We left off at All That’s Written with the first part of Tallent and Lowery’s Valentine Adventure. Here’s the special conclusion of our tour with Tallent and Lowery in honor of Valentine’s Day:
A Tallent & Lowery Valentine Adventure
“Seriously. Where is everybody?” Leah asked, staring at the vacant rooms of the NYPL.
Finally, Gareth understood the strange reaction. “Hey…it’s okay. I swear. The library’s just closed.”
“How is it closed?”
Taking her by the hand, Gareth led her into the Rose Main Reading Room. “You would be amazed how easy it is to get what you want when you have a ton of money to blow.” He laughed. “Besides, it’s snowing like crazy out there. Everyone was grateful to go home to their warm living rooms, and pretend a polar vortex was something that Spielberg made up.”
“You shut down the library so I could follow a treasure map? What are you, five?” Leah offered a smirk.
“I would make a heck of a father, wouldn’t I?” he asked. “Seeing as that, mentally, I would be the same age as the kid.”
Leah cringed. “If there’s an adopted infant hidden in this library I’m gonna run for the hills.”
“No. I figured I had to wait for you to get used to that idea.”
Leah muttered, “You may be as old as St. Valentine when that happens.”
“Well,” he began, offering a wide grin, “just make sure not to take too much time. If I’m at the point where I’m gumming my food, I might scare the kid to death.” He pointed down at the small piece of paper. “Shall we begin?”
Shaking her head, Leah remained silent, secretly loving the man’s imagination. Looking down at the first clue – a heart to represent the holiday – Leah felt the trusty card catalogue open in her mind as she thought of all the things that could be related to the first clue. Deciding to go with the simplest answer, Leah turned around and began to walk away from Gareth’s side.
“Where are you going?” he asked, sprinting to catch up.
“The section on literature of the Middle Ages.”
“Why is that?”
Leah looked up at him, knowing she would never find any clue lurking in the stunning eyes. Gareth was, after all, a man who loved a challenge. “The heart meaning ‘love’ didn’t come about until the end of the Middle Ages. Before that, the heart was just seen as a shape, usually drawn to represent a fig leaf in the medieval era.”
“That reference could be in hundreds of books, which one do you pick?”
Leah grinned. “Hagiography represents the biographies of all different saints and leaders of the Church written over time. But, seeing as that no one has really come to terms with who St. Valentine was, I know there’s no specific bio I could reference.” Reaching out, she took a small book of writings off the shelf that were based on Pope Gelasius.
“Why that guy?” Gareth asked.
“He was the one who made the day civil, so to speak.” She winked. “You see, the Romans celebrated the day as a festival of fertility, not love.”
“Boy, those dudes were into —, weren’t they?”
“Why do you think the Empire fell?” Leah snorted. “The chicks should have been in charge. What happened was, Roman boys drew names of girls out of an urn, then the couple exchanged…gifts.”
“At least they were happy when they fell,” he said, leaning back against the bookcase. “But, why the Pope?”
“Pope Gelasius was the one who changed the Pagan celebration and put a Christian spin on it, birthing the holiday of St. Valentine.”
“So he was real?”
“There’s some debate,” Leah answered. “There are actually a ton of St. Valentine’s if you read through history. But the most accepted one is a young Roman who died on February 14th, martyred by Emperor Claudius II for the simple fact that the boy refused to give up Christianity.”
Flipping through the pages, Leah discovered another small piece of paper with the drawing of two birds sitting side-by-side.” She smiled at the handsome face. “You knew this, huh?”
“After being with you, I know it’s important to study up.” Lifting her hand, he brushed Leah’s skin with his lips. “So…what do you make of clue number two?”
Turning, Leah immediately walked toward the poet’s corner with Gareth right behind her. Reaching out, she pulled Chaucer from the shelf.
“Why him?” Gareth nodded at the small book of poems. “There were a ton of romantic bards.”
“Before the whole ‘romance’ theme was adopted by humans, Chaucer mentioned it in a poem, The Parlement of Foules.” Looking down, she translated the small type and read aloud: “ ‘For this was Saint Valentine’s day, when every bird of every kind comes to this place to choose his mate.’ ”
Gareth grinned as Leah flipped over the page and found yet another clue; a hand-drawn bumblebee stared up at her with a tiny smile. She laughed.
“I suppose you know what that’s all about?” Gareth grinned. “O’ Wise One.”
“Well,” Leah tool a step forward and kissed him on the cheek. “In the original text edition, Chaucer did not use birds as the metaphor in this poem, he used bees. No one knows why it was changed.”
He nodded. “So we head to some insect reference book now?”
Leah stood still, watching the man who was, quite obviously, pretending to be confused. “Apiology, the study of bees, should be there. But zoology is where I would head.”
Walking through the quiet museum to literary beauty Gareth remained silent, waiting for Leah to continue.
Reaching the reference she wanted, Leah picked up the book and turned to the section on a man named Charles Butler. “This is the guy referred to as the ‘Father of English Beekeeping’. He was the genius who figured out there was one Queen surrounded by male drones. And he also first noted that bees created wax honeycombs.”
Flipping the page, Leah looked down at the familiar drawing of a small honeycomb. The words beside it read; ‘The End’. Her brain went into overdrive. “Hmmm…let’s see here. This could reference mummy masks that were found made of honeycomb; skulls unearthed in ancient times with gemstones stuck to them with beeswax; fabrics or fashion, considering it was used for waterproofing and, of course, the easiest one – candles.”
Gareth smiled wide.
“We don’t have a candle section, per se.”
“What will you do, then?”
An image of the stunning landscape that she and Gareth had visited in the recent past appeared in her mind. “Beeswax candles were seen as high-end and only used by royalty to light their mighty palaces. 18th century England was the most common place to find them.”
Without another word, Leah headed slowly to the Map Room, one of her favorite nooks in the NYPL. Entering, she saw the hundreds of candles illuminating a small table set for two.
Walking to the table, Leah raised the golden dome and looked down at the lasagna – her favorite – gracing the dish.
Pulling out her chair, she sat, watching the man she loved take his place across from her. “Good job.”
“You too,” he said. “We make a good team.”
As the slight burst of metal hit her gaze, Leah stared at the beautiful beeswax sculpture in the familiar shape of a heart decorating the side of the table. Barely noticeable among the intricate combs of the brilliant material was a locket made of amber. Picking it up carefully, Leah stared at the small clock on the inside. On the adjoining face, the words Tallent & Lowery had been inscribed.
“Time is so special with you,” Gareth said, his voice a soft, deep whisper in the romantic setting. “I’m greedy. I want at least, oh…seventy more years with you. I hope I can have that.”
Studying the face of the man who struck her with awe every time she gazed at him, Leah reached across the table and took his hand. “I hope so too. I can’t wait to tease you when our kid comes to visit us at the home so he can watch Dad gum his food.”
Happy Valentine’s Day!
Did you miss any of the other stops?
Go back and catch them now!
The Hero’s Companion
Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery have seen it all, utilizing everything they have to survive. But now, Leah’s father has gone missing and they have only seven days before he’ll be killed. The only clue to follow is a picture of one of the most famous icons of all time, and a strange map hidden in her father’s desk. This new mystery will take them from the pinnacle of the Acropolis to the depths of Cleopatra’s caves in order to unmask the man who has a score to settle.
In a location that’s been buried under rock for centuries the battle will begin, and the team will have to face the one foe that will expose secrets and unleash unheard of power in order to get what he wants. ‘The Hero’s Companion’—the one woman who will do anything to make sure the right side wins, will fight the good fight; but without Gareth, her time may just run out.
The Sapphire Storm
After going up against a man who believed he was the Devil, himself, the beloved characters of Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery are exhausted. But a terrifying journey awaits…
When Leah arrives home her sarcasm burns even brighter, but a frightening call from Gareth’s sister changes the course of their holiday event. A new puzzle from the past has come to life, and involves a world of liars, killers and greed.
The heart-stopping suspense takes them from Coptic Cairo to the magical world of Petra in search of a cave that once housed a true ‘Illuminator’. They must find the answers to one of the biggest mysteries while staying one step ahead of villains who are determined to make sure that, this time, Tallent & Lowery do not survive.
In 1902, thirteen people came together to continue a tradition that’d been set in stone thousands of years before.
In 2012, Leah Tallent, Head of Research at the New York Public Library, is about to unearth the secrets left behind by this crew by joining a crazy man on a fanatical quest. Gareth Lowery has spent his life searching for the ultimate artifact; twelve keys hidden by men whose job it was to protect the single biggest secret ever kept.
The fantastic duo is soon immersed in a whirlwind treasure hunt with historical and passionate repercussions. From the eerie Winchester House to the darkness of Loch Ness, they quickly learn that the theory of duality is correct: For every bad there is a good and, for Heaven, there most assuredly exists…Hell.
Tallent & Lowery Book #4: The Charlatan’s Crown
From defeating the worst of mankind to solving puzzles that have eluded others for centuries, Leah Tallent and Gareth Lowery must now follow a new trail to stop a madman from resurrecting a mighty Reich.
Although dead men supposedly tell no tales, the duo continue to follow clues left behind by true powerbrokers from Hell, and now they stand on the precipice of an infamous castle used by those who thrived on hate and terror.
Fighting for their lives from deep inside a labyrinth, they’ll stand atop a stage where an angel of death spoke to the masses, and climb to an ‘Eagle’s Nest’ to come face-to-face with a new enigma; a master puppeteer who’s pulling the strings on a monumental scheme they never saw coming.
Amy Lignor began her career in publishing as the Editor-in-Chief of Grey House Publishing in New England. Working in the publishing industry for decades, she is now the Owner/Operator of The Write Companion which offers full editing, ghostwriting and proofreading services.
Not only is Amy a bestselling author, she has been inducted into the ITW – International Thriller Writers Org. and is a writer/contributor for many companies, including: Authorlink; Humor Outcasts; The Feathered Quill; Bookpleasures; Suspense Magazine, as well as a variety of literary periodicals. She has been the head writer for Be First, Inc., and has just become the Editor-in-Chief of a new imprint: Hallowed Ink Press
Other books by Amy Lignor:
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3 Winners – eCopies of 13, The Sapphire Storm & The Hero’s Companion by Amy Lignor
3 Winners – eCopy of The Hero’s Companion
1 Winner – eCopy of the new release, The Charlatan’s Crown, when it comes available!!
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