The Kingdom of Hope
"Hesitating, the messenger lowered his head again. With a strain in his voice and fearing the queen’s anger, the soldier barely looked up as he spoke. “Yes, your majesty! The king’s last words ‘Mascara … he said... said ... said ‘Mascara ... Mascara’ before he fell over, dead.”
"The queen trembled, her hands shook wildly.... Her expression changed – a look of horror, worst than death, plastered her face."
The Black Ruby
“The Black Ruby, a highly polished crimson orb, displayed startling beauty. Although large, it seemed weightless in Rachel’s hands ... it began to glow a deep blood red ... A voice inside the ruby, almost inaudible, whispered, ‘Fear not; fear not.’”
“You have awakened the powerful protective spirit inside this magical jewel; it recognizes you as the rightful owner .... Rachel’s sense of intrigue with the stone grew, even more so when she noticed inside the jewel crooked lines the queen could not explain.”
Rachel the Princess
"Rachel had fine features, flawless sun-bronzed skin. She stood tall and elegant with a glowing beauty and flowing chestnut hair that draped loosely over her shoulders. Tinges of auburn highlighted each strand. Tiny seashell-shaped ears peeped from under her flowing curls. With an oval face and swan like-neck, she had the appearance of the finest ceramic doll complete with an elfin nose and tiny mouth. Golden brown eyes complemented her beauty, making Rachel unlike any other maiden in the kingdom.
“Someday, I will find the other six mysterious Jewels and bring them to the Land of Hope, mother,” Rachel said. Showing self-confidence in her abilities, Rachel exhibited little fear of the unknown. The princesses’ adventurous spirit consumed her personality."
Mascara the Witch
"Inside the tattered cloak, Mascara had long, stringy fingers; hooked nails mirrored her crooked feet and claw-like toenails. The witch’s shadowy arms and legs extended outward from a formless body, a black mass devoid of shape and texture. Her shape wiggled in constant motion, as if swaying against the wind. Her skull eyes, iridescent green, dominated the witch’s face. "
"No other physical features appeared on her face, just her glowing green eyes cast against a background of blackness, a fiendish apparition. Her skull-shaped eyes glowed intensely, molded into the stark blackness of her face. Mascara’s hooded robe, shredded and tattered from head to hem, showed generations of wear. But her shadow did not always reveal her form to unsuspecting people or creatures."
Meinheart the Dragon
"Underneath the heavy brow ridge of scaled leathery skin covering his face, colossal eyes searched the area, seeing everything, missing nothing. Behind his head and long neck which towered above the tree tops, the dragon had huge powerful shoulders. From the top of his back, Meinheart’s muscular body sloped towards a boney ridge running down his spine to his 30 foot long tail. Gangly, colossal bat–like wings stretched from his back to his powerful front and rear legs."
The Catfish Stew
"Rachel and the rabbit could not move quickly enough to clean the muddle of half-cooked fish, skeletal bones, vegetables, and slippery oil before Meinheart rocked to one side, facing them. Not quite awake and sniffing the air, his enormous snout widening, the dragon smelled the burning logs and partially cooked fish. Half sleeping, he rolled toward the fiery pit; his eyelids slid open."
The Kingdom Crumbles
"Chaos and insurrection engulfed the kingdom. The queen summoned all of the support she could garner, but her challenge to the warring factions looked bleak. With aid from the peasants and few loyal soldiers and citizens, the queen faced her sternest challenge to the throne. Many of the queen’s remaining royal guards abandoned the castle’s defense and left weakened perimeter of fallen soldiers to defend against the onslaught of traitors and destroyers of Hope."