Keeper of the Stone

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http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00GXK52W2

Goodreads-badge-read-reviews

Reviews from readers:
5 stars
“A great book”
(from Shrakett on Amazon)
“Fun Story” (another Amazon Reviewer)
5 stars
“Great Read!!! I loved this book….(yves on Amazon)

Note from Lynn: If you’re thinking of giving the Norman Brides series a try, the first book in the series, Keeper of the Stone, will be free on Amazon Kindle from December 26th- December 28th. The link’s listed above. Happy Holidays and Best Wishes for a wonderful 2015. Thanks for visiting.

Okay, this page probably seems a little off topic for the site, but remember that part on the home page about me getting to write what I want for half the year and God getting to decide about the other half? Guess which parts are mine. The books about angels, meditation and yoga? Or the fairy tales about knights in shining armor rescuing damsels in distress? I like romance novels, especially historical romances. I like the predictability of the stories, the way good always triumphs over evil, the hero and heroine always end up together at the end, and despite the challenges they’re confronted with, you know they’ll be okay. I enjoy the fairy tale quality of the settings and the characters. An acceptance of the supernatural was woven through the spirits of the people who lived in medieval times. Science didn’t have an answer for everything. It was understood that God was in charge of everything…the weather, wars, diseases, famine. Is it any wonder I like the genre so much?

For those of you who are closet historical romance fans, here’s one I hope you enjoy:

Preview of Keeper of the Stone:

The smell of death engulfed her. The clash of swords, the angry shouts of men engaged in a fierce battle for their lives, and the moaning of the dying assaulted her senses. The blood of the fallen pooled at her feet, turning the lush green grass of autumn a deep red to match the changing leaves in the trees of the forest providing a backdrop to the deadly scene. The duchess accepted her own blood would soon join that of the dead and dying lying unattended like so much refuse at her feet. Death stalked her, surrounded her, and beckoned to her, whispering words of their impending introduction in her ears. She no longer contested against its sly promises of release from her grief. Despair pounded relentlessly against her battered spirit until she could no longer rouse her will to do battle against its heavy weight as one loss after another was heaped upon her slender, unprepared shoulders these past dark weeks, choking off what little light remained within.

She felt guilty about the cowardly deed she was contemplating but not enough to turn aside from her sinful intent. Besides, it was too late now for regrets. The battle raged around them and would soon be upon her. She prayed to God her end would come with merciful swiftness. Was she not entitled to some small parcel of his mercy? Had she not strived enough, suffered enough, clung to this life he chose for her hard enough to satisfy him? Without her husband, who rested beside two of their sons in the family burial plot by the chapel on the ridge, the life she elected as a young girl no longer held any appeal for the woman who still lingered within in its unrelenting grip. Her husband’s faithful guards would lead her younger daughter, Rhiann, to safety. God willing she would elude the pitiless grasp of the enemy who even now surrounded Heaven’s Crest, closing off all escape routes. She prayed they had not discovered the secret passages built into the thick walls of the old keep, else her daughter and those escorting her would be trapped. She spared a few precious moments to wonder about the fate of her remaining children, her beloved twins, Michel and Melissa. Were they safe? Were they even still alive? Her mother’s heart tried to convince her grief-stricken mind her beloved twins still lived, but it was a losing struggle now, to strive against the toll of the bitter losses that had been heaped unremitting upon her dwindling hope.

The battle surged towards where she stood among the younger, more inexperienced soldiers, who were too concerned with trying to save their own lives, to question who this slight newcomer was among them. They did not speak to her. If any spared a glance in her direction at all, it was a pitiful one. Within it held the certainty the youth before them would be the first to fall beneath the enemy onslaught. She did not disabuse them of their false conclusion. She was old enough to have already lost sons older than they to this senseless war. There was only a single additional life she prayed it would claim in its quest to spread the dark claw of evil and destruction across all of Saxony. Her own.
She recognized her blasphemous prayer was about to be granted, but it would not come without cost. The icy grip of terror closed around her heart and throat, shutting off her ability to breathe and dragging her focus away from her dark thoughts. She met the light brown eyes of her executioner and for a brittle moment thought she heard death’s haunting laughter in her ears as the enemy raised his sword. Time slowed to a fraction of its usual pace. The stone around her throat weighed heavily upon her. She was unable to see the fire burning in its depths in protest of her fainthearted surrender before the enemy, but she could feel its heat against her skin and comprehended her intent to seek death at the enemy’s hands aroused its ire.

More important to her at this, the bitter end of her physical life, she recognized the stone would not interfere with her decision. She was the stone’s rightful keeper. Despite the teachings of the church to the contrary, it was her right as its steward to choose when she would depart this physical world and free her eternal soul of its constraints. She made her choice and was content with it, but even so her guilt engulfed her as her enemy lowered his arm. Instinct born of stark terror led her to raise her son’s sword in her own defense. Her puny gesture was a useless one against her huge, well-armed opponent and they both knew it. She thought she saw his lips curve upward, a hint of amusement in his light eyes as his blade met hers.

She was a slender woman. Despite his repeated urgings, it had been long years since she practiced the warrior’s skills she learned as a child under Amele’s careful tutelage. Years of the soft life her husband’s wealth purchased for her robbed her of the deadly proficiency she once possessed, but even in her youth she would have been unable to match the strength contained in her enemy’s massive chest and arms. The downward descent of his blade didn’t slow when he met her paltry defense, nor when her sword fell from her numb hand at the impact of the collision with his. No, it continued on its downward arc slicing through her cloak, the boy’s armor she wore beneath it, and cutting through flesh and bone with the ease of a sharp blade through soft butter.

Her severed arm fell uselessly to the ground. She thought she heard the echo of her stunned cry of pain mix with the devil’s laughter resonating in the air around her. Her knees gave way under her weight and she slid to the damp ground unaware it was already soaked in her own blood where it pooled around her.

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