Sunday, February 15, 2015

"Born to Magic" by David Wind

Born to Magic
(Tales of Nevaeh Volume I)
by David Wind

Born to Magic, the first book in David Wind's new Tales of Nevaeh series, has just been released. The author joins me today to share an excerpt. You can also enter the giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of Born to Magic.

Welcome to Nevaeh - a world where technology no longer exists, but magic does.
Long ago, the violence and radiation of the terrorist wars killed America. Those left dwell in a world of ritual and magic where ten dominions struggle for supremacy and a dark power rises to claim all.
Areenna, the only daughter of the King of Freemorn, is barely eighteen, yet her psychic ability is strong. She is summoned to "The Island" and learns that the fate of her world is in her hands. She must undertake a perilous journey to save Nevaeh from destruction. But she will not travel alone.
Mikaal, the son of the High King of Nevaeh, has as much at stake as Areenna. Their quest takes them through haunted wastelands filled with mutants while an evil force does everything in its power to stop Areenna and Mikaal - for it wants Nevaeh as its own.

Chapter 1
Nevaeh: the Fifth Millennium
Despite the heat of the summer sun, the deep forest was cool.  From a distance, the crackle of a branch stepped upon by a large animal drifted to her.  The breeze rustling through the tree leaves cooled the sweat beading young Areenna’s brows.  She was on the last day of the traditional cleansing period before her fourteenth birthday.  She had spent the time wandering the forests, adjusting to the changes within her body and her mind—changes that had begun weeks before with her first flow of blood, and had increased a hundredfold in the past days.
Her mother had explained—not for the first time—how the final five days leading to her return home would be among the most important days of her life.  During these days, she would find her aoutem, her object of guidance.  For some it was a bird, for others an animal.  Her mother’s aoutem was a gorlon, a four-legged huntress of incredible strength.  “Remember,” Her mother had said in parting, “be vigilant, always, for you do not choose an aoutem, it chooses you.”
There would also be changes in her body, her mother had warned.  In their maternal line, it would most likely be a darkening of her skin from its almond shade to a deeper pale brown hue.  Conversely, her mother had added, there could also be a lightening of her dark blonde hair.
In the branches high above her, she sensed something watching.  Looking up, she spotted an unusually large treygone guarding its nest.  The silver feathered male bird, lethal to any animal unfortunate enough to weigh less than its own twenty pounds, stood guard over two hatchlings. 
Areenna sensed the treygone knew she posed no threat, yet it watched her closely.
Areenna smiled at it and started forward.  The lands she was upon belonged to her family.  Few people came to this area, which bordered the outlands of the Blue Desert, a place where hideaways and outcasts lived.  The people who inhabited the desert were not those one wanted to meet—thieves, murderers, runaways and other criminals were the mainstay of the Blue Desert’s population—yet her father had made a truce with them years before.  It was a strange truce, but one which still held.
Before Areenna could take her second step, a shock tore through her head.  She stumbled and fell to her knees.  She clutched at her head, fighting off the lance of pain that burned into her.  A scream built in her throat, but died, unable to pass her lips while she stared helplessly at the giant treygone falling from its high perch to the forest floor.
A bolt had pierced its body and driven into one of the two hatchlings.  How is this possible?  Hunting was not permitted on this portion of the lands.  Not a hunter…a poacher.
From above and behind came a scream unlike any she had ever heard.  She looked up at the sapphire sky from where the sound had come.  Between two tall trees, a magnificent cinnamon and black female treygone appeared, its triangular head pointed at a spot twenty paces from where Areenna knelt.  It was the mate of the treygone just killed, the mother of the hatchlings, and the hunter of the family, and its rage tore through her mind like a brand.
Turning in the direction the bird arrowed, she spotted the poacher sitting in the joint of two large braches, his crossbow already set with a new bolt.  He was looking up at the charging treygone, its wingspan nearly blocking the sun.  In that instant, Areenna acted without thought. 
Raising her hands toward the hunter, she allowed her pain at the male’s death to create a storm within her.  An explosion of heat spread through her and her hand glowed white.  As she was about to let free, the weapon her mother had trained her to use, a command within her mind stopped her.
The sensation lasted but an instant, yet it was time enough for the hunter to release his bolt, and for the bird to strike the hunter.  A second blast of pain tore through Areenna’s heart and head when the two met.  The hunter shrieked as the bird hit him and buried its talons into the unarmored flesh of his face.  Locked together, they fell the thirty feet to the ground. 
They lay still at the base of the tree.  Areenna saw from the angle of the poacher’s neck that it had been broken in the fall.  The treygone’s breast had been pierced by the bolt.  Its gasps for breath were forced.
Areenna fought to rid her mind of the pain she knew was coming from the huge bird.  She staggered over to them and scooped the treygone to her.  Despite its weight, she held it gently, looking to see if there was a way to remove the bolt and save its life.
While she struggled to find a way to save it, the treygone looked at her.  Its eyes, black circles buried within cinnamon feathers, stared up at her.  Again, something tugged inside her mind, and she knew it was the treygone.
She was not surprised by this, even though it had never happened to her before.  For years, she had listened to the stories of people who had become paired with treygones.  Then she remembered her mother’s parting words to be watchful when she had started this becoming walk. 
 Sadness for the treygone weighed heavily on her. The bird had prevented her from using her powers to stop the hunter from shooting it, but she knew why.  Treygones mated for life.  When one mate died, the other found a means to follow its mate.  Today was no different.
But the hatchling…what about the baby?
The answer came as a gentle tug in her mind, not the forceful scream of moments before.  She shook her head, trying to understand how this was happening when the bird’s chest gave a final rise and fall, its large head falling backward.
Areenna walked to a small clearing where she scooped out a grave and placed the mother within.  She returned for the male and the hatchling, brought them to the open grave, and laid them next to the female.  She filled the grave with loose earth and used a star shaped stone she’d uncovered in her digging to mark the grave.  When she finished, she climbed the tree to the nest. 
Carefully scooping up the remaining hatchling, she cradled it to her chest and returned to the ground.  She held the cinnamon, black and silver hatchling against her for warmth and started homeward, leaving the poacher to his reward…dinner for the scavengers.
Why was this happening on the day before her fourteenth birthday?  Areenna wondered while she hummed a soothing melody to the hatchling.
“There is no choice.”  Cupping the sides of his head, the High King of Nevaeh held himself as if trying to ease a headache of astonishing proportions.
“There is always a choice.”  The High Queens’s voice was as soothing as was the hand stroking his back.  While smaller than most men of Nevaeh, the king was broad across the chest and shoulders, narrow at the hips with powerful legs and arms.  Yet none would have pictured him a king for his size combined with the delivery of his words served to make him appear slow-witted.  He, however, was far from slow-witted. He considered every word he spoke carefully before allowing it to pass his lips. 
His special combination of strength and intelligence had allowed him to defeat the sorceresses controlled and led by the Masters of the Circle of Afzal—the leaders of the shadowy empire across the sea.  These witches had held Nevaeh in virtual slavery, using the fighting between the ten dominions to keep their Dark Masters’ strength high—for they fed not upon earthly food, but by keeping the rulers of Nevaeh at each other’s throats, living and growing in the power created by the dark energies born from the fighting. 
By defeating the Afzaleem, he became the first person to unite the dominions of Nevaeh under a single rule while at the same time denying the Circle their Nevaen puppets. 
The king lifted his head to look into the gray eyes of his mate. “There is no choice,” he repeated.  “We must keep the trust and willingness of all rulers to allow themselves and their families to be led rather than forced.”
“There are still those who resist what we do to help them,” she said.
“No, it is because those few have no faith in me,” he whispered.  While his words were simple, they were true. 
“Perhaps…Yet I know there will be one who comes to your aid, when the time is right,” she whispered. “I have foreseen it in my dreams, My Lord. You have changed much since you became high king and you ask the people to do the same.  And remember, what follows this change is what you seek to guide, not the change itself.  The rest will take more time than you and I have, which is why you must wait for the right person.”
“How long is the wait?  We both know the situation grows dire.  The lords of the ten will start feuding again as the remnants of the Circle try to rise.  The Afzaleem are all but dead.  But we know the Circle will find new vassals to fill with darkness…if they have not done so already.  Soon there will begin fighting.  The people will be easily swayed should the dark power find a way to regain a foothold…and such can only happen when dominion fights dominion.  They almost won, and they will try again—they will never stop.  How long must the wait be?” he repeated, not seeking an answer but putting forth the question to the very air itself.  “Days?  Weeks?  Years?”
In from the window floated the voice of their sixteen year old son, Mikaal, as he trained for combat in the courtyard below.  “This person will come.  It will not be…overly long, my husband, my…Lord.  It will happen—perhaps not in the way you think it should, but it will come about the way it must.”

Praise for the Book
"A dystopic fantasy with a feminist twist! [...] David Wind has penned a classic fantasy quest and a fabulous first installment in what promises to be an epic series." ~ Lisa Higgins on Goodreads
"Enchanting and simply irresistible! This book has astounded me. For one, this genre is not my cup of tea. Although I love science fiction, I’m not a big fan of fantastical worlds, especially when a medieval type of life is involved. Yet, this book has been a delightful surprise for me. [...] David Wind has created a world that expresses magic in every way; not just with the sparks and orbs of light that are expelled into the air with every wave and flick of the youngsters’ hands, but also with the suitably old-fashioned dialogue and the masterfully described scenes of the magnificent landscape. This amazing future world is simply irresistible and as I read on, I felt suitably mesmerized by it. I’ve had the best 'mind trip' of my life in years with this book. A true gem of its genre. Well done, David Wind! I’m already looking forward to the next book in the Tales of Navaeh series as to see what else this highly imaginative author has in store for the reader. Don’t miss out. If you love fantasy, trust me, you want to read this book!" ~ Effrosyni Moschoudi on Goodreads
"A very original story, very detailed and well written. Each character has their own qualities, some are likable while others are not. There is suspense, adventure and magic. All the qualities of a great fantasy." ~ Sheri on Goodreads
"David Wind's Born to Magic showcases a master storyteller's ability to create a world and breathe life into it with compelling complex characters. He's written an epic fantasy built around an original mythology and shows he knows how to paint a visual spectacle with amazing action sequences and memorable set pieces. Most importantly, Born to Magic is about something greater than a quest, not only exploring the nature of men and women and their reliance on one another, but examining the very foundation of society and the paths of both ruin and hope available to humanity." ~ Jeff Gunhus on Goodreads
"This was a wonderful futuristic dystopian novel that faces serious issues from our time while empowering young women. [...] I can boot wait to learn when book two is out. David was a new author to me but he's earned a pair of fans in my teen and I." ~ Shannan on Goodreads

From the Author
When my first novel was published in 1981, I had no idea where I was headed. Since then, I've published thirty-six novels, thirty-three of them with traditional publishers, but in 2007, I decided I wanted more freedom than the traditional publishers would allow and began a new phase in my life as an Independent Author.
I live and write in a small village about thirty miles upstate of NYC, and share my house with my wife, Bonnie and our dog Alfie, an apricot poodle. Our three children have ventured out into the world on their own (or so they think). Our son Zach works on the CBS show 48 Hours. Our daughter Devon, her husband Russell and my grandson Sawyer live in New Jersey where Devon teaches Special Education. Alana, our youngest daughter, is a Pastry Chef in San Francisco.
In 2008, I published Angels In Mourning, my 'homage' to the old time private detective books of the 50's and the 60's. I used to love to sneak them from my parents’ night-tables and read them as a young boy. Angels, is a modern day take on the old style hardboiled detective. In April of that year, Angels In Mourning won the Book of the Month Reader's Choice Award.
My Medieval Fantasy, Queen Of Knights, reached #2 on the bestseller lists for historical fantasy and medieval fantasy, and my sci-fi of parallel worlds, The Others, received wide acclaim.
I am currently working on the third volume of the Tales of Nevaeh. Volume II will be out in the late spring.
My novels have been translated into 11 languages and published in 15 countries.

Enter our exclusive giveaway for a chance to win a $10 Amazon gift card or an ebook copy of Born to Magic by David Wind.