Summary from Goodreads:
The Kingdom or the Girl?
Demons attack him.
Spirits protect him.
A seer foretells his shocking destiny.
In a primitive land filled with magic, witches and giants, a sixteen-year-old musician named David is summoned to chase away the nightmares haunting the King each night. But more than bad dreams trouble the King. Demons torment him, and David will need more than music to break the curse.
Demons are only the first sign of a deeper and darker evil that plagues the countryside. Bent on revenge and an insatiable thirst for power, the Witch of Endor and a giant named Goliath lead an invading force against the kingdom. King Saul’s army is crumbling and only a champion can save them, but who would be fool enough to face the giant?
Princess Michal is frustrated by the constraints of palace life, but David’s arrival makes things infinitely more interesting. She finds herself drawn to him, but the King strictly forbids her from having a romance with a poor musician. Only by defying her father’s wishes and risking her freedom do they have a chance to be together.
Armed with just his sling and his love for Michal, David must prove his worth by defeating Goliath against impossible odds. Worst of all, he must choose between saving the kingdom or being with the girl of his dreams. He can’t do both.
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Alzsheba, the Witch of Endor, knew quite a lot about revenge. The need for revenge was an itch she suffered most keenly, a burr beneath her skin that did nothing but burn and prod. A need unfulfilled. But that would change, starting today.
The Philistine camp buzzed with activity: weapons clattered, mules brayed, men shouted, boasted, argued. Little men who thought raised voices and bluster made them less pathetic and small. Blind, stupid, stinking sheep.The entire lot of them. They fight and die for a king who cares nothing about them. King Farrah sits on a thrown far away and doesn’t even know their names. Mindless sheep! Are they stupid enough to believe General Bulgossa, the bloated idiot the King has put in charge, is their shepherd? Do they think it is Goliath, who leads them in battle, towering above them like some bronzed god? Do they even suspect another unseen shepherd, one who guides them quietly, carefully, from the shadows?
Her mind spun in tight angry circles. Enough! She had work to do. Twilight had come, and twilight was the only time for the things she must do. When day met night, when light succumbed to darkness, when the mists settled on the fields and the walls between the worlds were at their thinnest.
Alzsheba strode away from the camp—a tall beauty with high cheekbones, arched eyebrows, and dark stain on her lips. Her sheep were well served for the night. Let them drink, and gamble, and bicker and boast. None saw the lone figure of a woman, young and athletic, dressed in skin-tight leather breaches and bodice, heading toward the cliffs of chiseled basalt. They wanted only to feed their bellies and drink their fill and tell tall tales. Then they would sleep. But sleep would not find her, not while the need for revenge consumed her, that maddening itch still unfulfilled.
She squeezed into a narrow cleft in the rocky cliff face. Inside, she had dug out a tiny chamber, an earthy crypt where, even kneeling, the top of her head scraped the dirt above. She struck flint, lighting a pair of incense stands, and the pungent aromas of burning opium, poison hemlock and spice inflamed her senses.
A small wooden stand filled the center of the narrow chamber in the rocks. On top sat a small stone altar that had been captured from one of the Hebrew towns. The horns at the four corners had been broken off, the winged disc symbol on the front defaced. Dried blood crusted the burnished copper plate on the corrupted altar.
The witch emptied a small pouch of human ashes onto the plate, arranging the burnt offering in a circle. She felt power flow from the ashes, the murders still fresh.
About the Authors
Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of “telling stories,” he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, is his debut novel. Jeff has a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. You can find his blog, The Accidental Writers Workshop, on The Patch. Jeff also rights a column for The Examiner under the byline – The Accidental Writer.
Ken Altabef– As a Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers of America member, my short fiction has frequently appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction. I also had stories in Interzone, Buzzymag, Abyss & Apex, Unsettling Wonder and Ominous Realities.
ALAANA’S WAY, my 5-part series of epic fantasy novels is published by Cat’s Cradle Press. Described as “cutting-edge fantasy from the top of the world” the arctic setting and unique characters will bring something new to even the most jaded fantasy enthusiast. You can preview this work and others at my website www.KenAltabef.com
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