Keepers of Genesis Series
Genre: YA PNR/ Urban Fantasy
Publisher: LBLA Digital
Number of pages: 432
Word Count: 160,000
Cover Artist: XLintellect PTY LTD
A powerful, hidden artefact is unearthed and, with its discovery, an ancient conflict is reignited. Seventeen-year-old Sage Woods, the daughter of an eminent archaeologist, uncovers the artefact’s disturbing secret and is placed in terrible danger.
Unwittingly, she has stumbled into an invisible war between two primordial dynasties of a supernatural order – a war in which she has a fateful role to play in a race to control the power of the SEED.
Embroiled in a quest that takes her from the British Museum to the Louvre to the Vatican Secret Archives, Sage realises that her blossoming romance with the mysterious, alluring St. John Rivers is inextricably tied to the artefact.
Up until now, St. John has managed to keep his true identity hidden, but Sage is determined to delve deeper to uncover his dark secret and his connection to the SEED.
It is a decision that will have a devastating effect on humankind…
Available at Amazon
One thrilling quest, twin sisters and their sweeping and adventurous romances, a perilous rivalry, intriguing exploration of some of Western culture's greatest mysteries, a magical tale of angels and demons throughout the ages. Incorporating historical facts intertwined with myth, fantasy, fascinating esoterica and love story, SEED is a captivating read which marks the arrival of a wonderful new voice in YA and crossover escapist literature.
I had no idea where to begin in my quest, so I decided to simply follow the path of least resistance, working my way around the exhibition. It was like a jigsaw puzzle; reconstructing pieces of the past and trying to find the bigger picture. I didn’t really know what I was looking for, I only hoped that there would be something, some tablet or bas relief, that would be able to shed some light on the artefact and, more importantly, on what I’d seen. I would have sworn that I saw it transform before my eyes in Dad’s office but I didn’t know whether I should doubt myself now. I’d only seen the artefact for a few moments and yet it had felt like it was speaking to me, imparting some ancient knowledge. Of course, I didn’t understand any of it, but I hoped to.
Because I was in a reverie, I almost missed the piece altogether. It was a tablet not much more than ten centimetres in length, containing a cuneiform inscription and a unique map of the Mesopotamian world. The symbols on the tablet were an exact copy of some of the symbols I’d seen on the artefact though a little more crudely formed.
The cuneiform inscription composed the top section of the tablet whilst, underneath it, was a diagram featuring two concentric circles. The outer circle was surrounded by triangles at what seemed to be random distances. The inner circle held more geometric symbols and cuneiforms. A rectangle in the top half of the inner circle in the centre of the tablet represented Babylon. Assyria, Elam and other cities were also depicted. The tablet and its inscription were by no means complete as it had been reassembled from the broken pieces found by archaeologists. Information was obviously missing but I was elated at finding anything that could tell me more about the artefact.
It was because I was so transfixed with my find that I initially failed to notice that I was being scrutinized from across the room. The first I became aware of it was a prickling sensation down my back, the hairs on my neck and arms raised giving me goose bumps. I turned my head round nervously, looking back over my shoulder.
He stood at a distance, a young man in his mid-twenties perhaps, taller than average. No mere accident of lighting, his slightly curly locks, the colour of polished brass, formed a halo around a face that was much too beautiful to be called handsome. The only way to describe him was golden. His skin was golden, his hair, which he wore slightly longer than was fashionable, curling into the nape of his neck, was golden and I suspected his eye colour was, if not golden, amber like mine.
When I caught him staring at me intently, he neither looked away in embarrassment nor did he pretend to know me. Instead, he continued to assess me with an unblinking, hypnotic gaze. It was I who broke contact first; flushing with embarrassment, I dropped my eyes at once.
This can’t be happening! I thought, feeling panicky. Dragging in a deep breath, my eyes skittered back to his. He was still staring at me, his indescribably beautiful face unmoved.
My heart fluttered in my chest. I didn’t know what to think – was this some random stalker or had he seen me before around the museum and couldn’t place my face, seeming familiar to him? No serial killer looked the way he did. He was dressed immaculately all in black; a pair of black trousers was topped by a fine woollen black turtleneck. He wore the sleeves rolled up, exposing his sun-kissed skin. And the black only accentuated the perfection of his face. Of course, I had no idea what a serial killer looked like, but I was fairly certain it wasn’t this golden god.
As curious as I was, I did the only thing that made sense; I ignored him – or pretended to. Deliberately turning my back on him, I tried to refocus on the tablet in front of me. But I was merely staring blankly, nothing was registering. It was all so unreal.
‘It’s not real.’ A low, attractive voice remarked by my side.
I almost jumped out of my skin, whirling to face the owner of that voice.
‘Sorry if I startled you.’ He smiled, apologetically. ‘I saw you looking at the map of ancient Mesopotamia.’ He nodded in the direction of the display case.
I blinked. He was even more stunningly golden up close. He belonged in a museum – he had the kind of face and figure that artists used as a model. Statues should have been made of this man, posing as Apollo, Phaenon or David. I almost envied him his looks; such beauty on a guy wasn’t fair.
I had been wrong about the eyes though; they were an impossible jade green flecked with gold and framed by the longest eyelashes on any guy I’d seen. He was also taller than I imagined; a good few inches above six feet. All in all, he was quite a package and way out of my league.
I somehow regained my scattered wits to stutter, ‘S-s-sorry?’
Great! Now he was going to think I was an idiot! An idiot with a stutter!
I almost groaned aloud.
Character Name: Elijah St. John Rivers (prefers to be called St. John)
Born in ancient Phoenicia, St. John is over six foot tall; buff; has slightly curly locks, the colour of polished brass. He wears it slightly longer than is fashionable, curling into the nape of his neck. He has unusual jade green eyes with flecks of gold in them (they turn emerald when he’s in a passion).
Father (Elijah): a member of the Grigori (or Watchers) and a fallen angel.
Mother (Miriam): a human female from a family of sheep-herders.
Their love was considered illicit and led to Miriam being disowned by her family and ostracized by her tribe. She died in childbirth and her child was left to die on the road to Canaan. The infant was found by the Anakim (a race of Nephilim) and raised by the leader, Anak.
Being immortal, St. John passes himself for twenty-five years old. Over his three thousand year existence, he preferred to keep his past a secret and much of what he did/ where he travelled/ his activities are unknown. But there are a few facts that have been reported about him: he was an advisor to Charlemagne and, later a member of the Templar Knights. His foster father, Père Henri, is a priest who works at Notre-Dame de Paris. St. John is the Keeper of the Seed; a role requiring him to protect an ancient artefact of significant value and power. As such, he met the writer, Charlotte Bronte, who named a character after him in her novel, Jane Eyre. During the Victorian era, it is known that he travelled to India.
St. John is now considered an eminent archaeologist; having completed high school at Eton College (UK) and studied Middle Eastern archaeology and history at Oxford University. He has a vast property portfolio (from The Golden Triangle in Paris to New York), and is extremely wealthy. He resides in both Paris and London.
He works as the Assistant Keeper, Ancient Mesopotamian Culture at the British Museum in London. He was assigned to spend three days in Basra, surveying eight of southern Iraq’s most important archaeological sites from Ur to Tell el-Lahm on a mission to preserve the area’s cultural heritage where he worked with Professor Woods. When Professor Woods’ family moved to London, St. John finally met his soul mate, Sage Woods.
Describe yourself what is your worst and best quality?
The worst quality is that I’m Nephilim and immortal. Human life is brief whilst, for an immortal, life is endless solitude and loneliness. Nothing can prepare you for an eternity of isolation. It is often better not to feel for others, rather than to watch them die before you. It is better to be alone when only heartbreak awaits with each friend or lover that passes away.
My best quality is given to me as a birthright of the angels – empathy. It is also a curse that I must bear as I understand my enemy’s nature and motivations, and must forgive them the wrongs they do me and others. The heaviest burden is empathy – my own pain is nothing, but to feel someone else’s pain, their torment, their suffering, their desires, it is multiplied by the weight of every human heart and echoed in every human soul. Empathy is a virtue but such virtues are shouldered at a great price.
What is the one thing you wish other people knew about you?
I do have a sense of humour – I just don’t get to use it as often as I’d like (especially if I’m around Gabriel who likes to play the role of the joker, like Loki in Thor).
What is your biggest secret something no one knows about? No human knows about what happens within the Anakim brotherhood at our secret meetings or conclaves. We hold these secret meetings with the twenty-five elected members to the round table and make decisions that can determine the fate of humanity and the world. No human has ever be present at one of our meetings.
What are you most afraid of?
I suppose most people might think I would answer that losing Sage would be what I’m most afraid of – and they’d be right. But there is an equally pressing fear for me – I fear becoming like my father, Elijah. He was an angel once who fell in love and failed in his duty to the Creator. Subsequently, he was cast out of Heaven and suffers an eternity without my mother, Miriam who died giving birth to me. He was the only member of the Grigori who did not rebel against the Creator but it does not ease his suffering. His empathy is a curse to him and his inability to return to Paradise haunts him. I fear such suffering if anything should happen to Sage – an eternity of torment and heartache if she should perish under my protection.
What do you want more than anything?
To attain an earthly Paradise with Sage after completing my quest to see the Seed safely back to its origin in the Garden of Eden. It would be the only reward I need.
What is your relationship status?
In a serious relationship with Sage Woods, complicated by the fact that she is the Wise One and I’m the Keeper of the Seed.
How would you describe your sense of fashion?
I have a preference for black. Black jeans. Black leather jacket. Charcoal coloured suits.
How much of a rebel are you?
I’m a little like the characters of Thor and Hamlet – a rebel with a conscience; broody, moody, a conflicted hero. If I believe that rebelling is the best method of achieving my aims, then so be it.
What do you considered to be your greatest achievement?
Ask me that question when I finish my quest and save the world from the Grigori. Right now, protecting the Seed and Sage Woods are the only things that matter to me.
What is your idea of happiness?
To achieve an earthly Paradise with my soul mate. I searched throughout time for her, I crossed distances for her, age poses no boundaries for the timeless, and nobody and nothing can ever tear us apart. She is my happiness.
What is your current state of mind?
I’d have to say, take a look at Hamlet. But here’s a pretty accurate representation from the hero, Darcy: “In vain have I struggled. It will not do. My feelings will not be repressed.” Sums things up, don’t you think?
What is your most treasured possession?
The signet ring Sage gave me as a Christmas present. Material things have never mattered very much to me – I can buy just about anything I want or need – but the ring was given with love and has great sentimental value. It proves our commitment to each other – for this reason I cherish it.
What is your most marked characteristic?
Physical characteristic: jade green eyes. And the wings, of course – all Nephilim have wings. In terms of personality: I would say it’s my ability to empathise but some would disagree – I’ve heard it be said by others that my most marked characteristic is loyalty or commitment to a cause.
What is it that you, most dislike?
I most dislike the way that Charlotte Bronte portrayed me in her novel, Jane Eyre. She based her character on me and I think she did a terrible job – making me look like a frigid, religious fundamentalist who couldn’t understand or give into the emotion of love because I felt I was on some sort of mission from God. As anyone will tell you who really knows me well, my love for Sage is placed above all things – even my commitment to the Seed.
Which living person do you, most despise?
There are a few – but my birthright complicates things. I hate but I’m forbidden to hate as the gift given to me by my father is empathy. It means that I understand the motivations of my enemy. I understand human nature. It’s a curse rather than a blessing at times.
What is your greatest regret?
That too many of my brothers have died so that I may live and complete my quest as Keeper of the Seed. The Anakim brotherhood is a tight-knit group but our numbers are dwindling and I have watched my friends suffer and be killed whilst I must live to fulfil my solemn duty to the Seed.
What is the quality you most like in a man?
Compassion – without it, we would be no better than the fallen angels. Compassion allows for justice to be served.
What is the quality you most like in a woman?
Intelligence – I don’t have time for women who don’t think and act for themselves. I like strong-minded women.
Who is your favorite hero in fiction?
Perhaps I can personally identify with Aragorn in The Lord of the Rings as I can understand his personal dilemmas – his struggle with duty, the betrayal of his ancestor, his forbidden love for Arwen. But, I must admit I most admire Atticus Finch in To Kill a Mockingbird as he is the father and mentor I would have liked to have. Every lesson he taught his children held great value for me. I don’t believe, however, that Charlotte Bronte’s representation of me in her novel is accurate and would prefer people not to make comparisons between us.
Which living person do you most admire?
I do not admire a particular person but I can honestly say that I admire the everyman. I admire the single mother or father struggling to raise a family, holding down two jobs, trying to make ends meet. I admire the family who has nothing but is willing to take a stranger into their home and share what they have. I admire the common man or woman coping with the vicissitudes of life and never asking for any praise or acknowledgement. The most admirable people I have known are the ones who have known suffering, defeat, loss, failure, despair and struggle – and have found a way to rise above it, a way out of these depths. These are the people I admire – and you see them every day, you may know them, you may be them.
If you could change one thing about yourself what would it be?
It would be my immortality. It may seem like a blessing or a gift to some, but I have watched as empires have risen and fallen into dust; I have seen humankind’s achievements and their failures repeated throughout the centuries; I have loved and pitied and mourned and the result is always the same – I have no ability to control time or death. Human beings live their lives with the basic understanding of their mortality – and that allows them to seize the moments that are rare and precious. Immortality would be far easier if emotion wasn’t involved – but emotion is what urges us to live. It is a double-edged sword.
What is your motto?
Luceat Lux Vestra (“Let Your Light Shine”: This phrase is taken from The Sermon on the Mount – “Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in Heaven.” Matthew 5:16)
db nielsen was born in British Hong Kong and immigrated to Australia in childhood. db likes to travel the world with family; dividing time between residing in Sydney and visits to the cathedrals, crypts and museums the world over, doing research for new projects. The author is a university lecturer in Linguistics and Semiotics, and continues to teach English Literature and Language whilst writing fiction.