Tamesis always thought that she knew her destiny and she was determined to be the absolute best Resurrector there was.
But, Fate had different plans. On her first heal, Tamesis runs into two mysterious men, and one of them changes everything for her.
Tamesis cannot stop thinking about him and dreaming about him. Then, when the work of the Resurrectors is threatened, the man returns and Tamesis is put on a path that opposes everything she was raised to believe.
Something has twisted the beliefs of the Resurrectors, causing them to stray from their path and become extremists. They were supposed to save those who still had noble work to do, but instead insist that everyone deserves to live until old age.
Now she needs to accept the role she was destined to have, that of the Angel of Death, healing those she can and reaping the souls of those who must die. The war between Resurrectors and those who protect the Balance is heating up.
I purchased her book immediately after reading the excerpt, but had to postpone reading it until late December. However, once I began reading, I couldn't put the book down. I am impatiently awaiting the release of book two, because the book did end with a bit of a cliffhanger. Fair warning.
I would classify this book as a New Adult Romantic Urban Fantasy.
I love the development of her world and characters, especially Tamesis our heroine and her love interest the sexy Angel of Death. She has created a compelling new concept of Life and Death and those that fight to create balance.
Life and Death. Day and Night. Good and Evil. Man and Woman. Yin and Yang. Everything in this world has an equal but opposite force. To think about it, that very statement is even a scientific law, for every action there is an equal but opposite reaction.
Balance is necessary for existence. If the balance shifts too much everything can be altered, possibly even to the point of total destruction.
I was born to a race many don’t know about, partially because we need to be kept a secret. If the world knew who we were and what we did, our jobs would become much more difficult. Everything is simple when it can be accomplished in the shadows, where we can work without being seen. See, there’s a fine line between life and death, and the Resurrectors exist to maintain life.
Whenever someone comes close to death, a Resurrector is sent to save them…well at least when it is an unnatural death. Death by old age is the one thing we can’t prevent. It has always been believed that humans are supposed to live full lives and die of old age, happy and fulfilled.
However, there is one hitch in the Grand Plan of the Resurrectors: the Angel of Death. There is always one Angel of Death trying to keep the Resurrectors from saving people. And whenever the Angel of Death chooses to move on, a new Angel is chosen. Or at least, that’s what we’re taught. I’ve never had to worry about the Angel of Death, so though I’ve heard horror stories I chalk it up to more of an urban legend.
But enough of all that. It has been going on since the beginning of time and hasn’t evolved much since. I was raised learning about how to Resurrect, to save people from the deaths they did not need to go through. It has taken many years to get out of school and on to my job. And for the past five years I have been out in the world using my abilities to help.
A Resurrector’s power is in his or her hands. By placing our hands on a person, with the left hand over the temple and the right over the heart, and concentrating on life, it helps to mend the life-threatening injuries a person has. Several Resurrectors have studied to be doctors and have infiltrated the hospitals to preside over life-threatening surgeries. They are usually the most gifted in our group, as well as the more senior members. Unlike everyone else they simply stay at that one location, at their hospital instead of moving around whenever someone needs a Resurrector’s help. They are the Resurrectors whose presence can be seen by everyone. The rest of us tend to blend in with our surroundings.
I have been told by the Leaders that I am uniquely gifted. Growing up I always wondered why they would say that, especially since I never showed any signs of being unique. I began to sense a slight difference between myself and the others when I had to remain at our training school while the others went out into the world. The Leaders put me through more advanced training and after an extra year I could heal better and faster than almost everyone else. It was something I was also told to keep quiet about. Sometimes uniqueness has a cost. As it turned out they didn’t need to worry about me saying anything because no one asked. Instead they just assumed that I had difficulties with the lessons.
Then came the day I had been preparing for for many years. The Leaders told me that I could begin working out in the field. My friends had been as thrilled as I was because we could finally have time to hang out. Before then my schooling always got in the way and we could only hang out for short periods of time. To celebrate my accomplishment, Alaula and Sitara suggested that we go out shopping.
Let’s just say that the celebration didn’t go like any of us planned…
We looked like average teenage girls as we walked into one of the many malls in the world. It doesn’t even matter which one we were in; they’re all basically the same anyway. All of them have a variety of stores and they are usually filled with people looking to shop either because they want to or because they need to buy something for someone special in their lives. I didn’t know how the Leaders did it, but they had a lot of money that they doled out to us on a semi-regular basis, which worked out now because we had money to spend at the mall.
Instead of wearing the Resurrector official garb consisting of flowing white and gold robes, we were in jeans and t-shirts. Granted, the only time we actually wore our robes was when we were in school or had to go before the Leaders, so these so called “normal” clothes were our “uniforms” for when we were working.
“So, where to first, Tam?” Alaula asked, a broad smile beaming at me. She was almost always cheerful; most people thought of her as something similar to the sun. People always like seeing the sun; it cheered them up. Coincidentally Alaula’s name means “Light of Dawn” in Hawaiian.
Alaula even looked like she could be from Hawaii. Her hair was dark brown and usually fell in waves around her tan shoulders, though right then it was pulled up in a very fashionable twist. And I don’t know if there is a person alive who can avoid staring at Alaula’s eyes. I don’t blame them because they are quite exotic. They are a shade of green that can only be described by comparing them to a peridot.
I have always been fascinated by that, by what the various names meant. It is something we study for a short time when we are in training to become a Resurrector, but I did more than others simply because I discovered that most people have been named well, their personality matching their name’s meaning. That is especially true in Resurrector culture. We don’t even choose the names of our children because the names are decided by Fate. We are all destined to live up to our names.
“I don’t really care Alaula. Any place is fine with me. I’m just glad to be able to finally go out like this. But I still don’t see why we didn’t invite Kiran and Damir. They were just as excited about my news.” Then my stomach decided to interject its own opinion.
“I guess we’re hitting the food court first,” Sitara answered. Sitara was just as striking as Alaula though Sitara is considerably paler in skin tone. Her wavy white blond hair fell a few inches past her shoulders and her luminous baby blue eyes sparkled like stars in the night sky. No surprise to me as Sitara embodied what I envisioned the human form of starlight to be. Sitara means “Starlight” in Sanskrit. “And you know why we didn’t invite them. This is strictly girl time.”
I shook my head. “We could have had girl time later. This is a special occasion.” It was supposed to be a fun time and I couldn’t help but feel like it was more about what Sitara wanted than what I did. Looking at the three of us it seemed almost unlikely that we would even be friends. We were so different.
Most of the Resurrectors have names that mean “Light of Dawn,” “Starlight,” “To Give Peace,” or “Ray of Light.” Most but not me. For some reason I was given one of the strangest names out there. My name is an English name meaning “Dark One.” I know… it’s just a little weird. I look like the other Resurrectors, well for the most part anyway. I have long golden blond hair, but it has natural black streaks. That in itself is odd. Black is not a color associated with Resurrectors. My eyes are a mix of gray and green and tend to change with my mood. I have to say that my eyes are definitely one of my coolest features. Sometimes I have even looked in mirrors just to watch them change. Also, instead of being cheerful or neutral most of the time like the other Resurrectors, I tend to go through mood swings. Sometimes I just get depressed or pissed off for practically no reason at all. Perhaps that was part of the reason why I was feeling angry about this whole Sitara thing. Was it really all that important that Kiran and Damir weren’t there?
Anyway, we went down to the food court and Alaula and Sitara treated me to anything I wanted, which turned out to be baskets of fries and the biggest ICEE they served. Then we finished with bowls of ice cream. After eating we decided to window shop for a while before doing anything else. There wasn’t really anything I needed to buy. Though we were on call for emergencies we weren’t exactly busy with Resurrector duties. Having several hundred Resurrectors around the world gave all of us a little free time every once-in-a-while.
However, when we saw a man collapse several feet away from us, we couldn’t ignore our training. Because we were already on site, they wouldn’t send another Resurrector in for the heal so it was up to us. Sitara and Alaula ran over and began pushing the people back, trying to give the man some space, while I went straight towards him. The way we all worked together without saying much made it seem as if we had done it before. The man was in his late 30s or early 40s, his dark hair just starting to turn to salt and pepper. “Tamesis, hurry!” Alaula called. “Help him.” She sounded worried and I had to wonder why, but there wasn’t time to question anything. The man needed to be healed.
I placed my right hand over his heart and my left hand on his temple. “Shh,” I murmured to him. “Everything’s going to be all right.” The one thing that had always fascinated me with healing people was that when we made our initial connection it was like we saw into the person’s body and soul. I could see that this man’s heart had been treated horribly and had weakened to where it had just stopped doing its job. All it needed was a bit of a jolt and some TLC. The heart started beating again as it repaired under my guided healing.
The healing process was an intriguing one. When we placed our hands on the person, we connected to them. Of course, it wasn’t difficult to believe in the connection considering we were using two of the chakras on a person’s body. We pushed health through our right hand into their heart, the power racing through the body and healing everything it found. All the illness and injury was pushed through their entire system and then drawn out by the left hand we had placed over their temple. None of it was visible to anyone but I could feel it. I also knew that for the people watching this it would appear as if someone had rushed up and started CPR.
Though I had practiced healing in school, this was my first actual heal and it simply reinforced my amazement for the whole thing. It was remarkable to watch as the color came back to the man’s cheeks and face and his heart and lungs settled into a more natural rhythm.
The man gasped as he resuscitated and he blinked a few times before he looked at me. “What happened?”
“You passed out sir. Maybe you should rest for a few minutes before you head home,” I suggested. He just nodded in response, not really knowing how close to death he had been. I helped him to the bench and then walked away. We had always been told that you never stayed with the person you saved afterwards. The exposure risk rose the longer we stayed. Sometimes, very rarely, the charge would work through the haze of their memory but if we weren’t there then other people just assumed it was a side effect of a near death experience.
As I walked away, I ran into a man wearing all black, and not just black like jeans and a shirt. No, he was in dress pants, a long sleeved button up shirt, and a hooded cloak, which did not fit with the surroundings of the mall. I would think that a person would look at me either apologetically or offended because I ran into him or her, but this man looked at me out of sheer frustration, as if I had done something that he hadn’t liked. I took a step back and started to leave but he grabbed onto my arm, holding me there and making me look up at him. “You have no idea what you have just done,” he said, his voice making the statement sound more like a growl than anything else.
“I don’t know what you’re talking about,” I responded, jerking my arm from his grasp. This guy sent off a strange vibe and I wondered if he knew what I had done with that man sitting a few feet away. Was it possible that he knew the truth, that the haze caused by a Resurrector’s glamour didn’t affect him? Walking away from him without another word, I could feel his eyes burning holes into my back…along with another pair of eyes. I stopped and turned to look around. It was then that my gray-green eyes locked onto a pair of dark blue eyes. I had to be looking at some kind of apparition or something. He had pale skin and his black hair was up in spikes. I had never seen anyone that attractive, that alluring before. It simply made me want to gaze at him for hours on end. Much like the other guy, this one was in all black as well but it was a look that suited him. This man, who seemed more like a god from a distance, was watching me, and for a moment I almost thought that I detected recognition in his eyes.
Sitara broke me out of my reverie by yelling for me. “Tamesis, come on!”
I blinked and then turned and briskly walked over to my friends. “Are you all right?” Alaula asked, as I turned to glance back at the man again. He was gone.
“Yeah, I’m fine,” I answered quickly. “Let’s just go home.”
We waited until we were far away from the excitement of the mall before we headed back to the Resurrector facilities. It basically was teleportation; thinking of returning to the facilities took us there. Once there we started to head for one of the lounges, the one in which we would find Kiran and Damir. I couldn’t wait to tell them about my first official heal. But, just before we reached our lounge I saw Annelise, one of the Leaders walking down the hallway towards us.
“Tamesis, Josiah would like to speak with you,” she said. “If you would come with me.” She did not wait for me to respond and instead turned and started to walk down the hallway that led to The Leader’s chambers. Seeing how quickly Annelise was walking away, I waved goodbye to Alaula and Sitara and rushed off down the hall, trying to catch up with Annelise. As we walked she did not even bother looking over at me or saying anything to me. I had discovered that this was basically how all the Leaders acted, in a manner that kept them detached from all of us. I still had not quite decided if that decision was a good one or a bad one; only time would truly tell the answer.
The Resurrector facilities were at least pleasant to be in and to walk through and I knew that was because they wanted us to be happy so we would perform our duties better. The rooms were painted mostly in shades of cream, lavender, sky blue, daisy yellow, and other so-called happy colors. Even our bedrooms had to have pleasant colors, though we were free to choose which we wanted. We had no reds and no darker hues, which sometimes meant that everything was just a little too bright but I had discovered that complaining never really changed anything so I had stopped talking about it a couple years ago.
As we turned down yet another hall, this one the one where the Leaders' Chamber was housed, I could not help but feel my pulse quicken just a little bit. The last time I had actually been invited to their chambers was when they told me that I would not be graduating with my classmates and would instead be taking more courses. What were they going to say to me this time? If it was more bad news, like them thinking that after the incident in the mall I wasn't ready to be out working, then it was possible that I would cry. All I have ever wanted to do was to be out in the field working to save lives. I knew how skilled I was at healing and how that man in the mall had been extremely lucky that I had been the one to go to him instead of Alaula and Sitara.
It wasn't that I was saying that my friends aren't as good as I am, but I was faster and stronger. I had heard the Leaders say so before. They spoke of how I was one of the most promising young Resurrectors they had seen in quite some time. Based on that, it wasn't possible that they would be bringing me to their chambers to punish me. Right?
Reaching the door to the Leaders' Chamber, Annelise rapped on the door twice and then pushed it open. Unlike my other escorts who had needed to wait for permission to enter, Annelise herself was a Leader and could simply walk inside. The knock was probably just to alert Josiah that we were there before we actually walked inside. "He is ready for you now, Tamesis," she finally said to me, while holding the door for me to enter. She waited for me to move again and then she closed the door and walked away.
Josiah sat at the long table on the other end of the room and the other four seats were empty. It seemed odd as I never met with just one of the Leaders; it was always the full council. But Josiah was not just any Leader and I had a moment when I thought about how awesome it was that the eldest of the Leaders wanted to have a meeting alone with me. It had to be a good sign and I prepared myself for the praise I was about to receive. Looking at Josiah, one wouldn’t think he was all that old, but several Resurrectors have been graced with an extended lifespan. Our aging on the inside is a little more rapid than our outward appearance. So, though Josiah looked as if he was maybe 60 or 70, we all knew that he was at least twice that.
"Come closer, Tamesis," Josiah said, waving me closer to the table. Josiah was one of the oldest Resurrectors left and I had heard whispers from people that he planned to never give up his position. However, there were other whispers that said that Samuel, the head of the Leaders, had plans to get Josiah to step aside and move on. I believed that we needed to respect Josiah for the many dedicated years of service he had put into the job. If there was anyone I wished to be like, it would be him, working as long as possible out in the field and then stepping forward to take a position that determined the actions of all of the Resurrectors.
"I was told that you wished to see me, sir," I replied as I moved forward. When I stopped I happened to glance down at myself and it really struck me then that I was still wearing my "normal" clothes. "I should apologize. Annelise did not give me time to retrieve my robe."
Josiah chuckled slightly and shook his head at me. "That is quite all right. This is not an official gathering of the Leaders, though I imagine you will have a debriefing with the others soon enough about your first heal. I knew you would do well in your duties, Tamesis. I have never doubted you."
When he paused, I wondered where he was going with this conversation. If it wasn't an official gathering and I would have a debriefing later, then what was he doing now? "Sir, not to sound rude, but why did you wish to speak with me?"
“Ah, yes, right to the point as usual. Tamesis, there are a great many things that are happening in our world, and I know that the teachers and we Leaders have not completely prepared everyone for certain possibilities. I have been doing this far longer than anyone else, so I know what challenges lie in the future because I saw them in the past. You are uniquely gifted, Tamesis, and you will be the one who will bring us through whatever we are to face, whatever disasters our enemies throw our way. It is not a task I would wish to place on someone as young as you, but we have no choice in the matter. Your talents speak for themselves.”
“Wait, what do you mean? What challenges? What disasters?”
Josiah turned down his gaze and shook his head. “That is something I cannot answer. You must stay strong, Tamesis, and that is all I can tell you. Now, you are excused until the Leaders are ready for your debriefing. I suggest you go relax and spend time with your friends.” He slowly pushed himself out of his seat and then grabbed his cane before toddling off to the side door that led to the personal chambers of the Leaders.
I stood in the Leaders’ chamber for a few moments more before I turned and walked out to find my friends. The whole conversation with Josiah was not what I expected, though he did praise my skill for doing my job. Yet it wasn’t the praise I focused on. Instead I could not help but think about what he meant when he said that our enemies would throw disasters and challenges our way. There was only one enemy I could think of that would make a Leader say something like Josiah had and that enemy was Death.
Danielle is also a lover of photography, with subjects ranging from landscapes and flowers to cosplayers and animals. Other hobbies include regular board game nights with friends, going to comic conventions, and spending the night participating in ghost hunts.
In her free time Danielle can be found preparing for her favorite hobby: National Novel Writing Month (NaNoWriMo) and Camp NaNoWriMo. NaNo has been a massive part of Danielle's life since 2006, and she has been her region's ML (Municipal Liaison) since 2008.
You can find Danielle on Facebook, Twitter, Goodreads, Google+, and Instagram.