USA Today Bestselling Author
Drawing is her world …
but when she’s banished
to a deadly new world and needs help,
it’s his world too.
Storey Dalton wants to go home – but something goes terrifyingly wrong and she ends up in her worst nightmare. There’s no escape … not without Eric or her stylus. Then she finds someone who needs rescuing even more than she does…
Eric Jordan races to save Storey, only to realize a close family member has betrayed them both. Now the enemy is closing in on him. When he meets up with Storey, he knows her plans are a bad idea, but she won’t be dissuaded…and it could be their only way of staying alive.
the stylus, now bonded to Storey’s artistic soul, is determined to survive this new chaos – against all odds. But damaged from a prolonged separation, he can’t help Story or Eric – without making things worse.
Storey is determined to make things right. Eric is determined to help her. Neither counts the personal cost, until their very lives are in danger.
By the end of the first book we’ve had a look at a few different dimensions, including one that Storey has created for the Louers. The Toran’s which is Eric’s, the Louer’s old and new and of course Storey’s. Oh and the creation also caused a time problem within Storey’s.
At the end of all that, instead of being sent home Storey is sent to a difficult situation, one she recognizes by the smell. Her sketches are portals and now she’s here without her backpack, sketch book or her stylus. She is however, soul connected to her stylus so she finds a way to communicate although the stylus isn’t answering her. It’s using her words to communicate with Paxton an elder and Eric through Paxton’s stylus.
As she looks for a way out, she finds a Louer child, alone except for her pet. The portal to the new dimension is damaged so no one can come back for her. Now Storey has a new project but first she needs to get out of the old Louer dimension.
Eric saw horror on Storey’s face as the dark mist surrounded her to take her home. He also saw the glee on his father’s. Now he needs to know she arrived safely. What he finds is not what he wants to hear. She is not in her dimension or his. With Paxton’s stylus communicating with hers they figure out where she is and Eric goes to get her.
This is a favorite scene.
“You didn’t even make it to your home, did you?”
“No. As I left the party, your father waved at me. In his hand he had my stylus. At least what he thought was my stylus. Oh, he gloated like he knew something bad was going to happen – something I was not going to like. And he was right.” Storey shook her head at the memory. “When the mist dissipated, there were these horrible hands reaching for me. I don’t know if it was crossing the dimension or what but I blacked out. When I came to, I was alone in a large cave-like room.”
Eric closed his eyes. Damn. His father couldn’t have known about her fake stylus. He’d intended to separate Storey from her stylus, thus bringing about her death. Could he have also changed the destination in her codex? Did he even know how to do that? The one was bad enough, but if he’d done them both… well, Eric didn’t know what to think.
Could his father hate Storey that much? Or was this a desperate act of a desperate man? Could he have thought this was a way to regain his all powerful leadership status – using her as an example to others, perhaps? He’d never had to deal with outright defiance or a potential non-confidence vote before – until Storey. Could this be just about ego?
Or maybe fear was the basis of his father’s actions. Fear of losing everything he had? Eric had heard mutterings from several displeased council members and presumed his father had as well. Would that have been enough to precipitate these actions?
Eric would have to let this mess roll around in his head for a bit.
Right now he had bigger priorities – like getting Storey home safely.
“It’s going to be fine now. I have my codex and I brought another one for you.” By the time he’d finished speaking, Eric had unclipped the spare on his left and snagged her arm to clip it onto hers.
He stopped. “What’s this?”
Eric tapped her arm.
“I can’t see.”
“Lights on full.”
Instantly the lights turned on, giving Storey her first real look at the large room. She couldn’t believe the enormity of the space they were in. There had to have been many Louers living here to require a room of such size. It was bigger than the community center she’d gone to at home. “Wow. Look at this place.”
“Wow,” Eric said patiently, “Look at your arm.” He grabbed her left arm and gave it a good shake.
Staring, Storey frowned at the intricate swirls decorating her arm. They traveled from the back of her wrist to her elbow and around the underside. She felt nothing as she ran her fingers over it. There was no burning, scarring or even loose ink to come off on her fingers.
“I have no idea. I don’t know when or how I got these.”
“It’s also not on you; it’s a part of you. Your people have tattoos inked into their skin. These are considered marks of honor in my home. I have no idea if the Louers have something similar in theirs.”
“Marks of honor.” She snorted. They were pretty cool looking. “That might have made sense if your people had given them to me on the night of the celebration. But not here and now. My arm was clean when I left your place.”
“Somehow you’ve gained these marks in the time you’ve been here.” He studied her face carefully, a hint of humor in his eyes. “You are the strangest girl.”
“Oh,” she gasped, “that is so unfair.”
He grinned. “Only you could be banished to another dimension and come out with marks of honor without having any idea of how you got them.”
She snickered. “I found a few other things here too.” All humor fell away. Storey looked into his eyes, willing him to understand. “A lost Louer child for one. A little girl was accidentally left behind in the mass exodus of her people. According to my stylus there’s something wrong with the portal and the Louers can’t come back for her. She’s all alone.”
“What? A single juvenile? Oh, that’s not good.” Storey nodded emphatically. “Exactly. I’m glad you understand. So, you’ll help, right?”
Eric tried to figure out where Storey’s lightning quick mind was going. A Louer child alone probably wouldn’t survive and as much as he didn’t like the idea, it might be a kindness to kill her now and prevent her suffering. But from the hope on Storey’s face, he highly doubted he was going to like her solution.
“Help you do what?” he asked warily. Somehow he didn’t think he was going to like her answer.
“Help me return her to her parents. In the new dimension.”
Dale Mayer. Design Trilogy (Kindle Locations 3695-3732). Valley Publishing.
Storey didn’t just find the Louer child she’s named Tammy, she also found more styluses. Everyone is about to get quite the education on those.
Of course getting Tammy to the new dimension isn’t going to be easy, and they don’t get it right the first time either. We they do but not, they encounter a faction against her father, so not a good place for any of them to be.
The styluses seem to be able to cause a bit of trouble by interfering when they shouldn’t.
Eric and Storey grow closer as they face many obstacles in their way to getting Tammy to her parents. More than just a couple of surprises as well and topped off by another OMG ending.
5 Contented Purrs for Dale!
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Dale Mayer is a USA Today bestselling author best known for her Psychic Visions and Family Blood Ties series. Her contemporary romances are raw and full of passion and emotion (Second Chances, SKIN), her thrillers will keep you guessing (By Death series), and her romantic comedies will keep you giggling (It’s a Dog’s Life and Charmin Marvin Romantic Comedy series).
She honors the stories that come to her – and some of them are crazy and break all the rules and cross multiple genres!
To go with her fiction, she also writes nonfiction in many different fields with books available on resume writing, companion gardening and the US mortgage system. She has recently published her Career Essentials Series. All her books are available in print and ebook format.