Welcome Serena Yates to Love Bytes 🙂
Title Eye of Scota (Dalriata 1)
Author Serena Yates
Publisher DSP Publications
Release Date: March 29th, 2016
In 845 a group of Gaels fleeing the Vikings stumbled through the mystic Eye of Scota and found safety on a planet they named Dalriata. Seven centuries later, the arrival of the Crìosdaidh religion changed everything. Fugitives stopped appearing, and the newly established Council of Priests used the energy of Slànach Stones to enforce their religious laws. But by 2500 the Stones’ power is dwindling. The High Priest is desperate—none of the warriors sent to find more Stones have returned.
Cináed MacAlpin, a young healer priest, is chosen to undertake another attempt. He hopes that new Stones will reduce the pressure to heal only those deemed worthy by the priests. But his task is not easy. Cináed must travel to the land of Bunádh and find the Eye that is the source of the Stones. Once there he meets Tadeo Banderas, a spaceship captain exploring the newest Earth-like planet discovered by the Solar Exploration Fleet. Cináed and Tadeo soon find out that the spark of energy between them may hold the key to Dalriata’s future.
1st Edition published by Dreamspinner Press, 2010.
Hi! I’m Serena Yates and I’m very excited to be on Love Bytes Reviews to talk about my upcoming book release – Eye of Scota. It’s the first book in a science fiction trilogy set in the 26th century on a planet first settled by humans in the 9th century. Sounds crazy? Well, as far as we know this never happened, but I’ve always wondered what would have happened if the Gaels had had a way to escape the multiple invaders that came to their shores.
I have spoken elsewhere (and on my website) about some of the background research I did, and the “alternate history” I came up with that is in the background of this trilogy. Basically, in my version of reality, the Gaels found the Eye of Scota and used it to escape the Vikings—and later the English— up until the 15th century or so when the gate stopped working. The why is lost in history, but I plan to revisit those events in the final book of the trilogy. This first book focuses on what happened to the people who settled Dalriata, how the invasion of Crìosdaidh (Christian) missionaries influenced their cultural development, and how all of that changes when technology allows the humans of Earth to “discover” Dalriata by using spaceships in the 26th century.
Dalriatan culture of the 26th century is very different from that on Earth. In some ways it is much more primitive: there is no technology and society is still ruled by religious leaders. Warriors and Merchants play a role, but is is subservient to that of he Priests. This causes lots of tension, especially for men like Cináed, who is both a priest and a warrior. But in some respects, Dalriatan culture is more advanced than 26th century Earth, and their use of mental powers, especially in healing, is both a source of suppprt and a real problem.
Eye of Scota is an action/adventure, a quest for answers to age-old questions, and a romance between one of Dalriata’s healer priests and a starship captain. Together they begin to unravel some of the mysteries of the past, discover the mysterious gateway is not at all what they expected, and find a solution to Dalriata’s problem of Slànach Stones no longer working.
I am currently working on finishing the second book of the series, called The Compass of Mil, which will hopefully be published early next year.
This is from chapter 3, right after Captain Tadeo Banderas first wakes up after being left behind on Dalriata and is discussing the situation with Cináed.
“Do you remember what happened?” Cináed leaned forward the tiniest bit, clearly interested in his answer.
“I don’t remember much. It’s all a little muddled.” He’d have to be careful how much he told Cináed. Until he got his full memory back, he couldn’t be sure what was safe for Cináed, a virtual stranger, to know. For some reason he felt more confident talking about what had happened on the planet surface than about where he’d come from or what his job was. “But I think I was attacked by some animal?”
“That’s right. I found you in one of the other houses, buried under a dead bear. I think you killed it, although I’m not sure how you did it. It must have fallen on you when it died, and I suspect it must have hit your head hard enough for you to have a concussion. That or you hit your head on the floor when you collapsed under its weight.” Cináed tilted his head, waiting for a response.
“I remember waking up at night, seeing this huge animal walk into the room. I hadn’t thought to take precautions. I managed to land one shot, but that didn’t seem to stop it. So I tried to outrun it, to go around it so I could make it outside. But it was too fast and caught my leg.” The rest was a little murky, but it sounded like the bear had died before doing even more damage. “You must have found me pretty quickly after that. Did you hear it attack?”
“You shot it?” Cináed’s eyes were wide. “With what? I don’t know any weapon that leaves the kind of mark I found on the animal.”
Shit. He’d said too much. He was sure he wasn’t supposed to be discussing advanced weapons with these—but Cináed looked human, didn’t he? How could there be humans on a planet over 25,000 light-years from Earth? Humans who walked around bare chested and wearing kilts and weren’t familiar with lasers? He would have assumed that this was a forgotten colony, except that Fleet records indicated no ship had ever been to this specific dwarf galaxy.
“Come on, you’ve got to tell me. If you have a weapon that’s powerful enough to kill a bear with one shot like you did, you might be able to help me.” Cináed looked hopeful.
“If you’re looking for someone to help you fight some war, I can tell you right now that I’m not the right person.” Tadeo would be disappointed if this amazing man turned out to be a bloodthirsty barbarian, but maybe that was what he should have expected.
“I’m not looking for someone to help me fight a war!” Anger made Cináed’s eyes sparkle. “Just because I look less advanced than you doesn’t mean I’m a barbarian.”
“I never said you were a barbarian.” But he’d thought it, hadn’t he? Was this man reading his mind?
“Look, let’s get to the point here. I’m on a mission to try and retrieve new Slànach Stones. Healers need them to cure the sick. There are only a few left, and according to our history books, the Eye of Scota is supposed to be their source. I’ve traveled here to find them, but have so far been unable to locate any.” Cináed took a deep breath. “If you have some sort of technology or an understanding of how the Eye works, I would really appreciate your help.”
“Whoa! You lost me after mentioning Slànach Stones. What are they and how can they help cure the sick?” Having some sort of ability to heal the sick that didn’t involve expensive machinery and invasive techniques would be a major benefit to bring back to Earth. Tadeo was going to spend weeks writing this report—if he ever made it back to his ship. His eyes widened as he remembered. The shuttle had been sent back into space without him by this… this blue thing that lived in the stone circle. Nah. He’d been hit over the head; he was bound to be delusional. All of that couldn’t be true.
I’m a night owl and start writing when everyone else in my time zone is asleep. I’ve loved reading all my life and spent most of my childhood with my nose buried in a book. Although I always wanted to be a writer, financial independence came first. Twenty-some years and a successful business career later I took some online writing classes and never looked back.
Living and working in seven countries has taught me that there’s more than one way to get things done. It has instilled tremendous respect for the many different cultures, beliefs, attitudes and preferences that exist on our planet.
I like exploring those differences in my stories, most of which happen to be romances. My characters have a tendency to want to do their own thing, so I often have to rein them back in. The one thing we all agree on is the desire for a happy ending.
I currently live in the United Kingdom, sharing my house with a vast collection of books. I like reading, traveling, spending time with my nieces, and listening to classical music. I have a passion for science and learning new languages.
Thank you for the opportunity of promoting my book with Love Bytes Reviews!