LEE CARROLL The Watchtower

ISBN 13: 9780553825688

The Watchtower

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9780553825688: The Watchtower

The last in a long line of women sworn to guard our world against evil, jeweller Garet James is struggling to come to terms with who - or what - she really is. Will Hughes, the alluring four-hundred-year-old vampire who tasted her blood and saved her life, could help, but he's disappeared. Garet believes he's in France, searching for the Summer Country, the legendary land of the Fey where he might be freed from his vampire curse. Desperate to understand her legacy, Garet follows Will. In Paris, she encounters strange, mythic beings - an ancient botanist metamorphosed into the city's oldest tree, a gnome who lives beneath the Labyrinth at the Jardin des Plantes, a dryad in the Luxembourg Gardens - meetings that convince her she is on the right path. But Garet is not the only one trying to find the way in to the Summer Country - and the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes...

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About the Author:

LEE CARROLL is a pseudonym for the writing partnership of award-winning novelist Carol Goodman and her poet husband, Lee Slonimsky. Their first novel together was the acclaimed Black Swan Rising. They live in Red Hook, New York.

Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.:

1

The Pigeon
 

The park outside the church smelled like pigeon droppings and cat pee. At least I hoped it was cat pee. After my first week in Paris, I realized that I hadn’t seen any cats. Pigeons, yes. Each morning I sat with the pigeons and the still sleeping homeless people, waiting for my chance to sit inside the smallest, and surely the dimmest, little church in Paris in order to wait some more … for what I wasn’t sure. A sign. But I didn’t even know what form that sign would take.
It had all started with a silver box I found in an antiques shop in Manhattan, which I had unwittingly opened for the evil Dr. John Dee—yes, John Dee, Queen Elizabeth’s alchemist, who should have been dead almost four hundred years, but wasn’t—unleashing the demons of discord and despair onto New York City. With the help of some fairies—Oberon, Puck, Ariel … the whole Shakespearean crew plus a diminutive fire sprite named Lol—I had gotten the box back and closed it, only to have it stolen by Will Hughes, a rather charming four-hundred-year-old vampire whom I’d fallen in love with. Will had taken it to open a door to the Summer Country and release a creature who could make him mortal again so we could be together, so I suppose I could forgive him for that. But why hadn’t he taken me with him? I would have followed Will on the path that led to the Summer Country. Will had told me on the first night we met wandering through the gardens outside the Cloisters that he had taken the path once before, following signs left behind by his beloved Marguerite, who turned out to be my ancestor. The first sign had appeared outside an old church in Paris. The path always changed, Will had told me, but it always started in that church. You just had to wait there for a sign that would tell you where to go next.
So when, months after Will disappeared, just when I thought I’d gotten over him, an anonymous art buyer sent to my father’s gallery a painting of an old church in Paris, which my father identified as Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre in the Latin Quarter, I knew the painting must have come from Will and that he was asking me to join him on the path to the Summer Country.
I made my plane reservation right away and booked my room at the Hôtel des Grandes Écoles, the little Latin Quarter pension where my parents had spent their honeymoon. I told my father and friends Jay and Becky that I was going to Paris to research new jewelry designs at the Louvre and in the Museum of Decorative Arts. I read in their eyes how thin the pretext was, but they hadn’t questioned me too deeply. After the events of last fall—a burglary, my father getting shot, me ending up burned and battered in Van Cortlandt Park in the Bronx—they didn’t need to know more to think I could use a couple of weeks away. And what more diverting place to go than Paris?
If they had known I planned to spend my mornings sitting in a dim, musty church waiting for a sign from my vampire lover, perhaps they would have suggested a month in the Hamptons instead.
On my seventh morning in the church I had to admit that the old women with their string bags and the old men with their copies of Le Monde were all more likely to receive a sign from the doe-eyed saints on the walls than I was. I slipped out of the quiet church, avoiding the eyes of the black-robed priest, who, after seeing me here for seven mornings in a row, must have wondered, too, what I was looking for, and escaped into the only slightly more salubrious air of the Square Viviani.
Like the church, the Square Viviani needed something to boast of besides its homeless inhabitants and free Wi-Fi access. For Viviani, it was the oldest tree in Paris, a Robinia pseudoacacia fabacées planted in 1602 by the botanist Jean Robin, now leaning so perilously toward the walls of Saint-Julien that I found myself worrying that one of these mornings, on which I would no doubt still be sitting here waiting for my sign, the oldest tree in Paris would fall onto the oldest church in Paris and collapse with it, like the two old drunks curled up like nesting spoons on the next bench.
To keep such an event from happening, the city of Paris has propped the twenty-or-so-foot-tall tree up with a cement girder ingeniously sculpted to look like a tree itself, and the actual tree has been fortified against some blight with an unsightly patch of gray cement, one large enough that I could probably have squeezed into the hole it filled. It made me feel sorry for the tree … or perhaps it’s just that I was feeling sorry for myself.
To make my self-pity complete, a pigeon landed on my head. I was so startled I let out a yelp and the pigeon flapped indignantly to my feet and squawked at me. It was an unusual one, brown and long-necked, perhaps some indigenous European variety. I looked closer … and the bird winked at me.
I laughed so loud that I woke up one of the sleeping drunks. She clutched her ancient mackintosh around her scrawny frame, pointed her bent fingers at me, and gummed a slurry of words that I interpreted to mean He fooled you, didn’t he? Then she put her fingers to her mouth and I realized she was asking for a cigarette.
I didn’t have a cigarette so I offered her a euro, and she slipped it into an interior pocket of her mac, which I noticed was a Burberry and her only garment. She pointed again to the brown pigeon, who had taken up a commanding pose atop the Robinia pseudoacacia, from which it regarded me dolefully.
“Amélie,” the woman said.
I pointed to the pigeon and repeated the name, but she laughed and pointed to herself.
“Oh, you’re Amélie,” I said, wondering if it was her real name or one she’d taken because of the popular movie with Audrey Tautou.
“Garet,” I told her, then gave her another euro and got up to go. If I needed a sign to show me that I was spending too much time in the Square Viviani, it was being on a first-name basis with the homeless there.
I decided to go to the other place I’d frequented this week—a little watch shop in the Marais. The owner, ninety-year-old Horatio Durant, was an old friend of my parents’. On the first day I had visited him, he took me on what he called a horological tour of Paris.
“They should call Paris the City of Time,” he declared, striding down the rue de Rivoli, his cloud of white hair bobbing like a wind-borne cloud, “instead of the City of Light.” He showed me the enormous train-station clock in the Musée d’Orsay and the modernist clock in the Quartier de l’Horloge composed of a brass-plated knight battling the elements in the shape of savage beasts. He took me to a watch exhibit at the Louvre, then to the Musée des Arts et Métiers to see the astrolabes and sundials, where I fell in love with a timepiece that had belonged to a sixteenth-century astrologer named Cosimo Ruggieri. It had the workings of a watch revealed through a transparent crystal, but its face was divided into years instead of hours. Stars and moons revolved around the perimeter, and inset into a small window, a tree lost its leaves, gained a snowy mantle, sprouted new leaves, and turned to blazing red. I sketched it again and again, making small changes, until I found I had an unbearable itch to cast it into metal. Monsieur Durant told me I was welcome to use his workshop. He lent me not only his tools, but also his expertise with watchmaking. A week later I had almost finished it.
After I left the park and took the metro to the Marais, I spent a few hours happily etching the last details on the timepiece. I had modified the design by adding a tower topped by an eye with rays coming out of it.
“That’s an interesting motif,” Monsieur Durant remarked when I showed him the finished piece. “Did you copy it from someplace?”
“It was on a signet ring I saw once,” I replied, without mentioning that it had been on Will Hughes’s ring. Will had explained that the ring had belonged to my ancestor Marguerite D’Arques. The symbol represented the Watchtower, an ancient order of women pledged to protect the world from evil. Four hundred years ago Will had stolen the ring from Marguerite and left in its place his own swan signet ring, which had subsequently been handed down from mother to daughter until my mother had given it to me when I was sixteen just months before she died.
“A watchtower for a watch,” Monsieur Durant remarked, squinting at it through his jeweler’s loupe. When he looked up at me, his eye was freakishly magnified and I felt exposed. Did Monsieur Durant know about the Watchtower? But he only smiled and said, “How apropos!”
After I left Monsieur Durant’s I stopped on the Pont de la Tournelle. As I watched the sun set behind the turrets of Notre Dame, I realized I hadn’t made my evening vigil at Saint-Julien-le-Pauvre. Checking my new watch, which now hung around my neck, I saw that it was almost ten o’clock. The long days of the Paris summer had fooled me. I felt a twinge of guilt then, followed by a pang of grief. I wasn’t going to get a message. If Will had really sent the painting of the church—and even that certitude was fading fast in the limpid evening light—perhaps he had only sent it as a farewell. An apology for betraying my trust and stealing the box. A reminder that he’d needed it to embark on his own quest for mortality. Perhaps it served no more purpose than a postcard sent from a foreign land with the message Wish you were here. It hadn’t been an invitation at all.
With another pang I recalled another moment by a river. That very first night I had spent with Will we had sat on a parapet above the Hudson and he had told me his history. “When I was a young man,” he had begun, “I...

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Descripción Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The last in a long line of women sworn to guard our world against evil, jeweller Garet James is struggling to come to terms with who - or what - she really is. Will Hughes, the alluring four-hundred-year-old vampire who tasted her blood and saved her life, could help, but he s disappeared. Garet believes he s in France, searching for the Summer Country, the legendary land of the Fey where he might be freed from his vampire curse. Desperate to understand her legacy, Garet follows Will. In Paris, she encounters strange, mythic beings - an ancient botanist metamorphosed into the city s oldest tree, a gnome who lives beneath the Labyrinth at the Jardin des Plantes, a dryad in the Luxembourg Gardens - meetings that convince her she is on the right path. But Garet is not the only one trying to find the way in to the Summer Country - and the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780553825688

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Descripción Transworld Publishers Ltd, United Kingdom, 2012. Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Language: English . Brand New Book. The last in a long line of women sworn to guard our world against evil, jeweller Garet James is struggling to come to terms with who - or what - she really is. Will Hughes, the alluring four-hundred-year-old vampire who tasted her blood and saved her life, could help, but he s disappeared. Garet believes he s in France, searching for the Summer Country, the legendary land of the Fey where he might be freed from his vampire curse. Desperate to understand her legacy, Garet follows Will. In Paris, she encounters strange, mythic beings - an ancient botanist metamorphosed into the city s oldest tree, a gnome who lives beneath the Labyrinth at the Jardin des Plantes, a dryad in the Luxembourg Gardens - meetings that convince her she is on the right path. But Garet is not the only one trying to find the way in to the Summer Country - and the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Nº de ref. de la librería AAZ9780553825688

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Descripción Transworld Publishers Ltd. Paperback. Estado de conservación: new. BRAND NEW, The Watchtower, Lee Carroll, The last in a long line of women sworn to guard our world against evil, jeweller Garet James is struggling to come to terms with who - or what - she really is. Will Hughes, the alluring four-hundred-year-old vampire who tasted her blood and saved her life, could help, but he's disappeared. Garet believes he's in France, searching for the Summer Country, the legendary land of the Fey where he might be freed from his vampire curse. Desperate to understand her legacy, Garet follows Will. In Paris, she encounters strange, mythic beings - an ancient botanist metamorphosed into the city's oldest tree, a gnome who lives beneath the Labyrinth at the Jardin des Plantes, a dryad in the Luxembourg Gardens - meetings that convince her she is on the right path. But Garet is not the only one trying to find the way in to the Summer Country - and the closer she gets, the more dangerous it becomes. Nº de ref. de la librería B9780553825688

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Descripción Paperback. Estado de conservación: New. Not Signed; The last in a long line of women sworn to guard our world against evil, jeweller Garet James is struggling to come to terms with who - or what - she really is. Will Hughes, the alluring four-hundred-year-old vampire who tasted her blood and saved her life, could help, but he's disappeared. Garet bel. book. Nº de ref. de la librería ria9780553825688_rkm

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