Book Title: The Mirror
Author: Candace L. Bowser
Release Date: June 18, 2013
Genre: Paranormal Romance/Horror
Length: 280 Pages
Publisher: GMTA Publishing LLC
Presented by: As You Wish Tours
Adrianna Bristol stood before her grandmother's antique mirror and stared at the black velvet cloth covering it. She just couldn't believe her nana was gone. The mirror had hung in that exact same spot for the last twenty years, never once had it been moved from the alcove. Adrianna remembered the stern words of her grandmother when she was a child. Annabel Bristol had told her, "promise me Adrianna that you will never uncover the mirror. No matter what it may whisper to you, you must never remove the cover." Adrianna laid her hand against the cool velvet which covered the glass. As she walked away the mirror whispered to her, "you belong to me now. You belong to me." A four hundred year old curse has plagued the Bristol family since the 1600's. A curse born out of a love so rich and a betrayal so deep, that time itself has no power to stop it. Only Adrianna has the courage to find the truth behind the curse and set her family free. But will the Mirror release its darkest secrets?
Father Alto was as white as a sheet. He began to tell me the intimate details of the Order; what he believed happened to the missing pages from the records room.
“The Damaskan Order was formed by Pope Significant the 1st after Orianna’s first audience with him. The Pope was very close to the Bristiolli family, in fact closer than any documented record will show. His name before he became Pope was Antonius Denallio; the brother of Bertrand Denallio. He felt responsible for what Bertrand did to Orianna, and he formed the Order to protect her from Bertrand. The Pope had no idea Bishop Germanus would take matters into his own hands the way he did. He commissioned Germanus to watch over Orianna because he believed her soul to be in peril and felt the church could protect her from Bertrand‘s powers.
“Germanus watched Orianna for many years from afar and became obsessed with delivering her from the evil which he thought haunted her. When the first three children she bore were males which all died, he became convinced Orianna was a consort of Satan and a witch. Of course you know nothing could be farther from the truth.
“When the Pope found out what Germanus had done, he forbade the Order to have any direct contact with the Bristiolli family. From that moment forward, they were to be silent observers only and never to interfere. He hoped this would prevent any similar instances from happening in the future, but this did not offer any protection to your family.”
“Wait, if this is the case then why are Germanus, the Pope, and Bertrand buried in the crypt beneath the cathedral and why is Josephine there?”
“I am not sure what is and is not recorded in the book in your possession about Josephina. She was the only child Orianna bore who survived. Bertrand did not speak to her at first. It was not until many years later, after Germanus came to visit her, he soon started. Josephina was not aware at the time of the Bishop’s visit to the villa that her mother was dead. Nor did she know that Germanus was who killed her mother. What started as the most pure and beautiful love between a man and a woman grew into a monstrosity, a curse that fed and grew on the anger of two people. It was fed by Josephina and Bertrand.”
“But how could Josephina feed the curse when she was not in love with Bertrand?”
“She later came to accept him as her lover. There were many unfortunate events that transpired before that happened. They are recorded in the book which you found.”
“What is the purpose of the Order now? Do they still watch my family?”
“The purpose of the Order has not changed much throughout the years. They still silently observe your family. I knew about your arrival in Rome before you even let your family know. We are everywhere and everyone. This is why I told you, trust no one. There is no way for you to know who we are or how we fit into your life. We could be your best friend or the owner of a travel agency. The point is you will never know if the person you are speaking with is a member of the Order. We have lived in your community from the very beginning. A member of the Damaskan Order was on the same ship your first ancestor was, the one who founded Bristol Bay. This is why I tell you to be careful. Every action will be reported directly to Theodorus. I am sure he already knows that I am here with you. I expect to be expelled from the Order before tomorrow morning and may even be asked to resign from the Priesthood. I will be deeply saddened if that happens, but I cannot let this go on any longer.”
“Why would they excommunicate you for speaking with me? Why is it wrong with knowing the truth? How do they expect me to protect myself from Bertrand if I don’t have the information I need?”
“I don’t believe they want you to be able to protect yourself, Adrianna. The Damaskan Order has been so deeply interwoven into your family and Bertrand’s I am not sure they would know what to do if they weren’t observing you.” Father Alto reached over and held my hand.
“You mean there are descendants of the Denallio family? I thought Bertrand didn’t have any children. I was under the impression he spent his whole life pursuing Orianna?”
“Bertrand had one son, out of wedlock, with a woman he met before Orianna. This is where the Denallio family line descended from straight into present day; just the same as the Bristiolli descendants all come directly from Orianna. I probably should not tell you this, but your resemblance to her is eerie. You will see what I mean when you reach the villa and see the portrait of her in the main entrance.”
I do not know what to say. I assumed I was a likeness of my mother but with this information coming to light, I koww I do not look anything like her.
Could this be the reason Aunt Delia believes I am the one who will break the curse?
I instinctively touched the necklace she gave me without thinking.
“Don’t ever take that necklace off. It protects you from him,” Father Alto said smiling.
An avid writer, Candace works nearly every day on one of her manuscripts. Though she predominately composes works of horror, she also writes mystery, suspense, and adventure. During the 1990’s she was a featured columnist for PRS in Kansas City. In 2011, Candace was honored by being voted one of the Top 20 Most Prolific Authors by AKG mag.. Her books are an unusual blend of historical places and events, along with fictional and non-fictional characters, which she seamlessly weaves into the story .Originally from south-central Pennsylvania, she currently resides in Kansas City with her husband Todd.