Every Friday on my author Facebook page I will be featuring a sneak peek from one of my books. This week’s excerpt is from Ancient Voices: Into the Depths, which was just released in November.
Morganne still marveled each day at how her fortunes had changed in such a short time. But in the face of her fears, none of that seemed to matter anymore. And as much as she loved Elowyn and Adelin with all the ferocity their true mother should have, carrying the burden of their well-being alone was wearing on her. She was painfully aware that if anything bad befell either of them, the fault was her own for bringing them with her.
In that moment, Morganne felt more like a frightened child than an adult, and wished, as she often had when she was very small, to know the shelter of a loving father’s protective arms. All her life she had clung to a faint memory that she believed was of her father. It was so fragile that trying to hold it in her mind was like grasping at a wisp of smoke. The harder she peered into its shifting haze, the more it dissipated, until she could do nothing but let it slowly gather itself together again in the back of her mind.
There was blinding sun, warm against her face, and a salty, ocean smell. She was playfully lifted up high in the air by two strong hands, then embraced tightly. She could not see who had picked her up, however hard she tried. But the vibration of a man’s booming voice resonated through her as she pressed herself against his chest. In that moment, she had felt loved, and secure, more so than at any other time in her life since. She could remember nothing more.
The memory was one that had often comforted her in her darkest moments of despair. Yet it had also tormented her to the point of tears. Somehow, she had lost him. Why had he left her? Where had he gone? And why hadn’t he come back? Perhaps her mother’s anger had driven him away, unless it was his absence that had left her so bitter that she could no longer feel any love in her heart. Like Elowyn, Morganne had pressed her mother many times for answers without success, and she had always hated her mother for her stubborn silence. Morganne would have given anything to feel that embrace again, brief though it might have been.
Morganne sobbed silently into her night clothes, trying not to wake Elowyn and Adelin, for she had no desire to reveal her innermost sorrows to them. She was resolved that they would never witness her moments of weakness. She would hold her younger sisters in the protective arms that she had always longed for, even when her outward strength was only an illusion she created by sheer will alone.