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About the Author: An avowed explorer of the human condition, Kevin Morris has been writing speculative fiction for seven years. A firm believer that perfect prose unlocks the writer's spirit, he delves the nature of faith, corruption, redemption and sacrifice in the Godfall saga, a five part series published by iuniverse.com. His characters are unique, yet each one leaks hints from his life, such as Kaia's acerbic wit, or his past, such as Gihar's struggles with madness, inklings of his own mother's battles with drug addiction.
Understanding that imagination is not limited to those who write, he hopes that his contest will compel others to conquer their fear of creation and achieve what he has: a sincere appreciation for the art. "Everybody should write a novel," he has said, "if only to have something worth clutching in your casket." On that merry note, he wishes everyone good luck in their efforts to cement their ideas into fiction. Kevin lives in Baltimore, MD with many, many cats.
The Dawn Child excerpts:
Kaia closed her eyes and pictured the scene, Jana slain on the battlefield, his own brother's knife in his back. They had made such plans, a chieftain's chair, many children to keep Shar company, her beautiful daughter raised in the way of the true warrior. Now it was dust, and all that she had left was her dead husband's sword and a need for vengeance that tasted like bile in her throat.
Meara merely watched Kaia as she argued with herself, grasping for something that was apparently supposed to be on her belt. So different from her daughter, Meara realized, forsaking her former life but never really being accepted. Meara wracked her mind for a soothing comment that would ease Kaia's pain, but to no avail. Kaia's wound ran too deep for words, even those bolstered by faith.
Townsfolk and visitors clogged the streets, but Meara waded into the sea of people without noticing their faces. Focused within, her thoughts drifted to a newly discovered friend, perhaps traveling to her death. If she closed her eyes, she could feel Kaia as though the Jhadaen were right beside her. Though she had won Shar, Meara sensed that she had lost something as well. Clutching her sunburst, she vowed to preserve Kaia's memory, fueled by an awareness of the sister who she had never known.
Kaia had no illusions about the finality of her quest. Odamo's demise was the fantasy, but the reality was her own, free from the shame of enduring a lonely existence. She had no faith in the gods, no vision of an idyllic afterlife. Her death quest was simply that, kill Odamo or die trying. Either way would end the pain.
Grumbling, Kaia stood and stretched her back. She had forgotten how infuriating young women could be, especially those obsessed with impressing their fathers. Most likely, Odamo had sent Rashan to the Rhumani just so that she would not be yapping at his heels. Kaia knew that she could shred Rashan's illusions until she saw Odamo for his true nature, but it was not worth the effort. Life itself would do the deed, the inevitable consequence of being his daughter.
Aurora clutched her head, thinking that if it suddenly exploded, that might not be so bad. With Myriam's ravaged body still fresh in her mind and Lunas's warning perched on her shoulder, she was reduced to sifting through ancient texts just to recognize her own doom. Perhaps being a goddess also meant being a fool, if the slightest hint of mortality sent one screaming to the cellar.
Meara closed her eyes and summoned the hazy image. When she heard that the plague had begun at Broderick's palace, she had hoped that her search would lead her to her savior. Slowly, the vision lost its murkiness, coalescing into a human form, but Meara more felt than saw it, calling to her with the precious urgency of a newborn babe.
Aurora dropped to her knees, a scream rivaling Gihar's passing her lips. She prayed to whatever higher power existed to spare the child. Guardian of Azar's glory, savior of false gods, there had to be someone to hear her plea. One so innocent should not be slain, and she cursed herself for leaving Shar unattended. Only after her outburst did she realize that she was not alone.
The room was barren save for a painting like Aurora had never seen before. Upon the canvas, a young girl lay trapped in a crystalline coffin. Her face shone as pale as her dress, and her blond hair fell to her shoulders. In one hand, she had a white rose, its petals stained crimson, and in the other, a dagger, the point also bathed in blood. She was slumbering, but whether from sleep or death Aurora could not say. The image haunted her, as though she were viewing a forgotten sister.
Aurora staggered back; Borlazon was conscious and still yearned for her caress. Lashing out with all her strength, she fired several lightning blasts, but they merely bounced off the beast's rubbery hide. At last, she sought to free Salem and Jor, but time proved her enemy as the creature crashed upon her.
Howling, Kaia collapsed, agony engulfing her. Her bond with Jor, the final remnant of her life in Jhad, throbbed out of control. At last, Odamo had proved that his title was as true as the gods themselves.
When Meara recovered her senses, her mind felt hazy, and blood trickled down her face. The Jhadaen crept beside her, then drew a second knife. Undeterred by her black robe, he raised it high.
Anthlogies Online Mini Interview
Why do you write?
Because I couldn't imagine not writing. I didn't choose the profession as much as it chose me. Now that I'm immersed, it has become the main focus in my life.
Dream-anthology: What authors would you love to be published with?
Robert Jordan, R.A. Salvatore, J.R.R Tolkien, and H.P. Lovecraft.
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