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New Release | Anaya Awakens (Fragments of the Gods, Book One) by JCR Paulino #highfantasy #fantasy #newrelease



Title

Fragments of the Gods, Book One, Anaya Awakens

 

Author

JCR Paulino

 

Genre

High fantasy

 

Publisher

JCR Paulino Books

 

Book Blurb

 

“In the clarity of their delusion, they become a tiny piece of their god.”—The Sebesian Prophet.

 

Six-year-old Anaya lives with her family in a remote community in the mountains. A mysterious illness sweeps through the village, killing all the children under the age of seven except for Anaya. Following her recovery, Anaya develops supernatural powers, setting in motion the destinies of four people across two continents. 

 

Angry villagers accuse Anaya’s mother of practicing witchcraft and blame her for the death of their children. They attack Anaya’s home, leaving the little girl orphaned. Anaya flees into the forest, fending for herself and developing her supernatural abilities.

 

Rayla is a high-ranking officer in the kingdom of Kasmana. She must stop a military coup while thwarting her enemies’ efforts to use Anaya’s powers for their nefarious goals.

 

Kendar hails from the Highlands. He has been hiding the powers he acquired twelve years earlier after surviving the same disease as Anaya. Knowing the depth of her potential, Kendar travels to Kasmana to snatch the little girl’s powers for himself.

 

Danny is a rookie ranger from the kingdom of Newisbel, a nation boasting incredibly advanced technology. No other country knows of Newisbel’s existence, and the hidden kingdom’s ruler, the Invoker, understands exactly what’s happening with Anaya. Can Danny retrieve the six-year-old before her growing powers endanger the world?

 

 ⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️⭐️ “An enthralling blend of high fantasy and science fiction.” —Readers’ Favorite.

 

Excerpt

 

On the cold night they came for her, Anaya lay barely conscious atop a gray comforter. Her fever had spiked again in the evening, and the little girl breathed raggedly, bedridden near a rustic wall across from the hearth. The other three family members languished in total silence within the confines of the tiny house. The last brutal episode had drained them mentally, and now their resilience threatened to slip away.

 

Then Anaya stirred on her bed and moaned softly, her whimper echoing inside the house like a wounded whisper.

 

Anaya’s mother froze at the sound, standing before the burning stove in the section that functioned as the kitchen. She fought back the tears and brought a trembling hand to her chest, for Yael knew that dreaded sound all too well. It was about to start again. “Oh, sweet Dianasis, please have mercy,” she muttered.

 

Yael turned in time to see her six-year-old daughter convulse violently and the bed beneath her start to shake in tandem with her thrashing, the steel frame rattling and sliding, scratching the hardwood floor. Anaya’s mother dropped the pot of boiling water she’d been about to use, splashing its contents onto the floor as she rushed to her little girl. She kneeled next to the bed and grabbed Anaya’s hand, sure it would help. “Mommy is right here, sweetie. I’m right here.”

 

The convulsions and thrashing reached their tumultuous peak, and Yael held her breath, silently begging Dianasis to save her daughter. Then Anaya coughed, and her body expelled nine white feathers. Four of them shot up and hovered above the bed. Anaya’s contortions subsided, but the four feathers kept floating above the girl like snowflakes, refusing to come down.

 

Yael’s frown deepened, overtaking the pain in her face; she looked at the hovering feathers and tilted her head. It’d been two days of unrelenting high fevers and hacking coughs—Anaya’s lips were chapped from dehydration, and her caramel skin had taken on a sickly pale hue. But the bizarre feathers that had burst from the girl with each episode had never floated. The darn things fell onto the bed or thudded to the floor like flat pebbles, vanishing as bafflingly as they had appeared.

 

Yael reached out, trying to grab one of the feathers drifting above her daughter. But as soon as she touched it, the plume crumbled into dust and dissolved into the air. Not a trace of it remained. The other eight feathers disintegrated and dispersed two seconds later, like steam in the cold wind.

 

Yael’s eyebrows remained knitted together. Her heart ached. How in the name of Dianasis had Anaya’s body not yet broken under such relentless thrashing? How much longer could a six-year-old child withstand such a cursed and hideous disease? But Yael’s faith in her goddess was as unyielding as her daughter’s fevers. Anaya was still alive—there was warmth in her chest, sweat on her brow, and breath in her lungs. The other twenty-four children in the village who had contracted the disease were already dead, having succumbed to the sinister malady in fewer than thirty-six hours. According to Father Lorenzo, none of the thirty-eight children under seven years of age had survived the pestilence in the neighboring Old Berkton Village either. But her Anaya clung to life; her daughter had not given up.

 

“Yes,” Father Lorenzo had said when Yael answered his question about the feathers with a simple nod, “the other children coughed three or four feathers once, an hour or two before they died. And those feathers disappeared too. No doubt the devil is trying to hide his hand.”

 

Yael had thought it was best not to mention to Father Lorenzo—who was both the mayor and the priest—that Anaya had been coughing up feathers for two days now. And not just three or four at a time.

 

Yael bent and kissed her baby girl’s sweaty forehead. “I’m proud of you,” she whispered, still holding Anaya’s hand. “I’m not giving up either. You hear me? I’m not letting go.”

 

She slid an arm underneath Anaya’s neck and hoisted her head. Then she grabbed the bowl from the nightstand and fed Anaya some rice water. Her daughter sipped, and Yael’s forehead finally relaxed. According to the pattern established over the last two days, Anaya would rest easy for a few hours. Her fever would break for a while before starting to spike again, leading to convulsions and culminating in violent coughing and feathers.

 

Yael leaned back and inched her chin up higher. We’ll survive this, she told herself. She had not been uprooted from her homeland and suffered years of continuous discrimination in this country just to see her daughter die. That fire in her belly had seen Yael through awful situations before, and this one would be no exception.

 

“There is no justice in this world,” a deep male voice mumbled inside the house for the hundredth time. Yael’s eyes darted toward her husband.

 

Jamal sat in front of the fire, twelve feet away from his daughter’s bed, his eyes glued to the floor. Yael waited. It always felt as if Jamal would go on talking, but he never did. She knew her husband of ten years well. He probably wanted to encourage her and Anaya and their son Casar, but no other sentences had come out of Jamal’s throat for the last two days. Not when the village’s priest had come the day before and told them how bad things were all across their community and beyond. Not even when his eight-year-old son had asked if his little sister was going to die or if he would be next. “There is no justice in this world.”

 

Buy Links (including Goodreads and BookBub)

 

 

 

 


Author Biography

 

JCR Paulino is an emerging author in the fantasy and science fiction genres best known for his debut novel, The Swords of Blood and Gold. This book has garnered several accolades, including:

 

·   The Literary Titan Golden Book Award.

·   The Artisan Book Review Book Excellence Award (in Mystery, Thriller, Urban Fantasy).

·   The 2022 Readers’ Favorite International Book Award Silver Medal in Fiction – New Adult.

·   A B.R.A.G. Medallion listing from indieBRAG, LLC.

 

In January 2023, Paulino introduced readers to The Crystal Canvas. His high-fantasy series, Fragments of the Gods, was released in January 2024.

 

Balancing a full-time career as a Human Resources executive with his passion for writing, JCR resides in Southern California. He enjoys life’s adventures with his wife and two children.

 

Social Media Links

 

 

@jcrpaulino

 

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