Benediction Denied
A Labyrinth of Souls Novel
by Elizabeth Engstrom
Genre: Epic Fantasy
While hydrologist
Adam Swan is engaged in humanitarian efforts to bring water to a
small, isolated village in the Congo, he is kidnapped by rebel thugs
and thrown into a makeshift prison. He is left to die—or worse—if
his ransom is not paid. In a surprising series of events, Adam
escapes his brutal captors into an underground labyrinth where
reality and sanity no longer rule.
Armed with a limited
amount of magic which he does not understand, he survives by
employing it boldly, recklessly, desperate to return to the village
above, homesick for Minnesota and normal life with his wife and
daughters.
Tested to the
extreme limits of his endurance, Adam navigates the labyrinth with
only the company of his past behavior, the baffling magic, and the
seductive temptation to succumb to the mysterious and merciless gods
of the underworld. The consequences of his actions, past present, and
future, take him to the brink of death—and beyond.
A fun, fast,
thrilling ride by veteran author Elizabeth Engstrom, inspired
by Matthew Lowes’ Dungeon Solitaire: Labyrinth of Souls card
game.
–If you buy the paperback, you will receive the ebook free!–
Jolmy frequently spoke of the dark magic and its connection to the underworld. Adam listened with half an ear as Jolmy talked about the underworld gods.
“There is one big one. One big guy,” Jolmy said. “He is the king of the underworld.”
Adam kept working, cementing PVC pipe joints together.
He didn’t approve of that talk, didn’t believe in magic or underworld dark gods, and didn’t particularly want Jolmy and his family to be telling these tales to his girls.
“He like white meat,” Jolmy said, and then laughed. “He would eat you for a snack.” He cut another length of pipe, checked the plans laid out on a sheet of plywood on sawhorses, and measured it again, just to be sure.
“Superstition,” Adam countered.
“He has helpers. A queen and servants. Plenty servants to do his dirty work. They torment. Torment is what they do.” Jolmy stopped sawing and turned to look at Adam. “They rule the sun and the moon.”
“Now you know that’s not true.”
“Not this sun and moon. The underground has its own sun and moon. And stars. And Justice! Yes, oh yes, they have their own systems of justice. They would have such fun with you.”
Adam gave his best disapproving look.
Jolmy put his head back and laughed so hard he had to wipe his eyes. Then he went back to sawing pipe. “Yes, oh yes,” he said. “They would have such fun with you. You best stay above the ground.”
“I intend to.”
Elizabeth Engstrom is the author of fourteen books and has over 250 short
stories, articles, and essays in print. She is a sought-after teacher
and keynote speaker at writing conferences, conventions, and seminars
around the world. She has a BA in Literature/Creative Writing, and
an MA in Applied
Theology, both from Marylhurst University. Her
most recent nonfiction book is How to Write a Sizzling Sex
Scene, and her most recent novel is Baggage Check, a thriller.
She lives in the Pacific Northwest with her fisherman-husband and
their dog where she is on the board of directors for Wordcrafters in
Eugene. She teaches the occasional writing class, puts her pen to use
for social justice, and is always working on her next book.


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