SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON
Guardians of the Blue Planet (Book I)
by Paula Blais Gorgas
Rated G for ages 8-12
154 pages [44,000 words]
[©2013] from the DFP Books label of Dragonfly Publishing, Inc.
While visiting her father in rural Oklahoma, twelve-year-old Myra Goodfellow finds a baby dragon from Kasan, the home planet of the Guardian Dragons of Earth. When she and Aiden (the boy next door) accidentally “dream travel” to Kasan, they must protect the baby dragon from the Red World Society, a secret alien group determined to rule both Kasan and Earth.
2013 Readers’ Favorite Finalist for Young Adult – Fantasy/Sci-Fi
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“Tweens are considering these questions: “Who can I trust?” — “What’s going to happen to our planet?” — “What is all of this adult political wrangling about anyway?” and “Are there good reasons for my family to keep secrets, and how can I show them I’m old enough to be trusted?” Paula Blas Gorgas helps readers consider these questions and while pulling us into a captivating fantasy of earth interconnected to a planet of dragon people.SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON is a great beginning for a trilogy with pair of very believable of earth tweens, Myra and Aden, who exhibit strong but age appropriate skills when faced with critical, world-changing situations. Get ready for an exciting set of escapades.” ~ reviewed by Miss Carole, Children’s Librarian [FIVE STARS]
“SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON is a seamless blend of fantasy and reality. The characters and events grab you and draw you in immediately. Then hold you for the duration. It is a fantastic adventure, while being totally relatable. This is a thoroughly enjoyable read. The premise is fresh and thoughtful and fun. I can’t wait for the next book!” ~ reviewed by Denise Russell [FIVE STARS]
“This is such a cool concept for a story. Two main protagonists, Myra and Aiden find a dragon egg on Earth and, hours later, they are transported to the world of Kasan where dragons are the norm. Once they arrive, it appears that everyone wants to capture the baby dragon, affectionately called Baby by Myra, and it is up to Myra and Aiden to protect Baby from the `bad guys’. SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON is a wonderful fantasy for kids who love action and adventure. At times there is a sort of `back and forth’ in the plot, but overall, this is an enjoyable, fast-paced read, brimming with bad guys, not-so bad guys and our action heroes…not to mention there’s a delicious twist at the end that will leave readers wanting more.” ~ reviewed by AnneMarie Myers [FOUR STARS]
“From the setting to the characters this story is a very adequate read for upper elementary and middle school readers. The beginning of the story is detailed and develops an aire of mystery. What we come to find in the mysterious woods takes the readers immediately from possible reality to fantasy. Any reader who has a taste for dragons and alternate worlds will find this story interesting and entertaining. The cast of characters are vibrant and have enough substance to keep a younger reader enthralled in the story line. Both male and female readers can become Aiden or Myra, the two main characters in the story. In the SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON the reader can assume the persona of either protagonist-this is what sets this story apart from others. Most short stories or novels have one hero and a sidekick, like in Harry Potter, but here at least in this first book it seems that both are neck at neck for a possible hero to this tale. Of course, with any good story there is more to unfold in book two. Will Myra hold the archetype hero role or will Aiden become the dominant hero? I look forward to the continuation of the adventures Myra, Aidnen, and the rest of the characters will embark upon soon. This book has enough action and adventure for the intended reader. As an ex-school teacher, I would totally recommend this to my students.” ~ reviewed by Mirta Ramirez-Espinola [FOUR STARS]
“Twelve-year-old Myra Goodfellow barely remembers the bedtime stories her grandmother once told about shape-shifting dragon people from the world of Kasan. But the memories come flooding back when a baby dragon hatches from the abandoned egg she finds in the woods of rural Oklahoma. Myra and neighbor Aiden discover that the stories are true when the two unintentionally dream-travel to the politically divided planet. Trapped on an alien world, the pair must unearth deeply buried secrets to save the baby dragon from the clutches of the Red World Society and find their way home again. SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON draws the reader in by expertly weaving Kasan into Earth’s history and keeps them turning the pages to find the truth behind Myra’s unique ability to mind-talk with the baby dragon. The twelve-year-old main character is authentic with her quick judgments and sarcasm. Still recovering from her parents divorce, she struggles to trust her own heart while Aiden gives her the courage to trust others. With each new hurdle they face, the story hints that Myra and Aiden may be more important to the futures of Kasan and Earth than they could ever imagine. Middle grade to adult readers will enjoy losing themselves in dream-travel and dragon shadows. While the end of the book answers some of the reader’s questions, SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON is the first installment of the Guardians of the Blue Planet series and future books hold the promise of revealing more about the girl who is only beginning to discover her destiny.” ~ reviewed by Amanda M. Hopper [FIVE STARS]
“SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON by Paula Blais Gorgas is a delightful fantasy about two worlds whose histories have been closely tied together since the beginning of man’s time on Earth. Myra Goodfellow, now twelve, has heard the stories of the Dreamkeeper and a place called Kasan where the Dragon People lived since she was very young. Of course Myra knew these were make-believe, that is until one day when she finds a dragon egg in the woods! With her new friend Aiden, they discover a special connection to the baby dragon and dream-travel to the world of Kasan, home of the Guardian Dragons of Earth. Myra must protect ‘Baby’ from the Red World Society, an alien group trying to take over both Kasan and Earth, while learning to put her trust in others and still find a way back home. Can she save the dragon and find its mother? Is this the beginning of some hidden destiny for Myra? Myra’s struggles with her parents’ divorce, her sense of loss and betrayal, as well as her mannerisms and speech are very realistic for a twelve-year-old girl. In creating a world closely paralleling life on Earth, Paula Blais Gorgas has made SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON is an easy to understand read for younger children, while still entertaining for adults with vivid descriptions and constant action. I was captivated throughout and strongly recommend this book to younger readers with its positive outlook and fast-paced plot!” ~ reviewed by Dianne Bylo for Readers’ Favorite [FOUR STARS]
PAULA BLAIS GORGAS lives in Oklahoma with her husband Chet, a retired Navy Commander turned pro-golfer. Together they have four grown sons and a dozen grandchildren. Paula worked as an NSA intelligence analyst and as a children’s librarian. Children’s picture book publications include LITTLE LOST LEPRECHAUN and THE PERFECT PURPLE PRESENT. Juvenile fiction fantasy titles EARTH MAGIC (OWFI’s 2002 Best Book of Juvenile Fiction) and SECRET OF THE CRYSTAL DRAGON (2013 Readers’ Favorite Finalist for Young Adult – Fantasy/Sci-Fi). Young adult publications include COURT OF HONOR (an RWA Golden Heart Award Winner for Best Young Adult Novel). Adult publications include the paranormal romance novel DREAMTIME (2001 Dream Realm Awards Finalist) and the fantasy anthology OTHER WORLDS (OWFI 2008 Best Book of Fiction).