Welcome to another Friday Author Spotlight! This week I have Allison D. Reid returning with her newest novel and second book in her Wind Rider Chronicles series, Ancient Voices: Into the Depths. If you haven’t read her first book, Journey to Aviad, you can download it now for free!
Allison D. Reid was born in Cincinnati, Ohio. Her love for medieval fantasy was sparked by the Narnia Chronicles by C.S. Lewis, which fed both her imagination and her spiritual development. When at the age of thirteen her family moved to Germany, her passion for medieval history and legend only increased, and she found herself captivated by the ancient towns and castles of Europe.
Allison returned to the United States to study art and writing at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. She earned her B.A. under the tutelage of the well-renowned and prolific writer Andrew Salkey, a student of her other great inspiration, and the father of fantasy, J. R. R. Tolkien. After graduating from Hampshire College, Allison moved to Connecticut. There she got the opportunity to attend seminary and further explore her faith before returning to her home state of Ohio.
Allison now lives in the Miami Valley area with her husband and children. She continues to work on her first published series while taking care of her family, editing for other independent writers, and managing a home business.
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About the Book
The Kinship rides victorious into the small village of Minhaven, just in time to celebrate the Winter Festival. Their leader, Glak, brings with him both hope and spoils from battle, but also some distressing news. Though Minhaven’s greatest threat has finally been defeated, a new one is emerging to take its place.
The enemy Glak describes has not been seen in hundreds of years, yet somehow it has been haunting Elowyn’s dreams. Has Braeden’s cruel reach followed her from Tyroc’s troubled borders into this remote wilderness? If so, there is no place left to run, and the Kinship is preparing to fight an enemy more sinister and powerful than they can possibly imagine.
Past becomes present, as prophecies long buried continue to emerge, revealing their truth to the coming generation. The Era of Peace has ended. The Era of Awakening has begun. While Morganne seeks guidance from the crumbling pages of ancient tomes, Elowyn tries to find her place within a community for the first time.
Despite the impending danger, Morganne and Elowyn decide to make their stand with the people of Minhaven. As they plunge into the depths of history, prophecy, the wilderness, love, fear, hope, faith…the girls begin to learn more about who they are, and who Aviad is calling them to be.
The Wind Rider Chronicles is an uplifting Christian fantasy series with a strong moral message. Fantasy readers will find all the traditional fantasy elements that they already love: quests, journeys, heroes, villains, fantastical creatures, and the eternal struggle between good and evil. In a world that places more and more emphasis on “shock value” as a method to grab attention, the Wind Rider Chronicles tells a compelling adventure story infused with God’s truth rather than graphic imagery.
Get it today on Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Smashwords, Createspace, and Kobo!
Keep reading for a short story by the author:
The Hounds of Alazoth
The sun had finally sunk below the rim of the world, bathing the Deep Woods in a dark blue twilight. Sensing movement, a Hound lifted his head, turning his nose toward the wind and perking his ears forward. A massive figure was rising up from the earth, his imposing black-horned leather armor and antlered helm a familiar sight. The Master was awake.
The Hound watched his master intently as he and his brothers were roused from sleep, now alert and ready to begin their nightly roving. But this was to be no ordinary night. The Master was calling to them in the only language they could understand…guttural and primitive, from the very dawn of time. There are men in the wood. Men who belonged to their sworn enemy, Aviad, the Creator of all things.
Humans were Aviad’s most prized creation, but they were made of flesh; fragile and weak, not worthy of the high status that had been bestowed upon them. They called the Master “Lord of Destruction,” and rightly so, for since the beginning of their existence he had brought nothing but chaos and death into their lives. The Master had found no way to destroy Aviad—he was far too powerful. But the human vermin were a different matter. The Hound let out a low, angry snarl. How had they dared to cross over into the Deep Woods, the dominion of his master? From within the hound’s belly, the depths of the abyss spewed forth as fire, and he let out a smoky howl at the rising moon. His brothers followed his lead. The hunt had begun, and there would be no escape.
The Master raised his staff, leading his pack into the thick of the wood where the waning light had formed great pools of shadow. The darkness brought them into full wakefulness, sharpening their instincts and giving them clarity of sight. His nose to the ground, the Hound picked up the men’s scent. He let out a glorious howl that was sure to chill their souls if they could hear it. The pack rushed forward, excited by the smell of prey, their tongues salivating at the memory of previous kills…the taste of flesh, the aroma of fear, the shrieks of pain. They were shrieks of victory that Aviad could hear.
Far ahead, there was a flash of movement in the trees. There were three men, all wearing the rough brown robes of the Enemy. Holy men. Around them Aviad’s light glowed, making the Hounds’ sensitive eyes ache with pain. But this did not deter them, it only sharpened their anger. The Master called out to them again…the holy men are not here by chance. They had found something of importance—an ancient relic that belonged to the Enemy. A relic that had had the power to decimate the Master’s armies. It had been buried in the Deep Woods for hundreds of years in the hopes that it might never again be found. But somehow these holy men had found it. They must not be allowed to carry it out of the wood.
Bristling and growling, the pack raced even faster. The Hounds knew they would be upon the men in a matter of moments—no man or beast could match their speed, enhanced by the power of the Master’s staff. Their prey continued to run in a pathetic attempt to get away, their legs and the thick brush getting tangled in their long robes, slowing them down. Their master called out again for speed. The men were heading toward the river, the protected border of the Deep Woods which the Hounds were still unable to cross.
The Hounds were so close upon the men now that they could smell their sweat, and hear their desperate gasping for air. The Hound let out a burst of flame from his belly, scorching the trees as he passed. One of his brothers lunged and caught the slowest of the holy men, bringing him to the ground. The man cried out, but not for long. Several others joined, not to be denied the pleasure of a fresh kill.
The rest of the pack continued to pursue the remaining men. The second one fell, his screams of horror quickly silenced as he was set upon with ravenous fervor. The Master tore through the men’s clothing and their bags, but the relic was not there. He called out again. You must bring down the last of the men without fail. The pack was close on his heels now, snapping at his robes. The leading hound lunged, but the holy man jerked evasively to the right. Another leaped, his claws catching the man across the back. He screamed in pain, his brown robe turning red, but he did not stop running. He was quickly approaching the river. The Hound surged forward with all his strength, catching the man’s legs and felling him at the water’s edge. His weight was pressed upon the struggling holy man to keep him from getting away. He could not help but howl with delight that he had been the one to do his master’s bidding.
But this holy man was not screaming in fear as the others had. He was uttering something in a language the Hound could not understand, but that pained his ears. Before he knew what was happening, the man had fumbled beneath his robe and pulled out an object of such brightness that the whole wood seemed to be enveloped in the light of the sun. A searing pain stabbed through his eyes and head. He cowered from the light, yelping and whimpering, completely paralyzed. The Master was furious; the holy man was getting away. He was fording the river, his blood staining the water around him as he waded across. It was too late. He was beyond even the reach of the Master now.
The bright light faded, but the ache of its stinging power remained. A host of red glowing eyes watched through the falling darkness as their quarry disappeared into the world of men. But while they had lost their battle over the relic, there was still hope in the gathering war. A new age was about to dawn upon a complacent, sleeping world, unprepared for the onslaught their master was preparing to unleash. The Hounds were not the only beasts of long forgotten legend that would soon break out upon the present day. The Master would breach the river barrier…it was only a matter of time. The Hound lifted his nose once more to the wind. The scent of lost souls was intoxicating.
“The Hounds of Alazoth” is part of an anthology, The Magical Muse: A Collection of Fantasy Stories ranging from dark, to light and inspiring, bring life to this anthology. The creatures featured throughout, both good and evil, display the devastating or wonderful personalities they were given by the authors who created them for your enjoyment.