Miss Araminta enjoys taking a week's holiday every fall. She always goes to the Pioneer House Bed and Breakfast near Triune, Tennessee, which is owned by her good friends Mark and Felicia Rollins. This time, Miss Araminta finds a scene of consternation and turmoil when she starts to check in. Police Detective Davis is talking to her hostess, and both seem upset. They quickly tell her that a guest died in one of the upper rooms during the night.
It is 2056, five years after an influenza pandemic wiped out nearly half the world's population. Local level government and law enforcement have stabilized society to the point that 12-year-old Tharon Trace's biggest concern is being used as a pawn in her fickle friends' quest for popularity. But all that changes when Tharon and her two best friends, Helm Harris and Kaid Walker, are tangled in a web of murder, abduction, and government conspiracy. No longer a pawn, Tharon, Helm, and Kaid must escape.
Gina Gale has been obsessed with the long-lost Mevoyan culture for years. She's devoted her life to the study of their culture, their rituals, and the Ruby of Ages, a legendary jewel said to have mystic powers. Amidst the thrill of new ruins discovered in South America, new clues emerge about the ruby's location, setting her off on a race with her rag-tag group of friends against her fame-hungry rival, Kaufman, and his hired team of experts.