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N. S. Wikarski

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The Dragon's Wing Enigma
by N. S. Wikarski   

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Books by N. S. Wikarski
· The Mountain Mother Cipher
· The Granite Key
· The Fall Of White City
· Shrouded In Thought
                >> View all

Category: 

Mystery/Suspense

Publisher:  Createspace ISBN-10:  1481005731 Type: 
Pages: 

244

Copyright:  12/3/12 ISBN-13:  9781481005739
Fiction

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Myth Of History
Myth Of History

Arkana Archaeology Thriller Mysteries #3

The Arkana Series: Archaeological Thrillers That Defy History
 
Volume Three - The Dragon’s Wing Enigma
 
"There’s a 52% chance that the next Dan Brown will be a woman... or should we just make that 100% now?” (Kindle Nation)
 
Runaway Bride
Cassie Forsythe’s checkered resume never included the job of babysitter. Former college freshman, yes. Amateur relic hunter, certainly. Seer for a secret organization, absolutely. But babysitter? Not likely!
Cassie is packing for the next leg of a treasure hunt to recover an ancient artifact known as the Sage Stone when trouble comes knocking at her door. Trouble takes the form of fourteen year old runaway Hannah Curtis. Hannah isn’t your average teenager. She happens to be the youngest wife of aged polygamist Abraham Metcalf. Metcalf leads the religious cult known as the Blessed Nephilim and he covets the Sage Stone for himself.
Unwelcome Guest
Hannah’s untimely arrival creates a predicament for Cassie. The Nephilim isn’t supposed to know that anyone else is hunting the Sage Stone. More than that, the cult must never discover the existence of the Arkana – the secret society for which Cassie works.
The Arkana has spent centuries recovering artifacts of ancient civilizations which predate patriarchy--advanced pagan cultures that worshipped a divine mother goddess. Troves of alternative archaeological evidence need to be protected at all costs. Unfortunately, Hannah could lead the cult straight to the Arkana’s underground cache of relics.
 
Cassie contacts Faye, the Arkana’s elderly leader, for help. The old woman spirits the girl away to her farmhouse in the country. Faye promises to keep Hannah out of sight so that Cassie and her teammates can resume their quest.
 
Tricky Trinkets
Cassie, librarian Griffin, and bodyguard Erik face a daunting task. Five sequential artifacts reveal the hiding place of the Sage Stone. The treasure hunters must not only retrieve the relics before the Nephilim, they must also substitute forgeries in place of the real artifacts to keep the cult from discovering that it has competition. Luck has been on their side so far. They’ve recovered the first artifact with their foes none the wiser.
 
The Arkana team flies to Malta, hoping to unearth the second artifact among the ruined temples of a long-dead civilization. After a fruitless search of the archipelago, their quest leads them northward into the Basque region of Europe. Meanwhile, Abraham’s son Daniel is combing the same terrain and narrowing the gap between them.
 
Dragon’s Wing Dilemma
In an isolated mountaintop cave, they learn that the next relic can only be discovered if they “keep true to the dragon’s wing.” The clue baffles them. What does it mean? Cassie and her friends are running out of time. With Nephilim operatives closing in, will they all survive this mission? Will the cult capture Hannah and breach the defenses of the Arkana itself? Follow the dragon’s wing to learn the answers.
 
Excerpt
Chapter 1 – Look Out
A Long Time Ago In A Land Far Away

They sat at the entrance to the cave watching the light fade over the peaks. There were two of them—a man and a boy. They didn’t speak but merely watched the sky and the valley floor below them falling into shadow. They could see smoke rising from the hills beyond. They didn't know how many had perished but more deaths were sure to follow. Torches dotted the green pastures beneath their perch—evenly spaced—all climbing a single trail up the mountain. Fire in the sky and fire below. The torches grew ever brighter as the sky grew ever darker. Soon the lights would reach even this most secret of hiding places. The men who carried them lived for no other purpose—to ferret out what was hidden in order to destroy it.

The man sighed heavily and considered his options. The thought of leaving this refuge was painful, breaking a chain whose links had remained strong through more years than he could count. He had delayed until the last possible moment, hoping beyond all reason that the torch bearers might forget this place. The flames winding ever upward told him clearly that they had not forgotten. The world belonged to them now and they were implacable in their determination to purge it of all contradiction.

There was no help for it. He stood decisively and tied up his small sack of belongings.

The boy regarded him gravely. He was no more than eight. “Are you going now?” he asked.

The man nodded.

The boy leaped to his feet. He plucked at the man’s sleeve. “Take me with you. Please!”

“You know I can’t,” came the sad reply. “And you know why.”

The boy looked at the ground, unwilling to meet the man’s eyes.

“Someone has to stay behind and say what happened.” The man crouched down and tilted the boy’s chin up. “Do you remember the words I told you?”

The boy nodded silently, a tear sliding down his cheek.

“The ghosts of all those who came before me are depending on you. You must not fail them nor me.” He wiped the tear from the boy’s cheek and tousled his hair.

The man straightened up and slung the bundle over his shoulder. He took a final wistful look at his sanctuary and at the boy he was leaving behind. Before the last rays of the sun failed completely, he slipped out of the cave and into the gathering night.


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Reader Reviews for "The Dragon's Wing Enigma"

Reviewed by Jansen Estrup 12/5/2012
It sounds terrific, N.S. - I hope it does well!

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