The Last Princess of Latura Book 1
by Darren Simon
Genre: Middle-Grade/New Adult Fantasy
Charlee Smelton is an average thirteen-year-old girl struggling to adapt
after her family moves to San Francisco. She thinks her biggest
obstacle is facing the bullies who brand her a nerd and a dweeb.
She’s wrong. Her life is about to change—for the worse. First,
she receives a gift of the ugliest, most old fashioned bike she has
ever seen. Try as she might to ditch it in the city, she just can’t
seem to escape that very mysterious two-wheeler. Then come the
visions of a world across a dimensional divide, a princess in fear
for her life and a dark knight pursuing her. Are they just dreams or
something more? For Charlee, everything she ever thought she knew
about herself soon crumbles as she starts down a path to discover her
true self, and she will need that hunk-of-junk bike more than she
could ever imagine. Without it, she might not be able to find the
hero in herself—the hero she must become to save her friends,
family, her city—the world—from an evil only she can defeat. An
evil she allows into this world.
The Last Princess of Latura Book 2
A month has passed since fourteen-year-old
Charlee Smelton discovered
her magical abilities and faced her great aunt, Theodora, in a life
or death struggle to protect Earth. A month has passed since she
tricked Theodora back across the dimensional gateway that brought
Theodora to Earth. Since then, Charlee—now fully aware that she is
part of a noble bloodline from another world…another dimension…has
grown stronger in her magic, aided by her protector, a shapeshifter
sent to Earth to protect her.
But the terrible dreams won’t stop.
Theodora lives, and if Charlee’s dreams of
death and fields of spilled blood
are true, her great aunt has avenged herself on that world across the
Charlee knows what she must do. The fight is
not over. She must travel across
the gateway to the home of her ancestors and face Theodora one more
time. But doing so may cost Charlee more than her life. The same
medallion her great aunt desires so much—a medallion Charlee
possesses—could make her just as evil as her great aunt.
Can Charlee stave off the twisted tendrils of
the medallion long enough
to defeat Theodora—for good—or will evil consume her? Can she
even survive so far from home? Her only hope may rest in the Lord of
the Dragons, but that beast turned his back on her grandfather long ago…
Darren Simon resides in Southern California where he works as a college
English teacher after a career as a newspaper journalist. His love
for writing began with a love for reading when his grandmother gave
him a wonderful gift—a brown paper bag filled with comic books from
the 1960s and ’70s. From there, he moved on to Choose Your Own
Adventure books. Eventually he discovered the works of J.R.R.
Tolkien, which solidified his interest in writing epic fantasy and
science fiction tales.
So far, he has focused his writing on middle grade and young adult
fiction to inspire young readers just as he was inspired to read and
write at a young age.
He self-published his first novel though iUniverse and immediately went
on to write the second book in the series. Upon completing the second
book, he decided to seek more traditional publishing. After countless
rejection letters, a small independent publisher—Divertir
Publishing—decided to pick up the series, a fantasy about a
teen-aged girl who learns her family is actually from an alternate
dimension, and only she has the power to protect Earth from a
sorceress from her world—who just happens to be her great aunt.
Divertir republished the first book, titled, Guardian’s
Nightmare, in 2015. The second book in the series, Guardian’s
Return, was released in April.
Darren has also written another series—a young adult historical pirate
fantasy set in the golden age of piracy, mixing historical pirates
and pirate hunters with his fictional characters in a time-traveling,
swashbuckling tale. The first book in that series, The Dangerous
Legacy, was published in 2016 by Tell-Tale Publishing. The second
book in the series, The Deadly Waters, is due out later this year.
All his books are available at Amazon.com and Barnes&noble.com.
Darren, who lives with his wife, Sandra and two sons, Daniel and Jacob, and
two crazy dogs, in the Valley, is continuing to write and develop new
stories, including a young adult novel now in the hands of literary agency.
From Guardian’s Nightmare
Theodora nodded. “As you wish.” The sorceress drew back her hand and slung Charlee and the bike
clear across the city.
They hurtled uncontrollably through the night. But this time, Theodora was not going to stop their fall.
The bike spun out of control, its wings flailing uselessly. It seemed…unconscious. Have to…wake
Charlee reached out for the bike. She had to snag a handlebar, a pedal, a wing—anything to make
contact. Come on! Reach. Reach! Reach!
The city rushed by beneath her. She flew by one rooftop, then another. She craned her neck to glance
ahead. Oh my God! A skyscraper stood directly in their path. They would smash into the glass exterior in
Try…again! Reach for the bike! Reach! The fingers of her right hand touched the handlebars. Then she
got a full grip and pulled herself onto the banana seat, but the bike did not respond to her presence.
“Bike, wake up!” No response. “Bike, we’re going to die!” Nothing. She steadied herself. This time,
instead of shouting, she used thought to communicate.
She willed it to regain consciousness. Bike, please! Wake up!
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