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A Karmanic Sovereign Legion book

Lincoln, Nebraska

THE BLUE MOON NARTHEX Š2017 Steel Page Press, LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this book may be used or reproduced by any means, graphic, electronic or mechanical, including photocopying, recording, taping or by any information storage retrieval system without the written permission of the publisher except in the case of brief quotations embodied in critical articles and reviews. This is a work of fiction. Any real-life similarities to characters’ names or likenesses, scenes, or plot lines is purely coincidental. Steel Page Press, LLC books may be ordered from your favorite bookseller. www.KSLSeries.com Steel Page Press, LLC 13518 L. Street Omaha, NE 68137 ISBN: 978-0-9974763-1-6 (Ppk) ISBN: 978-0-9974763-2-3 (Mobi) ISBN: 978-0-9974763-3-0 (EPUB) ISBN: 978-0-9974763-4-7 (Audio) Library of Congress Cataloging Number: 2016915752 Library of Congress Cataloging-in-Publication data on file with the publisher. PRODUCTION, DISTRIBUTION AND MARKETING: Concierge Marketing Inc. www.ConciergeMarketing.com Printed in the USA 10 9 8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1

Doctrine of the

Karmanic Sovereign Legion Karmanic The power of the world’s Karmanic matter will be our guide. Let us only assist the good and fight the urge to sympathize with the bad. We shall not use this great power for our own selfish purpose but for the greater good of all. Sovereign Not governed by borders or governments of mankind, we are free from influence that may pull us from our mission. We are free from the judgements of anyone based on age, gender, race or religion, as Karma does not see these attributes, but only one’s actions. Legion A group that cannot be divided and will not serve one but is a servant of all. We are bound together with the common goal of balancing the good and bad actions of the world.

Let it be known on this 12th day March 1414, that the Karmanic Sovereign Legion will be formed. As the founding members of this legion, we are sworn to protect and uphold all good deeds of the world while defeating the bad deeds of the few. The use of the Karmanic power will be respected and used only for the greater good of all and not for the benefit of one. This Legion cannot be successful without the inclusion of all people. The Karmanic Sovereign Legion will promote equality among all, regardless of gender, creed, ethnicity, or age. All words spoken will be held with same respect no matter who speaks them. We and all of the Karmanic Sovereign Legion will uphold this doctrine above all else.

1 August 1, 1918 Cole McCarthy was hot. Hot and bored. The damp heat of a New Hampshire summer had turned the air to soup, especially in the upstairs train depot office. The thirteen-year-old gripped the wooden arms of his father’s chair and spun in squeaky circles, stirring up the first breeze he had felt all day. Before it could slow, he leapt off the chair, banged into the wall, and nearly knocked down a photograph of his father shaking hands with some important person. One of many. Cole straightened the picture, strolled past the war poster of Uncle Sam and stepped out onto the balcony. The train depot below bustled with passengers and workers rushing in all directions. Cole sighed as he rested his forearms on the rail before spotting Norm and his dog, Diesel, strolling between two smaller buildings.


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Norm was a small, wiry man, and Diesel was a fat, spoiled black Labrador that followed Norm around as he “got lined out” for the day—which basically amounted to Norm sipping his coffee while delaying the inevitable work. He didn’t technically work for the railroad, but he was Richard McCarthy’s friend so nobody really bothered him about it. Cole waved and, when the pair didn’t notice him, watched them disappear before he went back inside. He pointed back at Uncle Sam as he ambled to the far end of the office and then paused to contemplate the faded sign that had hung on the wall as long as he could remember: Think not about what you are doing, but why you are doing it. Wrong or right, effort is put into every decision you make so make sure your effort reflects who you truly are. Dexter Riley Cole had heard plenty of whispers about his dad’s rise to the top, not having been born into money. “New rich” or “nouveau riche,” they called it—whatever that meant. But Cole knew it was just who his dad was—a

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hard worker. Which was also why he was never home. And why Cole waited so impatiently for him to return each time he went away. Like today. He flipped open a leather bound log book. Full of proof that his dad was busy every day. Cole slammed it shut, plopped back down in the squeaky chair, dug in his pocket, and fished out the brass compass his father had given him before he left—a promise of the hiking trip they would take as soon as he got back. Cole had been looking forward to today for weeks, all the while at home with his stepmother, Phyllis. It’s not that Cole hated her. She may be a good person, but Cole never gave her the chance to prove herself either way. He glanced at the four office clocks on the wall and then slumped. Their hands had barely moved—in any time zone. He shoved the compass back into his pocket, dropped his head back, and spun in the chair until the ceiling blurred. Around and around. He closed his eyes and imagined that it was later. Willed it to be, until it actually seemed the room grew dark. Even cold. That’s when he heard the voice. A slow rasp near his head.


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“I have come for it. Alsin Gideon will have the—” Cole shot up, instantly alert, skin prickled. Had he fallen asleep? No. He had felt the ragged breath against his ear. But when he spun around, looking for its source, the office was bright and empty. The loudspeaker crackled in the depot yard, startling him. “Alsin Gideon, calling Mr. McCarthy,” it said. “Alsin Gideon, calling Mr. McCarthy.” Whoever Mr. Gideon was, he was going to have to wait. Mr. McCarthy wasn’t here yet, and once he arrived, Cole had no intention of sharing him. The familiar whistle of a train howled in the distance. Cole ran out onto the balcony until his stomach hit the railing, the voice forgotten. Dad’s coming! He stepped up on the bottom bar of the railing with his shoes wedged between the spindles, shielding his eyes from the sun. There—the faint smoke of his father’s train billowing from over the tree tops! He waved his arms wildly, wondered if his dad could see him. Grinning, he jumped up and down. But then as he watched, a large puff of smoke appeared to get sucked back into the smokestack. Cole blinked as the train appeared to slow, its engines

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cold. Squinting in confusion, he glanced below for any reaction from the yard. Nothing. Hadn’t they seen it? Why weren’t they rushing out to help the engine stalling on the tracks? Surely the conductor had radioed ahead by now. When he glanced up again, the train was churning toward the station, regular puffs of smoke billowing from the stacks just like always. His first thought was that the heat must really be getting to him. His second was that his father was home! He ran back through the office and hurried down the stairs. He stumbled once on the landing, caught himself against the rail, and then was off and running. He burst through the front door—and almost ran right into a delivery man. “Whoa!” the man said. “Where’s the fire?” “Sorry, sir!” Cole said, not about to break his stride as gravel flew from beneath his soles. “Lockwood transfer arriving in three minutes!” a caller announced to a group of track hands lounging on a pile of lumber. Cole leaned against the depot wall for a moment to catch his breath. The depot platform was full of people. Families with mountains of luggage, businessmen


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reading the morning newspaper, soldiers returning to bases, their duffels slung over their shoulders as kids skirted past them, playing tag to pass the time. The distant cla-clack, cla-clack of iron wheels crossing a seam in the tracks echoed all the way to the depot. Cole could pinpoint how far away the train was from the station by that sound alone. A half mile, to be exact. “Wake up!” A dockhand knocked the hat off a snoozing coworker nearby. “Hey!” the man said, grabbing the hat and throwing it at the first. “You two knuckleheads stop clowning around,” the foreman growled. The exchange only half registered with Cole because in the space of those few seconds the cla-clack of the train changed rhythm and grew faster. Cole pushed his way through the crowd, knocking over someone’s suitcase as he squeezed past two older ladies to get to the front of the platform. The train’s gentle puffs of smoke were gone, replaced by a thin grey streak being shaved off the top of the stack. It was coming in way too fast! The emergency siren began to blare.

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“Clear the main line!” someone shouted from the loudspeaker between siren howls. Panic erupted on the crowded platform as the hands—instantly on their feet—took off running, racing to clear the tracks. But all Cole could see was that oncoming train barreling toward the station, picking up speed. His hands flew to his head in horror. No! “Get these mail cars clear of the main line!” the foreman shouted. “Now!” The small engine attached to the mail cars lurched forward with a screech. Ramp boards collapsed to the tracks below. The enormous locomotive hurtled into the last turn toward the depot, sending a ripple of steel before it, a wave of buckling track as spikes tore free of their wooden ties. The last of the mail cars derailed, careening onto their sides with a metal crash. “Clear the platform! Clear the platform!” The ticket master burst from his booth, waving his hands, barely audible over the screams as men, women, and children abandoned their trunks and suitcases to flee in all directions.


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Cole stood frozen in the summer heat, watching as the train leaned hard, sparks flying, before the wheels stuttered and skipped their tracks altogether. The massive locomotive dug into the rock, splitting cross ties like toothpicks, cars folding in its wake. The sight of the cattle guard grinding against the broken rails jolted Cole to action. He shoved his way through fleeing passengers to the far end of the platform, then jumped to the gravel below. It was like running through a nightmare. Each step produced little escape, his feet feeling like they were encased in wet cement. Screams—of people, of steel, of the siren—sounded from every direction. A last whistle ground out from the locomotive like a groan as it crashed into the station, splintering it with a roar. Debris exploded around him, wooden missiles in a cloud of dust. And then all went black.

A Cole’s eyes fluttered open in a smoky haze. Ringing in his ears. No, not ringing—sirens. He tried to stand but couldn’t, gravel grinding against his palms. He craned his head, trying to feel around him. Wood. Gravel. And then he knew—he was pinned facedown

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beneath the rubble of what had been the station. But at least he could still feel and wiggle his toes. “Is anyone there?” someone yelled through the haze. “Help!” Cole croaked out and coughed. “Help!” he called again. “Keep talking!” the voice yelled back, thick with grit and smoke. “I’m coming!” Cole spit out a wad of oily dust and tried again. “I’m over here!” Panic started consuming Cole. He tried to pull his leg free. No use. The sound of stumbling, crunching footsteps approached. A moment later, a torn-up boot landed in front of his face. “Here!” Cole sputtered. “You hurt?” “I don’t think so. But I’m stuck.” A pair of flannel-clad arms reached around him, seeming to assess the situation. Sweat dripped from Cole’s hair into his eyes. “I’ll lift; you pull yourself out,” the man said. “Ready? One…two…three!” With a grunt, the pressure of the heavy timber lifted enough for Cole to roll free.


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He got to his knees and swiped at his burning eyes. His rescuer hauled him to his feet. The man was hardly taller than Cole, and the handkerchief over his face was caked in ash. “Cover your mouth and follow me,� he said, taking Cole by the arm. Fires all around them limited their path through the rubble. Screams and sirens accompanied by the crackling flames filled the evening. Their embers were consumed by the dense black smoke. And then Cole knew the oil cars had ignited. A few faint outlines of others reeled through the smoldering wreckage. Cole tugged his collar up over his mouth and stumbled with the man to the closest intact building.

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Young Adult Fiction


"An incredible adventure. I love this amazing new world! Donner is a master of imagination. Call me a fan—I can't wait to see what happens next." —Tosca Lee, NYT Bestselling author

The balance of good and evil has been left in the hands of a thirteen year old... Since the beginning of time, Karmanic matter worked silently and unassisted keeping good and evil in balance, until growing greed in the world meant Karma couldn’t keep up. As World War I rages, the secret Karmanic Sovereign Legion works behind the scenes to help Karma. A suspicious train accident and an odd stone-shaped object that belonged to his father thrust Cole McCarthy and two schoolmates into the middle of this battle to keep dark forces in check. With only the powerful stone, a letter, and grandfatherly Norm to guide them, the trio must unravel clues and tap into unknown strengths to discover who Cole’s father really was and keep themselves and those they love safe.

Includes an excerpt of book 2 in the Karmanic Sovereign Legion series!


Profile for Steel Page Press

The Blue Moon Narthex Chapter 1  

The Blue Moon Narthex Chapter 1