I am happy to share a new book release from fellow RRBC author, Vashti Quiroz-Vega!
Hi, everyone! Thanks for stopping by. I’m grateful to be a guest on Jan’s fabulous blog.
Which type of heroes do you like best in stories?
I prefer heroes who have flaws. Someone who is genuinely good but who has made mistakes, who has faced challenges and doubts, and who is sometimes vulnerable . . . a person who perhaps starts off ordinary, and as the story unfolds, becomes more apparent. I enjoy reading about heroes who are intelligent, selfless, kind, and courageous. They feel the fear and do what needs to be done anyway. I find the classic hero, who is perfect in every way and completely fearless, kind of boring. Gadreel is the type of hero I enjoy reading about.
Sabina dismounted her horse and treaded up to the gate. She placed a hand on the stone wall and lurched back. “A witch cast a binding spell on this town.”
“What do you mean?” I asked.
“A magical binding is a hex that restrains people, preventing them from doing something.” Sabina placed both palms against the gate and closed her eyes briefly. “An effective sorcerer did not want the people of this town to leave.”
“Why?” I asked.
“I’m not sure.”
I rode past the gate into Warwick, and the others followed me.
We climbed off our mounts. I kissed my horse on its neck and told him to lead the others to water. They galloped away, and we ambled on. Every surface, every blade of grass and twig, grew long ice crystals. In the distance a low clinging fog concealed the homes at the top of the road.
We continued toward the east of town and ran across a monastery. Blackened and charred walls crumbled under the weight of ashes. The ruins were still smoking, even in this frigid weather. We maneuvered the creaking threshold and came across the charred remains of several monks. One of them lay curled knee-to-nose, while another gripped his pectoral cross with both hands. Glass littered the floor where the windows had broken, and oil lamps lay blackened and twisted on the ground amid the corpses.
“Almost nothing escaped the bloody fire,” Golem said.
Dracúl banged his fist against a wall, almost knocking it down, and stormed out of the monastery. I followed him, and the others trailed behind.
“There’s a castle on the hill,” I said. “Let’s go there. Perhaps there’s someone who can tell us what happened here.”
Dracúl stared ahead, blood tears pooling in his eyes, and we moved on.
More rotting bodies lay strewn on the streets as we made our way to the castle. Most had missing parts. Many of the corpses’ middles had a strange bowl-shaped appearance. Upon closer inspection, we realized that their organs had been removed. Their chests and abdomens caved in because they were hollow.
“Why?” Golem whispered.
There should have been a foul stench in the air, but the cold, dry winds somehow inhibited the release of the disgusting stink coming off the dead bodies.
We knocked on doors and searched inside the dwellings. We passed the charred remains of a house. Upon investigation, we learned that the only edifices burned down were those that stored food and sheltered livestock, but this particular house was a regular family home. Why was it burned? Only its skeleton stood under the vibrant wintry sun. Sabina rushed inside, and before long, a scream pierced the air. We hurried in to find Sabina motionless with her hands covering her mouth. I steeled myself, went to her, and gasped at the gruesome scene.
I hope the excerpt intrigued you. Please let me know in the comments below. Thanks again for the visit.
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