Earth Awakened is the latest book in the Terran Realm series
BLURB: On a dig in southwestern Indiana, Earth Keeper Lily Redfern, a dedicated scientist and unworldly young Terran woman, is the chosen Earth Talisman. Struggling to stop an earthquake that threatens to split North America in half, she gets help from Carr Madoc, the Protector-Consort chosen to guard her and supply her with his strength.
In New York State, Algernon Brody plots to create chaos in the world for his and his Destroyer friends’ financial gain. The earthquake in Indiana was only the beginning. His Air Keeper wife, and the chosen Air Talisman, Autumn hates him for killing her parents and abusing her. Trent Steed, his half-human/half-Terran aide, loves Autumn and will do anything to get her away from the vile Destroyer.
What Brody does not know is his act of greed will unbalance Earth and trigger the beginning of end times.
Can the two Talisman couples restore balance, or will Brody’s foul acts signal the end of all life on Earth?
Monday, 10:30 a.m. (EST) An archeological dig in southwestern Indiana.
Lily Redfern scraped at the rich, dark earth covering what she suspected was the mound’s stockade, a fortifying wall that surrounded the central portion of the ancient site’s structures. Moaning, she arched and rubbed at the pain nagging her lower back.
Resting for the first time that morning, her expert gaze swept the dig site. The ancients had chosen well. The ancients in this instance were Terrans, or Mississippians as the humans had named the prehistoric mound builders. From the top of the mound, she could see for miles. The elevation allowed for easy access to the wind and water; subterranean aquifers as old as time were buried deep within the Earth, and the Ohio River was a mere ten miles to the south. In the distance, the mighty, life-giving river gleamed like liquid fire under the bright spring sun. Earth energy, her elemental affinity, was also abundant, and ley lines deep under the ancient site hummed and buzzed with power waiting to be plumbed.
The element of Spirit ran strong here. This was a place of power, of Earth magick. And, under all the wrong circumstances, it was a site of potentially horrific destruction.
A sharp pain traveled her spine, exacerbating an ache in her temples. She gasped. Something was horribly wrong, more than an aching back from bending over too long at the dig, more than the subtle head pain that had grown fiercer as the spring morning had passed.
Taking a drink of water from her ever-present sports bottle, she used her five normal senses and searched for anything out of place. Finding nothing, she tapped into her essence, the spirit at her core that made her a Terran Earth Keeper, and sent it down into the earth.
Sounds of grinding and crashing spoke to her psi and tore through her mind like a tornadic wind. These were the sounds of an Earth in the early stages of tearing itself apart. She cried out as the Earth’s pain more fully invaded her body. Bending over, her head touching the ground, she clasped her arms around her middle. She groaned as the intense heat and nausea roiled through her. With deep, calming breaths, she managed not to lose what little was in her stomach. Consciously, urgently, she dissipated the energy she’d absorbed from the cataclysm shaping up many kilometers below the surface. The excess power excited the air around her. The resulting mini-whirlwinds teased her hair loose from the tightly woven French braid she habitually wore on a dig.
Shoving at the escaping strands, she struggled to her feet. Arms extended to each side, she reached with all her Earth Keeper magick and searched the ground beneath her feet once again. And, again, she found the signs of major seismic activity.
“Impossible,” she muttered. There had to be a mistake. It was inconceivable. This was not a normal quake for the area. Not normal at all. It was too deep and portended to be too strong.
Glancing around, she located the other, mostly human, members of the dig. They stood by the chieftain’s structure at the uppermost part of the mound. She’d purposely chosen to dig away from the rest today. She had problems–she guessed attempted rape would be considered a problem–with the excavation team’s leader, Darcy Miller. Miller was a Terran like herself, but of the Protector class with an affinity to Earth.
No matter what he was, he’d always been a Class-A jerk and a thorn in her side. But lately he’d surpassed his asshole status and graduated to a stalker, pressuring her to have sex with him. Last night, he’d taken the decision out of her hands. He’d sneaked into her room at the small motel in town and sought to rape her while she slept. She suspected he’d drugged her soda at the evening meal since she slept so deeply. Luckily, a sixth sense and fear-induced adrenaline roused her enough to fight him off before he fully entered her.
Images of his leering face and large, muscled body as he lay on top of her played behind her eyes in a repeating loop. Over and over–her own personal horror film. The marks from his fingers bruised her arms; his attempt to enter her left even more bruises on her mons. The stench of his sweat lingered on her skin even after two showers and liberal applications of her favorite body lotion and perfume. But what was worse was his odor; it was so strong, fetid, she could taste it. Gagging, she reached for her water bottle and took a long draw from it, washing away the remembered taste, wishing she could vanquish the memories as easily.
No wonder she’d chalked up her early morning headache and impending sense of dread to the violence perpetrated upon her. But she’d been wrong. Maybe fatally wrong. What had caused her physical and mental distress was much worse than being attacked.
Far beneath her, the Earth was self-destructing.
She dissipated the seismic energy automatically, attempting to halt the progress of the quake before it reached the surface.
The masculine voice filled with rough machismo and overbearing conceit caused her racing heart to speed up even more. She looked up. Darcy waved at her then headed her way, with a self-satisfied smile on his smarmy lips. The bastard acted as if nothing had happened, as if she’d wanted his sexual advances.
Shaking her head, she didn’t have time for his unbridled idiocy now. She raised a hand in an attempt to halt his forward progress. He ignored it. Figured. He was nothing if not persistent. It had taken a shot of Earth energy into his balls to get him off her.
Mumbling foul words under her breath, she hurried to meet him. They had very little time to save the humans.
“We’re breaking for lunch.” He reached for her. “Come on, you’ll ride with me.”
“No!” She put her hands behind her back to avoid his. Childish? Yes. But Darcy, while not much taller, could match her strength and more. Bruised balls and her threat to emasculate him while he slept were the only reasons she’d managed to get him out of her room this morning. She hadn’t reported the assault, or any of his earlier sexual harassment, to the Keepers of the Environment, the organization that employed them both and had funded the dig, because she needed the job. Plus, Miller’s father was a KOTE Council Elder, and when push came to shove, the politically connected Darcy would be believed over her. Life’s lessons had taught her that much. “There’s a problem,” she said. “You need to take the humans and get the hell out of here. Now!”
Darcy frowned. Gripping her upper arms tightly, he pulled her to him and said in a low, savage tone, “Don’t think I don’t know what you’re trying to do. You can’t avoid me. You can’t avoid us.”
Us? Not in a million years.