Can Frank solve the mystery of the cave-ins before they ruin his beloved Underworld city of Concord? New from Kai Strand, The Making of a Master, A Concord Chronicles novella is a middle grade adventure fantasy.
Robin’s squeal of delight was the reason Frank broke the rules and brought stuff down from the Outerworld.
“Come on already!” Anna slapped her hands against her thighs, the muffled stomp of her foot in the ankle high grass displayed her impatience.
Frank glanced at his partner just in time to see her tap her watch-less wrist. A smile tugged at his lips when she huffed.
“Time stands still down here,” he said. “What’s the hurry?”
Before him, Robin, a young Archer, perched in the round of the tire swing Frank had just hung. Her thin arms wrapped tight around the thick rubber, to keep her from tumbling to the ground. Her silver hair streamed like a shooting star behind her in stark relief against the darkness of the earthen ceiling far above their heads. She squealed with pleasure each time Frank gave her a gentle shove, sending her and the swing soaring.
“I don’t get it, Robin.” Anna’s gaze tracked the girl back and forth. “Why do you enjoy that swing so much? You’re an Archer. You leap higher than that thing can carry you while you create your beautiful rainbows.”
Robin’s uncontrollable giggles prevented a reply.
Frank’s heart fluttered as quickly as Robin’s thin wings as the joy he provided for the young Archer filled him up. He laughed when Robin tucked her wings close to her back and the tire swing spun around and around.
“Whoa!” Robin cried, still laughing.
Finally, Anna gave into laughter as well, her blond ponytail swinging back and forth as she shook her head at Frank. “Mark needs to develop a special punishment for your insubordination. First the teeter-totter and now a tire swing!”
“I’m not doing anything wrong,” Frank said. “I’m still performing all of my duties as a Natures Spirit. We’ve already made our rounds of the blue and green sections. Mark doesn’t care if we get sidelined while making sure the citizens of Concord are safe.” Frank inhaled the scent of earth and loam that wafted through the air every time Robin swung toward him. He wished he could fill his lungs and steep his olfactory senses with the smell of the Underworld twenty-four hours a day. With a push he sent Robin away again, her infectious giggles teasing a full-blown smile to his face. “And happy.”
Anna watched Robin tilt her head back and nodded. “You’re right.”
“Higher!” Robin cried.
“Last time.” Frank planted his feet and gave a firm push. Robin swung as far out as the rope would carry her. On the way back, the tire twirled, and Robin’s giggles filled the otherwise empty park.
Frank stepped back, allowing Robin to swing and spin. He grinned when she tipped back as far as she dared and stretched her legs straight, seeming to enjoy the freedom of floating. Her tiny wings fluttered in the breeze.
When, at last, Robin climbed out of the tire, Anna caught the dizzy child by the shoulders to steady her.
Robin fluttered her ruffled wings until they lay flat down on her back. When she spoke, her voice was lilting and childlike. “The swing is like flying, but without having to work at it. I make rainbows to bring joy to others. The swing brings me joy.”
Frank arched an eyebrow and crossed his arms across his chest. “It’s this thing called ‘fun,’ Anna. Everybody’s doing it. You should give it a try.”
About the book:
As a Spirit of Security, Frank gives his personal touch to maintaining peace in the Underworld city of Concord. From traffic control to providing new equipment for the playground, he works to keep the citizens of Concord safe and happy.
Frank grows concerned when signs of a failing infrastructure appear – small piles of dirt in unexpected places, damp spots on the walls – especially as his sister, Dawn, is scheduled to spend an entire week in Concord. Then the museum collapses. He and his partner, Anna, race to solve the mystery but things become more difficult when his own entrance to the Underworld fails, limiting his access to Concord.
With Dawn’s assignment imminent, Frank races against time and gravity to save her and the residents of Concord. Will he find answers in time, or will a giant collapse destroy his beloved city?
The Making of a Master is available in print or ebook.
Kai Strand writes fiction for kids and teens. Her debut novel, The Weaver, was an EPIC eBook Awards finalist. Her young adult title, King of Bad, soared to the publisher’s #1 spot in its second month. She is a besotted wife and the mother of four amazing new adults. She, her husband, and their two dogs hike and canoe throughout beautiful Central Oregon, where they call home. Learn more about Kai and her books by visiting her website: www.kaistrand.com.