Blast Sign Ups: Talisman Of El by Al Stone

Talisman Of El by Al Stone
Series: T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 1
Author: Al Stone
Genre: YA Fantasy
Publisher: Centrinian


One Planet.

Two Worlds.

Population: Human … 7 billion.
Others … unknown.

When 14-year-old Charlie Blake wakes up sweating and gasping for air in the middle of the night, he knows it is happening again. This time he witnesses a brutal murder. He’s afraid to tell anyone. No one would believe him… because it was a dream. Just like the one he had four years ago – the day before his dad died.

Charlie doesn’t know why this is happening. He would give anything to have an ordinary life. The problem: he doesn’t belong in the world he knows as home.

He belongs with the others.


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Praise for the Book:

“If there was ever a book series to rival Harry Potter, then Talisman Of El is definitely the one.” – The Queen Of Teen Fiction

“This is a one of a kind novel.” – Reflections Of A Bookworm

“All I have to say is that it has been a long time since I read a book in just one day.” – Myth, Goodreads

“Talisman Of El is part fantasy, part mythology and pure adventure.” – Tina, Winter Haven Books




Excerpts – Please choose 1 and delete the other 3 (as well as this sentence) prior to posting.

Manhattan, New York
January 25, 2013, 11:15 P.M.
DERKEIN ODESSA SAUNTERED INTO a study lined with bookshelves and a high ceiling?of?gold leaf and bas-relief sculptures. He stopped when he saw his father standing behind the large mahogany desk at the back?of?the room, rifling through the wall safe. A muscle in his jaw ticked. ‘You’re alive then,’ he said.
???? ‘Not now, Derkein.’ His father closed the safe, concealing it with a portrait?of?his wife.
???? Folding his arms across his chest, Derkein advanced on him, his footsteps echoing off the hardwood floor. ‘Not now.’ He chuckled without humour. ‘Well, why don’t you give me your card and I’ll book an appointment.’
???? ‘I’m sorry I didn’t call, but I can’t talk right now. I have a flight to catch.’
When his father turned around, Derkein stopped, his eyes widening. A blood-soaked plaster covered the right side?of?his father’s neck, red stains on the collar?of?his white shirt. Derkein hurried over to him. ‘What happened?’ he asked.
‘I’m fine. It’s just a scratch.’
‘You don’t look fine. Where have you been …?’ Derkein paused, the strong smell?of?tobacco assailing his nose. He scrutinised his father – the purple bags under his eyes, scratch marks on his chin. ‘You’re still searching for it, aren’t you?’ He sighed, raking a hand through his shoulder-length black hair as he lifted his head back. ‘You gave me your word.’
‘I know you disagree with my decision, but you have to understand –’
‘Understand what? Dad, this is not normal.’ Derkein grabbed the bag at his father’s feet, lifted it onto the desk, and tipped it onto its side, scattering the surface with a collection?of?daggers and guns. He picked up a black leather sheath and pulled out a knife, its broad, stainless blade honed until the cutting edge was almost invisible. He dropped the knife and sheath among the other weapons. ‘You have to stop this.’
‘Luther’s dead.’
Derkein’s heart skipped a beat. ‘What … What happened?’
‘Natural causes. Apparently, his heart gave out.’
‘What do you mean “apparently”?’
With a hesitant glance at Derkein, his father opened the front pocket?of?his bag and pulled out a burnished copper?talisman?with an engraved steel band and a circular crevice. ‘Luther and I dug this up in the Roncador Mountains in Mato Grosso, Brazil. The earthquake that hit South America two months ago … We caused it when we removed this from the earth.’ He looked down at the?talisman?and then back at Derkein, distress clouding his features. ‘The moment the earthquake struck, we passed out. Two hours later, we woke up on Manhattan Bridge.’
‘I don’t understand what you’re saying.’
‘We didn’t fly to New York.’
‘Then how did you get here?’
His father started packing the weapons back inside the bag. ‘I don’t know. Three weeks ago, Luther called me and told me that someone was following him. I think whoever was after him wanted the?talisman, and when they didn’t find it, they killed him. Now they’re after me.’
‘So give it to them. Dad, this isn’t worth your life.’
‘I can’t. This is my only connection to Arcadia.’
‘Where are you going?’
‘England,’ his father replied. ‘Thomas might be able to help me. If what he told me about these beings is true, I can’t be around you. They got to Luther. I won’t lose you too.’ He turned around and stared at the portrait covering the safe.
‘I miss Mum too, but it’s been five years. Give up before you end up killing yourself. Arcadia doesn’t exist.’
His father looked at him. ‘It’s out there. I’m going to find it. I will bring her back.’
‘Mum’s dead,’ Derkein snapped. ‘When are you going to get that?’
‘I have to go,’ his father said in a calm voice. ‘I’ll call you when I get there.’
‘Dad –’
‘I’ll be fine. I always am.’
‘Dad, please –’
An ear-piercing scream ripped through the building. Derkein froze, his eyes the only things that moved. His gaze fixed on his father, who was rummaging through his bag. He took out a black pistol and turned to Derkein, a tortured expression on his face as he placed the weapon in his son’s trembling hand.
‘Shoot anything that moves,’ his father instructed. He placed the?talisman?around Derkein’s neck, tucking it inside his shirt. ‘Don’t let it out?of?your sight.’ Cupping Derkein’s face in his hands, he made him meet his gaze. ‘I’m so sorry I got you involved in this.’ He grabbed another gun from the bag.
‘What exactly have you got yourself into, Dad?’
His father looked at him with a solemn expression. ‘If anything happens to me, you find Thomas. Tell him … Tell him he was right.’ He headed towards the door.
‘Dad, wait.’ Derkein went after him. ‘Dad –’
The double doors burst open with a bang.
His father opened fire. ‘Derkein, shoot!’ he yelled.
Derkein glanced around the room in panic and confusion. He saw no one but his father. Then he felt a sharp pain in his arm, heard his shirt tear, and cried out. Something warm dribbled down his arm, and when he placed his hand on it, he saw blood. His father screamed, and he looked up and saw him flying across the room, crashing into a bookshelf that collapsed under him.
‘Dad!’ Derkein sprinted towards him but felt a powerful blow across his chest that sent him flying backwards, and he landed hard on the floor, his gun falling out?of?his hand. Staggering to his feet, he glanced around for whatever had attacked him but saw nothing. His gaze landed on his father, who was groaning … and then he was gone. There were no bright lights or loud noise. He had just vanished.
As Derkein stared wide-eyed at the spot where his father had been lying only moments before, something like a blast?of?electricity stunned him, and he felt an intense burning inside his chest. He let out a cry as his body lifted off the ground and hung in midair. Seconds later, he came crashing down …
The snow crunched beneath Charlie’s feet as he scuttled through the woods, not knowing where he was going. Whichever way he looked, darkness was creeping up on him. He had to squint to see through the falling snow. Hearing Jacob’s voice some way behind him, he stopped and hid behind a tree.
The night was cold and misty. A gentle wind blew, making the hairs on the back?of?his neck prick, and he shivered. Apart from the slight crackling?oftwigs and the rustling?of?wildlife hidden in the darkness, it was quiet. Peering out from behind the tree, he saw the hazy light?of?the torch, which was moving away from him.
A snapping sound behind him made him jump, and he spun around. He gasped when he saw a figure moving towards him. It stopped close enough that he could see it wasn’t Jacob – for it was too thin – but not close enough to allow him to make out a face.
‘Be not afraid,’ a soft voice said.
Panic rose inside Charlie, and he turned to run, but his feet slipped from under him, and he fell on his back. Glancing behind him, he saw that the figure had disappeared. Then he heard a noise like the fluttering?of?wings and looked ahead, his eyes widening with fear.
The figure, wearing a long cloak, was standing a few feet away from him, a hood covering its head.
‘My name is Candra,’ the figure said.
‘How did you …? You were just …’ Charlie staggered to his feet.
‘I do not wish to harm you, Charlie,’ Candra said.
Charlie paused.?That voice …?It sounded so familiar. He caught his breath in his throat.?It can’t be. ‘How do you know my name?’ he asked in a shaky voice.
‘I have known you your whole life. I am here to protect you. I’m aware you are unnerved right now, but try to remain calm. The last thing we need is an earthquake.’
Charlie thought back to the tremor he had felt inside the canteen on his first day?of?school, and his breathing accelerated. His legs trembled as he took slow steps away from the woman.
‘Listen carefully,’ Candra said. ‘The?talisman?you saw. You need it. You must restore it …’ She broke off, and an urgent edge crept into her voice. ‘You are not listening. Focus.’
Charlie clenched his eyes shut.?She’s not real. Wake up.?He opened his eyes, and the woman was still there. His heart kicked into overdrive when she disappeared and reappeared in front?of?him, leaving only inches between them. Seeing her intense green eyes, her face slashed with scars, he screamed.
No sooner had he tried to run than a violent windstorm assailed him. The snow and the dead leaves on the ground rose with the wind, attacking him. He fell once, twice, three times but got back up again.
As the wind grew stronger, it picked him up and threw him backwards. He hit the ground hard. Lying on his back, he heard faint footsteps. Soon, a blurry figure was standing over him. Then darkness swallowed him.
They had travelled two-thirds?of?the way across the lake, a good twenty metres, when a splashing sound reached their ears, and they stopped.
They looked to the right but saw nothing. Another sound reached them from the left, and they shifted their gazes.
‘Keep moving,’ Derkein instructed.
As soon as they took off, Richmond screamed and jumped back, colliding with Charlie. ‘Something touched my leg,’ he cried.
‘That’s not funny,’ Alex said in a strained voice.
‘I’m not joking,’ Richmond said, his expression serious and scared.
A flicker?of?movement at the edge?of?Charlie’s vision caught his attention, and he looked to his right. He saw the dark silhouette?of?a figure rising out?of?the water. Its top half was huge and hunched over with spikes arched around its head. ‘There’s something in the water,’ he whispered.
‘That’s what I said,’ Richmond muttered.
‘No, look.’
From the gasps that followed, Charlie supposed he wasn’t the only one who could see the creature.
‘I want you to move towards me slowly,’ Derkein whispered.
The trio began to move. At that same moment, the creature plunged into the lake, and all they saw were water ripples heading towards them.
‘Run!’ Derkein shouted.
This?is your big plan?’ Ash asked. ‘You’re going to row all the way to Eden.’ His voice dripped with sarcasm. ‘At this rate, we’ll be there next year – oh wait, that’s right, you don’t have a year.’
‘Unless you have a plane, this is the best I can do,’ Charlie said.
‘There’s an idea,’ Oren said. She regarded Ash. ‘We could fly.’
‘Now?there’s?a plan,’ Ash said.
‘You have a plane?’ Charlie asked.
Ash grinned. ‘I have something way better.’ Removing his sword from around his shoulder, its black leather sheath protected with metal guards at both ends, he tossed it to Oren, who caught it with a firm grip, and then walked away from the group.
‘Where’s he going?’ Charlie asked.
‘He’s going to change,’ Oren replied.
‘Change his clothes?’
Oren smiled. ‘No. He’s going to shape-shift.’
The trio shot nervous glances at one another and then looked at Ash. They were aware that Aeons and Lightworkers could change form, but apart from seeing Avaran’s giant frame, they had never witnessed a full transformation. Though, if it was anything like Derkein’s transformation, Charlie thought, it wouldn’t be a pleasant sight.
Ash turned to face the group and got down on his hands and knees. Right away, he started to twitch, and then his body tensed. It happened in under a minute: the throbbing?of?his veins, the bulging?of?his muscles, his fingernails growing into long, sharp claws, his arms and legs stretching to obscene lengths and his smooth skin becoming rough and scaly.
The trio froze, their jaws dropped, eyes wide open.
Where Ash had been standing only seconds ago now stood a terrifying monster. Standing nearly nine feet tall and seven feet in length – excluding its tail – it had a head shaped like an acorn with two backswept horns that were the same ivory shade as its claws and teeth. Even if Charlie hadn’t seen the transformation with his own eyes, he still would have recognised Ash behind the beast’s eyes and its fiery red skin, the same tone as Ash’s hair.
‘Is that a dragon?’ Richmond asked in a high-pitched voice.
‘Yes,’ Oren answered.
‘He’s not dangerous, right?’ Charlie asked.
‘You needn’t worry,’ Oren assured them. ‘It is still Ash. He will not harm you.’
Charlie started walking towards Ash, who set into a crouch as he approached. ‘He can’t talk, can he?’ He glanced behind him at Oren, who was following him.
Alex and Richmond were still standing on the bridge.
‘No, he cannot talk,’ Oren said. ‘When in animal form, Aeons and Lightworkers?of?the same kingdom can communicate telepathically.’
Charlie moved alongside the dragon, his eyes locked on Ash’s giant bat-like wing. He looked up and saw hard, huge red eyes fixed on him. ‘I think I prefer this version?of?Ash. Less noise.’ Something thwacked him on the back, and he stumbled forward, dropping onto his hands and knees.
‘Charlie,’ he heard Alex scream. She was by his side in seconds, helping him up. Oren took his other arm. He turned around and saw Ash’s wing extended. He could swear he was smirking – if dragons could smirk.




Other Books in the Series
Blackout (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 2 )
Ground Zero (T.O.E. Trilogy, Book 3)

Author Al Stone

Al Stone is the author of the YA fantasy trilogy T.O.E. After graduating with a BA in Film & Television, Al had worked in the television industry for a short period before a disabling injury caused her to turn her hand to storytelling. Talisman Of El is her debut novel. The sequels Blackout and Ground Zero are currently available for sale. When she isn’t writing, she enjoys going to the movies, listening to music and travelling. At present, she lives in England, United Kingdom with her family.

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