Under These Restless Skies will be released on February 20, and every day until then, I'll be posting a small excerpt. You can check out the book's blog here, including more excerpts and information on the Tudor historical characters in the story, and the legend of the selkies on which the story is based.
At nine o’clock, Kingston arrived and stood in the doorway for a moment, as if searching for ways to say what he needed to say. Finally, he said it in simple words, “Madame, ’tis time.”
Anne rose wordlessly to follow him, Emma at her side. Anne did not look back at the lodgings where she had spent the night before her coronation, where she had dined in state for the first time as queen. She walked away from the pomp and splendor of the court without so much as a lingering glance.
Anne stepped outside into the sunshine and took a deep breath. Emma did, too, of the scents of fresh green grass, warm earth, and flowers that sweetened the air. The birds twittered in the trees as the breeze rustled the leaves around them. It was a day, Emma thought, that should be remembered for its beautiful spring perfection, but instead would be remembered for this horror.
Kingston realized his charge had stopped, and he paused to turn back. At his glance, Anne started forward once more, her heavy skirts swishing on the grass behind her. Margaret Wyatt and Mistress Orchard followed close behind. Emma was glad that on this last walk Anne was surrounded by friends.