Crossroads of Frozen Eternity

Book two of the Mystical Island series.
(Co-authored by James Abendroth of Blackguard Press)

In the eight years since Sentomoru's death, the island has flourished under Catilen's rule. But Damian can't escape the former lord's shadow. It haunts him keenest in the form of Catilen's seven-year-old daughter, Morulin. Damian desperately wants to be part of her life, but fears rejection when she learns the truth about her father's death.

With the island at her back, Catilen thought she could avoid any problem larger than Damian's insecurities. But something has torn the veil between worlds, setting the island on a collision course with an alternate version of it itself. Face to face with the man she's spent the last eight years trying to forget, Catilen can no longer dismiss Damian's concerns as paranoia. Worst of all, the island's predicament has infected Catilen's daughter with a mysterious ailment.

Catilen must find a way to put her personal strife aside, and stop Damian's from consuming him, before the sickness infects the rest of the island's inhabitants. But old wounds still remain and it seems their struggle against Kenjiro Sentomoru is far from over.

A Spectral Encounter...
Catilen’s gaze snapped upward. Her breath caught in her throat. Heart pounding, knees weak, she stumbled, trying to put the tree between her and the specter.

In the starlight, he looked solid. The wind tousled unruly hair as he approached. He arched an eyebrow at her reaction. But he couldn’t be real, no matter how tangible he seemed.

"Don’t come any closer," she wheezed. Her racing heart drove the breath from her lungs. What emotional impressions would the apparition impart if it passed through her? She couldn’t bear them.

Her head swam. She felt a tentative wave of comfort roll from the spirit. This was no remnant, no impression left by a dying soul. How, then, could she sense him?

In the dim light of the village lanterns, a figure took shape. Long hair and billowing robes trailed behind him, a blot in the night. As she stood, Catilen rekindled her mage light, extinguished by the interruption to her concentration. The face it illuminated made her skin crawl. Dressed in gold-embroidered crimson robes, braided hair draped over one shoulder, stood the former lord of the isle.

He looked solid, not a ghost. The mage light reflected in his eyes, revealing a look of concerned surprise. His features were as fine as she remembered, more delicate than the artists portrayed him in their paintings, from his high cheekbones to the slant of his eyes. A perfectly manicured goatee framed his chin.

Catilen didn't pause to think; she summoned the island's power to her fingers. She didn't bother to hide her strength, wanting whoever crafted this illusion to sense it. "If you are a spirit, be gone. If you are some mage-creation, your master would be wise to dispel you. I will not hesitate to strike."

Thunder rumbled in the distance as the island reacted to her anger, urging her to release it in one white-hot flash. She resisted the compulsion. The island was impulsive, believing every desire a wish to be granted.

A distant look crossed his face. An expression she recognized. Communing with the puppet master, perhaps? He pressed his lips into a thin line as his eyes darkened.

"Something appears to be amiss."

"No shit." Men didn't normally waltz from their graves eight years after death, healthy and hale as though they never died.

Sample Chapters:
Chapter 1
Chapter 2
Chapter 3

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