Okay, here goes the teaser…(taken from Chap. 1)
“You’ve no idea the dangers you face.” Ma’s voice cracked. “It’s too risky, and you’re—”
“Nearly sixteen, and a grown woman by all standards. And more capable outdoors than most.” Determination settled like gritstone within Lia.
Years of sadness lined Ma’s face. Lia knew Grandma Myrna had sequestered herself in the shrouded land of Brume, scrambling between two homes to keep the old crafts alive. Then her unexpected death came at the worst time for Lia’s ma—a young bride that same year, with only a moon to go before giving birth to her first and only child.
“Well, fine then, just dig me a hole right now,” Ma said, tears welling. “Because I’ll not want to see another day once I lose you.”
Lia’s heart ached for her mother, but her resolve to help Da would not falter. “Ma, I know how you feel about that place, but I have to go. You heard Granda, the only way to save Da is by going to Brume, and I need to be there to tend to Granda’s legs when they ail him. Please, Ma, we all must do what we can for Da and the others.”
Granda Luis paused by the door. He gave Lia his familiar nod of approval, and then shifted his eyes to Ma. “Such events force our hands in startling ways. The one promise I can make is to do everything in my power to bring her home safe. And with any luck, we’ll put an end to this vile blight.” He turned and stepped outside.
Ma closed her eyes and squeezed Lia’s hands. Tears streamed down her face, as she whispered, “Please, do not tarry in Brume. Go only where you must, and make haste home.” Their eyes met, green to green. “Your life means everything to us, Lia, and I know Da would rather perish than have you harmed trying to help him.”
Ma took a deep breath, hugged Lia, and followed Granda’s footsteps out the door. Lia didn’t harbor the same fear of Brume that Ma did. She’d be safe with Granda, she was sure of it.
“I’m going to find a way to save you, Da, I promise.” Lia reached for her father and kissed his brow, an inferno burning beneath her lips. He made a slight motion with his hand toward her, before it fell back onto the bed.