Eugene the Author a.k.a. Gentleman Raptor a.k.a. Xeawn Cross here to talk about my upcoming All Ages fantasy epic novel Nora and the Eternal Waterwheel.
This novel follows the exploits of a young girl by the name of Tanielle Travers as she finds her ordinary, if difficult, high school life interrupted by a league of shadow monsters and a quest that flings her not only to a different world, but a whole other dimension!
Tanielle's life on Earth is a complicated and at times painful one. She woke up one day in a park with no memories at the age of seven, was homeless until she was almost thirteen, and when she was finally adopted into a loving household she found that many people did not understand, and bullied her for being, a young black girl being raised by a white woman and her black cousin.
Tanielle is an intelligent girl who can throw a fierce right cross just as easily as she can dance the salsa. For the longest, Tanielle thought that her greatest challenge would be dealing with Peter Williams, the track star who bullied her on a near daily basis. However, just as she begins to forge an understanding with Peter, strange occurrences start invading her life.
Her mother begins acting strangely, she discovers odd markings in her home as well as a swarm of disgusting insects, and she begins dreaming of a different self in another world...as well as a terrifying knight surrounding by sinister flames.
And, before long, the shadow monsters come to attack and Tanielle must face the truth:
Locked within her memories is her true self: Nora Ivandrea, warrior princess of the kingdom Illara on the planet Litandra in a dimension far, far away.
When I began writing Nora and the Eternal Waterwheel, I had people question why I used big words and challenging themes in a book that was intended to be enjoyed by readers of every age group. Two of my mantras with regard to my Shepard all ages line of novels are:
1) Children only rise to the levels we tell them they can. If you want kids to know big words, use them.
2) I do not write children's books, and likely never will. When I say a book is "all-ages", I literally mean that. It is appropriate for, palatable for, and enjoyable by everyone of every age group.
This novel has the level of amazing action that you've come to expect from my studio. Tanielle will duel terrible monsters, overcome trials that will make you hold your breath and hope for her safety, and will begin to master abilities that defy human capabilities.
And, like all of my other novels, she will also overcome many tribulations on a personal level as well. Tanielle has to deal with bullying, with being a young black girl, with growing up in an interracial household, with not having a father, and with a society that is obsessed with who is dating whom and speculating at the perceived mysteries of every home.
She has to deal with the lack of self-confidence and the stress and mentality that comes with having been homeless, and, when she begins regaining her memories she has to confront her painful feelings with regard to coming to terms with having a birth mother out there somewhere. Tanielle has the weight of two worlds on her shoulders, and a demon from beyond the veil seeking to finish what he started when she was flung off course to Earth as a little girl.
Now, the rule for this line of books is that there will be no cursing, no gore, no explicit content. That being said, if you're easily offended or think all ages books shouldn't have fight scenes, well, you may still find something to complain about.
BUT, if you want to see an amazing journey of self-discovery, transformation, high octane action and familial love that transcends time and space, then this is the book for you!
Nora and the Eternal Waterwheel will be available both in print and ebook formats this April; please look forward to the official release!