I’m pleased to be featuring the new release from Suzanne Rogerson.
Silent Sea Chronicles
The Lost Sentinel – Book 1
Kalaya is controlled by the Assembly – set up to govern but now under the control of Rathnor, who is intent on persecuting those who have magic, many of whom have taken refuge in the Turrak Mountains.
Tei has been raised to hide her magic, until her father, Migil, is visited by an old friend who warns them that they must seek refuge in the mountains.
On the journey, an enemy attack leaves her father mortally wounded. He sees her into the care of two exiles, Rike and Garrick, and on his deathbed makes a shocking confession that changes Tei’s life.
Tei must put her trust in these strangers, especially when mysterious Masked Riders seem determined to stop her reaching Turrak.
Struggling with self-doubt, Tei joins the exiles in their search for their lost Sentinel. But the Masked Riders want the Sentinel too, and time, as well as hope, is running out.
Can Tei help the exiles save the island magic and reunite the Kalayan people before their ignorance destroys them all?
Available at Amazon The Lost Sentinel
Tei tossed and turned, the damp sheet crumpling beneath her. She focused on the meditation her father had taught her, trying to distract herself from the discomfort of the hot summer’s night.
Without warning, the shackles of her body fell away and her spirit slipped free. She hovered above herself, seeing the covers hanging askew and her hair flattened with sweat against the pillow. Her father would be angry if he discovered she’d switched into astral form, but if she didn’t stray far, he’d never know.
She drifted through the house and hovered outside her father’s bedroom door. His soft snoring was barely audible through the wood. Feeling a thrill of excitement, Tei floated beyond the walls of their home and out into the night.
She wandered the dark streets of the fishing town, seeing her surroundings in shades of grey. She felt none of the fear she would have felt if walking the streets in physical form; nothing could harm her spirit here.
A stray dog flashed white against the greyness as he slunk past her into the night, oblivious to her presence.
Growing in confidence, she travelled inland, away from the town that seemed now more like a prison. She flew through the sky above the fields and trees, the land beneath her speeding past in whirls of grey. The colours brightened as the ancient woods pulsated with their old magic.
A movement caught her eye. She dropped down below the treetops and hovered at ground level.
A roe deer stood staring at her, its startled eyes wide and its muscles bunched, preparing to bolt.
‘It’s all right pretty one,’ Tei said, though her voice had no more substance than her body.
The young buck sniffed the air. Smelling no threat, it turned and trotted into the undergrowth.
Tei’s heart hammered. She wished she could ask her father why only some animals could see her spirit, but that would mean admitting she was acting against his wishes.
Tei floated through the forest where magic surrounded her, glowing bright against the gloom of night. Here the magic blazed with brighter hues than the weak light of her hometown.
She decided to confront her father in the morning and ask him to teach her more about astral travel. As she drifted along, Tei worded the conversation in her head. Engrossed in her plans, she almost missed the group of feeding rabbits. The small creatures were busy nibbling at the grass and ignored her. She sensed a tawny owl watching her from the branch of an oak tree and a squirrel curled asleep in one of its hollows.
Each animal she encountered held its own unique glow. She knew every creature, including humans, were linked to the island’s magic. Her father had taught her about the symbiotic relationship between the land and its people, how the connection was only visible in astral form. That’s why the people were forgetting their link to Kalaya and why she had to hide her talent. It wasn’t fair, she thought, staring back at the owl as it studied her indifferently.
She grew tired, but as she prepared to soar into the sky and head home, a strange shimmering through the trees caught her eye. She drifted closer and saw it was a man. There was something different to him, a wholeness to the glow surrounding him. Tei sucked in a breath, realising she was seeing a dead man’s spirit in transition; soon he would reconnect with the island and feed its magic.
Curious, Tei floated closer. Her magic hummed and heat pulsed in her fingers. She looked at her hand, seeing her own glow brighten as she neared the dead man.
She wanted to call out to him, but he drifted away from her. Tei followed the spirit’s progress, his movements jerky and unpredictable as though he was trying to escape something.
She chased him, almost losing sight of his spectral image in the grey mists of the forest. Her spirit began to feel heavy and unresponsive as she moved beyond the range of her body’s connection.
‘Wait!’ Her voice vanished in the murky expanse between them.
Finally, the man turned and she saw the stranger’s face – a translucent reflection of how he must once have appeared in life.
‘Why are you here?’ He glanced warily over his shoulder. ‘You should go.’
Tei looked around but everything seemed unfamiliar. ‘I don’t know if I can.’
The spirit shook his head. ‘This is no place for a child, it’s not safe.’
As he spoke, black shapes began to materialise in the mists behind him. The swirling shadows snaked together, merging into one. Like the blackest rain cloud, it shifted and contorted. Tei saw a flash of talons, a brief glimpse of a monstrous face, but the boiling mass of shadows never stayed still long enough to form a solid whole.
She opened her mouth to scream a warning, but the darkness pounced and ensnared the dead man’s spirit.
He gave a strangled cry. She saw the outline of his face stretching out from the writhing black mass, before the shadows swelled and absorbed him.
The ground shuddered, and for a heartbeat the magic around her dulled.
Tei held her breath, waiting for the creature to see her. She looked for escape but the grey astral mists of the forest offered nowhere to hide.
An apparition of a woman appeared beside her and reached out a shimmering hand. ‘Come with me.’
Tei stared at the woman, spellbound by her golden radiance.
‘Hurry, we can’t stay here.’
Tei hesitated as the creature swung its hungry gaze their way.
‘Now!’ the woman shouted.
The shadowed beast gave a guttural roar and charged towards them.
About Suzanne Rogerson
She wrote her first novel at the age of twelve. She discovered the fantasy genre in her late teens and has never looked back. Giving up work to raise a family gave her the impetus to take her attempts at novel writing beyond the first draft, and she is lucky enough to have a husband who supports her dream – even if he does occasionally hint that she might think about getting a proper job one day.
Suzanne loves gardening and has a Hebe (shrub) fetish. She enjoys cooking with ingredients from the garden, and regularly feeds unsuspecting guests vegetable-based cakes.
She collects books, loves going for walks and picnics with the children and sharing with them her love of nature and photography.
Suzanne is interested in history and enjoys wandering around castles. But most of she likes to escape with a great film, or soak in a hot bubble bath with an ice cream and a book.