I walked into a local pub recently and who should I find there? well, I suppose you’re never going to believe it. You know how pubs are, usually filled with questing Neanderthal heroes or adventurous wizards? Well, this time who should I happen upon but a woman on a mission from god–Hyla, the star of Eye of the Soul–and her faithful scribe, Terri Rochenski? I know, such a sweet pair to find in such a place. I simply had to find out what their story was!
Good evening, ladies, thanks so much for joining us. Hyla, I know how important your mission is so I won’t keep you long, all right?
Hyla, you’re in the middle of an epic journey. If you could’ve avoided it, what would you be today, you think?
Hyla: Doubtless I would still be on our island home of Taran, finishing my apprenticeship to became a Healer. I would also be alone, never having had the chance to make true friends outside my people.
Oh, well. Maybe it was a good thing this happened then? But…. we all know stuff happens, so just to be a little evil, I have to ask, what do you hope not to find at the Pool of Souls?
Hyla: I’m heading to the Pool of Souls for a reason – to find the one Native who can help our people – and gods forbid I find disappointment instead.
Yeah, I can see how that would kinda ruin your day. What do you wish Terri hadn’t revealed about you?
Hyla: My Talent, my curse. Few know what plagues me, what keeps me from making friends, for it makes me an outcast among my people.
What’s your favorite bedtime story?
Hyla: I’ve never been told a bedtime story. I was orphaned upon birth, and Soroca, the woman who became my guardian, had no time – or desire – to amuse me with more than harsh words.
Awww…I’m sorry. That’s so sad. (I have this friend Terri, maybe she can help you out with that. I hear she weaves a mean bedtime story! ;)) Let’s try for a happier question: Jadon or Conlin?
Hyla: I’ve dreamed of love and children, but such a life is not possible because of my curse. As for the two mens’ personalities, Jadon is a womanizer and full of himself, and Conlin … I don’t know him as well, but he seems sweet and caring.
(*Takes Hyla aside* Given the two, Hyla, a bit of advice: go for the sweet and caring guy. Believe me, you might be saving yourself a whole lot of trouble!)
Now, Ms. Terri, as Hyla’s creator, I couldn’t leave you out. So I have a few questions for you, a) What inspired the Pool of Souls series?
Terri Rochenski: A trying of my own faith, patience, and identity a few years back. For the full story, you’ll need to stalk my guest posts during the EotS tour.
(The full tour list is on Terri’s site here: http://www.terrirochenski.com/eye-of-the-soul.html if you’d like to follow along, folks.)
And secondly, now that Eye of the Soul is out, what’s next for you and Hyla?
Terri: Book #2, Secret of the Souls, is due out in Oct. of 2014. Being preoccupied with a pregnancy & now newborn, the final few chapters that need written have taken a back seat! After the completion of this manuscript, Hyla’s story comes to an end.
That should be Hyla’s first thought as her people are chained and imprisoned for no imaginable reason.
Instead, Hyla finds herself traveling through a land void of Natives, with human soldiers pillaging in desperate pursuit of her, and in search of the mystical Pool of Souls—home to the one man who can save her people.
Or so she believes.
Led by her faith in the deity Fadir, Hyla is met along her journey by Jadon—a human male and fierce King’s warrior, and his childhood best friend Conlin—one of the few Natives aware of his Fadir-given Talents.
Protected by Jadon, guided by Conlin, and with an unfailing belief in the purpose of her pilgrimage, Hyla carries on.
Like her, though, another searches for the Pool, and should he gain access first, everyone she loves, and everything she knows, could be lost.
Cursing her arthritic fingers, Miri squeezed out a rag and draped it over the human man’s hot forehead.
“I’ve seen a lot more harvests than you, old goat,” she muttered, lifting his eyelids. “I’m thinking you’ll never catch up either. Doubt you last another half-moon’s phase.”
Miri pushed to her feet and stretched her hunched back. A heavy sigh slipped past her wrinkled lips as she glanced around the sick house. Keeping the night watch wasn’t too bad—she’d volunteered often since her old bones wouldn’t allow much sleep.
“Joints wasted, hearing all but gone …” Miri yanked on the long white braid lying over her shoulder. “I’m the old goat.”
She shuffled down the aisle, woolen kirtle swishing in the silence. A cool, autumn breeze rustled the crimson leaves of the magnolia and palm fronds overhead, drawing her gaze upward. Violet streaks lit the pre-dawn sky.A dog barked, yipped, and fell silent.
Miri peered across the village green to the thatched buildings beyond. A shadow passed between two cottages. Another three hurried toward the neighboring dwelling.
“Sight fading or my mind, too?” Miri rubbed her watery eyes, blinked, and leaned forward. Light flickered through the palm trees behind the outlying homes.
The flames drew closer, weaving between the trunks.
Humans from the mainland? Miri’s hand clutched at her throat. Soldiers. Fadir have mercy.
The men crept through the village, taking up positions at every doorway. Two brutes, more horse-like in size than human, approached the sick house.
Sputtering torch held high, the first strode forward, dark eyes intent upon Miri. A green surcoat covered broad shoulders and fell to his thighs. The golden wheat sheaf of the city of Varosh adorned his chest.
Cold sweat beaded upon Miri’s brow. Breath burst from her lungs, and she moved back, clutching the door jam.
The second soldier stepped closer, chains and shackles clanking in his hand. He stopped two paces away from Miri, and a smile stretched his stubbled cheeks, revealing rotted teeth. “Good morning pointy-ears.”
Miri stared, heartbeat thundering in her ears. She’d been called worse in her eighty-three birth passings but never with such malice.
A single cry rang out across the village, and doors crashed inward. Screams rent the air.
“Don’t fight Native woman,” rotten-teeth sneered, shackles outstretched.
“W-why?” Miri whispered, taking a step backward.
A scowl narrowed his gaze, and his fist shot forward.
Bursts of light and pain exploded through Miri as she crumpled to the floor.
Miri’s people huddled on the village green as fall’s pale sun crested the trees. Cold metal had been clasped around their necks and ankles. Many trembled in the cool air, little more than night clothes covering their nakedness. Miri held to her braid with a white-knuckled grip, her head and its egg-sized bump throbbing in time with her pulse.
A handful of other battered Natives who had attempted flight were the last to join them, the soldiers tossing them forward like sacks of potatoes.
Sounds great doesn’t it? She’s included a giveaway of a signed paperback, signed bookmark, a notebook, and pen, folks so, go here to participate in the Rafflecopter Giveaway:
Thanks for being here today, Ladies! Hyla, I wish you the best on your quest, and Terri, the best with Eye of the Soul (and with your forthcoming WiP). Folks if you’d like to learn more about Terri Rochenski and her fine works see her website and blog. You can also follow her on Facebook, Twitter and Good Reads. (You can also add Eye of The Soul to your “want to read” shelf here.) Eye of the Soul is available at:
or from J.Taylor Publishing in epub, Kindle and paperback.
Terri started writing stories in the 8th grade, when a little gnome whispered in her brain. Gundi’s Great Adventure never hit the best seller list, but it started a long love affair with the fantasy genre.
Today she enjoys an escape to Middle Earth during the rare ‘me’ moments her two young daughters allow. When not potty training or kissing boo-boos, she can be found on her back patio in the boondocks of New Hampshire, book or pencil in hand.
Thanks, Terri, for being with us today and good luck with Eye of the Soul!