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  • Writer's pictureEsther Wallace

The Telling of the Beads: Avellina Balestri

Disclosure: This is an author's showcase. There is no promise I have read any book shown here. My wish is to help display independent and lesser known authors. As to whether you may like it, please judge on what is written, the same as you would in a bookstore or street fair. Thanks!

The Telling of the Beads (Saplings of Sherwood #1)

Synopsis: 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

Her inspiration: "I have been in love with the legends of Robin Hood since I first watched the Disney cartoon as a small child. Growing up in the Maryland countryside, surrounded by woods and fields, not at all dissimilar to countryside England, I would regular play-act the adventures of the Prince of Thieves, dressed in tights and brandishing a bow made of a bent stick and elastic band. I would also scribble down Robin Hood stories of my own on scrap paper. I suppose it was only a matter of time before I would be inspired to put pen to paper again to "sing of good Robin Hood", as an old folk ballad puts it, this time with the benefit of maturity, which I hope builds upon rather than negates the wonder of childhood."

Her favorite character: "One of my favorite characters to feature the first book of the series-in-progress is Aelfric Locksley, Robin's stalwart and chivalrous father. The reason I am so fond of him is because he takes his role as the lord of the estate with great solemnity and understands his responsibilities to the land and the people living on it. This stands in stark contrast to many of the other lords surrounding him, and while he embodies an aristocratic pride, he also is deeply aware of his Christian duty to put his resources at the service of those in most need and to use his authority to defend the weak. Later, when Robin becomes an outlaw leader, he demonstrates many of the qualities passed onto him from his father, including a restraint that keeps him from losing himself and his morality to the forces of the wilderness."

Brief author bio: 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 including The Wisdom Daily, The Latin Mass Magazine, and The St. Austin Review. She is the Editor-in-Chief of Fellowship & Fairydust, a magazine inspiring faith and creativity and exploring the arts through a spiritual lens. Under its auspices, she had the honor of hosting a literary conference at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford University, commemorating the legacy of J.R.R. Tolkien. Her hobbies include listening to and performing folk music, watching and reviewing classic films, and chatting with a zany array of international contacts. 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. For more information about the author and her various projects, please visit the following websites:

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