Our DEAL OF THE WEEK is the paranormal suspense Shadow Dreams by Teri Barnett. And it’s FREE! If you like Shadow Dreams, we know you’ll like Teri’s other books Pagan Fire and Through the Mists of Time.
WHAT IT’S ABOUT:
Nestled in the plane of Paran, a peaceful town is shocked when their children start disappearing. Portents point to the re-emergence of the ancient priestess cult of Eitel, one known for stealing souls to gain immortality.
Bethany Doro is a healer and a Knower, assisting the Diggers by connecting artifacts and their owner’s. But even with her psychic abilities, she never envisioned the kidnapping of her own daughter, Sarah. Connor Jessup never forgave himself for letting his wife Elizabeth leave so easily. He turned his back on his Nevada town, and on himself.
When Bethany’s latest excavation places the remains of Elizabeth at the center of the cult of Eitel, she knows she must travel to the Earth plane and seek Connor’s help. Arriving in shadow form, she first meets Connor in his dreams. He believes she’s an angel and gladly goes with her back to Paran. Once there, he comes to understand Bethany’s true nature, and finds himself drawn into the search for her missing daughter and the connection to his wife
Now they must unravel the secrets behind the ancient cult and find Sarah before she’s lost forever. As their quest unfolds, they discover an even deeper unexpected journey – one filled with sorrow, loss, and redemption.
Bethany M‘Doro stepped carefully over the grid of string that marked the area where the Diggers were working. The ground was slick and she had to be careful not to slip and fall into one of the holes. Reaching Ian Johns, ducked under the tarpaulin covering his work area and squatted down at his side, feeling a comfortable familiarity in his presence. He handed her the medium-sized silver filigree box he had just discovered. She gingerly turned it over in her hands, carefully washing the red mud away with water from a nearby bucket.
“Did you find the key?” she asked, noticing the container was locked.
Ian shook his head. “What can you tell me about it? If there‘s anything worth saving inside, I don‘t want to destroy the contents trying to get it opened.”
She closed her eyes as several of the workers gathered nearby, eager to hear what the woman had to say about their latest find. Knowers always accompanied them on the digs; they used their ability to read the vibrations left behind on an artifact to tell of its previous owner. This was one of the more important parts of an excavation as it was the Digger‘s duty to help the people of Paran learn of their past.
When Bethany opened her eyes again, the light topaz color had turned a deep azure blue, a sure sign to the men and women around her that she was in the Knowing. She ran her fingers over the elaborate carvings of the box.
“This contains a manuscript,” she started. Then the expression on her face turned from wonder to fear as hundreds of cuneiform letters ran through her mind. “I thought this was only a legend,” she whispered.
“What is it, Bethany? Tell me what you see,” Ian demanded.
“It‘s the Book, Ian. The Book of Eitel.”
“That‘s impossible. The Eitellans are the stuff of myth. A story told to make children behave.”
“Were there any other items with this?” Bethany asked, her voice urgent.
Ian motioned to one of the workers. “Hand me that bucket over there.”
When the worker returned, Ian spread a cloth on the ground. Then, he slowly poured the contents out in front of Bethany. He sifted through the dirt and stones until he located what he was looking for, a woman‘s hair comb. He handed it to the Knower. “Only this. It was located in the layer above the box.”
“Was there anything else?”
Ian leaned over and began sifting the soil between his fingers. “Well, if you look closely at the composition of this dirt, it looks quite a bit like there‘s ashes mixed in. I sifted through some of it and I think there are bone particles here as well, but I can‘t be certain.”
Bethany nodded. She scooped up a handful of the dirt and closed her eyes, waiting for what images may come to her. But there was only darkness. “It‘s no good, Ian.” She brushed one hand against the other, cleaning the dirt away. “There‘s not enough substance left to the bones for me to be able to identify them.” Bethany turned her attention to the comb, moving her fingers over the thin tortoise shell teeth and the slightly raised mother of pearl inlay. This time, the images came.
“I want you to have this, Elizabeth.” A tall man, with thick black hair and piercing eyes, handed the comb to a woman. “I love you,” he whispered.
“Thank you. I‟ll wear it always,” Elizabeth replied, a smile playing about her lips. She rolled her long brown hair into a knot on top of her head and fastened it with the comb. Turning her back to the man, she bade, “Unfasten the buttons for me, Connor. I‟d like to show you just how thankful I am.”
Connor ran his hands along Elizabeth‟s arms in a sweeping caress. He paused at her back and began to remove her dress.
Bethany shook her head to clear it. “I feel like I‘m eavesdropping,” she whispered.
“I couldn‘t hear you, Beth. What did you see? I‘ve never seen you looking this . . . this . . . embarrassed? Is that the word I‘m searching for?” Ian asked. His eyes held a mildly amused look to them.
“Don‘t be ridiculous,” Bethany answered, a little too quickly. If Ian expected her to admit to something, he‘d have a long time waiting! She held up the comb. “I‘ll tell you what I saw. This belonged to a woman. Light brown hair. Tall and thin. It was a gift from a man.” She took a deep breath and looked around at the circle of Digger‘s. “She‘s not native to our land. Her clothing is strange.”
Bethany paused as she struggled to interpret the new images that began spinning before her mind‘s eye.
A light flashed bright in her vision and Bethany unconsciously held up her arm, shielding her eyes. There, within a Paranian kiyolo, the same woman who had received the comb appeared from nowhere. It was as if she came on the very wind itself.
Elizabeth looked around. She was in the altar room. In the middle of the space sat a large stone statue. “An odd place,” she commented, looking over the figure. “I never saw anything like it on Earth.”
Then, as if she just remembered her purpose in coming, she clutched the box to her breast and spoke words that were foreign to Bethany.
When Elizabeth was finished, she held the container out in front of her and admired it. “There now.” She smiled. “If anyone opens you, they‟ll die for certain. A curse you‟ll carry until I say otherwise.”
Like what you’ve read? If you’d like a FREE copy of Shadow Dreams by Teri Barnett, you can get it right here.