Amanda's life is less than ordinary: she is a psychic, is haunted nightly by her late husband, and lives near an underground colony of dwarves. Despite dwarf males normally handling such tasks, the colony’s females ask Amanda to find a lost baby for them . . . then hire her to tell them who strangled their midwife with a diaper and cut out her gossiping tongue.
Amanda is thrilled at the honor, but she must learn first to tame her own unruly psychic power. The shadow side of her gift raises a demon that stalks her, attacks, and slashes her hand with a claw. When she feels something alive wriggle in her wound, she knows she must face this demon alone . . . and that death is no longer the worst possible fate.
The town’s sheriff asks Amanda to help him solve the disappearance of a missing teenage girl. This brings a predator into Amanda's life, an enemy who allies himself with her demon. To make matters worse, the midwife’s murderer also decides to hunt her.
Amanda, though, has no intention of becoming anyone’s victim.Genre: FICTION / Fantasy / Paranormal
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Fate didn't announce itself by rapping its hard-luck knuckles against my green cottage door. Nor did it bother to crawl in through my cranked-open bathroom window. So I gave it no more attention than I did the mountain air I breathed every day. That was my downfall, my sin. Fate might forgive greed, gluttony, or even bloodlust, but it never ignores being ignored. It punished my neglect with death and a demon. It yoked guilt like a leprous shadow to my heels.
Fate's wakeup call came to me one cool spring night after I had lived on Crying Woman Lane for about a year. I was in bed, just skirting along the edge of sleep, when a guttural, female voice called, "Amanda," through my window screen.
My bedside clock, instead of displaying numbers, looked back at me with a luminous green eye. Startled, I watched it, waiting to see if this obvious sign would make its meaning known. The eye winked, and the clock became normal again with the numbers 11:02 brightly displayed. The numbers added up to four, the number of wholeness. It didn't describe me at the moment.
Fully awake, I rose up on one elbow, tucked a tuft of hair behind my right ear, and listened. Beyond my open window, the tidal racket of katydids rose and fell with the shrill anguish of self-centered insects braying for sex. I stayed quiet, hoping the female would go away but knowing I shouldn't let her leave. The sign indicated this meeting was important. On the other hand, my body felt raw and jangled with a restless need for sleep. She could come back.
A second time she called my name from the tangle of darkness and moonlight in the woods. At least it was not a ghost's voice. It had breath in it. The throaty intonation, though, was not quite human, the vowels veined in iron, the consonants ancient and startling.
"Not tonight," I yelled back.
"Now," the female insisted.
Translation in progress. Translated by Rodrigo Peixoto
Already translated. Translated by Valentina Díaz Adasme
Valentina is an outstanding translator. I had a Spanish-speaking professor proofread a portion of her work on my novel and was told her translation was excellent. She met or beat all deadlines and working with her was easy. She is a true professional.