I know some of you have been waiting for a sale on Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens. This week is the week! The novel will be available for just 99 cents all week. Click below to head over to Amazon!
For fun, I thought I'd share a deleted scene from Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens with you. For those who have read the novel, this scene takes place right before Sid (Gruoch's half-fey friend) and Gruoch enter the burial mound. This is a rough cut version, but still a fun read.
Lady Macbeth: Daughter of Ravens Deleted Scene
We entered a valley where the ground was covered by a vast bed of moss, a barrow in the center. Domed like a turtle shell, it rose some eight feet high. It, too, was covered in lichen. Save its shape, it blended into the land, was part of the earth. The mounds were magical places. Many of the barrows were burial mounds. Ancient kings and queens and powerful bards and druids had been buried within. More often, the mounds were places where the worlds were thin. They were places where the faerie folk and beings from the other world crossed the border between our world and theirs, just as they did with the standing stones.
There was such a place quite near Alister’s castle, a singular standing stone located very near a mound. That mound, said to be the tomb of a long forgotten king, was not as large as the one before me. It was also shaped like a turtle shell but more jumbled with old stones, and, perhaps, only five feet in height. Wild flowers and grasses grew on the mound. Our court was returning from a nearby holding when we passed close by one day. I must have been fourteen or so at the time. My father was not yet dead. Madelaine had stopped at the stone.
“Come here, Corbie,” Madelaine had called. It was a bright, warm summer day. I dismounted and joined her at the stone. “Here. Touch it. Feel the stone? Can you feel the energy, the magic living inside?” she asked.
Taking my hand, she set it on the standing stone. It was a tall stone, nearly twelve feet in height. It had been carved with swirling designs: bears, birds, stags, crowns, and other twisting marks. The stone felt warm under my hand. The grit of the limestone felt rough on my fingers.
“Now look at the mound,” she whispered in my ear. “Tomb of the old king. His story is marked here,” she said, stroking the stone. “I can almost hear his name on the wind. He is an ancient man, coming from beyond our shores. When I think of him, I taste salt water in my mouth,” she added, her voice sounding far away as she gazed at the mound.
The warm summer air seemed to shift with wavy heat, and I had thought, for just a moment, that I saw a man standing near the mound. He was tall and wore a silver helmet that covered his head. A shimmering purple stone at encased at the brow shimmered in the sunlight.
A voice bellowed behind us, “Madelaine!”
I pulled my hand away. Behind me, Alister and Father Edwin stared at us. Father Edwin had gone pale from horror. Alister just looked angry.
“What are you doing, woman?” Alister growled at Madelaine.
She turned and smiled prettily at him. “Oh, my dear, just showing Corbie the old things that dot your lands. Pretty carvings, aren’t they?” she asked her husband.
I bit my bottom lip, angry to see my aunt play so stupid.
“Come away, Lady Gruoch. Don’t go near such unholy things,” Father Edwin said to me while Alister glared at Madelaine. “My lord, why don’t you have the stone torn down. Surely young ladies don’t need such pagan temptations right just beyond their castle walls. I can come with some men and bless the site with the scared water of Christ, purifying the devil—“
Alister groaned. “Ugh, priest, you are giving me a headache! Enough with your foolishness. Everyone is acting like some piece of stone is something to be concerned with. You will leave it where it stands. Madelaine, get on your horse and ride before I take my crop to you!”
“Yes, my Lord. Many apologies,” she said with a false smile, quickly remounting her horse and motioning for me to do the same.
Alister and Father Edwin road off, leaving me and Madelaine to fall in behind him. Defeated, Madelaine road forward quietly. Before the barrow was out of sight, I had turned and looked back. The ancient warrior was still there, a wavering figure in the summer sun. He pulled off his helmet, a tumble of black hair falling all around him, and bowed to me.