I’d like to take a moment to talk about family. Family is at the heart of the Forever Avalon series. It’s the very core of my own life experiences and I can’t imagine what my world would be like without it.
Everyone has their own experiences when it comes to family, both good and bad. I can honestly say I’ve been on both sides and I’d like to think that it’s made me the man I am today.
Through writing, I’ve tried to share my love for my family through my stories. It’s not the exact picture of the perfect little family, but what is? They have been, and always will be, an inspiration to me. My family kept me strong during long deployments with their love and support. I kept that going through my novels, Forever Avalon and The Dark Tides.
In this excerpt from The Dark Tides, I wanted to show how family comes together in times of adversity and demonstrates the strength of love, faith and courage. Caution, SPOILERS!
Bryan and Stephanie stepped outside their tent, where Ashley, Andrew, Rose and Edan are waiting. Bryan looked over at Edan and saw he was holding Rose’s hands as he talked to her. Before Bryan could say anything, Sarafina and Hunter joined them, bringing the whole family together.
“Captain O’Brian, are the guns ready to go?” Bryan asked.
“Yes milord, we have 20 canons with about 100 rounds each standing by.”
“Good, stick to the plan. If I have any changes in my orders, I’ll relay messages to you through Maverick, alright?”
“Yes Gil-Gamesh, it will be done,” he said with a bow. As he turned to depart, Rose ignored protocol and, in clear defiance of her parents, kissed him goodbye. Once Captain O’Brian was gone, Bryan glared at Rose, but he knew this wasn’t the time or place for it.
As they gathered together, Hunter broke the silence hanging in the air. “The King asked me to tell his Grandpa good luck today,” Hunter quipped. Everyone just laughed at that, except for Ashley and Rose who were in the dark. “Ask Mom, she’ll explain it to you later.”
“I’m not going to say anything except to tell you all how proud I am of each and every one of you,” Bryan told them. “You have all grown and matured into the best I could have ever hoped for in my children … that includes all of you!” he added, looking directly at Sarafina and Andrew.
“I never really believed in fate or destiny until I arrived on Avalon. Though I still believe that we are in control of our own future, everything that happened has led us to here and now. No matter what, this doesn’t end here. This is only the beginning.”
Bryan’s words inspired them as they hugged each other one last time before leaving … brother and sister, parents and children, husband and wife. Hunter and Andrew head off with Sarafina, leaving on the Gil-Gamesh as he said one last goodbye to Stephanie.
“I love you husband,” she said as she kissed him.
“I love you wife,” Bryan added with their traditional goodbye.
He turned to leave while Ashley, Rose and Stephanie headed toward the hospital. “Okay, now what was Hunter talking about?” Rose asked. “Is Bowen his …”
“Uh-huh …” Stephanie interrupted, trying to be discrete.
“You mean, Hunter and the Queen, they …”
“Yes …” Stephanie cut her off before she said anything out loud.
“Holy …” Ashley cursed.
“Oh that little player,” Rose quipped as they continued to gossip amongst themselves.