Read An Excerpt From Portal By Imogen Rose
LONDON, 17 Years Ago
Olivia looked up at the sky and caught sight of a shooting star. It was the start of the Orionid meteor showers. She made a wish.
She ran her hand across her belly, hoping she’d be able to give her daughter a perfect life. Sadness enveloped her as she realized she needed to accept the inevitable. Her marriage was over. Olivia braced herself; that epiphany was more chilling than the cold October wind biting through her thick wool coat. How would she give her daughter the life she deserved without a father? She’d lost her own when she was just eight, and it had left a hole in her life that had been impossible to fill. All she had left of him were fleeting memories; her favorites were those of their last family vacation in Arizona. And that was what she would name her daughter–Arizona.
Perhaps she should stay in her marriage. Maybe it would be better for Arizona. She was torn. Was this what was in store for her, a lifetime of compromise? She needed a drink to help dull the pain of this possibility. But, she’d have to start her new life by settling first for a glass of sparkling water to celebrate her best friend Celia’s birthday, which was, after all, why she was waiting outside the Alexander Fleming pub in Paddington on such a bitterly cold night.
Celia and the others finally arrived, stumbling toward the pub. They had started their pub crawl hours earlier, while Olivia was finishing up in the laboratory. Celia planted a wet, alcoholic kiss right on Olivia’s pink glossed lips as they hugged, and then she pulled her in the direction of the pub. The group of nine made a noisy entrance as they pushed their way to their regular table. Olivia could feel all eyes on them, but was used to it. Their striking looks had landed them in the modeling job where they had instantly bonded. They had remained friends, though most of them had long since given up modeling and gone their separate ways.
“Let the rounds begin!” Celia declared, flicking her glossy blond hair over her shoulders, and smiling brightly. Olivia put up her hand to indicate that she would get the first round and tried to remember the orders her friends shouted.
She plowed through the crush of bodies surrounding the bar and reached it feeling out of breath. She leaned against it, inadvertently knocking something over with her foot. She looked down and just managed to rescue a guitar from hitting the floor. When she looked back up, she locked onto the intense icy-blue gaze of a man standing beside her. Olivia was unprepared for the tremor that jolted through her when she looked into his eyes. Embarrassed, Olivia gave herself a shake, forcing her eyes to disengage from his.
“I am so sorry. That was clumsy of me. Is this yours?” she whispered, handing the guitar to the man.
His lips curled into a smile as he reached for it. Olivia flushed when she felt a strong urge to touch his lips. Quickly composing herself, she turned to the bartender. She recited her order and waited while he placed nine full glasses on a tray.
“Would you like some help with that?”
Olivia turned back to the man with the guitar and nodded gratefully. As he slung the guitar over his back, she pointed to the table in the corner, and he deftly maneuvered the tray through the crowds.
“Ladies, your refreshments!”
“My! Where did you find him, Ollie? He’s adorable!” Celia grinned, looking the guitar man up and down.
Olivia examined him carefully. She had been so enthralled by his eyes that she hadn’t noticed how irresistibly attractive the rest of him was. He was about six foot two, lean but with clearly defined, taut muscles under his dark jeans and black polo shirt. With his sparkling blue eyes accented with thick dark lashes, perfectly arched brows, and a head of short, sun-kissed brown hair, he was beautiful.
“I’m the birthday girl, so I get the first kiss!” Celia giggled as she stood and puckered her lips. Olivia felt a strong wave of resentment, but couldn’t understand why. She looked up at the man, who must have noticed her obvious irritation because he smiled at her reassuringly before heading over to Celia and kissing her gently on the top of her head.
“Is that all I get?” Celia teased. “How about a tune on your guitar, at the very least? It is my birthday, after all!”
Olivia was relieved when he walked back over and sat on the arm of her chair. He plucked his guitar as Celia got up and sang along.
Olivia tried to analyze her erratic reactions to this stranger. Why did she feel so possessive of him? It didn’t make any sense. She was even envious of Celia singing along to his music. How absurd!
When the song came to an end, he moved to leave. She felt a shot of pain tear through her body. As if reading her thoughts, he turned to face her. Gently, he pulled her hair away from her left ear and moved in so close that she could feel the warmth of his breath.
Softly, he whispered, “Ollie, I’m your Rupert. Take a leap of faith with me.”
Then, just before he left, he added the words that changed her life forever.
“Come find me two years ago.”
Come Find Me Two Years Ago…
Six words that propelled ice hockey playing tomboy, Arizona, into an alternate dimension.
She suddenly found herself in the past. In one moment she went from being an ice hockey playing teenager in New Jersey to a glamorous cheerleader in California. She found herself transported from a happy life with her dad, Dillard, to a new, strange one living with her mother whom she hates. Apparently it’s a life she’s always lived in.
Everyone knows her as Arizona Darley, but she isn’t. She is Arizona Stevens.
As she struggles to find answers she is certain of one thing- that her mother Olivia, a brilliant physicist, is somehow responsible…
PORTAL is the story of the repercussions of Olivia Darley’s attempt at creating a perfect world for herself and her children. Arizona’s quest for answers threatens to undermine the seemingly perfect world that her mother has so carefully constructed.
PORTAL is the first book of the Portal Chronicles. Fans of time travel, romance, and the supernatural will enjoy Arizona’s quest for answers.
About The Author:
Imogen Rose is the author of the bestselling YA series, the Portal Chronicles. She was born in a small town in Sweden and moved to London in her twenties. After obtaining a PhD in immunology from Imperial College, she moved with her family to New Jersey, where she’s been based for the past ten years.
For as long as she can remember, Imogen has dreamt stories. Stories that continued from night to night, from dream to dream. So, even as a child, going to bed was never an issue, just an anticipation of the story to come.
PORTAL, Imogen’s first novel, would have remained in her imagination, to be shared only with her daughter, Lauren, had her eight-year-old not insisted that she write it down. In the course of a month, Imogen typed while Lauren waited eagerly by the printer for the pages to appear, and a novel took shape.
The warm reception PORTAL received encouraged her to continue with the story and the Portal Chronicles. The Bonfire Chronicles is Imogen’s new YA paranormal series.
Imogen is a self-confessed Hermès addict who enjoys shopping, traveling, watching movies and playing with her dog, Tallulah.