Good morning. As always, I want to than Sandra Bunino for making it possible to share with you this morning. I’ve just returned from an incredible Alaskan cruise vacation, and you can read about it here on my blog where I’m sharing images such as this approach to the Hubbard Glacier. One of the activities I took part in on the cruise was a float plane ride out of Ketchican–the same ride as the one in which 9 people died exactly one week later. Needless to say, hearing about that when I was raving about having done the same thing was sobering and has made me realize how short life can be and how quickly it can change from happy to disastrous. That also has me thinking that I shouldn’t put things off.
This is an excerpt from the first book I wrote, a fantasy paranormal, tentatively entitled, Time and Again. It was originally written as a course assignment for a writing class I took in the early 1990’s. It’s a YA story, and while I got an A in the course, and those beta readers who read it all loved it, it’s been languishing in my “to be edited file” for several years. Since I’ve noticed a resurgence of novels in this genre, I’ve decided now is the time to take a second look at it. Will I find a publisher for it? Unknown since it’s a multi point of view novel with some romance, some suspense, angels, demons and all kinds of imaginary creatures. I may bite the bullet and indie publish it myself. It can’t hurt, right?
The premise is simple enough. After the battle for control of Heaven, God banished Lucifer and his followers to Hell. A group of angel;s realized the fallen one wouldn’t stay submissive for long, and volunteered to go to Earth to protect God’s creatures there, the human race. Leaving Heaven took their immortality from them, but each species of angel adapted to the situation. To the humans, they were the Fae creatures of legends–the pixies, gnomes, and other wee folk. They live among us in a fold in reality where they watch and wait. Their power is controlled by a changeling, one born of angel and man who can control pure magic, and keep the balance between good and evil on Earth. Sadly, the powers of evil have gotten stronger over the years, and several years ago, the angels suffered a defeat that took the changeling from them. Now, the time has come for the new changeling to assume her powers, but the evil one seems to be one step ahead of the angels again.
Here is your tease from the Prologue.
The feeble winter sun fought to force its rays through tiny gaps in the deep gray cloud cover. Despite the rawness of the March day, tourists milled around the Avebury Circle, the oldest Neolithic monument in England, predating Stonehenge itself. They meandered along the avenues of parallel boulders, stared at the immense standing stones set in a circle, continued along the circular earthwork, and explored the barrows, mounds of earth over long forgotten graves.
At first glance, the man in the Yankees’ ball cap and the woman in the olive jacket looked like any other visitors stopping by to admire the ancient monoliths, but on closer inspection, something about them seemed out of place, and demanded a second look. It wasn’t that they were peculiar in any specific way, it was just that they didn’t quite fit the typical tourist mode. Neither of them carried a camera or a tourist information pamphlet, and they walked along absorbed in one another rather than in the majesty of the stones surrounding them. The woman, an ageless beauty with regal elegance, seemed to glide gracefully along the pathway, while the old man trudged beside her as if he carried the weight of the world on his shoulders.
“I have missed you, husband, but for you to call me into this world during the month when Satan’s followers are at their strongest, something terrible must have happened to the changeling.” she said.
With her free hand, she pushed back the lock of platinum hair, which grew on the right side of her head, the sign of her power, and the only tress of its color in her ebony mane. The movement betrayed her agitation more clearly than any other action could have.
“Six months ago, you reported to the Celestial Council that everything was under control, and that we would have at least five years to ensure her proper training; now, you say that she’s got to come home immediately. What’s caused this sudden change of heart? Don’t try to soften the blow, Garth.”
The man shook his grizzled mane, removed a handkerchief from his pocket, and mopped his brow with an amazingly firm hand. Despite the coldness of the day, he perspired profusely.
“I have been in this form for so long, I can’t control my body temperature. As soon as I can, I need to return to Sanctuary, if only for a few days.”
“You’re prevaricating and stalling. You called me here; I want an answer how. What’s gone wrong?”
“They’ve found her, Lorna,” he answered his voice low, his tone remorseful.
She gasped. “By the Maker, how is that possible?”
He shook his head. “I wouldn’t have believed it myself, but I saw it with my own eyes. The malakim sent to France to watch over her human parents is dead. He was brutally tortured by an asmodean three nights ago, and a residual reading of the remains showed he gave them vital information before he died. I had no idea that he knew as much as he did, but I should have guessed. I thought we’d have time to bring her here and begin her training before anything happened to her, but I was wrong.” He ran his fingers through his hair trying to cool himself and hide his frustration.
“We have dispatched others to watch the parents, but she must return to the estate, if not to Sanctuary, as soon as possible.” He hung his head, a rare sign of defeat in an archangel of his magnitude. “He is stronger than ever; he can block his mind from me. I can’t reach him anymore.”
“What aren’t you telling me, Garth? Don’t make me pull it from your mind. The way I feel at the moment would make it a painful, public display and draw unnecessary attention to us.”
Garth flushed, cleared his throat, and looked at her. She was more than capable of carrying out the threat, and having been on the receiving end of an angry seraphim’s reading, he had no desire to repeat the process.
“We have just received a message from her principita guardian. There has been an accident; the princess’ three companions, the young angels we sent to watch over her, have been killed in a car accident, and she’s in the hospital awaiting some sort of exploratory surgery.”
Lorna hissed, her face taking on cat-like features in her distress. “By the Maker, how is that possible?”
Now, don’t forget to check out the other teasers for this week.