Seeds of Eden
(The Concilium, #1)
Publication date: January 25th 2017
Genres: New Adult, Paranormal, Romance
Haunted by visions of the execution of an innocent man, Evey discovers that the secrets of her past and a mysterious stranger are irrevocably intertwined.
Visions of decapitated corpses, pools of blood, and a masked executioner have haunted Evey for as long as she can remember. Torn between a life in the waking world and dreams of the dead, she realizes her normal existence is nothing more than an illusion. As the veil between reality and her subconscious dissipates, she begins to question her own sanity. Each night as she closes her eyes, she wonders what wrongs she committed to warrant such a curse.
When a handsome stranger suddenly appears in Evey’s life, he is able to provide her with the answers she seeks. However, the only thing more mystifying than Conrad’s appearance in one of her nightmares is the undeniable attraction she feels for him. It is only when he confesses their fates and souls have been intertwined for centuries that an ancient secret is revealed. Now, the two of them must outrun a great darkness or it will claim their lives again.
“Everyone quiet down,” Mr. Rieder ordered. “Your book for the semester is already in front of you. Write your name in the front page and make sure you bring it to every class.” Mr. Rieder was a short plump man who was as round as he was tall. His black hair was littered with streaks of white, and his gold circular spectacles always rested on the tip of his nose. The way his mouth was shaped always reminded me of a turtle, as if at any moment his head might recede beneath his dark green sweater. “Now I want all of you to turn to page 256. We will be talking about the Spanish Inquisition today.” I flipped my book open and immediately began studying the first paragraph. “Read over that section while I go through the class roster. When you hear your name, please raise your hand so I can see who all is here.” I perused the page as he called out various names, barely hearing mine. My hand shot into the air for a second before resuming my reading.
“We’re going to start off talking about the two rulers of Spain who initiated the Inquisition.” He turned back around and started scribbling various dates and names across the white marker board. “Essentially, the purpose of the Spanish Inquisition was to punish converted Jews and Muslims who were thought to be insincere in their conversions. Authorities of the church instituted it, but it was under control of the Spanish monarchy. It was established in 1480 by Ferdinand the Second of Aragon and his wife Isabella the First of Castile. If you turn the page you can see a painting of Isabella in the top left corner.” I flipped the page over and glanced at the picture. The first thing I noticed was the pendant hanging around her neck. Its beauty perfectly complimented the delicate gold and pearl crown she wore. An ornate gown clung to her fair skin, making her appear every bit the queen she was. I could hear the door open and shut with a slam, but my eyes remained on the woman in the picture. Something about her seemed familiar to me, as if I were looking at a picture of an old friend whom I hadn’t seen in years. I was unable to tear my eyes away from her, even when Mr. Rieder announced that a new student was joining our class. “Class, this is Conrad Bourdet. He is a new student here at Tulson, so I want all of you to make him feel welcome! Where are you from, Mr. Bourdet?”
“Well, you certainly did come a long way from Los Angeles, but anyway, we’re glad to have you in our class! Why don’t you take the open seat in the back by Claire?”
Suddenly, Caroline elbowed me in the shoulder.
“Ouch! What was that for?” I asked, shooting her a glare.
“Because the most gorgeous guy that’s ever been to this school just walked into class and you’re staring at that stupid book!”
“You assaulted me over a guy?”
“Heck yes, I did!” she whispered. “Just look at him!”
I glanced up from my book, only to see Conrad’s back as he turned away from me. Claire stood in front of him, chatting flirtatiously. He had a deep, golden tan and short chestnut colored hair. He ran a hand through it, causing the brown locks to become slightly disheveled. As I looked at him, I noticed he had to be at least six feet tall, and despite his height, you could see the well-developed muscles in his arms stretching underneath the tight black shirt he was wearing. Confidence seemed to roll off him in waves, which was fitting because every girl in class was ogling him. I turned to see the notes Mr. Rieder had added to the board. When I put my pencil to my notebook, the point broke off, smearing a line of graphite across my white paper.
“Oh crap!” I said, muttering silent curses at my pencil. “Hey Caroline, my pencil just broke. Can I borrow one of yours?”
“I only have the one. I forgot to grab an extra out of the locker,” she whispered back. “Sorry, Evey.”
“It’s okay. I might have something in my bag.” Before my hands could slide off the table, a voice stopped me.
“Here, use mine. I don’t really need it.” I followed the voice to see the new student leaning across the aisle, a pencil in his outstretched hand. My mouth fell open in surprise. The stranger from the gym now sat across from me. I appraised his features before settling my gaze on his bright blue eyes. They reminded me of a pair of brilliant sapphire earrings my mother kept in her jewelry box. “See something you like?” he asked with a wicked smile.
A rush of heat warmed the apples of my cheeks. “Don’t you need it to take notes?” He knew I was blatantly gawking at him, but at this point in time, I didn’t care. The prisoner from my dream wasn’t just a figment of my imagination. He was real, tangible and there was nothing to stop me from reaching out to touch him.
“Nope, I never take notes.” He reached even further. “Seriously, just take it.”
“Thanks,” I replied, stretching toward him. As we exchanged the pencil, something within me snapped and my fingers wrapped instinctively around his wrist. Conrad tugged on my arm gently, pulling us closer to one another. My free hand grazed the side of his cheek. He wasn’t a dream, he wasn’t a symptom of a mental illness; he was reality.
town of Estill Springs, Tennessee. Growing up in a rural town allowed her imagination to run wild, and Paige began making up stories in her head at a young age. This storytelling eventually transformed into a love of writing. She is currently penning her first trilogy, The Concilium Series, and is also planning to write four companion novellas to accompany it. She is an avid reader, enjoying a variety of genres and authors from Jane Austen to Charlaine Harris.
When she isn’t reading or writing, Paige spends the majority of her time dancing. She has been taking pole dancing lessons for the past three years and couldn’t be more in love with the sport. The blend of athleticism, grace, and flexibility required to dance continually challenges her and she strives to not only build strength but defy gravity, as well. Paige has a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Nursing from East Tennessee State University. She has been a critical care nurse at Bristol Regional Medical Center for the last five years. She currently resides in Johnson City, Tennessee with her adorable dog, Elle.
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