The Ancestors' Secrets:
an alternate history, magical realism, romantic fantasy trilogy
When my daughter challenged me to write a book when I couldn't find any good stories to read, I started thinking about a story that I would enjoy reading. What if there is a secret society with strict rules and laws exist hidden among us? What if certain members come to possess magical powers? What if those abilities could be used to do good or evil? I’ve never excelled in following rules or formulas, so I discarded the instructions I found on “how to write fiction” books", and I made up my own rules. At first, I started playing with the story just for my own enjoyment, and I thought, writing the swirling ideas in my head was far better than being haunted by them. But then, I kept writing for months, and soon I realized that I never had so much fun doing anything in my life before.
in a compelling fantasy trilogy, hailed “Mystical and Unique.”
Ilona's a doctor with a heart of gold
Is she The Chosen One that was foretold?
Ema's mystical art belies her pain
Horrible trauma she survived but scars remain
Bela's called a "mutt", his blood is unpure
Will his loyalty and friendship endure?
Zoltan is looking forward to a fresh start
Hoping to find the love that will complete his heart
Mora is ancient with a heart cold as ice
Inside her evil itself has come to life
Elza knows the truth which she cannot reveal
Unbearable pain keeps the secrets concealed
Date with destiny is in the past
Fate's time is at hand, the die is cast
© Cindy J. Smith
Punished by the ancestors long ago, Mora has waited centuries for the chance to reunite with her beloved Joland. Now, she seeks to gain the power to rule the ancient clan with a strict hierarchy and deadly laws that still exist hidden among us.
Ilona has been chosen by the ancestors to stop Mora and save the future of the clan.
In her quest to protect her family and the future of her clan, Ilona must activate her Chameleon ability and obtain unimaginable powers. She can use her powers for absolute good or absolute evil; the choice is up to her.
She has been in love with her best friend but is also drawn to the stranger who appears in a peculiar dream. She must sort through her feelings about the men in her life while she travels through time from present day to back when her people were nomads, to the castles of the 14th century, as she struggles to overcome the obstacles placed in her path.
Does she have the strength to fight evil?
Will Ilona accept her destiny? Can she find true love? Will she use her unimaginable powers for good or evil?
Scroll the e-reader to read free pages
Download free excerpts
Excerpt from book one of The Ancestors’ Secrets, an urban fantasy, magical realism, alternate history, epic fantasy trilogy.
Ilona resigns to live the simple life of a small-town doctor, but her life goes into a tailspin on her birthday. She finds out she was born into a secretive, ancient clan still hidden among us. She starts to develop unusual powers which she finds exciting as well as frightening. She can slow time and heal with her touch, but how and why?
She struggles to find answers, but those who try to reveal the clan secrets are severely punished.
A menacing man is following her and wants to kill her. Who is he?
Ilona’s love life is a mystery as well as a challenge; the man she loves can’t return her feelings and she’s drawn to the stranger who first appears in a peculiar dream.
Does Ilona have the strength to fight for her life?
Can she unveil the clan secrets?
“This is so different from the usual fare churned out by ordinary writers.” -Valerie Byron
"Written with style and grace, Erika M Szabo has stepped into the novel wars with a powerful entry." ~Janet Morris
"The universe created in this book is original, mystical and unique; in fact it's so original I have nothing to compare it with." ~ Miss Devora
“Erika has brought a new kind of fantasy story into the realm of fantasy fiction. The narrative is magnetic and entertaining.” ~seriousreading
"This is a great read that levels you on a roller coaster ride with all the twist and turns!" ~Brian Dull
Excerpt from book two of The Ancestors’ Secrets, an urban fantasy, magical realism, alternate history, epic fantasy trilogy.
The Hunor legend lives on in book two as Ilona continues to seek out ways to develop her unusual powers while practicing as a small-town doctor.
More life struggles continue to plague her. After being thrust into a world of clan mysteries, obscure traditions, and beliefs, her life is drastically changing.
She must seek out and stop Mora’s evil plan. Punished by the ancestors long ago, Mora has waited centuries for the chance to reunite with her beloved Joland and to gain power over the Hunor clan. Revenge has kept her alive for over 1600 years.
Ilona must search for the mysterious Destiny Box that holds a message from her Ancestors while she attempts to sort out her feelings for the men in her life.
The spirits of the clan come to Ilona’s aid with answers to the clan’s secrets and the key to helping her maintain her sanity amidst the fear of danger lurking everywhere as she tries to succeed.
The future of her clan now depends on her. Will she be brave enough to fight the evil she never saw coming?
"Erika has accomplished a feast-for-the-senses story! Her descriptive writing is both simple and complete." ~Amanda Danser
"The story was fabulous. It wasn't too fast or too slow it was... Just... Perfect!" ~Indy Book Fairy
"I found Ilona to be tough, smart, and entertaining. Szabo manages to create the complete woman." ~Joseph
"I totally loved this story, it was unlike anything I have ever read before and I am totally hooked." ~Gladys Quintal
"The plot and story is extensive and intricate. Ultimately, I resonated with the tale and characters and was enthralled with the complexity and attention to detail." ~MG Wells
Excerpt from book three of The Ancestors’ Secrets, Golden Quill Award Winner epic fantasy, magical realism, alternate history trilogy.
Ilona has been chosen to stop Mora’s evil plans and save the future of her clan.
She must activate her Chameleon ability and obtain unimaginable powers. The clan Leaders and Elders are worried knowing that she can use her growing powers for absolute good or absolute evil. But they have no choice, they’re powerless against Mora and must place their trust in Ilona.
With the help of the clan’s Time Bender, her journey will take her back in time to when her people lived as nomads, to the castles of the 14th century as they struggle to overcome the obstacles in their path due to the evils of Mora.
Ilona finds her Destiny Box where the ancestors reveal what she must do—but it does not come without cost.
She must ensure the birth of the Chosen Child in the 4th century in order to save the future of the Hunor Clan.
Will Ilona succeed in saving the child? Will she accept her destiny?
"Ilona, her family and friends are bewitching... the time travel aspects are breathtaking... and you will learn something useful along the way. An excellent read!" ~Valerie Byron
"This is a great read that levels you on a roller coaster ride with all the twist and turns!" ~Brian Dull
“The characters felt real, and the secrets are alluring. You will get hooked in right away.” -Brenda Barry
“Szabo introduces readers to a fascinating world of ancient rights conducted by a secret order.” -J.E. Rogers
Short teasers from book 1, Prelude
Mora didn’t allow anyone to see her in her miserable state, old and wrinkled. Her mind control ability helped her to make even Zelda see her in her youthful glory as she knew her so long ago, but she couldn’t completely conceal her body’s present state of old and wrinkled. The image of her old body shown in Zelda’s mind through the youthful picture Mora projected.
The soft humming of her rotating, air-filled mattress relaxed her and protected her withered body from developing bedsores.
The Royals and Elders were furious when they found out many centuries ago that Joland had shared the gift of eternal life with her and gave her the power to keep her body young. The Elders separated them, but they couldn’t make them mortal again. She has lived so many lifetimes, alone, because Joland was exiled to a timeline in the distant past. As his punishment, he couldn’t move forward in time with her. The Elders succeeded in taking away the ability to rejuvenate her body, which became bones with wasted muscles and shriveled skin. Although her withered body was useless, the power of her mind allowed her to reach the remotest part of the world and beyond.
I inched my way through the confining space into a tiny room. Elza always complained about the broom closet being too small, but I knew why. Someone, long ago, divided the closet and turned half of it into a hiding place, or rather a spy room. I touched the small ottoman that occupied most of the space, then sat down and peeked through the slit hidden in the frame of the huge painting hanging in the living room. I had a complete view of the entire room.
As a child, I had spied on countless meetings and gatherings that Mom had forbidden me to join. I sat there for a while, remembering, but then recalled Mom’s words. I looked around and searched every inch of the room but found nothing. I was greatly disappointed. Mom said to look, so there must have been something, perhaps a guide or instructions that she left for me to find. I searched, touched the walls, pushed the ottoman aside and looked under it. I had found nothing, besides dust and my old teddy bear.
I fingered my Turul pendant and the soft horsetail string remembering Midnight. She was a beautiful, black mare with a white, crescent shape patch on her forehead. I closed my eyes and imagined her soft lips caressing my face as she neighed softly.
Suddenly I felt something piercing the side of my neck. The sharp pain made me jump and I let out a muted cry. As I touched the skin, I felt the warm wetness. Alarmed, I looked at my hand and saw smeared blood glistening on my fingertip. I almost fainted when I noticed that my fingers began to glow as if a bright red light turned on from the inside. At the same time, I felt something scurrying from the side of my neck toward my chest. Reaching up, I frantically swept my neck and chest as I jumped up in disgust. Crap! It must have been a bug or a spider. The damned thing bit me! I looked down at my chest and swept my clothes madly, looking for the bug.
A sudden swirling sensation took me by surprise. I grabbed the side of the ottoman to steady myself while everything began to fade around me. Trying to find a focal point to decrease the sudden vertigo, I fixed my eyes on my teddy bear I was still holding. I noticed with escalating alarm that the toy’s button eyes took on a strange red glow. The plastic eyes seemed alive and the intense luminescence kept me frozen. I’m hallucinating, this is not real. I tried to turn away, but I couldn’t move a muscle. I couldn’t even blink. I was scared, never having felt such primal fear before. My heart raced, and my breath came in little puffs as I felt cold beads of sweat on my forehead. Adrenaline flooded my body triggered by a sudden fright, but I was afraid it might have been some poison from the bite, as well.
The strange sensation and hallucination stopped as quickly as it started. My hands felt and looked normal, and I became rational in an instant. I just sat there, feeling obtuse, wondering what had just happened. The entire sensation lasted only seconds, but it frightened me a great deal not knowing what caused it.
And then there was a stab through my heart when he kissed her. They looked very happy and comfortable with each other… I wished so bad that I was that blond guy. I didn’t wish for jealousy on the first day of my new life, that was just my luck. I had my pick of beauties, yet I wasn’t fascinated by any of them. Ironically, I fell for someone instantly, who was happy with another guy. I couldn’t get her out of my mind all day.
“Wow, you surprise me time and again,” I boasted with pride as I turned to Ema.
“Thanks. I try.” She winked.
“I’m so proud of you.” I hugged her close, a single tear spilling down my cheek.
“Don’t you dare get all sappy on me.” She blushed. “You know I hate this weepy-mushy stuff,” she confessed, looking embarrassed. I dabbed at my eyes and turned away.
“Okay, okay, I’m not sappy. I’m just… I’m proud of you,” I managed.
“Noted with humble thanks,” she returned with another wink.
Carl and two other workers also stood immobile before the painting. As soon as the first shock wore off, they were excited and argued about its impact. “Ema, this is so… Fantastic!” Carl cried out. His eyes were sparkling so much with excitement that I almost saw dollar signs in them. He was a shrewd businessman, after all, and the potential for profit outshone his love of art.
“You haven’t seen the rest.” Ema teased. Carl turned and darted toward the van. He carried the next painting in his own hands - something he rarely did - and tore the cover off with trembling fingers. He inhaled one sharp breath after taking one look and then held the small picture at arm’s length. We grouped around him, as he hung the painting, astonished. Bela clasped my shoulder and squeezed it hard, not even realizing what he was doing. The painting had been small yet powerful. It was a bouquet of flowers, as close to being real as possible, painted in different shades of blue. Toward the focal point, the colors became lighter and lighter, bursting into one tiny speck of white in the middle of the flower head with flowing petals around it. A melody popped into my mind.
“Debussy,” I said out loud.
“Mozart.” I heard someone behind me.
The dreams are very powerful, why didn’t they respond to them? For everything that is sweet and holy, please… NO! I felt as if a bomb had dropped on me. I rushed out of the house and found Rua the Dream Weaver in the back, pruning the apple trees. “Rua, you’re an idiot and an incompetent fool.” I watched his mortified face as I called him names.
“What, what did I do?” he stammered in humiliation. He placed his weight on his good leg and stood up tall.
“Seriously. Are you the one asking me? You were supposed to send the dream to Ema, but it appears that Ilona got it instead. Ema was supposed to fall in love with Zoltan the Traveler in her dream, and then meet him at the hospital. I suspect Ema never had the dream, but Ilona did, and she’s the one falling for him. Zoltan looked at Ema - whom he was supposed to fall in love with - as if she was his little sister. But he looked at Ilona as if he had found his life mate. That’s what happened, and that’s what you did wrong, you dumb idiot,” I shouted.
His hot breath on her skin sent her body to ecstasy, but then he whispered, “Ilona.”
Barbara felt as if a bucket of ice had been poured over her body as she pushed him away, “What did you just call me?”
Bela reached out for her, “I’m so sorry!”
She jumped off the bed and started collecting her clothes, sobbing, “I thought I meant something to you, but obviously, it was a mistake. I’ve never been so humiliated in my entire life!”
“I’m so sorry, Barbara, really.”
“Is that all you can say?”
“I feel so bad, let me try to make it up to you.”
“Never mind, you killed the mood already.” Dressing quickly, she hurried out of the room without looking back and slammed the door behind her.
Bela pulled the cover up to his chin, rolled on his side and slipped into his fantasy world where he could hold Ilona in his arms.
“It’s a great story told from a unique perspective. It didn’t feel like the same old same old”
“Historic fantasy involving ancient traditions and down-to-earth characters of our own world”
“I was enthralled with the complexity and attention to detail”
“This story to truly capture the magical essence of the Hun tradition and the beauty of their rituals”
“Written in a diary-kind format, the different characters tell the a beautiful story”
“It is so original and well written it had me hooked from the start”
“The first sentences grabbed my fascination, and the easy flow of the entire book continually held my interest and curiosity”
“She meets a handsome doctor who seems to be accompanied by an evil presence that she cannot comprehend”
“Thank you Erika, you gave my heart and dreams an immense gif”
“My favorite part was the description of Ema's paintings! What a wonderful idea!”
“I also loved the inner turmoil she had trying figure out her feeling she was having about her best friend and the new handsome man who entered her life”
“I couldn't help but think that there was something not very savory about Zoltan (gosh! I love his name!). I ended up rooting for Bela”