Welcome to day 1 of the Magic of Solstice Fantasy Writers' Tour 2015!
If you haven't done so already, sign up to follow the tour on Facebook! Tomorrow I'm scheduled to host along with KJ Hawkins. I'll be sharing a snippet from Shadow Stalker: The Hidden Truth (Episode 1) and I'll be starting Part 1 of the Shadow Stalker Scavenger Hunt I'll be hosting throughout the month. Today I'll be featuring Allison D. Reid, author of Journey to Aviad, and sharing a guest post from Gareth, one of the characters in her novel.
Allison D. Reid’s passion for medieval history and fantasy was sparked by writers like C.S. Lewis, J.R.R Tolkien, and Lloyd Alexander. She also spent years living in Europe, captivated by its ancient towns, cathedrals, and castles. She received her B.A. in writing from Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. Her first published work, Journey to Aviad, is a Christian Fantasy novel—the first in The Wind Rider Chronicles book series. Many of her short stories relate back to the world of her books. Allison has two young daughters, runs a small business with her husband, and also provides editing services to other independent authors.
Threatening clouds and fierce storms besiege the city of Tyroc. More frequent and powerful than ordinary storms, young Elowyn, a weaver’s daughter living in the outskirts of the city, senses something disturbing and unnatural about them. She soon realizes that the storms are but a warning sign of much more frightening things yet to come.
Terrifying wolf-like creatures emerge from the depths of the wilderness at the bidding of a dark master. His name found only among the crumbling pages of ancient texts, the re-appearance of Alazoth and his Hounds is a dark omen for the people of Tyroc and beyond. Only legends remain of the heroes and prophets whose blood was shed ages ago to banish him into the abyss, which should have remained his prison for all time. How he has been released is a mystery, but all the old stories agree that death and destruction are sure to follow.
With the Hounds inching closer each day, the city of Tyroc caught up in religious and political turmoil, and her home life no less turbulent, Elowyn has nothing left to rely on but her meager courage and a budding faith in Aviad, the Creator. She and her sister, Morganne, set out on a remarkable journey that challenges everything they have ever known about themselves, the world, and the path that Aviad has laid out for them.
Now for a guest post from Gareth, a character from the Journey to Aviad.
Well, that’s it. My satchel is packed with all of my worldly possessions, which don’t amount to much, I’m afraid. A book of prayers, a medallion with the symbol of my order stamped upon it, a blank scroll, quill, and ink. I gave the last of my coins for a new robe, which should keep me warm and dry for my journey. There are other monks and priests who think that poverty vows are antiquated and unnecessary. But I have always taken mine seriously…along with a good many other things. Like Aviad, and the Tomes of Wisdom, and the writings of the Prophets. I suppose that is why I’m in such trouble now—why I’m being forced out of the Temple.
I am in good company though. My mentor, and a small group of others, have also been asked…no, forced…to disappear. They say our beliefs are dangerous. But we say to not believe in Aviad’s word is more dangerous yet. The old prophecies are coming true before right our eyes, only the leadership has been blinded by its own desires. It either cannot see, or does not want to. So we are set to leave ere the sun rises. But I do not go with any bitterness, or fear. This will be my first adventure into the very real world beyond these cloistered halls, and with Aviad as my guide, I am ready for it.
My only regret is that I must leave my students behind. I can only wonder at what they will be taught in our absence. Two in particular I am sad to part ways with; common girls named Morganne and Elowyn. Their mother wanted them taught to read and write—a service I was only too happy to provide. I found Morganne in particular to be a ready pupil, not only of her letters, but of the deeper lessons found within the Tomes. The Spirit is strong within her, and I sense that she is meant for more than a common life. Aviad placed it on my heart to give her the primer I received as a boy entering the Temple. I can only hope that it will continue to teach her in my stead, and that in these dark days, she and Elowyn will find peace within its worn pages.
I can hear my companions coming down the hall, which means it is finally time to leave. We shall make our way west, to join an order of like mind and purpose. Perhaps there we can yet do some good and learn more about these changes that are happening in the world. Whether Morganne, Elowyn and I cross paths again or not, we make the same journey of faith, in this life and to the one beyond.