by L. A. Kelley
99 Cent Amazon Sale
Ends March 31
Excitement brews in Crossroads for everyone but lawyer, Callum MacGregor. The harvest festival coincides with an eclipse, but a recent breakup leaves him no desire to attend until a visit from his old law partner, Isaac Bingham, drops a bombshell. Twenty years before Cal’s birth, his grandfather, Phillip, extracted a promise. Isaac must get Cal to the festival or the world faces unparalleled disaster. The mystery deepens when Cal learns another person received the same mysterious summons.
After being fired for refusing to cook the books, accountant Meg Adler gets a letter with a job offer from a man named Bingham. She must attend the Crossroads Harvest Festival and meet his representative to discuss details. Meg is leery, but it’s not the end of the world if this doesn’t pan out. Right?
Ancient evil prowls the shadow of the eclipse, and the key to saving the present is in the past. Cal and Meg enter a mystic maze and journey to Babylon, the Dark Ages, and 1906 San Francisco on the trail of magic artifacts lost in the recesses of time. Can they dodge demonic forces, fulfill a dead man’s mission, and discover a new future with each other?
“So, Cal,” Meg said. “Why meet here? What does this festival have to do with a job?” She flashed a cheeky grin. “I should warn you I don’t work the carny circuit.”
A job? An uneasy sensation settled in his gut. “I’ve no idea. I thought you knew why we were here.”
“Me?” Meg pulled back her hand and color rose to her cheeks. “What is this? Some kind of sick joke? Who does this Phillip Bingham think he is, anyway?”
Cal gaped at her. “Phillip Bingham contacted you? Not Isaac?”
“I got a letter from him with a vague employment offer from the Lux Foundation along with an invitation to attend the Crossroads Harvest Festival.” She wrinkled her brow. “It was a funny kind of letter on really old paper. The room at the inn was paid for by a man named Isaac Bingham, and I needed a job, so I figured what the hell. The instructions said a person would find me here to discuss the details. I assume that is you.” Her voice tightened in anger. “Is Phillip Bingham the town lunatic?”
“No, but I’m sorry to tell you he’s very much dead.” Cal gave her a recap of his meeting with Isaac.
As Meg listened, her eyes widened in astonishment. “Phillip Bingham died decades ago? How could he know I’d lose my job this week and be desperate enough to jump at this crazy offer?”
Cal ran a hand through his hair. “How did he know either of us would even be born?”
Meg took a wary step back. “I’m not sure I believe you.”
“I’m not sure I believe it myself. Listen, do you want to go somewhere and talk? Try to figure this out? I’ll call Isaac, tell him we found each other, and demand an explanation.”
Meg cocked her head toward the entrance of the corn maze. “Do you hear that? Someone called for help.”
“Probably lost in the maze. George made it extra challenging this year.”
“No, it’s different.” She sucked in a breath. “M-my name—I swear I heard my name.”
A gust of wind rippled the stalks. They bent toward the entrance, fluttery hands beckoning them inside. Cal strained to hear past the whispery rustle of the leaves.
Almost as if they were voices…
“I’ll check it out,” he said. “Maybe someone fell and got hurt. Wait here—”
“Not a chance.” Meg bolted into the maze, and Cal ran after her. They came to the first intersection, and she skidded to a halt. “Which way?”
“Left,” Cal said without hesitation.
They dashed deeper into the field, now left, now right, now straight ahead. With each step, Cal’s path became surer as if something pulled him with an invisible cord.
Meg puffed beside him. “How do you know which way to go?”
“I-I can’t explain it.” With every breath, the air around Cal became hotter and more oppressive, pressing on his shoulders like a stifling blanket. Humidity dropped to nothing. Beads of sweat on his brow evaporated. Cal licked his dry, cracked lips and grimaced at the gritty feel of sand on his tongue.
Sand in a corn maze?
They turned a corner and stumbled into a clearing. In the center was an arbor that arched over a circle of flagstones on the ground. A glowing flame hovered above the stones, suspended in midair. Meg and Cal exchanged dumbfounded looks and stepped forward. The clarion note of a distant horn sounded a soldier’s call to action. A surge of adrenaline flooded Cal’s veins. He hadn’t felt like this since his days on patrol with the Army. Unconsciously, Cal’s hand went to his hip, reaching for the sword. He stared at his empty hand. Sword?
The flame grew larger and brighter, shooting through the arbor into the heavens.
“Cal!” Meg’s voice sounded very far away.
“I’m here!” Cal reached for her, but the flame blinded him, blotting out the maze, blotting out the sun, blotting out the world.
Nothing remained but the roar of the cheering crowd.