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November 27 , 2008

In The Spider's Web

Book Three of the Chronicles of Reality


It has been ten years since Roxanne Black left the Land. Ten years since Lord Earin followed her… Ten years since the destruction of the Betrayer… Ten years since Snake decided to let Commander Gabriel teach her to love, again…
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Amanda’s husband has just traded her in for an affair with a teenybopper. Brooke is a trophy wife collecting dust. And Candace (Don’t call me Candy) has had too many husbands and too little love. What do these three unlikely accomplices have in common besides a Little League team called the Mudhens? A plot to reclaim a little r-e-s-p-e-c-t. And…

In that time many changes have taken place. High Lord Brennen, exhausted by two battles with the Betrayer and years of service to the Land, has retired to the Silver Forest to live out the rest of his days in peace. Lord Anjalina has taken his place as High Lord of the Land; an excellent decision in all eyes for she has strength, wisdom, cunning, and incredible skills. Roxanne’s former page, Sage, has just completed his training as a Lord, training he began ten years ago when Roxie returned home.

Sage has amazed all with his natural abilities and the speed and ease with which he mastered all the necessary training to become a Lord. All, but Shylark, the leader of the fairies. Shylark simply smiled knowingly whenever another fairy or Lord commented on Sage’s abilities. Sage not only completed the training in half the normal time; he has demonstrated powers and skills greater than any Lord who has come before him. He understands things with greater clarity than the others, manipulates spells by himself that normally require more than one Lord, and has an uncanny ability to know what those around him are thinking. There are those who whisper that this all has something to do with his relationship and closeness to Roxanne. Sage simply calls it synergy.

Quain, who was one time High Lord Brennen’s page, has also been in training as a Lord. Though not as fast or naturally talented as Sage, Quain is determined and strong. The fairies feel that he may be the only one who can keep Sage’s magnificent gifts in balance.

General Sabastian has also retired to the Silver Forest with his good friend former High Lord Brennen, leaving Commander Gabriel in control of all the military forces of the Land. It is rumored among his men that when General Sabastian gave Gabriel his new title of General, he smiled a cocky smile and said, “I prefer the title Lord High Executioner, thank you.” No one doubts the accuracy of this account.

Gabriel has adopted another title as well in the last ten years. He is now known as daddy. Shortly after the end of the Betrayer, Snake discovered she was pregnant. Nine months later, Gabriel was the proud father of twins, a boy they named Cole, and a girl they named Natalia. To this day, Snake is still attempting to come to terms with her new role of mommy. It may well prove to be the one thing she cannot master. And then there is Snake… Although it is whispered in dark corners that she is kinder and more forgiving these last ten years, there are none that would dare speak that thought in a voice she might hear. She is still a ghost with a past protected by walls that not even Gabriel himself has been able to penetrate. Not yet.

On the other side of the cosmic gap between realities a mere ten weeks have passed for Roxanne and Lord Earin. Since their return to this reality, they have managed to win the lottery, with a little help from fairy magic, buy a plantation just outside of New Orleans so that Roxie can visit historical haunted places, and even get married. The pendant of the Chosen still hangs around Roxie’s neck. She never even tried to take it off after the destruction of the Betrayer. But, that has worked to her benefit, as she has been able to maintain a distant mental connection with Gabe and Snake, who still wear their pendants, too. They can’t hold the detailed and colorful conversations of their past, but they can send and receive images. Roxie nearly fell over when she learned of the twins.

Yes, in ten years or ten weeks, a lot of good things had come to pass. That would only make it that much more painful when evil returned with a vengeance…
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