PROMO: When Darkness Begins by Tina O’Hailey

Time Travel Romance, Multiverse – 230 Pages

About the Book:

If you could change time to save your first love–even if it meant turning your back on the universe–would you?

It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators–devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.

Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind–unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.

Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?

Excerpt:

The teeth.

Drip. Blood drops.

Click. Click. Gnarled fangs clacking together.

Drip. Blood dripping from ancient fangs.

Thud. Her stick resolutely plunging into the earth.

Silence.

 

Even the small children had stopped running about and ran to hide behind their mothers. One small baby began to wail inconsolably.

“We prepare,” she announced. Then she motioned with her stick for the next ritual bound to take their place with her at the fire ring.

Aithagg turned towards his parents, his eyes wide with the unspoken words he had not had time to deliver.

His mother smiled and gestured with her chin for him to join the circle. “I know,” she whispered. Her smile was warm and loving, tinged with melancholy.

Aithagg smiled warmly to his mother, then beamed a broad grin and briefly met his father’s eyes.

His father was smiling from ear to ear. “Go,” he mouthed and urged Aithagg towards the fire with a gentle flip of his hand. Aithagg and Catha approached the fire hand in hand and took their place.

All stilled.

Eterili seemed to be without her normal showmanship this evening. Her voice was tired and gruff. “We begin.”

The youngsters turned with their backs to the fire and faced the tribe. Eterili continued to circle them, walking, clicking, dripping putrid blood.

“What do you pledge to me, to the moon, to the sky, to your

tribe?” she growled.

Catha squeezed Aithagg’s hand, and they shared a brief smile before reciting, “I will go forth and find my time, my place, my home. Turning away from my family and my friends, I will dedicate my eternity to keeping the universe whole. Should another adjust my time, my place, my home I will defend it until my last thought, through all eternity.”

Eterili stopped in front of Aithagg. She held out her bony finger as if to touch his chest as she had before in the white light of the ritual site. Her eyelids crinkled with a small smile that did  not touch her lips. Turning she shouted with a little more gusto, “What do you protect?”

“Time.” Aithagg’s voice was quiet as he wondered what that encounter had meant.

“Why?” Eterili stood in front of Catha and patted her shoulder, leaving bloody smear marks on Catha’s furs.

Catha looked straight ahead, afraid to move and answered with the others. “Lest the sky pull my bones apart as the tribe is lost across all of time.”

Eterili moved on around the ritual circle but paid no further tokens of affection or attention to the youths there. She turned her back to them. “Will you survive the ritual?”

In unison, they hesitated then answered, “If I heed my teachings, we will survive the ritual.”

“It is the way.” Eterili quietly and with no further show walked away from the fire and disappeared into the darkness.

 

*As always, by clicking on the above (or below) cover it will bring you to the Amazon purchase page.

 

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