A seasoned author, D. W. draws from years of experience preparing self-help literature from his work as a counselor, and from field testing other documents. When he turned his hand to fiction, he found his niche in fantasy, having penned, so far, the well-received start of the Smithson Series, Nightmares and Other Therapy.
Today D. W. launches a new series called the Albany's End Trilogy, the first book, Birth of Evil.
This is no light read, but a dark fantasy that will draw you in. D.W.'s protagonist, David, is on the run lest he be executed as a daemon. He meets Toria who's a young priestess who was banished by her tribe. David joins her on her quest to protect the forest spiryts from an evil threat. With the knowledge that he's being pursued from his home, he figures, as heroes do, that if he's going to die, it's going to be under his terms.
David is a wholly believable character, one which readers will sit on the edge of their proverbial seats as they follow his adventure with Toria to protect the spiryts from harm. Toria is a wonderful secondary character who helps David in her own way to protect him, too. Evil is all around, giving this story the knife edge suspense a dark fantasy requires. For anyone who loves fantasy and paranormal stories, this is a great addition to anyone's collection. There are two more stories in this stories which I can't wait to read. Well done, D.W.
Before we get to an excerpt, be sure to drop D.W. a note in the comments below **with your email address** to enter the draw for a copy of Birth of Evil.
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David, running for his life to avoid being executed as a daemon, meets Toria, a young priestess banished by her tribe. She is on a quest to help the forest spiryts against an evil presence they claim is near. David joins her, determined that if his life is to be forfeit, his death will be given some meaning in her company.
503 AD in the region of Britania, known to the Romans as Calchfynedd and Caer-Gloui; later to the Gaulish tribes as Mercia of Angle Land is known today as the central counties of southern England.
***The mercenaries were fifty paces away; four men closing fast. David Ap-Gwri experienced their hatred like a belt tightening around his head and knew it would grow worse. That, combined with the unearned village beer heavy in their bellies and the weeks of laziness dragging on their legs gave no hope of escape. He looked at his shaking hands. He realised after falling the second time the men’s combined emotions were more than enough to weaken his limbs and make out-running them impossible. Stopping here felt like a slim chance a few heart beats ago if they chose the wrong path, but they hadn’t.
He shivered and pushed deeper into the thin bushes, praying again that the leaves and grass stuck to his tunic would camouflage him enough so they would pass by. He glanced up. If the flies didn’t bring them straight here. He risked waving a hand and the fat green bodies swung away then returned, dancing around his face, buzzing louder. Shit, no doubt now, he thought. The mud he’d mixed with his own blood for glue had been more animal waste than earth.
David flinched suddenly as pain jabbed his mind. For a moment he couldn’t decide if he had heard speech or simply experienced the man’s feral pleasure. Then it came again, a voice much too close.
“Over here, Look!” David heard the sound of a heavy blade on wood. “”Finger marks still filling with water. He’s close.”
David cursed silently as another voice whooped delight in some hard edged language and he tried to shrink further into the bushes, but the thick stalks had given as much as they were going to. He looked round, fighting the need to spring up and run, telling himself even a normal man, weak from shock, pain and lack of food, would have no chance. Then he caught himself murmuring, “Gods…Gods…Gods,” and stopped, closed his teeth on the words and wondered who he thought might be listening after so many years of silence.
The same voice called again, “This way! Fresh broken twigs here!”
A different voice said wearily, “They don’t pay me enough for this. Chase him down yourself. My guts hurt.”
“Then the half-silver’s mine, you pig,” the excited man said.
“A full share is mine whoever brings the magician down,” a deeper voice with a heavy British accent interjected.
The weary voice declared, “You’ll lose it back to him at Stones, you stupid ox.” David heard sudden movement and the same man yelled, “You over grown freak, that hurt!”
From the deep voice: “You unsheathe that piece of rusty junk, I’ll kill you.”
The weary man, alert now, said, “No offence, Lauf, just a friendly joke.”
The deep voice made cackling noises. “I enjoy, see me enjoy your humour? I will enjoy it more when I split your lumpy head, Saxon.”
“This isn’t getting us the bounty. Where’s Thom?”
Cold iron touched David’s neck and a voice whispered, “Right here.” David nearly screamed before a muddy hand clamped over his mouth. On the edge of his vision, almost out of focus, he saw long hair, red where it wasn’t thick with dirt. He recognised the man who had almost spitted him with a short-spear as he fled the village. Tensing for the knife thrust, he thought he deserved to die like a butchered animal if he couldn’t sense this stinking lout creeping up on him after so many years of practice.
Thom pressed a thumb agonisingly against David’s nose and whispered, “Look at me, boy.” He smiled and jerked on David’s head. “Where are your spells, magician? Where are your filthy daemons, now it’s time to die?” He giggled, hawked and spat in David’s face. “Magic that away, boy. Put a spell on me if you can. Call on a daemon to rip out my heart.” The knife point searched along David’s jaw bone. “Do you deserve a quick death? Do you bleed out with a cut here, or do you drown in your own juices with a dig and twist there?” He jerked David’s head up and stared into his eyes. “Do you want to beg? Maybe you can persuade me not to kill you.” He drew the knife back, adding, voice full of hate, “No? Then die daemon!”
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DW is an Englishman, married with three adult sons and lives in a London suburb. Once upon a time, he was a community mental health counselor in East London. Part of his job was to prepare self-help literature for clients, some of whom didn’t read from choice. He used to field test the books and booklets and found this was a great way to learn the craft of writing.
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