The final book of the Primortus Chronicles is coming soon!! The Eleventh Elementum is missing… The Magical Humusara is cautioning… The Crystal Plague is looming… Things are about to get deeper, darker, deadlier!
As the final book of The Primortus Chronicles, PLAGUED PRIMORTUS, nears publication, it’s the perfect time to read an excerpt from book 2.
Skylee suddenly sensed the weight of her amulet against her skin. It felt neither hot nor cold. Yet her desire to read her Humusara was stronger than ever. Perhaps it could answer her questions. She pulled the book from her backpack, removed her necklace and placed the amulet inside the diamond-shaped carving in the cover. As usual, it began its miraculous transformation, going from a new-looking journal to a wornand weathered volume of ancient writings.
I never get tired of seeing that, thought Skylee, grinning down at her Humusara as she opened it. Instantly, words begin to shimmer across the page. She glanced up totell Will, but he and Airon seemed enthralled in conversation. Turning around in her seat, she looked at Chrism, who had moved to the back of the glider, and was in her own world with loud music blasting from her E-buds. I’ll tell them later. She peered down atthe aged pages and read.
EXTINGUISHING THE MAN ABLAZE
WILL BRING ABOUT A TOXIC HAZE,
REVEALING FEELINGS LEFT UNSAID
UPON THE TRACK THAT LIES AHEAD.
Hmm, I don’t like the sound of that…toxic haze. She frowned, remembering her trip to the Maori Village where Ashley had used some kind of gaseous concoction on her mom. And he might have succeeded in kidnapping her if Skylee hadn’t stopped him by using the tree’s roots and limbs. Wait a minute, she thought as the words came together in her mind. Ashley Hayes…Haze…that can’t be his real name. The book’s pages fluttered, bringing her eyes back to the paper as itfell open to a new spot. Oh goody, she thought, rolling her eyes, more riddles.
THY HEART SHALL BE CONSUMED BY FLAME,
AND LOVE BE JUDGED OF GUILT AND BLAME.
THE NINE WILL GATHER ONE TO TEST
AND TWO MUST PART AT THEIR BEHEST.
My heart consumed by flames…really? Skylee covered her eyes for a moment and then peeked through her fingers to look down at the shimmering words again. Nine will gather one to test, she reread, dropping her hand as her eyebrows shot up. Nine who, or what?Oh brother, how am I supposed to know what that means?
Skylee glanced at Ann, who still seemed engrossed with something on her V-phone. Of course, she knew Will’s mom had a point about making sure her powers weren’t seen. But it kind of hurt her feelings that she hadn’t even seemed grateful that she’d saved her son from becoming a crispy critter. Skylee exhaled loudly.
“Sky,” Will said looking at herover his shoulder. “You okay?”
Every head in the glider turned inher direction. Oh, hey guys, my Humusara just told me my heart’s gonna burst into flames at any moment, she imagined herself saying. Psssh—nevermind! Shegazed up at them and said, “Yep, I’m good.”
“Well, my neck hurts like heck,”
Chrism said in a scratchy voice. “And thanks for asking.”
Airon immediately moved back to sit next to her sister. He took Chrism’s hand and spoke to her in soft tones. How does she do that? Skylee wondered,shaking her head. In any case, she was glad the focus was on Chrism so shecould get back to her Humusara. Looking down, she watched the shimmering wordsfrom her last riddle replaced with new ones.
“Wow, guess you’re feeling chatty today,” she whispered to her book.
OF EARS, WHICH LISTEN BUT DO NOT HEAR,
OF EYES, WHICH SEE ALTHOUGH NOT CLEAR,
OF MOUTHS, WHICH SPEAK BUT WILL NOT SAY,
THEIR WORDS, THEIR SIGHT, THEIR SECRET WAY.
“Ugh,” Skylee sighed, pulling her Humusara to her chest and hugging it tightly. Why riddles? I mean really, what’s wrong with plain English, like—Watch out! Brinfrost ahead, turnback! Now that would be more useful. But at the moment all she had was more questions, and chief among them was why the Arcamentum had guided her to Brinfrost.
Hey, if you’re a book addict…keep right on READING! Actually, it’s one of the only addictions that can do you more good than harm. That’s right, there’s no need to join Book-a-holics Anonymous. Besides, you’re in GREAT company! If these 5 awesome characters admitted their obsession…why shouldn’t you?
Hermione: “Aren’t you two ever going to read Hogwarts, A History?”
Ron: “What’s the point? You know it all by heart, we can just ask you.”
“I’m wondering what to read next.” Matilda said. “I’ve finished all the children’s books.”
“Klaus sighed, and opened a book, and as at so many other times when the middle Baudelaire child did not want to think about his circumstances, he began to read.” Lemony Snicket, The Reptile Room
Dean: I’m sitting in a laundry-mat reading about myself sitting in a laundry-mat reading about myself. My head hurts.
Belle: I’ve always dreamt of heroics, but… I think it’s safer I stick to my books. They’re the only adventures I know that have happy endings. From “Once Upon A Time” TV series
So, did I forget one of your favorites? Tell me about them…
Imagine this…it’s a gorgeous day, not a cloud in the sky. There’s a crisp autumn breeze in the air. As co-authors, Val and J.L. set up their table by the door of the book store, they’re feeling as giddy as a couple of kids on their way to Disney World.At first, all goes well. Several books are sold and they give away lots of clever promotional items, including their homemade “fictional candies” straight from pages of their books. It’s a big hit!
Then they see him. Making his way across the street (scruffy little dog in tow) is an equally scruffy gentleman, who appears to be on a mission. He bounds up to their table and shouts, “I THINK IT’S TERRIBLE THAT YOU LADIES ARE BEING FORCED TO SIT OUT HERE.”
J.L. glances sideways at Val, thinking, is he for real?
The man’s dog stiffs a peanut butter lolly hungrily as his owner continues…”WHAT KIND OF WORLD IS THIS? YOU GIVE YOUR BLOOD, SWEAT AND TEARS WRITING A BOOK AND THEN YOU HAVE TO GO THROUGH THIS… JUST TO SELL IT?”
For the next few minutes he rants on. So, Val tries to make light of the situation. She laughs and says, “Yes, we’re really suffering.” Val and J.L. chuckle, but the man goes right back to his LOUD diatribe about the harsh and cruel world of being a writer.
Just when it looks like Val and J.L. will have to use their ninja skills on the guy (okay, okay, more like run for their lives) another man shows up on the scene. And he definitely doesn’t look like he’s there to buy a YA fiction.
You guessed it, he was a police officer, at least 6’6″ and all business. Honestly, he could have passed as a linebacker for in the NFL. Leaning over, he whispers in J.L.’s ear, “Are you okay, ma’am?”
“Yes,” she squeaks. “We’re fine.”
Val nods with wide eyes.
Needless to say our…um fan–no, our heckler–no, the truth is he was a fellow author, took off, pulling his dog behind him.
As it turns out, the owner of the book store was concerned for us and called the police. That’s how it happened, our first book signing was SOOOO wild the cops were called. And doggone it, we lost that sell!
First, let’s set the scene…The city of Auckland, sometime in the future. It’s 15 years after The Day of Disaster, a catastrophic event, wherein a vast crack in the earth’s crust nearly circled the globe. Our main character, Skylee Porter is on her way to the recently restored New Sky Tower to go bungee jumping.
Imagine finding out the necklace you’ve been given (as an inheritance in your father’s will) holds a magical power…and there’s a mysterious man, who will stop at nothing to take it from you. Now imagine he comes for it at the top of The New Sky Tower! How will you escape?
The following is an excerpt from Book One of The Primortus Chronicles.
It was a relief when they reached the corner of Federal and Victoria streets and entered the base of the Sky Tower. Skylee was pleased to learn that her book, still secretly hidden inside the backpack, could be safely secured inside a locker while she bungee jumped.
Once Ann had bought the tickets and signed the forms, they lined up for the elevator ride to the top. As they waited Skylee felt the necklace, which was tucked under her shirt, warming against her skin. She decided to ignore it hoping it would return to normal.
Moments later their tour guide arrived. He explained that he would also serve as the bungee instructor for the brave few who planned to jump. He was a tall, attractive guy, even dressed in the dorky bright orange uniform and white gloves. His dark blonde hair had that shaggy but styled thing going on, and he wore trendy sunglasses. His oration about the Sky Tower turned out to be surprisingly unrehearsed. Skylee wondered if this was perhaps his first day on the job.
“The New Sky Tower is three hundred and forty meters tall,” the guide began. “Uh, making it um…one of the tallest towers in the world. I think it’s…yeah, it’s as tall as the New Eiffel Tower.” He took a deep breath and the next part of his speech flew out at high speed. “The tower was designed to withstand winds in excess of one hundred and twenty miles per hour. It even survived a nine point three earthquake on the Day of Disaster. The New Sky Tower recently reopened to the public after years of reconstruction and repair.”
Will leaned over and whispered in Skylee’s ear, “I didn’t know you were so famous. You have a tower named after you, Sky.”
Skylee rolled her eyes at him. It was hard to decide which was worst Airon calling her Skippy or Will’s Sky joke. She placed her fingers in an L on her forehead, turned toward Will and dramatically mouthed the word loser. Catching a glimpse of the guide staring, she quickly dropped her hand. He smiled oddly at her and she looked away, suddenly aware that he might have thought she was making fun of him.
As Skylee stepped onto the elevator she noticed her necklace warming. The sensation made her stomach churn as the elevator took off. She tried to ignore it and listen to the guide’s speech.
“There are something like…twelve hundred steps…uh wait, yes, twelve hundred and eighty-five steps from the base of Sky Tower to Sky Deck,” he continued, looking down at his white glove, which was covered with writing. “On a clear day you can see approximately fifty one miles from the Sky Tower.”
Skylee felt the elevator lurch to a stop and someone took her by the hand. The guide was escorting her out of the elevator. This left a rather confused looking tour group to exit on their own, including Will who looked more annoyed than confused. Chrism, on the other hand, seemed to find it amusing.
Skylee could feel the guide’s eyes upon her, even though his dark glasses concealed them. Her face flushed under his gaze, and the necklace hidden underneath her shirt grew hotter by the second. She wasn’t sure how much longer she could bear its heat. Anguished, she let out a small sigh.
Will’s mouth fell open and he formed a fist. For a second, Skylee thought he was going to punch the guide. But instead he stood frozen in place, staring loathingly at him with both fists still tightly clinched. All along, Chrism persisted in chattering to Will about their first time to bungee jump together.
Ann, who had exited the elevator behind them, was watching him closely. The anger on Will’s face seemed to spur her into action.
“Pardon me?” she said stepping between Will and the guide. “Where’s the best place to view the bungee jumping?”
The guide snapped into a professional sounding tone, “Okay…friends and family are welcome to watch from the viewing platform.”
Skylee glanced over at Will who was slowly shaking his head. Then a couple of young women, dressed in orange uniforms, began leading the spectators to the platform. Ann stood motionless and watched as they prepared for the bungee jump. Her eyebrows were strangely twisted and her lips pointed downward as she looked on
“Are you okay?” Skylee asked her. “I’m sure it’s perfectly safe, after all you’ve bungee jumped yourself, plenty of times.”
“Yeah, mum, no worries. I‘ll make sure it’s safe,” Will added, without taking his eyes off the guide.
“I’m just being a mom, you know…mom’s always worry,” Ann replied then she slowly turned and walked to the viewing platform.
“Those of you who will be jumping tandem please stand to the right and the solo jumpers to the left,” said the guide as he motioned to each side.
Chrism and Will were among the first to be suited up for the jump. Will, who had bungee jumped dozens of times, looked as cool as a cucumber.
“Oh, Will I’m so scared,” Chrism said in a childish sounding voice.
Skylee turned her head and made a face. Just then, the guide began the countdown for their jump, her stepsister pleaded with Will to hold her until they leapt. Will complied, but his eyes were now focused on Skylee. Even as they plunged from the platform concern was written across his face.
One by one, the jumpers dived from the Sky Tower, some with squeals of delight, some with screams of terror, until Skylee alone remained. The necklace was so hot it was nearly unbearable. She considered removing it but feared she might lose it in the jump.
A shadow fell across the Sky Deck as the sun hid behind a cloud. The air grew still. It seemed that the entire world had gone oddly silent. Skylee looked across the decking in search of Ann who raised her hand in a funny half-wave. For a moment, Skylee had a weird feeling that Ann was warning her not to jump.
“Step over here, Skylee,” the guide said as his hand seized the back of her waist. “I’ll help you get ready.”
“Okay, thanks,” she said, watching him hook the bungee cord to her harness. “Wait…how do you know my name?”
Moving with lightning speed, he shoved her away and she stumbled backward until she was at the edge of the platform. She clung to the cord for balance. A glint of light caught her eye.
A knife. He pointed it at her and raised his other hand in a slow, deliberate motion, removing his dark glasses. No, how can this be? Skylee asked herself as she stared into his soulless black eyes. It’s him. The devil from the wedding had found her. Her visions were coming to life.
He slowly edged nearer, holding the knife between them. There was nowhere for Skylee to go but down and she wasn’t sure her bungee cord was completely secured.
“Please…don’t…who are you?” she asked, her mind racing. “Why are you doing this?”
“Give me the necklace,” he coldly demanded.
“I don’t have it,” she said, trying to sound convincing.
“It would be wise for you to hand it over.”
Skylee felt choked by fear. “Why are you—”
“Give it to me, NOW!” he shouted.
“I can’t it’s—it’s in my room,” she lied.
“No it isn’t!” he barked. “You’re wearing it!”
He rushed toward her, holding the cord in one hand and the knife in the other. Her feet were barely touching the edge of the platform. She struggled to peer around him hoping Will’s mom had seen she was in danger. Then a sickening realization hit her, Ann could only see him from behind. She couldn’t see that he was holding a knife. Gathering all her courage, she twisted and turned trying to release his grip on her.
“Be still,” he snarled through gritted teeth.
A scream rose from deep inside her, but it was quickly halted as he held the blade against her throat.
“If you don’t give it…to…me…I WILL TAKE IT!” he loudly growled.
Running the knife at an angle along her collar, he reached the chain of her necklace. Skylee felt the blade’s cold metal and gasped as it pricked her skin.
“Okay, okay you can have it. Just don’t…” she pleaded with him, but agonizing pain halted her words.
A burning sensation tormented her as the necklace slid across her chest. It eased slightly when he suspended it over her shirt, holding it by the chain with the tip of his blade. The corners of his mouth curved into a sinister grin and his black eyes sparkled as they fixed upon the amulet.
“At last, you’re mine,” he said, reaching for it.
The magnitude of his words triggered an overwhelming surge of willpower within Skylee. You’re not taking my father’s necklace, she thought. Using every ounce of strength she could muster, she pushed his arm away, throwing him off balance. She looked up and saw the necklace swinging back and forth on the blade. Then a silver flash crossed her vision as the knife came down and sliced her arm. She expected sharp pain, yet she felt nothing but cold numbness. There was only one way to escape him. Moving swiftly, she grabbed the necklace by its chain and stepped backward off the tower.
“NO!” he screamed, swinging the knife wildly.
For a brief second she felt as if she were hanging in midair. Then she watched in horror as he nicked her harness, severing partway through the fabric. His other hand was still gripping her bungee cord, which was now slipping through his fingers. It slashed a gash through his glove and deeper into his flesh, leaving a bright red streak. The last things she saw as she tumbled downward were his black eyes.
Skylee felt herself falling—falling—backward. Everything will be fine, the harness will hold, she told herself. When she reached the end of the cord it pulled taunt and sprung back. A feeling of relief swept over her. She had escaped the stranger and the necklace was still in her hand. Soon she would be safely on the ground. On her second trip downward she heard it.
The sliced harness had broken free. Skylee helplessly tumbled through the air watching the tower fly by. There was nothing she could do. The ground came rushing up at her.
Why are we talking about Weta bugs? Because in Book One of The Primortus Chronicles we encounter one of these amazing insects. So let’s find out a “little” more about a “big” bug.
The following is from AsianScientist:Source Animal Planet (Dec. 7, 2011) – An American researcher at the Smithsonian Institution says he has found the world’s biggest bug on New Zealand’s Little Barrier Island.
The insect has a wing span of around 18 centimeters (7 inches) and weighs three times as much as a mouse. It was thought to be extinct after European settlers brought rats to New Zealand.
The giant weta bug was found by 53-year-old entomologist and photojournalist Mark Moffett, who has been called the Indiana Jones of Entomology by the National Geographic Society.
“Three of us walked the trails of this small island for two nights scanning the vegetation for a giant weta. We spent many hours with no luck finding any at all, before we saw her up in a tree,” he said.
However, Moffett did what a responsible explorer would do – he returned the bug right where he found it.
Did you know that Weta Digital (visual effects studio for The Lord of the Rings Trilogy and The Hobbit films) is named after these creatures?
Warning this part is totally disgusting!!!
Don’t worry there are about 70 species of bug that go by the name weta. And I’m told Bear didn’t eat one of the endangered types. Well, let’s hope so!!
The following is an excerpt from Eleventh Elemetum:
Chrism let out a loud gasp, pointed at Will and yelled, “BUG!”
Everyone froze. There, sitting on his shoulder, was the largest bug Skylee had seen in her entire life. The brown creature resembled a giant cricket with long hairy looking legs. It was so big in fact, that if Skylee could have mustered up the courage to pick it up it would have barely fit on her palm. Usually Skylee wasn’t afraid of insects but she found herself taking a small step back as chill bumps rushed over her arms.
Will slowly craned his neck around and was eye to eye with the enormous insect. He closed his eyes for a split second and when he reopened them, they were as wide as saucers. He looked straight ahead and didn’t dare move an inch.
“Maybe it will jump off,” Skylee quickly said as she considered how she might use the power of the Elementum to control the huge creature.
“What should I do?” whispered Will trying not to disturb it.
“Hold still mate,” said Airon with a bewildered look on his face. “Crikey, what is the bloody thing?”
“It’s a weta bug. I haven’t seen one in years,” said Hera in a hushed voice. “They—they almost went extinct after The Day. So, we should try not to harm it.”
“Weta-bug? Well, do they bite?” asked Airon curiously.
“I don’t think so, unless they’re feeling threatened,” said Heather. “Stay still. Let’s think, what can we do to keep from harming it?”
“WHAT IS WRONG WITH YOU PEOPLE? SOMEBODY, JUST SMACK THAT UGLY THING!” screamed Chrism frantically shaking her hands in front of her.
“Hey, I’ve read about these,” said Skylee, leaning in for a better look. “There are lots of different species. They’re flightless so, I don’t think it will jump off. It must have crawled on your shoulder when we were under the trees. Oh, do you think it is a tree weta?”
“Possible, yes,” answered Heather.
“They’re nocturnal, normally. Will, you must have woke him up,” Skylee said smiling at the bug.
“Hopefully, he’s a good sport about it,” he replied as he glanced at her.
“He seems okay, he hasn’t raised his back legs in defense, so you should be okay.”
She placed her hand over her necklace, hoping she could use her power without having to pull it out for everyone to see. She might be able to control the weta. Skylee searched her mind for the right thoughts to concentrate on.
Almost at the same time, Zane bounded up to Will. He smiled broadly and bent forward looking closely at the bug. Then to everyone’s amazement, he calmly picked the gigantic insect up and looked admiringly at it.
“Well, take a gawk at that!” he exclaimed. “I thought I’d never see a weta bug again. Little fella, you better find somewhere else to sit. I’m afraid you’re not welcome here.” He walked over to a tree and carefully placed the bug on a branch.
“Little,” gasped Chrism. “You call that terrible monstrosity little?”
Zane started to speak but Will reached out and placed his hand on his shoulder. “Thanks, mate. I wasn’t scarred of it or anything but I just, well I didn‘t…”
“Of course,” he said as he patted Will on the back then turned his attention to Chrism. “Let me clue you in on a secret, little lady. What you call a terrible monstrosity is a survivor and we should all consider ourselves lucky to have seen it.”
“That’s right,” said Hera nodding her head. “It’s a sign…a cause for hope.”
Chrism’s eyes got big. “I don’t get it! You’re saying that awful looking thing is some sort of special sign?”
“Don’t you see?” said Skylee. “The weta bug means the natural world is continuing to recover—the planet is healing.”
Her stepsister rolled her eyes and said, “Okay, okay you don’t have to go all environmentalist wacko on me. I get it, that gross, horrid bug is mankind’s link to utopia, yeah, whatever.
“No, it’s not like that,” said Skylee, frowning. “You don’t understand.”
“Yeah, I do, ” Chrism shot back. “But what I’m trying to comprehend is why Weta Studios is named after something that hideous. Go figure.”
Before Skylee could respond, Hera and Nika chimed in and tried to get through to her, explaining the significance of protecting the fragile environment. Skylee’s heart sank for she could see from Chrism’s bored expression that their words fell on deaf ears.
Hadassah’s father, the Vampire King, punished her harshly for her choice to love a human. Now her brother, the only person in the world who still matters to her, has fallen for a human girl. Determined to keep the girl safe, the three of them flee from their home in New England and find themselves cornered with their father’s minions closing in. If they want to escape, their only hope may be to join forces with the mortal enemies of their kind…
Why, oh why did I take so long to finish this, the first novella I have ever read? It certainly wasn’t because the story didn’t hook me right away. I read it in just two sittings with a huge break of several weeks in between. Once I found the time to settle in with my Kindle that second time I was kicking myself for waiting so long.
Kudos to Elizabeth Wheatley for great character development and a compelling plot! Although Vampire stories are not usually my kind of read, I found myself rooting for the main character. Gotta love a strong female lead!
Don’t make my mistake. Make the time to read this one. It’s pure fun from start to finish.
The following is an excerpt from Eleventh Elementum where Skylee shares the secret of her Humusara with Will.
Skylee took the book from her backpack, placed it on the foot of the bed and they both knelt in front of it. She quickly removed her necklace and placed it in the book’s cover. Will’s mouth dropped open as it began to transform.
“What’s bloody happening?”
“It’s aging¸ see, here’s the strange lettering,” she said touching the page. “But watch—wait—there—do you see it?
“No…eh…I don’t see anything, just unreadable script.”
“But you have to see it, look, don’t you see it?” Skylee took Will’s hand and placed it on the page.
They both gasped as a brilliant light appeared. It looked exactly like the light she’d seen the first time she placed the Elementum inside the cover. There was no time for Skylee to explain. Will’s body jerked, and his hand appeared to be stuck to the book. Just as before, a blaze of silvery white light erupted and formed a dazzling column of brightness that illuminated the room.
“Don’t be afraid,” whispered Skylee, seeing his eyes widen with astonishment.
Skylee shivered as the room grew colder and colder. She watched with tears in her eyes as Will gasped for air while the light moved up his arm to his chest. The same orb of twinkling light she’d seen days ago on her chest was now on his heart shining through the fabric of his shirt. Within seconds, the third column of light formed and returned to the book.
As the room warmed, Will stared down at the book. His hand softly rested on the page as he watched the flickering light fade. He didn’t speak, didn’t move. Words were appearing, shimmering across the page in front of him.
Want to read more? You’ll find the link to our book on our home page.