1. Pompeii, Italy--I read a Classics comic book in the 7th grade about Pompeii, and have been intrigued by its demise ever since. Pompeii has always been my number one place to visit. I still haven’t made it, but I did recently find that comic book at a comic convention and immediately bought it!
2. The Great Pyramids of Giza, Egypt--Alas, I fear I will never get to see the Great Pyramids or vast archeological sites of Egypt. Unless the political unrest in Egypt eases dramatically, thus allowing tourists to feel safe there again, it will have to just remain a destination on my list.
3. Hi-Brasil--This was an island near Ireland that was marked on old nautical maps but can no longer be found. Because physical evidence of its existence remains elusive, some claim it is only a myth. Regardless, if Hy-Brasil ever rises from the deep, I’ll be on the first tour boat!
4. Mesa Verde, Colorado--I’ve already been to Mesa Verde numerous times, but I always want to go back. It’s one of my favorite World Heritage Sites. (You will find Mesa Verde modeled in my Souls of Aredyrah series as the Taubastet village of Adjo.)
5. Lascaux Cave and other prehistoric sites in the Vézère valley of France--There are 147 ancient sites and 25 caves that contain prehistoric paintings at this World Heritage site. To look upon the stories of the ancients as painted by their own hand…what a rush! (Yes, there are cave painting in my Souls of Aredyrah series. I couldn’t help myself.)
6. New Zealand--A no-brainer. Peter Jackson turned it into Middle Earth (and who doesn’t want to go to Middle Earth?)
7. Santorini--Not only is this Aegean island picturesque, but it’s the site of one of the largest volcanic eruptions ever recorded by ancient man. The eruption was so massive, it wiped out entire civilizations, including the Minoans, and is believed to be the source of the legend of Atlantis. What a trip that would be! 8. Baalbek, Lebanon--The engineering it would have taken to erect the massive stone structures found at this site would have been difficult even with modern equipment. I would love to see these marvels with my own eyes.
9. Nazka Lines in Peru--Since these amazing images can only be seen from the air, I guess I’d better get over my fear of small planes. Seeing the Nazka lines would certainly be worth it!
10. New Grange in Ireland--I have been to this Neolithic passage tomb once before, but I would really love to be one of the fifty names drawn in the yearly lottery which invites winners to visit the chamber during the winter solstice sunrise.
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Series: Souls of Aredyrah
About the Series
Game of Thrones meets Narnia in this epic tale of two boys whose chance meeting leads them to a disturbing discovery: Not only are they bound by blood and prophecy, but their opposing beliefs are founded on similar lies. With adventure and romance, mysticism and cultural conflicts, this coming-of-age tales asks: What would you do if you learned everything you’ve been raised to believe is false—and those in power will do anything to stop the truth?
In the world of Aredyrah, things are not what they seem. An ancient Purge has plunged the island into darkness, isolating its cultures by superstition and fear. Dayn lives in the northernmost region of Kirador and knows nothing of the great city-state of Tearia far to the south. All he knows is the Kiradyns are the only survivors of a god’s fiery wrath, and he looks nothing like them. Meanwhile Ruairi, a prince destined for greatness, resents his Tearian obligations, longing for a life he can never hope to have. But when tragedy takes his beauty as well as his name, he finds himself exiled by the very beliefs he once held dear. Both boys long for acceptance in societies that cling to religious ideals, but when fate throws them together, Dayn and Ruairi discover some unwelcome truths: not only are they bound by blood and prophecy, but the teachings they have been raised on are nothing more than lies. Will they reveal what they have learned, risking their lives and the security of those they love? Or will they keep silent, denying their destinies and the future enlightenment of their world?
Buy Book #1: The Fire and the Light
The Prophecy has come to life in Tearia, and the Temple wants nothing more than to see it dead. Whispers say the Unnamed One walks amongst them, and there is little doubt as to who that person is. Reiv is oblivious to the hopes turning in his direction, just as he is ignorant of a plot being waged against him. He has no time for rumors or innuendos; he is too busy trying to build a new life for himself. But the life he longs for will have to wait. A rebel movement is growing, and Reiv’s cousin Dayn has joined the insurgents in their cause.
Angered by Dayn’s involvement, Reiv reverts to his old self-serving behaviors. He wants nothing to do with prophecies or rebellions, and isn’t sure he wants anything to do with Dayn either. But when tragedy throws Reiv into new turmoil, he finds himself facing a dangerous choice. Someone he loves is dying, and there is only one chance to save him.
Will Reiv choose to be a Transcendor, fated to sacrifice his life for another? Or is he truly the Unnamed One, a hero destined for glory? One will save the life of an individual, the other that of an entire kingdom.
Buy Book #2: The Search for the Unnamed One
The saga of Aredyrah continues as Dayn and Alicine return to Kirador to find things very different from when they left. Their house has been ransacked, their parents missing, and evidence of spell work has put a price on Dayn’s head. Frightened, they go to the nearest place they know of: the homestead of Haskel, a man who has never been accepting of Dayn’s differences, and even less so of his own son’s.
Back in Tearia, Reiv has settled into the quiet life of a Shell Seeker. But while the rhythm of his routine is calm, the longings of his heart are not. He turns to Cora, an eye-catching girl who has also drawn the attentions of Lyal, a man whose hatred of Reiv goes far beyond jealously. But romance is the least of Reiv’s worries. A terrible plague is spreading, and Reiv’s brother, the King, is determined to burn it from the land—even if it means killing innocents along the way.
While Reiv risks annihilation by Tearia’s increasingly brutal king, Dayn suffers challenges of his own. His disappearance from Kirador months before not only ended the existence he once knew, but started a witch hunt that threatens his safety and the survival of his clan.
Both Dayn and Reiv find themselves facing a difficult choice: Leave their homelands in order to save themselves and those they love, or stay and fight an evil they cannot hope to defeat.
Buy Book #3: The Taking of the Dawn
In this final installment of the award-winning Souls of Aredyrah series, Dayn and Reiv find themselves facing an old foe and falling into the trap of a new one. Struggling to make their way home through a bitter landscape, they soon discover they are not alone. A tribe known as the Taubastets has captured them in a life-or-death scenario, and the tribe’s chief is determined that one of them must be sacrificed. When a young warrior named Tyym vows to see them home, they face decisions that will not only affect their survival, but the spiritual salvation of their world.
While Reiv, Dayn, and Tyym navigate a web of conspiracy and doubt, Dayn’s sister Alicine struggles with loss and the impending threat of invasion. The king of Tearia has not abandoned his quest to slay them, and his seemingly unstoppable army is nearly through the pass. But when Tyym enters the scene, hope is rekindled. Even Alicine cannot deny the charisma of the mysterious warrior who has wormed his way into their lives, and into her heart.
The game is in play. A traitor is in their midst. Can the souls of Aredyrah hope to defeat a monster disguised as a king? Or will they succumb to a darkness beyond their understanding?
Buy Book #4: The Shifting of the Stars
Tracy A. Akers is a former language arts teacher and an award-winning author. She grew up in Arlington, Texas, but currently lives in Florida with her husband, three naughty pugs, and a feisty chihuahua. She graduated with honors from the University of South Florida with a degree in Education, and has taught in both public and private schools. She currently divides her time between writing, lecturing, spending time with her family, and costuming at fantasy and science fiction conventions.
Ms. Akers has won numerous awards for her Souls of Aredyrah fantasy series for young adults. As a Florida Book Awards winner, she was acknowledged for her contribution to YA literature by the Governor of Florida during the 2008 Florida Heritage Month Awards Ceremony. Books One and Two of the Aredyrah Series are included in the Florida Department of Education’s 2008 Just Read Families Recommended Summer Reading List. In addition, Ms. Akers has been an invited guest author at major book events and writers’ conferences, a panelist at fantasy and science fiction conventions, and was on the steering committee for Celebration of the Story, a literary event held at Saint Leo University.
The Souls of Aredyrah Series is Ms. Akers’ first series of novels for young adults.
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