A lot of secrets in this book!
The story is Looking for Dei by David A. Willson, a Fantasy Young Adults novel.
Fifteen-year-old Nara Dall has never liked secrets. Yet it seems that her life has been filled with them, from the ugly scar on her back to the strange powers she possesses. Her mysterious father refuses to say anything about her origins, and soon, she and her best friend must attend the announcement ceremony, in which youths are tested for a magical gift.
A gifted youth has not been announced in the poor village of Dimmitt for decades. When Nara uncovers the reason, she uses her own powers to make things right. The decision sets her on a path of danger, discovery, and a search for the divine. In the process, she learns the truth about herself and uncovers the biggest secret of all: the power of broken people.
Nara lay on her cot pretending to sleep, her thoughts lingering on Bylo’s secrecy. Anger welled up at what seemed like a betrayal—not just of her, but of the entire village. The ceppit needed power, and she would fill it tonight.
Bylo didn’t fall asleep quickly, but once he had, she made her move. The rain pit-pattered on the roof, giving her ample noise cover to steal away. Her exit out the front door was soft but still disturbed a white owl in the nearby tree. Ruffling its feathers, the bird turned its head to face her disapprovingly.
Darkness reigned, and none of the village folk were out, but she moved with caution to avoid waking any dogs that might announce her skulking. The walk to the church took longer than it should have, or maybe it just seemed that way. What she intended could not be undone, and the risk weighed heavily upon her. This was a bold move and she knew it, but felt compelled to continue. It might be the first act of her life that would make a difference. A real difference. A way to help.
Was that the only reason, or was there more? Did she want to imbue the ceppit to help other people, or was this also a way to feel some power of her own? A way to defy her destiny as the girl who must remain quiet, who could not be noticed. The girl who kept secrets.
Being announced in front of the whole village would end those secrets. Nara would be a gifted, and people would take notice of her. She would be seen as valuable. Important. Yes, she wanted that, too.
Upon arrival at the church, she found a window near the back door. She slid it open, pulled herself up over the sill, and landed inside on her bum. Holding her breath, she listened and waited, hoping Father Taylor was slumbering in his room down the hallway.
After a few moments of silence, she rose to her feet, tiptoed to Taylor’s study, and tested the door handle. Unlocked. After turning the knob, the door fell open a few inches, but the agonizing creak that came was enough to wake the dead. Fear of discovery paralyzed her, and she heard the priest grumble something in irritation from his room, bed squeaking as he shifted in his slumber. A moment later, the silence resumed. Proceeding into the room, she squeezed through the open doorway and moved quietly to the sacristy behind his desk. Just a fancy footlocker, the chest sat on the floor beneath Taylor’s threadbare, stained ceremonial robes that hung on a wall peg above. It bore a padlock.
Curse it! What now?
Kneeling down, Nara inspected the lock in the near darkness, but her only allies were a few stray moonbeams sneaking in through his study window.
Old, rusty, and rarely used, the lock failed to disengage after a hearty tug. Then, as she did when imbuing ink, she closed her eyes and reached down into her energy, grabbing hold. Swirling patterns danced about her vision as she wrapped the power around herself and descended. The internal workings of the device became clear to her—the tumbler, the cylinder. All it would take was a little push. . . click!
Opened. With a thought!
Victory swelled inside her, and she wished to share it with someone—to tell Bylo or Mykel. As quickly as it came, the pride abandoned her. There was nobody she could tell.
I have the pleasure to have Nara here with me for a game of 21 questions.
Hi Nara, and thank you for being here. Let’s start with the questions!
What is the TLDR version of your life?
Great Expectations – Charles Dickens. I tried it when I was like 12 years old and just didn’t have the endurance.
Do you think the convenience of technology is worth the loss of privacy that comes with it?
Yes. Like any change, we must learn to manage the negative aspects of it, but that’s no excuse to hide our heads in the sand and stop ourselves from making forward progress. As a people, we must somehow learn to embrace the ethics of change, and find a way to teach our children that personal sacrifice and self-discipline are virtues; that seems to be a lost art.
Is it okay to sacrifice one life to save ten? If you said yes, would you change answer if the one life was a friend’s life and the ten were strangers? If no, why not?
Only if it were my life that I was sacrificing. We each have power over our own choices and our own life. We don’t get (and shouldn’t take) power over others to that degree.
What are the consequences of everyone having instant distraction at their fingertips?
We have created a powerful opportunity to become lost in ourselves, to the exclusion of community and relationship. Woe to us that we don’t let it destroy what is most important about human beings: connection to something outside ourselves.
What should they teach in high school but don’t?
How to pay your taxes. How to put a diaper on a baby. How to make fried rice.
Which movie or book do you think is ridiculously overrated?
Harry Potter – the movies. Books were pretty good. Movies were so dark! I get depressed even thinking about them…
Who would you most like to sit next to on a 10 hour flight and why?
Lady Gaga. Don’t like her regular music, but her performance in A Star is Born was magical. Wow. That woman has depth I never imagined. Too bad Shallow didn’t win a Grammy (although it was nominated.) That was the most moving song I’ve heard in ages.
What are two things you know you should how to do but don’t?
Fly a plane. Make a cheesecake.
You have $100 to burn, all your friends are busy and you have the whole day to yourself, what do you do?
Read a book or ten.
What makes you say “What was I thinking?” when you look back on your life?
85mph in a 35mph zone on a motorcycle at age 20. OMG.
How useful would you be in a zombie apocalypse? What skills do you have that would help you and others survive?
Telling stories around the campfire.
What inscription do you want on your gravestone?
“It seemed like a good idea at the time…”
What should parents stop teaching their children?
David A. Willson has worked as a restauranteur, peace officer, and now, author. Taught by his mother to read at a young age, he spent his childhood exploring magic, spaceships, and other dimensions. In his writing, he strives to bring those worlds to his readers.
Much of his material is inspired by the “Great Land” of Alaska, which he has called home for over 30 years. He lives there with his wife, five children, and 2 dogs. He is passionate about technology, faith, and fiction–not necessarily in that order.
Looking for Dei is Willson’s debut novel, set in a land where many more adventures will take place. Stay up to date with his ongoing efforts through the Looking for Dei Facebook page or visiting the website at davidawillson.com.
Giveaway Details ~ US Only.
- One lucky winner will receive a one hoodie and one mug from the Looking for Dei Facebook shop.
You can follow the entire tour here:Tour Schedule:
1/28/2019- Mythical Books– Excerpt
1/29/2019- BookHounds YA– Interview
1/30/2019- The Reading Corner for All– Review
1/31/2019- Two Chicks on Books– Interview
2/1/2019- Smada’s Book Smack– Spotlight
2/4/2019- Daily Waffle– Spotlight
2/5/2019- Miss Elizabeth– Review
2/6/2019- Kelly P’s Blog– Excerpt
2/7/2019- Character Madness and Musings– Interview
2/8/2019- Writer of Wrongs– Review
2/11/2019- Lisa Loves Literature– Spotlight
2/12/2019-Adventures Thru Wonderland– Review
2/13/2019- A Bookish Dream– Review
2/14/2019- Viviana MacKade– Interview
2/15/2019- A Dream Within A Dream– Excerpt
2/18/2019- Finding Magic In Books– Review
2/19/2019- Hauntedbybooks– Review
2/20/2019- Christine’s Book Corner– Spotlight
2/21/2019- Stormy Vixen’s Book Reviews– Excerpt
2/22/2019- Oh Hey! Books.– Interview