Songs of the Mages, Book One
Damien is a mage, inheriting from Merlin the potential for enchantment and wizardry. When he rescues Toria from drowning herself, Damien knows she claims a special place in his heart. He will need all his abilities to help Toria overcome her fear of being touched by any man after she was raped by her guardian. He hides her in a school for girls until she is of age, and then brings her to Tregaron, his home as Earl of Sinclair.
Toria's lecherous guardian, Baron Heath, continues to stalk her. Damien must summon all his capabilities to protect her. As he tries to safeguard her life, the battle to conquer her fear of men looms ever more difficult. Damien refuses to influence her thinking with his extraordinary powers. Will he be able to triumph, save her from the wicked baron and finally claim Toria as his destiny?
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November 13, 2009
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Excerpt from Damien's Destiny by Jean Hart Stewart
Damien, the Earl of Sinclair, had always known he was a mage. A wizard, an enchanter when he chose. He'd never harbored a doubt. His parents had laughed and recognized him as his father's true son when they found him chortling in his crib, rearranging colors from the spectrum in the air. He still found it relaxing to form the colors of light into beautiful patterns. He enjoyed his sorcerer's power, although he seldom resorted to magic. Never to black magic. He occasionally bewitched someone but only if necessary. Mostly his powers were not needed. A strong man in his own right, he relied heavily on himself. His father had been just as powerful. The blood of Merlin and the Lady of the Lake ran strongly through the veins of his ancestors and in him.
And he never forgot that with his powers came the deep-rooted obligation of responsibility. In no way would he ever use his powers just to prove himself, or to harm anyone. His abilities were a blessing, a gift and at times a curse. Sometimes he'd really rather not see the future.
At this moment his powers certainly didn't make a stone softer. Damien shifted a little, trying to find an easier location on the hard rock he'd chosen to lean against. He grinned at the thought of changing this huge boulder into a bale of cotton. No matter, he was sitting in the shade and positioned so he could watch the ocean. The sound and the pattern of the ever-surging waves always fascinated him. Gulls swayed and swooped close to the rocky shore seeking a little nourishment in the shallow water, hovering nearer to the surface than the few lapwings higher overhead. His stallion, Araby, munched on some tufts of dried beach grass sticking up through the scree. A dragonfly flittered around his rump and Araby tried to flick it away with his tail. Damien sent the persistent fly a small command to switch to another location and as it fluttered away Araby settled down. His horse seemed contented but his own hay might be tastier. Damien looked toward the horizon, where the sea met the sky and a small boat completed the perfect view. A beautiful day and one likely to remain scorching hot.
Still, he'd better get Araby home to proper food and some true shade for them both.
Just as he started to rise he noticed a girl walk into his view from around the craggy prominence to the west. Her long skirts touched the sand as she hesitated at the shoreline where the white-crested waves were crashing after each other. She was coming far too close to the water and her slippers must be drenched.
Then she unexpectedly walked straight into the ocean.
Didn't the little fool realize this beautiful stretch of beach could be treacherous? Maybe not since she'd invaded on his private property. His very private property.
She marched as if on parade, her chin high. Her long skirts were soon soaked and doubtless dragging on her. He jumped to his feet to run toward her, shouting as he ran.
"Turn back, miss. Turn back at once. This water is treacherous."