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False Ridge: CREATURES

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In the mountain forests, ancient secrets lie deeper than the darkest shadows.
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Sales price: $5.95
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Author: Ralph Hartman
Description

Genre: Middle Grade Fantasy Adventure

Tags  Fantasy, adventure, teen, fairies, sasquatch, bigfoot, creatures, forests, mountains, secrets, myth

Release: March 8, 2013

Editor: Julie Hayes

Line Editor  Jessica Naccari

Cover Designer  Marion Sipe

Words  63977

Pages  216

ISBN  978-1-77127-282-7

Price  $5.95


Back Cover:

 

A summer to remember…

When young Clayton Day arrives for his annual visit with his grandparents, he has no idea what’s in store for him. Things have changed. Led by his untrustworthy Uncle Ron, a crowd of strangers are clamoring for access to False Ridge. Why is Grampa Hugh so adamant about keeping them away? What’s he hiding?

This will be the summer vacation Clay could never have imagined. Secretive creatures, both amazing and horrifying, open his eyes and his heart to the possibility that real beauty and absolute horror can exist side by side in a quiet mountain valley. That those who consider themselves to be the true stewards of our earth might step forward from the shadows to reclaim what they once let slip away, impatient to preserve that which is all too quickly being laid to waste.

Will Clay, his brainy cousin Kaitlin, and a very special dog named Cisco find a way to save the creatures from discovery? And will he be saving them from us—or us from them?


 

Excerpt

Clay took a couple of steps after them. He was torn between running away and running toward what lay ahead. Keep my mind open? What did that mean?

“Rahloo!”

There it was again.

“Raaaahlooooo.”

He stopped and turned toward the sound, took a couple of steps toward it, and stopped again to look behind him. Grampa Hugh had already started down the ravine, carrying Kaitlin in his arms.

“Raahlooo.”

We await, Caretaker...

The words were in his mind. Clay wondered if they were something his imagination had conjured and then dismissed the idea immediately. The words were real... Someone was calling...for the Caretaker. Who or what was the Caretaker? Once again, he faced in the direction the calls were coming from, over the walls from where he imagined False Ridge would be. From where his mind could see it. He stood still, waiting and fighting the urge to turn and run after Grampa Hugh and Kaitlin, then felt a cold wet nudge against his hand. He jumped, startled.

“Raaahloooo.”

Cisco nudged him again and leaned up against his legs, pushing Clay forward toward the end of the bowl. Heavy fern fronds and thick, clinging vine obscured the rock face. There was nowhere to go, but it was the direction Cisco wanted Clay to take. He moved one foot and then the other in a short stutter-step and saw something he hadn’t noticed before. Ahead was an opening, partially hidden behind the curtain of vegetation. Clay approached the wall and looked closer.

The opening was like an arched doorway, hewn through the stone a very long time ago. Someone had built this. Someone—or something—a long time ago. It was tall and narrow and opened into a passage that looked dark and forbidding. It reminded Clay—he’d watched a few movies over the years—of a crypt passage. Cisco looked up at him and chuffed then stepped into the passageway. At once, a glow appeared from the passage wall, a thin luminescent strip traveling along the corridor wall at waist level, glowing like a vein of pure gold.

More magic…

The light was dull but bright enough. Clay could see the passage went up and turned to the right. It looked dry and safe, like it had been there forever. He closed his eyes and took a couple of deep breaths, letting the feeling of serenity fall back over him. Trying to remain calm and ignore the part of him that was shaking in fear, Clay focused on the nature around him. The waterfall splashing deep into the pool, churning and spilling down into the creek. The warm touch of breezy fingers cooling his brow and the pure sweetness of the air. His mind worried. How can this be? But his senses reached beyond that doubt. This was real! Clay pictured the magic washing over him in waves. Shadow and light.

“Rahloo.

The way is open.

“Raahlooo.

You are welcome here.

Was he imagining this?

Without really knowing the answer, Clayton scooped up the backpack and followed Cisco up the stone stairway.

 

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