Fantasy, Romantic Fantasy, Gay and Lesbian Fantasy, Young Adult (18 + over)
General Note: there are graphic battle scenes, soft sexual content, drinking, and some gay and lesbian characters (in books 2&3) in this series.
~~In a world covered by snow, where deadly predators are everywhere, resources scarce, and love even more elusive, two young women hold the key to the mysterious death and destruction surrounding their cave dwelling people. One side wants to keep these women alive and the other side wants to see them dead, but how can these young women tell the difference between the two sides? And what is the dark secret in their past that holds the key to the threats of today?
The sole survivor of a bloody genocide attempt, Iana runs for her life, but is there anywhere safe to run? Daniel swore to his dying brother that he would protect the small woman and her sister, but how can he help a girl who continually puts her life in danger? As Daniel binds Iana closer to himself, and his own dark secret life, Iana finds herself drawn to him in more than one way.
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“Hang on, Nathanial. I’m coming to get you,” Iana said.
The Raven Dog above her seemed reinvigorated at this new movement from its trapped prey. The mad dog danced on the edge above her with snapping jaws and bloody teeth. Every move the creature made sent rock and dirt cascading over Iana’s head. Her grip was already precarious and weak on the rocky cliff she was scaling. Any amount of falling debris was dangerous and could dislodge her handholds, causing her to fall.
“Iana, what are you doing? Don’t do it; stay where you are.”
“Still trying to tell me what to do Nathanial?” Iana tossed back to him, trying to keep both their spirits up. “Haven’t you learned yet?”
“Don’t risk this, Iana. I’m not worth it.”
“Yes you are!” she countered and continued to creep slowly over toward him. Her hands were shaking so hard she was scared they would shake off the rocky ledge. Maybe she should have taken off her gloves, but then she would just have the cold to deal with.
“Iana, go back. It’s too dangerous. There is snow all over that cliff; you will slip and fall.”
Iana looked over to the bush where the wind was blowing against him. He was very pale in the dusty pink light of the setting sun. He was too white Iana thought.
“Keep talking to me, Nathanial, okay?” she yelled at him.
A frigid gust of wind blew up, tossing Iana’s hair wildly. The snow swirled about, blinding her temporarily. Iana clung closer to the rough cliff wall with her eyes squeezed tight, waiting till it died down. Her lips were quivering now, but she didn’t know if it was from the cold or fear. What had made her think she could climb across to him like this?
“Hey, Easterner,” Nathanial called to her, “never seen a mouse so bad at climbing before; maybe you should have stayed behind?” he teased.
Iana opened her eyes and shot him a look that could kill. Rising to the challenge, she said, “Don’t worry, mice are very good at improvising when it comes to survival.”
Iana was frozen with fear. She could feel the tears of anger and despair start to well up in her eyes and she fought hard to push them away. She hadn’t been climbing long when Nathanial decided to continue his harassment.
“You really aren’t very good at that you know,” he said.
Iana screamed back in mock frustration, “Training for rock climbing isn’t till the next lunar!”
Nathanial kept the banter up in a lighthearted voice, but when Iana looked his way she could see his eyes were closed against the cold and he was shaking as he tried to hang on.
“I’m just saying…that you might want to work on that when we get back if you want to be a Rambler,” he continued teasing her in a trembling voice.
“I’m beginning to rethink that occupational choice at the moment,” Iana confessed, only half joking.
Nathanial laughed into the wind this time. “Aha! I knew you didn’t really want to make this run today,” he joked.
“Haven’t you bled to death yet?” Iana countered, and Nathanial laughed out loud again.
It was good to hear him laugh. Nathanial was quiet for a long moment. When he spoke next, it was in a low and serious voice. “You know I didn’t mean all that mean stuff I said to you back there at the start ribbon.”
“I know,” Iana said, forgiving him.
She paused a moment and leaned her head against the rock wall to catch her breath. It was then that Iana noticed the absence of the Raven dog from overhead. She held her breath and waited for it to return. Shadows passed over and Iana sniffed hard against her runny nose. The longer she waited, the more her nerves set on edge. Suddenly a head appeared over the edge—a human head. It was Daniel reaching his hand down to her.
About the Author:
NS Grimm is a new and upcoming American writer with self-published works in multiple genres. Works always focus on strong female characters with a passion for life and love. Her international experience finds its way into all her books in one way or another. Raised in Texas, GRIMM is the last child of three. Hobbies include: kayaking, hiking, rock climbing, gardening, house flipping, sewing, singing, ballet, scuba and visiting museums of any type.
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