Today is RELEASE DAY! I’m so excited. Here is the back cover copy and an excerpt from the story.
He surrendered his heart and would give his life for her to succeed.
Andrea Ricard, an inquisitive scholar of antiquities travels with her uncle to help him with his trade business. When she finds her mother’s family name on a piece of a map associated with the location of a rare relic, she is compelled to find it. Nothing will get in her way to unearth its secrets.
Donald MacDougall Tyler Eden has enjoyed a carefree life, but over the last year he has found satisfaction working with his brother Hugh, who has a successful investment business. He has forged a close relationship with one of their business partners, Andrea’s uncle. On a visit to Hugh, Donald meets Andrea and is smitten. When Andrea finds that an antique in Hugh’s collection contains another piece to her mysterious map she is more determined than ever to find the relic. Donald is drawn into her adventure and volunteers to accompany her on her quest.
Andrea has only told Donald half-truths for fear he would not join her. The relic is surrounded by mystery and prophecy. A disgraced soldier with hopes of repairing his relationship with the king has found out about the relic and is just as determined as Andrea to secure it for himself.
Andrea and Donald’s belief in what’s right as well as each other will be tested on a journey filled with adventure and hardships as they race across the vineyards of the Champagne region in France, up the east coast of England to an ancient church in Bamburgh.
Can Andrea and her MacDougall warrior resolve the mystery, face the prophecy, vanquish the villain… and find their happily ever after.
Available at Amazon
Excerpt from Donald – Sons of Sagamore
Andrea moved, creating a distraction, but Rufus stopped her with the point of his sword.
“Bring them both here. This is a good place for her to watch him die,” Davenport said.
Donald had to keep his focus. The vicar and Andrea’s lives depended on him. If he had to fight with his hands, so be it.
As Rufus moved the vicar and Andrea toward Davenport, the vicar grabbed the chalice from the top of the tomb and threw the tainted water at Rufus.
The man dropped his sword and tried to wipe the water from his face.
As Donald placed his hand on the ground to get to his feet, his hand found a metal hilt. He pulled the sword from the debris and stood.
With each breath, he set his resolve. This was his final battle. Andrea’s life was the prize. By god’s toes, let the ancient warriors of his clan give him the strength to succeed.
The MacDougall warrior raised his sword up high. “Victory or death!” He yelled the ancient battle cry. It echoed through the cavern.
The battle cry set the berserker free. The warrior tested the weight of the ancient sword as he stalked his prey and prepared to fight.
Davenport came at him. Donald didn’t move. With a swipe of his sword he knocked the weapon away nicking the blade badly. The warrior kept advancing. He stared into Davenport’s eyes and saw his confidence begin to crumble.
Stroke after stroke the warrior attacked driving his enemy back. His sword rang loud promising justice. They battled to the opening of the cave until the villain ran out of ground.
His feet began to slip on the loose rocks at the rim of the entrance. Stones clattered over the side landing against the boulders that were strewn on the beach.
The berserker’s blade flashed as he brought over his head and sang when he brought it down. He kept advancing sending his opponent to the very edge. One foot slipped on the loose pebbles and he lost his balance.
The warrior reached out to grab him, but the man pulled his hand away. His arms wind milled as he fell backward.
It seemed as if time slowed. For a heartbeat, Donald stared at Davenport’s sneer and then he was gone.
The warrior stood at the edge of the cliff and looked down at the mangled body forty feet below. When he turned to the others, it was Donald who stood before the vicar and Andrea.
* * *
Andrea stood at his side. They moved away and went to the vicar.
“May god forgive me. Rufus is dead. At least I was able to hear his last confession.” The solemn vicar stood and moved away from the man.
Andrea found the chalice laying on the floor and picked it up.
“Where are you taking that?” Donald asked.
“No one should have this,” she said. “We must send it back where it came from. It’s the only way to destroy it.”
They went behind the boulder to the small alter. Andrea replaced the chalice in the niche. Donald took the stone he had removed and set it back in place. The water that had previously been a trickle began to flow faster over the rocks.
Their task done, they turned to leave. The room rumbled and shifted. The stone Donald set fell backwards onto the chalice shattering it into a thousand pieces. All that was left in the center of the niche was the chalice’s red stone.
“Quick.” Donald grabbed the vicar and pushed Andrea ahead of him. As they reached the narrow doorway, they heard a loud scraping sound. Donald pushed Andrea and the vicar out of the room.
He swung around in time to see the niche’s keystone give way. Its point crushed the red the stone and sent a burst of red dust into the air.
Again, the ground shook beneath their feet.
“Donald,” she screamed.
“Leave.” Donald yelled above the din his back to them.
“Not without you.” Andrea pulled him around.
He shook off her hand. He didn’t need to see the horror in her eyes when she saw he was covered in the poisonous red dust.
“Don’t touch me. The sword will fail. I was doomed from the start. Go,” Donald insisted.
“No. There’s no time to explain now. We must get you to the church.” The vicar grabbed his arm an pulled him along.
The rock cavern gave a shutter as the rocks fell on the tombs sending chips everywhere.
Donald still hesitated.
The vicar spoke in a commanding voice. “The only way Andrea will leave is with you. Will I be saying a funeral mass for you both?”
The three hurried down the path through the maze of falling rocks, jumping over breaches in the path until they came to the narrow ledge. Before they could get across a barrage of stones rained down. When the dust settled, most of the ledge was gone.
Donald started to cross. He found hand and foot holds. Rocks already loosened trickled down striking his back. He pressed himself against the face of the cliff. When the rock fall subsided, he made his way to the other side.
“You’re next,” the vicar said to Andrea, and helped her to the edge.
“It’s ten steps. Put your hands and feet where I did,” Donald called over the rumbling. He leaned over the side. His arm stretched as far as he could reach.
“Once we get to the other side it is easy going. You mustn’t let him stop. We must get him to the church,” the vicar said and helped Andrea set her foot and find the first hand hold.
She pressed against the cliff face, determined to reach the other side. Slowly she made her way across.
Over the roar of the wind and rumble of the stones, she heard Donald’s voice directing her hands and feet. She kept her face against the rock. Small showers of stones peppered the air and grazed her back.
“Rea, give me your hand,” Donald’s voice crooned.
She looked at his outstretched arm and grasped his. He pulled her into his arms. But their embrace was short-lived. He needed to get the injured vicar to safety.
The vicar started out.
“He’s in great pain from his wound. See how he winces when he stretches for the hand holds,” Andrea said. “Reach to your left, just a bit higher,” she called.
The vicar closed his eyes, his face was ashen.
“We have to hurry and get him across. The effort will quickly sap his strength,” Donald said.
They looked on as the vicar had difficulty placing his foot squarely on the hold. His fingertips slid on the stone. He had gone eight steps but the next one gave way. He clutched at the rocks, but his fingers wouldn’t work. His dangling foot sought another perch.
“Joseph, grab the stone.” Donald commanded calmly.
He grabbed it but couldn’t hold on much longer. Donald was close to the edge. As the vicar began to slip from the rock, Donald reached out and grabbed his arm. Clasping his free hand over his other, he hoisted the vicar to safety.
They clutched at each other, only for a moment.
“We need to get to the church,” the vicar said.
They hurried the rest of the way to the top of the cliff. Donald half carried the vicar as they raced to the church.
Once inside, the vicar pushed Donald against the door, turned and pulled the holy water basin from its bracket and ordered him to drink it.
Andrea and Donald stared at him in disbelief.
“Drink,” the vicar commanded.
What did it matter? He was a doomed man. If the vicar thought the holy water would save him, so be it. Donald took the beautiful bronze etched cup, put it to his lips, and drank. He hadn’t realized how thirsty he was. Donald almost laughed.
“I would much rather my last drink be a good ale.”