The Pledge

The Pledge short story epic fantasyby Diane Lynn McGyver

Castle Keepers Tale: Book 03 – Alaura of Niamh

Genre: Fiction-Short Story-Fantasy

Release Date: July 7, 2018

ISBN (eBook; approximately ????  words): 978-1-927625-31-6

Available in eBook format at Amazon.ca, Amazon.uk and Amazon.com.

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Summary

Pressured to accept a dreadful proposition,

a young woman desperately seeks an escape.

Alaura of Niamh doesn’t want to grow up too fast. She’d rather seek adventures and dream of all the places she might travel. When she arrives home one evening and learns her future is in someone’s hands, her desperation takes her down a deadly path.

If you love moments that shape a person, you’ll enjoy Diane Lynn McGyver’s short story The Pledge. One might call it a character story, another a back story. It’s both, revealing the turning point in Alaura of Niamh’s life. It exposes the secrets that forces her to hide her true feelings when she meets the man who threatens to become more than a friend in Shadows in the Stone. This story is a quick, easy read and an intriguing peek into the world of Ath-o’Lea and the adventures that lie ahead.

The Pledge is the 3rd story in the Castle Keepers Tale series that will have you wondering what’s next? It will introduce you to Alaura of Niamh and her family of North Ridge, Petra. Brace yourself for the ride to another time and place.

McGyver wields her pencil in a similar realm where Tolkien released his imagination. It is traditional fantasy of old with magic, legends, dragons and dwarfs.

Buy The Pledge today and begin your journey into the Land of Ath-o’Lea where magic and sword clash.

About this Short Story

Diane began the Castle Keepers Tale to share extra stories about the characters who appear in The Castle Keepers novel series. Each is a stand-alone story, often telling a tragic event that happened in the past, before the first book, Shadows in the Stone. Through these stories, readers can better understand the characters and appreciate a little more of why they act as they do. We are all products of our past and pivotal events shape us into whom we are. These stories are not spoilers for the books, but enhance them. If a story does prove to undermine the enjoyment of a book, I’ll make note that the book should be read first. Otherwise, enjoy these tales without worry.

Excerpt

He reached for the door knob of their dwelling and it swung open before he could grasp it.

“You’re late!” Niamh M’Egan’s stern voice cut through the air. “To your room immediately!”

“Meeme, I’m sorry.” His eyes widened, and he slinked past her. “We were swimming in the mountains and lo—”

“Shush! To your room!” She thrusted her arm in the air and pointed towards the stairs.

He scurried away, his face contorted with guilt. Halfway up the stairs, he saw his das and his meeme’s two older sisters standing near the kitchen door. He slowed his pace and watched his meeme gather Alaura into her arms and squeeze her tightly. His eyes narrowed, and his mouth opened as he climbed out of sight.

“Alaura, my sweet child.” Niamh hugged her daughter. “You have been chosen.” She forced a smile upon her strained face. “It is a joyous time. An honour.”

“Chosen?” Alaura glanced between her meeme and das. Their expressions did not align with their thoughts. The energy in the air ignited goosebumps on her arms though she wore a long-sleeve shirt. “Meeme, what am I chosen to do?”

“Come. Come.” Niamh ushered her daughter towards the kitchen. “We must prepare you. He’ll be here soon. We feared he would arrive before you.”

“He who?” She stumbled forward and almost fell when her meeme pulled too hard. “Slow down. Who are you talking about?” She tried to stop, but her meeme and aunts swept her from the room, waving her das away.

Alaura fell into the chair Niamh pushed her into, and the three women went to work. While her meeme untied her long, dark-blonde braid, one aunt washed her face with scented soap while the other scrubbed her hands.

Brushes, combs, pins, hair clips, scarfs, wraps, bottled liquids, cosmetic containers and jewellery boxes filled the table before her. In all her life, she’d never used half these items to decorate herself. Her meeme didn’t own this much stuff. The three sisters had to have created the collection together.

“It is a squirrel’s nest.” Niamh tugged on the brush to get it through the damp hair. “Swimming.” She shook her head. “At a time like this.”

“Meeme, what is going on?” Alaura could stand it no longer. “Why are you doing this to me?”

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