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About the author:
Tonya grew up in a small town in Kentucky where she lives with her husband and two teen boys. Together, they motivate her to be the best at whatever she faces. If she isn't writing or reading a fantasy novel with lots of action, you will find her sitting in front of a canvas, painting the landscape which is so abundant around her home.
What inspired you to write your book?
I always loved telling stories and when my children were grown I decided to jump into writing my first book. Years before I began, I had a dream about a girl who visited a new world by touching a lady slipper in the forest. The dream stuck with me so it was the idea behind this book and the series, A New World.
Here is a short sample from the book:
I loved spring break. It wasn’t the fresh green leaves that spread across gray limbs or the mixture of scents from the new growths. It was because I got out of school for a week and it usually always landed on my birthday.
Dad was stubborn about taking me to town each year, so I could pick out my own present. He always said it was better if I chose the gift myself, instead of him picking something that I didn’t want.
This year was special. I’d be eighteen and graduating this summer. Thank God. I’d be saying good-bye to teachers and friends. Calling my companions, a friend was a stretch. I sat with them at lunch and we goofed off during class; but I never went to parties or on dates. I was looking forward to getting away from the seventeen-year-old stereotype.
However, my birthday was more than that. Last year, Dad told me my eighteenth would be my best. I would travel to places most people only read about and meet new and interesting people. I’m still waiting for the adventure to start but, knowing Dad, he meant my adventure was to go on to college but I’m not sure that’s for me.
Dad turned on to the main road. It was a two-lane that took you straight-through town, past the major buildings of good old Silver City. When Dad slowed down to turn, I saw a yard sale set up on the lawn of a rundown house, Mrs. Crumley’s.
The kids from school talked about her as if she was a witch or something. They always made a point of visiting her on Halloween, to see if she flew around on a broomstick. I felt sorry for her. She had no family and the way the town treated her, as if she had leprosy—was disturbing. Did something happen to her?
There were tons of furniture and knickknacks spread across the grass. A rope connected two trees in the yard where her clothes hung. It looked as if everything she owned was strung across the lawn.
“It’s a yard sale, Dad. Can we stop?”
Dad let out a breath and turned in to the driveway.
I smiled as he put the truck in park. I seemed to get what I wanted when it came to antiques. He knew how I liked to browse through the flea market and a sale like this made my day.
He acted as if he didn’t want to stop, but I knew he was pretending. The only reason I loved the stuff was because he told me Mom enjoyed browsing through antiques. For me, it was as if I was walking alongside of her, feeling that connection as we looked at the collectibles.
My eyes couldn’t focus on one thing. There was so much stuff I wanted to look at, they went everywhere. I immediately forced them forward and ran to a large chest next to a few smaller ones that seemed to call my name. You know how you have a favorite color and no matter what; you have to have it? That was the way I felt when I saw the chest.
Engraved vines worked along the edge of the lid and trees were carved on the side panels. I hunkered down to run my fingers along the smooth wood. The dark stain hid the nicks along the curved handles and blunt corners. I looked at the tree design closer. It was full of foliage and the roots spread down then around the tree in spiraling twists.
It’s beautiful. Now what’s inside?
I heeded my thoughts and flipped the lid up.