THE SIXTH KEY
by Sue Perkins
Kidnapped, taken to another planet - how much worse can Riley's life get?
The kidnapper is her boyfriend Jothur and Sacral is his home planet. The castle inhabitants are psychic, mainly telepaths, and they are at odds with the Mutes in the forest. The psychics' plan is to discover how Riley blocks her thoughts. This will help them completely eradicate the Mutes who are a mixture of free telepaths and non-telepaths.
Riley seeks help from the Mutes and meets Tynan, their leader. She hopes he will help her escape the tests the telepaths want to do. Instead she discovers the magic of Sacral is dying due to an imposter being on the throne.
Riley and Tynan work together to discover the real king and place him on the throne. Part of the plan relies on Riley returning to the castle to delve for more information. Will she survive or will her mind be torn apart by the tests?
She frowned as her mind struggled to recall what had happened. Her last memory had been the truck heading straight for her. Cautiously, she moved her arms and legs. No pain. There didn’t appear to be any injuries, but the vehicle couldn’t possibly have missed her. Slowly she sat up and looked around.
Riley sat beside a small pond in a grassy clearing. Reeds grew along the edge of the water and huge, but strangely delicate, trees clustered at the edge of the grass. The singing of birds floated down from the branches.
“Oh great. Just when I think things can’t get worse I get run over, die and end up here. I suppose this is Heaven.” Riley didn’t know why the thought of dying upset her so much. Her life sucked, but at least there had been the remote chance things would get better.
“Funny, I never thought Heaven would look like Earth. What happened to the angels sitting on fluffy clouds playing their harps? Where are the beautiful people and the Pearly Gates?”
Riley stood and stretched. High above her, the trees entwined their branches in a delicate filigree, making the forest look light and airy. Birds swooped in and out of the aerial canopy, chirruping happily. Beneath the trunks nothing stirred.
“What happens next? Do I find St Peter and sign in? Or do I wander around until I find someone? Perhaps I should tidy up first.”
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Sue Perkins emigrated to New Zealand in the 1980s. A few years later she took a creative writing course, then started writing novels and short stories. Despite rejections from several publishers Sue persevered and in 2006 she won the Pacific Region of the Commonwealth Broadcasting Short Story Competition. The following year her first romance novel was published.
In the intervening years Sue has had ebook and paperback novels published for middle grade, young adult and adults, mainly in the fantasy genre. Dragons and magic are her favourite subjects in fantasy, but ghosts are also making their appearance in her young adult books.
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Sue Perkins will be awarding a PDF ebook of The Sixth Key to a randomly drawn winner via rafflecopter during the tour.a Rafflecopter giveaway