Kellyn O’Brien stepped out of the car, the rain lashing the roof of the old hotel to her side. Nevada City, California, an old gold mining town turned tourist destination. Her creator lived near here, in a valley a few miles away. The town, with its historic downtown district was the perfect place to conjure up a bar where Kellyn, from the novel A Shadow of Time, and Kate, from Gemini Rising I, and The Light and the Flame (coming soon), could meet. She hurried inside, letting the door slam shut behind her.
Shucking her coat, she glanced across the room. An attractive blonde woman sat on a stool at the far end of the bar. Obviously startled by the crack of the door, the woman turned to look at her, blue eyes piercing. Kellyn hurried over, pulled out a stool, and sat down. Never one to mince words, she said the first thing that came to mind, “I hear you’re a whiner.”
Kate laughed, flicking hair over one shoulder. “So I hear.” She took a sip of beer then licked foam from her upper lip. “Want one?”
“Oh, no. I’m pregnant.” Kellyn looked longingly at the golden brew. “Maybe a Sprite?” The author of their creation didn’t realize that what she wrote in a book went on to fruition in multiple dimensions and in this one it seemed like she’d been pregnant forever.
Kate signaled the waitress, shifted then bent down and snugged up a boot. She glanced at Kellyn, showing her a matching set of kitchen knives tucked into the neck of her Uggs. She mouthed the words, “Just in case.”
Sitting straight, she said to the server, “Sprite please, for my friend.” She turned to Kellyn with a grin and added, “I’m glad you decided to meet me. I’ve so many complaints about the way our author represents us in our novels. Like, when was the last time she really looked at us? In case she hasn’t noticed, we’ve grown.” She followed a male server with her eyes, making the comment to Kellyn that if the guy was candy, she’d take the entire box.
The server stopped in front of her with a questioning look.
Kate said, “Shot of Irish if you please.”
While Kate flirted, Kellyn glanced around, finding the bar cozy. The walls were painted a bright pink, and were offset by the wood of the bar shining a dark mahogany and smooth with age. Cigarette smoke tinged the air. There was even a jukebox in the corner playing something about broken hearts. She could relate. In fact, if Adam’s theory of multidimensionality were true, she’d had her heart broken in more than one dimension, multiple times. She asked, once the server disappeared, “When did your book come out?”
“A few years ago. The next one in the series is due out pretty soon. I think she sent it off to the editor.”
She sighed, and Kellyn took pity on her. “You don’t sound happy.”
Kate added, “I’m not. The book took her ages to finish.” Her eyes hardened. “I just want to go home.”
Taking the Sprite from a female server, Kellyn admired the black leather hot pants and bra on the nubile young woman. She took a sip of her drink before speaking. “She has been sick and she did write another novel right after mine. Redemption is its name. In any case, I’m a stand-alone. No series here.”
“How come?” Kate tipped back the shot and downed it. “Can I have another?” she asked an elderly barmaid with longish gray hair, infinite black eyes, and stop-sign-red lipstick.
“Coming right up.” The woman shuffled down the walkway. She passed the kegs, the bottles, and the one bag of nuts hanging crookedly on metal slats. Dust sprinkled the air as she moved.
“I don’t know why she hasn’t considered it. There could be a sequel if she’d just think about it. I’d like to go on if possible.”
Running her fingers around the rim of her glass, Kate commented, “It’s not all it’s cracked up to be. The writer, your creator,” she added sarcastically, “got the title of my book, Gemini Rising, from the Gemini Observatory, which was the first place to notice the incoming comet that destroyed Earth. As if the first book wasn’t horrific enough, now she has me in the middle of an angelic war that will determine if humanity will survive within the universe. It would have been nice if she’d stopped the telling with me and the kids reunited with Noah.”
Kellyn straightened and winked. “I heard he’s a hunk.” She’d seen a picture of Kate’s lover in the creator’s mind. Dark hair framed a face of chiseled perfection. Shadowed cheeks, demanding eyes, full lips, and just the swipe of a mustache between the upper lip and his nose, any woman would fall for him. A Johnny Depp with blue eyes, she thought. All that was missing was some steam punk clothing that for whatever reason sent her pulse racing. “He’s dreamy.”
Blushing, Kate picked up the shot the server plunked down before her. “That he is.” She tipped back another one. “It would be nice to see him once in a while.”
Kellyn wondered if the color on Kate’s face was for Noah or the alcohol she was downing. “Do you always drink so much?”
“No. In fact, I don’t drink at all.”
“Then you’d better be careful.” Kellyn glanced at her watch. She’d left Scott with Leanore. He was just three and tended not to do well away from her. Besides, there was the house to consider, Shadow Ley. That miserable gothic mess that haunted her steps as well as her mind.
“I heard you inherited a mansion. Must be nice. All I got was an imaginary cabin in the Olam.”
“Where’s that?” Interested, Kellyn put her worries aside.
“It’s the home of angels—where worlds are created.”
“I’ve enough trouble with the one I’m in. Shadow Ley is haunted.”
“I’ve heard. Shenahobet is it?”
“Yeah, a djinn. Somehow we got our dimensions mixed up.” She cocked her head. “I have no idea where the creator came up with that one. She went from sci-fi romance to paranormal horror romance. One moment I’m in one world and the next in another. Makes it kind of hard to keep up with it all.”
Kate flicked a finger at the bartender, indicating another shot. “She has a wicked imagination.”
“What happened between you and Noah?” Kellyn had heard that he’d saved Kate from death and whisked her from Earth.
“We ended up in the home of angels where he was promptly thrown out.” She clicked her fingernails across the bar. “We’re bond mates and since we share emotion, and I wasn’t ready for the responsibility, he was asked to leave by Michael.”
“Who’s Michael?” Kellyn noted Kate’s drawn brow, the determination in her eyes.
“You don’t like him?”
“No. Well, in some respects he’s okay. He’s kind of good looking in a hunky angelic sort of way.” She glanced over. “What about John Aldrich? I heard you have the hots for him.”
Kellyn felt a trifle insulted. “I’m in love and that’s not the same as having the hots, at least not in my world. Although… You see, we share the same nightmare. They’re from another dimension—another life. Shenahobet is deranged and it’s out to destroy my family.” She finished the rest of her Sprite in a single gulp.
“Another?” The waitress appeared—an unwanted intrusion.
“Please.” Wary of strangers, Kellyn kept an eye on her. Shenahobet could take many forms. Her hand crept down to the gun strapped to her leg.
“I’ll get her back someday.”
She glanced back at Kate. “Who?”
“That woman—the author—the one you call the creator. How dare she take liberties with our lives!”
The bar door slammed opened. In walked a frail old woman, her dress dragging on the floor, apron stained with mold. A sense of disgust filled Kellyn as she recognized the djinn. Her hand, like quicksilver, brought up the gun. She glanced at Kate and thought of her son.
All went still. As usual, when caught in a dimension that would not reach completion, things began to go gray. Kellyn’s stomach knotted, when out of the mist came John, arms opened wide, the one dimple on his cheek dented with good humor. He grinned, pulling her into his arms, supplying the comfort she so desperately needed. She hated the changing of worlds. It took her ages to get her bearings. She said, the emotion in her voice telling, “I’m so glad you are here.”
“The creator has decided that this dimension will die, my love. This is a poorly designed alternate world best left alone. Come now, it’s time to go home.”
With that, they disappeared.
Book Blurbs and Links:
Over 5,000 years ago, Sumerian stone tablets warn future civilizations on Earth about the coming of Nibiru. The 10th planet will cross the planet’s orbit, turning the axis by 90 degrees.
The Gemini Observatory in Hawaii has discovered a comet on its way to Earth. Some say it’s a left over fragment of the big bang. Others say it heralds the end of time.
Jason Kelly, a renowned archaeologist, rips his wife, Kate, and their ten-year-old son from their home in San Francisco. Off to a dig outside of Sedona, Arizona, Kate must make her way in the hot, dry, desert city of Phoenix. She misses the fog, the lights, the sounds of people, until one night, a mysterious ship appears in the night sky.
A Shadow of Time
Consumed by a childhood filled with terror and pain, Kellyn O’Brien strives to create the perfect family. Then, disaster strikes. Her husband is dead. Three weeks later, she discovers her son is heir to Shadow Ley, a nineteenth century estate located in the Sierra Nevada foothills.
Still reeling from Michael's death, Kellyn moves to Shadow Ley. Soon after her arrival, the ordinary becomes the extraordinary: broken drinking glasses repair themselves, stair rails that were once old are now new, and suddenly the estate of Shadow Ley is not what it seems.
She turns to the local historian and hears the tale of Shenahobet, the portal guardian, and the Hutto-pah, a tribe of Native Americans related to the Maya. She meets John, a doctor, who experiences visions of other times and places. Her dreams turn into nightmares with windows into past lives, hints of multidimensionality, and the promise of life beyond death.
Legends abound and so Shadow Ley, the home Kellyn had hoped would bring peace to herself and her children, becomes mired first in doubt, then in terror, and finally in love eternal.
Louann Carroll is a Native Californian living in the Sierra Nevada foothills with her husband, Dennis. Mother to three children and grandmother to seven, she is an avid rock, fossil, and gem hunter who enjoys sharing her finds with her grandchildren and friends. She is a student of alternative religion, archaeology, anthropology, and paleontology.
She has written numerous radio talk shows, articles on adoption, and is the author of Gemini Rising, a Sci-fi Romance Series, A Shadow of Time, a Paranormal Romance, and the Journey Series; children's books helping our kids through life.
Louann loves to hear from people who read her books. You can reach her by email or visit her website. Other links are:
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