Absolutely Almost Human (The Bot Trials #1)

It’s been a blast jumping into the fun-filled world of middle grade writing. I’m super excited to introduce Bot to you all.

Here’s the blurb and a sneak peak into the first few lines of the story….

Eleven-year-old Robert “Bot” Trials comes to terms with becoming a cyborg—the very thing that has turned his friends and their families against him.

His desperate need to prove he can be a normal human boy pairs him with an unlikely friend: the mysterious girl who just moved into the Haunted House on the Hill. The bullies, haters, and frightening urban legends won’t stand in their way of finding a talking dog that showed up the same time mystery girl did.

With his wacky new friend and his long time best friend at his side, they set out on an adventure that leads them into a world of secret societies and technology warfare. Everything spirals out of control when deadly family secrets are exposed.

Secrets that could kill them all.

 

~~~~~~~

THE DAY I DIDN’T DIE

Lightning flashed, and the entire, beaten-down house on the hill was visible in the blast of yellow. The shattered windows on the main floor morphed into dark mouths with jagged glass teeth. Ones that could chomp anything to shreds.

Thunder clapped. My tree house roof rattled. I stepped away from the telescope and held my breath to listen.

Wind howled, moaning through the gaps in the walls of my little hideaway. Branches scraped along the wooden roof.

Like a monster clawing its way in.

A monster sent by The House.

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Watcher of the Realms Chapter 34

Watcher of the Realms BannerThe FINAL chapter….

Chapter 34

“Here’s to surviving The King,” Hope said, raising her glass of soda. “And creaming the Cyclones!”

I joined her and so did the rest of my family. It’d been just yesterday that we were at The King’s table, eating, and talking to Labbiel. But now we were at the pizza place after winning the championship game.

“When do you think training begins?” I asked, then bit into a slice of pepperoni pizza.

“Who knows,” Janet said. “But one thing I do know, is that we need you registered for school right away.”

Jeff leaned in. “And there’s one thing we need to figure out for the paperwork.”

“What?” I asked.

“Your birthday.” He grinned. “I left it blank on the soccer stuff, and they didn’t call me on it since you came in mid-season, but for school, we need to have all the paperwork official.”

“What do you think?” Hope asked.

I shrugged. “You guys pick. I mean, you are my parents.”

Janet looked up, her eyes wide.

“I can call you Mom and Dad, right?”

A tear slid over Janet’s—er—Mom’s cheek. “Of course, honey.”

Tish grinned over her glass. Hope nodded. Braeden punched my shoulder.

Sure felt nice—not the punch, but the family part. Specifically calling Jeff and Janet Mom and Dad. The way Sendew and his mother hugged and how welcomed he was. I kinda knew how he felt, now.

“How about yesterday for your birthday? You pretty much saved Earth from destruction. Got named a Realm Watcher. I think that’s pretty good for a birthday,” Jeff said.

“July twenty-first it is,” I said. “So I’m twelve now.” That felt cool to say.

“And a big time, winning goal shooter, Realm Jumping hot shot.” Hope tossed a Pepperoni at me. “But don’t let it go to your head.”

“I’m sure you won’t let me.” I grabbed another piece of pizza. “So, what are you all getting me for my birthday?”

~~~~~~

Thank you for reading Watcher of the Realms.

I hope you enjoyed reading it as much as I enjoyed writing it! Feel free to share the links with your friends and family. It’ll remain on the website for a month. Then…you might just see it on Amazon.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to ALL the chapter links.

See you soon….

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Watcher of the Realms Chapter 33

Watcher of the Realms Banner

You’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 33

“I feel like I’ve fallen into a fantasy novel,” Janet said as she looked at the table filled with food.

“I think we did.” Jeff sat next to her.

“This feels like the Fairy Realm.” I stood behind my chair, not so sure we should stay. “Exactly what is this place? I mean, if he’s The King, does he have his own Realm? Or does he just live on one and rule them all?”

“He has his own Realm.”

A tall, muscular guy strode into the dining area. For the most part, he looked human. But his jet-black hair, unearthly purple eyes, and his glowing brown skin screamed alien. It wasn’t a bright glow, no it almost looked like armor instead of skin.

“You mustn’t worry, Riley, the food is not tainted.” He grinned.

“No offense, sir, but I’m going to hold off eating.” Even though I was starving.

“None taken.” The guy laughed as he sat at the head of the table. “But don’t mind if I eat. I’m famished.”

This room was different than the throne room. Still huge, but not so much gold and marble. The floor was shiny, but dark blue. Doors lined three of the four walls, at least two per wall. They were all closed.

The main entrance was an archway. No door. We’d walked in that way from the throne room, but it was just a long hallway. Paintings of fields, castles, and some people decorated the walls. The ceilings in this place were as high as the sky.

“Who are you?” Hope asked, then bit into the chicken leg. At least it might be chicken. Did they even have chickens here?

“My name is Labbiel, I am your liaison.”

“For…?” Jeff asked.

“Training. I will handle some of course, considering my combat skills; however, first and foremost, training on Realm Jumping.”

“Are you a Jumper, too?” Tish asked.

He dipped his head. “The only one besides The King and you, Riley. But that will be addressed later. First. We should get you fed and rested then home, straight away.”

“Wait, you’re the only Jumper? I figured The King would have tons!”

“He may be The King, but he has rules as well. Only those who are genetically chosen can Jump.” Labbiel grinned. “So, to find you, another Jumper, worthy to watch the Realms—very exciting.”

“You’ve been watching the Realms alone?” Janet asked.

“We have a team. They travel with me. But you are correct, it’s difficult to stay on top of things.” He looked at me. “Until you came along, and little Tish.”

She giggled. “I’m a Jumper, too, right?”

“We’ll have to see what becomes of you, little one.” He popped a grape into his mouth.

“So when we return to Earth, what are we going to find?” Jeff asked. “The destruction didn’t go unnoticed.”

“The King has restored everything to before our arrival to your home Realm.”

“Restored?” Janet dished up some food for Tish.

“Reset might be a better word. We never arrived. When you return, everything will be as it was. I believe you and Hope have a soccer game tomorrow? Championship?”

I know I must have looked like the world’s biggest dork, but my bottom jaw dropped open on its own.

Labbiel grinned. “The King runs a tight ship. He debriefed me so I’m up to speed on your comings and goings.”

“It’s like he knows everything. How’s that work?” I asked.

“He has his ways.” Labbiel dipped his head a little toward me. “You must be very special, young Jumper, to get an offer to help watch his Realms.”

“Why us? We’re just a bunch of kids,” Hope asked.

“Untainted by the rules, traditions, and rigid beliefs of adults. Other than the adults in this room and involved with the Kurators, most would not believe nor could they comprehend what you all have seen and experienced. We need those who have the faith of a child.” He grinned at Tish.

“What do we tell The Council Triad?” Jeff asked.

“They will try their best to wrap their human minds around this. But ultimately, The King, through Tish, is who you take orders from. The Council will understand.”

“Have you met The Council?” Braeden snickered. “They’re all with the forbid you to do this, go do that, wait to hear from us.”

“I’m sure you’ll see some changes in them.” Labbiel drank from a gold cup embedded with gems around the base. He wore a ring on his pinky finger with the Srupiso symbol etched into it.

“What’s this mean?” I showed him the symbol on my palm. “It was on the caves in the Barbarian Realm. Obviously it’s on my and Tish’s hands, but it’s all over here.”

“As you know, it’s the Mark of Srupiso. The King’s symbol. As Ultimate ruler, he is to be acknowledged on all Realms. Some are not so willing to identify him as the ruler. His people have free will, as you’ve seen, Riley. And with that, choices are made that negatively affect everyone. We, as Watchers of the Realms, are charged with preserving all that is good in the Realms. Protecting them—and the creatures residing in them—from danger. You fight for a higher cause.”

“Higher cause,” I whispered.

“You’re marked for it,” Labbiel said. “Created for it.”

“What about school and soccer?” I asked, finally sitting down before my plate of food. My hunger won out.

“Life as usual.” He grinned.

“Only, not.” Hope flicked my shoulder.

Labbiel laughed. “You’ll be called upon as needed. But until you’re trained, we’ll handle things that arise.”

“Exactly what are you, then?” I asked.

“Servant to The King.”

“That’s not an answer,” Tish said.

“What do you think I am?”

“An Angel?”

“I am a warrior. Created by The King himself, my one purpose is to serve him and protect what’s his.” He winked at me. “As you have now vowed to do.”

Yep. I gulped again. There was something so intense about his purple eyes. It made my stomach turn into knots. He was wicked-focused. Someone who could, in the blink of an eye, break you in half. But yet he seemed good. Yes. He was a good guy.

Then again, he was just about to annihilate Earth at The King’s command.

“Are we able to leave?” I asked. “You know I have soccer.”

Janet laughed, then covered her mouth.

I was anxious to get back to ‘life as usual’ as Labbiel called it. Because I had a feeling things were going to get interesting soon enough.

“Get ready.” Labbiel stood and raised his hand. It was fisted. “I will send you home.”

“You can do that?” I asked.

Labbiel grinned. “There’s much you will learn, young Jumper.”

~~~~~~

Join us Wednesday for the FINAL chapter in the Watcher of the Realms story!

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to ALL the chapter links.

See you soon….

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Watcher of the Realms Chapter 32

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 32

“Riley, boy of no origin, you showed much bravery. Risking Earth’s demise, not only to return a lost soul to his mother, but also because you refused to sacrifice those who hurt you—no matter how deserving—to save Earth.” The King nodded at me. “That demonstrates much compassion. Whether these scientists intended to create it or not, it is there. You belong in no Realm, yet can freely travel to them all. This is a great responsibility.”

I gulped, still clinging to Janet. No, to Mom. My mother. She was my mom.

“I will grant your request to spare the Realm of the Humans if you agree to one thing.”

Tish grabbed my hand and smiled.

“What is it, sir?” I asked.

“You will become my Realm Watcher. You, your family, and your human friend. You are all charged with monitoring Realm Jumpers. While it’s forbidden, it happens. And when it does, damage to all Realms occurs. You, for example, are a result of such things.”

“Wait a minute.” Jeff stepped in front of me. “What’s that mean?”

The King grinned. “We will get to that. I think Riley has questions?”

“The scientists got the DNA from those who have Jumped illegally,” I said.

“Yes.” He glanced down. “As you mentioned earlier, there are creatures on every Realm who make poor decisions. They don’t realize the consequences ripple through every Realm.”

“I think some do,” Tish said.

“Evil, greed, desire, it grows everywhere, leading to actions that cannot be undone.”

“Your son,” I whispered.

He looked at me for a long, long time. “They have caused much grief. I was blinded by it. Nearly stepped down a course that would have been most regrettable.”

“I assume you mean destroying the Earth?” Janet asked, still holding my hand. And Tish’s. Hope was on the other side of her with Braeden standing close.

“Thank you, Riley. Your bravery showed me the error of my ways.”

“You’re welcome, sir.” Wow. The King was thanking me. Earth was saved. My family was here. I couldn’t believe it. “What will happen to the scientists?”

“What would you like?” The King asked.

“To find out more about me. My fathers and my mother, too. I would very much like to know more about what I am. Why I was created with the ability to use this.” I clutched the chain holding The Coin around my neck.

With all the unconsciousness, Jumping and fighting I was lucky I hadn’t lost it.

“I suspect you will not always need it.”

“Excuse me?”

The King leaned forward in his throne. “You, I suspect, are not done developing your unusual set of skills. But, should you accept my offer, you and you alone will have my permission to Jump Realms as needed to bring violators to justice.”

“Justice?” Janet asked.

“To bring them before me.” His voice boomed.

“And what will you do with them?” I asked.

His beard jiggled. He was smiling, or maybe laughing? “Nothing regrettable.”

Braeden stepped beside Mom. We all stood together, shoulder-to-shoulder-to-shoulder, facing off with The King. A creature with the power to blink out a whole world with the snap of his fingers.

And he wanted us. A group of misfit genetic freaks and humans to help him govern the Realms. Yikes.

I looked at Jeff and he dipped his head. Janet smiled. “I stand by what I said earlier, honey. Whatever you decide, I’ll love you.”

“Um…I don’t know what to do. The other Realms. How—”

“Say yes, and you will be trained. Your friend and family will be your support.” He pointed to Tish. “And you, little girl…”

She turned into me, shaking.

The King grinned. “You, my dear, will be their eyes.”

~~~~~~

Join us Monday for Chapter 33  of the Watcher of the Realms.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

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Watcher of the Realms Chapter 31

Watcher of the Realms BannerYou’ve entered the world of The Realm Jumpers. The adventure with Riley and his trusty gang continues…

Chapter 31

“They’re dead!” Tish screamed. “Mom!”

I whipped around and faced The King. He remained on his throne, watching me with those arrogant red eyes. No expression on his face.

He’d wiped out Earth—my family—without even batting an eye?

My heart exploded into a pounding so hard my chest burned. Clenched so tight, my jaw throbbed. Nails bit into my palms as I fisted my hands.

“You killed them.” Tears stung my eyes. Tish and I were truly alone. The King had no right. No mercy. He didn’t deserve to rule.

I stepped toward him.

He titled his head and whispered, “There’s the Barbarian in you.”

This was not fair. None of this was. How I was created. His son dying. Everyone the scientists hurt. My family—

Janet’s face flashed before my eyes. You’re so sweet, Riley. You have a big heart.

She’d told me that more than once. Even though I wasn’t human, she treated me like one. They all did. They loved me.

But she wouldn’t like this anger and hate rampaging through my body right now. I didn’t like it. Darkness. Pain. Everything felt heavy.

I stopped and looked back at Tish. She lay on the marble floor, hugging her stuffed monkey, crying. Heat flared to life in my chest again. I swallowed it back.

She needed me. I had to take care of her.

“It takes a strong will to beat back the Barbarian rage.” The King stood.

“Hurting you solves nothing.” I glanced back to where the screen was, hoping it’d flicker my family’s images. That they’d be okay. That this was a nightmare.

“As if you could hurt me, boy,” The King said. “You have no idea what it takes to rule the Realms. All its inhabitants. You think I like punishing my people.”

“You didn’t punish them. You ended them,” I yelled. Tears burned. I refused to cry in front of him. Never. I would stay strong.

He slammed his staff against the marble floor. The screen appeared again, but this time images of The King and a boy filled it. The boy was small but looked like The King. Laughing, The King launched the boy into the air. Giggles that sounded a lot like Tish’s filled the throne room. Echoed off the marble.

Cut right to my chest. “Your son,” I whispered.

Tish took my hand and held Alastair in her other one. Tears ran down her cheeks. Her nose was red and so were her eyes.

“Phael.” The King stood beside me, watching the supernatural screen.

His long beard lay along his armor, nearly reaching his belly. His knuckles whitened as he squeezed his staff.

“Feel better now that you vaporized the Realm that killed him?” I swallowed the lump in my throat.

Killed them. He…killed everyone on Earth.

The King grunted.

“Was it worth it?” My voice cracked.

The dam of tears burst open. My knees met the hard floor, and I hugged Tish. Everyone was gone.

“You reap what you sow,” The King whispered.

“I don’t even know what that means.” And I wish he’d quit saying it.

“How you live your life. The choices you make. It comes back on you.” The King stepped away, and the screen vanished.

He sat down on his golden throne, rested his head back and closed his eyes. He’d just wiped out my Realm and now he was going to take a little nap?

I looked around, not really sure what to do other than hold on to Tish. The marble went all the way to the ceiling. From what I could see behind the throne there might have been a couple of doors, but I had no clue where they’d lead me.

I didn’t have anywhere to go, anyway. Nobody to help me. What would happen now?

“Mercy and compassion.” The King scrubbed his face. “Determination and courage. Makings of a great leader.”

He was missing the mercy and compassion part for sure.

“Despite the horrors you faced, the pain you experienced, and how you were created, your heart remains pure. Compassionate. Injustice grieves you.” He cleared his throat. “Therefore, you will reap what you sow.”

He jammed his staff against the floor. Lightning flashed. I grabbed Tish, blinking through the blue spots in my vision.

“Riley!” Janet yelled.

I turned around, taking Tish with me, and there was my family.

~~~~~~

Join us Friday for Chapter 32 of Watcher of the Realms. Be sure to subscribe to the site to not miss a single chapter of Riley’s adventures.

A big thank you to Sizzling PR for the Realm Jumper graphics.

CLICK HERE to see previous chapters.

See you soon….

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