Author: Lorena Glass
Release Date: February 1, 2015
Genre: Adult, Paranormal, Romance, Time Travel
Echo is the first book of a trilogy that is the epic love story of two cursed lovers that fate, time, and death are constantly conspiring to keep apart; while they are determined to defy all three to be together. Whenever one dies, the other time travels to the lost lover's next (or last) incarnation. The story spans over a millennium; to several different times, places, and lives of two extraordinary lovers whose devotion to each other defies all barriers and all odds---and an extraordinary love that will never, ever die.
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 twentyfirst 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 womanhis 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 sureshe was no linguistbut 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 Frenchbased. 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.
“Nelleke,” the woman said suddenly.
Karissa looked at her. The woman smiled and pointed at herself. “Nelleke,” she repeated.
Karissa did her best to smile back and reciprocated the gesture: “Karissa.”
That’s when they saw Nelleke’s husband coming back. With a start, Karissa saw that he had someone with him. She stiffened, throwing Nelleke an anxious look. Nelleke smiled back reassuringly. Then Karissa relaxed as she saw that the person with Nelleke’s man was an old woman. She wore a shabby dark green dress and some sort of brown wrap over it. She, like Nelleke, wore a woolen headpiece over her stringy white hair. As they came back to the camp, Nelleke pointed to her man and said, “Gervaas.”
The man scowled at this, but said nothing, not to Nelleke. He muttered something to the old woman, who gazed at Karissa with great curiosity and not a little suspicion. Despite her shabby appearance and her unabashed scrutiny, her blue eyes were gentle, like Nelleke’s, and Karissa relaxed somewhat.
Then the old woman said, in Latin, “My name is Keetje. Gervaas says that you speak Latin. What are you called?”
Karissa gasped, relieved. She hurriedly switched to Latin: “Meus nomen est Karissa. Quaeso, ubi sum? Quis est is locus?”
Keetje frowned. “You’re in our village.”
Now Karissa frowned. She gestured at the tent. “This is a village?”
“There are others who live in huts near the sea. My hut is close by.”
“Oh.” So this wasn’t a camp. Nelleke and Gervaas lived here, in this animal-skinned tent. Well...I mean...what year is this?” She thought she could get away with a question like that. Peasants probably didn’t keep very careful track of the months.
Keetje stared at her. “It’s spring.”
The old woman still looked baffled.
Gervaas said something. This time Keetje didn’t ignore him. “Gervaas wants to know where you come from. He says he’s never seen you before.” Karissa stared at her, at Gervaas, not having the vaguest idea how to answer that. Keetje’s suspicion noticeably grew. “Well?”
Now Karissa was beginning to resent this interrogation. Her mind raced. Then she put on a sad face and improvised, “I come from this land.”
“Where’s your family?”
“I’m an orphan.”
“Where have you lived before now?”
Karissa pointed in the distance. “In the woods.”
Now Keetje stiffened. “Where in the woods?”
Are you writing a book or something, you old bag? Karissa fought to keep the irritation out of her voice. “It was a long way from here.”
“Then why're you here?” It was a plain challenge.
“I wandered too far away from our hut, and I got lost. I found myself here.”
Keetje plainly doubted such a convenient story. Karissa and Keetje glared at each other for a moment, neither dropping their eyes. Gervaas and Nelleke, left out, were entirely bewildered.
Then, a miracle. Keetje shrugged and said something to Gervaas. They spoke for a moment, then Keetje asked Karissa, “You have nowhere to go?”
“Then you may stay with me at my hut. For awhile, at least.”
Karissa smiled with genuine gratitude. “Benigne facis,” she thanked Keetje.
Keetje didn't smile back.
Ends June 2, 2015 // Cheaters Never Prosper