Timeless the print edition will be released in a few weeks.My Galley Proof is on its way!!! I'll post a picture when it gets here. Hope you enjoy this excerpt.
Regan retraced her steps and kneeled before the altar to run a quick questing touch over the base. A thin seam became evident four inches from the edge. She fluttered the bristles of her brush over it and a crack where the stones met became visible. It was constructed like a box, just as she had thought, not a single thick block of stone. Had it been built that way just to hold the weight of the top? Or was it a burial chamber for some important person? If they opened it, would they find Coira or Braden inside?
She pushed away the thought. The couple was too alive for her to think of them interned inside the altar. She began cleaning the face of the structure from the bottom up. Where normal Ogham was usually carved along the edge of a stone, these were incised into the face of the slab, just like the others. Who had done all this? It would have taken years of dedicated determination to cover each block with words in an obscure written language that spoke volumes but hid their true meaning.
“How does it work Coira?” she murmured as she cleaned away the brownish gray residue with circular swipes of the brush dipped in the soapy water. Sticking the brush into the bucket to soak, she wiped the residue away with a sponge. She removed her glove and ran her fingers over the grooves of the inscription that ran down the center of the stone.
Power. The word came to her like a whispered.
Fear wove through every fiber of her body, turning her muscles to sludge. Dear God was she becoming unhinged like her mother had been? Was all this just in her mind. Tears burnt her eyes and she used her sleeve to cover her face blocking out the stone before her.
Her wrist ached. “It wasn’t all in her mind. The burn on her wrist was a real thing. Could someone’s mind cause a real physical injury?
She lowered her arm. It wasn’t just in her imagination or a figment of a mind suddenly demented. This was real. Every muscle tensed as she placed her hand on the stone again.
Her breath left her in a whoosh and her heart beat so hard it was almost painful.
Whose power? What kind of power?
The desire to run leapt through her driving her to her feet. Muscles, cramped from being in one position too long, protested.
Her attention swung toward the scaffold. Should she signal Hannah to get the boys to tow her back in?
A cluster of people stood on the scaffolding. She recognized Dr. Fraser and his wife but the two men with them were too distant for her to identify. All four paused before the stone she had partially cleaned the day before. As she watched, Hannah pointed out to the altar. The group turned and one of the men stepped to the edge of the platform and shaded his eyes against the glare of the midday sun.
Dr. Fraser cupped his hands around his mouth and called to Regan. “Come in, Miss Stanhope. Mr. Nicodemus wishes to meet you.”
“Shit.” She raised her hand in a halfhearted wave. Leaving the bucket where she had placed it, she started the step, slide, rhythm that had gotten her out to the stone.
Six or seven steps away from the altar, the ground suddenly gave way, and she went knee deep into the mud. The surface she stood on felt spongy and unstable. A long drawn out creaking noise came from beneath her followed by a snap. She threw herself forward grappling at the muddy ground for a handhold. Water, brackish and cold folded around her and ran into the rubber waders, weighting her down, dragging her deeper. A cry of fear broke from her and she dug her fingers into the ground trying to hold on. A shout sounded from across the dig site. The rope around her waist tightened and yanked her grip free. She gasped one desperate breath as black water covered her head.