The Emperor's Seal
Touching Time Book 1
by Amanda Roberts
Genre: Paranormal Fantasy Mystery
The Emperor’s Seal – the divine symbol of the Emperor on earth – is missing. The Empress will do whatever it takes to get it back.
Jiayi has a gift – she can travel through time just by touching historical artifacts. More than anything, she wants to escape the clutches of the Empress and run away to a foreign land. Finding the Emperor’s Seal could be her only chance at freedom, but is she willing to risk the wrath of the Empress?
Historian and wannabe archaeologist Zhihao has no love for the Empress or the Qing Dynasty, but when the Empress orders him to find the Emperor’s Seal in exchange for funding China’s first history museum, he cannot refuse. It is only after he accepts the assignment that he realizes the key to finding the seal lies in the hands of a palace slave.
Civil unrest and encroaching foreign powers threaten Jiayi and Zhihao's mission and lives as they hunt for The Emperor's Seal.
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Do it,” the empress commanded.
Carefully, as if it contained a snake that could bite her, Jiayi pulled up the long sleeves of her robe
and took the box in her hands. She inhaled slow deep breaths as she closed her eyes. She never knew what to expect, so she had to be prepared for anything.
When she opened her eyes again, she was surrounded by running horses. People screamed as they ran for cover. The men riding the horses brandished weapons and they slashed and hacked at the people around them. Jiayi turned left and right, searching for a way out before she too was trampled. She had never died during one of her visions before, but she didn’t know what would happen to her in real life if she did. She didn’t want to take the chance. One of the riders stopped to skewer a man not far from her. He
screamed as blood shot from his body like a fountain. Jiayi was terrified, but there was nothing she could do for him.
She had to take care of herself. The stopped horse caused a break in the sea of galloping beasts. Jiayi had to run while she had the chance. She had no idea where she was going, why the box the empress handed her sent her to this place, this time, but she had to find it, the emperor’s seal.
Somehow this body, this woman she was inhabiting had a connection to it. She had to trust that this woman would lead her to the answer.
She ran as far as she could, away from the battle. Up on a hill, she saw a large tent and many men on horseback watching the fray below. Why they were only watching, she did not know. She looked down at her clothing and saw she was dressed in the clothing of a Manchu noblewoman. The men who were watching were also dressed as Manchu. At least she wasn’t running toward the enemy. She scurried up
the hill as quickly as she could.
“Please! Help me!” she screamed when she was within earshot.
The men looked down at her in utter surprise, as if they only just now saw her. It was possible. Jiayi had no idea what her manifestations in the visions looked like to other people.
“Lady Caigiya!” one of the men dressed as a general called out. He pointed to her and two of his men ran down to her side and helped her up. “What happened? How did you get down there?” the general asked when she finally made it to him.
“I…I don’t know,” she mumbled. “I must have been lost…”
The answer seemed to satisfy the general. He nodded again to his men. “Take her to the emperor. He must be worried about her.”
Jiayi doubted that very much. She had never known an emperor to worry over a woman, but she allowed herself to be led along. She was taken to a large tent, one big and grand enough to be an imperial residence at the Forbidden City. When the heavy curtains were drawn back, it was so dark inside she could see nothing. She was ungraciously ushered inside and the curtains were dropped closed behind her.
Amanda Roberts is a writer and editor who has been living in China since 2010. Amanda has an MA in English from the University of Central Missouri. She has been published in magazines, newspapers, and anthologies around the world and she regularly contributes to numerous blogs. Amanda can be found all over the Internet, but her home is TwoAmericansinChina.com.
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