All this week (January 6-12, 2008) Time Masters Book One: The Call will be featured by The Christian Fiction Review Blog Check out the daily posts at the main blog as well as member posts and reviews using links on the main blog.Scroll down to read the prologue...but beware, you'll be hooked!
You can sign up to win a copy of Time Masters by going to http://forstrose.blogspot.com . The giveaway will be the first post showing on the blog when you go to the link -- sign up before 11:59PM Saturday the 12th to be entered in the drawing. Two books will be given away!
ABOUT THE AUTHOR:
Geralyn Beauchamp, a Wellness and Relationship coach, has written for fun all her life. A book reviewer for five years, she got to know a lot of great people and write a really big book! A book her author friends finally convinced her to share! Because of this her coaching has segued into writing and marketing for both aspiring and published authors. Geralyn and her family live in the Pacific Northwest.
ABOUT THE BOOK:
Get ready for one Wild Ride! The year is 3698 and the threat of civil war is not only brewing, but near boiling. Kwaku Awahnee, Time Master of Muirara, must pass on his Time Mastership to his pre-chosen successor Dallan MacDonald to prevent the inevitable. Councilor John Eaton must tell the unsuspecting Scot of his new office and all it entails. There were, however, a few slight problems. To become a Time Master the Highlander would have to willingly join with a Muiraran Maiden, who stolen as an infant, hidden in another time, and now grown, must mate or die. Dallan’s job of convincing her she was
Muiraran, not human, and have her fall in love with him was small compared to the impossible race against time they had to see it done. John’s job was to make sure the Scot was ready to listen. And then of course, talk him into it along the way…
Here are some fun links to check out:
Time Masters Website, Geralyn Beauchamp's MySpace and
Shoutlife, Time Masters Fan Club MySpace,
Geralyn's Blog, Prologue and Chapter 1 of Time Masters, Publisher's Book Info
, Cold Tree Press.
To Purchase your own copy of Time Masters:
Order direct from Cold Tree,
order through Barnes and Noble in Paperback and Hardcover,
or on Amazon in Paperback or click on bookcover above and Hardcover.
Also, check on the shelves at Barnes & Noble Stores or ask them to order it for you- hint give them the ISBN (#9781583851982) and they’ll pull it right up. Any bookstore can special order for you again the ISBN is the key to finding the book.
Time Masters Prologue:
They came in a blizzard, we offered them heat,
A roof o'er their heads, dry shoes for their feet,
We wined them and dined them—we gave of our meat,
They slept in the house of MacDonald.
They came from Fort William wi' murder in mind,
The Campbell had orders King William had signed,
"Put all to the sword," these words underlined,
"Leave non alive o' MacDonald."
They came in the night, when our men were asleep,
This band of Argylls, through snow soft and deep.
Like murdering foxes among helpless sheep,
They slaughtered the house o' MacDonald.
Some died in their beds at the hand of the foe,
Some fled in the night and were lost in the snow,
Some lived to accuse him who struck the first blow,
But gone was the house of MacDonald…
Cruel is the snow that sweeps Glencoe,
That covers the grave o' Donald.
Cruel was the foe that raped Glencoe,
And murdered the house of MacDonald.
Glencoe, Scotland, February 13, 1692
Snow swirled and rose in high drifts, the wind hard pressed to conceal the glen and its cottage dwellings. It quickly piled the snow and beat against walls as the storm intensified outside the tiny havens, serving well those who would need it within the hour.
Dallan MacDonald lay wrapped in his plaid, his young brother Alasdair beside him in front of the hearth. He mused over his unexpected arrival and his grandfather's greeting when first they spied each other.The MacIain's eyes had been warm for the briefest of moments then suddenly consumed by cold warning, the auld Fox's first words anything but friendly.
Of course Dallan had learned to expect nothing else from the chief of the Glencoe MacDonalds. MacIain could be a hard man when he wanted and usually became just that when in Dallan's company. In fact, Dallan couldn't remember him being any other way.
Alasdair moaned softly in his sleep. Dallan turned to his brother and smiled. The boy had not left his side since the big Scot came trudging through the snow two days ago. He gazed thoughtfully at him with a slight pinch of envy. Alasdair's face was peaceful, content. Soaking up the weak glow of the dying fire as if 'twas all he was meant to do. The boy held not a care. No. Not a one.
Unlike the rest of his clansmen.
Confused at the number of Lowlanders and Campbells residing in the glen when he first arrived, Dallan made his way directly to his elder uncle's house to find what was amiss. His uncle John had given him the information he wanted to know but it wasn't what he wanted to hear. Indeed, the Campbells had come into the glen almost two weeks ago with papers signed by the king himself. Papers which demanded quarters be given in Glencoe for two companies of his majesty's foot soldiers.
Dallan didn't trust the Campbells, nor did his grandfather. Fearing disarmament, MacIain ordered his people to hide their arms in the peat stacks or on the brae beneath the stones. If the soldiers were going to take their weapons, let them take the old rusty ones. Alasdair moaned again. Dallan thought of the harsh night and gently pulled the boy into his plaid with him to fend off any chill. The small form
immediately snuggled close. Dallan again smiled and let go a lengthy sigh. How he wished he could stay this time. Wee Alasdair had just reached the age of six and would soon be old enough for fostering. Dallan wanted to take him under wing but wasn't sure how he'd manage it. It would mean taking the boy to France and he doubted the auld Fox would let him. Perhaps their mother could be persuaded, and then she could work on the MacIain.
Dallan knew he needed something in his life besides weapons and constant
training. Alasdair would be perfect.
After twenty years of living Dallan still felt as if he'd done nothing with his life. Something was definitely missing, but he couldn't figure out what it was. Perhaps he just needed to feel like he belonged. If only the MacIain would accept him, treat him with some respect instead of cold, silent disdain. A shout from outside drew the Scot out of his musings and brought his attention to a small window. The three Campbell soldiers sheltered in his mother's house were reportedly pulling out in the morning. Could it be they were preparing to depart? Perhaps the reason the three had not returned to the house after meeting with their captain was due to the preparation. But that wouldn't have taken them all night. What could they
be doing all this time?
Hairs rose on the back of Dallan's neck with the thought. He detached himself from Alasdair and went to the window, dirk drawn. He'd had this warning too often to ignore it; something was wrong. Bad enough a sense of dread hovered over the glen yesterday to put everyone on edge. But later the Campbell's own piper was the one to keep Dallan up most of the night. He'd heard the piper play, knew it to be more than a pleasant passing of the time. There had been something in the music. A message. Flee. Yet his mother, along with many of his other clansmen, had not taken
heed and insisted on staying. The soldiers would be gone tomorrow and
all would be well…
Another shout. Dallan hurried back to Alasdair's sleeping form and quickly pulled away the blankets. "Wake up, lad," urgency in his deep velvet voice. "Alasdair, wake up!" The boy opened his sleepy eyes and gazed at his older brother. "Wha…
what's wrong then?" Dallan grabbed up his plaid, wrapped it about himself then reached for his sword and shield near the hearth. He'd brought them out of hiding in
mute preparation for what he knew must surely be happening now. "Wake mother and Fergus, tell them to dress quickly."
Alasdair popped up to a sitting position, his eyes blinking back sleep.
"What's wrong? What's happening?" "I dinna ken, but I'm going to find out." Dallan hurried to the door. "Wake them and prepare to leave. Ye may ha' to head into the hills, lad."
"But Dallan, that far? What are the Campbells doing?" A woman's scream carried on the wind was answer enough. "Hurry lad! I'll not see this family's blood spilled." He opened the door to a blast of wind, "Go!" And as Alasdair scrambled to his feet, Dallan left the cottage. Snow beat relentlessly against him as he stumbled out into the storm while shouts and pistol shots echoed above the wind in the distance. Sounds
the wind carried ever closer to his family's cottage. He picked up another sound among the rest, one much closer, and ducked into a sheltered area between some of the houses. Sword drawn, shield ready, his every muscle screamed for release for a few tense seconds before Dallan recognized the labored breathing of his clansman and grabbed him. "Ian! What happened?"
He pulled his grandfather's servant into the shelter with him as the more
menacing noises drew closer. "Dallan lad! The MacIain! Yer Grandmother!" The man pushed out terrified. "The soldiers got into the house. We let them in! I swear we
didna ken what they were about!"
Dallan shook him, his grip tight on the old man. "Campbell has set his
dogs on us, then?"
"Aye! Get yerself and yer house to the hills! Be quick!" He struggled to
get away, his clothes tearing with the effort. Dallan held him fast. "The MacIain?"
"I dinna ken! There were shots! The Lady, she screamed something terrible! We tried to get to them, but there were too many soldiers. We got out as fast we could, and they came after us!" Ian glanced fearfully about, body trembling as more shots fired. Closer. "Believe me lad; there was nothing we could do to help them! Get ye gone to the hills! Now!"
Dallan loosened his grip. Ian wrenched his arm away and ran into the storm as sounds of the soldiers' slaughter neared, death with them. Within moments Dallan burst through the door of his family's house, the snow and wind with him. His mother gasped at the sudden entrance. She and her husband of eight years, Fergus MacDonald, stood against a far wall wrapped in whatever they could find to bear the storm outside.
Alasdair huddled between them. Dallan gave his step-father a curt nod. "It
is as we feared. We must flee. Now."
Fergus closed his eyes and lowered his head a brief moment in mute acceptance, then ushered his wife and son to the door. They allowed Dallan out first and, at his signal, followed him into the blinding snow. Cold bit through the plaids they wore, the wind nearly tearing the clothes from their backs. Yet the small family ignored the harsh elements that greeted them. As long as it was not Death extending his greetings this day, the light of dawn only an hour or so off , the elements were welcome.
Dallan silently vowed to keep death from his family as long as he could, no
matter what the cost. They were all he had. Screams rent the darkness around the four as they haphazardly fought their way through the storm. They'd managed to get themselves some distance from the house, and Dallan, now grateful for the storm which kept them hidden and would perhaps see them to some semblance of safety,
allowed himself a brief sigh of relief. It was then his mother screamed. Her voice and the clash of steel were quickly carried away by the wind. Dallan hoped not in the direction of more soldiers as he felled the first of two of Campbell's men. He recognized him as one of the soldiers who partook of Fergus's hospitality. Irony has a strange way of working.
The second soldier lunged, bayonet in hand, as Dallan tried to wrench his sword from the first. The big Scot leapt to the side, the deep snow thwarting his movement as the bayonet missed its mark yet scored all the same. Pain seared through the back of his left shoulder as the blade cut its way to the bone. Dallan clenched his teeth against a sick wave of dread, only two thoughts in his mind. He had to save his family. To do that he had to fight.
He didn't remember falling, but found himself in the snow next to his shield, his sword no longer in his hand. He must have let go of it when he was hit, or perhaps as he fell. Either way, there was no sign of his sword anywhere. Dallan looked up and dark as it was, met the eyes of the man about to kill him, the bayonet already on its descent. Dallan briefly contemplated closing his own eyes when the soldier suddenly fell to the snow next to him. Dead.
"Go!" Dallan commanded as he struggled to his feet. He gave a thankful nod to Fergus as the older man pulled his dirk from the soldier's back. He then sought and retrieved his own weapons and reached for his mother. Her face turned frantic as Dallan took her by the arm. "Alasdair!" She screamed and turned a circle in the snow that nearly pulled him off his feet. "Where's Alasdair?"
"Quiet woman!" Fergus warned. "The wind will carry yer voice!"
Dallan scanned the area and cursed. The boy was gone.
"He must ha' panicked and run back to the house. I thought he was
right behind me." Fergus told him in a low voice.
"Take her to the hills, man. Keep her safe." Dallan grasped his mother's hands firmly in his own. "I'll see to him. Go with Fergus now." He gave Fergus another quick nod then wheeled back in the direction they had come, his tall form quickly swallowed up by the storm.
He carefully picked his way through the blinding snow to avoid as much as possible the nearest sounds of pistol shots and shouting, praying he didn't pass the boy. Dallan knew he was not only losing time but blood. He had to find Alasdair, and fast.
After agonized minutes of bracing himself against the blinding snow he reached the house. A dim light shone through the window. A candle; someone was inside. Dallan stilled his labored breathing and melted into the shadows at the rear wall of the house. The door to the kitchen area lay open. Alasdair must have gone though the back. Carefully, he made his way to the door, peeked inside, then silently entered. The hairs on the back of his neck immediately rose and he quickly crouched behind the thin curtain separating the tiny kitchen from the hearth room.
"Search the house!" A man shouted in a husky voice. "No one lives!"
Only three of them, a preview to the bulk of the slaughter Dallan quickly surmised. But where is Alasdair?
He got his answer quick enough. Alasdair screamed as one of the men pulled him out from behind a chair and threw him to his superior. The captain grabbed the boy by the back of the neck and eyed him with an odd sort of numbness, as if he wasn't sure of what he was. He then looked the boy over carefully, as one might a chicken or a cow at market, his mouth curling into a crooked smile. "Ever been buggered, lad?" he asked and grabbed at his own groin for emphasis.
Alasdair cringed and shrank in the man's grasp.
"Well then," he chortled, "there's always a first." With a wave of his hand
he sent his two men to search the back of the house. They laughed, knowing they were to take their time, and headed for the curtained doorway.
Dallan's dirk plunged into the first man, the action tearing the feeble curtain. The second man, too stunned to react in time, heard only the snapping of his own neck as Dallan let him drop to the floor next to his fallen comrade. That left just the leader. A man Dallan knew immediately and just as immediately, hated.
Robert Campbell of Glenlyon held Alasdair by the hair, a dirk poised at the boy's throat. Never taking his eyes off the scene before him, Dallan took a pistol from the nearest dead man, trained it on the Campbell, and stepped out from behind the half torn curtain.
"Surrender and I'll spare him," Campbell pushed out, his face pasty, sick-looking, and full of lust.
Dallan's jaw twitched with revulsion as he judged where the ball might hit. "Let the boy go first," he countered his own voice soft and menacing. Alasdair let out a yelp of pain as Campbell's grip tightened. "You fool! My men are next door and come even now! You are dead already!" Dallan's green eyes grew fierce. "Only a fool and a coward would harm an innocent lad while one o' his clansmen has a pistol pointed at him." He took aim and prepared to fire, praying the Campbell would either throw
Alasdair out of the way or think to keep himself shielded with him. Dallan sighted for the man's face instead of his heart.
Campbell's eyes suddenly widened with fear.
Good, Dallan thought. He could kill the man, take Alasdair through the back and hope the storm was still enough to conceal them in the predawn light. He put the first traces of pressure on the trigger. Campbell watched in horror and looked as though he was going to scream.
But it was Alasdair's scream that pierced the room, bringing Dallan's attention to his rear. Too late.
The big Scot's breath was crushed from his body as blood from his forgotten wound gushed anew, pushed as if everything within him could be squeezed through the jagged cut in his shoulder. The pistol in Dallan's hand dropped to the floor, useless, as two thick black arms wrapped around him from behind and mercilessly smashed him against a huge body. He fought the giant holding him, but it was no use. The strength in those arms was like nothing he had ever encountered or would ever want
to. Suddenly a deep laugh penetrated the air as an odd tingling sensation began to course through his body. The giant seemed to move but Dallan wasn't sure, his feet no longer touched the fl oor, or did they? By all the Saints, what was happening?
Alasdair screamed and watched in horror as Dallan was dragged into the shadows. "Dallan! No! Dallan!" He squirmed against the stunned Campbell leader who, too shocked to cuff the boy into silence, merely stood, his grip tight, the dirk unmoved. Dallan tried to cry out but his lungs had no air. Th e tingling sensation only increased with his efforts to an odd burning, as though his skin were on fire. And of all things he thought he heard some sort of music. Dallan couldn't afford to lose consciousness.
He again struggled against the arms holding him; he had to get to Alasdair! But it was no use. Helplessly he watched his brother, now cut and bleeding from Robert Campbell's unmoved dirk; slowly disappear behind a blanket of darkness.
Dallan MacDonald contemplated if he was dying but honestly didn't know; all he did know was he had not saved Alasdair and the deep booming laugh behind him was getting louder. These were the only two realizations to accompany him into the blackness that took him from his brother, his home, and his very life.
Want to read more? Go to Geralyn's blog to read chapter 1.