The Alchemist by Arianna Archer Guest Post

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The Alchemist

Italy, 1565—Niccolo is a philosopher, a nobleman, and an

honorable man. He’s also an alchemist—considered a heretic and an enemy of the

church. When his beloved fiancée dies of a mysterious ailment on the eve of

their wedding day, Niccolo loses all direction. Maddened by grief, he attempts

a desperate, unthinkable act, one from which there is no turning back:

transformation of the dead into the living…

Italy, 2015—While excavating a Renaissance-era burial site,

Julia discovers a beautiful but mysterious carving. Wreathed in classic period

symbols—a cross, a family crest, an open book—the piece contains another symbol

she can’t quite place—an alembic—a type of distillation apparatus used in

alchemy. Then she finds something else—a burial plaque commemorating the deaths

of two people, a man and a woman. Curious, Julia continues to excavate the

site, but before she can complete her work, something gives way beneath her and

she falls…or is pulled…through the darkness and emptiness of time…

But when Julia turns up in the body of Niccolo’s fiancée,

confusion battles with danger. Inextricably drawn to one another, Julia and

Niccolo find solace in each other’s arms. But to love again, they’ll have to

defy the deadly prejudice of others and the terrifying power of the Spanish

Inquisition. Between love, loss, and murderous betrayal, can the alchemy of

love create enough magic to save the Them.

Niccolo’s heart

raced, pounding the walls of his chest. He willed it to calm. He needed to

clear the raging blood from his head so he could think. In a soft leather pouch

hanging from a thong around his neck and buried beneath his cloth, a small

sapphire vial was concealed. Niccolo withdrew it now, never taking his eyes

from his lover’s face.

Her perfect

cheekbones, the nobility of her nose, and the fine twin arches of her brows

combined with the chilly pallor of her skin and stillness of form to suggest

she was not a creature of flesh, deserted by spirit, but a goddess sculpted in

marble, serene in her eternal sleep.

His fingers

trembled as he unstopped the bottle. He parted her lips and held the jewel to

her mouth.

“God forgive

me,” he whispered and tilted the bottle. The elixir had the color and luster of

liquid gold with the capricious consistency of quicksilver. It ran out over her

tongue and disappeared into her throat, leaving no trace except for one fine

golden bead clinging like a gilded dewdrop to her lower lip. The vial was

empty, the hollow sapphire glittered in the candlelight. Niccolo scrutinized

the delicate fringe of Carolina’s sable lashes against her pale cheeks. He was

close enough to feel her breath, had she any.

“Come back to

me, my angel,” he murmured and placed his lips upon hers.

Arianna Archer


Arianna Archer lives in Las Vegas, where anything could

happen and something usually does. Things she likes: rain, running in the deep

woods, pizza, red wine, and interesting people. Things she’s not crazy about:

pumpkin pie, splinters, rudeness, and light beer. When she’s not writing or

reading, she can usually be found spending time with her family, in the

kitchen, or at the gym lifting stuff.″>Barnes

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