The Redeeming Grace Trilogy
An Epic Science Fiction Fantasy Series
Four hundred years would give anyone long enough to gain a reputation and Gabriel Usuriel seems to collect them like unwanted trophies. He’s been credited with everything from saving the colony to starting a new religion. He’s also been accused of everything from incest to murder. With all that following in his wake, who could blame him for seeking out a bit of peace and quiet in the secluded valley of Angelus Quietum?
His daughter, Gracie, has no knowledge of Gabriel’s illustrious (or infamous) past when she comes to live with him at age six. She’s too busy mastering her inborn ability to summon fire and hiding ghostly meetings with her long-dead older sister to worry about her father’s history. Before long, however, Gabriel’s past begins taking over Gracie’s present and she will soon have to choose whose version of events to believe. There are big political forces who want to see the Usuriel Family fall and if Gracie doesn’t find the truth in time, the clock may run out on her father and everything they love.
Fire is part of who I am. A touch of anger and the flames leap around my shoulders like an inconvenient blush.
But the conversations with my dead sister, Ariel? Well… she’s always been my little secret.
I’m not sure why I kept her from Dad. Perhaps the mortal’s fear of my fire traumatized me. As if I weren’t isolated enough as a terrified six-year-old in that government group home. If controlling fire is rejection worthy, seeing ghosts has to be a whole new level of abomination.
Dad’s like me, though – an Usuriel with his own pyrokinetic abilities and plenty of other psi I can only dream of. He’s the one who gave me a home, a family, and made me feel like I belong. He has a fair share of secrets, so maybe that’s why. If Dad taught me anything by example, its how to keep my mouth shut.
Looking back on it, that should have been my first sign keeping secrets was going to get me into trouble.
Approximately 135k words
My name is Gracie Usuriel and fire is in my blood. In fact, according to my dead sister, Ariel, it’s in my very DNA. She thinks I’m the strongest pyrokinetic ever born on Cybele – so strong my flames actually burn holes in the fabric of reality that allow me to peer into other times and places.
So what exactly was I supposed to do with all that firepower? At eighteen, I had no idea. I just knew I didn’t want to spend the rest of my life twiddling my thumbs on my father’s farm. Dad might choose to spend his whole life hiding out in Angelus Quietum, but I was ready to go have some adventures! Not to mention a whole bunch of long-overdue research into a particularly mysterious immortal parent. And if I happened to be taking off to the same university as a pretty, blond diplomat-in-training, well, that was just a bonus, right?
The Fear of Time
Have you ever made a mistake so horrible, you thought your whole life was over?
I’m a third gen firebird, the strongest pyrokinetic Cybele has ever seen. What no one ever taught me about my powers is when I make a mistake, it’s so much more damaging than everyone else’s. With Gabriel Usuriel for a father, I should have realized that sooner. But somehow that lesson got lost in translation, just like his ‘explanation’ of Sorrow.
After Grayson, I thought I’d witnessed the worst of my powers’ unintended consequences. Nothing quite compares to finding out you’re poisonous. My Awareness was cast in a completely new light, one I tried to warn my friends away from.
If only they’d listened. If only they’d told me. If only I’d asked the right questions.
It doesn’t matter, though. Nothing could have prepared me for this bone deep betrayal of everything I thought I knew. And no matter what the Overwatch says, it’s not a misunderstanding, either. I was manipulated into this.
That’s no excuse, of course. I take responsibility for my role in burning everything to the ground. I only hope this account can shed some light on what went wrong. And perhaps – for some – lay out a better path forward.