This book is for my mother, for without her strength, I would not be who I am today. I thank God for her, my wife, Christine, who has stuck with me through so many hard times, and I thank my best friend, Steve, for without his support and willingness to read my manuscript and help edit it, this book would never have been ready.
The wind picked up; its unrelenting force driving the rain against the castle’s great walls. Lightning streaked through the angry clouds, accompanied by thunderous claps that would boom and rumble away into the distance. Before one flash could fade away, another replaced it.