Hey there book lovers! I've got some exciting news to share with you all. My latest book, Saving Winter, written by yours truly, is finally out in the world, and I can't wait for you to get your hands on it. This is the third installment in the Mirror Chronicles, and is set in a world where time travel to the future is finally possible. Believe me, things are about to get crazy.
We follow Violette, who's fed up with waiting for the Mirror to come out of hiding and change the world. But with ITTA still in charge of time travel, every move the Mirror makes could be a recipe for disaster. Violette uncovers ITTA's latest plot against the Mirror and decides to take matters into her own hands to save her loved ones.
Meanwhile, Baigh is living the high-life while promoting the Mirror's cause, but a threat that locks down the Silos forces him to face his deepest fears. And Fleur feels trapped in the Silos, waiting for her destiny to unfold until an opportunity comes knocking, which changes everything.
If you're looking for a wild ride, then this is the book for you. I can't wait for you to read the first chapter and dive into this world where time travel is real, and everything is up for grabs. So, what are you waiting for? Let's get reading!
Mirror Silo Headquarters, Oklahoma, United States, Western Union
19 December 2072
Violette brushed aside a stray strand of lavender hair from her eyes as the dinner bell echoed through the open classroom door. She stretched, trying to ignore the warm aroma of ham and rolls that wafted in from Rusha’s kitchen. Supper would have to wait until Vi had finished tidying the assimilation room.
The hands-on learning center had three banquet tables arranged in rows. Modern electronics and appliances lay scattered across each table: televisions, microwaves, electric pianos, lamps, and more. Now that class was finished, it was her job to place everything in its designated spot on the shelves lining the walls.
The first lesson with historical refugees always left the classroom in shambles. Most of the students tentatively interacted with modern devices in the beginning. But once their overwhelm and fear subsided, they became like curious toddlers, exploring, manipulating, and sometimes even dismantling the tech. Assimilation classes released the refugees’ curiosity before they stepped out into the real world.
Violette picked up a grease-stained toaster and groaned in frustration.
“What did they break this time?” Rouge looked up from where she worked across the room.
“Someone jammed a tablet in here.” Violette pointed at the overstuffed bread slot.
“How on earth?” Rouge’s signature snort punctuated her laugh.
Violette bit her bottom lip, reached for a screwdriver, and tried wedging it into the appliance. She winced as the tablet’s display made a crackling sound, like gravel ground beneath a shoe. “I rarely blame them for being curious, but this is just malicious.”
Rouge stepped closer and peered into the toaster. “It’s better that they make these mistakes here rather than above, right?”
Violette sighed and nodded. Anytime the Mirror rescued someone from their unfortunate place in history, the faeris spent three weeks training them on the basics they’d need to know before entering the modern world. In the past, Keltson had shuffled people around in the past, saving them from dismal timelines, and setting them on new trajectories. But ITTA was combing history for any trace of his interference these days. The only place to relocate them was the present day, where ITTA didn't suspect.
And Violette was a part of it all—training and supporting refugees on how to succeed in this new world. But there were obvious risks. If anyone got caught gaping at electronic toothbrushes and doorbells, they could draw suspicion that might lead ITTA right back here, to headquarters.
So, Violette let people make mistakes like shoving tablets into toasters in the safety of the silos, instead of in their future homes.
Violette finally freed the edge of the tablet from beneath the metal lip of the toaster, and the device popped up like a piece of bread. Pursing her lips, Violette ran her finger over the top corner of the screen. A spiderweb of cracks laced the glass. She pressed the power button, and the display lit up. Unfortunately, a black void filled the broken corner.
“That’s a shame.” Rouge clicked her tongue.
“I’ll have to drop it off at the tech bay with Tia. I’m sure she’ll be thrilled.” Violette tested the touch screen by tapping on a news app. A bold front-page headline blared up at her.
ITTA’s Newest Offensive Line: Bounty Hunters
Her breath caught, and she skimmed through the article, scanning segments that mentioned recent civilian protests outside of ITTA headquarters. The current director, Aiguo Huang, had just announced a new department dedicated solely to finding The Mirror. Her finger swiped through the article, revealing that there would be a new crime investigation channel for citizens to live-stream along with the strike team as they pieced together hints and clues. The piece ended with a chilling quote.
“An entire team of mercenaries devoted to hunting down the Mirror wherever he may hide? That’s right. Time-traveling bounty hunters. And we get to sleuth right along with them. What has the world come to?”
Vi’s stomach tightened as she read the article, and she placed a hand over it for comfort. “I have to show Keltson.”
Rouge, who had been reading over Violette’s shoulder, nodded. “I’ll finish up here. Go.”
Violette hurried out the door and into the main silo. She ascended the spiraling scaffolding that led up each of the five stories. Each landing had a hall of tunnels leading to various control rooms. Keltson had repurposed the old cold-war missile silo tunnels into dormitories and gathering spaces like Rusha’s kitchen, Tia’s tech bay, and Ammond’s management office.
Four floors later, Violette reached Keltson’s control room. She took a deep breath to compose herself before entering.
Inside, Bianka looked up from folding a pile of clean clothes meant for the incoming refugees who would likely step through Keltson’s mirror any moment now. Whenever new arrivals came in, Bianka was the first to greet them. She saw to their basic needs, offering them necessities and guidance to their rooms. The job suited her. Her calm demeanor and soft brown eyes worked soothing magic on anyone who stepped through Keltson’s Mirror.
“Violette, how are you?” Bianka asked, a smile spreading across her face.
“I need to see Keltson. Urgently,” Violette said.
Bianka hesitated and glanced at the “do not disturb” sign above Keltson’s consulting room—a dark closet that he used while directing Charul’s time travel rescue missions in the past.
Normally, Violette would wait for Keltson to finish, but this information could jeopardize everything Charul was doing.
Violette stepped firmly toward the door and knocked.
Bianka stood. “He’s running an extraction mission with Charul. You shouldn’t interrupt them.”
Violette pounded harder.
The door flew open, and Keltson squinted out at Vi. His eyelids drooped like he had been working in the dark for days on end. The light of six monitors lit the small space behind him, illuminating a trail of empty energy drink canisters strewn across the floor.
“ITTA is changing tactics.” Violette shoved the tablet toward him, clearly displaying the article.
Keltson frowned as he studied the article. Then he returned the tablet. “I shouldn’t be interrupted by this.”
Violette straightened in surprise and pointed to the headline. “If Charul is in danger, bringing him home is in your best interest.”
Keltson ran a hand across his face. “The fact that there are now bounty hunters in the mix doesn’t mean ITTA is any closer to finding us.”
Violette set her jaw. “The only reason he thinks he’s safe back there is because he knows all the other agents who currently time travel. He doesn’t recognize these new recruits.”
“Thank you for your opinion, but I know what I’m doing, Violette. We have plenty of protocols in place.” Keltson pursed his lips, obviously trying to keep his temper in check.
Violette ducked her chin back. “ITTA continues to make moves to find us. We only make changes once we’re backed into a corner. We should act now, while we have a heads up.”
“I’m not afraid of ITTA.” Keltson shook his head.
“Then make the first move! We’ve been working in this hole in the ground for two years. ITTA has protesters on their doorstep. You could use this moment in your favor. They’ve taken this too far,” Violette said.
Keltson scowled. “I won’t turn into an antagonist.”
Violette leaned in. “Fine. If you don’t want to compromise your values, then give someone else the tools to take ITTA down from the inside.”
Keltson’s gaze darted toward Bianka. He spoke through clenched teeth. “We already talked about this, Violette. The answer is no.”
Vi pressed her hand against the doorframe. “But if we just helped Lilia, she could…”
Keltson grabbed her wrist and pulled her into the control room, shutting the door behind them. His eyes were dark and intense as he raised a finger to her face. “Never mention Lilia in front of Bianka.”
Violette ripped her arm free from his grasp. How dare he be so brusque with her!
Keeping her voice sharp and level, she said, “I understand your reasons for disliking Lilia, but the woman who attempted to kill Bianka is gone. The version of Lilia that’s trapped in ITTA headquarters did everything in her power to save Bianka’s life. She probably still cares about her! Have you ever wondered why ITTA doesn’t have more information about you? Lilia’s most likely protecting Bianka by withholding what she knows about the Mirror. You’re accusing Lilia of crimes she never committed.”
Keltson’s eyes narrowed at her words. “Lilia was never the selfless being you just claimed she was. From the beginning, she strayed from the plan to serve herself. Giving any amount of power to someone so self-centered is a dangerous game.”
“Lilia has been trapped inside ITTA for four years. She probably knows more about their motives and tech than Tia does. With a mind like hers—”
“I know precisely what a mind like hers is capable of.” Keltson took a deep breath through his nose, trying to stay calm. “A person’s essence remains the same in every timeline, no matter how many times we re-write their story. Lilia is too self-interested to be an asset. She’s a genius, yes. But a ticking time bomb.”
Violette leveled a stern gaze at him. “This isn’t what I signed up for, Keltson. You’re settling for crumbs when there are universal laws to be changed. We could make a difference everywhere instead of merely creating happy endings here and there. Everyone could have a shot at living their best life instead of just a lucky few. Why limit your influence to people from the past? What about those living here and now? Don’t they deserve the same protection you provide others?”
Keltson studied her as if attempting to read her intentions. His mouth remained pressed in a firm line. “Be careful, Violette, you’re beginning to sound just like her.”
Violette froze. Did he really think that?
Keltson continued. “I saved Lilia from a life she wanted to leave behind, but she used her opportunity to manipulate Bianka’s timeline. Lilia already had a chance at redemption. I won’t give her access to time travel ever again.” Keltson opened the door. “Now if you don’t mind, I need to assist Charul.”
Violette squinted against the sudden light outside his office. A jumble of emotions welled up inside her, but she remained outwardly calm. She lifted her chin and said, “We are going to regret it if you don’t do something about ITTA.”
“You are dismissed.” Keltson’s tone left no space for objections.
Violette stepped out of his consulting room. She walked past Bianka without looking at her. The Mirror had more work to do in the world. This fight was worth it. No matter what Keltson thought, she knew she wasn’t like Lilia. She was a part of the Mirror. She had been for four years now. But it was too much to ask all these people to stay hidden below ground in Oklahoma indefinitely, especially when they could make a lasting change.
Keltson just wasn’t being honest with himself about their safety. And Violette worried that the illusion of control was as dangerous as the lack of it. If only Keltson saw things the way Violette did.
He couldn’t afford not to.