Sample from Prologue:
By Deborah O'Toole
DUNCAN MOCHRIE SAT ON a tall barstool behind the smoky-glass counter of his curio shop. He was somewhat out of breath by the trek back from Glinhaven Monastery, and slightly damp from the misty fog.
The Thistle curio shop was located on Main Street in Glinhaven Village, displaying aisles of knick-knacks, books and other Scottish and Celtic sundry. The shop was dark now, long past closing time. A small nautical lantern-style desk lamp illuminated the counter, giving Duncan just enough light in which to write.
The shop was eerily quiet apart from the sound of Duncan's ballpoint pen quickly scratching across a sheath of white paper. He was not at a loss for words, but wanted to get his thoughts down while they were still fresh in his mind.
The hastily scribed note was addressed to his granddaughter:
My darling Piper,
I have come across information which may change your life and future. While sworn to secrecy in relaying my knowledge in spoken words, I feel no guilt or regret as I impart the news by hand. It could be of vital importance to you someday.
A noise from upstairs caused Duncan to pause in his writing. He glanced apprehensively toward the staircase leading to the upper floor, where his apartment over the shop was located. He listened intently for a moment, but heard no other sounds. He continued to write:
I paid a visit to Glinhaven Monastery tonight, where many clues about your true past have led me over the years. This will come as a great shock to you, I'm sure, as you've likely never had any questions about your lineage. You felt you knew the truth about your parentage. There was never any question, never any doubt . . .
Duncan stopped writing after a few minutes, his ears alert to sounds from upstairs again. He hesitated only briefly, but then gathered the sheet of paper in his hand. He walked around the counter near the base of the staircase and headed to the aisle directly adjacent. The display housed a collection of first-edition books of Scottish origin. At random, he grabbed a book from the shelf. Glancing down, he noticed it was the 1941 printing of The Monarch of the Glen by Compton Mackenzie. After folding the piece of paper in half, he slid it between the pages of the book and returned it to its place on the shelf.
He heard light footsteps in the upper corridor. Frowning, Duncan made his way to the staircase. He was part-way up the steps when he saw a dark figure at the top, inky black and silently menacing.
"Who the hell are you?" Duncan demanded, angered by the intrusion. "What in blue blazes are you doing in my shop?"
In a flash, the dark figure darted down the stairs and pushed Duncan's chest with force. He fell backward, tumbling to the bottom of the staircase and landing on his back. Momentarily stunned, he was still for a few seconds.
The dark figure suddenly stood over him, face masked by the blackness. The figure fell upon Duncan before he had a chance to move or cry out, jabbing him in the neck with a slender, sharp object.
The pain was intense but brief. Duncan felt himself slip away into oblivion.
*Please Note: Glinhaven is a work of fiction. Names, characters, places and incidents are the product of the author's imagination or are used fictitiously. Any resemblance to actual events, locales, organizations, or persons, living or dead, is entirely coincidental and beyond the intent of the author. Copyright ©Deborah O’Toole. All rights reserved. No part of Glinhaven may be used or reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission from the author. Estimated Completion: Summer-Autumn 2016. Storyline, estimated completion date, content and book cover art for Glinhaven may be subject to change.
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