Blog Tour- MATRIARCH by @AdamWingWriting With An Excerpt & #Giveaway! @RockstarBkTours

Jaime | 11:23 AM |

 

I am thrilled to be hosting a spot on the MATRIARCH by Adam Wing Blog Tour hosted by Rockstar Book Tours. Check out my post and make sure to enter the giveaway!

 

About The Book:

Title: MATRIARCH

Author: Adam Wing

Pub. Date: December 1, 2019

Publisher: Adam Wing

Formats: Paperback, eBook

Pages: 124

Find it:  GoodreadsAmazon, KindleB&N, TBDBookshop.org

Read For FREE With A Kindle Unlimited Membership!

The story is over. It’s already too late.

At the end of the Turkish War of Independence, a British soldier disobeys orders to return home. Setting out to explore a country he had only known as trespasser, he uncovers danger, mysteries, and magic—adventure, obsession, and true love.

One hundred years later, the soldier’s great-granddaughter sits at her great-grandmother’s deathbed while the old woman recounts this very tale; it is the last she will ever tell.

Secrets are revealed as past and present collide, and as one woman’s future draws toward its inevitable close, another finds hers thrown into uncertainty.

 

Excerpt:

(First Chapter)

THE ELDEST

 

FATE. DESTINY. DOOM.

They rule our lives, decide our futures, queens of fortune and potential. So small are we in Their eyes—so titanic Their vision—we sometimes view Them as a single inescapable god, decider of everything, of both final and first, both cause and consequence. But each is unique.

They are Sisters.

Born in the same instant, Destiny and Fate have ever been rivals. Squabbling for control of all that is, and all that will come to pass, they command our stories, vying for ownership: Fate singing Her songs in reverse, with endings decided before have begun—parables carved in the currents of an immutable universe. While Destiny scribbles in the ink of human action, telling stories born of spirit, courage and resolve, of foolishness, fear and greed. Her endings are those we achieve for ourselves, yet they are no less inevitable, no less Hers in the end.

Then there is the Eldest.

Doom.

Doom eclipses Her Sisters. They are nothing that She was not already. Like Fate, She is the chosen endpoint assigned to each living soul; like Destiny, She is the fruit of every worldly ambition. And She is more. Doom is the great and terrible scorecard, the price of admission, deferred until journey’s end. She is the reckoning of each life’s work, be it arranged in the stars or shaped by choices freely made.

Whether you believe in Destiny, in Fate, in neither or both, Doom cannot be denied.

She will be there in the end.

Doom awaits us all.

CHAPTER ONE

Doom

 

EACH Sister was present in the hospital that day. No one saw them. No one heard their voices as they laid claim to the oldest and youngest alike, to every life and future resting in-between. But they were there. Fate’s unyielding certainty clung to the air, mingling with the sharp balm of ammonia hastily spread across vinyl, tile and plastic. Destiny’s resolve crackled around every pulsing body, binding lives in an intricate web of hopes, fears and grim determination. And of course, Doom was there, lurking out of sight, hiding around corners and behind heavy doors. In such desperate settings, where people came to press back against death, fight tooth and nail for one more decade, one more year, just one more breath of life, the Eldest Sister was never far.

Today in particular, more than any in a very long time, Doom’s presence could be felt. Today, she was here with purpose. This was the day the Merrill family would arrive en masse. The day Ayla Merrill, the ancient family matriarch, came to the hospital to die.

 

◦     ◦     ◦     ◦

 

 “SHE was fine,” the man explained—tried to explain—fumbling words as his voice betrayed an agitation barely held in check. “She was normal. Gran’s always been—I mean, she’s old, but she’s always been . . . healthy, you know? I can’t think of a time I’ve seen her sick. But she just started coughing and wheezing, and she just—and she just … dropped. Like a bag of onions!”

“How old is your grandmother?” the admissions nurse asked, pen never leaving her clipboard.

Great-grandmother,” the man corrected automatically. “A hundred-nineteen. It’s her birthday. It was at her party it happened. Everyone was there. It was something else, really, a miracle—that we could all make it, I mean. Like—not just most of us—everyone came. So many different schedules. Six generations under the same roof…” The man was beginning to babble. For a time, the nurse allowed him. The patient had been admitted, assigned a bed, and wheeled away by an orderly; it was a slow afternoon, and amazingly, no one else was waiting; no harm letting him unburden himself. Soon she realized however, if she hoped to get anything useful from him at all, she would to have to interrupt. “…the youngest still poopin’ in diapers of course, but we—” The nurse opened her mouth to cut in.

“Dan!” A female voice slapped at them from the entrance. Five more had appeared through the sliding glass doors. The one who had called out, a well-made-up but dazed looking young woman—no older than thirty—scooted past a trio of middle-aged ladies who were supporting a hanging-grey-thread of an eighty—perhaps even ninety—year-old man. “We met up in the parking lot.” The younger woman nodded toward the others. “Mum and Dad are right behind. How is she?”

It took the nurse a second to realize this last was directed to her.

“Well we—”

“Cass! Dan!” A couple in their fifties hurried through the doors and up to the group. “How is she? What do they say?” These questions were not addressed to the nurse, who had yet to get a word in.

“I don’t know,” the young woman, apparently named Cass, answered. “I was just asking.”

“I don’t know,” Dan echoed. Then turning back, he resumed his monologue. “She was having trouble breathing, right? Well, first off she was fine. Everyone was saying…” The man’s rambling account washed over her once again. Painfully suppressing the urge to clench her jaw, the nurse watched as three more Merrills trickled in to attach themselves to the group. Was she to contend with the whole extended clan today? she wondered with no small feeling of dread.

Before more could arrive, before Dan could recite the entire family history, she managed to time an interjection into one of his short breaths. The doctors where examining their great-grandmother, she told them—or their grandmother—or in the case of the ancient-looking man, his … mother?—the one they called Gran, in any case—and they would be back with their diagnosis soon. In the mean time, no, they could not all go wait with her; no, she herself was not going to speculate on what might be wrong; and yes, they could remain in the lounge, so long as they kept to themselves and bothered no one.

This last answer was one the admissions nurse would come to regret.

One-hundred-thirty-eight relatives—ninety-nine direct descendants, and a healthy smattering of in-laws—gathered in the waiting area that evening. “Gran is a remarkable woman,” one of them told the nurse when she approached them to elect a contingent who would stay and wait for news, allowing the others to go home. “Hundred-nineteen and sharper than anyone I know. None of us can imagine what we’d do without her.”

“She sounds incredible,” she answered. Now please move on like any normal invasive swarm.

Eventually, she did convince them. Six would remain through visiting hours. One would be allowed to sit overnight with the patient. For this, they elected the young woman, Cass, who had grown up next-door to the old matron. All agreed, she lived closest to Gran’s heart.

 

◦     ◦     ◦     ◦

 

IT was a little after 2:00 a.m. when Gran awoke. Cass did not immediately notice. Her focus had fallen hard on what the doctor had told her, and it was difficult to think of anything else. “It’s her time,” the woman had said, hands folded on a closed folder containing Gran’s entire medical life. “Her body’s giving out. She might make it till morning, maybe a day or two, but … she’s very old.”

Old, Cass thought. Her laptop sat open in front of her, a half-finished pamphlet design splashed across the dimmed screen. She had hoped to distract herself with work, but for hours she had no more than stared at the open file. …might make it till morning, maybe a day or two… The words circled in her head, overwriting all other thought. …but she’s very old… The idea that this woman, this fixture in Cass’s life, would be gone soon, was all she could focus on. As her great-grandmother’s sleep became restless, Cass’s attention was drawn inward. Even when the old woman slipped back into consciousness, she failed to notice. Only when Gran actually called out, did she finally snap back to the world.

“Ollie?” Gran’s fear cut the darkness, causing the younger woman to start. “Ollie, where am I? Where is this? What am I doing here? Ollie?!”

Tossing her laptop to the other chair, Cass reached for the old woman. “Sh-hh, Gran,” she whispered. “Sh-hh-hh, it’s me. It’s Cassidy. Your little Cass.”

Cass?” If anything, Gran’s voice sounded more panicked. “Oh God. Cass … where am I? Where—where’s Ollie?”

“Gran, no; it’s okay. It’s okay. You’re in the hospital. You’re with me at the hospital. You fainted at the party. We brought you here to rest and get better.”

“No. No, I don’t like this, Cass. I need to see him. I need … I need … oh…” Her voice trailed off, as though the effort to speak was too much. This frightened Cass. Gran did not scare easily. Gran did not get befuddled. She was immutable, a force of nature. Seeing her like this…

“Greatest-Granddad’s gone,” Cass said, pressing the old woman’s knuckles in her palm. “He passed a long, long time ago, remember? Years before I was born. You do, Gran. Don’t you?

Surprisingly, this seemed to have a calming effect. Gran’s muscles relaxed. She eased herself back onto the bed. “Yes,” she breathed, sounding a little more herself. “Yes, Cass, that’s right. A long time. I just forgot. Just for a second.” She placed a frail hand over Cass’s, which Cass then sandwiched in her own. They held on like that for a minute before Gran pulled away. “Poor Ollie,” she murmured. “Poor, poor Ollie.” Then, “Please, Cassidy, the light. I’d like to see my favourite girl before I go.”

Cass flicked the switch on a wall-mounted fixture over the bed, and a dull glow kindled in its frosted bulb. “None of this before I go crap,” she chided. “You’re going to get better, okay? Mum and Dad brought you some things from the house; some clothes, your jewellery, that old book you like to read. They want you to keep your spirits up so you can get out of here and back home where you belong.”

Gran smiled. “My little Cass. A hundred-and-nineteen is long enough sentence for anyone, wouldn’t you say?” Cass shook her head. Gran had exceeded her generation’s life expectancy before she herself was born, yet to her, a world without the old woman in it was unthinkable. “Besides,” Gran continued, ignoring Cass’s silent objection, “a promise was made many years ago, and I expect it’s time to keep it.”

“Gran, what are you—”

“You say they brought my bobbles?”

Sitting back, Cass nodded.

“Please.”

Cass allowed herself a moment of uncertainty before retrieving a small cherry-wood box from the windowsill.

The box was an antique. Intricate friezes lay carved around its sides, each depicting a season of the year. Webs of brass and silver decorated the lid, set seamlessly into the polished wood. Cass adored this box, though she had never been allowed to touch it, or even look inside. It was strictly off-limits, the only real restriction Gran had ever enforced. Setting it on the old woman’s lap, she returned to her chair by the bed.

“I never told you how I ended up with your great-grandfather,” Gran remarked quietly, opening the little chest.

Cass took a moment to consider. A legend in the Merrill family—second only to Gran herself—Greatest-Granddad Ollie had died in the 1940s, before even the grandchildren were born. Yet each generation had grown up with him. Sitting cross-legged on the old woman’s worn living-room carpet, or curled into an ancient chair or sofa, listening to Gran’s stories, they had come to know him, to love him as if he had always been around. And though his death was something of a murky spot in the family chronicle—rarely discussed and vaguely understood to be suicide—it was his life the old woman loved to recount. The sort of man he was, how much he meant to her. They had gone on such adventures together, lived through incredible events. Through these enthralling tales, he lived again, and the entire family grew to adulate him, even as Gran herself did.

It was no small shock then, when Cass realized she had no idea how Gran had actually come to meet him. That can’t be right, she thought. Gran would have told that one. Surely, I would have asked. But thinking back, giving herself a good long moment to think, she found her mind drawing a blank.

Before Cass could voice her surprise, Gran—whose eyes remained fixed inside the box—shot up a silencing finger. “Wasn’t a question, Cassidy,” the old woman muttered. “I’m not asking; I’m saying, you’ve never heard this story.”

Cass’s mouth snapped shut.

Picking carefully through her jewelry—a bird digging for insects amidst a carpet of fallen nettles—Gran’s eyes widened as she spotted what she was looking for. She set the box aside, and in her hand held a silver bracelet formed of fine, interlinking bands. It wore a heavy coat of tarnish, painted on, presumably, by time and neglect, but was a wonderfully detailed piece and looked to be one-of-a-kind. Cass could not recall ever seeing Gran wear it. In fact, she was fairly certain she had never seen it at all.

 “This bracelet,” Gran said, wistfully, “is older than you’d guess. Older than you’d believe, actually. It has more stories in it than I could tell you if I had … well, till you were my age. But the most recent, the one as it matters to me … and to you … is the tale of your great-grandfather. Oliver. It’s a story I’ve not told anyone. But then, no one as God-awful-old as me could miss how special you are, Cass—could doubt that you deserve to know. I suppose it’s time someone does.”

Cass’s throat seemed to swell. It was a struggle to pull air into her lungs. She knows she’s dying, she thought. She knows this will be the last story she tells. Leaning forward, crushed by the realization, yet desperate to hear what Gran had to say, she listened as the tale began.

“It was, oh … so far back now, in Turkey, maybe a year after the war—not the Great War; a few years on. After the Liberation. I guess these old bones would have looked about your age then—just shy, maybe—a girl, figuring out what it means to be a woman.

The winter rains came strong that year. I don’t think I’d seen the river so high…”

 

 

About Adam: 

Man of many hats: teacher, engineer, editor, scholar, mountain climber, bar tender, student, world traveller, and through and above it all, writer, Wing has dedicated most his life to the craft of writing fiction.

Wing's published works include the novel, Icarus, and a book of short stories, Apoca Lypse Sink Ships, and he has fantasy work on the way.

Website | Twitter | Instagram | Goodreads | Amazon

 

Giveaway Details:

2 winners will win a finished copy of MATRIARCH, US/Canada Only.

2 winners will win an eBook of MATRIARCH, International.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Tour Schedule:

Week One:

1/4/2021

Two Chicks on Books

Guest Post

1/4/2021

Rockstar Book Tours

Excerpt

1/5/2021

Jaime's World

Excerpt

1/5/2021

JaimeRockstarBookTours

Instagram Post

1/6/2021

BookHounds

Excerpt

1/6/2021

BookHounds

Instagram Post

1/7/2021

Books A-Brewin'

Excerpt

1/7/2021

Books A-Brewin'

Instagram Post

1/8/2021

Fire and Ice

Review

1/8/2021

Fire and Ice

Instagram Post

 

Week Two:

1/11/2021

I'm Shelf-ish

Excerpt

1/11/2021

Three gals and plenty of books

Excerpt

1/12/2021

@minnesota_mailer

Review

1/12/2021

100 Pages A Day

Review

1/13/2021

Westveil Publishing / @thewestveilarchives

Guest Post

1/13/2021

Westveil Publishing / @thewestveilarchives

Instagram Post

1/14/2021

Adrienne Woods Books and Reviews

Excerpt

1/14/2021

Books and Zebras @jypsylynn

Review

1/15/2021

She Just Loves Books

Review

1/15/2021

Two Points of Interest

Review


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