It is my absolute pleasure to share the cover design for my debut Young Adult Fantasy book, Guardians of the Dead. This is the first in the Guardian Series and is due for release on 26th February. If you enjoy YA/Supernatural/Fantasy then take a peek.
Before the excitement gets to you and you scroll down there is even more good news – you can pre-order the eBook today!
When sixteen-year-old Amber Noble’s dreams begin to weave into her reality, she turns to the mysterious Connor for help. His links to the supernatural world uncover a chilling truth about her hometown and a pact that must be re-paid with blood.
As her father alienates her, and the Guardians take her best friend, her true destiny unfolds, and she begins a quest that well see her past collide with her present.
Drawn deeper into the world of witchcraft and faeries, it is only at the end of her journey that she realises how much she could lose.
The beautiful cover was designed by Blue Harvest Creative. I’d love to hear your feedback so please feel free to leave me a message below.
Need more? Then here’s a little excerpt to tease you…
Prologue from Guardians of the Dead by S.L. Wilson
Her lungs threatened to burst as she ran, but she pushed herself to keep moving regardless of the pain in her joints. How could she have been so foolish? The signs had been there. The crippling headaches had forewarned her of what was to come but she hadn’t heeded the warnings and now she was running for her life.
The old church loomed before her, a humongous sandstone building that, under the light of dawn, appeared to be bleeding from the mortar that sealed the large blocks of stone. The gothic spire soared into the sky, its ornate carvings disfigured by the wind and rain that had hounded it for centuries. If she could make it to the doors she could bind the lock, and cast a spell to prevent anyone getting out.
She had sworn to protect the town which slept around her, its inhabitants safe in their beds. Her own husband and daughter slept soundly, oblivious to her mission.
Her frantic mind calmed as she thought briefly of her daughter. At just six years old she could hold her own against any classroom bully, bright as any scholar and yet she showed no sign of inheriting her family’s power. She was a little girl, special in her own unique way but she was no prophecy child. They had been wrong.
Now, as she ran for her life, she feared she may never set eyes on her sweet child again.
The gravel path crunched underfoot as she hurried along to the gaping mouth of the church entrance. Solid oak doors, highly decorated with concentric circles, stood before her, their iron handles caked in rust from centuries of neglect.
The church, once the thriving centre of Hills Heath’s community until the disappearances began centuries ago, was now a derelict monstrosity, a haunted mausoleum that the local authority were too afraid to rip down.
She skidded to a halt, dropping to her knees and pulling her heavy coat collar around her neck, protecting herself from the chill of the early morning air. She tried to relax her posture as she cast the protective circle, her heart pounding in her chest as she hurriedly traced the shape in the dirt. Her fingers crackled as blue fire caressed her hands, spreading along each digit until flames danced in her upturned palms.
Pushing her power out, she raised it from the earth, letting it rush through her in a torrent until a lightning bolt escaped and arched towards the wooden doors. Using all her concentration she carved the spell into the wood, splinters of oak breaking off as the blue fire cut deep. Looping the flame in a crescent, she chanted under her breath, drawing her power from the nature surrounding her. She had to prevent them from setting foot in her town. In her world. Time stood still as she heard them approach from behind. The world spun as she realised she was too late and they were already here. The protection spell collapsed as her face smashed into the heavy wooden doors. She tasted blood and wiped her mouth with her sleeve. Shaking her head to try to clear her vision, she stood, sweeping her arms around her, an athame nestled in the palm of her hand.
The dawn mist swirled through the churchyard, cloaking the gravestones. A large shape stepped out from the smog; a tall, muscular man dressed head to foot in black with a golden phoenix emblazoned across his armoured breastplate. His hooded cape was drawn up over his head, disguising all but the hard set of his jaw. From beneath the swathes of black fabric a deep rumbling laugh reverberated across the churchyard.
‘I have need of you, witch.’ He spat the words at her as he stepped closer, his hand resting on the hilt of the sword hidden from view beneath his cape.
She glared at the huge man. With her dagger raised between them she stood tall with her chin held high. ‘My name is Myanna.’
His laugh held no warmth as it echoed in the eerie silence, her blood pounded in her ears, and the tiny hairs on her arms stood erect.
‘I don’t deal in pleasantries.’ He snapped his fingers and two men approached, similarly dressed save for a smaller red phoenix on their armour.
They circled either side of her, cutting off her escape routes. She backed away until her shoulders touched the oak doors. Still clutching her athame and holding it at arm’s length she fumbled with her free hand to find the iron handle behind her. There was only one way out. She would have to go through the church.
Planting her feet squarely on the compacted gravel she flung her dagger at the man to the left, striking him in the shoulder as she swung open the wooden door, smashing it into the advancing man on her right. She pivoted on her left foot and slipped through the door, pulling it closed behind her, whispering a sealing spell to slow them down. The inside of the door charred and smoked as the magic took hold.
The interior of the church smelt musty, the years of decay permeating the walls and floors. She was in the nave, an enormous room with vaulted ceilings and rows of wooden pews that faced a raised stone altar. Strings of cobwebs laced across the seats leading to the platform. No-one had stepped foot in there in over two centuries – no-one human anyway. She hurried past the baptistery, once the centre for all the town’s christenings, but the font had long since dried up.
She searched along the back wall, running her hands across the stone looking for another exit. An opening in the darkest corner of the church led to a wrought-iron staircase. The stairwell was cloaked in darkness and descended further than her eyes could see. She faltered briefly, unsure if stepping onto the first rung would lead her into more trouble or point her to an escape route.
The heavy front doors of the church smashed open and the men stormed through the entrance with a bloodcurdling cry.
Her time was up. She placed her foot on the first rung and took a step down, then another…