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Tessa Stokes

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Member Since: Apr, 2011

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Publisher:  tessa stokes ISBN-10:  B006MKOV70 Type: 

Copyright:  December 2011 ISBN-13:  9781908210159

The three friends and lovers unite at the request of Aristide the old wizard to whom they owe a favor.
Chloe, Oliver and Tristan have not seen each other for nearly three months and now they have gathered to hear the nature of the favor. It soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary favor and the three fall into the habit of calling this favor the task as they talk and prepare for it.

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This sexy and romantic sequel to the urban fantasy sees the three friends and lovers engage in another more complex time travel mystery.
Answers to some questions that have appeared in previous books can be found now in this book five. A special feature lets fans chose their own ending in response to facebook requests.
Chloe loves Oliver and Chloe loves Tristan. They love her too.
She knows she is supposed to choose between them it's what society expects but she can't do it. What will she do?
Who can resist the enigmatic and immortal beautiful knight Tristan Dearing and then again who can resist falling in love with the charismatic and loving Oliver Tarrant?

The three friends and lovers unite at the request of Aristide the old wizard to whom they owe a favor.

Chloe, Oliver and Tristan have not seen each other for nearly three months and now they have gathered to hear the nature of the favor. It soon becomes clear that this is no ordinary favor and the three fall into the habit of calling this favor the task as they talk and prepare for it.

Still in love, Oliver and Chloe take up where they left off and the romantic moments are back immediately.

Tristan is so sad about the part he played in Chloe leaving the country and staying away for such a long time. Does he forgive himself?

Chloe still loves Tristan and the old dilemma of being in love with both the beautiful, immortal knight and the equally gorgeous modern guy Oliver dominates Chloe's thoughts through some bizarre incidents.

Who is Jean-Paul and what is his relationship to Aristide?

Has the magic in the waterfall always been because Tristan has special powers he does not know about or is it something much more ancient and supernatural?

Chloe faces danger from a surprising source. Time travel takes the reader to a rock concert and to the twelfth century.

There are so many romantic moments between the characters that you just know something is waiting to go wrong.

This book is about love and fate.

In book five The Task is not just about the favor owed to Aristide it is about Chloe deciding to choose between Oliver and Tristan.

The Seven Spell Saga is a love story you will want to follow to the end.

Read a two chapter preview or catch up with the other books previews and excerpts on the blog http://tess-three-in-the-morning,


Preface by the author

In The Sealed Door, book four of The Seven Spell Saga we left Chloe, Oliver, and Tristan about to meet with Aristide. He had helped them when they were in trouble and had said that at some point he would ask them a favor in return, a payment for the magic potion that returned them to reality.
As it turned out his request for this favor came at just the right time for the three since they had been going through some love related difficulties. The three have not seen each other for a few months and meet now at the café specifically to hear what Aristide has to say. Below is the last paragraph of The Sealed Door to set the scene for readers of this book. (Chloe is speaking and reporting to start.)
I drove to the place in my Wrangler, which was great. I love that car. I parked just down the road from the café, and walked up crossing almost opposite the café. I saw them at a table outside. The sun was out and I was wearing sunglasses. I felt my legs go a little like jelly and my heart started to thud a little. I knew Oliver had seen me, and he lit up in a smile. I wanted to run to him. I felt as if that narrow road was the longest walk I had ever taken. I saw them stand up. Tristan had spilled his coffee. Oliver was asking me, yes asking me, if he could hug me. I was almost desperate to be hugged. It was so good to feel him against me, and I wanted to cover his face with kisses and tell him I loved him so much, but I kept myself back from it. He had let me go and I felt his gentle push, he was heading me towards Tristan who was fumbling around. He had coffee all over his jeans. I had taken my sunglasses off and now I was in his arms, I felt him shaking, and I hugged him very tight, Tristan my lovely Tristan, how I loved him. My hand at the back of his head, his hair was still short. I wanted to kiss him too.
In some kind of dreamlike way we were going to be ok, we were all three sitting close to each other, we had to talk, but Aristide was here. He was walking towards us, the old guy, silver hair, dark blue suit, elegance personified.

The Task

Chapter One

Aristide had reached the table. Oliver stood up and pulled out a chair for him. He smiled at each of us as he sat down and his gaze travelled across our faces. I guessed we all had the same look of expectation. A girl waiting tables came out and he ordered coffee. Tristan did too but Oliver and I asked for iced water. It filled in a little time before Aristide started his story. He had said his hellos and asked how we all were. I answered for all of us and said we were fine, asking about him, was he good. He smiled at each of us in turn and gave me an especially enigmatic look.
“You know I have been staying at Anna and Lily’s house near White Woods. I have a little workshop there at the moment. I have been disposing of some property that belongs to Lily. It’s been difficult, shall we say, because Lily wanted this property sold, and uncomfortably sold without Anna’s knowledge, so she has been keeping her eye on Anna’s whereabouts whilst I conducted the business. You may think this horrible but it’s necessary just as what I am about to ask you to do for me is also necessary”.
He stopped talking for a moment as his coffee arrived.
He had taken a sip when Tristan seemingly trying to break the slight tension that had descended spoke.
“I hope I will get to drink this cup of coffee and not pour it all over myself like the last cup”.
I looked across into his eyes, hoping to convey love and understanding.
Aristide put his cup down and continued speaking. “Yes Tristan, I heard you were away, you too Chloe so everyone is back and happy again?”
It was a question we all hoped was not asked but we didn’t have to worry because he just nodded as if answering it himself and started into the story of his real purpose for our meeting.
“The favor I need doing is simple really. I just need a letter delivering to Anna’s mother, and you will only need to be gone for a few hours. The hard part naturally is the time travel involved, but I am hopeful even that will be effortless. I have been working on the necessary spells in peace in the workshop I told you I had set up. One of two things will happen it will work or you will simply stay in this time; no room for error.” He smiled again as if to reassure us and I sighed. I couldn’t help it.
Oliver who was sitting quite close to me put his hand on my knee, but it wasn’t making a pass at me it was meant to comfort, and it was only for a few seconds.
I glanced sideways at him as recognition of his gesture.
None of us spoke. I think we all just wanted to know the whole story from Aristide.
He drank some coffee and then began again.
“A long time ago, but not the year I am sending you to, I was in a relationship with Anna’s mother. I am not her father; she was already born and grown up when her mother and I fell in love. We had a very intense relationship, Anna’s mother and I. Her name was Joanna”.
“We were together for a long time and I thought she knew I would never stray, but a young woman whom I befriended and believe me that is all it was, I was helping her with her magic, well this young woman fancied herself in love with me. She became somewhat obsessed and to my dismay, she followed me around and eventually she was caught watching Joanna and I together in an intimate way, you understand?” He didn’t seem to be able to come out and say the real words.
At this I knew who it was, the young woman, it had to be Lily, and I gasped.
“Lily”, I said. Also thinking, oh my god, he’s Ari. I knew I was frowning when I added, “But I thought she was Anna’s sister”.
Aristide sighed and nodded.
“Yes Lily. Such a shame but the entire episode became a blot on my relationship with Anna’s mother. She cast an entirely unnecessary and unpleasant spell upon Lily as you know. Approximately two years after this and after watching Lily suffer and periodically asking Anna’s mother to remove the spell as only she could, I found I had to leave her. I tried to remain in love with her, but you know my love dwindled and one day it became nothing, just concern, for her, her daughter and for Lily.
I left. It was a couple of years and then I met Angelique, you know her; we have been lovers and companions for many years now. As for Lily being Anna’s sister, Anna took care of Lily for so long and they swore sisterhood but they are not actually related by blood. Interesting no?” He stopped talking for a moment as if contemplating this fact, and then continued speaking.
“Of course, as time went on I didn’t give any more thought to Joanna but then suddenly out of the blue her daughter Anna found me. She told me that her mother was dying, a sorry tale, one of her mother’s youth spells had gone wrong. Instead of preserving her youth for a further hundred years, it would kill her in much less, maybe between fourteen and twenty-one, no precise time was known. At the time, Anna found me her mother was nearing the time she guessed she would die. It was only evident by the loss of her powers. She still looked young throughout but would quite suddenly simply cease. Her heart would stop beating. Anna was understandably upset and I tried to comfort her but I couldn’t do what she asked and that was visit her mother. It seemed after all the years apart, she was still in love with me, but I couldn’t go back, I had an entirely different life, and dependents.
Anna said her mother was desperately hoping just for forgiveness, that she blamed herself for our relationship ending, and she was not hoping it would resume. You know my friends I didn’t accept that. I thought it was a ploy to get me back. I could not face pleas or desperation and I told Anna I was truly sorry that her mother was dying but that I could not go and see her. It was doubly unsettling because I knew that Lily still suffered the spell cast upon her. Anna told me that she had been looking after Lily that her mother at first refused to lift the spell and then she lost the ability to as she came closer to death. For me, sorry to say, I still thought Joanna could have lifted the spell before it was too late. It all seemed so strange and radical, and yet I too have acted badly and so have my family at times, which I prefer not to revisit.
So the issue is that after Joanna’s death, there was a period of time when I saw nothing of Anna, and then suddenly strange things started to happen, unpleasant little things maybe once or twice a year. Angelique’s home trashed or robbed. She kept her own home for some years, before we found a family home for ourselves, and now we use a couple of places, the apartment you visited Oliver is one”. He nodded at Oliver who nodded back. Aristide finished his coffee and then continued his story.
“As the years went by, unpleasant phone calls, nasty letters to Angelique, an attack, at night as she journeyed home, not grave but horrible, eggs thrown at her. Her purse snatched and then returned by mail with her belongings cut up. A hate campaign shall we say lasting many years and getting worse. I finally found out who it was by accident. It’s Anna, I am sure of it. You know she is a little unhinged, to be kind I think she has simply become wrapped up in grief, both for her mother who could still be alive but for mistakes made, and for herself. For her own lost love”.
He stopped talking and as I glanced at Tristan because I thought Aristide was referring to Tristan, a look of complete sadness came onto Tristan’s face. I wanted to comfort him and I didn’t care that it was out in the open. I put my hand over his on the table and he looked at me forlornly.
Aristide sighed too then and because the girl waiting tables was around, he ordered more coffee for everyone.
“It’s a sorry tale you know, and I feel responsible for it all in many ways. The harassment continues and in a way it is worse, because Angelique and I, we are getting older, and it’s wearing. The destruction of artwork, antiques, paint thrown at the windows of the little shop Angelique runs, bricks thrown in the night. I am thinking this, I regret not seeing Joanna not just because of the harassment from Anna, but because I genuinely feel sorry that I didn’t see her when she was dying. Now I am old, and I am very old, I know I should have seen her. We do things in youth that we regret. It was unkind and ungenerous not to see her. I wonder too if it will help Anna, you know, stop her from being quite so crazy if I mend this.
I will give you a letter, you will find Joanna and give it to her, things will be mended for her at least before she dies. I know where she is working in the last couple of months of her life, and I will give you exact instructions on how to get there. The place has gone now but in that timeline, it’s actually in the next town. It’s a bistro by day and disco by night. The year is nineteen-sixty-nine and it will be simple for me to bend the portal to that date. All I need is Tristan’s magical connection with the waterfall because you must realize we can’t use the portal in the chamber beneath your house”. He looked at me and then at Tristan.
Tristan shook his head. “Aristide, the portal at the waterfall is closed, how will it open?”
“I will re-open it, seven o’clock tomorrow night all I need is you standing in the spot where the portal used to be and of course actually touching the water. I need Oliver and Chloe too. It needs to be the three of you, as connections are made, but also you can help each other; it needs to be the three of you”. He said mysteriously. I was thinking hell it’s a bit weird.
Oliver sighed and said softly, “Aristide you are sure, I mean we will not just end up back in eleven ninety again?”
Aristide nodded suddenly smiling. “I am sure it will be ok. I know it’s a lot to ask, but I have to ask. I suppose you could tell me no”.
I shook my head and was about to speak when Tristan did.
“No we’ll do it, well I will, it was a promise, we wouldn’t be here without you”.
Oliver joined in. “That’s true we have to do it. I’ll do it”.
I nodded at this, “Me too”.
Aristide nodded slightly as if acknowledging our replies then smiled.
“I will meet you at the waterfall ten minutes before seven tomorrow night. Don’t forget you will be going to nineteen-sixty-nine, so you don’t need anything much. You will only be gone for seven hours. Here is the letter and some money, you will need to get from the waterfall to the town so you will need to use buses I’m afraid and I can’t help you with the timetables. Really just find Joanna, and give her the letter, no more, no less. Please do not get caught up in her questions or even stay there after you have given her the letter. Leave and find somewhere else to wait until the return time”.

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