This release week for AMID THE WINTER SNOW has been so fantastic, and it’s all because of you readers. Grace noted that two different reviews referred to us as “four formidable authors,” so now we feel like a superhero team. The Formidable Four!! I totally get to be the Jessica Jones wine-drinking, smart-assing one, right??
Anyway, we’ve been #1 all week in Fantasy Anthologies and Short Stories, except for brief excursions when a book with a BookBub ads bumps us for a time. We’re so delighted and gratified.
I’m winding up my excerpts and mini-reviews with this one from Elizabeth Hunter’s story, The Storm!
I’ve loved Elizabeth’s Irin world since I read THE SCRIBE. Her stories are deeply felt and complex battles between fallen angels, and span centuries. In The Storm, her steadfast hero finally tracks his love down in her last hiding place. I love the snowbound house high in the mountains, and how he insists she see him clearly – and face the old pain that’s blinded her. It’s a lovely story of the dark night of the soul and ultimate redemption.
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Max returned from the caves while she was reading a book by the fire.
“There is food set out in the kitchen,” she said quietly, not looking up.
“Thank you.” He didn’t go to the kitchen. He crossed the living room and sprawled on the couch, forcing his head into her lap. “That library must have been remarkable.”
She put her book down, knowing he took pleasure in distracting her. “It was.”
“Has no one come back in over two hundred years? No one even came looking for the scrolls?”
“Maybe.” She combed her fingers through Max’s thick blond hair. It was wavy—almost curly—and shone gold in the firelight. “I didn’t return to this place for over one hundred years. Someone might have been back before that, but they would have seen everything gone.”
“Not everything.” He grabbed her hand. Kissed her palm. “I can still feel so much joy in that place. The magic in the walls is still vibrant.”
Renata closed her hand, curling her fingers into her palm. “I only feel pain. Loss.”
“There are both. Pain and joy. That is life. There’s something in the tunnels I want you to—”
“Don’t make me go back there.” She sighed. “Max, I know I can’t get rid of you, but can you just…”
“Let me be.” She closed her eyes. “Just let me be. Ignore me. You are welcome to stay here and rest. Explore the library as much as you want. Eat my food. But let me be. If you need to, pretend I’m not here.”
He nipped the heel of her hand with his teeth. “Well, that would be idiotic.”
She frowned. “Why?”
“Because I didn’t come here for a quiet mountain getaway, Reni. I didn’t come to explore a library. I came for you.”