Ophelia Banner has a thriving psychology practice in San Francisco California. Life is normal or at least tolerable, most days. The problem is that Ophelia isn’t normal, she never has been. She’s been plagued with her curse, as she fondly refers to it, since she could remember. A cruel joke bestowed upon her since birth that enables her to absorb and compel people to share their inner most feelings and secrets. At least it made her a hell of a therapist.
In a fated moment everything about Ophelia’s life will change after an encounter with a golden-eyed stranger. She is thrust into a world where historical heroes, Gods and monsters alike are no longer just legends or the contents of nightmares—but frightfully real.
Ophelia doesn’t have much time to conform to this new world and the cast of characters that inhabit it because a war is being waged, and has been fought in the shadows of humankind for over three thousand years. No less vexing is the war going on in Ophelia’s heart, torn between destiny and her desire to control her fate—consequently her heart.
As conflicts ensue one thing becomes abundantly clear. Ophelia’s curse will either be the weapon that turns the tide in this war—or— may very well lead to the annihilation of our world as we know it.
Found is the first book in The Conduit Chronicles series that follows Ophelia along her journey and exploration of this new and provocative world.
Targeted Age Group:: Adult
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
I was always writing, even at a very young age. I found myself lost in my imagination and the fantastical worlds I would dream up. Don't judge my mother but one of my favorite books at age nine was Interview with the Vampire. Consequently, immortality was absolutely mezmerizing to me. So I started letting my day dreams run wild with a cast of my own immortal characters. The conduit world came into clear focus when I was 25 and backpacking through Europe. Suddenly my brain was teased with historical places, along with the extraordinarily gifted people I had been imagining for years. The two fascinations melded together to create The Conduit Chronicles. After three months of journaling on trains I had the story completely mapped out and the rest is history.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
Ophelia is a strong, independent woman but her strengths are often her weakness. Lucas is arrogant and bold, along with being witty and cunning. I wanted him to lighten the mood at times and create the tension during other moments. He is mysterious and strong. Elias attempts to be the level headed one of the three. He puts others first and see's the bigger picture when most cannot. I think my characters are a reflection of the world I see around me and in myself and I believe readers will feel the same.
My head felt foggy, but my eyes shot open. There was someone in my house. I paused for a moment and tried my hardest to trace the intense animosity I could sense to a more comprehensible figure and location. They were not in my house, yet, but close. The invader’s intent was suffocating. I quickly scanned my room. Where was the nearest exit? My mind was misty. I’d never felt such pointed fury—it felt like daggers being thrusted into my skin repeatedly. I had to concentrate. What was I going to do? I couldn’t call Lucas, even if he wasn’t hundreds of miles away, his phone was dead.
My heart was racing. I cast the blankets over my head, an instinct from childhood, I suppose—but completely useless in the face of danger. Suddenly the blanket was ripped off me. I fought to scream, but all I could manage were heavy terrified gasps. The intruder put his hand over my mouth and stared into my panicked face. It was him. The eyes looking back at me were the very ones that had prowled my dreams and my waking thoughts.
I wasn’t afraid of him. I knew he was there to protect me. As he grabbed my arm a shock pulsated through my body. It was warm and familiar, like the day we’d run into each other. He lifted me out of bed and maneuvered me toward the fire escape. I was petrified of heights, and considered darting back into bed, willing to face my stalker rather than scale this building. The stranger saw my hesitation and grasped my arm harder, as another jolt of energy travelled up my arm. I slipped into my house shoes and crawled out the window.
Gently he lowered the ladder. My knees were trembling. He took the steps two by two, while I tried my hardest to just keep my knees from giving out completely. I wasn’t moving fast enough—I could tell by his angst. He didn’t look inpatient, just on guard, bracing himself for an attack. He grabbed me at my waist and my stomach turned as I felt vibrations warm my abdomen. He’d already lowered the next ladder and gracefully progressed down to the street, but I was far too short to get to the sidewalk from the end of the escape. I had an impulse to climb back up, but then I looked up at my window, there was a shadow inside. The golden-eyed man had no interest in me making other plans. He grabbed my legs and tenderly placed me on the ground. The strange pulses were now radiating from almost every part of my being. I was finding it hard to concentrate. Was he feeling it too?
The shadow was on the move. The stranger grabbed my hand and darted for the alleyway just past my building. He was fast—too fast for me to keep up. It was as if he was gliding on top of the pavement and not actually touching the ground. We turned down the alley and he quickened his pace as I stumbled. He paused only for a moment to throw me over his shoulder, knocking the wind out of me. His pace quickened yet again.
I heard the dumpster we’d just passed slam against the wall. There was something in this dark alley with us. I felt my breathing pick back up and thought I could hear footsteps—although it sounded more like barely audible fluttering wings. I was flopping around like a rag doll on my rescuer’s shoulder, my body pulsating from the currents coming off his skin.
A car abruptly squealed to a stop immediately in front of us. The door flew open and I was tossed into the back seat. My head was throbbing with confusion. Was I being abducted? Wait. Stop and think, Ophelia. You’re with the stranger, the one from Chicago. The car fishtailed as we took off, and profanity flew out of the driver’s mouth at such a speed I wasn’t sure that it was even in English, but it certainly was cursing. Wait! I thought. I know that voice, that’s Lucas’ voice. But it wasn’t Lucas’ car.
“Lucas? What the hell is going on?!” I tried not to sound panicked.
“Yanni is right behind us, speed up for Christ’s sake!” The stranger yelled.
I turned around and saw the small figure of a man, doing what I could only describe as leaping after the car. Oh my God, there is a man on foot chasing us, I thought. Why, or better yet, how? The car whipped right and flung me across the seat.
“Put on your seatbelt Ophelia.” Lucas’ voice was calm but stern. I quickly gathered the first bundle of seatbelt I could find and slung it across my lap. Click. All of a sudden, the back end of the car sagged. It seemed to be dragging on the asphalt. The back window shattered and before I could look up to see what caused the collision the stranger was over my body, covering my head and screaming at Lucas in a language I’d never heard before. The car whipped around and was now facing the opposite direction, from what I could tell. Suddenly the rear of the car was back to its normal position and we were peeling out again.
I heard a voice and thought, Is that me laughing? I’m dreaming, I must be dreaming. The car shifted left and my head whipped right. Shit this doesn’t feel like a dream, I thought as my laugh grew more guttural.
“Ophelia are you okay?” The stranger asked me and then snapped back at Lucas. “Where the hell were you? Is she okay? Don’t drive so erratic, you’re going to make her sick.”
“I’m trying to save our lives. She’ll be fine. She’s stronger than you think. She laughs when she’s scared. I think it’s kind of cute.” I could see Lucas’ smirk in the rearview mirror.
I looked back again, hysteria in my voice. “He’s still back there, that man chasing us, on foot.” Again, the giggles overwhelmed me, floating out of the bellows of my stomach. “How can a man be chasing a car on foot?” I leaned over the driver’s seat and saw that we were going about 135 mph down California St. I turned around again, “I think he’s gaining on us.” As soon as I said it, I felt ridiculous. A man was gaining on us going 135 mph. My laugh grew boisterously loud and my head began to swim and pound.
“I think she is going to pass out,” our mysterious passenger announced, and as soon as the words fell from his lips I could feel darkness sweeping over my eyes like a heavy, rich curtain being drawn in a play. It made its way across my eyelids, and everything went dark.
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