With her family name tainted by her great-grandfather’s crimes, Meriden Cummings could only dream of fleeing her oppressive life. Then she unearthed a piece of tanned skin, and her blood revealed an ancient map adorned with Mayan glyphs, launching her on the journey of a lifetime. However, she finds herself bound to the map, and there is a cost to her newfound freedom. One that will torment her mind as well as her soul.
After being shanghaied by pirates, Gregory Wilson escapes to a small English village where he runs into an obnoxious auburn- haired beauty. When he learns she is about to set sail on dangerous waters, he signs up to join her crew, hoping to defend her from the pirates seeking her great-grandfather’s treasure. But, will he be able to protect her from the ghost that haunts her or the curse running through her veins.
A severe pounding in my head, I opened my eyes to find myself in my quarters. Wally was curled up by my stomach fast asleep, and a familiar bandaged hand resting on top of my lower arm. I was completely sandwiched with Greg’s body pressed up against my spine like I was a cuddly pillow. Blinking a few times, I realized the room was bright, though by the soft tap on the windows, it was still drizzling outside. I lifted my hand to look at the light shining on my skin when I noticed a bandage wrapped around the palm. Come to think of it, both my hands were burning with a dull ache. I flexed my fingers, causing the pain to intensify. I then tried to raise myself, only to become dizzy.
“I wouldn’t do that,” a tender voice whispered in the distance. I looked over at the chair that had been pulled to the other side of the desk to find Matthew watching my every move. “You took a serious blow to the head at some point and suffered a concussion. I’m surprised you’re alive right now.”
A concussion? I tried to think back to the storm after Greg tied me to the mast. I remembered being brutally thrashed by the rain, wind, and growing swells. At some point, I fell and hit the back of my head against something hard. Shortly after, I quickly became worn out, and despite Greg’s attempts to keep me awake, I closed my eyes and went to sleep.
I stroked Greg’s arm in front of me, feeling each of his light, soft hairs tickle my flesh. Though I couldn’t picture the events perfectly in my memory, I remembered the wide-eyed look on his face right before I dozed off. Even now, it seemed like he was clinging to me, not wanting me to escape.
“It was the only way he’d allow the doctor to bind his wounds,” Matthew explained, almost reading my mind. “When the storm eased and we were finally able to reach the two of you, he wouldn’t let go. He was half-conscious from blood loss, pain, dehydration, and fatigue. But all he could think about was you. He wouldn’t leave your side knowing there was a chance you might not wake up again.”
After arriving at Death Island, Meriden Cummings became haunted by dreams of a young Mayan woman’s death. A death, Meriden fears, foreshadows her own. And she soon discovers that in this tropical paradise, there are many ways to die. On top of that, the pirates after her great-grandfather’s treasure are not far behind. Can she and her crew stay one step ahead of them and the Mayan god that inhabits the island?Meriden is not the only one haunted by the young Mayan woman’s death. Gregory Wilson has had similar dreams the moment he stepped foot on the island. In addition, he has seen the Mayan god of death, Ah Puch. Will he be able to protect Meriden from the earthly dangers as well as the supernatural forces seeking her demise?
George stretched his hand out a bit closer. “Here, let me help you.”
My fears released, I took his hand with a mischievous smile. “No, let me help you.”
I yanked his hand as hard as I could until he fell over the edge and crashed into the water. Bonus, the splash soaked Greg and Rupert, causing them to jump back a couple steps. Their chests and abdomens now amplified through their drenched shirts. Unable to contain myself, I laughed.
“What the hell has gotten into you?” Rupert spat.
I couldn’t answer. It was as if my mind was no longer under my control. Through tears, I watched George spit the water out of his mouth. Then I noticed a cobalt fin and scales brush the surface of the water circling me, eventually brushing against my leg. The threatening sense of oncoming danger abruptly stopped my laughter and snapped me back into reality. What the hell? I turned to see part of a beautiful woman’s face; her skin a soft bronze, her eyes dark brown, her nose arched, and her hair the same color as a raven’s feather. I was struck in awe by her presence. Her eyes hypnotic while they continued to stare. Finally, the woman lifted her head up and spit water into my face.
About the Author
Kelsey Ketch is a young-adult/new-adult author, who works as a Wildlife Biologist in the state of North Carolina. During her free time, she can often be found working on her latest work in progress. She also enjoys history, mythology, traveling, and reading.
For more information, please visit her site at kelseyketch.com.
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