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Have you started to become aware of things you never thought about before? Like how history is rewritten, the controlling elite, how we are manipulated through media, society, politics and religion? Then this new trilogy – exploding worldwide – for you!

It’s about a girls named Eve, who has no idea she’s the oldest soul on earth, with a pre-wired connection to every other soul on the planet and that the boy she’s mysteriously drawn to, named Roman, has been her soul mate, her love of nearly three hundred lifetimes—until he tells her.

But what Roman doesn’t mention is that the new genetic test called Animus will soon expose what she is to the whole world and that he’s being tasked with the impossible; steering her, into the open arms of another, a boy named Jude. She’ll learn that Jude’s the only brand new soul on earth; the one who’s come to change the world, and that the future of humanity rests in their intertwined destiny. 

Voted #1 “The Best New Series” – Goodreads

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PROLOGUE

“I’m lucky to be a part of it, you know,” she nodded, looking for my agreement, but I sat still as a stone, studying her as she swabbed my skin with alcohol. “It’s actually really interesting!” she gushed to fill in the gap left by my silence.

I could tell the young lab tech was doing her best to try and reassure us both. “A few drops of blood, Evelyn, that’s all we need.”

But despite her efforts, Payge (according to her nametag) couldn’t hide her nerves as she sunk the cold steel needle into the crook of my elbow. And when the dark red fluid crept from my vein into the vial, I saw the glimmer of fear in her eyes. Not of needles, or of blood, or even of me this time. It was her fear of what she was doing, of what it meant. A fear buried deep, microscopic in its appearance, invisible in her knowledge of its presence, like undiagnosed cancer, but immense in what it could do inside her.

Monstrous.

“It’s Eve,” I told her. “And it’s fine,” I managed. For her sake. Hoping she’d think back on my words later.

“Almost done. Then you’ll be free to go,” she seemed proud to tell me, her smile genuine.

And of course I would. Why wouldn’t I be? Everyone else was

“Oh, Payge,” I remember thinking. “What will this do to you?” 

I’d never thought much about what it would be. You know, the thing that would finally divide the world in half. The singular obsession that would polarize humanity to the point of no return—but if I’d had to pick something, a cluster of circles discovered deep within our DNA wouldn’t have been my first choice.

Payge liked me. She’d only known me for about ninety seconds, but it was easy to tell. What was harder to understand was why, and how I could exist in a normal way knowing it wouldn’t take me two minutes to get her to jump out the window or cut her own wrists or stab me in the chest if I wanted. People either liked me or they didn’t, deeply, and almost instantly. At first I rejected it, perfect strangers feeling entitled to having an opinion either way … I’m still trying to accept it.

She smiled down at me as she removed the needle and softly compressed a cotton square onto the injection site. This time, I smiled back. It was true, that all they needed was just a few drops. The ugly lie this poor girl didn’t know she was telling was that once she got it, I’d be leaving here. I might never see the outside of this building. I fought to stay calm as she skipped out of the room with my blood. The blood they didn’t even know they were looking for. Until they found it. The blood that would change everything. 

“Back in one minute, literally!” she promised, as if I’d be timing her …

I can’t say I was surprised when she walked back in the room, forty-five minutes later, pale as a ghost—

3d cover 2 (2)


CHAPTER ONE

I was nine when my grandfather said to me, “Eve, if you’ve worked the question and come to your answer, the only way to be sure you’re correct is if the answer leads to at least two more questions.” One day soon, he said, I would start to search for questions more than answers. That “people like me” always did. It was at that moment when I realized I wanted my grandfather to live forever. Looking back, it was at this precise moment that I believe he began to die.

Now, eight years later, we’re both in heaven; only it looks a lot like Rugby, North Dakota, 58268. Total land area, a magnificent one point nine square miles. Elevation, a wonderful one thousand, five hundred, and forty-nine feet above sea level. Population, two thousand, eight hundred, and seventy-six small-town souls, plus the future resident thriving inside the pregnant woman I see from time to time at Higgins Market. I can tell by the way she tilts her head and smiles with her eyes across the produce that she’s curious, and a little worried frankly, to see such a young girl seems to do the household shopping; best guess she thinks I’m about twelve. My seventeen-year-old body is stubbornly slight. My flat chest and sharp hipbones ruthless evidence of a currently square shape. Only as developed as it absolutely must be for today and not an ounce more. I try not to let it bother me.

I stay focused on positive things, like Rugby, which happens to be the geographic center of North America. If you dropped a pin from the edge of the atmosphere down to the exact middle of the combined area of Canada, Mexico and the United States, it would land right in the center of Rugby. People around here, those over forty anyway, tend to be obsessed with this fact and I admit I share their enthusiasm, while kids my age think it’s nothing more than a sarcastic punch line that sums up everything they find lacking in Rugby’s remote and rural life. We may not have a stoplight and we may have to drive an hour to the nearest movie theater, but hey, they joke, at least we’re the geographic center of North America.

I couldn’t agree more. But then again, I invent alternative computer languages for kicks. I enjoy tinkering with unsolved mathematical theorems and have an unhealthy fixation on a nineteenth-century poet; I began to suspect a long time ago that I was different from the other kids.

So it should come as no surprise that I was elated to discover the monument, the one that rises out of the ground at the miraculous spot at which this geographic center point exists. A fifteen-foot-tall stone obelisk, congratulating ourselves on this “achievement,” under which I always seem to find myself sitting, well-worn copy of the complete works of Lord Byron in hand, to bask in the cozy idea that I am in all direction as far from an ocean as North Americanly possible. If I close my eyes and sit there long enough I start to feel like I can see for hundreds and hundreds and hundreds of miles, in front of me, behind me and on both sides. I see nothing but the sure footing of solid land and I feel safe, even if it’s just in my mind.

I’ve never been a fan of oceans. Maybe that’s why Rugby suits me. I’ve lived everywhere and anywhere you can imagine; on every continent, and in every corner of the globe, yet I’m somehow certain that this tiny place has been patiently waiting for me. In fact, on a frigid night last February, less than twelve hours after my grandfather, Cian, and my brother, Shamus, and I first arrived in Rugby, snow whipping across the rugged plains, I said without thinking, “I’m staying here.” I say, “without thinking,” because Cian has been known to take certain things that come out of my mouth a bit too seriously. Sometimes it’s hard to tell if we’re just chatting or if I’m making an unintentionally binding declaration, but since we’ve never lived in one place as long as we’ve lived here, I suspect this time it was the latter.

So yes, Rugby is heaven on earth, at least to me. My little land-locked slice of paradise sparingly populated with small town people who take pride in silly things.

Hell on earth is trying to wake up Shamus. I’m about to begin school for the first time in my life, eleventh grade, and not that I expect his enthusiasm—I don’t—but consciousness would be appreciated. We both know things are changing and in our own ways we’re both scared. Too bad we don’t have each other to lean on.

“Shamus,” I say into his room from the safety of the doorway and can’t help but wonder what it would be like if he were a good brother. A different person.

“I heard you!” he roars through clenched teeth from somewhere deep inside the mess of bedding he’s tangled in, his irritation teetering on rage, and I flinch at the pillow he flings at me. It falls a bit shorter than usual this time, at least a good yard from my feet, on top of a pair of jeans. There is not a clear spot of carpet in his room, every inch littered with the debris of laziness and drunken abandon.

“Please, Shamus. Ten minutes,” I say in a firm tone but somehow sound like I’m begging. I’ll be late. I already know this.

As his lanky frame rolls over, his swollen eyes strain to open. If I leave now he won’t get up and I won’t get to school. I wait, preparing to hold my ground; uncertain whether he’s going to jump up and lunge at me, feigning the threat of bodily harm, or scream something disgusting or hurtful. I pray for the cruel words. I’m not worried about my feelings; my mind is a fortress Shamus can’t infiltrate but my body is small. Vulnerable.

For more than a minute nothing happens. It’s excruciating. I know I can’t say anything more until he speaks first or he’ll be completely lost to his wrath so I concentrate on matching the inhale of my breath with the exhale; the length, the depth, the rhythm. But as the next minute of quiet stillness passes I grow increasingly uneasy, like how seeing the clouds gather and sky turn green sounds the alarm in your brain, telling every cell in your body that a tornado is about to descend.

His eyes finally focus in my direction. They instantly radiate with malice. I concluded a few years ago that the hatred he feels toward me is etched in his DNA. There’s no other way to rationalize the unprovoked wildfire inside him that my mere presence stokes with oxygen. He snarls at me like a lion bearing his teeth and my pulse quickens. I change my stance, turning my back leg outward, shifting my weight in case I need to break into a sprint.

He begins shaking his head, then he does something disturbing—he smiles. It’s a smile I’ve seen before, maniacal and wide-eyed, like a certified lunatic. When the smile breaks into an unnerving laugh, wild and hearty, a hyena now, his cackling mirth devouring any shred of sanity in him. And it’s not for show. I know what that looks like. This laughter is real, which makes it all the more unsettling. Each time he does this a certain Byron quote cycles through my mind: Nothing can confound a wise man more than laughter from a dunce. Then, per usual, just as abruptly as his uncontrollable fit started, it stops, and his face and eyes turn dead. It’s the kind of dead you can’t fake, and it always reminds me that he’s not a dunce, he’s a depressed and sociopathic mental patient. All he’s missing is the hospital.

“You actually want to do this,” he surmises off my fool-hearted bravery, his body now listless as a sloth. I let down my guard; he’s too tired to hurt me.

“Yes,” is all I can manage, adrenaline vacating every cell at once. Yes, I want to do this. I want to go to school. To be an average girl who lives in one place, goes to high school and has friends. Is that so difficult to imagine? Is it so hard for Shamus to understand? That as it turns out, I didn’t know what wanting something really was until the idea of going to school occurred to me. Until the thought sprang into my mind in mid-July, a sudden flash flood, a bucket of cold water in the face, and I thought of almost nothing else since.

This is pretty much how I operate. I would assume that by now my brother would know that. Shamus, of all the repressed and unhappy people, should be able to comprehend a desire for things to be different. But as he rolls back over to face the wall grumbling something under his breath, I remember that my brother lacks all rationality, he isn’t a reasonable person. Sometimes I think that his whole purpose in life is to provide obstacles for me, points of impasse, without any route to resolution. An audible exhale at his disconnected state concludes my protest. What else can I do? Then, as if he’s making an announcement for the entire world to hear, his words building like a storm: “There’s something wrong with you, Eve.” His menacing voice, projecting off the walls, like thunder through a canyon, sends a chill down my spine.

Hunger, or maybe dread, drags me into the kitchen against my will, breaking my momentum with Shamus, ensuring several more minutes of delay. Food is a bother, a constant nag. I gulp cold, unfiltered cider from the large glass jug until my stomach begins to hush, then smear butter on a slice of soft white bread and eat as I pack two apples and another slice of bread in a sack and glide quietly to my grandfather’s bedroom door.

The wooden door is a knotted, unstained pine, the knob is black, plain and unpolished. I think of knocking, but don’t. I think of my grandfather and how, to the world, he appears … just elderly … fragile and weak. They never look at him long enough to notice that his cheeks are pink with life. They disregard the old man shuffling around the neighborhood and never learn that his hands are as strong as those of a man in his prime. They certainly don’t take the time to look into his eyes, which are as clear and lucid as my own. Of course, for his part, it doesn’t help matters that his clothes look about a century old, and that something in his quietness makes his seem distinctly unapproachable.

Fragile and weak, senile, frail … irrelevant … I almost have to laugh. Only Shamus and I know the truth, that Cian is as far from senile as humanly possible. And weak? In their wildest dreams they couldn’t imagine the ferocity of his strength, and if people knew, I don’t think they’d like it. Humanity isn’t crazy about the truth, Cian teaches me whenever the lesson applies, even if deep down, it’s what they want.

The truth is that the man, who goes practically unseen, is the answer to the question that humanity has asked since the beginning of time: when bad things happen, is it part of some mysterious plan or is chaos to blame?

Both. The answer is both. But only the waker can correct what chaos disrupts.

Our grandfather is the waker. Modern humanity has never known they had one, and has never known a time without one. I marvel, daily, at the irony of it. Death, the one thing man cannot conquer. My ancient grandfather, seemingly useless to society, is in fact the most vital man on the planet.

No one on earth is more pivotal, more powerful.

But he is aging, rapidly, and one day soon he will die. Everyday, I see him dying more and more before my eyes. I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t terrified. What happens when he dies? “No,” I tell myself, shaking the thought from my mind and enter his room without knocking.

The room is so small, seems to be getting smaller. In one corner, his bed with the soft blue cotton cover sits neatly made. It’s the size of beds used some time ago, smaller than a twin, like children’s furniture of today. It’s “what he prefers.” Though I’ve never seen him in it. Beside the bed is his night table, a wooden relic of undisclosed origin, the ornately engraved door on the front, locked, a key for which I have never seen. I’ve repeatedly asked where it’s from, and when. How he got it and from who and what on earth is inside? But his answer is always the same: a smile.

The room appears empty but as I turn I know my grandfather is behind me and I know I will see that smile. I haven’t yet figured it out, but before I can wonder at its power, his smile whisks away, like it always does. My anxious energy melts. The tiny room melts. Life and earth melt. It’s just my grandfather and me and for the moment we’re standing in a vast desert. It’s sweeping with silence and vacant as space, bathed in burned yellow light and soothing as a hundred thousand sunrises. I wonder if my eyes are open or closed back in the tiny bedroom in the modest white house on East Gate Drive as I marvel at the endless golden dunes surrounding us. I look down at my bare feet in the powdery amber sand.

There’s something wrong with you, Eve. I watch as the words Shamus said to me are pushed into the cloudless sky above, each word dissolving as it rises, like an ecosystem ridding itself of a poisonous gas.

“Promise me something, Eve,” Cian asks, his voice strong and tender. He takes my small hands, cradling them in his larger ones.

“Anything,” I say, and now we’re standing in the middle of his room, space and time unbroken. We’re back, or maybe we never left. The sky and the dunes are gone. But so are Shamus’s words, once they dissolve they’re gone forever. Now all I can think about are my grandfather’s hands, and wonder why they’ve always been so comforting to me. When I was younger I used to imagine I could curl up in them, as if I was the size of an apple, and just rest there for as long as I wanted. Right now his hands are warm and I detect the subtle tremor that’s recently taken up residence in him. I know, as always, he’s been out walking since well before dawn but lately his aging body is struggling to keep up with his inexhaustible mind and indestructible spirit. In the silence I wonder what he wants me to promise. Stay true to myself? Work as hard at school as I have worked learning with him?

“You won’t be an island any more,” he asks, combing a wisp of hair away from my eyes and I feel a bittersweet mix of sadness and anticipation. He’d taken to calling me “a happy little island” for the way I thrived despite our isolated life. The way I even loved it. It’s all I’ve known.

“Okay,” I promise.

“One more thing. Please, find some trouble, and get into it. It’s okay to be a little reckless,” he says, odd advice to give a teenager on her first day of high school. But I can tell that he means it. This is the same simple tone he uses when he teaches me anything for the first time. We are eye to eye, his are the same bright emerald as mine but they shimmer, almost transcendentally, like silver moonlight reflecting onto a pair of secret gem-green coves. Our height is precisely identical at this moment, which gives me a thrill.

“If I must.” And if he’s telling me to, I know that I will.

“Nothing would please me more.”

“You won’t be here when I get back?”

There is no answer. Not so much as a nod. There’s never any answer to this question. My asking the question is the answer. I’m only comforted by the fact that for now, at least, he still has work to do.

He hugs me tight, the same way he always does. My grandfather is needed—by whom, only he knows, and so he goes, my brother always his one companion, his heir apparent I fear. I’ve learned to understand the process. I’ve studied it since I can remember, never talking about it to a single soul. But like I said, things are changing.

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