Honour and ‘your word’

your wordThe Prisoner of War who took ‘keeping a promise’ to the extreme post on Steve Liddell’s Musings on a mad world blog is the first thing I read this morning. It intrigued me not only because of my interest in the Great War and the Second World War but because of its story about honour and holding fast to ‘your word’.

Can you imagine a British soldier receiving leave from a German prison camp to visit his dying mother? And then returning because he promised to do so? Well, it happened. Read Liddell’s blog for the whole story.

One of the themes found in my fantasy novel Shadows in the Stone is honour. The other is ‘your word’. In fact, these two words are found in the opening chapter. Readers don’t learn the power of those words until book two in the series Scattered Stones; they discover more about the price the promiser pays if they don’t keep ‘their word’ in book three Healing Stones.

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Exclusive Interview with Bronwyn Darrow

Bronwyn Darrow is one of the main characters in Shadows in the Stone. Recently, I had the pleasure of speaking to him. This interview takes place in the same time frame as the opening scene of the fantasy novel. It provides a peek into Bronwyn’s world before the action gets underway.

Diane: Welcome to my farm, Bronwyn. I hope you don’t mind sitting here in the barn to talk; I don’t want to miss this beautiful day.

Bronwyn: No, I don’t mind. I love being outside. (pulls up a hay bale, sits and leans against a stall gate)

Diane (grabs her own hay bale, plops it against the opposite side of the six-foot aisle running through the barn and sits): Great because I also love the smell of this place.

Bronwyn (grins): Me, too. I love being around horses. It makes me feel free. (tosses his chin toward the pasture where our pony grazes beside the miniature donkey). What breed is that? I don’t think we have that type in Ath-o’Lea.

Diane: It’s a Haflinger.

Bronwyn: He’s a stalky creature. Gelding?

Diane: Yup, about five years old. The breeds supposed to be sure-footed, great for mountain trails.

Bronwyn (flashes his dark brown eyes at me): Can I ride ‘em when we’re done?

Diane: Sure, as long as you don’t take him on the road. He’s not wearing shoes.

Bronwyn (his face lights up): Promise, I won’t. He looks like he loves to run.

Diane: Do you ride a lot in your position at Aruam Castle?

Bronwyn: I do. Learning to ride well is part of a soldier’s training. We spend at least two hours a day working with horses.

Diane: How long have you been serving the castle?

Bronwyn: I’ve been a soldier in the reserve for about two years.

Diane: So you’re not a castle guard? (He shakes his head). What’s the difference?

Bronwyn: The soldiers are a reserve for the castle guard. When a guard retires, dies or is injured to the point he can’t fulfil his duties, his position is filled by a soldier. This means the castle guard is always working at full capacity with well-trained men.

Diane: What duties do you perform as a soldier?

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