I started reading Entangled last weekend. I finished the following day. It's a wonderful book, full of romance and adventure. What a great first novel from an aspiring writer. I asked Traci to let her character give voice to this blog, just because Cassie is such a great character. So here she is. Cassie, a strong funny woman caught in alternate world.
My name is Cassie, and I’m a teacher from Earth. Texas to be exact. I now live in the province of Ostia, on a parallel world called Caedmon.
I was brought here by the High Commander over all of the Republic’s armies. His name is Alexos de Werner. He claims I can save his people from the natural disasters threatening their homes and their lives.
I’m not sure how I feel about this place, this parallel world. It’s very primitive. No cars, no iPhones, no airplanes, no refrigerators, and don’t get me started on the plumbing.
I’ve ridden a horse. I’m scared to death of the beasts, but it’s the only way to get around besides walk. Alex says the province of Ennis where the disasters are occurring is far away from where we are now. That means more horseback riding. Oh, goody.
The weather here is temperate, not at all like the extremes we experience in Texas. From what I’ve seen of this land so far, everything is lush and green. We’ve climbed down out of the mountains and are now surrounded by farmland. I’ve slept on the ground and bathed in a river. I’ve seen a
Golden Eagle. Did you know its cry sounds like a puppy’s yelp?
Alex introduced me to a Master Gareth, a man who had a vision that I could save Ennis. He believes I have some sort of gift. I’m a divorced third grade teacher. The only gift I’m aware of possessing is the ability to not kill my ex-husband when he comes around wanting a hand out.
But he’s the least of my problems right now.
Back to Master Gareth and my supposed gift. Alex says he does not believe I can help stop the disasters. He brought me all the way here from Earth because he’s run out of options.
The man is impossible – bossy and beautiful and annoyingly connected to me. He can feel my emotions as if they were his own, and he knows where I am at all times, even when he can’t see me.
I wonder how long we can both ignore the attraction between us. I wonder if our connection has something to do with my gift, and what kind of gift Gareth thinks I have. I wonder if I really can help save the Ennisian people before it’s too late.
Entangled is my story.
Despite her pleasure at not having to sleep on the hard
ground again, Cassie found she couldn’t sleep. Tired of staring at the same four
walls, she picked up her shawl from the end of the bed and left her room to sit
in the peristyle. She relaxed on one of the chaise lounges and looked up. The
abundance of stars in the clear night sky momentarily mesmerized her. A peaceful
stillness surrounded her, but instead of being calming, it agitated her.
The door to the living room stood ajar, and she sensed Alex
on the other side of it. She walked through the garden with the intent to join
him, but when she stepped closer, she heard voices. She pressed her body against
the wall to listen to the conversation.
"Where will we say she is from?" Alex asked.
"I have thought upon that," Gareth said. "I believe we shall
say Cassie is from the other side of the Manisan Mountains. The people there are
reclusive. I doubt any in Belvoir have ever encountered a Manisan."
"That will explain Cassie’s pale skin. No one will believe
she comes from any region around the sea."
She glanced down at her skin and frowned.
"How do you plan to teach her?" Alex asked.
"Like I would a new apprentice. She has thin boundaries. She
is open, but ignorant. Did you see the way she behaved in the forest?"
"Cassie is a product of her world, Gareth."
"Tell me of it."
"Her people are more advanced than we are with their
inventions, yet in many ways those inventions encourage their separateness from
each other, from nature, and from the Creator."
"They socialize through machines. They try to conquer nature,
rather than live as one with it. They live outside of the natural cycles of day
and night, even of the seasons."
"You have spent time with her, Alexos. Do you believe Cassie
can change her beliefs?"
"She stands just on the other side of the door, listening to
us. You should ask her that question."
"Come in, child," Gareth called out to her.
Cassie entered the living room. Alex stood by the fire, his
forearm braced on the mantle. Flames snapped in the large stone fireplace.
Gareth sat in a deep red, high-backed chair next to a small wooden table. Both
men looked reproachfully at her.
She lifted her chin in defiance.
"Would you like some wine?" Gareth pointed to the carafe on
the table beside him.
Gareth moved to pour, but Alex gestured for the old man to
stop. "I am in need of a refill."
She watched Alex pour the wine into a new goblet and refill
his own. As she still stood near the doorway, he walked over to hand her the
She sniffed the red liquid, approving of the fruity
fragrance. She sipped the wine and allowed it to stay on her tongue for a moment
before she swallowed it. Not too dry and not too sweet. She took another sip,
not above using liquid courage to face these two powerful men in this strange
world, and of all things, in a dress. Somehow that, more than anything else, put
her out of sorts.
She looked at Gareth. "Why do they call you Master?"
"Would you care to sit by the fire?" Gareth indicated the
chair across from him.
She crossed the room to sit in the second high-backed, red
upholstered chair. Alex had returned to stand by the fire just to her right. She
ignored him. Payback for talking about her behind her back.
"Master is an ancient title," Gareth said. "I am really a
"What do you teach?"
"I teach the higher laws of the universe."
"What are those?"
"The ones you cannot see."
"Of a sort."
She frowned. "What does ‘of a sort’ mean?"
A look passed between Gareth and Alex. She resisted the urge
to storm out and leave them to their secrets. If they needed her so bad, why
"Gravity is a type of force, aye?" Gareth asked.
"Yes," she said.
"There are other forces that exist," Alex said, "ones that
work on a different level than what we experience in our physical world."
"What are these forces?" she asked Gareth.
"Emotion. Beliefs. Intention."
"Those are forces?"
"Aye. Our emotions and beliefs influence our interactions
with the universe."
Philosophy. He spoke of philosophy. "What does this have to
do with why I’m here?"
"Everything. If you do not understand how the universe works,
you cannot fully participate in it."
Cassie gripped the armrest with her free hand and thought
that this must be what Alice experienced while talking to the Mad Hatter and the
March Hare. "Define fully participate."
"When I say fully participate," Gareth said, "I mean to be a
part of the creation of the universe."
"Isn’t the universe already created?"
"Creation is an ongoing process of cause and effect."
She finished her wine and sat back in the chair. Her mind
tried to wrap itself around what Gareth wanted her to understand, but it
Gareth stood up. "I have given you enough to think about
tonight. It is time for this old man to retire." He nodded to Alex and bowed to
Cassie. "I will see you in the morning."
Intrigued by his view of the universe, her eyes followed
Gareth out of the room. She couldn’t dismiss his words, as her being in this new
world defied any beliefs she’d previously held.
She looked up over her shoulder at Alex, and found him
watching her with an intense expression. "Please don’t look at me as if I’m a
puzzle you have to solve."
His gaze did not waver. "You are."
"You don’t believe I can help, do you?"
"Then why waste your time bringing me here?"
He looked into the fire. His jaw flexed as he ground his
teeth together. When he spoke, his words were so low, so reflective, that she
barely heard him.
"Because I do not know what else to do."