Preorders for Mynidd open THURSDAY!! I’m stoked. Seriously, stoked. And, to celebrate, I’m letting you all read my favorite scene from the new novel, so you’ll be even more excited to go over and click that beautiful preorder button at the end of the week.
Check out the excerpt, below!
Mynidd: People of the Hills
(excerpt, ©Copyright RAD Writing, 2018)
I remember hearing someone call my name.
I couldn’t tell who it was, and I didn’t know that I actually wanted to go to them. I was surrounded by icy water, and I couldn’t breathe—but I often felt as though I couldn’t breathe while my body was out of my control. Maybe it was all in my mind, something my imagination decided to throw at me.
But then I was falling, and I knew what I felt was real.
My eyes opened, and I watched as I fell from the top of the cliffs down toward the lake below, unable to even cry out. Rocks rushed past my head, my legs, my outstretched arms, but still I couldn’t move. My body was still beyond my control, and I could do nothing to save myself. I couldn’t count the times I almost hit one of the rocks, and was somehow pushed out of the way. I wanted to hit one of them. I wanted to die in the air rather than drown in the lake below me. I didn’t want to feel water in my lungs and be unable to cough it out. I wanted my spine to break and my consciousness to fade, my entire mind to leave me before life was stolen from my body. More than anything, I wanted someone to catch me. I wanted Feo to be down there in the water, holding his arms out, ready to catch me. But I knew that it would never happen. Feo was gone; he couldn’t save me from this.
No one could.
As I reached the bottom of the falls, I tried to scream. I tried to let someone know where I was, to help someone find me and catch me, and bring me back to the surface.
I didn’t want to drown.
I’d heard stories of drowning, of people who’d almost drowned and been brought back to life. It was painful. It seared lungs and broke hearts. That was the last thing in the world that I wanted to experience. And yet, I found myself there, once again surrounded by water. This time it was warm. It flooded all around me, and I sank into its depths. There were other bodies down here. I knew that. I’d watched Karyn’s body sent down here, into the lake. Sasha had seen others—dozens of them. Every human who had died in the war and had not been brought back to our village was down here, rotting in the depths of this lake.
All I could do was join them.
I felt as though I would never reach the bottom. I forced myself not to inhale, to hold my breath until I died. If it was the last thing I did, I was going to prevent myself from drowning. I could suffocate myself, couldn’t I? Surely I could make sure that I died of something other than drowning.
But Sasha would still say that I’d drowned. They’d all still believe that I’d fallen down here and drowned to death. So what did it really matter?
As I lay near the bottom of the lake, my control over my body came back to me. I could move my head, swing my arms, and kick my legs: but I didn’t know how to swim. None of it would propel me toward the surface, and it only made it harder for me to hold my breath. I wouldn’t last more than another few seconds. I’d been able to hold my breath for around two minutes while we were in battle, to keep my heart rate slower and my mind focused on the task at hand—but that was nothing like this. Finally, I couldn’t take it. I opened my mouth, and my instinct was to inhale. The liquid rushed into my lungs, searing through my body. I shook violently as I tried to purge the liquid from my system, but the more I tried the more water I swallowed and inhaled. My mind spun, and I madly kicked my legs and swung my arms in an effort to reach the surface.
The word echoed all around me, through my very soul. I trembled in fear of it and looked around for the source. As far as I could see, in the dark depths of the water, I was the only one there. I felt the life starting to leave my veins, and I closed my eyes. I saw the face of the man I loved. Of course I loved him. I’d always known that, hadn’t I? I wanted to cry, shout his name, but I could not—and even if I had, I wouldn’t have known, surrounded by all that water.
Again, I inhaled the water: only this time, I exhaled it as well. It still seared through my body, causing my insides to quake and turn in pain—but I breathed it. I did it again and again, inhale, exhale, until I found myself surrounded by a great beam of light.
My eyes opened to find that I now lay horizontally, my arms spread wide and my back arched as though I was held within the grasp of a giant hand. The light flooded around me, and the word echoed once again, “Breathe.”
I did as it said, keeping my eyes fixed on the surface of the water above me. I shouldn’t have been alive. It should’ve killed me. People couldn’t breathe water. People drowned in water. I knew that for a fact. So this wasn’t possible.
“Aeronwen,” the voice said. I swallowed hard. I’d never heard anything like that voice before in my life.
At that moment, held there in the water, I cried. I felt tears pouring down the sides of my face, even there beneath the waves. I stared up into the light, and the sight of it brought me to the brink. It was beautiful and perfect, caring, compassionate. No matter what went on in this world, it was love. To everything. I knew that, as I looked up into that bright light. I don’t know how I knew it. I don’t even know what I saw. I never knew. But I saw love. That much, I understood.
Just as quickly as it had come, the light faded. My feet gravitated back down toward the ground, and when I landed my hand was enveloped within the grasp of another.
“Now you understand,” Hythdor said, her glowing blue eyes staring straight into mine.