Vera Bell is an award-winning author of the trilogy, Always & Forever, set in sixteenth-century Ireland and present-day United States. Book One, Through the Veneer of Time, is her debut novel. She wrote it after trying Past Life Regression and finding herself immersed in a world so captivating, she couldn’t let it go. A former commercial artist, she lives in Georgia with her husband, two teenagers, and one fur baby. Her favorite place to write is on her porch, overlooking a pond lined with river birches and magnolias. The topics she never tires of are Ireland, past lives, and love that transcends time and space. Visit her at VeraBellAuthor.com.
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A haunted painter's past life visions are not the creative inspiration they seemed. They're a harbinger of her ancient revenge vow, and her FBI husband won't find the serial killer until she fulfills it. But it may already be too late.
"Past and present lives collide in Vera Bell's hauntingly beautiful debut. A sexy, sensuous tale, where connections are never truly lost and love is the most powerful force of all."
— Julie McElwain, national award-winning journalist and author of A Murder in Time
"Vera Bell's novel successfully combines historical fiction, romance, and a contemporary thriller. The flashbacks to Ireland are particularly engaging, with detailed and vivid descriptions."
— Historical Novel Society
"A tantalizing medieval time travel novel. I give it 5 stars and hope to read more by Vera Bell!"
— Celtic Lady's Reviews
“This book has become my new obsession. I loved every second of it from page one straight to the end. This is Vera’s debut novel and WHAT a novel! I completely fell in love with the world she has created.”
– Irish Booklover Reviews
"Perfect for fans of Diana Gabaldon and Susanna Kearsley."
— Goodreads Book Reviewer
1559, ULSTER, IRELAND. When a young noblewoman Neave McConway weds the newly elected King of Tyrone, Aedan O'Neal, the couple's rare union of love and passion becomes the talk of the region. But Aedan's bold rule and fierce defiance of the English crown threatens his powerful enemies, and they'll stop at nothing to crush his growing influence. After Aedan rides off to fight against the English occupiers, Neave suffers a shocking attack that will forever alter both their lives — as well as the lives they have not yet lived.
2009, WASHINGTON, D.C. While mural artist Siena Forte battles a creative block, her FBI husband Ryan Casey struggles with a serial killer case. When research leads Siena to the practice of Past Life Regression, she stumbles upon irresistible inspiration. But after her art exposes her to a vicious ancient adversary, she discovers the true reason for her past life visions. They're a harbinger of her centuries-old revenge vow, and the serial killer can't be stopped until she fulfills it. But there is another person from the past with unfinished business—her husband.
Will Siena and Ryan settle their long-overdue score, or will the past repeat itself in a chilling parallel?
If you love time travel romance with elements of suspense, mystery, fantasy, and a touch of magic, don't miss this thrilling read!
Through the Veneer of Time
Irish Time Travel Romantic Suspense
Book Excerpt or Article
His words were a blast that made something inside me snap. Why couldn’t I unlock my eyes from his? Unclench my knees despite an unbearable compulsion to run? I dug my fingernails into my sweaty palms to break the paralysis, drove the graphite shards into my flesh.
“Do you ever wonder what becomes of your characters?” His vacuous smile didn’t reach his eyes. “What comes after your painstaking freeze-frame? Your warrior—” He pointed his chin at the mural. “He’s cocky, but he doesn’t know what he’s riding into. Yet hours from now, he could be lying in some field, stripped of his weapons, bleeding out into the ground as the vultures peck at his baby blues.” His eyes widened. “Leaving his beautiful young widow all alone.”
His impossibly soft voice was a ringing blow in my ears. A tremor braced my throat. I drew a frantic breath against it.
“I’m sorry,” I squeezed out, “I’m not sure I follow.”
“I’m sure you do.” He chuckled. “But don’t look so stricken, Siena Forte. It’s only a painting, a fantasy. Nothing more.”
“Excuse me…” I edged past him, cold all over.
I rushed into the nearest restroom, tossed the broken graphite into the trash can, and locked myself in a stall. I hugged myself. Tight. Tighter. Gasped for air, not drawing any. My vision swam at the edges. Flickering. Fading. My heart thudded, and breath came faster in my chest, choking me.
Fragments of his words whirred around me, and I grasped my head to stop the awful cacophony. But it wouldn’t stop. The image he drew cut like a knife, piercing through something soft and vulnerable inside. Something I’d buried deep down and wished to keep that way. But he’d driven it to the surface and laid it out in the open, raw and exposed.
Someone entered the restroom, and I froze at the squeak of the adjoining stall door. But it was only a pair of black pumps through the divider gap. Heartbeat in my ears, I dropped the toilet lid and sat down.
Breathe in. Breathe out. Repeat.
Worgen was a narcissistic egomaniac, pissed off at not getting his way. Certainly, he could neither read my mind nor know anything about my visions. He was messing with me. Of course, he was! Pygmalion was a mythical sculptor, whose ivory creation came to life after he’d fallen in love with her. And here I was, a female artist, painting a man. As for the widow, it wasn’t a big leap to imagine a handsome warrior leaving a young wife at home. Worgen didn’t have to know about me to understand this mental image would upset me.
I couldn’t tell how long I stayed in the restroom, but I emerged more determined than ever to continue with my project. I only needed to go outside and get some fresh air first. But Worgen was still there, talking to a visitor, and the only way out was past him.
I clenched my jaw and went toward them.
“Hello, Siena.” He waved to me, then returned to the visitor, all smiles and good-looking charm. “This is the artist, a rare talent!”
I nodded and kept on walking. Then I stood outside, biting the inside of my lip to the point of pain. Had I imagined that entire conversation? I examined my palms—the indentations from the broken graphite had not yet faded. I imagined nothing. Worgen was playing with me, like a cat with a mouse.
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