Though women were accepted as equals in Ahlleyn, a woman heading a large warrior clan could experience certain… troublesome elements, and Narrawen carried a bow slung over her shoulder. A woman who would lead warriors must be a warrior, and she had the temperament to match the flaming red hair tumbling down her shoulders in unruly curls. “You’ve been too long a widower—”

“Eighteen months!” Lyram said. “It’s hardly too long.”

“—and I’ve never married. We both need heirs.”

“You would merge two of the kingdom’s most powerful and influential duchies into one. The aristocracy will never stand for it.”

She snorted in a most unladylike fashion and tossed her hair, like a wild horse tossing its mane. “You pay too little attention, Lyram. You’d be surprised what they’d allow right now, after the fall of Traeburhn. Everyone’s been made nervous by charges of treason. Besides, we need not merge them. We could agree on a division of heirs.”

“The risk of civil war—” He broke off as she stepped up close. The heady aroma of eastern tuberose assaulted his nostrils, rich and sensual.

She was tall, her eyes on a level with his nose, and her breath tickled his clean-shaven chin. Her blue eyes held the resolute intensity of a woman accustomed to getting her way, sooner or later. She was beautiful, and in a way that went beyond her face and figure; she was fierce, determined, and intelligent.

But when he looked at her, he saw only Ellaeva.

* * *
On the Edge of Death

Thanks for dropping by! Don’t forget, this is a fourth draft, and as such won’t be perfect – while the bones of the story are there, enough to give you a glimpse into the tale of these characters, I typically do at least eight drafts so you can expect a lot of polishing to occur between now and release date.

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On the Edge of Death

All the Left Hand of Death wants is something to call her own, but is the price too high?

Ellaeva, the fated avatar of the death goddess, is desperate to track down her missing family but the trail is decades old. Instead, she discovers her battered and bloodied sister priestesses driven across the Jerreki border on pain of death. Ellaeva must turn aside from her personal quest to investigate the murders, only to find her parents have been taken into the heart of the conflict.

Lyram Aharris, favoured son of the royal line of Ahlleyn, is the only living person she trusts to help her infiltrate the enemy stronghold and uproot the horror they find there, but their chequered past threatens the mission. Accompanying him is his crown prince, the one man Lyram wants dead above all others.

Now Ellaeva must face down the darkness in her soul before a dark god is brought into the world.

At the boundary of life and death, all oaths will be tested.