Sword of Stone Excerpt

Here’s an excerpt from book three in the Sword of Rhiannon series,  “Sword of Stone”.  I’m hoping it will be done by the end of summer.

Time seemed to stand still here in this primeval clearing located in this ancient forest. The birds were quiet as if to show reverence to the King of the Forest that stood in front of her. It lay dormant now, innocent and blameless, though Rhiannon knew that was a lie. The shell’s smooth surface warmed Rhiannon’s hand as her mind fought the calm wanting to race with disquieting thoughts.

Through the dim, dwindling light Rhiannon peered at where her long, sad odyssey had first begun: she stood before the Tree of Jur. Its huge, gnarled truck held up massive branches still full of dark leaves, shimmering in a dry breeze that dared to blow through the forest clearing. She edged a little closer mesmerized by the gaping opening in the tree, its inky darkness so deep the brightest light would not penetrate it. She could feel its draw on her soul calling her home.

She peered up at the living monolith standing before her. Hundreds of human bones hung eerily from the dark branches of the tree gently swaying in the breeze in a macabre dance of death. Flashes of white drew her eyes and gave the tree of bone and mist an otherworldly appearance. The Priests of Jur had hung the bones of their dead upon the tree many years ago in an act of reverence and worship. What they left was a ghoulish spectacle which most people avoided. But Rhiannon had been drawn to the tree’s sheltering arms and promise of home.

Rhiannon stopped before the tree and hesitantly held out her hand. The bark was rough and warm under her fingers. It would still be hours before the tree’s portal opened but she could feel a current running through the tree and the air as if it siphoned power from the forest in preparation. She mindlessly rubbed the rough bark wondering how it would be to walk back into her life in Montana. Matthew and Daniel would be shocked but she knew she would still be welcome. Could she do it? Could she leave Màrrach for good?

She edged closer to the tree as she counted everything she had lost since coming through the tree: her father, Tim, Flath and now Shih ‘Ni. The loss was too great to bare—she could stand to lose no more.

Unaware of time passing, Rhiannon stood before the Tree of Jur as the full moon traveled across a black sky. She felt no hunger or thirst or even a need to rest. She was not aware of Zellan as he grazed and ever so often looked up at her to make sure she was still alright. Her ears were deaf to the night insects or the hoot of a nearby owl. Enthralled by the tree she stood by its side all night like a sentry at her post.

Finally, the moon dipped behind tall pines and the cold stars gave up their twinkling as night turned to dawn and then the sun started to rise turning the sky from pink to blue.  Rhiannon felt the humming of the tree before she heard it. Under her caress, the already warm bark turned hot and she pulled her hand away. A thick mist started to poor from the tree and roll across the clearing. The smell of pine was replaced by the aroma of dirt and blood and the tree started to glow an amber color.

This was it. This was her chance to right the wrong that had been done her when she was brought here. The pull of the tree was hard to resist and then she wondered why she was resisting at all. She moved closer to the opening that was now aglow in amber light.

Ever so slowly something started to eat away at her haunted thoughts. A nagging that became louder and could not be ignored any longer. She was being watched! Her pulse quickened as she squeezed the shell in one hand and pulled her sword free with the other. Slowly she turned around ready to face what she was sure was an attack.

Peering through the mist, though, was not the face of an enemy at all. “Rhiannon, don’t,” Kyia pleaded, tears running down her cheeks—Rhiannon dropped her sword to the ground and the amber mist swallowed it whole.

Hope you guys enjoyed this little peek into Sword of Stone.  Check back for updates on its book launch.

This beautiful art is from: http://feelgrafix.com/799833-fantasy-art-wallpaper.html

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