Welcome to this weeks Friday Author Spotlight! Today J Drew Brumbaugh is visiting with his fantasy novel, Fall of the Western Kings, from his Tirumfall Trilogy. He will be sharing an excerpt from the book, but first, let’s get acquainted with the author.
J Drew Brumbaugh lives in northeast Ohio where he spends his time writing sci-fi, fantasy and suspense novels, teaching and training at the karate dojo he and his wife founded, building a Japanese garden in his backyard, and taking walks in the woods with his wife. He has five novels in print, a collection of short stories, and a co-authored children’s book. He continues to work on his next book and seems to always have several stories in various stages of completion.
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About the Book
An epic fantasy filled with action and unique characters where good battles evil. There are demons and dragons, magic swords and wizards plus a woodland nymph who will steal your heart, a girl who can fly and some different sorts of knights.
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Keep reading for an excerpt:
Gant’s long strides carried him swiftly along the animal trail through the old forest. The cool shade under the leafy canopy was a welcome relief after the hot, sunny meadow where he’d secretly trained in swordsmanship with his uncle. The sweat dried slowly on Gant’s sinewy body, muscles developed by swinging a forge hammer in his father’s smithy. He had grown into a tall, muscular young man. His light brown hair fell loosely around his ears and his hazel eyes sparkled with enthusiasm.
He enjoyed the walk home almost as much as the sword practice. The solitude gave him time to reflect on his uncle’s criticism and advice. Certainly, he had improved over the years but he still had lots to learn and doing it in secret limited his practice time.
A warm breeze fluttered the leaves, sending flickering shadows dancing among the roots and ruts at his feet. As he walked along, Gant snapped his wooden practice sword in vicious arcs, visualizing specific moves, defending against imaginary attacks. One day, he thought, he would carry the real sword he’d made that lay hidden under his bed. For now, he had to be content to train with his wooden sword in secret and pray for the day that would change.
Voices drifted to Gant from over a slight rise in the trail ahead. Who could it be? What if he was seen? As a commoner sword practice was forbidden. Maybe he should hide or throw away his practice sword. The sounds grew louder, yells for help, sounds of a struggle. He recognized Gwen’s voice, his neighbor and friend. The other voice was Wendler, a nobleman’s son with a nasty reputation for deflowering peasant girls.
Gant sprinted to the top of the hill. Below he saw Wendler wrestling with Gwen, twisting her by the shoulders, trying to force her down. Gwen fought back, managing to stay on her feet.
“What are you doing,” demanded Gant, rushing down the slope toward them.
Over his shoulder, Wendler snarled, “I’m about to take this wench. Go away.”
Wendler slammed her against a tree trunk. Her breath burst from her body in a single gasp. And then he flung her to the ground like a rag doll and leaped on top, his hands clawing furiously at her dress, ripping away bits of the fabric.
Gant ran up behind Wendler and grabbed him by the collar. He yanked the nobleman to his feet, spun him around and shoved him back away from Gwen.
Wendler staggered for a step and then caught his balance. In one smooth motion, he had his sword out. The long, shiny blade flashed in the flickering sunlight. Wendler’s eyes flared.
“You’ve struck a nobleman. For that, I am going to kill you. Then I shall finish with the wench.”
For an instant, Gant panicked. The sight of sharp steel in Wendler’s hand sent shivers down his spine. That lasted only a split second as Gant’s training took over. He cleared his mind, concentrated on controlling his breathing and shifted into a defensive posture with the wooden practice sword ready.
“Let her go,” Gant said.
Wendler’s dark eyes filled with contempt, a sly smile curled his lips. “I shall enjoy killing you.”
“We’ll see about that.”
Wendler poked his sword menacingly in Gant’s direction. “Attacking a noble is punishable by death so killing you will not even raise an eyebrow.”
Gwen jumped to her feet, stumbled slightly, regained her balance, and screamed, “Gant. No. If he doesn’t kill you here they’ll execute you for fighting him.”
Gant ignored her and inched closer, wooden sword ready, intent on drawing Wendler away from Gwen. “Run,” Gant shouted, “run home.”
“No,” she said firmly, “not unless you go with me.”
“Too late for both of you,” snarled Wendler and advanced past the girl. “This useless son of a blacksmith has drawn a weapon on me and I shall kill him for his insolence.”