03 November 2016

Excerpt Thursday: KAYLYN: THE SISTER-IN-DARKNESS by Barbara G. Tarn

This week, we’re pleased to welcome author BARBARA G. TARN with her latest historical fantasy release,  KAYLYN THE SISTER-IN-DARKNESS.

Join us again on Sunday for an author interview, with more details about the story behind the story. One lucky visitor will get a digital copy of KAYLYN – this giveaway is open internationally. Be sure to leave your email address in the comments of today's post or Sunday's author interview for a chance to win. The winner will be contacted privately by email. Here's the blurb…

Ten years after the return of the crusader, his people know he's evil and try to get rid of him and his wife. Kaylyn escapes the fire of Baldwin's manor with Bran's help and leaves Lincolnshire for good.

A long journey through 12th century Europe allows her to meet other fledglings of her mysterious maker, Bran the Raven. Then it's Muslim Spain and up to Damascus, where everything started for Baldwin.

A travel journal through the centuries across Europe, North Africa, Asia on the Silk Road, to the court of Kublai Khan and then India for the making of her brother-in-darkness, Rajveer... And it's only half of Kaylyn's story.

History and fantasy mix in this standalone book of Vampires Through the Centuries that will appeal to both historical fiction readers and vampire lovers all over the world.

**An Excerpt from Kaylyn: the Sister-in-Darkness**

LINCOLNSHIRE – AD 1160

Kaylyn awoke with a gasp, and her throat was filled with heat and smoke. She'd been dreaming of falling into the pits of hell, and she opened her eyes to a raging fire devouring the wooden partition of her chamber.
She heard Baldwin's roar, but her husband wasn't by her side anymore. Panting, she frantically looked for a way out. Why was the manor on fire? Why wasn't anyone trying to extinguish it?
Screams and curses came from beyond the flames. The wood crackled and then suddenly gave in. Soon everything would come crumbling down and Kaylyn couldn't gather her wits.
It was daytime. She was supposed to be asleep, away from the sun's rays. What if she left the burning room from the window and was incinerated by the sun? The chamber was so filled with smoke that she couldn't see the weather outside.
Fire was attacking the wooden floor as well as the beamed ceiling. Only the external walls were made of stone. Eyes wide, Kaylyn didn't know what to do. But then, if Baldwin had left the bedroom, there was probably no danger in going out.
Maybe outside it was another cloudy English day. The heat was getting worse, and Kaylyn decided to move. She got off the double bed and made her way along the walls towards the stone staircase to the lower floor on the other side of the rectangular room.
She was about to reach the closest window, her back against the wall as if she were walking on a narrow ledge, when the floor under the bed gave way, and the canopy crashed downstairs into what had been the main hall of the castle.
Kaylyn froze, staring at the chasm that had opened a few paces from her feet. Soon the whole floor would collapse and she'd fall into the furnace of the lower floor. Her "life eternal" would come to a blunt end in a literal hellfire after only ten years.
She was beginning to think the fire wasn't an accident. Holding her breath, she started moving again towards the small windows. It wouldn't be easy to get out that way, but she was thin, and hopefully could get through.
Someone broke the central column of the closest window, widening the opening, and a blurry figure landed in the smoky room that still had half of its floor, since no furniture weighed on it.
"Baldwin?" Kaylyn called with a shaky voice. Only her husband would be capable of jumping so high to break the window. He had come to save her!
But from the smoke emerged the tall figure of Bran, the Celtic druid who had been both hers and Baldwin's maker. His long platinum-blond hair looked red by firelight.
"Let's go, Kaylyn." He threw a blanket over her face and upper body and threw her over his shoulder like a sack of potatoes.
Kaylyn screamed, but didn't fight. She felt the jump, and then she was shaken by Bran's run. She wasn't afraid of the darkness anymore, but the smell of blood that reached her nostrils as soon as the smoke cleared made her lick her fangs.
Soon Bran put her down and took off the blanket. They were in a watermill, probably at the edge of the Fens, and the miller wasn't around.
"What happened?" Kaylyn asked, still breathless. "Where's Baldwin?"
"Dead, I'm afraid," Bran said, putting the blanket on the ground. "Do you want to go back to sleep?"
"No! I want to know what happened at the castle! And what are you doing here? I thought you were in Wales?"
"I was... yes." Bran smiled briefly. "Then I went to Edinburgh. I was on my way back south when I heard Baldwin's scream."
"He screamed?" she asked, puzzled. She hadn't heard him scream.
"His mind did, when he was killed."
"Killed?" Kaylyn stared incredulous at him.
Bran sat on the blanket and patted the ground next to him.

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