Title: Echo (first book of a trilogy)
Author: Lorena Glass
Genre: slipstream historical romance
A man and a woman…
They are two blended souls; one being split in two. Bound by a love that is not of this world.
A cruel curse…
Forbidden from being together in the afterlife, they suffer the same edict on Earth if they ever meet: one of them will always meet a tragic, untimely end.
They have a secret weapon. When one dies, the other goes ahead (or back) in time to their departed lover’s next (or previous) incarnation, thus defying whoever (or whatever) is determined to keep them apart.
An endless circle…
This cycle of death and reunion spans over a thousand years; love and devotion that transcends all barriers, the inevitable grief and suffering, and the question of whether or not they should break the chain of pain and loss—and whether or not they have the courage—by separating forever.
It is a love story like no other, and an adventure story that transports the reader all through time; from the Dark Ages to present day…and beyond.
Karissa absently pushed her dampened auburn hair out of her face and began to walk across the wet sand, crossing her arms over the soaking brown cloak she was wearing, and heading toward whatever was beyond the coast of this land. So far it was no different than any beach she’d ever seen.
She’d walked perhaps twenty minutes when she smelled smoke. She walked another two minutes and heard voices. Her hand went into her cloak pocket. She’d known how imprudent it would be to bring anything from the twenty-first century with her, but she had brought two things for protection, imprudent or not. After all, this was a primitive time, and she was a woman alone. She’d also had to bring two other things, which she could never let anyone see.
Taking about a half a dozen more careful steps, she came upon a little camp. A man and woman were sitting in what looked like a large tent, made clearly of sticks and animal skins. The woman was sitting in the tent, and the man was piling wood on the sand, feeding the small fire he had going.
Karissa stood there looking at them for a long while, trying to muster up the courage to speak to them. She wasn’t usually shy by nature, but she was a stranger here, in more ways than one. The man was completely absorbed in building his fire. The woman—his wife?—had her eyes closed. Her lips were moving. As Karissa stood trying to figure out if the woman was talking in her sleep or just plain schizo, the woman’s eyes suddenly opened and saw her.
At first, the woman looked so alarmed, Karissa was sure she’d shriek. But she didn’t. She merely muttered something to the man, and he looked up and saw Karissa, too. Slowly, he got to his feet. Karissa s hand was still in her cloak pocket. She gripped one of the objects in there tightly, though she still felt far removed from the whole thing. Even as she watched them watching her, the numbness remained. But the man didn’t move toward her. He just stared at her. So did his wife. Karissa knew how strange she looked in her plain but neat and clean clothes. She had, after all, no idea how she should dress for this trip. So they stared at her. She stared at them. They stared back at her. It became pretty damn irritating, so Karissa decided she’d better say something. She didn’t know what time or place this was, but it was safe to assume they didn’t speak English. At least, not the English she knew. But Karissa hadn’t come on this trip completely unprepared.
She spoke in Latin: “Salve. Quis est is locus?”
To her dismay, both their brows furrowed. Universal body language for: I don’t understand.
Karissa’s frustration increased. I don’t fucking believe this. Everybody spoke Latin in the past! Unless this is the stone age. Or the ice age!
The woman said something, addressing Karissa. The man threw his woman a look, evidently commanding her to be quiet, but the woman ignored him. Karissa listened intently. What the woman said was basically unintelligible, but a couple of her words were Latin, or Latin-based. And Karissa wasn’t entirely sure—she was no linguist—but some of the woman’s words sounded vaguely French.
Latin words mixed with French words?
Karissa could now feel the heat of the fire. And she was finally aware of how cold and wet she was. She moved a few steps nearer to the heat. The man snapped something at Karissa, motioning her away. The woman spoke heatedly to the man, obviously chiding him. The man argued back at her. Karissa listened to them go back and forth. Yes, some of the words were French-based. Was she in France? The French language she knew wasn’t like the language these people spoke at all, except for a few words here and there.
Try it anyway. She spoke in French: “Bonjour. Madam. Monsieur.”
They looked less confused now, but still didn’t answer. The man stared at Karissa for a minute more, then suddenly stomped off, disappearing around a sand dune. Karissa watched him go, suddenly afraid. Was he going off to gather a lynch mob, or something?
The woman spoke to her again, gently. Karissa looked at her. She appeared to be in her early thirties, with a pleasant face and gentle blue eyes. She wore what looked like two dresses on top of each other. No coat or cloak. She wore what looked like a piece of brown wool tied around her head so that Karissa couldn’t discern her hair color. She gestured to Karissa, obviously motioning her to sit by the fire.
Karissa smiled and said, “Merci,” hoping the woman understood it, or some part of it, and sat down under the primitive shelter beside the woman. She really was cold. Shivering, she put her hands out toward the fire. She kept her eyes on the fire, feeling the woman staring at her. Karissa wished she would stop. Actually, the woman wasn’t looking at Karissa in particular, she was studying Karissa’s clothes and shoes. Karissa found this out when the woman tentatively touched Karissa’s woolen cloak. Karissa instinctively recoiled. The woman instantly did the same. Karissa looked away. The clothes she came in were as primitive and plain as she’d been able to find, but of course they weren’t primitive and plain enough, not enough to keep from drawing puzzled stares. Or open hostility. Karissa sighed wearily. She wanted to sleep. Sleeping was something she’d gotten very good at after his death. Sleep was an escape. Sleep, her heart whimpered.
But not here. Not now.
I was born Lori Michelle Gasser in Nashville, TN, where I’ve lived most of my life. I was born on December 21—the first day of winter and the last day of Sagittarius—in the year of our Lord 1972. I’ve always had a passion—even an outright obsession—with books, both in the reading and the writing of them. I am now a 42-year-old bachelorette Aspie (nickname for someone with Asperger’s syndrome) who lives with my two cats.