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Transitions

Transitions takes us on a journey through time. In modern day Birmingham , a group of university students become embroiled in a love story almost 2,000 years old as the ghost of Gaius Lucius, a Roman officer tries to reclaim his lost love.

What can Helen, a driven and ambitious student with high hopes for the future, do to solve this ancient riddle? And why is Brandon making late night visits to her house with tokens of love?

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D.A. Lascelles

There are many rumours about D.A Lascelles, most of them untrue, many of them started by his students. There are claims he is a member of the Italian mafia, that he was once an Australian soap star and that he starred in Kindergarten Cop. There is apparently a Wikipedia page which claims he may possibly have discovered the cure for cancer. None of these are true, though he did once work for the Cancer Research Campaign as a researcher. His life to date has mainly concerned acquiring far too many qualifications, working in scientific research and somehow ending up as a teacher. He used to live in Birmingham (the one in England , nowhere near Alabama ) but has now moved to Manchester with his wife, Sarah, and dog, Eddie (who makes a cameo in this story).

Reviews

3 Books

"Throughout this story D. A. Lascelles artfully uses his skills with words to magically paint images in the reader’s head. Not only do places come into clear focus, but the seasons and atmosphere of the locations are also imbued with a descriptive clarity and realistic essence.
Written for paranormal romance fans of all ages, Transitions successfully marries modern day and roman Britain by interspersing the memories and history of roman officer Lucius Gaius with the ordinarily mundane lives of two university students...Transitions is a fair read that will keep you occupied, even if only for a day trip away."

Buy Transitions from Mundania Press, LLC.

reviewer -- http://mundaniareviews.blogspot.com/
Excerpt

Prologue

Northern Briton, near the Roman fort of Arbeia.

Year of the consulship of Paetinus and Apronius (123 ACE)

Waves crashed on the rocks, sending spumes of spray up into the darkness of the night sky. The sound was deafening, almost primal in its intensity as though the sea was making an effort to swallow the land before dawn. Lucius shivered and pulled his cloak tighter around his body to keep out the chill. He had no idea why he was here, on this cold beach at midnight, when he could have been in his warm bed asleep. If it came to that, he had no idea what he was doing in this cold, damp country; a country the gods had deserted, left peopled with barbarians, and cursed with interminable bad weather. He longed for a single warm day, just one, when he could lounge in the atrium of his villa, drinking decent Roman wine and considering the requirements of his garrison in relative comfort. Instead his atrium was roofed over—no point in leaving it open where the rain could destroy your valuable mosaics—and the local wine was barely worth thinking about.

He raised his torch a little higher, trying to cast more light on the desolate beach. Cliffs rose above him to his left, the sea splashed and spluttered on the rocks to his right. He was looking for a cave. “Along the beach,” they’d told him. “You can’t miss it.” Well, maybe not in broad daylight, but at night it was next to impossible. Finding a cave was not really the problem. There were caves aplenty carved out of the soft sandstone of the cliff face. It was finding a specific cave that was proving difficult. A cave that tunneled deeper into the cliff than most of its fellows, a cave that could feasibly serve as accommodation for a human being who didn’t mind the endless crash of the sea and the grating caws of the herring gulls. This person was who Lucius had come all this way to find, and whose help he desperately needed.

Given the endless supply of openings along this stretch of beach alone, he despaired of finding anything soon. But then, out of the corner of his eye, he caught sight of something: a flicker in the darkness, a lone flame shining in the blackness of one particular cave mouth, a beacon to guide him to the right place. Surely, he thought, this was the cave he was here to find.

He stood there for a short while, gazing at the opening in which the flickering flame of one oil lamp defied the wind and illuminated the darkness beyond—if only a little. As he walked closer, Lucius realized that he was afraid of entering this unknown place, of encountering whatever awaited him within. He was unmanned and ashamed to admit it, even to himself. “Pull yourself together, Lucius,” he muttered. “You are the scion of a mighty race, a race which has dominated the world. You have led legions into battle and yet a little night defeats you?” Bolstered by this reassurance, this façade of confidence, he pulled his cloak tighter and clamped one hand firmly onto the hilt of his scabbarded gladius. Raising the flickering torch higher above his head to better light up the depths, he peered into the gloom. With a deep breath, he lifted his left foot and slowly stepped forward into the unknown.


Chapter One

The University of Birmingham, UK. Present day

Autumn leaves twirled in the wind as they made their way across Chancellors court, the grand and imposing heart of the university. They skittered over the flagstones, danced around the columns of the arches that surrounded the entrance, bounced across the carefully manicured grass, and flew straight into the face of Brendan as he sat in the sun and tried to read. He spluttered as he waved them away, forcing himself to concentrate on the words despite the cold wind which did its utmost to turn the page or blow errant leaves or chocolate wrappers onto the book. He flicked the leaves away, immersing himself in the tale. He was supposed to be reading some science papers for the project he was working on, but frankly, he could not be bothered and preferred instead to fix his grey-blue eyes on tales of science fiction. He’d get round to reading those papers soon, he promised himself. Maybe tonight. Or tomorrow.

Autumn, a time of transitions and changes, what many Americans insisted on referring to as ‘fall’. A season when the godforsaken English weather could never seem to make its mind up about what it wanted to do—one moment sunny and calm, the next cold winds or even rain. Brendan hated it with a passion. It reminded him of the lost summer—a period of relaxation and peace, the long break from university—while casting dark omens of the cold, wintry future ahead. He sighed as he closed his book, brushing yet more leaves off as he did so. He liked nothing better than sitting in the quiet of the university court, in the shadow of the tall, redbrick tower, which dominated it, eating his lunch. It was peaceful here, sitting, watching students walk by him through the courtyard ringed by the cupolas and arches of the turn of the century quadrangle.  He could feel the sun on his face, luxuriate in the wonders of the world around him and, more importantly, avoid any contact with anyone who would want to socialize with him or, worse, give him work to do.

People were annoyances; they got in the way of his daydreams. His own company was all Brendan desired and he preferred to avoid any unnecessary exertion if he could possibly help it. He did what was required of him, lectures and papers, which were needed to pass his course, but he preferred to do no more than that.

A gaggle of young women walked past, still dressed for summer in short sleeves and crop tops. Brendan watched them go by wistfully. That was one area where his idea of the perfect world fell apart. Being a loner was an uncompromising vocation. There was no room for any company, not even female company. As the pretty girls walked past, Brendan sighed again. It would be a rare woman indeed who would even deign talk to him so there was no point in even trying. Past experience had dealt him a number of harsh lessons in unrequited love. Best to just sit and let the world walk by, watching everyone else have all the fun. That way, no one got hurt. Least of all Brendan.

A loud beep cut through the calm and jogged Brendan into alertness. He looked down at his digital watch. One pm. Bugger. Lunchtime was over. He had less than ten minutes to get back to the lab before anyone noticed he was gone. He was going to be late again. He quickly threw his book and the remains of his lunch into his bag, not caring that bits of half-eaten sandwich were being mangled and turned to crumbs by the other contents, and dashed away.

****