Author: J.D. Faulkner
Series: A Time Archivist Novel (Book 1)
Genre: Urban Fantasy
Publisher: Self Published
Release Date: May 7 2014
Edition/Formats Available In: eBook & Print
First it was water.
And finally smoke.
Gwen Conway never knew there were so many ways to die. Honestly, it was something she would have been happy not knowing.
Maybe, they really are just dreams. Nightmares. But they won’t stop. And dreaming of her death is getting old. Then there’s the sleepwalking. She’d like to pass on that too.
Gwen’s pretty sure the dreams have something to do with her new job. Which of course, is definitely not just a ‘job.’
Don’t get her wrong, working for the Archiver of the Time Streams has its perks. Having the power to travel to any past or future time is fantastic. Plus, there’s Rafe, the ex-gladiator from the future. She’d like to keep him around too. Not that she would tell him that. It’d go straight to his head.
But she’s less than pleased to find herself in the middle of a time travelers’ war. Especially against a crazed half-god who has the power to obliterate the existence of any time or place. And the Guardians, her so called allies? All the help they offer are strict rules and smug superiority. Plus, they seem convinced she’s already lost, that she’s already died.
Gwen is starting to wonder whether she should have read her employment contract more carefully.
Borrowing themes from Greek and Roman legends such as Pandora and the war between the Titans and Olympians, lovers of mythology and fantasy alike will enjoy this mind-bending romp through different times and universes. Well-grounded in the world of today, this urban fantasy stands out from the pack with its complex theories on time travel and unique brand of quirky humor.
J.D. Faulkner lives in Seattle, Washington. She spends her time reading anything she can get her hands on; studying Greek and Roman mythology; and avoiding the rain whenever she can. MIRRORED TIME is her first novel and book one of the Time Archivist Novels. Currently, she is working on the second book of the series, FRACTURED TIME.
THE CRACKED FLUORESCENT PANEL on the ceiling buzzed, flickering to darkness for a brief second before flaring back to life with a loud crack. Standing outside the dingy office, a newspaper advertisement clutched in her hand, Gwen Conway wondered what she was doing. Here she was, answering some vague classified with the desperate hope it would lead to a job. A glorified secretarial job. I wonder if I’ll get to fetch coffee too. Oh lucky day.
The hallway itself did little to settle her nerves. The stained linoleum flooring and the bad lighting brought to mind too many horror movies to count. Standing there was creepy enough. Working there? Imagine how charming it would be at night. She read the lettering on the glass-paned door. Alistair Fletcher, Legal Files Specialist and … something. The rest was too faded to make out. Although curious about the full title, she was content with the use of the word ‘legal.’ Not her dream job by any stretch of the imagination, but it was good enough.
Running a hand over her chestnut hair, she hoped it wasn’t a frizzy mess from the rain. It was hard to act the functioning adult when her hair was snarled as if she’d been dragged backwards through a hedge. With a sigh, she practiced a smile. No one was going to hire her if she walked around like a kid who dropped her ice cream cone. Great, now I’m depressed and craving ice cream.
She knocked. Here we go.
The office was bigger than it looked from the outside; and after the dingy light of the hallway, it was brighter too. Her attention was focused on the solitary figure standing in front of a large desk. At her approach, the man offered his hand for her to shake.
“Miss Conway, I presume?” His voice carried a distant hint of rolling green hills and waves on a rocky shore.
Alistair Fletcher wasn’t what she imagined at all. She was expecting an academic eccentric: a smart, but odd man; thinning white hair, stooped shoulders, and owlish eyes hidden behind thick-framed glasses—a grandfatherly type. Who else would be banished to this forgotten basement corridor?
Instead, Mr. Fletcher was tall, and, while somewhere on the far side of middle age, he hadn’t let himself diminish with time. His thick, silver hair was combed back from a high forehead, and his jaw was covered with a neat beard. She didn’t realize she was staring until his eyebrow arched over his steel gray eye.
“That’s me.” Gwen blushed. “Mr. Fletcher?” Her voice cracked, disbelief coloring her words. She was expecting a little old man. Not someone who was … kind of attractive. Her cheeks burned hotter.
“Yes.” The one word contained the hint of a smile. “I hope you didn’t have any trouble finding the office?”
“Not at all.” Her gaze bounced around the room trying to find a safe place to land. Biting her lip, in a gesture carried over from childhood, she dragged her gaze back to the man’s face. Gwen wanted to blame her nerves on the rudeness of the courthouse secretary. As Gwen had asked for directions, the woman’s daggered fingernails tapped out an irritated beat. She had made Gwen feel as welcome as a cockroach in a five-star hotel. “The secretary upstairs, um, told me where to go. I didn’t know we were supposed to use the back entrance to the courthouse. After that, an elevator ride and a couple flights of stairs, nothing too difficult.” She tried not to wince. You’re blathering, Conway. He knows you can go down stairs. How impressive.
In a room hidden within a twisting labyrinth, an ancient presence stirred. Something drew him from his rest. Too aware to sleep, he instead spent the endless years dwelling on past events. And planning. Always planning. The ages dripped by at a maddeningly slow pace. Yet he could do nothing, imprisoned behind the glimmering surface of a black framed mirror.
The mirror hung alone in the dusty room. It was crafted with extraordinary skill, each carved figure waiting to come to life at the softest breath. On closer examination, the mirror’s beauty turned grotesque. Hercules, driven mad by Hera, slaughtered his entire family. Prometheus, chained and bound, screamed in agony while a skeletal eagle tore at his liver. Sisyphus, tired and bloodied, struggled to press a boulder up a jagged hill. Set, smile as wicked and sharp as his knife, carved his brother Osiris into tiny pieces and hid them along the banks of the Nile. Each image was more disturbing than the last. Out of the corner of the eye, they writhed in pain.
With a soft crack, a thin fissure appeared on the face of the mirror. A dark smoke slithered out from the flaw and disappeared into the shadows clinging to the corners of the room. A wavering light illuminated the glittering mirror before the room was once again plunged into darkness.
He had waited for eons and conserved his strength. Whatever weakened his prison, it was sufficient. Complete freedom could wait. For now, the power to change would be enough. The Guardians had forced the time streams to remain static for too long. Change would be good.
In fact, change would be excellent. Through change, he would find revenge.