About the Book
Title: The Secrets of Yashire
Author: Diamante Lavendar
Genre: YA Fantasy
The Secrets of Yashire: Emerging From the Shadows is a young adult fantasy adventure that occurs within the framework of a young girl’s subconscious mind. The main character, Brianna, finds herself thrown into a world called Yashire where she is forced to deal with circumstances that are threatening Yashire’s existence. Against her will, she is sent on a journey to restore unconditional love back to the land while also contending with the evil force in the land, Zolan. Brianna is sent on her mission by Libban, Keeper of the Land. Along the way, Brianna travels with the mystical tiger, Angelos; a huge, whitish-tan tiger with thick black stripes who sings only the purest songs of love, and the wondrous little one-eyed bird named Abiba. During the journey, Brianna is also preparing to meet her soulmate—the one she longs to be with and the one who will bring complete healing back into her life. Together they travel through fantastic lands filled with magical creatures that could only exist in the wildest of imaginations. Through her treacherous brushes with danger and heartwarming experiences of love and acceptance, Brianna discovers many things. It is here, amidst the powers and phantasms of the mind that Brianna receives life lessons and virtues to help her. Will one of her greatest triumphs be achieved as she learns to believe in herself? For only then can she truly see all of the wondrous things that life has to offer.
Diamante Lavendar has been in love with reading since she was a child. She spent many hours listening to her mother read to her when she was young. As she grew older, she enjoyed reading novels of all genres: horror, fantasy and some romance to name a few.
She began writing in college and published some poetry in anthologies over the years. After her kids were older, she wrote as a form of self expression and decided she wanted to share her stories with others.
Most of her writing is very personal and stems from her own experiences and those of her family and friends. She writes to encourage hope and possibility to those who read her stories.
Diamante believes that everyone should try to leave their own positive mark in the world, to make it a better place for all. Writing is the way that she is attempting to leave her mark—one story at a time.
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Brianna started her car and turned on the radio as she pulled out of the driveway.
I’m happy I’m feeling better today. Yesterday sucked.
She drove down the street with her radio blasting, singing along loudly as she headed toward Angie’s house.
Yeah! A free day to do anything we want! Today’s gonna be a blast!
She pulled in to Angie’s driveway and honked. She didn’t want to have to talk to Angie’s parents; they were too nosey and would ask too many questions. Angie came running out of the house and jumped in the car.
“So what are we gonna do today?” Angie asked as she threw her purse and schoolbag by her feet.
“I don’t know. We gotta write the notes though and go to first hour. Say that I have to leave for a doctor’s appointment and you have an appointment with that counselor that you saw before. Then we’ll ditch school and I’ll meet you in the parking lot after first hour. Do you want to write them or should I?”
“Just drive. I want to leave before my parents come outside. I’ll just write them.”
Brianna took off and headed to school. When they got there, she turned to Angie. “Ok. I’ll meet you here after first hour.”
“Ok. See ya,” Angie replied as they both headed in.
An hour later they were back in the parking lot, ready to have some fun.
“So where are we going?” Angie asked.
“Let’s go shopping. I have some money. And I need cigarettes. Do you have any money?”
“Not much. Maybe just enough to get something to eat,” Angie looked over at her as they drove away. “So what are you going to do about John?”
“I don’t know. Everyone’s talking about it and staring at me in the hallway.” She sighed heavily. “I’m so sick of doing this stupid stuff all the time. I think I should stop going out so much.”
“Yeah, I guess.” Angie replied. “But what are you going to say to everyone?”
“I got too drunk. What else can I say? And who cares anyway? Everyone drinks and does stupid shit. I’m not the only one. John’s a big boy. He knew what he was doing. It’s as much his fault as mine,” Brianna said as she lit up a cigarette.
“True.” Angie reached for Brianna’s pack of cigarettes and lit one up also.
“Maybe if there was a decent guy out there that wouldn’t be so willing to screw around it would be a different story. I’ve never met one though. None of them seem to give a shit. All they want is a booty call. They never take anything seriously. So why should I? I’m young. I want to have fun just like everyone else.”
“I know, right?” Angie agreed.
“I don’t think I’m ever going to get married. I’m sixteen and I’ve gone out with tons of guys. None of them want to get serious, and if they do, they cheat on you anyway. You can’t win. Why the heck should I even try? And look at my parents. If you do get married, it’s probably going to end up like crap anyway. What’s the point?” She took a drag of her cigarette.
“Let’s go shop there!” Suddenly distracted, Brianna pointed at a place on her right and swerved across a lane of traffic and into the parking lot.
“Dang Bri!” Angie yelled as she grabbed hold of her door handle. “Quit driving like a maniac!”
Brianna just laughed and parked the car.
Hours later, they were both sick of shopping.
“Let’s go eat,” Angie suggested after they had gotten back in the car and were driving out of the parking lot.
“Sounds good to me. Where do you wanna go?”
“I don’t know. How about someplace downtown?” Angie snapped her gum.
“Sure.” Brianna headed downtown. “What about Stan’s? Right over there?” She pointed as they went toward Main Avenue.
“Yeah. That looks good.” Angie nodded.
“Alright! Hurry up, you idiot!” Brianna stepped on the gas and passed a car directly in front of them. Then she swerved ahead of it, veering to the right, and pulled into a parking space directly across the street from the restaurant. “Here we are!”
The car honked its horn as it drove by.
“Dang! Quit being so reckless!” Angie laughed as they both got out. She ran around the front of the car as Brianna locked the doors. They both began crossing the street when Brianna dropped her keys. Angie continued across the street as Brianna bent down to pick them up.
“Hurry up!” Angie turned and yelled behind her. “I’m hungry!”
Just as Brianna grabbed her keys, Angie started screaming. A car horn blared loudly. Seconds later she felt a car hit her and she was thrown through the air like a rag doll, landing with a thud. Her arms and legs crumpled beneath her. She heard voices around her and a heavy motionless feeling spread through her whole body as the sounds drifted farther and farther away. As the daylight began to fade, the buzzing in her ears got louder. Then blackness.
Opening her eyes, Brianna gazed into a clear blue sky illuminated by warm, hazy rays of sunlight. She slowly turned her head to look around. She was lying on a carpet of soft, green grass. All around her she heard the sweet, cheerful songs of birds as a playful breeze rumpled her long black hair.
Where am I?
She tried to raise her head but a hot, sharp pain shot through it.
Ow! I have one heck of a headache!
Gently, she lay her head back down. As she stretched into a more comfortable position, she noticed the clothes she was wearing; a white, ruffled blouse and a long, purple skirt. She was vaguely confused but couldn’t figure out why. Suddenly a strong urge to sleep overcame her. Closing her eyes, she listened to the birds and felt the warm sun soaking into her skin. The soft breeze caressed her cheeks and pressed the tendrils of her hair against her forehead. Gently, she was lulled back to sleep.
Brianna was awakened by a swishing sound nearby.
What was that?
She turned her head to see a woman with long, blonde hair and a robe the color of fresh, pink rose petals walking through the grass with two little blue gnarled creatures at her side. She tried to jump up, to run away, but another hot flash of pain in her head quickly halted her efforts.
Oh God! What are those things?
In terror, she watched as the woman looked over at her.
“Oh my goodness! My dear, are you ill? Where did you come from?” The woman walked over to Brianna and bent down, her brow knit with concern. “You needn’t be afraid, dear. I am Libban.”
The two little blue creatures hopped around Brianna, sniffing and snorting as they nudged her arms and legs.
“Stop! Please!” She begged. “Where…where am I?
Libban spoke sharply to the little blue creatures and they ran to her side, looking at Brianna from behind her skirt.
“Who are you?” Brianna said, her voice shaking.
“I am Libban, Keeper of the Land.”
“Keeper of what land? Where am I?” Brianna managed to whisper.
“Why, you are in Yashire!” Libban crouched next to Brianna.
“What is Yashire?” Brianna asked, tears stinging her eyes.
“You must have had a hard fall, my dear. Do you remember how you got here? What is your name?” Libban surveyed her intently with crystalline blue eyes.
“I…I’m not sure!” Brianna answered.
What is my name? Oh, God! What is happening?
“Here, let me help you. Would you like to come to my home? Maybe you will remember as we walk.” Libban stood and offered her hand to help Brianna up.
Carefully, Brianna obliged, inching herself up slowly because of the throbbing in her head.
They walked through the meadow and up a small hill to a large mansion. The two little blue creatures chased each other through the meadow ahead of Brianna and Libban and disappeared into the mansion. The windows in the mansion were open and plump white doves perched on the sills amongst brilliant red, white and orange flowing vines that climbed the stone walls.
This place is huge! It looks like a castle or something!
Brianna gazed at the huge leafy trees all over the grounds. Roses bloomed among the deep purple violets growing thick in the flower gardens in front of the mansion.
I’ve never seen anything like this in my life! Wait…how do I know that? Where am I? What is this place? Am I hallucinating?
Brianna stopped walking, her thoughts racing.
Who am I? How can I not know who I am?
Panic gripped her.
“What is this place called?” she asked, her throat tightening.
“This land is called Yashire. Please come in and sit down. Maybe you will begin to remember if you relax a bit.” Libban answered, motioning for her to follow through the arched front doorway.
The little creature nodded and motioned for Brianna to follow.
They walked out of the dining room down a long hallway lined with candles on the walls. Looking through the windows they passed, Brianna saw it was beginning to get dark outside. The hallway was gray and shadowy. As she walked through the shadows, Brianna heard a voice. Twirling around, she surveyed the hallway. No one was there.
What was that? I know I heard something. Is somebody watching me?
She increased her pace to catch up to Mish. A few moments later they stepped up to a large wooden door with a circular brass knocker attached to the middle of it. There was a lock with a key sticking out of it just above the handle of the door. Mish took the key from the door and handed it to Brianna.
“This be your room,” squeaked Mish, opening the door.
At least this looks like a safe place for me to stay. Nobody will be able to get in here unless I let them in.
The room held a bed, two chairs and a vanity. Everything was made of beautiful dark wood. The bedspread was red satin embroidered with tiny threads of silver. Above the bed was a painting of a forest; huge, lush green trees with leaves as broad as both of Brianna’s hands put together. In the middle of the trees was a beautiful bird with a purplish-blue body, pink and yellow wings and a small pink head. It had a plume of lavender feathers majestically flowing down its back.
Brianna turned to Mish and asked, “What is that bird in the trees?”
“That be the Azure Gander. It live deep in forest and almost never seen,” Mish squeaked. “I be going.” She turned and vanished from the room.
Wow, this place is amazing. I have to be dreaming.
Brianna looked back at the painting and couldn’t help but stand and stare at it. She could almost feel the leaves brushing against her face as she walked through the trees and the damp, dewy grass clumping against her ankles as she stepped closer to see the magnificent creature. After a few minutes of looking at the painting, she realized how tired she was.
I really need to sleep. When I wake up everything will be back to normal.
“Good morning!” Libban entered the hall, her hair flowing like locks of gold down her shoulders, her eyes glinting like a sapphire fire. “Now that you are refreshed, please come and sit with me. There is much for us to talk about.”
She led Brianna back to the room with the large table where they had eaten the night before. Libban motioned for Brianna to sit down and then gracefully slipped into a chair next to her.
“I know that this is going to be hard for you to believe, but I know who you are and why you are here.” She sighed and touched Brianna’s hand. “You are the promised one—the one who The Spirit of Truth sent to heal the land.”
“What?” Brianna stared at her.
“You are here to heal the land. Only you can heal the land. You have been chosen because you yourself are broken. And the only person who can fix you is you. By healing the land, you will be fixing yourself.”
“I’m broken? I don’t even know who I am!” Brianna kept staring.
“It will come back to you. You must trust me. The Spirit of Truth has spoken. The Spirit never lies.” Libban answered.
“And what is The Spirit of Truth? I’ve never heard of such a thing.” Brianna countered, feeling quite agitated.
“The Spirit of Truth is your guide. The Spirit will help you realize what you need to know to accomplish your journey through this land. You will hear The Spirit’s voice. And you must listen to what The Spirit says. It is vitally important. You must trust. It will never steer you wrong.” Libban continued.
“Wait. It will help me through the land? I have to go through this land?” Panic gripped Brianna. “I don’t know anything of this land! I don’t even know what I have to heal! I don’t know where I have to go or anything! How can I heal something I know absolutely nothing about?” She jumped up. “I can’t do this! You’re asking too much! I don’t even know what I’m doing here!”
Libban stood up and lightly touched Brianna’s forearm. “Please. Calm down and have a seat. I am only trying to help. I need for you to understand. Please. You need to know what is expected of you. I know this is alarming but you must gather yourself and listen to what I have to say.”
Brianna looked into her eyes.
Okay. I’m not going to do myself any good by panicking. I’d better just shut up and do what she’s asking.
Slowly she slid back into the chair.
“Alright. I’m listening.”
When they arrived at the edge of the forest, Abiba flew from Brianna’s pocket. They picked some of the red, juicy berries and gratefully ate their fill. While they ate, the air seemed to become more humid.
“I think we are going to have a storm,” Abiba chirped. “We had better stay here until it passes.”
They sat under the trees. A light rain began to fall.
“I’m glad that these trees are here,” Brianna said. “Plus if we get stranded here for a while, we have food.”
“Most definitely,” Abiba agreed as he headed for Brianna’s pocket.
The rain began pelting down harder, forcing them deeper into the trees for cover. A mist formed over the grass, and Brianna sat right next to Angelos for protection.
Lightning flashed around them as they huddled together. The wind began to pick up and it almost sounded as if there were voices whispering in the wind.
“Do you hear that?” Brianna whispered to Abiba.
“I don’t think this is a normal storm,” Abiba whispered back. “We’d better stay still.”
Brianna shivered, huddling closer to Angelos.
At least his fur kind of blends in with the darkness.
The rain danced crazily, erratically around them. It suddenly got very cold. The hair on the back of Brianna’s neck stood on end.
She peered into the rain. There, in front of her, was a dark figure. It looked human.
Oh my God!
Her throat felt like it was going to close and she had trouble breathing. She looked closer through the mist. There were more than one. Whatever it was, there were many of them. Angelos stiffened next to her.
My dagger. My fireballs. I have to be ready.
“Don’t move!” Abiba whispered harshly.
They sat, motionless for what seemed to be hours. The things in the mist shifted to various locations. Finally, the rain slowed and the mist lifted.
I know what that was. I don’t even have to ask.
Abiba whispered, “They’re watching us. We need to stay under the trees.”