Introducing my first book
First published July 2015, and revised in February 2018.
The Crystal Bluebird is a children’s adventure that will appeal to fans of The Wizard of Oz, The Narnia Chronicles, A Wrinkle in Time and The Never-Ending Story. Readers who love fantasy, magic and fairy tales will love this modern fairy tale adventure set in an imaginary world filled with magical creatures, wonderful characters and contemporary elements with a twist.
Mary found a crystal necklace and an old book, telling the story of a sad Queen, trapped in her castle. When Mary and her brother and sister drew pictures on the story map, they never dreamed they would be transported into a fantasy word where their pictures had become real, and were causing problems! They were soon enlisted by a grumpy Queen’s Guard, who insisted that they must undo the damage they had caused, and help to free the Queen.
An Excerpt from The Crystal Bluebird
“How much further is it to the village?” asked Mary, as she broke off a piece of her snack bar, crumbled it, and sprinkled the crumbs on the rock beside her. The bluebird landed gracefully on the rock and pecked at them.
“Another hour of walking, I would say,” Arthur replied, sniffing his snack bar.
Ron returned, shaking water from his feet. “That cooled me off,” he said, looking around the base of the rock where he’d been sitting. “What have you done with my shoes and socks?”
Mary and Arthur turned to look at the spot where Ron had left his shoes. They were gone.
“We didn’t move them.” Mary exchanged a surprised glance with Arthur, who put his snack bar down and came to help them look.
“That is odd,” he said.
Cassandra returned from the river and sat on the nearest rock. “What are you doing?” she asked as they wandered around the rocks, looking left and right, searching the area.
“Ron’s shoes and socks have disappeared,” said Mary.
“Wait a minute,” said Arthur suddenly. “Where’s my snack? I left it on this rock.”
They turned and looked at the empty space where the snack bar had been.
“How could they just disappear, without us seeing?” said Mary, puzzled.
“Mary, look!” said Ron pointing. Her backpack was sliding along the grass behind the rock cluster towards the shrubbery. Mary pounced and grabbed it, half expecting it to disappear too. Instead she found herself in a tug-of-war with a small creature who was keeping a fierce grip on one shoulder strap and refusing to let go.
At first Mary thought it was some kind of bird, but when she looked closer she saw that the creature was a small person. A red-faced, angry-looking small person with rapidly beating wings, hovering in the air on the other side of her backpack. It was screeching loudly in an unintelligible babble and darting back and forth in the air, tugging with surprising strength on the backpack. The bluebird leaped from Mary’s shoulder and flapped above her head, adding its squawks to the creature’s babble. It was all Mary could do to maintain her grip and tug back.
“Help me, Ron!” Mary called over her shoulder, but as he leaped to help, a loud buzzing sounded from the shrubbery. Like a dark cloud of smoke, a small horde of creatures rose from the leafy growth and zoomed towards them. They swirled around the two children and began to pelt them with gravel. The bluebird darted in and out, dodging the flying gravel as Mary held on to her backpack with one hand and tried to protect her head with her other arm. Ron shouted and dodged the onslaught, waving his arms in an attempt to fend the creatures off. Another wave rose from behind the rocks and flew at Arthur and Cassandra, poking viciously at them with sticks.
“Ow!” Cassandra flinched and she swung at the creatures with her drink bottle. Some of the water splashed out and drenched the nearest creature, which promptly dropped to the ground. It lay struggling, soaked. Its wet wings stuck together and it floundered on the grass, unable to get up.
“Run for the river!” yelled Arthur. “Splash them with water!” He and the children dashed to the river and began frantically splashing as much water as they could towards the attacking horde. Water sprayed in all directions, quickly knocking down most of their attackers. The few they missed hastily retreated out of range. They flitted backwards and forwards for a few minutes, shaking their fists and babbling angrily before darting back into the shrubbery.
“Quick,” shouted Cassandra, “Let’s get out of here, before they start to dry off!”
They grabbed their things and ran back up to the road, running until they were out of breath. They slowed down to walk and glanced back to make sure the creatures weren’t coming after them.
“What were those things, Arthur?” panted Cassandra.
“I have no idea,” replied Arthur, trying to catch his breath. “I’ve never seen or heard of anything like them before. I’m sure there has never been anything like those creatures in Brigitha. I don’t know where they came from.”
“Never?” Mary asked. She had seen them before. An uneasy suspicion formed in her mind.
Arthur peered at her and his eyes narrowed. “Do you know what they are?” he asked.
Mary hesitated before answering. “They’re fairies. I drew them.”
Arthur looked puzzled. “You drew them?” The bluebird shuffled on Mary’s shoulder, turning its head from Mary to Arthur and back again as their conversation progressed.
Mary nodded. “On the map of Brigitha. I didn’t expect them to be so aggressive though. I thought fairies were nice.”
“You have a map of Brigitha,” said Arthur, his face turning red, “and you drew on it? Do you know what you’ve done?” He sounded angry. “Did you draw anything else?”
Mary glanced at Ron and Cassandra. “One or two things,” she answered, wondering why Arthur was getting upset.
Arthur’s mouth gaped open. He stared at Mary, seemingly unable to speak. The bluebird squawked and Arthur turned to look at it, then he appeared to pull himself together. “Let’s go,” he snapped. “We must get to the village. We can’t lose any more time. I must find out what other trouble you’ve caused. I hope we can reverse the damage before it’s too late!” He stalked off in the direction of the village. “Come on,” he commanded, without looking back.
This book is available at Smashwords and other online retailers: The Crystal Bluebird