Altered Destiny

Altered Destiny

by Shawna Thomas

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Selia has run her family's tavern since she was fifteen and can hunt and fight the equal of any man. When she rescues a badly wounded man and nurses him back to health, she has no idea she's about to change not only her life, but also the destinies of two peoples…

The battered warrior is Svistra—a race of bloodthirsty savages determined to destroy her homeland. Or so the stories claim. Jaden reveals a different truth: how his ancestors were driven into the barren northern mountains. Now they are strong and war parties are pushing south wanting their land back.

The son of a Svistra Commander, Jaden is looking for a way to bring peace to both humans and Svistrans. He tries to ignore his growing passion for Selia, but when she is captured he has to decide what he would be willing to sacrifice to save the woman he loves…

105,000 words

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781426892264
Publisher: Carina Press
Publication date: 09/19/2011
Format: NOOK Book
Sales rank: 358,532
File size: 2 MB

About the Author

Since she could remember, one of Shawna Thomas's favorite places has been the library. She always has one book to read and another for backup. Some of her earliest adventures took place in Narnia and Middle Earth. The fact that she started scripting plays for her sister's Barbies and rewriting the ends to some of her beloved stories that didn't have a happily-ever-after confirms she was destined to be a writer.

In 2005, she turned the hobby into a profession and started seriously working on the craft of writing. Since then, she's published four books under a supersecret pen name, and makes her living writing nonfiction articles.

When she's not writing or editing, you'll find her playing in the garden, weeding the flower and vegetable garden or picking fruit from her eight fruit trees. She also spends a good deal of time in the kitchen where she loves to develop new dishes, especially desserts, to feed her husband and their six children.

Read an Excerpt

Moments like these were rare, not to mention brief. Selia ignored the escalating noise in the tavern behind her. From the doorway, the King's road shone under the pale moonlight and the stars glimmered in a velvet sky, for once, free of clouds. A loud curse shattered her reverie. If it wasn't one thing, it was another. No one, certainly not the Inlanders, soldiers, or even locals frequenting her establishment, seemed to appreciate a peaceful night sky. It was the price of having a tavern on the last crossroads before the Wastes.

The trick was to stop the argument before bandied words led to fists. She shut the door. A few steps into the tavern, Selia slammed her knife into a table hard enough to rattle the mugs of ale. "That's enough."

In the murky room, halos of light from the lanterns bracketed against the walls exaggerated the patrons' features and occasionally highlighted the scarred tables. Most of the customers met her gaze. A few didn't.

Jim, a local farmer, raised his mug. "Sorry, Selia. Feeling the cups."

Oberl twisted his mouth into a grin echoing Jim's sentiment.

"No fighting in my tavern. Oberl, if I catch you cheating, you're out on your ass." She glanced around the room. The locals were easier; they knew her. Selia's gaze settled on a large man with a matted, black beard and small dark eyes sitting against the wall by the door.

It was the Inlanders she had to worry about.

The man wiped his mouth with a sleeve, spat onto the wooden floor and sneered in Jim's general direction. "Where I come from we call that pole-cocked."

There was always one who couldn't mind his business.

Without looking away from the Inlander, she reached for a second knife strapped to her waist.

His eyes widened as the steel pierced the wall above his head.

"Well, sir, where I came from, and where you are, they call that smart." She pried her knife out of the table and held it ready.

The man swallowed, glanced over her shoulder toward Oren, the barkeep—who Selia guessed was staring a hole in the man's head about now—then back at her. After a moment, he hunched his shoulders. "Reckon I see your point."

She fixed a smile on her face that would fall short of her eyes. "I like a smart man." Then she turned to Oren. "Give 'em a drink on the house."

Oren nodded his massive head, his dark eyes still on the Inlander. Selia was tall for a woman but Oren still towered over her; he dwarfed most everyone, for that matter. He had never intentionally hurt any creature, but the Inlanders didn't know that, and she doubted any of the locals would tell them.

Once behind the counter, she returned the knife to a sheath on her belt. Five years before, when her mother, Brynn, had died, she'd inherited the bar, Oren, and the locals. Quite a handful for a fifteen year-old. They were a peculiar bunch; had to be, to live in the Outskirts.

Oren smiled his lopsided grin. "You put another hole in the wall."

"Yes, I did."

"It's gonna look like a woodpecker's been at it 'fore too long." He handed her a fresh cup of ale for the Inlander with the newly acquired smarts. Oren's brown eyes shone. "I like woodpeckers."

Selia focused on the amber liquid to hide a smile. "Me too."

She delivered the ale, winked at the Inlander as she removed her knife from the scarred wall and returned behind the bar. Absently tossing the knife and catching it by its handle, she glanced down at the accounts she'd been studying before the wind blew the door open, but her eye kept drifting to the barkeep. The lamplight coaxed golden tones from his nondescript brown hair as he refilled another mug.

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Altered Destiny 4.3 out of 5 based on 0 ratings. 11 reviews.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
This book is wonderfully structured, never boring, and immediately engaging. Great character development especially. The characters are what make this story, and the world that Ms.Thomas created for them only makes them seem more real. Lots of action, very well-paced, and the few well-chosen romantic scenes are perfect. (Actually I would have liked more romance... the book is very clean) Can't wait to see what she writes next!
CrystalPosey More than 1 year ago
Shawna Thomas eases you into a detailed world of love, allegiance, and destiny. A world where two races, with two different versions of a war, collide in a heart-pounding moment that will either end in blood-shed or new life. With world building so beautifully crafted, readers will feel as though they have taken an adventurous walk in another time and place. The characters are relatable with real and honest flaws, and yet when they fight they do it with such passion that they become larger than life. These characters shine. Perhaps the most admirable thing about this story is how the author weaves in a light romance that warms you inside and out, and yet never takes away from the core of the story. This is a talented writer who knows how to give a story its worth, and still deliver the perfect happy ending that all romance lovers crave.
CYP More than 1 year ago
This is a 'wow' of a book. This novel contains everything that you could ever want: Suspense, action(definitely lots of action), romance, betrayal, deception, friendship. Really just a fantasticle novel that i would never get bored of no matter how many times i'm going to reread it (and i do plan to reread it.Oh yes i do). This novel started off at a not-so-fast pace, but it slowly opens up to the world that the characters lived in, and each of the characters' past. And not long after, it picks up its pace and i find that i couldnt put the book down anymore. I literally clutched my iPad and glued my eyes to the screen. Lol, gruesome visual description. But yeah, it was filled with suspense and jam-packed with non-stop action. Selia is a kickass heroine who tops my all-time-favourite-characters list. Although the environment that she lived in leaves much to be desired(her mom being a whore and everything), she still grew up to be a loyal, mature, compassionate person. Even when she found out that it was a Svistra she was saving, she still cared for him and gave him a place to stay(even tho it's in the barn, it's still a place to stay). I adore her. Jaden. Jaden Jaden Jaden. He is one sexy man. Or Svistra in this case. Wow. Hot-ness! Lol. This man really knows how to fight, and how to love. He was so super sweet to Selia, and a damn good friend to Oren. Add to that, he is a natural-born leader. How much more perfect can a guy get? Anyway, this book was a complex one to write. Not that i would know, but the way Thomas switched POVs all the time and still making it come across clearly, and to actually encompass such a complicated and wholesome plot..That's some real talent here. Really, it alternated between Keldar(commander of the Svistra army - antagonist), Nathan(commander of the Newhaven human army), Jaden(male protagonist!!!), and Selia(female protagonist), but never, not once did i get confused. The entirety of it was well thought out and so very detailed, I applaud the skill Thomas has exhibited. One teeeeensy weensy flaw tho - the initial attraction between our 2 protagonists was a little quick to me. I mean, only after the first few times they talked and already they feel a pull. But it isn't insta-love, that i can assure you. And other than this rather negligible detail, the romance part was slow and sweet, never too rushed. All in all, it was so perfecty romantic that i found myself craving for more scenes with these two in it. I swear, their just so perfect together. All in all, let me repeat myself, this novel has everything you could ever want and leaves you thirsting for more. A definite 5 stars.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
I was looking for something good to read and this really fit the bill.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Ciuld not stop reading and the end came too soon
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
haraSac More than 1 year ago
I enjoyed this book immensely! As soon as I finished it, I wanted to read it again. I read it pretty quickly the first time, because I wanted to know what would happen to the characters! This time around I can read more leisurely. Great story and suspense. Believable characters. Full and complete world -- with history and language, it feels effortlessly three-dimensional, an interactive stage for the story to unfold upon. Five stars and two thumbs way up.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
iheartyabooks More than 1 year ago
Altered Destiny is one of those beautiful Fantasy novels you just want to curl up with and take your time and enjoy. Shawna Thomas created an incredible world with the humans and Svistra. The characters are just as amazing. In Fantasy Romance novels, I usually love only the two main characters' romance, and I do love Selia and Jaden, they have an amazing romance, but I found myself falling in love with Oren and Commander Nathan. Altered Destiny has a strong, intriguing storyline that pulled me right into this amazing kingdom and fantasy world with beautiful romances, Jaden's brothers jealousy, and the war between the humans and Svistra. Oren is Selia's brother, a gentle giant of young man and, yes, I shed a few tears over him. Nathan is the king's commander in the human army. Nathan gave my heart a bit of a tug of war between him and Jaden for Selia's affections. But Jaden did win me over in the end. Jaden is a gorgeous Svistra. He has left his home and his race because he doesn't believe in the killing of humans. Selia rescues a wounded Jaden and brings him back to her home to heal, but soon finds herself falling for Jaden and doubting everything she's been told about the evil blood drinking Svistra. Selia is a twenty-year-old strong and independent woman who can take care of herself and is definitely kick-butt. Selia is the kind of woman I like. She's strong, but hasn't lost her feminine side, and thanks to Jaden, he brings that out in her. The romance between them made my heart hammer. Jaden and Selia are beautiful in their love and standing together in their fight to bring peace between the Humans and Svistra. Altered Destiny is what I would consider crossover YA, and I really liked this new YA for us older teens. It gives a little more in the romance department, but still keeps it where I like it. There is also plenty of action going on in with different kingdoms and war that's coming. Shawna Thomas has written an amazing fantasy world and beautiful romances that I highly recommend as a must read.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the review, it did not hold my interest. Not much of a plot, and certainly will recommend this book. I am not sure if it was edited. This book has fragments, spelling, very poor. Good luck to the writer.
Anonymous More than 1 year ago
Read the the book and didn't care for it at all , seems the writer dosen't know how to pen down a good story line or make a semi good plot work very well at all.Might be a good idea if you re write the stinking book , very poor to say the least.Much better books out there than this one .