Today we have an excerpt from Earth Drummer, book 2 in the Equilibria series, by Echo Fox which will be available for purchase on Amazon on May 30th! Even though Earth Drummer is the second book in the series, it is not necessary to read the first to enjoy this remix of classic Greek mythology. There's a fun personality quiz at the bottom so make sure you read the excerpt and then take the quiz to find out what your totem animal is!
“Gentian, a young man approaching the time when he will have to get married and start behaving like an adult, is suddenly and unexpectedly drawn to an alternate life than the one his grieving father wants him to lead.
With the addition of powerful earth magic, his animal totem's guidance, the fact his mother's ghost keeps popping up to offer advice and a headstrong twin sister to protect, Gentian has choices to make before his whole world spirals out of control. ”
Excerpt from Earth Drummer:
Tarek entered the room, grinning from ear to ear.
'Well done Adana! Beautiful babies!'
Adana blushed and smiled, Jerrod grinned awkwardly and inclined his head with respect to the Shaman.
'Now, no time like the present to get the spirits on side.' Tarek rubbed his hands together and produced a painted handheld drum. His dreadlocks waved through the air from the pile on his head, threaded with bright feathers and ceramic beads. Tarek stood thoughtfully gazing at the newly born twins, rubbing a knuckle bone necklace between finger and thumb.
'Thank-you Tarek for coming all this way...'
'Of course Adana, I wouldn't have made you carry them any further than you already have!'
'We are grateful for your kindness, Shaman.' Jerrod spoke quickly. 'It all happened so fast, it seemed safer to have the birth here at home than in the Stronghold.'
'Not a problem at all, I'm no invalid - it does me good to leave the Stronghold on occasion, you know.'Tarek grinned at Jerrod's uncomfortably formal expression. Ignoring her husband's strait-laced behaviour, Adana fell into an easy conversation with the Shaman, a friend of hers since she had first moved to Karmenor Farm to marry Jerrod. Today was not for discussing their shared knowledge of herbs however, but for more important things. Her children needed to be blessed by the spirits and their totems needed to be located.
Tarek settled himself on the floor, cross-legged and holding his drum closely to his chest. His eyes were closed and his lips moved soundlessly as he attuned himself to his spiritual duty. Jerrod backed off and left Tarek to his own devices, retreating to a chair in the corner of the room. Adana crooned to her babies, rocking them gently.
Slowly, carefully, Tarek began to beat a rhythm upon the drum. Deep, reverberating, the sound carried over the room. It washed through the air and swept them all up in a deep, timeless echo. Jerrod twitched, feeling as if he could hear counter-tunes drumming out of the air to accompany the Shaman's beat.
Tarek kept drumming, creating a music of the earth and of the goddess as he upped the tempo. The little girl woke up and stared in the direction the drumming was coming from, screwing up her face at the loud noise. Her brother started awake too, his eyes widening at the sound. He fixed his unfocused eyes on the point in the room where Tarek was seated and stared, unrelentingly.
Jerrod felt the pressure in the room fluctuate slightly and he knew the spirits were here. He tried to stay calm and centered his thoughts on good things, hopes for the future and his love for his wife and children.Adana saw her husband sit in the back of the room, his eyes closed and knew he would be feeling nervous. He took his religious duties very seriously. She watched Tarek as he used the beat of the drum to enter the shadow realm, to dream walk the otherworld and determine the names and paths of her babies. He would find them their animal guide, the totem that would accompany them through their lives.Fondly, she glanced at the foot of the bed, where her own cockerel totem perched alert.Abruptly, the drumming and the waves of sound it was creating ceased and Tarek slumped to the side.Slowly, he shook his head and sat up again, pulling a piece of dried meat from a pouch on his belt to chew on while he mused over his dream walk.
Holding her breath, Adana watched. All her hope for her children seemed to be clouding the room up like a fog.
'The girl...Geanna.' Tarek pronounced. 'She shall be strong of heart and of mind, a nurturer. She has Demeter's gift for growing. Her totem is a swallow. The messenger spirit is waiting to guide her along her path.'
Adana felt a surge of pride. A daughter with Demeter's own gift for growing! Her daughter's totem as well, the messenger spirit between heaven and earth. She hoped Tarek found a hatchling quickly.'And the boy?' Jerrod spoke from the corner, eager and excited.
'Gentian. A healer. Demeter's gift for repair and regrowth. He will have a difficult path, but one worth following.'
Adana's lips quirked. Her son's path sounded much less straightforward than her daughters.
'What of his totem?' she asked, hesitantly.
'A lynx of the forest.' Tarek said. 'I shall work hard to locate one as soon as I can for his guiding spirit to occupy.'
‘A forest creature? Not one of the fields?’ Jerrod asked, frowning slightly.
‘All creatures fall under Demeter’s domain.’ Tarek reminded the farmer quietly. Adana grinned.
‘A lynx Jerrod; he’ll be strong and wise with a totem like that.’
Jerrod looked proud and walked over to his wife, clasping her shoulder in a sign of affection.
‘You are quite right, my wife. He will grow to be a fine man and a fine heir.’
Quiz: What's Your Totem Animal?
Discover which character from Earth Drummer you can identify with most and which animal would walk by your side as your spirit guide...
1. If you see someone being bullied, what do you do?
A. Step in, guns blazing.2. You get an unexpected day free to do whatever you feel like. You;
B. Demand to know what they think they’re doing.
C. Walk on, not my business.
D. Go for help.
E. Get all your friends together to help stop it.
A. You get everyone involved in something exciting for the community.3. How would your friends describe you, in three words?
B. Immediately start that new project that's been brewing at the back of your mind.
C. There is never a free day. There is always work to be done, things to achieve.
D. You spend some time with your family and friends. It’s nice to be with the one’s you love.
E. You and your friends play games, talk crushes and do makeovers. Sleepover!
A. Loyal, Daydreamer, Generous4. You’re on holiday. Where are you?
B. Fiesty, Intelligent, Headstrong
C. Grumpy, Protective, Ambitious
D. Loving, Caring, Persuasive
E. Sociable, Playful, Sweet
A. I’d go to fiery Pyrrhos and start getting some answers. I need to know.5. What’s the first thing you do in the morning?
B. Right here, in Cerea, travelling between farmsteads for new ideas.
C. Holiday? What is ‘holiday’?
D. Thera, land of the Mer. I’ve always fancied seeing people with tails...
E. I hear in Aither, they can fly! I would love to see that.
A. Try and clear my head, get ready to deal with the day.
B. Make the breakfast, do the chores. Try and note down ideas I had during the night.
C. Honour the gods. Then straight to work. No rest for the wicked.
D. Check everyone is alright, that they have what they need for the day.
E. I make my bed, I don’t want to get into trouble with my mum.
Mostly As: Just like Gentian, you have a forest-dwelling creature as your totem, the lynx! Your head can feel full of secrets thanks to your keen insight and intuition. You are supremely loyal and trustworthy.
Mostly Bs: Like Geanna, you have a totem of the air, a swallow! You care about community and you’re determined. You love to create something from nothing and your nesting instincts keep you grounded.
Mostly Cs: You seem to be like Jerrod with his hedgehog totem. You know when to act with tenacity and strength. You’re great at getting things accomplished. Remember to stay confident and act with strength.
Mostly Ds: You are most like Adana, with her cockerel totem. You’re a keen observer of people and a protector of friends and family. You’re aware of the physical and spiritual, with a power of persuasion.
Mostly Es: Like Arana, you have a woodland totem, the Squirrel! You are sociable, playful and active. You need to work on balancing your energy and let people in to help you - it’s not a sign of weakness.
Earth Drummer by Echo Fox is available in the Amazon Kindle store from the 30th May 2014. You can talk to Echo Fox on Twitter @EchoFoxBooks, or find out about upcoming books at www.echofoxbooks.co.uk or www.facebook.com/echofoxbooks.
For more about Earth Drummer check out these sites!