Friday, 4 October 2013

Called to Belong (AM Winters) in One Thousand Words

Called to Belong by AM Winters is today's fearured book on One Thousand Worlds


Hope, who took an afternoon nap, wakes up in a different world and finds herself looking into the eyes of the most gorgeous man she had ever seen. The problem is that she is not dreaming and he is only interested in her ability to do magic and how soon she will be able to get rid of two powerful wizards that are threatening his world.

Throw in a loving but difficult to understand Goddess, an impossibly beautiful high priestess who can change her appearance at will and having to ride huge doglike creatures that wanted to take her head off at their first meeting, Hope is definitely in for a bumpy ride.

She can only return home after the twin wizards have been eliminated but will Hope be able to master doing the required magic and save her new friends from the evil wizards? Will she find love and will she want to return to her old life after all her adventures?

Hope was feeling tired and fed-up.  It had been a long day, trying to keep know-it-all teenagers in line and constantly working on holding herself back from snapping.  She loved teaching, but a day like today would even stretch a saint and she was definitely no saint.
Dropping her bag to the floor and kicking her shoes off, she flopped down into the welcoming softness of the two-seater couch on her front porch and took a moment to reflect on her life.  It wasn’t a bad life.  In fact, most people would love to have her life.
  She taught ballroom, Latin and modern dancing at a small dancing studio she owned, volunteered at the fire station where she taught self-defence classes two evenings a week, had a small but close circle of friends, lived in her own home, and thanks to her inheritance from her parents and aunt, didn’t have to worry about money.
She knew she should be satisfied and content with her life, but just couldn’t convince herself that she was happy.  A part of her felt empty.  She knew if something happened to her right now, she would be missed but that nobody would really mourn her.  Life would go on.  She was well liked but not essential or loved.  She wasn’t a priority in anyone’s life.  She was alone and lonely.
And selfish.  Combing through her long dark hair with her fingers she pushed the dark thoughts away, determined to focus on the positive aspects of what she had.  She had so much to be grateful for and had no business feeling sorry for herself.  She dealt with spoiled brats on a daily basis in her classes; there was no reason for her to be one as well.
Leaning back, deliberately slowing her breathing down, she watched the sunlight dance in the leaves of the big old tree that stood at the corner of her house.  The subtle movement of the leaves in the light breeze and the soft play of light and shadow soothed her somewhat shattered nerves and she drifted into sleep within minutes.
Hope became aware of soft female voices around her before the coldness of the hard surface beneath her registered, causing her to instinctively curl into a small bundle, hugging herself as she tried to figure out what was happening.  She had the sensation of coming back to wakefulness from far, far away, making her feel slightly disorientated.
“She is starting to wake up. She will soon be among us.  Hold the energy until she is fully aware and with us.”
Opening her eyes to find herself surrounded by a circle of women in long flowing gowns convinced Hope that she was having an interesting dream.  The type of dream that you want to stay in because beyond the women stood the most gorgeous man she had ever seen.  He was everything she could want in a man: dark haired, ruggedly handsome and an energy about him that made Hope feel tingly all over.
“Welcome to Legoria.  How do you feel?”
“Whaaat?”  she mumbled as she turned her attention to the woman before her, biting down her irritation at her for obstructing her view of the gorgeous man she’d rather be looking at.  Actually she wanted to do a lot more than just looking.  Isn’t that what dreams are for?  To indulge in fantasies I would never even consider acting on in real life?
The woman before her had one of those faces that can only be described as timeless and was the stuff dreams were made of.  Perfect bone structure, long flowing hair, glowing skin, moss green eyes and full sensual lips.  She could be thirty or she could even be fifty, it was impossible to tell.  Her most striking feature however, was the calmness that radiated from her.
She must be the female equivalent of one of those spiritual guide-type guys, just better looking.   Maybe she will impart an important message or knowledge to me that I need to listen to?
Taking the hand offered to her, Hope sat up, realising that she was on some sort of altar made of pale white marble, surrounded by a group of women in what can only be some sort of temple.  Curioser and curioser …
“Where am I?  Who are you?”
“You are in Legoria and we are the chosen of the Goddess.  You have been brought here to save our world from the evil that rules and will soon destroy it.”
Uncertainty clutched at Hope as it started to dawn on her that she might not be dreaming after all.  “No, this can’t be right!  I’m dreaming and you can’t therefore be real.”  Pinching her thigh confirmed her suspicion.  This just felt too real to be a dream.  “How did I get here and what am I doing here?” 
“We are very real.  With the guidance of our Goddess we made a life sacrifice and used the last of the magic at our disposal to draw you into our world.  Our all-knowing Goddess chose you.  You are the one who will save us.”
“What do you mean you made a life sacrifice?  Are you saying you killed someone to bring me here?”  Hope swallowed against the rising panic in her throat. This was quickly turning into something that was approaching nightmare dimensions. Someone was killed in order to bring me here!  Surely that can’t be right?
“One of our own offered her life so that you could come to us.  She made the choice freely and with gladness knowing it will save our world.  Please don’t upset yourself over our customs.  There was no pain.  In time you will learn to understand and accept it as necessary for the greater good.”
Don’t upset myself?  This impossibly beautiful woman is telling me that killing someone to bring me here is nothing and I should learn to accept it?  No way will I be part of this!
“I want to be returned ...
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