The Stone of Secrets

Book 1 in a hit new trilogy by historical fiction writer K. L. Nelson.

Archaeology prodigy Skye McAlister is running out of time. She is deciphering a language that has been lost for over a thousand years. But an elusive and powerful sect wants her dead. Skye must discover the secret on the strange stone her team has unearthed, and why someone is willing to kill to keep it hidden from the world.

The Stone of Secrets debuts the historical fiction trilogy chronicling Skye’s adventures.  In this first book, she teams up with hunky FBI agent Emmett Burke to bring down the largest crime syndicate in the history of the world, ‘The Pact.’ In order to find the head of this elusive crime family, Skye and Emmett must first decipher the strange symbols on the Pictish stone discovered by her young team of archaeologists. And they must do it before The Pact finds Skye.

Skye and Emmett race to several ancient sites throughout Europe as they trace The Pact’s journey through history. Each new site gives them a different piece of the puzzle to understanding the sinister society and their plan for world domination. As Skye learns more, she begins to wonder if she plays an even bigger role than she thought.

To complicate things even more, Skye must deal with her budding feelings for Emmett. She definitely feels herself falling for him, but is she ready for a relationship so soon after an ugly divorce? One thing is certain: Skye is in for a rocky ride.

“Historical fiction is my favorite genre,” reports author K. L. Nelson. “I love putting history into a context that people enjoy reading. It’s the best of both worlds. If TSOS inspires people to learn more about our past, I will consider it a success.”

The Stone of Secrets plot-twists its way through the middle ages, culminating in a surprising finale. The reader definitely wants more after the shocking conclusion. He or she sees that past, present and future are tied together with timeless cohesion. We discover that we are not alone on our journey through life. As Sir Isaac Newton wisely proclaimed, we stand on the shoulders of giants.

Archaeology meets historical fiction in The Stone of Secrets

“Stop playing games,” Skye said sternly. She knew Emmett Burke well enough to recognize he was oozing with ulterior motives.

And Emmett knew Skye well enough to realize it was only a matter of time before she figured everything out. “Alright look,” he said, taking her aside. “I work for the FBI…”

“Ha!” Skye burst out. “And the FBI is suddenly interested in archaeology?”

“Not hardly,” Emmett continued seriously, “but someone is and they’ve taken a keen interest in your project.”

Skye realized Emmett was staring her right in the eyes, and he wasn’t smiling. “Wait,” she said, pushing his hands off her shoulders. “You are an FBI agent? And some…what…some criminal is watching us? Why?”

“I don’t know yet,” Emmett replied seriously. He could see Skye wasn’t processing this well. “Look, if you don’t believe me just look at the thicket of trees to the north next time you’re at the site. He’s been there watching for weeks.”

Skye gasped. Now things started falling into place. “Why don’t you arrest him?” she asked.

“On what charge?” he replied. “He’d be back on the street in two minutes. Besides…” Emmett cut himself off, not knowing how much he should tell her. He trusted her; he’d vetted her and the entire team. But he wasn’t sure if sharing too much would put them all in danger.

“Besides what?” Skye pressed.

“Look, Skye. I may need your help. These guys don’t take no for an answer. They’re big and very elusive.”

“What guys?” Skye asked. “Who are you talking about?” She sounded as if she would take them on herself.

“Do you think the FBI is interested in this guy in the trees?” Emmett asked seriously. “We’re not in the business of putting henchmen in jail for a few months. The FBI has been after his organization for years, but we’ve always been three steps behind. Then you come along and suddenly their network lights up from L.A. to Chicago. I don’t know why, but someone is very interested in what you are digging up out here.”

“This doesn’t make any sense,” Skye said. “It’s just archaeology! We do it all the time.”

“Not to them,” Emmett assured. “They want to know what you’re up to, Skye. And trust me; they won’t stop until they find out.”

The professor sighed. “What do you need me for?”

Emmett shifted his weight. “Right now I need a decoy,” he explained. “I need your team out there digging every day keeping this guy occupied. If they find anything, have them cover it up and dig somewhere else. And when you’re not at the site I need you studying that stone. I need to find out why they’re so interested in this project.”

A look of terror shot over Skye’s face. “Emmett what is buried out there?”

Emmett knew exactly what she was talking about. The criminals may have concealed something in the ground, a stash of some kind or perhaps a body. But the agent already had that covered. “I don’t think they’re nervous about you finding something they’ve buried. I’ve been watching them. They haven’t become jittery at any particular point in your excavation. You guys have been all over that site.” Emmett took a breath and continued, “No, it’s gotta be something about that stone. That’s what has piqued their interest.”

“Alright, we’ll do our best to help,” Skye said, still not quite believing this was happening. She thought for a moment and then looked up. “And Emmett, I need you to do something for me.”

“What is it?” he asked.

Skye’s hand shot up and struck Emmett’s face cleanly.

“Don’t ever lie to me again,” she said.

Emmett stood watching the woman walk away. Slowly his look of bewilderment gave way to a smile.

“Skye McAlister,” he said under his breath, “you are one in a million.”

-excerpt from The Stone of Secrets, by K. L. Nelson

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About K. L. Nelson

K. L. Nelson has had a lifelong passion for writing, history, and Scotland. As a youth he spent two years in the British Isles, gaining a love for that quaint but intensely proud people as he served them as a missionary. Then returning to the United States, he studied history at university. K. L. always believed education was valuable in and of itself, and studied history simply because he loved it. He never intended to make a career of his studies, opting instead to enter the workforce and pursue history as a hobby.

In 2016, K. L.’s wife Tamara finally prevailed upon him to write a book. She even provided the main story idea and much of the inspiration for the protagonist. The project was an invigorating new chapter in the author’s life, and he hasn’t looked back.

“The Stone of Secrets was a lot of fun to create, and I think I have found a new passion. Most people will not read pure history. It’s fallen out of fashion in a world that wants everything right now. But providing people with an entertaining read and letting them discover something they may not have known about history, that is good stuff!”

K. L. resides in rural Idaho with his wife in the shadow of the Tetons. They are the parents of 6 children.


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