by Jeff Altabef & Ken Altabef
Genre: YA Historical Fiction/Fantasy
Release Date: September 20th 2016
Summary from Goodreads:
The Kingdom or the Girl?
Demons attack him.
Spirits protect him.
A seer foretells his shocking destiny.
In a primitive land filled with magic, witches and giants, a sixteen-year-old musician named David is summoned to chase away the nightmares haunting the King each night. But more than bad dreams trouble the King. Demons torment him, and David will need more than music to break the curse.Demons are only the first sign of a deeper and darker evil that plagues the countryside. Bent on revenge and an insatiable thirst for power, the Witch of Endor and a giant named Goliath lead an invading force against the kingdom. King Saul’s army is crumbling and only a champion can save them, but who would be fool enough to face the giant?
Princess Michal is frustrated by the constraints of palace life, but David’s arrival makes things infinitely more interesting. She finds herself drawn to him, but the King strictly forbids her from having a romance with a poor musician. Only by defying her father’s wishes and risking her freedom do they have a chance to be together.Armed with just his sling and his love for Michal, David must prove his worth by defeating Goliath against impossible odds. Worst of all, he must choose between saving the kingdom or being with the girl of his dreams. He can’t do both.
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Look closely at a woman’s face and you can read her entire life story. It’s all there in the crevices and contours, the tiny expressions and doubts. Such little things, but they combine to give away her secrets. Men’s faces, however, were still mysteries to Michal. She’d spent so little time with men that their lines seemed written in a foreign language, unique and indecipherable.
In Hadi’s face, Michal saw rivers flowing down cheeks rich with experience. The canyons carved into her forehead spoke of a tough life, one without theblessing of children, where she had served as a house servant for as long as anyone could remember. The old woman’s walnut eyes sparkled with a hint of summer wheat, still sharp and bright and full of mischief, and the wrinkles creeping from the corners of those eyes had been etched by laughter.
Michal frowned at the way Hadi’s tunic drooped over her shoulders and hung low on her thin frame. She had lost weight in the past month, and her back seemed more sharply stooped than it had been only a few weeks ago. She must be ill, thought Michal. But whenever I try to summon a priest for help, she shrugs meoff.
Hadi slid close to Michal. Her whisper sounded coarse, as if age had stolen its smoothness. This is too dangerous. I should never have told you aboutthe staircase.
It’s too late for that. You know I’ve been waiting my whole life to see the Ark.
Your whole life, Hadi chuckled. You’re just fifteen. Barely a babe. Only yesterday, you were toddling around learning your first prayers.
That was a long time ago. Tonight’s my only chance to see the Ark before everything gets turned upside down for thefestival. Who knows how long I’ll have to wait if I don’t go tonight?
Hadi sighed and shuffled farther into the cellar. Her small lamp cast just enough light for them to make their way, brightening small swirls of dustahead. The cool air smelled both sweet from raisins and acidic from the large oak casks of wine. It created an odd mix and Michal wondered if it meant a good omen or a bad one.
Jeff Altabef lives in New York with his wife, two daughters, and Charlie the dog. He spends time volunteering at the writing center in the local community college. After years of being accused of "telling stories," he thought he would make it official. He writes in both the thriller and young adult genres. Fourteenth Colony, a political thriller, is his debut novel. Jeff has a blog designed to encourage writing by those that like telling stories. You can find his blog, The Accidental Writers Workshop, on The Patch. Jeff also rights a column for The Examiner under the byline - The Accidental Writer.