There’s no turning back for the five children in The Fog of Forgetting when they are engulfed in a mysterious and impenetrable fog and washed ashore on an island in the North Atlantic. Their struggle to survive is the epic beginning of a new adventure-fantasy trilogy that will take you on a memorable journey from coastal Maine to worlds unknown, where friend and foe may be the same."The Fog of Forgetting," the first volume in The Five Stones Trilogy, begins at the best of all possible times: the start of summer vacation. For the three Thompson brothers, Chase (13), Knox (11), and Teddy (6), this means a long drive to Summerledge, their beloved house in Maine, near the village of Fells Harbor. All is as it should be until the sudden appearance of two adopted neighbor girls from Haiti, Evelyn (13) and Frankie (9), a hasty departure of their parents, and a sunny day lead to an unexpected voyage. Before long, the children find themselves beyond familiar waters and engulfed by a curtain of dense fog, beyond which lies a land forgotten and besieged, an island of ancient secrets and terrible history:Ayda. As the children explore their surroundings and meet strange new friends, it becomes clear that they have landed somewhere far from homeand beyond rescue. Crackling with action and suspense, The Fog of Forgetting plumbs the rich territory between realism and fantasy by immersing the reader in an imaginative world that is also natural and recognizable. Funny, gripping andabove allcompelling, The Fog of Forgetting brings together captivating characters, integrated narrative, myth, romance, and mystery for the delight of all, be they a sophisticated ten-year-old boy or a fifty-year-old reader who still remembers what it’s like to be young with the long days of summer ahead.
About the Author
G. A. Morgan spent all of her summers on an island in Maine, where she discovered that many secrets lie deep in the fog. She has authored several illustrated non-fiction works under her full name, Genevieve Morgan, and is the author of a recent non-fiction book for teens called "Undecided: A Guide to Navigating Life after High School." This is her first work of fiction. She is currently at work on "Chantarelle," the second volume of The Five Stones Trilogy, which will be available Summer 2015.
Read an Excerpt
The Fog of Forgetting
The Five Stones Trilogy - Book 1
By G. A. Morgan
Islandport PressCopyright © 2014 G. A. Morgan
All rights reserved.
Chase Thompson was dreaming he was on the porch at Summerledge, looking out over the rocks toward the ocean. He saw something floating out there, bigger than a buoy but too small to be a boat. An overwhelming urge to see what it was took hold of him. He took a few steps and, as happens in dreams, launched himself off the porch and into the air. Below him, the pitched roof of Summerledge and humps of granite dropped away. Out of the corner of his eye, he glimpsed the arc of Secret Beach, the Dellemere cottage, and a ways beyond, the cluster of houses that indicated the village of Fells harbor. He caught an air current and swooped out over the sea, soaring happily across the green-blue carpet of water until a flash of orange caught his eye. He dove down to get a closer look. It was a life jacket, bubbling around someone floating facedown in the water. He hovered over it. Swells rose and fell, rhythmically; the body floated up to meet him, and then slowly ... slowly ... began to roll over.
He bolted awake, heart thumping, and got his bearings. No ocean. No body. He was safe in the backseat of his family's car in the driveway at 320 Elm Ridge Road. School had finally been let out and it was time for his family's annual drive up the coast to Summerledge. His mother, Grace, was fastening the last duffel bag to the collection of luggage and sports equipment already strapped to the roof. A jumble of bikes protruded from the rear, and the inside of the car was packed with bags of groceries.
He ran a hand through his brown, rangey bangs and pulled up his hoodie in an effort to ignore the disgusted look of two ladies who were standing at the bay window of the house across the street. Teddy, Chase's six-year-old brother, came rocketing out the front door looking like a cross between a crazed hobo and the son of Aquaman. He wore a swimsuit, a scruffy baseball shirt stained down the front with what might be hot chocolate, swim goggles, and orange-and-blue flippers on his feet. A sticky, red goo was smeared across his face, which he rubbed into his mother's pant leg. She swooped down and strapped him — blond, kicking, and wildly smacking his flippers — into his booster seat. Chase sighed. He knew what the neighbors were saying — everyone in his family knew. Their car, their yard, his brothers, heck, their whole life, was an eyesore on the tidy cul-de-sac.
"Chathe!" Teddy sang out, whacking his flippers against the back of the driver's seat. Despite a year of speech therapy, Teddy's S's were still coming out of his mouth sounding like "th's."
"Chasssse — with an Ssssss," Chase said back at him, hissing. "Like Sssssnake."
"Thhhnake," Teddy repeated, unfazed, lifting one smudged eye piece of his swim goggles. "TTTTTTTTHNAKE!" he yelled louder, flippers whacking. "CHATHE! THHNAKE!"
"Okay, Tedders, whatever — it's a free country." Chase took a peek at the snotty neighbors in the window and smirked. They were wearing matching tracksuits and ponytails. "At least for some people."
"We're going to Thummerledge today," said Teddy happily.
Chase reached over and bumped his knuckles to his brother's sticky little fist, then reached in the front pocket of his sweatshirt for his cell phone — one of the crummy free ones you get when you sign a contract, but it stored music and he could text. Problem was, Chase didn't have anyone to text except for Knox, his other little brother.
His mother bent down and eyed him through the half-open window. She was thin and tired-looking, with brownish hair scrunched into a knot at her neck.
"Do you have your inhaler?" she asked.
Chase yanked the green nylon cord out from under his sweatshirt and wiggled his asthma inhaler at her, then pulled his hood farther up over his eyes and shoved the seat. It rewarded him by groaning pathetically. The neighbors were right: This car was a bucket of bolts. He'd been driving around in it since he was a baby thirteen years ago, and it was scrap metal then.
"Can we go already, Mom?"
"As soon as Dad and Knox are ready," she said with a tight little smile, settling herself in the driver's seat.
Chase worked his thumbs on the phone's keyboard, typing: GET OUT HERE, then he popped his earbuds in his ears and scrolled through the list of songs he'd downloaded earlier. He'd discovered just how useful earbuds could be at his new school. Nobody tried to talk to you, but everybody felt free to talk about you when they thought you couldn't hear them. Every rotten word, like freak, loser, and in for it.
His mom had told him things would get better — were getting better — because of their dad's new job, but Chase knew that if school hadn't finally ended and if they weren't driving up to Summerledge today, things would definitely, positively, be getting worse. But Chase couldn't tell his mom that. His parents had their own problems. They fought all the time. About the new job. About money. About Knox's grades. For all he knew, they fought about him when he wasn't around. The only thing they didn't fight about was Teddy, and that was because Teddy was still pretty much a baby.
Chase glanced out the car window at the scrubby shrubs leashed down by collars and wires that were staked into the center of the paved cul-de-sac. he figured he could probably uproot all of them with one well-aimed kick.
"Hey, Mom, you ever wonder why they call this place Sherwood Forest? There's nothing that even comes close to a tree around here."
Grace made an unintelligible sound.
"Did you e-mail the Neighborhood Association and explain that humans are actually mammals?"
"Chase, stop," she sighed. It was an old argument. Roger, their dog, had to be left behind in Indiana when they moved to Massachusetts because Sherwood Forest had a "No Mammals" pet policy.
"Idiots," Chase coughed into his hand and turned his music up. In his opinion, the only good thing about the move was Sherwood Forest's freshly paved, skateboard-ready road, and that was only because skateboarding was the closest he had gotten all year to flying the heck out of this place — that is, until today.
Knox barreled out the front door carrying a plastic box holding their turtle, Bob, in one hand, and a lacrosse stick and a beat-up guitar case in the other. Knox was twelve, and shorter and stockier than Chase. He had sandy hair cut into a spiky fringe and was the only Thompson brother to inherit their dad's dimples and freckles. He had his mother's wide, blue eyes, like both Chase and Teddy, only one of his was underscored by a knuckle-sized bruise on the left cheekbone.
Chase saw the bruise — sore and glaring at him — as Knox crossed over to the car. He looked away, embarassed, remembering how Knox had come across two guys from the JV soccer team cornering him in the stairwell on the day before school ended. He had been wheezing so loudly that Knox heard him from the landing, and launched himself at one of the guys. Everyone (except him) had ended up bloody and in the principal's office. The incident would have meant suspension, for sure, if the principal hadn't been as sick of the whole school business as everyone else. Instead, Knox was told to write an essay on the impact of nonviolent protests on history — and he was still mad about it. According to him, if anyone was writing an essay over the summer, that person was Chase. It wasn't his fault his older brother was a tool.
Knox shoved his guitar and lacrosse stick in the last sliver of air in the back and dumped Bob on Chase's lap, half on purpose, sloshing turtle water everywhere. He chucked himself into the middle seat, splashing more water onto Chase's jeans.
"Thanks a lot," said Chase, annoyed.
"What are you complaining about? You need a bath anyway." Knox grabbed the aquarium and made a face, then turned to Teddy, who was busy finger-painting the window with peanut butter from his snack.
"Thatta boy, Ted." he looked around the cramped car and made a ka-che whip-cracking noise. "Giddy-up, Mom!"
Grace rolled her shoulders back, her hands at 9 and 3 on the steering wheel.
"Just waiting for Dad."
"We'll have to go back to school by the time he gets here," said Knox. "He's packing files and crap."
"He is not," she said, widening her eyes. "And don't say crap."
"He is so."
She sighed, unbuckled her seat belt, and got out of the car. She returned with her husband, Jim, in tow: a tall, angular man who looked like he worked all day under fluorescent lights. He was staring down at his cell phone. Chase could see the bald spot on the top of his dad's head, like an egg in a brown nest.
Grace got back in the driver's seat and strapped in. Jim stalled at the passenger door, scrolling his index finger up and down on the cell-phone screen. Knox pushed through the gap in the front seats and laid on the horn. His dad recoiled as though he'd been shot, then opened the door. His nose crinkled instantly.
"What in God's name is that smell?"
"Chase," grinned Knox, dimples flashing.
"Shut UP!" Chase replied. "You're so not funny."
"At least I'm not a loser like you."
"I'm warning you, Knox. SHUT UP!"
"Aren't we touchy, Chathey-Wathey." Knox stuck out his lower lip and made a fake pouty face.
Chase shifted sideways, ignoring his brother.
"None of you are losers," said their father distractedly, looking back down at his phone screen. Grace lowered her window and glanced behind her. Her head snapped around when she heard buttons being pressed.
"Really, Jim?" she asked, gritting her teeth. "I thought you agreed: No calls! We're on vacation. I want us to talk to each other. You only have a week up there, which reminds me —" She held her hand out backwards toward the backseat. Chase and Knox reluctantly relinquished their phones. She held the same hand out to her husband. He clutched his cell phone defensively to his chest.
"I have to check in with the lab," he said, trying to sound breezy. She rolled her eyes. He sighed, "I'm the boss, Grace; it's part of my job."
"Besides, Mom — nobody talks anymore," said Knox. "That's why they invented texting."
Jim turned around and winked at Knox. Grace cranked the ignition a little too hard.
"I'm looking forward to being together, Grace," Jim said hastily. "I really am. I just wish things at work were a little more settled."
"Are they ever going to be settled?" she replied. "I mean, do you think, in your estimation, there will EVER be a time when we can go on vacation without your cell phone? Jim, it's Summerledge!"
"Aaah, yes, Summerledge," he echoed, voice lowered in mock awe. "The Baker ancestral seat." he closed his eyes and loudly listed off complaints: the scraping and painting that the old wooden house would need in the coming week, the chilly fog that crept along the shore and stayed for days, the endless amount of firewood that needed to be carried from the shed. Then, he sighed.
"Vacation my ass."
"Dad! You thaid ath!" squealed Teddy.
"Don't be stupid," snapped Chase, eyeing his mom for signs of sudden rage explosion.
"You're thtupid, Chathe," said Teddy.
"Don't say stupid," scolded Grace.
"Actually, he said thtupid, not stupid," said Knox. "Besides, you guys need to get back to fighting."
"We're not fighting!" both parents shouted in unison.
"Pickle Jinxth!" shrieked Teddy. "Now you can't talk until I thay your name, and if you do, your name ith the firtht word you thay."
Grace put her head in her hands and said, "Boys, enough."
"Ha, ha — your name is 'Boyth Enough' now, Mom. That'th funny, Boyth Enough."
"Oh. My. God. Can we just go, puh-lease," groaned Chase.
Grace put the car in gear and drove slowly around the cul-de-sac, collecting herself just in time to wave to her neighbors.
"Nasty old bats," muttered Knox, leaning over Chase to leer and wave. Taken aback, one of them mechanically bent her fingers down. "That's it, wave back, you trolls."
Their mother sighed loudly.
"What? It's true!" cried Knox. "They're always staring at us and sniffing — and the blonde one's ponytail is pulled too tight. It makes her eyes all bulgy. She went mental this winter when I hit her car with a snowball. A snowball. You would have thought it was sniper fire. She said she was going to call the police."
Grace half-smiled despite herself and flicked a glance through the mirror at her sons: Chase was adjusting his earbuds, pulling on his hood. Knox's knee bounced up and down, making the water in the aquarium slosh. Teddy's goggle strap was snarled in his curly hair and he'd gone back to licking peanut butter off his window. Her gaze lingered for a moment, protectively, then she stomped on the accelerator. Soon they would be at Summerledge, and in the two months there the boys would forget this past year and everything would be different when school started again. After all, didn't she know better than anyone how a single summer could change everything?
* * *
Grace's grandfather, henry Baker, built Summerledge in 1925 as a wedding present for his new wife, Ruth. He returned from fighting in the Great War with a limp, damaged lungs, and a deep longing for a quiet life by the sea where he would never again hear the sound of gunfire. he found it in a parcel of shorefront not far from the village of Fells harbor, and quickly got to work. When he was finished, the house had three floors, a center chimney, and an iron widow's walk that wrapped around the roof. With the sound of surf in his ears, he walked the length of the long driveway and drove a post into the ground where he installed a shiny metal mailbox and painted the name Summerledge on it in green. After Grace's mother was born, he added a shed, a telephone, and indoor plumbing, but not much else.
As a child, Grace spent eight precious summers at Summerledge with her older brother, Edward and their grandparents. Almost as soon as they could walk, her grandfather taught them both to sail in the small wooden sailboat he refinished with his own hands. By age twelve, Edward was a good enough sailor to take the boat out by himself, often staying out all day to explore the outer islands. He told Grace he would take her with him when she was older — but then came the summer that changed everything: the summer Edward took the sailboat out and never came back.
After that, Grace was taken inland for good, far away from the ocean's glare and the fog that boats — and brothers — got lost in. There she stayed, for more than twenty years, until the day she got a letter in the mail deeding Summerledge and all its belongings to her. That was fifteen years ago, and the Thompsons had been making the drive up to Maine every summer since.
* * *
Halfway into this year's drive, the Thompsons' car hit a small bump in the road. A squealing shudder ripped through the interior. Grace peered nervously out her side mirror.
"You did tie the bikes on tightly, Jim? I mean, with the strap?" she asked her husband.
He gave her an exasperated look.
"I think I can be trusted to pack the bikes, don't you? It's not rocket science."
"Uh ... Mom?" Knox interrupted, leaning forward to get her attention.
A dull drilling sound from outside the car was picking up volume.
"Just a minute, honey, I want to say something important to Dad — Jim? — Jim!" she repeated, louder.
"Hmm?" Jim mumbled, his mind miles away, back at the lab, among racks of test tubes and petri dishes holding exotic strains of bacteria.
"Mom!" yelled Knox.
She ignored him, still focused on her husband. "Jim, honey, I — I want you to know that I'm really glad you're coming for the whole week. I know you have a lot of work."
"I'm looking forward to it —" his ear twitched back at the sound of metal groaning. "Grace, this car really needs some attention."
"The car needs attention?" she repeated, her temper rising again.
"Mom!" Knox yelled, trying one more time and elbowing Chase in the ribs.
"What'd ya do that for?" Chase snapped, removing his earbuds. Knox pointed. One of the ties holding the bikes on board was loose and flapping against the back of the car, its metal end rapping loudly.
"It'th LOUD in here!" Teddy cried, holding his hands up to his ears.
The sudden sound of metal screaming drowned out everything else; the car lurched and, with a wump-wump-wump — crash, the bike rack and all the bikes separated from the tail end and fell onto the highway. Cars veered like bowling pins around the flying projectiles of spinning wheels and handlebars.
"Hey, Mom, check it out — that guy's flipping you off," said Chase.
A red sedan bolted by them, its passenger shaking an upturned middle finger out the window. Knox snorted with laughter. Grace navigated the car to the shoulder.
"You three listen to me, right now — not another word. Dad and I have to work this out."
Excerpted from The Fog of Forgetting by G. A. Morgan. Copyright © 2014 G. A. Morgan. Excerpted by permission of Islandport 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
ContentsPROLOGUE The Atlantic Ocean, 1806, 1,
CHAPTER 1 The Atlantic Coast, Present Day, 5,
CHAPTER 2 Unexpected Visitors, 16,
CHAPTER 3 Fog, 26,
CHAPTER 4 Boat Ride, 33,
CHAPTER 5 Adrift, 42,
CHAPTER 6 The Hounds of Melor, 55,
CHAPTER 7 Melorians, 64,
CHAPTER 8 The First Lesson, 72,
CHAPTER 9 Daylights, 80,
CHAPTER 10 Capture, 86,
CHAPTER 11 A Legend Revealed, 99,
CHAPTER 12 Sky Crossing, 105,
CHAPTER 13 Prisoner, 111,
CHAPTER 14 Rothermel, 116,
CHAPTER 15 Farther In, 124,
CHAPTER 16 Flight, 129,
CHAPTER 17 The Leaving, 140,
CHAPTER 18 The Broomwash, 145,
CHAPTER 19 Calla's Farewell, 150,
CHAPTER 20 Metria, 158,
CHAPTER 21 Into Exor, 166,
CHAPTER 22 Rysta's Tale, 171,
CHAPTER 23 The Dwellings, 183,
CHAPTER 24 The Fog of Forgetting, 192,
CHAPTER 25 Thieves, 200,
CHAPTER 26 Initiation, 211,
CHAPTER 27 Upset, 216,
CHAPTER 28 Into the Mountains, 223,
CHAPTER 29 False Footing, 237,
CHAPTER 30 Heights, 248,
CHAPTER 31 Ratha's Aerie, 252,
CHAPTER 32 Time Flies, 262,
CHAPTER 33 The Enemy, 273,
CHAPTER 34 The Flood, 285,
CHAPTER 35 Cast Off, 294,
Most Helpful Customer Reviews
Just finished this book ! Exceptional Storytelling you won't ever forget ! The Fog of Forgetting will be loved by anyone who enjoys a tale of adventure, magic and wonder. The characters all have stories worth exploring and the book unwinds in many unexpected and inspired ways. I don't want to give away too much. This book is in the same league as The Lord of the Rings and The Chronicles of Narnia and fans of those stories will be happy they found a way through the fog and discovered the mysterious island of Ayda. Read the book and you'll understand !!