As promised, today I bring you Meredith Bond's excerpt from Air: Merlin's Chalice. Got to tell you, I love the title. This is book one in the Children of Avalon Series. Book two will be released shortly. Read on.
In one day Scai has gone from being considered just unusual by the people of her little Welsh village to an outcast fleeing for her life. Left on the church steps as a baby, she knows nothing of her history—or her abilities. Did she really stop the rain just by wishing it to stop? But she is determined to learn all she can. Travelling alone to find her family seems to be the only way she’s going to find the answers she seeks.
Her journey leads her to the comical old knight Sir Dagonet, who tells her that she is one of a magical people called the Vallen. Together they continue on, joined by the handsome Dylan and the fiery Bridget on a new quest—to find the fabled Merlin’s Chalice, said to hold all the power of the entrapped wizard. Together, Scai, Dylan and Bridget discover that they are the long awaited Children of Avalon, destined to save the world from power-hungry Lady Nimuë—unless she kills them first.
Along the way, Scai finds magic—both in the wind and air that she can control at will, and in the sweet ache of a first love that she cannot.
“Hiyah!” Galloping hooves raced toward me from behind. “Hiyah!”
I turned and stood frozen with shock. I knew I should get out of the way. I was about to get run down, but my legs wouldn’t move. My mind refused to believe that what I saw was real.
A knight in full, gleaming armor was bearing down on me, his horse coming at me at a full gallop.
I opened my mouth to scream, but nothing came out. I couldn’t breathe.
The knight continued to race toward me, his hand raised above his head clutching an enormous sword. He came closer, faster, raising his sword even higher, ready to strike me down.
I was dead. There was no point in moving because I was dead.
I just stood in the middle of the path as my death came closer and closer. At the last second, I closed my eyes and clutched my arms against my body.
The heat and the smell of horse invaded all of my senses. Galloping hooves came within inches of me. My hair flew in the gust of air. And then he was behind me.
He had gone straight past!
I spun around and watched as, with a great war cry, the knight struck his sword into the side of an oak tree. The sword wobbled up and down with the force of the blow as the knight let it go. He continued past until his horse slowed down enough to safely turn about and return.
Ignoring his sword, the knight rode straight up to me. “You all right? Tell me you aren’t hurt, wot?”
“What, wot?” replied the knight.
“I…I’m sorry?” I looked past the knight at the tree where his sword was still waving gently.
“I’ve just saved your life; have you nothing to say?” the knight said, puffing out his chest.
The knight pulled up the visor on his helmet to stare at me.
Behind the shining metal were pale brown eyes crinkled with the lines of one who had spent a great deal of time smiling.
“I…I’m sorry. I didn’t…I mean, I hadn’t…er, thank you,” I said. Remembering my manners, I dipped into a deep curtsey. “Thank you, good knight, for saving my life.”
The knight gave me a small bow from atop his horse.
“Er…” I began, glancing back at the sword. “May I ask exactly what you saved me from?”
“What was it that you saved me from?”
“Oh. Er, that, er…” The knight gestured randomly toward the tree. “That, er, oak.”
“Yes. It was reaching out toward you and, er, oh, hobnobbit!”
A laugh burst out of me, releasing all the fear I’d pent up just a moment ago. For a minute there, I hadn’t been entirely certain that the knight was in his right mind, but clearly even he couldn’t keep up the pretense.
There had been nothing attacking me.
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Meredith Bond is an award-winning author of a series of traditionally published Regency romances and indie-published paranormal romances. Known for her characters “who slip readily into one’s heart,” Meredith’s heart belongs to her husband and two children. She loves knitting and traveling, but isn’t too sure she’d like to actually travel back in time to the eras she writes about. She enjoys her creature comforts much too much.