseless. Maybe if we can help them. Taylinn turned. “But we know how to fight. We’ve been practicing with those rings and we found them not stole them.”
“You? War is no place for kids. Much less should they see it.” She turned and went to the door. “I’ll check on you to be sure you’re fed in a bit.” She slammed the door shut with an echo.
Taylinn frowned at the door as she listened to Empress Tara’s footsteps disappear. “I’m ten!” The walls were lined with gemstones. The carpet a deep blue. Off to a corner were what looked to be toys. In another corner looked to be cots for beds. “I guess they’ve prepared for this.”
“What do we do now? They have our rings,” Sinya said. Looking at the toys and pulling them out.
Taylinn rolled her eyes. “Find a way out of here.” She began feeling the walls. “Before whoever is following us attacks and we have nowhere to go.”
Sinya stopped bouncing a ball. “Who’s following us?”
“I don’t know.” Taylinn examined the carpet then looked toward the high ceiling. “I wonder?” Taking her stick out of her cloak, it extended to about three feet. At least they didn’t search my cloak. Looking toward the door, she heard footsteps approach. But it wasn’t just one. It was many. The door unlocked and swung opened. It was the Empress but she had someone with her.
A girl around thirteen maybe. “This is my daughter, Princess Everline. She’ll be staying with you too.” Tara held out her hand. “This is Taylinn, an Elousen, and that’s Sinya.” When they’re led to this room, it felt like they were being contained in a jail-like room. But now the Empress wants her daughter to stay with them? There are some leaps in logic here…
The Princess curtseyed in her silver dress. “Please to meet you.”
Empress Tara stepped forward. “And I’ve seemed to have found some—”
Taylinn turned the middle of the staff causing sharp spikes to emerge from either end of the staff. “Enough of this protective stuff. We want our weapons back to help and no isn’t an option.”
Evelina hid behind her mother, but Empress Tara’s soft features turned into a scowl. Holding up her hand, a purple glow sprang from a ring on her finger, knocking Taylinn into a wall.
What was that! Taylinn’s head ached. Opening her eyes, she only saw shimmer of tears. She wanted to stand but couldn’t due to a numbness of her body. She was hoisted up by her ear.
“You never use a weapon on me again,” the Empress cried. She let go of her ear then stocked out the door. “If you try that on my daughter, you’ll be sorry. Wish we had another safe location but since we don’t, you have to stay with this bunch.” The Empress closed the door and locked it.
Taylinn was still blinking her tears away. “Was that supposed to hurt?” she laughed.
“Maybe this will.” she heard someone say. A tail struck her face that brought more tears. After blinking them away, she looked to see who had slapped her. Before her stood the Princess along with Taylinn’s friends and sister.
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