YAPC would like to welcome A.K. Taylor to the blog today. She is here to share some info about the new edition of her book Neiko’s Five Land Adventure. If this looks like a book you would enjoy reading, please go pick up a copy!
The childhood secret of a troubled teen warrior is used against her by her enemies. It turns out what Neiko imagined is real, and she becomes trapped in the same world she imagined by an otherworldly evil that is worse than the devil. Getting home is the least of her problems.
The Indians and the Crackedskulls are locked in the turmoil of a war that has raged for centuries, and it is presently in a stalemate. Her enemies, Raven and Bloodhawk, have come up with a scheme to take her down, but in doing so they inadvertently open the door to another universe and to an otherwordly evil. Neiko later finds out that a land she thought she had only imagined is actually real, and the dark being is not a figment of her childhood imagination–he is terrifyingly real, and she faces him for the first time. To make matters worse, it is now in her world, and he has evil plans especially for her.
After several standoffs with the malevolent Ramses the Dark Pharaoh in Hawote, she is trapped in Qari by his strange and powerful magic. Trapped in another universe and in a place that is not exactly the way she imagined it. She must somehow find a way to teleport home. That is easier said than done; the odds are overwhelmingly against her and her scorpion-cobra companion as they must travel to find the answer and help, but at the same time avoid Ramses’ allies, traps, and tricks. Can she come back home and turn the tables on her enemies?
If you love the hidden worlds and magic of Percy Jackson and Harry Potter, travel to other worlds like Warriors of Virtue and The Neverending Story, and a strong female protagonist with a bow like the Hunger Games, and the comic relief of the Big Bang Theory, you will love Neiko’s Five Land Adventure!
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Neiko shoved the remaining bit of honey bun into her mouth and carried another into her room, but on her way she ran into her mom. “What are you doing with that?” she asked.
“I’m so hungry I thought I might have seconds, and I’ve got a drawing to finish,” Neiko replied.
“Alright,” she said. Neiko walked into her room and closed the door. “Well, I got you a honey bun, and I hope you like it,” Neiko said as she unwrapped it and laid it down on top of the wrapper. Quickstrike scurried over and looked at it doubtfully.
“I want bugs or something,” complained Quickstrike.
“I’m sorry, but that’s all I have. I can’t really find bugs here because there are no woods. Will you at least try it?”
Quickstrike grabbed a claw full and shoved it into his mouth. “Mmm, not bad. Your food is kind of strange, but it tastes good. Just wait till you try ours.”
“What do you mean? I’m not going to Qari. What type of food are you talking about anyway?”
“Oh, I didn’t mean you were coming; I was just saying maybe I’ll make a dish or something. Well, like barbecued velociraptor, marinated beetles, wild cherry muffins, and Lydia’s famous slug casserole, fried snails, and my favorite, parched rollie pollies. We have much more selection, but we would be here all day if I have to name them all.”
Neiko grimaced. “Yuck! The only thing that sounds good is wild cherry muffins. Do you ever eat deer?”
“Oh yeah, we do a lot. Is that something you like?”
“Yeah, barbecued deer is my favorite, and I like it hot and spicy.” Neiko said as she dreamed of a steaming bowl of the stuff.
“You eat hot stuff? I’m not particularly fond of hot and spicy food, but you can try some of our food, and you wouldn’t die if you eat it. Maybe you can try something like snake, frog legs, alligator, or crawfish.”
“Mmm, I’ve always wanted to try snake and that other stuff, but do you eat fish?”
“Oh yes, we eat every kind—catfish, bream, bass, and even pirhana.”
“What does pirhana taste like?”
“I’ll surprise you, you’ll know when you try some, believe me. It’s good. I like it with a side dish of worm pasta with katydid dices.”
“Eww! What’s for dessert?”
“Cricket cobbler, chocolate covered fire ants, or any type of fruit cobbler or pie.”
“Sick! I’ll just stick with just plain chocolate. Can you put almonds or nuts in chocolate?”
“Yes, I prefer plain chocolate too because fire ants give me gas,” Quickstrike said groaning.
“Oh, did they give you a stomachache?” Neiko said laughing.
“Yes, you bet! I also wondered why Buzzclaw and Torca kicked me out of the tent.”
Neiko laughed so hard her side started hurting. “That bad, huh?”
“Yes, hee, hee, they said I was making too much noise because they were trying to sleep, and need I say more? Glacier, Darkclaw, and Rip Rat said I could stay with them because I can’t possibly bother them, and I believe you know why.”
“Yeah, well—” Neiko started saying, but her mom called.
“Amanda, I’m going to the bank and to the post office; I’ll be back in about forty-five minutes!”
“Alright, mom!” Neiko called back. “You want to play video games?”
“What? What are those?”
“Oh, uh, they’re games you play on the TV, do you want to watch?”
“Yeah, can I get on your shoulder?”
“Sure, I’ll pick you up, and you can hop on.” Neiko laid her hand on the bed, Quickstrike crawled onto her hand, and Neiko carefully placed him on her shoulder. “Hang on, sitting down may be rough.” Neiko sat on the floor, but Quickstrike held on with no trouble. “Very good! You had no problem hanging on?”
“Nope, I have eight legs and two claws to hang on with. Give me a real challenge,” said Quickstrike. “And all I needed was my legs.”
“Which one do you want to see?” Neiko asked as she laid them out.
“Hmm, I don’t know. They all look interesting. How ‘bout that one with the guy that looks like Ramses on it?”
“Oh, you mean Killer Instinct? Fulgore does look like Ramses, kind of. You know, I never thought about it till you mentioned it, but I don’t think he acts anything like him.”
“Yeah, he probably doesn’t, and Ramses has lied so much that he wouldn’t know what the truth was if it came and bit him in the nose,” said Quickstrike in a scathing manner.
Neiko laughed and put the game in and grabbed the controller.
“Is that so?” asked an angry, cold voice.
Neiko was so startled she threw the controller in the air, and Quickstrike landed on the bed because he was so startled that he jumped. Neiko looked, and Ramses stood leaning on the inside of her door with his feet crossed and his arms folded over his chest; he was glaring at Quickstrike.
Neiko stood up and gathered her composure. “Well, speak o’ the devil,” she said moodily.
Quickstrike hissed at him. “I heard about you coming and harassing my friend; what do you want here, Pharaoh?” he asked angrily.
“That’s none of your business, bug brain,” he snapped coldly.
“You know, you lied to her when you asked what this place is when you knew exactly where you were, liar and cheat!” Quickstrike yelled fiercely.
“Watch your mouth and hold your tongue, or I’ll remove it for you. I did not lie,” Ramses retorted.
Neiko folded her arms and stared at him sternly. “Yeah, where did you hear the word ‘Hawote’ then, hmm?”
“That voice that I heard summon me told me to come to Hawote, and it was the voice of Raven. So this is the place you call home? Then I cast a spell to come to this ‘Hawote’, and I find it exists. I have noticed you know who I am.”
“Yeah, what’s your point? Well, it’s seems you found out everything you wanted to know, so I guess you will be returning to Qari then. Besides, there’s nothing here you could possibly want except to pick a fight with Raven and Bloodhawk, but they’ll cream your butt. Well, this is it then, huh?” Neiko said, shrugging.
“Yes, I will return to Qari, but I won’t leave empty handed; I wish to take a souvenir with me,” Ramses said mischievously.
“Well, if you’re looking for the Eye of Mohica, I don’t know where it is. You can find it yourself,” Neiko snapped sarcastically.
“I am not interested in that worthless talisman. Maybe I should’ve said I won’t leave alone,” he replied in a soft tone.
“Oh, you want to take Raven and Bloodhawk with you? Go ahead be my guest; we’ve been waiting a long time to be rid of those two. You’re welcome to it,” Neiko replied ushering toward the northwest.
“I have no use for those two overgrown idiots! Oh, they are no match for me, and I’ll cream them.”
“You sound just like Arnold Schwarzeneggar,” Neiko muttered. “Well, there’s nothing else I can think of, so what do you want?” Neiko asked aggravated, but Quickstrike stared at Ramses nervously.
Ramses said nothing, and his eyes shimmered with a terrible red light, and they had a sinister look in them. Then he took a step toward Neiko.
Cold fear gripped her stomach, and her mind started racing. “Oh no! I’m not going anywhere with you! I’m staying right here in Hawote where I belong! You won’t get me without a fight! If you want me, come and get me, but you have to take me down first!”
Ramses laughed evilly. “You want to fight against me? Why don’t you just come quietly—for old time’s sake. What are you trying to prove? If you insist on this stupid last stand, so be it. I haven’t had one this brave for some time, and I’ll enjoy this even though this will not take long. Enjoy your freedom and the last look at your land because it will be the last time you see it! Where is your weapon, dear?”
Neiko jumped on the bed and grabbed her stick from the corner; it had a club-like end on it, and she held it on the slender end. “Right here, Monster Gas! I’m not trying to prove anything! Neiko Kidd surrenders to no one, and when I get done, you’re gonna wish you never wanted to take Admiral Kidd!” Neiko said as she expertly spun her stick.
Ramses laughed even harder. “Oh, you’ll eat those words once I have you. You’ll wish you hadn’t resisted me. When we return, Hawote will be destroyed! You are going to fight me with a stick? It doesn’t matter to me what weapon you use because I will win. I don’t need a weapon. I am going to take you down with my bare hands. So prepare to be captured!”
Neiko bared her teeth and hissed. “Ooooh, come and give me your best shot, Chrome Scum!” she said as she beckoned him with her hand and then replaced it on the grip of her stick.
Ramses angrily stuck with lightning speed as he tried to grab her ankle. Neiko jumped and just barely dodged his sweeping hand and landed at the head of the bed. Seeing an opportunity to attack, Neiko swung the stick over her head and sent the head of it crashing down on the end of his middle finger with every ounce of her strength, and the pain rushed through his glove into all of his hand.
“Owww! I’ll get you for this, Neiko!” he growled as he rubbed his injured finger to ease the pain. It lingered, causing him to get angrier.
“Ha! Ha!” Neiko said jeeringly. “How do you like fighting Indians now, hmm? I guess it’s not like it’s cracked up to be, huh?” she punned, laughing. “Oh, by the way, you need to get your eyes checked, Ramsneeze. It doesn’t profit much in trying to catch air!”
Quivering with rage, Ramses shouted, “Oh, you’ll see, I’ll get the last laugh; you won’t think your loss and your captivity are a bit funny! Consider that miss a gift, and I will not grant you any more!”
Seeing an opportunity, Quickstrike shouted, “Attack Pack!” as he ran and jumped on his face blocking his view. Ramses growled fiercely, and he tried to get him off.
“I forgot my manners. I forgot to welcome you to Hawote, and this is how we greet uninvited, evil guests—Quickstrike, watch out!” Heeding the warning, Quickstrike jumped off, and landed on the bed beside Neiko. “Eat stick!” she yelled and hit Ramses right in the face with the stick, but the end snapped off because of the force of the blow and the hardness of his helmet; the hit didn’t faze him. Neiko looked at it surprised because she had used it against titanium Crackedskull armor, and it didn’t break. Seeing his opportunity, Ramses hit Neiko in the back of the legs with his arm in a sweep, sending her falling on her back onto the bed, and the fall caused her head to spin. Ramses stood over her, but Neiko still had her stick and she attempted to hit him in the top of the head. Knowing her move, he stopped her in midswing by seizing her wrists, and with his free hand, ripped it from her grasp and threw it on the floor. Quickstrike scurried over to help his fallen friend. He jumped onto Ramses’ face again, but this time he grabbed Quickstrike and threw him against the wall. Quickstrike groaned and lay still.
“Quickstrike!” Neiko yelled as she tried to crawl to him, but Ramses grabbed her ankle and yanked her to him. He turned her over and seized her by her wrists; Neiko tried to free herself by struggling, but Neiko had no idea of his strength, and he laughed at her puny attempts to free herself. “Quickstrike, say something, help! Somebody help me!” Neiko saw some of her neighbors in the yard. “Help!” she screamed at the top of her lungs, but they didn’t hear her.
“Be quiet. No one can hear you, and there is no one to rescue you. Let’s go.”
“No! Please! I won’t call you names again; please let me go!” Neiko begged.
“No, it’s not about name-calling! I decided this long ago, the day I saw you. Don’t fight me, or I’ll tie you up. I suggest you relax.”
“Let go of me, Chrome Breath, or I’ll—”
“ Shut up! You’ll what? You are at my mercy. I am not releasing you, so don’t ask again.” Neiko started to sob, and then she saw her mom’s red car pull up. Ramses showed a great deal of annoyance, and he let go of Neiko. “Well, you get your wish this time because I let you win, and since I don’t want to be seen by anyone here. Next time you won’t be so lucky, and your mommy won’t be around to save you, so be warned. I’ll be back, and you’ll be mine!” He laughed wickedly and all of him disappeared but his eyes. “I’ve been watching you, and I’ll keep watching!” he said then his eyes disappeared, but she could still hear his terrible laugh. Neiko sighed with the utmost relief as her mom came in. Neiko rushed in and hugged her. “Mom, I love you,” she said squeezing her eyes shut to keep the tears from coming.
“I love you too, honey,” she replied. Neiko then ran to her room to check on Quickstrike.
About the Author: A.K. Taylor grew up in the backwoods of Georgia where she learned about nature. She enjoys hunting and fishing, beekeeping, gardening, archery, shooting, hiking, and has various collections. She also has interest in music, Native American history and heritage, Egyptian history, and the natural sciences. A.K. Taylor has been writing and drawing since the age of 16. A.K. Taylor has graduated from the University of Georgia with a biology degree, and she shares an interest in herpetology with her husband.
A.K. Taylor can be found: