Three generations after The Great Succession Crisis, terror ravages Beinarian cities as healing centers planet-wide fall to unseen assailants. Orphaned by terrorism, it falls to Lord Knight Elendir of house Ten-Ar to find the truth and stop the terrorists before they kill everyone he loves.
Book two of the Anlei’s Legacy Trilogy.
For teens and adults.
Movie rating PG-13. Some sex and violence.
Targeted Age Group:: age 15 and up
What Inspired You to Write Your Book?
Ghosts of the Past continues the Anlei’s Legacy Trilogy three generations later. At its heart, it’s your classic second chapter in a trilogy with a clear objective of moving the story from a clear start point to an ending that sets up the third book.
At its core, I was inspired by my own experiences living in suburb of Newark — in the shadow of the World Trade Center — on 9/11. When you watch Lord Knight Elendir struggle with the deaths of his parents to terrorism, you are watching him work through the issues so many of us from/living near WTC struggled and continue to struggle with. Elendir asks the questions many of us ask about 9/11 — at the time and today. He even goes to the healing center where his mother worked when she died and visits the memorial to those lost in the attack, a memorial that includes the names inscribed along a fountain — with the star ruby marker reserved for healers of Ten-Ar.
So this book definitely is inspired by our 9/11 stories, at least in part.
True to everything I write, it is also infused with HOPE. That is very important to me.
How Did You Come up With Your Characters?
With Ghosts of the Past most of the characters evolved from developing the genealogy I created for the royal family. Character quirks often just showed up in that outline — in something they did or in who they married. Most of the characters just evolved organically; probably 90% of the murders in the book came about spontaneously. Those murders in turn required other characters for the investigations and so forth.
It was probably my easiest book in terms of characters and just writing; the plot twists were there for me, drawn out of my life experiences.
The unveiling reception for the Liltaél bubbled in ballroom 45 zhang 张 from Kian’s laboratory. Apprentice engineers offered guests goblets and flutes of meads, sparkling wines, ales, and both nara and kelan juice. Trays of sliced fruits and berries filled tables along with a variety of Dong-Bei cheeses, a favorite in Olos-Mir with the cold climate.
In a silver-plated punch bowl, guests helped themselves to mulled nara wine to take off the edge of the bitter cold. On a small dais musicians played Beinarian shawms, flutes, and harps. A small computer kiosk stood in the middle of the room, providing technical information on the Liltaél, its engine, and comparative data demonstrating the benefits of the new design from more than two hundred fifty different designs representing everything from low altitude shuttles to star craft to commuter trains and beyond. Queen Constance listened to the music happily, standing alone as she was not accustomed to being. After seeing to his guests, Lord Kian approached her, “I honored by Your Majesty’s apparent approval of my Liltaél.”
Constance met his eyes, “It is a beautiful star craft, Kian. I can tell you worked on it for many yen-ars.”
Kian observed her uneasy posture, “Would you care to dance with me, Your Majesty?”
“I would be honored, Lord Kian.”
Taking her by the arm, Kian led the queen to the front of the hall close to the musicians. Observing the queen’s intent to dance, other couples quickly filed close to Kian and Constance, lining up in ordered pairs, the men in one column and the ladies in the other. The head flutist raised her head, playing the introduction to the first dance. With a synchronous breath, the rest of the musicians joined her in a slow and stately Beinarian variation of an English country dance with its many crossings and castings between groups of two couples each. With practiced steps, the queen relished the dance, though only her hands touched Kian’s throughout the dance’s many repetitions. On reaching the final note of the first dance, Kian and the queen bowed to one another politely.
Several more dances followed varying from Beinarian bransles to Beinarian court dances similar to Kian and Constance’s first dance to Beinarian waltzes that broke the lines and circles into couples. Finally, Queen Constance bowed to Lord Kian, “Thank you, my lord. May I suggest a respite to enjoy the fine cuisine you have so generously provided herein?”
“Of course Your Majesty.” Escorting her away from the dance floor, Lord Kian led her to the banquet tables.
As Constance helped herself to an assortment of berries and fruits, Lord Knight Elendir strode up to her, “Your Majesty, might I have a word, please?”
“Of course, Uncle.”
Elendir led her to a quiet, private, and largely unused portion of the ballroom, “May I speak to you plainly, Your Majesty, as the daughter of my dearest friend?”
“I have never known you to be otherwise outside of the throne room’s formality, Elendir. You have been a part of my life from the beginning.”
“Then be now like the niece you have been in practice though perhaps not in fact, and answer me plainly: are you betrothed?”
“I … thought I had sufficiently hidden his gift by the shir-or of our arrival….”
“You did, perhaps, in the eyes of others. But I observed you, though briefly, while still at the palace when you were less guarded about the pendant’s visibility. To whom are you promised?”
Constance blushed, “To Lord Engineer Kian.”
“After I saw him at court last beinor – it was an instinctive decision, an intuition I cannot explain consciously,” confessed Constance.
“Are you sure it was not some adolescent impulse?”
“If it was, Uncle, I am bound to it for the rest of my life.”
“Constance, I am not certain how conscious you are of this at this xiao-shir, but since the Great Succession Crisis, the life span of your family line has grown – short. No one of direct royal descent to King Ejen has survived past 300 yen-ars – even 200 yen-ars, middle age, has become difficult. You are the youngest queen crowned in the entire Gurun dynasty, still not of full legal authority over yourself. Be careful, my queen. Your life too many be cut short by whatever it is that is ravaging house Gurun,” warned Elendir.
“I know, Uncle, believe me, I know. But there is something about this man Kian; it is as if I’ve known him in another life or something, as if perhaps he is my soul mate in some way. One look, one kiss on the hand and I knew I need to spend the rest of my life with him,” stammered Constance.
Elendir embraced Kendric’s daughter tenderly, as if she were his own, “I know, Constance, I know. I felt much the same way when I met my dear Aisling. It’s hard to explain when you meet the one your soul needs to be with. But please, be careful. Too many I fear covet your throne – and your confidence. You are still very young, too young to rule, yet there is no other choice for house Gurun.”
“Thank you for understanding. You are the nearest family I have; oh, I know, cousin Lixin is closer in blood – but not in heart or temperament. There is something dark about my cousin, Uncle. He keeps secrets and regards the rest of us like animals in some experiment or something. There’s an air of mystery and superiority about him that frightens me. For all I know, he had something do with my father’s death.”
Elendir broke the embrace and looked her in the eye solemnly, “Perhaps he did. Someone inside the palace had to have bypassed security in some way. You cannot simply bring an arsenal of weapons, even heritage weapons, into the palace. Perhaps Cathryn’s son is the key to the whole mystery none of us have been able to solve. If he was involved, my queen, you must be careful beyond words. You are the last of the Gurun dynasty. Should you perish before at least one heir of your body reaches the age of thirty … this dynasty ends. And remember: the old law forbidding daughters from ascending after their mothers still stands. You must produce a son to rule after you—AFTER you come of age and wed.”
Constance nodded, tears filling her eyes, “Your warning is well taken, Lord Knight Elendir. Please kindly release me to the company of my beloved that this conversation may remain private.”
“As you wish,” bowed Lord Knight Elendir.
Laurel A. Rockefeller was born and raised in Lincoln, Nebraska where she received her bachelor of arts from the University of Nebraska at Lincoln in writing, psychology, and medieval and Asian history. In 2009 she joined Yahoo Voices where she writes non-fiction articles covering a broad range of topics. In August, 2012 Laurel launched the Peers of Beinan medieval science fiction series with book one, “The Great Succession Crisis,” book one of the Anlei’s Legacy trilogy. In March 2014 she launched the “Legendary Women of World History” series. Laurel currently lives in western Pennsylvania with her beloved cockatiel.
Links to Purchase Print Books
Link to Buy The Ghosts of the Past Print Edition at Amazon
Link to The Ghosts of the Past Print book for sale via at CreateSpace
Link to The Ghosts of the Past Print book for sale via other sites
Links to Purchase eBooks
Link To Buy The Ghosts of the Past On Amazon