Buried treasure or a curse unearthed?
Archeologist, Dr. Mallory Jacks has uncovered an anomaly, a strange creature amidst familiar surroundings, at least to her. The discovery could change the world’s perspective about anthropology and science, as well as shake the religious faith of millions. However, the latter is beside the scientific point.
Among academic circles, there is a more pressing concern—the newly found artifacts do not fit logically into the timeline of events comprising the history of life on the planet. Unfortunately, this dilemma could be just the cusp of a bigger problem, one that most people would discount as the imaginings of fantasy fiction were it not for the ever-growing controversy related to the findings.
There is only one person who understands the gravity of what has been unveiled already and what potential pitfalls lie ahead—graduate student, Grey McKnight. But, he cannot make public what he knows; it is too personal, and telling his story would only serve to incite the craziness. As Grey becomes further enmeshed in the mystery, as his relationship with Mallory blossoms beyond that of student and mentor, with each passing day the upheaval surrounding the excavation threatens to shatter their lives into countless surreal pieces.
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Teaser from Chapter 1
Even as an adolescent, Mallory was not shy; on the contrary, if one knew her. To everyone else, she appeared to be a quiet and reserved child, tending to shirk offers of friendship from just anybody. In fact, she was driven toward adventures of the solitary kind, preferring the company of her surroundings over playing make believe among fantasies she was not interested in and were not of her own making. As a result, her classmates called her names, such as “Manly” for her tomboy ways or “Lonely Jacks.” She did not find the insults offending because she simply didn’t care.
Thus, for several years, every day after school she would throw off her school bag, exchange it for her kit, and skip off on her own personal archeological dig. Her neighborhood had been expanding during that time, but around the Jacks residence on the outskirts of Tucson, there was also always a vacant field—be it a construction site or yet undeveloped land—ready for her exploration.
When she and her family moved to England, it wasn’t lost friendships she mourned. As mentioned, she wasn’t the attaching type and as children do, she adjusted to both the new landscape and weather of Cornwall in a matter of weeks. In fact, the town of Ivers was better than Tucson for a budding earth-and-dead-people detective, she decided. The artifacts she uncovered in the foreign soil were mysterious; completely unlike anything she’d found before.
Snippet from Chapter 2
For Mallory, life would be more of an ongoing adventure led by uncertainty; in other words, she would improvise. As was customary for her line of work, she’d just go where the artifacts were to be found. Fortunately, she now knew people or connections to tell her where to be and when. Not exactly serendipitously, one of those persons was her best friend, but simply put, Ivers would be Mallory’s home base and the rest of Great Britain her remote office.
On the other hand, Paisley made plans based decidedly on professional ambitions. Being a trained museum administrator, she decided Ivers needed a menagerie of sorts of its own. Creating one was to be her second, or rather, third calling. From the tiniest details, Paisley Bourne, entrepreneur, systematically set her notions into action.
Excerpt from Chapter 4
MGs were not necessarily trustworthy vehicles, but Mallory’s old car was an exception and an hour later, they’d arrived. She disengaged the clutch, shifted the car into neutral, and pulled the key abruptly out of the ignition. The car crunched up the slightly sloped gravel drive a few dozen feet before finally sputtering to a halt. She yanked the parking brake with force when the motor wheezed its final breaths of death. Beside her, Paisley snickered.
“Sometimes I think this contraption creepy; Christine’s poor, English relation.” She pet the dashboard tentatively and then jiggled the door handle again. Undoing the seatbelt, she shoved awkwardly at the door.
“You know she likes a little tough love, put some muscle into it,” Mallory instructed. Through the windshield window, she ducked and scanned the whitewashed exterior of the farmhouse looming in front of them. “It’s quite nice having friends on top or should I say, in low—”
“A teensy bit off-colour that was,” Paisley replied, twisting her lips, half smiling, half in mock disgust.
“What?” Mallory asked somewhat absently, turning toward Paisley but glancing to either side past her head.
“Keaton. You were saying being his friend has certain benefits. Hmm?” She tried to maneuver around in the narrow bucket seat to catch a glimpse of the scene behind her.