Fellowship of the Snow Leopards: The Journey Begins

Fellowship of the Snow Leopards: The Journey Begins

by Joy O'Dwyer

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Overview

Fellowship of the Snow Leopards: The Journey Begins by Joy O'Dwyer

You can conquer your fears and slay your dragons!
Children are as much the hope for the future of humanity as this earth is the center of our existence. A belief in magic is the glue that keeps it all together.
The Planet Shilough and their higher level beings, fairies and elves, have been watching our planet as environmental destruction, cynicism, and consumerism plague our world. Michael-a thirteen-year-old Vancouverite who lives in fear of bullies and pain from the tragic loss of his father-emerges as an unlikely hero. He is filled with wonderment as he explores Shilough and is schooled in higher laws. Plagued with insecurities, he begins to realize that the most powerful force in the universe is love. He learns of the sacred and eternal nature of all beings. He comes to understand that on a planet with no incongruity, the vibratory levels are so high, that anything is possible.
The ways that Michael overcomes obstacles bent on his destruction-from a schoolyard bully on earth to a nine-headed serpent on Shilough-teach us powerful lessons. As Pancras, Chancellor to the Faerie Queen, explains to Michael, as he struggles with acceptance of his divine destiny, "The greatest battle that you will ever face is the one within your own mind. Conquer the dragons within, and you will never fear any dragons without."
• In this "other world" exposé, could some of the methods that Michael uses to overcome his fears apply to us?
• Could we harness other energy sources that cause less environmental destruction?
• Could music play such a pivotal role in aligning our planet?
• What lessons do we learn from the Cronusans?
• What about life after death?
• How can we heal our planet?

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781452578958
Publisher: Balboa Press
Publication date: 10/31/2013
Pages: 424
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.94(d)

Read an Excerpt

Fellowship of the Snow Leopards

The Journey Begins


By Joy O'Dwyer

Balboa Press

Copyright © 2013 Joy O'Dwyer
All rights reserved.
ISBN: 978-1-4525-7895-8



CHAPTER 1

The Auction


The phone slid from her slender hand as her face turned the colour of a gray marble casket. She gasped, clutching at her throat. Michael would never forget the words his mother mouthed, half to herself and half to the universe. They're missing! Her emerald eyes became dark pools of anguish, and tears which refused to be contained, flowed freely down her cheekbones.

His world changed forever that gray and foggy day. He was now thirteen in grade eight at Vancouver Point Gray School, as if any of that mattered. Had it really been a year? It seemed like yesterday. Her words kept ringing in his mind with all of the terror that a vicious storm at sea could envision. Had they suffered? Were their bodies bashed to pieces by rocks and sent back out to sea? Did they become fish bait? All he knew was that the father who he adored, and who had taught him to sail along with so many other things, was forever gone. The uncle who called him "little dude" was gone. He still had the baseball glove "dude" had given him. Two of the most important people in his life had evaporated as if they had been seized by aliens. No bodies for burial. Lost at sea, they said. Does that mean that some day they will be found? He didn't think so. He remembered reading seafaring stories about fishermen lost at sea, and houses with widow's walks: outside verandas upstairs where families would pace and peer out at sea, waiting for their loved ones to come home. He sometimes wished they had such a balcony, where he could watch for their return. But he knew in his heart of hearts that it would be a waste of time. They weren't coming home. That was a hard cold fact, as cold as their icy grave on the ocean bed.

Next time you can come when the weather is warmer. Look after your mum. Those were his father's last words as he smiled and gave Michael a big bear hug. He could still feel the warmth of his body. His dark brow furrowed as it always did when deep in thought. How could they be lost at sea? It doesn't make any sense. His dad was an environmental scientist and excellent sailor. And besides, this was the 21st Century, and they were sailing off the coast of Vancouver, Canada, not some remote island in the middle of nowhere. Not even pieces of the boat had been found. What had really happened?

He shook his head. Stop driving yourself crazy. Sometimes life just sucks. Get used to it. He reached for the remote and flicked the TV from channel to channel. Mostly junk, what else is new? Scrunching his thirteen year old frame down into the sofa, he rested his legs on the other end. I wish I wasn't so tall. He towered above some of the kids in his class. Not that he was big for his age, but some of the Asian kids were short, and he sometimes felt out of place. His mother kept reminding him that his Cree grandfather was six foot, four. Good for basketball he thought. He enjoyed basketball, as well as other sports; soccer, baseball—anything with a ball really. He was a whiz at floor hockey and golf. But it just wasn't the same since his father and uncle had died. It was like part of his heart had died with them that day.

The past twelve months had been like a dark fog for him. He went to school, came home, hugged his dog Sasha and asked why. Now his mother wants him to go to some stupid auction on a rainy Friday afternoon.

"It will be good to get out for a while. You might see something you like," she called from the bedroom, with a cheery tone in her voice.

Fat chance of that, he thought, I don't like much of anything anymore. He sunk his slender frame deeper into the sofa. Dark brown curls clung to the back of his neck and fell over one eye. He searched the channels again looking for something of interest besides death and destruction. Why doesn't she just leave me alone? Why didn't I go with my dad? She's the one who said it was too cold. Sometimes I wish I was with him and not stuck here. I feel smothered. I need my dad.

He heard her footsteps coming from the bathroom and looked up to see her smiling face, dark auburn hair freshly brushed, and wearing red lipstick. A sure sign she was serious about going out. When he was little, he always drew his mother with red lips. It was her trademark. His dad used to look at his childish drawings, and say "Yes, your mother does have beautiful lips. Nice job." Those were the good days he thought as he heaved his shoulders and sighed.

"Come on Michael, humour me," his mother pleaded, as she bent over the sofa and gave him a smile that could usually melt his heart.

"Oh alright," he said, as he flung the remote aside. "But this is the last auction I'm going to ever," he announced with finality in his voice as his dark brown eyes flashed in exasperation. His family used to go regularly to the auctions. It was such fun with his father and uncle as they laughed and joked together. They always found cool things, like the old wooden sleigh, and miniature metal military pieces. One time they brought home an ancient sea captain's clock. It was still mounted on the wall beside the fireplace in the family room. At first his mum objected, saying it didn't fit in, but his dad soon won her over and there it sits to this day.

Nothing's the same any more. It's just not fair, he thought, as he traipsed behind her. They both glanced out the window at the waves bashing against the shore. "It's a nasty storm," she remarked. "Better bring your umbrella."

"I'm not a little kid anymore," he muttered under his breath, but in many ways, he felt like a child, and wished he could go backwards to happier times.

Dragging his feet, he followed his mother up the stone steps, and through the double wooden doors into the auction house. Inside the sights and smells rekindled old memories. He could almost hear his father's laugh. Wish they were with us. A twinge of pain pierced his chest. He shot a glance his mother's way wondering if she felt the same. She seemed more interested in the antique furniture and was already eyeballing a massive wardrobe. "Let's go down this way," she suggested, oblivious to his discomfort, as she pointed to a narrow isle bordered on each side with high backed chairs and fat legged dining room tables.

"I think I'll just stay here for a minute," Michael mumbled as he drew in a deep breath. "I might check out the miscellaneous boxes." He really wanted to get away from her. Doesn't she remember or doesn't she care?

He was deep in thought as noises and scents swirled around him. He glanced to his right, and became transfixed. A tingling sensation ran up and down his spine. It beckoned to him—a large painting shimmering from across the room. Magnetically drawn, he maneuvered his way through a throng of people, his eyes glued to the object. As he got closer, his whole body tingled. A palace resembling crystal invited him in with faeries dancing as elves peeked out from behind trees and flowering bushes. He could hear music and laughter. It touched something deep within his soul, like a familiar ring. What is it? I feel like I've been there before. Was it in a dream?

"Mum!" he called, as he ran to find his mother. Her head poked out from behind a large bookcase. "What's wrong Michael?" she asked with a concerned tone in her voice. "I want that," he said looking straight into her eyes and then pointing across the room. His mother walked slowly towards the painting pursing her lips as she examined it. Frowning slightly, she said, "Oh, Michael, are you sure?" She stood with her hand on one hip, and a look on her face that said she was poised to make her argument. "Where would we put such a thing, with faeries and castles?" She shook her head. "It doesn't match our décor. I don't want it to end up in a donation box."

Michael was prepared to counter any objection she might make. "You know that spot on my wall where you said yourself it was bare and needed something," he said in his best "please Mum" voice. "I really want it," he pleaded, as he gave her his round eyed look that she could rarely resist. Her eyes misted over as she looked away and grew very quiet. He knew that she was remembering his lost father. She often reminded him that he was a mirror image, with his dark curly hair and long lashed big brown eyes. "My Italian prince," she would call him. Her face broke out in a soft smile. "Okay, what number is it on the list?"

He shrugged. "I don't know," he said, twitching with excitement. "Can you find it on that paper?"

His mother quickly scanned the list clutched in her hand. "It's number 65, Fairies Dancing. Let's see where the bidding begins." She glanced at her watch. "I want to check out some desks and antique lamps before the auction starts."

"Thanks mum," Michael murmured, feeling guilty that he had been angry with her moments before. The aroma of grilled smokies hit his nostrils. Glancing around, he noticed a refreshment stand across the room. "I think I'll grab a hot dog," he called to his mother, who nodded as she edged her way to the back of the crowded room.

As he stood munching his smokie, with mustard dripping at the side of his bottom lip, two kids from his school meandered towards the outlet. He lowered his head as he dabbed his mouth with a napkin. He didn't want to catch their attention and tried to avoid their eyes. Momentarily, he was staring at their feet. He had no choice but to look up.

"Hi, Mike," Seth said, "What you doin' here?"

Seth's square face matched his square spiked corncob colored hair. His buddy Todd, his backup, with light gleaming off his freshly shaven head, cracked his knuckles. Michael noticed a black and red snake tattoo covered his right hand and wiggled up his wrist.

"Just hanging out," Michael replied with a slight quiver in his voice.

"We've come for the sports stuff," Seth bragged in a loud voice. "There's a couple of dirt bikes for sale. My dad is going to take us dirt bikin' this summer." Michael lowered his head again, and didn't say anything. If my dad wasn't dead, he'd buy me one, he thought. Seth towered over Michael, who for his 13 years, was above average height. His muscles rippled under a black skull bone tea shirt. His one odd eye stared at Michael while the other pointed in a different direction. At school, in front of smaller kids, he would raise his right arm, bend his elbow, and flex his muscles. As he did this, he bragged 'Bullies rule'. Michael remembered the many times that Seth had knocked him down at school, called him names and laughed in his face. As his palms got greasy, his gut felt like a twisting lizard lived inside. Go away, his mind screamed, as he gorged the rest of his smokie.

Just then his mother approached them. He had never told her about the bully problem and had explained away the bruises. He thought she had enough to deal with losing his dad and her brother. Besides, they had threatened him that if he told, they would kill him. Michael's chest tightened.

"Hi boys," she said. The two boys gave her sullen looks, and didn't respond. She gave them the once over, and then shrugged as she smiled at Michael. "We better hurry and get a seat if you want that faerie painting. I'll meet you at the benches, when you're finished here," she said, as she walked away.

Michael remained frozen, unable to move, and humiliated to the core. He wished that the floor would reach up and pull him under. His face felt flushed and warm, but he didn't want to "run off" with his mother. Then they would really think he was a coward.

"Oh, faeries, is it?" Seth chided. "Wait 'til the kids at school hear this." Both boys laughed, made chicken noises and flapped their arms like wings. Seth gave him an ugly stare. "What are you, a he-she?" he asked as he cracked his knuckles in Michael's face. Todd pointed his finger at him and turned his hand so Michael was staring into the snake's fangs.

Fear gripped him. He felt his face getting hotter. His eyes could not meet theirs. He pressed his hands together to keep them from trembling. In his mind, he pretended they were not in front of him and concentrated on the painting, which gave him some strength. With all the effort he could muster, he turned his back on them and with his head lowered, trudged away. Their laughter and jeers taunted him as he withdrew. With his hands still shaking and his face flushed, he joined his mother on the benches. She was talking to someone about an antique desk. He shook his head. She doesn't have a clue. I wish dad were here. I'm thirteen years old, and still afraid of them he thought as he heaved a big sigh, realizing that she just didn't understand guy stuff.

"What is it Michael?" she asked, turning her head towards him with a quizzical look in her eyes.

Focus on the painting, he thought, as he took a deep breath and shook off the negative energy. "Remember when I was little, and believed in faeries and elves?"

She smiled and nodded her head. "How could I forget? You were drawing them on everything, including our living room walls."

Michael smirked. "It's called creativity." He blushed slightly. "Sorry about the walls."

"I loved your art." She opened her eyes wider as she stared at him intently. "Is that why you want that painting, it reminds you of your childhood?"

"Sort of," he said. It's more than that, but how could he explain feelings he didn't fully understand. He just knew he had to have it. He reached into his pocket and pulled out some paper bills. "I only brought $30.00 from my allowance. If I don't have enough money with me today, will you help me out?

"I'll try," she said. Michael's shoulders drooped. "Don't worry, we'll get it." She put her arm across his back and gave him a hug. She was always confident that things would turn out alright. He sometimes wondered how she stayed so positive, especially since his father's death.

As he listened to the drone of the auctioneer's voice, a nervous energy ran though him. Shuffling in his seat, he peered around wondering if anyone else was interested in Number 65. Finally, his number came up. The auctioneer started the bidding at $100.00. Oh no, he thought, I don't have a hundred dollars. He had been at enough auctions to know that if they start at one hundred, it usually goes up quickly from there.

An old man with straggly gray hair and speckled beard, coughed loudly as he waved his card. "We have one hundred." said the auctioneer. "Let's make it one fifty."

Michael's heart pounded. I can't lose that painting, he thought. He was about to raise his card when an elderly woman's bushy eyebrows shot up, touching the fuzzy red tam propped on the side of her head. Her crimson painted mouth opened wide as she bellowed, "Freddie, you don't have a hundred bucks." She grabbed the old man's uplifted arm and thrust it down. Her befuddled partner shot a dirty glance her way, got up from his seat and stomped out.

The auctioneer grinned and nodded. "Okay, I guess we don't have a hundred. Fifty then." Michael's head swiveled to see if any card went up; still no bids.

"Twenty-five," the auctioneer shouted.

Michael's hand shot up waving his card. His mother whispered, "Good Michael."

"The young lad has bid $25.00. Do I hear thirty?" rang the auctioneer's voice.

The crowd grew silent except for a muffled sneeze near the back. The auctioneer looked around the room hopefully. Michael drew a deep breath. "Still no bids, going, going, gone for $25.00, sold to the young lad!" The gavel made a resounding crack. He snickered as he shook his head. "I guess there's not much interest in faeries here tonight."

"I have it, I have it," Michael cried, grinning from ear to ear. He thrust his hand in his pocket and pulled out the cash.

"Yes, you do," said his mother smiling. She rose from the bench. "We'll pay for it right now and take it home."

"Hold it!" a menacing voice boomed from across the room. A tall man with steely eyes and a long narrow pale face, wearing a fedora and dark raincoat, strode defiantly towards them. "I came for that painting." He pointed the steel tip of his umbrella at Michael's chest. Michael's face drained of blood, and he felt a shiver down his spine.

"Well, I'm afraid you're too late," interjected his mother, staring down the contender as she stepped in front of Michael. "And please lower that umbrella." The stranger's eyes sharpened and the muscles in his face grew taut. Then his jaw relaxed and he put his umbrella at his side as he appeared to be studying her face.

Michael was a little surprised by her courage. This guy is scary. Isn't she afraid? Then he remembered the day he had seen her in action in a courtroom. She had whooped one of the toughest cops on the force. At the end of her cross examination, he could barely remember his own name. He was so proud of her then, and she was just as fearless now. He knew that this man was no match for her when it came to winning an argument, especially if she knew the law was on her side.


(Continues...)

Excerpted from Fellowship of the Snow Leopards by Joy O'Dwyer. Copyright © 2013 Joy O'Dwyer. Excerpted by permission of Balboa Press.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

Table of Contents

Contents

Dedication, vii,
Epithaph, ix,
Preface, xi,
Acknowledgements, xiii,
Chapter 1 The Auction, 1,
Chapter 2 The Land of Shilough, 16,
Chapter 3 You Must Come With Me, 31,
Chapter 4 The Enchanted Forest, 35,
Chapter 5 Time of the Mist, 42,
Chapter 6 Dragon Dreams, 50,
Chapter 7 Athena and the Garden, 56,
Chapter 8 The Library, 67,
Chapter 9 The Throne Room Meeting, 73,
Chapter 10 The Training Begins, 81,
Chapter 11 Perfect Order, 94,
Chapter 12 The Dark Forces, 103,
Chapter 13 Music for the Gods, 113,
Chapter 14 Home Again, 123,
Chapter 15 The Intruder, 132,
Chapter 16 The Way of the Peaceful Warrior, 140,
Chapter 17 An Ancient Order, 152,
Chapter 18 The Menancing Sword, 160,
Chapter 19 The Only Hope For Change, 169,
Chapter 20 White Knights—Black Knights, 178,
Chapter 21 An Enemy in Our Midst, 184,
Chapter 22 Kid Power, 193,
Chapter 23 Athena's Garlands, 199,
Chapter 24 The Costume Shop, 207,
Chapter 25 Facing Miltiades, 214,
Chapter 26 The Healing Center, 222,
Chapter 27 Creatures of the Night, 233,
Chapter 28 The Micro Blaster, 241,
Chapter 29 First Mission, 251,
Chapter 30 War on the Planet of Peace, 259,
Chapter 31 The Grand Council, 265,
Chapter 32 The Interrogation, 270,
Chapter 33 A Dangerous Mission, 278,
Chapter 34 A Joint Operation, 288,
Chapter 35 The Swamplands, 299,
Chapter 36 Base Camp, 308,
Chapter 37 Crocodile Vessels, 316,
Chapter 38 The Vortex, 326,
Chapter 39 Land And Air Attack, 336,
Chapter 40 The Snow Leopards, 343,
Chapter 41 The Blue Crystal, 351,
Chapter 42 A Snake Pit, 356,
Chapter 43 Angelica's Forces, 365,
Chapter 44 The Battle of the Skies, 374,
Chapter 45 To the Faerie King, 382,
Chapter 46 A Ring of Fire, 389,
Chapter 47 A Symphony of Light and Sound, 399,

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Fellowship of the Snow Leopards: The Journey Begins 5 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 1 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
TRULY ENGAGING!  Packed full of vibrant characters and settings - I did not want to put this book down!  Fiction? Non-fiction? It's for you to decide. Containing subtle undertones of meaningful life experiences, the depth offered within this book is remarkable. It's a MUST READ for all ages.       Scott, Vancouver, BC