After three years of writing and rewriting, I’m pleased to announce the release of my first book, Mabutay’s Lyric. It’s the first part of a five book series called Tales of Anino, a YA portal fantasy series. The story centers around fifteen-year-old Chloe Shepherd as she leaves Earth and explores a new world called Anino. Here is a taste:
The street lamps begin to flicker on as I walk through town. With nearly everyone having gone home for the evening, the only sounds I hear are rustling leaves as the trees stretch and yawn, the water in the river trickling down to the ocean, harmonica music floating from the greenhouse, and…wait a minute, why is there a harmonica in a greenhouse?
I pause to look over at the greenhouse. Sure enough, in the dim light of the lantern hanging overhead, I see the silhouette of a thin man holding something to his lips. Curious.
The sad song continues as I walk closer and peek inside. It’s Mr. Gordon playing a small harmonica, the expression on his face so solemn it’s almost unsettling. The flowers in front of him sway and flutter to the music. Mr. Gordon glances up and sees me, but aside from a small nod he doesn’t stop playing. I take it as an invitation and step inside.
I wait a beat or two after the long, final note before speaking up. “You seem tired. Long day?”
He shrugs. “No more than usual. Anyway, it’s been a while since I saw you last. How are you liking Anino? How is school treating you?”
I shrug. “Fine, I guess.”
Neither of us speak for a few moments. At times like this, I really wish I weren’t socially challenged.
“It’s getting late,” he continues. “Shouldn’t you be home now?”
“I could say the same to you.”
“One of Tom’s nephews hasn’t come home yet, so he asked me to give the plants one last watering while he went out looking for him.”
“You don’t seem too concerned.”
He shrugs. “It wouldn’t be the first time Orlando’s been late coming home. More often than not, we find him either asleep in the family’s treehouse or out with his friends.”
“Are you sure everything is okay? I don’t mean to be nosy, but—”
And that’s when I see it.
A tall, white tower. The small dark window at the top. And in the corner of the window, the face of a small boy—not young, but small. The welts and dirt coating his dark face and white hair. The dull, tired, hungry look in his eyes, like he knows there’s something better out there, but he’s never going to get it. Like he’ll never be happy or hopeful again.
Why is my head hurting? And my stomach—oh no. My stomach is hurting. This is so much worse than—but no, it can’t be! Doctor Verstraete told me the medicine was working! I’ve been so careful! It shouldn’t be acting up! No, please, don’t tell me I’m sick again, please no, please no, please, I can’t be stressed again, I can’t be dehydrated again, I can’t go to the hospital again—
My eyes open. The vision is gone. The pain in my stomach is gone. I’m back in the greenhouse. Somehow, I ended up on my knees, my breaths short and shaky. Mr. Gordon hovers over my shoulder.
Mabutay’s Lyric is now available as an eBook for only $3.99 on Amazon. Please be sure to leave a review on either Amazon or Goodreads. I’ll go back to posting regularly on this blog next month, on the 12th of December. Until then, I hope you enjoy my book!