Amber de Burgh is a novice of Bowerwood Abbey, training to become a nun. But one night a wounded man named Lucifer stumbles into the church spouting blasphemy, and everyone says he’s the devil.
Lucifer, or Lucas, has had a tarnished past and his future fares no better. He will do anything to change his lifestyle, even getting caught up in church corruption.
Amber and Lucas are sent on a pilgrimage to Canterbury together. Both of them will have their morals and virtues tested, and there’s a good chance neither of them will return the same.
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Excerpt of Amber – Book 3
Bowerwood Abbey and Monastery, England, 1357
Vespers had just finished, and Amber de Burgh of Blackpool, novice of the Sisters of St. Ermengild, blessed herself as the doors to the church slammed open, and in entered the devil himself.
All heads of the congregation of praying nuns and monks turned toward the door. Father Armand who was conducting the service looked up sharply in surprise.
“Lucifer!” he cried out, startling everyone inside the church. “Bid the devil.”
Commotion broke out and the occupants of the church parted like the Red Sea. The nuns huddled together in a hurry, quickly blessing themselves and praying aloud. The monks gathered together at the other side of the church conversing in hushed whispers.
Amber raised her chin, looking over the heads of the nuns, surprised to see a man standing in the doorway instead of the horned and hoofed demon she expected to find. A bedraggled man with a chain around his neck and chains on his wrists stood in the entranceway. His legs were spread, and his hands raised to stop the doors of the church as they hit the wall and swung back toward him. Lightning illuminated him from behind and thunder boomed from outside. Rain pelted down like a barrage of arrows from the sky, crashing against the stone steps of the church directly behind him.
“Father,” the man said in a low voice through clenched teeth, and Amber realized he was speaking to Father Armand. “I will see you in Hell before I do your bidding again, you bloody bastard!”
Cries of shock went up from the group around Amber. One of the nuns swooned, ending up prone on the floor in a tangle of her black robes and long veil. Several of the sisters rushed over to assist her. The monks at the other end of the church continued talking to each other behind their hands. Amber curiously made her way from the wooden bench at the front of the church closer to the door to gaze upon this spawn of the devil.
“You are naught but the devil,” shouted the priest. “Lord Jesus Christ, we beg your forgiveness for this possessed man who has entered into your house of worship.” The priest made his way down the steps of the dais, raising his book of prayer to the sky as he walked a straight line toward the angry man.
“God’s eyes, look what you’ve done to me,” spat the devil man in the doorway. That’s when Amber noticed the gashing wound in his side and the trail of blood behind him as he took a step forward.
“You will not use blasphemy in the house of the Lord,” reprimanded Father Armand. “And you will remove yourself from these premises immediately.”
“I will not!” shouted the man the priest had called Lucifer, stumbling forward. Catching himself on the edge of a bench, he bent over. “I seek refuge and ministrations and, dammit, I will get what I came for and not be sent away again.” His words were filled with anger and venom. Amber felt the fear in the room as the nuns cowered together watching with wide eyes and the monks huddled together in the shadows. The priest grabbed hold of a tall, freestanding iron candleholder, slowly making his way toward the wounded man.
Lucifer had shoulder-length dark blond hair now soaked from the rain. The water ran in rivulets down his dirtied face and neck. His coarse, brown tunic was ripped down the front exposing his naked broad chest that was scratched and scarred. His face was covered by a mustache and full beard that made him seem as though he’d been on the road for quite some time. The man had a traveler’s bag made of canvas with a long strap slung across his chest that hung down across one side of him. On his waist, he donned a sword and also a dagger. Bent over, he held his hand on his side and slowly stood up, holding his palm outward for all to see it covered with blood.
Shrieks went up from the nuns. Sister Dulcina, the abbess, gathered the women closer.
“Get away from him quickly,” she instructed, moving her large frame in front of them in a protective manner with her arms outstretched as she herded the women together at the front of the church.