|Product dimensions:||6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x 0.35(d)|
About the Author
Read an Excerpt
"A Restless Night"
For Sabrina Banner's whole life, she believed herself to be nothing but ordinary. She felt as though she had been cheated and born in the wrong world or in the wrong time, where everything had already been discovered. There was not a single thing that was odd about her. But it wasn't her fault that she was born in a loving household, in a world where magic and adventure didn't exist. Aside for wishing for things to be slightly more interesting, at this point in time, Sabrina's life was going well. But we all know that nothing good lasts forever.
"Good morning, Sabrina!" Paris Clark greeted her younger cousin with a bright smile and a mouthful of food, with milk dribbling down her chin.
Sabrina yawned tiredly but managed to force a smile. "Hi, Paris. You, um, you got a little something ..." Sabrina pointed to the side of her face in an attempt to mimic the milk that was dripping from Paris's chin.
Paris didn't seem to take the hint as she cocked her head in confusion. "I got a little ...?"
Sabrina sighed and shook her head. "Never mind. It's nothing." She placed her backpack down by the doormat, and then she made herself some toast and spread some raspberry jam over it. After that, Sabrina joined Paris at the table and nibbled on her toast.
"Good morning, girls!" Aunt Jeanette's voice rang out as she entered the room.
"Hey, Mom," Paris said with a smile.
"Hi, Aunt Jen," Sabrina greeted.
Aunt Jeanette smiled as she planted a small kiss on both of their heads and grabbed a water bottle from the fridge. "You two had better hurry up and head off to school, or you'll be late. I've gotta get down to the bakery. Kenzie said she'd be there early this morning, so I could rest, but I can't leave her to do everything. What kind of boss would I be if I did that?" Aunt Jeanette laughs.
That was one of the big things that Sabrina loved about Aunt Jeanette: she was so caring and always put others before herself. She was always ready to assist anyone in need, and she was supportive of everything. Whenever Sabrina felt down, she'd go to Aunt Jeanette, who would know exactly how to cheer up Sabrina. She was a perfect pretend mother for Sabrina, considering that Sabrina had lost her mom when she was younger.
"I'll see you girls later. You and your friends are meeting at the bakery after school, right, Sabrina?" Aunt Jeanette asked as she grabbed her keys off of the hook and slid on her shoes.
Sabrina nodded and swallowed a piece of toast before answering, "That's the plan, anyway."
"Well, if the plan changes, give me a call, all right?" Aunt Jeanette said, and Sabrina nodded again. "Good. Have a great day at school, you two." Aunt Jeanette beamed as she opened the door.
"Have a great day at work, Mom!" Paris echoed brightly.
"Oh! It's cold out!" Aunt Jeanette shivered as the cold wind blew inside. She zipped up her jacket and put some thin gloves on her hands. "Don't forget gloves and a hat. I know that spring break is tomorrow but it's still cold out and I don't want sick kids when I come home."
Sabrina smiled. "Sure thing, Aunt Jeanette."
Aunt Jeanette waved to Paris and Sabrina before exiting the house and leaving them on their own.
"Finish up, Sabrina, unless you plan on taking the bus. I will leave without you," Paris warned as she got up to put her bowl in the sink.
Sabrina's eyes get big in horror. "I'm going, I'm going! Don't rush me!"
Sabrina quickly stuffed the last of her toast into her mouth. Paris wasn't bluffing — Sabrina knew that for a fact. Paris had deliberately left Sabrina behind before, and Sabrina had to ride the smelly, loud school bus for fifteen minutes. After that, Sabrina had learned quickly that Paris was a person of her word.
Sabrina cringed and glanced down from the stool she was sitting on to find Paris's big, orange, fat cat, Suki, who was gazing up at her with her big, rust-colored eyes. Sabrina groaned and yelled, "Paris, did you feed the cat yet?"
"Oh, shoot! I forgot! Sabrina, can you do it, please? I need to start up the car," Paris said with a sheepish smile as she grabbed her car keys and backpack.
"Do I have a choice in this?"
"Nope!" Paris's voice rang out in a song — like way.
Sabrina let out a huff in annoyance as she begrudgingly got up from her seat. "Yeah, that's what I figured," she grumbled as she carefully avoided stepping on Suki's oversized body. Suki still glared at her anyway.
Sabrina sucked in her breath as she scurried over to the pantry, found the cat food, and brought it over to Suki's dish. Sabrina quickly poured Suki's dry cat food as Suki dashed over to eat it. When Suki reached the dish, she hissed at Sabrina and scratched Sabrina's hand before Sabrina could pull it out of Suki's reach. Sabrina yelped in pain and yanked away her hand. Sabrina wanted to curse, but she bit her lip to keep herself from doing so. Aunt Jeanette hated cursing and using "colorful language." Sabrina would normally never swear aloud, but she often did in her head.
In fact, if the girls did swore aloud and were heard by Aunt Jeanette, they had to put ten bucks in a swear jar. The clear jar sat on the windowsill by the sink, and Sabrina hated it. She'd accidentally let a few swear words slip before and had been forced to give up ten bucks. Not fun.
Ignoring her wandering thoughts, Sabrina quickly put a bandage around her scratched thumb and grumpily slung her backpack over one shoulder.
Paris had already headed out the door to start the car, and Sabrina could only pray to the gods that Paris hadn't left without her.
Sabrina rushed over to close the door behind her and locked it before dashing to the front of the driveway, where Paris had fortunately waited for Sabrina in her little red car. Paris honked the horn at Sabrina and yelled, "Come on, Sabrina! School starts soon. Hurry up!"
Sabrina dashed toward Paris's car, and plopped down in the passenger's side putting her backpack on her lap. "Sorry ... that I'm ... late ..." Sabrina panted between breaths as Paris rolled out of the driveway. "Suki ... hates me."
"Suki hates you? That's no surprise. She's always seemed to hate you. She's such a great cat, and loves Aunt Jeanette and me. I wonder what you possibly could've done to make her hate you?"
Sabrina decided to be smart and play dumb. "I have no idea. Guess I'm just not a cat magnet like you and Aunt Jeanette." Paris nodded, and the rest of the ride was in silence. Suki and Sabrina had never been on good grounds from the moment they adopted her.
Sabrina thought back to the times when she had tried to give away Suki, ship Suki to China, and lock her in a closet. Sure, Sabrina hadn't always been the nicest to the oversized feline, but Suki had her moments as well. Suki had scratched Sabrina multiple times, hissed at her, and clawed her legs, so in Sabrina's defense she wasn't the only one at fault.
Sabrina realized that she and Paris were almost to school, and she decided that she needed to stop arguing with her internal dialogue.
The next thing Sabrina knew, Paris had pulled into a parking lot with ten minutes to spare before the homeroom bell rang. The two of them got out of the car and went their separate ways to their lockers to begin their last day of school before spring break.
Fortunately for Sabrina, the school day had finally come to an end.
She tiredly sat down in the passenger seat next to Paris, while her best friends, Jason Sullivan and Demi O'Hara, hopped in the backseat. "I wonder what Mrs. Clark's special is today at her bakery?" Demi remarked pensively.
"I think she told me that it was chocolate chip muffins last night." Paris answered as she kept her eyes glued to the road.
"Yum!" Jason exclaimed, excitement evident in his eyes.
Because Sabrina was sitting in the passenger seat, she stole a quick a glance at her best friends from the rear-view mirror to see Jason licking his lips and Demi rolling eyes.
Demi playfully shoved Jason. "Grow up, Jase! Honestly. They're just muffins!"
Jason gasped in pretend horror. "Just muffins? How dare you! Muffins are amazing, Demetria!" Jason scolded Demi with a disappointed head shake. Sabrina rolled her eyes in exasperation, but a small smile of amusement played on her lips.
"You two are so immature," Sabrina noted with a giggle.
"First of all, Jason, do not call me Demetria! Second, I am not immature! It's Jason who's the immature one!" Demi whined.
Sabrina sighed. "And that, my dear friend, proves my point. I rest my case."
"Can we just say that you're all immature and call it a day?" Paris interjected, stifling a laugh with a smirk on her lips.
Sabrina heard a few muffled mumbles of protest from Jason and Demi, but nothing other than that. After letting out a deep breath, Sabrina leaned back in her seat, preparing herself for the rest of the ride.
It was sometime after nine o'clock when Sabrina and her friends left the bakery. Just as Paris had said, chocolate chip muffins had been the special that night, and Jason couldn't have been happier. After the muffins, Paris had dropped Jason and Demi off at their houses before heading home for the night. Aunt Jeanette had driven home separately, insisting that she needed to stay and prepare for the next day.
When Sabrina and Paris got home, Paris fed Suki again, and then the two went to their separate bedrooms. Sabrina slipped on some warm pajamas, turned off her light, and snuggled into her bed, ready for sleep to take over. Eventually after counting sheep for what felt like forever and staring mindlessly up at her ceiling, Sabrina's eyelids grew heavy, and she found herself entering the Realm of Morpheus.
"Sea! Sea, wake up! Sabrina!" A panicked voice chided.
Sabrina groaned and tiredly mumbled, "No, let me sleep ..."
"Sabrina, don't make me drag you out of bed! Get up!"
A sigh escaped Sabrina's lips as she slowly pushed herself up into a sitting position. Her vision was slightly blurry from just waking up, and so she waited a second for it to focus. "Sabrina, come on!" Sabrina's hearing finally kicked in, and she recognized the voice as belonging to her older cousin, Paris.
"Paris, let me — ah!" Sabrina cried as Paris roughly grabbed Sabrina's arm, tugged her out of her warm bed, and yanked her up to her feet.
"It's urgent!" Paris exclaims.
Sabrina exhaled deeply in exasperation and rubbed her eyes again in an attempt to wake herself up more as Paris practically dragged her out of her bedroom and towards the living room.
"Paris, it's three in the morning. What could be so important that you had to yank me out of my bed and bring me into the ..." Sabrina started, but she suddenly stopped dead in her tracks.
She tilted head in confusion when she saw Aunt Jeanette talking to a man with long, shaggy, pepper-colored hair that reached slightly past his shoulders. Sabrina wriggled her wrist from Paris's grasp and took a cautious step forward.
"Ah, Miss Sabrina Annalise Banner!" The man at the door beamed with outstretched arms as he turned his attention from Aunt Jeanette to Sabrina.
Sabrina frowned and looked at him suspiciously. "Do I know you? How do you know my name?" she asked.
"Oh, how rude of me! Allow me to introduce myself." The man smiled, and his dusty blue eyes twinkled. "My name is Sylvester. Do I have a last name? Of course I do. But I hate using it, so, just Sylvester please." The stranger smiled.
"Okay ... But how do you know my name? I've never met or seen you before. Ever." Sabrina noted.
Sylvester chuckled softly. "I've always been around, Miss Sabrina. I'm always watching you, looking out for you. Just as I promised your father I would," he said with a hint of sadness in his voice.
"My ... my father?" Sabrina repeated.
"Yes. Frederick Banner. My best friend, and the father that you've never met. I owe everything to him."
"You knew my Dad? You're his best friend? But — but how?" Question upon question piled up in Sabrina's head, which made her feel a little lightheaded from the sudden overwhelming feeling.
Aunt Jeanette placed a hand of comfort on Sabrina's shoulder. "Sabrina, your father wasn't ... normal," she began, choosing her words slowly.
Sylvester laughed slightly. "Not normal? Of course he wasn't normal! No one's normal. That being said, your father was even more abnormal than most of you petty mortals."
Aunt Jeanette glared at him. "Don't you dare call Paris and me that! Just because you were born in a different realm, with different rules, that doesn't mean that you can look down on the Mortal Realm. It's absurd!"
Sabrina flinched slightly at her aunt's sharp tone.
Sabrina had rarely heard her raise her voice before. Aunt Jeanette was normally such a happy and calm person. Even when she was angry, she was good at holding it in. Many people referred to her as the Peacekeeper.
"Relax, Jeanette. I'm only speaking the truth. But we don't have time to fuss over little things like this." Sylvester waved his hand as if dismissing the subject.
"Fine, we'll put a pin in this. But the argument is not over!" Aunt Jeanette fumed with her nose raised in the air.
Sylvester laughed. "Put a pin in it? Hilarious! You mortals never really change, do you?"
Paris and Sabrina shared a look, and it seemed as though Paris was just as confused as Sabrina. "Um, can you please stop beating around the bush and get to the point!" Sabrina blurted in annoyance, losing any patience that she had left.
Aunt Jeanette had her mouth open, ready to argue with Sylvester again, but she quickly composed herself and nodded stiffly. "Yes, of course. I'm sorry, Sabrina. Paris, Sabrina, please go and sit on the couch and make sure that he doesn't touch anything until I get back."
Aunt Jeanette glared at Sylvester before wandering out of the room.
Sabrina glanced at Sylvester, who was absentmindedly playing with the leaf of a plant that sat beside the door in a red vase. Sighing, Paris and Sabrina shared a look again, and Paris shrugged sheepishly, not knowing what to do.
After awkwardly clearing her throat, Sabrina said, "I guess we should ... go to the living room?"
Although it came out sounding more like a question, Paris nodded. "Lead the way, Sea." Paris beckoned, and Sabrina gave Paris a quizzical glance.
"This is your house too, Paris," Sabrina noted before she made her way to the white couch in the center of the room. "Um, so, you can sit wherever you want, I guess," Sabrina said to Sylvester as she gestured around the living room.
"Nah, I'm all right. I'll stand. Thank you, though, Miss Banner." He smiled.
Sabrina shrugged. "If you say so." Paris was already sitting on the loveseat couch, and Sabrina sat down beside her. She awkwardly twiddled her thumbs.
"I know this seems so sudden, and I apologize for intruding at such an early hour, but bad things are happening in my world. We need a hero — a savior — before it all goes to hell," Sylvester explained.
Sabrina abruptly stood up. "A hero? A savior? Excuse me, but who do you think you are? You do you think I am? I'm no one special. I'm not a hero or a savior. You must have the wrong person."
"You are so much more than what you give yourself credit for, Sabrina Banner. Maybe if we're lucky, you'll survive. You deserve to." Sylvester mumbles the last part quietly and he frowned before he shook his head again. "I've said too much. It's not the right time. Forgive me for confusing and worrying you. I'll be quiet now. No more secrets getting spilled." Sylvester firmed up his expression.
Sabrina opened her mouth to ask something, but Aunt Jeanette walked back into the room carrying an old wooden box with golden designs on it.
Aunt Jeanette blew on the box, and dust flew off of it, causing Paris to sneeze. "Sorry, Paris," Aunt Jeanette apologized.
Paris shrugged. "It's — ahchoo! It's fine." Paris sniffs.
Aunt Jeanette placed the box in Sabrina's hands. It was the size of an average shoebox. "This ... This was your mother's. When she brought you to me that stormy night, so many years ago, she placed you in my arms. You were so little and you were swaddled up in an old brown blanket." Aunt Jeanette took a shaky breath and squeezed her eyes shut.
"Your mother — Aurora Banner — handed me this box and told me not to give it to you until it was time. She made me promise that I wouldn't. I knew who and what your father was, and yet I still questioned her logic. But I didn't argue. She told me that she loved me, and that she was sorry. My sister placed a kiss on your head and whispered, 'Forgive me, Sabrina. You're going to great things one day.' A split second later there was a sharp, loud, high pitched howl."
A tear fell down Aunt Jeanette's cheek.
"Aurora paled. I had urged her to tell me what was going on, asking if she needed me to help her or if she was in trouble. Aurora told me not to worry, adding that it would be a while until we would see each other again. Then before I could say anything, she took off running into the pouring rain, before I could stop her and had disappeared into the darkness of the night. I stood there, holding you close to me and called her name. Seconds following that there was a shrilling scream ripped through the air. The howling stopped. The storm cleared up as if by magic. I called her name once more and got no response. I knew she was gone."(Continues…)
Excerpted from "Sabrina Banner"
Copyright © 2018 Isabel Skowfoe.
Excerpted by permission of AuthorHouse.
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
Author's Note, ix,
Author's Biography, xiii,
I. "A Restless Night", 1,
II. "Fern Archer", 13,
III. "Dragon Eyes and Unicorn Hair", 26,
IV. "A Dark Past", 47,
V. "A Forbidden Quest", 59,
VI. "Aureum Knows All", 68,
VII. "In Which Sabrina Meets a Chick Named Chi", 78,
VIII. "Warriors in Pajamas", 90,
IX. "The Sword of a Half-Blood", 105,
X. "Unfinished Business", 121,
XI. "The Story of Fred", 134,
XII. "Angelica Henry's Gift", 144,