Vanna Smythe’s Anniversary of the Veil Tour

I’m happy to be hosting Vanna Smythe today on her Anniversary of the Veil blog tour. Vanna recently released Decision Maker, which is the sequel to her book Protector, the first volume in her “Anniversary of the Veil” series. Vanna is giving away two copies of Decision Maker as part of her tour, so be sure to sign up to win at the bottom of this post.

Anniversary of the Veil Blog Tour BadgeI’ve known Vanna for quite a while now. We first met through Rachael Harrie’s Platform Building Campaign in 2011, back before either of us had published our first book. We reconnected again through, where I first told her about my plans to create something called the Magic Appreciation Tour. Vanna was my first supporter, and she joined the tour as soon as her book came out. In fact, I volunteered to be part of Vanna’s tour through the Magic Appreciation Blog Tours.

I haven’t read Decision Maker yet, but I have read Protector, and I enjoyed it! Vanna writes characters you can care about, and a plot that pulls you forward through the book. She has a great imagination and puts together a fine magical fantasy read. I look forward to reading Decision Maker.

For this stop on her tour, Vanna is sharing the first chapter of her new release. You’ll see for yourself how her writing will leave you wanting to finish the rest of the book.

Excerpt from Decision Maker

Chapter One – Love Blooms

The bruise-blue and lilac of twilight covered the sky as Kae, Issa and the Keepers emerged from the Forest of Dead Trees guarding the Veil. The smell of pines and moist earth hung in the cold winter air and pine needles rustled in the soft breeze, crunched as they walked. As soon as Kae entered the lush evergreen wood beyond the Forest of Dead Trees, he felt as though he was finally able to take a breath after an eternity of holding it.

Kae’s Aeter, his exact copy which he could call to emerge from the center of his chest, stood beside him. It was solid again, not translucent, its dark brown hair stirring in the evening breeze, the colors of twilight reflecting in its green eyes. His Aeter was invisible to everyone but him, and through it Kae could feel the life flowing in all things, all people around him.

Keeper Essall’s Aeter briefly sprung from behind the man’s invisible armor which prevented Kae from Reading, or even sensing the Keepers’ true emotions and thoughts. For the briefest moment, Kae could feel Essall’s joy at being free of the black trees. Then the Keeper’s Aeter retreated back behind the invisible armor. Keeper Alet’s and Onentha’s armor never wavered.

Kae turned his attention to Issa. Issa’s inner light, the essence of her being, shone weaker than in the morning. She was not yet healed, not yet well. The Keepers better heal her soon.

The wood was similar to the Forest of the Dead on Kae’s side of the world. The air through which his Aeter felt their surroundings was thick and congested, much harder to feel through than the air on his side of the Veil dividing the world. This air was not as wholesome as the air back home.

Issa stumbled and fell to her knees. Kae leapt to catch her, but was not quick enough. She cried out as her knees collided with the ground.

“Are you well?” Kae asked her in a whisper. Unbidden, his separated self tried to look into her thoughts, wanted to know the truth. Kae told it to stop. Issa could not shield her inner thoughts from Kae, he had no right to look and violate her so.

“I’ll carry you,” he said.

“No. I can walk on my own,” Issa whispered. Kae was sure she wanted to sound annoyed at his suggestion, but her tone was level. Her inner light was a candle flame struggling to remain alive in a breeze.

Alet looked on, care and concern plain in the air around her. “We will push on to the House of Troth tonight. There we will be safe and comfortable. We still have a long way to go, so I suggest we first rest and eat.”

She took the pack off her shoulders and sat down on the ground. Issa joined her and Kae sat on the ground beside her. The cloth rose he had given Issa that morning still hung from the button hole of her green coat, still seemed tightly wound. Kae imagined it gave off the smell of a real white winter rose.

Onentha started handing out the food. “We would be comfortable at the compound too, and it is closer. The Watchers could come there to heal Issiyanna.”

Tension coiled between the two women, but the armor they wore prevented Kae from knowing the true reason for it. It seemed they were arguing, but silently, the way cats fight by simply staring at one another until the weaker yields and retreats. Neither of the two Keepers was yielding though.

Alet took the piece of salted beef Onentha was holding out to her. “The Supreme Keeper must be made aware of the entire situation and Issiyanna must be healed as soon as possible.”

“Healed she will be, but it does not need to be at the House of Troth,” Onentha said.

Alet’s anger seemed to burst from behind her armor with a near physical force. Burned the way winter ice burns. “Enough! We will go to the House of Troth. Eat and then we move.”

The anger was gone in a flash of bright light reflecting off Alet’s invisible armor. Hers was made of ice. Kae could try to melt the ice, as he had done once just before they crossed the Veil, but the tension between the two women disintegrated and there seemed no need to do so. Onentha chewed loudly, but remained silent.

Issa was sitting beside him with her eyes closed, an oatcake hanging from her hand.

“House of Troth…The name sounds so whimsical,” Issa whispered. “Does it have something to do with the Dreams of the Other Half?”

“Eat Issa. You will feel better after you eat,” Kae said.

He wanted to take her into his arms, let her rest against his chest. Run his hands through the soft golden locks of her hair and let her sleep.

“You see?” Onentha said looking at Alet. Chunks of the beef she was eating flew from her mouth.

You will not Convince her anymore! Alet’s voice spoke on the air. Kae looked sharply at the two Keepers, but neither seemed aware that he heard the silent order.

Alet turned to Issa. “It is an old name, from a time long ago. The House of Troth is just a place of healing, where the sick are made well again.”

Disappointment blossomed around Issa. “So my young lord will not be there to meet me?” Loving warmth oozed off Issa, mingled with her disappointment. None of it for Kae.

Who is this young lord?

Without being told to look, Kae’s Aeter saw into Issa’s thoughts, saw her dream of the Other Half. Issa stood on the beach by the Taiel Sea, at the bottom of the cliffs. She was embracing a skinny, fair-haired man, the sun setting behind them. Soon we will be together, together forever. The man whispered into Issa’s ear in the vision. Issa laughed, the sound rich as sunlight made the voice.

What is this?

Kae’s own mind screamed the question. The vision, Issa’s dream of the Other Half, shattered, taking her precious lord with it. The red background pulsed and glowed in Kae’s mind, began to burn.

Kae wanted to hit something, someone, the skinny lord whom Issa was hugging. Wanted to beat him with his fists until mangled bloody flesh was all that remained of his boyish face.

Why can’t it be?

No. One of the Keepers was using their Life Force to make Issa see this. It wasn’t real. Dreams were only dreams. Issa could not love a man she had never seen. She had never met any man by the Taiel Sea. Kae had been her Guardian for the last seven years. He was right there beside her whenever she went to meet anyone.

Decision Maker Giveaway

Enter to win a free copy of Decision Maker so you can finish the story!


About Vanna Smythe

LFLS34Vanna Smythe is the author of the Anniversary of the Veil fantasy series. She has been writing creatively since her early teens, though one could say her creative writing efforts started long before that. While still in kindergarten, she once tore up a library book to make alphabet soup, and has been fascinated with what words can do, the pictures and worlds they can create, ever since.

Connect with Vanna:

Twitter: @Vanna_Smythe
Protector (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 1):
Decision Maker (Anniversary of the Veil, Book 2):


I have blog comments turned off because of problems with spam. Feel free to use my contact page if you would like to get in touch with me.


  1. Wow! Wasting no time getting to the thick of the rich plot here, Vanna. And this world is redolent with magic, every character is simply drenched in abilities I’ve never seen. I’m almost hungering to meet a "normal" person- if there are any- just for reference. All the best with your new release.

  2. Thanks for stopping in, Will. Vanna sure knows how to put together an engaging scene!

  3. Thanks again, Daniel, for having me! And thank you for those kind words of introduction.

    Will, thanks for stopping by, and I’m glad you liked the sample! Let’s just say that any non-magical, "normal" people were taken care of in Book 1 of the series, Protector 😉