Tara Nikkel and the Dream Mage (Tara Nikkel #1)
R. A. Sapp
Published: 13th January, 2015
Meet a teenager with some aserious issues. Tara is a girl with a whole host of ailments: cerebral palsy, asthma, and a severe peanut allergy (just go name a few). And if all that wasn’t enough, Tara’s also an orphan with two clueless foster parents who are hoarders as well as being professional couch potatoes. But everything changes for Tara when she ventures into a storm to find her missing beagle, Pudgy. Through an unexpected series of events Tara finds herself in a magical realm known only as the “really real world.” Come join Tara on an adventure filled with magic, goblins, zombies, dragons–and more!
Ages 13 and up.
Tara could feel Billy’s eyes looking down at the metal braces on her legs, examining them, exploring their mechanics. It took all of her strength to resist his curious, booger-dripping mug.
“Yes?” Tara snapped at him. Billy smiled at her, stupidly. Tara fired at him again: “Didn’t your folks tell you it’s not polite to stare, nimrod?”
“What’s wrong with your legs?” he asked. A tiny green caterpillar crawled out of his nose. He sniffed and the green goo disappeared back into the space where his brain should have been.
“You are disgusting,” Tara huffed at him.
“Were you in a car accident or something? I saw you walking on your crutches in the quad. Joe MacKenna says you look like a baby giraffe the way you walk.”
Tara wanted to cry. She bit her lip, doing her best to avoid giving Billy Higgins the pleasure of seeing her melt into a puddle of tears. In her mind she pretended she was a powerful sorcerer and with one tap of her pencil she could turn Billy Higgins into a toad–a really ugly one too. A little smile crept onto her face when she imagined Billy Higgins trying to croak at Mrs. Ross for help.
Evil, yes, but funny.
It was Friday, the end of a miserable first week of seventh grade at Trevis Jr. High. Tara had been home-schooled her whole life, so this was the first time she had actually gone to class with other students. She was already regretting this decision. Being the new kid is hard enough when you’re thirteen, but being the new kid with cerebral palsy–well, that’s an entirely unique form of difficult. And if all that wasn’t bad enough, the Bakersfield air was so toxic to her asthma that Tara had to wear a special filtration mask if she went outside for more than fifteen minutes.
Billy Higgins’ lower lip hung a little too far from his gums. He watched her with great interest. His brown eyes waited with pleasure for her to entertain him.
“Will you stop staring at me please?” she said under her breath so other students would not hear.
“Like a baby giraffe,” he repeated, snickering as if the words themselves were packed with an endless supply of comedy.
The bell rang.
Mrs. Ross was so startled that she that she accidentally tossed her red pen and it popped Billy Higgins right in the center of his face. The class erupted into laughter.
“Oh ma dose,” Billy moaned, covering his face with his hand.
Tara crackled a smile. She imagined for a split-second that she had summonded that red pen from Mrs. Ross’ hand and had directed it telepathically at Billy Higgins’ dumb face. A squeaky giggle escaped her mouth. That was almost as good as turning him into a toad.
About the Author
R. A. Sapp lives in beautiful Orange County, California. He is married to Rebecca and together they have two children–Abigail (The Healer) and Christian (The Wizard). In addition to reading and writing, Mr. Sapp enjoys running and mountain biking. He has run several half-marathons (including completing the Beach Cities Challenge in 2014) and hopes to complete a triathlon someday.