Title: Behind the Mirror
Author: Fay E. Simon
Genre: Fantasy Romance
Excerpt Heat Level: 1
Book Heat Level: 3
Emma and Ehrich fight for their lives against a demon and its high priestess. They battle human trafficking, a political coup, and their own inner demons.
What would you do if your favorite novel suddenly became a reality? What would you do if the handsome main character of that novel fell in love with you? During a trip to Paris with her friends, nineteen-year-old Emma King walks through an antique mirror and into the embrace of Ehrich de Natois, the mysterious main character of her favorite novel. Unfortunately, whether in books or real life, living happily ever after just doesn’t happen. Emma realizes this when she is pulled into the "in between;" a place between dimensions, a place much darker and more surreal than she could ever imagine.
The Wilds of Scotland, 1849
The shadows of twilight danced across the lush meadows, stretching dark fingers out to the Mystic Pool of Aire in the garden of Shylah, the Celtic Seer. A tall, hooded figure shrouded in a black robe glided into view. It wore the hood pulled up around its face, leaving only the yellow glint of its eyes visible. Kneeling by the pool, Shylah disturbed the water when the dark shape overshadowed her.
Shylah cast her dark eyes upward to meet the eerily glowing orbs. Still kneeling, she gathered her robe around her, shivered, and offered the dark figure a seat by the pool.
"I know why you've come. You want to know your future," she said in a delicate English accent. Looking back at the pool, she continued to stir the water. When she stopped, the water swirled into a ghostly white mist reaching out its tendrils.
The image of a young woman in her late teens appeared in the center of the mist. She was dressed in clothes different from their time, a white top with writing and dark blue denim trousers. Her soft, brown hair gently framed her face, bringing out the sparkle in her dark, flashing eyes. She laughed and talked with two other young people about her age, a male and a female.
"How very strange," Shylah said. "For you, I see two separate, yet intertwining destinies running parallel to each other. This woman becomes a major part in both sides of your future." Shylah reached out to disturb the vision, but a skeletal hand stopped her. Its shockingly cold touch sent chills through her body, nearly frightening her to death.
"You want to see more of this woman?"
The dark figure nodded, so Shylah stirred until another image formed. "She comes from another time and space. At the moment, she abides in our future, yet she knows you and everything about you."
The vision in the pool showed the woman and her friends watching flickering shadows on a wall where two lovers kissed. The tender moment was interrupted by a dark-robed figure enveloping them.
"I'm not sure how, but this picture moves, telling your story."
A bony finger tapped the side of the pool. Shylah paused, trying to understand what the figure wanted. Again, it tapped then pointed to the vision.
"You want to know how to meet her?" The tapping continued. "I cannot tell. But without her, your second destiny will be final: one of intense hatred, unrequited love, and certain death." Shylah flinched at the icy, death-like touch of the skeletal hand.
"Do you want to see the second woman in your future?" The hooded head nodded. Shylah passed her hand over the pool. White vapors covered the image and dispersed, revealing a new one. A beautiful young woman in her late teens with dark, cascading curls stood on the stage of a grand theater. With a curtsey and a smile, she accepted the applause.
"They call her Cerise. She is the death you cannot escape. She will never love you." Shylah shivered again and reminded, "You cannot change history."
The shrouded figure stood abruptly.
Standing in the presence of a foreboding creature made Shylah turn cold, and knots of anxiety formed in her stomach. She wanted to jump up and flee into the night, screaming, but the creature's eyes gave her second thoughts.
The skeletal hand grabbed her arm. Its angry, vice-like grip brought excruciating pain, sending her to the ground screaming and pleading, reminding the creature that she only prophesied what came from God.
It released her arm. She fell to the ground gasping, clutching her discolored limb. Again, a skeletal finger tapped the edge of the pool.
Shylah rolled over, holding her damaged arm, gasping and biting her lip. The tapping continued until she passed a shaky hand over the pool.
Visions of both young women appeared. The one entwined in a lover's embrace with a black-clad figure. The other wept softly within the walls of a building.
The golden orbs blazing within the hood resembled an artist's concept of the Grim Reaper. Shylah turned her face to the ground, sobbing and pleading, as she cradled her throbbing arm. No longer could she bear to look into its eyes. Her entire body trembled until her heart nearly failed. Suddenly, the hooded figure turned and swiftly melted into the night.