Wyoming Bones Book 5

Wyoming Bones holding the Founder's Blade
Wyoming Bones and the Founder’s Blade. Kind of.

Update on the next book

It’s only been a couple of weeks since the release of Wyoming Bones and the Nether Journey, and already people are asking when the next book is coming out. That is a great problem for an author to have! It means people liked the book.

So here’s an update on the next book, Wyoming Bones Book 5, Wyoming Bones and the Founder’s Blade. I finished the first draft of the book about a week ago, and I’ve sent it off to my Beta Readers to give me feedback before I get started on editing. (In the meantime, I’ve already gotten started on writing book 6!) I don’t have a publish date yet, or even a cover to reveal, but I am really excited about this one. It might be my favorite one yet.

Its also the longest by far. So far my books have clocked in between 28 and 35 thousand words, which makes them pretty quick reads. Book 5 is currently sitting at just about 45 thousand words. Still a quick read, but the story required a bit more room. That might change with editing, but its going to be hard to cut 10 thousand words!

Wyoming Bones and the Founder’s Blade

Wyoming and his crew are fresh off their adventure in the Nether and are excited to get back to their regular jobs. In particular, Wyoming has missed teaching history at the school after being gone for several weeks. But why is everyone acting like he’s been there the entire time? And why is he being accused of stealing the Founder’s Blade? The police have a photo of Wyoming at the scene of the crime, holding the missing Blade, but there is only one problem: He wasn’t even in the city at the time.

Wyoming and his friends will need to solve puzzles, defeat monsters, and find the imposter who really stole the Blade if they are going to clear Wyoming’s name, all while running from the police. And they’ll need to do it fast, because the Blade is a key to a deeper mystery. One that could destroy all of New Block City.

Sneak Peak: Chapter 1 of Wyoming Bones Book 5

Wyoming Bones, archeologist and treasure hunter, stepped boldly into what is, for many, the scariest place in the world: School. 

He took in a deep breath, enjoying the familiar smell of brick walls, scratchy carpet, and well-read books. The morning light streamed through the stained glass window set high in the wall of the large foyer of the building. The window depicted the founder of the school, Sir Humbolt Reed, holding a diamond blade in one hand and a book in the other. Wyoming smiled—Sir Reed was one of his childhood heroes, and seeing that window made him remember why he had become an adventurer in the first place. It had been far too long since he had been to his regular job as a history teacher, and he’d missed it greatly.

Today was going to be a great day. He could already tell. His first class was starting in just a few minutes, but he had plenty of time to make it there. There wasn’t any need to hurry. Students filled the halls, heading to their different rooms, but they made way for him as he strolled down the hallway. 

Up ahead, Elaina, the potions teacher, stood outside her office, chatting with another instructor. He hadn’t seen his old friend in weeks, but he’d picked up some potion ingredients for her on his adventures, like he usually tried to do. This time, he had a half stack of nether wart in his bag and he hurried forward to give it to her.

Elaina looked up, saw him coming, and her eyes went wide. With a small gasp, she turned and darted into her office, slamming the door so fast that her long brown hair almost got trapped. The woman she had been talking to looked at Wyoming and let out a loud sniff.

“You have some nerve, coming to see Elaina, after what you did!” Cynthia glared at him.

“What I did?” Wyoming raised his eyebrows, confused.

“Yes! What you did! If you didn’t want to go to the dance with her, you should have just said so. You didn’t even show up!” With that, Cynthia whirled away and went into her own office near Elaina’s.

“Dance?” Wyoming was even more confused now. “But I haven’t even been in town—“ He shook his head, realizing he was talking to a closed door. The whole thing must be a misunderstanding. He couldn’t have asked Elaina to a dance—he’d spent the last two weeks trapped in the Nether. Shaking his head, he tried to put the strange event out of his mind. 

A group of young girls were looking at him as he turned towards his class, and they laughed when they saw him glance their way. He thought that was a bit odd, but didn’t let it bother him. It was still going to be a great day!

Suddenly, a big hand slapped him on the back with a meaty thwack, and he stumbled forward. At the same time, a loud voice said, “Wyoming! Thanks for promising to help coach the game tomorrow!”

Wyoming caught his balance and turned to see Coach Jackson standing beside him. The large man had a grin on his face, like he normally did. Wyoming had only spoken to the other teacher a few times in the past and didn’t know him well. What he did know was that he loved Mine-Ball, and he had no volume control of his voice. Whether you were one block away or a hundred, the man shouted everything he said.

“Coach the game? Tomorrow?” Wyoming asked, trying to figure out what Coach Jackson meant. He knew they had a Mine-Ball team, but he didn’t know the rules or how to play it. He never would have volunteered to help coach it!

“Exactly!” Coach Jackson shouted happily. “Game starts at noon! I’ll see you then!” 

Wyoming opened his mouth to explain that there was a mistake, but before he could, Coach Jackson looked over Wyoming’s head and shouted, “Franks, Weber! Put those pickaxes back in the locker room right now!” Without looking at Wyoming, the large man stomped towards the two students. They were trying to hide pickaxes behind their backs, guilty expressions on their faces. “No pickaxes allowed in the halls, you know that!” 

Wyoming shook his head and started walking to class as Coach Jackson yelled at the students, who must be players on the school Mine-Ball team. Wyoming would need to talk to the coach after school to clear up the misunderstanding. There was a strict “no building or mining” rule in the school, and being caught with tools in the halls was a quick way to get into trouble. Not that they could hurt the school too much–Sir Humbolt had built it with sturdy stones, and it took forever to break a block here, even with diamond tools. Digging downward was even harder. Somehow, Sir Humbolt had built a layer of unbreakable bedrock blocks under the school. Of course, that didn’t stop students from trying. They just didn’t get very far.

Needless to say, they held the Mining class in specially designed, mining friendly building, outside the main, old building with its curiously sturdy floors.

Now, where had Coach Jackson gotten the idea that Wyoming would help coach a game of Mine-Ball? Wyoming didn’t even know how to play Mine-Ball! He made a note to talk to him after school, then put it at the back of his mind. Looking at the clock on the wall, he knew he didn’t have time to worry about it now or he’d be late for class.

He made it into his room with a minute to spare and walked up to the board. Picking up the chalk, he wrote, “Sir. Humbolt Reed: Life and History” across the board. Based on the class schedule he had planned out, that should be the topic for today. He was glad he’d made it back in time to teach it, instead of letting a substitute have all the fun.

The bell rang, and he turned around to look up at his class. The seats were set up like a theater, each row higher than the one ahead, so every student would have a good view of the blackboard at the front. It was a full room, and he smiled when he saw Leila, with Blurble on her shoulder, sitting in the top row, near a window. It looked like they had made it without any problems. During their last adventure together, Leila had asked if she could come watch a class, and he was more than happy to have her here.

Blurble, of course, had insisted on coming as well. Wyoming had some concerns about the little green slime being around so many priceless, edible books, but Leila had promised to keep it in line. 

“Okay, before we begin,” Wyoming said, smiling at the students in his class. “Does anyone have any questions?”

A boy in the middle of the room, with lots of freckles on his nose, raised his hand. When Wyoming pointed at him, the boy asked, “Why do you always wear your hat? Mom tells me to take off my hat when I’m at school.”

Wyoming’s eyes went wide. “I really like hats!” He blurted, his voice a little too loud, and then laughed nervously. He could see Leila, at the back of the room, bury her head in her hands, and he winced. He was terrible at lying, but he also really didn’t want to explain that the spell on the hat was the only thing that let him look human. What would his students think if they knew that, thanks to an annoying curse, he was actually a skeleton? 

No, Wyoming was brave, but there were some things even he was afraid to do.

He smoothed his face. “No, sorry, that’s not . . . I meant does anyone have questions about what we have been learning?” When no one raised their hand, he turned back to the board. “Good. Now, Sir. Humbolt Reed, the founder of New Block City, was born in. . .”

Wyoming got lost in the history lesson, enjoying explaining one of his favorite subjects. He explained about how Humbolt, then just a young man, had found the site for their city while looking for ruins, and how he had gathered friends to help him build it. It had taken years, but they had mined the stone, granite, clay, and wood they used to piece together New Block City, block by block. Eventually, others came to the city, and he had turned to exploration. 

“He founded this very school we are in, although at the time it focused on archeology and treasure hunting. Some people say that Sir Reed was the greatest treasure hunter the world has ever seen—”

“Excuse me, Dr. Bones?” A girl with brown pigtails raised her hand. Wyoming struggled to remember the girl’s name. Was it Mary? No! Maggie! He was pretty sure that was it, anyway.

“Yes, Maggie?” He sighed in relief when she smiled. He must have gotten the name right, after all.

“Well, it’s just that. . .” She paused and shifted in her seat as if nervous. “Yesterday, you told us that Sir Humbolt Reed was a fraud and a trickster. But now you are saying—.” 

“Wait, what did you say?” Wyoming cut her off. “Yesterday? I wasn’t here yesterday.”

There was a murmur in the class as all the students started talking at once.

“No, you’ve been here all week!”

“You told me I looked dumb on Tuesday!”

“I really like turtles!”

That last one came from Billy, but turtles were all Billy ever talked about, so Wyoming ignored him.

The voices blended together into a roar, and Wyoming looked around in confusion. Leila had a concerned expression on her face, and Blurble was bouncing up and down in the window, yelling “Blurble!” repeatedly. The slime probably didn’t know what was going on, but it liked to be included, anyway. 

Suddenly, the door banged open and everyone became quiet at once. Except for Blurble, who kept hopping and saying, “Blurble!” Leila picked it up and shushed it, putting it on her lap. Everything was silent for a few heartbeats, and then police officers stormed into the room. They all had swords or crossbows pointed at Wyoming.

Wyoming placed the chalk back down on the board and turned to face the police fully. “Good morning, officers.” He carefully did not pull out his sword. The last thing he wanted to do was fight them, especially in a classroom full of kids. “To what do I owe the pleasure of your visit this morning?”

The police said nothing. A moment later, a well dressed older man walked into the room. He held out a golden badge. “I am Inspector Maxwell.” He slapped the badge holder shut, then put it in his pocket. “And you, Dr. Bones, are under arrest for stealing the Founder’s Blade!”

Wyoming started to suspect that maybe, just maybe, the day would not be quite as good as he had hoped.

Elden Walseck

I am the author the Wyoming Bones series of adventure and treasure hunting books set in Minecraft for middle grade readers.

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