Happy Humpday! To celebrate the mid-week marker, I have the absolute pleasure of introducing one of my writer buds, Terri Rochenski, whose fantasy series, Pool of Souls, just kicked off this past Monday with the release of Eye of the Soul!
This baby is next up on my Kindle. Over the last couple of months, I managed to catch little snippets here and there, and I am hooked ... hooked, I tell you! So I'm very much looking forward to grabbing something warm to drink, curling up in a blanket and immersing myself in this world.
Now on to the deets so you can do the same! AND BE SURE TO CHECK OUT THE AWESOME GIVEAWAY!
Series: Pool of Souls #1
Publisher: J. Taylor Publishing
Release Date: October 7, 2013
ADD IT TO YOUR GOODREADS SHELF!
That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.
Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.
Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.
CHARACTER GUEST POST
While the world may not be massive in size, the one I live in is quite small and sheltered. Born a Native-blooded Derlunder, my 18th birth passings have been spent upon the island of Taran, just off Derlund’s southeastern shore.
The only times humans visit our secluded land is when they’re sick or dying and in need of our gifted healers. Yes, they have simplers and healers of their own kind, but my people have a special understanding of herbs and how they can heal. I’ve been an apprentice for my last three birth passings learning from many of our elders, but mostly from our sect leader and my guardian, Soroca.
She has never been especially fond of me, but not knowing who my mother was or where she had hailed from before arriving on Taran to deliver me, I have no other place to go.
A handful of Natives still live upon the mainland among the humans, but I cannot fathom why they would choose to do so. The three times I’ve been ashore to collect wild herbs and roots from the Wolverwood, I have been met with nothing but prejudice and wary glances. We aren’t so very different. Shorter than humans, yes, but unless one notices the green hues of our eyes and our slightly pointed ears we could easily pass for their kind.
Our hearts beat the same. Our minds work as theirs do. The medicines which heal their bodies does the same for us.
So why are we disliked—distrusted by most?
If anything, the humans should be thankful we allowed them to live among us when volcanic eruptions and earthquakes tore their lands apart before the first age. We welcomed them with open arms, fed and clothed them, and healed the illness which threatened to wipe their race from our world.
The histories speak of many such things, but one issue never addressed is how the fertility of our people began to diminish with every human bloodline introduced into ours. No full-blooded Native remains, only a few score of beings still carry the blood which causes our appearances to be different. Of those few, none have conceived in over eight birth passings.
It seems our people will soon be gone from Derlund’s shores just as our Talents of old have disappeared. Well, almost disappeared. For some reason, I retain what has been lost. A curse of my forefathers, a secret one that I loathe. An involuntary one that keeps me even more secluded from those I dwell among.
I see within the eyes of souls.
Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.
“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”
Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.
“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”
She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.
Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.
“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.
The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.
Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.
The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.
Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.
Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.
The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”
Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.
A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.
“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.
“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.
A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.
Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.
Miri’s people huddled on the village green as fall’s pale sun crested the trees. Cold metal had been clasped around their necks and ankles. Many trembled in the cool air, little more than night clothes covering their nakedness. Miri held to her braid with a white-knuckled grip, her head and its egg-sized bump throbbing in time with her pulse.
A handful of other battered Natives who had attempted flight were the last to join them, the soldiers tossing them forward like sacks of potatoes.
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ABOUT THE AUTHOR ...
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand
AND NOW ... IT'S GIVEAWAY TIME!!
TWO winners will be chosen to win a signed paperback, notebook, pen and signed bookmark!! All you have to do is enter the Rafflecopter form below:
Be sure to follow Terri's blog tour for fun posts and information about the book!