Kaitlyn O’Connor

( c ) copyright Aug., 2006 Kaitlyn O’Connor

Cover art by Jenny Dixon, 2013

ISBN 978-1-60394-238-6

Smashwords Edition

New Concepts Publishing

Lake Park, GA 31636

This is a work of fiction. All characters, events, and places are of the author’s imagination and not to be confused with fact. Any resemblance to living persons or events is merely coincidence.

Chapter One

The great moon was full the night they dragged the stranger into town. Mali was on guard duty on the outer wall, stationed at the wheel that controlled the first gate when she saw the hunters returning with a man instead of the wilda they’d gone out to capture because the community’s meat supply was running low. The golden glow of Sur had transformed the bright orange-red soil of the Barrenlands to a dull brown as she rose above the jagged peaks of the Hosshua Mountains that ringed the village of Mirdua, lighting the landscape to the brightness of a false dusk.

That was one of the reasons she’d been assigned guard duty--the minimal risks of standing watch during Sur’s full phase, because she was a receiver and in season and they would not otherwise have taken the chance that they might lose her.

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