Book Nerd Excerpt
I love stories, and I've had the privilege of working in Hollywood for over a decade in many different capacities, working with celebrities, directors (I'm married to one, plus he's my illustrator), and a few executives (the head-honcho types that I can't talk about because I signed confidentiality waivers). I'm not sure any of these people would have hired me if they knew I had a closet full of mint condition Star Wars toys...
However, the life of a freelancer is not for the faint of heart. I've kept myself busy with my extracurricular activities, from skydiving to scuba diving, a black belt in Tae Kwon Do, a degree in Fine Art, an M.A. in Psychology (with a focus in Neuroscience), and a few other things that I like to keep top secret. ...Some people think I'm a spy, but I'll never tell!
CHAPTER 1 – Messenger of Messages
“Anni Moon. Anni Moon. Stop. Stop. I have a message for you.”
The small, hairy, vest-wearing creature closed its leathery brown wings and plopped down on the grass beside her. He clutched his chest, one paw covering a small, golden emblem stitched onto his little red vest, as he panted and wheezed.
“Message?” Anni mumbled. “What! This is weird…you’re a rat…no, a bat. And you’re talking to me?”
“For snozdoddles’ sake, Anni, of course I can speak.”
“Uh…” Feeling extremely dumb, not to mention a little bit crazy, Anni said, “Okay so what’s your message?”
“It’s not my message,” said the creature, half-standing with his palms pressed on his small kneecaps. He pulled himself upright and said, “It’s your message. I’m Brat, First Order Elservice Fleet. We are messengers of messages—no questions required. Only a reply will suffice. I’m starting your message now.” He pulled out a tiny whistle from inside his tiny vest and gave it a squeak. “Your message is, ‘Dear Anni Moon. You are not to leave Waterstone
Academy for Girls under any circumstances. No matter what happens, you are not to leave the school.’”
Brat pulled out the tiny whistle again and gave it another squeak. “Again, your message is, ‘Dear Anni Moon. You are not to leave Waterstone Academy for Girls under any circumstances. No matter what happens, you are not to leave the school.’”
Brat shook his little head and raised his whistle once more.
“No, no.” Anni raised her hands. “Don’t say it again. I heard you the first time…none of this makes sense. Where would I go?”
Brat’s eyebrows furrowed. He paced and mumbled to himself, “I knew I should have listened to Avis Crumplehorn and taken that course on human interaction.”
Brat looked up. “Yes. Yes, you are a human and I’m an Elemental. Glad we got that straight. As I was saying, I’ve delivered your message. Now, what’s your reply?”
“Er, I know I’m human. What’s an Elemental? And who’s this message from?”
“Moppins! That’s classified information! And I couldn’t tell you even if I wanted to.”
Brat’s eyes widened with a look of shock. “Besides, answering questions is not a part of my job title. I’m no common scandaroon! Only your reply will suffice. You are Anni Moon, twelve years old, at Waterstone Academy for Girls—correct?”
“Thirteen…in a week. Why should I listen to some random anonymous person I don’t even know, or you, a bat-rat thing that calls itself an Elemental? Why is that classified, anyway?”
“Oh, moppins not again,” Brat swayed. “I’m feeling mopple-toppined.” He put his hand to his head and shook it. He mumbled, “Must be down to all the Funk.”
“Funk? What’s Funk?”
“Oh, no, never you mind. Back to business. Can you, Anni Moon, please confirm that you successfully received your message and that you’ll stay put?”
“Yeah, I got your message. What are you exactly?”
The creature stood proudly on its little feet. “Don’t you listen? I told you. It’s your message, not mine. And I’m Brat, First Order Elservice Fleet, messengers of messages.”
“What does that even mean?”
“Confirmation of delivery. Check. I’ll be on my way now.”
It seemed like a stupid question, but she had to ask, “You haven’t seen or delivered a message thingy to someone named Lexi have you?”
Brat circled overhead and said, “Of course I’ve seen Lexi. I delivered her message two days ago.” And he was off.
In a race against time, Anni sets out to save her friend. Along the way she finds allies among the Elementals, but she is also presented with a choice, one that might help save Lexi. If Anni agrees to an ancient, open-ended contract, will her sacrifice cost her more than she’s bargained for? Or will it land her in the middle of an age-old war between the humans, the Elementals, and the dreaded Fectus?