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Every seven years, the towns sacrifice their sick and disabled. No one has ever survived the angels’ harvest. Until now.
“Every seven years, seven persons from each of the ten towns must go into the desert, where they will enter into the realm of Elovah, their God.”
Each night, an angel swoops down to take one of their numbers. Each night, that is, except the first, when the angel touches Josh… and leaves her. What is so special about Josh? She doesn’t feel special; she feels like a woman trying to survive while finally learning the meanings of friendship, community, and love.
How funny that she had to be sacrificed to find reasons to live.
“I don’t want to die.” The words surprised her, spinning so artlessly from her lips.
“I don’t want you to die,” Blue agreed.
“What about you?” Josh whispered.
He didn’t respond for a long moment. “It doesn’t much matter, I guess.”
“Of course it matters!”
“If you say so,” he said.
“Blue,” she began, and then stopped. “Blue, why? Aren’t you scared?”
His blue eyes remained completely empty. Had his mouth not moved, she might think him a statue. “No.”
“Because I don’t matter. I’ve spent my life existing. Sometimes I think the best thing humanity does is provide sustenance for bacteria and other symbiotes. And then there was here. And you, Joshua Barstow.”
“I’m not special,” she insisted.
“You exist so grandly, so loudly, I can feel you. The air trembles around you. You walk through a room and atoms collide. Everyone here can feel the greatness of your being. They may love you or despise you or want you to lead them, but everyone notices you.”
She exhaled a startled breath. Blue, her friend, her bodyguard, her socially-backward philosopher. Her hand moved to his hair, smoothing through its knots. When her voice returned, she told him, “You matter, Blue.”
“I don’t,” he said gently, as if imparting an uncomfortable truth to a child.
“You matter a lot to me,” she carefully enunciated, unsnarling a particularly knotted tangle.
Seduced by a Beta by Elle Hill
I papered the walls of my adolescent and early adult existence with the pages of romance novels. As I got older, I expanded to other genres, but romances will always mean safety, comfort, and reliability to the adult Elle. I love romances: their predictable narrative format, their feel-good happily-ever-afters, their celebration of relationships as the most crucial aspect of human existence. I have great affection and nostalgia for some of the more common romantic staples: the initial dislike and distrust that hides bubbling passion, the BFF who represents the shero’s and/or hero’s id, the shero’s stumble or fall from a tree root or from a ladder (oopsy-daisy!) and into the strong arms of that oh-so-insufferable man. I even find adorable some of the impossible euphemisms for orgasms. Overall, I’m a flag-waving fan of the genre. Only one thing causes a slight snag in my overwhelming devotion to the genre: A preponderance of alpha men.
I like alphas; they’re great peeps and all. And sure, I realize romances are all about ideals, from romantic relationships themselves to the people who populate them. But, you know, I also dig gender diversity. Is it just me, or does your heart go pitter-pat at the thought of a tender, nurturing man with a far bigger IQ than gun collection? And who isn’t seduced by the thought of a nerdy, bespectacled hero, ala Spencer Reed in Criminal Minds or Daniel Jackson in Stargate: SG-1, who use their brains rather than a bullwhip to help the shero save the day?
I don’t write alphas, or at least not traditional ones. At folks’ urging, I’ve written semi-alpha men, but they tend to read more like moody brooders. My question for you: Am I the only one who wants to read about heroes who look like hot nerds and sensuous poets rather than arrogant business tycoons and vampire lords?
Alpha males are great, but is there also room for nurturing, sexy, and soulful heroes with backgrounds in quantum mechanics? Yum!
AUTHOR Bio and Links
Elle welcomes visitors to her website at www.ellehill.com. She also urges everyone to become a superhero and adopt their next non-human companion from a local animal shelter.
Purchasing the book: http://www.amazon.com/Tithe-Elle-Hill-ebook/dp/B00MVCPJFG
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