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A Shadow of Light
The Rath Haven Chronicles
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ISBN-10: 1-55404-249-6
Genre: Young Adult/Fantasy/SF
eBook Length: 313 Pages
Published: May 2005

From inside the flap


Where do they come from, the makers of legend, those larger than life leaders of men like Alexander the Great, Arthur, Caesar and Napoleon?

Jane Weston knows. Her brother Jack is one of them. Heís an Averien, descended from the mythical race, carrying the blood of Tuatha. Although having a hero for a big brother occasionally comes in handy, Jane has always secretly wondered what it would be like to try a moment in the spotlight herself.

Sheís about to find out.

A live fairy tale is brewing in her new backyard, and she is destined to be its unlikely heroine when sheís caught in the crossfire of their rivaling factions. She has to reach her twelfth birthday to inherit the magic she needs to rescue her Tuathan grandmotherís dying soul. Until then, she?ll have to survive using the bit of power left in her grandmotherís wand. Fortunately for Jane, Jack is a true big brother, the kind a heroine can trust with her soul?literally.

Trusting Cousin Will, on the other hand, is a completely different story. They have already rescued him from the labyrinth hidden in the old mine, not to mention from the local county sheriff. It seems the only power Will is destined to wield is the uncanny ability to find trouble wherever he goes
and wriggle out of it.

In true fairy tale form, Jane finds that trust is a matter of love and that love is the key to her power. A SHADOW OF LIGHT is fun, but it dips deeply into the locked powers hidden for ages in the human soul and the world around us.

A Shadow of Light (Excerpt)

Prologue: Jackís Secret

I knocked my mitt and ball off the nightstand groping for the phone.

"Hullo?" I mumbled into the receiver.

"Jack? This is your Uncle Darwin." A heavy pause hung on the line. "I?m sorry to wake you. I?m not in the country."

A call in the dark hours of the night is never a good thing. When the person on the other end is your uncle that hasn?t spoken to your father since before you were born, it can only be disastrous.

My uncle was calling to let me know that he was sending over a Mormon bishop, a friend of my auntís, to talk with me. He said I shouldn?t worry about letting a stranger in. My uncle left a cell number for me to call if I needed anything. I was fumbling in the drawer for a pencil when Evelyn, the widow from up the street, hobbled into my room.

She was in her eighties and had a bad hip. My parents had asked her to stay with me when they went out of town. My sister Jane had wanted to stay with a girlfriend, which would have left me alone. I?m not sure why they thought I needed someone. Maybe they asked Evelyn because she?d raised six boys of her own and was kind of lonely now. My parents knew better than anyone that I could take care of myself. If anything happened, I?d be rescuing Evelyn.

She didn?t cook anything but milk-toast with honey and she couldn?t get around well enough to keep the house up, but, at least, she could still drive her old Pontiac in an emergency. I think she liked my company.

The doorbell rang while I was explaining the call. Bishop Larsen was a tall, slightly graying man in a dark suit and a white shirt. He knew Evelyn already and shook her hand with a warm smile. I showed him into the living room and he asked us both to sit down.

In the course of a fifteen-minute conversation, my whole life warped. My dad was in a coma in Switzerland, my mother didn?t make it through the accident -- they never found her -- and my sister and I would be taking a train in the morning to live in Utah with our dadís brother.

I was stunned.

I managed to gather my wits about me enough to ask what my dadís chances were.

The bishop looked grave for a moment, as if debating what to say. "Not good. Heís still unconscious, but your uncle is doing everything he can."

I sat for a moment with my head in my hands. I choked back a sob, but my eyes still watered. Bishop Larsenís voice went on -- something about prayer and hope and God. I didn?t register any of the thoughts, but the flow of them was somehow comforting.

Evelyn put her arm around my shoulders. Neither of them disturbed the silence for a while.

Bishop Larsen laid a hand on my head. "Your uncle mentioned your sister was staying with a friend. Would you like me to pick her up and help you tell her?"

I looked up at him blankly for a moment until my sense of responsibility for Jane capped off the flow of my grief.

"No. I have to. I?m the one that should tell her."

My parents would want me to be the one to give this news to Jane rather than a stranger. Not tonight, though. It might be the last good nightís sleep she got for a while. She and my mom were close, as tight as my dad and I. No, I wouldn?t tell her about our parents until morning.

The man looked doubtful, but finally agreed with a nod. He would pick us up and drive us to the train station tomorrow afternoon. Evelyn had his number if we needed him.

He left with a reluctant backward glance.

"Would you like some milk-toast with honey, Jack?" Evelyn asked. I think she wanted to do something to comfort me; there was nothing anyone could do.

I shook my head. "I?m going back to bed."

I sat on the edge of my bed, gazing out through the darkness of the window, unable to grasp the reality of the conversation I had just had. It wasn?t until I saw my fatherís mitt lying at my feet that the pain shot from my chest into my throat. An accident -- a car accident! How could this happen? To my dad? Heís invincible. And to Mom? I couldn?t picture her gone. She was in all my thoughts and memories.

It was then that I knew. The pain in my chest ignited into anger. It must have been them. They had finally caught up with my parents. Dad had been worried from the start of the trip. Thatís why he told me about Jane -- that I might have to look out for her, protect her.

In the morning, I would have to tell my sister about Mom and Dad, but I would avoid telling her about the others as long as I could. The less she knew, the better. As far as I was concerned, I hoped she would never discover the truth. If she was ever going to know, she?d have to find out for herself. This was one story I would never tell, not unless I had to.