We're Team Hera! Because here on Balancing Act, we're both bad-ass and warm and nurturing, and we'll fight to bring out the best in our crew, um, team. :-)
You can check out other teams on the other hosting blogs: Elsie Elmore (Team Droids), Elizabeth Roderick (Team Leia), Kathleen Ann Palm (Team Darkside), Rena Rocford (Team Rebels), and of course, our organizer and Grand Poobah, Katie Hamstead Teller.
Category and Genre: Adult Fantasy
Word Count: 116,000
Naomi is the best healer in all of Nevre’stra. She shares a bond with the wolves, which heightens her senses and allows her to make a diagnosis based solely on the scent of an infection. While scouting the wilderness to help those in need, Naomi encounters her greatest fear, a marauder attack. She survives the onslaught only to be captured by one of the marauders, Delventrus. When Naomi is released, she permanently returns to her home in the city, scarred by the violent memories and the knowledge that she was left alive for only one reason: to carry Delventrus’ child.
Nearly eight years later, Delventrus reemerges in Naomi’s life. Now he wants her daughter, Dana’lia. He forces Naomi to choose between the life of her mate or relinquishing Dana’lia to him. Naomi does not have time to wait for the city guards or the wolves to intervene, she must decide. Yet unbeknownst to her, Delventrus has discovered a source of limitless power connected to her bloodline, and Dana’lia is the key to him obtaining that power. Naomi’s dire choice harbors drastic consequences for not only herself but also all the inhabitants of Nevre’stra.
First 250 Words:
Pillars of afternoon sunlight poured in through the tall, narrow windows of the barracks infirmary. Naomi neTara, the healer, the Luparian, gently held the swollen, red hands of the little girl in front of her. Clear humor trickled from open sores and black lesions made her pitiful hands grotesque. The redness seeped up to her wrists but the black lesions were mainly on her palms and fingertips. It was easy to see why the barracks healer, a former apprentice of Naomi, thought the girl displayed symptoms of Shepherd’s Plague. Such would be the end of the little girl and disaster for the township she traveled from for help. But Naomi did not worry. She held her nose close to the little girl’s hands, closed her eyes and inhaled deeply. She let the scent of the affliction roll across her olfactories and settle on the back of her tongue. Naomi inhaled again to be sure.
A wolf padded along the hidden deer-trails of the forest. When he detected an enticing odor on the wind, he stopped for a moment. It had been days since he had eaten, since he journeyed from his pack and family in search of his own territory and mate. The odor on the wind was meat, rotting in the sun, not choice parts but entrails. It didn’t matter, anything would do. He sniffed at the entrance of a burrow but the scent of prey was stale. The rabbits were long gone.