The Last Princess of Latura Book 1
by Darren Simon
Genre: Middle-Grade/New Adult Fantasy
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“Nothing worse than I shall do to you, guardian.”
“Do it! I’m ready for you this time.”
Theodora raised her hands over her head and uttered an incantation. A smoldering ball grew from her fingertips, its red glow consuming her face, twisting her appearance.
This was it.
The battle for Sandra, for her family, the city, even the world, was upon her. If what Tribon had said was true, she was a guardian, which meant that perhaps her whole life had been leading to this moment and ready or not she had to face it. It was just her and Theodora, her great-aunt.
One would not survive the night.
Charlee willed strength into her muscles. She pushed fear aside. If she was to make a stand, it had to be now.
Theodora’s arm shot forward, hurtling the deadly energy.
“Now,” Charlee shouted.
The Last Princess of Latura Book 2
But the terrible dreams won’t stop.
Theodora lives, and if Charlee’s dreams of death and fields of spilled blood are true, her great aunt has avenged herself on that world across the dimensional divide.
Charlee knows what she must do. The fight is not over. She must travel across the gateway to the home of her ancestors and face Theodora one more time. But doing so may cost Charlee more than her life. The same medallion her great aunt desires so much—a medallion Charlee possesses—could make her just as evil as her great aunt.
Can Charlee stave off the twisted tendrils of the medallion long enough to defeat Theodora—for good—or will evil consume her? Can she even survive so far from home? Her only hope may rest in the Lord of the Dragons, but that beast turned his back on her grandfather long ago…
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The screams were real.
A mass of trees with spiraling trunks surrounded Charlee and her companions, masking what lay beyond. Charlee whirled around, ears twitching.
Men and women shouted, their cries matched by the growls and barks of wild beasts and the crackle of fire.
Charlee let go of Cryton’s hand and removed her hood. She gazed up to a canopy of interlaced branches covered by star-shaped leaves pulsating—like hearts— with yellow, orange, and purple colors. Rays of sunlight zigzagged through cracks, leaving a polka dot pattern along the undergrowth.
Shadows crept at her through the streaming light. Covering her ears, she shrunk away. Where had she delivered them?
If this was Janasara, they should jump back into a portal and escape to a safer entry point. She wasn’t ready for whatever unseen battle unfolded beyond this pocket of alien trees.
Cryton lifted his staff. “Let’s go.”
Charlee retreated farther. “What? No!”
“We have to Charlee. There are beings out there in trouble. I don’t know what’s going on, but this is the path you chose, Guardian.” He extended a hand to her.
“I don’t know if I can do this.” She pressed harder against her ears.
He grinned. “Trust me. I’ve seen the hero inside of you. I know what you can do. Believe in yourself.”
So far, he has focused his writing on middle grade and young adult fiction to inspire young readers just as he was inspired to read and write at a young age.
He self-published his first novel though iUniverse and immediately went on to write the second book in the series. Upon completing the second book, he decided to seek more traditional publishing. After countless rejection letters, a small independent publisher—Divertir Publishing—decided to pick up the series, a fantasy about a teen-aged girl who learns her family is actually from an alternate dimension, and only she has the power to protect Earth from a sorceress from her world—who just happens to be her great aunt. Divertir republished the first book, titled, Guardian’s Nightmare, in 2015. The second book in the series, Guardian’s Return, was released in April.
Darren has also written another series—a young adult historical pirate fantasy set in the golden age of piracy, mixing historical pirates and pirate hunters with his fictional characters in a time-traveling, swashbuckling tale. The first book in that series, The Dangerous Legacy, was published in 2016 by Tell-Tale Publishing. The second book in the series, The Deadly Waters, is due out later this year.
All his books are available at Amazon.com and Barnes&noble.com.
Darren, who lives with his wife, Sandra and two sons, Daniel and Jacob, and two crazy dogs, in the Valley, is continuing to write and develop new stories, including a young adult novel now in the hands of literary agency.
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