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Under the Summer Sun: A Story of Concordia, #2

Under the Summer Sun: A Story of Concordia, #2

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Under the Summer Sun: A Story of Concordia, #2

120 página
1 hora
Jun 9, 2017


Sometimes asking for help is the hardest thing to do, especially when you've been keeping a secret for a long time.Toby, the King's page, can't read. Ashamed and embarrassed, he finds his world falling apart when a new tutor comes to Concordia, who will surely discover his secret. If that's not bad enough, a nasty boy named Harley tries to blackmail him! But with help from his friend Olive and the tutor, Mr. Snipperside, Toby finds a way to face his problem and turn the tables on Harley. In the meantime, the teens also deal with poisonous spiders, a disasterous picnic,and a forest fire that threatens all of Concordia.


Jun 9, 2017

Sobre el autor

Mary Mager is a Nevada – raised writer and songwriter.  She has been a registered nurse, a business owner, substitute teacher, and stay-at-home mom, which; she considers her most rewarding occupation.  Mary has always been a storyteller, and since retirement from the business world she has had the time to work on projects inspired by the special joy of having a grandchild on her lap. She has been a church musician for many years, and that experience led her to compose her own songs, culminating in release in 2014 of an album, “On Grandma’s Lap,” a collection of bedtime songs and lullabies.  At the same time, she has continued to imagine and write stories both long and short for her grandchildren. “Pretend Princess” is the first book in the Concordia series for middle-grade readers. "Under the Summer Sun" is the second in this engaging series. Mary has a Facebook page, On Grandma’s Lap, and a website:  http://www.ongrandmaslap.com. She is delighted to hear from her readers at ongrandmaslap@gmail.com.

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Under the Summer Sun - Mary Mager


For George, my best friend and companion always

1  Heat Wave

THE MOUNTAIN KINGDOM of Concordia was a beautiful place, a land of deep forests and tall peaks. The one and only town, not large enough to be called a city, was also called Concordia. It nestled in a valley with spectacular views in every direction, while the royal palace, which was just the right size, overlooked it all.

Gabrielle, the young Queen of Concordia, stood at an open window high on the castle wall. Her chestnut hair was tied in a single long braid which fell over her shoulder, and she was absently brushing the tip of it under her chin. She was staring intently at something in the distance, something on the side of one of the tall mountains surrounding the town. Usually a deep green in color, today there was a sickly haze over the peaks which made it hard to see well. She squinted, then looked again. Her look of serenity was replaced by one of alarm as she gasped and turned away. She walked briskly toward the doorway and almost collided with her maid, who was just entering with a pitcher of water.

Hattie, quickly, fetch one of the guards. I see smoke on the mountain, she commanded, then paused, remembering the woman had bad knees. Oh, never mind, I’ll go tell Bartholomew myself. With that she hurried along the hallway and down a flight of stairs to the floor below, toward the King’s office. Urgent voices and the sight of serious-looking men coming from the room told her that the smoke had been noticed already.

Majesty, mumbled one apologetically, stepping aside as she entered with more haste than was seemly for a queen. Other men gave her a polite nod or bow, no disrespect intended, but they had other things on their minds at the moment.

King Bartholomew was known for his good nature and easy manner, but now his forehead was wrinkled as he hunched over a worktable studying a map of Concordia. An older man in the uniform of the Civil Protection Corps was pointing and explaining something to the King and two other men in similar dress.

We are creating a fire break at this point, the man indicated a spot on the map, and this hillside is very rocky and bare. We should be able to contain the fire here as long as we have favorable winds.

A good plan, Captain. Bartholomew stood back, and with a look that took in everyone present said, You shall have every resource at our disposal. Good luck. With that the men filed out, looks of determination on every face.

Bartholomew, I saw the smoke from upstairs. What’s happening? Gabrielle hurried to the King’s side.

A small fire, but it must be dealt with quickly before it has a chance to grow. Bartholomew visibly relaxed, his face still showing his concern. Though young, the cares of the kingdom were already showing on his handsome face. Everything is so dry right now, it’s a hazardous time, he explained unnecessarily. Gabrielle was acutely aware of the risk that any flame posed in this most unusual season.

Most years the higher altitude in Concordia kept summers comfortably cool, even when less fortunate lands closer to the sea sweltered. But this year the heat had invaded like the force of nature it was. Though summer was just beginning, already dogs panted in the shade, the paving stones hot enough to burn their paws. Trees and flowers wilted even when well-watered. The people of the town kept indoors as much as they could, venturing out only in the early morning hours to do necessary chores, or in the evenings when the merciless sun went behind the mountains. Everyone had trouble sleeping, from the poorest inhabitant to the King and Queen themselves, and everyone complained about the weather.

Gabrielle moved to the window to see what she could, leaning out a bit for a better view. Bartholomew took her by the waist with a small laugh and pulled her back. Whoa there, Gabby! It wouldn’t do for you to fall out the window!

With a fond smile, she relaxed into his arms and brushed back the stray curl that was always on his forehead. How much danger is there, really, from a big fire, if one should come?

No rain had fallen for more than two months. The spring storms that normally filled the streams had not come this year, and now the people lived in dread that if a thunderstorm did occur it would set off a fire. Fortunately, there was sufficient water stored in a series of lakes high above the town. Water fed down through an ingenious series of channels and pipes to the lands below so all the people had access to fresh water, though there was none to waste.

Bartholomew answered seriously. The town would be all right since most everything is built of stone, though ash and smoke would be a problem. We’ve taken steps to train the people in what to do if there’s a fire, but it could be disastrous for the farmers living farther out. They could lose their crops, and homes and farms too. We must hope for rain and cooler temperatures. Both monarchs fell silent, thinking about the situation.

There was nothing more to be said. Gabrielle was usually deeply involved in the running of the kingdom, but since the birth of their child she had left most of this to the King. She had full confidence in his ability to manage without her, at least while their baby was so young.

Feeling that things were under control for the moment, Gabrielle turned her attention to more domestic matters. There was something she had been meaning to ask.

Since it’s been so hot no one is sleeping well. Hattie mentioned there used to be fans in the palace. Do you know anything about that? Gabrielle was not raised in Concordia, but had been a princess of Thisley when she met and married the young Prince Bartholomew. She still had much to learn about palace history.

My grandmother liked to have fans in the summertime, Bartholomew remembered. I haven’t seen them in years. I remember there were great big peacock feathers that scared me when I was little. He chuckled at the memory. I suppose they’re down in storage somewhere.

Well, I’m going to make it my next project to find them and bring them up, Gabrielle declared. I’ll get Olive and Toby to help me tomorrow.

With a final glance out the window, Gabrielle left her husband to deal with affairs of state, while she left to see if Baby Bart was up from his nap yet.

2  Spiders in the Dark

IT HAD BEEN a year since Olive had come to live in the palace along with her mother, Emily. Olive had been the Queen’s companion since she was a small child, coming once a week to keep the lonely young Queen company when she was new to Concordia and had no children of her own.

It had been King Bartholomew’s idea to borrow a child, and his plan had turned out to be successful in unexpected ways. Olive had become known fondly as the Pretend Princess and had become like a younger sister to the Queen. When the royal couple was blessed with a baby at last, it was a time of rejoicing throughout the kingdom. Olive had feared she would no longer

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