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C. L. Reynolds

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Member Since: Nov, 2008

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The Secret In The Attic
by C. L. Reynolds   

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Category: 

Fantasy

Publisher:  Xulon Press ISBN-10:  1606479008 Type: 
Pages: 

364

Copyright:  2008 ISBN-13:  9781606479001
Fiction

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Forced to move to an old farmhouse in the country after their father’s accident, Jake and Jessica Caden are certain that adventure is the last thing they will find until they stumble upon an entrance into Evurmor: a land of magical Doors, paintings, and enchanted creatures. In the midst of their journey, they soon discover an evil Painter wants them dead, because only those not born in Evurmor can see the hideous Darsai that have been summoned to spread chaos throughout the enchanted kingdoms. Protected by a secret band of Knights and guided by a powerful unicorn, Jake and Jessica learn about faith and courage as they strive to save the kingdoms of Evurmor from creatures no one believes exists. But can the kingdoms unite after so many years of distrust? Do they have the strength to defeat the Darsai?

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Enter the enchanted world of Evurmor, a land of mystical castles, beautiful creatures, and magical Doors that open as portals to other worlds.

Into such a Door fall Jake and his sister Jessica, after chasing a large glowing butterfly that turns out to be a visiting Faerie. The Faerie leads them to secret meeting of Knights, let by a Painter, who are sworn to find a way to defeat the Darsai: hideous creatures that no one born in Evurmor can see. Realizing these children are their greatest weapon, the knights try desperately to keep them safe, even as growing politics on the island of the Painters threatens to unravel the leadership that is needed to unite the kingdoms against this invisible threat.

Though the Painters--a race of blue, green, and violet skinned people who also fell into Evurmor many years ago--can travel in their own paintings, they are caught off guard when apprentices of an evil, banished Painter, manage to kidnap the children and discard them in two very dangerous places.

Responding to the children's calls for help, a winged unicorn gives them two very special gifts, which they at first do not understand. The children finally discover how to use their gifts on a quest to rescue a princess from an island, and free miniature dragons held captive in a painting. But can they overcome their greatest challenge, which is to convince the kingdoms of Evurmor that the invisible Darsai truly exist? And even if the kingdoms believe, how can they defeat an enemy they cannot see? 

Enjoy the adventures of Jake and Jessica in the continuing Chronicles of Evurmor.


Excerpt

Waves splashed cold onto her soaked shoes and she felt panic grip her throat. I will be with you, always, said Chayah’s voice.
Woosigh lumbered like a seal beside Jessica. “Come on, Jessica.”
“Do not be foolish, Woosigh,” said a Mermaid. “She will drown. She is a land being.”
It occurred to Jessica that the Mermaid could be right. But if she lost her nerve now, she would never know what Chayah meant. Could she trust him? What if he gave her extra strength to swim? There was certainly no boat. If nothing happened, she thought, she would just swim back.
With determination, she blocked out the Merina voices getting louder in her head, and walked into the water. A three-foot wave crashed against her and she fought for balance, spitting out salty water. If she did start to drown––would Woosigh try to save her?
With hands straight out in front, like in swimming class, Jessica bravely dove in. Freezing waters engulfed her and she thought surely her heart would stopped beating in the frozen blast. But then it got warmer . . . and warmer. Why, it wasn’t cold at all, just a little cool. And it felt good!
Her head did not hurt like it usually did at the bottom of a pool. How silky the water was against her smooth, supple skin. With a surge of arms and legs, she hurled herself beyond the churning sand of the shoreline and torpedoed into the velvety, violet-blue world.
Her legs began to work as one. Not cumbersome like she remembered, but with strong, fluid kicks. Like a slick seal, she whirled around, under the waves, dodging seaweed and a prickly ledge of coral. Why, it was easy to move in the water, and not nearly as dark as she thought! Moonlight was bright!
She could hold her breath no longer. Chayah! she called out, for the first time realizing how far she was. Water rushed into her throat––for a quick moment she panicked. But the silky, delicious salt water exhaled along the sides of her jaw-line and neck, squishing out of new gills. She tried it again. It was like breathing in snow, crisp and cold, and feeling it squish out of her neck. It revived her. She grinned and bubbles popped out of her mouth.
With arms flat against her sides, she spiraled onward, reveling in the fun of fast, liquid movement. She tried swirling like a sea snake, then did somersaults and loops. Out into deeper water, she kicked with what felt like rubbery legs without bones. Not having gravity was so fun and free!
She reached toward the surface to catch the beams of moonlight, and found that webbing connected her fingers. Her eyes seemed to have grown a thick, transparent lid, making her sight easy and clear. She twisted her now flexible body to view a beautiful bright-green tail. She flapped it and grinned so wide her face hurt. How pretty the long flippers were, gliding like green silk in the water!


Jake edged closer to the light, which seemed to be getting brighter as little flashes of fire erupted in the pit, like lava boiling slowly up from beneath. How had the creature survived such heat?
Wow, Jake thought, looking over the lizard-like body and webbed wings. You’re a little dragon … just like a little, miniature dragon. Instantly, he thought of the dragon guardians on Pikk’s wall, which made him miss his friends dearly.
“Hmmm, what should I call you? . . . besides Piggy.”
With a sudden jerk, the little dragon burped, and out shot a spark of light.
“Whoah! . . . Cool! You made a spark! Hey . . . I’ll bet when you get bigger, you can shoot a giant flame!” Thoughts of having a dragon for a pet––especially one that could shoot flames at someone he did not like––filled Jake’s mind with glee. “How about Sparky? That’s what I’ll call you.”
Shifting stones with his sturdy red Gnome shoes, Jake sat down on a boulder with his clinging bundle. The creature snuggled against Jake’s chest and peered up into his eyes. Warmth and love and gratitude poured from the little dragons’ heart. Jake smiled. He really could hear the dragons thoughts––he had not imagined it. Jake stroked the scaly head, which was nearly dry now. Soft spikes stuck up from it. Others ran down Sparky’s neck ridges toward his barbed tail.
The dragonet purred a rough, gravelly purrr. Jake grinned.
“Well, Sparky, how are we going to get out of here? You picked a bad place to be born. Where’s your mother, anyway?”
Sparky rested his chin on Jake’s dirt-covered camouflage shirt, steadily gazing up with shiny red eyes. Suddenly he flexed his nostrils and sniffed the air.
A warm breeze whipped about Jake’s face. He squinted his eyes to find the direction. The sweet smell was back. A tingly feeling dance through Jake’s limbs. Warm and bursting with life, it reminded him briefly of the beautiful valley.
Bright light blasted suddenly into the chamber. Jake flinched, but through the fingers of his upraised hand he watched the light swirl until it became a huge unicorn, glowing milky white, with wings that touched the cave ceiling and seemed to go through it.
“Young one. You called me.” The creature’s golden eyes fixed on Jake. Jake’s heart thumped wildly. But no words came from his lips. He stood frozen.
The Unicorn smiled. Something about him was so familiar to Jake. A great warmth burst from Jake’s soul, and he ran forward, wrapping his arms around the creature’s neck. He would have stayed there forever had not something squirmed furiously at his stomach.
“Oh!” Jake stepped back. A small red head chirruped and squawked loudly in protest.




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