Secret of the Shielded by Ann Snizek

 Release Date:  March 9, 2013
Genre:  YA Fantasy, Sci-Fi
Length:  Over 75,000 Words
 Presented by:As You Wish Tours

This brave band of spectacular friends must go on a horrendous journey to remove all threats to the newly reclaimed throne. They will discover amazing new truths and face heart wrenching choices. Who are the Philo birds singing about? How will their song play out in the lives of these young people? Will it all be for nothing??

Song of the Philo birds:

Twelve companions all will travel
Eleven this song try to unravel
Ten don’t know which is the way
Nine are going to have to pay
Eight are wondering what they will find
Seven speak with mouth and mind
Six shall get a brand new name
Five will never be the same
Four the enemy will take
Three have choices they must make
Two have powers they must use
Or, One friend in death will lose.

After about an hour of searching, they had circled around and found a cave within a
short ride from the injury site. Krissa had spotted the shadows, and Nester cried out in
relief. The original site they went to look at turned out to be worthless to them, so the
cave was a welcome sight for them all. Daisy Mae put her nose to the ground and sniffed
around the entrance before going in. Cautiously, she entered and the rest waited for her
to return, or call for them. Another ten minutes later and Daisy Mae came out wagging
her tail with her head up and tongue down.

They all dismounted and approached the cave mouth. Sealey pulled out his flashlight
and pointed it in.

"Not as fancy as our last lodging, but beats a tent." He walked in farther and
examined the cave as it opened up and led to three other rooms. "It has enough space to
bring the horses in. On top of that, the spring in the back is thermally heated. So, we will
get to clean up a bit."

"There's a stream just about twenty feet down the slope outside also. Plenty of cool
water for Rania," Nester said. "And plenty of dry timber for a fire."

"We better collect that quickly," Lonnie added. "It feels like it's going to rain tonight.
I can make a couple litters, one for Pin and one that should be able to carry Rania, if she
can't walk by the time we get back."

"I'll help you," Nester told Lonnie.

I grew up in Vermont mostly and now live in Virginia with my family (those still at home). My husband and I have a blended family of seven kids. My childhood was spent moving around a lot. (non-military) About five years ago, we started home-schooling our youngest children. Now there are only two remaining in home-school. I have tried to nurture the love of books in our children and now our grandchildren -- always nurturing their imaginations. Recently, I have become active in our community with literacy, starting a local (and online) creative writing club and volunteer tutoring at the Adult Learning Center.
I struggle with Fibromyalgia and PTSD. So, have to be careful not to overdo things... I don't always listen to my own advice. I have a dry, sarcastic and corny sense of humor and always try to look at things optimistically. (again not always successful) However, I feel that if I don't give up -- for long -- then things will work out for the best eventually.
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