The blogging of my book continues! You can pre-order it onKindle, iBooks, and Kobo, and I encourage you to do so if you enjoy the blog (Only $2.99 while on pre-order, $4.99 after). If you are intrigued and want to know what happens now…
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When the book goes live (November 15), it would be great if you have a review ready to go (hint hint). You can also pre-order book 2, Allie Strom and the Sword of the Spirit, which will go live mid-December (just in time for Christmas).
PLOT: Allie discovers that her new necklace and an unlikely friend are her keys to traveling across the world to save her mom from a cult and their otherworldly leader, and in the process learns that she has a greater destiny.
Without further ado, let’s dive into my MG novel, Allie Strom and the Ring of Solomon.
Allie lifted her arm and desired the power again, the intense force that had shot at Paulette. All around her the rocks of the mountain seemed to fade into darkness, the sky smothered her in a thick black mist. The power came, coursing through her fingers to blast Paulette in the forehead. Instantly Allie felt her insides churn and found herself on the ground coughing up blood. She heard laughter and looked up to see Paulette’s face shadow over and her eyes turn a fiery red. Paulette turned toward the army and broke into a run.
Allie stood, clutching her stomach. Blood dripped down her arm and chin. Paulette sprinted towards the giant, her hand held high, the ring between her forefinger and thumb. Then Allie saw another face she knew. Behind the giant Chris ran for Paulette, Allie’s necklace in his hands. He smiled wickedly. An aura glowed from the ring as the two drew close, surrounding the dark forces as if they all emanated from the ring. Something told Allie she could not let the ring and the necklace be united, not by those two.
But utter hopelessness took over. She knew she couldn’t reach them in time. She fought back tears, refusing to be afraid of death. But Daniel…
A screech sounded and Allie looked up to see an eagle circling the darkness, rays of light cutting through the thick clouds. Allie recognized the eagle from the woods by her house, she was sure of it. This was the moment to act. She pushed herself forward, running all out. Daniel appeared, still unconscious and rotating in the black shadow before her. She would save him or die trying.
Allie gained on Paulette, but she wasn’t fast enough. The eagle screech sounded again, and Allie was moving faster than she knew was humanly possible. Was she flying? She looked up to see a fifteen foot wing-span, and she thought for a moment she had grown wings. But no, it was the eagle, and it was carrying her. Its wings spread wide, chopping through the purple haze and dark shadows, carrying her forward.
Chris’s eyes opened wide, his mouth yelling curses she couldn’t hear. Paulette turned, her hand almost touching his. Allie crashed into Paulette. The ring flew into the air. The eagle grasped it in its talons, delivering it to Allie before circling into the sky.
As Paulette and Chris stared in horror, Allie placed the ring on her finger. Then she turned to the stone from her necklace in Chris’s hands.
“That’s mine,” she said as she pounced and snatched her necklace away. At the same moment the spell around Daniel snapped and he fell to the ground by a nearby stream, coughing and rubbing his throat. The army froze. The giant turned on Daniel, but then paused, looking back at Allie.
“What’re you doing?” Daniel mumbled, his eyes slowly opening. “What’s going on?”
Everyone turned to Allie. Pulsating light surrounded her. She felt its warmth coursing through her flesh, flowing between her fingers and tossing her hair, covering her in a dim glow. It grew bright, emanating from the objects in her hands, pulling at each other like magnets. They joined with a bang and an explosion of light. When the light faded she held the ring, the rock firmly in place in the ring’s center.
The Giant roared and turned on Daniel, picking him off the ground before slamming him back down. Allie ran, dived under the giant’s legs and grabbed hold of Daniel. Paulette and Chris moved in, but Allie was lifted in the air with Daniel, about to be slammed by the giant. She closed her eyes and held up the ring, willing to be saved. A bolt of light blasted from the ring to the giant, Paulette, and Chris, knocking them all onto the ground like an outward circle of dominos. Allie reached for Daniel and grabbed his arms, rolling with him when they hit the ground. She pushed herself up, but he lay motionless.
“Wake up,” she yelled. “You have to wake up!”
She held him close, her eyes darting between him and the approaching enemy. She closed her eyes and willed him to get up, with all her spirit. A low humming sounded all around her. She felt warm, relaxed. She imagined her mom’s smiling eyes, her gentle hug good night. And when she opened her eyes she saw that indeed streams of light encircled them. She felt more refreshed, healed.
Daniel slowly opened his eyes, but the Giant still lumbered towards them.
“What’s that?” Daniel said.
“What we have to defeat to find my mom,” Allie said.
She stood, head high and fists clenched, and then charged the giant. A swooshing sounded from her right and she dodged as the giant’s fist smashed into the ground beside her. She searched for any sort of weapon, noticing the army slowly backing away as if unsure what to do. The giant lunged for the attack again, but this time—
Something hit the giant and it stumbled back.
Allie looked back to see Daniel reaching for a rock. She couldn’t believe it – all those times she had made fun of baseball, how she had called him a wuss for only being into that sport, and here he was using it to fight a giant!
“Keep ‘em coming!” she yelled.
Then, as if from nowhere, Paulette lunged at Daniel and had him by the hair, and at the same moment the giant charged Allie. Her ring glowed bright and out of nowhere she had the shield that she had left behind. She stared at it for a moment, then lifted it in time to block the giant’s strike. The force slammed her across the dirt and onto her back, but she was mostly unhurt. She stood to see the giant charging again, this time a red-glowing mace held in each hand, the spikes as long as her fingers.
She stood and held out the ring, beginning to understand what was happening. The air pushed her into the sky, up and over the giant. She landed with a kick to Paulette’s stomach, freeing Daniel. Again she willed herself into the air, this time with Daniel’s hand in hers. They flew right over Chris and past the giant a second time, but it turned and hurled a mace at them. She saw it coming in mid-air and deflected it with the shield.
They landed and she felt a tingling on her arm. As if the marks on Chris were talking to her marks. The shadowy serpents reached for each other, intertwined and began to pull her and Chris together. Her body flew forward, faster now. The giant lumbered past, pausing in confusion as she flew between his legs. The giant had lost her, but Daniel was still in its sights – it regained its composure and, with thunderous steps, lunged for him.
“Allie!” Daniel called, eyes wide.
She tried to stop her movement, but the force on her arm pulled strong. But her other arm, the shield… she yanked her arm from the strap and flung it with all her might. To her surprise-and delight-Daniel caught it. She watched as he braced himself for the impact with the giant. Allie embraced the pulling force and ran for Chris. Better to be done with him quick. She tackled him to the ground, regretting it instantly. The shadows engulfed her. Her arm burned and she felt the internal fire traveling through her blood. A feeling came over her and she knew that at any minute now she would become like Chris. Whatever dark power of Samyaza had taken over him would soon have her as well.
“Daniel!” she screamed, trying to turn and see how he was faring. Surprisingly he was dodging left and right, maneuvering the heavy shield with ease to block the giant’s maces. Snarls came from her left and she twisted to see the wolves charging only feet away. They had escaped the caves. She focused her energy and punched Chris hard across the mouth, blood and spit flying across the already red dirt. She tried to stand, but her body was stiff as if caked in dry mud. The wolves charged and knocked her sideways.
Instead of fangs biting into her flesh, she felt a slobbery tongue. Chris was standing, backing away as two wolves turned on him, snarling and baring their fangs.
She didn’t waste an instant and turned on the giant, blasting light with her ring. It was like a child’s shove and barely caused the giant to blink.
“Move Daniel!” she said and blasted again. This time the giant stumbled, turning on her with bared crooked yellow and grey teeth.
Paulette laughed as she grabbed Daniel from the back. “Finish him,” she told the giant.
But the giant was already rushing at Allie. Paulette cursed the giant and tossed Daniel to the ground as the wolves dashed between the giant’s legs and leapt at her.
Allie couldn’t see what was happening. She looked up at the giant’s massive ten foot frame, its muscles stretched tight as he lifted one of his maces into the air and howled. But in an instant the wolves appeared, saliva flying as they tore at his flesh. Allie rolled to her side as his clumsy strike landed with an explosion on the rocky ground. She stood and threw herself backward as another strike missed her nose by inches. She blasted the giant as hard as she could. It screamed and she saw the blast of golden light had assisted the wolves, but the giant would not give up so easily. It raised both maces into the air, blocking out the sky and everything else from Allie’s view.
“Duck Allie,” Daniel yelled, “get down!”
Instantly she was on the ground, covering her head. Through a sliver between her fingers she saw Daniel push away from Paulette, a small stone in his hand. He aimed, pulled back the rock, then let it fly. It hissed through the air, but the giant moved left, dodging with ease. The giant had to halt his strike to move, and Allie had her chance to run. Again Daniel let a rock fly, this time it passed right over her head but she heard it miss the giant and clatter against the dirt.
The eagle screeched a warning and half a second later Paulette plowed into Allie, knocking the breath out of her as their bodies slammed into the rocky surface. The eagle dove, clawing at Paulette with its talons. It barely fazed her. As her hair was torn and blood flew, Paulette focused on Allie, slamming her head into the rocks repeatedly.
The pain surged in Allie’s body and she writhed like a dying snake, but the blows kept coming. Everything was red, her mind flashing in and out of consciousness. She felt herself flittering away, her eyes willing to be closed. Paulette lifted Allie’s head and Allie knew it would be the last time before darkness took her. She saw Daniel, heard him scream out, and watched as he flung a third rock at the giant.
Allie turned to see the rock flying, its trajectory sure. Without understanding her actions, she raised her hand and pointed the ring so that a ray of light connected with the rock. Glowing red, the rock increased in size, a trail of fire behind it and a moment later it exploded in red and blue flashes of light at the connecting point of the giant’s eyebrows.
The giant grunted as it stumbled back, blinded and wounded. It reached for Paulette as it fell, and for a moment the darkness faded. The ground shook as the giant fell, lifeless.
All else seemed to have frozen in that moment, but then the darkness returned and Allie became aware of Paulette’s screams. Paulette ran for the giant’s corpse, forgetting her assault on Allie. She knelt to caress the giant’s form as bit by bit it began to wisp away in the wind, like dark sheets being pulled up from the monster and carried into the sky to swirl over Paulette’s head.
A clatter behind Allie showed that the army pushed forward, moving again as if a wall had dropped and now they had freedom to attack. Paulette stood to face Allie as the army formed a circle around, weapons at the ready.
“Aghhh!” Paulette shouted as she blasted a purple fire at Daniel, who only barely survived thanks to Allie tackling him out of the way.
“Hold on!” Allie said as she closed her eyes. The ring emitted bright lights in bursts, as all around them darkness closed in.
Paulette walked slowly toward them, her eyes glowing red. She approached and her body dimmed to a pitch black, along with everything else but the circle of light from Allie’s ring.
“Come on!” Allie screamed and concentrated on the ring harder. “Take us home!”
She opened her eyes to see Paulette raise her arms above her head. The darkness converged on her. And then the darkness shot from her eyes and mouth, straight for Allie.
“Now!” Allie screamed, holding Daniel’s hand tight and focusing with all her might on being gone from that spot. The light enveloped them and filled them with healing warmth. The air around them seemed to shatter like breaking glass. Thunder filled her ears.
When she opened her eyes they were no longer in Kyrgyzstan and there was no dark army.
As if in a dream, she saw the pillars, the paintings, and books lining the wall of the school library. The light faded and she felt herself growing dizzy. The floor reached up to smack her in the face. Darkness.