Three worlds. One rule. She must never open a door.


The DOORMAKER series is an epic young adult blend of portal fantasy and dystopian drama.


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If you love fantasy books with:

✅ unique magic systems, ✅ first love, ✅ found families, ✅ profound mysteries, ✅ and monumental stakes,

you’ll become obsessed with the Doormakers.

This book bundle includes all 4 books from the series…

plus 2 bonus books that expand the doormaker universe…

and exclusive bonus content not available anywhere else…


But there’s a catch.

you have to buy the books directly from me.

The author.

Imagine traveling to any place in the universe by opening something as simple as a cabinet door.

But what if the doors are broken...
...and every door you open also brings you closer to your death?

Maella comes from a family of doormakers who have been hunted by a ruthless enemy across three worlds. Join her as she searches, with friends found along the way, to uncover the truth about her doormaker heritage, face deadly enemies, and discover secrets that could save or destroy three worlds. An addictive fantasy saga that will keep you hooked from start to finish.

I've put the COMPLETE 4 BOOKS of this bestselling series together in a collection...

AND you'll be sent 2 BONUS books, PLUS exclusive Doormaker bonus content not available anywhere else.

Get the 6 books, plus exclusive bonus content, at a serious discount only when buying direct.

The books are all sold on Amazon, Apple, Google Play, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and lots of other retailers.
People seem to love them.


“Found myself turning pages eagerly… Maella’s voice got stronger through the series, and she’s not only well-formed, but a character I actively root for.  Recommended!”

Paul Austin Ardoin, USA TODAY Bestselling Author


“The world created is incredible… one of the most original I’ve ever read. The characters are subtle and engaging. The suspense is… I don’t know how to put the magic of this book into a review! Incredible!!!”

Andy, Goodreads Review


“There is plenty of heartbreak, hope, tension, heart-stopping moments… the last book is the best of all the books in the series… you really do go through so many emotions.”

Fleur’s Reviews


“The characters are completely believable, and I became invested in their lives…If you love fantasy, you will definitely love this series.”

Cathy’s Reviews


“I highly recommend this entire series to anyone who likes fantasy books with strong world-building and believable sympathetic characters, who continue to grow and develop, and who are forced into moral quandaries with no easy solutions.”

Rosemary, Goodreads Review


“…the way the three worlds come together… this is an awesome story that will grip you until you read the last book, the last sentence.”

Liesbeth Reviews

If you were to buy all these books somewhere else (like Amazon), they would cost you more than twice as much and they do not include ANY of the bonus content.



Instead, I’m offering SIX bestselling YA EPIC FANTASY books (plus exclusive bonus content) for more than 50% off.


Save big when you get the complete series… 


…but only for a limited time.


By the way, there’s no risk. I offer a 30-day guarantee on ebooks and audiobooks.

No questions asked.

Read all 6 ebooks on any device, including Kindle, your browser, your smart phone, and more.
Listen to all 6 audiobooks on most devices, including your smart phone or browser. Narrated by the author!
Get all 6 paperbacks delivered to your doorstep. Richly colored cover art. Beautiful interior. Matte finish.

Note: this is a limited time offer you won’t find anywhere else.

All bonus content is delivered digitally (regardless of format chosen for the books). You’ll get sent behind-the-scenes RESEARCH, a Doormaker personality QUIZ, a downloadable high quality MAP of the Tower of Shadows, a Choose Your Own Doormaker Adventure, custom digital wallpaper, a special Doormaker Photo Books, coloring pages, special merchandise discounts, and more.

If this series were a movie, it would be rated PG-13.
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These books are all narrated by me, the author! The audiobooks are the same files and quality currently selling for a lot higher price on Audible, Apple, Google Play, and more. Take a listen here:

Chapter 1


Before Maella’s father left, he made her promise to never, ever open a door.

Maella still didn’t understand why those were his last words to her.
She knew the family rule.
She had kept her promise even as her family had broken it again and again.
Her cousin had fixated on a medicine cabinet and opened it to a starry void that sucked him away. A car dashboard had mesmerized her aunt and she’d brushed it open to an angry swarm of wasps—and died from an allergic reaction after swelling to twice her size. Her great uncle had been in a depression while house-sitting for a neighbor, and he opened the fridge door. A tiger dragged him into a humid jungle, neither cat nor uncle seen again.
Two years after moving to their current house, her older brother, Esson, had disappeared through a door. He had only been fifteen years old.
She lived with her mother, her grandmother, and her little brother, Josa. They were all who remained of the family, but Maella didn’t dwell on it. Well, she did, but only at night, when the darkness created its own form of privacy, since, after all, there was no door for her bedroom.
Her sixteenth birthday was in a few weeks, and the lack of privacy bothered her. A lot of things bothered her more than they used to. On days when Josa’s noise and her mother’s demands and her grandmother’s guilting became too much, she escaped to the overgrown field behind the house. No one could see her there. It was the closest thing she had to a closed door.
She sat there now, on a decomposing oak log. The field backed up to a creek that ran dry most of the year—but not right now in the spring.
She always faced the door in the field, even on days like today when the grass had grown tall enough to hide it. The door was a black hole of decay and death and magic and magnetism.
“Maaayyy-eeellll-aaaaahh! Maaay-eell-aaahh!” Claritsa, her best friend, pronounced all three syllables of Maella’s name with equal emphasis.
Maella stood on top of the log for a better look at the shifting stalks of grass. “Over here!”
Claritsa came crashing onto the flattened space around the log, stirring up lizards and pollen and mold. Out of the whole neighborhood, maybe this whole world, only Claritsa knew about her family’s door problem. Two years ago, the same day Esson disappeared, she had discovered Maella’s secret and they’d been inseparable ever since. She was the same age as Maella and liked to keep her hair in a pair of dark braids that whipped around her shoulders. Her thick bangs were just a little too long, but she had screamed bloody murder when her grandmother tried to cut them. “It’s the latest style in Hollywood,” Claritsa had said later to Maella.
Maella’s mouse brown hair clung to her head in tight curls and made her look younger than she really was. She’d been born with hair like that—curly and tangled. She knew because her grandmother always brought up this troubling fact when Maella acted rudely.
Claritsa collapsed on the log and between gulping breaths said, “Cheyanne’s got a new tricycle from the government…it’s red and has a basket on front…and these bars on the back for someone to stand on…she’s desperate to show it off and take us around.”
Maybe Maella was too old for a lot of the things that used to entertain her as a kid, but any kind of bicycle meant freedom. Something Maella was desperate for. Normally, no one in their neighborhood could afford nice things. They bartered or salvaged or did without. She thrilled at the thought of seeing something new, even if it was just a tricycle.
“Then, let’s go!” Maella leapt from the log, squished her shoes in the mud caused by a light rain the night before, and ran away laughing while Claritsa gasp-yelled for her to wait.
Bicycles were safe, and Cheyanne, even though she was much older, always wanted the two of them to come over. Everyone on the lane knew Cheyanne had brain problems that had kept her from graduating high school, getting a job, or moving into her own place, but her family had no money to name it, or do anything about it, and none of that mattered to Maella and Claritsa anyway. Cheyanne was one of the few people who never made Maella feel weird for not going to school with everyone else and for not having any doors in her house. Maella counted Cheyanne as her friend. She was pretty sure Cheyanne knew what it meant to feel like an outsider, just like her.
Maella raced through the grass, morning dew transferring from the stalks to her bare legs. Claritsa followed behind her, wearing Maella’s worn-out skirt and her own shirt. Maella wore Claritsa’s shabby khaki shorts, a thin t-shirt, and a jacket tied around her waist. Instead of two almost nonexistent wardrobes, the two of them pooled what they had into a single small one, infusing it with all the style two high school girls with no money, but lots of old fashion magazines, could muster.
They made it to the back end of the field, their socks soaked, their legs covered in flecks of mud. Maella took a path away from the part of the field where the grass hid the abandoned door. When she was six years old, Josa only three, and Esson eight, her family had escaped from their old home. They moved from place to place for years. But then the gold ran out and the servants left and her family moved into this ramshackle house. Her father hired someone to remove all the doors to the cabinets, drawer faces, bedrooms. They put up screen material as a front door. They replaced all the colored plates, cookware, and cups with glass and clear plastic versions. They lived without a fridge. They were really poor. Everyone on their poor country lane said so.
It was her mother who had found the front door.
It was like discovering a spot of quicksand, or hearing a rattler’s telltale warning, or finding a mountain lion’s den and not knowing if mom and cubs were still inside.
The workman had abandoned the door in the field without telling them. Maybe he’d had no room to haul it away, maybe he’d forgotten to take it, maybe he’d left it out of spite for the money Grandmother begrudgingly paid him from the last fold of damp, crumpled bills she kept tucked into her voluminous bra.
Once the door was laid to rest there, it settled in, besieged Maella’s thoughts at night, taunted her with its solidness, its soiled permanence. The family couldn’t move it. Mother was the only one of them who wasn’t a doormaker. She could open doors without killing them all, but the door in the field was too heavy for her.
They were new to the neighborhood, known as the strange strangers who trashed all their doors, and they had no money to hire anyone else. They dared not burn it for fear it might spread and take out the field and grove and house and street.
Her father tried to destroy it. He used a sledgehammer and yet the door remained. He tried a saw, but her mother feared his fingers lifting the edge—it took so little—and she made him stop. So her father left the door to decay, and made Maella and both her brothers promise to never, ever go near it.
Sometimes Maella woke in the middle of the night, so late even the frogs and the crickets and night birds had gone to bed, and pictured the door. Its metal knob a chipped bronze. The wood a discolored, splintering gray.
This door should not have been there. This door haunted her. This door had taken her father.
After all his warnings and stories and promises, one day last summer her father had opened the door in the field. He’d lifted up its edge and vanished into the ground. Like it was nothing. Like it didn’t matter to him what was on the other side. She’d screamed and run for her mother and found her sitting at the cracked metal breakfast table, crying over her eggs and coffee.
“He had to, Maella.” Tears streamed down her red face and between her small breasts and behind her faded cotton dress.
“Why?” Maella demanded. She had turned fourteen years old by then and promised herself she wouldn’t cry about Esson, about anything anymore. But her voice cracked from a mix of emotions she didn’t know how to name. She felt outside herself, like the real Maella wasn’t really standing at the table watching her mother fall apart and feeling her own insides break into pieces.
Her mother shook her head and lowered it.
Maella noticed a crumpled paper on the table. She smoothed it out but couldn’t read the writing. Sometimes she could understand the words her mother and father spoke in the language from wherever they had all come from, but after arriving on Earth, her parents had refused to teach her and her brothers anything other than English. They swore it would help everyone better fit into their new permanent home.
The note was in her father’s handwriting and their Botron family symbol marked the bottom of the page.
A curved quarter moon, its points sharp like knives—that’s us, the doormakers, Grandmother explained once. Three links, separate yet attached, pierced by the moon. They are the—
But her father had caught them before Grandmother finished.
The only sound in the kitchen for a long minute was the drip from the kitchen faucet into dirty glass cereal bowls. A door wasn’t dangerous to her family as long as you could see through it. Glass cups, glass plates, clear plastic everywhere.
“To keep us safe. Your father left to keep us safe,” her mother finally said in answer to Maella’s question. She would not utter another word of explanation.
That evening Maella took a broken golf club to all the windows on the first floor of their two­-story house.
Josa watched with clenched fists and a blank look on his face, and her mother slapped her, but her grandmother folded her to her bosom, and then took in her mother and brother as well. All three of the women cried, and no one talked about fixing the windows because everyone knew there was no money. And her mother did not speak about blame.
They used the last of Grandmother’s cash to buy extra firewood. There wouldn’t be money to cool the house once the summer heat waves came.
Sometimes her mother still cried over her eggs, and this past winter’s cold flowed effortlessly through the screens they hung up to keep out the bugs. It reminded Maella every day that her father had ignored all his promises and gone through a door. She would never forgive him for that, or herself for breaking the windows in a temper.
Maella hated that door in the field, how beautiful flowers had grown up around it, how it lay there rotting. How it taunted her. How even though she was almost sixteen, no one trusted her enough to explain what really happened when someone stepped through a door. How, as the days passed, it was like her mother and grandmother became more afraid, not less. How they never talked about what happened at all. How Maella could feel herself becoming desperate to know.
She wanted the truth. All of it.
But had no idea how to get it.
Claritsa caught up and cut in front, making Maella slip on the wet grass. Picking herself back up, Maella noticed green stains on her knees, and ran faster to escape the dark turn of her thoughts. She followed Claritsa through a grove of trees to their favorite path—a bridge of stepping­-stones Claritsa had positioned so they could cross the creek without getting their feet wet.
Each stone was a potential door to Maella. Claritsa knew that and had placed the stones so that they wouldn’t rock when stepped on. If the underside of one had a smooth enough surface to form a seal with whatever was underneath, then that was all it took. She could trip and accidentally lift up a stone with her hands and who knew what might come out.
It had to be her hands.
No other part of her body could open a door, only her hands. But Maella was always careful. Her family had made sure to tell her over and over again all the ways she could make a mistake—that truth had been drilled into her, relentless and thorough, over all the years she could remember. They had trained her—clasp your hands behind your back, focus on how your feet land so you won’t trip.
Never lose that focus.
She ran behind Claritsa, eager for this day to turn into something other than pure boredom filled with feeling sorry for herself. Maella liked seeing Cheyanne have fun. It gave Maella hope that maybe she’d get lucky some day and figure out how to be happy, too.
Suddenly, on the last stone of their creek bridge, Claritsa froze.
Maella slammed into the back of her, sprawling them both forward onto the bank and shooting sand into the folds of her skin. Cold water gurgled into her shoes, but Maella was more concerned with where her hands had landed.
“Claritsa!” Maella said, fear making her heart pound so strongly it caught in her throat.
Claritsa knew about the doors and how careful Maella needed to be. But it was only sand. She was okay. No open doors. No starry voids.
Her heartbeat settled.
“Maella.” There was a warning note in Claritsa’s voice.
Maella looked up and into Barth’s glittering stare. Daniel stood just behind him. Jack was on Barth’s right.
Bartholemeau Hedrick—Barth, not Bart, for short unless you wanted a pounding—had dropped out of high school a couple of months ago at seventeen to help run his father’s prescription drug business. Jack and Daniel had dropped out with him. Esson had been friends with Barth before disappearing through a door. Her mother made her promise to never go near him, but Grandmother dealt some sort of business with him every week.
Jack was Barth’s shadow, but Daniel had been nice to Maella on occasion. He had even brought over a baked casserole from his mother after the lane gossiped about her father’s abandonment.
“Well, look at this,” Barth said. He sneered and wiped his nose on his arm. “Just who I was looking for.”
Claritsa stood and water streamed off her skin, bringing up goosebumps. Maella stood up next to her.
Barth’s plaid shirt was rolled at the sleeves and hung over a shredded pair of jean shorts. The other two boys matched him for shirts and shorts—Daniel’s a muted green, Jack’s a sickly yellow plaid. The boys looked burnt from too much sun, except they almost weren’t boys anymore. Hair covered their legs, muscle roped their arms, their shoulders were broad.
“We’re going to see Cheyanne,” Maella said with a confidence she did not feel. “Let us through, Barth.”
He laughed and shook away dirty blond hair from his eyes. “That retard? Why bother with her?”
Anger flushed Maella’s cheeks. “Don’t talk about her like that.” She didn’t understand how Esson could have ever been friends with someone so universally mean all the time.
“Seriously, Barth?” Claritsa said, rolling her eyes.
Barth was always going out of his way to prove he wasn’t a loser by cutting everyone else down. But Maella wasn’t going to let anyone make fun of Cheyanne, especially this jerk. “Maybe you should look in the mirror sometime. That way, you’ll know what a real loser looks like.”
Maella knew it was a stupid comeback as soon as the words left her mouth. She was too old for such childish insults—halfway through high school now, not that she’d ever stepped foot inside a real classroom. She blamed her lame insult game on not going to school like the rest of them had—how could she when every locker or book or classroom door might swallow her up?
Daniel shook his head, looking disappointed. Jack laughed.
“Yeah, oh, I’m sooo sorry.” Barth rolled his eyes. “That cut so deep, you know. I feel terrible, just terrible. You’ve made me see the error of my ways. And I feel so bad about myself.” He grabbed for Claritsa’s arm.
Claritsa screamed and thrashed, but he was too strong. Maella launched herself at Barth, kicking and clawing. Sand flew into the air. His muscles did not budge until Maella sunk her teeth deep into his forearm.
Barth yelped, dropped Claritsa, shook off Maella, and swore. “You’re going to pay for that.”
“They’re just kids, man, we’ve got better things to do,” Daniel called out from a few yards away.
This offended Maella more than anything. The boys were barely two years older. But both Maella and Claritsa were tall and skinny and mostly flat. She might be almost sixteen, but her body had only begun to catch up and curve out. Her mother had been a late bloomer too. She tried not to care that she didn’t yet look like how a woman was supposed to look, but that went as well as trying not to care about all the secrets her family still kept from her.
That is, she failed, miserably.
“Whose side are you on?” Barth demanded, narrowing his eyes at Daniel. “We came here for a reason. We’re under a deadline.”
“Yeah,” Jack said. He crossed his arms, trying to look tough.
“A reason?” Daniel said, arching an eyebrow. “You can’t be serious about all that stuff. I know you were making it all up, so just stop pretending.”
Maella couldn’t help herself. Her mother always warned her to stop running at the mouth, but Grandmother said she was too pigheaded to learn anyway but the hard way. “Jack Cord, you look like a clown in that shirt. Is that why you dropped out of school? To join the circus? Though I bet they wouldn’t take you, would they?”
Better. She could live with that insult. At least it wasn’t as embarrassing as her first one.
Jack’s meaty hand snaked out and slapped her, sending stars across her eyes. Heat flashed across her cheek.
“Stop that!” Claritsa yelled and dragged Maella backwards into the creek.
Maella stumbled over a rock and they both fell. The creek water soaked their clothes and raised goose bumps. Maella’s brain screamed at her in all of her family’s voices—get your hands off the rocks! Don’t open a door!
The boys stood in a line along the water’s far edge, Barth with his arms crossed, Jack huffing and red in the face, Daniel frowning.
“Run?” Claritsa whispered into her ear.
Maella tensed her muscles.
Barth took one step into the water. “Come over here. There’s no way you’re getting out of a beating. And after that, there’s business—”
“Run!” Maella screamed.
The girls scrambled backward across the rocks and the water. They made it to the other side of the creek and dashed through the grove of trees.
Claritsa pumped her thin legs next to Maella. The stomp of shoes sounded loud behind them. The boys were following and fanning out.
It wasn’t long before the boys caught up. Barth began to take a path that would cut Maella and Claritsa off from the house. But if they could make it in time…Barth was afraid of Grandmother. Or at least he used to be. She could send the boys packing.
That’s when Maella tripped.
There was a sickening sense of imbalance, and then all of a sudden, she found herself sprawled on the ground. Where were her hands? Panicked breaths erupted from her lungs until she could identify the burning sensation on her palms came from landing on some sticks in the grass. Her heart beat out of control. A loud wind filled her ears. Claritsa tumbled down a few feet away, a deep scratch on her cheek weeping blood.
Barth stood between them and the house. Daniel and Jack fanned out behind them, blocking the way back to the creek.
She forced herself to stand, but her knee buckled and blood welled out.
“Nice. Couldn’t have picked the spot better my—” Barth began laughing. He pointed at Maella’s chest. “Look at that.”
She glanced down. The water and her fall into the grass had plastered her pale blue shirt to her skin. Her bra had been too soiled to wear today, and her jacket was still tied around her waist. Mother cleaned everything by bucket because they didn’t dare own a washer and dryer with lids. Even she could see her nipples and her nonexistent breasts. For one split second, she imagined standing tall and fearless and with no shame. But no matter how desperately she wanted to be that person—she wasn’t.
No, she wanted to die, just die, from embarrassment.
Barth’s expression narrowed as his gaze returned to Maella’s face. Everything about him turned cold, calculating, and business-like. “Your brother gave my father a lot of trouble, and it’s time to collect on what’s due.”
Maella folded her arms over her chest. “Josa can’t—”
“Eddy cost my dad a lot of business and money,” Barth said, taking a step forward as he raised one hand into a punching fist.
The name sounded strange until Maella remembered—Esson had said his name sounded too weird, like someone not from around here, because they weren’t from around here. He hadn’t liked being different, so he’d told people to call him Eddy.
“He said only he knew how, but I’m pretty sure that’s a lie.” Barth took a step forward. “He lied about a lot of things and I’m gonna test one of those lies right now.”
Maella had no idea what he was talking about, but her older brother had a special talent for getting himself into trouble. Whatever had gone on between Esson and Barth, she figured it had to do with prescription drugs and it must have been bad.
Claritsa huddled against Maella. No one could see them, not with the tall grass stalks in the way. When Maella looked to Daniel for help, he avoided her eyes. Jack seemed to be enjoying the whole spectacle, a big smile splitting his face. Maella wanted to wring his neck like Grandmother did to the chickens they ate for holiday dinners.
Barth took another step.
Claritsa made a furious dash away.
“Grab her,” Barth said as he went for Maella, catching her by the ankle, which tripped her to the ground again.
Scrambling away, she felt a hard edge underneath her hands. Splinters of wood shot burning pain into her palms.
The door in the field.
Maella drew in a sharp breath as she pictured how Barth had moved through the field. Had he been herding them to this spot? She had thought he meant to cut them off from the house, but what if—
A cold sweat broke out across her skin.
But what if he had been trying to bring them—here?
The smells of wet mud and broken grass and sweaty skin filled their punched-down section of weeds. Claritsa was pushed down next to Maella. Jack and Barth stood over them as two dark shadows, the sun behind their backs. Daniel was nowhere in sight. He’d probably been tasked to guard their rear against escape.
Maella had never been this close to the door. Had never dared touch it before. Her stomach flipped in fear, but she dared not let any of her feelings show.
She scrambled to her feet, keeping as much of herself away from the wood as possible. “Do you think we would have any money when we don’t even have windows?”
Barth motioned at Jack. “Get over here and pick up the—”
“Idiot,” Claritsa said between clenched teeth.
Barth’s fist snaked out and punched Maella in the stomach. “Keep talking, Claritsa, and I’ll just keep hurting your friend over here.”
Maella lost her breath and fell onto her hands and knees, onto the door’s rough, splintering wood. It felt like she was drowning and couldn’t get her lungs to work.
“Go ahead,” Barth said, eyes flicking over to Claritsa. “Call me an idiot again.”
Maella took gulping breaths and forced herself to look up at Barth. He stood over her, face dark with the shadows the sun made. Anger made blood rush by her ears. A feeling of recklessness began to fill her. The same recklessness that had filled her when she broke all the windows with a golf club, and it mixed with her fear and her anger until she couldn’t separate them anymore.
The word escaped her lips at the same time as Claritsa’s. Maella’s heart soared. This was why they were best friends.
Claritsa rested a hand on her shoulder and stood rigid, her expression fierce. Her twin braids fell straight down her back. Maella promised herself to tell Claritsa later about how good her bangs looked—like a really tough movie star in an action movie.
Barth’s expression turned ugly. “Hold them.”
Jack came and grabbed Maella and Claritsa by their necks. He squeezed until Maella thought he would cut off the blood to her brain. She clawed at Jack’s hands and her head spun. The sunlight brought tears to Maella’s eyes.
Barth advanced, except—
He walked right past them and headed for the rotting door.
Panic fluttered in Dessa’s stomach. No. There was no way he could know—
A blur of motion sent Barth flying through the air with a grunt. Daniel. He tackled Barth and they both fell onto the grass with a thump.
Jack’s grip faltered. “What the hell, Daniel?”
Taking advantage of Jack’s lack of attention, Maella yanked herself away. Claritsa did the same, rubbing at her throat and falling to her knees.
Maella tried to drag Claritsa. “Get up, get up.”
Claritsa coughed—hacking, gulping coughs.
Daniel jumped off Barth, hopping from foot to foot. “This is stupid. Just stupid. Leave them alone. Eddy isn’t worth this.”
Barth swept his leg around, taking Daniel to the ground. He jumped up and delivered a savage kick to Daniel’s belly, making him grunt in pain.
“You don’t know anything. You know what my father will do?” Barth kicked Daniel again and brushed dirt off his shirt like this was all no big deal. “You shouldn’t have done that.”
As Maella got Claritsa up, Jack came back to himself. He herded them until they stood right on top of the door.
Dizziness overtook Maella. She never wanted to touch this thing. She never wanted to come near the door that had taken her father. Panicking, she searched for an escape. Barth and Jack stood in front of them. The house was behind them. Daniel lay on the ground, gasping for air. Maella thought about the safety of her grandmother’s arms and attitude and wished for it with all her strength. But that sick feeling in her stomach told her they wouldn’t make it to the house in time. She could still feel the violence in Barth’s fist where he punched her, and the way her lungs still stuttered, like they weren’t sure of this whole breathing thing, and the things he had said—
What did Barth know?
Maella grabbed Claritsa’s hand.
Claritsa tore her tear-streaked gaze away from Barth and focused on Maella. There was a coldness in her eyes that made Maella shiver, and she was glad Claritsa’s anger wasn’t meant for her.
As Daniel lay huddled on the ground, Barth joined Jack.
Claritsa glanced down at the door and then stared at Maella, a question in her eyes. Like she was asking permission for something. All it would take was for Maella’s hands to be touching the door, even if someone else opened it. There was no way Claritsa could think that was a good idea—
Maella shook her head. They would run for Grandmother. They would have to make it. They would have to.
Something in Claritsa’s face shuttered close.
“Run!” Maella yelled as she leapt into the grass, the dew soaking her socks with a shock of coldness again. She expected to hear Claritsa’s stomp next to her.
But there was nothing.
Maella stopped and turned back. Claritsa had grabbed the edge of the door and was pulling up.
Barth laughed. “I love it when people do my work for me.”
For a split second, the whole world went silent. Maella wanted to shout into that silence for Claritsa to let go of the door. Let go. Let go—
—And then Barth shoved Maella at the door.
She flailed, trying to keep track of her hands, trying to avoid Claritsa and the door that was heavy, almost unmovable. But Claritsa had moved the door. Most of it still touched the ground, but the closer edge showed a dark strip.
A gap.
Maella fell against that gap and became wedged. The air smelled like wet soil and Josa’s musty socks. Her hands touched the door, even as she tried not to, even as everything in her screamed to keep her hands away from it, even as her bare legs pressed against the cold, slimy ground, even as wood dug splinters into the flesh of her bare arm.
Her hands touched the door as Claritsa was opening it. All her training told her it was enough.
It was more than enough.
Her stomach exploded with butterflies even as she held her breath and waited for something to happen—a wave of water, an explosion of fire, a pile of snakes, her father and Esson waiting on the other side, laughing at the joke they’d played on her all these years.
The adults in her life had made her promise never to open a door because she was too young to understand the dangers, even as they turned the knob and invited themselves into danger’s living room.
Darkness and silence greeted her.
That confused Maella even more.
She tried to slither out, the wood scratching her skin, and the mud soaking its coldness into her clothes and getting underneath her fingernails.
She was pinned.
Out of sight, somewhere behind her, Barth, Daniel, and Jack shouted at each other. In front of her, from out of the darkness of the door’s gap, a cool, humid breeze brushed her face.
“Come on, Maella.” Claritsa groaned and the door moved just enough to let Maella take in a deeper breath. But she was still stuck, her hands were numb, and nothing at all like she’d been warned would happen, had happened.
There was nothing. Worse than nothing. Only numbness.
Maella clawed at the ground underneath the door as relief and fear washed over her at the same time. That’s all she could find—dirt and darkness and bugs.
All the lessons, all the warnings, all the training.
This was everything she had ever been warned against. But nothing had happened.
Maybe there was something wrong with her. Maybe the terrible thing the rest of her family could do—maybe it was broken inside of her.
Maybe she was broken.
The door’s weight vanished as it was lifted off her back.
“Maella,” Claritsa whispered, frantic.
Maella looked up. Barth and Jack each held a side of the door just high enough to release Maella from being pinched in place. The sun framed Barth’s outline so brightly it hurt Maella’s eyes.
“Higher,” Barth said, cursing, but with a desperate note. “Lift it higher. I have to see—”
She turned back to see for herself what lay underneath the door. But the darkness was thick, so she used her hands to feel around, desperate for something other than dirt and dampness and slimy worms.
What was wrong with her? Had she been avoiding opening doors all these years for nothing? Could she have gone to school and—
Where there should have been slimy, cold dirt, she found the edge of something else. Pushing her hand out over the lip, she felt only empty space.
An opening that shouldn’t be there. A doorway.
“There,” Maella breathed out the word like a sigh.
“What is it?” Barth said. “What’s down there?”
She didn’t let herself think about the dangers yet. Instead, she focused everything she had on one goal—closing this door before whatever was on the other side of that cavernous hole could kill them.
She wormed her way backward across the grass, thinking fast. All Barth and Jack had to do was drop the door. Once it sealed with the ground again, that would be it. The door would close. Everything would go back to normal.
A part of Maella hiccuped at the thought.
Normal. Where everything about the doors remained a secret. Where her family walked on eggshells around her and it was getting worse every day. Where she was promised the truth some far off day that never seemed to come.
But none of that changed the danger of this moment. So Maella attempted to stand on shaky legs as Claritsa grabbed her hand and helped her up.
Maella turned to face Barth. “You have to drop—”
Barth, still holding the corner of the door, aimed a kick at Maella’s stomach.
She lost the ability to breathe and fell backwards. Where there should have been ground—wasn’t. The pain from the kick made her want to vomit. Claritsa’s grip on her hand was like iron.
Claritsa was falling with her—
Before Maella could feel afraid, before the doorway her hands had made consumed them, she saw the look of surprised relief on Barth’s face.
Why would Barth be relieved?
Then Maella fell over the edge, breaking the promise she had made to her father.



I have a passion for writing young adult dystopian fantasies with a twist. I want every page to transport you to a magical world full of adventure, danger, and even some romance.

Rich, complex characters. Stunning, vivid settings. Intricate, original plots. Oh, and some teen angst too.

I hope you love my latest YA fantasy series as much as I loved writing it.

But I don’t really need to hope.

I KNOW you’ll love it.

(How do I know? Well, I’ve received rave reviews from readers like you who appreciate a well-crafted story that keeps them hooked. I also have a background in science and history, which gives me an edge in creating realistic and immersive worlds. I know how to weave in fascinating facts and details that make you feel like you’re living the story. Whether you’re 35 or 85 years old, you will LOVE this series).

In fact, you might love these books so much you’ll want to send me an email somewhere about halfway through thanking me for the amazing journey… like some of my fans have already done… because of certain breathtaking and heart-wrenching events that happen in the series that made them unable to stop reading.

(It’s one of the greatest joys of my life! I’m so grateful for your support!)

I hope you have some free time today because once you start you won’t want to do anything else.

Grab a cup of tea. Snuggle up on the couch. Get ready for some strange doormaker magic.

You’re in for a treat.

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