Friday, July 21, 2017

Sneak Peek: The Shield by CJ Bentley

The Finder Series, Book One
by C.J. Bentley
Clink Street Publishing
Middle Grade Time Travel
101 pages

People lose their belongings. That is a fact of life. It can happen by accident, but sometimes it can happen when you put them in a very safe place and forget where that safe place is. Not many people are good at finding them again.
A young, gutsy girl with a kind heart, who's searching for her own identity growing up in the 1960s, just happens to be very good at finding things. Can she be the one to help return whatever is lost - anywhere and at any time - to its original owner?
With the help of a beautiful yet mysterious wise woman and a chivalrous knight she does just that. She finds and returns his shield, lost in battle, which unbeknown to her holds a secret that is important to his King, the safety of the Kingdom and the life of the daughter of his best friend.
The Shield is the first story in The Finder Series, taking our heroine on extraordinary journeys back in time. Her first adventure takes place in Medieval England in 1340 where she meets King Edward III, his wife Philippa and their son, who will later become the Black Prince.


When writing ‘The Shield’, a story about a young girl who with her friends finds a shield in one time and returns it to the owner in his, it was necessary to set the scene for the loss of Sir Kay’s shield, the prologue introduces us to the knight we come to know as Sir Kay and the setting for the loss of his shield.

He wondered if he was injured but that meant moving and he really didn’t want to move yet, maybe he could just lie here looking at the sky, but then he remembered. He had to move, had to complete his journey and his mission, his King and the future of his country depended upon the message he carried in his shield’s secret hiding place. 
Where was his shield? Sword?  Horse?
He cautiously moved his head to one side mentally noting his helmet was missing. 
He heard, as his senses recovered and then saw a stream, swollen with recent rains, as he moved his head to the other side it appeared to be all around him, it gurgled its way in its hurry to reach the river and then onwards to the sea. 
He moved one leg gently over the edge of the bank and into the water, as the water hit his foot the cold made him catch his breath but it had the desired effect of making him more alert. He didn’t seem to be injured, if he could only get his other leg over the bank he could launch himself upright, not an easy thing to do dressed in chain mail armour but he needed the momentum, so it had to be done.  As he rolled onto his side to let his other leg fall into the stream he felt a sharp, stabbing pain.   He was injured.  He needed to move, to get to safety the villains may still be around. 
He knew who could help him but he had to find his horse to get to her, she was good with herbs and potions, better than any and she knew all about his mission so would heal him quickly to get him on his way to the King, oh, how he needed his horse, where was he?
Ignoring the pain as best he could, he rolled over and bent both his legs over the bank and using all of his remaining strength pushed himself into an upright position.  He was not on an island as first thought but facing the bank of an inlet of land pushing out into the water, a grassy bank covered with wild flowers and young trees with a scrubby planting of young hedge to one side. 
On a better day he would have chosen such a place to sleep in the dappled sunshine, it had a magic about it but now he needed to move and to find his horse quickly to get himself out of danger. 

Following the prologue we are introduced to the main character, a girl, she is living in the nineteen sixties aged ten years and four months and it is the start of the school summer holidays.  She is a girl who has a big heart and is loyal to her friends, she is searching for her own identity and changes her name on a regular basis something her parents show their love for her by treating it as just something she does.  Her older sister however just thinks it’s weird.  They decide to take a picnic and go fishing for small fish in the local stream and eventually find a shield in the silt at the bottom of the stream.  After discussions they decide to take it back to their street and as they are carrying it towards their street they see a strange sight…..

And here she is. . .

Originally heralding from the North of England, C.J Bentley has travelled extensively and enjoyed living in a variety of countries across the world from Dubai to Doha, Qatar and now the countryside in the South of France. A background in teaching and childcare she has always enjoyed creating adventure short stories. However, it was when she became a grandma and with her grandchildren growing up  that she discovered that books seemed to contain only stories of vampires, zombies and farts that she decided seriously to take matters into her own hands and put pen to paper which today she calls The Finder Series.

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