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Elemental Lies by Elle Middaugh
(The Essential Elements, #2)
Publication Date: July 24, 2017
Genres: Fantasy, Young Adult
Valerie Moore is an Elemental, a person who commands one of the classical elements of wind, water, fire, or earth. She’s special, though. She controls two—fire and water—though sometimes it seems like they control her.
After the accidental exposure of Elementals to humanity, Valerie finds herself—and all of her kind—struggling to attain equality. Three different groups fight to secure leadership, and with all of their hidden agendas, she doesn’t know which side to choose. The balance between peaceful cohabitation and all-out war is precarious, at best.
When a chance meeting brings Val and earth Elemental Cade Landston back together, everything changes. She realizes what she knew in the beginning—that he’s the one she wants. Her desire to win him over draws her closer to him, and his vengeful mission to hunt down her murderous grandfather brings them both closer to trouble.
From mysterious doppelgangers to reckless rescue missions, scapegoat bombings, and evolving Elemental powers, Valerie strains to keep up.
All she knows is she must stop her grandfather at all costs. To do so, she has to figure out the truth, but how can she do so when almost everyone she knows has been telling lies?
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Excerpt from Elemental Lies:
Politics and Aquamarine Crystals
We climbed a hill and, at the top, the woods disappeared into a long golden field. A single tree stood strong in the middle, a beautiful weeping willow. Even in the winter, its branches were full of tiny green leaves.
We hiked closer, and the second memory took over. It was of this place, when Cade and I had met at this willow he’d created and had opened our hearts a little.
No one in Center Allegheny had genuinely known or understood me at the time, but Cade had. He’d said no one knew or understood him either, but I hadn’t been able to figure that out. Why would he feel like an outsider in a place like this?
I understood now. As a Traditionalist, he was essentially an outsider to everyone. His kind wanted to disappear into the woodwork, exist only amongst themselves.
The fact that he’d reached out to me, a mere human at the time, stirred up a few questions I’d never contemplated. Was Cade unsatisfied with his life as a Traditionalist? Was there a small part of him that actually leaned toward Modernism when it came to longing for social interaction?
A strange feeling crept up on me. It covered the floor of my core like a small flood. The feeling? That Modernism might be the right way to go.
I pursed my lips.
It kind of felt right, but I didn’t want to become a Modernist. I didn’t want myself or anyone else to have to compromise their ideals. I didn’t want to fuel someone else’s war. I wanted my own. I wanted more options. I wanted a new faction of leaders to rise up and take charge—justly, of course.
Revolution was already taking place all around us. Why not add a little rebellion?
Cade plopped down in the snow and patted the spot beside him.
I raised a brow. I wouldn’t get cold or wet from sitting in the snow, but he eventually would. I used my fire to warm a circle around the tree, melting snow and drying soggy soil. When I was satisfied, I sat down too.
He immediately opened his palm and wisped a jewel out of thin air. It was light blue, clear as crystal, and about as big as my thumb. He spun it around in his fingers so its facets caught the light.
“I remember the first time we were here,” he said, smiling. “You told me your favorite gemstone was alexandrite, probably because it’s purple, since that’s your favorite color.”
I grinned. “That’s not alexandrite, though.”
He tossed the jewel into the air. It came down, hit his palm, and shattered into tens of tiny pieces. Then the pieces swirled into a circle. A thin vine weaved through them, forming a delicate bracelet.
“This is aquamarine,” he said. “It has a very strong affinity to water. The fire opal from your mother has kept your fire powers beautifully in check, but your water element sometimes gets the best of you.”
I scoffed. “Like when I nearly killed you in that pit?”
Cade smiled, but didn’t make eye contact. “Something like that.”
He took my hand and slid his creation onto my wrist. Just the feel of his skin on my skin had me taking shallow breaths.
Elle Middaugh lives in the Allegheny Mountains outside of Clearfield, Pennsylvania, with her wonderful husband and three beautiful children. Most of her time is spent raising kids, writing stories, playing video games, reading, and attempting to keep a clean house.
She’s a proud Navy wife, a frazzle-brained mother, a fan of health and fitness, a lover of hot tea and iced tea, and a believer in happily ever afters.