Four gifted children from the Land of Four Stones are all that stand between life on Earth and oblivion. Colt and his minions have entered our realm, Earth, to find the lost Amulet - the key to ultimate power and destruction. In an effort to save both worlds, the leaders of the Land of Four Stones have hidden the children on Earth since infancy until they are ready to fulfill their purpose.
Known as the Stone Bearers, the children are raised as humans until the day they are told of their true identities, their responsibility and their destiny as champions of Earth. Bestowed with their magical wands, the Stone Bearers learn of their latent powers; and as they train to gain the confidence they need to wield their magic against their adversaries, the Stone Bearers search for the lost Amulet. The Stone Bearers must find the Amulet to save the world from Colt. The race is on. Who will find the precious Amulet first?
|Product dimensions:||5.50(w) x 8.50(h) x 0.41(d)|
Read an Excerpt
The Lost AMULET
Book One of the Stone Bearer Series
By Mary Farrugia
Balboa PressCopyright © 2013 Mary Farrugia
All rights reserved.
Blue mist engulfed the center of Pine Dilley Forest and out of the ground sprang a sparkling ocean blue door. Twirling in mid-air, it slowly drifted towards the ground. The door had no wall or hinges supporting it, yet it could magically hold its center of balance.
The turquoise door knob began to turn and the door creaked ajar. Out from the door appeared a lanky woman wearing a purple cloak. Behind her, out popped a scraggly girl, no older than fifteen. She wore rumpled clothes underneath her own mahogany colored cloak. In her petite hands, the young girl carried with great caution a basket which seemed to be filled with bundles of clothes. The old woman removed her hood and bent down to look straight into the girl's green eyes.
"Keep them safe; keep them hidden, Marina. The fate of our world rests in your hands. You must not let Colt get his hands on them," the old woman said sternly.
"I promise, my lady, you don't have to worry. You can count on me," Marina said and nodded in reply.
"Remember, you have the length of three thorns before the gateway closes. Follow your instructions, Marina, and hurry." Marina stood there and just nodded at her mistress.
The old woman furrowed her brow. "Well, what are you waiting for? There is no time to lose. Make haste."
Instantly, Marina dashed into the pine trees to find the closest exit out of Pine Dilley Forest.
Clutching her cloak, the old woman turned to face the sparkling ocean blue door. She mumbled, "I hope we have made the right choice—for the sake of this world and ours." She donned her hood again and with the hem of her purple cloak sweeping behind her, she vanished into the existence that lay behind the blue door.
Marina ran onto the cobbled path that followed the pine surroundings of the park. The park's path was stenciled like the number eight with an entry point at the top and at the bottom of the eight. When the pathway reached one of the far end entrances, which was across the main road of Crumple Street, Marina ran towards the road.
Whilst Marina was crossing the road, two light beams shone brightly into her eyes. A tumultuous beep droned out of the vehicle until it came to a complete halt. Marina saw the driver wave his fist at her. She trembled, tightened her grasp around the basket's handle and slowly backed away from the vehicle. Marina waited until the car had driven off before she turned and ran to the other side of the road. Sweat began to build on her brow. She felt that time was ticking faster than usual and so she hurried. She kept running for two blocks and turned left into a deserted arcade known as Riverwell.
Riverwell seemed like an endless dark tunnel. Marina feared that the arcade would be a dead end and that she may not reach her destination in time. She scrunched up her face to muster as much courage as possible before she bounded into the arcade. Once she reached the end of the walkway, she let out a huge sigh of relief.
The walkway connected to a path that led to some residential buildings. Marina kept running until she reached her destination, the city council district of Rivington.
Marina crept up the stairs and laid the basket upon the last step where there were already two others. She had no time to linger as one and a quarter thorns had passed. However, she was determined to keep her promise to her lady.
She knocked on the door and was relieved when she distinctly heard a girl's voice coming from inside the council district building.
Inside the building, the girl was walking towards the entrance as Marina banged on the door. She stopped in front of the security guard.
"Bye, George, don't work too hard," she said smirking.
George was slouched on his swivel chair, hat lopsided and feet crossed on top of his desk.
"Yes, good night, Jana," he murmured. He did not look up from his Ultimate Cars magazine because he was too enthralled.
Flicking her dark brown hair behind her shoulders, Jana clunked her way, in her high heel shoes, towards the front entrance to then walk home. She was a slender sixteen- year-old who was trying to impress the senior delegate of Rivington during her work experience. She had agreed to cover the late shift when the assistant called in sick.
Jana pulled the front door open to step outside. But the sight of three baskets transformed her mouth from a grin to a gaping hole. Marina placed her finger to her lips.
The door slowly closed behind Jana as she stood for a moment in complete stillness to comprehend what was in front of her. She warily lowered her shoulder bag beside her. Anxiety churned within her as she bent over to take a closer look at what was inside the baskets.
She saw three little faces goggling back at her. Jana caressed the cheek of a wide-eyed baby girl with bristling brown hair. She then stroked the cheek of another girl with a dark complexion. The baby lulled dreamily, as she rubbed her brown eyes and sucked her thumb. The last baby, a little boy, thumped his clenched fists and jerked his feet in the air to gain Jana's attention. She stared into his big, deep blue eyes and caressed his bristly ginger hair.
Marina fell to her knees.
"Please help me," she pleaded.
Jana shook her head. "What on earth is going on?"
"Please believe me, these babies are loved but are in danger." Marina covered her face with her hands as she was on the verge of crying.
"Please protect them from the evil that seeks to harm them."
"How can I protect them?"
"Never leave them out of your sight."
Jana looked into Marina's desperate eyes and merely said, "Okay."
Marina gave a sigh of relief, thanked Jana, and dashed back to Pine Dilley Forest.
Jana alerted George, and the authorities were quickly notified. Jana had no information to provide them apart from her encounter with Marina.
The babies appeared to have no relation to one another except for a tattoo of two alphabet letters, one uppercase and the other lowercase which had been inked on their right shoulder.CHAPTER 2
Archive wiped perspiration from his brow. He could hear his heart beating rapidly and with each thump, anxiety flowed through his veins. He could feel it spreading quickly throughout his entire body.
He stood side-by-side with his comrade Albert in front of the wrought iron gate of one of the far end entrances of Pine Dilley Forest. They both wore black attire and had their hair slicked back.
Archive turned his head towards his comrade. "The blue door has opened."
"Yes, and who knows what will flow through the gateway," Albert mused.
Both men turned to look behind them as they heard the beeping of a car horn.
Archive huffed. "What is certain is that the Amulet is returning to Earth and Colt will certainly follow it."
"Alas, no one is safe."
Archive clasped his hand around Albert's forearm and patted his back with his other hand. "Good luck, my friend, and that you shall return in one piece."
The two men withdrew from the embrace. "Why is Colt so desperate to get his hands on the Amulet?!" Albert exclaimed.
"Oh Albert, you and I both know that there are those who crave power, no matter what the cost."
Albert shook his head. "Colt has enough power without the Amulet."
"Even so, it is a grand treasure that possesses the power of old magic. Colt must never get his hands on it. We must find the Amulet first."
"I fear what he will bring with him to Earth, Archive."
"Whatever comes, let us hope it does not stay too long." Archive's shoulders drooped as he inclined his head. "I have been called to duty, Albert."
"You? Surely not!"
Archive huffed. "Yes, it is true."
Albert shook his head. "Ah, let this war end swiftly and that we may live to enjoy the celebrations."
He tilted his head back and inhaled a deep breath. "Ha!" he said and slapped his palms on his thighs. "If I do not return, Archive, have a drink and be merry and toast the life that I once had."
"Let us both go to the pub after this night with the Amulet safe in our hands."
Albert glanced over his shoulder. "I will go to the other entry point and we will meet at the center of the forest."
"Agreed. But before you go, drink this." Archive handed Albert a red vial.
"What is it?"
"It is a mobility potion. It will allow you to be at our rendezvous point in seconds rather than the hours it would usually take."
"Fantastic! See you soon then." Albert tipped his head back and sculled down the contents of the vial. Instantly, he felt a burst of energy in his legs and was running as fast as light.
Moments later, Archive and Albert met at the center of Pine Dilley Forest, hiding behind one of the enormous pine trees. They stared in the direction of the sparkling blue door.
Suddenly, a creature, no more than four feet tall, came through the gateway holding a silver studded chest.
"Finks!" Archive gasped. "He has the Amulet." But even before they could move towards it, the creature had vanished in a puff of white smoke.
Archive got up from his crouching position. "I should follow his teleportation."
"No, Archive, Colt will be here any moment. We must fight him and throw him out of this realm before he can do any harm to it."
"Yes, you are right, Albert."
Archive and Albert waited for Colt's entrance into Earth. Yet, it felt like it would never come. No one entered or exited the gateway and with every passing minute the sparkling blue door inched closer to becoming shut.
As the door was centimeters from closing, it sprang abruptly back open. The door swung back on its invisible hinges and a man with sleek black hair and pale skin walked into this plane of existence. The man was tall with broad shoulders and had haunting yellowy eyes.
The man growled, "Earth. How pathetic! I hate this realm." He spat on the ground beside him.
Behind him, ten minions walked through the doorway. One man was particularly robust with long stringy hair. He had drawn black eyes, pointy nails and his whole body was scarred with slashes. There was one scar, however, that was particularly noticeable across the left side of his face. It started from the tip of his lip, jagged across his cheek and ran across the center of his eye.
The man licked his lips with his long tongue. "Colt, we will find the Amulet first. I will personally find it."
"Silence, Jarco," Colt growled. "Find those precious babies that the lady adores and kill them. I will find the Amulet and destroy this pathetic realm."
Jarco licked his lips enthusiastically and said to the other minions, "You heard Colt. Let's go."
Albert jumped out from behind the pine trees and yelled, "Stop!"
He held out his hands to his foes with his palms pointing towards them. His legs were also bent and spread out as if he was a guard in a basketball game trying to stop his opponent from moving forward.
Colt folded his arms and tilted his head to glare at him. "Albert, Albert, Albert." Colt shook his head. "Are you sure you want to stop us?"
Albert straightened up and swallowed a dry gulp. "Yes, I think that it is my duty to, so I must."
"Where is Archive? Surely you have not come here alone."
Archive stepped out from behind the pine trees. "Colt, stop this madness. You have nothing to gain from this hunt."
"Nothing to gain!" Colt tilted his head back and laughed. "The Amulet stores one of the oldest forms of magic. Paragon will be pleased once I bestow it to him."
"Paragon will give you nothing in return for the Amulet."
Colt turned his head towards his minions. "Half of you stay and kill them, the rest of you go with Jarco and find the children." Colt turned his head back to face Archive before he shimmered away from their sight.
Jarco howled to the moon and bounded out of Pine Dilley Forest with five minions trailing behind him.
"What shall we do?" Albert whispered to Archive.
"Fight these lowlifes first and then I'll go after Colt and you go after Jarco."
Archive and Albert battled with the remaining minions and vanquished each one with ease. But before the last foe was defeated, the sparkling blue door slammed itself shut and immersed itself into the ground.
Archive and Albert loitered on top of the area that the gateway had been. They both felt a pang of longing for their own realm. But they both knew that if Colt found the Amulet, they would not have a realm to go back to.CHAPTER 3
On the main road called Crumple Street at house number 24, Harold Holt lay on his brown couch, in his pajamas, watching the reeling credits of a late night movie. Harold Holt was a withdrawn, irritable and eccentric old man. He relied on the company of his faithful but lazy bloodhound called Bob, who was lying on his tummy beside his master's feet.
Turning off the television, Harold sluggishly got up from his tattered couch. He stretched out his arms and back and exhausted a drawling yawn.
A loud noise sounded across the lounge room. Harold instantly jolted upright like a springy ironing board. He moved his head intently around the room to distinguish the cause of the noise. He relaxed and let out a comforting sigh, as he realized the culprit to be the front security door; he could hear the subsequent creaking of the door opening and slamming itself shut.
"It must be windy tonight, hey, Bob?" Harold said, half yawning. Bob merely sunk his head in between his paws.
Scratching his bristly chin, Harold ambled unperturbed towards the front door. As he was doing so, a draught of cold wind swept through the lounge room. It instantaneously made his fly away hair spring up and become disheveled. Harold intuitively hunched over, folded his arms close to his chest and uttered a cold shudder. He could feel goose bumps and the bristling hairs on his arms and hands spring up. Harold quivered as a cold tingling sensation slowly trickled down his spine. He had a fleeting suspicion that two beady black eyes were staring at him. Anxiety was surging within him and, as he took his next step towards the front door, he swore he heard the distant noise of shuffling feet.
"Bob, stop that," Harold bellowed as he faced the front door. He assured himself that it was only Bob rubbing his paws on the lounge room rug. He hastily shut the security door and dashed towards Bob for comfort.
"It must be cold out tonight," he said again in a jitter.
Finding comfort in patting his old friend's head, Harold ambled his way past the tattered couch towards his bedroom with Bob trailing sluggishly behind him. Harold passed the kitchen and saw, from the corner of his eye, a black garbage bag near the side wall. Harold let out a disgruntled sigh; he had forgotten to take the garbage out. Halfheartedly, he decided to take it to the curb. He first retrieved his shabby blue dressing gown and brown slippers from his bedroom before he made his way outside and down the driveway with Bob at his heels.
Before he could reach the curb, he distinctly heard the snap of a twig which caused him to stand completely still. Harold thought he could hear his heart pounding like a little drum.
Harold tightened his ears and face when he heard the peculiar scampering of feet. He quickly spun round. Harold's eyes darted from shrub to shrub within his prize-winning rose bushes to try and find the culprit. Sweat began to build on his forehead and his throat felt parched and dry.
Brandishing the garbage bag, he quavered, "Who's ... who's there? I know something's there! I ... I have a weapon and I'm ... I'm not afraid to use it."
Harold received no answer. He vigorously shook his head and rubbed his eyes. He mumbled anxiously to himself, "Get a grip; there's nothing here. Bob's right beside you."
Harold took in a deep breath and as he was just about to take another step forward, a puff of white smoke ascended from the main branch of Harold's front garden elm tree.
Out of the white smoke, a sly mischievous voice resonated contemptuously, "Looky, looky! What do we have here! A fat old man!" The white smoke faded to reveal a creature twirling a cane and wearing, strangely enough, a bow-tied tail coat suit with a top hat.
Harold felt as if a mountain of weight was building in his throat. He took a big dry gulp before stammering, "What—what are you?" He was utterly unnerved by the sight of this creature. It had two beady eyes, a long pointy nose and pointy ears.
Excerpted from The Lost AMULET by Mary Farrugia. Copyright © 2013 Mary Farrugia. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
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