Jane is a normal orphan with unusual grandparents. She doesn’t realize how unusual until she returns on holiday from college to discover that her grandmother has been kidnapped. Her grandfather reveals that her kidnappers are a new foe from an old world, and her grandmother’s only hope is for them to travel to the other side after her.
The Shifting World, however, isn’t as easy as ours. Every monster, witch, demon, and other mystical fable that haunts the fairytale books of our world resides among those lands. Jane finds herself stumbling through one adventure after another as she tries to learn the ropes, and the magic, of the new world in order to save her grandmother, and herself.
Even a place as strange as the Shifting World, however, has its familiar handsome men. One of them is Caius, a dragon shifter with a sly smile and a glint in his eyes. He joins their search for her missing grandmother, but Jane isn't so sure it isn’t another member of her family that he’s interested in.
From tragedy, hope springs eternal.
For me, that hope was a long time coming. My parents were out on the rare dinner night. It was their anniversary, if I recall. Six years of marriage, and four of them with me. I’d been left with my grandparents, the ones who had raised my dad. Grandpa was always a blast, letting me ride his back, and Grandma was the best cook in the county.
Then the doorbell rang. That sound was long and hollow, like the tolling of a church bell at a funeral. My grandmother answered it. I can remember sitting on the floor of the living room with Grandpa. The doorway looked into the entrance hall. Two policemen stood on the stoop. Their voices were low, but the pity in their eyes was loud and clear, even to me.
Grandma’s hand flew to her mouth and her eyes widened. Tears pooled in them as she stumbled back.
“Bee!” Grandpa shouted as he flew to his feet and hurried over to her. He caught her before she dropped.
She spun around and buried her face into his chest. Her sobbing wracked her body. It was then that I knew that something truly terrible had happened. Grandma never cried. The policemen left. Their terrible duty was done. Now my grandparents had their own terrible duty to do.
Grandpa helped Grandma into a chair and came over to me. He knelt in front of me and clasped my hands in his large, worn ones. His eyes looked into mine. He was trying not to cry.
“Jane, there’s. . .there’s been an accident,” he told me. I nodded. I knew about those, but why was he crying? “Your parents. . .your parents’ car rolled over. They didn’t make it.”
“Make it to dinner?” I remember asking him. I didn’t want to face the truth. Why would I?
He shook his head. “No. They’re. . .they’re dead, pumpkin, but don’t you worry. Grandma and I will take care of you.”
He had more words of comfort to give to me, but I didn’t hear them. I couldn’t hear them. My parents. Dead. I was just old enough to understand what that meant. It meant they weren’t coming back. No more of Mom’s smiles. No more of Dad’s piggy-back rides. Gone. Fleeting innocence vanished in a single instance.
Tears welled up in my eyes. Grandma wiped her own and joined Grandpa in front of me. She opened her arms. I fell into them, balling my eyes out.
“It’s okay, sweetie,” she whispered to me through her own tears. She couldn’t stop them coming any more than I could stop mine. “We’re going to take good care of you for them.”
Grandpa wrapped his arms around us, and for a long time we sat on the floor joined in our grief.
Maybe that’s why I’m so close to them, and why it was so shocking to find out just how little I knew about them.