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Carolyn Ann Aish
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Royalty, romance, mystery, escapism—this book has it all. Just remember to breathe.
A low, despairing moan caused Kind Heart to spin lightly on boot-clad feet. Sidney’s soldiers still stood by the doorway, staring at the leather-clad figure with the ridiculous feather plumed hat. They were overawed at this close encounter with the famed and feared Kind Heart.
"Patrick? Brother Patrick!" Kind Heart’s feet flew to the chained prisoner who moaned. Beaten and bloodied, Brother Patrick rested on one foot, the only space upon the stone floor free of sharp spikes. The wall was a mass of glittering, razor-sharp spikes. There was nowhere for Patrick to lean or rest without piercing his bruised skin.
Sheathing the sword, Kind Heart hurried back to the thick wooden table near the dungeon-keeper. Upending food-plates and rough tin goblets, Kind Heart snatched up the solid wooden tray. Taking it to Patrick, it served as a cover over the spikes so that Patrick could stand on both feet. Kind Heart gently placed the man’s bruised feet on the tray.
One by one, the pins slid from the shackles around Patrick’s wrists. Kind Heart felt heartened that the shackles did not need a key and was encouraged to know that Patrick still had some strength and will left in him.
"Try to walk," the rescuer urged.
Patrick attempted to cooperate, but his legs and feet would not obey. "Sorry... I’m... so sorry... I... can’t."
The soldiers at the door parted, allowing a robed figure to enter the chamber. Kind Heart’s eyes strained in the smoky atmosphere. This was what had been expected. But here in the torture chamber? They were going to attempt their capture here?
"Here, let me help," the kindly voice seemed to come from heaven itself. It was Brother Emil.
Together they supported Patrick, moving out the door, flanked by the watching soldiers who did not follow. Kind Heart wondered what story they were going to concoct about this ‘break-in’ and ‘rescue’. How simple it had been--so far. Along the passage toward the stone steps, then, up, up, up--one by one, it was very slow and tedious.
"The cart’s in the courtyard and the men await to open the gate for you," Brother Emil said, confirming Kevin’s words.
Patrick’s body began to quiver and quake, then the man moaned loudly, collapsing into unconsciousness.
"I’ll carry him and lead the way if you’ll watch our backs," Emil said, collecting the man into his strong arms.
Ignoring these words, Kind Heart unsheathed the sword, saying, "We’ll not go left here, we’ll go right. Do as I say, Brother Emil. It’ll be much easier this way--you can tell Baron Sidney that you were forced, at sword-point." When the monk did not move Kind Heart pressed the sword-tip into the clothes on his large back.
"This is not supposed to be a trap, Brother Emil, and I’m making sure that it’s not. Kevin does not believe it to be so, but what do you think? Walk as you answer."
The monk stepped in the direction Kind Heart indicated, saying, "I... I... I hope not. But I have not been as sure as the lad. He believes everyone speaks the truth but when I heard that Lady Sidra was involved, I..."
"Lady Sidra? Sidney’s stepmother? I didn’t know she was here. How long has she been here? Keep walking, Brother, faster please and take the next right turn."
The monk did not answer, for deep in the castle a shout sounded out, followed by many more. "Hurry," breathed Kind Heart. "I’ll not leave Brother Patrick here to be further tortured or questioned. You must exert yourself to go faster." With sword in one hand, and the other threaded through Brother Emil’s arm, Kind Heart urged the man into a run.
Carolyn Ann Aish was born Carolyn Ann Gundesen, in the town of Waitara, Taranaki, New Zealand, in 1948. She grew up New Plymouth, and now resides in Inglewood beneath the spectacular Taranaki Mountain.
Carolyn earned a place in the 1996 Guinness Book of Records (music section, page 144) for the longest hymn published, "Sing God's Song". This is also listed in the 2003 Guinness World Records book.
Carolyn’s series, "The Frencolian Chronicles," enjoys rave reviews, creating an on going following for Carolyn's work. Carolyn currently has over 40 books published.
Among the many series Carolyn has written for children is "The Nine Lives of Rastus," based on the lives of Max Corkill and his beloved cat, Rastus. KIND HEART is Carolyn’s first published book for adults.
O to have a faith like Sarah's. So often we think that the trials we are going through are unnecessary, but if only we keep our faith like Sarah, we will come out the winner and will be stronger. Stepping Stones has been an encouragement to me in that though others are watching for us to make mistakes, we can keep on. -- Thirza Elizabeth Dew
STEPPING STONES is so exciting and wrenching that it can't be put it down. I'm really interested to know what happened to Michela and Sarah's father's castle and the treasures. What became of Elisabet and Alfena? A fantastic story which I enjoyed, now I need the next. -- Wendy Shaw
Book Publisher: Wings e Press
No. of Pages: 484
Paper Weight (lb): 19.9
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