This Serenity Sunday I’m sharing a very special excerpt – a sneak-peek into “Rahasya” Book 3 of the Tome Series due out later this year! Enjoy!

Tendrils of smoke streamed from the incenses, hovering over the ground in wispy strands. In the eternal dusk of ThiarImeall, there was a strange comfort to be found in the half-light cast by the Sun that never rose or set in the sky. Distant and unreachable, its light forever slashed across the lower horizon where the Noon Gate led to ThiarImeall, casting the land in stark silhouette. But the darkness did nothing to mask the graves from Aki’s night-visioned eyes. Tiny graves mingled with those of adults that seemed so unnatural, particularly to a people generally unfamiliar with death.

Placing a clutch of flowers on the grave she’d been praying beside, she rested her hand on the cool earth.

“Please forgive me, beloved sister.”

When she felt ready, Aki got to her feet. Standing amid the blossoming shikizakura and the bald cypresses and weeping willows in their perpetual autumnal color, she looked out over what was left of her village beneath the immoveable heavens. Like most Yugure Junin villages it consisted of networks of short footbridges, homes built on thick beams, shallow river ways and streets of water. Now the buildings were destroyed and left in ruin, blood and viscera tainting the waterways.

Sorrow weighed heavy on her heart as her zori sank into the blood-soaked ground, the rice straw weave of the sandals turning red with each step. In some places it was so deep that it stained her white tabi socks, turning them a gruesome red-pink that strangely matched her red hakama. The flowing pants, like her once white haori she wore them over, bore the marks of her toil, covered in smudges of dirt and blood.

~ Excerpt from “Rahasya” Book 3 of the Tome Series copyright AJ Culpepper 2016
~ Image courtesy of


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