Crossroads (Book 1) Can two worlds collide in dreams? Crossroads, Between, Beyond, Eternity, Halo City-novella Protecting her from the fallen was his duty. Falling in love was never part of his plan. Loving her was forbidden. Being with her was all that mattered, even if it meant he would be exiled for all eternity. Claudia Emerson's life is about to change when her good friend, who coincidentally shares the same first and last name, dies in a tragic accident after the homecoming dance. Distraught at the loss of her friend, Claudia's dreams become tumultuous, and through them she mysteriously travels to another world called Crossroads. Unknown to her, Crossroads is like a second heaven, a place between heaven and earth, where the souls of humans in comas or near death experiences may wander. There, she unexpectedly meets Michael, a nephilim--half angel, half human. It turns out that this isn't her first visit, which is an enigma, for she has no recollection of being there, and is told that no human has crossed over...until Claudia. Now that she's been there, fallen and demons are after her, suspecting she must be special, and it is up to Michael and the other nephilim to protect her. Her dream becomes a nightmare as more secrets are revealed about who she really is, and the true identities of the people she loves most. The situation becomes even more complicated when she is unable to hinder her feelings for her swoon-worthy guardian angel. Can Michael fight his growing feelings for Claudia and protect her as a guardian angel should, or will he be too blinded by human emotions and the struggles of being who he is?
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********************Though Phillip had already told me that I wouldn’t be able to tell the difference between an alkin and a fallen, it was confirmed as I watched the battle. They looked just like the alkins as the two sides battled with swords. Watching, I noticed that Michael had one too, but where had it come from? “No!” Michael shouted, suddenly standing directly in front of me. “You don’t need her. She’s just a human.” “Get them!” Aden shouted again. During the entire fight Michael stayed by my side, protecting me. They fought so swiftly that even with my flashlight it was hard to distinguish alkins from the fallen. I focused intently, trying to figure out who was who, but it was no use. They were too fast for human eyes. I pointed the flashlight, hoping to blind or distract them, but that also proved to be pointless. It was only useful for my vision. In the blink of an eye they were here, there and everywhere. The clanging of swords colliding was painful to hear. As the screeching sounds continued, all I could see were sparks as the swords made contact, as if we were in the middle of a lightning storm. Fearful of any alkin getting hurt, I covered my ears, hoping that it would end soon. Suddenly, Aden raised his hand toward the stars, and the fallen stopped. The sounds of the swords crashing against each other came to a dead halt. Aden started circling around Michael and me. As he drew closer, I could see that he looked exactly as I remembered him from my dream. The wrinkles on his forehead defined his age, and though I conceived him as evil, his voice scared me more than his appearance. Aden never lifted a finger to fight; instead, he relied on the fallen to carry out his battle strategies. “Michael, come with me. I’ll give you anything you want.” “There is nothing I want from you.” “They’ve turned you against me. I should have killed you when I had the chance.” Aden’s eyes raged with anger. “They didn’t turn me against you. I did it of my own free will.” “Move out of my way!” Aden shouted. “You’ll have to go through me first!” As Aden continued to circle around us, I could sense movement from the fallen, edging closer to Michael and me. The alkin must have sensed it too as they positioned themselves right behind us and immediately began to attack the fallen. Michael moved me to the left and then to the right, fighting while shielding me. Though the fallen were fewer in number than before, they were retaliating in full force. In the midst of all the chaos, I lost my grip on the flashlight, and it tumbled off the cliff. Instinctively I reached for it, and in that split second someone or something collided against me, and I plummeted off the cliff. Gravity was pulling me faster than my body could resist. I’d always heard that at the moment of death, one’s life flashed before their eyes; all the moments that had brought them to that point, big or small. All I could think of was death itself and the one person who had changed my life forever—Michael.
Author Mary Ting Bestselling/award-winning author Mary Ting resides in Southern California with her husband and two children. She enjoys oil painting and making jewelry. Writing her first novel, Crossroads Saga, happened by chance. It was a way to grieve the death of her beloved grandmother, and inspired by a dream she once had as a young girl. When she started reading new adult novels, she fell in love with the genre. It was the reason she had to write one-Something Great. Why the pen name, M Clarke? She tours with Magic Johnson Foundation to promote literacy and her children's chapter book-No Bullies Allowed.