The Last Princess of Latara Book 3
by Darren Simon
Genre: YA Epic Fantasy Adventure
Fourteen-year-old Charlee Smelton is a Guardian, a path forced upon her by fate. She’s come to accept
this fact after fighting to save Earth, the world she thought was her home, and the magical world of
Janasara, the true home of her bloodline.
But the fight is not over.
Once more, Charlee must stand against not only her great aunt, the sorceress Theodora, but also an
ancient evil—the Brotherhood—seeking to be reborn and to conquer worlds. If she is to save the
universe, she’ll have to put her faith in the last person across the dimensional divide she would have
turned to for help—a person who knows the truth about the cursed medallion that calls to Charlee.
A war is coming, and her very soul is on the line
The Last Princess of Latara Book 2
A month has passed since fourteen-year-old Charlee Smelton discovered her magical abilities and faced her great aunt, Theodora, in a life or death struggle to protect Earth. A month has passed since she tricked Theodora back across the dimensional gateway that brought Theodora to Earth. Since then, Charlee—now fully aware that she is part of a noble bloodline from another world…another dimension…has grown stronger in her magic, aided by her protector, a shapeshifter sent to Earth to protect her.
Calling on her magically heightened strength, she kicked the door. It didn’t budge, but the timber around the hinges cracked. She struck a second time. The door broke from the frame and fell forward. A wall of fire rushed through the opening, engulfing Charlee. She dropped to one knee and shielded her eyes.
The blinding flash muzzled her cries. Somehow, though, the layer of energy kept her alive—a glowing barrier between her flesh and the inferno. She could breathe, too, but the air had become thick. She could only manage short breaths.
“I have to move. Can’t fail.” Peering through her fingers, a swirling vortex of oranges, yellows and reds prevented her from seeing beyond a few feet in any direction.
Her mom’s thoughts returned. Get up! Run through it! Straight ahead! Her body trembled, and her heart pounded so fast it might burst from her chest. Her skin baked despite the protective shell. Blinking sweat from her eyes, she charged through the firestorm.
Don’t stop…don’t stop until you’re through, her mom urged.
Overhead, the house creaked in protest. Oh no! Burning timber plunged toward her. Diving out of the way, she broke through the flames. Behind her the fire roared. Ahead, the second-floor hallway lay darkened by charred mist.
Coughing, Charlee clutched her chest to quiet her wild heart and slow her breathing. Her legs wobbled and her head drooped. Hot tears formed. She couldn’t help it. I’m alive. Still have a chance. Must press on.
Standing tall, she lifted her head. You’re not going to beat me, fire. “Sir, where are you?” she called to the little girl’s dad. “Can you hear me? Sir…”
The Last Princess of Latara Book 1
Charlee Smelton is an average thirteen-year-old girl struggling to adapt after her family moves to San Francisco. She thinks her biggest obstacle is facing the bullies who brand her a nerd and a dweeb. She’s wrong. Her life is about to change—for the worse.
First, she receives a gift of the ugliest, most old fashioned bike she has ever seen. Try as she might to ditch it in the city, she just can’t seem to escape that very mysterious two-wheeler. Then come the visions of a world across a dimensional divide, a princess in fear for her life and a dark knight pursuing her. Are they just dreams or something more?
For Charlee, everything she ever thought she knew about herself soon crumbles as she starts down a path to discover her true self, and she will need that hunk-of-junk bike more than she could ever imagine. Without it, she might not be able to find the hero in herself—the hero she must become to save her friends, family, her city—the world—from an evil only she can defeat. An evil she allows into this world.
Theodora nodded. “As you wish.” The sorceress drew back her hand and slung Charlee and the bike clear across the city.
They hurtled uncontrollably through the night. But this time, Theodora was not going to stop their fall. The bike spun out of control, its wings flailing uselessly. It seemed…unconscious. Have to…wake it…up…or we…die!
Charlee reached out for the bike. She had to snag a handlebar, a pedal, a wing—anything to make contact. Come on! Reach. Reach! Reach!
The city rushed by beneath her. She flew by one rooftop, then another. She craned her neck to glance ahead. Oh my God! A skyscraper stood directly in their path. They would smash into the glass exterior in seconds.
Try…again! Reach for the bike! Reach! The fingers of her right hand touched the handlebars. Then she got a full grip and pulled herself onto the banana seat, but the bike did not respond to her presence.
“Bike, wake up!” No response. “Bike, we’re going to die!” Nothing. She steadied herself. This time, instead of shouting, she used thought to communicate.
She willed it to regain consciousness. Bike, please! Wake up!
Like many writers, my journey to become an author began with a love of reading, and I have my grandmother to thank for that. When I was eight or nine, she gave me a paper bag filled with comic books from the 1960s and '70s. Comics became a big part of my life. I would save my weekly allowance to buy the most recent editions of Batman and Superman. Then, growing up in the '80s, I began to read Choose Your Own Adventure books from the world of Dungeons & Dragons. And that led me to the works of J.R.R. Tolkien. But my path to become a writer was firmly set after I saw the movie Ghostbusters in 1984, just prior to my freshman year of high school. I was in awe the way the writers came up with words that made people laugh so hard, and I knew right then I wanted to write. I immediately went home and wrote my version of Ghostbusters II. More importantly, I took journalism in high school, and continued to study journalism in college. After a wonderful career as a newspaper journalist, and a secondary career as a college English professor, it was time to rekindle my love for fiction. I knew I wanted to write fantasy, like Tolkien, and I wanted to write for middle grade and young adult readers to inspire them the way I was inspired by the books I read. I hope young readers--and even older ones--enjoy my work. Thank you for checking out my author page, and keep reading, no matter what you love to read. To learn more about me and my writing, visit my website at www.darren-simon.com.
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