Countdown: 5 Weeks. We’re counting down to the release the first of the Byways books, which is my new children’s series. Each Thursday, I’ll bring out sketches, excerpts, and explanations of the adventure ahead. Today, I’ll give you a peek at the story’s setting, a land called Liberty.
A vast continent. Mountains to the north, which are bounded by a frigid sea. A cross-country railroad connects coast to coast in this forested part of the country. Open plains and plateaus through the midland. People are scarce in the Wilds, where communities have to be self-sufficient. Rolling hills slope toward the warm southern sea, where lush swamps and cozy coves are abundant. Big cities and hill-country outposts thrive in this balmy region.
A step back in time. The land of Liberty is a cross between colonial America and medieval Europe, with a dash of Invention thrown in. Women wear long skirts, men sport flowing cloaks. Peace is kept by rangers on horseback. A transcontinental railroad has been established, yet people commonly use lanterns to light their homes and rely on the post office for communication.
A touch of magic. In the world where Byways takes place, magic takes many forms. It’s a rare trait that tends to run in families. Some magical gifts are quite useful. Others are downright quirky. While these talents are generally accepted, in some regions of Liberty, magicians are feared. Also, mythical creatures are alive and well in Liberty’s wild places. (Hence the inclusion of a dragon, griffin, and unicorn on the Byways series header!)
Byways, Book #1: On Your Marks
releases July 4, 2014
Series Summary: Ian Johns is the founder of the postal system in the land of Liberty. Twice widowed, he has three sons, all half-brothers, and the boys don’t get along. In order to help them bond, Ian plans a tour of the country in the hopes that travel will bring them closer together. But somehow, the plan is twisted around, and the trip becomes a race.
Age Range: These books are geared for young readers who are ready for their very first chapter books (K-2).
Book 1: On Your Marks
Wednesday, June 4