Born of Earth
Born of Earth
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She must confront the past to protect her future.
Georjie’s summer is shaping up to be a big disappointment. Trapped in Ireland with her aunt’s gorgeous but cold adopted son Jasher, her "vacation" gets worse with each passing day. But when a trip to the greenhouse reveals glowing cocoons she shouldn't be able to see, she embarks on a quest to solve a magical mystery…
In the pages of an ancient diary, Georjie learns a dark family history and an incredible earthly power. But as she digs deeper and realizes she isn't the only one with a touch of magic, the ghosts of the past may do much more than haunt her.
Can Georjie provide justice for her ancestors before she becomes the next family victim?
Born of Earth is an enchanting standalone novel in the Elemental Origins series YA urban fantasies. If you like powerful young women, dangerous boys, and spooky spirits, you’ll love USA Today bestseller A.L. Knorr’s ghostly adventure.
🍃 a new fae mythology
🍃 family mystery
🍃 set in Ireland
🍃 a twist you won't see coming
🍃 secrets & lies
🍃 steeped in the beauty of nature
🍃 ice cold crush who needs to thaw
🍃 elemental magic
Intro to Chapter One
Intro to Chapter One
I closed the front door and leaned against it, sighing. Alone again. Our gigantic foyer echoed with the sound of my footsteps as I crossed the marble expanse in my Jimmy Choo flip flops, past our restaurant-sized but mostly un-used kitchen, through our quadruple sliding patio doors and into our perfectly-kept-by-complete-strangers back yard.
I dumped the melted ice from four used iced-tea glasses, stacked them, and folded the blankets, still warm from the bodies of my best friends - Targa, Saxony, and Akiko. My friends were gone for the summer. Our goodbyes had been said.
These are the girls who know that all it takes to make me cry is a video of a horse running in slow motion - I'm not kidding - the waterworks just start. These are the girls who know how to get me laughing so hard I get cramps. These are the girls who know that I left anonymous love-notes inside Gregory Handler’s shoe in Grade 4.
A hollow feeling buckled my knees. The familiar metallic glint of loneliness soured in my mouth and I plopped down in one of the deck chairs. The dark sky, so beautiful in its star-speckled glory while my friends were here, now looked like it was going to swallow me in its cold gaping maw. I stared into the dying embers. The insects had stopped singing and the fire had run out of heat. Silence stuffed my ears in one of those moments where you wonder if you've actually gone deaf. The dwindling fire gave a snap and confirmed I hadn't lost my hearing, just my besties for the summer.
The grinding hum of our garage door alerted me that Liz was home. Liz was about to get some happy news. Targa's last-minute opportunity to go to Poland with her mom meant that I'd be leaving, too. Decision made. Ireland, here I come. I hadn't been planning on leaving. It had been twelve years since I’d been to visit my Aunt Faith, she's practically a stranger. Then again, so is Liz. So what's the difference? Stay home in Saltford with my laptop? Or get on a plane and visit the Emerald Isle for the summer?
I loaded my arms with the blankets and took them inside. "Liz?" I closed the patio door behind me with my toes.
"In here, Poppet," she answered from her home office, in her manufactured aristocratic English accent. Poppet. Why is it that when a term of endearment isn't delivered with any actual affection it sounds like you're calling over a barnyard animal? Perhaps a piglet?
Liz should have an Irish accent, like my Aunt Faith does, but not long after she made partner she took classes to train herself to sound British. Why? No idea. Maybe she thinks legalese comes out better in an English accent.
I dumped the smoky blankets in the laundry hamper and padded down our plushly-carpeted hallway, silent as a panther. I swear you could drop a dead body down our stairs and you wouldn't hear a thing. Targa takes off her socks just so she can feel the thick softness of our carpet with her toes. I can't bring myself to do the same, I hate the feeling of bare feet. My soles are too sensitive. Every little piece of dirt, pokey bit of carpet, or blade of grass feels magnified.
"Hey," I poked my head into Liz's office. She was already pecking away rapid-fire on her laptop, a stack of file folders at her right hand, her Prada bifocals perched on the end of her nose. Her hair looked like it hadn't budged since she left at 5:45 on the nose this morning. "Got a minute?"
"Just. What is it?" She didn't look up from the keyboard, and her fingers flew faster if that was possible. Any moment now, they could start smoking.
"I'm going to go to Ireland for the summer. Like you wanted."
That got her attention. She looked up. Lines creased her forehead as she peered over her glasses, her bionic fingers momentarily paused. "You are? What happened, I thought you and Targa were going to hang out, camp, that sort of thing. Isn't that what you said last week? I'm sure that's what you said."
Camp? I hate camping. Seriously?
She took off her glasses and put the end bit in her mouth. I could see the gears turning, the drawers of files opening and closing in her mind as she searched for the most up to date information. "Did you and Targa have a falling out?"
Targa and I never fight. If Liz had ever observed us together or ever asked me anything about my best friend, she'd know that.
"No. Targa is going to Poland, last minute decision. No point in me hanging about the house by myself all summer. I thought you'd be happy." I stepped inside and sat in one of the two matching leather chairs facing her desk, like a client. I crossed my ankles and folded my hands in my lap. Might as well play the part, make her feel at home. My physical sarcasm was lost on her.
"I am happy, Poppet. That's great. Call Denise on Monday and she'll set you up with flights. She's updated your passport already, so you're good to go." She put her glasses on and attacked her keyboard again. Denise is Liz's secretary. She makes sure I don't miss a dental cleaning, a haircut or a manicure (I don’t do pedicures. Ugh). They all happen like clockwork. Thanks, Denise.
"Are you going to talk to Aunt Faith? I mean, she already said I can come, right?"
Liz didn't look up. "Yes, Poppet. She's good with it. Denise will settle everything with her next week. She'll even pick you up from the train station. Faith, not Denise, obviously." Liz was especially adept at clarity-to-go. I think it’s a lawyer thing.
"I have to take a train?"
"Fly to Dublin, train to Anacullough. You don't remember?" Type. Type. Type.
"I was five.”
"Denise will explain, it's easy. Ireland's public transport is excellent."
"Excellent." I watched her type. I cleared my throat.
She blinked up at me, then back down. "You'll have fun. Jasher will be there too, your cousin. You'll have a friend to play with."
Wow. Did she really just say that I'd have a friend to play with? What was I, three?
"What's he like?"
She frowned. "I don't know, never met him. You know that. I'm sure he's lovely."
"Well, how old is he? I know he's older than me but by how much? What does he do? Is he a baseball kind of guy, or a movie-buff?"
She blinked. I'd bewildered her with these questions about her adopted nephew. She wasn't prepared. She hated not being prepared. "Ah," she said, holding up a finger. She opened one of her many desk drawers. Rummaged. Closed the drawer. Opened another one. Rummaged. She pulled out a stack of envelopes wrapped with an elastic band. She plopped them on the edge of her desk with a thwack and set her shoulders back triumphantly. "There you are."
"What are these?" I crossed the expanse to her desk and picked up the stack of letters. Elegant handwritten scrawl. Postmarked from Ireland.
"Letters from your Aunt Faith. Once you've read those you'll know everything I know about Jasher, and you'll be all caught up on the goings on over there." She waved her fingers as though doing a spell. Embarrassment over her lack of information, magically averted.
"Looks like I'll know more than you, Liz. Half of these aren't even open." I thumbed through the stack.
"Good!" She looked up and flashed me one last winning smile.
"Good," I echoed. I stood there for a moment, bathing in the sound of typing. In her mind, I was gone already. "Okay, I'm going to go numb myself with technology now."
She glanced up as briefly as blinking. "Okay, Poppet. Have fun."
I left, the carpet muffling the sound of my exit.