Read Thief Online

Authors: Linda Windsor

Tags: #Fiction, #General, #Historical, #Christian, #Religious, #Love Stories, #Celtic, #Man-Woman Relationships, #redemption, #Kidnapping Victims, #Saxons, #Historical Fiction, #Scotland, #Christian Fiction, #Alba, #Sorcha, #Caden, #Missing Persons, #6th century


What people are saying about …


“I've read and loved many of Linda Windsor's novels, but
runs away with the prize as my absolute favorite! The conflicts are real, the characters more so, with larger-than-life Caden O'Byrne fighting body and soul to win a spirited woman worthy of his warrior's heart. Stirring romance, high adventure, and genuine faith all beat like a drum from first page to last. Once you start reading,
is sure to steal your every waking hour!”

Liz Curtis Higgs,
best-selling author of
Here Burns My Candle

“A beautiful thief who steals so that she can rescue enslaved children, a warrior who courts death to escape the horrors of his past, a romance forged in exotic and tumultuous sixth-century Scotland—Linda Windsor's
captured my imagination. With its amazing historical details, great spiritual truths, and richly layered love story,
stole my heart.”

Sue Harrison,
national speaker and author of the international best-seller
Mother Earth Father Sky

“What a wonderful story! Linda Windsor blends unforgettable characters, heart-pounding drama, and intriguing facts about sixth-century Scotland to create another keeper. I highly recommend
to anyone searching for a story of love, faith, and second chances.”

Amanda Cabot,
author of
Tomorrow's Garden

“If you are up for a Scottish adventure in the time and land of King Arthur, this book is for you! The colorful characters are full of faults, but they learn that God is a Father of forgiveness. There is never a dull moment as Caden and Sorcha fight for their lives on every page.”

Rhonda Larson,
book review for
Affaire de Coeur

“From heart-wrenching to heartwarming,
is a nonstop adventure that will capture you until the last page. And long after you've closed the book, you'll find that Windsor's characters are unforgettable.”

Michelle Griep,
reviewer for Novel Reviews and author of

“Linda Windsor's
is riveting! Don't miss this compelling harmony of courage, spirit, and legend.”

Deb Stover,
award-winning author

catapulted me into the sixth century with adventure, intrigue, and realistic characters. I had no desire to leave until I consumed the last delicious morsel. Stunning and unforgettable!”

Miralee Ferrell,
speaker and author of
Love Finds You in Tombstone, Arizona

“A beautifully written redemption story,
encompasses the faith journey of two strong-willed individuals who are both self-sufficient and determined to survive. After being betrayed by people bent on their destruction and sentenced to punishment despite their innocence, Caden and Sorcha learn to trust God for the future and are rewarded with something they never thought they would experience again … hope. Linda Windsor has crafted an intriguing and spiritually satisfying novel that will keep readers hooked on the Brides of Alba series and longing for more.”

Michelle Sutton,
author of over a dozen inspirational novels

“Sorcha knows how to sing to the crowd, and so does Linda Windsor. With deft skill, Linda unfolds a tale of life and death in an unforgettable bygone world. Bright melodies of friendship, forgiveness, and second chances rise above darker tones of betrayal, revenge, and hopelessness in a masterful composition. Don't miss Linda Windsor's

Janalyn Voigt,
literary judge, social marketing mentor, and author of

“Linda Windsor pens another amazing novel. Her storytelling skills effortlessly take you back in time. Enjoy!”

Lindi Peterson,
author of
Her Best Catch

“The time of King Arthur comes alive again in
. Through her characters, Windsor demonstrates that personal salvation through Christ is a choice available to everyone.
is not a novel written for ladies only. It's full of enough swordplay, intrigue, and action to please readers of both genders. Windsor's artful use of believable dialogue, combined with her ability to draw compelling word pictures of the scenes, make
a fast-paced and pleasant read.”

Lee De Bevoise,
award-winning former newspaper and magazine editor and author of the
Book Talk
column at

“Linda Windsor swept me away in
captivating me with her unpredictable and vibrant characters, and the historical, clan-divided Scottish landscape, heavy with spiritual and magical elements, enchanted me, keeping me reading until the end. I'm eager to read the next book in the series.”

Elizabeth Goddard,
author of
The Camera Never Lies
Freezing Point

“Linda Windsor's
is another painstakingly researched, beautifully written, and imaginative tale of love and adventure and transforming faith in sixth-century Scotland. I'm eager to read the next book in the series.”

DeAnna Julie Dodson,
author of
In Honor Bound


Published by David C Cook

4050 Lee Vance View

Colorado Springs, CO 80918 U.S.A.

David C Cook Distribution Canada

55 Woodslee Avenue, Paris, Ontario, Canada N3L 3E5

David C Cook U.K., Kingsway Communications

Eastbourne, East Sussex BN23 6NT, England

The graphic circle C logo

is a registered trademark of David C Cook.

All rights reserved. Except for brief excerpts for review purposes,

no part of this book may be reproduced or used in any form

without written permission from the publisher.

The website addresses recommended throughout this book are offered as a resource to you. These websites are not intended in any way to be or imply an endorsement on the part of David C Cook, nor do we vouch for their content.

This story is a work of fiction. All characters and events are the product of the author’s imagination. Any resemblance to any person, living or dead, is coincidental.

Scripture quotations are taken from the King James Version of the Bible. (Public Domain.)

LCCN 2011923884

ISBN 978-1-4347-6477-5

eISBN 978-0-7814-0686-4

© 2011 Linda Windsor

Published in association with the literary agency of Alive Communications, Inc., 7680 Goddard St., Suite 200, Colorado Springs, CO 80920

The Team: Don Pape, Ramona Tucker, Amy Kiechlin, Sarah Schultz, Caitlyn York, Karen Athen

Cover Design: DogEared Design, Kirk DouPonce

Cover Photo: Shutterstock 1671724, royalty free; 123RF 5457426, royalty free.

iStockphoto 9276724, royalty free.

First Edition 2011

To my mom and children,
for their continued support and sacrifices to allow me time to research and write this novel.

My son Jeff's by-the-Good-Book faith helped keep me grounded,
while my daughter, Kelly, challenged me to find ways to
for men
who discount Scripture from the other side of the boat.

To David C Cook,
for all their efforts to make this project the best it can be.

And finally, to my Heavenly Father,
the Great Creator who continues to show me how to fish in places I never would have looked. Thank You, Jesus, for Your love and grace.

Dear Reader,

I mentioned how a magazine article explaining what happened to the Davidic line after the nation of Israel scattered (1 and 2 Kings) started me on a research journey that resulted in this Brides of Alba series. With Book One introducing the O’Byrne clan, Book Two,
, carries on with Caden’s story. It isn’t easy to take the villain from one novel and make him hero material in the next, but, with God’s grace, anything is possible. Like our own faith journeys, early on or way down the road, it’s a bumpy ride, especially when God forgives but we won’t let the past go.

I found a delightful old Scottish proverb that became Caden’s theme: “
Love of our neighbor is the only door out of the dungeon of self.”
And how true this is. When we stop focusing on ourselves and think about others, reaching out to them, our own troubles seem to fade. I know this helps me when I start sinking into chemical depression, though sometimes I have to force myself out of my cave when I don’t feel like it. The reward is relief from my own troubles and the joy of helping someone else.

Healer, Thief
is also set in the late sixth-century Scotland of Arthur, prince of Dalraida, the only historically documented Arthur. Most scholarly sources point to Arthur, Merlin, and even Guinevere/Gwenhyfar as titles, so it’s easy to see why the Age of Arthur lasted over one hundred years. The Dark Ages become even darker when you consider that there was no standard for dating and even the records that exist are written in at least four different languages. Neither names, dates, place names, nor translations are completely reliable. So I quote eighth-century historian Nennius: “I have made a heap of all I could find.”

, we see how the Grail Church sought to preserve the royal bloodline of David and that of the apostolic priestly line from the first-century family and friends of Jesus. (See
Arthurian Characters
The Grail Palace
) Nora Lorre Goodrich, in several of her authoritative books on Arthur and company, suggests this was done by arranging marriages of both lines into the royal families of the British Isles. The offspring born of both lines were raised and trained by the church to become kings, queens, warriors, and priests.

The arranged marriage of Princess Eavlyn, my heroine’s benefactress and mentor, to the historical Saxon Prince Hering of Northumbria exemplifies this. Eavlyn’s goal is to build a church in Northumbria as its princess and future queen. Many Saxons were converted in this way—by the Christian queens who married pagan Saxon kings and built churches where the people might hear God’s Word. Such marriages (
) also brokered peace between the two enemy peoples. The early church was very involved in this type of matchmaking and diplomacy.

nature magic,
or protoscience and dark magic, both involving the supernatural aid of angels and the Holy Spirit or demons, clash. I read and reread Scripture as I worked on this project and endeavored to show how nature magic was used by Christian and nonbelieving druids, with their fruit—good or evil—separating the two. Bear in mind that
in that time was a word for any professional—doctors, judges, poets, teachers, and protoscientists, as well as priests.
meant “teacher, rabbi, magi, or master,” not the dark, hooded stereotype assumed by many today.

, I address astrology as used according to Scripture. It is not forbidden to look for signs in the sky, but it is forbidden to worship the creations instead of the Creator. God’s kings and prophets have said the heavens declare God’s glory. In
, the princess states that God has been teaching/giving mankind signs in the heavens since He hung the first clock and calendar by setting the planets and moon into motion in Genesis to keep time and mark seasons. God further ordained Jesus as His Son by the star of Bethlehem on the day of Christ’s birth, and He mourned His death on the day of the crucifixion with darkness. These astrological events were key in most of the druids’ accepting Christ. They believed man
make up Scripture, but only the Creator God could write such messages across the sky, messages that were recorded and passed down in histories of believers and nonbelievers across the world at that time by the druids/magi. The website
details how this history is combined with NASA technology to validate Scripture.

The heavens guide us but do not dictate to us. Astronomy is the science; astrology is probability and statistics based on historically observed and recorded data. Think mathematics, a great tool deserving of study and use, but nothing worthy of worship. Only God is a certainty and beyond the realm of man’s measure. Many call Him the Great Mathematician. Think of all the knowledge man has gained, the mathematical advances learned, and mysteries unfolded from watching the stars.

I have to thank God up front that we all don’t have to be mathematicians or scientists to get into heaven. To me and those like me, He gave parables.

And he said, Unto you it is given to know the mysteries of the kingdom of God: but to others in parables; that seeing they might not see, and hearing they might not understand. (Luke 8:10)

Thank You, Lord, for parables.

Beloved, believe not every spirit, but try the spirits whether they are of God: because many false prophets are gone out into the world. Hereby know ye the Spirit of God: Every spirit that confesseth that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is of God: And every spirit that confesseth not that Jesus Christ is come in the flesh is not of God: and this is that spirit of antichrist, whereof ye have heard that it should come; and even now already is it in the world. (1 John 4:1–3)

Here is truth, plain and simple. God gives us wonderful gifts and revelations. But how we use them—for good or for evil—determines what is of God and what is not. The fruit will tell in abundance.

I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much
for without me ye can do nothing. (John 15:5)

As I was writing this today, I’d just read Matthew 10 in my morning devotional study, and I think it is no accident. In verses 1–5, Christ equips the disciples with power over disease and demons.
He goes on to tell them not to use these gifts to amass fortune and recognition for themselves. They are instructed to go in poverty and depend on the generosity of those they help for their basic needs. Instead of glory and praise, they are to expect hostility sometimes.

The druids who earnestly sought truth, light, and the way gave up their high positions of power and prestige to become Christian priests of little material means, like Christ. The healer Brenna received such hostility from believers, even though she accepted no glory or payment for her gift. The princess in
, when criticized by believers and nonbelievers, states clearly that only God is certain, but heavenly signs can point to a
outcome, as they do with weather.

Now, please, I am not advocating everyone take up astrology. I am stating that there is a purpose for it, that God speaks through the heavens, and that we should be reluctant to judge those who do study the heavens for signs from God. We may have more in common with them than we think. Frankly, God is enough for me … although I do check the Weather Channel quite often.

I mentioned in my last book how my daughter had been stalked and assaulted in college, blamed and turned against God, and became involved in Wicca, or white witchcraft. It was through research of the Dark Ages that I learned by God’s grace to witness to her effectively when she would not hear anything from the Word. I continue to include this type of faith-affirming information in

Everyone knows the story of the disciples’ fishing all night to no avail. Then Jesus told them to try the other side of the vessel. They did and netted a boatload. My child would not listen to Scripture, but, Celtophile that she was and is, she was all ears about the history and oral traditions of that era and culture that evolved into many of today’s New Age beliefs. These historical and oral traditions underscored or clarified what Scripture revealed and separated the wheat from the chaff.

The results of my
for my daughter were not as instant as that of the disciples. It took a journey of many years before she was ready to jump in the boat. But the net had been cast and repeatedly
each time I found something new to share—some common ground to draw her to Christ. Both mother and daughter have emerged stronger from that storm—stronger in faith, friendship, and love. We still love the Celtic music, history, and lore of our heritage but know now what vital part God played in it. I share this story because maybe someone out there needs to know how to approach a beloved nonbeliever who will not hear Scripture or traditional witness but must be reached from the other side of the boat.

This is my passion. To reach out and enable others to reach out effectively to those who are swimming on the other side of the boat from the written Word with a net that will bring them to Christ, the Living Word.

In His love,

Other books

Beneath a Waning Moon: A Duo of Gothic Romances by Elizabeth Hunter, Grace Draven
When Death Draws Near by Carrie Stuart Parks
Found by Stacey Wallace Benefiel
A Splendid Gift by Alyson Richman
A Christmas Wish: Dane by Liliana Hart
Giving It Up by Amber Lin
The Wizard's Secret by Rain Oxford
Sir!' She Said by Alec Waugh, Diane Zimmerman Umble Copyright 2016 - 2023