So, another excerpt for you lucky readers. From my new release -- out on February 18th through Amazon's KDP Select -- another excerpt from The Savior. This one comes from one of the hardest chapters I had to write. You'll understand when you read the book. :-)
"Folk," he yelled, "quiet! Listen to me."
The gathered calmed back down and, while the murmuring continued, at least the din was settled.
Aiden continued speaking, his hands still in the air. "Listen to me. I can't find out what's happenin' if you keep shoutin' as such. I know you are scared, but let's find out what we're up against." He knelt back down to where Aiobh was applying a bandage to Conor's wound. "All right, Conor, tell the rest of it."
A hand reached forth with a mug of something and Conor took it. He drank deeply from the mug, nodded his thanks, and gasped to get the air into him. When he could breathe normally again, he went on. "Aye, I will. Scotians, a great horde of 'em. They poured into the village yesterday after midday meal. Were no warning except the others that were runnin' in front."
"What others?" Yeshua asked.
"Others from other villages in the bastards' path, fleeing away from 'em. By time someone rung the bell, it was too late. Scot bastards were runnin' into the village, slicin' up any that got in their way. Women and children, it didn't mean a difference to 'em." He drained the last from the mug, spoke next to Aiobh. Nodding over his shoulder, he said, "I took that keepin' a wee one from being slaughtered by a tartan shite. Drove mydirk in his throat and he cut me deep as he fell, the miserable bastard."
Aidan stood up again and turned back to the crowd. "You heard him, the Scotians are comin'. Every man and woman who can fight, get your armor and blades, and come back here. We fight 'em." When he saw they were not moving, he shouted, "Get you goin'. Did you not hear me? Scotians are comin'. Do you want to lose it all?"
The place turned to mass pandemonium at that point. Bodies were running, here and there and beyond. Toby grasped the new High Priest by the arm, and turned the man to face him.
"Are you daft, Aidan? We need a plan. We can't be fighting willy-nilly here."
Aidan shook his arm out of Toby's grasp. "Do as I say, man," he retorted. "There's no Roman army coming now. This is Celts fightin' Celts. I know what I'm doin'."
Toby started to shout the High Priest down, tried to shout anyone down to get anyone's attention, but Gwydion grabbed him and pulled him back hard. He dragged Toby back several paces, getting him to stop shouting and pay attention.
"Come, Tobias, don't be wastin' words." He pulled Toby around to face him, grasping his friend's shoulders tightly to keep him from bolting away. "Come. You need your armor if they're comin'. You can't change his mind, brother. Come along if you want to save your family."
That was enough to get Toby moving and they took off at a trot. Neither spoke until they had reached the gate at the edge of the family farm. Gwydion stopped and grabbed Toby's elbow again.
"Look, I didn't want to say this in front of the men, but I have favor for you."
"Aye, my brother, whatever you wish."
Gwydion's face was dark in the half light of dawn. His voice was close to breaking as he spoke. "I need your promise that if I don't make it, you'll take care of Deirdre and my children. You'll protect 'em. I need your promise."
Toby swallowed hard. "Aye, Gwydion. I'll do it. You have to promise me the same in return. Keep Siobhan, Rohan, and the little one comin' safe."
"I'll die before I let 'em be harmed, Tobias."
The Savior by Jesse V Coffey, published by Edin Road Press, and scheduled for release on February 28, 2013 through Amazon's KDP Select.