Tuesday, February 5, 2013


Hi, Margaret. Welcome to my blog. I read all below and your book sounds like a wonderful read for YA boys and really, for all ages. I believe it carries an important message inside for the teens.

All the adventure and travel to another planet promises excitement and adventure. But, I'll let you tell us about  Keth.

KETH: Before the Beginning

I let the front door of our apartment slam and clumped into the living area. Dad, for a wonder, instead of hiding in his room, was slumped in our most comfortable chair, an overstuffed relic from the dark ages before I was born. "Dad, have you seen my soccer cleats? I couldn't find them this morning, and Mark's mother is picking me up at 7 tomorrow morning."

Dad lifted his eyes from his comp pad. "Never mind the cleats. Go and pack. Underwear, a clean shirt, another pair of pants. Whatever toiletries you need. One piece of luggage only."

"But I'll miss the soccer tournament." I threw my carry sack into the bottom of the coat closet.

"Yes, you will. Get going."

Sometimes Dad had to drag me somewhere on short notice, but why now? "We finally have a chance to get into the league finals, and I have to miss the playoff game?"

"You do." Dad frowned at his comp pad, like he wanted to tell whoever he'd been texting to frack off before dragging a sack from beside his chair and shoved the comp pad in.

I glared at Dad, waiting to see what he would do next.

Picking up his sack, he stomped over to the closed, reached in, and handed me my school satchel.  "We have half an hour before we leave for Port Canaveral."

"Are we going to watch a spaceship launch? Are you going to interview someone? Did you get a new posting? Where is it?"  I took a few steps.

"I'm posted to Aleyne."

Stopping my slow progress toward my room, I turned to Dad.  He's a captain in the Terran Federation Guard, but ever since Mom died when I was seven we've lived in Washington, DC. "Aleyne, as in the planet Aleyne? As in the Federation Guard base on alien planet? That Aleyne?"

"Yes, and I don't know when we'll return. Pack anything you can't bear to leave behind, as long as everything we bring weighs no more than ten kilos."

"Do I have to go?"  I stared at Dad, feet glued to the floor. I mean, sure, Aleyni students hung out at our place all the time, and Dad made me learn Aleyni, but actually living on some other planet?  I never told anyone, not even Mark, my best friend about speaking Aleyni, never asked why Dad hounded me until I was fluent. At the time, I  figured he wanted me to follow him into the Guard, but now I wondered if he had another reason.

After opening the door to my room, Dad glanced inside and shook his head. "I told you to clean up the mess yesterday."

"Well, I did." I glanced at the heaps of books and clothes scattered over my floor. "I messed it up again looking for my cleats."

Dad heaved a huge sigh. "Never mind. Get going. The starship won't wait for us."

"What do I put my stuff in?"

"Use your school satchel."

I opened the carry sack and dumped the contents on the floor. Someone else would have to clean up.  I didn't have time.


When fourteen-year-old Keth's dad is transferred to planet Aleyne, he doesn't know what to expect. Certainly not to discover Dad grew up here, and studied with Ardaval, a noted Aleyni scholar. On Aleyne, Keth’s psi ability develops. However, psi is illegal in the Terran Federation. After a dangerous encounter with two Terran teenagers  conflict erupts between Keth and his father. Keth seeks sanctuary with Ardaval.  Studying with the Aleyne scholar Keth learns the truth about his own heritage. After Keth's friend's father, Mazos, is kidnapped, Keth ignores the risks and attempts to free him. Little does he realize who will pay the cost as he becomes involved with terrorists.


By the time I woke the next morning the sun shone low in the sky and warm, spicy air blew through the open window. I decided not to fight over what to wear, since standing out wasn't on my to-do list. Dad and Ardaval sat in the courtyard sipping kaff. Ardaval nodded at me and turned to Dad. “You should let him wear Aleyni tunics, pants, and sandals. He’s going to be much too hot in those clothes.” He spoke Aleyni.
Dad pushed his lips together and checked me over. “I’d rather he dressed in Terran standard trousers and shirts. I don't want him to look like an alien…” He answered in Common.
Ardaval flushed at Dad's choice of language. “Gavin, those clothes are much too heavy for this climate. The boy will melt.”
Too bad Dad wouldn't listen. Sweat already dripped down my back. I frowned, staring at him. “Why can’t I wear the Aleyni stuff?” Dad would never say yes, and a big piece of me was glad he'd saved me from making the choice. The Aleyni clothing appealed to me, but I wasn't ready to look weird, especially on my first day.
Dad shook his head. “You might attract trouble, and I need to keep you safe.”           Ardaval sighed. Oh well, at least I asked.
Dad pushed me toward the door. “Come on, we don’t want to be late.”
We don’t?” I mumbled. Dad shook his head and followed me out the door and down to the trans stop. I would have enjoyed the bright blue sky and warm sun more, but the heavy Terran clothing left me sweating. “Dad, are Aleyni human?”
They’re a separate species. Or so goes the official line. Nobody in the Federation has studied Aleyni genetics, and the Aleyni themselves aren't interested.”
"Why not?"
"It's considered an inappropriate area for study." He glanced at me, noting the frown on my face. "Kind of like a sacrilege."
How come they look like us?”
He sighed. “Many origin theories exist, but the bottom line is nobody understands.”
I scraped my shoe in the sand collected in the street, admiring the pale pinks and blues as they appeared and disappeared. “It still doesn’t explain anything.”
He smiled. “No, it doesn’t, but I’m afraid since it’s politically incorrect to believe humans and Aleyni are closely related species, no one wants to hunt for answers.”
By the time we reached the trans stop, sweat dripped down my face and my shirt clung to my back. The only other people waiting, a group of Aleynis, stared at us for a moment before moving away. I flushed and wanted to say something, but Dad’s face turned cold and he moved away, too. I wondered what would have happened if we'd been speaking Aleyni.
Back on the base we walked over to Dad’s office. A long counter of the gray synglass wrapped around one wall and part of another. File cabinets covered the third wall and a shelf for books hung over part of the counter. A comp and a printer rested on the other part of the counter. A chair with a padded seat stood in front of the comp.
Brad walked in, took a data cube from Dad, scanned it quickly and locked it in the file cabinet. “Gavin, we'll discuss these recommendations later. You stay here and read this, and I’ll walk the boy to class.”
He handed Dad another data cube, opened the door, and ushered me out. We walked over to the port school, which met in yet another of the gray buildings.
The room he led me to held six kids my age or a few years older. The beige walls and thin beige carpet appeared dingy and worn. The desks and chairs, made of the same gray synglass as everything else, formed a half circle.
I walked into the room and stopped short, unsure of what to do next. The teacher, a man Dad’s age with fair, sun-burned skin and blue eyes, wrote on a large comp at the front of the room. It linked to those of the students, like the ones back home.
Brad took my arm and propelled me toward the teacher as he turned away from the comp. “John, this is Gavin Frey’s son, Raketh. His father is here for an indefinite stay. Try to get him integrated as quickly as possible.” Brad gazed over the room before turning to leave.
John held out his hand and I shook it. “Nice to meet you, Raketh.”
Keth, please call me Keth.”
John nodded and turned to the other kids. “Class, this is Keth, the son of Major Reynolds’ new assistant, Gavin. He’ll join us from now on.”
Jork,” one of the boys with brown curly hair said, but he grinned at me.
Welcome to the class,” piped up one of the girls. She smiled at me. I blushed. I found her kind of pretty, actually. She tossed her hair over her shoulder and smirked at a boy with fair skin and straight blond hair who looked the same age. The kid glared at me instead of at her.
John tapped the desk with the stylus he’d been using to write on the comp. “Enough. Keth, you can take a seat.” He pointed and I sat.
John made them go around the room and introduce themselves. The kid next to me with the curly brown hair answered to Martin, and the girl with the red hair said her name was Henrietta. The blond boy was Tom.
John said, “We’re going over some Aleyni vocabulary. I can help you later on. For now, try to follow along.”
I honor the request, and bend myself to your will,” I said in Aleyni. Clearly nobody bothered to tell him I already spoke the language.
Martin poked me. “What did you say?”
I said yes.”
How come you speak Aleyni? You just got here.”
I shrugged. Just another thing to make me a freaker. “My dad made me learn it.”
Martin stared at me for a moment. “It’s weird.”
"We used to have Aleyni exchange students hanging out at our apartment back on Earth. I guess he wanted to make them feel comfortable or something." Like I believed  that. I never told anyone back home about speaking Aleyni, not even Mark, my best friend.
John clapped his hands “Since you already understand the language and don’t need to pay attention to the lesson, why don't you and Henrietta move to the corner there,” he pointed across the room, “and go over this vocabulary.” He stared at me for a moment and handed me a data cube. “Come get me if you get stuck.”
Red crept up my neck. Maybe I should have resisted the urge to show off my Aleyni. After dragging my chair over to the corner, we both sat. “Go on, ask me to translate any of those words from Common into Aleyni. You can correct my pronunciation. John says it’s bad enough so no Aleyni would ever understand me.”
I managed to pay attention even though I needed to pry my eyes away from Henrietta's chest. Every time my eyes strayed she'd grin and toss her hair. Luckily, Tom sat with his back to us.
After the language lesson came a history lesson. The history lesson covered the first encounters between the Terran Federation and the Aleyni. John projected a star map on the comp at the front of the room and pointed to a spot. "This is where we first met the Aleyni. As you can see, it's within a light-year of our home solar system."
I asked, “How long ago did we first meet the Aleyni?” Yeah, I should have remembered.
John said, “A hundred years ago, although according to the Aleyni they have been watching us for at least five thousand of our years.”
Martin mumbled, “Like we believe them.”
I would have asked more questions, but the buzzer went off for break, and we trooped down the hall to the cafeteria. A counter at one end dispensed the food and more of the gray tables and chairs covered the floor. The food choices consisted of soups of dried beans and vegetables and hand meals made with soy protein. I grimaced and selected some soup and one of the hand meals.
Martin poked me. "If you want any meat, you have to buy it on the black market. Vegetables and fruit, too, but Major Reynolds looks the other way on those."
John led us to a round table. I ended up next to Martin again. Henrietta sat on my other side. The blond kid, Tom, sat opposite me. He glared at me.
Henrietta smiled at me. “You helped me a lot this morning. Maybe you can come over to my house and go over my homework some time.”
Fat chance. I’ll bet if I ever went over there, Tom would kill me. He continued to glare at me. I choked on my bite of hand meal, and Martin needed to pound me on the back.



 Born and raised in New York City, Margaret Fieland has been around art and music all her life.  Her poems and stories have appeared in journals such as  Turbulence Magazine, Front Range Review, and All Rights Reserved. She is one of the Poetic Muselings. Their poetry anthology, "Lifelines," was published by Inkspotter Publishing in November, 2011.  She is the author of "Relocated," published by MuseItUp Publishing, and of "Sand in the Desert." Her book,  "The Angry Little Boy," will be published by 4RV publishing in 2013. You may visit her website, http://www.margaretfieland.com. or http://poetic-muselings.net/
We'd love to hear your comments





  1. Lorrie, thanks for having me on your blog today.

  2. It's a pleasure to have you. Your book sounds like a goody. I love sci-fi.

  3. I have it on my wish list, Margaret. So yes, soon I will check it out. My E-reader is jam-packed. How many pages?

  4. Peggy, great excerpt. Best wishes with it!

  5. Great excerpt, I have to tell my grandson about this one. He will love it! I will probably read it along with him.

  6. Nice amount of pages for your YA book. Not too long, not too short. Thanks for the answer.

  7. I'm so glad you tackled this theme, Margaret. Not only of being relocated, but that parents are often insensitive to their children's needs. Of course, it is often that parents are themselves distraught, but nonetheless...


    Carolyn Howard-Johnson

    Excited about how much the new edition of the Frugal Book Promoter (expanded! updated!) can help writers with the tried and true and the new media, too. Now a USA Book News award-winner in its own right (www.budurl.com/FrugalBkPromo) it the original edition was also a Reader Views winner and an Irwin Award winner.

  8. Thanks Margaret, you drew me in to an enjoyable excerpt. Wishing you all the best in your marketing endeavors.

  9. You've put a lot in this book: boy book, racial diversity, paranormal, space travel. Sounds like an excellent read for both boys and girls.

  10. Marva, you should see my attic! Thanks for stopping by

    Carolyn, I hadn't consodered the neglectful parents thing much - it crept in. But thinking about it, I realize its one of the ones I'm drawn to.

  11. What an imaginative tale you have here, Margaret! Lots to think about, lots to entertain. All the best to you and Keth!

  12. Pat, thanks for stopping by. Do check it out and pass it on to any boys you know.

  13. Wow--I'd say this book is "outta this world." What a wonderful premise. Best wishes, Margaret.

  14. J Q, thanks for stopping by, and do check out the book.