Sunday, January 5, 2014

'Troubadour Book One: The Story of Almar' by Frank Adams

Book blurb:

After living through complete destruction of their land, the Five journey across the terrible sea in search for remnants of their own kind, while the sun is becoming a red giant, swallowing up the solar system one planet at a time. They must survive bloody rebellion from their old friends and save the one creature, stolen and tortured, which may have the power to save the universe or destroy it. Follow the epic story of the Five, immortal yet vulnerable and able to see across the universe. Journey with the Five across time and space, towards the very center of all that exists, while evil darkness threatens.

Read the first chapter:

Chapter 1

The Nowallas

“Almar!” cried his mother. “Fly to the top of the tree, quickly!”
Startled into wakefulness by her piercing voice, not wanting to let go of the happy memory, Almar asked, “What is it mother? I was dreaming.”
“Now Almar, now!” she cried with urgency. “The land is sliding away! We must save ourselves!”
Almar let go of the branch that he was hanging from, the branch that he loved. He flew through the thick maze of branches and leaves until he came out of the tree and into the black night.
Black winged creatures were swarming all about. They were quickly flying upwards in a spiral towards the top of the giant Siata Tree; the home of so many. These creatures were his friends and neighbors, the Nowallas Sweenala, the Hovering ones of the Night that he grew up with.
In the winged, panicked frenzy to the top, a grown Nowallas flew close, swiping Almar with its wing tip, leaving a slash along the side of his face. Pink translucent blood splashed into his eyes, making it painfully hard to see the flight to the top of the high trees.
He landed upside down on a high branch, crowded with other Nowallas. They pushed together to make more room as a flood of Nowallas searched for a place to perch. Off in the distance he saw black clouds of Nowallas landing on other Siata Trees.
Then there was silence, a silence of terrifying expectation. The night air began to stir; it was the spirit of the air tightening, constricting.
There was a deep rumble then loud creaks as the giant Siata Tree swayed to the side.
Almar looked off in the distance. Over there were the Gortal Mountains, lush, green, towering and full of game to eat. Down below were the Belarka falls thundering into a misty concussion of foam. From there flowed the Lefoby River, white with its shattering flood. The Lefoby cut its way through the deep Shana valley below. The Shana Valley was the home of the Nowallas Sweenala. With its deep ravine and towering cliffs, old knurly trees and rocks, it was the place where they played and hunted in the dark.
A tear sprang from his eye. “Dear Shana Valley,” he whimpered. “Please do not go away, not yet. Let it be just a quake like the other times. I don’t want to loose you.”
There was another rumble, this one louder and deeper as if from the center of the world. There was a deep groaning retch and the sound of tearing. The Siata Tree swayed back and forth. It loudly creaked and then it began to splinter. The ground below was rising tilting.
With the sound of continues exploding, the Shana valley tore apart. First the Lefoby and then the Belarka Falls disappeared into the cataclysm. And then the giant Siata Tree that the Nowallas were clinging to began to fall. The whole land was falling into the vast darkness.
He jumped into the air. Thousands of Nowallas took flight and then stopped in mid air, hovering and watching. Almar took his eyes away from the spectacle to look for his mother. Then there was a thundering explosion. In front of his eyes the Gortal Mountains crumbled and slid into the abyss.
“Mother!” he screamed in panic, but there was no answering call.
They increased their altitude, for the choking dust was rising and with it a great and terrible whirlwind. “Mother please!” he called out.
Rock and tree limb streaked through the air like missiles, smashing through the cloud of hovering Nowallas, many becoming injured and then falling from the impacts into the whirlwind. Others, while alive were pulled down and away into the darkness by the sucking wind.
And then he saw her; she was far below, flapping her wings, trying to gain height. Her struggle was like that of a ladder that keeps sliding down as one tries to climb up. Slowly she was sinking deeper and deeper. Something was bundled under one of her wings.
“Mother!” he choked and began to plunge down.
A claw grabbed his wrist, jolting him back from his downward thrust. “Almar, you cannot save her. You must fly or you will die.” It was Ballo his uncle, the father of Bitmia and Ursta his cousins and closest friends, that was holding him, keeping him from his mother and pulling him up, up, up.
He looked back and saw his mother for the last time. She saw him and with a look of deep love, she stopped struggling and let the vacuum take her and that
which she carried under her wing. Then she was gone.
Others tried to increase their altitude, but only a very few were able to reach a height where a stand off could be held against the pulling wind.
These few survivors were now able to hover again. They waited for the dust to settle. All was lost. All around them, as far as the eye could see, was a dead, ragged waste, empty of life. It was now a land cracked and shattered, an empty dark canyon leading into the very hollows of what was once their world.
They began their journey. They left what was once Shana Valley and crossed new and wild lands, some untouched and beautiful while others were scorched by flame and eruption from below. But nowhere did they find a place to settle. Nowhere were they able to find other Nowallas Sweenala. Nor could they find a place where there were any Siata Trees. How could they ever live without a Siata Tree?
They searched forest and mountain. They flew across desert and explored vast empty wastes of ice reaching beyond the curve of the planet. They were nomads with no home, hunting as they went, their strength failing, their numbers dwindling.
And then they reached the sea. They did not know what to make of it and they were afraid.
Long they stayed at the seashore never forgetting that they were only temporary dwellers. They still dreamed of finding others like themselves and
perhaps finding only one more Siata Tree; that was all they needed for they were now few in number.
Months they stayed gaining their strength from the new food they found in the sand and water. A temporary home was found in a deep, damp cave.
“We cannot stay here” said Partok the Old. “This is not a place for Nowallas Sweenala.” They were hanging upside down from the roof of the cave.
“There is no place for us” said Dalnor. “We are lost and we will eventually die.”
They looked across to Ballo who was now their leader. He said, “Tomorrow I will fly west across the water. I will fly alone if necessary or if you wish you may join me”. All remained silent as dawn approached and sleep slowly took them.

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Author bio:

Frank Adams is a jack of all trades: Competitive gymnast, Coach of an acrobatics troop, comic acrobat, long distance back packer and hiker, actor and now an author. His next book “Troubadour book two The Actor will be coming out shortly along with several non fiction books. His goal is to see, get inside of and write about the great places of the earth.

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