by Desiree Williams
In Aldonnia, the evil of Varkadon overflows its borders. War ravages the lands… For as long as eighteen year-old Alanna can remember she’s lived in hiding, sealed off from the outside world. Despite a future built around a steadfast rule of seclusion, Alanna dreams of the impossible. Of a life outside of her parents’ cabin. A life with more for company than just birds and woodland creatures. A life she knows deep down is impossible for someone with gifts like hers.
That all changes the day Alanna finds a man floating face down in a stream. Despite her parents’ warnings, Alanna pulls the injured man out of the water and heals him with her elemental talents. Just another good deed. Until the man wakes and Alanna realizes so much more has happened than simply a life saved. The healing she performed on the stranger bound her soul to Jerric, the prince of Aldonnia.
Alanna’s heart wants to keep the prince, but duty and destiny intervene. Alanna’s world is rocked as her parents are lost. Left in the care of family she didn’t know, Alanna learns more than she wanted to about the evil threatening the lands. There is much more behind her parents’ drive to protect. Alanna learns her gifts were bestowed in order to fulfill a greater purpose. A greater calling. One her enemies seek to destroy at all cost.
Alanna’s choice is clear. To either ignore her destiny and remain hidden, or boldly fight to keep what sings to her heart.
Laelynn prepared herself for whatever was to come. She attempted to concentrate on her breathing, but pain radiated through her chest at each attempt to breathe. Shallow breaths were all she could muster. The Varkadons were engrossed in their meal, paying her no attention. Laelynn prayed Dustan and Alanna appeared soon before she became dessert.
Laelynn jerked, almost screamed, when the campfire burst out into a flaming whirlwind. It grew and rolled into the air, forming a towering mass of orange and red flames. Tongues of fire leaped at the Varkadons encamped around it. The grass capes that once aided them were their downfall as their armor went up in flames. Laelynn watched the scene unfold as many succumbed to the raging fire storm. The stench of charred flesh permeated the air. Bile rose into her mouth at the odor. Few had been successful to remove the grass-covered armor. Laelynn marveled as she took inventory. The attack took out half the soldiers.
The ground quaked beneath her tree. Abruptly, it cracked and groaned, forcing the tree to whip around. The act brought Laelynn face to face with a piercing set of green eyes. The girl before her looked lethal.
The woman—Laelynn assumed she must be Alanna, the girl the voice mentioned--used her sword to cut Laelynn’s binds. Her legs were too weak to hold her up, and she dropped to the ground the moment she was freed.
Alanna sheathed her sword and put a shoulder under Laelynn’s arm. Together the two hobbled behind a large, thick tree. Alanna let out low bird-like whistles. Seconds later Laelynn heard a heart rattling howl that vibrated through her. Screams accompanied it.
“What was that?” Laelynn whispered to her rescuer.
“That was Dustan,” Alanna whispered, then offered her a calming grin. “I’m Alanna. I’m going to set you up in this tree to keep you a safe distance away. I’ll retrieve you once the remaining Varkadons are overcome.”
Without another word, a rush of wind surrounded them. The mighty wind carried both girls effortlessly into the tree. Alanna set her down and assessed her injuries. Compassion flooded the girl’s emerald eyes.
“I’ll heal you once we’re a safe distance away from here. However, I have to leave you for just a moment to assist Dustan. Please don’t be scared. You’re safe now.” Alanna jumped down, leaving her in the tree to watch the event unfold.
Laelynn gaped in amazement at what she saw below. An incredibly large wolf thrashed a Varkadon soldier back and forth. Laelynn couldn’t remember seeing a wolf that large before. She compared it to a horse, solid black in color. With a flick of its jaw, the wolf sent the soldier flying haphazardly into the air. The Varkadons left standing formed a semicircle, pushing him back toward the growing fire.
Laelynn saw no possible way for the wolf to escape as the soldiers corralled it closer to the ravenous flames. She knew it was all her fault. How could live with herself if she had to watch another die in their plight to help her? At that moment, it looked up at her, then winked. Since when did a wolf wink?
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Desiree Williams is a dreamer by day and chocoholic by night. She lives in the beautiful state of Kentucky with her husband and daughter, where she juggles life as a wannabe supermom. Desiree is a lover of food and avoider of dirty dishes. She delights in making people laugh and strives to bring hope and love with her wherever she goes.
You can find out more about Desiree and her books at desireewilliamsbooks.blogspot.com.
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Enter to win an origami owl necklace representing the main character, Alanna, a $10 Amazon gift card, and a $10 iTunes gift card.a Rafflecopter giveaway
The winner of the giveaway will be selected randomly via Rafflecopter and announced on Desiree’s blog site and Facebook account the morning of Jun 13th.
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