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


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!

Why readers will love The Stolen Dragon of Quanx

If you are like me and like to reread books to find clues and themes that you did not catch initially, this book is for you!  It’s written for kids who love adventure and fantasy.  I did not write it with a lesson in mind.  I wrote it like the books that I love to read!  I love to reread books that have hidden clues to events that will occur later in the plot.  I think my story does a great job secretly foreshadowing, which is one of my favorite things about it.

Also, all the dragon’s names are in Dragontongue, so the reader will not know what their names technically mean until they can decode the language.  Readers will learn more about deciphering it in the second book, but many of my fans have still managed to write to me in Dragontongue!  It adds another dimension to my book. People love learning about the little things that are in the first book, like the plural of “mofek” is “mofekj”!

There are other aspects that are pretty cool, too.  For example, the story of the various swords used by the tribesfolk are interesting and  unique.  You learn the story of Kale’s sword, which is meaningful in the book and in the future books.  You may not understand it in your first read, though.

Then there are many characters, some of whom don’t have a big part in this story.  I remember how, in the first Harry Potter book, Blaise Zabini is mentioned during the Sorting Ceremony, but we don’t see him again until book six.  I love that!  I love finding all the hidden treats in books.  Some of my characters are like Blaise Zabini – they’re introduced in the first book, but you won’t see a real purpose for them until later in the trilogy.

Then there are the tribes and dissecting their qualities.  They all have different traditions and purposes.  All the people have names specific to their tribes – the people of one tribe all have names that start with V, and the other three tribes have Irish names, Hawaiian names, and English names.  The tribes have distinguishing insults and different fashion styles.  They hunt and eat food unique to their respective territories.

Of course there is the straight up adventure, honesty, loyalty, deceit and daring.  Kale hides the fact she is a girl so she can train as a warrior.  This is illegal as girls aren’t expected to go on adventures.  She gets stuck in dark and rank tunnels for days, sees people killed, nearly loses an eye, and has a dragon haunt her in her dreams, all while losing her friends and feeling responsible for bringing war to Quanx.  She questions her actions and motives which change as the book progresses. She makes loyal friends and scary enemies.

One of my characters, Paka, has a big backstory, but there are too many secrets to highlight Paka here. Readers are saddened by Paka’s story and want to know how she came to be the person she is.  I wonder what they will think about Paka in book two!

Sawyer is another character everyone has an opinion about.  I am always curious about what readers think of him and whether or not they think he is good by the end.  He is certainly a victim of his circumstances and you are hopeful when he makes the right choices and disappointed when he doesn’t.

I could go on and on about everyone in the book.  Tyler has been a common favorite. As you learn in the book, he likes to protect his eye color.  He is one character who remains true to his goodness. I have been told Brandon, Velvet, Vulia and Winikona are favorites as well!

The eye color distinguishing a person is woven in.  It’s speculated that dragon eye color may mean something. Tribes like to match their horses to their eyes. Tyler hides a big secret – his eyes change with what he wears.  He was hoping to grow out of it.

I love how my story ends!  It is not what the reader hopes for or thinks the outcome will be. I am told there are many twists that are not suspected. I keep getting emails about where people can sign up to get the next novel once it’s completed!