For any author, revealing a new book is like showing off your newborn child. You’re filled with excitement, proud of your achievement and hope that everyone who reads it will gasp with delight when they see it for the first time. Of course, you want the reader to admire the book cover, drool over the contents and, after devouring every word, reward your hard work by hitting the 5 star Amazon button.
So where did the idea for this new book come from? Well, after writing Betrayers of Magic I was literally bombarded with emails from readers who fell in love with one of the new characters I’d introduced. Unlike my first newborn, Crystal in the novel Sinners of Magic he wasn’t blessed with magic powers or a handsome face for that matter.
Of course, I’m talking about Clump, the Windigo who helped Crystal find the Book of Souls. Indeed, he isn’t the brightest of characters either but he has a heart of gold and a story to tell that will keep you enthralled long after the lights should have gone out.
For those of you who do not know what Windigos are, they are changelings. By day they are huge, hairy creatures with long, floppy ears. They eat the flesh of immortals and some are quite vicious. They catch their victims by screaming. The sound is so terrifying that the immortals are petrified, literally frozen to the spot, and this makes them easy prey. By night, the Windigos turn into Timber Wolves and hunt within the Red Canyon. They feed on anything they can find which is usually small animals or birds because food is often scarce.
Book Blurb for Clump, A Changeling’s Story
A race of monsters by day and ferocious timber wolves by night, the Windigos who live in the Red Canyon are formidable creatures. They survive by eating the flesh of the living but, oddly enough, there is one amongst them who cannot abide the taste of meat on his lips.
His name is Clump and he’s the chief’s only son. Each night and under the cover of darkness he sneaks away to feed upon a multitude of wild berries and fruits. No one knows his terrible secret but his father, Serpen, is growing suspicious.
Then one day, the Nonhawks, a vile species that likes to murder and maim, capture one of the tribe members, brutally disfiguring another. The victim is Brid, Clump’s sister, who is found abandoned in the plateau after suffering a beating which almost costs the young Windigo her life.
Serpen organises a group of hunters to help save Horith, the son of his trusted advisor, from the clutches of the Nonhawk tyrant, King Forusian. After the pack makes its way inside the castle, events spiral out of control which lead to Clump being accused of abandoning his father and leaving him to die.
Sentenced to death, Clump’s life changes forever when he is forced to flee his village. He soon embarks upon a magical journey where he will strike an unlikely deal with a witch, be saved by a Plainwalker and find a friend in an Elvin princess.
Be prepared! This is a touching story of unlikely friendships, unexpected love and the most deadliest of betrayals.
COMING December 22nd, 2014
Title: Clump, A Changeling’s Story – To Pre-Order Please Click the Link: http://bookgoodies.com/a/B00QXO08MW
Author: Lynette E. Creswell
Publisher: Amazon Kindle
Word Count: 111,247
Excerpt – Chapter 1
It was his eyes, round and frightened, that made Isis want to turn and run. They looked as wild as the forbidden mountains and she couldn’t help notice how his lower lip trembled when she approached. Her fingers dipped into a silver bowl. Lifting a cloth she squeezed out the water and gently, very gently, wiped away the beads of sweat from his cold, damp forehead. She had no words of comfort to give him. All her attempts had caught in her throat and her eyes strayed to the mangled hand which hung like an unwelcome guest at his side. Drops of blood were dripping towards the floor and she unconsciously licked her lips, her stomach griping from being so empty. None of her kind had eaten anything other than bone bread for two whole days and the scent of his blood, mixed with the smell of raw flesh, was making her hunger unbearable.
She glanced at the makeshift bandage covering his hand, unable to draw her eyes away from the dark, crimson stain. Isis shuddered, pushing the urge to gnaw at what was left of the damaged limb to the back of her mind. He was one of her own, a Windigo, therefore she felt ashamed of herself for thinking such despicable thoughts, unable to stop herself. She noticed the young Windigo was beginning to shiver and so she pulled an old woven blanket over his body, thankful for the distraction.
His name was Horith and he was one of the younger members of the tribe. Isis made him comfortable, doing her best to keep her gaze averted from the blood-soaked hand. Time ticked slowly by whilst she waited for their leader to arrive. Without doubt Manadeth would know what to do.
Isis gave a sigh of relief. Manadeth was not only the chief but also the mother of her lifelong partner, Serpen. Isis cared for Manadeth deeply. She was not only wise but she was powerful and strong. Isis closed her eyes and allowed her mind to drift to a time long before she was born. For thousands of years her kind had been feared by those who called them monsters. Isis remembered how her ancestors once prowled the realms and took whatever they wanted from the living, which was usually their lives. The tribes soon flourished until a time when they separated into new colonies, threatening each and every kingdom in the land. The elves were the first to wager a war against them; wielding swords of magic, they culled her species to near extinction. Those who survived fled into the mountains and remained hidden for many, many centuries, living like scavengers off small animals and birds, barely able to keep themselves alive. Their insatiable hunger made them scream with despair and in time they became known as the demons of the mountains.
A sharp clatter brought her back to reality and she opened her eyes, surprised to see Manadeth staring at her. Her leader was well over seven feet tall with a body that was covered in fur from the tip of her head right down to the soles of her feet. Although there was nothing remotely human about Manadeth, she could, at times, be kind-hearted and compassionate towards those whom she cared about.
The chief pointed a thick, hairy finger towards the fire that blazed in the centre of the cave.
“Bring me the axe,” Manadeth urged, rushing over to Horith and inspecting what was left of his injured hand. Isis understood, for it was plain to see that if the male was left much longer he would most likely bleed to death. She turned towards the flames which danced before her eyes to see a long, smooth piece of iron protruding from the centre. She wavered momentarily before grabbing hold of a piece of thick cloth and wrapping it around the handle. A tongue of flame shot out from between the peats when she lifted the axe, the head glowing red like a dragon’s eye as it was pulled from the amber flame.
Isis felt her mouth turn dry. With slow, meticulous steps she made her way to the chief’s side and when she reached her, she very carefully handed her the axe.
“Give Horith the ethereal vapours,” her Elder commanded, taking the weapon from her grasp and Isis nodded once again, hurrying to Horith’s side.
She looked down at the young Windigo and felt a wave of despair wash over her. This was Torolf’s son, an advisor who had already lost his female mate just two winters past. It had been a terrible day such as this when a swarm of Red Dragons came down from the heavens and almost eradicated their entire village in one fell swoop. Now he was about to find that his son was to suffer a different kind of loss in his short lifetime.
Isis heard Manadeth take a deep breath and she instinctively covered Horith’s nose and mouth with a cloth that had been soaked with a liquid that turned into vapour when inhaled. Horith didn’t struggle. He simply whimpered, staring into her eyes until the light in them dimmed and he became semi-conscious.
Then Isis looked up and watched her leader drag a tall, wooden block used for chopping meat to Horith’s side. With an unexpected tenderness she placed the damaged limb carefully onto the curve of the block. Mesmerised, Isis was transfixed as the chief raise the axe high into the air. In the small, sparsely lit room, Manadeth looked magnificent, her strong limbs wielding the axe above her head and without hesitation brought the weapon down with a swoosh, slicing though skin and bone with one clean swipe. A thud was heard as the axe severed the hand just above the wrist and the silence was shattered by a piercing scream of agony. Horith jerked upwards, holding the stump of his arm up into the air, screaming even louder when he realised his hand was no longer there. Manadeth dropped the axe to the floor with an almighty clatter and her strong arms reached out and slammed the young Windigo down onto the makeshift bed.
“Give him more vapours!” she shouted at Isis, “we need him calm so I can close up the wound.”
Isis obeyed, soaking the rag and dragging it over Horith’s nose and mouth once again, only this time she held it there for considerably longer. His thrashing limbs finally slowed and when he lay still, Manadeth was able to let go of his quivering body. Isis caught sight of the amputated hand which lay in a dish on the floor. She watched Manadeth bend down and pick up the bowl, prodding the limb with her finger before unwrapping the blood-soaked bandage from it. She threw the cloth onto the fire and the flames hissed, the smell of blood filling the room with a metallic aroma.
Manadeth came to her side.
“You do not need to stay for I can deal with Horith from here on,” she said, wiping her hands clean on a corner of the blanket. “Here, take this tasty morsel home and make good use of it. There’s enough to make a stew or at least a good nourishing soup for Serpen.”
Before Isis could protest, Manadeth pushed the bowl into her hands. “I know what you’re thinking but this limb is of no use to Horith any longer. It would be a shame to waste it, so let’s not.” Isis felt a lump grow in her throat but she didn’t argue, instead she accepted the bowl and gave a weak smile. The chief turned away, and Isis watched her take hold of a bone needle and thread.
Her eyes swept back towards the severed hand and a wave of despair washed over her. Although she was very hungry, she felt it was wrong to eat any part of Horith. However, she knew Serpen would not see it that way. His temper was renowned throughout the village and should he find out she had refused such a gift, his wrath would no doubt become unbearable.
Isis dithered, but Manadeth was soon shooing her out the door like an unwanted fly.
“Go home at once and make my son a hearty meal,” she ordered, almost pushing her out of the doorway.
Book Review by Joy Wood: I have just finished reading Clump, A Changeling’s Story, which I absolutely loved. Full of delightfully believable characters, the author has the ability to make you feel that you are actually there in the midst of their journey; I just didn’t want the adventure to end. It’s a well thought out and compelling story, which will completely capture your imagination. A brilliant read which I found difficult to put down, and I can’t wait to purchase a hard copy.
*Please note you do not have to have read ‘The Magic Trilogy’ to enjoy this new standalone novel.