Today I’m happy to welcome author Elle Jacklee, interviewing her character Skye from The Tree of Mindala. (Also check out my previous spotlight of Elle.) Take it away, Elle and Skye!
1. What is your full name? Is there anything significant about your name?
Skye. The one and only… 2. How old are you?
Let’s just say I’m a few centuries old and leave it at that, shall we?
3. Describe yourself to me.
Well, that depends… As a member of the Morphiad race, I can transform into anyone I’ve physically touched or who has touched me. Among the forms I’ve taken are: a human, a tiger, a Valkune, a Wyvicore, and the list goes on… Am I mistaken, or did you just lean back, out of my reach?
4. Do you have any special abilities?
Like all Morphiads, I can sense Umbrikas, the physical signatures unique to every sentient being that I’ve encountered. I like to think of them as the “inner shadow.”
5. When you walk into a room, what do you notice first?
Since I can sense Umbrikas long before I walk into a room, I already know who’s there, unless it’s someone I haven’t come in contact with before. The first thing I notice is anyone there whose Umbrika I didn’t detect.
6. What one physical attribute would you change?
My shock of iridescent hair. It tends to give me away, no matter what form I’m in. It has a way of showing up somewhere: feathers, mane, scales… You’d think being able to morph into different forms should come with the perk of anonymity…
7. What are you most proud of about your life?
That I made the sacrifice to leave my homeland, my own race, and almost everyone I knew and loved to protect someone who needed all the protection she could get. Hmmm, maybe I shouldn’t have mentioned that until The Triad of the Tree is available. I’ve said too much…
8. What’s the worst thing you’ve ever done? Why?
Leaving my homeland, my own race, and almost everyone I knew and loved. Because of that, many who used to call me “friend” now think “traitor” when they think of me. Drat! Again, The Triad of the Tree… Well, the cat’s out of the cauldron now, as we say.
9. Is there anything you’ve always wanted to do but haven’t done?
I yearn to visit the Prophecy Pond. But as only one visit to her mystical waters is allowed per lifetime, it’s best to save it for when I really need it, if that day should ever come. There are times, though, when I wonder if I’ve made wrong decisions… I can’t help but wonder if the Prophecy Pond would have urged me to choose differently, for everyone’s sake.
10. What are you most afraid of?
Losing Raina. She is the only one for me. Always has been. Always will be.
11. What’s your favorite thing about Wunderwood?
That everywhere I look… the trees, the flowers, the mountains, the waters… I see Mindala’s magic everywhere.
12. Since you’ve let the cat out of the cauldron, when will The Triad of the Tree be available?
Sometime this fall, as I understand it. Here is an excerpt:
Raina felt the hairs on the back of her neck stand up as she stared at the spectacle in the sky. She glanced back at Thornton, who, after more than a year, lay still but for the rhythmic rise and fall of his chest and the occasional twitch of nose or eye. Baffled, she returned her gaze to the window.
Yesterday she’d seen the first black bolt rip through the sky. Well, the first since her grand-niece, Miranda Moon, had given Thornton the Essence of The Tree of Mindala, sending him into unconsciousness. But yesterday, the jagged Darkning had taunted her and Skye, her Morphiad companion, during the flight home from the Wunderwood Academy of Mystical Existence where Raina spends her days teaching. As they’d flown hurriedly to Silvercap, Raina had worried they were like fitziflies to a flame. They’d spoken no words. The booming thunder said enough. To Raina, the Darkning and thunder could mean only one thing: Thornton had awakened. The goodness in the Essence must have lost its war with the evil inside of him. He must be up to his old tricks. That could only spell terrible danger for Wunderwood. Again.
But when they’d arrived at Silvercap, where Raina and her entire family had taken up residence for more than a year now, they’d found Raina’s father, Reed, reclined leisurely, book in hand, on a chaise beside Thornton’s still-prone form. Her mother, Flora, had been fixing dinner in the kitchen, humming a cheery tune. It had appeared as though Thornton had nothing to do with the Darkning. Raina had been dismayed, to say the least. If Thornton was still in a coma, what could have been causing the Darkning?
Raina tore herself away, now, from her musings and the sad sky in the window to join the discussion that had begun yesterday when she’d broken the news of the Darkning to her parents.
“Could it mean that one of the Hoarders of Power is attempting to finish what Thornton started?” Flora asked.
“Well, at first I thought it had to have something to do with the HOPs, too,” Reed replied. “But then I began to notice something… else.” Reed paused, and his ominous silence gave Raina a sudden chill. “Have you happened to notice that your magic hasn’t been the same lately?”
“What do you mean?” Flora asked, but her eyes said she already knew the answer. They all did. They just weren’t quite ready to face it.
“Has it been stalling? Coming in fits and starts? As though it’s… running out?” Reed pressed on.
Flora nodded slowly.
“I thought it was just me,” Raina admitted, still not wanting to believe it. “I thought… I hoped… maybe I was sick? I was planning to visit Laurel about it. But if it’s happening to all of us…”
“It can only mean one thing.” Grim certainty steeled Reed’s features. “The Tree of Mindala is dying.”
Miranda Moon’s vivid imagination has gotten her into trouble more times than she can count. This time, she’s been suspended from school. So her straight-laced younger brother, Marcus, blames her when they’re relegated to their late grandparents’ old cabin over Halloween weekend. But when Miranda finds a curious trinket, they’re mysteriously whisked away to Wunderwood, where magic flows through the trees and everyone already knows their family name. A place even Miranda never imagined.
Just as they arrive, a sinister warlock, Thornton Crow, is freed from a long banishment. He resumes his deadly agenda to find The Tree of Mindala, the source of all the realm’s magic. As Miranda and Marcus discover branches of their own family tree that they hadn’t even known existed, they learn that Thornton has a score to settle with anyone in their bloodline. Especially them… Though justice has always had a way of being naturally restored in Wunderwood, Thornton’s latest evil deed just may be the tipping point.
When Miranda discovers her own role in Thornton’s release, she knows it’s up to her to stop him from stealing not just magic, but also hope. With travel companions that could as easily be foes as friends, and only the cryptic words of a prophecy to guide her, Miranda must decide if she can carry out the task that will either save Wunderwood… or doom it forever.
The Tree of Mindala is available at Amazon.