Welcome to Realm Explorers! In this weekly series, we visit a variety of unique worlds created by talented science fiction and fantasy authors. Enjoy your travels! And don't forget to read to the bottom of the post to find out more about each author and see how to purchase the featured book.
Peggy M. McAloon
Title of book and/or series:
“Missing”, Book 2 in the Lessons from Fiori Series
Brief summary of “Missing” – Book 2 in the Lessons from Fiori Series:
Elle Burton’s baby brother, JJ, has been kidnapped. As a newly designated guide, sworn to protect the children of Earth, she’s desperate to get him back. Elle teams up with the winged warriors from Fiori to save him … but JJ isn’t the only one in danger.
Missing follows Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals as book two in the Lessons from Fiori series. In the first book, Elle is designated as a guide to winged creatures from another dimension. Their job is to protect the children of Earth from the moment of birth until their eighth birthday. Not all human children are able to see these creatures, but Elle can and she’s eleven now.
As Elle struggles with her new designation as a guide to these creatures on Earth, she discovers she is the only one in centuries who has been able to unleash the magic of the Fiori Pendant. Everything points to the stunning revelation that she may be the girl who completes three challenges in her eleventh year, as predicted in the Sacred Scrolls of Destiny. Did she complete the third challenge when she brought Pegasus back to life?
Elle quickly learns in book two that the children who suffer at the hands of bullies (both young and old) frequently can't find their voices to ask for help when they desperately need it. In Missing, she struggles with her demons too, finding she’s not as perfect as everyone thinks she is. Her anger at her brother’s disappearance and the frustration of being unable to bring him home is heightened by the fact that the authorities remain a heart-stopping step behind the kidnapper.
These books are filled with compassion and lean on fantasy and magic to inspire kids to be their best and help others in need while still having the courage to ask for help when they need it. You may even find yourself cheering for bullies to become better people.
Brief description of the world or location you created for this story:
Fiori is located in a parallel dimension to Earth. Things are similar to our world and yet they are quite different. Flowers can be as big as tractor tires, while elephants are miniaturized house pets. Fiori is filled with winged creatures. The Fiorins who typically protect the children have exquisite butterfly-like wings. There are warriors in Fiori who have wings more like a moth. This allows them to move more quickly in battle.
In book two, Elle travels with a female warrior named Amara, to an area of Fiori called the Fiume Valley. Human guides have never before been allowed to travel to this section. In addition to the profusion of flowers of every color and shape imaginable, there are bleak mountain ranges and far in the distance you’ll see a huge body of water similar to our oceans. The ocean waters can be seen from the cliffs, but no one has allowed Elle to explore that area yet.
I would love to share information about the Fiume Valley, but it would spoil the story for everyone. What I can tell you is that I would love to camp out there for several months. My inner child cries to go to such a magical place where all my childish dreams could possibly be realized. It’s a place where there is no war and hatred doesn’t exist. It’s a place man would destroy if given an opportunity.
If we were to travel to Fiori what would you recommend we do and which things should we avoid?
You definitely want to ride on the back of a giant-turquoise Truero to view the reflection ponds of Fiori. It is in these ponds that the reflections of every child on Earth under the age of eight appear. Through the reflections of these children, the Fiorins can travel between the two worlds.
Avoid the ruthless Zorins who dwell on the barren cliffs at all costs. It’s a rare event when a Fiorin or human guide who wanders into their territory ever returns.
What types of weaponry or fighting styles are common in Fiori?
Every Fiorin has a special power. The warrior Amadeus is capable of summoning huge storms with deadly lightning bolts, but he’s not averse to using a sword similar to King Arthur’s. Bernstein has x-ray vision and can spot the enemy regardless of where they may hide. Warriors are chosen for whatever skill is needed at the moment. The Zorins are as tall as a three-story building in Fiori, but can inhabit a human for short periods of time. At this point, the battle that mortally injured Pegasus is the only one in which a Fiorin has survived.
Does all the action take place in Fiori?
In this book, the majority of the action is centered around JJ’s disappearance on Earth. Four Fiorin warriors are sent here to help Elle find and bring her brother home: Wyatt, Milo, Amadeus (who we’ve met previously) and Bernstein (who was introduced at the end of book 1). The Zorins are capable of entering the human body for short periods of time. This time the monsters come to our dimension to terrorize Elle into giving up the prophecy.
Is there a distinct or unusual type of food or meal that we might be served in Fiori?
All the people and animals in Fiori are vegetarians. In Fiori, all things needed are provided. There is an old chest in Nextra’s house. When she’s hungry, she lifts the lid and there are as many hot meals as she needs already on serving plates. Evidently, you can have anything you wish for in this beautiful land.
What, if any, “hot-button” or controversial topics do you touch on in your book?
This book touches on the internal vulnerabilities kids struggle with when they are frightened. Elle discovers what it feels like not to be able to ask for help when you’re in trouble or afraid. Sometimes the biggest threat in our lives is the demon within, not those who invade our world. Whether it’s winged creatures, a favorite teacher, or a parent, kids can always find someone to help if they find the courage to stand up to the forces of evil that threaten them.
What is your audience?
The target audience is kids 9 through middle grade for the first two books. This is a “Coming of Age” story, so we will see Elle grow into the world of teens very soon.
Peggy M McAloon is on a mission to inspire kids everywhere to stand up to abuse and bullying. Her "Lessons from Fiori Series" about a young girl from Wisconsin, provides a strong female role model who isn't afraid to show compassion or hack into a con man's computer if the need arises. Peggy's courageous battle with bullying, abuse, and a traumatic brain injury has enabled her to identify with both children and adults who have suffered from social injustices.
She's a retired trainer and speaker in the field of commercial credit. Her first book, "The Art of Business Credit Investigation" was featured in Inc. Magazine. She's been interviewed by the Associated Press and appeared on several television news programs in her efforts to protect our water resources.
Where, and in what formats, can we purchase your books?
“Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals” can be found in both ebook and softcover formats at most on-line retailers. Here’s the link to Amazon: ViewBook.at/ElleBurton
“Elle Burton and the Reflective Portals” is also available at Audible (http://adbl.co/1ysdBo6) and Missing is in production there. I decided to break with tradition and change the covers for the two audio versions. Mili Fay Art has provided delightful caricatures of Elle, some of our Fiorin friends, and one of the Zorins.
Where can readers connect with you online?
I hope you all enjoyed the trip to Fiori. Questions about the world or the book? Ask them in the comments and the author will get back to you!
Click here to read other posts in the Realm Explorers series.
Please join us again next Monday for a trip to New Lilinar and Dubinshire, in Realm Explorers Part XCV!-Annie Douglass Lima