If you could change time to save your first love—even if it meant turning your back on the universe—would you?
It is time for the Vechey youth to earn their place as time-guardians. The near-immortal Vechey protect the universe from the devastating Manipulators—devourers of souls, mindless seekers of chaos. First, the youth must survive a mysterious and deadly ritual created by the all-powerful clan leader Eterili. Having regenerated thousands of times with the birth of each universe, Eterili is taking this one as hers and bending all in it to her grand designs.
Catha’s time-slipping skills are underdeveloped. She is time-blind—unable to see through time, unable to protect herself from the ritual. The Vechey shun her for being different. Her parents ignore her as if she were already dead.
Aithagg loves Catha unconditionally and will do anything to save her. He tries desperately to unlock the ritual’s mysteries and find a way to help Catha survive with him. Or will saving Catha enable the Manipulators to destroy the universe?
Ahead of its publication on 28th May, Tina has shared an extract from When Darkness Begins with us today. It sounds great and I hope you enjoy it.
*****beginning of extract*****
The six youths each straightened and in unison, or near it, began to articulate, “I will go forth and find my time, my place, my home. Turning away from my family and my friends, I will dedicate my eternity to keeping the universe whole. Should another adjust my time, my place, my home I will defend it until my last thought, through all eternity.”
Eterili called from her squatted position, “What do you protect?”
“Time.” The answer—cracking adolescent voices. “Why?” An aged croak.
“Lest the sky pull my bones apart as the tribe is lost across all of time.” Whispers.
“Who do you protect time from?”
“The Manipulators who would destroy time, the universe, and all in it.”
“Yes. The Manipulators live in the skin of Linears. Your Manipulator will taunt you and try to wear your skin. A fate worsethan madness.”
“We will protect time from our Manipulator.” “Why do you each have a Manipulator?”
“The universe balances good and bad, right and wrong, Vechey and Manipulator, Linears and Vechey.”
“Will you survive the ritual?” Eterili raised her eyes to look at the group.
In unison, they hesitated then answered, “If I heed my teachings, we will survive the ritual.”
“It is the way,” Eterili answered then tried to stand. Her knees locked and refused to budge. She grunted.
Someone stood to aid her but stilled when they saw Eterili’s quick glare. With a heave she stood and steadied herself; anklets clacked in protest.
A large and old Vechey male stood from the crowd and began to blow into a horn made from a massive tusk. The crowdgave a battle cry and stood, raising their fists to the sky.
Aithagg marveled at the unusually boisterous display; his eyes as round as the full moon.
***** end of extract*****
About Tina O’ Hailey…
Tina O’Hailey is a professor in animation and game programming, caver and occasional mapper of grim, wet, twisty caves (if she owes a friend a favor or loses a bet), whose passion is to be secluded on a mountain and to write whilst surrounded by small, furry dogs and hot coffee. Tina was once struck by lightning.
She has served as an artistic trainer for Walt Disney Feature Animation, Dreamworks and Electronic Arts. Any movie credit she has is minimal and usually found in the special thanks section. The meager credits do not account for the great honor it was to teach talented artists who worked on numerous feature films and games.
She has authored animation textbooks “Rig it Right” and “Hybrid Animation” published by Focal Press and the Darkness Universe novels “Absolute Darkness” and “When Darkness Begins” published by Black Rose Writing.
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When Darkness Begins is the first novel in the A Darkness Universe series and is due to be published by Black Rose Writing on 28th May 2020.