Ancient Gods Series Book 1
By Linda Nightingale
In The Summoning, first chapter, the hero Eryael shapeshifts into a winged black horse to rescue the heroine from the bad guys. When I described this horse, I had in mind a Friesian stallion. So, I thought I’d tell you a little about the Friesian, one of my favorite breeds of horse. I bred, trained and showed the fabulous Andalusian, but I would have loved to own a high-school trained (elevated trot called Passage, and trot in place called Piaffe, plus lateral work, and airs above the ground) Friesian. They are truly poetry in motion.
The Friesian breed originates in Friesland in the Netherlands. These splendid horses conform to people’s idea of a light draft horse, and, in fact, were originally used as fancy carriage horses. However, they are nimble and graceful, currently quite popular in show arenas for their lofty movements and shining ebony coats. The Friesian ranges from 15 to 17 hands, are powerfully muscled, with thick manes and tails and feathers (long hair) at their fetlocks. Their necks are high-set and proudly arched. In a word, they are beautiful. If you would like to know more about the Friesian, visit the national association.
About The Summoning:
Heather Morique is a witch. The problem is she doesn’t know it. Her husband Jahill was a refugee from an obscure branch of the Arawak Indians. After his death, mysterious whispers lure her to his homeland of Jamaica. Soon, she finds herself in a web of secrets, lies and illusions.
Jahill’s people worship Eyrael, the God of Wind and Sea, and his brother Sofiel, the God of Fire and Earth. The new Shaman has pitted brother against brother, and these two powerful spirits from an alternate universe fight to become the tribe’s ruling deity. Will light or darkness reign?
When Heather unwittingly summons Eyrael, these two unlikely soul mates face a dangerous fate. The chemistry between them is more disturbing than the long-buried secrets.
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“Do not fear, beautiful witch,” he said over his shoulder. “If I am to meet my dark brother in battle, I shall confront him at my most powerful. The shape the People worship is a black stallion.”
“Do what you must.” Her voice came stronger now. “I understand you’re the only one standing between the Whisperers and me. They wished me to drown. First, they invaded my dreams, then they whispered that the sea would cleanse me of my sins and take away my grief.”
“When I advance, run as far and as fast as you can. When it is possible, I shall find you.” His human body shivered like the sea shimmers beneath the sun and melted. In the man’s place, a massive black horse stood, a warrior’s horse—a warrior horse.
Behind him, the woman gasped, then he felt a touch on his rear fetlock. “A Friesian stallion.” Awe overcame the fear in her voice. “Magnificent,” she breathed.
Eyrael, the black stallion, shook his head, ruffling the fall of his thick mane on his crested neck.
The witch peered past him, shrank back, trembling. “They are the Whisperers. They lured me here to kill me. If not now, they will whisper until I am insane.” She covered her ears. “What is that terrible sound?”
He could not speak, dared not turn to look at her. Sofiel was coming and, with him, her death. Eyrael snorted, pawing the sand. The People froze in their march, gaping at their God. His wind screamed, angry waves lashing the shore. Once again, Taino brandished his staff and called the lightning, ominous booms of thunder shaking the ground. Sofiel must have taught the Shaman this feat of fire. Hoping to avoid a battle, Eyrael trotted toward members of the tribe he recognized from other visits, long ago, and now they were old.
The gray-haired brave who’d spoken earlier shouted above the wind, “Welcome, God of Wind and Sea. It has been many years since we met.”
The Shaman pointed his staff at the elderly man. Ragni recoiled a step and fell silent. What was Taino’s power over these people? There were many of them, one of him. Why didn’t they overpower him instead of cringing at his word? Eyrael reared, trumpeting a challenge.
The warp-and-weft of the universes quivered.
The Shaman’s voice rose against the wind, shrieking warnings to Eryael. He threatened to capture the black stallion in a spell and geld him with the sacrificial blade. No one moved. Finally, Ragni, the old brave, turned to Taino. “Our God comes to do battle with yours. Stop, Taino. The God of Wind and Sea was with the tribe on the ancient journey from the Amazon basin to Xaymaca.”
As if the man hadn’t spoken, the witchdoctor cried, “Wayward Knowledge, I command you to my side. Bound-Spirit, answer the prayer of the Faithful. This woman is to be sacrificed for her crimes against your People.”
Eyrael halted, lifting his forefeet off the sand in a half-rear and crouched on his haunches, performing the levade, a battle move belonging to an earlier century.
“Foolish Spirit, she is no witch.” Taino threw back his head and laughed. “Ask the woman her crimes when she is tied on the altar. She will pay for what she has done.”
“I’ve done nothing.” At the top of her lungs, the witch called against the howling wind. She was drenched, wet hair clinging to her face, the rough brown gown hugging her figure. Yet she stood as regal as a queen.
The blonde witch had rallied from shock. When battle joined, she would stand with him. Happiness flooded Eyrael. A memory of sailing the crystal winds with Sofiel flashed through his mind, sadness gripping his heart. In this, the reality of Man, Eyrael would be pitted against his own brother.
Where to Find Linda:
At a Day of the Dead Book Signing in Houston. She’s the scary one on the right!
Web Site: http://www.lindanightingale.com Visit and look around. There’s a free continuing vampire story.
Blog: https://lindanightingale.wordpress.com/ - Lots of interesting guests & prizes
- Love For Sale
- Gambler's Choice
- Morgan D'Arcy: A Vampyre Rhapsody
- Gylded Wings
- Her General in Gray
- The Summoning
- Sinner’s Obsession
- Cardinal Desires
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