|Author Crystal Schall|
Today's Monday Splash book except comes to courtesy of author Mary Ann Bernal from the fourth book in her Briton and the Dane series, Concordia.
Concordia wrapped her cloak tightly around her as wind gusts chilled the night air. She smiled slightly when Thayer placed a velvet pouch in her hand, yet she was hesitant to accept the gift.
“Open it,” Thayer whispered in her ear.
Concordia gasped when she saw the gold bead necklace, but she could not curtain her excitement when she held the striking jewels against her chest. The gold beads were interspersed with turquoise and blue glass of various designs, and each bead was elegantly embellished by exquisitely engraved decorations.
“I have never seen such intricate work,” Concordia said excitedly as Thayer clasped the necklace around her neck. “There are no words...but I cannot accept such a costly gift.”
“You must, lest you offend my mother.”
“I do not understand...how am I known?”
“I had written my mother of our friendship...she sent this token so you may always remember the bond we share...it belonged to her mother...she insisted.”
“Tell her I am most pleased,” Concordia murmured as she held the beads gently between her fingers while averting his gaze. “Tell her I shall never forget her kindness.”
“Come, the hour grows late...you must be in your chambers before you are missed.”
Concordia followed Thayer down the stairs as the clouds once again covered the full moon. She walked silently beside the man who had captured her heart, etching his features into memory, to remember in the days ahead, when she grieved for a love that might have been.
Thayer stopped abruptly when they reached the king’s private quarters, grasped Concordia by the shoulders and kissed her gently upon her lips.
“Forgive my impertinence,” Thayer said softly. “I cannot leave without telling you...if only...you must go before words are spoken that cannot be taken back...go!”
“I do not understand,” Concordia tearfully replied. “Can you not see...”
“Hush,” Thayer interrupted as he placed his finger over her lips. “I know.”
“Will I ever see you again?” Concordia asked, her voice choked with emotion.
“If Allah wills it,” Thayer replied kindly before he disappeared into the night.
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About the Author
Mary Ann Bernal, author of The Briton and the Dane novels, is an avid history buff whose area of interest focuses on Ninth Century Anglo-Saxon Britain during the Viking Age. While pursuing a degree in business administration, she managed to fit creative writing classes and workshops into her busy schedule to learn the craft, but it would take decades before her “Erik the Viking” novel was ultimately published.
Mary Ann is also a passionate supporter of the United States military, having been involved with letter writing campaigns and other support programs since Operation Desert Storm. She has appeared on The Morning Blend television show hosted by KMTV, the CBS television affiliate in Omaha, and was interviewed by the Omaha World-Herald for her volunteer work. She has also been a featured author on Triangle Variety Radio, The Phil Naessens Show, and The Writers Showcase, and has been interviewed extensively by American and European bloggers.
Mary Ann is a New York “expat,” and currently resides in Omaha, Nebraska.
Visit Mary Ann’s webpage: www.maryannbernal.com