I am pleased to share that the EBook version of my debut novel, Darkness Rising, will be on sale (up to 67% off!) from July 29 to August 5 on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk marketplaces only. This is a great time to hop into a world of swords and fell sorcery, before the release of Prelude to Darkness next month!
Now, as promised earlier in the week, an excerpt from The White Walls. The selection has Rachel Du’vron entering the Cathedral of Light after a night of meat, mead, and jubilation, and not is all as it seems in the very heart of Holy Dalia.
Rachel walked upon the wide marble floors, looking ahead to the Hall of Prayer in the distance, past the long bridge that nestled over the upper floors of the libraries. Robes shuffled to and fro, and a few whispers echoed off the walls, though at the end of the hall was empty, save for the sculpture of Mother God—her wings stretching endlessly, looking down upon the children—and Rachel felt a warmth of light surge through her as she knelt, closed her eyes, and prayed.
Mother God. When I was but a child, you gave me succor when I had none. I do not recall much of my mother, and of my father, I have no memory. Your servants offered me salvation, guidance. I may be an orphan, but they were my family, and those girls who I dined with tonight, and Lutessa, her especially.
Yet I cannot seem to follow blindly as I used to. I do not reject your succor—no my faith has never wavered in you—but I cannot escape these feelings, these premonitions, that those who serve your will do so as liars. Thieves, I fear, knock upon our doors, and though your holy knights repel them and their kind, they are never truly ended, and the cycle continues. Do the knights and wizened priests, do they know that time is short? Does the high priestess know? Do they delay the inevitable?
The more I read, Mother God, the more nervous I become, and the more I want to ask questions that none wish to answer. We, your children, are we fated to thrash vainly in this mire? Do we wait for your guidance? Will it come. I fear there is so little strength left in the faithful. When Isilia comes—or perhaps Trecht or the reavers—will it be our last? Will you send us a Voice that shall lead us out from this darkness? Or, is the Time of Ascendance inevitable?
I want to believe as Lutessa does. Faith, my faith, it is not enough. Deliver unto me a sign, I beg! I beg! I must know. I want to act.
Rachel opened her eyes. The sculpture of Mother God looked down upon her. She felt naked and judged. The warmth was still upon her, but if there was a sign—
A shadow seemed to pass by her left eye, and she heard the distant patter of feet. Looking to the far left of the hall, she saw a door that lead to a stair. A steward should stand vigil there. She hurried off and ascended the stair.
The steps seem to creak with every step. She heard no sound but her footfalls, though the questions in her mind raged, and she hoped this was the sign she begged for.
The Hall of Faith opened before her. Rachel looked to the left, and the immense doors to the Chamber of Judgment were shut, though no knights stood at guard. She looked to the walls, and the torches burned as if they were just lit. Instinctively, she walked the hall to the right, and ascended the western stairs to the solars of the Voice and her counsels.
If I have erred in this, they will send me back to the monastery and—
She heard the faint whisper of voices coming from above, though she could not puzzle out the words. Hurrying her steps, she reached the upper hall. The whispers were louder, but she saw no knights, not even outside the chamber doors. Something is wrong.
With each careful step, the voices became louder and clearer. Rachel stopped at a near door. It was slightly ajar, and the voices were clear. She could not see much, but one voice was the calm and serene voice that had to belong to High Priestess Gloria, and the other was quick and slithering. Rachel was sure she had not heard the voice before. She leaned against the wall, ear towards the opening, and listened.
The White Walls will be available in its entirety in the Prelude to Darkness, releasing August 2018.