Tuesday Sampler: The Silence of the Stones by Rebecca Bryn

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In our mission to connect readers, writers, and books, Caleb and Linda Pirtle is showcasing some of the best authors in the marketplace today. Tuesday’s Sampler features an excerpt from The Silence of the Stones a psychological suspense thriller from Rebecca Bryn.

As one reviewer said: Author Rebecca Bryn has carefully woven a complex tale of love and revenge. Alana’s character is at once brave, courageous, insecure and vulnerable. Her story is heart wrenching as she stumbles through a web of lies so complex the truth seems unattainable. And the lies she has constructed? They protect her, but in doing so prevent her from moving forward with her life.

The Story

Will the secrets written in the stones destroy Alana’s world? Alana, daughter of dysfunctional parents, grabs the chance of a fresh start in a West Wales village after a disastrous relationship.

Her arrival causes ripples and she is thrust into the middle of a conspiracy of silence over a thirty-year-old crime. Nerys has been released from Broadmoor after the evidence that convicted her of child murder was found unreliable:

Rhiannon vows revenge on those who committed perjury to put Nerys away: the runes foretell death and Alana, and all those she loves are in the firing line. An eccentric old woman, a young busker, an investigative journalist, a two-year-old child and an ex-lover make strange bedfellows, but conspire to explode Alana’s world forever.

Can she discover the truth before it’s too late?

The Sampler

Rebecca Bryn
Rebecca Bryn

Dad’s eyes hardened. ‘Alana, strange though this must seem, not everything is about you.’

His tone shocked her. ‘So what is it about?’

‘I retire at the end of the month and I suddenly realised this is it. This is all I have to show for my life. I have what… fifteen active years, if my health holds. My brother died at sixty… I want a life… some freedom, while I can still enjoy it.’

‘A life… freedom… You’ve met someone, haven’t you? You’re having an affair.’

‘That isn’t why I’m leaving your mother… I would have left, anyway. But yes, I’ve met a woman who makes me feel like a man, no, like a teenager, not a useless has-been.’

‘And you think feeling like a teenager is okay when Mum’s sitting at home crying?’

‘Don’t judge what you can’t possibly understand.’

‘But what about Mum? You know she’s not well… God… She’ll be distraught. I’d better get over there.’

He put a hand on her arm but she shrugged it away. ‘Alana, listen to me. I love you. You know that. Don’t ever believe otherwise, whatever your mother tells you. She’s always been a… needy person… pretending she’s not well is a ploy to get her own way. She can be very manipulative. Like she was over Saffy…’

‘What has Saffy got to do with anything?’

‘She has everything to do with it. Mum talked you out of a termination, not that I understand why you wanted one.’

‘We’ve had this conversation.’

‘And you’ve never given me a satisfactory answer. I know you wanted children.’ He sighed. ‘Sweetheart, if you let her, Mum will suck you dry. She doesn’t mean to. I don’t think she realises she’s doing it, and you don’t feel it happening, but one day you’ll realise she’s taken your life and rearranged it according to the gospel of Gweneth Harper.’

‘You haven’t told her, yet, have you?’

‘I wanted you to be prepared, first.’

‘Huh.’ She pushed away her plate and mug and got to her feet. ‘You want me to do your dirty work? You’re spineless. What were you planning to do, send her a text and leave me to pick up the pieces?’

‘No, of course not.’

‘She’s cooked and cleaned and slaved for you for nearly forty years, raised your daughter, and waited for you to have time to spend together.’

‘Time together? Saffy takes all her time.’

She slumped back into her chair. ‘I knew this was down to me. This is about her looking after Saffy isn’t it?’

‘She manipulated you into that choice. I love Saffy. She’s not the reason I’m leaving Mum.’

‘Your leaving isn’t going to force me to become Saffy’s mother, if that’s what you think.’

‘Alana, I didn’t understand why you left Tony. He was crazy about you. You got engaged, for God’s sake, then you go off with someone else. Explain that piece of stupidity if you can.’

She wanted to explain: she couldn’t bear Dad thinking badly of her. ‘I can’t.’

‘So don’t judge me if you’re not prepared to be judged. I accepted that you didn’t want Tony to know about Saffy. I trusted you had your reasons… didn’t press you to explain.’

‘So don’t press me now… please.’

‘A man has a right to know he has a child.’ He put down the teaspoon he’d been brandishing. His hand was shaking; his face took on a greyer shade. When he spoke again, his voice was tremulous. ‘He has a right to see her grow up, be part of her life.’

She hated seeing him so upset. She hated lying to him even more. ‘Tony isn’t Saffy’s father.’

The computer in his brain calculated dates. ‘You slept with someone else while you were with Tony? I thought I’d brought you up better than that.’

‘Maybe I take after you? I loved Tony. I’d have stayed with him… I wanted a child so much. He wanted to wait until we could afford them. House first, then kids.’

He sighed. ‘And that was a reason to put yourself about like a whore? A child at any price?’ His voice was a low growl. ‘Tony wanted the best for you, for his family.’

Her fingers dug into her palms. ‘It wasn’t like that. If all I’d wanted was a child, any child… I wanted Tony’s child… Saffy ruined everything.’

He leaned towards her, his face a greyish-red. ‘Don’t you dare blame this on Saffy.’

‘I’m not.’ She covered her face with her hands and rubbed the tightening band across her forehead. Tears ran unchecked down her cheeks. ‘I was raped, Dad. Saffy is a child of rape. That’s why I didn’t want her.’

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