About the Book
It is the year 1892 and Ian and Callie Castillo have had to suffer the hardships of a single parent family since their father went missing five years ago. Since then Ian has refused to use the last gift that his father left the wounded boy; a telescope that sits collecting dust in the attic.
When Callie decides to peer through its murky lens it activates the device and sends the Castillos to the steam-powered floating cities of Jupiter to rescue their father and save the Jovians before the Martians launch their attack.
What follows is the beginning of an era that will forever be known by its strange name…Steampunk!
Let freedom rise and evil fall.
May light that shines uncover all.
Though storms may rage in colored skies,
I will not fear, my King is nigh.
…The Book of Jupiter
Chapter One: The Telescope
“You know you want to,” Callie teased.
Her brother, Ian, ignored her as he put together the toy gun he had taken apart. Disassembling his toys was his way of avoiding things he didn’t want to talk about. Callie, however, was persistent and would not stop pestering him until she had convinced him to see things her way.
“That telescope is truly amazing. Just because you’re still mad at Dad doesn’t mean you can’t use it.”
“You want to use it, go ahead,” Ian replied. “You’re the one who wants to so bad, anyway.”
Callie opened up her journal and spoke out loud as she wrote.
My brother loves misery. He is hopeless. I think he’s a toad.
A voice came from behind.
“Don’t you think that’s a little harsh, Callie?”
Nine-year-old Callie and twelve-year-old Ian Castillo didn’t hear their mom coming into Ian’s room. Callie gasped as she turned around, while Ian kept working on his project.
“Are you hungry?” she asked.
“No,” Ian replied, sadly.
Camilla walked over to Ian and brushed his hair away from his face.
“I’m sick of beans and rice,” he added.
Camilla’s shoulders sagged.
“It’s all there is,” she said as she looked down.
Callie pulled out her journal and once again spoke out loud as she wrote.
My brother hates beans and rice. I’ll go catch some flies for him. He might like that.
“Stop it!” he screamed, slamming his toy gun down on the table.
Camilla quickly moved between them.
“That’s enough, you two.”
She turned towards Ian and knelt down in front of him. As she did, Ian asked, “He’s not coming is he?” Camilla stroked his face gently.
“Sweetheart, it’s been five years. I don’t think your father is coming.” She gently lifted his chin. “Let’s not spoil your birthday tomorrow, OK? I’ve already invited some of your friends. It’ll be nice and simple, but we will most certainly have fun.”
Ian could remember clear as a bell the last time he and his father, Peter, had climbed up on the rooftop to gaze at the stars. Ian was very scared of heights. He always climbed up first while Peter followed close behind. It had rained on that day, so the ladder was wet.
“Be careful, Ian,” Peter had said with a strong voice.
Ian climbed slowly and gripped the ladder tighter with each step.
“I’m fine, Dad.” But, just as he had said that, Ian slipped. He could feel the cool wind on his neck as he fell backwards.
A strong hand lifted him up by the collar.
“I’ve got you, son,” Peter said. He pulled Ian up, so that he could grab the ladder and finish his climb. Ian was then able to reach the top and that’s when he saw it.
“It’s a telescope!” Ian shouted.
“That’s right,” Peter said. “Happy birthday, son.”
Peter showed Ian how to use the telescope. They searched for stars and planets and called them out by name. He pointed the telescope to one in particular.
“Is that the one with the red spot on it?” Ian asked.
“Yes it is, Ian.”
“What is that big, red spot?”
“Some say it’s like a hurricane or close to it.”
“Wow,” Ian exclaimed. “It’s really big.”
“Yes it is. You can actually fit 100 planets the size of Earth inside of it.”
“Wow,” Ian gasped, as he shivered in the cold night. Peter picked up the blanket and wrapped it around his son to keep him warm.
They stayed up late that night looking for other stars and planets and Ian wondered aloud how many of them there were.
“More than the grains of sand on a beach,” Peter had answered.
That was the last time he used his telescope. The next morning, on Ian’s birthday, the kids woke up to the sound of their mother crying. She was explaining to the police that she had no idea what had happened to Peter, but that he would not have missed Ian’s birthday for anything in this world. After Peter disappeared, Camilla had to sell their horse and carriage for food money and tried to provide as best she could. She worked long hours for Mr. Furlong’s Bakery on 40th Street, right around the corner of the famous inventor, Mr. Nikola Tesla.
About the Author
Leonardo Ramirez is a husband, a father, a Karate instructor with a 3rd degree black belt, and a writer. His Children’s Steampunk book called The Jupiter Chronicles: The Secret of the Great Red Spot, follows the adventure of two children as they are transported to the steam-powered cities of Jupiter, find their long-lost father, stop an attack from Mars, and witness the birth of Steampunk. There is a common thread throughout the books which stems from the author’s healing from divorce and longing for the love of a father.
My heart and motive have always been for people who are hurting. These can be kids who have had to suffer through child abuse or neglect or an absent parent which can be equally torturous as was the case in The Jupiter Chronicles. It can also be young girls who have suffered an assault like Haven did in Haven of Dante. Young or old it doesn’t matter. Those are the kids and adults I want to speak to because I’ve been there.
It’s not just Science Fiction.
It’s Science Fiction for the Human Condition.
Visit his website/blog
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