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Out now: The Telling of the Beads Book 1: Saplings of Sherwood

“I dreamt of a wily wolf and a swift stag blessing a sapling among the trees. It’s a sign you’ll make our people proud.”

Robin Locksley is the heir to the last Saxon noble house in Nottinghamshire. Since the time of William the Conqueror, his family has been beleaguered by those who seek to extinguish their lineage and seize their estate. Roger Cavendish is the son of the ruthless and power-hungry Norman lord whose property borders Locksley lands. For over a century since the conquest, the Cavendish family has sought to secure predominance in the region through any means necessary. Each raised to uphold opposing ancestral legacies, Robin and Roger find themselves crossing paths through their common bond to the land. They meet eye to eye, sky blue and hawk gold, catching glimpses of each other’s souls as they struggle under their own personal burdens. But while one is yet a child and the other hardly a man, a twist of fate intensifies the generational feud and kindles the first sparks of a raging fire that will one day consume their world. Destiny will immortalize them in story and song. Unfolding in an era dominated by feudal conflict and imbued with religious faith, this introspective drama puts flesh upon the bones of legend and takes an intimate character-driven approach to retelling one of the most famous heroic journeys in the annals of literature.

Avellina Balestri is a Catholic author and editor based in the historic Maryland-Pennsylvania borderlands. Her stories, poems, and essays have been featured in over thirty print and online publications. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Fellowship & Fairydust, a magazine inspiring faith, creativity and exploring the arts through a spiritual lens. Under its auspices, she had the honor of hosting a literary conference commemorating the legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien. Avellina believes that the Trinitarian and Incarnational mysteries are reflected in all things good, true, and beautiful, and that the image of God is wondrously woven into every human heart. These themes are at the forefront of the stories she chooses to tell.

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