QSFer Nita Round has a new FF sci fi fantasy steampunk tale, book one in the Towers of the Earth series: “A Touch of Truth.”
Three women. One bloody mystery, and a prophesy that transcends time.
People have gone missing and no one knows where they’ve gone. The only clue left behind is blood, lots of blood, and a single silver brooch.
Magda Stoner, captain of the airship Verity, has questions, and the Order for which she works has no answers to give. She has been directed to enlist assistance from Lucinda Ravensburgh, a tower witch and truthsayer.
Lucinda sees truth in everything she touches, a gift, or curse, enhanced by the magic of the tower in which she resides. It’s a gift that comes with great responsibility and a duty to those she serves. When Magda asks for aid, Lucinda cannot refuse.
Whilst Magda and Lucinda seek the evil behind the disappearances, all manner of threats imperil their lives. Ascara is the warrior who must protect them as their search becomes more and more dangerous.
At the moment Lucinda touches the silver brooch, all three lives are changed forever. Three must become one if these strong women are to succeed when traversing the path of justice. But the path they tread is littered with lies, deception, betrayal, and dark forces.
No matter what, the Trinity of Truth must form and hold strong.
“Wise birds whisper, Rage of Fire, Strength of Ice”.
This is the first in the Towers of the Earth fantasy adventure series. This book is a rebranded re-release – it has been re-written, re-edited, and give a completely new cover.
Towers of the Earth: A Touch of Truth Excerpt
Lucinda Ravensburgh stood before her desk and stared at the items she’d dumped on the leather writing surface. Money, a lot of it, spilled out over several sealed letters. She selected one note, broke the seal, and glanced at the handwriting inside. She peered at the indecipherable signature and discarded it.
“Pish,” she grumbled.
A flash of pale metal, a hummingbird-shaped brooch, caught her attention. She didn’t touch it, though. Not yet. She considered the item and couldn’t help but admire the thumbnail-sized work of art.
Crafted in silver – and created with great skill and detail – the little figure could have flitted its wings and flown away. Lucinda wondered who it belonged to, or rather who it had belonged to. She waited for inspiration, or something to come to mind, but nothing did. She would have to hold it for that.
When no further insights came to her, Lucinda reached into the top-left drawer of her desk. She drew out a leather pouch that measured no more than the length and thickness of her hand. Inside sat three cylinders the size of her index finger, each one tied in place by suede strapping.
She selected one and stared at the narrow bar. First she checked the bone insert for breaks and blemishes. Then she checked the brown rubber covering for damage and weaknesses. Satisfied with the integrity of the whole unit, she placed the cylinder between her teeth and ground her jaws together. Lucinda hated the bite bar, but better her dislike than the risk of breaking a tooth or biting her tongue. Even so, it took a while before she grew used to the feel of it in her mouth.
She peered at the brooch and snatched it up as though she feared it would burn. Her fingers closed around the little bird and settled in the middle of her fist.
Nothing happened at first. Then the muscles in her back stiffened and her grip on the silver token tightened. Her perspective shifted, and reality, for Lucinda, jumped from the here and now to somewhere in the past. Her reality, her room, the tower, everything, vanished. Other images, memories and thoughts not her own, assailed her mind in bursts of remembrance.
Blood everywhere. Fresh blood.
Once white walls, smeared from floor to ceiling with shades of wine and scarlet.
Blood and bandages.
Red on white.
Eight little showerheads, standing in a row.
Drip, drip, drip. The blood fell in tiny drops.
Pipes, wrapped in slimy strings of gore, shone with reflected light.
Blood dripped into the red pool on the floor with a steady plink plink.
Ripples spread out like a single drop of rain on a still and silent pond.
Globules of slimy red and black clung to the ceiling with the tenacity of a barnacle, and once released, landed in the sea of blood with a solid blup.
The images steadied, and now she saw movement. Neither a drip nor a splash this time, but something more. It rose from the flooded floor in a surge of red to stand, dripping, on two legs. A man. Wide-eyed and staring, his pupil-less eyes glowed with the colour of deep shadow. He opened a pus-filled mouth to reveal teeth pointed and ragged. He reached out with a claw-like hand and swiped with force. “Hungry!”
The words roared through her mind. Pain and need ravaged her brain. More than that, hunger tore at her insides. “Feed me,” he growled.
The creature swiped for her again. A hand, hers and yet not hers, pushed out to fend him off. He grabbed for her, and this time a flash of silver fell from his long, yellowed talons. A silver bird, tiny and perfect, glinted as it flipped over and over in a slow-motion somersault.
She screamed. Or had that cry of pain been the call of another? In this place of memories, her truth seemed hard to separate from the truths of others.
When the screaming stopped, darkness came, and she sank into the welcome embrace of oblivion.
Nita has written all her life, whether short stories, games scenarios or novels. She loves to write about strong female characters, fantasy and speculative fiction.
When not working, she is an avid gamer, she escapes to any world, any format, any console, and any time. She also plays Role Play Games (AD&D, Werewolf, Cthulhu) and is sadistic enough to be the dungeon master whenever she can.
Other interests include: cemeteries, cooking (inherited from family of chefs), making damson gin and of course tasting it make sure it is fit for consumption.
Find out more about her on: https://www.nitaround.com/
Author Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/groups/NitaRoundBooks/