I'm so happy to announce that Adel's Purr will be released this Saturday! I have to admit as my first Paranormal release that I'm very excited about this book. And before you ask, yes I'm working on book two. The excerpt has been released so I thought I'd give you a peak at Adel's Purr.
Genres: Fantasy, Gay, Paranormal/Alternate World, Romance
Pages: 276 pp.
Word Count: 57658
Blurb: Evan Hallvard is a stone mason, like his father before him. In a world struggling to recover from a war that swept humanity to the brink, Evan struggles to learn about and control a power he knows nothing about. He can create and awaken living stone gargoyles. When he receives a message from his contacts that a large gargoyle is about to be destroyed by the Church, Evan rushes to save it.
Adel has been asleep for centuries; this century -- with its mechanical devices and human beings set on their own destruction -- holds no interest for him. Yet, through the haze of his hibernation, he hears a voice calling to him, needing him. When he awakens, he is restrained by those he is sworn to protect. Struggling does him no good, and he is about to close his eyes on a world that no longer wants him, when he hears that voice calling again. Calming, soothing, it draws him forth, softening his stone heart like no other ever has. Between the evil that hunts Evan and the Church that wants Adel destroyed, will the two be able to find love, wrapped up in Adel's Purr?
Excerpt: Gargoyle Lore
As written by the scribes and entombed in the Church Archives:
1) Carved from a single piece of natural stone. Can not be made of stone composite, or molded. Their original form is carved. Their spirit is called to life by an Earth Elemental they call their Maker. They become living stone: stone by day and living, breathing flesh and blood by night.
May 14, 2215 - just before sunset…
The modern-day equivalent of a hermit, Evan Halvard lived by himself on a couple acres of forested land in the mountains, far enough away from civilization so people couldn't bother him. He liked to tell his friends he lived close enough to town to do business easily, yet far enough up in the mountains that people had to be determined in order to find him. The arrangement served him well, keeping most of the unwanted interruptions away and gave him a modicum of privacy.
Spring felt cool this year up in the mountains, but as Evan stood in his garden tilling the soil, nature spoke to him of green and growing things. Winter's last bite of the season had come and gone. The tender seeds he planted would flourish. Most people would find the soil cold and painful, but Evan loved the feeling of the earth beneath his feet and between his toes. He'd told his father many times how, if he stood barefoot in the soil the ground would speak to him, but no matter how many times Evan's father had humored him, Evan seemed to be the only one who heard the earth whispering.
Evan stood and rested an arm on his hoe, smiling to himself as he reached into his back pocket and pulled out a large leather hair tie. He pulled back his unruly dark brown dreadlocks and tied them out of the way at the back of his neck. He pulled off his T-shirt and wiped it across his face and the back of his neck, absorbing the sheen of sweat forming on his light mocha skin. Evan worked as a stonemason and was accustomed to physical labor—repairing walls, laying brick, and pretty much anything that dealt with rock. But standing in the last rays of the setting sun, bent over a hoe prepping the soil for seeds didn't count as work but was a labor of love.
Evan smiled as he thought of how his adoptive father, Peter Stein, would've scolded him for doing what he considered women's work. He'd been taken in by the Steins when he was very young, but they loved him as if he were their own. To his father, men were hunters and women were supposed to tend to the plants. Evan couldn't help his love of nature. He loved caring for green things almost as much as he loved his stonework. Spring, his favorite time of year, simply spoke of awakenings, beginnings, and plantings. Since he'd no intentions of ever marrying a woman—as he'd discovered long ago he was not attracted to females—he had to do his own planting, which he openly told all who asked. Truthfully, the green-things around him were connections to the earth and they gave him a sense of peace and security he felt from nothing else. The earth's awakening, as the frost of winter receded and things came back from that the death-like sleep, gave new life to Evan as well.
Evan watched the sun drop down below the tree covered horizon, and as the last rays of direct sunlight disappeared into dusk, he felt the familiar tingle at his throat as his closest friend awoke. He reached up and stroked the stone necklace, which put a smile on his face as the cool spring air washed over him. A tiny rumbling purr began against his collarbone.
"Evening, Cela." Evan felt the little dragon unwrap himself from around his neck, stretch, and coo merrily.
Evan stretched work stiffened muscles, his friends awakened, like Cela, and he could feel their approach as they made their way from their various daytime perches to venture out into the night. He always knew when there were gargoyles about, even during the daytime. He could easily distinguish between living stone and statues. He'd been fifteen and an apprentice to his father the first time it happened: he'd discovered Cela. Well, he hadn't really discovered Cela; Evan had awoken the dragon. He'd unknowingly called to the gargoyle's sleeping soul, bequeathed to the statue by the artist who'd sculpted the dragon. And so, Evan had given the statue life, awakening the gargoyle as living stone.
* * * *
Ten years before…
"Hey Dad, what's that?" Evan asked.
"What's what?" Peter replied, looking at his son, then following his gaze. "Oh, you mean the dragon statue. That's a gargoyle, a guardian, and a pretty small one at that. They used to adorn many structures. Our ancestors believed they'd guard our souls from the evil in the night. You don't see them much anymore. The hunters from the Abbey, under orders from the Bishop's Service and their deputies, smashed most of them. I guess it's so small, they must've overlooked that one." Peter looked at the little gargoyle.
"What a beautiful dragon."
"Yeah, and dangerous, just like their mythical counterparts. Just having statues like gargoyles on our property could bring the Inquisition to our door. They believe gargoyles depict mankind's violent nature and are proof of his inherent evil. They believe they represent evil, or in the worst cases, are personifications of the Devil."
"But Dad, how can anything so beautiful be evil?" Evan asked.
"Sorry, son, I never did understand their logic. I just know not to question the Church. Few survive the Inquisition, and those who do are never the same. Come on, let's get to work." Peter and Evan went back to working on the crumbling stonework walls, repairing the damage done by time and nature.
"What are gargoyles like?"
Peter smiled at his son. Evan was always inquisitive and a little thing like the Church disliking something was incentive for him to ask questions. "Well, let me see. My father used to tell tales of gargoyles, before the war. Before modernization, gargoyles were the nighttime protectors of the people. They kept people safe from evil."
"Really? Were they super strong and super fast?" Evan asked.
Peter chuckled. "Not that I remember him ever saying. They could fly, though. They could sleep for years in hibernation and then when called at night, would awaken and protect the people."
"Are they born?"
"No. Gargoyles are carved by artisans, like all statues. But there are special people in the world who have extraordinary powers. They are known as Elementals. Only a specific type of person can call the spirit to life and change a carved statue into living stone. Only Elementals can make the statue into a gargoyle."
"That's so cool! Do you know any Elementals?"
"Maybe… hand me the mortar." Peter held out his left hand so his son could pass him the bucket. "Get the supports ready."
"Okay. Can they be killed?"
"Can who be killed?" Peter asked, studying the rock wall before him as he plastered cracks in the mortar. Evan shored up the broken wall getting it ready for repair.
"They are immortal, but they can be killed. If the stone form is broken, then they can never awaken again. That's how the Church eliminated most of them, destroying them while they were vulnerable and unable to defend themselves. They can also be killed when they are flesh and blood, at night." Peter moved over to where Evan had finished bracing the wall and had begun to add new rocks, placing them and then mortaring them into position. "Good… good. Keep at it. I'm going around to work on the other side."
"So they don't run around as hard rock, but they move at night?"
"Not from what your grandfather said. They turn to regular flesh and blood at night. They hunt and eat, just like any other beast, although he did say that some of the older ones could talk. But I've never seen any larger than the little dragon you found earlier."
Peter stood and stretched. As father and son completed their work, the sun set over the horizon, leaving everything bathed in the half-shadow world of twilight.
"Come on, Evan. Let's get home before it gets too dark." Peter patted his son on the shoulder and grinned. "Your mom will have dinner ready and waiting for us."
"Okay, sounds good." Evan replied, a little distracted. "Dad, can I go check out the dragon statue? It'd be a real shame if something so small and fragile were damaged." Evan frowned, thinking in horror of someone intentionally smashing the little statue.
"Sure, go on. No one's around and I don't think anyone here'll report you for being interested in a gargoyle. Just keep the thing to yourself. I don't want to know what you do with it. I'm going to the truck. I know nothing." Peter smiled warmly at his son.
"Thanks, Dad." Evan took off at a run to find the little gargoyle statue before his father changed his mind. He found the mausoleum easily; there was only the one crypt in the small cemetery. He looked up to where the gargoyle should've been perched, but the spot was now empty. No dragon roosting over the door.
"I could've sworn—" Evan mumbled to himself, looking around to see if he'd somehow gotten the location wrong. No, the gargoyle had to be here. Evan walked around the perimeter of the crypt, looking for the little statue.
What could've happened to it? Evan thought. He and his dad were the only ones in the cemetery. Then he caught sight of a reddish glimmer, high up in a nearby tree. Evan frowned and looked a bit closer. The glimmer blinked and the red glow flashed.
"It's okay, I won't hurt you. Come on, you can't stay here, you're not safe." Evan spoke softly, trying to coax the little creature from the tree. "Come on, little one, dad's waiting for us." Evan extended his hands to the small gargoyle. "My name's Evan Halvard. Dad says my name means rock defender, in the old language. Come on now, I won't hurt you." Evan crooned and babbled, remembering being told animals didn't understand what you said but your tone of voice could either soothe or incite them. He'd no idea if the same applied to creatures of living stone.
Evan heard a couple of cheeps and whistles, which sounded vaguely bird-like, and the little gargoyle appeared, hanging on the central bark of the tree.
"There you are! Aren't you cute? Come on down. We have to go home. You can't stay here. There's no one to protect you."
I hope you enjoyed this little piece of Adel's Purr. Remember it releases Saturday, but is currently available to purchase at Silver Publishing.
Wishing you Love and Butterflies,