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Jordan Wright

Jordan Wright

Queensland, Australia

Jordan has been writing stories since she could hold a pencil. Her ability to grip readers and keep them wanting more is a strength!

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About the author

My name is Jordan Wright and I live in Cairns, QLD, Australia. I have a 2.5 year old daughter and another child due in June.

Becoming a published writer has been a goal of mine since I was 10 years old, and my parents were asked by a teacher 'Did you know she can write?'.

The Mandala Chronicles is my first novel that I have written to be published, but I have written blogs for my coaching business and was writing reviews for the new anime series Card Captor Sakura Clear Card in early 2018.

Writing has always been an outlet for me, and as a child, instead of writing in a diary, I would spend my time writing stories and reading them to my parents.

As a teenager I spent a lot of my time writing fanfiction, but fell out of love with it as I graduated and started working full time. 

The idea for The Mandala Chronicles came to me in the shower on evening, and I started planning the novel that same night.

While the story has adapted since the planning, it's been an exciting journey for me to undertake, and as more and more drafts came into fruition, it has been exciting to watch my personal growth as a writer.

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Success! The Mandala Chronicles sold 22 pre-orders by April 25, 2019, was pitched to 6 publishers, and will be published by Notebook Publishing.

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The Mandala Chronicles

A Novel

This book can be described as a mix between Harry Potter and The Secret. LOA with a fiction twist.

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YA Fiction Fantasy
72,000 words
100% complete
6 publishers interested

Synopsis

The Mandala Chronicles is a series of books aimed at young adult readers who love some mystical fantasy, and a gripping story of growth and knowledge.

This novel could best be described as a hybrid theme between Harry Potter and The Secret.

The primary aim of this novel (and the novels to come as this is the first of a series) is to teach it's readers Law of Attraction skills in a completely fiction sense.

Think back to when you read the Harry Potter books. How often did you and your siblings/ friends indulge in creating your own version with your imagination?

How often did you put into action spells and create your own version of Hogwarts?

This is the aim for The Mandala Chronicles! To teach the readers skills in a completely fiction sense and to have them take away the actions of the characters and implement them into their own lives.

I purposely created the characters in a student/ teacher perspective to give the readers their own sense of guidance.

While The Mandala Chronicles primary aim is to teach skills, the book has been written to show the growth between the characters and relationships that blossom.

This story has been written to show the magic that we can create when we put our minds to it, and also to create curiosity and intrigue between the characters and the growth that they go through throughout the course of the novel.

My goal through this novel is to encourage the readers to believe in themselves, and create the knowledge that they are capable of anything they put their minds to.

Outline

Chapter 1: 17 year old NORA PARKER is abducted leaving her family to grieve over their loss. We meet LAYLA FORREST and SIMMY JOHANSON.

Chapter 2: 17 year old NOAH PARKER returns to school after the loss of his sister and learn the importance of the 'science of the mind'

Chapter 3: NOAH learns about the Realm of Intention and the danger that it is in and what that means for the people of Earth.

Chapter 4: NOAH is shown visions of the past between LAYLA and NORA through the powers of the mandala.

Chapter 5: NOAH interrogates LAYLA about the visions the mandala showed him, and SIMMY explaines more about the SHADOW BEINGS that are taking over the Realm of intention

Chapter 6: NOAH begins to dream about the Realm and becomes increasingly frustrated that the skills he is learning to help the Realm aren't bringing him any closer to finding his sister.

Chapter 7: NOAH tells SIMMY about the dreams he has been having, and LAYLA shares her hunch that NOAH'S dreams are linked to where NORA is.

Chapter 8: SIMMY explains some of the history behind the Realm and who the person destroying it is.

Chapter 9: NOAH learns more about NORA'S whereabouts and returns to a normal schooling schedule.

Chapter 10: NOAH is becoming more connected to the Realm through his dreams and his friends begin to worry about him.

Chapter 11: NOAH relays his dream to SIMMY and LAYLA. SIMMY explains her motives behind returning to the realm. We meet the creator of the GUARDIANS OF THE REALM

Chapter 12: NOAH and LAYLA are given the tasks of becoming the new GUARDIANS OF THE REALM

Chapter 13: NOAH and LAYLA are put through intense training to become the new GUARDIANS and learn about the dangers of becoming one.

Chapter 14: NOAH discovers a connection between his mum and the Realm

Chapter 15: LAYLA and SIMMY figure out what GARVAN is planning.

Chapter 16: LAYLA and NOAH share a moment and power up the mandala.

Chapter 17: NOAH and LAYLA arrive in the Realm and face an enemy

Chapter 18: NOAH and LAYLA meet AARON, a new teacher while they are separated from SIMMY

Chapter 19: NOAH and LAYLA learn essential skills to surviving in the Realm

Chapter 20: ARRON teaches NOAH and LAYLA how to utilise their unique personalities in battle

Chapter 21: NORA reappears, but she has been brainwashed by GARVAN.

Chapter 22: NOAH is pulled into an alternate dimension.

Chapter 23: NOAH returns to the realm and has a final showdown with NORA.

Audience

Young Adult Fantasy Fiction.

While this is a Young Adult Fantasy novel, the audience can range from children as young as 9, to adults well into their 80's depending on their particular interests. 

The primary target age is Young Adults ranging from 12 to 18.

Noah, the main protagonist has been aged at 17 for this reason.

Since 2002, the number of YA novels published has doubled, showing that there is a market for readers within this genre.

Genres such as: A Recipe For Utopia With A Dash Of Science Fiction, Fantastic Female Fronted High Fantasy and The Diversity Movement still play an important role in YA trends at the moment.

The Mandala Chronicles touches on all of these subjects through the themes of travelling between worlds (realms), by having the people with the most knowledge being women, even though the main character is a male, and through encouragement and acceptance of people living though all types of different situations. 

According to Good Reads, the highest growing YA trends of 2018 are: #1 Culturally Inspired Fantasies, and #2 Teens Taking A Stand. 

While The Mandala Chronicles isn't culturally inspired, there are cultural elements included through beliefs and techniques used. And the main character's growth in this novel is a primary theme as he learns more about a world he can't understand and starts to fight for his new beliefs.

Children start to read their first chapter books by the age of 9. which can then be translated to the Young Adult Category. The Children's Fiction and Young Adult Fiction have a large overlapping audience which is perfect for The Mandala Chronicles which has been written to be understood by children as young as 10, without taking away the maturity for it's older audience.

Some top reads to keep an eye out for in 2019 are YA Fantasy Fiction novels such as: The Cerulean, Four Dead Queens and Sorcery of Thorns.

The Mandala Chronicles fits perfectly into the genre of  the primary protagonist rising up despite all odds and creating a better world in the process. 

And having a strong woman as the main characters role model will keep with the trend of powerful women characters rising up in the YA Fiction Fantasy novel genre.

Promotion

I have a strong following of women entrepreneurs in the Facebook Group I run called Queens Who Succeed.

https://www.facebook.com/group...

I have also created an amazing FB group specifically for the book where I share insights and gain feedback.

https://www.facebook.com/groups/TheMandalaChronicles/

This group specialises in supporting women entrepreneurs goals and, as it's owener, I have the trust of 500 women who are looking to support other women, whether that's through sharing a link or by sponsoring.

I also have 500+ followers on Instagram, most of whom I know personally, and I also have access to people who specialise in promotions on Instagram to help promote this launch. 

https://www.instagram.com/jord...

As someone who specialises in using organic marketing on Facebook to grow a business, I have access to tools, and people who are willing to collaborate in order to share each others growth.

Before moving to Cairns (October 2018) I had frequent speaking gigs at networking events and private retreats, and also have access to people in Cairns who would be able to organise similar gigs for me here. 

My YouTube channel is still growing, but I intend to make this a primary platform for my novel and to share back end goodies to the people who are following me as a thank you for supporting me.

The publisher I am looking into working with also has a concrete marketing plan through her business as to how we can promote the book both online and physically.


Competition

The competition of this book is wide ranged from novels like the Harry Potter series and The Secret, right down to Manga's like Fullmetal Alchemist and Tsubasa Chronicles.

There are so many great messages in these stories that it's difficult to give specific direction to the competition of The Mandala Chronicles.

While the fantasy and LOA themes occur frequently within The Mandala Chronicles, the difference between this book and the competition is that this book was written with the desire to truly make a difference, and to impact the lives of it's readers.

The goal of this book is to provide entertainment, but to also teach skills on manifesting and keeping your power your own. 

There is an appendix at the end of the novel which also gives extra guidance to the readers who are looking for a more in depth coaching of the skills taught within the book as well.


6 publishers interested
Odyssey Books logo Odyssey Books

Odyssey Books is committed to publishing engaging and beautifully written books. Books that stretch the imagination, challenge pre-existing attitudes and beliefs, or take readers to far-flung climes. Books are always a journey. And as our name suggests, we invest in epic journeys, adventurous voyages and intellectual or spiritual quests. Readers are sure to find a book within our range of titles to challenge, inspire and entertain.

Authors will discover that we at Odyssey Books understand the synergy that exists between an author and their works. Like all publishers, we invest in books. And we foster that investment through our long-term commitment to our authors. Writers know that the creative journey can be as long and uncertain as it is exciting. We travel alongside all our authors, offering guidance and encouragement along the way. For Odyssey, each new release is a collaboration, and we value highly the thoughts, wishes, and dreams of our authors.

Odyssey titles are distributed in Australia and New Zealand by Novella Distribution, and worldwide via Ingram.

Independent publisher

Literary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Mind & Body, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, History, Journalism, Society & Culture, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Cranthorpe Millner logo Cranthorpe Millner

Too many beautifully written books are rejected on a regular basis because the submitting author doesn’t have a strong enough author platform.

The barriers for authors are getting higher and the publishing industry less discerning and more unscrupulous.

By operating a hybrid publishing model, Cranthorpe Millner can invite authors to publish with us based on the merit of the manuscript alone.

Hybrid publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Mind & Body, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Biography & Memoir, Health, Fitness & Dieting, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, History, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Science, Science, Sports & Outdoors, Sports & Outdoors, Travel, Travel

Canada, United Kingdom, United States

eBooks2go logo eBooks2go

eBooks2go, Inc., was founded in 2011 to provide the missing link for all your publishing needs. Our end-to-end solutions provide the guidance and support that enable publishers and independent authors to pursue their passions. To date, we have helped more than 750 authors and 100 publishers worldwide.

Our Mission
eBooks2go is where dreams get published! We are devoted to grooming authors and publishers for long-term success. We strive to deliver high-quality products, sustainable marketing strategies, and a positive customer experience throughout the entire publishing process. Our experienced staff will directly work with you to help your books enthrall and entertain readers.

We Are the Catalyst for Your Writing Career
eBooks2go offers an array of simple and affordable solutions to assist self-publishing authors at every stage of the book publishing process. Our comprehensive service offering includes editing, print and eBook production, book marketing, cover designs, ISBN registration, and even website designs. We are the single source for all of your publishing needs.

Profit from Your Passion
eBooks2go is invested in your publishing goals! Follow your ambitions and contact us today to learn more about the personalized publishing experience we offer!

Hybrid publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Atmosphere Press logo Atmosphere Press

Atmosphere Press is an independent full-service publisher for books in genres ranging from non-fiction to fiction to poetry to children's picturebooks, with a special emphasis on being an author-friendly approach to getting a book into the world. We're professional, honest, and kind.

Here’s what we stand for:

Honesty: because our mission is to be author-friendly, that means always giving honest advice about the ins and outs of the authorial life. We are dedicated to sticking by one of our founding precepts: “if I were the author, what would I want to know?”

Transparency: publishing is rife with dodgy behavior, from predatory vanity presses who promise the moon to traditional presses who make book changes without the author’s permission. We’re dedicated to letting you see the wizard behind the curtain, so you can rest easy that everything’s on the up and up.

Professionalism: with decades of combined years of writing, editing, designing, and publishing experience, our staff knows the ins and outs of the industry, and will be responsive and helpful. And of course, we will only publish books that truly contribute something wonderful to the world.

Kindness: as an author-friendly press, we take the word “friendly” seriously. A good publisher shouldn’t be just a business partner, but should be full of people you’d want to invite to dinner. Whether it be making a good joke or allaying your worries about being an author, kindness is our hallmark.

Making Your Book Awesome: we really can’t settle for anything less. We want our authors and their readers to be blown away when they first hold that book in their hands. It needs to look good inside and out, and feel good to the touch. And, of course, the words need to be top-notch, and our editors are devoted to making that the case.

Service publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Bookmobile logo Bookmobile

Based in Minneapolis, Minnesota, Bookmobile provides book printing, graphic design, and other resources to support book publishers in an ever-changing environment. Superior quality, excellent customer service, flexibility, and timely turnarounds have attracted nearly 1,000 satisfied clients to Bookmobile, including trade houses, university presses, independent publishers, museums, galleries, artists, and more.

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Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Happy Self Publishing logo Happy Self Publishing

We have helped 250+ authors to get their books self-published, hit the #1 position in the Amazon bestseller charts and also establish their author website & brand to grow their business. And the best thing is, we do all this without taking away your rights and royalties. Our publishing packages start at $699! Let's schedule a call to discuss the next steps in your book project: www.happyselfpublishing.com/scheduler

Service publisher

Children Fiction, Literary Fiction, Mind & Body, Mystery, Thriller, Horror & Suspense, Romantic Fiction, Science Fiction & Fantasy, YA Fiction, Biography & Memoir, Business & Money, Career & Success, Cookbooks, Food & Wine, Health, Fitness & Dieting, History, Journalism, Personal Growth & Self-Improvement, Politics & Social Sciences, Religion & Spirituality, Science, Society & Culture, Sports & Outdoors, Technology & the Future, Travel

Worldwide

Chapter 1

Nora Parker’s throat burned as she took in a large gulp of seawater.  Waves crashed around her and all of her senses were burning as she shielded herself from the onslaught of attacks being fired her way.

Every onslaught knocked her under the water.

But still, she didn’t fight back.

There were civilians nearby and she couldn’t allow anyone to be hurt in a battle that was hers.

She could see the man's growing frustration. He’d come to her with an ultimatum, and he expected a fight.

He relished the fight.

Nora knew that he was just toying with her until she grew desperate enough for air that she would retaliate.

“I’ll go with you!”, Nora gasped to him. Looking up him floating above her, a dark red energy ball aimed at her face.
“I’ll go with you, so please, let’s just leave here!”.

The man sneered, ignoring her plea.

A flash of red was the last thing Nora saw before she went under the water one last time, and fired a blast of energy so powerful that the water surrounding her turned to steam.

The man screamed as the steam calded his skin and the attack pierced his shoulder.

Nora knew it wasn’t enough to defeat him, but at least she’d injured him.

‘Goodbye everyone.’, she thought to herself as the man furiously lifted her into the air by her hair.

A large portal appeared in the sky and both the girl and man disappeared.

MISSING GIRL -
17 YEARS OF AGE -
SHOULDER LENGTH WAVY BLONDE HAIR -
AMBER EYES -
PICTURE PROVIDED BELOW -

PLEASE CONTACT LOCAL AUTHORITIES IF YOU HAVE ANY INFORMATION

Seventeen year old Noah Parker watched miserably as missing person posters were plastered around the small town where he lived.

Picking one up off the ground, Noah stared at the picture of his twin sister.

Apart from the wavy blonde hair and amber eyes, Noah Parker was the polar opposite of his twin sister.
He hadn’t yet grown into his height, and still had the pre-pubescent lankiness that made his skinny torso seem overgrown.

Nora, on the other hand, was a bronzed beauty who had filled out early in her teens and always seemed to be laughing. She was the sweetheart of the town, her fiery amber eyes wreaking havoc with the local boys.

There was nothing fiery about Noah’s amber eyes… Lost, is how most people would describe Noah eyes.

He was always envious of how easy Nora seemed to have it. How easily she made friends, how she was incredibly smart, and how she would often tease Noah about his lack of enthusiasm for anything that didn’t involve a patch of dirt, some seeds and a watering can.

For whatever Noah lacked in charm and smarts, he could make up for with his green thumb. Noah had a way with plants that surprised even him from time to time.

Nora’s most prized possession were a patch of Christmas Bells that Noah had grown for her.

They were a flower native to Australian that Noah had surprised her with for their fourteenth birthday.

Every summer when those beautiful flowers bloomed, Nora would come out into the garden with Noah and pick a bouquet for the kitchen table.

Noah remembered feeling so proud when the flowers bloomed for the first time. He was more interested in growing fruits and vegetable, but had wanted to surprise Nora with something different than the basket of fruits he normally produced.

A small, cold hand placed itself at the crook of Noah’s arm, which shook him out of his reverie, and led him down the path to a cosy looking house in the middle of a street.

Jen Parker was shorter than Nora, but it was obvious that both twins had taken after her with her untamed shoulder length dirty blonde hair that was trying to free itself from the tight bun on top of her head.

Paul Parker, the twins father, on the other hand looked nothing like the rest of the family with his jet black hair. Except for the vibrant amber eyes, which usually pierced through you, today dulled with a crippling sadness over the loss of his baby girl.

Jen opened her mouth to speak, but she had no words. So she closed it, keeping her hand on the crook of Noah’s arm.

It had been a week since Nora’s disappearance.

Both Jen and Paul had done everything within their power to find her.
Personally driving to each police station within five hours of their little town to see if anyone had seen or heard anything about their daughter, and to hand out the missing person flyers so that they would know immediately if any news were to arise.

Paul, who had prided himself on being the man of the family, was leaning on his wife for support. It was as if he now carried the weight of the world on his shoulders and needed her to help guide him home.

Jen, the silent rock of the family, had always let Paul take charge when he felt the need, but accepted his need for support right now and let him share the burden he was carrying with her.

Noah reached the house first, followed by his mother, who then lead his father into the living room and poured him a glass of scotch.

Saying nothing, Noah left to his bedroom and flung himself on top of the covers. Tears streaming down his face, he fell asleep.

*

Weeks, even months could have passed, and Noah wouldn’t have batted an eyelid.

His home that used to be full of life and laughter, was now dull. A layer of dust had settled over the floor and furniture, and the contents of the fridge had started to smell.

If it wasn’t for concerned friends and neighbours who let themselves into the house once a week, the Parkers would have been living in filth.

For apart from their bedrooms, living room and bathroom, nothing else in the house was utilised!

Then, a few weeks after Nora’s disappearance, there came a loud knock on the door.

Jen and Paul, who had been sitting in their favourite armchairs staring at nothing as they had done for weeks, blinked and looked at each other.

“Who could that be?”, rasped Paul. His voice rough from disuse.

Jen shrugged and walked towards the door, passing Noah who had shuffled from his bedroom and down the stairs, curious as to who had knocked.

No one had bothered to knock for weeks. They had just let themselves in and allowed the family to wallow in their grief, not wanting to overstep their boundaries.

Jen reached the solid timber door, hesitated for a second, and turned the handle.

The door swung open, with a slight nudge from the occupant on the front porch.

Almost vampire-esque, the Parkers shielded their eyes from the sunlight outside with their hands.

The guest waited patiently for the family to adjust to the new stream of light, and allowed them to take their time in greeting them.

Noah’s eyes readjusted first, and he looked at the figure standing in the doorway.

“Ms Johannson?”, he asked, with what would have been shock had be been able to feel emotions anymore, at the sight of his favourite teacher.

The portly woman at the door smiled, her straight teeth and warm brown eyes visible from even where Noah was standing.
“Noah Parker. I have missed you in my class!”, she said. “It’s been quite a while.”.

Jen and Paul’s burning eyes had adjusted enough to the light in their doorway to be able to make out a woman with dark red hair, that reached just above her shoulders.

“Simone!” Jen exclaimed, “What… What are you doing here?”.

And for the first time in weeks Jen Parker saw what her house had become and, horrified, indiscreetly started brushing the dust off the vase closest to her onto the layer of dust on the shaggy carpet.

Noah became vastly aware that his whole family were wearing dressing gowns and slippers.

Paul was also at the doorway now, he had managed to pull one slipper on, while the other one sat forgotten at the foot of his favourite lounge chair. His grey streaked hair was sticking up in the back where his head had been resting.

It was a token to the type of person Simone Johannson was that she didn’t mention any of this, but smiled brightly at the three of them and answered Jen with a tone that was extremely kind, but didn’t allow any disagreement.
“I’ve come to speak to you all. I’ve missed seeing Noah in my class, and I also wanted to introduce you all to my niece, Layla Forrest.”.

Noah wasn’t aware that Ms Johannson had a niece, and opened his mouth to exclaim this, when a small face surrounded by a lot of wild, bright red hair appeared from behind Ms Johannson.

“Yes, of course!”, Jen exclaimed. “We - come in! We’re so sorry we didn’t contact you sooner. Tea? Yes. Come in - of course!”.
And in a flurry Jen started looking for teacups in the living room, and seemed confused when she wasn’t able to find them.

Ms Johannson held up her hand, her kind smile still upon her lips, “That is no worry at all. The loss of a child and sister is a great tragedy, upon any family. We were hoping to catch up with Noah at school to see how he had been coping, but he never returned. And I think in times like this we need to stick together. Do you agree?”.

Still searching for the teacups, Jen nodded furiously. Paul was still standing in the same place in the living room, his bare foot now tapping forward and back as if he was contemplating walking forwards, but not able to comprehend how to do it.

Noah was staring at the wild girl behind Ms Johannson, wondering furiously if he’d seen her before.

Ms Johannson spoke again, “May we sit down? And as we are going to become a much closer group in the near future, I must insist that you call me Simmy.” Catching Noah’s eye, she nodded at him. “You as well Noah, unless of course we are in class where Ms Johannson will suffice.”.

By this stage Paul had managed to find the willpower to move his feet and had reached Jen. He put a hand on her shoulder to stop her search for the teacups that were currently not residing in the living room, but in a cabinet in the kitchen where they always were. He held out his other hand to Simmy, “We are so sorry we haven’t been in contact.”, he said, nodding his head at the red mop of hair standing beside Simmy in acknowledgement.

Simmy moved forwards into the house and clasped her warm hands around the one Paul had extended her, “Sometimes, we need help to bring ourselves back to the land of the living.”, she said looking at the Parkers with an expression of such love on her face that they were almost brought to tears.

“We realise that you must be struggling through the suddenness of it all.”, Simmy said, “If only there was a way for us to predict things such as this, and maybe prevent them from happening. But, such is life I’m afraid.”.
With that final comment, Simmy led Layla into the house, and they both sat down on the three seater leather sofa near the fireplace.

Paul and Jen almost sprinted into the kitchen to organise tea for everyone. There was a crash as one of them collided with the wall, a soft tinkle of breaking china and and choice swear word that followed and then the sound of a kettle boiling and five cups being placed upon saucers.

Noah, who had still been standing at the staircase while all of this was happening, made his way to the living room, silently thanking all the people who had provided them with baked goods over the past few weeks so they could offer Simmy and Layla something other than dusty tea and awkward company.

“Come and sit down, Noah.” Simmy said to him, leaning over and patting the cushion next to Layla.

Noah took his time sliding over to the three seater couch and half sat on the cushion, half slid down the armrest, leaving a good few inches gap between himself and Layla.
Which was quite a feat as the couch cushion was not very big.

Layla’s slightly too far apart, green eyes stared at Noah, and for a second Noah could have sworn he saw a look of recognition on Layla’s face, but he blinked and it was gone.

Jen and Paul reappeared in the living room. Jen carrying the cups and saucers, while Paul carried the kettle and a delicious looking lemon and coconut slice that Noah had no idea who had baked for them.

He mentally thanked them as it took Layla’s eyes off him and he turned his head away and attempted to get comfortable.

His mother passed Noah a cup and saucer with a tea bag already inside it and he tried to wait patiently for his father to pour the water so he could do something with his hands.

Finally Paul reached him, and slowly tipped the water into his cup until it was full.

Noah preoccupied himself with dipping his tea bag into his water that he only vaguely heard his mother ask, “So do you and Noah know each other, Layla?”

A huskier voice than Noah had been expecting came from beside him. “We’ve been in the same homeroom class for six years,”, Layla replied, “but we’ve never really had anything to do with each other. I’d only become friends with Nora recently and she never had a chance to introduce us.”.

Noah had been imagining that a child’s voice would come from such a small frame, but Layla sounded like a woman.

Paul who had finished pouring the tea lifted his cup and took a sip. “Well it’s lovely to meet you, Layla.”, he said.

“You’re always welcome around here whenever you like.”, Jen piped up.

“Thank you.”, Layla replied. “Aunt Simmy was fond of Nora as well, so we’re doing everything in our power to find her.”.

“We’re very grateful to you.”,Jen said, her voice thick.

Simmy smiled, clapped her hands once and stood up. She picked up a slice of the lemon and coconut tart and turned to leave.

Noah, Jen and Paul also stood up with Simmy, Jen and Paul’s tea slopping out the sides of their teacups in their haste.

“Well”, said Simmy, “I think we will leave it here today. We have trespassed on your company long enough.”. She rested a hand on Layla’s shoulder indicating that it was time to go.
“If you don’t mind, Noah, would you please show us to the door.”.

Noah nodded, at the same time Jen turned to see the two women out as well.

“You two stay here and have a piece of slice and relax.”, Simmy said to both Jen and Paul. “Noah is a very capable young man, I’m sure he knows where the front door is. Thank you for your hospitality today. It was lovely to see you, and I hope to see you again soon.”.
She smiled at Jen and Paul and followed Noah out of the living room.

“Goodbye, thank you for the tea.” Layla said and she gave Jen and Paul and small wave as she turned to follow Noah and Simmy to the front door.

Simmy turned to Noah, “I want to see you back in my class sometime soon.” she said to him in a stern, but kind voice.

Layla then, unexpectedly, handed a small package to Noah. “This was Nora’s, she gave it to me to hold onto the day that…”, Layla shook her head. “Anyway, she would have wanted you to have it.”.

A burning sensation in Noah’s throat that had nothing to do with the hot tea, stopped him from thanking Layla straight away.

He swallowed deeply and looked her in her bright, green eyes, “Thank you.”, he said to her.
A fresh row of tears started to form, and Noah quickly wiped them away.

Layla put her hand on his forearm in understanding, “Nora’s not gone forever.”, she said. “She’s out there somewhere, and we’re going to find her sooner rather than later!”.

Simmy nodded in agreement behind Layla, and Noah turned to her, “I will come back to school next week. I - I think I’m ready now.”

Simmy smiled, her bright, warm smile at him, and pulled him into a hug. “I’m glad to hear it.”, she said to him. “I will have a full lesson waiting for you upon your return.”.

On that note, Simmy gave one final wave, and she was out the door. Layla followed with one last smile at Noah, and they were gone.

Noah closed the door behind them and walked back into the hallway. He glanced into the living room and saw his parents chatting, almost like they used to, in their favourite lounge chairs. A cup of tea in one hand and a piece of slice in the other.

Not wanting to disturb their moment, Noah walked up the stairs to his bedroom, paused briefly at Nora’s bedroom door, and then walked on past. He wasn’t ready to open it up yet.

‘Today’s been a good day’, Noah thought to himself. It was the first time, in what felt like a lifetime, that he’d forgotten to feel sad.

Smiling to himself Noah looked down at the small package in his hand.

It felt strange to him. It was round, bumpy and Noah was sure that it had grown warmer the longer he held onto it.

Intrigued, he gently folded open the paper with one hand while the other hand, palm outwards, held the package flat for him to see.

Inside was a mandala about the same size as his palm, with stones that looked like tiny suns weaved throughout the centre of it.

It was beautiful. It reminded Noah of sunny days, of blue skies and laughter.

Noah picked the mandala up with his free hand and gasped!

He was no longer in his room, but had been transported to a place he had never been to before!

Looking around at his surroundings, Noah could see there was blue skies, a large warm sun in the centre and the grass beneath his bare feet felt soft and gentle. He sat down on the grass, closed his eyes and took a deep breath in through his nose and out through his mouth.

He wasn’t sure what made him take that breath, it just felt right.

Sitting there, Noah kept his eyes closed and soaked up the warmth that his body desperately needed.

Slowly and easily Noah drifted off to sleep.

As Noah slept, the mandala slipped through his fingers and onto the grass beside him.

As soon as he had stopped touching the mandala, Noah was transported back to his bedroom. He woke up the next morning feeling well rested and refreshed, with the mandala laying innocently next to him on the bed.


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  • Update #2 - FAQ's April 8, 2019

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  • Update #1 - Welcome and Thank You! March 28, 2019

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