Publication Date: September 20, 2016
eBook & Paperback; 532 Pages
Genre: Historical Mystery
Series: The Miramonde Series, Book 1
A Renaissance-era woman artist and an American scholar. Linked by a 500-year-old mystery… The secrets of the past are irresistible—and dangerous. 1500: Born during a time wracked by war and plague, Renaissance-era artist Mira grows up in a Pyrenees convent believing she is an orphan. When tragedy strikes, Mira learns the devastating truth about her own origins. But does she have the strength to face those who would destroy her? 2015: Centuries later, art scholar Zari unearths traces of a mysterious young woman named Mira in two 16th-century portraits. Obsessed, Zari tracks Mira through the great cities of Europe to the pilgrim’s route of Camino de Santiago—and is stunned by what she finds. Will her discovery be enough to bring Mira’s story to life?
Mira moved quickly to the gates. A small door was cut into the larger one so that the castle dwellers could exit from within. She slipped through. Her skirts in her hands, she sprinted down the steep path away from the castle. As she descended the grassy hill and stumbled across the meadow in the dark, all she heard was the sound of her own breath. For a few moments she thought she had escaped unnoticed. Then the stillness was broken by frenzied shouts behind her. “Send the hounds out!” a voice roared. Was that him, Beltrán? Her legs churned through the tall grass, propelled by a burst of fear toward the ancient oak trees at the edge of the forest. She heard the gruff barking of dogs as they raced out the gates. In a moment the cool quiet of the forest enveloped her. She crashed through a thicket of shrubs and fell on her knees in the stream. The icy water shocked the breath from her lungs. Beyond the stream was a small stand of beech trees and a cluster of boulders. Mira splashed through the water, scrambled up the bank of the stream and clawed her way to the top of a large boulder. She lay flat on her back, panting. The first light of dawn filtered down through the trees. Silently she repeated the prayer Elena had invented when she was a child, a worn, beloved talisman that she carried within her heart: “I pray for the mothers, the children, the beasts in the fields, for the sun that warms us, for the moon that lights our darkest nights, and for the starry skies that guide us.” Her prayer was interrupted by a snarling hound looming over the rim of the boulder. It snapped at her until its teeth caught on her sleeve. She yanked back her arm, but not before the hound’s fangs sank into her flesh. Tearing her dagger free from its sheath, Mira plunged it into the animal’s eye. With a high shriek of pain, it released her arm and slid writhing to the forest floor. Slowly, the hound’s life ebbed away. She cradled her wounded arm, her eyes trained on the stream, awaiting the appearance of another hound. I have nothing to defend myself with now, she thought.
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