But they're not alone. A Norse army led by Chief Konar the Mad is making its way to St. Anne's Monastery. In a desperate attempt to save their home, Lukas teaches Alynn how to wield a sword. She vows to fight off the Norse alongside him. If they win, she gets the home she's always wanted. If they're defeated, she faces death--or worse, slavery.
Alynn doesn't have much of a chance. But if it means a forever home, it's a chance worth taking.
Don't miss this stunning tale of faith, courage, and the power of family. Where I Stand, Book Two in the Clouds Aflame Series, is now available on Amazon.
A faint voice was vying for Alynn’s consciousness, but she brushed it away.
If she woke up, she’d be cold again. Her arms and legs would burn with a cold that felt like fire, and she would shiver until she was nauseous.
But the voice refused to go away. Something shook her shoulder, and she cried for it to stop.
“There ye go, lass,” the voice said. “Open yer eyes. Look at me. Ye’re safe, ye’re out of the water. Ye need to look at me.”
The man’s voice was calm and comforting, with a brogue that was neither lilting Irish nor the type of Scottish that Captain McMahon spoke. Alynn knew she’d heard it before—she’d spent the night at an inn when she was moving from Corgrigg to Kilteery, and she’d lain awake listening to a man telling stories. A Highland Scot, he’d been.
“Come, now. Look at me.”
Alynn tried to open her eyes, and the first thing she saw was a ribbon of red racing across the horizon. It was nearly dawn.
A blurry figure was kneeling in front of her. Warm hands were shaking her shoulders, touching her face and pressing two fingers into her neck. Alynn felt as if he were trying to choke her. She cried out again.
“Yer pulse is strong, lass. Ye’re going to be fine. Be quiet, now, and we’ll get ye out of here.”
A strong arm slipped under Alynn’s back, and suddenly, she was lifted into the air. She shrieked.
“Shh! We can’t let them—just—don’t say anything. I’ve got ye, lass. Ye’re alright.”
Warmth seeped through Alynn’s soaking clothes as the stranger carried her down the pier. She started to relax.
“Ye need to stay awake.” The stranger sounded like an adult, someone at least as old as Rowan or Captain McMahon. “Talk to me. But quietly. We can’t let them find us.”
“Who’s trying to find us?”
Alynn’s voice sounded so slurred to her, she wondered how the stranger could understand her. But he answered her in a comforting tone. “No one ye need to worry about, so long as ye say a prayer fer us.”
Alright, then. Saint Mary, protect us.
“What’s yer name?” she asked.
“Where am I, Mr. McCamden?”
“Just call me Lukas, if ye don’t mind. We’re on the outskirts of a village.”
“Alright, then….Where…what kind of village is…is this Scotland?”
“Not quite. We’re on an island, north of—”
A new voice rang through the air. “Excuse me!”
“Say that prayer now,” Lukas whispered.
M. J. Piazza is a Jesus-loving, dog-walking country girl who just so happens to write books.