Whoot! I got an early Christmas present. My urban fantasy book, The Emerald Key, is now available! You can purchase here:Liquid Silver Books
Bound through time to protect the key to magic, Nic and Cass discover that true power lies in the magic of love. Vicky Burkholder weaves an enticing tale of passion and suspense in The Emerald Key, book one of her exciting new series, Crystal Keys.
“Send me back. I have to save her.” Nicodemus’ boots clicked on the dark tile in the small room.
Three women watched him pace from where they were seated on their stools in front of a large backlit loom. No other light shone in the room. Though his voice did not echo, he could see neither walls nor ceiling, only the three women and their work. He’d been here before and each time, felt both closed in, and open to the universe.
“I must return,” he insisted.
“What you ask is not possible,” the oldest of the three said. “Her spirit has already moved on and the guardianship of the key has passed to another, though still in her line.”
“But you weave the threads. You can send me to her. You can ensure I’ll find her.”
“We weave as we must,” the second sister said. “You have been granted more than any other Protector.”
The third took up the narration. “Twice have you been sent and twice have you failed in your duty.”
His head hung. “I know I ask a lot. Don’t doubt my appreciation. But I didn’t fail in my duty to the key. The key is safe.”
“Which is why you live,” the first said.
Why I lived?
“The doorway must remain closed,” she said. “The keys will be scattered. Though each contains its own power, together they hold the secret to the realm of magic. A realm that must remain closed to humans. You must always protect the key—even if doing so means sacrificing the Keeper.”
“I can’t protect against an unknown. Who is the shadow following her?”
“We do not know,” the three said together.
His breath caught. “You don’t know? That’s impossible.”
“And yet, true,” the first said. “We know there are more of those who claim membership in the Brotherhood of Ahmit, but not the leader. Even if we put a name to each, it would be from a different time and place, of no use to you. This will be your last chance. If you fail this time, there will be no reprieve. Your thread—and hers—will end.”
“But she is the Keeper of the first key.”
“And when her thread ends, a new Keeper—and a new Protector—will be chosen. The Council of the Immortals has set the boundaries for your return. Your connection to her is too close. You have lost your objectivity. When you return to humanity, you will have no memory of your past lives, nor will she. You will have no help from any of the Immortals. You will live as a human.”
“The boundaries are impossible. I’ll never find her without help.”
The eldest sister pulled a thread from one side of the tapestry and introduced it to the pattern. As she wove, she smiled at Nic. “Trust, Nicodemus. And love.”
“But…” A blinding flash and deafening thunder tore the words from his throat, and he knew no more.