I finally have a release date for Reincarnated Fate. It will be April 20. As my treat to you I am letting you read the prologue and first chapter for free! As usual this book will have the double spacing that makes it easier to read for people with dyslexia. Feel free to leave feedback. As always happy reading and enjoy!
The air was chilled and the fog thick. The mist seemed to be heavy and cold – almost as though the souls of the dead were trying to cling to life. There was no wind in this, the darkest hour of the night – even the banshees had stilled their shrill cries. Ill fate abounds on nights as eerie as this. Even more superstitions ran amok about this Great Stone Circle that lay buried under moss and the heavy mist that hung in the air. Upon each pillar of the Great Stone Circle sat a proud raven –black beady eyes gleaming in the moonlight that provided a blue tint to their feathers. The ravens lent a somewhat sinister feeling to the air.
A man and woman endured the chill present in the center of the Great Stone Circle that had stood for centuries untold. The stones under the moss seemed to glow with an ethereal light. None but the two of them were on the ground and neither of them looked happy. The deep scowls on their faces indicated that they were livid beyond the point of rage. Their frozen faces resembled the cold carvings that adorned the stones around them. The heated blood roaring in their veins giving a blush of color to their pale pallor.
The woman looked to be in her mid-twenties with enough pride to match a queen. She had auburn curls and stood no more than five feet high. Her eyes were a hard brown – one might call them cold. She had on a blue kirtle with a green and gold over-dress adorned with intricate stitching as a sign of her exalted station. With a pale complexion and sharp, upturned features her angular face was highlighted by her heavily restrained hair. The gold circlet upon her head gave weight to her proud stature. The adornments of emeralds and rubies in the thick gold chain at her waist accented her petite figure. Her diminutive figure stood erect in these age old surroundings.
The man that stood beside her was maybe five foot six with dark brown and silver streaked hair that hung ramrod straight to his shoulders. His sea blue eyes were turbulent and shone with stubborn, arrogant pride. His skin appeared to be rough from his lifestyle and the salt-water in the air. He wore black hose with a brown and red tunic. His simple tunic held none of the intricate stitching that was in the woman’s gown, even though his rank was near her own exalted one – he had even forgone the heraldry that his station allowed. He had more sun on his face than the fair creature beside him who wore a sneer upon her dainty red lips. The mist in the air was so heavy that their feet disappeared into the thick green grass.
Above them was a gathering of people with unearthly features immortalized in the mortal mind. They had aristocratic visages and a haughty, all-knowing look in their eyes. By their bearing one could tell that these beings thought themselves better than the two creatures below them.
All of them glowed with an unearthly light of the palest white. The occasional bolt of lightning blended the beings into the night sky making them invisible on occasion. The confusion in the eyes of the immortals gave the impression that they didn’t know what to do with the two mortals that stood awaiting them. In at least two of the omnipotent faces shame and disappointment were as clear as day. Clearly the Gods above thought that better could be expected of the two mortals that stood below them.
The two mortals stood impatiently on the ground in the middle of the Stone Circle, the night air around them was cool and it reflected the looks on those beings above them – although some looked downright hostile. Neither of the mortals spoke as they looked up at the ageless beings who were to declare their fate – though neither felt that anyone had the right to judge them. For that is what was going to happen on this frigid evening. This day would henceforth be known as the End Day for the man. The woman would come to refer to this as the Day of Judgment. The Gods above would forever call this the Day of Reincarnation.
After multiple minutes of silence a woman from above with flowing blond hair and cool blue eyes looked upon the mortals and spoke, “The two of you have meddled in affairs of far greater import than you realize. You have caused the alteration of time itself, and for that your fate lay upon the Wheel of Stars that is always changing. As it changes so too will your fate. This we the gods have decreed. From this day forth until you acquire wisdom your punishment is thus – Morgaine, daughter of Le Fay, from the Isle of Apples you shall be barred.
“And as for thee, son of Aurelius, known henceforth as Merlin, guardian no more, but seek you shall for that which has the power to cure. This shall you do until you find the mortal Balance between old and new. Thus have the Gods decreed.” The words of Madb, the all-powerful Star Spinner were harsh and final. The disdain in her endless gaze imbuing finality in her words.
The woman’s voice was as frigid as the arctic and the effects of her words were like ice water upon the mortals before her. Madb’s words had been declared decisively. With the pronouncement of the dreaded sentence, the man, now known as Merlin, slumped his shoulders. The weight of this judgment seemingly too much for him to bare.
The woman on the other hand paled more than her skin already was and did the only thing that she knew of. She turned her hard brown eyes from the gods above onto her companion and in tones that would make a banshee quiver shrieked, “This is your fault! Even at the end of your so-called great age you still ruin everything around me! So help me I shall chase you to the ends of time to have my vengeance upon you! By the gods above me this I swear!”
During her high-pitched rant Morgaine never noticed that one goddess in particular looked upon her in sorrow and let a silent silvery tear fall from her immortal eye. This was not the daughter that she had charged Igraine with raising. For that child had been sweet and kind. This child was bitter and full of pain and hate, her innocence nowhere in sight. How things had gone so wrong she didn’t know – but then whenever a mortal being was involved the impossible could happen. Even the unthinkable. Mortals were so unpredictable – it’s what made them so special to the gods.
On the final note of Morgaine’s rant that lone tear hit the ground letting out a lightning strike so fierce that even the immortal gods looking upon the bitter rivals felt the earth tremble. The quaking of the earth was accompanied by a wind so violent that even the Gods had to take notice. When the shaking stopped a formidable female voice uttered, “So shall it be.” Those words had even the gods and goddesses above quaking for all their worth. Of all the deities watching, only one had heard that voice in recent memory and in response the goddess Le Fay replied, “As mother commands, it shall be done.” The glistening track of her tear still wet upon her face.
With that statement the immortals faded from view and left the two rivals alone in the Great Stone Circle. Both wondering what the future would hold, both dreading it and neither were willing to admit it. Neither had the ability to bend their pride even the slightest bit. Leading to the curse that the Gods placed upon them for a seeming eternity.
The sun was bright overhead and there were a few thin wisps of clouds dotting the sky. The cries of falcons and hawks echoed from the blue sky, while in the distance rushing water trickled past. All around her the teenager could see trees in bloom. Apple trees to be exact. Their blooms were pink at the moment. Later in the season they would fade to white before bearing fruit. Even at this early hour the sweet scent of apples was in the air.
The young woman was wearing jeans, a brown and pink plaid flannel shirt with the sleeves rolled up to her elbows and a beat up pair of white sneakers. She had long curly auburn hair and cinnamon brown eyes that shimmered with gold. A thick, black ponytail holder held her hair in place.
She was currently in the middle of her family’s fifty acre apple orchard. Turkeys and pheasants were ten acres south on an adjoin plot of land, grouse was nowhere to be found. The name of the family farm was Divine Fruit Orchard. It was a name that always struck the young woman as odd – it didn’t exactly roll trippingly off of the tongue.
More precisely the young woman was in the top of one of her favorite apple trees. It was also one of the oldest trees in the orchard – even a pair of hawks felt safe enough in this tree so long as she didn’t get too close to the nest.
This particular tree was a Bietigheimer Apple and family legend said that it had been planted around the turn of the twentieth century. The current time being the beginning of the twenty first century that meant that the tree was a little over a hundred years old, and it still blossomed. The fact that its large yellow harvest was striped with plenty of red when ripe also helped to make this rare fruit pleasing to the eye as well. Its high pectin content made it great for baking. This was not the only tree on the farm that would bare fruit after a hundred years of life, it just happened to be one of her favorites.
This spot in the orchard usually left Morgaine feeling content and free. But not this time. Being half asleep in the tree happened to be dangerous on a good day, but when Morgaine could barely hold her head up it was another matter altogether.
Of course the heavy bags under her eyes and slumped shoulders made sense when you factored in that she hadn’t had a decent night’s sleep in a month. It was a month exactly too.
How did Morgaine know this? Because the night terrors started the day she turned sixteen – exactly one month ago. Her night terrors overflowed with bloody battles of bygone eras, people from all walks of life, and oddest of all magic and gods. Not to mention a recurring phrase – So shall it be.
As Morgaine’s heart began to race her nerves froze. Why, she didn’t know – Morgaine certainly wasn’t prone to cold feet on any subject one would care to name. She had certainly never heard it before. She had never been anywhere to hear it – and that was another problem altogether.
For the entirety of her short life Morgaine, and her eight sisters, had lived on the family orchard. Her parents, grandparents, and her great-grandmother also lived on the orchard. Those of them that were well enough worked in the orchard alongside of the hired hands Morgaine preferred the migrant workers – mainly because they taught her about the places they came from. Locations she longed for and had never been.
That’s where Morgaine differed from her family. She wanted to travel the world and experience new sensations. From the varied states of Mexico to the renowned lights of Paris, they all beckoned to Morgaine. Most of the family just shook their head at those dreams. But not great-grandmother. That woman could be as bitter as the day was long. The Old Crone, Morgaine’s personal nickname for the foul tempered woman, tended to spout her vile nonsense to anyone who would listen.
No one in the family was actually sure of the Old Crone’s age, but they all agreed that she had no love for Morgaine. In fact if Morgaine could have a sworn enemy, than it would be the Old Crone. Nobody alive would object to the label that Morgaine quietly assigned to her grandmother.
The Old Crone would glare at and belittle Morgaine on a regular basis. If the Old Crone could find a way to put Morgaine down than she would. The Old Crone also had a tendency to strike Morgaine when she was in her more vicious moods. Thankfully she had never done any serious damage. Morgaine could swear she even heard the cawing of crows when just the two of them were present. Which was strange considering crows were not native in this part of the state. Falcons, hawks and eagles yes, but not crows. It also didn’t help that the Old Crone was cold – and not in a turn up the thermostat type of way either. As far as Morgaine could tell the Old Crone didn’t have a heart – a soul was debatable.
These were all worries on Morgaine’s mind. She just didn’t understand why the Old Crone seemed to absolutely despise her. Nor did Morgaine understand why she was having these dreams. There had to be something she could do! What, Morgaine wasn’t sure but something would change, that was something she knew deep in her gut. If anything could be said about Morgaine, it was that no one was more stubborn or had a stronger will.
Morgaine sat there in morose silence for a few minutes longer before the wind began to blow and howling, high pitch screeches were also heard. When the gusts of wind began to whip the trees into a frenzy Morgaine looked up to see that the sky was suddenly covered in dark, heavy rainclouds from out of nowhere. This wasn’t the strangest weather pattern that Morgaine had ever seen in her life at the farm, but it was unexpected. The surprise storm was enough to put Morgaine on the defensive.
The next thing that put Morgaine on edge were not the fat raindrops that started to fall but the lightening that flashed right beside her without striking and scorching the ground of the tree she rested in. Even more peculiar was the fact that the lightning let off neither heat nor electricity. After seeing the bolt of lightning an eerie calm over took the storm and a voice murmured, “On this day remember your actions. Remember the cause, recall the Right to which you are entitled.” The oppressive air now felt like the calm before a storm.
When the voice disappeared, loud, high pitched wails and screeching echoed in the distance. The ear splitting commotion was enough to wake the dead. Morgaine began to get dizzy to the point that she would have sworn the trees were running in circles around her and the ground was rushing up to meet her. Her head felt like it was ready to explode into a million little fragments. Whatever was happening it wasn’t going to be good, this Morgaine knew as surely as she understood that apples and baking were her life.
Just as suddenly as the freak storm blew in, it stopped. Now Morgaine was suffering from a migraine, dizziness and nausea, as well as being wet from the rain. This was just great. Morgaine didn’t think that this day could get any worse. She didn’t know just how wrong she was.
Morgaine rested in the tree for several more hours as she didn’t have the strength or will to move. As Morgaine stayed in the tree her mind began to clear from whatever sudden illness had grabbed a hold of her and fill her head with random images from her night terrors. At first these images terrorized Morgaine. But once they settled down Morgaine realized they weren’t images at all. They were memories. Memories that she didn’t necessarily want.
They were images of what she had been and all she had done in her numerous lives. As she concentrated on these memories Morgaine realized exactly how far back they went and what she once was. Finally her mind settled on one set of memories alone and when it did Morgaine’s nostrils flared and her cinnamon brown eyes hardened until they were ice cold. Because if there was one thing that Morgaine was going to do it would be tracking him down.
Morgaine would track down Emrys Aurelius, known as the advisor Merlin, and she would make him pay for his crimes against her. This she would do or her name was not Morgaine Le Fay. This Morgaine swore on every life she had ever lived and would ever live.
Morgaine would see that the Roman dog would pay for trying to keep the ways his foreign ancestors had bought with him to a land that was Morgaine’s by birth. Morgaine would not rest until the Roman dog returned that which he had taken. This she vowed.
This is the chosen cover for Reincarnated Fate.