The protagonist, Little Square dreams of scape from a hidden and forgotten realm to find where he truly belongs and finds danger and magic on his journey.

In the first book of Forgotten Realm of Secrets, we meet Little Square, a curious boy who clashes with the rigid norms of his world. This isolated realm forbids change, leaving its residents trapped in a monotonous existence. Little Square, yearning for adventure and a place to belong, defies the town's rigid rules, setting him on a perilous quest for escape.

His journey leads him beyond the known world, into a forgotten realm shrouded in mystery. The very air crackles with forgotten magic, and whispers of ancient truths hang heavy. Armed only with his wits and the discovery of strange, magical artifacts, Little Square must face terrifying foes and navigate a treacherous path towards an uncertain future. As he delves deeper into this forgotten land, the secrets of his heritage begin to unravel.

Little Square's fate becomes intertwined with his ancestor's past, revealed through a mysterious artifact called the Looking Glass. This connection across time throws him into a fight for survival, where he must confront his deepest fears and unlock the true power of the magical items. Every step brings him closer to the truth, but also closer to dangers he never imagined. Will Little Square have the courage to unravel the mysteries of his past and shape his own destiny?

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Excerpt from Forgotten Realm of Secrets Book One by Rose M. Delorane © Copyright 2024 Rose M. Delorane

 “I will do whatever I can to help break this curse. Tell me what needs to be done,” he said.

“Find the Great Whispering Willow at the heart of the forest, which faces us. Return the heart to the core of the tree.”

As the crystal touched Square’s hand, he jumped, and a surge of energy flowed through him.

Following the spirit’s directions, Square left the town’s boundaries and walked cautiously through the dark forest, searching for the tree. Ignoring his growing fear, he searched for a long while before he stood before what could only be the majestic ancient Whispering Willow tree. There, in the center of the massive trunk, was a hollowed center.

Square reached up to the hollow created by Malcolm’s ritual and placed the crystal heart inside. Immediately, a brilliant light exploded from the tree, illuminating the entire area. The hollow closed, and flames sealed its seams. A surge of light rippled through the ancient tree. The branches of the Whispering Willow began to sway and shudder, and then, a voice that seemed to resonate from deep within the earth boomed,

“Young explorer, you have done what no one else could. You have returned the life force to our realm. The Crystal Heart is again in its rightful place, and the curse of the town of Whispering Willow is lifted.”

Square looked in astonishment as he listened to the majestic voice of the Whispering Willow coming from within the tree.

“We are grateful for your bravery and aid,” the tree continued. “You have restored balance to this realm. For this, you shall be rewarded.”

Square stood before the majestic tree. Taking a deep breath, and mustering the courage to speak, he said, “Great tree, I ask only one thing. Can you share your wisdom so I may know where to find my perfect home?”

The tree’s leaves rustled softly as if in response, and a gentle breeze seemed to carry its voice. “I am the Whispering Willow, guardian of the forest and its secrets. I hold the wisdom of countless ages within me.”

Square’s heart swelled with hope. “Whispering Willow, I seek your wisdom,” he said earnestly. “I am on a journey in search of my perfect home, but since I lack wisdom, I am unsure where to find it. Can you give me the wisdom to know where to go?”

The Whispering Willow’s branches shifted as if contemplating Square’s request. “Wisdom is not something given or obtained in a night or a day. It is a lifelong journey of self-discovery. True wisdom will come from understanding and acceptance. Embrace your strengths and weaknesses, and trust in your intuition. Let your heart guide you, for it knows where you truly belong.”  The tree swayed again, saying, “And finally, I offer my guidance and direct you to find inner peace. You may find the answers you seek if you pay attention and listen to the signs.”

Square reflected on the tree’s words, unsure if inner peace was what he needed to find his perfect home. Though disappointed with the tree’s lack of a clear answer, he was thankful for its advice. “Thank you, Great tree, for your wisdom,” he responded. Square turned to leave the forest, but the tree spoke again.

The Wise Willow continued, “As a symbol of our gratitude, you will be given this artifact known as the Amulet of Animal Language. When worn around your neck, it will help you communicate with the animals you encounter along your path.” 

An ornate amulet suddenly dangled from a lower tree branch, shining with an inner light. Square reached up, took the amulet from the branch, and marveled at its intricate carvings and shimmering gemstones.

“This mighty artifact offers not just the ability to communicate,” the tree said. “On your journey, you may come across creatures that could pose a threat to you. The amulet serves as a shield and will create an unseen protective barrier around you.”

With trembling hands, Square slipped the amulet over his head and marveled at the craftsmanship and power within the artifact. He felt a surge of confidence flow through him, trusting in its protection. “I am eternally grateful for such a treasure. Thank you, Wise Willow.

The tree swayed and grew silent. Square understood that its silence signaled the end of their encounter. The only thing left for Square to do was to return to the spirit in the alley and let it know the crystal heart had been replaced and the curse lifted.

Square walked to the town square and noticed the air smelled fresher. The night, once cloaked in darkness, was now bright with the glow of moonlight and the twinkling of stars. A sense of peace had settled over the once-abandoned town.

With each step, he noticed small signs of life returning to the town. The withering trees showed evidence of buds ready to burst. Gone were the remnants of decay and neglect. The once crumbling buildings now stood sturdy with freshly painted facades. The broken windows were replaced with vibrant glass panes. Wooden boards that had covered shattered doors revealed inviting entrances to potential homes or shops. The once desolate town was ready to be discovered and inhabited by those seeking a new start.

The dilapidated watch tower, once a symbol of neglect and abandonment, now stood tall, its stone structure made whole. The restored clock face reflected the right time and shone bright, making its light visible from miles around. Square knew that word of the town’s revival would spread quickly, and Whispering Willow would once again be home to many. Perhaps even the people of Squareville would venture east and discover this new haven.

Square retraced his steps to the alley where he had first met the spirit, anxious to share the good news. But when he returned, it was empty. Suddenly, Square understood. The town’s spirit had been restored and was no longer trapped as a miserable shadow.

 

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