Fiction Fest: More from McKenzie Wagner’s ‘Benotripia: The Stones of Horsh’

Stones of Horsh, The_2x3Twelve-year-old McKenzie Wagner has been hard at work on the marketing circuit since the release of her first “Benotripia” book in September 2012. The second installment in the series, “The Stones of Horsh,” was released on Sept. 10 of this year, and, yes, Wagner is still a regular on the book signing circuit.

She even had a TV appearance on ABC4 in Salt Lake City recently and was a guest at Richard Paul Evans’ “Michael Vey” pre-launch party.

Today’s excerpt comes from “The Stones of Horsh,” which is available in book stores on from online retailers.


A monstrous shape emerged from the shadows, and Astro’s heart skipped a beat.

When he looked straight forward, he could see green scaly legs with multiple large zits and knots. When Astro tilted his head back, he could see the legs connected to a giant furry body with an ugly green head and horns. Astro had never seen anything like it. “They must have brought it from Darvonia,” he whispered.

Jessicana screamed, and Roseabelle tripped over her backpack. Astro was left alone, his fear growing by the minute. His spear was a toothpick compared to the monster. “Hey, Bigfoot!” Roseabelle suddenly yelled. Both the monster and Astro turned their heads to see Roseabelle aiming a Flame-hurler at the beast. She cranked the lever, and three iron balls came flying out, hurtling toward it.

Jessicana, now standing, shouted to Astro, “It’s a Garaganta!” Astro turned back to the monster as it batted away two of the spheres from its chest, but the third zoomed in between the Garaganta’s claws and hit the monster squarely in the chest.

“Hit the deck!” Roseabelle screamed. Astro dived underneath a pile of rocks as an explosion of red and black erupted above them. Smoke entered Astro’s nostrils, and he coughed a couple of times.

“Roseabelle? Jessicana?” he shouted. Was the Garaganta dead?

A loud bellow answered his question, and Astro stood, his eyes watering because of the smoke. The gray fog cleared, and Astro winced as the Garaganta staggered forward. He could see Jessicana, slumped against a large boulder, and Roseabelle trying to revive her.

The Garaganta turned toward him, and Astro immediately extended a finger and shot a silver- blue lightning bolt at the beast. It struck the Gara- ganta in the thigh. Bellowing with rage, it advanced toward the boy. Astro gulped. Now he’d only made the situation worse. He opened his pack and pulled out the Flame-hurler, trained it at the beast, and reached for ammo, only to realize he didn’t have any. Roseabelle had all the iron spheres tucked away in her pack.