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Monday, July 9, 2012

Xannu - The Prophecy: Excerpt (Trimble)

Today I am giving you a little excerpt from my YA fantasy novel, Xannu - The Prophecy, the first book in The Southern Lands series. I hope you enjoy the excerpt. Jump over to my website or Amazon to pick up your own copy of the book. It's only $0.99

Xannu - The Prophecy
Book 1 of 'The Southern Lands' saga

For fans of Lord of the Rings, Harry Potter and The Narnia Chronicles, the first installment in a thrilling epic fantasy series…

Would you wake up in a hot sweat if you lived your night’s dreams as a soldier battling un-earthly creatures, witnessing powerful magic and fighting to save your own life on a daily basis?

English schoolboy Terry West does. Frequently. After digging up some rune coins near a roman road, he has been living in another world inhabited by warlocks, seductresses, priests and prophecy. There Terry is a soldier, Teern Truthbringer, who has been tasked with finding the Xannu - 'he who will lead the people into deliverance.'

If only it wasn’t real; but it is. Very real. When it all began it was even enjoyable, but now Terry’s life is getting very complicated. Somehow he involved his best friend Joe and although it had seemed a good idea at the time, the consequences had been dire. Then there is Susan, the leggy sister of klutzy school-friend Brian. Why does she keep sending him messages?

Terry is struggling to balance the two lives he leads and every day he is losing his grip on reality just a little bit more. He’s been forced to kill enemies; his companion, the magical woman Maria, is scaring him half to death with her abilities; and his parents are on his back about his school work.

How will he balance the two lives he leads, solve two sets of problems, and understand the lessons he receives from both? Only time will tell. But time is something Terry doesn't have too much of, as everything is unfolding in ways he could never have imagined!


...“And who’s next?” a man in a brightly colored cloak asked the crowd. “Who is brave enough to take on the champion of champions? Unbeaten in the last four years. Come on, there must be one here brave enough to face Trimble. You sir, how about you?” he asked, directly facing Teern. “You look like a strong lad, a soldier I see. Come on, step right up, two gold marks for the victor.”
Teern looked around him but it was obvious who the man meant. And of course by now the rest of the crowd had taken up his cause too and several were pushing him, encouraging him, to the center of the open area. “Well, I’ve never done this kind of thing before and I think I’m at a disadvantage. This man Trimble is a good foot taller than I and well versed in the staff, that I can see.”
“Don’t be concerned. He won’t hurt you; he’s just a baby. Step right up, come on, what are you waiting for, two gold marks for the victor.” And so it continued. The crowd cheered him on and people started to lay bets on who would win. In the end he didn’t really have a choice, so Teern removed his armor, placed his possessions in the care of one of the officials and stepped into a ring that was marked with a large rope on the ground, and waited at the center of the clearing. The man in the brightly colored cloak quickly explained the particular local rules to Teern, although he had seen these battles of Banwop many times before. Teern was then handed a staff and they were ready to begin.
The first blow to Teern’s side hurt like crazy. “He won’t hurt you,” he repeated sarcastically under his breath. The second blow hurt even more. By the time Teern had taken the first six or seven blows without getting one in return, he was bruised all over and ready to call it quits.
“What’s up soldier? Can’t fight without your sword?” Trimble was starting to mock him, landing another strike to his thigh. “Mummy know you’re out with the big boys, does she?” The crowd laughed out loud. “Grow your hair long to look tough do you?” Again, another blow, this time to the other thigh. The crowd laughed again, enjoying this one-sided competition.
“Winning takes concentration,” Teern muttered to himself, landing his first strike to Trimble’s huge chest. The big man definitely had a look of surprise on his face. “Winning takes focus,” he mumbled again as a huge blow to Trimble’s stomach connected, causing him to visibly stagger backward. “And most importantly, winning takes commitment,” he shouted out as he caught Trimble completely unawares behind the knees, knocking him straight to the ground and enabling him to place his staff to the man’s throat. “My game, I believe. I guess I’m not too old to listen and to learn after all.”
The crowd went wild. Everyone was cheering. Only those that had taken the bets on Trimble looked disappointed. The man with the brightly colored cloak congratulated Teern, gave him his two gold marks, and Teern collected his belongings from the official who was guarding them.
“You fought good young’un,” Trimble said, having pulled himself to his feet and regained his composure. “I thought I had you there. Guess it just goes to show I gotta be more ruthless.” He patted Teern on the back, almost knocking him over with his big hands.
“Well thank you, sir. I enjoyed our little match, although I have to say I think I will be black and blue with bruises for many days to come. It’s good that I can rest on the long walk ahead of me.”
“Where are you off to in such a hurry? Stay and have a meal with me. My treat.”
“I’m on my way to Caipor. It’s a long journey. Best I get started as soon as possible.”
“Caipor?” Trimble asked, “Why, I’d like to go there myself. I’m looking for some new opponents to battle. Do you mind if I walk with you?”
“Mind? No, of course not. I’d be glad of the company,” Teern replied, honestly glad of anyone to walk with him for a while.
“Good, that’s a settled then. But first I insist, let me get you a meal. We both could do with some serious foods after that larkin’ about.”

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