Beyond the Forest
Kay L Ling, author
Things too incredible to believe can be real! Lana can draw arcane powers from gemstones, but that doesn’t mean she’s ready to confront a gem master. She’s no match for Sheamathan, brutal ruler of the gnome world. The oppressed gnomes of Shadow long for a better life, and Lana is willing to study their gems and look for a solution. But when she goes through the portal, she discovers her gnome guide has a different agenda. He takes her straight to Sheamathan's stronghold through a land full of mutant insects, intelligent flying serpents, and other horrors. There, he forces Lana to make a choice--turn her back on the gnomes and go home, or deliver a warning to Sheamathan that will plunge her irretrievably into the gnomes’ conflict…and possibly cost her life. Readers will enjoy this unique blend of urban and epic fantasy. Lana’s story begins in our present-day world as she prepares to take over the family jewelry store, but most of her adventures occur in the gnome world. This is a clean story, suitable for ages 10-100, with no graphic violence or strong language. The author supports the “noblebright” trend—the opposite of “grimdark.” Characters aren’t perfect but they value honesty and integrity and are willing to make personal sacrifices to help others. While they face dark times and dangerous situations, the overall tone is upbeat. This is a standalone novel without loose ends or a cliffhanger ending, but the resolution opens the door for further adventures. Additional novels set in the gnome world are in progress.