Come and join me along with the other authors showing off their wares Confrontations is mine and is the fourth of the Affinities series. Here is the addy http://mfrwbookhooks.blogspot.com
Ash, Bran, Ky and Jay along with their friends have now mastered their affinities. They now control their ability to use Earth, Air, Fire and Water. The time has come for them to face Dom Senet and He Who Walks with Evil. They have learned a disturbing fact. He Who Walks With Evil is able to exchange an old body for a new one. Dom Senet wishes to obtain the secret and he is willing to sacrifice even his own son to gain this power. The four sets of companions set off to rid the doms and domas of Dom Senet’s bonds and to defeat the two evil men. Can they or will they become pawns to evil?
Affinities Book 1 – Escape
Affinities Book 2 – Havens
Affinities Book 3 – Searches
Affinities Book 4 – Confrontations
The time has come. Ash bolted upright. Her heart pounded with a beat reminiscent of one created by a mad drummer. Her gaze swept the room. She saw the other young women slept. Had someone spoken on the winds or had the words been part of a dream she couldn’t remember? When her racing heart slowed she cautiously opened her senses to read the winds of the keep. Using her affinity for Air she searched. The only person awake was the doma and the cry hadn’t arisen from the elderly woman.
Fingers of moonlight slid through the shuttered windows. She moved to the edge of the bed and pushed her feet into her house boots. Ash crept to the window to peer outside. She knelt on the stone bench and opened the shutters a crack. A gasp pushed past her lips when she saw the birds, one light and the other dark. The pair circled the keep.
She rubbed her arms to banish the chill of the late winter night. “Mama, Papa,” she whispered. “What does your arrival mean?”
Since the destruction of the Wesren henge the birds had appeared at auspicious moments. Sometimes the pair signaled safety and other times they brought a warning of danger. What was the meaning of this sighting?
“The time has come.” Softly she whispered the words. Like a jolt of lightning a thrill of excitement swept through her. Did that mean her and her halfling companions were ready to leave the safety of the keep and venture forth against their enemies? There were more opponents than she cared to face. She considered the number of doms and domas who followed Dom Senet, the four halflings he’d trained plus Zand’s former step-mother and her two sons. A shudder rolled through her body. There was also the voice of evil she’d heard on the winds.
Two years and a season had passed since the return from the quests for the remaining halflings, the heirs and the talismans. The sixteen companions had worked hard to gain mastery of their affinities of the elements. Four whose element was Air, four Fire, four Earth and four Water united in four mixed quartets. A sliver of fear stabbed. Were they ready? She fought a desire to return to her bed and pull the covers over her head.
As the edge of the sun appeared above the distant mountains Ash closed the shutters. She thought about the birds and knew hiding was as impossible as a return to sleep. Not while her emotions rose and fell in waves. Should she wake the others and tell them about the birds? She frowned. If she did Ky, her younger sister, would scold and rouse everyone in the keep.
Ash grabbed her clothes and dashed to the necessary to wash and dress. Before she stirred the others into action she had to speak to Doma Jandia. Perhaps their teacher could interpret the meaning of the words and the arrival of the birds.
As she hurried down the stairs she quested for the doma. The elderly woman wasn’t in her room on the fourth level of the keep. The doma’s mind scent rose from the stillroom. When Ash dashed from the third level to the second she heard stirrings from the chamber where her brothers and the other male halflings slept. Since she wanted advice before those with affinities plied her with questions she grasped the railing and sped downstairs.
On the first level she scurried along the hall and opened the door of the stillroom. Shelves on one wall held jars of various herbs, spices and flowers. Ash tasted the air as she’d been taught and isolated attars of roses, lavender and the scent of rosemary.
The elderly woman who had taught Ash and her siblings since the day they’d found refuge with her sat on a bench at a stone table. She rested a pestle in the mortar, turned and smiled. Hair turned to silver by age framed the doma’s lined face. The gaze from her brilliant green eyes met Ash’s. In contrast to the copper-hued skin of the halflings, Doma Jandia’s was as pale as linen bleached by the sun. Until this moment Ash hadn’t realized how much the doma had aged.
“You’re astir early,” Doma Jandia said.
Ash nodded. “I heard a voice and saw the birds.”
The light of knowing flashed in the elderly woman’s eyes. “Tell me the entire story.”
In a few words Ash spoke of her awakening. “Do you think the time has come for us to leave the keep?”
The doma nodded. “I believe so. Though I would rather keep you here and safe you young people have a destiny. You have learned all I can teach you and more since you aren’t afraid to try new approaches. Yes, you’re ready to begin cleansing the princedoms. Once that is accomplished you can confront Senet and his allies.”