“Revelation Stones” Epilogue leads into “Healing Stones”

For those who haven’t yet read Revelation Stones, the epilogue leads into the next Diane Lynn McGyver novel, Healing Stones, the 4th book in the Castle Keepers series. It’s a teaser of what’s to come. Here it is.

The end of the cobblestone street froze Liam in place. It had been four years since he had ventured from the city, and now the forest beyond appeared scary, dreadful. Animals that could eat him and bugs that would pester him non-stop lived out there. He didn’t know them like he knew those that would eat him alive and pester him here in the city. These were not animals in the sense folks thought of them, but beings of intelligent races that acted like animals.

Living in the centre of large buildings and streets of stone meant he never walked through mud, was scraped by thorns or slept on the ground. He knew Wandsworth, what to expect from the people who lived here and where to steal food. Leaving it meant he’d cast aside his safety nets and survive by other means. It might mean his death by morning.

He clenched his fists in his pockets, hiding his hands from those who passed, either entering the city or leaving it. They wore suitable clothes, carried packs and many had horses. He had none of that. His worn boots might not survive a week trekking through the woods. His trousers were thin, given the warm weather, and his button shirt had only short sleeves. His only defence was a dagger strapped to his thigh. The few coins in his pocket would buy a little food to aid him in his journey, yet he had nothing to carry that food in.

Glancing back from where he came, he thought about the few items in his quarters that might help him, but he couldn’t return for them, not if he wanted to escape the men who controlled him. He had to walk, get as far away from Wandsworth as he could before they discovered him missing. Yet… He gazed into the forest, fear consuming him. Maskil was so far away, he’d never make it without someone to help him.

He grasped his necklace and pressed the small dark-blue stone into his palm. Isla had made it and gave it to him for his tenth birthday celebration. He’d taken it off only once since, to replace the leather strap. Sometimes when the ache in his heart overwhelmed him, he held the stone to his cheek, imagining her beside him. He had done this less often the longer he stayed in Wandsworth, but he did it now, wishing to find her, hoping she’d forgive him for breaking the pledge he’d made.

A sharp pain in his heart generated doubt. She’d never forgive him, yet… He had to ask. If he didn’t ask for forgiveness, he might as well lay in the gutter and drink himself into oblivion; the pain would not cut deeper.

The searing sensation on his right shoulder blade overshadowed the pain in his heart. That curse, delivered only a week ago, had driven him mad. If not for Isla’s hand holding onto him, he’d have surrendered completely, but he had managed to expel some of the poyson to ease the pain and maintain control of his actions. The other branded men hadn’t been as lucky and had succumbed to the whims of The Mavericks.

He pressed the stone to his cheek, closed his eyes and imagined her face: young, innocent, beautiful. The Isla he knew could never love a man like him. He was as dishonourable as the worst criminal that roamed the streets, and she was as honourable as her das. Still, he ached to see her even if it was only to be turned away. A tear slipped down his cheek. He was wasting time. The Mavericks would start searching his familiar hangouts; it might be days before they discovered he had escaped. That would give him a head start.

Tucking the necklace beneath his shirt, he took the first step, his boot striking dirt and stirring up dust. His journey began, and there was no turning back.

Look for Healing Stones this fall.

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Last Day of FREE Sale: Blade of Truth

Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyverToday is the last day of the eBook sale. Blade of Truth, a fantasy short story, is free! That’s right. Free. Download your copy before it’s too late; read it any time.

Blade of Truth is Bronwyn Darrow’s back story. It’s short and bitter sweet.

Who is Bronwyn Darrow? He’s a member of Aruam Castle Guard at Maskil in the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series. He’s dwarf, and his love interest is Alaura of Niamh. He was born and lived his entire life (until Scattered Stones) in the small town of Maskil.

Where can you find it?

Sale ends tonight at midnight.

3-day eBook Sale: Blade of Truth

Blade of Truth by Diane Lynn McGyverFrom now until the end of August, we’re having an eBook sale. Blade of Truth, a fantasy short story, will be free! That’s right. Free. Download your copy today; read it any time.

Blade of Truth is Bronwyn Darrow’s back story. It’s short and bitter sweet.

Who is Bronwyn Darrow? He’s a member of Aruam Castle Guard at Maskil in the Castle Keepers epic fantasy series.

Where can you find it?

Sale runs from August 28 until August 31, 2019.

Shadows in the Stone: Isla and Liam’s 1st Scene Together

Shadows in the Stone by Diane Lynn McGyver

Isla of Maura and Liam Jenkins meet in Shadows in the Stone, the first book in the traditional epic fantasy series Castle Keepers. They’re just kids, playing kid games in the forest. Yet there is wisdom in their thoughts and words.

This is the first scene in which they appear together. She’s 12, he’s 13, and they’ve known each other for about seven years.

Isla dove beneath the large fern. Her heart pounded against her chest as she struggled to hide from view. The cool moist ground kissed her cheek, stained her bare feet and knees, and soiled her clothes, but she didn’t notice. She waited here to catch her breath before setting out again for the safety of the great oak.

A bird screeched high above in the canopy of the trees. Eight, nine, ten. Isla slipped from beneath the fern and wove around a boulder in her path. The great oak grew nearby. Her eyes darted left and right, looking for the hunter. If he found her… She shuddered at the thought.

A shadow leapt from the depths of a leafy bush, driving her into soft moss. She rolled several times before crashing into the trunk of a tree where she lay on her back, gasping for breath and realising once again today, she had lost.

Liam lay beside her, wearing a big grin. “That makes two weeks’ worth of oatmeal raisin cookies!”

She laughed and slapped her friend in play. “I’m taking to the trees the next time.” Liam had grown faster, stronger. Alaura said he would, being a boy, but Isla still had a few tricks. It pleased her that his meeme had allowed him to join her and Alaura at Moon Meadow after the session hall closed for the day. Out here in the forest, they ran and played freely without the watchful eyes of adults. At twelve, she didn’t need constant supervision.

“You should be sneakier, less honourable,” said Liam.

“Sneakier, yes, but less honourable is not an option.”

He grinned. “At times life, not the person, dictates the level of honour. No use being honourable and dead.”

Interested in reading more? The eBook is free at these locations:

Scattered Stones Chapter 01

The second book in The Castle Keepers series Scattered Stones launches in May 2016. Here’s a sneak peek.

McGyver-ScatteredStonesFRONTBronwyn Darrow is desperate to rescue his daughter Isla from Blackvale Castle. For five long years, he’s travelled Ath-o’Lea searching for her, but the formidable castle remains elusive. He’s surrendered his coveted sergeant’s position at Aruam Castle, but he’s willing to sacrifice everything to bring Isla home, even his honour. If he fails, his innocent little girl will face a lifetime of slavery.

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