Today I'm pleased to be part of the Ken Lindsey River Runes blog tour as part of the Reading Addiction Blog Tour Team.
Today, I'm going to be offering a giveaway and sharing an excerpt of the novel.
But first, I'd like to tell you a little bit more about the author and the book.
Here's the author's bio:
I have been writing for as long as I can remember, and will continue to write until there are no white pages left for me. I write for myself, it's a release-a breath, and I write for my children. I want them to know that there are other worlds out there, worlds with real heroes, and worlds made up of whatever colors they can imagine. My Big Girl, my Princess, my Baby Girl, and my Baby Boy- they make my world so much bigger.
Recently I published the 2nd edition of my first novel, The River Runes, with a new cover and quite a few edits that I am very excited about.
I have also started working on my second, Clockwork Charlie. It's a new venture for me, and I'm stepping out of my comfort zone on this one.
In the times between, I write short stories, and even dabble in some poetry. If there's anything else you'd like to know, feel free to ask.
Ken can be reached at his blog or through his twitter account. His book can be bought through Amazon, Createspace, or through Smashwords.
And now for the synopsis:
And then an exotic stranger named Bixby finds his way to Third Chapel. The faerie is curious about the people that inhabit Caithiir, the great city that stands so close to the woods, and Mother is not around to stop him from finding out what he can.
Mother, however, has been awakened in Bixby's absence only to find that one of her own has openly defied her. Jonathan and his Master are determined to protect Bixby, but the cost may be more than they can afford to lose.
And now for your chance to win a copy of this book.
And now here's an excerpt for those who are interested:
It was an odd collection, Bixby thought, looking at the remains of the human bodies that lay on the ground near his tree. There were four in all, each a bit older than the last. Each was giving up the remnants of life more quickly than its neighbor. The air stunk with the scent of them, and it was hard indeed to stop the other predators from inviting themselves to a feast.
While he looked on, Bixby understood why most faerie thought so little of the humans. It disappointed him to see how their fragile bodies broke under the attack of his magic. Before he took the first, Bixby readied himself for a fight, expecting the humans to be aggressive and powerful.
However, the man had no fight in him. Once the faerie took the hunter’s vision, he fell to his knees in fear, crying out for help. When Bixby came close enough to touch, the man wrapped his arms around Bixby’s legs and begged for mercy.
The faerie had been so frustrated that instead of choking the life out of the man, as he had intended when he wrapped his long white fingers around the human’s fleshy throat, he broke his neck and tore most of the flesh on one side.
Bixby grimaced, remembering the awful noise the man’s bones made that day. Not awful for the sound, but for the ease of it. Awful because Bixby expected more from them. He expected these humans' bodies, thick and assuming as they were, to be strong. It disgusted him to see how they just rotted away, not turning to ash, or stone, or water… just rotting. And stinking.
And that’s just what they did. The bodies were far too large for him to consume on his own, though every time he tried, a rush of memories and life hit him as nothing ever had. For days after collecting each body, Bixby gained unimaginable energy and the memories of a short life, filled to the brim with activities and emotions. The humans were physically weak, but mentally strong, and passion drove every aspect of their lives.
They were weak, though. Not only did they die when their fragile bodies gave up to time, they were also susceptible to illness and disease carried by the air, or even carried by another human.
Bixby hadn’t given up hope, though. He used those corpses to learn what he could about the humans, and then it was on to the city. He needed to go to the magicians. Yes, the magicians were the key. He needed the human magic to convince the others, not their bodies.
Anticipation built for days while she planned her excursion from the woods. The Nedari warned incessantly against fraternizing with the humans, fickle and self-absorbed as they were. And while the other young ones were all too able to put aside their curiosity, hers was of a far more insatiable type.
The morning sun covered her like a blanket once she stepped out from beneath the protection of the trees. A gentle breeze tickled her bare skin, sending chills throughout her body and making her excitement palpable.
With wonder, she stared out at the home these nomads had created for themselves. For countless days she watched them build their tiny houses, and fight to grow the crops that kept them alive. Day after day they toiled in the sun, their sweat and blood staining the earth, marking it for their own. The humans were beautiful in their own way, and more intriguing to her than anything else had ever been. She would not be put off again... She would not let the prejudice of others keep her from finding out all that she wanted to know.
With a deep breath, she took one last look into the woods that had always been her home. Though she knew they were full of life, they felt empty to her on that day. She took her first steps away from them.------
The scent of the cool morning air made her realize that she was awakening; the unwelcome smell of disturbed earth and trouble. She could feel the morning’s dew flecked along the still shadowed parts of her body. The evening’s chill had not yet worn off. So long she had slumbered, while her kingdom remained silent and safe. Why was she to be awakened now?
Only months after she had been found wandering, naked and looking on the brink of starvation, she was part of the human community. She found a home with an old farming couple, who had provided her with clothing and food. They praised her arrival since they could have no children of their own.
She enjoyed being near the humans, for they celebrated so many things, though they were always surrounded by sickness and death. Not long after welcoming her into their home, the couple found that their crops grew faster and fatter than those of their neighbors. They soon flourished and found themselves wealthy.
Men of all ages came to her door, asking for the chance to woo her, bringing gifts of trinkets and cattle to her benefactors. Afraid of being found out, she shied from most of them, until one evening a unique young farmer turned up.
Like most of the others, he was dressed in his best clothes, and wearing a hopeful smile. Unlike the others, however, he brought no gifts for the old couple, only a small blue flower for her. She agreed to go with him, and they walked, hand in hand, until the sun was set.
Within a week, the young farmer proposed marriage, and she accepted. She didn't understand what he meant when he spoke of love, but she enjoyed his touch and the kisses he said were only for her.------
Without yet seeing, she began to move, to release herself from within the old tree that had held her for so long. She had hoped to never waken, but to become part of the tree’s soul, like her ancestors before her. She had hoped the silence would linger in her woods long enough for a new Dori to be crowned. Long enough for her to be forgotten.
Her body was reformed within the old tree, and the Dori began to notice her senses coming back to her. She could feel the tingling warmth of her flesh, sown and seared over her consciousness. It was pain and ecstasy, hot and cold all at once as her body was bound to her, readying her to be born again into an unwilling existence.
Suddenly, the world around began chattering and wheezing. Again, her physical ears began to hear. Birds sang and nestled on the branches that would no longer be hers. Rodents and insects scurried along the earth below her and the wind moved throughout her woods, brushing the leaves and branches that she could now hear but no longer feel.
She was overcome with sadness, realizing the process was nearly finished. A process she had gone through thousands of times before, but hoped to never experience again.------
Soon after their wedding, the young couple conceived a child. He was born in the spring, and his father named him Barnabus; which he said was a family name.
From the day the child was born, she found herself lost in a new type of Magic, finally understanding what her husband meant when he said he loved her. They raised the boy together, on the shared land they had received from his parents and the old farming couple that had taken her in.
For a time they flourished, happy as any family had ever been, until the boy showed himself to be... unusual.------
Soon the stinging cool of the morning air covered her feet and she was slowly birthed from the tree. Within seconds she felt both breeze and sunlight washing over her as her toes moved about in the earth. Red light played at the edge of her vision, and she tried desperately to stretch back into the ground beneath her, unwilling to yet open her eyes.
Yes, they had called her. It hadn’t been imagination that woke her. She stretched her arms and stood high on her toes, feeling the muscles throughout this body tense and pulse beneath her soft, pale skin. The light danced around her, reflecting from her beautiful hair and eyes, playing along the curves and shallows of her perfect body, which could never be ravaged by time or illness.
With her hands and feet bound, she was forced to watch her husband be hung from the gallows. For the first time since she left the woods, she remembered the Nedari's warnings against the humans. Men, women, and children looked on with a sickening curiosity as the rope pulled tight around his neck... Many cheered at the sound of his frail, human spine giving way.
She was dragged to the edge of the woods by a man on a horse, her flesh was torn against the earth, but that pain was nothing compared to the pain she felt, knowing that her son rode along beside her.
“They let you live because I asked them to,” he said as they cut her bindings. “Goodbye, Mother.”------
She drew in a deep breath, relishing the feeling of the cool air making its way into her mouth and nose, along her throat, and finally into her lungs. Breathing was the only thing these frail bodies could do that felt anything like being within her tree.
They knew. She had returned to them after such a long absence and the collective knowledge was spreading. Her body began to warm, she felt her heart pound beneath her chest, forcing blood through the rest of her limbs and organs. She breathed deeply again.
She opened her eyes. Everything was yellow and red. White circles and jagged sparks popped in and out of view as her eyes tried to adjust to the light they had so long been without. She stood still, and slowly the light divided itself from the shadow.
Leaves rustled all around her as her children similarly came out from their own sleeping places. They were all waking from their own rest to see her, greet her, and bathe in her very presence. Something had disturbed them, and therefore disturbed her.
One by one they came, kneeling at her feet, acknowledging her dominion over them. She was Mother and she protected them. She would find what had disturbed her children, made them frightened, and she would unleash her power.
She looked down on them, kneeling, and allowed a smile to curve her lips. “Yes, my children, I am here, your Dori has returned to you.”------