Space Rep: I didn't know Gold was edible.
Liza: It actually is. There's an ice cream sundae on Earth and the planet Bzar that has gold shavings on top of the ice-cream. However I don't think this book is about wasting money on stupid stuff. Turn on the transporter and let's get Deryn's book and find out.
Space Rep: Let me get the pizza out first. Okay. Flip switch and here we get.
Liza: Here we get?
Space: Well we aren't going anywhere, we're just getting us a book, so yes,
HERE WE GET!
Liza: Fine as long as we get the book, say whatever you like.
Liza: Hello and welcome to my spaceship Junkheap. May I call you Gold?
Space Rep: Just say yes. She get's cranky otherwise.
Gold: What just happened? I was happily being read by my author, then I got all tingly, and now I smell like pizza. Please tell me I'm still a book and not a container for pizza, because I had a fabulous story within me.
Liza: You are still a book and I've invited you over so you can tell me about yourself and the fabulous story inside you.
Gold: Invite? I didn't get an invite! I was happily being read one moment and here the next.
Liza: Sorry you didn't get the invitation. But, you are here now, so let's make the best of things.
Gold: Can you just send me back?
Liza: Absolutely, just as soon as you tell me about your book. So what makes your book special?
Gold: That would be my characters:
Twin brothers with special talents,
Two thieves and
Add in one pretty reporter and this combination creates the adventure of a lifetime.
Space Rep: What's a Taniwho?
Gold: That's a Taniwha. They are creatures from Maori mythology. It’s pronounced ‘Tanny-far’ and they live in and near waterways. Think of a dragon crossed with an Axolotl, choose your own color and there you have it – a Taniwha!
Space Rep: Cool. So tell me more about the twin brothers.
Liza: Hold on, this is my interview. Gold, please tell me about the twins.
Gold: On a prospecting holiday the brothers discover Otanewainuku, a Taniwha who gives them ‘humming stones’ in exchange for their silence.
Liza: Their silence about what?
Gold: The location of his secret lair and the fact he lives in a cave with huge seams of gold in the walls. Plus, he collects uncut diamonds which he calls ‘humming stones’. The Taniwha can hear them singing, as can one of the twins.
Liza: So a bond of sort develops between the boys and the Taniwha.
Gold: Yes, and when thieves capture Jason to use his talents, he calls for a Taniwha to help him escape.
Liza: And they do?
Gold: Yes, the two brothers are reunited. So they set off to find enough gold to reward the creature, Kotuku.
Space Rep: But wh--
Liza: I got it Space Rep. And who is Kotuku?
Gold: This is the name of the second Taniwha. He arrives when the humming stones summon him. He is huge and strong and his silver skin gleams in the moonlight. Kotuku means white heron in Maori.
Liza: Now back to the brothers.
Gold: They hear the Police want to talk to them but if they return to Katikati the thieves may capture Jason again.
Space Rep: But wh--
Liza: I got it. So where does the pretty reporter fit in?
Gold: Abby Hennessy overhears their conversations at the local police station and without their knowledge publishes an article about their finds. This alerts the robbers as to who ‘found’ their hidden caches and put the twins in danger. Only by telling her the facts ‘off the record’ can they prevent her publishing even more of their adventure.
Space Rep: Let me save your life. Liza hates to be asked questions she doesn't know the answer to. Here's what happened to the last author who sent her a blurb with a question in it.
Gold: It's just a stack of books.
Space Rep: Check the top right hand corner.
Gold: Oh no, I love my author. What can I do to protect her?
Space Rep: Simple. Don't ask Liza a question she can't answer.
Gold: If you are wondering if they can sort this mess out, reward the Taniwha and still remain friends with Abby, then read A Taste of Gold and find out.
Liza: Well done, Gold. Now may I peek beneath your covers and read more?
Gold: This is an action packed book for teenagers. Based on your picture, you appear to only be five and my research says 5 yr olds tend to color books wish crayons. I do not wish to be colored.
Liza: That's just my emotional age. I gave up crayons awhile ago.
Gold: All right just leave me the way you found me, please.
Reluctant Excerpt-No Coloring Please
The morning sun lit the cabin’s cream painted walls, enough to lighten Jason’s closed eyelids and wake him up; that and the roar of a motorbike’s engine.
Its revving bursts of power made further sleep impossible. He pulled the faded curtain aside just in time to see the bike hurtle past, ignoring the five miles per hour restriction, the rider wove between the pitched tents, onto the narrow sealed road and out of sight.
There wouldn’t be many campers left asleep now, but it would take more than a noisy engine to wake Levi. Looking at his brother asleep in the opposite bed, Jason couldn’t resist the temptation. He lifted his pillow and threw it, scoring a direct hit on Levi’s head.
“Wake up. It’s your turn to be in charge today, bro. If you sleep any longer, you’re wasting ‘boss’ time.”
His brother rolled on to his back and stretched. “Hell, I’m thirsty. How about getting me a drink?” he said.
“Nah, drag your sorry butt out of bed. Let’s go to the communal kitchen and make a cooked breakfast after we’ve hit the showers. Or you can lie there and make a plan.”
“You’re too full of orders. Beat it.”
Jason laughed and dodged the returning pillow as it flew at him. He bounded down the steps, trotting across the grass to the ablution block. He’d almost reached the green concrete-block building when the sound of gems singing stopped him in his tracks.
He could hear several diamonds keening, a sapphire’s contralto and a few rubies singing at a lower pitch. These were the first gems he’d heard since they’d landed, other than those in the duty free shops at the airport. But where were they? He turned around slowly, locating the direction of the gem-song. There, that way, to the right across the path. He followed the song, immersed in the melody, until he stood next to a dust-covered red car. Somewhere inside this battered vehicle lurked gems, and their value by the sound of their voices would be much more than the car’s value.
The tone and clarity told him these were cut gems, possibly mounted. He needed Levi to tell him if they sat in silver or white gold, platinum even. Not that it was any of his business, but it all seemed a bit odd.
A shout from behind startled him. “Hey you. What’d you want? You looking for something?” The gem-song in his head had deafened the approaching footsteps. He turned around to face the man who towered above him, dark-skinned, sporting a scraggly moustache and a menacing frown with shoulders as wide as a truck. Or so it looked standing in his shadow.
“I’m just admiring your car.”
“You trying to be funny?” The frown lines deepened on the man’s face and his lips curled.
“No, honestly, I like old cars and this one’s a beauty.”
The man straightened, his chest expanded and a smile crept across his face. “Well, she’s a bit dusty, but she cleans up well. Done nearly three hundred thousand miles, but she tracks along. Rattles a bit, but not bad for a ‘74 Capri.”
Jason nodded his agreement. “Do you mind if I bring my brother to have a look at her?”
“Sweet as, but don’t be long. I’m leaving soon.”
“We’ll be right back.” Jason trotted across to their cabin, all thoughts of a shower pushed to the back of his mind. He mentally called to Levi as he ran. Out of bed, Levi, I need you – NOW.
No need to shout, I’m on my way. What’s wrong? His brother’s tousled head appeared around the cabin’s doorway, his lanky frame following like a forgotten set of limbs. Hopping as he slipped his feet into his thongs, he came down the steps to meet Jason.
“There’s an old car over there,” Jason pointed to the red Capri, “and it’s full of gems. The owner’s a bit dark on people looking at his car, but I told him we liked old cars and asked if you could have a look. He agreed, but he’s leaving soon. We need to hurry.”
“We? Why me?”
“I think the gems are cut and mounted. Their song is really clear and bright. You can tell me if there’s gold or platinum, or rose gold or something in the car. I reckon the gems are stolen rings and things.”
“He might own them.”
“What? And drive around in a rust-bucket like that when he can afford to own a heap of gems. Nah.” Jason began to walk back towards the car, leaving Levi to trail behind. Just pretend to be interested. Okay? I don’t want to spook him.
Got it. I love old cars. Watch me drool.
Back at the car, the twins walked slowly around it, nodding in appreciation, running their hands over the bodywork, leaving trails in the dust and making admiring noises.
Well? Jason queried.
Gold, platinum, and some white gold, I think. Also some silver because I can taste pineapple and that’s usually silver. Might have something else mixed with it. There’s not a lot there, but probably just enough to hold the gems in rings. Might even be a bracelet or a necklace.
The car’s owner stood nearby watching their every move. At last murmuring their thanks the twins wandered off towards the ablution block. “What’re we going to do now? We can’t go to the nearest cop shop and say ‘hey, we know where some stolen gems are’. They’d say ‘Oh yeah, how d’you know that?’”
Jason couldn’t fault the logic of Levi’s comment. “But this morning a motorbike started up and I looked out the window. The guy driving looked like the monster who followed us yesterday, the marijuana grower. They might be mates?”
“Then they’re both too big and ugly to tangle with. Leave it.”
“I hate to leave the gems there, Levi. It’s like they’re crying.”
“Bro, you’re too deep. We’re prospectors on holiday, not detectives.
Space Rep: Finally, I got my question answered!
Liza: What question?
Space Rep: What talent the brothers possessed. They are telepathic plus one can hear gems and the other can taste precious metals.
Liza: Next time just ask. I'm sure Gold knew the answer.
Space Rep: Thumps head against spaceship hull.
Liza: Before Space Rep kills us all by rupturing the rusty hull of my junkheap, I'd like to thank you for stopping by and sharing your fabulous self with my readers.
Gold: I didn't--*recalls pic of buried author* --think I would enjoy it as much as I did. May I go home now?
Liza: Of course. Once three days have passed.
Gold: Three days? Why must I stay three days?"
Liza: My invitations are always for three days.
Gold: What invitation. You stole me!
Liza: Nonsense. I can't help it if my invitation didn't arrive. Space mail is very unreliable. Space Rep, what day did you send it out?
Space Rep: I didn't.
Liza: There you go. Highly unreliable. But no matter, you arrived safely and I will return you equally so in 3 days?
Gold: But why can't I go home now?
Space Rep: Liza has the cheapest teleport service available. It allows for one teleport every three days. If used more than that, the object will be transported on a best effort promise. Here's a cat we once transported in on 'best effort'. I've named it Schrodinger:
Gold: I'll wait three days.
Liza: Excellent. Then tell me a bit about your author and provide some links if you will.
A Taste of Gold is Deryn Pittar’s first Young Adult novella. She loved creating the characters in this story, especially the Taniwha (pronounced tanny-far) from Maori mythology. This story has inspired her to write more stories for teenagers in the future.
Deryn, writing as Virginnia De Parte, also pens futuristic fiction, spiced with romance and adventure. She has four novellas published as e-books. Setting her stories in the future allows her imagination to run free, creating characters with unheard-of talents. She also has the pleasure of watching science and technology catch up with her imagination.
She is a published poet. She lives in the aptly named Bay of Plenty, New Zealand; along with four million people and a number of hobbits.
Liza: New Zealand is my favorite place in the whole world. I've no idea how she can write there. I'd be staring out windows and oohing and awwing at the breath taking sceneries, going kayaking, rafting down 21 foot waterfall, glacier hiking, hang-gliding, mountain trekking, dolphin diving, deep-sea fishing, speed boating on rivers, doing very dangerous dives and spins in a helicopter, but never, ever will I bungie jump. We all have our lines we won't cross.
Space Rep: Found the links. They were in the email, and I've fixed the white out issue.
A TASTE OF GOLD
www.virginnia-departe-books.com www.facebook.com/virginnia.departe with an author page for Deryn Pittar www.derynpittar.tumblr.com for my Young Adult novels and poetry
Liza: Well done both of you. Great Teamwork. Those of you with fingers and the ability to keyboard, LEAVE A MESSAGE AND PROVE IT.