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R. A. LURA

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Shadows in Time by R. A. Lura
by R. A. LURA   

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Category: 

Fantasy

Publisher:  Raular Publishing ISBN-10:  0982056257
Pages: 

316

Copyright:  December 2008 ISBN-13:  9780982056257

Shadows in Time is book 1 of R. A. Lura's fanstay-thriller series. Spirit guides, nature fairies, ghosts, evil dog-pigs, magic and a telepathic horse make Shadows in Time a 'can't put it down' story. Book 2 - Shadows in the Wind will be out in 2011!

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Caitlin McNevin's psychic abilities surface after she moves to a remote old country estate. When she befriends an eccentric and mystical Irish immigrant and neighbor and is gifted with the ancient "Book of Secrets", her paranormal experiences heighten. Trusted with the ancient"Book of Secrets", Caitlin reads from it without the safety of her new friend's presence and unwittingly unleashes the dark side.And the battle between good and evil begins!

Book trailer: www.youtube.com/watch


Excerpt

Prologue

The heat of the doctor’s office assaulted Matilda in a sharp contrast from the bitter winter gales that she had just forged through. The small bundle of life in her arms lay all too still, almost lifeless, as she approached the receptionist to announce her arrival. Fear constricted her chest, making each breath laborious as she peered into the pale, wax-like cheeks of the infant in her arms. Her sweet little Caitlin; how small and helpless she appeared in the layers of fabric that surrounded her. Just last night her screams of despair where so powerful that Matilda was hard pressed to remember that Caitlin was barely six months old.
Matilda had named Caitlin after her cousin back in Ireland. She and her cousin Caitlin had been like sisters while growing up in the quaint countryside in county Cork. She recalled, with a smile, the laughter and joy that had filled her childhood years. Oh how she longed for the years gone by.
Matilda and her dear cousin had lost contact when Caitlin moved to America with her husband, Tommy, five years earlier, but had acquired Caitlin’s address just before she and James started their journey to America.
Her cousin was living in the hills of Pennsylvania; not far from Manhattan, actually. Matilda longed to contact her and let her know that they where close again and that she had a namesake, but James would have none of it while they where in such dire financial straits. His pride was a blessing in some ways and a curse in others.
Anger for her present situation welled up and her smile was lost to an anguished contortion. Having had such a happy childhood herself, she had vowed that her babies would know the same. She did her best to shield young Nora from the poverty and hardships that filled their days since arriving in America. The trip had been long and hard, filled with false promises and hopes. She prayed for her family’s happiness and success in life and longed for financial security.
Matilda and her husband, James, had only recently immigrated from Ireland. A proud man, when the promise of housing and a job at his uncle’s friend’s factory had not been fulfilled and their meager funds dwindled as he scrambled for shelter and work, he refused to seek help from any federally funded assistance program; leaving the family to survive on what was left of his meager wages from the job he had managed to secure at a local shoe factory; after his thirst had been quenched at the neighborhood bar, of course.
The doctor’s fee was probably going to take most of the money she had available to her for the week’s supply of food and goods, but she could not risk ignoring her precious Caitlin’s health. Her daughter was seriously ill; there was no doubting that. A doctor was needed and that was all there was to it. She would deal with James and his old fashioned ideas of natural healing and how doctors are a waste of good money later. For now, she would focus on the little darling in her arms and believe that her prayers would be answered and they would be fine. A long sigh of frustration was released as she thought of her plight.
“Mama, it’s cold out here, can I come in?”
Matilda turned in response to the small voice belonging to her oldest daughter, Nora. Nora’s big brown eyes pleaded with want and a touch of fear; fear of what, maybe of loss? Children could be insightful and intuitive, especially in Matilda’s family lineage. Even though she had done her best to shield her eldest child, perhaps Nora sensed how serious their plight was.
Nora’s bright strawberry blonde curls scattered around her face, glistening with the moisture of the melting snow. She was almost lost in a worn and faded blue wool jacket, a pair of bright multicolored, predominantly orange mittens with matching scarf, and a hat. They where a gift from Grandma Maloney. Grandma Maloney made a new set for everyone each Christmas. The family had grown to look forward to, and rely upon, Grandma Maloney’s contribution to their winter warmth. The wave of sadness that passed through Matilda was almost consuming as she wondered what the future held for her dear little Nora.
“Yes darling, come in and sit down in that chair.” Matilda’s thick brogue was barely above a whisper as she directed her daughter to the empty corner of the room. With her free hand, Matilda helped Nora free herself from the constraints of her woollen outer wear, which was rapidly becoming heavily laden from the melting snow.
Nora settled back into the chair and looked around the room with her brown, doe-like eyes. Three of the four walls where lined with chairs that where occupied by patients waiting to be seen. They seemingly paid no notice to the newcomers, each absorbed in their own misery and plight. A man with beady red-rimmed eyes looked distressfully from behind the handkerchief that was covering the majority of his face. His obvious misery caused Nora to shrink for fear of catching his ailment as her mother approached the nurse who had appeared behind the reception desk.
“Excuse me, please. We have an appointment with the doctor.” Matilda’s voice was barely audible.
“Name?” The nurse bellowed, without looking up.
“McNevin, Matilda McNevin.” The nurse looked up, making a quick assessment of Matilda before she scowled with disdain and looked back down at the schedule book. “I have a Caitlin McNevin; no Matilda.”
Matilda sighed, frustrated with the obvious prejudice that the nurse was emanating. Was it her poverty or nation of origin that bothered this rude and self-important woman? She held the comment she longed to make about the nurse’s arrogance at bay, knowing it would not help the situation. “I am Matilda. My baby is Caitlin McNevin. She’s... she’s quite ill.”
“Sit down. I’ll call you when the doctor can see you.” The nurse’s eyes never left the paperwork on her desk as she clipped her orders to Matilda; waiting until Matilda had settled in the chair next to Nora before looking up and briefly scanning the room. She smiled warmly at an elderly woman and nodded congenially at the man with the red rimmed eyes before scowling darkly when her eyes met Nora’s. Nora quickly hid her face in the sleeve of her mother’s coat.
The nurse picked up a file and walked from behind the reception desk. “Mr. Roberts, follow me please.”
The red-rimmed eyes of an elderly, oversized man squinted as he smiled in satisfaction while he heaved his weight out of his chair and stabilized his balance before following the nurse down the short corridor and into the examining room.
Matilda settled in for the long wait. Her body felt exhausted and achy. She closed her eyes and allowed herself to drift off and reminisce about the happier times and the life she had led in Ireland. Matilda was reveling in memories of the warmth, gaiety and excitement that she experienced at the last festival she attended before they had foolishly left her beloved Ireland, the Feast of St. Michael, when her attention was yanked back toward the infant she held in her arms as the buxom nurse in crisp white attire, abruptly ordered them to follow her into the pediatric examination room. The nurse barely harbored a look of disdain for the haggard looking trio as they trailed behind her into the small, bright room.
Nora gaped in awe at her surroundings; such bright and vivid colors! The wallpaper sported cartoon animals of all shapes and sizes. The table where her mother laid her sister was located in the center of the room, allowing the doctor freedom to move around it. A teddy bear mobile dangled above one end of the table, offering entertainment for small patients.
Nora sucked the warm air into her lungs as her eyes opened even wider to view the tall man in a white jacket entering the room. Ignoring her, he walked briskly toward the table and immediately began to examine her baby sister, Caitlin.
Matilda and the doctor spoke in hushed whispers. Nora sensed panic in the voice of her mother and concern in the voice of the doctor.
“Will she be alright doctor?” pleaded Matilda. She wanted to know, yet was afraid of the answer.
“Time will tell; time will tell. I am sorry you didn’t get her here at the first onset of the fever. We have seen cases, when treated early enough, where the patient escapes any repercussions to the body and grows up strong and healthy. But this child is barely breathing and her heart sounds weak. I will give you something to keep her comfortable and we will start her on an antibiotic and then we pray. That is the best I can do for you.”
Nora grabbed the hem of her mother’s coat as she looked in the corner of the room at the two brilliantly glowing women standing in the corner. Their beautiful longs gowns shimmered of a pastel rainbow when they moved, yet appeared linen white when still. She tried to get her mother’s attention to point these beautiful ladies out, but to no avail.
The women looked down at Nora with warm and friendly smiles. Their eyes twinkled with a starlight effect. The scent emanating from them was of a flower she had smelled long ago. It was the scent of honeysuckle; like what was growing outside her baby sister’s window. As they approached, the scent grew stronger.
Nora looked down at the hems of their gowns and was amazed to note that they where a few inches above the floor. She could see no feet under their gowns and wondered how these ladies where able to float like that. They stopped in front of her and she experienced a warm, soothing feeling of comfort that she had never felt before. It was so peaceful and gentle. Nora’s head became light and it was difficult to focus as the glowing women continued on toward the baby on the table.
The doctor and her mother remained deep in conversation; oblivious to the women picking up her sister. Oddly enough, Nora felt no urge to speak. She remained planted in one spot, dreamily watching the two women as they raised their arms, holding Caitlin high toward the ceiling. Her sister was silent and motionless.
As the women lowered the infant, enormous glowing wings of brilliant gold appeared from behind their backs and enfolded the trio. It was difficult to know how long they remained like that. Nora seemed lost in time and space, mesmerized by the vision before her. Her mother and the doctor kept on talking.
The glowing women lowered their wings and placed the small child back on the table and she moved slightly while a small whimper from her tiny lips immediately caught the attention of the doctor and her mother. They seemingly ignored the glowing ladies who stood quietly and watched as the doctor examined Caitlin one more time. He turned to her mother, pleased and surprised with his findings.
Matilda began to cry and Nora reached up to comfort her teary eyed mother. She received a loving hug as her mother’s gentle voice in her ear whispered, “These are tears of joy, my darling. Your sister will be fine. Caitlin will be fine!”
As they turned to leave the room, Nora looked back for one more view of the two beautiful glowing women, but saw no one. They had left as quietly as they had arrived. She made no mention of them to her mother and as time passed by, the beautiful glowing ladies became a faded memory.

~
One month later, while checking on the peacefully sleeping infant, Matilda peered into the room to discover a bright glowing woman bent over Caitlin’s crib. The woman’s billowing dress rippled with the colors of a pastel rainbow as she slowly passed her hands over the infant. She reminded Matilda of an angel from one of the fairy tales her mother had entertained her with during her childhood. Not feeling compelled to enter the room, she dreamily returned to her bed for the most complete and deepest rest she had experienced in years. When she awoke in the morning, Matilda recalled her dream and smiled.




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